Discussion » Current Events » US Health Care System Change

  • Mads
    Mads wrote:
    Americans...others welcomed as well, what is your take on the health care reform bill finally being passed by legislation earlier this morning?
  • Jon Magnus Ro
    Jon Magnus Ro wrote:
  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:
    I don't really pretend to have an informed opinion, but as a concept I think any small steps towards Nationalising healthcare are steps in the right direction. Whilst I'm not the hugest supporter of big-government in practice, I think the concept is far better than clinging to profit-making companies for salvation.
  • Børge Notkevich
  • Aurélien
    Aurélien wrote:
    Can't you people just post the link, like OP did, instead of flooding the forum?
  • Arlen Syver Wasserman
    I don't know everything about the policy. But I do believe that there are penalties to individuals and companies which to not get or provide health insurance. I think this is bullcrap, I am young, healthy and if I want to gamble believing that my chances of injury and sickness do not warrant my need for insurance, let me make that decicion.

    Otherwise, I believe that removing restrictions on insurance companies would be a better move to improving competition rather than increasing the budget deficit, leaving my and following generations with piles of debt. Reduce the deficit. Washington needs to stop taking and spending our money!
  • Pete DeMola
    Pete DeMola wrote:
    Without going into too much detail, health care reform will actually reduce the deficit by 138 billion over the next ten years.

    In regards to penalties, they're minimal... a few hundred bucks a year if you don't sign on, which everyone should anyhow. Even healthy folks need dental care and preventative maintenance, like physicals and cancer screenings.
  • Arlen Syver Wasserman
    Sorry Pete, but I don't think the government should act like my mother telling me what I need and what I don't need.

    I already have two parents a fiance and a ton of family telling me what to do, I don't need the government charging me if I don''t listen to it.

    In regards to what you said about about the defecit, I think time will tell on this one. I believe much of the money is said to be coming from medicare. Doesn't medicare claim it is having budget problems already?

    I do hope Obama can cut the deficit like he claims he can, but adding aditional beauracracy never in history has been a way to do it.
  • 爱米粒Emily
    It is the end of the world, as they know it... again.

    ----------- A Brief History of Socialist Plots to End the American Way of Life

    1790: Public Schools? Socialism!!
    1808: Public Watersystem? Socialism!!
    1842: Public Highways? Socialism!!
    1905: Public Parks? Socialism!!
    2009: Public Healthcare? Socialism!!

    Seriously, people, chill.
  • Mohammed Abdi
    Mohammed Abdi wrote:
    good to see some real hard-core stuff on wlib.
    138 billion deficit cut-back seems to be a whim, u may check out the nytimes piece by Holtz-eakin who was former head of CBO. basically, it is "fantasy in, fantasy out"
    i am afraid Obama will be a populist president by the end of day
    i read "audacity for hope", which i find not so in-depth at best...
  • MiLo
    MiLo wrote:
    we wanna change too
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    I think a single payer plan would be more efficient. Republicans made it seem like this was forced through the legislature, but it's really a gigantic compromise.

    People will whine about big government, but insurance company bureaucracies are even more wasteful and inefficient. At least government institutions have to answer to the legislature.
  • Jon Magnus Ro
    Jon Magnus Ro wrote:
    i think its a cleaning up of an industry that hasn't had much interference yet. yes it makes things more equalized but not entirely, you always have a choice. yes, there will be some set backs in the short run, but long run benefits. i think that the main arguments that pisses me off is people saying "i think people should pay for their health insurance..." that is exactly what this reform will do, those who do not have health insurance, some sort of basic plan will be fined. and tax payers aren't paying that much more...we already pay for people without insurance. with this new system, more people are responsible for themselves now, there is a way to distrubute the expense throughout the system. i actually labeled the topic wrong it should be 'insurance reform'
  • Åse Marie Strand
    Hopefully I can deconstruct this issue for people because my semester project last year for Medical Sociology was a look at health care reform and my suggestions as far as implementing policy.

