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View Poll Results: Should the United States move towards providing universal health care?

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  • Yes

    47 62.67%
  • No

    28 37.33%
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  1. #11
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    I must say it's one of the things that always kinda baffled me about the US.

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  3. #13
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    The free market CANNOT deliver or provide quality health care, its one thing that needs to be provided by government IMO
    That's just it - the free market isn't interested in providing health care - it's interested in profit. That's the goal - I'm not trying to pass judgment on that, but it's a simple fact. Any organization more concerned with the bottom line than anything else will make sacrifices to ensure that the bottom line comes out first - even if those sacrifices include the quality and length of life of others. They have every incentive to take healthy people's money, and every incentive to *not* actually pay for care - or to drop people from coverage the instant it looks like they're no longer profitable to care for. Is that a system that you want the lives and health of your loved ones to depend on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    There are many elements to the QUALITY of health care that must be compared between countries with and without socialized medicine, and much of that quality is dependant on how much the government RATIONS the healthcare and ultimately mandates what everybody needs health wise, which branches off into the issue of personal freedoms.
    Now I think there are a fair number of actual statistics that disagree with you, Risen, as far as the health care outcomes of industrialized societies with socialized medicine. The U.S. does well in response time - and middling to poor in almost everything else - including total health outcomes. We also spend the most (ie, poor efficiency).

    The whole "branches off into the issue of personal freedoms" - as it almost always is when phrased that way, for any issue, is a fearmongering pile of crap tactic. Since when does the government providing a level of service prevent anyone from purchasing additional services? It doesn't.

    But while we're talking about freedom here, do you believe that people should have the freedom to change jobs? What do you expect people to do who are diagnosed with a "previously existing condition", knowing that they can't get coverage if they were to change employers (I have a friend in exactly this position - she literally *can't* quit her job without losing everything)? Tying health care to an employer, in my opinion, *reduces* personal freedom. And I'm not even getting into the issue of people with coverage *still* being financially destroyed by an unanticipated medical condition. It can, and does, happen to anyone.

    There are things that a for-profit industry works well on (although fewer than most people would think, I believe) - but overall health care coverage isn't one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Because it's a mythical reality that exists only in the heads of lefties and ignoramuses.

    ...

    Since few sheep are capable of contemplating the latter issue
    As usual, the "you're stupid if you don't agree with me" argument isn't convincing anyone. I know that you feel strongly about this (and other things), but come on. I doubt I'd agree with most of your arguments on these sorts of topics anyway, but you do a disservice to any good points that you may have when you use this sort of language.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    As usual, the "you're stupid if you don't agree with me" argument isn't convincing anyone. I know that you feel strongly about this (and other things), but come on. I doubt I'd agree with most of your arguments on these sorts of topics anyway, but you do a disservice to any good points that you may have when you use this sort of language.
    The purpose was never to convince you of anything. That's a fool's game. I could care less what most people do or don't understand at this point.

  5. #15
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    No No No No. Another giant federal entitlement program is exactly what we DON'T need. Where the hell is the money supposed to come from? They already obliterated the Social Security trust fund and took over the auto industry. Where does it stop? These other nations that have universal health care, you know how they do it? Ridiculously high income taxes! Where the government gets more of the money you earn than you do! I guess there's a lot of people who are willing to live with that setup, but yes the US is different. We were set up to value freedom and opportunity, not worshiping the State and sending it our money and begging for some to be trickled down back to us.

    With government-run health care, medical facilities will have no reason to care about the quality of their service, because they will be getting their money anyway. I know I sure as hell don't wanna be paying for Johnny ThreePacksaday's lung cancer treatments, do you? Thomas Jefferson is rolling around in his graaaaaaave!
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  6. #16
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    The whole "branches off into the issue of personal freedoms" - as it almost always is when phrased that way, for any issue, is a fearmongering pile of crap tactic. Since when does the government providing a level of service prevent anyone from purchasing additional services? It doesn't.
    The funny thing is that here, where we've gone further down the road of free universal health care than most and stayed there for longer, the private health care organizations are quite lucrative and extensively patronized by the wealthier social classes. BUT most of these people will nevertheless choose to go for the same public system as is available for free to everyone when they have serious health issues, because it is widely accepted that for people who are actually sick it is far more efficient and likely to result in positive outcomes than the private sector.

