Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: stockingfull On: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:56 pm

Been off a couple days and it's obvious this thread's turned into an endless repetitive loop.

But I want to make a couple points that are basic here. First, Jeff, by your definition, practically every act of every government constitutes "stealing" from you (and Greg) to do something the (in this country elected) government thinks is in the public interest. It could be building or fixing a bridge you don't use, or plowing a road you don't drive on, or building and operating a public school your family doesn't use, or sending a rocket into space without you, or sending emergency relief to help victims of a storm that didn't come anywhere near you.

Second, the converse notion that you don't "get anything from" or "need" the gov't is just nonsense. No way you can afford to pave, plow or maintain just the roads you drive on every day, to say nothing of the bridges, tunnels, airports, police and fire departments, water and sewer systems, army, navy and air force from which all of us benefit. If there weren't a gov't, we'd have to create one for the infrastructure alone.

Third, there are about 48 Million Americans without health insurance. According to the Census population clock today, there are currently a bit over 306 Million Americans. So even if there are no cost savings from pooling risk, universal healthcare would cost 306/258, or an additional 19%. And that would be for the same cross-section of coverage people have now. But, in actuality, it wouldn't be anywhere near that much because the 19% now uninsured are NOT, for the most part, receiving orderly preventative care and thus become acutely sick and need treatment in the ER or hospitalizations which are vastly more expensive than preventative care. And we taxpayers wind up paying for most of that sky-high acute care. Besides, when people find out how much cheaper the "public option" is than what they're now paying for the coverage they've been programmed to worry about losing, they'll stop paying insurance company profits, the cost will go down and that many more people can be covered for the same total cost. The only players who'll lose will be the insurance companies.

I saw one of the first reflections of this "new HMO math" when I started an engineering job in 1974. When I paid that intake visit to HR the first day, I was offered the usual BC/BS or this new thing called an "HMO," which was explained to me as a group practice for my primary care, plus BC/BS hospitalization. Both were the same (then free) cost to me. So I asked, "Are you telling me I can have 'A' or 'A+B' for the same money?" And the answer was, "Yes." So I took the HMO and was in one of the very first of them. Never paid a cent for anything, except a $10 co-pay for doc visits. Got regular physicals, meds, all included. Great idea. Only downside was I had to travel to where the group practice was in the city for my doc visits.

How could they do it for the same money? Well, anybody who's ever looked at hospital bills can (and likely does) figure out how many doctor visits can be paid for by one day's costs and fees in a hospital. That HMO, back in 1974, was able to prevent enough hospitalizations to provide preventative care to its patients for free. The simple truth is that there are huge savings to be realized if you can avoid just a few acute illnesses by prevention and early detection. And, if it weren't so profitable, the insurance industry wouldn't have made it its business to fight universal care for the past 16 years.

So the bottom line is that it can't be more than 19% more costly -- and very likely quite a bit less than that -- to achieve universal coverage like people have right now. The insurance industry has proved that keeping people healthy is vastly cheaper than waiting for them to get sick. It's not "socialized medicine"; the key to keeping costs down and avoiding "rationing" of care isn't rocket science; it's effective preventative medicine.
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: jpete On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:14 am

Stocking, I pay $140/week for my medical and I don't get "preventative care" now! I'm too busy working to pay for everyone who won't. What happens when you add all you uninsured into the system now?

So where is your HMO today? Do some research into the HMO Act of 1973. You might not have been paying for the benefit, but your company was. And the HMO was making a nice profit.

Government has very few Constitutional roles. Provide for the common defense, and PROMOTE the GENERAL welfare are the two major ones. After that, yes, they are stealing from me. And you too whether you agree or not. Does government have a role beyond that? Maybe. But those functions can be paid for without income or property taxes. I could cut the Federal government down to at least a third it's current size and we'd be much better off.

Government has never made anything cheaper. Also, government can not "give" anything it hasn't taken from some one else first. Nothing is free. Some one has to pay for everything.
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: mikeandgerry On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:00 am

Preventive medicine mainly concerns immunizations and check ups. Preventable deaths are mainly as a result of public health issues, not individual health issues. Selling a UHC plan using "preventive medicine" as a budget balancing point is pure baloney. Ponce de Leon would be very happy at the prospect of real preventive medicine through stem cell research but it isn't with us yet.

HMO's cannot prevent cancer nor any other disease except certain viral infections. The best they can do is early detection. Early detection of cancer, the biggest cause of death by disease, means radiation, chemo and sugery just the same as late detection. Yes, the late detection requires more heroic efforts to forestall death but the early detection means more rechecks and later recurrences.

One widely used diagnostic tool in the US is the MRI. It is a very expensive tool. It is used extensively for the early detection of many maladies. It has driven the cost of early detection through the roof. Insurance companies and HMO's alike hate to hear the word "MRI". Using it more will not save money.

