Fundamental Disconnect

There arguments against universal health care are becoming familiar. Some keep asserting that getting our government involved is going to make things less efficient and "ruin" our healthcare. This is a kneejerk reaction that comes from many people's deep distrust against government doing anything. I frankly don't understand this. You get the government that you deserve. If it's inefficient, then fix what's wrong. Don't just give the cop out Limbaugh/Hannity talking point that "government is bad".

People who are concerned with how expensive it will be seem to ignore the future rewards of preventive medicine. In the US, people don't get enough doctor check ups, because it is expensive, so small problems aren't detected until they're BIG problems. At that point we turn to our great technology Americans rave about, but of course at that point it is extremely expensive. What good is having a bunch of cool toys if most people can't afford to utilize them?

I don't see how a moral person can look at Healthcare as a privilege, as a commodity and not a right. I see it as part of the commons. We all have a common interest in our neighbors staying as healthy as possible. It seems people on the right look at healthcare as just another commodity, like a plasma tv or a nice car. Hence the silly "Hey Barack, if you're gonna institute universal health care, why don't you just hand out cars?" kind of statements. Do these people even realize how ridiculous they are being?

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VendettA12 VendettA12
31-35, M
11 Responses Feb 28, 2009

Healthcare is a complex issue and I have no answers. Within the UK free healthcare lead to increasing demand. The cost of pharmaceutical and technical healthcare therapies increase beyond normal inflation and inevitably some form of rationing or allocation must be introduced. In a market situation the ability to pay regulates the delivery of the service and one attempt was made to introduce an internal market to the UK NHS. The problem with a market place that efficiently allocates scarce resources through the balancing of supply and demand using a pricing mechanism is the basic requirement of knowledge of the market and suppliers by the customer. However, knowledge of the healthcare market lies with the healthcare professionals. Thus as a consumer of the product I need the proxy of a doctor to select the service for me. What was the basis of their selection, well price was one aspect but also quality. This led to the situation where hospitals published price lists of procedures. These became increasingly complex to the point where interpreting this data created specialisms within the healthcare professionals. The issue of quality was even more problematic because the mortality and morbidity tables, turnaround times and customer satisfaction surveys more often reflected the catchment area than the service delivery unit. The internal market was abandoned as the evidence for improved allocation of resources was not forthcoming and the cost of the market mechanism outweighed any savings. New initiatives are introduced all the time but it really doesn't get beyond the fact that the delivery of efficient healthcare requires excellent investment in healthcare professionals. They cannot be managed like a production line because they need to be incentivized and motivated to provide the best service and to identify continuous improvement because it is inherent in their professional culture. One likes to think that helatcare professinals are selfless individuals dedicated to providng perfect services, but they are individuals and the quality of service varies. also there are very many elements to the provision of healtcare. Should it be a right, yes ti should and the UK healthcare system for all its deficiencies is still an incredible institution

You said everything that should be heralded loud and clear to all Americans : PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE. THAT is what needs to be forefront here. <br />
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'An OUNCE of prevention is worth a POUND of cure' - Ben Franklin

Medical ethics aside...I think most of America is waking up the fact that "insurance" really doesn't do ****.<br />
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It's just a healthcare coupon!<br />
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Got cancer but have great insurance? Wonderful! Now you're only liable for $35,000 of the $90,000 chemotherapy/surgery bill!<br />
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That's a coupon, folks.<br />
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Got great dental insurance? Need a root canal? Rock on! Now you only owe $600 dollars! Because, ya know, almost no dental insurance in America will pay more than 50 percent for a root canal (at least not the kind your employer offers)<br />
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Sounds like a coupon to me.<br />
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Had a stroke and need physical therapy AND have great insurance? Super! Now you're only liable for $42,000 of the $50,000 bill.<br />
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So I pay a monthly premium ($400 a month) and then....I pay again for the co-pay when I actually go see a doctor. Um, okay. Seems odd to need to fork over ANOTHER $20 bucks after I already paid $400, but okay. I hand the doctor my $20 and then....I pay again for any prescriptions I might need. Um, alright. And then....I get a bill in the mail informing me that my insurance only covered, oh, 20 percent of the xrays and I need to cut them a check right now or else they will send it to collection!<br />
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I don't know, I just think America deserves better than a national healthcare coupon system.

