Democrats & Liberals Archives

Healthcare Plans are Proliferating

It seems that every time I check the news there is a new group with a new healthcare plan. Not long ago Arnold Schwarzenegger was the latest governor to advance a “universal” healthcare plan. Of course, unions have been suggesting healthcare plans for a long time. But today we hear that big corporations, who have been mercilessly fighting labor unions, are forming a coalition to advance a “universal” healthcare plan. Why?

Can it be that Big Business is finally becoming compassionate? I doubt this. Is Big Business coming to realize that workers are more than commodities to be bought for the cheapest price? I'm sure this is not so. Does Big Business think that a healthy workforce will improve the bottom line? This may have been true about some business leaders in the past, but not today. Then why the sudden rush to "universal" healthcare systems?

The latest is a coalition founded by Steve Burd, chairman of the Safeway grocery chain. Do you remember the 5 months grocery strike in Southern California a few years ago? The companies stood tough because they were worried about competing with Wal-Mart. By the way, "compassionate" Wal-Mart is also in favor of "universal" healthcare. Amazing, isn't it? Anyway, here is the announcement in the L.A. Times:

Abandoning the business lobby's traditional resistance to healthcare reform, a new coalition of 36 major companies plans to launch a political campaign today calling for medical insurance to be expanded to everyone along lines Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing for California... The coalition includes some of the nation's largest companies: PepsiCo, General Mills, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., The Kroger Co., a number of Safeway vendors and grocery item manufacturers such as Bumble Bee Seafoods LL It also includes insurers and drug firms that probably would benefit from mandated health insurance: Aetna, Blue Shield of California, Cigna HealthCare, Eli Lilly and Co. and PacifiCare.

The coalition states that it is doing this because of the rising cost of healthcare. No doubt. It states in its statement of coalition principles:

By next year, the average Fortune 500 firm will have a healthcare bill that exceeds its net income.

But there's more to it than this. After all, we have seen many corporations ridding themselves of the healthcare burden entirely. No, the real reason for the proliferation of healthcare systems claiming to be "universal" is that business is worried that a real universal system is coming and it wants to stop the bandwagon or maybe alter it for its own benefit.

Schwarzenegger's system is not universal. It brings insurance to a few more individuals who do not have it today. However, it does not cover everybody and leaves all today's inefficiencies in place. In addition it throws major responsibility onto the lap of business and it adds fees for doctors and hospitals to pay. These fees will increase the cost of doctor and hospital visits, so that we will be paying more for the same inefficient system.

Some people think that proposed state healthcare systems are prelude to a universal healthcare system. No way. Each state system is different. Merely communicating among the various systems would be enough to drive a doctor nuts. To be universal a system must cover everybody - in the entire United States of America.

This is what we should work for. Anything else is a turnoff. Proliferation of healthcare plans is not a healthy sign. We must concentrate our energies towards developing a complete universal system that not only supplies healthcare to everybody but learns from gathered data to continuously improve the system.

Posted by Paul Siegel at May 7, 2007 6:00 PM
Comments
Comment #219745

Paul,

Some type of universal health care is inevitable. The only question is what kind. None of the plans I have seen so far will fill the bill for an efficient, affordable level of coverage.

One thing I do know, I don’t want the federal government to have too much of a hand in the mix. That is a recipe for disaster. Any time the political types get involved, you can count on a couple of things happening: one, it will cost a lot more than they “estimate” it will and two, by the time all the bean counters a regulation writers get through, it will take three lawyers and an English professor to figure out what it says.

I have read some opinions(including some in these postings) that a system like the V.A. would be great. Yep, especially after the Walter Reed debacle and the general mess the system is in right now. It will take a long time and lots of money to straighten it out and in the mean time, what happens to our vets? Right now, at the V.A. hospital in Huntington,WV, it takes 6 months to get a doctor’s appointment. And, according to those who use it, the level of care is just this side of barbaric. I have heard the same story from vets who use the Lexington,KY facility. Why has this happened? Governmental neglect. What would happen if the government starts running the health care system. Think long waits, rationed care, and increasing costs.

Yes, there is a better way, we just haven’t found it yet.

Posted by: John Back at May 7, 2007 6:54 PM
Comment #219747

I absolutely want the government to have a big hand in universal health care. If they take my tax dollars for coverage I want to use my vote to check politicians. My vote doesn’t mean crappola to an insurance company or HMO.

There are 2 major reasons business is climbing on the bandwagon. First is the hope of ending matching contributions to employee health care plans, and pocketing the savings.

The second, is that like the commenter above, John Back, a person business fears, there are an enormous number of Americans like him who want health care to remain in the private sector. The bulk of the plans out there recommend just that but with 1 Huge caveat for business. Those same plans ALSO don’t let business off the hook for matching contributions.

These proposals mostly by moderate Republicans and moderate and conservative Democrats have a sound logic to them. Employees and patients have little voice in checking the HMO’s and insurance companies, they don’t have lawyers, lobbyists, and the like. Businesses however do have the clout to influence and negotiate with other businesses with those resources and more like the Chamber’s of Commerce and trade associations.

This is a very high stakes game for business, and they are either going to side against folks like the commenter above in a publicity and advertising blitz to advocate for government run health insurance, which would let employers off the hook, or they will lobby for the impossible, private run universal health care and no employer contributions. Businesses however, are practical realists, and they very aware of what is possible with a Democratic Congress and what isn’t.

So, when you see Big Pharma and trade unions joining with trade associations to convince the public that government managed universal health is successful in a host of other modern nations, you will now know what their vested interest is.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 7, 2007 7:27 PM
Comment #219759

David

Your vote means very little in this case. You have more leverage with your insurance provider.

Government health service would go into a big bureaucracy driven by special interests.

I experienced socialized health care in Norway. I was hit by a car there. My son was born there. It was okay, but certainly not patient driven. It was a lot like the county hospital system in Wisconsin, where I grew up.

The system did well in preventive medicine, but it worked well because Norwegians are very well behaved, honest and organized. I am fairly confident that some of our less clever fellow Americans could break the system.

The other thing to remember is that national health plans elsewhere are ALL smaller and serve less diverse client bases than the whole U.S. There is no comparable system to what we would have. There is no EU wide health care system. I do not know what they got in Russia, China or India, but I do not think I would want to get sick in any of those places and depend on the same hospitals the locals do.

What we need is new ideas. In our country, we will have to have a diverse, decentralized and - yes - unequal system.

Posted by: Jack at May 7, 2007 9:13 PM
Comment #219781

I would like to see a system that covers catastrophic things. As in if you need to go in for major surgery the most you will be responsible for is no more then 8-20% of your anual salery. You will still be responsible for your health care costs but not to an extent that you will be indebted for the rest of your natural or unnatural life.
Another thing that needs to be covered is preventative care (ie your anual) at a low cost to encourage people to be seen when the cost of treating medical issues is low.
At this time my health care coverage from my company is so piss poor (and this is reasonable coverage) that it would be cheaper to not have it. That is of course if nothing major happens. Something has to happen soon even the middle class will be priced out of being able to have health care. A 2% tax across the board no deductions not exceptions would probable be close to covering the above said “universal coverage” that would put my tax at $1k a year which is $2500 less then I pay now with about the same level of coverage. Hell I could pay approx. 8% of my annual income and still be at what I am paying now. Some things just get to big for private companies to handle and the government has to do it, yes the government is inefficient (Big companies are also inefficient).

Posted by: timesend at May 7, 2007 11:39 PM
Comment #219790

I would like to never pay for anything ever again. I would like to hand every dime I earn over and let the government take care of everything for me, either that or my current options, never mind I’m fine.

Posted by: andy at May 8, 2007 4:53 AM
Comment #219798

Jack, a system in which 47 million people (and growing) have no access to affordable health care is ALSO not patient driven.

Think about it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 8, 2007 8:35 AM
Comment #219802

Jack, my vote is powerful when combined with the vote of other Americans experiencing similar reactions to political behavior. Need I mention Nov’s election of 2006.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 8, 2007 8:50 AM
Comment #219804

timesend, often the simplest approach in government policy is the most effective and efficient. A universal health system that covers basic medical health, preventive care, and emergency care, should be available to every American citizen (NOT illegal immigrants, for obvious reasons).

