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Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

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  • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

    Originally posted by Bfgrn View Post
    PLEASE stop chopping up my posts.

    You are ignoring the built in conflict in our system that works against patient care...it is called PROFIT, and when it comes before patients, it is IMMORAL!

    The U.S. already rations care. Rationing in U.S. health care is based on income: if you can afford care, you get it; if you can’t, you don’t. A recent study found that 45,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have health insurance. Many more skip treatments that their insurance company refuses to cover. That’s rationing. Other countries do not ration in this way.

    If there is this much rationing, why don’t we hear about it? And if other countries ration less, why do we hear about them? The answer is that their systems are publicly accountable, and ours is not. Problems with their health care systems are aired in public; ours are not. For example, in Canada, when waits for care emerged in the 1990s, Parliament hotly debated the causes and solutions. Most provinces have also established formal reporting systems on waiting lists, with wait times for each hospital posted on the Internet. This public attention has led to recent falls in waits there.

    In U.S. health care, no one is ultimately accountable for how the system works. No one takes full responsibility. Rationing in our system is carried out covertly through financial pressure, forcing millions of individuals to forgo care or to be shunted away by caregivers from services they can’t pay for.

    More
    First, you misdefine rationing. If you can't afford something, it's not rationing. We do not ration food. Some people can afford more food than others, but no one would say that the US rations food. Same goes for health care. Single payer systems actually ration care. They decide how much the government will purchase, which is significantly less than demand. then they divvy it up. That is rationing.

    As for political accountability, the US system is more accountable. When an insurance company denies a treatment, outrage usually follows. If that exact same treatment is denied by a government, then most people assume it must not have been medically necessary. As Ezra Klein says, the government can get away with saying "no" easier than private companies can. Which is how costs get lowered.

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

      Originally posted by adaher View Post

      In continental Europe, private competes with public just fine. Most people choose public, to be sure, but that's based on cost considerations. Those that can afford the private do so because it is superior.
      That is only partially true. Since you chose the german example above : What each insurance, wether public or private HAS to cover, is beeing negotiated between a health ministry-appointed ( but not run) expert panel and insurance providers. The quality of health care as such has to be the same. Private insurances may offer you extras like single- bed rooms in hospital, wellness trips and plastic surgeries, but they are not per se superior. Furthermore public insurances have more advantages for normal incomes than just the cost side. they HAVE to take you regardless of existing conditions ( that is why they are public), your fees are income-related, and can be adapted if that changes, and cover non-working family members such as children as well ( while a solely for-profit insurance tends to be less generous in that case).
      What we are witnessing in Germany is a migration from private towards public insurance these days. Since many people consider the advantages that "private" offers to be more cosmetic than substantial.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

        In Canada, it's the opposite. Private hospitals are popping up everywhere.

        http://www.brianday.ca/canada-private-clinics.html

        VANCOUVER - The Cambie Surgery Center, Canada's most prominent private hospital, may be considered a rogue enterprise.

        Accepting money from patients for operations they would otherwise receive free of charge in a public hospital is technically prohibited in this country, even in cases where patients would wait months or even years before receiving treatment.

        But no one is about to arrest Dr. Brian Day, who is president and medical director of the center, or any of the 120 doctors who work there. Public hospitals are sending him growing numbers of patients they are too busy to treat, and his center is advertising that patients do not have to wait to replace their aching knees.

        The country's publicly financed health insurance system — frequently described as the third rail of its political system and a core value of its national identity — is gradually breaking down. Private clinics are opening around the country by an estimated one a week, and private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine.

        Dr. Day, for instance, is planning to open more private hospitals, first in Toronto and Ottawa, then in Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. Ontario provincial officials are already threatening stiff fines. Dr. Day says he is eager to see them in court.

        "We've taken the position that the law is illegal," Dr. Day, 59, says. "This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years."

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

          Even if the public insurance proves superior, as may be the case in Germany, you need the private to keep the public honest. In Canada, the sudden spread of private health care is exposing to the citizenry just how bad the public system was doing. Which will make the public system better.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

            Originally posted by Bfgrn View Post
            Your poll is a cluster fuck.

