Privatize the Profits, Socialize the Costs

Unless I am misreading this (and that is entirely possible, as this is not a subject I have not followed), this sure seems like a good deal for businesses:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Wednesday that employers could reduce or eliminate health benefits for retirees when they turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare.

The policy, set forth in a new regulation, allows employers to establish two classes of retirees, with more comprehensive benefits for those under 65 and more limited benefits — or none at all — for those older.

More than 10 million retirees rely on employer-sponsored health plans as a primary source of coverage or as a supplement to Medicare, and Naomi C. Earp, the commission’s chairwoman, said, “This rule will help employers continue to voluntarily provide and maintain these critically important health benefits.”

Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of 6.1 percent this year and have increased 78 percent since 2001, according to surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Because of the rising cost of health care and the increased life expectancy of workers, the commission said, many employers refuse to provide retiree health benefits or even to negotiate on the issue.

I understand the reasoning for this- they are trying to find ways to keep the most people covered possible during a time of rising health costs, and pushing those over the age of 65 off on the government (translation: you and me) allows them to spend resources on those still working for them and those who can’t be pushed off on the government.

This is just another piece of evidence to me that we will be moving to single-payer in the next decade or so, simply because big business wants this (and would argue they need it) in order to survive. And we will end up dragging Red State and NRO along as they scream “socialized medicine” the whole way. At this point, it almost has a feel of inevitability about it. I don’t wonder if we will have single-payer, I wonder how bad our special interest groups will manage to screw up the implementation.






350 replies
  1. 1
    Gus says:

    The profist?

  2. 2
    rachel says:

    Everybody will have to compromise, and since a compromise is when you wind up doing what nobody wants to do, they’ll screw it up pretty bad, I guess. Will it be worse than what you people back in the homeland have got now? I don’t know.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    I understand the reasoning for this- they are trying to find ways to keep the most people covered possible during a time of rising health costs, and pushing those over the age of 65 off on the government (translation: you and me) allows them to spend resources on those still working for them and those who can’t be pushed off on the government.

    Ok, so let’s envision a hypothetical system in which we just push everyone off on the government and have them pay all our medical benefits. That way, the corporations save giant sacks of cash they would normally be paying to insurance companies, and people all just put money into a generic “single-payer” insurance system that is held accountable by the electorate.

    No. Wait. That would be socialized medicine! Bad Zifnab! Bad! Bad! Bad Zifnab!

  4. 4
    Billy K says:

    It’s coming (some sort of national health care). It must. Corporations can’t compete globally, and every day disposable income is sucked up by fuel and health care costs. And now that homeowners can’t just refinance ad nauseum, households don’t have the disposable income to keep our economy flowing.

    The good news is, we’ll finally get national health care and alternative fuel vehicles. The bad news is it’ll take big business’ backing to do so.

  5. 5
    Billy K says:

    No. Wait. That would be socialized medicine! Bad Zifnab! Bad! Bad! Bad Zifnab!

    Did anyone see Paul Krugman on Charlie Rose last night? He mentioned some study where the majority would like a program like MEDICAID for all Americans – but not socialized medicine.

  6. 6
    Hubris says:

    I would welcome a single-payer system, but it should be noted that big unions (AFL/CIO, AFT, etc.) were also pushing for this ruling–it wasn’t just businesses.

  7. 7
    F. Frederson says:

    At this point, it almost has a feel of inevitability about it.

    Don’t kid yourself. Big corporations have been fighting it despite the fact they need it for years. Even GM, which is the corporation that would benefit the most from national healthcare, barely fights for it. No national healthcare helps keep employees afraid and beholden and docile.

    If Americans want national healthcare they will have to fight for it.

  8. 8
    Zifnab says:

    The good news is, we’ll finally get national health care and alternative fuel vehicles. The bad news is it’ll take big business’ backing to do so.

    Three of the biggest industries in the US are Big Oil, Insurance, and Military Contractors. Not surprisingly, the three biggest problems we have in this country are oil prices, insurance prices, and the price of foreign wars.

    Unfortunately, we’ve also got a Congress in which both Dem and ‘Pub representatives are largely bought and paid for by big business. You can bet that Hillary is reaping in huge contributions from everyone from Exxon to Raytheon to Aetna. Likewise Romney and Huckabee and Obama and whomever else will let their palms get greased are getting greased. And that’s not to mention all the corrupt politicos like Feinstien and Lott and Levin and Inhofe who get paid top dollar to undermine any sort of fix to the system.

  9. 9
    Punchy says:

    As I understand it (and perhaps I don’t), gov’t-sponsored healthcare in any fashion will necessarily lower the profits of insurance companies and slash the salaries of most doctors, especially specialists. If you think Blue Cross and the AMA will allow this, I have lots of bridges in Minneapolis to sell ya….

    Repeat after me: Doctors will never, ever, accept a cut in salaries. Never.

  10. 10

    The bad news is it’ll take big business’ backing to do so.

    Many large corporate entities (think large auto manufacturers) are starting to come around. The real push back comes from … are you ready? … From … the insurance industry. If we go to “single-payer” health care it will be a cobbled together piece of shit with the health insurance industry being “saved” by the enacted legislation. The so-called “single-payer” will probably mean the taxpayer as a single group and insurance companies will still be around to collect fat checks. The money will be funneled through the government who will get their cut for “administrating” and settling disputes.

    Unless we keep our eyes open the Congress critters will bow to the Health Insurance industry. If the health insurance industry is not excluded from the single-payer health care system I predict this system will be an unmitigated disaster. I don’t see how it works otherwise. Maybe somebody more knowledgeable can explain this to me, but I only see problems, unless the health insurance industry is kept out. The only welfare most Congressional nitwits don’t mind is corporate welfare.

  11. 11
    libarbarian says:

    I don’t wonder if we will have single-payer, I wonder how bad our special interest groups will manage to screw up the implementation.

    It would be hard to say it better than this.

  12. 12
    RSA says:

    The real push back comes from … are you ready? … From … the insurance industry.

    Well, yeah. A few months ago a member of my family had a medical emergency, from which she’s now recovering nicely. It was a visceral shock for me to open one of the dozens of statements I was getting from her insurance company, several weeks later, and find that they were denying, based on a waiver, all claims related to her hospital stay, to the tune of $75,000. It took a couple of weeks worth of phone calls to get that worked out. I’d realized intellectually up to that point that insurance company profits come from not paying out benefits, but it hit home personally at that point. (And I had to laugh, though somewhat painfully, about a letter that came after that, saying that due to broad economic effects unrelated to our specific situation, the company was significantly raising insurance premiums. Yeah, right.)

  13. 13

    Doctors will never, ever, accept a cut in salaries. Never.

    I suppose you would accept a pay cut. You would do so without a fight?

    (1) Most MD’s make a good living. Most do not make the high salaries you might think they do.
    (2) Why would an MD willingly accept a pay cut? Medical school is a tough and challenging. But that is only the beginning of an MD’s education. They still have internship and residency requirements, and the length and intensity of those programs are highly dependent upon the area of medicine practiced in.
    (3) Single-payer does not necessarily mean government hospitals for everyone. As someone stated above it will be most likely a MEDICARE type system. The government will be the insurer. In other words, doctors could choose to take MEDICARE patients, or not. We do not have a shortage of MD’s in the US. The problem is that they are unevenly distributed throughout the country.

  14. 14
    Punchy says:

    (1) Most MD’s make a good living. Most do not make the high salaries you might think they do.
    (2) Why would an MD willingly accept a pay cut? Medical school is a tough and challenging. But that is only the beginning of an MD’s education. They still have internship and residency requirements, and the length and intensity of those programs are highly dependent upon the area of medicine practiced in.

    This is my point. They have ridiculous med school tuition bills to pay, sky-high liability premiums to fund, and therefore will not accept a salary cut (unless those two things are simulatenously lowered as well, and they wont be). I neither expect nor wish for them to take a pay cut, and this is why they won’t accept a gov’t system, one almost guarenteed to pay out a “set amount” per procedure, much lower than they currently make, unless the gov’t wants to bankrupt itself.

  15. 15
    annagranfors says:

    y’know, at this point we should simply assume that this Bush-based corporatocracy has and will continue to grab as much as they can, as quickly as possible. the blogosphere serves as a good record of the outrages, so that they can be addressed, one by one, when and if power is wrenched away from them.

    it should be remembered just how shameless they were, if that time ever comes.

  16. 16
    Jake says:

    and pushing those over the age of 65 off on the government (translation: you and me) allows them to spend resources on those still working for them and those who can’t be pushed off on the government.

    It will allow the Medicare Advantage plans to make a killing (again). Although if a Democratic president gets in the White House you might see a sudden drop in the number of companies offering plans. Scared off by the dreaded “oversight” and “accountability.”

  17. 17
    4tehlulz says:

    You can bet good money that the AMA will succeed in extorting liability immunity from this, which means, of course, that there will be no recourse for those suffer (or die) from some doctor’s or hospital’s fuck up.

  18. 18
    Zifnab says:

    this is why they won’t accept a gov’t system, one almost guarenteed to pay out a “set amount” per procedure, much lower than they currently make, unless the gov’t wants to bankrupt itself.

    What do you think regular insurance companies do? They only pay set amounts for given procedures. But insurance companies don’t want to get undercut by Medicare so they usually set their rates at or around whatever Medicare sets as its default rate.

    The only difference between a private insurance company and a government insurance company would be that government insurance would not intend to turn a profit. Since insurance is a zero sum game – either you or the insurance company comes out ahead – the government would be an entity willing to break even or lose money on average while a corporate insurance company would seek to maximize profits. But if you went to Cigna or Aetna or Blue Cross or whomever and just got rid of all their stockholders, you’d be looking at an organization with far reduced overhead. That’s how government healthcare would be cheaper. Not by slashing doctor salaries or underfunding good medicine.

  19. 19
    SKI says:

    Punchy said:
    As I understand it (and perhaps I don’t), gov’t-sponsored healthcare in any fashion will necessarily lower the profits of insurance companies and slash the salaries of most doctors, especially specialists. If you think Blue Cross and the AMA will allow this, I have lots of bridges in Minneapolis to sell ya….

    Repeat after me: Doctors will never, ever, accept a cut in salaries. Never.
    As someone working for and with Hospitals and Doctors (and a long-time proponent of single payor), I can tell you that Doctors, including specialists, are getting real close to signing up for Medicare for All – and many have gone there already.

    The reasons are 2-fold.

    #1 – Their compensation is already being set by Medicare and the BIG insurance carriers (United and BCBS here in Maryland) – and the commercial payors frequently pay less already. Medicare is at least responsive to pressure through elected representatives (witness the recent bill that put off the 10.1% cut in reimbursements for 6 months – let me assure you that there is minimal ability to appeal to United when they cut fees to urologists by 30% a couple of years ago.

    #2 – Overhead. Single payor universal coverage would cut doctors’ overhead costs in half (reducing from approx. 50% to 25% of revenue). These savings would come in three ways: (1) lower malpractice costs (if everyone’s medical care is covered, medical costs are no longer part of malpractice awards), (2) lower administrative costs (no need to verify coverage, keep track of dozens of different payors’ rules, deal with different definitions for what constitutes “medical necessity” – medicare actually has the most straightforward payor rules and processing system, if you submit a “clean claim” (and they tell you what that is), you get paid in 17 days – virtually every time), and (3) lower staff costs as the doctors themselves don’t have to pay for health insurance for their staff – they are small businesses to).

  20. 20
    Jake says:

    I neither expect nor wish for them to take a pay cut, and this is why they won’t accept a gov’t system, one almost guarenteed to pay out a “set amount” per procedure, much lower than they currently make, unless the gov’t wants to bankrupt itself.

    But they already get a set amount which is often based on what the government (Medicare) pays. There may be an insurance company out there that doesn’t hose doctors as well as patients just like there may be ponies in Iraq. I think what you’ll see from the doctors are more practices (especially general/family) that say fuck it to insurance and take payments directly from their patients. The money they’d save because they don’t need staff to wrangle with insurance companies would be a bonus.

    AHIP will have to find a way to stop that before its clients feel the pinch, but I’m not sure how they’ll approach the matter. Protect the Patients from Quacks is my guess.

  21. 21
    myiq2xu says:

    The people who are behind the opposition to “socialized medicine” are not concerned with the quality or availablity of healthcare.

    They are concerned about profits. Why else would they spend millions fighting reform except to protect billions in profits?

  22. 22

    I neither expect nor wish for them to take a pay cut, and this is why they won’t accept a gov’t system, one almost guarenteed to pay out a “set amount” per procedure, much lower than they currently make, unless the gov’t wants to bankrupt itself.

    On the other hand, eliminating private health insurance would also eliminate huge amounts of the cost and aggravation of running a medical practice. I suspect most physicians would see it as a wash.

  23. 23
    Tom Hilton says:

    Back in the ’50s, Walter Reuther was negotiating with GM and trying to get them behind a single-payer healthcare system. GM didn’t go for it, going with their own health insurance plan. Now GM is bankrupted by pension and healthcare costs, and that decision looks unbelievably stupid in retrospect.

    I wish I were more optimistic about the ability of big business to learn that lesson.

    Did anyone see Paul Krugman on Charlie Rose last night? He mentioned some study where the majority would like a program like MEDICAID for all Americans – but not socialized medicine.

    Are you sure it wasn’t Medicare? Medicaid is the means-tested one.

  24. 24
    chopper says:

    Repeat after me: Doctors will never, ever, accept a cut in salaries. Never.

    depends on what other costs get cut. most doctors i know would accept a pay cut if they also saw a reduction in malpractice insurance costs.

    hell, my doctor would probably take a pay cut just to avoid having to deal with insurance company bullshit. he’d probably be able to make up for it by seeing more patients and keeping less paid staff.

  25. 25
    Billy K says:

    Are you sure it wasn’t Medicare? Medicaid is the means-tested one.

    Yes, Medicare. Sorry. (I also realize now it’s not an acronym.)

    Don’t kid yourself. Big corporations have been fighting it despite the fact they need it for years. Even GM, which is the corporation that would benefit the most from national healthcare, barely fights for it. No national healthcare helps keep employees afraid and beholden and docile.

    I don’t know. The “American consumer” is tapped out. Something’s gotta give, and consumer spending, I predict, is about to tank. When that happens, companies like WalMart and Coke will freak out and back something like this. Like I said before, between gas prices and health care, disposable income is quickly becoming a thin g of the past.

    And disposable income is what keeps our economy going. We haven’t seen much in the way of lower profits and lower spending in many, many years. When they talk about the holiday season being disappointing, it’s not because Americans spent LESS this year than last, it’s that the forcasted increase didn’t come to fruition. Instead of a 2.5% increase, let’s say, we got a 1.8% increase. It’ still an increase! When that increase turns to a decrease, things will change.

  26. 26
    myiq2xu says:

    Repeat after me: Doctors will never, ever, accept a cut in salaries. Never.

    What are they going to do, quit? They will accept a pay cut if they have no choice.

    They will fight tooth and nail against it first though.

    That being said, doctors deserve to be well compensated. So do nurses, lab techs, and others involved in medicine.

    Insurance companies deserve nothing in compensation in regards to healthcare.

  27. 27
    jcricket says:

    Repeat after me: Doctors will never, ever, accept a cut in salaries. Never.

    You know little of what you speak. I come from a family of doctors and they already are experiencing a pay cut, because the insurance companies require more paperwork and reimburse less. Outside of the specialty practices, especially surgical, doctors are making less now (adjusted for inflation) than they have for the past 20 years. This is why fewer medical school graduates are going into general medicine (pediatrics, internal medicine, etc.).

    While most doctors instinctively opposed Hillary’s medical plan in 93/94, they actually are now on the same side as the health care reformers – lined up against the insurance companies. They know that if there isn’t health care reform they stand to continually make less for more work.

    Rather than hire one, two or a team of people to deal with various insurers, or cancel long-time patients because their insurance gets too ridiculous to deal with, doctors would welcome the simplicity of a funded Medicare system. The main problem with Medicare right now is funding is too low so they chop reimbursement rates unfairly low.

    Taiwan, which until 10 years ago had a health care system almost exactly like ours (various private insurers, plus government programs, plus uninsured) went through a transition to single-payer in record time, and none of the bad things that were proffered by the nay-sayers came to fruition.

    Our big problem is that (as others have mentioned) we lack the political will to get a true single-payer system. But if we simply started offering “Medicare for all”, and made sure corporations paid their fair share (i.e. they can’t simply pocket whatever they were paying for employee benefits and call it “profits”), it would get us 805 of the way there. I predict that with everyone who is poor, currently uninsured, on a ridiculous cost individual plan, seniors, small/independent businesses on the “new” Medicare, everyone except the ultra-rich would soon follow.

  28. 28
    jcricket says:

    805 = 80%

  29. 29
    jcricket says:

    hell, my doctor would probably take a pay cut just to avoid having to deal with insurance company bullshit. he’d probably be able to make up for it by seeing more patients and keeping less paid staff.

    FYI – Insurance reimbursement rules are driving doctors to see more patients in less time, because they get reimbursed by quantity, not quality or other measures. All the doctors in my family hate the concept (and they’re the general practitioner types).

    Also FYI – The big increase in medical malpractice rates is caused by rapacious insurance corporations (yet again). There has been little or no increase in malpractice suits or payout amounts, and yet the insurance companies keep increasing rates.

    Once everyone realizes that the insurance companies are not interested in promoting good health, taking care of people, helping doctors, or even helping corporations take care of their workers cost-effectively – enough people will line up to pass some kind of healthcare reform.

  30. 30
    pharniel says:

    4tehlulz Says:

    You can bet good money that the AMA will succeed in extorting liability immunity from this, which means, of course, that there will be no recourse for those suffer (or die) from some doctor’s or hospital’s fuck up.

    oh there’s a recourse, and after it happens a few dozen times the doctors will be sad they got rid of being litgated.
    I’m sure Huckabe would support “eye for an eye” or “scar for a scar” malpractice adjudication.

  31. 31
    libarbarian says:

    805 = 80%

    Yeah, of 1006.25, but what is your point?

    :)

  32. 32
    Krista says:

    You can bet good money that the AMA will succeed in extorting liability immunity from this, which means, of course, that there will be no recourse for those suffer (or die) from some doctor’s or hospital’s fuck up.

    Is there a happy medium? Perhaps some sort of table that lists capped amounts based on the severity of the fuckup?

    Personally, I’d be damned happy if you folks had universal healthcare (how come nobody in the U.S. calls it that? It’s either “single-payer”, which emphasizes the money, or “socialized medicine” which invokes the boogeyman.) One unfortunate aspect to our system is that Canadian doctors hear about the high salaries of U.S. doctors, and decide to head to the States to make more money. (Of course, once they get there, they have those extra costs to deal with, as you have mentioned — so I don’t know if they’re actually any farther ahead or not.) But it’d be nice for our systems to be similar. Maybe doctors wouldn’t all flee to where the money is, and we’d have more of them staying in the rural areas.

  33. 33
    Punchy says:

    You know little of what you speak. I come from a family of doctors and they already are experiencing a pay cut, because the insurance companies require more paperwork and reimburse less. Outside of the specialty practices, especially surgical, doctors are making less now (adjusted for inflation) than they have for the past 20 years.

    As do I. What you’re not addressing is the actual implementation of the plan. If you think the gov’t will willingly shell out $75K for a chemo treatment, you’re nuts. But that’s what they are now, with lots of that going to the drug company which does its best to kick some of it back to the docs. Specialists would be unable to charge high 5 figs for plastic surgeries. All of this change cuts deep and hard into their salaries.

    I’m not saying they’re against change. I’m saying they wont accept change if it is accompanied by a significant pay cut, and I cannot blame them for that.

    Not to mention, all of this is WAY ingrained in many other industries. To change payments for surgeries, hospitals would make less. They’d then be less willing to buy the meds from Big Pharma at (sometimes) ridiculous mark-up prices. This would cause the Amgens and Pfizers to scream about a lack of R&D funds, and could cause a layoff of scientists (me included) in these fields. And if Big Pharma suffers, so does their raw material suppliers (Sigma, Fisher), etc.

    As it stands, everyone makes a profit at the ultimate expense of the individual taxpayer (health premiums, natch). If the gov’t takes over, I’m not sure it’d allow such profit-taking at such a direct level.

  34. 34
    Barry says:

    Tom Hilton Says:

    “Back in the ‘50s, Walter Reuther was negotiating with GM and trying to get them behind a single-payer healthcare system. GM didn’t go for it, going with their own health insurance plan. Now GM is bankrupted by pension and healthcare costs, and that decision looks unbelievably stupid in retrospect.”

    No, because the top executives in the 1950’s were probably dead by then. The top executives later on were probably under special retirement and benefits plans, which could survive a bankruptcy.

    The elites will continue taking until it hurts them personally. However, since they *are* the elits, they have major cushions against that. Heck, these are the guys who get millions of $ if they bankrupt a company – they just don’t live in the same world as the rest of us.

  35. 35
    Jake says:

    FYI – Insurance reimbursement rules are driving doctors to see more patients in less time, because they get reimbursed by quantity, not quality or other measures.

    Except now insurance co’s are starting to profile and rank doctors according to not fully explained quality measures. When the doc goes to renegotiate his contract with the IC he might find out he’s been bumped down a tier and can no longer see (for example) PPO patients and can only see patients under the HMO plan.

