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Old 09-28-09, 07:12 AM
admiralsnackbar's Avatar
admiralsnackbar admiralsnackbar is offline
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What is enough, and who are you to say it is a given? Do you really think the majority of this nation wants universal health care?
I'm as leery of polls as the next guy, but have I seen enough polls to support the notion that a majority of Americans want a public option? Yes, yes, and yes. And don’t forget the baby boomers: the AARP wants it. And the AMA is waiting to see what shape the bill takes, which is probably the wisest course of action.

Anyway, whether or not you agree with those who seek UH or reform, I hope you would at least agree that our legislators need to be discussing this issue if our country still works the way we were taught it should in civics class. Even if something like UH is unprecedented, it isn't, by definition, un-American, as you wanted to paint it.

Wrong...Universal health care means a single payer system, which WILL eliminate private pay ability AND there are strong indications that health insurance will be mandated. How in the world will they be able to pay for it if they don't? And you can bet your last dollar we will be taxed, fined or forced to pay for it. Call it what you want, but it is the government taking our money.
Considering there isn't a stable version of the bill to look at, we both probably need to shy away from saying what will and won't happen if a public option makes it into law, or if it does, how it will be implemented (one has to wonder if a tax hike could possibly be worse than the gouging Joe Schmo get from his insurance/annum, but that's neither here nor there). I WILL, however, disagree with your stance that a public option will necessarily destroy private pay ability.

Most people don't need police or fire a majority of the time. BUT, it IS safe to say we all could need those services at any time, and are glad to pay taxes to ensure those services are available. Now, to some people, the response time of fire or police is not adequate or satisfactory. Those people have hundreds of options. Our semi-free market system is loaded with alarm monitoring companies, private security firms, things like dedicated fire control systems for mission critical infrastructure in the corporate world. Those companies aren't getting put out of business by government provided fire and security. Those companies fill the gaps in those goverment services and thrive on the differences.

Your argument seems to be that if the government steps in, a vast majority of people won't support their private healthcare options provided by employers when a cheaper option is available. This will force private healthcare out of business and leave us with rationed government healthcare. I doubt it. If private healthcare wants to survive (much like our pals in detroit making cars) it MUST adapt. Right now there is no incentive to break the current broken system generating billions of dollars a year.

The whole idea that we, as consumers, can regulate the system by “voting with our wallets” is, sadly, wrong. Our system as it stands is set up to NEVER let that happen. Big healthcare companies like Aetna, Pacificare and Humana go after entire companies and industries and force them into an all or nothing approach to provide services. If I work for Valero and they have Humana, and I think Humana sucks; I can't reasonably afford to use another provider. Doing so would TRIPLE my annual healthcare costs. This is the way the game is rigged. There will never be reasonable competition on a individual level – nor will I ever have reasonable choices as a consumer -- the way things are.

Take our public library system, in which we all have access to free books. Perhaps we aren’t patient enough to wait for a book to become available (like rationed healthcare), or perhaps the book we want is too specialized and therefore isn’t and won’t be carried. In that case, you head out to your local Barnes and Noble, or hop online to, and shell out some cash. A public option doesn’t destroy the private industry, rather it makes both operations more efficient by forcing honest competition: if libraries don’t interest enough people to use their services, they lose funding, and are thus forced to provide better service more efficiently. By the same token, private companies are forced to be more efficient and offer products/services at competitive rates. Who wins? The consumer.

Or another example: the USPS. We all complain about how grossly inefficient and slow (like many pundits argue a public option would be) our government-run postal service is, and yet, many of us still use it. If we’re impatient and need a better, faster alternative, we call DHL, we call UPS, we call FedEx.

Here’s the USPS’ mandate:

“The mission of the Postal Service is to provide the American public with trusted universal postal service at affordable prices. While not explicitly defined, the Postal Service’s universal service obligation (USO) is broadly outlined in statute and includes multiple dimensions: geographic scope, range of products, access to services and facilities, delivery frequency, affordable and uniform pricing, service quality, and security of the mail. While other carriers claim to voluntarily provide delivery on a universal basis, the Postal Service is the only carrier with the obligation to provide all the various aspects of universal service at affordable rates.”

