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TIGSource ForumsPlayerGeneralSo the Health Care bill passed.
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #80 on: March 22, 2010, 12:43:58 PM »

Why do you think private insurance premiums have gone up? Maybe because of the pending "Healthcare" reform legislation?

No. They've gone up because private insurance companies, which control their own premiums, chose to raise them. Why did they choose to raise them? Who knows. Maybe they chose to raise them in response to the pending legislation, hoping to wring a few more dollars out of their customers before the government starts exerting downward price pressures on the market. That's possible. But it surely isn't a good argument against the health care bill.
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SirNiko
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« Reply #81 on: March 22, 2010, 01:22:19 PM »

I'm personally not really interested in what the bill contains. I just don't believe the Federal Government is capable of managing this.

More importantly, we're looking at a bill planned over 10 years, with estimations for 20. You're lucky if you can project out further than one year. There's just no way of evaluating whether or not this bill makes anything better.

I'd have much rather seen the feds apply this plan to just the DC area, a smaller, more easily tracked region. Make the changes quickly, observe what works and what doesn't and if it happens to have improved the situation, then we can apply those lessons to the other parts of the country.

I know a lot of business owners that are likely to drop healthcare and pay the penalties just because it's cheaper. The employees can pick up the government funded care instead. It seems heartless, but the alternative is to buy the healthcare instead and be at a disadvantage in the market. If that happens and you go out of business, then employees lose their health care AND their jobs.

Healthcare for all is great, but it won't do us much good if we go bankrupt the country. 'course, the US hasn't been using real money since the early Bush years, so maybe we're past that point and might as well live it up. I dunno.

Anyway, in summary, I don't think the Feds will be able to manage this. We'll just wind up spending a bunch of money and there won't be any notable positive benefits. The only way to fix problems is to deal with them directly, and a group of people managing from cushy leather chairs in Washington DC is not directly.

-SirNiko
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 01:30:58 PM by SirNiko » Logged
jotapeh
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« Reply #82 on: March 22, 2010, 01:30:16 PM »

In my humblest of humble opinions, the education crisis in the US vastly outweighs any health care crisis. I'm also of the opinion that fixing the former would have a profound effect on ameliorating the latter.

 Shrug

Or maybe that's just me.
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drChengele
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« Reply #83 on: March 22, 2010, 01:51:36 PM »

I never understood why all the resistance to universal healthcare. I live in one of the poorer European countries and we have universal healthcare. I underwent a few surgical procedures in my life, an urgent appendectomy was one of them, without having to pay a single dime. You get a year's worth of health coverage, no questions asked, with an ID, and a token sum payment (think 150$). Employment or not. 'Preexisting conditions' and medical insurance companies are not even WORDS here. It works out pretty well, our doctors are skilled and we are relatively up to date in medical technology. Keep in mind we are like the third or fourth poorest country in Europe.

In short, if anyone tells you US guys universal healthcare would make your country "poorer", he is full of crap. Take it from a neutral factor.

Soulliard, there is one thing that perplexes me:
Quote
I can't afford to miss even a single Remicade infusion. If I did, my body could build up an allergic reaction to it, and I would not be able to get the treatment again.
This is not how allergies work. Perhaps it was explained to you in a bad way? Either way I wanted you to be aware of this fact because I wouldn't want someone in your position to be uninformed: You CANNOT become allergic to a drug (or, in this case, a monoclonal antibody) by suddenly stopping taking it. It's preposterous and if a medical worker did tell you this he deserves to be shot.
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Praetor
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« Reply #84 on: March 22, 2010, 01:53:55 PM »

It's not really an argument against healthcare per se. I'd just like people to recognize the fact that the country is currently facing massive economic problems and that this bill is not going to help people fix that at all. It's going to cost them more. Right now. Who knows what it will cost in ten or twenty years? Right now it's going to hurt a lot.

Granted, people who are completely broke and unemployed will probably love this bill because it's basically giving them something for free.

Small business owners will probably not like this bill much because they're now going to be forced to pay for their employees' insurance or take a fine.

Large business owners will also probably not like this very much because there are a ton of larger businesses that do not provide health insurance who will now have to provide it or take a fine.

