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a theorem about universal healthcare.

Discussion in 'Topics in Healthcare' started by bigman43, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. bigman43

    bigman43 Banned
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    personally, i think universal healthcare is bull****. :eek:

    here's why:

    If you have the ability to seek treatment for cheap(er), you probably will want to a lot more. And if healthcare will be cheaper/more accessible, its purely psychological that if you feel that you have some sort of sickness, you will just HAVE to go see the doctor. hence, there will be a lot more calls to the doctor's office.

    Ever work at a doctor's office? The # of forms doctors have to fill out for medicare/medicaid/workman's comp is RIDICULOUS. Now multiply that by EVERYONE because everyone will be under universal government healthcare.

    So...those who are actually sick and need care will not be able to get it. And doctors will be flooded with massive amounts of paperwork.

    the end result is healthcare becoming even more **** than it is now. (personally, i think its fantastic.)
     
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  3. JohnMadden

    JohnMadden Political Refugee

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    I wouldn't call this a "theorem" per se.

    Your argument is based on the notion that consumption of healthcare services will be highly elastic (price elasticity of demand) and thus consumers of healthcare services will "buy" more healthcare because of the lower cost per unit.

    However, the proponents of universal healthcare believe that increasing the utilization primary care services will actually generate cost savings via prevention by reducing the number of acute, tertiary care services that require hospitalizations.

    Although I have issues with universal coverage in a free market economy, if it only covered basic and specific preventive services that have been shown to reduce mortality and morbidity, it could be valuable.
     
  4. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this

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    lol OP, there'd actually be easier paperwork in a single payer universal healthcare system, because instead of having different billing codes and such for each insurance company (along with how you're allowed to bill it depending on company) there'd just be one system. So the paperwork is not the issue.

    And as Madden mentioned, some people think it'll yield preventative healthcare savings because people won't be afraid to go to their PCP early on, instead of dragging something out until it requires a complex surgery or something to fix it. On top of which, it's not like people enjoy going to the doctor's office...I mean, even if it was free most people tend to hate going to the doctor's, and there'd be quite the wait in most universal healthcare setups, so unless you're ridiculously bored it'd be highly unlikedly that you'd go to the doctor for no reason at all.

    Anyways, there's other problems with universal healthcare, but more or less your theorem is unbelievably wrong. I mean, they WANT people to go to the doctor more, because they have insurance...that's the whole friggin' point of universal healthcare...so that people wouldn't be afraid to go because they couldn't afford it, and then run to the ER and end up costing us money anyway (assuming they don't have a ton of assets, and quite frankly if you don't have insurance you're probably not super loaded).

    Go see it first-hand and you'll see that it's not perfect, but there's definitely some plusses to universal healthcare, and also some negatives. But they're not the stuff you've mentioned.
     
  5. Tired

    Tired Fading away

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    Yes, and the major plus the OP chose to ignore is access to care for those who currently cannot afford it. People show up in the ER for a lot of reasons, not all of them good. But one recurring theme I see time after time is folks who need a procedure or specialty care going to the ER because it's the only way the specialists will see them.

    Ironic that in a profession that is supposedly idealistic and altruistic, only the money issue comes to the forefront when we talk about universal health care. Also interesting is that the loudest people on this board deriding expanded health coverage are the premeds.
     
