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"Keep the guvmint out of my medicare!": Insurance Lobby Organizes Elderly Hecklers

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Prestidigitweeze, 11 Aug 2009.

  1. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    I'm not sure if you read this thread but these topics have already been covered.

    First, the immigration problem between the US and Cuba is a one way street and it's not in the direction of Cuba. Cubans by the thousands literally risk their lives coming to America. A key foundation to one of our greatest cities, Miami, is based on Cuban expats. Keeping everything in proportion, I think if they kept getting a raw deal, they would stop coming.

    Americans spend more than anyone else on nearly everything, I don't see why healthcare is much different and why some things we spend so much money on is noble while others are considered otherwise. We spend what we spend. Earlier, I made the argument about food being more of a priority than healthcare and Nexxo made a great argument that it is affordable. But what about housing, why not socialize housing? Many people spend more on their homes than they ever spend on healthcare (be it private or state provided) and you can't live without shelter.

    I mentioned earlier that there is a role in certain things enumerated in our constitution that are the responsibilities of a democratic republic. National defense, third party arbitration between parties (justice - which includes the police) and negotiating foreign treaties. That's construct that was initially set up and has worked well for a majority of our country's history and only until elements began to be centralized, starting in the 1930's a reaction to the great depression did things start getting tainted.

    I don't really see what fire departments have to do with it, they could be private for all I care, just like EMS (Emergency Medical Services - Ambulances) but I don't see a problem with local communitees making it part of their local government. Again, that's what makes the federalist system so nice.

    Again, YOU can care for people a lot. It's taking money out of other people's pockets out of your concern at the end of a gun is where we part ways.
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2009
  2. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    Mainly because no one really makes much money off of it. And the whole NIMBY thing.
     
  3. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    what does money have to do with it when we are talking about caring for people?
     
  4. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    Healthcare exists because someone can make money off of it.

    Not so much for housing..

    We need socialized food tbh.
     
  5. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    Are you actually arguing that people don't make money from real estate? Again, a lot of people spend more money on their shelter than their healthcare, so there must be some money in it for a lot of people. Healthcare exists because people need/want it, same for real estate and food, and every other thing in the marketplace
     
  6. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    Ah, but the thing is, where do you place said socialized housing? And the market share for medicine is much more, there's always going to be more sick people than people who want a new house.
     
  7. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    I think you are confusing our supplimenting our market with social programs and a fully socialized system. If you socialize housing, the state provides everything, or at least controls the financing which has, essentially the same effect. You don't put it someplace, you are in it. You don't get to pick what goes where and who lives in it, the state does, like our housing projects only on the entire scale.
     
  8. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    Fair enough...I guess I was taking it the wrong way..

    I was thinking of the housing projects.
     
  9. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    I did read the thread, i just wanted to help collapse the contrasting points of view instead of having lots of agrees and in the middle someone saying that the disagree.
     
  10. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    no worries, everyone here disagrees with me. :D
     
  11. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    Indeed, in my eyes it is a shame to throw such potential out of the window...

    Anyway, lets grab some popcorn and see what happens with "obamacare".
     
  12. Boogle

    Boogle What's a Dremel?

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    I would (almost) love someone against socalist healthcare to have an accident with their leg. Let's say it's broken in an awkward way and requires relatively minor surgery - otherwise they won't be able to walk again.

    If that isn't covered under insurance and it costs more than the person can afford - I'm sure that person will suddenly say 'I really wish we had a socialised healthcare system'.

    I know that in many countries, including the UK (where I'm from) and Canada I can have an accident, get picked up by an ambulance, get nursed back to health and go back to work.

    Conversely, if circumstances went arwy, someone normally able to work and pay taxes may end up dead in a non-socialised medicine country. The net result is one less worker paying taxes.

    I can see eddie_dance's point, governments can't generally run large-scale operations. Even the NHS is a shining example of that, it haeomorages money like crazy. The problem isn't the idea - or even that the government is funding it. The problem is people. The admin staff see that they'll get infinite funding, so they just go absolutely crazy. No one gets fired for negligence, everyone expects large raises every year, etc. etc. The only way I can see a publically funded system working, is if it has strict control over the staff, just like a private company.

    But regardless of all of that, I see the NHS as a critical component of this country. Without the NHS, life expectancy would be lower, diseases more common (especially in poorer areas), and people would be kicked out of hospitals because they can't pay. NHS is one of the few things right in this country at the moment, and I'm sure the rioting would be immense if ever it were scrapped. The mass of people backing the NHS right now only proves this. It has to be a good idea if there's almost unanimous support for something that costs a fortune and is managed by idiots. Btw the medical staff (as opposed to the admin staff) do an amazing thankless job, I have only the utmost respect for what they do day in, day out.
     
