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BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?

11 Jul 09 - 08:02 PM (#2677875)
Subject: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


11 Jul 09 - 08:06 PM (#2677879)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee

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


11 Jul 09 - 08:11 PM (#2677885)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peter T.

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.


11 Jul 09 - 08:21 PM (#2677892)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Russ

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)


11 Jul 09 - 08:24 PM (#2677893)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


11 Jul 09 - 08:26 PM (#2677894)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

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.


11 Jul 09 - 08:37 PM (#2677895)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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.


11 Jul 09 - 08:45 PM (#2677898)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

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.


11 Jul 09 - 08:47 PM (#2677900)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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

Me too.


11 Jul 09 - 08:49 PM (#2677901)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme

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.


11 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM (#2677903)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: maple_leaf_boy

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.


11 Jul 09 - 08:55 PM (#2677904)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

"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) "


11 Jul 09 - 08:57 PM (#2677906)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

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.


11 Jul 09 - 08:58 PM (#2677907)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

"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.


11 Jul 09 - 09:06 PM (#2677910)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme

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


11 Jul 09 - 09:09 PM (#2677912)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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.


11 Jul 09 - 09:09 PM (#2677913)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Art, you got me in tears.


11 Jul 09 - 09:11 PM (#2677915)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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.


11 Jul 09 - 09:16 PM (#2677916)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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.


11 Jul 09 - 09:28 PM (#2677921)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

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.


11 Jul 09 - 09:28 PM (#2677922)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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


11 Jul 09 - 09:46 PM (#2677926)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee

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.


11 Jul 09 - 09:51 PM (#2677930)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

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


11 Jul 09 - 10:32 PM (#2677946)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


12 Jul 09 - 03:29 AM (#2678008)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG

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?


12 Jul 09 - 03:44 AM (#2678011)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)

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.


12 Jul 09 - 03:45 AM (#2678012)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Bravo!


12 Jul 09 - 03:55 AM (#2678017)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG

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.


12 Jul 09 - 04:16 AM (#2678025)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Linda Kelly

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!


12 Jul 09 - 06:02 AM (#2678058)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peter T.

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.


12 Jul 09 - 06:35 AM (#2678071)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandra in Sydney

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


12 Jul 09 - 08:28 AM (#2678117)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B

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.


12 Jul 09 - 09:35 AM (#2678154)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia

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.


12 Jul 09 - 09:48 AM (#2678161)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


12 Jul 09 - 10:10 AM (#2678183)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stu

Hear hear!


12 Jul 09 - 11:15 AM (#2678227)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,HiLo

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.


12 Jul 09 - 11:39 AM (#2678240)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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".


12 Jul 09 - 11:51 AM (#2678248)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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?


12 Jul 09 - 12:20 PM (#2678271)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

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)


12 Jul 09 - 12:25 PM (#2678272)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

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?


12 Jul 09 - 12:26 PM (#2678273)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


12 Jul 09 - 12:40 PM (#2678286)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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


12 Jul 09 - 12:41 PM (#2678287)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

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.


12 Jul 09 - 12:50 PM (#2678293)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

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.


12 Jul 09 - 12:50 PM (#2678294)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B

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.


12 Jul 09 - 12:53 PM (#2678297)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

that should be "on an employer health INSURANCE plan"


12 Jul 09 - 12:58 PM (#2678305)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

"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.


12 Jul 09 - 01:04 PM (#2678310)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


12 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM (#2678338)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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.


12 Jul 09 - 01:35 PM (#2678345)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

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).


12 Jul 09 - 01:35 PM (#2678346)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

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


12 Jul 09 - 01:35 PM (#2678347)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B

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


12 Jul 09 - 01:39 PM (#2678352)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

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.


12 Jul 09 - 01:40 PM (#2678354)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

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.


12 Jul 09 - 01:45 PM (#2678361)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

"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?"


12 Jul 09 - 01:49 PM (#2678366)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peter T.

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.


12 Jul 09 - 01:53 PM (#2678369)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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...


12 Jul 09 - 01:53 PM (#2678370)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


12 Jul 09 - 01:55 PM (#2678372)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

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.


12 Jul 09 - 01:58 PM (#2678378)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

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.


12 Jul 09 - 02:05 PM (#2678382)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

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.


12 Jul 09 - 02:21 PM (#2678397)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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


12 Jul 09 - 02:39 PM (#2678416)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

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.


12 Jul 09 - 02:47 PM (#2678427)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


12 Jul 09 - 02:53 PM (#2678431)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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.


12 Jul 09 - 02:56 PM (#2678434)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

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.


12 Jul 09 - 03:08 PM (#2678445)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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."


12 Jul 09 - 03:39 PM (#2678468)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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

DougR


12 Jul 09 - 04:39 PM (#2678525)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


12 Jul 09 - 05:06 PM (#2678546)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sorcha

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.


12 Jul 09 - 05:32 PM (#2678567)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


12 Jul 09 - 05:35 PM (#2678570)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


12 Jul 09 - 05:51 PM (#2678581)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: jacqui.c

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.


12 Jul 09 - 06:07 PM (#2678593)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

y;


12 Jul 09 - 06:12 PM (#2678595)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


12 Jul 09 - 06:15 PM (#2678599)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

"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.


12 Jul 09 - 06:24 PM (#2678605)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

...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?


12 Jul 09 - 06:25 PM (#2678606)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee

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.


12 Jul 09 - 06:26 PM (#2678608)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

"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.


12 Jul 09 - 06:44 PM (#2678624)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

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.


12 Jul 09 - 06:51 PM (#2678630)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,mg

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


12 Jul 09 - 07:14 PM (#2678643)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee

I agree with all the, mg.

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


12 Jul 09 - 08:19 PM (#2678678)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia

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


12 Jul 09 - 08:24 PM (#2678681)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: mmm1a

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


12 Jul 09 - 08:26 PM (#2678682)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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.


12 Jul 09 - 08:55 PM (#2678702)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

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~


12 Jul 09 - 09:59 PM (#2678730)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee

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.)


12 Jul 09 - 10:13 PM (#2678738)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme

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


12 Jul 09 - 10:15 PM (#2678739)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

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.


12 Jul 09 - 10:27 PM (#2678744)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee

So is Art's.

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


12 Jul 09 - 11:07 PM (#2678756)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

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.


12 Jul 09 - 11:43 PM (#2678770)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean

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?


13 Jul 09 - 01:23 AM (#2678798)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

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.


13 Jul 09 - 01:38 AM (#2678803)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Hear,hear.


13 Jul 09 - 02:05 AM (#2678818)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Barry Finn

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


13 Jul 09 - 09:58 AM (#2679065)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee

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....


13 Jul 09 - 10:22 AM (#2679083)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia

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.


13 Jul 09 - 10:46 AM (#2679097)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: theleveller

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.


13 Jul 09 - 11:03 AM (#2679104)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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.


13 Jul 09 - 11:39 AM (#2679131)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

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.


13 Jul 09 - 12:08 PM (#2679164)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam

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.


13 Jul 09 - 12:08 PM (#2679165)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia

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!


13 Jul 09 - 12:30 PM (#2679189)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia

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


13 Jul 09 - 12:48 PM (#2679203)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Royston

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


13 Jul 09 - 12:56 PM (#2679208)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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.


13 Jul 09 - 01:02 PM (#2679217)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

"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.


13 Jul 09 - 01:58 PM (#2679259)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Royston

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.


13 Jul 09 - 02:07 PM (#2679263)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam

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.


13 Jul 09 - 02:11 PM (#2679266)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


13 Jul 09 - 02:23 PM (#2679271)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

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.


13 Jul 09 - 02:23 PM (#2679272)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Royston

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.


13 Jul 09 - 02:30 PM (#2679279)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


13 Jul 09 - 02:43 PM (#2679291)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger

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


13 Jul 09 - 02:52 PM (#2679300)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Royston

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.


13 Jul 09 - 02:57 PM (#2679305)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


13 Jul 09 - 05:03 PM (#2679414)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Barry Finn

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


13 Jul 09 - 05:27 PM (#2679436)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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?


13 Jul 09 - 05:36 PM (#2679448)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Royston

Artbrooks,

How much do Congressmen pay themselves each year?

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

What is your point?


13 Jul 09 - 05:53 PM (#2679469)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

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.


13 Jul 09 - 06:14 PM (#2679487)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee

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....


13 Jul 09 - 06:16 PM (#2679489)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam

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.


13 Jul 09 - 06:19 PM (#2679490)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B

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.


13 Jul 09 - 06:24 PM (#2679492)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme

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


13 Jul 09 - 06:27 PM (#2679496)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Royston

Oh Em,

I am truly in awe of your sagacious perspicacity.

And I am not taking the P!

Thank you!


13 Jul 09 - 06:44 PM (#2679510)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


13 Jul 09 - 07:04 PM (#2679521)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B

Royston, your ebullient panegyric is incommodious :)


13 Jul 09 - 07:20 PM (#2679531)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


13 Jul 09 - 07:30 PM (#2679537)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: bobad

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


13 Jul 09 - 09:20 PM (#2679584)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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


13 Jul 09 - 10:27 PM (#2679616)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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.


14 Jul 09 - 01:30 AM (#2679675)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


14 Jul 09 - 03:47 AM (#2679707)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ruth Archer

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.


14 Jul 09 - 04:42 AM (#2679728)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: goatfell

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.


14 Jul 09 - 04:43 AM (#2679729)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: goatfell

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


14 Jul 09 - 05:59 AM (#2679762)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Peace

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


14 Jul 09 - 06:49 AM (#2679779)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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."


14 Jul 09 - 07:09 AM (#2679797)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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.


14 Jul 09 - 07:34 AM (#2679808)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B

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."


14 Jul 09 - 07:35 AM (#2679809)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Keith A of Hertford

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


14 Jul 09 - 08:07 AM (#2679837)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


14 Jul 09 - 08:54 AM (#2679872)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean

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.


14 Jul 09 - 09:29 AM (#2679894)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG

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".
====


14 Jul 09 - 09:54 AM (#2679913)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme

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


14 Jul 09 - 10:15 AM (#2679930)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia

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.


14 Jul 09 - 10:20 AM (#2679935)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B

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


14 Jul 09 - 11:23 AM (#2679974)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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.


14 Jul 09 - 12:37 PM (#2680030)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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...


14 Jul 09 - 12:59 PM (#2680059)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


14 Jul 09 - 01:59 PM (#2680122)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

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


14 Jul 09 - 02:08 PM (#2680140)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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


14 Jul 09 - 03:20 PM (#2680201)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Charmion

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.


14 Jul 09 - 04:39 PM (#2680262)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: John P

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.


14 Jul 09 - 05:55 PM (#2680319)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


14 Jul 09 - 06:30 PM (#2680334)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ruth Archer

"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...


14 Jul 09 - 06:37 PM (#2680335)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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


14 Jul 09 - 06:59 PM (#2680341)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B

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.


14 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM (#2680425)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: kendall

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.


14 Jul 09 - 09:27 PM (#2680439)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rowan

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.


15 Jul 09 - 12:12 AM (#2680481)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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?


15 Jul 09 - 01:24 AM (#2680492)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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

DougR


15 Jul 09 - 10:06 AM (#2680723)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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."


15 Jul 09 - 12:19 PM (#2680821)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

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


15 Jul 09 - 01:18 PM (#2680867)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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

DougR


15 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM (#2680875)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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?


15 Jul 09 - 02:44 PM (#2680919)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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"?


15 Jul 09 - 06:31 PM (#2681059)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,mg

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


15 Jul 09 - 06:39 PM (#2681064)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

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.


15 Jul 09 - 07:12 PM (#2681079)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"...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.


15 Jul 09 - 07:36 PM (#2681093)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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.


15 Jul 09 - 08:35 PM (#2681121)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dwditty

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.


15 Jul 09 - 09:19 PM (#2681131)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

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.


15 Jul 09 - 10:22 PM (#2681151)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

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.


16 Jul 09 - 12:07 PM (#2681491)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)

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.


16 Jul 09 - 01:11 PM (#2681548)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG

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".


16 Jul 09 - 01:30 PM (#2681563)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

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.


16 Jul 09 - 02:58 PM (#2681649)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

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.


16 Jul 09 - 03:25 PM (#2681674)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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


16 Jul 09 - 05:20 PM (#2681747)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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"


16 Jul 09 - 06:31 PM (#2681783)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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.


16 Jul 09 - 06:46 PM (#2681791)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG

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.)


16 Jul 09 - 07:42 PM (#2681820)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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

Precisely.


16 Jul 09 - 07:44 PM (#2681822)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


16 Jul 09 - 08:07 PM (#2681837)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

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!


16 Jul 09 - 08:13 PM (#2681841)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks


16 Jul 09 - 08:37 PM (#2681848)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

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.


16 Jul 09 - 08:42 PM (#2681850)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

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)


16 Jul 09 - 09:01 PM (#2681857)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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.


16 Jul 09 - 09:31 PM (#2681865)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme

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


16 Jul 09 - 10:31 PM (#2681896)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


17 Jul 09 - 12:15 AM (#2681939)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

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.


17 Jul 09 - 12:35 AM (#2681944)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST

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


17 Jul 09 - 07:35 AM (#2682095)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

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.


17 Jul 09 - 07:40 AM (#2682100)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

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~


17 Jul 09 - 11:11 AM (#2682215)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger

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.


17 Jul 09 - 11:24 AM (#2682223)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean

("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.


17 Jul 09 - 12:46 PM (#2682267)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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".


17 Jul 09 - 01:56 PM (#2682331)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Leadfingers

GOOD !!! And 100


17 Jul 09 - 02:53 PM (#2682385)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

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!


17 Jul 09 - 03:41 PM (#2682410)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme

Kat and Rog,

Hello! You know, I'm with you on those points--and more...

Luv,

Art


17 Jul 09 - 03:43 PM (#2682414)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


17 Jul 09 - 08:48 PM (#2682572)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


17 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM (#2682575)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: kendall

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.


17 Jul 09 - 08:56 PM (#2682581)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


17 Jul 09 - 08:57 PM (#2682583)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


17 Jul 09 - 10:23 PM (#2682624)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

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.


17 Jul 09 - 11:05 PM (#2682638)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

...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.


17 Jul 09 - 11:20 PM (#2682641)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

Well, he didn't say right now re' the States, art.


18 Jul 09 - 02:01 AM (#2682654)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Health care, good? bad?
From: Stilly River Sage

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


18 Jul 09 - 07:34 AM (#2682733)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,An NHS problem

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.


18 Jul 09 - 12:10 PM (#2682845)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

"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.


18 Jul 09 - 02:21 PM (#2682906)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

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.


19 Jul 09 - 12:07 AM (#2683155)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

I've often wondered what happened to Zelda!


19 Jul 09 - 01:54 PM (#2683367)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Romanyman

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.


19 Jul 09 - 04:19 PM (#2683451)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger

" 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.


19 Jul 09 - 05:42 PM (#2683504)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

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.


19 Jul 09 - 08:35 PM (#2683597)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


19 Jul 09 - 11:25 PM (#2683650)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Leadfingers

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 .


20 Jul 09 - 02:58 AM (#2683685)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG

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.


20 Jul 09 - 11:05 AM (#2683879)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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.


20 Jul 09 - 06:53 PM (#2684135)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

And outrageous awards to malpractice victims.


20 Jul 09 - 07:05 PM (#2684147)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


20 Jul 09 - 08:38 PM (#2684199)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Heard today that the status quo lobbiests have spent over $20M in the last 3 months to derail Obama's plan...


21 Jul 09 - 06:24 PM (#2684854)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: lompocan

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.


21 Jul 09 - 07:36 PM (#2684918)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""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.


21 Jul 09 - 07:52 PM (#2684930)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

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.


21 Jul 09 - 08:01 PM (#2684935)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


21 Jul 09 - 08:21 PM (#2684944)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


22 Jul 09 - 01:44 AM (#2685052)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG

""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."


22 Jul 09 - 06:09 AM (#2685128)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG

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 ...


22 Jul 09 - 08:02 AM (#2685196)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""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.


22 Jul 09 - 08:46 AM (#2685220)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG

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.


22 Jul 09 - 09:01 AM (#2685234)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: 3refs

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!


22 Jul 09 - 11:36 AM (#2685298)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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.


22 Jul 09 - 11:45 AM (#2685309)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Brilliant analogies, Dick.


22 Jul 09 - 11:50 AM (#2685312)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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.


22 Jul 09 - 02:08 PM (#2685407)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

Dick, that IS brilliantly put! Thanks!


22 Jul 09 - 02:15 PM (#2685412)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger

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.


22 Jul 09 - 05:45 PM (#2685539)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"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?


22 Jul 09 - 06:04 PM (#2685552)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rumncoke

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


22 Jul 09 - 06:15 PM (#2685561)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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.


22 Jul 09 - 06:22 PM (#2685565)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

So, all this philosophy aside, does anyone know what Obama and Congress will do?


22 Jul 09 - 06:37 PM (#2685575)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

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.


22 Jul 09 - 06:43 PM (#2685579)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Where is the line where corporate lobbying becomes criminal conspiracy?


22 Jul 09 - 06:49 PM (#2685583)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


22 Jul 09 - 07:01 PM (#2685588)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"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".


22 Jul 09 - 07:09 PM (#2685595)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Because my question was serious, I do thank you for responding. It will have a bearing on Canadian health care down the road.


22 Jul 09 - 07:42 PM (#2685621)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

"...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.


22 Jul 09 - 07:56 PM (#2685632)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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.


22 Jul 09 - 08:48 PM (#2685662)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Leadfingers

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 .


22 Jul 09 - 09:59 PM (#2685690)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

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.


23 Jul 09 - 06:39 AM (#2685842)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Well "the average American" managed to see through the lies about Obama and elect him, so you shouldn't write them off completely.


23 Jul 09 - 06:46 AM (#2685844)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

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


23 Jul 09 - 11:47 AM (#2686042)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: lompocan

Ernestine is back and in great form.

Lily Tomlin on Health "Insurance"


23 Jul 09 - 11:53 AM (#2686050)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

Good for Ernestine! I do hope we wake up.


23 Jul 09 - 02:04 PM (#2686143)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"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...)


23 Jul 09 - 05:56 PM (#2686376)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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.


23 Jul 09 - 08:47 PM (#2686463)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


23 Jul 09 - 10:22 PM (#2686498)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


23 Jul 09 - 11:13 PM (#2686528)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

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....


24 Jul 09 - 12:01 AM (#2686540)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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.


25 Jul 09 - 01:45 PM (#2686917)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


25 Jul 09 - 05:31 PM (#2687077)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

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


25 Jul 09 - 05:43 PM (#2687087)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

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


25 Jul 09 - 05:45 PM (#2687088)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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?


25 Jul 09 - 05:45 PM (#2687089)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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?


25 Jul 09 - 05:59 PM (#2687094)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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.


25 Jul 09 - 07:10 PM (#2687125)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


25 Jul 09 - 08:05 PM (#2687155)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


25 Jul 09 - 08:31 PM (#2687175)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


25 Jul 09 - 08:33 PM (#2687179)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


25 Jul 09 - 08:40 PM (#2687183)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Doug, please define "so many"!


25 Jul 09 - 09:03 PM (#2687195)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

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


25 Jul 09 - 09:10 PM (#2687198)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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.


25 Jul 09 - 10:40 PM (#2687234)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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.


25 Jul 09 - 11:37 PM (#2687243)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

Thanks, Dick.


26 Jul 09 - 02:39 PM (#2687463)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

And, just to point it out, the system that DougR is currently enjoying---Medicare--is a sigle-payer nationalized healthcare system.


26 Jul 09 - 03:00 PM (#2687479)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

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.


26 Jul 09 - 03:21 PM (#2687494)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


26 Jul 09 - 03:23 PM (#2687496)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


26 Jul 09 - 03:44 PM (#2687501)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


26 Jul 09 - 03:46 PM (#2687502)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

We did in Canada, until Tommy Douglas came along. What it meant was that only people with money could afford health care.


26 Jul 09 - 03:48 PM (#2687503)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Let me help save you the looking, Doug.

http://cthealth.server101.com/myth_canadians'_use_of_healthcare_in_the_u_s_.htm


26 Jul 09 - 03:50 PM (#2687504)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/21/3/19


Another, Doug.


26 Jul 09 - 03:57 PM (#2687510)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Doug, is your government intending to do away with your present health coverage?


26 Jul 09 - 04:06 PM (#2687515)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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.


26 Jul 09 - 04:28 PM (#2687527)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

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


26 Jul 09 - 04:38 PM (#2687532)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


26 Jul 09 - 04:41 PM (#2687539)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: mg

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


26 Jul 09 - 04:50 PM (#2687553)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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?"


26 Jul 09 - 05:00 PM (#2687562)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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."


26 Jul 09 - 05:18 PM (#2687567)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Excellent find, McG of H.

Will he name those who have been bought?


26 Jul 09 - 05:22 PM (#2687573)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Have a look here.


26 Jul 09 - 05:48 PM (#2687596)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

"...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!


26 Jul 09 - 06:15 PM (#2687610)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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?


26 Jul 09 - 06:51 PM (#2687626)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

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.


26 Jul 09 - 07:22 PM (#2687638)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


26 Jul 09 - 07:45 PM (#2687656)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Leadfingers

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


26 Jul 09 - 08:04 PM (#2687668)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


26 Jul 09 - 08:33 PM (#2687686)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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


26 Jul 09 - 08:38 PM (#2687690)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Leadfingers

The HELL with it !! 300


26 Jul 09 - 10:54 PM (#2687726)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rowan

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


27 Jul 09 - 06:32 AM (#2687866)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""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.


27 Jul 09 - 06:42 AM (#2687873)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

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.


27 Jul 09 - 08:32 AM (#2687925)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

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


27 Jul 09 - 09:17 AM (#2687954)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Catherine Jayne

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.


27 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM (#2688127)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


27 Jul 09 - 08:32 PM (#2688464)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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.


27 Jul 09 - 09:50 PM (#2688501)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


27 Jul 09 - 10:09 PM (#2688515)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Thank you very much, Doug. I feel the same way.


28 Jul 09 - 02:09 AM (#2688563)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG

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].


28 Jul 09 - 08:14 AM (#2688683)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


28 Jul 09 - 06:37 PM (#2689200)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


28 Jul 09 - 07:37 PM (#2689238)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

VA. Another good example of single-payer National healthcare. For some.


28 Jul 09 - 07:56 PM (#2689253)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


29 Jul 09 - 10:34 AM (#2689572)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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.


29 Jul 09 - 11:35 AM (#2689636)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,romanyman

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.


29 Jul 09 - 11:35 AM (#2689638)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dwditty

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.


29 Jul 09 - 01:42 PM (#2689726)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


29 Jul 09 - 01:46 PM (#2689733)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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).


01 Aug 09 - 12:11 PM (#2691643)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

This just in.


01 Aug 09 - 12:41 PM (#2691660)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


01 Aug 09 - 12:48 PM (#2691666)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


01 Aug 09 - 01:08 PM (#2691678)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,BanjoRay

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


01 Aug 09 - 02:45 PM (#2691745)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

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.


01 Aug 09 - 03:43 PM (#2691770)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,stringsinger

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.


01 Aug 09 - 03:54 PM (#2691780)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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".


01 Aug 09 - 04:23 PM (#2691799)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

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


01 Aug 09 - 04:50 PM (#2691810)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean

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.


01 Aug 09 - 07:02 PM (#2691869)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

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


02 Aug 09 - 12:26 PM (#2692228)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

"...(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.


02 Aug 09 - 12:28 PM (#2692230)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,DougR

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


02 Aug 09 - 12:53 PM (#2692244)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Peace

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.


02 Aug 09 - 01:21 PM (#2692256)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


02 Aug 09 - 01:23 PM (#2692258)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Obama's proposed plan is not a single payer plan, and neither is the House Resolution that has just passed out of committee.


02 Aug 09 - 03:42 PM (#2692349)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Penny S.

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


02 Aug 09 - 03:55 PM (#2692355)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Penny S.

Nuts, I thought I had added the link.

Americana

I'll get it right some day


02 Aug 09 - 05:34 PM (#2692419)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam

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!


02 Aug 09 - 05:35 PM (#2692422)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

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


02 Aug 09 - 05:45 PM (#2692429)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

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


02 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM (#2692436)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam

Brilliant! Thank you Don.

I might just sleep better tonight.


02 Aug 09 - 06:12 PM (#2692449)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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?


02 Aug 09 - 06:21 PM (#2692452)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

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


02 Aug 09 - 10:25 PM (#2692551)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

"...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.


02 Aug 09 - 11:31 PM (#2692569)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Health care for all means that everyone benefits in the long run.

Except Douggie, of course.


03 Aug 09 - 02:55 AM (#2692620)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

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


03 Aug 09 - 02:59 AM (#2692621)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,mg

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


03 Aug 09 - 08:04 AM (#2692713)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

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.


03 Aug 09 - 11:12 AM (#2692787)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

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.


03 Aug 09 - 11:17 AM (#2692792)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"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.


03 Aug 09 - 12:03 PM (#2692813)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, goohowevd? bad?
From: DougR

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


03 Aug 09 - 12:19 PM (#2692819)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


03 Aug 09 - 12:21 PM (#2692820)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


03 Aug 09 - 12:23 PM (#2692822)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


03 Aug 09 - 01:14 PM (#2692867)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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?


03 Aug 09 - 01:17 PM (#2692873)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


03 Aug 09 - 03:38 PM (#2692976)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


03 Aug 09 - 03:54 PM (#2692990)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


03 Aug 09 - 04:05 PM (#2692995)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


03 Aug 09 - 04:15 PM (#2692999)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


03 Aug 09 - 04:25 PM (#2693004)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam

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.


03 Aug 09 - 04:26 PM (#2693005)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

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.


03 Aug 09 - 04:36 PM (#2693011)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


03 Aug 09 - 04:50 PM (#2693028)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

"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.


03 Aug 09 - 04:52 PM (#2693029)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean

"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!


03 Aug 09 - 04:53 PM (#2693030)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


03 Aug 09 - 04:58 PM (#2693036)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

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.


03 Aug 09 - 05:10 PM (#2693041)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


03 Aug 09 - 05:11 PM (#2693042)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

And I'm guessing that poster also benefits from government run health care in the form of Medicare.


03 Aug 09 - 05:14 PM (#2693043)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


03 Aug 09 - 05:30 PM (#2693055)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

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.


03 Aug 09 - 05:48 PM (#2693064)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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".


03 Aug 09 - 05:59 PM (#2693070)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

Yes, since Ronald Reagan destroyed America government workers have fared better than anyone else.


03 Aug 09 - 06:02 PM (#2693072)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

"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.


03 Aug 09 - 06:14 PM (#2693084)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rowan

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.


03 Aug 09 - 06:41 PM (#2693108)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

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".


03 Aug 09 - 06:52 PM (#2693116)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Greg F: You know the history of the U.S. Postal service? I'm impressed!

DougR


03 Aug 09 - 07:04 PM (#2693124)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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?


03 Aug 09 - 07:08 PM (#2693128)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

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.


03 Aug 09 - 07:12 PM (#2693132)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


03 Aug 09 - 07:26 PM (#2693136)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


03 Aug 09 - 07:59 PM (#2693165)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


03 Aug 09 - 08:04 PM (#2693168)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

No one will be required to participate in the public option. The public option will be entirely optional.


03 Aug 09 - 08:58 PM (#2693193)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: bobad

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.


03 Aug 09 - 09:07 PM (#2693199)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


03 Aug 09 - 09:11 PM (#2693201)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

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~


03 Aug 09 - 09:21 PM (#2693208)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

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.


03 Aug 09 - 09:50 PM (#2693224)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean

CarolC,
There have been many times in the past that we may not have agreed but on this you're spot on!
                   Sandy


03 Aug 09 - 10:09 PM (#2693231)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


04 Aug 09 - 07:06 AM (#2693407)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"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.


04 Aug 09 - 07:48 AM (#2693422)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

I'm puzzled by what Doug is on about...

That situation prevails universally.


04 Aug 09 - 11:41 AM (#2693534)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

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.


04 Aug 09 - 12:21 PM (#2693558)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


04 Aug 09 - 01:24 PM (#2693613)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

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


04 Aug 09 - 02:04 PM (#2693652)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


04 Aug 09 - 02:16 PM (#2693663)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"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?


04 Aug 09 - 02:21 PM (#2693669)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

LOL!


04 Aug 09 - 02:34 PM (#2693674)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: bobad

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.


04 Aug 09 - 03:44 PM (#2693729)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

"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


04 Aug 09 - 04:21 PM (#2693748)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Along with "No we can't", I'd suggest that the right slgan for the begrudgers might be "I'm all right Jack."


04 Aug 09 - 04:34 PM (#2693752)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

" ...and screw the rest of you!"


04 Aug 09 - 04:58 PM (#2693765)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


04 Aug 09 - 05:10 PM (#2693776)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

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? :)


04 Aug 09 - 05:52 PM (#2693814)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

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


04 Aug 09 - 06:17 PM (#2693837)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,mg

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


04 Aug 09 - 06:26 PM (#2693847)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


04 Aug 09 - 06:26 PM (#2693849)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Don & Ebbie, I would urge caution about conflating the words "Doug" and "think" . That way lies madness. And futility.


04 Aug 09 - 06:36 PM (#2693859)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


04 Aug 09 - 06:45 PM (#2693864)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


04 Aug 09 - 07:19 PM (#2693880)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


04 Aug 09 - 07:22 PM (#2693882)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


04 Aug 09 - 07:25 PM (#2693884)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

". . . 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


04 Aug 09 - 07:28 PM (#2693887)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

Cross posted. Carol, too, is right on the money.

Don Firth


04 Aug 09 - 09:09 PM (#2693913)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: mg

At least in my state job we can choose from a number of plans, various agencies, especially in larger cities. mg


04 Aug 09 - 09:15 PM (#2693914)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Once again, the government does a better job of providing health care, in this case, to its employees.


04 Aug 09 - 10:32 PM (#2693934)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: mg

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


05 Aug 09 - 02:13 AM (#2693971)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

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?


05 Aug 09 - 08:19 AM (#2694069)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

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~


05 Aug 09 - 12:12 PM (#2694182)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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?


05 Aug 09 - 12:30 PM (#2694194)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

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.


05 Aug 09 - 12:45 PM (#2694206)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


05 Aug 09 - 12:45 PM (#2694207)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

"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?


05 Aug 09 - 01:05 PM (#2694220)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.)


05 Aug 09 - 01:08 PM (#2694225)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


05 Aug 09 - 01:26 PM (#2694241)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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!


05 Aug 09 - 01:33 PM (#2694244)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationu alized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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.


05 Aug 09 - 01:36 PM (#2694246)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"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."


05 Aug 09 - 01:46 PM (#2694254)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


05 Aug 09 - 01:47 PM (#2694255)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

And that, by the way, is the whole point of the public option.


05 Aug 09 - 02:20 PM (#2694273)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


05 Aug 09 - 02:29 PM (#2694275)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

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.


05 Aug 09 - 02:48 PM (#2694293)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

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.


05 Aug 09 - 03:44 PM (#2694323)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

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.


05 Aug 09 - 04:35 PM (#2694348)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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...


05 Aug 09 - 06:12 PM (#2694397)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


05 Aug 09 - 07:06 PM (#2694415)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

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.


05 Aug 09 - 07:08 PM (#2694418)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rowan

"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


05 Aug 09 - 07:38 PM (#2694435)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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".


05 Aug 09 - 09:14 PM (#2694479)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

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.


05 Aug 09 - 11:29 PM (#2694508)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

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.


05 Aug 09 - 11:41 PM (#2694509)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,TIA

Greg F. -
You are debating a Fox News parrot. Every word comes straight from thier talking points. But you knew that already....


06 Aug 09 - 12:35 AM (#2694513)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


06 Aug 09 - 01:33 AM (#2694522)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


06 Aug 09 - 06:19 AM (#2694612)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""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.


06 Aug 09 - 08:13 AM (#2694658)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks

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.


06 Aug 09 - 08:22 AM (#2694662)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

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


06 Aug 09 - 10:53 AM (#2694730)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


06 Aug 09 - 11:50 AM (#2694784)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

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


06 Aug 09 - 12:23 PM (#2694812)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

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.


06 Aug 09 - 01:13 PM (#2694856)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Who are the experts that project that the Obama health care proposal will REDUCE costs?

DougR


06 Aug 09 - 01:34 PM (#2694870)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

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?


06 Aug 09 - 01:52 PM (#2694880)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


06 Aug 09 - 02:26 PM (#2694898)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,mg

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


06 Aug 09 - 02:32 PM (#2694906)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

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.


06 Aug 09 - 03:16 PM (#2694921)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Doug's initial post here seemed to indicate... trying to reach some common understanding of where the truth lies...was what he was after.


06 Aug 09 - 04:23 PM (#2694975)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


06 Aug 09 - 04:31 PM (#2694981)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

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...


06 Aug 09 - 04:47 PM (#2694993)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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."


06 Aug 09 - 05:08 PM (#2695009)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I don't have time to dig up the experts I mentioned just now. I'll do it when I get more time.


06 Aug 09 - 05:22 PM (#2695018)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

I don't get your point, McGrath- we should let Doug's preposterous & pernicious spew go unchallenged in the spirit if conviviality?


06 Aug 09 - 05:45 PM (#2695031)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

My point is that the basic point of a discussion is to discusss the issues. PLay the ball not the man.


06 Aug 09 - 06:28 PM (#2695055)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Excellent idea!


06 Aug 09 - 06:34 PM (#2695058)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

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


06 Aug 09 - 08:25 PM (#2695114)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

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.


06 Aug 09 - 09:41 PM (#2695146)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

There is no such thing as "Obamacare". What the heck are you talking about? More Fox News/Limbaugh BS.


06 Aug 09 - 09:43 PM (#2695147)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

And there's also the point that while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they're not entitled to their own facts.

Doug should have that tattooed in reverse on his forehead, so as to be able to read it in the mirror as he shaves every morning.


06 Aug 09 - 09:43 PM (#2695148)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

It looks to me like it's really up in the air as to whether is would cost more or less. The age old issue of "who pays," seems to be at the bottom of the resistance. If nothing is done, however, American firms will have to compete against other players around the globe who's government pays the freight.
               They won't survive!


06 Aug 09 - 11:56 PM (#2695194)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

The people who gave out the figure of a trillion dollars were talking about an incomplete early draft of a proposed bill. It did not include quite a lot of very important and relevant information and features that, when included in their calculations, will produce a very different figure. The whole point of sending that early draft was to get a projection from that government agency of how some of the features of the early draft would impact the cost. It was not a final version and it didn't look anything like what either Obama, or the Democrats in the House and Senate have been proposing.

Here is one expert who says that health care reform as proposed by Obama will reduce the deficit, whereas not taking care of the problems that Obama's proposal addresses will cause the deficit to increase. I've seen others and I'll post them as I get time...

David Cutler is Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University.

http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/2009/05/health_modernization.html


07 Aug 09 - 01:17 AM (#2695207)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Here's some background on the CBO estimate...

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2009/June/18/CBO.aspx


07 Aug 09 - 11:59 AM (#2695509)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Carol C: Thanks for the blue clickies, particularly the one to the Kaiser Fund. It seems there has been a great deal of friction between Peter Orzsag, former director of the CBO, and Douglas Elmendorf, the current director. Elmendorf, it seems, is taking a much more conservative position on the results of the CBO evaluation of the draft plan submitted by the Senate committee than Orzsag is. It was this evaluation that sent the senators back to the drawing board.

Don Firth: Mudcatters, at times, confuse "evidence" with opinion.

McGrath: yes, you are correct. I left "not" out of the sentence.

Greg F.: you have no idea whether or not I shave every day. I might have a beard that reaches down to my waist.

Charles Krauthammer's column in today's edition of the Washington Post suggests a plan to correct the current ills of our health care program. It won't be considered, of course, because he suggests it.

DougR


07 Aug 09 - 01:01 PM (#2695553)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

It was never intended for the draft sent to the CBO to be the final version. That's the whole point of sending things to the CBO. Their function is to go over the mumbers of various ideas and give their feedback so the lawmakers can shape law that will make economic sense. Those who are using the CBO report as proof that Obama's health care proposals are too expensive are being very dishonest, since the CBO report was in reference to an imcomplete bill. There were aspects of the overall approach that Congress is taking and that Obama advocates that were not included in the draft bill that the committee in question sent to the CBO that, when included, produce very different results.


07 Aug 09 - 01:16 PM (#2695573)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

People aren't going to reject his ideas because he's Krauthammer (although I think that's a perfectly reasonable thing to do, myself). They're going to reject them because he advocates taxing people for the money their employers contribute towards their health insurance. That one will never be accepted by the majority of people who get their health insurance through their employer.

His proposal also doesn't do a thing to solve the problem of people not being able to get insurance because of pre-existing conditions (which includes age, by the way), and it also does absolutely nothing about insurance companies denying their customers needed care in order to maximize their profits. So those who don't have access to health care or who are being ripped off by their insurance carriers will never accept his proposal eiher. Those two groups represent the majority of people in this country.

Krauthammer's proposal doesn't do a thing to help the uninsured and the underinsured get access to health care, and for this reason, his proposal would not do a thing to correct the increase in the deficit that is caused by the inefficient method of health care delivery we have in this country now.


07 Aug 09 - 01:35 PM (#2695596)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Carol C: I think you must have read a Krauthammer column that is different from the one I read. I believe his proposed program addresses all of the concerns you believe are ignored. For example, why would object, as one who is not insured, to the government giving you a grant to purchase a policy from the insurance company of your choice?

It appears to me that you will not be satisfied with any plan other than a single payer one. Is that correct?

DougR


07 Aug 09 - 01:54 PM (#2695606)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""For example, why would object, as one who is not insured, to the government giving you a grant to purchase a policy from the insurance company of your choice?""

Great Doug. The government gives you a grant to buy insurance from one of the many rip off merchants who will sell you a policy which denies you treatment in the event you get sick.

That'll help.....NOT!

The whole point, in case it hasn't penetrated yet, is that everybody GETS health care, rather than a long list of reasons why they are INELIGIBLE.

Don T.


07 Aug 09 - 02:15 PM (#2695618)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

This is the one I read. If there's another one, I would appreciate a link to it...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/06/AR2009080602933.html


07 Aug 09 - 02:17 PM (#2695619)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

...and no, I am not pushing for single payer, and I would like to see what posts of mine would lead anyone to believe that. I would be very happy with the plan that Obama is proposing, which is not single payer. I do want there to be a public option, but even the public option is not single payer.


07 Aug 09 - 02:23 PM (#2695622)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Forgot to address the one about not accepting money from the government to purchase a plan of my choice.

The answer is that because of my age and pre-existing conditions, there are no insurance companies that are willing to insure me for a price that I can afford... even if the government gives me a tax deduction.

What's so goddamned difficult to understand about what I have been repeatedly saying about how I can't get insurance because of pre-existing conditions? Tell me that! How many times does something have to be repeated until it will penetrate into such a brainwashed mind?


07 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM (#2695626)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Charles Krauthammer's column in today's edition of the Washington Post suggests a plan to correct the current ills of our health care program. It won't be considered, of course, because he suggests it.

So why didn't the last administration sort things out during all the long years in which it was in control? Could it possibly be that they didn't it to be done? And in opposition they still don't want it to be done?

Sixty years since the NHS was set up. Plenty of time to work out and introduce a more acceptable way of achieving the same goal in an American way, if that had been what was actually wanted.


07 Aug 09 - 02:29 PM (#2695628)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

"... I would be very happy with the plan that Obama is proposing" ~ CarolC

You and artbrooks have both said that there is no health care plan yet. That is why the finantial impact cannot be evaluated.


07 Aug 09 - 02:40 PM (#2695635)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

"American voters, by a 55 - 35 percent margin, are more worried that Congress will spend too much money and add to the deficit than it will not act to overhaul the health care system, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. By a similar 57 - 37 percent margin, voters say health care reform should be dropped if it adds "significantly" to the deficit.

By a 72 - 21 percent margin, voters do not believe that President Barack Obama will keep his promise to overhaul the health care system without adding to the deficit, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University national poll finds.

American voters disapprove 52 - 39 percent of the way President Obama is handling health care, down from 46 - 42 percent approval July 1, with 60 - 34 percent disapproval from independent voters. Voters say 59 - 36 percent that Congress should not pass health care reform if only Democratic members support it. …

Only 21 percent of voters say the plan will improve the quality of care they receive, while 36 percent say it will hurt their quality of care and 39 percent say it will make no difference.

The big number here is the independents.  Democrats got elected by splitting independents away from the GOP, especially in the 2008 presidential election and the 2006 midterms.  Despite their insistence that opposition to ObamaCare has been cooked up in RNC laboratories and transmitted through people wearing Brooks Brothers suits, the 26-point gap with independents shows that Democrats are alienating the very constituency that keeps them in power.

Voters in the Quinnipiac poll support elements of ObamaCare, but not the cost.  For instance, they support mandates on businesses to supply insurance by a 54%-38% margin, and respondents also like the idea of a public plan by almost a 2-1 margin.  They strongly oppose individual mandates to carry health insurance, 68%-26%, a key part of ObamaCare that achieves universal coverage by making it illegal to be without insurance of some kind.

Obama has more demographic problems than just independents.  Women now oppose Obama on health care issues, 49%-41%, a 17-point swing since July 1st.  Young voters, in this poll defined as 18-34 year olds, oppose Obama on health care 48%-44%, a 23-point swing from their 54%-35% support a month earlier.  Low income voters swung 12 points and now oppose Obama on this issue 47%-43%.  When populism starts failing among the young and the relatively poor, who will buy it at all?"


{I wonder if Obama will order the American people to stop reading the Quinnipiac Poll. Perhaps order the Fairness Doctrine involked so a poll he likes better can have equal time.}


07 Aug 09 - 03:00 PM (#2695650)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

"Don Firth: Mudcatters, at times, confuse 'evidence' with opinion."

True indeed, Doug. Your referring to the "Cash for Clunkers" program as a "fiasco," for example, was pure off-the-top-of-a-conservative-head opinion with no basis in fact. The program has been spectacular success, and that's not an opinion. Individual buyers are getting a good deal all the way around, the environment will benefit, it will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, the automobile companies are getting a much needed stimulus, and the dealerships in particular (many of which were in danger of having to close and lay off their employees) are being saved from extinction. And the program is not costing the taxpayers that much, especially when you consider that the auto companies, the dealerships, and their employees will now be able to continue paying their taxes! And today's news said that the program has proven so successful that it's going to be re-upped. Now, I'd say that's hardly a "fiasco."

I might point out (fasten your seat belt, you might find this ride a bit bumpy!) that the idea 0f putting the money in the hands of people who will spend it right away, as opposed to giving it to company heads who merely squirrel it away and/or give themselves salary raises and bonuses, was one of the fundamental principles of FDR in an effort to help people directly, while at the same time, stimulating the economy during the Great Depression, when he created agencies that would hire people for specific projects and directly pay them a salary—which they would spend right away because prior to the program, they were jobless and often homeless and hungry:   I'm sure you're familiar with the WPA (building roads, bridges, infrastructure in general that we still use today) and the CCC (cleaning up the environment and tidying up parks and recreation areas, which we are still enjoying today). It helped millions of people, needy through no fault of their own, and it went a very long way toward bringing the Depression to an end.

Given the right leadership, the government can do a pretty good job.

Conservatives don't like to acknowledge that. But it isn't opinion, it's history.

Don Firth

P. S. By the way, I also heard on this morning's news that half of all personal bankruptcies in the United States are related to expenses engendered by health care problems.


07 Aug 09 - 03:47 PM (#2695674)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I didn't say there is not plan yet. I said that the version of the bill that was sent to the CBO was not complete. Those are two entirely different things.


07 Aug 09 - 03:52 PM (#2695676)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

It's getting ugly out there:

    * Last night in Tampa, Florida, a town hall meeting erupted into violence, with the police being called to break up fist fights and shoving matches.
    * A Texas Democrat was shouted down by right-wing hecklers, many of whom admitted they didn't even live in his district.
    * One North Carolina representative announced he wouldn't be holding any town-hall meetings after his office began receiving death threats.
    * And in Maryland, protesters hung a Democratic congressman in effigy to oppose health-care reform.


Sources:

1. "Tampa Town Hall On Health Care Reform Disrupted By Violence," The Huffington Post, August 6, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51727&id=16748-8293565-KhFG0nx&t=3

2. "Local Fox Reporter Attends Town Hall And Finds 'Some Attendees Admit They Don't Live In The District,'" Think Progress, August 4, 2009
http://thinkprogress.org/2009/08/04/gene-green-townhall/

3. "Dem Congressman's Office: His Life Has Been Threatened Over Health Care Bill," Talking Points Memo, August 5, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51724&id=16748-8293565-KhFG0nx&t=4

4. "The Danger Over the Right's Anger," Politico, August 3, 2009.
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51726&id=16748-8293565-KhFG0nx&t=5


07 Aug 09 - 03:59 PM (#2695679)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Gallup: Majority in U.S. Favors Healthcare Reform This Year

Harris: Majority of Americans want a public option

Majority of small businesses in New Hampshire want health care reform (this is a sentiment that is shared by small businesses all over the country).


07 Aug 09 - 04:17 PM (#2695690)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

The text of the bill is the only thing that matters. Period!

What people think is in the bill doesn't change anything. What people want in the bill doesn't seem to matter either. "The People" aren't writing the bill, lawyers and political activists are writing it.

Small business owners and doctors do not support what they have heard so far. They are not even part of the decision making process.

If the bill is so good, why won't Obama & Co. explain things better.


07 Aug 09 - 04:29 PM (#2695703)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

"As a columnist who regularly dishes out sharp criticism, I try not to question the motives of people with whom I don't agree. Today, I'm going to step over that line.

The recent attacks by Republican leaders and their ideological fellow-travelers on the effort to reform the health-care system have been so misleading, so disingenuous, that they could only spring from a cynical effort to gain partisan political advantage. By poisoning the political well, they've given up any pretense of being the loyal opposition. They've become political terrorists, willing to say or do anything to prevent the country from reaching a consensus on one of its most serious domestic problems.

There are lots of valid criticisms that can be made against the health reform plans moving through Congress -- I've made a few myself. But there is no credible way to look at what has been proposed by the president or any congressional committee and conclude that these will result in a government takeover of the health-care system. That is a flat-out lie whose only purpose is to scare the public and stop political conversation.

