The "I'm canceling my membership with AMSA" support thread

medic8m

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Originally posted by dave262


There is nothing wrong with a little charity work, but it is another thing entirely to say that I should have to pay for Joe Blows $175000 triple bypass

Im not trying to be argumentative but that is the same argument people use against funding education. Namely, grants and loans for higher education. So everyone taking any federal or states money (90% of med students) is guilty. The idea is to promote the well being of society. If more people are able to go college or med school with government's help, this is good for society. The same thing can be said for peoples health.

You ask why you should have to pay for someone else's surgery - Why should I have to pay for(subsidize) your education(about the same cost)?
 

JumpShot

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Originally posted by medic8m
Im not trying to be argumentative but that is the same argument people use against funding education. Namely, grants and loans for higher education. So everyone taking any federal or states money (90% of med students) is guilty. The idea is to promote the well being of society. If more people are able to go college or med school with government's help, this is good for society. The same thing can be said for peoples health.

You ask why you should have to pay for someone else's surgery - Why should I have to pay for(subsidize) your education(about the same cost)?

Actually, it is not the same thing and the argument that both promote the well being of society is dubious at best. There are two glaring differences:

(1) The student made no choice led to his situation. We are all born ignorant and need to learn and grow to be productive members of society. Genetic predisposition and nicotine addiction aside, a some point there were personal choices that led to the need for bypass surgery as described by the original poster.

(2) Society can reasonably expect a large return on it's investment in the student. With a good education the student will be able to get a good job, support and nurture a family, pay taxes, maybe become a doctor and contribute society in many ways. Expecting the same from the Joe Blow as described by the original poster would be unreasonable. More likely Joe would choose to continue his previous lifestyle and not significantly contribute to society.

Now do we withhold treatment for Joe Blow. Absolutely not! But the reason to pay for his surgery is because we want to live in a society where people are charitable and compassionate and will give some a second chance (although it may just be a second chance to have bypass surgery). We are not necessarily expecting anything in return and its a gamble. So lets leave it to those who want to take this gamble and not use government to force those who don't.

For the student, however, we as a society expect a contribution back. This investment not a gamble and it makes sense for the government to get involved.
 
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megsMS

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The difference is that those loans are just that: loans. We pay them back, and most of the time we pay the interest that has accrued as well. Sorry to "borrow" what would actually be quite a small part of your individual taxes that you pay, but I must say that our borrowing money from the government is A LOT different from us being expected to pay for someone's poor lifestyle choices (as mentioned in the example given above).

LONG LIVE CAPITALISM!
 

megsMS

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JumpShot,

I couldn't agree with you more. Also, medic8m, I'd like to hear you tell someone in person that you are paying for their medical education. Many of my classmates are taking out over $250,000 in interest-accruing loans that they alone will pay back. If it is you who is paying for their medical education, then I am sure they will appreciate receiving your personal checks in the future after they begin paying back all the loans they had to take out (which in your idea of a perfect socialist world would include the loans that they took out to belong to a profession in which they would eventually be forced to pay for your medical treatments that are probably needed for yet again, poor lifestyle choices that inflicted bad health upon yourself).
 

gschl1234

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I find it disheartening that some day I'll have colleagues who believe health care to be a privilege and not a right as the OP seems to believe. Why didn't you become a lawyer or investment banker?
 

medic8m

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Student loans are subsidized by the federal govt. If they weren't, no bank would lend a college kid with no credit a quarter-million dollars.

Also, if you think lifestyle is the only factor that contributes to coronary artery disease, you have alot to learn.

My elderly grandmother has to go to a dental school to get her teeth cleaned because she can't afford dental care. This care is not covered under her VA benefits. My grandfather was a veteran who died while in the service. She doesn't eat cheetos or smoke. Her husband died for all the rights we enjoy, can she get her damn teeth cleaned?

What ever happened to compassion?
 

MichiMO

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Originally posted by dave262
I'm done being a member of a group that wants to turn the US healthcare system into a socialist pile of crap. Please tell me im not alone in this endeavor.......

There is nothing wrong with a little charity work, but it is another thing entirely to say that I should have to pay for Joe Blows $175000 triple bypass after he spent the last 10 years unemployed sitting on a couch eating cheatos and smoking.

I could go on and on, but I'm to tired from studying. So im going to sleep. (i know, its 2PM, we just finished midterms though)


go TCU frogs :horns:

Oh good lord, get over yourself!

How 'bout the little child with leukemia who's parent's can't pay for a bone marrow transplant? Or how about Joe Blow's family who will be left without support when Joe Blow keels over because you are too selfish to have a tax increase on your six figure doctor's salary?
While some people do contribute to their health problems more than others, does that mean we should just say, "oh well, you were stupid, you deserve to die." People don't intend to get sick and the Joe Blow senerio you describe is not the majority of people who need health care. It is just the lame excuse people use to justify their selfish closed minded attitudes. I would hope the doctors of the future are a little more interested in the well-being of society. Especially since I am sure the majority of you would have claimed to have been deeply concearned about the health of society in your bloody medical school admissions interview! Don't lie to yourselves. You know if you were asked wether you would provide care to someone who couldn't pay, you would have said yes!

