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Hype about the health care vote

 
 
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 05:48 pm
The hype about the health-care vote on Sunday is exactly that, hype. Since unless it is certain that the health-care bill will pass, I will not be brought to a vote.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 749 • Replies: 12
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jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 07:05 am
@kennethamy,
Unfortunately, decisions are being made by the citizenry based on advertisements from special interest groups and what appears to be a great deal of misinformation about the contents of the proposed legislation, and neither side in the debate about health care reform seems particularly eager to really present anything but slogans. Much of the media has done the public a great disservice by not countering the hype with a genuine discussion that is based on facts.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 08:39 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;141502 wrote:
Unfortunately, decisions are being made by the citizenry based on advertisements from special interest groups and what appears to be a great deal of misinformation about the contents of the proposed legislation, and neither side in the debate about health care reform seems particularly eager to really present anything but slogans. Much of the media has done the public a great disservice by not countering the hype with a genuine discussion that is based on facts.


Yes. The media has to share some of the blame. But there is plenty to go around. The bill has become so complex, and discussion so partisan, that no one (even Obama-I was going to say "especially") doesn't understand it. And there is not only misinformation, but disinformation, about its contents. And, on both sides. Obama is so desperate about passing this bill (as well he might be, but that is his fault) that he seems to be willing to say or promise anything to get it passed. That is obvious from just listening to one of his pep-rallies for five minutes.
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 11:45 am
@kennethamy,
I think anyone who is paying attention knows that something needs to be done about healthcare in the U.S. Health care comprises about 16% of the GNP of the US in comparison to about 8% of the GNP in most countries with national health care systems. Some 35-40 million people in the US are uninsured. For all our vast expenditures longevity, infant mortality, and almost any other measure of overall health status are not better in the US.

The question is whether this health care bill makes any of the necessary fundamental reforms that will improve health care access, reduce costs and improve the overall health status of the nation. Almost all national health care systems cover everyone but not everything. This bill seeks to cover everyone and everything (a sure path to financial disaster).

In about one page, one could have outlawed exclusions for preexisting conditions, created national health insurance pools, made your insurance portable, and capped tort awards for pain and suffering.

One also needs to revamp payment systems to incentivize preventive care and positive outcomes as opposed to fee for service (the more you do beneficial or not, the more you get payed).

At this point if health care is not passed now it will be another few decades or perhaps another few generations before national health care can be passed in the US. The democrats are going to be punished in the fall anyway so they might as well accomplish something before they lose control of the congress. This is a bad bill, unnecessarily complex, which includes few of the fundamental reforms necessary to improve health outcomes and control costs but currently the only game in town. Politics is the art of the possible not the art of the ideal and public opinion (often misinformed) always plays a major role in elections. The Republicans have nothing to offer in the realm of national health insurance and it is not likely they ever will; for it is contrary to fundamental republican values about the role of government in society.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 11:50 am
@prothero,
prothero;141615 wrote:
I think anyone who is paying attention knows that something needs to be done about healthcare in the U.S. Health care comprises about 16% of the GNP of the US in comparison to about 8% of the GNP in most countries with national health care systems. Some 35-40 million people in the US are uninsured. For all our vast expenditures longevity, infant mortality, and almost any other measure of overall health status are not better in the US.

The question is whether this health care bill makes any of the necessary fundamental reforms that will improve health care access, reduce costs and improve the overall health status of the nation. Almost all national health care systems cover everyone but not everything. This bill seeks to cover everyone and everything (a sure path to financial disaster).

In about one page, one could have outlawed exclusions for preexisting conditions, created national health insurance pools, made your insurance portable, and capped tort awards for pain and suffering.

One also needs to revamp payment systems to incentivize preventive care and positive outcomes as opposed to fee for service (the more you do beneficial or not, the more you get payed).

