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  #1  
Old 11-26-2003, 04:37 PM
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Bad news for the seniors with the new medicare program

For years many seniors have suffered economically because the current medicare does not cover drugs. Some are fortunately enough because they live near Canada so they can purchased the lower price drugs there. With the recent addition of drugs to the medicare program, the only winners are the healthcare providers, drug industry, and the insurance companies. In addition, most senior have always counted on AARP to speak up for them. Not this time, due to greed in working with insurance companies, AARP has sold out the seniors by lobbying for THIS medicare reform.

I really feel this is a sad day for the seniors and for all of us for years to come because we are so deep in debt and with the addition of over 400 billion, how the hell are we going to pay for these debts. Bush's only interest in pushing this ill- conceived reform is for his re-election. I learn some time back, with the exception of a few, when politicians encounter any issues, the only question they ask themselves is WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME? Many good bills got pushed aside because of this. The very sad part is this time-tested scenario holds true every time!!!

We are very much in need of a better administration. I blame on Clinton and the democrats for not pushing for a better solution when he was the president. Now the Republican are, once again, letting the big business get a crack of the pot of gold.

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  #2  
Old 11-26-2003, 04:44 PM
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I agree. I wish they'd trash the whole dang medical welfare system. The thing was a costly fraud from the beginning and it ain't improved with age.

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  #3  
Old 11-28-2003, 01:44 PM
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It's a tentative and club-footed, but encouraging, first step towards privatization of the whole medicare and social security system, which is what MUST happen for it to ever be sustainable in the long run.

Mike
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2003, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
I agree. I wish they'd trash the whole dang medical welfare system. The thing was a costly fraud from the beginning and it ain't improved with age.
I don't know if I agree with that. A basic universal health care support system is vital to a healthy, stable society. I think universal health care system should stay, but OUR system should go, or atleast be seriously seriously overhauled; it's just too bureaucratic, inefficient and wasteful. I think a good system, and a compromise between private and fed run system would be where everyone would get a reasonable and equal voucher from the federal government to be applied towards a basic health care plan provided by either the government or a private provider, but the individual recipient would have the power to choose. I think this would cut down on government waste and hopefully force competition between the different health care companies. I don't believe in a system where there would be no available basic health care and where those who couldn't afford medical attention for whatever reason would just be left to rot.

Alex
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2003, 10:42 PM
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"A basic universal health care support system is vital to a healthy, stable society. "

The country managed to putter along before we had Medicare. What evidence is there to suggest that our society would become unhealthy and unstable without it?

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  #6  
Old 11-29-2003, 10:05 AM
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From an economic standpoint, universal health care coverage makes the most sense. Canada spends less than 75% per capita on health care than the US. The reason is the insurance pool is much larger, diversifying away more risk. Also, needless procedures are reduced, as people can't "self-treat" using their private coverage. Doctors are in charge of prescribing services, so there are no HMO accountants denying someone coverage.

From a human standpoint, allowing all members of your society access to high quality health care shows that you have progressed past the point where every aspect of life is "survival of the economic fittest." We never have families bankrupted by enormous medical bills.

The Canadian model has private suppliers belonging to the public program. This way we don't have the imposed caps on salaries that providers in other nations have. We still do lose some medical staff to the US, but that is an overblown problem. Many doctors have found their income in the US not much higher when the cost of operating their infrastructure was factored in. The reason we lose nurses has nothing to do with the health care system, but a gov't attitude that nurses were expendable, and they left in anger.

No system is perfect, and it's possible to find flaws with all of them. However, we've had a system that has worked pretty effectively for decades and most folks in Canada are more than pleased with the system. Want to rile up a Canadian? Suggest US style HMO-based health care.

Now, before you yanks throw out the old "rich people deserve better care because they're rich" statement, realize that not every nation or culture believes that.
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2003, 01:12 PM
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" Also, needless procedures are reduced, as people can't "self-treat" using their private coverage."

Cool. We love our HMO's making decisions for us, some bureaucrat making muts be a wonderful improvement. I'm too stupid to know what kind of treatment I want.

"...realize that not every nation or culture believes that."

Works both ways, huh?


If rich countries do not pay for pharmacological and medical research, who will? How does Canada pay for med research? The consumer in the USA effectively subsidizes that kind of research in every country which has price controls. How? Because that research is paid out of the profits. If profits are reduced in one country and not another, who pays for research? If all countries engage in price controls, where would the incentive come from for R&D of new meds? From the goodness of their hearts?

Oh, I get it...we'll subsidize university and government scientists to take-over medical R&D. In this manner we could have the complete gov control of healthcare system. It would be as advanced as the Chicom, Soviet, and Cuban models.

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  #8  
Old 11-29-2003, 01:54 PM
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It's not that there is not profit to be made in the medical industry in Canada. Drug companies and universities both do extensive research, using some tax dollars as well as reinvesting profits.

Where we don't have a profit motive (or savings motive) is in the insurance portion of the plan. That is the prmary difference. We simply replace the HMO with a gov't plan that everyone belongs to. It's actually pretty simple.

