Democrats & Liberals Archives

Market Principals and Healthcare.

There seems to be a consensus in this country that our healthcare system is broken.

The Republicans, being a deeply spiritual species of humanoid, will enter a deep meditative trance state by chanting the mantras of "Free Market Economics" - "Economic Freedom" - "Competition" - "Private Enterprise," and "Efficient Allocation of Capital." These mantras all produce a euphoric state of delusion which causes Republicans to say that the "free market" will fix our healthcare system. The healthcare system in this country has never worked. The "free market" has had literally hundreds of years to fix it. When exactly is the "free market" going to fix it? I would just like to know so that I can pencil it into my millennium planner. See: Trance See also: Chant

Some Republican will probably say that the problem is Medicare and Medicaid distorting "free market conditions." OK... Medicare and Medicaid have been around since 1965. Why wasn't our healthcare system working before that? Accident insurance started in 1694. Are Republicans going to say that "free market conditions" have never existed at any time since 1694. Or are they going to say that our healthcare system worked fine when only the rich could afford it. Or they going say that the best healthcare system we ever had was when snake oil salesmen traveled around in covered wagons... well... er... actually that is today isn't it? Except that the covered wagon is called a Cadillac Escalade and now they have got all uppity and call themselves drug reps. Accident insurance has existed since 1694 so the free market private insurance industry and private for profit healthcare providers, have had 314 years to solve this problem, yet state of the art healthcare has never been universally available. During medieval times the state of the art in mental health care was the "rack." The "rack" was widely available but not universally available. A little time spent on a rack might snap those Republicans right out of their delusional trance state... Oh, that is right... I forgot... I am a liberal, I don't believe in torture... ...but its a... its a... Republican. See: Health insurance. See also: Rack. See also: Medicare

Maybe I am being a little harsh. Oh... No... the torturing the Republicans part is OK. That is not too harsh. It is the part about saying that capitalism has had 314 years to solve the problem. After all, sickness coverage has only existed since 1890. That is only 118 years for capitalism to learn the most efficient ways to allocate capital to make state of the art healthcare available to everyone at an affordable price. Markets move fast - but not that fast. That is only an eighth of a millennium. What do you expect? We need to give them a little time to work the bugs out of this.

What exactly do the Republicans mean by their mantras?

Efficient allocation of capital:

I am down with that. Let's efficiently allocate capital. Let's have an efficient healthcare system. Let's spend money where it needs to be spent. Let's not throw money away. Power to the peop... er... dollar - man. Private for profit enterprise does not want to waste its money. For profit enterprise wants to sell the maximum amount of goods and services because that is a way to maximize its profits. As a result of competition, in order to sell the most goods and services private enterprise will cut cost and prices. It will build facilities only where they are needed. It will employ professionals only as needed and pay them only what they are actually worth. Efficient but responsive to the needs of the people. That is; the "little white picket fence," theory of capitalism. It is the Norman Rockwell portrait of our capitalist economic family. Ain't it cute. It is all true - as far as it goes - as far as it goes.

My Dad used to always say: "A half truth is worse than a lie." A pure lie is easily proven false, but a half truth can be proven to be partially true. You know how some Norman Rockwell families used to line up in front of their deformed inbred son? Oh, he was there alright! You just didn't see him in the picture. Capitalism is a little like that.

What is the truth behind the capitalist mask as it relates to health care:

"Efficient but responsive to the needs of the people"??? Capitalist for profit corporations exists to make a profit - period. No for profit corporation exist "to serve the public." It is against the law. For profit corporations exist, according to law, to make a profit. There is a clear conflict of interest between that and serving the public. Any public service that happens is coincidental at best. Capitalist private enterprise will only be "Efficient but responsive to the needs of the people" to the extent that being that way is the best way to make the biggest profit. Sometimes it is the best way.

The free market, when it is actually free, works well in endeavors that require creativity, personal choice, little central control, and little central planning. For example, you need fuel efficiency? General Motors builds more dependable, stylish, safe car models that get over thirty miles per gallon than any other manufacturer in the world. A little central control in the form of safety and pollution, a little central planning in Detroit, a lot of creativity, a lot personal choice. Capitalism works great in that endeavor. Well not really great, but better. It would work great if the Republicans believed in free markets. They are non-believers. They just like to chant.

On the other hand, private enterprise can maximize its profits by persuading you to buy what you don't need. That is profitable but not efficient. For example, Republicans need to explain why R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is an efficient allocation of capital. As it relates to healthcare, private enterprise will build redundant unneeded MRIs in rich areas and then market unnecessary scans while neglecting impoverished areas. Where is the efficient allocation of capital in that?

To answer that question, one needs to understand what Republicans mean by efficient allocation. Efficient allocation of capital relates to efficiently allocating it to maximize profit! It has absolutely nothing to do with meeting the actual needs of the public. General Motors builds the most car models that get over 30 miles per gallon, but they advertise Hummers - more profit on a Hummer. Perhaps the auto industry does need just a little more central control in regards to fuel efficiency, either that, or some free market economics. The Republicans don't really want any free market economics though. See: The Republicans may be in a trance state, but they are smart when it comes to makin money... er... Modern portfolio theory

That is why R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is, a highly efficient allocation of capital. Selling people an addictive and noxious weed is a highly profitable allocation of capital. Putting your healthcare in the hands of private enterprise is literally the same as putting your health in the hands of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. R.J. Reynolds needs to diversify. They should invest in cancer hospitals. Vertical monopoly is always an "efficient allocation of capital." Control supply and demand. Give them cancer - then cure them - low risk, high return - highly efficient. Toss in a few funeral parlors... Take their money for giving them cancer, take some more money for killing them at the cancer hospital, then take the rest of their money burying them. That is what Republicans call efficiency. That is what Republicans call a business model. That is literally their model for how to run a healthcare system. Not to worry. Private enterprise and free market economics will solve all of your healthcare woes - just give them 314 more years. That is all that they are asking. See: Vertical Monopoly - The Republicans like to call it Vertical Integration - Monopoly has such a dirty, pejorative, "we are screwing you over" connotation only because most of us have had to pay rent on Park Place.

What is the truth behind the capitalist mask as it relates to health care:
What exactly do the Republicans mean by their mantras?

Competition: "As a result of competition, in order to sell the most goods and services private enterprise will cut cost and prices." Well, there is competition throughout the healthcare industry. There is competition amongst health insurance companies just like there is competition between lions and hyenas but I would trust neither lions nor hyenas, nor would I relish the idea of running to the lions in order to escape the hyenas - I will be eaten either way. I will run to the lions however because they will kill me quicker and cleaner. There is also competition between hospitals, clinics, test labs, and drug companies. So, they will allocate capital, (I call it waste), to advertising, promotion, and lobbying, in order to win that competition. Further they will add unnecessary, redundant, counter-productive, and dangerous products and services in order to win that competition for profit.

Drug companies are highly competitive and should, according to Republican Utopian Capitalist free enterprise theory be highly efficient at meeting the needs of the public. The drug companies spend billions of dollars having drug reps take up your doctors time, buying lunch for the whole clinic, buying ink pens and goodies. Drug companies invent "conditions" to match the accidental side effects of the drugs that they create. For example, they accidentally invent a drug that has the side effect of making you feel lazy like you just don't want to move, so they invent "restless leg syndrome" (for "when you feel like you just need to walk"... Hello!!! You probably just need to walk). Then they spend billions advertising their made up conditions and drugs on TV so that you will go to your doctor and ask for them... Billions of dollars so that you will go to your doctor and ask for dangerous drugs that you don't even need which will prevent you from getting the exercise that you do actually need. Then; whether the drug that they are selling actually works and is needed, or not, they spend billions creating new look alike "me too" drugs that are no better than the drugs that they replace, but which they can monopolize with new patents. One example of this is "the little purple pill" (Nexium) which is just double strength Prilosec - well double strength left handed Prilosec - no better. See: “Me-too” drugs fuel rising costs That is what Republicans call efficiency. It is an efficient way to make money. They got their monopolistic non-free market patent extended though. Driven by competition, drug companies efficiently allocate capital to produce blockbuster drugs with no over arching concern for whether those drugs are actually needed, efficacious, safe, and cost effective - or not. See: Competition - "It can lead to the compromising of ethical standards in order to gain an advantage;"

What is the truth behind the capitalist mask as it relates to health care:
What exactly do the Republicans mean by their mantras?

"Free Market Economics" - just writing those words will put all Republicans that are within electronic resonance into such a deep trance state that they will be unable to respond to this article for at least 2 hours. Warning: Please do not allow Republicans who came within electronic resonance of this article to drive or operate heavy equipment for at least 2 hours. I can hypnotize flies too. Their attention span is longer than Republicans. I am insulting Republicans, but they are already in a trance state and don't even know it.

"Free Market Economics" - it is a faith based belief system and Republicans have more faith in that than they do in God - at least in their twisted version of it. For them it is "a craven image of God." They practice idolatry with it. The Holy book of "Free Market Economics" is: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations Its high and Holy Priest is Adam Smith. According to Republican Mitt Romney, its lord "works in mysterious ways" with an "invisible hand" as long you wear "magic underpants." John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Bernard Mandeville baptized Adam Smith. "Mandeville also believed that educating the poor increased their desires for material things, which defeated the purpose of the school and made it more difficult to provide for them." See: Free Market

Our founding father, Alexander Hamilton, opposed Adam Smith. "Alexander Hamilton was influenced in part by The Wealth of Nations to write his Report on Manufactures, in which he argued against many of Smith's policies." Not surprisingly, Republicans do not believe in our founding fathers. In truth, Smith and Mandeville really were not all that bad - just basic bad. There are some things to be learned from both of them. The problem is that the Republicans distort and turn their philosophy into a rigid faith based dogma - a dogma which has little to do with Adam Smith and everything to do with the agenda of the rich and powerful elitists that control the Republican Party. Smith supported the idea of progressive taxation. Rich and powerful elitists control and manipulate the Republican agenda and they don't like progressive taxation so you never hear that as part of the free market mantra. Smith also thought that you should pay for your wars as you fight them - not George Bush. Smith was opposed to labor unions but also opposed to combinations among "masters." Today, corporations (masters) combine and conglomerate into ever bigger behemoths while trade unionism is suppressed through law, ("right to work"), "free trade agreements" and encouraged illegal immigration. There are some things to be gained from Adam Smiths philosophy but Republicans like any dogmatic faith pervert and distort his philosophy. Free markets and free trade are a good idea. What Republicans call free markets and what Republicans call free trade are really crafty manipulative exploitive ways to monopolize and dominate. Even Adam Smith understood that free markets do not always lead to the best outcome. But Republicans continue to chant the "free market" mantra as the cure for all ills, in spite of the fact that even its founder Adam Smith knew that it was not.
See: Adam Smith's Lost Legacy.

Externalities cause markets to function poorly. What in mother nature's green earth are externalities? When you go to the gas station, you pay $3.38 per gallon. That price should cause you to buy an appropriate sized car which will regulate the price of gas. The problem is that $3.38 does not reflect the true cost of gas. In addition to the $3.38 that you pay at the pump, you also pay income taxes to maintain a massive military in order to maintain imperialistic control over the supply of oil. But the price of that, is not reflected in the cost of gas because it is paid through taxes. You also pay in the form of environmental damage - more asthma / higher health insurance, rebuilding New Orleans, higher home owner insurance, crop failures, the list is endless. So the real cost of gas is at least ten dollars per gallon, but most of that cost is externalized, so you don't see it when you buy your gallon of gas. So - you don't buy the appropriate sized car. Gas is cheap. It is only $3.38 per gallon, so you buy the Hummer. The Hummer is a great vehicle. Being an intelligent person, if you had to actually pay the ten dollars per gallon at the pump you would buy the Saturn Vue hybrid or maybe a Toyota Prius. Forget the Hummer. It is not that bad. What you really would not buy is the Ford Excusion V10. Even drivin that Hummer H2 which really cost $320 dollars to fill up every week. would be smarter than that. The real cost of gasoline includes at least 500,000 dead or maimed Iraqis and over and 35,000 dead or maimed Americans. It is cheap to kill Iraqis. It only costs $3.38. I just pumped 14 dead or maimed Iraqis and one maimed American. How many did you pump? The point is we do not see these externalities at the pump, so the free market does not work and we still drive Hummers, Ford Excursions and Toyota Tundras. If someone is going to die so that you can drive a Hummer, don't you think that you should have to pay $320 to fill it up. Republicans claim to be the party of life - to value life - but they make it cheap to kill Iraqis and Americans. They make it cheap to drive a Hummer. See: Externality See also: "Externality: Non-market exchange in which one or more parties to the exchange are not compensated and may have little choice in the exchange. "

What are some externalities in healthcare? Healthcare is a basic human right. Poor people don't have insurance and have to be treated for free, yet the cost of their care must be absorbed. Health insurance companies make money by denying claims and so are not compensated for providing needed coverage. Doctors and hospitals make money by filing claims and so are not compensated for providing only what is really needed. Malpractice insurance companies are compensated by avoiding law suits and so are not compensated by providing only needed care. Patients and doctors are not compensated for preventive care. Drug reps are compensated for selling pointless drugs and are not compensated for providing the best healthcare at the best price. Television stations are compensated for advertising pointless, dangerous, unnecessary, drugs and "made up" medical syndromes not for informing the public about legitimate health concerns. The list of externalities in health care is endless by virtue of its own internal contradictions. So, the internal contradictions in the healthcare system itself prevents free market principals form working. There are always internal contradictions in all markets so free market economics needs to be taken with a large grain of salt in any case. Alexander Hamilton believed in protectionism and in fighting to develop your own countries infrastructure and economy. We really need a balance between that and free market economics. Free market economics will never solve the healthcare crisis, but chanting the "Free Market Economics" mantra puts Republicans into too deep of an hypnotic trance state for them to ever see that. For that matter free market economics will never completely solve any problem because free markets are never completely free of externalities. See: "moral hazard occurs when the behaviour [sic] of the insured party changes in a way that raises costs for the insurer,"

Let me emphasize: The healthcare system is not a free market. It is not even close to a free market. It has never been a free market. It has never been close to a free market. It will never be a free market. It will never be close to a free market. It cannot ever be a free market because of its own internal contradictions. Even if healthcare could ever be a free market, the free market would not solve all of its problems. In fact a true free market would create a whole new list of problems. A true free market in healthcare, if it could exist, would be better than the current system but not nearly as good as the: Physicians for National Health Care Plan Single-Payer FAQ. See also: On the Internal Contradictions of the Law of One Price

For another example of internal contradiction: See also: "What Marx hadn't counted on, said Castoriadis, was the power of the working class to achieve through struggle a continuous rise in wages. Moreover, in spite of this rise, capitalism had not collapsed, but had prospered. Through the expansion of an internal market and conscious intervention in the economy by the state, the system, though not free of recessions, was maintaining itself with no profound economic crisis; and, moreover, none could be expected simply on the basis of insoluble contradictions of the accumulation process." By this theory, capitalism works and survives precisely because of class struggle. Capitalism survives because and only because the working class organizes into unions and fights for its fair share. Capitalism survives because and only because the poor and working class bands together politically (here - in the form of the Democratic Party) and fights for working class equity and justice. The Republicans tell the poor and working class to lay down and play dead. They tell the working class that they should not have unions. They tell the poor and working class that they should not band together and fight for social equity. The Republicans say that the solution to our economic and healthcare woes is to allow corporatist (that's soft fury fascist) to dominate our political landscape and continually increase "the rate of exploitation." We know whose side of this class struggle that the Republicans are on. Not our side - therefore, none of us should be on their side!!!

As a former Marxist, I can say that; Castoriadis makes the best critique of Marxism that I have ever read. Marx saw the internal contradictions of capitalism, but he did not see the ability of the poor and working class to band together and counter-balance that. The Republicans and corporatists don't see that either. Left to their own devices, they would destroy themselves. We must save them from themselves through class struggle. It is a class war. We are losing. For our own good - and theirs - we must start winning - the basic human right of healthcare is a place to start. Republicans believe in the "right to life" and in this instance, I absolutely agree. "Life is a right - not a privilege." Private and privilege have the same root word. Healthcare is life and death. The corporatist Republicans have turned it into a private commodity to be bought and sold for pleasure and profit.

What exactly do the Republicans mean by their mantras?

"Economic Freedom" Sounds great. I want some. What the heck is it? Arch nemesis Jack has been chanting this for a while. It works him up into a state Utopian euphoria. It makes him happy. His trance state was too deep for him to able to define it for me so I went to Google. The index of economic freedom was created by the highly conservative partisan Heritage Foundation and the WSJ. Oddly, according to their partisan economic freedom rankings; liberal states and countries rank less free than conservative states and countries. Coincidence - I am sure. They wouldn't go to all that trouble, just to create a fancy catchy sounding buzz word, that simply means conservative would they?

There are 10 broad factors of economic freedom. They run the gamut from business freedom to labor freedom. Labor freedom, of course is about freedom from unions. It is the freedom of labor to be freely predatorily exploited by corporations who consolidate and monopolize the means of production and consumption. In terms of healthcare economic freedom involves the freedom of private enterprise to turn life and death into commodities which they can monopolize and sell for profit and pleasure. They call that business freedom.

Also in regards to healthcare, economic freedom also involves the freedom to use the bought and paid for FDA to prevent lower cost and sometimes superior Canadian and European drugs from being available in the U.S. They call that trade freedom. Economic freedom also involves freedom from the government playing a role in protecting and providing the "right to life" through healthcare. They call that freedom from government. I call freedom from government, anarchy - but that is just me.

In the commentary thread of my article titled: Democratic Socialism makes People Happy Jack says that these economic freedoms seem to make people happy. I understand that chanting the words "economic freedom" makes Jack happy. Chanting anything long enough will make anybody happy. It is called meditation. It puts one into a peaceful relaxed trance state. So chanting the words makes people happy, but I am not seeing how economic freedom makes people happy. Well, in conservative states they do chant the words a lot. Maybe that is why they are happy. See: Index of Economic Freedom.