This is only going to result in a further loss of jobs as companies scale down their workforce to prevent their bottom line from taking a massive hit in new insurance coverage for employees as well as the closing up of any small business with any staff that might have already been struggling in the poor economy.

These may very well be short-term problems, but only if the government decides it's finally time to do something about the economic situation here and not just extend further hand-outs to businesses and individuals. It forces the states to pay for heath insurance for those who don't have the money to do so.
In my humblest of humble opinions, the education crisis in the US vastly outweighs any health care crisis. I'm also of the opinion that fixing the former would have a profound effect on ameliorating the latter.

 Shrug

Or maybe that's just me.
Agreed. This is probably at the root of most of the problems in the US.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #85 on: March 22, 2010, 02:04:46 PM »

So you are saying that modern medicine doesn't work? Because if it did, surely giving people more access to medical treatments would make them live longer?

An interpretation that makes much more sense to me is:
There is a diversity in how well resources are spent in different countries.

it may work for some things (for instance, making people more comfortable) but i don't believe the data there shows it works for lengthening the general lifespan, no. but it could mean the difference between 80 years in comfort or 80 years in pain, for instance. i think lifespan is far more a result of infrastructure and sanitation and diet than of how much money is spent on medicine.
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« Reply #86 on: March 22, 2010, 02:14:53 PM »

So you are saying that modern medicine doesn't work? Because if it did, surely giving people more access to medical treatments would make them live longer?

An interpretation that makes much more sense to me is:
There is a diversity in how well resources are spent in different countries.

it may work for some things (for instance, making people more comfortable) but i don't believe the data there shows it works for lengthening the general lifespan, no. but it could mean the difference between 80 years in comfort or 80 years in pain, for instance. i think lifespan is far more a result of infrastructure and sanitation and diet than of how much money is spent on medicine.
Well if someone has a disease, say for example Type A Diabetes. If they didn't have insulin shots and injections these people may not have the insulin they need and they could parish. We do have the shots and they can allow them to live, I'd say that's increasing lifespan.
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drChengele
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« Reply #87 on: March 22, 2010, 02:25:21 PM »

Correlation between QUALITY/AVAILABILITY of medical coverage and average lifespan expectancy has been proven long ago, and is indisputable.

Correlation between MEDICAL FUNDING and average lifespan is quite possibly another thing.

Quote
but it could mean the difference between 80 years in comfort or 80 years in pain
If the medical system is good enough to influence lifespan, it will influence quality of life in virtually the same proportion. US doesn't have significantly better palliative medicine than other countries.

The quality of life indicators for US are not significantly higher than comparable European countries, and certainly not sufficiently higher to warrant the discrepancy in cost.
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Dacke
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« Reply #88 on: March 22, 2010, 02:29:58 PM »

It may work for some things (for instance, making people more comfortable) but I don't believe the data there shows it works for lengthening the general lifespan, no. But it could mean the difference between 80 years in comfort or 80 years in pain, for instance. I think lifespan is far more a result of infrastructure and sanitation and diet than of how much money is spent on medicine.

Oh, ah. I understand your point now Gentleman
There are many individuals who get to live longer thanks to modern medicine, so claiming that there is no correlation isn't really correct. But there are other factors that play a much bigger part, in increasing the longevity of the masses. Like education about how to eat, manage your hygiene and body and so on. And access to basic things like clean water, soap, condoms and basic medicines (I think most people need antibiotics a few times during their lives).

But for the individuals whose lives and well-being depends on more advanced medical treatment, this still makes a huge difference.
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« Reply #89 on: March 22, 2010, 02:37:35 PM »

I never understood why all the resistance to universal healthcare. I live in one of the poorer European countries and we have universal healthcare. I underwent a few surgical procedures in my life, an urgent appendectomy was one of them, without having to pay a single dime. You get a year's worth of health coverage, no questions asked, with an ID, and a token sum payment (think 150$). Employment or not. 'Preexisting conditions' and medical insurance companies are not even WORDS here. It works out pretty well, our doctors are skilled and we are relatively up to date in medical technology. Keep in mind we are like the third or fourth poorest country in Europe.

In short, if anyone tells you US guys universal healthcare would make your country "poorer", he is full of crap. Take it from a neutral factor.

