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How to Lie Without Lying

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Balladeer
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50 posted 07-19-2009 01:48 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

...and drawing out the argument long enough for the patient to die from the illness, hoping that this will just be written off as the cost of doing business and that, in the long run, it will be cheaper than paying for the treatment.

Actually, Bob, that is the exact complaint I;ve have seen many times from Canadiens, Brits and others who have their government health care.....many of whom come to the states for the treatment they would have to wait months for in their own country.
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51 posted 07-19-2009 06:23 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Is that really the case Mike?  "Many" Brits go to the States for healthcare?  I'm not saying you're wrong, but it's the first I've heard of it.

Grinch will know.

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52 posted 07-19-2009 07:27 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Thanks for the intro Moon.



Mike,

Your statement regarding Brits travelling to the US for treatment is slightly misleading. While there are a small number of people who take that option there are very specific reasons why they do so Ė being tired of waiting to get the treatment in the UK isnít high on that list.

To understand why you have to understand how health care is delivered in the UK.

Every working adult pays National Insurance, which funds unemployment benefit and health care. You can also elect to join a private scheme, either independently or one provided by your employer.

If youíre ill you go to your local family doctor who is employed by the NHS and paid a basic salary plus a fixed amount for each patient on his/her books. The local doctor is a general practitioner; he can deal with everyday ailments but has to refer all complicated treatments to a specialist or consultant in the area of your ailment. The consultant is employed by the NHS too but he can also be employed on a part time basis by private health care companies -  BUPA being the major one in the UK. You can bypass your local Doctor if youíre in a private scheme like BUPA and go directly to the consultant. There is another way to get private treatment though Ė you can elect at any time to pay for specific treatment privately, the only problem is that you have to pay a premium price to do that.

The link between private health care and the NHS is a little complicated. BUPA has itís own private hospitals for specific treatments like surgery, but most of the resources they use belong to the NHS. BUPA pays the NHS for the use of those facilities and in return supplies an overflow for emergency cases for the NHS.

The difference between the NHS and private care, apart from the cost, is that the NHS treats everyone based on need. If you need a heart operation NOW you jump the queue. The private scheme, in contrast, runs on a first available slot basis regardless of need. If the NHS has too many people requiring an operation NOW, they send the overflow to the private sector that schedules them for the next available slot. It also works in reverse, if the private scheme has a patient who needs treatment NOW they ship them off to the NHS who operates based on need.

So whoís going to the US for treatment?

There are a few routes to that particular path. If youíre a NHS patient and thereís a treatment available abroad that isnít available in the UK the NHS will pay for it. Thatís a slight oversimplification; there are specific guidelines to ensure the treatment is beneficial, proven and safe Ė they wonít, for instance, send you to Nepal to drink Yaks milk while chanting dedications to the sun god to cure your worn out hip.

The next route is the same but itís the private health company that pays for it.

Another route may be that the patient can get the treatment today instead of tomorrow but the way the system works if you really need the treatment today youíll get it today.

However this is probably where the people youíve spoken to come into the frame. The NHS maintains lists for non-critical procedures Ė a hip replacement for instance. In that case the date for operation based on need could be in six months or longer. If youíve got private cover thereís no problem you go private and get the next slot, if you arenít you can always pay the one off charge I mentioned above.

Hereís the rub though, in the UK the charges are pretty much uniform and set at a very high rate to encourage people to join a private scheme to avoid them. It doesnít matter which private provider you go to either, they all cost roughly the same. In the US and EU though it pays to shop around - they donít penalise none scheme members - they charge everyone an extortionate rate, but in some cases it can still be cheaper than the inflated one off costs in the UK. So people jet off for a holiday and get their hip fixed at the same time.

The commonest route though is that neither the NHS nor the private health care company see the benefit of drinking Yaks milk, in which case you pay for the trip and treatment yourself. Cosmetic and other forms of elective surgery fall into this category.

