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Author Topic: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.  (Read 5529 times)

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Offline kylie

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Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #75 on: July 13, 2009, 05:44:34 PM »
There are 300 million Americans and just 12 million illegal immigrants. It's simply silly to suggest that we have to solve illegal immigration before solving health care.
Minority status is not a good reason for putting off an issue.
     The only kind of political expediency that logic backs is called "divide and conquer," and it may be used against anyone and everyone on various issues.  As Fox News has recently pointed out, so many Americans could easily be found "impure" of heritage or faith in some way.  (See separate Politics thread.) 

First. 
If your numbers are right, illegal immigrants are about 4% of the population. 
Under that logic, whose welfare could be put off during any period of change...

Each of these groups among legal citizens counted as less than 4% (as of the 2000 Census):
Laotian-Americans
Hmong-Americans
Pakistani-Americans
Cambodian-Americans
(and presumably numerous others too "small" for the chart). 
http://www.odos.uiuc.edu/aacc/images/demographics.gif

4-5% of the population identifies as Gay or Lesbian. 
http://www.siecus.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.viewpage&pageid=605&grandparentID=477&parentID=591#howmany

10% or so are Left-Handed (including the president). 
A larger individual group, but still small. 
And, imagine the savings if all desks were shaped the same way?


Quote from: Asuras
Universal coverage and all that is very nice, but really, I think more importantly, year after year after year health care costs have kept rising, preventative care has withered, and if that continues - if we don't put the kind of controls on this industry that every other developed country has - this will be cancerous to American businesses, which have to bear the cost of health care for their employees, the American government, which has to pay for Medicare/Medicaid, and of course American citizens, who have to pay their HMOs and copays and whatever their insurance doesn't cover.
I don't think you've shown definitively that we cannot manage costs sufficiently to cover migrants.
There are a couple problems in there.

1.  You mention that costs have skyrocketed.  That has occurred under existing rules. 
The argument here is about whether to change the rules in various ways.

2.  Granted, I would like to know more about other countries' rules. 
     Are their migrant populations as abused in the same ways as those in agriculture and domestic labor in the US have been historically?  The authors of Global Woman say yes; this is actually common around the developed world.  That leads me to believe there are only limited efforts to address migrant health in general.  Even if so, that would not prove that covering migrants or securing quality of life for a larger portion of them (a small percent of the US population, as you point out) would necessarily be prohibitively expensive. 

Quote
Would it be better if we had a solution for both illegal immigration and health care at once? Yes. But the political process is notoriously bad at getting even one thing done, let alone two at once. So even if it means letting some free-riders slip through, I think we need to keep our priorities straight and take care of the biggest problems first.
     I know our political system has a good deal of "divide and conquer" combined with heavy doses of (often partisan or pork-motivated) delays and confusion.  However, there are also cases where no action on an issue, or only symbolic action, proves to make other action down the road harder rather than easier.  Compromise when you must, but not sooner. 

     My thinking is, it's better to take a serious stand on issues to begin with and say what would be just.  Not just what "will" get through Congress (how many weeks and news cycles later, during which attack ads and heaven knows what external issue weaken public focus too).  The softer approach can be self-defeating.  We already have a pattern of putting off "minority" interests again and again.  Collectively, they become a majority issue of problems across so many sectors.  Whatever majority forms in the moment can try to stick with baby steps, but this isn't ethical and there will always be scattered protests, riots, and grisly facts surfacing...  So many abuses, in our own backyard.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 05:46:35 PM by kylie »

Offline kylie

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Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #76 on: July 13, 2009, 06:19:29 PM »
I think some grossly underestimate the cost to our health care system when you consider illegal immigrants.
http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43275
Not to throw out the baby with the bath water here, but I'm rather skeptical of the source.  WorldNet Daily seems to have a rather questionable reputation on accuracy. 
(They also appear to have something of a positive reputation for apparent racial prejudice and hate.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WorldNetDaily
I don't believe everything I read on Wikipedia either (some of their topical articles flounder especially on nuance and application).  But, there are some live links to follow for verification. 

