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Sterling
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I'm sure there are informed, intelligent people who oppose the health care plan, or portions of it. I'm sure there are legitimate questions about the long-term costs, or how to deal with real problems in the deficit of primary health care providers and the skyrocketing malpractice costs of those who perform important services. I would delight in a strong and informed debate on those issues, particularly in the halls of power where compromises must be worked out. The problem is that the loudest and most vocal are not the informed, but the people shrieking about "socialism" and "death panels". They aren't contributing to the discussion; they're disrupting it, and trying to destroy it. And more disturbingly, it appears that some of the people who are part of the decision-making process are only too happy to help them to do so.
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MrSquicky
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True ^

I'm not happy with a lot of what I've read about the health insurance issues and I think that we need a serious conversation with many viewpoints represented about what we are going to do. However, this does not seem to be coming from the GOP party proper, their news apparatuses like Fox News, or the protesters. They seem more bent on passing out false information and disrupting any sort of real discussion of the issue.

edit: Speculating, I think the GOP higher ups realize that health care reform is needed and that some sort of expanded government role is the way out of the mess we're currently in, but find themselves in a situation where making the country better is going to harm their party. Thus, they are choosing to try to disrupt and distort any effort towards health care reform, hoping that what ever form that gets passed is a disaster, instead of working towards a version that includes government participation that, through being successful, would give the lie to some of their rhetoric and upset some of their base.

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Orincoro
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And in the meantime, making the policy proponents fear sharing any of their actual intentions or information for fear of being used, exactly in the way that Obama's statement was just used here. It's entirely valid to discuss what Obama is saying, but it's rather less valid to take a small portion of his statement referring in general to a concept related in appearance to the "death panel" rumor, which itself seemed to spring entirely from nowhere in the interwebs, bouncing off of Sarah Palin's brain, and call that a confirmation of concept. It's rather like alien conspiracy theorists taking some general statement from the president about the possibility of ET, and using that as ammunition in favor of their vast conspiracy mythologies. Not as direct an analogy as they come, but the former act is no more straightforward or useful than the latter.

Unrelated to this, I'm happy to share my own view on the "death panel" concept, and what I think Obama's point is about allocating resources in the proposed system. Considering that alternatives to public care will remain available as they are today (for the moment ignoring the possible effects on cost of those alternatives, which could as well be more favorable in the future, not less), I'm entirely, *entirely* on board with the idea of the government laying out, in broad terms, the purpose of expenditures in a government program, as well as their limits. That should be open to public input, and we should find a balance in the system being offered. Personally, I'd prefer to see a system that allocates money almost entirely according to the direction of physicians, with limitations only on expenditures involving cases where quality of life is severely diminished or nonexistant, and expenses are extremely high. The government should have some line at which it is not responsible for providing care, which is how things already are with our current setup, only with insurance companies deciding when to pay in the end. More importantly, the government should not have overview of individual cases at all, but rather overview of expenditures from medical care providers, to be sure that money is being spent efficiently and wisely according to the overall needs of patients, and with an eye towards sustainable and preventative care. If the providers make unreasonable and continuous requests for funds, they should be audited, and their patients given an opportunity to be treated elsewhere. This way we can at least try to avoid the corruption inherent in the current system, where doctors are persuaded to undertake expensive treatments, or prescribe expensive medications, when those decisions run against their judgment as physicians, but not as businessmen. All the while, private insurance options should remain available and widespread, with their services regulated by the government to ensure they honor their commitments to customers and maintain their own stated standards of care.