Believing that health care is a right does not make someone a socialist communist hippy liberal whatever you want to call it. It just means we can see beyond our own desire for a new BMW, bigger boat, or whatever stupid crap you would buy while someone else couldn't buy crucial mediciation or had to choose between eating and health care.

Ahhh...gotta stop!
 

Trajan

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Just want to point out that it is possible to think that AMSA's ideas are childish, if not foolish, and that the OP -- at the same time -- is a bastard for suggesting what he writes above.

Could compose a nice piece articulating that position in greater detail, but the free time I have tonight is a scarce commodity, so I shall go do something better with it instead.

I do have one question for the OP: did you learn to think this way at Texas Christian University? (Couldn't help but notice that you went there). Now don't go and dismiss me as some northeastern liberal trying to take a cheap shot at Christianity. Actually, I'm a deist in the Christian tradition and believe that the "Kingdom of God" which Christ spoke of was a noble and brilliant political movement towards government that leads society based upon natural law and God-given rights; a society that tries to govern as God would rule: a society that values justice, as well as mercy and generosity. You may disagree. Regardless, there is no interpretation of Christian theology that supports your assessment of Mr. Joe Blow and "a little charity work" in medicine.... Unless you ask the members of suburban Houston country clubs who sit in the front pew every Sunday, a lot that I suspect you hope to join some day.

Go Middlebury Panthers :horns:
 

descartes

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I too am going to cancel my membership with AMSA. When I signed up I had no idea what they were all about. It seems to me that no matter what the issue is, they just take the most extremely liberal side possible. The final straw for me was the whole "don't take anything from a drug rep" argument. Screw that, I am a poor med student and I wont turn down free lunch, or free pens, or whatever else. They keep saying that it will affect which drugs doctors prescribe, but I think we all know that that this idea is totally crazy. Ask any doctor if they would prescribe a med more because the drug rep gave them something. They will all tell you that they prescribe what they feel is best for the patient.
 

NonTradMed

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Originally posted by descartes
I too am going to cancel my membership with AMSA. When I signed up I had no idea what they were all about. It seems to me that no matter what the issue is, they just take the most extremely liberal side possible. The final straw for me was the whole "don't take anything from a drug rep" argument. Screw that, I am a poor med student and I wont turn down free lunch, or free pens, or whatever else. They keep saying that it will affect which drugs doctors prescribe, but I think we all know that that this idea is totally crazy. Ask any doctor if they would prescribe a med more because the drug rep gave them something. They will all tell you that they prescribe what they feel is best for the patient.

HAHA! My parents works for a large pharmaceutical company..........of course it works, if it didn't, companies wouldn't be doing it! That's just the excuse doctors tell themslves (and their patients) to assuage their conscience.

Let me put it this way........we all know there is no such thing as a free lunch. If giving docs free hand outs 'doesn't work'.....then why do companies still do them? IT WORKS......and I have greedy docs to thank them for my education. ;)

I haven't looked at the AMSA and it's political stance....but I can't believe anyone would feel that public health doesn't benefit everyone.

It is a cost to society when someone is sick and can no longer work.......and yes, believe it or not, people will get sick or hurt even though it's NOT THEIR FAULT.

People say getting an education as different from receiving health care b/c ignorance is a born state, but remember, we are also born mortal, which means, even the healthiest among us will need to see a doctor sometime in our lives.

How is it not in society's best interest that we provide money so that men can go see a doctor for their prostate exams and women to do their prenatal checkups?

I am not an advocate of providing ALL health services for everyone, but I believe some level of basic health services should be provided....and going to the ER should not be it. That is costly in monetary terms and human suffering.

Health care is big business, but it is also a social service we provide to society. We can not afford to treat it as a free give away, but neither can we afford to treat it as a pure business venture.

IMHO, this means we should provide BASIC health care to people....anything extra they can buy private insurance for.

I do not mind hearing about med students talking going into medicine for altruistic reasons, nor do I get bothered (as much) by students saying they go in it for money....what bothers me are hypocrites that say they do so to 'help people' and turn around and treat their future patients with such competent, as if it's their patients personal fault that they are sick and dying.....and that society sees no benefit in keeping them alive. Perhaps that's true for some people, but don't make blanket statements about the whole of humanity.
 
B

Blade28

Originally posted by medic8m
Namely, grants and loans for higher education. So everyone taking any federal or states money (90% of med students) is guilty.

:confused: But those are loans! I borrow the max amount every year via Stafford/Perkins loans, but I have to pay them back. Not a "handout" or anything.
 
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medic8m

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Originally posted by Blade28
:confused: But those are loans! I borrow the max amount every year via Stafford/Perkins loans, but I have to pay them back. Not a "handout" or anything.

I know there is a large difference. However, my point was that it is a form of goverment handout. With a Stafford loan you pay no interest while in school. It is subsidized. No commercial lender will do that, and there is a reason.
So what makes you so special that the government should loan you a quarter-million dollars? You will hopefully contribute to society..
 

megsMS

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medic8m, out of the approximately $33,000 I am taking out in loans this year, only $8,500 is subsidized. I am responsible for the interest on the rest of the $24,500. This seems like a pretty good business venture for the government loaning me the money, doesn't it? Who comes out better financially in the end? Do you really think that they are loaning me the money because someday I "will hopefully contribute to society", or because they are making money off of my loan?
 

megsMS

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This web page is awesome for anyone who's interested!

