Health Care Reform discussion
Posted by Kass Portra (+35) 12 years ago
I'm very interested in the current health care reform efforts. We have a daughter that will require a liver transplant at some point. Our hopes and prayers have always hinged on our belief that the longer she could hold out, the better. Now she is getting closer to an age where she will not be covered by our insurance anymore. It is just plain terrifying to think of what may happen. Her meds alone right now would cost $800 a month with no insurance!

Is healthcare a privilege or a right? Discuss...
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
IMO, it is a right.....I just hope the current administration can get this done.....It is a tall task indeed...As usual the folks against it are the ones that are the healthy ones...Getting sick and/or losing their insurance will convert them very quickly...
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Posted by Little Chick (+57) 12 years ago
I always found it odd that something that often deals with life or death choices is run for profit. In dealing with my own insurance, which I feel is very good coverage, I often have to complete forms showing I needed the work done or that no one else is responsible for paying the bill. I have not often been denied but have family members with insurance where they are routinely denied services that the doctor feels they need.

I feel that something needs to be done but don't have a clue what the right course is or how to go about making the changes.
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Posted by Kass Portra (+35) 12 years ago
The arguments against some sort of public option are "who's going to pay?" The truth is that we are all paying now in one way or another.

If you don't have health insurance and end up in the ER, just because you don't/can't pay, the services aren't free. The costs are shifted to those of us with insurance.

In our family, insurance routinely pays more in benefits per year than we pay in premiums. The costs are shifted to others in my insurance group.

The other truth is that preventive care and early treatment not only saves lives, but also saves money in the long run.

[This message has been edited by Kass Portra (6/10/2009)]
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Posted by Jim Brady (+431) 12 years ago
Being the heartless bastard that I am, I have to ask the question...

Can you explain to me how heath care is a "right"?

You exist and therefore have a right to do so. To continue to exist beyond leaving the nest, you have the sole responsibility for your own maintenance and well being. How is it that other people, who have the same responsibility to themselves, are also responsible for you?

If other people are willing to accept that responsibility, that's their prerogative. It can come in the form of charity or buying insurance. Beyond that, where lies the obligation to you, especially if your issues are self-induced?

Paying for health care with the compulsory extraction of tax money forces people who are not obligated to support those they are not obliged to.

Forcing people to support those they are not obliged to is a definition of slavery.
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Posted by Kass Portra (+35) 12 years ago
>Is providing tax-payer funded K-12 education slavery?

>Possibly the highway systems should be pay if you can, otherwise stay home?

>Border crossing stations should be paid only by those that use them. I've never been to Canada, so why should I subsidize someone else's travel?

>Fire protection should not be a right. Fire departments should be paid for with premiums and if you don't/can't pay the premium, no one should respond to your emergency. After all, it was probably caused by your own actions.

>Let's throw in the police force too. I police myself and live in a low crime neighborhood. Why should I help pay for crime prevention in other neighborhoods?

[This message has been edited by Kass Portra (6/10/2009)]
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Posted by Jim Brady (+431) 12 years ago
Infrastructure and security are not the issue. K-12 education deserves it own separate discussion.

The issue is who has rights (who gets)and who has the responsibilities or obligation (who pays).

Why is it health care a "right"?

Don't tell me its because we have bridges and cops.
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Posted by Kass Portra (+35) 12 years ago
I guess for me this is such a personal issue. When our daughter was 8 weeks old and the prospect of an immediate need for a liver transplant was being discussed, our insurance would only pay up to $100,000 toward a transplant. We were told that she would not be placed on the list because of that.

Thank God that 15 years later, her health is still holding and we have different insurance.

If things had not gone well for her, the health care industry (insurance and hospital) were telling us that she did not have a right to live.

So when it comes down to rationale discussion, I do tend to fall back on "it just ain't right". I believe that society has a moral imperative to provide health care to its citizens. My personal experience colors my views, but I think that experience is relevent to the debate. We didn't plan on having a child born with a rare disease - people don't plan on getting cancer (most-anyway), having strokes, etc. Is survival of the fittest the right paradigm to work under?

Thanks for the discussion - this is good.

[This message has been edited by Kass Portra (6/10/2009)]
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Posted by Jim Brady (+431) 12 years ago
Kass:

I'm sorry for the situation with your daughter and I am not insensitive to your struggle. This is a difficult issue for those of us on all sides of the problem and we have a difference of opinion on how it should be fixed. Please do not take anything I have said here personal.
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Posted by Kass Portra (+35) 12 years ago
Jim,
I don't take anything personally. I just wanted to explain a little why I am passionate about the issue. A serious discussion is needed and that is what I hoped to start.

If you agree that there is something broken - how would you propose to fix it? I'm all ears! (which is an entirely different health discussion).
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
Healthcare is a right because we are a civilized nation of civilized people. There is no excuse for allowing suffering and starvation in a place where so many have so much.

You suck, Brady.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
And for good measure...

Enjoy your extra cash in Hell.
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Posted by Kass Portra (+35) 12 years ago
Not quite the civil discourse I was hoping for - but, sure.

I am not happy with the direction (or lack thereof) that Baucus is heading on this. I think he's giving in to the insurance companies. He supports a public option, but is proposing to attach so many conditions (triggers) to it so that it will never be used.

I am writing him (and urge others to) to say that I want real reform that includes a public option that is available to everyone.

I really think this is the only shot we're going to get at this for years and something has to happen. We can't just let the issue die.
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Posted by souix (+307) 12 years ago
"Healthcare is a right because we are a civilized nation of civilized people. There is no excuse for allowing suffering and starvation in a place where so many have so much."

Thank you Buck!
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1290) 12 years ago
I have wondered why there has been so little talk of this on this site. I assumed it is because the contributors at milescity.com are somewhat left leaning and I have decided the left would just as soon say as little as possible about socialize medicine, in the hopes that Obama and friends will have it in place before the country knows what hit it.

I guess I would not be adverse to adding the 17% that fall thought all the cracks to the Medicaid rolls if someone will explain how to pay for it.

It is my contention that any Government attempt in socializing the heath care system will result in a lower quality of health care for the 83% that now have health coverage, an increase in fraud and waste and an increase in cost for all. Beyond that I don't think it's fair that 83% of the country has to endure lower quality, longer waits, and endless government bureaucracy to get coverage on the 1/6 of the country that has no health care. It's not a good trade.

We are very fortunate in Montana to the health care we have and I attribute the quality in a big part to the fact that it is a money making concern. We need to keep the private sector wanting to invest in health care and let them have the profits.

I hope the country takes some time in debating this before it's a done deal but the chances are slim. I'm also afraid we will all be wishing for the good old days before long if we give Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama their way.

One more thing to think about. What's to keep private companies from dropping health insurance as a perk and putting all their employees on the government plan? What raise in pay would you expect if that was to happen?

National heath care is a program who's heart is in the right place but it's just not practical or affordable.
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Posted by Kass Portra (+35) 12 years ago
We are the only developed capitalist country in the world that does not ensure that health care is available for all. I say that because I'm not an economist, but it's obviously a possibility.

My daughter will likely not fall through the cracks. She will, however, be forced into a job that offers good insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions and no life-time limitations. She will not be able to start a small business (the backbone of america), marry a farmer and work the farm, or be an attorney.

Or - it could go another way. She doesn't get that job that ensures healthcare benefits. She can't afford insurance and therefore can't afford her medication that keeps her well. She begins to take less meds, or none at all because she can't afford it. She get sicker and sicker until she is unable to work. She qualifies for social security disability and medicaid. She finally gets a transplant on the taxpayers' dime.

If you think about it, we are already in a welfare-like economy with healthcare. I pay far less in premiums each year than my insurance pays out in benefits. You are already subsidizing my healthcare. Thanks for that, by the way.
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Posted by Jim Brady (+431) 12 years ago
Exactly the response I expected from the anonymous hate-pitcher "Buck Solwalter".

In your quest to lead by example, you confuse moral obligations with rights. Have someone besides the drunk sitting next to you explain the difference since I can't be there with the crayons to draw you a picture.

Again, s l o w l y..

E x p l a i n t o m e w h y h e a l t h c a r e i s a "r i g h t"
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1290) 12 years ago
So she does have choices then, Isn't America great.

I also pay auto insurance for some people that crash a lot, Myself I've never used it but I'm glad I have it.

