tchgtr

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2011, 03:02:19 PM »
Thank you  D Enfer. I wish more European voices had been heard during the debate we had while the bill was being drafted.
I know German musicians with meager means who have had triple bypasses, and are doing just fine. If I need one (history of heart trouble in my family), I am at the end of my finances, and will have to consider the Final Option. There's your death panel...
In the US, only the wealthy get what they need, especially now. Our health care itself is good, but only available to a select crowd, and even people who have paid into a program for years can get screwed on technicalities. I've seen it happen to relatives and friends too many times. Look at Roger's case.
Socialism just means that people are taken care of, except in the US, where it translates as 'godless communism'.
In the US, the rights of companies profits are more important than the rights of citizens health...or factual information, for that matter.
Many people outside the US have a better idea of what goes on here than our own citizens.
Resistance is not futile. It is voltage divided by current.  (thanks, Bill)


JohnRoberts

healthcare costs
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2011, 03:50:42 PM »
I don't expect, all you folks to chip in and pay for me, when I go into decline...
Our system here is based exactly on this paradigm. The young pay for the old.
Centuries ago, the old were taken care of by their youngs, but now, the family ties have shattered and we tried to replace them with a social system. It's hard to make it work when there's unemployment, recession and demographic deficit, but there is no reason why it shouldn't continue to work - may need some adjustment, yes, but if we believe there will still be working people in the next years and centuries, it should work. 
The extended family model has mostly been broken by the shift from agrarian society to manufacturing, with the portability of households. In addition the diminishing replacement rate in western nations, like France's 1.88 vs. 2.1 that is considered break even, means we're producing less children to support this Ponzi scheme in our dotage. (not unlike Soc security, Medicare, etc). 
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   I plan to die when I run out of money.
Then the consequences are you are ready to commit suicide if you go bankrupt, and billionaires should never die!
If I go bankrupt, this doesn't mean I don't have any earning power. However if I can't afford the next experimental cancer regimen, I will forgo the brief life extension. (I know this is easier to say than do, trust me). 

More likely for many medical procedures I could hop a plane to India for surgery at a fraction of the US cost, if that is what I need....  or buy a six pack, and go out with a smile.
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It is the natural order.
I don't think there's any "natural" connection between money and life/death. There is one between money and health, though. 
There is a connection between good genes and good heath, and good judgement (behavior) and good health.

Money can mitigate some bad behavior but not all. I have already buried one younger sister ( a smoker) who worked for an insurance company so had excellent coverage. I have another older brother (also a smoker), with enough coverage to beat back cancer once, but last I heard it had returned. I don't smoke, and don't believe that alone will protect me from that end, but so far it has kept it away from my door... and I have outlived my father (another smoker who died of cancer). I see a trend? 

I believe strongly in personal responsibility, for our behavior, and don't feel I should pay for others who act irresponsibly. Maybe put a huge tax on cigarettes and use that to help pay for sick smoker's health care. Or maybe just tell them that it can kill them early.. oop's we already do that.
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IMO the answer is not to turn healthcare into another bloated post office-like operation, but release the free market spirit that helped build this country.
I agree that bureaucrats leave a lot to be desired, but when it's understood that their primary concern is their own comfort, and secondary is the service they owe to the public, the performance/cost ratio is definitely much better than that of corporations, where the primary concern is maximising the actionnaires dividends, at the expense of the service to the customer.
An instructive unintended consequence of the legislated insurance payout ratio, is that low end insurance plans for many low wage workers would have to be dropped, leaving these employees with no insurance. The Administration has punted on this giving out variances to some 500-1000 insurance plans, many to friends of the administration, but just more evidence of flawed legislation.
-------
I don't think you understand the version of free market business I desire. Not the current broken, one payer insurance company model where they hold all the cards, so don't have to compete, but a true free market, where the customers get involved in the decision making and cost management.

If a medical clinic offers poor service, long waits, and high cost, they lose all the customers to one that provides better service. Now we don't have any alternative. Major drug store chains have been blocked from providing low cost clinic services by the medical establishment cartel, that likes their current high prices and freedom from competition.

Healthcare is roughly 1/6 of our GDP. That is a huge amount of money. If the game wasn't rigged and we released competitive forces, we'd be able to buy cost effective healthcare in Walmart super stores, instead of having government bureaucrats deciding how many months we have to wait for a MRI, hoping we'll die before we come around in the queue.
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Private insurance companies spend more money on their litigations related to denying coverage than on the actual cost of damages.
There are many distortions in the current system that gives the big insurance companies advantages. The tort reform that was left out of the Health care bill as passed, now has a chance of once again seeing the light of day. Screw the lawyers too... (who do you think wrote that bill?)
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The EU extols the virtues of competition in order to benefit the end user. The results we see are that prices of electricity and gas are escalating while these new companies that didn't exist 3 years ago are serving huge dividends to their shareholders.

