Wed
Aug 1 2007
07:58 am

Gov. Phil Bredesen: "It comes back to personal responsibility - we don't have it in our power to promise everyone free health insurance without limits. But we do have it in our power to offer them access to affordable and portable health insurance, and then the choice is theirs."

Sound familiar? If so, maybe it's because we've heard it before:

Rudy Giuliani: "Americans believe in free-market solutions to the challenges we face, and I believe we can reduce costs, expand access to, and improve the quality of health care by increasing competition. [..] To reform, we must empower all Americans by increasing health care choices and affordability, while bringing accountability to the system."

Mitt Romney: "We get people that were uninsured with private health insurance. We have to stand up and say the market works. Personal responsibility works."

Go read Egalia on why Bredesen is the last Democrat who should be talking about health care (along with some other thoughts on the DLC).

sadcox's picture

Just curious...

What part, if any, do you believe personal responsibility plays in the health care issue?

R. Neal's picture

Health insurance should be

Health insurance should be mandatory -- everybody should pay premiums on a sliding scale, with subsidized premiums for the needy.

People who can afford it should take responsibility for routine health care such as doctor visits, physicals, sniffles, and the like, and insurance should be used to cover more serious needs.

People should practice preventive health care, with the help of professionals. People with bad genes or bad habits (legal or otherwise), shouldn't be penalized and left out of the system, though.

No one in America should be without insurance or access to affordable health care.

Where I depart with the people quoted, though, is that insurance should be made available to everyone, and insurance companies should have to make good on claims. That is not the current situation.

A mandatory, single-payer, subsidized National Health Insurance program accomplishes all of the above.

SammySkull's picture

What part does personal

What part does personal responsibility play in health care? A better question would be, how do you determine who deserves health care?

sadcox's picture

RNeal... That sounds a lot

RNeal...

That sounds a lot like, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"

I seem to recall that being tried before.

Who deserves health care? Well, everyone deserves the freedom (and responsibility) to choose and acquire the best possible health care they can, that's for sure.

R. Neal's picture

SAdcox, sounds like you

SAdcox, sounds like you aren't really familiar with the concept of health or any other kind of insurance.

SammySkull's picture

The best health care they

The best health care they can goes straight to the best they can afford. That's not the same as being human and taking care of each other, it's letting the market decide your individual worth.

sadcox's picture

Actually, I'm pretty

Actually, I'm pretty familiar with the concepts of insurance and socialism.

Insurance is the concept of transferring your risk to someone else for a price mutually agreed on by you and the party who will assume the risk.

Socialism is the concept of transferring this risk to everyone--at gunpoint.

I can recognize both when I see them.

talidapali's picture

But I'll bet you wouldn't recognize...

Jesus Christ in the form of a poor, homeless, injured man who needed your help. Just like all the others you too would step right over him on your journey and leave him for the Samaritan to aid.

“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? / When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? / Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? / And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” {Matthew 25:35-40}

or perhaps

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." {Luke 6:38}

_________________________________________________
"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"
"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

sadcox's picture

You may want to hedge your

Jesus Christ in the form of a poor, homeless, injured man who needed your help. Just like all the others you too would step right over him on your journey and leave him for the Samaritan to aid.

You may want to hedge your bet there hoss.

How can you be sure I wouldn't choose to help him instead of shrugging it off as the government's responsibility, as would be the temptation if there were a thousand government programs to help him?

See, without forced participation in poorly run government programs, each of my fellow men becomes my personal responsibility.

Oh wait, you guys aren't down with personal responsibility.

talidapali's picture

I can be sure you wouldn't help him ...

because you have stated you are all about the "personal responsibility". So I fully expect you would expect the sick man to rise on his own accord and get himself to a hospital and pay for treatment with the lint in his pockets.
When people are sick, they rarely can go to work and earn the money to pay for things for themselves (I'm not talking about a little cold here, I'm talking SICK). So they lose their jobs, and then they lose their home, and then they are the poor homeless people who get rolled into a river when they are asleep or beaten up by kids out to have a little redneck fun.

But don't worry, you aren't personally responsible for caring about or for your fellow man. That'd be way too much for God to ask of you.

39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' {Matthew 22:39}

_________________________________________________
"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"
"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

sadcox's picture

So everyone in Canada, for

So everyone in Canada, for example, is forced, at gunpoint (not metaphorically, actually), to participate in their healthcare system?

