Pope
Topic Author
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Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:33 pm

While many people feel that nationalize healthcare is the way to go, I submit that some of those very people supporting this notion haven't fully thought through the consequences.

Take this NYT article from today.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/wo...c71&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

It discusses the issues surrounding a patient who wants to pay for the use of a drug that the British National Health Service doesn't cover but do so out of her pocket. NHS says that she can't if she wants any of her treatment paid for by the NHS.

IMO this raises two issues for Americans -

1. Are we really prepared to turn over drug decision to our government, to determine what drugs they will and will not let us use not because they pose a health or safety risk but simply because they don't want to pay for them?

2. Do you really want a system that prohibits people from using private resources to supplement the level of care they receive? What's next, should airlines be banned from offering premium service?
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
Arrow
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:55 pm

This issue is playing out in Canada, too, but it has another wrinkle to it. Health care systems are run by the provinces, and for cancer treatments that often means a drug that is approved for use in one province is not approved in another. In my case, both the drugs for my chemo (for leukemia) were covered by the BC government. If I were in Ontario, only one of them would have been covered and I'd have to pay for the other one. It would not have been cheap.

But this is not a reason to revert to private medicine, which would bankrupt everyone in the country and ensure that only the rich could get appropriate care. If I had to pay full price for all my leukemia treatments, or for the pacemaker I have implanted, I'd likely have croaked years ago. And trying to claim these costs through private insurers would be fraught with peril.

There are lots of problems and issues with government-run health care, and lots of anecdotal examples of things that go wrong. But the solution is to fix those problems, not throw out the system. Will the U.S. ever get a national health insurance system? I don't know, and frankly, I don't care. I do know that every Canadian's worst nightmare is being unlucky enough to get really sick while visiting the U.S. I always buy lots of insurance when I travel south.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
AirCop
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:10 pm



Quoting Pope (Thread starter):
1. Are we really prepared to turn over drug decision to our government, to determine what drugs they will and will not let us use not because they pose a health or safety risk but simply because they don't want to pay for them?

Replace the word government with insurance companies; and what is the difference? Most insurance companies now have lists of prescription medication that they will pay for, and if it's not on the list, you're on your own.
 
Pope
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:14 pm



Quoting AirCop (Reply 2):
Replace the word government with insurance companies; and what is the difference?

The free market. If I don't like what the insurance company offers me, I can contract with another one.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
AirCop
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:25 pm



Quoting Pope (Reply 3):
The free market. If I don't like what the insurance company offers me, I can contract with another one.

Not necessarily, especially if one's employer provides the health care and besides have you seen what health insurance would cost if one went out on the open market to obtain it for their families.
 
767Lover
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:32 pm

Officials said that allowing Mrs. Hirst and others like her to pay for extra drugs to supplement government care would violate the philosophy of the health service by giving richer patients an unfair advantage over poorer ones.

So their answer is to just let this person die because someone else can't get the treatment? Doesn't sound like a very ethical "philosophy" to me. Plus, it doesn't sound like this person is rich anyway if she is forced to sell her house to pay for the treatment.


For instance, he said, a patient put on a five-month waiting list to see an orthopedic surgeon

Five months? Yikes. Although I guess that's not so bad considering....

In his paper, he also wrote about a 46-year-old woman with breast cancer who paid $250 for a second opinion when the health service refused to provide her with one; an elderly man who spent thousands of dollars on a new hearing aid instead of enduring a yearlong wait on the health service; and a 29-year-old woman who, with her doctor's blessing, bought a three-month supply of Tarceva, a drug to treat pancreatic cancer, for more than $6,000 on the Internet because she could not get it through the N.H.S.

Asked why these were different from cases like Mrs. Hirst's, a spokeswoman for the health service said no officials were available to comment.

The citizens, through the media, should demand an explanation.

As a side note, I wish people such as the reporter for this article would stop referring to it at "free" healthcare. It is not free. It is paid for in advance by the citizens.

(Edited to fix italics)

[Edited 2008-02-21 12:33:17]
 
PPVRA
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:35 pm



Quoting AirCop (Reply 4):
and besides have you seen what health insurance would cost if one went out on the open market to obtain it for their families.