  6. ropeadope1983

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    Unfortunately, in many cases, you are wrong about the notion that most people hate to go see the doctor (especially if they don't have to pay much out of their own pockets for their healthcare costs...i.e. the elderly covered by medicare). Many people feel that they are entitled to certain services, even if they are not needed, if they do not have to pay substantially out of their own pockets. Some people enjoy the "rock star/movie star treatment" or, as you said, some people are lonely and don't have much else to do (which is a substantially growing population considering the elderly are projected to be the largest demographic with the coming of baby-boomer retirement). There are also people who are hypochondriacs and think that they must have AIDS if they sneeze more than 3 times in a day, leading them to see the doctor just about every week. I see it all the time...The age-old criticism of sociallized medicine is that you don't pay more or less based on the drain you put on the system, so there is no incentive to prevent waste within the system. I personally do not think it is right for people with real illnesses to be penalized for their troubles, but if socialized medicine is eventually implemented in this country I do think it would be helpful to employ a certain tax-break system (at the least) to create real financial incentives for people to not seek medical care for trivial issues. I also believe that those who are strongly opposed to socialized medicine should not be forced to be a part of it (i.e. if you want to be a part of it then you can pay the extra taxes and be covered by the government...but if you don't want to be part of it then you don't have to pay extra taxes but you need to purchase your own private insurance...which is something that would satisfy everyone since those who can afford to see the best doctors might consider it to be a worthwhile investment to pay a big chunk of change to fly out to John's Hopkins or the Mayo clinic if they feel that they would be getting what they want out of it).
     
  7. jojocola

    jojocola Senior Member

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    I don't know what these replies said but universal healthcare will increase the amount of people going to family practice physicians. Preventative procedures are likely to be seen earlier in universal healthcare, reducing the overall cost.
     
  8. etf

    etf
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    "that which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it."
    -aristotle
     
  9. kdburton

    kdburton Ulnar Deviant

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    This is a premed forum
     
  10. gtr202

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    Ropeadope, I simply must disagree with you. While there are some individuals who are hypochondriacs/malingerers, these patients are in the minority. In my experience I have encountered them infrequently, more commonly I see those who have gone too long without health care. Particularly among immigrant/first-gen families, the pattern is to wait for the problem to become unbearable, then try herbal/traditional remedies or seek out help from the community, and then go to an MD (or often not). I used to work in a clinic providing free screenings to those affected by 9/11 respiratory disease. We saw too many people living in unsanitary, overcrowded housing conditions, working dangerous jobs who ordinarily had no access to health care due to $$/immigration status/lack of transportation/non-English speaking, etc. For many people this appointment for a free, semi-anonymous tests is a major ordeal. Normally they are deterred from using health care services by above-mentioned structural factors. A cutthroat, economically-driven health care system will NOT work for these people. Honestly ropeadope and others, are you more concerned about the notion of efficiency or improving our society's standard of living?

    Pharmaceutical companies spend ~20% of their budget on PR and advertising. Insurance companies have huge overhead costs, mostly due to administrative costs. Why do we let these corporations (driven by profit-motive) dictate the form of the medical system? Can't we do better than this?
     
  11. alwaysaangel

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    Just because anyone who thinks the current state of US healthcare is "fantastic" has to either be an idiot or a troll - I'm calling troll on this one.

    I don't recommend you tell your interviewing doctors about how great the current state of the healthcare system is when you get to your interviews - I doubt it will go over well.
     
  12. gotmeds?

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    If you could get free dental care, would you go 20 times a year? Sure, some nutcases would get their teeth cleaned every month, but I'd still stick to twice a year. The less time I spend at a dentist's (or doctor's) office, the better.

    Actually, there would be less forms and much less overhead. Medicare actually has some of the lowest administrative costs of any health insurance out there. The only reason you have to fill out reams of paperwork is to detrmine if your insurance will cover you (i.e. if the insurance company can find a way to avoid paying your bill). A single-payer system would take care of that because everyone would be covered.

    What you're pretty much describing is the current system. If you have a chronic medical condition and no insurance, you're SOL.

    Yes, it's fantastic that we're the only industrialized country that doesn't have some form of universal care. It's fantastic that we spend almost twice as much on healthcare as Canada but have a higher infant mortlity rate. It's fantastic that some of our poorer sub-populations have infant mortality rates as high as in third-world countries while our neighbors to the north have no disparity in infant mortality rates related to poverty. It's fantastic that we have 47 million uninsured Americans. Fanfreakintastic!

    You should probably read up a little bit on healthcare before your med school interviews so you don't sound like a fool.
     