Yes.

Unless the police, tax agents, prison guards, etc. in Canada don't have guns. Regardless, they do here.

R. Neal's picture

Insurance is the concept of

Insurance is the concept of transferring your risk to someone else for a price mutually agreed on by you and the party who will assume the risk.

Can you explain to us how the party who assumes the risk sets the price, and how they are able to cover the risk?

sadcox's picture

Can you explain to us how

Can you explain to us how the party who assumes the risk sets the price, and how they are able to cover the risk?

No problem. I'm sure this is an ill-disguised attempt at setting a trap, but I'll bite anyway.

As a business whose objective is to make money for its shareholders, risk is assessed for each person insured (not collectively) and a premium is determined. If the sum paid in premiums by those who chose and agreed (key point) to be insured is greater than the sum paid in claims and operating expenses, there is a profit. If not, there is a loss.

Deep inside your retirement account, you are probably one of these shareholders and are hoping for a profit. If you don't have a private retirement account and actually believe that the government is going to take care of you in retirement as reliably as it can provide health care for you, I wish you luck--at least you are not a hypocrite.

Quid pro quo:
Can you explain how subsidized national health insurance is not an example of socialism, or would you prefer to ignore that part of my previous post again?

gttim's picture

As a business whose

As a business whose objective is to make money for its shareholders, risk is assessed for each person insured (not collectively) and a premium is determined.

You think of health care as a profit making opportunity. Liberals think of health care as an opportunity to save lives.

I believe I answered the other issues in my commented I posted before I saw your last comment.

And remember, insurance used to not be about making big profits. It used to be just about sharing risk. You should look into the history of mutual insurance companies. Until corporations started seeing ways to make huge profits from insurance, it was a much more honorable profession that provided a safety net. But corporations pretty much screw up anything by bastardizing it in the name of profits.

Rachel's picture

Quid pro quo:Can you

Quid pro quo:
Can you explain how subsidized national health insurance is not an example of socialism, or would you prefer to ignore that part of my previous post again?

In addition to what metlju just said, which I agree with, here's my thing - I don't care if it's socialism. I care if it makes sense. If it gets everyone health insurance & keeps costs down for business and for individuals, you can call it the little green plan from Mars and I'll be all for it.

Fighting about what moniker to hang on a plan is silly - about as silly as Hornback saying "when the Republican caucus gets a plan, that will be my plan."

Could we please evaluate ideas on their merits rather than dismissing them (or endorsing them) because somebody wants to hang a specific label on them?

BTW, what happens under your plan to people who "choose" to have health insurance, but can't get it? Or can't afford it? Do they really have "choice?" How?

gttim's picture

Who deserves health care?

Who deserves health care? Well, everyone deserves the freedom (and responsibility) to choose and acquire the best possible health care they can, that's for sure.

Lets say you are terminated from your job and lose your insurance. However you have a medical history which includes serious problems in the past year. You are not eligible for COBRA, because of the size of your last company. Suddenly you are unable to buy insurance. No company will take you on because of your health issues. I guess you do not deserve health insurance anymore. You should have planned better.

Single payer health insurance, which is not socialism, is the better system because everybody is guaranteed to be allowed into the pool, the pool is large so risk is more easily shared fairly, and corporations are not taking 30% off the top as profits and administrative costs. Paying for it through taxes insures everybody who can contribute, does. Costs are actually cut because the 'premium' collection system is already in place. Medicare takes no profits off the top and the administrative costs are below 2%. Administrative costs would be less would probably drop even lower for a national system that covers everybody. Like Medicare, people would be able to buy supplemental insurance or pay more out of pocket for more expensive care, if they feel it would be better. Corporations can cut costs because they longer have to provide insurance for their employees. Unions and corporations have one less (major) issue to fight about. Maybe auto companies can even begin to build plants in the US again.

Single payer health care is a winner for people and for corporations- except for the large health care organizations who are currently lining their pockets by refusing to pay benefits.

sadcox's picture

Hold on...I think we just

Hold on...I think we just found some common ground.

It seems like what is needed is a group of people (sounds like there are millions of them) to agree to pay each other's medical bills, spreading their risk so that no single person has to pay too much. Anyone can choose be a part of--a sort of a co-op for health insurance.

