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Thread: Healthcare

  1. #411

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    Quote Originally Posted by avolkiteshvara View Post
    Reason, I think you are the first guy on the Pro-private health care side to make a coherent argument and do it without coming off like a paranoid militia member.

    If you are talking about the Obama stimulus that was put into place to avoid the financial catastrophe handed down by the Bush Admin, then I agree that we have gone into debt and are spending more than we take in. However a contractionary move by our central bank when inflation starts to rise can offset that spending.

    Is the U.S. deferring taxes to future generations, maybe. We'd have compare debt levels per capita and amount of gov revenue taken in, really crunch the numbres. The whole point was that Mango was trying to make the argument that you are either 100% socialist or 100% capitalist. I was just poking holes in that moronic argument.


    No health care system is perfect. But I think its a questions of what is best for the country as a whole.

    Its not uncommon in the U.S. for someone to go totally bankrupt because their insurance company denies a procedure or they simply have no insurance at all. Perhaps by subsidizing more Medical students and medical schools, we can get enough doctors out there so no one has to wait excessive periods. I don't think we're trying to copy the NHS. We're just trying to pick out the pieces that actually work.
    Believing that you have an honest intention of discovering the truth, here goes:

    1. Yes, contrary to your beliefs, I actually HAVE studied this stuff, including the healthcare bill. AND, I grew up in a socialist country, so I recognize the signs when I see it in a way that may be difficult for someone who hasn't experienced it.

    2. If you believe the 'hybrid' systems work, you simply have not done your homework. UK & France & Canada's state funded options are quickly heading towards bankruptcy (as is ours, naturally). For example, here's a typical article, quoting the president of the Canadian Medical Association saying their system is imploding:
    The Canadian Press: Overhauling health-care system tops agenda at annual meeting of Canada's doctors
    As is typical, of course, they will recognize the symptoms and not the disease, so there are no realistic suggestions for a cure within that article.

    Most importantly, they are increasing the denial of care to the critically ill and seniors (expanded below).

    3. The NHS only works for one thing: GPs. Thats why they have some of the highest paid GPs in the world. But if you need a specialist or if you're old and terminally ill, good luck. The State simply doesn't see the bang for the buck in spending large amounts of taxpayer money on you. The GP availability Vs critical care failure is not a worthwhile tradeoff. Thats why you will also see far more advanced and widely available specialist care in the US than in Europe/ Canada.

    4. There is no need to 'subsidize' medical students or medical schools. There are plenty of market incentives for their numbers to increase, but there are many artificial barriers preventing that increase due mostly to regulation. For example, there is no reason why medical school should be a graduate program, when it is an undergraduate program in most of the world. The graduate school requirement exists simply to increase the entry barrier into the field and REDUCE the number of doctors, so as to increase the average pay. (BTW, likewise for law school). The government needs to simply get out of the way of the market, and new medical students/ schools will mushroom all over, with no cost to the taxpayer.

    5. There are countries where the suggestions I've outlined have been implemented, to great success. The best example I can offer is India, where due to the govt having very limted funds, there is an almost completely free-market approach to medicine. As a result, access to care is cheap, widely available, and doctors go to fewer years of school (no meaningless undergrad degree before med school), have a wide variety of med schools to pick from, and make less money than US counterparts, but also invest less than them in their education.
    Here's a detailed and well researched article, that is accurate based on my extensive personal experience:
    Hit & Run > A Different Sort of Health Care System - Reason Magazine

    As for statuesquechica - I stand corrected, you need to work on your P as well as your T. Honestly, you might also want to spend a little more time either running a business (check!) or formally studying microeconomics (check!), to understand the competition killing effects (both implicit and eventually explicit) of a 'public option'. Here's a hint: how's that US Postal Service 'public option' working out for you? Or, I don't know... AMTRAK?
    Last edited by ComplexMango; 09-07-2009 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Deleted some unnecessary and pointless snark.
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  2. #412
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComplexMango View Post
    Here's a hint: how's that US Postal Service 'public option' working out for you? Or, I don't know... AMTRAK?
    FedEx, UPS, DHL.

    AMTRAK was created because of the decline of passenger use of railroads.

    4. There is no need to 'subsidize' medical students or medical schools. There are plenty of market incentives for their numbers to increase, but there are many artificial barriers preventing that increase due mostly to regulation. For example, there is no reason why medical school should be a graduate program, when it is an undergraduate program in most of the world. The graduate school requirement exists simply to increase the entry barrier into the field and REDUCE the number of doctors, so as to increase the average pay. (BTW, likewise for law school). The government needs to simply get out of the way of the market, and new medical students/ schools will mushroom all over, with no cost to the taxpayer.
    this is a good point though.
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  3. #413

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    FedEx, UPS, DHL.

