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beneficii
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13 May 2015, 5:03 pm

Basically, dude in South Carolina who has diabetes couldn't have been bothered to get health insurance and now he has massive health costs. He blames Obama for his predicament, not realizing that he's the moocher; after all, he doesn't work and is in need of handouts. He couldn't get on Medicaid because his state decided to forgo expansion. He's definitely the type of guy who would rail on and on about "welfare queens" and crap like that, but he's now basically whining when things didn't go his way:

http://www.salon.com/2015/05/13/this_is ... newsletter

He thought he could wait to buy health insurance until something major happened; too bad his precious Faux News didn't tell him about the open enrollment periods.


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beneficii
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13 May 2015, 5:10 pm

And guess who comes to the rescue of the man who thought he could play the system? Liberals!

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/05/donatio ... -eyesight/


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xenocity
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13 May 2015, 5:33 pm

I bet Obama was behind this... I couldn't resist

Yeah the Deep South is like this when it comes to progressive reforms


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luan78zao
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13 May 2015, 6:06 pm

Putting words in his mouth is not cool … Dude is just confused though.

Say we had a completely laissez-faire health care system. Costs of everything would be much, much lower – but still, there'd always be the possibility of an unexpected illness or injury running up huge medical bills. Choosing to forego insurance, and simply paying bills out of pocket, only makes sense if you have millions in the bank.

With zero government involvement in medicine, this guy would be in the same position: asking for voluntary charity.

You have a job, but aren't rich? Buy insurance. Except for raising the price, the ACA has not changed that.


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xenocity
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13 May 2015, 6:47 pm

luan78zao wrote:
Putting words in his mouth is not cool … Dude is just confused though.

Say we had a completely laissez-faire health care system. Costs of everything would be much, much lower – but still, there'd always be the possibility of an unexpected illness or injury running up huge medical bills. Choosing to forego insurance, and simply paying bills out of pocket, only makes sense if you have millions in the bank.

With zero government involvement in medicine, this guy would be in the same position: asking for voluntary charity.

You have a job, but aren't rich? Buy insurance. Except for raising the price, the ACA has not changed that.


Laissez-faire was how the healthcare industry pre world war II.
Price still rose equally as fast and most Americans couldn't for basic healthcare.
One of the planks in Theodore Roosevelt's platform was healthcare reform, due to the rising costs.
Obviously he failed to get it passed because his own party blocked it.

Anyways Healthcare companies and healthcare insurance companies have shareholders and are trade on stock market.
They must maximize profits by law, due to them having shareholders.
This causes them to have to meet Wall Street expectations while maintaining decent profit margins.
They also need to have ever growing profits or face legal consequences from the shareholders.
They also have certain protections written in both state and federal laws that exempt them from most anti trust statues.

Since the 1980s the healthcare and health insurance companies have undergone massive consolidation, leaving a few large companies in each region of the country.
Since they don't need to compete to get business, they get to dictate the price and terms.

Lastly upper management and the CEOs of the healthcare and health insurance companies make tens of millions of dollars in salaries and stock options.


In short healthcare and health insurance companies have full market control.


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RhodyStruggle
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13 May 2015, 7:24 pm

xenocity wrote:
luan78zao wrote:
Putting words in his mouth is not cool … Dude is just confused though.

Say we had a completely laissez-faire health care system. Costs of everything would be much, much lower – but still, there'd always be the possibility of an unexpected illness or injury running up huge medical bills. Choosing to forego insurance, and simply paying bills out of pocket, only makes sense if you have millions in the bank.

With zero government involvement in medicine, this guy would be in the same position: asking for voluntary charity.

You have a job, but aren't rich? Buy insurance. Except for raising the price, the ACA has not changed that.


Laissez-faire was how the healthcare industry pre world war II.
Price still rose equally as fast and most Americans couldn't for basic healthcare.


But a lot of Americans were getting healthcare via membership in mutual aid societies, with the proportion of those getting care growing over time. This was not health insurance as we think of it today, it was more like a survival social club, a group of folks you did activities with and also pooled together to get a good group rate with a local doctor or hospital. Also people who'd look out for you and make sure your family ate if their breadwinner got hurt or fell ill.

Then in 1943 the FDR administration froze wages. Employers couldn't offer more money to get the employees they wanted, so they offered health insurance as a non-wage benefit to attract sought-after employees. Thus was born the link between employment and health insurance.

Then in 1954 Congress made employer health plan contributions tax-deductible, while making employee healthcare benefits non-taxable. This made employer-provided health insurance the least expensive way to pay for healthcare. Thus was born the motivation to have health insurance cover every imaginable medical expense, rather than being a product based on the same general idea as buying insurance against a dealer blackjack at the casino.