Under any plan likely to emerge from Congress, the vast majority of Americans who are not old or poor will continue to buy health insurance from private companies, continue to get their health care from doctors in private practice and continue to be treated at privately owned hospitals.

The centerpiece of all the plans is a new health insurance exchange set up by the government where individuals, small businesses and eventually larger businesses will be able to purchase insurance from private insurers at lower rates than are now generally available under rules that require insurers to offer coverage to anyone regardless of health condition. Low-income workers buying insurance through the exchange -- along with their employers -- would be eligible for government subsidies. While the government will take a more active role in regulating the insurance market and increase its spending for health care, that hardly amounts to the kind of government-run system that critics conjure up when they trot out that oh-so-clever line about the Department of Motor Vehicles being in charge of your colonoscopy.

There is still a vigorous debate as to whether one of the insurance options offered through those exchanges would be a government-run insurance company of some sort. There are now less-than-even odds that such a public option will survive in the Senate, while even House leaders have agreed that the public plan won't be able to piggy-back on Medicare. So the probability that a public-run insurance plan is about to drive every private insurer out of business -- the Republican nightmare scenario -- is approximately zero.

By now, you've probably also heard that health reform will cost taxpayers at least a trillion dollars. Another lie.

First of all, that's not a trillion every year, as most people assume -- it's a trillion over 10 years, which is the silly way that people in Washington talk about federal budgets. On an annual basis, that translates to about $140 billion, when things are up and running.

Even that, however, grossly overstates the net cost to the government of providing universal coverage. Other parts of the reform plan would result in offsetting savings for Medicare: reductions in unnecessary subsidies to private insurers, in annual increases in payments rates for doctors and in payments to hospitals for providing free care to the uninsured. The net increase in government spending for health care would likely be about $100 billion a year, a one-time increase equal to less than 1 percent of a national income that grows at an average rate of 2.5 percent every year.

The Republican lies about the economics of health reform are also heavily laced with hypocrisy.

While holding themselves out as paragons of fiscal rectitude, Republicans grandstand against just about every idea to reduce the amount of health care people consume or the prices paid to health-care providers -- the only two ways I can think of to credibly bring health spending under control." (Washington Post)


07 Aug 09 - 04:36 PM (#2695715)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

The text of the bill that is being considered at this time contains elements that were not presented to or considered by the CBO when it made its report.

It's true that some members of Congress aren't listening to their constituents. Those are the ones, like the Republicans and the Blue Dog Democrats, who are working on behalf of the Insurance industry, and are ignoring the wishes of the majority of people.

And it's absolutely true that many small businesses want Obama's health care proposals to succeed. They are being crippled by the costs of providing their workers with health care and for those who can't afford to, they are not able to compete with companies that can afford to. JtS and I are small business owners, and we are definitely in favor of Obama's proposals, because as small business owners, we don't have acceess to health care ourselves.


07 Aug 09 - 04:37 PM (#2695716)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

And doctors also support it, as does the AMA and the major nurses associations.


07 Aug 09 - 04:37 PM (#2695717)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Don T: I never said that the government should not force private companies to accept people with preexisting conditions or prevent enrollees from being dropped because they become sick after enrolling. That could be done through legislation by preventing private companies that participate in Medicare and Medicaid from doing so. There may be other inequities that could be handled the same way.

In regard to Cash for Clunkers, I suggest you Google, "The effect of Clunkers on the Environment", an article printed in Newsweek magazine, hardly a paragon of conservative thought.

Carol C: I guess we both read the same column and arrived at different conclusions.

Our discussion re Single Payer: So I'll rephrase my question. Would you, Carol, be satisfied with a health care plan proposed by the Democrats that did NOT have a Public Option?

On statistics: Did you read PDQ's post today at 02:40 PM?


07 Aug 09 - 04:43 PM (#2695722)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Oh, and kat, there were outbursts at similar meetings relating to the War in Iraq during the Bush administration. I never heard complaints from liberals who viewed such "outbursts" as acts of patriotism not disruption.

I don't approve of rude outbursts at meetings about either subject just as I do not approve of rude posts on the Mudcat, but, we still have freedom of speech in the U.S., right?

DougR


07 Aug 09 - 05:02 PM (#2695733)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I would probably settle for a bill that contained a strong co-op option, if there were provisions that would strengthen the co-ops so they couldn't be demolished by the for profit insurance industry as co-ops in the past have been.

Please show me which parts of Krauthammer's proposal addresses the problem of people not being able to get coverage because of pre-existing conditions (and also people who are able to buy insurance, but whose pre-existing conditions are not covered), and please show me the part that addresses the problem of insurance companies withholding needed care from those they insure in order to increase their profits.


07 Aug 09 - 05:10 PM (#2695737)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Why are current public opinion polls etc that relevant anyway? You've just had a general election in which an overwhelming majority was given to the side that promised to bring in a scheme providsing universal health coverage. That means the current administration has a mandate to push ahead with that.   

Fluctuations in public opinion are interesyting as indications of what might possibly happen next time there is an election, but that's all. The promise made to the electors on which they voted in November still stands as an obligation upon the administration.


07 Aug 09 - 05:40 PM (#2695767)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

McGrath: I'm sure Obama and members of his campaign staff would agree with you. However, campaigning is quite different from governing. Politicians make promises during a campaign that even the candidate knows will not become law. Sometime it does, often it does not. True, a president who wins an election by as large a margin as Obama did, plus gaining large majorities in the House and Senate should assure that the winner gets most of the legislation he wants, but it does not always work out that way. Immediately after the election, Obama had very high personal approval ratings. As he began to govern, approval ratings began to slowly start dropping, but over the past few weeks they have dropped a bit faster. Why? In my opinion it is because the DETAILS of the health care plan Obama promised during the campaign became more understood by the electorate and, so far, the majority of voters don't like what they hear. A large percentage of voters, who before, and during the campaign found great fault with their health care plan and though an overhaul of the system would be desirable. After hearing the details of Obama's plan, they are beginning to believe that their current plan is not so bad after all.

It is possible that Obama and the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate might push through winning legislation without Republican help. There is even a legislative procedure that they could use (and might do so) but that's a bit risky. All members of the House of Representatives face re-election in 2010, and some Senators do. They are reluctant to pass a Bill that could cost them their seat in 2010 or 2012.

That's my thinking anyway.

DougR


07 Aug 09 - 06:27 PM (#2695807)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

...just for the record:


Barack H. Obama:         69,498,952         votes or          52.87%        
John S. McCain:            59,949,402         votes or            45.60%

That is victory margin of 7.27%.

That means if 3.635% had change sides, we would have had a tie.


07 Aug 09 - 06:33 PM (#2695811)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

52/45 in these times is a friggin' landslide...

As for co-ops... I'd like to see how they would be structured... If they are like "assigned risk" pools where people are dumped into the for-mega-profit private insurance muti-billion dollar scam, I'd have to take a pass... Unless, of course, the government can regulate the heck out of such a co-op... Like it's operating costs and profits...

B~


07 Aug 09 - 07:28 PM (#2695837)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""I never said that the government should not force private companies to accept people with preexisting conditions or prevent enrollees from being dropped because they become sick after enrolling.""

This is without doubt one of the most disingenuous responses I have ever received.

When, Doug, did you EVER hear of a government, ANY government, forcing a large corporate entity to do ANYTHING?

You have YOUR healthcare covered, so why would you want to contribute one bent penny to the care of those less fortunate?

It is sad to see a whole nation so lost to compassion as to refuse to countenance supplying lifesaving care to those less fortunate.

Gandhi was right when, in response to the question "What do you think of American civilisation"?, he replied "I think it would be a very good idea".

It is the attitude of yourself, and people like you who elicited that response, and it IS a justifiable response.

Don T.


07 Aug 09 - 07:32 PM (#2695842)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: bobad

This is the kind of stuff people who want more equitable health care in the US are up against:

Rush Limbaugh "Obama Health Care Logo Is Damn Close To A Nazi Swastika Logo"

You have my sympathies.


07 Aug 09 - 07:32 PM (#2695843)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

Before I receive the usual screams of outrage, let me emphasise that it is Doug's attitude, and NOT Doug himself, to which I am objecting.

Don T.


07 Aug 09 - 07:32 PM (#2695844)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I see the poster who has said Krauthammer's proposal will fix the problems of people not being able to get insured because of pre-existing conditions and the problem of insurance companies denying needed care in order to increase profits, can't provide the parts of the proposal that are supposed to address those problems. I'm not surprised because they're simply not there.

I'm beginning to come to the conclusion that it's not just an "I've got mine and to hell with everyone else" attitude of such people, but that it's also a deep seated need to see Obama fail, and they just couldn't give a crap how many people have to die as a result.


07 Aug 09 - 07:54 PM (#2695858)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

I read the Newsweek article, Doug. I'm afraid your citing of that to prove your "fiasco" assessment of the "Cash for Clunkers" program is a bit disingenuous. I never said that it would solve all the country's economic woes, nor has anybody else. But—the program is helping. Granted, not much, but as they say "a nickel here and a dime there tends to add up." No single program instituted by FDR during the Depression did that either. But a combination of programs did. It's called "synergy."

Daniel Stone's article (I presume that's the one you're citing) begins, "The popularity of Cash for Clunkers is, by now, undeniable." And then he starts trying to pick it apart. "Negligible" is a word he uses a lot. But that is opinion, Doug. An opinion not shared by the auto companies, the dealerships, and all the employees who will not be laid off and add their numbers to the unemployment roles. And that can't help but help the economy. And the environment. Not much by itself, but at least it's better than doing nothing but whining.

Don Firth


07 Aug 09 - 08:03 PM (#2695861)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Jus can't pass up 500..


07 Aug 09 - 08:04 PM (#2695862)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

"And according to www.politifact.com, a Pulitzer prize-winning fact-checking project of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, most of the claims made in the e-mail are false."

FYI


07 Aug 09 - 09:04 PM (#2695898)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

Re:    bodad's fascinating post above. . . .

Rush Limbaugh. What a pathetic, ignorant dork!

Has the man never seen a caduceus before? It's the symbol of the medical profession. It's also the symbol of the United States Army Medical Corps.

I don't see any German swastikas there. What the hell is HE seeing!???

Don Firth


07 Aug 09 - 09:22 PM (#2695908)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Limbaugh just wants Obama to fail and he doesn't give a crap how may people would die as a result.


07 Aug 09 - 09:23 PM (#2695910)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

he's a druggie, Don- christ only knows what he's seeing.


08 Aug 09 - 05:57 PM (#2696065)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger

Doug, the outbursts that you cite are organized by insurance companies and ancillary
political supporters. They are not really grass roots by any means. This is a Republican
tactic that was taken from the protests during Vietnam although the proponents of
the Vietnam war were not shouted down so that they couldn't be heard. They were promptly arrested as these current protesters should be.

This is no longer a free country. Free speech is being stifled by a handful of bullying
tactics by Republican operatives. There is no debate on health care but partisan
jockeying through yelling and it can lead to violence.

This is not the America that I believe in. This is the absence of free speech (more like
crying fire in a crowded theater).

Frank Hamilton


08 Aug 09 - 06:19 PM (#2696071)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Half of No Worries

The NHS is not perfect but I have spent my life knowing that we care for our sick no matter if they are rich or poor, UK citizens or visitors.
I would be more than willing for my taxes to be raised to see even more improvements in the NHS service to those in need.
If an ambulance arrives for me I NEVER have to consider the cost. I can visit my doctor without fear of the expense which must be good for preventative care. If made redundant I would never need to consider how I could continue a health care plan.
My son recently had several operations, the last costing the NHS £26,000 for the materials alone. It enabled him to walk again and resume working and paying his taxes. The nursing staff and doctors discussed the medical conditions and not our ability to pay. The sick and their families do not have the stress that must come from inadequate or no health cover.
If we had had private health cover, my son may have had a room to himself but instead he shared with 5 others who spurred each other on to recovery. One of the group had chosen to switch back to NHS to make good the damage done to his leg in private treatment. He was more than happy with his conditions and care.
When visiting Australia we took out private health cover but when an arm was broken we had excellent free treatment thanks to Medicare as we were advised that waiting for a private consultant would have caused a delay.

As I see it Health cover for all is a matter of humanity for our fellow human beings.


08 Aug 09 - 06:33 PM (#2696077)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

Does anyone think that we're not already paying an egregious amount for healthcare? Makes no difference to me whether it's in taxes or fees, it's still a helluva lot of cash. And, if the insurance/medical/pharmicalogical monopolies aren't challenged, it's going to be a helluva lot worse.


08 Aug 09 - 07:28 PM (#2696114)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

These people who are disrupting these town hall meetings are the same folks who flocked to Sarah Plain rallies... There are rednecks... They are birthers... They are racists... And equally bad, they don't know anything about what has been proposed...

Tell ya' what... Put some cops in those town hall meetings and announce that "this is a public event and civility will be maintained and those who do not wish to ac5t civilly will be removed" and then do it... Right now, alot of folks don't wnat to attend these meeting because they see on TV that the meetings aren't real but a venue for rednecks to show their asses... And show their asses they are doing...

Yeah, arrest a couple hundred and the rest will get it!!!

Heck, if leftists acted like that they would be arresyed... Ask me how I know... Been there, done that... Hey, the right doesn't understand that if you are going to do civil disobedience then yer gonna get arrested... I knew this in the 60s and I got arrested... Why is it that the right is allowed to conduct civil disobedience and get away with it???

B~


08 Aug 09 - 07:36 PM (#2696119)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Countries pay more for sickness than they do for health. Conntries will do better when their people are healthy. THAT ain't rocket surgery.


08 Aug 09 - 11:21 PM (#2696188)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Charley Noble

Hopefully the Republican scare tactics won't succeed this time around.

Doug, you said in your initial post you were satisfied with Medicare. Why would you have reservations about Medicare, a government run program, being extended to the entire population? I do wish Congress had the courage to do that.

Screw the insurance companies who have been ripping off the public for decades.

And while we're at at it, screw the HMO's who dictate what we can get reimbursed for under our private insurance plans.

Charley Noble


09 Aug 09 - 07:52 AM (#2696310)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"But perhaps the most surprising thing about the whole debate is that the appetite for health reform remains extremely popular with most Americans, even as Obama's poll numbers sink and the fight with Republicans and the healthcare industry grows uglier and uglier. One recent poll showed that 62% of Americans favoured a public option and 61% supported higher taxes on the wealthy in order to pay for it."

From today's Observer. Obama fights back as bid to reform US healthcare stalls


09 Aug 09 - 10:21 AM (#2696370)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

The depths to which those who oppose health care reform will sink seems to have no limits. They have turned a provision which provides funding for end of life counseling (explaining the options in terms of life sustaining measures, hospice care, etc.) into "pressuring senior citizens to end their lives" so they won't take up public resources. More info HERE . Sarah Palin fuels the fire by accusing Obama of wanting to set up a "Death Panel". Here's a link to the Huffington Post which includes some commentary.

The sad, sad part about it is that many of the people who believe this nonsense are the ones who would benefit from universal health care.


09 Aug 09 - 06:38 PM (#2696588)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

There IS not, and there has never been, a limit on how low the greedy and selfish Well-to-Do will sink in the process of protecting their money and status.

If all the "losers" get equal healthcare for free, how will the successful distance themselves from the human "dross" they consider to be so far beneath them?

The inevitable result of a culture which judges a human being by the number of zeros on his paycheck.

It's way past time that those "losers" got up on their hind legs and demanded some of that American Dream currently enjoyed by the Fat Cats who live off the losers' toil.


Don T.


09 Aug 09 - 08:45 PM (#2696646)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: curmudgeon

"We have been nought, but shall be all."


09 Aug 09 - 10:05 PM (#2696676)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Apologies to those of you who have addressed or made comments regarding my position, I have been traveling the past two days and haven't been able to reply.

Will do so tomorrow.

DougR


10 Aug 09 - 06:29 AM (#2696828)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

The crucial thing isn't the extent to which things are "nationalized", but whether the arrangements are such that people are not denied treatment they need because they haven't the money, and nor are they unable to obtain insurance coverage because of "previous condition" or other reasons.


10 Aug 09 - 07:55 AM (#2696862)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Very interesting reading in yesterday's Washington Post ("The Gang of D.C." by Alec Macgillis)...

Seems that these "blue dog democrats" who are standing in the way of the Dems passing a "public option" come from very sparsely populated states: Montana, Wyoming, North Dekota, Maine, New Mexico and Iowa... These states represent only 3% of the total population of the United States, however, these Senators trump half the country's population's Senatorial clout... In other words, 3% = 50%???

(Huh, Boberdz???)

Yeah, that's right... The Founding Fathers really messed this up!!! They thought that Senate would be the *fine tuner* of legislation but the Senate has evolved into the place where the people's will goes to be crushed...

(But why would the "Gang of 6" be interested in crushing health reform???)

First of all, self preseravtion... You know, money... But not just the money that the health insurance companies and drug companies lavish upon these folks but the fact that these states, being less populated, don't have the problems that the more populated states have, such as higher unemployement and more poverty and/or borderline poverty...

So the problem isn't really Repub mischief... Oh sure, the Repub mischief makes it all that harder to get the "Gang of 6" to play nice with their fellow Dems... And face it, in small states Senators tend to have no trouble getting re-elected unless they are caught in a motel room doing what the preacher said not to do so these Senators are the ones with lots of seniority and clout so they become comittee chairmen (which they are) which gives them that much more clout...

Summation: Don't look for the "public option"... The "Gang of 6" will find a way to kill it...

Summation #2: Look for this idea of a "co-op" in which everyone will be be forced to buy insurance from a pool of private health insurers, kinda like "assigned risk" auto policies which are sold to auto owners in some states...

Summation #3: The "Gang of 6", the Rebubs and the insurance lobbiest have won again and when we re-visit this problem of why we pay 17% of our GNP for health care and don't rank in the top 20 in life expectancy or infant mortality in about 15 years, this round will be looked at much the way Clinton's attempts are looked at today...

Summation #4: Yeah, Obama will calim that the problem has been fixed to the best it can be considering the political will of Congress but, in the long run, it won't be fixed until our economy is absolutely on the rocks and on life support...

And the beat goes on...

Bobert


10 Aug 09 - 09:32 AM (#2696930)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Actually, Bobert, the states of Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota have very conservative voters, and those Democrats who get elected to the senate are pressured by the voters back home who listen to the Fox News propaganda.

Montana voters in the western part of the state tend to be more liberal, but Democrat Max Baucus, for instance, has a lot of medical lobby money fueling his re-election campaigns.

Many people here have a great mistrust of government (remember the Freeman movement?), are often motivated by anti-abortion rhetoric, but are not particularly well off financially. They are the very ones who need health care/insurance reform. This part of the country is fertile ground for the Sarah Palin mentality. Montana's median income ranks down at the bottom of the list with the southern states at number 42. North Dakota is at 38. (US census)


10 Aug 09 - 12:30 PM (#2697028)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

And Sarah Palin has recognized that it's evil!


10 Aug 09 - 04:54 PM (#2697201)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

A link to the web site with video explanations the White House put online today:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/?e=10&ref=text

"HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM REALITY CHECK"


10 Aug 09 - 06:03 PM (#2697272)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Don't confuse the idiots with FACTS, Alice.


10 Aug 09 - 08:49 PM (#2697374)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Yeah, Alice, you have it "right" (pun intended)... Small states tend to have less eductated people who are more vulnerable to emotionalism at the expense of the truth... Ripe for a Sarah Plain to come in and say that the government will decide on when you should die but then say that we should be having a "civil disucussion"... Hmmmmmmmm??? How can one have a civil discussion with anyone who thinks that health care reform means that the governemnt is going to kill you???

The answer???

You can't... There is no arguning with a sick minded person and from what I've seen and read, there are one heck of alot of very sick minded people out there...

But let something happen to them and guess where they will run to??? Yeah, the government...

Man, I oughtta turn into a rightie... Doesn't involve any actualy, ahhhh, thinking.... Then I could free up my mind fir more imporatnt stuff like "Survivor" or "American Idol".....

Ignorance ***is*** bliss...

B~


10 Aug 09 - 08:52 PM (#2697377)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

Thanks for that link, Alice.


10 Aug 09 - 09:05 PM (#2697381)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: bobad

NPR piece from today refuting the propaganda issuing from the right whingers re. Canada's health care system: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111721651


10 Aug 09 - 09:50 PM (#2697407)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Hey, Don, fine post above. Does this mean you will no longer be voting conservative?


11 Aug 09 - 07:30 AM (#2697611)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"Small states tend to have less educated people who are more vulnerable to emotionalism at the expense of the truth."

I can think of many highly educated people who have a very dodgy relationship with "truth".

Not trusting the government is generally a very reasonable position. On the other hand trusting private financial institutions such as insurance companies and banks is not.


11 Aug 09 - 08:32 AM (#2697638)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Educated?

FEWER!


11 Aug 09 - 09:26 AM (#2697664)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

I read it as meaning that people were less educated, rather than that there weren't so many who were educated at all.


11 Aug 09 - 06:38 PM (#2698027)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Less educated per capita... And those that do go to colleges from these states tend to seek out conservative colleges...

Point is that 3% of the population is holding as much Senatorial control as 50%... That is why the Gang of Six will blow up this decades shot at health reform...


11 Aug 09 - 06:52 PM (#2698047)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rowan

Doug, the outbursts that you cite are organized by insurance companies and ancillary
political supporters. They are not really grass roots by any means. This is a Republican
tactic


Supporting Stringsinger's contention that the protesters are not representatives of "grass roots" opinion, I heard a US commentator, interviewed on Oz Radio National this morning, describe those protesters emphatically as "Astroturf".

Cheers, Rowan


11 Aug 09 - 07:25 PM (#2698080)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""Hey, Don, fine post above. Does this mean you will no longer be voting conservative?""

NO! Why would it?

Here, I'm talking about a matter of monetary class distinction.

Quite separate from my views about how a country should be run. I would happily discuss those views with you in another place and time.

Unfortunately, when discussing politics with you, I have discovered that once the word conservative is said, the only voice that can be heard for five miles in any direction is YOURS.


LOL
Don T.


11 Aug 09 - 07:59 PM (#2698116)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Oh good!


11 Aug 09 - 08:05 PM (#2698126)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Easily fixed.

Small states tend to have less-educated people who are more vulnerable to emotionalism at the expense of the truth.

No offence implied, intended or even thought about.


11 Aug 09 - 10:31 PM (#2698244)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

On CSPAN I'm watching the President answering questions at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire town hall today regarding health insurance reform.
Here is a link to the web site where you can see it:

http://www.c-span.org/


12 Aug 09 - 05:11 AM (#2698356)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Penny S.

This was reported on the BBC this morning on the Today programme. a woman was very strongly explaining that she did not want her country turning into Russia, or a socialised country.

I suspect a lot of people over there don't know about their fellows who fall through the net.

Penny


12 Aug 09 - 05:26 AM (#2698365)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Penny S.

The item is on this page, at 7.12 - I couldn't get into it myself.

Today Obama item

Penny


12 Aug 09 - 08:08 AM (#2698461)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Gervase

The right-wing scaremongering has been picked up in the Guardian over here in the UK. It does look pretty alarmist - amazing how vitriolic people can get when ideologies are challenged. The piece is here.
The concluding paragraphs are worth quoting here, though:
the UK spends less per head on healthcare but has a higher life expectancy than the US. The World Health Organisation ranks Britain's healthcare as 18th in the world, while the US is in 37th place. The British Medical Association said a majority of Britain's doctors have consistently supported public provision of healthcare. A spokeswoman said the association's 140,000 members were sceptical about the US approach to medicine: "Doctors and the public here are appalled that there are so many people on the US who don't have proper access to healthcare. It's something we would find very, very shocking."


12 Aug 09 - 08:17 AM (#2698470)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Well, looks as if the Dems had a better day with the town hall meetings... The strategy is to just hang in there and not allow themselves to be intimidated... Plus, what we are seeing on TV does not represent to polling... Couple more days and we may see the righties on the run... I donno???

B~


12 Aug 09 - 12:44 PM (#2698637)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

This past Sunday, the writers' group I'm in met at our apartment. After we read our stuff and mutually critiqued it, the conversation became general, and the subject of single payer national health service came up. I made a comment or two about how much "socialism" already exists in this country and it seems to work just fine. In fact, nobody seems to identify it as "socialism" if they, themselves, find it, not just convenient, but absolutely essential. Like road and freeway infrastructure, police and fire service, etc.

This morning, I received the following in an e-mail from Paul, one of the writers. I did some checking and found it all over the internet, so I guess it's fair game to post it here as well. Enjoy. And for those who hadn't really thought about all of this, DO learn.
I AM AN AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE (impolite epithet)

This morning I was awakened by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US department of energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the national weather service of the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the national aeronautics and space administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US department of agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the food and drug administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US congress and kept accurate by the national institute of standards and technology and the US naval observatory, I get into my national highway traffic safety administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the environmental protection agency, using legal tender issed by the federal reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US postal service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the department of labor and the occupational safety and health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to ny house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it's valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the defense advanced research projects administration and post on freerepublic.com and fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right.
Don Firth


12 Aug 09 - 01:28 PM (#2698668)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

Probably the reason folks thing government can't do anything right is because it did such a bad job in Iraq.


12 Aug 09 - 02:01 PM (#2698687)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Riginslinger: I wonder if the folks in Iraq would agree that the US (and it's allies) did such a lousy job in Iraq?

Think they preferred life under Saddam to what they have now?

DougR


12 Aug 09 - 02:50 PM (#2698716)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Penny S.

BBC PM programme blog on the subject

I'm still reading the interesting blogs it links to. I do hope some of them are intended to be humorous.

Penny


12 Aug 09 - 03:45 PM (#2698762)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

Well, now, Doug, if I were an Iraqi and I couldn't walk through the streets of Baghdad to the local grocery store to buy a loaf of bread without the very real fear of getting caught in the crossfire between a couple of warring factions (e.g., Sunni's vs. Shi-ites) or being blown up by a car bomb, I might prefer to live under the relative tranquility of Saddam's regime despite its disadvantages than to have to endure the can of worms the U. S. "liberation" opened up.

Not to mention the on-going mess in Afghanistan. Bush's legacy. That could have been handled much more rationally.

Something needed to be done, but Larry, Curly, and Moe could have handled the whole thing a lot better than the Bush League has.

Don Firth


12 Aug 09 - 03:53 PM (#2698773)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

Last night's news carried Arlen Specter, newly Democratic Senator, keeping his cool as a number of people got into his face. So, it appears, Bobert, that you're right- the (agreed upon?) strategy is to stay cool and informative and conciliatory.


12 Aug 09 - 04:55 PM (#2698830)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

It is a lot easier for Democrats to scaremonger with "evil insurance companies" themes than to make people really understand what the problems are, how they will be addressed, and what will be lost in the bargain.

If the starting point is EXPANDING employment based coverage rather than reducing or replacing it entirely I don't see how any good can come out of this.

$1 trillion to be offset by reduced spending and new taxes? WTF?

Medicare to be ENHANCED (or held steady) and physician reimbursement to be ENHANCED (or held steady) while other provider reimbursements to be REDUCED all by "cutting out waste and fraud." Could someone explain how all this is supposed to work without using "right wing" or "left wing" or "single payor" or "Democrat" or "Republican" in the response?


12 Aug 09 - 05:03 PM (#2698842)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

I've been hearing about "cutting out waste and fraud" all my life. So if they can do it but they don't do it but they will do it, well . . . Why didn't they do it? This is at least as deliberately deceptive as "evil insurance companies." There is no conversation occurring here; not that I have found in the little time I've had available, about how our honorable Congresspeople and Senators intend to do a truly competent job re-organizing a MASSIVE portion of the US economy, with clear and logical methods. Just "change" is all I have seen so far. I'll be very glad to be wrong.


12 Aug 09 - 05:40 PM (#2698898)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

England did it just after the Second World War.

The purpose of an insurance company is to make money, not to save (or improve the quality of) life.

The purpose of a health service is to save (or improve the quality of) life.


Simples!

Surely US physicians are rich enough already, aren't they?


12 Aug 09 - 06:13 PM (#2698936)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

As far as I can tell, physician reimbursement rates (Medicare) are supposed stay as is. (Don't know about inflation, etc., and don't know about total earnings to take home.) Facilities I think will get lower relative rates.

We're not getting any kind of health service that I can see. More employees just have to be provided health insurance. More of the currently uninsured will get care from . . I don't know - providers and facilities that take Medicare/Medicaid, I guess?

I am certainly missing many of the very basic principles. Can someone send me to a cogent primer on the subject? (Like Congress, I'm not going to read the long version of what's hapenning.)


12 Aug 09 - 07:25 PM (#2698982)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Talking about Iraq is a bit of a drastic thread wrench, but here goes for one post:

Iraq under Saddam was pretty unpleasant in a lot of ways.   But I suspect there are an awaful lot of Iraqis who would exchange it in a minute for what they have now, including the estimated 2 million who have had to leave the country as refugees, including most of the ancient Christian minority, and the estimated 1.7 million living in internal exile. Then there are the people who have died as a result of the invasion and its aftermath.

And of course the freedom of women to do stuff like dispense with wearing veils, or get educated or live independent lives, has been greatly reduced, and is in constant danger of being further reduced.
..................

In order for anyone opposed to the proposed health reforms to have any moral credibility they have to be able to point to an alternative which meets the basic requirment of ensuring that it will no longer be possible to live in the United States and be denied the kind of guaranteed free or at least affordable access to adequate medical treatment which people in all other developed countries in the world have had for many years.

Does anyone disagree with that goal?


12 Aug 09 - 07:25 PM (#2698985)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Ann Coulter does. No sane person does.


12 Aug 09 - 07:58 PM (#2698998)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Not with the implied goal I think you were trying to express in what was actually a statement (command), with a questionable premise.


12 Aug 09 - 08:13 PM (#2699004)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

The problem I have (coming late to the game admittedly) is that the proponents have phrased this question: "Do we want to be good like the Europeans or do we want to remain bad like we are?" The looney right falls right into the trap with: "Do we want the government to ration care and engage in euthanasia?" My questions are: (1) "Does Congress even know what it wants to do?" and (2) "If we do it, will it make us good?"

If Congress wants to give us something comparable to the UK system, is that what they have done?


12 Aug 09 - 09:12 PM (#2699036)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Does anyone disagree with that goal?

That's Anne Coulter (B)and Doug, Bruce. And there's lots more- unfortunately, and to the U.S's eternal shame- where those two came from.

It's Mencken's "Boobocracy" in action, with a vengeance.


12 Aug 09 - 09:59 PM (#2699066)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Well now Helen Thomas
just said I have it about right. She says Obama still has time. Maybe, but I have a feeling the Democratically controlled Congress screwed this up for him so badly we'll go on and on as ever - with Rube Goldberg fixes on a flawed employer-based model. There is absolutely no excuse for failing to have a working agenda on this.

(I only disagree with her in that I think there are good options beside single payer, but it's pretty much moot.)


12 Aug 09 - 11:27 PM (#2699116)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Michael Harrison

You left out one word in your heading - Great!    Cheers,.......mwh


12 Aug 09 - 11:51 PM (#2699129)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Katy Abram interviewed on MSNBC tonight, the protester from Town Hall meeting

That video of the interview is a pretty enlightening picture of a person protesting something she does not even understand.


13 Aug 09 - 01:42 AM (#2699161)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

http://www.casavaria.com/cafesentido/2009/08/11/3998/summary-of-hr-3200-americas-affordable-health-choices-act-of-2009-transcript/

http://www.classicalideals.com/HR3200.htm


13 Aug 09 - 01:55 AM (#2699165)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Listening to idiots is enlightening? That is an absolutely bizarre way to choose to get information.


13 Aug 09 - 08:53 AM (#2699352)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Not with the implied goal I think you were trying to express in what was actually a statement (command), with a questionable premise.

The goal I was asking about was clearly enough stated. It was that of bringing about a situation in which "it will no longer be possible to live in the United States and be denied the kind of guaranteed free or at least affordable access to adequate medical treatment which people in all other developed countries in the world have had for many years."

The "questionable premiss", I take it would be that every other developed country has achieved that position for its citizens. Well, "developed country" is a category which can be defined in different ways - so here is a map summing up the position.

And the question is intended to get some idea as to how far opponents of the reforms under discussion merely believe that there might be better ways of acieving that goal, or whether they actually do not share it.


13 Aug 09 - 09:11 AM (#2699365)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

But Obama keeps shooting himself in the foot. First there was that Gates thing, and now he announced AARP endorses his plan, after which AARP themselves came out and announced they did not endorse his plan.


13 Aug 09 - 09:17 AM (#2699372)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

"developed country"?? Hell, Cuba has better health care for its citizens than the U.S. does.


13 Aug 09 - 10:09 AM (#2699401)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

No the premise I question is whether this Congress will go nearly as far as they would have you believe in in expanding the availability of high quality health care , or even as they believe themselves. They are not smart, and to the extent they are, their efforts have to go into being smart politicians. You've never believed me before and you won't now that the problem is not so much that the poor are denied access to care because they don't have cash to hand over. It's understandable that you won't because of the way the contrary but anecdotal evidence is presented in waves. The truth, as I believe it to be, is that while the poor don't have access to preventive care, they get their acute care through Medicaid and other government programs (and some through charity, and some through write-offs.) The more troubling problem is the enormous, nonsensical cost-shifting that is used to finance the industry. The working and middle classes, whether they have elected to forego better (or any) insurance, or have simply gotten screwed by an insurer, shift their care costs by not paying and even going bankrupt, which is a horrible injustice right there. It's even more unjust because the fees they are facing are grossly inflated by an industry trying to make up its losses in providing government funded care, write-offs, and even trying to recoup its "losses" on negotiated rates with private insurers. If you fall out of the private insurance system by your fault or no fault or by health insurer malfeasance or deception, the industry will charge after you for everything they can squeeze, on payment rates they could never get from the government or private insurers.

It is my opinion that ignoring this fundamental feature of health care financing in the states, and claiming that eliminating "waste and fraud" is the way to fix things, takes us towards false solutions. Couple that with employer provided insurance so that health consumers almost never assess the true price of anything, and we're not going to go very far with $1 trillion.

I'm all for mandatory large insurance pools to pay for preventive care for all and to provide catastrophic coverage for all. If the federal proposals being sausaged don't even acknowledge the cost shifting or the problems generated in an employment based system they are avoiding fundamental problems.


13 Aug 09 - 10:09 AM (#2699402)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Interview of the woman at a Town Hall who doesn't want us to be Russia.

It looks like people completely ignored my post of this interview.

I'd really like some comments after you watch it. (only 5 mins, youtube)


13 Aug 09 - 10:28 AM (#2699412)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Comment? OK, She's an hysterical, ignorant moron. Probably wears a tin-foil hat to keep the space aliens from reading her mind.

Unfortunately, a lot of other ignoranr morons believe the absolute crap the Republican National Committee, the AMA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the drug companies & the insurance companies are flooding the airwaves with & direct-mailing out.


13 Aug 09 - 02:40 PM (#2699605)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Penny S.

Alice, I can't watch videos on dialup, but it seems likely to be the same dear lady who was on the BBC radio over here.

The country with a "manifest destiny" to have a really important place in the world, and not only can it not care for all its people's health, or for its people in disasters like Katrina, but it fails to educate its people to recognise the phoney when they hear it.

Our BNP lunatics are not running the asylum yet, though they are working on it. But they don't control the media to build up the irrational understandings of the ordinary people, and then broadcast them as if their opinions are valuable.

Penny


13 Aug 09 - 03:15 PM (#2699630)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

"Employer costs for health insurance viewed as a percentage of payroll also showed significant variation (Figure 3). In 2005, the median employer cost was 11 percent of payroll, but 25 percent of workers with access to health benefits had employer costs for health insurance that were equal to or less than 6.6 percent of their payroll costs and another 25 percent had employer costs for health insurance that were equal to or exceeded 16.5 percent of their payroll costs. Overall, the percentage of workers in jobs where employer costs for health insurance exceeded 10 percent of payroll rose from 38 percent to 56 percent between 1999 and 2005."

http://www.kff.org/insurance/snapshot/chcm030808oth.cfm


13 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM (#2699736)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""That video of the interview is a pretty enlightening picture of a person protesting something she does not even understand.""

I'd go so far, Alice, as to say that is a convincing portrait of a person who is not due for her turn using the family brain cell for several days.

If there is anything going on in that head, to quote the lady herself, "I'd rather not say there is, or there isn't".

What an airhead!

With semi sentient beings like her on the opposite side, I'm sure the pro National Healthcare people can't lose in the long run.

Don T.


13 Aug 09 - 07:24 PM (#2699798)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

With semi sentient beings like her on the opposite side, I'm sure the pro National Healthcare people can't lose in the long run.

Oh, if only it were true. Always bet on stupidity- you'll never lose money.


13 Aug 09 - 07:35 PM (#2699804)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"Always bet on stupidity- you'll never lose money."   You would have in November.

Sometimes it seems there's an appetite for defeat...


13 Aug 09 - 08:50 PM (#2699854)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

I just watched the video Alice posted. All I can say is "Oh my god".


13 Aug 09 - 10:51 PM (#2699910)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

This site from the Administration provides a reality check on the bizarre, the false, and the ugly that gets circulated around by vested interests in the insurance, drug, and other involved businesses.

You may find it useful to send people who buy into such garbage.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/



A


14 Aug 09 - 05:03 AM (#2700020)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

This really shows up all the lies that are being bandied about regarding our National Health Service here in the UK. I'm not too sure it can be read from the USA so I've copied it below. Here's the URL:- http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/12/hawking_british_and_alive/

---------------------------------------------------------
**In perhaps the most amusing effort to discredit US President Barack Obama's plan for nationalized health care - if not the most ridiculous - US financial newspaper Investor's Business Daily has said that if Stephen Hawking were British, he would be dead.

"The controlling of medical costs in countries such as Britain through rationing, and the health consequences thereof, are legendary," read a recent editorial from the paper. "The stories of people dying on a waiting list or being denied altogether read like a horror script...

"People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless."

The paper has since been notified that Hawking is both British and still among the living. And it has edited the editorial, acknowledging that the original version incorrectly represented the whereabouts of perhaps the world's most famous scientific mind. But it has not acknowledged that its mention of Hawking misrepresented the NHS as well.

"I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS," Hawking told The Guardian. "I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived."

The best you can say about Investor's Business Daily is that unlike US radio talk host Rush Limbaugh, it has not compared Obama's health care logo to a swastika. ®**


----------------------------------------------------------------
It seems to me that The stories of people dying on a waiting list or being denied altogether read like a horror script is what I am led to believe is what is happening in the USA for people who have no insurance or are just plain told 'That isn't covered'. All of the contributors from the UK to this thread have with one voice told you that we would never let go of our National Health Service, and woe betide any Government that tried to do so. We live here, and in most cases have had need to use the service, for which I for one am truly grateful.
John Barden


14 Aug 09 - 08:26 AM (#2700122)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: SINSULL

Bobert,
Both senators from Maine are Republicans. Where are you getting the blue dog Democrat numbers?
We do have Conservative Democrat Congressmen in the House but none in the Senate.


14 Aug 09 - 09:03 AM (#2700150)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

You may find it [Reality Check URL] useful to send people who buy into such garbage.

What would be the point? The wouldn't recognize the truth if it reared up on its hind legs and bit 'em on the ass.


14 Aug 09 - 09:12 AM (#2700158)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Yer right, Sins...

Sorry, I didn't mean to lump the Maine Repubs into the "Gang of Six"... The article I read was talking more about the disporportionate amount of power Senators from small states have in comparasion to highly populated states...

My bad...

B~


14 Aug 09 - 10:22 AM (#2700194)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

First rate little political spat over here arising out of this - Fox News dug out a (British) Conservative Member of the European Parliament, Daniel Hannan, to go on and rabbit on about how dreadful the NHS is.

So now the Tory leader, David Cameron has denounced Hannan as a nut ("eccentric" was the word actually used - have to be formally polite about these things in parliamentary circles), and is waxing passionately about how wonderful the NHS is, and how the Tories are its best friends.

Meanwhile the Labour Party is seeking to use this as a way of showing up the Tories as enemies of the NHS, suggesting that Daniel Hannan is saying what they really think. The point being that this would be a sure fire way for the Tories to lose votes.

There appears to be a strong likelihood Hannan will be disciplined by the Tories for letting the side down so badly, by attacking a "great national institution".


14 Aug 09 - 11:32 AM (#2700232)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

Here's an interesting blog post from an American woman who lived in Britain for 15 years, and moved back a couple of years ago. The "comments" section is especially interesting.


14 Aug 09 - 12:27 PM (#2700255)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: beardedbruce

A little off-topic, but perhaps the place to present it:

"The Great 'Prevention' Myth

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 14, 2009

In the 48 hours of June 15-16, President Obama lost the health-care debate. First, a letter from the Congressional Budget Office to Sen. Edward Kennedy reported that his health committee's reform bill would add $1 trillion in debt over the next decade. Then the CBO reported that the other Senate bill, being written by the Finance Committee, would add $1.6 trillion. The central contradiction of Obamacare was fatally exposed: From his first address to Congress, Obama insisted on the dire need for restructuring the health-care system because out-of-control costs were bankrupting the Treasury and wrecking the U.S. economy -- yet the Democrats' plans would make the problem worse.

Accordingly, Democrats have trotted out various tax proposals to close the gap. Obama's idea of limits on charitable and mortgage-interest deductions went nowhere. As did the House's income tax surcharge on millionaires. And Obama dare not tax employer-provided health insurance because of his campaign pledge of no middle-class tax hikes.

Desperation time. What do you do? Sprinkle fairy dust on every health-care plan, and present your deus ex machina: prevention.

Free mammograms and diabetes tests and checkups for all, promise Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, writing in USA Today. Prevention, they assure us, will not just make us healthier, it also "will save money."

Obama followed suit in his Tuesday New Hampshire town hall, touting prevention as amazingly dual-purpose: "It saves lives. It also saves money."

Reform proponents repeat this like a mantra. Because it seems so intuitive, it has become conventional wisdom. But like most conventional wisdom, it is wrong. Overall, preventive care increases medical costs.

This inconvenient truth comes, once again, from the CBO. In an Aug. 7 letter to Rep. Nathan Deal, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf writes: "Researchers who have examined the effects of preventive care generally find that the added costs of widespread use of preventive services tend to exceed the savings from averted illness."

How can that be? If you prevent somebody from getting a heart attack, aren't you necessarily saving money? The fallacy here is confusing the individual with society. For the individual, catching something early generally reduces later spending for that condition. But, explains Elmendorf, we don't know in advance which patients are going to develop costly illnesses. To avert one case, "it is usually necessary to provide preventive care to many patients, most of whom would not have suffered that illness anyway." And this costs society money that would not have been spent otherwise.

Think of it this way. Assume that a screening test for disease X costs $500 and finding it early averts $10,000 of costly treatment at a later stage. Are you saving money? Well, if one in 10 of those who are screened tests positive, society is saving $5,000. But if only one in 100 would get that disease, society is shelling out $40,000 more than it would without the preventive care.

That's a hypothetical case. What's the real-life actuality? In Obamaworld, as explained by the president in his Tuesday town hall, if we pour money into primary care for diabetics instead of giving surgeons "$30,000, $40,000, $50,000" for a later amputation -- a whopper that misrepresents the surgeon's fee by a factor of at least 30 -- "that will save us money." Back on Earth, a rigorous study in the journal Circulation found that for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, "if all the recommended prevention activities were applied with 100 percent success," the prevention would cost almost 10 times as much as the savings, increasing the country's total medical bill by 162 percent. That's because prevention applied to large populations is very expensive, as shown by another report Elmendorf cites, a definitive review in the New England Journal of Medicine of hundreds of studies that found that more than 80 percent of preventive measures added to medical costs.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't be preventing illness. Of course we should. But in medicine, as in life, there is no free lunch. The idea that prevention is somehow intrinsically economically different from treatment -- that treatment increases costs and prevention lowers them -- is simply nonsense. Prevention is a wondrous good, but in the aggregate it costs society money. Nothing wrong with that. That's the whole premise of medicine. Treating a heart attack or setting a broken leg also costs society. But we do it because it alleviates human suffering. Preventing a heart attack with statins or breast cancer with mammograms is costly. But we do it because it reduces human suffering.

However, prevention is not, as so widely advertised, healing on the cheap. It is not the magic bullet for health-care costs.

You will hear some variation of that claim a hundred times in the coming health-care debate. Whenever you do, remember: It's nonsense -- empirically demonstrable and CBO-certified. "


14 Aug 09 - 01:14 PM (#2700279)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Amos: What is gained by providing a link to that White House website? Obviously, one is going to read the White House's "line" about the heath care (excuse me)health insurance debacle. Not particularly objective, right?

I would suggest interested parties reading The Wall Street Journal's editorial in today's edition (August 14, 2009). It would be interesting, I think, for supporters of the NHS to counter the criticizem of that program included in the editorial, and for that matter, comment on the editorial as a whole. The title of the editorial is, "Obama's Senior Moment,"

Another article of interest in today's WSJ, especially to Mudcatters who have been denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions, is one titled, "What to Do About Pre-existing Conditions," by John H. Cochrane, professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and author of "Health Status Insurance."

Google Wall Street Journal and when you reach the website, click on "Opinions."

DougR


14 Aug 09 - 01:49 PM (#2700301)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Any response to my question about whether the universal health cover is seen as a desirable and achievable goal by critics of the proposed reforms? Or is thta something they think America should get along without?

In this context the NHS is a red herring since, for better ore worse, that's not what's on the table. (I'd be inclined to say "for worse" along with the overwhelming number of people who actually use it, and know what they are talking about, but then we would, since we know what they are talking about. However it's not for export, and of course there are a host of other ways of organising universal health care in operaqtion around the world.)
..........................

As for that Wall Street Journal editorial, it doesn't really stand up too well: "However, there's an ocean of difference between coverage decisions made under millions of voluntary private contracts and rationing via government." I can't see why there is any particular significant difference, and insofar as there is, I'd far sooner trust the NHS way of doing it than be at the mercy of private insurance companies.


