Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

September 5, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

UNSCREWING THE MIDDLE CLASS....Just for the record, I completely agree with this. But you already knew that.

(No, it's not the whole answer, not by a long way. But it's certainly one of the single biggest pieces.)

Kevin Drum 7:58 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (78)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Democratic strategy: convince happy people they are unhappy, and need the Democratic Party to make them happy.

No wonder a Democrat has won more than 50% exactly one time since 1964 (Carter, 1976, with...50.1%!).

Posted by: Snorkeler on September 5, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Republican Strategy:

1. Prop up strawmen (and other Freshman-level logical fallacies) to scare 49.5% of Americans to vote Republican.
2. Use diebold to make up the additional 1%.
3. PROFIT!!!

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 5, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

I hate both the major parties equally, OBF! And agree with your assessment of the Republican strategy. However, you gots ta admit that the Democratic strategy I paint above is also largely true.

Republicrats and Democans stink!

Posted by: Snorkeler on September 5, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Republican Strategy: convince unhappy people that they should be happy, and everythings going swimmingly, and need the Republican party to convince them they're happy, when they aren't happy at all.

No wonder the Republicans are going to lose seats in the upcoming elections.

Posted by: AkaDad on September 5, 2006 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Smash the control images.
Smash the control machines.

(personally, the Democratic party didn't need to convince me I was happier during the Clinton Era. I was much better off. The prosperity that I enjoyed was a direct result of Public Investment, and regulation of industry. I have no quarrel with progressive politics. True, the Democrats can't be trusted not to sell my rights to the highest bidder, but the Republicans are far worse corporate whores - if I have no choice but to trust one or the other, it won't be the Republicans. They fuck you at the drive thru).

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 5, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, how come you never support a law that doesn't involve socialism and government control of the free market?

Posted by: Al on September 5, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

Forget healthcare. I want someone to work on the cost of owning a home. You shouldn't have to put yourself in the hole for 30 years just to get a tuft of grass for your dog to run on.

Posted by: enozinho on September 5, 2006 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Are we going to be visited with another "magic of the free market" troll assault. So I get my punches in early, "magic" is never real. It never makes up for reason and hardwork. Men and women always work hard adjust the environment to favor themselves--the market environment is no exception, so don't give me any magic of the market place stuff.

Here is an equal but inconvenient truth for the trolls, the market is never free, not when regular people are trying to do business with giants.

Tell me the best cheapest way to deliver quality health care to everybody.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 5, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

A Government funded, national health care program is pro business. It would free up small and large businesses, from the burden of providing health care to employees, and the associated costs that go with it. Employers can then use the savings to provide better wages, reduces prices, or invest in newer equiptment and technologies.

Might some argue, that opposing national health care is anti business?

Posted by: AkaDad on September 5, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Al-
"government control of a free market" umm... corporations in the "free market" have been running to the fed'l government for help of one sort or another since before your daddy was a gleam in your grand daddy's eye.

Get over it.

Posted by: Out on Bond on September 5, 2006 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

akadad,

Right on.

Why GM, Ford and others would oppose a national health plan is just fucking nuts.

Posted by: angryspittle on September 5, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Why GM, Ford and others would oppose a national health plan is just fucking nuts.

Judging from their cars, you shouldn't be surprised at all.

Posted by: enozinho on September 5, 2006 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Al, you fucking retarded idiot, there is no fucking free market you asshole.

There is nothing but socialism for corporations and raw boned fucking capitalism for the rest of us.

Just how fucking stupid, ignorant, and ill informed can you be?

Jesus I get tired of cocksuckers like you spewing your stupidity around like some reptilian goddamned Johny Appleseed.

Posted by: angryspittle on September 5, 2006 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

Universal healthcare coverage exists in one shape or form in EVERY other first world nation and many aspiring first world nations on the planet. The first candidate for president who has the guts to call for it will be the next president of the United States.

Posted by: Mark Garrity on September 5, 2006 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Affordable health care?

Get the fucking blood sucking insurance companies and big Pharma the fuck outta the health care industry.

Posted by: angryspittle on September 5, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Judging from their cars, you shouldn't be surprised at all.

Ba-boom-cha!

Posted by: trex on September 5, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers:

Historically, the balance of power between the corporate giants and individuals has shifted back and forth. However, the corporate giants have been more successful in soliciting the services of the governments, state and fed'l, in repressing any individual rights that could adversely affect corporations. (i.e. -get into a dispute with your credit card company- no matter where you live, you will have to travel to the other side of the US to take them to Court. That is purely of function of COngress whoring itself out to the financial services industry. The fed'l government repeatedly sent US marines to Nicaragua to protect the interest of US Companies that were about to get bit by a local populist bug. The National guard was used to break strikes inside the US- no, the did not break through the cordon of workers- they went to the workers' homes and arrested them for not going to work.

If only we had a government that gave a shit. Oh, well, time for my pill...

Posted by: Out on Bond on September 5, 2006 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

the key to getting universal healthcare is getting the stupes passing as captains of industry today to realize what a boon it would be for business. You wouldn't think you'd have to explain it to the genuises, but that's republicans for you - barely smart enough to tie their own shoes.
.

Posted by: pluege on September 5, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Why GM, Ford and others would oppose a national health plan is just fucking nuts.

I may be wrong, but I think it's a clash between enhacing the corporate bottom line, and the ideology of the free market solutions to problems, versus government solutions to heath care and other issues. National Health Care would be an ideological victory for progressives and liberals, and another, among many defeats, for the Government is the problem not the solution ideology.

Posted by: AkaDad on September 5, 2006 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

akadad,

Yep, ideology trumps goddamned common fucking sense every time.

Posted by: angryspittle on September 5, 2006 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

the country will be able to stop squandering a huge and ever-growing share of our resources on an incredibly wasteful system.
...
Asked what the most important health care issue was for presidential and Congressional action, 52 percent elected ensure that all Americans, have adequate, reliable health insurance.

The most wasteful use of America's health care dollars is keeping people alive while they are dying; in the last year of life, with one preocedure after another. I doubt you can get a majority to agree on insurance that is both "adequate" and avoids what is called "futile care."

