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Rethinking Socialized Medicine

Discussion in 'Topical Discussions (In Depth)' started by Goldhedge, Jul 22, 2010.



  1. Goldhedge

    Goldhedge Modal Operator/Moderator Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    Rethinking Socialized Medicine In Canada

    By DAVID GRATZER Posted 06:41 PM ET

    As Washington prepares to implement the White House's health care reforms, no one is talking much about Regina, Saskatchewan, these days. Maybe that's not surprising: With so much work falling on state governments, the news cycle focuses on Albany, Indianapolis and Sacramento, not some small city in the middle of the Canadian prairie.

    But while Americans may not know Regina, Canadians know it well. Regina (ridge-EYE'-nuh) is the birthplace of Canada's socialized health care system. It was there that Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas first proposed a government-run health care system back in the 1950s. And it was there that, in 1962, the government bill passed in the province's Legislative Assembly.

    That was then. Today, Regina's health care model is becoming more market-friendly. The dramatic changes occurring there — the very first city in North America to experience government-run health care — and throughout Canada are worth contemplating as the U.S. prepares an unprecedented expansion of the federal government into private health care.

    For example, Regina's health board (charged with providing health service to the city's population) recently started entertaining the idea of contracting out CT scans to the private sector. And with good reason: Regina has just three CT scanners, and they are running at full capacity, seven days a week. The reach-out to the private sector, then, is about practicality, not ideology — patients are simply waiting too long.

    Regina isn't the only place in Canada where health care officials are contemplating private reforms.

    In British Columbia, the government is moving hospitals to a pay-for-service model that would lead providers to compete with one another directly. In Quebec, the premier has openly endorsed the idea of co-pays for basic services, which no politician previously supported. And governments across the country are hiring private clinics to provide basic surgeries.

    By one estimate, 50,000 patients a year in British Columbia are served in some type of private facility.

    Why the appetite for change in a country that has long been held as a model of health care efficiency and equity? The system is beset by problems. According to the Canadian Medical Association, roughly 4 million to 5 million people don't have a family physician.

    Patients wait for practically any problem, sometimes with disastrous results. A Montreal woman died recently after waiting four days in a hospital ER, the last of a string of Quebec deaths that led the head of that province's College of Physicians to hope openly for a "miracle."

    http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAna...Rethinking-Socialized-Medicine-In-Canada.aspx
     
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  2. Someone_else

    Someone_else Silver Member Silver Miner

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    According to Wikipedia, they have a "metro" population of about two hundred thousand people.

    In my several decades of life, I have had ONE CT scan, and it took maybe a half hour. But let's assume that a CT machine can only do 24 scans per day. According to the article, there is ZERO unused time on ANY of the three machines. ZERO! NOT A SINGLE IDLE HOUR. Okay, if that's the truth... Then each machine will serve 8760 patients per year, or 26280 for all three.

    So more than one in seven of every man, woman, and child in Regina is getting a CT scan EVERY SINGLE YEAR?!

    BULLSHIT! This is clearly a lie.

    Since the article is based on a lie, the rest is suspect.

    (Please do not think that I approve of the FASCIST medical system of the U.S. just because I despise socialized systems, though.)
     
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Gold Member Site Supporter Gold Chaser

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    The CT scan facilities around here (both hospital and private services) operate only during normal business hours and probably do no more than 10 or so in eight hours. That would work out to a total of under 11,000 per year for three scanners, even running 7 days a week. That it only 5% of the population of Regina. Considering reports of how often CT scans are over-prescribed, that may not be far-fetched.
     
  4. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    What merlin said, clinics and doctors offices typicaly work an 8-4 schedule and don't run 24/7.

    On another note, I just had a chest CT the other day. Check-in to leaving the parking lot took 10 minutes. Now granted that was a CT with no contrast.
     
  5. Brio

    Brio Beer Babe! Midas Member

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    So one woman dies (tragic and unecessary yes) and it makes media headlines.