The fact remains that we spend more, a LOT more, than other industrialized nations on health care per capita, and we get inferior average outcomes. I'm not looking for perfection, but I want to see us level out and tip upwards quite a bit in that department. With careful shepherding of our expenditures and honest and open dealings with the public about their options and their needs, that 16% of GDP that we spend in health care, more than any other country, could be going a *really* long way towards general public health. But general public health has been largely ignored here. Why? We are human resources. We are the wealth of the nation, and we have a very poor and patchy net underneath our high wire as a world power. Let's patch the net. Let's try this thing, and see what happens. I realize we can't guarantee the same outcomes as every single other industrialized country with UHC, but we should be fairly buoyed by the fact it's being done better than we're currently doing it. The American exceptionalists ought to be chomping at the bit to show the world how you really run a UHC system.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:

edit: Speculating, I think the GOP higher ups realize that health care reform is needed and that some sort of expanded government role is the way out of the mess we're currently in, but find themselves in a situation where making the country better is going to harm their party. Thus, they are choosing to try to disrupt and distort any effort towards health care reform, hoping that what ever form that gets passed is a disaster, instead of working towards a version that includes government participation that, through being successful, would give the lie to some of their rhetoric and upset some of their base.

This is the death knell of the Republican party if I ever heard one. When you've become so lost as to your real long term objectives that you're willing to let such a mess as our health care system slip into continual decline and ruin so that you can win a short term gain against an advancing opposition, you've lost the objective. But then, I think the Republican party itself, if not the conservative movement, began losing ground in America some years ago. Proof that a wounded animal can still fight, and still kill. And desperation breeds desperate acts.
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Farmgirl
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:

It seems that those opposed to health care reform want opposing things.

They don't want what we have now, but the shoot down any proposed changes.

They don't want it to cost to much, but every step made to limit costs is met with overblown disaster predictions.

Well, I'm a conservative, and I DO want some degree of health care reform, but I don't like being lumped in with "you want change, but are working against it"

I think we need health care reform, I'm just not convinced that this particular proposal is the best answer. I would like them to take more time, give us more details, not rush in -- get some good feedback from real experts (not politicians) to clarify things. More communication about specifics and less about ideals, etc. I'm not opposed to all reform -- I just don't want "Fools rush in.... etc."

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'm just not convinced that this particular proposal is the best answer. I would like them to take more time, give us more details, not rush in...
Believe it or not, I agree with you completely. But I'm also aware that we've been waiting for health care reform for thirty years, so I can understand the desire to rush in and do something the first time an opportunity presents itself; I believe -- and this is probably much to the consternation of the true libertarians on this board -- that the bill is seen as an opportunity to acclimate people to the concept of a single-payer system, so that an actual single-payer system (which will work much better than the Frankenstein's monster they've grafted together here) can be presented as an incremental reform some time down the line.
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Orincoro
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I'm in favor of rushing in as fast as possible. I'm not joking- I think if we slam some kind of reform through, we can get our foot into the door and never let it back out. As you said, we've been waiting 30 years while things got more and more dire in the private sector. Obama knows that trying this in his first year, even if it does fail, is going to give him an out in 3 more years to say: "let me keep working on this." Bush did the opposite with Iraq, pushing it near the end of his first term for the same reason. (Not saying that was the only cause of the timing, but it helped). Obama has to get things started now, even at a high cost, if he hopes to have any kind of leeway when it comes to later expectations. What was he going to do? Make it a major part of his platform, and then slowly pick away at it through a whole first term? Was he then going to claim it as a major part of his second term platform, when everybody would look at what he said in 2008 that never got done? He got elected because he was bold, and he's going to be reelected for the same reason, if at all. Much better to take the hit on what he knew would be an utter crapstorm in his first year, spend some of his goodwill up front, and then actually have 3 years to get to work on it. He could well be ousted in 2012, and he actually wants to get things started on this, so that it has a shot at working down the line. I'm on board with that.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I'm just not convinced that this particular proposal is the best answer. I would like them to take more time, give us more details, not rush in...
Believe it or not, I agree with you completely. But I'm also aware that we've been waiting for health care reform for thirty years, so I can understand the desire to rush in and do something the first time an opportunity presents itself; I believe -- and this is probably much to the consternation of the true libertarians on this board -- that the bill is seen as an opportunity to acclimate people to the concept of a single-payer system, so that an actual single-payer system (which will work much better than the Frankenstein's monster they've grafted together here) can be presented as an incremental reform some time down the line.
Me three. And the problem is, if this does NOT pass, it will be a minimum of 8-12 years before real health care reform is back on the table.
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katharina
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quote:
I believe -- and this is probably much to the consternation of the true libertarians on this board -- that the bill is seen as an opportunity to acclimate people to the concept of a single-payer system, so that an actual single-payer system (which will work much better than the Frankenstein's monster they've grafted together here) can be presented as an incremental reform some time down the line
It is because this bill is widely as seen as "first step" to a very different system that the fears of "death panels" and people losing the health care they like just fine now are not irrational fears. What is explained here is exactly what is opposed, so the fact that it isn't mentioned in this particular bill is not convincing that it won't happen later and this is the first step towards it.

