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The One and Only... The One and Only... is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 03:57 PM        On Healthcare in the U.S.
This is a repost from something I said on the "Question for Vinth" thread. I don't think it will get much attention over there, so I want to see other peoples opinions on the matter. So, here it goes:

My opinion is that this should be provided for by taxes. Yep, borrow from socialism on this one, because the system works.

First of all, it's the most fair. There are those who can't afford health insurance, whose jobs do not provide it, and need medical attention. It is not their fault that they had a heart attack and that they don't have a decent job because of their 80 IQ.

Second, it'd be cheaper overall. Whether you pay for insurance indirectly through your job or directly through you, chances are you will save more money from the taxes increase. I say "chances are" and "overall" because this is not always the case - an example would be those who don't have health insurance anyway, but never have anything seriously wrong with them.

Why would it be cheaper overall? Think about it. Insurance companies are businesses. That is, they're goal is to make large amounts of profit. The government has no reason to raise taxes higher than the amount to cover healthcare and pay it's workers; they need no profit. In fact, with the reputation the U.S. has, they wouldn't raise it enough and we'd be in debt.

The only downside is that many workers will be fired as healthcare insurance goes down the tubes and doctors no longer work independantly. But then, the government will surely need to hire those doctors again, and I'm sure that there are plenty of openings that those insurance workers could fill in the new system...

Many times, I wonder why our government does not truly progress. Rather than changing things that are generally beneficial to all, they seem to flip-flop on issues teeming with morals and having vast numbers of people on both sides so that no one will end up happy (abortion anyone?). I'm not sure whether it sickens me, saddens me, angers me, or all at the same time.
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Burned In Effigy Burned In Effigy is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 03:59 PM       
Get a civil service job.
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The One and Only... The One and Only... is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:09 PM       
Heh... just wait until I post my ideal government and ask everyone to rate it. Maybe one day I'll even get a chance to publish it. It would likely work best with countries that have smaller populations, however...
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Carnivore Carnivore is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:11 PM       
I do agree that healthcare should be guaranteed, but I think those who can afford their own insurance should have a choice. They may opt for a private plan that provides better services the same way some kids goes to private schools when public education is free.
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:14 PM        Yo
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:17 PM       
What in the world makes you think the government would get the job done cheaper? Have you ever seen government contracts vs private contracts? Especially construction jobs. What fantasy world do you live?

And how is making my tax dollars pay for your smoking induced heart disease fair?
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Carnivore Carnivore is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:22 PM       
What do you propose we do about people who can't afford insurance then? Leave them on the street to die? That would probably reduce my workload by about 33%.
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The One and Only... The One and Only... is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:23 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnivore
I do agree that healthcare should be guaranteed, but I think those who can afford their own insurance should have a choice. They may opt for a private plan that provides better services the same way some kids goes to private schools when public education is free.
There are two meaning I can attach to your statement that I see.

1) Membership into something that includes more than what the government pays for. For example, if the government did not pay for abortions unless the mother was in danger, then this plan would in the case you needed one.

2) Private medical institutions that you must pay for.

My replies:

1) Sure, but you get you no discount on taxes. I would strongly suggest that these plans are only additional insurance, not a replacement of the government system.

2) Perhaps, but you still get no tax cuts. Wealthy individuals stop paying for medical assistance from the government = raise in taxes for the poor to middle classes to take up the slack. That very well may throw off the entire theory. Unlike many republicans, I do not support tax vouches for private school attenders for this very reason.
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Carnivore Carnivore is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:27 PM       
Opting for private insurance would not get you out of paying taxes that go towards government insurance the same way attending private school doesn't get you out of paying taxes that go towards public education.

I think private school vouchers are an idiotic concept too. Does nothing to improve the public schools for those who stay there.
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:28 PM       
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And how is making my tax dollars pay for your smoking induced heart disease fair?
I'm tired of all you nutty right-wingers getting your shit mixed up when it comes to equality and equity.

THE GOVERNMENT ALLOCATES STUFF BASED ON NEED.

Is that plain enough to you? Who says it has to be fair? You might be the needy one next year, and I bet you wouldn't be complaining then.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:33 PM       
No, government doesn't give you a damn thing. It merely protects your right to have certain things.
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The One and Only... The One and Only... is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:34 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Blanco
What in the world makes you think the government would get the job done cheaper? Have you ever seen government contracts vs private contracts? Especially construction jobs. What fantasy world do you live?
Just what I said. The government has no incentive to make a profit, only to break even. If it attempted to make a profit, that would be called corruption. It wouldn't actually be cheaper to provide the healthcare in and of itself - it would just cost the citizen less.

