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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Default Why I'm voting for McCain

    Because of his stance on health care. While Obama's plan would be a slight improvement over the current situation (in the short term), McCain's plan would have a much greater effect on the cost of health care because it attacks the source of the high costs...removal of consumer choice (competition) from the system. Obama's plan may be more efficient than the current system from a bureaucratic standpoint (yes, I realize that's a bit of an oxymoron), but it doesn't attack the fundamental problem, so it doesn't solve the problem of Americans spending a larger percentage of their income on health care than any other nation in the world.

    The 'free market' is not the cause of the problem. The US hasn't had a 'free market' with health care since WWII. What we've had is a bureaucratic black hole.
    "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."

  2. #2
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    From what I understand, there is a lot more wrong with our health care than just the soaring costs, such as the over 40-50 million uninsured, the lack of coordination, and the lack of emphasis on prevention.

    As far as the soaring costs, I thought this explanation outlined the problem nicely...

    The insurance business today is dominated by a small group of large companies that has been gobbling up their rivals. There have been over 400 health care mergers in the last 10 years, and just two companies dominate a full third of the national market. These changes were supposed to make the industry more efficient, but instead premiums have skyrocketed by over 87 percent.
    And both plans allow for more "consumer choice (competition) from the system" than the current system does.

    Let's compare the health care plans, shall we...(points in bold italics are similar, if not the same between both plans)

    Obama
    -Regulates the insurance industry (The fundamental difference between the two plans)
    -Aims to create a national health care plan
    -Guaranteed eligibility, no American will be turned away because of illness or preexisting condition
    -A plan that will cover all essential medical services, including preventive, maternity and mental health care.
    -Affordable premiums, co-pays and deductibles.
    -Subsidies to help those who demonstrate financial need to buy into the new plan or to buy private insurance
    -Simplified paperwork
    -Easy enrollment
    -Requirement for insurance companies to report data so as to keep standards up
    -Creation of a National Insurance Exchange that will act as a watchdog group and help reform private insurance
    -Employer contributions (small employers are exempt)
    -Mandatory coverage of children
    -Expansion Of Medicaid and SCHIP
    -Reduce catastrophic costs through employer reimbursement
    -Promote patient safety
    -Provide incentives and award for excellent service
    -Attack disparities and inequalities in health care by promoting prevention
    -Strengthen antitrust laws to push for insurance reform
    -Lower costs by increasing competition in the Insurance and Drug Markets through price restrictions and the creation of "large pools" of insurance plans
    -Advance biomedical research
    -Fight AIDs worldwide
    -Support Americans with Disabilities
    -Improve Mental Health Care
    -Protect Children from Lead Poisoning
    -Reduce risks of Mercury Poisoning
    -Support Americans with Autism
    -The ability to change jobs without worrying about losing health care
    -Allows for State Plans
    -Improve quality of care through disease management programs
    -Integrate care for chronic diseases

    -Require hospitals and providers to report quality and costs
    -Lower costs by investing in electronic health technology systems


    Source: Barack Obama | Change We Can Believe In | Health Care

    Cons:
    Most people would get their insurance from the government
    Cost would $50-65 billion a year
    Uncertain long term costs


    McCain
    -Deregulates the insurance industry (The fundamental difference between the two plans)
    -Aims to restore control to the patients themselves by eliminating the tax breaks that employers use to provide insurance to the workers and then giving refundable tax credits so people can shop for their own insurance
    -Expand the benefits of Health Saving Accounts
    -Cheaper drugs by allowing re-importation and faster introduction of generic drugs
    -Promote Smoking cessation programs
    -Tort Reform that eliminates lawsuits at doctors who follow correct clinical and safety procedures
    -Support the current employer based coverage but seek to make insurance more "portable" so people can take their old insurance plan with them from job to job.
    -Aims to insure the uninsured by working with states to create Guaranteed Access Plans that would provide reasonable limits on premiums and assistance to American's below a certain income level.
    -Improve quality of care through disease management programs
    -Integrate care for chronic diseases

    -Lower costs by investing in electronic health technology systems
    -Require hospitals and providers to report quality and costs


