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Healthcare Protests. Wtf?
Posted: 26 September 2009 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Occam’s Razor - 08 August 2009 07:26 PM

Only in the US could nominally human beings get so worked up over a plan to take care of sick people. I’ve lived here 6 years now and I still don’t understand what makes these people tick.

And how many of these rabid imbeciles - whose de facto position is that people who can’t afford health care are shit out of luck - would profess themselves followers of a well known (though historically undocumented) carpenter-cum-deity celebrated for his proactive stance on free healthcare?

No see, the problem is that the country is broke. Have you ever been broke? Did you run out and buy a new car when it happened? Actually, I’m broke now. But hey, using the Obama Administration’s example, I think I’ll go run out and buy a biiiiiiiiig mansion, with a nice new car, and a playstation to go with my new large screen tv. Who cares about finances and being responsible. YIIIIPPPPPeeee, spend, spend, spend! Spend, spend, spend.

(the next generation can pay for it….)

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Posted: 26 September 2009 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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What’s wrong, no longer a Bushite? Ever feel like you’re blown about like a leaf in the wind? Better watch out, those are the converter types. Talk about flip-flopping.

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Posted: 26 September 2009 05:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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goodgraydrab - 26 September 2009 06:09 PM

What’s wrong, no longer a Bushite? Ever feel like you’re blown about like a leaf in the wind? Better watch out, those are the converter types. Talk about flip-flopping.

What do you mean? I was always a Bush supporter. I have not flip flopped. ?  ?

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-29

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Posted: 27 September 2009 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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TheChampion - 26 September 2009 09:25 PM
goodgraydrab - 26 September 2009 06:09 PM

What’s wrong, no longer a Bushite? Ever feel like you’re blown about like a leaf in the wind? Better watch out, those are the converter types. Talk about flip-flopping.

What do you mean? I was always a Bush supporter. I have not flip flopped. ?  ?

Spend ... Broke ... Borrow ... Bush.

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Posted: 14 January 2010 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Occam’s Razor - 08 August 2009 07:26 PM

Only in the US could nominally human beings get so worked up over a plan to take care of sick people. I’ve lived here 6 years now and I still don’t understand what makes these people tick.

And how many of these rabid imbeciles - whose de facto position is that people who can’t afford health care are shit out of luck - would profess themselves followers of a well known (though historically undocumented) carpenter-cum-deity celebrated for his proactive stance on free healthcare?

I read that 44,000 (forty four thousand) people die every year in the US, because they don’t have health insurance. 

Doesn’t that make Americans angry, or don’t they care?

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Posted: 14 January 2010 08:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Airy Spirit - 14 January 2010 06:27 PM
Occam’s Razor - 08 August 2009 07:26 PM

Only in the US could nominally human beings get so worked up over a plan to take care of sick people. I’ve lived here 6 years now and I still don’t understand what makes these people tick.

And how many of these rabid imbeciles - whose de facto position is that people who can’t afford health care are shit out of luck - would profess themselves followers of a well known (though historically undocumented) carpenter-cum-deity celebrated for his proactive stance on free healthcare?

I read that 44,000 (forty four thousand) people die every year in the US, because they don’t have health insurance. 

Doesn’t that make Americans angry, or don’t they care?

There are many reasons why people don’t have health care.  Sometimes its even a choice they make… that’s one of my problems with government run health care.  Its not an automatic that just because someone doesn’t have health care, its because they are too poor.  Some people make poor choices and that can include making enough money but not being smart enough to buy health care (if your employer doesn’t give you the chance to buy it).  But forget that for a moment… lets assume all without healthcare are too poor to afford it, and I’ll table the argument that people should accept some responsibility for their lives and not continuously make poor choices that sometimes result in their economic status, I still wouldn’t want the government to run health care.  It is not capable of doing so.  It can barely run the programs it runs now.  I would rather use free markets and the human nature side of economics to refine the health care system, starting with making sure insurance companies can compete nationwide, rather than state by state.  I’m for regulation of the system, and i’m for some safety net, and I’m for paying for emergencies for all people… I’d even consider universal healthcare for children, since they should not have to be sacrificed for their parent’s stupidity and bad choices, but adults need to be responsible for their lives. 

