Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
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08-11-2013, 10:36 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
Has anyone figured out why liberals can't get their around stuff yet?
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08-11-2013, 10:39 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(08-11-2013 10:11 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  Would you going to Guatemala for your chemo treatments? I sure wouldn't!

How much time have you actually spent in Guatemala? I never went to a hospital while I was there, but one of my friends in Quetzaltenango is a nurse. Guatemala has some fine institutions. The problem is that 90% of the population, particularly the indigenous, have been horrifically abused. For example, after WWII the United States deliberately infected healthy, unsuspecting people in Guatemala with syphilis so they could study how the disease progressed. And then in the 1950's the United States overthrew a democratically elected President and put in place a brutal military dictatorship that decimated the country. And then when the people of Guatemala finally got rid of the dictator and returned to democracy, they recently voted in a government that promised to legalize drugs since Guatemalans themselves don't have a drug problem, but they're caught in the cross fire of the US drug way and it's making progress very difficult, but, of course, the US again was up to dirty tricks to squash that, lest the bloodshed at the front line of the drug war creep closer to US soil, and again repressed Guatemala for selfish gain.

I'm not at all politically correct. And maybe you've been to Guatemala. But I find it offensive when Americans bash other countries that they know nothing about, and often times it's the US that destroyed the country in the first place. Good reading on the topic
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08-11-2013, 11:14 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(08-11-2013 10:28 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  Because you have a hard time grasping that it's not that simple...

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://youtu.be/qSjGouBmo0M

Great video. One minor inaccuracy is when he said "Americans are richer than those other countries" (which included Norway, Switzerland, etc.). Not quite. For example, in Switzerland the average household has $700,000 in savings. In the US, it's $110,000. Norway's per capita income is $72,300. The US is in 8th place at $44,200.

But that's one trivial inaccuracy that in no way detracts from the excellent message in the video and the great facts he brought up.

The only logic fallacy in that video is that the one reason for the US's high health costs that he focuses most of his time on is that the US government doesn't negotiate on behalf of the people. I agree that is likely A factor. BUT, the fact is that I can go to Mexico and buy US made drugs for 1/20 the price of what the same drug from the same factory costs this side of the border, yet in Mexico, the government is NOT negotiating on my behalf, and I, as one person, have very little negotiating power. True, Mexico's per capita income (PPP) is $12,000, less than 1/3 the US's, and land is cheaper, thus overhead is less, but that doesn't explain why a US made drug costs 1/20 the price. Therefore, there must be some other factors that are playing a bigger role. IMO, the guy should have spent some time on what I believe is a major factor: the US's unique patent system that ensures each drug is only offered by one company and then allows those patents to be renewed after the 20 year expiration combined with drug lobbyists getting special favors like a harsh US ban on getting medicine from other countries. He did NOT discredit this issue which is the pink elephant in the room. He chose not to mention it, even though it does a much better job of explaining the 'why', at least when it comes to patented drugs.

When the guy pointed out how many poor Americans go without health care and file bankruptcy over medical bills, the guy also failed to point that it wasn't always like this. We used to have a system where, if a poor person needed medical care, he went to one of the many charity hospitals in every city which were funded by rich people and had enough capacity to serve everyone in need, where doctors provided him the best care they could and sent him him with nothing but a pat on the back. BUT then social engineers decided it was demeaning for a poor person to ask charity, and decided instead they should be able to demand EVERY doctor must provide them care regardless of their ability to pay. This radically changed the dynamic. Naturally the charity hospitals are all gone; no doctor is going to provide free care out of kindness when every doctor has a gun to his head and is forced to do it against his will. So now we have this compassionate system where instead a poor person walks into any hospital of his choosing and demands medical care, and the doctors begrudgingly give him the bare minimum life stabilizing care to keep from losing their license, and then send him home with a bill that is often 10x higher than what the wealthier patients who could afford insurance pay, and they then turn it over to collection, which garnishes his wages, and forces him into bankruptcy. I wish he had talked about charity. I'm not sure why the concept of charity is so offensive to so many liberals. Charity is simply a redistribution of wealth, where money goes from rich people who have more than they need to poor people who need it. It's functionally the same as the liberals preferred method, progressive taxation, except the latter is done at gunpoint so rich people instead do everything they can to avoid it. Anyway, another topic. I'm all over the place again....