The state of Oregon decided to keep its costs low by not covering bone marrow transplants. The rest of the nation did not follow suit.

48% do not agree that universla, adequate, reliable health insurance is the most important issue; of the 52% who do agree, I bet there is not agreement on what it should be. This leads to each plan lacking a majority.

Kerry ran on this proposal against Bush in 2004, and as far as I could tell Bush's position had stronger support among voters than Kerry's position.

You need a more precise definition of "adequate". Will it cover orthodonture, bone marrow transplantation, drugs not approved by FDA (experimental and anecdotal). Would you cease to treat people whose APACHE scores are above a certain threshold? Would you settle for off-patent drugs? i.e., provide a standard of prescription drug care that is always about 15 years behind the state of the art. For now that would be 1990 medications, fluoxetine instead of paroxetine. Would you permit the option of buying more expensive coverage, as is done in Switzerland and Germany?

Support for universal health care always falls apart when the specific details are spelled out.

Posted by: republicrat on September 5, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Repukeliscum strategery:

1) Take all the stupid people

2) Put them in a room

3) Convince them that god is in the room and bad non-god people are outside

Posted by: POed Lib on September 5, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Republicrat, would you please stop reading that Ross Perot pamphlet?

Posted by: enozinho on September 5, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: of the 52% who do agree, I bet there is not agreement on what it should be

Good heavens, there isn't a universal agreement amongst the majority about every exact detail of how something should be implemented? Surely this sort of stumbling block is a first in history of American legislation.

Posted by: alex on September 5, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

alex,

Great Snark!

Posted by: angryspittle on September 5, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK
...during the Clinton Era. I was much better off Osama_Been_Forgotten 8:25 PM
I was even better off during the Nixon era. It was Reagan who put the economy into the crapper. It lifted slightly during the Clinton administration.
government control of the free market? Al at 8:28 PM
What we have is corporate control of the government, a Libertarian's wet dream.
The most wasteful use of America's health care dollars is keeping people alive while they are dying. republicrat at 9:28 PM
From Terry Schiavo to euthanasia in one election cycle. It's amazing what political expediency does for Republican ideology. Posted by: Mike on September 5, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Get the fucking blood sucking insurance companies and big Pharma the fuck outta the health care industry.

Big Pharma every year introduces plenty of new drugs on the market that are very slight improvements over previous drugs, plus a few that are big improvements. Over times spans of 10 - 20 years the cumulative effects of the many small improvements are great. If you get Big Pharma out of the business, you turn an industry that is more productive than the pharmaceutical industry of the EU into a pharmaceutical industry more like that of Russia.

Most drugs fail in clinical trials, a higher percentage than 10 and 20 years ago. Thus the total research investment by Big Pharma works out to $300 million to $400 million per successful drug. They could cut costs if they knew in advance which drugs would fail in clinical trials, but obviously they do not. The federal government finances much research, but the research results are mostly available to pharms in all countries.

Back to my comment about the definition of "adequate". You could improve the lives of the uninsured of today quite a bit by covering the costs of off-patent drugs. In many fields, that is better care than the on-patent drugs of 30 years ago.

Would an "adequate" health care plan cover costs incurred in sports? How about coronary bypass surgeries, and combined heart-lung transplants? Would you omit from coverage all treatments that (for patients of the particular age, sex, race of the covered patient) have less than a 50% observed success rate overall?

If you agreed to these limitatios (off-patent drugs, omit sports injuries, low-success-rate treatments) then you could provide health care for the 46million Americans now not covered, at a reasonable price.

You have to define "adequate" unambiguously, because you can't cover everybody for everything.

Posted by: republicrat on September 5, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Support for universal health care always falls apart when the specific details are spelled out.

I'm standing by, ready to describe the Canadian system (and shoot down right-wing negative myths), if anybody's interested.

Posted by: exasperanto on September 5, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Big Pharma spends more on fucking advertising than they do on R&D every year.

Gimme a fucking break.

Posted by: angryspittle on September 5, 2006 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

The most wasteful use of America's health care dollars is keeping people alive while they are dying; in the last year of life, with one preocedure after another.

To quote Mr Kevin Spacey, in the role of Lex Luthor, "WRONG!!!"

The most wasteful use of America's health care dollars is administrative overhead. In 1999, the US spent $1,059 per capita on health care administration, compared to Canada's $307 per capita.

This gap has further increased in recent years. I can't imagine seeing a greater (and more useless) disparity in costs between the two systems.

Reference: New England Journal of Medicine, http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/349/8/768

Posted by: Shinobi on September 5, 2006 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

huge new government entitlement programs

It's an insurance plan, dummy, not an entitlement program.

Posted by: exasperanto on September 5, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

calesitas textiles http://ingegrafica.com.ar

Posted by: ingegrafica on September 5, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, let me put it simply.

America goes UHC, or America, her society and her economy dies within 20 years.

It's do-or-die people. There's no acceptable alternative that I can think of. (Although I'm willing to listen)

Posted by: Karmakin on September 5, 2006 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, Shinobi nails the reason why. It's the administrative costs, of which dealing with multiple insurance beauacracies, and even if you could standardize the paperwork, all will approve different billings.

One thing that the conservatives were right on, is that eliminating needless buracracy is a good thing. Too bad that they don't see it that way anymore.

Posted by: Karmakin on September 5, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: If you agreed to these limitatios (off-patent drugs, omit sports injuries, low-success-rate treatments) then you could provide health care for the 46million Americans now not covered, at a reasonable price.

According to all the available empirical data from countries that have actually done it, we could cover all Americans, including the 46M now uninsured, and reduce our current costs by about 1/3.

Posted by: alex on September 5, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

GOP nailed it. Unfortunately.

I'm as shocked as anyone.

Posted by: Disputo on September 5, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

It's the administrative costs, of which dealing with multiple insurance beauacracies, and even if you could standardize the paperwork, all will approve different billings.

Anecdote: the Australian system uses a public/private combination (as Germany and Switzerland) does, and the system is almost entirely electronic. My total work in claiming back benefits from the government and my insurer is:

- sign one medicare form
- swipe one electronic card, given by my insurer
- pay the remainder

One week later:
- cash one cheque from medicare.

