God's Politics

God's Politics


Adam Taylor: A Victory for Children’s Health

posted by God's Politics

Our voices are being heard! Yesterday the House passed a bill to enlarge the State Children’s Health Insurance Program by $47 billion over five years to extend coverage to an additional 5 million children.
The Senate will be debating a similar measure to expand the highly successful program by $35 billion over five years, adding 3 million children. Despite President Bush’s ideologically-driven and mean-spirited threat of a veto, we are approaching a veto-proof majority of 70 votes in the Senate. In order to secure 70 votes we need a continuous barrage of phone calls from faith advocates from across the country adding their voices to a growing chorus that calls for a healthier future for our nation’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
Call your senators today at (877) 367-5235, a free number set up by our friends at PICO National Network. Tell them that people of faith are counting on them to stand up for the millions of uninsured children in the U.S.

Adam Taylor is director of campaigns and organizing for Sojourners/Call to Renewal.



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kevin s.

posted August 3, 2007 at 9:55 am


If a veto is ideologically driven, it really can’t be mean-spirited at the same time. But then, he’s the anti-Christ, so I suppose he has special powers.



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Ben Wheaton

posted August 3, 2007 at 9:58 am


When one looks at the wait-times in Canada, one wonders if President Bush is really being “mean-spirited.”



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Ben Wheaton

posted August 3, 2007 at 10:01 am


When one looks at the wait-times in Canada, one wonders if President Bush is really being “mean-spirited.”



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Wolverine

posted August 3, 2007 at 10:11 am


This is a victory for middle-class entitlements. For children’s health it’s a wash at best.
Wolverine



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Korey

posted August 3, 2007 at 10:15 am


kevin s:
Yes it can be ideologically driven and mean-spirited. Maybe it’s a mean-spirited ideology or a mean-spirited individual advancing it.
ideological: relating to or concerned with ideas
mean-spirited: exhibiting or characterized by meanness of spirit
ben wheaton: Status quo supporter. Canada’s wait-times mean we ought not try to improve our system? Ought not try to cover more children? Of course not, because there just can’t be a way to cover everyone and have good sound coverage for all, so let’s avoid jeopardizing our own coverage merely for the least of these.



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Eric

posted August 3, 2007 at 10:20 am


“Mean-spirited” was definitely a poor choice of words by Adam. It implies there wasn’t really a policy disagreement here, but more of a personal animus towards those who would benefit from this legislation. Sloppy writing and/or editing.



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Anonymous

posted August 3, 2007 at 10:30 am


State Children’s Health Insurance Program
In some states – most of the money is used for adults. So maybe the name should be changed? It is being mismanaged in the majority of the states so maybe a veto is in order.
We can improve our system but lets not throw the baby out with the bath. I do not want what Canada has and my sister in England has a fund she can tap to return to the US and is willing to go into any county hospital in the US compared to the majority of the hospitals in the UK – it is that bad.
Have a great day and weekend!
.



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Ben Wheaton

posted August 3, 2007 at 10:51 am


Korey,
I do not support the status quo, but I do think that there is a better way to cover children than expanding SCHIP. Making personal insurance portable and affordable would go much farther to cover children than SCHIP or its progeny. I currently live in Canada, and while I do not think that Canada should mimic the U.S. in healthcare provision (why should the 30th-ranked country copy the 39th?), I do think that the U.S. should try to preserve its strengths (i.e. fast, good care) that would not be preserved under a government-run system.



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Moderatelad

posted August 3, 2007 at 10:57 am


Posted by: | August 3, 2007 10:30 AM
This one is my post – missed the name.
Blessings -
.



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 3, 2007 at 12:09 pm


Here’s the numbers:
If the house bill passes it grants $9,400 to each of the 5 million children.
If the Senate bill passes it grants $11,667 to its 3 million children.
I’m not sure if this is per year, or over the course of the five years. I can’t tell from the data. And this is additional on top of the “safety net” that already exists.
If it’s annually, that’s a lot of money. Too much money. With so much extra federal cash going to medicine, you can expect prices for everyone to continue going up and up and up.
If, on the other hand, we did away with all state funding and regulation of medicine we should expect the prices to fall dramatically, making it possible for normal people to afford medical care.
For those who fall through the cracks the church must rise up and look after the least of these as it has done in the past.
Nathanael Snow



