Author Topic: The Public Option  (Read 7883 times)

Mark Mushet

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2009, 04:31:44 PM »
Likewise, you can buy an inkjet printer that prints beautiful photo-quality prints -- something that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago -- for under $100, but the thing is made of cheap plastic and certainly won't last 5 years.  It's essentially disposable, like a Bic lighter of years past was not worth refilling.

...hence the *true* cost is not included (ie. waste, transportation, environment etc.)

But sure, you can get a desktop editing suite and many other things for cheap that are great. I love Macs! But overall? I'd say the proliferation of garbage wins.

mgriffin

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2009, 04:32:57 PM »
I'm not sure the proliforation of shitty products doesn't mean the overall quality of products goes down, or that prices stay the same. Also it is the people, too, who are free to reject a product and not buy it, if they are not willing to live with the quality. 

I just bought a hacksaw at my local hardware store. I had the "choice" between:

1. shitty
2. slightly less shitty
3. almost passable for occasional use
4. OK but still with obvious design flaw

All made in China. The owner (Chinese Canadian it so happens, and a big believer in locally made, locally sourced products) said it's often hard to stock better quality items. So it's about choice. Often we can't even *choose* to reject bad quality.

Actually, in support of Judd's point, the reason nobody makes a decent hacksaw any more is that you can buy an electric saw or a Dremel tool that can not only cut through a piece of metal, but can do about a million other practical things, for not much money.  It doesn't pay for toolmakers to try to build a kick-ass hacksaw any longer.  I don't even own a hacksaw, but I have at least two tools that would do any job a hacksaw could do, and none of my tools are expensive.

Once a dramatically superior alternative comes along, innovation dries up in the old product.  There are no companies devoting research and development time or money to things like mousetraps, video tapes, film cameras, audiocassette players, or hacksaws.
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Mark Mushet

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2009, 04:37:21 PM »
So if the government is going to step in and "force insurance companies to be competetive", by making them less risk averse, though they are "by nature risk averse,", then how will they continue to exist?

Sorry. I missed this. I don't have enough knowledge of Obama's proposal to deal with private firms to comment. We have a different approach that, though not perfect, is pretty great. Mind you, today I read of some local lawsuits over some soured partnership in a private clinic scheme. More time/money wasted among the vultures as far as I can tell. As for profits in healthcare, if they weren't there to be shovelled in truckloads there wouldn't be such a concerted and vicious campaign against the public option.

mgriffin

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2009, 04:38:16 PM »
Well, we're getting off topic.

Back on topic.... here's a review of a book, One Injury, 10 Countries: A Journey in Health Care, in which the author described how his recurring health problem, an injured shoulder, was addressed and treated in a number of different medical establishments throughout the world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/15/health/15book.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

Most Americans have a totally distorted sense of what health care in other countries is like, as well as a fear of the role of government in dispensing or funding health care that seems bizarre given that the government is already involved in Medicare, Medicaid, veterans' benefits, and so on.
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Mark Mushet

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2009, 04:46:33 PM »
Actually, in support of Judd's point, the reason nobody makes a decent hacksaw any more is that you can buy an electric saw or a Dremel tool that can not only cut through a piece of metal, but can do about a million other practical things, for not much money.  It doesn't pay for toolmakers to try to build a kick-ass hacksaw any longer.  I don't even own a hacksaw, but I have at least two tools that would do any job a hacksaw could do, and none of my tools are expensive.

Once a dramatically superior alternative comes along, innovation dries up in the old product.  There are no companies devoting research and development time or money to things like mousetraps, video tapes, film cameras, audiocassette players, or hacksaws.

I won't get into an argument over digital vs. film (other than to say that yet again this week the film beat the digital on three fronts!) but just because we have nail guns doesn't mean we stop producing quality hammers. I don't need a Dremel. It doesn't cost anything to provide quality in a hacksaw. It's called "cutting corners" and its rife. As a society we are fixated on being fast, cheap...and out of control!

I'm sure this relates to healthcare somehow! ;)

mgriffin

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2009, 04:49:02 PM »
Well remember Mark, I did say you're both right.  Products are moving away from solidly-built, narrowly focused items, into do-everything pieces of plastic.

I think it's great to have lots of futuristic capabilities, high definition TV and photo-quality printing and high-speed internet, but I do wish consumer products were solid, and not disposable.
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judd stephens

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2009, 09:26:34 PM »
Hey Mark, I wonder what you think of this news segment here: 


It's 20/20's John Stossel on a series he did called "Sick in America".  He makes the case many times that profit drives innovation in American healthcare, but what do you make of the part about the Canadian system?