    Source: John McCain 2008 - John McCain for President

    Cons:
    -Does not require coverage of preexisting conditions
    -Tax credits of $2500 for individuals and $5000 for families doesn't even come close to the average $12,106 needed for decent health insurance each year
    -As employers would stop providing health insurance, it will vastly increase the number of uninsured while premium costs are still on the rise and families are struggling in a faltering economy. This could completely destabilize the employer based system. (60% of Americans are covered by their employers)
    -Puts insurance companies directly in charge of health care costs (they are expected to rank in $1.9 billion from this deal)
    -With the current distribution of wealth in the country, the market could lead to health care becoming a "luxury"
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    From what I understand, there is a lot more wrong with our health care than just the soaring costs, such as the over 40-50 million uninsured, the lack of coordination, and the lack of emphasis on prevention.
    Insurance is a primary cause of the soaring cost. Insurance works for catastrophes. You insure your house against fire, not against replacing carpets. Yet with medicine we expect everything to be insured (the equivalent of replacing carpets, watering the lawn, vacuuming the floors). It doesn't work.

    As far as the soaring costs, I thought this explanation outlined the problem nicely...
    The insurance business today is dominated by a small group of large companies that has been gobbling up their rivals. There have been over 400 health care mergers in the last 10 years, and just two companies dominate a full third of the national market. These changes were supposed to make the industry more efficient, but instead premiums have skyrocketed by over 87 percent.
    This isn't the least bit surprising. Government intervention is reducing competition, allowing monopolies to form. As competition is reduced, consumer costs rise. I give this quote a rating of 'duh'.

    Obama...
    -The ability to change jobs without worrying about losing health care
    This was CAUSED by the federal government decades ago, when it gave tax breaks to people who got medical insurance through their employer. Those same tax breaks weren't available to people who bought medical insurance on their own. In effect, our own federal government is FUCKING DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for linking medical insurance with employment. It wasn't the 'free market'. It was government. It was government. It was government.

    This is easy to fix, but people whine and complain every time it's mentioned.

    Before this happened, most people would pay for medical expenses out of their pocket. And guess what? Medical care was affordable. It wasn't until consumers payed INDIRECTLY that costs started to rise. The government introduced a market inefficiency which is THE ROOT CAUSE of the current health care mess. The reason the poor can't afford medical care...it's the fucking government's fault.

    -Allows for State Plans
    Don't have a problem with this, but it doesn't address the root cause.

    -Improve quality of care through disease management programs
    -Integrate care for chronic diseases
    Government intervention will only cause these costs to rise. That's a guarantee.

    -Require hospitals and providers to report quality and costs
    No problem here.

    -Lower costs by investing in electronic health technology systems
    Government investment is ALWAYS less efficient than free market investment.

    Advances in technology do usually lower costs. They've lowered costs in virtually every other sector of the economy, but why not medicine? Because of market inefficiencies due to government intervention. By taking away direct control of spending away from consumers, the market is less efficient than it would be otherwise. This feeds back on itself until you have the monster that we have to day.

    Most people would get their insurance from the government
    Cost would $50-65 billion a year
    Uncertain long term costs
    The costs, as a percentage of income, would continually increase until the system collapses on itself. This plan is only a bandaid, a temporary solution. It fails to address the market inefficiencies. We'll eventually end up with a medical black market. The rich and much of the middle class will still get their wonderful care, but the poor will be stuck with the inefficient government junk. That's how it always works. Government regulation ends up hurting the people it's supposed to protect.

    McCain
    -Deregulates the insurance industry
    Yes, deregulation increases competition. Those big insurers won't be able to stomp on the smaller insurances companies as easily. Why? Because regulations cost money and the larger insurance companies have a much easier time offsetting those costs than smaller companies. The result of regulation is a reduction in competition as the smaller companies fail, one by one.

    -Aims to restore control to the patients themselves by eliminating the tax breaks that employers use to provide insurance to the workers and then giving refundable tax credits so people can shop for their own insurance
    This is the primary point. The MOST IMPORTANT point. This puts more control in the hands of consumers. This will reduce market inefficiencies.

    -Expand the benefits of Health Saving Accounts
    Again, this is great. More control for consumers is good.

    -Cheaper drugs by allowing re-importation and faster introduction of generic drugs
    Wonderful. Competition is good.

    -Promote Smoking cessation programs
    Don't care.