If supporters want to be able to convincing counter opposition based on the worst-case-scenario, then getting the bill right the first time is essential.

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katharina
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If not "right," then at least not "unholy mess."
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Sterling
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To put it politely, the rhetoric that is coming out of the more vocal opposition to health care reform makes it extremely difficult to believe that the real objection is to having health care reform that's anything less than perfect. And if the "real fear" is not that the reforms themselves include death panels, but will lead to them somewhere up the line, that's not coming through at all.

Again, perhaps what is needed is for cooler heads to prevail. It's not appropriate to expect one side to provide all the impetus for rational discussion, though. If one side wants to talk and the other wants to scream, the side fronting the screamers shouldn't be surprised if eventually the opposition would rather dismiss them and work around them than keep trying to bring them back to the table.

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Mucus
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(second last post): Again, uniquely American mess [Wink]

You have to keep up with the lingo, "overseas contingency operations" and the like.

But more seriously, I did read something interesting, a bit of speculation on what the left in the US is planning.

quote:
1) private health insurance is hyper-regulated, underwriting standards are eliminated, and premium costs rise astronomically

2) employers, especially smaller employers, drop coverage and push employees to the “public plan”

3) the resulting dislocation of coverage and expansion of the public plan becomes a rationale for single payer – “see, we told you so” by the left

http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2009/08/doomsday-scenario.html

Personally, or rather "personally (if I was an American)", I would be cheering for such an eventuality. However, I don't actually think that the Democrats have demonstrated the foresight and planning for such a plan. But I think its something interesting where I can sympathize with the conservatives a little in wondering if this is just a "first step."

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Samprimary
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This proposal is not much of a solution, especially not without the public option. Our current healthcare system is a husk with a very flimsy foundation. Obama clearly wants a single-payer system (and a single-payer system would work) but knows he cannot achieve that presently with his current political capital, and still wants a way to stop the sustained double-digit inflation and spiraling quality issues of our medical care.

To paraphrase a speaker on npr, the way the current plan seems like it is trying to fix our healthcare system is equivalent to trying to fix a weak foundation by adding more floors.

I see it as nothing more than a 'gateway drug' trying to pinch-hit the american health care system into providing democrats (because the republicans are a blanket antagonist to reform at this point, unfortunately, leaving the democrats with the sole responsibility for providing our reform) with the future viability of a real UHC plan.

At present, the american political environment is too deluded with a toxic and misinformed branch of the public, who WILL derail any serious reform.

Essentially, we're too stupid to have nice things.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
It is because this bill is widely as seen as "first step" to a very different system that the fears of "death panels" and people losing the health care they like just fine now are not irrational fears. What is explained here is exactly what is opposed, so the fact that it isn't mentioned in this particular bill is not convincing that it won't happen later and this is the first step towards it.

If supporters want to be able to convincing counter opposition based on the worst-case-scenario, then getting the bill right the first time is essential.

The thing is Kat, this kind of paranoia is simply unreasonable.

Every piece of legislation is a means to an end. No law is expected to be perfect, and no system adopted is *ever* expected to work exactly right the first time. You're expecting the administration and senate to choose a path together, though they are still highly contentious and faced with a lot of public pressure to compromise, and you expect them to stick to that agreement forever and a day after it is made? How all or nothing can the senate be? Plus, were it not for the inane conspiracy wailing from the right, they could come up with such a bill on the first try.

