socialized medicine

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by numinous, Mar 13, 2001.

  1. numinous

    numinous Member

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    just to add another controversial issue to the forum...I am wondering how everyone feels
    about a universal health care policy which would guarantee all Americans "free" health
    care. I am of the persuasion that it is the government?s duty to maintain its people and
    health care - along with education, etc.- is among those responsibilities. I am an American studying in Canada, so I have some experience with the down-side of a health care system like Canada's, such as long waits for surgeries and higher taxes. However, a system in which wealthy people can buy health care while the poor wait at understaffed, under-funded clinics for (often) second-rate medical attention is inherently wrong. I, for one, would rather my tax dollars go to a more egalitarian health care system than to building more bombers for Dubya. Any thoughts?
     
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  3. Garibaldo

    Garibaldo Banned
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    Bombers for Dubya? He JUST became president, jerk. Why don't you blame Clinton for military expenditures since he's the one who's been our nation's prez for almost a decade? Both parties support the development of the military. This just reinforces my disdain for Canadians and their half-ass country.
     
  4. doctorperez

    doctorperez Jesus was a dissident

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    Talk about repressed anger!

    The previous dude did not even say he supported democrats - He even said he was an American...(Yikes!)

    To The Original Poster: I do agree that the current U.S. health system must change faced with the needs of the American people .
     
  5. Billie

    Billie An Oldie but a Goodie...

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    Hi,

    Just curious, but why is it the govt's job to feed me, clothe me and keep me healthy?

    Billie
     
  6. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    Hmmm...
    This probably will not strike most of you as a shock, but I am all for socialized... everything.
    Without stepping into the political debate about to occur over Bush and Clinton, I feel that it should be the duty of the government to take care of its people since the people, in democracy at least, are the government. I understand government to be the protective force for a community. Laws are made to protect people, even from themselves. Would it not serve the government's best interest to protect its own health? National insurance to cover those who are unable to be covered is the first progressive, non-indigent care based step that could be taken. I understand that this is not how it works, and no form of socialism has ever lasted in a developed nation, but theoretically it would be possible given the correct circumstances.
     
  7. Zero Cool

    Zero Cool Senior Member

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    Doctorperez: the original poster did not have to SAY that he supported democrat's, it is crystal clear by his post. He supports a Universal Health Care System....not many Republican's do.

    I agree with Billie, why should it be the Government's responsibility to take care of me?

    There are many problems with a Universal Health Care Policy. You think waiting times in the ER are bad now.... Also, what about people who don't want Universal Health Care, will they be able to get their tax dollars back and get private care for themselves? Then people would be complainig that the ones who can afford private health care are getting better treatment. Now we are back to square one, and peoples federal taxes are now 40% of their income. Nice solution...for a democrat!!

    Maybe people should start taking more responsibility for themselves, instead of relying on the Government to do it for them.

    [This message has been edited by Zero Cool (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  8. Its a moot point anyways for at least a while.... look at the biggest current issue facing us in politics right now: tax cuts.

    Even Democrats want some kind of tax cut, they jsut disagree with the amount.

    Trust me, if you want socialized medicine or nationalized healthcare, that would require a significant INCREASE in taxes to pay for it. Just look at the taxes in UK and France.

    I just don't see the American people going for it at this point in time. Maybe if things were to get much worse in the future they might consider a tax increase, but in the immediate future? NO WAY.


    ------------------
    "There is nothing more powerful on this Earth as a man who has nothing to lose. It does not take ten such men to change the world--one will do." Elijah Mohammed

    [This message has been edited by baylor21 (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  9. 12R34Y

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    SocialistMD: you said it yourself..........no form of socialism has every lasted in a developed nation. There is a reason for that. It's bad.
     
  10. doctorperez

    doctorperez Jesus was a dissident

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    Hi Zero Cool

    I support a form* of Universal health coverage . I am neither a republican nor a democrat . The fact that an optional solution to a problem does not work , does not mean we must stop looking for solutions and/or leave the problem as it is . That type of conformism would , in my opinion , be worst than desiring to be taken care by the government . (All extremes are bad!)
     
  11. doctorperez

    doctorperez Jesus was a dissident

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    Hi 12r34y,

    Neither has a pure capitalist system (Laissez-faire) lasted on any industrialized country . Or underdeveloped country for that matter . It does not work either! [​IMG] . (All extremes are bad!
     
  12. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.

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    "I agree with Billie, why should it be the Government's responsibility to take care of me?" (posted by Zero Cool)

    I have a different view-point on this than most of you will, probably because I come from a really different background. My mom is mentally ill, and so I grew up either on welfare (when I lived with her) or a ward of the court. Either way, from birth until I was legally emancipated at 16, I was on Medi-Cal. My mother is still receiving it.
    Medi-Cal is one of the top reasons that I want to become a doctor. It is nearly impossible right now to get quality health care if you have medi-cal. Forget about having a personal doctor that can track changes in your health - they can't "afford" to take you.