Go to the URL below to hear a great version of "Hillary Clinton's Socialist Health Care Plan" sang to "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles. Everyone who is against socialized medicine: I think this should be our theme song.


http://www.paulsilhan.com/lal-7.htm
 

stomper627

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Originally posted by gschl1234
I find it disheartening that some day I'll have colleagues who believe health care to be a privilege and not a right as the OP seems to believe. Why didn't you become a lawyer or investment banker?

Actually the american people have decided that health care is a privilege not a right. Ask the average citizen how they feel about the healthcare that illegal immigrants get. I bet youll get some interesting responses to your question.

Yes, there are a lot of accidents that happen that people cannot afford healthcare(a friend of mine recently became a quadraplegic and cannot afford all his bills....even with insurance), but thats it...it was an accident...not a lifestyle choice he made. Its my patients that I see, who are 5'6" 387# 6beers a day, 96pack year hx of smoking, being treated for HTN, but "forget to take their meds" so they are back in the hospital, that I cannot seem to have any sympathy for. But then again, as I struggle through medical school busting my butt day in day out, and I see these people....not doing a damn thing, getting society to pay for their lifestyle, I wonder who really is a smarter person.....me or them?
stomper
 

mooklyster

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Could not agree more. Cmon folks, the issue is not whether or not we care as doctors, but whether or not this form of medicine is the way to go. How can any reasonable person think that a system that is, according to its proponents, too expensive for most to afford now believe that adding a layer of government will make it more reasonable. All it will do is add another layer of bull to getting things done. Not only that, but do not villify doctors for earning what they do and wishing to keep it. We work hard to get there, and furthermore, each and every person in this country has the ability to better themselves should they do so. This is simply rewarding people for making poor life decisions.
Before the hate starts pouring in, do not write in with tales of woe, of course there are those who find themselves in poeitions through no fault of their own, but that is what charities, medicaid, and medicare are for, not the massive extortion by the government. This is simply redistribution policy by the left in a different coat.
 

carrigallen

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I think mandatory medical insurance for daily activities would be helpful. Why is it that I can't drive a car without car insurance, yet I can go break my neck driving recklessly and cost society many millions of dollars?

Medical insurance should be required for:

-driving a car
-skiing/snowboarding
-credit card application
-home equity loan/morgage

Did you know that 1/3 to 1/2 of patients admitted to emergency rooms will never be collected upon? I think we should continue providing full medical care to the uninsured, but make efforts to reduce the number of uninsured in the country..it's ~15% now.
 

DrQuinn

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Originally posted by carrigallen
Did you know that 1/3 to 1/2 of patients admitted to emergency rooms will never be collected upon? I think we should continue providing full medical care to the uninsured, but make efforts to reduce the number of uninsured in the country..it's ~15% now.

Actually, some EDs only get 30 cents to the dollar. Depends on the clientele. If you're in the 'burbs, its much higher than an inner-city hospital.

Q, DO
 

NonTradMed

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Originally posted by mooklyster
Could not agree more. Cmon folks, the issue is not whether or not we care as doctors, but whether or not this form of medicine is the way to go. How can any reasonable person think that a system that is, according to its proponents, too expensive for most to afford now believe that adding a layer of government will make it more reasonable. All it will do is add another layer of bull to getting things done. Not only that, but do not villify doctors for earning what they do and wishing to keep it. We work hard to get there, and furthermore, each and every person in this country has the ability to better themselves should they do so. This is simply rewarding people for making poor life decisions.
Before the hate starts pouring in, do not write in with tales of woe, of course there are those who find themselves in poeitions through no fault of their own, but that is what charities, medicaid, and medicare are for, not the massive extortion by the government. This is simply redistribution policy by the left in a different coat.

I think the problem with the current system is it is a hodge podge collection of charties and patchworks of organizations to help the poor. When you dont have a uniform way to 'catch' all the cases of the uninsured, then you get people who 'fall through'. You say that current charities, and gov't programs are good enough, I guess I see no proof that they are assauging the health care crisis for the millions of uninsured.

Also, the mindset of people on this forum seems to be that the main problem with socialized medicine is that doctors will have to eat the cost of health care cost....no one seems troubled by the millions of uninsured children out there nor the elderly who have to pay exorbiant fees for health care. Shouldn't people think the current system is unfair to the most vulnerable? That is the CURRENT problem, not underpaid doctors....what are people's solutions for uninsured people who are 'deserving' but have life threatening illnesses? Should their families suffer and go through threat of bankrupacy to finance their health care?

I guess the problem is that medical students tend to come from families which can provide for care, but the current economic downturn is starting to affect the middle class, for the first time, people are realizing losing health care can happen to them.

And another question is: we provide free education for all children, and subsidize care for those that are 'deserving' (i.e medical students), what do you all say about providing basic health to children under 18 and to those that are 'deserving' (over that age)---you know, those that have fulltime jobs and provide from their families but don't have jobs that provide for health care? Or elderly people who've spent their entire lives working but don't have enough to pay for all the costs of their health care in their old age?

