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Us Health Care System Broken

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Camarohusky
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Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 12th, 2012 @ 10:53 PM Reply

Well there's been a great deal of hullabaloo regarding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare for you FOX News types) yet what seems to be lost in all of this is that the US system of health care is extremely broken.

We pay more for our care by far. (my adobe is broken so I can't pinpoint the stats) We get less overall quantity of care, and we have relatively abysmal health results. In short terms, we're paying out of our asses to get average to above average healthcare, at best. You would think that for the spending the most on health care that we would have at least more total care or the best care.

The ACA was, if nothing else, a valiant effort to try and address the mess that is our healthcare system. Why do we get so little from teh system we pay so much into? What should we do to fix this? With the older popoulations needing more care and the younger generations being chronically underemployed, the expenses of healthcare are only going to become a bigger strain unless we do something to change.

djack
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 12th, 2012 @ 11:22 PM Reply

I wouldn't say we only get average care. You mention quantity but ignore the quality, if you're insured and only about 10% of the U.S. population is uninsured (40 million sounds big until you compare it to the actual U.S. population), which is far superior to most countries especially those that use a universal health care system like Canada. There's also a great deal of medical research and advancements that occur in the U.S. because part of what hospitals are paid goes into research departments that are looking for new technology and treatments.

Iron-Hampster
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 13th, 2012 @ 02:09 AM Reply

the biggest problem is that even suggesting that people get less quality health care in order to speed things up is so unbelievable and ridiculous to everybody.


ya hear about the guy who put his condom on backwards? He went.

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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 13th, 2012 @ 03:18 PM Reply

The only problem is that everything is so goddamn expensive and there's little to no downard pressure on prices because consumers don't pay for it directly. That's allowed a whole slew of relatively worthless services to spring up ("Fast ER" is one example where I live, advertised as an emergency room for people suffering from things like headaches and minor burns) that no one would ever pay for himself.

Lack of insurance coverage is not a problem. Those "40 million" are usually young or uninsured for brief periods, and I shed no tears for the chronically uninsured. I've never seen any compelling evidence showing that people die from a lack of health insurance, only that they choose to put money ahead of their health.

Uncompensated care costs are vastly overrated. A significant portion of uncompensated care is borne by insured persons, and as a whole it makes up a very small amount of total health spending, too little to influence prices all that much.

All-American-Badass
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 13th, 2012 @ 07:17 PM Reply

I've been a proponent of allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines. a health insurance customer in Overland Park could pay at least $100 a month for a health insurance plan, but since he lives in Kansas he little variety in what plan he chooses even though he's a stone throw away from Missouri, where a near identical plan from a different company is only $85 a month, if we were to allow the customers to get insurance from the cheaper state, the local state plans would have to lower prices to compete.

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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 13th, 2012 @ 07:37 PM Reply

Healthcare is a human right and should be supported by the state. It works better for a society to be looking out for one another.


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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 13th, 2012 @ 08:22 PM Reply

I'm sorry but isn't it just wrong that getting sick can make you broke?


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Camarohusky
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 13th, 2012 @ 09:34 PM Reply

At 1/12/12 11:22 PM, djack wrote: I wouldn't say we only get average care. You mention quantity but ignore the quality,

Take a peek at comparison of national health. We're 30th in life expectancy and 34th in terms of infant mortality rate. There isn't many (if any) measures of quality that we lead in.

There's also a great deal of medical research and advancements that occur in the U.S. because part of what hospitals are paid goes into research departments that are looking for new technology and treatments.

I won't disagree that at the very top of our healthcare system we have some of the best hospitals and research facilities in teh world. However, on the whole as a nation we pay a runamway first per capital for our healthcare and get less in quantity than many nationas and rank 30th in many major quality measures.

At 1/13/12 03:18 PM, adrshepard wrote: The only problem is that everything is so goddamn expensive and there's little to no downard pressure on prices because consumers don't pay for it directly. That's allowed a whole slew of relatively worthless services to spring up ("Fast ER" is one example where I live, advertised as an emergency room for people suffering from things like headaches and minor burns) that no one would ever pay for himself.

