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Bush convinces me Universal Healthcare is a bad idea.

Discussion in 'Topics in Healthcare' started by McDoctor, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. McDoctor

    McDoctor Over One Billion Cured
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    When I saw the President vetoed a bill that supported federal funds for stem cell research, I didn't get too worked up, because I'm confident there is plenty of incentive for the private industry to channel money into this kind of research. I wonder how this would be different in a system where healthcare is sponsered wholly by the government.

    In other words, I'm concerned that a universal healthcare system would be incredibly corrupted by the current crop of anti-science fundamental republican clowns that currently hold the majority in Congress and no doubt will sometime hold great influence again down the road. If the last 4 years have shown me anything, its that the less influence government has on social programs, the better. Kind of ironic, that President Bush has influenced me to take a conservative stance on this issue by his sheer ineptitude alone.

    I used to think a universal healthcare plan could work, but the more I think about it, (especially considering how it would be influenced by fundamentalists who have no business formulating healthcare policy) the more I realize what a disaster it would become. Anyone else out there reconsidering their take on Universal Healthcare after seeing the politics being played on stem cell research?
     
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  3. travis

    travis Member
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    well, I must say I like your line of thinking, even if I don't come from your line of thought. :)

    Seperation of Church and State, Seperation of Health and State, Seperation of everything from State/political control is best. If government has power it will abuse it.

    Therefore, we ought to make sure government makes as few decisions for us as possible, with our health, with our money, with anything!

    I certainly don't want my health controlled by a bunch of liberal democrats and can certainly respect that you don't want yours controlled by a bunch of social conservative republicans.

    Lucky we live here, instead of Canada or Great Britian etc.. where they don't have that luxury....

    "The more subsidized it is, the less free it is. What is known as `free education' is the least free of all, for it is a state-owned institution; it is socialized education - just like socialized medicine or the socialized post office - and cannot possibly be separated from political control."
    - Frank Chodorov
     
  4. twester

    twester Senior Member
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    Libertarian drivel...

    I get tired of hearing people whine about how the government is abusing its power. If you don't like what the government is doing, then pull yourself away from American Idol and go out and vote in an informed and educated manner. It really only takes a few hours to eliminate unqualified candidates and then push a few buttons to cast the vote.

    And while you're at it, before criticizing the socialized health care systems in other countries, go live there and participate in that system for a little while. I got great healthcare when I lived in the Netherlands. It was cheap, available and, above all, quite generous. My best friend's mother just died from an inoperable brain tumor. She spent her last five months in a beautiful hospice facility managed by kind and caring staff. She didn't pay a dime out of pocket for the service. I never felt that the Dutch Parliament had that much control or influence over the system except to authorize funding for the health department, which was managed by health professionals.

    Was the system perfect? No, far from it. But it was paradise compared to the American non-system. The free market is letting the American people down and the government that you (and I) so despise is the primary culprit through its own inaction.
     
  5. McDoctor

    McDoctor Over One Billion Cured
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    You're missing my point.

    Imagine you get your Universal Healthcare plan in 2008. Then imagine Rick Santorum getting elected in 2012 and a wave of religious conservatives in Congress like in 1994. Do you really want people like this (who grandstand and demagogue the Terry Schiavo issue) having any say in healthcare policy?

    You do realize that even if liberal democrats wrest the balance of power from the right in 2006 and 2008, it will eventually tilt back at some point, right?
     
  6. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    Yeah, a great system there...Especially when doctors decide your life isn't worth living, and euthanize you against your will, or that of your family. It's already happened to infants, and there are discussions of 'removing the difficicult decision' from families and just let the state and it's employees do it.
     
  7. twester

    twester Senior Member
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    That's so ignorant. I never happens. Mandated euthanasia in the Netherlands is a poorly conceived and really uncreative myth.
     
