- Stop paying medical bills.
- Bad debt increases for hospitals and insurance companies.
- Big health insurance companies fail.
- Government steps in, bails them out.
- Bam, socialized healthcare.
Repeat as necessary until government simply owns medical industry.
60 responses to “Five Steps to Socialized Healthcare”
LOL, that’s the simplest and easiest solution I have seen so far. It may just work…
I like your plan. I read somewhere that someone had a theory to divide up the 700 billion and just give it to everyone who filed a tax return…that would stimulate the economy for sure.
You’re plan is pretty good though.
Justin it does seem the government loves to bailout everyone but the average American so yeah, this plan has a chance!
Thanks Paunchiness. The best plan would be to simply let the banks fail and don’t give out the $700 billion in the first place. That money does not exist and they’re just going to print it thus raising prices for everyone due to inflation.
Still, if we have to give someone the $700 billion I’d much rather see homeowners get this money and then have them use it to pay their mortgages and keep their homes all while still helping the banks pay of their bad debts. Or take that $700 billion and build a ton of windmills and solar plants. Anything but give it to rich corporations.
Adam Pieniazeks last blog post..Five Steps to Socialized Healthcare
“take that $700 billion and build a ton of windmills and solar plants. Anything but give it to rich corporations.”
Who do you think makes windmills and solar panels? Rich corporations.
This plan seems like a good way to make the economy even worse.
Adam Pieniazek is my write-in vote!
Or just follow McCain’s plan of deregulation.
Ben, take out corporations and insert banks. I have a tendency to rail against big corporations when not all of them are super evil, though I do follow the philosophy that corporate personhood is bad and when they’re looked at as persons, corporations are psychopaths (for more see the documentary The Corporation). In either case, investing $700 billion to renewable energy instead of just handing it over to big banks is a much much better investment and one we have a greater chance of seeing a return on.
Thanks Joseph! I’m only 24 so I can’t run but thanks anyway (vote Nader!). I am thinking about running for mayor of Boston however…
Alex…funny, it’s not like that’s what got us into this mess! Got to love McCain’s superhuman ability to debate himself. Only in the U.S. of America.
Healthcare should be free at the point of need. It is a basic human right.
If you don’t own the govt why would you want anything socialized?
The people do own the government. It’s called democracy. It’s just that the government don’t want the people to realise it.
You must be a democrat!
Health care is not a right.
It’s a privilege.
Most full time jobs offer it.
Get a full time job.
Good health is a basic right wherever you are in the world. To reduce it down to political parties is simply ignorance. I see Rastin says that ‘most’ full time jobs offer it, what about those that don’t? What about those whose insurance refuses to pay out because of company policy or small print? Why does one have to depend upon a multimillion pound corporate business?
I realise that those who work for big industry, especially those in the money market such as massive banks and insurance companies are safe. Those in AIG will never worry about being ill …. oh no, sorry. The banks are safe though …. oh no, sorry.
Free healthcare for everyone at the point of demand. Only uncivilised societies would put money ahead of compassion.
My political affiliation has nothing at all to do with anyone but me. I can tell you, quite honestly, that I am not a democrat or a republican. Although, I have to admit, if I was a democrat I’d be far from ashamed of it and would probably proclaim it from the rooftops if I so desired.
Good health is a right. Living in a society that upholds such values should be a right.
Privilege means ‘A special advantage or immunity or benefit not enjoyed by all’. Perhaps Orwell was right, all are equal but some are more equal than others. Tell that to a child who is born with Tricuspid Atresia or a veteran who has hit skid row.
Demand free health care at the point of treatment.
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Love it.
livs last blog post..Vegetarians…. NOT!
Sam, I agree healthcare should be free at the point of need AND having it be free would help everyone as scientists and doctors would have access to the entire population and perhaps find cures buried in someone’s DNA or find immunities or learn sooner of outbreaks.
@Intelitary Milligence, We do own the government, every taxpayer on the planet owns their government. It is very important that we recognize that government is here because we allow it to be here, not the other way around.
@Rastlin, Health care is a right. Life, liberty and the pursuits of happiness are rights we all have by birth. Inherent within the life part is health care as that is what sustains life.
I am not a Democrat, I’m an independent born and lived. Political parties are imaginary groups devised to further separate us rather than unite us as people, nay even greater as animals living in one organic natural habitat.
Also Rastlin, I am a small business owner and as this is my first year in operation have not yet turned a profit and cannot really afford insurance on my own. Most full time jobs actually do not offer health care but offer insurance, which are two vastly different things.
Universal health care would save lives and taxes by working towards disease prevention rather than insurance’s constant search for treatments not cures.
[…] Want socialized health care? It’s yours in 5 easy steps. […]
This is the most intelligent conversation I’ve seen on a blog in a long time. Kudos to all that have contributed! And thanks for the post, Adam. Now you’ve just got to convince about 70,000 more people to stop paying their medical debts and socialized medicine will be in! Personally, I don’t think we need it. But then, I also don’t think we need socialized banking either and I’m obviously wrong about that.
the bailout will make the government money in the end…
oh and healthcare isnt a right….you hav elife liberty and property….thats it
Simple, I love it! Just about to come off the hideously expensive COBRA coverage from my husband’s last job and start the coverage from the new one. I won’t call it cheap, but this has made me even more aware of how much any family can struggle to pay for health insurance.
And at that, we were still lucky to have the coverage. Imagine going completely without!
Stephanie – Green SAHMs last blog post..Tweaking My Clothesline Usage
‘the bailout will make the government money in the end…’
You may be right Sam, but 1.1 trillion dollars is a helluva lot of money. The biggest danger is that capitalism could end up consuming itself. If initial greed had been kept in check, some of these problems may not be facing us now.
The dollar has been weak for some time now. The Middle East, possibly the monetary powerhouse of the world, is preferring to trade in euros. The credit crunch appears to be emanating from the USA and the States seems to have lost the trust of the global economy.
Sam #1, totally agree with you that good health care is a right. It’s one of the most basic rights we can have. If we can’t admit that everyone should have good health what kind of society are we living in? Also, it’s almost scary how it seems Orwell’s vision is coming true right before our eyes. Words are all twisted around nowadays.
Thanks Mike and you’re right this comments thread is filled with great points. Thanks everyone!
I have to disagree with you that we don’t need it however. Perhaps you personally do not but I could easily find a good amount of people who are sick and are simply not receiving care because they cannot afford it. We cannot continue to put profit above health.
Plus a socialized health system would decrease costs for everyone by having healthier citizens who have less sick days, are better prepared to defend our nation and consume less food and resources.
Stephanie, COBRA is super expensive. Personally, I could not afford it for the chance that I might need it and am still without insurance today. It’s scary to think that something might go seriously wrong and I’d be effed.
Adam Pieniazeks last blog post..Five Steps to Socialized Healthcare
Sam, the bailout will not make the government money! The government is doing the exact same thing that the banks did to get into this mess, giving loans to those who cannot afford them!
These banks are on the brink of collapse and we expect them to be able to pay back $700 billion PLUS interest?
It’s not happening, these banks will most likely go bankrupt anyway, we’re simply putting off the inevitable while also devaluing our currency and encouraging other companies to fail. Heck, why should companies even bother trying to make money anymore, just get massive enough and the government will do it for you!
Last I checked you have the right to life liberty and property. Also look at most countries that have socialized medicine, it sucks. Things that get treated in free countries dont get treated in socialist countries. The survival rate for most cancers in countries with socialized medicine is astoundingly low. why? because you have to wait for fucking ever to get treatment.
You say you dont like big corp’s. Well the government is the biggest fucking thing on the planet. I mean not many orgs can throw around 700b like it is nothing. That because most people have to work for money. They cant just point guns and get people to give it to them. Or better yet just print it. And there is no incentive to make anything new in a socialized system. You get paid the same whether you do anything or not.
ill think of more stuff later, time for some violent video games (murder simulators i have heard them called) lol.
Well, I’ve been lucky to have health care my whole life until last year when I was laid-off due to downsizing and the housing plummet. I’ve worked odd-jobs and have only myself to fend for, so I decided not to carry insurance until my income changes for the better. So far, I haven’t had any major medical expense (knock on wood) and I’ve only had to use a hospital once for a badly sprained knee. When they found out that I didn’t have insurance, we simply worked out a payment plan (and the invoice was cut to a small fraction). The end monetary outflow was about the same amount as if I’d paid for just less than a year of private insurance. I don’t think it’s as bad as in the past where no insurance equals no treatment. I will carry insurance in the future when I can afford it, especially when I have a family to provide for. Societies that have socialized medicine also have many problems with it. I could go on about what I’ve heard about it from friends in Canada, but I’ll wrap it up here with “the grass is always greener on the other side”. Socialism may work in an ideal world, but do we live there?
“5 STEPS TO THE OVERTHROW OF AMERICA”
A)STOP PAYING ALL BILLS
B)BAD DEBT INCREASES FOR EVERYBODY
C)ALL BIG & SMALL BUSINESSES FAIL
D)GOVERNMENT STEPS IN AND BAILS THEM OUT
E)BAM! CONGRADS,YOUR NOW IN CHINA !
I’ve heard you’re incumbent is a bit of a douchebag. Adam for Mayor!
@Anon, Touche, throwing money at the banks is not a good idea and will only lead to more bailouts down the road. Failure is not necessarily a bad thing, especially in a supposedly free market.
@Ben, My point is a bit semantic, but inherent within the right to life is the right to health care. Health care is after all the support of a healthy life. If someone gets shot, in order to get that right to life they need health care too! Without a right to health care we can’t truly say we have a right to life.
Also, I don’t like big corrupt corporations, which most of them tend to become. When a corporation approaches gigantic size it’s tough to keep it efficient and focused on not doing evil.
We’re living in a socialized-capitalist society right now and yet people have the incentive to invent and create! Not everyone is driven by money and a socialized health care system does not mean that the private sector has to vanish. We already have socialized institutions (medicare, social security bank bailouts), why not extend it to health care.
Yes Mike there is no perfect solution and socialized medicine does carry its own risks. Plus you’re right, many hospitals will now treat you and worry about money later but such a system only encourages people to only go to a hospital when they absolutely need it. A family living on the brink of poverty will avoid regular appointments with their doctor for preventive care and will thus be worse off and create a bigger problem for society in general by allowing sicknesses to fester.
And Mike, in any system if you realize it’s a system you can find ways around impediments. It’s a very important skill and I’m glad to see you’re not afraid to use it!
Commonsense, surely you can think of a quicker way to overthrow America! Plus, we could argue all day about whether we’re already in China since they own such a large percentage of our federal debt.
In fact, I have my paranoid theories that our government is purposely performing poorly to incite us into a revolution so that the formal federal government is overthrown or collapses. After all, if there is no government then there is no debt to China!
Crazy, sure, but it makes sense, eh comrade?
I will admit that the system we have now isnt that great. But it seems ever time we give something to the government they make it worse. Also you have the right to life. Since the government doesn’t provide these rights to you (they only protect them) it stands to reason that they have no business in providing health care. You could argue they have the duty to protect your right to life (IE enforcing Hippocratic oath (do no harm)). I could even see gov. run medical facilities, but the problem is the government loves making people do things their way, so we end up with all gov run health care (monopoly=really bad). It could be like public defenders the gov provides you with one but you are free to seek other means of help.
Also i would say our current insurance system is horrible. And I think most of it comes from people thinking they deserve “free” health care. People have far too much insurance. No one wants to pay for doctors visits. I worked at a doctors office (eye). And people didnt ever want to hand over any money, i mean amounts like $10 or $20. They would try to get insurance to cover it. Now you have gotten lots of people involved and it probably costs the system three times that in overhead.
I think an Ideal system would be people pay out of pocket for basic treatment, doctors now advertise prices, brings them way down. Only use insurance for worth wild things like major surgery, things that are always going to be fricken expensive (best buy ratings in health care isnt that nice. And this system is somewhat in place, for things like lasik. Insurance doesn’t cover it so people know what it costs so they pay out of pocket, and that keeps prices competitive.
And I have been up for 23hrs now so forgive me if it seems disjointed.
“if there is no government then there is no debt to China!”
Sorry didnt see this before my last post.
Is it bad that, that seems completely reasonable to me? China is super dependent on our buying cheap Chinese stuff though so they may go down with us.
I think the reason this can’t happen, there is no Federal Reserve for banks. The recent bailouts have been from the “Federal” Reserve’s pressure to have Americans save its ass. Just because a direct transfer of wealth is unconstitutional doesn’t mean our lovely government can’t do it.
Ben, I would never wish to eliminate private hospitals, only as you said have government run facilities (that are free and open to anyone). Right now there is no place of last resort for people who truly cannot afford to pay a dime. I don’t believe that is right and in my interpretation of the right to life, the ability to sustain it should be included.
I agree with you that government tends to not be the most efficient agent of any particular industry, but they can be effective in helping those who cannot afford health care on their own. By no means am I saying transfer over the entire industry to the government, I simply want to see the option for free care for those who cannot afford it.
You were not disjointed by the way.
The no government = no debt to China seems reasonable because it is reasonable. Once you think about it the piss poor performance of our government makes a lot more sense.
Matt, you’re right that the Federal Reserve is by no means Federal. It’s a private run corporation looking out for the best interests of the banks. It’s time we either take government control of the Federal Reserve or dismantle it.
1913 was the best time to dismantle The Federal Reserve.They’ve helped create the bubble based economics we’ve been running since its inception. They helped create The “Great” Depression. They helped create the current economic crisis we’re in.
If only we all had a millionaire wife with a private jet, a half dozen homes, and a fleet of cars.
Interesting correlation given the latest news events. First of all, I don’t agree with the current bailout. Secondly, where in the constitution does it say that health care is a right? Least of all, that the government should supply it? Here’s some food for thought, before you demand socialized health care here in America, look at Canada and Great Britain’s systems. They’re horrible. Take all of the VA hospitals and their problems, the US Government owns and operates, and multiply that by 10,000 or 100,000.
Agreed Matt. I’m all for laws and regulations to prevent shenanigans and corruption BUT our current laws and regulations act as enablers for financial firms to take great risks without having to deal with the consequences. Is the best strategy to simply start anew?
@Shawn, There are few people who do agree with the bailout. I say let them fail, if they are too big to fail they are too big to exist.
It does not state that health care is a right. My interpretation of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is that the care of health is a basic part of life. If we are not healthy, we die. Thus, to have life, we must have health too. Plus, how can we pursue happiness if we are sick and too poor to get medical help?
Rights do not have to be in the constitution to be rights, I’m thinking beyond country borders and laws, as a human being health is a right. Most of us are born healthy and should have the right to live healthy, if we so desire.
Also, I must emphatically and vigorously oppose your statement that the Canadian and Great Britain systems are horrible. Let’s take a look at the facts provide by the World Health Organization.
Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 78/83
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 70/74
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 6
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 89/55
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2005): 3,419
Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 75/80
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 67/71
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 8
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 137/80
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2005): 6,350
In particular, note the costs! We pay twice as much for less of a chance of healthy life!
Sure, if you’re Bill Gates the best doctors in the world are right here in the U.S.A., but for the rest of us the costs simply do not match up with the benefits.
The problem with this plan is that in some states the Medical Industry can sue you for the money you owe through “credit management” companies. I know, I’ve been sued by them twice now for non-payment of bills.
OK A bit of google-fu got me this. This is just about the UK, but they fall into the category of Gov only health care.
1. Stop paying medical bills.
Hospitals stop paying doctors to save your life.
2. Bad debt increases for hospitals and insurance companies.
Doctors stop saving your life for free and become farmers (or whatever).
3. Big health insurance companies fail.
Farmer/Doctors start taking money under the table to heal the sick who can pay.
4. Government steps in, bails them out.
Good doctors say “no thanks I’ll stay private,” bad doctors who can’t get work otherwise work for government.
5. Bam, socialized healthcare.
But external, private healthcare system persists with superior services for those who can pay.
This made me laugh out loud so hard… I think you made my day.
Kaose, let me be clear, this post is satire and it is not an actual plan or recommendation. Do not break the law, the banks and government hate competition.
Ben, the article you linked to only further supports my argument. First, one of the top countries for cancer treatment, France, has a health care system that “…is almost entirely free for people affected by chronic diseases (Affections de longues durées) such as cancers, AIDS or Cystic Fibrosis.”
When we add cost into the equation, I’d rather get cancer as a French citizen than as a U.S. citizen! Of course, I’d prefer to simply not get cancer at all which leads me to my second point (more of an assumption).
I bet the U.S.A. has one of the highest amounts of cancer per capita for developed countries. Of course we’ll get good at treating it if we have so much experience treating it!
Also, “In Japan, healthcare services are provided by national and local governments. Payment for personal medical services is offered through a universal health care insurance system that provides relative equality of access, with fees set by a government committee.”
So two of the top three countries for cancer treatment have socialized health care!
Further, Ben, the article you linked to itself admits that “experts said many of the nations did not collect data as comprehensively as the UK, making comparisons misleading.” and “They also said that since the time the figures were collected – from patients diagnosed in 1990-94 and followed up to 1999 – treatments had vastly improved and more recent data would reveal more favourable results for the UK.”
Sorry, but you’ll have to work on your google-fu buddy.
Plus, to top it all of the Iraqi people have socialized health care paid for by guess who…no go on guess…we’ll all love this one, the United States of America! No joke, we introduced and paid for socialized health care abroad but refuse to do so here while we bailout out big banks!
@justatheory, I have no problem with private industry continuing to exist and providing the best of the best treatment for those who can afford it. Personally, I just want a guarantee that if tragedy strikes and I need intense and long lasting medical treatment that I’ll get it and I won’t be broke for life because of it. Also, note, my plan is satire.
@anon, I aim to please! 😉
@Adam. It is a great debate that you have chosen to set up. I’m not going to get into the statistics. I can pull them to support my view as well. ( http://www.liberty-page.com/issues/healthcare/socialized.html#canada ) Statistics are just snapshots that can be manipulated at anytime. The U.S System is not perfect, this I know.
Check out this video for starters:
In the end we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Have a good one.
Food is essential to life, correct? Should the government provide free food? Should the government force other people to work for you?
We tend to look at it as health care, but forget what health care is. Health care is doctors helping people. Now to provide free health care you have to have doctors, and they have to then work for free, or for the government. So socialized health care (at least how almost every other country does it) forces doctors (all of them) to work for the government. Which destroys liberty, Which goes against the purpose of government (protect the rights of the individual).
Ok, Google Fu may have failed me, but Stumble never will.
i shouldn’t have to pay your doctors bills.
Yes, it is a great debate. Thanks to everyone for contributing!
True Shawn, statistics can be picked and analyzed to support a number of viewpoints, but my greater point is that the quality of health care in the USA is not so much better to make it worth the much, much higher cost. Also, I’m not saying we should outlaw private health like Canada did. There is room for a single payer plan to allow everyone access and a private system for those who can afford it.
The TED link does not work by the way.
As for the other site, and Ben you linked to the same site. Yes, as you said Shawn you can find stats and evidence to support either side, as we can in any argument.
Ben, doctors do not work for free in other socialized medical cares systems. In fact, they make pretty good money. Check out Physicians for a National Health Program, which is a non-profit group of “15,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance.”
A national system could also include government paying for medical school, thus increasing the amount of people who can become doctors and lowering the financial burden of choosing to become a doctor too.
Ben, a national health system will not destroy liberty, in fact it will help promote liberty be advancing us to a point where we all have access to medical care. Poor and middle class families would no longer have to worry constantly about whether they should or shouldn’t go to the hospital when their sick, it would free them from that burden.
Plus, if you believe the purpose of our government is to protect liberty you must not have read the Patriot Act or the FISA bill. Those two bills have destroyed more liberty than a national health plan ever could.
Also Ben, the government already subsidizes our food and provides free food via food stamps. Honestly, it’s not a question of whether socialism is good or bad because we already live in a semi-socialist state. The real question is why do the rich and poor get socialism while the middle class gets capitalism?
Rastlin, why should I pay for your gas, your food, your education, your sports stadiums, on and on and on? We all do realize that our government already spends money in nearly every facet of our lives? We bat a blind eye when trillions of dollars are spent on everything but health care, but the minute health care is brought into the equation is when we want to put a stop to it?
Don’t even get me started on the patriot act, or FISA. Don’t poor people already get government health care? Medicare, or is it Medicaid? I get them confused. I dont agree with 90% of what the government does. So saying it is already bad isnt a good way to justify it being worse.
“government already spends money in nearly every facet of our lives? We bat a blind eye when trillions of dollars are spent on everything but health care, but the minute health care is brought into the equation is when we want to put a stop to it?”
Slippery slope FTW. People get used to putting up with shit, we wil get used to socialized medicine eventually as well. Thats not to say it will be better.
As it stands health care is already the most heavily regulated, thats probably the reason it doesn’t work very well. Also the reason we spend so much money as a nation on health care is we are a bunch of lazy fat asses. Americans are in horrid physical condition, the fact that the average person lives past 60 is amazing to me.
And I have little problem in practice with free health clinics (let the government compete on the “free” market) (as long as there are private practices), I went to one once, I would rather have just taken my chances. But like I said earlier that’s not how the government works. They WILL (like Canada) ban private health care, which is a huge curtailment of our rights. Besides the Constitution doesn’t not give the government the power to socialize health care, not that they or any one else gives a shit about the Constitution any more. But I think you pointed that out by bringing up the Patriot act.
@ Ben. I don’t think anybody is advocating free healthcare. It is understood that health does not come free. My point is that healthcare should be free at the point of delivery despite race, class, creed or gender.
@ the debate. It is understood that the government, any government, would have to raise funds through taxes. I assume that that is a given. Governments, however, are expected to use those taxes to benefit everyone, equally. If they don’t, they can be voted OUT.
I have seen references to the National Health Service [NHS] in the UK. The British populace regard the NHS as a treasure. Even those who choose to take out additional health cover with private companies would fight to keep the NHS.
Every election the NHS is a big factor to be considered. Political parties have won/lost elections depending upon their manifesto proposals for the NHS. The people believe that the government is absolutely accountable for the guardianship of it and a government will suffer the consequences if it is not cared for properly. In Britain, most people look upon the systems in America with absolute horror.
In the UK, if someone is ill, they expect to be treated with the best, by the best, with the best facilities available. Medics who work in private health care often work in the NHS too. Private healthcare companies now work even closer with the NHS and are often contracted, by the government, to take on work within the NHS to lighten the load. This is all done with the taxes paid.
The point is, treatment is free at the point of delivery and everyone pays the same percentage according to income. Someone who has private care who collapses on the street is taken to the nearest NHS hospital and receives top quality life-saving treatment. No insurance cards are shown or asked for.
Don’t get me wrong. Some treatments are said to too expensive and the government tries to say that such and such a drug will have to be paid for privately. These become political issues and are debated and fought over in parliament.
There are, of course, even better free at the point of delivery systems in Europe and the British electorate wants to know why. If anyone ever tried to dismantle the NHS there would be an almighty hue and cry.
Treatment should be free at the point of need/delivery for everyone anywhere. It is not a right that is afforded through a Constition [written or unwritten] or Bill of Rights. It is a basic human right.
If I saw a person lying on the floor covered in blood I would not ask him/her how much he/she was going to pay me. I’d be mopping away the blood and trying to help as, I think, most people would. I believe that health care should be the same.
Ben, thanks for making my argument for me, in a roundabout way. The U.S. system treats us after we’re sick (because it’s more profitable that way), while most other systems attempt to ensure people don’t get sick in the first place (because it’s more cost effective). It’s a big reason, along with a host of other factors, why Americans are fatter and lazier than most other nations. People here need to realize they must take responsibility for their health and that they cannot simply throw money at doctors to fix a lifetime of abuse and neglect.
I don’t see the government banning private care. The rich elite part of the population would simply never allow it to happen, and for good reason. I for one do not need nor want the absolute best, I just don’t think I’m that important nor can I afford the best. However, if someone wants to spend tons of money to get the best, by all means let them. I just want a fair system where costs are reigned in while care is sufficient.
Sam, way to state everything I’m thinking and believing in a much more eloquent and succinct way than I ever could. The only thing I would add is that the U.S.A. pays roughly the same total tax as other developed nations, yet we get a lot less for it. If we took the bailout and war money we could have paid for a universal health care system for years to come.
It was such a good closing argument, Sam, that I’d like to end my comment with it:
“If I saw a person lying on the floor covered in blood I would not ask him/her how much he/she was going to pay me. I’d be mopping away the blood and trying to help as, I think, most people would. I believe that health care should be the same.”
Welcome to the United Socialist America
“The U.S. system treats us after we’re sick (because it’s more profitable that way), while most other systems attempt to ensure people don’t get sick in the first place (because it’s more cost effective).”
It is a great system, until you get sick. Unlike the US’s it is most cost effective to not treat you once you are sick (waiting lists, lower survival rates, not paying for expensive drugs or procedures). Since people are responsible for maintaining their own health it seems we should focus more on treating you once you are sick. 90% of prevention is the individual’s job (eating healthy and exercising are far easier to do than surgery on your self). I have already explained why our current system works so poorly with preventive care, and how we could fix it.
I think it would be nice if you could sum up what exactly it is you want in a health care system. You say you don’t want private medicine gone, but your original post indicates otherwise “…until government simply owns medical industry.”
Well Ben the big problem with my original post versus these comments is that the post was a satire of the bank bailouts. By no means was it intended to be taken seriously. Honestly, in terms of my ideal health system I’m not 100% sure what the ideal is. This debate is great for bringing out ideas and concerns on both sides and I’m thankful for it.
My health system would have a single payer system, where anyone can go to a hospital and get emergency treatment for free, at the point of delivery. If someone was shot or had a stroke or is suffering from any other life threatening or just serious issue, they should not have to worry about where the closest clinic is or how much it will cost. Similar to our current law, except we officially remove cost from the equation.
As for non-emergency treatments, anyone could go to any hospital and get regular treatment without paying a bill, again at the point of delivery. The hospitals would either bill the government or would be directly owned by the government. Private specialists could practice inside the hospitals but would have to also work part-time for the government program (and get paid the government wage for it). Note, the government wage would have to be high to encourage doctors to practice at the hospitals. It would most likely be lower than doctors receive today, but not necessarily by much.
Alternatively, specialists and physicians could create private clinics, however emergency treatment would need to be provided to the best of their ability to anyone needing it. At private clinics, regular treatment (say for colds, physical checkups, or prescription refills / re-evaultions, etc.) could be rejected. My hope is that there would be enough public hospitals scattered around the country that people in need of emergency treatment would immediately go there and avoid the clinics.
The line separating emergency and regular treatment is a bit blurry, I’ll admit and is an area I would have to expand on before making this a law. Part of the reason for this is I’m simply not a medical professional and would want to discuss this topic with several professionals before making a final statement. For instance, what about drug users overdosing? Is the first time an emergency but the tenth time regular treatment? Do we take the person’s desire to stay healthy into the equation, for instance smokers, drug users, and overweight people go to the back of the line? Or do we admit that in any system some people will try to abuse the system and strain the system more than others?
OK, back to the plan.
Immediately, on day one of entering the new plan we’d begin building government run hospitals AND government run schools in the major cities and population centers. Students could go to the government run school for free, granted they’d have to sign a contract to practice at a government run hospital for 2-3 years, and earn the government wage. Again, the government wage would not be minimum wage nor anything close to it. If you practice as a doctor at a government hospital you will still be well off. Honestly, I think many doctors would be OK with this wage, though of course nearly everyone would rather make tons of money.
I’ll be the first to admit, my plan is not perfect. The big thing I want to see is cost removed at the point of delivery so that people are not discouraged from seeing a doctor. If we have physicals twice a year and everyone goes because they’re free (and hopefully we build enough hospitals, and educate and hire enough doctors to keep waits short) we’ll have a much better chance of catching serious diseases and of keeping people healthy (e.g. not smoking, eating right, exercising). More healthy people would reduce costs and improve our national security (by having more people able to defend this land if need be).
I think the big reason you are for a private run system, Ben, is a desire to see innovation and the best doctors be rewarded. And on that issue I’m in complete agreement with you. Even if we move to a single payer system we should install safeguards to ensure companies are encouraged to innovate and doctors strive to be the best. In my scenario, if a doctor thinks he/she is the best they can start their own clinics or practice inside a hospital and charge whatever rate they wish. Honestly, I think the scenario where a doctor practices inside a hospital but remains semi-private is really good, as it forces the doctor to see more than just a certain segment of the population and thus exposes him/her to more human samples while still allowing the doctor to make bank.
The other safeguard would need to be patents for prescription medicines and for new medical techniques. If a private lab finds the cure for cancer or AIDS, by all means they are allowed to sell the cure for a few years at whatever rate they wish. After a short time period (say 3-5 years) of the drug/technique being on the marketplace, however, it would become public domain and anyone could create it and sell it. Though at that point the drug would, if warranted, be available for free via the government run hospitals (and labs).
I’ll admit, the absolute details of my plan need to be expanded upon, however my main overall point is that anyone who needs health care should have a way to acquire it at little to no cost. Having 46 million people without health insurance, who are too wealthy for medicare/medicaid but not wealthy enough to pay their own way is honestly sad for a nation that claims it is #1 in everything. It is a staggering amount of people and is a clear sign, to me, that our current system simply does not work. Though, as we’ve noted in this debate, what works is not an absolute term. Do we judge our health care system on how many cures it finds or on how many people it cures?
At the end of the day, all I know for sure is I simply do not feel right paying so much in taxes to fund wars, bail out banks, yet deny 46 million people adequate health care. It’s just not right and we have to work to find a way to make sure everyone can be healthy. This debate is a great start, and brings the focus of health care to forefront rather than our countless other dilemmas.
That’s better than most ideas I have heard. It seems to be similar to what we have now, just replacing the insurance companies with the government (for the most part). Having tried dealing with both, thats not too bad of a trade. But in general private companies tend to work best. Maybe an overhaul of the insurance laws would work better (see my 3rd post i think it is).
I do disagree with the 46mill number that that is kinda irrelevant to the debate. I will also say that people are being denied health care in the same way I am being denied a Lamborghini. After seeing some ER bills, that’s a nice comparison. The problem is we have competition in health care, because of insurance being so big no one sees any prices. Its like capitalism with out a market and socialism without a central planner.
I just generally believe in small government, and I mean small. some one once told me that no government is perfect and they are right; no government, is perfect. <<<I really hope that makes sense I know some things just dont work well written.
Normally I’m with you Ben that the smaller federal government the better BUT if we’re going to be socialist, let’s be socialist to the people who need it most. I’d love to see a tiny, tiny federal government with the states and local cities and towns being the most powerful government entities but right now that’s a tough, tough scenario to institute.
A bit off topic but here in Massachusetts we’ll be voting on 3 ballot questions pushed forward by citizens. They are 1) making dog racing illegal, 2) decriminalizing marijuana and 3) (you’ll love this one), eliminating the state income tax.
Personally, I’m in favor of all three, with the pot and income tax questions making government much, much smaller by basically forcing them to be smaller. The dog racing thing is not super important but the other two are. We will not miss the tax revenue and it will force the government to be more efficient and we’ll save enough money by not chasing after and jailing pot users to make up the difference anyway. So, I’m for less government too but in the case of health care, I trust an entity that is not out to make profit more than the insurance companies.
I went off topic there but yes, my plan is to mostly replace insurance companies with government. I like how you pinpointed that thread because even I did not see it. It’s a nice summary. I’m a bit of an economics geek so I’m a big advocate of the free market, to an extent. In some areas, the free market is just not appropriate and personally, health insurance is such an area. If I could buy a health care plan sold by a non-profit organization, I would do so. As is today, I have no desire for health insurance. It’s a big, big distinction and unfortunately our current system is absolutely dominated by insurance companies.
You spoke very well Ben, but yes the written word is a bit tough to manipulate sometimes, especially when it comes to topics we’re passionate about but are so big that we cannot possibly be 100% absolutely correct always. There are problems with both systems, that much we agree on, but which one has less problems is simply something we cannot know without trying both. I’d love it if states were the absolute authority on this as then we’d be able to have both systems and see which works better.
This has got to be the most intelligent, coherent, well thought and civilized post I think I have read yet. Anywhere.
I worked for two multi-national companies for years and had great benefits. But, due to a string of unfortunate events, I now depend on government assistance. If it wasn’t for Medicaid, et al, I could not get the treatment I require and would more than likely be dead now. Yes, the system needs a good deal of improvement but it’s my only option at this point.
I am taking this in to my case worker to share. Keep it up.
Thanks Chris, that’s quite the compliment!
We Americans do not like to wait for anything! We are spoiled soft and lazy. Just what we need to do create something else we get for free. Doesn’t anyone remember the story of the little red hen. It was meant to be a lesson in life, as most of these tales are. Would we want to wait for a list and our turn to come up because someone is available to take care of removing our tumor? We have many of the best advances in healthcare in this country, due to the free enterprise system. Do you actually think that all of this is available in other countries. USA has one of the most advanced systems in the world. I would hate to see our advances undermined by a lack luster interest in advancement and a waiting list for care. Think about it.
So advanced that 40% of our population gets locked out of the system?
We do not have the free enterprise system in the USA Kim. Where is it? The bailout? Banning trade with countries we do not like? Our inflationary fiat currency? Social Security? Income taxes? All these items are anti-symptomatic of a free enterprise system. We’re as communist as China is capitalist, it’s all the same essential system just with a different flavor of icing on top.
[…] corporations would keep costs low and provide health care to everyone. Personally, I believe a national single payer health care system would be cheaper and better, as it would introduce economies of scale into the health care system […]
Trust me folks, nothing wrong with healthcare owned by the government. Sure there are problems with it, but I’m quite sure the average Canadian has far better healthcare access than the average American. Its the government… helping the people!
We need tnace health insurance somehow, if you will offer free health insurance, how would you finance it to decrease health care expenditure, and and decrease US debt