And why exactly do you think that it would be easier for Obama to do something plainly wrong and unethical tomorrow, when he clearly wouldn't get away with doing it today? How little faith have you got in this country and its people?

So you're shouting about conspiracies on the one hand, then seeing the effects of your conspiracy mongering, and calling that proof of the likelihood of a conspiracy. Do you think that if no one was seriously opposing reform, Obama would try and pass a bill like this one, which is clearly one that will need further revision down the road? What exactly would be the point of that?

Obama wants to achieve something: he wants to achieve something that even you want. But this really just comes down to you not believing that Obama is a right thinking person. Which is terribly sad and ironic, because our healthcare dollars and many of your medical decisions, including, I expect, yours as well, are *already* subject to a great deal more financial consideration and cost saving than you actually fear. You're acting as if you aren't aware of that, but I suspect that you really are.

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Farmgirl
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Apparently they wisely listened to Kat and shut down the e-mail mailbox.

(although they are still garnering input via a different page/portal -- I didn't check it out to see what it was)

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Raymond Arnold
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Katherina, several times (in a few different threads) I have seen someone specifically address to you the point that "Death Panels" already exist now and are motivated entirely by financial gain as opposed to any kind of ethical oversight. I may have missed it but I haven't found a post of yours addressing this point. What exactly makes a government run death panel worse than a corporate run one?
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katharina
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"Rationing" by money - the same way iPods, houses, food, cars, and clothing is "rationed" - is very, very different from a government buerocrat denying a procedure.

In fact, calling the rationing by money "rationing" is violation of the English language. It isn't the same, and for those who love the idea of a government buerocracy doing the rationing, I haven't yet heard a good reason why health care is different from food and shelter.

If you mention the very poor, then you must also take into account Medicaid.

-----

That's awesome the White House shut down the mailbox. I have seen several editorials condemning the thuggish tactic, so clearly someone got through the them.

I think in the past four or five days, the White House has realized that this will not be a walk, and that they are finally being held to a human standard where people will criticize them for shoddy work, which is what the current proposals and crap like the email address is. A win for free speech, the democracy and the press. [Smile] No matter how promising a candidate is, the dance is not over once they've been elected.

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katharina
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quote:
Plus, were it not for the inane conspiracy wailing from the right, they could come up with such a bill on the first try.
Absolute nonsense. The Democrats have 60 in the Senate, a majority in the House, and the White House. If they fumble this one, they have only themselves to blame for being incompetent.
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
"Rationing" by money - the same way iPods, houses, food, cars, and clothing is "rationed" - is very, very different from a government buerocrat denying a procedure.

In fact, calling the rationing by money "rationing" is violation of the English language. It isn't the same, and for those who love the idea of a government buerocracy doing the rationing, I haven't yet heard a good reason why health care is different from food and shelter.

If you mention the very poor, then you must also take into account Medicaid.

While I have some quibbles with various pieces of that argument, the main issue I have is the insistence of calling a government run version of something that already exists a "Death Panel," as if it's somehow a fundamentally more scary thing than what we already have. Could the government hypothetically fix the system to prevent key political figures from getting liver transplants? I guess, but major financial backers of a hospital could hypothetically do the same thing.

As for what separates health care from food and shelter - basically, there's overwhelming evidence that our current system wastes huge amounts of money for various reasons which having a single centrally run agency would eliminate. Other countries have systems which are more effective for both poor AND rich people. People bemoan the control of health care by inefficient bureaucrats, when it's already under the control of bureaucrats that are not only inefficient but have no way to be held accountable. There's no way to vote with dollars when you already have terminal cancer and no insurance company will take you. If you can make something more efficient for people at every end of the economic spectrum AND more accountable (even if only slightly), does it matter whether there's some fundamental thing separating health care and food/shelter?