    Once everyone realizes that the insurance companies are not interested in promoting good health, taking care of people, helping doctors, or even helping corporations take care of their workers cost-effectively – enough people will line up to pass some kind of healthcare reform.

    I wish that were the case because even house-matey’s staunch Republican family understands that insurance companies are evil and will out rant the smelliest hippyfascists when the subject comes up. They understand they’re being ripped off by the rich and they hate it. The problem is the poor things are still too fucking stubborn or stupid to vote for the people who would do something about the mess. All someone has to do is whisper “hilarycare” or just raise the spectre of a Democratic president ordering mandatory abortions and their brains freeze.

  36. 36
    Dreggas says:

    I bet under single payer there’d be a lot more incentive to find cures vs just proscribing “treatments”. As Punchy said 75k for chemo is 75k for chemo no matter who’s paying it. But if the government was doing so (and not run by the asshats who gave us war on the cheap) they’d definitely be doing more to fund research to cure cancer vs. treating it, after all if you can cure it you won’t have to keep treating it. Kinda like what we did with Polio, Smallpox and other diseases, wiped out because we had effective cures and immunizations for them why? Because there was motivation to cure something, not just treat it.

  37. 37

    Employer Healthcare Mandates Struck Down By Inconvenient Facts (UPDATE)

    San Francisco’s mandated levy on employers to fund a universal healthcare scheme has been struck down by federal district judge Jeffrey White. Such a fee upon employers violates the 1974 ERISA law which ensures employer choice as to whether and…

  38. 38
    pharniel says:

    *Barry* says:

    The elites will continue taking until it hurts them personally. However, since they are the elits, they have major cushions against that. Heck, these are the guys who get millions of $ if they bankrupt a company – they just don’t live in the same world as the rest of us.

    True, and when the ven diagram of the worlds meeting occurs, it’s usually pretty aweful.
    At some point, if things start getting really bad economically, you’re going to start seeing some storming of the bastille and/or ‘hits’ on various CEOs after announcing chapter 13 and thier take away 4mil. once people have nothing left to loose and no change to win the game, they tend to change the game into something they can play.

    sadly that means they have very little power, or feel like it, and the expression of the least power is when you resort to violence.

  39. 39
    myiq2xu says:

    You can bet good money that the AMA will succeed in extorting liability immunity from this, which means, of course, that there will be no recourse for those suffer (or die) from some doctor’s or hospital’s fuck up.

    Here in California workers are guaranteed that their medical expenses and lost wages will be paid if they are injured at work. It’s a “no-fault” system, meaning that it doesn’t matter if the employer was negligent or not.

    But in exchange, workers cannot recover for pain and suffering or get punitive damages.

    Employers pay into a fund based upon their injury rate and the assessed risk of their industry. Workers are compensated even if their employer fails to pay into the fund.

    Is it perfect? No, but it’s better than what we had before, which was nothing.

  40. 40
    Cybershaman says:

    Over the past few decades there has been a pattern where employees are ‘downsized’ but their work loads are dumped on the remaining workers. This has been driving most of the ‘productivity increases’ we have had. Most employees are carrying the workloads previously carried by two, three, or four others. This has had a devestating effect upon their health. Having to compete with slave labor (or the closest thing to it) has broken the back of organized labor and crippled our workforce. Most employees have to take multiple prescription drugs to keep their bodies moving at the pace bidness demands. For companies that provide health care benefits the prescription drug discounts are breaking the bank.
    THIS is why there is the sudden rush to support universal healthcare or these policies that deny health insurance to retirees. The bidness community doesn not want to pay the price for the bad decisions they have made.
    I predict we will see the same thing we saw with car insurance. Mandatory health insurance without employer provided coverage. Those who cannot afford the premiums will be forced to deny themselves healthcare in order to stay out of jail or pay fines. I hope I’m wrong, but the pattern has already been set.

  41. 41
    Robert Johnston says:

    I don’t wonder if we will have single-payer, I wonder how bad our special interest groups will manage to screw up the implementation.

    It would be hard to say it better than this.

    [punctuation nazi]No it wouldn’t; try replacing the comma with a semi-colon.[/punctuation nazi]

  42. 42
    ThymeZone says:

    I wonder how bad our special interest groups will manage to screw up the implementation.

    The real wonder is that we continue to tolerate cruel inequities in healthcare availability in this country thanks to the efforts of moneyed special interests such as Big Pharma and Big HMO.

    As long as people fall for the ruse that there is “no perfect solution” and settle for the abuse of money and power that has kept us in this shocking state all this time, then … we’re stuck in it.

    When middle class Americans realize, more and more, that they are one bad x-ray or one chest pain or one car accident away from financial ruin, or health ruin, or family ruin, thanks to a “system” that is rigged in favor or moneyed corporate interests and against their own interests … they’ll demand and get a solution.

  43. 43
    ThymeZone says:

    But hey, why cry about being stuck in a country that fucks people over for money just because it can?

    We can’t even get editable posts in a blog in the fucking year 2007.

    Crissakes.

  44. 44
    jcricket says:

    We can’t even get editable posts in a blog in the fucking year 2007.

    I bet you could get a 380-9 House Resolution demanding blog software companies produce editable blog posting software before you get sensible healthcare reform :-)

  45. 45
    Zifnab says:

    We can’t even get editable posts in a blog in the fucking year 2007.

    I’d storm the Bastille over that, but the Bastille is a professor’s office in West Virginia and that’s a long-ass drive.

  46. 46
    myiq2xu says:

    The United States is the wealthiest nation in human history.

    Most people have no idea how rich we really are. Here’s a clue: most of us live better than the Roman emperors ever did. We can walk into a supermarket and buy foods from all over the world, including fresh fruits all year long.

    We can pick up a small electronic device and within seconds be speaking to someone on the other side of the world. For less than what most people earn in a month, we can go visit the person we called, traveling there and back in just a few days.

    For most of history, people worried about having enough food to make it through the winter. We have a problem with obesity.

    We spend more on our military than ALL THE OTHER NATIONS OF THE WORLD COMBINED!

    But we’re told we can’t afford to provide medical care to everyone in this country. Some people have to die from lack of care because we’re too poor.

    BULL FUCKING SHIT!

  47. 47
    superdestroyer says:

    single payer puts in the government in charge of medical technology adoption and basically makes the government the central planner for medical procedures and medical technology.

    If CMS sets the reimbursement rate too low, then all of the providers stop providing the service or the drug manufacturer stops make the drug. See Zevalin for a good example of how government regulations and government reimbursement has destroyed a good second line treatment for lymphoma.

    Also, since CMS changes reimbursements once a year, single payer will bankrupt medical providers who make long term investments and then have CMS destroy their investment.

    Also, if physician pay goes down, then every other medical providers pay has to go down. That means there will be fewer nurses, pharmacist, x-ray techs, etc.

  48. 48
    p.a. says:

    Remember when we were told 401k’s were designed to be a SUPPLEMENT to our defined pension plans, and then the powers that be killed d.b. pensions? Now the same people tell us they have to cut our bennies to save our bennies. Color me skeptical.

  49. 49
    Tom Hilton says:

    Now GM is bankrupted by pension and healthcare costs, and that decision looks unbelievably stupid in retrospect.”

    No, because the top executives in the 1950’s were probably dead by then. The top executives later on were probably under special retirement and benefits plans, which could survive a bankruptcy.

    Fair enough. Change it to “that decision looks unbelievably bad for the corporation“.

  50. 50
    ThymeZone says:

    Doctors will never, ever, accept a cut in salaries. Never.

    First of all, fuck ’em.

    But that’s beside the point, really, because I seriously doubt that doctor salaries are the reason we are in the backwater of healthcare availability. There are not that many doctors and they are not that rich.

    It’s the HMO execs and the Pharma execs that worry me.

  51. 51
    myiq2xu says:

    single payer puts in the government in charge of medical technology adoption and basically makes the government the central planner for medical procedures and medical technology.

    If CMS sets the reimbursement rate too low, then all of the providers stop providing the service or the drug manufacturer stops make the drug. See Zevalin for a good example of how government regulations and government reimbursement has destroyed a good second line treatment for lymphoma.

    Also, since CMS changes reimbursements once a year, single payer will bankrupt medical providers who make long term investments and then have CMS destroy their investment.

    Also, if physician pay goes down, then every other medical providers pay has to go down. That means there will be fewer nurses, pharmacist, x-ray techs, etc.

    So many avenues of attack. First of all, which insurance company do you work for?

    Your argument makes lots of assumptions, and everybody knows that when you do that you make an ASS out of U and MPTION.

    What you point out are problems to be fixed, not reasons against universal healthcare.

  52. 52
    superdestroyer says:

    myiq2xu,

    Look at the large amount of money that cardiologist lost after heavy investment in cardiac cath technology just to have CMS cut the reimbursement rates below costs.

    The same can be said for Bexxar and Zevalin for cancer therapy. The federal radiation regulations made it hard for provdiers to adopt it and then CMS lowered the reimbursement rate below cost of the drug manufacturer. In the end, the two manufacturers are probably going to close down their production facilities.

    In medical care, the trick for hospitals and other providers is to find a procudure or service that can make back all of its fixed costs in one year or less. A hospital betting several million dollars to invest in a Cyberknife facilities is taking on a huge risk since CMS can set reimbursement below costs starting next year.

    In the future, a company could spend years trying to get a new product to market just to see CMS set the reimbursement so low that no one purchases the product. The biomedical industry will have to spend more time lobbying the government to ensure proper reimbursement than trying to introduce a new product.

    Also, many hospitals and care providers are facing shortages of nurses, pharmacist, technicians, etc. If reimbursements are cut, which the federal overnment will surely do, then everyone in health care will see their pay go down, just not the physicians. Why would anyone want to be an ER nurses when it will end up paying less than being a GS-12 program specialist at CMS?

    Also, even with single payer, there will still be cash and carry medicine for things like cosmetic surgery, lysik, tattoo removal, skin rejuvination, etc. Physicians will all start to look for cash and carry medicine procedures to supplement their income. Being a Dermatologist will be much more profitable than being an OB/GYN.

  53. 53
    Jake says:

    Does StuporDestroyer know that CMS is the most conservative of health care agencies and is usually the last organization to cover a service, but this doesn’t stop private insurance companies from covering these services?

    I’m thinking no.

  54. 54
    Zifnab says:

    In the future, a company could spend years trying to get a new product to market just to see CMS set the reimbursement so low that no one purchases the product. The biomedical industry will have to spend more time lobbying the government to ensure proper reimbursement than trying to introduce a new product.

    That would be a damn shame except they already lobby the government for “proper reimbursement” on bullshit like Viagra and massive paydays on Medicare Plan D.

    One thing that baffles me is how this new dystopia of neutered science is any different than our existing status quo. Why didn’t Bexxar and Zevalin turn to private insurance companies to foot the bill that CMS wouldn’t? Would Bexxar and Zevalin have even attempted to pioneer their treatments if they didn’t think CMS would have paid up? If CMS didn’t exist, would Bexxar or Zevalin?

    The companies took a gamble and got priced out of the market, but you fail to show how a purely privatized system would have kept these cancer therapies on the market. Would Cigna have been any more willing to pay for revolutionary new cancer treatments than they are currently willing to pay for liver transplants? I think not.

    Show me the pharmaceutical or therapy that has been carried by the majority of insurance companies before the federal government’s own programs accepted it. Then maybe I’ll keep listening.

  55. 55
    Edo says:

    jcricket,

    Taiwan, which until 10 years ago had a health care system almost exactly like ours (various private insurers, plus government programs, plus uninsured) went through a transition to single-payer in record time, and none of the bad things that were proffered by the nay-sayers came to fruition.

    Do you have a citation for this? I’d like to learn more about Taiwan’s transition to single-payer. Thanks in advance.

  56. 56
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    They have ridiculous med school tuition bills to pay, sky-high liability premiums to fund, and therefore will not accept a salary cut (unless those two things are simulatenously lowered as well, and they wont be).

    Why not? I honestly think that tying government-backed insurance to loan forgiveness and liability insurance might make a difference, because it would give new doctors a chance to have money in their pockets during their late twenties and early thirties, when it’s most useful for planning their futures.

    Now, the British NHS isn’t the model for the US to follow, but it does ensure that doctors and nurses don’t have a mortgage’s worth of debt the moment they graduate.

  57. 57
    BlogReeder says:

    Thanks for the thread John, it’s quite amusing. So many idiots so little time…
    I think we in the US have the best health care in the world because it’s NOT a single-payer system. The BIG assumption here is that it will stay that way under socialism. Oh sorry, I mean Universal Health Care. Why do you think people assume it’ll be the same? That’s really a big assumption. Our system is really expensive and when people talk UHC to point out how much cheaper it will be they don’t consider that it will be worse because of it.

  58. 58
    HyperIon says:

    In medical care, the trick for hospitals and other providers is to find a procudure or service that can make back all of its fixed costs in one year or less.

    umm, i think a lot of hospitals would settle for NOT having to serve a population that will never pay its bill…that would be the uninsured.

    i think you’re really talking about the trick for BigPharma.

  59. 59
    Zifnab says:

    Thanks for the thread John, it’s quite amusing. So many idiots so little time…

    LIBRLZ R STOOPID?
    check

    I think we in the US have the best health care in the world because it’s NOT a single-payer system.

    Mindless patriotism based on demonizing the negative?
    check

    The BIG assumption here is that it will stay that way under socialism. Oh sorry, I mean Universal Health Care. Why do you think people assume it’ll be the same? That’s really a big assumption.

    Big scary socialism.
    check

    Our system is really expensive and when people talk UHC to point out how much cheaper it will be they don’t consider that it will be worse because of it.

    Reckless use of pronouns to make a rather empty hypothetical hypothetical?
    check

    Let me guess. You’re a Republican?

  60. 60
    myiq2xu says:

    Look at the large amount of money that cardiologist lost after heavy investment in cardiac cath technology just to have CMS cut the reimbursement rates below costs.

    Let’s make this simple – Medicine should not be a “for profit” business.

    Let me repeat that: MEDICINE SHOULD NOT BE A “FOR PROFIT” BUSINESS.

    Medicine should be like police and fire services.

    Doctors (and other health care professionals) should be well compensated. The government should invest in research and technology to develop new medicines and procedures.

    Doctors should have some liability protection but should also be subject to government regulation rather than AMA oversight.

    Decisions about medical treatment should not be determined by some insurance company lackey who’s job depends on denying as many claims and benefits as possible.

    Destroyer, what’s your solution? You criticize other peoples ideas, but what is your plan? How would you provide healthcare to everyone? Or would you?

  61. 61
    Ninerdave says:

    One unfortunate aspect to our system is that Canadian doctors hear about the high salaries of U.S. doctors, and decide to head to the States to make more money.

    Well and a lot of our population buys drugs from Canadian pharmacies…kinda funny how that works.

    On a side note, I’d always found it sadly amusing that the party of the “free market” (read: GOP), never applied free market principals when it comes to spending our tax money. You know things like letting the government use it purchasing power to negotiate lower prescription prices, or sending out defense contacts for bids….

    John nails it really, universal health care is inevitable, it’s just how bad will special interests and specifically the insurance industry fuck it up.

  62. 62
    BlogReeder says:

    Let me guess. You’re a Republican?

    Sorry, you’re being specious because of flawed syllogisms. Libertarian would also fit, wouldn’t it? Big Government Bad – Individuals good.

  63. 63
    myiq2xu says:

    Well and a lot of our population buys drugs from Canadian pharmacies…kinda funny how that works.

    The same drugs, but cheaper. And Big Pharma wants to prevent that “for our protection.”

    Where’s Cassidey today? Last week he was objecting to the government making him buy energy efficient lightbulbs. I want to see what he has to say about this.

  64. 64
    ThymeZone says:

    Look at the large amount of money that cardiologist lost after heavy investment in cardiac cath

    Um, you described a lousy business decision, which has nothing to do with the question at hand.

    Cardiac cath is now the standard of care in cardiac medicine, and cath labs are raking in the cash.

    But that aside, if things are so tough for providers, how come more of them aren’t going broke?

    I say, how come more of them aren’t going broke?

  65. 65
    Jake says:

    I think we in the US people who have health insurance have the best health care in the world because it’s NOT a single-payer system.

    Fixed.

    An idiot screams about how everyone will be forced to take gubbermint funded health care. An idiot whines that private insurance companies are so feeble they couldn’t stand the competition of the vastly inferior public health care. An idiot claims that the expense of health care in the US is a good thing.
    That’s what an idiot says.
    An asshole says “I got mine, suck it uninsured plebes!”

  66. 66
    Robert Johnston says:

    Let me guess. You’re a Republican?

    Sorry, you’re being specious because of flawed syllogisms. Libertarian would also fit, wouldn’t it? Big Government Bad – Individuals good.

    You do realize that a libertarian is just someone too falsely convinced of his own independence to admit to being a Republican, don’t you? And that “individuals good” has absolutely nothing to do with the vast majority of self-professed libertarians beyond being a soothing mantra they repeat to themselves to convince themselves of their own superiority while they go and vote for policies that routinely amount to rape of the individual? There’s a reason why, when push comes to shove, libertarians overwhelmingly pull the lever next to the (R).

  67. 67
    Joey Maloney says:

    Allow me to interrupt this Very Serious discussion for just a moment, to send a big “thank you” to whoever it was who posted the crockpot method for making onion soup. I tried it yesterday and it is excellent, excellent with a side order of filling-the-house-for-hours-with-the-fragrance-of-oniony-goodness.

  68. 68
    BlogReeder says:

    Jake, such rudeness! I’m appalled. Not at Balloon-juice!
    I think the people without insurance are also benefiting. The infrastructure is here because of the current system.

  69. 69
    Face says:

    Our system is really expensive and when people talk UHC to point out how much cheaper it will be they don’t consider that it will be worse because of it.

    So few links, so little time.

    Shorter BR: My 1deaz ruL3 n uRz su[k be[uz i S/\y sO…

  70. 70
    4tehlulz says:

    I think the people without insurance are also benefiting.

    HAHA OH WOW

  71. 71

    Perhaps if the government is involved, they will plan cities such that people can actually walk places.

  72. 72
    BlogReeder says:

    You do realize that a libertarian is just someone too falsely convinced of his own independence to admit to being a Republican, don’t you?
    RJ, that’s not correct. Libertarian is the opposite of socialism. Democrats and Republicans are just political parties.

  73. 73
    myiq2xu says:

    Libertarian – A conservative who likes to get high.

  74. 74
    ThymeZone says:

    I think the people without insurance are also benefiting

    People without insurance are largely without access.

    Suggesting that people without full access to healthcare are “benefitting” may be (I’d have to look up a few things to be sure) the stupidest idea I have ever seen advanced on this blog.

    And that, sir, is really saying something.

  75. 75
    myiq2xu says:

    If the current system is better at developing new medicines and treatments, why do all insurance plans deny coverage for “experimental” procedures?

    If a surgical procedure is very expensive and has less than 50% chance of success, what is the incentive for the insurance company to approve its use?

    “Gee, it might save your life, but we’ll lose money, so go fuck yourself.”

  76. 76
    superdestroyer says:

    You can look up the problems with CMS being the one that determines what technologies will be offered.

    See http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12.....f=business

    New Medicare rules for a small but promising class of cancer drugs may cause thousands of lymphoma patients to lose access to the treatment, which in some cases is the only therapy available to them.

    The point is that when one organization is setting the reimbursement for most medical procedures, then that organization is becomes the central planning authority for healthcare. Most insurance companies today just follow the reimbursement rates for CMS except for a few, boutique insurance comapnies (that will still exist).

    The real question is why would anyone want to think about a career in health care when CMS can eliminate your job tomorrow?

  77. 77
    BlogReeder says:

    Suggesting that people without full access to healthcare are “benefitting” may be (I’d have to look up a few things to be sure) the stupidest idea I have ever seen advanced on this blog.

    That is quite a compliment, I think.

    TZ, think about it. Trickle down health care. People say the uninsured have NO access to health care but that’s not true. It would be very expensive but not inaccessible.

  78. 78
    Jake says:

    The real question is, when will SooperDestroyer figure out that people do follow the links.

    Under the new rules, after Jan. 1, Medicare will reimburse hospitals about $16,000 for each treatment with the drugs, which a patient needs to receive only once. GlaxoSmithKline, which markets Bexxar, says it is priced at almost $30,000 a treatment, and Biogen Idec, which sells Zevalin, says it costs nearly as much. While high, such prices are not unusual for new cancer therapies, which can cost $50,000 or more for a year of treatment.

    Gee, the pharm companies say the drug costs this much so it must be true and it is so rude for CMS not to take their word for it. Waaah.

    Senior Medicare officials say they are not trying to prevent hospitals from giving Bexxar and Zevalin. They say that $16,000 is a fair price and is based on the actual prices hospitals have paid for the medicines this year.

    So the pharm cos have been accepting this level of payment but somehow this is a huge injustice and threat to healthcare and just generally not right. Waaah.

    Look Soop, just tie this to the inexplicable voting habits of minorities and go away.

  79. 79
    ThymeZone says:

    People say the uninsured have NO access to health care

    People say?

