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Author Topic: universal health care  (Read 2894 times)
kathyp
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« on: November 27, 2006, 08:11:47 PM »

The subject once again comes to the US.  Is it a good idea?  Can we pay for it?  Will over all quality of health care suffer?  How do other countries do it....or do they do it well?  If free health care is a right, what else might be considered a right? 

Just a few questions to get us started.....smiley  Hopefully some of our friends from other countries will input?
« Last Edit: November 27, 2006, 09:19:33 PM by Robo » Logged

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2006, 08:23:28 PM »

>Is it a good idea?

In theory.  Unfortunately we don't live in theory.

> Can we pay for it?

No.

> Will over all quality of health care suffer?

Go check out an INS hospital or a VA hospital if you want to see how the government runs health care.

> How do other countries do it....or do they do it well?

Sweden probably does it as well as anyone, but they have outrageous taxes.

>  If free health care is a right, what else might be considered a right?

Free lipsuction and breast implants.  Free food.  Free rent.  Free electricity.  Free gasoline to get to work.  (We NEED all of those).  Free plasma TVs.  (I want one of those)
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2006, 12:09:33 AM »

Free health care is not a right. The closest you get to it is, you have the right to seek out medical care, but you don't have any gurantee you will get it. Just like jobs. You have the right to seek employment, but.....
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2006, 07:48:04 PM »

To often people confuse wants as rights.  Just because you want something doesn't make it a right to have it.  I want to drive a car--I don't have a right to drive a car.  Why? Because a certain degree of ability must be demonstrated so that I am not a killer behind the wheel.

The idea of universal health care will always be a seductive notion.  But in reality access to health care  can depend on where we choose to live as much as how much we can afford it.
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2006, 09:07:39 PM »

Often when giving "equal"care the best care comes in at a much lower level. It doesn't give the best care to everybody. Sad
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2006, 09:24:35 PM »

very well said ken. afro
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eivindm
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2006, 05:31:14 AM »

I live in Norway where we have almost free health care (we pay some small fees at regular doctor appointements, but just up to a certain limit each year).  And compared to you I guess we have outragous taxes (depending on your sallary, mortgage etc between 30-50 percent, most ending up at about 30-35). And when we buy anything, we have to add 25 percent to the price as texes to the government. I have no problems paying high taxes.  Why?  Where do my money go?  Back to me and everybody else that live in Norway.  And I don't buy the "free gasoline, free food" point.  Getting lung cancer is not the same as needing to get your car to a work shop.  I have a univeristy degree, and working as a IT consultant gives me a very good sallary, but I have no problems letting much of my sallary go to sick people that never earned enough to pay a health insurance.  I have no problems letting much of my money go to people that are out of work, to schools, to kinder gardens, universities and colleges and all the other things I expect my goverment to handle.  We have free education  and I didn't pay anything to my university the five years I was there, and I still have to work many years to pay back what I've already got.  We even get cheap loans for everybody that want to study so we have money to live for besides studying. In a few years I guess I have paid back more than I've got, but I don't have a problem with that either.  You guys in the US have always been focues on keeping the freedom which is very good.  But growing up in a poor family that can't support your education doesn't give you any freedom.  I'm proud of living in a country where you have real freedom to become what you want, a lawyer, medical doctor, or a scientist, even though your parents don't own a penny.  Then when you have become a doctor, you have to pay high taxes the rest of your life which is just right.  I guess this is to put som gasoline on the fire here, and I look at all you guys as great people, but I'm used to this way of living and I love my country and I wouldn't trade it for another tax rate at any price.  Removing the free health care has never been an issue in Norway and I guess it never will.  But health care is expensive, here it is 4000 dollars per person each year.  It isn't possible to introduce this over the night.  It could start as  paying parts of all health bills (say 5 percent).
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2006, 06:42:56 AM »

Eivindm,
I'm glad you're content with your particular situation and maybe people in your country are a bit more responsible.
However in this nation when the government starts"caring" for the people it often creates a new dependent class that all of a sudden needs this care. They find ways of feeding from the public money trough and no longer try to better their own situations and then say they need more which some politician is willing to give for the sake of getting reelected to feed themselves from the largess of the taxpayers pocket. It turns into such a nightmare that when the government spends a billion to help the poor that many middle people drain the money off before it gets to the people it was intended for. Then guess what? We need to spend more to help the poor!Just my two cents worth
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2006, 06:53:54 AM »

buzzbee,
I see your point, and it could be a serious problem.  But the poor people still need help.  When there is a hunger disaster somewhere in the world, I still think it is right to support feeding programs even though some of my money go in the pocket of corrupted people as the people that is saved are more important than the money lost.  That said, it doesn't mean we shouldn't work hard to avoid people exploiting the system.  I just feel that avoiding using money on the poor as some might misuse it is to handle the problem in the wrong end. 