    As it stands, the first revision of the bill dictated a few different things. Here is a breakdown of some of the major points:

    1. The bill originally provided that Medicaid be available for all individuals up to 133% of the poverty line (where things stand now are is that Medicaid is only offered to those below the poverty line; the lower-income households just above the poverty line have no access to preventative care if they cannot afford care because they cannot afford the outrageous cost of care in the US. This is a huge issue that was strongly opposed by both physicians and pharmaceutical interests because something like this passing would cut down on profits majorly. Ultimately, this facet of the bill was thrown out in negotiations because it faced a lot of opposition.

    2. The public option - this was very much so a necessary component of the bill. If insurance was to enforced under a public mandate, an affordable price as well as breaks for those in lower income brackets must be guaranteed; otherwise, all the public mandate does is ensure the market for the sellers and insurance companies would be able to run the show. This was strongly opposed by Republicans in the House and Senate and the insurance companies flipped a brick about it because they feared the public option would come at the cost of profit. I am not sure where things are at with this in the bill right now but without the public option, an individual mandate for health insurance is ridiculous and will not be cheap. Can anyone say forced market?

    3. Another facet of the bill that caused a general outcry is the employer mandate, for companies to receive tax credit for provision of insurance to employees. This has been strongly supported by most of the senate and house, the only thing that has caused a stir is whether or not CURRENT employer provided insurance packages will be affected. Rest assured, the guarantee is that they will not be affected; in reality, the government is just going to give a break to the employers who already shoulder this burden.

    This is just a summary of the major issues at hand. The US has the highest cost of health care out of any of the developed nations and no universal health care. The major issue is preventative care (which could be addressed by this bill) but access is also important, and it is lacking in the poorest areas across the nation. This isn't addressed in this bill, and I think it should be.

    Problematically, the issue is that there was so much dispute over this bill that it has been cut down time and time again by the lobbyists of the interest groups who want things to stay the way they are. The bill won votes, but Massachusetts Congressman got bought out and changed his vote, sending the bill back to the negotiation process. Currently, the new version of the bill was just signed by Obama, and I believe it just made it through the Senate. It is scheduled to be implemented within 4 years, but many of the details of the bill have not been released.

    My fear: that this is merely the extension of an olive branch, a mere gesture. I am frustrated with this whole system of checks and balances and the lack of initiative of the majority of the US' politicians. It is just a fucking game to them but with the health of the majority of the nation hanging in the balance, I feel they are screwing the pooch big time.

    The bill also called for a mandate within 14 years and that violations are punishable. The biggest ruckus now is that 10 states are outraged and calling this provision "unconstitutional"; that is where things are at now. I hope this is informative. This issue is so complex that you really have to break it down and look at the different components
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Thanks, Laura.

    I was going to say, if the public option got axed and we're left with the mandate, then the insurance companies ought to be laughing their asses off right now.
  • Åse Marie Strand
    @ Dando

    I think it's a big fucking joke to begin with, but I'm a pessimist.

    @ everyone who reads my last post, sorry about all the errors...I wrote it intermittently and didn't proof it.
  • Arlen Syver Wasserman
    Thanks Laura, very informative.

    I hate the way things work in washington as much as the next american. However I think if we ever lived through serious social upheaval and decline, we'd appreciate the systems in place as they prevent us from letting facist dictators make sweeping changes with a word.

    Maybe this is just because I don't like being told what to do, much less being charged for not wanting to do it. But as many people as this legislation is supposed to help, I do believe the benefits to people are not going to outweigh the serious debt problems we have right now.