So you guys know this kind of thing exists, right?

I think we can all agree that the current system is broken. The sticking point for me is the involvement of government to worsen, err solve, the problem.

sadcox's picture

So you'd trade religious

So you'd trade religious control for governmental control?

I'm going to assume you are saying that purely for rhetorical reasons, not because you actually believed that religion was the gist of the comment.

Of course religion doesn't have a monopoly on this. You are free to do the exact same thing with no ties to religion. You could do it with a group of motorcyclists, or a group of artists, a group of hunters...whatever. Include anyone and everyone you want, exclude anyone and everyone you want--your choice.

I don't care if it's socialism. I care if it makes sense.

Rachel, that is a very valid statement. If you think socialism as a concept is acceptible and it makes sense to you, then nationalized health care is your logical choice.

Kudos to you for being clear thinking enough to recognize and identify an ace as an ace.

Rachel's picture

Rachel, that is a very valid

Rachel, that is a very valid statement. If you think socialism as a concept is acceptible and it makes sense to you, then nationalized health care is your logical choice.

That's not what I said, although I confess I don't see socialism as the big bad bugaboo that many do.

What I said is that I like to evaluate a plan on its merits, without having to attach an -ism to it. I'm looking for something that provides as many people as possible with an acceptable level of care, that's not impossible for individuals or employers to pay for, and that has administrative costs that aren't sky high and unduly enriching the insurance companies. As far as I can see, some form of single-payer health care system fits that bill.

BTW, do you think Medicare is "socialism"? How about the VA health care system? Social security? Just checking.

And you didn't respond to my questions about "choice."

gttim's picture

Notice sadcox would rather

Notice sadcox would rather name call single payer health care as "socialism" rather than debate the points I threw up there for him. Of course it is easier to try a demonize something with labels than to use facts, reason and logic to make your case. How Republican!

mbradley's picture

Hey, I get it. Let's make a

Hey, I get it. Let's make a class called "Americans" and set such a system up and call it "The American Health Care System!"

Well, if you keep government out of it and it just might work...

do you think Medicare is "socialism"? How about the VA health care system? Social security?

All fine tuned machines efficiently protecting and serving the citizens of our country... Government is at its best when it is a safety net, not THE solution to every problem.

R. Neal's picture

The guy is apparently

The guy is apparently confused about "socialism", too, quoting the founder of Communism to describe it.

I'm sure he will follows through with his principles, though, and lobby his local government to fire the police and shut down the fire department and abolish his local public schools. (Actually, he's probably working on that last one).

sadcox's picture

How Republican With the

How Republican

With the exception of my support for Ron Paul, you couldn't be further off. I've yet to vote for a Republican, but I appreciate your hesitation to use labels. :)

And I apologize...I didn't mean to ignore your points. I'm responding to multiple people and am hitting the high spots.

Here we go...

If nationalized health care is a "pool", "paid through taxes", and "like Medicare" as you claim, it is socialism by definition.

From Wikipedia:

Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. This control may be either direct—exercised through popular collectives such as workers' councils—or indirect—exercised on behalf of the people by the state.

Of course, you are free on Wikipedia to change that definition if you don't agree with it.

Please don't think I'm name calling when I label something as "socialism", although I'm aware that word has a certain sting to it. I'm just going by the definition. I recognize that socialism is a legitimate school of political philosophy, though one that I don't happen to agree with. If I'm mistaken, please suggest one that better describes the political philosophy that characterizes the health care system you guys are proposing and I will gladly use it.

Hey, I get it. Let's make a class called "Americans" and set such a system up and call it "The American Health Care System!"

Exactly! I'm cool with that, as long as participation is not compulsory. Again, let anyone in you want...hell, let everybody except me in if you want.

BTW, do you think Medicare is "socialism"?

Yes. In fact, I know it is.

How about the VA health care system?

No. It's a well deserved part of a benefits package for people who serve our country, not everyone. Unfortunately, its poor administration and low level of services is a great example of what happens when the government gets involved.

Social security?

Yep. Socialism. By definition.

Rachel's picture

Ok, if universal health care

Ok, if universal health care is bad because it's "socialist", are medicare and social security also bad? Should we get rid of them?

Still not addressing my questions about choice....