    What do you think this is, a parlor game? Lives are ruined, families flattened by the crushing weight of the financial burden of healthcare costs in this country, every day. Every hour. Jobs are lost, futures compromised by inadequate care.

    What planet are you living on? Nobody should be uninsured in this country. Millions are.

    Another crummy spoof. Can we not get some DECENT SPOOF around here for crissakes?

  80. 80
    paging mr. karma says:

    [punctuation nazi]No it wouldn’t; try replacing the comma with a semi-colon.[/punctuation nazi]

    Try putting a comma after “No.” And lay off the retro hyphenation of “semicolon” while you’re at it.

  81. 81
    myiq2xu says:

    Trickle down health care.

    Don’t piss on my head and tell me it’s raining trickling down.

  82. 82
    scav says:

    Trickle down health care. People say the uninsured have NO access to health care but that’s not true. It would be very expensive but not inaccessible.

    Either completely nuts or very good parody. I mean, one can’t die in a grocery store if your jaws are wired shut not, can one?
    snort. We die earlier than a lot of Europeans, have infant mortality rates in spots that rival those of the third world and we brag of our unsurpassed heath care system. I mean, those that can afford it have simply excellently straight and gleaming teeth.

  83. 83
    brad says:

    Yeah–the whole privatizing profits/socializing costs is a big theme in the insurance industry… A few days ago, their trade org, AHIP, released a reform proposal that, in effect, promised to offer coverage for more healthy people as long as states would foot the bill for anyone likely to require a significant amount of coverage.
    http://www.kaisernetwork.org/d.....R_ID=49498

  84. 84
    SKI says:

    Jake fixed BlogReeder’s comment to say:
    I think we in the US people who have health insurance have the best health care in the world because it’s NOT a single-payer system.
    Except that even those of use with health insurance probably don’t – depending on how you define it. We certainly aren’t the healthiest population among similarly situated countries.

    We probably do have the best access to the best/newest treatments for a whole host of issues but in terms of most people and our everyday lives in areas like disease management, prenatal care and basic primary care – not so much.

  85. 85
    4tehlulz says:

    It would be very expensive but not inaccessible.

    Shorter Paultard: I believe that a world where diabetics have to choose between rent and insulin is perfectly just.

  86. 86
    Punchy says:

    People say the uninsured have NO access to health care but that’s not true. It would be very expensive but not inaccessible.

    Tip to BR. He’s on to something. What the fuck are all these fucking people doing buying FOOD and DIAPERS and RENT when their fucking Blue Cross premium is due? Fucking unreal how fiscally fucking irresponsible these people are. Jesus Christ, I mean…what kind of idiot buys food unless he has tier 1 vision care and a dental checkup every 3 months?

    Good catch, Blogy.

  87. 87
    ThymeZone says:

    Okay, kids, cut to the chase:

    Big Medicine has sold the US population a bill of goods, which is:

    Single Payer is BAAAAD because it’s “Single Class” care.

    Do you really want the same care that a homeless person can get? SOCIALIZED MEDICINE! SCARY!

    That’s why we don’t have it. Demagoguery, the best money can buy.

  88. 88
    BlogReeder says:

    TZ, I think it reads better as “people say”. Don’t get so uppity.

    Lives are ruined, families flattened by the crushing weight of the financial burden of healthcare costs in this country, every day.

    Again, you are talking costs. It’s expensive because it’s good.

    Every hour. Jobs are lost, futures compromised by inadequate care.

    That doesn’t follow, does it? If there were inadequate care there would be less costs, right? On the one hand you’re saying that a single-payer system would decrease costs and and on the other that it would improve care. In my opinion that’s a fantasy. If you going to promote a single-payer system just say that everyone will get less care. That is what you’re pushing.

  89. 89
    scav says:

    Exactly. So long as we have the mostest and bestest drugs and machines available, who gives a shit if people are ever actually treated for diseases?

  90. 90
    4tehlulz says:

    Exactly. So long as I have the mostest and bestest drugs and machines available, who gives a shit if other people are ever actually treated for diseases?

    So close scav, but I perfected the libertarian credo for you.

  91. 91
    Tax Analyst says:

    BlogReeder Says:

    …I think the people without insurance are also benefiting. The infrastructure is here because of the current system.

    I’m gonna have to second that “Stupidest idea on this blog” – or perhaps a reassignment to “Statement most in need of some coherent elaboration”, because I’m having trouble following you from Point A,”I think the people without insurance are also benefiting.”, to Point B, “The infrastructure is here because of the current system.”

  92. 92
    myiq2xu says:

    It’s expensive because it’s good.

    It’s expensive because the insurance companies are making billions to not provide care.

    If you going to promote a single-payer system just say that everyone will get less care.

    My current plan is called “Don’t get sick or hurt.”

    How do I get less than that?

  93. 93
    Face says:

    Tip to BR. He’s on to something. What the fuck are all these fucking people doing buying FOOD and DIAPERS and RENT when their fucking Blue Cross premium is due? Fucking unreal how fiscally fucking irresponsible these people are. Jesus Christ, I mean…what kind of idiot buys food unless he has tier 1 vision care and a dental checkup every 3 months?

    Tip to Punchy. S/he’s on to something. Maybe if these uninsured stopped eating, they wouldn’t need dental care. Then, they’d reverse their obesity (all poor people are fat) and not need a doc to prescribe their statins and insulin. Therefore, they wouldn’t need medical care.

    Ergo, just keep the uninsured from consuming food. Problem solved. Perhaps they can blow those savings on lottery tickets and be not poor, so they can eat again.

  94. 94
    Fe E says:

    In my opinion that’s a fantasy

    This is all just a pointless waste of time BR. Thousands of people who are allowed near sharp objects have been examining this issue for years. Objectively, the US system is defintiely the most expensive in the world, and in terms of population outcomes it is mediocre at best. In my mind that makes it the worst possible system, out of four general outcomes, which is the worst: healthy and wealthy, healthy and broke, sick and wealthy, sick and broke?

    This is an extraordinarily well plowed furrough and having to re-argue the same damn shit time and time again only delays a solution.

    But that’s been your plan all along, hasn’t it?

  95. 95
    Tax Analyst says:

    Well, shit – I don’t know what happened to the rest of my rant back to “BlogReeder”. Anyway, to shorten my diatribe, I said that if he couldn’t explain HOW those without insurance might be reaping benefits from the current set-up that he “might” just be an imbecile who couldn’t poor piss out of a boot.

    It was a much longer rant, but that’s the shorter version. So now we await an explanation of how his immaculate perception works in reality.

    This oughta be rich.

  96. 96
    ThymeZone says:

    On the one hand you’re saying that a single-payer system would decrease costs

    Where did I say that? Don’t put words into my mouth, pal, unless you want me riding you like a grocery store sidewalk palomino for the rest of the thread.

    I made no such claim. I said that lack of insurance equals lack of access, and that isn’t tolerable.

    I said that lack of insurance also puts an intolerable burden of cost on the backs of the people who need the care, and that is not tolerable either.

    If you have an extra $150k laying around, maybe you could help pay for these invoices I have over here in the drawer? Just to show your good faith, I mean.

  97. 97
    BlogReeder says:

    Where did I say that? Don’t put words into my mouth, pal, unless you want me riding you like a grocery store sidewalk palomino for the rest of the thread.

    You said:

    …families flattened by the crushing weight of the financial burden of healthcare costs in this country

    Wouldn’t it follow that a single-payer system would fix that? Isn’t that what you’re arguing?

    If you have an extra $150k laying around, maybe you could help pay for these invoices I have over here in the drawer? Just to show your good faith, I mean.

    Sorry to hear that.

  98. 98
    Jake says:

    I said that if he couldn’t explain HOW those without insurance might be reaping benefits from the current set-up that he “might” just be an imbecile who couldn’t poor piss out of a boot.

    I know the answer to this one, but I’m not gonna spoil it. A hint: It involves ripping off a statementery made by Bush this summer.

  99. 99
    ThymeZone says:

    Wouldn’t it follow that a single-payer system would fix that? Isn’t that what you’re arguing?

    I have stated clearly what I’m arguing. I have no idea what you are doing.

    I’m talking about who pays. You are apparently trying to invent a jackalope, but you are doing piss poor job of it.

  100. 100
    myiq2xu says:

    When a doctor is examining and treating a patient, his/her only consideration should be making the correct diagnosis and providing the appropriate care.

    The doctor should not have to consider whether or not he/she will get paid or make a profit. There should be no financial incentive to provide, prescribe or request any particular treatment, medication or tests, nor should they have to seek permission from someone who is not a doctor and/or has not examined the patient, especially if that person has a finacial incentive to deny the best care available.

    No plan or system will be perfect, but there is plenty of room for improvement in the current system.

    Most of the trolls and corporate shills aren’t interested in fixing anything, their goal is to frustrate reform.

  101. 101
    ThymeZone says:

    Most of the trolls and corporate shills aren’t interested in fixing anything, their goal is to frustrate reform.

    Correctamundo.

    And now, back to the adventures of the Frist Family, those great champions of the fight against socialized medicine:

    As for HCA, the plot thickened in 1994 when HCA merged with Columbia Healthcare, a chain created by Fort Worth financier Richard Rainwater and Rick Scott, a Dallas lawyer. Under the terms of the union, Scott became CEO of Columbia/HCA Healthcare, while Tommy Frist, Jr., stayed on as chairman.

    The marriage did not last. Three years later, FBI agents raided Columbia/HCA in five states. Within weeks, three executives were indicted on charges of Medicare fraud, and the board had ousted Scott, naming Tommy Frist, Jr., both chairman and CEO. In 2000 HCA pleaded guilty to no fewer than 14 felonies. Over the next two years, it paid a total of $1.7 billion in criminal and civil fines.

    Columbia’s Rick Scott took most of the heat while Tommy Frist denied any knowledge of wrongdoing. But skeptics pointed out that the federal probe went back to the years before Rick Scott came on the scene. And even after the merger, Frist served first as chairman and later as vice-chairman, earning $800,000 in 1995 and 1996. It was only in 1997 — a few months before the FBI raid — that Frist began to disassociate himself from the company.

    Oh yeah, they had your interests at heart the whole time.

    Tommy Frist, Jr. is the brother of Bill Frist.

  102. 102
    Krista says:

    TZ, think about it. Trickle down health care. People say the uninsured have NO access to health care but that’s not true. It would be very expensive but not inaccessible.

    Christ on toast, you really have no clue, do you? For the uninsured, expensive MEANS that it’s inaccessible.

    All the shiny technology and cutting-edge pharmaceuticals in the world don’t make for a good healthcare system, if such a large percentage of your own citizens will never, ever get to benefit from those advances.

    Wake the fuck up. People in YOUR country, the “greatest country in the world” are dying because they can’t afford treatment. People with cancer are dying because their insurance companies are dropping them like a hot potato. What the fuck kind of system do you have when the difference between living and dying all boils down to a corporation’s altruism?

    It’s a goddamn travesty, is what it is. You people should be rioting in the streets.

  103. 103
    BlogReeder says:

    I’m talking about who pays

    Now we’re on to something. So who pays? It’s obviously not the families. Otherwise they would still be crushed financially. So their costs would be less. So who pays? Everyone else?

  104. 104
    myiq2xu says:

    The thing about the movie “Sicko” isn’t that it showed the plight of people without medical insurance, what made it so disturbing is that the people in it had insurance and still were taking it up the poop chute.

  105. 105
    John S. says:

    It’s expensive because it’s good.

    Congratulations. That is one of the single most moronic sentences ever posted here. Although, someone was making a similar argument the other day in regards to Halliburton and KBR – they cost taxpayers a fortune, so they must be doing a good job!

    You can extend that corollary to things:

    The Iraq War – It’s expensive because it’s good!

    The Defense Budget – It’s expensive because it’s good!

    Prescription Drugs – It’s expensive because it’s good!

    Gasoline – It’s expensive because it’s good!

    Where does this inanity stop?

  106. 106
    myiq2xu says:

    Where does this inanity stop?

    I don’t know where but I do know when – January 20, 2009.

  107. 107

    Again, you are talking costs. It’s expensive because it’s good.

    Exactly how is it good? What evidence do you have, besides blind faith, to support this?

  108. 108

    Where does this inanity stop?

    The Inanity cannot stop, because it is good!

  109. 109
    Krista says:

    The Inanity cannot stop, because it is good!

    So if expensive=good, then inanity must be expensive! Ergo, if the inanity stops, the expense stops.

    There you go. I just found the money that you folks can use to implement and pay for universal healthcare.

    1. Stop the inanity
    2. ?????
    3. Profit!

  110. 110
    Ted says:

    Michael D. just emailed me and told me he thinks the Fair Tax would fix the health care problem.

  111. 111

    The thing about the movie “Sicko” isn’t that it showed the plight of people without medical insurance, what made it so disturbing is that the people in it had insurance and still were taking it up the poop chute.

    Yeah, I went to see a gastro specialist because of stomach pains I’m having. He wanted to do an endoscopy, which i agreed to. Not even thinking that this is a hospital procedure, and my insurance wanted a $500 copay.

    SMACK!

    He wanted to do another procedure as well, and I had to tell him i couldn’t afford it right now.

    Now these are diagnostic tests, the goal was to try to understand and try to catch something that may be serious before it becomes really serious.

    But that’s our “wonderful” healthcare.

    Not to mention, most of the time I talk to doctors they don’t even want to understand what’s wrong. They just want to pop me full of pills.

  112. 112

    Would the Fair Tax stop pharma from advertising on TV?

    I’ve never heard of restless leg syndrome before, but by god there must be a huge market for pills to cure it.

  113. 113
    myiq2xu says:

    Michael D. just emailed me and told me he thinks the Fair Tax would fix the health care problem.

    Aren’t fairs expensive enough already? I haven’t gone to the fair in several years. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all.

  114. 114
    Bill Arnold says:

    What the fuck kind of system do you have when the difference between living and dying all boils down to a corporation’s altruism?

    LOL – an altruistic for-profit corporation is a malfunctioning corporation. If a correctly-run corporation appears to be altruistic, it’s because an appearance of altruism is somehow convincingly correlated with increased shareholder value.

  115. 115
    superdestroyer says:

    myiq2xu

    The doctor should not have to consider whether or not he/she will get paid or make a profit. There should be no financial incentive to provide, prescribe or request any particular treatment, medication or tests, nor should they have to seek permission from someone who is not a doctor and/or has not examined the patient, especially if that person has a financial incentive to deny the best care available.?

    By writing this, you obviously do not know how Medicare works. The physician has to worry about the diagnostic code because that determines what tests, referrals, treatments, and medications that the government will reimburse. Medicare even determines what the follow up care will be and whether it will be paid for. The physician has to worry about the difference between costs and reimbursement rates, and what the physician can do versus what he would have to refer to someone else. He also has to worry about the standard of care and what are all of th ways that he can be second guessed.

    What is really amazing is how the the legal profession operates versus the medical profession. Your lawyer charges for his staff’s time but medicine pays for it out of the reimbursement. Physicians cannot be paid for referrals but lawyers get a fees for referring. Good lawyers get to charge more, yet all physicians get the same fee whether they are an expert at the Mayo Clinic or based their boards last week. Maybe progressives would have more credibility on medical reform when they propose single payer for the legal profession.

  116. 116
    BlogReeder says:

    Yeah, I went to see a gastro specialist because of stomach pains I’m having. He wanted to do an endoscopy, which i agreed to. Not even thinking that this is a hospital procedure, and my insurance wanted a $500 copay.

    Another anecdote about high costs.

    But that’s our “wonderful” healthcare.

    Sounds like sarcasm. So our system isn’t wonderful because it’s expensive? Let’s say this was a free (to you) procedure. Then it would be wonderful. But would it be the same? What constraints would the republicans put on the doctor? Have you thought about that? They’re the government right now. They could be again in the future. They would control what expenses the doctor would charge.

  117. 117
    John S. says:

    They’re the government right now.

    Republicans aren’t the government – they are in control of a part of the government. It’s a minor detail, but an important one. Then again, I’m sure you think of the president as your personal commander-in-chief, too.

  118. 118
    scav says:

    To BlogReeder, clearly, not only is the price tag the only meaningful stamp of quality, but the American system of Government is not one of laws but one of unitary power determined solely by elections.

  119. 119
    ThymeZone says:

    So who pays? Everyone else?

    Are ya familiar with the concept of insurance, and risk sharing, sir?

    Go away and STFU, you are wasting peoples’ time here.

  120. 120
    BlogReeder says:

    Republicans aren’t the government – they are in control of a part of the government.

    You’re purposely being obtuse aren’t you? My point was that the government isn’t always your people.

  121. 121
    Z says:

    I agree that single-payer or some kind of bare minimun insurance for all is coming. I think the research is clear that it would result in lower costs with better care. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to stop the rise in healthcare costs. Medicare’s costs have been steadily and sharply rising, despite many, many cuts in reimbursements. The big thing that is pushing up the cost of healthcare in the 1st world (here, Europe, Canada, Japan…) is booming populations old people with very expensive serious chronic conditions. Healthcare costs will never fully be under control until we, as a society, have made the very difficult decisions about what should be covered. For example, do we give extremely expensive cancer treatments to someone who has a 5-10% chance of surviving? Do we treat infections in people who are already dying? Do we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars treating complications in the terminally ill to buy them a few more months of life?

  122. 122
    Chris Johnson says:

    Trickle down health care.

    Fucker made me laugh when I’m so wiped out with a cold that it’s causing outbursts of coughing :P

    I’m with Krista, except for me living in the USA. There are sooooo many people in this thread that I would really, really like to smack… or maybe it’s just multi-sock-headed troll syndrome.

    I’m encouraged by the people with doctor families who are saying “actually we would like socialized medicine, because the paperwork would be way easier and the insurance companies are ripping US OFF TOO…”

    Can I has another Teddy Roosevelt? I’d like to think of this system as one giant trust set up to enrich itself and screw everything else. And I’d like to think patriotism and the desire to have a thriving, successful country would trump that, but obviously we’ve got some fools who love the badassery of the system above all practicality…

  123. 123
    BlogReeder says:

    TZ, you certainly are a rascally debater. Would Universal Health Insurance be like social security? That’s a classic insurance scheme too.

  124. 124
    Z says:

    Short version of what I said earlier: The problem isn’t the insurance companies, Pharma, etc. The problem is the Culture of Life(TM).

  125. 125
    ThymeZone says:

    Would Universal Health Insurance be like social security? That’s a classic insurance scheme too.

    First of all, I’m not “debating” you. You aren’t debating, and I don’t generally do debates. I do posts, in which I take, and defend, my positions. If you have counter arguments, make them. If you are just jousting with me, good luck, I am about twenty five thousand posts ahead of you in experience and skill. I started in 1997 doing flame wars with people about ten time better at this than you are. I don’t lose these exchanges.

    Second, if you don’t know how national universal health insurance works, there is a wealth of information about it available to you. A large number of countries operate these schemes, and the facts are widely disbursed. Read up on it and get back to us.

    And if you are going to do blogtrolling and disruption, you really need to do a better job. Your lame flailings here are pretty pathetic.

    Universal health insurance like Social Security? Uh, no, not at all. The actuarial models are not similar. But again, that information is out there for you if you are actually interested, which I doubt.

    I don’t know what brought out all the second-rate troll wannabees today, but whatever it was, I hope that it subsides soon. Go away, bother somebody else.

  126. 126
    BlogReeder says:

    …agree that single-payer or some kind of bare minimun insurance for all is coming. I think the research is clear that it would result in lower costs with better care.

    Except for…

    ..For example, do we give extremely expensive cancer treatments to someone who has a 5-10% chance of surviving?

    And who’s this We you’re talking about? We won’t decide anything.

  127. 127
    ThymeZone says:

    We won’t decide anything

    Don’t make another assertion unless you are prepared to back it up.

    No evidence has been presented here about how care decisions are made, either now, or in some hypothetical version of the future.

    Do you have such a tableaux to share? Then describe it.

  128. 128
    BlogReeder says:

    TZ, I guess I have to bow to your expertise. However, If you don’t do debates what does this mean?

    I do posts, in which I take, and defend, my positions.

    Sounds like debating. Then you said.

    ..I don’t lose these exchanges.

    Again, sounds like a debate. However, I must bow to your definition since you makes the rules. Sorry. I just wanted to make a point about cost vs care.

  129. 129
    Carol says:

    What restrictions on doctor treatment would there really be, BlogReader? The last thing a politician really wants is to face angry relatives whose family member hasn’t been treated. So pretty much the doctors will be left alone to exercise their judgement unless the decisions are simply egregious.

    Single payer healthcare will be better than Medicare, and even save Medicare money in the long run. Why? First of all, people will be able to get treated earlier for illnesses and get consistent care for others, so when they reach 65, the doctors aren’t suddenly having to treat people for years of neglect after their old health insurance has lapsed.

    The salaries getting lower? I don’t believe they will pay less than now, but if they do, here’s how they make them up: elimination of the costs of processing all of those insurance forms, student loan forgiveness if they are willing to serve the underserved for a while, upping reimbursements in general, some subsidized loans for setting up a practice. Another benefit, for a while will be the rush of people who have been un-and underserved coming in the system for long neglected care, and the payments that come from that. Forty million people out of the system take a while to process and meeting their needs should provide a hefty amount of new business for every part of the medical system. Think of all the new dentures, prescriptions, glasses, health equipment, nursing home care, et cetera.

