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The Underlying Premise of Obama's Health Insurance "Reform"

Original post made by Perspective, Midtown, on Jul 22, 2009

Ok, hot topic now, so here we go.

Here is Peter Singer, "ethicist" of Princeton, in the NYT on Sunday. I say ethicist in quotes because he calls for the killing of innocent life, advocating the killing of babies up to one year old if it turns out something is "wrong" with them after birth. He also advocates pulling the health care rug out from under anyone who is past the age of "productivity". As far as he is concerned, life isn't really life until someone has been out of the womb for a year, and I guess life becomes less so after we stop "being productive".

This is the kind of "ethics" being touted at Princeton, and now the NYT, and the kind of thinking that not only can, but WILL inevitably infest our health care when government takes over, and we have no ability to choose anything else ( which is the inevitable result of any bill which erodes private choices)

Peter Singer

Web Link From the NYT

If you aren't appalled by this after reading it, then you haven't understood it. Read it again, and imagine this man in charge of deciding if you, your parents or your children get health care, or don't. And you have no other choice but to accept his decision.

Given that this is now considered acceptable thinking in our nation, it behooves us to really examine what is in the actual Bill...As soon as I can find a link to an actual bill, any of them, I will post it!

Even above the details, though, is the question and debate concerning the underlying premise: How much control over your life do you want to relinquish to political control? How far are you willing to let politics decide your health insurance choices, or any other choice you make, such as the kind of auto insurance, life insurance, investments, car, house, food, jewelry, clothes or whatever you buy, ..when are you willing to say "enough control of my choices in life". I saw a bumper sticker that cracked me up the other day.."Health care is a right"..When will I see one that says "Housing is a right"? Or "Driving is a right!" Where is health care,or housing, or food even, in our Bill of Rights? At what point do choices and privileges become rights?

To label those of us who are completely opposed to political control over our health care choices as "anti-health care reform" is disengenous at best: I and many like me were appalled that the Republicans, when they had the chance, did not grab the horn of reform in health care ( and other programs that are going to sink us)in a way which applied AMERICAN (USA STYLE) ideals of respect for individuals being free and quite capable of making their own choices for how to live. There are some excellent, real, fixes we could apply that adjust our system's problems, but DON'T destroy all that makes ours the best health care system in the world, the one that people from all over the world flock to.

At the fundamental level, this is a discussion of the underlying premise which justifies throwing out the baby with the bathwater "reform", and where that premise is found in our Constitution or our Declaration of Independence or any other foundational philosophy of our great country.

I ask how we got to the point where we are trying to destroy what works for about 290 million Americans, about 30 million of whom CHOOSE to not buy health insurance though can afford it, or CHOOSE to not sign up for MedicAid or SCHIP until they land in the hospital, but who ARE covered ( and oft quoted in with the "uninsured" numbers.

Why do we want to overturn this system completely, not reform it, but destroy it, in order to help the 10, maybe 15, million uninsured CITIZENS who are earning more than qualifies them for MediCal/Aid, but truly make too little to be able to buy health insurance?

Do we keep going down that slippery slope of govt control over our choices, or do we adjust our health insurance laws so that we each have real choices in health insurance options, being able to choose amongst silver-plated, aluminum-plated, AND the currently mandated gold-plated insurances?

Do we adjust our insurance laws so that our insurance is even more portable and stable( begun under Clinton) and less open to refusing "pre-existings", or do we throw out all the good and re-create what is already failing in Canada and Europe? Yes, I say failing .. in cost, in speed and access to quality care, in death rates, in suffering. Why do we want to repeat what is dying of its own weight elsewhere? When will our pride stop getting in the way of learning from the mistakes of others?

There are some excellent, real, fixes we could apply that adjust our system's problems, but DON'T destroy all that makes ours the best health care system in the world, the one that people from all over the world flock to. (When was the last time Americans went to even Canada, let alone Europe or England, for better medical care?)




Comments (28)

Posted by Found the Actual Bill
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 22, 2009 at 2:30 pm

FYI, actual bill/ 1.7 mb and takes a while to load ( 1018 pages!)

