Free, Public Healthcare

Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 09:09 am

Sorry, that will not solve anything.
Rule #1: Never, ever raise taxes during a recession!
However, a tax reduction would stimulate spending and result in increased tax revenues.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 02:26 pm
H2O MAN wrote:

If you are making $50K per year you are going to see a tax hike from Obama
to help pay for ObamaCare... that is, unless you are a Union member.

Yeah, I read about that proposed exemption for union members. WTH?
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Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 02:53 pm
Can you please show me the CBO study your cartoon talks about?
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 05:45 pm
Thomas wrote:

Can you please show me the CBO study your cartoon talks about?

Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 11:18 pm
Cyclops wrote:

I didn't disregard them at all; you will note that I also pointed out the illogical nature of the arguments they employ. However, it's always important to keep in mind that sort of biases various sources will carry with them, and PRI is about as biased as it gets.



Evidently, the poor lad hasn't gotten far enough in his graduate studies to have learned about Logic and evaluation of various studies. Certainly, his professor should have taught the boy how to give evidence that a study is in error.

Or maybe Cyclops hasn't gotten that far. I really shouldn't be too hard on the young man. He is still learning!
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Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 11:20 pm
H2O read the following--The left wing is AFRAID to read it because they cannot give logical arguments against it.

Sticker shock
Chicago Tribune

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Monday, June 22:


Talk about bad timing for President Barack Obama.

There he was on Monday, exhorting doctors at an American Medical Association confab to join his once-in-a-generation overhaul of health care in America. He drew several standing ovations, even as he told them things that would probably cut their pay.

But then, on the same day, came an astonishing Congressional Budget Office analysis of what all this could cost.

The CBO analyzed the first major health-care proposal introduced, by Sen. Edward Kennedy, and concluded that it would cost more than $1 trillion over 10 years. That sent a jolt of sticker shock through Congress.

But hold on. Here's the kicker to that breathtaking figure: Even after spending all that money, 37 million Americans still wouldn't have health insurance.

Yes, that's a tentative analysis, as the CBO warned. It will change as the bill is fleshed out. And the Kennedy bill is only one of several health-care reform proposals now percolating in Congress.

But the analysis sure seemed to rattle advocacy groups and the White House. "This is not the administration's bill and it's not even the final Senate committee bill," a White House spokesman said.

Ooh, chilly.

So, OK, this is a work in progress, things will change, blah blah blah. But the point here is that the CBO analysis tells us three things that probably won't change, no matter how a major health-care reform law is crafted.

It will be:


_Extremely expensive.

_Full of unforeseen consequences.

Congress doesn't have to take our word for it. Lawmakers can learn from the experience of Massachusetts, the first state to mandate health insurance coverage.

How are things going there? We'd say it's mixed.

At last count, the Bay State had the lowest rate of uninsured people in the nation, 2.6 percent. That's compared to the national average of 15 percent. Those holdouts are either unwilling to pay for insurance (and willing to incur the penalties assessed by the state) or they can't afford the insurance (even with state subsidies) and aren't required to buy it. Conclusion: Even if coverage is mandated, Congress will have to settle for something less than universal coverage.

Then there's the budget. The state expected to spend $472 million in fiscal 2008 for its health-care plan. The actual cost: $628 million. Budget projections for fiscal 2010 range from $750 million to $880 million. The state is struggling because it underestimated the number of adults who would sign up for subsidized insurance, which under some circumstances covers a family of four that earns up to about $66,000.

Conclusion: Congress has considered subsidizing American families earning up to $110,000 to buy insurance. That would be too broad and too expensive. It appears that lawmakers are moving away from such a commitment.

Beyond the numbers, what about suddenly insured patients who need care? A recent report by the Urban Institute wasn't too reassuring. It found that even those who got health-care coverage in Massachusetts found they couldn't afford needed treatments. It's not clear why.

The sudden influx of the insured has strained the health-care system in the Bay State. Patients report long waits to see doctors. One in five patients has reported being told that a doctor was not accepting new patients, or not accepting patients with their type of insurance, according to the report.