Huh?   I just saw part of a speech made by Sarkozy at Davos last week and he is talking the right talk. There are still many structural problems in youth unemployment in france, but I can't protest too loudly with our 9+%.

Over the last few years I have looked a lot at other countries heath care systems, and France has done better than many with excellent pre natal care contributing to above average healthy births. The French system, last numbers I saw was suffering from huge deficits, and was already consolidating facilities and cutting back services a couple years ago. I doubt the budget situation has improved since then.

======

I have nothing against providing a safety net for indigent patients, which we already did with emergency room access, but that is incredibly expensive and inefficient. We need to return rationality and personal accountability to health care. We can do better than we were, and surely better than this train wreck legislation.

Of course opinions vary.

JR

PS I have also studied Germany's system which has an interesting mix of private and public providers, but all of these systems are struggling with the same demographic trends I outlined earlier. Germany has a somewhat stronger economy because of their trade surplus, and relatively cheap Euro (thanks to the other EU members budget problems), but even they are struggling with costs.
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

living sounds

Re: healthcare costs
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2011, 05:00:23 PM »
PS I have also studied Germany's system which has an interesting mix of private and public providers, but all of these systems are struggling with the same demographic trends I outlined earlier. Germany has a somewhat stronger economy because of their trade surplus, and relatively cheap Euro (thanks to the other EU members budget problems), but even they are struggling with costs.


Germany is inevitably drifting towards a single payer system. The Ponzi scheme here is in the private system, they're in such a bad shape that they're the ones calling for government regulation now, forcing the neoliberal party into an even worse situation since they now have conflicting interests of some of their main constitutencies (doctors, pharmacies, private insurance).

The whole market liberal side fights tooth and nail to prevent common sense cost control measures and stop the rampant abuse, but they are set to loose a lot of elections and then a chance to change the system for the better will appear.

Of course, its all nowhere near as bad as the US system, and nobody is denied care.

I don't think the system is long-term unsustainable if a) the abuse with all the pseudo innovations, unnesseary testing and (often legalized) fraud is stopped and b) scientific progress is taken into account. Right now pharmaceutical companies spend far too much recources on things that make them money but don't really help anyone, a lot of cancer medication is an unfortunate part of that.

Kingston

Re: healthcare costs
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2011, 05:29:28 PM »
Huh?   I just saw part of a speech made by Sarkozy at Davos last week and he is talking the right talk. There are still many structural problems in youth unemployment in france, but I can't protest too loudly with our 9+%.

Hey at least it's not 19-22% like it has been swinging in Finland and Sweden as of late. Not much to brag about with the very high standard of education where there's that percentage to graduate directly to unemployment. With the current trends it means they have to live 5 years as forced freeloaders of the system benefits. First life sucks, then they get too comfortable not working and getting decent standard of living for free anyway. Then they have kids who know of no other type of life either. We are already seeing the first serious side effects this has on just about everything.

PS. Sorry, waaaay off topic.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 05:36:47 PM by Kingston »

abbey road d enfer

Re: healthcare costs
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2011, 07:00:27 PM »
I believe strongly in personal responsibility, for our behavior, and don't feel I should pay for others who act irresponsibly.
Basically you are just questioning the essence of "mutualité".  We know there's a number of profiteers but we consider it's not a good reason to dismiss the whole concept. The losses generated by profiteers are estimated at less than 5%. This is much cheaper than the loss a private system would generate.
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I don't think you understand the version of free market business I desire. Not the current broken, one payer insurance company model where they hold all the cards, so don't have to compete, but a true free market, where the customers get involved in the decision making and cost management.
That would be extremely radical in the US, wouldn't it? Here, most of the insurance companies are getting ready for the day Sarkozy announces that he allows privatised National Health. None of them are really considering such a system as the one you desire.
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If a medical clinic offers poor service, long waits, and high cost, they lose all the customers to one that provides better service.
That is exactly why I think competition is not the warrant of better customer service.
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I just saw part of a speech made by Sarkozy at Davos last week and he is talking the right talk.
Yes he does. But he doesn't walk the right walk. He does the contrary of what he says. He owes too much to his "friends" Dassault, Bolloré, Bouygues, Lagardère,... who got him elected. Sarkozy is our Bush, our cross to bear.
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Over the last few years I have looked a lot at other countries heath care systems, and France has done better than many with excellent pre natal care contributing to above average healthy births. The French system, last numbers I saw was suffering from huge deficits, and was already consolidating facilities and cutting back services a couple years ago. I doubt the budget situation has improved since then.
I agree, and the causes are more the things you mentioned earlier as the cost of extreme treatments. BTW, statistically, 50% of the medical costs of a patient pertain to the last 28 days of his life. If it was possible to convince people that they don't need to live the last month of their life, which not worth living anyway, the deficit would be history.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 03:24:58 AM by abbey road d enfer »
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

eskimo

Re: healthcare costs
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2011, 09:42:05 PM »
Hey at least it's not 19-22% like it has been swinging in Finland and Sweden as of late.

