Home > Geeky, Safety & Health > Open thread 3 on poverty: Health Care

Open thread 3 on poverty: Health Care

July 27, 2006

HEALTH CARE… LuckyJohn19 alluded to the fact that if you don’t take care of certain things, you will pay for it in the end.  People are as much an infrastructure of our country as bridges, and are even more important.  I am in favor of basic socialized medicine.  No heart transplants, thank you, nor extreme measures to eak out a few more weeks of life, but working people should be able to count on basic care…

Other industrialized countries – many quite wealthy – manage this and actually get MORE for their money than we do.  Fact is, our health system spends more to get less than any other in the world.  Hard statistics of infant mortality and longevity bear this out.

Of course I have no objection to the wealthy buying extra insurance for extreme measures.  That is what drives medical advancement, after all, the way auto-racing drives vehicular engineering.  Today’s cheap, basic care was yesterday’s cutting-edge miracle.

Much has been made of the medical malpractice crisis.  But you can bet that 80% of the insurance payouts go to pay for the screwups of the worst 5% of the doctors.  Insurance companies need to refuse to insure those doctors, effectively putting them out of the business.  Hard-nosed actuaries that they are, they should be able to distinguish between risky work like OB/GYN and a pattern of truly stupid mistakes.

(Most likely this is true of any risk-prone occupation.  Who would be surprised to learn that 80% of charges of police brutality focus on the worst 5% of cops?  Professions need to get better at – pardon the expression – “policing” themselves.)

Healthy people work better, and small employers could reach farther if they weren’t trying to manage basic health care.  Some things are better done wholesale and health care is one of them.

Notes: see also

  1. Capitalism vs Socialism

  2. Education
  3. Health care
  4. Social programs
Categories: Geeky, Safety & Health
  1. July 27, 2006 at 21:28 | #1

    Just subscribing more than anything else.

  2. July 27, 2006 at 22:25 | #2

    Not sure what to say; I’m Canadian.  :lol:

    Universal health care to me, is not just a nice to have; it’s a basic right.  As DOF said, healthy people are essential a society functioning well.

  3. July 28, 2006 at 20:28 | #3

    First of all, there is nothing in the constitution of the USA that says we have a ‘right’ to health care.

    But health care is becoming a problem for a number of reasons. In Florida it is becoming difficult to even find a primary care doctor that will take on new patient and nearly impossible in some areas to find a pediatrician. Not because of a lack of demand but because the high cost of liability insurance had driven so many out of the state. Limiting tort awards for malpractise is one way of solving this. Medical doctor’s policing themselves is another. Covering for each other is costing them in higher insurance costs. SOme here are beginning to see this and are speaking out about it but it will take time to solve the problem.

    But all that said I do believe that there is a way to provide adequate medical care to our citizens and legal residents..and I qualify that to just that..legal residents and citizens.

    There is already a Federal program in effect called the US medical service that provides medical care to the registered native Americans. This service is paid on the same pay scale as the military service with mostly the same benifits. It could be expended to put a clinic in every community as well as area hospitals at a much lower cost than universal health insurance. One of the benifits of this is that it would put a lot of tort lawyers out of business..it is tough to sue the government.

  4. July 29, 2006 at 12:16 | #4

    First of all, there is nothing in the constitution of the USA that says we have a ‘right’ to health care.

    You know you’re right.  But come to think about it, there is nothing in there about how drugs are illegal.  There is nothing in there about how we should use our money to fight terrorism.  That is a weak argument Guyk, because I can apply it to many things that our government currently does.  But I believe the governments purpose is to protect and serve the people, and people that are dying at ages of 50 or younger because they cannot afford health insurance should be more than enough reason to have free health care for the people.

  5. July 29, 2006 at 13:39 | #5

    I’d never heard of the US medical service – that’s very interesting. 

    My argument for national health care is more economic than constitutional.  Other countries do it, and it works out well for their whole societies. Of course like any big enterprise you get screw-ups.  We should study different programs to see what works, and what does not.