See also: "An "Economic Freedom Index" that tells us little about economic growth or political freedom is a slipshod measure that would seem to have no other purpose other than to sell the neoliberal policies that stand in the way of most people gaining control over their economic lives and obtaining genuine economic freedom in today's global economy."

Posted by Ray Guest at March 14, 2008 4:30 PM
Comments
Comment #247944

Ray,

While I agree with the idea that a single payer system seems to be the best and cheapest(most efficient) way to fix health
care, I don’t agree healthcare as been broken since the 1600’s or even prior to 1965.

A part of the problem also is education of the public. It seems many people think everything is curable or treatable. It’s probably the fault of doctors selling new cures constantly.

The truth is we will get sick, suffer pain and die in this life.

The wealthy will generally have better health.

Single payer systems won’t fix this.

While you nail the Capitalist sycophants, somestimes you sound as though you still are a Marxist. Capitalism isn’t all bad, some people just do it poorly.

The main beneficiary of single payer will be the working poor and middleclass. The “efficient” can fly to Bangalore or Cancun for luxury class service.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 14, 2008 4:55 PM
Comment #247946

googlumpus,

Not a Marxist - just making it clear capitalism will not fix this problem not without some class struggle and state intervention anyway. When and how has healthcare not “been broken since the 1600’s or even prior to 1965.”???

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 14, 2008 5:09 PM
Comment #247950

Prior to 1965, I believe most people, except blacks say, recieved the medical care available. Heart and cancer treatment was not really available prior to then.

Antibiotics and some surgeries were about the only real treatments available. Prior to WWII, even less was available than that. It’s hard for something that barely exists to be broken. Granted leechings provided for Washington were probably the hottest medical tech around, unless that’s what you mean by broken.

There’s still a lot that can’t be fixed that we waste money on. Chemotherapy is one. Most Chemo is a waste of time, only delaying the inevitable.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 14, 2008 6:31 PM
Comment #247952

Get rid of the middlemen.
And stop these other abuses to make health care affordable and safe (instead of killing 195,000 people per year by preventable mistakes).

Posted by: d.a.n at March 14, 2008 6:38 PM
Comment #247956

googlumpus

“There’s still a lot that can’t be fixed that we waste money on. Chemotherapy is one. Most Chemo is a waste of time, only delaying the inevitable.”


what the hell is this supposed to mean? i lost my father in december to cancer, chemo slowed the the growth, and ultimately gave him another year of QUALITY life which he otherwise wouldn’t of had. i don’t usually get hostile about things on this blog, but this is an exception. i bet i’m not the only one who feels this way either. what a callous, and ignorant remark.

Posted by: dbs at March 14, 2008 6:56 PM
Comment #247960

As d.a.n. stated fix the abuses to the system, for exampole one lady from where I live called 911 because she had a splinter in her finger, people filling the emergency rooms with sniffles and sneezes, or minor cuts and bruses.

Posted by: KAP at March 14, 2008 7:40 PM
Comment #247962

Thank you Ray for trying out your new comedy routine on us before taking it on the road. Leno and Letterman will be making bids for your hilarious comedic effort.

Had there never have been insurance companies we would all be better off…am I reading you correctly? All they’ve done is mess things up, kill people and rob them of their money. How about life insurance Ray? Is that capitalism at its worst also? When we achieve equal suffering among the masses will we reach the nirvana you speak of?

Frankly I am surprised our founders didn’t address this issue. They could have mandated free health insurance for all, free housing, free carriages, free horses, etc. Oh hell, they were just a bunch of white capitalists and it has taken this long for the great thinkers of today to embrace socialism.

Posted by: Jim M at March 14, 2008 7:55 PM
Comment #247964

That’s what all medical care does. It delays the inevitable.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 14, 2008 8:08 PM
Comment #247966

Leeches are coming back. I have worked in the health care field for 14 years, long enough to know that much of medical practice consists of going along with whatever is the latest fad or drug company promotion. Codeine based drugs were once popular, but now they have a bad name. Morphine was once anathema, now it is given routinely to terminal patients. People have strong opinions about treatments that they reject for themselves, and will object to paying for those treatments for other people.

Hospitals that were once charitable institutions, set up to provide affordable health care, have become parts of large corporations. They bill Medicare for a large portion of their revenue. If everyone in the country bills the same system, it is going to produce more of the same.

Ray Guest, thanks for the nod to the coffee houses, but almost all business and office practices originated in these same places. The insurance industry actually began with gamblers taking bets on which ships would make it back home.
“Maximizing profits” in the short term is usually not good for the corporations either.
On General Motors, I though this Ford ad from the 1950s might amuse you, about the origin of two car families
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDk_TEM257k
Prilosec was very effective for me for acid reflux.
Thumbs Up for Hamilton, thumbs down to Jefferson, but remember that New York in the colonial period existed primarily on goods and services provided to the British fleet. People selling agricultural produce were dealing with a different trade structure, except for the hemp production.
Former Marxist, huh? No red star on your furry forehead?

Posted by: ohrealy at March 14, 2008 8:16 PM
Comment #247972

Referring to the chemotherapy comment…. I agree it is an ignorant and uninformed statement. My sister was dying from hepatitis C third stage… chemo cured her… no trace in her body at all now four years later…
So I guess it isn’t a waste, it saved her.
I know I cared for her for 6 months while she underwent the therapy.

Posted by: napajohn at March 14, 2008 8:49 PM
Comment #247975

Ditto on the chemo….I had my daughter a year longer due to it. It still remains a choice, and ultimately the decision of the one who is ill.

Posted by: Jane Doe at March 14, 2008 9:19 PM
Comment #247979

My mother always said ignorance is bliss. At least one very happy poster on this blog.

Breast cancer chemotherapy survivor here.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 14, 2008 10:00 PM
Comment #247980

dbs,

I am sorry to hear about your father. But, be careful when you get angry here not to violate the rules. You didn’t. Just be careful.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 14, 2008 10:08 PM
Comment #247981

googlumpus,

You wrote: “It’s hard for something that barely exists to be broken.”

Whatever the state of the art was at any given time in history, was it universally available at an affordable price. I say no. In other words broken. Neanderthals performed successful brain surgery. My great grandfather survived being wounded in the civil war. Healthcare existed. Was it

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 14, 2008 10:15 PM
Comment #247982

googlumpus continued: Healthcare existed. Was it universally available?

KAP,

You wrote:

As d.a.n. stated fix the abuses to the system, for exampole one lady from where I live called 911 because she had a splinter in her finger, people filling the emergency rooms with sniffles and sneezes, or minor cuts and bruses.

This is a perfect example of another externality. Private enterprise will not work.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 14, 2008 10:19 PM
Comment #247983

Jim M.

Thanks for the compliment. I will respond to your comment in a minute.

Loyal Opposition,

You wrote: “That’s what all medical care does. It delays the inevitable.”

Life is dangerous. We are not going to get out of it alive. Delaying the inevitable beats the alternative.

ohrealy,

You wrote: “No red star on your furry forehead?”

Nah, I had to tattoo a picture of Reagan’s #$$ over it.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 14, 2008 10:31 PM
Comment #247984

napajohn and Jane Doe,

Thanks for your comments. napajohn - congratulations. Jane - I am so sorry, but glad that she and you were given the gift of an extra year.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 14, 2008 10:35 PM
Comment #247985

womanmarine,

I am so glad that you made it as well.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 14, 2008 10:36 PM
Comment #247986

Jim M.

Thanks for comment. I think that I said that capitalism works well for some things. But, you wrote:

Frankly I am surprised our founders didn’t address this issue. They could have mandated free health insurance for all, free housing, free carriages, free horses, etc. Oh hell, they were just a bunch of white capitalists and it has taken this long for the great thinkers of today to embrace socialism.
So I am sure if understand your entire point here, but I will try to respond to the parts that I think that I understand. In the past I have argued vigorously for the notion that socialism was a good idea in principal for national health care. Click on my name and go to prior articles and commentary threads and you will find my stuff in that regard. However, I should point that the Physicians for National Health Care Plan Single-Payer FAQ. link which I posted in the article body - which is the plan that I endorse - goes to some length to point out that their plan is not socialized medicine.

You also wrote:

Had there never have been insurance companies we would all be better off…am I reading you correctly?
Probably, we would have found another, and better, solution… Neanderthal did not need insurance companies in order to do brain surgery…

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 14, 2008 10:52 PM
Comment #247987

Jim M.

I meant: “So I am not sure”

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 14, 2008 10:54 PM
Comment #247989

I truly wonder if on some level people lash out at the health care system for reasons that psychologists would call “displacement.” We don’t like the fact that we get sick, get hurt, that our loved ones die, etc., so we get angry at the system which is in place to alleviate these woes. Perhaps as a way to avoid thinking about our own mortality.

Actually, I’m sure this happens on some level, but I wonder how much of this really drives the debates about health care. There are a lot of ads out there, for example, which show something like a sick or injured child—as if children would never be sick or injured or would be miraculously healed if we only had a a single payer health care system.

People here are talking about how they’ve survived cancer as a result of their treatment, for example. When I hear that, it sounds to me like the system, though flawed in some ways, is not exactly broken.

I disagree that there is “consensus” that our health care system is “broken.” It’s actually pretty excellent. The problem is with making an excellent system more accessible and affordable for more people without breaking the bank or killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

We have to accept that no system is going to be perfect. And I don’t think that many people who have actually experienced socialized medicine would be so enthusiastic about bringing it to the US.

If you’ve got something like strep throat, an ear infection or a broken limb, then on balance, you’re probably better off under a single-payer system such as they have in most of Europe. But if you’re talking about cancer or need an organ transplant, then god help you.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 14, 2008 11:39 PM
Comment #247991

Dear All:

Rearding my comments on Chemotherapy. I lost my mother to colon cancer. Chemotherapy may have extended her life. That by no means was for certain. It is the premise on which the doctors selling this therapy operate. She was also miserable during treatment. Her surgeon stated he was not a particular fan of Chemo for terminal cancer. It generally has a low success rate.

My point was we need to retreat from the live at all costs pilosophy. It is unrealistic and destructive to those we leave behind to refuse to let go when it is time. The Terry Schiavo fiasco comes to mine. People that live in this unreality are in part responsible for the health care disaster. I’m the first one to scream about doctors, insurance companies and the like, but I also recognize a disconnection with people in this country and the reality of death. This isn’t Robo-cop. They can’t fix everything.

As to Neanderthals doing brain surgery….Huh? I have no idea where you are going with that, Ray.

My point was, that part of the reason medical costs were reasonable, was the low cost of treatments. They didn’t have MRI’s, endoscopes, etc., etc. They couldn’t do a whole lot for you. With some diseases that’s still the case. They can study you ad infinitum, with the same result, running costs through the roof.

We need to keep that in mind, if we intend to reel in medical costs and distribute service equitably.


Posted by: googlumpus at March 14, 2008 11:59 PM
Comment #247996

Googlumpus, I had an uncle who was diagnosed with melanoma and opted for very aggressive treatment in hopes of extending his life and possibly even achieving a complete cure. He died a couple months in.

With minimal or even no treatment, he’d have lived a lot longer, but I can totally understand his choice. Thanks to chemotherapy, there are a whole lot of people out there living normal lives—many of whom are now cancer free—who were once given grave diagnoses. He knew that and decided to roll the dice.

I’m very sorry about your mom, but I hope (and trust) that she made her own decisions about her potential treatments and had weighed all the options presented her before deciding on her course.

These heart-breaking scenarios are the major reason I object to single payer, state-managed health care. Such hard decisions should not be left to faceless government functionaries who do cost/benefit analysis and decide that the odds of success are too low to spend limited government funds on.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 15, 2008 12:51 AM
Comment #248001

LO,

God help you, indeed. A few years ago, I switched jobs. Unfortunately, I had a heart attack a week into this job. I believe it was relatively a mild one. I had 2 stents implanted. I was in the hospital a week. I was assured my insurance was in effect. A few days after I was released, I was fired and told my inurance was not in effect.

I incurred a $35,000 medical bill. I did not take the drugs prescibed, nor seek follow up treatment. I did not attend a “rehab” treatment program the doctor suggested. I now had an enormous bill and no job.

I took my time finding a job, recognizing the blow I had just sustained. At first, I was honest about what happened. I quickly learned that heart attack is the new “N” word when looking for a job.
I lied, found a job and have been fine, without the aftercare. I have lost weight, and tried to increase my exercise.

I watched my great uncle have several heart attacks from the age of 35, through the 1960’s and 70’s. He was bed bound for months and in lots of pain. Nitro and a diet was all the treatment he got.

My mother’s experience, my sister’s experiences with chronic fatiuge, her children’s asthma, and my own experiences with medicine have caused me to study and think about it a lot.

Business Week recently exposed the fraud of the cholesteral scam. It turns out unless you have heart disease, cholesterol may have nothing to do with your likelyhood of a heart attack. It may be some other inflammatory process that statins affect.

I am certain that many of our current spate of highly advertised drugs and therapies are simply profit motivated. This is new fangled snake oil.

I think it’s broken, and most people agree. As to other countries, they are horrified by our system.
If you haven’t seen Sicko, you should. Even Fox gave it a thumbs up.

If you don’t have insurance forget transplants. If you do, be prepared to wait a long time, here.
If you have money, go to China or India where they’ll “harvest” you one.

As to cancer, some we can cure, mostly, if you catch it early. You get the same treatments or better in Europe and a greater likelhood of catching it early because they practice actual preventative, rather than for profit medicine. After that, you can spend copius amounts of money anywhere in the world, and you’ll still die. Ask Steve McQueen.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 15, 2008 1:07 AM
Comment #248003

LO,

The problem with your heartfelt opinion is that rationing IS occurring now. Today. In America.

I just gave you my own personal example of being “rationed”. You just don’t want to own up to it.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 15, 2008 1:14 AM
Comment #248006

Loyal Opposition,

As all ready repeatedly pointed out it is not socialized medicine - it is socialized financing. Your post would probably carry more weight and we would not bore our readers with pointless repetitious corrections if you read the article, comments, and key links before commenting.

You wrote:

I disagree that there is “consensus” that our health care system is “broken.” It’s actually pretty excellent.
I cannot argue against that if that is what you actually believe. It is after all just a matter of perception. Yours, that our health care system is “pretty escellent” - mine, that is broken. I am pretty confident most Americans will agree with me.

A number of commenters here are appropriately grateful for the gifts of modern medicine that have saved or extended their life or the lives of loved ones. However, technical competence does not mean that the health delivery system works in an effective and efficient manner. Is our level of scientific and technical knowledge good? Pretty good. I think. Yet not nearly as good as it should or could be if our capitalist corporations were not wasting money by allocating it to increase profits (as detailed in the article above) instead of allocating it to serve human needs (develop new efficacious chemo-therapies instead of me too drugs, for example).

What I am talking about here is the way that scientific expertise is delivered to the American people. That is what is really broken. The capitalist system of delivery is what is broken.

You think it is excellent. Rich people sometimes die because they are diagnosed with cancer too soon and receive unnecessary treatments. Poor or uninsured people often die because they are not diagnosed soon enough.

You think it is excellent. Billions of dollars wasted on me too drugs.

You think it is excellent. We ration healthcare by denying it to uninsured people such that they are left in defacto waiting lines that never move and such that they never receive the healthcare that they need.

You think it is excellent. We spend more money per person, and in total, and as percentage GNP than all of the other developed countries and a number of undeveloped countries with national healthcare, yet our life expectancy is way down the list below all of them.

You think it is excellent. Older workers are unemployable and older companies with older work forces are disadvantaged because it cost more to insure an older worker.

You think it is excellent. That those us lucky and unlucky enough to have coverage or money, are pumped full of unnecessary, dangerous and counter-productive drugs, medical procedures, tests, and treatments. Or do you really think that restless leg syndrome is a serious condition. Restless leg syndrome is profitable though. So are boob jobs - highly profitable - they write an R and an L on the nipples - cut them off set them on ice - do the job then sew them back on in a new location with no sensory nerve endings attached - it is profitable for the capitalist though - wasteful - dangerous - pointless for the rest of us. That is elective of course - soooo… Personally I like nipples to be alive to the touch - that is just me. This is symptomatic of the predatory exploitive nature of the for profit healthcare delivery system. You think it is excellent - so OK…

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 15, 2008 1:39 AM
Comment #248007

Loyal Opposition,

You wrote: “But if you’re talking about cancer or need an organ transplant, then god help you.”

All of those poor people that you are asking god to help are livin longer than you.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 15, 2008 1:41 AM
Comment #248010

Nobody’s celebrating things like misdiagnoses, medical errors or being pumped full of unnecessary drugs. These are problems. But how will a single-payer system perfect the practice of medicine?

We are not being offered a choice between an imperfect system and a perfect one. We’re being offered a choice between an imperfect but very good system and trashing that system to try something untested and unproven.

Honestly, some people talk as if nobody would get sick anymore and there would be an end to human suffering if we could only get the government instead of insurance companies to ration health care.

Does a single-payer system prevent health care rationing? No. It increases it 10-fold.

Yes, people from other countries are horrified by our system. And when they’re really sick, they do everything they can to get here and use it.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 15, 2008 1:55 AM
Comment #248011

googlumpus,

Thanks for clarifying your position. I agreed with the people who took you to task for insensitivity but you I figured you had a good point - inadvertently stated in way that turned out to be insensitive. I often do the same. We do spend a lot of money keeping suffering dying terminal people alive. My wife has the right (power of attorney) to pull the plug on me right now. Don’t keep me alive any longer than you would a dog or in many cases even that long. When it is time, or close to time, let me go. I would rather be let go a month early than a week late.