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Korey

posted August 3, 2007 at 12:17 pm


Some people aren’t covered. Costs are rising. The coverage of many people has gotten worse while rising in cost. If preserving fast good care cannot be done without ensuring care for all citizens, then I’m for adjustments to the speed of care. This is the right thing to do. By all means, let’s expand the coverage and maintain fast good care, but it seems we often favor fast over expanded coverage. This seems human nature, but Christians ought to be advancing primarily good coverage for all. Fast should not be the Christian’s primary concern if it comes at the expense of covering all people; not all care is equal in terms of medical necessity. That form of selfishness is the antithesis of the way of Jesus.
If we are searching for how to have good care for ALL people, then I’m interested in ANY and ALL approaches. If we are concerned that it will be slower for some or not comprehensive enough, such that we elevate this concern over the concern that all are covered, then I have a problem with it.



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kevin s.

posted August 3, 2007 at 12:35 pm


” If we are concerned that it will be slower for some or not comprehensive enough, such that we elevate this concern over the concern that all are covered, then I have a problem with it.”
But this article doesn’t even acknowledge that this trade-off must be made. I suppose you can argue that the ideology was formed exclusively out of malice, but that is a ridiculous argument to make.



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justintime

posted August 3, 2007 at 1:34 pm


The above arguments against universal health care are recycled propaganda from the corporate health insurance industry, which maintains the most powerful lobby in Washington.
It costs a lot of money to bury the facts on universal health care.
Do your own research, folks.
Find out the facts.
Think for yourselves.
Nathanael Snow: “For those who fall through the cracks the church must rise up and look after the least of these as it has done in the past.”
This hasn’t worked in the past and it won’t work in the future.



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Jenna

posted August 3, 2007 at 4:11 pm


Thank you justintime…As a Canadian, I can tell you that free, universal health care DOES NOT



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Annie (UK)

posted August 3, 2007 at 4:38 pm


The majority of hospitals in the UK are not as bad as your anonymous correspondant with the sister in England claims. There there are waiting lists and priority cases which those with private insurance sometimes selfishly attempt to by-pass but it is an effecient system of delivering good basic healthcare to all of our diverse population and we certainly don’t have children being denied medical treatment because of the perceived inadequacies of their parents.
My daughter,who lives in Germany, finds the system there (which is closer to the US model), very wasteful of resources in that during her recent uncomplicated pregnancy she was obliged to have all sorts of unnecessary tests and scans because her obstetrician lacked the level of clinical expertise of most ordinary British GPs and midwives.
Where care does fall down in the UK is in the cinderella specialities…….mental health, learning disability and geriatrics where the boundaries between health and social services blur. I suspect that this is the same in most of the developed world. One of my sons-in-law is from SE Asia and his Hindu relatives support the weak and ill in their extended family in a way that is rarely seen nowadays in the West even in the most devout Christian families.



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Ben Wheaton

posted August 3, 2007 at 4:39 pm


Jenna,
Taxes in Canada are higher precisely because of universal healthcare. The canard of “we should be able to sacrifice good healthcare for universal healthcare” is just that; a canard. Government does not have a responsibility to give you a good life at all, this is one of the most foolish parts of liberalism.



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Stephen

posted August 3, 2007 at 5:25 pm


Comments such as “the church helping those who fall through the cracks”, along with “the government shouldn’t do it, but the church should”, etc. are always submitted, but in these scenarios that is exactly the problem…they aren’t getting it done, no matter the reason.
I’m certain that if U.S. churches managed to provide healthcare to all children (and adults), our demand for the government to provide it would go down significantly. While the myriad of chruches and church groups would pull off an amazing miracle if they were to provide health care (or help provide access to it) for the 47 million+ that don’t have it, I would be okay with that. So, bring it on churches! Every church could commit to raising funds for their particular block (we in the Bible Belt would have a surplus!). It would be amazing!
Until then, Let’s add “socialized medicine” to our “socialized” police force, fire deparmtents and schools”. While there are always disagreements on political issues among us Christians, this one seems relatively simple compared to others (in my humble opinion). If children and the poor can get healthcare and I have to pay higher taxes, so be it. If the Bush Admnisistration and Congress can justify 8 billion a month in Iraq, certainly they can come up 10 billion a year to cover all children and their health! That seems pretty Christlike to me.