14 Aug 09 - 02:08 PM (#2700315)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

OMG, Doug, you think the Wall Street Journal's opinion is unbiased?

ha, ha, ha, wow,


14 Aug 09 - 02:26 PM (#2700327)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peter T.

Winston Churchill, March 1944:

The discoveries of healing science must be the inheritance of all. That is clear. Disease must be attacked, whether it occurs in the poorest or the richest man or woman simply on the ground that it is the enemy; and it must be attacked just in the same way as the fire brigade will give its full assistance to the humblest cottage as readily as to the most important mansion. Our policy is to create a national health service in order to ensure that everybody in the country, irrespective of means, age, sex, or occupation, shall have equal opportunities to benefit from the best and most up-to-date medical and allied services available.

from an article today at www. salon. com on Churchill's support for the NHS and other notes on the neo-con liars and delusional morons in the US.

Peter T.


14 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM (#2700340)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

I would hope that every American on the list is a critic of the proposal. There is only one thing I can think of that is un-American, and that is a failure to question authority.

Are there any opponents of the proposal(s) on the list? I searched way back for quite a percentage of postings, expecting I might find DougR and pdq perhaps. But DougR repeatedly said he was just seeking information and opinions. pdq said "Yes, 100% of respondents should say that 'all people should have access to quality health care'. Pollsters ask silly questions quite often."

Unless and until someone says otherwise, I think the answer to that is pretty clear.


14 Aug 09 - 02:50 PM (#2700349)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""There appears to be a strong likelihood Hannan will be disciplined by the Tories for letting the side down so badly, by attacking a "great national institution".""

There's a good reason why Hannan is a member of the European, rather than the UK Parliament.

He is a loose cannon whose views on many subjects are diametrically opposed, not just to Tory policy, but to plain common sense and common decency.

I'm not quite sure HOW this nut managed to get himself elected, but my guess is a mixture of terminal apathy and no competition. Had Kermit the Frog stood against him, Europe would have gained a new "green" politician.

He is just one of those affronts to the body politic, who has bought a ticket for the EU Gravy Train, and the only upside of that is that he is in a place where he will have minimal influence, and cause minimal damage.

Suffice it to say, that those who believe any part of the claptrap he spouted in the US will succeed only in showing themselves to be at least as stupid as he.

Don T.


14 Aug 09 - 02:58 PM (#2700355)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""Churchill's support for the NHS""

And although he had changed sides, at this point Churchill was a committed right wing Tory.

So much for the NHS being "SOCIALIST" medicine a la Stalin.

It was supported even by those who were well to the right of Attila the Hun, and still is.

There is no politician in the United Kingdom who would even DREAM of its abolition.

That should tell you something, given that we too have our rapacious insurance, and drug, companies, and also, unfortunately, our acquisitive corporate moguls.

Don T.


14 Aug 09 - 03:26 PM (#2700371)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Our good President has been prevaricating, by the way. Of course there are multiple mechanisms to achieve rationing, as there must be. A potentially powerful one is the executive agency's ambiguously constrained discretion in provider rate setting. There's the authority to prohibit facility expansion. There are certainly many others.

The most fascinating part to me is the 8% of payroll cap on employer obligations. This has astounding potential. I assume the companies with higher paid employees are the ones who beat the 8% solution, sometimes by a large margin, and the ones with lower paid employees are the ones who hit up to 16%. I won't presume to guess what long term effects that will have. This should work to prevent people from "falling out" of the private insurance system into limbo. (?) But if government rates entirely dominate the market by a large margin, there have to be rationing effects from that as well.

It's interesting to ponder that 8% of all pre-tax payroll from every salaried citizen still leaves a $1 trillion shortfall.

More questions: What are the proposals doing to ensure portability? Do we just forget about it and let job-changers flow into the public programs? How do you force an employer to keep its employees on an existing private program if an employee wants to keep it, and for how long? Even if they are at 16% of payroll? Can the employer and the insurer both be held hostage to one employee? That can't be the way it works.


14 Aug 09 - 03:55 PM (#2700384)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

So then, heric, in spite of all the hoohah everyone in the USA is agreed that universal health care for all has to be provided, and will be provided, one way or another.

Well, sixty years after the NHS was set up, it's good to know that the USA is going to join the civilised world.

Funny that it just doesn't sound like everyone is agreed on that essential issue.


14 Aug 09 - 03:59 PM (#2700388)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

You asked about critics on this thread. I don't speak of any crazies on the Jerry Springer style "news"casts. I don't care about them.


14 Aug 09 - 04:13 PM (#2700399)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

My query was "whether the universal health cover is seen as a desirable and achievable goal by critics of the proposed reforms?"   Nothing about limiting that to "critics on this thread".


14 Aug 09 - 04:19 PM (#2700401)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: bobad

"That comment has caused a minor buzz in the U.S., as have remarks by two British women featured in a video made by the lobbying group Conservatives for Patients' Rights, which opposes Obama's healthcare proposals.

Both women are seen criticizing the NHS for its policies on cancer treatment; one says that not getting a Pap smear in time signed her "death warrant." But the two women have told the British media that they were misled into thinking they were being interviewed for a documentary on healthcare reform, not a political attack ad.

Kate Spall, whose mother died of kidney cancer while awaiting treatment, said she was appalled by how her words were being used by the lobbying group.

"I feel I was duped," she told The Times of London. "The irony is that I campaign for exactly the people that socialized healthcare supports. I would not align myself with this group at all."

In addition to defending the NHS from conservative critics in the U.S., some in Britain have now gone on the offensive, expressing incredulity that the U.S. boasts of being a superpower while leaving tens of millions of its people uninsured.

"The United States lies between Costa Rica and Slovenia in the World Health Organization's ranking of health-care systems . . . which puts them in 37th place," Keith Hopcroft, a doctor, wrote in The Sun's commentary piece. "The U.K.? 18th. I rest my doctor's case."


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-britain-health15-2009aug15,0,2736574.story


14 Aug 09 - 04:59 PM (#2700421)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Sorry, Kevin, I missed that you were asking for responses ABOUT what people who aren't here think. But luckily (a) that's what the vast majority of the postings here have been about, and, (b) you already hashed that through with pdq on July 21, regarding poll results possibly indicating that 20% of Americans don't want other Americans to have access to quality health care.


14 Aug 09 - 05:00 PM (#2700423)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

You can listen to recording of the town hall meeting at
http://ypradio.org/


14 Aug 09 - 05:10 PM (#2700437)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Now, there you go again, Alice (as our dearly departed senile president Reagan was wont to say) using "Doug" and "think" in the same sentance.


14 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM (#2700486)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

What is gained by providing a link to that White House website?

Well, Douggie, those like yourself who don't have the shadow of a clue about what the White House is actually proposing- judging by the lies, bullshit & nonsense they keep spouting- might at least gain a factual basis for their hysterical ranting.


14 Aug 09 - 06:04 PM (#2700489)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

you already hashed that through with pdq on July 21, regarding poll results There aren't any posts on this thread from pdq on July 21, not now anyway.   

In any case poll figures aren't the real issue - what I'm not clear is how far in the political arena this is an argument between people who agree about the importance of achieving universal health care, but disagree about exactly how this can be done, and how far is it the case that opponents of the proposals have no intention at all of achieving that.


14 Aug 09 - 06:28 PM (#2700516)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Azizi

I'm not sure if this has been posted on Mudcat yet, but I understand that it has been around the Internet for years:

"Once again, for the benefit of the goernment-can't-get-anything-right flock:

I AM AN AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE SHITHEEL

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the national weather service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and tTechnology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issed by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to ny house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it's valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on freerepublic.com and fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right."

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/forums/index.php?plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plckDiscussionId=Cat:338a2432-3a3c-459f-9c58-00df


14 Aug 09 - 06:48 PM (#2700533)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Excellent, Azizi! ;-)

Only on one thing in there do I disagree. The Federal Reserve Bank is not a socialist institution, it is a privately owned bank, a corporation, and it masquerades AS a federal government institution simply by calling itself the "Federal Reserve", which is an oxymoron meant to mislead people into imagining that it's a publicly owned and run institution which it definitely is NOT.

Most Americans don't know that. Look it up.

Your main point is quite correct. The morons who attack socialism on principle seem to have no idea that their society cannot function without a large amount of socialism which they depend on every day of their lives.


14 Aug 09 - 06:50 PM (#2700535)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

First, socialism isn't a bad thing.


14 Aug 09 - 06:54 PM (#2700539)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

I would guess that the opponents coming from "don't mess with mine" aren't evolved sufficiently to have compassion for others in their heads at all - it's not even an issue. It is interesting that the proponents haven't used ethics arguments in any substantial way (just taking it as "given" I suppose.)

The other how-you-gonna-reason-with-them group of opponents would be the Ruby Ridge no government no time no how crowd that the media likes to present for entertainment value. (There is a tiny group of Libertarians with some well structured Constitutional arguments that get confused into this group - but they have little influence.)

I suppose those two groups (of people who just don't care and or who care but still won't be swayed by compassion arguments) could add up to almost 20% starting from the right side of the spectrum but I really don't think so. (Maybe 10%?? Wild guess by me and no credible source whether pollsters or otherwise can tell us the true number.)

Attacking the looney right or yelling at the opponents (or unpersuaded) that they must be looney right doesn't strike me as a productive direction to choose.


14 Aug 09 - 06:59 PM (#2700543)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

The Canadian Looney.


14 Aug 09 - 07:41 PM (#2700565)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Alice: Why don't you read the articles in the Wall Street Journal that I posted, THEN, tell me what you think? Reading them won't make you a Conservative you know. It might even add to your knowledge of the subject being discussed. Someone posted a link to a publication titled, "What's good about the NHS," and I read it. Reading it didn't make me a Liberal ...even a Brit.
:>)
DougR


14 Aug 09 - 07:45 PM (#2700569)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

If heric is trying to nudge the discussion back to the contents of the ObamaCare bill, may his tribe increase.

What some airhead on the Jerry Springer Show thinks about the plan, having never read a word of the text, means nothing.

The fact that a couple of British ex-pats think the NHS is just hunky dory, also means nothing.

The idea that a federal dam project actually works and produces electrical power is not Socailism and has nothing to do with socialized medicine. Besides, the proponents of the bill insist it is "insurance reform" and definitely not Socialism.

I want the authors to give us a precisely-worded bill so that legal and medical experts can study it and report back to the public.

I want everyone concerned to take as much time as needed.

The public, as a whole, does not think healthcare is a "crisis", but a problem that needs to be addressed. Carefully.


14 Aug 09 - 07:50 PM (#2700577)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

And with enormous patience. Sixty years is clearly not long enough to solve this incredibly difficult problem...


14 Aug 09 - 08:10 PM (#2700598)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""The public, as a whole, does not think healthcare is a "crisis", but a problem that needs to be addressed. Carefully.""

Now, I might just be able to swallow that wholly unsupported opinion, had it come from one of the 47 million who don't have access.

Could you produce some?..........NO! I don't suppose you mix in those circles.

""The fact that a couple of British ex-pats think the NHS is just hunky dory, also means nothing.""

Now that is just TOTAL crap. You have the evidence of a whole nation of beneficiaries of the NHS system, who would cheerfully, and without hesitation, cut the balls off any politico who tried to do away with it.

That's 70 million mate, not "a couple of ex pats". If that's the best you've got to offer, you really shouldn't bother.

Don T.


14 Aug 09 - 10:45 PM (#2700681)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Why don't you read the articles in the Wall Street Journal that I posted, THEN, tell me what you think?

Why Douggie, I'm surprised at you for making this disingenuous suggestion.

You've never once felt it necessary to actually read (or for that matter, comprehend) something before critiquing it or telling us it's garbage.

Guess you can only talk the talk, huh?


14 Aug 09 - 11:22 PM (#2700689)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Actually, listening carefully to the words of UK conservative politocos, their promises to increase the real budget of the NHS annually through beyond 2011 seem to be undermined by unformulated suggestions of future proposals to ensure sensible use of the system. I suspect that that means that if the conservatives do work their usual malice NHS care will be denied to those deemed undeserving.

But the truth in UK political terms is indeed that any political party that proposed the abolition of universal free at the point of care healthcare based on need criteria would be committing electoral suicide.

It is wholly fantastic that a country without such a system can seek to call itself civilised.

It is also pretty fantastic that only one of the recent US political candidates (Kucinich) really proposed a proper solution. Obama's plans are, it seems to me, reform and not revolution. It is the latter that is needed.


14 Aug 09 - 11:36 PM (#2700699)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

" . . British ex-pats think the NHS is just hunky dory, also means nothing."

It means nothing because no one is offering us an NHS - They are offering low-deducitble comprehensive policies and expansion of the employment based system with its many, many faults, and the ability to land safely when falling out of it.

Going back to Mr. Harlow's question (and now going to uncomfortable gross generalizations): I've been thinking that as you move further to the left on that spectrum, you get to the guns and religion / Rush Limbaugh crowd who don't fit all the way into the far right. They'd probably be the next most resistant to compassion arguments. They're still smarting from the insult and the election loss. But they are not composed of unintelligent, uneducated overly-excitable (or heartless) rabble. We might think their instincts caused and causes them to vote against their interests then and now, and that they are too angered to be swayed by compassion for the greater good, but (in caricature at least) these are the people who know the sweat value of a dollar, and who refuse to believe in the value of multi-trillion deficit spending.

We haven't been offered the Holy Grail of civilisation here.

In terms of public support (ignoring the "persuasiveness" of industry lobbyists in Congress), winning this, I think, really means winning the middle. (And the middle, trust me, are almost deaf to the left:right screaming.)


14 Aug 09 - 11:37 PM (#2700700)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Hey that was quite a coincidental cross-post there.


15 Aug 09 - 01:34 AM (#2700728)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

McGrath: "Problem?" Based on your posts alone, I cannot see for the life of me how there is still a problem with NHS! According to most Brit posts, it is the perfect system that the whole world would be wise to adopt! I have read, though, that the system is not without some problems. Rationing of care being a very big one.

DougR


15 Aug 09 - 02:49 AM (#2700738)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG

DougR: No-one thinks the NHS is perfect. But look at the speed with which the UK leader of the Conservatives and all his spokemen reacted to the comments of the Conservative MEP on Fox; and also the speed with which the Labour party tried to brand large numbers of Conservative MPs are being in secreat agreement with those same remarks and you will be clear just how valued the NHS is by almost every potential voter in the UK.


15 Aug 09 - 03:14 AM (#2700745)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Doug, put it another way. All those in the UK who fear "rationing" of care are free to take out insurance policies and go private. Or to go private for cash. Or to travel to the USA (or elsewhere) and pay cash. None of them want to.


15 Aug 09 - 04:41 AM (#2700774)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

So there's no "rationing of care" the the USA then? Of course there is - the insurance comnpanies make sure of that! And if you have no insurance then there's no care to ration.
John Barden


15 Aug 09 - 06:47 AM (#2700806)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Penny S.

Aren't people forgetting what rationing means? Everyone gets an equal share of a limited commodity. I seem to remember having read that there were people who objected to food rationing when it came in during WWII. And that they tended to be people who could afford to buy whatever they wanted while others went short. Not the towndwellers with no option to keep chickens or rabbits or grow their own veggies.
A conservative politician has fallen foul of the press this week for claiming he is rationed with regard to his salary. Like the opposers of wartime rationing, he is one of those who gains. He is on a salary three times the national average, but is comparng himself with the City types who take home more than he does.
Is medicine going to be a limited commodity in the US if a universal health service comes in? Only if people currently in receipt of good health care are using so much that there is not enough for those who fall through the system. Is the nation incapable of training enough providers, building enough hospitals? If there is not enough provision for all, then it would be right for there to be rationing. As some anecdotal postings about people whose insurance company pulls the plug suggests there already is.
Health provision ought to be a right. For those in receipt to deny it to others is astonishing.
Even more astonishing is the suggestion I have seen that the most vocal opposition is coming from people who claim to be Christians, for whom I would have thought the provision of health care should be a duty.
Penny


15 Aug 09 - 07:14 AM (#2700815)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"Going back to Mr. Harlow's question (and now going to uncomfortable gross generalizations): I've been thinking that as you move further to the left on that spectrum, you get to the guns and religion / Rush Limbaugh crowd who don't fit all the way into the far right."

I'm afraid I can't understand the point you are making, heric.


15 Aug 09 - 10:07 AM (#2700878)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

...I cannot see for the life of me how there is still a problem with NHS! According to most Brit posts, it is the perfect system...

I know you think you're a comic, Douggie, but this sort of childish drivel just isn't amusing.

And by the way "Brit" is not a polite term- not that that would trouble you, of course.


15 Aug 09 - 12:39 PM (#2700956)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

In case anyone wants to see that Wall Street Journal editorial, without having to sign up with the Wall Stree Hournal for a trial subscription (which is what googling the Wall Street Journal com esup with), here is Obama's Senior Moment"

I'm less than overwhelmed y it:

For example "Yes, the U.S. "rations" by ability to pay (though in the end no one is denied actual care). This is true of every good or service in a free economy and a world of finite resources but infinite wants. Yet no one would say we "ration" houses or gasoline because those goods are allocated by prices. "

Still it's honest - health care on the USA should continue to be dependent on the person having the money to pay for it. With the highly questionable assertion "in the end no one is denied actual care". I suppose the key phrase there is "in the end" - even when you didn't get the treatment that could have saved you, you will get some kind of care on your death bed.


15 Aug 09 - 12:45 PM (#2700959)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

It wasn't well written and it wasn't very useful, but I was carrying on with the idea of "how far in the political arena this is an argument between people who agree about the importance of achieving universal health care," and trying to identify who might not even agree with that premise. We can only guess who and how many don't even care about the fundamntal fairness / universal access goals.

I was just trying to think who, if any, might be in that category besides the 10% in my earlier (wild) guess.

For your category of "opponents of the proposals [who] have no intention at all of achieving [universal access]," the answer would be very close to zero by their openly stated arguments. I didn't mean that you were making gross generalizations, I really meant that it was uncomfortable for me that I was trying to engage in mass mind reading.

(I know some Pennsylvanians who fit squarely within Obama's guns and religion classification, were highly offended at the time, and now have knee-jerk reactions against *anything* he says, while still presenting entirely rational reasons for their opposition to these proposals.)


15 Aug 09 - 01:11 PM (#2700979)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

I wasn't after "mass mind reading" - I was wondering whether the politicians and lobbyists involved are coming up with their own specific alternatuve proposals for achieving universal health care. Because the debate, both here and in the media that I have seen, just does not seem to be carried out in that way. Just knock-about stuff.


15 Aug 09 - 01:31 PM (#2701000)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

DO remember that the Wall Street Journal is now owned by Rupert Murdoch, and is showing all the symptoms of being just one more voice of the Conservative agenda.

As to Health Care, it is obvious (to me, anyway) that after many years of something like 1/3 of the country NOT being covered or having very inadequate coverage, any changes will take awhile to tweak and some may, indeed, find some services a bit slower and/or 'restricted' as we strive to train more doctors, adjust the rules & routines and generally learn to navigate the byways.
It will be, in some places, like having paving going on in front of your house...it's inconvenient for awhile, but better in the long run. But you KNOW that many folks will have NO patience, and will characterize any personal inconvenience as 'failure' or even worse.

   I am WILLING to deal with it....I want everyone possible to have basic, decent care, and if *I* have to wait 30 days instead of 3 days for an appointment...so be it! (I often can't get an appt. with a specialist for that long anyway!)

I am disgusted with the cries of **Socialized Medicine**, as if that says anything. It is "quality of life", not some abstract political label that interests me....and far too many folks now have a life that is "on the edge", and would welcome something a bit more 'social'.


15 Aug 09 - 01:43 PM (#2701015)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

sometimes an image says it best


15 Aug 09 - 01:51 PM (#2701022)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

There is and always has been a cottage industry of alternative proposals. But it all has to be packaged together. The public has just been exposed to the current package(s) selected from the body of literatue and the body politic, which proposals are not themselves fully formed. So that's what we're working with.

(My simple preference for geting something done quickly would be to elimnate the employer's tax deduction for providing polcies, and a mandatory national program to guarantee no-deductible preventive care and very high deductible or catastrophic coverage for all.)

Thanks for the Obama Senior Moment link. I think it comports with my understanding (on its restricted scope of issues), except that the poor are denied preventive and wellness care. The nature of rationing is almost unknown, though, to be born in the as-yet undescribed scope of authority of the yet to be created agencies.

This isn't cause to reject the proposals (or what the proposals end up becoming.)

What I haven't seen, although they may exist in the muliple, thousands of pages proposals, is the great body of consumer protection provisions that make up so much of insurance law. Hoefully they're in there. The immunity from review provisions I did see smack of the government grabbing similar protections for itself that employer provided insurance holds under ERISA (and the governemnt employee programs also have under FEHBA).

It's also true that the US rations by "ability to pay" but in practice the more accurate description is by the availability of insurance, public or private. A point the article doesn't get to, and which the proponents haven't been pushing to my knowledge, is that actuarial fairness is built into larger pools of participants. The larger the better. So while the WSJ makes they point that thousands of carriers in the open market have a different method of rationing than centralized government entities, it doesn't mention the unfairness of smaller pools where the healthy and wealthy get better rates.

I also liked the comment at the end about how AARP can be brought back with prescription benefit sweeteners. Where we're positioned now is that the government has promised to make one really big sausage, and has told us most of the ingredients.


15 Aug 09 - 03:46 PM (#2701121)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

McGrath: You must not be aware that NO ONE who shows up sick or injured at an Emergency Room at any hospital in the United States cannot be turned away without treatment. I believe the law was passed in around 1986. Any hospital turning away people who need medical care are in violation of that law. That law is credited with helping to create the run-away cost of medical care in this country.

DougR


15 Aug 09 - 04:39 PM (#2701155)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

What Doug said is misleading. If you show up to an emergency room with a life threatening condition they have to STABILIZE you. That is, give you the minimum treatment so that you don't die right there. They don't have to treat a raging sore throat, a painful but not life threatening burn, etc. Nothing will be done about a potentially fatal illness that requires ongoing treatment, like cancer or emphysema. And whatever treatment you receive you're liable to be socked with an enormous bill which you will be expected to pay if you have any assets at all. Here's a short article about emergency room rights


15 Aug 09 - 05:09 PM (#2701187)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

But that's not the end of the insurance availability story through Meidcaid or other public assistance. I hesitate to show you the crazy California patchwork, but here it is.


15 Aug 09 - 06:15 PM (#2701232)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

I think you said the opposite if what you meant to say there, Doug: "NO ONE who shows up sick or injured at an Emergency Room at any hospital in the United States cannot be turned away without treatment."

What Maryff wrote there fits with my understanding of the situation, which underlay what I wrote.

If you turned up to an emergency room here with a life threatening condition you would definitely be referred on to get the kind of continuing medical help that you needed, over and above any immediate emergency help you might need.

But accident and emergency services are not the way most people with serious illnesses get help under the NHS. The normal way is for people to consult their family doctor, who refers them for specialist help, if that's what is needed. I imagine that's the same way as in America - except that here it doesn't involve paying anything, or making an insurance claim.


15 Aug 09 - 06:48 PM (#2701252)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

(To be clear: The insurance claim is processed by the provider, not the patient. You don't need cash. If the patient turns out to be covered by a private or public option, then the provider will get it's payment. It may be entitled to some further contribution from the patient for which it will follow up. The entitlement may come from the plain terms of the insurance that the patient expected, or it may come because the provider is not bound to accept the insurance terms as payment in full. If it turns out their is no coverage obligation, private or public, then the provider will go after that person whole hog, at "fair value" rates much higher than it would have accepted from the private insurer or the public program. That's where the cost-shifting ramps up - and where the working and middle classes Face the Beast.) (The truly poor and the truly rich have nothing to fear.)


15 Aug 09 - 07:02 PM (#2701262)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Doug? MISLEADING?

Not at all. What he's spouting is absolute crap.

And this statementof his:
That law is credited with helping to create the run-away cost of medical care in this country. is all the proof one needs.


15 Aug 09 - 07:11 PM (#2701266)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

I have to correct a misconception that people have about emergency rooms and care in the US.

I have had to go to the emergency room for myself and my son over the last 20 years with things like broken bones, chest pain, etc., when we had no health insurance. There is only one hospital here. The DO NOT have to admit us - they demand first that I guarantee with a credit card or some other statement that I sign that I will pay all the costs. The costs are NOT discounted. They DO NOT treat you for free or even have to admit you if you do not have insurance or enough money or credit to pay. People on the right have been lied to about this and they believe that "everyone can get care" at the emergency room. WRONG!


15 Aug 09 - 07:18 PM (#2701267)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Re. ER care from the American College of Emergency Physicians.


15 Aug 09 - 07:41 PM (#2701279)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Here is a doctor who writes that people who do not care for themselves "are people who really don't deserve health care reform".
Do some patients not deserve health care reform? Aug 6, 2009


15 Aug 09 - 07:43 PM (#2701280)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Incidentally, in the UK, even if you have insurance (I used to) and you obtain a referral to the insurers' OWN hospital, the hospital will seek to have you agree to pay if the insurer declines cover. I caused much annoyance when I refused to agree to that in a BUPA hospital, and sat in the waiting room amending their standard terms so that they agreed that they would bill their owners, the insurers, and not me.


15 Aug 09 - 07:44 PM (#2701281)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: bobad

Further to Peace's post:

Hospitals have three obligations under EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act)

   1. Individuals requesting emergency care, or those for whom a representative has made a request if the patient is unable, must receive a medical screening examination to determine whether an emergency medical condition (EMC) exists. Examination and treatment cannot be delayed to inquire about methods of payment or insurance coverage, or a patient's citizenship or legal status. The hospital may only start the process of payment inquiry and billing once the patient has been stabilized to a degree that the process will not interfere with or otherwise compromise patient care.
   2. The emergency room (or other better equipped units within the hospital) must treat an individual with an EMC until the condition is resolved or stabilized and the patient is able to provide self-care following discharge, or if unable, can receive needed continual care. Inpatient care provided must be at an equal level for all patients, regardless of ability to pay. Hospitals may not discharge a patient prior to stabilization if the patient's insurance is canceled or otherwise discontinues payment during course of stay.
   3. If the hospital does not have the capability to treat the condition, the hospital must make an "appropriate" transfer of the patient to another hospital with such capability. This includes a long-term care or rehabilitation facilities for patients unable to provide self-care. Hospitals with specialized capabilities must accept such transfers and may not discharge a patient until the condition is resolved and the patient is able to provide self-care or is transferred to another facility.

Wikipedia


15 Aug 09 - 08:27 PM (#2701306)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

It may vary from state to state...and even within one state. I have NOT looked up the details for Maryland.

This hospital, the nearest one to me, has struggled with its committment to emergency treatment for years. You cannot find on the website any direct statement of whatever actual law it operates under...just 'suggestions' about applying for free or reduced cost care.
I do know they had to restrict emergency obstetric care recently, as they were simply inundated.


Here is a Wash Post article from 2006
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/30/AR2006063001871.html

from this sire
"Hospitals are affected too, mostly as poor immigrants without health insurance show up in emergency rooms, accounting for much of the traffic at such places as Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring."


15 Aug 09 - 08:50 PM (#2701319)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

congressmen who own pharmaceutical stocks


Google that.


15 Aug 09 - 09:02 PM (#2701322)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

What do war, Congressmen, Senators, and the defense/offense industry have in common? The answer, if you haven't already guessed is "profits."

Conflict makes money for the military industrial complex, and the cronies they place in Congress, the Senate, and the White House.

An investigation by Ralph Forbes from American Free press reported on May 05, 2008 that more than a quarter of US senators and congressmen have invested at least $196 million of their own money in companies doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD) that profit from the death and destruction in Iraq [1].

The report also edifies that 151 members of congress invested close to a quarter-billion dollars in companies that received defense contracts of at least $5 million in 2006. These companies got more than 275.6 billion from the government in 2006, or $755 million per day, according to Fedspending.org [2]. In 2004, the first full year after the current Iraq war began, Republican and Democratic lawmakers-both hawks and doves invested between $74.9 million and 161.3 million in companies under contract with the DoD [1]. No wonder the Democratic congress kept approving the enormous spending bills on the war, since a significant portion of it happens to end up in their deep pockets.

The report elucidates further that investments in these contractors yielded Congress members between $15.8 million and $62 million in personal income from 2004 to 2006, through dividends, capital gains, royalties, and interest [1]. Certainly, as the war went on and escalated, so did the increase in profits.

Interestingly, the report also mentioned that members of the senate foreign relations and armed services committees which oversee the Iraq war had between $32 million and $44 million invested in companies with DoD contracts. Per example, war hawk Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the defense-related Senate Homeland security and Governmental Affairs Committee, had at least $51,000 invested in these companies in 2006. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), who voted for Bush's war, had stock in defense companies such as Honeywell, Boeing and Raytheon, but sold them in May 2007. [1].


from

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?aid=8920&context=va


15 Aug 09 - 09:27 PM (#2701331)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

PRIVATE hospitals do not have to admit patients who cannot pay if they deem, for example, that a broken leg is not a life threatening emergency. In rural states, like Montana, people often live hundreds of miles away from any kind of hospital.

The only hospital in our area is a privately owned hospital. If you have a broken leg and cannot pay and you are not on Medicare or Medicaid, then they can tell you to try the other privately owned hospitals 150 miles away. Those hospitals don't have to take you either, if your problem is not life threatening. One of them, in Billings, is a Catholic hospital that does tend to be more charitable. The hospital here and the second hospital in Billings are Lutheran non-profits, private hospitals, and are not as charitable.


16 Aug 09 - 07:40 AM (#2701491)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Right you are, Bill. Its those fu$kin'poor illegal immigrants screwing the system up.

Thanks for interjecting another Republican Shibboleth into the discussion.


16 Aug 09 - 11:27 AM (#2701580)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

What a pickle we're in now. Even HHS Secretary Sebelius said Saturday that providing citizens with the option of government-run insurance isn't essential to the Obama adminstration's proposed overhaul of U.S. health care. Obama is directing the charge at health insurance reform. Health CARE reform requires costs containment, but health insurance reform mostly requires mandates which increase the flow of money to the providers. Obama has to make people not fear cost containment, and in his editorial he says don't worry we'll do it by cutting waste and fraud.

People would redirect their own energies to cost containment if they felt the costs, which they don't with employer mandates and low deductible policies, both of which are centerpieces of the proposals.

Health insurance is different than other insurance. It is basically a payment facilitating mechanism with cost sharing.

If abandonment of the 8% solution is about to happen, that's a powerful tool for cost containment lost.


16 Aug 09 - 11:53 AM (#2701595)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

Columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. wrote about the recent chaotic townhall meetings and he used a line I like: "With apologies to Franklin Roosevelt, the only thing they have to sell is fear itself. "


16 Aug 09 - 11:55 AM (#2701597)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Instead of an honest discussion about the cost and funding for people who don't have access, today we are into what's in it for me. What's in it for everybody is relegated to a side issue on the safety net for people who fall out of employer provided insurance.

In a good world, people could have honestly discussed how much we can pay for the benefit of those who are not being properly served, and how much of that we are willing to pass off onto our grandchildren.


16 Aug 09 - 12:19 PM (#2701611)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Another question: Instead of setting up multiple new government agencies, why isn't this just a discussion about expanding the entitlements to and benefits under Medicaid, and forcing the employed uninsured to pay 8% of their pre-tax salary?


16 Aug 09 - 01:27 PM (#2701667)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger

The solution is easy. Tax the rich more. Reduce taxes for middle-class and poor. Take the money out of the hands of defense industry. Regulate the insurance industry. Regulate
Wall Street. Emphasize Preventative Care. (Stop eating Big Macs etc. and stop smoking)

We afford Single Payer but the fat cats are opposed. Their roadblocks are so transparent. Greed, power and money. They want you sick. Then they can refuse you coverage.

Obama just made a fatal deal with Pharma. The insurance rates will now go up.
Do you trust the insurance industry to kick back 80 billion? Maybe if they make five times that amount.

The argument is a red-herring. NH works in every other civilized country in the world.
Who is standing in the way? Guess.

Frank Hamilton


16 Aug 09 - 01:40 PM (#2701675)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

Oh crap, Greg! That's not the point! The point is that the SYSTEM is overloaded...immigrants are merely one aspect in some areas! The issue is **UNINSURED**, no matter what the source & causes.

We need more & better doctors and a better way to control costs, and immigrants ARE 'one' of those costs. We also need fewer people of ALL types, but you can guess what Republican Shibboleths even hinting at that would stir up.

None of these issues are gonna be even addressed, much less solved, if we don't confront them openly and discuss them in detail.

If you just sweep these issues under the rug and pretend they aren't there, you just end up with a bumpy rug that everyone trips over.


16 Aug 09 - 03:16 PM (#2701751)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

And providing a nice little earner for private insurance companies...


16 Aug 09 - 03:22 PM (#2701757)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

I am afraid... today's paper says that The White House has 'almost' decided to give up on the "public option" in order to get ANYTHING!

THAT will please the private insurance companies...

BAH! (You may quote me)


16 Aug 09 - 04:19 PM (#2701785)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

I was so hopefull that finally we would get universal access to health care in the United States. It is so long overdue. But now I don't think it's going to happen. And I don't blame Obama. I blame the American people for allowing themselves to be manipulated like lambs going to the slaughter. Ignorance, and an attitude of misplaced individualism that places little value on the good of society as a whole. And in many cases the people who oppose it most vehemently are precisely those who would benefit.


16 Aug 09 - 04:28 PM (#2701792)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

(If indeed it's all sunk) I don't blame Obama but I do blame the Congessional Democratic leadership. (If it's dead) they just squandered the Obama Advantage on the most important thing they could have done.


16 Aug 09 - 05:26 PM (#2701830)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rumncoke

This Autumn I will get a phone call to attend the local clinic and have a 'flu' jab, along with a lot of other elderly and those who get any 'flu' badly - I've now begun to qualify on both counts rather than just the latter one.

The NHS has a policy of vaccinating those vulnerable to the virus and the system swings into action once the equinox is past.

I have a defunct thyroid so I get all the Thyroxine and blood tests I need, and all other prescriptions are free as well.

Not far away my grandson and his parents are being visited (late on a Sunday evening) by an expert on breastfeeding as he is not getting it right.

He has had all the care he, and his mum, needed since a couple of weeks after conception, and he is now just over two weeks old. He too will be called into the clinic to have his jabs, he will be checked over regularly, have free dentistry, eye tests - doctors whenever his mum thinks he's unwell, free medication as needed.

How US citisens can tolerate the health system they have I do not know nor understand.

How various people have got away with what has been said about the NHS is equally incomprehensible.

Anne Croucher


16 Aug 09 - 06:10 PM (#2701851)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

I blame the American people for allowing themselves to be manipulated like lambs going to the slaughter. Why? All the polls I've seen indicate there's still a solid majority of the public want reform, even if there's a rather noisy minority who are against it.


16 Aug 09 - 06:41 PM (#2701871)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Because you can put lipstick on a pig and call it reform. The WHOLE POINT of electing Obama was about doing right by each other. IS. I should have said is.


16 Aug 09 - 08:21 PM (#2701924)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

Polls support what?

"Public support for the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats has fallen to a new low as just 42% of U.S. voters now favor the plan. That's down five points from two weeks ago and down eight points from six weeks ago.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that opposition to the plan has increased to 53%, up nine points since late June.

More significantly, 44% of voters strongly oppose the health care reform effort versus 26% who strongly favor it. Intensity has been stronger among opponents of the plan since the debate began.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of those under 30 favor the plan while 56% of those over 65 are opposed. Among senior citizens, 46% are strongly opposed.

Predictably, 69% of Democrats favor the plan, while 79% of Republicans oppose it. Yet while 44% of Democratic voters strongly favor the reform effort, 70% of GOP voters are strongly opposed to it.

Most notable, however, is the opposition among voters not affiliated with either party. Sixty-two percent (62%) of unaffiliated voters oppose the health care plan, and 51% are strongly opposed. This marks an uptick in strong opposition among both Republicans and unaffiliateds, while the number of strongly supportive Democrats is unchanged."


16 Aug 09 - 08:25 PM (#2701927)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

I am suspicious of current polls in the current situation, in which huge number of high visibility mellerdramatic horrorstories based on complete alterations and downright falsehoods about the reform plan have left a lot of peowple not even knowing what the plan IS or which of the many twists and spins provided by vested interests are true.

Obama's discussion in this morning's New York times should be required reading. The antics of the right in town hall meetings is a national disgrace, and Sarah Palin should be shot for adding fuel to an insane fire.


A


16 Aug 09 - 08:36 PM (#2701931)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

Like Amos said.......

We need a 'poll' that asks "which news media did you GET your fears & worries from?" and

"Do you really think your situation will be better after 10 MORE years of Republican pressure to do nothing, so that their contributors in the drug & insurance industries don't lose a dime?"?


16 Aug 09 - 10:16 PM (#2701970)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

"The Los Angeles Times leads with a report on the burgeoning Republican resistance to healthcare reform ? a campaign that's energized the party's base, but about which many party leaders remain deeply ambivalent. The so-called "August revolt," powered by activists' antics at Democratic town-hall meetings, has helped reinvigorate conservative groups; still, some GOP lawmakers are wary of associating themselves with the campaigners' increasingly cartoonish attacks. "The hostility went straight through to hysteria," said South Carolina conservative Rep. Bob Ingliss after being booed down at one recent town-hall. "You cannot build a movement on something that is not credible." " (Slate's 'Today's Papers' feature)


16 Aug 09 - 10:23 PM (#2701974)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

"Health care reform: Let the propaganda begin!"

The best article I have read on the current situation. More than worth a read--maybe even two.

Article here.


16 Aug 09 - 11:10 PM (#2701991)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

From that I would conclude the first thing one would want to do would be to cut the salaries of executives and put caps on malpractice insurance.


16 Aug 09 - 11:18 PM (#2701995)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

"Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die."


16 Aug 09 - 11:25 PM (#2701999)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: bobad

The first thing I would want to do is remove the middle man, ie. the insurance industry, from the health care picture, but that's because I live in a Canadian-style Nazi slave state.


16 Aug 09 - 11:27 PM (#2702000)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Commie!


16 Aug 09 - 11:49 PM (#2702006)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Peace: Thanks for posting that information from the Emergency Room Physicians group. It is very helpful.

I NEVER said the Emergency Room care was FREE! Obviously, anyone using the emergency room facilities is billed for the service. What I DID say, is that anyone showing up for care at an Emergency Room at a US hospital that receives any form of federal funding, cannot be turned away without being treated.

Only about fifty percent of those who do show up at ER for care pay the bill, though, evidently. The difference in cost, and the amount paid by the patient is offset by the hospital collecting more than cost from privately insured patients.

I see that some of you are already preparing yourselves for the Democrats distancing themselves from a public option, and naturally it's the Republicans fault. I think what happened was the members of Congress went home and got an ear full of what their individual party thought about the public option. Balancing the public option against not being re-elected in 2010 may have been a close call for some of them, but when push came to shove, they are going to choose holding on to their jobs.

DougR


17 Aug 09 - 12:34 AM (#2702025)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Thank you, Doug.

We have come back to what the real problem is for the US I think. As Doug noted, it has to be paid for.

One thing that happened in Canada was a shift to more local medicine. Much of Canada is rural or isolated. In the NWT (part of Canada's frozen North--it's frozen lots, not all the time) we used to have BSNs (bachelor of science in nursing) in every settlement (locations of 60 to a 1000 people). They treat minor stuff, do some sewing when needed, and be on the phone or radio to speak/seek treatment advice/directions from doctors in Yellowknife or Inuvik (or Edmonton, Alberta if necessary). It wasn't perfect, but as with old age, it was better than the alternative. Today, small towns--and we have lots of 'em--have places where people can go to seek help, and yes it's a kinda 'socialist' thing, but it speeds up the service and weeds out some cases wherein the person really needs psych as opposed to medical help. The money to pay for an NHP is there. It's just in the wrong hands.


17 Aug 09 - 02:20 AM (#2702035)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG

Only about fifty percent of those who do show up at ER for care pay the bill, though, evidently. The difference in cost, and the amount paid by the patient is offset by the hospital collecting more than cost from privately insured patients.

I realise I am making assumptions here, DougR, but I presume you are not really in favour of "the hospital collecting more than cost from privately insured patients". How would you like that changed? OR do you see it as just something that has to be lived with?


17 Aug 09 - 04:31 AM (#2702058)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: akenaton

Obama is back-pedalling on a "national healthcare system" because like most "liberals" he has no real conviction.....the right will sacrifice anything but the system itself for their "principles",but we on the left lack the belief that would give us courage to press on. To the left, politics is simply a career, any conviction socialist is smothered at birth by the "liberals".

Look back at American history and see that any real change was achieved not by any mealy mouthed politician, but by people of conviction who led us on a straight path to a better society.

"liberalism" will never give us real change, only change the words that say "you are slaves and will stay slaves!"....Ake


17 Aug 09 - 05:56 AM (#2702095)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Given your views elsewhere on the protection of minorities, ake (ie that you are against it) I am surprised you did not choke on (some of) your words above.

As for residents of the USA, if you have indeed abandoned the idea of universal healthcare, may your God (if any) have mercy on you. You have had none for yourselves, nor your less fortunate. The insurance companies and the medical industry will also have none.


17 Aug 09 - 06:11 AM (#2702101)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Obviously, anyone using the emergency room facilities is billed for the service.

Thank God I don't live somewhere where that is true.

Growing up sick in the US, and being treated by a humane NHS here, has shown me that Britain's system is far better - an article in today's paper which reinforces that appreciation of what we are fortunate to have here.


17 Aug 09 - 06:37 AM (#2702116)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stu

I have to say, from the UK side of the Pond this discussion looks increasingly insane. Although it isn't, this is a matter that should be above politics; it's about everyone chipping in via taxation to ensure every member of society regardless of social status gets looked after if they're ill. It's all comes down to conscience: if you care about your fellow humans you will vote for it, if you couldn't give a shit then you won't. It really is that fundamental, that black and white. If the majority of people are in favour and it doesn't happen the you don't live in a democracy.

One good thing to come of this is the fact the Tories are in a spot of bother due to me laddo bullshitting the great US public about the NHS. Several of his bestest mates are distancing themselves from him, including David Gove on The Andrew Marr Show (prime political talk show in the UK) yesterday morning who in an excellent display of crapping on his mate's head went to great pains to explain how much he was in favour of keeping the NHS and ring-fencing expenditure in the face of the inevitable public service cuts to come after the election - a vote-winner for sure (Americans take note).

Coupled with that The Observer also reports a rift in the shadow cabinet as it appears some shadow ministers seem to want to do privatise the lot; I honestly think there would be riots on the streets should that happen. The toff Cameron is now trying to patch up the rift but as the paper points out the majority of his parliamentary party are the same old school Thatcherite sheep that so hate the poor and would gladly run down the most treasured institution in the country. We must beware!


17 Aug 09 - 06:47 AM (#2702120)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Penny S.

How health works in Tennessee.

The GOP are mad. Or bad. This is a Christian country? (To be fair, once they knew about the charity, many gave. But should it be necessary?)

Penny


17 Aug 09 - 07:47 AM (#2702139)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Penny, I don't think it's a matter of religion. It's a matter of humanity. I think the options for descriptions of those who would deny adequate healthcare to millions are bad or hoodwinked. Those who apply the hoodwinks can only be bad - but they have their own religion, based on the mantras of a "free market economy" - which with the benefit of hindsight we KNOW does not work.   

Sugarfoot Jack, I agree. I smelt the ifs and buts the moment I heard the shadow health minister making promises with hidden getouts. But if the opressed in the UK did not take to the barricades against Thatcher, what hope have we that they will ever do so?


17 Aug 09 - 08:07 AM (#2702147)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

What I DID say, is that anyone showing up for care at an Emergency Room at a US hospital that receives any form of federal funding, cannot be turned away without being treated.

And- as was shown conclusively by several posters- it was just as untrue the second time you said it as it was the first time.

Repeating a lie doesn't make it true, Douggie-boy!


17 Aug 09 - 10:35 AM (#2702207)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Whta does "treated" mean in that context?


17 Aug 09 - 11:20 AM (#2702242)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

And, of course,the shortfall from the people that don't pay their emergency room fees--which can be pretty damned steep--is made up by raising rates of non-emergency-room patients. If I'm going to be taxed, I'd rather it be one by the government than by a hospital administrator...at least I can vote in the first case.


17 Aug 09 - 11:51 AM (#2702263)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""Whta does "treated" mean in that context?""


Stabilised, I believe, so you don't actually pop your clogs on their doorstep.

After all, they don't want their lobby made to look untidy by a Non Paying Corpse.

Don T.


17 Aug 09 - 12:06 PM (#2702273)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

So far, Obama hasn't captured the middle. The Democrats don't need the right. They look silly and ineffectual blaming the far right for their own failure to persuade the middle.

Besides funding, I think Obama has to market and explain four things about the public option:

(1) it is needed by people who don't but should have entitlements to coverage under the existing public options;
(2) it is needed by people who don't have adequate benefits under the existing public options;
(3) it will save people who do not suspect they could run afoul of the employment based coverage they think they will always have;
(4) it will not coerce people away from their existing insurance into a public program, but accept them when they will be glad it's available.

Four is a bit tricky*, but if they tell the truth on all other things so their credibility is high, and they've structured the program so that (4) is true, they should be able to remain on target.

*especially where employers can dump their plans and give 8% of payroll to the government, and automatically enroll their employees.


17 Aug 09 - 12:18 PM (#2702286)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

Obama is back-pedalling on a "national healthcare system" because like most "liberals" he has no real conviction

THis is horse-pucky, AKe. First, he is not back pedlaing. He went tot he mat yesterday in the NEw York Times, for example. Secopnd of all, he has plenty opf conviction, and your bizarre generality is way off base. The fundamental definition of liberalism is based on principles, and good ones--reciprocal respect, tolerance, honoring of individual liberty, and compassion for the species in general. COme off it.


A


17 Aug 09 - 12:20 PM (#2702289)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

There was an excellent interview on CNN last night by Don Lemon. He interviewed Tim Wise, the author of "White Like Me", on racism and how it relates to welfare and health care legislation and the attitudes of conservative white citizens. The discussion related to the behavior of people at the "town hall" meetings. The interview was on 8/16/09.