    Every 12 seconds in the US somebody dies for lack of health care coverage and it doesn't?
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE58G6W520090917

    I don't want private h/c. I don't want a for profit system that sees me paying $7k/year for care and if I get sick end up owing $100k regardless of coverage. Obamacare is not about universal care. It was written by HMOs and Big Pharma and it's still only about profit.

    Imagine what this chart will look like in 2015 and Obama's 'socialized h/c is 23% of GDP (as predicted)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. shades

    shades Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I hope I die in some dramatic and exciting manner that makes the news... otherwise it's just boring...
     
  7. phideaux

    phideaux Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    Sorry to be so blunt, but healthcare in the U.S. costs so much because there are more fat, unhealthily and irresponsibe people in the U.S. than anywhere else on the planet.
     
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  8. Brio

    Brio Beer Babe! Midas Member

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    I don't think so, Canada and Britain are doing there best to give Americans some competition. US h/c is so expensive because it's bloated by bureacracy. Quebec layed off 1,500 doctors and 4,000 nurses and hired 2,000 more managers, A La U.S. Modus operandi.
     
  9. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    Brio

    we have had this talk before about the GDP comparrissons. There are so many people in America that earn a living from the health care industry that it is a key portion of our total GDP that it drives up cost just to feed that beast. Now we can cut costs in the medical industry by getting rid of half of the people that are employed in that field and drive down the cost of health care but at the end of the day those newly displaced workers would not be able to afford the lower costs. It is a catch twenty two.

    (Plus the R and D stuff that largely comes from the US and gets exported to countries that had no investment in it).
     
  10. Brio

    Brio Beer Babe! Midas Member

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    You know what you want in your system and that's good. Although with 40 million Americans uninsured, that gets rid of a lot of h/c workers and their related expenses.

    Do you really think US corps charge Americans 10x the cost just for philanthropic purposes? ROFL!!!! Or do you think BigPHarma charges whatever they can get away with?
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  11. phideaux

    phideaux Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    I'll look for some reliable stats about obesity by country.

    But the bureacracy in the US will only get 100x worse under ObamaCare.
     
  12. Bocephus

    Bocephus Seeker Seeker

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    Add to that, that it's not just one per person. With my cancer, I have at least 2 scans a year while in remission and while I had cancer, it could be 6 or more scans a year. That would reduce it further may 3-4% of the popluation there are getting scans a year.
     
  13. Brio

    Brio Beer Babe! Midas Member

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    Getting worse under Harper too, this demonizing of universal care in the MSM seems to be working. Soon we'll be paying 17% of GDP for h/c too. Who benefits????

    I looked at a few charts and they all seem to say much the same (sometimes you get a range of results depending on the source). Which bears out what you said.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    Oh I am sure that they charge what they can get away with but since they know that they have the American citizens to fall back on to pick up the slack then they have no problems selling drugs to other governments at the cost that government says it will pay. IMO if the US gov implements a policy that says you can only charge x dollars to us like you agree to with everyone else then you will see at time when amoxicillin is the only thing available to treat ailments (that was hyperbole, but gets the point across).


    I recommend that any research and resulting advancements done with US tax dollars stay here for the US citizens to use and forget exporting that medical knowledge out to other countries.
     
  15. Brio

    Brio Beer Babe! Midas Member

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    I suggest American Pharmaceutical co.s shut down foreign R&D competitors in order to peddle their own drugs. In the spirit of free trade of course.
     
  16. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    Ok with me. Revert back to isolationism.
     
  17. Brio

    Brio Beer Babe! Midas Member

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    I like your ideas of US R&D going first to benefit Americans. How it should be. And I know you'd agree to stop exporting wars and weapons too, at a $1 trillion per annum savings to US taxpayers. That would be the best idea yet.
     
  18. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    Actually the 1 trillion you speak of does not cost anything. it is a fake number that is generated by debt. Now when we actually decide to fund it and tax rates go through the flipping roof the it costs something. Till then it is just monopoly money pulled from thin air. It is not like ending our military industrial complex would automatically give us a $1trillion pile of actual money to spend else where.