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Anonymous

posted August 3, 2007 at 5:28 pm


Ben says: “Taxes in Canada are higher precisely because of universal healthcare.”
Prove it, Ben.



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justintime

posted August 3, 2007 at 5:41 pm


Oh and Ben,
If you compare Canadian and American tax rates, be sure and add in a factor for average American family health insurance premiums and out of pocket costs.
I think you’ll find out that the Canadian system is much more cost effective, especially when you consider the fact that 47 million Americans have no health care plan whatsoever.
This is because there are no predatory health insurance corporations bleeding the Canadian system.



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kevin s.

posted August 3, 2007 at 5:49 pm


“Let’s imagine that each kid needs something that will cost $3000. Here in Canada, that $3000 would be split between about 30 million, making the cost to each person only about 1/100 of a cent.”
The concept is the same with private insurance. The margin on health insurance premiums is minimal, with most profits made by way of the ability of insurance companies to hold onto premiums and invest them.
“Prove it, Ben.”
There are specific taxes to pay for health care in Canada. Tax rates in Canada are substantially higher, especially for families.



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Anonymous

posted August 3, 2007 at 5:58 pm


Kevin says: “There are specific taxes to pay for health care in Canada. Tax rates in Canada are substantially higher, especially for families.”
Prove that, Kevin.



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kevin s.

posted August 3, 2007 at 6:08 pm


“This is because there are no predatory health insurance corporations bleeding the Canadian system.”
Some questions:
Is all insurance, then, predatory?
Homeowners and car insurance too?
Should we nationalize those?
Why not, if they concept of private insurance is predatory?
What profit margin do you deem predatory?
Why are you so certain that the government will be able to cut costs without affecting quality?
What if they don’t?
Under universal health care, won’t the same “predators” still be handling they system, or do you think we should go with an entirely inexperienced work force with lives on the line?
How much do you think Universal Health care will cost in this country?
How would you prevent health care “tiering”, wherein citizens purchase private insurance on top of their existing coverage?



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justintime

posted August 3, 2007 at 6:09 pm


Kevin says, “The margin on health insurance premiums is minimal, with most profits made by way of the ability of insurance companies to hold onto premiums and invest them.”
What IS the margin on health care premiums, Kevin?
And have you noticed the obscene profits posted by the health insurance industry and the obscene salaries and perks the execs reward themselves with?
Check the facts out for yourself before you post recycled health insurance industry propaganda.



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Maria

posted August 3, 2007 at 6:10 pm


Not to be wonkish…and a tad empirical, but if people are going to make generalized claims about an issue, cite a source….make your case.
Otherwize, its antidotal at best.
I know this is just a blog, but so many people on here nitpick and make generalized claims..especially when it comes to the healthcare debate.



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kevin s.

posted August 3, 2007 at 6:33 pm


“What IS the margin on health care premiums, Kevin?”
Depends on the stock market. Sometimes there is no margin whatsoever. Usually, I believe it is about 2-4%. In the hey-day of the tech-boom, there were negative margins in some industries, but that is obviously not the norm. That is the way the insurance industry works, not propaganda.
“And have you noticed the obscene profits posted by the health insurance industry and the obscene salaries and perks the execs reward themselves with?”
The profit margins for Aetna and UHC are under 10%. As for the executives, they earn pay by increasing profit margins. If you take them out of the equation, the whole system will become more expensive, not less.
I also asked you some questions, and I am not going to be persuaded by someone who has not even considered them.