Here is a video of the Tim Wise interview.
Whenever we talk about spending on support for people who are the "have nots", there is hostility for social welfare spending that has a racist component.
I could not find it on you tube, but it is available as a CNN video and is posted on this blog:
http://thisweekwithbarackobama.blogspot.com/

Tim Wise wrote this online today, as he of course has been getting responses from that interview last night:

"...Indeed several of the e-mails made this same argument about opposing "government dependence," all the while oblivious, it appears, to the way in which that concept has become so color-coded in the white imagination over the past several decades. In fact, this is a point I had made on the program: that according to a significant body of social science research (among the most prominent, Martin Gilens's brilliant book, Why Americans Hate Welfare), most whites perceive social program spending aimed at helping the have-nots (be they income have-nots, housing have-nots, or health care-have nots) as being about giving something to those people, who are, of course, conceived of in black and brown terms, and taking from "hard-working" white folks in order to do it. So if the notion of government dependence itself has been racialized--and the evidence says it has been--to say that it is only this dependence you oppose, and that racism has nothing to do with it is to either lie or engage in self-deception of a most unfortunate and unbecoming variety.." Tim Wise


Alice


17 Aug 09 - 12:29 PM (#2702292)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

A brilliantly destructive argument that would be.


17 Aug 09 - 12:50 PM (#2702304)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stu

That's really scary.


17 Aug 09 - 01:00 PM (#2702311)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

A fairly clear analsyis of different methods of health care is provided in today's NY Times by writer Paul Krugman who points out that Obama's plan veers closer to the Swiss model than the British one.

All the harumscarum bullshit being flogged by panic-heads and boogey-man pundits is really tiresome, I must say.

KRugman also has, in this earlier piece some intelligent things to say about the public option.

Finally, Barack Obama explains why reform is important in an op-editorial for the New York Times.


17 Aug 09 - 01:08 PM (#2702318)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Sad to say, I have a sister who has exactly the attitude Tim Wise describes. She thinks the Social Security and Franklin Roosevelt's presidency was one of the worst things to happen to America (her words, even though she and her husband get social security). She has a brand of conservative Catholic beliefs that are mixed up with her political beliefs. She is very upset about anything being printed in a language other than English in the US, very upset when she saw a Spanish version of the Denver phone book. For decades, she has been very upset about "People" taking jobs away from white, male Americans, etc.

There are many people with these "Us versus THEM" beliefs who are agitated by Limbaugh, Beck, Michael Savage and others to attack universal health care because "they, the other, the not-real-Americans, the not-us" will get something supported by tax payers.

Alice


17 Aug 09 - 01:19 PM (#2702324)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

The bizarre thing is that it can be demonstrated that, though black or brown people in the States are more likely to on the breadline than white people, since there are a lot more white people than black or brown people, most people on the breadline are white.


17 Aug 09 - 01:44 PM (#2702335)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

The call for going back to "founding fathers" as you saw in the video of the young woman I posted earlier in the thread, is what Tim Wise describes so well. The talk radio shows hammer away at people who are not all that well informed about history or the constitution, but basically condition their listeners to think that there is some ideal, superior white past in the country that must be "returned to". It means going back to segregation, which they will not come right out and say, but instead use coded language that implies the same thing (and of course we had slavery at the time of the founding fathers).


17 Aug 09 - 01:54 PM (#2702339)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger

Paul Krugman has offered an impediment to the efficacy of the public option.

Obama has made a deal with Pharma that the government will stop
lowering costs for prescription drugs and the purchasing of generics. It will
still be illegal to buy lower-priced drugs in Canada.

Pharma has interfered with the political process by dictating their policy through
intimidation.

Drug prices will now soar. Do you trust Pharma to give an 80 billion tax break to
consumers? Where is this money coming from?

This deal was made behind close doors with no sunlight.


17 Aug 09 - 01:57 PM (#2702346)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

McGrath: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: "Treat": To give medical aid to.

For another interesting "take" on health care provided in Tennessee: Google today's edition of The Wall Street Journal, page 2, "Tennessee Experiment's High Cost Fuels Health-Care Debate." (I assume if Amos providing Paul Krugman, columnist, at the New York Times is acceptable as a resource, the Wall Street Journal will be acceptable too).

It seems to me this discussion (argument)is moving away from whether nationalized Health Care is good or bad, to "Is Medical Care a 'Right' or a 'privilege'. As far as I know, only citizens in the United States who have reached the age of 65, and have contributed to the Federal Social Security Program during their working years have a guaranteed "Right" to some form of health care.

If the Democrats in Congress are successful in adopting Obama's plans for "fixing" our health care program, the one I have now will be abolished. I have already said in previous posts that I am perfectly satisfied with the one I have. I assume many here on the Mudcat are of the opinion that my concerns are not legitimate. Is correct?

DougR


17 Aug 09 - 02:12 PM (#2702357)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

So, Doug, we all have a "right" to police protection, fire protection, city water testing, and public schools, but we don't all have a right to stay alive if we are in an accident or have an illness. I see your point of view - you've made it clear. You've got yours, to hell with anyone else.


17 Aug 09 - 02:23 PM (#2702369)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Donuel

Who in their right mind would want Goverment controlled health care and be slated for death or have thier treatment rationed by Democrats?

The free market privately owned competitive health care insurance companies do not ration, withhold or exceed real American's ability to pay whatever the free market decides.




Who in their right mind ?...warped right wing minds, (brain washed by private insurance companies in the name of 6 different right wing corporate think tank commercials and Fox Inc) ...thats who!





Obama should simply sell The Congressional Health Care Plan for ALL.
(the same health care plan that Senator Grassly gets.)

We have it and by God its nothing to write home about. For example the dental plan will match $1,000 dental work a year.




PS
The average American has had his employer change health care plans 3 times during their employment.

Private corporate health insurance rations by treating the wealthy and denying the poorer and unemployed. IF you make over a quarter million a year your taxes will go up to cover Medicare for all.


How Doug R could lose his health care plan if Medicare for people under 65 became law is a secret and conundrum known only to his own imagination.


17 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM (#2702371)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

Doug said earlier:

"I think what happened was the members of Congress went home and got an ear full of what their individual party thought about the public option.

Oh, indeed! They went home and found enough folks had been scared silly by lies and distortions to cause waffleing.... The moneyed interests KNOW they they don't have to convince everyone...just enough of the panicky ones.

Eliminating the public option will not help most people at all! It will ONLY keep the pharmas & insurance guys from losing one-thin-dime! Those interests will do a shell game of pretending to offer a little discount here and a 'special deal' there, while making SURE that THEY get any new folks that the govt. pays to enter the system....thus assuring themselves of even higher revenues as they 'pretend' to be cooperating.

Wanna bet on it?


17 Aug 09 - 02:31 PM (#2702373)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

I get it: the "pursuit of happiness" in actuality refers to the quest for decent, affordable health care. Some make it to the goal, some never do. Right, DougR? Your happiness is evident.


17 Aug 09 - 02:43 PM (#2702385)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

The trouble is "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" might be classed as "unalienable rights" in your Declaration of Indeoendence, but that never made it through to your Constitution.

Maybe it's time to write the words in as a Constitutional Amendment... That'd set the cat among the pigeons...


17 Aug 09 - 02:50 PM (#2702392)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Donuel

Remember that the whole HMO scheme to charge for but deny claims was presented to Nixon and approved by Nixon after the scam was explained to him. Yep trickey Dick even taped those meeting and can be heard as simply as seeing them in SICKO by M Moore.



;/

Hey what about shutting down gubermint controlled care such as Medicare or goverment controlled military like the US army or all your Social Security food stamps and local Fire Departments which are Socialist financed unless they are Real American Volunteer Fire Departments.

Jeez come to think of it, the goverment is guvermint controlled too

OMG the only politicans who are not Government controlled are; Sarah Palin, Dick Army and Rush Limbaugh. I bet they have private health care ?????????????????? Actually it is a good question if Palin or Dick Army have any remnants of a goverment health plan!!!!!!!!!

IF they do , that would be a story to tell.


17 Aug 09 - 03:43 PM (#2702433)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

This article is on CNN.com today.

Editor's note: Wendell Potter has served since May 2009 as senior fellow on health care at the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit organization that says it seeks to expose "corporate spin and government propaganda." After a 20-year career as a corporate public relations executive, Potter left his job last year as head of communications for one of the nation's largest health insurers, CIGNA Corporation.

"What I'm trying to do as I write and speak out against the insurance industry I was a part of for nearly two decades is to inform Americans that when they hear isolated stories of long waiting times to see doctors in Canada and allegations that care in other systems is rationed by "government bureaucrats," someone associated with the insurance industry wrote the original script..."
Click Here


17 Aug 09 - 04:03 PM (#2702449)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

" It was my job to "promote and defend" the company's reputation and to try to persuade reporters to write positive stories about the industry's ideas on reform. During the last couple of years of my career, however, I became increasingly worried that the high-deductible plans insurers were beginning to push Americans into would force more and more of us into bankruptcy.

The higher I rose in the company, the more I learned about the tactics insurers use to dump policyholders when they get sick, in order to increase profits and to reward their Wall Street investors. I could not in good conscience continue serving as an industry mouthpiece. And I did not want to be part of yet another industry effort to kill meaningful reform.

I explained during the press conference with Rep. Slaughter how the industry funnels millions of its policyholders' premiums to big public relations firms that provide talking points to conservative talk show hosts, business groups and politicians. I also described how the PR firms set up front groups, again using your premium dollars and mine, to scare people away from reform.

What I'm trying to do as I write and speak out against the insurance industry I was a part of for nearly two decades is to inform Americans that when they hear isolated stories of long waiting times to see doctors in Canada and allegations that care in other systems is rationed by "government bureaucrats," someone associated with the insurance industry wrote the original script.

The industry has been engaging in these kinds of tactics for many years, going back to its successful behind-the-scenes campaign to kill the Clinton reform plan.

A story in Friday's New York Times about the origin of the absurdly false rumor that President Obama's health care proposal would create government-sponsored "death panels" bears out what I have been saying.

The story notes that the rumor emanated "from many of the same pundits and conservative media outlets that were central in defeating Bill Clinton's health care proposal 16 years ago, including the editorial board of The Washington Times, the American Spectator magazine and Betsy McCaughey, whose 1994 health care critique made her a star of the conservative movement (and ultimately, the lieutenant governor of New York)."..."

From ALice's link above.


17 Aug 09 - 04:30 PM (#2702477)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Here's a piece from The Times about the French way of doing this, which seems to work pretty well - Neither of the Above

France has a system of universal healthcare financed by compulsory national insurance. Premiums are charged as a percentage of income and paid to insurers that are non-government, non-profit agencies. The French have a choice of doctor whose fee they usually pay and then claim back 75-80 per cent of the cost. The poor are exempt from payment. All patients, whether exempt from co-payments or not, may go directly to a specialist.

Of course this would go a good bit further than the rather timid steps forward which Obama is pushing for, and which are being treated with such hysteria by opponents. (There's that word "treated" again, Doug - doesn't always mean treated very nicely does it?)


17 Aug 09 - 05:00 PM (#2702507)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

The French system sounds like a perfectly reasonable way to go..... but, gee...who expects Congress, in the face of multi-million dollar lobbying and scary ad campaigns, to anything 'reasonable'.?


17 Aug 09 - 05:02 PM (#2702509)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

On equality and the pursuit of wealth or happiness: No social benefit is served by allowing people to be financially destroyed or set back or otherwise hindered from reaching their potential by the hand of fate. Society benefits from equalized access - it is not mere charity.


17 Aug 09 - 05:14 PM (#2702524)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

The point is, there are any number of different ways of organising things so that there is excellent health care available for everyone, and the different ways have various advantages and disadvantages.

There is plenty of room for decent human beings to disagree about the best way to do it in their particular part of the world. But acting in a way that seeks to ensure that millions of people do not have such access - that isn't what any decent human being could do.


17 Aug 09 - 05:14 PM (#2702525)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

f the Democrats in Congress are successful in adopting Obama's plans for "fixing" our health care program, the one I have now will be abolished.

Since it has been explained at some length to Douggie-Boy over and over that this is complete bullshit, I guess he actually IS as stupid as he appears to be.


17 Aug 09 - 05:23 PM (#2702533)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

From: McGrath of Harlow - PM
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 10:35 AM
What does "treated" mean in that context?


Dealt with & explained at some length up-thread. See

Bobad 15Aug09 07:44PM
Alice 15Aug09 07:11PM
Maryrrf 15Aug09 04:39PM

et. al.


17 Aug 09 - 05:26 PM (#2702535)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST

As you are well aware, McGrath, the word treat has many different definitions.

Alice: Let me get this straight! You criticize me because I don't want to lose the health care I have, but feel perfectly justified in supporting the plan because you would get health care that you don't currently have. Is that right? I don't criticize you for supporting Obama's plan. If I did not have coverage, I would probably do the same. Any coverage is better than having none at all!

In reply to Donuel, who questions the fact that I would lose my health care if the Democrat plan becomes law, President Obama conducted a Town Hall in Alice's home state over the weekend and very clearly stated that he would eliminate Medicare Advantage in order to help pay for the cost of the plan he is proposing. He is of the opinion that money spent on Medicare Advantage ONLY benefits the insurance companies that administer the plans for Medicare. Nothing could be further from the truth. The primary beneficiaries of Medicare Advantage are the senior citizens who are enrolled in it!

My wife has only Medicare, and she pays for a supplemental insurance program to pick up care if she exceeds what Medicare provides.

Medicare Advantage provides services that exceeds those provided Medicare alone.

DougR


17 Aug 09 - 05:31 PM (#2702539)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Doug, the plan IS NOT going to take away your health care!
Someone has been scaring you silly.

alice


17 Aug 09 - 05:34 PM (#2702543)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

"President Obama conducted a Town Hall in Alice's home state over the weekend and very clearly stated that he would eliminate Medicare Advantage in order to help pay for the cost of the plan he is proposing. "

"Doug, the plan IS NOT going to take away your health care!"

SO Obama lied??? ( Again)


17 Aug 09 - 05:43 PM (#2702558)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Anybody got the text of this supposed Obama statement- and in full, in context? Not manipulated & mutilat4ed to seem to mean something he never said? Or are we supposed to take Honest Douggie's word for it? & if so, why?


17 Aug 09 - 05:46 PM (#2702563)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

And Alice: he was plenty silly enopugh BEFORE he got scared.


17 Aug 09 - 05:52 PM (#2702564)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Eliminating the unnecessary burdens in the Medicare Advantage program does not mean that Doug's quality of care would diminish. Care that is as good as but more EFFICIENT would replace the inefficiencies of Medicare Advantage.

see this link: click here


"In this formal letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Medical Group Management Association maintains that the variations in the Medicare Advantage program subject medical practices to extraneous administrative burdens, already an immense burden to efficient patient care. MGMA urges CMS to eliminate unnecessary administrative burdens, exacerbated by Medicare Advantage, which add to the cost of treating Medicare beneficiaries."


17 Aug 09 - 05:52 PM (#2702566)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Not an Obama quote, but this:

Q: Would the proposed cuts to Medicare limit access to care and services for seniors?

A: Seniors have been vocal in expressing concern over the impact of the overhaul on their benefits. The fear comes from the fact that as part of the reform, the government intends to cut billions from Medicare.

Obama has stressed repeatedly that the cuts don't translate into reduced benefits for Medicare recipients, but America's Health Insurance Plans, the industry's trade group, disagrees.

"Cuts of that magnitude are going to have a significant impact on seniors," Zirkelbach said. "Seniors are going to pay higher premiums, lose benefits, and in some parts of the country lose access to Medicare Advantage."

The House bill has proposed some $380 billion in cuts over 10 years, with about $150 billion to come out of the pocket of Medicare Advantage plans. These are private plans that offer full Medicare medical coverage.

Critics have argued the federal government has for too long over-subsidized these policies, reimbursing them by as much as 14 percent more for the same services that traditional Medicare provides as a way to encourage seniors to pick a private option.

Another big chunk of the cuts are expected to come from reduced reimbursements for hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and imaging services. Reductions in benefits or payments to physicians are not on the table; in fact, the bill would give physicians more money.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/17/MNT4198FQ4.DTL&type=politics


17 Aug 09 - 05:57 PM (#2702571)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

Greg F.

I watched the meeting on TV- You are now claiming that the men in black helicopters edited the realtime feed?

I guess I can't believe my own eyes and ears- I better wait until Obama tells me what I am supposed to believe before thinking about it.


If Obama is paying for this with cost savings, who is responsible for the cost overruns that there MUST have been in order to generate "2/3 of the costs" from these savings? Haven't the Democrats been in control of Congress for the last 2 1/2 years??? And nobody thought to try to make those savings before?


17 Aug 09 - 06:03 PM (#2702578)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

See my link to the letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), from the Medical Group Management Association regarding Medicare Advantage.

The semantics used can twist this around to the idea that care will be eliminated when actually the goal of reform is to increase efficiency, not reduce care. But, those who want to keep crying wolf will continue, because it fits their partisan political loyalties.


17 Aug 09 - 06:09 PM (#2702584)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

"the goal of reform is to increase efficiency, not reduce care"

I agree- that is the GOAL.

The goal of invading Iraq was to make the US safer- so you (all) were obviously in favour of it, right?

But the effect ( of noble/desirable goals) is often different, as can be seen from the many complaints here about the last administration.

So far I have yet to see ant protests or demonstrations at the "town hall" meetings that even approaches the ones I saw during the Bush administration.


17 Aug 09 - 06:11 PM (#2702587)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

...plenty silly enopugh BEFORE he got scared.

Couldn't we cut out that kind of playground personal stuff?


17 Aug 09 - 06:12 PM (#2702588)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

...plenty silly enopugh BEFORE he got scared.

Couldn't we cut out that kind of playground personal stuff?


17 Aug 09 - 06:18 PM (#2702592)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

"The goal of invading Iraq was to make the US safer- so you (all) were obviously in favour of it, right?"

Wrong!

Don Firth


17 Aug 09 - 06:19 PM (#2702594)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

My God, what a society! Squabbling about right versus left, Democrats versus Republicans - percentages of people for and against in a 'supposed' neutral poll. Why on earth can't the 'so called' protector of the Free World even protect it's own?
Because people like DougR complain that he 'may be' losing something that his countrymen (and of course those wretched Illegal Immigrants - so many of whom he knows are there because he's met them) may neeed! Shame on you for argueing what the rest of the free world already know. Universal health care is right. And it CANNOT be run by mercenaries, for that is what the insurance companies are. Wake up USA, the world doesn't start at New York and end in Los Angeles.
John Barden


17 Aug 09 - 06:20 PM (#2702595)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Here is more about Medicare Advantage and why it needs reform:

http://www.ncpssm.org/news/archive/vp_medicare_advantage/



"...Overpayments are used to improve insurance industry profits and are not completely passed along to beneficiaries. When Congress approved the system which overpays private plans, policymakers intended that the excess payments be returned to beneficiaries in the form of additional benefits or reduced cost-sharing. It is not at all clear to what extent this is occurring. Private plans are subject to few public reporting requirements, so it has been extremely difficult to determine what percentage of the overpayments has padded the profit margins of the private insurance companies offering the plans, or has been used for marketing, rather than being returned to beneficiaries. In the case of Private Fee-For-Service plans, MedPAC found that only about half of the excess payment is used to deliver extra benefits for enrollees. The remainder of the payment is used to finance the administrative costs, marketing, and profits of private plans..."


17 Aug 09 - 06:45 PM (#2702615)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice


17 Aug 09 - 07:01 PM (#2702625)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

I can say no more than what George Papavgeris (a Greek Immigrant with such a wonderful understanding of the English language that he makes me feel totally inadequate) has to say in this song:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKeLD7KvKRM .
That says it all really. Celebrate!! We're all human for ***** sake
John Barden


17 Aug 09 - 07:08 PM (#2702632)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

yes, "there are threads that bind us all together"


17 Aug 09 - 07:29 PM (#2702649)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

Bruce:

The difference is that the Obama administration has worthy goals and tries to be transparent and encourages actual dialogue even if it means the risk of some wing-nut dramatizations being thrown into the mix, whereas the Bush administration had secretive, corporation-driven goals, sought to be as secret as possible and encouraged wing-nut dramatization as a substitute for dialog.


A


17 Aug 09 - 07:44 PM (#2702663)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Comparing the protests during the Mad-Dash-to-Iraq to those we are seeing in these so-called town meetings is a joke that only knothead righties get... There in no comparing the two...

The protests againt the ill-thought-out-invasion was based on logic and intellect...

The protests at these town meetings is based on immature adults showing just how little they understand either the issues or understand that they are showing themselves to nothing but puppets of the corportatists driven by hatred...

BTW, these are children and grandchildren of the folks who also protested back during FDR's days against Social Security...

Tell ya'll what... If you know any of these folks who still ahte Socail Security tell them to not apply for it...

(But, Bobert, they earned it...)

Bullsh*t!!! You look at these folks... They are all lower class people who will collect far greater amounts in Social Security than they put in (including accrued interest) becuase their kids and grandkids are out there working harder than any counterpart in any developed nation to pay into Social Security so that these ignorant people can have what they have... Yet when it comes to reforming a system that might allow their kids and grandkids to have afforable health insurance they are, in essence, telling their kids and grandkids to "Fu*k off", I got mine...

Makes this ol' hillbilly sick...

B~


17 Aug 09 - 08:21 PM (#2702682)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

Amos and Bobert,

Must be nice to be one of the Ubermensch, and be so certain that you are always right and those who disagree with you are always wrong.


17 Aug 09 - 09:20 PM (#2702719)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

If the cap fits, bruce, wear it


17 Aug 09 - 09:22 PM (#2702720)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

I've lost track of the argument. Could someone summarize it for me in fewer than fifty words?


17 Aug 09 - 09:40 PM (#2702729)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Left good right bad Americans uncivilized ignorant uncharitable self-defeating. Politicans self dealing incompetent. Capitalistic fascist control. Spiralling unworkable unchangeable. Switzerland.


17 Aug 09 - 09:44 PM (#2702732)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

OK. Are we mad at Switzerland for some reason other than they're Swiss?


17 Aug 09 - 10:10 PM (#2702756)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Well haven't you ever wondered what they feed their cows to get all those bubbles in the cheese? There's something very wrong there. Suspicious.


17 Aug 09 - 10:25 PM (#2702766)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

"Haven't the Democrats been in control of Congress for the last 2 1/2 years?"

Only on paper, Bruce...the Republicans bragged that they could & would derail any serious attempts to get thru major legislation that tried to undo the Bush legacy. From 07 to 09, that majority was very narrow, and the Republicans did exactly what they said. Now that the majority is larger, the details of the tactics have changed, and funded misinformation and scare mongers are replacing committee foot-dragging.

Tell a flat lie often enough and you WILL have many believing it.


17 Aug 09 - 10:33 PM (#2702771)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

"Tell a flat lie often enough and you WILL have many believing it. "

One always has to wonder which are the lies, as BOTH sides keep repeating that the other side is lying.


So, you are saying that if Obama repeats the same lie often enough, many will believe it??


17 Aug 09 - 10:39 PM (#2702778)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Couldn't we cut out that kind of playground personal stuff?

So, Kevin, when was the last (first?) time you called Douggie to task for much worse? He's the one thinks he's a stand-up comic.

Ta.


17 Aug 09 - 11:02 PM (#2702796)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

They are not going to lower reimbursement rates AND cease reimbursing for "waste" i.e. unnecessary / inefficient care for which the providers have been receiving payments in the past AND fund the same level of *service.* That's easy enough to see.

Health care reform has to be about cost containment. You strive for optimal *results.* There are three apples on the table in front of me. I take away one. How many are left? TWO! How many did I take away? NONE! The third apple had worms inside and wasn't any good anyway!


18 Aug 09 - 02:17 AM (#2702862)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: TIA

Yes, Bruce. Keep repeating lies often enough, and some people will believe even you.


18 Aug 09 - 10:41 AM (#2703116)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Speaking of lies....

Republican Senator Grassley recently said this about the British health care system:

"In countries that have government-run health care, just to give you an example, I've been told that the brain tumor that Sen. Kennedy has — because he's 77 years old — would not be treated the way it's treated in the United States. In other words, he would not get the care he gets here because of his age. In other words, they'd say 'well he doesn't have long to live even if he lived another four to five years.' They'd say 'well, we gotta spend money on people who can contribute more to economy.' It's a little like people saying when somebody gets to be 85 their life is worth less than when they were 35 and you pull the tubes on them."


18 Aug 09 - 10:58 AM (#2703124)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

And the problem is that these lies such as Alice cited get repeated over and over, and when you try to tell people they're not true, and counter with evidence, they tune you out.   It's almost like a lot of people have selective hearing. It's maddening.


18 Aug 09 - 11:07 AM (#2703135)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

This morning there was this interview and report on National Public Radio.

Is Britain's Health System Really That Bad?
This is a link to the page with an AUDIO file of the report.


18 Aug 09 - 11:08 AM (#2703136)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

You see the trick? "I've been told" - so he doesn't actually make the lying statement himself, he delegates it out to some unknwn source.

And it is a complete lie. With the additional somewhat questionable implicatrion in the background that the American system would provide the same quality of treatment that Ted Kennedy will have got ("the way its treated in the United States") for everyone who needs it.
Is that really true?   It would be, here in the UK.


18 Aug 09 - 11:14 AM (#2703137)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

And this NPR interview with a British surgeon about NHS.

Surgeon defends British system. This page has an AUDIO link. The report includes the recording of Senator Grassley, the quote I posted below about Senator Kennedy, and the surgeon's response to it. Another ad is played in the report from a TV campaign here showing NHS ending the life of a patient whose health care would be "too expensive".


18 Aug 09 - 11:19 AM (#2703138)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stu

"I've been told that the brain tumor that Sen. Kennedy has — because he's 77 years old — would not be treated the way it's treated in the United States."

If he believes everything he's told without providing some evidence then he's a gullible dick. To repeat this bollocks means he's a nasty gullible dick.


18 Aug 09 - 11:20 AM (#2703141)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

Bruce:

It's not exackly nice, no; it's like the curse of Cassandra to see the truth and have good people not believe you.


A


18 Aug 09 - 12:08 PM (#2703170)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

You see the trick? "I've been told" - so he doesn't actually make the lying statement himself, he delegates it out to some unknwn source. And it is a complete lie.

I wonder if Grassley picked it from our own Douggie? who's used the same trick for years.


18 Aug 09 - 12:17 PM (#2703176)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

http://www.donkeylicious.com/2009/08/flowchart.html


18 Aug 09 - 01:28 PM (#2703211)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: beardedbruce

"it's like the curse of Cassandra to see the truth and have good people not believe you"

I did notice that.


18 Aug 09 - 06:46 PM (#2703336)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Yeah, Maryrrf, they do tune you out... Why??? Becasue they are not prepared to have an intellegent discussion...

But this goes way, way back... The BIG LIES that the righties have come up with over the years to scare up the morons and thugs are just amazing...

Now it's "death panels"???

And the beat goes on... And on... And...............

B~


18 Aug 09 - 06:58 PM (#2703351)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Let your legislators know you feel like this.


18 Aug 09 - 07:00 PM (#2703353)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

If you support health care reform as the White House is promoting, you can provide feedback at this link:

http://www.healthreform.gov/support.htm

The screaming and ranting misinformation is grabbing all the attention.

The White House needs your feedback if you agree with the health care reform they are trying to achieve.


18 Aug 09 - 07:04 PM (#2703356)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

dang... need to fix that link

here it is:

http://www.healthreform.gov/support.html


18 Aug 09 - 08:02 PM (#2703405)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Here is another way to add your support to the public option as part of health care reform.
http://standwithdrdean.com/ sign the petition w/Dr. Howard Dean


18 Aug 09 - 08:20 PM (#2703416)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Azizi

A new low:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVS4Zgjm8HE

Woman Yells Heil Hitler To Jewish Man at Las Vegas Town Hall


18 Aug 09 - 08:27 PM (#2703422)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

Thanks, Alice! I just signed them both.

Don Firth


18 Aug 09 - 08:28 PM (#2703423)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

I believe it is time for Obama to step out from behind his shield and just lay out what *he* wants... Letting Congress come up with a plan is a waste of time... Congress is terribly dysfuntional and not capable... Congress has had enough time to put together sevarl frameworks and Obama is wasting time if he thinks that he can get any Republicans on board... That won't happen...

Yeah, it's time for him to stand up and be who folks who voted for him thought they were getting... His poll numbers aren't dropping because he's trying to get bipartisan support... They are dropping because he hasn't stood tall in the saddle...

Screw the Repubs... They are no more than pesky gnats bhuzzin' around Obam's head...

Tell ya'll what... You know this ol' hillbilly ain't really no Dem but I did work for Obama 'cause I thought he had the courage to stand up to special interests... If he doesn't support a public option and fight fir it he will have lost me... I'll just go right back to the Green Party and never look back... This was a real iffy thing for a Greenie to support Obama and lots of us aren't gonna stick too long if this guy folds his tent becasue a few loonies show their asses on TV... That ain't courage in my book...

Obama knows exactlt where the progressive wing stand on this issue... He doesn't need to hear from me... He knows that coops won't fix anything... This ain't rocker surgery here...

No public option and no more support for this administration from this ol' hillbilly...

Square business!!!

B~


18 Aug 09 - 08:37 PM (#2703429)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Peace

Lots of little punches will keep Obama off his stride. Ya think maybe that what the Nay sayers are doing?


18 Aug 09 - 09:09 PM (#2703445)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

"Insurance Exec Turned Whistleblower Wendell Potter Speaks Out Against Health Care Industry
Thursday 16 July 2009"

This may have been mentioned before.

http://www.truthout.org/081009B

It's a long article but worth the time to read.


18 Aug 09 - 09:19 PM (#2703449)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Little punches can only fall a president without courage... Time for him to get going... No, it won't be purdy but it's time... I mean, Obama has the BIG microphone... In other words, he has all the left hooks on his side and it's time to punch back...

B~


18 Aug 09 - 09:23 PM (#2703450)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

I hope he addresses the nation on TV and talks about what he has in mind. Straight from him to the people. Hell, it worked in the campaign, and these types of attacks on him didn't win it for the bad guys.


18 Aug 09 - 09:28 PM (#2703453)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Donuel

Note how you can present an argument in which both sides tell the truth:

as presented by D. Congressman Harpo Thetical from Brooklyn says...

First you must know what Private Health care is and what they produce and create for America.

They collect vast sums of money divide it thirds and keep one third to cover their costs. After huge sums for executives and The CEO class they claim 3.3% profit. What they make is money for themselves by denying a certain type and class of sick people who will make them the most money.

Time is on their side. The denied and ripped off payers die sonner or later. Sooner with no care.

Contrast this with Medicare in which no person has ever been denied coverage. Frankly, private health care insurance gives the most well off policy holders more choices. They cancel those who are unemplyed or can no longer pay which is an ultimate loss of health care choices.


THE FOX VERSION as presented by Rod Hardstaff of Freedom Works Lobbyists for hire.

The Goverment take over of your Health care will have paid goverment agents decide if you will be treated or not.

The Goverment is trying to take over our Health Care. They have taken over our banks and our auto industries and it does not end their. The Goverment FDIC has taken over 10 banks a month since Janyary 2009. There has even been a secret goverment take over of the entire US military, highway traffic control, huge Federal prisons and even positions on the Supream Court...

The Socialist Obama Health care program will make you a number that will have to wait its turn to either be treated or deleted.




-----------------------


Like frosting on a cake all the lobbyists need do is spread some huge whopper lie that is designed to cause the most fear and anger and thier work is done....for the private Insurance Moguls in thier fellatial, I mean their palacial estates.


Obama thought town hall meetings would educate people to the value of cheap affordable health care for all like he did as a community organizer. He did not take FOX and K Street seriously enough in his equation. He will need more spokesmen than himself to be heard.


18 Aug 09 - 09:45 PM (#2703465)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

If you take a look at the donkeylicious flow chart above (the second chart on the page, not the first), the "public option" looks like a small component (colored salmon/orange).

When they talk about abandoning the "public option," do they mean abandoning the new agencies and allowing all comers to the public option (regardless of income and with low income subsidized), while still expanding eligibility for an enhanced Medicaid program (??)

What do they mean by "unsubsidized individual insurance with new consumer protections"?? Do they mean they will be creating/encouraging some kind of new individual options that don't already exist?

Dumping the public option also means dumping the 8% solution, right? So if you lose you're job you also have to become poor before you get any help?

Ay yay ay


19 Aug 09 - 02:45 AM (#2703594)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Bobert, I think you would find Dennis Kucinich's latest statement on the health care situation interesting. Here it is, hot off the Kucinch website tonight:

The masquerade is over! The "public option" is ... dead.

Health care reform is now a private option: WHICH FOR PROFIT INSURANCE COMPANY DO YOU WANT? You have to choose. And you have to pay. If you have a low income, under HR3200 government will subsidize the private insurance companies and you will still have to pay premiums, co-pays and deductibles.

The Administration plan requires that everyone must have health insurance, so it is delivering tens of millions of new "customers" to the insurance companies. Health care? Not really. Insurance care! Absolutely. Cost controls? No chance.

You will next hear talk about "co-ops." The truth is that insurance company campaign contributions have co-opted the public interest.

I need your help to spread the word and rally the nation around true health care reform which covers everyone and maintains fiscal integrity without breaking our nation's bank! Your contribution will empower our efforts to continue to fight for the single-payer, not-for-profit health care bill, HR676 "Medicare for All," which I co-authored with Rep. John Conyers. The bill now has 85 sponsors in the House.

The hotly-debated HR3200, the so-called "health care reform" bill, is nothing less than corporate welfare in the guise of social welfare and reform. It is a convoluted mess. The real debate which we should be having is not occurring.

Removing the "public option" from a public bill paid for by public money is not in the public interest. What is left is a "private option" paid for with public money. Why should public money be spent on a private option which does not guarantee 100% coverage nor have any cost controls? A true public option would provide 30% savings immediately which would then cover the 1/3rd of the population who presently have no health care.

Unfortunately, under HR3200, the Government is choosing winners and losers in the private sector; proposing to spend public funds on subsidizing insurance companies who make money not providing health care. This process will insure only the expansion of profits. Gone is the debate over cost.

As a result of current negotiations, the Medicare Part D rip-off will continue for another decade, further fleecing senior citizens. Drug importation has been dropped, so no inexpensive drugs can be accessed from other nations.

Instead we are told the pharmaceutical companies will accept a 2% cut in the growth rate of their profits - they call this cost control!

If the matter were not so serious, it would be farcical: The executive branch pretends that the proposed health care reforms are something they are not. The legislation is being attacked for something it is not. Congressional leadership and the White House defend the legislation, pretending it actually is the very proposal that is being attacked. But it is not.

A commonsense government health care reform policy would insure that every single American has full access to health care by expanding Medicare to cover everyone under a Single Payer System. We are already paying for a universal standard of care, it is just we are not getting it.

I need your help to spread the word and rally the nation around true health care reform which covers everyone and maintains fiscal integrity without subsidizing insurance and pharmaceutical companies and breaking our nation's bank!

My voice in Congress will continue to challenge the special interests who do not want "single-payer" to succeed. I need you to join me in combating the special and corporate interests who spend millions to try to win this Congressional seat. With your help WE will win again. With your help I will continue to represent your concerns, be YOUR VOICE in the United States Congress, and be the voice for health care for all Americans!

Dennis Kucinich


19 Aug 09 - 04:12 AM (#2703625)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Kucinich, as so often, is right. With the public option removed the "reform" of healthcare is actually retrograde.

But one statement caught my eye above.

The "FAUX" list of undesirable things included "goverment take over of the entire US military".   You mean the US military is not controlled by the US government? That is really rather alarming.


19 Aug 09 - 07:52 AM (#2703725)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Well, Dennis K is correct in his assessment... Where he misses the point, however, is thinking that the American people have to yet again reorganize... The centerpiece of Obama's campaign was health care reform and people knocked on millions and millions of doors to get him elected because they understood and agreed that health reform was a must... Now it seems that Obama and the pro-reformers want the progressives to mount yet another campaign, this time to get Obama to support what he said he would support from the beginning??? That ain't gonna happenh... Bad enough to have to wrestle with the liein'-righties but having to fight with Obama too is not something that is goin' to get progressives all that lathered up...

B~


19 Aug 09 - 01:26 PM (#2703897)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sawzaw

Empty campaign promise:

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle in 2008, then Senator and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama said that he would hold negotiations on a health care bill on C-SPAN so that the choices being made for the bill would be open to public debate.

The discussion would be "right there in front of the American people," then Senator Obama said. However, the American people still await this C-SPAN telecast.

Mr. Obama also revealed that he would use the tactic of shaming Congress into passing his health care bill, saying that he "would not underestimate the degree to which shame is a healthy emotion."


Reality:

Time August 6, 2009

Shrewd politics--or cynical ones? In today's NYT, David Kirkpatrick shines a light on the secret deal that the Obama White House made with the pharmaceutical industry to keep it at the table in health reform negotiations. It turns out that even as they were applauding their deal to find $80 billion in savings, they weren't telling us that there was a second arrangement:

    In response, the industry successfully demanded that the White House explicitly acknowledge for the first time that it had committed to protect drug makers from bearing further costs in the overhaul. The Obama administration had never spelled out the details of the agreement.

    "We were assured: 'We need somebody to come in first. If you come in first, you will have a rock-solid deal,' " Billy Tauzin, [Lobbyist. remember the empty "no lobbyist" promise?] the former Republican House member from Louisiana who now leads the pharmaceutical trade group, said Wednesday. "Who is ever going to go into a deal with the White House again if they don't keep their word? You are just going to duke it out instead."

    A deputy White House chief of staff, Jim Messina, confirmed Mr. Tauzin's account of the deal in an e-mail message on Wednesday night.

    "The president encouraged this approach," Mr. Messina wrote. "He wanted to bring all the parties to the table to discuss health insurance reform."

The recent revelations that Mr. Obama has been holding dozens of secret negotiations with drug companies runs counter to Mr. Obama’s promise of "not negotiating behind close doors," made during the CNN Democratic debate in January 2008.


19 Aug 09 - 01:29 PM (#2703902)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

I have but one word to say: FUCKINGBASTARDASSHOLESONSUVBITCHES.


19 Aug 09 - 01:54 PM (#2703915)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

It becomes so hard to care after a while. But you can't stop.I don't know what the right approach is now. We gave the Democrats so much after the Republican betrayal.

They paid us back with horseshit on a platter.


19 Aug 09 - 02:15 PM (#2703938)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Bobert, you remember back in the 2008 election when you were expressing the hope that Barack Obama would prove to be a "trojan horse" who would sneak past the ruling system (the very rich and the corporations) and that electing him would put a man in the White House who would really be a true representative of the American people and of progressive causes?

I hoped you were right. I liked Mr Obama's speeches, some of which were downright brilliant (like the talk he gave on race relations). I liked his conduct, his dignified and eloquent style, and his generally very positive attitude, and his ability to listen to others.

What I have seen, however, since January is a president who is serving the same old set of entrenched interests that his predecessors served. He has rewarded the irresponsible robber barons in the major banks with an unprecedented bailout instead of coming to the aid of the people genuinely in need....the public and the small business community. Who will pay the cost of that bailout? The public. Who has gotten rich off it? The banks.

He is now giving a huge gift to the private health insurance companies instead of giving the USA what it actually needs: a single payer public health plan.

I think he IS a trojan horse, Bobert. But he's a trojan horse for the other side. He's a trojan horse in the guise of a humanitarian "progressive" who is in truth working on behalf of the rich who run the ruling system. He's doing it with real style too. Many people who voted for him will go on believing in him even as their hopes for positive change are being dashed.

I'm very sorry to say it. I'm very disappointed. I think that you good people who voted for him have been led down the garden path.

And if you'd voted for McCain instead? Well, that wouldn't have helped at all. The $ySSTem is rigged. They will not put a candidate in front of you who does not compliantly serve the $ySStem once he's elected. NO chance of it. But if they can find one like Obama who looks and sounds like the kind of change you want...but isn't....well, they'll do that, because it's all just a show anyway. It's a drama like a WWF wrestling match, calculated to push all the right emotional buttons in the audience.

What you see is not what you get.

Only the few watchdogs like Dennis Kucinich will tell you what's really going on, and the $ySStem will never let one of those guys be president.

Those two huge parties...the Democrats and Republicans...can't help you. They are not representing you. They're representing the people who finance them on the largest scale...and that's people like banks, insurance companies, and major corporations. Those people are not progressives.

****


19 Aug 09 - 02:25 PM (#2703945)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Now it seems that Obama and the pro-reformers want the progressives to mount yet another campaign, this time to get Obama to support what he said he would support from the beginning??? That ain't gonna happen...

Surely the idea all along was supposed to be that the campaign to elect Obama was a movement rather than a campaign, meaning that, having won the election, ot would have to get down to work to give him the popular backing to deliver on the promises.   Winning an election is only the first step, in itself it's not that decisive.


19 Aug 09 - 02:36 PM (#2703956)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

If 50 million or so people began demonstrating in the streets, McGrath, and practicing civil disobedience, then the ruling system might blink, but I can't see that happening. An election is seen by the ruling people as a fait accompli once it's done. They elicit all the public's hopes, fears, and dreams to get them actively involved in the process and to raise money and get them to the voting booth...but the day after the vote the whole thing just starts rolling along exactly the way it did before the election. The engine of the $ySStem is still in command.

It would take a genuine popular revolution that mobilized millions of determined people to shake that system and make it truly change.

Winning an election is not decisive at all, because you cannot vote out the ruling system itself, you can just change the face on the mask it wears.

The Afghans are about to find that out too, I think. They may already realize it.


19 Aug 09 - 02:38 PM (#2703957)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

I am so mad right now I shouldn't be typing. But I agree with Bobert and Kucinich. First thing to do is throw down our spoons. Then we scream at Obama "Yes we can, even if you can't." And that's even if we can't. We may have to take it but we don't have to take it quietly.

Listening to him talk his way backwards out of this is going to be disgusting.

At last I am learning what I never understood before: How it is that the British could have so much outrage at someone with the charm and poise and eloquence of Tony Blair.


19 Aug 09 - 02:38 PM (#2703958)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Fill hospital with bodies, live bodies. Let the cops arrest 50,000,000 people.


19 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM (#2703960)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

I found this piece written immediately after teh elctiin making the same point I did in that last post Shifting Gears: Transforming Obama's Campaign into a Movement for Change:

"...Americans are hungry for hope and ready for reform. But it will require Obama to use all his rhetorical, organizing and political skills to shape public opinion, encourage Americans to mobilize, and re-invent the spirit and momentum of his campaign into a grassroots movement to move the country in a new direction."

You don't get a revolution, or even a reformist one, by voting and then going to sleep for the next four years.


19 Aug 09 - 02:55 PM (#2703968)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Neil D

Bruce,
   Thanks for that article. I'm glad that Mr. Potter, after 20 years,
finally grew a conscience. Better late than never. Anyone who stands against universal health coverage is a Social Darwinist. Isn't it ironic to hear Social Darwinists throwing the Nazi canard at people who disagree with them.


19 Aug 09 - 03:15 PM (#2703978)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sawzaw

Obama at a Town Hall meeting on Aug. 21, 2008, in Chester, Va:

To achieve health care reform, "I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We'll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies -- they'll get a seat at the table, they just won't be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process."


Reality: Associated Press July 23, 2009:

Washington - President Obama's administration began holding private meetings with health industry executives and lobbyists at the White House a few weeks after he took office, a visitor list released Wednesday night by the White House shows.

Richard Umbdenstock, president of the American Hospital Assn., was at the White House on Feb. 4 and has been back at least half a dozen times since, most recently May 22. Other industry executives making February visits included health insurance company chief executives Angela Braly of WellPoint Inc. and Jay Gellert of Health Net Inc.

Gellert, a $500 donor to Obama's presidential campaign, was there Feb. 10, twice in March and on May 11. Braly visited on Feb. 13.

Obama released a list of White House visits by healthcare executives after a government watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, announced that it would sue to try to get White House visitor logs. So far, the Obama administration is following a Bush administration policy of refusing to release the logs, which are maintained by the Secret Service.

In recent weeks, the White House has announced agreements under which hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry promised cost savings in return for an expanded base of insured patients.

During his presidential campaign, Obama promised to hold lobbyists at arm's length and make his administration the most transparent in history.

Obama was asked at a news conference Wednesday night about his administration's refusal to say who had been to the White House to discuss a national healthcare overhaul.

"On the list of healthcare executives who visited us, most of [the] time you guys have been in there taking pictures, so it hasn't been a secret," he said. "And my understanding is we just sent a letter out providing a full list of all the executives."

"The actual visitor records likely would indicate with whom each official met, the administration official who requested clearance for the visitor, the time of the meeting, the duration of the meeting and, in some cases, the purpose of the meeting. In addition, no information was provided regarding any visits to the vice president's residence," the group said in a written statement.

Other healthcare industry representatives named in the White House list include:

* Registered lobbyist W.J. "Billy" Tauzin, a former Louisiana congressman who heads the drug industry lobby the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA.

* Registered lobbyist Karen Ignagni, president and chief executive of America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade association.


19 Aug 09 - 03:17 PM (#2703980)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Howard Dean started the online and local meet-up grassroots movement called Democracy for America during his campaign that continued on through the last election for the Democrats. He is still continuing to work on Democracy for America and encouraging people to stay as involved as they did during the election campaigns.

Here is a link to democracyforamerica.com

http://democracyforamerica.com/


You can also add your name to wewantthepublicoption.com click here


19 Aug 09 - 03:31 PM (#2703993)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

heric - I am SO delighted to see another lawyer who realises that revolution may become essential!

God (if any) save America. It has decided not to save itself.


19 Aug 09 - 03:54 PM (#2704015)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Politics is more like buying a guitar than buying a cake or a pair oid trousers. Get a cake off the shelf, you go home and eat it. But a pair of trousers off a hanger, you go home and put them on and that's it. But buy a guitar and you've got to get it in tune, and keep it in tune, and play it in, and even learn how to play it. And you might even have to do stuff like adjust the action till it sounds and feels right.

We joke about the idea of saying "but it was in tune when I bought it" - but that's no sillier than saying of a politician "he said all the right things while he was running for election".


19 Aug 09 - 04:04 PM (#2704021)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

THAT was an excellent analogy, McG of H.


19 Aug 09 - 04:34 PM (#2704046)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Yeah, LH... The hope that Obama might be this Trojan Horse seems to be meltin' before the progressive's collective eyes... I am still hoping that Obama will come to his senses but don't hold much optomisim right now... I'll hold off judgement until the "fat lady sings"...