Quote
Specifically:

In fact, the increasing number of illegal aliens coming into the United States is forcing the closure of hospitals, spreading previously vanquished diseases and threatening to destroy America's prized health-care system, says a report in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

The article is from 2005. Please tell me how the situation has improved since then...?
     To answer this briefly, much of the opposition to coverage for migrants here has been based on experience with the existing system.  You're saying under conditions where everyone agrees the entire system is too costly, more people has meant more expense.  Well, of course.  What I'm thinking is, pricing is so ridiculous that a mix of competition and regulation could provide relief for everyone. 

     As an aside...  Even if there are costs specific to migrant care under the current system, have you considered the costs of providing none?  Some particular benefits go to higher economic brackets:  To those who can afford more houses to be maintained and cleaned, more nannies, and more low-cost fresh produce rather than canned or frozen. 

     I think in actuality, we all really have need of so many migrants to cover numerous other low-paying, monotonous jobs like office cleaning and other basic service or labor.  Can we go without 4% of the population when they disproportionately fill these industries?  That is almost 1 in 20 people in a state of utter disregard, limited care, or limbo.  How much would replacing them cost the average taxpayer?  What would the price of strawberries be?  I don't think people wish to pay that.  I actually wonder if it wouldn't cost more than health care under a more universal system.  However, some are afraid to pay a cent more for someone they don't regard as "one of us" even while those people work here with less protection on and on.

« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 06:22:13 PM by kylie »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #77 on: July 13, 2009, 09:43:43 PM »

Offline Asuras

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #78 on: July 13, 2009, 10:13:21 PM »
Quote from: Zamdrist of Zeitgeist
I think some grossly underestimate the cost to our health care system when you consider illegal immigrants.

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43275

Specifically:

In fact, the increasing number of illegal aliens coming into the United States is forcing the closure of hospitals, spreading previously vanquished diseases and threatening to destroy America's prized health-care system, says a report in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

The article is from 2005. Please tell me how the situation has improved since then...?

Like kylie said, WND is a legendarily bad source.

However, the article provides a wondrous little tidbit. American hospitals are required to provide emergency treatment to anyone, which is how most illegal immigrants end up in a hospital (since virtually none of them are insured). That's just about the only way they become a burden to the US health care system.

But because these people are uninsured, they never encounter preventative care...which is precisely why they end up in the hospital room costing the taxpayer billions to treat their otherwise preventable illnesses.

But even setting that aside - which suggests one little way in which this, with respect to illegal immigrants, will pay for itself - my point remains: only 4% of Americans are illegal aliens, and yet the United States spends 100% more on health care than, for instance, Canada. See this (which demonstrates very vividly how tremendous and catastrophic a problem the US health care system is):



The point of this is that if we had a system like Canada or Germany or the UK or any other civilized country, we'd be able to halve our health care costs because we'd be able to rein in the insurers and all the other waste in the industry. We could reduce our health care costs by as much as 50%. So how could 4% of the population possibly be significant? Other than the odd hospital in Brownsville that WND can point to.

And, for the record, European countries like France and Germany probably have as large illegal alien populations (relative to theirs) as we do.

Quote from: kylie
Minority status is not a good reason for putting off an issue.
     The only kind of political expediency that logic backs is called "divide and conquer," and it may be used against anyone and everyone on various issues.  As Fox News has recently pointed out, so many Americans could easily be found "impure" of heritage or faith in some way.  (See separate Politics thread.)

First.
If your numbers are right, illegal immigrants are about 4% of the population.
Under that logic, whose welfare could be put off during any period of change...

I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't arguing that we should leave them out because there were so few of them. (that's would rightly be ridiculous)

In fact, I was arguing more or less the opposite - I think health care reform is so important that it's worth the cost even if we let along some illegal aliens as free riders. I really don't care if they're covered or not.

However...

The reason I don't care if they're covered or not is that they're citizens of a foreign country here illegally. They're foreign criminals, they're not the same as Laotian-Americans or left-handed Americans or any number of other native or naturalized Americans. At best, they have as much right to the American taxpayer's charity as does a citizen of Darfur or the Philippines. I don't think there's any reason to privilege one group of foreigners just because they happen to be nearby - least of all because they snuck into the country to do it.

