April 17, 2009

The Democratic health care sales pitch: "Our plan will deny you unnecessary treatments!"

Really, is it that bad?

Well, I've certainly always assumed that. I've looked upon the prospect of health care reform and thought the truth was: Let the government let you die.

150 comments:

Sully said...

this is a nation of wussies--doing everything to prolong life.

no.

don't.

Eric said...

How about letting people decide for themselves what should be done to prolong life?

John said...

Democratic blogger Ezra Klein appears to be positioning Dem health care reforms as a way to cut costs, on the grounds that a reformed system will be able to make "hard choices" and "rational" coverage decisions, by which Klein seems to mean "not providing" treatments that are unproven or too expensive--when "a person's life, or health, is not worth the price."


What is that Michael Kinsley rule about a gaffee being when someone slips up and tells the truth? I think that is what is happening here. "When a person's life or health is not worth the price" says it all.

Leftists want to kill the sick and the weak. It always comes back to killing people in the name of the common good.

Dark Eden said...

Every time I go into the DMV I find myself wishing that Hospitals could be run with the same care and concern.

Widmerpool said...

But what of Kaus's odd view that he supports Gov-o-care precisely because he thinks this won't happen - when the evidence clearly suggests (Canada, UK) otherwise?

AlphaLiberal said...

BTW, Scott Beauchamp has been vindicated buy the courts and the people he accused of murder sentenced.

It's a fact. Will the right wing rescind their attacks on Beauchamp, et al? Own up? Ri-i-i-ight.... That would be honest.

From the story in the New York Times:
A senior enlisted Army soldier was convicted on Wednesday of killing four handcuffed and blindfolded Iraqi men with pistol shots to the backs of their heads shortly after arresting them in Baghdad two years ago, The Associated Press reported.I doubt Althouse will have the courage to point this out and defy the right wing,
even though she has previously blogged on it and helped fan the attacks on Beauchamp.

Please, Ann. Prove me wrong!

former law student said...

I'm going to repeat myself: Is that how Medicare works now? "You'd only live a couple of years at best, so we're just gonna give you a couple of aspirin"?Medicare is America's biggest government provider of health care to people with short life expectancies -- I'd expect universal health care to act the same way.

Now, there are treatments whose benefits have to be weighed againt their downside: pain and suffering, chance the patient would not survive surgery, quality of life better w/o surgery, etc. And palliative care should be cheaper than doing a procedure. But that's a byproduct.

In terms of cost savings: The mother of a friend of mine was one of two people who worked full time for a solo family practitioner. All they did was fill out insurance forms, and nag the insurers for payment.

On the other side, the RN girlfriend of a friend of mine worked full time for an insurer reviewing treatment plans. Nothing made her happier than to reject what some doctor thought was best for his patient.

Eliminating their salaries would substantially lower the cost of routine health care. Moreover, with health insurance, we already have health care rationing. As these examples show, insurance companies don't want to pay any money out unless they absolutely have to.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Ignore the threadjacking nitwit.

I agree with Kaus that govcare will open the door to spending increases without limit, in the anecdote-driven and lobbyist-powered politics of the US. I cannot even begin to imagine why he considers this a good thing.

John said...

Try again Alpha Liberal. Just because someone in his unit did in fact commit murder, does not vindicate Beauchamp. First, it doesn't say anything about the numerous other lies he said. Second, there is no evidence that this was the incident Beauchamp was talking about. It is entirely possible, if not likly, that Beauchamp lied and made up his entire story and independent of that happened to serve in a unit with a real murderer. Unless you can show me that Beauchamp was talking abou that incident, he is still liar and a fraud.

Joseph Hovsep said...

How about letting people decide for themselves what should be done to prolong life?

Nothing that Obama propooses would take that decision out of your hands. If you are sufficiently rich, you can do whatever you want. If you have health care through a private insurance company, you let the insurance company decide what should be done. If you have public health insurance, you let the government decide. Obama would not prevent you from paying for whatever procedures you want out of your own pocket and would not prevent you from giving that discretion to a private insurance company. The change being proposed is to allow the Americans that do not have sufficient assets to pay for health care expenses out of pocket and do not have private insurance access to a government-backed insurance program.

PatCA said...

former law student,
Those workers laid off by the HMOs would just become employees of the US Health Care. The govt is not going to just authorize treatment willy-nilly! They will ration care, albeit in a different way.

Kaus misses the fact that even if the disease advocates convince the govt to pay for an expensive disease, the money still has to come from somewhere: cutting back other treatment, raising taxes or booting up the printing press.

John said...

'The change being proposed is to allow the Americans that do not have sufficient assets to pay for health care expenses out of pocket and do not have private insurance access to a government-backed insurance program."

That program will be priced so artificially low, it will price private insurance out of the market. Further, the program will give businesses the excuse to dumb healthcare coverage as a benefit.

That is what this about as much as anything; big business wanting the government to take care of their healthcare costs. It is truly a match made in hell between greedy, immoral exectutives hoping to screw their employees and pensioners and power hungry politicians eager to control as many people's lives as possible.

Yes, rich people like the Obamas and Pelosis of the world will still be able to buy all the care they want. The rest of us will be told to fuck off and die in a socialized medical nightmare.

Synova said...

I'll admit that when I was looking at all the dog rescue web sites before I bought a puppy, I was struck by the essential illogic of trying to raise thousands and thousands of dollars to give one old dog a hip replacement. The same amount of money could treat dozens of dogs for minor illness or spay/neuter or immunize even more.

Refusing to treat expensive people with expensive illnesses would save untold amounts of money.

That's not the problem. (It's just as vile as a system that rations by other means, so no improvement, either.) Or at least, it's only a problem if the person with an expensive illness is someone you care about.

The problem is if the profit motivation is removed from medical research and pharmaceutical research... who's going to do it? The fact that some people can afford treatment that is way way too expensive is motivation to make those pricey breakthroughs and maintain the excessively expensive equipment. That drug companies have the potential of outrageous fortune is motivation to spend decades and fortunes on developing new drugs and treatments.

If *our* health care system changes... who's going to do that?

Dark Eden said...

Care rationing happens all the time in places with socialized medicine. Long waiting lines are the most obvious problem but the real threat is government bureaucrats being the ones deciding if your life is worth saving.

Shocking I know but there is a downsized to the leftist utopia!

TMink said...

Every emergency room should have a 24 hour walk in clinic right next door. After simple triage, you send the real emergencies to the emergency room and the people who need more typical care next door.

You could give the docs and nurses who staff the 24 hour walk in clinic a break on their student loans and taxes to use as an incentive.

People with a history of going to the wrong facility, emergency when they need the walk in, would be flagged and sent to the walk in unless they are copiously bleeding.

Trey

Original Mike said...

Obama would not prevent you from paying for whatever procedures you want out of your own pocket and would not prevent you from giving that discretion to a private insurance company.For now, but removing that freedom is assurdly coming. It is the number one reason I oppose government health care so strongly.

HillaryCare would have made it illegal to pay for your own care (they did this by making it illegal for Drs. to accept payment from you).

Arizona just had a referendum (to ammend the Constitution, I believe) stating that your right to pay for your own health care will never be taken away. Liberals fought it aggressively, and it was defeated. Why would they have done that, Joseph, if it wasn't their ultimate goal to prohibit self funded care?

Bissage said...

The Democratic health care sales pitch: "Our plan will deny you unnecessary treatments!"

But take the long view.

This will be an absolute bureaucratic goldmine!

Just imagine the job security, power and prestige you’ll enjoy once you get promoted to First Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for The United States Department of I’m-Afraid-I’ve-Got-Some-Bad-News-For-You.

Phase Three: PROFIT!

traditionalguy said...

The message going out to the Obama voters is more and more focusing on the divided interests between the young and the older retired, or soon to retire, demographic. A strategy of Just Let Them Die Out, also known as Social Darwinism, is a lawless strategy. There is no law that says to kill off our inconvenient people...no wait there is the legal protections for the Abortion Industry that Obama has always given his 100% support to, not even bothering to hide behind a present vote. In the heart and soul of this smile-master Obama may be lurking a truly Facist solution for everything.

former law student said...

if the profit motivation is removed from medical research and pharmaceutical research... who's going to do it? Thousands of academic researchers do scientific and medical research right now for relatively modest salaries. Above all, they are self-motivated. They also enjoy autonomy and the respect of their peers. Most academic research is funded by US government grants. I'd expect that to continue.

On the other hand, pharmaceutical companies around the world expect to recoup the cost of their R&D from what they can charge Americans for pills. (Single payer systems can beat them down on price.) If we end up spending less, Euros will have to pay more.

Synova said...

"Euros will have to pay more."

It's a nice thought, but will they?

And while I'm certain that academic researchers do great work, how much autonomy is there when grants must be written and approved? Someone is still holding the purse-strings and that someone is the government and government is, sort of by definition, political.

At least with parallel systems there is more chance for different directions about what research to pursue.

Widmerpool said...

FLS,

Who says the Euros pay more? Seems to me the much more likely result is that nobody pays and there's less R&D.

John said...

"Thousands of academic researchers do scientific and medical research right now for relatively modest salaries. Above all, they are self-motivated."

That is just wrong. Reserach universities get millions from drug companies to get research. They may be modestly paid, but the universities they work for get millions.

cardeblu said...

Private insurance companies denying coverage = Evil, greedy, mean corporate entities coming between patient and doctor.

Government health care bureaucracy denying coverage = Good, cost-effective, helpful entity knowing what's best for patient and doctor.

Joseph Hovsep said...