The US system does not leave the decision of treatment up to the doctor, but instead to someone that works for an insurance company. The major difference that we have is that doctor is in control of the treatment. Intuitively, you would think that costs would rise without the "control" that the HMO places on it, but it's just not true. Our health care costs are lower, and it's not like we're all laying in the street dying.

The one thing that we do is make you wait for a procedure that is not medically required at this time. However, the horror stories of waiting lists are just plain bunk, propogated by those hoping to push private insurance plans. My wife needed a CT-Scan, and the doctor thought it quite urgent. Wait? One day. She needed some minor sugery that the doctor thought should be done within 24 hours. Wait? Five hours. When things need to be done, they are. We don't push someone to the top of the list because they can pay.

That idea is "un-American" in some ways, but it works, since we're not American. Sure, there are some rich Canadians that gripe because they can't dominate the health care system. The vast majority of us like the universal insurance system, and work very hard to preserve it.

We know it's a compromise. We might have to forego some of the most wildly-advanced treatments, that would only be used on a few people anyway, to have basic treatment available to everyone.

The reason for the failure in China, Russia, and Cuba has nothing to do with Canada and our system. They do not have highly regulated capitalist economic systems (the word regulated meaning evolved and structured) that generate huge amounts of GDP that is utilized by a democratic system of government. Those nations have extemist forms of government that function as dictatorships and have little in common with our own nation. It's a poor comparison, but not unual for the US to draw upon to strike fear in people thinking of gov't insurance programs.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2003, 02:13 PM
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I have health insurance. The coverage is clearly written in the policy that I pay for. If I want something not covered then I pay out of pocket. Seems fair and clear to me. I work my a$$ off to get good coverage for my family. I don't like the idea of working my a$$ off so that soembody else can parasitize my efforts--livin' large on my sweat. Let them get a job, work their a$$es off and buy their own insurance.

My anology with totalitarian governments was not that I though Canada is totalitarian, but that total control of the system results in collapse of initiative--everybody gets the best treatment available. There's just not an awful lot available. Folks from all over the world come to the USA to take advantage of the great compensation we offer for their work. We have also contributed the most innovations in medicine of any other country. As in every other realm of human endeavor, you get the best when you pay the best.

I am very pleased that Canadians love their welfare system. I hope Canada continues to build on its foundation and moves from universal health care into other spheres of life that will bring Canada even closer to the exemplary European model. I wish that Americans who have that deep affection for the Canadian model would emigrate to a country that would better serves their dreams.

I hope the folks who stay work their a$$es off and pay their own way rather than depending on me for their benefit.

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  #10  
Old 11-29-2003, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Botnst
I have health insurance. The coverage is clearly written in the policy that I pay for. If I want something not covered then I pay out of pocket. Seems fair and clear to me. I work my a$$ off to get good coverage for my family. I don't like the idea of working my a$$ off so that soembody else can parasitize my efforts--livin' large on my sweat. Let them get a job, work their a$$es off and buy their own insurance.

My anology with totalitarian governments was not that I though Canada is totalitarian, but that total control of the system results in collapse of initiative--everybody gets the best treatment available. There's just not an awful lot available. Folks from all over the world come to the USA to take advantage of the great compensation we offer for their work. We have also contributed the most innovations in medicine of any other country. As in every other realm of human endeavor, you get the best when you pay the best.

I am very pleased that Canadians love their welfare system. I hope Canada continues to build on its foundation and moves from universal health care into other spheres of life that will bring Canada even closer to the exemplary European model. I wish that Americans who have that deep affection for the Canadian model would emigrate to a country that would better serves their dreams.

I hope the folks who stay work their a$$es off and pay their own way rather than depending on me for their benefit.

Botnst
Right on target, bro.

The US has higher medical costs largely because of the "lawsuit mentality" that our culture as a whole has developed, and because of profits being reduced by regulation in markets like Canada. A big, BIG part of the perceived advantage that Canada has in health care costs is due to this.

Doctors, surgeons, and hospitals must pay such outrageous malpractice insurance in the US that it is driving the cost of healthcare through the roof. Many doctors in private practice have even closed their doors and gotten out of the profession altogether because of this, or as a result of legal costs incurred while fighting against frivolous malpractice lawsuits. Many more are refusing to take Medicare patients altogether because the government program doesn't pay them enough to make it worth their time, and/or the inherent risk of malpractice claims that come with every new patient.

There is waste, inefficiency, corruption, confusion, political pandering, posturing, and abuse in EVERY program and organization that our government runs. Every single one. Why do people think that "universal healthcare" would be any different? You think our healthcare is expensive NOW? Just turn it over to our government and see what happens!

Someone mentioned in an earlier post that there could be a "compromise" system that is part private, part government... That is misleading. If the government gives "vouchers" for private care, as was suggested, then that is not "private" health care...Where do you think the money for the federal vouchers comes from? Taxpayers. Me. You. There is no such thing as "the government's money" or "the government pays". IT IS YOUR MONEY. They are spending YOUR money. MY money. No matter how nicely they package it and decorate it, it is still redistribution of YOUR wealth.