Those who can afford and choose to, may elect far more comprehensive coverage or self-insurance for all other types of medical care through the private sector.

It is simple, it is constrained, it is universal, and it takes nothing away from those of means who wish to buy the best and most elective of medical services.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 8, 2007 8:55 AM
Comment #219807

John Back,

Yes, let’s look at the Walter Reed debacle. A company called IAP Worldwide Services was given the contract to run those Walter Reed operations. From a recent report form the House…

“The decision to privatize support services at Walter Reed led to a precipitous drop in support personnel at Walter Reed. Prior to the award of the contract, there were over 300 federal employees providing facilities management and related services at Walter Reed. By February 3, 2007, the day before IAP took over facilities management, the number of support personnel had dropped to under 60. Yet instead of hiring additional personnel, IAP apparently replaced the remaining 60 federal employees with only 50 IAP personnel.”


It was PRIVATIZATION that created that mess. Face it, the CEO needs his multi-million dollar bonus, even if it comes with a reduction in service.

That’s what Privatization of health care does… Less service for more money… dumb!

Posted by: Patrick Howse at May 8, 2007 10:34 AM
Comment #219820

Universal healthcare will end up just as social security has.
People will no longer plan for their own healthcare because others are being forced to pay for them and they will throw their money away on more vanity purchases.

The best part is that those of us with a strict budget where every penny counts, will probably be forced to give up our individual choice of healthcare and rely on govt because we can’t afford the “free” healthcare tax AND the plan we now have.
Nothing like being forced into depending on govt for everything.

This would be nothing more than feel-good legislation designed to protect those who “say” they care but don’t want to do anything about it themselves. Heaven forbid you would have to alter your own lifestyle in order to practice what you preach.

What would be so wrong with you letting govt take care of you and you just leave us responsible people alone?

Pro-choice my ass.

Posted by: kctim at May 8, 2007 1:44 PM
Comment #219827

kctim, Soc. Sec. ended up as it is because it was never implemented as it was designed to be implemented. The original SS plan was everyone pays in, but, only those in need received.

What we have today is every pays in until they reach a wealthy cap, (after which they stop paying), and EVERYONE collects.

The Universal Health Care approach should not, and will not be like our current Soc. Sec. plan.

And as I said above, it should be constrained to preventive, and basic health care and primary emergency health care, only. Want more, pay for more in the private sector. This would constrain both the costs of the plan, and still allow the private sector to flourish.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 8, 2007 2:50 PM
Comment #219832

You have more faith in these mass govt programs than I, and you give much more than they deserve, David.

Preventive will be everything from a bottle of aspirin to stop heart attacks to scraps to prevent infection.
Basic care will be nothing more than a rushed diagnosis so as to keep the wait down under 4+ hours and lawsuits for such actions will be great.
And why even mention ER visits as if they are something special. Everything from a cough to an earache is brought in there as an “emergency.”
None of this will change, but I guarantee it will be worse.

Any and all new “freebies” cost money and I cannot afford for my choice to be taken from me. If I have to pay for both, I will not be able to unless I take away from my retirement, college etc… savings.
I have a laid out plan that is working and I would like to be able to be the one who decides how I finish my life.

Posted by: kctim at May 8, 2007 4:10 PM
Comment #219833

kctim,
Have the plan charge a co-pay for emergency room visits at anywhere from $50-$100 just like your private insurance does. Have the plan also make a Urgent care charge the same as a doctors visit in the $10-$30 range. This would promote people to see the doctor when needed but not abuse the emergency room as much as is happening now.
Will the system be perfect NO. Is it better then going bankrupt even though you have insurance as we have in place now.
Hell if you don’t make 6figures a year health coverage now is inadiquate for most americans. If you are not in the botom 15% or top 15% you a hosed.

Posted by: timesend at May 8, 2007 4:38 PM
Comment #219838

I think there are some no-brainer ideas that should be implemented. For instance, people that are uninsured cost the nation an arm and a leg, yet it would cost very little to insure everyone. Why not just insure everyone, even in a plan that is just a dollar or two? It would save us money immediately.

Posted by: Max at May 8, 2007 6:08 PM
Comment #219841


Howdy folks,

This is a topic I can get my teeth into. Something we’d never dreamed of happening, did. Please learn from our experience.

My husband retired from his job of 33 years last Feb.’07 I retired after 35 years, from the State of North Carolina in Dec.’02.

My COBRA lasted until we got married in ‘04, and I moved from NC, at which time I joined my husband’s plan. (BTW - neither of us wanted to retire - it was “suggested” as a way for his plant to save money that he retire ‘early’ we do so)(Ask me about NAFTA sometime.)

My Point?
We discovered after his COBRA runs out IN AUGUST 2007 we join the ranks of the uninsured. Or Uninsurable. That’s right.

After spending over almost 70 work years between us, we can not get insurance. It simply never occurred to us that we could end up without insurance. Its even budgeted for in our retirement plan.

I don’t mean that we can’t merely afford the deductibles, or monthly payments. I mean that we can not get it. AT ALL.

Why?

Because he has diabetes, which in the State of SC, insurance companies (ALL)can choose to refuse to insure. Therefore, All of the insurance companies that practice in this state refuse to insure anyone with diabetes. Please re-read this again.

HE cannot get ANY insurance because he has a mild form of diabetes..

I take Synthroid - a common thyroid medicine many people take. I also wear hearing aides. I can not get ANY insurance because my thyroid condition might, MIGHT erupt into something worse. I.e.baldness, depression, the shakes, eye problems, or possible removal of my thyroid gland, etc. - I’ve been on the medication for over 17 years, and other than my hearing which is most likely genetic, I have never suffered from any of the above. Or anything else. I also take an extremely low dose.

This condition, its possible effects, my hearing, and my age (over 50) allow insurance companies to deny me coverage.

Not for pre-existing conditions, but because because of the possibility I might some type of additional conditions, and not just those related to my thyroid or hearing!. (I’m old you see).

I’ve even attempted to sign documents to allow myself to be exempted for these two conditions, (thyroid, and hearing) but to no avail.

Neither my husband nor I take any other type of medication. Heck - my husband’s diabetes is controlled by his diet, not medication, but its in his charts. We both have great cholesterol, BP, sight,no past conditions like cancer, or whatever, etc. HE takes NO medication AT ALL

BTW - the State Insurance pool that was mentioned to is a joke in SC. $3000 each, monthly, and only extreme surgeries, major terminal illnesses are provided for, and then only the most merger care. Occasionally, if one is lucky one might get a bed for a day or two for a broken hip, or pneumonia. I wish I was joking. Every doctor I’ve met since I’ve moved here - mine, those at church,etc. have told us we’d be better off to not have insurance than to go with the state insurance pool.

Apparently other insurance agencies don’t like to pick-up someone who’s been insured with them, even for a short time. (Example:suppose one spouse were to die, and the other had joined them in the State Pool, the surviving spouse most likely would not be able to get any type of coverage form another agency. ) I’ve met several senior citizens in this boat. My own doctor hates to have anyone on it. Not because of how it pays him (it doesn’t) but because the insurance ties his hands as to what he is able to do for a patient. It also offers no prescription coverage, doctor visits, lab work, or the like.

Any suggestions? Seriously. We’d even move if we thought it would help.

Unfortunately, from where I’m sitting, any type of Universal Health Care would be a help. Even if it is controlled by the lying,ignorant, greedy, money-hungry S#B’s politicians.

Of course we’ll all be long dead and buried before anything actually were to come into effect.

Posted by: Linda H. at May 8, 2007 6:51 PM
Comment #219845

Linda,

As bad as you describe your situation, and not to sound callous, but do you think it’s my responsibility to provide you with free health care? If so, Why?

Posted by: tomd at May 8, 2007 7:34 PM
Comment #219870

tomd, there is no other way to take that, it’s callous.