    AMTRAK was created because of the decline of passenger use of railroads.
    1. The Nixon administration secretly agreed with some railroads that Amtrak would be shut down after two years (just like how Barry claims you can keep your existing insurance, even though it is refuted twice within the first 20 pages of the health care bill).

    Now, several decades later, Amtrak is still around, still bleeding red ink profusely, and has crowded out alternative transport by providing govt subsidized, loss-making options that kill private industry, reduce competition, and ironically keep prices artificially high, and innovation artificially low for the consumer.

    The funny thing is that passenger rail may well have become obsolete in the US, were it not for Amtrak, which, naturally is a money sink that will only create larger and larger losses over time.

    Click here for a detailed analysis:
    The Myth of Passenger Train Profitability

    2. On USPS: Sorry but no. Fedex/ DHL/ UPS are legally prohibited from providing door to door delivery routes. According to the government, no other system for delivering mail - public or private - can be established absent Congress's consent. Congress has delegated to the Postal Service the power to decide whether others may compete with it, and the Postal Service has only carved out an exception to its monopoly for extremely urgent letters.

    So actually the public option is the only option, unless you are willing to pay several multiples higher for a private option. Again, the post office is bleeding red ink and will soon be obsolete. However, we've been denied innovation and cost reductions in door-to-door mail delivery all this while.

    In a nutshell, the postal service is a money-losing embarrassment that uses taxpayer dollars to mostly subsidize business mail-spam.

    -----

    Let me put it in much simpler terms. Do you really want the same people who run Amtrak/ the Post Office/ the DMV to run medical care?
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  4. #414
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComplexMango View Post
    1. The Nixon administration secretly agreed with some railroads that Amtrak would be shut down after two years (just like how Barry claims you can keep your existing insurance, even though it is refuted twice within the first 20 pages of the health care bill).

    Now, several decades later, Amtrak is still around, still bleeding red ink profusely, and has crowded out alternative transport by providing govt subsidized, loss-making options that kill private industry, reduce competition, and ironically keep prices artificially high, and innovation artificially low for the consumer.

    The funny thing is that passenger rail may well have become obsolete in the US, were it not for Amtrak, which, naturally is a money sink that will only create larger and larger losses over time.

    Click here for a detailed analysis:
    The Myth of Passenger Train Profitability

    2. On USPS: Sorry but no. Fedex/ DHL/ UPS are legally prohibited from providing door to door delivery routes. According to the government, no other system for delivering mail - public or private - can be established absent Congress's consent. Congress has delegated to the Postal Service the power to decide whether others may compete with it, and the Postal Service has only carved out an exception to its monopoly for extremely urgent letters.

    So actually the public option is the only option, unless you are willing to pay several multiples higher for a private option. Again, the post office is bleeding red ink and will soon be obsolete. However, we've been denied innovation and cost reductions in door-to-door mail delivery all this while.

    In a nutshell, the postal service is a money-losing embarrassment that uses taxpayer dollars to mostly subsidize business mail-spam.

    -----

    Let me put it in much simpler terms. Do you really want the same people who run Amtrak/ the Post Office/ the DMV to run medical care?
    Is insurance in danger of becoming obsolete without a public option? Will insurance companies be prohibited from providing insurance if there is a public option?

    When are we going to make differentiations between health care and health insurance anyway?
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  5. #415
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    onemoretime,

    If you don't like the Heritage Foundation and don't believe their Index of Economic Freedom, then search out a similar index by another organisation, because even where there are discrepancies, I doubt they'll be significant. In any case, my point was that the so-called "socialist democracies" like Denmark, Sweden, Finland, etc. are on many dimensions more capitalist than the United States, despite having a healthcare industry that is a bit more socialised.

    With regard to "trust-busting" regulations, I suspect that I would side with the Heritage Foundation, (although I say that without any research). Unfortunately, anti-trust legislation has often been used to prevent competition, because the same powers needed to regulate monopoly pricing and collusion can be used to suppress competition and preserve the status quo. Once such powers have been claimed by politicians and bureaucrats, private companies realise that more profit can be had by lobbying politicians than from satisfying customers -- thus the history of anti-trust regulation is littered with gross injustices. Many companies have been punished for offering quality products at lower prices, because industry competitors have rallied together, lobbied in Washington, and successfully got convictions under anti-trust legislation. The ultimate loser is too often the final customer, who must pay higher prices for inferior products; this was not the intention of anti-trust legislation (indeed, it makes a mockery of it), but this kind of thing is all too often the consequence of politicising economic decisions.

