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BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?

DougR 11 Jul 09 - 08:02 PM
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Art Thieme 12 Jul 09 - 10:13 PM
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theleveller 13 Jul 09 - 10:46 AM
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artbrooks 13 Jul 09 - 02:30 PM
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McGrath of Harlow 13 Jul 09 - 02:57 PM
Barry Finn 13 Jul 09 - 05:03 PM
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Rapparee 13 Jul 09 - 06:14 PM
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Emma B 13 Jul 09 - 06:19 PM
Art Thieme 13 Jul 09 - 06:24 PM
Royston 13 Jul 09 - 06:27 PM
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Emma B 13 Jul 09 - 07:04 PM
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bobad 13 Jul 09 - 07:30 PM
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Peace 13 Jul 09 - 10:27 PM
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goatfell 14 Jul 09 - 04:43 AM
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Emma B 14 Jul 09 - 07:34 AM
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artbrooks 14 Jul 09 - 08:07 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 14 Jul 09 - 08:54 AM
DMcG 14 Jul 09 - 09:29 AM
Art Thieme 14 Jul 09 - 09:54 AM
daylia 14 Jul 09 - 10:15 AM
Emma B 14 Jul 09 - 10:20 AM
Ebbie 14 Jul 09 - 11:23 AM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Jul 09 - 12:37 PM
DougR 14 Jul 09 - 12:59 PM
gnu 14 Jul 09 - 01:59 PM
Ebbie 14 Jul 09 - 02:08 PM
Charmion 14 Jul 09 - 03:20 PM
John P 14 Jul 09 - 04:39 PM
artbrooks 14 Jul 09 - 05:55 PM
Ruth Archer 14 Jul 09 - 06:30 PM
Peace 14 Jul 09 - 06:37 PM
Emma B 14 Jul 09 - 06:59 PM
kendall 14 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM
Rowan 14 Jul 09 - 09:27 PM
Ebbie 15 Jul 09 - 12:12 AM
DougR 15 Jul 09 - 01:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jul 09 - 10:06 AM
katlaughing 15 Jul 09 - 12:19 PM
DougR 15 Jul 09 - 01:18 PM
Ebbie 15 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jul 09 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,mg 15 Jul 09 - 06:31 PM
gnu 15 Jul 09 - 06:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jul 09 - 07:12 PM
Ebbie 15 Jul 09 - 07:36 PM
dwditty 15 Jul 09 - 08:35 PM
Riginslinger 15 Jul 09 - 09:19 PM
katlaughing 15 Jul 09 - 10:22 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 16 Jul 09 - 12:07 PM
DMcG 16 Jul 09 - 01:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 09 - 01:30 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 16 Jul 09 - 02:58 PM
Ebbie 16 Jul 09 - 03:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jul 09 - 05:20 PM
Ebbie 16 Jul 09 - 06:31 PM
DMcG 16 Jul 09 - 06:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jul 09 - 07:42 PM
artbrooks 16 Jul 09 - 07:44 PM
katlaughing 16 Jul 09 - 08:07 PM
artbrooks 16 Jul 09 - 08:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 09 - 08:37 PM
Bobert 16 Jul 09 - 08:42 PM
Ebbie 16 Jul 09 - 09:01 PM
Art Thieme 16 Jul 09 - 09:31 PM
DougR 16 Jul 09 - 10:31 PM
katlaughing 17 Jul 09 - 12:15 AM
GUEST 17 Jul 09 - 12:35 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 17 Jul 09 - 07:35 AM
Bobert 17 Jul 09 - 07:40 AM
Stringsinger 17 Jul 09 - 11:11 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 17 Jul 09 - 11:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 09 - 12:46 PM
Leadfingers 17 Jul 09 - 01:56 PM
katlaughing 17 Jul 09 - 02:53 PM
Art Thieme 17 Jul 09 - 03:41 PM
artbrooks 17 Jul 09 - 03:43 PM
DougR 17 Jul 09 - 08:48 PM
kendall 17 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 09 - 08:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 09 - 08:57 PM
katlaughing 17 Jul 09 - 10:23 PM
artbrooks 17 Jul 09 - 11:05 PM
katlaughing 17 Jul 09 - 11:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jul 09 - 02:01 AM
GUEST,An NHS problem 18 Jul 09 - 07:34 AM
pdq 18 Jul 09 - 12:10 PM
pdq 18 Jul 09 - 02:21 PM
Riginslinger 19 Jul 09 - 12:07 AM
GUEST,Romanyman 19 Jul 09 - 01:54 PM
Stringsinger 19 Jul 09 - 04:19 PM
gnu 19 Jul 09 - 05:42 PM
artbrooks 19 Jul 09 - 08:35 PM
Leadfingers 19 Jul 09 - 11:25 PM
DMcG 20 Jul 09 - 02:58 AM
dick greenhaus 20 Jul 09 - 11:05 AM
Riginslinger 20 Jul 09 - 06:53 PM
artbrooks 20 Jul 09 - 07:05 PM
Bobert 20 Jul 09 - 08:38 PM
lompocan 21 Jul 09 - 06:24 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Jul 09 - 07:36 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Jul 09 - 07:52 PM
artbrooks 21 Jul 09 - 08:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Jul 09 - 08:21 PM
DMcG 22 Jul 09 - 01:44 AM
DMcG 22 Jul 09 - 06:09 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Jul 09 - 08:02 AM
DMcG 22 Jul 09 - 08:46 AM
3refs 22 Jul 09 - 09:01 AM
dick greenhaus 22 Jul 09 - 11:36 AM
Peace 22 Jul 09 - 11:45 AM
Peace 22 Jul 09 - 11:50 AM
katlaughing 22 Jul 09 - 02:08 PM
Stringsinger 22 Jul 09 - 02:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jul 09 - 05:45 PM
Rumncoke 22 Jul 09 - 06:04 PM
Peace 22 Jul 09 - 06:15 PM
Peace 22 Jul 09 - 06:22 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Jul 09 - 06:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jul 09 - 06:43 PM
artbrooks 22 Jul 09 - 06:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jul 09 - 07:01 PM
Peace 22 Jul 09 - 07:09 PM
Bill D 22 Jul 09 - 07:42 PM
Peace 22 Jul 09 - 07:56 PM
Leadfingers 22 Jul 09 - 08:48 PM
Bill D 22 Jul 09 - 09:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 09 - 06:39 AM
The Barden of England 23 Jul 09 - 06:46 AM
lompocan 23 Jul 09 - 11:47 AM
Ebbie 23 Jul 09 - 11:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 09 - 02:04 PM
dick greenhaus 23 Jul 09 - 05:56 PM
DougR 23 Jul 09 - 08:47 PM
artbrooks 23 Jul 09 - 10:22 PM
Bill D 23 Jul 09 - 11:13 PM
Ebbie 24 Jul 09 - 12:01 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 09 - 01:45 PM
Don Firth 25 Jul 09 - 05:31 PM
The Barden of England 25 Jul 09 - 05:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 09 - 05:45 PM
dick greenhaus 25 Jul 09 - 05:45 PM
Ebbie 25 Jul 09 - 05:59 PM
DougR 25 Jul 09 - 07:10 PM
artbrooks 25 Jul 09 - 08:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 09 - 08:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 09 - 08:33 PM
Peace 25 Jul 09 - 08:40 PM
Don Firth 25 Jul 09 - 09:03 PM
Peace 25 Jul 09 - 09:10 PM
dick greenhaus 25 Jul 09 - 10:40 PM
Ebbie 25 Jul 09 - 11:37 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Jul 09 - 02:39 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 26 Jul 09 - 03:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jul 09 - 03:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jul 09 - 03:23 PM
DougR 26 Jul 09 - 03:44 PM
Peace 26 Jul 09 - 03:46 PM
Peace 26 Jul 09 - 03:48 PM
Peace 26 Jul 09 - 03:50 PM
Peace 26 Jul 09 - 03:57 PM
Peace 26 Jul 09 - 04:06 PM
Don Firth 26 Jul 09 - 04:28 PM
artbrooks 26 Jul 09 - 04:38 PM
mg 26 Jul 09 - 04:41 PM
Peace 26 Jul 09 - 04:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jul 09 - 05:00 PM
Peace 26 Jul 09 - 05:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jul 09 - 05:22 PM
pdq 26 Jul 09 - 05:48 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Jul 09 - 06:15 PM
Maryrrf 26 Jul 09 - 06:51 PM
DougR 26 Jul 09 - 07:22 PM
Leadfingers 26 Jul 09 - 07:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jul 09 - 08:04 PM
Peace 26 Jul 09 - 08:33 PM
Leadfingers 26 Jul 09 - 08:38 PM
Rowan 26 Jul 09 - 10:54 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 27 Jul 09 - 06:32 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 27 Jul 09 - 06:42 AM
The Barden of England 27 Jul 09 - 08:32 AM
Catherine Jayne 27 Jul 09 - 09:17 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM
dick greenhaus 27 Jul 09 - 08:32 PM
DougR 27 Jul 09 - 09:50 PM
Peace 27 Jul 09 - 10:09 PM
DMcG 28 Jul 09 - 02:09 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jul 09 - 08:14 AM
DougR 28 Jul 09 - 06:37 PM
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DougR 28 Jul 09 - 07:56 PM
dick greenhaus 29 Jul 09 - 10:34 AM
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dwditty 29 Jul 09 - 11:35 AM
CarolC 29 Jul 09 - 01:42 PM
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gnu 01 Aug 09 - 12:11 PM
CarolC 01 Aug 09 - 12:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Aug 09 - 12:48 PM
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Don(Wyziwyg)T 01 Aug 09 - 02:45 PM
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Don Firth 01 Aug 09 - 04:23 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 01 Aug 09 - 04:50 PM
Don Firth 01 Aug 09 - 07:02 PM
Ebbie 02 Aug 09 - 12:26 PM
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GUEST,Peace 02 Aug 09 - 12:53 PM
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Penny S. 02 Aug 09 - 03:55 PM
VirginiaTam 02 Aug 09 - 05:34 PM
Don Firth 02 Aug 09 - 05:35 PM
Don Firth 02 Aug 09 - 05:45 PM
VirginiaTam 02 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Aug 09 - 06:12 PM
Don Firth 02 Aug 09 - 06:21 PM
Riginslinger 02 Aug 09 - 10:25 PM
Greg F. 02 Aug 09 - 11:31 PM
The Barden of England 03 Aug 09 - 02:55 AM
GUEST,mg 03 Aug 09 - 02:59 AM
Greg F. 03 Aug 09 - 08:04 AM
katlaughing 03 Aug 09 - 11:12 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Aug 09 - 11:17 AM
DougR 03 Aug 09 - 12:03 PM
DougR 03 Aug 09 - 12:19 PM
CarolC 03 Aug 09 - 12:21 PM
CarolC 03 Aug 09 - 12:23 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Aug 09 - 01:14 PM
artbrooks 03 Aug 09 - 01:17 PM
DougR 03 Aug 09 - 03:38 PM
CarolC 03 Aug 09 - 03:54 PM
DougR 03 Aug 09 - 04:05 PM
CarolC 03 Aug 09 - 04:15 PM
VirginiaTam 03 Aug 09 - 04:25 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Aug 09 - 04:26 PM
CarolC 03 Aug 09 - 04:36 PM
Greg F. 03 Aug 09 - 04:50 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 03 Aug 09 - 04:52 PM
CarolC 03 Aug 09 - 04:53 PM
Greg F. 03 Aug 09 - 04:58 PM
CarolC 03 Aug 09 - 05:10 PM
CarolC 03 Aug 09 - 05:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Aug 09 - 05:14 PM
Greg F. 03 Aug 09 - 05:30 PM
CarolC 03 Aug 09 - 05:48 PM
Riginslinger 03 Aug 09 - 05:59 PM
Bill D 03 Aug 09 - 06:02 PM
Rowan 03 Aug 09 - 06:14 PM
Greg F. 03 Aug 09 - 06:41 PM
DougR 03 Aug 09 - 06:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Aug 09 - 07:04 PM
Peace 03 Aug 09 - 07:08 PM
CarolC 03 Aug 09 - 07:12 PM
artbrooks 03 Aug 09 - 07:26 PM
DougR 03 Aug 09 - 07:59 PM
CarolC 03 Aug 09 - 08:04 PM
bobad 03 Aug 09 - 08:58 PM
CarolC 03 Aug 09 - 09:07 PM
Bobert 03 Aug 09 - 09:11 PM
Greg F. 03 Aug 09 - 09:21 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 03 Aug 09 - 09:50 PM
artbrooks 03 Aug 09 - 10:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Aug 09 - 07:06 AM
Greg F. 04 Aug 09 - 07:48 AM
katlaughing 04 Aug 09 - 11:41 AM
DougR 04 Aug 09 - 12:21 PM
Don Firth 04 Aug 09 - 01:24 PM
CarolC 04 Aug 09 - 02:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Aug 09 - 02:16 PM
CarolC 04 Aug 09 - 02:21 PM
bobad 04 Aug 09 - 02:34 PM
Don Firth 04 Aug 09 - 03:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Aug 09 - 04:21 PM
CarolC 04 Aug 09 - 04:34 PM
DougR 04 Aug 09 - 04:58 PM
Ebbie 04 Aug 09 - 05:10 PM
Don Firth 04 Aug 09 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,mg 04 Aug 09 - 06:17 PM
DougR 04 Aug 09 - 06:26 PM
Greg F. 04 Aug 09 - 06:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Aug 09 - 06:36 PM
artbrooks 04 Aug 09 - 06:45 PM
CarolC 04 Aug 09 - 07:19 PM
CarolC 04 Aug 09 - 07:22 PM
Don Firth 04 Aug 09 - 07:25 PM
Don Firth 04 Aug 09 - 07:28 PM
mg 04 Aug 09 - 09:09 PM
CarolC 04 Aug 09 - 09:15 PM
mg 04 Aug 09 - 10:32 PM
Little Hawk 05 Aug 09 - 02:13 AM
Bobert 05 Aug 09 - 08:19 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Aug 09 - 12:12 PM
Little Hawk 05 Aug 09 - 12:30 PM
DougR 05 Aug 09 - 12:45 PM
dick greenhaus 05 Aug 09 - 12:45 PM
CarolC 05 Aug 09 - 01:05 PM
CarolC 05 Aug 09 - 01:08 PM
CarolC 05 Aug 09 - 01:26 PM
DougR 05 Aug 09 - 01:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Aug 09 - 01:36 PM
CarolC 05 Aug 09 - 01:46 PM
CarolC 05 Aug 09 - 01:47 PM
CarolC 05 Aug 09 - 02:20 PM
Alice 05 Aug 09 - 02:29 PM
Alice 05 Aug 09 - 02:48 PM
Greg F. 05 Aug 09 - 03:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Aug 09 - 04:35 PM
DougR 05 Aug 09 - 06:12 PM
Greg F. 05 Aug 09 - 07:06 PM
Rowan 05 Aug 09 - 07:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Aug 09 - 07:38 PM
Alice 05 Aug 09 - 09:14 PM
Greg F. 05 Aug 09 - 11:29 PM
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CarolC 06 Aug 09 - 01:33 AM
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Greg F. 06 Aug 09 - 08:22 AM
CarolC 06 Aug 09 - 10:53 AM
DougR 06 Aug 09 - 11:50 AM
CarolC 06 Aug 09 - 12:23 PM
DougR 06 Aug 09 - 01:13 PM
Greg F. 06 Aug 09 - 01:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Aug 09 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,mg 06 Aug 09 - 02:26 PM
Don Firth 06 Aug 09 - 02:32 PM
Greg F. 06 Aug 09 - 03:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Aug 09 - 04:23 PM
Greg F. 06 Aug 09 - 04:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Aug 09 - 04:47 PM
CarolC 06 Aug 09 - 05:08 PM
Greg F. 06 Aug 09 - 05:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Aug 09 - 05:45 PM
Little Hawk 06 Aug 09 - 06:28 PM
Don Firth 06 Aug 09 - 06:34 PM
pdq 06 Aug 09 - 08:25 PM
Alice 06 Aug 09 - 09:41 PM
Greg F. 06 Aug 09 - 09:43 PM
Riginslinger 06 Aug 09 - 09:43 PM
CarolC 06 Aug 09 - 11:56 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 01:17 AM
DougR 07 Aug 09 - 11:59 AM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 01:01 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 01:16 PM
DougR 07 Aug 09 - 01:35 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 07 Aug 09 - 01:54 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 02:15 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 02:17 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 02:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM
pdq 07 Aug 09 - 02:29 PM
pdq 07 Aug 09 - 02:40 PM
Don Firth 07 Aug 09 - 03:00 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 03:47 PM
katlaughing 07 Aug 09 - 03:52 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 03:59 PM
pdq 07 Aug 09 - 04:17 PM
Amos 07 Aug 09 - 04:29 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 04:36 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 04:37 PM
DougR 07 Aug 09 - 04:37 PM
DougR 07 Aug 09 - 04:43 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 05:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Aug 09 - 05:10 PM
DougR 07 Aug 09 - 05:40 PM
pdq 07 Aug 09 - 06:27 PM
Bobert 07 Aug 09 - 06:33 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 07 Aug 09 - 07:28 PM
bobad 07 Aug 09 - 07:32 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 07 Aug 09 - 07:32 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 07:32 PM
Don Firth 07 Aug 09 - 07:54 PM
Bobert 07 Aug 09 - 08:03 PM
Peace 07 Aug 09 - 08:04 PM
Don Firth 07 Aug 09 - 09:04 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 09 - 09:22 PM
Greg F. 07 Aug 09 - 09:23 PM
Stringsinger 08 Aug 09 - 05:57 PM
Half of No Worries 08 Aug 09 - 06:19 PM
dick greenhaus 08 Aug 09 - 06:33 PM
Bobert 08 Aug 09 - 07:28 PM
Peace 08 Aug 09 - 07:36 PM
Charley Noble 08 Aug 09 - 11:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Aug 09 - 07:52 AM
Maryrrf 09 Aug 09 - 10:21 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 09 Aug 09 - 06:38 PM
curmudgeon 09 Aug 09 - 08:45 PM
DougR 09 Aug 09 - 10:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Aug 09 - 06:29 AM
Bobert 10 Aug 09 - 07:55 AM
Alice 10 Aug 09 - 09:32 AM
Riginslinger 10 Aug 09 - 12:30 PM
Alice 10 Aug 09 - 04:54 PM
Greg F. 10 Aug 09 - 06:03 PM
Bobert 10 Aug 09 - 08:49 PM
Maryrrf 10 Aug 09 - 08:52 PM
bobad 10 Aug 09 - 09:05 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Aug 09 - 09:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Aug 09 - 07:30 AM
Richard Bridge 11 Aug 09 - 08:32 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Aug 09 - 09:26 AM
Bobert 11 Aug 09 - 06:38 PM
Rowan 11 Aug 09 - 06:52 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 11 Aug 09 - 07:25 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Aug 09 - 07:59 PM
Peace 11 Aug 09 - 08:05 PM
Alice 11 Aug 09 - 10:31 PM
Penny S. 12 Aug 09 - 05:11 AM
Penny S. 12 Aug 09 - 05:26 AM
Gervase 12 Aug 09 - 08:08 AM
Bobert 12 Aug 09 - 08:17 AM
Don Firth 12 Aug 09 - 12:44 PM
Riginslinger 12 Aug 09 - 01:28 PM
DougR 12 Aug 09 - 02:01 PM
Penny S. 12 Aug 09 - 02:50 PM
Don Firth 12 Aug 09 - 03:45 PM
Ebbie 12 Aug 09 - 03:53 PM
heric 12 Aug 09 - 04:55 PM
heric 12 Aug 09 - 05:03 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Aug 09 - 05:40 PM
heric 12 Aug 09 - 06:13 PM
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Peace 12 Aug 09 - 07:25 PM
heric 12 Aug 09 - 07:58 PM
heric 12 Aug 09 - 08:13 PM
Greg F. 12 Aug 09 - 09:12 PM
heric 12 Aug 09 - 09:59 PM
Michael Harrison 12 Aug 09 - 11:27 PM
Alice 12 Aug 09 - 11:51 PM
heric 13 Aug 09 - 01:42 AM
heric 13 Aug 09 - 01:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Aug 09 - 08:53 AM
Riginslinger 13 Aug 09 - 09:11 AM
Greg F. 13 Aug 09 - 09:17 AM
heric 13 Aug 09 - 10:09 AM
Alice 13 Aug 09 - 10:09 AM
Greg F. 13 Aug 09 - 10:28 AM
Penny S. 13 Aug 09 - 02:40 PM
heric 13 Aug 09 - 03:15 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 13 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM
Greg F. 13 Aug 09 - 07:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Aug 09 - 07:35 PM
Maryrrf 13 Aug 09 - 08:50 PM
Amos 13 Aug 09 - 10:51 PM
The Barden of England 14 Aug 09 - 05:03 AM
SINSULL 14 Aug 09 - 08:26 AM
Greg F. 14 Aug 09 - 09:03 AM
Bobert 14 Aug 09 - 09:12 AM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Aug 09 - 10:22 AM
Maryrrf 14 Aug 09 - 11:32 AM
beardedbruce 14 Aug 09 - 12:27 PM
DougR 14 Aug 09 - 01:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Aug 09 - 01:49 PM
Alice 14 Aug 09 - 02:08 PM
Peter T. 14 Aug 09 - 02:26 PM
heric 14 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 14 Aug 09 - 02:50 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 14 Aug 09 - 02:58 PM
heric 14 Aug 09 - 03:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Aug 09 - 03:55 PM
heric 14 Aug 09 - 03:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Aug 09 - 04:13 PM
bobad 14 Aug 09 - 04:19 PM
heric 14 Aug 09 - 04:59 PM
Alice 14 Aug 09 - 05:00 PM
Greg F. 14 Aug 09 - 05:10 PM
Greg F. 14 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Aug 09 - 06:04 PM
Azizi 14 Aug 09 - 06:28 PM
Little Hawk 14 Aug 09 - 06:48 PM
Peace 14 Aug 09 - 06:50 PM
heric 14 Aug 09 - 06:54 PM
Peace 14 Aug 09 - 06:59 PM
DougR 14 Aug 09 - 07:41 PM
pdq 14 Aug 09 - 07:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Aug 09 - 07:50 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 14 Aug 09 - 08:10 PM
Greg F. 14 Aug 09 - 10:45 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Aug 09 - 11:22 PM
heric 14 Aug 09 - 11:36 PM
heric 14 Aug 09 - 11:37 PM
DougR 15 Aug 09 - 01:34 AM
DMcG 15 Aug 09 - 02:49 AM
Richard Bridge 15 Aug 09 - 03:14 AM
The Barden of England 15 Aug 09 - 04:41 AM
Penny S. 15 Aug 09 - 06:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 09 - 07:14 AM
Greg F. 15 Aug 09 - 10:07 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 09 - 12:39 PM
heric 15 Aug 09 - 12:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 09 - 01:11 PM
Bill D 15 Aug 09 - 01:31 PM
Bill D 15 Aug 09 - 01:43 PM
heric 15 Aug 09 - 01:51 PM
DougR 15 Aug 09 - 03:46 PM
Maryrrf 15 Aug 09 - 04:39 PM
heric 15 Aug 09 - 05:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 09 - 06:15 PM
heric 15 Aug 09 - 06:48 PM
Greg F. 15 Aug 09 - 07:02 PM
Alice 15 Aug 09 - 07:11 PM
Peace 15 Aug 09 - 07:18 PM
Alice 15 Aug 09 - 07:41 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Aug 09 - 07:43 PM
bobad 15 Aug 09 - 07:44 PM
Bill D 15 Aug 09 - 08:27 PM
Peace 15 Aug 09 - 08:50 PM
Peace 15 Aug 09 - 09:02 PM
Alice 15 Aug 09 - 09:27 PM
Greg F. 16 Aug 09 - 07:40 AM
heric 16 Aug 09 - 11:27 AM
Ebbie 16 Aug 09 - 11:53 AM
heric 16 Aug 09 - 11:55 AM
heric 16 Aug 09 - 12:19 PM
Stringsinger 16 Aug 09 - 01:27 PM
Bill D 16 Aug 09 - 01:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Aug 09 - 03:16 PM
Bill D 16 Aug 09 - 03:22 PM
Maryrrf 16 Aug 09 - 04:19 PM
heric 16 Aug 09 - 04:28 PM
Rumncoke 16 Aug 09 - 05:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Aug 09 - 06:10 PM
heric 16 Aug 09 - 06:41 PM
pdq 16 Aug 09 - 08:21 PM
Amos 16 Aug 09 - 08:25 PM
Bill D 16 Aug 09 - 08:36 PM
Amos 16 Aug 09 - 10:16 PM
Peace 16 Aug 09 - 10:23 PM
Riginslinger 16 Aug 09 - 11:10 PM
Peace 16 Aug 09 - 11:18 PM
bobad 16 Aug 09 - 11:25 PM
Peace 16 Aug 09 - 11:27 PM
DougR 16 Aug 09 - 11:49 PM
Peace 17 Aug 09 - 12:34 AM
DMcG 17 Aug 09 - 02:20 AM
akenaton 17 Aug 09 - 04:31 AM
Richard Bridge 17 Aug 09 - 05:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 09 - 06:11 AM
Stu 17 Aug 09 - 06:37 AM
Penny S. 17 Aug 09 - 06:47 AM
Richard Bridge 17 Aug 09 - 07:47 AM
Greg F. 17 Aug 09 - 08:07 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 09 - 10:35 AM
dick greenhaus 17 Aug 09 - 11:20 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 17 Aug 09 - 11:51 AM
heric 17 Aug 09 - 12:06 PM
Amos 17 Aug 09 - 12:18 PM
Alice 17 Aug 09 - 12:20 PM
heric 17 Aug 09 - 12:29 PM
Stu 17 Aug 09 - 12:50 PM
Amos 17 Aug 09 - 01:00 PM
Alice 17 Aug 09 - 01:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 09 - 01:19 PM
Alice 17 Aug 09 - 01:44 PM
Stringsinger 17 Aug 09 - 01:54 PM
DougR 17 Aug 09 - 01:57 PM
Alice 17 Aug 09 - 02:12 PM
Donuel 17 Aug 09 - 02:23 PM
Bill D 17 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM
Ebbie 17 Aug 09 - 02:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 09 - 02:43 PM
Donuel 17 Aug 09 - 02:50 PM
Alice 17 Aug 09 - 03:43 PM
Amos 17 Aug 09 - 04:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 09 - 04:30 PM
Bill D 17 Aug 09 - 05:00 PM
heric 17 Aug 09 - 05:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 09 - 05:14 PM
Greg F. 17 Aug 09 - 05:14 PM
Greg F. 17 Aug 09 - 05:23 PM
GUEST 17 Aug 09 - 05:26 PM
Alice 17 Aug 09 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 17 Aug 09 - 05:34 PM
Greg F. 17 Aug 09 - 05:43 PM
Greg F. 17 Aug 09 - 05:46 PM
Alice 17 Aug 09 - 05:52 PM
heric 17 Aug 09 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 17 Aug 09 - 05:57 PM
Alice 17 Aug 09 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 17 Aug 09 - 06:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 09 - 06:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 09 - 06:12 PM
Don Firth 17 Aug 09 - 06:18 PM
The Barden of England 17 Aug 09 - 06:19 PM
Alice 17 Aug 09 - 06:20 PM
Alice 17 Aug 09 - 06:45 PM
The Barden of England 17 Aug 09 - 07:01 PM
Alice 17 Aug 09 - 07:08 PM
Amos 17 Aug 09 - 07:29 PM
Bobert 17 Aug 09 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 17 Aug 09 - 08:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 09 - 09:20 PM
Peace 17 Aug 09 - 09:22 PM
heric 17 Aug 09 - 09:40 PM
Peace 17 Aug 09 - 09:44 PM
heric 17 Aug 09 - 10:10 PM
Bill D 17 Aug 09 - 10:25 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 17 Aug 09 - 10:33 PM
Greg F. 17 Aug 09 - 10:39 PM
heric 17 Aug 09 - 11:02 PM
TIA 18 Aug 09 - 02:17 AM
Alice 18 Aug 09 - 10:41 AM
Maryrrf 18 Aug 09 - 10:58 AM
Alice 18 Aug 09 - 11:07 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Aug 09 - 11:08 AM
Alice 18 Aug 09 - 11:14 AM
Stu 18 Aug 09 - 11:19 AM
Amos 18 Aug 09 - 11:20 AM
Greg F. 18 Aug 09 - 12:08 PM
heric 18 Aug 09 - 12:17 PM
beardedbruce 18 Aug 09 - 01:28 PM
Bobert 18 Aug 09 - 06:46 PM
Peace 18 Aug 09 - 06:58 PM
Alice 18 Aug 09 - 07:00 PM
Alice 18 Aug 09 - 07:04 PM
Alice 18 Aug 09 - 08:02 PM
Azizi 18 Aug 09 - 08:20 PM
Don Firth 18 Aug 09 - 08:27 PM
Bobert 18 Aug 09 - 08:28 PM
GUEST,Peace 18 Aug 09 - 08:37 PM
Peace 18 Aug 09 - 09:09 PM
Bobert 18 Aug 09 - 09:19 PM
Peace 18 Aug 09 - 09:23 PM
Donuel 18 Aug 09 - 09:28 PM
heric 18 Aug 09 - 09:45 PM
Little Hawk 19 Aug 09 - 02:45 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Aug 09 - 04:12 AM
Bobert 19 Aug 09 - 07:52 AM
Sawzaw 19 Aug 09 - 01:26 PM
Peace 19 Aug 09 - 01:29 PM
heric 19 Aug 09 - 01:54 PM
Little Hawk 19 Aug 09 - 02:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 09 - 02:25 PM
Little Hawk 19 Aug 09 - 02:36 PM
heric 19 Aug 09 - 02:38 PM
Peace 19 Aug 09 - 02:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Neil D 19 Aug 09 - 02:55 PM
Sawzaw 19 Aug 09 - 03:15 PM
Alice 19 Aug 09 - 03:17 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Aug 09 - 03:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 09 - 03:54 PM
Peace 19 Aug 09 - 04:04 PM
Bobert 19 Aug 09 - 04:34 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Aug 09 - 05:05 PM
DougR 19 Aug 09 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 19 Aug 09 - 05:30 PM
gnu 19 Aug 09 - 05:34 PM
Stringsinger 19 Aug 09 - 05:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 09 - 05:41 PM
Greg F. 19 Aug 09 - 05:59 PM
Bill D 19 Aug 09 - 05:59 PM
Little Hawk 19 Aug 09 - 06:19 PM
Ebbie 19 Aug 09 - 06:27 PM
heric 19 Aug 09 - 07:03 PM
heric 19 Aug 09 - 07:17 PM
Little Hawk 19 Aug 09 - 08:07 PM
DougR 19 Aug 09 - 08:07 PM
heric 19 Aug 09 - 08:13 PM
Alice 19 Aug 09 - 08:21 PM
Peace 19 Aug 09 - 08:22 PM
Greg F. 19 Aug 09 - 08:28 PM
Little Hawk 19 Aug 09 - 08:34 PM
Peace 19 Aug 09 - 10:26 PM
Alice 19 Aug 09 - 10:28 PM
Donuel 19 Aug 09 - 10:40 PM
Donuel 19 Aug 09 - 10:46 PM
Peace 19 Aug 09 - 10:49 PM
Amos 19 Aug 09 - 11:20 PM
heric 19 Aug 09 - 11:49 PM
Peace 19 Aug 09 - 11:58 PM
Art Thieme 20 Aug 09 - 12:05 AM
Peace 20 Aug 09 - 12:31 AM
Greg F. 20 Aug 09 - 07:25 AM
Ebbie 20 Aug 09 - 11:53 AM
heric 20 Aug 09 - 12:56 PM
Donuel 20 Aug 09 - 02:43 PM
DougR 20 Aug 09 - 02:51 PM
beardedbruce 20 Aug 09 - 02:55 PM
Ebbie 20 Aug 09 - 03:00 PM
beardedbruce 20 Aug 09 - 03:07 PM
beardedbruce 20 Aug 09 - 03:41 PM
Little Hawk 20 Aug 09 - 03:41 PM
beardedbruce 20 Aug 09 - 03:49 PM
Donuel 20 Aug 09 - 06:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 09 - 07:03 PM
Peace 20 Aug 09 - 07:47 PM
DougR 20 Aug 09 - 08:00 PM
Alice 20 Aug 09 - 08:27 PM
Greg F. 20 Aug 09 - 08:54 PM
heric 20 Aug 09 - 09:05 PM
heric 20 Aug 09 - 09:12 PM
DougR 20 Aug 09 - 09:26 PM
Peace 20 Aug 09 - 09:57 PM
heric 21 Aug 09 - 01:09 AM
heric 21 Aug 09 - 02:05 AM
heric 21 Aug 09 - 02:23 AM
Ebbie 21 Aug 09 - 02:29 AM
Little Hawk 21 Aug 09 - 08:23 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Aug 09 - 09:13 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Aug 09 - 09:17 AM
Stringsinger 21 Aug 09 - 11:00 AM
pdq 21 Aug 09 - 11:05 AM
Greg F. 21 Aug 09 - 11:13 AM
Alice 21 Aug 09 - 11:17 AM
dick greenhaus 21 Aug 09 - 11:31 AM
Ebbie 21 Aug 09 - 11:54 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Aug 09 - 02:00 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Aug 09 - 02:21 PM
Maryrrf 21 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 09 - 02:31 PM
Ebbie 21 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 21 Aug 09 - 03:17 PM
Ebbie 21 Aug 09 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 21 Aug 09 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,Neil D 21 Aug 09 - 03:59 PM
heric 21 Aug 09 - 04:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 09 - 04:17 PM
The Barden of England 21 Aug 09 - 04:20 PM
gnu 21 Aug 09 - 04:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 09 - 04:46 PM
gnu 21 Aug 09 - 04:47 PM
Don Firth 21 Aug 09 - 05:50 PM
Donuel 21 Aug 09 - 06:36 PM
Greg F. 21 Aug 09 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 21 Aug 09 - 06:56 PM
Don Firth 21 Aug 09 - 07:19 PM
Greg F. 21 Aug 09 - 07:21 PM
Greg F. 22 Aug 09 - 08:11 AM
Maryrrf 22 Aug 09 - 08:53 AM
DougR 22 Aug 09 - 10:19 PM
Alice 22 Aug 09 - 10:29 PM
Little Hawk 22 Aug 09 - 10:51 PM
DougR 23 Aug 09 - 01:34 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Aug 09 - 11:59 AM
Alice 23 Aug 09 - 12:08 PM
Little Hawk 23 Aug 09 - 12:11 PM
The Barden of England 23 Aug 09 - 12:57 PM
Ebbie 23 Aug 09 - 02:32 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 23 Aug 09 - 03:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Aug 09 - 04:13 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Aug 09 - 04:39 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 23 Aug 09 - 09:20 PM
Little Hawk 23 Aug 09 - 10:28 PM
Donuel 24 Aug 09 - 10:09 AM
Little Hawk 24 Aug 09 - 11:31 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 09 - 06:11 PM
Little Hawk 24 Aug 09 - 06:36 PM
dick greenhaus 24 Aug 09 - 06:44 PM
Jack Campin 24 Aug 09 - 07:04 PM
Peace 24 Aug 09 - 07:12 PM
Alice 24 Aug 09 - 07:51 PM
DougR 24 Aug 09 - 07:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 09 - 08:04 PM
Riginslinger 24 Aug 09 - 09:15 PM
Greg F. 25 Aug 09 - 12:16 AM
Little Hawk 25 Aug 09 - 12:19 AM
Donuel 25 Aug 09 - 12:37 AM
Little Hawk 25 Aug 09 - 01:24 AM
Ebbie 25 Aug 09 - 11:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Aug 09 - 01:53 PM
Peace 25 Aug 09 - 01:55 PM
Don Firth 25 Aug 09 - 02:31 PM
romanyman 25 Aug 09 - 06:53 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 25 Aug 09 - 07:58 PM
DougR 25 Aug 09 - 07:59 PM
DougR 25 Aug 09 - 08:08 PM
Riginslinger 25 Aug 09 - 11:12 PM
Greg F. 26 Aug 09 - 08:27 AM
Little Hawk 26 Aug 09 - 12:11 PM
CarolC 26 Aug 09 - 12:37 PM
Peace 26 Aug 09 - 12:47 PM
CarolC 26 Aug 09 - 12:59 PM
Little Hawk 26 Aug 09 - 03:01 PM
Peace 26 Aug 09 - 04:15 PM
CarolC 26 Aug 09 - 05:57 PM
Little Hawk 26 Aug 09 - 06:10 PM
steve in ottawa 26 Aug 09 - 06:42 PM
steve in ottawa 26 Aug 09 - 08:21 PM
Little Hawk 26 Aug 09 - 08:35 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 26 Aug 09 - 09:20 PM
CarolC 26 Aug 09 - 09:26 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 26 Aug 09 - 10:33 PM
Riginslinger 26 Aug 09 - 11:02 PM
CarolC 26 Aug 09 - 11:34 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 27 Aug 09 - 12:06 AM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 12:09 AM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 01:48 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 27 Aug 09 - 07:54 AM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 09:30 AM
Bill D 27 Aug 09 - 11:21 AM
Bill D 27 Aug 09 - 11:25 AM
Riginslinger 27 Aug 09 - 11:35 AM
Bill D 27 Aug 09 - 12:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 09 - 12:39 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 12:41 PM
Greg F. 27 Aug 09 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 27 Aug 09 - 01:36 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 27 Aug 09 - 01:40 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 01:48 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 01:51 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 01:55 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 27 Aug 09 - 02:14 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 02:48 PM
Alice 27 Aug 09 - 03:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 09 - 03:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 09 - 03:15 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 03:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 09 - 03:48 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 04:44 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 27 Aug 09 - 06:34 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 07:16 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 27 Aug 09 - 07:36 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 07:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 09 - 07:55 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 08:18 PM
Alice 27 Aug 09 - 08:28 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 08:41 PM
heric 27 Aug 09 - 08:49 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 09:26 PM
heric 27 Aug 09 - 09:42 PM
Melissa 27 Aug 09 - 10:27 PM
Bill D 27 Aug 09 - 10:59 PM
Bill D 27 Aug 09 - 11:01 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 11:30 PM
Melissa 27 Aug 09 - 11:38 PM
heric 27 Aug 09 - 11:40 PM
heric 27 Aug 09 - 11:41 PM
Peace 27 Aug 09 - 11:44 PM
Melissa 27 Aug 09 - 11:50 PM
Melissa 27 Aug 09 - 11:54 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 09 - 11:55 PM
Melissa 28 Aug 09 - 12:03 AM
CarolC 28 Aug 09 - 12:57 AM
CarolC 28 Aug 09 - 01:05 AM
Melissa 28 Aug 09 - 01:31 AM
Janie 28 Aug 09 - 01:34 AM
CarolC 28 Aug 09 - 01:58 AM
Janie 28 Aug 09 - 02:15 AM
Janie 28 Aug 09 - 02:36 AM
Riginslinger 28 Aug 09 - 11:32 AM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 09 - 11:35 AM
Riginslinger 28 Aug 09 - 12:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 09 - 01:15 PM
Riginslinger 28 Aug 09 - 01:39 PM
Don Firth 28 Aug 09 - 01:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 09 - 01:44 PM
CarolC 28 Aug 09 - 02:15 PM
Bill D 28 Aug 09 - 02:23 PM
Riginslinger 28 Aug 09 - 02:50 PM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 09 - 03:18 PM
Riginslinger 28 Aug 09 - 04:19 PM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 09 - 04:33 PM
CarolC 28 Aug 09 - 04:49 PM
Riginslinger 28 Aug 09 - 05:19 PM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 09 - 05:20 PM
The Barden of England 28 Aug 09 - 05:28 PM
Riginslinger 28 Aug 09 - 05:32 PM
CarolC 28 Aug 09 - 05:54 PM
Bobert 28 Aug 09 - 06:15 PM
CarolC 28 Aug 09 - 06:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 09 - 06:25 PM
Riginslinger 28 Aug 09 - 06:50 PM
Don Firth 28 Aug 09 - 06:56 PM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 09 - 07:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 09 - 07:06 PM
Donuel 28 Aug 09 - 07:10 PM
gnu 28 Aug 09 - 07:17 PM
Don Firth 28 Aug 09 - 07:31 PM
Riginslinger 28 Aug 09 - 07:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 09 - 08:09 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 28 Aug 09 - 08:16 PM
dick greenhaus 28 Aug 09 - 09:02 PM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 09 - 09:23 PM
CarolC 29 Aug 09 - 01:34 AM
Riginslinger 29 Aug 09 - 09:23 AM
CarolC 29 Aug 09 - 09:34 AM
Little Hawk 29 Aug 09 - 09:47 AM
Emma B 29 Aug 09 - 10:00 AM
Little Hawk 29 Aug 09 - 10:11 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Aug 09 - 10:22 AM
Little Hawk 29 Aug 09 - 10:34 AM
Riginslinger 29 Aug 09 - 12:32 PM
CarolC 29 Aug 09 - 01:28 PM
heric 29 Aug 09 - 01:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Aug 09 - 01:54 PM
Don Firth 29 Aug 09 - 03:57 PM
Alice 29 Aug 09 - 05:43 PM
heric 29 Aug 09 - 05:52 PM
dick greenhaus 29 Aug 09 - 05:54 PM
heric 29 Aug 09 - 06:04 PM
heric 29 Aug 09 - 06:09 PM
heric 29 Aug 09 - 06:16 PM
heric 29 Aug 09 - 06:27 PM
heric 29 Aug 09 - 07:02 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 Aug 09 - 07:20 PM
heric 29 Aug 09 - 07:57 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 Aug 09 - 08:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Aug 09 - 08:06 PM
Peace 29 Aug 09 - 08:08 PM
Riginslinger 29 Aug 09 - 09:34 PM
Richard Bridge 30 Aug 09 - 05:17 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 30 Aug 09 - 06:02 AM
Riginslinger 30 Aug 09 - 09:26 AM
CarolC 30 Aug 09 - 09:44 AM
Richard Bridge 30 Aug 09 - 09:46 AM
Riginslinger 30 Aug 09 - 10:16 AM
Little Hawk 30 Aug 09 - 10:57 AM
bobad 30 Aug 09 - 11:02 AM
Riginslinger 30 Aug 09 - 11:09 AM
Little Hawk 30 Aug 09 - 11:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Aug 09 - 11:40 AM
Richard Bridge 30 Aug 09 - 12:03 PM
CarolC 30 Aug 09 - 12:31 PM
Richard Bridge 30 Aug 09 - 12:44 PM
Emma B 30 Aug 09 - 01:07 PM
Emma B 30 Aug 09 - 01:39 PM
Don Firth 30 Aug 09 - 01:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Aug 09 - 01:56 PM
Little Hawk 30 Aug 09 - 01:56 PM
Riginslinger 30 Aug 09 - 04:35 PM
Don Firth 30 Aug 09 - 05:13 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 30 Aug 09 - 05:28 PM
Alice 30 Aug 09 - 05:44 PM
Greg F. 30 Aug 09 - 06:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Aug 09 - 07:13 PM
Little Hawk 30 Aug 09 - 07:20 PM
Peace 30 Aug 09 - 07:50 PM
heric 30 Aug 09 - 09:53 PM
Riginslinger 30 Aug 09 - 10:20 PM
CarolC 31 Aug 09 - 12:39 AM
The Barden of England 31 Aug 09 - 05:08 AM
CarolC 31 Aug 09 - 05:11 AM
Little Hawk 31 Aug 09 - 12:01 PM
Greg F. 31 Aug 09 - 12:58 PM
Ebbie 31 Aug 09 - 01:20 PM
Little Hawk 31 Aug 09 - 01:43 PM
CarolC 31 Aug 09 - 01:59 PM
Riginslinger 31 Aug 09 - 02:05 PM
CarolC 31 Aug 09 - 02:16 PM
Little Hawk 31 Aug 09 - 03:54 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 31 Aug 09 - 04:49 PM
Riginslinger 31 Aug 09 - 06:24 PM
CarolC 31 Aug 09 - 06:48 PM
Little Hawk 01 Sep 09 - 12:43 AM
DougR 01 Sep 09 - 01:35 AM
Greg F. 01 Sep 09 - 09:09 AM
Greg F. 01 Sep 09 - 09:30 AM
Don Firth 01 Sep 09 - 01:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Sep 09 - 02:23 PM
Little Hawk 01 Sep 09 - 04:03 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 01 Sep 09 - 07:43 PM
Little Hawk 02 Sep 09 - 01:43 AM
GUEST,Neil D 02 Sep 09 - 03:48 PM
Little Hawk 02 Sep 09 - 04:19 PM
Peace 02 Sep 09 - 08:16 PM
Peace 02 Sep 09 - 08:21 PM
Neil D 03 Sep 09 - 12:12 AM
freda underhill 03 Sep 09 - 05:32 AM
Little Hawk 03 Sep 09 - 06:30 AM
CarolC 03 Sep 09 - 12:42 PM
Alice 03 Sep 09 - 12:46 PM
Don Firth 03 Sep 09 - 03:44 PM
Little Hawk 03 Sep 09 - 03:52 PM
Riginslinger 03 Sep 09 - 04:13 PM
Peace 03 Sep 09 - 04:16 PM
Don Firth 03 Sep 09 - 04:49 PM
Alice 03 Sep 09 - 05:10 PM
Little Hawk 03 Sep 09 - 05:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Sep 09 - 07:12 PM
Maryrrf 03 Sep 09 - 09:48 PM
Maryrrf 03 Sep 09 - 10:17 PM
Amos 03 Sep 09 - 10:26 PM
Amos 03 Sep 09 - 11:24 PM
Amos 03 Sep 09 - 11:26 PM
KenM 04 Sep 09 - 12:17 AM
KenM 04 Sep 09 - 12:43 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 04 Sep 09 - 06:08 AM
Greg F. 04 Sep 09 - 09:34 AM
The Barden of England 04 Sep 09 - 04:21 PM
Amos 04 Sep 09 - 04:24 PM
The Barden of England 04 Sep 09 - 05:14 PM
heric 04 Sep 09 - 05:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Sep 09 - 06:01 PM
CarolC 04 Sep 09 - 07:48 PM
Donuel 04 Sep 09 - 09:09 PM
ichMael 03 Mar 10 - 07:27 PM
ichMael 03 Mar 10 - 07:34 PM
CarolC 03 Mar 10 - 07:45 PM
ichMael 03 Mar 10 - 07:53 PM
CarolC 03 Mar 10 - 07:54 PM
ichMael 03 Mar 10 - 08:05 PM
Amos 03 Mar 10 - 08:33 PM
CarolC 03 Mar 10 - 08:51 PM
Little Hawk 04 Mar 10 - 06:42 PM
CarolC 04 Mar 10 - 07:09 PM
Little Hawk 04 Mar 10 - 07:28 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 05 Mar 10 - 07:00 PM
ichMael 05 Mar 10 - 07:35 PM
Little Hawk 05 Mar 10 - 07:41 PM
CarolC 05 Mar 10 - 07:54 PM
ichMael 05 Mar 10 - 08:03 PM
CarolC 05 Mar 10 - 08:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Mar 10 - 08:19 PM
Little Hawk 06 Mar 10 - 12:35 AM
CarolC 06 Mar 10 - 12:46 AM
Little Hawk 06 Mar 10 - 12:58 AM
CarolC 06 Mar 10 - 01:02 AM
ichMael 16 Mar 10 - 10:05 PM
CarolC 16 Mar 10 - 10:07 PM
ichMael 16 Mar 10 - 10:19 PM
CarolC 16 Mar 10 - 10:29 PM
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Subject: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:02 PM