  6. July 29, 2006 at 16:26 | #6

    If the largest companies in the US just spent a percentage of their lobbying efforts on getting laws passed that are beneficial to their bottom line to lobbying for universal health care, we could have this issue put to bed. It’s these companies that have to most to benefit from universal health care because they wouldn’t need to pay for their workers health coverage any more.

    Before globalization, they could/are just passing on the cost to the consumers. But now US companies are competing with foreign companies that don’t have these cost burdens, so it just makes sense that they would want to level the playing field.

  7. July 29, 2006 at 17:26 | #7

    Ed C. all costs of business including employee health care are paid by the consumer. Universal health care will also be paid for by the consumer if business is taxed to pay for it because the costs of goods will be raised to cover the taxes.

    WEB05..you are correct that a lot of things that the government does is not covered by the constitution. But there is no “right” to these things other than equal opportubnity under the law as long as these things are covered by law. If per chance congress decided to do away with social security for example, it would not be unconstitutional. However, an argument can be made that under the 14th Amendment income redistribution is unconstitutional unless each person gets the same benifit regardless of income..equal opportunity under the law, right?

    DOF: My daughter, a half native American and her children live with her husband, a Sioux, on the Pine Ridge Reservation in S. Dakota. They receive their medical care from the US Medical service and it is good care. The last time I checked in on it there were about 5,000 people in the Medical service and it is probably even smaller now as more and more of the native Americans move off the reservations

  8. July 29, 2006 at 23:29 | #8

    GUYK: You’re right if the government decided to raise taxes to pay for universal health care, but you’re wrong in assuming that we would automatically have to. The fact is we could pay for universal health care without raising taxes a cent. It’s all a matter cutting waste, and re-arranging priorities. If the US can conduct two wars and cut taxes at the same time, then we can most certainly pay for health care.

    You should read this great post on this subject.

  9. August 4, 2006 at 17:10 | #9

    A right is something a society decides is a right.  As a Canadian citizen, my country has made that decision.  Universal health care is not enshrined in the Canadian constitution, but derives from from the democratic political structure and processes enshrined therein.

    Guy:  What amount of health care spending is directly attributable to tort settlements?  How much of that is from settlements deemed too rich, even when malpractice was clearly committed?

    BTW, most people assume that a universal healthcare system would be funded from taxes only.  Typically it doesn’t work that way.

  10. Farshid Machiwala – Public Health
    October 3, 2006 at 08:38 | #10

    Members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday during the group’s annual legislative conference announced plans to promote expanding health care coverage and boosting the minimum wage in the 110th Congress, moves that CBC Chair Rep.

  11. glyconutrients
    July 31, 2008 at 06:27 | #11

    Despite going to Canada once on a vacation, I never knew that this was the health system in place there. However, i do agree with the fact that people are the biggest infrastructure of any country and a healthier society leads to greater productivity.

  12. Wendy
    August 4, 2008 at 17:10 | #12

    If we can build bombs,planes and tanks why can’t we take care of our people.

    Universal health care to me, is not just a nice to have; it’s a basic right. Very true

  13. November 25, 2008 at 01:48 | #13

    I have come across this kind of post for the very first time.I really liked it a lot & i would like to add by saying that there’s nothing bad if such doctors are pushed out of business at the time they are found to be one of the medical malpractitioners.

  14. Jega
    May 19, 2009 at 06:22 | #14

    Health care, or health care, refers to the treatment and management of illness, and the preservation of health through services offered by the medical, dental, pharmaceutical, clinical laboratory sciences , nursing, and allied health professions. Health care embraces all the goods and services designed to promote health, including “preventive, curative and palliative interventions, whether directed to individuals or to populations”.


    Life Assurance

  15. July 13, 2009 at 13:59 | #15

    It’s these businesses that have to most to benefit from universal health care because they wouldn’t need to pay for their workers health coverage any more, we have to get this done this year, are country is to fat and needs a better health care sysytem

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