Mark Mushet

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2009, 11:37:18 PM »
Hey Mark, I wonder what you think of this news segment here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MWBX7v_Xk4

It's 20/20's John Stossel on a series he did called "Sick in America".  He makes the case many times that profit drives innovation in American healthcare, but what do you make of the part about the Canadian system?


What you have there is the worst kind of slanted journalism pitched to morons by a personality trained to come off like he's speaking to 5 year olds.

Sure. There are problems with healthcare here as anywhere. It's nice that rich Arabs go to the US when they get cancer. Too bad for the poor though. And it's nice that innovation happens there (as it does elsewhere, including Canada). And sure, its tough getting doctors into run down rural areas (I can name many towns in Washington that don't even have one). The Natasha Richardson example does not fit their point because it, like several other "examples", ignores mitigating facts. This is not serious journalism. Really. It's garbage.

I know several doctors (all who live very well and love their jobs), I've worked for Cdn pharma cos. who've developed leading heart and eye drugs (for tidy profits thank you very much) and I live near UBC, VGH and St. Pauls. I've got a great doctor within walking distance who sees me same day for minor stuff. Once I even did an unexpected drop in. I could go on about my experiences but this shitheel, Stossel wouldn't want me on his little dog and pony show because I'd take that "Good GOLLY I've got a boner for profit!" edge off his presentation. Fuck him. He's a lackey.

I'm tired of mainstream US "journalists" no doubt in the pay of special interests (follow the money) trying to portray Canada as East Germany circa 1965. If you want to learn about the cases of the mum who was flown to Montana or the Richardson case or any of the others, please look up Canadian news sources where you will find not only criticism but some real facts and journalistic integrity.

Sorry Judd, it's not personal. It's a cumulative anger I feel at how I've seen Canada portrayed down there by ideologues and idiots.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 12:11:06 AM by Mark Mushet »

mgriffin

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2009, 06:27:35 AM »
I won't have a chance to watch Judd's linked clip until later, but my opinion of John Stossel is that he's never been one to let the facts get in the way of a shot at saying something controversial.
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Mark Mushet

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2009, 07:32:14 AM »
I won't have a chance to watch Judd's linked clip until later, but my opinion of John Stossel is that he's never been one to let the facts get in the way of a shot at saying something controversial.

It's extremely irresponsible anti-journalism that pollutes the debate (or rather, ensures one doesn't begin) Who owns him and his show?

BTW this week I'm doing portraits of cancer survivors and a former CEO of one of the afore-mentioned pharma cos. for a national magazine. I'll be sure to quiz them on their views of our healthcare system. Then Stossel can ignore whatever positive opinions are offered.

Oh, and a family member did have a bad experience having to wait for surgery. He ended up going to Germany for cutting edge work...and it was cheap and he even benefitted from their medicare system.

Anyway, this subject will drain too much energy. I wish all those struggling against the lobbyists-as-journalists, disinformation campaigns and town hall lynch mobs well.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 07:36:00 AM by Mark Mushet »

Mark Mushet

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2009, 03:41:20 PM »
Quick follow-up: just asked a subject whose story includes extentive leukemia treatment in Canada about her experience: all positive. She's furious with the US coverage of our system but does note that Michael Moore's over-the-top praise undermined his credibility in Sicko.

judd stephens

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2009, 09:39:11 PM »
5. Americans in general are eating too many calories, too much sugar, not exercising enough, smoking too much, drinking too much alcohol, getting too fat, and these problems are becoming worse very quickly.  People with these problems have more health problems, both trivial and serious, and require more hospitalization, more surgery, more ambulance rides, and by a huge margin more prescription drugs, than ever before.

Solving this point alone will immeasurably aid the others...

And I'll bet getting rid of the agricultural subsidies would be a huge step in that direction.

Numina

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2009, 09:57:31 AM »
Here's an article in today's paper discussing how Colorado already has a public option - thank you to Governor Bill Ritter (D) signing this plan into law last year.  Otherwise I'd be screwed.

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_13541463

sraymar

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2009, 04:53:54 PM »
Here's an article in today's paper discussing how Colorado already has a public option - thank you to Governor Bill Ritter (D) signing this plan into law last year.  Otherwise I'd be screwed.

You'd be up a certain creek without a paddle here in California. Governor Terminator is clutching for all the bucks he can muster as we sink further into debt. However if you were an illegal immigrant you might be ok.

He refuses to tax oil companies for drilling off shore because he's in their back pocket.