So if we were to provide health coverage to these people, essentially, it should be in the very limited context of foreign aid, not in the context of "They're just like us and deserve all the rights and privileges of American citizenship!"

Offline fossildude181

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #79 on: July 13, 2009, 11:02:21 PM »
As I've argued earlier, those higher costs result in better treatment. Canada's health care may cost far less and result in universal basic coverage, but at the same time, you need to wait. For days, for weeks, for months.
Moreover, I'd like to ask: Would you prefer to pick your own hospital or would you rather have one assigned to you? Are patients entitled to choose their own treatments (provided they can afford them) or should the government ration them out "for the greater good?"
And lastly...
If money was not an issue, where would YOU want to be treated?

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #80 on: July 13, 2009, 11:29:05 PM »
For me I would say yes pick my primary care provider. Yes pick my hospital. Yes pick my treatment options and decide if some cost to much for the benefit if that helps cover the most people.

I will add there already is rationing going on my friend who is a citizen and works hard to get by can't even afford after his expenses $65 to see a doctor to get cheap antibiotics and basic care for an infection (suspected one) so bough Fish Mox to treat himself. What if his case gets much worse its going to cost alot more money and at that point everyone will pay much more since the hospital and doctors at that point won't get a dime. People get care rationed by cost, rationed care by the insurance companies who do refuse care and that is a cruel way to do it.

I think having a BASIC safety net is not a bad idea and if I must give up choice for access to affordable care with co-pays everyone can afford so be it.



Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #81 on: July 14, 2009, 02:10:44 AM »
Higher costs do not mean better treatment by any stretch of the imagination.  Costs are rising and the treatment is staying near the same in terms of what it is and what is being done.  People in the United States still wait days, weeks and months for treatment.  Emergency rooms are packed and hospitals are struggling to find room for patients.

Also, where did this illusion of choice emerge?  I've seen a couple of people state that a person can choose their hospital.  The employer picks the insurance company, the insurance company picks your doctor or gives you a list to select from and they tell you where to go in order to receive treatment.  Are you going to turn a job down because you don't like the hospital?  I think few Americans have that luxury.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #82 on: July 14, 2009, 06:29:52 AM »
And one forgets how important primary care and chronic condition health management are. Say my friend had the ability on his $40 a month he has left over from his pay to see a doctor for $20, get that $4 antibiotic from Target and cure his UTI before a secondary infection or kidney stones kicks in. That happened his penis is well not nice looking. The system saves money from that simple lower end care. He just went to the hospital with gangrene down there. And now they are pumping him full of very expensive antibiotics as he is bedrests, and may have to amputate his organ. You can guess the Fish Mox he was taking was done to late to matter. Which would have been cheaper?

I can see value of a system that oddly tries to prevent such things from happening at the start, not the thousands of dollars he is racking up he's not going to pay for. Many others and the citizens will one way or another.

Offline Serephino

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #83 on: July 14, 2009, 09:11:10 PM »
Yes, the state is paying for a 1k bill I got when I went to the ER when I thought I might have pneumonia.  Sadly, I went to the ER because I knew I'd qualify for their financial assistance.  And of course they did chest X rays, gave me medication for nausea as well as fluids, and did a bunch of blood tests. 

It would've been much cheaper for me to go to my family physician.  He would've listened to my chest and told me I had the flu without all those expensive tests.  But I couldn't do that because I didn't have the $75, and they require you to pay at the time of the visit.   

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #84 on: July 15, 2009, 07:18:21 AM »
May I ask fossildude181 a question, is a poor human being entitled to the same level of care in a society one would give a dog?

Its sad but say one of us was sick and a dog odds are we would get to see a vet, someone would care for us and we would get better in most cases. From what I see with local animal neglect and care cases. But you don't think a human which I would say has a higher standing to a dog can die for lack of primary care or suffer needlessly.

Libertarians like me are divided but I favor government control in this case the free market fails to control costs and provide care any longer. For example take a free market approach the prices would all have to be known openly for every medical procedure, one would need to shop around, be free to use their insurance in international hospitals since going to India might be one option for a person for tourist medical care and be able to negotiate. Sick people often can't do that.