No paperwork for me. One form for the doctor.

Posted by: Shinobi on September 5, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Universal Health Care only seems like it would be a terrific idea.

Yes, it would end the Democratic Party forever. But, in so doing, it would also drive the U.S. to the edge of bankruptcy.

My conclusion: while eliminating the Democratic Party would be a wonderful thing to do, the cost isn't worth it.

Of course, don't expect Kevin or the TPM Cafe to discuss why that would happen; they're either unable to think things through, or they've thought things through a tiny bit and they're scared of what they find.

If someone isn't willing to consider and discuss all of the downsides of their proposals, should you trust what they're proposing?

== Illegal immigration introduction ==

Posted by: TLB on September 5, 2006 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

tlb,

Let's see,

I don't think Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Costa Rica, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. are near bankruptcy.

I also don't think any of those countries would trade our system for theirs.

Posted by: angryspittle on September 5, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, What does TLB stand for?

Totally Lame Brained?

Posted by: angryspittle on September 5, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

"GOP nailed it. Unfortunately." - disputo

GOP nails a lot more than you think he does. And he's spot on again.

Posted by: Jay on September 5, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

情色电影 激情视频下载 明星露点图片 激情写真 阴部图片 乳房图片 全裸美女 淫荡小说 淫乱图片 美女脱衣视频 裸体女人 女性手淫图片 波霸美女 淫水美女鲍鱼 阴户阴毛图片 美女图库 美女口交图片 性爱视频 偷拍图片 泳装美女 美女内衣内裤 性爱贴图 性生活图片 作爱图片 性交姿势 做爱电影 性福电影 人体摄影 裸女图片 乱伦图片 强暴电影 轮奸视频 迷奸图片 乳房写真 性爱小说 美眉写真 激情贴图 两性性生活 作爱电影 性交图片 做爱图片 美女人体 美女裸照 全裸女 黄色小说 成人小说 强暴图片 轮奸美女 泳装图片 激情电影 联通铃声下载联通手机铃声 中国联通铃声 联通免费铃声 联通用户铃声 联通cdma铃声 联通和弦铃声 联通mp3铃声 联通特效铃声 联通彩铃 联通彩铃下载 中国联通彩铃 联通手机彩铃下载 联通彩铃业务 联通彩铃网站 联通免费彩铃 联通cdma彩铃 联通炫铃 中国联通炫铃 联通炫铃下载 联通炫铃网站 联通炫铃业务 联通cdma炫铃 联通手机图片 联通手机炫铃 免费电影下载 免费在线电影 看免费电影 免费电影网站 韩国电影 两性生活 性教育片 两性知识 性爱图片 免费黄色电影 最新电影 成人性爱电影 免费小电影 免费性电影 免费成人电影 免费电影在线观看 宽带电影 经典电影 恐怖电影 免费影片 免费影院 最新大片 十八电影网 美女写真 人体艺术 美女图片 美女走光 美腿图片 三级片下载 强奸电影 美女祼体图片 美女自拍 黄色电影下载 免费色情电影 激情图片 激情小电影 性感美女图片 漂亮妹妹图片 做爱图片 美少女图片 日本av女优 情色电影 同志电影 激情视频下载 明星露点图片 写真电影 阴部图片 乳房图片 明星裸照 性爱视频 偷拍图片 美眉图片 泳装美女 美女内衣内裤 舒淇写真 美女脱衣图片 裸体女人图片 人体写真 女性手淫图片 波霸美女 淫水美女鲍鱼 阴户阴道阴毛 美女图库 肛交口交图片 性爱贴图 情趣内衣图片 性生活图片 作爱图片 艳情小说 性交姿势 做爱电影 性福联盟 人体摄影 明星裸照 裸女图片 黄色小说 成人小说 乱伦小说 强暴电影 轮奸视频 性虐待电影 迷奸图片 妓女做爱 汤加丽写真集 全裸美女 淫荡小说 淫乱小说 淫书 手机图片 手机铃音 图铃下载 手机游戏 韩国电影 两性知识 最新电影 宽带电影 经典电影 恐怖电影 人体艺术 美女图片 美女走光 性爱图片 十八电影网 美腿图片 强奸小电影 美女祼体图片 美女写真 性感美女图片 做爱图片 美少女图片 日本av电影 明星裸照 黄色电影下载 免费色情电影 两性生活 性教育片 激情电影 免费黄色电影 成人性爱电影 免费性电影 免费成人电影 免费小电影 免费电影在线观看 免费影片 最新大片 免费电影下载 免费在线电影 看免费电影

Posted by: 联通铃声下载 on September 5, 2006 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

Translation please?

Posted by: angryspittle on September 5, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

GOP nails a lot more than you think he does.

Please keep the icky sordid details of your personal lives to yourselves!

Posted by: cheryl on September 5, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

In the US, we are really good at getting people the treatment they want, provided that they have enough money or benefits to pay for it. These treatments are delivered fairly efficiently, even, though there's more administrative overhead, as pointed out.

But where we are really, really bad is in keeping our people healthy. People in the US have very poor health comparatively, in spite of collectively paying a lot more for our health care.

This happens because no one with any expertise has any financial incentive to actually keep people healthy. Certainly individuals have an incentive, though maybe not a financial one, if they have good health insurance. You would think insurance companies would, but they see their relationship with you as a short-term one, and focus accordingly on trying to recruit healthy customers, rather than keeping their customers healthy.

This is the economic condition that needs to be addressed. Furthermore, universal coverage would encourage a lot more entrepreneurship, which would stimulate growth in the economy. It would probably work out really well economically for rural areas too, since it would make "running to the mountain" more of a viable choice.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on September 5, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Universal health care is related, in so many ways, to the betterment of our society that it should be Priority #1 for progressives. It would mean - less abortions, less bankruptcies, healthier children, less divorce, and on and on. It is linked to so many favorable outcomes.

But then, you have miserable, wretched failures like George W. Bush, who not only does reprehensible things that harm people, like appoint a Wal-Mart attorney to head a Labor Dept. office, but he does it over Labor Day weekend, in a symbolic "fuck you" gesture to organized labor. With human putresence like this in charge of things, is there any hope for rational public policy???