You wrote:”As to Neanderthals doing brain surgery….Huh? I have no idea where you are going with that, Ray.” Just having some fun with it. They did do brain surgery though and their patients survived.

You wrote:”They can study you ad infinitum, with the same result, running costs through the roof.”

Agreed. A lot of tests are unnecessary and a lot treatments are unnecessary, counter-productive, and / or ineffective - but profitable.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 15, 2008 2:00 AM
Comment #248012

googlumpus,

You wrote:

I incurred a $35,000 medical bill. I did not take the drugs prescibed, nor seek follow up treatment. I did not attend a “rehab” treatment program the doctor suggested. I now had an enormous bill and no job.
Loyal Opposition apparently thinks that this sort of thing is “pretty excellent.” Fortunately you got a wakeup call and a chance to take care of yourself - a little follow up care would be nice. We need national healthcare now.

I agreed with your entire comment here. My doctor has tried to push statins on me too. I have resisted. They do reduce inflammation, as you say, and they may be good, especially for someone like you. On the other hand they are dangerous, I think perhaps more dangerous than they realize or let on. The drug reps push them on the doctors so the doctors push them and a lot of other drugs on us. My doctors also tried to push Vioxx (COX 2 inhibitor for arthritis)on me. Now we know it was killing people. Doctor is still pushing closely related Celebrex. Its benefits are said to “out weigh its risk for certain patients”… My arthritis is mild. I should take a potentially deadly drug???

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 15, 2008 2:20 AM
Comment #248014
KAP wrote: As d.a.n. stated fix the abuses to the system, for example one lady from where I live called 911 because she had a splinter in her finger, people filling the emergency rooms with sniffles and sneezes, or minor cuts and bruses.
    Ray Guest wrote: This is a perfect example of another externality. Private enterprise will not work.

Ray Guest, respectfully, I disagree completely with the extremist conclusion that “Private enterprise will not work”, and agree 1,000% with KAP, who made a perfectly valid assertion; one that, at the very least, should be given serious consideration and comtemplation. Especially when MANY examples of private enterprises can be proven to work very successfully.

It is not hard to show MANY private (and non-profit) enterprises that are successful (e.g. Saint Judes is one very good example, and there are many others; many in my own state of Texas alone, that I contribute to yearly). That is despite massive apathy, complacency, misplaced voter loyalties, etc., etc., etc. Americans are a huge untapped resource in many ways, and I think, if provided sufficient education and provided sufficient information, can excel in many areas, including the health care system. But the GREEDY middlemen must be removed.

The problem (as it almost ALWAYS is) is corpocrisy, corporatism, MASSIVE Medicare fraud, many other abuses, and other manifestations of unchecked GREED.

There is NO reason why a private, non-profit medical system can not exist (sucessfully!).
NONE.
And there are many, many examples of it.
Not only with health care, but many other industries.
There are MANY non-profit entrepreneurial endeavors that are successful, where participants have decent compensation, without GREEDY CEOs and board members trying to fleece the stock holders and employees.
Goverment over-sight might be OK, but the government does NOT need to meddle in EVERYTHING! Remember. We ARE the government, and that has some of its own inherent problems too!

What the nation needs to address is increasing lawlessness, increasing crime rates, and GREED that is eroding and undermining the fabric of MANY of our systems.
One very good example is that our hospitals and E.R.s are being overrun by illegal aliens.
Hundreds of hospitals are closing their doors due to that one abuse.
84 hospitals closed in the state of California alone due to Illegal Aliens: (source: www.michnews.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/178/8693)
Illegal immigration is costing middle-income Americans an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion per year.

However, MANY of our politicians have chosen to continue to despicably pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes. Another example of unchecked greed, pandering for votes, and misplaced compassion.

Address the OBVIOUS abuses first, and the health care system will become more affordable (and safer too), not to mention many other improvements that will naturally follow.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 15, 2008 5:22 AM
Comment #248015

Ray Guest, Cudos, though, for a hot and important topic.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 15, 2008 5:28 AM
Comment #248019

d.a.n.,

You wrote:

There is NO reason why a private, non-profit medical system can not exist (sucessfully!).
I agree. I am talking here about private “for profit” enterprise. In fact, under the plan of the Physicians for National Health Care Plan Single-Payer FAQ., the healthcare system would still be private non-profit enterprise combined with single payor with the exception of the untouchable drug companies.

You also wrote:

Goverment over-sight might be OK, but the government does NOT need to meddle in EVERYTHING! Remember. We ARE the government, and that has some of its own inherent problems too!
Yes, that is why this is a plan for socialized financing not socialized medicine. Its has been a while since I have studied all the details here, but for profit healthcare corporations would be gradually transitioned to non-profit corporations. Stock holders would receive fair equity in the process. The AMA would essentially act as a union for doctors and would negotiate per procedure compensation rates with the single payor. The single payor would grossly reduce the size of current payment bureaucracies because it would be simple and straight forward. The per procedure payment rates would be lower than they are now, but doctors and hospitals would save money on overhead (billing) and would actually get paid for every procedure they perform instead of having to treat the poor for free.

You also wrote:

One very good example is that our hospitals and E.R.s are being overrun by illegal aliens.
Idon’t see this as a major factor here. We need to fight crime. We need to control our borders. We need to stop Greedy corporations exploiting Mexicans in Mexico by not allowing them to form unions that could create economic opportunity there. We need to legalize the otherwise law abiding hard working people here so that their standard of living will rise and they can contribute more.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 15, 2008 9:51 AM
Comment #248021

Man, I’ve got to get new glasses or a bigger monitor…my typos are horrendous!!!:)

Posted by: googlumpus at March 15, 2008 10:36 AM
Comment #248022

LO,

No, most people don’t rush here. Rich people go to research facilities for advanced care. Some go to South Africa, Britian, France. Most people can afford only to stay where they are.

You are advocating a system that caters to the wealthy. Longevity and quality of life is better in Europe than here. They have superior healthcare by any reasonable measure. Waving an American flag may make you feel better, but it’s killing many more. Do some research.

As to a single payer system increasing rationing, what it increases is sensible medically based rationing rather than insurance driven, cost reduction/profit enhancement rationing.

I’m not searching for perfection, idealogical reasons, or patriotism. I want something that makes some degree of sense.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 15, 2008 10:53 AM
Comment #248025

d.a.n.,

I just reread your comment more slowly, and agree with even more of it. Study the physician’s plan I think that you will like it.

Illegals that are engaging in criminal enterprise need to be caught, imprisoned, and deported. Hard working poor illegals need to be given healthcare until legalized. The above plan would address that and keep those hospitals open. The hospital that my wife retired from has to serve a lot of inner city poor. That is a problem.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 15, 2008 11:42 AM
Comment #248026

googlumpus,

You wrote:

As to a single payer system increasing rationing, what it increases is sensible medically based rationing rather than insurance driven, cost reduction/profit enhancement rationing.
An excellent way to say it.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 15, 2008 11:45 AM
Comment #248028

“Honestly, some people talk as if nobody would get sick anymore and there would be an end to human suffering if we could only get the government instead of insurance companies to ration health care.

Does a single-payer system prevent health care rationing? No. It increases it 10-fold.

Yes, people from other countries are horrified by our system. And when they’re really sick, they do everything they can to get here and use it.”

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 15, 2008 01:55 AM

LO, well said. The first paragraph you wrote above was inspired. Thanks for stating the obvious in such a concise and articulate way.

Posted by: Jim M at March 15, 2008 12:12 PM
Comment #248036

I was just talking to an old friend who got out of the hospital last week , where they nearly killed him with a new antibiotic, when he went in to get his big toe amputated because of an infection in the bone. He just lived through a scene in Pulp Fiction, and is heading for the orthotics specialist to get a plastic big toe.

Single payer is not going to improve the quality of health care, it will just make it easier for the practitioners to get their bills paid.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 15, 2008 1:07 PM
Comment #248037

Geesh Ray, Take a pill!
It must be Republicans are the only people making the mess we’re in because all the democratics are on wellfare.
The democratics are still as pure as the wind driven snow because only republicans have the monopoly on all the bad things that go wrong in our society.
Is that the gist of your rant, Mr. Guest? I couldn’t finish reading it. I stopped when you admitted you were insulting republicans.
That was the purpose of your post, wasn’t it? Come on! Admit it. You weren’t trying to solve any problems we have, were you? You just wanted to insult republicans, didn’t ya, huh? didn’t ya, didn’t ya?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 15, 2008 1:11 PM
Comment #248049
Ray Guest wrote:d.a.n., I just reread your comment more slowly, and agree with even more of it. Study the physician’s plan I think that you will like it.
Yes, that PNHP plan has some positives, and some negatives.

The PNHP is better in one important way:

    it eliminates one of the unnecessary middlemen: insurance companies.

However, that advantage will be lost if the PNHP becomes another bureucratic and wasteful program in a sea of other wasteful programs in an already severely over-bloated federal government, that continues to grow and grow to nightmare proportions (such as the current massive Medicare fraud; and 32% of illegal aliens that receive Medicaid; $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security surpluses, leaving it pay-as-you-go; etc.).

Another advantage of non-profit hospitals and health care is that they don’t have to pay corporate taxes, and are often also exempt from paying state and local property taxes.

However, many will not support a mandatory payroll tax to fund health care.
Besides, we ALREADY pay taxes for welfare.
Welfare is for the truly needy.
One other major issue is the co$t.
The U.S. is already $48 Trillion in debt (nation-wide).
And 80% of Americans only own 17% of all wealth (a trend that has been steadily worsening since year 1976).
And real median household incomes are falling (since year 1978, when you consider there are more workers per household).
And home equities are at a 16 year low (i.e. 50%).

Therefore, including me, many would prefer the PNHP system to be VOLUNTARY.
Also, this part of PNHP goes against many peoples’ grain and sense of freedom-to-choose (especially people with Libertarian leanings) …

  • PNHP QUESTION: Why shouldn’t we let people buy better health care if they can afford it?

  • PNHP ANSWER: Whenever we allow the wealthy to buy better care or jump the queue, health care for the rest of us suffers.

Yes, to jumping-the-queue, but no to buying better care. I think that is treading on our freedom-to-choose (despite the many things that are already treading on our freedoms; no need to add to the list).

I’ve got a lot of problems with some (not all) wealthy that abuse their wealth, such as those that use it to control and influence government (e.g. 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters that are vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.15% of all 200 million voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more, etc.).

But preventing someone from buying better care? That is too controlling.

Ray Guest wrote:d.a.n., Illegals that are engaging in criminal enterprise need to be caught, imprisoned, and deported.
Yes, we agree on that (i.e. deport criminals). But it may be futile as long as the borders are nearly wide-open. For example, consider:
  • Then, there is Jorge Hernandez, aka Jorge Soto, who killed Min Soon Chang, an 18-year-old college freshman, in a terrible head-on wreck while Hernandez was driving drunk. He had been arrested 3 previous times for drunk driving in 3 other states, and he had been deported seventeen (17) times!
  • Israel Robles-Gaytan (a.k.a. Omar Alaverez-Mecedo), an illegal alien, was arrested yesterday and charged with human smuggling after being stopped on I-70 driving a van carrying 13 other illegal aliens. ICE reported that he had already been caught and deported fourteen (14) times. He will be deported again and that would make 15 total deportations.
  • 14-Sep, 2007, Demetro Acosta-Uribe charged for the brutal murder of Ivan Santos in Phoenix, had already been deported five (5) times.
  • Carlos Ortiz-Lazcano, and Saul Hernandez-Lopez, were arrested and charged with human smuggling and reckless endangerment. The pair already had been arrested and deported six (6) times for smuggling people into the United States
  • Rolando Mota-Campos’s, an illegal alien who had already been deported three (3) times in 10 years, was sentenced today to 14.5 years in federal prison, but he vowed to return again, illegally. Rolando Mota-Campos’s lengthy criminal record included three drunken driving convictions and domestic assault.
  • Deputy Sheriff Saul Gallegos, age 35, of the Chelan County, WA., who was murdered June 26, 2003. Deputy Gallegos was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle in a routine traffic stop. Jose Sanchez-Guillen, 22, who had ALREADY been deported three (3) times.
  • Officials with the Department of Homeland Security told NBC that accused cop-killer, Adrian George Camacho, was living in the country illegally and had already been deported several times during the past 10 years.
  • Jose Raul Pena, who had alrady been deported once for cocaine possession, used his little daughter as a human shield for hours in a Los Angeles shootout with police. Pena and Suzie were both killed. During the incident, Pena used a 9-millimeter Beretta pistol which had been stolen last year in a burglary in Oregon.
  • Esmerelda Nava, age 4, was strangled, molested and killed by an illegal alien who had already been deported in 2003 for drunk driving.
  • In GAO Report 5646R (www.gao.gov/htext/d05646r.html), in a study group of 55,322 illegal aliens, the average number of times arrested was 13 per illegal alien.
Ray Guest wrote: Hard working poor illegals need to be given healthcare until legalized.
It seems the right thing to do is to provide emergency care to any person coming to an E.R.

However, I do not support another amnesty that quadrupled the problem in 1986, and the last amnesty BILL was too complicated (fines, requirements, etc.), and would most likely not be enforced any better than the current laws or border security efforts.

If illegal employers were prosecuted, many illegal aliens would voluntarily self-deport, and we might even pay for transporation to those voluntaring to self-deport.
But border security alone will not stop illegal immigration.
As for a path to citizenship, it seems fair to provide it only to the truly innocent, and that will be a difficult process too.

I understand peoples’ sense of compassion, but they should not forget their fellow American citizens.
It isn’t fair that illegal aliens flood our E.R.s and hospitals while American citizens are unable to get medical care in time because of it.
It isn’t fair that illegal employers are shifting an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion in net losses to middle-income tax payers.

Ray Guest wrote: The above plan would address that and keep those hospitals open. The hospital that my wife retired from has to serve a lot of inner city poor. That is a problem.
Maybe. However, PNHP is a mandated health care system (with a health care payroll tax), which upsets people that believe government should not be doing that, but should concentrate ONLY on national defense, law enforcment, monetary policy (which it is not doing a good job), trade and foreign affairs, and upholding the Constitution (which it is currently violated in several ways: one-simple-idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations.htm).
d.a.n. wrote: One very good example is that our hospitals and E.R.s are being overrun by illegal aliens.
Ray Guest wrote: I don’t see this as a major factor here. We need to fight crime. We need to control our borders… . We need to legalize the otherwise law abiding hard working people here so that their standard of living will rise and they can contribute more.
We will have to agree to disagree on this issue (we have already rehashed this before?).

It isn’t right to mistreat illegal aliens merely looking for work, but …

  • Illegal immigration is costing U.S. tax payers an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion annually in (one-simple-idea.com/BorderSecurity.htm#Burdens) in net losses.
    That does not even include the untold cost of crime, disease, 2.3 million displaced jobs, wage depression, and our politicians despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profit and votes. But repeatedly rewarding incumbent politicians for it with 93%-to-99% re-election rates doesn’t help (one-simple-idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm).

  • Illegal aliens are eligible for federal funds for prenatal care and childbirth, Medicaid, welfare, food stamps, school lunch programs, education. An illegal couple in California with two anchor babies can get as much as $12,000 in public benefits per year. In Arizona, at the Maricopa County Medical Center, an anchor baby is born every 3 hours, making the parent(s) eligible too for benefits. In Maricopa County, 66% of the births are to illegal aliens (2,900 each year). It’s a huge part of the $28 million overall spent treating illegal aliens at just one hospital. When was the last time your wife, sister, daughter or any other family members received FREE prenatal care and delivery? In Laredo, Texas (year 2005) there are 2,000 births per year by illegal aliens.

  • In Los Angeles, Elastar, a hospital that served as a principal care destination for Hispanic immigrants had to close its doors [August 2004], shifting burdens on resources in the city’s remaining emergency rooms. The 80-year-old hospital could not afford to pay its 400 workers. Elastar was the third hospital with an emergency room to close in the county in year 2004. “We cannot stand any more closures in an emergency system capacity in Los Angeles - this system is on the brink of absolute chaos,” — Jim Lott, the executive vice president of the Hospital Assn. of Southern California.
    That is only one of 84+ hospitals that have closed in California.
It is hard to ignore the impact of all of this on American citizens lives, and the potential American lives lost due to resources becoming more scarce and costly.
Another problem that is often over looked is, how employable will the tens of millions of illegal aliens be when they no longer have the advantages the illegal employers are exploiting?
With $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, the U.S. can no longer afford to the world police and the world welfare office (i.e. an estimated 32% of lliegal aliens receive welfare).

But, since all three presidential candidates have bad voting records on illegal immigration, and Congress refuses to do anything about it, the problem is likely to get much worse, and another amnesty will likely quadruple the problem again, as the amnesty of 1986 did.

Health care (and many other things) would probably become more affordable if a number of abuses were addressed first.
Many of the nation’s problems are not NEW things we should do, as much as OLD abuses we should STOP (as soon as possible).

Posted by: d.a.n at March 15, 2008 3:05 PM
Comment #248051
Loyal Opposition,

As all ready repeatedly pointed out it is not socialized medicine - it is socialized financing.

Ray, that doesn’t make any sense. You can’t socialize the financing without socializing the system. The system and who pays for it are inseparable.

