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Freak

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Health Care
« on: August 19, 2009, 09:52:33 PM »
This is a huge topic and one that has seized the news.

1.  First, is it a right or privilege or something else? Some believe a right - like trial by jury. Some believe a privilege that we must earn - like a gold watch. The problem is that it costs more than a gold watch and is more necessary to survival than a jury trial. Sub-questions galore - smokers, obese, poor, elderly, exercise, nutrition...

2. Why does it cost so much? For crying out loud, in this day and age computers keep improving and costing less. Why not an MRI? It seems competition does not affect health care very much.

3. So if it continues to cost more, does it improve lifetimes or quality? Honestly, I don't know.

4. Health Insurance continues to cost more. I presume because Health Care continues to cost more.

Insurance has been around for thousands of years (shipping) - usually to protect investments against disaster or theft. The idea being that the insurer made a profit by selling insurance to many people in return for accepting the risk of disaster or theft. It made a profit if few disasters and thefts occurred. The insured benefited because if disaster or theft occurred, it recouped its loses from the insurer. It worked because the insurer knew the risk of disaster or theft and could then calculate how much to charge the insured in return for accepting the risk.

The problem with health insurance is that everybody wants it, but nobody wants to lose money selling it. In other words, it does not work for the sick - those who need health care. It'd be like an insurance company selling insurance to somebody for $100 knowing that the person is about to be robbed of $10,000.00.

I can think of two solutions:

A.    Universal Health Care
B.    No medical history information to health insurance companies with prices by age and location alone. Contract length could be determined by the market. Also, health insurance companies must provide insurance for all ages with only Medicare for those over ~65.

Thoughts?
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AndrewStebbins

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Re: Health Care
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2009, 05:06:38 PM »
1.  In most cases, people have little influence on whether or not they'll get sick. Therefore, illness should be viewed as a fundamental part of what it means to be human and, as such, access to treatment for illness should be based on acknowledgment of the human condition, not the ability to pay. It's a fundamental human right.  As Locke wrote, man has the write to life after vitality. It's an extension of that belief.

2. If we can make health care more affordable in the United States more people are likely to seek out a doctor before problems become big and costly. Preventative care is so important. There is no reason for anybody to go to the ER anymore for asthma. The medications available are phenomenal. Still, emergency room visits to the hospital for asthma are in charge of ~97 percent of the cost. If you just take your inhaler on time everything should be fine. But people fail repeatedly.  Same thing with diabetes. Early detection is crucial because you can control it. If you donít detect it early you have to cut peopleís limbs off.  Is what we have now really the right system for a free market?  Seventy percent of the income for any hospital comes from the ER.  Those people aren't shopping.

There are millions of people who canít get health insurance.  And those people cost us, and everyone else with insurance, more because they canít pay for the care they do receive. Premiums go up each year in part to help cover the cost of those who canít afford to go to the doctor and end up having to go to the emergency room instead.

What we have now is a disease care system and it isn't working.

3. No.

4. See 2.

No health care system is perfect but the United States, with our combination of extraordinarily(!) high costs and mediocre overall results(!!), is as clear an example of a market failure as you could find. If you're poor, America is a much worse place to get sick than dozens of other countries that, although much less wealthy than the U.S., find ways to provide quality medical care for all of their citizens.
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EarlCat

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Re: Health Care
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2009, 08:30:05 PM »
1.  One of the problems with treating healthcare as a right is the fact that enjoying it requires the labor of others.  Unless one can have the right to the labor of others, one cannot have a right to healthcare.  (Or to jury trials, for that matter, but juries could more easily be provided on a voluntary basis than healthcare.)

2.  AndrewStebbins mentioned the lack of prevenative care.  I think this is largely a product of perverse cost incentives--it's simply cheaper on average to wait until an emergency, if one happens.  I'm not sure how to solve either without forcing people to pay the true cost of ER visits, which would be politically suicidal to propose.  There's also a problem with unhealthy lifestyle choices, which I'm not sure how to solve without coercion, except perhaps lifting government subsidies on unhealthy things like corn syrup and lifting duties on imports of healthy foods.