Also, there are other ways to encourage compassion… charities are one.  People are generous and willing to donate to causes they believe in.  I would encourage the establishment of not-for-profit organizations that help pay for healthcare for those who can’t afford it.

More bureaucracy = less efficiency = higher costs. 

So, you don’t have to be a crazy, right-wing faith follower to not believe in universal healthcare.  I’m just as atheist as the rest of you.

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Posted: 15 January 2010 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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TheChampion - 26 September 2009 05:21 PM
Occam’s Razor - 08 August 2009 07:26 PM

Only in the US could nominally human beings get so worked up over a plan to take care of sick people. I’ve lived here 6 years now and I still don’t understand what makes these people tick.

And how many of these rabid imbeciles - whose de facto position is that people who can’t afford health care are shit out of luck - would profess themselves followers of a well known (though historically undocumented) carpenter-cum-deity celebrated for his proactive stance on free healthcare?

No see, the problem is that the country is broke. Have you ever been broke? Did you run out and buy a new car when it happened? Actually, I’m broke now. But hey, using the Obama Administration’s example, I think I’ll go run out and buy a biiiiiiiiig mansion, with a nice new car, and a playstation to go with my new large screen tv. Who cares about finances and being responsible. YIIIIPPPPPeeee, spend, spend, spend! Spend, spend, spend.

(the next generation can pay for it….)

It’s because the US is broke that you need to have universal health care, so that people don’t die because they can’t afford to see a doctor.

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Posted: 15 January 2010 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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TheChampion - 26 September 2009 05:21 PM
Occam’s Razor - 08 August 2009 07:26 PM

Only in the US could nominally human beings get so worked up over a plan to take care of sick people. I’ve lived here 6 years now and I still don’t understand what makes these people tick.

And how many of these rabid imbeciles - whose de facto position is that people who can’t afford health care are shit out of luck - would profess themselves followers of a well known (though historically undocumented) carpenter-cum-deity celebrated for his proactive stance on free healthcare?

No see, the problem is that the country is broke. Have you ever been broke? Did you run out and buy a new car when it happened? Actually, I’m broke now. But hey, using the Obama Administration’s example, I think I’ll go run out and buy a biiiiiiiiig mansion, with a nice new car, and a playstation to go with my new large screen tv. Who cares about finances and being responsible. YIIIIPPPPPeeee, spend, spend, spend! Spend, spend, spend.

(the next generation can pay for it….)

And if the US is so broke how come you can afford to fight a war in Iraq and Afghanistan?

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Posted: 15 January 2010 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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Mayrstar - 15 January 2010 01:52 AM
Airy Spirit - 14 January 2010 06:27 PM
Occam’s Razor - 08 August 2009 07:26 PM

Only in the US could nominally human beings get so worked up over a plan to take care of sick people. I’ve lived here 6 years now and I still don’t understand what makes these people tick.

And how many of these rabid imbeciles - whose de facto position is that people who can’t afford health care are shit out of luck - would profess themselves followers of a well known (though historically undocumented) carpenter-cum-deity celebrated for his proactive stance on free healthcare?

I read that 44,000 (forty four thousand) people die every year in the US, because they don’t have health insurance. 

Doesn’t that make Americans angry, or don’t they care?

There are many reasons why people don’t have health care.  Sometimes its even a choice they make… that’s one of my problems with government run health care.  Its not an automatic that just because someone doesn’t have health care, its because they are too poor.  Some people make poor choices and that can include making enough money but not being smart enough to buy health care (if your employer doesn’t give you the chance to buy it).  But forget that for a moment… lets assume all without healthcare are too poor to afford it, and I’ll table the argument that people should accept some responsibility for their lives and not continuously make poor choices that sometimes result in their economic status, I still wouldn’t want the government to run health care.  It is not capable of doing so.  It can barely run the programs it runs now.  I would rather use free markets and the human nature side of economics to refine the health care system, starting with making sure insurance companies can compete nationwide, rather than state by state.  I’m for regulation of the system, and i’m for some safety net, and I’m for paying for emergencies for all people… I’d even consider universal healthcare for children, since they should not have to be sacrificed for their parent’s stupidity and bad choices, but adults need to be responsible for their lives. 