That's because businesses get tax credits for offering health insurance through the company while individuals don't have the same benefit. They should, but they don't.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
N1120A
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:40 pm



Quoting Pope (Thread starter):

2. Do you really want a system that prohibits people from using private resources to supplement the level of care they receive?

No, and the British system doesn't do that.

Quoting Pope (Reply 3):

The free market. If I don't like what the insurance company offers me, I can contract with another one.

And that company will have no interest in covering what actually ails you. The free market has failed with health care.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 6):

That's because businesses get tax credits for offering health insurance through the company while individuals don't have the same benefit. They should, but they don't.

That isn't why, and besides, out of pocket cost is out of pocket cost.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
PPVRA
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:47 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 7):

And that company will have no interest in covering what actually ails you. The free market has failed with health care.

If the company doesn't serve your interests to at least a decent level that company goes bankrupt. And insurance companies have every interest in the world to keep you from being sick.



Quoting N1120A (Reply 7):

That isn't why, and besides, out of pocket cost is out of pocket cost.

Taxes are out of pocket costs. Government doesn't pay for anything without taking it away from you first.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
Pope
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:48 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 7):
No, and the British system doesn't do that.

The article says the exact opposite. Do you have any proof otherwise? Can you cite something that supports your statement?

Quoting AirCop (Reply 4):
Not necessarily, especially if one's employer provides the health care and besides have you seen what health insurance would cost if one went out on the open market to obtain it for their families.

One, you could petition your employer to address a particular area of concern. That happened in my company a couple years ago regarding coverage of diagnostic mamograms (before the federal law changed). We approached our insurer and got a change in our policy.

Two, you could seek alternative employment with an employer whose plan is more generous. At my company we structure our benefits plan to be a really big draw to prospective candidates.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
AirCop
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:52 pm



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 5):
So their answer is to just let this person die because someone else can't get the treatment? Doesn't sound like a very ethical "philosophy" to me. Plus, it doesn't sound like this person is rich anyway if she is forced to sell her house to pay for the treatment.

This might be cruel, but perhaps the government is right on this one, at what point either private or public money do you spend trying to keep a person alive? Something like 80% of our health care dollars today are for end of life treatments. The way I read the article even spending the $120,000 her chances of survival is still very slim.
 
Arrow
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:00 pm



Quoting PPVRA (Reply 6):
And that company will have no interest in covering what actually ails you. The free market has failed with health care.

And countless studies have shown that in terms of cost-benefit across the health care system, the outcomes for nationalized health systems, at least in the developed world, are way ahead of those in the U.S.

It's funny -- when you point out the flaws in the US private health care system, the proponents always argue that there are fixes within the system and that the free market should be allowed to work. But when flaws are pointed out in nationalized systems, those same people will argue that the only way to fix those problems is to scrap the entire system -- never mind that on the whole it performs way better than the private systems and at a fraction of the cost.

This has always been, and always will be, clash of ideologies. The free market advocates can't bear the idea that a government-run program might actually work well and for the best interest of the citizens of the country. And those on the other side would never accept that private medicine might have something useful to offer even within a government-run system.

Personally, I'm glad I'm where I am. Hopefully our system will get the reforms it needs, and ideologues on both sides of the debate will just go away.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
Scorpio
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:03 pm



Quoting Pope (Thread starter):
It discusses the issues surrounding a patient who wants to pay for the use of a drug that the British National Health Service doesn't cover but do so out of her pocket. NHS says that she can't if she wants any of her treatment paid for by the NHS.

I'm sorry, but exactly how is any of that related to possible universal healthcare in the US? Whoever said that, when you were to introduce UH, it HAS to be EXACTLY the British system?

Quoting Pope (Thread starter):
Do you really want a system that prohibits people from using private resources to supplement the level of care they receive?

Well, if you don't, then you can simply devise a system with UH that DOES still allow people to supplement their care using private resources. Nobody has ever said that the UK system is THE universal 'universal healthcare' system.

Quoting Pope (Reply 3):
The free market. If I don't like what the insurance company offers me, I can contract with another one.

And in several countries with UH, including mine, that is STILL the case.
 
