8 Replies to “Heh”

  1. I should add that a American friend of mine believes that US citizens would suffer under a government program. To set the record straight, he thinks jesus rode a dinosaur… I tell him he’s fucked in the head.

  2. I fear for the Americans, that the various lobby groups could probably turn any system to their advantage rather than the peoples’.

    They could lobby to make the public option so terrible it doesn’t really provide competition against the existing private options. Or make it such that the private system gets the most profitable customers and the public gets the most costly.

    They could lobby that a single payer system pay higher and higher fees, rather than use the negotiating power to keep costs under control.

    It’s not that I begrudge the private system a profit, I don’t (but I do imagine a lower risk, lower reward profit like a staid utility).

    I just hate lobbyists that exploit the system. And although the U.S. has been enacting more legislation to limit lobbying, it’s like squeezing a balloon. The lobbyists will just spend their money to influence public opinion as we’re seeing right now in health care reform.

    Lobby group spending it total should be managed and limited like election campaign spending – because it is.

    We have to prevent Canada from falling to a similar fate, by coming up with a way to limit lobby power.

  3. I don’t begrudge people making a profit over the sale of big screen TVs, cars, pots and pans or tickets to a theme parks. I do begrudge people making a profit over other peoples’ misery. In fact, I think it is immoral.

  4. Bill Kristol and yesterday, John Bolton (shilling for an Israeli attack on Iran) on The Daily Show. Maybe I’m alone in this, but I don’t find any of these war criminals amusing. Neither of them cares one whit whether they’re mocked or exposed as liars and frauds.

  5. I think that even with the D’s controlling the White House and Congress with huge majorities, universal health care is politically impossible to implement.

    “I fear for the Americans, that the various lobby groups could probably turn any system to their advantage rather than the peoples’.”

    I’m convinced that the lawyer lobby has destroyed health care in the US.

    Family doctors have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in medical malpractice insurance. On top of that, they overprescribe many tests (defensive medicine) before implementing treatment for fear of being sued into bankruptcy. These costs are passed on to the consumer.

    One way you _might_ get a few Republicans on board to pass universal health care is if there is a provision (with real teeth) that screws a core Democratic constituency (the trial lawyers) who are making health care unaffordable.

    Oh, I’ve seen those reports that claim that only 2 percent of health care costs in the US are because of medical malpractice payouts to victims. There are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics. They fail to mention the cost of years of litigation and defensive medicine.

    The insurance companies are another core constituency–this time for the Republicans and the so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats.

    The Canadian system is not perfect and the horror stories that the anti-health care ads that are being aired in the US are probably true. The main flaw of the Canadian system is that it is underfunded, and the majority of the electorate (being relatively healthy) vote for the politicians not to raise their taxes too high in order to properly fund the system.

    The chronically sick are a political minority, and the Conservatives and Liberals have more or less ceded that vote to the NDP’s talking points.

    We have a rationed form of health care, and for 95% of the population that is good enough. I went to the hospital a few years ago after having severely injured my finger–I waited 5 hours in the emergency room to get taken care of. A bit of a wait, but at least I didn’t have to pay $10,000.

    And Canada has laws in place that limit medical liability claims.

  6. Take the case of a stroke victim being compensated $217 million for being misdiagnosed with sinusitis which left him paralyzed and brain damaged for life:


    I’m not trying to demean the person who filed the lawsuit, and this is obviously serious human error. But $217 million is a lot of money for the health care system. One can argue that “the insurance companies can afford it, that’s chump change for them”. No it isn’t — who pays for medical malpractice insurance? Health care providers (small family doctors, surgeons, clinics, etc). Their rates go up, and they pass these costs on ultimately, in the end, to the consumer.

  7. I had to go to the hospital the other day with a nasty laceration to my shin. Took me 1½ hr. in total to get it seen to (six stitches). Everything about the situation was, for lack of a better word… delightful. Short wait in an air conditioned waiting room (nice considering it was about 95F outside), quick meeting with the triage nurse, and a very pleasant (and extremely pretty) 3rd year resident who reassuringly chatted me up through the whole procedure. The only out-of-pocket expense to me was to reimburse my friend for her parking costs. Oh, and I even got some free steri-strips before leaving.

    Another tale of absolute HORROR from the world of “socialized” medicine.

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