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Thread: Healthcare

  1. #111
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I am not reciting random anything. I was pointing out the irony of mentioning Prohibition in the context of the federal government regulating (and, most likely, rationing) a good/service. And, no, I don't see how that would support your point. Feel free to explicate.
    There's no irony because we aren't talking about prohibition of health care--there's no parallel here at all. Prohibition =/= regulation.

    I brought up alcohol as an example of a good with very inelastic demand, as the fact that prohibiting it merely caused demand to increase. The issue at hand has nothing to do with prohibition and everything to do with the fact that certain goods, such as alcohol or medicine, will always have very high and very inelastic demand due to biological reasons--so as a consumer with a family, simply opting out of the health care industry because the firms are all illegally fixing prices to exorbitantly high rates is really not an option, unless you have $12k lying around every time anyone in your family requires even a brief hospital visit. Good luck with that, and don't come crying to Uncle Sam if you can't pay for Timmy's operation--you should have thought of that and worked harder before Timmy got sick; it's yer own damn fault!


    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    100% would be asking a lot, but better than 60-65% certainly is not. Besides, my making money does not = children starving to death. That is false and outright demagoguery. First of all, the economy is not zero-sum. You seem to be implying that if I were keeping, say, 90% of my paycheck, children would starve. Secondly, the only permanent way to get people out of poverty is for to have real economic growth. Freer markets are much better at that than more regulated ones. How did the poverty rates in minorities fall so much after welfare reform in the mid-1990s? The economy was surging then, mostly due to productivity growth.
    No, I am not implying any such thing. Your 60-65% line is just as arbitrary as any other, and yet Libertarians spout the most rhetoric about being "ideologically unique" among political parties. They're not.

    And so...you're now arguing to me that a capitalist economy is fundamentally better than a socialist one. Okay? What on earth makes you think you need to convince me of that? I take issue with Libertarians because their near 100% opposition to any and all socialist policy is childish and impractical, not because I think we need to turn this country into Cuba. Capitalism IS a superior system; its excesses just need to be kept in check by vigilant governmental bodies.

    And yes obviously that's how you deal with poverty long term, but do you not realize the problem with simply ignoring the short term consequences? "Oh well people starve and die" is simply not an acceptable outcome!

    By the way, note how I never said that I support a market that is "more regulated than free", just that the Libertarian fantasy of a totally unregulated market is just that--fantasy.

    I also agree that our welfare system needs reform; Clinton did a number of good things on this front in the 90s. But the fact that we're executing it poorly right now doesn't mean that it's an inherently flawed concept--some semblance of social support net is just plain common sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I don't know that there is a biological need for alcohol, but it sure is enjoyable. Competition in that industry has provided us MUCH better booze in the past 75 years. Now, medicine and health care are more inelastic. What you have not demonstrated is exactly HOW a single-payer system would be better than a freer market system (significantly than what we have now) and what we mean by "better." I am not working from the framework of the best system is that in which every single person is covered.
    The average schmuck will always need his mind-numbing release at the end of a day of mind-numbing hard labor. It's the way of the world.

    And for the 45,876th time: NO, I do NOT support a single-payer health care system; I merely support increased governmental oversight of a fundamentally private sector-based health care system so that healthy competition can resume and the egregious price fixing that's going on now is put to a stop.

    I also support McCain's idea of offering a $5k (give or take) income tax rebate credit to any family who chooses to purchase a private plan instead of going with an employer-provided HMO. Little tricks like this are a great way to stimulate the kind of natural competition that the private sector requires, but they're technically socialist because they redistribute wealth unnaturally--notice how reasonable conservatives have principles but also know where their realistic limits are? This is the problem with Libertarians. You think that "economic freedom is generally desirable" somehow translates into "I should automatically have all the economic freedom I want whenever I want it, on principle", and I'm really at a loss as to understanding why.

    I don't want to socialize the whole industry either, but we do need to look at more options, and unfortunately no major political party is offering a complete and realistic plan on this topic at the moment.