I am concerned about the media, however, that seems hell-bent on creating the news... I was listening to NPR this afterno9on at work and several callers called in to say that they had attended "town meetings" and that with the minor exception of a couple righties showing their asses that the meetings were informative and peacefull... That isn't what the media wants us to think and in their attempts to create news where this is none they are hurting the democratic process...

Meanwhile, the media keeps asking "where are the liberals"... Maybe the media just doesn't wnat to see liberals unless they show up at these emeting dressed as clowns or packin' heat... Maybe the left needs to act like trailer trash??? I donno???

Oh well...

Speaking of meetings, I'm in the library and need t6o change clothes and get to one... Maybe I act like a loonie and see how it goes over??? LOL...

B~


19 Aug 09 - 05:05 PM (#2704077)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Oh, I should have credited InOBU too.


19 Aug 09 - 05:19 PM (#2704088)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

It does my old heart good to see so many Progressives finally discovering what we Conservatives spotted immediately. Obama is just another politician. A Chicago type politician at that.

Bobert: You think the centerpiece of Obama's campaign was health care reform? I would say he had so many centerpieces he lost count of them. The main reason he wanted to get a health care bill out of congress before the recess, is didn't want the congress folk types to have to go back home and face what they have faced in the Town Halls. I think the centerpiece of his campaign was to get elected. And he would say or do anything to do that.

McGrath: Obama HASN'T stopped running for the office yet!

Heric: "Revolution?" You better hope not because Conservatives in the US outnumber Progressive/Liberals in this country by a fairly large margin.

DougR


19 Aug 09 - 05:30 PM (#2704100)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

"But back to our storyline. Everyone makes a mistake or flubs a line when asked questions on the spot, including the president of the United States. We can overlook run-on sentences, subject and verb tense disagreement, even a memory lapse when it comes to facts and figures.

The proliferation of Obama's gaffes and non sequiturs on health care has exceeded the allowable limit. He has failed repeatedly to explain how the government will provide more (health care) for less (money). He has failed to explain why increased demand for medical services without a concomitant increase in supply won't lead to rationing by government bureaucrats as opposed to the market. And he has failed to explain why a Medicare-like model is desirable when Medicare itself is going broke.

The public is left with one of two unsettling conclusions: Either the president doesn't understand the health-insurance reform plans working their way through Congress, or he understands both the plans and the implications and is being untruthful about the impact. "

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aJ01reSCujDQ


19 Aug 09 - 05:34 PM (#2704107)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

$65 bucks for the first visit to physio... $55 each visit after that. I start tomorrow. Fuck private health care.


19 Aug 09 - 05:38 PM (#2704109)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger

Yes, Doug, Obama is a politician but not quite as corrupt or vicious as Bush, who is
a rich spoiled white man who has a limited intellectual capacity and is an apparatchik for Republican spin.

Obama has made a serious mistake in abandoning public health care. Unlike Bush, however at least he had the human compassion to consider it as an option. Sociopathic Bush would never have done that.

Conservatives are now in a house divided. Many, like Specter are considering their
affiliation with a shipwrecked political party. The Republican Party is the new Titanic.

Unfortunately the Democratic Party faces a similar fate through these so-called "blue dogs" who in my estimation should be called "yellow dogs".

From a historical perspective, it needs to be mentioned that Thomas Jefferson recanted
his statement about "The tree of Liberty" later in his career. He never advocated packing heat to political rallies, however.

I don't think Obama is afraid of the pseudo-town hall crazies. It is clear that Barney
Frank and Arlen Specter are not afraid of them because they know just how phony they are.

As for talk of armed revolution, the US still has a chance to keep from becoming another Honduras or Pinochet's Chile. To acknowledge Ben Franklin, I hope we can keep our democracy.

Frank


19 Aug 09 - 05:41 PM (#2704113)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

To get back to your original post, Doug, I would really be interested to know: How you would rate your health care system? Excellent? Good? Poor?

So now you know. And as post after post from the UK indicateed, we like it - not perfect, nothing in this life is perfect, but pretty good.

And the idea of having to worry about money when illness or accident strikes me or my family or my neighbours, or my friends or total strangers for that matter - it just doesn't bear thinking about. I couldn't sleep at night if it were like that here.


19 Aug 09 - 05:59 PM (#2704136)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

...to have to go back home and face what they have faced in the Town Halls.

What they have faced in the town halls are lies, bullshit and unreasoning,ignorant hysteria whipped up by Republican operatives even slimier than the "SwiftBoat" scum.

No-one should have to put up with that.


19 Aug 09 - 05:59 PM (#2704137)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

"He has failed repeatedly to explain..." etc....

No he hasn't...you just don't like the explanations. When the explanations are analyzed, they indicate that institutions supported by Republicans (like BIG insurance and drug companies) will no longer have a stranglehold on the money pipeline. To avoid this, they will make any claims and propound any misinformation about 1)the plan, 2)their own good ideas and 3)their good-faith 'negotiations'. It all comes down to: "If change involving YOUR benefits interferes with MY historical business model, we will kill it in any way possible."

I see their reasoning, but that doesn't mean I appreciate it.


19 Aug 09 - 06:19 PM (#2704148)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

A friendly comment, Doug. ;-) You said "I think the centerpiece of his (Obama's) campaign was to get elected"

Well, yeah! That is the centerpiece of EVERY politician's campaign. They will say and do absolutely ANYTHING as long as it gets them elected. Obama's campaign was brilliantly handled in that respect, while McCain's was handled quite clumsily (but he was set up to lose anyway).

The reason you "saw through" Obama, Doug, was simple. He's a Democrat. ;-) You're not nearly as good at seeing through Republicans.

******

And to Bearded Bruce...who said: "He has failed repeatedly to explain how the government will provide more (health care) for less (money)."

Dead simple, Bruce! just change it to a single payer government-run universal health plan exactly like we already have in Canada. Canada pays about 1/3 less government money per capita for health care than the USA does, and Canada covers every citizen at no up-front charge, and our average national health levels are better than in the USA. This is also true of a number of other western democracies in Europe. The USA is way behind other developed nations when it comes to providing its citizens with quality health care...and it pays MORE to do it! Why? Because profit-seeking entities are running the show in the USA.

Because the US government is in thrall to profit-seeking privately owned health insurance interests, Big Pharma, and the professional medical organizations which are milking the public cow for all they can get.

You have a rather poor national health system as they go, the worst among the developed western democracies...and one of the most expensive per capita too...and a third of your people aren't covered!

You also have a citizenry many of whom are so utterly ignorant about the real situation that they will happily support the corporate vampires who are sucking their blood while hyperventiating over the supposed dangers of "socialism". It's incredible to watch. The slaves are fighting to keep themselves enslaved, the robbed are fighting to protect the ones who rob them...and all in the name of "liberty" and "free enterprise"! Talk about living in denial.

If Obama really tried to change this situation in any radical way so as to benefit the general public, he'd be a marked man. If he quietly serves the real corporate bosses, however, who are the profit-seeking private entities who run the show, then they will get what they want and he will go on being the presidential figurehead for at least a whole four years. Maybe even 8 years. We'll see. It depends how unpopular pursuing the corporate agenda makes him in the next 4.

Someday not too far off, though, the Republicans will come riding to the rescue as the supposed "White Knights" to "kick out the rascals" in Washington, and the whole farce will move into its next predictable stage. What a sickening thought.


19 Aug 09 - 06:27 PM (#2704152)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

On YouTube I've watched both Arlen Specter and Barney Frank in action. Both have had nasties there but I agree - neither of the Senators appears to be fearful or even intimidated. My guess is that both of them do wonder what kind of nation we have created.


19 Aug 09 - 07:03 PM (#2704166)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

I don't see it the way you do BillD. I see the insurers keeping a stranglehold on the money pipeline.

To repeat:
"The proliferation of Obama's gaffes and non sequiturs on health care has exceeded the allowable limit. He has failed repeatedly to explain how the government will provide more (health care) for less (money). He has failed to explain why increased demand for medical services without a concomitant increase in supply won't lead to [a reduction in services.] And he has failed to explain why a Medicare-like model is desirable when Medicare itself is going broke."

But it's worse. He has failed to explain why he allowed people to believe a Medicare model was even a substantial part of the proposals, when it wasn't, and failed to explain that increasing employer mandates and increasing insurer mandates funnels far more money to the providers so that costs rocket without ensuring full coverage - just more people ignorantly enslaved to the employer "benefits" industry that separates them from cost and true competition (choice). Worse, he has failed to explain how it can possibly be that "the public option" isn't essential when it was the only backstop for people falling out of their employer coverage, the only substantial mechanism to reduce the irrational cost-shifting, and the only mechanism to spur cost containment and competition by insurers and providers.

Look again at the 8% solution. That was the one ingenious (if risky) idea but it is irrelevant without the public option being available.


19 Aug 09 - 07:17 PM (#2704179)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

The 8% solution was going to populate the public option only with people who want or need to be there, protect the people who face bankruptcy or similar hardship when falling out of the employer-based system, provide competition to private insurers, force premiums out of the voluntary uninsured, and afford universal access.


19 Aug 09 - 08:07 PM (#2704214)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Access to medical insurance should not be provided through one's employer. It should be provided as a basic civil right to everyone through the government, and it is so provided in most of the developed world. It's asinine to have a situation where people get medical insurance primarily through their employers, because it is the unemployed who are the ones who most desperately need it...they have less money to spend when an emergency comes along. But everyone actually needs it and everyone should have it...equal access to all citizens...no extra fees to anyone.

We do that in Canada, and it costs 1/3 less to do it than public health costs per capita do in the USA. And there is no rationing. I've had several friends who needed treatment for serious illnesses, and no one faced rationing. Everyone got treatment when they needed it, without delay.


19 Aug 09 - 08:07 PM (#2704216)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Stringsinger: Bush corrupt? Vicious? Obviously you have a right to your opinion, but that's all it is ...opinion.

You may not remember, but Bush did try to improve the health care system by establishing health savings accounts. An excellent idea that was shot down by the Democrats in Congress ...not enough government control with health savings accounts.

Your comment about Specter is a bit puzzling. You seem to be under the impression that Specter is a Republican. Perhaps you didn't hear that he abandoned his post in the Senate when polls showed he could not win re-election as a Republican in 2010. Better not to lose his seat even if it meant abandoning his principles, so he made a deal with Harry Reid. Now Specter is a Democrat.

Heric: Are you the one who thinks the Republican Party is shipwrecked? This whole health care debacle Obama authored has renewed and united the Party like nothing else could. Obama awakened the "sleeping giant", as one patriot who attended a Specter Town Hall so informed the senator. Democrats in Congress are running scared and the turnover in seats in 2010 is going to be a site to see!

Kevin: Yes, it's obvious that those of you from countries that have a single payer system are very satisfied. Perhaps it will come to the U.S. someday. I don't think it will happen at this time. I often wonder, though, if one reason so many of you are satisfied is because so few of you have ever known anything else?

Ebbie: Nice to know that you admire Congressman Frank and Senator Specter's "handling" of people who do not agree with their point of view. Perhaps, however, they should be reminded that they are "handling" constituents, not just "anybody" and both stand for re-eletion in 2010. Some people have long memories.

DougR


19 Aug 09 - 08:13 PM (#2704224)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

(No, it wasn't me - not recently anyway. I did think that.)


19 Aug 09 - 08:21 PM (#2704229)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Another link regarding the lies being told about the health care proposals:

Setting The Record Straight

"Enough is enough.

It seems like a new lie about health insurance reform crops up each day. These lies create fear and anger – and we're seeing the results around the country.

It's time to work together to set the record straight and expose the special interests and partisan attack groups who deliberately spread these rumors and lies in a desperate attempt to preserve the status quo."


19 Aug 09 - 08:22 PM (#2704230)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

"I often wonder, though, if one reason so many of you are satisfied is because so few of you have ever known anything else?"

I can recall hardship caused by inability to pay for medical services for my mom, Grandmum (when Grampy died), my sister and me. I have thought for decades that Tommy Douglas shoud be sanctified--but I guess he already is in the hearts of most Canadians.


19 Aug 09 - 08:28 PM (#2704234)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Tom paraphrase Congressman Frank: What the fu$k planet does Douggie live on?

His grip on reality is getting more tenuous by the post.


19 Aug 09 - 08:34 PM (#2704239)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

DougR - "I often wonder, though, if one reason so many of you are satisfied is because so few of you have ever known anything else?"

That is precisely the problem with Americans, Doug! They've never known anything else. They've been told all their lives that they live in "the greatest country on Earth", and they think that means the greatest in EVERY way! That's ignorance. That is gross ignorance in fact. But it's not a sin to be ignorant...it simply means that one doesn't know about something, that's all.

I do know the difference, however, by direct experience. I and my parents lived in the USA for 10 years. We now live in a country with a single payer government-run health plan, and I regard it as the only sane and responsible alternative.

Recent polls have been done here about our Canadian health system. 87% of Canadians approve of it and consider it far better than what the USA has. 7% of Canadians would prefer a USA-style system with coverage by private insurers. The remaining 6% had no opinion.

I repeat...ignorance is not a sin. I am not condemning Americans in terms of their character when I say that many of them are ignorant regarding government-run single payer health coverage. I am simply saying they don't know much about it (if anything) and that their fear of it and their fear of "socialism" is based upon their fear of what they don't know about. They'd rather have the devil they're familiar with than the angel they've never met.

That is exactly what your private insurance companies count on...they are protected by public ignorance. Public ignorance will keep them in control of the situation and will keep them rich. The fact that they ARE rich will enable them to keep the American public ignorant by filling the media airwaves with disinformation and false scare stories about "socialism". It's a self-perpetuating fraud, and it is accomplished by lobbying with massive amounts of money.

You have a society now that is of the rich, by the rich, for the rich. That's not what your founding fathers promised you back in 1776. Were they lying? Not necessarily. But things have changed since then.


19 Aug 09 - 10:26 PM (#2704311)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Just read this while I was lookin' at the news--such as the news is.

'Another protester, 12-year-old Micah Vandenboom, was there with her parents.

She held a sign that made clear her opposition to the president's health-care reform plans.

"Under Obama, everyone will get the same health care, that's socialism," she said. "It has failed in other countries, you know, like Europe."'


19 Aug 09 - 10:28 PM (#2704313)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Wendell Potter, whom several of us have posted about on this thread, was interviewed on MSNBC's Countdown tonight.

VIDEO, Wendell Potter, whistleblower, Countdown 8/19/09


19 Aug 09 - 10:40 PM (#2704324)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Donuel

Click here for my view of Senator Grassley


19 Aug 09 - 10:46 PM (#2704328)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Donuel

Peace
Health Insurance Companies are spending a known $10,000,000.00 per day on lobbying, commercials, websites resembling grass roots organizations and rallies with paid protestors - in the form of transportation and sundries.

They are probably spending even more that can't be easily found.


19 Aug 09 - 10:49 PM (#2704330)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

I do not for a second doubt that, Donuel. They are the culprits.


19 Aug 09 - 11:20 PM (#2704349)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/73765.html analyzes who's behind the flaps.


A


19 Aug 09 - 11:49 PM (#2704362)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

That's the first I've heard from Wendell Potter. In the clip he is speaking 90% nonsense. (Health insurers "want" you to pay 30% of all of your medical care even if it makes you go bankrupt.) (That way they get 30% profit whereas casinos are limited to 20% on gaming odds.)

We must think for ourselves. There is nonsense from Congress, nonsense from the White House, nonsense from corporation and industry lobbyists and their lackeys. Nonsense from public interest groups. Nonsense from the media. (Supporters of "the reform plan" are outspending opponents two to one, btw.)

You are on your own.

(My vote on the main bill, and I have calmed down: Regardless of how we got here, if the public option is dead, the betrayal is complete and unmitigated. We'll get more employees covered and more regulatory protections from insurance practices. BFD)


19 Aug 09 - 11:58 PM (#2704371)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Did you mean QED, Heric?


20 Aug 09 - 12:05 AM (#2704374)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme

Nationalized healthcare is the only chance I have to not be totally destitute for the rest of my life. That's simply a fact.


20 Aug 09 - 12:31 AM (#2704385)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

And THAT is the reason for nationalized health care. Art, I wish I was a millionaire . . . .


20 Aug 09 - 07:25 AM (#2704532)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

I often wonder, though, if one reason so many of you are satisfied is because so few of you have ever known anything else?

Right you are Doug- William the Conquerer brought The National Health to Britain & the Canadian System was implemented by Samuel de Champlain.

I do not for a second doubt that, Donuel. They [Health Insurance Companies]are the culprits.

I beg to differ, Bruce. The health Insurance Companies are the source. But the he CULPRITS are those, like Doug, who distribute the lies & bullshit the health insurance companies come up with.


20 Aug 09 - 11:53 AM (#2704699)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

The public option PLUS private insurers reminds me strongly of the last administration's effort to privatize Social Security. On the premise of SS going broke, it wanted to funnel more money out of it.

And now they postulate that if the American people were presented with the option of federally funded medical care, private insurers would go out of business. It doesn't seem to work that way.

The analogy of the US Post Office competing with FedEx and UPS, et al, is a good one. The US Postal Service, being federally funded and therefore cheaper, should command an allegiance from the American people that would drive competitors out of business. But it isn't true.


20 Aug 09 - 12:56 PM (#2704737)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

. . . and if the public option were such a real threat that it would drive private industry to collapse, they could inhibit or even cap enrollment for a decade or so while they test drive it, to include ironing out the funding to prevent "unfair subsidies."

It could even be subcontracted out to some extent, but the basic guaranty would be there.


20 Aug 09 - 02:43 PM (#2704823)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Donuel

Freedom Works are DC lobbyists who are coordinating with several of their health insurance clients and will be pumping millions of dollars into the 9-12 march that was first introduced to America on FOX by Glen Beck back in May.

9-12 is supposed to be the big show for the tea baggers and give superfisical credence to the grass roots movement of people who have been told that the Federal Government is totally fascist and Obama is similar to Hitler.



THis is one helluva extreme way to rid corporations of the bounds of regulatory law and taxes. Destroy the Country and instigate civil war to stop corporate regulation.

This is sedition but Palin lovers believe they are taking their country back.


20 Aug 09 - 02:51 PM (#2704832)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Alice: "Setting the Record Straight?"

How can you post that with a straight face. Surely you have tongue planted firmly in one cheek.

Who do you relay on, and expect everyone else to rely on for "setting the record straight?"

ORGANIZING FOR AMERICA, a project of the Democratic National Committee.

Give me a break, Alice, please?

DougR


20 Aug 09 - 02:55 PM (#2704837)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: beardedbruce

"This is sedition but Palin lovers believe they are taking their country back"

I think that some said the anti-Bush protests were sedition, but the Anti-Bushites believed that they were taking their country back.


20 Aug 09 - 03:00 PM (#2704846)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

When a country's leaders go to war, bb, would you not agree that the action should be based on a "clear and present" threat and not on lies and ulterior motives? LBJ furthered a war based on a lie and the ignominy will taint his name indefinitely.


20 Aug 09 - 03:07 PM (#2704853)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: beardedbruce

And those protesting what THEY see as "lies and ulterior motives" on the part of the Democrats are somehow different ?

I guess it should be " Almost all men are created equal, as long as they agree with the Left."


To bemoan the same behaviour that was demonstrated by the Left when Bush was president, now that it is the Right acting out and Obama that is being criticised seems a lot like demanding special treatment for a specific political viewpoint.

I have given up on Amos actualling applying the same level of critical observation of Obama that he applied to Bush, but I see no reason to allow the march of the Ubermensch to go unremarked.


20 Aug 09 - 03:41 PM (#2704877)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: beardedbruce

"CNN) -- Democratic members of Congress, party strategists, and even President Obama have tried their best to portray Republicans as obstructionists to health care reform, and want us to believe that if the effort fails, it's all because of the GOP.

That's bull. The failure to pass health care reform would be a yoke around the Democrats' neck, and the cause of losing the moment would be their inability to achieve unity among themselves.

Democrats have the perfect political hat trick. They control the White House, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House, with a strong majority in both houses.

But I'm reminded of something Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, told me nine years ago: Democrats know nothing about party unity.

Conyers was being interviewed for an election special I was working on for a now-defunct black cable network, and he said that if Democrats had a majority of the votes in the House, they had a unified group of only about 165.

That's because when you throw in the 50-something Blue Dog Democrats -- strongly conservative members whom some party loyalists liken to Republicans in Democrat clothing -- then you have a different kind of dynamic than you do in the GOP, where the strong base of conservatives typically stays in line.

Then, of course, you have the far-left members, loud and noisy, and oftentimes unwilling to compromise their positions in order to move legislation forward.

When you put the far left and the far right of the Democratic Party in one room, you will see fireworks that rival a Democratic-Republican fight.

And that's exactly what we are seeing on health care reform."

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/20/martin.democrats.health/index.html


20 Aug 09 - 03:41 PM (#2704878)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

It isn't a question of Right and Left. To believe that is as foolish as believing that the future of professional wrestling depends on who wins the match: Hulk Hogan (for the Left) or The Undertaker (for the Right). But the wrestling audience is dumb enough to believe that! And the American public (and quite a few other people) are dumb enough to believe that it's a fight between the Right and the Left.

That's just the stage show, folks. That's what is put in front of the public to divide and conquer them.

The people who are actually running the show do not represent either the Right or the Left, they represent themselves and their huge money interests. The show is put on to keep people divided against each other and distracted while the Big Money interests walk off with the spoils.

They put presidential candidates in front of you like a couple of professional wrestlers and let you fight over who's going to win for nearly a year! After the phony "victory" is won by either one side or the other, the next figurehead president plays the game...and the game is owned and controlled by the richest interests in the land, and your vote makes no difference to those people.

You are mesmerized by the stage show. All Doug can think about is how bad the Democrats are...and he waits hopefully for every sign of trouble for Obama. All you faithful Obama supporters can think about is how bad the Republicans are, and you wait hopefully for every sing of trouble for them. And it doesn't matter, because it's just a wrestling show to keep you distracted.

Both those parties (with the exception of a few courageous outsiders like Dennis Kucinich) supinely serve the great monied interests that really run the USA and determine policy. That's the major corporate entities and the largest banks. The medical insurance companies are part of that consortium of rich corporate interests. That's why they're getting their way on this health care thing, while the public tilts at partisan windmills.

You don't live in a democracy, you live in a corporate oligarchy with managed elections and bought politicians. It isn't a case of Right and Left at all. It just looks that way, because that is the easiest way to keep ordinary people divided and wasting their time and energy fighting with each other for their whole lives, instead of challenging their real (but hidden) masters...people whose names they don't even know, people whose faces they would not recognize.

Check out this link:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/28816321/inside_the_great_american_bubble_machine


20 Aug 09 - 03:49 PM (#2704885)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: beardedbruce

Since I can trust most here to commment without reading the rest of the article, I'll post the end...

"Democrats have floated the idea of going it alone and passing health care reform. Some have said the president will pay a big price among independent voters if he does that.

Well, tough.

If health care was his first priority to getting elected, that should remain the case. Damn the 2010 midterm elections, and damn the 2012 presidential elections.

Congress has been trying for more than six decades to achieve health care reform, and the Democrats have all the stars lined up to do so. Of course, even with their large majority, it won't be a cakewalk getting a bill passed in the Senate.

If it doesn't happen now, I don't want to hear any carping from the left. Your own party had a shot and screwed it up. Democrats, you will have no one to blame but yourselves. It's now or never. So stop whining about the Republicans and get your own house in order."

about the author


20 Aug 09 - 06:00 PM (#2705011)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Donuel

I wonder what kind of person feels good about people who buy private heath care then are canceled if they try to use it
or
people whose rates go up if a co worker gets cancer
or
if their insurance company uses the pre existing condition scam
or
when rates have doubled in 5 years
or
when poorer people are denied bone marrow transplants for their children who only have months left to save their life.
or
the dozens of other despicable excuses the middle men of health care make money by denying the help people paid for.

Is it a person like the single payer critics that post here?


20 Aug 09 - 07:03 PM (#2705073)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

I often wonder, though, if one reason so many of you are satisfied is because so few of you have ever known anything else?

Do you really honestly wonder that Doug? There've been accounts quoted in the thread, and linked to, of person after person who has experience the American system and the alternatives, and who come down emphatically for the alternatives. And the countervailing examples where people prefer the American system having lived under other systems, they just aren't there.

True enough, you've got good medical care, if you can afford it, and that's great. Sometime it's going to be better than people have elsewhere, for those who can afford it. After all, you pay enough for it.

But for millions of Americans it's out of reach - and for millions more Americans it is liable to be snatched away from them overnight, if (and when) they lose their work-related insurance, through no fault of their own whatsoever. Your neighbours, your friends, your relatives, hung out to dry.


20 Aug 09 - 07:47 PM (#2705098)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

"I often wonder, though, if one reason so many of you are satisfied is because so few of you have ever known anything else?"

We HAD no health care. Now, everyone does.


20 Aug 09 - 08:00 PM (#2705101)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

That is why, McGrath, I think Obama should have concentrated on helping the "have nots." Those who cannot afford health care, those who have pre-existing problems that prevent them from getting it, and those who lost health care when they changed jobs. When this thread began I mentioned a figure of (as I recall)15 million that would fall in those categories. I was derided, hooted, called an idiot, etc. for stating such a low figure. The figure is closer to 50 million, they cried!

The latest reports I have heard peg the figure at around 12 million. The figure is arrived at by estimating the number of people who qualify for a federal program and have not applied, people who can afford health care but prefer to drive a Rolls Royce or live in a 8,000 sq. ft. home, and young people who don't think they need it. Estimates of the number in this group is around 15 million. Then there are an estimated 12 million illegals living in the country who are owed nothing.

Making health care available for 12 million citizens would cost a helluva lot less than trying to completely overhauling the entire health system, and probably would be doable.

DougR


20 Aug 09 - 08:27 PM (#2705112)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Coincidentally, I read a news report of the US census bureau figures on this very subject this morning, as Republicans are putting out propaganda about the numbers.

This is one article regarding the problem, written in January 2008, while Bush was still president!
From medscape.com

Census Bureau: Number of U.S. Uninsured Rises to 47 Million Americans are Uninsured: Almost 5 Percent Increase Since 2005

Click here for article http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/567737


20 Aug 09 - 08:54 PM (#2705122)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

I was derided, hooted, called an idiot, etc. for stating such a low figure.

And rightfully so, Doug, since your figure (see the post following yours & other reliable sources)then, and now, is bullshit.


20 Aug 09 - 09:05 PM (#2705126)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Propaganda everywhere so the extreme ends are 12 millon and 47 million. So, yes, why not target that ~20 million people with the public option, at least making the voluntarily uninsured chip in and funding the rest from taxes and surcharges on private pay premiums (and adjusting for the existing public programs - even rolling them in to one program: Medicare for All Who Need It.) That would be one hell of a lot more honest and salable than just layering on employer and insurer mandates in the same old crappy fashion and pretending it's "reform" and a job well done.

Make a public option for 20 million people and work on it. Calibrate the funding and the subsidies and level the playing field while starting at the heart of the matter.

Regardless of special interests there are many people who don't want to be conned, on one side AND the other. How in the world the public option moved from the central issue to a side issue is just beyond my comprehension. (I have a feeling that the Dems were afraid to set out the true costs, and may have been willing to blur them with the lobbyists' obfuscatory proposals. The Swiss Menace article profiled a family of three which elected for some extra benefits and ended up at a current premium of $1,000 per month.)


20 Aug 09 - 09:12 PM (#2705129)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

(Of course the Swiss only have 7 or 8 million people and extrapolation won't work. I'm not suggesting that we would be facing $1,000/mo each!!)


20 Aug 09 - 09:26 PM (#2705131)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Hmmm. I just heard Dr. Brian Day, MD, a orthopedic surgeon, in Vancouver, and former president of the Canadian Medical Society, interviewed on the Fox News Network by Bill O'Reilly.

The Doctor's evaluation of the Canadian plan is not as rosy as most Canadians here have reported. The two major faults: high cost, and rationed care. He said that the accreditation group that evaluates European health care plans recently ranked Canada's plan 29th out of 29 plans evaluated.

He said that the cost of the program has increased to the point that it likely will not be sustainable.

He also said that reports of rationing are not exaggerated and has become a very serious problem.

He did not recommend the US modeling it's program after Canada's.

DougR


20 Aug 09 - 09:57 PM (#2705151)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Doug, would you have expected FOX to interview someone who was in favour of the Canadian system?


21 Aug 09 - 01:09 AM (#2705209)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Supposedly, although I haven't found the direct cite:

Breast cancer: 54% survival UK versus 75% US
Prostate cancer: 43% survival UK versus 81% in US

National Cancer Intelligence Center
http://www.swpho.nhs.uk/dataandstats/default.aspx


21 Aug 09 - 02:05 AM (#2705212)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Government now pays for nearly half of all health care in the U.S.


The average family making COBRA premium payments (after getting canned, for you Brits, you have a right to take over those employer sponsored premiums for 18 months - and a lot longer in California)pays $1,078 per month.

http://www.kff.org/uninsured/7875.cfm

The average monthly premium for an individually purchased policy was
$217.75 for one person and $483.25 for a family in 2007.

http://www.ahip.org/


21 Aug 09 - 02:23 AM (#2705217)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

The points:

(1) Long after this reform debate ends, we are going to need a national discussion on cost containment in Medicare that will make this debate look like a walk in the park. I imagine we'll have to let you baby boomers bleed it almost dry, because that's the way you have always lived your lives.

(2) Cost savings from destroying the employment based model would save far more, to be used for funding the unlucky, than "eliminating waste" ever possibly could.

(3) We need a modified Swiss model. Modified, but not hammered into trash by our routine legislative processes.


21 Aug 09 - 02:29 AM (#2705218)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

"...people who can afford health care but prefer to drive a Rolls Royce or live in a 8,000 sq. ft. home," DougR

#1. That must be a whole new category, Doug.
#2. If the Rolls or the digs are the equivalent of monthly health care, them is some premiums.


21 Aug 09 - 08:23 AM (#2705355)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Doug, 7% of Canadians would prefer an American style health care system to the one we've got. 7 per cent. 87 per cent of Canadians approve of our health care system and consider it much superior to the one in the USA.

Fox News wants quotes from Canadians who don't like our health care system. That's what they look for. If they want to find someone they can to the 7 per cent of our public who have a complaint of some kind. 7 per cent of 25 million people is 1 million, 750 thousands people!!!

Don't you think Fox can find a Canadian to criticize our health care system????? Duh! Of course they can.

But 87 per cent of our people like our system and think yours sucks. Doesn't that tell you something that Fox isn't bothering to tell you?

They're not bothering to tell you because they've been paid off by the Big Money people who run your present system or benefit from it.

Wake up and smell the coffee, Doug. You're a victim of corporate propaganda, and your country has the worst public health record in the developed world. Period.

You ask why the government wouldn't find it cheaper to just insure the people who don't have any coverage right now.

Well, Canada insures EVERYBODY....and we spend 1/3 less in government health costs PER CAPITA than the USA does...and everybody has health care. Everybody. How do we do that, Doug? How does western Europe do it? I wonder. You ought to give it some thought.

When you are lied to from cradle to grave, the truth just sounds unbelievable, I guess...


21 Aug 09 - 09:13 AM (#2705384)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""Kevin: Yes, it's obvious that those of you from countries that have a single payer system are very satisfied. Perhaps it will come to the U.S. someday. I don't think it will happen at this time. I often wonder, though, if one reason so many of you are satisfied is because so few of you have ever known anything else?""


21 Aug 09 - 09:17 AM (#2705385)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""Kevin: Yes, it's obvious that those of you from countries that have a single payer system are very satisfied. Perhaps it will come to the U.S. someday. I don't think it will happen at this time. I often wonder, though, if one reason so many of you are satisfied is because so few of you have ever known anything else?""

I often wonder, Doug, if that's the reason why YOU wish to deny your poorer compatriots the advantages YOU enjoy, simply through the nature of your employment.

GO ON, DO TELL!


21 Aug 09 - 11:00 AM (#2705434)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger

The Private Taxation from the Insurance Mafia should speak for itself. It is wasteful,
inefficient and reform is necessary. Claims are denied because that's how they make money.

The Insurance Companies are the ones who "pull the plug on grandma". Obama should state this clearly. He should know.

Those that think the profit motive that guides Corporations are sacrosanct are
damaging the country.

As George Lakoff has said, the Public Option should be referred to as "The American Plan"
that serves everyone not just a Corporate few.

Republicans who are reacting in crazy ways at town hall meetings are only thinking of themselves when the selfishly refer to "freedom".

When guns turn up at Town Hall meetings, this is a tactic of fear, intimidation and
terrorism.

Wake up America!


21 Aug 09 - 11:05 AM (#2705437)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq

"...Other recent Rasmussen Reports polling highlights the underlying political challenges. Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters favor a single-payer health care system . These voters make up a heavy majority of those who favor passage of health care reform. They view the current legislation as a baby step along the way to a single-payer system. Most Americans oppose a single-payer system and are seeking reassurance that the current plan will not head in that direction.

Overall, when it comes to health care decisions, 51% fear the government more than private insurance companies while 41% hold the opposite view.

Most Americans support the concept of reform, but cost control is seen as the most important aspect of reform . Also, voters simply don't believe the legislation will deliver the benefits that its advocates claim. Few believe it will increase patient choice or make health care affordable . In fact, most voters believe the passage of the current health care reform effort will lead to higher costs and lower quality of care .

The health care reform debate has helped push Obama's job approval ratings in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll to new lows."


21 Aug 09 - 11:13 AM (#2705445)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

...51% fear the government more than private insurance companies...

Of course they do- a surprising number of this figure actually believe the bullshit the Republican ops are spewing out, death camps for the elderly, "socialism" and all the rest of it.

Perhaps if they were to take a poll of sentient beings, the numbers would be somewhat different...


21 Aug 09 - 11:17 AM (#2705448)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

"The health care reform debate" with all the LIES being promoted by FOX news, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Republican house and senate politicians and their minions have impacted the polls. When people polled are told the truth, the results are that they more supportive of Obama.


21 Aug 09 - 11:31 AM (#2705466)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

I wonder how many of the folks that are objecting to "the slippery slope" leading to "socialized " government run single-payer systems are currently on Medicare, which, oddly enough, is just such a system? Or are enjoying VA health benefits (which is also one of those Commie systems)? Any comments, Doug (who seems to be covered both ways)?


21 Aug 09 - 11:54 AM (#2705488)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

"The health care reform debate has helped push Obama's job approval ratings in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll to new lows." pdq

Yes, his ratings have dropped but to be truthful, they are still high.   Let's try truth.


21 Aug 09 - 02:00 PM (#2705578)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

NEW FACTS ABOUT NATIONALISED HEALTHCARE!

1. About eight weeks ago, my left knee, which has been painful for some time, mainly due to arthritis, collapsed, and I found myself on my knees in the middle of a road, with a driver standing on his brakes trying not to hit me. He succeeded!

A one off, I thought, but two weeks later the same thing happened, in less dangerous surroundings, and over the course of several days it kept locking, then suddenly clicking free, in a most painful manner.

2. Five weeks ago, I went to my doctor (GP), and he referred me to a consultant orthopaedic surgeon.

This morning, I had my appointment with him and, after taking X-Rays, he explained the problem, and outlined the proper course of treatment, namely a knee replacement operation.

3. I am now awaiting a letter confirming the exact date of my pre op medical exam, and the operation date in either October, or November.

This will be followed by a four month course of intensive physiotherapy.

Those of you who insist on believing all the drivel about waiting times, reluctance to treat older patients, and healthcare rationing, should take note:-

First contact with the NHS to operation date, between 11 and 15 weeks.
Cost to patient of treatment, plus aftercare, ZERO, ZILCH, NADA, NIL!

Are you reading me Doug?.......NOTHING!

A real bad system, don't you think, in the modern sense of "BAD", "WICKED".

You should all be telling your government "THIS is what we WANT", and making them listen.

Or are you really keen on paying through the nose for everything, to keep the vultures fed?

Don T.


21 Aug 09 - 02:21 PM (#2705593)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""Overall, when it comes to health care decisions, 51% fear the government more than private insurance companies while 41% hold the opposite view.""

Into which of the following three categories does the above statement fall?

Lies?
Damn Lies?
Statistics?

A few questions that need answering, before those figures have ANY credibility:-

1. Who did the sampling, and how was the sample obtained?
2. Who compiled the questions, and what was the nature of the questions asked?
2. Who interpreted the results of the poll, and can their impartiality be a) determined, and/or b) guaranteed?

If you ask a man would he like to get his healthcare free of charge, the most likely answer would be "YES!"

If you ask the same man would he like to be enrolled in a scheme that would make him wait years for treatment, and help him through death's door at the earliest opportunity, well, what d'ye think he'd say?

Well that is exactly how the Healthcare Insurers, the GOP, and the "I've got mine, so sod the rest" brigade are treating this matter, to the eternal disgrace, and shame of the American Nation.

Don T.


21 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM (#2705602)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

Here's an interesting anecdote to compare with Don's post. Here in the US, the company my brother worked for went out of business. Normally you'd have the option to continue the insurance you had with the company as long as you pay the premium, for up to 18 months, but since the firm went out of business that option got screwed up. He has some preexisting conditions and he tried to get individual insurance, but every policy he found would have cost more than the amount he's getting on unemployment benefits per month, and they have preexisting condition clauses that would limit coverage for these conditions. He's trying to get a Continuation of Benefits Option worked out with one of his old company's subsidiarys, but the administrator is so swamped that he hasn't been able to get a straight answer, so at the moment he doesn't have insurance.

His knee was hurting so badly he went to the doctor on his own nickel. The doctor said he has a "Bakers Cyst" in his knee that needs to come out, but he would need to do an MRI to make sure, then they could schedule the surgery. My brother said forget it, he can't afford it. He managed to scrape up enough money to get a shot of cortisone to relieve the pain temporarily.   He had a job interview yesterday and hopefully he will get insurance again but even so there will probably be a six month preexisting condition clause. So he'll continue in pain, getting shots when he can afford it, while the knee continues to deteriorate.

By the way we have the best health care in the world here in the US..yeah right.


21 Aug 09 - 02:31 PM (#2705604)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Setting up a special system just for people who are excluded under the present ones (so long as they aren't "illegals", of course, otherwise called "Your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free") is of course a possibility - though since it hasn't actually been done by either party in the sixty-two years since the British NHS was established, that seems to suggest that it wouldn't be easy to get the USA to get its act together on even such a basic reform.

But since the various medical sytems which other reasonably wealthy countries provide health care for all, at a level at least comparable to that in the USA, for a lot less money, it seems a rather arsy-versy way to go about it. Equal medical entitlement for all, financed by some kind of graduated national insurance scheme, is a lot simpler in the long run.


21 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM (#2705608)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

"Oh, you people. All this one-sided stuff is so tiresome. It is simple- just agree with me, and we'll all be happy."

(Channeling DougR)


21 Aug 09 - 03:17 PM (#2705638)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

Ebbie,


"It is simple- just agree with me, and we'll all be happy."

Seems like me that is what Obama and the Democrats are telling us (as well). But I guess since they are right, it must be ok.


BTW, has anyone looked at the satisfaction of those under the current "one-payer" systems that are run by the US Government? Specificallt, the VA and BIA systems. Is this the level of care that you are satsfied with?


21 Aug 09 - 03:24 PM (#2705647)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

bb, have you checked with Medicare recipients? (The BIA has had problems for eons.)


21 Aug 09 - 03:33 PM (#2705656)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

"(The BIA has had problems for eons.) "

And that is a reason to want the government involved with our medical care???


As for Medicare, all that I know is one needs supplemental insurance, since it has such wonderful coverage. And I am paying ( a lot) for it, my entire working career. When I do not get coverage for a number of years.


21 Aug 09 - 03:59 PM (#2705668)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Neil D

Doug R,
    Name one person "who can afford health care but prefer to drive a Rolls Royce or live in a 8,000 sq. ft. home".


21 Aug 09 - 04:01 PM (#2705669)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

The artist formerly known as Michael Jackson.


21 Aug 09 - 04:17 PM (#2705681)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Basically it's a matter of "Why don't you join the civilised world?"


21 Aug 09 - 04:20 PM (#2705683)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

Still banging on in a political vein I see. It's so sad.
What about your countrymen who have not, will not, and will never get cover from your oh so wonderful insurance companies?

'When will they ever learn?'
'When will the ever, learn?'

You can harp on about one idiot on the news who says "National Health care is rubbish" when you don't take a blind bit of notice the many of us here who use it and say 'No it isn't'. We're obviously wrong since we've not been on the television. I don't understand the 'I'm all right and the rest can go hang' attitude.
John Barden


21 Aug 09 - 04:25 PM (#2705688)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

Maryrrf... yeah, right, indeed. The richest country in the world. The world leader. Leader of the free world. Unless you are at the arse end of the herd when the lions arrive... then, tough luck eh?

The lack of compassion in such a system is frightful.


21 Aug 09 - 04:46 PM (#2705703)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

I imagine for most of the people crying wolf - leaving aside the people protecting their investments in insurance companies and so forth - it's not really lack of compassion, but rather a total lack of confidence in the ability of the United States to do what pretty well everyone else has managed to do. The other side of "only in America".

Maybe they are right.


21 Aug 09 - 04:47 PM (#2705707)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

You mean, it might be about the almighty dollar?


21 Aug 09 - 05:50 PM (#2705737)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

A new little wrinkle in the health insurance industry:

Early in June, this year, I threw my back out. Just one of those things. You reach for something, something in your back goes "POP!" and you wind up feeling like you have a nail in your back. Bothered the hell out of me for several days.

Then, in the wee small hours of June 12, I woke up really feeling rotten. My lower back hurt like hell and I felt like a truck had driven across my lower abdomen—several times! Extremely painful!

My wife called Medic One (tax supported—part of the Seattle Fire Department), the EMTs checked me out, couldn't find anything obviously wrong (not a heart attack, no bullet wounds, etc.), but I was obviously in great pain, so they heaved my keister onto a gurney and hauled it to the nearby Swedish Hospital emergency room.

The question was, did I possibly have a compression fracture of the spine, a herniated disk, or something else. And why the pain in the lower abdomen. Appendicitis? After much questioning, poking, taking samples of various bodily fluids, and both an MRI and a CAT scan, they determined that, in addition to a spinal subluxation (fixable by either surgery—pricy and painful—or a few sessions with my neighborhood chiropractor for far less money and not that much discomfort—I opted for the latter), I had a bladder infection, the beginnings of an intestinal blockage, and a lot of referred pain from this unholy combination.

They prescribed an antibiotic for the bladder infection, something akin to several sticks of dynamite for the intestinal blockage (I won't dwell on the lurid details), and enough pain killer to keep Rush Limbaugh smiling for weeks.

Mostly better now. The bladder infection and the intestinal problem have cleared up and my chiropractor makes house calls. The back is much better.

Now—

Any time you go to an emergency room and have things like MRIs and CAT scans, it's gonna be pricy! How much this little fandango is costing my insurance company (I'm covered under my wife's policy, which is an employee benefit she gets from the Seattle Public Library), I haven't heard yet. I haven't yet receive a summary from the insurance company, nor a bill from the hospital (there will probably be a substantial co-pay).

But—

I did get a letter from the insurance company, complete with a detailed questionnaire. Where did the accident take place? Was it in a automobile? Who was at fault? Do they have insurance? Or was it at work? Or in a place of business? Or someone else's residence? Do they have liability insurance? Was it an assault? Has my assailant been captured? Have I hired an attorney?

You get the picture.

Underlying message:   We don't want to have to pay this! Who can we sue!??

I called their 800 number and after drilling down through several layers of recorded messages, explained to the first live person I encountered that the reason for my visit to the emergency room was NOT an accident. I woke up that morning in great pain and sicker that Hector's pup, and my wife and I decided that I needed to get to a hospital for immediate attention.

They accepted this, but the disappointed tone in the person's voice was heart-rending!! Unless they could find some other out, they were actually going to have to ante up.

Somehow, I don't see this kind of weasel-like ducking and dodging happening in a government run single payer health care system.

Don Firth


21 Aug 09 - 06:36 PM (#2705757)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Donuel

Uninsured citizens number over 40 million.
The health insurance corp propoganda says its only 15 million.


Don Firth, You got off easy with several sticks of dynamite 8*(
My son had numerous blockages that can be life threatening and spent 4 days on a drip. Gladly those days are long over.

Your triple play combination complication was a damn shame but your care sounded very good.


21 Aug 09 - 06:50 PM (#2705763)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Specificallt, the VA and BIA systems.

Ya mean the systems that the Republicans since Reagan and especially your hero Georgie- boy cut the budgets of, while exhorting us to "Support the Troops"?

That one, BB?


21 Aug 09 - 06:56 PM (#2705768)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

And YOU will now make Obama President for life, so there is no risk of any reductions in the future? If not, how will you stop the rationing needed to make his other promises ( balanced budget et al) happen????


Or is a little logic too much for you to deal with?

If we can't keep funding for those under the BIA ( which have NEVER been funded to the degree needed, under ANY administration) why do you think this will be different?

It takes the entire working population of the US to fund the PRESENT Medicare syste ( look at your paystub) : How is it going to be expanded? Or has it been so poorly implemented ( by ALL administrations) that the "savings" will magically appear? If so, I want a refund of (some of) my past contributions. Just the ones during Democratic administrations, OK?


21 Aug 09 - 07:19 PM (#2705782)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

Yeah, Donuel, most of the actual medical care I've had over the years has been pretty good. Most of the hassles I've had in the process came from insurance companies.

Polio at the age of two left me with paralyzed legs and scoliosis (spinal curvature, which is why my back goes out easily). Also, there is what is known as post-polio syndrome, which often affects polio victims when they get older (such as me). It manifests itself as tiring very easily, with lots of sore muscles because of the need to substitute one set of muscles to do the job of another. I have to use my arms and shoulders a lot because I can't use my legs. My shoulders can get pretty danged sore. Overuse. But what's the choice?

Another post-polio manifestation that one must stay on top of all the time is the intestines—elimination. "Lack of motility" is what they call it, making it necessary to ride herd on anything resembling constipation, which can develop into worse, life-threatening things.

With that lovely scenario to go on, I sometimes wonder, when I get into the kind of binds that sent me to the emergency room on June 12th, when and if the insurance company will claim that it stems from a "pre-existing condition" and leave me hanging in mid-air.

Don Firth


21 Aug 09 - 07:21 PM (#2705784)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Sigh.

You're perilously close to becomming a Frankian dining room table, Bruce.