  13. ropeadope1983

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    I'm ok with the disagreement, but I think you misunderstand what I said. It sounds like many of the people who you claimed to have seen in your clinic are people who are deterred from seeking medical care for their own financial reasons or other barriers that prevent them from seeking care when they should. Universal healthcare will take away a lot of those barriers and you will open the floodgates for everyone and anyone to seek medical care for whatever reason (which is good for those people who you saw who are currently deterred from seeking medical care). Unfortunately as a result of this you will see that this system is not sustainable and will end up crippling the economy because of those who seek medical care for trivial reasons because they have a strong sense of entitlement. I have seen the potential havoc that will be created because I have worked with the elderly whose medical care costs are covered by medicare (you would not believe the sense of entitlement that I have seen in most of these people in the clinic...nothing against the elderly, but you can learn so much from the mindset created simply resulting from the fact that they get their medical costs covered by the government).

    I do want to improve our society's standard of living, but I am wise enough to understand that efficiency is an important part of the way we get there. If we enact a system that will enable people to splurge and seek medical care for every little reason they can think up, simply because they are entitled to it, we will see long lines to wait in for those who actually need the medical care and we will see a crippled economy that will eventually bankrupt the healthcare system just like social security is going bankrupt and just like our current medicare system is going bankrupt. That won't help society at all in the long run.
     
  14. eternalrage

    eternalrage Even Kal has bad days...

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    Those people currently deterred are the uninsured and the underinsured. We're talking well into the middle class here. That's alot of people.

    Instead of using a demographic under the current US system to estimate the economic impact, why don't we look at other countries that have universal healthcare already to see what effect the attitudes of the insured had on the economy?

    The amount of money saved from eliminating the middle man is more than enough to cover all of that. It's either join the rest of the industrialized countries in fairness and efficacy - WHO ranked the US far below the others in terms of overall health care - or continue to let more than 46 million Americans suffer, not to mention all the underinsured Americans as well.

    Universal health care alone is not the answer, but it's a good place to start.
     
  15. meehawl

    meehawl Junior Member

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    I think socialized roads are bull****. We should stop funding roads with public money, make them all private, and charge people serious tolls for usage. That way, only people who really want to drive will decide to drive. And roads will only be built between places where people actually want to drive. Finally, the roads will be a lot emptier because all the people who don't need to drive will stay away!
     
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  17. ropeadope1983

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    #1 The uninsured and underinsured US citizens is a grossly inflated figure because it includes those who are in this country illegally and are unable to obtain insurance due to federal regulations...Many others are uninsured or underinsured because they are irresponsible and don't want to factor the costs into their budget (they can otherwise afford it)...Also don't forget that a significant number of people do actually qualify for medicare/medicaid due to their poverty status...that leaves the rest who have jobs but simply cannot afford coverage, which still is a large number I agree. I just want to diffuse the alarmist element that is out there.

    #2 I could bring Canada into the picture to highlight how horrible it can be to have a loved one who dies while on a waiting list for a critical medical procedure because there is no disincentive for those who seek care for trivial matters. I could also talk about how horrible it is to wait for months to get an MRI to determine if you have cancer in an early enough stage to remove/treat (for many it is too late because the cancer spreads much quicker than the time it takes to wait for the MRI). There are many sources on the internet that I suggest you take a look at, specifically ones that state the average waiting period for medical procedures, the long-term effect that the system has on the economy (including the "brain-drain" of doctors moving from Canada to other countries such as the US), the quality of the care administered, and the rise of private medical clinics in Canada (currently they are popping up at a rate of ~2/week as a result of a recent key supreme court decision that took place in Canada stating that it is unconstitutional and unethical to deny patients the right to pay money out of their own pockets to seek medical care if they aren't getting it good enough or fast enough under the socialized system...this is foreboding the downfall of the current system they have in place up in Canada)