OriginalMike, Please cite evidence to support your assertion that the 1994 plan would have forbade people from paying for healthcare on their own (and Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin don't count as legitimate sources).

Original Mike said...

Thousands of academic researchers do scientific and medical research right now for relatively modest salaries. Above all, they are self-motivated. They also enjoy autonomy and the respect of their peers. Most academic research is funded by US government grants. I'd expect that to continue.This is what I do for a living, FLS. Academic medical research for the last 30 years. While there's some truth to what you say, let me assure you that there is not nearly enough money available from the government to get the fruits of research to a stage that it is actually helping people. You remove the profit motive, and the state of medical treatment will stop where it is in 2009.

Original Mike said...

I'm working, Joseph. I apologize but I don't have time to find it for you now. I lived through that era and it made a strong impression on me that that feature was in the plan. It was published in the press at that time (and no, not Limbaugh, et al.).

If you won't accept that, fine. How about my second point?

Henry said...

The Democratic health care sales pitch: "Our plan will deny you unnecessary treatments!"It better -- otherwise it's unworkable.

Remember the hue and cry over HMOs and the evil ways they denied coverage for alternative treatments and high-risk surgeries?

It's always astonished me that many of the politicians who raised that hue and cry are the same as those who promote government healthcare.

If the system is all-in, single payer, I can't support it. Go that route and the government turns into the evil HMO. Need an alternative treatment or high-risk surgery? Don't ask your doctor. Call your representative.

But if the system is a safety net, whose limited options are designed to extend the most successful treatments to a broad base of patients (maybe by just giving people a credit to buy private health coverage), then I could support it.

I'm not holding my breath.

Mark said...

On Thursday morning on NPR I heard an administration pitchman stating essentially the same thing. Paraphrasing, "Now you get sick and the doctor authorizes loads of tests; we'll make doctors better managers and only get you the necessary tests and treatment." I immediately thought about the trial attorneys. They are the ones who in many respects are forcing doctors to test for every possible though remote problem that a person may have. Will part of health care reform also be to reform the legal system? How will the administration balance the needs of two Democratic constituancies?

Original Mike said...

I lived this very recently (still living it, actually). My primary prescribed medication. I was worried about starting it without knowing my glucose level, which I knew could be exacerbated by the medication. My primary balked at the test (said it wasn't "indicated" for me, said it would be a waste of money). I self referred to a preventive cardiologist. He did the glucose and a few more test. Significant problems were found, including high glucose, which we are now working to address.

It is absolutely immoral to prohibit someone for paying for their own care, yet that's the direction we are headed.

Richard Fagin said...

Mickey Kaus makes the same mistake libs make in almost every situation where the government and private sector deal with the same subject matter: he assumes the government will handle things in a more humane way only because there is no profit motive.

Says Mr. Kaus, "I'm for universal health care in large part precisely because I think the government will be less tough-minded and cost-conscious when it comes to the inevitable rationing of care than for-profit insurance companies will be."

News flash to Mr. Kaus: there is a very large, very well funded plaintiff's bar just licking their chops to make an example of a couple of private health insurers who can be show to have put profit motive ahead of patient care. Admittedly that's an imperfect regulation mechanism, but it's a shitload better than a government entity that can't be sued for esentially the same conduct.

Perhaps the government will be less cost-conscious, but they'll cetainly be under intense political pressure not to provide services to those the public thinks are undeserving.

It continues to astonish me that otherwise intelligent people make the assumption that governments supply services unmotivated by any interests beyond those of the service recipients. Do these people think the negative connotation applied to the word "bureaucracy" has no basis in fact?

Big Mike said...

@Original, the reason why you can't find it for Joseph is because that Gawd-awful plan seemed to say both sides of every issue. You could have your own doctor, no you can't. You can have access to healthcare outside the system, no you can't. It wasn't internally consistent.

I'm 10,000% certain that the plan as passed -- if it had passed -- would have allowed you to pay for care outside the system. Otherwise the Ted Kennedys and Jay Rockefellers and the rest of the limousine liberals would have to wait in lines like the rest of us. Like that would ever happen.

Big Mike said...

BTW, I think I had better change my party affiliation. Somehow I think that 60+ year old Republicans are not a high priority to keep alive.

Peter V. Bella said...

"Prove me wrong!"

You are wrong.

Now to the topic at hand. It is not called death care for nothing. We do not need any more government interference in our lives, especially when it comes to saving them. All this will do is create a new class of law suits; people suing to get care, people suing to get care when they need it, people suing, well, because suing is the American way.

madawaskan said...

In Canada I remember reading a bulletin board online discussion between supposed Canadian doctors this was before AOL even-I think.

Anyways they were talking about an older woman who might be having symptoms of hypothyriodism, and she actually tested low on thyriod.

At the conclusion they thought it probably wouldn't be worth it to treat her because-there were "costs" and she was old so her "quality" of life wouldn't be that much improved.

I remember thinking they said she was in her sixties.

Now could have been complete bullshit but whatever that was the discussion they were having.

btw-the medication I don't think is that expensive . They were thinking the follow ups would be too much and that had to be rationed.

madawaskan said...

Oh speaking of sixty year olds-

Did any of you read this story-

[What Althouse and Meade do here could soon be illegal if they live in Massachusetts]

Massachusetts State Rep, Kathi-Anne Reinstein (D) is targeting adult entertainment involving models over the age of 60 as well as private sexual communications between the elderly (if you can call 60 “elderly” anymore) Source

Clyde said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BarrySanders20 said...

The only only only way to have a measurabble inpact upon the cost of health care is to 1) ration the amount of care through a) direct means (outright rejection of certain procedures for certain folks) or b) indirect means (long lines, waiting periods) and 2) dictating the amount paid to the providers.

Now, Medicare/Medicaid do the second through dictation of rates paid to providers. The providers grumble and some opt out, but they make up the profit they need by charging higher costs to private insurers and plans, each of which must now negotiate separate deals with providers to assemble "networks" for their insureds.

The government says it will merely offer a plan to compete with private insurers, but if the government grabs market share and continues its forced rates on providers, the providers will eventually demand more and more from private insurers, leading to a reverse death spiral as fewer and fewer private insurers remain to absorb the hit.

Eventually, there is only one payer, and then providers and citizens are at the mercy of the bureaucrat.

As an owner/shareholder of a firm whose health insurance costs have doubled in four years, now approaching $2.8 million in premium per year (and that is on top of the roughly $5,000 per year passed along to each employee to pay out of pocket), I know that something must be done.

I would love not to have the burden of providing health insurance to employees and sympathize with those who believe employer-paid coverage is an anacronism. I just don't think people will like what they will get.

Freeman Hunt said...

From the link:

That is to say, the government's more likely to pay for the treatment (assuming a doctor recommends it). So it's government for me. Ha ha ha. That is so, so naive that it's hard to believe an adult wrote it.

How much does the government seem to value its reputation? If you got to choose between trying to redress a grievance brought on by a company or the government, which would you choose? The insurance company is forced to care about you to some extent because of the market--any indication that government must do the same? And which do you think will be most responsive: an entity people alter by choosing among competitors or an entity people alter by electing people based on a large number of unrelated issues who may or may not be interested in changing the entity, let alone be effective at it?

How are those government run schools working out, by the way?

submandave said...

I think it instructive that Mickey Kaus unconsciously reveals the flaw in many democrat/left solutions: the assumption that the government is an endless font of money. If, as he assumes, every decission to spend $20M to save a single life is decided upon individual politicians' desire to be reelected, how soon does that $20M turn into $20B and more? From where does this money come? Wasn't he paying attention two days ago to what 250,000+ Americans were saying?

az said...

"Our plan will deny you unnecessary treatments" -- points for candor, maybe, but not for accuracy. Their plan will deny expensive treatment. The pseudo-scientific, the shysters, the medical hangers-on who have used political muscle to force their way into insurance plans -- straight chiropractors, for example -- will do the same to any government plan. Billions will go -- uselessly at best, dangerously at worst -- into their pockets, while we will be told that we can't have cancer surgery until next year.

Barlycorn, John said...

I wish that somebody would explain to me how govt employees with defined benefit pensions are going to be cheaper than private companies at administering health care?

Obama's plan will simply destroy the vast majority of major health plans without compensation. He will let the private insurers whither on the vine. Imagine if the govt decided to sell cars for 10K and let the taxpayers make up the difference. If Ford goes out of business, too bad. Presumably, the newly unemployed will have to then beg Obama for a job.

Bill said...

It fascinates me that those in favor of nationalizing health insurance or any part of health care don't ask people like me, who have lived for long periods as adults in Canada and the UK under nationalized regimes for both insurance and provision, what the reality of these systems is.

The reality (based on three years in the UK and 7 of the past 12 years in Canada through last summer) is that they are appalling, heartless bureaucracies serving employees and political interests that anyone with means escapes.

In the UK that means you pay for private care in the parallel market. In Canada it means that you head to the US the minute you need treatment for anything more serious than the flu. Until you have lived under these systems you can have only the faintest idea of how awful they truly are.

This is so obvious as to be laughable. Want to improve US health insurance? Eliminate state insurance regulatory provisions that imprison residents in local insurance regimes. The reason why a high-deductible health policy for a family in Iowa costs one-tenth that it does in New York is solely because of insurance regulations that require reimbursement for nearly every treatment imaginable.

Then eliminate the linkage of health insurance to employment. It's a service that we pay for. We're adults. We can decide what serves our family needs. Worried about denial of coverage? Legislate at the margin if absolutely necessary.

Problem solved.