It's more-or-less true that with zero government involvement in healthcare this guy would be in the same position. (One might argue that if he didn't expect government to help him in his time of need he might have taken better care of his health, but some such cases would happen anyway, even if not necessarily this particular one.) However it's just as true that with zero government involvement in healthcare over the past 70+ years, those charities would actually be there.


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JJabb
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13 May 2015, 7:46 pm

I hate it when people blame others instead of taking responsibility for their own actions. It has less to do with politics than with weighing the possible consequences of your actions. Bottom line, he gambled with his health an lost and now he's sore about it.. Pun intended.

Also, I live in SC an you would not believe them liberal hating that goes on down here... being from NY is was a definite culture shock to move down here. It seems we (being liberals since I am a true blue Liberal) are the problem with everything no matter what the issue is.



pezar
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13 May 2015, 8:00 pm

Beating diabetes, especially if you catch it early, isn't rocket science. I have type 2 diabetes, and I managed to get it under control by cutting out fast food, oil soaked foods such as fried food, and wheat, and most sugar. The thing is, I haven't lost a whole lot of weight, I still have an ugly belly, but my diabetes and blood pressure are under control with dietary changes. (I'm still autistic, though. Sorry, goldfish21.) I know that Deep Southerners love their fried chicken, but it's not that good for you.



xenocity
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13 May 2015, 8:17 pm

RhodyStruggle wrote:
xenocity wrote:
luan78zao wrote:
Putting words in his mouth is not cool … Dude is just confused though.

Say we had a completely laissez-faire health care system. Costs of everything would be much, much lower – but still, there'd always be the possibility of an unexpected illness or injury running up huge medical bills. Choosing to forego insurance, and simply paying bills out of pocket, only makes sense if you have millions in the bank.

With zero government involvement in medicine, this guy would be in the same position: asking for voluntary charity.

You have a job, but aren't rich? Buy insurance. Except for raising the price, the ACA has not changed that.


Laissez-faire was how the healthcare industry pre world war II.
Price still rose equally as fast and most Americans couldn't for basic healthcare.


But a lot of Americans were getting healthcare via membership in mutual aid societies, with the proportion of those getting care growing over time. This was not health insurance as we think of it today, it was more like a survival social club, a group of folks you did activities with and also pooled together to get a good group rate with a local doctor or hospital. Also people who'd look out for you and make sure your family ate if their breadwinner got hurt or fell ill.

Then in 1943 the FDR administration froze wages. Employers couldn't offer more money to get the employees they wanted, so they offered health insurance as a non-wage benefit to attract sought-after employees. Thus was born the link between employment and health insurance.

Then in 1954 Congress made employer health plan contributions tax-deductible, while making employee healthcare benefits non-taxable. This made employer-provided health insurance the least expensive way to pay for healthcare. Thus was born the motivation to have health insurance cover every imaginable medical expense, rather than being a product based on the same general idea as buying insurance against a dealer blackjack at the casino.

It's more-or-less true that with zero government involvement in healthcare this guy would be in the same position. (One might argue that if he didn't expect government to help him in his time of need he might have taken better care of his health, but some such cases would happen anyway, even if not necessarily this particular one.) However it's just as true that with zero government involvement in healthcare over the past 70+ years, those charities would actually be there.

The majority were still not getting healthcare when Theodore Roosevelt was elected to office the first time.
He vowed to reform the U.S. healthcare system to give access to all Americans, as it was one of the biggest concerns of the electorate.

As of today the system is equally as market driven as it was in 1946 and in 1990.
Health insurance companies get to dictate the price and content of services, you as the customer get to choose said company.
Nearly all health insurance companies are publicly traded companies on the NASDAQ or NYSE.
They must act in the best interest of their shareholders and the law, which dictates the maximization of profits for the shareholders.

Hospitals also get to set the price and content of services as well.

In most cases Hospitals are owned and operated by for profit companies that are traded on either the NYSE or NASDAQ.
They have shareholders which also include the rich and the major banks/finanical institutions.
These hospitals duties are to their shareholders by law, which means they have to extract as much profit as their shareholders demand and return it to them in the form of dividends or face federal legal action for failing their fiduciary responsibility under federal law.

Shareholders have the right to topple management and instate a new management to carry out their interests.
They also have the right to take you to federal court for failing to maximize profits for the shareholders and not acting in their best interest.

Even currently the U.S. healthcare system is fully profit driven and it is the nearly a perfect representation of a true capitalist system with Massachusetts being the sole exception.

Why did the U.S. government decide on the privatization and consolidation route for healthcare? Because economists believed that having fully privatized corporations that were publicly traded would lead to lower prices and better healthcare.
They saw it as the better of two options, the other being a nationalized system.

