Obama on health care

This is a discussion on Obama on health care within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by maxorator Also the argument that government health care system does not work properly is totally absurd. USA ...

  1. #16
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    Also the argument that government health care system does not work properly is totally absurd. USA is probably one of the very few countries that DOESN'T have it.
    It's mostly a strong ideological problem and a lack of information (perpetrated mostly by politicians diabolizing the other system). Private health care is as diabolized here in Europe as public health care is diabolized in the USA. The only conclusion is that all are right and everyone is wrong.

    That said, changing from one system to the other is a traumatic experience to any country. One that only under total failure of the previous system can be justified. And moving a private based system to public is particularly difficult. Much more than the other way around. This involves tremendous changes to the fiscal policy that will affect every element of the society (companies no matter their sizes, individuals no matter their income).

    There's one more interesting thing - no countries that have a government health care system are trying to move health care to the private sector.
    For the reasons I hope are clear above. But not trying to move there, doesn't mean there isn't a desire. And there is.

    In many countries in Europe, when under a lot of stress from the fiscal system that tends to sometimes question the maintenance of the public health care system, it is often debated the possibility of going private. This is often brought about by center-right and right-wing parties.

    This is at the core of their ideology and is as valid as the public health care system defended by center-left (the Socialists. Not to be confused with the USA notion of Socialism. Socialist is not Socialism) and left-wing politics (socialist communists, aka Socialism).

    The truth, at least to me, is this:

    - Both systems boast their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
    - Each system disadvantages become more evident under different situations. For instance, a private system becomes a problem under an economy crisis affecting production and unemployment, which tend to affect less the public system because this one can be better defended with a rise in taxes. Conversely, a public system is very sensitive to demographics which do not tend to affect the private system at all.
    - Changing from one system to the other is a tremendous risk and a painful experience that can only happen with a strong political consensus (mostly because the process can be lengthy and be inherited) and a social consensus for the trialing times ahead.
    - No system is better than the other. Although a country history, culture and economics may prove one system to be more adequate than the other.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 09-10-2009 at 02:27 PM.
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    >> Adding on a national health care system is just another slap in my face. <<
    Were you just being hypothetical?

    There is no realistic plan to add a national health care system in the United States. And the current plan being debated will likely save you money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    It's mostly a strong ideologic problem and a lack of information (perpetrated mostly by politicians diabolizing the other system). Private health care is as diabolized here in Europe as public health care is diabolized in the USA. The only conclusion is that both are right and everyone is wrong.

    That said, changing from one system to the other is a traumatic experience to any country. One that only under total failure of the previous system can be justified. And moving a private based system to public is particularly difficult. Much more than the other way around. This involves tremendous changes to the fiscal policy that will affect every element of the society (companies no matter their sizes, individuals no matter their income).



    For the reasons I hope are clear above. But not trying to move there, doesn't mean there is not a desire. And there is.

    In many countries in Europe, when under a lot of stress from the fiscal system that tends to sometimes question the maintenance of the public health care system, often debate the possibility of going private. This is often brought about by center-right and right-wing parties.

    This is at the core of their ideology and is as valid as the public health care system defended by center-left (the Socialists. Not to be confused to the American notion of Socialism. Socialist is not Socialism) and left-wing politics (socialist communists, aka Socialism).

    The truth, at least to me, is this:

    - Both systems boast their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
    - Each system disadvantages become more evident under different situations. For instance, a private system becomes a problem under an economy crisis affecting production and unemployment, which tend to affect less the public system because this one can be defended with a rise in taxes. Conversely, a public system is very sensitive to demographics which do not tend to affect the private system at all.
    - Changing from one system to the other is a tremendous risk and a painful experience that can only happen with a strong political consensus (mostly because the process can be lengthy and be inherited) and a social consensus for the trialing times ahead.
    - No system is better than the other. Although a country history, culture, and economics may prove one system to be more adequate than the other.
    It's nice to see that someone can actually intelligently frame the health care debate.