  8. twester

    twester Senior Member
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    I don't see a system where the government has any more say in healthcare than insurance companies already do. Universal care doesn't mean free care. The insured population would still be consumers and still have the ability to have some say in their healthcare. Well...not if they weren't willing to stand up and demand it, at least. I've heard several proposals for what universal coverage would look like and Santorum and the rest of "Congress" didn't figure into it at all.
     
  9. travis

    travis Member
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    Well, here is one from scotland:
    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=86952005
    'The baby who refused to die'

    Who owns the health care this couple is receiving? The state. Thus, the state will decide for them what they get and how much of it they get. Political control should be eliminated from Health Care and this couple should be free, if they so choose, to take responsibility, as they see fit, for the care of their child. This can only be done if they are financially responsible for its care. Countries with socialized medicine have limits on what age can get hip replacements, organ transplants (unfortuantely even here we have this) etc.., what weight one can get things, DNR, and all sorts of other restrictions. A doctor I was shadowing recently had his 90+ year old grandma pass away after a hip accident. She got a hip replacement. Socialized medicine wouldn't have given her one.

    As far as your friend, you can find good and bad experiences in all health systems, but we are looking for overall trends and those don't bode well for socialized medicine. It makes sense, I was in Eastern Europe just after the cold war ended and it was like a flashback to the 1960s as far as the cars people were driving. I guess this was ok cuz everyone was more 'equal', whatever that means...

    "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings; the inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of the miseries."
    Winston Churchill
     
  10. Gut Shot

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    In a way, yes, because then they will be answerable to the entire voting public for their healthcare policy decisions. If the S hits the F, they're gone.
     
  11. McDoctor

    McDoctor Over One Billion Cured
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    I picture this crowd setting policies wherein birth control and HPV vaccination is deemed "too controversial" for the government to fund (like stem cell research) and thus in a system where the government controls covered services they will be even more inaccessible than they are now.

    Unfortunately, I do think a significant percentage of the voting population has this mindset as well and would still vote them into office.
     
  12. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    Right - I guess the NEJM article, and letters are myth as well.

    And if the process isn't involuntary now, the route is marked...and it will be involuntary in the future. The Netherlands are talking about it favorably, not shunning the 'physicians' that are advocating it.
     
  13. twester

    twester Senior Member
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    I've read the law - "Wet van levensbeƫindiging op verzoek en
    hulp bij zelfdoding". It doesn't address anyone younger than 12 years old. Read it for yourself.

    http://www.justitie.nl/pers/persberichten/archief/2000/zelfdoding.pdf#search='Toetsing%20levensbe%C3%ABindiging%20op%20verzoek%20en%20hulp%20bij%20zelfdoding'
     
  14. Gut Shot

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    Jesus, have a little faith. Medicare coverage is quite good, and I doubt the 20% of the voting public who self-identify as hardcore right wingers would be able to change that without serious backlash.
     
  15. McDoctor

    McDoctor Over One Billion Cured
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    The problem is that hardcore right wing agendas are not initially apparent in alot of these candidates.

    I don't know if medicare coverage is quite good when talking about women's health and contraception. I know our statewide medicaid coverage is not covering Gardasil for young women. I don't know about the kids vaccination program yet as far that goes.

    Access to oral contraceptives is good, but then again since medicaid in PA is contracted out to private HMO's there is less political intrusiveness. (not to mention it is more cost effective to cover OCP's then the cost of perinatal care for these HMO's). The state is responsible for setting minimum standards of care that these HMO's have to follow, and the HPV vaccine has not been included among them.

    I guess we'll see if any of these congressional right wingers who have historically overwhelmingly stood by Bush suffer any political backlash. In particular, Santorum in PA who also opposes federal funding for stem cell research.
     
  16. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away
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    Let's atleast be honest in this debate. The US system isn't free market. The government pays like 70% of healthcare expenditures. The insurance companies are heavily regulated by the state governments, and practice options are limited by the malpractice litigation controlled by the legal lobby and the "judicial" branch of government. It is many things, but free is not one of them.
     