    And yes I too think that is a complete waste of time (wars and such).
     
  19. illatease

    illatease Banned

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    For all the idiotic jamming of France which much of the US engages in, their people have been the ones who are the most resistant to US cultural creep. They've done a pretty good job of keeping their food industry French, meaning small local farmers, independent markets, etc. Those nations that have been able to best resist US corp infestation of their food sources seem to have the lowest obesity rates.

    As an aside, I hadn't been in a McDonalds for years. A couple of years ago I had to make a road trip and stopped in one out of desperation. When I went to sit. I had to lean way over so as to be able to get myself situated over the table. Only later did I realize it was due to the market that McD serves, and they ain't svelte...
     
  20. 00nightstorm

    00nightstorm Seeker Seeker

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    Sorry, but the US does not have a private healthcare industry. Anyone with any understanding of history knows that whenever the government takes over anything prices go up and productivity goes down. Your graph does not support the argument you are making since it is government that has driven up healthcare costs in the first place. You are very confused.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHkfITHeJss
     
  21. illatease

    illatease Banned

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    Uh no, we have a privatized HC system, one in which we pay for much of the basic R&D, doctor training, and hospital construction. It is then given over to private interests which then jack up prices. I would suggest that you read the book "The Secret History of the War On Cancer" by Devra Davis to get a view of how corp interests have long ago hijacked government oversight of cancer treatment in this country, derailed attempts at cancer prevention, and have been able to get new drugs and medical inventions paid for by the public into their own hands.

    And next time show some measure of respect to a poster. Who do you think you are telling anyone they're confused when they have been posting basic information re HC in other nations for quite some time?
     
  22. GoldWampum

    GoldWampum Midas Member Midas Member

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    I want nothing to do with socialized medicine. the care is often typical of free clinics, which is one of the reasons it costs less. The main reason the US healthcare has gone through the roof is gov involvement. I remember it when there wasn't all this "free" care and guess what? More people got quality care for less money back then and almost nobody was turned away... all voluntary. And it was cheap.

    Government's collusion with the Big Pharma is the failure of the system, not free market for profit care. Anything the government can do, private enterprise can do better and cheaper... ANYTHING. The demise of America follows EXACTLY the time frame of America's submersion into socialistic programs. That's no coincidence.

    Keep you damn Government health non care. I would hate to be stuck in Canada's system. I've known too many people who have died waiting for major treatments(ie transplants) that are not available. That's what you get under that system. It may be a good system for treating colds, I don't know. But it sucks for major care. Like the cat scans in question that are not available to everyone.

    BUT... that' not the biggest problem. The problem is you are robbing people and giving it to others by force. It condones corruption from the start. Socialism is by it's very nature repugnant to freedom and one's ownership of his own soul.
     
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  23. phideaux

    phideaux Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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  24. GoldWampum

    GoldWampum Midas Member Midas Member

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    Absolutely Phideaux. I am personally sick to death of people constantly harping about how much better these social programs are in other countries, while everybody and their brother from those countries is still beating down our doors because they want to be in America. Meantime they all get something on OUR f%%%g dime which raises our f&&&&&g burden and then they want to sit with their free f&&&ing martini and talk about how terrible America is and how much it costs to see a Doctor or some other privilege. People don't have a right to such things, they are privileges. Stinkin' privileges... earn 'em. Or be a well loved enough person to have someone volunteer payment for you. Demand it from me and I may just piss on your boot.

    I'm not proud of everything US gov represents, but to watch people continue to trip over themselves to get here only to say how much better it is elsewhere is f&&&&g laughable. America needs fixed, but it's still better than most places. I feel fortunate to have been born here rather than say... that shithole called most of europe. Along with many other shitholes I thankfully was not born in...
     
