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 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 101
FREE Federalized Health CarePage 5 of 31    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31)

In 2004 there were almost a million licensed doctors in the United States (according to the AMA so it doesn't include DOs, i.e. osteopaths). That's one doctor for every 305 people. You're telling me that's not enough? We have around the same amount of lawyers. I haven't noticed anyone complaining about the shortage of lawyers.

With that many, how is that a monopoly or anything close to it?


How does a customer get access to one of those doctors? Generally speaking, we all have to go through an HMO, PPO, or other plan that effectively rations access to their services. When the aim of that rationing scheme is to maximize the profits of the providers by inhibiting open competition for services, that's a monopolistic situation.

If there was no one between me and those doctors, I would see less need for regulation. But there is, and if there is going to be someone "managing" my access to a needed service, I'd rather it be someone I can vote out than someone who's duty is only to investors.

You like getting electrical power, right? Does it matter how many engineers the utility company employs to ensure that you have reliable service? Is it still a monopoly? Yes, because it's the kind of service that cannot be provided effectively via competition.

As it turns out, health care cannot be distributed very well when most people can't afford to pay directly for it. So that means you can let the monopolistic middle-men be the unregulated gatekeepers, you can let a government agency be the unregulated gatekeeper, or you can regulate the gatekeepers.

What other options are there, and which of them provides the best hope for responsive checks and balances?
 capegardengirl
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 102
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/3/2008 11:54:19 AM
"In general, people tend to take jobs that will pay them better"

Not neccesarily with doctors and healthcare providers in mental health...I know of two psychiatrists in the past year who took a drastic pay cut for a better quality of life and freedom from big brother managed care controlling them...One moved to Arizona on a federal grant to provide care at a Native American reservation..The other is moving to rural North Carolina..They are moving because they cant stand the f..cked up sick system in Massachusetts that is healthcare
 capegardengirl
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 103
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/3/2008 12:00:35 PM
"They let Micheal Moore in and they only allow him to shoot what THEY allow him"


What makes you think the USA healthcare system is any different?...People here are only allowed access to the high power system what THEY allow to be seen here as well..Thats a worldwide problem with power and corruption, not just Cuba..Ive been reprimanded by managed care for being honest with clients about what their rights are in the system and giving away too much information

"Your telling me thats not enough"

It isnt a matter of its not enough providers..Its a matter of utilizing them effectively so they arent tied up on the phone with managed care bureaucracy for hours at a time instead of seeing patients... Poor utilization of services caused by managed care greed is the real problem...Clients frequently get their sessions cut short while they watch me be on call waiting for managed care to respond to their healthcare requests
 capegardengirl
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 104
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/3/2008 12:06:44 PM
"But you can plan before you have a baby"

Highly unrealistic with all the abused teen girls out there who want a child as security or have no idea how to set limits and boundaries with others who want to hurt them....Particularly with adult men who prey on them...Statutory rape is widely unreported and prosecuted.....Since mental health services are limited to pregnant and teen girls who are indigent, theres no way every healthcare provider can reach all of them with the current f cked up sick system in place...Not everyone is operating from a safe, predictable middle class mentality either where one has the luxury and time to plan their life without worrying about their mental health and personal safety.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 105
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/4/2008 9:12:26 AM
The unregulated insurance system tells people that if they would only pay enough, they could have turkey--until it comes to lunch time. Then it says, "we'll see if we can afford to give you anything." Meanwhile, the managers of the system are flying off to Paris for lunch.
 capegardengirl
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 106
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/4/2008 7:09:22 PM
AG...What Ive witnessed is that those who dont have a good start in life and suffer from PTSD from childhood abuse typically dont make good choices for themselves especially when they are young....Something can be inside you that doesnt have a chance to grow and blossom if you are too busy dodging bullets and experiencing symptoms..That overrides and overshadows everything ...Thats a fact of life whether you accept it or not....They simply dont have the tools to make good decisions or be healthy until someone teaches them those things and they can learn for themselves...That takes time...Sometimes years...We all dont live in glass houses or on islands where we can just pull ourselves up by our boostraps if we dont have laces for them in the first place or the laces are torn and damaged...Seeking help when you are young and inexperienced and with life has nothing to do with seeking pity either...We all dont get dealt with the same deck of cards..We have to learn lifes lessons along the way..Teens arent built in with automatic devices to make them know when to make good choices in life..That has to be learned slowly....No one is knocking your experience to help yourself so please dont knock others either and their desired means of doing that..Its too bad you can hear that those kinds of things often happen to people who are abused without having a knee jerk reaction and making a false broad assumption about me concerning all abused people, of whom Ive never said ALL were helpless and traumatized by any means...Your expectations of traumatized people, however, are way too idealized and show an impatience that most lay public has with any kind of abuse and trauma...People dont learn that quickly nor do symptoms magically dissapear once their life gets better
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 107
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Posted: 1/5/2008 10:15:36 PM
Last I checked, John Edwards would consider signing HR 676, and he's a presidential candidate. The Republican candidates are all nutcases who won't lift a finger to help anyone except themselves, so vote Republican at your PERIL!!