Folks across the pond and elsewhere other than the U. S. might be aware that the current administration is really pushing to establish national health care in the United States. The backers of legislation are selling the idea as health care reform, but I think there is little doubt that the ultimate goal is for the government to dominate the health care system

Many of you have experienced such a program for several years. I would really be interested to know: How you would rate your health care system? Excellent? Good? Poor? What do you like best about it? What do you like least about it?

In the U. S., we have two health programs provided to seniors (age 65 up)and part of the cost is deducted from the participant's social security check received each month from the government. The programs are called Medicare, and Medicaid. Private insurance companies also administer the Medicare program on a contract basis (I assume) with the federal government.

I'm perfectly satisfied with the medicare program I have now. In fact, recent polls show a majority of those polled recently are too but there are around 15 million citizens or so that have no coverage at all. The Obama administration wishes to make it possible for everyone to be covered. The major hurdle to doing that is cost. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the program the administration is pushing would cost over a trillion dollars. Democrats in the Congress are trying very hard to bend figures so that the cost is not that high. Whether or not they will be successful is anyone's guess.

I look forward to reading posts, particularly, from Mudcatters who live with a nationalized system.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:06 PM

Doug, don't forget that that estimate is (I believe) over a ten year period. I, too, would like to see the answers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:11 PM

The Canadian system has its problems, but overall it has two great virtues: (1) you should never have to worry about money when you are sick, you have enough problems; and (2) there's a lot more "health prevention and maintenance" going on. As (1) attests,   people with serious ailments get very expensive care without having to worry. Among the difficulties with it (ironically enough) is the fact that many doctors are unhappy about not making as much money as their counterparts south of the border (and the main reason the AMA is against it, I presume). There is also some minor rationing of services going on. The costs are going up, mostly because of drug costs; but also because so much of hospital care is going on the very elderly. The big drain is not national health care: it is poor care for the elderly.

Some people say the French system is better.

It isn't clear to me that there will be a public competitor in the US. If there isn't, the costs will not drop at all. (I mean that the general increase in costs will not go up, of course). It should be the mark of a civilised society that everyone has health care.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:21 PM

I am a yank with health insurance through my employer. How archaic is that?

I have been listening to this conversation for my entire life.

The AMA has sung the same tune now for 60 plus years. They and the NRA deserve some sort of longevity and consistency award.

The message is always "Public Hearthcare BAD!" Their rationale has remained constant and their pitch is always to those who have something to lose. Public healthcare will mean loss of choice, rationed medicine, a two-tiered system, doctor flight, etc.

That message has consistently carried the day. Apparently those who feel they have something to lose have more political clout than those who have nothing to lose no matter what system is in place.

If I had no medical insurance and were not independently wealthy, I might think that just about anything is better than the status quo. But that is just me.

I am curious to see if the balance has now shifted.

Russ (permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:24 PM

There are two current new threads on this. I suggest they be combined.

Anyway, here's what I've just posted on the other one (BS: The Sick Truth behind 'SICKO' ):

"Who will pay for the doctors, the nurses, the EMT's, the electricity, and so on? "

Ordinary people will, obviously. The same way they already pay for it. Except that in a decent system they'd pay for it collectively, and everybody would get what they need, and it wouldn't get creamed off by the middle men and the profiteers. And they get much better value for their money.

The British NHS isn't perfect - in recent years it's been undermined by various gimmicks inspired by an ideology that sees the market as the answer to everything, and we've allowed the private drug companies to rip us all off. "Socialised medicine" - if only.

But it's still pretty good, and it means that we all get the treatment we need, and that accidents and illnesses aren't turned into financial disasters for our families.

"I don't know why the Americans haven't taken to the streets about it years back."   I find that hard to understand - but if they ever seriously tried to give us the American system here in Britain we really would take to the streets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:26 PM

Last time I saw a poll on this subject, 80% of the American people were quite happy with their health care, be it company-paid or user-paid system.

Fix it for the 20% who are not happy now.

Don't let a few know-it-all bureaucrats bring the whole system down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:37 PM

Peter T has nailed it, IMO.

At the time I needed a hip replacement (because the pain was not fun) I had medical coverage through my employer. However, I will not when I need a new hip, which I just may before I drop dead. The operation would have cost about $7,000. It cost me about $200 in total. Doug, you and I have had many differences over the years, but on this issue you have nothing to fear but fear itself.

I know very few people in Canada of modest income who would ever willingly give up nationalized health.

True story. As a child I was raised for part of my life by a single mom. She made $22 a week as a secretary. I developed an ear infection and stayed home from school. When my mother returned from work that day I was running a high fever and was banging my head against the wall in some sort of attempt to get the pain to stop. She called a doctor who made a house call. He injected me with some sort of antibiotic (I was about eight or nine at the time so that would make it in the late 1950s). The doctor also left a gang of pills, and seeing the somewhat sparse nature of the apartment furnishings and the obvious 'poverty' of the place, he charged he only $5.00. Had he not been a man of compassion, I'm sure the bill would have come to a few week's pay for my mom.

People should not have to make a choice between health, wellness and things like food or shelter. Because we have a socialized medical system, people who would have no choices at all can still receive good care. Yes, you may be in a room with three other people or sometimes seven other people. But you'll be in a room with a nurse tending to you and a doctor making his rounds just like on those TV shows.

People who insist on a private room will have to pay the difference themselves or have a private plan make up the difference. I shared a room with a nice fellow who was getting his knee "replaced'. We had the same doctor. We got along well. Most people in hospitals DO get along well. So that type of thing is not really an issue. Hell, we were so doped up with pain killers that we'd often fall asleep mid sentence.

I don't know necessarily that Canada has the best system of all countries with socialized medicine, but it's pretty much up there with darned good. I know that many people have been able to get excellent retirement benefits. But for those who haven't, it's good to know that that one expense is covered, and able to pay or not, no Canadian will be denied health care--at least not that I'm aware of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:45 PM

The Canadian system covers all, but plans vary in details from province to province. In Alberta, and some of the others, those who can afford it pay a premium. For some services, those with a certain income level pay over and above a specified amount. There is a small monthly fee for those who can afford it. I am talking about Alberta, I don't know details of plans in other provinces.

The coverage is very good; I have had coverage in Alberta since its inception in Canada some 40 years ago.
(If I were a religious person, I would support Tommy Douglas for sainthood).

Covered is assistance for handicapped; motorized chairs, installations in private vehicles, walk-in bathtubs, chair lifts, some renovations, etc.

Peter T. is correct, care for the elderly and drugs are major costs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:47 PM

"(If I were a religious person, I would support Tommy Douglas for sainthood)."

Me too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:49 PM

I'm just sick of the current Medicaid system in the state of Illinois (where our governors make our license plates.) I've had to fight with it for over a decade. I must be on it to get treatments for my wife---also her expensive medication. I, personally, am on Medicare. She can't qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance because she was too ill to work enough to ever get Social Security--let alone Medicare. The Medicaid spend-down system makes sure we descend to the proper level -- actually being poverty stricken-- MONTH -- before she has any health-care coverage. For every dollar I take in, our spend-down dollar amount goes UP by that exact amount. I give away my recordings ---always have over the last dozen years or so.

The state Medicaid system we are a part of has not paid back health providers in ages. When they have, the amount is minuscule compared to what the doctors and hospitals have charged me. The legislature and current governor have no budget---and there is no sign of them achieving one.

As I said, if I wasn't already sick, fighting this system ensures that I would be sick--and stay that way.   You are hearing my anger, my frustration, my sadness at seeing what these moronic politicians are doing to the last best hope we had here for universal single-payer health coverage. Obama has tossed in the towel from all I can see. The bankers and those that created the dire scenarios in the USA have been given all the billions of dollars ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$) from the various stimulus packages.

And the possibility of finally securing a real health care for all system on the coattails of the euphoria over Obamas getting the presidency is receding into the chaos of this historical moment.

A.T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM

Peter T. mentions the French health care system. I've heard that they
have this Drug Plan in Quebec that I don't believe we have in Nova
Scotia. My doctor practices in both provinces, but didn't say too
much about it. What information can be given on that?

And yes, the health care system we have is easy, because it's covered
by our taxes so we don't have to worry every time. The British also
have this, and they also pay your cab fare home. It is a good system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:55 PM

"Premium payable under the Québec prescription drug insurance plan
If you have a health insurance card issued by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), you must have basic prescription drug insurance coverage. If you do not have group insurance coverage, you must be covered by the Québec prescription drug insurance plan. Call the RAMQ to register for the plan.

Revenu Québec is in charge of collecting premiums under the Québec prescription drug insurance plan. You must pay the annual premium when you file your income tax return (Schedule K), regardless of whether you purchase prescription drugs. If you are not required to pay the premium, you must indicate this on your return.

You may include the premium paid under the prescription drug insurance plan and your contribution towards prescription drug purchases in the calculation of your medical expenses that give entitlement to a tax credit.

For further information, consult the following publications:

Provisions of the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan (IN-113-V)
Guide to the income tax return (TP-1.G-V) (see the instructions for line 447) "


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:57 PM

While I was employed, I had coverage from my employer; when Canada initiated universal coverage, the costs became shared. As an annuitant, my employer continues to pay part of drug costs, etc.

I have relatives in the States, most of them are well-enough off to afford good insurance, but one, at least, was unable to obtain some treatment considered necessary by her physician; the insurance had a cap.

To us in Canada, U. S. health services look like they are in total disarray.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:58 PM

"In Québec, everyone must be covered by prescription drug insurance. Two types of insurance plans offer this coverage:

private plans (group insurance or employee benefit plans);
the public plan, that is, the one administered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec.
If you are eligible for a private plan, you must join that plan. Otherwise, you must register for the public plan. We suggest that you check your situation by answering a short questionnaire. By doing so, you'll avoid unpleasant surprises."

http://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/en/citoyens/assurancemedicaments/index.shtml

There are two hot links on that site that may be of help, MLB. FYI.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:06 PM

That was to say EVERY MONTH.

In order to achieve the point where Medicaid pays her bills, Every Month we must spend ove $500.00 from our small income.

I/we did have purchased private health insurance until the uncovered parts of it took everything I had. Then, we couldn't afford the premiums. That insurance was cancelled. That is why descending into actual poverty, and divesting ourselves oa ALL assets, was the only option open.

If the insurance isn't made available to all...

Oh, to hell with it! I'm through talking about it.

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:09 PM

it's odd that (reportedly)"80% of the American people were quite happy with their health care,", when more than 20% don't have any. I'm currently enjoying single-payer nationalized health care and it's jes' fine (they call it Medicare.)

Americans, I'm told, are paying about $8000 per capita per annum for one of the worst health care systems extant. I, for one would rather pay it to the Feds than to the private insurance companies I formerly supported.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:09 PM

Art, you got me in tears.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:11 PM

I've heard so many stories of people south of the border losing absolutely everything just because of the medical system there. That's why so many of us in Canada really do think Tommy Douglas should be sanctified.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:16 PM

We should make the point for non-Statians that Medicaid is income-based of whatever age, Medicare on age and need.

DougR notes that "15 million" do not have health insurance. Perhaps that is the figure of older Americans who don't have health insurance because the accepted number of Americans who don't have it is almost 47 million. Sadly, a great many of those are children. True, we have Emergency Room accessibility but that is not like having ongoing health care.

I have Medicare. Of the conditions that Medicare covers (There are conditions and procedures it does NOT cover), it pays approximately 80% of the doctor/hospital-charged amount. The patient pays the remaining 20%. For a couple of years I also carried a "gap" insurance plan through one of the plans that AARP sponsors, for which I paid $84.00 a month.

Then one day I had surgery. And then I discovered that the private insurance that was supposed to fill the gap between what Medicare paid and what the doctors charged paid a grand TOTAL of $8.00 (Eight Dollars).

Not surprisingly, I no longer have that insurance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:28 PM

20% of American residents are not entirely happy with their health care, 80% are. I stand by that statement.

There are 308 million people living in the US. Ebbie's figure of "47 million uninsured" is 15.26% of the population.

"Unhappy" is not exactly the same as "uninsured".

I think DougR meant "15%" uninsured not "15 million people". It's more than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:28 PM

BUT, that insurance company was more than willing to take your premium payments, right?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:46 PM

I would like to see:

1. Adequate health care for all citizens of the US: this does NOT mean elective surgery (including "sex change operations" and other such);

2. It DOES mean that you could well be in a room with several others (a ward);

3. It does NOT include television or a telephone or computer access;

4. It DOES mean you get generic drugs instead of "brands" if such are available;

5. It DOES mean that you get physical therapy when it is needed;

6. It DOES include powered chairs and other assistive devices;

7. It DOES include childbirth, but not elective abortions;

8. It DOES include contraceptive medicines and devices;

9. It DOES mean that everyone will pay something more;

10. It DOES include wellness programs, participation in which lowers your share;

11. It DOES not include (except by your physician's prescription) acupuncture, shiatsu, vitamin pills, herbal supplements, chiropractic, and other such;

12. BUT additional private insurance can allow "upgrades".

The program would pay to educate physicians (allopathic and osteopathic) if they agreed to serve a period (at a set wage) in the Health Care System.

I'm basing much of this on the system the US military uses in its hospitals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:51 PM

Look, there is only one civilised answer, and as usual McGrath is right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 10:32 PM

I have, as a citizen and resident of the US, been on nationally-overseen heath care programs all of my life. Until I was 20, I was covered by my father's federal insurance plan, then called Champus, because he was in the Army. Then I was covered by the same program based on my own military service, or I used military hospitals. After I left active duty, I was a federal employee and had the same coverage as Members of Congress have...which was hardly free but which was entirely adequate for my needs and those of my family. I took that into retirement. When I turned 60, and became eligible for coverage as a retired military reservist, I converted to the same program my father had, now called Tricare. I have also used the coverage provided to veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs from time to time. I never experienced anything remotely resembling the "rationing" that the scare-mongers say is inevitable in a government-run health care program, never had any significant out-of-pocket expenses other than my premiums (which were never more than $200 per month) and a $20 copayment per doctor's visit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:29 AM

I would like to know how the US system copes with really long term illnesses, like many mental health issues. My son has received private care under BUPA insurance provided by his company, but now after two years they have stopped funding it and naturally no other insurance would take it on. So what would happen in the US?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:44 AM

I only have good things to say about the NHS in the UK. Of course there's the usual human error, it happens sometimes. Mistakes in diagnoses and medication occur. And yes, some people have to wait for less serious operations. And no doubt that's frustrating.

But I know people who have had multiple thousands of pounds of treatment over the years. Also people that have been rushed straight into emergency wards and received top notch treatment, within ten minutes of a phone call. No red tape. Just done.

I would NEVER want the UK to screw the NHS in favour of private healthcare.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:45 AM

Bravo!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:55 AM

I should have made clear we live in the UK. So, yes, we fully support the NHS (and loathe all the tinkering that is going on that amounts to 'back-door privatisation' of many functions.) In my son's case, the private consultant's notes have been transferred into the NHS system and treatment pretty much continues. What the private insurance gained was mainly speed of access to consultants (in most cases mental health treatment has a LONG waiting list if it is not life-threatening), better rooms, and so on. Except for cutting down the time until he was first seen and the interval between subsequent sessions, I doubt if the medical treatment was any better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 04:16 AM

The NHS saved my life-what can I say? Given the complexity and range of its services it does a staggeringly good job. Occassionally individuals within the NHS let it down but that is true of any organisation. A couple of weeks ago my mother fell out of bed during the night. An ambulance arrived within 5 minutes and having checked her out and made sure she as ok, they left, contacted my mother's GP who then phoned the next morning to establish the facts and called around in the afternoon to examine her. I cant ask for more than that. I shopped around for travel insurance recently and because of ongoing health issues could not get any I could afford -I would worry if health insurance was introduced to this country. Long live the NHS!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 06:02 AM

The question about costs is fairly overblown. We are citizens (as far as I can tell from the contributors) of civilized countries. Taxes, etc., are designed to pool our resources to do things together that we can't do as well separately. Health care, for a variety of reasons, is one of those things (it is not a commodity, and often not a service one is seeking voluntarily, so standard economics has problems marketising it in the most efficient way).   None of us is getting any younger. So why not spend it on something that we benefit greatly from, i.e. health care? It seems to me to be a good way to spend our money!!

My objection is that the current medical system is doing jobs that should be taken over by a decent public system of care for the elderly. Hospital beds and emergency rooms are being used as eldercare centres -- this is crazy, and shows no signs of stopping. I spend a lot of time in hospitals, and it is a terribly wasteful use of their resources.   

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 06:35 AM

Everyone in Australia is covered by Medicare Australia and almost half of Australians also have private health cover. Private funds say they provide the freedom to choose your own doctor, hospital and time of treatment.

I don't have private cover so when I had my cancer operation in January the only costs I had were a taxi ride to hospital, a bit of decent food from the cafe (public patents don't get enough food as the budget is very low), & several appointments with my Doctor. I was in a 4-bed surgical ward & received excellent attention from the staff. All subsequent appointments with my Surgeon were covered by Medicare. If I had private cover I would have had to pay out a substantial part of the gap between what Doctors & Hospitals charge & what Medicare reimburses and would have still been in the same ward getting the same treatment.

All around Australia we have queues for surgery & overstretched hospitals & emergency departments, & many low income people who can't afford to pay to see a doctor so head to the emergency dept for all treatment.

I'm also heading for cataract operations & my eye specialist expects me to be operated on within 3-6 months of getting on that list.

In Australia the good of National Healthcare far outweighs the bad points.

sandra

Oz Govt site comparing Health Insurance Policies of all Oz Health funds

Private health insurance reaches seven-year high (Feb 09)

Options for reforming Australia's health system A Background Note prepared by staff of parliament House library


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 08:28 AM

The British national pastime is to complain about our (actually very moderate) weather

A close runner up would be to complain about the state of the National Health Service but, scratch the surface of any of these grouses, and few would want to see the American model in the UK

Although it's a rather long document I would recommend reading
What's good about the NHS and why it matters who provides the service

particularly parts 2 & 3 which deal with funding, risk pooling and risk sharing

"The architects of the NHS recognized that equity in health care could only be achieved by sharing the risks and costs of care across the whole of society from the rich to the poor and from healthy to sick........

It was for this reason the architects of the NHS embedded solidarity and collective provision into the structures for the funding and delivery of care"

Of interest is the section on how markets fragment risk pools by dividing the population into 'winners and losers' as profit is maximised where providers can pick the former and reject the latter

The 'losers' are those with chronic disease or disability or just those on low incomes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 09:35 AM

As a Canadian, I know very well the pros and cons of nationalized health care. The pros can be summed up in one sentence, already stated above -- when you're in desperate need of medical attention, you don't have to go broke to see a doctor, visit emerg, have the recommended surgery etc. And thats more than enough to balance out the cons, I guess, but believe me the cons are frustrating:

Here in Ontario, we have a worrisome shortage of doctors that just gets worse every year. MD's make more money in private systems, so a lot of young doctors just cross the border once they've graduated. My family doctor was killed in a plane crash 10 yrs ago   =[   I've yet to find another who's willing to take a new patient. *tg* I very rarely need a doctor! Because people like me end up waiting in noisy crowded infectious emergency rooms/clinics 8-12 hours or more, for even the simplest thing (ie a cream for bad case of poison ivy). And if I ever needed hospitalization, I'd be "cared for" by different doctors every day, none of whom know me or my medical history from a hole in the ground. Makes for impersonal, sporadic, fractured and sluggish doctoring -- I've watched it happen, with my own family.

Gov't covers visits to clinics, major surgery etc but not essential things like antibiotics, crutches, splints, casts, ambulance. Elective surgery, forget it. Post partum care, forget it (new moms/babies stay in hospital no more than 24-48 hrs these days, unless they pay for private/semi-private rooms and more time)
And the most common reasons to seek medical help -- ie eye exams, glasses, any form of dentistry -- well, forget those too.

All of this is why I've been learning/practicing alternative health care methods for years now. Healthy diet, regular exercise, herbal tonics and remedies, massage/relaxation techniques to counter arthritic tendencies, better ways of managing stress etc -- I don't know what I'd do without em all, at this point. WHich is a good thing, actually. People do best when they take responsibility for their own bodies/health management instead of relying on doctors/gov't to do it for them. Because, sadly enough, many of today's doctors -- espeically those working at free clinics -- are not really "healers" at all. More like legalized drug pushers, the lackies of the chemical/pharmaceutical conglomerates. Barely listen/look at you for more than 30 seconds before scribbling out some prescription and shooing you out the door.

Sheesh, think I better quit now. Can you tell my own experiences have resulted in a general lack of trust in Western medical practices? Just my 2c worth, anyway -- best wishes and take good care now, all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 09:48 AM

The bottom is that universal health care, free at the point has to be available. There are various way of organising this, and some are better and some are worse, and there is room for argument about this kind of thing - but the principle is fundamental.

I cannot envisage how any civilised and humane society can fail to deliver this, or how any civilised or humane person can fail to support the principle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stu
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 10:10 AM

Hear hear!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 11:15 AM

Universal health care free to all citizens should be the first priority of any nation. I have no complaints whatever about Government health care in Canada. I was able to choose my own MD. I have access to a local walk in clinic as well as access to emergency facilities when needed. I have always gotten good care and have been well served by dedicated and highly qualified doctors.
However, citizens need to respect the system as well. Emergency rooms often have a long waiting time for those who show up with "minor" problems. Thus a high number of complaints about waiting for hours. We ought to be more mindful of what emergency means and use walk in clinics for lesser ailments. Drs. often complain of the congestion caused in emergency rooms by those who would be better served elsewhere.
   I am forever grateful for our health care, it has served myself and my family very well over the years. If a nation of 32 million can do it..so can others..but they must have the will.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 11:39 AM

It's hard to make DougR's statement: …"there are around 15 million citizens or so that have no coverage at all" fit pdq's perception that "I think DougR meant 15%" uninsured not "15 million people".


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 11:51 AM

pdq-
how does your "80% satisfied" figure jibe with the recent large poll that showed that 72% of those polled supported national health care, and were willing to pay increased taxes for it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:20 PM

There is no single answer to Doug's original question.
Those who believe in "the greatest good for the greatest number"...i.e., Utilitarianism, will say 'good', while those who judge ANY change by the criterion "will it cost ME more, or make ME wait longer, or cut into MY profits?", are likely to say "No".

I assume that, at least at the beginning, *I* will see some things I don't like, as in some longer waits...but I am willing to deal with that in order to see drug prices controlled, medical malpractice insurance reduced, universal accesss to health care, and reduction in bureaucratic paperwork crap.

This, if adopted, will take WORK, as the current system is so entrenched that basic thinking will need to be altered...but we'd better do it now, or in a few years it will go from bad to **horrible**. (In my, and many experts' opinion)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:25 PM

Well, 15% (uninsured) of 308 million is about 47 million (uninsured), a figure Ebbie used.

If there are polls/numbers/facts/ let's get them out. It makes for a reasonable discussion. Anectodal evidence and opinion are not enough basis to throw out our entire health care system.

Please give poll data about the "72% want socialised medicine". The wording of the question is absountely vital.

I also heard that "67% of those in U.S. with no health care plan were born in Mexico". Anyone have more on that angle?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:26 PM

I missed out a couple of words in my last post so here goes again:

The bottom line is that universal health care, free at the point of use, has to be made available. There are various way of organising this, and some are better and some are worse, and there is room for argument about this kind of thing - but the principle is fundamental.

I cannot envisage how any civilised and humane society can fail to deliver this, or how any civilised or humane person can fail to support the principle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:40 PM

Here is another view:

Scott W. Atlas.
Senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of radiology and chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical School.

1.Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers.
2. Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians.
3. Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries.
4. Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians.
5. Lower-income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians.
6. Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the United Kingdom.
7. People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed.
8. Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians.
9. Americans have better access to important new technologies such as medical imaging than do patients in Canada or Britain.
10. Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations.

"Despite serious challenges, such as escalating costs and care for the uninsured, the U.S. health care system compares favorably to those in other developed countries. "

Fleshed Out


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:41 PM

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll see health care free at the point of use in the USA in my lifetime. I don't even get coverage for eyecare through the insurance plan I have to pay for through my employer. I have to spend thousands on health care each year, even though I am on an employer health care plan. This country is crazy - it's a matter of life and death to our citizens to have health care, and the right wing politicians have blocked it all the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:50 PM

From Ebbie's 12:40 post...


Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians."
               ~ Yes, about 80% of us are happy

Americans have better access to important new technologies such as medical imaging than do patients in Canada or Britain.
               ~   Yes, hugely expensive machines but worth every penny. This is part of the "escalating cost" but we expect more in 2009 than we did 50 years ago.

Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations.
               ~ Well, France's contribution in the last 50 years was the "morning afer pill". Sorta equals out, er, probably not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:50 PM

Posted June 16, 2009
Sources: Rasmussen

65: Percentage of voters who believe that every American should have access to quality healthcare
22: Percentage of voters who disagree
12: Percentage of voters who aren't sure
80: Percentage who oppose providing healthcare for illegal immigrants
11: Percentage who support healthcare for illegal immigrants

March 5, 2009

CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey

Seventy-two percent of those questioned in recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey say they favor increasing the federal government's influence over the country's health care system in an attempt to lower costs and provide health care coverage to more Americans, with 27 percent opposing such a move.

The poll also indicates that health care is tied as the third most important issue for President Obama and Congress to deal with over the next year. Forty-eight percent said dealing with health care was extremely important, tied with education and trailing only the economy and terrorism as the most important issues

March 2, 2007 NY Times CBS poll

More people now see guaranteeing health insurance as important than did so at the end of the Clinton efforts in 1996.
At that time, 56 percent polled said it was the government's responsibility to do so, and 38 percent said it was not. In the current poll, 64 percent said the government should guarantee health insurance for all; 27 percent said it should not.

Moreover, an overwhelming majority in the current poll said the health care system needed fundamental change or total reorganization, just as they did in the early 1990s, when a deep recession and soaring health care costs galvanized the public and spurred the Clinton drive.

The poll also found overwhelming support behind the Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers many low- and moderate-income children and is up for renewal in Congress this year.
Eighty-four percent of those polled said they supported expanding the current program to cover all uninsured children, now estimated at more than eight million. A similar majority said they thought the lack of health insurance for many children was a "very serious" problem for the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:53 PM

that should be "on an employer health INSURANCE plan"


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:58 PM

"Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?"

Good. Very good. It's a virtual necessity in any modern society that has any sense of public responsibility, and it is already the choice of most countries in the developed western world. The USA is a glaring exception to that. The USA is being held back by a self-serving bunch of huge drug companies and huge insurance companies who have nothing in mind except protecting their gigantic profits.

They are busy telling lies and bribing Congressmen so that they can maintain the status quo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:04 PM

No one is suggesting that, if you can get it, the best American health care isn't extremely good. After all, as a nation you spend a far higher proportion of money on it than in most other countries, including the UK.

Americans should be proud of the quality of their health care. But they should be deeply ashamed of the fact that millions of their fellow citizens cannot benefit from it when they need it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM

It may be good (if you can get it, as you say, Kevin) but the fact remains that infant mortality in the US ranks very high, we don't live as long as citizens in many another country even though we spend a great deal more for health care and we work more hours than almost anyone else in the developed nations.

To me, the whole question sounds academic. Despite the far right's opinion, Medicare works- I can't even imagine in what condition the elderly in this country would be if it weren't for Medicare. Just about the best thing that FDR's administration came up with.

One-source health care with the option of private augmentation sounds like a no-brainer to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:35 PM

At age 80, my eyes were starting to fail, and I had new lenses implanted by a laser clinic, both eyes, but a month apart.
Five years later, my "new eyes" are doing fine.

The sole cost (Alberta, Canada) was the taxi to the clinic, and taxis for the yearly check-up (eyes are dilated for part of the examination).


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:35 PM

Medicare ~   signed into law on July 30, 1965 by Lyndon B. Johnson


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:35 PM

I read the whole 'essay' Scott W Atlas which includes the statement

"Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the United Kingdom. Canadian and British patients wait about twice as long—sometimes more than a year—to see a specialist, have elective surgery such as hip replacements, or get radiation treatment for cancer."


The National Health Service in England and Wales has focused attention and considerable resources on reducing waiting times for cancer patients

In 2000 a large survey based on cases diagnosed in 1997 found that the waiting times of patients with cancer in England varied across regions.
The shortest waits were found for patients with breast cancer, who waited a median of 14 days from referral to their first outpatient appointment and 35 days to first definitive treatment.
This group was the first for whom a maximum two-week wait between urgent referral and first appointment at hospital was proposed

Implementation began in 1999 and the national cancer waiting times database now shows that nearly all urgently referred breast cancer patients are seen within two weeks.
As this first target has been met, attention has turned to the wait between diagnosis and treatment.
A further target of a maximum one-month wait from diagnosis to treatment was also met for 99.7% of patients in the last quarter of 2005/2006, and a one-month wait from urgent referral to beginning of treatment for all cancers has been proposed for the year 2008

data from the BMC

Can anyone provide the information that waiting time from diagnosis to treatment for cancers is less than half of this in the US as stated


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:39 PM

Only read the first post. My apologies.

Dougie... "I'm perfectly satisfied with the medicare program I have now."