    I am not working from a framework in which the best system is one where every single person is covered, either--but mine includes every child and other person who cannot reasonably be expected to work for an income being guaranteed free health care, which, to me, seems only human.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  2. #112
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Wouldn't you want to know that your kids had food and clothing and shelter and education if, God forbid, something were to happen to their parents? Can you really place "boo hoo I'm a whiny little bitch that doesn't want to pay my taxes" over putting food on the plates of innocent children? Really?
    Are you honestly proposing that I would rather watch children starve than see my tax bill go up? If that's who you really think I am, then apparently I'm communicating so badly that I'm uncertain that there's any point in us continuing the discussion.

    No, what I foresee if this collectivist health care reform passes is that everyone's tax burden will become heavier... and yes, it affects everyone, even if every individual doesn't pay the tax directly. You see, the additional tax burden on individuals and businesses represents money that becomes unavailable to buy other goods and services, or an expense that must be passed downstream to maintain a business's cash flow. Poor Joe doesn't pay the tax directly, but the price of a gallon of milk at the grocery store goes up a quarter, likewise for a loaf of bread. The cost to put gas in his secondhand car goes up, as does the price he pays for electrical power, because those businesses and industries employ people who are paying the tax. So the cost is passed along to Joe.

    And the other thing that I foresee is that no useful improvements will be made. The current oligopoly will not be broken up, but rather the government's share of it will be expanded, more generally unproductive people will be hired to push paper in GS jobs, and there will be a new set of forms to fill out at the doctor's office. Oh, and a few people who previously had been going to the local Emergency Room for their office visits will start going to the local family medical practice instead.

    Everyone thinks the model of health care reform under consideration now is going to make huge improvements in cost and availability of care. I just don't see it. I just don't.

  3. #113
    Oberon
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    Want to bring down health care costs without spending an additional dime?

    Pass tort reform.

  4. #114
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Are you honestly proposing that I would rather watch children starve than see my tax bill go up? If that's who you really think I am, then apparently I'm communicating so badly that I'm uncertain that there's any point in us continuing the discussion.
    No, I don't think that; my question was rhetorical. I thought it was about on par with your implication that my compassion for starving children equates to simple greed.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    No, what I foresee if this collectivist health care reform passes is that everyone's tax burden will become heavier... and yes, it affects everyone, even if every individual doesn't pay the tax directly. You see, the additional tax burden on individuals and businesses represents money that becomes unavailable to buy other goods and services, or an expense that must be passed downstream to maintain a business's cash flow. Poor Joe doesn't pay the tax directly, but the price of a gallon of milk at the grocery store goes up a quarter, likewise for a loaf of bread. The cost to put gas in his secondhand car goes up, as does the price he pays for electrical power, because those businesses and industries employ people who are paying the tax. So the cost is passed along to Joe.
    Yes, I see that. I don't support a single-payer health care system either; my complaint is primarily with extreme economic conservatives who believe that 100% deregulation is always the answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    And the other thing that I foresee is that no useful improvements will be made. The current oligopoly will not be broken up, but rather the government's share of it will be expanded, more generally unproductive people will be hired to push paper in GS jobs, and there will be a new set of forms to fill out at the doctor's office. Oh, and a few people who previously had been going to the local Emergency Room for their office visits will start going to the local family medical practice instead.

    Everyone thinks the model of health care reform under consideration now is going to make huge improvements in cost and availability of care. I just don't see it. I just don't.
    That's great; I agree with the majority of the your points. I don't think "everyone" finds the new model to be a huge improvement by any means; I have some pretty serious reservations about it myself...I just get really tired of hearing Libertarians whine that we should never regulate anything in the economy at all because the invisible hand will work it all out.

    I don't think we need to completely throw out the concept of private firms competing for market share in the health care industry; that makes me pretty uncomfortable too, but I do think it's apparent that government needs to regulate the industry more closely (not completely destroy/conquer it.)

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Want to bring down health care costs without spending an additional dime?

    Pass tort reform.
    Probably true. Good luck with that in America, though.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  5. #115
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Want to bring down health care costs without spending an additional dime?