Cape, thank you for your reply to AG. Nuff said.
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 108
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Posted: 1/6/2008 6:12:56 PM
The Kennedy-Dingell plan does not sound like a true single payer health care system. I don't like it. HR 676 is what we need, not a continuance of the private health insurance industry.
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 109
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Posted: 1/7/2008 8:01:48 AM
AG's claim that Canadians want to get rid of their health care system is inaccurate. I went to college with several Canadians, all of whom expressed positive views of their universal health care system. I personally do not know any Canadians who do not like their health care system, and I know many Canadians both in real life and POF. At least Canada is more like a democracy in that the people's wishes are heard over any monied special interests. Even Conservatives up there support UHC. Funny, I am a liberal American Democrat who finds common ground with Canadian Conservatives who also support their own UHC system.
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 110
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Posted: 1/7/2008 4:39:03 PM
Hi Fireknight,

I've really enjoyed your posts. Well done!!

It will be interesting to see what the "final straw" is that finally breaks the private health insurance system. What do you folks think would break it for good?
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 111
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/7/2008 7:03:17 PM
I'd be happy if elective services were governed by the market and treatment for acute and chronic conditions were managed under some sort of universal regulation.
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 112
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Posted: 1/8/2008 8:48:22 AM
Ace of Space makes a reasonable point: items such as liposuction and other cosmetic procedures can remain regulated by the market place and safety regulations already in place. But UHC should cover everything that is medically necessary from a broken leg to a heart transplant, and such chronic treatments as diabetic care.

Cheers
 IndigoPanda
Joined: 8/27/2007
Msg: 113
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Posted: 1/8/2008 9:06:33 AM
So if someone breaks their leg or has a heart attack, they are going to have to wait for a government administrator to make the call on if it gets fixed?? Just remember, everywhere else that has socialized medicine has witing lists and care is rationed. Do you really want a system that rations medicine???
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 114
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/8/2008 10:13:15 AM
Let's be clear. I said universal regulation . Whether that's a single-payer system or a system in which all hospitals and clinics are operated as regulated monopolies has not yet been debated. Everyone has been so focused on single-payer vs. private insurance that no one has bothered to consider this third alternative.


<div class="quote">Do you really want a system that rations medicine???

We already have a system that rations medical care. You're lucky to get 10 minutes for a routine visit. The question is, in whose interest and for whose benefit do you want it to be rationed in future?
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 115
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/9/2008 5:50:12 AM
Hey pneuomo,

From whom do you buy your electric power?

There are some services that don't lend themselves to unrestricted competition. The unfettered market is often the best way to allocate resources, but not always.

The best way to provide services that require significant infrastructure, which would be uneconomical to duplicate, is to create a regulated monopoly. As medical care goes more and more high tech, regional hospitals and labs require increasing investment. At some point the additional cat scanner that would make a hospital competitive is just redundant.