Also, there are other ways to encourage compassion… charities are one.  People are generous and willing to donate to causes they believe in.  I would encourage the establishment of not-for-profit organizations that help pay for healthcare for those who can’t afford it.

More bureaucracy = less efficiency = higher costs. 

So, you don’t have to be a crazy, right-wing faith follower to not believe in universal healthcare.  I’m just as atheist as the rest of you.

Why isn’t the US governement capable of running health care?  The British, French, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand etc etc governments are capable of running their health care progbrams.  Why is the US government incapable of doing so?  But if you think that it is, why not bring in experts from Britain, France Canada, Australia etc to tell Americans how to run a health care system.

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Posted: 18 January 2010 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/international/americans-without-health-insurance-attack-plan-to-give-them-health-insurance-200908141981/
grin

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Posted: 20 January 2010 03:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Mayrstar - 15 January 2010 01:52 AM
Airy Spirit - 14 January 2010 06:27 PM
Occam’s Razor - 08 August 2009 07:26 PM

Only in the US could nominally human beings get so worked up over a plan to take care of sick people. I’ve lived here 6 years now and I still don’t understand what makes these people tick.

And how many of these rabid imbeciles - whose de facto position is that people who can’t afford health care are shit out of luck - would profess themselves followers of a well known (though historically undocumented) carpenter-cum-deity celebrated for his proactive stance on free healthcare?

I read that 44,000 (forty four thousand) people die every year in the US, because they don’t have health insurance. 

Doesn’t that make Americans angry, or don’t they care?

There are many reasons why people don’t have health care.  Sometimes its even a choice they make… that’s one of my problems with government run health care.  Its not an automatic that just because someone doesn’t have health care, its because they are too poor.  Some people make poor choices and that can include making enough money but not being smart enough to buy health care (if your employer doesn’t give you the chance to buy it).  But forget that for a moment… lets assume all without healthcare are too poor to afford it, and I’ll table the argument that people should accept some responsibility for their lives and not continuously make poor choices that sometimes result in their economic status, I still wouldn’t want the government to run health care.  It is not capable of doing so.  It can barely run the programs it runs now.  I would rather use free markets and the human nature side of economics to refine the health care system, starting with making sure insurance companies can compete nationwide, rather than state by state.  I’m for regulation of the system, and i’m for some safety net, and I’m for paying for emergencies for all people… I’d even consider universal healthcare for children, since they should not have to be sacrificed for their parent’s stupidity and bad choices, but adults need to be responsible for their lives. 

Also, there are other ways to encourage compassion… charities are one.  People are generous and willing to donate to causes they believe in.  I would encourage the establishment of not-for-profit organizations that help pay for healthcare for those who can’t afford it.

More bureaucracy = less efficiency = higher costs. 

So, you don’t have to be a crazy, right-wing faith follower to not believe in universal healthcare.  I’m just as atheist as the rest of you.

And another thing: Great Britain brought in it’s NHS, just THREE YEARS after the end of World War 2, when the country was in ruins.  So why can’t the US bring in a universal health care service again?

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Posted: 20 January 2010 09:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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Maybe evolution explains the American enigma. Because if I were a rational secular European I would have trouble understanding how people who look like me, speak one of my languages, and have European names could be so different.

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Posted: 30 January 2010 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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I think many of the posters on this thread are in serious danger of losing sight of something (or have already lost it).  Most Americans (and this includes most conservatives and most registered republicans), completely agree that our health care system needs reforming.  What alarms them are the specific bills that have passed in congress that propose to do it.  Many people are very, very wary of these bills, and with good reason, as it turns out.  Here’s the latest on that front, from Time magazine:

There’s been a remarkable amount of coverage of President Obama’s appearance at the House Republican retreat today, but I haven’t seen anyone focus on the President’s rather stunning admission about the Democrats’ health care legislation

The last thing I will say, though—let me say this about health care and the health care debate, because I think it also bears on a whole lot of other issues. If you look at the package that we’ve presented—and there’s some stray cats and dogs that got in there that we were eliminating, we were in the process of eliminating. For example, we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your—if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you’re not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge. [emphasis added]


Obama’s Stunning Admission

Put simply, people don’t trust this congress, and more and more are reconsidering their trust of this president to keep their promises on this issue.  And more and more are afraid the government is going to take over health care and make the problem worse instead of better.  (Not to mention all the wonder at why there is so much desire to take on health care when the economy is in such a dire state, and unemployment levels are at record highs—it gives people the impression that we are dealing with liberal ideologues who have their priorities seriously out of order.)