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Anonymous

posted August 3, 2007 at 6:36 pm


“Is all insurance, then, predatory?
Homeowners and car insurance too?”
Much of the insurance industry is predatory but not all of it.
The insurance industry is not really a productive sector of the American economy.
Talk to those who lost their homes to the hurricanes and can’t collect on their claims.
“Should we nationalize those?”
Not necessarily.
“Why not, if they concept of private insurance is predatory?”
The concept of private insurance is not predatory per se, but many insurance corporations use predatory business practices and this has no place in our national health care system.
“What profit margin do you deem predatory?”
Recently, while visiting my brother, I had earwax removed at the California Ear Institute. The procedure took 10 minutes. My health plan was billed $672 and I was billed for a $65 ‘copayment’.
I consider this charge predatory so when I got home I called their business manager and complained.
He said it was within ‘legal limits’.
“Why are you so certain that the government will be able to cut costs without affecting quality?”
The experience of the other developed economies which have universal health care coverage convinces me that America can do it too, maybe better.
“What if they don’t?”
We hound our government until they fix it.
That’s what democracy is all about, isn’t it?
“Under universal health care, won’t the same “predators” still be handling they system,”
No.
The health insurance industry has no place in a single payer system.
“or do you think we should go with an entirely inexperienced work force with lives on the line?”
No again.
The same health care professionals work for the single payer system.
“How much do you think Universal Health care will cost in this country?”
You work up some numbers for the present dysfunctional system and I’ll show you how a single payer system will beat your numbers.
“How would you prevent health care “tiering”, wherein citizens purchase private insurance on top of their existing coverage?”
I see nothing wrong with what you call ‘tiering’, as long as it doesn’t tax the effectiveness of the single payer system.
After all it’s a free country, isn’t it?



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justintime

posted August 3, 2007 at 6:59 pm


Kevin,
Has your health care plan ever stiffed you on a claim?
Most people I know have stories about their claims denied by the health insurance industry.
Most people I know have stories about how their friends or relatives were denied coverage because of ‘prior conditions’.
Predatory insurance corporations are allowed to ‘cherry pick’ their customers to maximize profits, leaving those most in need of health care to get sick and die.
So when you compare the present dysfunctional system to a single payer concept, be sure and consider all of the factors.



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justintime

posted August 3, 2007 at 7:07 pm


Kevin,
You may be too proud to allow me to buy your ticket to Sicko, but please see the movie at your own expense.
What you will learn is well worth the price of admission.
You might even be able to field a better argument against the universal single payer health care system for America.
As it stands, your arguments are largely recycled propaganda from the predatory health insurance industry.



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kevin s.

posted August 3, 2007 at 8:00 pm


“The insurance industry is not really a productive sector of the American economy.”
That is a ludicrous statement.
“Not necessarily.”
Why not? It is counter-productive and predatory, right? That is your argument for why we should nationalize health care? Why not all risk management?
“but many insurance corporations use predatory business practices ”
Define predatory business practice.
“I consider this charge predatory”
Why? They covered 90% of your bill. Any nationalized health care will invariably require some out of pocket expense. Deductibles are a major component of risk management.
“The experience of the other developed economies which have universal health care coverage convinces me that America can do it too, maybe better.”
I would argue that it would be worse. We have major health problems as a result of obesity in this country. The government will be forced to make decisions about how to deal with this, but I can guarantee you the same model used in Europe will not apply.
“We hound our government until they fix it.”
That’s easier said than done. Look at the farm bill. Bureaucracies don’t fix easy.
“That’s what democracy is all about, isn’t it?”
No.
“The same health care professionals work for the single payer system.”
Right. Those are the same people who were acting out in a predatory nature before, according to you. Why would things be different?
“I see nothing wrong with what you call ‘tiering’,”
Well, private insurers will fund better doctors, better specialists. It will be like education. Those who can afford it will get real coverage, while the rest will be stuck with an expensive, ineffective mess. You can argue that we have an expensive, ineffective mess, but my experience with health care has been much, much better than my experience with public school.
“Has your health care plan ever stiffed you on a claim?”
No. I call the nurseline before going into the doctor. I’ve been stiffed by the government many, many times, however.
“Most people I know have stories about how their friends or relatives were denied coverage because of ‘prior conditions’.”
This is a compelling reason to fund insurance, but not a compelling reason to keep private insurers out. It also tells you that our costs will go up once we have a single-payer system.
“You may be too proud to allow me to buy your ticket to Sicko, but please see the movie at your own expense.”
Fahrenheit 9/11 sucked. This movie looks worse. I don’t want to see it. Just because someone makes a political movie does not mean that I am uninformed for not having seen it.
“As it stands, your arguments are largely recycled propaganda from the predatory health insurance industry.”
They aren’t recycled from anywhere. You are the one who keeps saying the same things over and over. Just because the health insurance industry has a horse in this race doesn’t mean that their arguments have no validity.