My mother and father taught me to help others if I can.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:40 PM

You hear different stories about waiting periods. I have a friend here in Ontario, Canada who got diagnosed with a brain tumor (I talked about it on another thread), and they dealt with it immediately. He went into the hospital for observation, was there for a week, got operated on to remove the tumor, and was back home after 10 days.

There was no charge for any of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:45 PM

"Posted June 16, 2009
Sources: Rasmussen

65: Percentage of voters who believe that every American should have access to quality healthcare
22: Percentage of voters who disagree
12: Percentage of voters who aren't sure
80: Percentage who oppose providing healthcare for illegal immigrants
11: Percentage who support healthcare for illegal immigrants"

Thanks, EmmaB for that post.

As I suspected, the question is very odd.

Imagine a question like "Do you believe that every American deserves access to rotton health care?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:49 PM

My suspicion is that the satisfaction people feel for their health care under any advanced system -- private or public -- is related to complicated feelings of attachment to care providers, hope, a respect for the medical profession, and a lack of catastrophe except for the few. Most people, most of the time are not going to a doctor, but have expectations that the care will be ok, mingled with apprehension. It is hard to judge this kind of thing through polls.

The point is how to obtain universal coverage (health care should be a right) in the best way. Private care mediated purely by a market has been shown not to work.   There are any number of economists who have showed why: health care does not work as a commodity or as a voluntary service (like going to the hairdresser). It is more like the fire department and the police.

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:53 PM

Imagine a question like "Do you believe that every American deserves access to rotton health care?"

Those poll results would appear to suggest that there are 22 per cent of Americans would agree with that proposition...


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:53 PM

Contrary to DougR's comment in his original post, there is no indication at all that Mr. Obama is contemplating that the
Federal government will eventually "dominate the health care system". In fact, no Democrats have even proposed anything remotely like the Canadian or UK National Health plans, except for people on the fringes such as Kennedy. FactCheck.org has looked at some of the numbers that are going around. For example, some 21% of uninsured are non-citizen immigrants, from all nations, illegal and legal. It is estimated that about 60% of all immigrants are undocumented. Immigrants use ER services less often than citizens. 45.7 million people lacked health insurance for at least some period of time (one day or more) in 2007 - the 47 million people is apparently an extrapolation based upon population growth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:55 PM

It is an odd question, all right, pdq. Why wouldn't 100% of the people in a country want every citizen in that country to have access to qualithy healthcare?

Who do they NOT want given access to quality healthcare and why????? What possible justification would there be for denying quality healthcare to a citizen?

Personally, I think that even visitors to a country should have access to quality healthcare...I would certaily hope for it if I was travelling in some other country and suffered some medical emergency.

What is wrong with people? Do they think that money matters more than people's lives? Money was originally created to serve people...NOT the other way around! It's just a friggin' tool of exchange, for God's sake.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:58 PM

I have not had an eye check up in three years, because I can't afford it. I know I need new glasses, but I have thousands to pay off in hospital bills that were not covered by the insurance plan that I also have to pay for each month. My son has three wisdom teeth that need to be extracted, but we can't afford the hundreds of dollars it will cost, in spite of having him on my insurance plan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 02:05 PM

Yes, 100% of respondants should say that "all people should have access to quality health care". Pollsters ask silly questions quite often

As far as the immigrant angle, I believe that 67% of the Mexican-born living in the U.S. have no health care plan, private or government. They use the emergency room more often than most, not less often.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 02:21 PM

"I believe that..." Your data source is...?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 02:39 PM

Well, here is a statement on the subject...

Sinking Under the Cost of Covering the Uninsured Immigrants


Wednesday, March 12, 2003
By: Dan Stein

Last week was "Cover the Uninsured Week," a public relations scheme designed to draw attention to the fact that more than 40 million U.S. residents do not have health insurance, and one in three people in this country lacked coverage at some time during the past two years. The growing number of people who do not have health coverage is a legitimate crisis that threatens not only public health, but also economic stability.

There are many factors contributing to the alarming increase in the medically indigent in the U.S. However, one critical factor fueling the crisis was noticeably absent from the "Cover the Uninsured Week" campaign. Immigration, as much as any other factor, has helped transform large sectors of the American labor force into uninsured workers.

As laudable as the effort to promote health coverage for all workers is, doing so without addressing the current unprecedented levels of immigration to the United States is akin to bailing water out of a leaky boat, while ignoring the hole in the hull. Immigrants themselves not only constitute a disproportionate share of the medically uninsured in the United States, the ripple effect of mass immigration is causing many native workers to lose employer-provided health benefits.

Combined legal and permanent illegal immigration to the United States is about 1.5 million per year - a figure that has been unaffected by recession or unemployment rates. Immigrants are three times more likely to lack health insurance than those born here. And one out of every four people without insurance — 10 million residents — is an immigrant, according to the Census Bureau. The problem is especially acute among Hispanics, the nation's largest immigrant group and now our largest minority group. An astounding 52.2 percent of Hispanics residents do not have health coverage.

According to the 2000 Census, Cook County contained 1,064,703 foreign-born residents, nearly 20 percent of the county's population. If national statistics hold true, immigration alone would account for nearly one quarter million uninsured persons in Cook County alone. Other counties counties around the country are reeling from mass immigration as well.

According to a survey by the National Association of Counties, 67 percent cited immigration as a cause of their increased costs for public health care.

As many new immigrants have moved into formerly unionized blue-collar jobs, employee health insurance has been among the first benefits to eliminated. Employers just aren't very likely to provide a health package for workers who are earning minimum wage, especially if those workers also happen to be illegal aliens. Moreover, native workers, who used to do those jobs at higher wages, also join the ranks of the medically uninsured.

The ripple effect of mass immigration extends even beyond the immigrant workers and the natives they displace. Direct competitors of companies that have used mass immigration to cut costs are also forced to slash employee benefits in order to stay competitive. Meanwhile employers in other segments of the economy, less affected by mass immigration, have seen their health insurance bills skyrocket, as the cost for providing health care to the uninsured is passed along to those who have insurance.

Proponents of current U.S. immigration policies often extol the virtues of "cheap labor," and claim that our economy could not function without it. "Cover the Uninsured Week" stands as stark evidence that cheap labor isn't cheap. It just means that we are going to pay the bills in the form of higher taxes, higher health insurance premiums and higher anxiety for millions who have no coverage at all.

Obviously, many factors have contributed to the health care crisis in America. It would be naïve to suggest that addressing mass legal and illegal immigration to the United States will magically cure what is ailing our health care system. But it is equally naïve to declare that everyone in America ought to have the benefit of health coverage, while we brings millions more people to this country who are apt to be without it, and who often compete directly with those who already work in this country without health benefits.

Everyone is in favor of covering the uninsured. Paying for it is another matter, as is setting limits on the numbers of new uninsured people who come to this country every year. The difference between a PR stunt and legitimate public interest crusade is how much political capital people are prepared to expend to achieve a worthy goal. Without including immigration reform in the campaign, "Cover the Uninsured Week," promises to be just a PR stunt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 02:47 PM

Yes, 100% of respondants should say that "all people should have access to quality health care".

But they didn't, did they? That's pretty scary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 02:53 PM

Sorry, pdq. At that point, I had Social Security in mind. The politically far-right in this country despise both SS and Medicare.

I have had one really rich friend in my life (he has since died) and he always complained about SS, that it just complicates taxes and record keeping.

I said, Why accept it then?

And he said, Because it's mine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 02:56 PM

My mother thinks so, McGrath. She was raised that way. And she sees things getting worse instead of better... I feel so sad for her when she sees her life's work and her ideals and the things her generation fought and died for being stolen by greedy bastards.

Anyone who says different is scarey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:08 PM

Our jury system, among other things, is built on the premise that the majority is right. But there's nothing stranger than people.

A few years back Alaska voted to move the Capital from Juneau to a newly-selected neutral spot (Willow, not too far from Wasilla), not much more than a crossroads.

A group got an initiative on the ballot requiring that a study be done first to determine approximately how much money it would cost to create a new town from scratch, build governmental buildings, etc.

When Alaska found how much it would cost - it was enormous - the state voted down the Capital move.

But: 68,000 voters said, "NO, we don't need to know."


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:39 PM

Rapaire: Yes, Repaire, that occurred to me after I posted the question. The trillion dollar figure is, in fact, over ten years.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 04:39 PM

I've read the complete thread now, and am happy that so many of you offered your views. Let me make this clear: I did not start this thread to start petty arguments. I thought those of us who live in the U.S. could benefit by hearing the experiences of those who live with a single payer health care system. To me it has been interesting to read the responses.

Just a few comments on the posts: Dick: Do you really think "we have the worst health care system extent?" If that is so, why do so many people from other countries (lots from Canada)come to this country when they require medical services?

Ebbie: Evidently I was wrong when I wrote that 15 million Americans were uninsured. I apologize.

EmmaB: Thanks for posting the "blue clicky", 'What's Good about NHS.', I'll read it.

Daylia: You mention in your post that where you live (Canada I think) there is a shortage of doctors. That is one thing proponents of our current health care system fear will happen if we go to a single payer system. Not only will it require more doctors (because a lot more people will be seeing doctors)to operate such a system, but pay scales may be too low to attract university students into the medical profession.

McGrath: It is unclear to me if you are being critical of our health care system or critical of the American people. The poll revealed that less than 100% of the participants didn't agree that everyone should have health care insurance. If it is the former, have you experienced our health care system, and found it lacking? If it is the latter, your comment suggests that the American people are not charitable. I think we have a pretty good record of helping people out when there is a need.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 05:06 PM

My husband and I are OK, he has an employer who provides fairly good insurance but we pay thru the nose for it.

I do not know of ONE SINGLE PERSON under the age of 35 who has ANY HEALTH coverage at all! NOT ONE! Minimum wage jobs do NOT provide health coverage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 05:32 PM

My alarm was at that polling result - I was horrified to see that it seems to say that 22 per cent of Americans do not think that "all people should have access to quality health care".

I cannot believe that one in five Americans actually do believe that, and hope that there must have been some kind of misunderstanding or polling error. Perhaps the question they were asked was misleading, and they thought they were being asked something else, perhaps whether they thought, in Doug's words, "that everyone should have health care insurance," which isn't the same question at all.

I think pdq was quite correct when he said '100% of respondants should say that "all people should have access to quality health care".'

Surely the discussion should be about what is the best way to achieve that result. The NHS isn't the only way - there are many other systems throughout the world, in the various countries in Europe and elsewhere. But the bottom line is the same "universal health care free at the point of use". I hope the USA will come up with its own system achieving that which will measure up to the quality of its best medical know how.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 05:35 PM

My alarm was at that polling result - I was horrified to see that it seems to say that 22 per cent of Americans do not think that "all people should have access to quality health care".

I cannot believe that one in five Americans actually do believe that, and hope that there must have been some kind of misunderstanding or polling error. Perhaps the question they were asked was misleading, and they thought they were being asked something else, perhaps they thought they were being asked, in Doug's words, whether "everyone should have health care insurance," which isn't the same question at all.

I think pdq was quite correct when he said '100% of respondants should say that "all people should have access to quality health care".'

Surely the discussion should be about what is the best way to achieve that result. The NHS isn't the only way - there are many other systems throughout the world, in the various countries in Europe and elsewhere. But the bottom line is the same "universal health care free at the point of use". I hope the USA will come up with its own system achieving that which will measure up to the quality of its best medical know how.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 05:51 PM

I'm a Brit now living in the USA.

In 2003 I was diagnosed with cancer of the womb. I was given the diagnosis on the Monday and had a total hysterectomy on the following Thursday. I had been waiting for an operation on a bunion, a final wait of about 18 months from diagnosis to operation, and that was carried out in February 2004. None of that cost me a penny, apart from the cost of prescriptions, as was the case for all my medical treatment up to that point in my life. It would have been nice to have had faster treatment for the bunion, which was extremely uncomfortable and restricted my ability to walk any distance, but I accepted that as part of having free healthcare at point of service.

In the USA Kendall and I have good healthcare and, from what I can make out, our insurance premiums are a lot less than some others have to pay. I have a co-pay on all medical treatment that caused me to curtail a course of physical therapy for a hip complaint and prescription charges are a lot higher than was the case in the UK. On the whole, however, Kendall and I are fortunate insofar as health care is concerned.

What I find difficult to deal with is when I hear of others who really do have a problem keeping up with medical bills. One friend who has had to have quite a lot of tests done for an ongoing complaint has difficulty finding the cash to pay the deductible under the cover until the insurance kicks in. We hear of children with no medical cover at all, of people being forced into bankruptcy because they could not afford the thousands of dollars that it would cost to keep their families covered for medical treatment.

Then there are the tales of people with ongoing medical conditions who lose their jobs and their medical insurance. Many of them are unable to afford to continue the cover that might be available as it would cost too much and are unable to get any other cover because of an existing medical condition. At the same time we hear that some free clinics are closing because of lack of funds. leaving less and less outlets for those who cannot afford to pay either for insurance or their medical bills.

In the UK these people, who have enough problems already would, at least, be secure in the fact that they would have medical attention when needed.

The situation in the UK for dentistry is, right now not so good, with fewer National Health dentists to be found and long waiting lists to get on the books of those available. Many in the UK have not had dental treatment for some time and that situation doesn't seem to be showing any sign of getting better.

Last time I was in the UK, as a senior citizen, I got a free eye exam and would probably have got a slightly better deal on the required glasses, but was not there long enough to have them made up.

I love my life in the USA and, as I say, am fortunate to have good medical cover. I wish that the same was true for all others in this country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 06:07 PM

y;


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 06:12 PM

On the topic of whether or not salaries (as opposed to profits) in a government-operated system would be adequate to attract students into medicine, please look at the Department of Veterans Affairs. All VA physicians are salaried, although many also work as professors of medicine at university medical schools. The VA consistently has higher than average system-wide ratings by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations for both quality of care and patient satisfaction. (2002 VA mean score 93, ationwide mean score 91) I worked as a human resources director in the VA for many years, and the only facilities that had difficulty attracting highly qualified and board certified physicians were in rural areas, and that problem is not unique to the VA.

Once again, of course, a single-payer system is not and never has been on the table in the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 06:15 PM

"Not only will it require more doctors (because a lot more people will be seeing doctors)to operate such a system, but pay scales may be too low to attract university students into the medical profession."

One of the items in Obama's plan is to get medical students through school without such a huge debt. A lot of that can be done without a big increase in subsidies.

" If that is so, why do so many people from other countries (lots from Canada)come to this country when they require medical services?"

We DO have some of the best 'cutting edge'..(sorry) specialists with the finest equipment in the world, and we DO get people from everywhere; but many of our own citizens have almost no access to these specialists.

I would rather have more doctors who are not specialists, but are decent GPs than have a smaller number of A1++ experts that I am not able to get near.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 06:24 PM

...various posts from this thread:

"...the recent large poll that showed that 72% of those polled supported national health care, and were willing to pay increased taxes for it? " ~ dick greenhaus

"Please give poll data about the "72% want socialised medicine". The wording of the question is absountely vital. ~ asked I

65: Percentage of voters who believe that every American should have access to quality healthcare   ~   Emma B (ex Rasmussen)

I still don't see any evidence that the American people are jumping up and down, demanding that our health care delivery system be natioinalize.

Yes, health care the 20% who are not happy must be addressed.

Where does Obama think his mandate to nationalize private enterprize comes from?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 06:25 PM

When I began my current job in May, 2003, the City paid 100% of the medical insurance for me AND my wife (and my family if I had had one). There were $10 co-pays, a maximum we had to pay before the insurance kicked in, vision and dental were and are voluntary -- but 100%?!?!?!?! I hadn't heard of such a thing in years!

Now the City pays 100% for me and 90% for my wife. Co-pay has gone to $20, we pay $10 for up to 90 days or 100 each generic drugs and $30 for name brand. Dental and vision are still voluntary; we have to pick up the first $500 each ($1,000 total) of the med costs.

My upcoming rotator cuff surgery SHOULD cost me less than $500 out of pocket.

Between FY2009 (current fiscal year) and FY2010 the city faced a 13% increase in med costs; they were able to argue it down to 0%. Nevertheless, over the 6 years I've now been here the City's medical insurance costs as risen a total 57% -- that is just the City's costs, it does not include the amount contributed by the employees.

This include police and fire, which are high-risk jobs, but no more so than some in other industries.

ALL employees are mandatorily covered. They need not cover their families if they don't want to do so.

When (If) I retire, the whole thing changes. Right now I can't afford to retire, mostly because of the medical coverage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 06:26 PM

"I think we have a pretty good record of helping people out when there is a need." DougR

Strangely, contrary to how we like to think of ourselves, the US doesn't donate NEARLY as much to disaster-stricken areas of the world, per capita, as many other poorer countries do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 06:44 PM

Doug, it is true that there is presently a shortage of doctors in Ontario (I don't know about the rest of the country). I don't know why that is, but I doubt that it's because of our socialized national health care system, because that's been in place here for a long time. The shortage of family doctors, on the other hand, is a rather recent phenomenon. I would have to assume that fewer students have applied for doctor's training in the last 20 years, and I don't know what would have caused that to happen...it's still a very lucrative job, to say the least. Doctors and dentists in Canada are extremely well paid people.

The place that trains and exports the most medical doctors per capita is Cuba, and they have donated medical assistance to many other countries. A very large percentage of Cuban doctors are women. Most Canadian doctors are men, going by my experience.

A common myth spread by those who oppose the socialization of medicine in the USA is that you will be unable to choose your own doctor under a socialized health system. This is utterly untrue. Canadians choose their own doctor just the same as Americans do. If you like a doctor you choose him or her as your doctor. If you don't, you find someone else. It's entirely up to you who your doctor will be.

In my case, I chose a naturopath. He isn't covered by our national health insurance, because he's not an M.D. That's okay with me. I like his approach better, and it hasn't cost me anything I can't easily handle. If some health issue should arise that he cannot deal with, then I'll take it to an M.D. and I'll be covered by our national health plan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 06:51 PM

I don't understand why there is not a call for a massive return to a public health system, which would be one-payer, to supplement those who have insurance and probably eventually to replace insurance-based programs.

Public health clinics staffed by PACs or nurse practitioners could probably handle 75% at least of care. Public health hospitals, such as we used to have, should be reinstated.

If certain medical professionals were given free education and licensed perhaps to only practice in public medicine there would be no problem with meeting demands. They keep saying a problem oft he nursing shortage is a lack of nursing instructors, so duh..let's start recruiting and training them right now. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 07:14 PM

I agree with all the, mg.

Some of the best treatment I got in the Army I got from medics, not from MDs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 08:19 PM

some insights into Canada's doctor shortage

"The country has approximately 15,000 too few doctors, a figure roughly double the total number of students in all years of study at our 17 medical schools combined. At a doctor-patient ratio of just 2.3 per 1,000 population, we are 24th on the list of 28 industrialized countries. Approximately 1.5 million Canadians cannot find a family physician as a result.

..The doctor shortage began in the mid-1980s .. at the same time the last Trudeau government passed the Canada Health Act, which forbade user fees, balanced billing by doctors and private clinics and hospitals. Immediately, doctors began moving to the United States by the hundreds every year ..approximately 12,000 Canadian doctors have moved south. According to another article in the CMAJ last winter, "this is the equivalent of having two average-sized Canadian medical schools dedicated to producing physicians for the United States" every year for 25 years. Add to this the way politicians and bureaucrats deliberately reduced the number of medical school graduates -- the number fell 14% between 1991 and 2000 -- and it is easy to see why there are too few doctors in this country."

The doctor shortage is a very complex, ongoing nationwide problem. Ontario is hard hit, having the largest and fastest growing population + recent history of gov't cutbacks to education and public health care system (remember Harris?) Physicians get higher pay and better working conditions elsewhere. If they don't leave for the States, they leave for other provinces. And of those who choose to stay, less than 3% opt for positions in smaller towns/rural areas (ie the most underserviced places)

more info here


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: mmm1a
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 08:24 PM

I guess I'll put in my 2 cents. Being that this is a subject I have alot of interest in. I am all for a national health plan, being as I am one who would be greatly affected by it. 6 years ago I had health insurance and was satisfied with it. But then my employer and doctors decided I could no longer work because of my back. So no more insurance. I don't qualify for medicare either. At the time my husband was working for Amish and had no health insurance, but made fairly good money so we were in the process of looking for coverage privately. He then had a major heart attack and ended up after all was said and done with 60% of his heart gone , not functioning at all and of the 40% left only 17%working . I had to fight like hell to get medicaid, after fighting and getting medicaid, they covered everone til we were able to get social security disability. At that time they decided that my husband and kids would be covered but I no longer would be, their reasoning was we made too much money. My husbands spend down every month was 700.00 His medicines cost around at that time 3 to 4 hundred.so most of his expenses were out of our pocket with no money left for mine. The county We live in has no free clinic. I was told that I could get a job and get insurence for all of us. YeaH RIGHT no insurence would ever cover my husband. and every penny I would make would increase his spend down. Talk about being in a rock and a hard place.... Oh by the way We live in Indiana . Our governor is Mitch Daniels worst thing ever to happen to any State ..Thats why I say and would have has a bumper sticker

      DITCH MITCH

Ok rant over but when you hear about national health care keep in mjind those of us who are not totally in proverty but sure do got one foot in.

mmm1a


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 08:26 PM

There are levels of care involved, also. Some situations require basic care. Othere need more elaborate set ups to benefit the patient. Know a fellow who had to drive 260 km (520 km return) for kidney dialysis. Three times a week. What's happened now, three years later, is a bus that goes thru certain bigger centres and the dialysis is done on the bus. I expect three or four people at a time. Saves that fellow about 1500 km of driving per week.

Easier for the patients, easier on gas and the environment, and the people who do the travelling on the bus seem to enjoy it.

Canada's north hurts for Doctors and Dentists. Usual set up in communities is a nursing station. There are BSNs there (community health nurses who have science degrees in nursing) and they run the stations. A doctor visits about four times a year. Emergencies can involve planes, helicopters, jet boats, cars. There have been emergencies involving phones or radios. Ya do what ya have to do.

But the service is free. Dentist is usually in three times a year. More urgent cases are flown to hospitals that can handle the surgery/problem.I expect it's still much less expensive than building and staffing hospitals all over everywhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 08:55 PM

Well, well, well...

Lets examine some of the myths about nationalized health care:

Myth #1: It is rationing...----------- Well yeah, it is... What we have now is severe rationing with 50 million people in the3 country having to use ERs for their health care... ER physicans come from all fields of medicine and aren't the folks who you need being your primary physican...

Myth #2: You won't be able to go to "your doctor"... No, in most cases you will... Not that "your doctor" is so great but that is a different story...

Myth #3: It's too expensive... Okay, lets looks at the facts... The US, with it's corrupted health care system, spends 17% of it's GNP on health care toady and isn't in top 20 in terms of life expectancy or infant mortality....

Myth #4: The government be making your health care choices... No, not really... But in some areas, yeah, it will... If you are 101 years old and year heart is failing they prolly won't authoize a heart tranplant... Right now these deciions are being made by folks who only have bottom line profit (for them) in mind...

Myth #5: Now is not the time... Wrong... With the US spending so much of it's GNP on health care there is no better time for it to make changes that will make it's economy competetive with countries who have allready bitten the bullet and are now spending alot less share of their GNP's on health care...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 09:59 PM

My wife fell and broke her right hand. We were told by the EMTs to go to the Urgent Care center. An x-ray was taken but no break was seen; they splinted the hand and sent her home.

A week later she was called to the hospital. A radiologist had looked over the x-ray and had seen a break extending back from her middle finger. By then she'd worn the splint for a week and, with her other medical things kicking in, now had a frozen finger.

Okay. She went to an orthopod who specialized in hands. No sweat -- the break was healing nicely and he wrote a prescription for PHYSICAL therapy.

It was coded for OCCUPATIONAL therapy.

OT got her three visits to the therapist. PT would have gotten her at least 12 weeks. When she discovered this, she asked that the mistaken code be changed. "We can't do that! It would be fraud!" was the reply. "No it wouldn't," replied my wife, "it would be correcting a mistake." "It would be FRAUD!! What are you, a lawyer?"
"Yes," my wife replied, "I am. Are you?"

To make a long story short: according to the hospital we owe about US $5,000; we are contesting it and will continue to do so. She still has limited use of her right hand. Now we pay for her to go to a physical therapist, at $50 per visit, three times a month. It helps her, but the hand still has limited use.

Would a nationalized health care system have prevented this? Probably not. But as long as ANY system cares more about CYA than about the patient that system is less than satisfactory.

(Our hospital has been put under new management; the county no longer runs it. Things are slowly improving. When in the past you could get a job as a receptionist or insurance filer until you got married (yes, I'm picking on women here, but that's because of the Dominant Culture in this area) you now have to actually DEMONSTRATE you can do the job.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 10:13 PM

I'll try to explain what went down for us:

We bought health insurance at a time when people were hospitalized for almost everything. While in the hospital, tests were run. When you were released from the hospital, you either, at least, had a diagnosis in hand -- or you were treated and cured. Very little was done on an out-patient basis back in the 1970s and '80s.

As a result of how things were in this era, the policy we had covered hospitalizations, yes, ---but not out-patient tests and procedures. These were out-of-our-pocket expenses.

Seemingly, all of a sudden, EVERYTHING changed with no warning. Most everything medical bbegan to be done on an out-patient basis. If you went into a hospital it was an emergency, or for specified surgery---and they tossed you out very quickly.

THAT is why I went broke. All the pre-admission outpatient tests, including CAT scans etc, were now paid for by me. THIS next statement IS TRUE: I had to show up at the CAT scan facility at Diversey and Sheridan Road in Chicago) with a cashiers check for a thousand dollars BEFORE they would take any pictures! I had insurance---but nothing was covered!

Buying a new policy, with more coverage, was impossible because we (CATCH 22!) both had pre-existing conditions now. And if you had pre-existing conditions, no insurance company would sell you a new policy unless you could pay a premium that had gone up by a factor of five -- or more.

I hope I'm making this clear!? Thanks, Mudcatters, for listening. It feels good to get it out.

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 10:15 PM

It's entirely possible to have good insurance in the United States, and have access to very good heath care, the best doctors, etc. only to lose all this if you get seriously sick and can't work, because your insurance is tied to your job. Then the cycle begins, you lose your job, you lose your insurance (yes in many cases you have the right to keep the insurance you had with your job, but only IF you can continue to pay the premiums, which might be difficult if you are sick and not working.) Once the group insurance through the job is not an option, forget getting any kind of remotely affordable health insurance if you have a pre existing condition. So the downward spiral begins. mmmla's story is illustrative and happens every day. It's a national disgrace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 10:27 PM

So is Art's.

ANY ONE of us in the US could have this happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 11:07 PM

Yes Art and I must have been posting at the same time. These occurences are not uncommon, and people who have done everything right, been financially prudent, worked, saved, and lived responsibly and within their means for their entire lives can be ruined by a health crisis. It is heartbreaking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 11:43 PM

There is another active Mudcat thread on Michael Moore's movie Sicko. If my friends in the USA would take the time to rent and objectivly watch this it would answer many questions that they might have. No system is perfect but by degree the one which is universal for those who need it should be supported by all. Tomorrow your fortunes may change and you may find yourselves among those less fortunate. I have seen statements that people don't trust government, but does that mean that you are more willing to trust insurance companies to show more compassion?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 01:23 AM

There are certain essential public services which MUST be run by a government, not by private industry, because a government dispassionately serves ALL the people, not just the people who can pay. It doesn't do it for monetary gain, it does it to maintain a well-functioning society.

A health care system must serve all the people. Same as a police force, a legal system, and an armed forces. They are there to serve ALL the people, not just the people who can afford to pay them a fat user fee.

How would you feel if your house caught fire...and the fire department arrived to put it out....but they wouldn't do so until you paid them $35,000 dollars! That wouldn't be just or fair, would it? They'd be crooks if they did that....or they'd be "businessmen".

Well, thank your lucky stars that your taxes pay for the fire department and that it's provided by those taxes, because by God if it were not...and if you weren't rich...well, you could just sit and watch your house burn to the ground.

If the police were privately owned, they would also protect only those who could afford to pay their protection fee. And that's how it works for the Mafia. They have their own little private army, and those guys serve only the people who pay them. That's what your police would be if they weren't provided by taxes and government. They'd be a private army, and they'd be the enemy of most of the population.

That's the state of health care in the USA. It's been handed over to profit-seekers, corporate robber barons, and such profit seekers have no business running a vital public service which is needed by everyone in the whole society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 01:38 AM

Hear,hear.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 02:05 AM

I'm a citizen in the US. I'm on medicare & pay in for the most coverage I can get which is taken directly out of my SS Disability cks. I'm also covered by my spouses employer. When I was healthy I had my own coverage which covered my wife & kids.
Now my wife can never leave her job (unless she gets a better one which has better medical coverage) because my medical/pescription costs are killing the both of us. The classification between 1, 2 & 3 tier drugs is a joke when you need some of the 3 tier drugs because there is no equal & I end up paying 50% of the cost as a co-pay which for some of my drugs come to $75 a month.
Art, I can fully well understand how it's killing you.
Around the end of August I drop into what's called a donut hole. That's where I pay 100% of my prescription costs last till the end of the yr. My secondary insurance kicks in for only some drugs, other drugs it refuses (so why do I have them in the 1st place? Cuz I'd be dead without it).
Yup, it's not bad here in the states until you really need it. You may get the up front services like transplants, surgery, rehab, reconstruction etc taken care, if you have coverage & only then if you've got the "right" kind of coverage but it's that lifetime stuff that comes afterwards that they beat you to death with.


Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 09:58 AM

FORTUNATELY, my brothers and I are (or can become) Disabled Veterans and use the VA Health Care System if we need to. There's a VA Clinic in the town each of us lives in, and full-blown VA Hospitals only a couple of hours away. I'll use it if I have to, but I'd rather they'd work with the people with TBI, multiple amputations, and so on. My ticket in is only hearing loss and (I contend) AO exposure. But our wives are NOT eligible....


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 10:22 AM

Geez, reading the stories here from Rapaire, Art, mmmla etc my heart really goes out to you    =[   and I feel fortunate that I'll probably never be up against anything quite like this, living here in Canada. But you know what they say about the grass being greener. THis little story, from the fellow who cleans/repairs my fireplace every year, is an example of the fiascos that can be created by "free" public health care, and might help some of you to feel a little better about your own health care system

A couple yrs ago, he started noticing a "hole" developing in the vision field of his left eye. Everything else seemed normal, except this worrisome little "hole" (round area where he could see nothing). His family doctor sent him to a neurologist. So he took a few days off work (unpaid, he's a private contractor so no "sick days") to travel to Toronto for consultations, MRI imaging and CAT scans (very expensive tests, as Art has mentioned, but "Free" in his case as it's paid for by the gov't).

Neurologist told him the tests were inconclusive, but judging by his symptoms he had multiple sclerosis - a most frightening, and stressful diagnosis. He was retested several times over the next year, and the diagnosis was always the same. None of the scans showed conclusively that it was multiple sclerosis, but that was the only explanation for his symptoms, according to this specialist.

He was prescribed an intensive drug therapy program for multiple sclerosis, to the tune of about $350/month. By now the poor guy was just beside himself. He could not afford the $350/month, was losing weight, losing his life savings with all hte days off work + travel back and forth to TO for more and more tests/consultations. And the "hole" in his vision was getting larger all the time. He had no idea what to do ...

till finally one day he mentioned his troubles to a customer like myself. The customer looked at him and said "Have you ever gone to an good old fashioned eye doctor?" Well, no. In over a yr of investigating this hole in his vision, not one of the doctors/specialists/neurologists he'd been sent to had ever just tested his eyes!

So he made an appt with an semi-retired eye doctor right here, in his home town. This doctor did a few tests, and the next day gave him the results --

He did not have multiple sclerosis. There was nothing wrong with his brain/neurology, and he did not need be on $350/month worth of dangerous drugs for the rest of his life. What he DID have was a tiny tear in the retina of his left eye. The tear gets larger in the spring/summer when the light changes, and it worsens under stress. Treatment: wear dark glasses or sunglasses in summer, and avoid excessive stress!!

Unfortunately, this kind of false diagnosis/unnecessary drug therapy is not uncommon here in Canada. ANd there's no way people like my furnace repairman can hope to get any compensation from the neurologists/specialists for their false diagnosis and all the pain and suffering, loss of time/money it cost him for the "Free" tests and consultations. He;s just some little nobody, they are the powerfully rich and respected ones with the BMW's and the mansions overlooking the lake ...

anyway, there it is, the other side of the coin. "Free" doesn't guarantee anything comes without a HUGE pricetag. Or that its helpful. Or even just "what the doctor ordered".

Thanks for sharing your stories, everyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: theleveller
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 10:46 AM

Good in parts. It just depends which part of you needs treating and which part of the country you live in.

Oh, and it certainly isn't free. We pay compulsory National Insurance contributions along with our income tax Pay As You Earn deductions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 11:03 AM

It would be silly to think that it's free. Government has no money that does not come from the people. But 'free at the point' is the point. In a sense it's the same as a retirement plan- you put money forward for the day that you need it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 11:39 AM

Good story, Daylia. You have just nailed why I don't have as much faith in the judgement of M.D.'s as most people I know do. They are known to make mistakes in diagnosis and they often prescribe unnecessary and very expensive drugs.

That's not a problem of a public health system. It's a problem of the M.D.'s themselves. They aren't necessarily as all-knowing as people imagine. I think it wise to also get examined by some alternative practitioners before going off on a course like your friend did and getting fleeced by conventional medicine.

Get more than one opinion, in other words. Then decide what to do. The M.D. may be right. He may not be. They're not gods.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 12:08 PM

My 23 year old daughter (in the US) was worried about costs of her health care. Her condition (adrenal dysfunction) dictated that she go immediately to emergency room for saline drip and cortisol injection and monitoring, if she ever caught cold or flu.

She was constantly worrying about how to pay for the last hospital visit, god forbid future ones. The last words her father heard her say were "If Loki (boyfriend) has given me his flu, I'll kill him." 40 minutes later her dad found her unconscious. A couple of hours later after repeated attempts to get her heart going and keep it going, the doctors gave up. No more Andie.

If there had been public health care in the US, maybe she would not have hesitated to go to hospital as soon as she felt the slightest bit ill. If she were not afraid of the costs she might still be alive.

One the other side of the coin - I am living in the UK with moderate rheumatoid arthritis. Treatments used so far have not made any improvement to my condition or quality of life. There are stronger treatments, but my current level of inflammation do not put me in the category to receive these.   

So in answer to the question by OP... there should not be a price on health care or quality of life. However, even with the public health care system there is a price, if your illness doesn't tick the right boxes for best care to optimise quality of life, then you must go for private care, if you can afford it. But still I would rather the public system than the mercenary capitalist system in US.

I read somewhere that the highest grossing industry globally is petrochemicals and the second highest health care, phamaceuticals and insurance. It is all about money in the end.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 12:08 PM

Agreed, LH and Ebbie. Nothing is "free" as the gov't money comes from taxes (which are among the highest in the world here in Canada) and it's wisest to get second, even third opinions before making final decisions re expensive dangerous drugs/treatment.

But I'm not so sure my repairman's experience has nothing to do with public health care. If new state-of-the-art technologies like MRI imaging were not 'free at the point' but billed to the patient instead, as is common in the US, how many family physicians here would put a patient through an ordeal like this without even bothering to do a relatively simple, inexpensive thing like an old-style eye checkup first??

I would like to think, not many. If any!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 12:30 PM

omigod Virginia Tam, I am so sorry to hear about the tragic loss of your precious daughter    words just seem so useless I cannot even begin to imagine the devastation, your grief and anger at the whole damn f'n system!!!!   Wishing you and yours every good and healing thing you can possilby imagine,

daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Royston
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 12:48 PM

VT, I didn't know that about your family and I am so sorry to hear about your daughter.

I've come very late to this thread and I am so shocked and saddened by the terrible experiences people have had. Doesn't that amount of sadness and fear answer the original question?

One gets the impression, correct me if I'm wrong, that a growing number of people in the USA seem to be living in a state of fear and terror about illness and medical misfortune that only exists today in the worst of third world countries? Shouldn't all citizens of all developed nations find it shocking that "We" allow this situation to exist?

I know that some humanitarian relief organisations have projects in the USA because of the extent of healthcare denial. Take a look HERE


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 12:56 PM

And as for the (by now) threadbare argument by the far right-"Would you like to see your health care run like the Post Office?--I can only say 2 things. 1) I think the USPS does a damn fine job and 2) if there was no Post Office, Fedex and UPS would triple their rates in a flash. Nobody's trying to force you to use a national health care service; it would just be nice to have the option.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 01:02 PM

"Free". Good point. It is not free.

On the other hand, neither is fire protection. Good point.

So, where is the balance? Which is what this thread is about.

My mother would say that we should look after each other... but... I am repeating myself. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Royston
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 01:58 PM

Gnu,

"Free". Good point. It is not free.

On the other hand, neither is fire protection. Good point.


In the European model it is Free at the point of consumption or need so that anyone can access whatever healthcare they need without being put to proof of entitlement and without being tested for ability to pay. Now that is true "freedom".

So, where is the balance? Which is what this thread is about.

My mother would say that we should look after each other... but... I am repeating myself. Sorry.


You make a good point. We should all care for and about each other. When it comes to providing modern healthcare to an entire population, we have to club together and create a structure for healthcare and we each have to pay for it according to our ability to pay. It's called government and taxation. With my taxes I buy civilisation.

To my thinking, I cannot regard my life as civilised or "free" if I live in a society where one single person has to live in fear that they cannot access the most basic mechanisms for health and security that my, and our, labours are all directed at achieving and advancing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 02:07 PM

Royston

There are Christian charities in really poor areas that provide clinics. My younger daughter Hilary had to use them ("Jesus loves you sermon" included) until she had worked long enough for current company. Now she has moderate bit of health insurance subsidized by the company. Given her preexisting condition (she has auto immune problems too - liver, ovaries and thyroid) she cannot get full health insurance, even if she and or her company paid for it.

I worry myself frantic about her and lack of care, when her problems worsen.

My mom has coverage through her medicare and because she worked for the US Federal government for 27 years and because she is widow of service man. Still it is not ideal care and it costs her more than she can afford.

My siblings, cousins and their families have no coverage whatever, as they are non-salaried, wage workers or self employed. Particularly bad in Hopewell, Virginia area as the chemicals from the number of factories there have so poisoned my the environment and close and extended family. There are lots of health issues and they are worse with each subsequent generation. I imagine many residents of Hopewell and surrounding areas experience above average health care issues.