SammySkull's picture

Is there a word that means

Is there a word that means both astounded and disgusted? Because that's how I feel when I read crap from the Hornbacks and the sadcoxes of our country. I'm enraged that so many people are perfectly happy with the idea that a very few people can actually become rich because so many people happen to become ill or injured.

This is disgusting and unAmerican as hell. If republicans could make a dollar off people stubbing their toes they'd hide under tables and benches with hammers. But why do that when you can just profit from the industry and damn any other option as red communism merely because some suggest that perhaps we all deserve decency and respect and a well check once in a while for our kids. I almost don't even care if I ever see a doctor, but when I look at my kids, and I see them well and happy, I worry. I know of too many kids that aren't well, that don't get adequate care for the most basic of problems.

Maybe a better question for sadcox would be, who doesn't deserve medical care? Who in the entire world should not be cared for when they are ill or injured? Supporting the current system or anything that doesn't help every single person is exactly like stepping over sick Jesus in the street.

sadcox's picture

The guy is apparently

The guy is apparently confused about "socialism", too, quoting the founder of Communism to describe it.

Not confused at all...socialism is the step between capitalism and communism--the first phase of the communist society according to Marx. Read up.

I'm sure he will follows through with his principles, though, and lobby his local government to fire the police and shut down the fire department and abolish his local public schools. (Actually, he's probably working on that last one).

Not exactly. Government does have its logical function--protection of private property, which police and fire departments are there for.

Abolishment of the local schools? Well the Constitution of the State of Tennessee allows that we will provide education, so that would be illegal. I'd sure like for you to get your money's worth out of them though.

sadcox's picture

Some of you may be taking

Some of you may be taking this a little personally. I'm trying to have an intellectual discussion here. I don't think I've made any personal remarks toward anyone.

Supporting the current system or anything that doesn't help every single person is exactly like stepping over sick Jesus in the street.

But that is funny.

Maybe I'm a little too optimistic or have too much faith in people? Humanitarianism, sympathy, compassion, charity, and care for other people begin and end with individuals. I don't understand the desire (need?) to pass the personal responsibility for these traits that separate us from other animals off to a ubiquitous entity like the federal government...that's all.

"I should do something" is infinitely more powerful than "we should do something".

gttim's picture

sadcox, which seems such a

sadcox, which seems such a fitting and hilarious name along the lines of CBT, and one that I can believe, you have not addressed any of the issues I brought. You stuck to name calling and trying to define socialism. Again, how Republican. (Good for the goose....)

BTW, I love it when people tell me they are not Republican while bashing progressive/liberals/democrats and trying to call them socialists. You could be Libertarian, but I consider that even worse. If you are, please tell me you never, ever plan to call 911, even if your house is burning down. We'll talk about roads and airports and things another time.

You know, I work in the insurance industry, in the actuarial department of a Life & Health Company. I would love to debate the specifics of the insurance business. Lets address some of the topics I brought up, shall we? I've listed why a national health care plan is better for everybody. Tell me why it isn't. Other than you think it is socialism.

JaHu's picture

Personally I feel insurance,

Personally I feel insurance, not so much the companies themselves but the concept of insurance, is responible for the tremendous rise in the cost of health care in this country. The hospitals and doctors know they can charge premium prices for their services and so they charge it. I personally wish they were able to do away with insurance altogether. Only then would you see the cost of doctors and hospital fees drop. Talk about supply and demand, The hospitals would be cutting costs left and right to stay in business. Their suppliers would also have to cut their prices to survive.

I can't help but to think that insurance is in some way to blame for the deterioration of all aspects of the medical industry, from the hospitals, suppliers and manufacturers of medicine, to the surgeons and general practioners, it all seems to be for the almighty buck, which is okay but eliminating insurance would at least keep it under wraps. I'm not in agreement with Randy on this one. I don't think forcing people to get coverage is going to make it better. It won't curb the rising cost of coverage.

Panama has a system that at least eliminates the middle man {the insurance companies). If you want coverage you just pay the hospital a small monthly fee and you are guanteed full hospitalization, Of course it is only with the hospital where you payed that you would be covered. I think it also includes the doctors fees. Panama is similar to how it was here in the 50's and early 60's.