My question to you is when did I ever say it was a simple issue that could be fixed with a single change? I never disagreed with that video blogger that it's a complex issue with lots of factors.
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09-11-2013, 07:41 AM (This post was last modified: 09-11-2013 08:32 AM by Cathym112.)
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(08-11-2013 10:39 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(08-11-2013 10:11 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  Would you going to Guatemala for your chemo treatments? I sure wouldn't!

How much time have you actually spent in Guatemala? I never went to a hospital while I was there, but one of my friends in Quetzaltenango is a nurse. Guatemala has some fine institutions. The problem is that 90% of the population, particularly the indigenous, have been horrifically abused. For example, after WWII the United States deliberately infected healthy, unsuspecting people in Guatemala with syphilis so they could study how the disease progressed. And then in the 1950's the United States overthrew a democratically elected President and put in place a brutal military dictatorship that decimated the country. And then when the people of Guatemala finally got rid of the dictator and returned to democracy, they recently voted in a government that promised to legalize drugs since Guatemalans themselves don't have a drug problem, but they're caught in the cross fire of the US drug way and it's making progress very difficult, but, of course, the US again was up to dirty tricks to squash that, lest the bloodshed at the front line of the drug war creep closer to US soil, and again repressed Guatemala for selfish gain.

I'm not at all politically correct. And maybe you've been to Guatemala. But I find it offensive when Americans bash other countries that they know nothing about, and often times it's the US that destroyed the country in the first place. Good reading on the topic

I lived in Costa Rica for a year. But visa restrictions say you must leave the country every 90 days, for at least a week. Usually I ended up staying two weeks touring around the neighboring counties..Honduras, Guatemala,, etc.

Those countries, including Costa Rica, are third world counties. Not known for any medical advancements, or great medical school, or medical facilities! Costa Rica also doesn't have friggin road signs - you think they have state of the art MRI machines?

I love Costa Rica. But it is 3rd world. They are banana republics.

You think that the big pharma companies are spending money to keep smaller countries from medical advancement? Since you seem to have a very shallow grasp of economic policy, gun laws, murder laws, and the establishment of the US patent office, I am wondering where you are getting these ideas from...

Again - you seem to be conspiracy theorist. Are you also gonna tell me that the government put demolition charges into the World Trade Center and blew up the buildings?

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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09-11-2013, 08:27 AM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(08-11-2013 11:14 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(08-11-2013 10:28 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  Because you have a hard time grasping that it's not that simple...

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://youtu.be/qSjGouBmo0M

Great video. One minor inaccuracy is when he said "Americans are richer than those other countries" (which included Norway, Switzerland, etc.). Not quite. For example, in Switzerland the average household has $700,000 in savings. In the US, it's $110,000. Norway's per capita income is $72,300. The US is in 8th place at $44,200.



The only logic fallacy in that video is that the one reason for the US's high health costs that he focuses most of his time on is that the US government doesn't negotiate on behalf of the people. I agree that is likely A factor. BUT, the fact is that I can go to Mexico and buy US made drugs for 1/20 the price of what the same drug from the same factory costs this side of the border, yet in Mexico, the government is NOT negotiating on my behalf, and I, as one person, have very little negotiating power. True, Mexico's per capita income (PPP) is $12,000...

Please cite your source. And Wikipedia is not a source....

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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09-11-2013, 09:47 AM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(09-11-2013 07:41 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  Again - you seem to be conspiracy theorist. Are you also gonna tell me that the government put demolition charges into the World Trade Center and blew up the buildings?

I'm hardly a conspiracy theorist. In fact I'd say the opposite and tend to think of myself more as a skeptic and every time I hear conspiracy theories, like that the government put demolition charges in the WTC, I never believe it unless I find the evidence is unquestionable. So, no, I don't believe the WTC conspiracy theories, there is no evidence for them.

HOWEVER, there are a lot of things that are historical facts which people find uncomfortable to talk about and so they dismiss as conspiracy theories as a self-defense mechanism. Whenever I mention that US-backed researchers went to Guatemala and deliberately infected unsuspecting healthy people with syphilis to see how the disease progressed, many say, like you, that it's a conspiracy theory. And when I point to the Wikipedia page that explains it, here, I also find many share your view that Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source.

I beg to differ. First, there have been independent studies, like:

here: "Wikipedia is about as good a source of accurate information as Britannica, the venerable standard-bearer of facts about the world around us, according to a study published this week in the journal Nature."