  17. twester

    twester Senior Member
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    70% ? Where'd you get that number? Insurance is regulated in the US? No more than in the mildest of senses. If it were, my premium wouldn't increase by 30-50% every year. Maybe you're talking about Medicaid?
     
  18. mdterps83

    mdterps83 Member
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    There can be regulations besides price controls. Think like COBRA, or the law about waiting two days to discharge new mothers. Think ERISA, which gives congress the sole power to regulate work benefits (the MD Walmart law was just overturned on this basis). Think about all the licensing and inspection for hospitals and every staff member. Medicaid/medicare funding comes with all sorts of conditions that must followed in order to qualify for re-imbursements. Healthcare is one of the most regulated industries out there. Mild is of course a relative term. Google, son: http://www.hpolicy.duke.edu/cyberexchange/Regulate/CHSR/CHSR.html
     
  19. twester

    twester Senior Member
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    I'll let the condescending "son" comment slide since I'm pretty sure I'm old enough to be your father. But, when you write a paper for school do you expect your professor to look up the numbers you push in that paper. No, you provide a reference. Anyway...

    It's true that I'm thinking about regulation in terms of price controls. The regulations that govern maintenance of facilities, the flow of pharmaceuticals and working conditions have nothing to do with the market so are not germain to the point. Surely you don't advocate removing those controls? What IS your point?
     
  20. McDoctor

    McDoctor Over One Billion Cured
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    To be honest, the free market laws of supply and demand do not cleanly apply to medicine as it does other industries.

    Some government involvement is necessary. My concern is that too much government involvement will inject ideologies (from the far right or the far left) that have no business shaping what we consider standard of care in medicine.
     
  21. HateKnowitAlls

    HateKnowitAlls Junior Member

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    Hey flighterdoc,
    love your signature, because when you advertise your ignorance it warns the rest of us to tune you out immediately!!!

    douche
     
  22. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away
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    Free market laws apply to everything. The question is whether to interfere in the free market. That is not an argument I am making in this thread. Free market principles are just the most efficient way to divide scarce resources. The current system, surplusages in certain specialties and deficiencies in others is a reflection of a system where payscales are determined by a 3rd party (Medicare and Medicaid as the leaders) rather than the free market. Pay that doesn't adequately address mandated costs is another example, as current coding systems are the brainchild of outside forces. No doctor would do this stuff on purpose.
     
  23. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away
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    From the Boston Globe, Healthcare is 16% of GDP. Hardly a free system.

    http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2006/03/05/global_health/

    You are right, 70% was high. As of 2001, it was 46%. Again, that's nearly 50%. not free.

    http://www.emra.org/index.cfm?FuseAction=Page&PageID=1001606

    The only thing not regulated about insurance is the cost. As the government mandates more, the cost is passed on to consumers.
     
  24. twester

    twester Senior Member
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    GDP is a measure of the dollar amount a country's economy produces - excluding imports and exports. It is not a measure of how much a government spends. So 16% of GDP means that Americans collectively spend 16% of their money on healthcare.

    The Boston Globe article didn't prove your point, but contained this interesting snippet:

    "One of the most puzzling aspects of international comparisons is that higher healthcare outlays do not necessarily correspond with better outcomes. For example, the United States spends more than twice as much on healthcare as Canada, yet Canadians have a higher life expectancy than Americans."

    This is because of a deregulated system in which prices are not controlled. That's a separate issue from universal health coverage. Future discussion should probably be in another thread.
     
  25. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away
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    I believe that I have addressed the flaws in both life expectancy statistics and scarcity of medical resources associated with price controls in a different topic. My only point here is that the system in NOT EVEN CLOSE to a free market system.
     
  26. twester

    twester Senior Member
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    It's not absolutely free market, but it's pretty close. I'm afraid you haven't given evidence to the contrary. There are no real price controls on healthcare beyond supply and demand. Now if you want to argue that health insurance companies put price controls on healthcare, that's fine. But health insurance premiums aren't regulated by the government, so that would be a case of a "free market" entity regulating healthcare.
     