Sorry I didn't fit in to your Agenda.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6170) 12 years ago
Kass, you said that your daughter is getting close to aging out of your insurance. Are you sure? I know that I was on my parents' insurance as long as I was a full time college student. That would give you a little more time. I hope that's the case, anyway. I wish your daughter the best.
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Posted by Kass Portra (+35) 12 years ago
Wendy,
We do have some years left. But without something changing, the same dilemna will still exist. And for those in the same circumstance that are older, there is no time to wait.

I know other people have their own stories too. This is not just my problem.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
I explained it, genius. As civilized people, we've granted them the right. Go ask the drunk if he wanted to grow up to become an alcoholic, maybe you'll gain some insight. You won't, but you would if you weren't exactly who you are.

I'm sure you're a pro-lifer.

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (6/10/2009)]
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
it is sadly a problem that cuts across all of this country and hopefully this administration will be able to bring help for so many people.....
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Kass, while I feel for your child, her health is not my concern or obligation to pay for just as my health is not your concern or obligation to pay for.

Sorry Buck, but "Health Care for All" is not a right.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Part of the reason I believe in health care for all is because I am a Christian and I believe we are to care for one another and not to allow people to suffer.

Yes, Kyle, I do believe we have responsibilities outside our own selfish selves.

I spent some time in Paris, and while there needed 3 hospitals and 2 ambulances. Let me tell you that their system is so far and away better than ours, not to mention unrushed and quite compassionate. We paid about $700 there for services that would have cost about $50,000 in this country. My insurance remibursed us the $700.

The doctors there realized that the medications needed would cost thousands in this country so they loaded us up with all we could carry home making it so that we saved so much money. They put the patient first and not money.

Not one piece of paperwork to fill out. Nothing to sign. They did not even take our address. I could have literally walked right out without paying and they never would have known. I asked about that and they said citizens are so thankful for the system that they never get ripped off.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1290) 12 years ago
What do the French know? I hear they are so goofy they allow pets in most of their rentals.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Let me tell you that their system is so far and away better than ours,

Heh, really Donna?

http://www.mtv.com/movies...tory.jhtml

In 2004, French Health Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told a government commission, "Our health system has gone mad. Profound reforms are urgent." Agence France-Presse recently reported that the French health-care system is running a deficit of $2.7 billion.

http://www.npr.org/templa...d=92419273

To fund universal health care in France, workers are required to pay about 21 percent of their income into the national health care system. Employers pick up a little more than half of that. (French employers say these high taxes constrain their ability to hire more people.)

Last year, the national health system ran nearly $9 billion in debt.


We'll worry about the bill later. For now let's just pretend we can afford Ruth's Chris.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5100) 12 years ago
Nice work, Chuck. Well played!
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Posted by Michelle Portra (+38) 12 years ago
So here's the daughter to talk about some things.

a. I was set on marrying that farmer dang it!(My mom knows who I mean hah)

b. Even if I don't know someone I am still concerned with their health. Now maybe I am just a nice person, but if someone was dying of some disease and not getting the healthcare they should I would try however I could to help them because they are people to and deserve to live. Oddly enough I am pro-choice.

c. The thing for me, at least at this age, is that I have all these dreams for my future, and because of my restrictions on what job I can or can't get those will stay just dreams. I will end up at a job I absolutely hate or one that I am highly underqualified for, like a federal job. I will end up being another American that is not being able to make my time on this world worth while all because of a disease that nobody could control me getting and that I was born with.

Yes I have options, but they are not good ones.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
"To fund universal health care in France, workers are required to pay about 21 percent of their income into the national health care system. "
_________________

And you don't think that if you get really sick that it is going to cost more than 21% of your income. With outstanding insurance, low deductible, etc. our family who has 3 people with serious illness including my husband with Parkinson's, we pay about $30,000 PER YEAR out of pocket. My son has a neurological disease and I have a disease that took my hearing. If you had asked us 6 years ago before the 3 of us got these things, I would have told you my insurance could handle anything. Just have to go on drugs that your insurance won't pay for or have treatments that are only covered in small ways. We have been told by hospitals that we have one of the best insurance policies you can get.

Come to the pharmacy tonight then and pay the $800 for my refills that the insurance won't pay.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Again Donna, while I feel for your situation, paying for your medical care is not my concern nor my obligation.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
That's fine Kyle, but what if I don't feel like paying for your children's education (mine are all grown and I did my share). In fact, what if I don't want to pay for your roads?
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Posted by Michelle Portra (+38) 12 years ago
Note the fact that I said everything I could, basically everything in my power. I am 14, and broke. The best I can do right now is write my letters to our senators and get word out that we need this, and try to get this reform into action so you may not have to pay $800 next year, or if I want to be really hopeful later this year...let's say Late November-ish.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
You're appealing to emotion Donna. Health Care is NOT a "Right".

Paying for roads, education and other infrastructure is another argument entirely.
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Posted by Michelle Portra (+38) 12 years ago
Umm healthcare is a right. Living is a right. For some people who are worse off than me, and can't get the care they need at the moment this healthcare reform is life or death. Healthcare=Life, Life=Right. Unless ofcourse they have changed the laws up and people no longer go to jail for murder.

However I do believe that there needs to be alot more money put into prevention of diseases to keep people out of the hosptials too. Plus that way if not that many people need to go to the hospital, maybe taxes wont go up as much?(I really dont know that last sentence for a fact I don't understand the tax system fully, sorry)
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
And emotion is not a part of good decision making, right? I disagree with that. God has given us compassion (an emotion BTW) and expects us to use that to help our fellow man.

Be an island if you want, but when something bad strikes, you may not be able to go it alone.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Sorry Michelle, but you have no more right to "Free" health care than you do a new car.
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Posted by Michelle Portra (+38) 12 years ago
hmm but people can live without cars, not so much healthcare. This issue is very close to my heart, and my stance on it will never change. I don't even understand why you are comparing health care to cars. I mean seriously. There is so much of a difference between the two I can't even begin to rant.

This whole health care "battle" seems like its either you are for, or against no middle ground, but if you are in the middle ground well be prepared because I know that I as well as people from the opposing side will attack to try and gain a person. haha
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
...why you are comparing health care to cars

Because you are entitled to neither of them Michelle. If you want a new car you pay for it. If you want health care you likewise pay for it. You don't expect somebody in another State to fork over money for the Prius you want and so it is for health care.

If you can't afford a new car you do without. You don't expect me to help pay for it.

If you can't afford your health care you deal with it as best you can. You shouldn't expect others to cough up money for it.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Kyle, that you cannot see the difference says a lot about how you think.
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Posted by Michelle Portra (+38) 12 years ago
The thing is car isn't life and death. So what, you go without a car for your life? Honestly compared to going without health care I would rather never get into a car again than go without health care. A lot of people can't go without health care and still be living a few years down the road. It is starting to look like to me that you don't seem to grasp how big of a thing life is, since your comparing it to going without a car. Would you die without a car?
ooh... maybe we should get rid of all the cars? I bet everyone would be ten times healthier.
Your a perfectly healthy person aren't you?
Let's see what you think about health care when you or someone in your family gets an illness that costs thousands each year, and without those thousands of dollars worth of care they would likely die. I am not wishing for it, really I hope you don't have to go through that because I am sure it would all just suck. The reason you don't care now is because you won't be effected when this doesn't go through.
Now I have a question does the world revolve around you to? Or are there others that matter in this world?

[This message has been edited by Michelle Portra (6/10/2009)]
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Sorry Donna, but what entitles you to free/subsidized health care?

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (6/10/2009)]
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Kyle, the same thing that entitles your children to a free education.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Donna, again you're appealing to emotion.

Paying for education is necessary.

Health care is not.

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (6/10/2009)]
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Why is paying for education more necessary than paying for health? What good does an education do if you cannot work due to illness? They ARE the same. In fact, health is more basic than education (and this is coming from a teacher of 3 decades!).
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Posted by best (+68) 12 years ago
"Paying for education is necessary.