Both yes and no. Our health insruance mentality is broken. We don't buy car insurance intended to crash, or home insurance intending to burn our houses down, yet we buy health insurance intending to go to the doctor. However, I would make the argument that this isn't the only financial problem with our healthcare. Our health pricing is based on quantity and not quality. If you get a $10K operation and it is successful you pay $10K(ish). If you get a $10K operation that is poorly done you pay $10K(ish) for the operation and then you, as the patient, are charged with paying for the treatment to make up for the poor operation. Also, many times doctors are incentivized to steer patients toward more expensive and less successful treatments. When a treatment is successful a patient doesn't come back. Temporary fixes keep the patient coming back and spending money. In short, getting well is not the basis by which we pay for our health care.

Lack of insurance coverage is not a problem. Those "40 million" are usually young or uninsured for brief periods, and I shed no tears for the chronically uninsured. I've never seen any compelling evidence showing that people die from a lack of health insurance, only that they choose to put money ahead of their health.

The uninsured must be cared for by law. They get less care, but they still get care. What happens when someone puts off care for as long as possible? Things get bad, and they get expensive. So instead of sustaining our poor at a semi-expensive level, we allow them to get really sick and then we pay the extremely expensive cost of reactive treatment.


Uncompensated care costs are vastly overrated. A significant portion of uncompensated care is borne by insured persons, and as a whole it makes up a very small amount of total health spending, too little to influence prices all that much.

Really? An indigent person who is on dialysis can cost a hospital $60K+ a year by themselves. 10 such people and a hospital is throwing away $600K a year. This is paid for by someone. Add in all of those who rack up $2K bills and can't pay and you could easily be speaking of $1,000,000 is waste per year per hospital. Once can only imagine how much money the mega hospitals throw away on these people yearly. I just spent a few days in the hosptial and had 4 roommates. Guess how many could pay? 1. 1! That's 3 patients who essentially were cared for pro bono (and by pro bono, I mean at the expense of every other patient who could pay.)

At 1/13/12 08:22 PM, AKACCMIOF wrote: I'm sorry but isn't it just wrong that getting sick can make you broke?

Would you defend those who did it to themselves? A diabetic dialysis patient whose kidneys failed after years of poor eating habits? A cancer patient who smoked a carton a day for 40 years? A quad qho got into a car accident because they felt like drinking and driving, or texting?

djack
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 14th, 2012 @ 12:02 AM Reply

At 1/13/12 09:34 PM, Camarohusky wrote:
At 1/12/12 11:22 PM, djack wrote: I wouldn't say we only get average care. You mention quantity but ignore the quality,
Take a peek at comparison of national health. We're 30th in life expectancy and 34th in terms of infant mortality rate. There isn't many (if any) measures of quality that we lead in.

And how many of the countries above the U.S. have large smog filled cities like we do? How many have fat rich diets with very little exercise? How many have hundreds of millions of people driving cars every day? How many have repeatedly tested nuclear weapons by detonating them on their own soil? The list I'm looking at on Wikipedia shows the life expectancy of infants born in 2011 and shows the U.S. at 50 (number 34 compared to other U.N. nations) with only about 10 fully industrialized first world countries above the U.S. that can come close to competing in terms of wealth and population density and even then most of them are missing a great deal of the environmental and social factors that tend to lower the life expectancy of Americans. Even then the life expectancy of U.S. citizens is over 78 and only the top 29 countries are over 80 years with number 1 Monaco having a 5 year gap at 89 years compared to the 84 of number 2 Macau (two countries so small that they're actually the property of other countries. The U.S. might have a lower life expectancy but it also faces a lot more health problems that it successfully treats, problems that literally hundreds of countries have no method for treating but also no need to treat. Is there some quality measure I'm missing besides the ability to successfully treat people so that those who would die in a few hours or days manage to survive for weeks, months, or even years?

There's also a great deal of medical research and advancements that occur in the U.S. because part of what hospitals are paid goes into research departments that are looking for new technology and treatments.
I won't disagree that at the very top of our healthcare system we have some of the best hospitals and research facilities in teh world. However, on the whole as a nation we pay a runamway first per capital for our healthcare and get less in quantity than many nationas and rank 30th in many major quality measures.

I said it before in one of the Iraq threads and I'll say it again here, death rates mean nothing without context. Please show these quality measures that rate the U.S. so low so that I can see the nations that rank above the U.S. and show you a comparison of the environmental factors that would lower a persons life expectancy regardless of medical care provided. Going back to the page on Wikipedia I'm using, large portions of Africa can expect to live less than 50 years but how many are killed by AIDs or wild animals? Even though they still happen AIDs isn't nearly as big a problem for the U.S. as it is for Africa and wild animal attacks are virtually nonexistent in first world countries (even Australia despite the fact that it has some of the most dangerous animals in the world).