That sounds pretty good to me, but if I don’t like it, I have real, concrete options. Like I said... Obama's "plan" is a moving target, so I'm not endorsing it yet. But for you to say universal healthcare could never work is at the very least premature. This isn't government making a choice FOR you, it's government imposing a new option on an industry that is morally bankrupt at the highest levels. Can you imagine if police refused to protect citizens in the poorest part of the city, because "there was no money in it"? Access to care should never be based on ability to pay, any system designed on that principle is doomed to moral failure. That's what that oath you took was all about.

The point is that the health care in this country is not only the best in the world, but the only care that is attainable for them. They are wealthy, and still can not get the type of care they want. Have you treated a patient from Europe? I have treated several, and it is a shame what they have experienced. And you think the average Joe has it bad now? Just wait. With universal health care the best doctors will be gone. They won't let the government dictate to them how to treat patients. To pay for the best doctors will be considered black market.
Then the faliure of their healthcare system is that they don’t allow for private competition to stimulate the market place. But before I feel sorry for the Europeans who can afford to travel over here because they don't get what they want, why don’t we beat our breasts for our fellow Texans who can’t even get insurance (TX has the most uninsured people per capita in the US)? Bad care is better than none, last I checked.

But even someone like myself, who pays his insurance bill every month... I can’t say with any reasonable certainty that I will receive the care I have been paying for if my provider decides my care will cost too much. You know all the tricks... I won't bore you.

And by the by, are you seriously telling me insurance companies don’t make decisions for you when they don’t agree to pay for a patient’s treatment, or make you jump through bureaucratic hoops (which my last policy forced my doctor to do) in order to receive payment? [PS, they ultimately stiffed him and he had to sue] The government payment system would differ how? Oh yeah... we don't know yet.

No kidding. You just described the U.S. government and it's many useless bureacracies. Medicare, Social Security? They are broke, and now for the baby boomers that have paid over 40 years into Medicare are about to have it taken away to fund yet another project.
Again, since there’s nothing solid to talk about regarding legislation, the question isn’t how we’re going to pay for it yet, the question is “does it work?” I’m sure we could go for days about why Medicare/Medicaid and SS are in the state they are. But I’m watching Medicare and SS work pretty damn well for my father’s fight against esophageal cancer. And unlike our private policy, Medicare has yet to give us trouble.

Let's say you are 36 years old. You have had some complications with your bowel movements. You are on a universal health care system. You are under the age of 50. There is already a one year waiting list for a colonoscopy for those who are over the age of 50 and fall into the category of risks for colon disease. You on the other hand are not probable to have an issue at your age. You do not get one, even if your doctor thinks you ought to have one. Add to the fact that almost half the physicians in this country would consider retiring or quiting if some form of public option passes and that says a lot.
Yet again, since neither of us knows what the legislation will look like, you have no basis to make this argument. Maybe the government WILL tell you how and when to treat your patients (in which case I’d stand beside you in protest) , but I seriously doubt it. The AMA is too strong a lobby representing too valuable a service to ever go for that.

[q] I don't feel like you have really offered anything better. Universal health care establishes an enormous dependency on the government. Your very life to be specific. This breeds a more socialistic population and I believe the movement by the democratic/progressive parties early in the previous century did a good job of cultivating it. Our universities nurture it, and our media stokes it. Universal health care has (as many analysts refer to it) been the holy grail for the democratic party. I see it quite appropriate to view as I do.

It doesn't mean I am against good quality health care for everyone. I am just against a system that will give everyone coverage, but in only a very limited way. I do think that universal health care is a huge part of becoming socialistic. If you don't, I really don't care. It still doesn't make this o.k..[/quote]

I’ll only add that to think you aren’t already part of a working socialist country seems wacky to me (we’re even communicating on a “socialist” medium... which I access through a private company. A familiar theme by now.)

We’ve very cleverly managed to balance free market economics with socialistic programs, and I don’t know why stimulating competition in an industry -- which hasn’t operated under anti-trust or anti-price-fixing laws since 1945, has time and again resisted policing itself and has, time and again, defrauded its clientsis – is going to spell our doom and force you out of business.

Last edited by admiralsnackbar; 09-28-09 at 07:16 AM.
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