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 5, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

That guy will all the squares makes an excellent point.
America's Least Wanted

Posted by: budpaul on September 5, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

I can't negotiate the sign-up process at TPM Cafe, so I'll put it here: A health care system is also good conservative economics. Since transactions costs may take up as much as one-half the GDP, as Ronald Coase pointed out, it is HIGHLY LIKELY that a government medical institution that is formed to lower search and information costs, bargaining and decision costs, and policing and enforcement costs, would serve to: Lower the price of medical care even farther than only market competition, spare us a little from the heavier hand of taxes, and still allow for industrial innovation.

Posted by: Lee A. Arnold on September 5, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

alex: Good heavens, there isn't a universal agreement amongst the majority about every exact detail of how something should be implemented? Surely this sort of stumbling block is a first in history of American legislation.

Let's start by agreeing that people will pay premiums and co-payments, and that they will have more than one possible level of coverage. Let's also start by agreeing all vaccines that are known to work, and industrial accidents and auto accidents up to the point that the Apache score indicates imminent death. Motorcycle coverage to be paid by a tax on helmets, and treatment for unhelmeted motorcyclists not to be covered. Sports coverage requires an extra premium. Let's not cover birth control pills or pills for ED, and let's add an extra cost for obstetrical coverage. Let's cover generic drugs, but add an additional premium to cover the cost of drugs still on-patent. Let us add an extra charge for coronary bypass surgery coverage, but not cover anyone whose body-mass-index exceeds some threshold. Let us cover no treatment not approved by the FDA. Surgical and drug adjuvant treatment for cancer. Coverage for transplants requires a higher premium; liver transplants not covered for liver cancer or cirrhosis; clean viral scan required if for hepatitis. Bone marrow transplants not covered. Orthodonture not covered. Psychotherapy/pharmacotherapy for depression, but not OCD (because there is no treatment known to work.)

No controls on prices of drugs that are on-patent.

Is that close to adequate? Add and subtract, and see if we can work toward a reasonably operational definition of "adequate".


exasperanto: I'm standing by, ready to describe the Canadian system (and shoot down right-wing negative myths), if anybody's interested.

The Canadian system is changing, so they appear not to consider what they had a few years ago "adequate". When the Democrats propose a concrete, Canada-based system, I'll pay attention.


angryspittle: Big Pharma spends more on fucking advertising than they do on R&D every year.

that's true, but they still spend hundreds of millions per successful drug on research, and they churn out more drugs than anybody else.


shinobi: The most wasteful use of America's health care dollars is administrative overhead. In 1999, the US spent $1,059 per capita on health care administration, compared to Canada's $307 per capita.

That, too. I read an estimate that 90% of America's health care is provided to people who are in the last year of life. Unfortunately, I read it a few years back.

alex: According to all the available empirical data from countries that have actually done it, we could cover all Americans, including the 46M now uninsured, and reduce our current costs by about 1/3.

At the present time Americans spend a ghastly amount of money on what I have called "futile care". More than those other countries. Any plan that is to be proposed has to spell out exactly how it proposes to eliminate that cost. Any comparison to other countries needs to be clear about how those countries control costs of futile care, as they do.

angryspittle: I also don't think any of those countries would trade our system for theirs.

Canada and Germany are changing their systems to be more like ours, that is with more opportunities for people to supplement their insurance. So they are kind of trading their system, not for ours but for one more like ours.

Posted by: republicrat on September 5, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

The private healthcare system is designed to provide the healthcare demanded by paying customers.

The public healthcare system is designed to provide welfare in the form of healthcare services to customers who would rather not pay in full - if anything at all.

The two systems do not need to have anything to do with each other. Government does not need to be in the healthcare business in order to be in the welfare business. For example, if someone runs up a medical bill they can't afford to pay, they could submit it to an appropriate government agency, which would simply write an appropriate check. Alternatively, the government could simply pay for an insurance plan if the individual qualified on the basis of need. Either way, the government is doing what it does, providing welfare, and freeing up the private system to do what it does, provide the healthcare services demanded by paying customers.

The idea that the two must be joined is a con. The government has sniffed out a large amount of dollars in the private healthcare system and is seeking to tax it. Nationalized healthcare, boiled down, is just a new tax.

Posted by: Randy on September 5, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, how come you never support a law that doesn't involve socialism and government control of the free market?

Posted by: Al on September 5, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK


...Al, how come you never support a law that might require you to give half a shit about your fellow man?

Posted by: charles parr on September 5, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

The Canadian system is changing, so they appear not to consider what they had a few years ago "adequate".

No, republicrat. What is mostly happening is right-wing politicians are attacking the system by withholding funds, creating artificial crises, adding user-fees, allowing private clinics, allowing wealthy people to jump the queue and sponsoring propaganda campaigns.

So the system has changed, for the worse, against the wishes of the majority. It is less adequate now.

Some of the problems are caused by technological change, an aging population, soaring drug prices, etc. but, believe me, most Canadians do not want American-style health care or even a more American-style system.

Wealthy people do - they don't like sharing waiting rooms with plebes - and, of course, they've got a lot of influence.

Posted by: exasperanto on September 5, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

At the present time Americans spend a ghastly amount of money on what I have called "futile care".

For many illnesses, medicare covered and uncovered treatments were decided well over a decade ago. I can show you covered BMT procedures that have a 0% chance of long term success and uncovered BMT procedures that have a 30+% chance of success.

Some more intelligence could go into the process before you give up.

Besides your big pharma makes a killing on drugs for dying people. No more motivated consumers exist. Only funding 15 year-old treatments would be a great way to kill medical research and advances. Research is a huge asset. Monoclonal antibodies may sound expensive today but they have the potential of becoming dirt cheap. Incredible for something that is considerably more targeted and effective than trial and error small molecules.

Another way to save money on health care might be to tighten EPA air and water standards, clean up superfund sites, give out condoms to teenagers, and pay for vascectomies for men over 40. I can think of a few industrial chemicals (herbicides, preservatives, etc.) that I'd error on the side of banning too.