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justintime

posted August 3, 2007 at 8:55 pm


Kevin’s argument against universal health care boils down to the health insurance industry standard mantra:
1. The health care system in America is working fine – in fact it’s the best in the world.
2. But it could be working even better if the government wouldn’t intervene with the free market for health care.
3. If you think the system is expensive now, just let the government take it over.
The costs would go through the roof.
4. Other countries have tried universal single payer government health care systems, but all are utter failures.
5. In a single payer system, the government will dictate to you your health care provider and what health care you shall receive from them.
6. Health care professionals will resent working for the government for poor wages and the professional standards will deteriorate.
7. Unfortunately, if we were to insure the poor and the sick, it would cost the government even more money.
It’s not surprising Kevin believes this false propaganda because he doesn’t dare to see controversial movies or venture much outside of the corporate Republican echo chamber.
“This is the best of all possible worlds and if anything is changed, things will only get worse.”
Kevin doesn’t allow his ethical world view to evolve any further than its present state of tenuous equilibrium.
Kevin doesn’t believe in evolution.
His faith in the elusive, non-existent health care ‘free market’ remains unshakable.
Where’s neuronurse when you need him?



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justimtime

posted August 3, 2007 at 9:03 pm


I forgot to ask Kevin why he thinks Fahrenheit 911 sucked.



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Bill Samuel

posted August 3, 2007 at 9:05 pm


The Senate did pass the bill by a veto-proof majority. While the general idea of improving health coverage for children is a good one, there are some very bad aspects about the Senate bill.
In the first place, it reverses current policy which covers unborn children, so in this respect it is a step backward. An effort to strip that provision lost on a 49-50-1 vote, with Senators Kennedy and Kerry joining pro-life Senators in the unsuccessful effort to retain coverage for the unborn.
Secondly, the way the coverage for women is worded appears to mean that in states which fund abortions through women’s health insurance the Federal government would be paying for abortions. It is ironic that a bill with the ostensible purpose of helping children’s health would actually fund the killing of children.
So while I disagree with the Bush Administration that the nation can’t afford to provide health care for more children than currently, there may be valid grounds for a veto if these unfortunate provisions in the Senate bill are still present in the final version that goes to the President.



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justintime

posted August 3, 2007 at 9:06 pm


Kevin says: “I’ve been stiffed by the government many, many times, however.”
Would you care to tell us about it, Kevin?



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justintime

posted August 3, 2007 at 9:15 pm


Thanks for the update, Bill.
“it reverses current policy which covers unborn children, so in this respect it is a step backward.”
What were the arguments for NOT covering the unborn and what are the expected consequences?
“the way the coverage for women is worded appears to mean that in states which fund abortions through women’s health insurance the Federal government would be paying for abortions.”
“appears to mean” – Will this get worked out in the courts?



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Kenneth Jackson

posted August 3, 2007 at 10:11 pm


I’m shocked and ashamed of the comments people have made about not caring for those who are less fortunate. I am who I am because I was blessed with good parents, opportunities for an excellent post graduate education and good genes. None of those was of my making.
I have worked in the Canadian health care system. Certainly, for some things such as hip replacements, wait times seem overly long to those in pain. Ask a Canadian if, to shorten the wait, they would be willing to pay the U.S. costs to have that done. The fact is that if the need for any service is critical, care is very quickly given. I have been not only a provider but also a consumer. For all its faults, Canadian health care is very good indeed.



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Anonymous

posted August 3, 2007 at 11:25 pm


Ken: “I’m shocked and ashamed of the comments people have made about not caring for those who are less fortunate.”
Indeed!
And I feel shock and shame when I read the elaborate alibis offered in defense of indifferent attitudes.
No apologies are offered for the failure to act.



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kevin s.

posted August 4, 2007 at 1:05 am


“It’s not surprising Kevin believes this false propaganda because he doesn’t dare to see controversial movies or venture much outside of the corporate Republican echo chamber.”
I work in a bi-partisan PR/PA shop, and have worked on behalf of universal health care at the state level. Also, you invented a strawman argument, attributed it to me, and then attacked it.
“I forgot to ask Kevin why he thinks Fahrenheit 911 sucked.”
As a documentary, it has no consistent message, does not provide factual support for it’s central theme (which isn’t clear to begin with), and lacks the objectivity that is necessary for compelling non-fiction. As a drama, it was maudlin, manipulative and tacky.
“I’m shocked and ashamed of the comments people have made about not caring for those who are less fortunate”
Who said this?



