General Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Where is the money gonna come from for Universal Health Care?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (9171points) January 4th, 2008

Is people not having health care the problem, or are the HMOs and huge drug companies and Americans diets and habits the problem?

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38 Answers

WVPHOTOG's avatar

Taxes. But, because it would be controlled by the government, the prices for healthcare would be controlled as well. Theoreticaly.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

So they are going to raise taxes? I am now going to get taxed to take care of smokers? Obese people? People that cant take care of themselves? People that eat food laced with chemicals and growth hormones? We are already 9 trillion in debt and 55 trillion in promises. How is this economically feasible?

hossman's avatar

Yes, chris. That is what socialism does. It redistributes income from those earning it to whomever the government deems worthy. Even when it isn’t economically feasible. But remember, it’s for the children. Even the smoking children. : )

WVPHOTOG's avatar

They don’t necessarily have to raise taxes.

Yes, just the same as you pay for babies, old people, convicted criminals and some elected officials.

adrianscott's avatar

According to CNN.com several of the Democratic candidates have stated that the cost will be between $50 billion and $120 billion annually and will “be paid for by eliminating the Bush tax cuts for those earning over $250,000, as well as by reducing waste and inefficiencies in the current system.”

I just wonder if “waste” means some of the cash spent on the war too?

WVPHOTOG's avatar

I hope a lot of that “waste” would be foreign aid, as well.

hossman's avatar

Wow. The Democratic Party is going to cut waste? The same party that screamed when Reagan said he was going to cut waste? You could cut all funding for Afghanistan and Iraq, cut the military budget in half, and cut the “waste” of each government department by say, reducing the department’s budget by about 10%, and you still wouldn’t have enough for the socialized health care entitlement this will eventually become. We still don’t have enough to cover the present entitlements. $120 billion? Don’t make me laugh.

Maverick's avatar

Ok, first of all, the USA is THE RICHEST GAWD-DAMNED COUNTRY ON THE PLANET. There is a tonne of money that could be used for Universal Healthcare. The main problem is that almost every cent paid by Americans goes toward some form of military spending, both publicly acknowledged and hidden/redirected monies. Countries far poorer than the US are able to provide healthcare to their citizens and, surprise, it actually makes the country more productive as people take less sick days and have more money to spend cause they aren’t being gouged by their insurance companies (well not as bad as in the US any way). You can judge a society based on how it treats its sick and poor, and in this regard the US looks pretty pathetic.

hossman's avatar

As much as I hate to just paste links, this time I’ll let the people with actual experience with Universal Healthcare speak for me. Maverick, we may be rich, but you make two complete misstatements of fact.

First, you state other countries are able to provide universal healthcare and it makes their countries more productive, and thus the U.S. looks pretty pathetic. Actually, the facts are the opposite. What would you think of healthcare if you only had a 50% chance of getting hospital care within 4 months of your diagnosis? Do you think people are more productive when they can’t get treatment AT ANY COST? I agree, you can judge a society on how it treats its sick, so please check out the following reports from those already suffering from universal healthcare:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/jun/08/health.politics
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/05/11/ncancer111.xml
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/05/11/ncancer111.xml

You can judge a society by how it treats its addicts and obese as well:
http://www.liberty-page.com/issues/healthcare/ukobese.html

In fact, other countries are moving away from socialized medicine toward American-style private insurance coverage:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0808/p06s01-woam.html
http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba/ba369/

Go ahead, tell your teenager she has to WAIT 3 YEARS to fix that bum knee:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0808/p06s01-woam.html

And that great Cuban Communist health care might be available for Michael Moore’s liposuction, but how about something for a Cuban’s headache:
http://capmag.com/article.asp?ID=2538

Yup, we’re always behind those smart Europeans. They’ve tried socialized medicine and determined it isn’t working. You’d think we’d learn from that.

As for “almost every cent paid by Americans goes toward some form of military spending. . .” you don’t really believe that, do you? That’s just extreme hyperbole, isn’t it? ‘Cause if somebody’s telling you that, you need to find a different source. . . The U.S. spends about 21% of the U.S. government’s total budget on military spending, about 3.7% of the annual Gross Domestic Product. That includes providing a lot of jobs, both for the armed forces and for the contractors supplying the armed forces.

Some good numbers, but not for the last four years, are here:
http://www.truthandpolitics.org/military-relative-size.php

A fairly neutral discussion, considering the source, is here:
http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2007/03/2545232

This explains how it all works better than I possibly could:
http://www.fpri.org/enotes/20060214.military.weidenbaum.economicsdefensespending.html

hossman's avatar

And as a purely anecdotal example, one of my former clients, a Chicago surgeon, has been pulling in about $3 million a year with an orthopedic surgical practice (he only works there alternate weekends, but employs other surgeons) he could have chosen to locate anywhere, but he chose to open shop in Detroit, Michigan.