Posted by: B on September 5, 2006 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

In case I came across as too negative, I refer you to moonlore20002001 commenting on a recent TPM Cafe post:

http://warrenreports.tpmcafe.com/blog/warrenreports/2006/aug/24/get_sick_go_broke#comment-158631

(copy & paste into your browser)

Posted by: exasperanto on September 6, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

"angryspittle" opines: I don't think Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Costa Rica, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. are near bankruptcy.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but do any of those countries have massive, uncontrolled illegal immigration of low-wage, low-skilled laborers from a neighboring Third World country?

And, of course, the Dem and GOP leaderships fully support said massive illegal immigration.

To help you understand that a bit better, in 2004 late California Assemblyman Firebaugh visited Mexico and said, "We want the Mexican people to know that the measure [to give driverslicenses to illegal aliens] is on [Arnold's] desk... However it is now September and he has not responded whatsoever, although we will insist on approval of the bill, basically so that illegal migrants can have access to education and health services in the U.S..."

Needless to say, Firebaugh was a Democrat. One of the major impediments to UHC is that everyone knows that the Dems would fight tooth and nail to give it to anyone who could manage to make it over our borders. And, needless to say, that would lead to the situation described above.

And, needless to say, those who pimp this scheme hand-wave that side of things away.

Posted by: TLB on September 6, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

My God, you mean they're actually allowing people to buy health care up there now? Horrors!

Yeah, funny...

It's an insurance plan, don't you know, so we all "buy". I've put in thousands of dollars over the years so when the time comes, I don't want to be shunted aside because Mrs. Richperson has paid (bribed) her way ahead of me.

Equal access, baby. It's in the Canada Health Act.

Just like you have Shrub spitting on the Constitution, here we have Premiers pissing on our mandated health care.

Posted by: exasperanto on September 6, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

republicrat on September 5, 2006 at 11:12 PM:

Canada and Germany are changing their systems to be more like ours, that is with more opportunities for people to supplement their insurance. So they are kind of trading their system, not for ours but for one more like ours.

Bullshit...And weak bullshit at that; the only thing that Canada and Germany are considering is to implement a two-tier system that keeps universal coverage and allows for people with means to purchase more/better coverage.

Which in no way qualifies as 'changing' or 'trading' healthcare systems to resemble the US model.

Speaking of bullshit:

Randy on September 5, 2006 at 11:15 PM:

The private healthcare system is designed to...

...Make as much profit as possible. A person may demand the service, but that doesn't mean they're gonna get it, Randy.

The public healthcare system is designed to provide welfare in the form of healthcare services...

Yes, it is. And why is that a bad thing, Randy?

to customers who would rather not pay in full - if anything at all.

That's a big, steaming pile of bullshit, Randy. Your fellow Americans are people, not customers, and fewer and fewer of these people cannot afford to pay huge sums for healthcare. Nice amount of compassion on display there Randy...

Government does not need to be in the healthcare business in order to be in the welfare business.

Oh, do explain...

For example, if someone runs up a medical bill they can't afford to pay, they could submit it to an appropriate government agency, which would simply write an appropriate check.

But..you just said...that really sounds like government involvement, Randy...

Alternatively, the government could simply pay for an insurance plan ...the private system to do what it does, provide the healthcare services demanded by paying customers.

Wow. That's real close to a two-tier universal health care plan, Randy.

The idea that the two must be joined is a con.

The current system is a con, Randy. And people like you are the marks.

The government has sniffed out a large amount of dollars in the private healthcare system and is seeking to tax it.

Uh, Randy?...Government already taxes a lot of the 'private healthcare system'. Reducing the role of insurance companies in healthcare would probably lower the taxes collected, not raise...

Nationalized healthcare, boiled down, is just a new tax.

You might want to think this through again, Randy. You aren't making too much sense.

Posted by: grape_crush on September 6, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

but do any of those countries have massive, uncontrolled illegal immigration of low-wage, low-skilled laborers from a neighboring Third World country?

Yes. Germany (in fact the whole of Europe) deals with massive amounts of illegal immigration from Eastern Europe, the Middle-East and Africa.

Let's not even figure in that Germany absorbed an entire friggin' communist country less than 20 years ago.

Now if America had dealt with the influx of the whole of Mexico, then a comparison with Germany might be fair. As it stands, Germany's faced far greater challenges than most western economies as a result of unification, and they can still run universal health care. Cheaper than the US, yet.

Posted by: Shinobi on September 6, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

Bullshit...And weak bullshit at that; the only thing that Canada and Germany are considering is to implement a two-tier system that keeps universal coverage and allows for people with means to purchase more/better coverage.

that is in fact the change that I was mentioning. once there is a two tier system, the upper tier will be much better than the lower tier, and upper tier payers will have priority.

B on September 5, 2006 at 11:40 PM |

some good points. need enlargement to become recommendations.

Only funding 15 year-old treatments would be a great way to kill medical research and advances.

yes, but that would be the lowest tier "adequate" coverage, especially for people who have no care now.

exasperanto: So the system has changed, for the worse, against the wishes of the majority. It is less adequate now.

I doubt that you could push a change against the wishes of the majority.

others: How would you modify my recommendation to make it better? You want to negotiate with the middle, swing voters, or don't you?

Posted by: republicrat on September 6, 2006 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

Grape_crush,

I am not opposed to the government providing welfare for the purpose of obtaining healthcare. I just see no reason why doing so should involve the existing private healthcare system at all. There are any number of ways to raise the funds necessary to pay for welfare. Why select only the healthcare industry? Why not tax every industry? Better yet, why not just tax everybody? A one or two percent payroll tax should be more than enough to provide basic healthcare coverage to those who cannot afford a better plan on their own. Its simple and efficient. It bypasses the healthcare industy objections. The people say they want it, so they should be willing to pay for it. Assuming the latter, it could be in place in a year.

Posted by: Randy on September 6, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

republicrat on September 6, 2006 at 1:22 AM:

...that is in fact the change that I was mentioning.

And in exactly what way is that like the US healthcare system? Like I said, weak bullshit.

Randy on September 6, 2006 at 10:05 AM:

It bypasses the healthcare industy objections.