It’s incredible to suggest that because there are inefficiencies in how money is allocated in our healthcare system that if the government took over allocating all the money, the inefficiency would magically go away.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 15, 2008 4:23 PM
Comment #248052

It’s not the government, it’s republicans, greedy republicans. Ray Guest is suggesting if democratics took over allocating all the money, the inefficiency would magically go away. It’s all about party in power. Republicans are bad and destroying our country by killing everyone with greed and democratics must be able to save everyone with universal healthcare paid for by those greedy rich republicans who have too much money.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 15, 2008 4:41 PM
Comment #248077

I am in the same boat as googlumpus. I had a mild heart attack 9 years ago. A month later my daughter was born. (you oughta see how nervous the hospital staff gets around you in the delivery room-2 Dr.’s on call one for delivery and one for my revival-lol). Two years later I was divorced, 18 months later, California Extended coverage runs out, now self employeed and not insurable. I have applied every 3 years just incase a actuary takes a chance. I pay cash for all meds, all doctor visits etc. I also talk with the my heart doc- he works with me like doubles the meds so I can cut them in half etc. I have complained to him about a few pains or other things so he orders tests. We discuss the tests and I decide whether to have them or not. For instance, he ordered a stress test for me-@$1000 a pop. I refused but suggested that as he was a runner, I would sport a new pair of running shoes for a jog in the park with a stethescope.

The point is that the live at all costs mentality, coupled with the CYA attitude of the rightly malpractice phobic physicians leads to many unnecessary tests/procedures. Anecdotely, horror stories abound about medical mistakes. Remember, not all docs get the 4.0 and graduate first. They are not god and are truely subject to the same stresses and job related issues as the rest of us. Correctly, things happen; left over spunges, wrong appendage amputation, wrong meds etc. At work we are under the boss’s or in my case the clients microscope. If we make a mistake, we are fired, reprimanded etc. If they are subject to a human mistake, they are almost ruined. You can’t expect perfection in a non-perfect world.

First, solve medical tort cases. some of the rewards are ludicrous. second, remove all state and federal mandates which would allow the free market absorb more uninsured with cafeteria style policy. i.e.- I would love to be covered for skeletol, nervous, endocrine systems etc. I would go on probation for circulatory systems due to my heart attack, but then I could start a HSA to help offset the cost.

Encourage more doc in the boxes as we call them here. small clinics to handle the nuiscance calls-splinters, runny noses, broken toes etc.

Lets shake out the tree of uninsured before we screw up the system that is working for the vast majority of people.

Lastly, I am sure that this will rub some people the wrong way, but my heart attack was preventable. Many things are preventable. Most medical issues are argueably self inflicted. This head long desire to make cadillac health care a right is both wrong and down right greedy for those it is said to help. No other Right confiscates something from me to give to someone else. This will. And I will not have any say as to how it will be given. Why should I subsidize a reckless lifestyle? Why should you be forced to subsidize my life? If taking from society for this is so great, why not ask your neighbors and family first and see how long you will be supported before the goodwill runs out.

Posted by: ScottP at March 15, 2008 8:31 PM
Comment #248078

One of the basic problems with the health care system is that so many of the conditions that cause people to seek medical care are self-inflicted and self-curable if people do sensible things like get exercise, drink enough fluids to flush toxins out of the body, and pay attention to their own basic bodily systems. Many many people go to doctors expecting to get a magic pill that will allow them to continue their bad habits and somehow get better. I can’t tell you how many diabetic clients I have had over the years who will do nada zip nothing for themselves, but expect medical care to help them to get better.

Posted by: ohrelay at March 15, 2008 8:38 PM
Comment #248083

Ohrelay,

Absolutely right.

Posted by: ScottP at March 15, 2008 8:50 PM
Comment #248086

I spent this afternoon with a former client who is now in a nursing home. She is 88 and retired from the USDA, and has the government employees blue cross. She had a healthy active life, and her biggest problems now are side effects from taking Fosamax for Osteoporosis. She had the best insurance available, and all it did was put her into the same drug company promotion of the year kind of situation that ends up hurting people more than it helps them.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 15, 2008 9:32 PM
Comment #248093
Encourage more doc in the boxes as we call them here. small clinics to handle the nuiscance calls-splinters, runny noses, broken toes etc.

Lets shake out the tree of uninsured before we screw up the system that is working for the vast majority of people.
Posted by: ScottP at March 15, 2008 08:31 PM


I SAID THIS! I said this many moons ago!

Ambulances should have control over fixing many of the “splinters, runny noses, broken toes ect.

I said, “Doctors should have an ambulance instead of an office.”

I said that.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 15, 2008 10:49 PM
Comment #248094

Jim M.

Apparently you were quoting LO when you wrote:

Does a single-payer system prevent health care rationing? No. It increases it 10-fold.
Absolutely untrue. The poor and uninsured are invisible. You simply do not see the rationing here, but you do see the aggregate effect. The effect is (and it is both universal and global), that people in countries with national healthcare live longer than people in countries without national healthcare. The only explanation for such a stark and broad based difference is because they have more and better access to care - i.e. less rationing with national healthcare. If it was just an occasional country here or there, you could write it off to other variables, but when the difference is universal and broad based, all other variables cancel out, and the only variable left standing is national healthcare versus predatory for profit vampirish private enterprise health exploitation.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 15, 2008 10:51 PM
Comment #248095

by republicans.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 15, 2008 11:03 PM
Comment #248097

ohrealy,

You wrote:

Single payer is not going to improve the quality of health care, it will just make it easier for the practitioners to get their bills paid.
There are a lot of other fixes that need to get made.

Weary Willie,

You wrote:

It must be Republicans are the only people making the mess we’re in because all the democratics are on wellfare.
We are all on welfare because Republicans shipped all of our jobs to China.

You also wrote:

That was the purpose of your post, wasn’t it? Come on! Admit it. You weren’t trying to solve any problems we have, were you? You just wanted to insult republicans, didn’t ya, huh? didn’t ya, didn’t ya?
didn’t ya, huh? didn’t ya, didn’t ya? I like that chant. It puts me into too deep of a trance to respond to your comment.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 15, 2008 11:06 PM
Comment #248099
we are all on welfare because Repul icans shipped all of our jobs to China
Well, you had better check with the chinese, but it appears that in an NPR interview that they are shipping jobs to viet nam for cheaper labor as well. Not many repubs in china at my last estimation. Posted by: ScottP at March 15, 2008 11:20 PM
Comment #248100

Yes Weary, you are right. Triage is the better, prevention is the best, and emergencies happen.

Posted by: ScottP at March 15, 2008 11:24 PM
Comment #248105

d.a.n.,

Your last comment should have been posted as a stand alone article. Thanks the thoughtful comment. I am not going to respond to the whole thing because of time limitations. There are at least 2 points that I do want to challenge.

Well maybe I am going to wind up responding to the whole thing…

You mention Medicare fraud. Remember the for profit vampires have sank their fangs into medicare… Then you talk about the money borrowed from Social Security - Reagan’s plan all along - and Bush gave that money to the rich as a tax cut deliberately bankrupting the system. Social Security would have wound up borrowing money anyway, but in the meantime we could have been using the surplus to pay down national debt in preparation - but no we give the money to the rich then plead poverty. That was always their plan…

You talk about our national debt. I agree. The fact that we are so far in debt is exactly why we must have the most efficient plan possible.

Then:

You wrote:

Therefore, including me, many would prefer the PNHP system to be VOLUNTARY.
Also, this part of PNHP goes against many peoples’ grain and sense of freedom-to-choose (especially people with Libertarian leanings) …

* PNHP QUESTION: Why shouldn’t we let people buy better health care if they can afford it?

* PNHP ANSWER: Whenever we allow the wealthy to buy better care or jump the queue, health care for the rest of us suffers.


Yes, to jumping-the-queue, but no to buying better care. I think that is treading on our freedom-to-choose (despite the many things that are already treading on our freedoms; no need to add to the list).Remember we are dealing with corporatists. They are like vampires. They will suck you dry. You wear garlic, carry a cross, and drive a wooden stake through their heart - all the way through… If you allow one of these private for profit health insurance beasts to live along side of an efficient single payor system, they will not be able to compete against it, so they will set about to kill it. They will use their lobbying money to undermine and subvert it just like they have Medicare mentioned above. In terms of healthcare, you can never be safe in a world populated with vampires. You must kill them all. You must kill them completely. The only other alternative: The only other way that you might stand a chance:: Public financing of elections combined with stripping for profit corporations of personhood status, combined with stripping for profit corporations of all political rights - including free speech, combined with mandating by law that all for profit corporations are required by law to serve the public good. Pull the vampires fangs and he just another beast of burden. So, doing these things would turn them into beasts of burden and you might not have to kill them - but they are still good eatin. They better pull hard on that plow if they don’t want this old farm boy to eat em.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 15, 2008 11:44 PM
Comment #248106

Let’s talk about getting doctors into ambulances to provide first aid!

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 15, 2008 11:47 PM
Comment #248107

Loyal Opposition,

You wrote:

Ray, that doesn’t make any sense. You can’t socialize the financing without socializing the system. The system and who pays for it are inseparable.
The distintions have been well documented elsewhere.

You also wrote:

It’s incredible to suggest that because there are inefficiencies in how money is allocated in our healthcare system that if the government took over allocating all the money, the inefficiency would magically go away.
It is not magic. The plan is well documented. Apparently you have been rather pathetically reduced to arguing that we should just continue to finance obvious, glaring, gross inefficiencies rather than to attempt to fix the problem. Stand pat with that argument. It is a good one.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 15, 2008 11:51 PM
Comment #248108

Weary Willie,

You wrote:

It’s all about party in power.
Quite so. It is about the party in power. Are you arguing that the party in power should not have to accept responsibility for its exercise of that power. That is what you are arguing… it is isn’t it huh huh… How did you do that chant?

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 15, 2008 11:56 PM
Comment #248109

When I was a kid I kicked my brother in the knee and broke my toe.

I thought I would have a big cast and would have to limp around on crutches for a month but, no…

The doctor taped my broken toe to the next toe and I went to school the next day, a little pissed because I didn’t have a cast and a pair of crutches.

Fricken’ doctors.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 15, 2008 11:58 PM
Comment #248110

“We are so far in debt etc.”

The other day I received this Economic Stimulus Payment Notice, from the IRS:
Dear Taxpayer:
We are pleased to inform you that the United States Congress passed and Presidnet George W. Bush signed into law the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, which provides for economic stimulus payments to be made to over 130 million American households. Under this new law, you may be entitled to a payment of up to $600($1200 if filing a joint return), plus additional amounts for each qualifying child…The IRS will determine eligibility, figure the amount, and send the payment.

I already got my tax refund, but the government, which is broke, wants to give me more money. I guess it’s supposed to be a good bye gift from GWBush.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 16, 2008 12:01 AM
Comment #248111

It’s buying your servitude.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 16, 2008 12:04 AM
Comment #248112

ScottP,

You wrote:

Well, you had better check with the chinese, but it appears that in an NPR interview that they are shipping jobs to viet nam for cheaper labor as well. Not many repubs in china at my last estimation.
Lots of predatory capitalists though…

Weary Willie,

I must have missed a comment of yours in the crossfire, but:

You wrote:

Let’s talk about getting doctors into ambulances to provide first aid!
Sounds like a waste of good medical school to me. Further, CRNAs and paramedics actually have more experience stabilizing patients than most doctors who simply are not involved in that sort of thing most of the time.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 12:05 AM
Comment #248114

There is no law that says you must file an income tax form.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 16, 2008 12:06 AM
Comment #248115

ScottP,

You wrote:

Well, you had better check with the chinese, but it appears that in an NPR interview that they are shipping jobs to viet nam for cheaper labor as well. Not many repubs in china at my last estimation.
Lots of predatory capitalists though…

Weary Willie,

I must have missed a comment of yours in the crossfire, but:

You wrote:

Let’s talk about getting doctors into ambulances to provide first aid!
Sounds like a waste of good medical school to me. Further, CRNAs and paramedics actually have more experience stabilizing patients than most doctors who simply are not involved in that sort of thing most of the time.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 12:09 AM
Comment #248116

Maybe, Ray Guest, a medical schooling is over rated. Expecially when it is specialized and a brain sergion can’t tie a tournicate without some kind of insurance that allows him to do so.

It’s too bad you have to focus on party politics and use people’s lives to make sure you get your party’s way.

It’s a shame you can rail against republicans without any resistance in the media or in any public venue. Another shame on all of us is you get away with it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 16, 2008 12:13 AM
Comment #248117

“Fricken’ doctors.”

Good night all. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate all of them - especially the funny ones.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 12:17 AM
Comment #248120

WE’RE NOT DONE YET, MR. GUEST!!!

(to be continued..)

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 16, 2008 12:31 AM
Comment #248121

Ray, I’m thinking about the law of unintended consequences.

If you were tell me that some people in our country have trouble affording to buy groceries while others are pigging out on filet mignon and overpriced bottles of wine, I could agree. But I wouldn’t agree that the government should take over the financing and regulation of farms, restaurants, and grocery stores and announce that in the future, food will be free.

Why, I wonder, must any solution to such a problem always be one of increased government regulation and interference? And why should we believe that it would work with health care when we wouldn’t even imagine it would work in other less complicated sectors? Well, I guess there are some who will always imagine that we’d better off if the government ran the entire economy and controlled everything—but are we such people?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 16, 2008 12:33 AM
Comment #248125


Jees, Ray your rant or slant or prejudice against corporate vampirism is difficult to get my brain around. Does this mean that my popcorn butter manufacturer is raping me? I am my own corporation, imagine my dilemma? Rape, rob, pilage, or just do my best to serve me and some sort of profit to feed the family? What do your neighbors do? Anyone in a corporation? Are they ripping you off?

Question—My kids are spoiled, but they treat what they sacrifice for better than what we as parents give them. Is it the opposite in your house? How will giving away medical insurance be cheaper than what now is a trade off? I know that my health costs to any payor besides me will rise as I will go to the provider at the shank of hang nail! Its free and you are paying for it afterall.

Not everyone deserves everything. what about corporate car co.s. should we have free cars or subsidized cars so that we can get to work and pay for this free healthcare? my house is expensive, how about free housing for the abled bodied? What about free chicken wed. for the nugget deprived?

Again, does some fixing need to be done. Absolutely. But lets get the government out of the way before we step back in.

As long as we have the government as a coach and umpire, it will be a total disaster. How long can a competitive little game go with the coach on the field the entire game? why not let the boys and girls play and let the umpire call the extreme fouls.

Posted by: ScottP at March 16, 2008 1:01 AM
Comment #248135

I agree with you Ray.Our health care system is broken, and just making everyone insured is not going to fix it. The free market (supply and demand) principal is a good way to determine the price of tea in China. If it’s a good year to grow tea, and you have a bumper crop the price goes down. On the other hand, if you run a really good marketing campaign and more people drink tea the price goes up. These principals will never work to determine the cost of health care. We’ve had way too many years of being charged whatever the market will bear. Because when it comes to matters of health care we’re willing to pay whatever it takes. This will cause the cost to keep going up and up forever.
As a matter of fact, the need for profit is always getting in the way of good health care. Ideally a hospital should be full of empty beds, waiting for patients. But, that’s not profitable. So, when the hospital is empty you’re a lot more likely to be admitted. When the hospital is full, you’re more likely to be sent home. Whether you’re admitted or not should be because of your health and condition, not the hospital’s bottom line. Ideally, when a doctor calls for a test, prescribes a drug, or performs an operation it’s in the patient’s best interest. All too often, profit gets in the way. Some tests are more profitable than others. He’s more likely to prescribe that new drug he leaned about in the seminar in Los Vegas. And—- I don’t even want to talk about unnecessary operations.
In Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko” what surprised me wasn’t the Canadians and Europeans who liked their one payer system. It was the reaction of the Canadian and European doctors. They insisted they couldn’t work in a system where the decisions were made by an accountant instead of a trained medical person. If you haven’t seen “Sicko”, I suggest you don’t miss it. It’s not just hilarious, but quit eye opening. In it he tells us that Cuba spends just $251 per person on health care every year. Where as we spend more than $7,000 per person per year. And yet Cubans have a lower child mortality rate than we do. And they live longer lives.
Our health care wasn’t always so expensive. But since it is based on profit, the cost of it kept going up. As it got pricier and pricier insurance companies popped up. (You give them a little money every month and if you get sick, they pay all the costs.) This worked for a while. But as the price kept going up they’d have to raise premiums and co-pays to try and balance it out. It finally got so expensive that managed care (HMO’s) came in. Now 30% of our health care costs go to administration. And there’s lots of people to decide if you should get what the doctor wants you to have.
Unfortunately, That’s not the worst of it. Not only is our health care system broke, but so is our government. There are more health care lobbyists in Washington than there are Congressmen and Senators. And they’re better paid than the politicians. A lot of our health care bills were wrote by these lobbyists, just like our energy bills. Of course, their main propose was to maximize profit. We will never be able to fix our health care system until we fix our government. We need an amendment to the constitution to make all campaign adds illegal. Then at least honest politicians wouldn’t have to spend day after day begging corporations for money, knowing if they don’t have 20% more money than they had last time, they will be out of work. But if buying campaign adds were illegal they wouldn’t need that money. They would be free to do what was good for America. Either way we’ll never have an efficient health care system till we have a one payer system similar to the Canadians and Europeans. You can’t fix health care simply by giving the insurance companies more money.


Posted by: Mike the Cynic at March 16, 2008 9:04 AM
Comment #248136

You can’t make campaign ads illegal because it’s considered to be free speech, but you could tax campaign contributions, or at least make them not tax deductible. It’s not like they are giving money to a charity or something useful. Advertising could also be taxed. It’s a bigger public nuisance than cigarettes.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 16, 2008 9:39 AM
Comment #248138

Loyal Opposition,

You wrote:

Ray, I’m thinking about the law of unintended consequences.
The law applies to everything. This whole article is about how the law applies to predatory capitalist commoditization of life and death. I have pointed out some of the unintended consequences of that - no of which have you challenged.

There certainly will be unintended consequences of national healthcare - some good - some bad. There are many different types of national healthcare around the world. Some work better than others. all lead to longer life expectancy. That is an intended consequence which is clearly obtainable.

Someone above mentioned the urban myth of someone going to the emergency room for a splinter. It probably did happen. It a big enough system everything happens at least once. in the first place we do not know how big or where the splinter was (eye), or what sorts of mental health problem the person might actually have needed treatment for. In any case, I am in favor of modest, very modest co-pays for treatment to help regulate that unintended consequence.