Officially it's 8%, are you hinting at the real unemployment numbers? ;)

abbey road d enfer

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2011, 06:49:35 AM »
Thank you  D Enfer. I wish more European voices had been heard during the debate we had while the bill was being drafted.
Most of the time I try to stay away from these discussions because I don't want to give lectures - especially being originally French. Sometimes I try to explain how the French system is, but I don't claim it's the best, because it has so many obvious flaws. Winston Churchill used to say "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." You could say the same of the french health system.
Still, I reckon I can explain or describe how some of the things we do have some kind of value.
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Many people outside the US have a better idea of what goes on here than our own citizens.
It's true europeans are far more aware of the existence of other countries than most Americans. Still there are not many Europeans who really know what living in America - or any other foreign country - is about. You don't know a country until you've lived there for years, worked there, have children there, be ill there and be drunk there.  ;)
I've been to the US about 100 times since 1982, but I was always a visitor; I can't claim to know really what it's like really living there.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

strangeandbouncy

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2011, 07:54:15 AM »
Hi Abbey,


   I love the idea of being originally French . . . . how did you change, and what are you now . . . . ;D ;D ;D



       Arf arf,


    ANdyP
. . . . RUH ROH . . . . .

Kingston

Re: healthcare costs
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2011, 08:09:33 AM »
Hey at least it's not 19-22% like it has been swinging in Finland and Sweden as of late.

Officially it's 8%, are you hinting at the real unemployment numbers? ;)

I meant youth unemployment. Yes, the whole demographic is "only" something like 8%. But for 18-25 year olds it's just awful. For Sweden it's slightly worse than Finland, but we'll catch up. We always do what Sweden does, mistakes included.

eskimo

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2011, 08:53:04 AM »
Ah, sorry, missed the youth part. But on the other hand, if you count all the ones in "finding work 101" or "forklift for academics"-classes, the number would be higher. ;)


JohnRoberts

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2011, 10:03:55 AM »
I made the distinction "youth" unemployment since that is an unintended consequence of governments making it harder to fire workers. Because of this, employers are reluctant to hire new workers unless the future is very certain, and looks prosperous. Another factor is high minimum wages which make inexperienced workers more of a gamble.

The world economies are still soft, recovering from the collapse of the credit bubble, and governments around the world are demonstrating the limitations of central planning to fix everything. I just hope we don't replace the last bubble with other new ones.

It is a fair argument to make, that all the central bank easing by developed nations, to bail out weakened financial institutions is indirectly contributing to food inflation that is causing so much stress in poor nations. Making ethanol from corn seems likewise a bad trade as it puts upward pressure on food prices. At least Brazil makes ethanol from sugar, while at the moment even sugar prices are getting funny with the weather and recent conditions in Oz. (sorry about the veer) 
====

If being drunk in a foreign country gives us any insights, I have done research in multiple countries.  8)

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2011, 12:43:37 PM »
I made the distinction "youth" unemployment since that is an unintended consequence of governments making it harder to fire workers. Because of this, employers are reluctant to hire new workers unless the future is very certain, and looks prosperous. Another factor is high minimum wages which make inexperienced workers more of a gamble.
Have things changed that much in the US, or are you considering european countries? It seemed to me not so long ago workers could be hired for $8 an hour and being disposable with hardly a notice. That was in Indiana 2002.
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It is a fair argument to make, that all the central bank easing by developed nations, to bail out weakened financial institutions is indirectly contributing to food inflation that is causing so much stress in poor nations.
My understanding was that bankers being under surveillance, they had to steer away from their past territories and have found that the food market was almost untouched.
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Making ethanol from corn seems likewise a bad trade as it puts upward pressure on food prices.
True. The purchasing power of the automobile conglomerate is stronger than that of the hungry.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

JohnRoberts

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2011, 01:25:32 PM »
I made the distinction "youth" unemployment since that is an unintended consequence of governments making it harder to fire workers. Because of this, employers are reluctant to hire new workers unless the future is very certain, and looks prosperous. Another factor is high minimum wages which make inexperienced workers more of a gamble.
Have things changed that much in the US, or are you considering european countries? It seemed to me not so long ago workers could be hired for $8 an hour and being disposable with hardly a notice. That was in Indiana 2002.
I don't mean to make this about Europe, but the visuals of disenfranchised youth burning cars in Paris suburbs, is what makes it onto mainstream TV over here. Of course there are groups of people all around who live (and even travel) to stir it up, whenever cameras are rolling. (I suspect it was too cold to party in the streets of Davos, if they could get close to anything.)