PPVRA
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:08 pm



Quoting AirCop (Reply 10):

This might be cruel, but perhaps the government is right on this one, at what point either private or public money do you spend trying to keep a person alive? Something like 80% of our health care dollars today are for end of life treatments. The way I read the article even spending the $120,000 her chances of survival is still very slim.

That's an issue everyone faces, whether socialized or not, and a fair enough one and of course it's true it's a difficult issue. But the issue pointed out is a different one - she tried to pay for herself, but the government said no. Even if she could afford it.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
Pope
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:10 pm



Quoting AirCop (Reply 10):
This might be cruel, but perhaps the government is right on this one, at what point either private or public money do you spend trying to keep a person alive? Something like 80% of our health care dollars today are for end of life treatments. The way I read the article even spending the $120,000 her chances of survival is still very slim.

I agree 100%. But how many people were protesting a couple of months ago when Aetna wouldn't approve a (liver or kidney?) transplant for a comatose child who had almost no chance of recovering? IIRC, John Edwards made a big deal about this in his campaign.

When government starts making end of life decisions there are going to be a lot of people who aren't going to like it when grandma is pulled off the vent because she's got no realistic chance of recovery.

By the same token, a free market in health care should strive for a rational allocation of resources. Does it make sense to spend $350,000 (the actual amount spent on my father's care the last 3 weeks of his life - die of a rare and highly untreatable form of cancer 10 years ago) or use that same money to provide pre-natal and preventative care to 100 pregnant mothers? I can tell you that if you asked my mother, she would have kept him on the ventilator for 10 years. If you ask my brothers who were 18 and 21 at the time they would have done the same. But I was the one who had the durable medical power of attorney and had to sign the paperwork instructing the hospital to pull the plug. It was both the rational thing to do and what my father told me he wanted. It's one thing when a family has to make that decision. It's another when that decision is made for you by an agent of the government.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
mt99
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:13 pm



Quoting Pope (Reply 9):
Two, you could seek alternative employment with an employer whose plan is more generous.

Like Wal-Mart?
Step into my office, baby
 
NIKV69
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:25 pm



Quoting Pope (Thread starter):
1. Are we really prepared to turn over drug decision to our government, to determine what drugs they will and will not let us use not because they pose a health or safety risk but simply because they don't want to pay for them?

No, that is why we don't have socialized health care and never will. Once we let government start making medical decisions we are in big trouble.

Quoting Arrow (Reply 1):
This issue is playing out in Canada, too, but it has another wrinkle to it. Health care systems are run by the provinces, and for cancer treatments that often means a drug that is approved for use in one province is not approved in another. In my case, both the drugs for my chemo (for leukemia) were covered by the BC government. If I were in Ontario, only one of them would have been covered and I'd have to pay for the other one. It would not have been cheap.

Perfect example of why this system is severely flawed.

Quoting Arrow (Reply 1):
Will the U.S. ever get a national health insurance system? I

No and even if by somehow some sort of it became available most would use their own money or just keep the health care system in place because the level of socialized medicine is much inferior.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
mt99
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:27 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 16):
Once we let government start making medical decisions we are in big trouble.

How it different from an accountant at Blue Cross / Blue Shield making medical decisions?
Step into my office, baby
 
767Lover
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:29 pm



Quoting AirCop (Reply 10):
The way I read the article even spending the $120,000 her chances of survival is still very slim.

if someone wants to pay their private money for treatment, why should they be stopped?

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 6):
That's because businesses get tax credits for offering health insurance through the company while individuals don't have the same benefit. They should, but they don't.

See IRS Publication 502 for a long list of medical expense deductions available to the individual taxpayer.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/ar02.html
 
Arrow
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:30 pm



Quoting Pope (Reply 14):
It was both the rational thing to do and what my father told me he wanted. It's one thing when a family has to make that decision. It's another when that decision is made for you by an agent of the government.