    But while we're talking about freedom here, do you believe that people should have the freedom to change jobs? What do you expect people to do who are diagnosed with a "previously existing condition", knowing that they can't get coverage if they were to change employers (I have a friend in exactly this position - she literally *can't* quit her job without losing everything)? Tying health care to an employer, in my opinion, *reduces* personal freedom. And I'm not even getting into the issue of people with coverage *still* being financially destroyed by an unanticipated medical condition. It can, and does, happen to anyone.
    This seems highly relevant. I never realised why Americans, even those in the most demeaning of dead-end jobs, appeared to feel so subservient to their employers and so afraid of losing their jobs - until I realised what the healthcare situation was.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffster View Post
    No No No No. Another giant federal entitlement program is exactly what we DON'T need. Where the hell is the money supposed to come from? They already obliterated the Social Security trust fund and took over the auto industry. Where does it stop? These other nations that have universal health care, you know how they do it? Ridiculously high income taxes! Where the government gets more of the money you earn than you do! I guess there's a lot of people who are willing to live with that setup, but yes the US is different. We were set up to value freedom and opportunity, not worshiping the State and sending it our money and begging for some to be trickled down back to us.
    Interestingly, we have LOWER tax rates in the lower and mid-income brackets that affect the majority of the population. It's only at around 37 000 per anum (about $60 000 at current exchange rates, over $70 000 before the recent economic problems) that the tax levels are raised to 40%, where it stays. Below that it's 20%, with a tax free allowance for lower earners. Whatever you may think of this system (it's a bit crude in its gradation, certainly), it at least tends to put a greater proportion of the tax burden on those who are most able to afford it.

    I do find it fascinating that so many Americans are apparently hypnotized by the largely illusory prospect of someday becoming wealthy that they are not prepared to stand up for their substantive present interests and even to argue against them.
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  7. #17
    "Everything in its place" fill's Avatar
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    No, we shouldn't. It probably works in other countries, but it just... won't in America. The government is here to HOLD and PROTECT my rights, not help me with the flu. Also, if the stupid fucks at the FDA (run by the government) actually did their jobs, we might have less sick people, lower costs for care, and pills that actually work. They constantly put out some awful, under-tested product then say, "Woops! It causes cancer! Sorry for the people that took it! Take it off the shelves!" If the FDA was privatized, more than one organization would have a say to what is "good" for my body.

    The government has no regard for quality because they themselves are a unique kind of monopoly when they involve themselves in our economy as a corporation.

    Whenever our government tries to run anything in America (except, of course, the army), things go straight to hell. Socialist policies could work fine in other countries, but America was founded to be, and cannot changed from (unless you set fire to the Constitution) a country with a very small, non-intrusive government.

  8. #18

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    There is already universal healthcare in the US, the difference is that there is no mixed economy of welfare or medicine like the UK or perhaps Scandinavian welfare regimes.

    Its an entirely private system in the US with certain financial or fiscal interventions made by the state to ensure people who can not or will not make provision for themselves based upon less eligibility and a residual rather than institutional norms of state intervention.

    The French have a system which is based upon financial and fiscal interventions, the economy of welfare or medicine is private and market forces drive it, people are personally responsible for expence and financing medicine, treatment, care but are reimbursed for their personal expence from taxes. This is actually the system which the UK government wishes to move towards but is doing so by stealth since open reform along those lines would be political death.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fill View Post
    No, we shouldn't. It probably works in other countries, but it just... won't in America. The government is here to HOLD and PROTECT my rights, not help me with the flu. Also, if the stupid fucks at the FDA (run by the government) actually did their jobs, we might have less sick people, lower costs for care, and pills that actually work. They constantly put out some awful, under-tested product then say, "Woops! It causes cancer! Sorry for the people that took it! Take it off the shelves!" If the FDA was privatized, more than one organization would have a say to what is "good" for my body.