Before the ACA the following states had up to half of their population without insurance (it was either too expensive or not offered) and they couldn't afford primary care:

1) Mississippi (poorest state)
2)Arkansas (second poorest state)
3) Texas
4) Oklahoma (my grandfather's home state)
5) Alabama
6) Georgia
7) Florida
8) South Carolina
9) North Carolina
10) Virginia
11) Missouri
12) Tennessee
13) Indiana (Souther half)
14) West Virginia
15) Nebraska
16) Kansas

These are poorest states in the country, most are the in South.
They also the biggest receivers of federal dollars too.

When my grandmothers were kids, the only time you got any doctors visits was in the first week of school.
Both Michigan and Ohio sent the doctors to the schools during the first week to give the kids yearly check ups and vaccinate them free of charge.

The reason why the did this pre world war II, was due to most of their people not being able to afford the most basic medical services and there was no charities to help you because you were too poor to qualify.

My grandfather from Oklahoma only saw the doctor when at literal death's door, because the doctors were so expensive that you had the choice of food for the month or a doctor's visit.
They'd have to beg their neighbors and congregation for money to get medication and a doctor's visit.
There was no charities to help them in Oklahoma.

My great great grandmother died from cancer because she couldn't afford the healthcare and the treatment, she refused to take money from her children (which were mostly poor), though my grandmother was one of three kids to actually make it into the middle class due to her having a good job along with my grandfather.
This was before Medicare and Medicad came into existence.

Many of my dad's cousins and their kids were forced to go on Medicad due to the sheer cost of healthcare and prescriptions even though they made at least $40k a year. This was despite the BCBS being the main insurer and being the only non profit health insurance company in Michigan. Private insurers on the market cost even more money.

Despite both of my parents having damn good insurance during my childhood, most of the medical costs related to my disabilities were not covered by either plan because it was considered "preexisting" conditions even though I was born with them.

How did most countries deal with rapidly rising cost of healthcare brought on by free market capitalism?
They nationalized their healthcare systems, which in turn drove down prices.
Switzerland was the last industrialized country to nationalize their system into a single payer system in the mid 1990s.
Those who opposed the plan, campaigned claiming it would lead to a drop in services and an even faster rise in prices.
A year after the proposal passed by a narrow margin, the costs of healthcare dropped like a brick and have leveled.
The costs haven't rebound yet in Switzerland to the shock of those who opposed the national system.

It is possibly to get a bad government system like Canada or UK

Here is the lists from the OECD on quality of healthcare by country.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_OE ... re_outcome

The U.S. is number one only on 5 year survival rates for Breast Cancer, but not by much.
The U.S. is in the top 20 on the other lists but easily out ranked by European countries, Japan and South Korea.


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RhodyStruggle
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13 May 2015, 9:12 pm

xenocity wrote:
How did most countries deal with rapidly rising cost of healthcare brought on by free market capitalism?


The costs weren't brought on by "free market capitalism." The market wasn't free, it was bound by the legislative constraints I described above. Those constraints shaped the growth of the healthcare market just like the efforts of an arborsculptor shape the growth of their trees.

"Free market capitalism" is a contradiction. Capitalism is a system whereby absentee owners of capital are afforded legal recognition and enforcement of their private* property rights to said capital. The rents resulting from these private property rights are barriers to market entry as they increase labor's cost of access to capital. So a capitalist market is by definition not free.

Incidentally, I'm a free-market libertarian socialist.

* Note the etymological link between 'private' and 'deprive'. Compare with socialist personal property rights: you-and-only-you own all the things that you-and-only-you use, like your clothes and your toothbrush; you share ownership of things that you and others use, like your home and your workplace (unless you'd rather live and/or work alone); and nobody owns anything they don't use (like banks and investors).


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xenocity
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13 May 2015, 9:48 pm

RhodyStruggle wrote:
xenocity wrote:
How did most countries deal with rapidly rising cost of healthcare brought on by free market capitalism?


The costs weren't brought on by "free market capitalism." The market wasn't free, it was bound by the legislative constraints I described above. Those constraints shaped the growth of the healthcare market just like the efforts of an arborsculptor shape the growth of their trees.

"Free market capitalism" is a contradiction. Capitalism is a system whereby absentee owners of capital are afforded legal recognition and enforcement of their private* property rights to said capital. The rents resulting from these private property rights are barriers to market entry as they increase labor's cost of access to capital. So a capitalist market is by definition not free.

Incidentally, I'm a free-market libertarian socialist.

* Note the etymological link between 'private' and 'deprive'. Compare with socialist personal property rights: you-and-only-you own all the things that you-and-only-you use, like your clothes and your toothbrush; you share ownership of things that you and others use, like your home and your workplace (unless you'd rather live and/or work alone); and nobody owns anything they don't use (like banks and investors).

Again the legislative constraints were created in response to the rapid rising cost of healthcare in the 1800s.

