5 US Health Care Myths

Aetius wrote:
kaostheory wrote:
Aetius wrote:
Zelos wrote:
Aetius wrote:

So? Find some people you can live with. Roommates, you know. It's how college students do it. It's not that people can't, it's that they don't want to.

Roommates tend not to want to look after your kids, though. It's just you're extrapolating from one person in a reasonably stable situation to all people.

No, but having enough (paying) roommates can free up the money you need for child care - or perhaps one of the roommates can make a living handling the kids. You're reaching. :)

I don't know about you Aetius, but thinking back to all the roommates I've had, I don't want to raise my kids living with any of them. Yes, there are always situations that break the norm and "solutions" to the problem, but some of them just are not realistic. How many people are going to want to be roommates with a single mother and young child?

It's not as obvious and feasible as you present.

Well, remember we're talking about the choice between getting drugs you need to live, and your living arrangements.

If the choice comes to getting the drugs I need and the safety of my child, that's not a simple solution, and most people will choose the safety of their child (as is evidenced by people putting their lives in danger to save their children).

People in desperate need of roommates are often not the kinds of people you want to be roommates with and certainly not the type you're often going to want helping to raise your children. If you're someone without kids, there's gotta be a pretty compelling reason for you to choose a roommate with a young child. The more likely situation would probably be two (or more) people with children becoming roommates, but finding those people and figuring out whether they're trustworthy or not is a difficult proposition. Especially if you're working 40+ hours/week (more likely 60-80 hours) and trying to raise a child in your off hours.

It is NOT an easy situation in the best of circumstances (much like the friend you mentioned). It is an almost impossible situation in the average - worst situation).

Aetius wrote:
kaostheory wrote:
Aetius wrote:
Zelos wrote:
Aetius wrote:

So? Find some people you can live with. Roommates, you know. It's how college students do it. It's not that people can't, it's that they don't want to.

Roommates tend not to want to look after your kids, though. It's just you're extrapolating from one person in a reasonably stable situation to all people.

No, but having enough (paying) roommates can free up the money you need for child care - or perhaps one of the roommates can make a living handling the kids. You're reaching. :)

I don't know about you Aetius, but thinking back to all the roommates I've had, I don't want to raise my kids living with any of them. Yes, there are always situations that break the norm and "solutions" to the problem, but some of them just are not realistic. How many people are going to want to be roommates with a single mother and young child?

It's not as obvious and feasible as you present.

Well, remember we're talking about the choice between getting drugs you need to live, and your living arrangements.

The situation you give though is of someone who is lucky. Not the norm. I'm sure i'm not the only one that can bring up single parent family stories where the parent valiantly does everything they can and still cant make ends meet. Almost everyone i know that does make it and prosper have done so because they were helped out at some point by family/friends. Not everyone is so lucky.

Zelos wrote:
Aetius wrote:

Sorry, I disagree. I know a family that survives on the income of a waitressing job. It's a mother and a small child. She not only gets by, but she is saving money, and is thinking about starting a business. On a waitress income. (And before you ask, yes, she lives with her extended family, nine people, in a small Habitat for Humanity house. Child care is provided by her family.) I have a very hard time believing that other people simply are unable to be truly frugal. We as a country have trouble with this because reductions in our standard of living are very hard to accept.

I don't really want to get involved here, but don't you think that the extended family part of that might have a rather large effect on her conditions. That's got to cut her main outgoings (rent and child care) massively compared to people who don't have family or can't live anywhere near them.

What's her plan for if she requires a serious medical procedure or expensive prescription?

Stengah wrote:

What's her plan for if she requires a serious medical procedure or expensive prescription?

She has substantial savings and no debt. Her chances of requiring a serious medical procedure are very low, same with the prescription. The baby's are probably a bit higher, but as someone who understands what life is like without any medical care, she is likely to be able to handle just about anything that comes up with the baby.

How would she do with no savings and some credit card debt from when times were better? In my area, that's far more common.

So a good health system consists of someone else paying your bills? Sounds nice, except for that other person.

I don't get this. It's not a one-way transfer. The other person will receive services as well. What this does is enable those who could not afford more than minimal health care to get the same care as everyone else. This reduces the cost to society, rather than increasing it. There's *less* cost inequity in a well-run full coverage health care system in part because emergency care and chronic care are much more costly than prevention.

As an example, providing iodized salt to indigent mothers is far, far cheaper than paying for the care of brain-damaged children over their lifetimes. The fact that someone else has to do it is actually in their self-interest; it reduces costs in the long run. It's something we should all be willing to do. This is one area where the ideology of Libertarianism seems to actually increase costs and cause harm to individuals, under the guise of freedoms.

Robear wrote:

I don't get this. It's not a one-way transfer. The other person will receive services as well. What this does is enable those who could not afford more than minimal health care to get the same care as everyone else. This reduces the cost to society, rather than increasing it. There's *less* cost inequity in a well-run full coverage health care system in part because emergency care and chronic care are much more costly than prevention.

In some cases, it is entirely a one-way transfer; this problem will get worse as the population ages. A well-run system might be effective; unfortunately, human motivators deconstruct such a system in a hurry. Communism works well ... in theory.

As an example, providing iodized salt to indigent mothers is far, far cheaper than paying for the care of brain-damaged children over their lifetimes. The fact that someone else has to do it is actually in their self-interest; it reduces costs in the long run. It's something we should all be willing to do. This is one area where the ideology of Libertarianism seems to actually increase costs and cause harm to individuals, under the guise of freedoms.

Again, you imply that such things would not happen if they were not done by the government, which is a fallacy.

How is health care for everyone Communist? And which systems are breaking down? Well, outside of the US, anyway.

