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Affordable Healthcare


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12 replies to this topic

#1 locally pwned

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 10:22 AM

Healthcare...an important issue, and one that I thought might make for a good thread. What are the major problems with our system; can they be addressed...or does the whole thing need to be replaced? What about a Canadian and/or European-styled system? What are the pros and cons?
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#2 Mr Alpha

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 03:39 PM

Last month when I had a growth removed made me really appreciate our European style health-care system. :thumbsup:

Oh, and I might add that privatization of health insurance is a stupid idea.
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#3 seafox14

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 10:29 PM

Lets take England for an example. They have universal health care coverage as well as many other social services. They also have an income tax rate around 50%. Just some food for thought.


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#4 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 11:07 PM

What I dont understand is of the billions of pills that drug companies makes each year why does certain ones cost sooooooo much money. It sad when people have to choose between food and medicine to live.

Its time people stop being greedy because peoples lives is way more important than making a little more on your paychecks because you ripped someone off for their pills.

#5 ddeerrff

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 11:34 PM

What I dont understand is of the billions of pills that drug companies makes each year why does certain ones cost sooooooo much money.

Because of the billions of dollars the drug companies spend on research. Without research, there would be no medical advances.
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#6 locally pwned

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 09:24 AM

Lets take England for an example. They have universal health care coverage as well as many other social services. They also have an income tax rate around 50%. Just some food for thought.



It's not as though lower taxes equates to more expendable income. Americans just have to pay more for other goods and services. "High taxes are bad" is the mantra...but "low taxes and expensive privatized services" aren't necessarily better. The question is: which method is more efficient at providing society's needs?

Low taxes aren't such a big deal for the poor to lower-middle class American retiree who faces $1000 dollar/month health insurance rates...


Because of the billions of dollars the drug companies spend on research. Without research, there would be no medical advances.


One of the problems with a free market system is that companies constantly push for greater consumption. The research that is spent...is it being used to cure disease, or just to push the next product on the market? Only marketable maladies get the focus. And of course, the driving force is profit for drug companies, not to alleviate human suffering. So is it any real surprise that medicine in the US is so expensive? Yes, companies do a lot of research here. But I have a real problem with the ratio of the money we spend on healthcare and the benefits we receive.

To me, the question is this: how can we provide the best healthcare to the most people for the lowest cost?

I would argue that a market system is not the most efficient way to reach this goal. The only thing our system is efficient at is extracting profit.
"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." - Albert Einstein

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands." - Douglas Adams

#7 MaraM

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:00 PM

Just a query, please, so those of us that don't live in the States can prerhaps more better understand the health system.

If I understand this correctly...

If a family of four, for example, have great health they get a 'decent' medical insurance coverage rate?

But if someone in the family has (or has had) a serious disease, their insurance rate can 'sky rocket' - or coverage even be denied?

What happens if someone can't afford the insurance or simply doesn't have any?

Thanks,
Mara
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#8 jessicar0011

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:30 PM

I work with the state of Oregon and we have free health care for pregnat woman and children after the mother has her child she can continue to have insurance as long as she doesnt let a laps in covage happen then she cant get back on it unless she gets pregnet again. So in a way there telling people that to have insurance you have to have a baby. And unfortnatly a male is going to have an even harder time trying to get free covrage.
I deal with the questions of why everyday so i ask my boss what do i tell these people when they call she tells me to make something up. So its not only not getting the covage people need but they want to lie to people about why they cant have it

#9 Wizdabest

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 05:08 PM

Should the question of healthcare providers be more "what can we do to help you?" and not "why should we have to pay for your hospital visit?". Healthcare should be that basic need for everybody to have at a cheap cost but then how much would taxes increase? If anything, wouldn't a tax increase for a better healthcare reform be a better choice than to raise taxes on some needless political thing?

#10 locally pwned

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 09:17 AM

Wiz...how about insurance companies making decisions on which treatments are necessary? Since when are insurance companies ran by doctors and dentists?

MaraM, there are some 46 million US citizens without any health coverage. Many of those without coverage simply go without basic check-ups and maintenance; ironically this ends up costing the system more when people end up suffering maladies that could have been prevented in the first place.

46 million. Think about that. There are more uninsured US citizens than there are Canadians.

One of the biggest problems is that many buisnesses don't offer health benefits anymore; and many of those that do offer it for a large expense. Huge co-pays, deductables, ect.

For those who are poor enough, there are state-run programs...such as Oregon Health Plan. It's the folks that are just above that point that often have to go without.

Retirees also face huge costs...as you get older, it becomes more and more expensive to be insured. My parents will soon retire; for them to keep their current level of health insurance, they will have to pay about 800 dollars a month...and that does not include dental or eye care.