If you can't get this to work, go to energycommerce dot house dot gov/Press_111/20090714/aahca.pdf

Web Link

Enjoy your nighty-night reading.




Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 22, 2009 at 4:34 pm

My read of concerns for abusive power in this bill

I started this post thinking I would have only a few things to say, but I see that I have much to say on just the FIRST item that glares out at me

Page 15: line 2... ONLY FED APPROVED HEALTH INSRUANCE PLANS CAN CONTINUE TO EXIST AFTER IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS BILL.

Ok, first off, without even reading what the 'fed approved plan" is..what happened to my ability to "choose" the plan I want? This makes private plan minimums now regulated by the FEDS. Exactly the opposite of what we need to lower private plan insurance costs, which would be to open the market to let us choose less expensive insurance options. With this rule, I can't even move to another State to get out of onerous State insurance rules in this State.

Moving on to what the "fed approved private insurers plan" includes:

Page 19: the private insurances are not allowed to exclude ANY preexisting, which sounds great until you realize that nowhere in here is there a provision to allow all private insurers to pool and share their preexistings. This forces the best, and biggest, insurers to get the onslaught of pre-existing applicants, with all the consequences to the other insured that implies.

Page 23, line 19: Mental health and addiction "parity" is required of the private insurers, the two so often lumped together to hide the fact that while most of us have no problem insuring against some kind of psychiatric illness, most of us have no desire to pay for insuring ourselves or others against drug/alcohol addiction.

Page 25, line 16: Private insurers have to meet all the "requirements" for benefits in the rest of the bill..I will have to read the rest of the bill, but in just a casual glance I noted that the language suffers from the same lack of specificity that sank HilaryCare, for example a benefit has to include access to "other health care professionals",undefined. This is a Pandora's box, since this term "health care professional" now includes such formerly non-traditional salutations as chiropractic ( not saying anything about DCs, mind you, just noting that this is an area that is now covered and wasn't 30 years ago until mandated by government from lobby groups), and in some places homeopathy, massage therapists, MFCCs, etc. This undefined sentence opens the door for an onslaught of lawsuit whipping of private insurers. Please note and never forget, we can't sue the Fed Govt ( ask those in the military how much recourse they have to malpractice or "bottom line" medical practice). But the USA being the USA, I have no doubt that this will open private insurers to the same kind of ACORN style abuse that scared mortgage lenders into going along with the Community Reinvestment act, which lit the economic wildfire we are experiencing. Until they collapse.

So much for "you won't lose your health insurance you have now if you like it".

I will stop beating the private insurers must comply with Fed rules drum right now, because I suspect it is going to take longer than I thought.

NEXT:

Page 16, line 12: NO NEW HEALTH INSURANCE POLICIES CAN BE ENROLLED AFTER THE START OF THIS BILL!!!!!!!

I feel sick. How can this be? Is it possible I have misunderstood what it says? Here is the direct quote

..."the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1" ( my addition, Y1 means first year of this bill).

After hearing all along this is a "choice", and even expecting it to actually be a back door stealth takeover of our private insurers until we are all stuck with govt controlled health care, I am absolutely stunned to see that it was an absolute lie that this was a "choice"..it is a full fledged and blatant govt shut down of private health insurances.

America, what have we elected? How many times are we going to hear one thing but see a blatantly different reality? Do you even remember how many times we've been told one thing but seen another already?

I have to go, I am literally sick to my stomach over this grotesque, dare I say blatantly lying attack on the American people, on our system, on our faith, on our intelligence. What, was there "hope" that this "change" would sneak through before we figured it out, like the "stimulus" bill that HAD to be rushed through without anyone actually reading it?

I can think of nothing "civil" to say, so I will sign off now.



Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Ok, I can be civil again.

Think about it, how many of you have to read 1,000 pages to choose your health insurance plan? If you did, would you choose it? Somehow, the health plans 250,000,000 of us have are understandable to most of us, with clearly defined limits, and yet we have the best health care in the world.

Now there is a 1,000 page "health insurance plan" that has no discernible limits that I can find on definitions or treatments in any area.