    I know this for a FACT. The only time I ever went to the doctor (or dentist) when I was a child was at a hospital in an emergency. And now I take care of my mom, and I can't get her the medical or psychiatric care that she needs in her small community. There is a clinic, and she goes to it, but there is no one doctor who cares for her. And there are no psychiatrists willing to take medi-cal in her area. So guess who pays? I do. And guess who pays 45% of the household income in taxes? I do. And you know what really burns me? In paying for part of her health care, her benefits for everyday living (social security) are at risk.

    Is it the governments job to take care of her? Ask yourself, what if this happened to you? Who would pay for you (and your kids) if you were to become mentally ill, or chronically sick? Would you still be able to see your regular doctor?

    Another question. Is it more expensive to pay for regular check-ups, or emergency room visits? Or is this Ayn Rands world, where the weak should just be put out of their misery?

    The "safety net" in this country has huge holes in it, and in the end, you are paying for it anyway.

    Nanon


     
  13. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    Yes, but it has failed for two main reasons. First, in order for it to succeed, it must stand independent of politics. Democracy and socialism can coexist. In fact, in order for socialism to exist, it must be in conjunction with democracy.
    Second, it has to be global.
    In my utopia, there is no money. People work, clocking in and out. Work your hours, get whatever you need. Businesses would flourish because they could continue to produce their products and waste nothing. My father's dream car is a Jaguar X12. Will he ever be able to afford it? No. However, under socialism, he could. So, noone ever buys another yugo. Those employees will be able to find jobs with Jaguar because their business will be good. Unemployment will drop to nothing because employers will not be paying their employees out of their own pockets so they will not have to worry about profit. As a result, products will become better as people will only take jobs in fields that interest them.
    As you can see, this has to be global because what would you do if you went to another country to vacation?
    My point is, it is a far off goal, probably not in my lifetime. However, that does not mean it is impossible. The necessary conditions have yet to exist. Someday, they will.
     
  14. Linie

    Linie Senior Member

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    I haven't figured out how to quote people on this list...

    However, in response to the statement that Universal Health Care would increase waiting times in ERs, I guess you aren't aware that MOST of the people visiting the ER would be much better served visiting their regular doctor. However, these people don't HAVE a regular doctor because they can't afford it and they aren't insured. So for their sore throat, or chronic back pain, or any other outpatient, non-acute medicine issue, guess where they go? The only place that can't turn them away, the ER. And guess who ends up paying anyway for this more expensive, less efficient form of care? Taxpayers. And also academic medical centers, who are completely strapped and on the verge of going belly-up --which would be tragic for medicine in this country.

    When chronic, non-acute problems become acute problems because they have not been properly cared for... say an impetigo skin infection (non-acute) is not treated and the patient develops rheumatic fever and eventually goes into heart failure from valve dysfunction, or develops a heart valve infection and needs long term antibiotics or emergency surgery. This same patient who could have seen a regular doctor and received and inexpensive treatment if they had been insured go to the ER and get the expensive, emergent care they need, at great expense to taxpayers and to hospitals.

    A stitch in time saves nine. You could argue that ERs should turn away people with no insurance, but if you really think that, I think you should consider a career other than medicine. There will probably be a time in your life, say a few months, when you are not insured. I hope it doesn't happen to you, but what if during this time you get sick, or injured in an accident, or through your own dumb behavior? Then you'll be really really grateful for the free care that ERs and hospitals offer to people who can't afford it. When it's your own life, suddenly government subsidized care doesn't sound so bad, does it?

    ------------------
    Linie
     
  15. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    Nanon-
    It is extremely interesting that you should bring up Ayn Rand, because in all of her novels I have read (4, currently enjoying number 5), never did I get a sense that the weak should be put out of their misery. Granted, she is not for socialism at all, and it would take a lifetime for me to explain how I can be socialist and objectivist, but I do not think she believes the weak should be shoved aside. I guess philosophies are all what one takes from them, but I see these two beliefs lying in the realm of "non-contradiction."
    As you can tell from my previous posts, I agree with you as far as the issue of this thread is concerned, I just thought it was interesting what you took from Ayn Rand.
     
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  17. pcl

    pcl Senior Member

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    Nanon,

    You make very good points. Most people are only a few steps from poor and destitute, whether they realize it or not. A few bad choices, a bad investment decision, layoffs, not everyone has a safety net to rely on... but I digress.

    Personally, I don't think the current system adequately helps those in need, especially children... Since when were 5 year olds able to feed, clothe, or take themselves to the doctor?

    Perhaps there could be some two-tiered system where preventative care and emergency care were subsidized by the government for everyone, but that there still existed a FFS type of insurance that employers/individuals would purchase which would help with prescriptions, more expensive treatments, etc...