    Neither system (public vs private) is inherently better than the other. There are pros and cons to each side.

    In America, we have long been a country that is about freedom and choice. Our entire country was built around these concepts, and it can even be argued that it is the entire reason our country came into being. I think this is one of the main reasons why private health care is so popular here. The basic idea is to spend less money in taxes, and use what you save to choose your own health care provider that best fits your needs. Whether the country still feels this is the best system for us will become more clear over the next couple years, I'm sure.
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  4. #19
    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    I simply think it is cruel to let the people who don't have enough money to pay for their health care die. It's immoral to let the private sector handle issues that are a direct matter of life or death.
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    I simply think it is cruel to let the people who don't have enough money to pay for their health care die. It's immoral to let the private sector handle issues that are a direct matter of life or death.
    You clearly are misinformed on how our health care system works. In America, it is illegal for hospitals to ask for payment or insurance information before treating someone for a life threatening injury/illness. Also, there are programs (like medicaid) for people who are too poor to afford health insurance.
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    >> In America, it is illegal for hospitals to ask for payment or insurance information before treating someone for a life threatening injury/illness. <<

    AFAIK this applies only to emergency treatment. It does not apply to non-emergency treatments for disease. There are many people who cannot get affordable insurance and who cannot afford expensive health care solutions (and who don't qualify for medicare or medicaid). It might not be as bad as maxorator's post makes it sound, but there is still truth to the statement.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    >> Adding on a national health care system is just another slap in my face. <<
    Were you just being hypothetical?

    There is no realistic plan to add a national health care system in the United States. And the current plan being debated will likely save you money.
    Can I have some of your crack-pipe?

    Exactly what are they (democrats) attempting to do?

  8. #23
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    Over the past several presidencies, I've started to get the feeling that the US isn't a single democratic republic but actually two countries occupying the same physical space. Nothing a Democrat does will ever make a Republican happy, or vice versa.

    Instead of recognizing that we have a single government elected by the people, we seem to view it as being oppressed by someone else's government for a certain number of years until finally we get the "right people" back in office again and the tables turn.

    Why can't we ever debate the merits or disadvantages of an idea without making it all about who proposed it? It's not about a new healthcare proposal, it's about Obama's proposal, as if the worthiness of it somehow hinges on who Obama is.

    I was browsing around randomly and found an old page from back during the campaign. It showed a photograph of Obama standing on the waterfront delivering a speech to a MASSIVE crowd here in Portland. The user comments on the article were full of garbage like "Look at all those brownshirts" and "You should bomb them when they're all standing in one place like that."
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    >> Exactly what are they (democrats) attempting to do? <<
    If you feel like reading about it, you can look at the principles of Obama's plan here, or the full House of Representatives bill that is furthest along in the process here.

    As far as a national health care system, the only thing close to that is the public option, which may or may not be part of the final plan. That option is far from a national system since it would not be used by most people. If you just meant a system that works nationally, then I guess it would qualify like medicare, medicaid and the VA health system. Although by system I would normally think of the entire process being run by the government (like the VA system or in the UK) rather than a government run insurance like the proposed public option.

    And as to it saving you money, the point of the reform is really twofold. One part is insuring the people who are not currently insured. This can help you because they no longer have to get expensive treatments that they cannot pay for that end up coming out of your pocket. Instead they get insurance they can afford that pays for those treatments. (Note that any subsidies for this would most likely come from savings in the system or tax increases on the upper class, neither of which would come out of your pocket.) The other part of the plan is to stem the speed of the health care cost increases. This would save you or your employer money on your insurance premiums. It would also reduce the money spent in medicare and medicaid which would reduce budget deficits and theoretically save you money since the government would be spending less.

    Is that different than what you were thinking they were proposing?

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    or the full House of Representatives bill that is furthest along in the process here.
    Man, that thing is over 1000 pages. I wonder how many senators/representatives actually read the entire thing before voting on it.
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  11. #26
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennedy View Post
    Health care is not a right. Too many people in this country are out for a free ride. And the middle class (of which I am a member) supports that load. I do not like that I work (hard long hours) so that others can sit at home, watch TV all day long, and crank out babies so that they can get more money from ME.