Why there? He put it blocks away from the bridge to Windsor, Ontario. He doesn’t bother with insurance claims. He doesn’t have to. Almost all of his business is cash from Canadians who can’t wait 2 to 5 years to get a hip replacement on the Canadian Universal Healthcare. We’ve got Americans going north and south to get cheap prescriptions, but there is little media coverage of the Canadians and Mexicans, and for that matter, Europeans coming here because they can’t wait for that great free government medical care in their own country.

Ah, but I’m sure we won’t make the same mistakes. Because our government is so much better at governing than Canada, Britain and Europe, right? We can’t work out the bugs after decades with Medicare, we can’t provide decent health care to many of our veterans, and we’re just going to expand government control to health care for everybody, and it’s going to magically work?

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I wish instead of asking for more govt handouts, we would study our daily habits and food. Or more importantly food products. Here are some facts from The Hundred Year Lie by Randall Fitzgerald.

In the past 100 years, cancer mortality has gone from 3%of all deaths to 20%. Diabetes went from .1% to almost 20%. Heart disease went from being almost nonexistent to killing almost 700,000 perople a year.

Health care costs have risen until the US now spends twice as much on medicine and health care per person, per year than any other industrialized nation in the world.

Brain disease(Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neuron disorders) tripled in Western countries from 1974–1997. Food seems to be the major culprit for toxicity, bc Japan, alone among the 10 nations studied, had no increase in brain disease mortality, apparently bc their diet is healthier. When Japanese citizens relocated to Western countries, their disease rates exceed those of Japan as a whole.

A California environmental official said a water test has showed 60% of rivers and streams in the state contained high levels of Prozac, Ritalin, and antibiotics.

In large feed lots, cattle are fed 5 or more sex hormones to accelerate weight gain. These have been known to cause reproductive dysfunction and cancer in humans.

Many commercial dairy and meat products come from animals that consume feed made up of the remains of tens of millions of cats and dogs that have been euthanized.

At least 70% of processed foods in your local grocery contain at least 1 genetically engineered ingredient that has never been tested.

More than 3,000 synthetic chemicals are regularly added to US food products and hardly have ever been tested for their synergistic toxic producing effects in humans.

With the 9 or so vaccines given to children, are additives and preservatives, including mercury, aluminum, MSG, formaldehyde, and others linked to brain and nerve disorders and autism.

I dont think universal health care is the easy way out. UHC, in my opinion, will overlook the real problems, give more money to pharmaceutical companies, corrupt politicians even more(is this possible?), and possibly turn us into a Soma nation, kinda like Brave New World.

Like I say about Ron Paul, you might not agree with his solutions, but at least he points out the real problems, rather than just look taking the easy way out. The first step to solving a problem, is identifying the problem. We are very unhealthy in this country. I think the biggest problem is bc of our capitalist system, which puts profits above all else, forces companies, including food companies, to take the cheapest and most profitable approach to their business, even if it puts many lives at risk.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

And i find it absolutely ridiculous and mind boggling, that if you want organic food, with no added chemicals and hormones, that you have to pay nearly twice as much as food that has chemicals and hormones. What is up with that???

hossman's avatar

Organic food costs more because: 1) It’s a lot harder to get it to market in the appearance American consumers (even most of those buying organic) expect without all the chemicals; 2) in order to stay organic, you not only have to use organic methods, which are more expensive for mass production (that’s why the chemicals are used, to save money, not because anyone really WANTS to use chemicals) but you have to protect that growing area from nonorganic methods; and 3) it is literally impossible to mass produce some food products with organic methods, so the foods must be produced with old school low volume methods, much like hand-crafting a microbrew.

Add to that the fact the market knows you will pay more because the product is more desirable to you (free markets at work), and the price is going to be higher.

If we didn’t all expect our apples to be rosy and our oranges to be bright orange and our potatoes to be without blemish, food production wouldn’t be as expensive and wouldn’t be as chemical dependent. Tomatoes? I’ve completely given up on finding good tomatoes that weren’t locally grown by small producers. Even then, they just don’t seem to be as good as the ones my dad grew when I was a kid. It might just be the fog of nostalgia.

gooch's avatar

We will! Nothing is free.

damianmann's avatar

Prevention will decrease medical costs. That’s how it will pay for itself.

hossman's avatar

Like the peace dividend we never got? The problem is paying for it until we all become immortal, and the increased tax base makes all things possible, except for housing and food production.

