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Discuss the US Presidential Election & Health Care

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the we're-on-the-homestretch-now dept.

United States 1270

Yesterday we discussed the war and how foreign policy will matter in your decision next Tuesday. Today our series of election discussion pieces continues with Health Care. With an obesity epidemic, a failing economy, and ballooning health care costs, which candidate has the best answers to making sure that Americans are able to stay healthy without America being bankrupted in the process?

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One of the better ideas to fix health care... (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582567)

One of the better arguments I've seen for fixing the current health care crisis can be seen here [anntorrence.com]

Of course, the insurance companies (who have very powerful lobbies) will attempt to shoot this plan down as they stand to lose. Though it really can be forcefully argued that insurance companies really do bring nothing to the table in terms of health care. Fundamentally, the idea is a good one when constrained. However, insurance companies have become too powerful and they now function as parasites on the system, making it less efficient and more expensive for the end user. Ask yourself: "what product do insurance companies offer in terms of health care?" What do they create? How do they contribute to health care? When it comes down to it, health insurance companies are not in business to provide health care or help you pay for health care. They are in business to provide insurance, collect money, minimize any payout and answer to their shareholders who expect the system to turn a healthy profit. Any reduction in what they have to pay out is money earned for them.

Which candidate will be better positioned to answer the problem? It will be the one who is able to make some hard decisions and stand up to powerful lobbyists. It will be the candidate who is able to apply creative thought and novel solutions to problems that we've been creating for ourselves for decades now. it will be the candidate who is able to rationally apply logic and recruit, retain and manage in their administration, unbiased and reasoned people who are willing to work hard on solutions that will benefit Americans and the wider global population.

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (5, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582707)

Which candidate will be better positioned to answer the problem? It will be the one who is able to make some hard decisions and stand up to powerful lobbyists. It will be the candidate who is able to apply creative thought and novel solutions to problems that we've been creating for ourselves for decades now. it will be the candidate who is able to rationally apply logic and recruit, retain and manage in their administration, unbiased and reasoned people who are willing to work hard on solutions that will benefit Americans and the wider global population.

So in other words, we're completely screwed.

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582787)

Exactly. People of that caliber are smart enough not to get into politics in the first place. They don't desire the power nor do they want to deal with the corruption.

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (5, Insightful)

Retric (704075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582955)

It's all about corruption not heath care. 44% of all health care in the US is paid for by the government. This might seem odd considering how many people lack heath insurance and how much people need to pay out of pocket when they already have insurance but the simple fact is heath care is an expense to insurance companies which they try and reduce. They are not in the business of providing heath care at an affordable rate they are in the business of denying coverage.

They are a parasite which uses advertising to cover for the fact that when you really need coverage they are rarely there to help you. The power imbalance is such that 1 on 1 coverage is pointless for any major issues. If they where unable to know what your medical conditions where and had to separate coverage and cost from your medical conditions it might work but that's what government heath care is and what they are so afraid of. Basically, they are all to willing to sell coverage to healthy people like me but as long as they can drop you once something bad happens.

As I young person I don't really use my heath care plain and I am pure profit for now, but I know the system is not designed to help me as I age. We need to fix this and fix it now.

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582791)

Also in other words, "The candidate whose smile I like the most."

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (-1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582881)

Nothing short of price controls across the entire medical industry can succeed. Frankly the medical industry has been engaged in a continuous rapeathon of our wallets. All we saw from the republicans involved the worst of all answers. They allowed what I call a three pocket solution. The government's pocket, the insurance companies pocket and the patient's pocket were involved. Usually if someone got really sick the extended family's pocket and even the church and charity pockets were tossed in for good measure.
              Instead we need a one pocket system. That system needs to be the government or a government assigned insurance policy that pays 100% for all medical, eye and dental care. By carefully controlling the price of each item including doctor's fees we can get health care to the public and stop the national nightmare.
              For those that whine that we can not afford it then they should bow down and grovel admitting that several other nations actually can afford it. Is America the poor boy on the block?

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (5, Insightful)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582959)

Nothing short of price controls across the entire medical industry can succeed.

Price controls inevitably lead to either rationing or shortages, period. So what you propose may bring "universal" healthcare to the masses, but it will be both lowest-common-denominator healthcare, you'll have to wait on a list to get to it, and the government will decide who you get to see despite any preferences you may have to the contrary.

No thanks. I'll pay my own way, thank you.

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25583011)

So in other words, we're completely screwed.

Being from Denmark and living in USA (long story) and working for a Health Benefit Software company then I can say, "yes, you are completely screwed."

But a lot of Americans don't like the government to help people with health care. Because they are afraid of "sick"-Joe-beer-belly down the corner always going to the doctor when nothing is wrong, and that spend their tax dollars. And the selfishness of "it is ALL my money I don't want to share it" attitude doesn't help those that actually does need the health care and can't afford it themselves. I'm in a Southern Bible belt state and I hear this from Christians??? Isn't one of the messages in the Bible to share? Sadness me.

Barack Hussein Obama and Taxes and Health Care (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582769)

Barack Hussein Obama will dramatically increase taxes and will gut important programs like the space program and the defense program. Increasing taxes and gutting important programs open up a huge source of additional revenue. What will he do with this revenue? He will not spend it on universal health care (which he opposes). He will use it to fund remedial-education programs. Examine the facts.

fact #1
-------
link #1 [wsj.net] Barack Hussein Obama has pledged to increase taxes on capital gains from 15% to a stunning 20%.

fact #2
-------
link #2 [cjr.org] "[Barack Hussein Obama] says he would delay NASA's controversial moon-to-Mars program five years in order to fund education initiatives."

fact #3
-------
link #3 [nytimes.com] Paul Krugman, an economist at MIT, states "If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance -- nobody knows how big -- that we'll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won't happen."

These so-called education initiatives are simply remedial-education programs that target African-Americans. Yet, we already spend more money per student in public school than nearly all other Western nations. Specifically, we spend 35% more than the Germans.

Lack of money is not the problem. The problem is African-American hatred of education. Many African-Americans regularly fail exit exams, which many state governments require high-school students to pass before they may receive a high-school diploma. Exit exams typically test knowledge at the 8th-grade level. A 12th-grade student who fails such a simplistic exam must be a student who has deliberately refused to learn.