Wake up, people. My family escaped the nanny state of Canada last year to find that the Grim Reaper of statism followed us at a gallop. How depressing to find that the last refuge from Big Brother isn't anymore.

Clyde said...

Government Health official: "So it's all 'Oh, I'm sick, I'm dying, I need treatment.' Don't be such a baby! What, do you want to live forever?! We have a budget to maintain here, and I'm sorry, you're not in it! Now go off and die someplace else! I'm off for my union-mandated 15-minute break."

AJ Lynch said...

I will agree universal healthcare has the potential to save money only if either Ezra Klein or Yglesias stops writing the same exact fantasy-based stuff.

Since they seem to be one and the same person, do we really need two of them?

Brett said...

The change being proposed is to allow the Americans that do not have sufficient assets to pay for health care expenses out of pocket and do not have private insurance access to a government-backed insurance program.Wrong. The change being proposed is for the government to forcibly confiscate wealth from some people to pay for the healthcare of others.

ic said...

Let the government let you die.

I don't mind that at all, except I don't want to pay for it. Above all, I don't want to pay for other people's death.

In Britain, their Health Care System is looking at the waste of money in regularly screening men for prostate cancer. The rationale: one in 40 who tested positive would be cured. One in a couple of hundreds tested actually tested positive. Recommendation: Less cancer screening.

That means, it costs too much money to save one. Keep your fingers crossed that you are not the one.

traditionalguy said...

Just in case anyone lives in a State where the Government Agencies are filled with intelligent and polite employees (yes, there are many such States) the current levels of Federal Agency's staffing with competent personnel is below impossibly bad. The EPA. the IRS, the OSHA personnel are really dedicated now to stiffing the citizens who come to them for the most simple of necessary procedures. That was not the case until all the older men and women trained to be competent in doing those jobs had retired. It is all a big game now played out over months and months to get 15 minutes of a worker's time to solve the simplest problem. Sabotage and run arounds are blatantly used to cover up their ignorance. This is the common practice today. Give Federal run healthcare 20 years, and that will become everyone's experience with those Agencies too.

Barlycorn, John said...

"The change being proposed is to allow the Americans that do not have sufficient assets to pay for health care expenses out of pocket and do not have private insurance access to a government-backed insurance program"

In other words, they are going to create a cheaper alternative to private health insurance and put the private insurers out of business.

Barlycorn, John said...

cheaper in terms of premium, not cost. The excess cost will be borne by the taxpayer.

former law student said...

The change being proposed is for the government to forcibly confiscate wealth from some people to pay for the healthcare of others.

This does not represent a change. My whole working life the government has been forcibly "confiscating my wealth" to pay for the health care of others: folks over 65, soldiers and sailors, veterans, the poor and destitute, and uninsured in general. Further, health insurors have been confiscating my wealth to pay to treat sick people, because the dollar value of health care that I have received has never been as much as what I and my employers have paid in.

Which is fine with me, because health insurance is not really the kind of thing I want to hit the jackpot with.

former law student said...

It fascinates me that those in favor of nationalizing health insurance or any part of health care don't ask people like me, who have lived for long periods as adults in Canada and the UK under nationalized regimes for both insurance and provision, what the reality of these systems is.It fascinates me that so many journalists, opinion leaders, and ordinary citizens think that the sucky British NHS or Canada's system are the only possibilities for the US, when, for example, the French system works very well, and the German hybrid system has an obvious appeal for Americans.

rhhardin said...

I self-insure.

No denial of procedures, no premiums.

If someday I need something that costs universes of money I'll take the option of just dying, thanks.

In the meantime, no hassles; and the odds of needing something costing universes of money but not dying anyway are pretty small.

AJ Lynch said...

The govt has utterly failed in running big cities.

The govt has failed even worse in running big city school districts.

So I have a great idea! Let's have the govt take over the health care system!

Bill said...

Formerlawstudent:

I agree that the fixation on Canada and the UK is odd because they are two atrocious systems. However, why would you want to have a government bureaucrat unaccountable to you decide what health treatment you and your family will receive and what type of insurance coverage you will be forced by law to buy?

I assume you're an adult. Why would you want anyone to come between you and your doctor when deciding these matters? The system we currently have with private insurers as gatekeepers, irks many people. Why in the world would they want to supplant that with a government-administered system in any form. Are you at all familiar with the absolute mess of Medicaid and Medicare? Look at the current sclerotic health-insurance regime and imagine several orders of magnitude worse.

former law student said...

If someday I need something that costs universes of money I'll take the option of just dying, thanks.

Do you have a suicide capsule handy? Because no one is going to let you go untreated if treatment would keep you alive.

why would you want to have a government bureaucrat unaccountable to you decide what health treatment you and your family will receiveThat's the situation I've been in my whole life, only the bureaucrat belonged to the private sector, with the profit motive driving expenditures on my health care down.

Bill said...

Formerlawstudent...

You ignored my counter, which is that the bureaucracy that exists now will be dwarfed by what the statists wish to impose. With the unfortunate side effect that you will have no recourse and no choice to any alternatives.

At root it is your health and your inalienable right to decide how you spend your own resources. If you believe otherwise then please emigrate and avail yourself of the French, German or Swiss systems. But don't impair my liberty by imposing your statist reveries on me.

You have no idea what you're arguing for and have obviously not experienced the reality of other health systems toany meaningful degree.

Go read David Gratzer's "The Cure" and "Code Blue." And Arnold Kling's "Crisis of Abundance." Then we can have a intelligent discussion about reality.

Richard said...

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Government health care is the "Logan's Run" approach to health-care management.

"Lastday! Renew, renew!"

rocketeer67 said...

That's the situation I've been in my whole life, only the bureaucrat belonged to the private sector, with the profit motive driving expenditures on my health care down.So the quality of health care you've received has gotten worse? I highly doubt it.

bagoh20 said...

"How are those government run schools working out, by the way?"That's a great example: Even if paying for private care is permitted (unlikely), the system would be like schools: Poor results with no accountability to get things changed and you would still be paying for it even if you opted for private care. I don't know anything run by bureaucrats that is run well or even close to the level of private enterprises.

I survived liver cancer due to a transplant that cost $500,000. My insurance never balked at any of it. I was treated very quickly and got the best available drugs, treatments and practitioners. My surgeon was the best in the world. Those who helped me were very well paid and consequently available to save me. In a government run system, I know that surgeon would be working elsewhere and some of what saved me would be unavailable for many reasons. Praise profit! It is infinitely more compassionate than bureaucracy.

Original Mike said...

That's the situation I've been in my whole life,No, it's not. You still have the right to fund out of pocket. And as to 3rd party payments (private vs. government), I agree with Freeman's 1:35 pm comment.

AlphaLiberal said...

John says:
Just because someone in his unit did in fact commit murder, does not vindicate Beauchamp.It wasn't someone, it was his main accuser, Master Sergeant John Hatley. This was the guy whose word was used by the right wing media (and Ann Althouse) to accuse Scott Beauchamp of being a liar.

Ann Althouse ran numerous blog posts hyping the attacks on Beauchamp. The question is: now that Beauchamp's main accuser has been convicted "by a military jury in Germany of executing four handcuffed, blindfolded Iraqi men by shooting them in the backs of their heads," will Ann Althouse have the courage to correct the record?

Or will she join the rest of the right wing noise machine and go silent on their huge screwup?

former law student said...

You ignored my counter, which is that the bureaucracy that exists now will be dwarfed by what the statists wish to impose. With the unfortunate side effect that you will have no recourse and no choice to any alternatives.OK, let's have the Dutch health care system then.

zefal said...

Something tells me that those "unnecessary treatments" won't be classified that way for them or their family members if they should ever need it.

Pogo said...

I don't even see the point of discussing. This steaming pile of monkey shit will be rammed down our throats, it will costs far more than was ever anticipated (as occurred with Medicare), and it will be hated by everyone except leftists and the insane (but I repeat myself).

And you will never get rid of it without a revolution. So I say immanentize the eschaton.

buster said...

Beauchamp never alleged that someone in his unit killed four handcuffed Iraqis execution-style. Nor did he complain about vague "atrocities" that could have included that sort of killing. His three alleged instances were (1) mocking a severely. disfigured woman in a mess hall, (2) runnung over dogs with a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and (3) abusing the remains of a child found in a mass grave by wearing a piece of the skull as a hat. An Army investigation conducted by outside investigators found no evidence to support the allegations. SGT Hatley's only role in the Beauchamp affair was to question Beauchamp and pass on to the investigators Beauchamp's admission that his allegations were false. There is no evidence at all -- including statements by Beauchamp -- that he was aware of misconduct by SGT Hatley.

former law student said...

This steaming pile of monkey shit will be rammed down our throats

Pogo, is cosmetic surgery a possibility for you? I'm sure it would continue to be fee-for-service.

former law student said...

Isn't there an open thread that the Beauchamps folks could move their discussion to?

Pogo said...

Like Obama, fls, you won.
The socialists are going to give us the most repeatedly failed economic system known to man, good and hard.

So gloat and cheer while you can. Live it up.

I'll see you on the other side of the failed state that was America, assuming we both live through it.

I'd tell you to go to hell, but y'all are determined to bring it here, so, you know, thanks and all.

garage mahal said...

Obama is going to ruin everything!

Pogo said...

Going to?

Seven Machos said...

Can't we all agree with Kaus that this is a terrible way to pitch the idea of government bureaucrats running health care?

garage mahal said...

Obama has ruined everything!

Pogo said...

Yes; well, except Guinness.
Still perfect.