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judd stephens

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2009, 08:32:44 PM »
I hope I can post a couple of funny segments-healthcare and debt are directly related, at least in my opinion, and it seems, in Sraymar's.  Speaking of being in debt, Economist Peter Schiff on the Daily Show, diagnosing America's problem. "The recession is the cure", he says, but we keep trying to reinflate a "phony bubble economy".  I've listened to this guy before.  He predicted the crash of last year, as you can see from the clip here, and he knows enough about the market and what works versus what doesn't.  His predictions for the future are equally dire, because in his opinion, we are still trying to create the things that got us here:  more spending, printing dollars, and easy credit.   
   
Why do we keep trying to stimulate the economy?  Perhaps it's politically incorrect to admit the party's over, and we need to stop delaying the hangover.  Schiff on the Daily Show:

http://jutiagroup.com/2009/07/23/peter-schiff-on-the-daily-show/

Speaking of political incorrectness, another funny clip:  Bill Maher called the public option a "blowjob to corporate America".  I wonder if he meant the Pharmaceutical company, who stands to gain millions of new customers with any kind of public insurance.  Healthcare should be about choice, not force.  No one should be penalized for not buying insurance.  It's ridiculous- we have to do better than this.  I much prefer a Ron Paul proposal of giving people their taxes back to pay for healthcare and having the seriously ill exempt from paying Social Security taxes.  Seriously, people, what if my version of healthcare is not covered by the public option?  Most naturopathic doctors don't accept health insurance.  And, if overuse of insurance is one of the things driving up the cost, how is more insurance going to fix it?  How do you stop people on a public option from overusing it, and where do you draw the line between overuse and rationing? 

Bill Maher (warning: very hilarious in parts)



I agree there's a lot of misinformation and exaggerations, but I would say right and left are equally to blame.  The wrongs of the right have been well expressed here, but being labeled Un-American or Racist to be opposed to the Public Option?  Talk about fear-mongering.  And if we didn't learn anything from the first 8 years of the decade, we're seeing a few leftist "Bill O'Reilly"-types emerging in the media.  This clip could almost be considered comedy- Peter Schiff being "interviewed" about his healthcare views by one such personality:   

Numina

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2009, 08:07:00 AM »
Personally, I don't care how it's done.  I have enough to worry about just paying my medical bills as it is. I need help (well, not this moment in life thankfully but I'm always teetering on the edge of 'whatamigonnado' paranoia thanks to the ridiculous costs in health care not to mention the denials!).

As for the government stepping in, well let me put it this way, the insurance companies sure as hell ain't gonna do anything to lower premiums or take on individuals with pre-existing conditions (as I mentioned I was turned down 3 times before I could get on my State's plan), employers (large or small) aren't going to pay much more for premium costs and most companies are already on the cheapest plan for them and they continue to pass the expenses on to the worker-bee anyway, I can't ask my family for money to cover my $8,000 medication, so where does that leave people in my shoes?  The Government is the only place people like me can turn to.  I had to.  What else was I going to do?  Is it the best choice for everyone?  For all the rich folks who own businesses and have to pay higher premiums for losers like me?  Well, probably not, but it's *my* only option.  Obama actually knows what's going on.  He's not pushing this through to have omniscient control over our lives.  He's seen firsthand, just like me, what dealing with corporate health insurance and having a health problem is like. I believe he's truly and sincerely compassionate for human beings.  If not, prove me wrong.

Once again, I personally know for a FACT of 4 people in my life who have had to divorce, go on welfare, lose EVERYTHING and then ultimately receive government assistance anyway - and my parents, my deep in love parents who celebrated their 26th anniversary last week may have to DIVORCE in order to keep their house, their transportation, and their only investments so my stepfather (who has colo-rectal cancer) can obtain, at a minimum, Medicaid.  These are not just a here and there case, it's a LOT of people and it's wrong.
J.
p.s. Judd - I sent you a message to your Hotmail account.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 08:09:17 AM by Numina »

judd stephens

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Re: The Public Option
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2009, 10:03:04 PM »
Jesse, I don't blame you one bit.  I'm sure if I had a chronic illness, I would exhaust every means possible to get it treated.  In fact I hope over the next few years the gov't severely cuts back on its size and spending, so we can help where needed, and without being taxed to death and insane inflation.  That's what it's all about to me, really- the debt.  Personally, I'd put my health more into the hands of someone with more of an anti-war stance.  I'd trust that person's fiscal responsibility over Obama's.... Kucinich and Paul for example:  both on different extremes of the spectrum with healthcare, but both anti-war, anti-special interest, and anti-Federal Reserve!