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scholarette
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Why would the option of paying out off pocket for a service the govt refuses to pay be eliminated in this plan? Especially since, for major surgeries, if your insurance refuses to pay, it is cheaper and just as good to go to go to a foreign country now.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
"Rationing" by money - the same way iPods, houses, food, cars, and clothing is "rationed" - is very, very different from a government buerocrat denying a procedure.


The government bureaucrat would be denying paying for a procedure. Just like insurance companies do.
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katharina
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The difference between the actions of insurance companies and the actions of the government is recourse and the free market. You can sue an insurance company, and a company that violates its responsibilities can be fined and customers can go elsewhere. There are things to be done on a micro level and a macro level.

When the government runs everything and says no, you are out of luck.

quote:
As for what separates health care from food and shelter - basically, there's overwhelming evidence that our current system wastes huge amounts of money for various reasons which having a single centrally run agency would eliminate.
This argument does not show 1) that it is particular to health care (imagine all the inefficiencies of having different contractors out there!) or that 2) a government-run company would do better.

To make it clear, I am in favor of a single-payer system. I think we should do whatever Germany is doing. However, advocates for it have not made a competent, decisive argument nor formed a good bill.

This tendency to demonize those who oppose it is reprehensible. I don't want to be associated with people who declare that anyone against socialized medicine is a selfish bastard who would shove people off the lifeboat. That's a poor argument and uncivilized behavior. Giving some respect when people have points would go a far away to showing that they deserve some.

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Destineer
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quote:
"Rationing" by money - the same way iPods, houses, food, cars, and clothing is "rationed" - is very, very different from a government buerocrat denying a procedure.

In fact, calling the rationing by money "rationing" is violation of the English language. It isn't the same, and for those who love the idea of a government buerocracy doing the rationing, I haven't yet heard a good reason why health care is different from food and shelter.

Government bureaucrats won't be denying any procedures, even under a single-payer system. They'll just refuse to pay for procedures. So the result, if your care gets denied by the government, is just "rationing by money" -- something you clearly have no problem with.

Nothing, especially in the US, is ever going to prevent people with millions to spare from paying their own millions for an extra six months of life with pancreatic cancer. Nobody is ever going to stop you from paying out of pocket for your own health care.

quote:
If you mention the very poor, then you must also take into account Medicaid.
What if we mention the slightly poor? They're the ones who get neither employer insurance nor Medicaid. Or at best, have to make tough decisions about whether to send their kid to college or get private insurance.
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Destineer
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quote:
When the government runs everything and says no, you are out of luck.
You can sue the govt. Many people do that successfully.
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BlackBlade
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katharina:
quote:
The difference between the actions of insurance companies and the actions of the government is recourse and the free market. You can sue an insurance company, and a company that violates its responsibilities can be fined and customers can go elsewhere. There are things to be done on a micro level and a macro level.

When the government runs everything and says no, you are out of luck.

You're not mentioning the fact that a government bureaucrat won't have the same incentives as a private insurance employee. Private employees are actually given bonuses, both for hitting certain rejection margins, and creatively finding ways to reject difficult claims.

It reminds me of the scene in The Incredibles where Bob has a fight with his boss for helping his clients dodge all the obstacles. I've spoken to friends who have worked for insurance companies and they argue there's more truth than exaggeration in the scene.

Now granted a government agency would have a rigid budget that it could not overspend, and if things got tight you might see similar things, but it would still be less adversarial than a person who wants a boost to their pay check and is being encouraged to seek it.

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
When the government runs everything and says no, you are out of luck.
I think it's quite the opposite. You can't sue a company for charging more money than you can afford, nor can you sue a company for disqualifying you when you have a pre-existing condition they know would be too expensive to treat. And even if you could, the legal fees, risks and effort required to sue a company when you're in the process of dying is something many people can't deal with. By contrast, with a government run system you at least have the ability to vote people out of office. You might not be able to vote out the bureaucrat who denied you coverage, but you can vote out the people that sign those people's checks. It still wouldn't be perfect but it would at least hold individuals somewhat accountable.

I don't intend to demonize people who are inherently opposed to health care. I know that economics is complicated (more complicated than I have the time to fully understand) and I am sure there are plenty of legitimate reasons to dislike the plans currently under discussion as well as various other hypothetical plans.