What I said about petrochemicals in earlier post. Maybe it is a conspiracy. Sell us stuff and gives us jobs making stuff that make us sick. Then make more money on our suffering.

Don't even get me started on the mortuary lobby in the US. Talk about ghouls.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 02:11 PM

It seems that our health care system in the US is taking some pretty hard knocks on this thread. I think the major problem with our system is cost, not quality of care. Since some of the folks have shared their medical experiences, I'll offer a recent one I had to support my POV.

On March 17 (yep, St. Patrick's Day)of this year, around 2:00 AM I was awakened by an extreme case of indigestion. I have been plagued with that problem for many years but about two years ago my doctor prescribed a medication (which costs me $3.00 for a month's supply)had cleared up that problem so I was a bit concerned. Then I felt a tightening in my chest. I took my blood pressure and it was way above normal. I decided that to be on the safe side I should go to the nearby hospital and have them take a look at me. I awoke my wife and we drove to the emergency room at Scottsdale Health Care. I was tended to immediately (it was not particularly crowded that time of morning). My blood pressure was still a bit elevated so they decided to admit me to take some tests (cardiac catheterization). The Cardiologist saw me that morning and also suggested that I take a Stress Test and they scheduled one. The result was abnormal so Angioplasty was recommended.

I had Angioplasty in 1993 which revealed that I had about 80% blockage in a artery on the back side of my heart. They weren't doing stents in those days, and because of the location of the blockage, a balloon was not considered as an alternative so they did nothing.

The new Angioplasty revealed that I had NO blockage and my arteries were normal. Even the blockage found in 1993 was not present.

I was released on the 21st of March and the total bill was $28,000+.
My out of pocket cost was $50.00.

My coverage: Medicare administrated by a private insurance company (HMO).

What's not to like about our health care system? In spite what Ebbie posted earlier, not all right wingers hate Medicare and Social Security.

I realize this does not address the problem for those who do not have health care, but I hope the Administration and the Congress can address that problem without screwing up the current system

Many of you (Certainly Ebbie)are of the opinion that we can "have our cake and eat it too." In other words, if a single payer plan is adopted, and we are satisfied with our current plan, we will have the option to keep our current plan. I don't think that will happen. If a single payer plan is adopted it will drive the private insurance companies out of business. We will have no option because there will be no option.

Art: I don't know where you have been but if you have not heard discussion, even encouragement for a single payer plan for the US, you are on a different planet than I am.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 02:23 PM

Doug... "It seems that our health care system in the US is taking some pretty hard knocks on this thread."

That viewpoint is yours. I am only proferring simple arguements against user pay medical care. Others are doing the same.

My viewpoint is that the US (richest country in the world, leaders of the free world... give us your poor... whatever) system of health care seems antiquated and cruel.

Now, if you don't like my viewpoint, you tell Mum. But, be careful because she's getting pretty good with her cane.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Royston
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 02:23 PM

VT,

What I said about petrochemicals in earlier post. Maybe it is a conspiracy. Sell us stuff and gives us jobs making stuff that make us sick. Then make more money on our suffering.

I'm with you on that one. Pharma companies finding chemicals then inventing conditions to go with them - ADHD and some other "psychological" conditions being prime examples.

Then we get into the question of should we really trust Pharmaco's to develop a bloody cure for anything. Take RA for example. Arguably one of the most common and debilitating autoimmune conditions. A range of very expensive treatments, I'm sure. How could a capitalist ever consider looking for a cure? They'll never do it.

Look at HIV - the medical industry have now developed hugely expensive treatments that can keep 10's of millions (and increasing in the third world) patients kind-of-alive for almost a complete human lifetime. The incentive for Pharmaco's to develop a cure is...what? Can anyone see a motive for them?

Sorry, this seems to be thread-creep.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 02:30 PM

Doug, almost all of the discussion I have heard on single-payer comes from the right, in the process of saying that this is what the Administration and the Democrats are after. What Mr. Obama has said is that, if we were starting from the beginning, we should seriously look at single-payer but, since we are not, we should fix what we have and make the existing system work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 02:43 PM

As it has been pointed out time and again, the Corporate Bureaucrats stand in the way of
the doctor's decisions and the patient. Government could do a better job than what we
have now.

The US could use a little more socialism like France and England particularly in health care.

Medicare and Social Security are not really going broke like some of the Republican defenders of rich corporations claim. Taxpayer money is getting eaten up by unnecessary foreign
invasions. It could be spent on American healthcare for all.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Royston
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 02:52 PM

DougR,

Nobody doubts that the US system has world-leading medical services. The debate is about access to those services.

You get great healthcare...only because you are able to pay for it and because insurance company actuaries have calculated that you are a "good risk".

Now the experience of others is that they are in a vicious circle of not having enough money to buy in to the best the system can offer or to buy in to it all.

Worse than that, some of the people least able to pay (because their health issues may exclude them from the best sectors of the labour-market) have the most serious need for high quality healthcare. Because they have needs, the insurance companies react very quickly to make darn sure they are priced out of the system entirely.

Your "comfort" in the status quo is only as real as your next premium-payment. In an economic downturn that is affecting all layers of society (save for the usual winners), how safe, secure and "free" do you really think you are?

The point of the European model is that taxes pay for all emergency medical services. There is NO private provision for emergency treatment. That is deemed sacred, it cannot be left to "the market".

Beyond that the NHS provides a standard of guaranteed care, free at the point of need or consumption, to every citizen. And that is world-leading care for ALL our medical needs.

For non-emergency medical need, there is a thriving private healthcare industry for cash-buyers or those who choose to take out insurance cover.

The benefits of this are that private provision can get you treated more quickly than in the NHS (if your condition is chronic as opposed to acute) and it can get you treated in better comfort and conditions. That is the only difference. In Europe you insure for a gold-star service. The state provision is still pretty darn good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 02:57 PM

Doug's story there confirms what no one disputes - medical treatment in the States is as good as it comes - if you can get it paid for through insurance.

But the other stories in the thread show what happens when that isn't the case, and it's a picture that really does show the USA system as it operates today in a very bad light.

If it ain't broke don't fix it, as they say - but the corollary of that is, if it is broke, do fix it. And isn't that supposed to be the American Way?

As to quite how you do it, no doubt there is room for disagreement and discussion - but I can't see how any one can disagree that it does needs to be fixed and fixed without any further delay. Not if they want to be able to look themselves in the mirror and not be embarrassed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 05:03 PM

Rap, comment about the VA. My Father & my step father both went to the VA & both never came out.
My brother's been going since he came home from Viet Nam, they still haven't figured out what's wrong with him. One of my best freinds as a young'un also went into the VA after he came home from Viet Nam, they couldn't figure out his problems either so as soon as he got out he killed himself, he couldn' take the pain & the uncertinally any longer.
These (with the exception of my brother) all happened at main Boston facility in Jamacia Plain.

Most people I know consider the most important part of their job & of keeping their job, the medical coverage & even then they are afraid that if something happens as it nearly did to me they are in fear of losing their home, being let go at work (even thought that's illegal), not being able to afford the cost if it turns out to be long term.
Many here in the US "work for coverage". Olf people who should be trying to take it easier. I guy I used to work with was unemployed for a while & lost his insurance. He found out he dying from cancer & is trying to go back to work to cover the medical bills he's already incured & to try for future coverage, he has no future.

The poorer folks make decisions almost daily weither to spend money on food or meds & which of those they need to cut back on without causing them the worst of problems which oly leads to worstening their health conditions.

Any laaarge company that is self insured has only to go be federal regs & doesn't have to comply with any state regs which gives them, usually the lesser stringent & cheaper regs to go by. They don't have to cover kids after the of 18 or 19 unless they're in college & then only up till (I think 23). Some states have moved that age to 25 reguardless if they're still in school.

Old folks & young adults are the most underinsured after the poor.

Kennedy, Clinton & Obama had very good propsals until they started hitting the "StonedWalled" consertivites. Damn Congress for thinking they are better than the rest of us & that they deserve a "free for
them but not for us" (we pay their coverage with our tax dollars but they don't want us to pay for ours from that same tax revenue, fuck them) medical insurance plan that the rest of us are going to die for.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 05:27 PM

Barry, you do know that Members of Congress pay exactly the same (generally about 1/3 of the total cost)for their health insurance as any other Federal employee, don't you? With exactly the same co-payments and deductibles?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Royston
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 05:36 PM

Artbrooks,

How much do Congressmen pay themselves each year?

How much does a clerk in a Federal office take home?

What is your point?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 05:53 PM

Easy lads... easyyyy.... fact is, there is a division between rich and poor (a different discussion?), but singling out particular divisions does not address the basic question of human compassion being either desirable as a goal or undesirable as a greed.

Both have a cost. Who do you pay? Good or greed?

It appears it depends on how "good" off you are and how much you can afford your greed. If you are well off, you can sleep well at night. If not, lack of sleep will kill you quick. Little solace, except it's cheaper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 06:14 PM

Ron (not his real name) is the husband of one of the women who work here. During the Namtime Ron was a "black" sniper in Laos and Cambodia as well as in Vietnam. He was shelled and suffered three concussions. He was literally sprayed with Agent Orange AND Agent Blue.

Now, after long battles with the VA and with the learning that comes with the passage of time, he is considered 100% disabled. He has:

*90% hearing loss
*Type II diabetes
*PTSD at the worst level
*a suspected brain tumor
*one leg shrinking (it's 1.25 inches shorter than a year ago)
*peripheral neuropathy

All of these are being treated by the VA...now. But he left Vietnam in 1970. It took from 1975 to 1998 to get his PTSD affirmed and treated, the diabetes was confirmed in 2002. There were similar timescales for the other things.

Why?

Because the VA had to learn that PTSD wasn't something that would cure itself. It had to learn the AO caused Type II Diabete and peripheral neuropathy. Then it had to get Congressional approval to deal with them! It's like calling a committee meeting to discuss how to deal with the fire under your desk.

Troops coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan have the benefit of the battles fought by the Nam vets to get chemical poisoning and PTSD recognized (and the fight is still going on).

In the meantime, a lot of good people died....


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 06:16 PM

The point is that far more US citizens work wage jobs with companies that do not have health insurance option. There are more people working those jobs than most middle and upper socioeconomic classes think or want to believe.

And more will be as the higher end jobs melt away in the recession. And Don't be surprised when companies decide that 30/70 split on heath care costs is too expensive and decide to do 50/50 or 60/40.

The US government has to reign in the big hospital corporations and pharmaceutical companies. It's their greed that has caused the insurance to go up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 06:19 PM

This is not intended to 'knock' America but,
any discussion of healthcare in the developed world ought to begin with a plain fact

Among the OECD's 30 members -- which include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom -- there are only three lacking universal health coverage.
The other two happen to be Mexico and Turkey, which have the excuse of being poorer than the rest (and until the onset of the world economic crisis, Mexico was on the way to providing healthcare to all of its citizens).

The third, of course, is America.

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in a study Health Care Reform in the United states
documented the gross "discrepancy" between the enormous amounts that Americans spend on healthcare and the value received for that expenditure, the study found that the United States ranks poorly among OECD countries on measures of life expectancy, infant mortality and reductions in "amenable mortality," meaning deaths "from certain causes that should not occur in the presence of timely and effective healthcare."

Although the public share of health expenditure in the United States is much lower than any other OECD country except Mexico, the public expenditure on healthcare is much higher per capita than in most OECD countries.
So Americans pay a lot more in taxes devoted to medical care -- not including insurance premiums, co-payments, fees, and other health costs -– than taxpayers in those 27 countries that have universal coverage.

The supposed downsides of universal coverage, such as lack of access to sophisticated medical technologies, are belied in many of these countries.

For instance Japan has lower per capita health expenditures than the United States (and universal coverage,) but its citizens have greater access to MRI machines, CT scanners and kidney dialysis equipment than Americans do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 06:24 PM

While I had my private health insurance:

1) As diagnosed by Chicago neuro-hotshots physicians, I had TEN f-ing years of spinal and neck surgeries all through the 1990s. These symptoms, after I finally got to Mayo Clinic for another expert opinion in 1997, were correctly, at long last, diagnosed as MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS!!!

2) So much for the American health system being good if you have privately paid for health insurance. I still had it then. It paid for this trip to Mayo just fine---even though the damn guys at Columbus Hospital in Chicago missed the diagnosis by the distance from here to the moon! (My opinion.)

3) At Mayo clinic, I had yet another neck surgery to fix something the earlier surgeons messed up.

4) While recovering at Mayo Clinic, I had a MAJOR exacerbation of my, as yet undiagnosed, MS. I was literally paralyzed.

5) After TWO Months as an inpatient -- St. Mary's Hospital at Mayo Clinic, and after 3 MRIs, a spinal tap, and other diagnostic stuff---on the last day I was there in that hospital---I finally got the diagnosis FOR SURE.

6) Mayo Clinic was the only place that suspected, or even MENTIONED, MS as being my problem!!

I've told this story in other threads here--so I'm sorry to repeat myself. There is more, but that's it for now. I'm exhausted!

Love,

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Royston
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 06:27 PM

Oh Em,

I am truly in awe of your sagacious perspicacity.

And I am not taking the P!

Thank you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 06:44 PM

gnu: I certainly will tread lightly from now on. I do not wish to run afoul of your mother.

Royston: I am no different that any other U.S. citizen who receives a check monthly from the Social Security Administration. The cost of my participation in the Medicare program (which is part of the Social Security Administration and is available to all retired citizens who have paid into the program)is deducted from my monthly SS checks. My private insurance company is paid by Medicare to administer the plan I am affiliated with. There are lots of companies to choose from. My plan also offers a dental plan (an extra $38.00 per month paid by me), and a prescription drug program. I take only generic drugs and they cost $3.00 for a one month supply. Sometimes I order drugs from the Veteran's Administration because they allow one to order three months supply at one time. The cost is $16.00 for a three month supply).

Art: One of my concerns about the various programs being kicked around in Washington is that members of Congress will not be participating in whichever plan is signed into law. It seems to me if the program is good enough for the constituents, it should be good enough for employees of the government.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 07:04 PM

Royston, your ebullient panegyric is incommodious :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 07:20 PM

Doug, the plan envisioned by Mr. Obama and the Democratic side of Congress includes "keep your current insurance plan if you like it". If various Senators and Congressman like their plan (and it's ok but not great - I was on it for years), than they can keep it. So, by definition, they will be participating in whichever plan is signed into law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: bobad
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 07:30 PM

Much grist for the mill: Canadian and American health care systems compared


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 09:20 PM

Doug-
Me too. But how about the folks that aren't on Medicare? I've got mine, Jack.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 10:27 PM

When my hip was replaced I'd had to wait about six months for the operation. However, I'd lived with the pain for about 9 years at that point and six months more didn't seem to be all that much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 01:30 AM

Art: I urge you to do a bit more research on the plans being considered. If, as Obama wishes, the federal government offers a plan to compete with private insurance companies, there will be no more private plans ergo, no choice to remain in your current plan. No private company can compete with the federal government. Therefore, there will only be one plan available ...a single payer plan.

Also, everything I have heard and read indicate that the Congress, at least, will not participate in whatever plan is signed into law. They will keep the plan they have now. I'm not sure if that applies to other federal employees or not.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 03:47 AM

People complain about things like waiting lists on the NHS. I had to have my gall bladder out almost 10 years ago, and I did wait a fair time for my operation and had it postponed twice, but to be honest it was not a life-threatening condition, and while I suffered discomfort whenever there was an "attack", it was not really the end of the world.

As I have found out over the past year, though - the minute the NHS suspects you have cancer, good lord, the care is good. As it happens, my mother was recently treated for cancer in America, so I could compare our two experiences quite easily. She has worked for about 20 years in local government, so her benefits package is, I assume, a good one.

What I found is that, while I was fast-tracked into the local breast clinic the moment my GP suspected cancer, and was able to have all of my tests done at one time, in one place, and had all of the results back quite quickly, my mother had to go to different places for each of her tests, with some of the results taking several weeks to be returned. Both the speed and the continuity of care were fantastic in my case - the same doctor I saw on my first visit was the one who performed my operation. My mother saw many different people over a period of several weeks. This makes a big difference: I found that, when you are feeling quite vulnerable, knowing your surgeon and support staff is extremely helpful - you develop a relationship of trust with them. If there's anything you are unsure about or any questions about your care, you have no hesitation in ringing them. I was able to have all of my treatment in the little hospital in my local town, rather than having to go to some big hospital in a nearby city (that option was offered to me, but I preferred being in a familiar environment where I knew people).

To sum up, my impression was that the care I received under the nationalised system was much more holistic and "joined-up" than the care my mother recieved privately in America - I guess this is a feature of how the two different systems work. It was also a LOT faster, even though my mother's condition was far more serious than mine. I also got the impression that the NHS was a lot more personal, with the opportunity to get to know the people who will be looking after you right the way through.

I should add that my tumour turned out not to be cancer, but it was a feature of another condition which has a high rate of recurrence, so I remain under the care of the same team who originally treated me. There is something very reassuring in this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: goatfell
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 04:42 AM

a man called Harry Simms was shot in America and his friends took him to the local hospital, but the the staff there wouldn't look after him because his friends couldn't pay the medical bill, so after a while another man came along and said that he would pay the medical bill, so the staff took him in but Harry Simms died, so much for you health care in America.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: goatfell
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 04:43 AM

I forgot to metion he bleed to death on the hspital steps before they took him in


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 05:59 AM

The Death of Harry Simms
(Aunt Molly Jackson and Jim Garland)

Come and listenm to my story, come and listen to my song.
I'll tell you of a hero who is now dead and gone.
I will tell you of a young boy, his age it was nineteen;
He was the bravest union man that I have ever seen.

Harry Simms was a pal of mine, we labored side by side.
Expecting to be shot on sight, or taken for a ride
By some life-stealing gun thug That roams from town to town
To shoot and kill our union men ehere e'er they may be found.

Harry Simms and I were parted at five o'clock that day.
"Be careful, my dear brother," to Harry I did say
"Now I must do my duty," was his reply to me
"If I get killed by gun thugsdon't grieve after me."

Harry Simms was walking up the track that bright sunshiny day,
He was a youth of courage, his steps were light and gay.
He did not know the gun thugs was hiding on the way
To kill our brave young hero that bright sunshiny day.

Harry Simms was killed on Brush Creek in nineteen-thirty-two.
He organized the miners into the NMU
He gave his life in struggle, 'twas all that he could do
He died for the union, he died for me and you.

The thugs can kill our leaders and cause us to shed tears
But they cannot kill our spirit if they try a million years.
And we will keep on fighting now we all realize
A union struggle must go on till we are organized.


Copyright 1947 by People's Songs, assigned to Stormking Music Inc. 1966
Note: Harry Simms, an NMU organizer, was gunned down near Pineville,
    KY, on the way to collect truckloads of food and clothing which
    had been collected from out-of-state for the striking Brush Creek
    miners. RG

Tune is a Buffalo Skinners variant.

RG


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 06:49 AM

President Obama's views.

"The Current Situation

Making sure every American has access to high quality health care is one of the most important challenges of our time. The number of uninsured Americans is growing, premiums are skyrocketing, and more people are being denied coverage every day. A moral imperative by any measure, a better system is also essential to rebuilding our economy -- we want to make health insurance work for people and businesses, not just insurance and drug companies.

The Solution

Reform the health care system:
We will take steps to reform our system by expanding coverage, improving quality, lowering costs, honoring patient choice and holding insurance companies accountable.

Promote scientific and technological advancements:
We are committed to putting responsible science and technological innovation ahead of ideology when it comes to medical research. We believe in the enormous capacity of American ingenuity to find cures for diseases that continue to extinguish too many lives and cause too much suffering every year.

Improve preventative care:

In order to keep our people healthy and provide more efficient treatment we need to promote smart preventative care, like cancer screenings and better nutrition, and make critical investments in electronic health records, technology that can reduce errors while ensuring privacy and saving lives."


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 07:09 AM

Pfizer (with Wyeth): net income in 2008--over 12 billion.
Johnson and Johnson: net income in 2008--over 10 billion.

Fixing the medical system is half the problem. There's the other half.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 07:34 AM

In the early 1990s reformers also believed that the conditions were ripe for change; then, as now, soaring health care costs and growth of the uninsured population fueled public dissatisfaction

When Hillary Clinton was appointed chairwoman of the President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform. a Democratic Party staff member was quoted as saying -
"The health care lobby is one of the most formidable in Washington."
The 'usual' argument was made that -
"When liberals mean reform, they mean diminished excellence" and syndicated columnist and lecturer Cal Thomas stated "No matter what she does, she won't get the poor to stop smoking, lose weight, exercise more, give up fatty foods, or keep hypochondriacs from showing up at the hospital to be treated for hang-nails."

Since that time 'inaction and incrementalism have governed U.S. health policy, with the predictable result that both health care spending and the number of uninsured Americans have reached record levels' - New England journal of Medicine

I feel sure that Obama will also share the reality of Hillary Clinton's experience how great a challenge reform will be.
Two weeks after accepting this "mission impossible," she told a conference in Pennsylvania,
"It is a very difficult change to bring about.
The people who believe in changing the whole system ought to understand how difficult it is going to be to change even small parts, because of the interests that are arrayed against those changes."

The Clinton administration both underestimated the opposition and overestimated the support for reform

Jonathan Oberlander, Ph.D. writing on Learning from Failure in Health Care Reform in 2007 observed

"Firstly, in U.S. health policy, the status quo is deeply entrenched and, despite all its failings, the system is remarkably resistant to change, in part because many constituencies profit from it. Thus, although everyone decries the amount of money spent on health care, the political reality is that national health care expenditures represent income to health industry stakeholders, whose interests lie in ensuring even greater spending.

Second, many Americans are satisfied with their own health care arrangements, so reforms that threaten to unsettle those arrangements risk running afoul of the voting public.
Health care reformers must thread the needle by persuading the anxious insured that reform is in their best interest and that the uninsured can be covered without disturbing (and ideally, while enhancing) their coverage.

Third, expanding government authority over a health care system that accounts for more than $2 trillion and one sixth of the economy in a country that is ambivalent about public power is an inherently controversial exercise. No universal coverage plan, no matter how clever, can evade that ideological debate.

Fourth, paying for health care reform remains a formidable challenge. The Clinton plan collapsed largely because the administration could not secure congressional support for an employer mandate, but no obvious financing alternatives have emerged in the ensuing years, and persistent antitax politics and federal deficits constrain the options for reform.

Finally, the window for enacting a comprehensive plan for health care reform never stays open for long, so failure comes at a high price — namely, the loss of political will to do anything meaningful about the uninsured for some time to come.

The Clinton administration made no shortage of political miscalculations and strategic errors that helped to derail its campaign for health security. Yet it is easy to forget that Bill Clinton was not the first president to fail at health care reform: he was following in the footsteps of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Richard Nixon.

Ultimately, the demise of the Clinton plan says less about the administration's mistakes than it does about the extraordinary difficulty of adopting comprehensive health care reform in the United States.

For today's reformers, that is the most sobering lesson of all."


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 07:35 AM

Britain's per capita spend on health care is way below USA, but average life span is longer.
We must be doing something right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:07 AM

Doug, you are clearly getting your information from a source other than the documented proposals, as further explained by FactCheck.org. I'm afraid there is no purpose in further discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:54 AM

If the USA government reduces the ability of greedy corporations to bleed dry the life savings of its citizens in need of life saving health care how can that be considered a bad thing? If it allows poor people to gain the same level of care as the rich, but still reduces the national average cost of these services how can that be considered a bad thing? This seems a no-brainer to those of us in other parts of the world. I think this question is less about health care and more about economics and profits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 09:29 AM

it's worth recalling what a struggle introducing the National Health in the UK was. Here's a clip from the Wikipedia page on Aneurin Bevan:
=====
On the "appointed day", 5 July 1948, having overcome political opposition from both the Conservative Party and from within his own party, and after a dramatic showdown with the British Medical Association, which had threatened to derail the National Health Service scheme before it had even begun, as medical practitioners continued to withhold their support just months before the launch of the service, Bevan's National Health Service Act of 1946 came into force. After 18 months of ongoing dispute between the Ministry of Health and the BMA, Bevan finally managed to win over the support of the vast majority of the medical profession by offering a couple of minor concessions, but without compromising on the fundamental principles of his NHS proposals. Bevan later gave the famous quote that, in order to broker the deal, he had "stuffed their mouths with gold".
====


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 09:54 AM

DougR,
You misread what I wrote big time!

I have no private health insurance now, and have not had it since the outpatient parts of the insurance sponged up every cent of cash money I had.

We couldn't afford to pay the premiums, so we had to drop that American Family health policy. That was in 1997---12 years ago.

I am 68 now and am on Social Security and Medicare.

Because my wife was too ill to work enough over the last 40 years, she cannot qualify for Social Security or Medicare---ever.

In order for her to have health insurance through Illinois Medicaid, an absolutely miserable bureaucratic mess, I MUST remain destitute and poverty stricken, or else she'd have no insurance at all, and could not secure the 150 shock treatments she has needed for her ongoing drug-resistant depression.

SINGLE PAYER government run -- and paid for -- health insurance is our only hope for for getting out from under the constraints of Medicaid's impoverishing spend-down system.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 10:15 AM

Art, reading about your troubles re being diagnosed with MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS just gives me the chills. SO sorry to hear about this ... geez, whats the moral of the story here ... when the doctor says MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, better heed the warning bells? I read somewhere that multiple sclerosis is one of the most misunderstood misdiagnosed conditions today...kind of a catch-all diagnosis, like schizophrenia. Hmmm ...

bobad, thanks for the link, thats an intersting comparison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 10:20 AM

DMcG,
I'd been thinking about the very strong initial opposition to the setting up of the NHS myself

In America, health professionals have had to put themselves in debt to be trained, and that debt has restricted their lives for many years after medical school, internships, and residencies.
Of course, ideally, health care professionals should not be recruited on the basis of their hope of making a huge amount of money in this field, but on the basis of their desire to serve the well-being of their fellow citizens however, it is possible to understand very real fears that they will be severely finacially worse off under a universal care system.

One element in any reform should be a plan to ensure access to adequate financial support for tuition and the families of medical students, as well as to students in nursing, pharmacy, psychology, dentistry, chiropractic, and other related health-care professions


In January 1948 BMA members had voted 40,814 against the NHS Act and 4,734 for.
By April, when a second ballot was held, the vote was still 25,842 against and 14,620 for

General Practioners opposed state control on the grounds it would compromise their status as self-employed professionals and stop them selling on the 'reputation' of their practices when they retired.

On its first day - 5 July 1948 - three-quarters of the population signed up with GPs. Within a few months 97% had registered. This pressure removed any possibility of a boycott by GPs, as BMA leaders had considered.

Intertesting reading From the archives Doctors recall the inception of the National Health Service


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 11:23 AM

Goatfell, if you don't want to be attacked, the first rule is: Don't attack.

Perhaps you are not aware that the Emergency Room of any hospital in America is required by law to treat ANYONE brought to its doors whether the person can pay or not.

This is why many people who don't have health insurance have no choice but to use the Emergency Room.

(Mind you, you will still be billed for the Emergency Room care but they often/usually don't get their money and don't expect to.)

If 'Harry Simms' is the man in the song that Peace posted, the story you recount is suspect. And please note that the incident in the song dates from the 1940s.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:37 PM

Of course back in 1948 in Britain it was Nye Bevan in charge of getting the NHS set up, and Clem Attlee as Prime Minister backing him up. Back in the 1990s in the States it was Hilary Clinton with Bill Clinton backing her...


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:59 PM

Ebbie: Wow! You are absolutely correct in your reply to Goatfell. And THAT'S a probable "first" on the Mudcat (that I agree with you on something).

Art: My apologies, and my fault. My post was not in reply to anything you wrote in your posts. I was directing my remarks to Artbrooks remarks regarding there being no interest in single payer plans in the Congress.

I feel terrible that you and your wife have endured such an awful situation for so many years. If present efforts in Washington were directed to provide medical care for those who do not have it, I would support such a program 100%. I am not a stranger to the trials and tribulations caused by poor health in the family. My first wife suffered mightily for twenty some years from Rheumatoid Arthritis. She was hospitalized for twelve weeks in a coma during 1996. Her hospital bill was over a Million dollars. Fortunately, I was working and had good insurance co-paid by my employer and that hospital visit did not cost us a dime. I cannot even imagine what would have happened if we had not had insurance. I assume I would still be paying somebody every month.

Anyway, sorry for the confusion. I forgot there was more than one Art in the Mudcat.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 01:59 PM

I will say one thing. The same "transport chair" in the US is about $100. Three times that here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 02:08 PM

DougR, I'm on my knees with gratitude. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 03:20 PM

Another contribution from Canada, province of Ontario:

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan was introduced in 1965. I was eleven years old, and I remember that year as the time when our standard of living began a sharp upward trend. My mother had a chronic lung disease that had kept us poor; up to that point, we never ate anything that cost more than forty-nine cents a pound.

I have been a steroid-dependent asthmatic since my early 30s. In 1994, I suffered a retinal tear that required immediate surgery to ensure I would not go blind. Consequently, I have experience with both a potentially catastrophic injury and a chronic illness that requires constant management.

The eye problem was handled seamlessly and flawlessly by not one, but two world-class surgeons. One reason it went so well is that my city has a major teaching hospital that includes a world-class eye clinic. The other reason is that I recognized the grey shadow at the edge of my visual field as most likely the result of something wrong with my eye, so I went to my optometrist to find out what it was. I picked him because he has the equipment and experience to perform a basic retinal examination and, as a primary-care provider, he would see me without a referral. (Eye surgeons are not primary-care providers, and they don't see patients without referrals.) Sure enough, the optometrist knew an opthalmologist who saw me the next morning, and the first opthalmologist knew that my retinal tear was outside his area of expertise and sent me to the world-famous eye surgeon who fixed it within 12 hours. Total time from optometrist's office to eye surgeon's bench: 36 hours.

If we lived in the States, we would have needed a second mortgage on the house to pay the surgeon, but I walked away without so much as putting my hand in my pocket.

The asthma is a different matter. It is managed by me, with periodic consultation with my family doctor. In 20 years I have been assessed by a respirologist twice, once to establish that I do, indeed, have asthma, and once to establish that it is, indeed, getting worse as I get older. Thanks to 25 years of recurrent illness and the gentle, persistent nagging of my faithful family doc, I am extremely persnickety about: avoiding things that trigger attacks, taking all the medications as often as I should, and getting enough sleep, even when I would rather sing all night at the Getaway. I also go to see my family doctor whenever I catch a cold (as I do about twice a year, just like everyone else) because I know it takes only 24 to 48 hours to develop into bronchitis.

The asthma drugs cost me about Cdn$150 per month. Antibiotics run about $60 for each bout of bronchitis. I have never had any trouble getting into the doc's office; if he's jammed up, he will fit me in between people because he knows that I know exactly what's wrong with me. I get good results because (1) so far I am pretty good at figuring out what my problem most likely is, so I have not been subjected to the agony of protracted, expensive testing that doesn't produce diagnostic results, and (2) I follow the treatment plan religiously. It helps that my major problems are both common and treatable, and my family doc of 15 years is still on the job.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: John P
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 04:39 PM

Part of the problem is the US is that our business "leaders" were allowed to dismantle our economic system -- including health care -- by sending most of our jobs overseas. We have a health care system that depends on people having jobs. It's never worked for the unemployed and the poor, of course, but now it's also not working for the middle class. More and more people are out of work, and more and more employers are simply not offering insurance. We allowed a poor-but-sort-of-OK system to be dismantled, without requiring that anything be created to replace it. So now we have an even poorer system that's getting worse every day.

The whole concept of health care as a source of wealth for insurers and health care providers is absurd. The whole concept of having employers responsible for providing health care is absurd. The whole concept of having millions of children who can't go the doctor when they get sick is absurd. I say "absurd", but tragic is really a better word.

Another anecdote: a friend of mine needs a liver transplant. The hospital won't even talk to her about it unless she can show that she has insurance that will cover at least $500,000 toward a transplant, which is expected to cost between $500,000 and more than $1,000,000. The insurance she's been paying for for years only covers $250,000 toward a transplant -- in other words, they don't cover it (since she can't even make an appointment to talk to a doctor about it on that much insurance). She is scrambling to find supplemental insurance, but she has an extremely serious pre-existing condition. She will probably manage to get the transplant and stay alive, but she will also be financially ruined fro the rest of her life. Meanwhile, the insurance company executives, the doctors, the drug companies, and the owners of the hospital are all multimillionaires. How can anyone live with themselves when they are getting filthy rich while killing or ruining people?

I wish Obama was more ferocious about getting a real health-care system. The need to placate the wealthy - so they can get even more wealthy - is a real shame.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 05:55 PM

Doug, my apologies. Having been the target of a similar diatribe early in my experience on Mudcat, caused by my not knowing that the use of my name was reserved for another individual, I never use the simple "Art" here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 06:30 PM

"The asthma drugs cost me about Cdn$150 per month."

they cost me less than UK £5 per month. The other thing I realised during my mum's illness is that perscription charges in the US and even Canada can be pretty debilitating...


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 06:37 PM

Prescription drugs in Canada are costlier than I can afford, so I just don't for the most part.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 06:59 PM

Now I'm 64 and 'jubilada' I get my UK prescriptions free - fortnately, I think I've only had one course of antibiotics in a 12 month period and I elect to buy non prescription drugs 'over the counter' although I'm eligible to receive these too.

As I'm also a 'country woman' my doctors surgery is, in addition. a dispensary so I don't have to travel to get prescriptions made up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: kendall
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM

Any American who has traveled in Canada or the UK knows the lies our medical and insurance fat cats are telling us. They are frantic to save their cash cow so they lie and lie some more knowing the uneducated will believe them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rowan
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 09:27 PM

From reading the entire thread I get the impression that, while various Canadian jurisdictions have versions of a nationalised health care system, Britain's version is the one regarded as the benchmark. This may be because it was the first to become well known and because it attempted to 'go the whole hog', so to speak. Sandra is the only one to post on the Oz system, which used to be much the same as Britain's prior to the introduction of the NHS. It was costly for us low-paid people and I was glad to be covered by Melbourne Uni's arrangements with its health service and engagement with the three local hospitals (Royal Melbourne - largely built for US servicemen during WWII, Royal Women's and the Dental Hospital) and the Victorian Optometry College.

When the nationalised health care system was introduced by the Whitlam govt (nationally, as a Commonwealth program), almost the only objectors were the medicos, whose union (the AMA) complained bitterly about govt control of their salaries. This was largely a repeat of the nonsense from their BMA equivalents as described above. Originally, copayments were required only for specialists. When the conservatives (they call themselves Liberals) got back into govt they dismantled the universal aspects of coverage but these were reinstated when the Hawke govt got in. The conservatives weren't game to take on the electorate with a complete dismantling, when they got in, so we now have copayments for almost everything and a penalisation if you don't have private insurance.

That said, I've had a menisectomy, a couple of sessions with kidney stones, two kids delivered and brought up and a colon resection, all in public hospitals at no cost. I have a good relationship with my GP and Ophthalmologist, both of whom have kept tabs on me in hospital. crutches loaned, scripts, physio; all were provided as required and at no extra cost.

Another aspect of the Oz system is the control exerted by the Pharmaceutical Goods agency. Advertisements for specific medical treatments (including medicines) are not allowed in Oz and prescription medicines are assessed for inclusion in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme; once included, most cost the customer no more than about $30 ($5.30, once you're officially an Old Fart) and, should you spend more than about $1500 in a year, you become eligible for further cost reductions. This has meant my expenses for long term treatment for glaucoma have been no more than $50 for the drops (now I'm an Old Fart, this has reduced to $10.60) and the copayment every six moths for the ophthalmologist. The govt covers the rest of the wholesale price of the prescription medicines and negotiates with pharmaceutical multinationals to cap the wholesale prices they wish to charge. Needless to say, the multinationals have tried every trick in the book to get rid of the Pharmaceutical Goods agency; the latest situation (introduced by the late and unlamented conservative coalition) was the removal of the most independent pharmacological academic from the assessment panel and have him replaced by a couple of "industry representatives". Even with this handicap, the system is still working.

But dentistry is still suffering from an 18th century view that it is not medical in nature so cannot be covered by the national health care system; the school-based dental service for schoolkids was dismantled by the conservatives when they were last in govt.

It costs me nothing for ambulance transport, even if I'm beyond the black stump, where the Royal Flying Doctor Service does it all.

Contrast this with my observations in South Carolina a few years ago. An African-American man died of a cardiac infarct because he lived in an area that was so poor it paid no County taxes; this meant the ambulance refused to attend, as it could not reclaim its expenses. A muso friend in Columbia has to spend an enormous part of her salary to deal with various optical problems even though employed in a govt funded agency (which the Governor is trying to close) and thus, presumably, covered by an employer-funded insurance policy.

Oz and a few other countries may not have contributed the same number of medical innovations as the US (although, for Oz at least, I'd put money on parity on a per capita basis, and most European countries innovated before the US existed) and I regard most of Scott Atlas' assertions -as posted by Ebbie- as mere jingoism but I reckon the health care I have access to as the equal of anything available east of the Pacific Ocean and, because the money I pay goes to the govt (and thus back to me in services available) rather than directly to those with a profit motive uppermost, I suspect it is more cost-effective across the whole community.

Cheers, Rowan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 12:12 AM

One of the infuriatingly brainless aspects of it is that for some reason, and time after time, we act as though we have to start from scratch, the wheel has to be re-invented every time. Why is that? Why can't a country look at the experiences in other countries and cherry-pick, so to speak? Why do we pretend that we know best?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 01:24 AM

No need to apologize, artbrooks, it was my fault.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 10:06 AM

It's not just in life-threatening situations that the NHS comes up trumps.

Like many of us my hearing's deteriorated a little with the years. So I've got a digital hearing aid for each ear, courtesy the NHS, completely free of charge.

On Monday the bit that holds the battery fell off, because the plastic hinge had worn out, what with getting opened and closed every day.

So this morning I called into the audiology department at my local hospital and asked the lady at the desk if they could fix it. "You'll have to have an appointment" she says, and clicks into her computer to set one up. "Will 11.15 be OK?" It was five past 11 at the time.

Though I must admit it was 11.20 before I was in fact seen.

There and then I was given a brand new digital hearing aid, programmed on the spot to match my prescription, and adjusted to fit on to my earpiece. Not a penny to pay, and no paperwork at all.