  13. Hardware150

    Hardware150 Minimodder

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    What got me all hot and bothered was the lies being spread by those that don't want health reforms in the US about the NHS. Although it makes no direct difference to me wether you have social health care or not, it would be nice to think that a country like the US could look after its citizens when they are in need of help.

    For anyone who still thinks the NHS sucks http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8165816.stm

    The thing you said about cuban emigration to the US, i don't think they're fleeing the health care system, cuba is a country with poor freedom of speech, low wages and low internet access (you have to government permission to go online, and even then you're monitored), but a generally well educated population that want a better life for themselves. I think some poor americans with family members suffering from health conditions they can't afford to treat would love to emigrate to cuba, if they had the means and spoke the language.

    i know that not everyone can agree on this issue, and i respect your stance that you don't trust your government to run a scheme such as this, but my point has always been that business's first interest isn't your welfare, its profits, and personally id rather have an ineffient government running my health care than a company with different interests.

    All americans that have health care now pay some sort of insurance, if that money went straight to the government instead, and everyone had to pay something (like some sort of health tax) i don't see how the government can spend all that money and ruin the system, but then again i don't know how american governments work :p

    Goodluck to everyone in america and i hope whatever you end up with turns out to be better than your current system, whichever way it goes.
     
  14. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    I shall make my point again with a quote from Ben Goldacre.

    http://www.badscience.net/2007/08/what-to-do-with-your-feelings/

    Yes they spent a lot on R&D but they spent substantially more on advertising.
     
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    That is a self-selecting sample though. Cubans don't come to the US for better health care; ambitious Cubans come to the US for their fantasy of free enterprise. They imagine that they can get ahead better in the US, attain a higher standard of living and therefore attain good private health care. However a study by Salim Lamrani of the U.S. Office of Immigration Statistics showed that before the revolution more Cubans emigrated to the US than now (and it is not Fidel Castro stopping them; the obstacles are entirely by the US Coast Guard), and that more people emigrate to the US from countries like Canada, Mexico, Jamaica or El Salvador than from Cuba.

    Many US citizens have the attitude that if they are not happy now, they can become so; an attitude created by the ideological propaganda of the American Dream™. The dominant message in US society directed toward the lower classes is that they too can become rich and affluent, and that they live in the country of opportunity. However, the actual statistics show that people often end their days in the same social class from which their parents came.

    This quest for the “American dream” not only attracts ambitious foreigners like camels to a mirage, but it also stops Americans from thinking about seeking a future based on other values. Karl Marx was right about that one: like any religion the American Dream™ is an opiate for the masses. Shame he didn't realise the same goes for Communism. What actually works is, as always, rooted in pragmatic realism. Socialised health care works. We have the statistics to prove it.

    They spend twice as much on health care than the UK, for comparably worse outcomes. I thought that a free market led to competition and hence value for money for the consumer? Obviously not: although the US government contributes half of the 12% GDP that is spent on health care, it has no control over how that money is used so it is effeectively a honeypot for the health care industry. The end result is that a US company that makes pacemakers sells those for $5000,-- per unit to European hospitals (including NHS hospitals in the UK) while it sells the same unit for $35000,-- a piece to US hospitals.

    The US not only spends more money on health care, it also does it far less efficiently. The NHS, for all its wastage and bureaucracy, is actually far more efficient than the US private health care system. This extends to all aspects of life, by the way: a recent study showed that Dutch people attain the same standard of living as Americans for half the money and resources spent.

    Housing is socialised to some extent, even in the US. It just isn't very good housing. But it turns out that homelessness is a more costly problem to manage than social housing.

    The only guys that have been waving guns in this debate so far, literally, are people against health care reforms. ;)
     
    Last edited: 24 Aug 2009
  16. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    Let me get this please. There's basically nothing wrong with your point, governments and businesses can be just as adequate if they want. The problem is that private companies (except for the small ones) are almost all of them owned by nameless shareholders. These shareholders could not give a rat's ass how much houses go up in smoke in a certain community, as long as they maximised their profits. More often then not, they don't even directly care what kind of company it is they are investing it. This is why companies are acting so evil, and get progressively worse when they get bigger.

    On a bigger scale (and more ontopic), the problem is that all companies are owned by nameless shareholders that care for nothing but maximising (short-term!) profits. Through lobbying they practically own all of the governments in the western world, and they also wield all corporate power. It's the shareholders, not the CEOs that determine the large-scale policies of a company.
    Healthcare reform is only needed because companys really couldn't care less about their customers, not even if it kills them.

