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The US Healthcare System ... it's sick, sick, sick

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posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 12:43 AM
I don't know which is more outrageous, the tragic story of Scott Hawkins and his poor harassed bereaved parents with a bill from the hospital that clearly exposes how ridiculous medical billing has become or the shameful opportunism taken by someone not, (presumably), invested in the American "health care" system. The close to $30,000 bill that Hawkins parents received certainly illustrates how ridiculously high the cost of showing up at a hospital dead can be, but what makes anyone think that by agreeing to this so called "Obama Care" or any form of government operated insurance scheme would've changed the price of that bill? Indeed, it is arguable given the U.S. governments proclivity towards paying outrageous amounts of money for products bought in the private sector for far cheaper, that if the hospital had billed the U.S. governments proposed insurance scheme rather than mistakenly billing Hawkins parents that it would have been even more expensive.

Of course, the original poster has made his politics clear when he demands that all the "apologists for the private health care system" defend the outrageous bill sent to Hawkins parents. While it is no doubt an outrageous sum to charge for admitting a victim who was, as the O.P. claims; D.O.A., it is just as outrageous that the collectivists would exploit this situation in order to put forth their own brand of propaganda. An apologist is nothing more than someone who argues in defense of a certain policy or institution or ideal. How ironic is it then, that this thread was created by an apologist for Obama Care and rather than offer up any sound facts that might actually offer a rational and reasonable defense of the U.S. federal governments current legislation for a health insurance scheme this poster instead begins by attacking those who are skeptical and even dead set against such a scheme by throwing at them this tragic story. It is shameless politics and nothing more.

This current debate over the proposed legislation for a government run health insurance scheme has been so riddled with nothing but propaganda for so long it has long since past the point of reasonable debate. It is the height of disingenuous political spin to refer to this scheme as "health care". When one eats healthy, exercises and lives well that is health care. When a doctor is employed to monitor ones health that is health care. When a surgeon is employed to correct a health problem that is health care. An insurance policy purchased to pay for this health care is not health care in and of itself but strictly business. Insurance schemes are nothing more than the business of spreading risk among large numbers of people. This practice of spreading risk is as ancient as hunter gatherers who traveled in packs to spread the risk of being mauled by dangerous animals.

There is nothing wrong in spreading the risk and as long as investment companies can enter into a health care system and offer a sound insurance scheme that can offer a competitive price while still allowing that investment company to turn a profit then health insurance is surely a good idea. However, if insurance companies wind up only effectively raising the cost of health care instead of lowering it by spreading the risk then it is just a stupid idea. The whole idea of insurance is truly nothing more than gambling. On its simplest level and if one looks at insurance schemes clearly it should be understood what the bet is and what is at stake. When someone purchases life insurance they are in effect making a wager with the insurance company they have purchased the policy from that they will die before the insurance company believes they will. For surely if it is clear that the one purchasing a life insurance policy is going to die soon then selling that person a policy would be stupid. The insurance company stands to gain nothing if they have to pay out thousands of dollars for a few payments of premiums.

[edit on 8-11-2009 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]

posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 12:45 AM
It is truly morbid to purchase life insurance believing that one will die before the insurance company can turn a profit off of the premiums paid for that policy but that is in effect the wager being made between policy holder and the insurance company. The premiums paid are of course invested and it is the ability of an insurance company to collect as many premiums per month and year as possible that allows them to effectively invest these collected premiums and attempt to turn that investment into something larger than what would be expected to be paid out in the event of life insurance policies being cashed in. This is the investment game of all insurance schemes, whether it be life insurance, auto insurance, marine insurance or otherwise.

Insurance fraud is a great problem that insurance companies must deal with whether it be fraud by faking ones own death, to fraud by auto mechanics who overcharge for repairing wrecked vehicles to the fraud of overcharging insurance companies for medical bills. That this fraud clearly exists is a given and a brief look at the criminal charges brought against people in any given year for insurance fraud only underscores the problem insurance companies face with fraudulent claims. If a private insurance company can effectively manage the cost of paying out health care claims against the cost of fraudulent claims and still turn a profit then it is doing sound business. The U.S. government, local, state or federal has never been a business and has no idea how to manage business matters in any cost effective way. Indeed, there is far too much evidence to support the argument that these government agencies don't at all care about effective cost management and instead believe themselves to be authorized plunderers who greedily slop at the trough every chance they get.