    -Tort Reform that eliminates lawsuits at doctors who follow correct clinical and safety procedures
    Not that big of a deal, but sure, that should help a little, I suppose.

    -Support the current employer based coverage but seek to make insurance more "portable" so people can take their old insurance plan with them from job to job.
    The reason medical insurance was linked to employment in the first place was because of the tax break. Removing the tax break makes this less important over time.

    -Aims to insure the uninsured by working with states to create Guaranteed Access Plans that would provide reasonable limits on premiums and assistance to American's below a certain income level.
    Not the best solution, but this is politics and you have to compromise sometimes. There's no way he'd get a bill passed without something like this, even if it would be detrimental to the poor, long term. I personally see this as a con.

    -Improve quality of care through disease management programs
    -Integrate care for chronic diseases
    -Lower costs by investing in electronic health technology systems
    -Require hospitals and providers to report quality and costs
    See comments above (Obama's section)

    -Does not require coverage of preexisting conditions
    That government requirement only serves to drive up the cost of insurance for most Americans, hurting the general populace more than it helps.

    -Tax credits of $2500 for individuals and $5000 for families doesn't even come close to the average $12,106 needed for decent health insurance each year
    It's a tax credit, not a deduction. Learn the difference between the two.

    -As employers would stop providing health insurance, it will vastly increase the number of uninsured while premium costs are still on the rise and families are struggling in a faltering economy. This could completely destabilize the employer based system. (60% of Americans are covered by their employers)
    Severing the link between employers and health insurance will help reduce costs. The employer based system needs to be dismantled. It's a huge market inefficiency.

    -Puts insurance companies directly in charge of health care costs (they are expected to rank in $1.9 billion from this deal)
    This will be bad if the government heavily regulates the insurance industry, because the reduction in competition will only lead to higher costs. But if McCain is able to reduce regulation, small insurers will lead to an increase in competition and a reduction in consumer costs.

    -With the current distribution of wealth in the country, the market could lead to health care becoming a "luxury"
    This will never happen. A black market (free market) would open up. This has already happened in many (all?) European nations.
    "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."

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dark Razor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Because of his stance on health care. While Obama's plan would be a slight improvement over the current situation (in the short term), McCain's plan would have a much greater effect on the cost of health care because it attacks the source of the high costs...removal of consumer choice (competition) from the system. Obama's plan may be more efficient than the current system from a bureaucratic standpoint (yes, I realize that's a bit of an oxymoron), but it doesn't attack the fundamental problem, so it doesn't solve the problem of Americans spending a larger percentage of their income on health care than any other nation in the world.

    The 'free market' is not the cause of the problem. The US hasn't had a 'free market' with health care since WWII. What we've had is a bureaucratic black hole.
    It does not make sense to grant choice to people on issues that require expert knowledge to take an informed decision on. It rather paves the way for drug producers and other enteties that derive profit from the health care system to decive the ignorant consumer through advertising and advertising disguised as "studies".

    Furthermore, drug companies waste considerable amounts of money on marketing and advertising that could otherwise go into R&D, or could be used to lower prices. There are also other issues associated with health care providers operating from a profit motive, but I won't go into them right now, unless there is an interest in me doing so.

    Now if you want to vote for McCain, sure why not, your country is doomed anyway. Though McCain will probably manage to drive it into the ground at record speed.


    I agree though, that insurance companies are probably unnecesary, or at least there should be only one non-profit insurance company to minimize money that is wasted on administrative bodies.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dark Razor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post


    This will never happen. A black market (free market) would open up. This has already happened in many (all?) European nations.
    What?

  6. #6
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    I would say that McCain's plan is far riskier than Obama's, simply because it is based solely on free market theory. Also, there is no guarantee that the costs will go down enough to be covered by the alloted tax credits and his plan clearly discriminates against those with prior health conditions. That leads me to believe that his system would be perfect for insurance companies, but not for individuals who have to become educated overnight in buying the best possible health insurance. Especially since most would need a master's degree in law just to decipher all the jargon they will encounter along the way. The old benefit to letting employers handle that mess was they had a team of lawyers who went through all the policies before turning over a dime to the insurance companies. And at the risk of creating more uninsured with no guarantee that costs will go down, it is a huge gamble to make based on just free market ideology.