            The question should be:

            Should the Government Provide Universal Health Care All Americans can afford?
            And I would still vote "no".

            The Government does not provide free food, free housing, free cars, free gasoline, or free hookers at the moment either. And I don't think it should provide those things either.

            Now I have no problem with some of the trappings of Socialism. Welfare, Section 8 Housing and the like can be good things and needed. But when you have people that have relied on them for years passing down their use to their children, the system is broken. And it is things like that which starts people thinking that things should be given away for free by the Government.

            And the system really is broken. A few years ago I was living in a semi-rural community in Alabama. And my average rent out there was $300 a month. And it was hardly a depressed area, because I never had a problem finding 2 jobs if I wanted them. Yet we still had 2 large Government Housing Complexes in this community of around 100,000. And it always blew my mind, because you could afford a 2 bedroom place on a McDonald's wage. And when I delivered pizzas to these complexes, almost every car in the parking lots was nicer then mine.

            And yes, I delivered there a lot. Some people actually had pizza 3-4 times a week, and some even tried to pay me with food stamps. This is why the system is broken. Far to many people now believe the Government owes them everything, and see no reason at all to work for what they want.

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

              Originally posted by adaher View Post
              Even if the public insurance proves superior, as may be the case in Germany, you need the private to keep the public honest. In Canada, the sudden spread of private health care is exposing to the citizenry just how bad the public system was doing. Which will make the public system better.

              I think it is less a case of beeing superior for one or the other than of a sober calculation on the part of the customers. People have about 200 non-profit ( public or semi-public) and more pro-profit funds and insurances to choose from (in Germany).
              And in that case we agree, it is the competition that also forces the public side to be more efficient.

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

                Originally posted by adaher View Post
                First, you misdefine rationing. If you can't afford something, it's not rationing. We do not ration food. Some people can afford more food than others, but no one would say that the US rations food. Same goes for health care. Single payer systems actually ration care. They decide how much the government will purchase, which is significantly less than demand. then they divvy it up. That is rationing.

                As for political accountability, the US system is more accountable. When an insurance company denies a treatment, outrage usually follows. If that exact same treatment is denied by a government, then most people assume it must not have been medically necessary. As Ezra Klein says, the government can get away with saying "no" easier than private companies can. Which is how costs get lowered.
                You know adaher, you're welcome to keep emoting, but when I provide facts, you provide dogma. The article I just provided is an example. It clearly explains WHY a public system has more transparency and accountability. And if people are unable to get treatment, you can fudge words and terms all you want...it IS rationing. You folks on the right keep forgetting that the seminal achievement of our founding fathers was government, because only government can be held accountable through the democratic process of elections, petitions and town hall meeting. Corporations are only accountable to their shareholders. The American people are STAKEholders in our society. This whole privatization of everything by the right flies in the face of our founding father's vision of America. As I PROVED to you before, our founding fathers were MUCH more controlling of corporations. And I have no doubt our founding fathers would shut down these Wall Street controlled insurance cartels immediately.

                I have offered you more than once the testimony of an insurance executive VP that spent 20 years as an insider. But you continue to refuse to listen to him. Why is that? Are you afraid it will destroy all your dogma and propaganda?

                Wendell Potter made the decision to resign as executive VP at CIGNA and become a whistle-blower after he drove to a free health care clinic in Virginia on his own time. He was stunned and appalled at what he witnessed.

                WENDELL POTTER: I borrowed my dad's car and drove up 50 miles up the road to Wise, Virginia. It was being held at a Wise County Fairground. I took my camera. I took some pictures. It was a very cloudy, misty day, it was raining that day, and I walked through the fairground gates. And I didn't know what to expect. I just assumed that it would be, you know, like a health-- booths set up and people just getting their blood pressure checked and things like that.

                But what I saw were doctors who were set up to provide care in animal stalls. Or they'd erected tents, to care for people. I mean, there was no privacy. In some cases-- and I've got some pictures of people being treated on gurneys, on rain-soaked pavement.

                And I saw people lined up, standing in line or sitting in these long, long lines, waiting to get care. People drove from South Carolina and Georgia and Kentucky, Tennessee-- all over the region, because they knew that this was being done. A lot of them heard about it from word of mouth.