Agents of the government don't make those decisions. If anything, the government is more inclined to keep them plugged in because their mandate, and a doctor's oath, requires them to preserve life. The family makes those decisions, and people help the matter along by making specific requirements in what are called living wills. To suggest that some bureaucrat roams through the palliative care ward pulling plugs on a cost benefit basis is unfair.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
Scorpio
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:34 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 16):
the level of socialized medicine is much inferior

Not that crap again  Yeah sure

Humor me. Exactly what makes your healthcare system better than mine?
 
N1120A
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:46 pm



Quoting PPVRA (Reply 8):


If the company doesn't serve your interests to at least a decent level that company goes bankrupt.

You place entirely too much faith in such companies.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 8):
And insurance companies have every interest in the world to keep you from being sick.

I'm not talking about people who are healthy. I am talking about those already sick or injured.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 8):

Taxes are out of pocket costs

But they are planned for and paid for in a different way.

Quoting Pope (Reply 9):

The article says the exact opposite. Do you have any proof otherwise? Can you cite something that supports your statement?

Ever heard of The Portland Hospital?
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
fridgmus
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:56 pm

I don't know much about UH in any country, but I don't like what I've heard so far. I've just had arthroscopic knee surgery here in Thailand and I could have easily paid for it out of my own pocket. I am fortunate enough that my company has an overseas policy. One thing I did see was a lot of "Medical Tourists" from the US, UK, Canada and Europe. Also prescription drugs are much cheaper here than in the US, although I can't speak for all types of drugs. And the quality of care was top-notch. The TOTAL cost of my operation and two night hospital stay was barely over $5.000.00 USD. Try beating that in the US!

Could it be that UH plans could drive more and more people to become Medical Tourists? The hospital I went to in Bangkok has Thai physicians trained in the US, UK, Europe and Thailand and I also noticed visiting physicians from all over the world as well. Also it had travel & visa sections, post-operative hotels and even some hospitals have residences at some beach areas.

I have been told that Medical Tourism is promoted by some US Travel Agencies for treatment not only in Thailand, but in India and the Phillippines as well. I've also been told, I don't know how true this might be but, US insurance companies have sent patients overseas due to the lower cost. Second hand info, maybe some of you who are more knowlegeable can verify?

I'm not sold on UH. Maybe in the future, who knows.

My apologies for drifting somewhat off-topic.
The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
 
N1120A
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:59 pm



Quoting Fridgmus (Reply 22):
Also prescription drugs are much cheaper here than in the US

They are cheaper in European countries with national health care as well.

Quoting Fridgmus (Reply 22):
Try beating that in the US!

We can't. We spend several times more per capita on health care than in any other country.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Pope
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:05 pm



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 18):
See IRS Publication 502 for a long list of medical expense deductions available to the individual taxpayer.

To be fair, the taxpayer's deductions are subject to three substantial limitations:

1. The taxpayer must itemize his deductions (only approximately 30% of taxpayers itemize)
2. The total of the eligible deductions must exceed 7.5% of the taxpayer's AGI. That means of the 30% of taxpayers who are eligible to claim any medical expense deduction the first 7.5% of AGI (or $3,000 for a person earning $40,000/yr) is disallowed.
3. Medical insurance premiums are not deductible.

In contrast corporations can expense every penny of medical expense premiums and direct reimbursment of expenses to employees under a self-insured retention plan, subject only to non-discriminatory testing.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
AirCop
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:10 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 16):
No, that is why we don't have socialized health care and never will.

It's alive in the United States, check out the military system; and what do you think medicare is?

Quoting Fridgmus (Reply 22):
I have been told that Medical Tourism is promoted by some US Travel Agencies for treatment not only in Thailand, but in India and the Phillippines as well. I've also been told, I don't know how true this might be but, US insurance companies have sent patients overseas due to the lower cost. Second hand info, maybe some of you who are more knowlegeable can verify?

Last fall, there was a big article on this in the AARP magazine. In some cases the cost of the surgery was just a fraction of what it is in the US. Same for assisted living centers in Mexico, much cheaper and more attention given to the patient.
 
mt99
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:12 pm



Quoting Fridgmus (Reply 22):
I have been told that Medical Tourism is promoted by some US Travel Agencies for treatment not only in Thailand, but in India and the Phillippines as well. I

Some insurance companies have been toying with the idea to send patients to India to receive health -care. Travel, accommodations and care would still be cheaper.