Now, to open my next can of worms.......Healthcare. I work in healthcare. I have for nearly 23 years. I have worked in EMS and I work in the ER, CCU and the rest of the hospital. 1st Medicaid......There is some abuse with Medicaid. I'd love to see it fixed. A mother brings her child to the ER, the child has an ear ache. It is non emergent. The child is given antibiotics and sent home with a whopping ER bill for Medicaid to pay. I have a problem with that, not just for what I said above but it is abusing the system and it is clogging our ER. I think the parent should be fined but we can't deny healthcare to a child. It's a basic human right. But, they could have went to the doctor. Now, we have people who are uninsured (and getting more and more with the increasing unemployment rate, if they had insurance at all). They have no money. We've seen the ? here lately, strep throat, no money, can't go to Dr. what can I do. They have to go to the ER, clog up the system and they can't pay the bill. What happens? The people who do have insurance have to pick up the slack. They jack up the costs and bill our insurance and in turn our lifetime caps are being used for inflated bills!<br><br><br />
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Now Medicare! Healthcare for Seniors! Great thing for people who have no insurance in retirement (is there such a thing anymore unless you belonged to a union or are retired military?) OK, I have no problem with this at all, they worked all their lives and payed into the system (What? not at today's dollars? But it's THE system!)<br><br><br />
Now, we have grandma over here who is chronically ill, bad things, type 2 diabetes, amputated feet from the diabetes, she had 2 strokes and now she has the "big" stroke. She is essentially a goner but the family wants everything done for her. So, she's intubated and placed on a ventilator. She is in CCU, unresponsive, is brain dead and literally rotting in the bed while the ventilator keeps her alive. and drugs for the sepsis keeps her alive.........So, what are the ethics here? Is it a waste of medicare dollars to keep her alive because the family can't/won't let go? Did "God" want this for her? If so, why?<br><br><br />
OK, I'll leave you with these thoughts...............<br />
Just for the record, Grandma is a fictitious character. There are thousands like her with different scenario's but you get the idea...............

I'm going to open a whole new can of worms here. You all know I believe healthcare is a basic human right, contrary to what was posted above about being people's slaves and all that ridiculous stuff. First I want to say that freaking welfare is not what Dedre thinks it is. There are no more welfare queens. No one just sits at home and collects a check anymore. TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) note the TEMPORARY. It is a hand up and you have to WORK at a job to collect this assistance. You only have a certain amount limit you can receive in your LIFETIME so get the hell off of the WELFARE crap. President Clinton changed "Welfare as we know it." He did other things besides the crime they all hunted him down and impeached him for<br><br />
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If you're calling food stamps to feed hungry families, WELFARE, are you going to just let people starve? Sure there may be a few that scam the system but It's few and far between. Checks and balances, my friend. Geez, You people are really unchecked and unbalanced.