    Hospitals will save on emergency room care. With single payer, most people with ordinary illnesses will go to clinics or private doctors, leaving the emergency rooms for emergencies. Indeed, with no uninsured to have to provide care for, the emergency rooms will be less crowded.

  130. 130
    BlogReeder says:

    No evidence has been presented here about how care decisions are made,

    I was responding to.

    Z ..Healthcare costs will never fully be under control until we, as a society, have made the very difficult decisions about what should be covered.

    Who’s we?

  131. 131
    Tax Analyst says:

    myiq2xu Says:

    Where does this inanity stop?

    I don’t know where but I do know when – January 20, 2009.

    It doesn’t really stop then, it just takes it’s rightful place on the sideline. We’ll never actually run out.

  132. 132
    ThymeZone says:

    However, I must bow to your definition since you makes the rules.

    Nope. And if you have a set of rules you think applies here, if you have arguments to make, if you have models to describe, then do it.

    If you have a better solution to the present debacle than universal insurance, then draw it up and defend it.

    Otherwise you are just ankle-biting, right?

  133. 133
    ThymeZone says:

    Who’s we?

    Fuck off, man. Really, fuck off.

  134. 134
    myiq2xu says:

    Maybe progressives would have more credibility on medical reform when they propose single payer for the legal profession.

    Apples to Oranges

    But in the field of criminal law, that’s basically what we have.

    100% of prosecutors and about 90% of defense lawyers are paid by the government.

  135. 135
    BlogReeder says:

    If you have a better solution to the present debacle than universal insurance, then draw it up and defend it.

    TZ, now I know you’re a great.. opinioner.. but let me teach you something here. I don’t have to have a plan in order to see a bad one. The current system has many problems but I really think that a Single-payer system would be worse. I’m almost of the opinion that the current state of affairs was caused by too much health insurance. If everybody had to pay out of pocket I’m sure some of the costs would be much lower. I don’t know.

  136. 136
    ThymeZone says:

    I don’t know.

    Um, yes, it’s quite clear, you don’t know … what the hell you are talking about.

    But if you care to know, the information is out there. Many other countries have faced this situation, dealt with it, and implemented the kinds of scheme you seem to be clueless about.

    For example, if you really want to know how care decisions are made, take a look at other nationalized systems and report back to us. I think you will find that appropriate processes are put in place, and that these are open to inspection and review in appropriate ways. I think you will find that no such plan is perfect, but ….

    … you may decide, once you actually do know something, that in the balance between imperfect but successful universal health insurance, on the one hand, and the trainwreck that exists today in this country, on the other hand, that the universal scheme is preferable …. which is why the countries that can afford it, have it. They chose the correct path.

    Sooner or later, when we tire of businesses being dragged down by being saddled with this burden, and families being broken by healthcare costs, retirements ruined, finances ruined ….. we’ll make the same choice, over the screams of the fools and the greedy fuckers who are happy to profit from the mess we have now.

    Meanwhile, what are you going to do? Sit here and carp like a damned fool? Or what?

    I don’t have to have a plan in order to see a bad one.

    Uh huh. When you can explain to me what’s good about the current “plan” (which is actually a cartel basically run by a moneyed interest in cahoots with a corrupt government) for the average american family that has no health insurance, then I might listen to you. Until then, I have no interest in what you think you “see” because it’s got no basis in fact.

  137. 137
    Carol says:

    Who decides? If the rest of the Federal Government is any example, the judgement will be left to the professionals and the regulatory agencies that hire them. At least we will know who they are, and have a mechanism to address problems. The insurance companies are nowhere near that transparent or accessible. You don’t get to vote for insurance company executives, and they certainly aren’t appointed by people who you vote for either. With that amount of accountability, people will get the same amount of care, or even better, especially if it’s an election year.

    Notice how all of the trolls say “socialized medicine”. It’s an old trick to scare people who heard about Soviet medicine and its relatively poor quality. But Soviet medicine was poor because the country was poor and there were perhaps more than a touch of Lysenko in the system.
    America has money, a modern infrastructure that hasn’t been touched by war, and a medical establishment that practices non-ideological scientific medicine. There are more than enough hospitals-so much so that we are actually closing some for lack of patients.

  138. 138
    Tax Analyst says:

    BlogReeder said:
    If everybody had to pay out of pocket I’m sure some of the costs would be much lower. I don’t know.

    You’re SURE…but you don’t know…Well, why didn’t you just SAY SO, man? It would have saved everyone a whole lot of keystrokes.

    Well, that about sums it up, doesn’t it? You don’t think single-payer can work because, well, you don’t think it can work, right? And you don’t want to take the time to learn anything about it and so you think it would all go away and be better if we just didn’t have so darned much health insurance coverage. And when you say, “I don’t have to have a plan in order to see a bad one.”, What you really mean is, “I’ve decided I don’t like ‘Single-payer’ because it doesn’t mesh with my precious OPINIONS about how things ought to be so I’ll just peck away at the suggestion – it’s easy to do; re-tooling Health Care is a massive undertaking that will certainly be a very arduous and frustrating task. Seriously considering various ways to implement it would take an awful lot of my time, it’s a lot easier to just criticize the suggestion.” That’s fine, and I’m sorry to be so redundant here, but AGAIN…

    …why didn’t you just SAY SO in the first place? It would have saved everybody a whole bunch of annoyance and countless keystrokes.

    We’ll have to do this again. You know, when you can, like, stay longer.

  139. 139
    BlogReeder says:

    But if you care to know, the information is out there. Many other countries have faced this situation, dealt with it, and implemented the kinds of scheme you seem to be clueless about.

    TZ, an articulate post! Wow! Probably only PG-13 rated too!
    I really don’t think you’ll listen to me until I

    …They chose the correct path

    slip to the dark side of socialism. Sorry. You know just because many other countries jump off a bridge doesn’t mean we have to. Sometimes you guys (maybe not you) offer silly arguments about world opinion and how we should bow to them. Rubbish! Look, we know how Medicare works here, we know how social security works. Does that really instill confidence that we’ll get a single-payer system right?

  140. 140
    Jake says:

    By writing this, you obviously do not know how Medicare works. The physician has to worry about the diagnostic code because that determines what tests, referrals, treatments, and medications that the government will reimburse. Medicare even determines what the follow up care will be and whether it will be paid for.

    Not completely accurate but close enough. Now, for the grand prize, tell us how the system you just described is substantially different from Blue, Aetna, Cigna or any other insurance company you care to name.

  141. 141
    BlogReeder says:

    And you don’t want to take the time to learn anything about it and so you think it would all go away and be better if we just didn’t have so darned much health insurance coverage

    I have read a lot about other system. In my opinion they are bad. In our current system the insurance company make the decisions about what they will cover or not. I work for someone else and find a better plan. Now if it’s a single-payer system, they will still make those same “cost” decisions but I will have to move out of the country to get a better plan.

  142. 142
    ThymeZone says:

    You know just because many other countries jump off a bridge doesn’t mean we have to. Sometimes you guys (maybe not you) offer silly arguments about world opinion and how we should bow to them. Rubbish! Look, we know how Medicare works here, we know how social security works. Does that really instill confidence that we’ll get a single-payer system right?

    You really are a complete fucking idiot, or more likely, a spooftroll just looking for churn.

    In any case, fuck off. Your statements are just ludicrous.

    “World opinion?” No, butthead, world action, world response to a common problem, with track records, and tons of empirical data as a result. It’s not opinion, any more than it’s opinion that we are unique among prosperous nations for having no coherent national health plan.

    Social Security is here to stay. It’s popular, and it works, and the horseshit that George Bush tried to peddle four years ago about it was so bad that he actually managed to strengthen support for it while he spoke against it. Medicare is here to stay, and will be expanded, it is not going away.

    Single payer or something like it is inevitable here for the simple reason that the current situation is not sustainable, and cannot be tolerated long term, and no other solution is viable.

    Those are pretty much obvious facts. Ignore them and sit here popping your finger in your cheek like a goon all you like, they aren’t going away.

    Labeling a sensible shared risk plan as “socialism” is the kind of thing that makes it obvious you are just trying your hand at spoof, and doing very badly at it.

    Go fuck yourself. Go away, and shut up.

    Or, prove me wrong and make a coherent argument in favor of the status quo. Go ahead, seriously.

  143. 143
    ThymeZone says:

    In our current system the insurance company make the decisions about what they will cover or not. I work for someone else and find a better plan.

    I think with that, we can put to rest any question about whether you are serious about this subject.

    You’ve just described one of the very worst things about the status quo as if it were a feature, not a bug.

    Get lost, really. You are wasting peoples’ time here.

  144. 144
    4tehlulz says:

    In our current system the insurance company make the decisions about what they will cover or not. I work for someone else and find a better plan.

    Fucking lol. How old are you, 14?

  145. 145
    rachel says:

    …They chose the correct path

    slip to the dark side of socialism. Sorry. You know just because many other countries jump off a bridge doesn’t mean we have to.

    You heard it here folks: Japan and South Korea are socialist countries.

    Baahh-hah-haaaah!! :-D

  146. 146
    superdestroyer says:

    Jake,

    AS long as there is a variety of insurance companies medical technology, drug companies, and biotech start ups have a chance to get a new product introduced.

    In a single payer system, some committee of political appointees will be the ones determining which products are available.

    You should look at current government run insurance programs like TRICARE or VISTA before singing the praises of the government running insurance programs for people other than the elderly.

  147. 147
    Asti says:

    TZ, think about it. Trickle down health care. People say the uninsured have NO access to health care but that’s not true. It would be very expensive but not inaccessible.

    Oh, I see, so long as it’s someone else’s problem and not yours, it’s all okay, huh?

    I have no insurance and I can’t afford medical care, but it’s not inaccessable, I just can’t get any.

  148. 148
    ThymeZone says:

    some committee of political appointees will be the ones determining which products are available.

    You mean like the Food and Drug Administration does?

    Yeah, terrible idea.

    What we really need is a coalition of corporations deciding these things for us. You know, like Mattel and the toy companies regulating the composition of toys. Or food product cartels regulating the safety of food among themselves.

    We should get rid of the FAA, too, and stop regulating air safety. And how about all those useless Boards of Medicine and Boards of Pharmacy across the US that just mess up the practices of medicine and pharmacy? Gotta go.

    Fuckin a, where do all the morons come from? Is there a breeding service out there?

  149. 149
    eric says:

    Is this title an allusion to the Bill Moyers interview with with Benjamin Barber? He uses almost (if not exactly) that same phrase: “Privatize the Profits, Socialize the risk” to describe how big corporations keep all their dough but get bailed out when they fuck up. Link:

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/jour.....watch.html

    the interview really doesn’t have much to do with health care explicitly, but its an interesting look at our “the market is omnipotent” mentality here in the U.S.

  150. 150
    rachel says:

    Jake,

    AS long as there is a variety of insurance companies medical technology, drug companies, and biotech start ups have a chance to get a new product introduced.

    Funny, you know who’s a leader in biotech these days? South Korea! You know who also has “socialized medicine”? That’s right, South Korea!

    In other words, you are blowing hot air about some economic theory of yours that reality does not support.

  151. 151

    So…why does single payer matter? Can somebody explain it to me?

    Not in the sense of “why should we have single payer” — I did a stint at York U., and I understand that completely — but rather in the sense of “why do fRight wingers turn completely hydrophobic, down to the froth at the corners of their mouths, whenever it’s seriously discussed?”

  152. 152
    4tehlulz says:

    Fuckin a, where do all the morons come from? Is there a breeding service out there?

    Yes.

  153. 153
    Jake says:

    AS long as there is a variety of insurance companies medical technology, drug companies, and biotech start ups have a chance to get a new product introduced.

    You really ought to stick to “arguments” about the voting habits of minorities. That way you’d just sound like a moronic bigot. Now you sound like an abundantly ignorant and stupid jackass. Please explain how a variety of health insurance companies = new health care products being introduced. Or put another way, how does a variety of car insurance companies increase the types of cars on the road and allow start up car companies to get their cars on the road?

    In a single payer system, some committee of political appointees will be the ones determining which products are available.

    Again with A + 5 = Cantaloupe%. What happened to the private insurance companies? Private insurance has co-existed with Medicare, the VA and other publicly funded health systems for quite some time. If a person over the age of 65 wants to keep his private insurance and skip Medicare he can do that. What proof do you have that the availability of publicly funded health care for anyone who wants to sign up will kill the private insurance companies?

    You should look at current government run insurance programs like TRICARE or VISTA before singing the praises of the government running insurance programs for people other than the elderly.

    Medicaid, SCHIP, Medigap, VA. Those ringing any bells? Guess not. But I guess crap health insurance is good enough for the old folks who don’t have an alternative, right?

  154. 154
    Asti says:

    slip to the dark side of socialism

    Rush Limbaugh told him that any system besides the one we currently have is bad, and so that’s his story and he’s sticking to it. He likes giving profits to corporations and watching people die because they didn’t figure out how to become a CEO of some up and coming technological empire. See, he’s a iibertarian, he thinks people should have the liberty to die penniless so Healthcare CEO’s can buy that third mansion and show it off to all their friends… secretly, I think he likes the hor’s dourves at those parties… “pigs in blankets”.

  155. 155
    Asti says:

    Not in the sense of “why should we have single payer”—I did a stint at York U., and I understand that completely—but rather in the sense of “why do fRight wingers turn completely hydrophobic, down to the froth at the corners of their mouths, whenever it’s seriously discussed?”

    Because it’s “socialized” medicine, and we all know that once medicine becomes socialized, we’re all gonna turn into communists!

  156. 156
    Cassidy says:

    one almost guarenteed to pay out a “set amount” per procedure,

    This is how the current system works anyway. Dr’s, hospitals, etc. negotiate contracts with insurance companies. Usually, you will only recieve about 40-60% compensation for your work. So, if a procedure and all it’s associated costs total $1000, then you’re only looking at being compensated $400-$600. So, medical groups will inflate the cost, so that they are compensated “fairly” for their work. Hence, why the medical system is so grossly expensive.

  157. 157
    Jake says:

    “why do fRight wingers turn completely hydrophobic, down to the froth at the corners of their mouths, whenever it’s seriously discussed?”

    Welfare and handouts! Cadillacs. Free market bootstraps, taxes and brown people, France. Canada. Fifty years for an aspirin! CLINTON!1

    Of course my summary is more coherent than what you’ll hear from the Bu-Cons, but I think I hit all of the salient points.

  158. 158
    crw says:

    All this gnashing of teeth over something that will never happen. Medicare for All has about as much chance of happening as Kucinich has of winning.

    What we’re likely to get is some variation on the plans the top tier Democrats are offering – namely, a subsidized and heavily regulated insurance market. Probably with an individual mandate. And probably with a pretty piss poor minimum standard of coverage (e.g. high deductibles, still effectively non-existent mental health coverage, etc), but at least there will be a minimum standard of care. I just don’t see anything else being politically possible.

  159. 159
    Robert Johnston says:

    “we’re all gonna turn into communists!”

    The only communists here are the libertarians, who reject any and all empirical arguments on economic matters in favor of ideological purity. If there’s a difference between libertarianism and communism aside from the specifics of the reality-rejecting conceits involved I’ve yet to discover it.

  160. 160
    ThymeZone says:

    Can somebody explain it to me?

    You seem awfully erudite to pretend you don’t get this.

    To share risk you need an actuarial base that includes lots of healthy people and some sick ones.

    If you don’t do single payer, you have to mandate private insurance, and then you introduce the profit motive, which is not really compatible with medicine. When you have profit imperatives driving the decision processes, you have lots of problems. Single payer is really a management paradigm.

    Other points of view are out there, here’s one.

    Another page of interest.

  161. 161
    Robert Johnston says:

    All this gnashing of teeth over something that will never happen. Medicare for All has about as much chance of happening as Kucinich has of winning.

    Single payer isn’t going to happen in the next administration, but it’s going to happen, and in the not-to-distant future to boot. The otherwise inadequate plans being offered by the Democrats have the saving grace of being clear first steps along the way. Some of the Democratic plans will get us there sooner and with less disaster along the way, but they all end up at single payer down the line.

  162. 162
    ThymeZone says:

    something that will never happen

    Oh, it will happen, bank on it. The current situation is not sustainable.

    An aging population and skyrocketing health costs, along with a growing population of unisured, will force the reforms.

    The current situation kills people by denying them access, and there’s basically no accountability when it happens.

    Their estimate is 18,000 deaths per year due to lack of access. That’s a 911 death toll every couple of months.

  163. 163
    Dug Jay says:

    Somone at another blog had a somewhat different slant on all of these arguments. Basically, the writer seemed to be saying that you could solve the long-term social security AND Medicare problems at once by simply abolishing all government supported health insurance coverage. Apparently, this would accelerate the point at which current social security beneficiaries die off, thereby saving both medicare AND social security expenditures.

  164. 164
    ThymeZone says:

    So, if a procedure and all it’s associated costs total $1000, then you’re only looking at being compensated $400-$600.

    Nope, that is not correct.

    A procedure and its associated charges may total $1k, because the walk-in pricing is built around worst-case billing and collection.

    These are the charges, they are not the costs, and the difference is quite critical in terms of your argument being completely wrong.

    Insurance will typically pay 50-60% of the self-funded charge price because there are no collection costs or losses associated with routine claims processing.

    That fact alone will give you an idea of how much administrative overhead is built into the current system.

  165. 165
    ThymeZone says:

    Hence, why the medical system is so grossly expensive.

    Nope, completely wrong. Our system costs too much because it is topheavy with adminstrative and non-value-added costs, excessive capacity in costly technologies and overuse of these technologies, and … simple overpricing in an atmosphere of complete lack of accountability in pricing. In other words, it’s unregulated, and out of control.

  166. 166
    ThymeZone says:

    this would accelerate the point at which current social security beneficiaries die off

    Typical of the usefulness of your commentary.

    Maybe you can run for office on that platform? I’d start with the nearest Sun City city council. Good luck.

  167. 167
    Dug Jay says:

    Maybe you can run for office on that platform?

    I didn’t say that I supported that approach. Personally, I favor that suggested some years ago by former Colorado governor, Dick Lamm.

  168. 168
    Cassidy says:

    The only difference between a private insurance company and a government insurance company would be that government insurance would not intend to turn a profit.

    There already is one: Tricare. They are notorious for paying much lower percentages than everyone else. The trade is the volume of patients you’ll get from Tricare referrals.

    Nope, that is not correct.

    That’s funny. I’m pretty sure my wife, who negotiates insurance rates for a Hospice agency, would say otherwise. But what do I know, I only work in the medical field.

    These are the charges, they are not the costs,

    I’m pretty sure I said a procedure and all its associated costs.

    simple overpricing in an atmosphere of complete lack of accountability in pricing.

    So…basically what I said. Grossly inflated charges for medical treatment, so that some form of decent compensation can be gotten from an insurance company.

  169. 169
    Cassidy says:

    In other words, it’s unregulated, and out of control.

    And here is the problem with socialized medicine. Who’s going to regulate the pricing? The gov’t? Is it really right that a highly trained specialist be told what he/she can charge for their knowledge and skill. There is a reason medical professionals get paid well: they do something you and I don’t do.

  170. 170
    Cassidy says:

    There is a relatively easy fix to the “healthcare crisis”. Revamp the system and model it off the military system.

  171. 171
    ThymeZone says:

    So Cassidy, to boil down your ankle bite, you wife would say different … from what I said, which is what you said.

    No, the charges are not “grossly inflated.” They include charge offs for collection and loss, which are not incurred in insurance claim billings. In this relationship, the insurance company actually provides a service, which is reflected in the rate they pay.

    I was right, in entirety, in my post. As for you wife, if she works at a place that “grossly inflates” its rates and tells you she does, you should report the matter to the authorities, they might be interested. The AG in my state conducts audits and gets rebates for gross overbillings, perhaps your state has an AG who cares about this too?

    You’re either a liar, or a damned fool, or both.

    Okay, after being around you for a long time, I’d say both.

  172. 172
    Asti says:

    There is a reason medical professionals get paid well: they do something you and I don’t do.

    Oh heaven forbid that a doctor gets paid a little less and the everyday man gets to keep his home, we should all cry because someone didn’t end up evicted and homeless so that the doctor could earn more.

    We’re talking lives here Cassidy, why do you care so much more about money than you do life?

  173. 173
    4tehlulz says:

    Personally, I favor that suggested some years ago by former Colorado governor, Dick Lamm.

    Start with yourself.

  174. 174
    Asti says:

    model it off the military system

    Yeah, the military plan, a brilliant plan, made up of lots of people with military training in medicine. I went to military hospitals when I was much younger, I went to three actually, to figure out what a certain problem was. None of them could diagnose it, but, after many years I went to a OB/GYN who was able to tell me that I had a very nasty condition which had put me at great risk due to being told I was healthy after a lack of diagnosis at three different military hospitals. I was in pain constantly, they couldn’t figure out what it was…turns out it was something that is not all that uncommon.

    You can keep your “military” plan.

  175. 175
    myiq2xu says:

    In a single payer system, some committee of political appointees will be the ones determining which products are available.

    Somebody has been reading Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom.” Lemme guess, “Atlas Shrugged” is on the syllabus for next semester. Fucking University of Chicago theory of economics. There is a reason they call economics the “dismal science.”