The upshot: People still wound up in emergency rooms for routine care. That undercuts a major premise for covering all Americans, which is to stop them from going to the emergency room for routine care that could be less expensively dispensed in the doctor's office.

Obama wants to push a bill through Congress before the August recess. That deadline may be slipping, thanks in part to this bolt of fiscal reality from the CBO.
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Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 11:21 pm
Look-Yankee-what's happening in the SOCIALIST PARADISE OF GERMANY.

Thousands of Doctors are leaving the single payer system because they are so pitifully underpaid in a Socialist System.


InternationalNACHRICHTEN VIDEO ENGLISH EINESTAGES FORUM SPIEGEL WISSEN ABO SHOP Front Page| World| Europe| Germany| Business| Zeitgeist| International Forum| Newsletter English Site > SPIEGEL Magazine
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More and More Leave Germany Behind
By Julia Bonstein, Alexander Jung, Sebastian Matthes and Irina Repke

Faced with poor job prospects, high taxes and an intrusive bureaucracy, more and more Germans are choosing to emigrate. Most of those who leave, though, are highly qualified -- which could mean devastating economic consequences.

Knut Gärtner
Frank Pigorsch was unemployed in Germany. Until he found a job in Calgary that is. He now lives there with his family.
They are fed up, truly fed up. Fed up with the constant bickering over the costs of wage benefits, social reforms, elimination of subsidies, store closing hours and all the other symbols of a country stuck in bureaucratic and legislative gridlock.

They are tired of living in country where landing a job is like playing the lottery, a country where not even half of citizens live from gainful employment and a country in which even academics in their mid-40s are already considered problem cases when it comes to job placement. In other words, they are fed up with living in a country where all opportunities already seem to be taken: opportunities to succeed in one's career, to own property and to achieve prosperity.

That is why they want to leave -- as fast as they can, in fact -- and move to places where they believe there is hope for a better future. One of those places is the Third World -- India, to be more precise. René Seifert, 35, still raves about Bangalore, India's booming metropolis, where young computer programmers spend their nights crowding into the city's dance clubs and where, during the days, cars share the streets with rickshaws and cows. And where, despite the seeming chaos, every thing has its place. "I'm fascinated by the pulse of Asia, the upbeat prevailing mood and the wealth of opportunities," he raves.

With a few thousand euros in starting capital Seifert, a businessman and former head of entertainment at Internet portal Lycos Europe, founded a company in Bangalore that provides accounting services for mid-sized German companies. He is so enamored of India that he can hardly imagine ever wanting to return to Munich. "Things are really starting to move here," he says.

"Why stay in Cottbus?"

Frank Naumann, a 38-year-old doctor, fled to Austria with his wife because of "miserable working conditions at home." German doctors, he says, "are in demand from North Cape" -- in northern Norway -- "to the Emirates, so why should I have stayed in Cottbus?"

Naumann worked at a hospital in the eastern German city of Cottbus for six years without ever being offered a permanent contract. Because his chances of being promoted to senior physician were so uncertain, Naumann and his wife decided to move to the Salzburg region, where he now has permanent contract as a senior physician at a hospital in the Austrian town of Schwarzach. Back in Cottbus, doctors are working multiple shifts because the hospital suffers from a shortage of qualified personnel.

Almost everyone in Germany these days knows people like Seifert or Naumann -- people who have decided to make a fresh start in the middle of their lives. Saying goodbye is difficult for almost anyone, but at some point the frustrations and the yearning for a new future become too overwhelming to ignore. Rarely have so many Germans decided to leave it all behind -- their houses and properties, parents and aunts, friends and co-workers. According to the German Federal Office of Statistics, 144,815 Germans left the country last year, a jump of almost 25 percent over 2002. At the same time, fewer and fewer Germans are returning from abroad. The most recent figure is 128,052. For the first time in a generation, more Germans are emigrating than returning. And these are only the official figures.