And the reason I like Wikipedia much better than any other source is that the authors of every article are required to provide their sources, so you can determine yourself if the author is using credible sources and if those sources substantiate his position. On the wikipedia page, you'll see the first source for this conspiracy is..... The US Department of Health and Human Services. link Yeap, the US government formally admits it. In fact, Hilary Clinton even issued a formal apology saying: "we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health. We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices. The conduct exhibited during the study does not represent the values of the US, or our commitment to human dignity and great respect for the people of Guatemala."

So when we both hear something outrageous like this, it seems we both are naturally skeptical and think it's probably a conspiracy theory. The difference is you stop there and dismiss it without further consideration. However, I try to keep an open mind and dig further, oftentimes the conspiracy theories ARE correct, and they're just uncomfortable to admit so people bury their heads. YES, the US has shat on Guatemala, infected the people with syphilis to monitor how they die, overthrown a democratically elected government to put in place a repressive dictator, etc., etc.

If one hear ago we were discussing something in email or over the phone, and I said 'be careful, your comments may set off one of the government triggers', you'd insist I was a bat shit crazy conspiracy theorist. And if I said the NSA was building a data center with a storage capacity of 5 ZetaBytes, enough to store ALL internet, voice, text, email traffic in the world for 5 years, and that they've broken the encryption of https and are recording all your secure transactions, including your online banking passwords, and they're recording all your phone calls and email... You'd have called the psychiatric ward on me. One year ago, that sounded so outrageous that nobody would have believed it--myself included. I too would have dismissed it. But it ended up all being true, and actually was much worse than even the conspiracy theorists imagined.

Bottom line is that if you have a closed mind and dismiss something you don't like as a conspiracy theory without doing some research, imo, you're doing yourself a disservice. If you question any of the other statements I've made (other than those with afaik or other disclaimers on them), I encourage you to be specific and let me know, and I will provide credible sources.
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09-11-2013, 11:45 AM (This post was last modified: 09-11-2013 12:09 PM by Cathym112.)
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
Frank - you are incredibly frustrating to talk to. Not only do you hopscotch around points, conflating examples, but you also make wild assertions by using Wikipedia.

While it is a good source of information, you can't cite Wikipedia in a friggin research paper. Why? Because anyone can contribute information to it and sometimes it is wrong.
Wikipedia even states it's not a reliable source!!!

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia%3AAcademic_use

I asked you to cite your source regarding the median income you were claiming above.

Also - nothing frustrates me more when people put words in my mouth. I never - not once - implied that government experimentation didn't exist. We tested The effects on LSD on ourselves. It's deplorable.

Do you suffer from some kind of ADD? I mean no disrespect - I'm just trying to figure out why you seem incapable of discussing one thing without shooting off on 15 different tangents.

We are talking about the economics of health care and you are bringing up the US testing STDs on Guatemalans , as if that has anything to do with my point that it's not a free market if there is no suitable substitute. I used the example that the US is far more medically advanced than Guatemala, and I would not seek my chemo treatment there no matter how much cheaper it was. What does the US atrocities of the Guatemalans have to do with it? I'm not diminishing the horror of that - I just don't understand the relevance.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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09-11-2013, 11:58 AM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(09-11-2013 11:45 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  Frank - you are incredibly frustrating to talk to. Not only do you hopscotch around points, conflating examples, but you also make wild assertions by using Wikipedia.

While it is a good source of information, you can't cite Wikipedia in a friggin research paper. Why? Because anyone can contribute information to it and sometimes it is wrong.

Also - nothing frustrates me more when people put words in my mouth. I never - not once - implied that government experimentation didn't exist. We tested The effects on LSD on ourselves. It's deplorable.

Do you suffer from some kind of ADD? I mean no disrespect - I'm just trying to figure out why you seem incapable of discussing one thing without shooting off on 15 different tangents.

We are talking about the economics of health are and you are bringing up the US testing STDs on Guatemalans , as if that has anything to do with my point that it's not a free market if there is no suitable substitute. I used the example that the US is far more medically advanced than Guatemala, and I would not seek my chemo treatment there no matter how much cheaper it was. What does the US atrocities of the Guatemalans have to do with it? I'm not diminishing the horror of that - I just don't understand the relevance.