EnigmatiCore said...

Short jump from that awful (but true) statement to "let the government make you die" if you are too old, too handicapped, too costly, too burdensome, too inconvenient, too independent, too dissenting...

Bruce Hayden said...

"On the other hand, pharmaceutical companies around the world expect to recoup the cost of their R&D from what they can charge Americans for pills. (Single payer systems can beat them down on price.) If we end up spending less, Euros will have to pay more."

Except that in the real world, it will mean that there will be just many fewer drugs invented and brought to market. Drug companies now depend upon subsidization by the U.S. market. Thinking that the rest of the world, with their socialized medical systems, will step in and pay for what we no longer do, is rather silly.

Bruce Hayden said...

My worry about denying unnecessary treatments is that in many cases, the cost effective approach, and the best approach are often very different.

Real live case. Back injury to a 45 year old woman in perfect shape ultimately resulting in the replacement of six disks. The cost effective solution was to fill her full of (narcotic) pain meds for the rest of her, shortened, life. Insurance company, of course, tried to push this. But they were pushed into the back surgeries by a call from an attorney. This wouldn't be the case in the planned scenario. The result is that it cost a lot of money, but both her quality of life and length of life are greatly increased.

AJ Lynch said...

Herr Alpha:

To be eligible for the universal Prussian Health Care System, you must speak either Austrian or German.

So that would not work here.

Bruce Hayden said...

"why would you want to have a government bureaucrat unaccountable to you decide what health treatment you and your family will receive.

That's the situation I've been in my whole life, only the bureaucrat belonged to the private sector, with the profit motive driving expenditures on my health care down.
"

Except that currently you have the choice of changing insurance carriers and/or having a lawyer call them up and credibly threaten dire consequences. You are proposing eliminating both alternatives.

Seven Machos said...

Bruce is correct. Goodbye malpractice if any sort of government takeover of the heath care industry passes.

And sell your stock in Big Pharma. Those evil bastards will definitely stop sharing their technology. Because there won't be any. Because the money will dry up.

Of course, leftists have never understood supply. Only demand.

former law student said...

Except that currently you have the choice of changing insurance carriers

And get a preexisting condition covered? Wish me luck.

and/or having a lawyer call them up and credibly threaten dire consequences.

A giant insurance co. can spend more on lawyers than me. With the govt at least I can always complain to my Congressman.

AJ Lynch said...

FLS said:
"With the govt at least I can always complain to my Congressman."

LOL.

Seven Machos said...

Did FLS really say that?

Yeah, I'm sure your representative is going to get right on that. I'm sure the form letter will be strongly worded.

AJ Lynch said...

Yes see his 451PM.

Peter V. Bella said...

"Of course, leftists have never understood supply. Only demand."

As in I demand...

BJM said...

Pogo @3:44, you owe me a wireless keyboard.

I too am weary of arguing, there is simply no point as there are shit sandwiches as far as the eye can see.

I've lived in the UK, France, Italy and Germany. We also lived in Australia when the Whitlam govt created Medibank, their two tier system of private and public, now known s Medicare. This is probably similar to what we would embark upon.

Within five years it was tits-up financially as the original payroll levy (tax) couldn't sustain the system without massive infusions of general fund revenue. It's been overhauled several times and is still unsustainable under the 1.5% income levy. It is estimated that an additional 8% would be required to balance the cost and almost half do not use it, but buy private insurance. It is a hospital benefit more than a full on care system for the middle and upper classes.

Here's a few bullets points:

Approximately 43% of Australians also retain private health insurance, even though they are already entitled to free treatment in public hospitals. The major reasons for taking up health insurance despite the free public system are:

* Shorter waiting lists in private hospitals (especially for procedures such as joint reconstructions or heart bypass surgery, for which there are often long waiting times in public hospitals).
* Choice of hospital/physician in the private system;
* Improved accommodation facilities such as private rooms (although medical facilities are usually more extensive in the public system).

Some people choose to have private coverage for ancillary treatment, or "extras", (e.g. chiropractic, dental, optical, ambulance, etc - for which Medicare has limited or no cover) but use the Medicare system for hospital treatment.
BTW- Anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of dealing with a Brit NHS Ward Sister just hasn't experienced the joy national health can bring.

Those of you who think costs will be reduced have a gander at this bit of German efficiency.


I have European and South American friends who vacation in the US to have their yearly tests and dental care done. They gladly pay for the level of care we take for granted, especially dental care. This is really common in South Florida where top notch medical centers, shopping and vacation spots abound.

btw-are you proud of those pearly whites Bunky? There's a reason so many Brits and Europeans have bad and/or crooked teeth, it ain't genetics, diet or the water.

Seven Machos said...

Our system works fine 90 percent of the people. Therefore, we must overturn it completely to satisfy the other 10 percent.

That was the argument last time around. And they said it wasn't going to cost much then, too.

What's really wrong with the system we have? It's pretty awesome.

BJM said...

@Seven

Bruce is correct. Goodbye malpractice if any sort of government takeover of the heath care industry passes.
This may be our ace in the hole, the legal lobby is going to go ape shit and they own the Dems lock, stock and barrel.

(WTF is up with blogger, now it's ignoring css line break with the italic tag?)

former law student said...

Those of you who think costs will be reduced have a gander at this bit of German efficiency.

Working to standards is generally more efficient than just winging it, or working off the top of one's head.

Seven Machos said...

FLS -- Who are the people in the United States that are not getting health care when they need it?

Are you aware that most people who are not insured are either strapping twenty-somethings without a medical care in the world or poor people who get world-class care whenever they need it at the emergency room for free?

C. Steven Tucker said...

What has our government done, to convince people to hand over our very health freedoms for it to govern over?
Katrina……..?
Fannie Mae – bailout? (this is a government entity who's employee's receive bonuses!) What other government employee receives bonuses for doing their jobs?
Social security – bankrupt ? (robbed for other expenditures)
Medicaid – ? (robbed for other expenditures)
$2 trillion Porkulus bill - ? (and growing)
AIG – bail out, yet nobody knows where's the money gone? No committee of oversight in place (was promised by our representatives to be in place immediately)
Gas prices - ?(50% of every dollar at the pump goes to Washington) But who did you point your finger at as the problem????
Since our government "cannot" be sued, how will one be able to be recompensed for its malfeasance or neglect? How will the government, once it tells 300 million people "go see the doctor" we will pay all the bills, be able to control the consequences? By overwhelming our medical profession or break it, will come another grand government solution," we need more money to fix it"! You are already familiar and have accepted this excuse for too long, and know this to be their power solution. Our government has impoverished our families' financial freedom to pay our own way, by immoral taxation.

Furthermore how has Government run health care worked in other countries? Let's get past the emotions and examine the facts. A common example used to further the cause of "socialized medicine" in the United States is to point out how well it is working in countries such as France and Canada. However, those living in Canada know full well that their government run health care program is most certainly not working. As a matter of fact, many Canadian citizens choose to hire high priced brokers to find them quality health care right here in the United States because of the terrible bureaucracy that controls all forms of health care in Canada.

For more about what is really going on with the Canadian health care system please watch these short but very informative documentary videos:
http://www.freemarketcure.com/brainsurgery.php http://www.freemarketcure.com/twowomen.php http://www.freemarketcure.com/thelemon.php http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiXT0P3edfs
The number of actual uninsured's in the US has also been grossly inflated as well. For the real numbers: http://www.freemarketcure.com/uninsuredinamerica.php
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE-I0ombIEY&eurl=http://www.noinsuranceclub.com/blog.php&feature=player_embedded

Medical care in the United States is derided as miserable compared to health care systems in the rest of the developed world. Economists, government officials, insurers and academics alike are beating the drum for a far larger government role in health care. Much of the public assumes their arguments are sound because the calls for change are so ubiquitous and the topic so complex. However, before turning to government as the solution, some unheralded facts about America's health care system should be considered, says Scott W. Atlas, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers:

* Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom.
* Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the United Kingdom and 457 percent higher in Norway.
* The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher.

Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries:

* Some 56 percent of Americans who could benefit are taking statins, which reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease.
* By comparison, of those patients who could benefit from these drugs, only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons and 17 percent of Italians receive them.

Lower income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians:

* Twice as many American seniors with below-median incomes self-report "excellent" health compared to Canadian seniors (11.7 percent versus 5.8 percent).
* Conversely, white Canadian young adults with below-median incomes are 20 percent more likely than lower income Americans to describe their health as "fair or poor."

Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the United Kingdom:

* Canadian and British patients wait about twice as long -- sometimes more than a year -- to see a specialist, to have elective surgery like hip replacements or to get radiation treatment for cancer.
* All told, 827,429 people are waiting for some type of procedure in Canada.
* In England, nearly 1.8 million people are waiting for a hospital admission or outpatient treatment.

Source: Scott W. Atlas, "10 Surprising Facts About American Health Care," National Center for Policy Analysis, Brief Analysis No. 649, 3/24/09 http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=17770

Because of how the Single Payer System is designed Canadian citizens have NO WHERE NEAR the choices that we as American citizens do. As a matter of fact, until very recently (2005) it was simply not possible for a Canadian citizen to pay for their own health care or to purchase private medical insurance that would "bump them up the long waiting list" for medical treatments. The reason Canadian citizens now have the right to do so (and it is still limited) is a direct result of long hard battles (many that are still being fought) that have been waged by brave Canadian citizens like Dr. Jacques Chaoulli who took his clients case all the way to the Canadian supreme court and won! Dr. Chaoulli (http://www.healthcoalition.ca/chaoulli.html) and his patient, George Zeliotis, launched their legal challenge to the Canadian government's monopolized healthcare system after waiting more than a year for hip-replacement surgery.