For example, it is usual to have a number associated with covered days per year in a nursing home, or number of physical therapy visits, or number of teeth cleanings, what dental procedures are covered, what eye glasses are covered etc. But in a perusal of this, I can't find any. I will keep looking, but aren't you nervous about trusting your health decisions to huge body of law that is open to interpretation depending on political winds, and which offers no recourse for you if you disagree with the interpretation?

Think hard, people, before swallowing this sugar coated poison pill.


Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 22, 2009 at 8:59 pm

There's a basic economics issue here that always gets lost in the hue and cry--and it's this: the larger the risk pool, the better insurance works. Fact is, when something happens to uninsured Americans, we all end up picking up the tab--and because the economics of health coverage in this country are so incredibly inefficient, we end up paying a lot more than we would otherwise.

Right now, insurance providers decide our medical choices. I have to laugh when I hear GOP blathering about being able to choose your doctor and what kind of treatment you want. Yeah, right. I have good private insurance and I have very few choices regarding medical treatment.

If everyone paid into the system over a long period of time, we'd be better funded and more efficient. It would be easier to focus on preventive care.

I'm so tired of conservative scare tactics over what's a very practical issue of economics. We should have had some sort of nationalized health care years and years ago. We don't because the insurance industry in this country fights it tooth and nail--not for noble reasons, but because they make money that way.

I wish a chronic ailment and a job loss on those of you who don't get just how bad and ineffective the current system is. Have fun getting coverage for a pre-existing condition.

By the way, you do know that medical bills are the no. one reason for personal bankruptcies?


Posted by Keith
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 22, 2009 at 9:11 pm

I don't understand why "preventive care" is being pushed. Don't we just push people to live longer, then still have to deal with even greater end-of-life issues, including suffering and costs? Is it really cheaper to prevent heart attacks, if it means numerous hospital stays down the road? Why can't we just accept a life lived to one's choice, then you die?

Preventive care costs more, not less. Obama should be honest about this.


Posted by Good laugh
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 22, 2009 at 10:42 pm

So Keith advocates less preventive care so that we can save money through people dying younger?

I suggest that if Keith some day runs his car into a tree and is sitting there injured, we do not take him to the hospital in an attempt to save him. Let him just die. We'll save money !!!


Posted by R Wray
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2009 at 12:11 am

The issue is not economics. The issue is individual rights--the rights of patients and health care providers to be free of government coercion.
The relationship between the government and the insurance companies needs to be severed--no regulations and no special favors. We need a free market in insurance.


Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 23, 2009 at 12:21 am

Keith,

Preventive care means less money spent treating a disease. Type II diabetes, for example, is linked to obesity. Cut down on the rate of obesity, you have a lower rate of diabetes--prevention then.

Just because unhealthy people tend to die at a younger age doesn't mean their overall health costs are lower. Health problems cost money in terms of lost wages, drug treatment, hospitalizations, testing and doctor visits. Quite often, a health issue can be easy and inexpensive to treat if dealt with in its early stages.

When health coverage is an issue then people are more likely to wait until the situation is more serious and expensive to treat. It's easier and cheaper to treat a localized tumor than it is one that has metastatized. Easiest and cheapest of all is to get people to change behavior (such as smoking) that increase the risk of the tumor in the first place.

An unhealthy 50-year-old can have much higher medical expenditures than a healthy 70-year-old.

But the current system of reimbursement works against cheap prevention in favor of costly testing and treatment of those with insurance and emergency-room waits for those without. The free market hasn't shown itself to be an ideal mechanism for optimum health care.


Posted by Uhh - no.
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 23, 2009 at 9:32 am

I agree with the judgment that preventative health care is the way to go.

But I see:

"Easiest and cheapest of all is to get people to change behavior (such as smoking) that increase the risk of the tumor in the first place."

No, this is a very hard thing to do, and very expensive. Governmental and nongovernmental organizations been trying for many years to stop smoking, illegal drug use, bad eating habits, bad habits of stress response, etc.

A few contributors generally maintain a standard for their posts, where they write to inform, and think about what they write, rather than simply writing something that sounds like it supports their argument. That is compromised here, and thereby damages the integrity of the whole argument.