    My “conservative” econ instructor thought just about everything was on the slippery slope to socialism. He not only opposed the Interstate Hightway Act, he thought all roads should be privately owned.

    And they call liberal college professors “pointy-headed.”

  176. 176
    TenguPhule says:

    There is a relatively easy fix to the “healthcare crisis”. Revamp the system and model it off the military system.

    Which one?

    The ‘socialized’ does a pretty darn good job one ala Single Pay?

    Or the shitty VA ‘dump them out to die’ Republican turdfest?

  177. 177
    TenguPhule says:

    . Who’s going to regulate the pricing? The gov’t? Is it really right that a highly trained specialist be told what he/she can charge for their knowledge and skill.

    A government not concerned with shitting on sick people for profit is vastly preferable in decisions to an insurance company that makes an art form of cheating doctors and patients out of payment and treatment.

  178. 178
    Robert Johnston says:

    Fucking University of Chicago theory of economics.

    Why the slander of economics? Economics is a perfectly valid area of study; it’s simply that all too many so-called economists are vapid whores instead of scientists. Economics is a valid empirical science. The statistically illiterate disavowers of empiricism known as members of the Chicago school are no more economists than a creationist is a biologist or a flat-earther is a cartographer.

  179. 179
    Robert Johnston says:

    Or the shitty VA

    Uh, the VA is generally acknowledged to currently deliver the highest quality of health care available in the U.S., despite any high-profile anecdotal horror stories you may have heard. It’s amazing what cutting out insurance bureaucracy and the universal availability of uniform medical records can do for the quality of care.

  180. 180
    TenguPhule says:

    AS long as there is a variety of insurance companies medical technology, drug companies, and biotech start ups have a chance to get a new product introduced.

    I nominate that for the Shit Quote of the Day.

    Insurance companies make a regular point of denying claims for ‘experimental’ treatments.

    If anything, Private Medical Insurance *INHIBITS* medical innovations by making it harder for innovations to make it to the patients who need it the most.

  181. 181
    TenguPhule says:

    Uh, the VA is generally acknowledged to currently deliver the highest quality of health care available in the U.S., despite any high-profile anecdotal horror stories you may have heard. It’s amazing what cutting out insurance bureaucracy and the universal availability of uniform medical records can do for the quality of care.

    True that. But what the Republicans did was overload the system with a TON of new patients from stupid wars and skimp on the funding to pay for it.

    And then the military decided that to cut costs, they would shit on injured soldiers by denying claims because ‘it was a pre-existing condition’ before they signed up.

    The VA of yesterday is not the Turdfest of Today.

  182. 182
    Jake says:

    Nope, that is not correct.

    Actually, it is. What Cassidy left out is that if Insurance Companies X, Y & Z pay $125, $150 and $175 for a 10 minute office visit and a doctor sets his rates at $125, he only gets $125 from all three companies. So the doctor will set his rates at $200 to avoid missing out on the full payment from the other two companies. This means that when the poor schmuck who doesn’t have insurance comes along he gets hit with a bill for $200.

  183. 183
    Cassidy says:

    What Cassidy left out is that if Insurance Companies

    I was trying to keep it simple.

    TZ, you’re so cute when you talk out your ass then attack people for daring to argue with you. The modern liberal people.

    Which one?

    The one where your GP’s and all your specialties are in one fixed facility, managed under one insurance system. All of our patients get referred in house, and if no appointments are available within a certain time period, Tricare (which maintains an office in the hospital) refers them out to the economy.

    made up of lots of people with military training in medicine.

    Military doctors go to med school, then the military for their residency programs. Something you have to remember is that medicine is nothing but educated guesswork. Their is no perfect science for diagnosing ailments.

  184. 184
    Cassidy says:

    Oh heaven forbid that a doctor gets paid a little less and the everyday man gets to keep his home, we should all cry because someone didn’t end up evicted and homeless so that the doctor could earn more.

    I said nothing of the sort. But, your “plan” for providing healthcare to all, ends up screwing someone else. But hey, they’re rich enough right? They don’t need the money.

  185. 185
    John S. says:

    Something you have to remember is that medicine is nothing but educated guesswork.

    They don’t call it a medical ‘practice’ for nothing.

  186. 186
    myiq2xu says:

    But, your “plan” for providing healthcare to all, ends up screwing someone else. But hey, they’re rich enough right? They don’t need the money.

    How come when we want to stop the rich from screwing us, it’s “class warfare?”

    The rich don’t need government to protect them. Throughout history, they have been able to protect themselves. Even today we see enclaves and compounds protected by private armies and police.

    Thomas Jefferson eliminated primogeniture in Virginia because he believed that accumulated wealth was a threat to democracy. He was right.

  187. 187
    Cassidy says:

    The rich don’t need government to protect them.

    There is a big difference between a CEO of a power company and a medical specialist who has spent 8 years in school, 3-7 years in residency, not to mention fellowship programs, getting paid to apply their knowledge to treating your sniffles.

  188. 188
    Cassidy says:

    And personally, the poor doesn’t “need” the gov’t to protect them either. Children need someone to protect them, not adults.

  189. 189
    myiq2xu says:

    And personally, the poor doesn’t “need” the gov’t to protect them either. Children need someone to protect them, not adults.

    And they call liberals “pointy-headed.”

  190. 190

    And personally, the poor doesn’t [sic] “need” the gov’t to protect them either.

    By which argument, we should also abolish mandatory public education, right? As well as child labor laws, and a variety of other standards.

    There’s a special place in Hell for glibertarians like you, Cassidy. In that circle, in among the Fraudulent, you will walk eternally wearing red-hot leg weights in a rocky path with knife-edged hurdles of varying heights. You’ll need to jump over those hurdles, but will be unable to clear them due to the weights on your ankles.

    It’s all right, though, if you tried harder, you’d be able to make it over on the strength of your faith.

  191. 191
    Lupin says:

    We left the US in January 05 and now live in the South of France and are very impressed by the French healthcare system, which is (a) not socialized (like the British NHS), (b) vastly cheaper and (c) much much better than what we had in LA, and we had excellent care there.

    There is basically a core single-payer (what they call “Social Security”) supplemented by private insurance on top. Doctors, specialists, etc. are private. There are both private and public hospitals. (The private ones are called clinics.)

    You contribute to “Social Security” through payroll deductions, in effect based on your income.

    Private insurance costs vary according to age/sex, but that’s it. There are no regional differences and further NO PREEXISTING CONDITIONS. You sign up, you pay, you’re insured. No medical exams, no records check.

    Social Security (ie State) reimbursements are regulated, which is a form of cost control, but you can and do pay more for specialists, extras, etc.

    The Government is trying to reduce costs by cost-cutting measures and passing on more of the costs onto the private sector (ie the public) but that’s a matter fought in the public / political arena.

    Once you’re a patient, in the system, you’re treated, full stop. There is no such thing as being approved for, or denied, etc. You’re sick (or even not sick — there’s a lot more preventive medicine, yearly tests, etc), you’re treated. No one but your doctor and yourself decide what you need and that is done, regardless of cost.

    As I said, the issue of costs, etc. are debated nationally but do not impact individual patients, at least not directly.

    Americans who think the US healthcare is the best in the world are severely deluded. (My wife used to work in a hospital, so we have more than a passing acquaintance with the system.) Mind you, some French people have similarly quaint and silly ideas about the US of A, but they don’t make policies based on the viewpoints of ill-informed idiots.

  192. 192
    Robert Johnston says:

    Cassidy: And personally, the poor doesn’t “need” the gov’t to protect them either.

    If I close my eyes and pretend, market failures will magically go away! The libertarian mantra, and why libertarianism fails even on its own terms.

    You don’t even need to argue that government intervention in the economy should go beyond correcting market failures in order to dismiss Cassidy’s reasoning as utterly specious. All you need to do is acknowledge the existence of transaction costs. Sheesh. Can’t we get a better quality of troll in this world?

  193. 193
    myiq2xu says:

    T

    here’s a special place in Hell for glibertarians like you, Cassidy.

    Hey Demi, howareya? It’s been a Bad Day at Blackrock.

    Can’t we get a better quality of troll in this world?

    You can’t fix stupid.

  194. 194

    Sorry — too busy playing video games with the kidzz0rs today. Besides, I was having too much fun arguing with srv over in another thread.

    You guys do seem to have had some seriously low quality infestation today. I’d forgotten the concentrated stupid that is BlogReeder. Precious, he is.

  195. 195
    Robert Johnston says:

    I’d forgotten the concentrated stupid that is BlogReeder. Precious, he is.

    More like precocious, inversely speaking.

  196. 196
    myiq2xu says:

    I’d forgotten the concentrated stupid that is BlogReeder. Precious, he is.

    Yeah, bless his heart. He’s special.

  197. 197
    myiq2xu says:

    More like precocious

    I’d say “pernicious.”

  198. 198

    He’s special.

    Remember — everyone’s a winner, just for trying.

    And, man, do I find him and his ilk trying.

  199. 199
    Robert Johnston says:

    I’d say “pernicious.”

    Pretentious could also work. But definitely not perspicacious. In any event, whatever Cassidy is, it is preposterously platitudinous.

  200. 200
    rachel says:

    Cassidy Says:

    And personally, the poor doesn’t “need” the gov’t to protect them either. Children need someone to protect them, not adults.

    Yup. Furthermore, since kids don’t drive or work, we don’t need the DMV or OSHA either.

  201. 201
    Robert Johnston says:

    Blogreeder is of course who I meant above. Though It’s obvious how I could make that mistake. Mea culpa, my bad, etc., etc.

  202. 202
    Cassidy says:

    we should also abolish mandatory public education, right?

    Not really. An industrialized nation needs to be invested in the future of its society. Some reforms could take place, sure, but abolishment? That’s foolhardy.

    As well as child labor laws, and a variety of other standards.

    Hmmm…pretty sure I said children need protected. But if you want to offer up your kids, I could definitely put them to work.

    You all are funny. I suggest that adults shouldn’t be treated like children, which somehow gets turned into some mush about market collapse, etc.

  203. 203
    Cassidy says:

    The libertarian mantra, and why libertarianism fails even on its own terms.

    Yes….[attempt] to ridicule anything that doesn’t fit into your worldview. You have learned the lessons of your social conservative brothers so well. I could almost cry…

    Two sides of the same coin.

  204. 204
    Jake says:

    And personally, the poor doesn’t [sic] “need” the gov’t to protect them either.

    By which argument, we should also abolish mandatory public education, right?

    Brilliant.

  205. 205
    Cassidy says:

    How did the Democratic Party become the party of perpetual victims? I’m not even sure I could fathom going through life feeling like someone owes me something for having done nothing to me. That kind of lack of confidence and self-esteem has to really eat at your soul after a while. Do you all have no inner drive to succeed based on your own skill and tenacity and ingenuity?

    Oh, I get it. When people are treated like sheep, protected like sheep, fed like sheep, and corralled like sheep, then they’ll always vote the way you want. Here I was thinking that at least some of you were altruistic, but really you just want a docile American citizen.

  206. 206
    myiq2xu says:

    The private vs. the public model of healthcare.

    In the private model, medical insurance is provided by privately owned companies that pool contributions and pay-out benefits to medical providers.

    Contributions come primarily through employment related plans, although some people purchase their own coverage.

    After paying out benefits and covering their costs, the insurance companies keep the remaining contributions as profits.

    Under the public model, tax dollars are used to pay benefits for everyone. The total amount of tax dollars allocated should equal the benefits and costs paid.

    Under both models there are issues relating to the quality of care and managing waste, fraud and abuse. Both models seek to regulate costs and benefits. Both models take income from people.

    Under the private model, there is a financial incentive for insurance companies to deny benefits and to exclude certain people and types of coverage. There are also issues relating to portability and how to cover the unemployed and the disabled. The system will be answerable only to corporate executives and shareholders, customers will have to file lawsuits if they are wrongly denied coverage or benefits.

    Under the public model, no one will ever be without coverage for any reason. The system will be answerable to the people through their elected representaives.

  207. 207
    myiq2xu says:

    How did the Democratic Party become the party of perpetual victims? I’m not even sure I could fathom going through life feeling like someone owes me something for having done nothing to me. That kind of lack of confidence and self-esteem has to really eat at your soul after a while. Do you all have no inner drive to succeed based on your own skill and tenacity and ingenuity?

    Oh, I get it. When people are treated like sheep, protected like sheep, fed like sheep, and corralled like sheep, then they’ll always vote the way you want. Here I was thinking that at least some of you were altruistic, but really you just want a docile American citizen.

    Does cognitive dissonance hurt? If I recall correctly, you are active duty military. That means you are feeding from the public tit.

    What are you providing me for my tax dollars that pay your salary (and benefits for you and any dependents you might have?)

    Safety and security? If that’s your answer, I would rather take my chances with some Islamic militant living in a cave half-way around the world and make you work for a living instead.

    For the cost of our misadventure in Iraq we could provide our citizens with universal healthcare AND college educations.

  208. 208
    John S. says:

    Here I was thinking that at least some of you were altruistic

    If your idea of altruism is ‘fuck the poor’:

    the poor doesn’t “need” the gov’t to protect them either

    I think I’ll pass. Although the West Palm Beach city council could use an altruistic fella such as yourself to set them straight:

    West Palm Beach – Calling this city a place where you have to “pay to pray,” two groups that feed the homeless took a swipe at West Palm Beach on Wednesday in a lawsuit objecting to a new ban on those feedings in downtown parks.

    The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, argues that the city is violating the constitutional rights of the groups to assemble and worship freely and is targeting the poor and the homeless.

    “When it comes to helping the homeless, governments should lead, follow or get out of the way,” Silver said. “So far, they’ve failed to lead, refused to follow and this lawsuit is our effort to force the city to get out of the way and let us help those who are in need.”

    Glibertarians, for purely altruistic reasons, would argue that the government simply get out of the way and let these adults fend for themselves. Those disingenuous humanitarian groups are only interested in corralling them in a park and feeding them in order to get them to turn out and vote Democratic. It would be far more altruistic to simply let them die.

  209. 209
    myiq2xu says:

    Glibertarians, for purely altruistic reasons, would argue that the government simply get out of the way and let these adults fend for themselves. Those disingenuous humanitarian groups are only interested in corralling them in a park and feeding them in order to get them to turn out and vote Democratic. It would be far more altruistic to simply let them die.

    “The law, in its majesty, forbids the rich as well as the poor from sleeping under bridges.”

  210. 210
    Cassidy says:

    If I recall correctly, you are active duty military. That means you are feeding from the public tit.

    I’m a Federal employee. One of many. And we barely get compensated for what we do.

    What are you providing me for my tax dollars that pay your salary (and benefits for you and any dependents you might have?)

    1) For you: a standing military who’s profession it is to defend our country and way of life.

    2) I pay taxes to, which means I’m probably paying my own salary. Also, anything I, benefits, etc., has been earned many times over.

    Pull your head out buddy. You aren’t paying for squat. If anything, you’ve got one of the best deals on the planet: Electricity, internet, cell phones, clean water, decent place to live, disposable income, freedom; a life of spoiled, westernized leisure. And all you have to do is sit at home and complain about it. I’ve been in a few third world countries that would love to hear how hard you ahve it.

    I would rather take my chances with some Islamic militant living in a cave half-way around the world and make you work for a living instead.

    That’s funny. Do you get up at 0430, sacrificing your own personal sleep time to do PT and stay in shape, because your job requires it? I doubt it. Do you work past the time you’re supposed to get off, without getting any kind of extra pay? Doubt it. Do you work holidays and weekends for nothing extra? Doubt it. Have you had to leave your family for a year at a time, and live in a hostile fire zone? Doubt it. Does your job include washing blood off your hands? Doubt it. Does your job require psychiatric treatment when you come home? Doubt it. Does your job involve daily runs, ruck-marches involving a minimum of 3 miles and upwards of 12 at a time? Doubt it. Does your job involve sleeping on the ground, when you actually get sleep, for weeks on end? Doubt it.

    I could go on. One day in my life, and I’d have your soft-boiled body broken in a matter of hours. You don’t know what work is.

  211. 211
    Cassidy says:

    I’m not altruistic in the slightest.

    If the property is owned by the City of West Palm, then they have the right to make such a ban. Who are these other assholes to tell someone what they can do with their own property. If they are dedicated to their humanitarian efforts, they’ll purchase some land and do what they must do.

  212. 212
    Cassidy says:

    Under the public model, no one will ever be without coverage for any reason. The system will be answerable to the people through their elected representaives.

    You make no sense. In one thread, you’ll rail against our gov’t. In this one, you trust said gov’t to dispense health care. You’ve got some serious issues.

  213. 213
    myiq2xu says:

    You say:

    That’s funny. Do you get up at 0430, sacrificing your own personal sleep time to do PT and stay in shape, because your job requires it? I doubt it. Do you work past the time you’re supposed to get off, without getting any kind of extra pay? Doubt it. Do you work holidays and weekends for nothing extra? Doubt it. Have you had to leave your family for a year at a time, and live in a hostile fire zone? Doubt it. Does your job include washing blood off your hands? Doubt it. Does your job require psychiatric treatment when you come home? Doubt it. Does your job involve daily runs, ruck-marches involving a minimum of 3 miles and upwards of 12 at a time? Doubt it. Does your job involve sleeping on the ground, when you actually get sleep, for weeks on end? Doubt it.

    I could go on. One day in my life, and I’d have your soft-boiled body broken in a matter of hours. You don’t know what work is.

    I repond with something you said:

    How did the Democratic Party become the party of perpetual victims? I’m not even sure I could fathom going through life feeling like someone owes me something for having done nothing to me. That kind of lack of confidence and self-esteem has to really eat at your soul after a while. Do you all have no inner drive to succeed based on your own skill and tenacity and ingenuity?

    Oh, I get it. When people are treated like sheep, protected like sheep, fed like sheep, and corralled like sheep, then they’ll always vote the way you want. Here I was thinking that at least some of you were altruistic, but really you just want a docile American citizen.

    And I ask you again, does cognitive dissonance hurt?

    BTW – Been there, done that, before you were born.

  214. 214
    Jake says:

    Under the private model, there is a financial incentive for insurance companies to deny benefits and to exclude certain people and types of coverage.

    To a certain extent, the same can be said of either model. Medicare does take steps to make sure doctors don’t provide services “just because,” partially to prevent fraud (loss of your tax $$) and partially because it is medically unsound to throw various treatments at a patient and see what works. There are a lot of services that a private insurer will cover that Medicare won’t touch and it takes a lot longer to convince CMS that a new procedure or service is medically necessary and even then it may not allow every Medicare patient to get that service (ex. screening for glaucoma).

    There’s nothing wrong with trying to control costs provided it doesn’t interfere with patient care. If my doctor can treat me with a $10 prescription I really don’t want the $10,000 treatment. But for-profit health insurance has gone too far in the other direction. Under that model the insurer controls patient care to keep it from interfering with the bottom line.

  215. 215
    4tehlulz says:

    I’m not altruistic in the slightest.

    At least you admit you’re a sociopath.

  216. 216
    myiq2xu says:

    In one thread, you’ll rail against our gov’t. In this one, you trust said gov’t to dispense health care. You’ve got some serious issues.

    Don’t confuse criticizing our current fuck-up GOP-run administration with being anti-government.

    I’d rather trust a government bureaucrat that is answerable to the public than the greedy soul of a corporate executive.

    The first one is bad, but the second one is far worse.

    Yeah I’ve got issues, with you and your ilk. If you had been here on Festivus for the “Airing of Grievances” you would have already known that.

  217. 217
    Cassidy says:

    And I ask you again, does cognitive dissonance hurt?

    No one owes me anything. I do my job, because I enjoy it. I get paid for it, not much, but enough. I go through life happy. I don’t walk around feeling sorry for myself, because I don’t have what other people do. If I want something, I earn it.

    BTW – Been there, done that, before you were born.

    Then I know for sure you have no clue. We’re much better today.

  218. 218
    Cassidy says:

    Festivus

    I love made up holidays, that don’t really exist. They are so self-righteous, it’s fun to watch.

  219. 219
    Cassidy says:

    Yeah I’ve got issues, with you and your ilk.

    You don’t like Democrats?

  220. 220
    Jake says:

    To summarize Cass:

    The right to bitch about the government can only be earned through military service so shut up and eat your peas, there’s starving kids in India who’d kill for those peas!

    And down with the Nanny Statists!

  221. 221
    Cassidy says:

    If you had been here on Festivus for the “Airing of Grievances” you would have already known that.

    I was spending Christmas with my family, instead of on the computer. Priorities…they go along way.

  222. 222
    Carol says:

    There’s nothing wrong with trying to control costs provided it doesn’t interfere with patient care. If my doctor can treat me with a $10 prescription I really don’t want the $10,000 treatment. But for-profit health insurance has gone too far in the other direction.

    That’s the difference right there. The cost control in the public sector would be done at least in the public interest, that is to insure that everyone gets some care. Another would be if the treatment was of dubious scientific benefit. Both sorts of issues would at least be debated publicly and come from consensus. People would know upfront whether or not they could get care in a certain manner, as opposed to an arbitrary standard that has to do with the CEO’s golden parachute, is not contestable either by presenting scientific proof or showing cost savings.