"Overseas is calling!" More and more doctors are leaving Germany out of disgust with the job conditions here. This image is from a doctors strike this spring.
There are probably just as many who move away without bothering to notify officials in their local municipalities. And those who go are no longer only social dropouts, those seeking a tax haven or celebrities. Nowadays doctors are moving to Norway, engineers to the United States and agricultural experts to New Zealand. Germany is becoming a net exporter of people.

The typical emigrant is in his prime, between the ages of 25 and 45, has had a decent education and is already well into his career. "Those who go are often highly motivated and well-educated," says Stefanie Wahl of the Institute of the Economy and Society in Bonn. But immigrants are a different story altogether. "The people who come here are usually poor, unskilled and have little education."

A paucity of immigrants

This is precisely the problem. Not only are more people turning their backs on Germany, but those who go are typically the country's best and brightest. According to a study by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), hardly any other industrialized nation is losing so many academics to other countries. The percentage of emigrants with doctorates is 10 times as high as it is in the general population. And half of emigrants are younger than 35. "This is a warning sign," Ludwig Georg Braun, the president of the German Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said recently.

Meanwhile, the number of new immigrants is on the decline, and those who do choose to make Germany their home are often not exactly the kinds of workers companies actively seek out. While countries like Australia and Canada restrict immigration mainly to the kinds of people they can truly use, all it takes for someone to immigrate into Germany is proof that they already have family there or are Eastern Europeans of German descent.

It is failed policy with far-reaching consequences. Hamburg economist Thomas Straubhaar warns of what he calls a "DDR effect" if the country loses those who are the most flexible and open to innovation as happened to former East Germany. "Unless we do something about it," he says, "this country's problems will become more severe than almost anyone can imagine today."

The country's pension system is losing contributors just as vast numbers of baby-boomers are gradually entering retirement. The demographic crisis is getting worse, especially when one considers that deaths outnumbered births by 144,000 in 2005, and that this gap is continuing to widen.

Beyond the social system, the emigration of the country's elites represents a loss to the German economy as well. The government spends untold thousands of euros for the education and training of every biologist, computer scientist or engineer. And then these specialists become frustrated and leave the country.

Of the just under 12,000 students who enter medical school in Germany each year, fewer than 7,000 end up working in hospitals or private practice. Of those who find employment, about half of them find it outside of Germany, according to the Marburg Bund, the trade association of German hospital doctors. Training these 3,000 or so doctors who end up emigrating costs the government about €600 million -- an expense that ultimately benefits patients in Great Britain, Norway and Switzerland.

Fifty-seven thousand Germans in Austria

Ultimately, such an export of intellectual wealth weakens Germany as a site for investment. Many companies already lack specialized workers today, and 16 percent of German companies are unable to fill all their positions because of a lack of qualified candidates. There are about 7,000 unfilled engineering jobs in the machine building industry alone.

"We cannot simply look on as precisely those people emigrate who are valuable, well educated and motivated," says DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche, referring to what human resource experts call the "brain drain." Zetsche believes that the solution lies in the government changing its approach to immigration policy. "We should encourage people to immigrate who can help us solve our problems."
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Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 11:25 pm
Yankee-Don't be so hard on Cyclops. He's a nice boy. He is still learning and hasn't gotten to that page yet!
DAVID GRATZER: It's a great honor to be able to speak today at The Heritage Foundation. I'm always impressed by the debates and discussions that come out of Heritage. I think Americans are very lucky to have such a think tank.

Canadians who went to the United States five, 10, or 15 years ago, when they would talk about health care, would speak fondly of the best health care system in the world. Until very recently, Canadians thought they got it right and always looked south and shook their heads.

If Canadians liked to look south and brag, Americans would come north and express awe. It wasn't uncommon to find an article in The New York Times or The Washington Post discussing the health care system where everything is free, where hospitals are brand-new, where doctors and patients are absolutely content.

Losing Favor
Those days have passed. Americans still sometimes come north and express awe; Senator Kennedy was in town a few years ago for a fund raiser. Sometimes Canadian politicians go south and talk up the Canadian system; our Prime Minister lectured your President about four or five years ago. By and large, however, the enthusiasm for the Canadian system has very much waned.