    It seems to me that it would be much less expensive to make sure that cost is not an issue for chronic disease management. It is far less expensive to help someone pay for insulin than have them come into an ER in DKA and spend days or weeks in the ICU because they couldn't pay for the insulin or the one touch to keep their disease under control... WE the taxpayers end up subsidizing the ICU stay anyway...

    Just something to think about. You pay for it now, whether it is in more crowded ER's, less nursing staff in a hospital, sharing rooms, longer waits, or higher insurance premiums...
     
  18. Zero Cool

    Zero Cool Senior Member

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    Nanon - Sorry to here about the situation with your mom, but do you think that a Universal Health Care system is the solution?? Do you think that your mom will get the "best" care out of a Universal Health Care System? Or is the reality more like I described above, she may get to see a psychiatrists under a Universal System, but the one who can really help your mom doesn't participate in the system. Then where are you...back complaining that the Government is not doing all it can for you and your Mom.

    You don't want to know the answer to the question you posed, who would pay for me if I became mentally ill...?

    There are always exceptions to everything, should the Government step in to help your Mom, probably, should it step in for all of America, not in my book.
     
  19. pcl

    pcl Senior Member

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    ER's are required by federal law to assess and stabilize every patient who comes to their door (actually, 250 yards? from the hospital grounds) regardless of ability to pay. If they do not they can loose their medicare/aid? funding and face stiff penalties. It is in the COBRA laws I think.

     
  20. Zero Cool

    Zero Cool Senior Member

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    Who are the people we are talking about that don't have a regular doctor? The ones who are employed at a large company, the ones who work for small business, or the ones who do not have jobs? The solution is not a Universal Health Care System...That is a band-aid soultion to the real problem. People need to find jobs that provide health care. Maybe Govenment should step in and help out small business so that they can provide more affordable health care, but by no means should my taxes go up to 50% of my income. People need jobs.....plain and simple. Or health care prices need to come down

    Why should I fork over 50% of my income to help people who will take advantage of the system. Maybe the government should help people out for a period of 2 years, plenty of time to find a job, start getting an education, etc. It is not the few who need it that bother me, it is the many who will take advantage of it.

    [This message has been edited by Zero Cool (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  21. Linie

    Linie Senior Member

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    Just to clarify, I didn't mean to imply that ERs COULD simply turn people away, I meant to bring it up as a theoretical possibility.

    Also, the people who don't have regular doctors are the 40 million (yes MILLION) uninsured Americans. Where have YOU been in the past few years?
     
  22. Zero Cool

    Zero Cool Senior Member

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    Linie - And why are they uninsured??? Because they have full time jobs and have chosen not to have insurance, or because the company is so small that they can't afford to provide health insurance. I'm voting on the later, in that case maybe the individual should seek employment elsewhere or the Government should help out the small businesses. Are 40 Million Americans unemployed???

    [This message has been edited by Zero Cool (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  23. Linie

    Linie Senior Member

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    Many companies do not offer health insurance. Finding a new job is not as easy as it sounds. Finding one with good benefits is even harder. And yes, the number being bandied about is 40 million. I can't confirm it, I haven't counted them myself. :)

    [This message has been edited by Linie (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  24. Zero Cool

    Zero Cool Senior Member

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    If what you say is true, 40 Million Americans are unemployed, then the solution is not a Universal Health Care System. Wouldn't the solution be to get these 40+ Million Americans JOBS.

    Finding a new job is not easy...maybe if people spent as much time looking for a job as they did complaining about how the Government should be helping them out, the problems would be drastically reduced.

    Many companies don't offer health insurance...I think they're called Small Businesses and as I stated earlier maybe the Government should help them out by cutting their taxes some or you change jobs.

    We should address the problem, not offer a band-aid solution aka Universal Health Care.

    [This message has been edited by Zero Cool (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  25. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    ZeroCool-
    Maybe, instead of using cute buzz phrases, you would like to explain exactly what you mean by "band-aid fix" and why "Universal Health Care" is bad in light of the new information Linie has provided.
    If there is true universal health care, there will be no added congestion in the ER because those ill can go to the clinic and see their doctors, all of whom will be participating. Who would refuse health care that is covered by the government when all of the physicians are included? "Nah, thanks though, I would rather pay myself than have my taxes pay for it."
    Even considering a form of governmental insurance (read: no increase in taxes, coverage guaranteed for anyone who pays, no physical needed & no age limits!!!), it is still a win-win situation. Everyone who has a source of income can be insured. We could even base it on income, much like governmentally- subsidized housing.
    Your argument against those unemployed assumes they are just lazy and looking for a handout. If you have ever talked to any unemployed person, you will see that this is untrue for the most part. How else could you explain the layoffs in January and February? 200,000 people all of a sudden got lazy?