  27. SlippingSloth

    SlippingSloth Senior Member
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    I have a couple of qualms with this statement. First, if its a free system then why does Medicare have the ability to slash and raise reimbursements for hospitals and doctors (Part A and Part B, ), but not on Part D(prescription drugs)? My educated guess is the PhRMA lobbying block was able to pay off, I mean contribute to, enough congressmen to prevent the largest provider of healthcare in the country from bidding down the price of drugs. Part D is a joke. Medicare is guaranteed the lowest price but as the largest provider of prescription drugs it cannot use its clout to drive costs down. PhRMA got away with robbery on this one. Imagine what inflation in this country would be if WalMart was unable to bid/bargain its prices with its suppliers. Pharmaceuticals and medical devices had infation of 15% last year and are well are their way to match that rate again. First quarter inflation for the top prescribed drugs was 4% in 1Q06. This is 3-4x the core inflation rate.
    See: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/21/business/21drug.html?ex=1153972800&en=06d25d0fa2c89b45&ei=5070

    I am just using Part D as one obvious example of how "policy" on the federal level impacts the players in the system, shows preferential treatment, and puts more restrictions on the "medicare present free market"(I know its an oxymoron).

    Second, if medicare and medicaid make up 45% of the dollars spent on healthcare in this country and most people with health insurance are subsidized through their employers' tax write offs, the majority of healthcare dollars are either directly or indirectly derived via federal tax dollars. In a "free system" I cannot imagine a majority of the $ derived from the state extracted via policy. Not saying its right or wrong but free market...nah.

    I'd get into the activities of insurers but I am tired. :sleep:
     
  28. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    Great! Don't let the doorknob hit you on the way out, douche!
     
  29. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    Wow, those of us who have "stood a post" to protect your right to be an ignorant idiot, and who lost 343 brothers on that morning, see his signature as a statement of truth, and a reason to tune him in. The same can hardly be said of a spineless newbie whose posts are limited to personal attacks on others he/she disagrees with. If you have nothing of substance to say to refuse a post within the conventions of discourse and debate you should warn the rest of us that you have nothing to add, or better yet, simply don't post!

    - H
     
  30. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away
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    I think that you are improperly defining free market. A market is not free if the fiancial practices of individuals involved are regulated, regardless of whether that regulation includes specific price controls. That being said, Medicare/Medicaid paid more than private insurance last year (SEE MY PREVIOUS REFERENCE). They DO control price for nearly 50% of expenditures. The other 50% of the market is then impacted by that first 50% in what they can charge and how they conduct their reimbursement, because such a substantial portion of the market is already under price controls (Medicare and Medicaid Reimbursement Practices).

    The legal system also impacts the market. For instance, in a free market I might find that a patient doesn't need an expensive test that will be run in the current market as I fear judicial retribution if I miss a disease. Even if the chances are 1/10,000. Thus, I spend $4,000 for a CT. My actions are driven towards spending more out of fear. This is due to my fear of the judicial branch of GOVERNMENT and not a free market force.

    This is not an argument about good or bad. The market is NOT FREE. it is NOT MOSTLY FREE. It IS more free than Canada or the UK. Like many areas of the US economy, it is a mixed economy at best.
     
  31. asklepios

    asklepios Junior Member
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    Regulations that govern capital investment in factors of production don't have anything to do with the market?? That is the primary function of the market. Prices are merely the effect.

    cf. Certificate of Need Laws: It's Time for a Repeal

    The Lucidicus Project also distributes an excellent pamphlet by Dr. George Reisman (an economist) in its Self-Defense Kit (free for med students).
     
  32. RyanMaverick

    RyanMaverick Senior Member
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    Seeing some pictures of him, he's definately convinced me of evolution. The resemblance is uncanny.
     

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