    I think obama said it best himself. In regards to the U.S. postal service outcompeting private business. not exact quote but he said, "The other companies are doing fine, its the U.S. postal service which is having problems." Well put Obama, government entities, with their beauracracy and heavy cost, are not financially efficient. I don't think insurance companies will be largely effected, but I don't think that american taxpayers are going to get their money's worth.
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    I have no idea what the bill ended up being. The only thing I thought was critical in it was having a public health care system, and I'm pretty sure that got axed. I think necessary social systems should be run by the government (military, health care, public transport, water supply, energy, etc) and everything else should be run privately.
    If there are regulations lowing the price for coverage, then it's a good thing, because health insurance companies are making too much money by effectively killing people who make claims.
    To me it's obvious which way to go on this. If the insurance companies were against it, I'm for it. I have the feeling that's the way it went.

    And the US covered everyone's emergency care in the first place, which is why the US spends twice as much on insurance per capita as all other civilized countries. Emergency treatment is expensive, but free if you don't pay for it, so most people only got treatment when they had emergencies. Now people will be able to get preventative treatment before they have emergencies, so I presume the costs will go down. Yay!
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    Thanks for your breakdown Laura. Very interesting. I may be a brainless conservative, but I do tend to think that nationalizing health care (similarly, education) is helpful to society in general. I personally feel that it is all about cost though. Whatever can be done to lower the cost of providing care to an entire nation, whether it be through regulating insurance companies more or providing a public option to compete, should make going to the doctor more palatable for an average American.

    Just as long as they don't try to take away our guns next! *teeth gnashing, returning to my bunker to talk to God on my 2-way radio*
  • Åse Marie Strand
    @ John

    We do have these safeguards for a reason and though they do protect us from all-out dictatorships, the country's policies are now being dictated by lobbyists and corrupt government officials who are bought off by the people with the most influence and the biggest bank accounts. Think about it, two families were in office throughout the 80s and 90s, for two decades. Even use the example of how Bush beat Gore in the Florida Recount (when he really didn't)! We have very little control over our government and let's face it, the majority of government officials do not care about the majority of Americans, they are working for the benefit of the wealthiest 10% of the American population, they push big business' agenda. I believe this firmly. I do agree with you that American Taxpayers are not going to get their money's worth. Obama is trying to make change but unfortunately, the rest of the system is trying to counteract him. So with all that said, how free are we...really? Also, with the debt issue; we are wallowing in it let me tell you "that dog don't hunt." It is going to take a lot to pull us (America) out of this.

    @ 莫明

    I believe the public option got axed after they bought off a Massachusetts congressman. The insurance companies would not have it; I believe the government will play some role in keeping insurance costs down but to what extent remains unclear. I cannot say 100% if it did get axed since the bill has not been unveiled. I do know that the individual mandate is under heavy fire by state governments and that this also indicates that the public option has fallen through. They are calling the mandate unconstitutional. Also, the US does not automatically cover everyone's emergency care. This is a huge issue in the US. You cannot deny an individual emergency care, even if they cannot afford it. There is also no way to force these individuals to pay when they do not have the money to do so, and this is what creates a huge problem. The hospitals are not receiving compensation from these individuals; this creates a deficit. If you think about it, preventative care would cut down on ER visits but then we are back to the access problem. Poorer areas have less access to adequate medical care and facilities. This is nowhere addressed in the bill, the problem is that the poor urban city centers are the areas with the lowest quality of health and the poorest care. You can see how this problem is compounding. There is poverty in America, and now it just isn't as shocking to us anymore. Also, ask yourself the question how many people will really benefit from this bill. The government should be covering costs to help the poor out; at this point, I am not even sure what went down with the medicaid eligibility issues...probably got axed as well.

    @ Jon

    I agree with you. Thank you for being an open-minded conservative.

  • Thomas Fjeldstad
    the health care change is stupid. Now taxes are going to be raised and we have to pay for 32 million more american low lifes who are already on welfare. they dont have to pay for shit and now decent people have to pay for everything for them while they dont work
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    Conceptually I agree with your (somewhat overly pragmatic/Machiavellian) views, but on the other hand, there just aren't enough jobs to go around. I don't believe in welfare either and think that if you want to collect government money, you need to be doing some work, no matter how trivial or useless. At least this way you won't have the whole "bitches with 9 kids staying at home collecting welfare checks" syndrome. This is an entirely different discussion though...