Why should you have to pay to put out a fire consuming a poor person’s home?

Why should you have to pay to put poor children through school?

Why should you have to pay for a public library?

Why should it be your responsibility to provide others with free health care?

Once again the Conservative Ideology is laid bare and it’s followers need to be reminded because It’s the right thing to do! If that is not enough for you, then how about it’s in the Constitution (that bit about promoting the general welfare). Or, how about since we voted in favor of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights we should live up to it’s sprit (the bit about health and well-being including medical care).

Now for Linda and her husband, the privatized system is failing. She can afford the insurance, but the corporations will not cover them. Linda, my heart goes out to you and your husband. It sounds like you are not yet able to qualify for Medicare. My suggestion, and you may not like it, is move to a State that requires those insurance companies operating in their State to take your business.

Now back to tomd. Perhaps things are going great for you right now. If so, great! However, the future could change for you. You could wind up in a situation like Linda’s. Life is a gamble and we can work for the common good to hedge our bets against bad luck.

Nationalized healthcare is not socialized medicine. It’s socialized insurance. It costs less (no huge CEO bonuses), and everybody is covered. Here is what I propose… Let the people choose. Everybody has to pay the tax, but the citizen gets to choose who administers their program. They can choose their HMO (less benefits, insurance company dictates treatment), or they can choose the “Medicaid for all” program. Guess which service will be more popular :-)

Posted by: Patrick Howse at May 9, 2007 12:14 AM
Comment #219876

“To be universal a system must cover everybody - in the entire United States of America.”

I assume everyone would include illegal alliens. which would mean that as a citizen I would get the same care that an illegal gets. Hmmm just what is the value of US citizenship? Im sure the govt plan would be means tested for cost so I guess I would get to pay a portion of the cost of my care where the illegal wouldn’t have to pay. Im also assuming it would be illegal to ask them when accessing care for proof of being here legally.


As for the overall cost Govt healthcare will cost a minimum of double whatever they tell us it will cost. Most recent example being the Mass state plan.

Yes there are some business leaders looking to move the cost of healthcare from their bottom line to the taxpayers. Don’t think for a minute that they would be supporting such a move unless they felt it was going to shift the cost to us.

Canada’s health system is not doing so well and they do not have an army of illegals flooding over their borders that they are supposed to give free health care to.

Medicare/medicaid fraud is massive. It will look like pennies however when we experience the fraud you would see under a national government run plan. Clinics in border states will be flooding the government will bills for illegals with no way of knowing if the care was given or if that person even exists.

Posted by: carnak at May 9, 2007 2:12 AM
Comment #219884

Insurance business is to make profit by making many people pay to cover them from the cost of an identified risk they “could” face. It’s a “in case of” business.

Healthcare is not a risk.
Everyone but the instant killed ones will need one, one day. When near 100% of the insurance “contractors” are at risk in the future, it’s not a “risk” insurance model anymore.

It’s future costs provisionning, except that you ignore both amount and time. But you know that it’ll cost something.

You can setup a collective cost sharing system, let the unequal market works or mix these two in whatever proportion. But in the end, healthcare is not a risk, but the cost of extended lifetime in the future.

We all know that our health will goes wrong one day. What we ignore is why, when, where and how much it will cost to maintain it in good enough shape as much as much possible.

Remove all healthcare, and there is no cost anymore. People will just die way earlier, way more quicker. But people will still die. Not a risk, just the cost of our future.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 9, 2007 7:18 AM
Comment #219885

carnak,

I assume everyone would include illegal alliens. which would mean that as a citizen I would get the same care that an illegal gets. Hmmm just what is the value of US citizenship?

Your US citizenship give you the unique right to vote for a newer government to change policies of your country. Like illegal immigration.

But you wont fix the illegal immigration issue by just having the most un-universal healthcare system, so they will stop coming in the US, repealed by such horrible system.

Stop kidding yourself, that’s not the only reason behind illegal immegration, and you know it.
Keeping a bad system as-is just because a better one will not help reducing another issue, yeah, that make so much sense!

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 9, 2007 7:28 AM
Comment #219888

“tomd, there is no other way to take that, it’s callous.”

OK…I’m callous

“Why should you have to pay to put out a fire consuming a poor person’s home?

Why should you have to pay to put poor children through school?

Why should you have to pay for a public library?

Why should it be your responsibility to provide others with free health care?

I don’t agree that I should have to pay for many of these things.

“Once again the Conservative Ideology is laid bare and it’s followers need to be reminded because It’s the right thing to do!

According to you it’s the “right thing to do”.

“If that is not enough for you, then how about it’s in the Constitution (that bit about promoting the general welfare).”

I don’t believe the bit about promoting the general welfare mean paying for everyone’s health insurance. Why not pay for auto insurance too?, Surely the poor can’t afford Gieco.

” Or, how about since we voted in favor of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights we should live up to it’s sprit (the bit about health and well-being including medical care).

A UN declaration…Non binding and not legal.

Now back to tomd. Perhaps things are going great for you right now. If so, great! However, the future could change for you. You could wind up in a situation like Linda’s. Life is a gamble and we can work for the common good to hedge our bets against bad luck.

Nope, Things aren’t so great for me. I just don’t usually dwell on it. An example:

I am 59 years old, My wife is diabetic, has a heart desease and has liver and stomach problems. Last year I had an annurism repaired in my gut and 2 stints placed in my legs to free a 90% blockage. My insurance costs me 700 per month for the 2 of us. With prescriotion coverage I still pay up to 150 per week for medications.

No, Things aren’t great, but it’s NOT your responsibility to keep us healthy.


Posted by: tomd at May 9, 2007 8:09 AM
Comment #219892

tomd, sounds like you are affording your needs. Should you not be able to afford your medical needs, then fellow American tax payers are willing to prevent you from dying without it. That is, as long as the majority of Americans remain liberally compassionate on this issue.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 9, 2007 9:03 AM
Comment #219894

tomd,

As bad as you describe your situation, and not to sound callous, but do you think it’s my responsibility to provide you with free health care? If so, Why?

Because nobody could prove their activities didn’t have any responsability in someone health. Exactly as nobody could prove that someone health is *only* due to his own and only own behavior.

We all live in a environment that we don’t control that much (if ever) and that by our behavior we contribute to modify for the better or the worse.
If you happen to be one of these polluting industry or fat food industry CEO or actionnary, your share may be more important than her or mine.
If you happen to be the most environmental neutral guy living in the US, your share may be the less important one.

But there is no point in defining individual responsability that fine.
Until we could find a better solution, except the “nobody is responsible but yourself”, everyone is asked to contribute proportionnally to his wealth.
It’s not paying for *the others*. It’s contributing for *everyone*, youself included maybe in the past/present/future.

And there is a difference between “the others” and “everyone”. I’m sure even an individualist should know that.

BTW, I’m wondering what do you consider an actual collective responsability, if such exist for you.
Care to enlight me/us?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 9, 2007 9:15 AM
Comment #219902

Did anyone else besides me look at the votes on this bill?
It’s the Senate bill that would have allowed us to import drugs at very significant savings from domestic prices — something that the vast majority of Americans have indicated they want.
Personally, I’d like to know why 14 Democrats voted yea for this bloody outrage. And specifically, why did three of the Democratic candidates: Dodd, Biden and Obama not vote at all? Is it because they’re getting campaign money from Big Pharma lobbyists but don’t want to be seen voting for the continuation of the rip off of the American people? Inquiring minds want to know.

FYI, this bill was not about safety, despite it’s bogus claim, because the truth is, a lot of pharmaceutical companies already produce many of their medicines in factories outside of the United States. Additionally, the federal government testified before Congress and told us that there is NO evidence that FDA-approved medicines from countries like Canada are unsafe. (And if they are, why haven’t we heard about numerous deaths in Canada and Europe?)

Linda, your story is a terrible and increasingly common one, and it really stinks. I agree with Patrick Howse’s comment — perhaps you might want to think about moving to a state that requires the insurance companies to cover people in you and your husbands situation.