At this point if health care is not passed now it will be another few decades or perhaps another few generations before national health care can be passed in the US. The democrats are going to be punished in the fall anyway so they might as well accomplish something before they lose control of the congress. This is a bad bill, unnecessarily complex, which includes few of the fundamental reforms necessary to improve health outcomes and control costs but currently the only game in town. Politics is the art of the possible not the art of the ideal and public opinion (often misinformed) always plays a major role in elections. The Republicans have nothing to offer in the realm of national health insurance and it is not likely they ever will; for it is contrary to fundamental republican values about the role of government in society.


Sometimes, even if something should be done, it is better that nothing be done than that what is proposed be done. It is a matter of choosing between evils.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 03:00 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;141616 wrote:
Sometimes, even if something should be done, it is better that nothing be done than that what is proposed be done. It is a matter of choosing between evils.
That may be true.

In this case it seems to be either go without national health care for another few decades or generations or pass a flawed bill and hope to fix it later.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 03:19 pm
@prothero,
prothero;141670 wrote:
That may be true.

In this case it seems to be either go without national health care for another few decades or generations or pass a flawed bill and hope to fix it later.


I don't know if it is as dire as all that. I am sure that "they'll be back!". But, I have a feeling that there will be a health care bill, for good or for bad. Truth, it is said, is the daughter of time.
0 Replies
 
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 02:21 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;141616 wrote:
Sometimes, even if something should be done, it is better that nothing be done than that what is proposed be done. It is a matter of choosing between evils.



Is it really another evil? We know our current system is "evil", and i prefer to do whatever it takes to fix it.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 03:00 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;141814 wrote:
Is it really another evil? We know our current system is "evil", and i prefer to do whatever it takes to fix it.


The fact that the current system is bad does not mean that any replacement won't be as bad, or even worse. Is it really as bad or worse? Well, that is what some people have been arguing. Apparently you don't think they are right.
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 03:22 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;141821 wrote:
The fact that the current system is bad does not mean that any replacement won't be as bad, or even worse. Is it really as bad or worse? Well, that is what some people have been arguing. Apparently you don't think they are right.


I have no opinion about this new bill. It might be bad, or it might not be.
What i do know is that the current system is bad, and we need to replace it.
I think what is worse is not doing anything about our current system.


1. Suppose we adopt this new bill, and lets say there is a probability of .5 that it is worst than our current policy.

If the adopted bill is good, then every one is happy. Fine.

It seems we need to consider that fact that:

2. Doing something is better than nothing.

I have no idea if 2 is true, or not. It seems 2 is depended on 1.

This is a motivational problem to study decision theory.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 03:27 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;141829 wrote:
I have no opinion about this new bill. It might be bad, or it might not be.
What i do know is that the current system is bad, and we need to replace it.
I think what is worse is not doing anything about our current system.


Nothing could be worse than just not doing anything? What if the alternative were to force all physicians and hospitals to treat people for nothing, at the point of a gun?
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 03:38 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;141830 wrote:
Nothing could be worse than just not doing anything? What if the alternative were to force all physicians and hospitals to treat people for nothing, at the point of a gun?




It seems if doing something is better than nothing nothing, and that there is a 50/50 chance of the new bill being better than, or worst than our current bill, then we ought to switch. There is no doubt about it. What is not clear is the cost. Suppose the new bill is better than our current bill, then we have a positive cost M. If the new bill is worst, then we have a negative cost N.

If M-N > 0 then we ought to switch to the new bill.

I think the problem ought to be given the economist, social scientists, decision theorists to solve. It is not something that the people in the white house can do.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 06:55 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;141832 wrote:
It seems if doing something is better than nothing nothing, and that there is a 50/50 chance of the new bill being better than, or worst than our current bill, then we ought to switch. There is no doubt about it. What is not clear is the cost. Suppose the new bill is better than our current bill, then we have a positive cost M. If the new bill is worst, then we have a negative cost N.

If M-N > 0 then we ought to switch to the new bill.

I think the problem ought to be given the economist, social scientists, decision theorists to solve. It is not something that the people in the white house can do.


But that is not saying that anything is better than nothing, as you did say.

Certainly not this White House, since it does not want to solve problems except ideologically. But in any case, we don't have a technocracy, but (allegedly) a representative democracy with an executive branch.
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