Overall I'd say we agree on most of the things that are wrong with our system but I wouldn't agree that it's broken. There are many benefits to the system we have and with some relatively minor reforms and proper education many of the problems in our health care system could be fixed with the other problems disappearing as technology in general advances and all the while we could still keep the benefits that already come with the current system.

AKACCMIOF
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 14th, 2012 @ 04:52 AM Reply

At 1/13/12 09:34 PM, Camarohusky wrote:
At 1/13/12 08:22 PM, AKACCMIOF wrote: I'm sorry but isn't it just wrong that getting sick can make you broke?
Would you defend those who did it to themselves? A diabetic dialysis patient whose kidneys failed after years of poor eating habits? A cancer patient who smoked a carton a day for 40 years? A quad qho got into a car accident because they felt like drinking and driving, or texting?

Generally yeah! Are they being idiots? Yes. Does that mean they deserve to die? I don't think so. I believe its the job of healthcare to look after everyone, wherever possible. And even if you think funds are better applied by not not helping those who are just going to hurt themselves again, its still not like there isn't a more compassionate system than the insurance system that takes this into account. Consider that if someone without the money for health insurance found they had, say, leukemia, they would by no fault of their own be reduced to choosing between begging for the money for proper treatment or a pretty certain death sentence. How is that right? IDK, maybe I have a skewed opinion because I live in a country with an NHS, but to me that just seems so.... un-Hippocratic.


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adrshepard
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 14th, 2012 @ 10:44 AM Reply

At 1/13/12 09:34 PM, Camarohusky wrote: Our health pricing is based on quantity and not quality. If you get a $10K operation and it is successful you pay $10K(ish). If you get a $10K operation that is poorly done you pay $10K(ish) for the operation and then you, as the patient, are charged with paying for the treatment to make up for the poor operation.

I would think that's what malpractice lawyers are for. How would you know the difference between an inept procedure and an inevitable or unexpected complication? If you think it's a problem of quantity over quality, are you saying that most doctors aren't skilled enough or are overworked?

Also, many times doctors are incentivized to steer patients toward more expensive and less successful treatments.

The incentive exists, yes, but it doesn't have to be the primary reason. A doctor doesn't think about the cost of an additional procedure, only about the potential benefit. He'll recommend it even if the benefit is small.

Really?

From what I've read, yes.
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9924/
12-18-KeyIssues.pdf

Pages 112-16

SmilezRoyale
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 14th, 2012 @ 07:54 PM Reply

At 1/12/12 10:53 PM, Camarohusky wrote: Well there's been a great deal of hullabaloo regarding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare for you FOX News types) yet what seems to be lost in all of this is that the US system of health care is extremely broken.

We pay more for our care by far. (my adobe is broken so I can't pinpoint the stats) We get less overall quantity of care, and we have relatively abysmal health results. In short terms, we're paying out of our asses to get average to above average healthcare, at best. You would think that for the spending the most on health care that we would have at least more total care or the best care.

The ACA was, if nothing else, a valiant effort to try and address the mess that is our healthcare system. Why do we get so little from teh system we pay so much into? What should we do to fix this? With the older popoulations needing more care and the younger generations being chronically underemployed, the expenses of healthcare are only going to become a bigger strain unless we do something to change.

It's reasonable to first acknowledge that if something is broken, regardless of whether this PARTICULAR law is good or not, that it is not INCONCEIVABLE that a law could be written that will either 1. Have no effect or 2. Worsen the situation.

As for the specifics of the law. I don't quite see how forcing people to buy expensive private insurance, and fining them if they don't, "Valiant" -- Perhaps the original law with a public option which clearly would have EVENTUALLY done away with private insurance. Instead you have a law made by all three of the culprits behind high medical costs; Congress, the insurance companies, and the drug companies.


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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 14th, 2012 @ 10:41 PM Reply

At 1/13/12 09:34 PM, Camarohusky wrote:
At 1/12/12 11:22 PM, djack wrote: I wouldn't say we only get average care. You mention quantity but ignore the quality,
Take a peek at comparison of national health. We're 30th in life expectancy and 34th in terms of infant mortality rate. There isn't many (if any) measures of quality that we lead in.