When a monopoly is regulated, you get the checks and balances the market would normally provide. The bureaucrats do what they do best: regulate. The private sector does what it does best: provide. The investors get a reasonable rate of return on a relatively safe investment, and the robber barons look elsewhere to make their speculative killings--they aren't tempted to prey upon a vulnerable class of customers.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 116
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/9/2008 8:22:57 AM

I guess for some americans that 100,000 dead americans is NOT a problem for them .

Wierd concept to a Canadian


Ideologues value their ideologies over the lives of other human beings. However, that's who people continue to vote for. Go figure!
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 117
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/9/2008 10:18:28 AM
To AceOfSpace: Fact is that as advances are made technology gets relatively cheaper and companies that were once regulated are being opened up to competition (and less regulation). This has already happened with the divestiture of AT&T. The original premise for the regualted monopoly was that it wasn't realistic to have more than one telephone company with the enormous investment in infrastructure. As new technology like microwave and satellite tramsmission took over the miles and miles of cable, and the new technolgies dropped in price, it became possible for others to enter into competition. As a result, AT&T was broken up and today you have dozens of choices for phone service, internet and cable services (although cable still has a semi-monopoly).


Quite so, AG. With the advent cable and then cell phones, it became economically feasible to provide universal phone service via multiple channels. Hence there was no more need for the monopoly. Although there are multiple producers of electricity, there is still just one grid. That grid is operated within each region as a regulated monopoly that serves wholesalers. I could have used natural gas as my example, or municipal water. In each of these cases there is an agency or group of agencies, either public or private, that could arbitrarily deny access to a resource that is vital to the public interest.

When health care reaches the point where it can effectively compete on price among direct customers, then I'll be the first to advocate deregulation. However, that isn't likely to happen any time soon. Perhaps technology will eventually bring the costs down or the public will be trained to self-administer a significantly higher portion of tests and treatments. But as long as treatment can effectively bankrupt most families, there won't be a functional market for health care. Markets are predicated on a direct exchange between buyer and seller. If that condition isn't met, the law of supply and demand no longer functions as an efficient allocation mechanism.

We figured out at the turn of the 20th Century that plan B is a regulated monopoly. Plan C is a government agency. However, in the ongoing ideological war between the "capitalists" and the "socialists," we've forgotten all about this moderate option. And that's just plain stupid of us.

I'd much rather have private investors own the hospitals and clinics, guarantee them a reasonable return that they can retire on, and let the doctors get on with treating us! I'd much rather have the bureaucrats inspect and rate those facilities, and otherwise stop their infernal meddling.

And, I'd sincerely love tell the barracudas that it's time to go compete in areas where no one's lives are at stake. If we could point them at technologies to increase our energy productivity, we'd be the most carbon-lean nation in the world in record time! But fleecing people who are afraid of getting sick is just too easy, and they'll play the "socialism" card as long as they can. By trying to shout down the only alternative with political legs, you're helping them get away with being lazy when there is real money to be made!

BTW, I like your plan. However, I'm having a hard time understanding how it differs from single-payer when it comes to collecting premiums and making payments. Who will collect those premiums under your scheme, and who will authorize payments to providers?
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 118
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/10/2008 12:48:29 AM

Single-payer is the best type of health insurance since it acts like a power grid for money and make no decisions on what type of treatment that is given.

This decision is left to the doctor and patient to decide.


This conclusion is naive. The check-clearing agencies are operated for the convenience of the banks. That centralized service works because of economies of scale. A check is a check is a check.

However, the transactions those checks represent are various, and each bank has discretion over the terms by which it honors those checks.

Under a single-payer system, you can bet that the "payer," will eventually want to maximize its cut. When you combine the power to withold payment with the police power, you get a _very_ bad imbalance.

Unless a consumer can go to a Public Health Care Commission, file a complaint, and get the privately operated local hospital or clinic shut down by that agency, we're just shifting the problem from private-sector exploitation to public-agency exploitation. When the investors know that such a thing could happen, they'll make sure that the management problems get fixed because their retirements will be at stake if they don't.