What I don't have much respect for, however, is decrying a government run program as inefficient, unaccountable and Death Panel™ laden, when that's exactly what we already have.

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katharina
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You can sue the government when they act improperly. The point of the entrenched rationing panels is that by denying care, the panel would be acting properly.

For suing to become successful, then the panels would have to dismantled and powerless. Then...why set them up in the first place? That they can be dismantled the first time they carry out their prescribed function is not a good argument for setting them up in the first place.

BB: Sure, there's no financial incentive for individual workers. You don't need incentives when there is the power of the state behind you.

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Raymond Arnold
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The power of the state to do what, exactly? What are you afraid of happening that does not (or could not) already happen?
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katharina
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Or could not? I need to make sure the possibility doesn't exist - even if it presently doesn't exist - in order to oppose this?

The power of the state in general when it comes to providing the service itself - not regulating it, but being the source - is something I think should happen only under extreme circumstances. For instance: space travel.

In general, most of the problems people have mentioned with the current system have alternatives that do not require the government to become a health insurance company.

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MattP
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The difference with food and shelter is that there are many options to obtain food/shelter compared to healthcare. When I need shelter I can get by, if necessary, with a tent. When I need food, I can get by on inexpensive staples which are available from a variety of sources. There is no "castrophic" shelter or food need what will bankrupt me if I attempt to satisfy it with death or severe disability being the alternative.

With healthcare my needs will vary based on any number of chance occurances - I can't get the "live in a tent" version of heart surgery, or the "beans and rice" version of chemotherapy. Healthcare of the sort that insurance is needed for is not a commodity item and the healthcare system that came to exist in the free market shows that free market principles do not inevitably lead to competitiveness, improved quality, and decreasing prices.

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katharina
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MattP, thank you. That's a very good argument. [Smile]
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
You can sue the government when they act improperly. The point of the entrenched rationing panels is that by denying care, the panel would be acting properly.

For suing to become successful, then the panels would have to dismantled and powerless. Then...why set them up in the first place? That they can be dismantled the first time they carry out their prescribed function is not a good argument for setting them up in the first place.

BB: Sure, there's no financial incentive for individual workers. You don't need incentives when there is the power of the state behind you.

Katharina: Sure, but if you were working as a government health care employee, what would be your reason to deny somebody care?
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Raymond Arnold
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So you believe the government being responsible for health care is inherently bad regardless of whether there are negative consequences to it?

If there are non-government run solutions that would be effective and accountable, I'd be fine with them as well, and if they are MORE effective then the government option then obviously I'd prefer them, but fearing a government run institution out of principle just seems pointless to me.

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katharina
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quote:
if you were working as a government health care employee, what would be your reason to deny somebody care?
It would be the law. Those would be the legal guidelines. There are teams of auditors that constantly monitor what government agencies are doing. It isn't like no one would know, and in my experience the auditors monitor government agencies very closely. How long do you think someone would last in their position if they ignored the guidelines?

--------

In general, non-government run of marketed goods and services is much, much better than government run. There was a whole century worth of experimentation in communism about this.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
"Rationing" by money - the same way iPods, houses, food, cars, and clothing is "rationed" - is very, very different from a government buerocrat denying a procedure.

In fact, calling the rationing by money "rationing" is violation of the English language.

Really? A government employee making decisions with exactly the same effects is very, very different? Mind you, I am not in favor of *anyone* being able to make such a decision, and I find it a bit odd for you to defend it in this way. The act itself is less abhorrent if the motivation is financial rather than... budgetary?


An I wasn't aware the English language could be "violated." Perhaps you meant, "misuse," or "misapplication?" If so, I think you're dealing in semantics when the point is quite clear to everyone here.

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fugu13
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Of course, as the government would still just be one of several insurance companies, people would still be free under any plan that's been proposed in Congress to pay for the care out of pocket.