Of course it does, Randy...Like the Massachusetts plan passed recently, it would mandate that everyone buy health insurance, therefore guaranteeing health insurance companies revenue that they are not receiving now from those on Medicare and Medicaid...I don't see why the healthcare industry would object to that at all.

Once there's mandated health coverage, what incentive does an insurance company have for keeping premiums low?

You might want to think this through again, Randy. You still aren't making too much sense.

Posted by: grape_crush on September 6, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

grape_crush,

Re; "...it would mandate that everyone buy health insurance..."

Not exactly. It would mandate that everyone contribute to paying for basic healthcare for those who cannot afford a plan on their own. The idea is to raise just enough money for welfare needs (the proper role of government), not to provide everyone with complete healthcare coverage. Only those who qualify on the basis of need actually get to use the funds. People who can afford healthcare will continue to pay for it on their own. The whole point of getting the government involved is to cover those who can't afford it. It could also cover a temporary provision for those who lose coverage due to employment, etc.

Posted by: Randy on September 6, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

While I agree with the idea of universal healthcare, let's not be so foolish as to think it is a winning issue in the near future (and certainly not this November).

The public has been subject to decades of Republican rhetoric about "socialized medicine", with no coherent reply. We need a long-term strategy to convince Americans that universal healthcare is not "socialism" and will not result in the proverbial long lines, rationed care, no choice, etc.

Convincing people of this need and its viability will take a concerted effort over several years. Otherwise, the issue will be an electoral albatross playing right into Repub hands.

Posted by: Jim on September 6, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Shinobi: East Germany was (IIRC) a Communist state. It already had socialized medicine, and their system was combined with the West German system. In seeming to pimp joining Mexico with the U.S., you might want to acknowledge that:

link
link

They're also discussing or have reformed it link

The number of "migrants" to DE and US can be found here. Per capita it's higher for DE in three 5-year increments, but lower elsewhere.

There may also be large differences between the DE system and the proposed US systems.

In any case, if Kevin Drum and the Dems want to be taken seriously, they should highlight that almost all Dem leaders will fully support extending their healthcare system to any illegal alien who can make it over our borders. And, they should acknowledge that the Democratic Party will continue to encourage massive illegal immigration from Third World countries. And, they should discuss all the costs associated with their policies, not just handwave them away.

Posted by: TLB on September 6, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Randy on September 6, 2006 at 11:10 AM:

..Only those who qualify on the basis of need actually get to use the funds.

The 'compassionate free-market' approach, yes.

People who can afford healthcare will continue to pay for it on their own.

At least until those catastrophic bills come in...A family of four with a household income of 60K (the threshold of coverage of the Massachusetts plan, IIRC) is going to be hard pressed to pay the medical bills when the insurance plan they are paying for reaches its lifetime maximum...Or perhaps the insurance at the new job hasn't kicked in yet...or any other circumstance including unemployment.

The whole point of getting the government involved is to cover those who can't afford it.

And who makes that distinction? What determines 'can afford' versus 'can't afford'? Do you set different levels of what people can afford due to the type of illness or injury? Limit treatment?

Really, you aren't proposing anything different than what we have right now, Randy.

Posted by: grape_crush on September 6, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK
You seem to think the alternative to limited-claim private insurance is unlimited-claim public insurance.

As its quite possible to construct a public plan that doesn't feature fixed lifetime or periodic benefit limits, it is quite obvious that an alternative (not the alternative) is unlimited-claim public insurance. Of course, such a plan would have other controls to limit overall costs.

Whether a particular such plan is a good alternative is another discussion.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 6, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Grape_crush,

Re; "The 'compassionate free-market' approach, yes."

Well, resources are not unlimited. Best to start by picking the low hanging fruit, don't you think? Start with 1% of payroll. Take care of those most in need first.

Re; "At least until those catastrophic bills come in..."

At which point they would probably qualify. But I see no reason to proclaim health care to be a right. Someone has to pay for it. Who better than people who use it?

Re; "What determines 'can afford' versus 'can't afford'?"

Primarily, limited resources. If resources were unlimited, everyone would have everything they want. As it is, we will have to draw lines. Again, take care of the neediest first. Resources permitting, the program can be expanded.

Re; "...you aren't proposing anything different than what we have right now..."

As I see it, the immediate problem is that emergency rooms are starting to close down. So it is important to give those who are utilizing the ERs for free primary care an alternative. And again, it isn't necessary to revamp the entire private healthcare system in order to do this.

Posted by: Randy on September 6, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

GOP on September 6, 2006 at 2:20 PM:

Competition from other insurance companies, of course.

And that's worked very well in keeping insurance costs down in the current system, hasn't it?

That's sarcasm, in case you missed it, GOP...

And they'd also be hard-pressed to do that when they reached the maximum

Simple solution: No maximum, similar to having no maximum lifetime SocSec benefits...Or, since some people tend to prefer complex solutions, once the max is reached, then a person would go out-of-pocket, purchase insurance, whatever.

Nahh...go for the simple solution, if your ideology allows for it...

Yes, sometimes that happens.

Thanks for agreeing with me, GOP!

And it also happens in countries with publicly-funded health care systems.

And the US system is allowed to be different from other countries' systems, yes?

You seem to think the alternative to limited-claim private insurance is unlimited-claim public insurance.

It's an option. Even if there was a lifetime max, I'd still be able to go to the doctor for a checkup regardless of my employment status until that cap was reached...Far better than what we have now.

It's nonsense.

That's your opinion. would you care to substantiate it?

Randy on September 6, 2006 at 2:52 PM:

Well, resources are not unlimited.

Wow...every time I get try that one, I get hit with the 'fixed wealth fallacy' from the libertarians out there.

Meh; I'm being snarky. I'm with you on phasing coverage in for people who need it the most, 'tho...

At which point they would probably qualify.

After 3 months in traction and another 6 learning to walk again, I don't want to hear 'probably'.

How do you determine 'ability to pay'? current income, total assets including a house, retirement investments, what?

But I see no reason to proclaim health care to be a right.

"Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness"...or should we toss OSHA out the window as well? To say that the government should have little or no say in matters of public health is ludicrous.

