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Let's talk about Universal Healthcare

Old 02-15-07, 06:09 PM
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Let's talk about Universal Healthcare

Of course our libertarian members are probably against universal healthcare provided by the government, but for the rest of us...what do yall think?

We know it doesn't work well in Canada. But as far as I know, Canada doesn't allow private healthcare to coexist with the govt provided healthcare. India is different. They have govt provided which isn't great but is there. But those who can afford it go to private doctors. bhk can correct me about this if I'm wrong. I would think that if the U.S. ever did universal healthcare, it would be done more like India does it. But of course that isn't a given.


Lately this has been my line of thinking, correct me if I'm wrong. The govt provides universal education (at least for k-12). Seemingly, the public has accepted this and wants the govt to do this. If education is such a priority that the govt should provide this, isn't health care in the same boat?

Many people think the govt shouldn't be involved in education. Do yall think they should be completely out of it, or just not running it? Like if the govt (at the local level, not federal) gave out vouchers to all parents and didn't actually run the public schools but operated them by private schools like a lot of charter schools do, would that be acceptable?

Wouldn't healthcare operate the same way? The govt wouldn't run the hospitals but they'd provide the payments (vouchers) to the doctors. Of course, I'm sure there is a lot bureaucratic problems with the govt getting involved, but aside from that...

thoughts?
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Old 02-15-07, 06:13 PM
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I guess I favor Medicare and Medicaid programs but UHC is a bit too much.
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Old 02-15-07, 06:16 PM
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because of the 1984 law requiring hospitals to treat everyone, the biggest driver in medicaid is managed care. too much money paying for ER and acute care so a few states are starting programs to enroll people based on income, give them a regular doctor so they can get normal care instead of going to the ER

for everyone else there is the issue of quality. my wife had surgery last year and it was done by one of the best specialists in the field in the US. I am 99% sure that if we had canadian or european style health care there is no way she could have gotten the same level of care.

in fact some of the idiot neighborhood doctors said that whatever she had was OK and not to worry about it

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Old 02-15-07, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Venusian
Of course our libertarian members are probably against universal healthcare provided by the government, but for the rest of us...what do yall think?
I'm against universal health care but it's more about the principal than the actual implementation. I don't think that someone else's health problems are my own. Stop eating burgers, stop smoking, stop drinking, stop doing drugs. It's not my fault that someone else made poor choices. The #1 killers in this nation are all due to poor individual choices.

Lately this has been my line of thinking, correct me if I'm wrong. The govt provides universal education (at least for k-12). Seemingly, the public has accepted this and wants the govt to do this. If education is such a priority that the govt should provide this, isn't health care in the same boat?
And government run schooling also is a massive failure. It's not that the government is running it, it's HOW they run it. They don't punish bad schools.

Many people think the govt shouldn't be involved in education. Do yall think they should be completely out of it, or just not running it? Like if the govt (at the local level, not federal) gave out vouchers to all parents and didn't actually run the public schools but operated them by private schools like a lot of charter schools do, would that be acceptable?

Wouldn't healthcare operate the same way? The govt wouldn't run the hospitals but they'd provide the payments (vouchers) to the doctors. Of course, I'm sure there is a lot bureaucratic problems with the govt getting involved, but aside from that...

thoughts?
The two aren't comparable. It's not the quality of health care that's the issue, it's health care PERIOD. The problem with public schools is a quality issue.
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Old 02-15-07, 07:25 PM
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We have universal healthcare here in Denmark.

And to those Americans who'd consider it for USA: NO. No, no, no, no. Please stop the insanity.
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Old 02-15-07, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Superboy
I'm against universal health care but it's more about the principal than the actual implementation. I don't think that someone else's health problems are my own. Stop eating burgers, stop smoking, stop drinking, stop doing drugs. It's not my fault that someone else made poor choices. The #1 killers in this nation are all due to poor individual choices.
this of course is an issue. If the govt gets involved in healthcare (more so than they are now) it does provide a compelling state interest to get more involved in our lives (regulating what people eat)
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Old 02-15-07, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Venusian
We know it doesn't work well in Canada. But as far as I know, Canada doesn't allow private healthcare to coexist with the govt provided healthcare. India is different. They have govt provided which isn't great but is there. But those who can afford it go to private doctors.
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want the government provided doctor just as I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want the public defender if I was accused of a crime.
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Old 02-15-07, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Venusian
this of course is an issue. If the govt gets involved in healthcare (more so than they are now) it does provide a compelling state interest to get more involved in our lives (regulating what people eat)
I think regardless of who provides health care the government has a compelling interest in dissuading people from harmful behaviors. You can't have people just keep keeling over left and right.
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Old 02-15-07, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Duran
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want the government provided doctor just as I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want the public defender if I was accused of a crime.
Exactly.

In my country, don't get sick during the holidays.
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Old 02-15-07, 08:08 PM
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My understanding is that Canada does have some private health care clinics, but I think they in violation of some law that is never enforced. Maybe Excentris will be by shortly to clear that up.

My Canadian friends save up cash and have any major health care performed in the US. They are reasonably wealthy and travel to the US fairly regularly.


I don't think our goverment is capable of providing quality heathcare at a reasonable cost in taxes. Just look at any other government run entity. The ONLY one that works is the US post office, the rest are all endless pits of mismanaged money.

As with almost any analogy, public schools do not even come close to being like universal heath care. There is rarely an abuse of the public school systems (like you send the kid in for 3 rounds ). With Universal Healthcare, there is much incentive to abuse and Canada has a serious problem with it.
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Old 02-15-07, 08:12 PM
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Dirigo Health is such a success that the Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel suggested $57 million dollars in extra taxes to offset the shortfall. Everyone covered under Dirigo costs the state $38,000 each...What a deal. I can't wait to see it done on a national scale
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Old 02-15-07, 09:42 PM
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I favor it.