There is constant discussion here about raising minimum wages and increasing collective bargaining influence for workers. Opinions vary but the current administration is very supportive of this direction, at least prior to the recent drubbing in mid-term elections, as our center-right nation makes it's opinion's heard.
 
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It is a fair argument to make, that all the central bank easing by developed nations, to bail out weakened financial institutions is indirectly contributing to food inflation that is causing so much stress in poor nations.
My understanding was that bankers being under surveillance, they had to steer away from their past territories and have found that the food market was almost untouched.
I wouldn't confuse incompetence for evil intent and/or conspiracy. The credit bubble was driven by greed and mostly ignorance, as nobody drives their own car over a cliff on purpose.  The government bailouts, instead of fixing the too big to fail problem, leaves us with even larger institutions that are even more messy to ever consider taking down. 
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Exapnding the money supply will increase the cost of hard goods (like energy and food). Displacing food to make energy, has to increase upward price pressure on food. Corn is a common food stock for humans and livestock. 
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Making ethanol from corn seems likewise a bad trade as it puts upward pressure on food prices.
True. The purchasing power of the automobile conglomerate is stronger than that of the hungry.

The car makers have not exactly been operating from a position of strength. In fact the recent bail out is as much a bailout for the unions as the failed car companies. Simply allowing the car companies to fail, would not have broken the industry, just weeded out the dead wood and weak sisters, leaving behind a stronger more vital industry.

The ethanol boondoggle is a classic case of government thinking they are smarter than the people, and that they can fix things with central planning..  I don't mind using ethanol as an oxygenate in place of MTBE, but expanding the fraction of it, to displace fossil fuel is poor economics, especially when you put a duty on imported (sugar based) ethanol, and subsidize farmers here. This is just more good old boy, farm state political largess. While the US does not have a corner on farm subsidies, or bad policy.

Again I apologize for the veer.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2011, 02:17:26 PM »
Hi Abbey,


   I love the idea of being originally French . . . . how did you change, and what are you now . . . . ;D ;D ;D



       Arf arf,


    ANdyP
I didn't really change, Sarkozy somehow made me feel an alien. I live in Marcelland now, an infinite territory.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2011, 02:20:55 PM »
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Quote
Making ethanol from corn seems likewise a bad trade as it puts upward pressure on food prices.
True. The purchasing power of the automobile conglomerate is stronger than that of the hungry.

The car makers have not exactly been operating from a position of strength. In fact the recent bail out is as much a bailout for the unions as the failed car companies. Simply allowing the car companies to fail, would not have broken the industry, just weeded out the dead wood and weak sisters, leaving behind a stronger more vital industry.
I haven't made myself clear. What I meant is the purchasing power of gas buyers is much stronger than that of those who use carbohydrates to fill their stomach.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

ethervalve

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2011, 04:26:34 PM »
Winston Churchill used to say "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." You could say the same of the french health system.
I concur.

Biasrocks

Re: health care costs
« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2011, 04:57:44 PM »
Proud Canadian here.

Yes wait times are long in some cases, especially for higher risk surgical procedures.

Here in Ontario, the government will pay for you to cross the border to receive care if
it's a better, more timely option. Not bad in my estimation.

I'm glad I'll never be refused the excellent medical care available here because I don't
have insurance or the money to pay for it, let alone being denied medical care recommended
by my doctor because the insurance company refuses it. Or God forbid have to sell everything,
including my house to pay for medical care. I've heard many stories of folks receiving $100K,
$200K, $300K and up bills from hospitals in the US.

Say what you want about Canada, but I'll not be moving away anytime soon.

Mark
« Last Edit: February 04, 2011, 08:53:11 PM by Biasrocks »
http://SharktankPro.com

"I'd rather use an SPX90 than a UA plugin....." Joe Barresi

okgb

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2011, 07:18:15 PM »
Likewise , Happy to be here

Somewhat follows the adage , the less you use
the better it works
Learn to take care of yourself and don't go to the doctor
for a cold .
GKB Audio / Greg Boboski

Jonkan

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2011, 09:13:21 PM »
It saddens me to hear about the situation in for instance American healthcare.

Here in sweden we pay at the most about 100$ per year for healthcare, and about 200$ for medication. Everything over that the government covers. Doesnt matter how sick you get, you always get the best possible medical treatment you can get for this money.

If we dont need healthcare or medication one year, we dont pay anything at all.

In my opinion it should be the same everywhere. Good healthcare should not be only for people who have money, that is just awful.

/J

barclaycon

Re: Roger Nichols
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2011, 10:36:37 AM »
Any update on how Roger Nichols is doing ?

Makes you question how civilised a society is where illness condemns you to poverty.


 

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