22 Aug 09 - 08:11 AM (#2706068)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

P.S. BB- the budget was balanced before your hero Georgie & his crew took office.

Remove his excesses & idiocies & the financial picture will look whole a lot better.


22 Aug 09 - 08:53 AM (#2706085)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

Max has posted a video on Facebook that I think warrants viewing. The campaign to derail the public option is slick, well organized, well financed and relentless. I personally know a person who works for a well known insurance company who is outraged and considering quitting her job of 23 years (she's clerical, not in a decision making position, and has a family to support) because she is so disgusted at how this company is bussing people out to "Town Hall" meetings in the guise of "ordinary citizens". America is being manipulated. Here's the You Tube Clip .


22 Aug 09 - 10:19 PM (#2706374)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Funny, no one is complaining about Acorn and Union members being bussed to Town Hall meetings to support Obama Care. Lots of complaints about normal every day citizens showing up to oppose it though.

Don: If I needed knee replacement and had to wait six to eight weeks to get the operation, I'd be less charitable than you are. My wife had to have a knee replaced and there was nothing like that lapsing between the diagnosis and the operation. As a matter of fact, she went for her last check-up on the knee on a Friday and I mentioned to the surgeon that she had been complaining about her hip hurting too. I took a picture of the hip and even I could see that it was broken. We estimate it had been for fifteen months. He scheduled hip replacement for the following Wednesday.

Somewhere out there there MUST be somebody who, though he or she could afford health insurance but doesn't have it drives a Rolls Royce.

No, Ebbie, I would not be surprised to see someone who is a staunch defender of Obama's efforts to nationalize health care interviewed on Fox news. As I matter of fact, proponents are on Fox News daily. I don't recall seeing professional people such as the former president of the Canadian Medical Society interviewed, but there are few of them around. When someone like Dr. Brian Day, MD, speaks, he does so with experience and authority.

Dr. Day also said: 5 million Canadians do not have prescription drug coverage; at any given time, 1 million Canadians are waiting for services and another million waiting for surgeries; Doctors in Canada have overwhelmingly urged an overhaul of the Canadian system. The evaluation of the 29 medical systems (with Canada coming in 29th)was NOT the effectiveness of teh system, but value for money spent.

Please note: I am not saying the above, I'm merely reporting what the former president of the Canadian Medical Association said.

DougR


22 Aug 09 - 10:29 PM (#2706378)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Mary, thanks for that video link!


22 Aug 09 - 10:51 PM (#2706389)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

There are always improvements needing to be made in any existing health sytem, Doug, and the Canadian one is no exception to that. It has, however, been of great benefit to the general population since it was begun in the early 1960s (as far as I recall, that's when it started), and it has worked far better than the USA's health care system...and at less cost.

It's not perfect. Neither is yours. It is under strain from a growing population and a weakened economy. So is yours. You can always find someone to complain about our health system. I can find plenty more people to complain about yours.

87% of our public favors our health system. When was the last time you got 87$ of your public to approve of something like that?

How does 87% support for our Canadian health care compare to 7% disapproval for it, Doug? How happy would you be if you were president and you could get that kind of public support for the national health care system in the USA?

I think you'd be ecstatic. It practically amounts to acclamation.

The reason Americans are afraid of socialized medicine is simple:

1. they don't know anything about it
2. they aren't familiar with it
3. they are subjected to a flood of scare propaganda by the private interests that are profiting from robbing your public to make big profits

It is ignorance that keeps Americans stuck right where they are.

But don't worry too much, Doug, because I think Obama is just going to strike the sort of deal the health insurance companies want him to...it will benefit them, not the public...and you won't get socialized medicine. You'll get some kind of bastardized system that is not anything like socialized medicine, and the rest of the world will look at you and shake its collective head in disbelief.


23 Aug 09 - 01:34 AM (#2706419)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Tell me it ain't so, L.H.! Tell me you ain't bailing out on Obama!

All Obama is interested in is serving another four year term. I think he might settle for less if he could be assured of that.

DougR


23 Aug 09 - 11:59 AM (#2706648)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Since the proposed reforms don't actually envisage anything in any way comparable to the NHS, or involving any kind of single payment provider, it seems very peculiar that the attention seems to be focussed on such irrelancies by opponents.

Even if it were accurate to describe as "socialized medicine" systems of health care supported by conservative governments around the world, there appear to be no proposals to introduce such a system.

There doesn't seem to be much attention paid to such aspects of the proposed reforms as stopping insurance companies from imposing unfair restrictions on paying customers, or imposing conditions about "existing conditions". I can see why the insurance companies might dislike that kind of change, but I cannot see why anyone else, however suspicious they might be of "socialized medicine", could be anything but enthusiastically in support of such measures.


23 Aug 09 - 12:08 PM (#2706653)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

The answer McGrath, is that the "anyone else's" are stubbornly ignorant of the facts and/or believe that being patriotic means opposing anything Obama supports.


23 Aug 09 - 12:11 PM (#2706655)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

As far as I can see, Doug, Obama is pretty much doing what all your presidents do. He's cooperating with the Big Money corrupt forces that run your country. I think you know, Doug, that I despise both the Democratic and Republican parties... ;-) I like the Democrats a bit better than the Republicans in a general sort of sense (and so do about 80% of the other people in Canada), but I still despise both those parties anyway. They are the chains that bind you.

This does not mean I despise the ordinary Americans who belong to those parties or vote for them...it means I despise the party machine at the top of each party, the machine that controls the whole thing.

I like Obama as a person. I like how he carries himself and I like the way he speaks. I don't like the corrupt $ySStem he is serving. Therefore I expect I will disagree with many of his decisions and policies as time goes by. That was inevitable.

The one politician down there I really appreciate is Dennis Kucinich, and he's the only one I would have worked for if I were an American citizen. (I also do like some of Ron Paul's ideas.)


23 Aug 09 - 12:57 PM (#2706691)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

'When will you ever learn?'
'When will you ever learn?'

with my apologies to Pete Seeger.

John Barden


23 Aug 09 - 02:32 PM (#2706764)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

Ron Paul Quotes


Dennis Kucinich Quotes


Moonbeam Candidate? More Kucinich Quotes


I do like much of Kucinich's thinking, especially: "You say the American people need health insurance? I say the American people need health care.


23 Aug 09 - 03:08 PM (#2706788)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""Don: If I needed knee replacement and had to wait six to eight weeks to get the operation, I'd be less charitable than you are.""

Yes mate, but I'm talking about a system that treats EVERYBODY who needs it, and not just those who have the right company package, or a well stacked deposit box.

There's bound to be a bit more competition, but it gives the lie to the twerps YOU choose to quote, who falsely claim that patients wait years or even die on waiting lists.

I could, of course have chosen to go private, since that system IS ALSO AVAILABLE HERE, and saved a couple of weeks. I may still end up in the local private hospital, since the NHS also purchases care from them, at reasonable rates, which takes up any gaps in their private schedule. The SOLE advantage of the private route is, so I have heard, that the food is better.

THE CARE IS IDENTICAL!

Cut it any way you like mate, we have completely destroyed every objection you have raised. Get wise to the FACTS. OUR SYSTEM WORKS!

And it would work just as well for YOU.

Don T.


23 Aug 09 - 04:13 PM (#2706832)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

We've got a decent enough private hospital near us. Big reception room with comfy chairs, which some people like, I suppose. (I don't, it doesn't feel like a hospital to me.) Sometimes our local NHS hospital will make use of the private hospital's services, to ease some rush. More typically the private hospital will call in the NHS to take over when something is going wrong with a case, and they need a bit more expertise.

Or people in a hurry will use the private hospital to carry out a test of some kind - if it indicates treatment is needed, that can be carried out by the NHS, making use of the private hospital's test results to save time and expense.

But all this is completely irrelevant to what should be the issues in the States at present. Whatever happens they are going to have to muddle along with their strange and costly system. The relatively minor changes being proposed would make it fairer and less damaging to the millions who fall through the net, or get chucked overboard, but it would still be essentially the same system.

Looking at it selfishly, the big advantage of the proposed reforms would it that it would be harder for those in positions of responsibility to fend off criticism of any aspect of the NHS by pointing at the USA. "Think how much worse it could be if you lived over there..."


23 Aug 09 - 04:39 PM (#2706856)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

FFS, this is very simple. Should people suffer and die because they cannot afford healthcare?


"If living was a thing that money could buy
The rich would live, and the poor would die
All my trials, Lord.."

Dammit, it may be an American song but I think I WILL start singing it.


23 Aug 09 - 09:20 PM (#2706993)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean

TRUTH


23 Aug 09 - 10:28 PM (#2707019)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

That's a brilliant piece of political satire, Sandy, and right on the bullseye.


24 Aug 09 - 10:09 AM (#2707274)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Donuel

Sally's Onion link includes;
"We have over 40 million people without insurance in this country today, and that is unacceptable," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said. "If we would just quit squabbling so much, we could get that number up to 50 or even 100 million. Why, there's no reason we can't work together to deny health care to everyone but the richest 1 percent of the population."


In reality, 100 million is just about right when you include people who pay at great expense for privately owned health care INSURANCE but then are denied partial or total compensation by HMO fine print.

Do not forget that our current privatized health insurance system/scam was a golden goose invention ushered in by the Nixon Administration. In this case they were not crooks, they were murder for profiteers.





_________________________________________________________________
FOX News Alert (as I heard it from a Megyn Kelly interview of the National Review editor this morning at 9:15 )

The National Review says that all people in wheel chairs and ALL returning Veteran soldiers who end up in wheel chairs will be given end of life advice to end it all. If you are unable to contribute to society or "chew the leather anymore" you will be urged to consider your options since goverment health care will do its utmost to keep you in hopeless poverty with diminished benefits.
Our newly uncovered study gives legitimacy to the the spectre of DEATH PANELS as an insidious plan to eliminate undesirable high cost medical care for Veterans, our sacrificing heros, as well as anyone the government considers undesirable. Perhaps all outspoken Christians will be the undesirables that the Socialist Goverment will want to eliminate.




Well I guess we better say goodbye to all our wheel chair friends and Christians while there is still time. (Do not confuse the National Review Magazine with the Nation Magazine)


24 Aug 09 - 11:31 AM (#2707318)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

You know what, Donuel? The basic program is to drive up fear, hatred, and division between different groups of people in the society through extreme rhetoric. So Fox agitates the most doctrinaire Christians and hardline conservatives with those sort of scare stories. At the same time, the more liberal media outlets agitate their constituency with other types of scare stories from the opposite angle. The 2 sets of stories work in tandem to great effect. Both sides drive up the fear and outrage factor in the population. Christians get scared of gays and atheists. Gays get scared of Christians. Atheists get scared. Conservatives get scared. Liberals get scared. People on this forum get scared.

They all think to themselves...."if only it weren't for those bastards (the other section of the population that they're scared of)...this would be a decent country!"

That keeps the public disorganized and it consumes their energy in fruitlessly fighting with each other. It provokes a few violent incidents here and there which helps to further drive up the fear factor. This provides apparent justification for increasing police powers and reducing civil rights and surveillance in order to "protect" people. It results in the world's largest per capita prison population.

The screws on society tighten.

The people actually running the show benefit from all that and increase their control.

If the shit REALLY hits the fan someday, they will declare martial law. And at that point the game is up. They will have won totally, they will have established their fascist New Order, and the public will have lost the game by wasting all its energy fighting amongst itself and against itself instead of challenging its real masters and controllers.

This is not a fight between the "Right" and the "Left". It's just made to look that way in order to keep ordinary people divided against themselves. It's a fight between a few incredibly rich "haves" (who own both the conservative and the liberal major media outlets) and 150 million "have-nots".


24 Aug 09 - 06:11 PM (#2707665)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

But there is an asymmetry in this.

In all political battles there are two ways of operating and thinking. One is about trying to achieve a desired goal, insofar as that can be done.   The other is about exploiting the situation as a way of doing down the other side.

And that latter way of thinking appears to be dominant among the opponents of the proposed (and extremely moderate) changes whch are being pushed by Obama. So far as I can see, nine-tenths of what is being proposed is perfectly consistent with stuff that has at various times been proposed by Republcans, and the rest of it is stuff that in any other country would be seen as pretty conservative.

But instead of seeing this as a chance to cut a deal and produce soemthing which, however imperfect in their eyes, would get rid of at least some shameful and degrading aspects of American society, they smell blood and throw over all principle in search of a victory of sorts - in which the actual wellbeing of millions of their fellow Americans are seen as totally irrelevant.

It's all rather disgusting.


24 Aug 09 - 06:36 PM (#2707681)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Partisan politics is almost always disgusting.


24 Aug 09 - 06:44 PM (#2707687)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

LH-
It's only disgusting when either of the sides has nothing to offer in terms of solving a problem. There's nothing at all wrong about arguing two different philosophies.


24 Aug 09 - 07:04 PM (#2707696)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Jack Campin

On Tuesday I called an ambulance since I had sudden chest pains. The crew did an ECG with the vehicle parked in the street, didn't spot anything much but drove me to the hospital anyway.

I was seen by a doctor within minutes of arriving, hooked up to an ECG, had blood tests and was taken to the acute admissions ward later that night.

Blood tests showed I'd had a mild heart attack, so I was sent up to the cardiology ward, was seen by pretty much the whole cardiology team including the top guy, got an angiogram on Thursday, sent home with a month's supply of various pills on Saturday and I'm to see them again on Wednesday. Meanwhile I've been assigned to an acute cardiac rehabilitation nurse and should have a community home-visit nurse later in the week.

Cost: nothing. Forms filled out: two - consent forms for the angiogram and a prospective research study. Insurance bureaucrats involved: none.

I would NEVER, EVER consider visiting the US again.

The food was shit, though. (That bit of the NHS is contracted out to private enterprise).


24 Aug 09 - 07:12 PM (#2707702)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Ralph Nader on Health Care. (His 2008 candidate position.)


24 Aug 09 - 07:51 PM (#2707722)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Jack, I hope you have a speedy recovery.


24 Aug 09 - 07:52 PM (#2707723)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

Donuel: You personally heard Sen. Hatch say that, or did you read it on a blog?

L.H.: The one politician you respect down south, the Congressman from Cleveland, has about the same chance of becoming president as Greg F. has.

DougR


24 Aug 09 - 08:04 PM (#2707728)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

It's best to read a post before responding to it, Doug. That Sen. Hatch quote was specifically identified by Donuel as being part of a satirical piece in The Onion, not as a genuine quote.


24 Aug 09 - 09:15 PM (#2707767)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

Peace - Ralph Nader was right about a whole lot of things, and it looks like he was spot-on about health care, but in America you can't get elected if you "ain't got the do re mi."

                   Sad, ain't it!


25 Aug 09 - 12:16 AM (#2707842)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

It's best to read a post before responding to it, Doug.

Never has. Never will.


25 Aug 09 - 12:19 AM (#2707843)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Yes, Doug, I know Dennis Kucinich has no chance of becoming the USA's president. Naturally. He's an honest man who works for the general public, not for the corporations and banks.

Why would I be surprised that he has no chance to be elected as your president? What does surprise me a bit now and then is that he is still alive...but I guess he's just not a big enough threat to the powers that be that they would consider him necessarily "expendable" at the moment.


25 Aug 09 - 12:37 AM (#2707850)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Donuel

Little Hawk feels that playing the public off one another with fear is a divide and conquer strategy. He asks how great it would be if we both dropped our fears.

Perhaps we all need a fearless day proclamation.

But in the meantime the right wing is playing hardball and urging people to violently overthrow the goverment and pointing out that the best way to do that is to strike at the heart of the national socialism that has taken over the United States.

The right feels as though their militia and reverence toward the use of their guns makes them proud right wing terrorists...

IN FACT a man stood up at a town hall meeting in PA yesterday in front of Republican Congressman Hesh and shouted "I am a proud right wing terrorist" and the Congressmen quickly repoid "Now there is a proud and brave American!" followed by other remarks of admiration.

I would not have thought I would hear Republicans proudly embrace Terrorists at a town hall meeting.



The game of terrorizing politicians and viewing audiences with these antics is orchestrated and prescribed by Dick Morris, Congressmen and Clear Channel jocks. But suppose there is a crazy out there who does not see this as a scare tactic but as a heroic action?

Playing with fire over health care is ironic don't you think??????

Especially in a country as sick as America is right now. I say sick because there are now counter voices to the chanting for death.   
Where is Colin Powell
Where is Oprah"
Where is today's Walter Chronkite to tell people what they need to know instead of what they want to know?



While the kettle is calling the frying pan "black" or a "socialist fascist tyrant" the administration has kept its cool wonderfully.
Keep it up. Even if you have to keep secret the fact that there are 5 times more threats intercepted by the Secret Service as well as actual crazies who take a shot. Such reporting inspires copy cats and emboldens cowards who have no self worth.


Now lets all proclaim 9-11 as a day without irrational fear of any kind. Lets prove the terrorists did not win!


25 Aug 09 - 01:24 AM (#2707857)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

A day without irrational fear would be wonderful. A week without it far better. A year without it much better yet. I'm all for it. People who do not fear one another are people who can find common ground and get along reasonably.

Yes, Donuel, there are a few very dangerous people on the Far Right who have been duped or pandered to by the Divide and Conquer strategy....and there are fanatical and self-righteous prats (if I may use the British slang term which means a very fatuous person) on the Left who have been duped or pandered to by the Divide and Conquer strategy too. Each serves as a lightning rod for the other...almost a symbiotic relationship, but in a very destructive symbiosis.

It is in the interests of the great Divide and Conquer strategy to keep those people fighting with each other ever more viciously and hatefully and encourage them toward every possible form of character attack, provocation, mutual contempt, and even outright violence. The harder the pot of discontent and division boils in the nation, the easier it is for the Oligarchs at the top to tighten the screws and reduce people's civil rights and move in the direction of authoritarian rule.

They deliberately encourage divisions, hatreds, accusations, and every form of emotional negativity through sensational and provocative media coverage.

It's exactly like putting on a WWF wrestling match. The intent is to get the public very excited, angry, fearful, emotional, and in a mood for a good fight. Don't be surprised that a few genuinely crazy and violent people show up at ringside. It's inevitable that they would. That's the nature of the show that is being put on. It instigates anger and violent emotions.

To make peace, you must yourself BECOME peaceful and constructive. You must become the person you would wish others to be. That is your point of real power in changing the world...not to change others, but to change yourself.

And I'm not singling you out in any way when I say that, Donuel. I am simply speaking in general terms about the crucial choice that faces each one of us every day of our lives. We have the choice to become the positive changes we wish to see in the world...or to change nothing by wasting our own energy just blaming "the other guy" for everything that's wrong and attacking other people in various hurtful ways. As long as we do that...then war (on some level) is what we will get...and suffering is what will result.

It's a no-win scenario. (Unless you are the Oligarchy.)


25 Aug 09 - 11:53 AM (#2708204)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

There you go again :) Little Hawk - and others - you give them way too much credit.


25 Aug 09 - 01:53 PM (#2708284)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

That actually does appear to be Obama's approach.   The downside is that it can involve giving too much away. The halfway position between a liberal conservative (such as Obama) and extreme rightwingers is not going to be a moderate position in any normal sense of the word.


25 Aug 09 - 01:55 PM (#2708287)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

McG of H is right, imo.

The 'right' is somewhere next to John Birch and the 'left' is right next to Bush. The average "don't look too good" from here.


25 Aug 09 - 02:31 PM (#2708310)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

"It's a no-win scenario. (Unless you are the Oligarchy.)"

That sounds pretty defeatist to me, Little Hawk. You're not suggesting that we just throw up our hands and give up, are you? Have you nothing a bit more positive to suggest?

Don Firth


25 Aug 09 - 06:53 PM (#2708536)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: romanyman

until the over the pond brigade stand up and say no, i aint payin, refuse to take out medical insurance so the money dries up, and insurance companies go bust, and cant afford no back handers to the politicos,they will soon wonder who is right, but hey it will never happen, so best stop moanin and pay up,


25 Aug 09 - 07:58 PM (#2708577)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""While the kettle is calling the frying pan "black" or a "socialist fascist tyrant"""

One of the finest oxymorons of all time, with the accent on the "moron".

Don T


25 Aug 09 - 07:59 PM (#2708580)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

McGrath: If I hadn't read the post, why would I have responded to it? Perhaps I Misread the post.

DougR


25 Aug 09 - 08:08 PM (#2708585)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

"Meanwhile the right wing is playing hardball and urging people to violently overthrow the government, etc, etc."

Horse pucky! Some evidence proving that statement would be appreciated.

DougR


25 Aug 09 - 11:12 PM (#2708675)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

Once again, Reagan is the problem!


26 Aug 09 - 08:27 AM (#2708872)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

If I hadn't read the post, why would I have responded to it?

Because you're a jackass???


26 Aug 09 - 12:11 PM (#2709047)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Probably because most people are almost incapable of not responding to something that pushes their emotional buttons. ;-D

And that is what drives contentious threads to several hundred posts.

Ever seen 2 dogs barking at one another? Which one will stop first? And how soon? And what will be achieved by it?

Anything useful? ;-)

****

Don Firth - You have misinterpreted what I meant when I said, "It's a no-win scenario. (Unless you are the Oligarchy.)"

What I meant was that if we (people in general) waste our own energy just blaming other people for everything that's wrong and attacking other people in various hurtful ways....then THAT is a no-win situation for everyone except the Oligarchy. The Oligarchy benefits from our disunity and mutual hostility.

I did not mean that we are living in a no-win situation. I meant that being addicted to attacking and fighting with each other instead of doing something positive with our time...THAT is a no-win situation.

There are always good solutions available for people who are willing to be positive. There is no good solution for someone who lives to condemn, attack others, and express hatred.

In this respect, I am very much in agreement with Obama's typical philosophical approach to things (his rhetoric, I mean). I'm not necessarily in agreement with some of his recent decisions in foreign and domestic policy.


26 Aug 09 - 12:37 PM (#2709066)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I've been on the road for a few weeks, and I haven't had time to read what's been posted since I left. Has anyone posted any documentation to back up the accusations about ACORN and the unions?

Saying that at any given time 1 or 2 million Canadians are waiting for care is a pretty meaningless thing to say. What the doctor apparently didn't say is how long they've been waiting. 1 or 2 million waiting for care is a perfectly reasonable number if they made their appointments yesterday and are waiting until tomorrow to receive care. The doctor doesn't specify if those waiting are waiting the same amount of time people wait here in the US or if they're having to wait a significantly longer period of time. Looks to me like Dr. Day is being very dishonest.


26 Aug 09 - 12:47 PM (#2709074)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

The wait time depends on the medical problem that the patient has. I waited six months for a hip replacement. Not bad considering I'd needed on for about ten years, and I was able to have it done by a doc who'd done literally hundreds in the course of his career. A person with the sniffles may have to wait a week, by which time the sniffles are usually gone.

People who oppose public health care (read universal) don't HAVE facts. It's anecdotal stuff and not really worth much. Opinions are like . . . .

A definite problem in Canada is the number of doctors who go to the US because they can make more money. I'm aware that medical degrees are expensive, but then any degree is expensive. Mine (B Ed) cost me about $120,000. That's what I would have made had I kept working at the job I had (sales). That was 25 years ago. The schooling was only $4500/year. It's become about money for most folks. And that includes doctors. Too bad.


26 Aug 09 - 12:59 PM (#2709082)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I'm guessing a lot of the Canadian doctors who come to the US to make more money are feeling a little disappointed in their decision these days. It's getting harder every day for doctors to get reimbursed by insurance companies and there are far fewer people these days who can afford frivolous cosmetic surgery.

The second to last doctor I had before I lost access to health insurance dropped all of his patients who couldn't pay cash (ie: all of his patients who relied on private insurance to pay for their care). He said the insurance companies didn't pay enough for him to justify keeping those kinds of patients. His plan was to just take patients who could pay cash for their botox treatments and their breast implants, and things like that. Since the economy went down the tube, I'm guessing he's wishing he had some of his old patients again. Of course, a lot of those people probably no longer have insurance because they got laid off or their insurance company dropped them because they got sick.

If things keep going as they have been in the US lately, most likely US doctors are going to start migrating to Canada so they can make more money than they can here.


26 Aug 09 - 03:01 PM (#2709190)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

I suspect, Carol, that Doctor Day was given substantial remuneration by American insurance company lobbyists after having been told exactly what kind of testimony would result in him receiving the promised rewards...and what NOT to say about the Canadian health care system. (meaning: the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth)


26 Aug 09 - 04:15 PM (#2709266)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

CarolC: you NOT having health care available to you is inhuman, imo. Makes me sick to my stomach. In some ways I think that we take it for granted here. And we shouldn't. I really do think the only way to get it will be to have sit-ins in hospitals and clinics a la '60s. Cops carrying away thousands of people and court systems tied up like there's no tomorrow.

I have often mentioned Thomas Clement Douglas (Tommy Douglas in Canada, because he was always Tommy even when he was the Premier of saskatchewn or a Member of the House of Commons) who 'forced' Medicare on Canadians. He fought for it for years. Never gave up.

When my late nephew died (leukemia) there was no way his mom and dad could have handled the payment that would have been due were it not for Medicare. The final 'bill' (Quebec used to--and maybe still does--send out a bill with the amount owing as $0.00 regardless of the cost. That was also itemized on the bill. His treatments came to a little over $500,000 if I recall correctly.)

Asking ordinary people to come up with that kind of cash is unconscionable, as is the lack of Universal Health Care in the USA. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but people MUST firm their resolve and force the US Government to institute a Medicare program, free to those who cannot pay and maybe $1000/year to cover a family. I have heard complaints from single folks who say that having to pay about $700/year when families only pay about $1000 is unfair. That type of thinking usually doesn't last much longer than an illness. THEN the lights go on. In the course of my life I have paid about $20,000 in premiums for Medicare. Just looking at cost/benefit: The hip alone would have run me $7000. Three emergency surgeries at about $5000 each = $15000. Long stay in hospita about $3000. Various other visits including a few broken bones and a knife wound about $2000. I don't really need to do the math to see that either $700 or $1000/year is a bargain. For those who seldom use hospitals, well, they helped my nephew. And members of my family who didn't use theirs helped someone else.

I know you are fighing for it and I know you'll win. Eventually. Keep it up. It's right, and that's what really matters.


26 Aug 09 - 05:57 PM (#2709376)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

We paid about $12,000 in premiums the last year we had insurance. And that was for a policy with a high deductible and co-pay.


26 Aug 09 - 06:10 PM (#2709391)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

$12,000???? Good lord!

In Canada about 10% of our yearly federal budget covers health care. That means I paid about $750 in taxes last year to get FULL health coverage for a whole year under the Canadian system. I got all hospital, doctor, and medical care FREE for a year after paying just $750 out of my income tax for my share of national health care.

Compare that to the $12,000 Carol and JtS had to spend for a year's policy with a high deductible and co-pay in the USA.

And there, in a nutshell, is the difference. Americans are being robbed. (and a great many of them apparently don't even know it)


26 Aug 09 - 06:42 PM (#2709412)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: steve in ottawa

The opening weeks of the recent war in Iraq gave me my first glimpse of how the American media could be narrow-minded about some issues. 24 hour coverage, but it was weak, with many facts and points of view were utterly absent. It was the first time I ever noticed a startling difference between American, Canadian, and British television reporting of a major ongoing news story.

Health care? Face it: the billionaire owners of American news media don't want socialized health care. In most countries, that has led to single-tier systems that risk the lives of the wealthy and their dependents. Average Americans suspect it would be much better for most Americans, but when they hear, over and over again from the TV that it's somehow "risky" the average Joe begins to believe: hmmm...it's risky.

The quality of care that is available to rich people in the States is better than what is available to rich people in Canada. Period. Most recently, I heard a story about a CBC reporter who cut her leg in post-Katrina New Orleans and woke up in "a spa" - a near empty, beautifully appointed hospital that her health insurance could afford, but which refused to serve the multitude of injured just outside in the city. The care delivered, overall in Canada, is better AND much cheaper, but NOT for the rich people. Doctors here CANNOT charge extra for procedures that are covered by the public health plans. Yeah, I think it's rotten that we've forced our doctors to become civil servants, but if the alternative is the American system, well, I'd just as soon limit my country to doctors whose greatest goal in life wasn't to make as much money as possible.

Bureaucracy? The bureaucracy in a PRIVATE system can lead to $7+ charges to provide a single aspirin. And that DOESN'T include the cost of the middleman - the private insurance company. PUBLIC systems are simply MORE efficient. The billionaire-owned US media tries to say the reverse is true.

From Sept. 2009 Harper's Index:
Percentage change since 2002 in average premiums paid to large U.S. health-insurance companies : +87
Percentage change in the profits of the top ten insurance companies : +428
Chances that an American bankrupted by medical bills has health insurance : 7 in 10
Portion of its membership that Washington State's subsidized health plan intends to lose this year : 1/3
Average percentage by which it is raising premiums in order to do so : 70


26 Aug 09 - 08:21 PM (#2709462)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: steve in ottawa

I guess I should also mention: two of my uncles are doctors, both of whom were pissed off at being made into civil servants and both of whom eventually went down to the States. Each returned to Canada within two years of leaving (mostly for social reasons) and still practice medicine here.

Doctors DO make more money in America. But they make enough money in socialized Canadian medicine that their lives are pretty comfortable.

No country can afford to do all that is beneficial to the health of its citizens. But it's pretty obvious from all around the developed world that free basic healthcare is cheaper than the American system, and more effective.

Now if only a few countries had the gumption to demonstrate that protecting some local manufacturing was a good idea...


26 Aug 09 - 08:35 PM (#2709468)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

As if Canadian doctors don't make enough money, for heaven's sake! It's still one of the best paid jobs you can get. I haven't seen a doctor yet around here who wasn't doing just fine financially, thank you very much.


26 Aug 09 - 09:20 PM (#2709486)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean

Early in this thread I posted a suggestion that people rent and watch the movie "Sicko" because it addresses almost all of the concerns expressed. I fear that few followed that advice because arguments are long and repetitive and highly uninformed. On YouTube there are many parts of Sicko available for watching without any cost or much bother. In his movie Michael Moore gives deep and true insight
into the systems in Canada, The USA, Britain, Cuba, France etc.
Please take the time to view a few of them.

SICKO


26 Aug 09 - 09:26 PM (#2709488)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

The people who care have probably all watched Sicko. Those who haven't watched it probably don't care. After all, they've got theirs, so why should they care?


26 Aug 09 - 10:33 PM (#2709524)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean

But CarolC, one point that Moore stresses is that people who think that they have coverage are being cut off to maximize the corporate bottom line of the HMO's. If they can't find it in their heart to care for others they may at some point find themselves on the outside looking in as well!


26 Aug 09 - 11:02 PM (#2709542)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

The real problem with healthcare reform in America remains unspoken. Older people see how their government has let them down when it came to stopping illegal immigration. Now they see the demographics changing, and they don't think a bunch of young Hispanics have any interest in supporting a bunch of old white people. It all goes back to Reagan's stupid 1986 amnesty bill. If he'd carried out the inforcement part of the program, we would not be here.


26 Aug 09 - 11:34 PM (#2709555)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Oh, we would definitely be here. If that weren't the case, we would have had universal health care long before immigration from Mexico was perceived as a problem in this country. The problem is that the insurance cartels make a lot of money off of denying care to those who need it and they don't want anyone cutting in on their action, and we don't have a free and independent media in this country, but rather media that is bought and paid for by big business. It's as simple as that.

On the subject of people who don't care - yes, a lot of them don't realize they very well may be next to lose their health care, although the individual on this thread who is benefiting from socialized health care in the form of medicare is probably not in any danger of losing his health care. Just goes to show that sometimes socialism does a much better job of getting peoples' needs met. The irony, of course, being that that individual believes that socialism is evil. This is especially ironic seeing as how that person has benefited greatly in his life from socialism in the form of at least one job he has held that was paid for by the taxpayers, and his social security and medicare. But brainwashing is a powerful tool, and big business really knows how to use it to help their bottom line.


27 Aug 09 - 12:06 AM (#2709569)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean

As a Canadian who has lived most of his life under universal health care I can not comprehend why anyone would want a private insurance for hundreds of dollars a month. I have many American friends and relatives and know them to be an intelligent and compassionate people. Why are they so blindly stupid on this issue?


27 Aug 09 - 12:09 AM (#2709570)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I would say the reason is the very powerful and effective propaganda machine we have here in the US.


27 Aug 09 - 01:48 AM (#2709592)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

You're absolutely right, Carol, and there is your answer, Sandy.

The corporate-controlled mass media in the USA are in the business of moulding public opinion all the time. They do so by slanted and misleading coverage which creates a general impression in the minds of millions of Americans that any kind of "socialism" is dangerous and evil, and keeps them misinformed and ignorant of what is really happening to them and all around them.

It's very much like the society George Orwell envisioned in "1984", only it's being done through a vigorous capitalist marketing mode rather than a dour form of quasi-Stalinism. People can far more easily be snared through mass marketing by targeting their greed, their selfishness, and their self-indulgence.

Consumer marketing and the glitzy modern "news" shows are a far more effective means of brainwashing a people than having red flags hung all over the place, big military parades, and long lines waiting at a few stores for a miserably poor selection of goods. ;-)

That's why one corrupt system (Soviet Communism) eventually fell to another equally corrupt system (western mass marketing by increasingly enormous corporate entities in a few wealthy hands).

It's clever. You snare people through their own desires for convenience, shallow entertainment, sexual titillation, addictions, and lots of cheap consumer goods (made in China), and you feed them an endless diet of absolutely unreal views on their own society and the world.

You convince the monkey in the cage that there is no cage by giving him lots of food and lots of toys and plenty of distractions. You tell the monkey that OTHER monkeys in other places around the world are worse off than he is! (It's a lie, but he'll believe it, because he's PROUD to be an American monkey living in the "greatest country on Earth".) He wants to believe it.

You appeal to his patriotism and zenophobia and the self-doubts that lurk under his facade of proud certainty about his country being "the best in the world".

He is already eager to believe that no one else in the world could possibly have as good a health care system as the USA....so he will just get angry if he is presented with strong evidence of superior health care in Canada or the UK. He'll deny it. He'll change the channel and find some other program that tells him what he wants to hear, and that's all he'll listen to.

That's how the Nazis did it too. That's how they bamboozled millions of Germans into fighting most of the world. They just fed them a daily diet of super-patriotism, fear, and disinformation. That's how ANY such lying system does it. By a constant flow of disinformation through the mass media.

It works. The majority of people are fooled by such a propaganda program...until things get REALLY bad (as they did for the Germans from about mid-1944). Things have not yet gotten REALLY bad in the USA. Somewhat bad for a fairly large number of people, yes...REALLY bad for a minority of people...but not REALLY bad for just about everyone.

That is what it would take to wake the monkey up to the fact that he's been had, and THEN he'd see the bars and he'd realize he's living in a cage.

By then it would probably be too late. It certainly was for the Germans.

People who object to the above analogy because the USA at present is not equivalent to Nazi Germany will be missing my point entirely. I'm not saying it's equivalent to Nazi Germany. The analogy is not meant to be taken in literal all or nothing terms. It is an analogy of a certain harmful direction that any society can move in through a flow of false propaganada, that's all, and these things happen by degrees. They happen a bit at a time. And they don't necessarily happen exactly the same way as they did in some other historical case, because every situation is unique to its own time and circumstances.


27 Aug 09 - 07:54 AM (#2709735)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean

Little Hawk, your analogy of a monkey in a cage is right on and more and more I find myself in agreement with CarolC. I also understand how a propaganda program can warp peoples minds. International borders are but artificial barriers to isolate people of the world. One reason that the monkey accepts and even welcomes the cage is a belief that the bars protect him from those on the outside. 911 scared the monkey into demanding an even stronger cage. Patriotism and religion have used similar tactics throughout the ages to control the populace, so brainwashing goes back for eons.
However, we are surely more intelligent than monkeys, but often I wonder........?


27 Aug 09 - 09:30 AM (#2709794)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

The other thing they appeal to is peoples' egos. That's a big part of it and is the reason people in this country are so attached to the idea that we have the best everything and are the best everything in the world. I would say that ego is probably even more powerful of a lever than greed or selfishness, and equally powerful as fear.

We may be more intelligent than monkeys, but we still have our little reptilian brain buried inside of the rest of our brain. The reptilian brain has the ability to override the more sophisticated brain in quite a lot of people, apparently, especially when our fears and our egos are being targeted. And it helps to start the brainwashing when we are very young. That way, people have no frame of reference other than that created by the brainwashing, so they don't even know that there are other possible ways of seeing things. All they know is what they've been brainwashed to think.


27 Aug 09 - 11:21 AM (#2709883)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

I just ran onto this article from the New York Times: (I added the bold type)


"Japan has about the lowest per capita health care costs among the advanced nations of the world, and its population is the healthiest. That is largely due to lifestyle factors, such as low rates of obesity and violence, but the widespread availability of high-quality health care is also important. Everyone in Japan is covered by insurance for medical and dental care and drugs. People pay premiums proportional to their income to join the insurance pool determined by their place of work or residence. Insurers do not compete, and they all cover the same services and drugs for the same price, so the paperwork is minimal. Patients freely choose their providers, and doctors freely choose the procedures, tests and medications for their patients.

Reimbursement rates to doctors and hospitals are negotiated and set every two years. The fees are quite low, often one-third to one-half of prices in the United States. Relatively speaking, primary care is more profitable than highly specialized care, so Japanese doctors face different incentives than U.S. doctors. As a result, the Japanese are three times more likely than Americans to go to the doctor, but they receive many fewer surgical operations. "


27 Aug 09 - 11:25 AM (#2709886)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

To be fair, there are some problems with the Japanese system in some areas....but the basic model seems like one that should be studied for general approach.


27 Aug 09 - 11:35 AM (#2709892)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

"Japan has about the lowest per capita health care costs among the advanced nations of the world, and its population is the healthiest."

                And Japan has very strict immigration restrictions.


27 Aug 09 - 12:13 PM (#2709921)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

Yes...I know this. What is the relevance? Are we supposed to intuit that 'strict immigration restrictions' are required for good health?


27 Aug 09 - 12:39 PM (#2709930)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

I suppose the fact that so few Americans ever go abroad is a factor in enabling people to believe the USA is "the greatest country on Earth", superior in every way.

Except that if they really did believe that to be the case I rather suspect there wouldn't be this touchiness about the suggestion that it ain't always the case. The response to any such suggestion would be one of amusement rather than anger.


27 Aug 09 - 12:41 PM (#2709934)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

No, we don't think that way here. We really do believe we're the best, and we consider anger the appropriate response to any challenges to that belief. And we have guns to back it up.


27 Aug 09 - 12:43 PM (#2709937)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

No, this immigration fixation is just his personal hobbyhorse. Perhaps he should re-establish the Know Nothing Party.


27 Aug 09 - 01:36 PM (#2709961)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

"Somebody summed up ObamaCare very neatly. In an e-mail that was forwarded to me, it said: "Let me get this straight. We're going to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose head said he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that didn't read it but exempts them from abiding by it, signed by a President who smokes and is also exempted, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese and financed by a country that's nearly broke. What could possibly go wrong?" "

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/bprelutsky/2009/08/27/re-arranging-the-deck-chairs-on-the-titanic/


27 Aug 09 - 01:38 PM (#2709964)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Ok. I'm convinced. I'll continue to go without any access to health care and die an early death, but at least I won't be in any danger of anything going wrong with my health care. (!)


27 Aug 09 - 01:40 PM (#2709966)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

Health care reform is fine- BUT that does not mean that THIS health care reform is.

I'll wait for one that the people voting on it actually bother to read.


27 Aug 09 - 01:48 PM (#2709974)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Well I can't wait! Those of us who don't have any access to health care don't have the luxury of waiting! And neither do the many thousands who have insurance that refuses to pay for needed care!

So try being a little less shortsighted and selfish and see that we need this reform now!


27 Aug 09 - 01:51 PM (#2709976)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

And what, specifically, is in this bill that makes it a bad one? Please cite the actual portion of the bill where it appears.


27 Aug 09 - 01:55 PM (#2709981)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

The Japanese health care system sounds to me like about the best one I've heard of, Bill. It's clearly better than the Canadian one, because ours does not cover dental care nor does it cover the cost of many drugs.

The Cuban system is also extremely good...because everything is covered (treatment of all kinds, drugs, dental, and even veterinary care for pets!). The main problem the Cubans have with health care is that certain drugs and equipment are in short supply due to the American embargo, but they also have a very large number of well-trained doctors per capita in Cuba...so much so that they send Cuban doctors to many other countries where they are needed.

We could use some of them in Canada, I'm thinking. ;-) We have a shortage of family doctors in Ontario at present.


27 Aug 09 - 01:58 PM (#2709983)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Oh, Carol...you are dead right that ego could be the biggest problem of all in regards to American knee-jerk patriotism. I hadn't thought of it, but that's it, all right.

The old expression: "My country, right or wrong!" What it really means is: "My WAY...right or wrong!" It's all about "me" (the defensive patriot) in other words...


27 Aug 09 - 02:14 PM (#2709994)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

CarolC,

I would at least want the people voting FOR it to havce read it, which they state they have not.


The Germans in the 1930's NEEDED employment and a better life, but look what THEY got for not actually reading what they were buying into.

And why did you have no problem with Obama giving all those funds to AIG et al, if you don't think thay are doing a good job???


27 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM (#2710000)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Please provide some documentation for the assertion that the people who are voting for the bill have stated that they have not read it.

Please also provide some documentation for the assertion that I did not have any problem with Obama giving funds to AIG.

I consider the little side swipe about what the Germans did in the 1930s to be typical insurance industry propaganda that is parroted by selfish, unthinking people who really have no idea what they are talking about.

Every other industrialized country in the world has universal health care in one form or another. Only the US doesn't. It's working for the people in those other countries. We have more than ample evidence for this when we read what they have had to say right here in this thread. The real similarity that the US has with 1930s Germany in this context is the well developed propaganda machines of both countries that promote the agendas of powerful corporate entities that are contrary to the best interests of the general populations of both countries. In the case of Germany in the 1930s, those interests were the industrialists who persuaded the people of that country that fascism was the answer to their problems. In the case of the US those interests are the powerful insurance industry cabal that wants to be able to continue to make obscene amounts of money off the deaths and suffering of everyone else in this country.


27 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM (#2710004)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Right on, Carol.

The reason you and BB are arguing here, Carol, is that he's beating a completely different horse, as it were. His main reason for even being in this discussion is simply to criticize the Obama administration...not to oppose health care reform. He's here to attack Barack Obama and the Democrats, while you are here to expose a very poor American health care system and argue for creating a better one.

Therefore you are talking, basically, at cross purposes. ;-)

This happens a lot in political discussions.


27 Aug 09 - 02:48 PM (#2710016)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

This shouldn't be a political discussion. It should be a discussion about how to provide adequate health care to everyone in what is supposed to be the richest country in the world. That is not political. Unfortunately, some people are willing to allow many tens of thousands of people to die every year because of their selfish need to make it a political discussion. The ultimate irony of that is that many of those people call themselves "pro-life". Hah!


27 Aug 09 - 03:08 PM (#2710031)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

CNN has a page on their site about the Pro and Con "Ad Wars" now on television regarding health reform. Some of the ads being aired now are listed with who sponsors them and a description of the ad.
Click on "Balloon", "Mean for you", "After", "Drop it", etc. to read about each one.
Who's behind health care reform ad wars?


27 Aug 09 - 03:13 PM (#2710036)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

We really do believe we're the best, and we consider anger the appropriate response to any challenges to that belief

The term "inferiority complex" comes to mind.

"This shouldn't be a political discussion."   Well it should be, but it should be a political discussion between people with different ideas about how best to provide universal health care, which is what it would be in any other country. There are lots of different models - the British do it one way, the French another, the Germans, the Irish, teh Canadians - it's a long list. And there is room for arguing about the merits of doing it different ways.

But in any of those countries the suggestion of moving to a system in which millions of citizens were excluded from receiving the same helath care as other people wouldn't be the start of a politcal discussion. It'd just be seen as a sick joke, or an indication of poloyical and moral insanity.


27 Aug 09 - 03:15 PM (#2710039)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

We really do believe we're the best, and we consider anger the appropriate response to any challenges to that belief

The term "inferiority complex" comes to mind.
.........................................

"This shouldn't be a political discussion."   Well, it should be, but it should be a political discussion between people with different ideas about how best to provide universal health care, which is what it would be in any other country. There are lots of different models - the British do it one way, the French another, the Germans, the Irish, the Canadians - it's a long list. And there is room for arguing about the merits of doing it different ways.

But in any of those countries the suggestion of moving to a system in which millions of citizens were excluded from receiving the same health care as other people wouldn't be the start of a political discussion. It'd just be seen as a sick joke, or an indication of political and moral insanity.


27 Aug 09 - 03:19 PM (#2710044)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

The problem with that formulation is that those who oppose any changes whatever with the exception of making laws to give more money to the insurance companies (and such laws are currently being worked on in our Congress), are saying that they support health care reform and they say it's just a matter of working out the right plan, but those particular people really don't support any kind of health care reform at all, and they are just using the excuse that we have to wait for the right plan as a stalling tactic. They know if they can stall it long enough, they can effectively kill it entirely. If they succeed in doing that, they expect that they will be able to get a majority in the House and Senate in the next election in 2010 and use that majority to prevent the subject from being seriously considered in the future. They don't want change. They want the status quo only with more money for the insurance companies.


27 Aug 09 - 03:48 PM (#2710068)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

In other words, they are what most people (outside the USA anyway) would regard as politically and morally insane.


27 Aug 09 - 04:44 PM (#2710129)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I think that's a charitable way of putting it.


27 Aug 09 - 06:19 PM (#2710201)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

LOL! Yeah, that about sums it up. Politically and morally insane.

(but with the "best of intentions", no doubt.....!)


27 Aug 09 - 06:34 PM (#2710213)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

"oppose any changes whatever "

No-one I know of in that group- it is THESE specific unfunded, poory defined, and highly questionable changes that I object to.

Still waiting for Obama to keep his promise to be Bipartisen.

No idea why, when the Dems have control of the House , and the Senate, they cannot even get what they want.


27 Aug 09 - 07:16 PM (#2710229)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Specifically which aspects of the bills being considered are being characterized as unfunded, poory defined, and highly questionable? Let's have some specifics.