    #3 They say the same thing about getting rid of the middle man with regards to taxes (the IRS) if we would only implement a more simplified tax system that eliminates all these loopholes and such. The only problem is that when you radically alter a system that is currently in place you cannot avoid the distinct possibility that the system will fall through the floor and drag the economy into a depression. That is why nobody wants to touch universal healthcare (or the IRS for that matter). And, once again, the figures of uninsured are hugely overinflated...subtract at least 20 million from that figure to be fair to those who are here in this country legally. If you think that the WHO is perfect at assessing the quality of a country's healthcare system then you must think USNEWS is perfect at assessing the quality of US medical schools. And while we are at it, by making such a "fair" system for universal healthcare why don't we go ahead and make the tax system fair as well and make everyone pay the exact same percentage of their income to the IRS? That way everyone gets the same thing out of it and puts the same percentage into it. Sound good?

    I am warming up to the idea of a form of universal healthcare that can maintain a certain standard of necessary care, but I stop short of tolerating a system that doesn't allow people to opt out and buy better private coverage if they can afford it (what kind of a country would prevent someone from investing in something as important as their own health?). There are many other problems I have with the idea of universal healthcare regarding the corruption of government, but I won't get into that now.
     
  18. eternalrage

    eternalrage Even Kal has bad days...

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    Regardless of why they don't have insurance, they still don't have it, they still don't get the care. It's too difficult to get into why every person doesn't have it, even if they can afford it, easier to just to open the floodgates, at least then people aren't suffering, although they'd probably still be lazy (for those who don't have it out of sheer laziness).

    Ugh I don't want this to become a he-said she said thing but the waiting times for medical procedures is supposedly overestimated (much like your overestimation of uninsured/underinsured counterargument) by proponents of the universal healthcare system.

    Anyway, Canada aside, Japan, Germany, and Britain also have working systems, but of course required more than just universal healthcare, which I stated in my prior post is not the ultimate answer to this country's problems - it will take much more, but UHC is the starting point.

    Yeah but prolonging this current system just increases that possibility. The more time they spend NOT doing UHC, the more people add to tertiary medical costs, and the more the paper trail and third party companies add to the mess.

    Don't see why you have to cut out the ones that aren't here legally, not like their suffering is any less real.

    We're not talking about two countries that were ranked near each other, there is a huge difference between #1 (France, Universal coverage) and #37 (USA, some cokehead's Sunday night tripping). Nothing against University of Rochester, but I think most would agree that Harvard Med is going to be better. It's not perfect, but it will give you a macro-perspective on where they stand, and the US isn't doing too hot. But if you needed stats to realize this...

    Don't know too much about the tax system, but something about this analogy just seems funky. Money =/= suffering.

    I don't see what's wrong with allowing people to opt out either. "Boutique medicine" has such a negative connotation, but since we live in a very capitalistic society, it's only natural that options like this be allowed. Like I said, UHC isn't the end all be all of healthcare solutions, but it's a start.
     
  19. jojocola

    jojocola Senior Member

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    would it be a horrible idea to have primary care physician's as universal health, but specialists would be insured by medi-whatever?
     
  20. jojocola

    jojocola Senior Member

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    would it be a horrible idea to have primary care physician's as universal health, but specialists would be insured by medi-whatever?
     
  21. etf

    etf
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    wow, another opportunity within 5 days for me to quote warren buffet from this years annual report:

    "But sometimes the financial behavior of executives will also vary based on whose wallet is getting depleted. Here’s an illustrative tale from my days at Salomon. In the 1980s the company had a barber, Jimmy by name, who came in weekly to give free haircuts to the top brass. A manicurist was also on tap. Then, because of a cost-cutting drive, patrons were told to pay their own way. One top executive (not the CEO) who had previously visited Jimmy weekly went immediately to a once-every-three-weeks schedule."
     