On a different subject but still about the medical industry.
My son has apparently broken his foot. The fact that it has turned black I think is a pretty good indicator of this. This morning he went to three different doctor's offices and none would see him without an appointment. They all acknowledged that they thought his foot was broke, but none would see him. He doesn't want to take time off from his job, because he's a new employee, and had hoped to have checked out before he went into work this afternoon. They all told him that if he wanted it checked out to go to the emergency room, which would have cost him a ton of money and who knows how long he would have been there. He doesn't have health insurance with his new company yet, but he felt he had enough money to pay for the visit at a doctors office. My question is what ever happened to the time when doctors would place emergency patients above all others? Do they even take xrays in doctors offices anymore?

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

gttim's picture

This morning he went to

This morning he went to three different doctor's offices and none would see him without an appointment.

This would be why God created emergency rooms.

Personally I feel insurance, not so much the companies themselves but the concept of insurance, is responible for the tremendous rise in the cost of health care in this country.

You have seriously misunderstood how insurance companies work. The doctors do not bill insurance companies what they feel they earned. The insurance companies pay the doctors set rates, usually about 40% of what a doctor would charge the uninsured, or those with some form of indemnity insurance. With a national health care system, the doctors would be paid a set rate. If people wished to use doctors that did not want to accept the set rate, or required the patient to make up what he charged and what the system paid, they could pay out of pocket or use supplemental insurance.

R. Neal's picture

He's an Army of One. A

He's an Army of One. A rugged individualist who will never get sick or need anything from anyone. He's probably about 28 years old, too. And listens to too much Neal Boortz.

(I just hope he never has to try to purchase "private insurance" in Tennessee. If we're all about free markets and choice and personal responsibility, how come that isn't an option?)

I wonder if he thinks we should be required to have car insurance?

R. Neal's picture

Jahu: I don't think forcing

Jahu: I don't think forcing people to get coverage is going to make it better. It won't curb the rising cost of coverage.

The idea is to get everyone in the pool to spread the costs and make everyone pay their fair share.

Curbing costs will probably have to be regulated.

We could start by spending more on real R&D and less on developing hardon pills and advertising them on TV.

gttim's picture

We could start by spending

We could start by spending more on real R&D and less on developing hardon pills and advertising them on TV.

Damn, now that thar is socialism! People like sadcox need better hardon pills!

sadcox's picture

So you have had no influence

So you have had no influence in your life other than your own thoughts as an individual?

Not saying that. Many individuals and small groups have had immensely positive influences on my life. Most large collections of people have not.

That's just me. The same may not be true for you, and would explain our difference in opinion.

sadcox, which seems such a fitting and hilarious name along the lines of CBT, and one that I can believe,

Wow. Just when things weren't personal. Good job on maintaining the integrity of a legitimate discussion!

You could be Libertarian, but I consider that even worse.

Which, thankfully, you are free to do. :)

I did address your points. I guess not the correct ones? If you are referring to the part about insurance being a for-profit business, I didn't directly respond to you, but that was the genesis for mention of the freedom of groups to gather privately and cover one another's health care costs in not for profit entities.

Ok, if universal health care is bad because it's "socialist", are medicare and social security also bad? Should we get rid of them?

Rachel,
I believe they are bad and that we should get rid of them. Based on the math I was taught in public schools, we could do much better providing for ourselves if we were allowed to do so.

Wrong. The intermediary step between the fall of capitalism...

Sorry. I typed an error. Replace "the intermediate step" with "an intermediate step". Thanks for catching that!

SammySkull's picture

I'd agree that JaHu's son

I'd agree that JaHu's son needed the emergency room, but it also says something that his concern was with the new job and having to debate whether his injury would effect his ability to maintain that job. I once walked around on a broken foot for almost a week, waiting till my day off work to finally visit the emergency room. I suffered cracked ribs last fall playing soccer, at least I think they were cracked ribs based on the pain and the time I took to heal. I don't know for sure because I wasn't about to visit the ER if I could help it. That would have been a nice deal, several thousand dollars to confirm what I suspected with the advice to be careful.

We are currently paying off an emergency room bill, a few thousand dollars worth for what was essentially a very bad asthma attack. Had my wife been able to regularly see a doctor, I doubt that she'd have been reduced to an emergency room visit, which she also wanted to avoid over concerns for her job. This is the second time in about four years that this has happened to us, and both times it was asthma related.

JaHu's picture

"I'd agree that JaHu's son

"I'd agree that JaHu's son needed the emergency room,"

"We are currently paying off an emergency room bill, a few thousand dollars worth for what was essentially a very bad asthma attack."