I'm arguing that health care is one area where everyone benefits from removal of the profit motive from portions of the system, and the government is the best vehicle for that kind of management. I'm not saying it's perfect, just that the "free market" solution we have now - which is *also* highly mediated by the government - is worse in it's non-government components than the parts that are highly regulated and managed by the government.

I heard a news piece today about the EU discovering that Europeans have overpaid for drugs for years. Why? Because the drug companies have managed to stop the import of generics at lower costs. The profit motive is not good for healthcare, on the whole.

Robear wrote:

I heard a news piece today about the EU discovering that Europeans have overpaid for drugs for years. Why? Because the drug companies have managed to stop the import of generics at lower costs. The profit motive is not good for healthcare, on the whole.

The EU report is no different than the huge Medicare debacle where Medicare was specifically forbidden from bargaining for lower costs on medications thanks to legislation passed in the House.

Love that free market.

Phoenix Rev wrote:
Robear wrote:

I heard a news piece today about the EU discovering that Europeans have overpaid for drugs for years. Why? Because the drug companies have managed to stop the import of generics at lower costs. The profit motive is not good for healthcare, on the whole.

The EU report is no different than the huge Medicare debacle where Medicare was specifically forbidden from bargaining for lower costs on medications thanks to legislation passed in the House.

Love that free market.

In a free market they wouldn't have been forbidden to bargain! These are just more examples of how government intervention and "management" makes things worse, not better.

Robear wrote:

How is health care for everyone Communist? And which systems are breaking down? Well, outside of the US, anyway.

I'm not saying that health care for everyone is Communist. I was drawing a parallel to another system that did not take basic human psychology into account. On paper, it looks good, but when it meets the real world, it quickly falls apart because humans act the way they always act.

I'm arguing that health care is one area where everyone benefits from removal of the profit motive from portions of the system, and the government is the best vehicle for that kind of management. I'm not saying it's perfect, just that the "free market" solution we have now - which is *also* highly mediated by the government - is worse in it's non-government components than the parts that are highly regulated and managed by the government.

The only thing worse than a completely government solution is a government-managed solution. If one increases opportunities for corruption, one shouldn't be surprised when it appears.

In a free market they wouldn't have been forbidden to bargain! These are just more examples of how government intervention and "management" makes things worse, not better.

In a "free market", the government would not be providing medicine to people, would it?

The only thing worse than a completely government solution is a government-managed solution.

You keep throwing anarchist slogans in, then backing off of that actual position. I'm getting whiplash.

In a free market they wouldn't have been forbidden to bargain! These are just more examples of how government intervention and "management" makes things worse, not better.

The government intervention is due to lobbyists FOR those health care companies so they can make a better profit. Legislators don't just wake up one morning and decide to restrict things. Health care and pharmaceutical companies pay millions of dollars to lobby for those decisions. So it is back to those companies trying to maximize the profit.

We need a system built like a non-profit company that is worried about paying bills and not making money. The money comes in, workers and doctors get paid, people get helped. No shareholders that want to get paid, no high level CEOs making millions and millions in bonus money, etc.

Robear wrote:
In a free market they wouldn't have been forbidden to bargain! These are just more examples of how government intervention and "management" makes things worse, not better.

In a "free market", the government would not be providing medicine to people, would it?

No, but there are also restrictions on private companies as well.

The only thing worse than a completely government solution is a government-managed solution.

You keep throwing anarchist slogans in, then backing off of that actual position. I'm getting whiplash. :-)

So advocating any private solution is now anarchist? Come on.

karmajay wrote:
In a free market they wouldn't have been forbidden to bargain! These are just more examples of how government intervention and "management" makes things worse, not better.

The government intervention is due to lobbyists FOR those health care companies so they can make a better profit. Legislators don't just wake up one morning and decide to restrict things. Health care and pharmaceutical companies pay millions of dollars to lobby for those decisions. So it is back to those companies trying to maximize the profit.

If the government is not involved in the economy, the lobbyists have no leverage. They are only there because the government has taken it upon itself to "make things right." They'd be crazy if they weren't there, because of the impact the government can have - they have to ensure that they get chosen when the government is choosing favorites if they want to stay in business. Both non-profits and for-profits have to do this; it is one of the things that drives up the cost of health care.

We need a system built like a non-profit company that is worried about paying bills and not making money. The money comes in, workers and doctors get paid, people get helped. No shareholders that want to get paid, no high level CEOs making millions and millions in bonus money, etc.

Too bad we don't have non-profit health insurance providers already. Oh wait ...

So advocating any private solution is now anarchist? Come on.

Well, you gotta admit, it sure looks like you said government should not manage or run any operations by itself... That's different from saying "Some things are better done by private industry."

If the government is not involved in the economy, the lobbyists have no leverage.

But at that point, isn't regulation one of the things that's gone? Because that's largely how lobbyists meet their goals, by introducing special rules and laws for their industry. If we lose regulation and the like, lobbyists won't be needed because the corporations will in fact do whatever they like. This is an area where high ideals can lead us astray.

Yeah, the government has to be involved in the economy to some degree. An unrestrained capitalism is a terrible place. Where government goes amiss is when it tries to generate outcomes it likes, instead of ensuring a level playing field. As soon as it gets into score management, the game gets all screwed up -- but providing a safe and level place to play is important.

If it were football, a pure capitalist would sprinkle his side of the field with landmines.

Of course, we'll never get to the point where the government is uninvolved - I don't think it's humanly possible. But the focus should be on as much minimization as possible. The less room you give the lobbyists and the harder you make it, the better off you are. They can spend their money instead on actually improving their products and services.

Malor wrote:

If it were football, a pure capitalist would sprinkle his side of the field with landmines.

Goddamn you can be sure I'd PPV that