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OT: Universal Healthcare

okay, so help me out here...

my feeling on U.H. is:

1. More Bureaucrats - The government bureaucracy is already way too big, why make it WAY bigger with U.H.? Because they have done such a good job with ____?
2. Higher Taxes - "free" healthcare is just taking money from me and giving it to someone I don't even know in Alaska who is pretty much where I am at - why do we need more of that? I am lower middle class.
3. Policed Charity - Isn't State enforced charity a Marxist principle? - (I think charity should come locally and from the heart, not the point of a gun.)
4. Let me BUY your vote - This just feels wrong in a campaign, it seems like "hey blue collar worker - vote for me and I will force the rich people to give you their cash - remember, me = cash"

am I missing something here people please help me understand, I really want to know why so many think this is a good idea...


Fri. May 9, 5:37pm

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I'm with you 100% but I'm afraid there are a lot of people that support U.H.

They don't look at all the failed government programs mostly becuase it is kept very hush hush. More government is not the answer because I believe they will just mess it up!!! Let me spend my money how I choose, I don't need the government to spend it for me!

*And I'm lower middle class, pay for my own healthcare*

Friday, May 09, 2008, 6:55 PM

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I have some experience in this area, in the healthcare industry. It is a complex problem. In general, socialist models don't work, and free market ones do. But there is a role for the government to provide gaps where the market does not work.

The reality of healthcare is that it is already controlled by the government. They set prices for Medicare and Medicaid, and these prices are followed by the insurance companies.

There are issues with both access to care, as well as quality of care. Quality of care is an equally big problem as access to care is, but VERY FEW people talk about it. There are good doctors and ones with lesser ability and experience. There are excellent doctors who are hard to get to sometimes, and who increasingly DON"T TAKE INSURANCE. No amount of universal coverage is going to get you to see these guys. You have to pay market rate. Which is more than the insurance companies reimburse them. And it is often well worth it.

There are wide variations in medical quality in hospitals and institutions as well. Hospitals like to market themselves as being universally great, and while there are top notch hospitals, care levels vary widely even within departments

The difference in the qualtiy of medical care between rich and poor is surprisingly small. Rich people get killed by the medical system just like poor people do.

As doctors and hospitals get exposed to people shopping for higher levels of quality care, they will be forced to improve their services. I think this might be happening. However, many doctors and hospitals hide behind insurance companies.

Most doctors think that medical care is a basic human right, and most are very caring people. The challenge from a policy perspective is to craft rules that maximize the positive effect of the free market (this will improve quality) and at the same time ensure people have access to care. My thinking is that widening existing medicare and medicaid services to children and the low income at the state level is a good idea- maybe with some federal funding. If we can fight trillion dollar wars, I think it might be possible to find a few dollars for this.

The other big issue in healthcare is prevention. People need to be humanely incentivized to make better health choices. Doctors need to do a better job at this as well. Too often they just throw a perscription for a symptom, rather than explore the underlying causes. Often poor diet is at the root of many health problems, and we tend to exacerbate things by just having people take pills. Often a heavy dose of fruits and vegetables can do wonders- but most doctors do not think that nutrition can play a role in disease reversal. Some guys like Mehmet Oz and Joel Furhman are leading the medical community in pointing out how food can cure disease. Dr Fuhrman has cured Lupus in several patients recently with his diet, to the total disbelief of other doctors. They still don't believe it.

A lot of what I have learned about the medical field has come from working with doctors in the context of PEERtrainer, in particular the ones who founded Oxford Health. It is a very broken system right now, but there are tons of doctors in this country who take their oath very seriously. The biggest problem that I became aware of was the one of medical quality. It is a major issue. Our healthcare system basically kills the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of people each day via preventable medical errors.


-Habib
pt co-founder

Friday, May 09, 2008, 7:00 PM

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I would love UH! I have been without healthcare for about 5 years. My husband and I are finally getting healthcare through his job, but that's still going to cost us. I think UH works in other countries. Why not ours? Always knowing that you and your family are completely taken care of in a time of need, that sounds amazing! I'd be willing to pay into that.

Friday, May 09, 2008, 7:55 PM

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PP - you are very silly. Did you read my questions ?

-OP

Sunday, May 11, 2008, 10:31 PM

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Hi OP I wrote this on another thread:

am Canadian and our health care system is excellent, I truly believe in it.