    [This message has been edited by SocialistMD (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  26. Zero Cool

    Zero Cool Senior Member

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    I have a friend who was laid off in Feburary...did she sit there and collect unemployement, NO. Did she complain that the Government was not taking care of her, NO. Did she start looking for a job and was able to find one w/ health care benefits within 3 weeks, YES. Don't lecture me about talking to unemployeed people. All you can think of is the utopia that will never exist. Time to step back to reality...

    Do you not understand the concept of a band-aid fix? It should explain itself...

    What "new" information did Linie provide? 40 Million American are jobless. I addressed that.

    "All doctors would participate...", here you go again with your "perfect" world. This would never really happen.

    "Even considering a less extreme form of governmental insurance (read: no increase in taxes, coverage guaranteed for anyone who pays, no physical needed & no age limits!!!)", nice idea in the movies, but here in the real world who is going to pay for this?? What about those who can not pay? Aren't we back where we started?

    [This message has been edited by Zero Cool (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  27. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.

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    Socialist MD: My take on Ayn isn't that SHE would toss aside the poor, but there is a natural extension of her philosophy that many latch on to - that society doesn't have an obligation to care for the weakest links, which in turn weaken the society. Who are the weakest links? People like my mom. The extension becomes a form of social Darwinism.

    I like her books, actually.

    Zero Cool posted: "Nanon - Sorry to here about the situation with your mom, but do you think that a Universal Health Care system is the solution?? Do you think that your mom will get the "best" care out of a Universal Health Care System? Or is the reality more like I described above, she may get to see a psychiatrists under a Universal System, but the one who can really help your mom doesn't participate in the system. Then where are you...back complaining that the Government is not doing all it can for you and your Mom."

    Zero Cool, I am not asking for the "best" care for my mom, (although I wouldn't mind it, obviously.) I am asking that some of my tax dollars go toward adequate funding of medi-cal so that she can see the doctors she needs to see. The issue here isn't that she isn't getting the "best" care. The issue is that she isn't receiving ANY care on a consistent basis, and what care she does receive is the direct result of my being able to pay for it. If Universal Health Care would give her the BASIC MINIMUM STANDARD of care she needs, then I'm all for it. She needs consistent primary care, especially now as she's getting into her senior years. She need consistent psychiatric care, so that she doesn't end up on (very expensive) 72 hour holds. The argument that I'll start to complain because she can't see the ONE doctor who can help her is silly when I have to drive 200 miles a week and spend 200 dollars a month to make sure she gets antibiotics when she needs them. At this point, there really is only ONE doctor who is even willing to help her.

    An aside, I think it's ironic that she has complete prescription coverage, but no one to write her a prescription, don't you?

    "You don't want to know the answer to the question you posed, who would pay for me if I
    became mentally ill...?"

    If your family or some other agency can afford to care for you, good. My husband and I make good money, and we can't afford this by ourselves. There are a lot of families of mentally ill people who can't afford what we can. What do you propose for them?

    Tired and cranky, sorry this is so long, off to dreaded physics lab,

    Nanon

     
  28. jimjones

    jimjones Senior Member

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    Hey Garibaldo,

    You're an idiot. Get out of your trailer and do some travelling and lose some ignorance. Then you might make less of an ass of yourself in future.
     
  29. numinous

    numinous Member

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    Wow...more responses than I could have hoped for!
    I would like to say that I am surprised by some of the attitudes expressed here, but I am not. It is no surprise that people who are or will be making heaps of cash think that medicine is a sort of meritocracy. You have worked hard to get a good job and now you have money to buy health and happiness. Unfortunately, your little social darwinist American dream is not open for the public. The government belongs to its people, or at least that's what it says on paper. We own it - it is our taxes that feed it, and our votes elect it. However, our interests have been consistently overshadowed by the promises of big corporate dollars. Our gov't has allowed corporate interest to dictate foreign and domestic policy. We have waged wars against third world nations and put a stranglehold on labor movements because it has been in the best interest of large corporations. This would be somewhat more palatable if the American people saw a little revenue, but unfortunately the top few percent of the population owns the majority of the country's assets and every year the stats show the gap between rich and poor to be widening. Now, I am not trying to sound like an anarchist or something, but I want to make it clear that our government's focus is all wrong. Why shouldn't our taxes go to at least better subsidized health care, if not universal health care? I do not want my money going to build up a military that is at the beck and call of big businesses. Why do our inner city schools suck while we are perfecting killing machines? The AMA has been saying for years that the US has a physician surplus. It that the reason that someone on welfare never gets to see the same one?
     
  30. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    And, what if she had been sick during those three weeks? Who would have taken care of her needs, supposing she is single? And what of her children, if she has any?



    Do you not understand the concept of a band-aid fix? It should explain itself...


    I understand what a band-aid fix is. I just do not see how a governmental form of health care qualifies as such. For that is what I seek clarification.


    What "new" information did Linie provide? 40 Million American are jobless. I addressed that.