Canada's high court found for the plaintiffs and in doing so issued the following statement: "The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public healthcare system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public healthcare. The evidence also demonstrates that the prohibition against private health insurance and its consequence of denying people vital healthcare result in physical and psychological suffering that meets a threshold test of seriousness." Furthermore, Justice Marie Deschamps said, "Many patients on non-urgent waiting lists are in pain and cannot fully enjoy any real quality of life. The right to life and to personal inviolability is therefore affected by the waiting times."

Furthermore, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Fraser Institute which keeps track of Canadian waiting times for various medical procedures. According to the Fraser Institute's 14th annual edition of "Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada (2006)," total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner and treatment, averaged across all 12 specialties and 10 provinces surveyed, rose from 17.7 weeks in 2003 to 17.9 weeks in 2006. Depending on which Canadian province you live in, a simple MRI requires a wait between 7 and 33 weeks! Orthopedic surgery could require a wait of 14 weeks for a referral from a general practitioner to the specialist and then another 24 weeks from the specialist to treatment! For even more real life horror stories about Canadian citizens left in the lurch by the Canadian healthcare system read the well researched and fact based Wall Street Journal article entitled "Too Old For Hip Surgery" here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123413701032661445.html?mod=article-outset-box This is what happens when you put government in control of your health care decisions. Doing so in this country, would be nothing short of a train wreck. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply uninformed or "willfully ignorant".

Real healthcare reform can be accomplished through consumer education, weeding out abuse of existing Federal entitlement programs (via a legitimate needs assessment) and continued funding of State sponsored Risk Pools so that people who are declined for insurance have an affordable option to continue coverage if declined on the individual major medical market. Following these few simple steps will go a long way towards not only maintaining our current health care system, but also towards keeping the bulk of our nations risk where it belongs, namely with the private health insurance sector. In light of the recent multi Trillion Dollar "Bail Outs" and many other failing corporations coming to the table with their hats in their hands (and their private jets on the tarmac) the last thing our government should do is start cutting more blind "bail out" checks in an effort to "reform" the U.S. health care system.

AJ Lynch said...

If Obama and the Dems got everything they wanted...universal healthcare, cap & trade, etc,etc would they then exclaim "OK well I guess our work here is done!" ?

Nah then Obama and the Dems would want to give the poor a home, pay their utilities, cable and cell phone bills, car insurance, etc.

That is why we have to keep fighting against the redistributionists and the socialists.

C. Steven Tucker, President SBIS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C. Steven Tucker, President SBIS said...

Indeed they would. Wait....they already did give a house to anyone regardless of income requirements. Remember the mortgage crisis? Thank Clinton for the Credit Default Swaps and thank Barney Frank for the mortgage meltdown. Total and complete incompetence. It's time to clean house (in both parties)and exercise our rights to appoint competent leaders. Term limits would help as well. That way incompetent hacks like Pelosi, Reid and Frank would'nt be able to suck on the goverment tit for year after year whilst driving the economy into the ground!

Brett said...

This does not represent a change. My whole working life the government has been forcibly "confiscating my wealth" to pay for the health care of others: folks over 65, soldiers and sailors, veterans, the poor and destitute, and uninsured in general.I'll fix the deficiency in my original statement, to avoid troubling your tiny mind:


Original: "The change being proposed is for the government to forcibly confiscate wealth from some people to pay for the healthcare of others."


Newer, more precise: "The change being proposed is for the government to forcibly confiscate significantly more wealth from some people to pay for the healthcare of significantly greater numbers of others."


Further, health insurors have been confiscating my wealth to pay to treat sick people, because the dollar value of health care that I have received has never been as much as what I and my employers have paid in.No private health insurer has ever confiscated, forcibly or otherwise, a single nickel of your wealth. You or your employer entered into voluntary contractual arrangements under which you'd pay a certain amount in premiums in exchange for the right to claim a certain level of benefits. Under those arrangements, you were obligated to pay premiums whether or not you actually claimed benefits; the premium payments simply purchased the right to do so, and if you found the arrangement objectionable you were always free to opt out.


Please let me know if I will be permitted to opt out of DemocratCare, and keep the tax dollars that would be used to pay for the healthcare costs of freeloaders.

Brett said...

That's the situation I've been in my whole life, only the bureaucrat belonged to the private sector, with the profit motive driving expenditures on my health care down.So replace the private-sector bureaucrat with a public-sector one, and replace the profit motive with politics, and everything will be hunky-dory!

Liberals' capacity for self-delusion is limitless.

C. Steven Tucker, President SBIS said...

Amen Brett. Amen to that!
Reagan said it best. "Government is not the solution, it is the problem".

But way before him our forefathers warned of this. Look at their wisdom hundreds of year before our present situation:

Everybody wants socialized medicine like other foreign governments have. What did Washington say?

“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796.

Regarding using others blood sweat and tears to pay for those who have not earned: What did Jefferson say?

“ To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have NOT exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.” Letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816

There lies the distinction of “charity” or coercion. Here stands Jefferson who feared that if citizens became lazy, apathetic, and irresponsible, government would gain ground and become tyrannical and corrupt, plundering taxpayers for special interests and violating even property rights and other freedoms.

Jefferson again: “We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or Profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, (taxation) as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on OATMEAL and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; (government) but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their CHAINS on the necks of our fellow-sufferers…private fortunes are destroyed by public (government) as well private extravagance. Till the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automations of misery……than begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia (War of all against all) …..and the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.” (Letter to Samuel Kerchival, July 12, 1816)

Where is the outrage that our children already, before being born are now in debt to the government by $35,000 ! Nice immoral profit I say by our government.

Jefferson again: “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” - Thomas Jefferson

John Adams (Vice President US for 2 terms 1788-1796, and in 1796 became our Second President) On taxation : “Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty. Perhaps, at first, prejudice, habit, shame or fear, principle or religion would restrain the poor from attacking the rich, and the idle from usurping on the industrious; but the time would not be long before courage and enterprise (political opportunists) would come and pretexts be invented (socialist agenda) by degrees to countenance the majority in dividing all the property among them, or at least in sharing it equally with its present possessors. Debts would be abolished first; taxes laid HEAVY on the rich, and not at all on the others; and at last a downright equal division of everything be demanded, and voted. What would be the consequence of this? The idle, the vicious, the intemperate would rush into the utmost extravagance of debauchery, sell and spend all their share, and than demand a NEW division of those who PURCHASED from them.’

Thomas Pain (1737–1809) "If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute."

Daniel Webster (1782-1852) “An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, the power to destroy.”

If taxation strengthens a government, while relieving it’s citizens of the freedoms above forewarned from our fathers, how can anyone believe taxing the rich at 70-90% is the solution? What else could stifle personal drive and eventual achievement more?

Our health care pains are the result of government taxation that cripples our ability to “kick” government to the curb and get its hands out of our pockets! It has profited by inducing our financial pain through false taxation that cannot be justified in modern times and forced through fear of imprisonment (don't pay your taxes go to prison!)

Tyranny is not a joke. Taxation has robbed us of our financial peace. Government is not the solution, it is the problem!

PatCA said...

"Nah then Obama and the Dems would want to give the poor a home, pay their utilities, cable and cell phone bills, car insurance, etc."

And then lift their atrophied little hands to mark their X on the correct place on the ballot, AJ.

former law student said...

FLS -- Who are the people in the United States that are not getting health care when they need it?I'm glad you asked.

Aside from the elderly, who are almost all covered by
Medicare, the uninsured span all ages. Adults age 30 and
over comprise about half of the uninsured.
About 30% are
younger adults (age 19 to 29), who are beginning their
careers and often have low incomes or are in jobs that are
less likely to provide health benefits. Despite efforts to
broaden coverage for children, one in five of the uninsured
is under age 19.
WHY ARE SO MANY AMERICANS UNINSURED?
Most Americans obtain health insurance through their
employers; however, job-based coverage has declined in
recent years. The percentage of firms offering coverage
dropped from 69% in 2000 to 60% in 2007, which was in
part due to rising premiums. In 2007, the annual employer
group premium for a family of four was $12,106, nearly
double what it was in 2000.
Low-income workers—those at greatest risk of being
uninsured—are much less likely to be offered job-based
coverage and are less able to afford their share of the
premiums (Fig. 3). When lower income workers are
offered coverage, the majority still choose to participate in
their employer's insurance plan. Over time, employees
with low incomes have seen the steepest declines in the
likelihood of being offered health coverage through their
work.

http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/1420-10.pdf

Are you aware that most people who are not insured are either strapping twenty-somethings without a medical care in the world or poor people who get world-class care whenever they need it at the emergency room for free?Why, no. Do you have any source for these remarkable assertions?

In terms of international comparisons, the US ranks 30th in life expectancy -- behind such bastions of substandard health care as Canada and England -- and 45th in infant mortality (right behind Cuba.

former law student said...

Reagan said it best. "Government is not the solution, it is the problem".

In hindsight, Reagan was clearly talking about Republican-controlled government. We call that a self-fulfilling prophecy.

former law student said...