    The government has no regard for quality because they themselves are a unique kind of monopoly when they involve themselves in our economy as a corporation.

    Whenever our government tries to run anything in America (except, of course, the army), things go straight to hell. Socialist policies could work fine in other countries, but America was founded to be, and cannot changed from (unless you set fire to the Constitution) a country with a very small, non-intrusive government.
    I understand the ideological and cultural stand you're taking but being so blaise about public health undermines the relative competitiveness of your economy.

    Personal sickness has a social cost and potential investment capital would prefer that those sorts of costs where socialised and paid for by general taxation rather than by they themselves in the form of sick leave etc.

    I also understand what you're saying about monopoly power and your perspective that existing inefficiency and corruption of state monopolies is an example of what would follow if medicine, social care, treatment fell under the state remit but the existing arrangement doesnt work.

    Isnt there the chance that the FDA behaves the way that does because there is political and financial pressure for it to do so? Pharmaceutical corporations spend more on advertising, marketing and political lobbying than they do on market research, that's behaviour which is nothing to do with state intervention in the first place and no state intervention is planned to counter it.

    Privatisation would only increase the likelihood that the FDA would do as the highest bidder wishes. Privatisation does not create a number of competiting sources of information where they do not already exist, medicine is one of those exceptional cases where there wont ever be perfect consumer information, therefore consumer sovereignty is even less of a reality than usual. So in reality privatisation is only a demand for a special relationship with the state or other agency with market power.

    Do you know the greatest fiscal threat to the US economy? Its not the housing crisis, the the amount of personal bankruptcy as a consequence of medical bills, that's not among the unemployed, its among the working poor.

    Conservative solutions have been to prohibit people filing for bankruptcy but that does not increase their capacity to pay, it only results in an objective likelihood that they will be denied meds, treatment and care, which will have systemic and social consequences beyond the individuals and their families who suffer and die as a result. It'll interfer with the reproduction of US society one generation after another, the transmission of US values and culture.

    I dont know what "socialist" policies there have been in the US, its really a misnomer to talk about "socialist" policies when what's really meant is state action, central planning, a mixed economy, those are mere tactics employed more or less by ALL political persuasions (in the UK it was the liberal party which introduced pensions, conservatives nationalised key industries and resources, labour introduced social security and took social and health services into state monopoly).

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Because it's a mythical reality that exists only in the heads of lefties and ignoramuses. There are many elements to the QUALITY of health care that must be compared between countries with and without socialized medicine, and much of that quality is dependant on how much the government RATIONS the healthcare and ultimately mandates what everybody needs health wise, which branches off into the issue of personal freedoms. Since few sheep are capable of contemplating the latter issue, its best just to focus on the different aspects of health care systems that must be compared and contrasted.
    Despite your comment about "ignoramuses" the rest of your post belies an ignorance of objective economic realities, the reality is that rationing takes place under all possible arrangements, now whether its Whitehall or Med Inc. is not going to make a great deal of difference to the vast majority of health consumers.

    Health is not like any other produce or service in the economy, there are many more externalities and social costs associated with individual decision making or neglect of such than any other commodity or service in the economy.

    Health goods and services do no commodify well, its not like consuming soft drinks, there are perverse incentives to supply, people will entertain notions about snake oil which they would be unlikely to about, for instance DVD players and it is one area in which there will always be imperfect consumer information. Its a sector of the economy which doesnt conform to any of the orthodox or fringe economy models of consumer, producer, supplier and competitor behaviour.

    Your post is tinged seriously with an over blown arrogance, your later posts that people "simply dont understand" if they dont agree suggests that its even more so the case, so its unlikely your going to consider any of this.

    The only glimpse of light in your post is the suggestion that you're willing to considr comparative studies but I'd suspect that you're instead likely to engage in accumulating correlation, ie read sources which conform to your original prejudices instead of looking for anything which may challenge your core convictions (not likely to have anything to do with health but likely to do with your views about "sheeple", way to go you big strong lone wolf).

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