They are right not to trust the government.  These politicians are not keeping their promises, and are not likely to fix the problem that a previous generation of politicians, just as ignorant of economics as this one, created in the first place.

We do have a very odd, very screwed up system in some ways.  It might be instructive to consider why that is.  According to the U.S. census bureau, an estimated 59.5% of Americans obtain their health insurance through their employers.  This is a curious situation, and is almost unique to the United States.  This has a number of problems, probably the biggest of which is the extra hardship it inflicts on anyone who loses his job.  Nowhere else in the industrialized world does a family, already down on its luck over a job loss, also suffer the loss of its health insurance.  Now virtually everyone, even conservatives, wants to see some sort of overhaul of the way American health care works.  Of course, the problem is that everyone has a different opinion over what the best solution is.  Conservatives favor a free market solution; liberals want socialized medicine.  But before we trust politicians – most of whom have little to no understanding of economics – to fix the problem, it might be wise to remember that it was politicians who got us into this mess in the first place.

We have employer-based health care today as a legacy of government attempts at controlling our World War Two economy.  The National War Labor Board quite understandably wanted to ensure that production of weapons and supplies for our military would not be disrupted by labor disputes, and it also wanted to forestall economic problems such as increased inflation and war profiteering. So far so good.  The problem is that the Board attempted to prevent this by resorting to a means they frankly should have known better than to employ, and which any economist worth his salt could have told them simply wouldn’t work: wage and price fixing.  Put simply, it never works, and we have six thousand years of history trying to teach this to us, but that’s never been known to stop a politician or a bureaucrat.  The Board duly froze wages and established price controls for the duration of the war. Unfortunately (and predictably) the wheels started to come off this arrangement almost at once, just as it always does with price fixing.

Now some on this board have accused me and Saul of “worshipping” the free market as a religious believer worships his deity.  That’s simply not right.  The free market is not like a deity who orders things according to its will, and we don’t regard it in that way at all.  It’s merely that we recognize that, like the laws of physics, the laws of economics are a vast, impersonal force that operates independently of human desires or controls (in a sense at least; in another sense it is actually composed of those very things).  It operates according to the principles of supply and demand, which are nothing more than the aggregate of the actions and decisions of millions or even billions of individuals, each making his or her own personal choices.  So while it is, on the one hand directed by human will and human actions, this direction comes from unnumbered multitudes of individuals acting independently, which means that on the other hand, the market is beyond any conscious attempt to control it by certain groups or individuals.  You just can’t direct or control the actions of so many people.  Thus the market is a vast, inchoate force that operates on its own, and you simply can’t will it to behave a certain way, any more than you can will gravity to stop for you if you are falling. 

Remember, all money really is is a symbol.  An abstraction.  Basically, it represents work.  Every good or service you can buy is purchased by doing some work, in effect, producing something (and not necessarily something concrete), that is equal in value to that good or service that you desire, whether that means digging a ditch, or manufacturing a widget, or teaching skills to other people, or whatever, you have to produce something in exchange for whatever it is you want.  We facilitate all this with money.  You perform your work, whatever it may be, and it has a monetary value attached to it based on how much demand others want for that work, and how scarce or abundant the supply of that work is.  You can then exchange that money for something else that has an equal monetary value attached to it.

The reason I bring this up is to remind everyone that no individual or group of individuals can possibly control the value that everyone out there puts on the work of every Tom, Dick, and Harry in society.  That’s why the market is impersonal, and that’s why attempts to control it, whether they be by central planning, or by price fixing, never work.  The very most you can hope to do is influence it in some ways, and that’s both limited and hard to predict with accuracy. 