Infant morality is a flawed statistic, Firstly because it is defined differently by various countries. If what constitutes an 'infant morality' in nation X is not counted as one in nation Y, Nation X looks poorer. What is particularly pernicious is if one country has a common practice of trying to save deformed babies or babies with low changes of survival, and another has a common practice of giving up or outright aborting those children [and also not counting those cases of death as part of infant morality]

In extreme cases this is how a country like Cuba can boast a low infant morality rate in spite of the country's grinding poverty.

Life expectancy factors in things other than medical care. Homicide rates are higher in the US, as well as deaths caused by things like automobiles. You can argue that these things are caused perhaps by a lack of gun control, but it has nothing to do with medical care per-say.

Finally, [and feel free to call me a racist for bringing this up.] there is another issue about life expectancy statistics that exonerate certain aspects of the US healthcare system, but are perhaps more disturbing. And I'll put it this way, the life expectancy of African americans in the US is not much worse than the life expectancy of Blacks in other european countries. Likewise the life expectancy of whites in the US is not much worse than the life expectancy of Whites in other European countries. But the life expectancy of Europeans, aggregated, is better than the life expectancy of Americans, aggregated.


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EKublai
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 15th, 2012 @ 06:16 AM Reply

At 1/14/12 10:41 PM, SmilezRoyale wrote:

argue that these things are caused perhaps by a lack of gun control, but it has nothing to do with medical care per-say.


Finally, [and feel free to call me a racist for bringing this up.] there is another issue about life expectancy statistics that exonerate certain aspects of the US healthcare system, but are perhaps more disturbing. And I'll put it this way, the life expectancy of African americans in the US is not much worse than the life expectancy of Blacks in other european countries. Likewise the life expectancy of whites in the US is not much worse than the life expectancy of Whites in other European countries. But the life expectancy of Europeans, aggregated, is better than the life expectancy of Americans, aggregated.

That's not racist. African Americans have higher chance of cardiovascular disease.

Just to put my opinion out there, I believe that the only way for America to be strong is for its population to be healthy and covered. If that means universal healthcare, then that's the way it has to be. I'm tired of being shorter than the Norwegians anyway.


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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 15th, 2012 @ 11:06 AM Reply

At 1/15/12 06:16 AM, EKublai wrote: Just to put my opinion out there, I believe that the only way for America to be strong is for its population to be healthy and covered. If that means universal healthcare, then that's the way it has to be. I'm tired of being shorter than the Norwegians anyway.

Strong how? Having the longest average lifespan is an impediment to most concepts of strength, since it places a greater burden on the public safety net. If medical breakthroughs rather than a healthy lifestyle are responsible for extending life, then people will still age at the same rate and retire at the same general age.
As for the very poor and chronically uninsured, there's no practical reason why the US should invest more in their health than it already does. There may be a moral one, but morality does not translate into strength.

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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 15th, 2012 @ 11:43 AM Reply

At 1/15/12 11:06 AM, adrshepard wrote:
At 1/15/12 06:16 AM, EKublai wrote: Just to put my opinion out there, I believe that the only way for America to be strong is for its population to be healthy and covered. If that means universal healthcare, then that's the way it has to be. I'm tired of being shorter than the Norwegians anyway.
Strong how? Having the longest average lifespan is an impediment to most concepts of strength, since it places a greater burden on the public safety net. If medical breakthroughs rather than a healthy lifestyle are responsible for extending life, then people will still age at the same rate and retire at the same general age.
As for the very poor and chronically uninsured, there's no practical reason why the US should invest more in their health than it already does. There may be a moral one, but morality does not translate into strength.

Having a long lifespan can mean one of two things. It can mean that people tend to take care of themselves the natural way. [This can mean that they either 1. Culturally are more health conscious 2. Are genetically less disposed to illness 3. Are forced by their government to live healthy, or some combination of the above] Or it can mean that people pour considerable resources into prolonging their lives through modern medicine rather than good life habits.

This is not to say that people can't do both, but usually the former tends to make the latter less necessary and hence less expensive. But the point is that longer lifespans can be a sign of behaviors that would both raise and lower health care costs.

It's sort of like someone driving an automobile from many years ago. Is it still operable because the owners took excellent care of it? or is it operable because that person has a lot of money and was willing to afford constant repairs for its use.