Btw, I am for universal healthcare for all Americans, and I think we should be looking closely at what the French have with their excellent healthcare system and bring as much of it as is possible and practical over these shores.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 9, 2007 11:17 AM
Comment #219906

Adrienne,

Btw, I am for universal healthcare for all Americans, and I think we should be looking closely at what the French have with their excellent healthcare system and bring as much of it as is possible and practical over these shores.

Then do it fast, because soon our system will be totally reformed.
Our new elected president Sarkozy wants to privatize it as much as possible, following the UK & US model. I dunno know how such plan could have escaped the french voters mind, but they seems to a) ignore it or b) don’t read its platform at all but just drink watch the french #1 mainstream TV (*our* FoxTV), owned by closed friends of him.

Afterall, why keep a quite well working universal healthcare system who rank #1 since years by WHO - in both quality and cost effectiveness, spending below 1% of its GDP, when US spent 16% - while you could just ruin it by replacing it with a less effective one because, well, you want to!?

Good question.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 9, 2007 12:33 PM
Comment #219907

Below 10%, not 1% of its GDP.
Once again I failed to find zero… ;-)

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 9, 2007 12:34 PM
Comment #219914

“Once again the Conservative Ideology is laid bare and it’s followers need to be reminded because It’s the right thing to do!”

And, once again, the liberal ideology shows that it is not about individual choice or individual freedoms. Its about living as others believe you should and having everybody do what they believe is right so they do not have to alter their own lifestyle to support what they “say” they believe in.
You believe it is the right thing to do. That is an individual belief and individual beliefs should not be forced onto others in a free country.
Tell us Patrick, do you live a modest life and use all the money you don’t need to help those you “say” you care about?

“If that is not enough for you, then how about it’s in the Constitution (that bit about promoting the general welfare)”

General welfare. NOT total welfare that is always abused and creates dependancy.

“Now back to tomd. Perhaps things are going great for you right now. If so, great! However, the future could change for you.”

And it may not. It is not up to you, me or govt to babysit Tom and make sure he plans for it.
Taking care of yourself means you are not a burden to the govt. By doing that, you enable govt to do govt duties. Babysitting is NOT one of our govts functions.

“Nationalized healthcare is not socialized medicine. It’s socialized insurance. It costs less (no huge CEO bonuses), and everybody is covered.”

Socialized insurance is not Constitutional and as with all other govt programs, it will be abused and neglected until it becomes the nightmare that is known as socialized medicine.

“Here is what I propose… Let the people choose. Everybody has to pay the tax, but the citizen gets to choose who administers their program.”

If everybody must enroll and pay the tax, they are not choosing anything.

“They can choose their HMO (less benefits, insurance company dictates treatment), or they can choose the “Medicaid for all” program. Guess which service will be more popular :-)”

Well, since nobody is really choosing anything, it really does not matter which one is more popular.
How about we let the people really have a choice? You can either pay the tax and join the nanny govt program or you are free to not pay the tax and take care of yourself.
That way, you wouldn’t have to worry about those of us who don’t want govt running our lives and you could actually help those you “say” you want to help.

Posted by: kctim at May 9, 2007 12:59 PM
Comment #219919

kctim,

Oh boy…

“Tell us Patrick, do you live a modest life and use all the money you don’t need to help those you “say” you care about?”

I do (my income is modest) and I also give to a lot of causes (time and money). However, I do not advocate a vow of poverty. I advocate compassion, and equality of opportunity.

You say “General welfare. NOT total welfare that is always abused and creates dependency.”

I disagree, there is a need. Rich people are not dependent on insurance, middle income people are (and they pay through the nose for it) and poor people do without.

“Babysitting”

Whaaaa….. Who’s talking about babysitting? I’m talking about Insurance (Socialized Insurance). In Linda’s case, she has the money, she planned it. It’s the privatized Insurance Corp’s that will NOT let her buy her Insurance. That is a real disservice to us. And my point is it can happen to anybody, no matter what they plan. It’s called insurance for a reason.

“Socialized insurance is not Constitutional…”

Please point out where it is unconstitutional. When I looked over the Constitution I didn’t notice the section where it says the government is prevented from organizing and administrating a Health insurance plan. You may want to tell somebody about all this unconstitutional stuff because at this very moment we have Medicare, Medicaid, VA, etc.

I also believe a Socialized Insurance program (or any government program) is only abused and neglected by those who don’t believe in government. Some politicians try to abused it (sell it off to their rich friends) or neglect it (they don’t believe the government should be running these kinds of programs) and so they do their best to break it. That’s why it is important to vote for people who believe in government. Even with that said, I prefer having a democratic vote on the matter. I can vote out the politicians. I’m pretty much neutered when it comes to effecting change in my HMO. Those decisions are made by a some cabal of people.

I think denying your fellow citizens health insurance is being complicit in their death.

Posted by: Patrick Howse at May 9, 2007 2:35 PM
Comment #219924

Patrick
“However, I do not advocate a vow of poverty. I advocate compassion, and equality of opportunity.”

You do? Then why do you not have compassion for us wanting govt to let us live our own lives as we see fit? Is it fair that you want govt to force us to join what you believe is right and live as you want us too?

“I disagree, there is a need. Rich people are not dependent on insurance, middle income people are (and they pay through the nose for it) and poor people do without.”

First, I don’t care about the rich. I do not envy their lives and do not care how much money they have or what they use it for. It is not my money and I should not dictate how they spend it.
Second, the rich pay with cash or through insurance, just like others do.

“Whaaaa….. Who’s talking about babysitting?”

You are. A mandatory govt program designed to pay for the people because they refuse to plan, is babysitting. Just like SS, welfare and the other govt programs forced onto us. Each are individual responsibilities, not govts.

“I’m talking about Insurance (Socialized Insurance). In Linda’s case, she has the money, she planned it. It’s the privatized Insurance Corp’s that will NOT let her buy her Insurance.”

Hmmm, she didn’t plan it very well now did she. Or she would have found a state with stricter rules and regulations to accomadate her circumstances.

“That is a real disservice to us. And my point is it can happen to anybody, no matter what they plan. It’s called insurance for a reason.”

No, its a disservice to some people, not all. We should not punish everybody with more taxes just because some find themselves in a tight spot. The real disservice is that those of you who “say” you care are not willing to actually do something and help. You would rather have govt do it for you.

“Please point out where it is unconstitutional. When I looked over the Constitution I didn’t notice the section where it says the government is prevented from organizing and administrating a Health insurance plan.”

I’m going to bet you didn’t see where it says the govt is responsible for providing individual services such as this either.
The Constitution states what the govt may tax for, to loosely interpret it the way you have, diminishes its function of protecting the people from the govt.
Sheesh, we already over taxed as it is with these feel-good, vote buying scams. Why create more.

“You may want to tell somebody about all this unconstitutional stuff because at this very moment we have Medicare, Medicaid, VA, etc.”

Don’t forget SS. Another govt program which creates dependency and weakens our nation. Our govt was founded to run govt, not lives.

“I also believe a Socialized Insurance program (or any government program) is only abused and neglected by those who don’t believe in government.”

BS! Welfare, HUD, SS etc… are all abused by the very people who vote for more of them. I believe in a Constitutional govt, not your democratic govt, and I have never used nor abused any of those worthless programs.

“That’s why it is important to vote for people who believe in government.”

Ah, but the people who believe in Constitutional govt are demeaned and degraded by our joke public schools and media and are now considered kooks.
You believe in our democratic govt of today, not the govt our nation was founded on.

“Even with that said, I prefer having a democratic vote on the matter.”

Just like we did with gay-marriage? Boy, that really worked for personal freedoms didn’t it.

“I can vote out the politicians. I’m pretty much neutered when it comes to effecting change in my HMO. Those decisions are made by a some cabal of people.”

You vote by taking your money elsewhere or paying in cash. It really isn’t that hard if you plan.

“I think denying your fellow citizens health insurance is being complicit in their death”

No, saying you care about your fellow citizens health problems and not doing anything to help them yourself, is being complicit in their death. It is also very hypocritical.