  22. kdburton

    kdburton Ulnar Deviant

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    People in canada frequently come to the US for healtchare because although their healtchare is "universal," people have to wait in line for months before they can be seen about many health problems they have. Some provinces are now moving to a hybrid system in which people can pay for some of their healtchare expenses out-of-pocket (which was previously illegal) in order to get into specialty botiques that will treat them without having to wait in line. I'm not saying that there aren't benefits to Canada's healthcare system, but its definately not perfect. Furthermore, about 1/3 of the US's uninsured population is actually eligible for medicare/medicaid, but apparently don't use it at all. So approximately 10% (~30mill) of the population is uninsured and ineligible for federal aid. Thats really bad, but I don't think that a one-payer system will be the best idea to deal with it.
     
  23. Gut Shot

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    Katz SJ, Cardiff K, Pascali M, Barer ML, Evans RG. Phantoms in the snow: Canadians' use of health care services in the United States. Health Aff 21:19-31, 2002.

     
  24. kdburton

    kdburton Ulnar Deviant

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    they are small.. 1% of their population is consistently waiting to be treated in their hospitals/clinics. That doesn't mean that that many Canadians don't frequently come to the US for healthcare. I never said anything about relative to the entire population. I was just pointing on one of the negatives
     
  25. happy snake

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    Thanks meehawl. My thoughts exactly. Bigman43 should probably take a medical sociology class and understand the moral hazard argument before using it.

    Healthcare should be a basic right just like access to clean air, water, and food. Whether you get cared for or not should not be decided by whether or not you have the money for it, it should be decided by whether or not you are breathing! This 'moral hazard' argument (the premise underlying Bush's drug plan and everything else he tries out) is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of. We spend more in the US on fewer doctor's visits, and fewer drugs and procedures than anywhere else in the world. We also spend more on preventable illnesses that have gone untreated because of being uninsured and underinsured. Thus, I won't buy the story that the current insurance mess is a better alternative to the tested ways of more developed nations.

    The United States is lightyears behind thinking in this department when compared to European and even some Arab and Asian nations. Free-markets work for elastic commodities. Not for inelastics like medicines and health care. 'nuf said.
     
  26. Institute

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    lol what book did you use for sociology class. I'm in soc of health and illness and the prof is a yale graduate who wrote the textbook.
     
  27. 8744

    8744 Guest

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    I'm pretty loud in my derision for expanding health coverage (except by having people pay for it themselves, I mean) and I'm not a pre-med.

    And you folks have to stop kidding yourselves. Everything is about money, in this case the money which represents people's effort, work, and time and their willingness to give it away fer' nothin' which is what most people expect.

    Giving away free medical care will not increase access. In fact, in the classic case of too many dollars chasing too few goods, the price of health care would go up except that the government, which can be extremely shortsighted, will try to cap or otherwise fix the price for the service which will lead to scarcity as it always does.

    You cannot increase access to something that doesn't exist. It's not as if, after all, hospitals are standing empty because of lack of patients.

    I weep that most of you are not required to take any economics courses on your way to medical school and I find it ironic that in a profession that is supposed to be filled with highly intelligent people, so many of you are willfully ignorant of the basic facts of it.
     
  28. happy snake

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    "Uninsured in America – Life and Death in a Land of Plenty – Susan Sered and Rushika Ferenadopulle" - was one of the four books we read for the class. We read articles from the NYT. Statistics from the WHO. We didn't have any one textbook. Which one are you referring to? I believe Sered and Fernandopulle were from UC-Berkeley. It's afantastic book, I'd recommend to anyone.
     
  29. Institute

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    Exactly, which is why France is having trouble funding their healthcare system.

    Another classic example is the TennCare initiative which went down in flames.

    I refuse to believe however, that we cannot better the system. There are numerous variations for a single-payer system. ie, having a tiered system which doesn't leave families in the cracks of desparity.
     
  30. Institute

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    http://www.amazon.com/Sociology-Health-Illness-Care-Critical/dp/0495172030/ref=sr_1_3/103-7669814-5583856?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176757347&sr=8-3

    Aside from the book, we had numerous guest speakers as well as articles from various publications.
     
  31. nager105

    nager105 So it goes.

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    Just a few comments that IMO are relevant:

    1. Universal Health Care (the Hillary Clinton version) is a political agenda. It is designed primarily to win votes. UHC per se may make excellent sense, but leave it to a Clinton or a Bush to screw anything up.