This is another reason why life expectancy is a misleading statistic. It doesn't dis-aggregate, factors like race and ethnicity, and causes of death. As such, anyone using this statistic can argue really anything they want using those statistics.

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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 15th, 2012 @ 09:48 PM Reply

The "34th in Life Expectancy Myth"
This is commonly cited as proof of our country's failure to provide "quality" healthcare. However, is this really a valid criticism?
1) The ranking is inheriently skewed not only to the US but other countries. After the top 10 if say New Zealand and Norway have the same life expectancy they are tied for 13th. However the next country (Singapore) is not ranked 14th...but 15th. This actually pushes the US down from 22 to 34. While I expect this to laughed at...one does have to wonder if the way the researchers constructed this list knew what they were doing.

2) The US Virgin Islands (under my counting) is tied for 14th with: the UK and Germany. This brings my major critique of this argument: life expectancy is not just reflective of a country's healthcare system: but its culture. A country's eating habits, affluency, crime rate, driving habits and other social & environmental issues have a HUGE impact on the health of their population. For example the number 1 country for life expectancy is Japan at 82.6yrs. The US: 78.3yrs. Now who is going to live longer: the person born in a country whose primary diet is fish and rice...or someone born on the exact same day who grows up eating red meat and fried shit smothered in gravy? Furthermore, they live in a country small enough to have an effective public transportation system while their counterpart lives in a country and spends 18hrs/wk driving just to work?

3) The US life expectancy is an average made up of 50 states that are big enough to be their own countries.

The most damning criticism of all:
Like the rest of the WHO report, depending on Life Expectancy as a measure of the quality of a country's healthcare system is invalid. It is based upon descriptive statistics...which do not give any causal relationships between observed phenomenon and a hypothetical variable. In this case you are linking the life expectancy in the US as being subpar (which it isn't and I'll prove that in a second). But someone else could come along and hypothesize that it is our eating habits or driving habits or high crime rate. The study doesn't go in-depth enough into the social science stats to tell us exactly what correlates the most with high or low life expectancy...it doesn't prove a damn thing.

Furthermore, when you calculate the standard deviation of reported life expectancies the US is 2SDs of the mean. What this means: the US ranks above 95% of the world's countries for life expectancy. So wringing your hands about this...isn't really logical or intellectually honest.

In the end, the stats the study relies on don't tell us anything about how the US delivers healthcare. Instead it provides ammunition for political demogogues and technocrats to make mountains out of molehills to win elections.

The REAL problem in the US: It's the involvement of the Government not private health insurance. With Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare about 33% of the population is covered, but the government dictates what caregivers will receive in compensation. What then results is a Doc in private practice who wants to keep the rent paid, lights on and staff employed...has to raise what he charges to his other patient's healthcare plans. This in turn trickles down to how much the consumer of health insurance has to pay in premiums. Thus the cost of providing healthcare is transfered to the other 66% of Americans who see the raise in their premiums coming from their insurers...and not the causal factors that led to the increase.

Furthermore, it is a giant ponzi scheme that's gonna come crashing down sooner rather than later. Those of us over 30 whose parents are starting to retire right now have paid $114K into the system...but will then suck $355 out of it. Their contribution has not been prudently locked away to gain interest to pay for the difference. Instead it is gone...used to pay for their parent's care. That'd be alright if my parents had four or five kids like their parents did. Instead they only had one...and that is a trend. Today there are 3.5 workers per Medicare receipent...by 2030 there will only be 2.3.

While it would be nice to provide free healthcare to everyone in equal measure...it just isn't possible. History, going back to Greece and Rome, is replete with examples of great powers rising from bondage to freedom to greatness to overextension and then back into bondage. In Rome it was called Patronage and was one of the main things that contributed to the financial and then political collapse of the Republic and then the Empire.

The choice before us is simple: use good public policy, sound financial policy and lessons from history to provide the most good for the most people for the longest possible time. OR we can allow us to be persuaded by emotional arguments about poverty and the eldery and provide really good times for a really short time and then have EVERYONE take a big fat shafting and it suck for EVERYONE with no HOPE of a better life.


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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 15th, 2012 @ 09:58 PM Reply

At 1/13/12 07:37 PM, MsRukia wrote: Healthcare is a human right and should be supported by the state. It works better for a society to be looking out for one another.