.
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53 posted 07-19-2009 08:47 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thanks for the sketch, grinch. Yes, the complaints I have come across have basically been concerning the NHS and their classifications of treatment (what they call elective surgery). A hip replacement falling into that category may be valid but a hard sell to the person going through the daily excruciating pain of it and being told to grit teeth and bear it for an indeterminate number of months until treatment is available or seek treatment somewhere else, if one is able to afford it. Cataracts are another example. The definitions of what is considered "elective surgery" can be quite different to those suffering as opposed to those treating. There are many things one can live with that are non-life threatening that are very dehabilitating to the patient. It has also been explained to me (and I cannot vouch for it's validity) that age plays a factor in the NHS's decisions on who gets prompt treatment and who doesn't, with the elderly getting the short end of that stick.

To be fair to the NHS, I doubt that applies only to them. I see that as a problematic area for the US, though. If we come to the point that every citizen pays a fee, or tax, for national health care, everyone expects treatment. Those who cannot afford outside treatment, or those needing treatment for something a US version of the NHS deems "elective" will be the ones screaming loudest for immediate treatment. The poor, the elderly and the minorities, who Obama is basically championing, will be screaming the loudest. For a country where irate drivers scream, "You can't give me a ticket, you idiot. My taxes pay your salary!", imagine the screams from those screaming for immediate health service because their taxes pay for it...and many of those screams will come from people who don't even pay taxes!   There have also been issues concerning which druge the NHS will prescribe and which ones they won't, based on costs.

If the Brits and Canadians are happy with their system, then that's fine. Would Americans be happy with it, as opposed to what they have now? Unfortunately, we may be finding out...
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54 posted 07-19-2009 09:39 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124779717982855785.html#mod%3Drss_opinion_main%26articleTabs%3Darticle
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55 posted 07-19-2009 10:06 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Excellent article, Denise. Hard to argue with actual facts and figures....but someone will
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56 posted 07-19-2009 10:38 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Mike,

I think youíve highlighted fairly well one of the needs that your government is trying to fill.

In the UK if you have no money to pay for private health care you grit your teeth and wait your turn.

In the same situation in the US if you fall outside the safety nets of Medicare and Medicaid you only have the option of gritting your teeth.

If the option is a long wait with pain and gritted teeth or a lifetime of pain or gritted teeth which would you prefer?

The NHS and drugs?

There are a lot of reports about people being refused treatment in the UK based on cost. Theyíre almost all true.

The resources of the NHS are finite. If they spend £80,000 on a treatment they need to be sure that theyíre getting their moneys worth it may seem a little callous but itís an unavoidable fact. I researched a case not long ago that was for that exact amount. A cancer sufferer wanted a course of medication that could possibly have extended their life expectancy by four months and NICE, the body that evaluates high cost treatments, refused payment through the NHS.

The argument was, to put it bluntly, that the cost outweighed the benefit.

Private health schemes, the top notch ones without thousands of clauses who donít have that resource problem, would have supplied the drug without question. They can afford to do that because their resources are practically infinite. They simply put the cost onto everyone elseís premiums for next year. Thatís part of the reason your health care costs so much Ė that and the fear of litigation.

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57 posted 07-19-2009 11:09 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Excellent article, Denise. Hard to argue with actual facts and figures....but someone will


Yep and normally that would be me but the article is incomplete.

It gives the highest tax band rates but doesnít include the other 5, you need all 6 to calculate an average and itís the average tax rate that really matters when comparing countries or even states.

Quoting only the top rate might give you big numbers but they're not much use when calculating an average.

For instance I donít really give a hoot if the top rate is as high as 95% if the only bloke paying it is Billy Gates Ė he can afford it.

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58 posted 07-19-2009 11:18 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Thanks Michael, yes, I thought it was a very informative article. People can try to argue against the facts and figures, but all they can really do is argue around them.

Thanks for answering my previous questions, Grinch. I appreciate the effort even though I don't like some of the answers.

How many fall outside the safety net of Medicaid and Medicare? I think it would be much less expensive to revamp the eligibilty requrements to allow them to have coverage through either one of those already existing government plans than to entirely revamp the insurance industry.

Cost outweighing the benefit, according to a government bureaucrat, is very troubling to me. Benefit to whom? It certainly won't be to the patient's benefit. It will be what benefits the state at the expense of the patient's quality of life and longevity, the standard of our healthcare, and future medical and pharmacological innovations.

