"Medicine" in America

Evil Smurf

Admin of Catoholics Anonymous
Nov 11, 2011
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Daystar Clarion said:
If many Americans weren't so damn gung ho about paying less taxes, then it wouldn't be an issue.

It's 2013 and they still have no universal healthcare. It boggles the mind that a first world country lacks such a system.

Here's a thought.

You know that obscenely huge military they have? You know, the big one.

Take like 5% of that budget, and there's your universal healthcare. No extra taxes, just the money redistributed elsewhere.

You should probably look after the people in your own country before making something to kill the populace of another.
That sounds like communism son. What would you know anyway? It's not as if any other countries have socialised healthcare.
 

crepesack

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May 20, 2008
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Evil Smurf said:
Daystar Clarion said:
If many Americans weren't so damn gung ho about paying less taxes, then it wouldn't be an issue.

It's 2013 and they still have no universal healthcare. It boggles the mind that a first world country lacks such a system.

Here's a thought.

You know that obscenely huge military they have? You know, the big one.

Take like 5% of that budget, and there's your universal healthcare. No extra taxes, just the money redistributed elsewhere.

You should probably look after the people in your own country before making something to kill the populace of another.
That sounds like communism son. What would you know anyway? It's not as if any other countries have socialised healthcare.
I'm hoping that's sarcasm.


I come from a family of doctors and am engaged to a medical student whose family members are all doctors up to their grandparents. And here's the general opinion they have:

Universal healthcare will lower THEIR wages, making their time in medical school (8+ years mind you including undergrad and residency, not considering specialization.) significantly less profitable. Why bother with wasting a decade of your life and over 100 thousand dollars when you could just grab an engineering degree in 4 and maybe a business degree on top of that in another 1-2 years?

Now this brings up a few issues: Unlike in other countries medical schooling comes AFTER undergraduate. Americans treat it like a post-graduate course while most other countries will teach you medicine concurrently with undergraduate. In a sort of trade-school like way. This means we have long schooling times. Additionally privatization of medical school raises the barrier of entry. If medical school's expensive, doctors intend to make money back. I think my cousin calculated he will break even when he's 40 years old. Yep 40.



Healthcare isn't inherently more expensive because it's in the US. If anything it should be significantly cheaper. The issue is that insurance companies will do anything they can to avoid paying hospitals because there's hardly any regulation in these transactions and the billing code system is completely fucked up. It's been touted that cleaning up the byzantine medical coding system could almost pay off insuring the uninsured.

Also, pharmaceutical companies strong arm their way into price fixing. For whatever reason the US government thinks it's okay to subsidize corn and corn syrup which is killing the american populace and not the drugs that can potentially save them. Big pharma bribes and litigates their way into selling their drugs for whatever they want and to whoever has the best insurance.



Basically what the US lacks before universal healthcare is any form of regulation.

1. Medical schools need more public support.
2. Existing Insurance companies need more oversight
3. Medical billing needs overhaul
4. Big pharma needs to be kept in check. This involves changing copyright laws and cleaning up the governance in general.
5. Preventative care should be emphasized. The U.S. has the bad habit of the "what's wrong with me doc?" mentality. It should be more like "How healthy am I?"



And yes I am in favor of universalized health care. But there are inherent structural problems with implementing a plan like this. My intended line of occupation is also in drug discovery and research. So take it for what you will.

Both parties just need to realize when profit margins are involved, human decency is tossed into the trash.
 

TAGM

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Dec 16, 2008
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cthulhuspawn82 said:
The relevant question is this, why don't you pay for your healthcare out of your own pocket. You don't because you cant afford it. In America at least, the cost of healthcare is so high that nobody can afford to pay it. Nobody can afford to spend $2000 to sleep in a hospital bed for one night.

This is why universal healthcare wont work, at least for America. How is the government supposed to use our money to pay for something we cant afford? If their isn't enough money in our pockets to pay the bill then how can the government, which gets all of its money from our pockets, afford to pay the bill?
Simple:
When you have to pay $2000, you have to pay $2000 out of your own pocket. You, and you alone.
When the government pays that $2000, they're paying out with a bit of money from EVERYONE'S pocket. Not everyone falls sick at the same time (Usually, anyway) So it shares the cost out between a few people, in essence. It's a bit like if you had 8 friends and you all chipped in $250 for 1 of you to have an operation, only on a much bigger scale. And I suppose a few people might have an issue with paying for someone's medical bills, but I'm not sure they realize that all the someones are gonna be paying for their bills at the same time, so it balances out in the end. Well, unless you NEVER get sick, but c'mon.
 