That's the NHS for you, the way it's supposed to work, and the way it does work does most of the time in my experience. So to anyone worried about "Nationalized Healthcare" what I have to say is, "Come on in, the water's lovely."


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 12:19 PM

My apologies if this has already been posted; it just came in my email and I thought it would be of interest:

Dennis Kucinich - www.Kucinich.us

Healthcare: Change the Debate
Support a Real Public Option

Dear Friends,

In mid-May, in an effort to reach consensus, President Obama secured a deal with the health insurance companies to trim 1.5% of their costs each year for ten years saving a total of $2 trillion dollars, which would be reprogrammed into healthcare. Just two days after the announcement at the White House the insurance companies reneged on the deal which was designed to protect and increase their revenue at least 35%

The insurance companies reneged on the deal because they refuse any restraint on increasing premiums, copays and deductibles - core to their profits. No wonder a recent USA Today poll found that only four percent of Americans trust insurance companies. This is within the margin of error, which means it is possible that NO ONE TRUSTS insurance companies.

Then why does Congress trust the insurance companies? Yesterday HR 3200 "America's Affordable Health Choices Act," a 1000 page bill was delivered to members. The title of the bill raises a question: "Affordable" for whom?.

Of $2.4 trillion spent annually for health care in America, fully $800 billion goes for the activities of the for-profit insurer-based system. This means one of every three health care dollars is siphoned off for corporate profits, stock options, executive salaries, advertising, marketing and the cost of paper work, (which can be anywhere between 15 - 35% in the private sector as compared to Medicare, the single payer plan which has only 3% administrative costs).

50 million Americans are uninsured and another 50 million are under insured while for-profit insurance companies divert precious health care dollars to non-health care purposes. Eliminate the for-profit health care system and its extraordinary overhead, put the money into healthcare and everyone will be covered, everyone will be able to afford health care.

Today three committees will begin marking up and amending HR3200. In this, one of the most momentous public policy debates in the past 70 years, single payer, the only viable "public option," the one that makes sound business sense, controls costs and covers everyone was taken off the table.

In contrast to HR3200 ... HR676 calls for a universal single-payer health care system in the United States, Medicare for All. It has over 85 co-sponsors in Congress with the support of millions of Americans and countless physicians and nurses. How does HR-676 control costs and cover everyone? It cuts out the for-profit middle men and delivers care directly to consumers and Medicare acts as the single payer of bills. It also recognizes that under the current system for-profit insurance companies make money NOT providing health care.

This week is the time to break the hold which the insurance companies have on our political process. Tell Congress to stand up to the insurance companies. Ask members to sign on to the only real public option, HR 676, a single-payer healthcare system.

Hundreds of local labor unions, thousands of physicians and millions of Americans are standing behind us. With a draft of HR3200 now circulating, It is up to each and every one of us to organize and rally for the cause of single-payer healthcare. Change the debate. Now is the time.

The time to act is now!

Sincerely Yours,
Dennis


PS - Over the next several months, I will be engaging all of you with frequent updates and will ask you to continue a movement to fight for what needs to be done now; ending this war in Iraq and stopping the escalation in Afghanistan, attaining true single-payer healthcare for all Americans, standing up for my brothers and sisters of organized labor.

After you have contacted your member of Congress, please tell us your thoughts and ideas on how you are organizing your friends and neighbors towards a single-payer movement and all of the other issues that are important to us.

Contact us at feedback@kucinich.us


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 01:18 PM

Kevin: Your hearing aid is not FREE. Your taxes pay for it. Nothing in life is free except maybe advice.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM

Doug, the point has been made over and over on this thread that nationalized health care is not free- but free at the moment you need it. Sit up and pay attention,if you please.
******************************

Has anyone else noticed the new television ads? They've been running in Alaska for at least a week, raising the alarm: "Can you trust Washington with your life?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 02:44 PM

Obviously, everything has to be paid for. But "free at the point of use" is the point here. If I had to shell out hundred of pounds for a replacement hearing aid it'd be a real pain, even if I can do it. And there are a good few people who just couldn't. And when it comes to major medical treatment where it's not a cae of a few hundred but a lot of thousands

"Free at the point of use" makes sense. Road maintenance costs money. Running a fire service costs money. But it'd be a drag if every time you wanted to walk down the road outside your house you had to pay an admission charge. Or if your house caught fire you had to pay the firecrew before they could do anything about it.

It's the basis of private insurance of course - except there there's exclusions and exceptions, and paperwork to try to get payment agreed in advance, or to get back the money you've paid out.

Why make life harder for everyone, most especially for people who are sick and frightened? All for the sake of some ideological commitment to avoid "socialized medicine"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 06:31 PM

I think ultimately it will be good, but the transition to a single payer would probably be terrifying for many. I am glad they will keep some structures in place as they move toward some form of universal coverage. It is not totally broken; it is just not available for too many, some of whom could afford to pay at least something, just not the whole amount. We should try to extract a reasonable amount from every financially able person, on a sliding scale, depending on use etc. Nothing that would cripple them or ruin them financially, but bring in income and reduce recreational or unnecessary doctor visits.

There are tons of things that can be done. First of all, unless you have something really complex, a nurse educator can probably do a better job than many doctors. Some very easily-trained positions can be filled with unemployed people -- such as reception, maintenance, some medical records work, data entry etc. Also, easily-trained and totally monitored unemployed people could be used to provide some human contact and follow up for chronic conditions -- have you taken your blood pressure today, tested your blood sugar, gotten some fresh air, taken your medications. Monitored phone calls and perhaps home visits by lpns etc. could go a long way.

One thing that is not mentioned is the reduced stress that would come from knowing your extended family members would be covered -- for some of us we are OK but family members might not be, and how much could we have to chip in for their care?

We really need to address the extensive doctor use by some people -- some are lonely and in need of social contact. This could be satiated by people with an AA degree rather than an M.D. or RN. There could be group discussions for people with diabetes, or lupus, or kidney stones.

Again, lots of neighborhood clinics, employing as much as possible neighborhood people. Public hospitals in low-income neighborhoods with community colleges attached right there for training and education.

Better biology training in high school so people can move shovel-ready into LPN or RN or tech programs right after graduation.

It is really important to hire impoverished people right at the point of use. I remember working for a while at Harborview in Seattle, which serves many very low-income people. I was struck by the number of recent Etheopian and Etutrian??? immigrants who would come in pleading for any sort of work -- janitorial, groundswork, cafeteria.

Someone as smart as me and Obama can work all this out. We have sick people, unemployed people, ..here is a plan...the unemployed people can take care of the sick people. Win-win.

I am not one who sees all sorts of evil lurking in this system -- I just don't see a well-developed system is all. And we need health workers -- for prevention and encouragement and helping people watch their diet and exercise...these health works could get some sort of certification, again be closely monitored to see they are not dispensing actual medical advice -- but could go a long way in preserving health. And so much of health depends on the basics -- food and shelter and a crime-free neighborhood so you can go shopping, so stores will flourish in your neighborhood -- the linkage of crime to poor health has many aspects, which I will discuss at some point. If you can't get outside for fear of the young gang members, you can not get good groceries. You can not get exercise. You can not see your doctor or hairdresser or church group. You can not get Vitamin D, which is linked to so much. Someone needs to bring this to the attention of the ygm and ask them to cease terrifying their neighbors. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 06:39 PM

Mum, 82 years old, is failing by the day. Eyesight, knees, hips, oldtimers... thank goodness we live in Canada. It ain't perfect, but it beats living in a country that don't give a fuck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 07:12 PM

"...the transition to a single payer would probably be terrifying for many."

I think that's what is so puzzling to people who have lived most of their lives in such a system, and cannot envisage how it can be possible to cope with the idea of a set-up where you have to worry about whether it will be possible to pay for medical treatment you need - whether the insurance company will be willing to pay up, even if you are insured.

It sounds as if somebody has done a great job in persuading people they need to be terrified about changing to a system where those kind of worries are few and far between.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 07:36 PM

I disagree that the system is not broken. People with unlimited disposable income can afford to pay as many buckets of money as they wish. But for the person who is living with one eye monitoring next month's mortgage/rent, the family's food budget, the children's school clothes, the occasional night out on the town or the annual vacation, and who is all too aware that if he or she loses the job it will all come crashing down cannot begin to afford the insurance costs each month for the whole family.

Even a single person can't afford it.

During college, my daughter worked as a temp for a really BIG insurance company and while she was there, the CEO retired. With a pension and perks that amounted to more than 35 million dollars.

That's a HELL of a lot of premiums.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dwditty
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 08:35 PM

My problem with the status quo is that, for example, at the last company I worked for, I paid over $1100 per month for health insurance - and lousy coverage at that. High deductibles. $40 co-pays for medicing. (I have one medicine for which it is cheaper to pay cash tahn the co-pay to have insurance pay for it.) Obviously, this is a company that no insurance company wants for a client...and that is the rub. The insurance companies hold all the cards. If someone is risky - jack the price. Pay doctors whatever the hell they (the insuarance companies) want regardless of the bill. Access to health care should not be dependent (in my opinion) on whether a person works for company A or company B. Personally, I would like to see national helth, but that is just me. At the very least, the cost of medical insurance should be a level playing field.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 09:19 PM

The time for nationalized healthcare was before Hillary tried to get it passed the first place. The advertising budgets of the drug companies and private insurance companies are the only things that prevent more people from realizing that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 10:22 PM

In the past three months we have spent over $700 extra for doctor visits and prescription copays for a bout with pneumonia; that's with health insurance. And, it will be more once i get the bill for the ER visit. It's extra money we don't really have. It might not have cost so much if the nurse practitioner who first saw me had diagnosed correctly and treated me aggressively. My doctor agrees with me on that. We went through a comedy of errors with the front office people, etc., and that is not the first time that has happened. I would be very wary, any more, of going to a less-than-a-doctor for any seemingly acute problems.

Whatever they do, it needs to be as simple and worry-free as possible for everyone and they need to do it NOW! My daughter works for a hospital collection agency - first collector, so there's no pressure, just get payments lined up. She knows people who have put their homes in trust to be sure that they don't possibly lose them if the medial bills get to be too much; she has even recommended it to some of her clients to help them out. That's just plain wrong to have such stress.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 12:07 PM

McGrath, as usual, is correct about the importance of the service being free at the point of delivery. However, the general argument here misses a very important point.

All the major social reforms of the last century or so, from the 40-hour week, paid holidays, free education, sick pay, old age pensions, equal pay for women, abolition of child labour and so on occurred not because those in power were persuaded by logic or morality. They occurred because they were perceived to be necessary in order to stave off revolution by a politicised, organised, class-conscious workforce.

Most of them were first conceded at a time when there still appeared to be an alternative way of organising industrial societies besides US/Western European style capitalism. In order to maintain the legitimacy of liberal-democratic capitalism, reforms like the NHS were conceded as a result of working-class struggle by a ruling class that saw conceding such reforms as a preferable alternative to the revolution they feared.

Now that no-one is talking about an alternative to capitalism the ruling class has no incentive to make any concessions for the simple reason that the bastards aren't scared anymore.

There is no mass, effective class-based political movement in the United States and so there will be no significant reform of the healthcare system.

And we'd better watch it in the UK as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 01:11 PM

That doesn't strike me as a particularly accurate account of what motivated Bevan and co. More to the point, I doubt if that argument will assist those in the US who would like health reform to persuade the doubters.

But I will go along with your sentiment that "we'd better watch it in the UK as well".


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 01:30 PM

The Senate sub-committee vote went strictly according to party lines. Unless Obama et al. can hold all of his Democratic congressional members together, which is doubtful, his proposals face a rough time.

The Democrats may be able to get some stopgap legislation through, but it looks like comprehensive revision will not be accomplished in the near future.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 02:58 PM

I have been a beneficiary of the British NHS since my birth at the beginning of 1941, and in the whole of that time I have received treatment (emergency, surgical etc.) completely free of charge, and I have never been asked to pay back one red cent of what that treatment cost.

Throughout my working life I have paid very reasonable National Insurance contributions fom my wages, so that others may have the same service.

There can be no possible system of healthcare which better serves the needs of both rich and poor without favour or bias.

It is only very recently that spectacles and (due to a reduction in dental practitioners willing to do NHS work)dental treatment have been placed largely outside of the NHS remit, and most of us can live with that.

If there is one thing I would change about the system, it is this. I would remove much of the bureaucratic superstructure, and place the budgets of health services in the hands of those who know how to spend them.......The DOCTORS.

That said, I am eternally grateful for the fact that my medical history has NOT left me with a huge debt to a rapacious bunch of moneygrabbing profiteers, which I would be utterly incapable of repaying.

Those who are happy with corporate insurance schemes such as Medicare are, I think, labouring under a delusion that they will always be covered. Experience of insurance (both buying and selling the stuff), leads me to suspect they will be very disappointed at some future time.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 03:25 PM

Don T, in what important ways does the NHS differ from the Medicare system in the US?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 05:20 PM

The big difference from Medicare is that everyone is entitled to receive care under the NHS. Not just emergency treatment at hospitals, the lot.

As for the USA, I can understand why there may be people working for insurance companies, or getting money from investing in them, who would be scared of a change that might threaten their livelihood or their income. And I can just about understand that there would be some doctors and so forth who might be frightened of a change that they have been told might threaten their income and job security.

But why people whose only involvement with the health system is as patients or relatives of patients should be frightened, that is very hard to understand.

The propaganda put out by the insurance companies and such must be incredibly clever adverts to get people to believe that they should be frightened of change.

Belloc's words seem to sum up that attitude prettty well:

"Be sure to keep good hold of nurse
For fear of finding something worse"


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 06:31 PM

I still don't understand the remark about Medicare. Everybody who has paid anything at all into Medicare eventually gets onto the Medicare rolls. There is a big difference in pay, it's true- ranging from the maximum (I think something like $3,000 a month) to the bare minimum (around $600, I think). Most of us come down somewhere in between.

Plus when a spouse dies the surviving person has the option of retaining their own Medicare or switching to the spouse's payment if the other amount is greater.

In addition to that, if a person has divorced after 20 years after marriage, that person can switch to the divorced person's payment, if it's greater than the amount they themselves accrued. The divorced spouse need not even be notified of the fact that someone has tapped into his or her allocated amount.

This presupposes, of course, that the person qualifies as a Medicare recipient, whether through age or physical condition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 06:46 PM

Everybody who has paid anything at all into Medicare eventually gets onto the Medicare rolls. There is a big difference in pay ... Plus when a spouse dies the surviving person has the option of retaining their own Medicare or switching to the spouse's payment if the other amount is greater...This presupposes, of course, that the person qualifies as a Medicare recipient

That's not a bad list of the differences between the NHS and Medicare! The amount paid out by the NHS is *not* related to the amount paid in via taxes, *everyone* qualifies, *eventually* only comes into it according to medical need, not what's been paid (although as has been said above, the system works rather better for acute than chronic conditions in terms of responsiveness.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 07:42 PM

This presupposes, of course, that the person qualifies as a Medicare recipient, whether through age or physical condition.

Precisely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 07:44 PM

Ebbie, I think you have Social Security and Medicare confused.   Medicare has a common cost - $96 per month for medical care and nothing (in most cases) for hospitalization, regardless of how much a person paid into the system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 08:07 PM

It is so screwed up over here that they can declare a person handicapped and put them on disability social security BUT they have to wait for two years before getting any medicare/medicaid? benefits!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 08:13 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 08:37 PM

Alberta Province in Canada pretty well administers its own program, although there is federal as well as provincial funding.
The major gripe is with elective treatments. The province has severely trimmed its budget.

An example is Cateract eye surgery, which is limited to a certain number. The number has been cut from over 10,000 to 8500. To get the free surgery, Alberta patients end up on a waiting list, now estimated at about one year. The clinics have the staff and time to do more, so paying patients from other provinces and the States get their operations done quickly. The alternative for Alberta patients with money is to go out of the country.
Wait times soar

The quota system applies to several procedures. Many elect to pay approx. $800 for an MRI rather than wait their turn.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 08:42 PM

Ebbie's point is that Medicare is a public option and costs less to administer than private insurance... Much less... The reason that Medicare is facing financial challenges is not it's cost to administer it but becuase it is not funded correctly...

Actually, Medicare is a very good example of what governemnt can do with a lot less $$$$.... Like Obama said in reference to the insurance companies, "If you are doing such a great job then a public option shouldn't scare you at all".... (paraphrased)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 09:01 PM

gulp I did indeed mix up a confusing brew. Most of what I described was about Social Security. Medicare is a different, but related, component of what I was talking about.

Let's see if I can get it right this time: I draw Social Security each month, and I enrolled when I was 62. I could have waited until I was 65 years old but opted for the earlier date. Everyone who has worked - and paid into Social Security at any time- will eventually be eligible to draw. What I said about opting for the greater amount viz a viz spouses refers to Social Security.

When I become ill or if I need surgery, I present Medicare as my medical payer. It covers about 80% of a given cost. I have the option of enrolling in other insurance on top of Medicare if I wish.

Incidentally I was not intimating that the US system of Social Security/Medicare is the ultimate. Far from it. I am merely pointing out that Social Security/Medicare as a single payer does work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 09:31 PM

To clarify what we can discern from Social Security:

In order for a worker to get SS, they must have worked enough units of time. Those units are called QUARTERS.

My wife did not work enough of those quarters to get SS when she reaches 62. Also, we've been told that because of too few quarters --she can't EVER get it. Not SSI either. --But my income is too high for her to get on SSI----even with our Pub. Aid spend-down amount each month assuring that we are "broke" enough to get the Public Aid card.

There are at least two Catch Twenty-Twos there for ya --- all in one sentence I think.

When I die, Carol will get some percentage of my SS payments---and $300.00

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 10:31 PM

I agree with Q. Unless Obama can convince the "Blue Dog" Democrats to vote for the current Bill, it will not pass. The cost is just too prohibitive even for conservative Democrats.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 12:15 AM

Art, that's same situation we have. I don't have enough recent quarters to qualify for disability (nobody told me I could apply many years ago when I did have, in fact they told me no) and Rog makes too much for me to qualify any other way. If he retires on Social Security, I've been told I may qualify for something, but it was confusing and I don't they even knew what they were talking about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 12:35 AM

Dear Kat,

You have just pointed to one of the difficulties of a system that does NOT understand itself.

If the US government makes a mistake on anyone's taxes, it is NOT responsible. The bureaucracy of the US government does not even understand its own tax laws. Prima facie.

Example from Canada: I am now able to apply for old age security. However, I cannot do so--it is most unwise to do so--until I have been unemployed for at least one month. My situation is such that I cannot afford to be unemployed for one month. SO, I lose $350ish/month because I need the cash and don't have the wherewithal to BE unemployed for a month.

Reminds me of a joke:

Guy goes to a bank and needs to borrow $1000. The bank says, "What do you have as collateral?" He says, "Nothing." They said, "Then we can't lend you any money. He says, "IF I had collateral, I wouldn't need to borrow!"

I do wish you well with the problem. In a word, it sucks.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 07:35 AM

The simple answer to all those examples is this.

ALL my medical treatment, whether emergency, acute, or chronic is fully funded by the NHS.

I NEVER PAY ONE PENNY DIRECTLY TO THE NHS FOR TREATMENT, NO MATTER WHAT THE COST!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 07:40 AM

The point is that "single payer" is more efficient than having a highly privatized sysytem that is in the business purely to make a profit and here is where a large portion of the 17% of our GNP goes: into the hands of the health insurers... This is where the overall savings will come...

Yes, paying for it is a sticky point but left out the discussion is that people wil actually be purchasing helth insurance from the government... That is something that the Repubs conviently don't wnat to talk about... Right now we have hundreds of billions being paid to private health insurers by people who are getting ripped off... That money won't be going to the thieves with a public option...

Of course the conservatives will claim that the government will then be ripping them off but that is pure bull... Does the governemnt rip off folk who have Medicare???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 11:11 AM

The cost of not doing single-payer is far more costly on the backs of citizens. People die when insurance companies stand between the doctor and patient. The US can't afford not to do it.

If we can spend trillions on war and occupation, we can spend a pittance of that on nationalized health care. The US is bankrupting itself on the defense industry.
Blackwater gets your tax dollars.

Stingy Republicans don't see it that way. Their priorities are not to the citizen but beholden to corporate greed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 11:24 AM

("The cost is just too prohibitive even for conservative Democrats.")

This statement seems inane. People in the USA are now paying exhorbitant rates for health insurance that they would no longer need. Deduct profit and greed from the system and the per person cost should be much lower.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 12:46 PM

Here is a chart of spending on health care (private and public) in the various OECD countries, giving percentage of GDP spent on health, and money spent per head.

It comes from this site , "Health Affairs - the policy journal of the Health Sphere.

It shows the USA as spending a great deal more of its GDP on health than anyone else, and far more per head than virtually every other country.

Doug's comment about the notion of a switch to a universal health system, on the lines of other countries - "The cost is just too prohibitive" - reminds me of the man who was found burning piles of folding money. When asked why he didn't go out and buy some wood he replied "Are you crazy - how could I afford to go buying wood when it's already costing me a fortune to stay warm".


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 01:56 PM

GOOD !!! And 100


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 02:53 PM

Some examples of what I consider to be obscene:

We have insurance through Rog's workplace. If we go to their "preferred providers" it costs them and us less money. For instance, for an xray reading:

Total charge = $44
Total charge allowed after "negotiation" = $12.86
Total paid by insurance = $9.00 with us responsible for the remaining $3.86.

On the report it explains that the provider cannot bill us for any of the difference. They have agreed to settle for the $12.86 total.

Another one is for $156 total; they paid $39.69, and we are responsible for $17.01, so they brought that total down a lot, too.

Here is where I think it gets ugly AND how they pay for those discounts: people with NO insurance have to pay the total amount because they have no insurance company "negotiating" for them. They are not in a "pool" of insured people who can drive a harder bargain, so to speak. Almost five years ago, I was one of those people. What I was charged for hospitalization and treatment of congestive heart failure was obscene and there was NO negotiating any lower charges with the hospital; my daughter tried, they refused. We are still paying them on a $13,000 bill for the few days I was in.

So, the very people who need the help the most, those without insurance and, possibly without a job, have to pay MORE. How fucked up is that?

If they don't fix it this time, I do believe there is enough momentum folks will not let them slide by. We saw the power we had when we used grassroots to elect Obama. Those same grassroots folks are now working on health care and other issues. We are not going away...not going gently into that good night. We WILL see change NOW!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 03:41 PM

Kat and Rog,

Hello! You know, I'm with you on those points--and more...

Luv,

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 03:43 PM

Another piece of that, kat, is that the medical provider is absolutely not losing any money on what they charge your insurance. That is, the $12.86 represents their cost plus a modest return. The balance of the $44 (that would be $31.14) that they charge the uninsured is pure profit.   I suppose some people would say that that some portion of that pays them back for those whose bills they eventually have to write off - I think I'd call it something else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 08:48 PM

The Congressional Budget Office reported today that the Health Care Plan under consideration (The Waxman Bill) would not accomplish what Obama promised in the campaign it would do. That, plus the fact that two amendments have been attached to the Bill that many members of Congress find objectionable (Medicaid patients could receive abortions paid for by Medicaid and a "Hate Crime" bill)will, in tandem with cost, sink the Bill. I believe another factor that works against passage is Obama is pushing too hard to get the bill passed before Congress recesses for the summer.

Before you bombard me with charges that the CBO favors Republicans I would inform those that do not know that the Chief of the CBO is a Democrat and his position was formerly headed by Obama's current Budget Director.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: kendall
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM

We can afford trillions for missles to cream people that never did a damn thing to us, but we cant afford health care for our own people.
The only civilized country in the world that lacks basic health care.
It's barbaric.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 08:56 PM

Correction - I was looking at the wrong column on the chart when I wrote in the last post I made:

"It shows the USA as spending... far more per head than virtually every other country.

In fact the chat shows the USA as spending far more per head than any of the other countries in the OECD. $4,887 per head compared to $1997 per head in the UK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 08:57 PM

Correction - I was looking at the wrong column on the chart when I wrote in the last post I made:

"It shows the USA as spending... far more per head than virtually every other country.

In fact the chart shows the USA as spending far more per head than any of the other countries in the OECD. $4,887 per head compared to $1997 per head in the UK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 10:23 PM

Art and Carol,

HeyaSweeties! I know you know and we are with you, too. Thanks, darlin's.

Love kat & Rog

And, now, once again, I say Thank Goodness for Dennis Kucinich!:

Dennis Kucinich - www.Kucinich.us

Exciting Healthcare Update

Dear Friends,

With your support, your phone calls, your emails, we won a major legislative victory today for a state single payer health care option in the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. The House Education and Labor Committee approved the Kucinich Amendment by a vote of 27-19, with 14 Democrats and 13 Republicans voting yes.

The amendment propels the growing single payer health care movement at the state level. There are at least ten states which have active single payer efforts in their legislatures. They are California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. The amendment mandates a single payer state will receive the right to waive the application of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which has in the past been used to nullify efforts to expand state or local government health care.

Under the Kucinich Amendment a state's application for a waiver from ERISA is granted automatically if the state has signed into law a single payer plan. With the amendment, for the first time, the state single payer health care option is shielded from an ERISA-based legal attack. Now that the underlying bill has been passed, as amended, by the full committee, we must make sure that Congress knows that we want the provision kept in the bill at final passage!

The state single payer option was one of five major amendments which I obtained support to get included in HR3200. One amendment brings into standard coverage for the first time complementary and alternative medicine, (integrative medicine). Another amendment drives down the cost of prescription drugs by ending pharmaceutical industry's sharp practices manipulating physician prescribing habits. An amendment stops the insurance industry from increasing premiums at the time when people are not permitted to change health plans; and finally an amendment imposing a requirement on insurance companies that they disclose the cost of advertising, marketing and executive compensation expenses (which generally divert money from patient care).

Please make sure you post this message on your social networking site, ask all your friends to get involved and encourage everyone you know to sign up at www.Kucinich.us so we can build full momentum behind this movement for real health care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 11:05 PM

...ten states have active single payer efforts in their legislatures. They are ...New Mexico... The New Mexico legislature is adjourned, and will next convene in January 2011, except for a short budget session in 2010. I don't know what the status of the other states listed might be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 11:20 PM

Well, he didn't say right now re' the States, art.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Health care, good? bad?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 02:01 AM

Too bad we can't take the insurance companies completely out of the picture, but the truth be told, they'd launch such a deluge of negative campaigning that the Americans who don't have any critical thinking skills will buy their clever (but vacuous) arguments and oppose the plan. Taking the obscene profits out of health care would be good for everyone. Except the insurance companies, of course.

I've given this some thought. They should buy out the employees of these companies with small plots of land and let them learn something useful, like raising crops or small herds of animals for a reliable local food source. Get them out of the gambling industry (where they bank that they can deny enough drug Rx costs and health treatments to enough people that they can make obscenely huge profits).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,An NHS problem
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 07:34 AM

I'm a regular catter, but have decided to post this anonymously - it may become obvious why. If a JoeClone wishes to delete it, so be it.

One disadvantage of the NHS system is that cases like the one in this thread arise. It would hardly be human if the people concerned did not fight tooth and nail for their child/husband/wife/parent to try and get them the best possible treatment. Sometimes the point at issue is a question of using a generic versus a named drug, at other times it is whether NICE [a sort of control board] has authorised the drug. However, the hard truth is that we as ordinary citizens rarely know enough to understand whether the differences involved between a generic drug and the named drug are significant or not. For example, if the 'amount' of an active component varies by up to 45% as that thread states, it does not follow that the effectiveness varies significantly, or even at all. It could, of course, but it is drug dependant. And of course, the company making the named drug is hardly going to underplay the benefits of using their product.

A petition can only really take the decisions out of the hands of NICE and put it into the hands of politicians who, as a rule, know nothing about it and are more concerned with the effect on whether they get re-elected than on the medical consequences. So I am afraid, in my view, these sorts of petitions are not in the best interest of the citizens overall. A petition that "politicians should follow the recommendations of NICE" [which that thread says isn't happening] is another matter, and I'd be happy to sign that one.

All this might suggest I'm posting to the wrong thread. I don't think I am because my main point is that with an NHS system hard choices still have to be made, and we, as ordinary people, become exposed to those choices. They are not simply things the medics involved in the specific case decide. Moreover, it introduces a risk that medical decisions get overridden by polical ones.

One thing we have to recognise is that sometimes the NHS simply can't do things in the way those actually involved in the heartbreaking events would like. In a private scheme, as long as can pay, you can have virtually anything you like, but that is something you have to give up with a NHS-like scheme.

A further complication in the way the NHS is set up is that treatment is all-or-nothing [I believe]. You cannot have the NHS treat 90% of a condition then 'top-up' something with a privately chosen medicine. In this case, for example, the people involved cannot choose to pay extra and have the non-generic drug.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 12:10 PM

"Single-payer health care is a term used in the United States to describe the payment of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers from a single fund. It differs from typical private health insurance where, through pricing and other measures taken by the insurer, the level of risks carried by multiple insurance pools as well as the coverage can vary and the pricing has to be varied according to the contribution of risk added to the pool. It is often mentioned as one way to deliver universal health care. The administrator of the fund could be the government but it could also be a publicly owned agency regulated by law. Australia's Medicare, Canada's Medicare, and healthcare in Taiwan are examples of single-payer universal health care systems."

This term seems to be easily misunderstood. That may be by accident or by intent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 02:21 PM

About the health care legislation mentioned "in at least ten states" plus a "just for fun" thrown in...


"Sheila Kuehl was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1994, becoming the first openly gay person elected to the California legislature. She was later a founding member of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus. She served as Speaker pro tempore during the 1997–98 legislative session, becoming the first woman in California history to hold the position. After three terms in the Assembly, she was elected to the California State Senate in 2000, beating Assemblyman Wally Knox in the Democratic primary. Re-elected in 2004 with 65.7% of the vote, she has repeatedly been voted the 'smartest' member of the California Legislature.

In 2006, she sponsored a bill that would prohibit the adoption by any school district in California of any instructional material that discriminates against persons based on their gender or sexual orientation.

Throughout her career as a legislator, Kuehl has taken a leadership role on health care policy. Her foremost objective has been securing passage of legislation to establish a single-payer health care system in California. SB 840 passed both houses of the legislature in 2006, but was vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; it was reintroduced in 2007 and again passed the state Senate, with a vote pending in the Assembly. SB 840 passed both houses of the California legislature in August 2008 and was, again, vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger."


Sheila Kuehl played Zelda in the Dobie Gillis television show.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 12:07 AM

I've often wondered what happened to Zelda!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Romanyman
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 01:54 PM

The trouble with those of you in the USofA is that you have never thought beyond the mighty dollar, that is sad, how many poor people die every year because your doctor want thousands just to say sorry you need a specialist, and then you have to pay him, he then gives a kick back to the original doctor, and so it goes round, you all just sit on your butts and say, well thats the way it is, duh, over here i go to my doctor, if need be i get a referal to the specialist, get an operatin, whatever, cost to me, nowt , nil, nadda, nothing, zero,

However, there is a cost of course, this done by way of national insurance, a tax if you like, but its paid by me and its a tiny amount per week, it covers everything from ingrowing toe nails to the dreaded disease, yes we have private health care but as in the U.S, its limited, costly . Unless you have been within a national health system i doubt you will understand, but its simple and easy to set up, then again those fat cat doctors, insurance types, will hate it, oh dear how bloody sad. forget the money think of someone you love dying because they cant afford healtcare, gladly that dont happen here. best i can say is learn about it , use it, do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 04:19 PM

" Moreover, it introduces a risk that medical decisions get overridden by polical ones."

This is exactly what is happening now when the insurance lobby owns the congress.
The political decisions are being bought and the medical decisions now take a back seat.
The CEO stand between the doctor and the patient. You can still pay and pay and not
get served with a private insurer.

NHS in other countries are not overriding medical decisions through politics. Only in the US where lobbyists control the doctors. Big Pharma and the AMA are examples.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 05:42 PM

Kendall (and others)... barbaric is polite. How anyone can condone the suffering of their brothers and sisters in the name of greed is... beyond barbaric.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 08:35 PM

Well, I really doubt that anyone in particular is condoning the suffering of their brothers and sisters in the name of greed. The real problem with making anything happen in a democracy is that minor thing called "majority rule".   Mr. Obama, assuming he wanted to, really cannot wave a wand and make things happen. He must first get legislation introduced that accomplishes a particular purpose and then get at least 51 Senators and 218 Representatives to vote for it.   Anything that has any chance at all of passage must be relatively moderate, as Americans define the term.

Each of these people is individually elected by the residents of the state (for Senators) or Congressional District they represent.    Regardless of what some people, including some people on Mudcat, would want you to believe, the vast majority of our elected representatives are honest and well-meaning individuals. They are not paid anything under the table by insurance companies, the AMA, or anybody else, and the US Congress is not owned by anyone.   They serve their constituents, not the national party or any corporate lobbyist, and they have to go back home and explain their positions to those people. Most are elected with 55% or less of the votes cast and, if their votes do not reflect the will of the voting public, they will serve only one term.   The 20% or so who are non-party centrists will shift over to the other guy.

Congress is trying very hard to craft a health care plan that can both pass this Congress and (from the Democratic Party's perspective) allow it to survive more than two years. This is why there isn't, and never will be, any single-payer proposal submitted to Congress (other than the sort of bill that is proposed without a hope of passage and dies in committee).   The American public is simply not interested in giving that much control over something as important as their health care to the Federal government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 11:25 PM

The only real problem with the NHS in UK is the "Post Code Lottery"
Which CAN mean a patient cant get the drugs or treatment required in a reasonable period !
One thing for sure is that in UK a low paid working person will NOT be bankrupted by developing a minor illness , NOR be put off getting treatment until the condition they have has reached a critical point !
Michael Moore's "Sicko" has been mentioned earlier . I agree there IS a lot of 'propaganda' in the film , but there is also a frightening amount of straight fact about what the Insurance Companies will do to avoid paying out at all if they think they can get away with it .


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 02:58 AM

The "Postcode Lottery", while real enough, is one of those problems that is inherently unwinnable. The UK is divided into a number of largely autonomous regions for health provision. That immediately raises the issue of whether the treatment available should be identical in them all, or do you allow for differences. It would seem pretty obvious, for example, that there should be greater provision for treatment for poisoning by certain agricultural chemicals in the countryside than in the centre of the city. Conversely, there needs to be investment in the medical 'disaster training' involving evacuation from the underground system in London, Newcastle etc which isn't relevant to rural areas (or more precisely, the kinds of disasters differ.)

So it follows that with any degree of independant planning, there must be different priorities in spending and that will inevitably lead to differences in what is available, if only in the waiting periods by the regions.   

Much of the press - particularly but not exclusively the tabloids - bemoans and demonises thr "postcode" lottery. It never, of course, considers the alternatives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 11:05 AM

Amidst all the heated blather about how the bills should be paid, there's a more fundamental problem: Why are the bills so damned high?
Young doctors entering practice often drag along load of a quarter to a half-million dollars in student loans. This is a direct result of Med schools underutilizing their highly paid staff (who, like other doctors, use the student loan argument to justify exorbitant rates.)
A series of government scholarships to be awarded to students willing to agree to a period of community service would be a huge step forward.
So would opening up more teaching facilities--I don't believe that the number of medical schools has increased over thae past thirty or forty years, while the general population has been expanding at a better-than-healthy rate.
    Then, reduce balkanization of health care. I currently am seeing no fewer than six doctors on a regular basis--most of who look at the same blood test results, give me a cursory examination, and fill out their Medicare reports. Much of what I encounter on a recurring pattern of visits to doctors' offices can be handled just as well by a med tech; required blood test could easily be shared by all the doctors involved.
    Drug pricing is so outrageous that it's almost unbelievable. I just had cataract surgery, and one of the prescribed eyedrops I have to use costs (without a haealthcare plan discount) $78 for a five milliliter bottle: that's roughly $15000 per liter for something that's about 99.5% water.)or bout $7500 per pound. And that's not an unusual rip-off---injections of Procrit, commonly used in cases of anemia, and typically required every two to three weeks, are billed a $2500 per poke. I know all about the amount of research and testing the drug companies perform, but I also know about their bloated profits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 06:53 PM

And outrageous awards to malpractice victims.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 07:05 PM

What should it be worth when a surgeon amputates the wrong leg - and then has to go back and cut off the correct one? Not all malpractice awards are outrageous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 08:38 PM

Heard today that the status quo lobbiests have spent over $20M in the last 3 months to derail Obama's plan...


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: lompocan
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 06:24 PM

I have been working vigorously to inform people in my community about a single payer system. I see a major ethical issue here, and I am surprised at how many Americans use so many excuses to avoid the ethical situation of caring for people's health. Money, fear of socialism (without understanding what socialism really means), political ideology (as opposed to rationally looking at the issue), but most of all is the notion that the government will automatically mess things up. So many mythologies are clouding their reality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 07:36 PM

""One thing we have to recognise is that sometimes the NHS simply can't do things in the way those actually involved in the heartbreaking events would like. In a private scheme, as long as can pay, you can have virtually anything you like, but that is something you have to give up with a NHS-like scheme.""

This is pure egregious nonsense.

The NHS ensures that those who cannot afford to pay still receive all the treatment they need.

THOSE WHO CAN AFFORD TO PAY CAN CHOOSE ONE OF A NUMBER OF PRIVATE SCHEMES WHICH SUPPLY THEIR NEEDS TO THE EXCLUSION OF ANY WHO DON'T HAVE THE FUNDS. HSA and BUPA, to name but two.

Of course neither will treat emergencies, nor will they get involved in either pre-existing, or long term chronic cases, which tells you all you need to know about private health care funded by insurance.

They WILL insure you against Yakbite, PROVIDED it doesn't occur in a zoo, or in Russia/Mongolia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 07:52 PM

I should point out that you CAN have NHS care for your emergencies, pre-existing, and long term chronic problems, and still use private care for other things, IF YOU SO CHOOSE.

What you cannot do is mix private and NHS care for the same illness (so called topping up).

This, I believe will change, in the fullness of time, but you do have to ask yourself why anyone who could afford to pay for drugs which are too expensive for the NHS (especially when the benefit is very marginal) would not pay for the whole of their treatment, and leave NHS resources for those who REALLY need them.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 08:01 PM

Don, I have a similar situation to your last question...that is, I have free point of service care available to me and I have an insurance plan that I pay for. I normally use the latter, since I can afford it and the other system (the veterans' healthcare system), while excellent, is stretched. However, there have been occasions (such as some forthcoming brow surgery) that my insurance refused to pay for but that I had approved through the veterans' system with no problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 08:21 PM

And of course if you want a test of some kind in a hurry, you can pay for that from a private hospital, and if it indicates you need medical treatment have that through the NHS on the basis of that test.