Yet, Barack Hussein Obama and his close friend, Pastor Jeremiah Wright, claim that African-American failure in public schools is the fault of non-African-Americans. Obama claims that exit exams are racist. Obama intends to cancel exit exams and other educational standards.

Here is the clincher. Instead of using all that revenue (from gutting important government programs and greatly increasing taxes) on universal health care, Barack Hussein Obama intends to waste billions of dollars on remedial-education programs. He wants to cater to his core constituency: 90% of African-Americans regularly votes for him due to the color of his skin.

Re:Barack Hussein Obama and Taxes and Health Care (2, Insightful)

mewshi_nya (1394329) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582945)

"Yet, we already spend more money per student in public school than nearly all other Western nations. Specifically, we spend 35% more than the Germans. "

And yet we still fall behind...

It's not a money problem, I'll agree. It's a cultural thing. There are some smart black people (think like Malcolm X and MLK types) around today, it's just that they tend to be the ones who actually lived through the Civil Rights era. I admire any smart person, whether black, white, or whatever.

Modern youth culture is, itself, a detriment to education. Instead of "work hard!" it's "fuck the right people over!"

Speaking as a 19 year old college student.

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582783)

Ask yourself: "what product do insurance companies offer in terms of health care?" What do they create? How do they contribute to health care?

They prevent you from bankruptcy should you come down with cancer or need an organ transplant.

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (2, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583009)

Yet his other point was that they do their best to avoid payouts, and throw you into the middle of the money game when in doubt.

Yeah as you are dying you can probably sue to make sure they put up the cash you paid in to the system to get, but you may be too busy dying to do so effectively, and too broke to afford an attorney.

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (3, Interesting)

MarkusH (198450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582809)

I have long thought that having a national health insurance system that anyone can buy into makes a whole lot of sense, especially if you roll in medicare/medicaid and the VA program costs into it. I also wonder how much of a discount doctors would be willing to give if you provide them with free malpractice insurance for accepting patients in the national health insurance program.

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (3, Insightful)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582875)

Health insurance companies are not health care companies? really? no kidding? Here is a question:

What do auto insurance companies offer drivers? Do they help pay for cars? do they change your oil? They actually bring nothing to the table... oh yea except if you total your car and need it replaced.. Health insurance companies provide that, if I got cancer, tomorrow, I would be able to pay bills that I could otherwise not pay... *IT AN INSURANCE POLICY*

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582897)

Which candidate will be better positioned to answer the problem? It will be the one who is able to make some hard decisions and stand up to powerful lobbyists.

Well said. I would add that it will be the one who's willing to spend the time and energy to seriously address health care, amid the economic crisis and the two wars and energy independence and tax policy and all the other urgent problems the next president will face.

It's not a matter of who has the better plan IMO, it's who has the will to actually work hard enough on this one problem among many other priorities.

Re:One of the better ideas to fix health care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582943)

Indeed, the plan makes some good points. I think the best point between either plan is: "How do we REDUCE the cost of health care?".

All McCain and Obama are doing is saying, "We'll make it affordable.

That's the wrong word and the wrong approach. Giving out Universal Health Care makes health care "affordable" but won't change the costs. It simply dilutes the costs across everyone an makes most of life less affordable (less spending due to much higher taxes).

I've read some good points on this issue. Forbes magazine had a small article on a guy who's son had some medical problem. All his son needed was some physical therapy after his sports accident (broke a bone or something in Football?). However, the doctor refused to release him to a PT. To cover his ass, the doctor forced him to go do a different specialist, get more stuff done and that specialist said the same thing, he prob. just needed some PT but refused to release him until he went can got more scans, tests, and saw a different specialist.

3 specialists and many tests later, the son finally got a Physical Therapist. And he's all better. But the bill came and it was thousands of dollars for all these tests, that proved nothing, were admitted they weren't likely needed, but required by doctors to cover their ass from lawsuits.

I guess you can draw all of America's ills and costs to lawyers. =P You want better health care costs? Get ride of lawyers.

But, yeah, getting back to my point. I want LOWER heath care COSTS. Not SPREAD health care COSTS to everyone so they become obfuscated and a lot easier to continue a massive increase every year without people actually knowing. Last thing this system needs is an "out of site, out of mind" scenario. And American's are damn well like that. Most people don't even care how much is coming out of their pay checks anymore. They don't even LOOK! Everything direct deposited into their accounts, they get their check statements and they just toss them away or in their box.

Man, it's not for me and it's not the right solution to the problem. With the increasingly lowered cost of technology, why in the world are medical tests on machines, like MRI's, increasing in price? It's not because these machines are more expensive now than they where 15 years ago.

My Own (Extremely) Biased Take on Their Plans (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582575)

Alright, after reading a bit on both their websites, I'm going to try to state the facts and my opinion.

McCain [johnmccain.com] : Actually puts numbers out there on how much you're going to "save" according to your tax bracket. But it's confusing to me how one column is showing a flat tax credit of $5,000 for this and then another column (after factoring something called "Income Tax Liability") showing what you save. He concentrates on guaranteeing me a "Better than Congressman" health care plan when I have no idea in hell what kind of health care they get. He also spends more time talking about Obama's health care plan than his own--which I would prefer to read myself and draw my own conclusions. I guess he focuses more on "net tax benefit" to each tax payer which sounds very enticing from a utilitarian standpoint.

Obama [barackobama.com] : First off, his health care page has a lot of really bland generic bullshit slurry--quite different from his Iraq withdrawal plan. While he doesn't spend anytime attacking McCain's plan, I don't see how some of these bullets are going to do anything for Health Care. Every talking point sounds good but nowhere do I see a plan of A) how/when this will be implemented or B) what the net effect will really be. For example: "Reduce the costs of catastrophic illnesses for employers and their employees." What is a "catastrophic illness"? Reduce by how much? Who's footing this bill? What percentage is going to the employer Vs the employee? While he offers some lengthy PDFs on his site (that I don't have a lot of time to read), I'm skeptical he has any objective, measurable, attainable goals.

So that's my quick take on this topic. Honestly, I'm not impressed with either candidate. I give a nod to McCain for actually throwing some numbers out there and wonder where the $2,500 per family figure is coming from in Obama's promises. This isn't going to factor into my voting because the roots of this. I grew up on MinnesotaCare so I'm probably going to lean toward the plan that makes the most of providing basic health care to those who can't afford it. My parents never could have afforded vaccinations and I don't think I ever went to the hospital aside from that. Others aren't so lucky. Call me biased or misinformed but I don't see either candidate really doing anything creative/ingenious with health care to the point of it being worth arguing over.