    Not really. You acknowledged the fact that it was said, but then went on after saying create more jobs. Fine, open a business that can employ 40 million.
    There was also Linie's statement about how most individuals at the ER could receive treatment at a clinic if they had health coverage. Then, the fact that big problems usually start out small and could be prevented if people had access to health coverage was mentioned. This was never addressed by you.

    This leaves the rest of your post.


    All you can think of is the utopia that will never exist. Time to step back to reality...


    "All doctors would participate...", here you go again with your "perfect" world. This would never really happen.

    "Even considering a less extreme form of governmental insurance (read: no increase in taxes, coverage guaranteed for anyone who pays, no physical needed & no age limits!!!)", nice idea in the movies, but here in the real world who is going to pay for this?? What about those who can not pay? Aren't we back where we started?
    [/QUOTE]

    My utopia aside, I am smart enough to realize I live in the real world. That being said, I try to offer solutions to make this world better. Those who do not have health insurance will pay. They will want to. That segment of the population is settled. That in itself relieves much pressure from county hospitals. I work at one. We were $89 million in debt last year due mostly to indigent care. Of those, many were not unemployed, but their employer's insurance coverage either did not cover them or they could not afford it. If the government gave them something they could afford, it would make a great deal of difference. Every little bit helps. Someday, you will see.
     
  31. Zero Cool

    Zero Cool Senior Member

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    So, it seems that the problem is that medi-cal is not accepted by any doctors with 200 miles of you home or at least not by ones you deem "quality health care providers", right?

    Now, with a Universal Health Care System (UHCS), what about the people that can afford private care? Should they be paying 50% of there income when they do not wish the UHCS? No, that would not be right, therefore doctors would have a choice of either accepting the system or going private. Who is to say that the same proble will not arise. That there will not be any "quality health care providers" near you that accepts the UHCS.

    I'm going to try and offer solutions because I'm not in your situation and could not possible understand what you have been through, but in my opinon a UHCS is not the answer to you mother's problems. We will just have to agree to disagree.
     
  32. goza1

    goza1 Junior Member

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    ZeroCool, I think you are way off on this issue. You say that the "solution" is to either help small businesses provide coverage or "reduce the cost of care," as if that were a simple thing to do. The cost of drugs is going to keep going up, and the cost of treatment is going to keep going up because new technology costs a lot of money. The funny thing about conservatives is that they always say "but that won't SOLVE the problem." You CANNOT "solve" problems of such huge magnitude. You CAN implement a plan to help as many people as possible. Yes, under a more socialized system, the best docs, etc would not always choose to be under the plan. But that wouldn't put most people "back where they started" because most people who are uninsured could be helped greatly by simply recieving the bare minimum in care on a regular basis. Also, when you keep talking about uninsured employees as if they only work in small businesses, you are making a big oversight: a big chunk of the nation's workforce is comprised of temporary employees in businesses of all sizes who do not get health care benefits. Something to think about.
     
  33. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

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    Nanon -- this is slightly off the topic, but I was just curious why your mom can't get a doctor to see her with MediCal? I work at Stanford Med. Center (in Pediatrics) and I would say the vast majority (60-70% of our patients) are on MediCal and get regular treatment. I'm not doubting your experience, and I don't think that MediCal is perfect, but I'm just trying to understand why there would be such a disparity. The only thing I can imagine is that MediCal does not pay much attention to mental illness (as is the case with lots of medical plans, both private and public)?
     
  34. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.

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    LAST POST for the day ... but this is much more interesting than angular momentum...

    Zero Cool, I should have been clearer in my last post. My mom lives ~80 miles north of me. So, between driving up, driving 20 miles to her doctor, driving her home, and then driving myself home, it's a 200 mile trip. Now, I wish I could move her closer to me, but my hubby and I live in SF, where he can make the bucks to pay for my eduation (at Berkeley) and moms crap, too. The problem with SF is that it's one of the most expensive cities in the country, and it's not the best place for an unstabilized schizophrenic, either.

    I understand that you are at a loss to suggest solutions. You don't know what we've been through. All I ask is that you really listen to those of us who are in the thick of it, and not dismiss everyone who needs help as lazy, or otherwise undeserving. Or at least understand that when you categorize in this way, it is self-serving, and so suspect. And just to clarify, how is it self-serving? If the people who need help don't deserve it, than it's easier to turn your back on them. That's just too simplistic, and too convienient.

    The harder thing is always the better thing,

    Nanon

    PS: Lilycat, mom lives in a small town in Sonoma county, and they just don't have the same psychiatric services up there. We tried a clinic, but they don't have the psychiatric services that she needs. Lots of psychologists, though. And once you go private, the docs won't take the medi-cal because medi-cal won't pay the going rate. So I pay, and I'm not even sure that THAT's legal.

    I wish I could move her down here, and I'm simplifying a lot of this because it's a really complicated situation, but ask any child of a sz (or sz, for that matter), health care is a nightmare for the mentally ill.