However saying that there may be some unintended negative consequences to national healthcare does not change the fact of obvious massive glaring unintended consequences in the capitalist healthneglect system.

You also wrote:

Well, I guess there are some who will always imagine that we’d better off if the government ran the entire economy and controlled everything—but are we such people?
No one is suggesting that here. So why are you throwing that red herring in our readship’s face. What I am suggesting, is that we can do better than this conflict ridden system and there are many countries with national healthcare where people live longer which proves that we can indeed do better.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 12:35 PM
Comment #248140

ScottP,

You wrote:

Jees, Ray your rant or slant or prejudice against corporate vampirism is difficult to get my brain around. Does this mean that my popcorn butter manufacturer is raping me?
Well, I just don’t know. It depends on how bad the externalities are in the popcorn butter market - doesn’t it. I must confess that I have not analyzed that market and cannot comment upon it. It is not the subject of this article and accordingly I can tell you that your popcorn butter smells a lot like a red herring…

You also wrote:

What do your neighbors do? Anyone in a corporation?
I work for GM, so I am selling you that great Hummer that is raping the environment… …and your red herring point is?

You also wrote:

I will go to the provider at the shank of hang nail! Its free and you are paying for it afterall.
I have already addressed this unintended consequence of national healthcare. First, this already exists as an externality in the capitalist system - insurance pays. Second, I suggest modest co-pays to introduce a “free market” principal. Third most people are too busy too waste their valuable time going to the doctor for a hang nail. So this is a red herring. Excessive use and waste of unnecessary medical goods and services is driven by predatory capitalist marketing as detailed in the main article.

You also wrote:

Not everyone deserves everything. what about corporate car co.s. should we have free cars or subsidized cars so that we can get to work and pay for this free healthcare? my house is expensive, how about free housing for the abled bodied? What about free chicken wed. for the nugget deprived?
You have an endless supply of red herring don’t you. According to “market principals” Red Herring must be free.

You also wrote:

Again, does some fixing need to be done. Absolutely. But lets get the government out of the way before we step back in.
Already answered in the main article - which you have have not challenged.

You also wrote:

As long as we have the government as a coach and umpire, it will be a total disaster. How long can a competitive little game go with the coach on the field the entire game? why not let the boys and girls play and let the umpire call the extreme fouls.
I have an idea: Let’s not let our sons and daughters play a “competitive” life and death “game.” Let’s take the competition out of it. Let’s make it about working together to fight for life. Teamwork. One team on the field working together fighting for life. The doctors are the coaches. There is no need for an umpire. The government is only facilitator. It provides the field.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 1:09 PM
Comment #248141

ScottP,

You wrote:

Jees, Ray your rant or slant or prejudice against corporate vampirism is difficult to get my brain around. Does this mean that my popcorn butter manufacturer is raping me?
Well, I just don’t know. It depends on how bad the externalities are in the popcorn butter market - doesn’t it. I must confess that I have not analyzed that market and cannot comment upon it. It is not the subject of this article and accordingly I can tell you that your popcorn butter smells a lot like a red herring…

You also wrote:

What do your neighbors do? Anyone in a corporation?
I work for GM, so I am selling you that great Hummer that is raping the environment… …and your red herring point is?

You also wrote:

I will go to the provider at the shank of hang nail! Its free and you are paying for it afterall.
I have already addressed this unintended consequence of national healthcare. First, this already exists as an externality in the capitalist system - insurance pays. Second, I suggest modest co-pays to introduce a “free market” principal. Third most people are too busy too waste their valuable time going to the doctor for a hang nail. So this is a red herring. Excessive use and waste of unnecessary medical goods and services is driven by predatory capitalist marketing as detailed in the main article.

You also wrote:

Not everyone deserves everything. what about corporate car co.s. should we have free cars or subsidized cars so that we can get to work and pay for this free healthcare? my house is expensive, how about free housing for the abled bodied? What about free chicken wed. for the nugget deprived?
You have an endless supply of red herring don’t you. According to “market principals” Red Herring must be free.

You also wrote:

Again, does some fixing need to be done. Absolutely. But lets get the government out of the way before we step back in.
Already answered in the main article - which you have have not challenged.

You also wrote:

As long as we have the government as a coach and umpire, it will be a total disaster. How long can a competitive little game go with the coach on the field the entire game? why not let the boys and girls play and let the umpire call the extreme fouls.
I have an idea: Let’s not let our sons and daughters play a “competitive” life and death “game.” Let’s take the competition out of it. Let’s make it about working together to fight for life. Teamwork. One team on the field working together fighting for life. The doctors are the coaches. There is no need for an umpire. The government is only facilitator. It provides the field.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 1:11 PM
Comment #248144

Mike the Cynic,

Excellent comment. I wish that you would have co-wrote my article.

I am an Obama supporter but I oppose his healthcare plan because it sells out to for profit corporations. On the other hand they have too much political power and he will not get elected otherwise. He is by far the least sold out of our available choices.

I agree that we probably will not fix healthcare until we fix our government. I believe that will not happen until we have publicly funded elections, and corporations are stripped of personhood status (free speech rights), and are stripped of political power.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 1:26 PM
Comment #248145

ohrealy,

You wrote:

You can’t make campaign ads illegal because it’s considered to be free speech, but you could tax campaign contributions, or at least make them not tax deductible. It’s not like they are giving money to a charity or something useful. Advertising could also be taxed. It’s a bigger public nuisance than cigarettes.
Corporations have not always had and do not have to have personhood status and free speech rights. We need to back our Constitution and make it for “We the people” again.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 1:30 PM
Comment #248148
I work for GM, so I am selling you that great Hummer that is raping the environment

GM, eh? And how is your health plan?

Next question:

How would you feel about having it taken away and having your taxes raised so YOU can start paying more of your fair share for the healthcare of unemployed freeloaders and illegal immigrants?

Perhaps some day you can stand in line behind a couple dozen crack addicts and illegals for your “free” five and a half-minutes with a tired, overworked, government subsidized physician. But I say no thanks.

Why should you enjoy such a good health care plan when others don’t? You might be thinking about the “rich capitalists” who have it better than you do. But when the world becomes “fair,” what makes you think you’re going to being sharing with the rich instead of the grubby unwashed masses?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 16, 2008 2:16 PM
Comment #248150
Ray Guest wrote: You mention Medicare fraud. Remember the for profit vampires have sank their fangs into medicare…
Yes, but the corruption within our plutocratic government is a part (if not most) of the problem, since it is the duty of government to enforce laws, and prosecute violators. Instead, Bill Frist’s HCA paid a massive $631 Million fine, and the investigation was dropped.

Lawlessness and corruption are getting worse because the voters have failed to do their part too for too long, because the incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly have capitalized on a VERY clever mechanism designed to trick voters and capitalize on the voters own apathy, laziness, complacency, and misplaced loyalties:

  • (a) Even though many voters often don’t like THEIR incumbent, they will NEVER vote for a challenger from the OTHER party. Thus, they don’t vote, or blindly pull the party-lever, and repeatedly re-elect the incumbent politicians anyway.

  • (b) Therefore, the incumbent career politicians continue to enjoy their 93%-to-99% re-election rates (indefinitely, without term limits).

  • (c) The incumbent politicians can therefore do almost anything they want and be repeatedly rewarded for it. Even when some are under investigation for felonies (e.g. William Jefferson); for which some might get a presidential pardon anyway (e.g. Dan Rostenkowski), putting the politicians above the law).

  • (d) Therefore, the voters’ loyalty is continually abused (despite the dismally low approval ratings for Congress, yet very high re-election rates for Congress). Therefore, the voters’ loyalty to THEIR party is actually misplaced. And repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians for so many abuses merely ensures that the abuses will continue to make the majority of voters lives more uncomfortable.

  • (e) Some politicians love to fuel the partisan-warfare to distract the voters, and it is powerfully effective. Some voters are all too happy to wallow in it, because it is easier to blame the OTHER party, rather than admit neither is much better than the other.

  • (f) It’s about control; some people (not all) wanting to control other people (to varying degrees), rooted in greed, laziness, and exacerbated by apathy, ignorance, complacency, irrational fear, hate mongering and partisan warfare, delusion, and blind partisan loyalties.
Therefore, while there is no doubt that corporations also engage in many manifestions of unchecked greed, don’t forget that government not only allows, but colludes in numerous manifestations of unchecked greed.

Ray Guest wrote: Then you talk about the money borrowed from Social Security - Reagan’s plan all along - and Bush gave that money to the rich as a tax cut deliberately bankrupting the system. Social Security would have wound up borrowing money anyway, but in the meantime we could have been using the surplus to pay down national debt in preparation - but no we give the money to the rich then plead poverty. That was always their plan
I don’t know for certain if it was “their plan”.

It would not surprise me a bit.
However, most pork-happy, fiscally irresponsible incumbent Congress persons (in BOTH parties) went merrily along with it for decades.

Ray Guest wrote: You talk about our national debt. I agree. The fact that we are so far in debt is exactly why we must have the most efficient plan possible.
Well, I’m not sure about using the words “efficient” and the “federal government” in the same sentence, but efficiency can’t occur until the federal government is more honest, transparent, accountable, and responsible.

Also, I’d like some to please tell me where the money to pay the INTEREST on the current $53 Trillion of nation-wide debt (which is 3.82 times the nation’s $13.86 Trillion GDP) will come from, much less the money to reduce the PRINCIPAL $53 Trillion of nation-wide debt, when that money does not yet exist ? ! ?
The interest only in the $9.4 Trillion National Debt is $1.306 Billion per day (or $54 Million per hour = $39.7 Billion per month = $477 Billion per year).

Until the government proves itself to be more honest, transparent, accountable, and responsible, I am opposed to a mandated health care system.
Based on the mismanagement of the Social Security system, and Medicare system, and a myriad of other systems, with redundancy upon redundancy, the federal government has not even remotely proven that it is capaple of managing ANOTHER massive mandated entitlelments system (i.e. mandated in that health care taxes will be forcibly removed from every persons’ pay-roll).

Ray Guest wrote: Remember we are dealing with corporatists. They are like vampires. They will suck you dry. You wear garlic, carry a cross, and drive a wooden stake through their heart - all the way through… If you allow one of these private for profit health insurance beasts to live along side of an efficient single payor system, they will not be able to compete against it, so they will set about to kill it. They will use their lobbying money to undermine and subvert it just like they have Medicare mentioned above.
Again, the problem is not only corporations.

The problem is a corrupt, plutocratic government (in BOTH political parties) that is in collusion with corporations (as evidenced by massive corporate welfare and subsidies, lawlessness, massive Medicare fraud, constitutional violations, abused Presidential pardons, etc., etc., etc.).

Ray Guest wrote: In terms of healthcare, you can never be safe in a world populated with vampires. You must kill them all. You must kill them completely. The only other alternative: The only other way that you might stand a chance:: Public financing of elections combined with stripping for profit corporations of personhood status, combined with stripping for profit corporations of all political rights - including free speech, combined with mandating by law that all for profit corporations are required by law to serve the public good. Pull the vampires fangs and he just another beast of burden. So, doing these things would turn them into beasts of burden and you might not have to kill them - but they are still good eatin. They better pull hard on that plow if they don’t want this old farm boy to eat em.
Hmmmmmm m m m … We will have more progress if more voters would also focus the same ferocious disdain for corporate malfeasance at THEIR own plutocratic, bought-and-paid-for, pork-happy incumbent politicians in collusion with the corporations, instead of repeatedly rewarding incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates ( one-simple-idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm ).

Therefore, collusion between corporations and a plutocratic government is the problem, and demonizing only corporations ingores a large part of the problem.
Lawlessness and other abuses are a large part of the problem, growing worse every year, and government and the voters are not blameless.
Many things might be more affordable and efficient if those many abuses and violations are stopped?

Only the voters are likely to change it, when not doing so finally becomes too painful.
Until then, government and the voters are basically dysfunctional, and it is likely to continue until it becomes too painful (as the wealth disparity gap continues to grow larger, savings rates continue to be negative, home equites continue to fall (now below 50%; a 16 year record low), real median household incomes continue to fall, education continues to decline in quality and rise in cost, health care becomes increasingly unfordable and dangerous, wars (7 wars in the last 90 years), illegal immigration, massive debt, inflation, the falling U.S. Dollar (one-simple-idea.com/USD_Falling.htm), etc., etc., etc.: ome-simple-idea.com/Factors1.htm ). The next stage in things getting worse will be when most Americans, deep in debt to the banks, start selling off their assets (home equities, land, jewelry, stocks, bonds, liquidating their 401Ks, etc.).

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 16, 2008 2:41 PM
Comment #248152
…our healthcare system is broken.

What system?

Posted by: Mental Wimp at March 16, 2008 3:51 PM
Comment #248153
…of unemployed freeloaders

You mean the unemployed freeloaders laid off by offshoring American businesses? Those freeloaders?

Posted by: Mental Wimp at March 16, 2008 3:53 PM
Comment #248154

Ray and others,

In the for-what’s-worth column:
One thing about the ‘mistakes’ made in hospitals, and doctors offices - we are still dealing with human beings. I make mistakes all the time - life threatening mistakes - when I drive, decide when to refrigerate a food, or cook it, buy cleaning products, etc.

Now on to my main point:

I don’t know it our health care system is broken, but I do know our insurance system is.

Our monthly insurance payments are eating my husband and I alive these days. I am 53, he is 50. We were fortunate enough to be able able to retire 4 years ago. At the time of his retirement,(company)and mine with the state of NC, we thought our health care insurance was stable. When I first got into the NC system 20+ years ago, I was told it was transferable. He was told the same about the insurance policy he had from the company he worked for.NOT SO. We made the mistake of moving out of NC to be closer to his family. Consequently I lost my health coverage - and he lost his. (Yeah - I suppose we could sue - but the court costs would kill us.)

In SC we can NOT obtain reasonable insurance. My husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, 3 years ago which he keeps under control with one pill, diet weight control and exercise. He does not smoke, and seldom drinks. He was disqualified for insurance.

I had a very mild stroke ( A TIA with no after-effects) 3\nearly 4 years ago, am not over weight, exercise daily, do not smoke, or drink, etc. I was disqualified.

Together we pay the SC State Insurance Association of Blue Cross, $1768 a month.

That’s $1768DOLLARS once a MONTH for health insurance. We have an 80\20 policy with a $5000 dollars deduction.

Other than his one pill daily, neither of us takes any medication - Fortunately!!!!

This is what’s broken about our health care system.

How the H*ll is a couple supposed to pay out that kind of money? We are trying to find work - just so we can afford health insurance, which, no employer will put us on, now that we have been turned down by the “big” boys.

Unfortunately, our medical records are up for grabs.

googlumpus,
You got seriously lucky about lying to your employer. You might want to quietly check out and make sure you are really insured - because your medical records could come back to haunt you.

Posted by: Linda H. at March 16, 2008 3:55 PM
Comment #248158

Scalia and Thomas should be impeached for their interpretation of corporate rights, It’s turning the constitution completely upside down, and using it against the people instead of for them.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 16, 2008 4:16 PM
Comment #248161

Loyal Opposition,

You wrote:

GM, eh? And how is your health plan?
Far better than most thanks to the class struggles of generations of UAW members, many of whom like my father, literally put their life on the line to achieve equity for the working class. Better than most, but not nearly as good as it used to be…

Then you wrote:

How would you feel about having it taken away and having your taxes raised so YOU can start paying more of your fair share for the healthcare of unemployed freeloaders and illegal immigrants?
First, people who can’t get a job because policies that you support are free loaders - please. I am willing to pay my fair share…

Good lord, then you write:

Perhaps some day you can stand in line behind a couple dozen crack addicts and illegals for your “free” five and a half-minutes with a tired, overworked, government subsidized physician. But I say no thanks.
Perhaps - - - - - - someday - - - - - - those poor crack addicts will be able to get the treatment they need to become productive contributing members of society. Beyond that, your red herring post mischaracterizes the plan…

You post is so outrageous, thee whole thing needs requoting:

Why should you enjoy such a good health care plan when others don’t? You might be thinking about the “rich capitalists” who have it better than you do. But when the world becomes “fair,” what makes you think you’re going to being sharing with the rich instead of the grubby unwashed masses?
I don’t share with the rich now and have no expectation of sharing with them then. I am willing to share with my brothers washed or not. I am paying for them now. It is time the rich started paying their fair share.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 5:51 PM
Comment #248164

Party line bull manure.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 16, 2008 6:15 PM
Comment #248165

d.a.n.

You wrote:

Therefore, the voters’ loyalty to THEIR party is actually misplaced. And repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians
People vote for the 2 parties because there is no viable alternative. Instant run off / rank order voting combined with public financing of elections combining with politically disempowering corporations would create viable alternatives. At present most people vote with their feet by not voting.

Of course the government is corrupted. I just said that even my hero Barrack Obama is sold out on his health plan. No can get elected in this system without selling out… But the corporations are the corruptors, they are the problem.

You also wrote:

Also, I’d like some to please tell me where the money to pay the INTEREST on the current $53 Trillion of nation-wide debt (which is 3.82 times the nation’s $13.86 Trillion GDP)
I wrote an article I think, or a long comment in a thread, metaphorically detailing how many of our children will never be millionaires as a result. $53 trillion would only mean that 53 million of our children would need to live in poverty instead of being millionaires - so we better make sure that the poor have health care.

You wrote:

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters deserve.
Agreed. The people who vote with their feet need to vote 3rd party - good luck with that.

If Dems nominate the wrong candidate - I will be voting third party.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 6:22 PM
Comment #248166

Who has better healthcare? A small business owner or his employees? A CEO or his employees? Nelson Rockafeller or Joe Dirt?

Posted by: googlumpugus at March 16, 2008 6:23 PM
Comment #248167

Linda H.

