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PoliticalGround >> Arnold: Universal health coverage


1/8/07 8:50 PM
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FatBoyMagazine
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Edited: 08-Jan-07
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that cant possibly be true. If it is, than the insurance companies need a serious federal inquiry.
1/8/07 8:51 PM
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populist
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Edited: 08-Jan-07
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"If you heavily restricted med mal claims you'd save about 1%" So, if med-mal only accounts for 1%, yet doctors claim med-mal insurance is such a big barrier to making any money, lowering costs, and perhaps even practicing, where are all those premiums going?
1/8/07 9:01 PM
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SacWerneck
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Edited: 08-Jan-07
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GirlGround Team Sexy
"I don't agree with having the illegals accessible to this program. That's outrageous. I'm sick of the illegals in California getting off so easily and people overlooking it like it's not a big deal. " have you ever been in a ER at 2am? A bunch of mexican babys with colds. So instead of a small doctor visit we taxpayers pay for we pay for a ER visit.
1/8/07 9:38 PM
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jellyman
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"ADMIN: [ Delete Message : Warn User : Warn Super Admin ] From: Steve72 Date: 01/08/07 05:33 PM Member Since: 01/01/2001 37019 Total Posts Ignore User America spends more per capita on health care and provides less than most any western country Do you think universal health care will fix that? " Well, Canada and England are western countries, so if the assertion is true, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that UHC might not be THAT bad. Hell, it's not like Americans have a better life expectancy than Canadians, and we eat Moose smothered in maple syrup with poutine on the side for breakfast every day!
1/8/07 9:47 PM
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hubris
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0wned
1/8/07 9:53 PM
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FatBoyMagazine
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Edited: 08-Jan-07
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mmmm.... Moose.
1/8/07 10:04 PM
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AGS
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Edited: 08-Jan-07
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LOL @ people still thinking that the fed should not provide health care to its citizens.... I heard someone say on this thread that its nice for them to spend other peoples money...well, does the billions spent in iraq cause you this much angst?
1/8/07 10:05 PM
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hubris
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I heard someone say on this thread that its nice for them to spend other peoples money...well, does the billions spent in iraq cause you this much angst? Trillions, not billions
1/8/07 10:28 PM
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asdf
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"illegals already have universal health care in Cali" SJ is correct.
1/8/07 10:44 PM
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jellyman
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"There is validity to thee argument of R&D though. A lot of countries are able to do the "Universal" system because we spend a shit ton of money advancing and researching. Then they use the knowledge we paid for." While there is no doubt that US medical research is a significant contributor to the medical pool of knowledge, it's hardly as if they are the sole contributors. In fact, most medical research projects are multi-national.
1/8/07 10:48 PM
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JonnySak
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Edited: 08-Jan-07
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I heard someone say on this thread that its nice for them to spend other peoples money...well, does the billions spent in iraq cause you this much angst? yes, every penny.
1/9/07 1:33 AM
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Aussie Gumby
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Edited: 09-Jan-07 01:36 AM
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as an Australian I've always felt the US health care system was a complete joke. I've had completely free (or heavily govt subsidised)medical care all my life - simply because I'm australian. the australian govt also covers all health expenses in many overseas countries including much of western europe and Great Britain. The system in the US needs some serious overhaul and this is a start.
1/9/07 1:39 AM
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cuzz63
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As a conservative I turned this corner a couple years ago, Its time for the USA to have a basic Universal Health Care . People with more money can pay for better care if they want.
1/9/07 1:40 AM
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Gib
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"There is validity to thee argument of R&D though. A lot of countries are able to do the "Universal" system because we spend a shit ton of money advancing and researching. Then they use the knowledge we paid for. " Now come on, Every major university in the world does Research and Development in medicine. And dont forget, possibly the biggest breakthrough in human medicine (Stem cells) is being stalled by your governments bible thumping ways.