I am not sure about UH, but heatlh-care in the US is very very expensive. There must be a sweet spot somewhere,,
Step into my office, baby
 
767Lover
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:41 pm



Quoting Pope (Reply 24):
3. Medical insurance premiums are not deductible.

You mean the following does not state deductibility of medical insurance premiums?

You can include in medical expenses insurance premiums you pay for policies that cover medical care. Policies can provide payment for:

*Hospitalization, surgical fees, X-rays, etc.,
*Prescription drugs,
*Dental care,
*Replacement of lost or damaged contact lenses,
*Membership in an association that gives cooperative or so-called “free-choice” medical service, or group hospitalization and clinical care, or
*Qualified long-term care insurance contracts (subject to additional limitations). See Qualified Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts under Long-Term Care, later.

If you have a policy that provides more than one kind of payment, you can include the premiums for the medical care part of the policy if the charge for the medical part is reasonable. The cost of the medical part must be separately stated in the insurance contract or given to you in a separate statement.
Note.

When figuring the amount of insurance premiums you can deduct on Schedule A, do not include any health coverage tax credit advance payments shown in box 1 of Form 1099-H, Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) Advance Payments.
 
AirCop
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:32 am



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 27):
You mean the following does not state deductibility of medical insurance premiums?

And then if you're in a lucky group such as retired police officers your premiums for medical insurance and long term care insurance comes right off your gross income up to $3,000.  biggrin 

Some states such as Arizona, 100% of one's medical expenses are deductible from the state income tax.

Universal health care will be coming to the United States, sooner than you think, because big business would like to get out from the burden of providing health care insurance. Several Fortune 500 companies have already been to capital hill to push the idea. GM took the first step by pushing health care onto the union.
 
Pope
Topic Author
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:57 am



Quoting Arrow (Reply 19):
Agents of the government don't make those decisions. If anything, the government is more inclined to keep them plugged in because their mandate, and a doctor's oath, requires them to preserve life.

It seems that the doctor in the article is paid by the state and is enforcing state policy. No where is it argued that the drug is ineffective OR that it is damaging. As such there is no mention that the patient's health is threatened by the other drug. That being the case how is the doctor not acting as an agent of the state and putting his hypocratic oath second to that function?
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
Pope
Topic Author
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:07 am



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 27):
You mean the following does not state deductibility of medical insurance premiums?

You're absolutely correct. Instead of looking it up, I was working from memory.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
RJdxer
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:27 am



Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
They are cheaper in European countries with national health care as well.

Yep, makes a big difference when you can't sue the healthcare provider.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever. I'm going to Texas!
 
N1120A
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:29 am



Quoting RJdxer (Reply 31):

Yep, makes a big difference when you can't sue the healthcare provider.

Where tort deform hasn't been enacted, like in Iowa, they have lower rates of med mal suits and lower insurance premiums.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
RJdxer
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:37 am



Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
Where tort deform hasn't been enacted,

Do you really believe for a moment that a healthcare bill will pass that does not make the government immune from law suits?
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever. I'm going to Texas!
 
ltbewr
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:09 am

There are many issues with having a total 'nationalized' health care system in the USA. Areas of issues can range from privacy, religion, ethics, personal responsibility, how to pay for it along with others. One other critical factor is eliminating the profit from the health care system that many invested in the current system don't want to lose.

The main goal is to make sure anybody who needs health care gets a high level of care when they need it, from well qualified providers, minimal delays, and not go broke or go without due to their financial situation or have to ditch all assets for. As noted by other posters, we need a stronger system that is a strong safety net, that employment with decent health care insurance or being poor enough, makes sure you have health care, and that businesses worry more about their product or service rather than health care costs for their employees.
 
seb146
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:29 am



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 34):
The main goal is to make sure anybody who needs health care gets a high level of care when they need it, from well qualified providers, minimal delays, and not go broke or go without due to their financial situation or have to ditch all assets for