I hear the population of women is going down in some parts of the world, should a mate to have children with and thus pass your DNA on to the next generation be a human right provided by the state as well?


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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 15th, 2012 @ 10:07 PM Reply

At 1/13/12 09:34 PM, Camarohusky wrote: Our health pricing is based on quantity and not quality. If you get a $10K operation and it is successful you pay $10K(ish). If you get a $10K operation that is poorly done you pay $10K(ish) for the operation and then you, as the patient, are charged with paying for the treatment to make up for the poor operation.

It's called risk. The human body is not the exact same from one person to the next. Biochemical or immunological differences could impact how successful (or unsuccessful) a proceedure is. Now just because you do not feel as good as you expected...or your body rejects the proceedure is that the fault of the physician? Barring her performing the proceedure negligently (ie: cutting off the left foot instead of the right)...is it fair to say her performance was poorly done? Should the hospital not get paid for the expense of running the operating room? Should the attending nurses not get paid because of either the physician's incompetence or the patient's body rejected the proceedure?

I'm sorry...but I don't think this argument is rooted in reality.


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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 19th, 2012 @ 11:23 AM Reply

At 1/15/12 09:58 PM, animehater wrote:
At 1/13/12 07:37 PM, MsRukia wrote: Healthcare is a human right and should be supported by the state. It works better for a society to be looking out for one another.
I hear the population of women is going down in some parts of the world, should a mate to have children with and thus pass your DNA on to the next generation be a human right provided by the state as well?

Are you talking about the after effect of China's 1 child per family rule? Or are you talking about europe's declining native population?

At any rate, any discussion about rights should start by exposing Rights [and or entitlements] for what they are. They are moral claims. Saying someone has a right to healthcare is no different from saying that Homosexuality is evil. Rights say nothing about the "objective nature of the universe", and are little more than an attempt to "objectify" the inter subjective norms of a whole society or a group of people.

Not so much that people should be made to live in total absence of things that are often called rights, but rights themselves should be exposed for what they are. And i would say the same about morality.

In the case of the falling population of women, if we lived in the kind of society that was openly in favor of this sort of thinking, I could very well call it a human right to ensure the genetic extinction of one group or another. It's not any more objective than saying that Healthcare is a right, it's only viewed as more sane.


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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Jan. 23rd, 2012 @ 12:36 AM Reply

Sick people should get help. That is it, end of story. Sick... help! Maybe we wouldn't have as many people dying from illness, or people not being treated with proper medication if we spent a little less money on bombs and more money on medical care.


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Camarohusky
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Feb. 23rd, 2012 @ 09:09 AM Reply

Bumping this to hopefully get Davoo to talk about his opinion on the ACA.

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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Feb. 29th, 2012 @ 02:02 PM Reply

Preventative healthcare is still health care , if americans don't live as long because they eat too many big macs then it is still reflective the health care of a nation.

In a government run system their is actually incentive to promote preventive care since it is much more expensive to cure an existing condition then to prevent it in the first place. In a private system the opposite is true, if your not sick the health care industry dose not make money off of you.


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djack
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Feb. 29th, 2012 @ 04:34 PM Reply

At 2 hours ago, fatape wrote: Preventative healthcare is still health care , if americans don't live as long because they eat too many big macs then it is still reflective the health care of a nation.

In a government run system their is actually incentive to promote preventive care since it is much more expensive to cure an existing condition then to prevent it in the first place. In a private system the opposite is true, if your not sick the health care industry dose not make money off of you.

So your recommendation is what, switch to a universal health care system so that the government is encouraged to outlaw McDonald's? Anything less isn't going to change anything as most people eat at McDonald's because it's cheap, fast, and less likely to give you the shits than Taco Bell. Some people like McDonald's enough to eat there 3 meals a day, do you really believe that they'll stop just because someone tells them it isn't healthy?

thedo12
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Feb. 29th, 2012 @ 05:41 PM Reply

At 1 hour ago, djack wrote:
So your recommendation is what, switch to a universal health care system so that the government is encouraged to outlaw McDonald's? Anything less isn't going to change anything as most people eat at McDonald's because it's cheap, fast, and less likely to give you the shits than Taco Bell. Some people like McDonald's enough to eat there 3 meals a day, do you really believe that they'll stop just because someone tells them it isn't healthy?