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59 posted 07-19-2009 12:11 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
People can try to argue against the facts and figures, but all they can really do is argue around them.


Or they can simply point out that the facts and figures are incomplete and so effectively meaningless.

Would it surprise you to learn that 86.5% of the population of Denmark pay the high rate tax?

Itíd surprise me too if it were true (it isnít btw) but it would be very useful to know when comparing the amount of tax paid by each country however the article only compares rates and not the underlying figures. Worse than that it only compares the top rate, which is only a small fraction of the story.

quote:
I think it would be much less expensive to revamp the eligibilty requrements to allow them to have coverage through either one of those already existing government plans than to entirely revamp the insurance industry.


How would increasing the number of people covered by Medicare and Medicaid be less expensive Denise?

Those programs are already crippling your economy.

  
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60 posted 07-19-2009 02:26 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




Dear Grinch,


quote:


Those programs are already crippling your economy.




     I believe you said this in relation to medicare and medicaid.  Could you explain?

Curiously,  Bob Kaven
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61 posted 07-19-2009 03:14 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Denise and Mike,

                               I believe you have not evaluated the Wall Street Journal Article well.  Grinch has already pointed out a few problems with it.  I would like to focus on the number one trillion dollars, which is the amount that The Journal says the President's health care bill will cost us.  They do not mention over what length of time this will be, per month, per year, per decade.  They are pretty specific about the income tax brackets that will be affected, however.  These brackets will be evaluated on a per-annum basis.  Perhaps that is the basis of the cost as well, but I can't tell, nor can you, I believe.  I find this deceptive.

     If one takes the one trillion dollar price tag as accurate, and as a per annum charge, as I will do here for the sake of the discussion, not because I see that it is in fact true, then one must ask about this figure, How does one evaluate it?

     For me, One Trillion Dollars is a stunning amount of money.  I can't even imagine it.  It's far beyond a week's grocery bill.  Maybe even two.  I could buy dozens of books with it,  more that ten pounds of steak, I'll bet.  It's huge.  But how huge is it?  The article doesn't say ó and this is important ó whether it is more or less than the amount of money we spend now, with the system we have in place.  

     They simply allow you to assume from the size of that stunning figure that there could be no figure in the world larger that that, whatever the amount of time it may cover.  In reality, if this is actually the cost of The President's plan, and not some overinflated or underestimated approximation of that plan it may be half of what we would normally spend under the current system, or twice that.  You may pretty well guess that if it was more than the current plan, the friendly folks at The Wall Street Journal would feel it important to tell you, and tell you fast.  

     They haven't said anything about it, have they?  They have tried to scare you with numbers.  Yet in the same report that Mike was quoting just the other day, the estimate was that the President's Plan would save an estimated 30% off of insurance costs.  

     As a small added comment, The Wall Street Journal, once a great independent newspaper, and still an honest reporter of stock listings and such, was purchased by Rupert Murdoch a few years back.  It's editorial page, at that time, was already a major source of Conservative Opinion.  While I didn't agree with it, it was generally well written.  Since the purchase, the editorial page has drifted further to the right, and, more disturbingly, it's news division has taken a rightward slant.

     This is true of most but not all of the Murdoch papers, I believe.  The Times of London retains its reasonably objective view of the news, under his ownership.  What one reads there should be confirmed by information from sources that are considered reasonably objective.

     If others have any thoughts about any of this, I'd be interested in hearing, especially about the search for reasonably objective  sources of facts in the press.  By which I mean sources that may be trusted by folks from both the left and the right to give a reasonably truthful account of events.  I have some left wing journals that I read and find useful, but that I usually don't quote here.  I try to see if I can find mutually agreeable sources that back up what they say before I try to present what they say as facts.  Sometimes I can't do so, and omit.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
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62 posted 07-19-2009 04:21 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

The article read to me that they were comparing apples to apples...top tax rates in all locations.

I believe that the CBO estimated that the $1 trillion was most likely an underestimate.

Whatever Americans and their employers are now paying in health premiums isn't the issue. It isn't coming out of the government till. If and when it does it will also be regulated by the government, reducing choice and quality of care.