Quote:
And how is making my tax dollars pay for your smoking induced heart disease fair?
That isn't fair, but what you have to understand is that somethings are unpreventable. NO system is perfect. I just think this one is slightly better on a purely practical stance. If I told you that you would still have to pay less for yourself, would you really care if some of your money went to that man?

Personally, I think that tobacco should be replaced with marijuana in terms of industry and legality. But I'm not even going to get in to that...
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:36 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnivore
Opting for private insurance would not get you out of paying taxes that go towards government insurance the same way attending private school doesn't get you out of paying taxes that go towards public education.

I think private school vouchers are an idiotic concept too. Does nothing to improve the public schools for those who stay there.
Sounds like it would work fine.
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theapportioner theapportioner is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:38 PM       
Apparently, Blanco does not believe that health care is a universal right. What is it then, a privilege that you get to see a doctor because you are a good, industrious American?

Interestingly, hospitals across the US have been hit hard because those who cannot afford health care and/or are ineligible for Medicare or Medicaid will still get treated at hospital ERs, and they will fill out paperwork with false information, so that they don't get billed. Huge money loser, and this results in the closing of services, overworked employees, and chronically understaffed services that remain open. And with hospitals with serious debt, such as Mount Sinai, low morale is an added problem. Would a more comprehensive federal health care net resolve this problem? Maybe.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:46 PM       
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Just what I said. The government has no incentive to make a profit, only to break even. If it attempted to make a profit, that would be called corruption. It wouldn't actually be cheaper to provide the healthcare in and of itself - it would just cost the citizen less.
There is nothing in the world to make you believe that. Look at everything the government does. Its always the most expensive way. Amd where do they get the money? Thats it, the tax payer.

So, how is it cheaper for us?

A private company is driven to make a profit. The best way to make a consistent profit? Customer satisfaction. Provide quality service at a reasonable price.

Unfortunatly, because of the shitty lifestyles we live, a reasonable price gets out of reach.

Want healthcare to get cheaper? No smoking, fatty foods, stressful job. Excersice, eat right, and all that other crap none of us do.
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Carnivore Carnivore is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 04:55 PM       
Well that's a brilliant assessment. If people were healthier, healthcare would be cheaper! Amazing.
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 05:02 PM       
If you are hungry and you want a potato, go get yourself a potato. If you want a potato, ten pounds of paperwork and you have about a week to kill, ask the government to get you a potato.

I’m not changing the subject entirely, but I’d like to offer a comparison. Currently, the government offers one stop shopping for all your educational needs, at the immense expense of the education of our youngest and most childlike Americans. Let’s draw a direct parallel between govt schools and govt Healthcare. The Department of Education costs us $60 Billion per year in NON-educational costs. That’s just administrative and managerial costs… no children get any smarter for that spending. Our least educated kids are found in the most densely populated areas where, not coincidentally, we spend the most per student to receive the least benefit.

There are plenty of bad explanations offered for bad educations, yet very few people are willing to say that maybe We The People stop giving a shit about something when we give the responsibility for it over to Uncle Sam. What makes you guys think Healthcare would be any different? Who is ultimately responsible for you? YOU. If you can’t hack it, then you have friends and family that know you and will most likely help. If you’re such an asshole that they refuse, or so unlucky or hideous as to have no friends or family, you at least live in a community that won’t just let you die. If you fall through those cracks somehow, the State will catch you. Washington DC is LAST in line.

By the time your problem gets to the national level, you are naught but a number and subject to all the ill-handling associated with the limited, distant and generally malignant perspective of the Federal Employee.

I’ll ask my as yet unanswered question again here:

For all your do-goody “think of the children” sentimentality, how many of you actually contribute to charities that offer assistance to these people whose shoddy lots in life you champion?
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The One and Only... The One and Only... is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 05:10 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Blanco
There is nothing in the world to make you believe that. Look at everything the government does. Its always the most expensive way. Amd where do they get the money? Thats it, the tax payer.
While it is true that goverments are typically wasteful, I believe I can say that does not make up for the drive for profit in companies. Even if companies are more resourceful, I still think that the gap would be in favor of the government as far as fewer expences to the citizen. I make this judgement from facts I have seen, such as on this: http://www.2ontario.com/welcome/ooql_402.asp

Furthermore, since the government does it the most expensive way, healthcare would be improved. Another strong point is that economic planners from those dead insurance companies could be hired to make the process as efficent as possible.

