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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Universal Healthcare? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Universal Healthcare?
AvidReader
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quote:
I would also like to see some sort of control placed on the legal system which is currently being used to extort doctors and hospitals out of much of their money.
Actually, it might help to cut down on the extortion of doctors in general. It's one of the few professions where you're expected to work 12 hour days for free for a year before you can actually make any money. Even after the internship, many doctors work long days in hospitals trying to make life better for the rest of us. Maybe hospitals should be forced to treat doctors like human beings instead of indentured servants.

The real problem with government healthcare is how do we get Mac and others with chronic diseases provided for as they should be without paying for every hypochondriac and legal junkie?

How many people did you know this winter that went to the doctor and got antibiotics for a cold or flu? Pills can't cure a virus. It has to go away on its own. The vast majority of Americans refuse to take responsibility for their own health. We eat badly, refuse to exercise, smoke, stay stressed, and then when we inevitably become sick, we expect the doctor to make it all better with a magic pill.

Maybe we should try better education and some kind of government fund for people with chronic illnesses. We'll still end up paying for some scam artists, but at least it won't be the majority of the country. And those in need could get the help they deserve quickly.

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sndrake
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quote:
I think euthanasia is a good idea because people should be able to pass from life with grace and with dignity. That's the entire goal of doctors who deal with terminally ill patients.

The big flaw in that statement is the assumption that a lack of euthanasia is the most important obstacle to "grace and dignity" in dying. Getting comprhehensive palliative care - at home - is much more important. And more expensive.
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ClaudiaTherese
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Some guys are aware that the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) under Title XXI of the Social Security Act has made mandatory the provision of basic coverage to all children on a state-by-state basis. For several years now. In all states.

Some guys are depressed by the lack of interest in actual data shown by most guys who enter into these discussions. As if, you know, the facts of the matter are really irrelevant to discussions of public policy, because we all know what some uninformed person wishes/believes to be true must be true, because reality obviously bends to their mindsets.

Some guys just don't have it in them to argue the same points over and over again, as it doesn't seem to make much of a dent in the collective density of the American mind on this matter. [Frown]

[ February 22, 2004, 04:29 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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sndrake
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"Facts," said Don Quixote, "are the enemy of truth!" (Not the only thing he got wrong - although there's a point to be made about what facts are relevant.)

"Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups" -- John Kenneth Galbraith

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Storm Saxon
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Facts are simple and facts are straight
Facts are lazy and facts are late
Facts all come with points of view
Facts don´t do what I want them to
Facts just twist the truth around
Facts are living turned inside out
Facts are getting the best of them
Facts are nothing on the face of things
Facts don´t stain the furniture
Facts go out and slam the door
Facts are written all over your face
Facts continue to change their shape

---David Byrne

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ClaudiaTherese
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If I were a different guy (say, someone not bothered by the niceties of accuracy), I would ignore the international survey of patient care satisfaction carried out by the Harvard Department of Public Health regarding Canada, US, New Zealand, UK, and Australia.

Just because it shows that "Similar proportions of the public in all five countries rate the quality of overall medical care, physician care, and hospital care as "excellent," with Canada being the highest in all categories [emphasis added]," is no reason not to believe that Canadians are more satisfied with their system, in general, than US citizens are. What is a wealth of data compared to one or two (or three or four) anecdotes?

sndrake: *mournful look

Slap me if I step into this conversation again. I have been infected by the workaholic / can't-get-away-from-my-job meme. [No No]

[ February 22, 2004, 04:24 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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ClaudiaTherese
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You know, Stormie, facts can look pretty darn twistable until you view the alternative.

There's nothing like wild speculation and raw opinion for bendability, truth-wise.

[*slaps self to save sndrake the trouble]

[ February 22, 2004, 04:21 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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Storm Saxon
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[Wave]

edit: We are all clear that my previous post wasn't in any way, shape or form making an actual statement on health care, yes? I just thought it was a contest to see who could post the best quotes relating to facts. [Smile]

[Monkeys]

[ February 22, 2004, 04:27 PM: Message edited by: Storm Saxon ]

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ClaudiaTherese
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[Wave]

[Wink]

Okay, I'm better now. I love you, Stormie. [Kiss]

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Storm Saxon
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Screw you all who don't think virtual kisses and hugs are as good as the real thing.

[Kiss] at you, CT. [Smile]

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John L
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quote:
Some guys just don't have it in them to argue the same points over and over again, as it doesn't seem to make much of a dent in the collective density of the American mind on this matter. [Frown]
And some guys have learned to see the practicality of some others' points, and have accepted that the others' arguments are valid. [Wink]

I'm not sold gung-ho on the idea, CT, but with some proper measures taken to insure the economic integrity of the nation without a great revolution-like upheaval, I could agree to such changes. And you have the credit for leading me to that view.

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Xaposert
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quote:
Can someone who is in favor of a national healthcare system please explain to me exactly how it will be better than what we have now?
Benefit #1:

It would be better because it will result in less taken out of the average paycheck every week. It will increase the taxes taken out of that check, but this will be more than offset by the elimination of having to pay for employer-provied healthcare coverage.