Someone has to pay for it.

Well, duh...

Who better than people who use it?

Other than a few fringe religious types, everyone uses or wants to use health services.

If resources were unlimited, everyone would have everything they want.

So I could actually get that pony?

Resources permitting, the program can be expanded.

Expanded into something like universal healthcare, you mean...Look; I'm all for a phased approach to implementation with additional resources allocated as the program expands. However, you haven't specified any manner in which your idea is an improvement over the current system; the poorer segments may have some slight access to preventative care that they didn't before, the middle-working class still lives in fear of losing their jobs and insurance coverage, and the Paris Hiltons of the world can get nose jobs to their hearts' content.

So it is important to give those who are utilizing the ERs for free primary care an alternative.

Nah; that's just moving the problem around...

And again, it isn't necessary to revamp the entire private healthcare system in order to do this.

Oddly enough, I agree with you...it's the health insurance companies that aren't adding value and need to be revamped...most doctors and hospitals do a good job, but it's the insurance companies and uninsured, catastrophic care that really drives up costs. Take care of those two things, monitor the rest, and we're golden...

Posted by: grape_crush on September 6, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Grape_crush,

You make light of my saying that limited resources is an issue. But if it wasn't an issue, if it was not in fact THE issue, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Somebody has to pay, and the amount paid has to be controlled. You can't just assign the status of "right" to something that must be paid for.

It seems absolutely fair to me that people should pay their own way in all things to the greatest extent possible. Any society depends on its citizens pulling their own weight. We will assist those who cannot, but only within reason.

So what is within reason? Well, I think paying 20% in income taxes is reasonable. I think paying 16% for Social Security is reasonable. I think paying 10% for State and Local taxes is reasonable. And I think paying an additional 1 or 2%, towards health insurance for the poor is reasonable. But I also think paying for my own healthcare is reasonable - because pulling my own weight is the right thing to do. It doesn't matter that I would rather spend my money on cable TV, dinners out, a new car, and a vacation. First, I must take care of my responsibilities. I am willing to assist those who are unable to pull their own weight, but I am completely unwilling to help those who would simply rather not.

As for insurance, I see the problem as being primarily one of state government interference driving up the cost of plans.

Posted by: Randy on September 6, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK
Health care is rationed in all systems.

Sure, but that's not what you suggested before. You suggested before that it was nonsense to suggest that a public system could be offered that did not have the set per-person lifetime caps that current private systems have. Clearly, public systems can be constructed that ration care through means other than per-person lifetime caps.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 6, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

GOP on September 6, 2006 at 4:40 PM:

It's worked better than other systems.

So my health insurance and doctor visits haven't been going up over the past decade? Here I thought I was paying more for less service...My bad..

Health care inflation in the U.S. has been below the OECD average.

Cite?

Don't be ridiculous.

"A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men..."

Neither public nor private insurance funds have unlimited resources.

Which is why private insurance premiums keep going up, GOP.

Health care is rationed in all systems.

And in those universal healthcare systems, everyone gets rationed; 40-odd million people aren't left out. Some health care versus no health care...easy decision, if you ask me.

There's less rationing under our system...

Well, yes, if you consider hordes of uninsured people to be 'less rationed'...but really, it's more like 'extremely rationed'.

Really; what is the big objection to universal healthcare? Higher taxes? Philosophical? It can't be inferior care, hindering research, or a bunch of other boogeymen that just aren't true, is it?

Posted by: grape_crush on September 6, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Randy on September 6, 2006 at 5:03 PM:

You make light of my saying that limited resources is an issue.

Yes; but it's a refreshing change to hear that availability of resources is a consideration instead of the usual 'it will be available in the future' garbage.

Somebody has to pay, and the amount paid has to be controlled.

Yes, just like we do with social security.

You can't just assign the status of "right" to something that must be paid for.

Incorrect. I can drive a car, but I have to pay for a driver's license, auto insurance...I plan on using Social Security as part of my retirement, but I have to contribute to the fund.

Neither of which is a "right" as defined by the constitution, but, like healthcare, promote the general welfare.

It seems absolutely fair to me that people should pay their own way in all things to the greatest extent possible.

Absolutely...So your objection to universal healthcare funded through an increase in taxes is?

Any society depends on its citizens pulling their own weight. We will assist those who cannot, but only within reason.

The measure of a society is how well it treats its less fortunate members, because there, but for the grace of God, go you. We all depend on each other, and the self-made man only exists in Ayn Rand's fantasies.

So what is within reason..I think paying an additional 1 or 2%, towards health insurance for the poor is reasonable.

So your objection to universal healthcare is...what? There are far worse things to devote resources to than making sure kids get regular checkups.

But I also think paying for my own healthcare is reasonable - because pulling my own weight is the right thing to do.

Good on you.

I am willing to assist those who are unable to pull their own weight, but I am completely unwilling to help those who would simply rather not.

Oh..the old, faulty conservative 'welfare queen' canard...statistically small, but beaten like a redheaded stepchild by the Right.

As for insurance, I see the problem as being primarily one of state government interference driving up the cost of plans.

And I see overly expensive administrative costs on the part of private insurers as being a major factor...imagine how many kids that 20-odd percent of each health insurance dollar eaten up by Aetna could help.

Posted by: grape_crush on September 6, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Grape_crush,

Re; Administrative costs.

Here we return to my original point. The administrative costs you discuss are in private plans. That is, they are paid by the people who pay for the plans. They are irrelevant to the government wanting to provide welfare to those without plans. You could just as easily point to all the money spent on fuel for vacations, food for pets, or dinners out that could have been cooked at home. Think of all the healthcare that money could provide. My main point is that the government doesn't have to screw around with private healthcare to provide welfare to those without plans. How much money is needed and where to get it is the question. The debate over how to replace private care with nationalized care is not only irrelevant to solving the problem at hand, it is holding up the process.

Posted by: Randy on September 6, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. Grape_Crush,

Re; Your comment about Welfare Queens.

The argument to responsibility is not irrelevant. Acceptance of personal responsibility is every bit as important to a society as acceptance of social responsibility. Indeed, a failure of the former will destroy the latter. Some would say that it already has.