Health care is not."


how is paying for someone elses childs schooling any different from paying for someone elses healthcare?

your kid wont die without education

nor is it my responsibility to do so.

those that oppose helping out those in need have never been in trouble and have a complex of "if i can do it why cant you"

grow up and get your head out of your ass

[This message has been edited by best (6/10/2009)]
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Posted by Michelle Portra (+38) 12 years ago
So we can give children education, even when some children won't live to use it in the real world because of their lack of health care. Its sad to think about, I know, but its the truth.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
.....get your head out of your ass

Classy discourse there Best

Donna I'll tell you what, you believe what you believe, I'll believe what I believe and we'll both pay for both of them ok?
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Nope, Kyle. I work with a very indigent population and I think in a country like this we should all make sure everyone has the basics. But certainly, when you are stricken with something that costs $100,000 a year, you are welcome to turn down the help with your costs.
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Posted by Michelle Portra (+38) 12 years ago
I noticed Kyle has altogether stopped talking to me.Is this because he has found the error in his ways? haha
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
You've got a right to life, not a right to live. It's your own fault you decided to be born with some serious medical condition. I don't care if you're 14, you're not my obligation, get a job.
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Posted by gypsykim (+1561) 12 years ago
There is a public forum titled "Montana Talks Health" being held on Monday, June 29, at Miles Community College beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Montana Talks Health
A STATEWIDE TOWN MEETING ON REFORM
10 communities across the state.
linked by teleconference bringing together ordinary
Montanans to lend their voice to health care reform
Monday, June 29, 2009
6:00 p.m.

Billings
MSU Billings Downtown
214 N. Broadway

Bozeman
Burns Center 108 & 126

Ennis
Ennis Public School

Great Falls
Benefis East, Classroom 5
1101 26th St. S.

Havre
MSU Northern
300 11th St W

Helena
College of Technology, Room 208
1115 N. Roberts St

Kalispell
Flathead Valley Community College,
LC 120
777 Grandview Drive

Libby
Lincoln County Campus, Room 215
225 Commerce Way

Miles City
Miles City Community College
2715 Dickenson Street

Missoula
University of Montana
Galagher 104

Listen
Hear ordinary Montanans dealing with a broken system

Learn
The latest health care reform proposals and their status

Share
Give your experiences and thoughts on what you would like to see come from reform

RSVP for the Event in your Community at
(url)http://action.acscan.org/mttownmeeting(/url) or for more information call 406.373.8490
Sponsored by: American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and 18 other health-related entities.
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Posted by Michelle Portra (+38) 12 years ago
hmmm...weird I wasn't informed being born with a disease was a decision. I know I was never asked to decide. Who do I talk to about making this decision?

and btw I would have a job right now, but I am too young by law. I have asked everywhere and everything is at least 16 or older. I have to wait till beginning of my junior year. I want a job, at least i wouldnt be broke haha

[This message has been edited by Michelle Portra (6/10/2009)]
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11888) 12 years ago
I assume Kyle has no health insurance because if he does, he is subsidizing people without healthcare.

How about the pure economics of the argument, since, as good conservatives, all they care about is money. The reason our auto dealers are having problems competing is because of their horrific health costs. Our premiums are increasing several times the rate of inflation to pay for the uninsured. It will cost YOU MONEY unless a solution is found.

Sure people can suffer and die. Kyle and other conservatives firmly believe that it is better the uninsured die and decrease the surplus population because anyone poor or sick deserves their fate. Anyone less than themselves is dirt beneath their feet so don't try to appeal to their so-called "Christian" charity. They have none. Appeal to their greed because that and that alone motivates them.

Reforming healthcare will, in the long run, be good for the economy and make conservatives richer! If people's lives are saved or made better, that is unimportant. All that counts is putting more of the allmighty dollar in the conservatives pockets so they should be in favor of healthcare reform because it will help THEM. No one else matters. JUST THEM.
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Posted by Kacey (+3153) 12 years ago
How about some common sense statements now.

If people had better healthcare they would have more preventative health care. Many illnesses can be handled for much less money if found early.

If pharmaceutical companies didn't have the power they do people could afford medication. I realize they spend a lot developing their wonder drugs. Unfortunately they also spend a lot on crooked doctors who are prescribing those outrageously expensive drugs.

If there were actually any medicare accountability our government would have all the money it needs to provide decent health care to everyone. How many mammograms for 90 year old rest home patients have you paid for with your tax dollars? Do you know how many claims there are for medicare fraud that are never even touched?

To me it's a matter of paying for health care one way or another. If you're not paying for a health care plan yourself you're still paying for others' healthcare through your taxes. So why not pull our heads out of the sand and start nailing those people who are running up the medicare and medicaid bills?

I'm pretty sure when President Obama speaks of quality health care he's not talking about overmedicating the elderly so they end up in homes or mammograms for 90 year olds.

The word for today is FRAUD.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Ok Donna, you believe everyone should have the basics. Fine.

I feel for you and others in your situation but it's not my obligation to pay for them.

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (6/10/2009)]
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Posted by Stone (+1590) 12 years ago
Kyle, go choke down some oxycontin. Either you are a billionaire or one of the most narrow minded glue sniffers in history.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

In order to have domestic tranquility and to promote the general welfare of free citizens a civilized country should feed and care for it's less fortunate. But that would not be the capitalist way that you so admire where corporate giants can squash the little people at will, all the while telling the people of America that we live in a democratic and free society.

Meanwhile back at the hall of justice you have just been fired from you 20 year job and you and your family are without medical coverage and your pension has just been stolen from you by a company that received billions in aid from what (tax dollars). Now you are looking for a new job but the job market is flooded with over-qualified people in the same boat as you. Now your daughter gets sick with a rare liver disease that you cannot pay for. She is told she needs a transplant that will cost $100,000 plus. Your daughter is dying. What do you do? You go down to your cellar passing your poster of Obama- that says niger underneath it and grab your SKS and you take her to the hospital on the way you find someone with the same blood type and kill them. Hopefully they are not on welfare and or some kind of minority. You drag the corpse to the hospital and at gun point you force the procedure. After this is all over you go back to your house only to find someone else living there because the bank that received billions of your tax dollars before you lost your job just foreclosed on you because do to high medical cost you could not pay them. Then you go to your church to ask for help. They tell Brother Kyle you can no longer pay your 15% to the cause so out you go young man. You see the church you belong to believes in the capitalistic spirit and now that you are not a productive citizen you should be exiled. So now you and your family are wondering the steps looking for work and Dr. and food. Ah, the American dream spoon fed to us from a pile of poop.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Stone, does "Domestic Tranquility" include paying for somebody's sob story?
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
Is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness possible when you're seriously ill, dying, or malnourished?
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Kyle, you are so cold hearted that you make me shudder.

I am hoping you are just playing devil's advocate here.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
I think Kyle really believes this trash which makes it twice as tragic to hear......
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6170) 12 years ago
Kyle, I understand your position. It's easy to avoid the discussion by seeing it in black and white as you do. But this is the way I look at it. If I live in society I want that society to have certain attributes because it makes my life, and the lives of those around me better. These attributes include (but aren't limited to) education, lawfulness and good health care. Why do I include health care? Because if I interact with sick people it is more likely that I'll get sick. That's why I support mandatory vaccinations for all, which means I'll help pay (with my tax dollars) for those who can't afford it. What about non-communicable diseases? Well, a populace which is sickly is not as productive as a healthy populace. This is true for the sick as well as their caretakers. Lower productivity affects consumers, employees and employers. We all fit into at least one of these categories. A sick populace means a larger portion of us leaves the workforce earlier than usual and may be disabled for a longer period than we would have been with good health care. These things suck up even more of our resources. An unhealthy populace is an unstable populace which affects not only our quality of life and economic standing but our standing as the most powerful country in the world. I'm not ready to give that up quite yet.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
hmm but people can live without cars, not so much healthcare. This issue is very close to my heart, and my stance on it will never change. I don't even understand why you are comparing health care to cars. I mean seriously. There is so much of a difference between the two I can't even begin to rant.

How about food or housing? Do we have a right to Big Macs and two bedrooms?

Michelle, I also feel for you in your situation, but your concerns still aren't alot different than most folks. It becomes difficult if not impossible to do the 'routine' wife and three kids without health insurance. You may feel pressured to find a job with health insurance, and feel limited by that option. But that's the same boat 95% of people are in. We all have those worries and live with them, to some degree or another. Part of it is just life.

The problem is though, with universal coverage comes universal quality (mediocrity)

As our 2 trillion deficit this year should show everyone, government's pockets are far from bottomless. When Medicare was formed many years ago, they assured seniors it was going to be like any other health insurance. But when the bottom line numbers started to come in, your government started rationing reimbursement and care just like one of those lowly HMO's.