Are they not 'deserving' of health care as tax payers of america?
 

efex101

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Have you personally experienced socialized medicine? because me thinks not. Socialized medicine also lets down the most "vulnerable" namely because the government is in charge and there is a huge lack of professionalism within the ranks. The elderly in socialized medicine are NOT given treatment options that countries like the US would offer. There is some sort of cutoff age for what they (the government or whoever makes these choices) deem it is appropriate to treat...my father was NEVER given the option of chemo/radio/transplant nothing and guess what? he died due to lack of care all the way from the nursing staff to OMG there were no doctors on call for the whole weekend! no oncologists! *that* is what socialized medicine is in many cases. Go check the what the haill happened to AMSA thread.
 

mooklyster

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Just to answer...i have lived under socialized medicine before, and it sucks for lack of a better word. If AMSA thinks socialized medicine will be a better option, they are backwards and sorely mistaken.
Also, in response to another post, regarding the uninsured being deserving as taxpayers, realize that those at the bottom of the income scale pay no taxes, and only serve to drain from the system. I am not suggesting that they are undeserving of compassion, just making sure that we deal with the facts here.
 
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NonTradMed

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Originally posted by efex101
Have you personally experienced socialized medicine? because me thinks not.

Actually I have, or more precisely, my parents have all their lives....they think socialized medicine has it's good and bad points and the type of health care we have in this country has it's good and bad points. Mainly that if you are poor and/or have a bad job, socialized medicine is better, otherwise, it is better to go for something like the US.

I was trying to point out a third way, where everyone would receive basic coverage but pay for the 'extras'. This is something neither people in this country nor where my parents from has. So we either have to choose between paying for good services at a high cost or having the government pay for poor services.

Also, in response to another post, regarding the uninsured being deserving as taxpayers, realize that those at the bottom of the income scale pay no taxes, and only serve to drain from the system. I am not suggesting that they are undeserving of compassion, just making sure that we deal with the facts here.

I think you should take an economic course before saying those that provide much needed services but make little money are a 'drain' on the system. :)

This is not idealism talking, but from a purely economic standpoint, we cannot say that the working poor, b/c they give less in taxes, do not produce anything in terms of economic output. Certainly, they are a drain on society when they have no health care coverage and end up in the hospital, unemployed b/c they became sick and in need of government handouts for their illness which had been left untreated.

There are millions of uninsured that WORK and PAY TAXES. That is why health care reform has become such an issue in Congress, because the working and middle class are starting to be affected by a lack of health care when they lose their jobs. I wish I still had the New York Times article that talks about the current health care situation with laid off workers.

For those insured that work, when people are sick and/or worried about paying for health care of a loved one, we lose time and money in worker productivity and increase cost of health care b/c people delay care until the last minute.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that not everyone without health care are unemployed or lazy bums, for those that are working or recently laid off, not having health care coverage is a scary proposition.
 

ewing

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Originally posted by efex101
Have you personally experienced socialized medicine? because me thinks not. Socialized medicine also lets down the most "vulnerable" namely because the government is in charge and there is a huge lack of professionalism within the ranks. The elderly in socialized medicine are NOT given treatment options that countries like the US would offer. There is some sort of cutoff age for what they (the government or whoever makes these choices) deem it is appropriate to treat...my father was NEVER given the option of chemo/radio/transplant nothing and guess what? he died due to lack of care all the way from the nursing staff to OMG there were no doctors on call for the whole weekend! no oncologists! *that* is what socialized medicine is in many cases. Go check the what the haill happened to AMSA thread.

Was this in Spain? I thought their national health system was pretty good?! :(
 

efex101

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Yes this is in Spain and no their system is terrible. If you go to Spain and ask folks most that can afford it have their own private insurance. It can take months just to get an x-ray or any other lab work and the staff at the hospital is under the impression that the patients should be "thankful" that they are even getting seen for (this was actually something that was told to my family) they are receiving *free* healthcare so they should not ever complain. You really have to go there and see it with your own two eyes. The hospital was filthy, and patients were lined up in the hallways, the doctors were yelling yes yelling at family members to get out of their way, the nursing staff was eating and drinking coffee the whole time and taking hundreds of smoking breaks (almost every breathing person in Spain smokes constantly), it looked like something that you would find in a communist country, I was literally in shock! I spoke to one of the oncologists there and he told me that this hospital (mind you it serves Madrid) did not have oncologists on call on the weekends WTF? so if any cancer patient like my father came in during Friday he was SOL until Monday. During the whole weekend stay not ONCE did a physician come and see my father so he contracted pneumonia (sp?) and passed away on Monday. I grew up there but my parents had private insurance for me so I was never exposed to the inefficacy of this system although I had heard Spaniards complain about it. You cannot sue so no matter what they do or do not do it is pointless to complain, so many Spaniards just think this is the norm. This oncologist I spoke with told me that my father was never given the option of any chemo/radio hell they did not even give him any painkillers or anything, because well he was older (he was only in his 60's) and there was no point really in prolonging the "suffering". I was just in utter shock and will never ever set foot again in a government run hospital there. I am sure that some systems work but not the ones that I have been exposed to. Also if you guys remember what happened in France last summer...100's of people died during the heat wave and a lot of this deaths were due to a lack of healthcare personnel. Everyone in Europe takes vacation for at least a full month and they all go during July/August so the docs/nurses/etc.. were all on vacation helllooooo??? I tell you to many of the physicians that I spoke with and saw this was like being a plumber just a regular 9-5 job and that is it.
 

medic8m

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I've been in the medical field for years, but am new to medicine (M1). I am making impressions about certain organizations and societies. By the title of this thread I thought I would get some real information about the AMSA. Could anyone give me any facts besides "they are a bunch of commies"? I really want to learn more. Why do all the posts against the AMSA seem to mean-spirited and/or arrogant? These are the things I'm noticing. I also don't care to rely on anecdotal evidence for much. Im sure I could find people who love the care they received in a society which offers universal coverage.
 

djipopo

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to the OP:

dude you're already paying for the 'smoker who sits on his couch and eats cheetos', his health care costs are already built into your insurance premiums.

get a life and find a heart, you have no business trying being a physician.
 

