Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Playing politics with health care.

Hi everyone,

It's now more important for conservative strategy to continue propagating our health care system than to do something good for everyone.

Oh wait, that's been true for 30 years.

Okay, what I meant to say was, here's the latest:


Anonymous said...

How can we as a nation promote spending a silly amount of money in universal health care when we as a nation HAVE NO MONEY?

Lets buy a car we can afford first, and after we have some money lets work on tweaking its stereo system and give it some fancy rims.

As sad as it makes me to see people not receive neccessary health care, we really arent in a position to change it at the moment.

Anonymous said...

What a joke. It's always going to be the same argument. Democrats think that universal healthcare is the cure-all to our problems and that it won't cost anything. Socialized healthcare does not work, costs too much, and puts too much power into the hands of the goverment. Right now, I choose if I should go to the doctor or not depending on how I feel. For example, are my symptoms worth the cost of my going to the doctor? Once we start handing everything out for free, everyone that breaks a nail will be in the doctor's office looking for a bandaid and some narcotic painkillers.

I'm not saying that healthcare is perfect the way it is... but this is not the route to go.

Anonymous said...

I love the use of propaganda to prove your point.

PaulyW said...


If you leave the school, will you be satified with the new healthcare options? Are you prepared to go on the new system yourself? Do you want to have some councelor sitting down with you when you are old to determine if you deserve care? It's not perfect now but the proposed option is far worse. And I am not in the minority on this opinion. BO said we could keep out private care, but in 2013 it can all go away. Not everybody needs help. Help those that need it. Don't take away our options.

Mpeterson said...

Anon 1: It's sad? No. It's freakin' tragic and we're the only modern country in the world that doesn't provide this. It's not whether we can afford it, it's whether we can afford NOT to change things. We can't.

Anon2: there's no reason not to ask for a reasonable and small co-pay, but getting people into a doctor sooner actually saves the system money (most of which currently goes out when people wait too long and massive spending is required to fix what much less spending would have prevented).

Check the information from Physicians for a National Health Program.

Personally, if a national health care system doesn't help make the US more economically competitive and save us money in the long run, then I'm against it.... it's just that, over the years, as I've studied the economics of such programs, they make increasing economic sense. QED.

Pauly asks the question that goes to the real point: would I be happy to walk away from my health care system (supposedly the "gold standard").

The usual complaint is that if the gov't takes over the insurance component of health care you won't get to pick your own doctor, care will have to be rationed, and you'll have to wait for procedures you might need right away.

Well, I do all of that now. I don't get to pick my own doctor. I have to wait for months for procedures already -- my family, for instance, has a history of basal cell carcinomas... too much sailing and fishing ... and I found a couple of little boo-boos on my nose that looked suspicious. I called to make an appointment and was told they could squeeze me in -- in about 6 weeks. This is to see if I have cancer. I had to wait 6 months for my colonoscopy.

Turned out I don't have a basal cell carcinoma -- this time.

When I was living in Canada (or Sweden) I never had to wait for anything. Our insurance system already sucks. A preponderance of personal bankruptcies in this country are the result of already "insured" people getting sick.

Grin. Maybe I'll have to work y'all's points into a column in the next few weeks. :^)


Anonymous said...

Do you happen to have any plain numbers that we can look at? Everything I find on the internet is biased to one side or the other. I want to see straight-forward numbers that show the costs, benefits, and what we pay now.

Your only reasoning right now is that you don't like the health care that you currently have and, when you were in other countries, the system seemed great. But, we all know that opining is not knowledge. Without the ability to work out the math behind the ideas, we are really just babbling about a whole lot of nothing.

Also, Mark, do you think that universal healthcare will result in an overload at the doctor's office and/or emergency rooms? When things are free, more people are likely to go get checked out even when it isn't warranted. We all know the over-protective mother or the "I'm always sick" guy that would be in the doctor's office everytime they sneeze. This is how I see it (and I may just be dead wrong but we will see):

Take Band-Aids for example of healthcare. People buy them for when they get hurt. Some people could really use them but can't necessarily afford them. Now, if the government determined that everyone has the right to have band-aids, do you not think that nearly everyone will increase their consumption of Band-Aids? People that could not afford them before will stock up. Those people who already had them before will start changing their Band-Aids more often because they don't have to pay anything.... and so on. Everyone will stock up and the whole Band-Aid market would be innefficient. There would be a shortage of supplies, more people would need to start producing band-aids, and it would continue to cost more and more and more to feed the demand for Band-Aids.

It's not exactly the best symbol for health care but you can see that there would be similarities.

Mpeterson said...

lol. Opining is surely not knowing. I imagine you also know that the difference is doing the math. Here's just a little bit:

Emergency room care is the most expensive... that's where people without health insurance end up.

The worry about people just showing up for anything seems reasonable to me -- which is why something like a $20 copay might not be a bad way to keep people home for a scratch....

On the other hand, I sliced up the very tip of a finger a few years ago while cutting up an onion. I applied pressure, held it over my head -- all the Red Cross First Aid stuff I knew -- then called my brother-the-doctor and asked him whether I needed to go to the ER for it. It hadn't stopped bleeding after 20 minutes. He said "GO IN!"

The ER nurse confirmed his opinion.

It cost me $50 or so. It cost my insurance company over $400 -- for 10 minutes with a nurse and the magic blood stopping finger growing gel.

Do you think I should have gone in or not?

Since I'm only required by law to educate people in the classroom, check the website I put up
for more numbers. :^)

Anonymous said...

Mark. What is your opinion on the Steven Crowder video about "Obamacare" that Ginny put on her blog a week or two ago.

That doesnt seem like a very ideal way to work a healthcare system


Mpeterson said...

One piece of misinformation (disinformation) I keep running into is the idea that Canada has a "national health care system"... it doesn't. It's all run through the provinces. I know that in Ontario and BC they didn't have these kinds of problems... or, at any rate, any problems that are worse than what those of us in the states with decent insurance have now. That's the most interesting comparison to me.

I like Crowder's charisma, but to me he sounds like just another libertarian with a full stomach and good insurance.

Like I said before, any nationalized insurance program (and remember, we aren't talking about nationalizing medicine, but underwriting insurance for those who don't have insurance) that doesn't save us money in the long run, doesn't do us any good. What we do know is that, right now, the consumer is getting creamed by the provider system -- including hospitals and insurance companies. Doctors are part of the problem, but only a part.