    Pass tort reform.
    I support tort reform. It's not going to do nearly enough, though.

    EDIT: Of course, I have to ask the old question: If all this terrible crap about national healthcare is true, why are the developed nations that practive it worse off? Why are they, in fact, usually better off than the USA in terms of living standards?
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  6. #116
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    EDIT: Of course, I have to ask the old question: If all this terrible crap about national healthcare is true, why are the developed nations that practive it worse off? Why are they, in fact, usually better off than the USA in terms of living standards?
    Ummmm... because availability of some form of health care is one of the standard-of-living metrics, making the higher result a self-fulfilling statistic?

  7. #117
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Magic Poriferan;774374]How about some qualitative analysis?

    [B]How would a totally unregulated healthcare market fix the problem?[QUOTE]

    I am interested in answers to this question as well...are there any studies out there that address this?

    All I am hearing from the GOP is fear tactics and "just say NO!"...then what other ideas does the Party of NO have?
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

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  8. #118
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    I think everyone should have healthcare, but it shouldn't be free. There are a lot irresponsible shitheads out there who have 50 inch plasma TV but don't have healthcare coverage, and when they get sick its "boo hoo I can't afford my medical bills".

    People should be required to show proof of health insurance when they do their income tax. Those who lacked insurance but are in a high tax braket should be added additional taxes which are to be used for hospital subsidies etc. Poor people already can get medicaid so that's covered.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  9. #119

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    My biggest argument for revamping health care is pure capitalism. This doesn't only help the working poor but it could also help companies SMALL and LARGE.

    Small companies can more easily compete with larger ones that have more clout. Because now they can offer the same benefits IBM can, even if they're a dorm room start-up. Furthermore, small companies that have even a single employee who catch an ailment that is very expensive - gets the premium raised for the entire firm. I've had start-ups and can verify this from personal experience. Sometimes, they'll simply drop you entirely (see my earlier post on rescission).

    It also helps Large companies. GM, Ford and Chrysler all spent MORE on health care THAN steel. Other industrialized nations typically have better health care systems, for far less (The scientific arguments for US healthcare reform - health - 24 July 2009 - New Scientist). And for this reason Toyota and Daimler get a reduction on their overheads. This obviously, isn't the only reason their kicking our asses, but it's a contributing factor.

    Wonder why we owe trillions of dollars in debt to all these socialist/communist nations like Japan, Germany and China? For being the supposedly premier capitalist society - we seem to kinda suck at it.

  10. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    I think everyone should have healthcare, but it shouldn't be free.
    Hey we invade countries on false pretenses for "free" don't we? The majority of our multi-trillion dollar national debt comes from military spending (made even worse by our crap health care system).

    The real issue is military spending, which is by far the largest impact on our debt and budget deficits. The Iraq war was more expensive than any other war except WWII, and most economists put it around 3 trillion dollars (that's 3 million million, ladies and gentlemen).

    One of the largest costs of WAR is health care. For instance, in 1970, there were still thousands of people collecting benefits from the civil war! The cost of the iraq war will be with us 40 years from now. Most of our debt comes from the rampant spending on Vietnam and the covert (and not so covert) wars, Reagan, and the Bushes expedited. The reason people didn't feel it affecting them at the time, is because they borrowed all the cash to do so, which JUST the interest on, will eventually dwarf any other gov't expenditure. The people who will be feeling the pain is the generation that gets crushed because our dollar collapses and our credit gets turned off. Reagan borrowed HALF of our GDP to finance his little wars in Latin America and expand our industrial military complex. We didn't feel it then, because we were just running up our credit cards. Now that our interest rate on that debt, will dwarf the majority of every single budget expenditure category - it's finally catching up to us.

    When the right gets worked up because we want to educate the inner city and rural areas or give free lunch to children they get riled up over pennies, while we blow the entire bank on military expenditures. McCain argued he would cut all areas of the government except one, the military. Which is the real reason were in this looming economic shithole.

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