If the government's objective is health care for everyone why can't they just allow those who can't afford private insurance to join Medicaid or Medicare? That would be significantly more inexpensive, I would think, than what they are planning. But I don't think that is their objective. I think their objective is control of the industry.
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63 posted 07-19-2009 04:24 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

For instance I donÔŅĹt really give a hoot if the top rate is as high as 95% if the only bloke paying it is Billy Gates ÔŅĹ he can afford it.

Thanks for printing that, grinch. That makes your position and your views much easier to understand. It's clear now.
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64 posted 07-19-2009 04:52 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Denise,

          Where is the CBO saying that?

     What length of time is the Trillion dollars to cover?

     And I thought you were upset at the bloated bonuses that many of the folks at the top were getting.  Everybody at the top doesn't get them, of course, many of the folks you were attacking not so long ago, you are now defending for being asked to pony up and pay back some of the difference and to show some social responsibility.  These are actually conflicting points of view.  Everybody holds some.  These seem to be an interesting conflict, however.

     Comparing how the very rich in one society fare in comparison to how the very rich in another society fare seems to be an odd comparison.  How did the rulers of the countries in Europe do in terms of finances in 1913?

     Do you think that was any indication of how well the country was doing?  The Czar was probably doing the best of the bunch of them.  Did that have any affect on the quality of life for his subjects?

     How about during the mid-fifties?  The U.S. was doing very well indeed, and the tax rate on the wealthiest folks was up around 90%.  There was even an active and flourishing middle class.

     You are buying a bill of goods from the Wall Street Journal.  Sorry.

Bob Kaven.
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65 posted 07-19-2009 05:00 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
That makes your position and your views much easier to understand.


Really Mike?

I thought I was making them up as I went along depending on which side of the argument I decided to take. Maybe I should put a disclaimer on my posts to the effect that I may, or may not, hold the views or positions Iím expressing.



Bob,

Medicaid and Medicare?

It costs too much, itís a luxury that, in its present form, you canít afford now and you certainly canít sustain.

Medicare and Medicaid along with a couple of smaller schemes costs the US about 10% of GDP - a crippling amount by anybodyís standards.

But thatís just the start.

Even if the current qualifying rules for inclusion in Medicare and Medicaid were frozen today the projected cost by 2018 was calculated to be over one fifth of GDP (20.3%).

As always thereís a but.

The projection above took into account the expected change in age and social demographics. What it didnít take into account was the current financial situation; if the impact of that is factored in the cost will hit a quarter of GDP by 2015.

.
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66 posted 07-19-2009 08:35 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Grinch,

           Calculated when and by whom? and using which figures?  All of this may, by the way, be completely accurate.  I really don't know.  Perhaps the Swedes and the Danes take up 25% of the GNP with their health care schemes, which are I believe considerably more comprehensive than ours even now, and are, I suspect, more comprehensive, than the US system is likely to become in the time frame you suggest.  But I don't think so.  You have better understanding of the figures than I do, of course, so I'd be interested in your take.

Curiously, Bob Kaven
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67 posted 07-19-2009 09:06 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I don't recall being upset about the bonus issue or attacking the wealthy, Bob. What I was upset about was the protests at their homes organized by the SEIU, associates of Acorn, and whoever in Congress (Barney Frank?) that divulged their addresses to the organizers. I do recall saying that I didn't want a tax benefit at their expense, just as I wouldn't want a tax increase on myself to benefit anyone else, as I don't believe in the socialist/communist doctrine of redistribution of wealth, whether in Europe since the early 1900's or here in the U.S. And here in the U.S. I would love to see the Sixteenth Amendment repealed and do away with taxation on income and rather have a consumption tax (the Democrats want both, surprise, surprise!).

The CBO is estimating the plan at about $1.04 trillion, minus any reductions if tax increases are realized and reductions to the existing Medicaid and Medicare programs
can be implemented. While the Democrats are putting the plan at about $1.2 trillion. And that would be the estimate for 10 years.

quote:

Last night, Elmendorf had more bad news. Hours after Obama vowed that health reform would not expand the deficit over the next decade, the CBO reported that the House bill would increase the deficit by about $240 billion by 2019. A plan to expand insurance coverage to 37 million Americans would cost the government about $1.04 trillion, the CBO said. That would be partially offset by reductions in existing federal programs worth $219 billion and tax increases -- including a surtax on the wealthy -- worth about $583 billion.