Hear hear! I think it is wrong when I hear stories of people that change jobs but lose health insurance so they or their children have to go without expensive medication for months. It is wrong that people get cancer and have to declare bankrupcy to wipe out their medical expenses but still have to pay full price for meds. I am taking expensive meds but if I go back to work, I will lose my state assisted medical care and would have to pay 100% out of pocket for meds and doctor visits until medical from work kicks in, if they offer it. And then, they will not pay as much of the bill. I can't afford that. I know this is America and a capitalist society, but when are we going to put people ahead of the dollar? Why do drug companies have to make a profit? I know: they have shareholders. They have to make a profit. Why? Also, why does the United States have to send millions of dollars to Africa for health care? Africa does need money for food, health care, education and so on. So does the United States. Why can't we take care of our own first?
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N1120A
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:36 am



Quoting RJdxer (Reply 33):

Do you really believe for a moment that a healthcare bill will pass that does not make the government immune from law suits?

The government is already immune from suits. I am betting that the ability to make claims will be subject to the same limitations as the Federal Tort Claims Act has now.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
pwm2txlhopper
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:59 am

Quoting Scorpio (Reply 20):
Not that crap again Yeah sure

Humor me. Exactly what makes your healthcare system better than mine?

I'm not familiar with health care in Belgium, but I am familiar with some of the other countries in Europe. And one thing I like better about health care in the USA vs. a lot of the countries with socialized medicine, is that when I want to see a doctor here, I can call and get an appointment within a day or two. I don't have to wait weeks or even months to see somebody! If I need a hip or knee replaced, and am in pain, I don't want to be told I'm going to have to get on a waiting list and it will be six months or more before some government doctor or hospital can accommodate me! Also here, my taxes are a bit lower, in part because I'm not expected to finance other people's social needs like health care. I work for my money and already pay too much in taxes to help people who won't help themselves. Don't feel like working any harder to support those who can't get ahead themselves.

Socialized medicine might work in countries with 10 or 20 million people, but in the U.S. our population is so large there's no way we could ever finance it unless taxes go way up! Higher than most Americans are willing to except. I know I don't want to live in a country where the government takes 40% of my paycheck to re-distribute to others in various forms!

[Edited 2008-02-21 19:00:58]

[Edited 2008-02-21 19:06:24]
 
N1120A
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:07 am



Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 37):
I don't have to wait weeks or even months to see somebody!

Oh really? Then why has the NHS pushed for a 48 hour max waiting time to see the doctor?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/2881067.stm

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...5=2113a10c2c817c06b9666a08e5ce374d

Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 37):
If I need a hip or knee replaced, and am in pain, I don't want to be told I'm going to have to get on a waiting list and it will be six months or more before some government doctor or hospital can accommodate me!

If you actually need joint replacement, you get it.

Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 37):
Also here, my taxes are a bit lower

Actually, the average Briton is taxed similarly or less than the average American and receives significantly more in benefit.
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n229nw
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:12 am

I would like to see a nationalized health care system in the US available at least to those who cannot afford private health care. There are definite disadvantages, and the overall quality of care is sometimes questionable (from my experience living in some countries with nationalized health care), but the same is basically true of the cheaper health care options in the US, HMOs especially. Let's face it, those with the money to do so will always be able to buy themselves the best health care, but the better the safety net for those who are poorest, the more the whole population benefits.

Massachusetts has been a leader in this, with a need-based public health care system. (Need must be proven.) And I think the results are indicative of what we might expect in a similar national system. Masshealth (the state system) is a bureaucratic nightmare. Almost everything in the paperwork requires the patient to deal with hours of bureaucratic approval, buck-passing, and repeated frustrating mistakes. The actual medical resources and treatment provided are as good as those from any other insurer, but the amount of incompetence and intransigence one must navigate to access them is (even) higher. Still, it is a wonderful boon for those who are unemployed or too poor to afford other medical insurance. It makes the population healthier, saves lives, helps people receive care they desperately need, and even helps the poorest level the playing field just a little bit for the next generation.

I would like to add that this thread is one of the most civil discussions on this subject I've seen. Pope, though I disagree with you on almost everything politically--including this--you always provide actual arguments and even admit when you make a mistake. So  thumbsup 

PS: I'm particularly happy that no one has used the word "communist" in this thread.
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pwm2txlhopper
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:15 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 38):

Oh really? Then why has the NHS pushed for a 48 hour max waiting time to see the doctor?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technolog...7.stm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 38):

Actually, the average Briton is taxed similarly or less than the average American and receives significantly more in benefit.