It will do this because a single government health insurance plan is more efficient that thousand competing plans. This is because:
(1) Standardized proceedures, if done correctly, should eliminate a lot of the waste generated by the complexity of our current system. (And when I'm talking about this, it not only includes that actual costs incurred by health insurance companies, but also the costs currently incurred by employers administrating health care plans, the time it takes for individuals to monitor their own plans and options, and the time and effort it takes for hospitals/doctors/etc to navigate the many different insurance programs out there.)
(2) Insurance is unique in that risk is one of the largest costs, and that risk drops the larger the pool of participants is. So, whereas smaller companies cannot afford the risk of certain demographics without charging high prices, a national 300 million person plan will be able to minimize the cost.

Benefit #2:

It eliminates the problem of uninsured people. An uninsured person is not just a problem for himself, but for society at large, because ultimately we will have to pay for his poor health. A small problem might be treatable now for a low cost, but if that person waits because of no health coverage, it may result in a problem that will cost a lot - and it may be Medicare that gets stuck paying that price in the end.

A person without health care not only is in danger himself, but also costs the rest of us, because current laws obligate us to care for him if something does happen to him.

quote:
If it was purely scale, couldn't one of the states try a state run medical system ? I'd love to see it tested out. You can't just point to another country and say "See, it works." They have different laws.
Yes, a state test could work - but people would still claim that it would never work on a national level, just as you're claiming we can't do the same thing in America that those other countries have had successes with.

I, for one, don't see why we just don't test it on the whole nation. It's not like it's impossible to go back if it fails. (Not like invading a country, for instance.)

[ February 22, 2004, 04:54 PM: Message edited by: Xaposert ]

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sndrake
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**am strangely relieved that CT slapped herself**

Slapping those who would grow up to be women was not a behavior that was encouraged when I was growing up. It is an inhibition I am oddly reluctant to be free of. [Wink]

(Yes, I know you were joking - so am I)

Hope I didn't make too light of the facts - facts can be misused and misapplied. But that is a separate issue from ignoring highly relevant facts that are available to be used to inform and enlighten (gonna see if that flies tomorrow.).

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mackillian
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Did anyone know that the United States has an uninsured population greater than the entire population of Canada?
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Richard Berg
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quote:
Getting comprhehensive palliative care - at home - is much more important.
To you. I'd much rather my spouse take some time off in Tahiti* than pay for someone to clean my bedpans.

*or give the kids a downpayment on a house, or whatever; throwing $1k+/day away so that I can extract the absolute maximum number of hours on Earth isn't my idea of fun

You're welcome, Zamphyre. I hope others can acknowledge the potential of the private sector, but if things have to be nationalized it's not the end of the world or anything. When we make our first alien contact nobody will care which agency their grandfather sent his checks to. (Sci-fi tangents are allowed on an OSC board, I'm assuming...)

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sndrake
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Wow, Richard, where did you get those dollar figures from?

And, for the record, I don't think families should have to go broke getting decent care at any time in their lives. Also, the vast majority of people who say "I wouldn't want to live if..." end up carrying on anyway when they actually get there. Not saying you'd be one of them, but thought you might want to know.

Hey, what you want to do is your own business. I'm increasingly unsure that government-authorized professionals have any business taking away the freedom of anyone who attempts or is talking about attempting suicide. Similarly, I'm very against government authorization of professionals to oversee the killings of certain suicidal individuals based on age, disability and illness.

Carving out euthanasia as a "right" for a small minority isn't a "clinical" matter - it's a value judgment.

[ February 22, 2004, 10:12 PM: Message edited by: sndrake ]

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ClaudiaTherese
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John, you keep me alive, dude.
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Richard Berg
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It depends, of course. If you have a terminal cancer patient with no mobility and poor immunity but no immediate medical needs, an in-home nurse + drugs + special chair etc. etc. may run "only" $40/hr + overtime as needed + equipment. If you have a patient with late-term coronary disease, bouncing in and out of the ICU, with the final days spent on a heart-lung machine awaiting a replacement aortic valve, you're talking at least $10k per day. (Just to cite two cases I have some connection with). The average is somewhere in between, clearly.

Let's be careful about tossing around "euthanasia," as it implies lack of patient consent. Passing the barbiturate overdose across the table, and/or respecting a living will in my consciousness' absence, is all I ask.

Hmm, maybe I need to go back and turn my second post into bullet points too. I thought the stuff about lower standards for auxiliary services would invite controversy. (It's a libertarian viewpoint, after all [Wink] ).

[ February 22, 2004, 10:26 PM: Message edited by: Richard Berg ]

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John L
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And you keep me aware, CT.
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ClaudiaTherese
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John, I just figured out who you remind me of: the guys on Mythbusters. It's that eclectic mix of sharp intelligence, gritty urban cool, and likes-to-blow-things-up debunkism. You would be awesome at that show.

sndrake, I have successfully recaptured my email account! I'll email you in the morning.

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