A single payer system could work well for you, but eventually it will come at the cost of poorer care for everybody. Around a third of doctors already refuse Medicare, and about half refuse Medicaid. And more often than not, these are some of the best doctors. The ones patients will see regardless of whether they have to pay out of pocket or not.

It doesn't happen so often here, because Medicare/Medicaid are such a large share of our market. But the elderly in more populous places have legitimate trouble finding doctors who will take them.

What are people going to do with 'Universal' coverage if the best providers decide not to accept it? Maybe there's something to be said for such a two-tiered system. But I know that the disparity between the two will have the 'universal' people clamoring for access to treatments the government won't be willing to pay for. It's only a matter of time.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15076) 12 years ago
"Is healthcare a privilege or a right?"

I am going to reject the premise. Healthcare in our service based economy is a commodity. The question you are really asking is should that commodity be purchased by the government with taxpayer dollars or should it purchased by individuals.

All of the evidence to date suggests that as government involvement increases in any entity the prices has never gone down, the service is worse and the process of obtaining the service more complicated. Pick any sector where the government has become the provider and you will find a system that has failed.

It is truly amazing to me that some of you posting in this thread in support of "Pirate-care" were not two-weeks ago crying over the centralization efforts of the Billings Clinic. You were complaining about the lack of choice. You can't have it both ways. Pirate-care will lead to additional centralization that may be even less convenient than a trip to Billings.

We currently have a healthcare system that is the envy of the entire world. Our neighbors to the north are doing whatever they have to do to escape their system and come to the US. Why there are so many who wish to replace the current system with Pirate-care is a mystery.

Yes there are gaps in our system. Yes, there are those who are not currently covered and cannot afford to purchase healthcare services. But rather than switch to Pirate-care, we should reform the system to reduce the bureaucracy and do all that is possible to increase competition. Let's get the price of this commodity down where everyone can afford to pay out of their own pocket and no one needs insurance. This happens by reversing coarse and not allowing the government to be come further involved.

Healthcare is neither a right or a privilege. It is a commodity that should controlled by supply and demand. The sooner that commodity is provided in a more efficient manner, the sooner it will be more affordable for all.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
Filthy Canadians, they took our jobs!!!

You're bonkers.
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Posted by Gail Finch Shipek (+88) 12 years ago
I'll start with some numbers: If the US healthcare plan is like France's (2007), we would have a 42.4 billion yearly deficit.

To get the health care you will want, you will have to purchase private insurance on top of the federal health insurance. Ask any retired person or Frenchman (read link about France above).

My problem is that they are wanting to add the federal health care to cover everyone when they cannot even manage Medicare and Social Security in the black. I do not run my finances like this. I do not want my federal government to either.

If I felt that you and I were going to end up with something better than we have today, I would support the idea. I am so afraid we are just going to end up with a deficit that we will never be able to get rid of. Once you open the flood gates you will never get them closed. And then you will still have to buy private insurance to get the level of care you need.

I think the administration's goals are noble and heartfelt just not financially substantiated.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Healthcare is neither a right or a privilege. It is a commodity that should controlled by supply and demand.

In other words, those who can afford it deserve it. Those who cannot ... well, tough s**t, pal. Better you than me.

You really are a heartless ass**** sometimes, Richard.
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Posted by Amoo Daboo Dabutsu (+115) 12 years ago
Stone, that very think happened to our family. My wife had been carrying our insurance for 20 years plus recently she lost her job and we where about to loose our health care coverage. Now we had the choice of paying $1340 under the COBRA plan or I could go find a job that had health care. So I went and got a job with health care. The pay is not good, the hours are terrible, and it's not allowing me to persue the free spirt lifestyle I would prefer. But I had to make a choice,and for me it was easy, never once did it cross my mind to ask you to provide insurance for my family.

Call Me Crazy.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15076) 12 years ago
"In other words, those who can afford it deserve it. Those who cannot ... well, tough s**t, pal. Better you than me.

You really are a heartless ass**** sometimes, Richard."

Had you read my entire post, rather than just one sentence that would allow you to once again to make derogatory comments about me, you would have perhaps noticed that I am trying to solve the problem by creating a system where everyone can afford to pay for their own healthcare needs. This way they can buy what they need, rather than what the government mandates they must have. It really is a more compassionate way.
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Posted by Kass Portra (+35) 12 years ago
It is a little daunting to think about the cost of meaningful changes to the system. Currently our family spends 11% of our Gross income on healthcare - insurance and non-covered costs. We forego a lot of preventive care for ourselves to keep the costs down. I'm willing to bet that many families spend more than that. A tax increase of anywhere from 11-20% does not seem too bad. And if people use healthcare to maintain health with preventitive and early care, then costs should go down and quality of life should go up. Win-Win.

Temporarily Able Bodies pay less now, but one day or another most people will require some serious healthcare, whether it be a catastrophic event such as a stroke or accident, or in the form of needing expensive medications to maintain health.

I loved Amorette's explanation! You Rock! It does make fiscal sense and it absolutely does make human sense!

[This message has been edited by Kass Portra (6/11/2009)]
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Had you read my entire post, rather than just one sentence that would allow you to once again to make derogatory comments about me, you would have perhaps noticed that I am trying to solve the problem by creating a system where everyone can afford to pay for their own healthcare needs.

And in the meantme, while we're waiting for your supply-side utopia to finally materialize out of the fairy dust?

I did read your entire post, Richard. My optimism for finding anything constructive on your part turned sharply downward when I came across the multiple references to "pirate-care" codswallop.

Please tell me how what I stated about your stance (those who can afford it deserve it ...) isn't exactly in line with your libertarian leanings that dictate that the only contribution you'd make to help with someone else's medical problems is to put some random change in an old coffee can on the counter of the nearest Maverik store.

I stand by my original statement.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (6/11/2009)]
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Kass, Howdy, Buck, Amorette, Brian, Michell & last but not least Donna,

Since you feel that you are entitled to MY money to pay for YOUR medications and health care where can I send you the bills for the medications & throat lozenges that I picked up today?
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Kyle - don't be cute.

Secondly, do you EVER see me bitching on here about where my taxes go? No, you don't.

Grow up, learn what "empathy" means, and you'll be a lot better off in life.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Kyle - don't be cute.

Who's being cute Brian? If the aforementioned people (yourself excluded) feel entitled to my money to pay for their medications & health care, why is it suddenly not ok to expect the same of them?

Again, I have empathy for their situations but does that automatically require that I pay for them?

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (6/11/2009)]
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
And who among us - or anyone out there - is asking you, Kyle L. Varnell, to personally pay for specific items for a specific person? You act as though that's the case.

Again, don't be cute. Admit you're a tightwad who could give a rip other than anyone other than yourself and we can at least be honest with one another.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
And who among us - or anyone out there - is asking you, Kyle L. Varnell, to personally pay for specific items for a specific person?

Have you missed this entire thread Brian?

I am not a "Tightwad" but I do not feel it is my obligation to pay for somebody else's medication/health.

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (6/11/2009)]
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Have you missed this entire thread Brian?

Nope, not at all.

I am not a "Tightwad" but I do not feel it is my obligation to pay for somebody else's medication/health.

You know, you're right - no one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to care. But you would be a better person if you did on your own.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
You're not a tightwad? AAAAHAHAHAHA

You have lots of gay/black friends, too. AAAAHAHAHAHA

I'm going to bring this thread up every once in a while. I'm afraid new people show up and don't realize what a tool you are until they read how you truly feel.

Anyway, I'm not asking for your money. I make my own money, I have my own insurance, but it's not about me, me, me. I know it's about you, you, you. Your money, your obligation, you, you, you. I can take care of myself, but I'm not someone who will claim the moral high ground and then bury a kid because he was born into the wrong situation. I know your myopic perspective doesn't allow you to understand, but not everyone has access to the things that give them any hope at success in life. I'll chip in financially to improve the life of a child who won't have to grow up to rob me at gunpoint because he managed to get an education and see a doctor despite the fact that his dad is in jail and his mom is a junkie.

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (6/11/2009)]
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Bring it up all you want to Buck. I stand by what I've said here.

Anyway, I'm not asking for your money

You may not be asking for it directly Buck but when you insist that I pay for somebody else's health care, in a round about way you are.