I never said anything about the U.K., there's a lot more countries in Europe than the U.K. But while you bring up socialized medicine in the U.K... Just look at their dental care. It's hideous! Even Brit's I meet will admit that! But if their health care is so good, why do so many wealthy British citizens (As well as citizens from every other country) choose to come to the USA when they need dire medical attention, treatment, and surgery? Even the Canadians come across the border instead of waiting for services in Canada! I don't think we're the "best" country in the world, but when it comes to medical services, the USA can't be beat!

[Edited 2008-02-21 19:21:39]
 
N1120A
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:22 am



Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 40):
But talking about socialized medicine in the U.K... Just look at their dental care.

Wow, we aren't buying into stereotypes or anything. Aside from this, there are multiple problems with your post. First, we weren't talking about dental care, rather medical care, which is excellent in the UK. In fact, a very good friend of mine and his wife decided to use NHS services for the birth of their son because they were superior to those the private hospital was offering. Second, dental care isn't cheap in the US either and what the NHS does cover in the UK is the same thing that US dental insurance plans (which are even less widespread than health insurance) will cover. In fact, braces in the UK are generally cheaper for those in need than in the US.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
pwm2txlhopper
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:38 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 41):
Wow, we aren't buying into stereotypes or anything.

I've met enough English to confirm this isn't a stereotype! (Perhaps it's partially related to the fact most places in the U.K. don't add fluoride to the water supply?) Even if it was though, stereotypes are based on truth usually. Unless you're a liberal and don't subscribe to stereotypes and reality. I'm not here to debate though. If you're happy with government funded healthcare than so be it. I just know I don't want it for myself and my country, and also know it can't work here because of the size of our population. It's not the governments responsibility to take care of me, and I don't expect them too. If that's what I wanted I'd move to a socialist nanny state like Canada, or France where you can't fire people and thirty-five hour weeks are considered full time work.

[Edited 2008-02-21 19:44:11]
 
Arrow
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:09 am



Quoting N229NW (Reply 39):
I would like to add that this thread is one of the most civil discussions on this subject I've seen. Pope, though I disagree with you on almost everything politically--including this--you always provide actual arguments and even admit when you make a mistake.

Nice comment ...

Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 42):
It's not the governments responsibility to take care of me, and I don't expect them too. If that's what I wanted I'd move to a socialist nanny state like Canada, or France where you can't fire people and thirty-five hour weeks are considered full time work.

But you spoke to soon.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
Scorpio
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:17 am



Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 37):
when I want to see a doctor here, I can call and get an appointment within a day or two.

Same here.

Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 37):
If I need a hip or knee replaced, and am in pain, I don't want to be told I'm going to have to get on a waiting list and it will be six months or more before some government doctor or hospital can accommodate me!

Waiting lists are non-existant here.

Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 37):
Also here, my taxes are a bit lower, in part because I'm not expected to finance other people's social needs like health care.

We pay, on average, half of what you pay for healthcare. And that includes taxes.

Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 37):
Socialized medicine might work in countries with 10 or 20 million people, but in the U.S. our population is so large there's no way we could ever finance it unless taxes go way up!

See, that's an argument I never understood. The US is a federal country, so there's nothing stopping you from organising healthcare on a state level. And, while taxes would go up, you personal expenditure to healthcare would go way down.
 
Arniepie
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:18 pm



Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 40):
I don't think we're the "best" country in the world, but when it comes to medical services, the USA can't be beat!

True , if you want to take House md, ER, Chicago Hope and all the other excellent tv series as every day fact ,you might be right.
However in the real world ,western Europe, Australia and even India have at least as much expertise and knowledge as the US.
There are off course some foreigners who come to the US for some specialized procedures but the other way around (Americans coming over here) happens also much more than you would know and not because of cheaper procedures but also because of highly specialized procedures that cannot be get in the US (or on a very limited scale).
[edit post]
 
767Lover
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:43 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 38):
If you actually need joint replacement, you get it.