    2. You can't reduce the cost of health care significantly just by nationalizing health care. You gotta nationalize malpractice insurance, drug development and manufacture, medical durables and their distribution agencies; slash payments to MDs, RNs and PAs; or force med students into primary care at gun point...basically anything adjunct to health care- That is a major slice of the US economy. A UHC system will implode unless its support systems are also in a controlled economy. UHC makes more sense as a system for preventing exclusion of individuals based on income rather than a system focused on reducing costs.

    3. The US is not Europe, and that's what makes it so great in my eyes. But unlike Europe, it is a heterogeneous population with comparatively broad differentials in opportunity and income. Solutions for US will have to come from within instead of copying Britain or France.
    Americans loathe government control.

    4. IMO the VA system is better run than any HMO and has lower administrative overhead costs. So, the govt. is not totally incompetent when it comes to delivering medicine (assuming VA reflects on the US federal govt.)

    5. Even right now the fed govt. has more influence that any other HMO due to its gigantic buying power, and its consequent ability to dictate terms to providers.
     
  32. kdburton

    kdburton Ulnar Deviant

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    We are not in a healthcare crisis, we are in a health crisis. A majority of the healthcare spending in the US goes towards treating chronic illnesses (obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc) caused by the extremely unhealthy lifestyles of its citizens that can be almost completely prevented. I'm no expert on diet/lifestyles in other countries but I would venture to say that the average American makes less healthy lifestyle choices than people in many of the European/Arab/Asian countries that you speak of. So do we all have a basic right to eat as much McDonalds as we want, not exercise, and smoke a pack of cigarettes just as you think that we all have a basic right to healthcare? In the US we apparently do and many people take advantage of that basic right to being severely unhealthy. Should we be held accountable for our poor decisions? In many other cases we are (look at the legal system for example), so why do we expect the rest of the coutnry to bail us out if we end up being a lazy [email protected] with chronic cardiovascular problems? I'm all about helping people out if they make a mistake and need someone to get them back on track, but I'm not all about big government to take care of the bum class. The only reason why we spend so much money on drugs/procedures is because thats what insurance companies will reimburse doctors for. When we move to a truley evidence- and prevention-based approach for healthcare reimbursement rather than a procedure/drug reimbursement based approach then we will come out of this crisis.
     
  33. Gut Shot

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    Um, yes, it does mean that Canadians do not frequently come to the US for healthcare.
     
  34. happy snake

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    Niaspan - a cholesterol lowering drug. My dad pays about $4 per pill here in the US. Back in India, he paid about 4 rupees! It's at 41 rupees to the dollar today. So do the math, they are ripping us off here in the US. Now if big pharma lowers prices to match the decent levels worldwide, the savings could be channeled into a universal plan or a subsidized plan for the uninsured. If through such a program, preventive care results in lowering the costs of treating acute advanced stages of disease, the savings could further fund above plans.

    There are well-argued financial models that show that it can be done. Problem is, the ones making the money and bribing politicians in the name of lobbying, don’t want the change.

    No one’s talking about giving away medicines for free. We are just thinking for ways to downgrade the insurance executive and maxillofacial surgeon from a Porsche GT3 to a Porsche 911. Perhaps, not a significant step-down if you think that it could keep 46.6 million people from going untreated. And for that matter, maxillofacial surgeons in Europe can afford the GT3 just as well.

    “You cannot increase access to something that doesn't exist. It's not as if, after all, hospitals are standing empty because of lack of patients.” Maybe if Mr. Joe Smith got screened early before he had full-blown heart attack needing an angioplasty, he could have avoided occupying that bed in the ER and the cardiac ward.

    It’s a pity that economic grads are not required to take a medical sociology class. Perhaps, if you understood the argument, PandaBear, you’d make a better economist/ policy-maker. :luck:


    PS: Kos pharmaceuticals are churning out record profits even at 4 rupees a pill in India!
     