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  25. Meetzos

    Meetzos Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Remember this thread:
    Illegal Immigrant Receives $50,000 Penis Pump Implant Courtesy of U.S. Taxpayers
    Here is another reason we have to pay so much for care. Too many illegals with anchor babys. Untill they stop the freebies this will never end.
     
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  26. Brio

    Brio Beer Babe! Midas Member

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    Okay, forgive my lack of knowledge. It was my understanding that when you write out that monthly $1k check that covers a family of 4 that you wrote it to an HMO who may or may not cover all or part of your expenses.
    I think you are confused. The graph demonstrates that the US pays more than double the OECD average and the arguement of gov't or private really is irrelevant. All OECD countries have gov't subsidized h/c and provide it to all at half the cost the US spends. You people amaze me completely ignoring simple math.

    OECD average $2964
    U.S. $7290

    So is it gov't subsidized or not? If it is then why the horrific expense? If it isn't then why the horrific expense?
     
  27. GoldWampum

    GoldWampum Midas Member Midas Member

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    We have had our healthcare subsidized for years and the costs have gone up with that in dramatic fashion. And care is down. When we write that check part of it is indeed for the uninsured. And that's gone up a few times since it's been instituted. When it was free market, it was better care, lower cost and more people got medical attention. As usual, more government involvement is less efficient.

    Canada's care may be cheap, but I know it is lacking compared to ours, although ours is about to take a dive.
     
  28. GoldWampum

    GoldWampum Midas Member Midas Member

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    It's also noteworthy imo, that the US is the modern system that was the most geared to freedom and free markets, and flourished like no other during that time. And the correlation of socialization to our demise is also too intertwined to ignore.

    We don't need all the failed socialistic and communistic civilizations of the world to tell us what to do. We just need to get back to freedom and shun socialism. Socialism, who's logical conclusion by the way is Communism. That sure worked for USSR didn't it?
     
  29. Fanakapan

    Fanakapan Midas Member Midas Member

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    When was that exactly ??? fact is, as soon as the getting got anywhere near good, the USA was stitched up by Trusts, Bent Politicians and so forth, much of the so called free market idea, is no more than piss and wind that gets sold to the dumb hillbillys :)

    And as for people bustin a gut to get into America, I think your going to find, these days, its mostly Indigent Types who can carry their entire lives in a Tesco Golliwog bag ? so much so that its entirely likely that in another generation, the USA may well be so far advanced towards being another third world toilet, as to be beyond redemption :(
     
  30. illatease

    illatease Banned

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    How do you claim that it's lacking to ours??? Do they live shorter lives? Do they pay more for their HC? In fact they beat us in both cases, they live longer and pay far less than we do. As Brio said the math speaks for itself, but I keep forgetting that the US is the worst of the Western economies in math/science.

    And why stop at Canada? Japan, which is a capitalist as any other Western nation, pays about 7% of its GDP for HC and has a life span of over 80 years, beating the living hell of our metrics. And they have gov paid HC. Somehow when we get into this subject we get these homages for free markets and freedom and all that nonsense, but completely ignore the math and the facts. I guess it's so much easier to deal with myth than reality...
     
  31. GoldWampum

    GoldWampum Midas Member Midas Member

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    I knew you'd pipe in. Your jealousy and hatred of American are obvious IMO.

    I disagree. You are correct about the illegal immigrant trade, but I don't agree that those coming here legally are indigent. I have met many of them too. In fact many are Brits of one sort or another. And as far as dumb hillbillys accepting piss and wind... that sort of talk is the first sign of someone who has nothing better to add to an intelligent conversation.

    As for when that was... it was before 1913 to an extent and before Lincoln's war against the states. America was as prosperous and flourishing a civilization as any that has existed. And that was back when there was a great tendency toward free enterprise and very little in the way of enforced welfare.