Instead of borrowing the rhetoric of those who claim to be looking after the interests of our class, we need to think more like the Founding Fathers. How can we ensure that all participants in a transaction have recourse against each other when someone does wrong? How can we create a system of checks and balances? How can we put consumers and producers on a more-or-less equal footing when dealing with capital-intensive necessities?

What's good about the market is that when it works, the checks and balances are automatic. However, when the market doesn't work, you have to provide another means to hold monopolistic operators immediately accountable for their performance.
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 119
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Posted: 1/10/2008 6:40:43 PM
Oh, not again. We have MORE LINES in the USA than in Canada

My mother broke her wrist three days ago and is still trying to get in to see an orthopedic surgeon to have it repaired. She's using a splint for now and isn't doing very well.

From what I see of Canadian care it's faster and more efficient in many respects because of the availability of community clinics and less waiting for critical care such as my mother's broken wrist.
 NwMke
Joined: 8/1/2007
Msg: 120
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Posted: 1/10/2008 8:24:32 PM
.

I suppose to validate that we would need to know if is the fault of the system at large, just your area, or maybe even its your mothers fault. we simpy do not know. I do not think a broken wrist is critical, but 3 days is getting out there. What is the hold up?

.
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 121
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Posted: 1/11/2008 5:43:42 PM
Rustbane's post is well worded and tells it like it is. Tune out Fox Noise for once and listen up--like him or not, Michael Moore tells it like it is, and people have tried to sue him but were unsuccessful because he's telling the truth!!

The post about going to some place where "seeded tennis players" goes reeks of elitism. Nuff said!! Joe Average isn't going to be able to get treatment at such a place. Puh-leeze! Niceguy is right about the Beltway facilities--many of them cater to the rich and powerful and would never even so much as talk to let alone treat Joe Average.

Niceguy's point about swiping a card and downloading the info to a computer points to the very efficient means by which UHC can deliver health care. Technology is much better with UHC because profit isn't the motive, efficient delivery is. Efficiency of delivery of health care should be the motive, not profit, when it comes to the provision of health care.

The rich should not have special treatment over Joe Average or a poor person. It's immoral! Healthcare is a basic human right and everyone should have access to quality health care, from the richest to the poorest.
 sweetie425
Joined: 5/24/2005
Msg: 122
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/12/2008 8:30:42 AM
There are wait times in the USA, at least in the area were I live. You call a specialist for an appointment you have to wait 4 to 6 wks to get in unless it's an emergency. My son needed his gallbladder removed he had to wait about 3 wks for the procedure. (It wasn't an emergency)

Many of the procedures or tests the Dr. recomends need to be pre approved and then approved by some insurance companies. I have a Blue Cross/Blue Shield policy that requires pre approval for many services and drugs. In fact, I'm waiting for some physical therapy I need to be pre approved, at the first session I'll be evaluated, a form sent to my health insurance company and then they will decide if I'll be approved to receive the physical therapy my Dr. wants me to have. Talk about wait times. lol

The insurance companies even have a hand in what drugs the Dr. is allowed to prescribe. Most want the cheapest drugs tried before they will even concider paying for the newer drugs. One might think that is a good idea but it's not. I have been very sick for many months with a serious health condition and my Dr. finally found a combination of drugs that are helping me, they are newer drugs with no generic counterparts, but the insurance I have (as most do now days) wants Dr. to start all over and try using older drugs or brand name drugs with generic counterparts. Even if the Dr. writes medically necessary brand that is no guarantee the insurance company will pay for that specific drug. They simply say it's not on our list of covered drugs.

I've read so many posts were people have said that health insurance should be linked to your job, as I've said before, rethink that position. If you become chronicaly ill and cann't work, or lose your job for some reason you lose your health insurance. Don't even say the word Cobra to me. It's ridiculously expensive and it's only temporary coverage. Medicaid or anyother type of government health care aid requires such a low income and so few assets well that's a whole different thread. Medicare is about as good as nothing with it's high deductables and the prescripition plan is a joke. $2,500 and after that you go into what they call the doughnut and have a to come up with the next s4,050 in drug cost on your own. Next year the "doughnut" will increase.