    An alternative route to good and affordable healthcare would be to force the shareholders to care about human lives again, and to disallow them the tools to manipulate this. A few things come to mind: no more nameless ownership of shares, abolish the rediculous construction of the legal persona of a company, doing away with lobbying alltogether, and most of all make stocks tradable only once every 5 years or so. You can still make an investment, but you'll have to stick to it and actually care for the company in the long term.
     
  17. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    One could argue that more people had the means to emigrate before the military dictator took over the country and assumed control over all facets of their lives. Even still, they still come even after being offered and, more importantly, experienced "free world class healthcare".

    It is perverse to interpret the American dream in only monetary means, although I'm not denying that people do it, the dream is freedom. But if you want to do so: the capitalist free market is the only proven means to raise the lot of the common people. And to the point that it is a myth that you can't become rich and affluent, 80% of the millionaires in America are first generation millionaires. I will never be one because it is not my priority but if that is what I wanted, this is where I would prefer to be to give me the best chances of achieving that goal. If life expectancy was my goal, I might move to Holland.

    Yes, the rise of power from a British colony to the sole international superpower in just over 200 years is truly a sad example of prosperity. Where is the dynasty that was built on the foundation of Marx again? Plus, we are told over and over how we Americans don't understand the difference between Socialism and Communism, seems like the lines are pretty blurry there too, your examples so far are of Castro and Marx. I have never argued that social medicine doesn't work. I just don't want it run on a federal level in America.

    Now you are the one that is making self-selected samples. Comparing our current system to your NHS is not comparing a free-market model to a nationalized one. Our system has already been considerably nationalized and I make the argument that it is those centrally-planned manipulations that have been a large source of the problems we are experiencing now. That is the history of our attempts at central planning, it all goes pear-shaped and the historical response when defending failure by a beaurocrat has been that we need more of it. You would have to go back in time to make an accurate comparison.

    If the justification for healthcare is the combination of need/cost then why not use the model and go all the way with it since it has been so overwhelmingly successful. Subsidized housing has been a disaster here in the states and is at the core of the downturn in our economy.

    I haven't seen a single example of anyone denied access to a town hall meeting by someone with a gun. But if I refuse to pay my taxes, the fuel by which all social policies are enacted, my government will arrive with guns and take me away.
     
  18. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    I'm not sure you understand how insurance companies actually work. Naming shareholders? So you want the companies to "name names?" sound familiar. Besides, any major corporation has to list major shareholders anyway, especially majority-decision-making shareholders.

    It is the centralization of power that has created the problem with corporate power. Once power becomes centralized, people move to corrupt it for their means. Corporations only exist in the first place to defend themselves from taxation and regulation. All companies start out small and as they grow, they need to form the company in a way that allows them to continue to grow and stay successful. If you decentralize, power you enable more small players to compete.

    Any investment councilor will tell you that investing in the stock market is a long term (around 10 years or so). History proves that, on average, people that invest in the market short-term usually get the short end of the stick.

    but this is way off topic.
     
  19. Boogle

    Boogle What's a Dremel?

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    True freedom is an Anarchy - where anyone can do whatever they want. Realistically societies are in a grey area between anarchy and absolute control (usually via fascism). The US is barely any closer to the anarchy/freedom end than any western democracy. 'The American Dream' is just that - a dream. It's little more than a control that ensures people remain hopeful and upbeat, ignoring all the real issues. The majority of millionaires in all western countries are new, the US is not unique in this regard, just publicises it more.

    I've been shocked how often the American media will make outright false 'facts' with unnerving regularity about not only the NHS but other countries. Americans aren't ignorant of other countries and cultures not because they're ignorant - but because they're told complete fabrications. That pushes the country further towards the control/fascism end than the anarchy end.
     
  20. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    I don't disagree with much that you say. I'm not sure what your point about American's understanding of the NHS or the EU as a whole but my context was based on my discussions here with the people in this community (that may not have anything to do with your point -just for clarity).

    In an organized society, anarchy can never be considered true freedom. You do need arbitration between 3rd parties and enforcement of private contract which is a key enumerated power of the federal government. I agree with you that we are moving more on the fascist side than the anarchy side. But if you wanted to right that course, it's best to have the decisions being made on a more local scale where you can have input. You are not free if you are constantly in fear that someone will bash your skull in with a piece of wood.

    I don't believe that more centralized control over services provided to citizens means more freedom and pushes in the fascism direction.

    BTW, the "fact" sharing about countries in the media is a 2 way street.
     
    Last edited: 24 Aug 2009

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