    So... your argument is the one of which I was speaking. The one of denial. The one of scorn for America.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  32. GoldWampum

    GoldWampum Midas Member Midas Member

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    It is lacking to ours in that people have less access to some of the more specialized and expensive treatments. Which is why many of the more fiscally adept from Canada and other Countries sometimes come here for their major care. No, you don't automatically get it here, but if you have insurance and/or funding from ANY source, it is available. What good does it do to cover a variety of healthcare if what you need is not available when you need it.

    I never said ours was cheaper, I just don't agree with the reasons liberals list as valid. Our early demise on average is due much more to lifestyle than available health care. In fact I would argue that it is amazing that the technology keeps us alive on average as long as it does. We DO have the care available. Until recent years in fact the Japanese lived healthier than us. That's a huge factor. If that trend changes or has changed, it will show up in the statistics. Then there can be a genetic factor. You government socialists love to limit the causes of the figures to your tunnel vision for argument's sake. Figures lie and liars figure.

    Glad you mentioned the math and science. We were very much among the best before big gov.

    Oh, and then there is the anecdotal evidence of my 60+ years. We had more personal care, lower costs, and fewer people turned away when we had LESS interference and more of a free market in medical. We just did folks, sorry.

    There you go... your facade of BS... poof!
     
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  33. illatease

    illatease Banned

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    You need to get yourself acquainted real quick with the term medical tourism. Hundreds of thousands of Americans leave the US to get treatment overseas. The numbers will be growing into the millions within the the decade. So what does that say about the quality of HC in the US? Given that you claim that Canadians leave their nation to come here, we're leaving at the same rate to go overseas. So if you claim that leaving ones country to get HC is proof of that nations HC inefficiency then ours is extremely inefficient.

    And no it isn't based on lifestyle. Other nations have increasing rates of obesity and still have far cheaper HC than we do. Japan has higher rates of stomach cancer than what we do, Britian has one of the highest rates of colon cancer in the world, all which is attributed to lifestyle. Nevertheless, their HC care costs are fractions of what ours are.

    And what the hell does liberal have anything at all to do with this? This is straight up a look at numbers, not political sentiments. Japan average lifespan is over 80 years and they pay 7% of GDP on HC, Canada is 78 and about 11%. US is 77 and 17%. If efficiency can be defined as getting more and paying less, then ours is the most inefficient HC system in the world, and by far.

    And if you lived 60+ plus years then maybe you may have heard of the advent of the HMO, which was a corp invention for HC delivery. Prior to its invention, hospitals were mostly non profit. The reason that this was the case was because the FEDS, through the NIH, was subsidizing the construction of those said hospitals Maybe in your six decades of life on this planet you may have heard of the NIH, because its creation came about the same time as your existence. If not, look up their role in our HC. Given your musings of how much better HC was supposedly when the gov wasn't involved, its been involved ever since you were a kid. The problem is that you have no idea of the role of the gov in HC delivery and what happened when it was turned over to private interests. Just to finish the thought on hospitals, those publicly funded, non profit, institutions then became privatized and the costs then escalated to cover the higher overhead and profit margins demanded by privatization. And again if people are being turned away, its because of HMO and private insurance has created the parameters which cause that lack of care, not the gov. Where the hell you get the idea that it isn't private interests that want to limit care and increase profits is beyond me.

    Furthermore, we've had public education in this country for over 100 years. If our math/science standards have fallen, it certainly wasn't because of public education alone. Public students over 50 years ago did far better in math/science than present generations. And it must have slipped by you, but our math/science achievement is measured against other nations public schools. Our public school students are doing far worse than other nations public school students, and maybe you may not understand this, but that means those nations gov fund it. So explain why, if it's gov's fault for poor education, then why are Sweden's public schools kicking our public schools asses?
     
  34. 00nightstorm

    00nightstorm Seeker Seeker

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    50% of healthcare is distributed through the US government. I would hardly call that a privatized, free market system. You socialists make me sick.

    You don't have a natural born right to the property or services of someone else.
     