Evil Smurf

Admin of Catoholics Anonymous
Nov 11, 2011
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crepesack said:
Evil Smurf said:
Daystar Clarion said:
If many Americans weren't so damn gung ho about paying less taxes, then it wouldn't be an issue.

It's 2013 and they still have no universal healthcare. It boggles the mind that a first world country lacks such a system.

Here's a thought.

You know that obscenely huge military they have? You know, the big one.

Take like 5% of that budget, and there's your universal healthcare. No extra taxes, just the money redistributed elsewhere.

You should probably look after the people in your own country before making something to kill the populace of another.
That sounds like communism son. What would you know anyway? It's not as if any other countries have socialised healthcare.
I'm hoping that's sarcasm.


I come from a family of doctors and am engaged to a medical student whose family members are all doctors up to their grandparents. And here's the general opinion they have:

Universal healthcare will lower THEIR wages, making their time in medical school (8+ years mind you including undergrad and residency, not considering specialization.) significantly less profitable. Why bother with wasting a decade of your life and over 100 thousand dollars when you could just grab an engineering degree in 4 and maybe a business degree on top of that in another 1-2 years?

Now this brings up a few issues: Unlike in other countries medical schooling comes AFTER undergraduate. Americans treat it like a post-graduate course while most other countries will teach you medicine concurrently with undergraduate. In a sort of trade-school like way. This means we have long schooling times. Additionally privatization of medical school raises the barrier of entry. If medical school's expensive, doctors intend to make money back. I think my cousin calculated he will break even when he's 40 years old. Yep 40.



Healthcare isn't inherently more expensive because it's in the US. If anything it should be significantly cheaper. The issue is that insurance companies will do anything they can to avoid paying hospitals because there's hardly any regulation in these transactions and the billing code system is completely fucked up. It's been touted that cleaning up the byzantine medical coding system could almost pay off insuring the uninsured.

Also, pharmaceutical companies strong arm their way into price fixing. For whatever reason the US government thinks it's okay to subsidize corn and corn syrup which is killing the american populace and not the drugs that can potentially save them. Big pharma bribes and litigates their way into selling their drugs for whatever they want and to whoever has the best insurance.



Basically what the US lacks before universal healthcare is any form of regulation.

1. Medical schools need more public support.
2. Existing Insurance companies need more oversight
3. Medical billing needs overhaul
4. Big pharma needs to be kept in check. This involves changing copyright laws and cleaning up the governance in general.
5. Preventative care should be emphasized. The U.S. has the bad habit of the "what's wrong with me doc?" mentality. It should be more like "How healthy am I?"



And yes I am in favor of universalized health care. But there are inherent structural problems with implementing a plan like this. My intended line of occupation is also in drug discovery and research. So take it for what you will.

Both parties just need to realize when profit margins are involved, human decency is tossed into the trash.
That was sarcasm, I am a communist IRL, because communism is based off equality and generosity. PM me more if you want to know more about my decision.

I was being sarcastic because I find it funny.
 

Some_weirdGuy

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Nov 25, 2010
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cthulhuspawn82 said:
The relevant question is this, why don't you pay for your healthcare out of your own pocket. You don't because you cant afford it. In America at least, the cost of healthcare is so high that nobody can afford to pay it. Nobody can afford to spend $2000 to sleep in a hospital bed for one night.

This is why universal healthcare wont work, at least for America. How is the government supposed to use our money to pay for something we cant afford? If their isn't enough money in our pockets to pay the bill then how can the government, which gets all of its money from our pockets, afford to pay the bill?
I'm by no means an expert, but i would assume, to crunch the numbers, the logic goes like this:
Your local area has 20,000 people, who all pay taxes, and the cost for hospital attention is indeed $2000. ((note: all figures pulled from ass, but the system-side reasoning is still sound))

You start paying taxes, and twiddle your thumbs happily for 6 years until you suffer a terrible thumb-twiddling accident and need to be rushed off to hospital. You are just like everyone else infact, 1 accident every 6 years being the norm(some may have two or three, others might have none, it ends up balancing out).