That said, I vastly prefer solutions where the government is neither an insurer nor a care provider, and think there are several viable ones. Note that this does not mean I don't think the government should reform the current system (a lot of the problems in which can be soundly laid on the government's head).

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
quote:
if you were working as a government health care employee, what would be your reason to deny somebody care?
It would be the law. Those would be the legal guidelines.
You have no basis in fact that I am aware of to support such a claim. Claims that this "will" be the law, and that there "will be" such policies is not a valid argument against either the proposed system, nor against reform, especially considering that such hypothetical laws and policies are not yet law or policy, nor have you presented clear evidence that they are about be such. You're beating up on a worst case scenario- and one that is still nowhere near as bad as you think it is. People will still be able to vote, and whatever laws and policies are made, they will be subject to review by the courts, and ultimately the voters. You'll have "activist judges" on your side if your chicken-little scenario ever comes true.
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katharina
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Orincoro, I'm not going to answer you because I think you are nitpicking and avoiding the obvious answer: if it doesn't exist, then it wouldn't happen.

I was answering a hypothetical situation. Duh. Saying "But that's only hypothetical!" is not an intelligent response.

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Orincoro
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Be nice please- I may have missed the context for your statement. It wouldn't be the first time, for anyone.

But I'm sorry, answering a hypothetical with a supposition about future conditions is not answering the hypothetical, but rather evading the answer.

Ie:

Orincoro: What would you do if the Earth was going to be hit by a comet?

Katharina: I'd have super powers, and I'd just go and roundhouse kick it like Chuck Norris... duh.


See? You never really answered the question about what *you* would do in such a situation. The point of the question was not to hoist you on your own petard, but to make you think critically about your very broad suppositions about what other people would do. You failed, I think, to really consider that.


Orincoro: What would happen if Superman and Batman fought??

Katharina: They wouldn't fight because Batman wouldn't reveal his secret identity, and Superman would fear the use of Krypton.

Ignores the part where the hypothetical asks you to dismiss certain mitigating factors which make the actual situation unlikely, and consider the question as a matter of principle, rather than detail or point of fact. You don't answer those, pretty much ever.

Now to say that the law would prevent you from acting your conscience, if the law was so written, is valid, but first answer the question. And don't "duh" me- not if you're also going to lecture me on being nice to you. I'll take the ticket or the lecture, but not both.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
In general, non-government run of marketed goods and services is much, much better than government run. There was a whole century worth of experimentation in communism about this.

It is interesting to note that while this may be true in general, this seems pretty dubious for healthcare.

Even putting away the usual suspects like Canada or Britain which show much better outcomes than the US.

Notably, while Chinese citizens are still incredibly enthusiastic about market reforms in practically all sectors of the economy, they are most worried about the privatization of healthcare. In particular, the high cost of private healthcare and the spotty coverage of it, means that healthcare is a glaring anomaly where the public has demanded for the reforms to be reversed and the government has obliged by putting a significant portion of its equivalent to the American "TARP" into re-creating a more socialist healthcare system.

Indeed, one notices that if one crosses into the most capitalist place on Eath, Hong Kong, and which regularly outranks the US in international measures of economic freedom, it still uses a universal healthcare system with a large government funded and government-run component.

The reason why is actually quite simple. If you put away the ideological objections, it makes good business sense and is good for the economy. As examples, the socialist healthcare reforms in China are applauded by American economists (curious, eh?) as an opportunity to boost the economy and both Japanese and American companies such as Honda and Government Motors have in the late 90s shifted much of their North American production to Canada in large part due to the cheaper cost of healthcare.

It is last part, which as a Canadian makes me hesitant to back public healthcare in the US. Why throw away a good competitive advantage? But in the interest of the historical record, I have to note that I find the generalization quoted above wanting.

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BlackBlade
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Katharina:
quote:
It would be the law. Those would be the legal guidelines. There are teams of auditors that constantly monitor what government agencies are doing. It isn't like no one would know, and in my experience the auditors monitor government agencies very closely. How long do you think someone would last in their position if they ignored the guidelines?