Re:My Own (Extremely) Biased Take on Their Plans (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582667)

Your mistake is that you're expecting direct answers for simple questions, which you will never receive. I've grown to expect politicians to talk in circles and avoid answering directly. For the entire time that Hillary and Obama were going at it, I had no idea what Hillary was for or against outside of the norm (womens reproductive rights, usual left wing stuff, etc.).

Bottom line is that they need to just make health care affordable, not free. Take some out of my W2 for those who don't get it through work. I'll forfeit some cash just so I don't have to pay what I am right now for a COBRA(sp) plan.

Re:My Own (Extremely) Biased Take on Their Plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582741)

I don't know if they actually can provide hard numbers until becoming president and actually dealing the problem. It's like a contractor coming up with an estimate. it's always going to be made up.

One things that I'm pretty sure of, is that McCain's healthcare will only cover people who are currently healthy. For people who are sick, good luck.

What I like about Obama's plan is that he deals with more than just cost. He points to a huge problem that currently if you want healthcare, you are almost always tied to your employer. Even worse, if you have a previous condition, good luck getting any coverage at all ($5000 or not).

So, yeah, Obama doesn't give hard numbers, but he seems to at least get the problems the average person has to deal with. I'm not saying McCain's 7 houses or 13 cars are necessarily clouding his judgement, but I find it hard to believe he even knows these issue exist (or their magnitude).

Re:My Own (Extremely) Biased Take on Their Plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582761)

Alright, after reading a bit on both their websites, I'm going to try to state the facts and my opinion.

Well, there's your first problem. Didn't you get the memo? You're supposed to base all of your judgements on their talking points and not their substance. Let me hand you a graph to make things easier for you

HOPE[oooooooooooooooo+mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm]SECURITY

Pick which word you like more, and vote for the canidate who says it the most. But, remember, there is no room for silly things like "facts" or "logic" in this debate.

My Own (Extremely) Biased Take on Their Plans (5, Informative)

Atmchicago (555403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582871)

Wow - you criticize Obama for not providing the details, but when you remark that he has lengthy PDFs you don't want to bother to read. Either you've already made up your mind and are just rationalizing your opinion, or you don't really care enough about the topic to do your research.

At least you admit to having bias, but then I fail to see anything meaningful at all in what you wrote. At the very least, you should said that you don't have enough information to make a sound judgment on the topic, which is fine. Unfortunately, the norm is that people don't want to admit that, and would rather just make up some reasons for their opinions rather than admit they don't know.

Re:My Own (Extremely) Biased Take on Their Plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582915)

Wow - you criticize Obama for not providing the details, but when you remark that he has lengthy PDFs you don't want to bother to read.

This is your chance to link to said PDFs and find the data that answer my questions. I at least skimmed them and didn't see anything. If you can't give me a summary of your plan in a paragraph (with actual numbers), you probably don't have one.

Re:My Own (Extremely) Biased Take on Their Plans (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582877)

The Economist has some fantastic coverage of the candidates stances on health care. Basically Obama wants to increase tax-payer coverage whereas McCain want's to credit people individually or as they say

To many voters, Mr Obama's most attractive single policy is that he is committed to introducing universal health coverage, ending the disgraceful situation whereby some 46m Americans have no health cover and get little or no health care until they end up in an emergency room. On top of that, tens of millions more have health cover that is restricted or inadequate, and an even larger number fear that they could fall into one or other of these categories should they lose their jobs and the health insurance that goes with them. Fixing health care is a laudable aim, but even on Mr Obama's own reckoning, it will cost some $50 billion-65 billion a year, and most analysts think that the true price would be a lot more. Mr Obama also promises investment in alternative energy, affordable university tuition, a big push to upgrade America's crumbling infrastructure and much else. He has admitted, under questioning, that the state of the economy means that some of these promises will have to be "delayed". He has been, unsurprisingly, reluctant to say which ones. Mr McCain's problems are rather different. He has made fewer economic promises than Mr Obama has, but the ones he has made, mainly to business in the shape of slashing corporate taxes from 35% to 25%, and allowing immediate write-offs of lots of equipment, are very expensive. One reason why our polled economists come out so heavily against Mr McCain is because the deficit would rise dramatically under his plan. Against that, few people, including probably Mr McCain himself, have ever believed that he would get his tax cuts through a Democrat-controlled Congress. To that extent at least, the Republican, who once used to be a fiscal conservative, has less to lose in the crunch. But that is hardly a flattering yardstick. The candidates' economic plans are still a useful guide to their very different political philosophies. But when it comes to paying for it all, neither is offering much straight talk.

So there you go. Obama's Universal Health Coverage vs McCains's Divided Payout.

Barack Hussein Obama Plays the Race Card (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582889)

"The Tartan", the official student newspaper at Carnegie-Mellon University, reported a shocking story ( link #1 [thetartan.org] ) about Michelle Obama. Below is a quote.

"While the crowd was indeed diverse, some students at the event questioned the practices of Mrs. Obama's event coordinators, who handpicked the crowd sitting behind Mrs. Obama. The Tartan's correspondents observed one event coordinator say to another, 'Get me more white people, we need more white people.' To an Asian girl sitting in the back row, one coordinator said, 'We're moving you, sorry. It's going to look so pretty, though.'

'I didn't know they would say, 'We need a white person here,'' said attendee and senior psychology major Shayna Watson, who sat in the crowd behind Mrs. Obama. 'I understood they would want a show of diversity, but to pick up people and to reseat them, I didn't know it would be so outright.'"

Barack Hussein Obama has been playing the race card since day #1. He deliberately fakes non-African-American support for his campaign in order to hide the fact that 90% of African-Americans votes for him due solely to his skin color.

The quote above is shocking. Please check the original source. The quote is accurate and is within context.

If you are a worker in the campaign of either Hillary Clinton or John McCain, please feel free to use any of my references in your campaign.

Not First, But (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582579)

SECOND!!!

Kodos! (2, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582593)

Kodos wants us all healthy, for various reasons.

Er (4, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582617)

With an obesity epidemic... which candidate has the best answers?