Another problem with healthcare costs is the overregulation.  For instance, a new prescription drug sits unavailable for at least 10 years after its development before it is even decided if it will ever be available to the public.  Imagine if every time a new car was developed, Chevy had to wait 10 years before finding out if it gets to sell it.  Car prices would skyrocket.  Once drugs are finally produced, the prescription drug laws work to keep prices high.  For instance, I take a prescription that costs $60 each month.  There is another drug on the market that is the same exact medicine in 4x the dose.  This drug, however, can only legally be prescribed for an ailment I don't have.  It's cost?  Also $60.  Were this restriction lifted, I could purchase this second pill and a pill-cutter, instantly getting the same benefit for 1/4 the cost.

Another problem is that much of our healthcare expenses are guaranteed by the government programs, so there is no incentive among providers to keep costs down.  (We see the same problem in the cost of tuition at universities--subsidized loans guarantee money for schools, who in turn have little incentive to control costs.)

3.  If costs correlated with benefits, water would be the most expensive thing on earth.

4.  The solution is not universal healthcare.  Healthcare, unfortunately, has finite availability.  When you give scarce things away for free, you run out.  The task is to figure out the most efficient way to distribute the resources that we have, and central planning and single-payer systems (in any industry) have had a dismally poor track record throughout history.

One thing I think would do a lot is to lift most of the regulations on healthcare and allow patients, if they choose, to seek riskier treatment options (e.g. experimental or unapproved drugs, doctors with lesser credentials, etc.).  We could also alter the law for drug patents adding a mandatory licensing fee, like we have for certain copyrights.  That way generics could be available from day one while still offering the patent holders at least some protection.

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Re: Health Care
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2009, 03:02:00 AM »
This is a huge topic and one that has seized the news.

1.  First, is it a right or privilege or something else? Some believe a right - like trial by jury. Some believe a privilege that we must earn - like a gold watch. The problem is that it costs more than a gold watch and is more necessary to survival than a jury trial. Sub-questions galore - smokers, obese, poor, elderly, exercise, nutrition...

2. Why does it cost so much? For crying out loud, in this day and age computers keep improving and costing less. Why not an MRI? It seems competition does not affect health care very much.

3. So if it continues to cost more, does it improve lifetimes or quality? Honestly, I don't know.

4. Health Insurance continues to cost more. I presume because Health Care continues to cost more.

Insurance has been around for thousands of years (shipping) - usually to protect investments against disaster or theft. The idea being that the insurer made a profit by selling insurance to many people in return for accepting the risk of disaster or theft. It made a profit if few disasters and thefts occurred. The insured benefited because if disaster or theft occurred, it recouped its loses from the insurer. It worked because the insurer knew the risk of disaster or theft and could then calculate how much to charge the insured in return for accepting the risk.

The problem with health insurance is that everybody wants it, but nobody wants to lose money selling it. In other words, it does not work for the sick - those who need health care. It'd be like an insurance company selling insurance to somebody for $100 knowing that the person is about to be robbed of $10,000.00.

I can think of two solutions:

A.    Universal Health Care
B.    No medical history information to health insurance companies with prices by age and location alone. Contract length could be determined by the market. Also, health insurance companies must provide insurance for all ages with only Medicare for those over ~65.

Thoughts?

perhaps nationalizing the medical insurance companies and granting a partial expropriation would work...on another page...after all don't we, the people own a.i.g.? ;)




aye think that piecing this thing together over a long period of pondering and debate is the wiser choice...yes people will still get sick...but this is worth quite a bit of debate...

why not set a timetable?  ;)  one thing is for sure...this shows how strong the bush administration was with its resolve...and why bush will go down in history as one of our strongest wartime presidents...














if bush said he wanted medical insurance reform...he would have gotten it...promise. ;)


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Julie Fern

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Re: Health Care
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2009, 08:25:22 AM »
still trying beat that drum, eh?  yes, sooooo much substance to gump's polcies--terrorism risk levels, for example.

gump already down as failure.  your wishful thinking never going change that.