Posted by R Wray
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2009 at 10:18 am

The free market did an excellent job of developing our health care system. People from all over the world came here for treatment, and our innovative drugs and techniques led the way for others.
The problems began decades ago as the government increased its control--now up to over 50% and climbing. It's ludicrous to blame the present system on the free market.


Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2009 at 10:41 am


30% of Medicare spending -- nearly $100 billion annually -- goes to care for patients during their last year of life.

That is what Obama refers to when he talks about "difficult decisions at end of life,"

Those decisions will soon be made by the government, not the patient, not the family, not the doctor.

According to the WSJ analysis "preventative health care" actually cost more not less money because it involves a lot of expensive tests and expensive interventions.

Also,contrary to accepted wisdom, smokers may actually save us money.

Smokers die young and fast before they collect SS and the cost of treatment is much less than for chronic diseases of aging that linger into the 80s and 90s.


Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Explain to me the logic I am hearing:

"Larger risk pool is better, so we need to nationalize, and have those of us already paying, pay even more for those who aren't paying,because it makes economic sense and will save money".."We pay for the uninsured already, so we may has well pay for their insurance so we don't have to pay"..huh??

Fundamental problem with this thinking.. Those of us in the "risk pool" of private insurances PAY MONEY BASED ON ACTUARIAL TABLES to belong to the risk pool. Money we have EARNED. So, of course, it makes total sense (not) to set up a govt program which will create the moral hazard of encouraging 100 million of us to leave our private health insurance plans that have limits in place, and go onto a TAX payer funded plan that only half of Americans will pay for, with no "limits" in place.

At least, no limits until we start figuring out that the money is gone, and we have to start randomly picking the least valuable people to say "no" to..say "no" to a nursing home for grandma, and "no" to a quadruple bypass for grandpa, "no" to saving a 26 week old preemie, "no" to kids born with disabilities or diagnosed in utero with problems, "no" to a heart transplant, and "no" to an experimental life saving drug or medical device that may save lives because there is no profit to be made off the risk of developing it.

We are the best country to develop the life saving drugs and devices that the companies make those big bad profit off of (after losing billions on failure attempts), but there will soon be no countries left doing this if we keep this up. Where did the life-saving AIDS drugs come from? EUROPE and CANADA?? (NOT) Where are the life saving Cancer drugs coming from? EUROPE AND CANADA?? (NOT)

I read of being tired of "conservative scare tactics"..I am tired of "liberal scare tactics". We DON'T have 47 million uninsured Americans who are uninsured because they can't afford it, and who then die from lack of health care. Look again at the data. We have had nobody die from lack of health care in this country. Please find me ONE CASE of someone dying from lack of healthcare in this country, whether or not here legally. I have worked in health care for 30 years, in all areas, we never turn ANYONE away in our non-profit or county hospitals..ever.

Here are the facts about who the famous "uninsured" are..

Web Link The bottom line, we have between 10-15 million uninsured, mostly adults NOT KIDS, who truly can't afford health insurance. And we have an Administration who is trying to destroy the best health care delivery system in the world for 3-4% of people who need help, instead of using his incredible power to fix, not destroy, the system.

Think about the RESULTS of our health care delivery compared to those vaunted socialized medicine countries ( see above link). We die less from cancer, heart, prematurity, childhood diseases, ...we get birth defects fixed, we get new hips faster so we have less pain, ..the list continues.

Here is another link to another researcher concerning Canadian Health Care realities ( Sally Pipes is also available through the CATO instiitute on this subject, but I am offering John Goodman here for another view)
Web Link

Let's not give up our power of choice for bureacrats to decide our health care options. If you like the idea of having a system which focuses on prevention and making health care decisions with an eye toward saving money and your paperwork time, then you can easily choose such systems in HMO styles. For everyone who complains about their HMOs, try living in Europe or Canada and dealing with their medical system, which by the nature of the beast has to be an HMO on steroids. I have heard much complaining about the HMOs, and every complaint I have heard is magnified in Europe and Canada's system. In comparison, we have some great HMOs here equal or better than any govt health program anywhere in the world, with clearly stated limitations so you can choose whose limitations you want to live under.