The resulting deficit reflects a decision by House leaders to cancel a scheduled 21 percent reduction in Medicare payments to physicians. Maintaining doctor reimbursements would cost about $245 billion over the next decade, the CBO said, accounting for the entire gap in the House bill.

The CBO report left unclear the overall cost of the House proposal, which Democrats have estimated at about $1.2 trillion -- the cost of the coverage plan plus the Medicare adjustments for doctors.

In the House, 22 freshmen and sophomore Democrats wrote to Pelosi to protest the surtax on wealthy households that the House would adopt to fund nearly half of its estimated $1.2 trillion, 10-year bill. Under the plan, a 1 percent tax would kick in at $350,000 in annual household income and rise to 5.4 percent on incomes more than $1 million, but the group expressed concern that small businesses would be hit as well.


The entire article can be found here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/17/AR2009071703562.html  

I trust that the Washington Post is a more credible source to you than the Wall Street Journal?
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68 posted 07-19-2009 11:35 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Denise,

          My interest is in getting facts that are as close to objective as possible.  The question shouldn't be whether they satisfy me, Denise, should it?  The question should be whether they satisfy basic journalistic ethics.  If I am the only one concerned with this issue in our conversation, then talking to me is an unnecessary burden on you and a terrible waste of your time.  Sometimes the facts take me places I don't like to go, as in the current conversation with Grinch, where I need to gather as much information from him as I can get, and then do as much research on what he says as I can to confirm or disconfirm as best I am able.  He's always been a straight shooter, near as I can tell, so the conversation makes me very nervous.

     I like to be right, but I don't need to be right.  The facts need to be right.  I can go on from there.

     The Washington Post is generally a good paper, though they have a tendency, apparently to be late on things these days.  They were slow with the information about the vote counting problems in Florida in both 2000 and 2004, for example, though they did print some of it.  I think that would qualify them as a decent middle of the road paper that tries not to bow to the left.  It pays a fair amount of attention to the right in it's editorial writing, but I don't hold that against them; much of their reportage does seem fair.

     The Lewin Group, which Mike quoted a few days ago as being a non-partisan health care research organization (Grinch disagreed, saying they were business shills, in effect) disagreed strongly with the figures that you offered.  They suggested that the doctors might have to take as much as a 6% hit in a worst case scenario, a far cry from your 21%, with similar differences in the other figures.  You might try googling their website and the full text of that report.

     I do agree that the President's plan is flawed, by the way.  I think we need a single payer system which would include everybody.  The need to make people who have no money buy an insurance policy is absurd on the face of it.  If people want to purchase insurance on top of that basic policy, they should by all means do so, just as folks who wish to home school their children or send them to private school should have a right to do so, after they've contributed their share to the common democratic enterprise of educating the young folks of the nation as a whole.

     In asking how terrible the cost is over the next ten years of the Democrat's health Bill, perhaps it would be also useful to ask, what would be the cost to the public and private sectors were it not passed, and what amount of profit would the insurance companies be making on the backs of not only the suffering of the sick, but from the denial of coverage to those who might have been treated and saved, and to the under-coverage of those whose treatment was shortchanged for the sake of corporate profit.  And how are you going to quantify those?

     The nightmares you've reported about some government bureaucrat making health care decisions on whether Sally or Joe's is going to live or die are already true.  Except the motive here is in squeezing extra money out for the bottom line in the company.  This essentially amounts to death for profit.  This is the system that you're pushing for.  Hooray!

Yours, Bob Kaven
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69 posted 07-20-2009 06:50 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

They aren't my figures, Bob. They are the figures put forth by the Congress and evaluated by the CBO.

I'm not saying that the current system doesn't need improvement. Insurance companies should be held to stricter standards through regulations that prevent them from dropping people during/after an illness, denying coverage to those who have pre-existing conditions, etc. I believe insurance should also be portable and not linked exclusively with employment. I'm sure the brilliant minds in Washington, if they put forth the effort in the right direction, could come up with some solutions short of a virtual takeover of the system.
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70 posted 07-20-2009 07:51 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yes, Bob, Denise is right. Those against Obama's plan are not saying changes don't need to be made in the system. They - we- are simply saying that his plan is not the way. The "well, we have to do something" does not mean we have to do anything, no matter how detrimental to the country. It still needs to be a reasonable and viable plan.