That isn't something that the government should be dealing with, or even give a damn about. If people (and this includes me, I'm a big guy, so I'm not just picking on others here) are too damn stupid or lazy to manage their weight properly, that's their own fault. Our government has WAY more important issues to deal with than trying to coax some fat Americans into improving themselves.

Re:Er (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582693)

Problem is, people don't believe that anymore. America IS becoming Europeanized and more populist. Just sit back and read what people say, everyone blames corporations for their problems (and only rarely the government, for ideological reasons pertaining to belief that government = democracy = our society) despite having every opportunity to chose to boycott those corporations.

Boycotting doesn't work, because not enough people participate or are educated enough to make the "right" decision? Welcome to a democracy!

Re:Er (0, Troll)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582737)

Obama's plan should scare you to death if your big. First, lets assume that we will not only have obama, but the house and senate will also be dem.

This may not be your scenario, but it will be for many.
1. You get gov health care.
2. Gov raises taxes on small busisnesses.
3. Your employer discontinues health care because of increased taxes, tells you to use gov care. (Hey, it's better than them firing you.)
4. Goverment says (And this has been kicked around, it's not that far fetched.) "This health care is expensive for out of shape people, lets tell them to get in shape or they don't get care"
5. You don't meet their BMI... you can't get health care.

#4/5 is not something obama plans on doing, but there are some powerful people in the senate who have said they want to do this. Without someone to keep them in check, it's very possible.

Re:Er (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582835)

4. Goverment says (And this has been kicked around, it's not that far fetched.) "This health care is expensive for out of shape people, lets tell them to get in shape or they don't get care"

Whoever supports an idea like that should be smacked. Not because it'd inconvenience me, but because if we have nationalized health care, either it applies to everyone, or it doesn't. Yes, some people may be at higher risk than they could otherwise be. No, we're not going to do anything about it, because that's just a drawback of the system.

Ah, sense. Such a rare and precious commodity.

I believe the UK has already done this (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582913)

Not about fat, but about smoking or drinking or some such -- stop or you don't get the care you need.

Re:Er (1, Informative)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582979)

Ah, sense. Such a rare and precious commodity.

What makes less sense is nationalized health care. People in America talk like it's a great thing. Have you BEEN to Canada? My grandfather got sick while on a trip to Canada. He went to the hospital and they told him, "Take the 1 1/2 hour trip back over the border and get treatment in New York. It's not worth the lesser healthcare that you'd receive here."

Unfortunately, the grass is always greener...

Re:Er (1)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582823)

I don't want to help pay for healthcare of the most overweight country in the world.
Come on, we invented fast food and deep fried Oreo Cookies.
I don't want to foot the bill for that Doctor's visit.

Re:Er (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582879)

I don't want to help pay for healthcare of the most overweight country in the world.

I'm not asking you to. That said, if you want nationalized health care, you better be prepared to pay for the health care for people who don't keep themselves in as good shape as they could. It's a consequence of having a system that covers everyone.

Re:Er (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582999)

I'm not asking you to. That said, if you want nationalized health care, you better be prepared to pay for the health care for people who don't keep themselves in as good shape as they could. It's a consequence of having a system that covers everyone.

Which is why I don't want it. At all.

Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

Re:Er (5, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582867)

The obesity epidemic can be partially blamed on government subsidies to the production of high fructose corn syrup, and tariffs on imported (more healthy) roe or cane sugar. On top of that if you nationalize healthcare you also nationalize the costs of obesity, therefore such a lifestyle should be taxed higher to cover their added cost to society.

Re:Er (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582991)

On top of that if you nationalize healthcare you also nationalize the costs of obesity, therefore such a lifestyle should be taxed higher to cover their added cost to society.

No. If people don't want to pay a greater health care cost for some people who could reasonably lower their cost, that's fine. I have no issue with that. However, if we have a nationalized health care system, it applies equally to all. Period. If people want to get an essentially free ride on health care, that's cool, but everyone gets a ride.

Re:Er (1)

I.M.O.G. (811163) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582905)

I disagree.

While this is a problem of individuals, the repercussions of those individuals actions spills over to the rest of the US citizenship and that is why the federal government should get involved.

Someone gets fat, their likelihood to be afflicted by disease skyrockets, they need healthcare that they possibly can't afford - they get treated, and the money comes from "somewhere". Thats the problem at the core of this discussion - the healthcare system as it stands allows for irresponsible behavior with repercussions for unrelated parties. Someone gets stuck footing the bill and theres no good framework to address it currently. Its imbalanced.

Create a framework in which these situations are handled in the most mutually acceptable way for the afflicted and for unrelated parties, and you have a winner. Bring things into balance. Thats the goal behind improving our healthcare system, in a very small nutshell.

Re:Er (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582911)

Yes and No. If it was ONLY behavioral, then the fatness of the general public would have been what it is today, 30 years ago... but it wasn't. We have a problem with High-Fructose corn syrup in EVERYTHING, including your vitamins. We have high fat foods able to claim they are "fat free" by making a two tablespoon cup of pudding "4 servings".

Now don't get me wrong. Most people can manage their weight fine by a little self control and a bit of exercise. But the eating habits we grew up with are all of a sudden inappropriate because of what food has become.

I don't think the resolution belongs as part of a health care plan. I do, however, believe that going back to using sugar, stopping misleading food labeling, and teaching better eating habits (not just the food pyramid) to the youngins can go quite far.

Re:Er (1)

rzei (622725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582995)

Actually as obesity has become a western-worldwide effect the cost of 60% or something people eating way too much is already showing up on the environment.

On top of environmental issues there's also the health problem; someone has to pay those people who have to carry your ass to the toilet.

Someone has to pay the shrink who loses his/her own life while helping you move your ass as you are incapacitated.

Someone has to help the person not wealthy enough to get psychiatric help, or he/she might become violent, anti-social and induce other harm on others.

Nice gateway theory but I doubt it can be as simple as "take care of yourself or die" as people don't just die. They stay alive too long and make costs and do not deserve to die just because of society imposed insecurities, lack of mental strength, all of which are bad reasons to die as those could be fixed. But it's a lot cheaper to fix these problems with sports and education rather than psychiatrists.