The current legislation being proposed is not an issue of "health care" it is an issue of private property versus public property. The only possible way the U.S. government can effectively claim a Constitutional authority to mandate a public health insurance policy is if they can somehow show that health care is indeed a public issue rather than a private issue. The simple Constitutional truth of the matter is that there is no authority granted the federal government allowing them to declare such a mandate. The arguments made by certain Congressmen and the White House that there is a Constitutional authority are ludicrous and will not stand Constitutional muster under the scrutiny of the courts.

One argument made to show that the federal government does indeed have authority to mandate the purchase of health insurance is by pointing to the mandate made by the states that those who drive must show proof of auto insurance. The first fallacy in this argument is that what the states can do is far different than what the federal government can do and the federal government is specifically bound by the Constitution for the United States to do only what that Constitution allows it to do. The states have more lee way in this regard. However, it is dubious that the states actually have the authority to mandate that private citizens or just plain people, citizens or not, purchase auto insurance from private companies. What has given the states the legal authority to do so is the sneaky way in which they have developed their administrative agencies known as the DMV.

Any given Department of Motor Vehicles will currently claim that driving is a privilege and not a right. That assertion is debatable at best and any free thinking person who cherishes personal freedom must surely understand they have the natural God given right to drive just as they had the natural God given right to ride a horse before the advent of the automobile. Prior to automobiles there was no such thing as the DHB which would be, of course, the Department of Horse and Buggy's.

posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 12:46 AM
The argument, however, on whether driving automobiles is a right or merely a state granted privilege is a debate for another thread. The point being made about the DMV is that people have voluntarily gone into these state administrative agencies and applied for vehicle registration and a license to drive and by doing so have granted a jurisdiction to the DMV that allows that administrative agency to make the rules as they see fit and if they declare driving a privilege and not a right then all those people who have applied for and received membership into their club must necessarily abide by those rules or face the consequences of fines, imprisonment or expulsion. Since a licensed driver who wishes to register his vehicle with the DMV is beholden to the rules of that agency then when those agencies declared auto insurance mandatory then those members of the club were bound to purchase that insurance simply because they had granted those agencies the jurisdiction to have such authority.

That authority was gained incrementally and over time and it was not as if DMV across the states mandated auto insurance upon the formation of these agencies. Indeed in the beginnings of DMV's they did not even dare make such an audacious claim as "driving is a right and not a privilege". This audacity came with time and incremental steps towards indoctrinating their public into believing that such an agency actually had the authority to make such claims. Congress has not done a damn thing to incrementally advance any authority over health care issues. People are not licensed to live nor even licensed to be healthy or see a doctor. Of course, doctors are licensed and perhaps Congress believes they can impose mandatory health care by bullying licensed doctors into imposing the mandate or risk extensive fines or even jail time. But to actually believe that Congress can impose a mandated health insurance scheme on the people is ludicrous.

More and more people in America have come to rely upon the social programs of government. This form of legal plunder began with the imposition of Internal Revenue Laws that began with the so called Personal Income Tax that itself was incrementally imposed on people over time. This new form of revenue allowed the federal government to expand in ways that were never even imagined at the time of the founding of The United States...or maybe it was imagined for it was Benjamin Franklin who once said: "Once the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." It was the creation of the so called Personal Income Tax that allowed people to vote themselves money and the U.S. government has been in the business of wealth redistribution ever since.

The propaganda of "health care" relies upon an ignorant masses in order to push this current insurance scheme on the people. It is argued that people have a basic right to health care and indeed this is true, but people have the basic right to own property as well but those arguing that health care is a basic right are loathe to admit that. It is the collectivists who argue this current "Obama Care" insurance scheme is "health care" and by relying upon emotional sound bites like "people have a basic right to health care" they hope that by speaking a universal truth will camouflage their lies. Of course people have the basic right to health care which means they have the basic right to eat well, to exercise and to live well. People have the right to earn income in order to employ medical practitioner's in order to maximize their health care. People have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of property and happiness.

It is in the pursuit of property that the collectivists will argue, many vehemently, that people do not have that right. Indeed, it was Proudhon, a well known socialist and anarchist who made the claim that all property is theft. Of course, making such a claim to a bear hibernating...

posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 12:47 AM
link caves and see how reasonable that bear will be in arguing socialism. Even the black widow who has taken up residence in ones home will not show any reasonable proclivity towards consideration of collectivists diatribes on property being public and belonging to all rather than an individual and it would be prudent for any homeowner or even renter to swat that black widow dead and remove it from their home rather than reason with it on terms of collectivism and social good.

