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  1. #81
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllAboutSoul View Post
    I love this post. Worth repeating, imo, seeing as how I'm becoming one of the older people who've come close to having to deal with this and now having no insurance because hubby got laid off from his job. Everything even a teensy bit wrong with us is going to get us so totally screwed in the future even if hubby manages to find another job. Not so easy for anyone right now, even harder for a man in his late 50s that's had a quad by- pass.

    God bless us every one. I mean that, I really do. It's getting (already) scary out there, folks.
    I agree.

    The problem isn't privatized health care itself, but rather poor government oversight of an industry that sells a service with incredibly inelastic demand (and don't even pretend the average family can just go without it--not having health insurance is REALLY not an option for most low/medium-income families, as even a single ER visit for something as simple as a broken arm is extraordinarily expensive without insurance.)

    I don't want to totally socialize medicine, either--I think McCain had a decent idea with his "give income tax credits as an incentive to families who purchase a private plan instead of using a crappy employer-provided HMO" thing, but that's really only a temporary fix for a larger problem. The health care/insurance industry has been able to raise its prices to ludicrously high levels in recent years simply because government does such a piss-poor job of regulating it that it lacks any realistic semblance of capitalistic competition.

    My question for the "NO GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF HEALTH INSURACE EVARRR!!!" proponents is: What the fuck else are low-income families supposed to do for health care?

    The fact is that health insurance IS too fucking expensive, because the health insurance companies all engage in illegal price fixing/collusion and arbitrarily raise their rates by astronomical stretches every year, for no real reason other than because they can.

    If government doesn't step in to stop this unfair oligopoly/virtual monopoly on a service that, given the OUTRAGEOUS cost of paying for any major medical procedure without insurance, most families absolutely cannot do without, we're going to dig ourselves into an even deeper shit hole because socialized medicine will end up being the only option left (and yes, I agree it's a shitty option.)

    But oh wait, of course, I'm sure the INVISIBLE HAND will just show up here and work everything out naturally--if people can't pay for health care, they'll just die off and the market will balance itself, right, assholes?

    If nothing else I think we can all agree that health care should be provided free of charge for children/the elderly/anyone otherwise too old/young/sick/injured/incapacitated to be expected to work and pay for it himself. Does that sound fair, at least?
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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    If nothing else I think we can all agree that health care should be provided free of charge for children/the elderly/anyone otherwise too old/young/sick/injured/incapacitated to be expected to work and pay for it himself. Does that sound fair, at least?
    If you think that sounds fair, then I want you to find someone like that in your neighborhood and start contributing personally toward that person's medical bills.

    Otherwise your so-called "compassion" is just a willingness to spend other people's money.

  3. #83
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    If you think that sounds fair, then I want you to find someone like that in your neighborhood and start contributing personally toward that person's medical bills.

    Otherwise your so-called "compassion" is just a willingness to spend other people's money.

    L-O-effing-L. "So-called compassion", good lord...yes, I do happen to believe it's more compassionate to place "children get to eat and not die of diseases" as a higher priority than "Oberon gets to keep his nominal income tax rate low enough that he can gold plate his pool." Seriously, where do you get off...?

    I've heard enough hyper-rationalist self-righteous libertarian bullshit from NTs, and I think it's high time our collective temperament grew up and recognized the myriad problems with the idealistic fantasy that is pure laissez-faire capitalism. (HINT: Real life doesn't operate in a vacuum. When you wake up from "100% OF MY MONEY IS MINE TO SPEND NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS" quasi-anarchist land, the real world of practical, realistic politics will be waiting.)

    So yeah, I am willing to take and spend your money when it comes to making sure that children don't die of easily preventable diseases/do have food on the table at night. And unless you want to move to Antarctica and live as a totally independent island, I'm afraid you can just deal with the horrible injustice of your marginal income tax rate being a little higher so that children and sick people don't starve/die due to conditions over which they absolutely no control. In a realistic Republican-style democracy, it's childish and naive to pretend that government can't or shouldn't make decisions to spend money on things that the common citizen has neither the time nor the money to pursue. We're not holding a 300 million-citizen referendum for every single budgeting issue, and if you can't see why suggesting that we should is outrageously impractical, then I'm not sure what else to tell you. If you don't like the way government is spending that money, write to your congressman and vote for someone else next time. That's how this whole "democracy" thing works, get it? You're not being "oppressed" because Uncle Sam takes a portion of your income for causes that you don't necessarily support or utilize; it's called the real world.