Thanks for your post. I don’t what to say except - good luck. It is all part of a piece. The insurance is high because the treatments are high. The treatments are high because the insurance pays. Everybody is out to make a buck. The Republicans think that this is a good system???

Maybe you should move back to NC and fly back and forth. We need national health care now because the other part of this is employers are not going to want to hire you or me and the cost of this is killing my employer - GM, and my union.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 6:35 PM
Comment #248168

ohrealy,

You wrote:

Scalia and Thomas should be impeached for their interpretation of corporate rights, It’s turning the constitution completely upside down, and using it against the people instead of for them.
Agreed and well said.

googlumpus,

You wrote:

Who has better healthcare? A small business owner or his employees? A CEO or his employees? Nelson Rockafeller or Joe Dirt?
Joe Dirt needs it!

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 6:39 PM
Comment #248175
Ray Guest wrote: People vote for the 2 parties because there is no viable alternative.
Of course there is. You simply need to look more carefully.

Unfortunately, most voters don’t see it.
But they will eventually, when they finally understand that giving Congress dismally low approval ratings, but rewarding it with 93%-to-99% approval ratings isn’t working.

Two of the several highest anti-incumbent voting periods in American history were after the Civil War and the start of the Great Depression.

Ray Guest wrote: Agreed. The people who vote with their feet need to vote 3rd party - good luck with that.
It has nothing to do with parties.

Just common-sense.

Still, I’d like someone to please tell me where the money to pay the INTEREST on the current $53 Trillion of nation-wide debt (which is 3.82 times the nation’s $13.86 Trillion GDP), much less the PRINCIPAL debt of $53 Trillion, when that money does not exist yet (mwhodges.home.att.net/nat-debt/debt-nat-a.htm) ?

Do you really think the 2% of Americans that own most of America’s wealth is going to pay for it? No. They won’t.

We will not be able to:

  • grow enough,

  • and/or create enough new money out of thin air,

  • and/or immigrate enough,

  • and/or tax enough,
… to pay for it. Get ready for more inflation.

Again, until the government proves itself to be more honest, transparent, accountable, and responsible, I am opposed to a mandated health care system.
Based on the mismanagement of the Social Security system, and Medicare system, and a myriad of other systems, with redundancy upon redundancy, the federal government has not even remotely proven that it is capaple of managing ANOTHER massive mandated entitlelments system (i.e. mandated in that health care taxes will be forcibly removed from every persons’ pay-roll).

Health care and lower taxes on the middle-income tax payers might be possible if the Federal Government reduced spending.
We need a MUCH smaller government (perhaps ONLY do things the federal government should do, such as national defense, enforce laws, uphold the constitution, and manage trade, and manage foreign affairs)?
There ought to be something in this (www.akdart.com/gov1.html) list that can be cut?
For year 2005:

  • Department of Agriculture, Budget: $19.1 billion, Employees: 109,832

  • Department of Commerce, Budget: $5.8 billion, Employees: 40,000

  • Department of Defense, Budget: $371 billion, Employees: 2,036,000

  • Department of Education, Budget: $57.3 billion, Employees: 4,487

  • Department of Energy, Budget: $24.3 billion (gross), Employees: 16,100 federal, 100,000 contract

  • Department of Health and Human Services, Budget: $66.8 billion, Employees: 67,000

  • Department of Homeland Security, Budget: $40 billion, Employees: 180,000

  • Department of Housing and Urban Development, Budget: $31.3 billion, Employees: 10,600

  • Department of the Interior, Budget: $10.8 billion, Employees: 71,436

  • Department of Justice, Budget: $22 billion, Employees: 109,000

  • Department of Labor, Budget: $11.9 billion, Employees: 17,347

  • Department of State, Budget: $10.3 billion, Employees: 30,266

  • Department of Transportation, Budget: $61.6 billion, Employees: 60,000

  • Department of the Treasury, Budget: $10.8 billion, Employees: 115,897

  • Department of Veterans Affairs, Budget: $51 billion, Employees: 219,000

  • Total of Budgets=$794 Billion; Total Employees/Contractors=3,186,965

  • … with redundancy upon redunancy:
  • 342 economic development programs;

  • 130 programs serving the disabled;

  • 130 programs serving at-risk youth;

  • 72 federal programs dedicated to assuring safe water;

  • 50 homeless assistance programs;

  • 45 federal agencies conducting federal criminal investigations.
The Federal government is sucking up 20% of GDP, and paying $1.306 Billion per day on INTEREST alone on the $9.4 Trillion National Debt, while it quickly grows and grows more out-of-control ($3.235 Trillion in INTEREST alone since year 1999!).
Perhaps that just a little to do with it?

Posted by: d.a.n at March 16, 2008 8:21 PM
Comment #248176

d.a.n.

You wrote:

Get ready for more inflation.
We are getting further away from health care than I want to get but yes get ready.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 9:45 PM
Comment #248178

“second, remove all state and federal mandates which would allow the free market absorb more uninsured with cafeteria style policy.”
Scottyp can you be more specific as to exactly which mandates at either level prohibit insurance companies from absorbing the uninsured? I didnt realize that state and federal law forced the insurance companies to exclude people with pre-existing conditions and such. I think this argurement is a line of crap so please prove me wrong.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 16, 2008 10:31 PM
Comment #248180

j2t2,

Thanks for you comment.

I had missed that comment of ScottP’s. I think that I figured out what he meant. I think he meant that health insurance should be alacart, i.e. I should be able to buy insurance for just my big toe and the insurance company should be allowed to refuse to sell me insurance for anything other than my big toe. He seems to think that they cannot do that now. I think that they could. It would be a nightmare if they did. They would raise rates and gouge us even worse. Then they would say that my big toe fell off because my head was bald and deny the claim anyway.

ScottP.

Sorry to hear about your heart attack and the greedy insurance companies screwing you over like that.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 11:18 PM
Comment #248181

Ray a truely excellent article. Thanks for the work. I favor copying the French system lock stock and barrel. It is far superior and much less costly than our free market system. Those that are ideo-illogically driven seem to think that if we:
“fix the abuses to the system, for exampole one lady from where I live called 911 because she had a splinter in her finger, people filling the emergency rooms with sniffles and sneezes, or minor cuts and bruses.” Our current system will be fine. What a joke.
While others dont think there is a problem its all in our head!
“I truly wonder if on some level people lash out at the health care system for reasons that psychologists would call “displacement.” We don’t like the fact that we get sick, get hurt, that our loved ones die, etc., so we get angry at the system which is in place to alleviate these woes. Perhaps as a way to avoid thinking about our own mortality.Actually, I’m sure this happens on some level, but I wonder how much of this really drives the debates about health care. There are a lot of ads out there, for example, which show something like a sick or injured child—as if children would never be sick or injured or would be miraculously healed if we only had a a single payer health care system.”
How many ads have you seen that espouse this line of crap? Me neither.

Well maybe not in our head but non existent well except that it could be expensive, such as:
“I disagree that there is “consensus” that our health care system is “broken.” It’s actually pretty excellent. The problem is with making an excellent system more accessible and affordable for more people without breaking the bank or killing the goose that lays the golden egg.” well duh that is the problem.

And of course there is the denial of truth such as:
“I don’t think that many people who have actually experienced socialized medicine would be so enthusiastic about bringing it to the US.”
And
“If you’ve got something like strep throat, an ear infection or a broken limb, then on balance, you’re probably better off under a single-payer system such as they have in most of Europe. But if you’re talking about cancer or need an organ transplant, then god help you.”

Whereas those that have had experiences in both the French and US system choose the French system. I know how could that be? well checkout

http://blogs.wsj.com/informedreader/2007/06/29/is-french-health-care-really-better/
,and/or,
http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0309-03.htm

And of course the time tested and senseless arguements such as:

“Most medical issues are argueably self inflicted. This head long desire to make cadillac health care a right is both wrong and down right greedy for those it is said to help. No other Right confiscates something from me to give to someone else. This will. And I will not have any say as to how it will be given. Why should I subsidize a reckless lifestyle? Why should you be forced to subsidize my life? If taking from society for this is so great, why not ask your neighbors and family first and see how long you will be supported before the goodwill runs out.”
Well you do realize its not just you supporting the system it is all of us.
To hear this prattle you would think its 10 conservatives 10 libertaqrians and 290+ million deadbeats liberals. We all pay guys. You have a choice under the french plan. The doctors have a choice. You arent giving up any rights, you are gaining by working together with all the others in this country. You see sooner or later you will need health care for one reason or another. Your being scammed now by the free market. Here is a little blurb from a Boston Globe article courtsey of Mr Paul V Dutton-
“Although the French system faces many challenges, the World Health Organization rated it the best in the world in 2001 because of its universal coverage, responsive healthcare providers, patient and provider freedoms, and the health and longevity of the country’s population. The United States ranked 37.The French system is also not inexpensive. At $3,500 per capita it is one of the most costly in Europe, yet that is still far less than the $6,100 per person in the United States.” and “Moreover, in contrast to Canada and Britain, there are no waiting lists for elective procedures and patients need not seek pre-authorizations. In other words, like in the United States, “rationing” is not a word that leaves the lips of hopeful politicians.” and ” In fact, in France, the sicker you are, the more coverage, care, and treatment you get.” (http://boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/08/11/frances_model_healthcare_system/) for the whole article.

Sorry to burst your ideo-illogical bubbles guys but facts are facts. Its time to cut the nonsense and fix this problem.


Posted by: j2t2 at March 16, 2008 11:21 PM
Comment #248182

j2t2,

Thanks for your excellent comment. They have been throwing red herring left and… …well right and right. I am going to go check out your links thanks.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 11:41 PM
Comment #248183

I have been mulling this over in order to try not to sound too callous or insulting, but $1768 a month sounds like someone is trying to buy insurance against the boogie man. I would rather spend that money enjoying my life, and trying to avoid stress. I would also suggest some kind of ocunseling or a support group for whatever the underlying conditions are that make you so fearful. I don’t think that insurance premiums are going to buy what you need.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 16, 2008 11:54 PM
Comment #248184

j2t2,

The links were excellent. I am reposting your last link here: France’s model healthcare system Oddly your support for my article is serious critique that it has received. The French system works fine with private insurance companies being allowed to offer auxiliary insurance. I would want to look under that hood a bit more. Their country is a bit more liberal than ours and their corporations may not have as much political power. I don’t know, but I wonder how they get away with it, without the private insurers sabotaging the system. Somehow they do get away with it.

Thanks for your comment.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 17, 2008 12:01 AM
Comment #248185

ohrealy,

I know the poster of that comment has a good reputation here, so I trust the accuracy of that figure. Remember, they lost insurance and have pre-existing conditions. The insurance companies probably would not insure them at all if the state did not mandate it. Once you get thrown into that risk pool, the predators are going to have their way with you. I am surprised that it is that cheap.

In first place, if you are going to have private insurance, we should all be in the same risk pool.

A certain number of standardized levels of coverage should be defined. Various different insurance companies should be allowed to charge whatever they want for each level. However each insurance company should have to accept everyone who applies and charge everyone the exact same for each level. That would effectively put everyone in the same risk pool: This is the risk profile for an American - this is what our company charges Americans for this level of coverage.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 17, 2008 12:14 AM
Comment #248194

j2t2, I read the links. Thanks.

Interesting. Regarding the guy with the esophageal tumor, he said his bill in the U.S. (versus France) would have been $700,000.00.
Yes, there is something severely wrong in the U.S.
I was recently out-raged with a $800 bill for a 5 minute procedure to inject cortizone in my elbow.
It really is ridiculous, and it is getting ugly out there.

Why are costs so high?
And on top of that, it not only increasingly unaffordable, but it is VERY dangerous too.
HealthGrades.com reported (27-July-2004) that “An average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records”. Once again, part of the problem is government meddling, the growing corpocrisy, corporatism, and other manifestations of unchecked greed. Health Care Solutions are needed. While government is not necessarily responsible for providing universal health care, it is responsible for protecting consumers from some greedy corporations that will do anything for a buck. Also, illegal immigration is placing huge burdens on the healthcare system. Illegal aliens are over-running our ERs, hospitals, Medicaid, and welfare. If the 9 problems (above) were adequately addressed, it would reduce the pressures on the healthcare system, and make healthcare more affordable. Healthcare and pharmaceuticals; in their greedy dash for money and profits, pharmaceutical companies and corporate hospitals are killing 195,000 people per year due to preventable medical mistakes. 195,000 deaths per year is appalling; another manifestation of unchecked corporate greed. Since 1999, that is over 1.5 million people killed by preventable medical mistakes. That is more than all the U.S. troops killed in the American Revolution (4,435), the War of 1812 (2,260), the Indian Wars (1,000), the Mexican War (1,733), the Civil War (462,000), the Spanish American War (385), WWI (53,402), WWII (291,557), Vietnam War (58,209), Korean War (36,574), the Iraq Gulf War (529), the war in Afghanistan, and the current Iraq war Mar-2003-present (3,963), combined!

There are hundreds of thousands of horror stories and close calls every year.
For example, I have come close to being killed 3 times by medical mistakes:

  • (1) Once I was almost given another patients medications that could have been deadly.

  • (2) Once an I.V. in the jugular wasn’t flushed with saline every 24 hours (like it was supposed to be) and caused a subsequent blood clot in the jugular that could have caused a heart attack, or stroke.

  • (3) And once, a defective and/or improperly operated I.V. machine introduced a 6 inch pocket of air into the I.V. tube leading straight to the jugular vein. The line was removed only seconds before it reached the jugular. I was not even aware of the problem until the nurses started scrambling to remove the jugular I.V. line and I saw the 6 inch pocket of air in the line. Little did I know at the time it could have caused an embolism, cyanosis, respiratory arrest, and/or heart attack. The cause of the air pocket was because the I.V. tube had been pinched by the I.V. machine’s front door.

I’m quite certain there are others out there with much worse experiences. After all, 195,000 deaths per year is a staggering statistic. Then I’ve also seen pRice gouging, double-billing, triple-billing, erroneous (or fraudulent?) billing, bad advice, pill pushing, and doctors and P.A.s wined and dined by pharmaceutical sales reps. I even went along once when an acquaintance (a P.A.) invited me and my wife to a free night on the town (paid for by the pharmaceutical company). I turned down subsequent invitations later when I realized the pharmaceutical was paying the way. So you should wonder about the choice of prescription brands doctors and P.A.s are prescribing.

I heard one argument the other day that made me stop and think. A person asked: “If you were sick or in an accident, and went to the E.R., would you (or anyone) expect to be turned away?

Therefore, we all seem to have a sense of entitlement to Emergency Room care. Therefore, the conclusion was that we then should all have a sense of duty to pay for it.

As a society, the majority seems to accept to pay taxes for the truly needy (e.g. welfare).

At any rate, I might be swayed to support a mandated healthcare system for one reason, even though it may not turn out to be much better:

    because what we have now is not working, is it?

However, if govenment mismanages it they way they’ve mismanged so many other things, and raids the funds like they raided $12.8 Trillon from Social Security, and used Medicare to pander for votes, it will fail too.

There are other differences between France and the U.S.A. that may determine the success or failure of a mandated health care system in the U.S.
Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index of France is only slightly better than the U.S.A. in 2007.
The U.S. is much larger than France.
France is only about 80% the size of Texas in land area.
France’s population is only about 62 million (about one-fifth of the U.S.).
Does France give medical care to non-citizens that don’t pay into the system?
The U.S. has energy/fuel vulnerabilities and huge urban sprawl problems and few mass transit systems.
The U.S. has massive debt problems ($53 Trillion nation-wide: one-simple-idea.com/DebtAndMoney.htm#Income ).
Hundreds of hospitals are failing in the U.S. in part because they are being overrun by illegal aliens (84 hospitals in California alone).

Again, can things get much worse in the health care system?
And why can one day in the E.R. or hospital be so expensive to bankrupt the average American?
Is it gouging and greed?
Government meddling?
Too many middlemen (i.e. insurance and government)?
Too many frivolous personal injury law suits?

I concede, there is possibly one big advantage to a non-profit, government controlled health care system: the elimination of one unnecessary middleman (insurance corporations).
And if the government doesn’t cut the insurance companies out of the loop, the system will be no better than it is now.

However, I still have a suspicion that the health care system ills are part of a larger problem too, and a new system may not be much better until these other 10+ abuses are stopped as soon as possible. That is, there are some economic factors that are looking pretty ugly, and if unemployment rises, inflation continues to grow drastically, and those abuses (of the past 30+ years) are allowed to worsen much more, millions of Americans are going to be in dire straights before any nationalized health care system can be created. For example, the Federal Reserve is creating $560 Billion of new money out of thin air:

  • (1) the Federal Reserve previously pumped $180 Billion into the banking system earlier this year (14-Jan-2008, 28-Jan, 11-Feb, 25-Feb, 11-Mar; www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/2008monetary.htm)

  • (2) the Federal Reserve announced (www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/business/11cnd-fed.html?ex=1362974400&en=c9c49e643017647f&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss)11-Mar-2008) their plans to pump in another $200 Billion into the banking system.

  • (3) the Federal Reserve and Federal Government created the $150 Billion economic stimulous package (to arrive in mid May-2008);

  • (4) and the Federal Reserve announced that it would provide another $30 Billion for the failing Bear Stearns (www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20080316a.htm), which sold for a mere $236.2 Million in a fire-sale yesterday, when it was valued at $20 Billion on Jan-2007, then only $3.5 Billion on 14-Mar-2008, and now
  • And who is it really helping?
  • (5) and a bottom still isn’t in sight.