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paul

posted August 4, 2007 at 1:41 am


justintime,
Anyone who knows anything about the Canadian system (as a Canadian, I do know a bit about this) knows that the Canadian system is not sustainable in it’s current form. The current President of the Canadian Medical Association, (and my orthopedic surgeon) is advocating a move toward a system similar to that in the US. A simple google search on his name or on the problems with the Canadian system will show that the answers to the problems in both countries are not as simplistic as you portray. Both systems have serious problems and the solution seems well beyond the simplistic retoric we see here.
cheers, Paul



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justintime

posted August 4, 2007 at 10:30 am


Paul,
Your claims are at odds with accounts given by other Canadians (Jenna and Kenneth) on this thread.
If the current President of the CMA (what’s his name anyway?)is advocating moving to a system similar to that in the US he would be well advised to go see Moore’s Sicko.
“A simple google search on his name or on the problems with the Canadian system will show that the answers to the problems in both countries are not as simplistic as you portray. Both systems have serious problems and the solution seems well beyond the simplistic retoric we see here.”
What are the serious problems in both systems, as you see them?



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justintime

posted August 4, 2007 at 11:13 am


Paul,
What is your orthopedic surgeon’s name so I can google it?
Your claim that the Canadian system is not sustainable in its current form I have not heard before.
Why do you say this?
What are the serious problems in both systems, as you see them?
If Canada moved to American style corporate health care for profit, it would be a tragedy for all Canadians.
I hope the President of the CMA watches Moore’s documentary ‘Sicko’ before he goes any further with this ill considered idea.



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justintime

posted August 4, 2007 at 11:29 am


Kevin,
What is a bipartisan PR/PA shop?
How can you do a good job on behalf of universal health care at the state level if you don’t believe in universal health care?
What was the straw man argument you refer to?
Perhaps you should see Fahrenheit 911 again in view of recent developments.
Kenneth Jackson made that statement – see above.



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kevin s.

posted August 4, 2007 at 11:45 am


“How can you do a good job on behalf of universal health care at the state level if you don’t believe in universal health care?”
Because I sympathize with the skeptics, and I can extricate my emotions from a debate. I should note that the trend is away from calling it Universal Health Care.
“What was the straw man argument you refer to?”
The seven bullet points you listed. My argument is more compelling than that.
“Perhaps you should see Fahrenheit 911 again in view of recent developments.”
No. It’s not a good film.
“Kenneth Jackson made that statement – see above.”
My question was who said that they didn’t care about the less fortunate.



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paul

posted August 4, 2007 at 12:05 pm


justintime,
My primary point is that people need to do their homework, before spouting off simplistic answers. If you really wanted to understand the subject, you could easily have found Dr.Brian Day on your own. All of the info regarding the problems is readily available to anyone really interested in looking. One of the things I find so frustrating about this blog is that too many people seem to be so willing to spout off simplistic solutions without being willing to do even the most elementary homework necessary to have anything remotely like an informed opinion on an issue. And anyone who is going to point to Fahrenheit 911 as any sort of reference other than propaganda falsely claming to be a documentary is beyond hope.
The short answers to a couple of your questions, is that the Canadian system’s model of funding cannot sustain the ever increasing demands upon it. There is also a brain drain of many of our qualified Doctors going to the states because the options are better for them there.
Do I have a solution, no. I do know that the solution will require a lot of study of the real problems associated with both systems, and what the surrounding contributing factors are that perpetuate those problems. One of the proposed solutions is a two tiered system, but following the British model does not give me hope.
I do know that when I see some Canadians pointing to the American system as the solution to our problems, and then see Americans pointing to the Canadian system as the solution to their problems, I am inclined to think that neither side knows what they are talking about.
cheers, Paul



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Payshun

posted August 4, 2007 at 1:34 pm


Well it’s the standard thing. Conservatives despise government intervention for domestic uses. They don’t think that’s the best way to solve our healthcare issues. The fact that children are involved means little. They don’t believe they will be treated once the program is instituted.
That’s the pathetic part. YOu would think that trying to find some coverage for children would be a good thing. You would think that right? Well according to conservatives it’s not. They will die or get sick or whatever w/ no coverage and that’s preferable to what the government can offer.
Honestly I don’t get that at all. Someone please explain how it is preferable for children to go w/o any coverage.
p