None of the countries that already have any form of universal health care has found medical costs go down. In fact, if you take a look at their own media and their own medical studies, routine care DECREASES because reduced supply (less providers because they don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy) can’t meet increased demand (if it doesn’t FEEL like I’m paying for it, because it’s buried in my tax bill, or in the goods I buy because employers are paying for it) and the waiting list is way too long for people to see their doctors for preventive care.

Again, take a look at European systems, preventive care has gone out the window. Why is it nobody is looking at the places that have experience with this and hate it?

Preventive care? Have you seen the teeth on most Europeans? Where are they getting preventive care? Why isn’t anybody looking at all the Canadians paying cash to come here and get preventive care?

Maverick's avatar

Wow, Hossman, you are so wrong its almost absurd to try to respond. Where do you get these crazy assumptions about the state of healthcare in other countries? Fox News, perhaps? It certainly isn’t from experience in those countries. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that any country has the whole thing figured out, but I would certainly say that the USA is probably one of the worst western countries in terms of the healthcare options available for its citizens. The only advice I can give you is, if you are remotely capable of approaching the subject with an open-mind (which I doubt), perhaps you should watch “Sicko” the Michael Moore documentary. At least it has some actual facts regarding healthcare in other countries. Say what you will about Michael Moore, I think he did a great job with this documentary.

hossman's avatar

Maverick, try reading the post. If you, say, actually look at the web addresses in the links, or, say, use the links. . . you will see that most are links to newspaper articles from the countries that HAVE universal healthcare. Hey, don’t take it from me, take it from the citizens in those countries. So, before you get all nasty and insulting, why don’t you try, say, being an intelligent grown up and actually READING before you spout off.

YES, you poor benighted child, IT IS FROM EXPERIENCE IN THOSE COUNTRIES. I would presume that a reporter working for a newspaper in those countries know better than you or I because they both live there and this is their job. That is why I linked to them rather than just spouting off, as evidently you are doing. If you disagree, why don’t you post some links to publications in those countries that like their own healthcare.

And as for Mr. Moore, perhaps you should see one of the 5 or so documentaries on the video story shelves documenting Mr. Moore’s falsehoods and manipulation of the truth. I don’t have to say anything about Mr. Moore, his colleagues say plenty. And you might try asking some of his former employees about the crappy work environment he provides. There were a lot of complaints filed by the writers on his TV show to the union about work rule abuses.

And to use simple, common sense examples, why don’t you try looking at all the Canadians and Europeans flocking here for healthcare. Far more than the Americans going elsewhere. Yes, you can get some prescriptions more cheaply elsewhere. But are you going to wait 3 years for knee surgery? I tell you what, before you just shoot off your mouth, why don’t you try citing actual FACTS from primary sources (look it up), not propaganda like Mr. Moore, that rebut the actual FACTS from the foreign news media I linked to above. I didn’t write that stuff, citizens of those countries did.

Yes, I’m being condescending. You may disagree with my opinion, but you just spout off your own, without bothering to even read the sources. Then I’m supposed to accept your unsupported opinion I’m wrong. The only advice I can give you is to stop just believing what people make you think it is fashionable to believe.

I tell you what, post back with at least four links to media in the countries that have universal health care, or credible medical studies from those countries, that indicate their system is providing care with sufficient quality and promptness, then I won’t just scroll past you as someone who doesn’t bother with FACTS. It’s called logical argument, Maverick. Until you do so, I’ll find you too absurd for any further response. Amazing. I provide links to primary sources containing facts from credible medical studies in the countries at issue, and you have such a closed mind (and open mouth containing foot) that you refer to it as “crazy assumptions.” Have some standards about your statements. Just because you feel oh so strongly and can regurgitate slogans you’ve heard, or a movie you’ve seen (and I’d call Mr. Moore’s work propaganda, not documentary, and there are plenty of film people who agree), doesn’t mean diddle.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I smell a sheep. Bahaaaa bahaaa

Maverick's avatar

Hossman, I live in one of those countries. Have a nice day.

hossman's avatar

OK, Maverick. I am genuinely looking for information, and if you live in one of those countries, you have better access to it than I. I would sincerely appreciate you at least posting links to some studies or other info that suggests your country’s system works better than the U.S. I can’t know what its like in every country, so I rely on what I can find written by the experts in those countries. Despite what you may think, I am open-minded, and if you can provide some persuasive evidence there is a system out there that provides universal health care to its citizens, not just the elite or wealthy, with better access at lower cost, or even just good access in a reasonable time at a reasonable cost, I will be pleased to tell you I was wrong.