    Not to mention, McCain's health care plan would never get Congressional approval, whereas Obama's actually has a chance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Razor View Post
    It does not make sense to grant choice to people on issues that require expert knowledge to take an informed decision on. It rather paves the way for drug producers and other enteties that derive profit from the health care system to decive the ignorant consumer through advertising and advertising disguised as "studies".
    Typical left wing elitist view. 'The populace isn't smart enough, so we have to make decisions for them'. Bullfuckingshit. If this were true, then the same would be true for all aspects of our lives. No individual is an expert on every subject for which we'll make a decision, but we make those decisions all the time. If what you say were true, then it would be the case with every industry, and considering your political stance, I'm guessing you actually believe that to be the case.

    primary vested interest >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> superior knowledge.

    Furthermore, drug companies waste considerable amounts of money on marketing and advertising that could otherwise go into R&D, or could be used to lower prices. There are also other issues associated with health care providers operating from a profit motive, but I won't go into them right now, unless there is an interest in me doing so.
    Marketing and advertising is not a waste, otherwise the money would not be spent. They are not forced to spend that money, they do so because it's economically viable. If they did not advertise, profits would be smaller and less money would be available for research. That's how it works.

    Now if you want to vote for McCain, sure why not, your country is doomed anyway. Though McCain will probably manage to drive it into the ground at record speed.


    I agree though, that insurance companies are probably unnecesary, or at least there should be only one non-profit insurance company to minimize money that is wasted on administrative bodies.
    Non-profit insurance would be even worse. Then we could end up with a situation like we have with education where even more money is wasted. When profit motive is removed, inefficiencies thrive. That is the only motivation strong enough to get people to make real improvements to the system. All other motives are political in nature and are far less efficient.
    "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."

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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I would say that McCain's plan is far riskier than Obama's, simply because it is based solely on free market theory. Also, there is no guarantee that the costs will go down enough to be covered by the alloted tax credits and his plan clearly discriminates against those with prior health conditions.
    Riskier? I suppose that could be true since we know Obama's will lead to an eventual collapse of the health care system because bureaucracies don't self-regulate. They take on a life of their own. The precise fate of McCain's plan is more difficult to predict, and could be detrimental if only certain parts are implemented. But as long as the important parts (increasing competition) are implemented, it will be highly beneficial.

    That leads me to believe that his system would be perfect for insurance companies, but not for individuals who have to become educated overnight in buying the best possible health insurance. Especially since most would need a master's degree in law just to decipher all the jargon they will encounter along the way. The old benefit to letting employers handle that mess was they had a team of lawyers who went through all the policies before turning over a dime to the insurance companies. And at the risk of creating more uninsured with no guarantee that costs will go down, it is a huge gamble to make based on just free market ideology.
    Educated overnight? Are you kidding me? This is more left wing elitist bullshit. The people are too stupid, blah blah blah. People learn about a subject when they have reason to. Giving them power over their own medical fates will encourage learning. The only reason people are ignorant regarding health care right now is because it's all done for them. The employer chooses the company or the government sends the check. People have no incentive to learn.

    The current system developed because government regulation encouraged it. When government changes its strategy, the health care system will adapt to take advantage of those new regulations. Regardless of the regulations that are in place, people will try to use that system for their own benefit. That is something that no amount of socialism or regulation will ever be able to change. The goal should be to encourage that self-interest in a direction that benefits society, not to hamper it. Hampering it only causes suffering.

    Not to mention, McCain's health care plan would never get Congressional approval, whereas Obama's actually has a chance.
    You may be right in this case. Popular thought is unfortunately flawed.
    "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."

  9. #9
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Typical left wing elitist view. 'The populace isn't smart enough, so we have to make decisions for them'.
    Typical right wing elitist view. The populace is smart enough to do brain surgery, so we have to let them all have scalpels so they can go to work.

    (Sorry, couldn't help myself, )

    I knew once I posted the fundamental difference between these two plans was regulation that it would turn into a partisan bickering match.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Razor View Post
    Now if you want to vote for McCain, sure why not, your country is doomed anyway. Though McCain will probably manage to drive it into the ground at record speed.
    How short-sighted.

    The United States has sucked for years and is still very much alive and sucking today; and every president who is elected is touted as the one who "destroy the country."

    If we survived a moron like Bush, we'll survive another.





    ... that was actually less argumentative than it might have sounded.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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