Thank Clinton for the Credit Default SwapsI admit Clinton signed the 11,000page Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2001(Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill) (H.R. 4577)," to which Phil Gramm had attached the credit default swap exclusion from regulation like a lamprey eel sucking on a coho. Note that this was all done in the week before Christmas, 2000:

Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (Introduced in House)

`(g) EXCLUDED SWAP TRANSACTIONS- No provision of this Act (other than section 5a (to the extent provided in section 5a(g)), 5b, 5d, or 12(e)(2)) shall apply to or govern any agreement, contract, or transaction in a commodity other than an agricultural commodity if the agreement, contract, or transaction is--

`(1) entered into only between persons that are eligible contract participants at the time they enter into the agreement, contract, or transaction;

`(2) subject to individual negotiation by the parties; and

`(3) not executed or traded on a trading facility.'

H.R.5660
Title: To reauthorize and amend the Commodity Exchange Act to promote legal certainty, enhance competition, and reduce systemic risk in markets for futures and over-the-counter derivatives, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Ewing, Thomas W. [IL-15] (introduced 12/14/2000) Cosponsors (4)
Related Bills: H.R.4577, S.3283
Latest Major Action: 12/14/2000 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Finance & Hazardous Materials for a period to be subsequently determined by the Chairman..
Note: H.R. 5660 was incorporated by reference in the conference report to H.R. 4577. H.R. 4577, the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2001, became Public Law 106-554 on 12/21/2000.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ALL ACTIONS:
12/14/2000:
Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (CR E2181-2182)
12/14/2000:
Referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and in addition to the Committees on Banking and Financial Services, Commerce, and the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
12/14/2000:
Referred to House Agriculture
12/14/2000:
Referred to House Banking and Financial Services
12/14/2000:
Referred to House Commerce
12/14/2000:
Referred to the Subcommittee on Finance & Hazardous Materials for a period to be subsequently determined by the Chairman..
12/14/2000:
Referred to House Judiciary

S.3283
Title: A bill to reauthorize and amend the Commodity Exchange Act to promote legal certainty, enhance competition, and reduce systematic risk in markets for futures and over-the-counter derivatives, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Lugar, Richard G. [IN] (introduced 12/15/2000) Cosponsors (5)
Related Bills: H.R.5660
Latest Major Action: 12/15/2000 Introduced in the Senate. Read the first time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under Read the First Time.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ALL ACTIONS:
12/15/2000:
Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (CR S11924-11926)
12/15/2000:
Introduced in the Senate. Read the first time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under Read the First Time.

Seven Machos said...

Thank you for demonstrating my point that we don't need mandatory national heath care, FLS. Appreciate it.

Bruce Hayden said...

Aside from the elderly, who are almost all covered by
Medicare, the uninsured span all ages. Adults age 30 and
over comprise about half of the uninsured. About 30% are
younger adults (age 19 to 29), who are beginning their
careers and often have low incomes or are in jobs that are
less likely to provide health benefits. Despite efforts to
broaden coverage for children, one in five of the uninsured
is under age 19
. .

Easy to blame no insurance for the under 30 crowd on no employer supplied coverage BUT in my experience, it is as much a question of better uses for their money - notably their social lives, toys, and hobbies. Why pay for insurance, when you are bullet proof?

I have told this story before, about when I was working at a ski area. The area offered accident insurance for $5 a month. One of our guys tried to flip, went down the hill on a toboggan, and couldn't work on skis for the rest of the season because he couldn't afford the CAT scan to clear him for work. But then, I discovered that almost none of the other guys in that demographic were carrying that insurance either (or, for that matter, any health insurance).

The reality is that age, sex, and health rated insurance for the normal 20 something guy is a steal on the open market, as compared to any other demographic.

The other thing that is not mentioned in those statistics is how much of those uninsured are transitional, and how many are chronic. Supposedly, about half are uninsured for under a year.

Brett said...

In hindsight, Reagan was clearly talking about Republican-controlled government. We call that a self-fulfilling prophecy.Taking this more seriously than it deserves:

Surely you understand that at some point in the indeterminate future, the political wheel will turn, and Republicans will once again come to power.

That being the case, why in hell would you want to create a situation where there's a chance that a future, Republican-controlled government will be involved in something as important as healthcare?

Bruce Hayden said...

"In terms of international comparisons, the US ranks 30th in life expectancy -- behind such bastions of substandard health care as Canada and England -- and 45th in infant mortality (right behind Cuba."

Liars figure, and figures lie (not aimed at you, but rather, your source).

Now let's try that again. How about life expectancy at 2 years old?

The problem here is that you are comparing apples to oranges. What is not taken into account in those life expectancy and infant mortality statistics is that we count premies, and pretty much no one else does. Try instead comparing the life expectancies of 8 week, 12 week, etc. premature babies and see what you would get. These other countries don't count them, because in those countries, they die. Ditto for birth defects. We count them as live births in our statistics, and they are much more likely to die than normal deliveries, even here, and so our statistics look bad as a result.

Of course, this sort of medical care is extraordinarily expensive. So, maybe it makes sense that these other countries cut corners on problem births and babies. After all, they don't vote, and if they die early, never will. And, yes, Canadians have been known to come here for multiple births, etc. for just this reason.

blake said...

FLS has it all figured out.

A one-party system where the government takes care of everyone.

And since the party reports on the stats, they'll always look good.

Can't imagine why no one's ever tried this before.

Bruce Hayden said...

Surely you understand that at some point in the indeterminate future, the political wheel will turn, and Republicans will once again come to power.

What the Democrats aren't thinking through, or maybe are, but expecting all their plans to be such hits that they have locked up the government for the foreseeable future, is that there is a decent chance already that the Republicans can retake the House in the next election. Why? Because the Democratic edge there is mostly comprised of "Red" district seats, districts that went Republican in either the House or Presidential elections 2 of the last 3 elections. Many of those "Red" Senate seats are going to take a bit longer to cycle back. Much of that sizable party preference or identification that the Democrats had picked up since 2004 has disappeared since this Congress has begun.

The Democrats have several things running against them here:
- the traditional off-year election bias against the party of the incumbent President.
- a level of corruption that makes the Republicans look like saints, in the party that came to power running against the "Culture of Corruption"
- greatly overplaying their hand in implementing massive growth in federal government, while blowing out the budget at the same time as they raise taxes. Massive deficit spending, at a level not seen since WWII.

You know that the smart Democrats know this, because the shrillest voices about the Republicans becoming a permanent minority come from the major Democratic operatives (e.g. Bob Shrum, who talks of nothing else)

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

@ John

"Democratic blogger Ezra Klein appears to be positioning Dem health care reforms as a way to cut costs, on the grounds that a reformed system will be able to make "hard choices" and "rational" coverage decisions ..."

Well there are age limits on treatments in Europe. If you're past a certain age they will simply deny you the proper treatment and suggest you go home and prepare for the end.

A -LOT- of baby boomers are in for quite a shock.

Pogo said...

This discussion has never really been about facts. It's never been an open debate about what system is best for the US. It is not a concern about the sick or the uninsured, the poor or the elderly. They don't give a rat's ass whether cancer cure rates are high or low, or lines are two feet or two miles long, or whether your teeth are white or they all fall out.

If you think the issue is health care, or economics, or morality, or doing the right thing, it's time to wake up.

The only idea behind the effort toward national health care is power.

That's all this is. A naked grab for as much power over the economy, every goddamned sector, that can be had and as quickly as possible.

It's 1917, and you don't even have a clue what just happened.

So fls, stow the talk. I don't really give a shit. We've just been declared subjects, serfs to the feudal lord. And if you don't know how to kiss Democrat ass by now, you're totally screwed.

section9 said...

A better way to understand the Democratic Party's bid for power over the health care industry is this: Obama and the Democrats know that these sets of bills will not only NOT reduce health care costs, it will make the health care system, such as it is, more wasteful, costly, and inefficient. Rationing will be the result.

That, by the way, is the intention. That means power for the Democratic Party: as long as THEY are the ones handing out the ration tickets, they stay in power. People don't get this.

Another way to understand the Democrats' bid for health care is this: the Democrats look at the health care system the way that Willie Sutton looked at banks-it's where the money is.

Lastly: under no health care proposal put forward by Obama do the lawyers go hungry.

HelenParr said...

After this system is in place for about a decade and doctors are relegated to becoming employees of the US government, tell me who in their right mind would suffer 4 years of college, 4 years of med school, a year of internship and 2-5 years of residency for no pay-off? Won't the more qualified folks go elsewhere? The smart ones usually do and we're left with walking malpractice.

Haven't you heard some of the horror stories of the military medical care system? Eliminating the risk of malpractice to the individual doctors lowers not only the cost but often the quality of care.

BJM said...

FLS

Working to standards is generally more efficient than just winging it, or working off the top of one's head.Yep, it worked so well for the Pentagon or have you forgotten the $600 hammers.

Chip Ahoy said...

I'm fairly certain anybody who's in favor of universal health care administered through the federal government has never placed a call to Social Security. Offense intended if you happen to work for SS, on the whole their customer service staff is simply the rudest, most curt, insulated group of people I've ever been discomforted to have to talk to. Anywhere else they'd be fired. To inflict that upon the entire population is a crime against humanity. We're being hornswoggled. The numbers used to support it are pulled from lower colons and not even rinsed off, and we're fools to accept it, but accept it we will. How I do despise this unnatural impulse to control every aspect of everybody's lives universally. The very idea thought they're smart enough to know what's best for everybody and framing the argument as kindness makes me want to punch them right in the face, my distaste for it is just that visceral. But then those positions are usually conveyed while sloppily splashing cocktail on my shoes and spraying alcohol mist with every plosive fricative directly in my face no matter how many times I step back to restore my violated tacit personal space.

This causes me to photoshop a baby alligator to distract my grievance.

Penny said...