All I can say is... (3, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582619)

All I can really say is the obvious: That people don't believe that government is there mostly to just protect rights anymore (if that ever was really the case), so socialized healthcare will be a reality whether we (or I) like it or not,

and that once you get government in healthcare, the incentives to cut costs in places that aren't immediately visible and to pass laws that limit what we can do (and eat, and so forth) are even more likely to go into effect to keep costs low. Expect more restrictions on things like fast food if this goes into effect. People, apparently, cannot take care of themselves, so we need "Democracy" and mass opinion to do it for us. Some people might get the shaft and lose things they love, but in a democracy you sometimes gotta break a few eggs to make an omlette, right?

Re:All I can say is... (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582805)

once you get government in healthcare, the incentives to cut costs in places that aren't immediately visible and to pass laws that limit what we can do (and eat, and so forth) are even more likely to go into effect to keep costs low. Expect more restrictions on things like fast food if this goes into effect. People, apparently, cannot take care of themselves, so we need "Democracy" and mass opinion to do it for us. Some people might get the shaft and lose things they love, but in a democracy you sometimes gotta break a few eggs to make an omlette, right?

Very good point. Yes, the prevalence and power of private insurance companies in healthcare is excessive... but government can be just as bad. If your insurance company denies a procedure, you still have the option of getting it done somewhere else, and figuring out the payment later. But I'm concerned that under a completely government-controlled system, if some bureaucrat denies a procedure, you will have no other option--either you do what the government says, or that's it. I'm honestly not sure what the solution is.

Re:All I can say is... (2, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582975)

All I can really say is the obvious: That people don't believe that government is there mostly to just protect rights anymore (if that ever was really the case), so socialized healthcare will be a reality whether we (or I) like it or not.

The problem with concocting "rights" to healthcare, gasoline, a car, a home, a tax break, though, is that the promotion of such "rights" requires the violation of rights - life, liberty, property, privacy, etc. You can't have both a "right" to other people's property and a right to your own property. It only serves to strip the word "right" of all meaning.

Re:All I can say is... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25583015)

Expect more restrictions on things like fast food if this goes into effect.

Really? Even though that hasn't happened anywhere else in the western world that has adopted universal health care?

On second thought the rest of the western world doesn't have a powerful far-right political party that makes it its mission to sabotage social programs, so you may be right.

Cuba? (0, Flamebait)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582621)

can someone tell me how BO's health care is not going to turn out like Cuba?

SO, he's going to add healthcare to 41 millions americans. That's 10million illegal immigrants to many.

But anyway, Cuba's healthcare was a failure, how is this going to be different.

Re:Cuba? (3, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582659)

Which seems to distill to "We can't risk helping people in case we accidentally help some people we don't like."

Re:Cuba? (0, Troll)

Atheose (932144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582997)

Which seems to distill to "We can't risk helping people in case we allow people who pay nothing to exploit the system."

There, fixed it for you.

Re:Cuba? (5, Informative)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582697)

Got some numbers on Cuba's healthcare being a failure?

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Cuba [wikipedia.org]
References the World Health Organisation.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the chance of a Cuban child dying at five years of age or younger is 7 per 1000 live births in Cuba, while it's 8 per 1000 in the US. WHO reports that Cuban males have a life expectancy at birth of 75 years and females 79 years. In comparison, the US life expectancy at birth is 75 and 80 years for males and females, respectively. Cuba's infant mortality rate is lower than the US with 5 deaths per thousand in Cuba versus 7 per thousand in the US. Cuba has nearly twice as many physicians as the U.S. -- 5.91 doctors per thousand people compared to 2.56 doctors per thousand, according to WHO.

Despite the US embargo on Cuba.

Dude, you just fucked up. Cuba's health system is the best in "Latin" America, and is in many ways better then the USA's. Tell me how that is a failure?

Re:Cuba? (0)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582779)

I'm not saying you (or the WHO) is wrong, I just want to point out that the WHO is an organization biased for socialized healthcare, so don't assume they are an unbiased source of information on this topic.

Re:Cuba? (1)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582901)

Are you telling me that you really believe the numbers that Cuba is providing WHO?? Or that Cuba's dictatorship would allow WHO representatives to stay in their country for an extended period of time to be able to compile this information?? I find it odd you are so willing to believe statistics put out by a communist dictator.

Re:Cuba? (1)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582963)

I'll see your link and raise you one. Big deal
http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA557_Cuban_Health_Care.html [nationalcenter.org]
http://www.canf.org/Issues/medicalapartheid.htm [canf.org]

I've seen that 7/8 number in the past. I've also read that number is inflated due to unhealthy mexican mother running across the border trying to have anchor babies. Many aren't even born in hospitals. Dig up how many citizen born children per 1000 there are and then you'll have a number you can compare to.

Best in "Latin" America, I like how you have to qualify that statement, and go on and say that it's in many ways better than the US. I can say in many ways Nazi germany was better at population control than the rest of europe, that still doesn't make it better.

So you've convienced me, we can all expect to go to the lowest common denominator, and expect life to be like cuba.

Re:Cuba? (2, Informative)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583019)

"According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the chance of a Cuban child dying at five years of age or younger is 7 per 1000 live births in Cuba, while it's 8 per 1000 in the US. WHO reports that Cuban males have a life expectancy at birth of 75 years and females 79 years. In comparison, the US life expectancy at birth is 75 and 80 years for males and females, respectively. Cuba's infant mortality rate is lower than the US with 5 deaths per thousand in Cuba versus 7 per thousand in the US. Cuba has nearly twice as many physicians as the U.S. -- 5.91 doctors per thousand people compared to 2.56 doctors per thousand, according to WHO."

--

The WHO ignores the distinctly more violent culture we have in the US, worse drug problems, Obesity (not a health care but a cultural problem) and other issues... Life expectancy is a terrible measurement of health care quality.

Re:Cuba? Failure? Surely you jest? (3, Interesting)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582713)

In 2006, BBC flagship news programme Newsnight featured Cuba's Healthcare system as part of a series identifying "the world's best public services". The report noted that "Thanks chiefly to the American economic blockade, but partly also to the web of strange rules and regulations that constrict Cuban life, the economy is in a terrible mess: national income per head is minuscule, and resources are amazingly tight. Healthcare, however, is a top national priority" The report stated that life expectancy and infant mortality rates are pretty much the same as the USA's. Its doctor-to-patient ratios stand comparison to any country in Western Europe. Its annual total health spend per head, however, comes in at $251; just over a tenth of the UK's. The report concluded that the population's admirable health is one of the key reasons why Castro is still in power.