Kosmo

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Originally posted by djipopo
to the OP:

dude you're already paying for the 'smoker who sits on his couch and eats cheetos', his health care costs are already built into your insurance premiums.

get a life and find a heart, you have no business trying being a physician.

This is an honest question: Why would you assume that the original poster doesn't know this? And how is this an argument against his position?

PS: It always tickles me when people say things like 'find a heart' within the context of such a vitriolic comment.
 

Jeff698

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Originally posted by medic8m
By the title of this thread I thought I would get some real information about the AMSA. Could anyone give me any facts besides "they are a bunch of commies"? I really want to learn more.

There are primarily two national associations that claim to represent medical students: AMSA and the Medical Student Section of the AMA.

I (like most medical students) joined both during the first week or so of first year. I've stayed active in the AMA and my state association but have never done anything with AMSA. AMSA membership is dirt cheap and lasts four years. Even though I rarely agree with the opinions expressed by AMSA, I'd still recommend joining them and finding out for yourself.

Also, take a look at both websites for more information: http://www.amsa.org
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/14.html

Take care,
Jeff
 

djipopo

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Originally posted by Kosmo
This is an honest question: Why would you assume that the original poster doesn't know this? And how is this an argument against his position?

PS: It always tickles me when people say things like 'find a heart' within the context of such a vitriolic comment.

how prolific.

:rolleyes:

if he took 2 minutes to think about it, he wouldn't direct his anger at AMSA, or even bother to create this thread.
 

JumpShot

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Despite the idealistic rhetoric and admirable goals touted by socialized medicines proponents it just doesn't work. Government just can not do as good a job as the private sector. I've heard hundreds of stories of poor health care from socialized systems. I've yet to hear an experience where socialized medicine worked better than a private medical system where the patient was insured. Almost invariably the proponents of socialized care must cite the uninsured when arguing their case because, if you are insured, the private system works much better. If we can figure out how to provide a minimum of insurance to everyone, then we will have solution that actually works for everybody rather than one that only sort of works.

The real danger with socialized medicine, however, extends way beyond the inefficiencies and inherent ineptness of a government beauracy. Peoples healthcare needs are directly related to their behaviour. Everyone will get sick sometime and there are genetic predispositions to certain problems. We will all get old and need help and kids get hurt just being kids (skinned knees and the occasional broken arm are part of their job description). But while bumps, bruises, and aging are just life, many people choose to do things that increase their likihood of needing healthcare much beyond that baseline. This is why smokers, race-car drivers, rodeo cowboys and others all have higher insurance premiums. And it makes sense that they should. (Will they pay their "fair share"? Maybe not but at least there will be some accountability for their choices.)

Socialized medicine has no method to selectively charge "higher premiums". Everybody ends up paying equally regardless of their choices and behaviour. Herein lies the danger. Because I am now paying just as much as some else for the results of their choices, I now have a vested in what those choices are. And because there is vested interest government now has a basis for regulating more and more of peoples lives. More laws and litigation follow. (The government lawsuits against the tobacco industry were largely based on the fact that government medicare/medicaid had to pay for the effects of smoking.)

We don't need more regulation in our personal lives. I will leave the extreme extension of the argument against regulation to those who believe in black helicopter theories. I will simply ask if anyone on this forum would support a law the mandated the use of a condom or banned sex acts that with higher risks of disease transmission? I would expect the answer to be "no". The Texas sodomy law was overturned because the nine wise heads reasoned that the government had no vested interest in what took place in the bedroom of consenting adults. With socialize medicine, this argument could be turned the other way if the court determined that that behaviour posed a health risk to either of the parties (remember the government is paying the tab).

The thing is, I want to be responsible for my OWN actions and would like others to take responsibility for theirs. Socialized medicine removes accountability and encourages government to regulate to try to get it back. Let's insure the uninsured with some sort of minimal coverage and lets help charitable organizations (Shrinners, MDA, Make a Wish, and many others). But let's keep the government out of it as much as possible because the private sector just works better. There is just too much for us to loose as a society and nation.
 

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Originally posted by Jeff698
Even though I rarely agree with the opinions expressed by AMSA, I'd still recommend joining them and finding out for yourself.

Actually, I'd recommend finding out what they stand for first, then joining if you support it. That's why I eventually decided not to join AMSA.

Just to throw something else out there, I wonder how proponents of socialized medicine would feel once the government starts to expand its regulation on substances and behaviors that have an adverse effect on the cost of paying for universal health care for all Americans. For example, restricting the production and sale of certain foods, greater jurisiction over reducing alcohol and tobacco sales, and more disturbing prospects like trying to regulate reproduction. And what of the recent issue about the government's access to health care records in the partial-birth abortion proceedings? If the government controlled access to health care, it would be much easier for them to obtain your health records. It's all just hypothetical right now, but some of these things are much closer than you think. Socialized medicine would only accelerate such change.
 