I don’t care about getting votes for a party and I sure as hell don’t worry about what people think.
When it comes to personal freedoms and rights, myself and my family come first. If I have more to give, after they are taken care of, I will help where I can. How or who I help should be of no concern to you. IF you care, you should not expect govt to force your fellow citizens to do it for you. You should do it yourself. Lead by example.

Govts job is to run govt, not lives. When govt runs lives, its people are no longer truly free.
I love being free, why don’t you?

Posted by: kctim at May 9, 2007 4:26 PM
Comment #219927

Great comment, Adrienne. Fact, the countries the bill would have authorized imports from have standards equal and HIGHER than our own.

So, yes, any claim to the contrary was pure B.S.

And yes, only other explanation for those Democrats, is they were conservatives from the South dressed in Democrat clothing, but for the same reason you outlined, their campaigns are funded in part through Big Pharma.

Thank you for pointing out some more Democrats to target in ‘08 in our Vote Out Incumbents campaign. I will research that vote myself, if it checks out, those you mention will be targeted for ousting. It is a disgrace to our people, our nation, and an assault on our children who will have to carry the burden of such profligate indebtedness and unnecessarily out of control inflation in our health care system.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 9, 2007 5:09 PM
Comment #219960

kctim,

“You vote by taking your money elsewhere or paying in cash. It really isn’t that hard if you plan.”

Voting based on cash is a horrible way to vote. I believe in one person one vote. Under you philosophy, those who have more money have more votes. That is not democratic.

“Hmmm, she didn’t plan it very well now did she. Or she would have found a state with stricter rules and regulations to accommodate her circumstances.”

Wow, my take on you is I thought you were libertarian or objectivist. I’m surprised that you were in favor of the people coming together with their democratic voice and passing laws that require a corporation conform to policies that those corp’s do not wish to pursue. That is nice to know. However, the presumption in the entire quote seems to think that everybody knows everything about all laws covering all businesses in every state. My take on Linda’s story was she set aside money, and to her surprise, those companies said… gotcha! Shame on that State for not looking out for it’s citizens.

Finally, a reoccurring theme seems to be that your OK with Americans dying because of a lack of health care. Well, I’m not OK with that. And in fact I’m actively involved in bringing about that change. I bet many people who post here are. We are making calls, devoting our time, money, and energy to elect and get politicians elected who will take on and set up a national health insurance program. The great thing is that it’s inevitable and the majority of Americans are behind it :)

Posted by: Patrick Howse at May 10, 2007 12:20 AM
Comment #219974

kctim,

Socialized insurance is not Constitutional and as with all other govt programs, it will be abused and neglected until it becomes the nightmare that is known as socialized medicine.

So true. I guess that’s why the WHO rank many socialized insurance health care system above 37, where US is. Because it’s anti-constitutional, abused, neglected and a total nightmare.
That’s their only criterias of evaluation, no doubt.

I, and everybody understood that you don’t accept to pay for other than you. But how could you argue that socialized insurance health system are total nightmare when:
- US system cost 16% of its GDP (most expensive one).
- French system cost 9% of its GDP
- US life expectency is lower than french one
- US infant mortality is higher than french one

???

I dunno for you, but I’ll kept my anti-constitutional (well, french constition or US one?), abused, neglected and total nightmare system until it stop to cost me less for more.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 10, 2007 8:35 AM
Comment #219978

kctim, I forgot reacting to this:

And, once again, the liberal ideology shows that it is not about individual choice or individual freedoms.

Health is not *only* an indidual choice. Most often, it’s not even a choice. You seems to believe your can control your health. The reality show that we don’t have that much. We have some, but it’s not a warranty that you’ll never have health issue. Quite the contrary. Life alone is the warrant that your health will go wrong one day. And you can do nothing to escape it.

Health is also not *only* limited to each indidual. Many deceases are contagious. Many can be genetically inherited too. Arguing that the way you care about your health is your *individual* freedom is wrong. Because your (bad) health could impact other people health too. Which is not anymore *your* freedom to do.

Is it your freedom to ignore your HIV and have sex and other body fluids exchange with people!?
Of course it’s not.

Your freedom stop where the other people freedom start. That’s also true for your health.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 10, 2007 8:47 AM
Comment #219983

Patrick
“I’m surprised that you were in favor of the people coming together with their democratic voice and passing laws that require a corporation conform to policies that those corp’s do not wish to pursue”

I don’t see too big of deal with that being done on the state level. You can say shame on that state but the people of that state could change it IF they wanted to.
As with most issues like this, this is something the state, not the federal govt, should take care of. I know the left hates the idea of states running themselves, but that IS how the country was set up to run.
I’m not sure if the founders realized it or not, but they set up a form of govt where (to use a modern example) a state like Cali could not dictate how a state like Missouri lived and vice versa.
We have long passed that point though.

“We are making calls, devoting our time, money, and energy to elect and get politicians elected who will take on and set up a national health insurance program. The great thing is that it’s inevitable and the majority of Americans are behind it :)”

I am glad you are happy about succeeding in what you believe in.
I don’t believe in forcing my beliefs onto others, but I know many people no longer believe in the Constitution and do not share my views. I realize Americans have been conditioned to be dependent on govt and I am not naive enough to believe that course is going to change, which is why I live the life I do.

“a reoccurring theme seems to be that your OK with Americans dying because of a lack of health care”

Whether I’m ok with it or not should be of no concern to you.
I do not want laws forcing you to believe as I do, why do you want laws forcing others to believe as you?

Posted by: kctim at May 10, 2007 9:33 AM
Comment #219986

Philippe
“I, and everybody understood that you don’t accept to pay for other than you. But how could you argue that socialized insurance health system are total nightmare”

Because socialism IS a nightmare Philippe. It takes away the personal freedoms and individual rights that this country was founded on.

“I dunno for you, but I’ll kept my anti-constitutional (well, french constition or US one?)”

I only speak of the Constitution of the United States of America. I really don’t care about the French one or how you all choose to live.

“abused, neglected and total nightmare system until it stop to cost me less for more”

And that is where we differ.
Freedom is more important than money to me.

“You seems to believe your can control your health”

No, I believe people can control their health and plan for treatment better than the govt can. I also believe it is every individuals right and responsibility to care for themselves first and help others if they so choose.

Some believe govt should set rules for how people believe and live, others believe the people should set the rules for how govt operates.
Myself, others and our Constitution believe the latter works best.

Posted by: kctim at May 10, 2007 9:58 AM
Comment #219995

tomd - what insurance company do you use? Seriously, I want to check it out. And do they accept new clients?

No, I don’t want Universal Health because I think it is owed to me.

I merely want to have health insurance coverage made available to myself, and the thousands of other ‘Baby Boomer”- INSURANCE THAT WILL COVER ALL CONDITIONS, not just those that insurance companies decide to insure. Either take all people, regardless of conditions, or no one.

At an affordable rate. Yes, I know that might mean the loss of some profits, but I can’t help but believe that the rates, higher deductibles, etc. just might even out over time.

If there were some good old fashion American competition, I think this can be achieved.

Hell, I don’t even want to live all that long - unless all, I REPEAT ALL of my facilities are still functioning. That’s why I have an Health Care power of attorney. No long hospital stays for me - and NO EXTRA measures to keep me going. And ALL of my family know these are my wishes. The same for my husband.

However, the only way I see to force insurance companies to re-adjust their present practices would have to be something that hits them in the pocketbook - such as the threat of Universal Health Care.

IMHO Universal Health Care needs to cover those living in poverty, children, and those living on fixed incomes, and those in particular who are falling into the financial gap between privatized insurance companies and Medicare and Medicade. Not for people such as myself. I can afford it - if I can find it - at least I think I can.

Patrick Howse - Thank you. And believe me we are looking for another state. Any state at this point.

Adrienne - thank you for your kind statements.
The problem as I see it, is the rising population of ‘Baby Boomer’s’ will force some type of action to take place. I would rather see this done in the American Market, than by our government, but if that is what it takes, France’s system is well worth looking onto.

tomd, where do you live, anyway??