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Re: Health Care
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2009, 11:39:15 PM »
still trying beat that drum, eh?  yes, sooooo much substance to gump's polcies--terrorism risk levels, for example.

gump already down as failure.  your wishful thinking never going change that.

 :D :D :D...nah...that's the leftwingnut in you thinking...explain why we are still following bush policies then?...eh, bigotboy?

...like aye wrote above...


if bush said he wanted medical insurance reform...he would have gotten it...promise ;)
If you prick us, do we not bleed?  
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AndrewStebbins

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Re: Health Care
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2009, 11:49:18 AM »
still trying beat that drum, eh?  yes, sooooo much substance to gump's polcies--terrorism risk levels, for example.

gump already down as failure.  your wishful thinking never going change that.

 :D :D :D...nah...that's the leftwingnut in you thinking...explain why we are still following bush policies then?...eh, bigotboy?

...like aye wrote above...


if bush said he wanted medical insurance reform...he would have gotten it...promise ;)

Oxymoron.  It wouldn't have been reform.
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Re: Health Care
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2009, 12:13:26 PM »
still trying beat that drum, eh?  yes, sooooo much substance to gump's polcies--terrorism risk levels, for example.

gump already down as failure.  your wishful thinking never going change that.

 :D :D :D...nah...that's the leftwingnut in you thinking...explain why we are still following bush policies then?...eh, bigotboy?

...like aye wrote above...


if bush said he wanted medical insurance reform...he would have gotten it...promise ;)

Oxymoron.  It wouldn't have been reform.


oh right...bush would have called it "the war on high cost medical insurance" and it would have stuck...bottom line...he still would have gotten his plan through the congress...like he did everything else...
If you prick us, do we not bleed?  
  if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison  
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  revenge? m.of v. w.shaka                                             speare

AndrewStebbins

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Re: Health Care
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2009, 02:16:23 PM »
still trying beat that drum, eh?  yes, sooooo much substance to gump's polcies--terrorism risk levels, for example.

gump already down as failure.  your wishful thinking never going change that.

 :D :D :D...nah...that's the leftwingnut in you thinking...explain why we are still following bush policies then?...eh, bigotboy?

...like aye wrote above...


if bush said he wanted medical insurance reform...he would have gotten it...promise ;)

Oxymoron.  It wouldn't have been reform.


oh right...bush would have called it "the war on high cost medical insurance" and it would have stuck...bottom line...he still would have gotten his plan through the congress...like he did everything else...

Just like Social Security.
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Re: Health Care
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2009, 02:20:28 PM »
still trying beat that drum, eh?  yes, sooooo much substance to gump's polcies--terrorism risk levels, for example.

gump already down as failure.  your wishful thinking never going change that.

 :D :D :D...nah...that's the leftwingnut in you thinking...explain why we are still following bush policies then?...eh, bigotboy?

...like aye wrote above...


if bush said he wanted medical insurance reform...he would have gotten it...promise ;)

Oxymoron.  It wouldn't have been reform.


oh right...bush would have called it "the war on high cost medical insurance" and it would have stuck...bottom line...he still would have gotten his plan through the congress...like he did everything else...

Just like Social Security.

 :

smokescreen, buddy..
no...everything else...come on andrew...you know bush got everything he wanted through congress...be a realist...sorry...he woud have done it...congress was bush's foot-rest...or do you not remember how the enigmatic "w" got his way...

"the war on high cost medical insurance"..yep...w would have done it...wake up, andrew. ;)


If you prick us, do we not bleed?  
  if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison  
  us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not  
  revenge? m.of v. w.shaka                                             speare