I'm a fan of polls. Of course, one should always take these things with a grain of salt, but a good poll can be informative.

For example, Angus Reid, a well-respected Canadian pollster, asked Canadians to rate their health care system. When they started doing this polling in 1991, a clear majority of Canadians gave the system top marks: excellent or very good. Last year, when they did the poll again, under one in four gave the system that rating.

Angus Reid has done other polls as well. A year and a half ago, a poll sent shock waves across the country when 73 percent of Canadians described their health care system as being "in crisis." Reid actually went back and redid the poll six months later: 78 percent of Canadians now thought the system was in crisis.

People who have had reservations about the Canadian system have often talked up ideas that are very common in other Western countries: user fees being one and two-tier health care, or the ability to buy private insurance, being another.

There isn't a single politician who advocates user fees. There isn't a single politician who will publicly state that they are in favor of private insurance. And yet, just before the end of last year, a major poll commissioned by Macleans magazine showed that a clear majority of Canadians now support user fees. On private insurance, we're divided.

That may not seem so incredible, perhaps, to outside observers. But in a country where no politician is willing to advocate such ideas, it's quite a remarkable development.

The Health Care Quality Problem
So what has happened in Canada? Why is it that we've gone from being very bullish on this health care system to having great reservations? Part of it is that Canadians read newspapers, and it doesn't much matter whether you're on the west coast or the east coast; it doesn't much matter whether you're a Globe and Mail reader, or a National Post reader; every single day, there are stories describing the system.

I've just randomly chosen a few stories that have come to light recently.

The head of trauma care at Vancouver's largest hospital announces that they turn away more cases than any other center in North America. He's quoted as saying this would be unheard of in the United States.

In Manitoba, which is my former home province, the premier--the political equivalent of a governor--concedes that his pledge to end hallway medicine has fallen short. Hallway medicine is the phenomenon where the emergency rooms are so filled with patients that people are forced to lie on stretchers in hallways, often for days. Overcrowding is a periodic problem. In fact, the overcrowding is worse than last year. The community is rocked by the death of a 74-year old man who had waited in the emergency room for three hours and had not been seen.

New Brunswick announces that they will send cancer patients south to the United States for radiation therapy. New Brunswick, a small maritime province, is the seventh to publicly announce its plans to send patients south. In the best health care system in the world, the vast majority of provinces now rely on American health care to provide radiation therapy. Provinces do this because the clinically recommended waiting time for treatment is often badly exceeded. Ordinarily, oncologists suggest that there should be a two-week gap between the initial consult by the family doctor and the referral to the oncologist, and then two weeks more from the oncologist to the commencement of radiation therapy. In most Canadian provinces, we exceed that by one to two months, sometimes three.

In Alberta earlier this year, a young man dies because of the profound emergency room overcrowding. He is 23. On a winter's night, he develops pain in his flank and goes to the local emergency room. It is so crowded that he grows impatient and goes to another. There, he waits six hours. No one sees him. Exhausted and frustrated, he goes home. The pain continues, so he finally decides to go to the local community hospital. It's too late: His appendix ruptured. He dies from the complications hours later.
Those are some of the examples of the cruelty of what goes on in Canada. But they don't give you the flavor of the insanity--and I'll use that term in a nonprofessional sense--of the Canadian system.

MRI scanners are very difficult to get in Canada. There are long wait times. In my book, I talk about a political struggle on Vancouver Island where the wait time for a non-urgent MRI scan was over a year--"non-urgent" being defined by government officials, not by physicians. In the province I now live in, Ontario, there are long wait times for MRIs.

Part of the problem is that we have so few of these scanners. Canada per capita has as many MRI scanners as Colombia and Mexico. It wouldn't be fair to try and compare us to the United States or Western Europe. And the few MRIs that we have tend to run on bankers' hours. MRI scanners are expensive to operate. So if an MRI scanner stops dealing with humans at 5 p.m., there are still hours you could run the scanner.