People have the right to own property and as long as they believe that they will do what ever is necessary to defend that property. One of the greatest lies of the 20th and 21st century are the lies promulgated that wars are being fought over ideals. That is hogwash! Wars, as they have always been, are fought over real estate. Evidence of that abounds in such nonsensical wars as the "war on terror" which is being fought in both Afghanistan and Iraq both nation states comprised of what? Real estate! The so called "war on drugs" has flourished into quite a cottage industry as police departments, state and federal agencies have gleefully gone into the business of claiming property purchased through drug sales as properties now belonging to government. Again, it is the ownership of property that fuels that war as it fuels the so called "war on poverty" in which wealth redistribution becomes justified. It is the government grabbing of private property to fund social programs that are sold as panaceas to poverty that fuel that war on poverty. Private property has been under attack by the collectivists for well over a century and this current legislation of health insurance schemes is just one more vicious attack on private property.

This thread began by an obvious collectivist who felt compelled to attack certain individuals who have dared to question the efficacy of socialism. Of course the original poster attempted to downplay the socialized medicine part of "Obama Care" by making fun of those who rightfully declare this current legislation as just more socialism by a government that has no Constitutional authority to impose socialism on the people. This current "health care" debate comes down to nothing more than just another argument between collectivists and individualists. Indeed, at least two different people in this thread referred to their own NHS as "free" health care. However, if it was health care it certainly was not free even if those who received the care did not have to pay a dime for it.

Certainly not free in the same sense as the air we breathe is free, or the water we drink from a river or stream is free. Health care comes with a cost and if those claiming their health care was free actually didn't pay a dime for it, it can be rest assured that someone else did! Of course, as long as people keep showing a proclivity towards empowering governments to regulate the way we live it is only a matter of time before the air we breathe and indeed, it has all ready begun that the water we drink is far from free. The collectivists have long relied upon Marxist theory to implement their vaunted social programs and it is telling that Marx himself once declared to a friend that:

"I am not a Marxist!"

It was Vladimir Lenin who is credited for coining the phrase "useful idiots" to describe Western sympathizers to the Soviet form of communism and when it comes to people who believe they receive health care for free they are indeed "useful idiots" to governments who will gladly plunder yours and my income in order to pay the cost of this so called "free" health care. Health care is no more free than freedom is and anything of value comes with a cost. Genuine health care reform would have come in any endeavor to reduce the costs of medical practices. Not in the form of price controls because price controls are not cost controls but by simply regulating the business of health care in an effort to reduce the costs.

[edit on 8-11-2009 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]

posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 12:48 AM
Instead what has happened is the U.S. government found an opportunity to expand the scope of their jurisdiction and grabbed at it like any greedy soul would. As the old joke goes...what is the difference between a capitalist and a communist? In capitalism man exploits man and in communism its the other way around. Badda Bing Badda Boom!

In all likelihood this current legislation being proposed will pass both houses and then eventually be signed by the President and then comes the long arduous battle of everyday people using the court system afforded them by Constitution to challenge this dubious and insidious legislation. After all, legislation is not law but merely evidence of law. I would like to be so optimistic as to believe that if it is not law that the people in one form or another will abolish this insidious legislation, but the people have suffered a long train of abuses and as the Declaration of Independence so aptly states; "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

That same document also goes on to assert: "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." This legislation that would mandate people purchase health insurance is an usurpation and abuse that will not be tolerated by many and the battle between collectivists and individualist will continue. Who in the end will prevail is not certain but in the long battle for freedom, I remain hopeful that it is true that people are basically good and that regardless of how sacrosanct government imposed health care may be in other countries that here in The United States, if people refuse to purchase health insurance by right I remain hopeful that juries across the land would be loathe to convict such a soul based solely on the dubious argument that collectivism is a model that other countries think Americans should adopt.

Regardless of how successful or unsuccessful health insurance schemes may be in other countries, in the United States any government run insurance scheme is sure to fail and only further reduce the greatness that this once proud and noble nation knew. Would that We the People endeavored to know that greatness once again. What a nation we could be then. Time will tell and as international as these boards may be, I am grateful to have the opportunity to express my opinions and philosophy as an American proudly and freely.

posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 12:52 AM

Originally posted by Ulala
I can't remember ever reading such an appalling account of the US health system.