1/9/07 1:48 AM
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Fraser
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"America spends more per capita on health care and provides less than most any western country." So true. Just like education!! I really think it's time we privatized health care. I mean... whoops If we had universal health care, wouldn't that make it so that credit companies could no longer own people who couldn't pay their sudden and overwhelming medical bills? You can only go bankrupt once, after all. I would think that removing that source of revenue would be something they might lobby against. They must make billions.
1/9/07 9:23 AM
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Steve72
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Well, Canada and England are western countries, so if the assertion is true, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that UHC might not be THAT bad. I didn't say whether it was bad. It's just not going to reduce costs or increase efficiency. The reason (or at least one reason) health care costs are so out of line is because the consumer (the patient) has no relationship with the provider (the doctor), and doesn't know the actual costs. I am far, faaaaaaaaar from a free market absolutist, particularly w/r/t health care. But the current system eliminates that factor entirely...and changing who the third party payor is wouldn't do anything to correct that.
1/9/07 10:08 AM
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George Bush Fancier
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Edited: 09-Jan-07
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those tolling the doom bell should keep in mind that this is not a plan to socialize medicine in CA. many people already have health insurance; this plan will increase that number. unless the government of CA institutes price controls on different types of treatment(which as far as i know is not part of the plan) there's no reason to expect a shortage of care providers. the market will still set the value of health care. it's just that those who were previously uninsured will no longer be hit with gigantic bills and default on them, driving prices for the rest of us up.
1/9/07 10:40 AM
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PatK
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"The biggest factor pushing up healthcare costs is frivolous malpractice claims." I also think, like someone else mentioned, that people using the ER as their primary care physician, doesn't help either. ER's are for emergencies, not because you have an upset stomach or your kid has the sniffles.
1/9/07 11:07 AM
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jellyman
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"The biggest factor pushing up healthcare costs is frivolous malpractice claims." It might be germane to mention at this point that malpractice suites are waived under the UHC here. However doctors are very extensively vetted before they geta license. I have a couple friends who are doctors, so I know this.
1/9/07 11:10 AM
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Jbraswell
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Edited: 09-Jan-07
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"I heard someone say on this thread that its nice for them to spend other peoples money...well, does the billions spent in iraq cause you this much angst?" Way to bring in a completely unrelated topic. "While there is no doubt that US medical research is a significant contributor to the medical pool of knowledge, it's hardly as if they are the sole contributors. In fact, most medical research projects are multi-national." The US is far and away the leader in medical research. ""The biggest factor pushing up healthcare costs is frivolous malpractice claims." No way that is true. Have any data to back that up?
1/9/07 11:14 AM
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Jbraswell
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Edited: 09-Jan-07
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If anyone wants to read the upcoming exchange on health care at Cato Unbound, the first article is at this link. Yes, Cato has its biases, but they usually have a pretty well-rounded group in the ensuing discussion. Insulation vs. Insurance
1/9/07 11:18 AM
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Jbraswell
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As to the medical research in the US, here's a NYT article. I'll copy and paste in case you don't want to get the free subscription: Poor U.S. Scores in Health Care Don't Measure Nobels and Innovation By TYLER COWEN Advocates of national health insurance cite an apparently devastating fact: the United States spends more of its gross domestic product on medical care than any nation in the world, yet Americans do not live longer than Western Europeans or Japanese. More Americans lack insurance coverage as well. It is no wonder that so many people demand reform. But the American health care system may be performing better than it seems at first glance. When it comes to medical innovation, the United States is the world leader. In the last 10 years, for instance, 12 Nobel Prizes in medicine have gone to American-born scientists working in the United States, 3 have gone to foreign-born scientists working in the United States, and just 7 have gone to researchers outside the country. The six most important medical innovations of the last 25 years, according to a 2001 poll of physicians, were magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography (CT scan); ACE inhibitors, used in the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure; balloon angioplasty; statins to lower cholesterol levels; mammography; and coronary artery bypass grafts. Balloon angioplasty came from Europe, four innovations on the list were developed in American hospitals or by