  223. 223
    Cassidy says:

    The right to bitch about the government can only be earned through military service so shut up and eat your peas, there’s starving kids in India who’d kill for those peas!

    I don’t recall saying that. I think your translator is broken. I think everyone has the right to bitch about the gov’t. I love the freedom of speech. I love it when people practice it. I love it when some moron in a pointy, white hat starts shouting “nigger” and all the liberals get up in arms about banning “hateful” speech.

    Now, ideally, I think citizenship should be earned through service (not exactly military). I think the spoiled, American populace would appreciate their rights more, if they actually had to work for them. OTOH, rights aren’t an earned commodity, so, oh well.

  224. 224
    Cassidy says:

    Okay, back on topic, hypothetical question.

    In this public system of gov’t regulated Universal Healthcare, does everyone get treated regardless?

    1) I’m a smoker. So do I get treated for what ails me due to my smoking?

    2) What about obese people? They have lots of health issues due to unhealthy living choices?

    If your answer is yes, we now have a disparity in the system. Certain people are getting more treatment than others. What about those who are healthy and use very little gov’t money? Do they get some of their taxes back?

  225. 225
    myiq2xu says:

    I go through life happy.

    A little ray of sunshine, aren’t you?

    If I want something, I earn it.

    What kind of productive employment do you engage in? Not the military, it produces nothing. In fact, it wastes resources. I guess stealing Iraqi oil is semi-productive, but we still have to pay for it after you help Halliburton steal it. You’re certainly not making the world a safer place for me and my family. Quite the opposite.

    BTW – Other than my parents while I was growing up, nobody gave me anything either.

  226. 226
    Cassidy says:

    What kind of productive employment do you engage in? Not the military, it produces nothing. In fact, it wastes resources. I guess stealing Iraqi oil is semi-productive, but we still have to pay for it after you help Halliburton steal it. You’re certainly not making the world a safer place for me and my family. Quite the opposite.

    I love people like you; so full of half-ass, illogical opinions. Makes for great reading.

  227. 227
    myiq2xu says:

    I love people like you; so full of half-ass, illogical opinions. Makes for great reading.

    Objection! Move to strike as non-responsive.

    Can’t answer it, can you, you smarmy little troll?

  228. 228
    Cassidy says:

    Can’t answer it, can you,

    Sure. Of course I can. OTOH, I have to ask myself if it’s really worth addressing ludicrous and uneducated opinions like yours, giving them some sort of legitimate forum. In the end, you’re a spoiled American child with no idea of the concepts you try to talk about.

  229. 229
    vivelame says:

    Mmmh, you forgot something.

    Cassidy Says:

    Okay, back on topic, hypothetical question.

    In this public system of gov’t regulated Universal Healthcare, does everyone get treated regardless?

    1) I’m a smoker. So do I get treated for what ails me due to my smoking?

    2) What about obese people? They have lots of health issues due to unhealthy living choices?

    3) You lose a leg to an IED. Should you get treatment paid for by american taxpayers?

    If your answer is yes, we now have a disparity in the system. Certain people are getting more treatment than others. What about those who are healthy and use very little gov’t money? Do they get some of their taxes back?

    There, much better.

  230. 230
    LindaH says:

    Well, I just had a run in with my insurance company. I woke up experiencing bad stomach pains. At first I thought food poisoning or flu. When things go worse I got an emergency appointment with my Doctor, who decided this was a classic case of appendicitis. This needs to be diagnosed by a CAT scan, before surgery can be performed. My insurance company requires pre-certification before a CAT scan could be performed and the doctor’s office had me wait for an hour trying to get the certification. Finally, the sent me home to wait and told me to go to the emergency room if the pain got any worse. 45 minutes later, as I pulled into my driveway the certification came through and I had to drive back to the hospital (another 30 minute drive) to get the test. The actual test requires you drink a dye, wait 1 hour, drink a second dose of dye, wait another hour and then the scan can be performed. By the time I was officially diagnosed, my appendix had turned gangrene and was starting to rupture. I’m really lucky that I didn’t die due to having to wait for pre-certification. I will end up owing $2000 for the hospital stay, but that is small price for my life. I can’t help but wonder if under a single payer plan, I would have been taken to the CAT scan immediately and my appendix would have been removed under less dangerous circumstances. Plus, it would have saved both me and the insurance company an extra night in the hospital recovering from the infection.

  231. 231
    Doug H. says:

    In the end, you’re a spoiled American child with no idea of the concepts you try to talk about.

    And here Cassidy the Glibertarian performs his impression of a Panasonic PT-AX200.

  232. 232
    myiq2xu says:

    Is your real name Stuart Pitt? The furniture store guy who does those campy commercials where he wears a crown and calls himself the “Sofa King?”

    Cuz when I read your posts I can see you are Sofa King Stu Pitt.

  233. 233
    Cassidy says:

    Nope, real name is Cassidy.

  234. 234
    myiq2xu says:

    Nope, real name is Cassidy.

    David, Shaun or Hop-a-long?

  235. 235
    Zifnab says:

    Is your real name Stuart Pitt? The furniture store guy who does those campy commercials where he wears a crown and calls himself the “Sofa King?”

    Cuz when I read your posts I can see you are Sofa King Stu Pitt.

    Nope, real name is Cassidy.

    Wow. We have a winner.

  236. 236
    Cassidy says:

    Wow. We have a winner.

    Just no need for a “persona”. If having cutesy little screen names is what it takes to give you the courage to speak to people, you should walk away from the computer and go find an outdoor activity.

  237. 237
    Cassidy says:

    Still no answers to my questions.

  238. 238

    Sounds like sarcasm. So our system isn’t wonderful because it’s expensive? Let’s say this was a free (to you) procedure. Then it would be wonderful. But would it be the same? What constraints would the republicans put on the doctor? Have you thought about that? They’re the government right now. They could be again in the future. They would control what expenses the doctor would charge.

    I wasn’t being sarcastic.

    Why does it have to be free? A $50 co-pay would be more than adequate for this type of procedure. The $500 co-pay for a generic “hospital services” is excessive, because it does not differentiate between an endoscopy and double bypass heart surgery. One being preventative, and the other being reactive.

    But that’s the wonderful, lovely system, the insurance companies have set up. I can’t go to a doctor and figure out what might be wrong for me, because that costs money.

    But they have no problem paying for prilosec for the rest of my life.

    Can you explain this?

  239. 239
    Cassidy says:

    Forgot to add, which were asked out of genuine curiosity. Those are issues I foresee in a state run health care program.

  240. 240
    sean says:

    the military hasn’t had to “defend our country and our way of life” in more than 60 years. everything since then has been so much busybody bullshit. quit acting like you’re doing us a favor and go out and get yourself a job. get the fuck off your high horse – no one asked you to serve so dont lord it over us. prick.

  241. 241
    Cassidy says:

    I have a job…a very satisfying one at that. one that the vast majority of the American population is incapable of doing. Our society has bred a bunch of weak-willed pussies, who aren’t capable of defending anything.

    And that’s very true, I do this for my own reasons, the least of which is to protect you. I’m not doing you any favors. Personally, I think most Americans need a little “real” subjugation in their lives so that they’d stop whining and really appreciate how good they have it.

    You’d be a poor student of history to think there is no need for a standing military.

  242. 242
    John Cole says:

    Anyone care to discuss that Cassidy is ranting against single-payer health-care while being the beneficiary of it?

  243. 243
    myiq2xu says:

    You’d be a poor student of history to think there is no need for a standing military.

    I have a BA in History with a minor in Poli-Sci (Magna cum Laude) as well as a juris doctorate.

    We don’t need a standing military. Like I said earlier, I served in uniform before you were born.

    I’m not doing you any favors.

    I see we do agree on something.

  244. 244

    In this public system of gov’t regulated Universal Healthcare, does everyone get treated regardless?

    1) I’m a smoker. So do I get treated for what ails me due to my smoking?

    2) What about obese people? They have lots of health issues due to unhealthy living choices?

    If your answer is yes, we now have a disparity in the system. Certain people are getting more treatment than others. What about those who are healthy and use very little gov’t money? Do they get some of their taxes back?

    Doesn’t this disparity already exist with the system we have now?

  245. 245

    Anyone care to discuss that Cassidy is ranting against single-payer health-care while being the beneficiary of it?

    In that regard he’s like most Republicans.

    I got mine, fuck everyone else.

  246. 246
    TheFountainHead says:

    Is your real name Stuart Pitt? The furniture store guy who does those campy commercials where he wears a crown and calls himself the “Sofa King?”

    Cuz when I read your posts I can see you are Sofa King Stu Pitt.

    Awww, c’mon, you used that in the last thread on me!

    You couldn’t have come up with the name of a ranting car salesman or something?

    To be fair, I agree with everything you’ve said here (I think, maybe I scrolled down too fast) but a little originality por favor?

  247. 247

    Just no need for a “persona”. If having cutesy little screen names is what it takes to give you the courage to speak to people, you should walk away from the computer and go find an outdoor activity.

    The funny thing about bullies.

    They’re seldom right in their arguments, which is why they get mad and resort to physical threats.

  248. 248
    myiq2xu says:

    To be fair, I agree with everything you’ve said here (I think, maybe I scrolled down too fast) but a little originality por favor?

    It’s too early and trolls aren’t worth anything more than a generic smackdown.

  249. 249
    4tehlulz says:

    Anyone care to discuss that Cassidy is ranting against single-payer health-care while being the beneficiary of it?

    Too self-evident to talk about much. I found his ubermensch wannabeeism much more amusing.

  250. 250
    scav says:

    Hey, at this point, we’re just hanging around providing a low cost venue for Cassidy to vent his self-proclaimed happy supremely psychopathic tendencies as he lauds himself the very model of a modern major general. At this point, I think we’re providing a medical benefit to him.

  251. 251
    myiq2xu says:

    Anyone care to discuss that Cassidy is ranting against single-payer health-care while being the beneficiary of it?

    He’s reflexively opposed to all government spending other than the military. It’s just a coincidence that the public tit marked “military” is the one he sucks on for all of his support.

  252. 252

    And here Cassidy the Glibertarian performs his impression of a Panasonic PT-AX200.

    More like a Sharp DT-100. He has nowhere near the quality of the Panasonic.

  253. 253
    John S. says:

    You’d be a poor student of history to think there is no need for a standing military.

    Why do you hate our founding fathers? Many of them were vehemently opposed to a standing military. I guess they were just a bunch of uneducated, slack-jawed yokels.

  254. 254
    Gus says:

    Cassidy, I have private health insurance. I’m already paying for smokers and obese people. Your libertarian argument doesn’t hold water. Also, my state gets less money back from the federal government than it gives in taxes. Should I ask for a tax refund? Try again.

  255. 255
    Fe E says:

    In my mind the only two questions that are apropriate regarding medical treatment are: “Can we tell what’s wropng with you”, and “Do we know how to fix that?” Everything else is just details.

    Cassidy: I usually think you are completely wrong about most of your conclusions, but always thought you were arguing in good faith, so I ‘ve never addressed anything to you, prefering to see what you’d say and what the responses might be. But here’s my bedrock assessment of where you get turned around: Humans are not now and never really have been capable of surviving completely on their own. We are a pack animal, oh sure there have been a few hermits and a few outcasts who have gotten along okay for a bit, but on average there life was shorter and grislier than those who were part of a group.

    So unless you make the fabric and make your own clothes and raise and obtain and preserve your own food (in materials you likewise obtained and manufactured yoursefl) for winter, you’d soon be dead–we all would. Hell it’d probably just take one good cold during a winter lean time do any of us in.

    Humans prosper only in groups, so the question is what is the best way to invest resources and improve our own situation. The available evidence is abundant and clear, the US system sucks, flat-out. I kinda liked the New Zealand system when I was there.

    And even though I know I shouldn’t stoop to saying this, yeah I could totally do your job–unless your a sniper or a pilot, my eyes aren’t really up to that. Shucks, the DoD even gave me a medal for getting up at 4:00 am, er, excuse 0400, and digging out fuel hoses in -40 weather and gassing up C-130s, -141s -17s and Dauphin helicopters.

    So just skip the part where you call us all a bunch of sugar-tits and stick to the topic.

  256. 256
    Fe E says:

    there=their, and I have no idea how -40 Weather and gassing up got stricken.

    I’must stumbled on some web development-thingy by accident.

  257. 257
    Zifnab says:

    Doesn’t this disparity already exist with the system we have now?

    This would be classic Cassidy “I’ve got mine, Jack” logic. Since he’s not obese, he shouldn’t have to pay for obese people. He doesn’t have cancer, so why should he pay for some kid’s lymphoma treatments. He’s never ridden a motorcycle, so if some dumbass skids out and rolls under a truck, why should Cassidy have to pay for that guy’s ambulance bill.

    What Cassidy fails to address is the basic market forces that make private insurance such a bad idea. He’s so busy arguing about what other insured individuals he shouldn’t be paying for, that he forgets about the Aetna CEO who’s wife is getting her third boob job on his dime or the the Cigna kid’s daughter who’s having a liver transplant at his expense while they deny it to everyone else.

    Cassidy is planly and deliberately blind to the massive flaws in the existing system – “profit” dramatically raising the cost of the service, institutionalized denial of benefits, corporate waste and fraud, a total disincentivization to developing new “experimental” treatments that no private insurer will cover.

    The big joke in all of this is that all the horrors of socialized medicine Cassidy wants to warn us about still exist in a private system. But with “profit” added, we just toss on a few more.

    Private insurance doesn’t encourage experimental treatments any more than a public policy. Private insurance does nothing to encourage better doctors, just cheaper doctors. Private insurance doesn’t cost the individual any less. The 1.2% of my paycheck that goes to medicare is less than I pay in insurance premiums. And while Cassidy whines that he doesn’t want to buy insurance if he doesn’t feel like it, I haven’t seen him claim he doesn’t have any.

    Most importantly, I’ve yet to see an instance in which private insurance has encouraged scientific development. The benchmark platform that anti-socialized medicine advocates claim is how socialized medicine would take us off the cutting edge. Yet, I don’t see any insurance companies providing policies that cover cutting edge treatment. On the contrary, even routine procedures like Liver Transplants are considered “experimental” and prohibited.

    I’m sure Cassidy is a big fan of organ transplants if he is a big fan of advances in medical science. Under a fully privatized system as envisioned by Cigna, that treatment wouldn’t exist.

  258. 258
    Cassidy says:

    Anyone care to discuss that Cassidy is ranting against single-payer health-care while being the beneficiary of it?

    Show me where I’m ranting against it. If you go further up, I suggested the Military MTF model is the way to go, so your dig is a “no-go”.

    I’m against socialized medicine because of the “witch hunt” mentality behind it. I honestly don’t believe any of you give a flying fuck about giving poor people health care. I think you’re much more enamored with the idea of screwing “rich” people because it warms the class warfare cockles of your heart. Come up with a universal system that doesn’t involve you all trying to fuck someone else over in the process, then I’d probably get behind it.

    Secondly, you are all living in this dreamworld of universal health care, run by our gov’t. The very same gov’t you all can’t seem to say a few good things about. Window-licker up top says:

    Don’t confuse criticizing our current fuck-up GOP-run administration with being anti-government.

    , yet we can all find several threads where the same people think our Dem Congress is a bunch of rejects, and even suggested corruption (in the Bhutto thread, IIRC). So pick one people. Are they all fuck-ups and can’t get it right, or do you trust them with your kids health care.

    So just skip the part where you call us all a bunch of sugar-tits and stick to the topic.

    They brought it up. My profession had nothing to do with this topic until a few idiots thought they’d try and sling some insults.

    We are a pack animal,

    I’m behind that way more than you think. But living in social groups is not the same as living under authoritarian rule. Going with the pack animal idea, we really should sit back and let nature weed out the weak.

  259. 259
    Cassidy says:

    Zif, I’ve said no such thing. I asked an honest question. In a socialized medicine setting, where everyone is supposed to be equally covered, how do you reconcile paying for more treatment for some and less treatment for others. Regardless of the reasons, it won’t be equal.

    And no, if you’re an idiot and shovel fast food, Cheeto’s, and soda into your face all day, then I don’t want to pay for your quadruple bypass. The education and knowledge is out there, so if you choose to be a fat-ass because you lack the self-discipline to take care of yourself, oh well. If you want to feel the wind running through your hair on your motorcycle, have fun. But I shouldn’t have to pay for your melon to get stitched back together because you’re a ‘tard.

    I’m a smoker. I’m also a medical professional. I am fully aware of the risks and dangers of smoking, yet I choose to anyway. I’ve quit before. It isn’t hard. But I enjoy tobacco. Is it right for you to pay for my medical treatment because I chose to do something unhealthy?

  260. 260
    myiq2xu says:

    Humans are not now and never really have been capable of surviving completely on their own. We are a pack animal, oh sure there have been a few hermits and a few outcasts who have gotten along okay for a bit, but on average there life was shorter and grislier than those who were part of a group.

    How true. We often hear about “rugged individualists” and philosophers who describe primitive man as a solitary creature.

    But what we know from anthropology and archeology shows that man has always been a social animal. It’s hard-wired into our DNA.

    That’s why peer pressure is so effective, we feel a need to conform to the group around us. The ultimate punishment for disobedience to the group was to be ostracized, cast-out, shunned.

    It was sometimes temporary, just for a season or two, to teach a lesson. But if permanent, it was often a death sentence, and no other group would take in an outcast either.

    Being part of a group means not only defending the group from others, but also taking care of others within the group.

    Both Jesus and Muhammed criticized the elites in their society for not taking care of the poor and the weak. “Giving of alms” is one of the five Pillars of Islam.

    Cassidey feels he is superior to the rest of us because he thinks he is defending our way of life. But he also feels superior because he doesn’t think he needs our help, nor ever will. For that reason, he doesn’t want to help those that are less fortunate than he is. He thinks they are just lazy and a burden to others.

    Someday, if he is lucky, he will be old and unable to protect and support himself any longer. He will then demand that the group protect and support him, because he has “earned” it.

  261. 261
    John Cole says:

    Show me where I’m ranting against it. If you go further up, I suggested the Military MTF model is the way to go, so your dig is a “no-go”.

    I’m against socialized medicine because of the “witch hunt” mentality behind it. I honestly don’t believe any of you give a flying fuck about giving poor people health care.

    Shorter Cassidy: Yes, single-payer works. But I am gonna do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen (including spouting nonsense about socialized medicine) because I don’t think you REALLY care.

    Cassidy, I used to take you somewhat seriously. When you write shit like this, I think you are just a blithering idiot or a Red State impersonator.

  262. 262
    myiq2xu says:

    I’m against socialized medicine because of the “witch hunt” mentality behind it. I honestly don’t believe any of you give a flying fuck about giving poor people health care. I think you’re much more enamored with the idea of screwing “rich” people because it warms the class warfare cockles of your heart. Come up with a universal system that doesn’t involve you all trying to fuck someone else over in the process, then I’d probably get behind it.

    Who has advocated “screwing the rich?”

    And no, if you’re an idiot and shovel fast food, Cheeto’s, and soda into your face all day, then I don’t want to pay for your quadruple bypass. The education and knowledge is out there, so if you choose to be a fat-ass because you lack the self-discipline to take care of yourself, oh well. If you want to feel the wind running through your hair on your motorcycle, have fun. But I shouldn’t have to pay for your melon to get stitched back together because you’re a ‘tard.

    I’m a smoker. I’m also a medical professional. I am fully aware of the risks and dangers of smoking, yet I choose to anyway. I’ve quit before. It isn’t hard. But I enjoy tobacco. Is it right for you to pay for my medical treatment because I chose to do something unhealthy?

    Now you want government to regulate your lifestyle?

  263. 263
    Fe E says:

    I’m behind that way more than you think. But living in social groups is not the same as living under authoritarian rule. Going with the pack animal idea, we really should sit back and let nature weed out the weak.

    Aww c’mon, now you’re just trying to push buttons. I think the phrase “you pays your money, and you takes your chances” is pretty damnned appropriate here. One way or another we are all gonna pay something, and we are all gonna take our chances. I’d prefer to pull my head out of my ass and pay as little as possible for as agood a chance as I can get. Which is pretty much any way other than the one we now use.

  264. 264
    myiq2xu says:

    I think you are just a blithering idiot or a Red State impersonator.

    It’s not either/or, it’s both.

  265. 265
    Fe E says:

    To expand on what I just said, let me say it like this, if to get five more qualtiy years of my own life means I have to pay for somebody else to get fifteen more good years, well, I’m all for it. That’s a bargain I’d take.

  266. 266
    Cassidy says:

    Yes, single-payer works. But I am gonna do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen (including spouting nonsense about socialized medicine) because I don’t think you REALLY care.

    Wrong again John. You know what two no-go’s mean.

    As I said, you show me a system that answers the questions and I’ll get behind it. Right now, I have yet to see a plan that actually addresses the multiple impacts.

    1) Who is going to regulate it? Bigger Medicare, Champus/ Tricare, contract with an outside insurance agency (Blue Cross/ Blue Shield).

    2) If we put private medical insurance out of business, how do we compensate for job loss?

    3) What’s covered? Fertility treatments, abortions, plastic surgery, etc.

    4) What do we do if private specialty clinics say “No, I’m not taking the gov’t pay.” Then what?