                There could have been people and probably were people that I had grown up with. They could have been people who grew up at the house down the road, in the house down the road from me. And that made it real to me.

                BILL MOYERS: What did you think?

                WENDELL POTTER: It was absolutely stunning. It was like being hit by lightning. It was almost-- what country am I in? I just it just didn't seem to be a possibility that I was in the United States. It was like a lightning bolt had hit me.

                -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                Here is the testimony of a TV show producer who attended a free health care clinic in New Orleans:

                MSNBC
                updated 11/16/2009 7:39:43 PM ET

                New Orleans, La. — — It happened as I watched a 50-something woman walk out, after spending several hours being attended to by volunteer doctors. "She's decided against treatment. A reasonable decision under the circumstances," the doctor tells us as she heads for the next patient. The president of the board of the National Association of Free Health Clinics tells me why: "It's stage four breast cancer, her body is filled with tumors." I don't know when that woman last saw a doctor. But I do know that if she had health insurance, the odds she would have seen a doctor long ago are much higher, and her chances for an earlier diagnosis and treatment would have been far greater.

                After watching for hours as the patients moved through the clinic, it was hard to believe that I was in America.

                Eighty-three percent of the patients they see are employed, they are not accepting other government help on a large scale, not "welfare queens" as some would like to have us believe. They are tax-paying, good, upstanding citizens who are trying to make it and give their kids a better life just like you and me.

                Ninety percent of the patients who came through Saturday's clinic had two or more diagnoses.

                Eighty-two percent had a life-threatening condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or hypertension. They are victims of a system built with corporate profits at its center, which long ago forgot the moral imperative that should drive us to show compassion to our fellow men and women.

                Health reform is not about Democrats or Republicans or who can score political points for the next election, it's about people. It's about fairness and justice in a system that knows none. I'd defy even the most hardened capitalist-loving-conservative to do what I did on Saturday and continue to pretend that the system in place right now is working.

                -----------------------------------------------------------------------


                WENDELL POTTER: I went back to corporate headquarters. I was trying to process all this, and trying to figure out what I should do. I did tell many of them about the experience I had and the trip. I showed them some pictures I took while I was down there. But I didn't know exactly what I should do. You know, I had bills of my own. And it was hard to just figure out. How do I step away from this? What do I do? And this was one of those things that made me decide, "Okay, I can't do this. I can't keep-- I can't." One of the books I read as I was trying to make up my mind here was President Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage." And in the forward, Robert Kennedy said that one of the president's, one of his favorite quotes was a Dante quote that, "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, maintain a neutrality." And when I read that, I said, "Oh, jeez, I-- you know. I'm headed for that hottest place in hell, unless I say something."

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                • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

                  Interesting that you mentioned breast cancer in that article, given that Americans are far more likely to survive it than those living under other systems. That's not emoting, that's just a fact. Preventive care and diagnostics are the primary weaknesses of single-payer systems.

                  מה מכילות החדשות?


                  • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

                    Originally posted by adaher View Post
                    Interesting that you mentioned breast cancer in that article, given that Americans are far more likely to survive it than those living under other systems. That's not emoting, that's just a fact. Preventive care and diagnostics are the primary weaknesses of single-payer systems.
                    It is not without exceptions.

                    Cancer Survival Rates Vary by Country

                    "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"

                    Cancer Survival by Country


                    Coleman and colleagues drew on data from nearly 2 million cancer patients, ages 15 to 99, whose medical information was entered into 101 population-based cancer registries in 31 countries. The patients had been diagnosed with one of four cancers: breast, colon, rectum, or prostate cancers during the years 1990-1994. They were followed up to 1999, with the researchers comparing five-year survival rates.

                    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 lowest cancer survival rates for all four cancers were found in Algeria.

                    Cancer Survival: A Closer Look at the U.S.

                    Survival rates varied among the 16 states and six metropolitan areas included in the study.

                    Idaho had the best survival rates for rectal cancer in men and Seattle was highest for rectal cancer in women. Patients in Seattle also had the best survival rates for prostate cancer. For all other cancers studied, patients in Hawaii had the highest survival rates.