I remember, like yesterday, when HMO's came on the scene. Cutting through million dollar marketing schemes, it was like this....

"If you're young and healthy, CLAP YOUR HANDS! Woohoo!"

vs.

"If you object to HMO's for WHATEVER reason, you will pay more."

In the early days, there were many objectors... young, old, sick or not.

We paid more, just as they said we would. We paid more for PERSONAL choice, while the younger, healthier, WooHoo crowd liked that they didn't have to pay $10 to see their new family doctor when they never had an old one to begin with.

But back then...HMO's were about "preventative healthcare". Supposed 'Government Studies' showed that if you went to that new family doctor for FREE, you wouldn't get nasty things like pneumonia from colds.

HMO's took a group of healthy kids and young adults, way back when...and DROVE them to doctors with the always enticing word..."FREE".

Nothing is fucking "FREE"!



Listen up. This is what happened with THAT dream. Insurance companies sifted off the young and the healthy to lower their costs in the short term. This nutty young crowd of free-wheeling,60's/70's baby boomers never noticed that they were being deprived of INDIVIDUAL CHOICE.

Most moved directly from free-love to free doctor appointments...and then...THEN they got older and in need of more and more health care services...in MASS.

HMO's wanted your healthy bodies, and your companies generous contributions on your behalf... way back when, to lower the costs of their "losers" by spreading these costs over larger and larger numbers of healthy folks working for healthy companies willing to cover the tab for that nasty heart attack patient that just would not die.

Where are we today?

I would laugh if this were not so tragic. The young and healthy boom boom woohoo's are OLD, and BROKE, not to mention in need of...you guessed it!

The insurance companies are looking for more fertile fields.

Our government is LUSH with our tax dollars.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I dare you, ONE of you, to suggest this is other than a snatch-match.

Peter V. Bella said...

If they push Universal Health care, then it better be the same exact program the members of the House and Senate have- you know the servants of the people who have all the perks of royalty?

Their program is unlimited health care, any place, any time, any treatment, any doctor or clinic they chose all over the world. Hell, they even wanted to keep a guy alive so his seat would not be vacated.

Either that, or they get the same piss poor service they are shiving down our throat. I would love to see some Senator being refused a test or being forced to wait in line like us, the common serfs.

JAL said...

A "second" for Chip's observation.

I believe I have mentioned here before -- if you have had any serious dealings with SS or Medicare / Medicaid.:

You do not want this government ANYWHERE near you health care.

Trust us.

JAL said...

"...we'll make doctors better managers and only get you the necessary tests and treatment."

I have a doctor daughter married to a doctor son-in-law.

How the hey is Obama's administration going to make them "better managers??"

They make more decision in one day -- and smart ones -- than Obama has in his life time.

They don't have the privilege of voting present.

HelenParr said...

Peter V. Bella: I can hear Madame Marie Antoinette Pelosi now

Let them eat caca.I hear in Serf City it's two-to-one.

JAL said...

Peter writes: If they push Universal Health care, then it better be the same exact program the members of the House and Senate have-ABSOLUTELY.

We get theirs. They certainly don't want ours.

kentuckyliz said...

The Boomers are starting to retire and Social Security is broke and Medicare is the Giant Blob That Ate New York.

Of course the gummint wants to take over health care, to ration it and kill off that huge old population of useless eaters...thus saving Social Security and Medicare. DUH.

Don't assume you can always private-pay in a gummintcare system.

I had Herceptin treatment for HER2 neu positive BrCa, which is not approved in UK NHS. Not only do they deny that treatment, they do not allow you to pay for it yourself--they'll kick you off NHS totally. You have to be superwealthy to pay for all your own treatment.

That's why breast cancer death rates are double the US's. If you're HER2 positive, treatment is pointless without Herceptin. It's a death sentence.

Info source: my English relatives, including a retired doc. Several of my English rellies are docs, including an oncologist and epidemiologist.

I'm deathly afraid of gummintcare because I've kicked cancer's ass three times now. Even before the gummint spends one red cent on me, they'll decide I'm statistically unworthy and not worth further expenditure.

God help us all.

Methadras said...

The Left sure does have a love affair with government funded universal health-care don't they? I wonder why?

dick said...

BarrySander20,

I know what you mean about the insurance costs. I programmed the benefits plans for a rather large company in New England about 15 years ago. I was shocked when I finished at the costs. The employees were complaining about what they had to pay. They did not realize until the company told them about it that the charges to the employee were less than 20% of the total cost of the insurance. The companies were charging, depending on the company and the plan, between 5K and 16.5K/employee. The company was paying 80% of the charge and the employee was paying 20% and that was just the health insurance. That did not cover the dental plan, the long term disability plan, the life insurance plan, the pension plans (the company offered 5 different pension plans), the educational benefit, the childcare benefit. The net result was that the benefits per employee ended up costing the company about 35% of the salary/wages of the employee. That ends up being a whole lot of money.

Revenant said...

I have a relative who was just treated for cancer. Because he was able to opt for a less-common, more-expensive option he has thus far come through the entire experience in good shape. Had a lot of pain and suffering for six months, but now he's fine and the cancer is (for now) gone.

The cheaper option, and the only one he would have been offered in (for example) Canada, was surgery. Which would likely have left him unable to speak properly or eat solid foods for the rest of his life.

So for those of you who support dragging us over into a national health care system, let me just say: fuck you all.

dick said...

More on the NHS. I just read an article in today's UK Daily Telegraph about a nurse who was fired for using a camera to expose the neglect of elderly patients at NHS hospital. Kinda makes you wonder why they were so afraid of what she might tell the rest of the country about what was really going on. Is that what we are looking forward to with this dismal idea by The One?

Alex said...

Shorter Alpha Troll:

Our troops are a bunch of mass murdering barbarians, that's about right?

John Althouse Cohen said...

What about the part where Kaus says this isn't accurate?

Do you agree or disagree with Kaus that private insurers are more likely than government to ration care?

Or is everyone in this thread just assuming that if you can concoct a bad scenario involving health insurance, then it's attributable to government, not the private sector? Why make that assumption?

blake said...

JAC--

The government has created the current situation--made it as bad as it is--by giving tax breaks for insurance, and distorting the marketplace.

When their influence was smaller, not having insurance was not such a big deal. Regulation is such that it amplifies the big players and forces out the little.

This is the nature of the beast. It's not a matter of the free market being perfect, but the government making it worse.

Freder Frederson said...

These other countries don't count them [premies], because in those countries, they die.You do not know what you are talking about. My niece was born almost three months premature, just at two lbs, in England (which is admittedly recognized as having one of the weakest health care systems in Western Europe). She did not die. She received extraordinary care and is now a happy and healthy 15 year old. Her care was completely under the NHS.

Freder Frederson said...

I'm deathly afraid of gummintcare because I've kicked cancer's ass three times now. Even before the gummint spends one red cent on me, they'll decide I'm statistically unworthy and not worth further expenditure.So exactly how do you pay for your medical care? Considering your history, how much do you think medical insurance would cost if you had to get it on the open market? I bet you wouldn't be able to buy insurance at any price.

Freder Frederson said...

Well, I've certainly always assumed that. I've looked upon the prospect of health care reform and thought the truth was: Let the government let you die.This is rich coming from someone who is safely ensconced in a government funded health care plan that is guaranteed until the day she drops dead at her desk since she (unlike 99%+ of the rest of the working stiffs in the country) has a government job from which she cannot be fired.

Ann says "let them eat cake".

kentuckyliz said...

Freder: I get group health insurance through my employer, and it's a large group. My paystub shows what the employer pays and what I pay in premium. My insurance card and annual plan documents show what co-pays I have. It's an HMO plan but it doesn't have the sucky features of most HMO plans. I have never had a treatment or procedure denied. Any unpaid bills were just clerical errors (like not matching the submitted claim to the referral code--physician's orders); it paid out of network providers under paralogic.

I've spent more on dental care in the past 5 years than on having two cancers during that same timeframe.

My next door neighbors have had some serious medical problems (heart attack, bypass, diabetes, cancer) and they're older but not Medicare age yet, and they buy insurance on the open market. They're self employed and not wealthy. I'm younger, and an otherwise healthy athlete, with low normal BP, a strong athlete's heart, the richest blood in a female patient the hospital has ever seen. But that would not convince a gummint bureaucrat who would only see that I've had three cancers and think, well, she's had a good run.

I could tell you more horror stories of my family's experiences with NHS if you want.

Did you see the article about the woman PG with twins suffering pre-eclampsia and they made her wait for a caesarian because there weren't the right specialists scheduled on the weekend? She died! Because the UK NHS docs are gummint employees with weekends off apparently. OMFG.

kentuckyliz said...

My sis is a farm wife who went to work off the farm to get health insurance for her family...and she ended up getting a great job that has brought so much to her and the family beyond health insurance...including tuition remission for herself, her husband (working on an MBA), and her kids (her oldest son is in college now and using the benefit).

Pogo said...

JAC and Freder still misunderstand the argument.

Democrats will say "Yes, but" or contradict every story, study, or observation that refutes the need for socialized medicine or exposes its many failures elsewhere.

I misunderstood, too, for a long time.

They prefer equality, even if coerced, over liberty. In fact, I believe they prefer coercion over equality.

Those aren't concepts that can be decided by mere facts.

Mike said...

Kaus is correct that leading with the cost containment argument is like writing your weak-hitting second baseman in as your lead-off batter. I get that inclination. Look at these comments, which are largely anecdote (my health insurance) and hypothetical (this government plan will probably be excrement on a stick). The people Kaus decries want to argue in serious sounding terms.