    But hey, who cares about that? The INVISIBLE HAND will solve everything all on its own, right? If those kids aren't making enough money for food, it's their own damn fault and they deserve to starve, because clearly they aren't working hard enough.

    Extremism makes me vomit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    L-O-effing-L. "So-called compassion", good lord...yes, I do happen to believe it's more compassionate to place "children get to eat and not die of diseases" as a higher priority than "Oberon gets to keep his nominal income tax rate low enough that he can gold plate his pool." Seriously, where do you get off...?

    I've heard enough hyper-rationalist self-righteous libertarian bullshit from NTs, and I think it's high time our collective temperament grew up and recognized the myriad problems with the idealistic fantasy that is pure laissez-faire capitalism. (HINT: Real life doesn't operate in a vacuum. When you wake up from "100% OF MY MONEY IS MINE TO SPEND NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS" quasi-anarchist land, the real world of practical, realistic politics will be waiting.)

    So yeah, I am willing to take and spend your money when it comes to making sure that children don't die of easily preventable diseases/do have food on the table at night. And unless you want to move to Antarctica and live as a totally independent island, I'm afraid you can just deal with the horrible injustice of your marginal income tax rate being a little higher so that children and sick people don't starve/die due to conditions over which they absolutely no control. In a realistic Republican-style democracy, it's childish and naive to pretend that government can't or shouldn't make decisions to spend money on things that the common citizen has neither the time nor the money to pursue. If you don't like the way government is spending that money, write to your congressman. That's how this whole "democracy" thing works, get it? You're not being "oppressed" because Uncle Sam takes a portion of your income for causes that you don't necessarily support or utilize; it's called the real world.

    But hey, who cares about that? The INVISIBLE HAND will solve everything all on its own, right? If those kids aren't making enough money for food, it's their own damn fault and they deserve to starve, because clearly they aren't working hard enough.

    Extremism makes me vomit.
    Extremism is a form of stupidity. Being an NT doesn't guarentee high intelligencce by any stretch of the imagination. I find Libertarianism to be as fanciful as anything an NF could possibly come up with, the only difference being that the fantasy is insanely more narcissistic.

    One of the funniest things I've seen lately is that a staunch Libertarian acquaintence of my lost his job because of the recession and is totally screwed. He then had the audacity to complain that state-provided unemployment wasn't giving him "the lifestyle he had become accustomed to."

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    L-O-effing-L. "So-called compassion", good lord...yes, I do happen to believe it's more compassionate to place "children get to eat and not die of diseases" as a higher priority than "Oberon gets to keep his nominal income tax rate low enough that he can gold plate his pool."
    Right now I'm father of a family of six scraping by on a single income because my wife and I actually want our children to be raised at home with a parent continually present. We live in a $65,000 home because it's the best we can afford. My newest vehicle is nine years old, and we have about $600 in our savings account. We also give on a monthly basis to several charities.

    And I think collectivizing health care is an extraordinarily bad idea.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    But hey, who cares about that? The INVISIBLE HAND will solve everything all on its own, right? If those kids aren't making enough money for food, it's their own damn fault and they deserve to starve, because clearly they aren't working hard enough.

    Extremism makes me vomit.
    In the town where I live, nobody starves. If anyone goes without food in my city, it's because they didn't know where to go or who to ask, not because it wasn't available.

    But it's from private charities, not government handouts.

    Historically speaking, your position is much more extreme than mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Extremism is a form of stupidity. Being an NT doesn't guarentee high intelligencce by any stretch of the imagination.
    You couldn't be more correct. This forum has a substantially high percentage of intutives and Ts. This forum (or at least those who actively participate in this section) is statistically unrepresentative of the majority of the population both in personality and in political views. This is good, because if this forum were a true representation of the real world, we'd all be dead already.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Extremism is a form of stupidity. Being an NT doesn't guarentee high intelligencce by any stretch of the imagination. I find Libertarianism to be as fanciful as anything an NF could possibly come up with, the only difference being that the fantasy is insanely more narcissistic.
    There is nothing whatsoever "narcissistic" about fighting for freedom.


