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Old 01-23-2008, 05:33 PM   #6
philabramoff
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Okay...

Just an example of the difference between "necessary" and
"would be nice", to make the point...

Example: Funding the police force in Milwaukee is necessary.

Example: Building a two "light-rail" lines running through Milwaukee
"would be nice" (as I heard some people say), but it was,
thankfully, shot down about 10 years ago, because the cost
would have been prohibitive (about 1/2 billion dollars just to
build...all operating costs aside), while the ridership was estimated
to be only about 1500 people per year (i.e. over 300 Grand per
person)...would've more cost effective to just buy each of these
people a Lexus.

The opponents of this light-rail plan were demonized as being
some kind of greedy capitalist who didn't care about poor people.

Now...on to the Universal Health Care issue...

This is the way I read it...our health care system in the United States
is great. It's the best. We have cleaner, more efficient, more
professional hospitals than any in the world. Our R & D is untouchable.
We develop 92 % of all prescription drugs right here in the US (while
other countries take our work, copy them, and sell them in their
countries cheap). I'm also saying this as a minorly disabled diabetic who
visits doctors on a schedule, and takes four prescriptions.

This is the problem: COST.

Unfortunately, I believe the reason why 1/7 of the people do not
have health insurance, and are shy about going to doctors is because
the cost of health insurance is (at least perceived to be) too expensive.

But, as you say, health care is a necessity (and I agree with you).

So, how to address this issue?

Firstly, I identify a few MAJOR problems regarding why health issues
are so expensive....

1) By the nature of it, since health care IS so advanced and so good,
it is GOING to be expensive, because it is expensive to develop, both
in R & D (such as drug research), producing all of our intricate health
care equipment, and educating new doctors. Med schools have become
outrageously expensive.
2) Lawyers. We need MAJOR tort reform. Thanks to lawyers, and our
ever-more litigious society, malpractice insurance is through the roof
(I've heard figures like a quarter million a year). Obviously, the cost
goes on to the patients, and the taxes supporting the medical profession.
3) Insurance companies going out of control. Insurance companies have
been unethically not trying to pay claims, upping their premiums,
especially when it comes to many group plans. However, part of this
problem lies is some liberal-sponsored ideas, such as the idea that
insurance companies be REQUIRED to take applicants with pre-existing
conditions (meaning, required to take on new applicants who will
cost the company several thousands of dollars up front...so they have
to pass these costs on to others to cover the loss).

There are other reasons...but since I'm getting long-winded here,
let me think about some possible solutions...

1) Don't go the UHC route...address only the 1/7 who do not have
health insurance. Please note that many of these 45 million do not
have health insurance by CHOICE (young/healthy, or make enough money).
2) Tort reform...limits on lawsuits, bring down the cost of malpractice
insurance, soften the law of this and admit that doctors are ALSO
human beings who MAKE MISTAKES TOO.
3) Provide a low-cost federal health insurance plan that the gov't
will offer at, maybe 100 bucks a month (basic disaster plans are
already available thru regular insurance companies for 90-150 dlrs
anyway). Reduce the cost, or make it free for those who qualify
(disabled, elderly, etc.)
4) Require everyone over 18 to enroll in a plan. (We require people
to pay to get driver's licenses, etc). However, I am conflicted
about this idea, since it sounds like it would violate a citizen's
person right NOT to be insured. Would a person have that right?
5) Rein in the insurance companies. Stiffen the laws on them
not paying. However, work with them so the law doesn't screw
them over either.

Overall, I agree health care not the category of "would be nice",
but in the "necessary" category. Address the issue of those whose
needs are being failed...but don't SOCIALIZE it. It'll go to the
toilet, like it has in Canada.

More later...have to go now...
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