Speaking of health care reform is nothing new. Clinton ran twice using health care reform as a main platform and yet even he did not come up with such a crippling plan...and the country did not go down the tubes because he didn't.  You may say that makes it more imperative that we DO come up with one now and I won't disagree...but THIS? This cutting off the head of a patient to relieve his headache? That's not the answer, Bob.

His rally call for something to be done NOW - IMMEDIATELY - could have one good result. It could force the government to get off their butts  and start looking for ways to revamp the system and eliminate much of the waste that is built into it but, as far as Obama's plan is concerned, he is simply using the "now or disaster" rhetoric he has used on every other measure, like the stimulus and cap and trade, to attempt to get the bill enacted in a blitzkreig manner, so fast the public won't know what hit them before it's too late to protest.

Fortunately, there are even Democratic congressmen who are very dissatisfied with this plan and it IS getting some press coverage and the public IS getting some knowledge of it and it's acceptance is dwindling. Let's hope it continues...
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71 posted 07-20-2009 02:15 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Grinch isn't Grinch at all, it's the Bot that runs the UK ONS (Office for National Statistics).

(A Statistical Bot addicted to Dylan Thomas, humm, sounds dangerous )
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72 posted 07-20-2009 06:27 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike and Denise,

                            We have some basic agreement here, I believe, in that there is a need for the system of health care delivery and the payment for that delivery needs to be changed.  I am happy to hear that.  I suspect a lot of other Republicans agree with you two on this.  I suspect that pretty much the entire country agrees with the two of you on this.

     I see that there are some problems we all have in coming to a general consensus on what the solution or solutions may be.  I, for one, think that there are a lot of people who simply can't purchase insurance; they simply don't have the money for it.  They may be too disorganized, they may not have the ability, they may be flying beneath the governmental radar for one reason or another, or they just may not have the dough because they can't scrape it together.

     This means that they aren't, currently, regularly seeing a doctor, and that their health isn't being followed.  This makes them automatically expensive patients to treat since they tend to show up at emergency rooms rather than at clinics run by their physicians or less expensive local clinics, and that they compete at emergency rooms for the every expensive care given there by a difficult to assemble specialist team.  Cough syrup or a couple of aspirin might more cheaply dispensed elsewhere at lower cost.  Also, being followed by a regular physician means that less expensive treatments might be used to head off the necessity for very large and very expensive treatments later on, which saves a great deal of money.  You can treat a sinus infection more cheaply than pneumonia.  You can treat a lifestyle issue like smoking of obesity more cheaply with counseling and encouragement and nutritional advice than the heart attack or stroke that may come later on.

     A good health plan may supply access to a gym, which is a great help for lots of people and in the end actually reduces the cost of health care because it helps put off illnesses due to degeneration of bone and muscle mass and flexibility.  The additional service may end up being a savings in the long run.

     You don't believe a single payer health care system is the best way to go as I understand it, perhaps incorrectly.  I'd be interested, though, in hearing what either of you believe what would be the best way to go, something better than Obama offering that you feel you can sign onto and that you think is sensible enough that people on the other side of the aisle might embrace as well.

     I'm not particularly interested in lying without actually telling a lie.  I'm more interested in seeing if there's some sort of truth that we might all look for in common.  What do you think?

Bob Kaven
Balladeer
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Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


73 posted 07-21-2009 01:20 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I, for one, think that there are a lot of people who simply can't purchase insurance; they simply don't have the money for it.  They may be too disorganized, they may not have the ability, they may be flying beneath the governmental radar for one reason or another, or they just may not have the dough because they can't scrape it together.