But why are you assuming the guidelines would be rigid or unfriendly? I've always had a pleasant time at the post office, when I've applied for a passport, when I register my car, etc.

It would be one thing if countries with government run health care were struggling and begging for relief, but instead we find America with a privatized health care system that has demonstrated a propensity for cutting edge treatment but inadequate concern for the average person.

Yes perhaps some of the blame is rightly placed on people who do not eat right, exercise right, or avoid things that can damage your health. All I can say is that in my circumstance and in many other people's they can't even get rudimentary treatment for basic problems that are not our fault. The free market has not provided the impetus for health caretakers to fix that.

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Glenn Arnold
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Is it my imagination or has this thread completely missed the language that is being misread as "death panel," in the current legislation being proposed? The proposal includes language that people facing end of life decisions are entitled to end of life counseling by doctors, hospice workers, etc. It's a benefit being offered, not a set of rules giving government panels power to limit services. The legislation mentions these services along with a host of other services that would be covered by the program, but the crazies have completely turned it on its ear.
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scholarette
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Glenn- hasn't this been covered- voluntary means mandatory and anytime the government gives advice, it will be the most sinister advice possible.
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MrSquicky
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Glenn,
I think it is more people are confused or pretending that the protesters and GOP operatives are talking about worst case scenarios and what may happen in the future as opposed to what they are saying, which is "This bill is setting up death panels that will kill your grandparents and retarded children."

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Orincoro
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Yeah, it doesn't *really* matter what language is actually in the bill, because the crazies have decided they're against it, and in order to be against it, it must be a hyper inflated caricature of an actual bill.

Just look at Kat in this thread- she has ignored every attempt by anyone to point this out, and has bored ahead with a very narrow and ridiculously unlikely set of suppositions, also ignoring all of the fairly cogent points about why the set of principles she's representing don't apply, and are even admitted not to apply by a great many people who share those same principles as well.

Ultimately I think we need this victory for reform, so that in five years or ten, all these people screaming about this now will be singing a very different tune, because it will work. That's the rub- government options work. They can be made not to work, which is the only hope of the opposition, but for that we just need to work hard at seeing that this doesn't happen.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Ultimately I think we need this victory for reform,

I actually don't think it's necessary at all. If it failed completely, then the only real consequence is that we go another five to twenty years with a medical system in progressive collapse and then revisit the issue later once it has cost us trillions more and left us in even worse shape.

All that any 'success' does at this juncture is undercut my time estimate for the inevitability of healthcare reform by making the transition *gasp* less costly and *gasp* less painful.

But we can't have nice things. At least, I don't think so. We're a petulant, recalcitrant country when it comes to things you can tag with the pejorative 'socialism' label.

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BlackBlade
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Socialism only became a pejorative in the 30's and 40's. Before then it actually had alot going for it.

I hate the fact Americans use the USSR and China as some sort of example of what socialism at its best could be. Why don't we look at the Democratic Republic of Korea and say, "Hey that's what democracy looks like, it's in the name isn't it?"

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kmbboots
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Lots of countries have a lot of socialism in the political mix and we don't think they are scary. Ireland, for example. Plenty of socialism yet they haven't painted everything scary red and grey.
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katharina
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Orincoro: Calling opponents to socialized and government controlled medicine "crazies" does not make you look like an informed analyst of the situation.

Calling, by implication, ME a "crazy" makes you look much worse. You are not raising the debate - namecalling like that is what is wrong with the debate.

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Orincoro
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Kat, I said "the crazies have decided they're against it." Feel free to include yourself in that group if you wish, but if I wanted to say: "opponents of socialized and government controlled medicine are crazies," then I would have said: "opponents of socialized and government controlled medicine are crazies." I don't know where you get off. Honestly.

There are crazies in this debate. Those crazies have made a decision. Not all the opponents are crazies, but the crazies are clearly piloting the ship right now. I have every right to call it as I see it, and you have every right to disagree. What you don't have a right to do is dictate my opinions to me, so if you'd like to do that, save it.

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