    Fin

    Nanon

    [This message has been edited by Nanon (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  35. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    The so-called "natural extension" is not true. In all of my readings of Ayn Rand, never did I gather that from her. It is an oversimplification, and a bad one at that. The focus is never on removing others (or focus on others at all for that matter), it is on bettering one's self. She sees intelligence as the most powerful tool of mankind. With it, society betters. She never says whether or not others are left behind because she is not concerned with them. I believe they can ride along, and should. My focus is on me. If others ride my coattails or live better in the world I create, that is fine with me. They will, in turn, help society. It is a nice circle.
     
  36. Zero Cool

    Zero Cool Senior Member

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    I disagree...I think I'm right on the issue. If Universal Health Care is such a wonderful idea, then why is it that we do not have it? If people want to pay 50% in taxes to have coverage fine, but if I do not want too, or my company provides good health coverage, I should have the right to not accept the Universal Health Plan and continue to pay my 28% in income taxes. All I'm saying is there should be a choice. Americans should not be force into Universal Health Care. Fair enough???

    As far as military spending, Clinton abused the military while he was in office, hopefully the new President will not. But to cut military spending is not the solution. Do you want to weaken the military? The same military who defends your right to write what you say on this forum.

    And yes alot of the work force are temps and/or contractors. My sister-in-law is a contractor and is uninsured, but that is her choice. She decided to make more money and worry about her own health insurance. Alot of temp agencies do provide some sort of health coverage...

    Again, people should have a choice....

    But then the question arises, what about those who do not pay income taxes???
     
  37. omores

    omores sleep deprived

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    Goza is absolutely correct.

    I work for one of the largest investment banks in the world. Its annual profits are in the billions. Yet I have no health insurance, and neither do any of my co-workers. Why? Because we are support staff, and are therefore considered "temporary" (i.e. disposable) employees. There's a certain irony in the term, however: I've been working there for three years, and some of my coworkers much longer than that. There are PLENTY of people just like me in this country: fully employed at major corporations with no cash-flow problems, yet uninsured. There's an increasing trend toward relegating employees to "temporary" or "adjunct" status to avoid paying beneifts.

    Another thing that needs addressing: there are plenty of "underinsured" Americans as well. Back in those happy days when I had student health insurance, I still counldn't have afforded to get sick. The policy covered something like $150/day towards hopital expenses. My coverage would have been exhausted in less than twenty minutes. I have a cousin who has been working for ten years for an airling company. Her insurance covers emergency care only, no annual physicals, no pap smears, no nothing.

     
  38. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member

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    It seems people who are well-traveled and have seen the benefits of socialized medicine firsthand mostly agree that it is beneficial to all involved. I used to live in London and not once did I run into an elderly person who was uncared for by the government, or an unemployed single mother without adequate health insurance for her children. This is, of course, quite contrary to the state of affairs here in America, where healthcare is a privilege, not a right. After having lived on every continent except Australia and Antarctica, I can safely conclude it is the way to go.
     
  39. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    praying4MD-
    Are you or are you planning to attend medical school in Texas? If so, which one? I am just curious as to if I may have met you before.
     
  40. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    Zero Cool-
    I hate to sound like I am picking on you, but you keep overlooking what I am trying to say.
    I agree; people should have a choice. However, there are those who do not. Are we to deny that? All of your examples are of cases in which a choice exists. Most of the time, this is not true. Under your plan of action (no help or "Universal Health Care Service"), people do not even have a choice. Interesting, eh? You, guardian of choice, are denying 40 million of theirs. And theirs is not whether or not to participate, but whether or not to be covered.


     
  41. Zero Cool

    Zero Cool Senior Member

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    I'm not denying anybody a choice today. You can chose to stay at a job with no benefits, or change to a job that does. It is not the Governments fault that someone choses to stay with a company that consideres them temporary and provides no health care to them, now is it. People today do have choices, with a Universal Health Care System, you have none. I chose to be against a Universal Health Care System and a lot of people seem to agree or else we would have one, right?

    [This message has been edited by Zero Cool (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  42. omores

    omores sleep deprived

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    My point was that it is increasingly difficult to find a job that offers adequate health care. It's not simply a matter of just finding another job. Entire industries do not make adequate health care available to their employees, and in this age of "restructuring," more and more long-term employees will find themselves relegated to "temp" (i.e. uninsured) status. And the health coverage offered at those jobs that do have it is often inadequate.

    I just react really strongly to the "well find a job with health insurance, then," argument (not just yours, ZeroCool, it's one I hear alot in these debates). It implies that there is a surfeit of employers with full-coverage plans on tap, but the reality is that GOOD health insurance offered by an employer is hard to find. At the clinic I work at, I see patient after patient with "insurance" that won't cover basic tests or procedures. It's depressing.