Here's Scott Hawkins. ...

His parent's have received a bill from the hospital for Scott's care ... to the remarkable tune of $29,186.50 ... even more astounding considering Scott was DOA and only received 5 minutes attention in ER. The bill to his parents contained a letter saying Scott was considered "indigent" and that he shouldn't return to the UC Davis Medical Centre for any further treatment (basically he hadn't paid his bill ... so he's getting denied further treatment ... even though he's dead already).

Come on, all you apologists for private healthcare, all the ones saying Obamacare is socialism run riot.

Try defending that one. Try defending the best part of $30G for five minutes treatment, let alone the way the poor guy's parents were treated.

OK. How 'bout we go "on topic?"


UC Davis Medical Center serves 6 million residents in 33 counties encompassing 65,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. The acute-care, teaching hospital is licensed for 613 beds and maintains an annual budget of roughly $1 billion.

With more than 6,500 employees, UC Davis provides vital care to more than 200,000 patients every year, admitting 25,000 patients for extended care and handling more than 900,000 visits. The medical center's emergency room sees an average of 150 patients every day.

Want to know who (or what) pays for these services?

And what do you get for these $$?

UC Davis Health System is at the forefront of providing access to the latest discoveries and best treatments for patients in Northern California and beyond.

•UC Davis Medical Center is a leading referral center for the most seriously injured or ill patients, and the most medically complex cases in a region, covering 33 counties, more than 65,000 square miles and 6 million residents.

•UC Davis operates inland Northern California's only Level 1 trauma center, with comprehensive adult and pediatric emergency departments. The center has been instrumental in keeping Sacramento County's preventable death rate at or below 1 percent, less than half the national average. Studies show patients with specific critical injuries have better survival rates and functional outcomes at Level I trauma centers and academic medical centers.

•With the region's only full-service children's hospital, UC Davis offers a comprehensive pediatric cardiology program in Sacramento, as well as more than 30 other children's specialties.

•UC Davis has the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center serving inland Northern California, and one of the nation's largest clinical trials programs. It offers comprehensive, compassionate care to adults and children with both rare and common cancers.

•UC Davis Medical Center has won the Consumer Choice Award 10 years in a row for best overall quality and reputation among all hospitals in the Sacramento region, based on National Research Corp. consumer surveys..

•The California Telemedicine Resource Center at UC Davis will become the hub for telehealth services among the five UC medical schools, providing expertise on diverse topics ranging from establishing best practices for clinical applications and state and national health-related telecommunications policies.

•Complementing UC Davis' extensive medical interpreting service, the Transcultural Linguistic Care Nurse Program includes five bilingual nurses who help hospital patients with limited English throughout their hospital stays.

•As part of a large-scale national study, emergency department physicians are comparing the safety and effectiveness of two medications in treating life-threatening seizures in children.

•The UC Davis Vascular Center provides state-of-the-art vascular care and promotes collaboration among different specialties that treat patients with atherosclerosis, aneurysms, vein disorders and other blood-vessel disorders.
Hospital, patient statistics

Licensed beds 613
ER visits* 55,758
Clinic/office visits* 966,687
Admissions* 33,678

* For year ending June 30, 2008

Of course, the largest amount of their funding is from non-capitated insurance coverage, a hospital-set fee for certain specific services.

The reason many people think America's health care is "sick, sick, sick," is because we DEMAND the most advanced care available REGARDLESS OF COST!

When government sets the fees ("capitated" payment), you will lower costs by LOWERING the quality and quantity of service.

Rationing, in other words.

Now, if we are really serious about controlling costs of medical care, we will ditch the MR and CT machines, the "excess" staffing and training, and resort to the care of the 1940's: basically end-of-life maintenance for seriously ill and injured.

You people want to have your cake and to eat it, too.

You will never understand because you choose to be ignorant of economic realities.

Will you believe what Slate's liberal political blogger Mickey Kaus has to say about Obama's plans for cost containment?

( I'd bet most of you will attack ME for telling you the truth)

If I recall, the White House had"de-emphasized" Orszagism (cost control) because those who heard the argument tended to fall into roughly two camps: 1) Voters who thought it was at best pie-in-the-sky and that the government probably couldn't "bend the curve" over the next two decades--the way it hasn't been able to do with Medicare, for example; and 2) Voters who thought the government could indeed "bend the curve" and were terrified by the prospect, because the argument seemed to be that only if the government controlled virtually the entire health system could it really [turn the screws] [start denying treatments] initiate a "very difficult democratic conversation" over which treatments were really cost-effective, including treatments at the end of life. ...