Emergency rooms have gotten to expensive for the care they provide. Used to, you could go to a general practitioner to have a bone set and in a cast, for probably no more than 50 bucks. Now you are expected to go to an emergency room where you will probably be nailed for several thousand dollars, this is after you've received all of the billings. I just feel that its now the easy availability of insurance that has allowed for the doctors and hospitals, and everyone down the line to charge an ever increasing rate.

I will concede that insurance is not the only reason for the high costs, but I feel all the other factors wouldn't have been as much of an issue if it hadn't have been for the availability of insurance, and also the fact that insurance companies are making high profits from system isn't helping matters either.

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

R. Neal's picture

JaHu, sorry to hear about

P.S. JaHu, sorry to hear about your son. Hope he is able to get treatment and he will be OK and it isn't hurting too much.

(It's another good example, though, why insurance needs to be decoupled from employement. I'd like to see us outlaw employers providing insurance, instead of more incentives for them to do so.)

JaHu's picture

(It's another good example,

(It's another good example, though, why insurance needs to be decoupled from employement. I'd like to see us outlaw employers providing insurance, instead of more incentives for them to do so.)

Thanks for the well wishes for my son. I'm confident he will be as good as new in a few weeks.

I'm kind of torn between insurance being provided by private companies or having it be controlled by a nonprofit organization such as our government, or at least it was the way our government used to be. On one hand I don't like the insurance companies making huge profits from peoples misfortunes, these profits just drives the costs higher, but at the same time I don't like government control. I guess that's why I choose option three, no insurance. I know it would go through a chaotic period but I think after a while it would fix itself.

Randy, I do agree that insurance should not be provided by the employers. I think it just opens the doors for abuse by their employees, and it is also makes it harder for the millions of individuals who are not afforded this option, but like one other person commented about me, I am a little confused about the whole situation with the insurance problem, but I feel most people are and that's the reason we haven't come up with a clear solution that everyone will agree with or at least will accept.

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

sadcox's picture

Jahu, your son's situation

Jahu, your son's situation sucks. Based on my recent trips to the ER with broken bones, all they are likely to do is X-Ray him, tell him that his foot is broken (which he already knows) and refer him to an ortho anyway.

It's another good example, though, why insurance needs to be decoupled from employement. I'd like to see us outlaw employers providing insurance, instead of more incentives for them to do so.

I don't like the idea of outlawing it, but I agree that beginning a separation of insurance from employment is a good idea. Look how well it has worked out for retirement--moving from pensions to 401ks.

Another great advantage would be a growth in the number of entrepreneurs who would have the freedom to leave their jobs and start new businesses. It is all too common that people are being shackled down to their current jobs solely for insurance.

I think our only disagreement would be in the method of freeing them. HSAs seem to be a better solution to me than nationalized health care.

R. Neal's picture

HSAs seem to be a better

HSAs seem to be a better solution to me than nationalized health care.

You can't save enough in an HSA to cover a triple-bypass or chemotherapy. That's the "socialist" concept of health insurance in America that we already have, we just don't want to admit it or regulate the insurance companies who control it based on maximizing profits instead of outcomes.

bizgrrl's picture

"The American Health Care

"The American Health Care System!"

I like it! Take it and run.

You're required to have auto insurance.
You're required to have mortgage insurance.
What's the big deal requiring health insurance?

Just another one of those life responsibilities. One big American pool to manage the liability for those sicker than others and those with less means than others.

The richest country on this earth and it's people aren't caring enough, or too selfish, to manage this one additional responsibility.

We are "caring" enough to spend billions of dollars to re-build Iraq along with a nice big US Embassy.

Pathetic!

sadcox's picture

You can't save enough in an

You can't save enough in an HSA to cover a triple-bypass or chemotherapy.

True, but you could pretty easily save enough to get very affordable, high deductible insurance that would cover major illnesses like these and still have plenty left to cover regular medical costs below the deductible.

One of the added benefits of HSAs are that they would ultimately put the buying decision of more minor health costs (immunization shots, minor injuries, etc.) into the hands of the patient instead of insurance companies. People would begin to ask, "how much do you charge to give a tetanus shot" instead of going to any doctor or ER regardless of the cost.