    [This message has been edited by omores (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  43. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    So, basically, what you are saying is that the choice to be made is to have the freedom of choosing a job you enjoy, or the freedom to choose a job you hate, but that will pay for your health insurance. I feel sorry for you and I hope you never have to endure what you are condemning people to do.
    Life is not as black and white as you would like. There are some people, no matter how hard they try, who cannot find a job that has good health benefits, let alone a job that they also enjoy.
    Here is a hypothetical situation for you to ponder. You have a potential patient whose mother is a single parent supporting not only this child, but two others as well. Mom works two full-time jobs to just scrape by. She got pregnant with her first child during high school, her parents disowned her and the father left. As a result, she did not have a chance to go to college to get a degree. She has been working since. Working hard, harder than either you or I will ever know. She has to pay the babysitter, she has to pay for food. She is on WIC and foodstamps, but she is still strapped for cash. She lives in government subsidized housing. The sick child is 6 years old and has a bacterial infection. I know this because this is my hypothetical situation. A course of amoxicillin would heal this patient. However, mom does not have insurance because she (a) cleans houses on her own time and (b) works as a waitress at a diner downtown.
    What to do? Get a new job? Where? What experiences does she have that could get her a job at someplace "better?" What if no place is hiring that is "better?" What happens if mom gets sick?
    Do you think cases like this are random? If so, go live in a big city for a while and look around. Then tell me some form of socialized health care is not necessary.

    [This message has been edited by SocialistMD (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  44. pcl

    pcl Senior Member

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    I think you are missing the point. Not everyone has the education or the abilities to get to the "with benefits" job class. There are many people out there who are working 1-2 jobs to try to feed their kids and put clothes on their backs. An extended illness is devastating for these families, the working poor. Yes, there are lots of jobs out there, but mostly in the lower income levels. Most jobs with benefits require a college education. Children of these parents, without the ability or desire to get better jobs, suffer because they don't get proper care.

    A scenario: A child whose mom is a waitress feels ill for a week, finally goes to the free clinic, passes out in the waiting room. Is taken to the local emergency department where the blood glucose level is incredibly high, over 1000. Child is admitted to the PICU and stays there, comatose, three days before passing away. Now, maybe this would still have happened, but I can imagine that a mother would bring her child in earlier if she had easier access to primary care, if she didn't have to choose between a doctors bill or groceries for the week. Perhaps that child's diabetes would have been discovered at a routine checkup before he or she ended up in DKA on the floor of a free clinic. Perhaps not.

    Not only do we have a dead child here, we also have bills from this visit, probably in excess of 50,000. ICU vent days aren't exactly cheap. These bills go into what the hospital writes off as "charity" or "indigent" care which in turn goes into higher facility charges for that particular facility. Why do you think so many academic medical centers are in financial trouble? Aside from the BBA of 97, a good portion of their losses are the burden of the working poor... people who used to be on medicaid, but no longer qualify because of the welfare to work initiatives where they now have minimum wage jobs...

    Universal healthcare may not be the answer, I agree that this country is based on people working, not freeloading, but healthcare should be a right at least for children. You can turn up your nose at adults, preach that they have options, but kids DON'T have the choice to which you keep referring.
     
  45. mj

    mj Senior Member

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    I only have a minute but:

    on Ayn Rand:

    "The socialists have a certain kind of logic on their side: if the collective sacrifice of all to all is the moral ideal, then they wanted to establish this idea in practice, here and on this earth. The arguments that socialism could not and would not work, did not stop them: neither has altruism ever worked, but this has not caused men to stop and question it. Only reason can ask such questions - and reason, they were told on all sides, has nothing to do with morality, morality lies outside the realm of reason, no rational morality can ever be defined. "
    -- Ayn Rand, "Faith And Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World," Philosophy: Who Needs It

    "Poverty is not a mortgage on the labor of others - misfortune is not a mortgage on achievement - failure is not a mortgage on success - suffering is not a claim check, and its relief is not the goal of existence - man is not a sacrificial animal on anyone's altar nor for anyone's cause - life is not one huge hospital. "
    -- Ayn Rand, "Apollo 11," The Objectivist

    "Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men."

    Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead


    I agree with Nanon

    On the whole socialized medicine issue.

    I agree with Nan. (sorry Nan, I'll work on getting my own thoughts)

    I speak from experience also, no insurance due to unemployment brought on by corporate downsizing, no money to afford cobra and my 18 month old with pneumonia. There are better ways and there should be a minimum accepted standard for health for all people in the richest country in the world.

    mj
     
  46. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    I'm with you Zero Cool. People have plenty of choices under the current system. If you don't have a job that offers insurance you have some choices:

    Get a job with insurance
    Pay for insurance yourself
    Pay for health care yourself

    I have worked many, many jobs in my life and have spent nearly a third of my life living outside the U.S. I have always managed to provide some form of healthcare for myself and I made choice to ensure that. I have never seen a better healthcare system than what we have here...it's not perfect but it works and it is adaptable.