20,000 people at once every 6 years
= 3333 people per year
= 278 people per month
= 9 people per day

so the daily cost:
9 x 2000 = $18,000

$18,000 / 20,000 people
= 0.9

So, basically, 90c a day
x 365 days in a year
= $328.5 per year
x6 years = $1971

Basically, you make a mild saving of $30 by following this math, much higher saving if you need the hospital more, lower/no saving if you need it less(a legitimate gripe people might have if they feel they are one of these less-than-average). But it doesn't quite end there:
Being regulated by the government also means price gouging or other more business focused strategies get regulated(presumably).

eg. 'we're not going to charge $2000 any more, we're cutting the profit margin to lower taxes(making our political party look good), bringing it down to $1400 for instance. ((meaning 63c => $230 per year => $1380 for your once-every-6-years hospital bill))

Being all under the control of a single(government) entity, the hospitals could also potentially have a stronger buying power, encouraging competition amoung their suppliers such as the pharmaceutical companies;
"if you don't lower your prices, then all the hospitals will switch to your cheaper competitor; huge loss in profits for you" and then after they offer a lower price, government approaches the competitor and see if they can beat that deal.

Or indeed, since the government runs the country, they could leverage their weight more forcefully to get a good price((I assume)), beyond simply promoting competition. (('give us a good price or we will tax you!'))

---
Either way, the bill certainly doesn't disappear, but universal healthcare (on the lower end) removes the sting of a sudden kick to the wallet, and (on the higher end) unifies the system to (theoretically ofcourse) serve the people, rather than serving a corporation's bottom line.

I guess it comes down to trust, or the lesser of two evils: who do you think will look after/care about your health more - the government? or the businessman?
Most countries prefer their government, America prefers the businessman.
 

Albino Boo

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Jun 14, 2010
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Daystar Clarion said:
If many Americans weren't so damn gung ho about paying less taxes, then it wouldn't be an issue.

It's 2013 and they still have no universal healthcare. It boggles the mind that a first world country lacks such a system.

Here's a thought.

You know that obscenely huge military they have? You know, the big one.

Take like 5% of that budget, and there's your universal healthcare. No extra taxes, just the money redistributed elsewhere.

You should probably look after the people in your own country before making something to kill the populace of another.
The US medicaid budget, which is the taxpayer funded medical care, already accounts for 21% of federal government spending. The defence budget accounts for 22% of federal spending.
 

Astoria

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Oct 25, 2010
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Well of course you have to pay for it, think about how much medical equipment is in those things. Plus if it didn't cost anything, people would be calling for one when they have things where time isn't a factor, thus there would be less ambulances for emergencies when they're actually needed. Even here in Australia with our health system it's a lot for an ambulance. I think the amount for one is a bit ridiculous but they shouldn't be free.
 

Nikolaz72

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Apr 23, 2009
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albino boo said:
Daystar Clarion said:
If many Americans weren't so damn gung ho about paying less taxes, then it wouldn't be an issue.

It's 2013 and they still have no universal healthcare. It boggles the mind that a first world country lacks such a system.

Here's a thought.

You know that obscenely huge military they have? You know, the big one.

Take like 5% of that budget, and there's your universal healthcare. No extra taxes, just the money redistributed elsewhere.

You should probably look after the people in your own country before making something to kill the populace of another.
The US medicaid budget, which is the taxpayer funded medical care, already accounts for 21% of federal government spending. The defence budget accounts for 22% of federal spending.
America pays more for Medicaid and gets less 'because' of how it works. Rework it to Universal healthcare and the buttom line would be much lower. Also make laws against lawsuits for malpractice, they are needed when private corporations have the hospitals, but not the government.

actually, make laws against some of these massive lawsuits regardless of whom runs the hospitals. That the U.S needs to pay for several lawyers per hospital only speaks to their massively flawed system (Not just healtcare, their entire system). And is probably a large part of what drives up the prices so unimaginably high.
 

bfgmetalhead

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Aug 4, 2010
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Daystar Clarion said:
If many Americans weren't so damn gung ho about paying less taxes, then it wouldn't be an issue.