    Back to the point, yes it sucks that honest hard working tax paying citizens have to pay to take up the slack from the free-riders of society... but not everyone is smart enough or educated enough to have an office job either. You take manufacturing and first automate it with machines to reduce labor costs, then ship it to China altogether, then take phone support and ship it to India, and what do these "dumber" people do for jobs? They aren't going to all of a sudden become computer programmers and accountants... they will end up working as clerks, at fast food counters, and as janitors, but there aren't enough of these kinds of jobs either for everyone. What's the solution? I really don't know. And please don't pick me apart too hard for this post as I have not thought it through that well hahaha
  • Åse Marie Strand
    Dude, Jon

    The wealth fare mother popping out babies and collecting checks is a falsity. It is one of those myths in society that is perpetuated by people who do not bother to look into it. There are actually controls on the system that prevent a situation like that from arising. Take a modern social problems class and this will be covered.

    Also, I am all for socializing. I am not viewing it as a travesty that we are going to be taxed for it. People are going to be taxed only what they can afford to be taxed. This means that the rich will be required to put in more because they have more. People are so selfish; when you have well beyond what you need, you should be spreading it around. This is my two cents on the matter. But I admit, I am quite liberal.
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    It's somewhat exaggerated I suppose, but I've worked in the poor neighborhoods in St. Louis for many many years... there are free-riders a-plenty. And it's sad because you can honestly tell the difference between a broke ass person working one or two minimum wage jobs vs someone on welfare. The broke guy/gal values his money a lot more, and I have a ton of respect for those people, I wish I had their determination.

    Anyways... we already have tax brackets don't we? Not only do the rich pay more taxes in dollar amounts, but also more as a percentage of their income. I hate to use any "slippery slope" arguments as they are kinda silly, but how far do you want to take "more than you need?" No one really "needs" 2 houses + 5 vacation homes somewhere in Europe and their own private jets. Then again no one really "needs" a mansion or more than 1 or 2 cars per household member either right?

    If we spread around the wealth too much, it takes away some of the incentive to innovate right? Why bother working hard to come up with brilliant ideas if your maximum return is going to be capped anyways? It is kind of a travesty though that there are people with billions of dollars and yet some people still have to deal with starvation, but if not for capitalism, patents, and the promise of wealth, I bet we'd still be in the dark ages technologically, and percentage-wise, a lot more people died of trivial, now-easily-remedied causes back then.

    I think I'm going off topic though, and should probably go back to polishing my shotgun and stockpiling canned goods...
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    BTW, I do believe in social support programs helping out people who are down on their luck. I mentioned in another thread that my family was on welfare too when I was young, but it was a temporary situation. My mother (single mother, doing her best to raise me and spent more than she made trying to keep me in a good school, and eventually became unemployed and we lived in government housing for a while) needed help, received help, and then helped herself get outta that situation. This is exactly the type of thing that should be happening with social programs, and yet I see people who never really pull themselves out or even bother to try. Some people would rather just collect free government money if it means not working.

    Anyways, God bless America! (figuratively. I'm not Christian lol)
  • Simen Wangberg
    Well, this is officially the least-retarded thread on this entire forum. I extend a handshake and a high five to everyone that made this possible.

    Re: lack of innovation due to there being no financial incentive - I don't necessarily think that's true. Fair enough, we probably wouldn't have such life-changing products as OxiClean and Zorbeez if it weren't for the entrepreneurial spirit of one Billy Mays (rest in peace brother). However, I don't entirely think that money is the sole motivator for some of these businessmen/women.

    There was a similar issue raised in one of the music threads - if everyone downloads music for free, "good" music will disappear because artists will see that there's no money to be made. Faaaaalse, people will continue to create and innovate because for some people, that's just what they do, it's a reason to get up in the morning. It's a bit of a stretch, but I think you can apply the same idea to other areas.