What many MRI clinics now do to make a little bit of money is rent out their facilities to veterinarians. There was a story, which caused quite a scandal, that a London man was expected to wait seven months for an MRI but his dog could get one in just a couple of weeks. They, of course, addressed this discrepancy in a very Canadian way: by preventing veterinarians from booking the off hours.

They're still renting out in some parts of the country. Where I live now, Toronto, there's an MRI scanner that was renting out to vets. A patient came up with a clever idea: He tried to book himself for an appointment under the name of "Spot." Spot was a good name to choose, because Spot could be seen a hell of a lot faster than a person bearing a less canine name.
No, Yankee, Cyclops won't try to show with EVIDENCE OR DOCUMENTATION that the events discussed above are untrue. The boy hasn't gotten to that page in his reader!
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Debra Law
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 01:58 am
MontereyJack wrote:

Close to 60% of all personal bankruptcies in the US happen to people with catastrophic medical expenses--mostly middle-class working people who DO have medical insurance. One unexpected catastrophe, the insurance company consequentlhy cancels your policy, and you're over your ears in debt. Of course you could let your kid or your wife just die, as the right wing seems to advocate, rather than go into debt, but most people in those circumstances don't take that route. That doesn't happen, incidentally, in single-payer systems. Single-payer systems cost less, about half of what we pay per capita here, and deliver greater patient satisfaction and better public health statistics.

This story is repeated over and over again: People pay their health insurance premiums, but when they really need that insurance coverage, they get the shaft. President Obama spoke of his mother who was diagnosed with cancer. He has heartwrenching memories of his dying mother on the telephone fighting with her insurance company. The same thing happened to my mother and my father. I am outraged by the hell that insurance companies put my parents through prior to their deaths. When you're sick, the last thing you need is a stressful battle with your insurance company. Now my sister is very ill and she is fighting with her insurance company and her HMO provider to get proper medical care. Private insurances plans (especially HMO plans) are truly worthless because the profit-seeking, cost-cutting bastards are highly motivated to screw you over when you're most vulnerable and really need your coverage.
0 Replies
Debra Law
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 01:59 am
Yankee wrote:

I acknowledge your mistrust of the Pacific Research Institute as it offers an alternative view and as such, will be disregarded by you, regardless of it's content.

That's exactly what Foxfyre would say.
Debra Law
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 02:11 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:

An interesting diary I read today on DKos makes a great point -

My Republican sister-in-law lost her health care
by kimtcga
Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 01:11:21 PM PDT


I think the author makes a great point: you guys who are so against the public plan, would jump on board in a cold ******* second if you were fired, or had a catastrophic injury, or your current plan suddenly denied all your care in the name of 'profits.'


Absolutely. This has been on my mind a lot lately because I'm planning a trip in the near future to visit my dad's grave. He's been gone for 10 years now. I miss him very much and I'm still very tearful and angry. If his HMO plan and HMO medical care provider hadn't been so greedy, I could be visiting HIM instead of his grave.
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Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 06:52 am
That's not the CBO study, that's a link to a link to hearsay about the CBO study.
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 07:04 am
@Debra Law,
So you acknowledge it as a factual statement.

Thank you.
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 07:05 am
To cut short the project of H2O man backing up his claims, the article he's linking to talks about the CBO's "Preliminary analysis of Major provisions" under Senator Kennedy's Affordable Healthcare Choices act. (Italics mine.)


As you read the analysis, you will note that the provisions analyzed do not include a National Healthcare plan, contrary to what H2Oman's caricature insinuates.
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 08:15 am

The cost of ObamaCare will be even higher than the preliminary analysis revealed...
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 02:42 pm
Says you. Not the CBO.
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 02:53 pm
Thomas wrote:

Says you. Not the CBO.
waterboy is an idiot troll.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 03:02 pm

Don't be so naive.
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Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 03:05 pm

dyslexigirl is a pathetic troll
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Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 03:06 pm
Universal will not be cheap. However, it will be a hell of a lot cheaper than our present failing, fraud-filled, system.
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