Obama has been totally bipartisan. Every time Republicans have made a specific objection, he has tried to bend over backwards to accommodate those objections, even at the expense of the wishes of the people who voted for him. But the Republicans have made it perfectly clear that they will not vote for any health care reform no matter what, so it's time for Obama and the Democrats in congress to start to serve the people who put them in office to make change.


27 Aug 09 - 07:28 PM (#2710238)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Obama has always shown a willingness to be bipartisan. He has encountered no such willingness on the part of his Republican foes...and probably precious little on the part of most of the people in his own party either.


27 Aug 09 - 07:36 PM (#2710245)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,beardedbruce

specifically- HOW is he funding it?

Not by "saving in Medicare, unless they have been ripping us off for the last two years of DEMOCRATIC control of the House and Seneate.



WHO is to be eligible for this health care- Obama has stated NOT illegal immigrants.

WHO will decide what medical procedures are covered? Who will ration the obviously limited benefits?


27 Aug 09 - 07:39 PM (#2710248)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

What would you like to see done, BB? For a reformed health care plan, I mean.

Would you like to see a system such as Canada or the UK or Japan has?


27 Aug 09 - 07:55 PM (#2710259)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

So what has stopped the Republican administrations which have been in power on the States for most of the past 50 years from introducing a system of universal health care which didn't involve the problems they claim to see with the present proposals?

Is there a way of doing it that some other country has developed which would be acceptable to the opponents? If there isn't, given the enormous variety of countries involved, and the wide range of options, that if they can't it does appear to prove that the aim is, as Carol claimed, to stop any reform which would make adequate health care available to all Americans.


27 Aug 09 - 08:18 PM (#2710267)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Their objective is to maximize corporate profits, reward their largest corporate sources of funding, and ensure that the rich elite in the USA have access to far better health care than the ordinary citizens do.


27 Aug 09 - 08:28 PM (#2710275)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

LH is correct. The Republican party line is that everything that they can privatize to for-profit businesses that the government now does should be turned over to private business. They worship the idol of capitalism. Ever since Ronnie Reagan said "government IS the problem", they act like our government is an enemy. As Grover Norquist said, he wants to shrink government "down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."


27 Aug 09 - 08:41 PM (#2710280)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Well, yes...but they're not shrinking the government. Far from it. They are extending and enlarging its draconian powers and activities, but they are doing so to a great extent through privatized entities. The government is becoming a submissive arm of a privately owned oligarchy of rich corporates. This actually results in higher government spending and a larger and more authoritarian government...but a reduction in public services.

Eisenhower warned that this could happen in his closing address to the nation. Kennedy, I think, attempted to prevent some of it from happening, and he paid with his life.


27 Aug 09 - 08:49 PM (#2710285)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

I have lots of questions CarolC. Please don't take them as a challenge. The Democratic leadership should have answered them. If you know some of the answers and I've missed them, please let me know.

Is there a public option, or is there isn't?
If there is a public option, is it negotiable and unessential or is it isn't?
If there is a public option, who will be allowed to opt in to it?
How many people is that estimated to be?
If there is a public option, will anyone, and if so who, will be forced into it by the government?
How many people is that estimated to be?
If there is a public option, will anyone, and if so who, will be forced into it by their employer?
How many people is that estimated to be?
What is the benefits package in the public option?
What is the estimated cost projection for the public option?
How will the estimated cost projection for the public option be funded?
How will the benefits of the public option be coordinated with Medicaid and other state and federal funding?
Why can't the public option be administered by existing administrative agencies?
If there is overlap in membership of the public option and existing public assistance (nearly half of all health care spending in the US, reportedly), why does the bulk of funding not come from that, rather than from "eliminating waste" in Medicare?
No funding for illegal immigrants, even children? How can that be possible? (See coordination of benefits with Medicaid and other public programs, above.)


27 Aug 09 - 09:26 PM (#2710309)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Ok. I'll see what I can find out.


27 Aug 09 - 09:42 PM (#2710323)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

To put it quite frankly, I see this as the stuff of a simple business plan that any American small business owner could put together in a couple of days. How many tens or thousands of millions went into an incomprehensible and incoherent agenda by people working at Obama's behest. We have been betrayed by incompetence. They didn't bend over backwards - They bent forward, and tied their shoes together. The only way I see out of this, speaking as a self-appointed rep of the Middle, is for them to put together a simple plan and ram it through. They will have to abandon the 8% solution, since they didn't even understand it if they could say the public option was not essential. Sebelius should be fired for incompetence for saying that (and telling Obama to say it.)

I hope that they do do that - a re-write with a simplified public option and then ram it through. Targeting about 20 million people or less and then working forward over the years.


27 Aug 09 - 10:27 PM (#2710333)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Melissa

Wouldn't a healthcare plan that covers all of us be like everybody being on Medicaid?
That sounds like a really good idea to me.

It seems like it ought to be easy enough to broaden medicaid to accept our layer of uninsured folks..maybe with an offer to the private ins companies to participate (which would keep them in the game..since there would still be money flying around and with the understanding that the goal is a National Plan, they'd either want to adapt or end up pushed out)
I'm starting to wonder if some of the hollering about National Health being a horrible idea is somehow rooted in the notions that have created a herd of shouting-haters who abhor anybody who 'rides the system'? I've known plenty of people who are downright hateful and closedminded about the whole idea of "lazy welfare bums..driving their fancy cars and having all those things Good, Working Folk can't afford"
I wonder if the resistance is sort of a gut response (because I don't see how it can be a brain response) to that?

If I was in a position to choose private vs medicaid (without having to choose between wealth/impoverishment) I wouldn't need any time at all to think it over.
Maybe it's not the same in all areas, but I've never gotten lesser care than with private ins..and I have no reason to worry that I might need something that the ins would deny.

After a few years without, I renewed yesterday.
I had been putting it off because the surgery I need wasn't available a few years ago and I couldn't stand the idea of dealing with the dehumanizing heifers at the office. I figured now that I've got a sudden and mysterious shoulder ailment making my life miserable, it was time to be tough and endure.
There were no mean heifers (wondering if the difference in treatment comes from a difference in govt?) and no question of whether my shoulder is an excluded, pre-existing condition.

AND..none of that has much to do with anything. It's just a big relief that the option is available to me and I truly don't understand why anyone would want to keep others from having the same security--unless they're afraid that if everyone can afford the same care, they might have one less way to look down their noses at the rest of us?

Long, pointless post..sorry.
It would be a good time for me to thank American taxpayers. The program you help fund will surely have me back playing my guitar before too long..and I truly appreciate it.


27 Aug 09 - 10:59 PM (#2710344)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

I watching tonight's Rachael Maddow show, and nodded at the part about Republicans 'asserting' that "If Ted was only here, we could have done something about Health Care".....then purely by accident, I was looking thru a drawer and found my small stack of old Realist magazines from the 60s. One cartoon jumped out at me, and I looked for any reference to the author on the WWW. LO! The entire series has been scanned & put online.


Please look at the cartoon at the upper left in this page from Issue #50 in mid-1964. It is still happening, but to a different Kennedy.


http://www.ep.tc/realist/50/11.html

Please look at the cartoon at the upper left in this page from Issue #50 in mid-1964. It is still happening, but to a different Kennedy.


http://www.ep.tc/realist/50/11.html



(Yes...you CAN look thru all the old Realist magazines and relive the 60s...if you can stand it...)


27 Aug 09 - 11:01 PM (#2710345)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

(I sent an email to Rachael...I thought it might interest her)


27 Aug 09 - 11:30 PM (#2710359)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Not medicaid. That program should be scrapped and everyone on it should be put on medicare. But if everyone who is now uninsured had access to medicare, I think the vast majority of those people (myself included) would jump at the opportunity.


27 Aug 09 - 11:38 PM (#2710365)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Melissa

are medicaid/medicare different by state?


27 Aug 09 - 11:40 PM (#2710366)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

It's been my vague notion that Medicaid comes through on big ticket items, but isn't very good at providing routine and wellness care. Even if that's wrong - it would certainly need to be modified drastically in benefits and operations to do the "public option" as most of us interpret the term. Yes Medicare-for-All-Who-Need-It could be more efficient. It needn't have the full range of benefits that seniors get. It just needs to provide basic care to those who aren't getting it and protect the working and middle classes from bankruptcy and it would soon be a very popular program.


27 Aug 09 - 11:41 PM (#2710367)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Melissa I think that Medicaid varies greatly by state.


27 Aug 09 - 11:44 PM (#2710368)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Does anyone think that given the choice--Private Insurance or Universal Health Care--that people would willingly choose to keep their private insurance? OK, even if ya have LOTSA money, do you really want to give an insurance company thousands a year when you could give $1000/year?


27 Aug 09 - 11:50 PM (#2710372)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Melissa

It must, heric.

After trying to finagle adequate care for my granny and seeing the level of specialists and treatments open to me, medicare doesn't look so hot from where I'm standing.

Whichever is best/most adequate, it just seems like it shouldn't be all that hard to broaden it to slowly start covering everyone..starting with the uninsured.


27 Aug 09 - 11:54 PM (#2710375)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Melissa

Yes, Peace..at the beginning of the process, I do think there would be some blustery ego-snorts who would stick with their "By God, I PAY my OWN way..I don't NEED the government meddling with MY life/health!" attitude.

I don't think it would last very long..


27 Aug 09 - 11:55 PM (#2710376)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Most doctors won't take medicaid patients because medicaid pays them so poorly. And medicaid doesn't cover a lot of things that people need. And it has a very big stigma attached to it for those who receive their medical care under it. Medicare is a much better program.


28 Aug 09 - 12:03 AM (#2710379)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Melissa

that's not my experience, Carol..but I have no reason to doubt you.
I guess I DO have a reason to be glad I live here and not there, though.

Some doctors in my state don't accept medicaid, but the majority seems to. With medicaid, they do get lower rates, but they're sure of getting paid and the rules aren't mysterious or changeable.

I'm sorry you don't have coverage. I wish you did.
If your medicare/medicaid comparisons are designed to teach me a lesson about how bad off I am, you're barking up the wrong tree. I am grateful for what I have and I'm practically giddy with relief at being able to go to a dr and get my current woes tended.


28 Aug 09 - 12:57 AM (#2710395)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I was on medicaid for about ten years while I was receiving SSI. My opinions about the program are based on my experiences with it. I would definitely prefer medicaid to not having anything at all, but my experience was that medicaid is not adequate care.


28 Aug 09 - 01:05 AM (#2710398)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I have asked the questions posted above here in this site that tracks Congress. They are subject to review by a moderator before they appear, so I haven't seen them up on the site yet. I don't know how long it will take them to appear or to be answered. Meanwhile, I will continue looking around. This page is specifically in reference to the House bill. I'll see what I can find out about the Senate bill...

http://www.govtrack.us/users/questions.xpd?topic=bill:h111-3200


28 Aug 09 - 01:31 AM (#2710403)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Melissa

my experience (so far) is that the part about signing up and jumping hoops was always shitawful (until this time) but I think I've gotten good, timely care with the program.

Maybe I'm a lucky fluke, but I've never been denied reasonable, fair treatment for anything I've taken to a doctor and other than a few places that don't accept medicaid, I've never been restricted on who I could see.

I sure hope something goes through soon so that you (and everybody else that needs it) can start getting coverage. I'm poor and there are a lot of things I do-without, but I can't imagine how ugly life would seem without the security of knowing there's medical care on the back burner in case I need it.


28 Aug 09 - 01:34 AM (#2710405)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Janie

Medicaid does vary considerably by state, particularly with regard to reimbursement amounts.

Medicare is good if one is retired and also has a good Medicare supplement policy, or if one is eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. It is not very good if it is the only insurer one has for coverage of outpatient medical or mental health services. The Medicare Part D prescription coverage is good for low income people. It is not at all adequate for lower middle through middle income retirees and disabled folks with high prescription costs, and who lose their coverage along about July or August of every year because of the bizarre provisions related to income.   

I haven't read through all of the nearly 1000 posts to this thread. Rather than risk redundancy, I will not share examples from my work as a social worker with low income individuals and families, some with Medicaid, some with Medicare, some with both, some with none, and some with insurance but who can not afford the co-pays. Nor will I share the story of my moderately middle class elderly parents' situation regarding the cost of medical care, or of my own deliberate decision to not seek treatment of my own medical issues because, even though I have catastrophic coverage through the private, non-profit agency for whom I work, since I can not afford the $5000/$10,000 deductible, in spite of having no debt whatsoever.

I listen to comments on NPR and read things in the news about proposals that would not allow insurance companies to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions. But if one can not afford the coverage, it really doesn't matter that an insurance company can't deny coverage. If one can not afford the deductibles and/or co-pays, it really doesn't matter, except when it comes to catastrophic medical events.


28 Aug 09 - 01:58 AM (#2710412)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Just as an example, one of the health problems I experience is a ruptured disk in my neck that presses on my spinal cord, which gives me a whole complex of problems beyond just the pain. Medicaid paid for the scan that found the problem, but it wouldn't pay for ongoing physical therapy or chiropractic sessions that could have helped to alleviate the problem. And there were other such deficiencies that I experienced with that program.


28 Aug 09 - 02:15 AM (#2710417)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Janie

Good example, Carol.


28 Aug 09 - 02:36 AM (#2710425)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Janie

Another example of disjointed care and coverage: I'm thinking of client with major medical problems and major mental health problems. When this person was homeless and single, client qualified for 'charity care' at no cost, or very, very minimal cost (co-pays so low that neither medical or mental health providers paid attention to if the co-pays were made or not.) Said client got married to a person who worked at a major medical center whose employees are State employees. Spouse grosses less than $35,000 per year, and has custody of 3 younger siblings which spouse must provide for. To add client to spouse's State insurance would cost $450 per month. At that salary, they can not afford to add client to insurance and still pay for basic needs, and could not afford co-pays if they could afford the the insurance premium. Because of client's spouse's income, client no longer qualifies for 'charity care.'   Because client and spouse take financial obligations seriously, client has withdrawn from medical treatment for the broken back, seizure disorder, hypertension, and chronic pain from broken back, and has reduced needed care for PTSD because of the increase in co-pay in sliding scale fee once client married.


28 Aug 09 - 11:32 AM (#2710694)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

"Yes...I know this. What is the relevance? Are we supposed to intuit that 'strict immigration restrictions' are required for good health?"

             Older citizens in Japan have every reason to believe that their children and grandchildren will by happy to support them in their old age. In America, older citizens have every reason to suspect that someone else's children and grandchildren will not want to support them in their old age.


28 Aug 09 - 11:35 AM (#2710703)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

It's not someone else's children and grandchildren you have to worry about, Rig. It's your government and corporations in bed together that you have to worry about.


28 Aug 09 - 12:20 PM (#2710746)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

Okay, let me put it this way. American Seniors have every reason to suspect that government and corporations will be able to convince young minority immigrants that it is not in their interest to support and pay for the healthcare of a bunch of old white people.

                In Japan, they would have to convince you native born citizens that it's not in their interest to support their grand parents and great grand parents. The government and corporations would have a much harder task.


28 Aug 09 - 01:15 PM (#2710790)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

So young immigrants will work on the assumption that they will never grow old themselves.Or need healthcare for thenmselves or their children in the menatime. And will have the magical power of outvoting people who aren't immigrants.

Slightly strained logic. But then, that's what you tend to get from people with that particular obsession...


28 Aug 09 - 01:39 PM (#2710819)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard a young Hispanic say, "I ain't gunna pay money out to support a bunch of old white people," I'd be a multi-millionaire.
             Some old white people believe them.


28 Aug 09 - 01:41 PM (#2710821)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

This is a nation of immigrants.

Who has the moral right to say, "That's enough! Raise the drawbridge!"

This matter has nothing to do with civilizing our health care system.

Don Firth


28 Aug 09 - 01:44 PM (#2710825)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Without immigrants working in providing services our NHS would be in serious trouble. And I suspect the same would be true of health services in the USA.


28 Aug 09 - 02:15 PM (#2710845)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

All of that stuff could possibly make some sort of sense in some possible alternate reality, but only if there were no old Hispanic people currently in the US who depend on medicare and social security. But since there's millions of old Hispanic people in the US who depend on those programs right now, it makes absolutely no sense whatever.


28 Aug 09 - 02:23 PM (#2710857)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

"Who has the moral right to say, "That's enough! Raise the drawbridge!"


When does 'moral' become superceded by 'practical'? With no limitations, there will come a time, metaphorically, when the drawbridge cannot BE raised because of the crowd standing on it, looking for room. We need to be fair & sensible, but we do need rules.

Same with health care, I'm sorry to say. If a cure for acne was discovered but it came from an endangered turtle and cost $10,000, 20,000,000 teenagers would demand treatment. There **WILL* be limitations and restriction in some aspects...access simply cannot be infinite.


28 Aug 09 - 02:50 PM (#2710891)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

"But since there's millions of old Hispanic people in the US who depend on those programs right now, it makes absolutely no sense whatever."

                   There ars some older Hispanics, no many. A major portion of the Hispanic population arrived since the disasterous Amnesty Bill of 1986, and there are tens-of-millions of those.


28 Aug 09 - 03:18 PM (#2710914)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Yeah, Rig. It's almost as terrifying as all those filthy Irish coming over in the mid-1800s, isn't it?

(satirical remark)


28 Aug 09 - 04:19 PM (#2710958)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

Really, it has nothing to do with the Irish. There are people with questions as to the motivations of so many older people who openly oppose public health care.
       I heard young Hispanics make the comment about not wanting to support a bunch of old white people over and over when I lived in California. If folks don't want to take that mind-set into consideration, it's their business.


28 Aug 09 - 04:33 PM (#2710974)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

You won't find very many older people who oppose public health care in Canada or Europe, Rig, but there is much immigration from the Third World to Canada and Europe. Immigration is a separate issue to health care.

The reason many older Americans oppose it is that they are ignorant of what it's like, fooled by corporate scare propaganda, and clinging to what they are already familiar with in fear of change. It's not uncommon for older people to fear change, and for younger people to support it. It's been happening that way ever since ancient Rome and Egypt, if not long before.


28 Aug 09 - 04:49 PM (#2710985)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

There are millions of old Hispanic people living in this country whose families have been living on the landmass that is currently called the United States of America for more than four hundred years.

I think someone is forgetting that the US took quite a lot of land from Spain upon which were living quite a few people who were of Hispanic ancestry. They've probably even been living in on the land that is now this country longer than the family of the person who is saying they don't exist.


28 Aug 09 - 05:19 PM (#2711011)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

Unless such person is a descendant of Kennewick Man, in which case the Hispanics are the squaters.


28 Aug 09 - 05:20 PM (#2711014)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Now there's one hell of a good point!

You look at all the land the USA grabbed from Mexico in the 1800s, including some of the best land Mexico had back then...boy, it's really something. Why did they grab it? Well, they had the military strength to, right? Ask the Indians about stuff like that.


28 Aug 09 - 05:28 PM (#2711025)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

Riginslinger - I presume the Native Americans said much the same about the immigrants. Were they right too?

John Barden


28 Aug 09 - 05:32 PM (#2711029)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

Of course, it's really a matter of numbers now, but what we call Native Americans today were once immigrants themselves. The descendants of Kennewick Man find that hard to forget.


28 Aug 09 - 05:54 PM (#2711050)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Well, certainly Hispanics weren't the first people here. But they're hardly newcomers, and they're not more recent than the other Europeans who showed up after Columbus.

By the way, that Kennewick man thing was thoroughly debunked, but that's a subject for another thread.


28 Aug 09 - 06:15 PM (#2711070)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Well, Eugene Robinson had an intreresting take on health care reform in this morning's op-ed... He said that when it comes down to it, liberal and conservative and everyone in between is somewhat resistant to change... Yeah, no gun pointed at their heads and it's business as usual, i.e. the status quo...

B~


28 Aug 09 - 06:22 PM (#2711080)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Here's a good talk with Howard Dean about health care reform. Definitely worth listening to, and lots of questions and answers after the talk...

http://fora.tv/2009/07/23/Howard_Deans_Prescription_for_Real_Healthcare_Reform#fullprogram


28 Aug 09 - 06:25 PM (#2711084)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Any "descendants of Kennewick Man" would presumably be Native Americans. Accepting for a moment that there might be credible evidence about his origins, he might have had some European ancestors, but it's hard to see how he could have had any European descendants.

This is silly drift anyway.
........................

But then it's a thread about some rather silly politicking by people who, whatever their public posturing might proclaim, pretty clearly have very little love for millions of their fellow Americans, and absolutely no confidence in the ability of their country to do something that all other developed countries have managed to do.


28 Aug 09 - 06:50 PM (#2711118)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

There are several pre-clovis finds. Kennewick Man was one of them, and there is nothing to debunk about it.


28 Aug 09 - 06:56 PM (#2711122)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

". . . rather silly politicking by people who, whatever their public posturing might proclaim, pretty clearly have very little love for millions of their fellow Americans, and absolutely no confidence in the ability of their country to do something that all other developed countries have managed to do."

Kevin, may I quote you to some of my fellow Americans? That's the situation in a nutshell. Well said!

Don Firth


28 Aug 09 - 07:02 PM (#2711128)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Well said indeed.


28 Aug 09 - 07:06 PM (#2711132)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Even so, none of their descendants would be likely to have lived in Europe.

It might be interesting if it were true that some of the ancestors of today's Native Americans might have come from Europe. But it wouldn't have any other significance, or given later immigrants from this side of the Atlantic any special birthright in the American continent.

Silly drift. Start a thread about it if you want to discuss it. It doesn't belong in here.

......................

What's the line of the oppositionists on proposals to stop insurance companies imposing "pre-existing conditions" exclusions, and so forth? Is that seen as "socialist" as well?


28 Aug 09 - 07:10 PM (#2711135)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Donuel

npr had a show tonight with the actual recordings of debates for national health care going back to 1912 to Teddy Roosevelt and up to the 50s 60s and 70s


28 Aug 09 - 07:17 PM (#2711144)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

1000 posts. Sad.


28 Aug 09 - 07:31 PM (#2711153)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

The jury is still out on Kennewick man.

I used to live in Kennewick, while I was working at a radio station in Pasco, across the Columbia River. I've heard two different reports as to where Kennewick man's bones were found:   one, that he was found in Columbia Park, just up the pike from the town of Kennewick by a couple of people (Will Thomas and David Deacy) attending the annual "Atomic Cup" hydroplane races on the Columbia River. Another, that he was found on the shores of the lake raised by McNary dam, downriver from Kennewick.

The bones now reside in the Burke Museum at the University of Washington, just a ten minute drive from where I now live in Seattle. Analysis is still under way and not many conclusions have been arrived at yet.

It is not certain where Kennewick man came from. Some 9,000 years ago, there were several waves of migrant hunters who followed game herds over ice bridges, and although many anthropologists and paleontologists think he might have been Caucasian, that is uncertain. And trying to claim that he was one of the "original" settlers and what we now consider to be Native Americans are the "immigrants" is hypothetical at best.

Kennewick man apparently died with an arrowhead in his body. So—who done it? Maybe someone who regarded himself as one of the original settlers and Kennewick man as an unwelcome immigrant.

I wouldn't try to base any kind of argument about immigrants, or who got here first, on Kennewick man.

Don Firth


28 Aug 09 - 07:34 PM (#2711158)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

It puzzles me that people fail to see that these things are all interconnected.

          But leaving that behind, the US got started with private health insurance during WWII because companies couldn't offer employee raises. So health insurance being tied to work was already in place when the European nations began to rebuild after the war.

            That being the case, health insurance evolved along different lines than it did in other parts of the developed world. So the US is faced with having to change something that has been ongoing for a number of decades. Other developed nations were able to start anew without pre-existing conditions.


28 Aug 09 - 08:09 PM (#2711180)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

NHS started in 1948. Not exactly "a couple of decades" after the war.


28 Aug 09 - 08:16 PM (#2711185)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)

Lets do the timewarp? US in the darkages, everyone else with the programme. No story..


28 Aug 09 - 09:02 PM (#2711218)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

The kind of negative campaigning that's going on now is nothing new. For a bit of perspective, here the full text of a poster from the 1830s, circulated by canal, steamboat, toll road and stagecoach interests (there's a woodcut at the top showing a child being crushed by a train while an unfortunate carriage is being flung off to othe side).

MOTHERS LOOK OUT FOR YOUR CHILDREN!

ARTISANS, MECHANICS, CITIZENS!

When you leave your family in health, must you be hurried home to mourn a
DREADFUL CASUALTY!
PHILADELPHIANS, your RIGHTS are being invaded! Regardless of your interests, or the LIVES
OF YOUR LITTLE ONES. THE CAMDEN AND AMBOY, with the assistance of other companies
Without a Charter, and in VIOLATION OF THE LAW, as decreed by your courts, are laying a

LOCOMOTIVE RAIL ROAD !

Through your most Beautiful Streets to the RUIN of your TRADE, annihilation of your RIGHTS and regard-
less of your PROSPERITY and COMFORT.          Will you permit this?    Or do you consent to be a

SUBURB OF NEW YORK ! !

Rails are now being laid on BROAD STREET to CONNECT the TRENTON RAIL ROAD with the WILMING-
TON and BALTIMORE ROAD, under the pretense of constructing a City Passenger Railway from the Navy
Yard to Fairmount ! ! This is done under the auspices of the CAMDEN AND AMBOY MONOPLOY !

RALLY PEOPLE in the Majesty of your Strength and forbid THIS

O U T R A G E !


28 Aug 09 - 09:23 PM (#2711242)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

WHOAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

By God, they really had a gift for OUTRAGE back then!!! And for absolute, total bullshit too.

Perhaps some progress has been made in the past 180 years... ;-D


29 Aug 09 - 01:34 AM (#2711329)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

The skeletal remains known as Shuka Kaa are older than those of Kennewick man and DNA testing has linked him to native people all the way from Alaska to Peru.

All of that aside, though, everyone benefits when all have access to good health care, and everyone pays when all of us don't have access to good health care. All other considerations are just distractions. People had been using horses and wagons for centuries prior to the 20th century and we changed that in a very short period of time, even though that had been an ongoing practice for much longer than a few decades. We can do it with regard to health care as well, especially considering the fact that there are quite a few working models that we can learn from that are already in existence. We don't have to reinvent the wheel.


29 Aug 09 - 09:23 AM (#2711461)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

"NHS started in 1948. Not exactly "a couple of decades" after the war."

               Thanks for the clarification, McGrath. Like I said, the European systems developed after the war. The American system started before the war was over and has been evolving for decades since that time.

               There have been skeletal remains found older than Shuka Kaa, they just haven't been able to extract DNA yet.


29 Aug 09 - 09:34 AM (#2711466)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

So we can say that Kennewick man, regardless of where in the world he originated (and the latest findings are that he is most closely related to the Ainu of Japan), is not indicative of anything at all at this time.


29 Aug 09 - 09:47 AM (#2711474)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

It doesn't matter anyway. All humanity are of one spirit, and they would be wise to act that way and get along with each other harmoniously and help one another.


29 Aug 09 - 10:00 AM (#2711483)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B

I know little about Kennewick Man apart from what I have read on the web; however, in a neolithic tomb on Orkney built around 3,000 BC of the remains of some 342 individuals (probably covering several generations) some were found to have abnormalities that would indicate a severe genetic disability in the population probably resulting in blindness and deafness etc.

Nevertheless these individuals lived to the same adult age as their contempories showing that even these (primitive, by our standards) ancestors had care and concern for those in their community not so fortunate as themselves.

Like many people who have posted here, as a European, I find it hard to comprehend why the most powerful and wealthy nation at this time can't or simply won't extend such universal care to its community.


29 Aug 09 - 10:11 AM (#2711487)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Because it is in bondage to huge monied interests that are privately owned, Emma, and whose actions are intended to benefit themselves, not the general public. It is a financial Oligarchy, intent on securing profits.


29 Aug 09 - 10:22 AM (#2711494)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Kennewick Man may deserve his own thread, buty he surely doesn't belong in this one.


29 Aug 09 - 10:34 AM (#2711506)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

His presence here is about as appropriate as Chongo Chimp's would be...


29 Aug 09 - 12:32 PM (#2711561)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

And Chongo Chimp can be found in many threads!

    "Like many people who have posted here, as a European, I find it hard to comprehend why the most powerful and wealthy nation at this time can't or simply won't extend such universal care to its community."

            Emma - As previously posted, the US is in a postition of needing to dismantle the existing system before it can errect a new one, or it has to do both at the same time.
                   And before it can extend universal care to its community, it has to define what its community is. That's how the discussion got off on anthropological issues in the first place.


29 Aug 09 - 01:28 PM (#2711579)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

The US can't really be said to have a health care "system". What it has is a lack of a system, so there is nothing to dismantle. What the US has is a health care market, which is something else entirely. So what needs to be done is to build a health care system, as other countries have done. We're in a much better situation for doing that than they were when they built theirs, since we can learn a lot from the systems that are being used in other countries, and their successes and failures. We can also learn from the successes and failures of other countries about the best way to approach the question of how to define our community.

The only reason we don't currently have a universal health care system is as noted above, we are in bondage to huge corporate interests that only care about money and don't care how many people have to die in order for them to maximize their profits and enrich their shareholders.


29 Aug 09 - 01:53 PM (#2711597)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

. . . and we certainly don't want a system like the UK's where cancer survival is abysmal. We're not going to let people die just to say "Me and my neighbors get lots of free shit!"


29 Aug 09 - 01:54 PM (#2711600)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

the US is in a position of needing to dismantle the existing system before it can errect a new one,

That just isn't true, and it isn't how things are done, unless you are Pol Pot or similar.

The system of health care that existed in Britain before 1948 wasn't "dismantled", it was either incorporated into the NHS, or it continued, and continues, alongside it.

A major reform to the medical insurance system in the USA, which would mean that everyone was covered, and that it would no longer be possible for private insurance companies to exclude people and to rip them off is perfectly achievable, and does not involve "dismantling the previous system".   

If it caused a shake out of the private insurance companies, all to the good, and could lead hopefully to a situation in which for-profit insurance companies were no longer a significant part of the scene. Private health insurance in the UK manages very healthily without such companies.

There would be no reason for any upheaval in the actual medical provision - family doctors would continue to be famiy doctors, hospitals would continue to be hospitals. Changes and improvements could come on stream as the need for them was recognised.

The system that emerged would be different from that in other countries, just as is true in these various countries. But there's no reason it shouldn't be a perfectly good system, providing quality affordable health care to all, just as all these other countries manage to do.


29 Aug 09 - 03:57 PM (#2711661)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

To get a grasp of what drives the American health care "system," this would be an hour well spent (aired last night):

CLICKY.

Don Firth


29 Aug 09 - 05:43 PM (#2711710)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

A friend/coworker of mine just told me our company health insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas) won't pay for her mammogram because they say she has a pre-existing condition, even though she has never had cancer.


29 Aug 09 - 05:52 PM (#2711717)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

In my opinion this is by far the best article that has appeared in any newspaper this month: Hit the Reset Button


29 Aug 09 - 05:54 PM (#2711719)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus

Heric-
The whole truth, please.
"Survival in the USA is high on a global scale but varies quite widely among individual states as well as between blacks and whites within the USA," he tells WebMD.
The highest survival rates were found in the U.S. for breast and prostate cancer, in Japan for colon and rectal cancers in men, and in France for colon and rectal cancers in women, Coleman's team reports.

In Canada and Australia, survival was also high for most cancers.
The highest survival rates were found in the U.S. for breast and prostate cancer, in Japan for colon and rectal cancers in men, and in France for colon and rectal cancers in women, Coleman's team reports.


29 Aug 09 - 06:04 PM (#2711730)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

. . and even more whole truth


29 Aug 09 - 06:09 PM (#2711733)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

(but let's not get sidetracked as we have been for a thousand posts now.) Single payer / NHS is NOT an option and never was. Public option and its possible betrayal is the main issue. Promised reform versus de facto incrementalism (which is what got us to where we are) is an issue.


29 Aug 09 - 06:16 PM (#2711739)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

I didn't even know that Wyden-Bennett was out there as a contender. Destruction of the employment based model is Reform. Public Option is Reform. They are not mutally exclusive - they are highly compatible.

(Employer mandates and insurer mandates are incrementalism. Don't let's be fooled by naming games.)


29 Aug 09 - 06:27 PM (#2711747)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Don't be sold an 80's Chrysler with photovoltaics glued to the roof and labeled as a "Green Car," because that is exactly the path we are currently on.


29 Aug 09 - 07:02 PM (#2711767)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Insurers don't want destruction of the employer based model because then they have a middleman with deep pockets, and aren't directly responsible to you. They also have the unfathomable protections of ERISA that allow them to mess with you with IMPUNITY (while you don't get to shop around) - That's how they deny care and cancel coverage even while you are with the same employer but expensively sick. There is an entire employee benfits industry which of course doesn't want this system wrecked.

The Democrats behind Obama are not being candid about this. They have already made the Devils' deal in an attempt to get support from those industries.

With a public option safety net for those people who run afoul of the employer-based coverage, those insurers would then be faced with recovery experts from the government to enforce their requirements, instead of leaving a sick person in financial crisis to do the fighting. That's even without destrying the employment-based status quo. If you destroy that as well with people having a myriad of DIRECT purchase options AND a public ption to choose from, we would have very serious reform.

Nobody is offering that to us. Yet?


29 Aug 09 - 07:20 PM (#2711776)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""Does anyone think that given the choice--Private Insurance or Universal Health Care--that people would willingly choose to keep their private insurance? OK, even if ya have LOTSA money, do you really want to give an insurance company thousands a year when you could give $1000/year?""

Still happens in the UK Bruce, and here it's the difference between paying private insurance, and paying nothing at all.

Of course, the private insurance still won't pay out on pre-existing, and long term, conditions, so even those who choose private care have to go to the NHS for those.

Don T.


29 Aug 09 - 07:57 PM (#2711798)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

Without a single payer system, this is what a reform template looks like.

If you really want reform, you would demand that your Representative tell Congress to start over, with this as the starting point. (It's flaws are all fix-able at a price which can be determined by the experts.)

The public option can be the fix for the Medicaid concerns raised in the article.


29 Aug 09 - 08:01 PM (#2711801)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""Other developed nations were able to start anew without pre-existing conditions.""

Rig, are you telling us you are stupid enough to believe the above nonsense?

Do you really believe that prior to 1948, the UK had NO sick citizens, no poor citizens, and NO moneygrabbing shysters?

Of course there were pre-existing issues which had to be dealt with on the road to civilised treatment for ALL.

We had people like you, who screamed because they might have to contribute a few pence of their taxes to help those less fortunate.

Where are they now?.....Well they are enjoying a generally healthy retirement, at an age they would not have reached pre NHS, and it is funded by the contributions of the next generation, many of whom are the dreaded "immigrants" who seem to inspire your kind to transports of righteous rage, if they need treatment.

The USA will never be fully civilised until its citizens become aware of, and responsive to, the needs of their countrymen whatever their financial status, or ethnic origin.

I can go anywhere in my country, and walk through a gate, and up the drive to the house, and knock at the door without the slightest possibility of being shot by the owner.

The whole of Britain is laced with a network of mostly unfenced footpaths across privately owned land, and provided no damage is caused to crops or livestock, and walkers stick to the paths, there is no objection from the owners.

We treat our people with a degree of respect and trust unknown in the USA. We don't kill them for trespassing, and we DON'T let them die for lack of the means to get treatment.

Maybe Rig, it's YOU that needs to re-assess YOUR hard wired prejudice, and think for yourself instead of swallowing what vested interests tell you.

Otherwise you are just another American mushroom, kept in the dark, and fed on bullshit.

Don T.


29 Aug 09 - 08:06 PM (#2711805)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Of course there is a difference in that BUPA is said to be a non-profit organisation (the initials stand for "British United Provident Association"), with any surplus ploughed back into services.


29 Aug 09 - 08:08 PM (#2711806)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Well, Don, I figure those folks have the money to do so. I don't begrudge that at all. I simply don't understand the American view that 'as long as I have mine the rest don't matter'. Makes me sick to my stomach.


29 Aug 09 - 09:34 PM (#2711843)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

"Rig, are you telling us you are stupid enough to believe the above nonsense?"

             Don, you've convinced me we need to do something about mental health in this country. You need treatment!


30 Aug 09 - 05:17 AM (#2711975)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Don is right - except that the minor highways network inlcudes not nly footpaths, but also bridleways, RUPPS and BOATS. A RUPP is a "Road Used as a Public Path" and a BOAT is a "Byway Open to AL Traffic". Regrettably RUPPS and BOATS, which may carry and do carry (respectively) vehicular rights of highway, have been under attack by ignorant presure groups and opportunist landowners for 50 years and users' rights are being diminished.

I am however waiting to see evidnece of heric's strange claim that non-US posters do not understand the US system.

What is there necessarily to understand apart from "pay or die"? In some cases it's "pay now": in some cases "pay later"; and there is some tinkering at the zero income end of the scale and the old age end of the scale.

The fact that the US system is universally feared can be gathered from the health insurance industry. ALL (as far as I know) non-US systems either exlude cover in the USA or insist on substantial extra premiums for those visiting the USA.

Ironically, parts of the political spectrum that want Americans to continue paying through the nose for or in case of illness, and to retain an "employer based" model (handy, that, for workforce mobility, not) are te same parts that attacked the Chrysler practices of paying for retirement plans and health plans as "too expensive". So how come private health and pensions are too dear for Chrysler but affordable for middle and lower Americans?


30 Aug 09 - 06:02 AM (#2711997)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""Don, you've convinced me we need to do something about mental health in this country. You need treatment!""

Thanks pal, that assessment coming from YOU, convinces me that I am sane.

If however I did need treatment, it wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg to get it. In fact it wouldn't cost me a penny.

HOW ABOUT YOU, MUSHROOM MAN?

Don T.


30 Aug 09 - 09:26 AM (#2712095)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

"If however I did need treatment... it wouldn't cost me a penny."
                     How would you know?


   The only point I was trying to make is, in order to reorganize the American healthcare system one would have to analyze the situation as it exists now. Otherwise, it seems to me, any efforts to "fix it," will most certainly fail.

   One of the first things that would have to be done would be to define who it is you intend to cover. I don't see anyway you would get any cooperation at all from the people who have insurance now until you at least did that.


30 Aug 09 - 09:44 AM (#2712105)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I don't know why anyone would think that the people who are involved with writing the various bills in the House and Senate haven't already examined the situation as it exists now, and aren't already working out who would be covered. This is precisely what they are and have been doing, so those are non-arguments.

I would add to the "pay or die" equation, also "pay and die", since insurance companies regularly deny needed care to people who have already paid them to be covered.


30 Aug 09 - 09:46 AM (#2712107)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Er - people who need treatment.


30 Aug 09 - 10:16 AM (#2712118)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

And that's one of the problems, Richard. There are people who need treatment who are illegaly living in the US now, and there are people who aren't living there yet, but would be if they thought all they had to do was to sneak in to get treatment. The American tax payer can't afford to provide health care for every sick person in the world.


30 Aug 09 - 10:57 AM (#2712140)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Canada has a universal health care system, Rig. We do not treat everyone in the world. That's because to get treatment here you must first present your government-issued health card, a standard piece of personal I.D. that every Canadian citizen carries, just like they carry their driver's license or their bank card. Health cards have not proven easy to counterfeit, as they are made in such a way as to prevent it being at all easy.

There is your solution, Rig. No problem at all, in fact.

In emergencies, however, like the aftermath of a car accident, health care would certainly be provided to a non-resident of this country, as it would simply be criminal not to do so. We are all human beings, after all. That should be kept in mind.


30 Aug 09 - 11:02 AM (#2712142)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: bobad

Just to add to LH's post, any non-resident can receive health care in Canada but they are billed for it.


30 Aug 09 - 11:09 AM (#2712144)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

Well, LH, so far it hasn't worked that way in the US, and that's what has people so nervous. In California, for instance, the state provided avenues for illegal aliens to receive public health care and it drove the state into insolvency. Americans are more prone to look at the California experience than the Canadian one.


30 Aug 09 - 11:35 AM (#2712155)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Maybe it hasn't worked that way so far in the USA, Rig, because the powers that be would actually like the situation to be inconsistent and complicated and unfair precisely for the purpose of making Americans angry and reactive and confused, and keeping them suspicious about the possibilities of bringing in a socialist universal health care system.

If so, their plan to block reform of a very bad system has succeeded rather well, hasn't it?

The Health Insurance companies and Big Pharma want you to fear change, so why wouldn't they do everything in their power to keep Americans ignorant of elegantly simple solutions to seemingly complex problems...problems that are to the insurance companies' advantage?


30 Aug 09 - 11:40 AM (#2712158)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Weren't there other reasons why California went into insolvency.?

Is there really some built-in incompetance in the American political system that makes it incapable of doing things that other countries can manage to do without great difficulty?


30 Aug 09 - 12:03 PM (#2712181)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

Yes, McGrath - capitalism and the ability to block budgets for single issue reasons.

As for Californian health, the solution would be simple. Integrate illegal aliens so that they pay tax. Voila! Funding!


30 Aug 09 - 12:31 PM (#2712199)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

A lot of illegal aliens do pay taxes already.

I think another good way to raise money for health care would be to legalize pot and regulate and tax it. That would also have the side benefit of reducing the cost of maintaining our prison system. But that would make too much sense.


30 Aug 09 - 12:44 PM (#2712207)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge

It would also enable regulating the strength


30 Aug 09 - 01:07 PM (#2712217)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B

may I quote from
'An Urgent Message From the League of American Voters'

"The message I have for you today is simple: we must stop Obama Care and we CANNOT let our guard down.

Just over two weeks ago the League of American Voters launched its national campaign to stop Obama Care.

In short order, our powerful ad featuring a respected medical doctor exposing the dangers of Obama Care have supporters of the Obama plan reeling.

We must continue this battle.

As I write this, the League has to firm up its TV ad buys for the next two weeks. We have already raised over $1.3 million. But we need to raise $5 million to kill off Obama Care.

P.S. The New York Times reported that liberal groups backing Obama Care are outspending groups like ours 3 to 1. Yet we are still winning the war of public opinion. This means when the public finds out the truth, they are siding with us. We just need to keep doing our work and getting our ads out"


- Oh well, good to know all that money is going somewhere really useful unlike medical treatment for the uninsured


30 Aug 09 - 01:39 PM (#2712237)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B

Fair and honest ads like the one sponsored by the conservative Americans For Prosperity Foundation which spotlighted a Canadian woman, Shona Holmes.

This year 'her story was presented as a cautionary tale of what Americans could expect if they were to adopt a publicly-funded health care system like the Canadian health care system.
The ad featuring Holmes was broadcast at a cost of $1.8 million in eight US states.

"We went 100 per cent into socialized medicine and we lost all our options," Holmes said recently of the Canadian system.

According to Holmes she was diagnosed with brain cancer, and mortgaged her home to pay $100,000 for treatment at the Mayo Clinic when she was told she would have to wait six months for treatment in Canada.
She is quoted as saying the Canadian health care system failed her.

In an ad that was broadcast on American television she said: "If I'd relied on my government, I'd be dead."

Ian Welsh, writing in the Huffington Post, reports that while the Mayo Clinic characterizes Holmes's treatment as a success they say she had "a Rathke's Cleft Cyst on her pituitary gland".
Welsh quoted the John Wayne Cancer Center: "Rathke's Cleft Cysts are not true tumors or neoplasms; instead they are benign cysts." Welsh characterized the US coverage that said the Canadian system failed her as "a lie".

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) interviewed neurosurgeons in Montreal and Toronto who described Holmes' claims as exaggerated and stated that her condition was a benign cyst which was not a medical emergency."

Wikipedia


30 Aug 09 - 01:40 PM (#2712238)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

There is a hungry tiger in the room, and Rig is complaining about a flea.

Don Firth


30 Aug 09 - 01:56 PM (#2712246)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

But the flea is foreign!!!


30 Aug 09 - 01:56 PM (#2712247)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Sounds like Shona Holmes was a paranoid hysteric without a serious medical problem at all who unnecessarily spent $100,000 in the USA to get treatment for a non-emergency...and she's now looking for someone to blame it on other than herself!

I have a friend who was diagnosed recently with a brain tumour (type 4 cancer). He went into hospital immediately. He got operated on after 1 week's observation. The operation was successful in removing the tumor and he has undergone several weeks of chemo and radiation following that. He is recovering well. Cost to him of all this treatment: zero dollars!

And he's not anyone important...he works as a small-time contractor renovating houses in the greater Toronto area.

But who did the USA propagandists find from Canada to present their case? Shona Holmes!

Well, you can find a few fools in any country who are willing to represent a false viewpoint that doesn't have a leg to stand on...specially if someone puts money in their hand to do so.


30 Aug 09 - 04:35 PM (#2712343)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

"There is a hungry tiger in the room, and Rig is complaining about a flea."

                That's it, Don. Deal with a tiger or deal with the plague.


30 Aug 09 - 05:13 PM (#2712376)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

Rig, if you don't deal with the tiger right away, you may not have a chance to deal with the plague, which may not even be there in the first place.

Every human being, no matter where they are from, deserves decent health care.

Don Firth


30 Aug 09 - 05:28 PM (#2712388)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""Well, LH, so far it hasn't worked that way in the US, and that's what has people so nervous. In California, for instance, the state provided avenues for illegal aliens to receive public health care and it drove the state into insolvency. Americans are more prone to look at the California experience than the Canadian one.""

And the evidence for that is........?

Or is it another Private Health Insurers' propaganda snowjob, of the kind so many Americans swallow without question?

Don T.


30 Aug 09 - 05:44 PM (#2712404)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Some people are fixated on illegal immigration, some are fixated on abortion, some are fixated on the "red scare" terms like socialism... it all gets in the way of common sense.


30 Aug 09 - 06:12 PM (#2712423)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

the state provided avenues for illegal aliens to receive public health care and it drove the state into insolvency

No, mismanagement, greed, tax cuts, Reaganomics and NeoCon dogma drove California into insolvency.

They'll never learn about elcting actors to positions of responsibility, it appears.


30 Aug 09 - 07:13 PM (#2712474)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Surely most people who get elected are actors.


30 Aug 09 - 07:20 PM (#2712480)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

And Tony Blair was one of the best! ;-)


30 Aug 09 - 07:50 PM (#2712501)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

Shona Holmes never HAD a life-threatening tumor.


30 Aug 09 - 09:53 PM (#2712589)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

My parents, like me, spent half their lives in the US and half in Canada. Now entitled to free care in either place, they choose Canada, even though some of the wait times, including multiple cancers, have made me a little edgy. There's not a big difference to support all of this drama on either side of the equation, and no reason to be calling Americans monkeys or mushrooms.