Re:Cuba? (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582771)

Simple answer it isn't. It probably will turn out just like Cuba. With free medical care [wikipedia.org] and higher level of health [wikipedia.org] than currently.

Obama (1, Insightful)

einer (459199) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582627)

It's not really even close here... McCain wants to privatize and deregulate. Imagine your social security benefits in the hands of the people McCain trusted so much that he felt that less scrutiny and transparency was necessary. Now imagine your health care benefits managed the same way.

Re:Obama (1)

Stephen20x6 (1317895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582747)

So your solution is to trust the real experts in the field of medicine and medical billing... Congress?

Better Congress than murder by spreadsheet. (2, Insightful)

jbeach (852844) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582931)

Let's compare *no* regulation vs. *some* regulation.

How's privatization and deregulation worked for the stock market? Even Greenspan admits this was doubleplus ungood.

How's privatization and deregulation worked for the public with energy companies? [cough]Enron[/cough].

We are better off trusting Congress than health and insurance companies - because the damage doesn't come from Congressfolk not being "experts" in medicine and medical billing. They can hire experts. No, the damage comes from companies hiring experts in BS to rip us off.

And Congress simply has less of a vested interest in ripping us off on health care. That's the simple reality of it.

Re:Obama (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582817)

Good. Get rid of what are essentially healthcare insurance trusts in each state on insurance by letting me go outside of state lines to find cheaper insurance. Put the consumer in the loop on the doctor-insurance-pharmacy triangle, where I have a say in a true open market. Put ME in the driver's seat of my health care, not the government.

BTW, I would like to be able to put my social security money in private interest-bearing accounts as well. Long-term, no one loses money in the market.

Re:Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25583003)

Good. Get rid of what are essentially healthcare insurance trusts in each state on insurance by letting me go outside of state lines to find cheaper insurance. Put the consumer in the loop on the doctor-insurance-pharmacy triangle, where I have a say in a true open market. Put ME in the driver's seat of my health care, not the government.

When you start shopping around and realize that in the only places where you'll actually be able to afford healthcare on your own that there are almost zero consumer protection laws, you're going to wonder why you're getting subpar service or why your doctor isn't responsible if he screws up. You may want that, but I personally don't.

BTW, I would like to be able to put my social security money in private interest-bearing accounts as well. Long-term, no one loses money in the market.

Guess you haven't been watching the news lately. Or maybe it's because people that have had their money in the market for the past 20-30 years just haven't had it there "long enough."

Re:Obama (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582883)

Imagine your social security benefits in the hands of the people McCain trusted so much that he felt that less scrutiny and transparency was necessary. Now imagine your health care benefits managed the same way.

Alright, done imagining. Now imagine the reality of privatization - corruptible government oversight is replaced with private analysis - think "Consumer Reports meets VeriSign". The benefits are long-term stability, choice, variety, and best of all, no rights are violated in the process. We move away from pragmatism and toward principle, and in the process build a better future for each of us and for society.

Of course, neither Obama nor McCain will support this. McCain does no more than pay lip service to privatization, hoping to produce capitalistic benefits from statist actions. Whereas Obama promises to hold a gun to your head, McCain lets you choose what brand of gun he uses.

Imagine your social security benefits... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582909)

Using your imagination is the plan that congress has for realizing the promise of you getting an actual payout from their ponzi scheme.

CHOOSE ALREADY! (2, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582675)

Universal Coverage
Cost Containment
Unlimited Services

Pick 2. Period. That's it.

Re:CHOOSE ALREADY! (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582699)

Take all, richest 2% all foot the bill.

Drive demand for efficient and WORKING healthcare up dramatically.

Re:CHOOSE ALREADY! (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582857)

That's so sweet - your Mommy lets you play on the computer already. You're such a smart boy - yes you are - yes you are.

Of course, when you grow up you'll realize that you can't have everything you want and have someone else pay for it.

Re:CHOOSE ALREADY! (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582965)

want

Healthcare.

Um. I want healthcare? I'm talking about the people that DIE because the insurance companies deny healthcare to people who cannot foot the bill of an expensive procedure and ask the insurance companies for help.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE2D91031F93BA25751C0A96E948260&sec=health&spon=&pagewanted=all [nytimes.com]

Yes, I want healthcare. So do you right? But that's a pipedream to you? That one day when you NEED healthcare or you die... That's what I mean.

Re:CHOOSE ALREADY! (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582767)

If you present 3 options, is it still a false dichotomy?

Re:CHOOSE ALREADY! (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582923)

"If you present 3 options, is it still a false dichotomy?"

Please point out a healthcare system that implements all 3 without limit.

I'll wait.

Re:CHOOSE ALREADY! (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582797)

Oddly enough the US seems to pick zero out of the three and still ends up paying more per capita for health care than any other nation.

We HAVE universal free health care (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582701)

Walk into any Emergency Room lobby and you'll see a sign saying "you will be treated regardless of your ability to pay" or some such.

Re:We HAVE universal free health care (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582789)

Walk into any Emergency Room lobby and you'll see a sign saying "you will be treated regardless of your ability to pay" or some such.

It's only "free" if you can't pay. If you can (or the hospital thinks that you could), they'll squeeze every dollar out of you _and_ a couple of dollars more for all the patients they had to treat for "free".

So, yeah, the US system already is socialized, but instead of burdening the costs on the general population it burdens the costs only on the patients that can actually pay.

Re:We HAVE universal free health care (1, Interesting)

halivar (535827) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582899)

I went the emergency room last week. The total bill was $5,000, and I didn't pay a dime because I have awesome (but expensive) health insurance. Anyone can buy health insurance. The only question is: how important is it to you?

I don't want to hear folks complaining about not affording health insurance when they have a 60" LCD on a payment plan, and an $80 AT&T bill every month. They didn't prioritize correctly, and it's their own fault.

For folks who truly can't afford health care, they don't have to pay, already.

Re:We HAVE universal free health care (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582953)

Anyone can buy health insurance.

What stuff are you on, and where can I get some?

Apparently, you've never experienced being an undesirable for the insurance company (they call it "incalculable risk", but it really means "undesirable". They'd rather swallow a life tarantula before even thinking about offering you a contract.).