Posted by: Randy on September 6, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Randy on September 6, 2006 at 7:05 PM:

The administrative costs you discuss are in private plans.

Why, yes. Quite a bit of cost in comparison to government healthcare programs like Medicare and the VA hospital system.

That is, they are paid by the people who pay for the plans.

Thank you for stating the obvious, Randy. Oh, and don't forget that businesses shoulder some of that burden as well, but not so much as they used to.

They are irrelevant to the government wanting to provide welfare to those without plans.

Hardly. If a person can't afford the premiums or their employer doesn't offer insurance coverage starting from the date of employment, then that person has no coverage. Or do you think that every person without health coverage is one of your mythical unemployed welfare queens?

You could just as easily point to all the money spent on fuel for vacations, food for pets, or dinners out that could have been cooked at home.

Apples and oranges, Randy...You can elect to not go on vacation. You cannot opt out of having a stroke or contracting cancer.

It is the treatment of a person's health as a commodity that has put the US healthcare system in such an expensive, ass-backward position...Too much emphasis on critical care and too little emphasis on preventative medicine.

..the government doesn't have to screw around with private healthcare to provide welfare to those without plans.

Correct. In a two-tier model of universal health care, there's the government system that covers everyone with the option of purchasing better service from private providers if one can afford it. It's that easy. The only thing stopping it are insurance companies who fear a loss of revenue and a few crank ideologues who object to it on philosophical grounds.

How much money is needed and where to get it is the question.

Randy, that's always the question, and not only about healthcare.

The debate over how to replace...it is holding up the process.

Hardly, and hardly. There's substantial opposition to reforming the health care system that has nothing to do with talking about how to reform it.

Randy on September 6, 2006 at 7:13 PM:

Re; Your comment about Welfare Queens.

Actually, it was your comment, Randy. I just called it for what it actually was.

Acceptance of personal responsibility is every bit as important to a society as acceptance of social responsibility.

Sez who? I mean, that's a good ideal, but avoiding personal responsibility is practically a national pastime...And is in no way limited to the aforementioned 'welfare queens'...Take our President, for example; nearly a lifetime of avoiding taking personal responsibility for his actions.

Indeed, a failure of the former will destroy the latter. Some would say that it already has.

And still others would say that greed and selfishness have impacted Americans' sense of social responsibility in far greater ways.

Posted by: grape_crush on September 6, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

GOP,

You're lying or you're ill-informed. What is this rationing you speak of? Shortages? What do you mean? Give me an example.

I'm Canadian. I pay 44 dollars a month. Year after year. I rarely see a doctor.

Our health care works. It's not perfect but it works for all people all the time. You can't say that about the US system. Are there problems, mistakes, examples of needless suffering, malpractise? Of course. It's massive bureaucracy and human beings - what would you expect? But none of these problems should be taken as proof that Canada's health care system is a failure.

And stop calling it socialized. The term does not apply. Using it makes you look like an ideological ignoramus. Why are you so hell-bent that somebody makes a profit from suffering? Are you callous? My worry is that if I give you an example of a destitute being treated and saved, this would only prove to you that our system is wrong.

Repeat after me. It's an insurance plan. Of the people, by the people, for the people.

Oh, yeah. You want a nose job or an implant in Canada? A sex change? You have to pay for it.

Posted by: exasperanto on September 6, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

quasi-legal

At least you're sorta honest.

Now reference that phrase with my other comments up above.

Then Google the Canada Health Act and Ralph Klein.

Posted by: exasperanto on September 7, 2006 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

GOP on September 6, 2006 at 7:58 PM:

Sure. I'll provide that cite just as soon as you provide cites..

Actually, the only factual assertion I can quickly find is the one where I stated that "40-odd million people aren't "left out" in the U.S."

Americans Without Health Benefits May Have Set Record in 2005
Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The number of Americans without health insurance probably rose to a record in 2005 as medical costs increased three times as fast as wages, according to forecasts for a Census Bureau report today.
The total has climbed every year since President George W. Bush took office, a point Democrats are likely to seize on in this year's congressional election. In February Bush called the 45.8 million who didn't have insurance in 2004 ``unacceptable in our country.'' Emory University Professor Ken Thorpe in Atlanta says Bush has done little to help these people.

Your turn, GOP. Or you can be a shmuck. Your choice.

Private insurance premiums don't keep going up because health care is rationed.

Then your earlier statement at GOP on September 6, 2006 at 4:40 PM, "Neither public nor private insurance funds have unlimited resources." is no longer operative?

They keep going up because health care is subject to inflation.

Not at the same pace...2005 inflation went no higher than 4.69% while, according to the Bloomberg article I linked to above:

The average expense of providing medical care for a family of four rose 9.6 percent to $13,382 this year, according to a survey by the Seattle-based Milliman consulting group. The cost of insurance bought through an employer increased 9.2 percent in 2005, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, as average hourly earnings climbed 3.2 percent.

So, no, medical expenses are increasing at nearly double the rate of inflation. Hope you enjoyed the citations for the factual assertions, GOP.

just like all other services, and because of advances in medical science and technology...

By that logic, amoxicillin, which has been around for years, should be practically free. But it isn't...Not everyone is visiting their doctor for that cool-looking artificial heart that just got approved by the FDA.

40-odd million people aren't "left out" in the U.S. either.

sigh...I do hope you've read that Bloomberg article I linked to.

although you need to define what you mean by that more precisely..

Something akin to the Australian system; look it up. Beautiful thing is, the US has several examples of working UHCs to use as models...We can see the existing issues and build a better system from the get-go.

I strongly object to single-payer publicly-funded health care. It would likely lead to rationing, shortages, deficits, and other serious problems.

Wow...Sounds a lot like the system we have here in the US. People can't get what they need, medical bills ruining people financially, and other serious problems.

Just as it has in Canada, Britain and everywhere else where it is used.

Cite?...I'm not going to pretend that other countries' UHCs don't have problems, but for all that is flawed, you don't hear about British and Canadian citizens wanting to get rid of it, only improve it.

Posted by: grape_crush on September 7, 2006 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly