Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Private Health Insurance Increases 400% in Sweden To Avoid Long Waiting Lines and Inconsistent Care

From The Local: Sweden's News in English:

"While Sweden has long taken pride in its public healthcare system, lengthening queues and at times inconsistent care have prompted many Swedes to opt for private healthcare with many gaining the benefit through insurance policies offered by employers, currently responsible for 80% of healthcare insurance market.

The idea behind private health insurance is simple enough: those put off by the idea of heading to publicly funded clinics and hospitals can purchase a policy through an insurance company and instead enjoy speedy medical attention with private doctors.

As many as 500,000 Swedes are now estimated to be using private healthcare insurance, up from 100,000 only ten years ago.  And a flawed public system is often cited as the cause of the rapid expansion.

Long queues are one of the main complaints for consumers of Sweden's public healthcare services, with patients sometimes forced to wait as much as fifteen times longer for treatment compared to private options."

MP: Government-run health care always sounds so good in theory, but often fails to deliver in reality.  


119 Comments:

At 10/11/2011 8:57 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

good, fast, cheap.

if you are a private business, pick 2.

if you are a federal program, you'll be lucky to get 1.

of course, when you have private markets, different providers pick different tradeoffs, maximizing consumer choice.

you can go to mcdonalds or french laundry.

government monopolies leave you only one option.

 
At 10/11/2011 9:12 AM, Blogger geoih said...

How is government health care even good "in theory"? Maybe if you live in a world of fantasy and magic, but if you choose to live in reality, it's just a silly fantasy.

 
At 10/11/2011 9:14 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

What do you do about the millions that can't qualify for and/or afford private health insurance?

 
At 10/11/2011 9:23 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

everyone gets basic/floor coverage and those that want more can pay for more but having a system where many do not get even basic care is not cost effective - if your system will basically provide emergency/urgent care later on when their delayed/untreated problems get much worse.

the only way our system would make sense is in people who did not have insurance never got subsidized care later on. and just died early.

As long as we are going to have a system that provides care for people without insurance.. we ought to do it cost-effectively - like Sweden and other universal care countries do.

Our system is for dunderhead logic.

 
At 10/11/2011 9:23 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

rufus-

well, there are several options:

first off, you can do nothing. i used to have plenty of money to buy private insurance, i just didn't do it because it seemed like a bad deal to me.

somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the uninsured in the US make over $50k. there is no need to do anything at all about them.

if you want to help those too poor to pay for healthcare, for the rest, you provide cash grants in HSA form. it's a set amount of money, and they can spend it on care or insurance as they choose.

moving the whole system to cash pay (as in singapore) drives costs WAY down. providers start competing on price because the users care what it costs.

imagine what the costs of food stamps would be if every recipient got an amex black card and could buy whatever they wanted to eat. clearly, it would be obscene.

that's how we run medicare/aid.

that has to stop.

the government should, at most, provide cash, but never insurance, care systems, or care guarantees.

it sounds great in principle, but inevitably, you wind up with outlandishly overpriced substandard care or severe rationing.

 
At 10/11/2011 9:27 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" moving the whole system to cash pay (as in singapore) drives costs WAY down. providers start competing on price because the users care what it costs."

Singapore is a govt system Morg.

you know that.

the Govt sets the prices and provides subsidies for those who cannot afford it.

Are you advocating a system like Singapore for us?

 
At 10/11/2011 9:31 AM, Blogger Seth said...

Rufus II - If government had not intervened and distorted the health insurance and medical care markets there wouldn't be millions who couldn't afford it.

You might even get health insurance coverage as a prize in a cereal box.

That insurance would actually cover what insurance was meant to cover -- big stuff.

The routine stuff we'd pay out-of-pocket, just like we do for our cars.

Btw, we'd also probably take better care of our bodies, just like we do for our cars.

 
At 10/11/2011 10:09 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Here is a good explanation of the Singapore healthcare system.

"Singapore’s system requires individuals to take responsibility for their own health, and for much of their own spending on medical care. As the Health Ministry puts it, “Patients are expected to co-pay part of their medical expenses and to pay more when they demand a higher level of service. At the same time, government subsidies help to keep basic healthcare affordable.”

A cornerstone of the Singapore system is using funds saved in Medisave accounts of the Central Provident Fund (soverign wealth fund). Medisave account funds can be used to help with medical expenses of relatives. A looming problem is that of baby boomers exhausting their accounts to help pay their parents med bills.

 
At 10/11/2011 10:22 AM, Blogger hal said...

If you want lower healthcare costs, supply must increase. Economic growth is the best way to increase supply.
So our whole healthcare system needs to be decoupled from government interference and the doctor/medical school cartel.

Medical schools need to act like businesses, and grow to meet demand. So the number of doctors graduating each year can swell to a more appropriate amount, from 17k to 60k+
This will enable the majority of people to afford most care.

 
At 10/11/2011 10:24 AM, Blogger Frozen in the North said...

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

The discussion on the Sweedish model as a validation of the American "non" system is ridiculous. First off, the Swedish system of private health care provides mostly for non-emergency care, which is fine (and essential) think of a hip replacement (as an excellent example), but treatment for cancer or serious heart condition is still provided by the state. There is no waiting for these proceedures.

The Singapore system is excellent, and health care is inexpensive (you see a doctor without an appointment) but having one of my employee drain his entire savings (provident fund) to pay for an operation does set some important prioroties.

Finally, in Singapore taxes are low, but a heavy chunk of your income are automatically put as contribution to the central provident fund.

Hence the no free lunch at the top. There are cost and benefits to any system. What is unacceptable is a health care (America) system that absorbs 16% of the country's resources, almost twice as high as any other country, and finds a substantial portion of the population with no health coverage.

The status quo in America is a crime, because it doesn't do what it needs to do at a reasonable price.

BTW salaries for doctors in Singapore are a fraction of what they are in the U.S.

 
At 10/11/2011 11:08 AM, Blogger Moniker said...

"somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the uninsured in the US make over $50k. there is no need to do anything at all about them." -Morganovich

What about people with pre-existing conditions? You can't get affordable coverage if you've had cancer or any other major medical incident.

The irony is that those most in need of insurance can't afford it. Insurance for the young and healthy (as you point out) is not an issue.

 
At 10/11/2011 11:40 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

"singapore is a govt system Morg.

you know that.

the Govt sets the prices and provides subsidies for those who cannot afford it."

no larry.

that's not true at all, and you know it.

singapore forces you to save, sure, and i am not advocating that.

but you spend that cash in your HSA and providers set their own prices. there is no government price fixing.

once the money is in your account, it's all free market.

all i am proposing is that we go to cash pay.

you seem repeatedly incapable of understanding this.

if the feds are going to subsidize you, you get cash, not carte blance. you then spend it as you see fit.

your inability to grasp this simple concept can only be willful at this point.

you are just trying to obfuscate and complicate for some reason i do not understand.

 
At 10/11/2011 11:44 AM, Blogger Innovation rules said...

Sweden's population is about the size of Miami.

If they can't get it right, how can we? The most powerful British politician is the Minister of Health.

Good post Morganovich. And without comparative pricing (the user doesn't care) prices vary by hundreds of percent in a small geography.

Then there is the government meddling in health insurance, defining who can compete and what coverage they must offer.

Last, every country with socialized medicine has instituted tort reform.

So we have government control even while it doesn't reduce cost.

If we had a real market in health care, my guess is that the percentage of health care to GDP would halve, as would health insurance policies.

 
At 10/11/2011 11:47 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

moniker-

"What about people with pre-existing conditions? You can't get affordable coverage if you've had cancer or any other major medical incident.

The irony is that those most in need of insurance can't afford it. Insurance for the young and healthy (as you point out) is not an issue."

this is a preposterous issue if you stop and think about it.

crash your car, then go try and get insurance for it. burn your house down and see if you can get fire insurance that covers the blaze after the fact.

it's not insurance if the event already happened.

then it's a subsidy/giveaway.

what car insurer will sell you a $2000 policy that covers the $70,000 car you already crashed? that's absurd.

you can spend cash on care, you can buy insurance (and pay up) or you can pay cash, or you can get insurance with a waiver, but to demand to get to pay like you are healthy when you are not is ridiculous.

you are giving away dollars for 20 cents.

for whom does that makes sense?

the trick is not to link health insurance to your job or state of residence.

that way, you can keep the same insurance indefinitely and not run into these preexisting problems.

if you run uninsured and pick up a condition, well, that was a choice, you gambled and lost.

but if you keep insurance constantly, this issue will not affect you.

 
At 10/11/2011 12:04 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Silly?????

geoih said:

"How is government health care even good "in theory"? Maybe if you live in a world of fantasy and magic, but if you choose to live in reality, it's just a silly fantasy."

You crack me up!


Here's REALITY: the vast majority of industrialized countries have some form of universal healthcare EXCEPT ONE! (Care to guess?;) You'd think it the US system was so great....one, two or even maybe three of those countries would ditch their system and follow the US model. Gee I wonder why that don't happen????

Here's a silly fantasy: Professing to have a for profit, market based system when 50% of expenditures is paid by the goverment (VA, medicaid, medicare). Silly is running two different systems side by side and spending TWICE what the rest of G8 countries do for a product that is only available to some.

But hey, if it works for you...keep it up. You keep yours, the rest of us will keep ours...Ok?But I'll tell you what the rest of us will NOT do and that is trying to validate our system by constantly attacking yours....you guys got a lock on that behavior...and it gets old.

Why can't you have a discussion about your beloved system and how great it is without constantly slagging other peoples'??? Funny thing that.

 
At 10/11/2011 12:07 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: Singapore

Mandatory payroll taxes for the HSAs.

The govt controls prices.

The govt subsidizes those who cannot afford health care.

If we had Singapores system in this country - we'd have universal health care and have comparable health stats to Singapore.

The problem with our system is that we pretend to not pay for people without insurance - until they get sick then we'll pay via EMTALA, MedicAid and Medicare.

that's why we pay twice as much per capita as Singapore does but they rank 5th and we rank 30th.

 
At 10/11/2011 12:08 PM, Blogger Moniker said...

M-
It's not uncommon for people to lose coverage as a result of an illness. If you can't work, you can't cover your premiums. If you lose your job because of a major accident, you lose your employee benefits too.

Your assertion that insurance can be purchased by someone earning 50k is premised on the assumption of an uninterrupted stream of income. Not the case when you are severely injured or very sick.

 
At 10/11/2011 12:12 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

you keep deliberately misunderstanding me. there is no way you can not grasp what i am trying to say.

why? what is it you are trying to accomplish by being repetitively obtuse?

let me be VERY simple and very clear:

there should be NO us governmental health insurance.

all aid should come as cash grants to HSA's.

that money is then spent in a free market either for cash pay or for private insurance.

that's my plan.

it's incredibly simple.

why you insist on trying to make it complex is just beyond me.

 
At 10/11/2011 12:16 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

moniker-

"It's not uncommon for people to lose coverage as a result of an illness. If you can't work, you can't cover your premiums. If you lose your job because of a major accident, you lose your employee benefits too. "

i've already addressed this. health insurance should not be linked to jobs or limited by states. thus, it's portable. you never lose it if you lose a job.

if you become indigent, then you can qualify for cash transfers and use them to make payments.

thus, i don't really see your point.

 
At 10/11/2011 12:19 PM, Blogger Jon said...

The system in the US is by far the most expensive, roughly twice as expensive per capita as any other industrialized country in the world. Outcomes are THE WORST as measured by every measure I'm familiar with. WHO rankings, Commonwealth studies. Despite spending twice as much per capita we manage to leave 50 million with no coverage at all. Those with coverage think they are safe. Until they have a problem. Then the fine print bites them. Which is why half of all bankruptcy's are medical related, many if not most of whom actually had medical coverage and thought they were OK until they get destroyed by these profit seeking industries.

About a third of every dollar spent is overhead for insurance companies. CEO bonuses are through the roof. As are bankruptcy's. As is our deficit, which would be ENITRELY ELIMINATED WITH NO TAX INCREASES if we could switch to the kind of care the rest of the modern world enjoys.

But insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, and their related investors on Wall St have a lock on Washington. That's why you need to protest them, not your Congressman. They've bought your Congressman.

They also pay for Mark, which is why he's here to do their bidding. Wreck life for the 99% as the 1% laugh all the way to the bank.

 
At 10/11/2011 12:27 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

@Morg

I'm not making it complex. I'm pointing out how Singapore does health care and it's totally not what you want - yet you cite Singapore as a model.....

so I'm just trying to get you to fess up that you really do not support the Singapore model and in fact there is no existing model in the world that is like what you support.

correct?

 
At 10/11/2011 12:33 PM, Blogger Moniker said...

M-
Sorry, your point about "cash grants" was not well developed. So, government pays for the indigent to get some minimum level of funding in their HSA, enabling them to continue servicing their policy?

It still keeps government in the mix, but I understand that it is no longer the customer in that scenario.

 
At 10/11/2011 1:18 PM, Blogger Frozen in the North said...

To all Non-Americans

Stop arguing with the Yanks, they will never, ever get it! They have been brainwashed in thinking their's is the best system in the world --mainly because they watch Gray's Anatomy and House on TV.

It matters not that by all measures America's health care system fails its citizens, they've bought the story hook, line and sinker!

 
At 10/11/2011 1:23 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

"Outcomes are THE WORST as measured by every measure I'm familiar with. WHO rankings, Commonwealth studies."

Well, there's your problem right there. WHO and Commonwealth studies are a joke.

 
At 10/11/2011 1:28 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Wreck life for the 99% as the 1% laugh all the way to the bank."

Seriously, get a grip.

 
At 10/11/2011 2:20 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

and you continually distort singapore.

the whole system is cash pay. that's what we need to emulate, as i have told you many times before, i have no findness for its coercive aspects, just its market focus.

individuals decide what's worth it and pay themselves.

providers compete on quality and price.

you act like the system has price fixing. it doesn't.

there may be some very basic subsidy and pricing strictures on very basic stuff, like going to GP, but not on the things like chemo etc that really run up the bill.

but the key issue si you have X dollars, spend them on what you think is important. so long as we are running an all you can eat buffet, price control is impossible.

cash pay healthcare costs in the US go DOWN every year. this is what you would expect in a technology business. it's only the insured stuff that runs wild, because it is not subject to market forces like budgeting and price sensitivity.

i never said anything about emulating singapore's system. that's a straw man of your creation.

all i said was "moving the whole system to cash pay (as in singapore) drives costs WAY down."

i never said we need their system, i said that that sort of cash pay drives down costs and is a good idea.

you seem to be arguing with yourself here and inventing/mischaracterizing my position.

 
At 10/11/2011 2:24 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"It still keeps government in the mix, but I understand that it is no longer the customer in that scenario"

but it accomplishes the two key things needed to get our system under control.

1. it eliminates the all you can eat buffet which cannot possibly be budgeted for with set grants that can.

2. it introduces personal responsibility and choice into the system which will ensure better allocation of resources and drive prices way down as providers and consumers alike will start to compete/buy based on them.

if you are insured with a $500 deductible, you could care less that an MRI is available across town for $2000. you'll get the $5000 one right around the block.

if it was your money, you'd behave differently. you'd also forgo lots of marginal procedures whose benefits are not worth the cost because they would cost instead of being zero once you hit a deductible.

 
At 10/11/2011 2:29 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

@Morg -

the Singapore system is a govt run system with mandatory payroll taxes, price controls and subsidized health care.

The mandatory payroll tax goes into an HSA but it cannot be spent on anything but what the govt approves and even then the prices are set by the govt.

the ONLY thing about the Singapore plan that you really like is the Cash Pay part.

but there is no system in the world that works that way - i.e. no govt control..no payroll tax , etc...

you have selected on thing and there are no countries in the world that work that way...

so you are advocating a system of which there is no real world analog.

I'd sign on to the Singapore system including the HSAs because it clearly proves that it works.

you want to take only one part of it and are claiming that that one part is what makes it a better system.

it doesn't.

there are no countries that do that... cash-only -no other govt involvement.

All I'm trying to do here is to get you to admit that you do not want the Singapore system ...and that there are no other countries in the world that have the system you want (well there are - but they are all 3rd world with terrible life expectancy, etc).

 
At 10/11/2011 2:31 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Give me a better study, Paul.

 
At 10/11/2011 2:41 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

"the ONLY thing about the Singapore plan that you really like is the Cash Pay part."

which is why i said: "moving the whole system to cash pay (as in singapore) drives costs WAY down."

i never said i wanted the singapore system, nor said it was perfect or anything else.

all i said was that moving to such a cash pay system keeps costs down.

this is about the third time i have tried to make this clear to you and yet you insist on endlessly going on about the rest of the system and pretending that that is what i recommended.

nowhere did i say we should emulate signapore.

let the straw man go lar, it's getting repetitive and silly.

 
At 10/11/2011 2:48 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

@morg

then why mention the Singapore system at all?

there are cash-pay systems in the world that are very different than the Singapore system.

why not name those countries as the ones who most emulate what you favor?

no strawmen here...

I'm just asking why you even mention Singapore rather than the countries who are actually cash-pay that you support?

name those countries Morg....

 
At 10/11/2011 2:52 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

jon-

how about this:

the US dominates the EU on cancer survival. a man with cancer in the US is 45% more likely to survive. that's a MASSIVE difference.

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/08/5-yr-cancer-survival-rates-us-dominates.html

we also dominate on premature infant survival. the only reson the EU etc look good on infant mortality is that they cook the numbers by failing to include preemies entirely and and child that does not live 24 hours.

if the US, if you take a breath, you are in the stats. in the EU, if you are preemie, you are out entirely. if you die in the first 24 hours, you are out too.

it's a totally apples to oranges comparison.

the WHO deliberately ignores things like this. draw your own conclusions on their quality as a result.

 
At 10/11/2011 3:04 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

Any study that ranks Colombia and Costa Rica, for example, as having better medical care than the US... is a joke. Cuba is only 2 rungs down from the US. Absurd. Nobody other than the most devoted OWS weirdos believe that crap.

 
At 10/11/2011 3:08 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Morganvich, that's not a study. You can isolate certain elements and find that the US does better. I don't dispute that. But WHO absolutely does consider cancer survival rates. But not just that. Survival of other afflictions as well. Which is a firmer basis for conclusions?

If you look to the Commonwealth fund you find that the US is better than Canada on wait times for non-life threatening surgery. I think the US is also better on same day appointments. But it's not better on a number of other items. And it's not better then other EU countries in the same category. Fine, Canada is not the best in EVERY category. But overall it ranks much higher than the US.

Is there a reputable study that looks at US performance overall, not just in a few select categories? If there is I'm not aware of it.

On top of that it's bankrupting our country.

 
At 10/11/2011 3:12 PM, Blogger Moniker said...

M-
It's a truly interesting proposal, however, I'm curious about your thoughts on insurance in this scenario. Making insurance portable, permitting competition at a nationwide level and taking the employer out of the picture will likely bring premiums down for private insurance.

However, as long as the insurance company foots the bill, patients will remain indifferent to the cost of care.

It's not really pay as you go if people generally rely on their insurance.

 
At 10/11/2011 3:14 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Morg,

The actual health outcomes of the individual nations accounted for only 25 percent of the weighting in the WHO study. Most of the rest of it was based on socialist concepts like "financial fairness" and other such nonsense.

 
At 10/11/2011 3:16 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Paul, it depends who you are. For the super rich the US is great. Maybe you are rich. Sure, the US works best for you. But there are other people in the world. WHO considers that. WHO says that if your technology is awesome (as it is in the US) you get bonus points. But if few people have access to it that's a strike against you. That seems sensible to a lot of people. The millions of Americans that can't afford health insurance can get in big troubly quickly. They'd seriously be better off in Cuba. That's just a fact. Did you see Sicko? Michael Moore took 9-11 first responders to Cuba because they couldn't afford treatment here. They got treatment in Cuba and were extremely grateful.

And Cuba accomplishes that at like 1/10th of the cost. All while fending off a harsh embargo and terrorist war coming from the US. Pretty impressive.

 
At 10/11/2011 3:43 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

"WHO says that if your technology is awesome (as it is in the US) you get bonus points. But if few people have access to it that's a strike against you."

Again, actual health outcomes only received a small portion of the weighting. "Fairness" is a socialist, not a medical concept.

My wife grew up in Colombia. I've spent may days in Costa Rica. The idea that they have better health care, even for the poor, is laughable.

"Did you see Sicko? Michael Moore took 9-11 first responders to Cuba because they couldn't afford treatment here. They got treatment in Cuba and were extremely grateful."

Yeah, that Potemkin village health care was mighty nice of the Cuban tyrant, wasn't it? Cuba's first tier system is nice for rich foreigners and communist party flunkies. The average Cuban? Not so much.

"All while fending off a harsh embargo and terrorist war coming from the US."

Oh, puhleeze with your Granma propaganda. Castro wanted to get rid of the yanqui imperialists. He got his wish. If his model worked, we should be begging him to for access. Instead, the rafts only go in one direction. As for terrorist war, the only terrorist is Fidel.

 
At 10/11/2011 4:07 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

One other thing: last year I got to meet, shake the hand, and take a picture with the CIA officer, Felix Rodriguez, who hunted down and oversaw the terrorist butcher Che Guevara's execution. He still has the Rolex watch Che was wearing before he met room temperature.

Pretty cool, eh? Thought you might like that, it was a great day for my wife and me.

 
At 10/11/2011 4:11 PM, Blogger Jon said...

We can believe the UN and WHO or we can believe John Stossel and his anti-Castro elements who probably live in Miami planning future terrorist atrocities against Cubans. I think Michael Moore's point is valid. You can call into question the various studies. But you can't produce a study that contradicts them. You can just say "Why believe them?" Well, why believe you and your terrorist friends?

As to why Cubans come here, it's obvious. We're the richest country in the world. Anybody would want to come. But we make a special deal with Cuba. If you arrive by boat and manage to get to land you get huge privildges. Way above what normal immigrants get. However we only allow very few people to come by ordinary, legal means. So people take risks and come. Many die.

Life is far worse in Haiti. You know what happens when a Haitian arrives? He's sent back. So we create incentives for Cubans to take risks, so they do. Usually they come for family reasons. For instance the mother of Elian Gonzales came because she was in love with some loser that was a criminal and he decided his prospects were better here. So they all loaded in a boat and only Elian survived.

Why do you think our government gives Cubans every incentive risk their lives and come here illegally, but doesn't do the same for Haitians?

Look up Cuban Air Flight 455. Notice how the perpetrators live in Miami comfortably, worked for the CIA, and now enjoy a presidential pardon. If you're concerned about propaganda ask yourself why you've never heard of this.

 
At 10/11/2011 4:31 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

"We can believe the UN and WHO or we can believe John Stossel and his anti-Castro elements who probably live in Miami planning future terrorist atrocities against Cubans."

Yes, there are alot of anti-Castro elements in Miami. Many of them were robbed, tortured and forced to flee from your tyrant hero.

"You can just say "Why believe them?" Well, why believe you and your terrorist friends?"

Michael Moore has been busted for serial lies in every movie he ever made. The fact that you still believe him to tell you the time of day only speaks to your lunacy.

I have an idea: let Castro give the world full access to his island prison. Then we'll know for sure who is telling the truth. Yeah, that will happen.

"You can call into question the various studies. But you can't produce a study that contradicts them."

I don't need to produce anything else to point out the fraud that makes up the WHO. You can't contradict anything I've said.

"I think Michael Moore's point is valid."

Well, of course you do. You want to believe his easily disproved lies because you are an anti-American communist like he is.

"As to why Cubans come here, it's obvious. We're the richest country in the world. "

Well, why hasn't Castro made his island a paradise where nobody wants to leave then? Instead, it's a delapidated hell hole that was better off under Batista.

"Life is far worse in Haiti."

So why aren't they fleeing into Castro's waiting arms? Why is nobody, except fugitives, heading to this communist paradise?

"Why do you think our government gives Cubans every incentive risk their lives and come here illegally, but doesn't do the same for Haitians?"

Because Cuba is a tyranny that stole billions from the United States. And f*ck Castro, that's why.

"If you're concerned about propaganda ask yourself why you've never heard of this."

Are you on drugs? Everyone has heard you communist rattle on about Cariles. Why don't you ask yourself why you never heard Posada was in fact TRIED twice for the airplane bombing–and ACQUITTED twice.... More important still, these court rulings found Posada innocent of any material or even intellectual culpability for the crime.

 
At 10/11/2011 5:23 PM, Blogger Rick Parker said...

Jon,

Have you ever read any Cuban blogs? I’d suggest Generation Y, http://www.desdecuba.com/generationy/, for a start on how Cubans really live. They have nothing. They can’t get soap or toothpaste or aspirin. Take a look at http://www.therealcuba.com/Page10.htm to see what a hospital for Cubans look like. I’ll bet MM never saw the inside of this place.

 
At 10/11/2011 5:27 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Rich,

Jon will tell you it's all lies! lies! lies!

 
At 10/11/2011 5:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "As to why Cubans come here, it's obvious. We're the richest country in the world. Anybody would want to come. But we make a special deal with Cuba. If you arrive by boat and manage to get to land you get huge privildges. Way above what normal immigrants get. However we only allow very few people to come by ordinary, legal means. So people take risks and come. Many die."

Wait! Wait! Cubans risk death to come to the US because they think their lives will be much better than in Cuba, and you fault the US government for allowing this?

"Why do you think our government gives Cubans every incentive risk their lives and come here illegally, but doesn't do the same for Haitians?"

Why does the US government not allow Haitians to come to the US illegally?

I can only imagine that the US government likes Cubans more than Haitians. What else could it be?

 
At 10/11/2011 5:54 PM, Blogger juandos said...

For you larry,, jon, and the frozen farse: CARPE DIEM

 
At 10/11/2011 5:57 PM, Blogger Jon said...

"So why aren't they fleeing into Castro's waiting arms? Why is nobody, except fugitives, heading to this communist paradise?"

How do you know they aren't?

"Because Cuba is a tyranny that stole billions from the United States. And f*ck Castro, that's why."

So encouraging people to risk their lives and die, including the lives of youngsters like Elian Gonzales makes sense to you. Because f*ck Castro, that's why. Why does that make sense to you? Castro is not the one drowning.

"Posada...was ACQUITTED twice"

Doesn't make him innocent. The declassified CIA record shows that the CIA believed he was involved. He said days before the bombing "We are going to hit a Cuban airliner." The FBI identifies a confidential source that ascertained that Posada was involved.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Posada_Carriles#Cubana_Flight_455.2C_1976

But who cares, right? You're all about innocent civilians dying. F*ck Castro, right? If it wasn't him it was other right wing elements associated with Miami. Don't you support that no matter who did it?

Rick, I didn't actually say life wasn't tough in Cuba. It is tough. Relatively speaking. There are worse places. Like Haiti, suffering under US backed dictatorships. Their preferred government was overthrown so a more "free market" regime could be installed and the suffering is evident. So Cubans could be doing better. Resisting US violence has costs. But the alternative across the water reminds them that they better tough it out because it could be worse.

 
At 10/11/2011 6:00 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Ron H, the US could issue more visas and allow more Cubans to come legally. Why won't they? Why do they make it difficult to come legally, but provide incentives for people to come in a dangerous manner?

In Haiti the US once briefly reversed it's refugee policy. People could come. You know when that was? It was when Aristide was elected, a left wing leader. Then they could come. But the flow of refugees virtually stopped. People were finally hopeful and had participation in their government. Then there was a coup and a regime friendly to US business interests was reinstated. The old policy preventing refugees from coming here was again reinstated. Really pretty shocking cruelty.

 
At 10/11/2011 6:03 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" all aid should come as cash grants to HSA's.

that money is then spent in a free market either for cash pay or for private insurance.

that's my plan.

it's incredibly simple."

indeed!

can you expand on what these cash grants are in terms of scope and scale and how they are funded?

thanks.

 
At 10/11/2011 8:06 PM, Blogger Rick Parker said...

Jon,

Yes, life in Haiti is hell but no one is making propaganda movies about what a paradise Haiti is or how wonderful their healthcare is.

You're mistaken about Haitian's being turned back too. The rule is
"feet dry" and you're a legal refugee.

But you are correct that Cubans are treated differently. Cuban refugees can be used as propaganda, Haitians have no real political value.

In spite of that we have a huge Haitian population here in south Florida.

 
At 10/11/2011 9:53 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

How much has the cost increased for those who cannot afford private health insurance.

Who cares what the ultra wealthy choose to pay, anyway?

How many of these Swedes are buying their private health insurance in the Us?

 
At 10/11/2011 10:00 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the uninsured in the US make over $50k. there is no need to do anything at all about them.

++++/+??++?++++++

You are stark raving mad, if you actually believe that.

My wife just spent 14 days in the ICU. If we made $50k and had no insurance, we would be bankrupt.

Prior to that event, had we tried to buy private insurance, we would have been turned down.

 
At 10/11/2011 10:00 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

"How do you know they aren't?"

So Show me that they are. There is no evidence that anyone is heading to Cuba in any significant numbers, and why would they? Your hero has had 50 + years of tyranny to deliver, I guess he needs a few decades more of repression to get it right? The Cuban people wer far better off under Batista.

"Why does that make sense to you? Castro is not the one drowning."

Yeah, instead he's the one drowning the people trying to escape his tyranny. You should be asking yourself why people are so desperate to get away from his little prison paradise.

"Doesn't make him innocent."

He was acquitted twice. Your hero, on the other hand, has been indisputably sponsoring and training terrorists in Latin America and the Middle East for decades.

"If it wasn't him it was other right wing elements associated with Miami. Don't you support that no matter who did it?"

There's a good possibility, and some evidence, it was your tyrant hero Fidel. He has a long record of butchery on his hands, wouldn't be anything new. The incident certainly has you armchair communists changing the subject from his repressive rule.

Oh, but he has "free" shitty health care and supposedly high literacy rates, so who cares, right? You're all about innocent civilians dying.

 
At 10/12/2011 1:07 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "Cubans could be doing better. Resisting US violence has costs. But the alternative across the water reminds them that they better tough it out because it could be worse."

But, they're not toughing it out. they're risking their lives to cross the water and fall into the arms of the oppressor. What's up with that?

Paul: ""So why aren't they fleeing into Castro's waiting arms? Why is nobody, except fugitives, heading to this communist paradise?""

Jon: "How do you know they aren't?"

Haitian refugees who arrive in Florida have traveled 500 miles to get there, rather than making the 50 mile trip to Cuba. Why would they do that?

 
At 10/12/2011 6:46 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from truth or consequences: "the vast majority of industrialized countries have some form of universal healthcare ..."

So what. The vast majority of the world had slavery and empires and piracy in the past, that doesn't make any of those things right or desirable.

I never said we didn't have a government run health care system. The fact that the government is running it and that it is a total mess (like the education system and the postal system and the road system, etc.) is hardly a good argument the we should allow government to continue to run it.

All the government run systems have massive waste, poor quality, and rationing. If your only argument is 'well that's good enough for the rest of the world' then you are being silly. You can't legislate away supply and demand any more than you can legislate away gravity.

That is the real crux of the argument, because your side of the argument is trying to do just that, legislate your health care utopia. Those of us who don't agree would be happy if you would just let us go off by ourselves and not participate, but that isn't how it works. You demand that everybody participate whether they agree or not. Participate, or we'll kill you. Which makes you not only silly, but a hypocritical thug.

I'm generally not that interested in having a civil conversation with somebody who is threatening my life, even if they are to simple to understand that is what they are doing.

 
At 10/12/2011 8:02 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Quote from truth or consequences: "the vast majority of industrialized countries have some form of universal healthcare ..."

So what. The vast majority of the world had slavery and empires and piracy in the past, that doesn't make any of those things right or desirable."

well you forgot the rest:

ALL of those countries with UHC have longer life expectanices and pay about 1/2 per capita than countries without it.

or let's put it a different way.

Name the best countries in the world that do not have it.

Name 3.

pick any criteria that you wish to characterize them as 'better'.

 
At 10/12/2011 8:28 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry

"then why mention the Singapore system at all?"

because it provides an example in the real world of how cash pay keeps costs down.

is that really so difficult to grasp?

regarding size and funding, sure.

you take the current fica funding, you start haircutting it downwards and you pass it out.

this gives you control over the budget. you know exactly what you are spending and the upspiral of costs stops and then reverses as you break the inflationary spiral caused by buffet style coverage.

going to cash pay will reduce prices.

that means that you can either cut expenditures (and lower taxes) to keep the same quality or you can pay the same and get more care (or some combination of the two).

the possibility frontier under such a model significantly exceeds the present system. you just need to pick a spot, and you'll be above the present curve and get better steadily as market forces take over.

you act like change is impossible and that we must remain mired in the current mess out of inertia.

sure, there may be some losers under the new system, but on balance, the winners vastly outweigh them.

surely, one who champions the social good as you do cannot argue against that. the existing system pretty much works that way. you have winners and losers too.

so why not increase overall welfare? how can getting more care for less money be a bad thing?

 
At 10/12/2011 8:30 AM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

oh, please...

"Participate or we'll kill you"????

Are you for real??? How would other countries force you to participate?? or kill you??? LOL

In the debate you are having in the US, you sound like one of the "haves" (probably some goverment health insurance to boot) and terribly afraid that ANYTHING will change...like you got "yours" and damn others, reality, facts.

So go ahead, keep your system, we'll keep ours...but stop spreading lies about conditions in other countries.

Surveys have consistently shown that Canadians are not only very satisfied with our healthcare system but are very proud of it.

Sure there will always be some that want more/better (and they provide good soundbites for your "cause" now and then)....we all want "more/better" in everything....but we've got what we can afford while treating ALL citizens equally.

It's healthcare... not bigscreen TVs.

 
At 10/12/2011 8:32 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

jon-

i echo paul's statements. the commonwealth study is mostly a measure of socialism, not medical outcomes.

if you are actually in need of care, especially anything complex or requiring a specialist, you want to be in the US.

oh, and yes, that is a study. it takes data directly from one that apparently you were too lazy to read.

cancer outcomes are a real, tangible, measurable medical metric. contrast that to your cherished commonwealth study in which most of the metrics are not medical at all, and i think you'll see why it's a better way to look at it.

you are confusing socialism with medical results.

 
At 10/12/2011 8:35 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

"I'm just asking why you even mention Singapore rather than the countries who are actually cash-pay that you support?

name those countries Morg...."

this is just more strawmen and obfuscation from you.

if you think there is a better, or a counter example, then name it.

add some data to the discussion instead of obfuscating.

singapore is a cash pay system with low costs.

it's also a rich country, similar to the US.

if you're going to claim that there is a better comparison, then i'm all ears, what is it? why push that onto me? it's you claim. why is it my job to validate what you say? that's your job. try doing it.

 
At 10/12/2011 8:38 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" because it provides an example in the real world of how cash pay keeps costs down.

is that really so difficult to grasp?"

how about picking countries that do not have mandatory payroll taxes but cash systems?

wouldn't that be more like what you're advocating?


"regarding size and funding, sure.

you take the current fica funding, you start haircutting it downwards and you pass it out."

but now you're not talking about a cash system - you're talking about cannibalizing SS for a different purpose.

"this gives you control over the budget. you know exactly what you are spending and the upspiral of costs stops and then reverses as you break the inflationary spiral caused by buffet style coverage."

but you're talking about a govt-run system... not a market-based system

"going to cash pay will reduce prices.

that means that you can either cut expenditures (and lower taxes) to keep the same quality or you can pay the same and get more care (or some combination of the two)."

or you can do what Europe and Asia do with UHC and that lowers costs and increases life expectancy.

"the possibility frontier under such a model significantly exceeds the present system. you just need to pick a spot, and you'll be above the present curve and get better steadily as market forces take over."

show a real world analog ....

"you act like change is impossible and that we must remain mired in the current mess out of inertia."

I don't think it is impossible at all.. I think Medicare for ALL is better but also requires change.

"sure, there may be some losers under the new system, but on balance, the winners vastly outweigh them."

according to who? Name a country that does this.

"surely, one who champions the social good as you do cannot argue against that. the existing system pretty much works that way. you have winners and losers too.

so why not increase overall welfare? how can getting more care for less money be a bad thing?"

UHC as done by Singapore is better by far... lower costs, better outcomes, everyone covered.

why would you opposed that and favor something not proven and very problematical?

how is your approach better than Singapores?

 
At 10/12/2011 8:40 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

hydra-

"You are stark raving mad, if you actually believe that.

My wife just spent 14 days in the ICU. If we made $50k and had no insurance, we would be bankrupt."

no, you are being an idiot and missing the point entirely.

at $50k, you could afford insurance if you wanted it.

if you chose not to buy it, then sure, you could get wiped out. that's called "facing the consequences of your actions" a concept you seem to have repeated problems with.

you can choose not to have homeowners insurance too (assuming you have no mortgage) but if your house burns down, you may be screwed and unable to afford a new one. that's why people buy it.

 
At 10/12/2011 8:41 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: comparing country cancer stats

how can other countries have longer life expectancy than us if they die at higher rates for cancer?

 
At 10/12/2011 8:43 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Larry,

"ALL of those countries with UHC have longer life expectanices and pay about 1/2 per capita than countries without it."

Lot to unpack there in that misleading statistic. We're the fattest nation on earth, think that has anything to do with it? Heart disease is our # 1 killer.

"Name the best countries in the world that do not have it.

Name 3."

Why is that even relevant? The NHS is not the reason Britain is a first world country. To the contrary, socialist health care is one of the reasons they have parasites rioting in the streets.

 
At 10/12/2011 8:50 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"how can other countries have longer life expectancy than us if they die at higher rates for cancer?"

Uh, maybe because there are other killers besides cancer. Heart disease is our #1 killer.

 
At 10/12/2011 9:00 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"but you're talking about a govt-run system... not a market-based system"

no larry, i'm not. i'm talking about a mostly private system with no mandatory savings etc in which the government, should it wish to aid those who cannot afford it, gives out cash grants.

i want it to work like food stamps and to be greatly reduced in size, particularly medicare.

you are just erecting more straw men.

food stamps do not make grocery store and food distribution a government system any more than welfare makes buying shoes a government program.

you are being absurd.

"show a real world analog ...."

are you really this stupid? think about it. prices for cash pay medicine in the US drop every year. insured care goes up at multiples of CPI.

let's take a very simple example that i happen to know well.

in san francisco, there are dozens of places you can get a 2 segment spinal MRI. i know because i had one. the prices vary by an astounding margin. the one closest to me was over $7k. i got it done on the other side of town for $3k. the trip was worth it to me. i was paying cash.

if i had medicare, i'd just go to whatever was close because i do not face the price.

so, if i spend $3k instead of $7k for the same care, that saves $4k. thus, the medical system provides the same care at $4k less. that's $4k to spend on other things.

so, if we move medicare to cash pay, others will make the same rational choice i did. same care, less money. the system saves, and degrades not at all.

that's a curve shifting up.

it's called expanding the production possibility frontier.

econ 101 lar.

medicare for all is better?

how are you going to pay for that and how are you going to ration care?

sounds to me like you want to dig deeper into the whole and accentuate the problems.

how will you manage costs and drive innovation?

 
At 10/12/2011 9:04 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" how will you manage costs and drive innovation? "

the same way that Singapore does?

BTW - Medicare locks the price on therapies as does Singapore and most other countries that have UHC.

all those countries cost less than ours, cover everyone, and have longer life expectancies... and lower infant deaths.

your "innovation" leads to worse outcomes.

 
At 10/12/2011 9:05 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

also:

life expectancy in other countries is heavily impacted by several other factors.

1. they don't count infant deaths like we do, so their average are boosted.

2. they do not drive as much as we do and so have far fewer auto deaths as well as deaths from violence.

3. they are not as obese as we are and do not suffer from the health complications arising therefrom.

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2007/10/standardized-life-expectancy-highest-in.html

 
At 10/12/2011 10:06 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

morganovich: the only reson the EU etc look good on infant mortality is that they cook the numbers by failing to include preemies entirely and and child that does not live 24 hours.

Developed countries generally comply with WHO definitions of live-birth, however, some discrepancies remain. Researchers have a number of statistical methodologies to account for these differences. Differences in reporting do not explain the relatively low international ranking of the U.S. on infant mortality.

MacDorman & Mathews, Behind International Rankings of Infant Mortality: How the United States Compares with Europe, National Center for Health Statistics 2009.

morganovich: the WHO deliberately ignores things like this.

No. They don't.

 
At 10/12/2011 10:14 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Paul: "Fairness" is a socialist, not a medical concept.

If the king has excellent medical care, for instance, he flies in experts from Germany for his personal treatment, but everyone else has no medical care, do you really think that medical professionals interested in public health should rate the kingdom has having excellent medical care?

Paul: One other thing: last year I got to meet, shake the hand, and take a picture with the CIA officer, Felix Rodriguez, who hunted down and oversaw the terrorist butcher Che Guevara's execution.

He says that was a decision of the Bolivian government. Otherwise, he would be guilty of summary execution, a war crime.

Jon: Why do you think our government gives Cubans every incentive risk their lives and come here illegally, but doesn't do the same for Haitians?

Because of the Electoral College and the decisive political influence of the exile Cuban community, a vestige of the Cold War.

 
At 10/12/2011 10:27 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

morganovich: http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2007/10/standardized-life-expectancy-highest-in.html

The study cited by Perry is misleading. The author, Robert Ohsfeldt, has said “We’re not trying to say that these are the precisely correct life-expectancy estimates. We’re just trying to show that there are other factors that affect life-expectancy-at-birth estimates that people quote all the time.”
http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/08/25/violence-traffic-accidents-and-us-life-expectancy/

The results cannot be taken quantitatively. Even accounting for accidents and murders, the U.S. life expectancy still lags.

 
At 10/12/2011 11:07 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: the "excuses" for worse life expectancy...

nice try but no dice.

I'm saying the countries with mandatory payroll taxes and universal health care - are more cost effective than us...

even if they were not better in life expectancy.. they STILL pay 1/2 per capita what we do....

any way you cut it - we come up short.

so my standard is all the countries than have mandatory payroll deductions and UHC -

and I'm asking you to provide the list of countries that do not have that - that you believe do better and thus a model for "cash" "free market" systems.

countries that don't have mandatory payroll taxes and/or UHC do exist so it's not like there are no countries to compare.... there are...

so I'm asking you to name the ones that are MOST LIKE what you advocate.... INSTEAD of you picking countries like Singapore that have mandatory payroll taxes and UHC.

I'm NOT ruling out that there may be a better answer and that perhaps you have a line on it.. but I'm asking you to do more than just assert it.... to provide some level of evidence that such a system exists/works in countries that do not have payroll taxes and UHC.

I don't think that is an unreasonable request.

 
At 10/12/2011 11:23 AM, Blogger Jon said...

morganvich-

"i echo paul's statements. the commonwealth study is mostly a measure of socialism, not medical outcomes."

Not true. The Commonwealth study is simply a poll. People from various countries are asked a variety of questions. The US does better in some areas, worse in others, and with regards to questions of an overall rating Americans have the highest level of dissatisfaction. That's not measuring socialism. That's measuring people's satisfaction.

WHO in a sense measures socialism. They say access matters. Shouldn't access matter? In other words, suppose in the US our technology was the best. Only billionaires had access and their life expectancy was 95. The rest had no access. Does that matter? On the whole assuming you started life and didn't know if you'd be a billionaire or not, would you want to live in the US? WHO says those questions matter and it seems obvious to me that they do.

 
At 10/12/2011 11:33 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

zach-

"If the king has excellent medical care, for instance, he flies in experts from Germany for his personal treatment, but everyone else has no medical care, do you really think that medical professionals interested in public health should rate the kingdom has having excellent medical care? "

that's a false argument.

if the US has a certain amount of care and gets X as cancer survival, and norway has another and gets Y, why would you then adjust X and Y a second time, giving them only 25% weighting, based on a bunch of other arbitrary factors?

such things as availability are already baked into X and Y.

you are trying to double count them.

 
At 10/12/2011 11:41 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" if the US has a certain amount of care and gets X as cancer survival, and norway has another and gets Y, why would you then adjust X and Y a second time, giving them only 25% weighting, based on a bunch of other arbitrary factors?"

the problem is that in the US - people with cancer and no insurance do not get it detected early and it advances to stages where heroic and expensive care is required - and we pay it through EMTALA and MedicAid and other govt programs.

If we are going to pay to treat the uninsured - and we do - why not do it so that it is cost-effective and takes the least bite from those paying for it?

 
At 10/12/2011 11:45 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

the whole premise of your argument is absurd.

there are no rich countries with all cash voluntary systems.

you set up a silly straw man there.

in 1920, i could have made the same argument to you and said "show me an example of a country with socialized care that works" and there would not have been any.

thus, your whole argument is self defeating. it could have been used to eliminate the possibility of the systems you prefer had it been used before there creation.

by your logic, steve jobs should have abandoned the ipad, because no one could point to a tablet that had worked before.

you could use that absurd argument against anything new.

 
At 10/12/2011 11:47 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Zach,

"If the king has excellent medical care, for instance, he flies in experts from Germany for his personal treatment, but everyone else has no medical care, "

A) that's not our system
B) that's not exactly how the WHO defines the term.

"He says that was a decision of the Bolivian government. Otherwise, he would be guilty of summary execution, a war crime."

Yeah, I know. He wanted to interrogate Guevara at the Panama US zone. So what? He still has Guevara's rolex and enjoys his life as a free man in Miami, which I know pisses Jon off. Probably you too.

 
At 10/12/2011 11:48 AM, Blogger Free2Choose said...

Frozen in the North said:
"To all Non-Americans

Stop arguing with the Yanks, they will never, ever get it! They have been brainwashed in thinking their's is the best system in the world"

Then tell all your f$#&ing fellow Canucks to quit coming to the US for the treatments they can't get "Up Dere" (eh?). They're annoying and they talk funny.

 
At 10/12/2011 11:51 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" there are no rich countries with all cash voluntary systems"

I did not stipulate that at all.

I said ANY and left the selection to you.

but, in fact, if a cash-system/free market actually yield better, more affordable health care - then it should work even better in less rich ...developing countries...

right?

but I leave it to you - with no restrictions to name cash/free market countries that most closely match what you advocate....

make your case.

 
At 10/12/2011 11:53 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from truth or consequences: "Participate or we'll kill you"???? Are you for real??? How would other countries force you to participate?? or kill you??? LOL"

Anything the government requires is done at the point of a gun. If you don't support the government by paying taxes, then you are arrested and your property is confiscated. If you refuse to surrender your liberty, then you are physically assaulted. If you defend yourself, then you are killed. It makes no difference what country you live in, the results are always the same.

There is no more a right to health care than there is to big screen TVs. The economics is the same. Now perhaps some countries have chosen to ignore reality and legislate their fantasies, but that still doesn't create a world where all citizens are treated equally.

Do you really think those legislators, high bureaucrats and government officials receive the same health care as every other citizen? The health care is rationed, and when you get to the bottom of the ladder and there isn't enough left for the little people, then they go without. Your equality is an illusion, a fantasy. You're just paying for those at the top.

 
At 10/12/2011 11:55 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

"Not true. The Commonwealth study is simply a poll."

Not true. Like in the WHO fraudulent study, the US loses points simply because it doesn't have a socialist health care system.

 
At 10/12/2011 11:56 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"
the problem is that in the US - people with cancer and no insurance do not get it detected early and it advances to stages where heroic and expensive care is required - and we pay it through EMTALA and MedicAid and other govt programs.

If we are going to pay to treat the uninsured - and we do - why not do it so that it is cost-effective and takes the least bite from those paying for it?"

this little canard gets tossed out all the time.

got any data to back it up?

i've never seen ever a shred.

is cancer detected earlier in the EU or europe? how many people die in canada waiting 16 weeks for a specialist.

you preach that like it's gospel, but i doubt you can defend ti with any data.

we are already surviving far better than the EU.

it seems unlikely that such would be the case if we were detecting it so much later.

 
At 10/12/2011 11:59 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Larry,

"but I leave it to you - with no restrictions to name cash/free market countries that most closely match what you advocate....

make your case."

I think Morganovich had told you several times there aren't any. You can't argue with his logic so you keep banging this stupid drum over and over.

 
At 10/12/2011 12:03 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" how many people die in canada waiting 16 weeks for a specialist"?

how many people die in the US waiting more than 16 weeks for a specialist?

 
At 10/12/2011 12:06 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" I think Morganovich had told you several times there aren't any. You can't argue with his logic so you keep banging this stupid drum over and over. "

did he?

that's what I was think he MIGHT do but I don't think I saw it....

if that's true then what Morg is advocating has no real world analo at all... it's just an "idea"... right?

but here's another point.

we already allow HSAs and cash health care....

right?

so what's wrong with that?

isn't the problem that people won't buy insurance..not even catastrophic insurance but then they get sick and need health care and those who have insurance and other taxpayers end up paying for it.. and that's why our costs are twice what they are in countries with UHC?

 
At 10/12/2011 12:09 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" this little canard gets tossed out all the time.

got any data to back it up?"

we pay twice as much per capita for health care?

and you yourself make the point that wait times in Europe and Canada lead to worse outcomes...

would that not be true in this country also for people who have no insurance and infinite wait times?

 
At 10/12/2011 12:12 PM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Larry G: "ALL of those countries with UHC have longer life expectanices and pay about 1/2 per capita than countries without it."

Again, so what. Aggregating life expectancies and per capita costs just gives you big numbers that mean nothing.

Lives are individual, as are the costs of living them. Aggregating the data simply allows collectivists to eliminate the human factor in their silly equations to justify repression.

One person's coronary bypass surgery does not equal another person's liver transplant or a third person's appendectomy. They can't be added up and statistically analyzed with any real meaning.

 
At 10/12/2011 12:17 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Again, so what. Aggregating life expectancies and per capita costs just gives you big numbers that mean nothing."

then pick the criteria that you want .... I assume cost-effectiveness is important.... as well as how much other taxpayers have to pay for health care for the uninsured, right?

 
At 10/12/2011 1:09 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Morganvich, I look at the Commonwealth Study at my own blog here. It's just poll questions, not a system that awards points. Am I misreading it? In any case I think access matters. Do you?

 
At 10/12/2011 1:19 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"It's not uncommon for people to lose coverage as a result of an illness. If you can't work, you can't cover your premiums. If you lose your job because of a major accident, you lose your employee benefits too. "


Moniker is correct.

And having lost your coverage you now have a preexisting condition, and most likely cannot get insurance of any type at any price.



That is what happened to me.



It is like having your auto insurance canceled because you have a flat tire, or bad wheel alignment.


The US system is seriously broken,and it needs to be fixed, using every remedy we can think of or copy from someplace else.

 
At 10/12/2011 1:45 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Paul, this link says there are many Haitians that have immigrated to Cuba.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haitian_immigration_to_the_United_States_and_Canada

Stands to reason. Haiti is the poorest country in our hemisphere. Cuba, as bad as it is, doesn't approach Haiti in terms of suffering. That's why when a hurricane or earthquake strikes Haiti you have hundreds of thousands dead. The first food riots when prices rise are in Haiti. Same hurricane or similar earthquake hits Cuba and the casualties are minimal. That's because they have a functional government.

So based on that alone you'd expect Haitians do flee for Cuba. But the way argument normally works is he who asserts must prove. You are the one that claims that Haitians do not flee for Cuba. I did not claim that they do. I'm merely asking you to justify your assertion. If you can't justify it then withdraw it. You obviously have no evidence for it so you have no basis for the claim. You shouldn't have made the claim.

 
At 10/12/2011 3:13 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

"Stands to reason. Haiti is the poorest country in our hemisphere. Cuba, as bad as it is, doesn't approach Haiti in terms of suffering."

Eh, so perhaps a few starving Haitians are fleeing their godforsaken hellhole and landing at the nearest slightly less horrid hellhole. Hardly an endorsement for your tyrant hero. Your hearthrob has had over half a century of breaking millions of eggs, whence comes the omelet?

Oh, that's right. It's the United States' fault Castro is such a miserable failure.

 
At 10/12/2011 3:22 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Well Geoih...carry on....carry on with your notion that the goverment is the enemy, the goverment wants to enslave you and force you to do things...at the point of a GUN no less....and it actually wants to kill you? Oh my....

Did you use to have a cousin named McVeigh????????

Here's how things work around here....we elect people to do what we want them to do, if they don't, we vote them out and get different people.

A long time ago we instructed our politicians to deliver universal health insurance (not gov. medical care, there IS a difference) Everybody "needs" it so why not band together and capture the economies of scale and the greater efficiencies due to the absence of duplication. Surely you can understand that one.

Obviously if the Prime Minister of Canada gets sick, it's a safe bet he's going to get better service from the system. The same could probably be said for Celine Dion...so what??? for whatever reason if one thenth of one percent of the population gets better service than me...it's not like I'm going to notice. Funny that you have a problem with a miniscule few being ahead in Canada...but absolutely NONE with a few million getting absolutely NOTHING in the US. Thanks for your concern;)

The one thing I am absolutely sure of however is that the level of care and when it is delivered has NOTHING to do with how much money or "coverage" a person has. Period.
You suggestion that there is some sort of sliding scale from top to bottom is another product of your vivid imagination. Sorry brother, that one just ain't true.

As far as there being no difference between healthcare and bigscreen TVs.....well if you actually beleive that it's no wonder you guys are having such a battle down there about healthcare. Sheeesh!

"There is no more a right to health care than there is to big screen TVs. The economics is the same." I strongly disagree on both fronts. I could ramble on about being a member of the human race and that disease is a common enemy so why not fight it together yada yada....but I'll make a simpler argument for you.....it's CHEAPER together!!! (understand THAT???)

Bottom line a single payer system wins on two fronts: it satisfies a moral obligation and it's CHEAPER!!!

You want to keep spending TWICE as much per capita as everybody else so YOU (and your friends) can get a hangnail attend to in an hour....and stay in a "country club" hospital???? Go ahead....but get ready for that mob on Wall Street to move to your local hospital next....gonna have to hire more guards....buy more guns.....good luck with that.

 
At 10/12/2011 3:31 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Go ahead....but get ready for that mob on Wall Street to move to your local hospital next....gonna have to hire more guards....buy more guns.....good luck with that."

The mob on Wall Street will hide their weed and disperse back to their parents' basements when the first snow falls.

 
At 10/12/2011 3:51 PM, Blogger Jon said...

The terrorism that Cuba has been subjected to over the last 50 years has killed about 4,000 people. That's the proportional equivlaent in the US of about 100,000 people. How would the US react if 100,000 people were killed by terrorism?

In the US today you are more likely to drown in your bathtub than die from terrorism. Despite that our government has brought an end to due process. Obama assassinated his first US citizen with no judicial review just recently. Anwar al Awlaki was killed by a drone in Yemen. He was not in a war zone. They did not attempt to apprehend him without violence. They just droned him. This is our reaction to a mere 3,000 dead. Shred the Constitution and forget the whole due process of the law thing.

Castro has reacted to the equivalent of 100,000 dead and multiple assassination attempts on his own life with measures that limit freedoms. He curtails free speech, public demonstrations, and other forms of criticism. But what is happening all around him? The US engages in biological warfare. We've introduced swine fever, dengue fever. They had to slaughter their entire pig population. The US sprays their tobacco crops and sugar crops with chemicals. Guerillas targeted teachers that attempted to teach rural farmers how to read, tortuing and slaughtering 18 year old boys. They even engineered a plot to steal children (Operation Peter Pan). How would our government react under those conditions if Cuba did this to us? There's no question that we'd just nuke and totally clamp down on the freedoms of citizens.

Guess what? If a country is subjected to machine gun raids in the middle of the night from a foreign force no matter who is leading the country they are going to clamp down. To demonize Castro for doing precisely what every other governmental leader would do is ridiculous.

And then to block them from trading with the world, after having blown up so much of their country, to then point at them and say "Why aren't you super rich like we are?" That's also just silliness. Stop making war on them and see how they do. If they aren't prosperous under those conditions, then go ahead and criticize them.

Why don't we give it a try? The reason is revealed in the declassified record. Our government fears they will be successful. If they are they will be a model to others of successful defiance of US hegemony. That's the real danger.

 
At 10/12/2011 4:57 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "Paul, this link says there are many Haitians that have immigrated to Cuba."

That Wiki article, which has multiple issues including lack of citations for verification, says there are Haitians living in Cuba, and that there's a large Haitian community in Havana.

What exactly is your point? You need to do better than this.

Both Paul & I have claimed that the US is the preferred destination for Haitian refugees. No one has said that no Haitians have ever gone to Cuba.

Do you have a counterargument?

As for supporting what you assert, you have a lot of catching up to do before you are in a position to instruct others.

 
At 10/12/2011 5:12 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "Morganvich, I look at the Commonwealth Study at my own blog here. It's just poll questions, not a system that awards points. Am I misreading it? In any case I think access matters. Do you?"

Here's what the Commonwealth Fund Commission recommends:

"Aiming higher and moving on a more positive path will require strategies targeting the multiple sources of poor health system performance. These strategies include:

- universal and well-designed
coverage that ensures afordable access and continuity of care, with low administrative costs;

- incentives aligned to promote higher quality and more efficient care;

- care that is designed and organized around the patient, not providers or insurers;

- widespread implementation of health information technology with information exchange;

- explicit national goals to meet and exceed benchmarks and monitor performance; and

- national policies that promote private-public collaboration and high performance.

Rising costs put families, businesses, and public budgets under stress, pulling down living standards for middle- as well as low-income families. New national policies that take a coherent, whole-system, population view are essential for the nation's future health and economic security."

Can you say, with a straight face, that's not a socialistic recommendation?

Like many others socialists, you are confusing "access" with having insurance or a medical treatment plan of some kind.

 
At 10/12/2011 5:23 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

"Castro has reacted to the equivalent of 100,000 dead and multiple assassination attempts on his own life with measures that limit freedoms."

You idiot. Castro started with limiting freedoms. He and his chief executioner Che Guevara lined up against the wall and shot the people they knew might challenge their little communist paradise. No due process in any sense of the word. Given that, for you to cry crocodile tears over a self-declared enemy like Alawaki is both off-subject and sickening to me and any decent American.

"The US engages in biological warfare. We've introduced swine fever, dengue fever."

God, you're so full of shit. Dengue fever is rampant in much of Latin America. Did we poison the entire hemisphere? Do you believe everything your anti-American swine propagandists feed you?

"Guerillas targeted teachers that attempted to teach rural farmers how to read, tortuing and slaughtering 18 year old boys. "

18 year old boys? Che Guevara personally and proudly blew out the brains of boys much younger than that at La Cabana prison. That bother you at all?

"They even engineered a plot to steal children (Operation Peter Pan)."

Such hyperbole. Those children were sent out by their parents, and looted by Castro's goons on the way out.

"If a country is subjected to machine gun raids in the middle of the night from a foreign force no matter who is leading the country they are going to clamp down."

Again, the lies here are sickening. Castro was a communist long before he became Head Tyrant in Charge. And machine gun raids? Like the raids he sent Che Guevara out to conduct on other Latin American countries? Do you condemn them for that? Hell no, you don't.

"And then to block them from trading with the world, after having blown up so much of their country, to then point at them and say "Why aren't you super rich like we are?"

The lies are always endless with communists. Cuba is absolutely not blocked from trading with the world. They are somewhat, but only somewhat, cut-off from the US. That is exactly what Castro originally claimed he wanted right after he stole billions from us. Now for he and you filthy communists blame that very lack of access for Cuba's squalid conditions. Puke.

"Why don't we give it a try? The reason is revealed in the declassified record. Our government fears they will be successful."

Righhhhht. Successful at what? Spreading their filthy revolution by gunpoint?

 
At 10/12/2011 7:42 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10/12/2011 7:50 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

TC: "Everybody "needs" it so why not band together and capture the economies of scale and the greater efficiencies due to the absence of duplication. Surely you can understand that one.""

Great idea! The same logic could be applied to other things we all need, like food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and the list goes on. What do you think? Surely having one national grocery outlet would capture economies of scale, and avoid duplication.

 
At 10/12/2011 9:16 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

well Ron H. if you want to go there...

you can grow your own food, make your own clothes, build your own house....operate on yourself?...not so much! Plus when somebody is sick he can't do all of the previous mentioned tasks.

Funny that nobody seems to have a problem with an army/navy/air force that everybody pays for, out of taxes, to get exactly the same level of service.....but running healthcare on that same model?????

Oh my Gawd, that's a pinko communist, socialist assault on AMERICA!....LOL....Grab your guns fellas and make a stand!!!!!

Have fun down there.

 
At 10/12/2011 10:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"well Ron H. if you want to go there...

you can grow your own food, make your own clothes, build your own house....operate on yourself?...not so much! Plus when somebody is sick he can't do all of the previous mentioned tasks.
"

I see that you have missed the point entirely. Maybe the sarcasm didn't show through well enough. Read my comment again, and if you still have trouble understand what I'm saying, ask me to explain it.

 
At 10/13/2011 9:04 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Truth,


"Funny that nobody seems to have a problem with an army/navy/air force that everybody pays for, out of taxes, to get exactly the same level of service....."

What level of service? Federal auditors have found it impossible to audit the Pentagon's books. If you ever dealth with the military's bureaucracy, or spent any time in a VA, you'd drop this comparison.

 
At 10/14/2011 8:11 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Larry G: "then pick the criteria that you want .... I assume cost-effectiveness is important.... as well as how much other taxpayers have to pay for health care for the uninsured, right?"

There are no aggregated criteria that mean anything. Cost-effectiveness, utility, etc., are all subjective individual measures that cannot be used in mathematical calculations to give any meaningful result. There are no value constants. You might as well try to calculate aggregate beauty, or aggregate love. It is a farcical illusion.

Nobody should be forced to pay for somebody else's health care, insured or not. Advocating that people should be forced to pay for others is simply advocating theft and slavery.

 
At 10/14/2011 8:22 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" There are no aggregated criteria that mean anything. Cost-effectiveness, utility, etc., are all subjective individual measures that cannot be used in mathematical calculations to give any meaningful result. There are no value constants. You might as well try to calculate aggregate beauty, or aggregate love. It is a farcical illusion."

I'm asking for the people who say there are better methods - to show them -nothing more.

unless of course you really are not offering anything better but just opposition to the current system.

"Nobody should be forced to pay for somebody else's health care, insured or not. Advocating that people should be forced to pay for others is simply advocating theft and slavery."

what a load.

do you think you are a "slave" to EMTALA or MedicAid or Medicare?

if you do - then basically you are opposed to ANY taxation which benefit others.... right?

so let's calibrate here.

you basically are opposed to govt itself -right?

so don't couch your opposition to govt on a single thing.

Be honest about it and say up front that what you say you are opposed to is just another example of ALL the things you are opposed to that are govt.

just be honest about what you oppose so we know what your views really are in Toto.

 
At 10/14/2011 8:24 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from truth or consequences: ""There is no more a right to health care than there is to big screen TVs. The economics is the same." I strongly disagree on both fronts. I could ramble on about being a member of the human race and that disease is a common enemy so why not fight it together yada yada....but I'll make a simpler argument for you.....it's CHEAPER together!!! (understand THAT???)"

That's a wonderful fantasy world you live in. Some how Canada has eliminated the laws of economics and biology. There is no scarcity and all the humans are one single organism. Health care falls costless from the sky and the omniscient government bureaucrats and politicians distribute it to all equally.

Did you learn all this in a government school?

 
At 10/14/2011 8:30 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Health care falls costless from the sky and the omniscient government bureaucrats and politicians distribute it to all equally."

health care in Canada covers everyone for 1/2 what we pay - and Canadians are free to buy up if they want more/better but when you cover everyone - the costs to everyone is LESS.

In this country - the biggest threat to our budget is MedicAid - which YOU DO PAY FOR.

If you have to pay anyhow - why would you be opposed to the most cost effective method?

 
At 10/14/2011 9:33 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

geoih: Nobody should be forced to pay for somebody else's health care, insured or not.

So if someone shows up at a hospital having a heart attack, they shouldn't be required to treat the customer if they don't have health insurance?

Does government have the right to "force you to pay" for a road across town?

 
At 10/14/2011 11:28 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "So if someone shows up at a hospital having a heart attack, they shouldn't be required to treat the customer if they don't have health insurance?"

That's correct.

"Does government have the right to "force you to pay" for a road across town?"

No.

 
At 10/14/2011 1:47 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Z: "So if someone shows up at a hospital having a heart attack, they shouldn't be required to treat the customer if they don't have health insurance?"

"no".


good.

so we can repeal EMTALA and MedicAid right?

one small problem..

I don't recall a single candidate for the Presidency who advocates that... especially since Perry's Ponzi Scheme poop poop messed up the carpets.

I don't even know very many Congressman who advocate such a thing... as I suspect they'd become term limited as soon as they blathered that idea.

 
At 10/14/2011 3:40 PM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Larry G: "do you think you are a "slave" to EMTALA or MedicAid or Medicare? if you do - then basically you are opposed to ANY taxation which benefit others.... right? so let's calibrate here. you basically are opposed to govt itself -right? so don't couch your opposition to govt on a single thing."

Do I have a choice in paying for Medicaid or Medicare? If I don't pay taxes what will happen to me?

You calibrate all you want. Now how about you recognize reality and not the fantasy world you were handed as a child about what government does.

Everything the government does is at the point of a gun. There are those that recognize this fact and try to do something about it, and those who refuse to see reality and help perpetuate the repression.

Still calibrating?

 
At 10/14/2011 3:45 PM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Zachariel: "So if someone shows up at a hospital having a heart attack, they shouldn't be required to treat the customer if they don't have health insurance?"

That would be up to the hospital. If a doctor doesn't want to treat somebody, will you hold the gun to force him?

Hospitals treated people just fine before the government took over the system, including those without insurance.

Maybe you could pay for it?

 
At 10/14/2011 3:48 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

geoih: Everything the government does is at the point of a gun. There are those that recognize this fact and try to do something about it, and those who refuse to see reality and help perpetuate the repression.

You don't think a representative government should be able to pass a law that requires you to stop when the light is red? Do you think traffic lights should be voluntary, or in "the fantasy world you were handed as a child," do traffic lights simply not exist?

 
At 10/14/2011 3:49 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Everything the government does is at the point of a gun. There are those that recognize this fact and try to do something about it, and those who refuse to see reality and help perpetuate the repression."

Anything - any govt in the world - is .......

or do you have a list of govts that operate without the "point of a gun"?

yet another anti-govt rant...

this blog seems to attract them, eh?

 
At 10/14/2011 3:54 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

geoih: That would be up to the hospital.

So the hospital should shoulder the burden. And if they treat such patients, then they will be at a competitive disadvantage to those who don't. In fact, without a uniform law, the charitable hospital will end up attracting all the charity cases, overwhelming the hospital. The market will decide to let people die.

Funny story. Turns out the guy above had plenty of money. He even pulled out his wallet to have it ready, but dropped it when he stumbled into the hospital waiting room while clutching his chest. You should have seen the look on his face when he couldn't find it!

 
At 10/14/2011 6:20 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Funny story. Turns out the guy above had plenty of money. He even pulled out his wallet to have it ready, but dropped it when he stumbled into the hospital waiting room while clutching his chest. You should have seen the look on his face when he couldn't find it!"

But, as luck would have it, it was seen on the sidewalk by another visitor to the ER, who turned it over to the receptionist, who returned it to its rightful owner. The heart attach victim was treated and saved, the hospital was paid, and they all lived happily forever after.

we love these heartwarming stories with happy endings. Let's do another one.

 
At 10/15/2011 9:09 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10/15/2011 9:10 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10/15/2011 9:19 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Nearly half of US households escape fed income tax
Recession, new tax credits have nearly half of US households paying no federal income tax"

excerpts:

About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability.

In recent years, credits for low- and middle-income families have grown so much that a family of four making as much as $50,000 will owe no federal income tax for 2009, as long as there are two children younger than 17,
[there goes Cain's 9-9-9 idea]

Tax cuts enacted in the past decade have been generous to wealthy taxpayers, too, making them a target for President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress.

Less noticed were tax cuts for low- and middle-income families, which were expanded when Obama signed the massive economic recovery package last year.

...

The bottom 40 percent, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment."

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Nearly-half-of-US-households-apf-1105567323.html

we now spend more on DOD and Homeland security that we take in in income taxes.

In effect, we are borrowing money from China to pay for our military and HS.

 
At 10/24/2011 6:16 AM, OpenID charlesfunkel said...

Interesting facts.

 

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