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ewing

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Originally posted by efex101
Yes this is in Spain and no their system is terrible. If you go to Spain and ask folks most that can afford it have their own private insurance. It can take months just to get an x-ray or any other lab work and the staff at the hospital is under the impression that the patients should be "thankful" that they are even getting seen for (this was actually something that was told to my family) they are receiving *free* healthcare so they should not ever complain. You really have to go there and see it with your own two eyes. The hospital was filthy, and patients were lined up in the hallways, the doctors were yelling yes yelling at family members to get out of their way, the nursing staff was eating and drinking coffee the whole time and taking hundreds of smoking breaks (almost every breathing person in Spain smokes constantly), it looked like something that you would find in a communist country, I was literally in shock! I spoke to one of the oncologists there and he told me that this hospital (mind you it serves Madrid) did not have oncologists on call on the weekends WTF? so if any cancer patient like my father came in during Friday he was SOL until Monday. During the whole weekend stay not ONCE did a physician come and see my father so he contracted pneumonia (sp?) and passed away on Monday. I grew up there but my parents had private insurance for me so I was never exposed to the inefficacy of this system although I had heard Spaniards complain about it. You cannot sue so no matter what they do or do not do it is pointless to complain, so many Spaniards just think this is the norm. This oncologist I spoke with told me that my father was never given the option of any chemo/radio hell they did not even give him any painkillers or anything, because well he was older (he was only in his 60's) and there was no point really in prolonging the "suffering". I was just in utter shock and will never ever set foot again in a government run hospital there. I am sure that some systems work but not the ones that I have been exposed to. Also if you guys remember what happened in France last summer...100's of people died during the heat wave and a lot of this deaths were due to a lack of healthcare personnel. Everyone in Europe takes vacation for at least a full month and they all go during July/August so the docs/nurses/etc.. were all on vacation helllooooo??? I tell you to many of the physicians that I spoke with and saw this was like being a plumber just a regular 9-5 job and that is it.

Dios mio. Vaya faena. I don't know what to say. That's horrible. I always thought that Spain and France had decent national health systems. I spent some time in Granada, and the few people I spoke with there seemed reasonably happy, but of course they probably have lower expectations. I'm really sorry about your father. The truth is, though, that nowhere is the standard of care as high as in the US. Part of that is that patients consider themselves consumers and often take an active role in their healthcare by reading up on the internet about their conditions, the drugs they are being prescribed and so forth. When I was 17, I had the option of going to medical school in Europe. I would be a doctor by now. Every day I thank my lucky stars that I decided to bite the bullet and pay the extra $250,000 to get the best medical education money can buy.

Of course, I'm still an idealist and think that US government should work to provide healthcare to the uninsured, but it certainly is sobering.
 
8

8744

Apparently, socialized medicine is great as long as you're not sick. In other words, since most people rarely go to the doctor or the hospital, they take comfort in the illusion of having access to high quality health care.
 

efex101

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Hablas espa?ol? I agree that socialized healthcare is fine *until* you get sick. There is a tremendous misconception that the "poor" will benefit the most this is just not true, usually the indigent and immigrants have a terrible time of getting anything done and they are often treated with contempt although they are paying taxes.....go figure. Also folks under this system really do "not" know the option available and take the physician as some demi-God.
 

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I often hear reports that the US has a higher infant mortality rate and shorter life expectancy than many other first world countries (including countries with Universal Health care). What is everyone's take on this? I am still undecided on what healthcare delivery system we should have, and am interested in hearing opinions on why our system fares poorly by those standards (infant mortality and life expectancy).

Furthermore, because I have a strong conscience, I tend to lean left on many of these issues, but it is very refreshing to read right-leaning posts such as the one below where the argument is more than just "It's my money! Don't take it Don't touch 'the precious' bank account!" The whole idea of capitalism is actually very idealistic in its own right; just consider the idea-I can help other people most by being as greedy as possible. Imagine what a great society we would live in if that worked perfectly!


Originally posted by JumpShot
Despite the idealistic rhetoric and admirable goals touted by socialized medicines proponents it just doesn't work. Government just can not do as good a job as the private sector. I've heard hundreds of stories of poor health care from socialized systems. I've yet to hear an experience where socialized medicine worked better than a private medical system where the patient was insured. Almost invariably the proponents of socialized care must cite the uninsured when arguing their case because, if you are insured, the private system works much better. If we can figure out how to provide a minimum of insurance to everyone, then we will have solution that actually works for everybody rather than one that only sort of works.

The real danger with socialized medicine, however, extends way beyond the inefficiencies and inherent ineptness of a government beauracy. Peoples healthcare needs are directly related to their behaviour. Everyone will get sick sometime and there are genetic predispositions to certain problems. We will all get old and need help and kids get hurt just being kids (skinned knees and the occasional broken arm are part of their job description). But while bumps, bruises, and aging are just life, many people choose to do things that increase their likihood of needing healthcare much beyond that baseline. This is why smokers, race-car drivers, rodeo cowboys and others all have higher insurance premiums. And it makes sense that they should. (Will they pay their "fair share"? Maybe not but at least there will be some accountability for their choices.)