It's 2013 and they still have no universal healthcare. It boggles the mind that a first world country lacks such a system.

Here's a thought.

You know that obscenely huge military they have? You know, the big one.

Take like 5% of that budget, and there's your universal healthcare. No extra taxes, just the money redistributed elsewhere.

You should probably look after the people in your own country before making something to kill the populace of another.
could of not said it better myself. Bravo.
 

Angie7F

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Nov 11, 2011
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I dont think medicine would be a business if it were covered by taxes.
In Japan everything is covered so you just pay 30% of whatever the bill comes to.
Quite handy.
 

A Weakgeek

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Feb 3, 2011
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You know, being from Finland, a very socialized healthcare state, this might sound ignorant but...

Falling badly sick, needing treatment, and being turned away because you don't have enough money sounds like something from the medieval ages.

On average, I might not be able to afford as nice a house or a car here than I would in the US, I might not have quite as much luxuries and disposable income. But atleast here, if I need surgery, I won't need to worry about being left to rot (or indebted for life) because I don't have enough cash.
 

Thaluikhain

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Daystar Clarion said:
If many Americans weren't so damn gung ho about paying less taxes, then it wouldn't be an issue.

It's 2013 and they still have no universal healthcare. It boggles the mind that a first world country lacks such a system.

Here's a thought.

You know that obscenely huge military they have? You know, the big one.

Take like 5% of that budget, and there's your universal healthcare. No extra taxes, just the money redistributed elsewhere.

You should probably look after the people in your own country before making something to kill the populace of another.
Hell, you don't even need to do that. Take that 5% of the military budget, use to expand the military medical system, and have them also treat civilians.

Then you don't even have to officially make military cutbacks, you're just moving their money around.
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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albino boo said:
Everyone pays for medical care its just a question of when. Ambulances cost money to buy and run and the people that operate them need to make a living, all of which costs money. The rest is how and when you pay.
The other question is "how much?"

Abomination said:
There is no "fix" for the healthcare system in the United States. It's too expensive because of the sue-happy nature of the country which can result in malpractice lawsuits of incredible proportions. This requires doctors and hospitals to take out professional liability insurance which, due to the aforementioned sue-happy climate is VERY expensive.
If that were true, the caps on liability from a decade ago would have impacted cost.

They didn't.

The problem is the for-profit nature. Most of the money doesn't go into liability, but profits. Let's not utterly delude ourselves.
 

shirkbot

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Apr 15, 2013
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Paragon Fury said:
And for my two cents; no I don't think its going to change. The time in America when we could've made a change like this is long gone.

The problem isn't the government - its the culture as a whole. The one thing about "old America" that we don't have anymore that we need is is our attitude. We USED to care more about what we could do for each other, the country and the long term prosperity of our country; thats the attitude that let us get so far ahead of other countries for such a long time and built many of the things we have today.

Now we only care about ourselves or our small groups and to hell with everyone else.
Well, that's what happens when you spend 50-ish years fighting communism. It was a culture war, and though there were proxy wars by the bushel, it was never going to be "won" with weapons. The US baiscally subscribed to an ideology of hyper-individualism to the point that anything less than always "looking out for number one" is now called "communism." It will get better with time, especially with the current economic situation forcing younger people into more collectivist situations, but it will take quite a bit of time.

OT: There was a beautiful article in Time Magazine, "Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us", not so long ago that covered a lot of the root causes of medical expenditures. I recommend reading it if you've got some time, there are some PDF copies on various sites, but it will probably make you angry.
 

rednose1

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Oct 11, 2009
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Well, doctors do have to be up to date on alot of information that is constantly changing, medical malpractice insurance is pretty outrageous (remember reading how one doc had to make 300K a year just to have any profit).