Maverick's avatar

Hossman, the thing that you don’t understand is that I don’t care weather you think you are right or wrong. I know from experience that you are wrong. You quote links that try to support your position (Cuba? are you serious? Ever think that maybe 40+ years of US-led sanctions might have an effect on the availability of medicine there?), but it appears that you have no actual experience with Universal Healthcare and, for some reason, seem to think that the US way is the best. That’s great. Good for you, but I disagree completely.
[ http://tinyurl.com/2zx2dw ]

You will never convince me that a medical system based on profit is better than one which is based on providing basic care to everyone at reasonable cost. I don’t particularly care if the US ever has Universal Healthcare but I do think its funny that anyone would say that the American system isn’t broken. 89,600,000 people in the US have no access to medical care (2006) [ http://tinyurl.com/2layn8 ]. To me, that just doesn’t sound very civilized. In fact, I’ve been to developing countries that could boast better care of their citizens than that. Compare the millions of uninsured Americans to the number of people in Canada or the UK without access to basic medical care—0. In fact, The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system. Here are some others that do: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba, Uruguay, Canada, Brunei, India, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Australia. Also, Mexico is in the process of launching Universal Healthcare. [ http://tinyurl.com/29lq3h ]

As I stated before, that’s not to say that there aren’t problems anywhere else – and you obviously will take those problems and blow them out of proportion to show how evil it is to provide basic medical coverage to the sick and the poor. You say that you have an open mind, but when I suggested you watch “Sicko” so that I could save myself this discussion, you immediately shot back with all the reasons you’ve been told that you should not watch. Doesn’t sound very open to me. Why not just watch it and draw your own conclusions. I already know what the Bush Administration, Fox News, and CNN think about Universal Healthcare. What is important here is what YOU think.

I only got dragged into this conversation because some people were trying to imply that the US can’t afford Universal Healthcare. I call bullsh*t on that. If Mexico can do it – not to mention all those other countries I mentioned – America can damn-well do it to. Canada spends half, per capita, on healthcare compared with what Americans spend and, as the report from my first link posted above shows, they receive the same or better care than the rich people in the US that actually have healthcare.

Best Regards.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

@maverick

Im not too sure about where other countries money comes from. But do you know where our money comes from? Do you know how much we borrow from China(and then give it right back to them by buying their products? Do you know what our National debt is? How about how much we have promised in the form of Social Security and Medicare?

Maverick's avatar

Chris6137, yes, I am aware of all of those things. I find it funny that even though Americans are quick to point out how expensive education, Universal Healthcare, Social Security, or Medicare are; but they never want to point to the elephant in the room which, as I pointed out in my original post, is the amount of your budget that goes to military spending. Why doesn’t anyone want to acknowledge that spending outrageous amounts of money on military correlates directly to the the financial situation that the US finds itself in now?

Hossman rightly pointed out in response to my original post that “The U.S. spends about 21% of the U.S. government’s total budget on military spending”. Which is about right, in 2006 it was 28% ($571.6 Billion) but that isn’t actually their total budget. That number ignores, for example, the amount that is allocated to pay for past wars, which is an additional 13% ($263.5 Billion). So that’s 41% of your 2006 taxes that were assigned for military purposes. Its useful to note that “national defense” accounted for 52% of the total Discretionary budget ($438.8 Billion) whereas health services accounted for ~6%. Also none of these military budgets include nuclear weapons programs from the Department of Energy, or funding for wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan. For comparison sake, in 2005 six potential US “enemies”, Russia, and China together spent $139 billion. [ http://tinyurl.com/636wh ] So, for example, if the US chose to spend, say only 3 times more than all of its perceived “enemies” combined, that would put the budget at $417 billion, leaving $154 billion for other priorities. End the occupation of Iraq, hey, that’s about another $155 billion (2008). [ http://tinyurl.com/38d7×4 ]

So, obviously money is available to fund activities that are a priority for the US. The issue is that providing equal access to healthcare for all its citizens is clearly not a priority.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I couldn’t agree with you more about that maverick. We spend more on defense, oh wait, I mean offense, than every other country combined. Even ron Paul says that if we cut military spending, he would he willing to help the people that are dependent on the govt. It would be aorta be a weaning off process.

hossman's avatar

Maverick, your sources do not support your conclusions. Again, perhaps you should read them first.