Re:We HAVE universal free health care (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582921)

Walk into any Emergency Room lobby and you'll see a sign saying "you will be treated regardless of your ability to pay"

Which encourages a mentality of waiting for health problems to become emergencies and discourages any sort of preventive measures to maintain health.

Re:We HAVE universal free health care (1)

jbeach (852844) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583007)

No, that's only for Emergency Room care. That does not cut it for chronic conditions, that need long-term care. Hell, that doesn't even help kids who regularly get sick.

Besides all the moral issues in helping our fellow human beings, long-term care is in our pragmatic best interest. If we want to have a healthy competitive workforce, we need a population that is healthy and able to compete without fear of being one illness away from losing their homes.

Who rations what? (1)

Vepxistqaosani (205827) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582709)

Currently, the US health-care system rations health care somewhat arbitrarily, based on personal wealth and, failing that, photogenicity.

Under any nation-wide system, rationing will be handled by government functionaries of one kind or another. Often (see UK, Canada) this will be accompanied by rigid rules that brook of no exception -- except that rich folks can go to the US for their care.

Neither McCain nor Obama ever mention rationing, though it is clear that everyone cannot receive every medical procedure or drug available. Until there is some realistic discussion of the economics of full-scale care for the entire population, it's foolish even to consider any large-scale reform.

Moreover, it is hard to see what country will be capable of filling the role the US currently plays in the world's health-care system once the US adopts a government-based health-care program. Where will one go for high-end care? Where will new drugs be developed?

We can be sure of one thing, though: members of Congress will never use the same health-care system that hoi polloi do.

Gimme (1)

coolguy2k (885942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582727)

I'll take some health care. It wasn't affordable until I got a real job and now I don't have to pay for as much of it because my employer provides...

Re:Gimme (2, Insightful)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582873)

nd now I don't have to pay for as much of it because my employer provides...

What you don't realize is that your company doesn't pay for any of it. The money they "pay" for your healthcare is actually money they could've paid to you if the laws did not compel them otherwise. So, in effect, you're still paying for your healthcare coverage, you just don't get much of a choice as to how it gets spent.

Health Care is not a right (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582735)

Obama has decided that health care is a right. I completely disagree with this position. People need to be responsible for themselves. The government should not forcibly take wealth from responsible individuals to pay for health care for irresponsible citizens.

Who gets to decide on the definition of health care? Is the government going to take my money and use it to buy Viagra and give it to the homeless? Will my tax dollars be used to pay for abortion services?

Sorry, health care is not a right, keep the government out of it.

Re:Health Care is not a right (3, Insightful)

LordEd (840443) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582935)

Sorry, health care is not a right, keep the government out of it.

Just to make a discussion of it, why not apply the same to fire fighters? Why should the government care if your house is burning down? There's a hose over there.

Health care could help save the US economy (5, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582763)

If we take a look at the costs of manufacturing in the US, there is one expense that manufacturers (such as the auto makers) pay here that they don't pay pretty much anywhere else - health insurance. For every new American-built car sold, a staggering portion of the price of the car goes to cover health insurance.

Yet our country spends more per capita on health care than just about any other country on the planet, thanks at least in part to our for-profit system. In other industrialized countries, the workers are still paying for health care, but it comes out of their paychecks in the same way taxes come out. And in the end those other countries can make similar products at a lower final manufacturing cost (even after paying to export to the US).

If people are so certain that the US system is great, then please answer one question. How can we make American manufacturing competitive on the world market again while paying the highest health care costs in the world?

If you look at our top trading partner (that would be Canada), you'll see that their workers make comparable wages for equivalent jobs to those in the US. Yet numerous auto manufacturing facilities have been moved to Canada to save money. Where is the savings if the workers make similar wages? It is in health care and pensions, both managed by the state.

Re:Health care could help save the US economy (1)

Stephen20x6 (1317895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582969)

Ooh, ooh! I found the savings! Turns out their tax rates are higher across the spectrum. Man, that was almost as hard to find as Waldo..

Re:Health care could help save the US economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582985)

Amen

The one who knows when to let the states do it.. (0)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582777)

The states are "Laboratories of Democracy" and it should be left to them to serve their individual citizens needs. Different demographics, cultural mixes, economic situations, cost of living, and cost of health care mean that a one size fits all federal program is doomed to fail. Both McCain and Obama are trying to make a massive government entitlement to fix a problem with local scope.

I spoke to my mother in New York State yesterday, you know the state which is now forecasting a 40 billion dollar deficit. They would love to scale back medicare during this time to remove things like Dental care and some of the truly luxury services but there is a problem, federal law prevents the removal of services. So even though NY provides services that a ton of other states do not *federal* involvement keeps the state from acting in a way to keep from piling debt on their kids. This is a prime example of why the federal government should not be involved in any way shape or form.

Re:The one who knows when to let the states do it. (2, Insightful)

Loopy1492 (1308571) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582981)

You just proved that nationalized health care would be better than state-based right after saying state-based would be better.

New York's current problems come from a heavy reliance on NYSE for income. If health care were nationalized rather than localized, New York would be weathering this problem a lot better. It would be nice to have our federal taxes come into our own state rather than go to another state for once.

And FYI, you have to be pretty broke or in trouble to get Medicare.

Misconception (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582807)

There seems to be something of a misconception amongst most Americans that I speak to, that your only options are the current system or some kind of filthy commie healthcare system where government employees carry out open heart surgery with rusty cutlery.

The current system in the UK, for example, offers both private and state healthcare, with the NHS free for all and private healthcare available if you want to pay a bit of money for a TV in your hospital room and a shorter wait for your elective surgery.

If you don't want or can't afford private healthcare then you can use the NHS, which is perfectly adequate for most people and certainly doesn't have huge waiting lists for essential treatment as some people seem to believe. Yes, there are the fringe cases, but for the mostpart the NHS is no worse than any of the private medical services when it comes to patient care.

As a result of this system, the private healthcare providers have to charge reasonable rates, because they know that people will simply abandon them for the NHS if they don't appear to be offering good value for money any more.

Americans seem to be terrfied of any kind of government provided or subsidised healthcare at any level, almost as if they see it as a "gateway drug" to communism - as comical as that appears to the rest of the world.

Disclaimer: I currently contract for the NHS, making me far more cynical about it then I might otherwise be.