  35. Gut Shot

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  36. kdburton

    kdburton Ulnar Deviant

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    Are they a legit company that follows international patent laws? Last time I heard about pharm companys in India, it was about them undermining patent laws to provide medication to people at less-than-market values. It sounds nice, but the company that held the patents was unable to fund their R&D for new drugs because of it and the Indian campany didn't even have an R&D department.
     
  37. happy snake

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    We are in a healthcare and a health crisis in the US. Thanks for bringing up the second problem. I believe that we can get a better picture by just looking at what kinds of foods are affordable (not available, but affordable) after someone below the poverty line pays daycare, rent, utilities, and other bills. Think about how much you spent for a burger at McDonalds versus what you spent on fruits and veggies. It just is cheaper to go to BK or McDonalds. Many of those making poor choices do so because the healthy choices are beyond heir reach. If I had to choose between dousing my hunger versus eating healthy and paying more, I'd choose the former. Make it cheaper to buy fruits and veggies, like it is all over the rest of the world (which I thought is very funny in the US), and people will find it easier to make healthier choices.

    And do the rest of the healthy eating population pay for the ones that eat burgers and fries? I don't know. Should I pay less than a heavier person for my flight ticket? I think yes. Should I decide not to treat cancer in a veteran who smoked all his life? What if he/she was not a veteran? Does it matter? Do I pay less per gallon of gas than a heavier person, an SUV owner? I think yes. Am I ever going to get a discount for eating healthier, weighing less, and driving slower and smarter? Maybe not. But that's a whole other problem.
     
  38. happy snake

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    I believe India signed onto international patent law agreements covering p'cals in 2005. Kos wasn't part of the infringement though. I think they are partnering up with an Indian firm to start offering generics for their Niaspan.

    I agree, in the past Indians haven't been the most upright in regards to honoring patents! :oops:
     
  39. happy snake

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  40. Oddsnends

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    Would you care to share one of these models?
     
  41. kdburton

    kdburton Ulnar Deviant

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    I've been living below the poverty line for the last 4 years based on my income and I somehow manage to buy fresh lunchmeat, fruit, bread, etc for less than what I would get a comparable amount of food at McD's, KFC, BK. I also can't afford a health club membership, but I manage to take an hour out of almost every day to run ~5 miles. People tend to use the generic "its out of my reach" argument for a lot of things that they are to lazy/unwilling to take the time and effort to do and its that mentality which I see every day makes me think that they shouldn't be entitled to handouts for unfortunate things that they could have been actively preventing their entire life. One thing is that people aren't always educated about all their options in many facets of life, but it surprises me at how disinterested many of those same people are in making healthy choices (about anything). That always gives people the license to play the victim
     
  42. BarrySanders

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    Why dont you try looking at it from the perspective of others for a change? Do people make unhealthy choices? Sure. But everything is not as simple as you would think. Now I won't defend smoking, but healthy food in this country costs more money than unhealthy food, thus making it harder for those in lower socioeconomic groups to eat healthy. Even on my college campus it costs significantly more to get salads than a burger and fries. Ever been in health food stores? The prices are ridiculous. There are many areas in this country in which all you see are liquor stores, mcdonalds, wendys, kfc, local fried chicken and fish joint and another liquor store. These options more often have dollar menus and are cheaper than other restaurants. Some people in these areas have not even heard of (let alone seen) restaurants like panera bread, potbellys, noodles & company etc. So if i'm a family with little food and money, it probably seems more practical to me to eat off the dollar menu at the unhealthy place. Also, in these areas it is not as easy to exercise. There are no ballys or powerhouse gyms all around these neighborhoods. It is also often too dangerous for people to go out jogging around these neighborhoods.

    Preventative medicine and awareness is good. I benefited from becoming more aware and reversing my hypertension by changing my lifestyle while in school. But it is also not as easy for everybody to implement these healthier strategies, especially when some people are simply worried about how they will make it through the day.
     