Socialized medicine has no method to selectively charge "higher premiums". Everybody ends up paying equally regardless of their choices and behaviour. Herein lies the danger. Because I am now paying just as much as some else for the results of their choices, I now have a vested in what those choices are. And because there is vested interest government now has a basis for regulating more and more of peoples lives. More laws and litigation follow. (The government lawsuits against the tobacco industry were largely based on the fact that government medicare/medicaid had to pay for the effects of smoking.)

We don't need more regulation in our personal lives. I will leave the extreme extension of the argument against regulation to those who believe in black helicopter theories. I will simply ask if anyone on this forum would support a law the mandated the use of a condom or banned sex acts that with higher risks of disease transmission? I would expect the answer to be "no". The Texas sodomy law was overturned because the nine wise heads reasoned that the government had no vested interest in what took place in the bedroom of consenting adults. With socialize medicine, this argument could be turned the other way if the court determined that that behaviour posed a health risk to either of the parties (remember the government is paying the tab).

The thing is, I want to be responsible for my OWN actions and would like others to take responsibility for theirs. Socialized medicine removes accountability and encourages government to regulate to try to get it back. Let's insure the uninsured with some sort of minimal coverage and lets help charitable organizations (Shrinners, MDA, Make a Wish, and many others). But let's keep the government out of it as much as possible because the private sector just works better. There is just too much for us to loose as a society and nation.
 

NonTradMed

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Originally posted by Panda Bear
Apparently, socialized medicine is great as long as you're not sick. In other words, since most people rarely go to the doctor or the hospital, they take comfort in the illusion of having access to high quality health care.

Well, based on personal experience, socialized medicine sucks until you lose your job! :laugh:
 

JumpShot

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Originally posted by jdg222
I often hear reports that the US has a higher infant mortality rate and shorter life expectancy than many other first world countries (including countries with Universal Health care). What is everyone's take on this? I am still undecided on what healthcare delivery system we should have, and am interested in hearing opinions on why our system fares poorly by those standards (infant mortality and life expectancy).

Furthermore, because I have a strong conscience, I tend to lean left on many of these issues, but it is very refreshing to read right-leaning posts such as the one below where the argument is more than just "It's my money! Don't take it Don't touch 'the precious' bank account!" The whole idea of capitalism is actually very idealistic in its own right; just consider the idea-I can help other people most by being as greedy as possible. Imagine what a great society we would live in if that worked perfectly!

As for the reports and stats, liars figure and figures lie. Check out the thread titled "Is affordable healthcare a right or privilege?" in the "Everyone" forum. I think you'll find some of the posts interesting and informative.

A strong conscience doesn't cause someone to lean left or right it just causes them to think about their views. You're right about the money. I've been both rich and poor and the only real difference is where you eat. It can't be about the money or power for that matter. If that is your muse, your only morality will be the one of convenience. Our politicians (both on the left and right) are proff of that.

The philosophical left (not necessarily the political left) has some good ideas but socialism (and socialized medicine) just doesn't work. There is no reward for working hard, no reward for real effort. It requires EVERYONE to accept a social contract where the mantra is "what can I do for society". Nice in theory but it just won't happen and you can't legislate it. People have different ideas about what is best for society and they tend to focus on what they can do for themselves. (Welcome to natural selection.)

It is better to reward people for the effort, require accountability for actions, protect freedom of choice (not necessarily abortion)and allow those who have a "what can I do for society" attitude to do so according to their own conscience. It doesn't work perfectly and it can be improved, but it does work.

Incidentally, my family and friends tease me endlessly because I don't get sarcasm. I understand it but it is totally lost on me.
 

medic8m

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Isn't there a huge difference between "Socialized medicine" and "Universal Healthcare"?

The last post was an arguement against a pure socialist government. Is socialized medicine just a phrase used to evoke emotion and/or images of all healthcare workers wearing red scrubs and marching?
 

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To all those who want to cancel their AMSA membership, I feel your pain. I do not support some of their issues, namely their ideas for Universal Health Care; however, I am not going to cancel my membership. At the advice of one of my friends who DOES NOT support socialized medicine and is going to run for AMSA president at our school and is attending the AMSA national conference, I am not going to cancel my membership but I am going to fight to force the higher-ups in the organization to realize that not everyone feels the same way they do. There are many people in the organization who favor more feasible ideas such as a National Health Insurance Coverage Plan for those who are unemployed due to disability, etc. instead of socialized medicine. AMSA is a large organization that will continue to gain members due to their preying on unsuspecting MSIs who want a free Netter and do not realize what they are joining. The only way they will hear our voice is if we are involved! We can either sit back and let it happen, or activity participate and hopefully make changes that we would like to see. So I encourage you to stay in AMSA but become active in your chapter. If there are enough of us who speak out, we can make a difference.
 

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If you've already joined for 4 years, you might as well stay. Even if you completely disagree with all their viewpoints, I think it's still good to "know thy enemy," so you'll be better equiped to defend your viewpoint should you be challenged.