I never said anything about outlawing, but preventive healthcare in universal health care systems seems to add a few years to our life spans.

Now obviously everyone isn't going to change their eating habits because the government says so, but it dose work for some people.

SmilezRoyale
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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Feb. 29th, 2012 @ 06:13 PM Reply

At 1 hour ago, fatape wrote: Preventative healthcare is still health care , if americans don't live as long because they eat too many big macs then it is still reflective the health care of a nation.

In a government run system their is actually incentive to promote preventive care since it is much more expensive to cure an existing condition then to prevent it in the first place. In a private system the opposite is true, if your not sick the health care industry dose not make money off of you.

When you say "expensive" I ask "Expensive for whom?"

Nothing your government does is particularly expensive for the the programs managers. This should be glaringly apparently in most matters that Government everywhere have gotten their hands into. It doesn't matter to them whether a war costs 10 billion dollars or 10 trillion dollars because these costs, if they affect them at all, only do so indirectly. [It might 'hurt' their reputation if the public is anti-deficit minded,

The other problem with your statement is it ignores the aspects of diffused costs and concentrated benefits. Ultimately, all costs for Government/State programs are born by Taxpayers. Each individual has certain healthcare costs which are placed upon the State, and the state conscripts resources from individuals on the basis of their income bracket [as is the case of income taxes] or on some other basis. most USUALLY this basis/criteria is entirely separate from the individual's actual consumption of healthcare services. We can assume this due to the fact that the whole institution of State-Controlled healthcare is based upon a personal aversion to the idea of individuals paying for their own healthcare in any meaningful and direct sense.

What this means is that the high cost of any single individual's own health coverage is not going to be felt by them directly. The personal benefit to them in living in a way that they enjoy but entails higher healthcare costs is necessarily going to be larger than the small, possibly non-existent increase in taxes.

You can then see how problems would emerge when EVERYONE follows this logic, it's a classic case where individual rationality doesn't lead to group rationality.

One problem is we live in a world of perpetual moral-hypocrisy where people feel it's evil for insurance companies to offer discounts for those who live healthy and put premiums upon those who have done the opposite. Yet these same people advocate either 1. The Government doing the same thing in terms of monetary incentives and punishments or even more extreme advocating 2. Outlawing of certain unhealthy behaviors.

With any transaction you're going to have one or more parties that aim at minimizing the amount they have to pay to get something, and naturally, the party that aims to maximize the amount that they get in selling something. It would be illogical to allow the latter party to be put in charge of 'controlling' the costs born by the former party. But no one advocates this.

The ones ultimately with the burden of controlling the costs are the consumers themselves... Or Taxpayers in the case of a [presumably?] democratically run centrally planned health care scheme. But neither group in either case has much of a reason to do any real cost control because the system of payment is disconnected from the system of receiving due to the structure of third party providers.

If you think about it, health insurance might make sense in the case of some random accident causing harm to life and limb. But it doesn't make sense in the case of most other matters of healthcare. Namely diseases that are associated directly with certain controllable behaviors.

This mechanism explains why, for example, the price of Cosmetic Surgery, in spite of increased demand and increasingly sophisticated technology, has been falling relative to the consumer price index. [Most healthcare costs have risen well above the CPI]

But all of this economics and logic is moot I suppose. Healthcare is and never really was a technical issue; it's a moral issue, nay a "religious" issue.


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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Feb. 29th, 2012 @ 09:26 PM Reply

At 3 hours ago, thedo12 wrote:
At 1 hour ago, djack wrote:
So your recommendation is what, switch to a universal health care system so that the government is encouraged to outlaw McDonald's? Anything less isn't going to change anything as most people eat at McDonald's because it's cheap, fast, and less likely to give you the shits than Taco Bell. Some people like McDonald's enough to eat there 3 meals a day, do you really believe that they'll stop just because someone tells them it isn't healthy?
I never said anything about outlawing, but preventive healthcare in universal health care systems seems to add a few years to our life spans.

Now obviously everyone isn't going to change their eating habits because the government says so, but it dose work for some people.

No one is going to change their habits. I dare you to find a smoker who doesn't know about the health risks, you get bonus points if it's a young smoker who had a chance to learn about the risks in school and still managed to get addicted to nicotine because they didn't know it caused cancer. Everyone in America knows about the health problems that come with obesity but that hasn't stopped most of them from eating like pigs on a regular basis with little to no exercise to counter their caloric intake. You're talking about preventative health care like it can be done with a brief ad campaign explaining how people can live healthier. There's plenty being done to teach people healthy living and most just ignore it, you can't force it on people without outlawing the things they like and then people would complain about their rights being violated. What more do you think can be done for preventative health care that would work?