As I write earlier, I'm really puzzled by why people who haven't some financial stake in the present US system should be frightened of a change to something which could give them far more security, and in practice, far more choice as well.   

But I suppose it's largely a matter of rigid ideology.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 01:44 AM

""One thing we have to recognise is that sometimes the NHS simply can't do things in the way those actually involved in the heartbreaking events would like. In a private scheme, as long as can pay, you can have virtually anything you like, but that is something you have to give up with a NHS-like scheme.""

This is pure egregious nonsense.

The NHS ensures that those who cannot afford to pay still receive all the treatment they need.


While I agree about giving all the treatment people *need*, the thread referred to is talking about what people *want*. In particular, they want branded drugs rather than generic. The cost implications of that are huge, and I can't help noticing the petition doesn't include the phrase "and we are willing for our taxes to be increased to cover the costs."


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 06:09 AM

What you cannot do is mix private and NHS care for the same illness (so called topping up).

This, I believe will change, in the fullness of time


You are probably right, but it is a bit of a double-edged sword. Once we allow 'topping-up' it gives politicians a loophole not to increase the allocation to the NHS each year as much as they otherwise would have to. Over time, I think that could lead to a withering of the NHS. Without top-ups, the service really has to work properly as funded; with it it only has to work if 5% of the funds come from elsewhere. Then a few years later if 10% are from elsewhere ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 08:02 AM

""While I agree about giving all the treatment people *need*, the thread referred to is talking about what people *want*. In particular, they want branded drugs rather than generic. The cost implications of that are huge, and I can't help noticing the petition doesn't include the phrase "and we are willing for our taxes to be increased to cover the costs".""

DMcG, I would take issue with your statement that "what people want is branded, not generic, drugs".

In my experience, what people want is precisely the opposite. Only those too uneducated, or brainwashed by TV, to know the difference are demanding to pay four times as much for branded goods, as they can with so called "generics".

Are you one of those who buys 16 Aspro tablets, when he can buy Aspirin for a quarter the cost? Ditto, Nurofen four times more than Ibuprofen. Where topping up comes into the picture is with new drugs where, thanks to the monumental greed of the pharmaceutical companies, there is NO generic option, and the prices charged are extortionate.

NHS funds are limited, choices have to be made, and unfortunately it is difficult to justify spending thousands of pounds to, for example, give an already terminal patient an extra few months.

In an ideal world one could say yes to everyone. In reality, where I think WE are all living, one can't.

In response to your final comment, my dear fellow, we have been paying steadily higher tax to keep our NHS going since the 1940s, and we are managing quite nicely, secure in the knowledge that sudden illness, in the UK at least, is not a synonym for bankruptcy.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 08:46 AM

Maybe I've not expressed myself very well, Don, but I reckon we are agreeing. What the NHS does is amazing, and long may it continue. What you expressed as In an ideal world one could say yes to everyone. In reality, where I think WE are all living, one can't. is what I intended by sometimes the NHS simply can't do things in the way those actually involved in the heartbreaking events would like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: 3refs
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 09:01 AM

My son was in a car accident last week and was transported to the hospital via ambulance. Thankfully, he wasn't seriously injured. I'm going in for knee replacement surgery(arthroplasty)soon and may require more back surgery after my MRI. It's not costing me a cent, other than the premium I pay on my income tax. I'd be in a financial mess if I had to pay for any of this! No, it's not perfect and sometimes there's a wait, but I'll take it as opposed to dying at the hospital door because I can't even get in!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 11:36 AM

The concept of "rationing" health care is as stupid as that of the fear of the word "socialized". We have , in the States, a sing;e-payer educational system. For those who want (and can afford) something else, we also have private schools. We have a nationalized Post Office. For those who want (and can afford) something else, we also have UPS, Fedex and DHL. No problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 11:45 AM

Brilliant analogies, Dick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 11:50 AM

Don, it's also fairly easy to get private health insurance for injuries sustained in desert boating accidents, train derailments caused by aircraft landing on train tracks and self-inflicted damage caused by leaving the space capsule, provided yer over seventy years old.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 02:08 PM

Dick, that IS brilliantly put! Thanks!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 02:15 PM

Let's face it. It's the greedy insurance execs and so-called health care business people who
are against national health care. They and their lobbyists are the problem.

NH works in almost every other civilized society in the world. It's all about greed,
fat paychecks for CEO's and concentration of power in the Insurance Lobby that is
against NH.

"Louise and Harry" was the biggest con job on the American public.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 05:45 PM

"It's the greedy insurance execs and so-called health care business people who are against national health care. They and their lobbyists are the problem."

In a sense that may be true, since these are the only people who might stand to lose in a change to a universal system which wasn't based on private insurance. But if they were the only people opposing such a change it wouldn't matter, since there can't be more than a relatively small number of them - a few thousands, a few tens of thousand, maybe let's imagine it moight be a million. In a country of 300 million.

The problem is this tiny minority seem to be punching way way above their weight, when it comes to influence and power.

How far is it that these vested interests have actually succeeded in convincing a good chunk of that 300 million? Or how far is it that, by one means or another, they have managed to get control of a significant number of the politicians who are supposed to represent the interests of that 300 million?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 06:04 PM

For most everyday things the British Health Service will provide adequate care when it is needed.

It is true that for some things some areas do not provide some drugs and others do - the so called post code lottery - and there are perhaps other things that could be done better, but for most of the population there will have been care and treatment from early in pregnancy to their leaving school, with no cost to their parents.

They will have been immunised against common diseases, checked to see that they are growing properly, had their vision tested, to see if they require glasses, have regular dental checks and any treatments required all as a routine. Hopefully they will then reach adulthood fit and well and ready to go to work an pay taxes.

When they retire they will once again have free health care.

In the time in between if they are prescribed a drug or other treatment they pay a standard charge for it to be dispensed at the chemist - I think it is about 8 pounds.

If they require treatment after an accident, cataract surgery, appendectomy or knee replacement - it is done.

It seems to be a very sensible system to me.

If I catch flu I can phone up to confirm the symptoms and get treatment sent round to the house rather than go out and spread the virus. When a vaccine is developed I will be invited to go and have the jab.

The administration of an insurance funded health care system must cost so much that could be used to better effect on other things.

Anne Croucher


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 06:15 PM

Thing to keep in mind: Pharmaceutical companies and I think insurance companies donate/invest huge sums of money speaking against Public Health Care. They really know how to brain-wash folks, especially when in many cases a light rinse would do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 06:22 PM

So, all this philosophy aside, does anyone know what Obama and Congress will do?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 06:37 PM

Obama will do what he can.

Congress will do what it must, or what it's told, depending on how far congressmen are in the pockets of corporate interests.

And of course, the public will get what the are given.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 06:43 PM

Where is the line where corporate lobbying becomes criminal conspiracy?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 06:49 PM

I really don't think that it's true that most, or even a significant percentage, of Americans think that the status quo - or some other system in which the insurance companies remain major players - is desirable. We...that is to say Congress...are engaged in negotiations attempting to come up with some kind of package that is minimally unacceptable to the largest number of people. That is, after all, the essence of consensus. Congress (with a few exceptions, of course) is not in the pockets of corporate interests at all. They are responsive to the wishes of their constituents, but they are subject to a media blitz which is paid for by the various corporations with an interest in the ultimate outcome. It is an unfortunate fact that some of them are easily led, and tend to believe things when they are told them over and over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 07:01 PM

"a media blitz which is paid for by the various corporations with an interest in the ultimate outcome." Which is perilously close to criminal conspiracy, I'd suggest - at least, if that financial interest isn't openly stated as part of that "media blitz".


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 07:09 PM

Because my question was serious, I do thank you for responding. It will have a bearing on Canadian health care down the road.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 07:42 PM

"...the various corporations with an interest in the ultimate outcome." Which is perilously close to criminal conspiracy,..."

Yes...I'd think so, but you can bet that their legal departments know where the lines are, and that no one will ever be indicted.

This is about 94.628% about **money**... various folk, from doctors to drug companies to insurance companies, have had many years to 'adjust' the system to maximize their profits, and they simply do NOT want any changes which might interfere. They make their political contributions accordingly....which means that 'most' members of Congress intend to be very careful what they vote for...and 40% are unlikely to cooperate at all! The convoluted 'explanations' of why they oppose the Obama plan are mostly just ways of avoiding saying, "I know which side my bread is buttered on."
   We all have our stories of exorbitant costs for everything from drugs to insurance premiums to ambulance rides..
(I was once charged something like $45 for 'triage' when I went to the emergency room with a cut thumb. The 'triage' consisted of my holding up my thumb with a bloody bandage and saying "I cut my thumb". I called to complain, and they said they'd 'take that charge off'. Most people don't even try...and those with insurance almost never worry about it. I could NOT remove the $90 or so charge for the 'instrument kit' which has needles, scissors, clamps...etc...made in Pakistan..which is **thrown away** afterwards, whether stuff in it is used or not. In my case, they used one needle to put 3 stitches in my thumb. No one could...or would ...tell me who actually profitted from that $90.") (Seems autoclaves are outmoded)

It seems the ONLY thing that will get real change done is lawmakers becoming more afraid of voters who WANT health care fixed than political contributors who do not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 07:56 PM

When the President of the United States and the various members of Congress are in the same ER rooms as the rest of the people, THEN you will see change.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 08:48 PM

In America there has , for FAR too long been a very vociferous group
who tell the rest of the country that ANY Socialist policy will be opening the door to Russian Style Totalitarian Communism . I fear it will be a LONG time before your 'average' American can be convinced that this is NOT the case .


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 09:59 PM

I'm not sure there IS an 'average' American, but they had ALL better get over the idea that calling something "socialism" is: 1)true, and 2)relevant. If it is fair & beneficial, labels are foolish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 06:39 AM

Well "the average American" managed to see through the lies about Obama and elect him, so you shouldn't write them off completely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 06:46 AM

I had my 6 month check-up with my GP yesterday. Today I had my yearly blood test, and got my medication for the next 2 months (3 different sorts of pills) and placed my request for renewal of same for 17th. September - total cost - Nothing. When in work I handed over about 25% of my gross pay in National Insurance and Income Tax, but for that I am getting all my health needs covered and when I reach 65 next year, I will get a pension too. I would never vote for a Government who tried to get rid of our National Health system, and really can't understand why some of our friends across the 'pond' see a National Health Service as something that's linked to communism or 'Liberal'. Insurance is there to make a profit plain and simple.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: lompocan
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:47 AM

Ernestine is back and in great form.

Lily Tomlin on Health "Insurance"


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:53 AM

Good for Ernestine! I do hope we wake up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 02:04 PM

"I would never vote for a Government who tried to get rid of our National Health system

Any party which said that was their intention would be unlikely to have any candidates elected. (Of course that doesn't stop stop politicians from trying to sneak through disguised policies heading in that direction after they'd been elected...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 05:56 PM

With all the bitching about English healthcare, I still find a number of older folkies returning to England from the States...just for the healthcare. Haven't noticed any migration the other way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 08:47 PM

I listened to Obama's press conference on health care last night. I thought he was pathetic. He accomplished nothing. The press corps tossed him "soft" questions and he responded with a lecture repeating the same old same old he has been saying for months.

I think his performance last night hurt rather than helped his cause.

Now we learn that even though he has "cried wolf" repeatedly if the Congress doesn't act NOW, the senate will adjourn for the summer break and there will be no vote on a Bill for the foreseeable future.

The more people learn about what is in the Bill, the less support it receives from the public.

Although Art Brooks took issue with me when I stated that the President and the Congress would be exempt from participation in the proposed health plan it is quite clear now that they would be. If it's not good enough for them, what evidence is there that it would be good for everyone else?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 10:22 PM

I have yet to see anything that says they will be exempt. They will have the same option available to them that I, and everyone else, will have...keep your current plan if you want to do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:13 PM

Has anyone but me seen the Charlie Rose TV show with Denis Cortese of the Mayo clinic and White House Office of Management and Budget Director Peter R. Orszag?

First, Charlie Rose is one of the best shows anywhere to learn some things about the issues, and second...Mr Cortese and Mr. Orszag did better than anyone I have heard in clarifying it all and cutting thru the crap. I cannot possibly summarize it all here, but if you can find a clip, or are willing to read a LOT, you will have a better idea of not only what is NEEDED, but what all the politics is about....


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 12:01 AM

I check Charlie Rose every week night, Bill D. Sometimes he has a celebrity of some sort whom I'm not really interested in but usually it is meaty stuff and I watch the whole thing. I also like it when he runs old, archived shows about a certain person or issue. I learn a lot from that man and the people he brings on. A very good thing about Charlie Rose is that he does his homework.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 01:45 PM

Of course people have the right to take out private medical insurance in Britain as well. And of course you can choose your NHS doctor too - here's an official information page explaining about that.

I think there seem to be some very peculiar ideas floating about in the USA. If stuff like that is what the "media blitz" mentioned above is saying, people should be aware they are being told lies by people with a financial interest in maintaining the status quo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 05:31 PM

Some years back, while I was working at a radio station, I slipped on a piece of cellophane that someone had torn off a cigarette pack and dropped on the floor. Buggered my knee really well. I had to go to the doctor and, among other things, have about 20 cc. of fluid drawn off my knee, Ace bandage, stay off the leg, all of that.

My doctor submitted the bill to Blue Cross (I'm no longer with them!). Blue Cross responded, saying, "We don't cover things like that." I asked the radio station's program director if the station had insurance coverage for accidents while working. He said yes, but he also said, "Here's what you do. Go out to the Blue Cross office, make sure there are customers in their waiting room, and raise hell. Be very loud. You'll get some action."

So I did. There were a half-dozen people in the waiting room. I went to the desk and gave the letter I got to the clerk. She looked at it and said, "That's right, Mr. Firth, we don't cover accidents of this sort." "Well," said I in my loudest newscaster's voice, "if you don't cover things like this, then what the hell am I paying premiums for!??"

She shushed me up and hustled me into a small office. A moment or two later a woman came in with the letter I had handed the clerk, very apologetic, and said, "I'm awfully sorry, Mr. Firth. There's been a clerical error. Of course we cover accidents of this nature. We'll mail payment to your doctor this afternoon."

She continued to apologize for the foolish mistake as I thanked her and departed.

The following day, when I say the program director, he said, "Clerical error?" "Yep," I said. "Standard ploy," he snorted, and added something about a bunch of cheap, chiseling bastards.

I have several other stories of similar incidents, but that gives the general idea.

####

On "This American Life" this morning (this will be discounted by some on this thread because it was over my local NPR affiliate), I heard the story of a woman who was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. She was quickly scheduled for a radical double mastectomy. A few days before the operation, she was told by her health insurance company (Blue Cross) that they would not cover her because she had a pre-existing condition. When asked what the pre-condition was, they responded that she'd had a skin condition that could possibly have been pre-cancerous.

"It was teenage acne, for Chrissake!!"

They still say they won't cover her.

There's no way she can pay for it on her own. The down payment (money up front to the hospital) for the operation necessary to save her life will cost $30,000, which she simply doesn't have. And at last report, neither Blue Cross nor the hospital will cut her any slack.

They interviewed a couple of insurance company executives and they were adamant. Sorry for the woman, but—company policy! Wouldn't budge an inch!

Hell is not hot enough!!

There is something radically wrong with the American health care "system." It's all about money.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 05:43 PM

That is a criminal waste of life. Come on you guys in the USA - what is so wrong with National Insurance? How can you let your politicians treat you in such a shoody way?
John Barden


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 05:45 PM

For anybody dependent on private insurance where "pre-existing conditions" are seen as disqualifying people from getting what they nave been paying for through premiums, it seems likely that things are liable to get pretty hairy.

Improved understanding of the human genome is likely to demonstrate that an enormous range of conditions needing urgent medical help are in a sense "pre-existing conditions".

Of course that could undermine the whole racket, since what's the point of paying for insurance that isn't going to come through when needed?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 05:45 PM

Re "rationing". I'm on Medicare (thank the Lord), and when I went in for cataract surgery last week, I was informed that, although the FDA has approved variable-focus implant lenses, Medicare wouldn't pay for them. SO..I opted to pay for the lenses and let Medicare handle the surgery costs. What's the problem?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 05:59 PM

Dick, what are 'variable focus lenses' as compared with standard?

What did the out of pocket difference run to?

Keep in mind that Medicare never pays 100% of a covered procedure. So it can run to real money.

I will be having cataract surgery soon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 07:10 PM

Art Brooks: Obama, in his multiple speeches, has declared, with a straight face mind you, that if you like your current plan, you can keep it. However, if the government establishes a plan of it's own, private insurance companies will not be able to compete with it. They will disappear. How can one keep his/her current plan if the plan no longer exists?

If GB and Canada have such great health plans, why do so many Brits and Canadians (lots of them) flock to the U.S. to get needed services they are told they will have to wait months to receive in their respective countries?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 08:05 PM

Doug, the current "government plan", which is called Federal Employees Health Benefit Program", is nothing but a set of contracts with private insurance companies. The business about a new, entirely government run, program is entirely speculation and does not appear in any of the proposed legislation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 08:31 PM

We've got private medical insurance here too, Doug. Of course it has to offer a good deal in order to compete with the NHS. If the American private insurance schemes aren't able to survive in competition with a government scheme, that's a sign they can't be offering a good enough deal. The good schemes would survive and get better.

I can't see why anyone would want to go to America to get quicker treatment, - if the are in a position to pay privately to get treatment more quickly, they can do it here too.
No doubt there are cases where the state-of-the-art in some particular field is better in the States (and there are cases where the same would apply in reverse). The rotten ones would go under, and good riddance.

But what would never happen here would be a case like that Don Firth just mentioned, about the lady denied cancer treatment because of the small print in her insurance. And there wouldn't be any waiting around to see a specialist either - here is a chart showing how local hospital trusts throughout England measure up to responding to a referral for suspected breast cancer.

You really do seem to have been sold some very strange notions about public and private health services in the UK, Doug.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 08:33 PM

We've got private medical insurance here too, Doug. Of course it has to offer a good deal in order to compete with the NHS. If the American private insurance schemes aren't able to survive in competition with a government scheme, that's a sign they can't be offering a good enough deal. The good schemes would survive and get better. The rotten ones would go under, and good riddance.

I can't see why anyone would want to go to America to get quicker treatment, - if the are in a position to pay privately to get treatment more quickly, they can do it here too.
No doubt there are cases where the state-of-the-art in some particular field is better in the States (and there are cases where the same would apply in reverse).

But what would never happen here would be a case like that Don Firth just mentioned, about the lady denied cancer treatment because of the small print in her insurance. And there wouldn't be any waiting around to see a specialist either - here is a chart showing how local hospital trusts throughout England measure up to responding to a referral for suspected breast cancer.

You really do seem to have been sold some very strange notions about public and private health services in the UK, Doug.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 08:40 PM

Doug, please define "so many"!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 09:03 PM

The only people who keep telling me about Brits and Canadians coming to the United States to get better or faster medical treatment are people who a) obviously know little about the British and Canadian (and French, and Swiss, and Norwegian, and Danish, and on and on ~ including Thai) national health systems. And who favor keepint the American "system" as it is ~ a cash cow for the insurance companies to the detriment of many patients.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 09:10 PM

I know of a few people who have, Don, but they had LOTS of money. One didn't want to wait five/six months for a new hip and the other was looking for a miracle cure for (I think) liver cancer. I don't begrudge either having the cash and going. But, that speaks to their respective wealths (is that a word?), and NOT the Canadian system of Universal Health Care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 10:40 PM

DougR- If government-run organizations are as bad as you say, and if there's a choice, why wouldn't private comapnies be able to compete?

Ebbie-"Variable focus" implants cost me $2500 each. Single focus implants would have been covered by Medicare. I chose to pay the extra because it offered me the possibility of doing away with eyeglasses, which I've been wearing for some 75 years. The point I was trying to make is that any insurance plan will have some exclusions---though not as many as you find by being uninsured. What we can hope for is that whatever plan develops, it will provide an at least acceptable level of care for everyone. IF i were 95 years old and needed a heart transplant, I'd think it unreasonable to expect a plan to provide it; if I could afford it I'd probably opt for it. Pretty simple.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 11:37 PM

Thanks, Dick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 02:39 PM

And, just to point it out, the system that DougR is currently enjoying---Medicare--is a sigle-payer nationalized healthcare system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 03:00 PM

Doug,

When Brits travel to the USA for treatment, it is almost always for one of two reasons.

1). It is a new treatment, developed in the USA, which has not yet crossed the pond, and therefor is only available (at great expense) in the US.

2.) It is a highly speculative procedure which British doctors do not recommend, but the patient (understandably) is inclined to clutch at straws where death is the alternative.

I don't think you will ever find a British citizen who believes that you system is half as good as ours overall.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 03:21 PM

One interesting aspect of the setting up of the NHS was that at the time it was fiercely opposed by the British Medical Association, the Professional Association for Doctors.

Now the BMA is about the strongest advocate of the NHS system - here is what it has to say these days about some of recent changes which have crept in over recent years:

"The BMA wants to see the NHS restored to a public service which is publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable. And according to a recent poll by GP newspaper, 75% of doctors also want to see a cap on commercialisation." (From a BMA website Look after our NHS")

I have no doubt that after a decent universally available health system has eventually been achieved in the USA, the very doctors who are currently ranked in opposition to it will in time become its strongest champions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 03:23 PM

One interesting aspect of the setting up of the NHS was that at the time it was fiercely opposed by the British Medical Association, the Professional Association for Doctors.

Now the BMA is about the strongest advocate of the NHS system - here is what it has to say these days about some of recent changes which have crept in over recent years:

"The BMA wants to see the NHS restored to a public service which is publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable. And according to a recent poll by GP newspaper, 75% of doctors also want to see a cap on commercialisation." (From a BMA website "Look after our NHS")

I have no doubt that after a decent universally available health system has eventually been achieved in the USA, the very doctors who are currently ranked in opposition to it will in time become its strongest champions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 03:44 PM

It is true that the Medicare program in the US is a single payer system but it allows private insurance companies to administer Medicare funded programs. I have already pointed out, using personal experience, how effective I believe that system to be. I have more confidence in a private insurance company administering such a program than the federal government. I worked for the federal government in Washington, D.C. for two years (National Endowment for the Arts)and did contract work for that agency for seven years so I had an opportunity to see the bureaucracy operate at close range. It ain't a pretty sight.

I was asked the reason profit oriented insurance companies could not compete with a government operated health care plan: it's because the government would not have the cost of "profit" built into it's operation. That would allow the government to operate more cheaply than the private companies can. "Cheap" does not always ensure quality of care or service.

Art Brooks: I'm beginning to wonder if we live in the same country. You are under the impression that the ultimate goal of HB 3200 is NOT to eventually create a government run health care program?

I'll see if I can find some figures about how many patients from Canada or Great Britain annually seek health care in the U. S.

A question: How many of you who have government run health care programs have ever experienced the kind of program we have in the United States?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 03:46 PM

We did in Canada, until Tommy Douglas came along. What it meant was that only people with money could afford health care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 03:48 PM

Let me help save you the looking, Doug.

http://cthealth.server101.com/myth_canadians'_use_of_healthcare_in_the_u_s_.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 03:50 PM

http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/21/3/19


Another, Doug.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 03:57 PM

Doug, is your government intending to do away with your present health coverage?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 04:06 PM

A well balanced article from The Denver Post:

http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_12523427

Sorry if that's posted twice. But then, it's worth reading twice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 04:28 PM

I recently heard about a man, an American, who went to Thailand for a hip replacement. The procedure was done by an experienced Thai doctor, complete with a full surgical staff, in a modern hospital, and included a six week period of recuperation and rehabilitation in what was very much like a resort. The whole thing cost a fraction of what it would have cost him in the United States.

And—when added to the air fare for he and his wife to and from Thailand, plus the cost of their whole stay there, it still came nowhere near what a hip replacement would cost in the U. S.

In fact, it turns out that global health tours are quite a thriving—and growing—business. State of the art medical and dental procedures done in clean, modern hospitals and clinics with the latest equipment, well trained and experienced doctors and staff, and much lower cost, almost always a fraction of what the same procedure would cost in the U. S.

So—who's going where to get what done?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 04:38 PM

Doug, at this point, there is no bill. None, nothing, nada, nicht. The House is working on reconciling 3 different versions, one of which is called HB 3200. The Senate has their own ideas. None of them say anything about requiring or encouraging anybody to drop the coverage they currently have, although if the ultimate "government plan" is cheaper and better, I expect they will do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: mg
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 04:41 PM

I don't see why we can't have a huge number of medical clinics right away..hire carpenters and plumbers to retrofit old properties, hire a NP, a medical records/office person and a janitor (which is going to be more and more important as epidemics catch on)...there are 3 + jobs in many communities...a storefront that is rescued from blight...preventive care and immunizations and routine care taken care of right from the start. It would be a single payer situation..

Phase in other stuff down the road or if this is totally successful keep expanding. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 04:50 PM

A good friend of mine has a bumper sticker that reads,

"Won't it be great when education has all the money it needs and the airforce has to hold bake sales to buy bombers?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 05:00 PM

That link GUEST gave there didn't work - this one does http://www.charlierose.com/

Whether it's worth following up I don't know, because I haven't watched it yet.

But I have read this article in today's Observer (London), about the testimony of a former health insurance executive who developed a conscience when he visited a free field hospital for poor people in Virginia, and resigned - and it's well worth reading :

Whistleblower tells of America's hidden nightmare for its sick poor

...People queued in long lines to have the most basic medical procedures carried out free of charge. Some had driven more than 200 miles from Georgia. Many were treated in the open air. Potter took pictures of patients lying on trolleys on rain-soaked pavements.

For Potter it was a dreadful realisation that healthcare in America had failed millions of poor, sick people and that he, and the industry he worked for, did not care about the human cost of their relentless search for profits. "It was over-powering. It was just more than I could possibly have imagined could be happening in America," he told the Observer.

Potter resigned shortly afterwards. Last month he testified in Congress, becoming one of the few industry executives to admit that what its critics say is true: healthcare insurance firms push up costs, buy politicians and refuse to pay out when many patients actually get sick. In chilling words he told a Senate committee: "I worked as a senior executive at health insurance companies and I saw how they confuse their customers and dump the sick: all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors."


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 05:18 PM

Excellent find, McG of H.

Will he name those who have been bought?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 05:22 PM

Have a look here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 05:48 PM

"...I don't see why we can't have a huge number of medical clinics right away..hire carpenters and plumbers..." ~ mg

Now there is some reasonable thinking. Congress approved 3.01 trillion dollar in the last year for bailouts and bullshit make-work jobs.

We dont't have to nationaluize heath care to start fixing things. Just start doing something positive now!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 06:15 PM

Since there aren't any more med schools or med school graduates than there were 30 years ago, who's going provide service at all those new clinics? Plumbers and carpenters?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 06:51 PM

Here's an example of the myths that some people in the US believe about the NHS. A friend couldn't believe that I, being over 50, would support "socialized medicine" in the US. He'd been told (he couldn't remember where he heard it) that people over 50 were considered 'too old' to benefit from medical treatment in Britain, because they felt the resources would be better allocated to younger people with a longer lifespan ahead of them. Since the fifty plus were over the hill anyway, the NHS didn't treat their ailments.

I don't know where these stories come from, but many of the uninformed believe them.

This type of misinformation has been reinforced time and again, over many years, by the very entities who are making out like bandits with the present setup.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 07:22 PM

Thank you, Peace, for providing those sources for information. However, the first one takes one to The Connecticut Coalition for Universal Health Care. One might wonder about the credibility of the information from such a group ...the objectivity that is.

The Denver Post article: Obama should hire that writer to help him sell his plan. I certainly didn't detect a great deal of objectivity in that article either. It was more a combination of facts and opinions. Example: Quoting from Rhonda Hackett's piece, "Those patients who do come to the US for care and pay out of the pocket are those who perceive their care to be more urgent than it likely is." That's a judgmental, don't you think? Or, this one, "Claims (in Canada) are submitted to a single provincial health care plan for disbursal, while in the US claims are submitted to a "multitude" of insurance providers." I don't know about anybody else, but my claims are only submitted to a single insurance company, not to a multitude of them.

The second website provided, "Health Affairs" offers a study over ten years old and included only three states where Canadians might come to in the states for some kind of health care. True, geographically, they are closest to Canada but some of our best health care offering institutions are in Arizona, Minnesota, California, and Texas. Also, the study points out the difficulty of nailing down the exact number of Canadians that receive health care while they are in the US perhaps for other things. The study also points out that more Canadians seek health care in Canada than come to the US for health care. DUH!

Artbrooks: I am well aware that there is no single Bill being considered. I have concentrated my remarks on the House Bill because I think it is the one that has the best chance of being passed because of the large majority of Democrats in the House.

I never said that any of the Bills required or encouraged anyone to "drop" coverage they currently have (though I do believe the primary effort is intended to establish a single payer plan in the US). My belief is that if a government plan is adopted, my current plan will not exist.

You point out that if the ultimate government plan is "cheaper" and "better" you expect most people to use the government plan. I have no doubt that it will be "cheaper." "Better", however, IMO is a far reach.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 07:45 PM

With reference to maryrrf's post about 'Over 50's ' not getting NHS treatment , my mother has just been fitted for an NHS hearing at NO COST , and she is Ninety Three !!

So Much for your Over 50's exclusion

And with reference to Don Firth's post , AGAIN I say WATCH 'Sicko'
There are Ex Insurance Company people who got sick (deliberate) of earning large bonuses for finding ways to NOT pay out on legitimate
insurance Claims


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 08:04 PM

So "Universal Health Care" is considered an extreme and controversial aim, Doug? Not in any other country outside the Third World. "Only in America" surely isn't meant to mean that kind of special quality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 08:33 PM

Doug, I DO understand your concern. I am aware that for the people who have good coverage, America's syatem is damned good. But for people who do NOT have your level of coverage, life inside the medical syatem just ain't so good.

As a human--who on occasion has compassion--it hurts somewhere deep inside to see a mother not be able to get the best health care available for her child. I was one of those kids. Back in the 1950s, I can recall my mom begging a doctor to come to where we lived because I was in agony. My right ear was infected and she had NO money to get me to a hospital, nor any money to pay even if we got there.

She made $22/week and our rent was $24/month. At month's end she had nothing left. As in the fridge was empty and the cupboards were bare. I saw that woman wear sneakers to work because she had had to get me school clothes. OK, another sob story. BUT, the doctor DID come. He asked about the swelling on my head. I'd been banging it against the wall to try and stop the pain of the ear.

He gave me an injection of what I now guess was antibiotics and left some pills with my mom. I do remember he asked for $5.00. I don't doubt that man is dead now, but he will live as long as I do, for sure. His kindness will never leave my memory.

Life HAS to be more than 'I've got mine and fuck the rest' because the day it isn't life will not be worth the cost. I am not suggesting YOU feel that way, Doug. I have read too many posts from you that speak against that type of thinking. So, that said, now what?

Your level of care will NOT drop. I think about James Herriot and his vet practice. Alf White was the kind of vet anyone could look up to. We need doctors like that, and a system that supports those doctors. Medicine should be about making people well, not making money. We have the priorities wrong. I hope it changes.

On another note, one of my children is studying neuro-science. She will become a doctor or scientist. IF she chooses medicine, I would be very proud of her should she choose to gross $100,000/year in a job that usually nets lots more than that. Money simply says what we are deemed to be worth. Volunteer work says what we ARE worth, imo.

Best wishes to you.

BM


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 08:38 PM

The HELL with it !! 300


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rowan
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 10:54 PM

A question: How many of you who have government run health care programs have ever experienced the kind of program we have in the United States?
DougR


Before Medibank was introduced in Oz, the system here was very similar to the US system and we paid through the nose for medical attention. There might have been some variation between state jurisdictions (I was in Victoria at the time) and there were lots of little mutual benefit societies that covered prescriptions and the occasional doctor's bill but it was a hodge podge with much similarity to what I have been reading in this thread about the US system.

Then we got Medibank and the only ones who complained were the diehards of the AMA (equivalent to Britain's BMA); and while McGrath is "correct: in his description of them as a "Professional Association", they behaved much the same as any other trade union. On the rare occasions I travel to the US I make sure I take out travel insurance to cover having to cope with the money grubbers but, in Oz, I wouldn't swap any part of the Oz system (with all its flaws) for any part of the US system that I've seen close up.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 06:32 AM

""A question: How many of you who have government run health care programs have ever experienced the kind of program we have in the United States?""

Doug, I am FAR more concerned with knowing your take on the millions of American poor who have never experienced the kind of program you have in the United States.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 06:42 AM

The degree of civilisation of any country may be quantitively measured, based on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens, the poor, the sick, and the old.

On THAT scale of measurement Doug, just where would YOU say the USA sits, when compared to the third world, and to Europe, Canada, and Australia?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 08:32 AM

DougR - I won't re-iterate my post of 23 Jul 09 - 06:46 AM, but hope you read it.
I now have a question for you. I am currently out of work, and at the age of 64 don't see much chance of working again before my retirement in June of next year. I need medication, check ups and blood tests, for which I pay absolutely nothing. How would I get this treatment in the USA for the same price?
John Barden


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:17 AM

I am so grateful that I live in the uk and my family and I are covered on the NHS for all our health care. I am steroid dependant asthmatic and I don't have to pay for any of my drugs or the medications that keep my pcos under control. Through the tax credits system here I'm entitled to free prescriptions, free dental and free eye exam and a voucher towards the cost of my glasses. Because I am eligable for the tax credits medical exemption certificate so is Paul.

I don't know how we would cope with prescriptions charges, medical bills from ambulances and A&E trips if we didn't have the NHS.

In January 2008 I found a lump in my breast. I went to the doctors who refered me to ST Barts hospital where I was seen within 2 weeks. I had a consultation, a scan and a needle biopsy all on the same day. I waited in the hospital for a couple of hours and I got the results the same day. The lump isn't cancer but I am being monitored by the same team. I have had 2 major operations on my legs, countless physiotherapy sessions, 2 high risk pregnancies and countless trips to A&E with my asthma sometimes being admitted to the ward, once to intensive care. All was covered by the NHS.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM

It seems as if Doug's worry is that if there was a health service in the hands of the Federal Government, it would be liable to be underfunded. That's not unrealistic, in the light of the tendency of governments, especially those of a "conservative" nature to cut back on any kind of public services as a way of funding tax cuts.

In the UK there is a limit on how far they can get away with that, so far as the NHS is concerned, because there is such strong public support for it, including the vast majority of those who vote Conservative, that this puts a limit on how far they get away with it, even if they wanted it - and of course the sensible ones among them would recognise that funding the NHS adequately is good politics.

But I suppose in the political climate of the USA there might be a real danger of this happening.

I'd have thought that there should be some way of building in some way of entrenching standards of medical provision so that it would be politically very hard to force them down. Basically it's a matter of human rights, though I can't see how there's currently in the US constitution to uphold those rights.

Unless and until that gets put right, the ultimate defence against the trimming of services that Doug evidently fears has to be the same as in the UK - the determination of service users to stop it happening, and their ability to use their vote accordingly.

However the same pressures which might serve at times to force down the quality of services, so as to enable tax cuts, surely exist in the private sector, where the profit motive would be the driving force, resulting in companies seeking to exclude people from receiving the help they have paid for, and doing so in a way that sounds pretty shocking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 08:32 PM

AS long as a private alternative exists, the public system will continue to function---if it did a poor job, people would drop out. As long as there is a public alternative, the private outfits wull have to provide a reason to exist---which would most likely consist of some deluxe services.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:50 PM

McGrath: I'm less concerned with underfunding than I am inept management. The Democrats can always find something to tax.

The Barden of England: If you lived in the United States and qualified for Social Security (as the majority of citizens aged 62 to 65 do)you would receive a monthly check from the government, the size of which, is based on the amount during your working life you paid into the program. A small amount is deducted from the check to pay for your medical care (Medicare). You would not be eligible for Medicare until age 65, but you can start drawing SS at age 62. The longer you wait to draw, the larger the amount of the check.

When you have Medicare, prescription drugs can be purchased at a very reasonable price (I pay $3 per prescription)I also am eligible as a veteran of the U. S. Army for Veteran's Administration medical care. I get some of my prescribed drugs from the VA at very reasonable cost.

(As an aside, does the British Government provide health care to it's veterans?)

I cannot offer a suggestion regarding what you might do if you lived in this country and you are under age 65. You would have no problem with emergency care, you can go to any emergency room and it would be against the law not to treat you. You would be billed for the services but many people do not pay the bill (which accounts in large measure for the increased cost of our health care). Those who can afford to pay are charged for services provided to those who cannot.

Peace: We are friends who just happen to have different views on this subject. I am not heartless. There were many years when my family and I did not have health care insurance. Fortunately, there came a time when we could afford it.

I would far prefer to have our government concentrate entirely on providing free health care to those who cannot afford health insurance than try to completely reorganize the current system and run the risk of screwing everyone else's health plan up. It would also be much less expensive than what Obama has in mind too.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 10:09 PM

Thank you very much, Doug. I feel the same way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 02:09 AM

As an aside, does the British Government provide health care to it's veterans?

There are two answers to this. The veterans are UK citizens. The UK provides health care to all its citizens, free at the point of use. So yes.

There is, however, continuining arguments about whether veterans need special care over and above the 'normal' NHS. An example would be do we need specialist hospitals which concentrate on battle-related wounds, PTSD, and so on. We used to have them, but we have less now [I think].


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 08:14 AM

Inept management is always a problem in any system, private or public. But I have never seen any indication that the system in the USA which excludes millions of its citizens, is any less liable to poor management than the universal health care systems which all other wealthy countries provide.

"You would have no problem with emergency care, you can go to any emergency room and it would be against the law not to treat you." How about when some poor person needs a heart transplant, a double mastectomy, or a hip replacement, and isn't covered by insurance - or in insured with a company that finds a way of weaseling its way out of accepting responsibility to cover such treatment?

"...those who cannot afford health insurance" is a category that potentially includes millions of people currently in good jobs with good insurance cover, who could find themselves losing all that overnight through no fault of their own.