Anyone out there ever rotate at a inner-city county hospital or a VA hospital? My experience has been loads and loads of red tape, lots of extra forms to fill out, unionized nurses who seem to enjoy giving you grief, and patients who can never get discharged because of some bureaucratic requirement that keeps them in the hospital. Of course, I'm making generalizations, and there are always exceptions, but you get the point. The patients still get outstanding care because of caring physicians and nurses who make it their mission to treat this patient population. But I would probably not like to see the whole health care system deteriorate to such a level.

We can already see what years of public education have lead to: deterorating schools, poor grades, and a workforce that is becoming less and less skilled. Is this what we want from our health care system as well?

Overall, I think the people at AMSA are idealistic in their goals, but somewhat naive as to the unintended consequences of what they promote.
 

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to everyone who is whining about being "tricked" into joining AMSA, I hope you realize you're being absolutely ridiculous. i can't believe anyone who is supposedly intelligent enough to get into medical school would actually neglect to find out about an organization before giving them their money. to be honest, i took the time to look up AMSA on the internet, and actually decided to join because i *do* agree with what they stand for.

otherwise, i think it's great that people with a more conservative point of view will be running for positions with AMSA. i'm all for incorporating multiple perspectives, and having an organization that represents what medical students really believe.

that said, i hope that those conservatives who do attend the conference will also go into it with an open mind instead of the knee-jerk "AMSA wants medicine to be like a bread line in Russia!" perspective. it's not just about "know thy enemy". we all tend to take refuge inside these coccoons of political rhetoric at times, so it's always a good idea to take lots of opportunities to emerge from them and be willing to educate ourselves.
 

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From my brief skimming of all these postings, I think that many of you, while much more educated than myself, seem to forget a few key points. You forget that your spending a good decade and a half of your lives in school and training (for low pay) to be a doctor. Meanwhile some of your colleagues who graduated college go to law or business school and are living a nice, well paid life. Then when you become a doctor those same people are chasing your ambulances trying to sue you! What we need as students is an organization that promotes TORT REFORM. This is a political issue and your vote in November CAN make a difference. If you look at the facts- Democrats are supported by the Trial Lawyers Association whereas the Republican get money from the AMA. I know that I'll never hear the end of this by telling you all to vote Republican, but for me, this issue trumps the war in Iraq and shipping our jobs overseas. As a doctor, they're not shipping me anywhere. It's time to use politics to your personal advantage, rather than just being a college radical who goes to rallies about the war and that the US is doing bad things. When I get out of med school, I don't want to pay 1/4 1/3 or 1/2 of my salary towards malpractice. If my vote means that I'm supporting a candidate that threw away $87 billion, so be it. But my share of that money will cost me personally less in the long run than the atrocious insurance that doctors pay.

Also, please don't call me a "troll" and defame me for not having 10,000 posts or for my political views. If you're going to debate, don't spin (O'Reilly's philosophy works, even if he doesn't use it correctly himself ;) ) Just remember that your vote does count (to an extent) and that you should prioritize your values.
 

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Originally posted by Fermata
That's rich.

Exactly how important do you think your vote really is?

Ask the voters in 1992 who voted for Ross Perot if their votes mattered.
Ask the voters in 2000 who voted for Ralph Nader if their votes mattered.
 

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Originally posted by jdg222
Furthermore, because I have a strong conscience, I tend to lean left on many of these issues,

I'm sorry, but I just have to comment...

The tone of moral superiority in that statement is astounding.

The implication is that someone who doesn't "lean left" doesn't have a strong consience.

And that is simply false.

LL
 

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OzFan writes:

"for me, this issue trumps the war in Iraq and shipping our jobs overseas. As a doctor, they're not shipping me anywhere. It's time to use politics to your personal advantage, rather than just being a college radical who goes to rallies about the war and that the US is doing bad things."

First of all, if you're saying that doctors' financial woes (yeah, right) are a more vital concern than the thousands of lives (American and Iraqi civilian) that have been lost in the past 366 days then IMO you have no business telling people to prioritize their values.

Second of all, outsourcing is about to ROCK THE MEDICAL PLANET. If you think that American doctors aren't about to feel a squeeze from foreign competition, you're dead wrong. Radiologists are already starting to feel it. Now fast forward a few years: foreign docs (with fractional cost bases) will be running gas and (quite possibly) performing some surgeries over ethernet connections while NAs and NPs monitor and we work crosswords puzzles and argue politics.

I don't mean to jump your case, and, personally, I LOATHE insurance companies and support tort reform. However, your message seems awfully short-sighted and solipsistic.


Yes, your vote does count. THINK before you vote.

--Funkless
 

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For anybody who is interested, my friends who went to the AMSA National Conference in Kansas City last week said that the issue of Universal Healthcare seemed to be a small one. They said that there was only one small meeting on it, and it was not mentioned much at all. This is good news; however, we can't forget that it is still on their agenda whether it is truly a big issue to them or not.
 

stomper627

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Originally posted by funkless
I don't mean to jump your case, and, personally, I LOATHE insurance companies and support tort reform. However, your message seems awfully short-sighted and solipsistic.

Yes, your vote does count. THINK before you vote.

--Funkless

Dont you find it ironic that you support the party thats 2 largest contributors are the Trial Lawyers and Unions? Unions are a prime reason for the outsourcing of american jobs.....and I wont even bring up what trial lawyers are doing to your future career.
stomper
 
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