When my sister had cancer she was getting chemo at a cancer centre in Toronto called Princess Margaret. Her husband's family were from the US, and they insisted she get a second opinion from a top Cancer Hospital in New York. They believed that Canadian health care must be inferior because it is socialized.

The physicians in New York examined my sister and told her that not only do the agree with everything the Oncologists at Princess Margaret had diagnosed her with - they also told her Princess Margaret is one the leading and most respected Cancer Hospitals in the world.

And it was 100% covered by our system. Seriously, there are no cons to socialized health care. Only pros.


And just to add: what is that stuff about Marxism and being held at gunpoint?

Do they honestly have you that brainwashed?

Sunday, May 11, 2008, 11:28 PM

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1. More Bureaucrats - The government bureaucracy is already way too big, why make it WAY bigger with U.H.? Because they have done such a good job with ____?

Yes - but if the beaucracy works, then why not?

2. Higher Taxes - "free" healthcare is just taking money from me and giving it to someone I don't even know in Alaska who is pretty much where I am at - why do we need more of that? I am lower middle class.

Yes. Definately higher taxes. I know its tough for you to understand - but people pool money together for each, it makes sense. EVERYONE needs health care -- rich and poor - not just people you don't know

3. Policed Charity - Isn't State enforced charity a Marxist principle? - (I think charity should come locally and from the heart, not the point of a gun.)

Its not charity - its a SYSTEM. and WHA??? A gun? Everyone benefits. Why the gun toting?

4. Let me BUY your vote - This just feels wrong in a campaign, it seems like "hey blue collar worker - vote for me and I will force the rich people to give you their cash - remember, me = cash"

Huh? Do middle class people really feel this victimized and threatened?


Sunday, May 11, 2008, 11:34 PM

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How Can You Not Want Universal Healthcare?

It’s interesting because all of the points that have been made against it is the result of fear mongering. Universal healthcare is beneficial to society as a whole.
I am a Canadian, now living in the States, and it disgusts me every time I have to go to the doctor and dole out the $25 co-pay. There is no reason that UH can not be established here (and no there is no "gov't controling the individual" in managing it). It is the health insurance companies that inspire the fear mongering, because they are making a fortune off Americans - do you even realize it?
What needs to be done is to de-allocate funds from the military, that alone will be enough to provide healthcare to everyone without raising taxes.

Take Canada and the UK as examples
You get superb care under the UH plan, no you don't have outrageous wait times. No, the equipment is not antiquated; in the UK you are entitled to FREE medication.

What is everyone so afraid of?

OP you must be living in a cold war bunker to spout those kind of views


Monday, May 12, 2008, 9:26 AM

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I agree 9:26!!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008, 9:59 AM

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Daddy will take care of me....

I really do appreciate everyone's input (on both strings) but people are not really addressing the PHILOSOPHICAL issue I am trying to raise here:

I really appreciate 11:34 actually looking at my questions a bit:
(1. Buraucracy DOESN'T work, 2. why should I be forced to be responsible for some slacker I don't know and can't know or HOLD accountable? 3. Yes a GUN, you don't pay your charity - off to Jail, 4. no, but poorer voters are hearing - vote for me - I will give you $$$ - which is true)

I do not want
1. A much bigger goverrnment (the government is NOTORIOUS for waste people! )
2. Another government program to "help" by redistributing wealth
3. A philosophy of "everyone ELSE will take care of me" replacing, "this is America - if YOU work HARD you can make it!"

Let me put it more simply - We already have a great deal of money forcibly taken from us and a lot is "spilled" as it is passed around... should we have more of this... IN AMERICA ? ?

-OP

Monday, May 12, 2008, 10:32 AM

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Frankly, I think we NEED a little forced charity in this country. don't delude yourself into thinking that most people give as they should. They don't. People hold onto whatever they have, no matter how much of it is surplus to them when others are in need.

I'm middle class, I have health insurance, and I see no problem in sharing the wealth with those less fortunate. I have students with teeth rotting in their heads, asthma and other chronic illnesses unchecked because their parents work at some mini mart that doesn't offer health benefits and can't afford to pay out of pocket. They're limited by their job choices and I don't think they should be penalized for that. Is that the child's fault?

Monday, May 12, 2008, 10:34 AM

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