    5) How do we reconcile the disparity I already brought up?

    6) How do we pay for it? What’s the co-pay? Will the standards for Medicaid change?

    These are just a few. The idea of Universal health care is great, but the implementation isn’t that well thought out.

    Now you want government to regulate your lifestyle?

    No. I don’t want the gov’t to reward people for poor lifestyle decisions. Choices have consequences.

    Aww c’mon, now you’re just trying to push buttons.

    Yeah, I know. Most of the people around here are fun to screw with. Guilty pleasure.

  267. 267
    Cassidy says:

    Yes, single-payer works.

    The reason single-payer for us works is because it operates in a closed system. It is uncommon to have to go out into the private system to get treatment. It happens, but for the most part, the military health care system is fully capable of treating its troops and dependents. Do you suggest making doctors gov’t employees? What if they don’t want to?

  268. 268
    Jake says:

    Now, ideally, I think citizenship should be earned through service (not exactly military). I think the spoiled, American populace would appreciate their rights more, if they actually had to work for them. OTOH, rights aren’t an earned commodity, so, oh well.

    Behold the Ultimate Fail.

    Poor Cass. I’m not surprised you suggest service. If we required people to take a test to earn their citizenship and that test required an understanding of the principles of American citizenship and even a minimal knowledge with what the framers of the Constitution did and did not want for this country you’d be packing your bags.

    Fortunately for those of us who enjoy a good laugh, all you have to do is emerge from the womb within the borders of this nation.

  269. 269
    myiq2xu says:

    No. I don’t want the gov’t to reward people for poor lifestyle decisions. Choices have consequences.

    So if your smoking gives you lung cancer, you will forego any government or private insurance benefits and pay cash for your treatment?

    Or will you be a patriot and die without whining?

  270. 270
    horatius says:

    Is Cass the troll appointed for the 10:00 – 12:00 slot?

  271. 271
    Cassidy says:

    So if your smoking gives you lung cancer, you will forego any government or private insurance benefits and pay cash for your treatment?

    If my choices lead to it, then no, I don’t expect the gov’t to pay for it.

  272. 272
    Cassidy says:

    even a minimal knowledge with what the framers of the Constitution did and did not want for this country

    And that’s the kicker. Much like a fundie interpreting the bible, you all have some vague idea of what the Framers intended. What’s funny is it is written in ink. But keep “interpreting”. It’s fun to watch selfish people act humanitarian.

  273. 273
    myiq2xu says:

    If we put private medical insurance out of business, how do we compensate for job loss?

    Let’s keep our current inefficient system to protect the jobs of these hard-working parasites.

    Yeah, I know. Most of the people around here are fun to screw with. Guilty pleasure.

    So you admit you are a troll. that’s good, cuz admitting you have a problem is the first step.

  274. 274
    Cassidy says:

    Let’s keep our current inefficient system to protect the jobs of these hard-working parasites.

    I didn’t say that. But this will be an issue, so how do you solve it. I’m all for scrapping the current system, just show me a better one.

  275. 275
    Cassidy says:

    admitting you have a problem

    Oh, I don’t have a problem with it. It provides me with laughter.

  276. 276
    TenguPhule says:

    I’m against socialized medicine because of the “witch hunt” mentality behind it.

    Easy solution. Give up your medical benefits and buy private insurance like other people.

    Good luck!

  277. 277
    myiq2xu says:

    I didn’t say that. But this will be an issue, so how do you solve it. I’m all for scrapping the current system, just show me a better one.

    What’s your solution, Oh Wise One? Enlighten us, since you know so much. Answer your own questions. Tell us what you have learned from your noble service as a bed-pan jockey in a military hospital. Otherwise, STFU

    Those who can, do. Those who can’t, criticize.

  278. 278
    Cassidy says:

    Give up your medical benefits and buy private insurance like other people.

    Show me where my medical benefits are a result of a witch hunt and we’ll talk. Other than that, you’re being purposely moronic. I got an idea, take a pay cut and join the military. Give something back to the community and pull your own weight.

  279. 279
    TenguPhule says:

    No. I don’t want the gov’t to reward people for poor lifestyle decisions. Choices have consequences.

    Translated Cassidy: If you signed up for the military after 9/11 and got brain injuries or a limb blown off in illegal military action in Iraq, Fuck you. I got mine!

  280. 280
    Zifnab says:

    Zif, I’ve said no such thing. I asked an honest question. In a socialized medicine setting, where everyone is supposed to be equally covered, how do you reconcile paying for more treatment for some and less treatment for others. Regardless of the reasons, it won’t be equal.

    It’s inevitable. Those who are in car accidents will receive more benefits than those who are not in car accidents. Those who live near giant piles of toxic waste will receive more chemo than those who do not live near giant piles of toxic waste. Cheetos eating fools will require more triple-bypass surgeries than those who eat Cheetos in moderation.

    I’m a smoker. I’m also a medical professional. I am fully aware of the risks and dangers of smoking, yet I choose to anyway. I’ve quit before. It isn’t hard. But I enjoy tobacco. Is it right for you to pay for my medical treatment because I chose to do something unhealthy?

    Yes. Because, in exchange, you will agree to pay for my brain surgery in the event I get a tumor.

    It’s called risk distribution and it exists in every insurance system, private or public. I will put in $100 and you will put in $100, because there is a 50% chance one of us is going to need a $200 treatment (please excuse the horrendous abuse of statistics).

    Under the current system, I put in $133 and you put in $133 so we can have $180 of a $200 treatment paid for by insurance (while we pick up an $20 copay), assuming the insurance company decides it wants to pay us at all.

    The current system is categorically bad. It needs changing. Socialized Single-Payer medicine is significantly cheaper and generally better – see the VA system, Medicare/Medicaid, Sweden, Taiwan, or a host of other examples.

  281. 281
    sean says:

    you really think you’re giving something back to the community? or pulling you’re own weight?? you’re cannon fodder and a slave to your masters. nothing more. nothing less

  282. 282
    TenguPhule says:

    Show me where my medical benefits are a result of a witch hunt and we’ll talk.

    ‘Socialized Medicine’ is your benefits. You can try out different names, but that won’t change what it is.

  283. 283
    Jake says:

    And that’s the kicker. Much like a fundie interpreting the bible, you all have some vague idea of what the Framers intended. What’s funny is it is written in ink. But keep “interpreting”. It’s fun to watch selfish people act humanitarian.

    Today’s Ultimate Fail is sponsored by Budweiser.

    You know, I really don’t care if someone smokes, eats deep fried Twinkies, rides a motorcycle, rock climbs, BASE jumps, kayaks down Class XXV rapids or engages in any other sort of activity that is known to be dangerous. I’d gladly pay taxes that would be used to treat injuries that result from these activities. Why? Because once someone says “We won’t pay for your health care if you eat fatty foods because you know it’s dangerous,” I know it’s just a matter of time before someone says “And we won’t pay for health care when hikers get bitten by rattlesnakes because they know there are snakes out there. Mauled by a bear while camping? Don’t whine to us. Broke your arm while riding a horse? Too bad, that’s dangerous you know.”

    HOWEVER. If Cassidy spills his drink on the keyboard and gets a little shock I reserve the right to laugh.

  284. 284
    Cassidy says:

    What’s your solution, Oh Wise One? Enlighten us, since you know so much. Answer your own questions. Tell us what you have learned from your noble service as a bed-pan jockey in a military hospital. Otherwise, STFU

    I’m simply asking questions. The burden of proof is on you. You want the system, then you explain it.

    And stop embarrassing yourself. A fat, lazy civilian has absolutely no chance of insulting someone like me.

    I think you have misnamed yourself. As has Tengphule, who really isn’t worth responding to anymore.

  285. 285
    Cassidy says:

    you really think you’re giving something back to the community? or pulling you’re own weight?? you’re cannon fodder and a slave to your masters. nothing more. nothing less

    Wow! Does your mom know your on the computer? Seriously, save that shit for your high school debate club.

  286. 286
    myiq2xu says:

    If my choices lead to it, then no, I don’t expect the gov’t to pay for it.

    This is similar to the concept of the “deserving poor.”

    There was a time when if a single mother asked for help from “faith-based” charities she would be denied assistance unless she was a widow or a married woman who’s husband had abandoned her.

    If she was unmarried she was considered a harlot who did not deserve any help.

  287. 287
    Zifnab says:

    1) Who is going to regulate it? Bigger Medicare, Champus/ Tricare, contract with an outside insurance agency (Blue Cross/ Blue Shield).

    Government Bureaucracy will inevitably be required to manage and regulate the system. This won’t really change much, as private insurance companies would have the same infrastructure as the public government programs. Yes, outsourcing would take place. We outsource jobs in the IRS, the military, social security, and more. No surprise there.

    2) If we put private medical insurance out of business, how do we compensate for job loss?

    The 9-5 grunts will probably find homes in the government business. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if existing insurance people get picked up en mass by the new government bureaucracy. Some amount of job loss will take place. That’s unavoidable. You just have to grin and bare it.

    3) What’s covered? Fertility treatments, abortions, plastic surgery, etc.

    Any number of such policies exist in private practice and in VA/Medicare/Medicaid programs that could be adopted.

    4) What do we do if private specialty clinics say “No, I’m not taking the gov’t pay.” Then what?

    In the unlikely event that a clinic or private practice simply refuses the money (I’ve yet to see a business that turns down Medicare), then they don’t do business with government funded clients. Its a free country.

    If the clinic is denying people on other grounds – say, by race or gender or some other form of discrimination – we have other laws on the books to handle that.

    5) How do we reconcile the disparity I already brought up?

    I think I answered that.

    6) How do we pay for it? What’s the co-pay? Will the standards for Medicaid change?

    Assuming you wanted mandatory coverage, this would be another entitlement like SS or Medicare in which a percentage of your paycheck would be deducted. We could cap it like SS or leave it open-ended like Medicare. I’d be open to suggestions.

    Assuming you wanted an optional coverage, paying into the program would be the same as paying premiums. Some set untaxed rate would be charged per person. If the government program really wanted to mirror private insurance, varying rates could exist with varying co-payments. We could bring the entire private scheme over.

    I, personally, prefer the latter. Optional Single-Payer allows for market competition while setting a baseline of service that insurance companies are expected to meet. The US Health Insurance Office would be comparable to the US Post Office. FedEx and UPS style companies could exist along side the system offering “premium” services at higher prices. But, in general, everyone would be able to afford the 47 cents necessary to have a message delivered – or the $50(?)/month premium necessary for minimum adequate coverage.

  288. 288
    Cassidy says:

    Zif, interesting, I appreciate the answers.

  289. 289
    myiq2xu says:

    I’m simply asking questions. The burden of proof is on you. You want the system, then you explain it.

    IOW, you have nothing to offer. Until you do, STFU

    Don’t bother to reply, just begone, troll.

  290. 290
    Cassidy says:

    Awww, has .2IQ gotten his feelings hurt. You should take a page from Zifnab: honest questions asked, honest answers received.

    You really did misname yourself.

  291. 291
    Cassidy says:

    The best part about being in the military is knowing that people like .2IQ don’t actually have the balls or backbone to take care of themselves. So in the end, despite all the petty insults, deep down inside their dreary little hearts, they know that without people like us, throughout history, they’d be nothing more than the help.

    So your welcome .2IQ. People like me keep people like you from having to find out what they’re made of.

  292. 292
    John Cole says:

    And stop embarrassing yourself. A fat, lazy civilian has absolutely no chance of insulting someone like me.

    Actually, you obnoxious fuck, you are doing a pretty good job embarassing yourself.

    I am all for supporting the troops, but when did you cocksuckers get the sense of entitlement? It wasn’t there when I was on active duty. When did you putrid fucks get it in your head that you are somehow better than the civilians who decide how to use the military and oh, by the way, pay you and pay for your healthcare.

    When did you assholes start to think you can talk to civilians like you are better than them? Seriously? This is one fat lazy civilian who like to punch you in your fat mouth, you self-centered, holier-than-thou piece of shit. Thanks for your service, but you volunteered. Now shut the fuck up and quit acting better than your fellow citizens.

  293. 293
    John Cole says:

    The best part about being in the military is knowing that people like .2IQ don’t actually have the balls or backbone to take care of themselves. So in the end, despite all the petty insults, deep down inside their dreary little hearts, they know that without people like us, throughout history, they’d be nothing more than the help.

    So your welcome .2IQ. People like me keep people like you from having to find out what they’re made of.

    This is the type of masturbatory self-worship that all this mindless “support the troops” bullshit creates,.

    You know what, if this is what we have created, FUCK the troops.

  294. 294

    And stop embarrassing yourself. A fat, lazy civilian has absolutely no chance of insulting someone like me.

    This is why i don’t think I ought to have to pay taxes. The money just get’s wasted on fat, lazy government workers.

  295. 295
    JHD says:

    Perhaps I am excessively skeptical, but I think the point from the business end is to stop providing benefits that were contracted to employees. In other words, employees negotiated (with or without unions) a wage package that included future benefits. Now that the future has arrived and the work has been completed the employers wish to renege on the deal.

    Businesses do not “voluntarily” provide these benefits. They promise them to attract and retain employees. To allow them to renege at general taxpayer expense is ridiculous.

  296. 296
    Zifnab says:

    This is why i don’t think I ought to have to pay taxes. The money just get’s wasted on fat, lazy government workers.

    Cheers to that. We should all move to Zimbabwe. No taxes there, unless they’ve got big enough guns to collect on you with.

  297. 297
    Jake says:

    2)

    If we put private medical insurance out of business, how do we compensate for job loss?

    The 9-5 grunts will probably find homes in the government business. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if existing insurance people get picked up en mass by the new government bureaucracy. Some amount of job loss will take place. That’s unavoidable. You just have to grin and bare it.

    No, no, no Zif. The correct answer is: Screw those fat lazy slobs. They can join the army if they want to eat!

    Actually, the Deytukrjobs boogey is utter bullshit (as anyone who is involved with providing health care in the US should know) because private insurers already contract with the gubbermint to administer claims. For example, if you’re treated in a VA hospital, or are a Medicare patient in DelMarVa and Texas, your claim will be handled by Trailblazer which is a division of BlueX/Shield of South Carolina.

    Zoiks. A new public health insurance system could create more jobs in the private sector.

  298. 298
    Zifnab says:

    For example, if you’re treated in a VA hospital, or are a Medicare patient in DelMarVa and Texas, your claim will be handled by Trailblazer which is a division of BlueX/Shield of South Carolina.

    That’s more a bug than a feature. An idealic public system would have as little contracting as reasonable. I’ve heard people complain about long lines at the DMV or the tragic state of our public education system, but these are typically the same people who scream bloody murder about property tax increases to pay for higher teachers salaries or new DMV offices.

    Of course, I never hear these people complain about government outsourcing that costs ten times as much and progresses no more efficiently. Outsourcing and increased overhead are what has made Iraq into the financial catastrophe it was ment to be. I really don’t want to see the same mistakes repeated with insurance if I can avoid it.

  299. 299
    myiq2xu says:

    Why do we insist on tying medical benefits to employment? Doing so leaves out the self-employed, unemployed, the disabled, students, and retirees, as well as seasonal, temporary and part-time workers.

    Because some states mandate medical benefits for full-time employees, many large retailers simply make the majority of their workers “part-timers.”

  300. 300
    Robert Johnston says:

    El Grande Retardo (aka Cassidy):If we put private medical insurance out of business, how do we compensate for job loss?

    Ow! The stupid! It hurts!

    If you’re willing to admit that government insurance is so much more efficient than private insurance that it would end up putting paper pushers out of work without opening up new jobs for them, why in the world would you oppose government insurance? If government insurance really puts such people out of work, and they really can’t find new work, then we’d all–former insurance employees and the insured–end up richer, with a less costly insurance system, simply for paying the now out of work employees 95% of their previous salaries to sit at home on their asses. Not, of course, that that would be the best solution, but it’s so clearly Pareto superior to the current insurance scheme given your hidden assumption of increased efficiency that it should just smack you over the head that the objection that government insurance might put people out of work is a non-starter.

  301. 301
    Krista says:

    And stop embarrassing yourself. A fat, lazy civilian has absolutely no chance of insulting someone like me.

    Someone like you, huh? Someone who has nothing but contempt and scorn for the people he’s sworn to protect?

    I know your type. If you did ever save the life of a civilian, nothing they do to repay you would ever be enough. In fact, were the civilian the physical embodiment of the “fat, lazy civilian” who you so despise, would you indeed do all that you can to protect them? Or, deep down in your heart, would you shrug at the death of a civilian and consider it to be a culling-out of the weak and the lazy?

    Any military personnel who sees civilians as lesser beings needs to get the hell out of the military before someone gets hurt.

  302. 302
    Jake says:

    Outsourcing and increased overhead are what has made Iraq into the financial catastrophe it was ment to be. I really don’t want to see the same mistakes repeated with insurance if I can avoid it.

    You’re forgetting who did the outsourcing, who got the contracts and how much oversight the government provided to the contractors. Traditional Medicare, even with Repubs running the show, is still efficient because CMS watches every dollar and the contractors know if they fuck up they’ll be ripped from the government teat.

  303. 303
    Robert Johnston says:

    Any military personnel who sees civilians as lesser beings needs to get the hell out of the military before someone gets hurt.

    Indeed. Military service is admirable, but that’s because it’s service. When it stops being about service and starts being about finding a legal way to vent testosterone poisoning through shooting things and denigrating others, it’s no longer even slightly admirable.

  304. 304
    myiq2xu says:

    My last statement to Hopalong:

    I may be fat, but you are stupid. I can diet.

    If you really feel the need to prove your manhood, no problem.

    I might be old enough to be your father, but I’ve got enough gas left in the tank to handle a punk like you.

  305. 305
    Doug H. says:

    And stop embarrassing yourself. A fat, lazy civilian has absolutely no chance of insulting someone like me.

    OK, I’m completely convinced now. REMF.

  306. 306
    John S. says:

    Ouch.

    I don’t expect to see Cassidy resurface in this thread after the smackdown Cole gave him above. Although, I would love to see him muster some sort of response.

    Come back, Cassidy!

  307. 307
    Jake says:

    I think he got tired of drinking at home and went down to the local bar to kick some fat civilians in the junk. That’s what Real Men do in their spare time.

  308. 308
    myiq2xu says:

    the contractors know if they fuck up they’ll be ripped from the government teat.

    Unless, of course, the contractor is Halliburton, Blackwater or some other crony of His Supreme Excellency, Doctor, Field Marshal, Sith Lord, Vice-President for Life Richard B. Cheney.

  309. 309
    Zifnab says:

    Not, of course, that that would be the best solution, but it’s so clearly Pareto superior to the current insurance scheme given your hidden assumption of increased efficiency that it should just smack you over the head that the objection that government insurance might put people out of work is a non-starter.

    That’s not entirely fair. If you live in an area that has no post office, and you run a private mailing service, when the post office finally does roll into town, it can crush your business any number of ways without necessarily being better than your own.

    A lesson that big box retail outlets and other mega-corp structures have learned is that you don’t have to offer better service over the long run, just cheaper service until your competitor goes out of business.

    So a cheap shitty HMO-wanna-be government entity could put good, honest, hard working private insurance firms out of business simply by being larger and more available (since private firms can’t exactly advertise themselves on your tax return). The handful of competing firms could have more total employees and offer better service on the aggregate, but all still go under from the increased competition in a limited market space.

    This, of course, assumes some mythical friendly neighborhood mom-and-pop health insurance company run by the tooth fairy and her band of magic love unicorns, because I don’t know of any real-life business that fits the description.

  310. 310
    Tax Analyst says:

    LindaH Says:

    Well, I just had a run in with my insurance company. I woke up experiencing bad stomach pains. At first I thought food poisoning or flu. When things go worse I got an emergency appointment with my Doctor, who decided this was a classic case of appendicitis. This needs to be diagnosed by a CAT scan, before surgery can be performed. My insurance company requires pre-certification before a CAT scan could be performed and the doctor’s office had me wait for an hour trying to get the certification. Finally, the sent me home to wait and told me to go to the emergency room if the pain got any worse. 45 minutes later, as I pulled into my driveway the certification came through and I had to drive back to the hospital (another 30 minute drive) to get the test. The actual test requires you drink a dye, wait 1 hour, drink a second dose of dye, wait another hour and then the scan can be performed. By the time I was officially diagnosed, my appendix had turned gangrene and was starting to rupture. I’m really lucky that I didn’t die due to having to wait for pre-certification. I will end up owing $2000 for the hospital stay, but that is small price for my life. I can’t help but wonder if under a single payer plan, I would have been taken to the CAT scan immediately and my appendix would have been removed under less dangerous circumstances. Plus, it would have saved both me and the insurance company an extra night in the hospital recovering from the infection.

    Seriously? WOW! I had appendicitis when I was 5-years old (1955) and I don’t think CAT scans even existed then. My mother called our Family Doctor (some of you may be old enough to remember them…they even made house-calls back then). It had gotten pretty bad by then – partly because my 5-year old self hadn’t articulated the pain too well until it got to where yelping was pretty much involuntary. Still, I think I was in the O.R. getting it removed more quickly than the ordeal you went through. I still almost died. 52 years later and that’s the best we can do? Phooey.