But I understand that getting more taxes in your country doesn't look attempting. Your average income is lower than ours, and you have to pay for all services in a much higher degree than us.  Paying more without getting much back when you feel you have just as much money as you need is never fun.  It is always hard to change a system, and it can not be done over night.  I don't think that this means it is impossible to do changes in the right direction though.
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2006, 07:10:31 AM »

I have no trouble helping those in need ,only taking peoples money to give to people who are able too provide on their own and choose not too. There are so many here that have lived off the system for so many years that it has become a lifestyle. They have had free medical care schooling and even advanced education offered and so many times the previous generation can't seem to get the kids off to school, feed them breakfast before school(which the government has provided food money for these people to do that)
and they won't take the time to parent the kids to lead them to a better life than they have!
I have seen the assistance mothers pushing the children out  the door to "preschool" so they can let the government raise their kids at an earlier age and not be troubled with it when they could be spending quality time and bonding with their child which would be much more appropriate.And sadly I have seen how these kids are turning out.Many of these people are living better than the ones that are paying their bills and this is what discourages many Americans from letting the government handle their money for any other programs!   
Fortunately I moved from that neighborhood so my son will have the  sense to know if you want something,you get up and go to work for it.Help the guy that can't and don't worry about the guy who doesn't want anything but aa free ride through life!
Again just a long winded two cents worth!  Thanks for listening??
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2006, 07:36:43 AM »

buzzbee,

Just to summarize my thoughts: I totally agree about the importance of people working as much as they can and demand only when needed (and not the other way around; work only when needed, and demand as much you can), and the importance of people taking responsibility for their lives.   

I haven't lived in the US, so I can not compare the degree of misuse there and here in Norway.  We have some misuse here too by lazy people, but in general I think it works. But one thing that is important to me is that everybody get something back.  My parents didn't have to use one penny on my education, so I can have that in mind when I pay my taxes.  I guess I got a free ride, but now I have to pay for it through taxes smiley
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2006, 09:12:54 AM »

Give a man a fish he only eat's today, teach the man to fish.....  theory is what I go by.  In my opinon when there is a  handout being given, even people that are not in need take from the handout.  In America it does not matter how poor of a family you come from, You can be anything you want to be, You just have to want it. 
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2006, 10:59:31 AM »

Well I am probably the most cold hearted person on this forum. When I see those commercials on TV, asking for donations to help children from the poor starving countries, I have to wonder how much more will be needed when those children do grow up and have kids of their own. Starving people are going to be starving until they are taught not to starve. If that area of the world will not sustain life the people need to move out to a more fertile plain.

There are people in this country (USA) that keep having babies just so they can get the government to support them. I personally know people that search for all the loopholes they can find to get money from the government, even though they are capable of supporting themselves.

I was born poor. Not impoverished, but poor. I could not afford college. My kids probably won't get a higher education. But I don't expect the government to take care of me and my family. I don't ask for you to take care of me. Please don't force me to take care of you.
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2006, 11:18:39 AM »

Jerrymac,
About your view on starving people, I could not possibly disagree more!  In a place with no food because the crop failed, how do you learn not to starve?  Should you learn how to make it rain? I guess you think they should have made food storages to handle those occasions.  The countries involved have so high loans that all they can earn must be sold to pay off, an many have a lousy government (many have dictators) and wars going on.  Living under these conditions must be so hopeless that it can't be possible to imagine. The view that all poor people could help them selves and avoid starving if they wanted to is just as far from reality as you could possibly get as far as I know, and it gives me a really bad feeling.  Saying that they should move on to a more fertile plain just doesn't make sense and is as far from reality as you could get in my view.  If you live in Sudan and all you own is a few chickens and a few acres of land, it is just not possible to move to Tanzania or some other place thousands of miles away to get a better life.
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2006, 01:12:09 PM »

eivindm,

i think the problem with helping 3rd world countries is in how we help them.  to much money goes to the corrupt governments and the people are not helped.  if we really wanted to help these people, we would support NGO's that educate and teach modern farming, clean water, health care, etc.  we should also realize that many of these 3rd world places have had the benefit of many years  of effort, and many dollars, with no change apparent.  perhaps there is a limit to what can be done for them?

all,

we can do universal health care.  that's not really the question.  the question is  should we?  smaller countries have done it reasonably well, but the strain is showing.  the Dutch for instance, are now practicing active euthanasia in part because of the high cost of health care.  The Brits are consider the same with handicapped infants AFTER birth.  In GB, the NHS is the 3rd largest employer in the world...not country....world....yet care is rationed and in many places is being investigated as sub-standard. 

are we willing to sacrifice the high standards of our health care?  are we willing to sacrifice research?  are we willing to pay a huge tax increase to support sub-standard medicine, then pay private insurance to get the care we are used to? 

it is true that not everyone has medical insurance.  rather than throwing out the system we have now, why not investigate  ways to make insurance available for those who are the "working poor"?  perhaps some kind of insurance pool that they could buy into.  they could buy different levels of insurance according to their needs.  a 20 year old male might need catastrophic coverage for the car wreck he might be in, but probably doesn't need to be covered for prescriptions or doctors office visits......

there are ways to cut medical costs. it is insane that every time a medial outcome does not meet the expectations of the patient, the doctor and hospital end up paying out many millions of dollars.  every time someone takes a drug and has a bad side effect, the company ends up in court and pays out billions.  whenever a patient decides that a hospital bill is to much, they walk on it.  walking on a hospital bill should have the same consequences (except the repo part smiley), as walking on any other bill.