                    Patients in New York City had the lowest survival rates for all four cancers except rectal cancer in both men and women. For those, patients in Wyoming had the lowest survival rate.

                    A racial gap in survival was evident, with white patients more likely than blacks to survive, especially breast cancer. "The comparison is confirmed right across the USA, in all 16 states," Coleman says of the racial gap.

                    For the study, the researchers estimated relative survival, adjusting for such factors as wide differences in death rates from country to country and for age.

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                    • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

                      Free health care? No such thing last I looked, someone is going to pay. I don't want to give the government more money they can spend elsewhere under the pretense of healthcare expenses. We'd have to do some pretty substantial reform to how revenues can be budgeted and spent before we could trust the government with all of our health care funds.

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                      • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

                        Originally posted by JDJarvis View Post
                        Free health care? No such thing last I looked, someone is going to pay. I don't want to give the government more money they can spend elsewhere under the pretense of healthcare expenses. We'd have to do some pretty substantial reform to how revenues can be budgeted and spent before we could trust the government with all of our health care funds.
                        It not new, it has been done for 47 years extremely successfully.

                        American life expectancy at birth ranks 30th in the world. We remain 30th for the rest of our lives -- until we reach 65. Then, our rank rises until we reach 14th at 80. We can thank the remarkable access to health care provided by Medicare.

                        Medicare is a leader in fighting cost increases. Private insurance industry costs are rising nearly twice as fast as those of Medicare. And when it comes to administrative expenses, private insurance is 10 times higher than Medicare. In fact, if the single payer financing of Medicare were applied to citizens of all ages, we would save $350 billion annually, more than enough to provide comprehensive health care to every American.

                        Medicare is good for our seniors and good for our country. It provides health care far more affordably and efficiently than our private insurance industry. It saves our country hundreds of billions of dollars in administrative overhead. And if we expand Medicare to cover younger, healthier Americans, we would all get more care at less cost.

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                        • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

                          Do it on Medicare's current budget and I'll take that. If you have to increase spending, then it's false.

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                          • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

                            Originally posted by adaher View Post
                            Do it on Medicare's current budget and I'll take that. If you have to increase spending, then it's false.
                            Maybe you missed this part:

                            "if the single payer financing of Medicare were applied to citizens of all ages, we would save $350 billion annually, more than enough to provide comprehensive health care to every American."

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                            • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

                              Originally posted by Mushroom View Post
                              I got a real simple solution for this.

                              Want 100% free health care? Join the military.

                              Otherwise, pay for it like verybody else. But also agree to live a healthy lifestyle. Keeping body fat to a reasonable level, eating healthy, regular exercise, no excessive alcohol, no smoking, no drugs.

                              Do any of the bad things, and loose the free health care. Because I don't want to pay anything for people that choose to live a destructive lifestyle.

                              And I do not even support the idea of "free". However, I admit I do support a form of "pay as able" system. The more you make, the more you pay. That way the poor get it free (unless they live bad lifestyles), and as you make more money, you pay more for this benefit.
                              Doesnt that seem unfair to you, requiring some people to pay more for the same service?

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                              • Re: Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?

                                Originally posted by jviehe View Post
                                Doesnt that seem unfair to you, requiring some people to pay more for the same service?
                                Remember, I am against Socialized Medicine in the first place.

                                But if it is to be enacted, have it as a form of ability to pay. That way, the person making minimum wage pays nothing, the person making $50k a a year pays for part of their cost, and the person making $200k pays a lot more of his cost. This to me seems the most fair way in the world to do it.

                                And your claim it is not fair is rubbish. I pay a set amount for my housing, and my food and my car. But others pay more or less for these same items, depending on how much they want to and are able to pay for it.

                                Besides, I would think that Socialists would support this even more. After all, John Smith who flips burgers and Bill Gates are not both getting "free health care", because old Bill Gates will be paying quite a bit for what he uses, while John Smith pays nothing.

                                And if John Smith eventually gets promoted to being a manager and gets a health insurance provided by the company, then he no longer has to worry about the free system, he now has his own. It is simply a matter of paying your own way.

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