    The subtle form of corruption described above would be bad enough, but too often government administrators have combined it with an appalling dearth of economic understanding, and convicted companies under anti-trust legislation when absolutely no threat of monopoly pricing existed. That aside, it is my opinion that monopolies (and trusts generally) are a problem that is greatly overblown among the popular media; such fear-mongering is especially hypocritical from politicians, who are directly responsible for the majority of genuine monopolies than now exist in the United States, because in the absence of legislative support they tend to be fleeting institutions.

    With regard to taxes, there are a number of issues which we probably would do well to discuss -- rates vs. revenue, dead-weight loss, lobbying and the Laffer curve -- but it will suffice here to mention regulation, because the cost of government doesn't have to come in the form of a "tax." For example, an increase in government "oversight" of an industry may entail that companies hire additional employees to better comply with current regulations, anticipate future regulations, and produce additional paperwork. The money spent and resources used for these ends -- offices, electricity, computers, labour -- cannot then be used to expand production, upgrade technology, lower prices, etc., that is, compete. Although these costs do not register as an increase in taxes, they are unmistakably part of the cost of government. My point here is that differences between tax rates can be offset in other ways, (such as, in Denmark, greater business freedom than the United States), because what is relevant is the net cost of government to a company when all its activities are considered -- taxes are but one variable.

    You will not find me defending the healthcare industry in the United States. It is a mess, and the misbehaviour of insurance companies (outright fraud in some cases) is part of the problem, but I identify the government as the root of this problem. (Punishing fraud is one of the roles government should definitely have!)

    Finally, the freedoms you mention -- labour freedom, freedom from corruption, and property rights enforcement -- are not government interventions into a free market economy, but establish a free market economy. Establishing and maintaining institutions which protect these freedoms are among the few activities which libertarians believe governments should be legitimately involved, because without them a free market does not exist to be intervened in.

    Regards,
    Lee
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  6. #416
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    Medicaid is funded by the federal government, states, and counties.
    The states and counties don't have the resources for the additional expense.
    On the other hand...
    what about the Congressional health plan for everyone?
    Then we wouldn't need to have Medicare or Medicaid.
    It would help the states and counties so they could pay for other things, such as education, libraries, police, etc.
    I don't hear any of those Representatives or Senators, who oppose government funded health care for most of us, talk about how their own government health care is so terrible. I don't see any Representatives or Senators getting knocked off by "death panels."
    I see these folks as being a pack of hypocrites.


    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Maybe we could just expand Medicaid to cover more people, like low-income adults who are not pregnant or on disability, and charge them a premium on a sliding scale. We could allow companies that choose not to provide affordable, usable (reasonable deductibles and copays) health insurance, to pay X amount per employee hour to Medicaid to help cover the cost.
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  7. #417
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walking Tourist View Post
    I don't hear any of those Representatives or Senators, who oppose government funded health care for most of us, talk about how their own government health care is so terrible. I don't see any Representatives or Senators getting knocked off by "death panels."
    I see these folks as being a pack of hypocrites.
    There's no way we could afford to give every American the same level of health care as Congress and the President.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #418
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    We could, if we had better priorities. We could stop fighting all of these wars, stop building weapons of mass destruction, and we really don't have to throw so many people in prison. Oh, and not having military bases all over the world would help... and the war on drugs is an expensive failure.
    There. I think that I've found the money.
    I'm ready to enroll in the Congressional health plan now.



    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    There's no way we could afford to give every American the same level of health care as Congress and the President.
    I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle and here is my spout. Every time I steam up, I give a shout. Just tip me over and pour me out.

  9. #419
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walking Tourist View Post
    We could, if we had better priorities. We could stop fighting all of these wars, stop building weapons of mass destruction, and we really don't have to throw so many people in prison. Oh, and not having military bases all over the world would help... and the war on drugs is an expensive failure.
    There. I think that I've found the money.
    I'm ready to enroll in the Congressional health plan now.
    We couldn't, even then. The worker-to-retiree ratio is too low, and it continues to deteriorate. Entitlement programs have some major demographic problems.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  10. #420
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    Increase the retirement age?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    We couldn't, even then. The worker-to-retiree ratio is too low, and it continues to deteriorate. Entitlement programs have some major demographic problems.
    I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle and here is my spout. Every time I steam up, I give a shout. Just tip me over and pour me out.

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