It was only when the Orszagism was in fact de-emphasized (over the summer) that opposition to health care reform stopped its relentless upward rise and actually fell for a brief period. Why go back to the debacle of last Spring? Vague policyspeak about curve-bending has already, unnecessarily, cost health care reform the support of the elderly. Does Obama want to give reform's opponents the ammo to drive opposition above the 60% line? Go ahead. Make Dick Morris' day. ...

P.S.: I should make it clear that I am in camp #1--I don't think Americans will tolerate draconian, or even semi-draconian, denials of service. As a result I don't think the curve (which is driven mainly by advances in medicine that yield expensive treatments) will be bent. That's why I'm for health care reform. But Orszagism is still lousy politics, because lots of voters will fall into Camp #2. ...

Note that the bold-faced words were Obama's during his NYT Magazine interview May 15 in which he discussed rationing vis-a-vis "end of life" treatment.

When will any of you even attempt to dump the pathetic whimpering and try to learn about the true nature of health care, hospitalization and costs of care?

Never. I already know it.

Deny Ignorance!


posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 01:17 AM

Originally posted by Wotan

Originally posted by HotSauce
reply to post by Wotan

No you guys are the ones that invented the nanny state where government must protect you from your own stupidity. We in Amerian are sad for all of you.

We in Europe have a fair few more hundred years of history than you and a National Health Service is what we ALL wanted. To be fair, the UK NHS and other healthcare reforms did not happen overnight, but were progressive over many years to where we are today.

I for one would not swap my NHS for your commerical healthcare system, regardless of its faults.

You (Americans) complain about your commercialised healthcare but you can never see what to replace it with and as soon as the word 'socialised' is mentioned it soon becomes communist and anti-american ........... I thought Mcarthyism was long gone.

I'm still wondering why people are so apt to rely on doctors/insurance companies/government to take care of them. There are natural remedies for almost every ailment. And most every common ailment is 100% preventable by staying HEALTHY! (And no, that doesn't mean just 1 candy bar or soda a day). Something life-threatening, fine, go to the hospital, if you can't find a remedy on your own by doing something as boring as researching your symptoms, etc..then by all means go to the doctor.
As far as I'm concerned, it's my body, my responsibility, and that goes the same for everybody. It's not my job to take care of you, it's yours. So spend your own money on your healthcare, and don't take it out of my paycheck.

posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 01:17 AM

Originally posted by Wotan

You (Americans) complain about your commercialised healthcare but you can never see what to replace it with and as soon as the word 'socialised' is mentioned it soon becomes communist and anti-american ........... I thought Mcarthyism was long gone.

McCarthyism may be long gone, but stupidity always endures. It's a cancer in American society.

posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 08:25 AM
reply to post by jdub297

The expression "to have your cake and eat it too" is a reversal of logic. Most people who have cake usually have it for the express purpose of eating it. It is therefore entirely possible to have your cake and eat it too. What is impossible is to eat your cake and have it too. Good points, however, on the expense of new technologies such as MRI's and CT's. It is to some degree part of the problem of skyrocketing health care, but there have been others who have made the excellent point of ridiculous charges for standard medicines such as ibuprofen and aspirin. If a hospital charges more than a few dollars for a few aspirin then those who must take aspirin while staying in a hospital should insist upon being allowed to use their own aspirin and not be charged for it rather than pay the outlandish prices charged for it by the hospital. Once a majority of people begin making such demands the practice of overcharging for simple drugs will cease to exist.

Expecting to get MRI and CT treatments for the price of an aspirin would be akin to eating ones cake and wanting it too, but expecting an aspirin for the market value of an aspirin or some facsimile thereof would be akin to having your cake and eating it too which is always more sublime than not having any cake at all.

posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 09:59 AM
reply to post by jdub297

A reason why ATS is on the decline.
Partisan posting and political associating are destroying this site.

posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 01:28 PM

Originally posted by Wotan
No I cannot relate to the American Health System as I have never used it. I can only go by what others say. The same as most Americans here about other countries healthcare systems.

As for the UK's NHS, I can say a lot about it. I am a Nurse that works within it as well as being a payer and user of it.

*shakes hand*

good for you,thanks to all of you doing this great work and keeping the rest of the population patched up when we need it.

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