Oregon has done The Oregon Health Plan.  it was intended to cover those with no insurance.  like all government programs it is a black hole for our tax dollars.  the management of the program is poor, with many millions of dollars missing.  the oversight of those eligible is lacking, so we do not know if the plan is serving those for which it was intended.  it is rationed care.  there is a list of what will and will not be treated.  This plan is a pretty good look at what we would be facing nationally if universal health care were passed.

my 1 1/2 cents worth  smiley
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2006, 03:15:24 PM »

I can't help but think that birth control and sterilization are needed in the poorest and most starved countries. Isn't is better to reduce a population (as in DaFur) so that when what little help arrives there are greater resources for the masses.

At the sadder end of that, when it comes to the mass murder from militant tribes, isn't it better that less people means less death. I just can't see the quality of life of starving from the day you are born until the day you die - if given the chance to not be born, surely most of us would choose that option?

When the only thing you have is the ability to procreate in abundance, it seems that no help is ever going to prevent the suffering.

This is usually where (as an American) I get sick of the money we waste on war, the same money we would NEVER allocate toward better choices. It just sickens me to think that generations of Americans will be paying off this debt - meanwhile the "elected" leader of Iraq even broke an appointment with George Bush - what message does that send to the few people who believe in the new leadership of Iraq and what does it say about how they feel about the U.S.

In that resent massacre of 200+ people, cries from the street shouted "Where are the Americans, why weren't they here to stop this?!" meanwhile, minutes before they shouted death to Americans and condemn every attempt to put civility into a chaotic world - one which I'm afraid we have helped shape.

The saddest part of all - I see on the new every night our soldiers RETAKING the same buildings over and over again - it is a deadly game of Ring around the Rosie, they hide, we kill a few of them, they kill a few of us and we move on to a spot we've already "secured" a dozen times before. God Bless all these troops, I honestly can't tell anymore if it is the radical forces or our own leadership who is bringing the troops the most harm. And as I write this, I hear that more troops are likely to be deployed - before we start any real withdraw efforts.

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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2006, 04:55:12 PM »

i am 3rd generation american.  i grew up with my immigrant relatives.  they came here so that they had a chance of not starving, but they also had no guarantee.  they starved, but they carried on.  eventually things got better.  for my generation, much better.  fortunately, those who starved on the plains, and froze in the mountains, and were killed trying to make a life, had children.....if they had not, i would not be here to appreciate the effort or the reward.  i suppose that hope for the future is one reason people keep having children.  that, and the natural instinct to continue the human race in spite of hardship.

darfur is a man made disaster.  interesting that no one seems able to move on that.  where is the international outcry?  it is more an international mutter.

i have a different view of iraq than you.  the cost has been small and the potential reward is huge.  already there has been reward.  sometimes it is hard to see through the chaos. doing nothing in the middle east and allowing islamic radicals to achieve their stated goals was not a good option.  30 years of that is proof.  if for no other reasons that geography and opportunity, iraq was a great place to start.  have we done it well?  maybe not.  will it work?  history will tell us....30 years from now.



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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2006, 05:05:08 PM »

The invasion of Iraq had nobel intentions that I endorsed. In reality the civil heads of Government have bungled the war and its after math.  The actions of Bremmer have given the country away to the insurectionist.  Iraq is a nobel idea gone bad with bad management and the inability of certain leaders of government to admit mistakes and change course.

As far as a welfare state is concerned: When you let government dictate the dispursal of income through high taxation your standard of living is lowered universally to a common medium.  The work and rewards of the ambitious is stolen away through taxation and give to those less willing or able to do it themselves.  Walfare is a system of mediocraty.  Its ultimate gain is that inventiveness and ambition are extracated in the name of one for all and all for one. 
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2006, 03:10:39 PM »

Quote
The invasion of Iraq had nobel intentions that I endorsed. In reality the civil heads of Government have bungled the war and its after math.  The actions of Bremmer have given the country away to the insurectionist.  Iraq is a nobel idea gone bad with bad management and the inability of certain leaders of government to admit mistakes and change course

at least in part true.  many changes have been made...some good some bad.  thing is, when have we not made mistakes in war?  Washington was about defeated when a he crossed the Delaware and beat the Germans mercenaries.  Lincoln went through how many generals who had lost major battles, and almost lost the war?  How many times were we driven back by the Japanese and then had to retake what we had lost?  We failed to realize that the Tet Offensive was a last ditch effort by the VC and we pulled back, when a strong front would have finished the enemy.  there is a major struggle going on in the middle east between the forces of radicalism and freedom.  we see it in Lebanon, the new Palestinian state, and even in European countries that are waking up to the dangers of the radicals.  if we fail, they all fail.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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