Quality of healthcare for those who have it in the US will drop under UHC. In order to achieve both savings and universal coverage, preventive care and government efficiency (ha ha) will not close the budgetary difference. The data of other nations demonstrate this. They have universal coverage and much poorer service yet their plan consumes only 10% of their GDP versus our 16% (though some of their savings is on the back of the US drugmakers and therefore the US consumer). There are trade offs. The public deserves to know this.

I believe that the people of the US who have had quality care will not tolerate a reduction in service and will beat the snot out of their representatives until quality is restored. That will drive costs up and taxes up.

UHC represents one thing and one thing only...a redistribution of wealth.

Say what it is ... it's a Robin Hood plan. If you are wealthy in this country you have a target on your chest.

I am not against UHC if properly done. I am against any democrat plan that destroys liberty and targets the wealthy. If ever there was a case for a single purpose flat tax, this is it. Let's see what a 16% income tax does to public opinion on UHC.

I would like to see everyone covered, if that means a reduction in services for the same money, so be it. But, please don't tell me that UHC will be the same quality for less money as a result of preventive medicine and government efficiency. That is an irresponsible political lie.
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: stockingfull On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:38 am

You guys are "rich," and I mean that in the entertainment sense of the word. :no2:

If your gov't takes your tax dollars to keep other people healthy, that's a "Robin Hood plan," "class warfare," "socialized medicine," "wealth redistribution," "stealing" or whatever Fox News is calling it that day. But if your HMO does exactly the same thing and charges you a premium for it with a nice, fat profit for them -- over which you have no control -- THAT's your idea of a "free market." :hangover:

Let's try this another way. Would you agree to turn over public roads to a private firm and let them charge you a toll to drive on them?
Last edited by stockingfull on Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:46 am

jpete wrote:Government has very few Constitutional roles. Provide for the common defense, and PROMOTE the GENERAL welfare are the two major ones. After that, yes, they are stealing from me. And you too whether you agree or not. Does government have a role beyond that? Maybe. But those functions can be paid for without income or property taxes. I could cut the Federal government down to at least a third it's current size and we'd be much better off.

Government has never made anything cheaper. Also, government can not "give" anything it hasn't taken from some one else first. Nothing is free. Some one has to pay for everything.


Look....You guys keep repeating the same false claims which stockingful & I repeatedly prove are in error. You guys simply ignore our efforts to educate you & then go on repeating your original misinformation!
I personally have nothing further to add to assist you & hope that others who read this thread may actually be understanding/listening to what stocking & I are saying.

Here's how I see the problem:
1. You post that 2 + 2 = 5
2. Jon or I correct you & provide links that prove that 2 + 2 = 4
3. A few posts later....you again repeat your claim that 2 + 2 = 5

I'm done trying to debate about 3 or 4 of you.
(as I repeat often..." There are none so blind as those who will not see.")
Last edited by Devil505 on Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: Black_And_Blue On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:55 am

stockingfull wrote:
Let's try this another way. Would you agree to turn over public roads to a private firm and let them charge you a toll to drive on them?


Yes.

It has already been done and the road condition and traffic flow are improved. John Stossel reported on it last week.
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:17 am

Black_And_Blue wrote:
stockingfull wrote:
Let's try this another way. Would you agree to turn over public roads to a private firm and let them charge you a toll to drive on them?


Yes.

It has already been done and the road condition and traffic flow are improved. John Stossel reported on it last week.




Here you go:
http://www.ask.com/bar?q=flat+earth+society&page=1&qsrc=2105&ab=0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.alaska.net%2F~clund%2Fe_djublonskopf%2FFlatearthsociety.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: cabinover On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:21 am

stockingfull wrote:

Let's try this another way. Would you agree to turn over public roads to a private firm and let them charge you a toll to drive on them?


Am I going to get to keep my gasoline/diesel taxes? The savings from not having to pay them would more than make up the cost of the tolls. Top that with better maintained roads and it's a no-brainer to me.

Look at the manpower you see hanging around any state road work site holding the ground down with their shovels! Tell me you don't mind the waste going on there. Why do we need never less than 3 trucks on the side of the road to take care of one guardrail problem? It's more government inefficiency and wasted taxpayer's money.

I agree that health care coverage is less than stellar but more government intrusion is not the answer to everything.
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: samhill On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:23 am

I believe those roads that John Stossel reported on were all state Gov. run toll roads to begin with. The new owners didn`t have all of the expense of building them or installing the toll booths & infrastructure. They simply bid for them & removed all of the graft & greed from the Gov. system which any Gov. with a set of b**** could do itself. Toll gate Ed here in PA. wanted to do much the same with the turnpike & then turn around & make I-80 a toll road to create relative ability jobs for the choosen few from the turnpike com..
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:31 am

cabinover wrote:Look at the manpower you see hanging around any state road work site holding the ground down with their shovels! Tell me you don't mind the waste going on there. Why do we need never less than 3 trucks on the side of the road to take care of one guardrail problem? It's more government inefficiency and wasted taxpayer's money.


The idea that having private industry do government work will somehow save taxpayer money is complete BS in that you have to factor in GREED! ( corporate greed will always cost more than government inefficiency ) Us taxpayers spent much more paying KBR, Blackwater & Haliburton for shoddy work in Iraq under the infamous "No Bid Contracts" than if we had joust let the Army Corps of engineers & the military do the work in the first place, & the work wouldn't be killing our GI's. :mad:


KBR’s Shoddy Electrical Work Kills Troops Substantiated By Pentagon Investigation
By: Christy Hardin Smith Wednesday November 26, 2008 6:00 am


Accountability may be knocking for KBR after the negligent deaths of American servicepeople in Iraq.

We've had Sen. Byron Dorgan here at FDL, and highlighted a number of DPC hearings on the subject of KBR's shoddy electrical contracting work in Iraq.

http://www.ask.com/bar?q=KBR+under+investigation+for+shoddy+work&page=1&qsrc=19&ab=0&u=http%3A%2F%2Ffiredoglake.com%2F2008%2F11%2F26%2Fkbrs-shoddy-electrical-work-kills-troops-substantiated-by-pentagon-investigation%2F
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.





KBR Wins $35M Pentagon Contract Despite Criminal Probe Into Electrocution Deaths

KIMBERLY HEFLING | February 7, 2009 10:59 AM EST | AP
WASHINGTON — Defense contractor KBR Inc. has been awarded a $35 million Pentagon contract involving major electrical work, even as it is under criminal investigation in the electrocution deaths of at least two U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

The announcement of the new KBR contract came just months after the Pentagon, in strongly worded correspondence obtained by The Associated Press, rejected the company's explanation of serious mistakes in Iraq and its proposed improvements. A senior Pentagon official, David J. Graff, cited the company's "continuing quality deficiencies" and said KBR executives were "not sufficiently in touch with the urgency or realities of what was actually occurring on the ground."
http://www.ask.com/bar?q=KBR+under+investigation+for+shoddy+work&page=1&qsrc=19&ab=4&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2009%2F02%2F07%2Fkbr-wins-35m-pentagon-con_n_164864.html
Last edited by Devil505 on Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: cabinover On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:38 am

I'll give you the facts that Haliburton, KBR, and Blackwater were greedy and should be held accountable for their own...inabilities I guess you could say. However I do not agree with any no bid contracts. Furthermore, our very own government put them in the contracts. Ultimately the members of our government have screwed up again but you'll never see any of them taking their licks now will ya?

There is never any oversight of government, I guess that's where my issue is. It affects everything they do but no one ever checks them since they are all cut from the same cloth.
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:06 am

cabinover wrote:I do not agree with any no bid contracts. Furthermore, our very own government put them in the contracts.


The Obama administration has ruled out No Bid contracts. They are obviously an invitation to corruption & overcharging!
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: spc On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:30 am

Devil505 wrote:The Obama administration has ruled out No Bid contracts.

Socialism is the ultimate "No Bid contract" :o
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: billlindley On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:12 am

Devil505 wrote:
LsFarm wrote:Dev, What are you smoking??


Just my retirement "bonus" smoking material! :lol:

I'll say it again: I believe the thinking in the Obama administration is that "An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.".......& will be less expensive in the final analysis!

(Been a long, aggravating day so far...trying to get my car inspected....... but let me take another stab at The Big Picture:

1. Right now, this country does not have a health care system....We have a sickness/disease care system. ( we wait until we are sick, rather than spending less money to PREVENT sickness)
2. If we had an intelligent, universally available & affordable HEALTH CARE (not disease care) system in place, our overall health related costs would go down in this country.

This is obviously an OPINION, but we have already proved the Sickness Care System doesn't work, so let's try HEALTH CARE for a CHANGE! ;)


I can see it now. Military Police forcing people to quit smoking beating them into “Health Care.” Federal agents raiding all fast foods restaurants in the name of “Health Care.” Portion control agents in all government approved Restaurants in the name of “Health Care.” I can go on and on. Universal healthcare would not bring about change in American’s habits. You will still have fat people, smokers, sloths etc. It isn’t lack of access that keeps people unhealthy it’s lack of will power.
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Re: Should the USA have Universal Healthcare??

PostBy: stockingfull On: Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:13 am

spc wrote:
Devil505 wrote:The Obama administration has ruled out No Bid contracts.

Socialism is the ultimate "No Bid contract" :o

Horsecrap. Every time you enter the voting booth, you're exerting control on those contracts because, when they don't work, politicians can run on that and get elected to change it.

There are news blogs in my village, town and county. This very medium has made gov't a lot more accountable than ever before.

Try that with your insurance company.
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