I personally have chosen to pay more for my PPO coverage, because I like having my choices, and I like deciding who and what I will and will not pay for. If you don't like that, then please feel free to exercise your choice and buy an HMO.

Don't be fooled, people. This "every person is insured" stuff is also true in Cuba, China and the former USSR where "every person is insured" and I doubt too many of us would buy into that myth either. Talk to people who have been through our military medicine. Talk to people who grew up on Reservations. Talk to MediCaid and Medicare people ( and ask why so many Medicare people pay extra for supplemental insurance). All of these programs are "govt health insurance". and the same people want to control your health care also..Look around and learn the lessons of other countries...Do we really want to throw out all that is good with our country's system in order to "fix" our problems and create other, worse, problems?

Wouldn't it be better to actually FIX the problems we have? We really could fix our system's issues, the AMERICAN way, and I, honestly, truly pray that this President uses his incredible power to actually fix the real problems, instead of focusing on destroying all that is good ( unintentionally, of course).

I don't care if there is a D or an R after the name of whoever tackles and wins this battle, I just want real reform,not a mandatory ( because all else has been killed off) HMO on steroids for national health care.

Let's not give up our power of choice for bureacrats to decide our health care options. If you want to buy into a system which focuses on prevention and making health care decisions with an eye toward saving money and your paperwork time, then you can easily choose such systems in HMO styles. For everyone who complains about their HMOs, try living in Europe or Canada and dealing with their medical system, which is HMOs on steroids ( as all govt health delivery systems must be by the nature of the beast). I won't name any names, because this isn't supposed to be an ad for health insurance HMOs, but there are plenty out there with the same goal and same limitations, equal to or better than any of Europe's or Canada's systems, and with clearly stated limitations so you can choose those limitations or not with your pocketbook.

I personally have chosen to pay more for my PPO coverage, because I like having my choices, and I like deciding who and what I will and will not pay for. But if you don't want that, if you really believe that having less choice, having others decide your options is better for you, then please feel free to exercise your choice and buy an HMO.




Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Ah, poop. I forgot to delete the last 2 paragraphs above, Editors,..they are repeats..would you mind deleting them? Sorry.


Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2009 at 2:17 pm

3 myths about ALL the bills that were on the table up through the 20th ( including the one that made it out of committee)

Web Link

I am posting only from CATO so far because it is well known that it is NOT a "right wing" think tank which so many on the left dismiss, but for even more details and data, as well as analysis, feel free to go to heritage dot org (heritage.org) and bring up their health care thread. Some incredible work there.

I have stopped going through the bill, having seen enough to know I am appalled, and knowing that this is not a national debate about the details, but about whether or not we preserve the very essence of what makes our health care system the best in the world.


Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Ok, a reference to a book that was written BEFORE Obama was even a candidate, let alone elected, about health care in America and how we can fix the real problems. Called "Healthy Competition:What's Holding back health care and how to free it" by Cannon. Haven't read the whole thing, but if you don't want to read Pipes' work, every excerpt I have read from this one is quite readable. The suggestions do not replicate the systems of other nations with all their problems, while destroying ours. They are solutions that can work uniquely well in OUR country.

Web Link


Posted by Liberty
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Basic economics says that consumer choice drives down prices. Large risk pools only level out the expenses over time, they don’t reduce them. Large risk pools just keep insurance companies from being hit with a large percentage of claims at any one time.


Posted by Freedom
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 23, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Let's be clear: Health care in the United States is already rationed. It has to be because there is not enough to meet demand. The question is how it is rationed. Right now, the system give it to the richest.

The present modest proposals would even things out a little. It would also help to reduce the tremendous wasted overhead our system has.

What we really need is socialized medicine. We especially need to eliminate the healthcare subsidy for the rich.


Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 23, 2009 at 4:11 pm

No, Perspective,

You pay for uninsured and Medicare treatments all the time. Health providers jack up the price of treatments in order to cover the lack of payment and underpayment by uninsured patients and Medicare patients.

When 20 percent of the population are uninsured and huge percentage of health coverage goes to Medicare, the money's made up somehow--and it's done by overcharging private payees. We end up paying more for insurance and getting less as insurance companies seek to cut costs by--guess what--rationing benefits.