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (6/11/2009)]
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
Oh, Kyle. You are a sad, sad little man. This is just like when they asked your sad, sad little forefathers to give up their slaves - had to insist then, too.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Buck, that is without a doubt the dumbest thing I have ever read.

You're seriously equating health care with slavery?
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
More or less. They directly impact life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - three of the four most important foundations of our country (the fourth being the right to carry a bazooka).

It's just another example of your seflishness, lack of compassion, and irrationality. Wait, I suppose it's not irrational, you'd be better off if you paid for your own healthcare and the blacks were still slaves.

(And I take it you don't bother proofreading your work.)

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (6/11/2009)]
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
I bet no one asked Kyle's great-great-great grandpappy to pay for slaves' healthcare. That would be uncivilized.

After all, if slaves wanted healthcare, they shouldn't have been born slaves. The nerve of some people!

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (6/11/2009)]
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Posted by Kass Portra (+35) 12 years ago
How many have written to Baucus about what you want? I wrote that I want real reform with a meaningful public option available to all.

I suggest you make your voices heard. (not you Kyle)

Kass
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
If Saddam is Hitler, healthcare is slavery.
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Posted by Stone (+1590) 12 years ago
Kass, I have hundreds of times.

But the insurance companies have bought him off.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15076) 12 years ago
"Please tell me how what I stated about your stance (those who can afford it deserve it ...) isn't exactly in line with your libertarian leanings that dictate that the only contribution you'd make to help with someone else's medical problems is to put some random change in an old coffee can on the counter of the nearest Maverik store."

Nice strawman Brian. You have no idea how generous I am.

Kyle: do you feel like "tankman" yet?
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6170) 12 years ago
Kyle listed, Kass, Howdy, Buck, Amorette, Brian, Michell & last but not least Donna
I feel left out, Kyle.

Perhaps if health care wasn't so costly it would be less of an issue all around. Did anyone else see that New Yorker article a few weeks ago about health costs. A journalist-physician examined the hospitals in the country that spent the most on patient care and the least on patient care. He interviewed physicians and hospital administrators. What he found was that the most expensive hospitals, determined not necessarily by the cost of the procedures but by how many were prescribed per patient, had a very peculiar revenue driven environment. The physicians in those areas tended to order more tests and rely less on statistical realities when diagnosing patients. Oddly enough, these were not the best hospitals in terms of patient outcomes. In fact, some of the least expensive hospitals, such as the Mayo clinic in Minnesota, had the best patient care. What I found interesting also was that the administrators of the most expensive hospitals had no idea they where they fell on the list and were adamant that their physicians did not over-prescribe. The physicians in these hospitals, however, were well aware of the pressure to bring in as much revenue as possible and keep the procedure rates high. Interesting, no?
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Kyle: do you feel like "tankman" yet?



And how!

Although in the picture I'd replace Brian with Buck. Oddly for having such drastically differing viewpoints on everything from politics to baseball wee see to get along pretty well.

Must be the "Geek Blood" that runs through out veins.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
I feel left out, Kyle.

Ok Wendy where can I send you a bill
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
Oh, I feel so bad for you. These days, life is so hard for a white man.
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Posted by Kass Portra (+35) 12 years ago
Stone,
I know, Max is a political animal. He'll wait to see which way the momentum is moving and then "lead" the way there. I am pretty sure that if something doesn't happen now, it will be another 8-12 years before it's actually on the table again. That's why I'm willing to accept something less than single-payer.

From what I hear, Max was surprised to find so much support for a public option during the recent listening sessions in MT. I've heard that Tester is lying low for now - he has little influence in the right committees, but supports a strong public option.

Crossing fingers, writing letters, stirring up poop here...
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
You have no idea how generous I am.

You're right. You've never given any evidence of it. How can something be measured if it's never been seen?
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Posted by Art (+210) 12 years ago
I attented the Baucus "listening" session in M. C. It was more telling than listening, but the strongest sentiment in the listening portion was in favor of a single payer system or at least an element of it in the final document.

I will write my thoughts to Sen Baucus even though I think his mind is mostly made up along with the other 23 senators on the committee who have pocketed hugh sums from the very parties who have us in the mess we are now in.

I would complement this thread for it's ability to stay on message and especially to 14 year old Michelle for diving in with both feet and making a difference. Bravo, Michelle.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Although in the picture I'd replace Brian with Buck. Oddly for having such drastically differing viewpoints on everything from politics to baseball wee see to get along pretty well.

I will not be supplanted! If Bob Netherton is providing aerial support, Buck is our artillery.

Must be the "Geek Blood" that runs through out veins.

Says the man who fails to see the greatness that is Futurama. Your geek cred is questionable, my friend. Do you even know who you really are?
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Brian, I do have to admit that the one Futurama episode that I loved was the "If life was like a video game." one.

That made me spew some Mountain Dew out my nose. Do you remenber what that one was called?
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Give me a moment to flip through my complete set of DVDs ... it's the "Raiders of the Lost Arcade" segment of the Anthology of Interest II episode in Season 3.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
The true character of a man is what he willing to do for his fellow man without being threatened with jail for not doing it.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
Wonderful to see so many so benevolently charitable with other people's money.

It's hard to believe people can be so smug about others' 'lack of compassion' just because they voted for the guy promising a free lunch.

If that's the new definition of Charity, then virtue is definitely dead.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Wonderful to see so many so benevolently charitable with other people's money.

That's the wonderful thing about Liberals Rick. They love spending the money, just so long as the money they're spending isn't their own.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Kyle, you don't be willing to spend your own money to try to make the world a better place. Are you a liberal?
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
:laughsatthethoughtofKylebeingliberal:
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Kyle, you don't be willing to spend your own money to try to make the world a better place. Are you a liberal?

Donna, if I want to spend my money to make the world a better place then I will do so. Not you.

You team has a lot of chutzpah to demand that I help pay for the bills you incur.

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (6/11/2009)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
It's alot like how they 'encourage volunteerism' by starting gummint programs to pay people to "volunteer"
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Posted by Kacey (+3153) 12 years ago
I think we should all take Kyle with a grain of salt...I've read some of his other postings on other websites. Like the Ridiculous Informercial Review website. Seems Kyle has lots of personalities online. How about we just ignore him and he'll go to another forum?
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
Donna, if I want to spend my money to make the world a better place then I will do so, but I don't so I won't.

It's as if we're asking them to spend their money, while we horde our own and enjoy a "free lunch."
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Ah, a troll?
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Ok Kacey, so I have a nerdy side and love infomercials.

What does that have to do with my issues of forcing me to pay for your medical care?
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
Kyle's quote is italicized - I just finished the statement he is thinking. I should apologize though, Kyle does more for the world than I can ever hope to do. Standing in line for the opening of Star Trek is the sort of dedication to good works we can all admire. Kyle's continued investment in the economy will finally allow me the free lunch I so desire.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
What does that have to do with my issues of forcing me to pay for your medical care?

Yes, because the legislation that liberals pursue target ONLY you and your fellow conservatives, Kyle.

You and Rick act as though you're being unfairly targeted.

You don't see me bitching about the cost of the bombs you enjoy dropping on other countries. The destruction of life they cause, yes. The amount of my tax money being wasted on that destruction, no.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
It's not about us being targeted, Brian. It's about anyone being targeted.

If you were really for 'paying your fair share' you'd be a flat taxer. Instead, you voted for the guy who promised to make sure you wouldn't pay for any of it. And you ate it up.

If that's not a free lunch, I don't know what is. But it certainly isn't charitable.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
I voted for a guy I'll pay taxes to save an old lady who has a stroke and doesn't know it, doesn't think it's a big deal, dies, and is eaten by cats.

I know who is paying for it. I will be, too. You are the only one Obama told wouldn't have to pay for it. He wanted you to stop crying like your diaper is full, it's called diplomacy. He will be bombing you shortly.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Instead, you voted for the guy who promised to make sure you wouldn't pay for any of it. And you ate it up.

I voted for the guy who wasn't a warmonger. I voted for the guy who wasn't from the "screw everybody who isn't like us" party.

I voted for the guy who was the least like W.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago


Maybe unemployed coaches make more money than a guy would think.

I voted for the guy who wasn't a warmonger. I voted for the guy who wasn't from the "screw everybody who isn't like us" party.