  35. Brio

    Brio Beer Babe! Midas Member

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    I guess I just don't understand the rationale. 'Socialism' seems to be a push button phrase which some react to unthinking. That a free-market is the be-all-end-all answer to all of society's ills. That anyone who is an advocate of social benefits is a lazy parasite who feels entitled to be supported and cared for. It angers me too, that there are those who DO think this way, I see it everyday, all around me. But over-blown socialism and abuse of the system is an indication of failed government. Yes people should be accountable for their survival and work ethics (or lack of) but any society which will allow the elderly to choose between food or prescription drugs, any society which turns it's back on the working poor, any society which allows government to increase at an equal rate the social benefits decrease, is already a failed society. Does income equate integrity? Is a lawyer who makes $200/hr far more deserving than a janitor who makes $10/hr? In your estimation, YES!! If the US had a government that provided equitable care, then your costs would be half what they are and everyone would be covered (every other country in the OECD but the US has proven this), yet there is this prevalent thinking that you would rather pay double to a capitalist system. It simply does not make sense to me. The US is not socialist, it is not capitalist, it's corporatist! If not Fascist. No I do not believe anyone has the right to someone else's property or services. But looking after old people and working poor is NOT your problem, they are not the cause of what's wrong in the US today. The Pentagon and Obama and Bernanke are your problems.

    And enjoy your weekend
    [​IMG]
     
  36. Tecumseh

    Tecumseh Silver Member Silver Miner

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    I have no special information or knowledge but it seems to me that a good model for healthcare can be found in some of the elective procedures. My wife had Lasik surgery done about a year ago. The results were better than expected and the facility was beautiful (served warm cookies and Starbucks coffee in a reading room with a look through fireplace).
    It seems to me that the quality of the care has gone up while the price has continued to go down - I suspect because of the lack of government (Medicare) involvement, the effect of the free market, and because there is no requirement (yet) to provide free care and services to those unwilling or unable to pay. I've heard that many cosmetic surgeries have also become cheaper and better over time.
    It is a difficult issue because everyone needs some health care at some point in their lives and not everyone can afford it. Based on my limited experience with my family doctor (who has a large Medicare client base) the poor definitely over consume health care but I also believe that they have to have some access to it. I've heard Ron Paul say in interviews that nobody in America was ever showing up at emergency rooms and not getting care because of the lack of ability to pay. I'm not sure what the exact fix is but our overall health system seems to be getting worse not better for the average American.
     
    Usury likes this.
  37. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    Good point Tecumseh.
     
  38. illatease

    illatease Banned

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    Says the person who happens to be using a computer, created by the government, the Internet, also created by the government, and using public power,you guessed it, also created by the government. You hypocrites make me sick....
     
  39. Godot

    Godot Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Having lived with the HMO distribution system for a generation, and having used private care in the US, and having had the opportunity to experience the Canadian, English and French healthcare in conjunction with the American Medical Tourism system... and now having lived with Medicare for a few years- I think I can tell you the primary characteristic that is different between private care (read "elective"), and everything else mentioned here. It is NOT government regulation... that is still there in all private-care, price schedules aside, you just didn't notice. The difference between Private Care and the USA's HMO system you've witnessed is..... wait for it - that difference you experienced, it was the lack of involvement by an insurance provider. Insurance providers whose only reason for existence is regulating distribution and cost in exchange for a tidy profit. (You can thank Nixon.)

    There is a reason that the Amish have always viewed Insurance companies and their products as immoral profiteers pedaling a form of usury.

    Want confirmation - ask any doctor that works exclusively with his own private practice and provides private care (read - "elective procedures" or any doctor that will not do any business with insurance providers).., they will give you the real story. Sadly it won't generally substantiate the Limbaugh philosophy.
     
  40. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    I paid for my computer, I paid for my internet service, I paid for my power usage and the government used my money (and othe tax payers) to finance the creation of these things. Now if I had a right to these things then they would all be free to me, but I don't have a right to them and I pay accordingly. SAme goes for medicine. I don't have a right to it, but I pay for it according to my wants and desires as it applies to my well being.
     

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