American companies (although statins were based on earlier Japanese research), and mammography was first developed in Germany and then improved in the United States. Even when the initial research is done overseas, the American system leads in converting new ideas into workable commercial technologies. In real terms, spending on American biomedical research has doubled since 1994. By 2003, spending was up to $94.3 billion (there is no comparable number for Europe), with 57 percent of that coming from private industry. The National Institutes of Health's current annual research budget is $28 billion, All European Union governments, in contrast, spent $3.7 billion in 2000, and since that time, Europe has not narrowed the research and development gap. America spends more on research and development over all and on drugs in particular, even though the United States has a smaller population than the core European Union countries. From 1989 to 2002, four times as much money was invested in private biotechnology companies in America than in Europe. Dr. Thomas Boehm of Jerini, a biomedical research company in Berlin, titled his article in The Journal of Medical Marketing in 2005 "How Can We Explain the American Dominance in Biomedical Research and Development?" (ostina.org/downloads/pdfs/bridgesvol7_BoehmArticle.pdf) Dr. Boehm argues that the research environment in the United States, compared with Europe, is wealthier, more competitive, more meritocratic and more tolerant of waste and chaos. He argues that these features lead to more medical discoveries. About 400,000 European researchers are living in the United States, usually for superior financial compensation and research facilities. This innovation-rich environment stems from the money spent on American health care and also from the richer and more competitive American universities. The American government could use its size, or use the law, to bargain down health care prices, as many European governments have done. In the short run, this would save money but in the longer run it would cost lives. Medical innovations improve health and life expectancy in all wealthy countries, not just in the United States. That is one reason American citizens do not live longer. Furthermore, the lucrative United States health care market enhances research and development abroad and not just at home.
1/9/07 11:18 AM
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Jbraswell
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Edited: 09-Jan-07
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The gains from medical innovations are high. For instance, increases in life expectancy resulting from better treatment of cardiovascular disease from 1970 to 1990 have been conservatively estimated as bringing benefits worth more than $500 billion a year. And that is just for the United States. The American system also produces benefits that are hard to find in the numbers. The economist Arnold Kling in his "Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care" (Cato Institute, 2006) (catostore.org/index.asp?fa=ProductDetails&method=cats&scid=37&pid=1441301) argues that the expected life span need increase by only about half a year for the extra American health care spending to be cost-effective over a 20-year period. Given that many Americans walk less and eat less healthy food than most Europeans, the longevity boost from health care in the United States may be real but swamped by the results of poor lifestyle choices. In the meantime, the extra money Americans spend to treat allergy symptoms, pain, depression and discomfort contributes to personal happiness. Compared with Europe, the American system involves more tests, more procedures and more visits with specialists. Sick people receive more momentary comforts and also the sense that everything possible has been done. This feeling is of value to the family even when the patient does not improve. In contrast, European countries have not created comparably high expectations about the medical process. If we count "giving people what they would want, if they knew it was there" as one measure of medical value, the American system looks better. American health care has many problems. Health insurance is linked too tightly to employment, and too many people cannot afford insurance. Insurance companies put too much energy into avoiding payments. Personal medical records are kept on paper rather than in accessible electronic fashion. Emergency rooms are not always well suited to serve as last-resort health care for the poor. Most fundamentally, the lack of good measures of health care quality makes it hard to identify and eliminate waste. These problems should be addressed, but it would be hasty to conclude that the United States should move closer to European health care institutions. The American health care system, high expenditures and all, is driving innovation for the entire world. Tyler Cowen is a professor of economics at George Mason University and co-writer ofa blog at www.marginalrevolution.com. He can be reached at tcowen@gmu.edu.
1/9/07 11:26 AM
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Trust
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Edited: 09-Jan-07
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I hope it works out. I think employer-provided medical benefits reduces the mobility of labor in our economy. People are hesitant to leave jobs and try new careers or open small businesses because they'll lose medical benefits.
1/9/07 11:31 AM
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George Bush Fancier
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Edited: 09-Jan-07
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oh, i also wanted to take this opportunity to point out that MASSACHUSETTS DID IT FIRST! -- Massachusetts: leading the way on socialism and gay marriage since way, way back.

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