Wow, where'd that come from? Why not just say "I voted for the guy who wasn't a poopy face!" You make the smoke, Buck'll handle the mirrors.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (6/11/2009)]
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
I think the smoke you're seeing is coming off Rush's foily.

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (6/11/2009)]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15076) 12 years ago
The issue here isn't about who is targeted to pay for the program. We will all pay and pay dearly. The issue is that as a country we cannot afford to implement such a program. There are NO government programs that have been instituted in a competitive fashion with a similar private program, where the federal program has been cheaper. The federal program will kill ALL competition. The price will go up.

The only way to solve this problem is to get the bureaucratic over-regulations out of the industry and foster competition in the marketplace. Healthcare costs started going up when consumers started turning the bill into insurance for payment rather than paying for the commodity themselves. If the cash isn't coming out of your pocket, you have different attitude about the cost. We really need to focus on reducing the cost of the commodity so that we can pay for it ourselves.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9297) 12 years ago
I think Matt Taibbi said it best:


In other words teabaggers don't mind paying taxes to fund the salaries of Bolivian miners, Lou Gerstner's stock options, deliveries of "sailboat fuel," the Hermes scarves on Sandy Weill's jet pillows, or even the export of their own goddamn jobs. But they do hate it when someone tries to re-asphalt their roads, or help bail their slob neighbor out of foreclosure. And God forbid someone propose a health care program, or increased financial aid for college. Hell, that's like offering to share your turkey with the other Pilgrims! That's not what America is all about! America is every Pilgrim for himself, dammit! Raise your own motherf*cking turkey!


http://trueslant.com/matt...le-malkin/
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago


Testify, Bridgier (Matt), testify!
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Posted by dnewton09 (+85) 12 years ago
Chuck Schott, funny comment about the French and pets in rentals. Noticed how Donna just brezzed over that one.

While reading alllll the post I keep getting a vision of a young couple who has just lost their house do to the high medical cost of their only childs illness, applying for rental through Donna. What if the child has a dog or cat for companionship whos almighty dollar with influence that decision.

I cant say I agree total Kyle but, he has points that are valid.

It amazes me how often medicaid recipients will go to the ER for runny noses or diaper rash.

I have my own insurance as does my daughter and my daughter has to be pretty sick before I call and make an appointment.

I believe fraud and abuse is the main culprit.

How about the young mom with 6 kids all in foster care and lying the in Labor and delivery having another on the medicaid program.

fraud and abuse that is where we should focus.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
It amazes me how often medicaid recipients will go to the ER for runny noses or diaper rash.

I have my own insurance as does my daughter and my daughter has to be pretty sick before I call and make an appointment.

I believe fraud and abuse is the main culprit.

How about the young mom with 6 kids all in foster care and lying the in Labor and delivery having another on the medicaid program.


Maybe we should deal with misconceptions, first.
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Posted by dnewton09 (+85) 12 years ago
No misconceptions here.

People who need the help are appreciative and use it wisly,
there are some who just do not see is as living on the backs of others.

I feel Healthcare reform should be income based. When I worked at a job that did not have healthcare I bought a accident policy for my daughter as I finished school and begain working up the ladder I was able to afford better insurance. Now that I have decided to return to school I maintain a job that offers hours around school and benifits for my daughter and myself.

Workind for benifits or help could also be an option, people appreciate things they work for more.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17660) 12 years ago
Hmmmm.....long thread. Can't say I read everything here, but my read thus far is...I agree with Jim Brady...and with Buck, although not is such a snarky way. Then again, Rick is right up there with Buck in the snarkiness. Kyle, as usual, hasn't got a clue, and Richard, as usual, is completely delusional (the concept of 19th century free market capitalism as an answer for health care is one of the funniest (and stupidest) ideas I have read here in quite some time).

As Jim correctly pointed out, health care is not a right. But, as Buck correctly pointed out, health care is something the civilized nations of the world strive to make affordable to their citizens. Not just because its the right thing to do....but healthy people paying little money on health care help a nation prosper.

Health care in the old days never cost that much money because we never had developed such outstanding medical technological innovations. And no, these innovations were not developed by the free market....these innovations have been largely subsidized by the government.

The single payer or private insurance debate is only one piece of the problem. Far more important is getting a handle on the rising costs.

It is a complex problem, the biggest facing our country....and there is no silver bullet that will fix it. As a country we need to face the facts, and accept that if we want serious health care reform, we may have to pay dearly for it until we can transition into a better system.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1290) 12 years ago
You are so right. On a recent trip to the walk in clinic I waited for a hour or better to get in to see a Dr. When I said to the Clinic worker who had come to get insurance information "Wow this is crazy busy today." "What's it going to be like when we have free health care for all"? She said it will be unbearable, "you can't believe the people on Medicare that we know on a first name basis."
"People who are here at least once a week for a cold or a skinned knee of some other ache or pain". "And when where not open they go to the emergency room and that's at least a $500.00 bill." "Because they know it won't cost them a dime".

These where her words not mine, misuse and abuse will be a major problem.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Kyle, as usual, hasn't got a clue

Haven't got a clue about what Gunnar? Taking my money to pay for somebody else's bills?

I'll tell you what Gunnar. Seeing as how you're being so generous with my money can I have your address please? I need to send you some of my medical bills so you can pay them for me.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17660) 12 years ago
As usual, Kyle completely misses the mark....

What I read, that prompted me to post, "Kyle doesn't have a clue", was your post"

Paying for education is necessary.

Health care is not.


Under our constitution, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are unalieanble rights...they do not include education and health care, which both fall into the same category....they are either paid for or bestowed upon the population by the government in various degrees or forms.

At least the Libertarians like Richard are consistent...they don't want public education or health care. People like you, Kyle, who like to pick your own conservative talking points based upon what an angry fat man on the radio is saying this week.....such people add nothing to the debate.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Gunnar, I really love how you (and others) feel the need to "Bestow" my money for somebody else's medical bills. I'm required to pay for the bills they accrue?

If that's the case Gunnar then send me your address please. I have some medication bills you need to pay.

By the way Gunnar I haven't listened to Rush in years.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Gunnar, Buck, Bridgier and everyone else:

I strongly advise that we stop replying to Kyle on this thread. He has said the same line for the last 12 posts or so. There's nothing to be gained.

Because drastic measures may need to be taken, my finger is on the haiku button ...
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
That did it Brian. Threats of haiku are prompting me to leave this post.

Congrats
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17660) 12 years ago
Good lord, he is such a blithering moronRepublican....Brian, I am taking your advice.

There is no point debating someone who is "gifted".
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Posted by Stone (+1590) 12 years ago
"The only way to solve this problem is to get the bureaucratic over-regulations out of the industry and foster competition in the marketplace."

Richard, honest to God you are telling Montana's about deregulation and how it will save them money after we lived through Montana Power. You are a serious idiot in need of an enema.

Deregulation has saved no one and I repeat no one money. What is wrong with our economy now is 100%, the cause of deregulation.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15076) 12 years ago
You are making an apples and oranges comparison.

There are many differences between a power company that has a captive audience, and removing some of the bureaucracy from health care.

What is wrong with our economy right now is the result of the government spending money it doesn't have, on programs that are not constitutionally mandated.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (6/12/2009)]
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Translation: Richard only cares about his fellow American citizens if it is Constitutionally-mandated for him to do so.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
Brian, I think if you look at the nature of what you're saying, that's more projection than truth.

Gunnar, you're right in that it's probably the most difficult problem facing us today. But one of the main enablers of the problems we have today is the near-ubiquitous presence of health insurance, both public and private. Combine it with the life-and-death nature of the subject, and you have a recipe where demand is trying to ignore supply.

Of course this isn't possible. But single-payer tries to enshrine this economic impossibility in law.

Inconvient health care fact...

By some estimates, up to 80% of health care dollars are spent during the last two years of life.

Significant savings will not be had without addressing this in some form or another. There are no easy decisions in this area.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (6/13/2009)]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15076) 12 years ago
"Translation: Richard only cares about his fellow American citizens if it is Constitutionally-mandated for him to do so."

Brian, I am convinced that you must have been toilet-trained at gunpoint. Every time someone rings the liberty bell you pee your pants. There simply is no other explanation for your constant derogatory assault on other peoples' character.

I care about my fellow American citizen just as much as you. This "care" is demonstrated by the fact that I am not a economic burden to anyone and that I have assumed responsibility for myself and my family. I pay for my own healthcare. I could go on here, but it's not my style.