Not in the experience of my relatives who live there. My poor elderly aunt had to wait for over 6 months for a hip replacement.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 38):
Actually, the average Briton is taxed similarly or less than the average American and receives significantly more in benefit.

How so? The average Briton is paying 11% for National Insurance, which covers healthcare and other social services*; PLUS another 22% income tax on a medium level salary; PLUS 17.5% VAT on goods and services.

*As a side note, the National Insurance, which goes to healthcare, taxes up to a certain level of income, and income above that is not taxed. I'm surprised people here who complain about the American middle class bearing all the tax burden don't see this as the same thing.
_______

Actually, if you look at what many healthcare practitioners and policymakers are saying in European countries, the time may have come to move toward a more private/public system because the current systems are unsustainable. Consider the following reports:

Study from the Irish office of PriceWaterhouseCoopers:
There is wide support for shared financial responsibility among private and public payers. More than 75 percent of health leaders and policy makers believe that financial responsibility for healthcare should be shared. Countries are moving towards greater shared financial responsibility between Government, private industry and consumers. Only a minority of industry leaders in Europe, the US and Canada think that a mostly tax-funded system is sustainable. Even in systems where healthcare is primarily tax-funded, such as in Europe and Canada, only 20 percent of respondents favour that approach.

There are also a number of presentations prepared by healthcare and policy experts for the Center for a New Europe, which I know will be summarily dismissed as a "right wing" organization, but their perspectives and study are worth considering (which are posted on the Heritage Foundation web site which will be equally red-flagged as right-wing):

http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/HL711.cfm
 
antdenatale
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:55 pm

Personally, I think our National Health Service is one of the best in the world. If I need to see a Doctor, in most cases I can call in the morning and be seen the same day. If I need any emergancy surgery it will be done within a few days. Non Urgent surgery means I will have to go on a waiting list, which as you all rightly say may be more than 6 months, however, I am not willing to wait I can pay and be seem private.

We do not have to pay a penny for prescribed medication and to be honest the only thing you have to pay for is dentistry work, and even this is subsidised.
 
baroque
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:05 pm



Quoting AirCop (Reply 2):
Quoting Pope (Thread starter):
1. Are we really prepared to turn over drug decision to our government, to determine what drugs they will and will not let us use not because they pose a health or safety risk but simply because they don't want to pay for them?

Replace the word government with insurance companies; and what is the difference? Most insurance companies now have lists of prescription medication that they will pay for, and if it's not on the list, you're on your own.

Seems a fair cop gov!! Additionally, if you are not happy with your gov, you get to vote it out, ever tried to persuade an insurance company of anything - anything!!

Quoting Scorpio (Reply 12):
Quoting Pope (Reply 3):
The free market. If I don't like what the insurance company offers me, I can contract with another one.

And in several countries with UH, including mine, that is STILL the case.



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 17):
Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 16):
Once we let government start making medical decisions we are in big trouble.

How it different from an accountant at Blue Cross / Blue Shield making medical decisions?

The pattern gets repeated time after time. Choice is good, failing to notice that in most medical situations you have damn all choice. Half way through an op, you are hardly going to be wise to comment on the surgeon's skill with his scalpel even if you were conscious enough to be able to do so. So many of the comments run along the lines of I dont know much about Government run health schemes but they are simply awful.

The final amazement come that the US has not collectively tumbled to the fact that the private choice paradigm is giving them the most expensive medicine in the world. The best of this may be very good, but how about the average? I will bet the average does not compare well at all.

I have still not got over having to go to a doctor in the US for bronchitis to be told that I could not have an appointment until I had had a full medical. A full medical would be a wait of two months. Yes I had full health insurance. That is a total joke, not a health system.
 
767Lover
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RE: Are You Sure You Want Nationalize Healthcare

Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:11 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 48):
I have still not got over having to go to a doctor in the US for bronchitis to be told that I could not have an appointment until I had had a full medical. A full medical would be a wait of two months. Yes I had full health insurance. That is a total joke, not a health system.

That would not be the case with most PPO systems. I go to specialists all the time yet haven't had a full medical physical in several years. (And I have pretty basic insurance.)

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