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FeeFee
almost nine years ago

Dave (UK), you crack me up. Especially with the \"please no one\" comment.

Joe, health care and health insurance are very closely related, and both need to be discussed. But, to call this a health care bill is a misnomer.

I\'m sure that there are smaller parts of the big G that run well, but health insurance isn\'t going to be one of them; It \'s too important to be a small part of anything.

Absolute refusal to let them try anything is just as dangerous as letting them take over huge chunks of our industry. Make no mistake about it; this bill will not be run by the Candian, English, or French government. It\'s going to be run by the United States government. To my understanding, it differs from those governments with socialized health bills in that it forces people to buy insurance (which, by the way, I believe is unconstitutional), which I have heard will be enforced by the IRS. So, there\'s going to be this forced competition to reduce costs. People in the US don\'t necessarily choose their health insurance; it\'s more often provided by their employer. Wouldn\'t it be better if your employer paid you that money, and you can choose which health insurance you wanted to go with that best suited your needs? Do you really need the same insurance that a family of five is getting? Would that not create lower demand for premium insurance and drive down costs?

I do agree with you on voting. Too many people in the US kick back, and let the politicians govern without the consent of the governed. With the advent of our extremely fast media, one would expect information, and personal involvement to be more prevalent. With these volatile times, that seems to be changing though.

Big Dave (OZ), I want this to be amicable, but I have to warn you: I have a horrific tendency towards putting my foot in my mouth. If I offend you, let me know, and I\'ll explain what I mean.

I\'m sorry to hear about your Nan. It seems that this issue is so polarizing because we all have to deal with sickness and death. And, we all think about how things were, how they are, how they could be, while attaching such deep emotional ties to it.

Businesses typically provide two things: products and services. So, the name is not a dead giveaway. My main issue is that they don\'t stay competitive. As far as CALTRANS, there\'s a joke that\'s been run into the ground about five people watching, and one person working. USPS is losing money. Instead of staying with the times (for example, providing email services when that was new), they sit around and complain about how no one sends letters anymore. Something that starts as a good idea just becomes stagnant.

As far as emergency crews, it all depends on your location. Where I am, there\'s a typical hour and a half wait before they call you back to see if you still need assistance. I can cite example after example where I live where our local constabulary takes the easy road rather than really fight crime.

He isn\'t my friend. He\'s a friend of a friend. And, he\'s not begging. A charity is begging for him. When he had 15% of his lung capacity , he was probably to weak to beg. But, the greatness of the free people stepped in at many businesses in the area and helped him without being asked. I believe that when you leave people to their own devices, they generally do good. When you force them to do good, they generally do evil.

I agree with you that our system is crumbling. However, I believe that this bill is a far cry from the solution for the USA.

I think my forearm is now one tenth stronger from scrolling up and down trying to read and reply at the same time.

Lando
almost nine years ago

So yeah...I have come to a dark place. We have come to a dark place. I want things to get bad. I want every mistake to get made. I have spent my life pondering for the right answers, and I have decided that there are no answers. No system can sustain. All systems inevitably become corrupt and dysfunctional. Healthcare? Come on guys, come on. Governments are corporate entities these days. Can they possibly screw Healthcare up worse than it has already monumentally been fucked by conventional corporations. In that respect, I don\'t care about any of this. What\'s the phrase, \"rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic\". People die. It\'s sad.

I wish it could be better. I wish that we could agree and that we could all have healthcare and get better when we get sick. And what the hell, I wish we didn\'t have to pay for it. I wish the tribe knew enough to take care of all its members equally. I wish no one slacked or did it for the money or tried to figure out better ways to convert human beings into a string of numbers. I wish a lot of things that will not happen. So fuck the government, fuck the corporations, fuck healthcare and fuck life. Your best bet, don\'t get sick. Fee Fee, you are right, the system is crumbling and we cannot be saved. We have come to a dark place and hundreds of years from now, if human beings are still here, they will look at this time period and laugh in horror.

Your chipping at the greater debate of equality and rights of man. What do we as humans beings truly deserve? What is morally responsible. Everyone\'s individual story is a sob story, because we all love our loved ones and we want them to get the best care. We want to be taken care of when we grow will. Its always different when its your story, but you have to forget about that and think about the whole. What do all of us deserve? The senators in this country love to pass laws and write themselves out of them. Our senators have written themselves beyond their own healthcare bill, isn\'t that nice. You want healthcare? How about equality? How about we argue about all being treated equal. I don\'t want a communist state, nor do I think this healthcare bill is even remotely a step in that direction. I do want human life to have some kind of value again, and I\'m not fucking talking dollar signs. Governments are there to govern the wild masses, they aren\'t there to help us, they are there to make sure we don\'t kill each other. Corporations are there to make money. If they found that letting us die would make them more money, then they would let us die, and they have been in the healthcare business. No one is going to help us it seems sometimes.