Walking through life on a tightrope can't make for restful nights.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 06:37 PM

I would think that British veterans would be accorded medical care as they are in the U.S., McGrath, for the reasons you stated. My experience with the US VA has been excellent.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 07:37 PM

VA. Another good example of single-payer National healthcare. For some.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 07:56 PM

True, Dick. Through the years the VA has had it's ups and it's downs. For several years it had a terrible reputation. Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though, the Congress has been a lot more supportive and they appear to be operating pretty efficiently.

Maybe the VA should run Obama's new health care program!

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 10:34 AM

Mebbe so. I've heard (and I'd love to see some hard data) that the VA's costs per patient are less than three-quarters of those of private insurers, and these costs have been dropping every year, while private plans have been escalating. I think that the VA woul be an excellent model to study in developing a universal health care program. Though it may be too socialist for some.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,romanyman
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:35 AM

Having lived and worked in the US im afraid though my lifestyle was much better, i will stick to the UK for everything else, sadly the american dream has a massive price tag, be it health or whatever, sadly, from the years i was there, everyone i met was obsessed with wealth no matter what, the US tax system in my opinion was better than UK, that is fairer, so until as previously stated the mighty dollar stops ruling the brain of all, you will just have to put up, with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dwditty
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:35 AM

I do not much care if the healthcare delivery vehicle is public or private. I do believe that everyone should have access to whatever it is, at the same coverage and at the same cost. I work for employer A and pay $1100/month for crappy coverage (small company). A friend works for the state and pays $200 for far better coverage. Why? I think if anyone in any government position - local, state, county, federal, etc.) paid the same as every other citizen, you would see great changes in how things work. As far as I can tell, the only winners in the whole system are the insurance companies - get rid of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 01:42 PM

In answer to a question posed above about people who have experienced both systems, what we have here in the US and government run programs, Jack the Sailor has experienced both. He says that the system in Canada is just as good as that in the US in terms of quality and wait times, and far, far better at delivering care to the largest number of people.

Here in the US, he has experienced the best our system has to offer, and he has also experienced what it's like for people who don't have access to the system at all (because of pre-existing conditions). He is praying for the US to adopt a system like what they have in Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 01:46 PM

Health insurance costs for Federal employees (including Members of Congress) vary according to the plan chosen by the employee. For example, Blue Cross vs. Postal Workers, high vs. low option, self vs. self and family, fee-for-service vs. HMO, etc. The government pays 75% of a weighted average and the employee pays the rest. If an individual wants a plan with lower co-payments and deductibles and greater benefits in one area or another, he can get it - and pays more for it.

The cost of VA care per patient is something on the order of 80% of the national average, while (system-wide) the quality of care is well above the statistical average. However, since the VA isn't an insurance system, one cannot really compare its costs with that of "private insurers". This report, while a couple of years old, has all kinds of numbers for the data-obsessed. Having worked in the VA system for a number of years, I'd say that there are three core reasons for that lower cost: all VA physicians (and other staff) are salaried, so there is no charge-per-procedure; the VA aggressively negotiates when it buys pharmaceuticals and other medical items; and the nationally integrated electronic patient record system eliminates the need for maintaining, copying, filing and transmitting paper records (as well as improving the quality of care).


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 12:11 PM

This just in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 12:41 PM

One can use the VA as compared to private insurance to show that government run health care can be not only as good as private insurance, but even better than private insurance. I laughed pretty hard when Jon Stewart cornered Bill Crystol into admitting that our government run health care in the form of the VA is the best in the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 12:48 PM

One reason I really wish the USA would get its act together on universal health care is because I think you'd probably do it rather well, and that might well have the effect of improving what we've got.

But the main reason is the kind of distress caused to Mudcatters and other decent Americans who fall through the cracks - as demonstrated in post after post on this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 01:08 PM

I've just spent a month having radiotherapy in a Sheffield hospital for prostate cancer. The hospital was excellent, with superb staff and lots of helpful insight. I'm over 65 so all drug prescriptions are free. It's cost me nothing, and I had to wait no more than a couple of months, and I had some very high tech scans.
I've had to worry about nothing outside the disease itself, which with luck has now been beaten. Wake up, America, and get it done!!

Prior to the nationalisation of our health service in the '40s, the main objectors were the medical profession (just like the AMA). Very few of them would now like to go back...

Ray


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 02:45 PM

Those of you who can see nothing wrong with putting your health in the hands of private insurance companies should consider just what an insurance company IS.

When you insure you are saying "I bet I'm going to get ill". The insurance company says "I bet you don't", and takes the amount of your stake from you.

They are BOOKMAKERS in all but one detail.

They not only set the odds, THEY OWN THE TRACK AND THE BLOODY HORSES.

So, if you ever you see an insurance company go bankrupt, you can be certain THAT'S the one that has been dealing honestly.

Wise up and get a system that looks after people, not shareholders.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,stringsinger
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 03:43 PM

National Health Care works. In the States we call it Medicare.
In England, Canada, France, Sweden and other civilized countries,
there are no real complaints about it. Even US congresspeople and senators get it. The only ones who don't want it are the executives of the major insurance companies in the US. "Some will rob you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen"...W. Guthrie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 03:54 PM

The only ones who don't want it are the executives of the major insurance companies in the US.

Unfortunately that doesn't appear to be quite true, because it wouldn't matter if they were the only ones. But one way or another they have succeeded in persuading a lot of otherwise reasonable people to believe that the proposed changes means some kind of risk to their own health care. As PT Barnum put it "there's a sucker born every minute".


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 04:23 PM

Vast amounts of money being poured by the insurance companies into propaganda campaigns against national health (like the infamous "Harry and Louise" commercials at the beginning of the Clinton administration—which have been resurrected), raising the specter of "socialism" (a word not all that many people understand, but assume it's the worst of evils, failing to recognize that police and fire protection are "socialistic," paid for by taxes, as are the street and highway systems, and most public transportation) – and again, huge amounts of money spent to lobby in Washington (i.e., bribe Congresspersons).

Where do the insurance companies get all this money? Premiums paid by the insured, money that's supposed to go for paying for health care.

3% of the cost of Medicare goes to administrative costs, the rest to benefits. Over 20% of insurance company money (from premiums) goes to administrative costs. Then, there are other expenses, like advertising, propaganda, lobbying, and – executive salaries and stockholders.

Main goal of the insurance companies:    pay for health care? No. Maximize profits. And one of the ways they do that is to deny benefits whenever they can cobble up an excuse to do so (and there are some real horror stories there!).

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 04:50 PM

A quote from my friend Bruce's post: "A good friend of mine has a bumper sticker that reads,
"Won't it be great when education has all the money it needs and the airforce has to hold bake sales to buy bombers?"

While I share his friends view of bombers the RCAF has few of them. Living on an an Atlantic island I have tremendous respect for the airforce's search and rescue division. These SARTECHS often jump from planes and choppers into the freezing Atlantic (or Pacific or Arctic) Ocean to rescue others in distress. They are my heros! Their equipment is often less than state of the art and the planes that they fly would be antiques if they were autos. It is there that money needs to be spent rather than on weapons of war. My fear is that they may have to hold a bake sale as well!
Bruce, I share your history of growing up poor, and when medicare was introduced in Canada doctors protested but soon realized that it worked in their favour because there would be no more on-collected bills, at least for those with the compassion to treat first and bill later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 07:02 PM

Well, the difference here in the U. S., Sandy, is that in their zeal to cater to big business, a distressing number of our senators and congressmen do things like refusing to cancel military contracts for such things as the F-22 fighter plane, designed for a Cold War situation and essentially useless for the kind of conflicts we find ourselves in now and anticipate possibly finding ourselves in the future--and which the Pentagon neither needs nor wants--in order to keep great wads of the military budget flowing into businesses in their home districts.

In the meantime, 47 million Americans are going without health insurance because they can't afford the premiums.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 12:26 PM

"...(like the infamous "Harry and Louise" commercials at the beginning of the Clinton administration—which have been resurrected), " Don Firth

This time, though, Don, Harry and Louise are working for the other side.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,DougR
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 12:28 PM

My wife and I are recovering from the effects of record extremities of Arizona heat in Durango, Colorado. What a relief.

Back to the subject, however. Much has been made of the number 47 million who are without health care in the U.S. I don't believe, however, anyone on this thread has pointed out that several million (12 to 20 million, no one knows for sure) are not citizens of the United States, another few million are young people who give little thought to getting sick and would rather spend their money on the fun things in life, instead of health insurance. The balance want health insurance but cannot afford it. Estimates of the number I have heard that make up the latter, are around 12 million.

If the congress were to concentrate on the 12 million rather than run the risk of screwing up everybody else's program, perhaps there would be more enthusiasm for the Bills that now linger in Congress.

Support for a federal single payer program decreases daily from the voting public as people learn more about the proposed programs.

After members of Congress, who have now returned home to face their constituents, I believe there will even less support for a single player plan in the U.S.

We will likely get some kind of plan, but it won't be the one Obama has been trying to sell.
DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 12:53 PM

Education in North America went that way, too, Doug. Hell, we followed the example of England around about the same time as the NZ government brought in the "Collaborative business model of education". It was fast making education a disater in those places and so, in our infinite wisdom, WE followed in their footsteps hoping to make the corrections to errors they'd made. And we did. We helped sustain a system that was based on a flawed premise. Education should NOT be a business. In my opinion, neither should health care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 01:21 PM

So that's only 35 million people living in the United States without any kind of helath cover. So that's all right. If they get sick there is of course no danger that they'll pass any infections on to other Americans.

What I don't understand is where you get the idea that your own health care is threatened by having everybody else getting health care, Doug. It just doesn't work like that here, and it doesn't work like that naywhere else. The USA is completely unique anong rich countries in not having universal health care. Conservative governments, liberal goverenments, you name it, everyone else has it. Health care for all means that everyone benefits in the long run.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 01:23 PM

Obama's proposed plan is not a single payer plan, and neither is the House Resolution that has just passed out of committee.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Penny S.
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 03:42 PM

The second item in this broadcast is about health care in the States. A sort of revivalist medicine show, apparently, and serving neither immigrants nor the especially young.

Don't anyone ever say another word about British teeth.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Penny S.
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 03:55 PM

Nuts, I thought I had added the link.

Americana

I'll get it right some day


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 05:34 PM

The reality of the system in the US is that people die, because they cannot get the medical care they need. My daughter died!

Why anyone "in the self-professed greatest nation on earth" is prepared to let that happen to their fellow citizens is beyond me.

But then I think about Katrina and the devastation of New Orleans which still continues and I realise the apathy in the US is soul numbing.

People need to do more than say what they think with that occasional vote. They need to be activists and advocate for what is right and fair.

McGrath is right. We will never see American's "take to the streets" for this cause, because the ones who could make a difference the ones with the time, money and connections are comfortable with where they are and what they have.

The poor sod working 2 to 3 jobs per week just to keep roof and food for his/her family can't take to the streets. They don't have the bloody time. They can't miss work.

God, Why don't people get it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 05:35 PM

If you can handle it, this interview (it runs about 42 minutes) will give you a good picture of the American health care system, why it's the way it is, and why it will be a real battle to change it.

The interview is with a health insurance company insider who had a "road to Damascus" experience, began to realize what is really going on, and could no longer support the industry he was working for and live with himself. This man knows—from the inside—what he's talking about. Facts and figures.

Take the time to watch it. Please!

CLICKY.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 05:45 PM

Or you can read the interview. The text can be found lower down on the page.

I note that one of the things that spurred Potter's decision was reading a favorite quote of mine. From Dante's Inferno:    "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, maintain neutrality."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM

Brilliant! Thank you Don.

I might just sleep better tonight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 06:12 PM

Pedantic drift: I suspect that ""The darkest places in hell" is more likely to be closer to what Dante would have said, since the lowest circles of his Hell are cold rather than hot.

Anyone got a source for where in the Inferno this remark comes?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 06:21 PM

Actually, since it's a translation from Tuscan dialect, the actual words tend to vary with the translator. But the idea is certainly clear enough.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 10:25 PM

"...health insurance company insider who had a "road to Damascus" experience,..."


                  Strangely enough, I was recently treated by an orthopedic sergeon who earned his medical degree in Damascus. A very pleasant young man--very competent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 11:31 PM

Health care for all means that everyone benefits in the long run.

Except Douggie, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 02:55 AM

DougR - We have Private Insurance for health are here in the UK too, and always have done. The National Health system has not caused any collapse in the standard that is offered by private health insurance, it is quite rightly there for those who can afford it, however, the National Health Service covers all at point of need free of charge - no need to claim from an insurance company. Your statement 'If the congress were to concentrate on the 12 million rather than run the risk of screwing up everybody else's program' confuses me somewhat. In what way would it screw up your insurance cover? The Private Health cover here in the UK is not there to subsidise the National Health Service - it doesn't, so how would your cover be affected?
John Barden


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 02:59 AM

I certainly hope we can achieve it soon. My preferences are for the magic wand preferably, but if that doesn't work, a combination of holding things in place that work fairly well now, a huge and rapid expansion of public health clinics and hospitals, mandatory insurance sliding scale of course, some fees collected for service, sliding scale, some increased taxation if necessary, which it will be.

Everyone who can not flat out pay top dollar for private care should expect some sacrifice...and some evaluation if all their care is necessary..like the people who do use doctor visits to get attention, relieve loneliness etc. I don't know what percentage that is..but I bet it is somewhat higher than necessary..not that their needs should not be met, but they could be met by a manicurist sometimes rather than a doctor, or a CNA perhaps. There could be some grouped educational visits...heart attack recovery patients meet Wednesday at 2...celiac disease at 1..taught by nurse educators...

And I think we should be screening people..like those lifeline screens that catch stuff early. Of course you can catch more than you can treat perhaps..but they can scan people for $119 and look at several risk factors in a church parking lot..why would it take a hosptial thousands to do one screenign? I know overhead, depreciation etc...but still, it can be done cheaper.

Immunizations...do it like in the army..line up..someone shoots you on one side and someone on the other..you could get through a bunch of school kids that way..

The doctor who diagnoses you and prescribes for you does not have to be the one to patiently answer questions for you. That again could be done in a group setting with a nurse educator.

And start training additional nurses and other medical people right now..free ride for certain income levels and agreement to serve in certain areas. No excuse. There is all sorts of educational money..target it to where it is needed.

And speaking of educational reform...Maine years ago turned out CNAs in high school..why doesn't every high school do that? Too stunned I know. Get kids on a health profession TRACK oh did she say TRACK yes she did...and they should be shovel ready on graduation ready to go to at least a 2 year program. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 08:04 AM

The National Health system has not caused any collapse in the standard that is offered by private health insurance... so how would your cover[age] be affected?

Of course it wouldn't be affected- but history amply proves that the last thing you want do is attempt to change Douggie's mind with facts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 11:12 AM

mg, some good ideas, but I would find it hard to ever trust a nurse or PA again. Twice now they have missed a diagnosis of pneumonia, delaying treatment and causing a long recovery time. I also think you have to be very careful about passing off those who may need emotional support. A doctor needs to be a good listener and can sometimes suss out much of what it causing a person's loneliness/etc. that a manicurist etc. might miss, I mean a physical problem etc.

We have health insurance. I would gladly give it up for something like the government has in the UK. The other day I was calling for oxygen prices. The ONLY PPO (preferred provider - meaning they have a contract with the insurance co. and accept negotiated prices) will not just supply me with bottles of O2. I have to rent a concentrator from them, too, at partial expense to me. I own my own concentrator; I told them that was stupid, no thanks. The whole health care thing in this country is so stupid, sad, wasteful, sick, and a disgrace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 11:17 AM

"Everyone" who woudl benefit most certainly includes Dougie. Better health care, or at any rate just as good as he's getting, but also no more nagging discomfort about the Mudcatters who have reported here about how they've been let down by the existing "system", let alone all the other people with similar experiences who aren't Mudcatters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, goohowevd? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 12:03 PM

McGrath: I did not write that I rejoiced that a few million (your 35 million figure is still a bit high IMO)US citizens are without health care! I wish every citizen of the US could have super health care as our presidents enjoy and members of Congress enjoy.

I believe, however that the result of government take-over of health care would result in reduction in the quality of care and lead to medical rationing, particularly for old folks like me.

Perhaps the British government operates more efficiently than I perceive that our government does (the fiasco that resulted from the "Cash for Clunkers" legislation that occurred this weekend is an excellent example of what I mean, but THAT'S another story)and may account for the practically unanimous opinion on this forum that you Brits have the perfect health care system.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 12:19 PM

The Barden of England: If the federal government establishes a health program in competition with the 1200 or so private insurance companies in the US, it will drive those companies out of business. How? By providing health care at Walmart or COSTCO prices. The private companies will not be able to compete with a congress that spends money like we have it. You may well ask, "What's wrong with that?"

Low cost does not necessarily equate to quality of care.

It is ironic that our president is preaching that the government should enter the fray as a provider to provide competition, when we already have over 1200 insurance companies in this country competing for consumers.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 12:21 PM

We already have medical rationing. Well over ten thousand people die each year in the US because of lack of access to health care and because of insurance companies denying needed care to their customers. That's the definition of medical rationing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 12:23 PM

If the private insurance companies in the UK weren't driven out of business when access to medical care became FREE to everyone, there is absolutely no reason whatever to expect that the private insurance companies in the US will be driven out of business if medical care in the US becomes available for Walmart prices. None whatever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 01:14 PM

Doug-
The Post Office hasn't driven FedEx nor UPS out of business.
Public Schools haven't driven private schools out of business
Even the US Army hasn't driven Blackwater out of business.
What's so damn fragile about Health Insurance companies?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 01:17 PM

IF healthcare is provided at prices comparable to those at Costco, and it is equal or superior in quality to that which insured individuals currently have, than I don't personally see anything particularly wrong with companies that have been charging more for less going out of business. Certainly, there will be some job loss at the commercial insurance companies - think of all of those poor individuals whose jobs are to think of ways to deny benefits interpret company policies and procedures.

By the way, Members of Congress have exactly the same health insurance plans as all other Federal government employees, and they pay exactly the same amount for it. And it isn't cheap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 03:38 PM

Carol C: Your definition of health care "rationing" is a bit off base. "Rationing" is withholding needed health care because of cost and age.

Artbrooks: Perhaps you are right provided the health care provided by a government plan IS "equal" or "superior" to the care we have now. However, a question: if such a plan is "equal" or "superior" why wouldn't government employees, including the president and members of congress, opt out of the excellent plan you describe and join us "common" folks in the plan Obama is trying to shove down our throats.

The Rassmussen Poll out today reports that 48% of Americans believe our current health care is good. Only 19% declared that they thought it was poor.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 03:54 PM

We definitely have rationing based on that definition. The insurance companies regularly deny needed care to those they insure in order to bolster their bottom line. They don't make money by providing care. They make money by denying care, and they do that quite regularly, resulting in the deaths of many thousands of people each year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 04:05 PM

Dick Greenhaus: Sorry, Dick, I didn't address your questions to me.

The Post Office has enough problems without trying to put either Fed Express or UPS out of business. If the Postal Service had been operated more efficiently,there would be no Fed Express or UPS today.

Ditto, the public school system.

Blackwater? Last I heard Blackwater (operating under a different name now) is still in business. Why shouldn't it be? It's a privately operated business and they evidently offer a needed service some folks are willing to pay good money for. It's a question of supply and demand.

Health Insurance companies in the US are not perfect but they MUST supply good services or they will go out of business. Ever heard of a government agency going out of business for the same reason?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 04:15 PM

Insurance companies don't have to provide good services to stay in business. All they have to do is provide needed services, even if they do it very badly, and be the only game in town. Which is the situation we have today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 04:25 PM

The Rassmussen Poll out today reports that 48% of Americans believe our current health care is good. Only 19% declared that they thought it was poor.

Who is actually being surveyed? Many poor cannot afford home phone. Many work long and unsocial hours.

Who was surveyed?

Rasmussen And Gallup: Skewing Obama's Approval?

One can make statistics say anything one wants.

snips from the Washington Independent

The question, the result, and the carnival barker spin-all are trademarks of Rasmussen Reports, a pollster that has become ubiquitous in the conversation of Republicans and conservative pundits. It is not a partisan polling firm, and it is not hired to ask partisan questions the way that, for example, John Zogby was hired to test the mocking anti-Obama questions of a conservative radio host. Rasmussen is influential because its carefully crafted questions that produce answers that conservatives like — 59 percent of voters agreeing with Ronald Reagan's view of big government, a 10-point plurality of voters trusting their economic judgment over President Obama's — are bolstered by highly accurate campaign polling. The result is that polls with extremely favorable numbers for Republican stances leap into the public arena every week, quickly becoming accepted wisdom.

.....Scott Rasmussen is well aware of how Republicans use his polling to make their arguments. "Republicans right now are citing our polls more than Democrats because it's in their interest to do so," he said on Monday. "I would not consider myself a political conservative — that implies an alignment with Washington politics that I don't think I have."
But in the early days of his polling firm, when it was named Rasmussen Research, Rasmussen balanced a cold analysis of politics and consumer opinion with advocacy for some conservative views.

.....Since then, Rasmussen's business has boomed, aided in no small part by those "newspaper" questions that are blasted out to reporters and frequently buck up the Republican spin of the week.

Rasmussen. The only poll that matters - the whole story here


hmmmm! Not a pollster I would trust.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 04:26 PM

Doug--
"It's a privately operated business and they evidently offer a needed service some folks are willing to pay good money for. It's a question of supply and demand."

That's the whole point. If private insurance offer a needed service some folks are willing to pay good money for" they'll survive. And the folks that don't have or are not willing to pay the money, a National service, like the "inefficient" Post Office will have to suffice. A helluva lot better than the nothing that millions are living with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 04:36 PM

Personally, I think the Post Office does a great job. I can't imagine having to rely on UPS or FedEx for sending letters. The cost would be prohibitive, and the wait time for delivery is not all that different.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 04:50 PM

"Everyone" who would benefit most certainly includes Dougie

Not in Douggies alternative world, McGrath.

"Remember that perception is not reality, that opinion, no matter how widely held, is not fact... [The United States] moved into an era in which stupidity was celebrated if it managed to sell itself well, if it succeeded, if it made people money. That is "glorifying ignorance". We moved into an era in which the reflexive instincts of the Gut were celebrated at the expense of reasoned, informed opinion. To this day, we have a political party�the Republicans�who, because it embraced a "movement of Conservatism" that celebrated anti-intellectualism is now incapable of conducting itself in any other way. That has profound political and cultural consequences, and the truly foul part about it was that so many people engaged in it knowing full well they were peddling poison."

Charles P. Pierce's Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free (Doubleday, 2009) is illuminating regarding a certain mindset.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 04:52 PM

"If the federal government establishes a health program in competition with the 1200 or so private insurance companies in the US, it will drive those companies out of business."
Could not that concern be addressed with "GOOD RIDDANCE"?
DougR, we in countries having universal healthcare provided for all have tried to address your concerns but you seem determined to argue for companies that are fleecing both you and your fellow countrymen.
There is none so blind as those who refuse to see!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 04:53 PM

Whether or not most people in the US are satisfied with their current health care (and even if we accept the figures from the Rasmussen poll, 48 percent is not a majority - it would be more accurate to say that 52 percent of those surveyed do not believe our current health care is good), is totally irrelevant, since those who do like the coverage they have will eventually lose it if Obama's health care proposals fail.

That interview with the insurance industry insider was very enlightening. He said (and current trends back him up on this) that the industry is moving in the direction of forcing everyone to accept coverage that is more like the HSA in that they force the insured to shoulder a much larger percentage of the financial burden of their insurance and their care.

So those who think they can just sit back and be happy with the coverage they have and not worry about anything are mistaken. In the not too distant future, they're going to be in the same boat as those of us who currently cannot afford adequate insurance/health care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 04:58 PM

If the Postal Service had been operated more efficiently, there would be no Fed Express or UPS today. Ditto, the public school system.

This, aside from being arrant nonsense, displays a profound profound ignorance of the history of the U.S. Postal System, of the history and development of private delivery firms like UPS (some of which pre-dated the establishment of the U.S. Post office)and most certainly of the history of education - both public and private - in the U.S.

Business as usual for Doug.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 05:10 PM

I'd be willing to bet money the poster criticizing the Postal Service doesn't use any of the private carriers to send their letters and other mail, either (non-parcel mail). I bet that person relies on the US Postal Service to deliver their mail.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 05:11 PM

And I'm guessing that poster also benefits from government run health care in the form of Medicare.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 05:14 PM

Not just Britain, Doug. Every wealthy or near wealthy country in the world, and a good few poor countries, have managed to organise a system of universal health care. Various ways of doing it, but the bottom lien is that they manage to do it. You appear to think that the USA is uniquely incapable of doing that.

"No we can't.."

I'm not clear if the assumption is that the US government is intrinsically inefficient in a way that other countries' governments aren't, or that there is an inevitable pressure to reduce spending on public services to keep taxes lower.

I think you underestimate your country, Doug.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 05:30 PM

Not at all, McGrath.

Our boy's simply a died-in-the-wool Ronnie Reagan Ayn Rand Franklin Delano Roosevelt hating anti-tax "Government Is The Enemy" and "Government Is The Problem Not The Solution" zealot.

No reality need apply.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 05:48 PM

I've noticed, though, that a lot of people with that mindset have benefited greatly from holding government jobs and receiving government benefits and services, like our anti-government friend here in this thread. Which kind of makes them socialists, if we accept their definition of "socialism".


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 05:59 PM

Yes, since Ronald Reagan destroyed America government workers have fared better than anyone else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 06:02 PM

"If the Postal Service had been operated more efficiently,there would be no Fed Express or UPS today."

To echo Carol C and Greg F.....nonsense!

The Postal Service is required to do stuff that UPS is not. UPS etc. do ONLY that which turns a profit. With Email taking the place of *gasp* writing letters, most 'mail' is advertising circulars and bills & bill payments, and even those are being done more & more online.

Many things...from AMTRAC to USPS will face decisions as to the amount of subsidy they get. NO easy answers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rowan
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 06:14 PM

Which kind of makes them socialists, if we accept their definition of "socialism".

"Socialise the losses and privatise the profits."

Quite a common practice.

Cheers, Rowan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 06:41 PM

Which kind of makes them socialists, if we accept their definition of "socialism".

No, Carol, it makes them jackasses. And they don't HAVE a coherent definition of "socialism".


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 06:52 PM

Greg F: You know the history of the U.S. Postal service? I'm impressed!

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 07:04 PM

Does anyone have any figures for how much of the money spent on private heath care insurance in the States gets through to the people actually providing the health care?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 07:08 PM

Per capita, Canada spends half on health care what the US does. The services are about equal. In a word, the US spends too much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 07:12 PM

In that interview linked to above, a figure of around 85 percent was quoted as actually going to provide health care, with the rest going to lobbyists, marketing, CEO salaries, executive salaries and percs, profits (obscenely high and getting higher all the time), and gold rimmed plates on the company jets.

So fifteen percent of all of that money they're raking in is not going to people who are dying in the thousands every year, but rather to expenses that are non-existent in government run health care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 07:26 PM

DougR asked: "if such a plan is "equal" or "superior" why wouldn't government employees, including the president and members of congress, opt out of the excellent plan you describe and join us "common" folks in the plan Obama is trying to shove down our throats". Perhaps they will - they will probably have that choice - but I think it is rather unrealistic to expect them, or anyone else, to elect to do so before the plan, its cost and its benefits are defined. As of right now, there are 3 separate House plans, which are yet to be reconciled, and there is no final Senate plan. Once each has a plan, and the full House and Senate vote on them, they must go through a set of negotiations. Then, Congress must vote again on whatever compromise is reached. Obama is not trying to shove anything down anyone's throat - the entire process is completely out of his hands, as it should be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 07:59 PM

Artbrooks: at a recent Town Hall (I forget in which state)Obama was asked if he and Congress would be participating in the government plan if one is adopted.

He refused to answer the question and was clearly nonplussed.

Simple question. Shouldn't have been too difficult for a guy like Obama to answer.

I think, Art, that you must be the only person who has not heard that the Congress and the Executive branch, probably the legislative branch too, are exempt from the proposed program. I would certainly be less apprehinsive If I knew the folks proposing such a program would be required to participate. And why is it not possible for that decision to be made before legislation is passed? That's what is expected of the American people?

McGrath: I doubt anyone on this forum can answer your question accurately. Most here will probably reply that the companies make sinfully excessive profits. What is excessive? Well, it's in the eye of the beholder, I guess. However, if a company charges so much more for it's services than a competitor, that company will not be in business very long (unless it's G.M. (Government Motors).

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 08:04 PM

No one will be required to participate in the public option. The public option will be entirely optional.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: bobad
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 08:58 PM

Not only is the per capita cost in Canada one half of what it is in the US but outcomes, as measured by life span and infant mortality, are better in Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 09:07 PM

In health care, profits always take money away from needed care. All of the insurance companies are charging excessive premiums, which means that none of them will go out of business for doing so, and all of them are denying care in order to make larger profits. They have the US consumer over a barrel, and that's where the insurance companies would like to keep them. Denying care to their customers so that they can make larger profits is always obscene, especially when people die as a result, as many thousands are now doing every year. The insurance companies are making very large profits at the expense of the people they insure. They are rationing care so they can make larger profits. That means we have rationed care in this country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 09:11 PM

I find it real interesting that the same "haters" who attended Palin rallies and called for Obama to be hanged are now disrupting town meetings all accross the nation...

When we leftest did this in the 60's the force of the entire governemnt, including the military, the FBI, and every police agency in the country was called up to try to stop us...

Yet the fringe right lunies get a free pass to disrupt these meetings and shout down elected representatives???

Go figure???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 09:21 PM

Greg F: You know the history of the U.S. Postal service? I'm impressed!

You shouldn't be. Lots of folks do- historians, numismatists, & just regular folks who are interested in such things as how the U.S. developed as a country.

You shouldn't expect everyone to be as ignorant as you are, Douggie-boy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 09:50 PM

CarolC,
There have been many times in the past that we may not have agreed but on this you're spot on!
                   Sandy


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 10:09 PM

DougR, perhaps you could tell me exactly where, in either one of the versions of the House bill being considered or in any of the provisions of the Senate's proposed legislation, it says that Congress, the President, or any employee of any federal agency (those employees make up the "Executive Branch") are exempt, excluded, omitted, or anything else. Please, tell me. I admit that I've only read the original legislation a couple of times, and something might have snuck in behind my back. However, I suspect that this particular thing is a figment of the imagination of certain TV commentators and bloggers. However, I am entirely willing to be corrected. So - give me a citation to the legislation rather than some BS about my being the only person in the world who doesn't know this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 07:06 AM

"Obama was asked if he and Congress would be participating in the government plan if one is adopted. He refused to answer the question and was clearly nonplussed"

I'm puzzled by what Doug is on about there, and am not surpised if Obama was nonplussed by the questrion, because it doesn't really make too much sense.

Surely the "government plan" is that a new government backed insurance agency would be set up, in parallel with existing insurance agencies, including the one that operates for members of Congreess, and everyone would have the option of sticking with their existing arrangements or sawitching.

That is the "government plan", and by definition everyone takes part in it, whether they switch or not.
...............

As for my question about insurance, Mr Potter appears to have answered it (85%), and he would appear to be in a position to know. The thing is, the amount spent per head on health in America is much higher than elsewhere, and I was curious to know how far that reflected more being actually spent on providing the health care, and how much was taken by the insurance companies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 07:48 AM

I'm puzzled by what Doug is on about...

That situation prevails universally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 11:41 AM

From the Washington POST:

Lifting A Burden Of Worry

By Kathleen Sebelius
Tuesday, August 4, 2009

As the political debate about how to pay for and pass health reform grows louder and more contentious, we shouldn't lose sight of the reason we're even having this conversation: We have a huge, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve the lives of all Americans, insured and uninsured alike.

Health insurance is fundamentally about peace of mind. If you have good insurance, you don't have to worry about an accident or sudden illness. You know that whatever happens, you and your family will be taken care of.

We can't eliminate all disease. But through health reform, we can give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance so that if they do get sick, they have the best chance possible of getting better without bankrupting their families.

The current health-care system gives insurance companies all the power. They get to pick and choose who gets a policy. They can deny coverage because of a preexisting condition. They can offer coverage only at exorbitant rates -- or offer coverage so thin that it's no coverage at all. Americans are left to worry about whether they'll get laid off and lose their insurance or wake up from surgery with a $10,000 bill because they didn't read the fine print on their policy.

By giving Americans choices, health reform will switch the roles. Americans will get peace of mind and insurance companies will start getting nervous. They will know that if they don't deliver a great value, their customers will flee. So they will start offering better coverage.

Reform will close the gaps in our current system. When my two sons graduated from college, I had mixed feelings. I was incredibly proud of their accomplishments, but I dreaded the fact that they would lose their health insurance when they left school. The peace of mind that comes with health reform means college graduations can go back to being the celebrations they are supposed to be.

Consider the entrepreneur sitting at her desk, dreaming about her idea for a new business. Right now, many entrepreneurs are paralyzed by our fractured health insurance system. They know that if they leave their job, they might not be able to get insurance for their families. So they, and their innovations, stay put. Health reform means unleashing America's entrepreneurs to chase their big ideas.

Without reform, we will miss out on these benefits. And our health-care system will still be a fiscal time bomb. Recent estimates indicate that by 2040, health-care costs will eat up 34 percent of our gross domestic product. By comparison, the entire federal budget today is just 20 percent of our GDP. By acting now, we have the chance to slow health-care costs in a way that doesn't slash benefits or reduce care. Instead, we can make investments in prevention, wellness and health information technology that will allow the health-care system to deliver incredible results at prices we can all afford. Imagine a system in which your doctor spends as much time trying to keep you healthy as treating you when you're sick, in which you and your doctor have all the information you need to choose the treatments that work best for you, in which you never have to fill out the same paperwork twice. Health reform is the first step in that direction.

President Obama and I are working closely with Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate and health-care experts to make sure we get the details of health reform right. But we can't let the details distract us from the huge benefits that reform will bring. The urgency behind reform has nothing to do with the schedule of Congress and everything to do with the needs of the American people.

Nor should we let ourselves be distracted by attacks that try to use the complexity of health reform to freeze Americans in inaction. We've learned over the past 20 years that "socialized medicine" and "government-run health care" are code words for "don't change anything." With some insurers raising premiums by more than 25 percent and 14,000 people losing their health insurance every day, Americans want to hear something more from their leaders than "wait and see" and "more of the same." People have enough to worry about these days. Americans deserve the peace of mind that only health-care reform can provide.

The writer is secretary of health and human services.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 12:21 PM

Artbrooks: I have skim read only the 1000 page bill in the House. I cannot refer you to any portion of it that addresses choice of health care plans by government employees. You are correct regarding my source of information television news shows.

I certainly admire your fortitude for reading the legislation. Were I to read it, I doubt I would understand much of it because I am not a lawyer ...I assume you are, and bow to your knowledge of the subject.

Bobert: It's a giant right wing conspiracy and I have heard that it was organized and put in place by Greg F.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 01:24 PM

Wait a minute here, Doug!

". . . the fiasco that resulted from the "Cash for Clunkers" legislation that occurred this weekend is an excellent example of what I mean. . . ."

You almost slid that by me. "Fiasco," you say? Quite the contrary. The program has been a spectacular success. Many people have taken advantage of the program to replace their gas-guzzling smog belchers with smaller, more efficient and economical automobiles—to the extent that the program is running out of money, it's that popular! There are moves afoot to re-up the program

AND—this should please any conservative—it has been a badly needed stimulus to car sales in the United States, which, prior to the initiation of the program, was in the Dumpster.

"Fiasco?" Which Fox News Service commentator did you get that from?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 02:04 PM

I think they're saying its a fiasco because it's been so popular it ran out of money. Now that's a stunning example of double-speak.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 02:16 PM

"I cannot refer you to any portion of it that addresses choice of health care plans by government employees."

Why should there be any such portion addressing "choice of health care plans by government employees" any more than for any other group pf employees?

Incidentally, BUPA, the major provider of health insurance in the private sector in the UK, is a non-profit organisation (the initals stand for the British United Provident Association. "...any profit they make is re-invested in better health and care services." Is the same true of the insirance ppoviders in the USA?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 02:21 PM

LOL!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: bobad
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 02:34 PM

Executive Salaries of Insurance Companies
Jul 27, 2009 — KZeese

NAME, TITLE, COMPANY ANNUAL COMPENSATION

H. Edward Hanway, Chair/CEO, Cigna Corp., $30.16 million

Ronald A. Williams, Chair/CEO, Aetna Inc., $23,045,834 (2007)

David B. Snow, Jr, Chair/CEO, Medco Health, $21.76 million

Dale B. Wolf, CEO, Coventry Health Care, $20.86 million

Michael B. MCallister, CEO, Humana Inc., $20.06 million

Jay M. Gellert, President/CEO, Health Net, $16.65 million

Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO, UnitedHealth Group, $13,164,529 (2007)

Raymond McCaskey, CEO, Health Care Service Corp., (Blue Cross Blue Shield), $10.3 million (in 2007; up 78% from 2006)

Angela F. Braly, President/CEO, Wellpoint, $9,094,771

Michael F. Neidorff, CEO, Centene Corp., $8,750,751 (2007)

Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825 (2006)

Cleve Killingsworth, Pres/CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3.6 million (2007)

William C. Van Faasen, Chairman, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3 million plus $16.4 million in retirement benefits

Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555 (2006)

Charlie Baker, President/CEO, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, $1.5 million (2006)

James Roosevelt, Jr., CEO, Tufts Associated Health Plans, $1.3 million (2006)

Daniel P. McCartney, CEO, Healthcare Services Group, Inc., $ 1,061,513 (2007)

Sources:

1. Special Report: CEO Compensation, Forbes.com, April 30, 2008: http://www.forbes.com/2008/04/30/ceo-paycompensation-lead-bestbosses08-c...

2. Executive PayWatch Database, AFL-CIO http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/paywatch/ceou/database.cfm#H

3. The Chicago Business Journal, April 5, 2008: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=28855&seenIt=1

4. Equilar, a Redwood Shores, California-based executive compensation research firm.

5. The Boston Globe, November 16, 2007 and February 12, 2009.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 03:44 PM

"Ronald A. Williams, Chair/CEO, Aetna Inc., $23,045,834 (2007)"

My wife and I are insured with Aetna, through my wife's job at the Seattle Public Library. They take a substantial wallop out of Barbara's paychecks for that.

The coverage is generally pretty good, but—there is an annual allowance of benefits. If you use up all of your benefits for a particular year, they stop paying for your medical care. And they don't pay for certain procedures or medical (orthopedic) equipment, even if it's prescribed by a doctor.