    In some ways, it comes down to an issue of morality - can you really say that it's okay to deny someone life-saving treatment just because it'll cost you a little extra on your taxes each year? Sure, there will always be people that will take advantage of a system designed to spread resources "fairly", whatever that means. But I don't believe you can say that an entire system is worthless just because of these few bad apples.

    It's not always appropriate to compare the States with other developed countries, but I think it's a bit absurd that we're still the only country in the developed world without at least some form of socialized health care. I'm as selfish as the next guy, I like money and I work hard to earn it. But I've also been one of those millions of Americans with no health insurance and well, it fucking sucks when you can't afford a goddamn health checkup because you're trying to make rent or put food on the table or whatever - and I wasn't nearly as bad off as some of the folks out there.
  • Jon Magnus Ro
    Jon Magnus Ro wrote:
    thank you thank you ;) thought it would be nice to discuss something worth discussing in this forum rather than silly questions people should just ask mr. google.

    i agree with mistakenforstars, that was very well put, except for the attempt of relating healthcare to the music industry, didnt quite understand where you were going with that haha. you have to look at something as a whole, rather than the one aspect that will always be an issue, cost.

  • Simen Wangberg
    Haha I know, that was a bit of a sloppy comparison - basically I was referring to an earlier post: "If we spread around the wealth too much, it takes away some of the incentive to innovate right? Why bother working hard to come up with brilliant ideas if your maximum return is going to be capped anyways?"

    Just as good music won't go away if you can download it for free, good medicine won't necessarily disappear just because doctors might not necessarily make as much money as they did before. That was really the point that I was vaguely trying to make. Although really it's almost apples and oranges. Fail.
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    To be really fair, when I was talking about money driving innovation, we were already off topic, so it's not really a fail on your part, we just got derailed.

    Anyways... you have a point. They are called "starving artists" for a reason, many of them are just passionate about their work. But you can bet that a large portion of musicians who are actually good put in the extra effort because of money. Even if they would still compose if there were less monetary incentive, there would be less marketing behind it and it would be more of a hobby instead of a "I gotta do my best so I can get rich" sorta deal. Illegal downloads so far I believe only help the music industry... many people who download stuff wouldn't buy anyways (for example who actually pays for Photoshop for personal use? Unless you make money from graphics, everyone just downloads and cracks it, if you actually had to pay $300 for it you'd probably just use a free program like GIMP instead), and it gives you a good chance to try before you buy.

    OK now I'm way off point. Time to get off the forums.
  • Åse Marie Strand
    @ Jon -

    I see the argument you are making and respect that you have voiced both sides of it - kudos for that. I do believe that what you are saying about people that need a little help and put in the effort are more worthy of the aid they are receiving. However, I also believe that the latter is rarer than we might believe. Individuals who sponge off the system eventually end up on the streets because the system can only support a leech so far. I think that checks and balances (all the hoops you have to go through in order to receive aid) attempts to prevent these types of people from taking too much advantage. Think about the quality of life that these individuals have, I certainly doubt they have five houses and an RV. They probably can't even afford a t.v. or hocked it for the cash. (Excuse my ecological fallacy here if that's how you take it, I am not portraying this as a norm, simply an example). This being said, I agree with some of what you are stating. Also, some of your first post reflects the ideas put into Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. I believe you are viewing things in the most extreme of lights.

    @ Mistakenforstars

    No one ever said the system was fair, for sure. You make a lot of insightful points, and I concur. I also agree about your general statement about most of the forums on this site. Thanks for the kudos. It's good to know that all efforts to remain intelligible are appreciated. (that last comment goes to Madison as well). I agree that humans are more than cash motivated (with exceptions). Personally, I am purpose motivated - it relates to that age old question of what is the meaning of life. In Atlas Shrugged (an extreme example as I have stated before), the very idea that Jon is presenting is explored. Let's hope it never goes that far (I have enough faith in humanity, however little, that people are smarter than THAT..hope that doesn't turn out to be a case of foot-in-mouth later on down the road).

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