Well, this worked in WWII just exactly the same as it does now.  As more and more workers were sent overseas for duty in the military, the pool of available labor got smaller and smaller.  The increasing scarcity of that available labor made that labor more valuable.  This outcome was absolutely inevitable.  Increased demand for or reduced supply of any needed thing will make that thing more valuable.  Period.  This will happen no matter how much people may desire it wouldn’t.  Now ordinarily, the market adjusts automatically and impersonally, and represents that increased value with higher prices.  But with employers prevented by law from paying higher prices (i.e. wages) for this labor, in accordance with this labor’s actual increased value, the result was that the labor was in increasingly short supply.  So, in WWII, employers in the US had a harder and harder time attracting employees to replace the workers going into the military, without the ability to lure these prospective employees in with enticement of higher wages.  The resulting labor shortage was about to create the very thing the National War Labor Board had wanted to avoid in the first place: disruption of wartime production.

The members of the Board, whether they ever understood the mechanism behind this or not (i.e. causing the real value of the work available from the labor pool, and its monetary value to get out of synch) could nevertheless see the results playing out before their eyes in the form of a growing labor shortage, and realized they had to do something to fix the problem.  Accordingly, they ruled that the wage freeze and price controls did not apply to fringe benefits like pensions and health insurance coverage. This gave employers the means to attract and retain employees.  They couldn’t raise someone’s salary, but they could provide a benefit that someone would otherwise have to pay money out of their salary for, in effect, raising salaries by increasing the amount of money employees took home.  Back in those days, health insurance was a relatively cheap benefit, and the fact that it was (and still is) tax deductible was an added bonus for the employer. Furthermore, labor unions strongly supported the NWLB ruling and encouraged businesses to offer health insurance benefits to their employees. Thus, employers began routinely offering employee health coverage as part of their fringe benefits.  And after the war ended, they never stopped, and the institution gained a kind of social inertia.  Thus, we still have health insurance coverage as an employee benefit, not as another service we pay for ourselves, even though most people today think we would be better off, on the whole, if the link between one’s job and one’s health insurance was severed.

But in evaluating the various solutions to this problem, before we put the solution entirely in the hands of government, remember: it was government attempts to control the market that put this ramshackle system into place to begin with, and once someone has screwed something up, is that who you really want to trust to fix it?

[ Edited: 30 January 2010 01:03 PM by Billy Shears]
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Posted: 09 February 2010 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Mayrstar - 15 January 2010 01:52 AM

There are many reasons why people don’t have health care.  Sometimes its even a choice they make… that’s one of my problems with government run health care.  Its not an automatic that just because someone doesn’t have health care, its because they are too poor.  Some people make poor choices and that can include making enough money but not being smart enough to buy health care (if your employer doesn’t give you the chance to buy it).  But forget that for a moment… lets assume all without healthcare are too poor to afford it, and I’ll table the argument that people should accept some responsibility for their lives and not continuously make poor choices that sometimes result in their economic status, I still wouldn’t want the government to run health care.  It is not capable of doing so.  It can barely run the programs it runs now.  I would rather use free markets and the human nature side of economics to refine the health care system, starting with making sure insurance companies can compete nationwide, rather than state by state.  I’m for regulation of the system, and i’m for some safety net, and I’m for paying for emergencies for all people… I’d even consider universal healthcare for children, since they should not have to be sacrificed for their parent’s stupidity and bad choices, but adults need to be responsible for their lives. 

Also, there are other ways to encourage compassion… charities are one.  People are generous and willing to donate to causes they believe in.  I would encourage the establishment of not-for-profit organizations that help pay for healthcare for those who can’t afford it.

More bureaucracy = less efficiency = higher costs. 

So, you don’t have to be a crazy, right-wing faith follower to not believe in universal healthcare.  I’m just as atheist as the rest of you.

In the health care field, both Medicare and the Veteran’s Administration get top marks for quality of care and cost efficiency. Guess who they are both run by.

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Posted: 09 February 2010 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Even though I’m a liberal pansy-ass scum, and he’s a fascist pig I agree with Officer Shears about govt. bureaucracy. I’ve lived in the UK, France and the US and government employees almost without exception are slow-witted, unmotivated, unprofessional and inefficient.

But whereas Officer Spears et al would use this as a spur to privatize more, I’d rather just sack the lazy fuckers, get some decent employees instead and actually have government work properly - as opposed to giving up on it altogether.

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