    The "sick mom" that socialistMD speaks of has a choice...buy some amoxicillin - it's not that expensive. If the government is going to pay for everything (as you say it pays for her housing, foodstamps pays for food, WIC helps with supporting the child) what incentive does she have to work at all. And what is she spending the money she makes on anyway. We all have choices and must prioritize accordingly. I shouldn't be punished for her situation by imposing heavy taxes on me. I empathize with her but, in my opinion, the government is providing enough for her. She made the wrong decisions getting pregnant in high school, not me. If she were my friend or relative I would gladly help her out monetarily and in any other way I could. Responsibility for well-being belongs to the individual, not the government.
     
  47. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    mpp-
    Do me a favor. Go to the pharmacy and purchase some amoxicillin. Wait, you will need a script. That means you will have to go to the doctor. That means you will have to pay.
    Plus, mom does not know the child needs amoxil. I did because it was my whole scenario and I made the conditions. Mom does not know what is wrong.
    And, let's see, what could mom be spending all of that money on? Well, the kid has two siblings. That is three children. Do you have three children? Do you know how expensive they are? Do you know how much it costs to pay rent, electricity, water and grocery bills? Have you ever paid a babysitter?
    Yeah, mom would have probably been better off not getting pregnant, but does that mean she, and more importantly her children, should be made to suffer?
    If this is not the responsibility of the government, then what, exactly, is?
    Thanks for being so compassionate.

    mj-
    On what, exactly, do you agree with Nanon about Ayn Rand? That her philosophy can be taken out of context and misconstrued or that she is all for the pushing aside of the poor? I am just curious.
     
  48. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    Yes, because mom should suffer the consequenes of HER actions. SHE made a poor choice in having children when SHE was in high school. Her children on the other hand are a different matter. It is a good thing they were blessed enough to be born in this great country. Perhaps this mother should consider giving these children to someone who is more capable of providing for them. Then maybe she can find better work, become better educated, and then have some more children (or adopt some from families that cannot support them). I do not have three children because I made a different choice than she. When I pay a babysitteer, I do so with money that I earn at the several jobs I work so that I can provide for myself and my family and pay the taxes for the services the government provides (as well as the money that goes to the unfortunate).
    If she were provided with the amoxicillin what would she do next time? She wouldn't need to get a better job so that she can pay her fair share in taxes since the government will give her the next med when she needs it.

    I have plenty of compassion for suffering people and I help them in many ways including volunteer activities and other charity assistance. The government's responsibility is to provide security and justice, not healthcare.

    [This message has been edited by mpp (edited 03-14-2001).]
     
  49. pcl

    pcl Senior Member

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    So say the kid has strep throat, which turns into rheumatic fever, ends up with heart damage... and all of this could have been prevented with a $10 prescription? And this is fair to this child how? You would begrudge this child a $10 prescription just to make the mother SUFFER because of her bad choice? Very compassionate. Yeah, mom's going to suffer, but the kid is going to suffer more.


     
  50. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    Another reason why I don't think this woman should be raising these kids. She can't care for them. Do you really think this woman working two jobs and on governmental assistance is really providing a good life for her three children? Do you think she is providing them a well-balanced diet? Do you think they are living in a safe neighborhood? Are they getting an adequate education? This is what Zero Cool is talking about when he discusses that Universal Health Care is a band-aid fix. It does nothing to help the real problem. It only gives the kid a dose of amoxicillina and puts them in exactly the same situation next time they get sick since there is no incentive for the women to get out of the situation she is in. She is the one making her children suffer. She should give them up to someone who can provide for them. She should make the right choice for her and the kids.
     
  51. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    Am I to understand that the only people with motivation are those who (a) do not get pregnant at a young age and (b) do not allow themselves to be put in a situation where they are not in control? I know of some people who are single mothers who work two jobs to support their children. They made mistakes as teenagers. They are not looking for handouts. They are trying to make their lives better. They go to night school. They work hard and are good at what they do. They are not lazy. However, some of them are still uncovered medically. Do not assume that everyone in need is a leech of society. Some circumstances are out of their control.
    As far as giving the children up, have you ever met a mother who thinks her children could be better cared for by someone else? Maybe this should be a decision for the government! But wait, how is this anymore about justice or security than healthcare? Is it just to take the child from the mom? Be very careful if you choose to say that keeping the child with that parent is unjust, because I guarantee you will step on more toes than you know.
    Speaking of justice, is it just to deny that family health care because the mother had an accident 6 years ago?
     
  52. FinallyThere

    FinallyThere Junior Member

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    Hello All,
    Please take a moment to review this website:

    http://www.gov.sg/moh/mohinfo/mohinfo_a.html

    This will provide you with an overview of Singapore's health care system. Aspects of it are very interesting. This system is truly progressive and offers the benefits of both the socialist and capitalistic philosophy. Check it out and tell me what you think!
     

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