Posted by: Linda H. at May 10, 2007 11:56 AM
Comment #220001

Linda,

First let me apologize to you for misreading your first post. I wrongly interperted your post to be asking others to pay for your situation.

I live in Va. The Hampton Roads area. I am insured with Blue Cross thru my employer who is based in Md.

You named the ultimate solution to your problem which would be good old American competition. I think the blame for so little competition is and has been the State of South Carolina. NOT the lack of universal health care.

Posted by: tomd at May 10, 2007 12:33 PM
Comment #220009

kctim,

Because socialism IS a nightmare Philippe.

In which socialist country do you’ve experienced socialism, already?

It takes away the personal freedoms and individual rights that this country was founded on.

Oh, really? I didn’t know that socialized health insurance are taking away individual rights to
NOT be healed, or your personnal freedom to die.

What it take away is the right to be a total selfish person and, indeed, don’t allow you to NOT contribute to the global health of your nation.

I’m fine with this. I’ve already believe that my social network goes far above just me and my family.

And that is where we differ. Freedom is more important than money to me.

Me too. And? How does it prove that our french health system don’t do more with less that the US one?

No, I believe people can control their health and plan for treatment better than the govt can.

Yeah, sure. If people could actually control their health, nobody will ever die anymore.
What a bullshit.
You *think* you control your life, but most part is out of any control. Your genetic, at first, are out of your control. The car that could hit you from the side tomorrow is out of your control. The meat quality that you eat is out of your control. The air you breath is out of your control. The water you drink is out of your control. The dormant cancer waiting its activation in your body is out of your control.
And your death is out of your control. Except for suicide, that is.

What you could control is your life quality. Having some sport, eating well balanced, etc.
But this control won’t and can’t help at all to all the others health issues you will be exposed before your death.
It’s not even a warrant that you wont be exposed to the issue such healthy behavior in theory should avoid. You can’t control your exposition to contagious deceases if you ignore it. You can’t control your irradiation if you ignore it.

You can’t control everything about your health.
Even medical doctors dies, you know. Should be telling enough.
Your health always ends badly. Period.

I also believe it is every individuals right and responsibility to care for themselves first and help others if they so choose.

I don’t.
For me, people who refuse to care about others people should find a place where they’ll find nothing and nobody to help them live there. Like a wild place. Like a no-man land.
Can’t be any nation on earth, as none doesn’t offer a minimal set of support for your life.

Rights *AND* Duties.

You can’t have it one without the other. You talk a great lot about your “sacred” freedom and individual rights, but what about your “sacred” duties which should balance these? AFAIK, freedom is no free. Individual rights are not either.
What do you consider as your duties toward your country, in return to all what you get from living there?

Some believe govt should set rules for how people believe and live, others believe the people should set the rules for how govt operates. Myself, others and our Constitution believe the latter works best.

You present these two as antagonistic. They’re not necessarily.

I believe my govt should set rules so that people have to lock their seatbelt to avoid their body to become a moving/killing object in a crash.
I also believe that we, the people, must ensure that our govt wont refuse to people who didn’t put their seatbelt *and* survived a crash to be healed by our universal health care system.

Rights & duties. Duties & rights.
Without both, there is none.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 10, 2007 1:43 PM
Comment #220010

BTW, one would notice that, ironically, both most religions and, according to Bush, constitution take away your personal freedom to die at your own will.

Does it means that religions and Bush’s constitution have a socialist view!?
Would be very funny.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 10, 2007 1:54 PM
Comment #220017

PH
“In which socialist country do you’ve experienced socialism, already?”

I have spent almost 10 years of my life living in European countries Philippe.

“Oh, really? I didn’t know that socialized health insurance are taking away individual rights to NOT be healed, or your personnal freedom to die.”

It takes away my rights and freedoms with HOW I wish to be healed.

“What it take away is the right to be a total selfish person and, indeed, don’t allow you to NOT contribute to the global health of your nation.”

Thats part of what made the US the greatest country in the world Philippe. We used to be free to think for ourselves and another persons beliefs could not be forced upon us. IF I wanted to be “selfish” and care about only myself, I could. If you wanted to be lazy and expect others to do it, you could.

“I’m fine with this. I’ve already believe that my social network goes far above just me and my family.”

Great. I’m glad you like YOUR social network.

“Me too. And? How does it prove that our french health system don’t do more with less that the US one?”

It doesn’t, but that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about having the freedom to live your life as you see fit. Having the right to use your money as you see fit. Having the right to care as you see fit. In America, the govt was not designed to do this for us.

“Yeah, sure. If people could actually control their health, nobody will ever die anymore.
What a bullshit.”

Um, if govt could actually control health, nobody would die either.
I think you got lost in your typing or you just don’t understand the concept of personal responsibility.

You mention all these things out of our personal control as if govt can control any of it. You are wrong. Should the fear of a car hitting me from the side tomorrow make me want the govt to post govt agents at every street so they can plan my crossing for me? Or would I be better off doing what I can?

“But this control won’t and can’t help at all to all the others health issues you will be exposed before your death.”

I know, its called life.

“You can’t control everything about your health.
Even medical doctors dies, you know. Should be telling enough.
Your health always ends badly. Period.”

Yes it does and govt controlled healthcare can not stop it either.

—-I also believe it is every individuals right and responsibility to care for themselves first and help others if they so choose.—-

“I don’t.”

Good for you. You should be free to believe what you want and I should be free to believe in what I want. YOUR beliefs should not be forced on me.

“For me, people who refuse to care about others people should find a place where they’ll find nothing and nobody to help them live there. Like a wild place. Like a no-man land.”

Thats the beauty in being free Philippe. You are free to believe what you want and others can’t make you believe as they do.
What you have and what America has become, are nations which people are too lazy to help others themselves, so they want govt to do it for them. And the only way govt can do it for them is by taking away individual rights and freedoms.

“You talk a great lot about your “sacred” freedom and individual rights,”

Yes I do, loving those things are part of being an American.

“but what about your “sacred” duties which should balance these? AFAIK, freedom is no free. Individual rights are not either.”

I know, many great Americans have died to ensure them for us.

“What do you consider as your duties toward your country, in return to all what you get from living there?”

One’s greatest duty is to not be a burden on their country.

“You present these two as antagonistic. They’re not necessarily.”

I agree, as long as its the people who have the upper hand.

“I believe my govt should set rules so that people have to lock their seatbelt to avoid their body to become a moving/killing object in a crash.”

I believe govt should only run govt, not lives. A person should have the freedom to live their life as they see best.

“I also believe that we, the people, must ensure that our govt wont refuse to people who didn’t put their seatbelt *and* survived a crash to be healed by our universal health care system.”

And I believe if you wish to not wear a seat belt, you better have good insurance. Since it is not my right to tell another how to live their life, it is not their right to tell me to pay for their mistakes.

“Rights & duties. Duties & rights.
Without both, there is none.”

In America, it is one’s RIGHT to be able to live their own life as they see fit, as long as it harms no others.
And it is one’s DUTY to be prepared.

But don’t worry my friend, every year more and more Americans become as dependent on govt as you and happily throw away their rights and freedoms.
And soon, we will no longer be special. We will be just another socialist nation whose govt controls us.

Posted by: kctim at May 10, 2007 2:30 PM
Comment #220019

“Does it means that religions and Bush’s constitution have a socialist view!?”

It means those religions and people do not respect a persons right to die if they so choose.

Being against the evils of socialism does not automatically make me a far right conservative Philippe. In fact, I’m pretty consistent in my beliefs and do not alter them based on a “party.”
Good try though.

Posted by: kctim at May 10, 2007 2:50 PM
Comment #220084

kctim,

I have spent almost 10 years of my life living in European countries Philippe.

And that is a proof that socialism is total nightmare? I live in an European country since 38 years, but still can’t see it?! Why??? If I can’t see it as a nightmare, is it a nightmare at all then?

I guess we’ll have to agree that you see socialism as a total nightmare and that I don’t see it. What should really matter for both of us is that we’re both happy about not living in a nightmare system, right?