The problem - as with many other programs - is how do you fund it.

Of course if we weren't engaged in a foolish war, that might help some with the funding.
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Old 02-15-07, 09:52 PM
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The problem I have with this issue is this...

Universal healthcare sounds like a good idea, but a lot of good ideas don't work in reality. Hell, communism SOUNDS like a good idea!

I just don't understand how people can complain and complain about how horrible the government operates, and how poorly they run everything...but then at the same time want the government to get involved in this issue.
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Old 02-15-07, 09:59 PM
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You don't know how universal health care would work in this country. We haven't tried it.

BTW: The government doesn't run everything poorly.
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Old 02-15-07, 10:10 PM
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I'm not sure what the best solution would be. It sounds great to have government-provided healthcare until you hear stories from people who come from places where such care is the standard, then you start getting scared. If you are healthy and you have a textbook condition, you'll be OK. But if you have a need for more complex care, don't count on it.

I think alot of the problems could be fixed by opening up the market on healthcare. But that would screw alot of people who are benefitting from the current system out of alot of money so they're not likely to ever go for it. But that's what needs to be done and would have the greatest impact upon afforadbility. Getting rid of the bottlenecks would go a long way towards alleviating alot of the problems.

But it would be like telling all the defense contractors to go take a hike. Think that would ever happen? No way, too much money at stake.

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Old 02-15-07, 10:18 PM
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I think we should have Government sponsored health care for people who are uninsured. You should still have the option to provide for your own insurance. I don't think everyone should have a socialistic kind of health care where everyone waits in line for surgery and such, but there needs to be some basic kind of preventative care for folks who can't afford health care on their own or are not provided any by their jobs.
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Old 02-15-07, 11:07 PM
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I really doubt that Universal Healthcare would solve our medical issues.

A major problem is the current structure insulates patients from actual costs, this encourages over-treatment and waste.

medical insurance rates have steadily risen while disbursements to doctors have fallen yet this is rarely mentioned. Clearly there are issues with private insurers since the current system rarely holds them accountable for fraud (either against patients or against providers), however I doubt that a government run program would be more efficient/honest.
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Old 02-15-07, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
You don't know how universal health care would work in this country. We haven't tried it.
I haven't tried swallowing cyanide. I'm still pretty sure of the result.

BTW: The government doesn't run everything poorly.
Right, only the things it runs.
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Old 02-15-07, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Superboy
I'm against universal health care but it's more about the principal than the actual implementation. I don't think that someone else's health problems are my own.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
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Old 02-15-07, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
You don't know how universal health care would work in this country. We haven't tried it.

BTW: The government doesn't run everything poorly.
They say imitation is the best form of flattery. Let me try a Classicman2 style post: I seem to recall that Clinton's Healthcare reform getting shot down 0-99 in the senate. Not a single senator thought it was a good idea. Not Ted Kennedy, not John Kerry. No one.

Why didn't a single democrat vote for it? I know why.
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Old 02-15-07, 11:45 PM
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Some say that specialists being named as PCP is a bad thing. Why is that? Doesn't seem like it makes much of a difference.
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Old 02-16-07, 12:00 AM
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Too long to post here, but here's an interesting article about how VA Hospitals -- government run hospitals, and the closest thing we have to Universal Healthcare in this county -- are among the best hospitals in the U.S.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/fea...1.longman.html
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Old 02-16-07, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
Too long to post here, but here's an interesting article about how VA Hospitals -- government run hospitals, and the closest thing we have to Universal Healthcare in this county -- are among the best hospitals in the U.S.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/fea...1.longman.html

can you pick your own doctor? what if you don't like the one you get?


there is no apples to apples comparison and the AARP will fight any attempt to stop seniors from socializing at their doctor's office tooth and nail
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Old 02-16-07, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
You don't know how universal health care would work in this country. We haven't tried it.

I'll be sure to bookmark this one and use "you don't know....we haven't tried it" argument in the future in response to you on other matters.

On this subject, I actually found Tim Harford's (author of The Undercover Economist) health care plan a pretty good middle-ground.

Last edited by Red Dog; 02-16-07 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 02-16-07, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
Some say that specialists being named as PCP is a bad thing. Why is that? Doesn't seem like it makes much of a difference.
It's horrible for several reasons:

From the patient's point of view, the patient needs a physician who is up to date, proficient, and able to<ul><li>Make appropriate health screening recommendations. Specialists are specialists because they specialize in something (I'm channeling John Madden here) and I wouldn't expect an gastroenterologist to make appropriate recommendations based on JNC 7 recommendations.<li>Adequately perform basic procedural skills. I wouldn't want a cardiologist making recommendations about breast screening based on their exam. I also wouldn't want an endocrinologist suturing my grandmother.<li>Coordinate information between multiple physicians and specialists. They don't have staff or time available to perform these duties. Who is going to schedule the biopsy for you? Schedule the xray of your finger?<li>See you relatively quickly when needed. Most specialists are booked up and don't have time to tack on other patients. If they do, people will be waiting longer to see specialists.</ul>

From the physician's point of view, a specialist will need to:<ul><li>Find time in their already already booked up schedule to see someone. This means the physician will have to make someone wait. If you had a heart attack and your heart is poorly functioning (like I think dvd4life recently had happen to him, apologies if I am thinking of the wrong person), I doubt he'd want to be bumped because his cardiologist is seeing someone with toe pain.<li>Keep current with things they don't care about. Do I recommend a biospy, do a needle aspiration, or recommend observing this breast mass?</ul>
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