Your first source, http://sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=53B61670-E7F2–99DF-3E9FD5664899BF24
comes to mixed conclusions. We could start with the headline: “We’re Number Two: Canada Has as Good or Better Health Care than the U.S.” Congratulations. The story concludes Canada is Number Two in the headline, behind the U.S. Hmmm. . . doesn’t look good for your position yet. The article continues: Not all experts agree with the implication that the Canadian system is better than the U.S. system, however, or with the researchers’ methodology. Vivian Ho, who is the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy chair in health economics at Rice University in Houston and has spent time living and conducting research in both the U.S. and Canada, argues that the study’s focus on mortality could be misleading.

“When we look at health systems we look at other things than death,” Ho explains. In her own research on hip fracture, which was cited in Guyatt’s study, she found that the time a patient had to wait before surgery—which was significantly longer in Canada than the U.S. because of a shortage of operating rooms—made only a 1 percent difference in terms of mortality.

“But certainly if you ask people waiting in the hospital,” Ho notes, “They’re going to say I’d rather have the U.S. system…. Waiting means there’s a significant amount of distress for an elderly patient, and also higher complications for pneumonia because you have the patient immobile for so long.”

Ah. If “you ask people waiting in the hospital, I’d rather have the U.S. system.” In other words, the taxpayers paying for the care. So, no good for your position yet. Let’s continue: Patti Groome, an epidemiologist at Queens University Cancer Research Institute in Kingston, Ontario, said she believes that overall the paper was balanced. “But when you get into [the] meat of [the] paper they can’t sort out what’s going on…. There’s way too much heterogeneity in these studies to come to a conclusion about these systems.” In meta-analyses such as this one, “heterogeneity” in results corresponds to variations in the size of an effect across the studies being reviewed.

OK. So now a CANADIAN MEDICAL EXPERT (after all, you suggested we listen to people with experience, right? Are you Canadian? Perhaps? Are you a Canadian epidemiologist? Or a doctor? Or a health care provider? Because this CANADIAN MEDICAL EXPERT says that although the study you TRY to use as support for your position, while “balanced” (which I’m guessing means unbiased), the study itself is not able to “come to a conclusion about these systems.”

Ah. Which means the source YOU cite in support of YOUR position, is doing a pretty good job of saying that the study you hoped supported you, again according to someone WITH THE EXPERIENCE YOU SAY YOU VALUE, is not worth a whole lot. Let’s take a look at another trenchant opinion from your source: ”“Personally,” Ho adds, “my view is that the Canadian system is good for Canada and the American system is good for America. Neither side should switch, because the systems are a function of the population—the Canadian population believes much more in maintaining social safety nets.”

Ah. So YOUR source basically concludes that the study you hoped would support your position is either not useful, or that THE U.S. SYSTEM IS BEST FOR THE U.S. Well, thank you, Maverick, I always appreciate when someone makes a feeble argument that supports my position, not theirs. Shall we continue?

Your second source seems to be accurate: http://tinyurl.com/2layn8
Let’s see, the headline of YOUR second source says: “New Report Finds 89.6 Million Americans Were Uninsured during 2006–2007.” Sounds about right.

Hey, but wait a minute, Maverick. Are you sure you aren’t Michael Moore? Because you manipulated the evidence there. Now, I’m not going to accuse you of lying to us, maybe you just don’t understand the difference. Here, let me help. YOUR SOURCE talks about people WITHOUT INSURANCE. But wait, that’s not what you said it said. You claimed “89,600,000 people in the US HAVE NO ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE.” But wait a minute, I’m guessing you might be Canadian, and you Canadians do speak English, right? Is WITHOUT INSURANCE the same as NO ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE? Wait, I’ll ask my 10 year old. . .

Wow, she saw the difference right off the bat, Maverick. YOUR source doesn’t say what you claimed it said. In fact, let’s look at that article. Nope. NOWHERE DOES IT SAY ANYBODY WAS DENIED ACCESS TO ANY MEDICAL CARE WHATSOEVER. Hmmm. . . when Bush talked about WMD’s based on bad intelligence, everyone said he lied. By that standard, you Maverick ARE A LIAR. Yep. I’ll say it. You mislead everyone about the conclusion of that article. Makes you one of three things in my book: careless, ignorant, or a liar. You pick, I don’t know you that well.

Oh, but it gets worse for your anemic argument. The article continues to say: “more than half (50.2 percent) were uninsured for nine months or more.” Now, I know you’re bad with numbers, so let’s do some subtracting together, shall we? 100% minus 50.2% means that almost HALF, 49.8% of the people without medical insurance, were able to get insurance within 9 months.

And since you don’t live, here, I should probably explain to you that it is a violation of federal law for any healthcare provider providing emergency treatment to turn away anybody, American or not, who seeks urgent care, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. That’s right, Maverick, as far as emergency treatment, THE U.S. ALREADY HAS UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE FOR EMERGENCY TREATMENT. Wow, looking kind of grim for your evil specter of the U.S. abandoning its citizens.