30 Aug 09 - 10:20 PM (#2712596)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

"Rig, if you don't deal with the tiger right away, you may not have a chance to deal with the plague, which may not even be there in the first place."

             You can shoot a tiger with a 375 H&H magnum. It'a a lot harder to hit a flea with a 375 H&H magnum.

             But I think it one stands back and analyzes the entire problem carefully, it's becoming more and more clear that the Obama administration would be having a much easier road on healthcare if they'd done something about immigration first. At least that way, the voters would know who was being covered, and who was not.


31 Aug 09 - 12:39 AM (#2712652)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

We know who's not being covered. People with pre-existing conditions, people who can't get insurance through their employer and who can't afford individual insurance, self-employed people who can't afford individual insurance, people whose insurance refuses to pay for needed care. And I am confident that the vast majority of those people, if not all of them, would like to get access to health care right now and deal with illegal immigration later.


31 Aug 09 - 05:08 AM (#2712727)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

Strange - I keep reading Illegal as Ill Eagle, which seems to fit.

John Barden


31 Aug 09 - 05:11 AM (#2712731)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

JtS was telling me why he thinks doctors in Canada are better than doctors in the US this morning. He said that doctors in the US are incentivized to want patients to keep coming back, so they don't have any real incentive to actually help patients get well.   He said they don't really do anything to help people get well because they get more money if people stay sick or unwell. He said that doctors in Canada work hard to help the patient get better because they want the patient to not keep coming back with the same problem.   This is based on his experiences with doctors in both countries.


31 Aug 09 - 12:01 PM (#2712954)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

There's probably something to that. Any profit-based medical service or system is indeed strongly motivated not to cure people of their ills, because it would lose customers if it did! That's why we have so many drugs that don't address the causes of illness...they merely suppress the symptoms. The cause remains, so does the illness, the symptoms return, and the customer keeps buying the drugs. That's a very lucrative setup. Why would a drug company want to tamper with such a cash cow by actually helping to cure the illness?


31 Aug 09 - 12:58 PM (#2713008)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Surely most people who get elected are actors.

Too true, McGrath, but not ordinarily Hollywood types.


31 Aug 09 - 01:20 PM (#2713027)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie

I find it difficult, if not downright impossible, to believe that US doctors knowingly keep their patients ill. The main reason, of course, is that most doctors are ethical, caring people who pride themselves on their skills. The second reason is that most doctors are almost overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people who want to see them.

Has anyone here made an appointment recently? If you are in actual misery, they will try to work you in earlier; otherwise, most likely you will wait at least a week and a half. Tell me I'm wrong.

Doctors just recently out of medical school and setting up practice may try to hang on to their ill patients - but I don't think so. Freshly made doctors tend to be idealistic.

Man. The world some of you people live in is not the world I want.


31 Aug 09 - 01:43 PM (#2713056)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

I would agree, Ebbie, that most doctors are quite ethical, and that they try to do the best for their patients. I think that the main problem is that the present day health system is geared more to hastily prescribing a variety of drugs which deal with suppressing or ameliorating symptoms than it is to dealing with each individual case in a more creative way...in terms of counseling patients as to how to adjust their lifestyle, their diet, their exercise routines, and a variety of other such factors that are influencing their health.

That is exacerbated by the fact that many patients themselves would rather just get a quick fix...pop a pill in their mouths...than actually address the serious lifestyle problems they have and alter their habitual ways of indulging themselves!

So the public is partly to blame itself for the present situation. I've heard of many doctors who complain that their patients are unwilling to follow all kinds of good advice they give them about diet, exercise, and lifestyle...but the patients just want to be given "something" to make the pain go away without any effort.

So the problem is not just with the doctors.

The doctors, however, are greatly under the influence of the drug companies, and they are sent regular bulletins encouraging them to prescribe the latest expensive drugs. The reason drug companies do that is to make money.

The doctors are in between a profit-driven drug system that has become a bit ridiculous, in my opinion, and an often lazy public with bad lifestyle habits who don't wish to change them, plus they are overloaded in many cases to the point where they don't have enough time to deal with each individual case as thoroughly as would be best. So what are they to do?

It's a multi-faceted problem, in other words.


31 Aug 09 - 01:59 PM (#2713071)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I've had doctors who basically told me that I would have to allow them to perform procedures I didn't want and that were medically optional or they would have a hard time justifying keeping me as a patient (for financial reasons). It's a fact that many doctors are more incentivized by their bottom line than by their patients' real needs. Whether or not the poster a couple of posts above likes living in such a world, it is, nevertheless, a reality for a lot of people whether they like it or not.


31 Aug 09 - 02:05 PM (#2713076)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

I can't recall ever having gone to a doctor who seemed more interested in his/her bottom line than in the care of his patient. I have been put through tests that didn't seem necessary to me, but I came away feeling that the doctor was doing the tests in order to protect himself from liability if some complaint were lodged later.


31 Aug 09 - 02:16 PM (#2713089)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I've had a lot of really crappy doctors in my lifetime, all the way from ones who cared more about their bottom line than their patients to ones who like to molest their female patients (I had two of those). There's good doctors and there's bad doctors.

But our way of delivering health care incentivizes making decisions that are not always in the best interests of patients, which makes it more difficult even for the good doctors to always do what is in their patients' best interests.


31 Aug 09 - 03:54 PM (#2713153)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Your concluding sentence sums up one of my main points, Carol.


31 Aug 09 - 04:49 PM (#2713210)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""I find it difficult, if not downright impossible, to believe that US doctors knowingly keep their patients ill. The main reason, of course, is that most doctors are ethical, caring people who pride themselves on their skills.""

Thank you, Ebbie, for saving me the trouble.

Doctors are most certainly NOT the problem, in any civilised country.

There are of course the few who batten on the vanity of those who cannot bear to accept the ageing process, but the vast majority want nothing more than to work themselves out of a job, by eradicating disease.

The PROBLEM lies in the activities of those venal, corrupt, men who control the supply and the price of what is needed for doctors to successfully treat and cure their patients.

I refer of course to the drug company executives, and the health insurance moguls.

Private insurers will always bleat about making huge losses, when what they REALLY mean is a small percentage reduction in their obscene profit margins.

We have them in the UK too, and I assure you that 60+ years of national insurance funded, free at the point of use, healthcare, has failed so far to bankrupt even the smallest of them.

Don T.


31 Aug 09 - 06:24 PM (#2713293)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

Michael Jackson's doctor comes to mind.


31 Aug 09 - 06:48 PM (#2713304)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

This video was posted earlier, but it's worth posting again. It shows how money and profits effect the decisions of doctors here in this country as well as the insurance providers...

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/08282009/watch.html


01 Sep 09 - 12:43 AM (#2713453)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Great video, Carol. I watched the whole thing.

This is why I go to a Naturopath. And you know what? I have found him to be considerably more efficient, more communicative, more helpful, more knowledgable, and more effective than ANY M.D. I have ever gone to.

I know I'm going to die anyway. In time. When I do, I don't want to die like a helpless guinea pig in a high tech lab somewhere in some hospital after many months of "heroic measures" to keep me miserably alive on machines and drugs. Not if I can possibly help it.


01 Sep 09 - 01:35 AM (#2713466)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

McGrath: you write in one of your August 28 posts, the importance of immigrants to the NHS in your country. Are you referring to legal, or illegal immigrants?

I think, Kevin, that you are the most anti-American I have ever encountered. Many, many, posters on this forum are critical of my country, but you, my friend, never seem to find anything positive to say about the United States. You're have a right to your opinion of course,but I wonder, have you ever spent much time in our country?

DougR


01 Sep 09 - 09:09 AM (#2713628)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

I think, Kevin, that you are the most anti-American I have ever encountered.

Ol'Douggie sure revels in his delusions, doesn't he?


01 Sep 09 - 09:30 AM (#2713641)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

So Doug:

You are perhaps the most smug, self-satisfied, misinformed and ignorant person I have ever encountered.

You have a right to your delusions, of course, how much time have you actually spent in Britain? Or, for that matter, any country other than the U.S. of A?


01 Sep 09 - 01:38 PM (#2713838)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

On the other hand, Doug, I find most of Kevin McGrath's critical comments about the United States--like them or not--to be spot on. Honest criticism isn't "anti-American." In fact, it can be very helpful, provided one doesn't get one's nose out of joint.

Sometimes the truth hurts. But turning your back on it is not a good route to improving things.

Don Firth


01 Sep 09 - 02:23 PM (#2713880)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Only time I've been to the States I had a great time. A lot of the people I most admire, both in folk music, and outside it are American.

And I would challenge whether I am in any way anti-American. There are lots of things about America I dislike, but I think those are generally the same things that millions of Americans dislike even more.

In particular, in the context of this thread, the failure to provide equal access for all to the kind of excellent health care which is available to those with adquate resources, or adequate insurance with insurance company who don't cheat their customers.

I'd like to see America become what it could be.


01 Sep 09 - 04:03 PM (#2713964)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Me too.

And as far as Canada goes, I'd like to see our present health care benefits extended to cover dental...a major expense for most people. Most places could use some improvements.


01 Sep 09 - 07:43 PM (#2714129)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""I'd like to see our present health care benefits extended to cover dental...a major expense for most people. Most places could use some improvements.""

I'd agree with that, with one change LH.

ALL places could use some improvements.

Having said that, you cannot IMPROVE what you don't actually HAVE.

USA please note. The rest of the civilised world is forty to sixty years ahead of you.

Don T.


02 Sep 09 - 01:43 AM (#2714308)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Agreed, Don.


02 Sep 09 - 03:48 PM (#2714857)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Neil D

Earlier in this thread some Canadians spoke glowingly of Tommy
Douglas, the man most responsible for bringing universal healthcare to Canada. Last night Rachel Maddow showed a commercial made by his
grandson(now living in the US) in support of healthcare reform, mentioning his grandfather. That grandson was Kiefer Sutherland.
Rachel also said that Tommy Douglas had been rated in a poll as the most popular Canadian of all time.


02 Sep 09 - 04:19 PM (#2714888)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

He was that very rare thing...a true social idealist and a politician who works for the genuine good of the entire public rather than on behalf of some big entrenched financial interests.

Such men are about as rare as hen's teeth in today's political order, but I think Dennis Kucinich is such a man.


02 Sep 09 - 08:16 PM (#2715053)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

An article you might like, Neil.


02 Sep 09 - 08:21 PM (#2715057)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

"As stated in the Canada Health Act, the federal government is committed to maintaining Canada's world-renowned health insurance system. This system is universally available to permanent residents, comprehensive in the services it covers, accessible without income barriers, portable within the country, and publicly funded."


03 Sep 09 - 12:12 AM (#2715163)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Neil D

Thanks for the link Bruce. He sounds like the kind of elected leader that we could use a lot more of. Of course he had to have the support of the people to get these things accomplished. There is something to be said for the theory that we, collectively if not individually, generally get the government we deserve.


03 Sep 09 - 05:32 AM (#2715244)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: freda underhill

We have a national free health care system in Australia, brought in by a very progressive government in 1975 - and it is GOOD.


03 Sep 09 - 06:30 AM (#2715269)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Glad to hear it, freda!


03 Sep 09 - 12:42 PM (#2715486)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Can any Australians verify whether or not the nutjob Glenn Beck was telling the truth when he said that a prime minister of Australia was forced to come to the US to receive important medical care that he couldn't get in Australia?


03 Sep 09 - 12:46 PM (#2715494)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

So called "Christian" Republicans at a town hall - heckle, boo and shout down a disable woman in a wheelchair trying to talk about health care and the disabled.
Wheelchair-Bound woman shouted down


03 Sep 09 - 03:44 PM (#2715637)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

And these people have the vote! How scary is that!??

We are DOOMED!!!

Don Firth

P. S. What was that Thomas Jefferson said about democracy depending on an "informed electorate?"


03 Sep 09 - 03:52 PM (#2715647)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

As demagogues throughout history have found, an informed electorate is the LAST thing you want! It would impede the usual processes of graft and corruption that are the hallmark of what they would term "good" government....ahem...(cough! cough!)

Can a well-orchestrated national mass media confuse, divide, delude, and control enough people to fool the general public into supporting something that's absolutely no good for them?

You bet it can. And it does. Over and over again. To be believed, a lie simply has to be repeated very frequently. It helps if the lie is the deliberate, truly blatant reverse of the actual truth. Bold and sweeping lies are far more easily believed than half-hearted ones.


03 Sep 09 - 04:13 PM (#2715668)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger

"And these people have the vote! How scary is that!?? We are DOOMED!!!"

                  Yes, we must devise a way of keeping Christians from voting.


03 Sep 09 - 04:16 PM (#2715671)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace

"Yes, we must devise a way of keeping Christians from voting."

Shouldn't be too difficult. It seems they've already learned how to stop thinking.


03 Sep 09 - 04:49 PM (#2715705)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

Rig, who said these people are all Christians? Or that this has anything to do with religion? That's making one hell of an assumption.

Not unlike assuming that illegal immigration will ipso facto scupper single payer national health care.

Where do you get this stuff?

Don Firth


03 Sep 09 - 05:10 PM (#2715724)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice

Because Republicans have considered themselves the Moral [Christian] Majority, I added the word Christian, because the behavior of heckling a disabled woman isn't anything like what I was taught regarding the teachings of Christ. I thought it was ironic that they would heckle a woman in a wheelchair and still consider themselves to be the party of "values" and "morality".

Alice


03 Sep 09 - 05:45 PM (#2715748)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

They probably figure she's a "socialist".


03 Sep 09 - 07:12 PM (#2715800)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Whoever had the responsibility for chairing that meeting was clearly pretty incompetant. Not an easy task, I accept, but it would appear that whoever it was wasn't even trying.

Or maybe it was a cunning plan. If I was running a media campaign to support reform, I think I'd just show that clip over and over, and rely on the fact that people would find the behaviour of those buffoons nauseating, and would feel disinclined to want to be on the same side as them.


03 Sep 09 - 09:48 PM (#2715875)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

I just now had a chance to see that video Alice posted of the crowd jeering and heckling the disabled woman at the Health Care Town Hall. There are no words...


03 Sep 09 - 10:17 PM (#2715887)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Maryrrf

Here's a link that was posted on Facebook. It's worth sharing. It was a site set up by some Republican group looking for horror stories about socialized medicine. Instead, the only horror stories they got were from the USA. http://collegerepublicans.org/node/4292


03 Sep 09 - 10:26 PM (#2715890)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

The people supporting Health Care Reform tell some interesting stories about their campaign. The lack of health insurance costs the lives of 18,000 AMericans a year--six times as many as died on 9/11. Worth going to bat for?


A


03 Sep 09 - 11:24 PM (#2715919)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

Here's a WHite House-generated Reality Check on key aspects of the Health Care Reform issues.

A


03 Sep 09 - 11:26 PM (#2715920)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

"This weekend, North Carolina Democrats became the latest in a series to endorse a public health insurance option:

Be it Further resolved, that the State Executive Committee of the North Carolina Democratic Party directs Party Chairman David Young to instruct Senator Kay Hagan, Representatives G.K. Butterfield NC-1, Bob Etheridge NC-2, David Price NC-4, Mike McIntyre NC-7, Larry Kissell NC-8, Heath Shuler NC-11, Mel Watt NC-12, and Brad Miller NC-13 that the North Carolina Democratic Party and its members – in the absence of Single-Payer as a choice — strongly support a robust Public Option as an alternative and expect their Congressional Representatives to make a robust Public Option mandatory; and

Be it Further resolved, that Chairman David Young conveys to Senator Hagan and our Democratic Congressional House Representatives that a bill without at least a Public Option is not acceptable to the Democratic Party of North Carolina and its members and urges our Congressional delegation to vote against any health care reform bill that does not contain a robust Public Option.

I think their message to Senator Hagan and their House delegation is clear.

A few weeks ago, a coalition of Montana Democratic elected officials passed a similar resolution and pushed Senator Max Baucus to represent their views:

U.S. Senator Max Baucus has finally broken his silence regarding his personal position on including a public option in health care reform legislation. Last Monday night (8/17), in an unprecedented conference call to Montana Democratic central committee chairs, the powerful leader of the Senate Finance Committee told his strongest supporters that he supported a public option.

While discussing the obstacles to getting a public option through the Senate, he assured his forty listeners, "I want a public option too!"



In the aftermath of the teleconference, a coalition of eighteen Montana counties in the Senator's home state decided to move forward with their plan to issue a Unified Statement accompanied by a joint press release. The statement sends a loud and clear message to their Senator: Any health care reform package coming out of his Senate Finance Committee must contain, at a minimum, a provision for a strong public option.



Calling themselves the Coalition of the United Montana Democratic Central Committees, the group's statement announces it has "established a position in support of a strong public option as an essential element in health care reform."

These resolutions are popping up all over the country, in blue states like California and in more traditionally "moderate" states like Montana, North Carolina, and Colorado.

The message is clear, and will only become clearer as more of these resolutions are passed.

77% of the American people want a public health insurance option. Elected officials in states all over the country are standing up and declaring their support. This is grassroots support the Senate can and should act on.

The Senate has to ignore the insider politics that say a public health insurance option isn't possible. The country wants this and needs this, and the overwhelming majority of the people are saying so over and over. The majority in the Senate should reflect the majority in the country."


04 Sep 09 - 12:17 AM (#2715926)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: KenM

Earlier in this thread, there was discussion of the legacy of Tommy Douglas.....one of my heroes!! One of his grandchildren, the daughter of Stephen Douglas, is Naomi Klein, frequent contributor to The Nation and a prolific progressive author. Apples don't fall far from the tree!!

I'm an ex-pat Canadian who has lived in the U.S. for 20 years. I have been blessed on two counts: 1) I have always worked for an employer who offered a good health insurance plan as part of the benefit package; and, 2) I have been blessed with good health where neither my physican or me personally has had to contest the denial of a treatment option and, when I have changed jobs, I have never had to worry about the dread of a "pre-existing condition."

Millions of Americans are not nearly as fortunate as me but I know full-well my own good fortune could turn on a dime. However, unlike most of my fellow country-men/women, I have an escape option.....I can always return to Canada! Of course, this scares the dickens out of my two adult-age sons who fear the specter of their aging father and step-mother coming home to live with them!! They have become obsessivly concerned about our health and strong supporters of single-payer health care in the U.S.

This country needs a strong and fearless leader who will take us where others have feared to tread in the area of health-care reform. I once thought this President was that leader but I'm having my doubts.

Franklin Roosevelt once entertained a group of progressive left-leaning people at the White House and having heard their ideas, told them, "I agree with everything you said, now go out and make me do those things!"

A unified progressive front on health care reform is needed in this country....my two sons up in Canada are counting on it!


04 Sep 09 - 12:43 AM (#2715935)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: KenM

Oops......right progressive party but I had my lineage wrong on Naomi Klein. She's married to the son of Stephen Lewis (not Douglas), who in turn is the son of David Lewis....along with Tommy Douglas, one of the founders of the New Democratic Party. Never mind, read her book, The Shock Doctrine.....it will scare the hell out of you!


04 Sep 09 - 06:08 AM (#2716007)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

""Here's a link that was posted on Facebook. It's worth sharing. It was a site set up by some Republican group looking for horror stories about socialized medicine. Instead, the only horror stories they got were from the USA. http://collegerepublicans.org/node/4292""

The phrase "shooting oneself in the foot" springs to mind.

Magic
Don T


04 Sep 09 - 09:34 AM (#2716095)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Greg F.

Now, if only they'd shoot themselves in the head.....


04 Sep 09 - 04:21 PM (#2716357)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

All these horror stories in the newspapers, and still nobody believes us Brits when we say it works. We Brits are all wrong, because the papers say we are. Don't believe us then, let your countrymen and women die because your 'system' looks after you (if you're in work that is). I know mine does its very best by us all, and I would NEVER change it for the 'lottery' that exists in the USA. That lottery being whether you have insurance or not. We poor Brits have insurance from the cradle to the grave. We pay to the government, and that then correctly looks after us. Whatever happend to Government of the people, by the people? Or is that too 'Liberal' for you?

John Barden


04 Sep 09 - 04:24 PM (#2716362)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

John:

WHile I applaud your sentiments, I am sure you are preaching to at least some of the choir!



A


04 Sep 09 - 05:14 PM (#2716406)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: The Barden of England

I agree Amos - but some of that choir need to feel the music, rather than just be told it's the best music there is by the music industry.
John Barden


04 Sep 09 - 05:31 PM (#2716418)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: heric

If President Obama offers up single payer on Wednesday -- THEN we'd hear a choir!


04 Sep 09 - 06:01 PM (#2716436)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

The essential thing is to get the best package of reforms that can in fact be got. There are more ways to skin a cat than one.

It will still be far short of what is needed, and I doubt if there are many people outside the USA, in any of the other countries with universal health care up and running for decades, who would willimgly change with what you are likely to come up with, at least initially. We certainly wouldn't in the UK - but the thing is, it will be far better than what you have now.

The old saying shouldn't be forgotten. "The best is enemy of the good".


04 Sep 09 - 07:48 PM (#2716483)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I'll consider it good if JtS and I can get access to good medical care that we can afford. If that doesn't happen, then whatever plan they come up with will suck. And I consider myself and expert on that.


04 Sep 09 - 09:09 PM (#2716517)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Donuel

I like your style Ken M

I will look for your contributions.


03 Mar 10 - 07:27 PM (#2855437)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: ichMael

Didn't see another thread on the healthcare debate. Last posting here was back in September. But the issue's back in the news:

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--Looking to push the "long and wrenching debate" over health care into its final stages, President Barack Obama asked lawmakers to schedule an up-or-down vote on overhaul legislation "in the next few weeks."

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100303-717240.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines

What I find interesting is how the far right and the far left agree on this issue. On the right, the LaRouche people say:

None other than Mr. Peter Orszag himself took to the pages of today's Financial Times to assure London financiers, that "once health-care reform is in place," Social Security is next on the Obama administration's chopping block. The pledge by President Obama's Office of Management and Budget Director is made in the concluding paragraph of a signed op-ed touting the Obama administration's fascist health-care reforms as "A Medical Plan to Boost America's Fiscal Health;" not to secure human health, but that of the financial system.

http://www.larouchepac.com/node/10681

On the left, the World Socialist Website says: ...a comment by budget director Peter Orszag last week in the Financial Times. In an opinion piece titled, "A plan to boost America's fiscal health," he wrote, "Reducing the number of tests, procedures and other medical costs that do not improve health presents an enormous opportunity." Orszag then elaborated how the Obama administration would be taking advantage of this "opportunity," through Medicare and Medicaid "efficiencies," with proposals to slash more than $600 billion from the programs. ... "Once health care reform is in place," the budget director wrote, "the US can then focus on other aspects of fiscal sustainability, including Social Security reform." ... antithetical to a system that would provide high-quality, affordable health care to the broad mass of the American people.

Lots of countries have good nationalized healthcare systems, but the one being proposed in America is a government/private industry partnership. Fascism. And it's being pushed because the private insurance industry is dying, same as the banking system was dying before the Bush/Obama Bailout/Stimulus giveaways. Insurance companies have invested heavily in the collapsing derivatives market, and their only hope now is for a government handout. That's no way to set up a compassionate healthcare system.

Or so it seems.

Wasn't there a furor about mammograms since last September? The government used to say women should begin getting them at age 40 (for decades we were told this), and now the government is saying to start at age 50? Yeah. I googled it. That was back in November:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=mammograms+at+50&aq=2&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=mammograms

And just last week, Obama revealed his total ignorance of insurance in general. He doesn't know auto liability coverage from full coverage:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=obama+acme+insurance&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=

So, if the president is so ignorant on the topic of insurance (he said he was a COLLEGE GRADUATE when he went through the liability thing), and if the government is already pushing a change that will lead to no telling how many deaths from breast cancer, can we trust ANYTHING that comes from Washington in the healthcare "debate?"


03 Mar 10 - 07:34 PM (#2855443)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: ichMael

Oops. Here's the WSWS link:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jun2009/pers-j23.shtml


03 Mar 10 - 07:45 PM (#2855452)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

ichMael, I don't see any evidence that Obama doesn't know auto liability coverage from full coverage. I only see evidence that he didn't know the difference between them back when he first got out of college. If you can't see the difference between those two things, I don't see any reason why any of us should take you seriously.


03 Mar 10 - 07:53 PM (#2855459)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: ichMael

But he was a COLLEGE GRADUATE on his way to becoming a LAW PROFESSOR. Shades of G.W. Bush.


03 Mar 10 - 07:54 PM (#2855460)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

So what? That doesn't say anything at all about him at this point in his life. That was decades ago.


03 Mar 10 - 08:05 PM (#2855466)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: ichMael

Doesn't change the fact that he blathered on the same level of assininity that Bush used to achieve. And he blathered on a topic he's been telling us he's expert on--insurance.

Obama is serving the same banking interests that Bush did. Insurance companies have in effect become banks since Glass-Steagall was repealed (FDR program to keep bankers off of Wall Street, repealed under Clinton). So, insurance companies started gambling on derivatives and the bad investments are about to come crashing down. Obama's proposing to give them TRILLIONS of taxpayer dollars, force 50 million uninsured Americans to buy insurance (choose between food for the kids or insurance), and provide diminished healthcare. All to bail out criminal banking/insurance companies.

Not faulting Obama any more than I would Bush--both would have done the same thing. It's not a partisan issue. Both men serve the same bankers. As people they're just corrupt to the core.


03 Mar 10 - 08:33 PM (#2855480)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Amos

He is not, and has not posed as an expert on insurance. I imagine he knows a LOT more about than Bush ever did, especially since it became an issue on a national level. What he is though, is an intelligent and curious President with a keen intellect, a category of existence Bush could not imagine, let alone aspire to.


A


03 Mar 10 - 08:51 PM (#2855496)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I don't disagree with some of your points, ichMael, but you can make those points successfully without misrepresenting things like you were doing there.


04 Mar 10 - 06:42 PM (#2856274)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

I pretty much see it that way too, Carol (as ichMael has said)...whichever group of politicians get elected, they seem to end up serving the very same consortium of huge banking/insurance company interests.

I would assume that it is for the obvious reason: the major banks fund the system that gets politicians elected, therefore the system does what the banks want it to no matter who gets elected, and the game goes on.

Given the fact that the game is really a gigantic pyramid scheme which enriches a very few while impoverishing the many, I see no good end in sight for it.

Abraham Lincoln warned against this happening. He was assassinated not too long after that. I think there could be a connection...not saying there had to be, by any means...but there could have been.

I honestly believe that if Obama tried to take on the banks and insurance companies and break their stranglehold on the political and financial agenda of his nation, that his life wouldn't be worth a plugged nickel, and I bet he knows it too. So, he's basically doing what he thinks he must in order to survive his term in office. That would be my guess.


04 Mar 10 - 07:09 PM (#2856300)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I don't disagree, LH. But I find that a lot of the time, when people spread misinformation (like for instance, saying that Obama doesn't understand car insurance), they are actually doing it in service to the corporatocracy (whether they realize it or not), rather than in opposition to it.


04 Mar 10 - 07:28 PM (#2856320)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Quite possibly. After all, to sew division, resentment, and bitter partisan rivalry can only work to better serve their primary purpose, to divide and conquer.


05 Mar 10 - 07:00 PM (#2857148)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

Not wishing to appear pedantic, or sceptical, LH, but if your "no difference whoever gets in" scenario is correct, who do they need to divide and conquer, and why?

Either way they win, so why draw attention?

If you are right, of course.

Don T.


05 Mar 10 - 07:35 PM (#2857173)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: ichMael

"When I was young, just got out of college, I had to buy auto insurance. I had a beat-up old car. And I won't name the name of the insurance company, but there was a company — let's call it Acme Insurance in Illinois. And I was paying my premiums every month. After about six months I got rear-ended and I called up Acme and said, I'd like to see if I can get my car repaired, and they laughed at me over the phone because really this was set up not to actually provide insurance; what it was set up was to meet the legal requirements. But it really wasn't serious insurance. Now, it's one thing if you've got an old beat-up car that you can't get fixed. It's another thing if your kid is sick, or you've got breast cancer."

I didn't shovel those words into his mouth. He's a verbal stumblebum when he's not scripted. OR, maybe he's not. Notice how he says liability insurance isn't "serious insurance." Hmmm. So, are the feds now going to mandate that we all carry FULL AUTO COVERAGE? Bottom line, you can't trust someone like that to make insurance decisions for you. The guy's threatening you with prison if you don't buy health insurance from one of the government-approved insurance companies. Fascism.


05 Mar 10 - 07:41 PM (#2857176)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

They divide and conquer for a very simple reason, Don. They need something for the public to focus on and more importantly, believe in.

Thus...the 2 party system, which works exactly like 2 football or baseball teams, bitter rivals who meet after a hard-fought season, and battle for the cup.

Both football teams work to keep the league in business, but they play against each other tooth and nail to win the cup. They will cheat, injure opposing players, do anything they can as long as they can win that cup. It doesn't matter much to the owners of the league which team wins as long as the public keeps attending the game (stayin interested and voting) and buying the tickets (paying their taxes).

But it's essential that the public be excited about the whole process...otherwise they wouldn't be willing to buy tickets and attend the game. Thus the public must be made to become "fans" of either one team or the other by every possible strategem...and that involves a lot of propaganda, raving on by talking heads, etc.

That results in a permanently divided public who end up detesting each other just as much as they detest the "visiting" team. For a Democrat, the Republicans are the "visiting team". For a Republican it's the other way around. They both regard the other as interlopers and enemies.

The rivalry never ceases, and it gets passed down in families from parents to the next generation, and the game goes on.

It's a divide-and-conquer game because the owners of the league always win and they keep the game going by keeping the public divided over the 2 teams.

The 2 teams both genuinely desire to win the cup, for a number of reasons...financial gain, glory, promotions, etc. So the frenzy of competition between them is quite real...but it doesn't change the fact that the league owns those 2 teams and controls the whole situation from off the field, back at head office.

The public doesn't focus on the league, because they don't see it. They focus on the teams. They vote for the teams. They expect the teams to solve their problems....but that's a pipedream. The 2 teams are not there to solve the public's problems, they are there to 1. Keep the public entertained and distracted. 2. WIN the game! and 3. Do what the league tells them they can do, because the league is their employer.

And who is the "league"? Well, the league is the biggest controlling financial entities of this society which means: the major banks and insurance companies and the biggest corporations. And what is their objective, both individually and collectively? To each make more money than they did last year and control more stuff than they did last year.

And so it goes.

The public must be kept mesmerized by the partisan game or they might start to notice what's really happening, in which case they might get truly angry at the league itself and stop believing in the 2 teams, and then anything could happen.

But as long as one half of the public can be kept angry at the other half of the public through team partisanship instead of ALL the public getting angry at the league itself, then the league remains pretty much unnoticed and the great game goes on.

It's smoke and mirrors, Don. Mostly just about money.

Now, before you say it....NO, I do not think there is no difference at all between the 2 parties. I think one can definitely be worse than the other at any given time, depending on a number of factors. But they both work for the league that employs them, not for the public.

It's vital to keep the public distracted by means of bought political parties and paid-for elections and the facade of what is assumed to be real democracy....and that is why you have the old divide-and-conquer scenario playing itself out over and over again.

It's a very, very clever system...in the sense of perpetuating itself and creating the illusion of free choice. It's an insane system in the sense of being unable to secure a prosperous, healthy, and viable future for the nation it rules over.


05 Mar 10 - 07:54 PM (#2857193)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

He's recollecting how he saw things when he was much younger. You really don't help your cause by investing yourself heavily in this mischaracterization of what he said.


05 Mar 10 - 08:03 PM (#2857202)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: ichMael

lol. What's to mischaracterize? Those are his words.

But personalities aside, Democrats wouldn't have put up with Bush tampering with Medicaire and Social Security, so what makes it okay for a know-nothing like Obama to do it? Like Little Hawk was talking about, it's a game and they keep rotating the teams. But I don't like Obama's team. I didn't like Bush's team. It's a rigged game.


05 Mar 10 - 08:16 PM (#2857210)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

It is a mischaracterization because you are framing his lack of understanding of auto insurance in the present tense. You may think we're to stupid to tell the difference, but we're not. And as someone who doesn't have any access to medical care myself, I support his efforts on my behalf. But the fact is, it's the Congress who will make the decisions about what happens with health care, and not Obama, so trying to frame it as if his knowledge or lack of knowledge of the insurance industry has any effect on what happens with health care reform is also very dishonest.


05 Mar 10 - 08:19 PM (#2857213)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Yesterday afternoon I started to feel a bit ill - pain in my right lower quadrant, and sweating. About eight o'clock it seemed to be getting worse, and I started worrying about possible appendicitis, so we phoned the out-of-hours health line. They set up an appointment for me to see a doctor at our local walk-in health centre at 8.45.

Driven up there by my son. Ten minutes wait and then I was seen by the very friendly and efficient doctor on duty, who gave me a check-over and did some tests - no, it wasn't appendiciries, it was an acute urinary infection. So he gave me a prescription for a strong antibiotic, which I took to the private chemist across the road - no payment for the prescription because I'm over 60 (if I'd had to pay it woudl have been £7.20). Woke up next mornibng right as rain.

That's "Nationalized Healthcare" for you.


06 Mar 10 - 12:35 AM (#2857329)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Yup, McGrath. Same basic thing in Canada. Genuine nationalized health care is the only sane way to go.

What is being proposed by the Obama administration doesn't appear to be anything like genuine nationalized health care to me...it appears to be a way of legally forcing people to buy private health insurance! (is that correct?) If so, it is just a big giveaway to the private health insurance industry...which suggests to me that they are the real architects of the bill, not Obama or the Democratic Party.

I suspect the Republicans are just mad because it isn't their bill. ;-) They're looking ahead to the midterm elections, and they want the Democrats to be seen to fail in passing major legislation.


06 Mar 10 - 12:46 AM (#2857334)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

It's definitely a big giveaway to the insurance industry. But until we fix what's wrong with our campaign and election process, it's probably the best we're going to get. And it's still a far sight better than what we have now. Although I still hold some hope that we might be able to get a public option, which would be bit less of a handout to the insurance companies.


06 Mar 10 - 12:58 AM (#2857335)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Well, any improvement is better than no improvement.


06 Mar 10 - 01:02 AM (#2857337)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

It is from my perspective, since I don't have any health insurance.


16 Mar 10 - 10:05 PM (#2865718)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: ichMael

Michael Moore agrees with Dennis Kucinich that Obama's Deathcare is bad, bad, bad:

"If I drove up an old AMC Pacer here tonight and said 'here, Larry, I'm giving you a free car,' I don't think you'd say 'get the hell, get that out of here.' I think you'd say 'well, that's nice, Mike' and maybe you've got a sixteen-year-old you'd give it to."

"So that's what this bill is," Moore continues. "It's the AMC Pacer. It runs. But it really doesn't take care of the main problem which is the profit motive will still dictate everything. The insurance companies will still be in charge...."

http://rawstory.com/2010/03/michael-moore-rep-kucinich-one-vote-435-standing-300-million-sad-that/


16 Mar 10 - 10:07 PM (#2865721)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Michael Moore has access to health care, as does Dennis Kucinich. They can afford to wait.


16 Mar 10 - 10:19 PM (#2865724)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: ichMael

From what Obama's offering, we'll ALL have to wait. Pre-existing conditions aren't covered for four years.


16 Mar 10 - 10:29 PM (#2865730)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Four years is better than 11, in my case, and 13 in the case of my husband, which is how long we will have to wait to get access to health care if the bill doesn't pass - if we live that long, which is doubtful without access to health care.


16 Mar 10 - 10:35 PM (#2865734)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: ichMael

If you mean Medicaire, that stuff will be GONE if this passes. That's a competing system and won't be allowed.


16 Mar 10 - 11:03 PM (#2865749)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

I don't agree with that at all. But even if it were gone, we would at least have some insurance, which we don't have now.


16 Mar 10 - 11:53 PM (#2865763)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: ichMael

No, Medicare will be eliminated. No need for it anymore once Obamacare kicks in.

Insurance companies have become banks. This is just some more of the Bush/Obama giveaway to banks. But this is an especially big one. The healthcare industry in the U.S. accounts for about 1/6 of our economy, when it's all totaled up. And Obama wants to give that to the big insurance companies. That's more money than the entire GNP of the next largest financial power after the U.S. This is a continuance of the looting of the U.S. Treasury and the middle class in America. And you will end up having less coverage under this plan than you would under Medicaire. There is nothing good about this plan unless you work for an insurance company.

I need to do a search for "eugenics" and see if that's been addressed here. The stuff's called Deathcare for a reason.


17 Mar 10 - 12:23 AM (#2865772)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

What we have now is deathcare, ichMael. 45,000 people die each year because of lack of access to health care, and that number is going to drastically rise in the coming years if we don't get this bill passed, because more and more people are going to lose the coverage they have now.


17 Mar 10 - 12:44 AM (#2865776)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Janie

According to CNN, 3 Democratic House members from North Carolina have indicated they will vote a firm NO. Very concerning to me. The Representative from my District, David Price, will vote for the bill. I am wondering if there is any possible benefit to me contacting representatives outside of my district to urge them to vote For.

The bill is not good. But it inches us in the proper direction. As it is implemented, our citizenry will see that the sky is not falling. If it fails, it will be a huge step back.


17 Mar 10 - 01:33 AM (#2865782)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

McIntyre is useless. I hope we get a viable candidate to oppose him in his next primary. I've been calling him, but in light of the kinds of ads he was airing in the run-up to the vote on the house bill, I don't hold out much hope. I don't think his office will take anyone who isn't in his district very seriously, though, because last time I called, they asked for my name and address.


22 Mar 10 - 12:32 AM (#2869037)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

We shall see now, won't we! Yes! They did it!! The day when Dems grew a backbone, again!


22 Mar 10 - 01:28 AM (#2869050)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

The Senate still has to vote on the reconciliation. So we're not quite there yet, but even if that doesn't pass, we still have the bill that was passed today.


22 Mar 10 - 03:00 AM (#2869064)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Joe Offer

Hooray! It's about time that bill passed! Now my kids will have insurance.

My wife said there was a dignified, capable black woman presiding over the proceedings in the House today. Anybody know who that would be?

-Joe-


22 Mar 10 - 03:52 AM (#2869077)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: VirginiaTam

Well I broke down and wept with rage (for Andie) and relief (for every one else) this morning.

Wonder how I am going to make it through work today. Everyone will be talking about it. I think Americans would be surprised how much this has been wished for by our UK cousins.


22 Mar 10 - 04:35 AM (#2869092)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: freda underhill

Congratulations. he's done it. now here's Michael Moore's open letter to Republicans.


22 Mar 10 - 08:45 AM (#2869186)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: freda underhill

V Tam, I came back in, read your post, and then found your thread about Andie and her life. I've just finished reading it, what a wonderful, vibrant girl, and such a great loss to you.

I hope you made it through the day ok.

all my best wishes

amalina


22 Mar 10 - 12:24 PM (#2869318)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk

Good letter by Michael Moore.


22 Mar 10 - 12:46 PM (#2869330)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

When I try to open the letter from Moore, it takes me to Moore's website, but it says, "The page you were looking for could not be found." Can someone post a little bit of the text so I can do a search on that?


22 Mar 10 - 12:46 PM (#2869332)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: CarolC

Never mind. Found it myself.


22 Mar 10 - 02:04 PM (#2869385)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing

Fuck, of course the Republicans are at it...ten States are going to challenge it as unconstitutional...without even seeing how it works..they do not give a damn about any of us.


22 Mar 10 - 04:14 PM (#2869482)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Looks as if the country is in for a long slobberknocker over not only health care reform but just basic sane policies... No matter how intellegent and sane the policies that the Dems come up with the Repubs are going to say "no"... But it's beyond just Congress here in that the Repubs have their *perfect storm* of a suprme court which will turn back one of the main parts of the health care reform bill in requiring people to participate... That alone will so cripple the system that the rest of the stuff will more than likely not make up for losing the "mandate"...

The progblem is even bigger than just losing the mandate portion because once the Radical-Roberts/Alito court turns down the mandate portion the Repubs will follow up with cases agaisnt Social Security, soemthing that the Repubs have hated for 7 decades... And they will use the mandate precidence to argue that people shouldn't be required to give the government money for their retirements... And once they rid the country of Social Security, it'll be Medicare and then the biggie: income tax!!!

This is not at all far fetched, folks...

B~

BTW, I enjoyed Michael Moore's letter... Too bad FOX has no interest in having him on their shows...


22 Mar 10 - 05:19 PM (#2869525)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu

Barden.... Canada here... I have been waiting for an appointment with an ENT since July 13, 2009. That is a little too conservative for me. Don't get me wrong... if it's an emergency, you get cared for reasonably quickly. However, if not, you may not get cared for until it's an emergency. It's not so cut and dried.... here.


22 Mar 10 - 06:38 PM (#2869563)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

"Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Perhaps the only sensible "Thought" Chairman Mao ever had, and it applies here.

Now the Democrats need to get behind it and shove...HARD!

This isn't what was required, and it doesn't come close to average, let alone perfect, but it is a start.

The trick is to watch the road ahead carefully, and avoid the inevitable ambushes by the thick and stupid.

Above all there needs to be a constant refutation of the crap spouted by self centred dickheads like Ichmael (Yecchmael?), and the media who would make more money selling their rags if people kept on dying.

Remember the vested interests of the Media..... "Good news is NO news"!

Don T.


22 Mar 10 - 07:27 PM (#2869604)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR

As is so often the case, Bobert, you are wrong. Michael Moore has been on Fox News Channel and I saw at least one interview with Bill O'Reilly, perhaps two. He and Bill had a lively and interesting debate. Of course, since you probably never watch Fox News you probably just weren't aware if it.

DougR


22 Mar 10 - 07:46 PM (#2869618)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D

Yep... I saw those... Michael Moore is known for WANTING to talk directly to the opposition. He relishes the opportunities..

(I DO see what's going on at Fox... I just take their stuff with 2-3 grains of salt.)


22 Mar 10 - 07:56 PM (#2869623)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Congratulations, with reservations,

to modify how Cliff Richard might sing it...


22 Mar 10 - 08:16 PM (#2869635)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Yo, Doug... First of all, I am very rarely wrong!!! No brag, just pure fact!!!

Second of all, great that FOX has Michael Moore on... FOX, I'll have to admit, is something I know very little about... Every time I have attempted to watch it I immediately see that it has nothing to do with reporting facts or news and everything to do with whipping Redneck Nation into a lather...

B~


22 Mar 10 - 08:43 PM (#2869652)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don Firth

Yeah, I think I may have seen at least one of those interviews. Whenever Michael Moore said anything that Bill O'Reilly didn't like (which was about every time he opened his mouth), O'Reilly responded with, "Shut up! Shut up! I don't want to hear it! Shut up!!!"

Example of O'Reilly in action:    CLICKY.

One tends not to hear much rational discussion on Fox News.

Don Firth


22 Mar 10 - 09:13 PM (#2869665)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: ichMael

Have any of you read this bill? I haven't looked at this latest version but isn't it 2,300+ pages? It probably encompasses all that the earlier version did, and more.

And in the earlier version, it was mentioned that payment would also be accepted in "other forms than cash." So this is the government/insurance mob going after your PROPERTY. When you go in for treatment and say you don't have money, they'll look at the tax records to see whether you rent or own.

This bill is a bailout for the bankrupt insurance industry. It's broke. The insurance companies invested their money in worthless derivatives, lost their money, and now they need a cash infusion. The government proposes to give it to them by strongarming taxpayers.

Fascism.


22 Mar 10 - 09:35 PM (#2869674)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Oh??? The insurance industry is bankrupt???

Something doesn't add up here, doesn't pass the smell test, doesn't cut the mustard, is void of critical thinking...

If the friggin' insurance companies were so bankrupt where did they come up with the hundreds of millions they spent on lobbiest and negative ads against this bill and...

...why didn't the Repubs get on board to save their buddies in the insurance industry...

This is some seriously flawed thinking here...

(But, Boberdz... This is the new 'n improved Republican lie... Obama is in bed with the insurance industry... Over the next couple of days the Repubs will offer all kinds of "liberal" ammendments in the reconciliation in the Senate... Heck, they might even propose single payer, who knows???? No matter, at the end of the day the Repubs will try anything... They will say that Obama bailed out the insurance industry because their *control group* studies have found that ignorant voters don't like the term "bailout"... Yeah, Boberdz... Just hang on there, son... Yer gonna love the Repubs actin' like commies fir a a weekend...)

Okay, bring them on... I am loving this... Repubs trying to distance themselves from reform because it was all just a socialist plot to help the insurance industry???

Beam me up, Scottie... It's getting too funny down here...

B~


22 Mar 10 - 09:43 PM (#2869678)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: ichMael

Bobert--the insurance companies WROTE this bill. The insurance companies BENEFIT from this bill. We will have a group of insurance companies that are government-approved. You will have to buy insurance from one of them or face prison time.

But on the bright side, we'll now see the states' Tenth Amendment Resolutions kick in around the U.S. The federal government can't FORCE you to buy health insurance. If they can do that, then next month they can force you to buy green Levis. I expect my state will nullify it.


22 Mar 10 - 10:17 PM (#2869688)
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert

Well, if the insurance companies wrote this bill then why did they spend so much effort trying to defeat it???

We got some serious fuzzy math goin' on here...

I mean, if the insurance companies wanted to quit the practices that this bill now makes illegeal why didn't they just do it???

If the insurance companies wanted to have to pay out "x percent" of premiums on health care why didn't they just do it???

Hey, it's a free country... They could have just done alot of this stuff and prevented all this...

I don't buy the argument that this is the insurance companies bill... Yeah, they got a few things, including 30,000,000 new customers... That ain't chump change... But they are now under the scruntiny of the feds... They didn't want that... Thay didn't wnat to have to spend "x percent" on health care... They don't ewant the feds in their hair... Now they have the feds in their hair... There's gonna be a lot more regs...

Nah, ichM-zer, me thinks that you ain't using critical thinking but listenin' to some talkin' points by folks who stand to lose and who want very much for all this to just go away... Lotta politics being played here but when you follow the money you usually find the truth... The insurance lobbiest have spent hundreds of million$$$$$ trying to stop what has just occured... Don't think there's too many campaign corks being popped in their circle tonight...

B~


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