Quote:
So, how is it cheaper for us?
I do believe I just addressed that in the above statement.

Quote:
A private company is driven to make a profit. The best way to make a consistent profit? Customer satisfaction. Provide quality service at a reasonable price.

Unfortunatly, because of the shitty lifestyles we live, a reasonable price gets out of reach.
I'm not really sure what your point was with that statement.

Quote:
Want healthcare to get cheaper? No smoking, fatty foods, stressful job. Excersice, eat right, and all that other crap none of us do.
Words of wisdom indeed, but it will never happen. And even if it did, the government would either cut taxes or put the money into something else, like education.
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Carnivore Carnivore is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 05:18 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
Our least educated kids are found in the most densely populated areas where, not coincidentally, we spend the most per student to receive the least benefit.
Fairly obvious that the funds are being misallocated, isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
We The People stop giving a shit about something when we give the responsibility for it over to Uncle Sam.
That's not true at all. There are certain things that should be guaranteed and it is the responsibility of the government to handle them. Among these, I believe, are education, healthcare, food, clothing, and shelter. If you want better than the bare minimum that the government is obligated to provide, you need to get it for yourself.
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The One and Only... The One and Only... is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 05:30 PM       
Preechr: The government could handle it if they wish. Look at Canada for an example.

Drawing parallels between education and healthcare is shakey at best. The reason education has fallen behind is because we are putting the money spent there in the wrong places, namely that we are focusing too much on the dumb kid that can't learn anything.

Healthcare is a completely different topic. There is nothing to focus on. The doctors provide it the way it always has been, just with a different person paying them.

In addition, were education not provided by the government, it would be catastrophic. The rich would inevitably remain rich, and the poor would inevitably remain poor. I'm not saying it isn't that way now, but at least those in poverty have the chance to be something that requires a high amount of education.

Furthermore, I never even suggested that this need be federal taxes. Indeed, this could be state taxes or even city ones.
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UnDeath UnDeath is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 05:34 PM       
and the problem lies in the fact that many are content to settle for the bare minimum, yet are fully capable to achieve more on their own. This takes recources that the government could use on the true needy. The system probably look a lot more efficient on paper, and would work better if people chose to take responsibility for themselves.

edit- this post would make a little more sense if it was one up,. since it was a psudo response to Carni's post.
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Carnivore Carnivore is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 05:42 PM       
People who can afford drugs and alcohol aren't getting the bare minimum. Government assistance should be given in the form of vouchers that can only be used for food, clothing, etc. If people are content living in a 45' by 45' room with minimum furnishings, eating nothing but supermarket-brand crap for their entire lives, let them!
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 05:49 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnDeath
and the problem lies in the fact that many are content to settle for the bare minimum, yet are fully capable to achieve more on their own. This takes recources that the government could use on the truely needy. The system probably looks a lot more efficient on paper, and would work better if people chose to take responsibility for themselves.
Okay, I've seen this argument too much. I think I'll address it again.

Regardless of people's potential, you must realize that most will never meet it. If the lazy bastards of the world support this, the more the merrier.

However, you must realize that we need those lazy bastards. If everyone actually realized their potential, we would have no one to fix the fast-food, no one to clean the toilets, no one to do the jobs that many of us despise. Love em' or hate em', they are necessary.

And once again, I must ask the question: If you would get your own healthcare for less regardless, would you really care whether or not those lazy bastards also benefitted?

You see, the idea is to make everyone happy. The only people whom this would hurt are the extremely rich - people like Bill Gates, to whom a 2% tax increase is millions of dollars. But even they could not complain too much, because after all, with all the money they have would it make a difference?

As for taking recources, no it doesn't. If this were to occur, obviously taxes would be increased to compensate. So it really only benefits them since they will have better healthcare.
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UnDeath UnDeath is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 05:54 PM       
well, In WA, they do. They have these things that act like a debit/credit card. One is for Food stamps, and the other is like money for bills/ clothes/basic necessities.
My main bitch about people doing this is that they are leeching off the system, and thus tying up rescources that could be put towards those who actually need it. I know that once I actually make enough annual income to not get a full refund from The Man, I wouldnt like the fact that Im help paying for some tweaker perfectly content on relying on handouts from Uncle sam.
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The One and Only... The One and Only... is offline
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 06:01 PM       
Ahhh... but that has little to do with my argument. Where as your example only effects a select few, mine effects everyone.
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