My concern is scalability. We have 300 million people in the US. Canada, our closest comparable neighbor with universal health care, has closer to 40 million. I'm not convinced that you could scale it up that far without incurring a lot of additional cost due to waste and redundancy, not to mention potential fraud. It's not that it's not worth helping people out, but if it comes at the cost of crippling inflation you're lowering everyone's quality of life to raise the quality of just a few. That's not a good tradeoff.

I'm also unconvinced the US Government is comparable to the government of any European country for the same reason. I'm inclined to think they're closer to the United Nations in terms of size (Although thankfully not as diverse in culture). It's difficult to come to an accord with people who live a few thousand miles from you, let alone come to an accord that's both efficient and effective for all the people involved despite those parties never having any chance of meeting.

-SirNiko
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gunmaggot
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« Reply #90 on: March 22, 2010, 02:38:27 PM »

So you are saying that modern medicine doesn't work? Because if it did, surely giving people more access to medical treatments would make them live longer?

An interpretation that makes much more sense to me is:
There is a diversity in how well resources are spent in different countries.

it may work for some things (for instance, making people more comfortable) but i don't believe the data there shows it works for lengthening the general lifespan, no. but it could mean the difference between 80 years in comfort or 80 years in pain, for instance. i think lifespan is far more a result of infrastructure and sanitation and diet than of how much money is spent on medicine.

What?  Of course it doesn't lengthen the maximum lifespan - it stops people from dying from treatable illnesses, thus increasing average life expectancy.  The government is not going to distribute heart containers, if that's what you were hoping.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #91 on: March 22, 2010, 02:39:16 PM »

of course there are individuals who live longer thanks to medicine, sure, but there are also individuals who die earlier because of it. negative side effects of prescription drugs kill 300,000 people a year in the US -- more than cancer and heart disease. so it may average out.

also, diabetes (except for the genetic kind) is a problem associated with certain diets, and higher in obese people. i'd say diet is more a factor in how many people in a country die of diabetes than medical care is. there's relatively little diabetes in some countries, and much more in others. so medicine may prolong someone's life if they get it, but diet might prevent them from getting it at all. genetic diabetes accounts for about 5% of all cases -- the other 95% is acquired.
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gunmaggot
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« Reply #92 on: March 22, 2010, 02:50:49 PM »

of course there are individuals who live longer thanks to medicine, sure, but there are also individuals who die earlier because of it. negative side effects of prescription drugs kill 300,000 people a year in the US -- more than cancer and heart disease. so it may average out.

It doesn't average out.

also, diabetes (except for the genetic kind) is a problem associated with certain diets, and higher in obese people. i'd say diet is more a factor in how many people in a country die of diabetes than medical care is. there's relatively little diabetes in some countries, and much more in others. so medicine may prolong someone's life if they get it, but diet might prevent them from getting it at all.

I guess - you mean the bill should have done more to promote healthy living to reduce heart disease/diabetes instead of wasting more money treating preventable illnesses?  Or something like taxing companies adding HFCS to food or whatever?
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team_q
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« Reply #93 on: March 22, 2010, 02:54:14 PM »

Preventative medicine is something I think North America could benefit a lot from. That includes dietary advice. Unfortunately, we put to much effort in fixing what broke instead of preventing it from breaking, because that is where the money is in both American and Canadian systems.
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« Reply #94 on: March 22, 2010, 03:00:06 PM »

we have no controls: there are no developed nations that have infrastructure and clean water but do not have modern medicine. so i can't say that it's certain whether it averages out or not.

no, i don't think the bill should have done that -- i was just talking about that chart, not the bill. the bill is just what it is -- forcing people to pay for health insurance or fining them. it'd just complicate it to add in something unrelated about prevention.

the main thing i think the gov should do is 1) stop subsidizing certain foods and agricultural companies (for instance, the gov pays people to make corn), and 2) stop taxing imports at an unfair rate just to protect US companies (for instance, it costs far more to use sugar than hfcs in the US, because most sugar is made in south america and heavily taxed if imported, whereas most HFCS is made in the US and subsidized) -- so i feel it's gov involvement that creates the problem in diet in the first place.

but yes, of course if you're going to spend money on health care at all, it'd be nice to see a lot more money focused on preventive medicine than after-you-already-are-dying medicine, it'd only make sense.
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #95 on: March 22, 2010, 03:11:22 PM »

In my humblest of humble opinions, the education crisis in the US vastly outweighs any health care crisis. I'm also of the opinion that fixing the former would have a profound effect on ameliorating the latter.

