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Government health care in America

 
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spellingmistax



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 618
Location: Asa took this ^ I stole it ^_^

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:24 pm    Post subject: Government health care in America Reply with quote

Tenshi wrote:
Today I had an interesting conversation about government health care in America. I appreciate people who have good points and interesting arguments, but unfortunately I haven't found that so far.


Then lets find you some.
I know very little about this, what is actually being proposed? What are the intelligent arguments for it? What are the intelligent arguments against it?
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The law is set up in such a way that health insurance companies can pretty much run over whatever and whoever they like. The government already interferes in health care; it just interferes on the side of the rich, for whom it's a very socialist system. ^_^;

A lot of the problem with the American healthcare service is you've got this sort of half and half child. On the one hand you have insurance companies and hospitals relatively free to stick the prices into the stratosphere. On the other hand the parts of your healthcare system that are more socialised have to fit into the economic, social, and legal, model which pertains to those systems - which is why it's so expensive to do socialised medicine at the moment.

Per capita the US actually spends much more than others and yet achieves far lower levels of social healthcare. A lot of the reason for this stems from lobying by insurance companies and that's not a problem that's just going to up and vanish.

Private healthcare depends upon treating you. Which is why it produces among the poorest qualities of care in the developed world. (Repeat of BMJ article) If they just help you then that's the end of the customer. If on the other hand they help you just enough, string out the diagnosis for a really long time, give you drugs that are just good enough to keep you ticking over - then they can make a lot more money off you. Which is of course what having a privatised system is all about.

It's actually better for a private company to employ mediocre doctors, who'll mess things up and give you a long course of drugs to treat the symptoms, than it is for them to employ excellent doctors who'll solve the thing.

The US healthcare system requires a massive overhaul regardless of whether you ultimately go public or continue to be pseudo-private.

I think even if you did fix it though someone would break it again. If you do it in the US you have to fix the government. Not make it perfect, all governments are going to be somewhat corrupt by their very nature, but get some of the big business out.

Socialised or privatised unless you fix the rot it's not going to work.
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Maeniel



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1081
Location: Next to Waldo

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something to consider, too, is that a huge amount of people who can't afford health insurance do one of two things.

1) They ignore early symptoms of diseases because they can't go to a primary health care provider. These symptoms become worse and worse until they are in the later stages of a sometimes fatal disease. Early prevention could have saved them, and they usually end up having to spend copious amounts of money on a late treatment.

2) They use the ER as their primary heath care provider. Basically this means that when you go to your physician for something to take care of a cold or the flu, they'll go to the ER because they can't afford anything else. This takes up valuable space from people who ACTUALLY need the ER (people with cardiac arrest, strokes, horribly maimed, etc.) and wastes taxpayer dollars treating these non-emergency symptoms or diseases.

Government health care wouldn't really infringe on private health care insurance, to my knowledge. What they're proposing is insurance that would basically treat life-threatening diseases--no more. If your quality of life or your actual life is threatened, they'll take care of it. It wouldn't treat something like the cold or flu, but it could help pay for the cost of the trip to the physician. Women who felt a lump in their breast wouldn't be afraid of going to the doctor because it would cost tons of money--they'd be afraid of the possible cancer and get treatment immediately. Private health care insurance would still treat people for everything they're treating now; they probably wouldn't lose customers because they have a much more extensive coverage than anything the government proposes or could pay for.

And there are more reasons for governmental health care--I can't think of them now, but I've talked a good, long time with my friends in health care.
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Tinalles
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008
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Location: Grand Forks

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a recent scandal in Colorado in which a couple's four-month-old infant was refused health insurance, on the grounds that he was too fat.(ref) If you look at the picture in that article, he's a big kid, but he doesn't look overweight or anything. And anyway, he's four months old. Good grief.

After it got widely publicized, the insurance company announced that they had found "flaw in [their] underwriting system" and would henceforth cover even chunky infants. Why yes, there is a flaw in that underwriting system -- which is that it's run by a bunch of soulless cretins who use human suffering to make money.

Profit-based health care is a nightmare. As Maeniel pointed out, it leads to people ignoring their illnesses until they become acute, untreatable crises.

It also has the effect of spreading disease. When you're sick -- say, with flu, or a nasty cold -- the responsible thing to do is stay home, both to care for yourself and to avoid spreading the sickness to your co-workers. But in some jobs, especially those on the lower end of the wage scale, missing work is a good way to get fired. And if you get fired, you lose your health insurance. And once you've lost your health insurance, it's really hard to get it back, because any new insurer is going to go through your record with a fine-tooth comb to find "pre-existing conditions" so that they don't have to insure you. Therefore, many workers have to go to work regardless of how sick they might be, which spreads the disease further.

Essentially, we have to remove the profit motive from health insurance. High profits and good care are mutually exclusive, and the health insurance industry has amply demonstrated that it will choose profits over people every time.

I am crossing my fingers (and signing petitions, and calling my senators) in hope of getting a health bill through with a strong public option. Meaning, to be precise, a government-run health plan with the following attributes:

1) Run on a non-profit basis. In the event that it actually turns a profit after expenses are met, any profits to be plowed into improvements to health infrastructure like new equipment etc, or maybe funding medical research.

2) Possessing authority to bargain with drug manufacturers and other medical suppliers for bulk discounts.

3) No nonsense about pre-existing conditions.

4) Available universally, in all markets, so that private insurers have to actually compete. (In most regions of the U.S. there is only 1 dominant health insurer, so the sacred market-based competition that Republicans jaw on about doesn't actually function.)

5) Enrollment in the program should be optional, so that we don't automatically put the entire health insurance out of a job.

I'd really prefer a single-payer system like Britain's or Canada's, but there's no way it would actually make it through Congress at this point in time. Too many conservative-leaning Democrats, and of course the Republicans are uniformly against health care reform of any kind, with the exception of Olympia Snowe.

I've heard talk that in order to actually get a bill with a strong public option through the Senate, they're thinking of making it possible for state legislatures to opt out of the system, meaning that the state could vote to prevent the public option from operating in that state.

I would favor such a compromise, because the chances are slim that more than 2 or 3 states would actually turn it down. State legislators have much smaller districts than national legislators, and tend to stay in closer touch with them. I, for one, would NOT want to be in the position of explaining to my constituents why I voted in favor of the health insurance companies, who are more or less universally reviled.

Lastly, there are comparatively few members of the general public who think that health care reform is a bad idea. Even the public option, the most controversial aspect of the bill, enjoys widespread support.

So - here's hoping that we can finally get a sane health care system started!
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Miho



Joined: 11 Apr 2008
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Location: Wouldn't you like to know.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinalles wrote:
There was a recent scandal in Colorado in which a couple's four-month-old infant was refused health insurance, on the grounds that he was too fat.(ref) If you look at the picture in that article, he's a big kid, but he doesn't look overweight or anything. And anyway, he's four months old. Good grief.



These have some language... they are comedy central.
Jon stewart talks about this such case and health care reform

Stephen colbert also talks about it, but not as much as jon... then goes on to talk about obesity in america.
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