So, what we’re really talking about here is nonemergency treatment. let me share some logic with you, Maverick. In the U.S., we have about half of 89 million people who were temporarily without medical insurance for less than 9 months for nonemergency treatment. Now let’s keep in mind, some of those people COULD have had medical insurance, but chose not to allocate their resources to purchasing medical insurance. And none of the numbers in your source address whether those without insurance were able to pay out of their pocket for their health care. In fact, how about that very big number of that 89 million who were without medical insurance THAT DIDN’T HAVE ANY HEALTH PROBLEMS.

Hmmm, Maverick, where do you get these crazy assumptions 89 million Americans had “no access to medical care?” That’s not what your source said, nowhere close. If it looks like crap, smells like crap, tastes like crap, glad I didn’t step in it. More of your crap is the claim that these countries provide universal health care. Since you clearly didn’t bother to read any of my links, and since you want the experience of people who live in these countries like you, how about this quote from the Australian HealthCare News, quoting the UK Minister of Health: “Certain hospitals in the UK who have imposed a ban on smokers and the obese from receiving particular treatments have been defended for their action by the Health Secretary.

Patricia Hewitt says it is a perfectly legitimate clinical decision for primary care trusts (PCT) to set a collective policy to deny operations to certain patients.

Miss Hewitt’s comments were made in response to a survey which found nine PCTs refused joint replacements to obese patients and four blocked orthopaedic surgery for smokers.

The minister says hospitals are entitled to get together with their doctors on any particular area of clinical judgement and decide which guidelines are put in place, and the issue is one for doctors to decide.

Hey, how about that? You don’t know what you’re talking about. You claimed the UK had universal health care. THAT WAS A LIE, because evidently you can’t get some health care in the UK if you are chubby or smoke, ACCORDING TO THE UK MINISTER OF HEALTH, who I presume knows far more about this than you, Maverick. I know you won’t like it, but let’s keep using logic shall we? OK, so we don’t know how many Americans were genuinely unable to have medical access for nonemergency matters while they were without medical insurance. You still have done nothing to counter the very credible CANADIAN SOURCES I cited that indicated waits for this sort of nonemergency treatment in Canada is 2–3 years.

OK, so let’s do that comparison. In the U.S., some of these people were temporarily without insurance coverage. I agree with you, in Canada, they had coverage. WHICH DIDN’T DO THEM ONE BIT OF DIDDLY SQUAT BECAUSE THEY WERE DENIED ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE BY THE CANADIAN SYSTEM BECAUSE THERE WAS A WAIT FOR TREATMENT THAT EXCEEDED THE TIME THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN WITHOUT INSURANCE COVERAGE IN THE U.S. Yup. By the time that Canadian coverage would kick in, many of these people would have obtained insurance in the U.S., gotten their treatment and moved on with their lives. But you’d rather have every teenage girl wait 3 years for knee surgery than have part of the population wait 9 months or longer. How egalitarian of you. Nothing like sinking to the lowest common denominator, and then sinking the denominator further.

And your ignorant or lying manipulation of figures continues. You discuss the military portion of the U.S. budget above, and your numbers are largely accurate, but your presentation is either ignorant or misleading. You evidently did not read the sources I gave above explaining this information.

You said: “So that’s 41% of your 2006 taxes that were assigned for military purposes.” ANOTHER LIE. You see, a little earlier you had said: Its useful to note that “national defense” accounted for 52% of the total Discretionary budget ($438.8 Billion) whereas health services accounted for ~6%.” That portion of your figures was correct. But you see, you can’t say 41% of 2006 taxes were for the military when we are talking only about the DISCRETIONARY budget. If you had said 41% of the DISCRETIONARY BUDGET was for the military, you would have been closer to the truth, but you would have been ignoring that a very large portion of the nondiscretionary budget is for health care entitlements. So not only is the military not responsible for 41% of 2006 taxes, but far more than 6% of the total budget, including entitlements, is spent on health care.

Now I now you didn’t cook these figures yourself, you are merely repeating the misleading manipulation of cleverer minds than yours. But lets look at some more of your misleading figures. You state: That number ignores, for example, the amount that is allocated to pay for past wars, which is an additional 13% ($263.5 Billion).