Believe me when I say it dosen't take long to run up $2,500 in drug costs. It will take me less than 2 months. I have no idea were I'll come up with $4,050 to pay for my meds. It makes me angry because as I've said in a previous post I may have to dip into my ira which I will be penalized and taxed for doing or I may have to sell my home sometime in the future since the "doughnut" will get higher each year.

Also, many jobs don't offer health care insurance. The US government needs to get out of bed with the health care industry and provide it's citizens Health Care.

I don't meant to sound like I'm whining about my health problem and the cost of medical care, I'm not. I'm just trying to say as a person who has some serious health issues I feel that I have first hand knowledge of the flaws of the health care system in the USA.

What I'm saying to all those people who have presently have good health insurance and don't want the government stepping in is that I can understand your concern in not wanting to have your health plan changed or taken away from you but remember in a blink of an eye circumstances can change and you can find yourself one of the uninsured.

Please excuse any spelling errors, I'm not the world's best speller and haven't installed a speller checker yet. lol
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 123
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Posted: 1/12/2008 8:37:04 AM
Lizbeth, Late and sweetie, great posts!! These posts bring to attention just how bad the private health care system is.

A rich guy with a stubbed toe should not have more priority than a poor guy with a heart attack.

AG, I am not being judgemental. I just think what I wrote rubs you the wrong way. It's reality, my dear. Rich people get special breaks while the poor get the short end of the stick. I think this is disgusting. Priority should be given to the severity of the patient's needs, NOT how much the person has in his or her wallet. It is WRONG of a rich person to demand care when there are others with worse problems who need care sooner at the same time. Rich people are no better or worse than poor people and should not get better treatment just because they are rich. Enough of that garbage already!!! We need to dump the private health care system altogether. It is worthless, and it's the rich special interest groups that is keeping this bad health "care" system alive.

Nobody should have to endure what Sweetie has had to endure. This is WRONG. No one should have to sell their home or cash in their IRA to pay for medicines.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 124
FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/12/2008 7:39:43 PM
Pneumo,

Read up on the history of antitrust legislation in the US and you'll understand why it's not in the public interest to just let monopolists control their thing. Can you spell "sweatshop," "company store," and "wage slavery?"

The problem with health care is that there are these people with specialized education to whom we've given decision-making authority over diagnosis and treatment. They have the privilege of writing prescriptions for drugs, which also gives them the privilege of denying access to those drugs. So right away the market is distorted. I can't decide for myself what I need, what I'm willing to pay for, and how much I'm willing to pay. In fact, all those decisions are made by others, purportedly on my behalf.

When you're in a position like that, the equal power of buyers and sellers has been compromised, and the purpose of government regulation is to restore the balance of power so that providers can once again be directly accountable to clients.

When the underwriters get in the middle and their primary aim is to maximize profits, all of the sudden it's no longer my interest that's at stake, but their profits. This is just as true of a private insurer as a government insurer. Unless someone can pull the provider's licence to operate, the lack of accountability will ruin any unregulated system sooner or later, whether it's operated privately for profit or publicly for the "public good." If it's not the stockholders of private insurers who'll be jacking up the prices and reducing services to skim more profits for their own pet purposes, it will be legislators.
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 125
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FREE Federalized Health Care
Posted: 1/12/2008 8:37:27 PM
Rich people DO get special breaks at the bank, such as lower interest rates on mortgages and higher interest in interest-bearing accounts such as money-market accounts. Bush's idiotic tax cuts also tilted more toward the rich rather than the poor who need it the most.

AG, please. Give. it. up. I am a very happy person in life, but I have a right to be angry about the poor system of health care in the US. I will always speak out against it and strive hard to get rid of private health insurance as it is destroying people's lives, such as the abovementioned lady who lost her daughter. I have also been complimented by others for not being judgemental. Stick to the topic please.
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