One of the more dispicable results of all this is the elderly who have to keep working just to afford their medicine. Think of that: you work to afford meds...you require the meds to stay healthy enough to work...so you can buy more meds...to stay alive and keep working...to afford more meds...

The elderly generate profits for drug companies while providing cheap labor for retail companies. What an advanced people we have become.

:thumbsup: :flowers:

Edited by locally pwned, 16 August 2006 - 09:21 AM.

"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." - Albert Einstein

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands." - Douglas Adams

#11 MaraM

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 02:01 PM

Oh my dod. I'm truly stunned. I've read the replies about what the health care system is really like and I realize more than ever just how lucky I am to have been born in Canada! I know the States is a wonderful place too, but the health plan/care must be terrifying to the 'average' person! Eek!

I had been 'moaning' about our health care here having a 'board' that decides which medications our doctors prescribe will/will not be covered under our plan - and I hang my head in shame!

Also read that while England has a medical coverage similiar to ours here, we luckily are not taxed at "50%" - and although I suspect this may be naive on my part, surely medical coverage should be a 'basic right' for every citizen of the United States?

Hope no one has the urge to 'slap me upside my head' when reading this, but for both your country and ours, I often wish our govenments would take care of their 'families first' (citizens) before being 'so charitable' with other countries.

For there to be so many homeless in Canada - and children who, along with their families, are dependent on the 'Food Bank' to survive, it's heartbreaking. And to know there are so, so many people without even basic medical coverage in the wonderful country of the United States - well, it's not just heartbreaking, it's stuns me!
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#12 locally pwned

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 10:27 AM

Mara, when I grabbed the source I was shocked as well...the last estimate was more like 24 million, still a huge number...but the new number is apparently based on the latest census data.

Also read that while England has a medical coverage similiar to ours here, we luckily are not taxed at "50%" - and although I suspect this may be naive on my part, surely medical coverage should be a 'basic right' for every citizen of the United States?


I have observed that the automatic response from supply-siders is generally something along the lines of, "what...you want the government to take half your pay check and spend it for you?" You have to look at our culture; the market system is almost worshiped in the US. It is as if large numbers of people consider the market system to be omnipotent..."business is always efficient, government is always wasteful." The suggestion of any new regulation or, heaven forefend, alternative systems...are met with great resistance.

I am not trying to argue against capitalism on the whole. There are aspects of it that are great. The problem is that the driving force...the goals of individuals and companies in a free market economy...don't always line up with the needs of society. Even Adam Smith, the father of the classical school of economics, believed that there are certain products and services that are best left to government operation.


As for the idea that healthcare is a basic right: it is often argued here that healthcare is not a right at all; to believe so means that you simply want "entitlements."

My main problem with that sort of reasoning: I find it ironic that while almost all of us believe that our citizens have a right to "life, liberty, and justice" ...how can you attain any of these if you can't even afford to keep yourself and your family physically healthy?

:thumbsup:

Edited by locally pwned, 17 August 2006 - 10:39 AM.

"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." - Albert Einstein

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands." - Douglas Adams

#13 MaraM

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 11:12 PM

Yes, I do agree, Locally pwned, with your words " I find it ironic that while almost all of us believe that our citizens have a right to "life, liberty, and justice" ...how can you attain any of these if you can't even afford to keep yourself and your family physically healthy?

It's hard to have 'life' if one can't afford to even see the doctor when a 'lump' appears - wait - and then can't afford surgery even after it's discovered the cancer or other serious disease has struck. And 'justice' ... can't figure out where the justice would be if a good person dies because of lack of money and another person with the same disease lives - simply because they can afford the best medical care. Sad sigh.

Mind you, I'd make a rotten politician - honest do believe that 'basic rights' include not just great but "floaty things" such as 'life, liberty and justice' but also basic very necessary things such as health care and education.

I've been so lucky in my life - always had a good education, a good job and a lot of love ... but I'm also fully aware that there are so, so many people not so lucky.

Bright, wonderful kids that simply can't afford to go to University ... single moms (or dads) that have discovered that when one adds up the costs of working including usually lousy pay with no fringe benefits, day-care, baby-sitters, transportation, etc, they can no longer afford to work - and the government gives them (and their children) a mere 'pittance' to live on each month (and if the parent tries to supplement the income by working at anything at all, apparently that amount is deducted from their welfare amount) ... wonderful families destroyed because of an serious illness devestating them financially ... and on and on.

How I wish more of our tax dollars were being spent on people who, through no fault of their own, simply can't make ends meet in our wonderful but expensive countries. Hmmm ... I was right, I'd make a terrible politician - just think our wonderful countries could be better.

Our families (citizens) first - then let's spend the billions each year on reaching the moon and giving huge amounts away to 'less developed countries', perhaps.
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