  311. 311
    John Cole says:

    Well, I just had a run in with my insurance company. I woke up experiencing bad stomach pains. At first I thought food poisoning or flu. When things go worse I got an emergency appointment with my Doctor, who decided this was a classic case of appendicitis. This needs to be diagnosed by a CAT scan, before surgery can be performed. My insurance company requires pre-certification before a CAT scan could be performed and the doctor’s office had me wait for an hour trying to get the certification. Finally, the sent me home to wait and told me to go to the emergency room if the pain got any worse. 45 minutes later, as I pulled into my driveway the certification came through and I had to drive back to the hospital (another 30 minute drive) to get the test. The actual test requires you drink a dye, wait 1 hour, drink a second dose of dye, wait another hour and then the scan can be performed. By the time I was officially diagnosed, my appendix had turned gangrene and was starting to rupture. I’m really lucky that I didn’t die due to having to wait for pre-certification. I will end up owing $2000 for the hospital stay, but that is small price for my life. I can’t help but wonder if under a single payer plan, I would have been taken to the CAT scan immediately and my appendix would have been removed under less dangerous circumstances. Plus, it would have saved both me and the insurance company an extra night in the hospital recovering from the infection.

    All that bureaucracy with single-payer would have made that a lot worse. AMIRITE, Cassidy?

  312. 312
    Jake says:

    Unless, of course, the contractor is Halliburton, Blackwater or some other crony of His Supreme Excellency, Doctor, Field Marshal, Sith Lord, Vice-President for Life Richard B. Cheney.

    Man, don’t even joke about those bastards getting into the health care biz. I could see it happening because that would give Cthcheney instant access to a steady diet of blood and body parts without the bother of faking up a war.

  313. 313
    John S. says:

    Seriously? WOW! I had appendicitis when I was 5-years old (1955) and I don’t think CAT scans even existed then.

    I had my appendix removed when I was 12 (1989), but my experience was pretty similar. I went to the ER with my always medically nervous mother, and five hours later I was on a table with some Barium pumped into my ass undergoing some sort of radiological examination. Four hours later, I was being prepped for surgery and approximately twelve hours after I entered the hospital, I was having my near-burstin appendix removed. I shudder to think whether or not I would have survived the episode in today’s healthcare system (although my son was born in the same hospital, and then went remarkably well).

  314. 314
    4tehlulz says:

    All that bureaucracy with single-payer would have made that a lot worse.

    The problem with single-payer, to the ubermenschen and the Paultards, is that it does not put up enough barriers to health care. The high cost and the bureaucratic hurdles serves as a tool to establish who is fit to survive and who should be culled from the herd. LindaH was fit this time because she was able to afford the co-pays and endure the delay in treatment without expiring; a less-luckydeserving soul would have died from non-treatment, leaving more resources to the fit.

  315. 315
    Robert Johnston says:

    4tehlulz,

    You give the libertopians as exemplified by Paultards way too much credit for being devious. They simply believe that private sector waste is always preferable to government efficiency because . . . well, they don’t really bother with a because.

  316. 316
    4tehlulz says:

    I don’t agree; social darwinism is the at the heart of libertarianism. If you don’t “win,” it’s your fault. Granted, most wouldn’t be so stupid as to admit it, but the reality is that they hate government acting as an agent in the economy because it tends to favor those who would lose in a truly capitalist society — the sick, the aged, the poor, and the outnumbered (i.e., minorities).

  317. 317
    myiq2xu says:

    One of the crazy ironies of our current system is that the poor have better coverage than most of the middle class.

    If you’re poor, you go to the local emergency room whenever you’re sick, and wipe your ass with the bill (if you don’t have government funded coverage as part of your welfare or disability benefits already.)

    What are they gonna do if you don’t pay, repossess your shopping cart and the refrigerator box you live in?

    But if you’re middle class, you’re hoping you don’t get too sick or hurt, even if you have insurance. Because if you do, you can have everything you spend years building up, including savings, your home and investments, wiped out practically overnight.

    That also includes your job, even if you are serving in the military. Non-service related injury or illness can get you a medical discharge without VA benefits.

  318. 318
    Zifnab says:

    If you’re poor, you go to the local emergency room whenever you’re sick, and wipe your ass with the bill (if you don’t have government funded coverage as part of your welfare or disability benefits already.)

    What are they gonna do if you don’t pay, repossess your shopping cart and the refrigerator box you live in?

    But if you’re middle class, you’re hoping you don’t get too sick or hurt, even if you have insurance. Because if you do, you can have everything you spend years building up, including savings, your home and investments, wiped out practically overnight.

    That also includes your job, even if you are serving in the military. Non-service related injury or illness can get you a medical discharge without VA benefits.

    Fortunately, we have brave wingnuts fighting to fix that irregularity as we speak by sharpening their pitchforks and charging after the monster of illegal immigration. After all, its a well-known fact that the poor people clogging our emergency rooms aren’t supposed to be in America to begin with.

  319. 319
    Jake says:

    One of the crazy ironies of our current system is that the poor have better coverage than most of the middle class.

    If you’re poor, you go to the local emergency room whenever you’re sick, and wipe your ass with the bill (if you don’t have government funded coverage as part of your welfare or disability benefits already.)

    Put the crack pipe down. Contrary to the utterings of GeeDub, ER care is not “coverage” in any way shape or form or everyone (including the middle class) would just go down to the local hospital when they were ill.

    Let’s take an example like a broken arm. You go in to the ER with your broken arm and you know what the doctor will do? Put a splint on it and tell you to see an orthopod. He won’t set it or x-ray it or anything but wrap it up and send you on your way. You may or may not decide to wipe your ass on the bill but your fucking arm will still be broken.

    What are they gonna do if you don’t pay, repossess your shopping cart and the refrigerator box you live in?

    Because all poor people are homeless. Yes, yes of course. Did you mean to spoof and forget to change your handle?

  320. 320
    Robert Johnston says:

    I don’t agree; social darwinism is the at the heart of libertarianism.

    Well, I’ll agree that it’s at the heart of the reasoning of the “intellectual” founders of libertopianism, but the mass of libertopian sheep mostly, in my experience, just think the government is always bad. Social Darwinism, if it enters their thinking at all, serves as post-hoc rationalization for the a priori presumption that the government is always wrong. You’ve got to remember that libertopians are just simple sheeple, sheeple of the land, the common clay of neo-condom. You know . . . morons.

  321. 321
    myiq2xu says:

    Did you mean to spoof and forget to change your handle?

    That was sarcasm. One of the many services I offer.

  322. 322
    crw says:

    The problem with single-payer, to the ubermenschen and the Paultards, is that it does not put up enough barriers to health care. The high cost and the bureaucratic hurdles serves as a tool to establish who is fit to survive and who should be culled from the herd. LindaH was fit this time because she was able to afford the co-pays and endure the delay in treatment without expiring; a less-luckydeserving soul would have died from non-treatment, leaving more resources to the fit.

    Actually, the real Paultards blame everything bad in the current system on government regulation because…oh look, a shooting star!

    They do not acknowledge the perverse incentives and asymmetric information that inevitably lead to people getting screwed by the private insurance market.

    I still don’t think single payer will happen in this country, because the insurance lobby is too powerful (and not going away in my lifetime) and the other corporations pushing for change only care about shifting the tab to someone else. Instead, we’ll get some sort of Public Private Partnership between the existing insurance industry and the government. Probably fat subsidies and tax breaks in exchange for government oversight and elimination of the preexisting condition bullshit.

  323. 323
    4tehlulz says:

    OK, I’ll concede your point but I have to know:

    neo-condom

    What do new condoms have to do with this?

  324. 324
    Robert Johnston says:

    What do new condoms have to do with this?

    You really, really, really don’t want to know.

  325. 325
    Jake says:

    That was sarcasm. One of the many services I offer.

    My apologies.

    What do new condoms have to do with this?

    Mandatory use by current-cons would prevent the conception of more neo-cons.

  326. 326
    BlogReeder says:

    I can’t help but wonder if under a single payer plan, I would have been taken to the CAT scan immediately and my appendix would have been removed under less dangerous circumstances.

    That’s great that you made it. A single-payer system wouldn’t necessarily have helped. Last year Medicare revised it’s coverage for an anemia medication. It was eventually changed but I don’t understand this.

    According to the 61-page “national coverage determination,” Medicare will cover the medications, synthetic forms of the protein erythropoietin, to treat anemia caused by chemotherapy but not anemia caused by cancer. The decision eliminated provisions in the previous proposal under which Medicare would not have covered use of the anemia medications during chemotherapy for certain forms of cancer or in combination with the cancer treatments Avastin, manufactured by Genentech, or Erbitux, manufactured by ImClone Systems.

    Why make the distinction? A hemoglobin decrease to less than 9 grams per deciliter can cause dizziness which could result in a fall and cost more. As I said they did change it to less than 10 but why mess with it? Anemia medication is very expensive.
    (For the retarded ThymeZone, I know Medicare is different from a single-payer system but I’m using this as an example of a government program that pays medical costs)
    I don’t think a single-payer system is a panacea. It’s suppose to cut costs, treat better, cut out pills and do CAT scans.

  327. 327
    myiq2xu says:

    Mandatory use by current-cons would prevent the conception of more neo-cons.

    You can’t put a condom on a conservative!

    There’s no end to them pricks! D’oh!

  328. 328
    Zifnab says:

    Why make the distinction? A hemoglobin decrease to less than 9 grams per deciliter can cause dizziness which could result in a fall and cost more. As I said they did change it to less than 10 but why mess with it? Anemia medication is very expensive.

    I can see certain reasoning. Medicare refuses to pay for anemia medication to counter the effects of, say, bone marrow cancer. If you come in for chemo treatments, they’ll pay to help you make it through. But if you come in anemic to start, they won’t simply pay for your anemia treatments.

    Sometimes there is a logical reason for this and sometimes its just cost cutting. I honestly couldn’t tell you what the case is here.

    I don’t think a single-payer system is a panacea. It’s suppose to cut costs, treat better, cut out pills and do CAT scans.

    If by “panacea” you mean “improvement”, I disagree. A single-payer system would be an across the board improvement of the status quo.

    But you’re right. Government bureaucracy is scary and prone to foolishness. The root problems of every system are – as often as not – the people implementing it. Simply changing the signpost out front from Aetna to Government will not make the system any better.

  329. 329
    Z says:

    I think it was Zifnab that said that Medicare is just the 1.2% out of his paycheck. That may be true, but its actual cost is 21% of the federal budget (and climbing), plus the megabucks the states put into it (which is also climbing). We could rebuild a lot of infrastructure for what we spend on extremely sick old people who have zero quality of life and aren’t going to ever be healthy again.

  330. 330
    BlogReeder says:

    But you’re right. Government bureaucracy is scary and prone to foolishness. The root problems of every system are – as often as not – the people implementing it.

    Couldn’t agree more.

  331. 331
    myiq2xu says:

    We could rebuild a lot of infrastructure for what we spend on extremely sick old people who have zero quality of life and aren’t going to ever be healthy again.

    Think of all the wonderful things we could do with the money we’re spending wasting in Iraq!

  332. 332
    Z says:

    myiq2xu,

    AMEN. And all the wonderful things we could have done with interest we are and are going to continue to pay to China.

  333. 333
    Robert Johnston says:

    And all the wonderful things we could have done with interest we are and are going to continue to pay to China.

    Silly Z; if interest payments to China ever look like they’re about to become a real burden we’ll just end up devaluing the dollar and inflating our way out of our debt. When inflation hits 15% and the dollar is trading three to a Euro then interest payments to China won’t look so bad. Other things might, though.

  334. 334
    Z says:

    Wellll… the dollar has lost 30% of its value since, El Decider took office, so maybe that plan is already in place.

  335. 335
    Zifnab says:

    We could rebuild a lot of infrastructure for what we spend on extremely sick old people who have zero quality of life and aren’t going to ever be healthy again.

    This, of course, implies that money taken from Medicare would be spent on infrastructure, when we know that isn’t true. That said, I don’t know what your definition of “zero quality of life” is. I’ve yet to meet an old person who’s lot is so bad that he or she would rather die that take his or her meds. Certainly, when I am old and infirm, I would much rather money be available for when my hip breaks or my teeth fall out. I don’t know if you can achieve negative quality of life, but getting rid of Medicare would be a great way to find out.

  336. 336
    Jake says:

    When inflation hits 15% and the dollar is trading three to a Euro then interest payments to China won’t look so bad. Other things might, though.

    Like that dented can of dog food you’ll all be fighting over. I intend to meet my RDA of vitamins and minerals by dining on the fat fucks who got us into this mess. If you find yourself in DC be sure to drop by for roasted haunch of legislator smothered in lobbyist gravy.

  337. 337
    Tax Analyst says:

    myiq2xu Says:

    One of the crazy ironies of our current system is that the poor have better coverage than most of the middle class.

    If you’re poor, you go to the local emergency room whenever you’re sick, and wipe your ass with the bill (if you don’t have government funded coverage as part of your welfare or disability benefits already.)

    Fine, if you don’t die on the Waiting Room floor while you are waiting for someone to get around to seeing you (see “King-Drew Hospital, Los Angeles, CA”). And now even that’s closed. The next nearest Emergency Room USED to be Daniel Freeman in Inglewood…closed a couple or so years ago…so now if you happen to need Emergency medical treatment in South-Central L.A. you can call 911 and get an ambulance ride around the city looking for some hospital to give a shit. Maybe you’ll live to complain about it.

    A helluva system. Makes yah proud, don’t it?

  338. 338
    Z says:

    Well, just watched my soon-to-be father-in-law die of Alzheimers. For the last 4 years or so, I would say he pretty much had zero quality of life. A very expensive zero quality of life (Aracept long after he couldn’t form a complete sentence and multiple hospitalizations for pneumonia and falls, because he could no longer swallow properly and tended to wander). Then there is my grandfather-in-law who has multiple ailments and whose muscles have atrophied to the point that he can’t pick up a fork. He can’t hear. He can’t see well. He can’t do any biological functions without assistance, and this is a guy who was an avid hunter and fisherman. He is on anti-depressants to cope with being trapped in his miserable body by modern medicine. We are wasting thousands of dollars a month to keep him there.

  339. 339
    Cain says:

    We should just join the military en-masse. We’ll immediately and by pure magic no longer be lazy and fat and we’d get single player health care and beat the insurance lobby and most important of all, Cassidy will respect us.

    cain

  340. 340
    John S. says:

    We are wasting thousands of dollars a month to keep him there.

    If that’s how you feel, then why not stop giving him his medications and let him die as you think nature has intended?

  341. 341
    Zifnab says:

    If that’s how you feel, then why not stop giving him his medications and let him die as you think nature has intended?

    See: Shaivo, Terri

  342. 342
    myiq2xu says:

    If that’s how you feel, then why not stop giving him his medications and let him die as you think nature has intended?

    My grandma lived alone from the time my grandfather died in 1962 until 1991, when she was 88. Due to alzheimers Disease, in a matter of a few months she went from independent to an invalid who didn’t recognize anyone, could not walk or even swallow food. She lived 8 more years that way.

    As much as I hated seeing her that way (and as much as I still fear ending up like that) I would never have agreed to pull the plug on her. She didn’t have any money, so I never had to consider “my” inheritance, but if I had I would have let her estate evaporate.

    I would hope that if the situation was more like Mr. Schiavo’s, where my earnings and savings were being used up to pay for her medical care, I would feel the same way, but thankfully I never had to face that choice.

    I would never criticize the choice of somebody who was in that situation.

  343. 343
    John S. says:

    I would never criticize the choice of somebody who was in that situation.

    My grandmother is currently 92 and has had Alzheimer’s for more than six years. She has completely gone through any retirement she had and now lives with my mother, who has to kill herself to take care of her at age 64.

    I don’t know how my mother feels about pulling the plug, either, although she and my grandmother never got along well in their adult lives, so I don’t know how that factors in. Obviously, my mother is doing what she thinks is right.

    My question posed to Z wasn’t a criticism – it was a simple query. If he feels that keeping his grandfather alive is a waste of money, then why does he bother?

    It’s a dificult situation to find yourself in, and there are no easy answers. I was just curious.

  344. 344
    myiq2xu says:

    It’s a dificult situation to find yourself in, and there are no easy answers. I was just curious.

    Nothing I said was meant personally for you or anyone else. I was just relating my own experience.

  345. 345

    The healthcare issue is simple. Consumers want business or the government to pay for it. Business wants consumers or the government to pay for it. And the government will pay for it but it is really taxpayers money. No one wants to pay for it. Consumers make little effort to control the costs. Government programs pay for too many discretionary items. And new businesses sprout up all the time as third party profit centers that raise the costs more.
    A typical case of everyone blaming someone else for the problem when we are all responsible.

  346. 346
    Cassidy says:

    I don’t expect to see Cassidy resurface in this thread after the smackdown Cole gave him above. Although, I would love to see him muster some sort of response.

    Come back, Cassidy!

    Sorry. Was traveling to see family.

    Actually, you obnoxious fuck, you are doing a pretty good job embarassing yourself.

    Problem is that implies a sense of importance to the opinions and mental diaharrea that is prominent in your comments section. In the end, for all your collective self-righteous, puffed importance, you have the luxury to be spoiled and ignorant. You all have it so bad sitting on your computers and enjoying the luxuries of an industrialized nation. You are nothing more than spoiled, western children, with no sense of perspective.

    I am all for supporting the troops, but when did you cocksuckers get the sense of entitlement? It wasn’t there when I was on active duty. When did you putrid fucks get it in your head that you are somehow better than the civilians who decide how to use the military and oh, by the way, pay you and pay for your healthcare.

    When did you assholes start to think you can talk to civilians like you are better than them? Seriously? This is one fat lazy civilian who like to punch you in your fat mouth, you self-centered, holier-than-thou piece of shit. Thanks for your service, but you volunteered. Now shut the fuck up and quit acting better than your fellow citizens.

    The simple truth is we are better. You don’t have to like it, but the truth is the truth. The average American citizen is spoiled, lazy, and cowardly. You all are lucky to have a professional military, as it keeps the rest of you from actually serving your community. For all you naive bullshit, the reality is that I have performed more humanitarian work than the rest of you combined. You guys talk, we actually do it, regardless of our personal opinions. You’re spoiled and weak and deserve nothing more than the privileges of children.

    And Krista is mostly right, I’d happily treat any American citizen, as it’s my job, but for some, we’d all be much better if they were out of the gene pool.

    And John…I don’t know what kind of Soldiers they made back in your day, but macho, internet posturing is stupid. If the hypothetical face to face meeting ever happened, though, it wouldn’t end well for you. I’d probably have to hurt you, just on principle, so that you learned a lifelong lesson of don’t mess with better people. Keep typing and teaching, its what you’re good at.

    OK, I’m completely convinced now. REMF

    Combat Medic…never been in an FSB my whole career. :) And we call them pogues these days. But I also don’t need to spit my bona-fides to you either. I know what I’ve done and where I have been, and so do the people who’se opinion actually counts.

  347. 347
    Shygetz says:

    The simple truth is we are better. You don’t have to like it, but the truth is the truth. The average American citizen is spoiled, lazy, and cowardly. You all are lucky to have a professional military, as it keeps the rest of you from actually serving your community. For all you naive bullshit, the reality is that I have performed more humanitarian work than the rest of you combined. You guys talk, we actually do it, regardless of our personal opinions. You’re spoiled and weak and deserve nothing more than the privileges of children.

    Is it humanitarian service when you are paid to do it? Here, we call that a “job” and most of us are happy to have one. Is it humanitarian service when you are required under penalty of law to do it? Here, we call that “community service” and most of us are embarassed when we are required to do it. When we do it for free and without compulsion, it’s called humanitarian service. Have you stopped accepting your paycheck recently, Cassidy? Join the Peace Corps and then perhaps you can earn that pedastal you’ve co-opted.

    I know what I’ve done and where I have been, and so do the people who’se opinion actually counts.

    At least you have the wisdom to see that your opinion doesn’t actually count.

    It is this minority opinion in the military (at least, minority amongst the educated military men and women I interact with) that is the only reason I still support the 2nd Amendment. I need guns to keep assholes like you from acting on your dumb ideas.

  348. 348
    John Cole says:

    Cassidy,

    You are no better than anyone else in the civilian world, and given the military’s need to pull the dregs of society in to fill out the ranks the past few years, the military may be more criminal and vile than the mean individual in a few years. Additionally, you really aren’t as tough as you think you are. Seriously.

    And by the way, you already have sent all of the readers here a lifelong lesson- stay in school, do your homework, and work hard, or you might end up in the military with uneducated loudmouths like Cassidy.

  349. 349
    Robert Johnston says:

    I think Cassidy’s well proven that the military really needs to stop granting waivers just to meet enlistment goals. If you can’t get by without letting in the delinquent-fry-cook Cassidy’s of the world, it’s definitely time for a draft, and if you can get by without them, then for god’s sake why don’t we already?

  350. 350
    Z says:

    Missed the responses over the weekend. Z is a she, and neither I nor my girlfriend have (or had, in her father’s case) the power to deny meds to her father or grandfather. Her mother has the medical power of attorney. Her mother supported keeping Terri Schivo alive indefinitely. (See- Life, Culture of). Her mother is also not really paying for all the massive bills, either, because they had long term care insurance. All the current people insured by that company are paying these bills.

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