I have a scoliosis (spinal curvature), one of the leftovers of polio at an early age. This can cause considerable discomfort between my shoulders and in my lower back. This is relieved by fairly frequent chiropractic adjustments and massage (medical doctors offer only surgery—fusing the vertebrae, which often leaves one worse off as far as pain is concerned, and it's irreversible). Aetna allows only a specific number of chiropractic adjustments per year, and if I need any more than that, I'm on my own.

I have two wheelchairs. I have an electric, which I use for long "voyages" (say, to the nearby business district, or on the bus, where I may have to travel long distances on my own) and a manual, which I use around the house and when going someplace where we have to stow the wheelchair in our car's trunk (like when going to Bob Nelson's, where he tilts me back like a hand-truck and lifts me up the two steps to his front porch). The insurance company allows me only one wheelchair (no matter what my doctor says I should have). Since the electric was more expensive, I let the insurance company pay for that (that is, 80% of it. There was a 20% co-pay). I paid for the manual myself (lightweight and foldable, so after stashing me in the car, Barbara can fold it and lift it into the trunk--a little under $2,000).

The insurance company's decisions often have little to do with the actual needs of the patient. It has to do with what they are willing to pay for, which is generally what they (not you, not your doctor) deem necessary.

I believe most people would call that "rationing," n'est-ce pas?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 04:21 PM

Along with "No we can't", I'd suggest that the right slgan for the begrudgers might be "I'm all right Jack."


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 04:34 PM

" ...and screw the rest of you!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 04:58 PM

Don: Nope, I didn't rely on anyone at Fox News when I used the term, fiasco, I thought it up all by myself. If one's measure of success is the number of people who took a tax payer hand out to purchase a car for perhaps 25% less than they normally would have to pay for it, then I guess it was successful. I'd like a boat. When might I expect my hand out of $4,500 of YOUR dollars to help me by it. A condo here in Durango, CO, would be nice too! When might I expect to receive my government hand out so that I can purchase one?

Congress, with this clunker deal, did what it does best: spend tax payer's money.

I wonder, Don, why do you trust your government to be more fair than Aetna Insurance Company is?

Incidentally, today's edition of the Wall Street Journal has an excellent editorial on the "clunker" fiasco today. I agree with every word in it.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 05:10 PM

I think that I may finally understand DougR's misgivings. His saying: "I wonder, Don, why do you trust your government to be more fair than Aetna Insurance Company is?" made me realise that that he thinks people in other countries - specifically countries that have nationalized health insurance - are superior to people in the US.

For shame, Doug! Where is your patriotism? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 05:52 PM

Regarding your "fiasco," Doug:

The "Cash for Clunkers" accomplished a number of things. First, it helped reduce the number of older, gas-thirsty, smog-emitting cars on the road. That's a plus for the environment. It reduces this country's dependency on foreign oil, and reduces the amount of pollutants being poured into the atmosphere (that's fairly important to people with respiratory problems). And secondly, rather than "bailing out" the auto industry by giving taxpayer's money to the auto companies (so the senior executives can vote themselves raises and bonuses), it gives the money to people who will go out and spend it right away (in fact, if they don't spend it, they don't get it). So it does stimulate auto sales, without which the auto companies (not to mention dealerships) are bloody well dead.

"I wonder, Don, why do you trust your government to be more fair than Aetna Insurance Company is?"

Granted government bureaucrats can be major stumble-bums, I would trust them to have my interests at heart far more than I would trust health insurance company bureaucrats who have an established record of attempting to maximize company profits by finding excuses to deny benefits to their clients, including, on more than one occasion, my wife and me.

There is no reason that single payer, government financed health service in the United States can't be as good as the same as that in other industrialized countries in the world, such as the U.K., Canada, France, the Scandinavian countries, et al, where, contrary to right wing propaganda, the citizens of those countries seem to be pretty well satisfied with the health care service they are receiving (note above posts to that effect from British and Canadian Mudcatters).

Or as Ebbie asks, is it that you don't believe Americans are up to the challenge? We can't handle it? Are we, unlike all those other countries, so bereft of honest government officials that any attempt Americans make to implement such a program is doomed from the start?

I have more faith in this country than that, Doug!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 06:17 PM

OT cars

I don't have an opinion one way or the other on this..honest..but I bet most of the clunkers have been sitting in someone's driveway and are not out on the roads. What is the number of people who can both produce an older car (isn't in 1985 or older) and qualify for new financing? Maybe a lot...people who are forced by poverty to drive the really old cars I would think couldn't get qualified...don't know. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 06:26 PM

I guess, Don and Ebbie, that I just have less confidence in federal bureaucrats than you do. With a private company, if you are not satisfied with that particular company's service, you can always sign up with a competing insurance company. If you are in a single payer government run program, you are up the creek without a paddle.

I wish you would check out the Heritage Foundation website and take a look at the evaluation of the proposed government health care plans they commissioned. You well may view the proposed government programs in a different light. I would supply a blue clicky but never learned how to do one.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 06:26 PM

Don & Ebbie, I would urge caution about conflating the words "Doug" and "think" . That way lies madness. And futility.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 06:36 PM

With a private company, if you are not satisfied with that particular company's service, you can always sign up with a competing insurance company.

Can you actually do that if you are covered as an employee of a firm that has set up a deal with an insurance company? Doesn't that mean you automatically dependent on that particular company?

That's a real question, not a rhetorical one. In principle it would be perfectly possible to have a system under which individuals woudl pick their own preferred insurance and the firm employing them would pick up the bill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 06:45 PM

There is no single-payer government run program anywhere in any proposal. President Obama says he opposes single-payer. What is the purpose of ponting in alarm at a non-existent program? I looked at the Heritage Foundation's "evaluation" of health care plans....they do something very similar. That is, they describe a "plan" that exists only in their imagination and analyze its deficiencies.   

I hate to sound repetitious, but, at the present time, THERE IS NO PLAN. There are a number of different proposals that must be voted upon, reconciled, and voted upon again. Right now, NOBODY KNOWS what, if anything, will finally be submitted for the President's signature.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 07:19 PM

There is one single payer program that is being discussed in the House, but that one is not being taken very seriously. The resolution that has just passed out of committee in the House, and the one being worked on in the Senate are not single payer plans. No matter how many times a certain poster on this thread keeps harping on single payer plans, the plans that are being seriously considered in both the House and the Senate are not single payer plans.

Personally, I think it's extremely dishonest to keep trying to characterize the health care plans that are being seriously considered as "single payer", when that is absolutely not the case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 07:22 PM

And to answer a question upthread, people who get insurance through their employers do not get to chose which insurance company will provide their care. That choice is made for them, and they are stuck with it. They can get a different job, maybe, but the choice will still be made for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 07:25 PM

". . . if you are not satisfied with that particular company's service, you can always sign up with a competing insurance company."

McGrath is exactly right.

If we had to buy health insurance directly, we simply couldn't afford it. It comes as one of the benefits from my wife's job. That is, partially. The Seattle Public Library pays part of the monthly premium, and they deduct the rest from my wife's paycheck. So—the option to simply change companies is not open to us. Nor is it open to the vast majority of people in this country who have health insurance for the same reason. Doug, you—and most conservatives I have met—are simply not living in the real world. Sorry, but there it is!

And Art is also right. Unless I missed it, there is no government run single payer health insurance program on the agenda. Basically, what I have seen offered is a whole smorgasbord of partial plans that could come together under the definition of "camel:   a horse designed by a committee." They're trying to please everybody, and there's no way that's going to work.

I give Obama marks for bringing the matter up at all, but I wish he'd show a little courage and go straight for a government run single payer program. It'll be one helluva battle against the Forces of Darkness, but that's the only way health CARE coverage in the United States will ever come up to that in the rest of the civilized world.

The flaw in Obama's approach is the same as the one in the Clintons' abortive attempt. As long as the insurance companies are at the table, it will either not happen at all (their preference) or it will manifest itself as a plumber's nightmare.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 07:28 PM

Cross posted. Carol, too, is right on the money.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: mg
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 09:09 PM

At least in my state job we can choose from a number of plans, various agencies, especially in larger cities. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 09:15 PM

Once again, the government does a better job of providing health care, in this case, to its employees.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: mg
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 10:32 PM

true...and I have been in job lock for some time and will always be so I can get benefits and state retirement. That is what they say they will put on some people's graves..she had state retirement...my biggest accomplishment to date.    mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 02:13 AM

It's only a great many Americans' gross ignorance of what is actually going on in the rest of the developed world that lets the American private insurance companies and their lobbyists pull the wool over so many people's eyes in the USA and scare them with the boogeyman stuff about government-run health insurance coverage.

(Clearly, many here at Mudcat are not ignorant about it...but the insurance companies are depending on those USA citizens who are...)

Man, it is amazing to watch from the outside, it really is. Private industry, and I mean BIG corporate private industry, has got your government in its greedy grasp, and your society pays the price for it. What a sad situation.

I hear they got ONE Canadian woman to testify to Congress about how our public health system didn't help her...

Well, for heaven's sake, they could have gotten 50,000 other Canadian women to testify about how our public health insurance system DID help them...but they weren't looking for that kind of testimony to put in front of Congress, were they? Of course not. It would not be to their financial advantage for people in the USA to learn the truth about Canada's public health system....and the truth is that it's the most strongly publicly supported institution there is in this country, it's the one thing that our politicians do not DARE to dismantle...so far...because our public would be absolutely furious at them if they tried to take our government-sponsored health coverage away.

That's because we've already had it. When you've already had something good and you KNOW it's good, you don't let someone take it away, do you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 08:19 AM

Single payer, yes, is the goal but it looks as if just getting a "public option" will be hard enough to achieve...

This August recess is going to wreck havoc on the cahnces of that... Seems that the insurance companies are now organizing goon squads to disrupt town meeting all over the country...

I think it's time for Obama to make a statement that governors should be prepared to use the police to maintain some civility in town meetings... This is getting out of hand... Reminds me of the 2000 election with paid goons trying to disrupt the recount...

A month of letting the insurance companies and goons control the converstaion and there won't be a "public option"... You can take that to the bank...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 12:12 PM

I hear they got ONE Canadian woman to testify to Congress...

Who is "they"? Do the insurance companies have a stranglehold on who is called to testify to Congress and who is not?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 12:30 PM

Lobbyists, McGrath. Lobbyists are professional people paid to represent private industry and influence legislators, and they are paid VERY well. It's their fulltime job. They siphon money to legislators, and arrange all kinds of contracts and perks, and they apply pressure to get legislation passed that will benefit the private industries who have employed the lobbyists, but NOT the general public. They are THE signficant factor in steering legislation in the US Congress, in the various state legislatures, and no doubt in the Canadian government as well, because they represent the most powerful financial entities in the society. The voice of the public is not much compared to the voice of the corporate lobbyists in Washington. The public is too distracted, too divided, and too busy with their ordinary lives....but the lobbyist has a fulltime job to bribe, influence, and cajole Congressmen into doing what the big corporate players want done. And he has the MONEY to buy their votes.

So they went looking for someone, ANYONE they could find from Canada who had a personal beef of some kind about our Medicare system. Well, someone like that can always be found...it doesn't matter where you go. There's always someone who has a beef against a system. They may be only one person in 100,000 people, but you can find them.

My point is, they did not go looking for the millions of Canadians who LIKE our medicare system and support it. If they had, they could have found millions of them to testify at Congress if they had paid them for their time and trouble to do it, but they were not paid to find someone who likes our medicare system. They were paid to find someone who doesn't like it.

I'd say she represents about 1% of the people up here in Canada...but Congress won't hear that part of the story, will they? And Fox won't report it. And the Republicans will never know about it. They will see and hear only what they already wish to see and hear. Thus is the monkey kept happy inside his cage, never mindful of the bars that surround him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 12:45 PM

Single Payer may not be in the existing Bills in Congress, but it sure is lurking in the shadows. Likely it is not memorialized in writing in the Bills because the writers are aware that the Bills would sink faster than the Titanic.

Bobert: I find it strange that you cannot accept the fact that the majority of U.S. citizens do not approve of Obama's plans for providing health care in this country. Folks attending Town Halls on the subject are exercising their right to protest those plans just as you folks, who attend similar meetings to protest things you do not approve of, enjoy those same rights!

Republicans are regularly criticized because they are "againers" only and never offer alternatives to Bills they oppose. If you are interested enough, Google The Wall Street Journal and check out the health care plan proposed by Arthur Laffer, a Republican, who served, I believe in, as Kendall loves to point out, "The Actor's" administration. His plan is one I would support 100%. His column, in the opinion section of today's edition makes sense to me. It would supply everything most of the posters to this thread want, and keeps the government out of our health care lives.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 12:45 PM

"With a private company, if you are not satisfied with that particular company's service, you can always sign up with a competing insurance company."

Sure..if you don't have a pre-existing condition that your present company is handling so poorly that you want to switch.

Doug, I ask again: As someone who seems to be very happy with his Nationalized single-payer healthcare system, administered by bureaucrats (Medicare and VA), why do you say that the Government couldn't do a good job of administering healhcare?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:05 PM

I read the piece in the WSJ by Mr. Laffer. He says we would have to spend more on health care if Obama's health care proposals became law. We know he's lying because the reality in the countries that have the kind health care systems he describes proves it. They are paying far less for the health care in those countries than what the US spends on health care each year, not more. I don't trust people who lie to me on behalf of those who want to make a profit off of me.

The HSA insurance option is only good for the insurance companies. It is not good for the people who need adequate access to health care. I know, because I have checked them out to see if JtS and I could get insured that way. There are several problems with them. First of all, they don't want to cover pre-existing conditions. We were not able to find any insurers who would cover both of us for an amount we can afford.

Secondly, the HSAs don't solve the problems of insurance companies denying care to enhance their bottom line. This is just as much of a problem with the HSAs as it is with other forms of private health insurance.

The only thing the HSAs do that other kinds of insurance don't do is force consumers to pay a lot more for their health care than they would otherwise have to do, and they increase the insurance companies profits. Would any of the people who are saying they want to keep their current coverage want to change that coverage to an HSA? I rather doubt it. But that is what they will be forced to do if Obama's health care proposals fail, because according to the industry insider in the interview posted earlier, that is exactly what the insurance companies plan to force everyone to do. (Except those who are benefiting from our excellent government run health care - for now, at least, until the insurance industry succeeds in eliminating those programs as well.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:08 PM

One other problem with HSAs is that they discourage people from getting preventive care. And that causes health care costs to increase dramatically because people tend to wait until problems are much more expensive to treat before getting care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:26 PM

Those who keep making excuses to not change our methods of health care delivery in the way that Obama and most of the Democrats are trying to do don't seem to understand that for most people who currently don't have insurance, and many who do who are underinsured, if there was a good option available at this time we would take that option and we wouldn't be uninsured or underinsured.

We're not stupid. If there was a good option available to us, we would take it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationu alized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:33 PM

Dick: I never said thyat the administration of Medicare or the VA was perfect. They are existing available programs (though the longevity of Medicare is questionable)that I qualify for and I have been satisfied with the service they offer to date.

My main objection to government take-over of health care is that is not the role of government. If you don't believe me, check out the Constitution. No where does it say health care is the responsibility of the United States government.

That does not mean that I oppose laws that require existing insurance companies to accept patients with pre-existing conditions. I favor that. There are probably other absurdities in the current system that could be corrected by legislation.

Kevin: Sorry I didn't address your question. Other posters have truthfully reported that if you are employed by a company that provides employees health care plans, you have little choice. You are pretty well stuck with that program.

Carol C: I seriously doubt, even if Obama's plan is signed into law, you will find a satisfactory answer to your and Jack's situation. The only place you will find what you are looking for is another country like Canada, or one of the other countries who DO provide government health care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:36 PM

"Pre-existing conditions" - as genetic science and medica; technoogy progresses its probably going to become evident that most of the ills that affect us are down to "pre-existing conditions".

Cancers, heart disease, strokes, most things apart from accidents and infectious disease - and you can guarantee that there'll be private insurance companies who will use such advances in genetic science and medical technology not to imnprove health care, but to exclude people who need health care.
.......................

I noticed that Doug ignored completely the coments on his assertion "With a private company, if you are not satisfied with that particular company's service, you can always sign up with a competing insurance company."


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:46 PM

It's not true that under Obama's plan JtS and I would not be able to find a good alternative. Under Obama's plan, we will be able to get our health care needs met under the public option. Under the public option, people who are currently denied care due to pre-existing conditions will be able to get affordable insurance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:47 PM

And that, by the way, is the whole point of the public option.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 02:20 PM

And by the way, I take the suggestion that JtS and I and the millions of other people in the US who face the same problems in getting access to adequate health care can only be helped in countries that have single payer health care systems, to be an admission that single payer health care systems are superior to all other health care systems.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 02:29 PM

quote

The Constitution of the United States of America

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America....


Promotion of the general welfare (health, which is a life and death issue) IS in the constitution. It IS the job of our government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 02:48 PM

Some people argue that the general welfare applies to only the state, not the citizens, but I think it is clear it applies to both, as the founding fathers went on to write "ourselves and our posterity".

What would the right-wingers want us to do? Abolish government fire departments, schools, universities, water systems, highways systems, sewer systems, garbage collection, disease control, and make everyone who can afford it buy insurance to cover these services and damn the population who can't?

It still amazes me that people who think the government can administer wars but they don't want government administering anything else... sounds like they'd rather pay more to someone who is taking a profit. There is a role for government and a role for business and I believe that protecting the health of our citizens is a basic role for government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 03:44 PM

Single Payer may not be in the existing Bills in Congress, but it sure is lurking in the shadows.

Yup, and Commies are lurking under the bed.

I never said thyat the administration of Medicare or the VA was perfect.

But the insurance companies are.

check out the Constitution

Which, as with most other documents he cites, he's never read. No need to.

...absurdities in the current system that could be corrected...

The main absurdity of the current system is that it purpose is solely to make money at the expense of providing adequate health care.

Jesus, its worse than trying to debate a Flat-Earther or a Holocaust Denier. Their perception is NOT reality. All it does is legitimize their idiocy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 04:35 PM

I know it gets frustrating when the weight of evidence and argument seems so overwhelming, but throwingup hands in horror and labelling people who are still unconvinced "idiots" doesn't really move things forward.

It's not really that different from crying out "socialized medicine" instead of arguing the case.

I'm sure there are arguments for the present health system in America, just as there were arguments for the slave system. Not sound arguments perhaps, but arguments that are evidently seen as convoncing by a good many Americans, and deserve to be addressed and unwrapped and dismantled.

Obviously there is a very rational argument from the point of view of the insurance companies who recognise that they would be faced by real pressures to behave better if they are to survive in a new system.   

Evidently there are medical professionals who believe that they will lose out - in the same way as their fellow professionals had similar fears in Britain in 1948, for exampel, and found that these were completely unfounded, turning them into some of the strongest defenders of the NHS.

But the ordinary punters who are against change are harder to understand, and yet they are the ones who matter. Doug is satisfied with his own medical care, provided by the government, but is fearful that if everyone else were able to opt for something analogous things would spiral down to disaster.

It seems to me that the only way to put the puzzle together is to take it that American society is seen by such people as uniquely disqualified from following the example of all other advanced countries in this matter.

Any administration in the USA, it appears, is bound to drive down standards to the lowest possible level, and voters are never going to insist that this does not happen, since public services are necessarily seen as a target for economies to keep taxes as low as possible, which will allow at least some hope of paying for escalating payments for private health insurance...


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 06:12 PM

McGrath: I thought I addressed your question in my last post. I'll try again, and use myself as an example: I currently have Medicare administered by a private company (Health Net). Medicare provides the money, Health Net and my private doctor make medical decisions regarding my health care needs. If I am not satisfied with the way Health Net treats me, I can enroll with another private company, like CIGNA, or any other Medicare provider approved by Medicare. And I can assure you, Kevin, I am not a voice in the wilderness. Latest polls show that the majority of Americans do not want the kind of health care program you have in your country.

Alice: Since I am not a lawyer specializing in Constitutional law, I won't argue your point. I believe, however, if you are correct, we would have had a single payer program like GB and Canada and many other countries have, many, many years ago.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 07:06 PM

That's as may be McGrath, but reasoned dialog, facts and proof beyond a reasonable doubt have been even LESS successful in "moving things forward". How would you characterise someone who continually refuses to accept that which has been conclusively proven to be a fact?? But perhaps "idiot" IS to harsh. How about "moron"?

1. polls show that the majority of Americans do not want the kind of health care program you have in [Britain].

Absolutely false. More disinformation.

2. . I believe, however, if you are correct, we would have had a single payer program like GB and Canada and many other countries have, many, many years ago.

Also, absolutely false. Nothing to do with Constitutionality. The reason we don't have decent health care like the rest of the world is the shibboleth of "Socialized Medicine" scaring the crap out of the ignorant and lobbying by the AMA and Insurance interests that has gone on non-stop since the 1930's.

How believe that nonsense in the face of conclusive proof to the contrary is a source of perpetual wonderment to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rowan
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 07:08 PM

"Pre-existing conditions" - as genetic science and medica; technoogy progresses its probably going to become evident that most of the ills that affect us are down to "pre-existing conditions".

This is going to be a real nightmare. Although it could be possible to argue that "susceptibility to or vulnerability to" developing any particular condition is not the same as "having the pre-existing condition", attempts by companies to argue that they have ownership and copyright over our genes that they've mapped (an argument that has been successful so far) may mean that every disease can be attributable to a "pre-existing condition.

What would the right-wingers want us to do? Abolish government fire departments, schools, universities, water systems, highways systems, sewer systems, garbage collection, disease control, and make everyone who can afford it buy insurance to cover these services and damn the population who can't?

My understanding of the history of the development of almost all these institutions is that, originally, fire departments, schools, universities, water systems, highways systems were established as privately owned. [Perhaps the Roman roads are an exception but tollways do have a long history.] Most of the major (privately owned) buildings in the older cities on both sides of the Atlantic pond (and a few in Oz) had insurance companies' badges on their exteriors to denote their membership of the insurance policies that paid for the (privately-run) fire fighting agencies and entitled them to have fire protection provided. It was public irritation at the inequities exposed by such systems that got firefighting run as a govt responsibility.

The oldest schools (and even the oldest universities) in the same countries were run either privately; the fact that they were run under patronage of churches and the royal courts might lead the gullible into thinking they were run by what we now understand to be "the govt" but we'll let that slide. The govt run Medibank (later reinstate as Medicare) in Oz are way ahead of what they replaced, similar to what I experienced of the US system.

Ah well...

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 07:38 PM

The National Health Service is a pretty good way of ensuring universal health care but it's not the only one.

Here's one political website's coment on this "socialized medicine" : "The NHS is an institution which binds our nation together. In cities, towns and villages up and down the country, the family doctor surgeries and local hospitals are part of the fabric of our community.   And the doctors, nurses and support staff who work so hard to keep them going are known and trusted." That's from a Conservative Party campaigning site.

But other countries do it in a range of different ways, to reflect the way their society works. I'd assume that when (and sadly if) America finally joins the rest of the world in this matter it will have its own system. Probably some combination of private and public.

But the essential thing is to do it. And the scandal is that it hasn't been done.

It's over sixty years since the NHS was set up. At the time it was unique, but since then every other economically advanced country in the world has come up with its own way of doing it. Apart from the United States.

You've had Democratic administrations, and you've had Republican administrations. And none of them have managed to ensure an American health system that is worthy of America, one which ensures that everyone in American can go to sleep at night knowing that, if and when ill-health strikes, the medical care they need will be available without breaking them financially.

No doubt there are disagreements about the best way to do things - but to allow those differences to block the coming of universal health care would be shameful. It might be as well for both sides to remember the saying "The best is enemy of the good".


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 09:14 PM

Yes, Rowan, we have antiques here from the days when you had to buy insurance in order to have the firemen put a fire out at your house. I once saw the leather buckets on Antiques Roadshow... if your neighbor's house was not covered, it would burn. Toll roads, schooling only for the wealthy... it is amazing that people can't recognize that public health care to help people who are sick is even more important than having public schools.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 11:29 PM

I currently have Medicare administered by a private company (Health Net)

Nonsense. No private company "administers" Medicare. The private company may be a secondary provider to Medicare as a primary provider.

Either more deception, or simply more of the same old ignorance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 11:41 PM

Greg F. -
You are debating a Fox News parrot. Every word comes straight from thier talking points. But you knew that already....


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 12:35 AM

The form of private insurance that is being referred to as HealthNet above is not, strictly speaking, the same as private insurance. The kind that is paired with Medicare is called, HealthNet Medicare Advantage and although it is provided by a private company, it is regulated by Medicare. So our friend above whose medical care is administered HeathNet (and paid for by me and the millions of other people who pay taxes but don't have access to health care ourselves) is benefiting from a structure that is pretty much exactly the same thing as what Obama is proposing. It is a structure that provides a public option (Medicare), and well regulated private options (like HealthNet Medicare Advantage). The only difference is that Obama is trying to apply this structure to everyone rather than just to those over 65 years of age. After all, if it's not the government's job to provide health care to those under 65, it's also not the government's job to provide health care to those over 65 either. So I'm sure, being convinced as he is that it's not the government's job to provide health care, that the poster above who is benefiting from government funded health care will be the first in line to give up that coverage entirely. (Or maybe that person only cares about himself, and just doesn't care about anyone else.)

If it works for those over 65, there's absolutely no reason why it can't work for everyone, and I take the enthusiastic endorsement of the person above who has this coverage as an enthusiastic endorsement of Obama's health care proposals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 01:33 AM

I think it's also worth pointing out that the company, HealthNet, has paid out many millions of dollars in fines to the government for fraudulent behavior. They terminated many peoples' policies because those people got sick. They couldn't do that to the people who are covered under their Medicare Advantage, because that is paid for by the government, and because it is regulated by Medicare. This is why the market is not the most efficient means of providing people with health care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 06:19 AM

""Carol C: Your definition of health care "rationing" is a bit off base. "Rationing" is withholding needed health care because of cost and age.""

NO Doug, IT'S NOT!

I can see how you would like that definition to be true, fitting in, as it does with your "I've got mine, and I don't really give a damn who hasn't" attitude.

Rationing, as anyone who spent WW2 on the Eastern side of the Atlantic will tell you, is the gathering of total resources, and the distribution of same so EVERYBODY gets the same share.

Ditto with the National Health Service. Every citizen of the UK, rich or poor, gets the treatment he/she needs, without having to present a platinum credit card at the door.

Those who wish can, and DO, opt for private treatment within the thriving Private Medical Insurance market, or indeed, if they are able, pay from their own funds.

Why, in the face of so much proven evidence of success, do you adhere to the laughable misconception that what works in so many other countries would inevitably fail, or cause failure in the private sector, if applied to US citizens.

Could it simply be that you are adamant that no portion, however small, of your tax dollar should be spent to the benefit of those you consider either losers, or wasters?

Do you REALLY care about the welfare of anyone outside your family circle?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 08:13 AM

This thread began with the title "Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?". What is good is that DougR got his answer within the first five or ten responses. What's bad is that we have gone on for almost a month, and nearly 450 posts, as he (and perhaps one or two others) fails to accept the positive responses from people who live under systems of nationalized healthcare, albeit unlike anything that has been proposed in the US, and as he argues with those who are (politely or otherwise) trying to convince him that his ideas are wrong.   I think it's time to end this, and I'm out of here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 08:22 AM

Yeah, I know, TIA- I'm violating the prime directive of never engaging in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.

Calling him a "Faux News Parrot" though is being too kind; his spew exceeds even their lies and disinformation.

I've never been able to figure out if he really is stupid and ignorant enough to actually believe the crap he posts, or if he simply does it to wind people up. I think the preponderance of evidence points to the former.

At least I only engage him occasionally - there are some real masochists here that interact with him all the time as if he were a rational being!

All best,

Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 10:53 AM

He provides us with an opportunity to put the counter-arguments out there where others can see them. One never knows if someone who has been persuaded by the propaganda but who has retained their capacity for critical thinking, and who is less brainwashed than he is might read it and change their perspective. It's worth making the counter-arguments for that reason alone, regardless of whether or not it ever makes a difference in how he thinks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 11:50 AM

Carol C: Your 12:35 AM post, I think, is a very good one. Greg F., obviously, read it, and it is conceivable that he learned something. Emphasis on "conceivable"!

I find little to quarrel with what you wrote. Essentially you are saying, Doug is over 65 and is eligible for a government health care plan that I, because I am not yet 65,am eligible for. The inference is because I am a participant of Medicare, I should favor the government the government providing similar health care coverage for everyone regardless of age. I could argue that the primary reason that the government cannot, is because the government cannot afford to.

Experts have predicted for years that Medicare and Medicaid themselves will not exist in just a few short years! If that is
so, how can the government expect to pay health care coverage for everyone?

Obama's plan would cost, according to the Congressional Budget Office, over a Trillion dollars within the first ten years.

Democrats in Congress have been burning the midnight oil for the past few months seeking answers to how such a program can be financed. So far, they have not come up with a solution that could result in acceptable legislation.

I guess I could voluntarily withdraw from Medicare so that the cost of paying for my health care could be used to pay health care costs for those not yet eligible for Medicare (I'm certain Greg F. would approve of that)but I'm afraid that would make even less impact on health care costs than the "Dollars for Clunkers" program is going to benefit the environment.

I suppose Artbrooks is correct. Perhaps we have reached an impass.

I started this thread hoping it would be an opportunity for the "fors" and the "aginers" to express their views. I think it has done that.

DougR

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 12:23 PM

Quite the contrary, in fact. Experts say that Obama's proposals will drastically reduce the amount of money the government spends currently, and without health care reform, the deficit will continue to grow. Since we are paying about twice as much for health care in this country than in other developed countries, it is penny wise and pound foolish not to adopt a system that ensures health care for everyone. One of the reasons for this is that with the almost fifty million people in this country who don't have access to regular health care, the uninsured don't get preventive health care, and they don't seek medical attention until their problems become far more serious and far more expensive than they would be if they had been able to get medical attention much sooner. And they end up in hospital emergency rooms and unable to pay their bills.

Another reason this is costing everyone a lot of money is because the majority of bankruptcies and home foreclosures are because of people not having access to health care and not being able to pay their medical bills. This has a seriously negative effect on the housing market and on the property values of everyone who owns property, and it drives the whole economy down for everyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 01:13 PM

Who are the experts that project that the Obama health care proposal will REDUCE costs?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 01:34 PM

Experts have predicted for years that Medicare and Medicaid themselves will not exist in just a few short years!

No, idiots, liars and right-wing propagandists have for more than 20 years predicted their imminent demise and continue to do so despite conclusive evidence to the contrary.

There are any number of ways to extend both in perpetuity- the most obvious of which is raising the income cap on contributions wch should have been done to keep pace with inflation decades ago.

Who are the experts that project that the Obama health care proposal will REDUCE costs?

Who are the experts, no, strike that, the idiots that predict it won't?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 01:52 PM

I think Doug missed a "not" out of the second line of his last post, which made nonsense out of the sentence. Surely "and is eligible for a government health care plan that I, because I am not yet 65, am not eligible for.
...........

I think we fall into a trap when we treat discussions about real issues on the Mudcat as arguments to be won or lost, or as attempts to convince particular people, or efforts to demonstrate that we are not convinced.

We would do better to use them as opportunities to collaborate with others, including people who start with very different views from our own, in sorting out what we as individuals do actually think, and in trying to reach some common understanding of where the truth lies, or where the actual differences lie.

Doug's initial post here seemed to indicate that that was what he was after here.   But it isn't really how later posts have achieved.
...................................

I'm still hoping that someone who thinks that America is uniquely incapable of doing what everyone else has done, providing universal health care, will explain why that is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 02:26 PM

Well, I shall try to explain some of the obstacles...

And I am all for universal health care..hopefully without destroying what already exists and instead of 40 million uninsured we have 300 million in a great big mess...but that seems to not be the way they are going and hopefully they will work on the 40 million people plus first and leave what is working somewhat in place while they fix what is not working. But I like the magic wand option the best still.

We are a country almost strangled by laws and legalities and lawsuits.

We are a country that talks about education a lot but for the most part does not prepare students for practical careers, and that is where the health care people should be mostly coming from.

We are e pluribus unum...which means we are not a more or less homogenized society..quite the opposite. Universal anything is easier if people are more or less on the same page.

We have a history of government inefficiencies and if you look to the VA as a guide..boy, have there been some horror stories.

The very foods that are killing us -- transfats, stuff made out of corn oil -- are often the ones that are subsidized. We also are financially addicted -- due to generations of poverty -- to wheat, which many many people of Northern European extraction are very sensitive to..less so for people of Mediterranean extraction. We don't have really a history across the board of good nutrition but instead..especially in the last say 3 generations..of shelf-life foods and junk foods.

We have a lot of violence to contend with which adds to emergency room costs etc. Adds to stress of life, adds to not getting outside for exercise and sunlight. Makes it harder to shop for healthy foods as grocers do not want to be in high-crime neighborhoods.

We are way way overmedicated -- if you saw the lists of what medications people are on you would faint -- at the cost to them or society and to the costs in health terms -- and now they are getting into the water supply etc. I think this mostly happened around WWII --when massive doses of some medications saved many many lives from war injuries, infectiosn etc...but we never really got the dosing down.

We are giving people very bad medical advice, particularly diabetics...they have been told for generations to eat huge amounts of carbohydrates when their bodies do not handle carbohydrates in large amounts. This leads to a lot of the heart problems that really increase medical costs.

We are religious about food and dairy products and meat etc. and instead of getting nutritional advice and information, people are given philosophies of food, which are important but separate from the nutrition of food.

We do not want to spend enough money on food, especially animal products and dairy. We need much better animal husbandry, as almost anyone would agree, and we need to shift some of the unemployed population into working with animals that feed us. There are so many animal lovers who could be working with dairy goats, rabbits, ducks etc., who would rather work at a little dairy than at a desk..

We are a sedentary population sitting under flourescent lights.

We are a stressed out population -- generations of war, fairly high unemployment in some areas, residuals from the horrors of slavery.

We have our native population in reservations and in poverty situations quite often. That does not seem to be the case in France or other places. There are very huge health problems sometimes, with alcohol being a major problem, changing from native diet to SAD (standard or substandard American diet).

We have a couple of generations of people who have perfected the art of obstacling things instead of building things and fixing things. Someone interviewed some men from the WWII generation and one thing the said about us boomers, who were younger then, was that we didn't really know how to build anything, but were good at putting up obstacles. Lots of red tape. Lots of endangered species stuff. Lots of rules for people to sort out. All of it good, but it is hard to get stuff done.

We do not let people at the ends of their lives die naturally but keep them going and this accounts for a lot of health care costs.

Multiple births -- huge medical expenses for premature births. There should be laws regulating the number of implanted embroyos..like 2 max and if someone is infertile, that is their cross to bear..and we should not be paying for ocuplets etc.

Breakdown of family. Single parent homes. More stress, less money, poor housing and food options.

Loss of family farms is probably in their somewhere.

Well, that is all for now. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 02:32 PM

This country is able to bail out terminally ill banks and businesses to the tune of trillions of dollars—which the executives of those banks and companies (who screwed them into the ground in the first place) then use to vote themselves raises and bonuses. This country is able to spend trillions of dollars on military expenditures, such as the F-22 fighter program, which the Pentagon says it neither needs nor wants (not to mention a couple of totally needless wars). And if I wanted to take the time, I could list a whole page full of similar boondoggles,, but I leave that to anyone interested as a valuable exercise. If the bribe-takers in Congress were to grow some honesty and integrity (not to mention a few brain cells) and reallocate some of this wasted taxpayer money to where it is needed and will actually do some good, this country might just join the rest of the civilized world.

I just heard part of a radio interview this morning, but I missed the guy's name. He said he was recently in Denmark and talking to a group of conservatives there (opposed to much of the Danish political system and their tax-funded social programs). He asked them if they would prefer a health care system which is funded by private insurance companies, like the United States has.

They all answered in horrified voices, "Are you crazy!???"

There you have it.

Don Firth

P. S. Of course, that traveler's comment can be totally dismissed on two counts:   first, it's anecdotal; and second, I didn't hear it on Fox News, I heard in on my local NPR affiliate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 03:16 PM

Doug's initial post here seemed to indicate... trying to reach some common understanding of where the truth lies...was what he was after.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 04:23 PM

Quite a catalogue from mg - but a lot of those things are also true of countries where successful universal health provision has been set up and maintained by governments of all political colours, so I wouldn't depair.   

As Don Firth's anecdotal evidence indicates, by now there is nothing left-wing about universal health cover. In fact, as that Conservative Party website I quoted pointed out, it can be seen as an expression of fundamental conservative values - "The NHS is an institution which binds our nation together.

Things move on, and yesterday's crazy extremist ideas become bedrock conservative principles. After all, it isn't so long since universal suffrage was seen as a dangerous left-wing policy. Or the notion of having a republican form of government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 04:31 PM

Well, lets try that'un agin:

Doug's initial post here seemed to indicate... trying to reach some common understanding of where the truth lies...was what he was after.

I should think his subsequent posts quickly & definitively put the lie to that idea. As ever.

That's not what Doug is about at all, not how he operates. Nor has it ever been, as a review of his posting history ever since he first appeared on this forum amply demonstrates.

But for some reason, he's able to keep suckering people in again & again & again...


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 04:47 PM

So? "I think we fall into a trap when we treat discussions about real issues on the Mudcat as arguments to be won or lost, or as attempts to convince particular people."


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 05:08 PM

I don't have time to dig up the experts I mentioned just now. I'll do it when I get more time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 05:22 PM

I don't get your point, McGrath- we should let Doug's preposterous & pernicious spew go unchallenged in the spirit if conviviality?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 05:45 PM

My point is that the basic point of a discussion is to discusss the issues. PLay the ball not the man.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 06:28 PM

Excellent idea!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 06:34 PM

I think that falling into "playing the man" occurs most often when one has repeatedly presented overwhelming evidence for one particular position, and a person who has taken the opposite position either fails, or stubbornly refuses, to acknowledge the evidence and persists in even more aggressively advocating their own position, which has been shown time and again to be completely untenable. It's often a bit hard to keep from becoming exasperated, and expressing that exasperation by calling the person's intelligence or integrity into question.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 08:25 PM

Carol C,

The people who analyzed ObamaCare and said that it would cost trillions of dallars more, not less, was the Congressional Budget Office. They are supposed to be independent although top members were appointed by Obama.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 09:41 PM

There is no such thing as "Obamacare". What the heck are you talking about? More Fox News/Limbaugh BS.


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