Anytime you force prices down in one market, as is done in Canada, one of two things must happen: Prices must go UP in some other market to compensate (like the situation in the US), or the quality and/or quantity of service in every market will go down.

Mike
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2003, 07:32 PM
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Originally posted by mikemover
...There is waste, inefficiency, corruption, confusion, political pandering, posturing, and abuse in EVERY program and organization that our government runs.
And there is not in business? What a joke. I can't remember one second in industry when we weren't escalting the corruption, graft and greed to new levels. All the points you level against government are found in business, and often at level that would make government blush.

If anything there is more waste in industry. When I worked for a Fortune 500 company the attitude toward waste was atrocious. We paid no attention to expenses or "efficiency" in anyway. In my periods of public service, we were under the microscope every minute and barely made ends meet, much less wasted a dollar.

The only firms I've been involved in that were not bastions of waste and corruption were small businesses, but if you think small family mom&pop businesses will run the health care system, then you're from another planet.
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2003, 07:58 PM
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My dog is uglier than your dog.

Look, its perfectly okay with me if Canada wants to socialize medicine. You can license witchdoctors or whatever--I don't pay Canadian taxes so how you guys spend your money is your decision.

If you worked in corrupt oraganizations, I'm glad you got out unscathed.

To say that all companies behave as did those that employed you is a sample size and extrapolation problem which in any reasonable analysis would be totally ignored.

Somebody has to pay for whatever services are rendered. I'd rather pay my own way and not pay somebody elses way. Its simple, really. I don't like the government taking my money without my permission, then giving it to somebody else. That enslaves me.

I favor employment and personal responsibility. Get a job, get insurance, save your money, work your a$$ off and when you can afford it, buy a Mercedes.

Botnst
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  #13  
Old 11-29-2003, 09:05 PM
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Blackmercedes
You are making too much real-world sense for some. Huge craters can be made in the comments of your detractors. The underlying differences are a lack of some understanding the "General System Theory", fundamentals of the insurance industry, etc. Free enterprise fundamentals are all too often used to trump areas where they have no reasonable application. This is obvious from some of the narrow-minded responses to what you wrote. If free enterprise is always the right thing, why would someone extolling its virtues contridict themself by trying to prove that your opinion is wrong? Of course, when all else fails, the ole "move to another country" argument can be thrown in to the mix. I think some forget or else chose to overlook that you work to pay for the healthcare provided you just as they do. It is not your fault that your country chose a path that does not tolerate as much legalized profit gouging as other countries may allow or in our case, encourage.

IMHO, when the President puts his ink on this bill and makes it law, it will be later known as one of the worst laws ever created by a United States President. On the flip side, my net worth grew! Thank you for subsidizing my growing wealth!
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Old 11-29-2003, 09:08 PM
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It's just a difference in where you draw your line. Do you think then that there should be NO taxes and everything is user-fee driven? What about police services? Dial 911 and enter your credit card? There are many societies around that show this does not work. There is an economic function known as "public good" that separates our civil society from chaotic nations.

We in Canada do not see someone needing health care as "deserving" or "un-deserving." We see the health care system as infrastructure, not unlike roads, airports, the military, and so on. Major services that we choose not to take on as individuals, but as a collective. You Yanks have lots of services like that. It's just which ones you choose to have under that umbrella.

You should not buy health insurance. If you truly believed your statments about not subsidizing someone else, drop your plan immediately and simply pay your own way. Every year you use more than your premiums, you used someone else's money. And every year your costs were less than your premiums, you gave money to someone that used more than their premiums. People that do not believe in sharing risk collectively should not be buying any form of insurance. As for the "permission" aspect, do all employer run health plans allow you to opt out? I would think that few would allow it.

I'm not sure how paying taxes is akin to slavery. Slavery is when you perform a task and have nothing in return. I see my own tax dollars at work every day. We have parks, schools, roads, police, military, legislative endeavors, airports, health inspectors, and even social programs provide a return to me personally even if I don't get a cheque.

There are plenty of nations around the globe that have your ideal system in place. What about Russia? They have little infrastructure, unbridled capitalism, little or no taxes, and you basically have the "freedom" to do as you please. Of course, this includes the police and others, so you must be on the "right" side of the situation for that "freedom" to work for you. However, that particular nation seems to have evolved into the Libertarians dream. Surprisingly, their borders don't seem to be overwhelmed with folks hoping to immigrate...
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  #15  
Old 11-29-2003, 09:18 PM
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Cancel the health insurance? Take that a few more steps. Call your mortgage holder and tell them you cancelled your homeowner's policy. Have a loan on your car? Turn in your policy and press the start button on your stopwatch to see how long the vehicle remains in your control! Live near the ocean or somewhere with a high probability of tornado, brush fires, tidal waves? Do think their insurance premiums are NOT being subsidized by those not living in high risk areas? If they had to pay on an actual risk basis or even better, not be allowed to purchase insurance except through LL, etc. we would have another fine way of redistributing some wealth. Builders and building material suppliers would prosper while the rest of us wouldn't have to subsidize the loss!

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