The ability to bargain would drive prices lower.

sadcox's picture

How many is many? How many

How many is many? How many people in a small group? Who influenced the individuals that influenced you? What influenced the members of the small groups to belong to those groups?

I'm speaking in more broad terms. Let me rephrase with some examples so that it makes more sense:

"Mrs. ____ was a teacher taught me a lot."
not
"The _____ County School System taught me a lot."

"My teammates on my basketball team inspired me."
not
"TSSAA basketball inspired me."

"Mr. ____ was a great mentor and helped me grow professionally."
not
"Acme Corp. helped me grow professionally."

sadcox's picture

Nope, for quick reference

Still not correct. Getting your Marx second hand? Or is that among the collections of Rand?

Nope, for quick reference only I got it here. You may want to update this article with the correct information while you are there. I'll check back later tonight and read your updates. The world could use your insight.

I'm not going to begin to try to split hairs with you over socialism, communism, and Marxism. Based on your posts, you seem to have a deep personal knowledge of them that I thankfully do not.

I'll gladly concede this point.

sadcox's picture

On Marx, as I said,

On Marx, as I said, conceded. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are right and "they" are wrong. But isn't it ironic that your complaint about how Wikipedia is operated is one of the reasons that I'm against nationalized anything.

If I don't agree with "them", I'm screwed and have no voice. If I don't like their doctor or they don't like mine, too bad.

Here's your chance to educate me. Send me to the resource that is correct. I'm always up for learning something new.

Just a disconnected individual who has simple relationships with other individuals?

Actually, yes. Maybe that explains my ability to get along with, and even have friendly disagreements with, individuals. When I think of them as individuals instead of members of a large group, they each seem to matter a lot more.

That's why I wouldn't think it fair for each and every one of you individuals who disagree with me to pay my medical bills if I did something stupid like trip and break my arm trying to step over sick Jesus.

Thanks for that line SammySkull. I'm going to use it over and over again.

gttim's picture

Here is where you will never

Here is where you will never get "free" marketers on board. They would say that the doctors should set their own rates.

They do not set their rates now. HMOs, PPOs and Medicare set them now. This would not change.

sadcox, you have not addressed any of the issues I brought up. You keep scurrying away on unimportant stuff. I can understand why- you have no rational arguments. Intellectually, it is much easier for you to just keep calling it socialism than it is to argue points. And I have no trouble with taking it to the personal level. Liberals have been demonized by Republicans and Libertarians for years. By calling anything liberal "socialism" you are just name calling, lying and keeping up the pattern established by sleaze bag pundits. I have no trouble calling you an idiot in return. You have shown nothing to lead me to think otherwise.

KC's picture

sadcox, you have not

sadcox, you have not addressed any of the issues I brought up. You keep scurrying away on unimportant stuff. I can understand why- you have no rational arguments. Intellectually, it is much easier for you to just keep calling it socialism than it is to argue points. And I have no trouble with taking it to the personal level. Liberals have been demonized by Republicans and Libertarians for years. By calling anything liberal "socialism" you are just name calling, lying and keeping up the pattern established by sleaze bag pundits. I have no trouble calling you an idiot in return. You have shown nothing to lead me to think otherwise.

On another thread, the question was being asked why Democrats can't win. The above is a perfect example. When liberals follow Michael Moore around, while he runs around praising one of the last communist countries still surviving in the world, the average Joe just laughs, shakes his head...and doesn't vote for the Democrats.

You can argue that "universal health care" is not socialism, and you might even win some points in a graduate seminar. But when it comes to the political arena, voters will look at it and say "If it walks like a duck...."

It's ironic that so many liberals who condemn Bush's strategy in Iraq for not "winning the hearts and minds" of the Iraqis, seem so intent on doing the exact same thing to the people in this country:

By calling anything liberal "socialism" you are just name calling, lying and keeping up the pattern established by sleaze bag pundits. I have no trouble calling you an idiot in return. You have shown nothing to lead me to think otherwise.

As long as liberals believe they have a right to impose their will on others, because they are intellectually and morally superior to everyone else, the voters will chose the candidate who at least is perceived as believing in the individual to do the right thing, not the organization, bureaucracy, community, or the government.

KC's picture

So Dick "UChicago PhD"

So Dick "UChicago PhD" Cheney and The Christian Right don't participate in this?

Of course they participate in this. Everybody in power participates in this.