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justintime

posted August 4, 2007 at 1:47 pm


Paul,
Since he is your orthopedic surgeon, you could have easily presented Brian Day’s arguments in your post.
Instead you criticize God’s Politics posters for not doing more research to discover Day’s views on our own.
Although Day is the new CMA president, he does not speak for all Canadians, by any stretch of the imagination.
Here is a quote from “DR. PROFIT DENIES HIS PROFITEERING PAST AND PRETENDS TO LOVE PUBLIC HEALTH CARE”
“Minutes after Canada’s largest doctors’ organization chose Day, THE OWNER OF CANADA’S LARGEST FOR-PROFIT MEDICAL CENTRE IN VANCOUVER, to be their next president, Dr. Day – or Dr. Profit, as we like to call him – found himself on the defensive. Thanks to an enormously successful campaign by the Profit Is Not the Cure team at the Council of Canadians, Dr. Day couldn’t get through one public appearance without being questioned about his views on the privatization of health care.
So Dr. Day repeated again and again that he believes in public health care, contradicting a lifetime of arguments to the contrary. Dr. Day’s strategy may work for sound clips, but you can only run so far from your past before it catches up with you.”
http://www.canadians.org/publications/CP/2006/autumn/health.html
I recommend Dr. Profit view ‘Sicko’ (not FH 911) for some insight into America’s dysfunctional for-profit corporate health care system before he does anything stupid.
I agree that the solution will require a lot of study of the real problems.
Misrepresenting the Canadian health care system to Americans, as you have done, doesn’t help much.



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justintime

posted August 4, 2007 at 2:02 pm


I don’t get it either, payshun.



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justintime

posted August 4, 2007 at 2:11 pm


Kevin: “The seven bullet points you listed. My argument is more compelling than that.”
Well then, let’s hear it.



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Anonymous

posted August 4, 2007 at 3:01 pm


justintime,
No misrepresentation at all, just an example of one of the voices in the debate going on up here. As a matter of fact my GP is on the other side of the debate, and I tend to agree with her, but your reply just confirms my point.I never claimed that Day spoke for all Canadians, that is your misrepresentation. I never claimed to agree with Day, however he and others like him are correct in pointing out some of the difficulites with our current system, which you seem unwilling to come to terms with.
cheers, Paul



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justintime

posted August 4, 2007 at 4:12 pm


Paul,
I’m hoping you will contribute to this thread by enlightening us with the SUBSTANCE of the arguments going on up there, describing the problems with the Canadian system and the proposals for their solution.
Instead you dance around the issue of universal health care, accusing us of being ignorant and simplistic in the face of your peerless authority on the Canadian health care system.
Your peerless authority and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Profit, is criticized by the Canadian Council for his evasiveness in the Canadian health care debate.
Dr. Profit sounds like he would fit right in with the corporate health insurance industry and the conservative Republican party in America.



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justintime

posted August 4, 2007 at 4:25 pm


For those who are interested in more detail on the Canadian health care debate, you can visit this site, maintained by the Council of Canadians.
http://www.canadians.org/publications/CP/2006/autumn/health.html
At this link you will find Dr. Profit’s arguments laid out, along with rebuttals and solutions to problems encountered with the Canadian health care system.
Thanks to Paul for revealing the name of his personal orthopedic surgeon so we can follow this debate.
Canada had the courage to implement a national health care system.
America can learn from the Canadian experience in designing a universal health care system for Americans.



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Mick Sheldon

posted August 4, 2007 at 4:32 pm


I do enjoy many of the posts at times discussing issues here . Many of the people here have a wealth of knowldge and challenge and/or have knowledge that I find enlightening . Learned about the Flying Tigers a blog back .
I do however wish some could read up or try to sit back and listen more then throw out level 101 perjoratives because of their lack of understanding of the issues , even to the extent of accusing one side of not caring about the “children” . The debate is entirely based upon these children , their children and their children and so on .
One aspect of Universal Health Care I like is the possible freedom it will allow people , of course this is a double edge sword because to have universal healthcare, choice may be compromised in the type of care .
But individuals who may have decided NOT to go into business for them selves , done well , and even hired new workers but decided not to try because of lack of ability of taking care of their family medical needs will not be inhibited if Universal Health Care becomes the way we do things . .
There are in deed many positive reasons for universal health care , but their are also negatives . How can you debate an issue and not know the drawbacks to your side of the issue and just blame the other side for not caring about children .
What is obvious to me are some folks who rather use scapegoating then intellectual honesty , Michael Moore , come on , he’s talented , his documentarys are entertaining , but they also are biased , sometimes inaccurate , and more propaganda then something you can use in a classroom .