As to the whole "just pay it in taxes" issue, I'm in the branch of people who would rather reap the benefits of my actions. If you care about your health, you should be rewarded with better rates. Granted, some people have factors outside their control, but the prevalence of fast food in todays culture scares me. Maybe some kind of compromise where the militaries budget is used to pay for the basic preventative medicines, and if you continue to do jack all about your well-being, it comes out of your pocket.
 

ninjaRiv

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Aug 25, 2010
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It baffles me, it really does. Sick and dying people can't get the surgery and medicine they need to save their lives because they're poor. It's crazy that a "civilised" country does this, isn't it? And there are people in America who fight for this, for a system where people die of treatable illnesses. I'm not saying anywhere's perfect but, shit... This could really do with being fixed. It should be paid for through taxes. There should be tighter restrictions on suing hospitals. People who ***** and moan about taxes that save lives, man. They're the same people who like how much is spent on the army, as far as I can tell.
 
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Daystar Clarion said:
Take like 5% of that budget, and there's your universal healthcare. No extra taxes, just the money redistributed elsewhere.
As nice an idea as that is, given that we spend £125 billion on healthcare a year, they'd need roughly about £650 ($1000) billion if they spend the exact same amount per person. Their defence budget only covers 80% of that amount. On top of that, they're already spending $1200 billion on healthcare anyway, which makes me wonder where it's all going.

Regardless, American refusal to pay more taxes for a system that only benefits them and other people is ridiculous. The fact "I don't want to pay for someone else's injuries" is used as an argument against it just shows how selfish the right wing is.

What I find beautiful is that our healthcare system was only possible because of a humongous loan from the US during the 40s. America is willing to give us universal healthcare but refuse it themselves.

All budget info from:
http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/numbers
http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/year_spending_2013UKbn_13bc1n_10#ukgs302
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
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Angie7F said:
I dont think medicine would be a business if it were covered by taxes.
In Japan everything is covered so you just pay 30% of whatever the bill comes to.
Quite handy.
There must be some sort of cost control in effect. Otherwise, 30% of "whatever" could readily skyrocket. That's what happened in the US, actually.

thaluikhain said:
Hell, you don't even need to do that. Take that 5% of the military budget, use to expand the military medical system, and have them also treat civilians.

Then you don't even have to officially make military cutbacks, you're just moving their money around.
But to what end? Our military is obscene to begin with. The reason we want lower taxes (Not the real reason, which is we hate paying for stuff) is fiscal responsibility, and it's the argument against health care as well (which is a laugh), so why would we go out of our way to protect military spending levels?
 

Ryotknife

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Oct 15, 2011
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Nikolaz72 said:
albino boo said:
Daystar Clarion said:
If many Americans weren't so damn gung ho about paying less taxes, then it wouldn't be an issue.

It's 2013 and they still have no universal healthcare. It boggles the mind that a first world country lacks such a system.

Here's a thought.

You know that obscenely huge military they have? You know, the big one.

Take like 5% of that budget, and there's your universal healthcare. No extra taxes, just the money redistributed elsewhere.

You should probably look after the people in your own country before making something to kill the populace of another.
The US medicaid budget, which is the taxpayer funded medical care, already accounts for 21% of federal government spending. The defence budget accounts for 22% of federal spending.
America pays more for Medicaid and gets less 'because' of how it works. Rework it to Universal healthcare and the buttom line would be much lower. Also make laws against lawsuits for malpractice, they are needed when private corporations have the hospitals, but not the government.

actually, make laws against some of these massive lawsuits regardless of whom runs the hospitals. That the U.S needs to pay for several lawyers per hospital only speaks to their massively flawed system (Not just healtcare, their entire system). And is probably a large part of what drives up the prices so unimaginably high.
If we made laws to curtail lawsuits, we probably wouldn't need universal healthcare. Just to give you an idea of how difficult that would be in the US, currently the only state making any kind of headway against lawsuits is Texas. Truth be told, I don't see any kind of meaningful action against lawsuits happening ever, lawyers are way too powerful in this country.

Malpractice insurance ranges from 30,000-60,000 and 1 in 14 practioners gets sued every year (meaning the average doctor should expect to be sued twice in their life)
 

King Kazma

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Apr 25, 2013
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Yes you silly Americans. No Universal Healthcare cause its communist. Every-other 1st world country has it, or something akin to it. I'll just bask in the Canadian greatness.