Adopt the UK system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582813)

Create a UK NHS equivilent in the US with the principles of "Free at the point of use, based on need, not ability to pay.".

Yes, it's funded by taxes, but you never have to worry that your private insurer won't pay out or won't insure a pre-existing condition.

Private markets + insurance + govt backstop (1)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582819)

The biggest problem with the health care market today is lack of price discovery. Consumers don't see the prices they are paying, so there is no direct competition and no pressure on prices. And the numbers on the bills don't actually reflect the price of most things, since most things are paid for by insurance, and insurance companies have "negotiated discounts." But to me, when the "discount" is applied to 90+% of the units, that's the real actual price. So we need to have a way to directly connect consumers to the actual prices of things.

That would provide direct price pressure on the most common products of the health care industry. For instance, a strep test. Or common drugs. Or an MRI. I have heard people say this won't work for medical items, but just look at laser eye surgery for example--this is a product marketed directly to the public and in most cases paid for directly by the public. Price discovery works (the price advertised is the price most commonly paid), and competitive pressure has driven technological advancement and price declines.

Insurance should be reserved for the most catastrophic and expensive problems...chemotherapy, car accidents, etc. I don't pass my home or car maintenance payments through my home or car insurance. Why should I pass all my health maintenance payments through my health insurance?? The most fundamental mistake made in discussing health care in this country is to center it on "who has insurance." Catastrophic-only coverage is not expensive and not hard to get...almost everyone can afford it. What is expensive and complicated and hard to get is the "comprehensive coverage" policies in which every cost is passed through the insurance company. We need to break that.

Finally, no private market solution will cover everyone. That's not what private markets do...they provide an optimal solution, but optimal always means discarding the outliers. But as a democratic nation of equals, there are no outliers. So we need to have a government-provided backstop for those who the private market does not serve adequately. But I think we should have a target percentage of service. If the backstop is serving more than 20% of the population, say, then it's time to review and readjust.

Please tell me... (1)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582821)

which candidate has the best answers to making sure that Americans are able to stay healthy without America being bankrupted in the process?

Please point out to me where in the Constitution it says the government either has the right or duty to have a "best answer" to anything to do with my personal health? The answer is: it doesn't, nor should it.

My personal health is my responsibility. If I want to smoke, drink, and eat fatty foods until I die of a massive heart attack, that's my business. Nobody else should be concerned with it. If it can't afford to pay for the health problems I've brought on myself, nobody else should be required to pay one red cent to cover me.

For crying out loud, we're becoming (or have already become) a nation of I-want-my-Mommy groupthinkers, where government is expected to make life simple, easy, safe, and rewarding. Government is a necessary evil that does nothing particularly well and many things quite badly. Those of you who are about to vote for it to take care of your health, your retirement, your jobs, or your finances are about to be grossly disappointed.

Re:Please tell me... (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582887)

If it can't afford to pay for the health problems I've brought on myself, nobody else should be required to pay one red cent to cover me.

But the hospitals are required, to some degree, to treat you before being able to check your ability to pay. Who will foot the bill if it later turns out that you're unable to pay?

And what about all the health problems that you didn't bring on yourself? Or are you a firm believer in "bad things only happen to you if you make bad decisions"?

Re:Please tell me... (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582893)

Until something happens to you totally outside of your control that requires long and expensive medical treatment that you can't afford.

Healthcare... (0)

wpiman (739077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582843)

is a limited resource. We can ration it by time (ie. sitting in a waiting room), or ration it by money. In the end, someone won't get it. So what is better: a homeless guy who drinks to much and has eons to wait in the waiting room getting proper care while the working mom/dad fore goes it as they are too busy to wait.

Or we have people who have money/insurance get the first priority.

Unfortunately the decision comes down to this. It certainly isn't pretty: but we don't have enough of it to go around.

If I were in charge, I would open up more medical schools to increase supply.

I hope they just leave it alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582859)

I shudder to think of a hospital that's run like a DMV, Post Office or courthouse -- a bunch of apathetic state/federal employees with no motivation. In my time overseas (in countries with socialized medicine) I met many people who often came to the US and paid cash for their procedures rather than letting the gov't determine their spot in line, and ultimately, who lives or dies.

Why do you hate the Constitution? (4, Insightful)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582861)

"...which candidate has the best answers to making sure that Americans are able to stay healthy without America being bankrupted in the process?"

Huh? Since when it it a Constitutionally delegated power of the Executive branch to "make sure" that Americans are "able to stay healthy," while also meddling in their finances?

libertarian or republican: why not nationalization (0, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582863)

please, someone point out the fault in my logic:

everyone should have healthcare insurance, correct or no?

you would be ok in a society where some people died of preventable issues simply because their finances were not in order?

ok, now that we all agree healthcare insurance is something we should all have, then one way to do it is what we have now: the rich have it (because they are rich), the poor have it (because the poor are supported by the government), and the middle class are screwed: money is tight, rules are arcane, and what happens is the guy between jobs has to declare bankruptcy in order to get his cancer treated, or dies while filling out paperwork

this is better than nationalization? really?

i know the arguments against nationalization: lower quality, lots of waste

as if the current system doesn't have lots of waste? you ever deal with an hmo?

as if quality isn't low in the current environment with hospitals scrambling to stay open and doctors pressured by hmos to get in the door and out the door?

nationalization seems like such a nobrainer to me, but you have this loud vocal opposition to the idea of nationalized healthcare in this country and i honestly can't understand the reasons for it

Re:libertarian or republican: why not nationalizat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582917)

please, someone point out the fault in my logic:

everyone should have healthcare insurance, correct or no?

The answer here is no. Everyone should not have health care. Health care is not a right.

Healthcare.... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582885)

Most non-working people I know have gotten their medical treatment for them and their children free.

The ones that are always hurting, are the "working poor" who bust their butt but always make just enough "too much" not to qualify for free school lunch, section-8, etc.

And the self-employed who are left on their own to gain coverage.

***

Haven't seen much from Obama that'd really do anything. I did like McCain's idea to let insurance companies compete across state lines. (ie: An insurance company in Arkansas could sell in to the much higher priced market in NYC.)

Can We Discuss Niggers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582929)

Nigger nigger!

Just like "affordable housing" (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583005)

Now that Barney Fag & Co.'s affordable housing has cost well over $700 billion, it is easy to understand how much Obama's affordable health care will cost.

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