    One of the funniest things I've seen lately is that a staunch Libertarian acquaintence of my lost his job because of the recession and is totally screwed. He then had the audacity to complain that state-provided unemployment wasn't giving him "the lifestyle he had become accustomed to."
    If you're forced to pay into unemployment from your paycheck, you should receive it when you are unemployed against your will. That's YOUR money. Are you going to call libertarians hypocrites for driving onstate-maintained roads or receiving Social Security checks when they retire, after having spent the entire working career paying in? That's ridiculous. Your acquaintance should learn to save better for a rainy day, though. Sounds like a bit of a whiner, as well. I was let go from my part-time job this past Friday. Fortunately, I have a job interview next week for a full-time position making good money.
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  9. #89
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Here's the thing: Living in a country with guaranteed health care subsidized by the government does not necessarily promise good service.

    In Germany, everyone has health care, but people who are privately insured (and you try to be if you can) definitely have better service.

    At the end of the day, people like me who had previous sports injuries before even coming to the country haven't got a chance in hell of getting into the private system because the amount you'd have to pay would be incredible, not to mention the fact that some insurance companies outright reject you. They can do that because they are private.

    Indeed, people pay a hell of a lot for private insurance, so the system is essentially the same.

    Then you have freelancers who don't qualify for the national health care system because they are not technically 'employed' (angestellt) but also don't qualify for private ones. These people (like me) have to 'voluntarily' join the government subsidized health care at incredible rates because my employer does NOT cover half the costs, as they would have to for employee benefits.

    That means I pay over 300 euros a month for health care just for myself. Luckily, because my husband is a student and does not earn money (except for a low-paying side job), he can be covered under a family health-care plan subsidized by the government. But in order to qualify, the other party (my husband) cannot earn more than 400 euros a month. If he decided to get another job, he'd have to insure himself, and I'd still have to pay over 300 euros a month, which means we would have to pay 400-500 euros a month together for health insurance.

    As a result, my husband has only a low-paying part-time job, and I have almost the full burden of earning the money because the extra money he would earn doesn't make sense. Remember, we also have a crazy tax rate - BECAUSE of all the government programs.

    In addition, we pay almost what the private guys pay, but do not the service for it. It really sucks.

    Luckily our public insurance company is a really good one compared to others (yes, public insurances are ALSO not all the same). They cover a lot of things most others don't, and they are really good about payments, which they actually lowered by a few euros this year.

    Other public insurance companies are picky about what they cover.

    Thankfully there had been a law passed in Germany that requires everyone to be insured. To make sure no one slips through the cracks, they said that in an instance where no private insurance company can take you (freelancers, private businessmen, etc.) the last public insurance company you were insured under is REQUIRED to take you by LAW. Otherwise, I'd be sitting on my ass without insurance of any kind. Who wants to take on someone who has already had a back OP with an exploded disc with pieces that landed in her nerve canal? That's right - NOBODY.

    Bottom line, not everything is as great as it seems at first glance.

    Oh yeah, and before I forget: In order to qualify for the over 300 euro amount, I have to earn no more than 1800 euros a month. If I earn more, I have to pay 16% of every euro to the insurance company. You know what the poverty line for a family of two is? 1600 euros. And that's not counting that we live near Münster, a relatively expensive place to live. Bottom line: IT SUCKS. I mean I'm glad I have it, but DAMN!
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  10. #90
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    Here's the thing: Living in a country with guaranteed health care subsidized by the government does not necessarily promise good service.

    Thankfully there had been a law passed in Germany that requires everyone to be insured. To make sure no one slips through the cracks, they said that in an instance where no private insurance company can take you (freelancers, private businessmen, etc.) the last public insurance company you were insured under is REQUIRED to take you by LAW. Otherwise, I'd be sitting on my ass without insurance of any kind. Who wants to take on someone who has already had a back OP with an exploded disc with pieces that landed in her nerve canal? That's right - NOBODY.

    Bottom line, not everything is as great as it seems at first glance.
    ^Thanks for posting about a health care system from outside of the US. It is helpful to me to hear from all the sides and systems, and as you say, no system is as great as it sounds. My friend from France has also told me about the tiered level of services, part public, part private.

    I would really like to hear about people's concerns, problems when it comes to this critical issue, but I can't learn a damn thing from these town halls when people are shouting down any sort of debate or discussion. I don't have a problem if people are afraid of change, but the only way fear is going to be dispelled is through education and discussion, not strong arming a public gathering, death threats to Congressmen, or assaults (reports of these tactics being used).

    I also agree with the previous poster that talks about health care for ALL children, elderly and the vunerable members of our society. What kind of a society are we to refuse this sort of basic human right. (And please don't respond if you are Libertarian and don't believe health care is a right, what about the "general welfare of the people"?)
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