The free market system if left alone will always a rise in oligopolies and monopolies, without checks from the public and government.
The U.S. and most economies were fully free market until the late 1800s, when each industry consolidated into a complete monopoly or an oligopoly of two, three or four companies.

These industries and companies became so powerful they were able to lock down their industries and exert control over the economy as whole.
By 1900 most state legislatures were "bought" by these companies and the U.S. Senate in turn was controlled by these companies.

Standard Oil became a monopoly by taking full advantage of the free market until it had the power to dictate the price to the market and dictate orders to everyone in the order of the supply chain including railroads.
If Rockefeller didn't like who the railroads were doing business with, he'd exert in his power via his company to put it to an end even if said company wasn't in competition with Standard Oil (Rockefeller was deeply religious too).

Etc...

Free markets are profit driven to the point the human emotion called greed takes over.
Free markets only exist when there is an entity present to enforce fair play.

I don't believe in fully government control of markets as a general rule, nor do I believe humans are capable of maintaining free markets without an active government regulating the market.


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14 May 2015, 3:07 am

pezar wrote:
Beating diabetes, especially if you catch it early, isn't rocket science. I have type 2 diabetes, and I managed to get it under control by cutting out fast food, oil soaked foods such as fried food, and wheat, and most sugar. The thing is, I haven't lost a whole lot of weight, I still have an ugly belly, but my diabetes and blood pressure are under control with dietary changes. (I'm still autistic, though. Sorry, goldfish21.) I know that Deep Southerners love their fried chicken, but it's not that good for you.


You don't take any pills to control blood sugar?



pezar
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14 May 2015, 1:13 pm

trollcatman wrote:
pezar wrote:
Beating diabetes, especially if you catch it early, isn't rocket science. I have type 2 diabetes, and I managed to get it under control by cutting out fast food, oil soaked foods such as fried food, and wheat, and most sugar. The thing is, I haven't lost a whole lot of weight, I still have an ugly belly, but my diabetes and blood pressure are under control with dietary changes. (I'm still autistic, though. Sorry, goldfish21.) I know that Deep Southerners love their fried chicken, but it's not that good for you.


You don't take any pills to control blood sugar?


I do, but I've had my dosage cut in half from what it originally was due to diet changes.



RhodyStruggle
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14 May 2015, 2:56 pm

xenocity wrote:
The free market system if left alone will always a rise in oligopolies and monopolies, without checks from the public and government.


Oligopolies and monopolies don't result from the free market. They result from market distortions emanating from concentrations of capital which have non-market origins. This goes back to the primitive accumulation of capital, the pre-Industrial era enclosures of common lands. Back then would-be industrialists faced a labor shortage. They could not get free men and women living in self-sustaining communities and paying rent to nobody to work on employers' terms. The people would only hire out their labor when and as it suited them. Then came the Enclosure Acts, which made the commons private property, which gave the landlords leave to collect rent from the common people, forcing them to hire out their labor in order to pay the rent.

An excellent essay going into much greater detail on this topic: The Iron Fist Behind The Invisible Hand

The bottom line is, any market where people are required to sell their labor in order to pay the rent is not free.


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To love through this hate to live with its weight
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pezar
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14 May 2015, 4:15 pm

RhodyStruggle wrote:
xenocity wrote:
The free market system if left alone will always a rise in oligopolies and monopolies, without checks from the public and government.


Oligopolies and monopolies don't result from the free market. They result from market distortions emanating from concentrations of capital which have non-market origins. This goes back to the primitive accumulation of capital, the pre-Industrial era enclosures of common lands. Back then would-be industrialists faced a labor shortage. They could not get free men and women living in self-sustaining communities and paying rent to nobody to work on employers' terms. The people would only hire out their labor when and as it suited them. Then came the Enclosure Acts, which made the commons private property, which gave the landlords leave to collect rent from the common people, forcing them to hire out their labor in order to pay the rent.

An excellent essay going into much greater detail on this topic: The Iron Fist Behind The Invisible Hand

The bottom line is, any market where people are required to sell their labor in order to pay the rent is not free.


I call the above the Carnegie Theory of Labor, because I first read about it in Think and Grow Rich, which was written by a protege of Andrew Carnegie. According to Carnegie, in the Industrial Age men went from producing things of value with their time, such as food, blacksmithy goods, etc, to hiring out their time to a capitalist so the capitalist could leverage the time of many people to produce things of value that would be beyond the reach of an individual person. Carnegie noted that the one equal quantity every man owns is his time, thus in a world where men hire out their time, a man must show the capitalist that he brings more to the table than just time. A man who has only his time is an "unskilled laborer", but as one gains more skills, one's time becomes more valuable to the capitalist. Carnegie believed that a man should gain as many skills as possible with the first third of his life, spend the second third building his empire, and spend the final third in philanthropic pursuits. This at a time when men were expected to live around 70-75 years at most.