    Adding on a national health care system is just another slap in my face.
    So presumably you'd rather be slapped in the face by the wealthy -- eg, health care executives, insurance company investors/shareholders (an obscene concept), overpaid doctors, all of whom make the US health care system HANDS DOWN WINNER as by far the most expensive health care system, per capita, in the entire world* -- than by the poor, who cannot afford it because of all the "middle class" types who are only too eager to hand as much money as they can over to their superiors. Literally.

    That makes sense. You can then say, well, if I have been exploited somehow or taken advantage of financially, at least it was by those wily rich people, who obviously deserve it, and not some bunch of poor losers, who do not!

    * apparently like twice as expensive as the nearest competitor, and still 15-20%+ of the population is not covered.

    Quote Originally Posted by bithub
    In America, we have long been a country that is about freedom and choice. Our entire country was built around these concepts, and it can even be argued that it is the entire reason our country came into being.
    I really like America (the place) which is why I live here, but this is just a laughable piece of propaganda -- it is pretty obvious that in fact the opposite is true, and that the reason Americans are so "proud of their independence and freedom" is because of 1) a unique historical event that occurred like four centuries ago 2) because they are in complete and total denial -- just like they are about their (still growing) OBESITY PROBLEM

    Unless you mean the freedom to keep an assault rifle in your bedroom, in which case it is all cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kennedy View Post
    Can I have some of your crack-pipe?
    LOL!!! CLASSIC!! See, Americans know watzup my man!
    Last edited by MK27; 09-10-2009 at 06:10 PM.
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by bithub View Post
    Man, that thing is over 1000 pages. I wonder how many senators/representatives actually read the entire thing before voting on it.
    I'm sure they have their minions prepare a 2 page executive summary and consider that good enough
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    I really like America (the place) which is why I live here, but this is just a laughable piece of propaganda
    Well since I am not attempting to persuade anyone to any sort of position or cause, I fail to see how anything I said can be considered "propaganda". Freedom is very much something that is culturally significant in this country. Whether you consider this to be a "free" country is entirely subjective, and beside the point.

    it is pretty obvious that in fact the opposite is true
    The opposite? What part of my 2 sentences that you quoted is the opposite of the truth?
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  14. #29
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    I simply think it is cruel to let the people who don't have enough money to pay for their health care die. It's immoral to let the private sector handle issues that are a direct matter of life or death.
    Quote Originally Posted by bithub View Post
    You clearly are misinformed on how our health care system works. In America, it is illegal for hospitals to ask for payment or insurance information before treating someone for a life threatening injury/illness.
    Well, I happen to have a friend here in America who worked for 25 years in construction, eventually becoming a certified plumber, and also a mechanic. Then a few years ago, in his mid-forties, he decided to leave the job he was doing to come care for his very elderly, widowed mother for a while. He just got diagnosed with cancer and has been told that since he is currently uninsured and cannot possibly afford treatment, he will most likely die in the next 12 months.

    Very nice, land of freedom and opportunity! So, for a fact, they do "let the people who don't have enough money to pay for their health care die".

    Unfortunately he does not have a house to mortgage (altho his mother may if possible). Number one cause of personal bankruptcy in the US: health care costs. Out to lunch IMO.
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  15. #30
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bithub View Post
    Freedom is very much something that is culturally significant in this country.
    Yes, everyone is aware of that; it is like listening to born agains talk about God as if he were something they could own. It is in accordance with the definition of reification:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_(fallacy)

    My point was because it is so "sacred", "Freedom"* in the US is little more than a slogan you use to browbeat each other politically**, which then makes it impossible to use the word in a serious or meaningful way. Farce.

    *notice, capitalized!
    **hence, "your freedom is the opposite of mine"
    Last edited by MK27; 09-10-2009 at 05:22 PM.
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    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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