For a governemnt controlled health care system to succeed, it should tax on a flat percentage, and it should not borrow to fund it (i.e. adding to the already massive $9.4 Trillion National Debt). However, it will be undermined if we continue to allow an astimated 3-to-4 million more illegal aliens (per year) to flow across the border, and the existing 12 to 20 million illegal aliens (6.6% of the U.S.’ total population) to game our systems to get free (tax free too) emergency care, Medicaid, etc.; and securing the borders ain’t good enough with 12 to 20 million illegal aliens already here. And another amnesty (like the amnesty of 1986, which quadrupled the problem) is not the solution, because those millions will suddenly become more of a burden than the already estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion in annual net losses to American tax payers, because those workers would no longer be as employable and attractive to employers at the exploitive wage rates). Other laws must also be enforced first (and increasing crime rates and lawlessness is one of the 10+ abuses exacerbating many of our problems).

I still believe a healthy, law abiding, efficient society can create a healthy economy, which could resolve many of the ills of the health care in the U.S.A.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 17, 2008 7:01 AM
Comment #248205

Ray Guest,
Insurance is based on odds like gambling. If you have to cover every possible bet, you end up paying a lot for the wager. On the Kentucky Derby last year, a friend of mine picked the winner, make a small bet, and won a little money. I was more skeptical. I didn’t play the superfecta that I wanted, because I would have to wheel four horses, but the bet ended up paying $25,000.

This discussion has persuaded me to oppose more government involvement in health care, since people will expect to be covered for conditions that are caused by their own bad habits and hypochondria.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 17, 2008 9:24 AM
Comment #248220

d.a.n.

You wrote:

pill pushing, and doctors and P.A.s wined and dined by pharmaceutical sales reps.

and:
Does France give medical care to non-citizens that don’t pay into the system?

Drug reps wine and dine nurses, medical assistants, even receptionist and billing departments. Anbody who might say to the doc: He is limp, how about Viagra.

Not sure, but I believe that France does treat non-citizens.

I don’t agree with you about the illegal aliens. First, unless you are an injun, you are an illegal alien. We have the Constitution. We have the Declaration of Independence. I find no papers signed by Indians not under the point of a gun, or swindled for $20 worth of beads donating this land to us as a gift freely given. Those “illegal” Mexicans are the descendants of the Native Americans who occupied this continent first.

Second, I am sure that the “illegals” are over loading some hospitals. What your calculation leaves out is the economic contribution that these decent hard working people make to this country. They make money. They spend money. They pay taxes. They do a lot of work cheap. This is a 2 edged sword. It drives down wages. It also drives down cost. Over all, I think that it is a benefit.

Third, and most important, Hispanic girls are cute. We need more of them here.

I agree that we need to stop illegal immigration - for their benefit as much as ours. Liberals like me rail against NAFTA. I believe in free trade. My problem with NAFTA is that it is not free trade. Mexico subsidizes the movement of our jobs south by suppressing the labor movement and by maintaining lax environmental regulation. If companies want to import industrial products from Mexico that is fine. Our EPA should inspect their factories. If their factories do not meet or exceed our standards, they should pay appropriate tariffs. The same should go for labor rights.

There is another side to NAFTA. The Republicans are proud of saying that America benefits from NAFTA and it does. They are absolutely correct. When a person a slave, the slave is degraded, but so is person who owns the slave. In dehumanizing the slave, his own humanity is lost. Similarly, there are 2 sides to NAFTA.

The Republican constituency benefits from NAFTA. Rich and powerful elitists benefit. Big corporations benefit. BIG AGRI-BUSINESS BENIFITS. Mexican farmers cannot compete. What happens then? They move north.

Our industrial jobs go south. Who loses? The U.S. labor movement - a Democratic constituency. Poor Mexican farmers move north. Who loses? The U.S. labor movement - a Democratic constituency. It is brilliant.

Any country needs to control its borders, otherwise it is not a country. It is just an area. We repair NAFTA. We need to create economic opportunity in Mexico. We need to legalize the “illegals” so that they are less exploitable, so that their standard of living will rise, so that they can make a bigger contribution to our country. I refer you back to the main article and the section on Castoriadis. The rate of exploitation has gotten too high in this country and some of the most exploited among us are the “illegals.” We are like slave owners. Exploiting them exploits us. It is universal spiritual law: What goes around, comes around. Chant that - Republicans.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 17, 2008 10:59 AM
Comment #248227

The rate of exploitation is too high in this country.

Think about it.

We are the hardest working people in the world. We have more households with 2 person incomes. Our looming baby boom demographic problem with Social Security is much smaller than Japan’s or China’s. We work the longest hours. We take less vacations and have less holidays than most other developed countries. We have access to the best technology. The brightest and best Medical doctors, PHDs, scientists, and engineers from all over the world come here to live and contribute to our society. We are the biggest economy in the world with the greatest economies of scale. Compared to other countries our taxes are low. Our children die in far off lands, (IRAQ), to maintain a global empire.

Yet - we cannot afford to make health care available at an affordable price when the rest of the developed world can. HELLO!!! Someones gittin screwed.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 17, 2008 11:26 AM
Comment #248230

ohrealy,

You wrote:

This discussion has persuaded me to oppose more government involvement in health care, since people will expect to be covered for conditions that are caused by their own bad habits and hypochondria.
That is happening already happening in this capitalist run inefficient system. Most Americans have insurance or a handy Emergency Room. You are paying for that now and paying the profits of the blood sucking blood pumping predatory corporations.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 17, 2008 11:33 AM
Comment #248231

ray

“Corporations have not always had and do not have to have personhood status and free speech rights. We need to back our Constitution and make it for “We the people” again. “

corporations are run by people. people have freedom of speech. what you’re saying here is collectively they have no right to persue thier own agendas. this is nonsense, we have the freedom to reject or accept what they have to say. none the less they have the right just like you and i.

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2008 11:49 AM
Comment #248235

D.A.N “Does France give medical care to non-citizens that don’t pay into the system?”

According to one of the articles I read recently “all legal residents of France are covered by public health insurance,” So I would say the answer to your question is no, but I will research this a little further to be sure.

Ray “The French system works fine with private insurance companies being allowed to offer auxiliary insurance. I would want to look under that hood a bit more.”
This also allows room for HSA’a that are popular with the conservatives and the libertarians and have a little merit. The freedom of choice that comes with this system far surpasses our current system of privatized insurance which limits the doctors you can see and the hospitals you can go to and still be covered.

Ohrealy “This discussion has persuaded me to oppose more government involvement in health care, since people will expect to be covered for conditions that are caused by their own bad habits and hypochondria.”
Yeah your right Ohrealy because we dont have to do that now under the “free market” system do we? Oh wait its just that we get the freedom to choose which insurance company gets to tack another 30% on top of the costs for their profitting from the bad habits of “those guys”.
I just wish I was as perfect as you libertarian and conservative types. How foolish of us to pay for our own mistakes. Or heaven forbid to think that we may have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. Afterall despite the nonsense to the contrary we all (but the very poorest and sickest) would pay into the system not just you guys. What the heck though lets just keep the same expensive system we have now and pay twice as much to teach those guys a lesson for having a bad habit. That is ideo-illogic at its best.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 17, 2008 12:16 PM
Comment #248241

dbs “corporations are run by people. people have freedom of speech. what you’re saying here is collectively they have no right to persue thier own agendas. this is nonsense, we have the freedom to reject or accept what they have to say. none the less they have the right just like you and i.”

Horsepucky dbs corporations have one purpose and that is to make money for the investors of that corporation. The corporation is a business entity not a natural person. The natural person employed by the corporation has a soul and a right to free speech. The corporation has by clerical error and/or fraud assumed the rights of the natural person without the responsibilities of the natural person. This is an injustice that must be cured or our Country is at risk. This personhood for corporations is not the intent of the founding fathers.

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed
corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a
trial of strength and bid
defiance to the laws of our country.”
Thomas Jefferson, 1812
Source:Liberty Quotes

Posted by: j2t2 at March 17, 2008 1:04 PM
Comment #248258
j2t2 wrote: D.A.N … According to one of the articles I read recently “all legal residents of France are covered by public health insurance,” So I would say the answer to your question is no, but I will research this a little further to be sure… .
One would think so. Otherwise, it would seem wide open for abuse. And if people also have supplementary insurance, it would appear not everything is covered.
Ray Guest wrote: d.a.n… . Not sure, but I believe that France does treat non-citizens.
Unless their neighbors do the same, non-citizens will be gaming Frances system too.
Ray Guest wrote: I don’t agree with you about the illegal aliens. First, unless you are an injun, you are an illegal alien. We have the Constitution. We have the Declaration of Independence. I find no papers signed by Indians not under the point of a gun, or swindled for $20 worth of beads donating this land to us as a gift freely given.
That common excuse falls under EXCUSE # 05: Irredentism.

Perhaps we should all go back to where our ancestors’ ancestors’ ancestors’ ancestors’ … ancestors’ came from.
How far back? A few million years?
By that time, most of the 6.7 Billion people on the planet will be relegated to a small area in Africa?
If we don’t enforce immigration laws, millions will continue to come here illegally; not good with a welfare state and entitlements?
Already, an estimated 32% of illegal aliens receive some welfare.
As for the Indians, they are already citizens or have their own land (in several states).

Ray Guest wrote: Those “illegal” Mexicans are the descendants of the Native Americans who occupied this continent first.
First of all, it is not a race or ethnic issue. Unless born in the U.S., or immigrated legally, how does that make them legal citizens? Via Irredentism?
Ray Guest wrote: Second, I am sure that the “illegals” are over loading some hospitals.
No doubt about it. Hundreds of hospitals are closing (especially in border states; 84 hospitals in California alone).
Ray Guest wrote: What your calculation leaves out is the economic contribution that these decent hard working people make to this country.
False.

The net loss calculations included incomes and taxes paid.
And still, the net losses to Americans citizens range from $70 Billion to $338 Billion per year.
And that does not even include the untold cost of crime, disease, job displacement, and depressed wages.

Ray Guest wrote: They make money. They spend money. They pay taxes.
Only HALF pay income taxes.

NOTE: I don’t hate any illegal alien just looking for a job.
What I (and other Americans) should despise are the incumbent politicians that despicably pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profit and votes.

Ray Guest wrote: They do a lot of work cheap. This is a 2 edged sword. It drives down wages. It also drives down cost. Over all, I think that it is a benefit.
It benefits illegal employers mostly.

Government refuses to prosecute the illegal employers (corporations).
The government and corporations are colluding to break existing laws for profit and pandering for votes ( one-simple-idea.com/VoteDemocrat.gif).

Ray Guest wrote: I agree that we need to stop illegal immigration - for their benefit as much as ours.
How, since you wrote
Ray Guest wrote: First, unless you are an injun, you are an illegal alien.
By the way, I am part Cherokee (born in Oklahoma).

Border security alone is not enough. It may cut down on the inflow, but it won’t stop it unless the magnets are eliminated (the illegal employers and politicians that despicably pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profit and votes).

Ray Guest wrote: Liberals like me rail against NAFTA. I believe in free trade. My problem with NAFTA is that it is not free trade. Mexico subsidizes the movement of our jobs south by suppressing the labor movement and by maintaining lax environmental regulation. If companies want to import industrial products from Mexico that is fine. Our EPA should inspect their factories. If their factories do not meet or exceed our standards, they should pay appropriate tariffs. The same should go for labor rights.
It’s a mess, and there are many abuses and manifestations of unchecked greed.
Ray Guest wrote: There is another side to NAFTA. The Republicans are proud of saying that America benefits from NAFTA and it does. They are absolutely correct. When a person is a slave, the slave is degraded, but so is person who owns the slave. In dehumanizing the slave, his own humanity is lost. Similarly, there are 2 sides to NAFTA.
Yes, there is exploitation of natural resources and which also causes damage (e.g. environmental) in those other nations. If cheap labor wasn’t the goal, the global corporations wouldn’t have descended on those nations to begin with. And when wages finally rise to a decent level, the corporations leave to find a new target … maybe to return some day when wages have fallen enough.

However, again, it is the government and corporations in collusion.

Ray Guest wrote: The Republican constituency benefits from NAFTA. Rich and powerful elitists benefit. Big corporations benefit. BIG AGRI-BUSINESS BENIFITS. Mexican farmers cannot compete. What happens then? They move north.
Agreed. There is ample evidence of that. The irony is that one of the reasons immigrants are coming to the U.S. is because globalization took their jobs in their country.

It’s not merely a global village.
There’s also some global pillage.

Ray Guest wrote: Our industrial jobs go south. Who loses? The U.S. labor movement - a Democratic constituency. Poor Mexican farmers move north. Who loses? The U.S. labor movement - a Democratic constituency. It is brilliant.
Yes, clever; and again, these abuses and lawlessness are a result of government corruption and lawlessness (collusion), and government ant corporations are BOTH to blame. And the voters are not blameless for repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent, plutocratic politicians for it with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.
Ray Guest wrote: Any country needs to control its borders, otherwise it is not a country. It is just an area. We repair NAFTA. We need to create economic opportunity in Mexico. We need to legalize the “illegals” so that they are less exploitable, so that their standard of living will rise, so that they can make a bigger contribution to our country.
There’s a flaw with your reasoning.

Illegal aliens come from all over the planet.
The U.S. can not afford to fix the economic and political problems of all neighboring countries, much less the other nations from which illegal aliens originate.
That is, we can not afford the time or cost to fix Mexico and Central America to reduce the illegal immigration problem.
The U.S. can bring the rest of the world closer to our standard of living, without lowering our standard of living.
The U.S. can not afford to be the world police.
The U.S. can not afford to be nation-builders.
The U.S. can not afford to let everry one come here from all over the world.
The U.S. can not stop illegal immigration with a border fence alone.
The U.S. can not afford to fix other nations’ problems around the world, when we can’t fix our own.
The U.S. must also enforce its own laws, and it must also limit immigration.

For those advocating that we continue to allow millions of immigrants per year (1 million legally, and 4 million illegally), they should ask China and India about all of the wonderful advantages of over-population?

    Other statistics:
    • China Population: 1.3 Billion; Total Area: 3.705 million sq. miles (3.601 million sq. miles of land = 2.3046 Billion acres; only 10% is arable)
    • China Population Density: 0.564 persons per acre
    • India Population: 1.1 Billion; Total Area: 1.269 million sq. miles (1.148 million sq. miles of land = 0.2837 Billion acres; 56% is arable)
    • India Population Density: 3.877 persons per acre
    • U.S. Population: 3.05 Million; Total Area: 3.718 million sq. miles (3.536 million sq. miles = 2.263 Billion acres; only 19% is arable)
    • U.S. Population Density: 0.1348 persons per acre
    • World Population: 6.7 Billion; Area of all land: 57 million square miles (36.48 billion acres; there are 640 acres per square mile)
    • World Population Density: 6.7 Billion / 36.48 Billion acres (i.e. 57 million square miles; there are 640 acres per square mile) = 0.1837 persons per acre
    The planet has limited resources. In 2006, there was only 1.15 acres of arable land per person, world-wide (i.e. 7.68 billion acres / 6.68 billion people).
Ray Guest wrote: Liberals like me rail against NAFTA. I believe in free trade. … Any country needs to control its borders, … I refer you back to the main article and the section on Castoriadis. The rate of exploitation has gotten too high in this country and some of the most exploited among us are the “illegals.” We are like slave owners. Exploiting them exploits us. It is universal spiritual law: What goes around, comes around. Chant that - Republicans.
I’m neither a Republican or Democrat (and mostly centrist on economic and social issues).

Border Security is good, but that is not enough, if corpocrisy, corporatism, and lawlessness is allowed to continue.
Currently, the government is NOT enforcing the laws, and/or is making bad laws, or actually colluding with corporations to exploit others.
And lets not forget that people run those corporations.
The management of those corporations are the people commiting these abuses (and crimes in many cases).
It doesn’t do much good to fine Walmart a $11 million (miniscule) for hiring illegal aliens when it is the largest corporation in the world (net worth over $300 Billion).
Since governmnet will not do its job to enforce the laws and address these worsening abuses and prressing problems, it is time for the voters to do their job.

It is time for the voters to stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.
And the voters could boycott certain corporations too.
However, until then, there will continue to be 2 classes in this country:

  • (1) One class that derives concentrated power from its concentrated wealth.

  • (2) And the other class that has power only in numbers, and that power is largely ineffective due to their inability to mobilize through organization (such as merely not re-electing irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians).

Ray Guest wrote:
The rate of exploitation is too high in this country.

I agreee. That is also why the U.S. has seen falling Transparency International Corruption Index scores.

Lawlessness in #1 on my list of top 10 abuses: one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm

Ray Guest wrote: Think about it.
Yes. I have and continue to.
Ray Guest wrote: We are the hardest working people in the world. We have more households with 2 person incomes.

Yes, How is it possible that most people that work, invent, design, build, create, service, and produce are all in debt to the banks that create money out of thin air?
There is another abused system at the root or many of our problems.
This one thing has far reaching effects on the economy.
What is up with those that want to grow and grow the debt, GDP, and population (one-simple-idea.com/PopulationUS.gif) which has already been growing faster than most nations; by 5 million per year; 4 million illegally)?
What is driving that, and who is profiting most from it, and what bubbles, cycles, and problems is it repeatedly causing ?
Do you think perhaps that one reason for these pressures to grow debt, GDP, and population ever larger is not only for profits, but to also prevent the debt and inflation inherent within our pyramid-scheme 9-to-1 fractional banking system from collapsing?
This is actually a growing problem world-wide since all banks converted over to the debt and inflation inherent pyramid-scheme 9-to-1 fractional banking system.

The perpetual growth is not only unrealistic, but comes with a price; a price that may even eventually be disastrous?
Even small and decreasing growth can be disastrous, when the size of something is ALREADY too BIG.
The $53 Trillion nation-wide debt is a good example of that ( one-simple-idea.com/DebtAndTrade.htm#Income ).
China’s 1.3 Billion population is another good example of that.
The world’s total 6.7 Billion human population may be a good example of that?