But I said the candidate who at least is perceived as believing in the individual to do the right thing, has the best chance of winning.

The Christian Right found this out when it, and its political allies, seemingly crossed the line, in the public's eyes, by getting involved in the Terri Schiavo case. No matter how the leaders of the Christian Right and the politicians defended it, most people just thought it was an intrusion into decisions best left to individual families.

Why the Left never took advantage of that miscalculation by the right is beyond me.

People are influenced all the time by others. but I think there's a difference in choosing what or who influences you and surrendering that choice to others. This nation's history, rightly or wrongly, is perceived as to be a compilation of individuals' struggles over human and natural challenges.

Virgil Proudfoot's picture

Of course it's socialism

Of course single-payer health insurance is socialism. Why be afraid of the word? Socialism is what you employ when capitalism fails, as it has in the area of health care. The government already takes care of three high-risk groups: the elderly, through Medicare; the very poor, through Medicaid; and vets, through the Veterans Administration.

So, having been absolved from having to cover these high-risk groups, capitalist health insurance is left with only the obligation of providing for the remaining, generally healthy, working portion of the population. And they have failed at it.

Even those who think they have coverage through their employers find out all too often that they are denied coverage since insurance companies must, by law, serve their stockholders, not sick people.

The profit model is simply ill conceived as a solution to health care. Socialization of health insurance is the answer for the U.S. as with every other wealthy, democratic country in the world--all of whom have already come to this conclusion.

R. Neal's picture

Excellent post, Virgil.I

Excellent post, Virgil.

I would add that a National Health Insurance system would "socialize" (or "nationalize" if you prefer) insurance (as you note), not health care.

Hospitals, diagnostic centers, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, etc. etc. would still be privately owned (or publicly traded) and doctors would still work in the private sector for the most part and would not be employed by the government (as is the case in the UK, where it really IS "socialized medicine".)

And under the proposal currently in Congress, insurance companies could still sell supplemental insurance, as long as it didn't duplicate the benefits of the NHI program.

It's sort of like our highway system. The government collects taxes and acquires right of way, but contractors in the private sector do all the work and get paid by the government.

gttim's picture

C'mon Gary and sadcox, you

C'mon Gary and sadcox, you are still screaming "socialism" and not addressing any of the points I made on why a single payer health care system is better than what we have now. Not single point has been addressed. You are not even arguing why the current system is better than a single payer system. You just scream "socialism." That is one reason why Republicans are becoming a permanent minority, they cannot argue the points of any of their beliefs, they just shout names and the public has finally picked up on that.

A single payer system benefits all citizens and all businesses other than the large corporations are making obscene profits off the current system. It is more efficient, with more money going for medical uses instead of profit and administrative costs.

And Randy is right, it is the insurance system being changed not the medical system. We will still have the same system of medical care.

Regarding supplemental insurance, it would probably work just like Medicare Supplement does now. It would be standardized and regulated. The Medicare system in this country is one of the most efficiently run health insurance systems in the world. Why not save everybody money by adapting it for the whole country.

R. Neal's picture

It appears our new friend

It appears our new friend "sadcox" isn't interested in a dialog, but rather simply trolling "stirring the pot":

(link...)

As I suspected, he's a fan of Neal Boortz*, which is probably where he gets his talking points. His blogroll should give you an idea where he's coming from.

(*Did you know that Neal Boortz's real name is Randy Neal? I am not making that up. Not to be confused with yours truly, of course.)

mbradley's picture

re: sadcox

Actually, you were close with the "rugged individualist" but probably off on the 28 year old Neil Boortz fan stuff. But, I’m sure he appreciates the link…

A more likely scenario is that he's back at the day job today and away from the internet.

As someone that has just recently starting visiting KnoxViews, yesterday's exchange provided me with some valuable insight (and a moderate amount of entertainment).

As long as liberals believe they have a right to impose their will on others, because they are intellectually and morally superior to everyone else, the voters will chose the candidate who at least is perceived as believing in the individual to do the right thing, not the organization, bureaucracy, community, or the government.

Gary gets the gold star for the outstanding post in this thread. Thoughtful discourse without name calling... thanks...

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Gary & sadcox

I also appreciate Gary's "debate manner."

But sadcox? So, we've been dismissed BY A LIBERTARIAN as "irrational people." I think we can suck it up.

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