Allocated by whom, pray tell? Actually, this is more manipulation of figures. You see, that interesting little “payment of historical war debt” figure is another lie. This little statistic is popular but based on a logical fallacy. You see, this calculation ASSUMES (yep, one of your “crazy assumptions”) that “past-war debt” is ALWAYS the last portion of federal debt to be paid. Well, it doesn’t work like that. National debt is national debt. There aren’t separate “account balances.” Why would we assume the budget funds the U.S. spends on interest on the national debt is solely incurred by military spending? That debt was also incurred for health care, education, Ted Kennedy’s pension, etc. But your little figure ASSUMES we pay that “good debt” first, and the leftover we can’t pay is all that bad “military” debt. Hmm. . . another big hole in your argument. I’m gonna stop here because I’ve already gone way long.

Hey, speaking of crazy assumptions, you claim “You say that you have an open mind, but when I suggested you watch “Sicko” so that I could save myself this discussion, you immediately shot back with all the reasons you’ve been told that you should not watch. Doesn’t sound very open to me.” Wow. Are you sure you’re literate? Because my post didn’t say anywhere I gave any reasons why I shouldn’t watch “Sicko.” In fact, I watched it about 8 months ago. Along with this great article by Christopher Hitchens (certainly no conservative): http://www.slate.com/id/2102723/. Subtitled “The Lies of Michael Moore.” And several documentaries documenting the lies of Mr. Moore. Hmmm. . . you only watched one side, I’ve studied both. You don’t “sound very open to me.”

Now I don’t have any hard figures for this, but I’d like to anecdotally address your general contention that the U.S. should learn from Canada, Japan, Germany, and a long list of other countries and spend more on health care and less on the military. Allow me to point out that Canada has two borders. One is the Arctic. Not much need for military there (since we’re protecting Canada with our naughty little satellites and bad, bad nuclear weapons). Not much need on that huge border with the U.S., because these stupid Americans are never going to be a military threat to Canada. Maybe the problem is the Canadians aren’t picking up a fair share of the military protections they enjoy from the U.S. The same could be said of Germany and Japan, other long time beneficiaries of our military protection.

Hmmm. . . sure, Canada helped in WWII, but I honestly don’t think it was the Canadians that took the beaches in Normandy. Don’t recall the French, Canadians or even the British repulsing the Battle of the Bulge. It wasn’t the Australians that retook the South Pacific. And let’s face it, the French were the first military the U.S. had to fire on in Africa. Seems like without those horribly miserly Americans ignoring their healthcare to sacrifice their resources and lives, you’d all be speaking German.

Maybe Mr. Paul is right. Maybe we should just shut our borders and stop defending the rest of the world. Maybe then we’d have the money for all the discretionary medicine every American wanted. Let’s start with cutting off the United Nations. Hey, why are we building a wall on our SOUTHERN border. In fact, since most Canadians live within a half hour of the U.S. border, why don’t we just annex that strip and leave you with the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut? Or we could take that money we saved on eliminating the military and just buy Canada, like we did Alaska.

But your “facts” and “sources?” “I call bullsh*t on that.” But see, Maverick, I don’t care whether you “think” you are right or wrong. I do care that the other people here recognize crap when they see it. But I know for you, it’s that sense of self-righteous and pious intentions that is more important than fact. And as you said “You will never convince me. . .” Nope. I’m sure you’re not that “open.” But I can try to keep you from getting away with lies, your own or another’s. I really don’t think you “know from experience” that I’m wrong. In fact, you have yet to show me you know anything, unlike, say, the credible sources I link to above.

For instance, you don’t seem to like the link to the article about Cuba, written by Larry Solomon, whose credentials are: “Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Urban Renaissance Institute. He is an authority on public utilities, public private partnerships, and regulation in Canada. He is a proponent of competition in municipal services through deregulation and privatization, and is a spokesman for efficient, high-density cities, which would result from the removal of subsidies which influence land use patterns. Mr. Solomon, now a columnist with the National Post, has been a columnist for the Globe and Mail, a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, a syndicated columnist, and the editor and publisher of the award-winning The Next City magazine”

Hey, Maverick, did you catch that part that said Solomon is an authority on regulation in Canada? Written for the National Post, Globe, Mail, Wall Street Journal (not all American publications)? I think he might be just a tad more authoritative than you. I’m not asking anyone to choose between you and me. They should choose between you, me, and the experts I provide and you ignore. Maverick, you are so wrong it “is almost absurd to respond.” Good day.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Screw Ron Paul, Im voting for Hossman!!

hossman's avatar

As I think someone else said in another thread, there are far too many witnesses to past conduct. And since I seem to frequently be incapable of brevity, I wouldn’t give good “sound bite.”