Perpetual growth and sustainable stability are not compatible, and we need to seriously look at the abuses, government corruption, waste, voting issues, monetary policies, taxation, population, environment, and energy policies, before the consequences and abuses become too apparent and painful.

Ray Guest wrote: Our looming baby boom demographic problem with Social Security is much smaller than Japan’s or China’s. We work the longest hours. We take less vacations and have less holidays than most other developed countries. We have access to the best technology. The brightest and best Medical doctors, PHDs, scientists, and engineers from all over the world come here to live and contribute to our society. We are the biggest economy in the world with the greatest economies of scale. Compared to other countries our taxes are low. Our children die in far off lands, (IRAQ), to maintain a global empire.
There’s one little problem with all that.

80% of Americans own only 17% of all wealth, and it has been getting worse since year 1976 ( one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#Chart ).

Ray Guest wrote: Yet - we cannot afford to make health care available at an affordable price when the rest of the developed world can. HELLO!!! Someones gittin screwed.
Yes.

The problem is not only corporations, but government too (i.e. irresponsible, corrupt, FOR-SALE, pork-happy, incompetent, lying, do-nothing incumbent politicians: one-simple-idea.com/Links1.htm).
Since governmnet will not do its job to enforce the laws and address the worsening abuses and prressing problems, it is time for the voters to do their job.

At any rate, voters have the government that the voters deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 17, 2008 3:43 PM
Comment #248262

dbs,

Thanks for your comment. I was going to respond but no need, j2t2 already did.

j2t2,

Thanks.

d.a.n.,

You wrote:

Unless their neighbors do the same, non-citizens will be gaming Frances system too.
Probably.

It benefits illegal employers mostly.
True… Republicans…
By the way, I am part Cherokee (born in Oklahoma).
Which makes you legal - I am not. I don’t say that we should give it back though - or even pay reparations - not physically possible - but a little compassion for or Hispanic and native brothers would go a long way.


It’s not merely a global village.
There’s also some global pillage.
That is a great quotable quote. I am going to remember that and borrow it sometime.


You also wrote:

The U.S. can not afford to fix the economic and political problems of all neighboring countries, much less the other nations from which illegal aliens originate.
True, but we could have tariffs against countries that don’t create opportunity for their own people. That is what I meant.

You also wrote:

I’m neither a Republican or Democrat (and mostly centrist on economic and social issues).
But it is a good chant for all of us.

You wrote:

80% of Americans own only 17% of all wealth, and it has been getting worse since year 1976 ( one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#Chart ).
Agreed and that is the measure of the over exploitation.

You see the problem government and corporations. I see the problem as corporations having usurped the government. Clearly the problem will not be fixed until we take our government back.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 17, 2008 4:18 PM
Comment #248266

In France professional employees are covered under their social security. This is paid for out of their labor contracts (something they want to go away from).

Non professionals and visitors for more than 90 days must show proof or insurance or purchase CMU (universal coverage) from the State. They subsidize the CMU for low wage earners. Violators pay a fine.

The large employers also provide supplemental insurance, and many people purchase supplemental insurance for themselves.

Least that’s what I remember

Posted by: George in SC at March 17, 2008 4:55 PM
Comment #248271
Ray Guest wrote: You see the problem government and corporations. I see the problem as corporations having usurped the government.
Hmmm … but whose job is it to control corporations, enforce laws, etc.?

I guess it really doesn’t matter.
Whoever they are, they are irresponsible and need to go.
And those irresponsible incumbent politicians are both Republicans and Democrats.
They BOTH refuse to enforce existing laws for various reasons, and really aren’t that different.

From a non-partisan point a view, the problem looks more like these two groups:

  • (1) one class that derives concentrated power from its concentrated wealth. Some rich people (not all), who are cheaters and extremists, abuse their wealth to control and influence government. Those certain rich persons don’t want to work in Congress, but chooose to control and influence incumbent politicians with money, power, etc. Too many Congress persons (in BOTH parties) are FOR-SALE (as evidenced by 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters who are vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.15% of all 200 million voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more).

  • (2) The other class is the majority of Americans, that could have power by their numbers, but their power is largely ineffective due to their inability to mobilize through organization (such as merely not repeatedly rewading irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates).

Ray Guest wrote: Clearly the problem will not be fixed until we take our government back.
That we agee on 100%.

How is the question?
I think education must be the starting place and part of the solution.
It isn’t that we lack good ideas and solutions, but Congress is where good ideas and solutions go to die, and voters exacerbate it by repeatedly rewarding the incumbent politicians for all of it with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

But the nation’s problem won’t get better as long as too many voters believe the OTHER party is the only problem.
About 33% of the voters are Republicans.
About 33% of the voters are Democrats.
About 33% of the voters are Independents.
The Independents (swing voters) probably decide the elections (essentially), and their numbers are increasing.
Now, if enough voters somehow voted out a big percentage of Congress persons in BOTH parties, that would definitely get Congress’ attention.
However, that is unlikely any time soon … not until it finally becomes too painful (as it did in 2 of several of the highest anti-incumbent voting periods in American history: the Civil War and the Great Depression).

Posted by: d.a.n at March 17, 2008 6:01 PM
Comment #248275

More insurance from the government is also going to raise the price of hospital care and medical services, unless you think they are going to have some kind of price controls, or the hospitals are going to be nationalized. I am neither libertarian or conservative, but do believe that I am the person primarily responsible for my own health. I would be in favor of the government paying for mandatory liposuction on any man over 200 lbs, or woman over 160 lbs.

On NAFTA, read a discussion about oil from Canada from the Canadian side. They are going to be a bigger and bigger supplier of ours, even though they would be able to get a higher price elsewhere.

On the whole Native American thing, just to be disagreeable, in 1682 there was a tribe here called the Illinois. Before 1800, they had been replaced by the Pottawattomie. By 1818 there were only 2 small native settlements who didn’t even know who built the mounds around St.Louis. I have ancestors buried in the ground in McHenry, Il, and Whitewater, WI, for longer than the Pottawattomie lived here.

In Florida, there is a tribe referred to as the “Seminole” nation, which claims that any land that it buys there is part of their nation, and exempt from the state taxes and laws. The actual Seminole nation was wiped out in the Seminole war, and these are in fact, Creek indians from Georgia.

On corporate rights, that is like saying that they qualify as municipalities or other self governing entities subject to their own special law. There are 9 Supreme Court justices, 2 are ours, the rest are Rpblcns. We can’t get at Rehnquist, and O’Connor has left, so impeach Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas for their interference in the 2000 election, or pack the court with 6 additional judges.

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/
too many pdf files there.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 17, 2008 6:17 PM
Comment #248279

j2t2

they may exist to make a profit, but thats not illegal. the individuals who run the corporation have a right to engage in commerce, and because they collectively represent the corporation does not mean they have no 1st amendment rights. political free speech applies to all individually or collectively.

using your logic i could also say that the sierra club or any other collective organization has no 1st amendment rights, regaurdless of thier purpose for existing. every orginization has an agenda, and just because use dislike them doesn’t mean they don’t have rights.

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2008 6:41 PM
Comment #248280

ohrealy

“There are 9 Supreme Court justices, 2 are ours, the rest are Rpblcns. We can’t get at Rehnquist, and O’Connor has left, so impeach Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas for their interference in the 2000 election, or pack the court with 6 additional judges.”

oh please! it took 5 of them to scew up the kelo decision, and the those belong to you. maybe we should impeach, ginsburg, souter, kennedy, breyer, and stevens. there are only 4 who are reliably conservative.

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2008 6:49 PM
Comment #248285

ray

BTW, thank you for your kind comment earlier in this thread. i try not to get heated over comments by other participants, but that one really struck a raw nerve.

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2008 7:08 PM
Comment #248290

dbs “they may exist to make a profit, but thats not illegal.”
I agree dbs its not illegal, shuldnt be illegal, in fact it should be encouraged. profit when done honorably is a good thing.

“the individuals who run the corporation have a right to engage in commerce, and because they collectively represent the corporation does not mean they have no 1st amendment rights.”

Again dbs I agree that the individuals within the corporation have all the rights of the natural born people of this country. I’ve not said that just because the people work for a corporation that they should give up any rights. What I have said is corporations are not people, they are run by people, corporations should not have rights as enumerated in the constitution.


” political free speech applies to all individually or collectively.”

Only because of fraud or clerical error. It was not the founders intent that a corporation had the same rights as the people of this country.
but what the heck here is the declaration redone to support your beliefs:

We hold these truths to be self-evident,—that all
men and corporations, holding companies, multinational corps owned by foreigners and any other nonhuman entity that feels like it
are created equal; that they are endowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable rights;
that among these are Life, Liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness.
- Declaration of Independence of the
United States of America

And here is a comment from Thomas Jefferson on the subject:

“Agriculture, manufacturers, commerce, and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are then most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.”
Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: j2t2 at March 17, 2008 7:40 PM
Comment #248376

George,

Thanks for your comment.

As I mentioned to j2t2 above, France’s efficient system seems to repudiate some of my positions here. Perhaps it is an anomaly or perhaps some of my positions are mistaken. They have successfully blended for profit corporations and socialized financing of national health care which is something that I do not think would work here.

But it works there, sooo…

The devil is always in the details.

We have many successful examples of nations that have succeeded in providing health care for there people. We need to study them, pick the best model, tweak it, and apply it here. Clearly France needs to be high on that list, the U.K. low on that list.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 18, 2008 10:59 AM
Comment #248380

ohrealy,

Thanks for comment.

You wrote:

More insurance from the government is also going to raise the price of hospital care and medical services, unless you think they are going to have some kind of price controls, or the hospitals are going to be nationalized.
Its been well over a year since I studied the plan that I link to above, but as I recall: Hospitals and such would be turned into non-profit corporations. Stock holder equity would be bought out through bond sales. A hospital would have good profile of what its cash flows were going to be in the future to pay such bonds. Its gets little confusing ot me here, but basic operating budgets would be “globalized???” Capital expansion budgets would be separate and controlled by regional medical boards staffed largely by health care professionals. In other words, based on available resources, does this area really need another MRI, more hospital beds, and so on. Per procedure rates for doctors and staff salary rates for doctors would be negotiated with the single payor by the AMA. Staff doctors who drew a salary would be expected to do procedures for free. Doctors who chose not to be on staff would be paid a preset amount for every procedure that they do. That amount would be lower than what they are currently paid however they would no longer be required to treat poor people for free nor maintain huge billing department capable of billing hundreds of different insurance companies. The single payor would have a lot of power to negotiate lower per procedure rates, but doctors through the AMA would also have a lot of power and free market principals would rule in that controlled setting. If the single payor some would choose not to do procedures for that rate. Services would become less available and the public would cry out. Politicians would raise budgets and per procedure rates would be increased. More doctors would again be willing to perform that procedure for that rate and everybody would be happy. In other words there would be a dynamic free market tension between concerned parties that would set the rates. Inevitably there would still be some externalities in this new free market system, but since it is a controlled free market, (a free market in a box, as it were), those externalities could more easily managed because we would have political influence on it. Conservatives would continue to fight for lower expenditures. Liberals would fight for better care. Doctors would fight for higher rates. The single payor, as the only game in town, would fight for lower rates. Corporate profit, inefficient billing overhead, and corporate profit driven internal conflicts as detailed above would be removed from the system.

You wrote:

I would be in favor of the government paying for mandatory liposuction on any man over 200 lbs, or woman over 160 lbs.
I don’t think that dangerous procedure would be cost effective. People would just go get fat again. Overeating is an addiction. People cannot control it without help. Making addiction counseling widely available would be more effective.

Interest comments about the Native Americans. I wish we had more native readers. I would like to hear their view.

You also wrote:

On corporate rights, that is like saying that they qualify as municipalities or other self governing entities subject to their own special law. There are 9 Supreme Court justices, 2 are ours, the rest are Rpblcns. We can’t get at Rehnquist, and O’Connor has left, so impeach Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas for their interference in the 2000 election, or pack the court with 6 additional judges.
Impeachment? Absolutely! Gonna happen? Not. I will support a movement for it though.


quote text

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 18, 2008 11:51 AM
Comment #248382

dbs,

Thanks for your comments. I agree with j2t2 on this. If individuals like me, who work for GM want to voluntarily contribute money to a pro GM PAC with no pressure, i.e. voluntary and (anonymous to GM). I have no problem with that. I might even do it.

j2t2,

Thanks for responding to dbs.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 18, 2008 12:03 PM
Comment #248383

We have redefined the definition of fat since I was a young person. A fat kid then was a kid who would be considered a little chubby now. Almost everyone was thin by current standards. We didn’t have kids who were almost as wide as their height.

As a person ages, excess weight causes everything in the body to work harder and wear out quicker. If the government wants to improve health care and reduce costs, they should literally cut the fat out.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 18, 2008 1:30 PM
Comment #248392

ohrealy,

You wrote:

As a person ages, excess weight causes everything in the body to work harder and wear out quicker. If the government wants to improve health care and reduce costs, they should literally cut the fat out.
Agreed. Easier said than done. Corporations like McDanalds get pressure to sell healthier food. So they stop using lard to make french fries. They use vegetable oil. Vegetable oil turns to trans-fat at high temps which is worse for you than the lard and it makes the french fries taste nasty and waxy. We cannot even get scientific consensus about what a healthy diet is: food pyamid (made by Agi-business), food combining, macro-biotic, vegetarian, Adkins, South Beach… And everybody is different and will respond differently. I am willing to die - but at least give me good fries.

And then of course there is the mad cow thing. Everybody else tests 100% of their cows - not us - we zap downer cattle with tasers so they get up then they are not downers anymore. And we feed our vegetarian cows meat. Mad cow / Creutzfeld Jacobs / chronic wasting disease is caused by a prion. A prion is a misfolded protein - it has the correct chemical structure but it gets folded up wrong. Maybe 1 out of a million people or animals will get it accidentally. When the bodies genetic machinery makes proteins it uses other proteins to make them fold correctly. With the Creutzfeld Jacobs prion it is a misfolded protein that causes new proteins of the same type to also become misfolded in the same way. So the body keeps trying to pump out new proteins of the correct type but the bad prions keep misfolding them into more prions. The useless misfolded prions accumulate in brain - kill the brain and cause symptoms identical to Alzheimer’s. There is an epidemic of Alzheimer’s in the U.S. The misfolded protein is stable at high temperatures and cannot be destroyed by cooking. The disease occurs naturally maybe 1 in a million, but with industrial farming you grind cow brains up and feed them to thousands of other cows. Then you grind their brains up and feed them to thousands more. The protein is small enough to get absorbed into their system and pass the blood brain barrier. One in a million becomes hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands per million. Then we eat the protein. It passes our blood brain barrier and starts misfolding the nearly identical protein in us into prions. The incubation / onset of the disease is slow. Our solution feed pig brains to cows and cow brains to pigs and chickens. The ASSUMPTION is that there is enough difference between these animals that the disease will not transmit. No one knows. We simply assume that. We butcher the animals while they young before they would exhibit symptoms. They may have the disease, but we will never know. We do know that the disease transmits from cows to people. We do know that we have an epidemic of ???Alzheimer’s??? The symptoms of the disease in cows when they do show symptoms is that they become downer cattle - now we (corporate Agi-business), prod downer cattle with cattle prods to get them up…

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 18, 2008 3:34 PM
Comment #248393

An interesting article on Stem-Cell Therapy in China:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88123868

You would probably have to get into the Mayo clinic for stem cell therapy here. Around last Thanksgiving, I ran into someone that I thought would be dead by now, but he goes to Rochester periodically for stem cell therapy.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 18, 2008 3:38 PM
Comment #248394

A modified Beverly Hills diet actually works, but who wants to eat the same things all the time? Pineapple or Grapefruit in the morning curbs the appetite, mostly carbs at noon for energy, and protein in the evening. I usually blame corn syrup for everything, since I think its usage increased exponentially after we cut off Cuba, and people have been getting fatter ever since. As far as I’m concerned, the only good use for corn is in tortillas, which I use as a substitute for bread.

I actually bring McDonalds to a nursing home every other saturday, and fresh deli and onion rolls on the alternate weekends. The problem with McDonalds is how often people eat it. I had a fish filet the last time I went there, but I usually get the broiled chicken wrap. I used to live right down the street from McDonalds #1.

In Florida, a friend’s family actually raised the cattle that they use for McDonalds, very thin Indian Brahma type. McDonalds had to buy additional beef fat to inject into this meat, and this was what they also used to cook their fries until a few years ago.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 18, 2008 3:54 PM
Comment #248396

I’m sorry, but Mad Cow brought Boston Legal to mind:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h-n8GjmIBM

Posted by: ohrealy at March 18, 2008 4:09 PM
Comment #248418

ohrealy,

The China link was excellent, the other I don’t quite get.

I have used McDonalds to help control my weight. The nice thing about fast food restuarants and order just what you want. Drive through get one small hamburger or wrap. If you are still hungry when you get to the other side of town, drive through again - portion control.

Corn syrup is bad, my wife says real bad. It is too sweet. Now sugar does not even taste sweet to me. We need to kiss and make up with Cuba.

Thanks for comments.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 18, 2008 8:43 PM
Comment #248426

I guess you are not a viewer of Boston Legal. The character that Shatner plays always says he has mad cow, because he is getting senile. I think you would like some of James Spader’s rants.
The one on Katrina was the best, but I couldn’t find it on youtube. This one is on Iraq:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR5eGJ8c8Eg

This one is on the whole Bush administration, with some commentary added by the person who posted it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdHtW_81kwg

Posted by: ohrealy at March 18, 2008 10:03 PM
Comment #248456

ohrealy,

Those are excellent links. Thanks for those. I guess I may have to start watching Boston Legal.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 19, 2008 10:59 AM
Comment #249415

other Constitutional violations

Posted by: d.a.n at March 28, 2008 1:36 PM
Comment #249475

d.a.n.

Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 29, 2008 12:52 AM
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