  43. happy snake

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  44. mongrel

    mongrel Assoc. Prof. Dogsuit

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    Agh, I hate that the title of this thread is "a theorem about universal healthcare"... this was definitely a rant.
     
  45. happy snake

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    Somehow it's hard for me to believe that when at the local Wal-Mart a box of donuts costs 3 times less than salad, that you are eating fresh produce for less than BK. I'd love to go to school there. 'Coz here in Illinois, veggies are a heck of lot pricier.
     
  46. Oddsnends

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  47. happy snake

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    I'd hate a completely socialized system. There is an evil in any 100% socialized system. I'd advocate some sort of government control, if not single-payer, atleast put down more rules on denying heart patients coverage for certain conditions. Put down rules on covering only the healthy. Regulate to a degree. Negotiate prices. Have some sort of a hybrid system somewhere between a socialized and a laissez-faire capitalist system, that subsidizes care for those who are underinsured and gaurantee care for the uninsured. That would be nice.
     
  48. dutchman

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    You guys keep making me laugh when you throw up these comparisons. Like someone pointed out, almost 1 in every 3 people in America is obese. Not fat, but Obese. Compare it to france

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity
    Obesity by country
    1 United States: 30.6%
    23 France: 9.4%

    and you somehow think you are going to spend less than France on healthcare.
     
  49. happy snake

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    That is a seriously good point. I need to see if any of these countries (with some form of socialized medicine) deal with the obesity (dare I say) epidemic.

    I don't know how any form of socialized system would succeed if one in three in the population is obese. But seriously, a universal/quasi-universla system has its benefits for the under- and uninsured. The current system is far too biased towards the money.
     
  50. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    Large, family size bucket of Oatmeal = ~$2

    Bag of carrots = ~$1

    Apples = ~$1.50/pound

    Bananas = ~50cents/pound

    Rice = ~$1.50 per box, cheaper per bag

    Tomatos = $1.50/pound

    Onion = $1.50/pound

    Cabbage = $1.50 each

    Wheat bread = $1.50 per bag (generic brand)

    Yogurt= .33 cents/each (generic brand)


    I know this because I make a conscious effort to eat healthy, and because ultimately it is much cheaper than Taco bell 3-5 times a week. Seriously, that oatmeal bucket has lasted me all semester, and it's a darn good breakfast food accompanied with fruit and toast. You don't have to buy the most expensive fruit and veggies, you just have to know how to buy.
     
  51. kdburton

    kdburton Ulnar Deviant

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    Wow I wasn't aware that I had set a precedent in this thread whereby you knew how I always look at things from one perspective :laugh: You must be a psychic

    You would love to go to my school? It is one of the most expensive public institutions and it is in a big city where things are usually more expensive. I can still pick up granola bars, fresh lunch meat, a loaf of bread, cheese, yogurt, a gallon of milk, some crystal light lemonade, and some cheap a-little-less-than-healthy food for dinner that will last me for a whole week and cost less than what it could cost for me to eat junk food for a whole week. Its a response like yours that completely validates my last argument. People are either too lazy too look for other options, they don't care, or they dont know. Sure I could buy fresh produce at Whole Foods (or "Whole Paycheck" as we call it around here) and spend more than what many families can afford, but you are just not looking hard enough if you think that it is impossible to save money - relative to eathing cheap fast food - and eat healthy. Most of my college friends that ate fast food and take-out every day do it out of convenience and carelessness when it comes to their health, not because they don't have the money.
     
  52. dutchman

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    I will also like you guys to take a trip to Europe and see the size of McDonalds sandwiches compared to what they are stuffing people's faces with here(it is almost half the size of what they serve in America). Note that this is the same company with the same menu, but different rations.

    If there was no such thing as healthcare, Europeans will still be healthier than Americans. It's a lifestyle issue. If the argument is that we need to provide healthcare for those that can't afford it, then I support fixing that. I am simply not buying the whole "we spend more on healthcare and get worse results" argument, because It is something we should all expect, seeing as we are not as healthy as they are to begin with.
     

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