Pistils, good lord.<br />
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Life saving chemotherapy is not the same as a ******* iPod.<br />
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Example: can I go into Wal-mart, declare that I am having a TV emergency....and walk out with a TV?<br> Wal-mart couldn't operate if they had to give away "products" to people who couldn't pay just because it was an emergency. That's not how a capitalistic business operates.<br />
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No?<br />
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But isn't that exactly how Hospitals have to operate by law and (need we even point it out?) Christian ******* morality? They have to save everyone regardless of credit score or ability to pay.<br />
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So in no way, shape or form can "health" be treated as an optional consumer product. "Health" is far, far closer to "safety" and "education" than it is to being an iPod. You can't mass produce "health" and neither can you mass produce "safety"?<br />
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What about consumer choice? Do I have a choice of which MP3 Pla<x>yer to buy? Yes. I can choose which one to buy, I can choose where to buy and I can choose when.<br />
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Can I choose which illness to get? Nope! Can I choose WHEN to get cancer, have a stroke or get a heart attack? Nope! Can I pick the TIME I'll have a heart attack so that I can "save up" for it? Nope! Can I pick the hospital I'll be at when I have a near fatal stroke? Nope!<br />
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Gosh, Pistil, this doesn't sound ANYTHING like buying an iPods, does it? In fact, in sounds much closer to "safety" and how we treat crime than in how we buy iPods. You can't "mass produce" safety can ya? You can't run Year End "rape investigations" at police stations can ya? What about President's Day Sales on "domestic abuse"? Nope.<br />
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See how ******* ridiculous it sounds to try and treat "safety" the same way you treat iPods at Wal-mart?<br />
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Same with chemotherapy.<br />
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If your getting raped or mugged it really isn't a "consumer choice" to get help from the police -- its a ******* life or death situation.<br />
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If you have cancer getting life saving chemo isn't a fun consumer choice -- it's a ******* life or death situation.<br />
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Dying a slow painful death by being eaten alive by tumors or getting chemo is NOT the same as choosing between a Zune and a iPod Touch....or do you seriously think it is???

Betty-<br />
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Allow me to tell you why. Healthcare is a service that some person provides, usually to another person. If you say it is your "right" to have this service, then you are stating someone else is obliged to provide that to you. Sorry, Betty, I am not your slave: your existence does not impose any moral imperative on me to act on your behalf. Your rights merely impose restraints on my permissable range of actions: for example, I cannot rightfully move my fist where your nose begins (unless you have initiated force or fraud against me).<br />
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I think you are clueless about what "rights" are, and have given no serious thought to what is admittedly a complex subject. I suggest you read a book that was written about 50 years ago: "Atlas Shrugged".

Good point, but I'm sure there could be ways to manage that stevester. Under our current system we have the opposite problem: we have people waiting 3, 4, 6 hours in ER waiting rooms because they have zero access to a primary healthcare physician, so they go to the one place that can't turn them away and that creates a chokepoint that impacts everyone. You've got people with non-emergency illnesses sitting next to people with serious health problems and tha is not the ideal way to treat patients in a tiely and cost effective manner. Perhaps a simple nurse triage in the lobby would solve the problem? I don't know how it is in the UK exactly, but here you have to see several nurses first before you are deemed worthy to see a doctor...and at that point (when the Dr does appear) it's a 5min diagnostic and a kick out the door! Under that kind of system I don't see how any patients could monopolize a Drs time (at least not here in the States anyway) For the most part the Dr is free to end the appointment/diagnosis any time he deems fit.

don't know about that int he UK where healthcare is freely avaiable a survey of doctors surgeries showed that 80% of the healthcare profressionals time was being used up by 20% of the patients. So whilst they cannot demand therapy they can and do turn up at the doctors every day and drain the system. My local healt care centre had to stop people booking in advance ot see the doctor.

I don't think people could really "abuse" healthcare. Just because the fire department is "free" doesn't mean people burn down their house for fun. Under single-payer you couldn't just walk in a demand an MRI every single day or chemotherapy. You would still need a doctor to actually approve the chemotherapy or the MRI. If someone came in demanding an MRI and the doctor did not think it was medically necessary, that person wouldn't get one unless they actually opted to pay for it out of pocket (which seems reasonable).<br />
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I think the fear or concern that people would "abuse" a universal system is unfounded.

I think it would be nice if healthcare was a right; however, I wish they'd be a little bit more strict with social security, welfare, and other systems that people abuse the hell out of, first.<br />
I would hate universal healthcare if all it means to me is that my redneck po-dunk neighbor can go ahead and successfully father his eighth child with his fourth wife while they all continuously suckle the teat of welfare (and such "aid" systems that I pay into,)for it.