That is very true, Bob, but the question is.....so? I will wholeheartedly agree with you that certain groups like the mentally incompetent, the schizophrenia and Bipolar disordered patients, need to be helped. WHat about the others?  In the link I supplied you seemed to have difficulty in understanding certain areas like the unnmarried, 18-34 age groups and the triple poverty level crowd, although those things were explained in th report. The most important question in the entire thing, though, was the last sentence....The more important question is, ‚ÄúHow many uninsured people need additional help from taxpayers?‚ÄĚ

The "above triple poverty level" group can afford health insurance. The 18-34 group, especially the unmarried who are not responsible for raising a family or supporting a household of more than one, can afford health insurance. Of course there is a catch...they must work.

Why is it that there should be a plan dictating that those who work furnish insurance for those who don't, unless they have specific problem areas which prevent them from earning a living? America was not founded under these auspices. America is a country where people have the freedom to work as hard as they want to be as successful as they want. If one wants something, one works for it. That has made America the land of opportunity the world recognizes as such. It has made America the greatest country in the world, economically and militarily. If someone doesn't feel like working, why should you - or I - or anyone else be obligated to pay his bills? If a welfare mother feels like having children year after year, knowing she can not afford to raise them, why should you be responsible for contributing to their welfare? You shouldn't - they should.

We are, by far, the most giving country there is. We give because we want to, not because we have to. There are organizations to help the homeless, set up soup kitchens, give to a large number of charities, and help the poor and aid those who have suffered tragedies in their lives. We do this because we are a giving people, the organizations like the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, religious groups, community groups and just ordinary people give millions in their charitable efforts.

The government, under Obama and his socialized health care plan, wants people obligated to pay for the health care for those who don't work. That is not the answer and goes against the grain. The nasty, evil rich people and even small businesses who donate money voluntarily, will stop. The critics of this thought claim that "Charitable people who give will keep on giving, no matter what." They are wrong. They won't. Those who work will not want to pay the bills of those who won't because the government is telling them they have to. That is the first stumbling block of the plan.

Having said that, the health care system still needs a major overhaul but the overhaul should be in the system itself. There is a ton of waste and inefficiency in the system. A customer of mine is a  nurse in one of the larger hospitals in Ft. Lauderdale. She tells me that any supplies that go to hospitals automatically carry inflated prices. She gives a case in point in reference to hospital beds. The hospital beds in her hospital cost over $17,000.00 apiece. A bed that would do everything a hospital bed does purchased from Craftmatic or Seely would cost around  $3,500.00. Multily the savings of 340 beds times 13,000 and you will come up with quite a saving....and that's only one hospital! It's like that with all hospital products, from beds to gauze. It boggles the mind how much money could be saved by bringing these prices in line. Prescription drugs? They can be bought much cheaper from  Canada. Open up the market, then, and allow world-wide competition. I think you will see prices go down dramatically. Obama, though, wants to go after the pharmaseutical companies, too. Guess what those companies will cut back on, when the new taxes hit them...research and development. America is responsible for 88% of new advances in medicine in the entire world. Do you want to see that stifled? I don't.

There are many ways to cut down medical costs. Cut them down and rates will be much more reasonable and health plans much more affordable. This "obligation" tactic Obama wants to initiate is a prescription for disaster. The government wants to run health care, even though Obama says it doesn't in the same voice he said that the government doesn't want to run automobile companies..and yet they are. The gov't running our health care system???? The government can't even run the Congressional cafeteria or post office!!! Do you want to put your health in their hands?

A good health plan may supply access to a gym

Yes. it may, Bob, but the main fact is that people would have to actually go to the gym. WOuld they? The government has a ton of stop smoking programs...have the people stopped smoking?
Once again it boils down to the same ingredient - personal responsibility. People need to be held responsibe for their actions. They need to get health insurance and pay for it, instead of having their hands out, palms up. The term "No such thing as a free luch" used to mean something in this country but now a whole lotta people are saying "Wanna bet?"

Obama wants a new health plan....insists on an IMMEDIATE new health plan, run by the government. He wants it done despite the recession we are in. He wants it done but can't say how it will be paid for, nor can anyone else. He wants to push the country farther into debt, although the current debt will last several future generations. He wants to do this, although an overwhelming majority of Americans say the are happy with their current coverage.

He just wants to do it. It's part of his "redistribution of wealth" plan.
Denise
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Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002


74 posted 07-21-2009 06:06 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise


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