I wish I had a god, because right around now I would be filling up his complaint box. But even in classical religion, there is no equality. Bottom line, some people are just worth more than others. Who would you kill for the sake of your loved one\'s health? How many would you let die to save them? We assert value on a personal scale. Governments decide value on their own scale. Corporations want money. Taking all this into account, what system could you possible devise that would provide healthcare with any level of equality and value for human life. We\'re all smart people, I\'ve seen your comments, I know, what would be the best possible system? I would love to leave this dark place sooner rathe than later.

FeeFee
almost nine years ago

I appreciate your concern Joe, I really do. But, I welcome debate, and being a right winger in a left wing state, I\'m used to being challenged on a regular basis. My only issue is that I don\'t want to blow up the Ozone website with my nonsense. I also have never understood why people can\'t have an honest debate and be civilized afterwards. I have found myself at odds with people after a heated conversation, and I\'ve never understood why it has to be that way. I often refer to myself as a recovering liberal, but, I digress.

I have to say once again, that it\'s not a healthcare debate. It\'s a health insurance debate.

I am in no way shape or form trying to trivialize the tremendous loss of Joe\'s father. I only got the opportunity to meet him once, and I feel privileged to have done so. That being said, I\'ll continue...

To my understanding, when a government with a socialized health insurance program deems something too costly to repair, they let the person go. I have heard that in Canada, if someone has a rare form of cancer, such as stomach cancer, they get no treatment. Only because it costs too much. I don\'t know about the rest of you, but I will not accept living in a country that is willing to let people die based on cost. This has to do with the so called \"death panels\" and \"end of life counseling.\" I have recently been supporting a fund towards a friend of a friend that just got a dual lung transplant. I don\'t know if a socialized health insurance plan would cover a little procedure like replacing someone\'s lungs. I don\'t really care enough to know what a procedure like that costs. I know that I\'ll continue to donate to that cause, and he\'s alive to pay it off.

Not everything should be free market, especially when we let companies become monopolies. I know that my PG&E bill isn\'t getting any lower. Especially since I resist the swirly bulb.

Something needed to be done, but a government takeover isn\'t the answer. I don\'t have the answer to the health insurance problem, but I\'m pretty sure this isn\'t it. I thought that liberals are generally distrusting of the government? I don\'t trust the government because I don\'t see anything they\'ve done as being efficient. Whether it\'s the postal service, DMV, or CALTRANS, there\'s not one government agency that runs well, and would survive in the private sector.

It\'s not about one extreme or the other, it\'s about maintaining balance.

I have been paying attention to the people on my ballot. And, unfortunately, there\'s no one that I would vote for. I feel like I\'m voting against people all of the time. I voted against Bush (I voted against Kerry as well). I voted against Obama, but I wasn\'t necessarily voting FOR McCain.

There were a lot of charges leveled here, and in the spirit of not blowing up the Ozone website, I think I\'ll quit.

Dave (UK)
almost nine years ago

I have no dog in this hunt but my State operates socialised medicine. We have two NGOs, the National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (yes, NICE. Cute huh?); and the King\'s Fund. Nice effectively sets the agenda, it tells the National Health Service what treatments it can and can\'t afford. So yes, life does have a costing, and a ROI. The King\'s Fund is supposed to be the balance. In reality they are two wings of the same bird. Both QUANGOs and both taking money away from where it\'s really needed. I\'m still not convinced that your impending system is going to be based on the likes of Canada, or indeed ours. I suspect it will be a line of worst fit in order to please no-one (that\'s often how politics works).

Joe
almost nine years ago

Well Fee Fee, I welcome all attempts to blow up this site, as I\'d rather be crushed by the weight of ideas than suffocate in the vacuum of apathy.

Again, we do tend to agree in certain ways, and I in no way interpret a differing opinion as a reflection on the death of my father.

I do feel that any discussion of health care, at least in this country, also must become a discussion of health insurance. The two are so wrapped together that to look at one is to examine the other as well.