But you're the one who insisted that my post about the Guatemala syphilis scandal was a conspiracy theory (which it wasn't), leading us down this path. You're the one who brought up Guatemala and assumed that because the US is far more medically advanced than Guatemala, therefore Guatemala is not a viable option for chemo treatment. But this is an inaccurate assumption. Just because the AVERAGE US hospital may be more advanced than the AVERAGE Guatemala, does not mean that there is not one single hospital in Guatemala that has a modern MRI and can deliver care comparable to that in US hospitals. In Guatemala there ARE a handful of families that are very rich (remember the richest man in the world is Mexican). While I have no firsthand knowledge of Guatemala hospitals, it's not unreasonable to assume that there might be one hospital in Guatemala that caters to the super-rich and has the best medical equipment the world can buy. And the prices may still be a fraction of what they are in the US. I don't really know, and haven't researched it because I like the facility I found in Mexico. All I was saying that it's closed minded to dismiss my strategy of going to poorer countries for medical care because you just assume that no poor country has adequate medical care. That is simply not true. I've been to a medical tourism facility in Mexico, and it is every bit as nice as any facility I've seen in the US, and, as far as I can tell, has all the latest equipment and doctors from the best universities and still charges 1/10 the price.

However, you are right that this whole topic is a distraction. The entire point I was making in this thread is that it's illogical to use a managed risk product (insurance) to pay for non-risk expenses (routine care). Nobody's ever disputed, or even debated this, because the thread has gone in a million different directions. So I'll start a new thread and keep it very simple and on topic, dealing with one simple concept only.
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09-11-2013, 01:08 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(09-11-2013 11:58 AM)frankksj Wrote:  However, you are right that this whole topic is a distraction. The entire point I was making in this thread is that it's illogical to use a managed risk product (insurance) to pay for non-risk expenses (routine care). Nobody's ever disputed, or even debated this, because the thread has gone in a million different directions. So I'll start a new thread and keep it very simple and on topic, dealing with one simple concept only.

I disputed it.
HMO's were created to manage risk. They are health insurance plans that manage risk by check-up and early intervention which has been shown to reduce costs and improve outcomes.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-11-2013, 03:26 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(09-11-2013 01:08 PM)Chas Wrote:  I disputed it.
HMO's were created to manage risk. They are health insurance plans that manage risk by check-up and early intervention which has been shown to reduce costs and improve outcomes.

That's an irrelevant side point, not a dispute of the core premise.

I agree that EVERY insurance company has an invested interest in doing whatever is necessary to reduce the risk of claims. I never disputed that, and it has nothing to do with my claim.

My question is a much simpler and more obvious one... Take your example and imagine all insurance companies and HMO's are required to provide their customers one checkup per year. Thus while the checkup may effect the risk of OTHER claims, there is no risk to the checkup ITSELF--it's a fore drawn conclusion that everyone will need it. Now take the current law which states that, whatever the checkup costs, the insurance companies marks it up 25%. Is it in the insurance companies' best interest to see the cost of that routine checkup rise, across the board, for all insurance companies? Or is it in the insurance companies' best interest to see the cost drop across the board? It's pretty obvious. If the cost of a routine checkup doubles, the insurance companies' profit / markup doubles. If the cost is cut in half, so is the profit.

That is my core premise. And you did NOT dispute that. You went off attacking a strawman argument that I never made.

The point I am making is SOOO obvious, logical, airtight and simple, it _SHOULD_ go unchallenged. The reason you don't want to accept it, and want to muddy the debate by bringing in unrelated topics, is that if you address this axiom, you realize that "you're doing it wrong". A _BETTER_ way to get everyone to have a preventative checkup is for the insurance company to give you a credit to reduce the cost of your premium when you get a checkup that meets certain criteria, which you pay for yourself. This way, there is no perverse incentive, no conflict of the interest. The patient is STILL strongly incentivized to get a routine checkup. The insurance company is STILL incentivized to make sure the patient can get it, and that the patient gets a good, quality checkup. _BUT_ you've eliminated the perverse incentive for the insurance company to profit when the cost of routine checkups rises across the board.

You have NOT disputed that premise. You're talking about a different topic altogether, and this is why, as Cathym112 put it, this thread is all over the place. And this is why I started a new threat to focus on just this one axiom, although I see a Keynesian is already trying to derail it by changing the subject.
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