My "care" is also demonstrated in that I don't want to see a federally mandated economic burden placed on those who cannot afford it. It is interesting to note how often liberal policies hurt the very people they are intended to help. Single-payer healthcare will be another of many examples of the failure of such liberal policy. It will result in economic slavery. I don't about you, but I happen to like the economic and other liberties I currently enjoy. I don't need/want the federal government telling me who I have to help or how much I have to give. I am very capable of making those decisions myself. It is the responsible way to live.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (6/13/2009)]
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
"This "care" is demonstrated by the fact that I am not a economic burden to anyone and that I have assumed responsibility for myself and my family. I pay for my own healthcare. I could go on here, but it's not my style."
_____________________________Oh, really?

What happens if you do become a burden? No matter how much planning and insurance you buy it CAN happen. 6 years ago all 4 of us in this family were employed, insured, and healthy. Good insurance, as insurance goes, mind you. We were so set for retirement that it was my plan to retire at 51 and my husband at 54.

But--I lost my hearing to a rare disease. 3 surgeries and an implant later I am able to work. To the tune of $50,000 beyond my insurance and hearing devices that cost $10,000 that I must buy every 5 years that are not covered by insurance.

Then a few months later, my husband came down with Parkinson's. About $1000 out of pocket per month for uncovered needs. In March he had brain surgery followed by another surgery. Again, astronomical bills not to mention 10 hour round trip trips weekly to Seattle to a doctor who charges $800 per hour due to his expertise and so few docs in the nation who can do this.

Then, my son developed a neurological disorder requiring medication and treatment for life. An expensive disease and half the medications are not covered, nor are 50% of the doctor bills due to the location of the doctor and travel required.

NONE of these diseases were the result of irresponsibility, lifestyle, or choices.

Yet, we may become a burden to society despite a huge amount of planning. Additionally 3 of us have masters degrees and had great earning potential in addition to owning 2 businesses. Guess what, a whole lot of that is now not very useful to keeping us from being "burdens" as you put it.

Had my son gotten his disease at an earlier age, it would have been likely that he would have never gone to college and been self-supporting. I guess he should have been more responsible.

3/4 of our family has disabilities we got in that last few years. It can happen to you.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15076) 12 years ago
And so your unfortunate circumstances justify revamping the entire system so that everyone has to pay?

I am well aware that life can suck and then you die. I have coronary artery disease, have multiple stents and angioplasty and have recently been dealing with hypoglycemia. It makes me all the more determined to make enough money that I can continue to pay my own way rather than become dependent on the government.

I agree the system needs to be revamped. I simply don't think that the government is the proper entity to do the revamping.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
My "care" is also demonstrated in that I don't want to see a federally mandated economic burden placed on those who cannot afford it

You would rather see a burden caused by extremely high medical bills due in part to a lack of insurance placed on those who cannot afford it. Got it.

I'm not attacking your character, Richard. I'm just using your own words against you. You make it easy and it's fun. Keep it up!

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (6/13/2009)]
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
My unfortunate circumstances, as you call them, are not that rare. I hardly know a family that has not been touched or will not be touched by having to make choices about whether people in their family can get adequate care or not. And I am talking about INSURED AND EMPLOYED people, not to mention those less fortunate.
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Posted by Kass Portra (+35) 12 years ago
As others have tried to say, those who can pay are already subsidizing those who can't in the form of highet premiums, higher costs, and more expensive care (as opposed to preventive care). it's just a fact.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
If the profit is taken out of medicine it will pay for the cost....There should be no profit on medicine, ever.....
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15076) 12 years ago
Umm... that ship sailed about 20 years ago...

Context, Brain, context.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (6/13/2009)]
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Kass, you are absolutely correct. It could be done more fairly and more efficiently with the result that all will get care without losing their homes over it.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Dress it up all you like, Richard.

The fact remains that you don't like spending money on anyone but yourself. You've made that clear on numerous occasions.

Once you cut to the heart of the matter, what you refer to as "context" is irrelevant.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15076) 12 years ago
My context is that I want to make sure that everyone keeps as much of their money as possible. I don't want to see them have to spend it on healthcare for themselves or on additional taxation for a single payer system. I am trying to focus my conversation on solving the problem. You seem to be focusing on making snarky comments about peoples personal motivations.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Everyone keeps as much money of their own as possible?

So survival of the fittest? Those who can afford the kidney transplant get it and the others have to watch their 9 year old die because they are laid off and don't have insurance?

How about survival of the community, of the human race? Or even better yet, how about progress. Keep everyone healthy, educate them well. I imagine the results of that will benefit the whole too. Can you not look outside your own selfish little heart to see your self as part of a whole?
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
Richard since you are infamous for your Christian leanings and teachings on this web site, how can you justify your beliefs with that?...What would Jesus Christ think of your beliefs??
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Time to read the book of James---you know, the poor, the jailed, the homeless, the sick, the mentally ill, the children, the widows, the blind and deaf.

There is also something about not laying up treasures on earth but rather doing good with them.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15076) 12 years ago
"There is also something about not laying up treasures on earth but rather doing good with them."

You are exactly right, here. And the decision about helping those in need should be an individual choice based on the love and forgiveness we have in Christ. The government is not going to deliver the message of hope and compassion. Christians are call to deliver that message.

I have stated numerous times here that one of my reason for maintaining economic liberty is so I can help others in need. The more the government lets me keep the more I can share with others. I believe that Jesus approves of that way of thinking.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (6/13/2009)]
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1290) 12 years ago
If the profit is taken out of medicine it will pay for the cost....There should be no profit on medicine, ever.....

That a sure fire way to make sure we have no new medicine, one less (and maybe the most motivating) reason to fund research and a medical system years behind where we are today.

You know that Howdy.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
you can have incentives instead of constant profits...Other countries do it...why can't we..
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Posted by Jim Brady (+431) 12 years ago
And the countries that do this are.......???????

And they do it....How??????

And they finance the science with....What????????

C'mon howdy. Pony up the facts.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Germany does it. My husbands neurologist is from Germany, his neurosurgeon is from Germany. My ear specialist is from Germany. Want cutting edge? Get a doctor who has been trained in Germany because of all the research going on there.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
Sorry don't have the exact facts, but I know that there are other nations that have government health care and they also have cutting edge research...I have read about it...How it works I don't know...but somehow they must have built in incentives....
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Posted by Bridgier (+9297) 12 years ago
Jesus was a notorious communist.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Richard's lack of caring has Jesus' blessing?

Gad.
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Posted by cubby (+2644) 12 years ago
As a college grad who is about to head out into the healthcare field I am somewhat appalled by certain comments on this thread. I have lived without health insurance for many years while I worked my way through college. However, I have almost always found a way to pay for office visits. If I was seriously ill, as I have personally seen many other people, I would have no way to pay for it. Except for minimal monthly payments. I do believe that healthcare should be a right, and also a priveledge. I think of my future career as a nurse and wonder what will happen to our healthcare system. I utilized the Medicaid system as a single mother when I was pregnant and during my delivery. I then asked to be dropped from it as soon as I was able to work again (within one month). I have paid taxes as an employee for years, how was I abusing the system by using Medicare? My father was a narcotics agent for 24 years and worked for the US govt and Mt govt. When he had to retire for medical reasons he was left without any medical insurance. Because of the things he went through and saw as an employee of our govt fighting the war on drugs he now needs medication for his mental health. Who do you think is paying for that?
I am truly terrified about what is going to happen to our health care in the US. I just know that no matter what, no matter why, and no matter whom, I will be there and undjudgmental. Everyone deserves at least the preventative healthcare. Not all are as smart as we may be, or even literate, yet they are still human beings with feelings.
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Posted by cubby (+2644) 12 years ago
I think that the bitterness from certain people has to do with the people who may be taking advantage of the heathcare system. We should really think about those who truly deserve it, and cannot afford it for many reasons.
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Posted by Amoo Daboo Dabutsu (+115) 12 years ago
Never mind I'm tired.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15076) 12 years ago
I fail to see how my unwillingness to accept socialize single-payer medicine translates into me "not caring". That is simply a mis-characterization of what I have said. On the other hand when I consider who is leading the charge it makes perfect sense.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
I forgot that Bridgier's bible contains an extra chapter detailing Jesus' petition to Pilate demanding government action on the condition of the poor.

http://www.nytimes.com/20...nd&emc=rss

In real terms, spending on American biomedical research has doubled since 1994. By 2003, spending was up to $94.3 billion (there is no comparable number for Europe), with 57 percent of that coming from private industry. The National Institutes of Health's current annual research budget is $28 billion, All European Union governments, in contrast, spent $3.7 billion in 2000, and since that time, Europe has not narrowed the research and development gap. America spends more on research and development over all and on drugs in particular, even though the United States has a smaller population than the core European Union countries. From 1989 to 2002, four times as much money was invested in private biotechnology companies in America than in Europe.