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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Mar. 1st, 2012 @ 06:35 PM Reply

At 20 hours ago, djack wrote:

No one is going to change their habits. I dare you to find a smoker who doesn't know about the health risks, you get bonus points if it's a young smoker who had a chance to learn about the risks in school and still managed to get addicted to nicotine because they didn't know it caused cancer. Everyone in America knows about the health problems that come with obesity but that hasn't stopped most of them from eating like pigs on a regular basis with little to no exercise to counter their caloric intake. You're talking about preventative health care like it can be done with a brief ad campaign explaining how people can live healthier. There's plenty being done to teach people healthy living and most just ignore it, you can't force it on people without outlawing the things they like and then people would complain about their rights being violated. What more do you think can be done for preventative health care that would work?

Much of the addiction to junk foods is due to the addictive nature of Corn Sugar. Corn sugar is used instead of Cane sugar because it's cheaper, and it's cheaper due to corn subsidies. If the subsidies were removed, and/or if a tax was levied on corn sugar, cane sugar or some other kind of sugar would probably become more prevalent.

However we can't expect either of those things to occur. Federal farm policy is designed to enrich farmers and little else. What Governments HAVE been doing is taxing certain foods that the government deems unhealthy, such as soft drinks. But this doesn't address the issue that the substances themselves are still addictive, and the only way to genuinely reduce the use of these

As for education, it kind of depends. I actually think early Government efforts at educating the public in what kind of diet they should eat were acceptable; the problem was that the diet they were educating was the wrong diet. In the 1970's the started telling people that fat was causing heart disease, and that people should eat starches and grains, i.e. sugar. The amount of fat as a percentage of the average american diet has fallen, but the percentage of sugar and starch has risen.

It's the constant intake of sugar into the bloodstream that causes the insulin resistance most Americans have, among other problems.


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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Mar. 1st, 2012 @ 07:01 PM Reply

At 19 minutes ago, SmilezRoyale wrote: Much of the addiction to junk foods is due to the addictive nature of Corn Sugar. Corn sugar is used instead of Cane sugar because it's cheaper, and it's cheaper due to corn subsidies. If the subsidies were removed, and/or if a tax was levied on corn sugar, cane sugar or some other kind of sugar would probably become more prevalent.

I have heard so much food conspiracy bullshit like this that I would need a reputable source before I bvelieve this for one second.

However we can't expect either of those things to occur. Federal farm policy is designed to enrich farmers and little else. What Governments HAVE been doing is taxing certain foods that the government deems unhealthy, such as soft drinks. But this doesn't address the issue that the substances themselves are still addictive, and the only way to genuinely reduce the use of these

Farm subsidies are important. A large able agricultural industry allows a nation as large as the US to be as independent as possible when it comes to food.

I do agree that a different approach to obesity needs to be taken. This shame mixed with lectures, mixed with no real help hasn't really been successful. It's like treating alcoholism with nagging and yelling.

As for education, it kind of depends. I actually think early Government efforts at educating the public in what kind of diet they should eat were acceptable; the problem was that the diet they were educating was the wrong diet. In the 1970's the started telling people that fat was causing heart disease, and that people should eat starches and grains, i.e. sugar. The amount of fat as a percentage of the average american diet has fallen, but the percentage of sugar and starch has risen.

The education has been wholly misguided. Education has focused on nitpicky overly scientific shit that has a propesnity to only be good for a decade. The government needs to focus on portion control, exercise, and an effort to get people to pay attention to what they eat.

It's the constant intake of sugar into the bloodstream that causes the insulin resistance most Americans have, among other problems.

Again this is another nitpicky solution. Fixing sugar will not fix Americans' diets. There are bigger more fundamental issues (that I pointed out above) that would have a much better effect on the health of Americans with regard to their eating habits.

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Response to Us Health Care System Broken Mar. 1st, 2012 @ 07:05 PM Reply

At 1/13/12 07:37 PM, PrincessLuna wrote: Healthcare is a human right and should be supported by the state. It works better for a society to be looking out for one another.

no its not.