 Shrug

Or maybe that's just me.

I'm missing the logical connection between these two things. Are you suggesting that with better education, people could get better jobs that offer health care benefits, so there wouldn't be any crisis?
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #96 on: March 22, 2010, 03:13:27 PM »

there's a lot more of a connection than that. uneducated people make less healthy lifestyle choices (regardless of income level). and the quality of the health care in a nation depends on the education of its doctors and nurses.
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Zaphos
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« Reply #97 on: March 22, 2010, 03:14:52 PM »

the main thing i think the gov should do is 1) stop subsidizing certain foods and agricultural companies (for instance, the gov pays people to make corn), and 2) stop taxing imports at an unfair rate just to protect US companies (for instance, it costs far more to use sugar than hfcs in the US, because most sugar is made in south america and heavily taxed if imported, whereas most HFCS is made in the US and subsidized) -- so i feel it's gov involvement that creates the problem in diet in the first place.
Yeah, our farm subsidies seriously mess up a lot of things ... unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any political will toward fixing it, though Sad
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Dacke
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« Reply #98 on: March 22, 2010, 03:16:03 PM »

I think much preventive medicine is in fact covered by health insurance. If you treat problems while they are just beginning, it's much cheaper in the long run. If you have a system where it's expensive to see a doctor or get simple treatments, more people will be reluctant to seek early help. Instead people (often incorrectly) hope that the problems will go away by themselves. If you instead have health insurance that makes it cheap to treat (relatively) minor problems, less resources will be needed to treat people.

On a side note:
We had a great improvement in Sweden a few years ago. We now have a system where everyone gets cheap check-ups on their teeth every two/three years. This will save a lot of money in the long run. A small hole is quite easy to repair (using extra fluorine or giving an half-hour drill-and-fill treatment). But if you let a hole stay untreated for a long time, it can require surgery and teeth replacement. (Not to speak of all the symptoms you can get from having bad teeth, which very likely will make you a less productive member of society.)
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drChengele
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« Reply #99 on: March 22, 2010, 03:38:32 PM »

also, diabetes (except for the genetic kind) is a problem associated with certain diets, and higher in obese people. i'd say diet is more a factor in how many people in a country die of diabetes than medical care is. there's relatively little diabetes in some countries, and much more in others. so medicine may prolong someone's life if they get it, but diet might prevent them from getting it at all. genetic diabetes accounts for about 5% of all cases -- the other 95% is acquired.
While there is nothing wrong with your reasoning, I just want to get the terminology straight. "Genetic" and "acquired" are not accurate in this sense, since both type I and II diabetes are usually acquired (as opposed to CONGENITAL), and both of them have solid, but not absolute, genetic prerequisites. While type II is much more prevalent in obese people, there are a lot of factors (genetic ones as well) which can trigger the metabolic syndrome, which in turn causes obesity, and then both combine to cause type II diabetes. So the story is a bit more complex than just dividing them into "genetic" and "non-genetic". With that out of the way, of course I agree with you that we should do everything humanly possible to eliminate the environmental risks. Good healthcare greatly aids this, both by providing good prevention and secondary care, and by providing proper medical education of the general population. So I'll repeat - a good, widespread healthcare plan WILL increase lifespan and quality of life. Expensive healthcare allows for high quality, but only to a portion of the population. That's where the relatively low US life expectancy comes from.

Quote
negative side effects of prescription drugs kill 300,000 people a year in the US -- more than cancer and heart disease
While I don't have solid numbers for the US specifically, I quite simply do not believe this fact. If you have a source I would be grateful for it.

As a rule of thumb, cardiovascular disease accounts for 50-60% (and over 60% of that is coronary or heart disease) of all deaths. Infections and traffic accidents each account for around 10-20%, Cancer is 10%. Adverse reactions to medication never made up more than 1-2% in overall mortality rates, or even less, in any textbook I ever saw.
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