Dr. Thomas Boehm of Jerini, a biomedical research company in Berlin, titled his article in The Journal of Medical Marketing in 2005 "How Can We Explain the American Dominance in Biomedical Research and Development?" (ostina.org/downloads/pdfs/bridgesvol7_BoehmArticle.pdf) Dr. Boehm argues that the research environment in the United States, compared with Europe, is wealthier, more competitive, more meritocratic and more tolerant of waste and chaos. He argues that these features lead to more medical discoveries. About 400,000 European researchers are living in the United States, usually for superior financial compensation and research facilities.

This innovation-rich environment stems from the money spent on American health care and also from the richer and more competitive American universities. The American government could use its size, or use the law, to bargain down health care prices, as many European governments have done. In the short run, this would save money but in the longer run it would cost lives.


In the big picture, almost all the medical progress in Europe has come through the expense of research done in the United States. When we stop spending the research money, the progress will slow. There's no reasonable way around that fact.

And even at that, most Europeans wait years for some of the most expensive (yet promising) treatments developed here because in a Socialist system, the government counts its money first, and then determines whether your life is worth the cost.

You're fooling yourself if you think socialized medicine takes cost considerations away. It just takes them away from you.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
"And even at that, most Europeans wait years for some of the most expensive (yet promising) treatments developed here because in a Socialist system, the government counts its money first, and then determines whether your life is worth the cost."

UNTRUE---during my stay in Europe I talked to many people about this very thing. Not a one says this is true. Due to my own personal experience with serious illness while I was in Europe I will have to say we got care immediately, NO questions asked. They did not even care who they would bill and left it to our own honor to go pay before we left after being released. There were no lines, no waiting, ---it was superior care. In fact, we learned later that we got more cutting edge care there than we would have gotten here. If I ever get really sick I will consider moving to Europe based on FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE with their medical system. We had outstanding, top notch, cutting edge care for a situation which was really complicated and we would have waited months in this country to get into the specialists required.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
That's a common style of argument. But in reality a health care system can't be accurately judged from the perspective of a tourist. First-time appointments and routine care are what most socialized health care systems are adept at providing.

I'm not sure which country you were in. But one thing that prevails in socialized systems is a very prompt and professional front line of care. Politically its easy to see why that happens. It gives the appearance of a 1st-class health care solution by focusing on providing the easiest and cheapest health care(the kind required by a majority of people on a routine basis) to most of the electorate.

People always complain about the cost of care here, but on front end appointments and whatnot, it's really not very expensive. I can barely get my car looked at for what it costs to see a provider.

Where socialized systems always suffer is where our healthcare gets expensive. When you start to access high end diagnostics and specialists. Many people in those systems think their country provides wonderful care, right up until the point where they really need it.

Some are obviously worse than others. But Canada's and Britain's are among the worst, because they do their best to try to force everyone onto the same boat. The best socialized systems are two-tiered. A very basic level of coverage for everyone, while those who are able and willing to pay extra can get services denied by the government.

France operates a two-tiered system, and it's usually the liberal standard-bearer for socialized medicine. Then again, as Kyle pointed out, it's hemmoraging cash. And liberals tend to hate some being able to pay for treatment unavailable to others. So they tend to push towards a system that eventually denies expensive treatments to everyone.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 12 years ago
But in reality a health care system can't be accurately judged from the perspective of a tourist.

Yes, judgement is best left to the Rickenhawk.
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Posted by Jim Brady (+431) 12 years ago
Donna

"Germany does it. My husbands neurologist is from Germany, his neurosurgeon is from Germany. My ear specialist is [i]from[i] Germany. Want cutting edge? Get a doctor who has been trained in Germany because of all the research going on there."

(Italics added)

All "from" Germany? Why are they all practicing here in the US if the German system is so "cutting-edge"?

I think Rick's post answered the question.

Follow the money.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
To the last question: They are Americans who lived in Germany solely to get the best education in medicine possible.

To Rick's assumption that routine care is good in Europe but that it breaks down for anything other than first time appts. and routine care? Wrong again.

Our care was highly technical, requiring 3 different hospitals, 2 ambulance trips, 6 doctors, 4 of whom were specialists that if we wanted to see in this country we would wait for months for. Our situation was rare, emergent, complicated, and required a team of diagnositians and specialists of the highest caliber. Within 12 hours we had a diagnosis. Within 24 hours after that, the condition was so under control that we could not believe it. We stayed in the area for follow up care because we felt that further touring via Eurail could leave us in an area far from good transportation to a hospital. We had 5 follow up visits. Our experience superceded even the best care we have had in the US and believe me we see the top doctors here.

All 3 of us travel to University of WA and to Virginia Mason in Seattle (a 10 hour round trip for us) in order to see the very top doctors in the nation for our conditions. In Europe we had these doctors at our fingertips without at wait. Our whole medical care in Europe cost around $700, which our insurance paid in full. The same care, according to our insurance Explanation of Benefits forms in the US would have cost us well over $50,000 on average. Average hospitalization for this situation in the US would have been 10 days. They got the patient well enough to leave the hospital in 2 days. When I asked about this they said unlike the US, there is no incentive to "run out the insurance and THEN release the patient". No reason to keep you a minute longer.

We were there for an extended period. This was not a tourist situation where we passed through in 3 days. We used the care over a period of time without a single glitch and we were not even citizens!
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Posted by Gail Finch Shipek (+88) 12 years ago
A couple years ago I read a story about an American fellow who went to India to have an elective surgery. Apparently he was able to travel, have the surgery, and stay for recovery for less $$ than he would have to pay here.

Did anyone else catch this story?
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
Huh. 3 hospitals. 6 doctors, 4 specialists, ambulance, couple days admitted. $700.

Wasn't an Albanian veterinary clinic was it?
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Posted by Bob L. (+5100) 12 years ago
It's called medical tourism.
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Posted by Amoo Daboo Dabutsu (+115) 12 years ago
Klingt wie ein sehr gutes Preis wenig Missy.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
You might spend $700 on two nights in a hotel in many parts of Europe.

A whole bunch of Doctors must make it cheaper.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
All 3 were very prestigious hospitals in Paris.
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Posted by Gail Finch Shipek (+88) 12 years ago
After reading these postsI was sure "Medical Tourism" would come up with somethin on Google. First hit was

[url]http://www.healthcaretrip.org/{/url]

They even list France as one of the destinations.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
But France is one of the world leaders in per-capita health care spending at around $3,400 per person annually.

Does that mean the average Frenchman takes around 5 ambulance rides, visits 15 hospitals, sees 30 doctors, 20 of whom are specialists, and stays 10 days in the hospital every year?

I'm not saying you didn't only pay $700. I am saying that if that's the kind of care you received, you likely didn't pay anywhere near the whole cost of your treatment. (lucky you )
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Who knows the true cost of such treatment as it has been speculated that for each of us who pay we are paying for many who cannot pay.

Exaggerating my numbers to make your point says a lot.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
What I'm saying is yes, France spends less than we do per capita. But they don't do $50,000 worth of treatment for $700. At least not routinely.

They spend roughly $3400 per year per capita to our $6400 per year. I'm not exaggerating. Just dividing your $700 into how much the French really spend on health care every year. If services there are as cheap as you're saying, they'd have to get pretty creative to spend $3400 a year per person.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9297) 12 years ago
You're new to arguing with Rick, aren't you Donna?

Rick - I don't think it was ever claimed that $700 was the full cost...
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Posted by Bob L. (+5100) 12 years ago
They spend roughly $3400 per year per capita to our $6400 per year. I'm not exaggerating.


-------------

So, riddle me this, Rickenhawk:

If "socialized health care" is so evil, why is France's cost PER CAPITA less than ours?
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+403) 12 years ago
Yes, I overestimated his ability to make a coherent argument.
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