That said, I won't be reading most of your rants. Too many basic errors about how the system does and does not work. Please educate yourself from a wider variety of sources.

Uhh no, Uhhh yes. There have been numerous ways of discouraging smoking--higher taxes, limits on advertising, limiting where smoking can take place. They're effective. So much so, that tobacco companies have switched much of their marketing overseas.

Limiting access is very effective--works with alchohol abuse as well. The horrendous increase in obesity is directly linked to lower food costs, larger portions and food ingredients. Change the incentives, people will eat fewer calories.

It does take a certain amount of political will, but it works. The "French paradox" is actually the result of a French interest in nutritional policy at the turn of the 20th century.

Liberty,

Health care doesn't work the way other markets do because customers don't have the same options of refusal. If you have cancer, your treatment options are limited. You can't wait it out until the price drops.

The current system puts far too large a burden on larger, older corporations. Our corporations are at a disadvantage with those in countries with national risk pools.


Posted by Liberty
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm

OhlonePar,
You do have options if you get cancer. You can choose different doctors, different hospitals, different types of treatments, etc.. Different hospitals, for example, charge different prices and offer different services and benefits. Individual people should have the choice over which meets their needs.

My argument is that under the current system we, the patient, are too far removed from those options. We do not choose which hospital we go to, our insurance company does. We do not choose our insurance company, our employer does.

Soon it will be the government who is making all our decisions for us.


Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Liberty,

Actually, no, I can't. My private insurance restricts the kind of treatment I can get.

Which is something you acknowledge your second paragraph.

Even in Britain, private care is an option. I expect we will continue to have pay-for-what-you-want options for the wealthy as we do now.

But, in reality, most of us, including the affluent, haven't had a true choice in medical options in decades. Part of the reason for that is because insurance companies have raised prices and cut benefits in order to compensate for the rising cost of healthcare--the result of the cost of treating Medicare and uninsured patients being passed on to the private sector.

It's basically a demographic bind--paying the cost of caring for aging baby boomers as they retire and are no longer contributing financially.

I find ideological rants about all of this wayyy off the point because there is such a basic numbers issue. The private insurance system worked with a younger population, now it doesn't.

It's just a very practical kind of problem. I'd rather the GOP spent less time ranting and more time thinking about a real solution for a very real problem. Scare tactics and pretending there's no problem when anyone who's had a serious health issue knows there's a problem isn't constructive.

And I'm not sure it's "fair" to saddle larger corporations with huge health insurance costs. If everyone's paying in, we can spread the costs around and our companies can focus on their core businesses.


Posted by R Wray
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Collective medicine doesn't work whether it's by corporations or government. It's too personal.


Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Who is in charge of deciding what happens when someone gets sick now? an unelected, unappointed official that only cares about money.

Whatever you say, however many times you try to say it, we need to change the health care industry to get rid of flabby do nothing insurance companies.

The closer we look at our own economy the more we can see the "taxes" levied on us, paid to private secret closed institutions that corrupt our government and want to take over.

I don't think government would be so bad if we would get these nasty corrupt corporate people and their money out of it, or at least limited so they do not run things.


Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 24, 2009 at 7:18 am

Well, I have accepted that at least 60% of us will refuse to actually read anything that ventures outside their pre-set paradigm.

If we assume this group is divided equally between the far right and the far left, I think we can assume about 30% of Americans will never be able to understand the basic premises of how our economics have driven our health care to be the best in the world, and how we can adjust our economic incentives in health care to make more accessible, affordable, portable health insurance available without destroying all that is good.

This population will continue, in the face of all data and sense to the contrary, to insist that socialized medicine models are better than ours through an irrational belief system, almost mythical, in a utopia that doesn't exist.

From lack of hard data, and without an understanding of how such a shift would affect 85%-95% ( depending on whose numbers you believe) of all Americans, they want to force all of us into a Canada, or France, or England style HMO on steroids through govt run health care.

Please fix the real problems, and leave us free to choose the health insurance models we wish to choose, not the one-size fits all badly model you want.