The real liberal case for national health care should be: Health Care is worth universalizing because a healthier population is a common good. Disease and large-scale societal poverty travel as a team. Therefore a functioning public health system is necessary for maintaining long-term societal prosperity. Government buying services and medicine in bulk should reduce costs, but even it doesn't we're going to get something for that money.

Pogo said...

"a healthier population is a common good."
People who prefer force always talk about 'populations', rather than indvidual people, I notice. A common good? What does that even mean, really?

"Disease and large-scale societal poverty travel as a team.'
Really?
Explain obesity to me then.

"Therefore..."
Therefore?
Huh? You have proven nothing.
Therefore? Fah.
Another paean to power.


"a functioning public health system is necessary for maintaining long-term societal prosperity."
Because it worked so well for Cuba and the Soviets and China. And now that England is in the pisser, them too.

"Government buying services and medicine in bulk should reduce costs"
Just like they did in education and postal services in the US, and just like the NHS reduced costs in the UK.
Except if only you mean a thing by asserting its opposite.


Fascism with a smiley face.

Sofa King said...

"a healthier population is a common good."
People who prefer force always talk about 'populations', rather than indvidual people, I notice. A common good? What does that even mean, really?

You noticed that, eh? Given a population of 95 healthy people and 5 really sick ones, what is the cheapest, quickest way to have 100% healthy? And then you can tell those 95 remaining people, look at our amazing statistics! Everyone is healthy!

And did anyone notice that when FLS was asked about who isn't receiving medical care, he responded by telling us who doesn't have health insurance, as though those two things are exactly the same?

Protip: they're not.

Hector Owen said...

Instapundit this morning has this: When Doctors Opt Out.

"Here's something that has gotten lost in the drive to institute universal health insurance: Health insurance doesn't automatically lead to health care. And with more and more doctors dropping out of one insurance plan or another, especially government plans, there is no guarantee that you will be able to see a physician no matter what coverage you have."

As more doctors drop out of various insurance plans, some who would have liked to be treated by those doctors are going to feel slighted, or cheated. Then comes the cry that all doctors should be made to take all insurance. Then the subsuming of all insurance plans into one government operation (One Plan to rule them all, one Plan to bind them) and the requirement that all health care providers accept what that plan offers. Then a lot of retirements among older medical people. That leads to a shortage of practitioners, leading to the clear and present need for all medical personnel, including the retired, to be drafted into government health service. The Surgeon General can get Everett Koop's spiffy uniform out of mothballs, and supervise the shape-up. (If Obama has appointed a Surgeon General by then. Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Galston has a uniform of his own.)

Time frame? Before 2012. This administration works fast.

Pogo said...

Hector Owen is correct.

Coercion is the socialist's favorite tool.

Hector Owen said...

Thanks Pogo!

I would amend my last: This Administration works fast to do the things they ought not to do, but does not mind taking forever to do the things they ought to do, such as nominating candidates for Executive Branch positions. If the country is lucky, the latter will impede the former.

former law student said...

I support affordable/universal health care without caring overmuch how it will be delivered. My neighbors lost their jobs that provided health insurance at 59 and 57 respectively, and had to pay extortionate rates for health insurance since then, until they became eligible for Medicare. While the wife was able to work retail, such jobs do not pay benefits. To help them make ends meet, their daughter and granddaughter moved in with them, paying rent.

Won't the more qualified folks go elsewhere?

Apparently not. German social health care goes back to Otto von Bismarck's Prussia of 1871. And, while I've known a lot of foreign-born doctors, I've never met a native German. Immigrant doctors come from the Third World: India, Pakistan, China, etc., not from Western Europe.

Further, where are these more qualified folks going to go? The other modern industrial democracies are out. Venezuela? Saudi Arabia?

The government has created the current situation--made it as bad as it is--by giving tax breaks for insurance, and distorting the marketplace.

This situation goes back to 1944 -- somehow we've all survived. In fact, in the 1950s, as many as 70% of Americans had employer-paid health insurance. The Eisenhower administration is still seen by many as the Golden Era of the Twentieth Century. From BlueCross/Blue Shield timeline:

1944
Unemployment drops to 1.2 percent. Under normal conditions, employers would have lured workers from competitors with higher wages. However, during the World War II years, price and wage controls were strictly enforced. To compete for workers, employers began to offer health insurance benefits, giving rise to the employer-based system -- still largely in place today.

1955
The spread of health insurance coverage-- from less than 10 percent of the population having coverage in 1940 -- grows to nearly 70 percent in 1955.

1965
The Medicare and Medicaid programs are created. Launching a massive program like Medicare would have been prohibitive without the established Blue Cross and Blue Shield infrastructure. In the five years following Medicare's inception, Blue Cross processed 63.4 million claims totaling approximately $19.2 billion. In 2001, the Blue System continued to process the overwhelming majority of Medicare claims totaling $163 billion.

While I appreciate that conservative true believers want to roll government back to the halcyon days of the Harding administration, few will join them on this quest.

And did anyone notice that when FLS was asked about who isn't receiving medical care, he responded by telling us who doesn't have health insurance, as though those two things are exactly the same?

Sorry, I thought the post to which I responded conflated the two. Can you answer 7 machos's question?:

FLS -- Who are the people in the United States that are not getting health care when they need it?

Are you aware that most people who are not insured are either strapping twenty-somethings without a medical care in the world or poor people who get world-class care whenever they need it at the emergency room for free?

Freder Frederson said...

Just like they did in education and postal services in the US, and just like the NHS reduced costs in the UK.God you are a dumbass. Question. What country spends 17% of its GDP on health care (50% more than the next closest country), yet still leaves 1/6 of its population completely uninsured? Hint: it is not one of the countries with evil socialized medicine.

Freder Frederson said...

Just like they did in education and postal services in the US, and just like the NHS reduced costs in the UK.As for postal services, just go into FedEx or UPS and tell them you want to mail something to Alaska or Hawaii for $.43. They will laugh in your face.

Freder Frederson said...

Are you aware that most people who are not insured are either strapping twenty-somethings without a medical care in the world or poor people who get world-class care whenever they need it at the emergency room for free?This is the most ignorant statement I have ever read. First of all, have you ever been to an emergency room in a large city. Waiting eight, ten, twelve or more hours is not world-class care, no matter how good the care is once it is finally received. And what makes you think the care is free. The hospital can not refuse treatment, but that is hardly the same as not being able to bill the patient. And billed that patient will be, even if he or she is penniless. And if the patient never pays, of course the hospital ends up recovering the cost in higher fees for everyone else.

What a wonderful way to run a health care system.

blake said...

Further, where are these more qualified folks going to go? The other modern industrial democracies are out. Venezuela? Saudi Arabia?Eventually those people will die.

What's going to happen is that future generations aren't going to go into medicine.

Pogo is right, its really all about coercion.

Seven Machos said...

Fred -- If you don't pay, it's free. Ask any thief.

As for hospitals billing indigent patients, so what? I'm sure the liens on property are many and of great concern.

Exabopper said...

The highest-percentage-rate individual tax in the USA is the 'death tax.' By proposing government sponsored healthcare coverage, you are allowing your health to be managed by an organization that has a vested interest in your death. Besides, disallowing healthcare to people of advanced age will make the Social Security balance sheet much healthier

former law student said...

By proposing government sponsored healthcare coverage, you are allowing your health to be managed by an organization that has a vested interest in your death. per IRS.gov:

"In its current form, the estate tax only affects the wealthiest 2 percent of all Americans."

"Barring further Congressional action, the estate tax is repealed for 2010 deaths"

If this would help alleviate the concern here, I'll defend to the death the right of the wealthiest 2% of Americans to pay cash for their healthcare.

blake said...

Yeah, FLS, no chance of the estate tax changing. Not with this Congress.

The Government also has a vested in you dying so you don't collect social security or tax Medicare, etc.

Sofa King said...

I'll defend to the death the right of the wealthiest 2% of Americans to pay cash for their healthcare.Just so long as they pay for yours too, eh?

Pogo said...

"I'll defend to the death the right of the wealthiest 2% of Americans to pay cash for their healthcare."

No.
Like every good socialist, you'll defend to the death of the wealthiest Americans (or any who might resist) the right to be coerced to pay for the healthcare of all.

kentuckyliz said...

No one is denied health care in this country.

Not just ER's, either. Health departments.

When I got diagnosed with breast cancer, I had hospital social workers falling over themselves to sign me up for assistance programs that I didn't need.

They also say that they try to get indigent/immigrant ppl seeking charity treatment signed up for Medicaid and they refuse because they don't want the gummint knowing their business. They'd rather give fake names and skip out on the bill.

Medicaid doesn't necessarily make poor ppl healthy. Some don't see doctors at all, and smoking and obesity and sedentary lifestyles and poor diets are more common among the poor than other SES groups. They get totally free dental care, and don't use it, and their teeth are rotten. It's nasty. Why not get dental care even just for the cosmetic benefit? Don't people generally want to be more attractive?

We don't know what my grandma died of. She was old and had a good run so she was given a nursing home bed to die in. My aunt had kidney failure because NHS skimped doing routine exam procedures that is a part of any check-in process at any doctor's office--they didn't even take her blood pressure! I have an aunt in law who keeps getting bumped (rescheduled) for surgery on her spinal stenosis. She lives in great pain and can't even go upstairs in her home any more. She lives in the living room and kitchen 1st level only. She is disabled and in pain because she's old and on NHS.

Ah, see that, the plural of anecdote IS data!