It takes away my rights and freedoms with HOW I wish to be healed.

How come? How a socialized healthcare system does that? In France you’re free to pay alone for all your healing cost if you want, you’re free to refuse being healed, you’re free to refuse a doctor diagnostic and whatever therapeuty.

It doesn’t take away any of your right regarding how you wish to be healed or not.
What it does, indeed, is forcing you to contribute to the universal healthcare system. The fact that you do or don’t want to benefit from such system is up to you. But as you’re asked to contribute to your nation defense budget, french are asked to contribute to their nation health budget.
What it does take away from you is not your freedom on how you want to be healed, but your freedom to NOT contribute substaining your nation health.
This selfish individual “sacred” right you consider as one of the thing making US the greatest country in the world is, when applied to your current health system, what make the most expensive one and, among developed countries, the most unequal one resulting with a lower life expectency and higher infant mortality than most these countries have.

It’s not “give me freedom or give me death”. It’s give me freedom to die sooner. What a nice achievement…

“I’m fine with this. I’ve always believe that my social network goes far above just me and my family.” Great. I’m glad you like YOUR social network.

I’m not saying I like it or not. I’m saying that I know I can’t escape having one, nor being part of one and, thus, nor having rights *and* duties regarding one. I know that many aspect of my life is out of my control and I’m glad people, as I agree too mutually, agree to share some part of health issue cost I could face.
It also give me more trust in them and, collectively, give everybody more trust in the health system, something we won’t have that much if everybody were behaving like you’ll never need other people help, anytime, ever until your death.

“Yeah, sure. If people could actually control their health, nobody will ever die anymore. What a bullshit.”

Um, if govt could actually control health, nobody would die either.
I think you got lost in your typing or you just don’t understand the concept of personal responsibility. You mention all these things out of our personal control as if govt can control any of it.

First, I’ve never claimed that govt could control people health either. Second, I claim that your “I believe people can control their health” claim is plain wrong. Please, prove me wrong. Prove me that people could control their health. Should be very interesting, as health is neither warranted neither forever, controlling it is flawed at start.
Third, your health is not *just* your personnal responsability. When you’re sick, other people are impacted. Their healths can be, thank to contagious deceases. Their business can be, too. On a larger scale, your nation security can be, eventually (History is full of defeat due more to deceases than lost battles), as his economy and demography can be too.

BTW, again you’re trying to antagonize my argument about limits of health control individual responsability (which I claim to be utopian) with, nice spinning of you, me saying that govt can control people health better (which I never claim and is also utopian). My point is your health is not ONLY a personnal responsability. It’s also a common responsability. A demographic one, on the long term. A pendemic one eventually, on a shorter term. An economic one, very often too.

If you could keep every health issue contained within your unique body with a zero inpact on your live environment, I’ll agree with you.
But you just can’t. Nobody can. We’re all part of a big ecosystem.

Should the fear of a car hitting me from the side tomorrow make me want the govt to post govt agents at every street so they can plan my crossing for me? Or would I be better off doing what I can?

Stop kidding me, I know you’ve understand my point better than that. The fear of a car hitting your from the side tomorrow should make you wanting that you’ll be healed even if you don’t have enough money to cover the cost of something that happened out of your control. In particular *because* it’s out of your control. Do you think people are responsible for every cancer, genetic, virus or whatever car accident they were hurted by!?!

Now, would you be better off doing what you can?
Well. You can’t stop another car hitting you tomorrow. And, except if you plan enough to cover even the highest healing cost (which will make you the new best friend of private health insurance, no doubt), you will never have enough money to pay all your health issue *alone*.
While there is also a limit, a mutualized system have usually way more money to cover such drama cost than you could ever accumulate.

You should be free to believe what you want and I should be free to believe in what I want. YOUR beliefs should not be forced on me.

They wont be if you could insure us that in no way your health status will impact anyone except yourself. Which you can’t.

What you have and what America has become, are nations which people are too lazy to help others themselves, so they want govt to do it for them.

I didn’t know people that goes in coma for months, costing what nobody except the most rich ones could cover, are just too lazy to help themselves.
I didn’t know people who are not rich enough to cover such operation *and* not skilled in neurology *and*, well, asleep while being operated are just too lazy to remove their own brain cancer themselves.
Stop kidding us. You know that today medecine can do many things to save or expand people life. But it comes at a cost that, very often, is in no scale what the average people could cover in several working lives. Fortunatly, only a few people are in such needs for help, and healing is not that coslty when viewed from the collective budget. You also know that in life shit happends, and you have no control on that, whatever you may want to, you just don’t.

From all you’ve said, and taking as granted you don’t ignore the above points, I’ve no other escape than to think you actually agree that people should not be saved if they can’t pay the cost, even if they are not responsible for the “shit” that happened to them. Meanwhile the guy responsible for that shit, if enough rich, could eventually be save, him. That’s too much humanity!

“What do you consider as your duties toward your country, in return to all what you get from living there?”

One’s greatest duty is to not be a burden on their country.

But your body is one, alive or dead. Your body is one agent in the giant human ecosystem that is humankind. Your body can spread many deceases in your back. Even days after your death. Your sick body will impact your country economic productivity and, eventually, your country demography. Ultimately, whatever your opinion, you’ll needs other people to take care of you. Your dead body will, at least.
Everybody is a minimal burden for its country. Usually, the contribution from one people to his country is way above that minimal burden. But there is no burden-free people. Even dead people are. If nothing else left, the genetic heritage, with all its imperfection, can be a burden to your country for centuries after your death if you hapened to have a weak gen.

You seems to think you can control your impact on your environment. I think our control is extremely limited. It’s not a reason to not exercise it as much as possible, indeed. But it wont be enough. Far from it. That’s the beauty of life, in fact: you never know.

I believe govt should only run govt, not lives.

Government purpose being himself only?
Woa. What a narcissic design!
And I though government only exists until people stop to want one… With such narcissic govt, they will. Quickly.

And I believe if you wish to not wear a seat belt, you better have good insurance. Since it is not my right to tell another how to live their life, it is not their right to tell me to pay for their mistakes.

How the women, whose body killed one of my friend when she was, thank to no seatbelt locked, projected out right toward my friend’s neck, how her insurance, the best one ever or not, could *EVER* cover the cost of my friend lost life???

Not everything, damage caused by personal freedom irresponsability included, can be fixed with money.
Between her personal right to an utopian control of her body and the G-force, the later was (way) stronger and win.
Do you know what else is stronger than G-force? Seat-belt!!! Do you know who enforce using seatbelts the better? Social or individual responsability? Sadly, my friend had discovered it should be the former, as two people may have survived. We got two deaths instead. Hurray for personnal (ir)responsability freedom!

In America, it is one’s RIGHT to be able to live their own life as they see fit, as long as it harms no others. And it is one’s DUTY to be prepared.

As long as it harms no others, indeed. Prove me that your health can’t harms no others. Prove me that you always be prepared to do what it take to not harm others. I think it’s also a duty to be prepared to heal people, whatever/whoever they are. I even think it’s in the Hypocrat Sermon…

You seems to worship so much this utopian personal control (so-called individual rights) that you hope to be total on every aspect of your life. If it was reality, I’ll understand that you’re against what will be then some lost of control/freedom. But what you fear is losing a control that you never had. This control wont goes into the mythic govt hands, mind you, because it doesn’t ever exists, period.

Maybe you just fear to lose something that you know inconsciously you don’t ever have. Stop worry then, as nobody would ever want to take away that fake feeling of control over our life.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 11, 2007 1:05 PM
Comment #220099

“What should really matter for both of us is that we’re both happy about not living in a nightmare system, right?”

Exactly.
By no means am I an expert of socialist country’s after my 10 years there. I am just saying I do not want to live like that. Some like it, some don’t.

—It takes away my rights and freedoms with HOW I wish to be healed.—

“What it does, indeed, is forcing you to contribute to the universal healthcare system. The fact that you do or don’t want to benefit from such system is up to you.”