And let’s face it, regardless of whether you agree with Paul and Kucenich, they are certainly speaking their mind. What I’ve heard from Thompson, probably not a representative sample, suggests he speaks his mind as well. Thus guaranteeing the American people will not elect them for President, as evidently we have a greater need for smooth lies than harsh truths. Let’s face it, a large part of the success of Bill Clinton was always that a certain minority of the American public loved the way he lied to them. He was always the quarterback promising the cheerleader they’ll get married after prom.

Really, a large part of the reason I haven’t been able to really dig into the campaign here is it has been making me so nauseous I can’t bear to get involved. I wouldn’t trust this slate of candidates on both sides to run a grade school, much less a country.

Maverick's avatar

Hossman, you honestly think I’m gonna read that novel when my previous message started out with “the thing that you don’t understand is that I don’t care weather you think you are right or wrong. I know from experience that you are wrong.” I know that Americans in general, and you in particular, are very good at saying whatever it is that they need to hear to justify whatever it is that they’ve already decided to do. Good for you. Enjoy your lack of healthcare. Gee, maybe you can start bombing Iran soon so that everyone will forget about healthcare right before the election (I wish that was a joke). Anyway, I hope you don’t ever get sick and I wish you well. Regards.

hossman's avatar

How open-minded of you, Maverick. Here, allow me to summarize this novel. You have no ideas of your own, you are a liar, and most importantly, you are very wrong. Feel free to search above for the proof.

And it is your fellow countrymen saying all of this, so evidently, you are in the minority in your own country.

But, gee, keep telling yourself lies. What’s important, is I tried to keep you from infecting others here.

I’m sure readers here will decide for themselves who has had an open mind. You just keep holding your breath until you turn blue, Maverick. You might try facts sometime instead of personal attacks.

P.S. Maverick, I’m a good enough judge of human character to know you did read that post, you have absolutely no facts or logic to present in opposition, so you are refusing to try to support your own position.

Maverick, I hope you never have to think or support your “caring” with reality. I hope you don’t ever get a brain, or vote in this country. I wish I could say I wish you well, but please see another thread on this site about lying always being wrong.

hossman's avatar

chris, I don’t think that was sheep you smelled. Cluck, cluck, cluck.

Maverick's avatar

Oh for gawds sakes, I DON’T F@CKING CARE IF AMERICANS GET EQUAL ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE. Certainly nowhere near enough to fight someone that is clearly unwilling to look at anything objectively what-so-ever. Its your problem, not mine, I was just trying to help out. Goodbye.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

somebody had a bad day. You must be a colts fan.

hossman's avatar

Ahh. . . maverick, you are a stellar example of objectivity and an open mind. Had you been polite, and offered any facts or logical argument, I would have considered them. Others here, bob, breedmitch, gail, perchik, mirza, many others, take the time to use logic and facts, rather than starting with personal attacks and then fleeing with obscenities and cowardice. Since you didn’t provide any intellectual argument, other than insisting you were right, I don’t see where you provided any help. You were far more concerned with bleating I was wrong than showing that you were right.

I did look at what you offered, objectively. I read all your sources. Remember, you have repeatedly said you wouldn’t take the time to read mine, and discover they were mostly from experts in your own country. The few you did present either supported my position or did not say what you claimed they said. That’s your problem, not mine.

There are actually a number of arguments that could be made for your position. I expected you to try one, sooner or later. I’ve already read a lot of them, and I was prepared to address them. Evidently you won’t take the time to try to support your own position. That’s disappointing. I’m assuming you aren’t as knowledgeable as you suggested. Good luck to you, Maverick, there may be someone out there who is more impressed by intentions than reality. But I think you’ll find that the sort of mindless attack you make, like Mr. Moore, is wearing thin. More and more Americans are seeing behind the irrational manufactured propaganda and applying their own common sense to readily ascertained fact.

And that reminds me of that other good documentary about the propaganda of Mr. Moore. It’s called something like “Manufacturing Dissent.” If you won’t read my posts, Mr. Open Minded, try watching that documentary, and see if you understand Mr. Moore a little better. Who is, I might add, another rich white man doing very little to share his wealth with the poor Americans for which you claim to have such concern.

trainerboy's avatar

Money??? Hillary says she is going to give us all health care so obviosusly is will come out of her pocket.

trainerboy's avatar

Ultimately it will come out of our asses.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

At least everyone will be able to get “free” anti-depressants after they realize what has happened to out country.

trainerboy's avatar

Actually, since it will be “free” health care, it won’t cost anything. The doctors and hospitals and pharmceuticals and administration and med schools are all going to perfom services for free. New hospitals wil be built with donated materials and labor.
The one down side is that since Doctors and Nurses will be doing their work for free, you might be a bit unsettled when you see them working the night shift at 7–11 or someplace like that.

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