I mean, it is your right to believe anything you wish, including the faith in a less-expensive, more choices, jaguar-style health care utopian model, in spite of all the failures around the world. Don't read about the data from these models, or from the military health care, or VA, or Indian Reservations, all Fed administered. Don't look at the results in Massachussetts..wouldn't want to destroy any innocent illusions.

The same arguments we are hearing from the far left, headed by Obama, are the same, now tired and failed, ones that were used in Europe, England and Canada 30 years ago. Believe in the hope, don't let yourselves get mugged by reality and destroy your innocent faith.

Continue to believe that it would be "more efficient" and "less costly" for govt to run anything at all, compared to any private sector. Don't think about how poorly govt runs almost everything else. Don't learn how "costs" are contained in the other countries, ( for example, don't think about England not even providing mammograms for those over 65, since they aren't going to do anything about it anyway)

Don't learn about the cost per person, from taxes to lost GDP and lower standards of living, for their inferior care.

Continue to believe that nobody will be enticed off of their private insurances and onto the tax-funded health care, until there are no private insurances left and we are ALL without choice onto Uncle Sam ( or whichever party is in charge) deciding our health care.

And certainly don't think about the patients from around the world, including those wonderful universal health plans, who leave their no-choice countries and come here for care.

DON'T READ ANYTHING I HAVE POSTED!

So much better to blindly believe and hope for a utopian change that doesn't exist, to rush us into the same problems, probably worse, of all the other countries, that have "been there done that", instead of trying to fix things the AMERICAN way, which have made ours the best health care in the world.

DON'T examinine the actual effects on health care delivery in the rest of the "industrialized world" which has "universal health care". DON'T accept the reality that even our illegal immigrants get better health care than the poorest in France. Please don't think about that. Please don't open your eyes. Let yourselves believe a little longer.

Keep believing, and if you get your wish, and turn us into the failed models of France or Canada, instead of keeping your mind open to doing real fixes, the American way; don't complain when ...

...in 20 years, or sooner, we, like England, don't even bother allowing over 65 year old women to have mammograms because we aren't going to pay for anything to help any problems anyway; it takes 2 years to find a Skilled Nursing Facility bed for anyone lucky enough to have survived to their 80s; our cancer death rate has doubled..we no longer develop better drugs and procedures for AIDS, cancer, diabetes, ..etc This is all repeat.

When that happens, be sure to look in the mirror and pat yourselves on the back about how much better our health care is now, since everybody has equal access to poor care ( ya know, everyone in Cuba has universal health care, too)

Never forget, those in power decide what those not in power get, and the young with no voice and the old and weak will be the first to lose out in any government health system.

Yes, private "bureaucrats" now decide, based on many factors, all having to do with money and what they think they can get away with, what medical care I will or won't get. BUT, the difference is that each of us can CHOOSE our providers I trust the most when I enroll.

AMERICAN SOLUTIONS: that won't throw out the baby with the bathwater

ONE: Do not remove our choices; instead remove govt regulations that block my choices in what kind of health insurance I can buy. Give me back the choice to pay for fewer medical options if we wish. I am simply not allowed to buy a volkswagon beetle level insurance anymore, as I used to be ALLOWED to do.

TWO: And while we are at it, lower the punitive/emotional "damage" awards that can be awarded for "malpractice" suits, and lower the ability to even sue in the first place..this would lower medical insurance fees, and the cost of our care through that lower cost and through fewer unnecessary but legally-protective testing procedures being ordered.

THREE: Allow us each, private or company-bought, to have the same tax incentives to buy health insurance.

FOUR: Mathematically devise a cost-sharing and forced acceptance ( see? sometimes there is a good use of govt) of "pre-existings" across all medical insurance companies, so that none of us can be denied based on pre-existing conditions.

FIVE: Since so many uninsured are by choice and can actually afford it, tie a privilege to showing proof of paid health insurance for the next year, ..no health insurance? No driver's license. That would sweep up the over half of uninsured who make more than $50,000 and/or are in their 20s and feel invincible. Might mean fewer nights out at the club or less-than-$500 sneakers, but it would certainly encourage wiser choices.

After all of the above is done, assess who is still left who is uninsured, then figure out how to get them insured.


Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 24, 2009 at 7:19 am

I just realized the most compelling argument of all against govt health control..are you SURE you want REPUBLICANS, when they get back in full power, in charge of your health care choices?

Think hard about giving up your choices and power to any government, ..eventually one you hate will be in control.


Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 24, 2009 at 11:37 am

Perspective,

You're right--I've stopped reading most of your writing. It's repetitive, tautologous and a closed loop.

You don't seem interested in debate. You don't even seem interested in persuading others to your point of view. It seems to be about venting. Don't really know why you do it here--seems more in keeping with FreeRepublic.com.

I don't have a strong ideological bent about health care. I do understand the basic practical problem that ideology doesn't address. For all I know, you may have some workable suggestions in your last screed, but the longwindedness and demonization of those who don't share your views doesn't make it worth my time to ferret out those points out.

You don't really hold up your end of a debate--which is to really address and engage what your opponent is saying and build from there. In that sense, you stay on the message, but I don't think you help your causes because it alienates those who don't already share your views.


Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 30, 2009 at 7:59 am

Thankfully, the nation is doing some reading and listening. Enough of us repeating ourselves, tautologically of course, without engaging and building.

Bottom line, the only intersection between the 2 camps for fixing our problems, the camp that says the solution is to "nationalize health care like Canada, England and Europe" and the camp that says "fix health care insurance the American way without throwing away the baby with the bathwater" is that we all want to get more Americans insured.

So, OP, there is no "engaging" since there is no philosophical agreement on how to fix the problems. I find the arguments for socializing medicine circular and without bearing on the reality of outcomes, ignoring history and current situations around the world and here. There is nothing to engage. It is as if a Muslim or Christian or Jew, whatever, were complaining that an Atheist won't engage in a debate that assumes a basic belief in God. There is no room for engagement there, and the believer will be alienated by the atheist, period.

America will either slide more into a belief in socialist solutions in health care, contrary to all data about the results, or it won't.

A fundamental belief in a system of faith can not be changed with logic or rationality. I would "believe in" more govt control of health care if anyone, anywhere, had been able to figure out a way to do it that had better results than we get. Even our poorest citizen gets care better than the average citizen in Canada, England or France. So far, I can find no result worth losing to go the route of those countries, for an in-name-only ( "universal" coverage) change. And I am not arrogant enough to believe for one second that somehow we can overcome the inherent errors that such a system produces.






Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 30, 2009 at 9:21 am


Look at the disastrous Massachusetts health care system — with which the Obama care models share similarities.
– The program has so far cost 30 percent more than anticipated.
– It already has a $9 billion shortfall projected over the next two years.
– Costs have risen 41 percent since the program’s inception, well outpacing the rise in healthcare costs nationwide, which stands at 18 percent.
– We thought this program would mean fewer people would go to hospitals, which is the highest cost any insurance plan has to pay. In fact, fewer people are not going to hospitals.
– A Harvard study shows 60 percent of state residents are unhappy with the plan. The most unhappy? Those whom it should be helping the most — those making $25,000 to $50,000 per year.
– To cut costs, the program is now having to kick out legal immigrants.

Forbes has an analysisWeb Link


Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 31, 2009 at 6:59 am

Sharon: It doesn't matter how much we spend, how much the top 1/2 gives up to "equalize" and please the bottom half, it will never be enough, it will always cost more "than the liberals expected", and it will always be "not fair" that some of us worked hard in school and life, took risks, and thus can employ others and afford more.

Massachussetts is indeed a prime example. And one of the reasons I didn't vote for Romney.

Another interesting aspect...they screamed for universal health coverage in Mass, "for those who couldn't afford it", then after it was passed, suddenly only 13% of the number that had been quoted ad nauseum were actually not already on govt health care, legal, and not able to afford it. In other words, 87% of the number of people they constantly used to push people into thinking there was a horrible crisis that their program would "fix", suddenly didn't exist after the program went through.

Same thing with our now myhtologically believed "47 million uninsured" number. MAYBE 15 million, if we are very liberal in accounting, are citizens not already eligible for govt programs who truly can't afford health care insurance.

The whole discussion is predicated on a false faith system.


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