Yes, it FORCES me to contribute. That is not a sign of a free country.
I see no benefits from it at all, but I would be forced to use it. I cannot afford to keep both, so I am stuck with the one that I have been forced to use.
Which is what leftists want. Leftists do not want people like me because we are not easily controlled.

“But as you’re asked to contribute to your nation defense budget, french are asked to contribute to their nation health budget.”

Thats fine, but we are not France and our govts are different, or used to be.
Funding for our nations defense is in the US Constitution, babysitting and living individual lives, is not.

“This selfish individual “sacred” right you consider as one of the thing making US the greatest country in the world is,”

It is why there is no other country as free and successful as us.
It is why other countries are dictatorships, socialists, tyranny’s etc… and we are not.
It is why we are the United States of America and the rest of the world is not.

“when applied to your current health system, what make the most expensive one and, among developed countries, the most unequal one resulting with a lower life expectency and higher infant mortality than most these countries have.”

GREAT POINT here PH! Lets look at it some, ok?
The US does not yet have socialized healthcare, and according to you, we have the most expensive, unequal, lower life expectency and higher infant mortality than most other countries have.
IF that is the case, then why do millions of people wish to leave their country with its socialized healthcare and come to the US? Why leave your a perfect, nanny govt and come to one such as ours?
Personal freedoms and individual rights is why.

“I know that many aspect of my life is out of my control and I’m glad people, as I agree too mutually, agree to share some part of health issue cost I could face.”

Thats just it Philippe, I do not agree that it is right to force another person to mutually share in your health costs.

“First, I’ve never claimed that govt could control people health either. Second, I claim that your “I believe people can control their health” claim is plain wrong.”

The claim is that people are better than the govt at controlling their own lives.

“Please, prove me wrong. Prove me that people could control their health. Should be very interesting, as health is neither warranted neither forever, controlling it is flawed at start.”

Which is why people, not govts, are more effective when it comes to their own health, retirement etc…
Govt should run only govt period.

“Third, your health is not *just* your personnal responsability. When you’re sick, other people are impacted. Their healths can be, thank to contagious deceases. Their business can be, too. On a larger scale, your nation security can be, eventually (History is full of defeat due more to deceases than lost battles), as his economy and demography can be too.”

And yet, we have become the most successful and powerful nation in the world with socialized healthcare. Imagine that.

“BTW, again you’re trying to antagonize…”

Um, yeah. You are reading way into things to see it that way.

“My point is your health is not ONLY a personnal responsability. It’s also a common responsability. A demographic one, on the long term. A pendemic one eventually, on a shorter term. An economic one, very often too.”

And my point is that, in a free country, it is everybodys personal responsibility to take care of themselves and let govt take care of govt.
When govt controls the people, the people are no longer free.

“Stop kidding me, I know you’ve understand my point better than that.”

I do understand and I am not “kidding” around.
Wanting govt to provide for your healthcare because of what MIGHT happen with your health, is no different than asking govt to help you cross the street because of what MIGHT happen when you do.

“…In particular *because* it’s out of your control.”

Its called life and shit happens. And my response is the same as above: It is not govts job to protect people from dangers that MIGHT happen. Govts only job, in this country orginally, was to run govt, not lives.

“Do you think people are responsible for every cancer, genetic, virus or whatever car accident they were hurted by!?!”

Of course not, accidents and bad luck happen. But, individuals ARE responsible for their own treatment of such things.

“you will never have enough money to pay all your health issue *alone*.
While there is also a limit, a mutualized system have usually way more money to cover such drama cost than you could ever accumulate.”

And yet, I am willing to take that chance in order to keep my freedoms and rights. Kind of tells you which is more important to me doesn’t it.

“They wont be if you could insure us that in no way your health status will impact anyone except yourself. Which you can’t.”

I can’t? Why do you say that?
I would gladly sign a letter saying I am too never receive any kind of govt healthcare or SS because I opted out of paying into the socialized fund.
In fact, MILLIONS of people would with SS, why do you think its not voluntary?

“Stop kidding us. You know that today medecine can do many things to save or expand people life.”

And since YOU believe they should be given “free” healthcare to live longer, or because they are dying, I should too?

“You also know that in life shit happends, and you have no control on that, whatever you may want to, you just don’t.”

Thats right and govt is not the answer to protecting you against everything. You are!

“I’ve no other escape than to think you actually agree that people should not be saved if they can’t pay the cost, even if they are not responsible for the “shit” that happened to them.”

Again Philippe, its not about whether I care about others or not. Its about being free to believe and care as I want.
In a democracy, majority rules and everybody is forced to think and support what the majority believes. In a Constitutional Republic, such as we once were, every person was free to believe and live as they wanted.

“Meanwhile the guy responsible for that shit, if enough rich, could eventually be save, him. That’s too much humanity!”

I do not envy or hate the rich and I do not believe in punishing them simply because they have money. You obviously do.

“you’ll needs other people to take care of you. Your dead body will, at least.”

Not if I’m cremated. All that is left is ashes and I really dont care what is done with them.

“But there is no burden-free people. Even dead people are.”

Man, you are really reaching on this. Dead people are not a burden on their govt. You bringing up crazy ass rare diseases to prove your point is not different than saying don’t drink water because one person could die from it.
Let’s stick with reality.

“I believe govt should only run govt, not lives.
Government purpose being himself only?
Woa. What a narcissic design!
And I though government only exists until people stop to want one… With such narcissic govt, they will. Quickly.”

The people will stop wanting one? Really?
Our govt seemed to do pretty well when it only ran govt.

“How the women, whose body killed one of my friend when she was, thank to no seatbelt locked, projected out right toward my friend’s neck, how her insurance, the best one ever or not, could *EVER* cover the cost of my friend lost life???”

Its called a fluke accident. Millions of people aren’t flying out of cars killing people because they don’t wear seatbelts. Accidents happen.

“Do you know what else is stronger than G-force? Seat-belt!!!”

I am willing to wager that more people die each year because they were wearing a seatbelt than by being hit by somebody flying at them because they weren’t wearing one.

“Do you know who enforce using seatbelts the better? Social or individual responsability?”

Individuals. No matter how much you love govt, it cannot be everywhere all the time.

“Sadly, my friend had discovered it should be the former, as two people may have survived. We got two deaths instead. Hurray for personnal (ir)responsability freedom!”

Then its a good thing you live in a country where govt lives your life for you and not one where individual rights and freedoms are important.

“As long as it harms no others, indeed. Prove me that your health can’t harms no others.”

I am healthy and I do not have a contagious disease.

“Prove me that you always be prepared to do what it take to not harm others.”

I have not ever killed anyone outside of combat.

“I think it’s also a duty to be prepared to heal people, whatever/whoever they are. I even think it’s in the Hypocrat Sermon…”

I know english is not your first language and offer this only to further help you with your english. There is nothing negative being said here.
It is the “hypocratic oath,” for doctors or something.

“If it was reality, I’ll understand that you’re against what will be then some lost of control/freedom. But what you fear is losing a control that you never had. This control wont goes into the mythic govt hands, mind you, because it doesn’t ever exists, period.”

You are right, it never existed IF we are talking about freak accidents, weird and rare contagious diseases and the such.
But, personal rights and freedoms do exist. They were found in a land call the US. You are not an American so they are “fake” to you, you do not value them as much as many of us Americans do, but believe me, they are real and they feel good.

They are why people leave socialist nations, with such great things, and come to this terrible place to live.
They are why we are the United States of America and nobody else comes close.

Posted by: kctim at May 11, 2007 4:40 PM
Comment #220309

My Health Care Plan.

1) Balance the budget.
2) Fix Social Security.
3) Fix Medicare.
4) Then, and only then, add the massively expensive new health care plan and PAY FOR IT as it goes.

Please don’t burden this nation with yet another unfunded social program. These programs make the war in Iraq look like childs play. We need more fiscal responsibility….something the democrat congress is not giving us. Thank goodness the Bush tax cuts have kicked in this massive stream of income, the democrats are big spenders.

Posted by: StephenL at May 14, 2007 5:00 PM
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