I have no doubt that a socialized health system will have faults, as no system created by human hands will ever work for everyone all of the time. Ironically, though, I have read of examples very similar to the Canadian example happening in this country. People with aggressive cancers or diseases hit their payment caps or don\'t respond to conventional treatments and suddenly they find themselves out of options. As for the \'death panels\' and \'end-of-life counseling\', those discussions actually did happen with my father and the rest of the family. My father was adamant that if things went badly, he didn\'t want to die in a hospital like his mother did. Unfortunately, that\'s what ended up happening because he went downhill so quickly, but I believe we do need to be realistic on when the care provided is an unnecessary effort. Certainly it\'s a touchy subject, as some people believe we should do everything possible to extend life, others think that at a certain point quality of life becomes a factor. There\'s no way to uniformly define that, though, so I doubt there will ever be an answer to that problem.

As for trusting government, I certainly don\'t without oversight. With the (now sadly lacking) diligence of the American voter, however, I think there are times where the government is needed. Should this involvement be tempered with the private sector contributing where it makes sense? Absolutely. This is one of the areas where I\'ve changed how I think recently, specifically in terms of NASA. In one of our shows I was definitely in favor of NASA being government only, but after reading a number of articles including some sent by listeners it does seem like the future of space needs as much private involvement as federal. Health care should be no different, and I think this is what we\'re seeing. The private sector couldn\'t make it work on its own, so now the federal arm needs to take a shot at getting this thing right. If they screw it up, I have no doubt that the votes will reflect it. I don\'t equate distrust of government with absolute refusal to let them try anything, I think that\'s a dangerous mindset for anything. I\'ll be the first to side with you on the DMV and other crappy federal agencies, but is it really fair or true to say they\'re all that bad? I suspect we never hear from those agencies that do their jobs well, just like any big outfit. And they\'re likely smaller parts of the Big G, and thereby passing under the big lobbyist radar.

Before I ramble on too long (too late!), to me there\'s a grave danger in letting anything sit under complete control of either the private sector or the government. Both have demonstrated time and again that they cannot be trusted to do good for the people on their own. As in everything on this planet, a balance must be found. I think these health exchanges may end up being a great idea, and if not then we\'ll need to do something better. Inaction is as bad as moving too quickly, as we\'ve seen too often how those in power are happy to sit around, soak us dry and move the problem to the next guy voted in.

I know I don\'t speak for all, and there\'s a 50/50 chance I\'ve got this thing dead wrong. If so, I\'ll be the first to cop to it and so should the architects of this new bill. More importantly, so should the voters. It is in our interests to punish bad governing. To your comment on voting against people rather than for them, that is still a valid exercise of your voting rights. No need to feel bad about it, if you have two lousy choices at least do what you can to ditch the one you consider worse. In our perpetually 2 party system, it\'s the best we can do so far.

And don\'t resist the swirly bulb, it\'s like glowing spaghetti!

Big Dave (OZ)
almost nine years ago

So, here we are again.

Firstly, Joe, when my Nan (grandmother) passed away a few years ago, she\'d had her cancer for 3 years, 2 and a half of which she had endured in silence, making her doctor promise not to tell the rest of the family, and also not seeking any treatment, cost was not an issue as we have a socialized medical system, and all treatment would have been free. The reason for the silence, she wished to go silently, with no extended grieving, or enduring pain. She hoped the lack of treatment would result in a fast end. Apparently this a quite common happening in the older generations.

Fee Fee, My Nan was 87, at the time she told us about the cancer, she was told that the cancer was terminal, it would kill her, she was still offered extensive treatments to help with quality of life. These included several months of chemotherapy, and then radiation therapy, but she was terminal, and there was never any question of cost, they just treated her as they would any cancer patient. All we had to do was get her to the treatments.

While what you say about some government run bodies never being able to compete in the private sector may be true, you fail to grasp the fact that not everything should be run like a business. The answer is in the title sometimes, US Postal Service, the service part is the giveaway. There are certain things that should never be run as a business, Police, Ambulance, Fire Fighters, Hospitals, Armed Forces to name a few. Any time that someones life is involved, money shouldn\'t come into it, at all. People shouldn\'t be bankrupted trying to keep themselves or their loved ones, or indeed their friends alive. How must your friend feel, having to beg for money to pay for an operation that should be free, as it is, else where.

Sorry if I\'ve come down hard, but it is exasperating. Our system is far from perfect, but it leaves yours for \"dead\".