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justintime

posted August 4, 2007 at 4:56 pm


Mick,
If you ever find an unbiased opinion, please let me know.



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Anonymous

posted August 4, 2007 at 10:12 pm


Mick
So often you bring up novel ideas, at least ones I had not thought or heard of. You are right, universal coverage would in many instances give people freedom. Freedom to start their own business, freedom to leave a job they hate, freedom to move to another part of the country.
You would do yourself and us a favor by leaving out the negatives, ie: your comments about Michael Moore. He’s a rabble rouser, that’s his function. Sometimes I think people feel the need to say negative things about others to make sure they are being perceived as being fair.It really isn’t necessary if you are accurate.



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kevin s.

posted August 4, 2007 at 11:22 pm


“It really isn’t necessary if you are accurate.”
His comments on Moore are accurate. Rabble-rouser or no, he is certainly biased, certainly inaccurate, and his work certainly ought not be used in the classroom (except as an example of political activism).
I agree that the most compelling argument for universal health care is that the fact that it simplifies a patchwork system that is tied to employment. This is a case for a government-funded system, not a governmentally-run system. The former has widespread support, the latter less-so.
The how and why’s of this conversation will get UHC supporters closer to their ideals than screeds about saving the children.
Bad, bad week for libertarians, btw…



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paul

posted August 5, 2007 at 12:16 am


justintime,
Where in any of my posts have you seen me refer to anyone as a “peerless authority”?
To engage you in further conversation requires that you heal honestly with what has been provided already, and given your persistance in not doing that, continued engagement with you will be a useless enterprise. I gave you three factual claims about the Canadian system, all of which are demonstrably true, and even the supporters of the current system recognize their significance. And you accuse me of misrepresenting the system. That really is rich. The tactic of misrepresenting someones position, to get them boged down in defending against those misrepresentations is typical of Moore et al, but is fundamentally intellectually dishonest.
If you had listened, you would have recognized that I do disagree with Dr. Day, however he represents a body of opinion that is strong enough to get himself elected president of the CMA, and reflects the views of many.
My purpose was to point out the fact that the Canadian system, while it has it’s strengths is not the panacia that some here seem to think it as. In your efforts to solve the problems of your own system, don’t uncritically and/or unknowingly take on others that may prove to be as bad or worse.
I have come to appreciate more the notion that “those who speak, do not know, and those who know do not speak.” I am going back to reading more and talking less.
fare thee well
cheers, Paul



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Mick Sheldon

posted August 5, 2007 at 4:20 pm


Anom said
“You would do yourself and us a favor by leaving out the negatives, ie: your comments about Michael Moore.”
Your right about the negatives , and will work on that . But I wish you perhaps would pay attention to the negatives that come this way also . Noticing the perjoratives I threw at Michael Moore , while stay quiet when others that may agree with you do it ? I have already been asked to take the log out of eye more then once ,
An example
“Bush’s ideologically-driven and mean-spirited threat of a veto” This was the opinion of the person who started the debate . No comments about that ?
Being concerned about the long term effects of socialized medicine is not ideaolically driven or mean spirited my friend . I just read by 2030 the chunk of the Federal Budget will go from 40 to 75 percent for entitlements and obligations . That is without socilaized medicine . Thats just concern for our children’s children . They will need medical coverage also , and I have not been convinced it will be better with socialized medicine or worse.



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Trent

posted August 5, 2007 at 8:14 pm


For a diferent perspective.
Australian system is probably what you’d call tiered. There is universal health care which allows for choice of GP (but not of specialist in a hospital setting). Some doctors charge an additional fee over the standard rebate, but all children and most with health care cards (safety net) will generally be bulk-billed (where the govt covers full cost). Private Health insurance is encouraged, an additional 1% tax levy is charged to those who earn over a specified limit who do not have private cover and the govt also subsidises the cost of private cover. Treatment for serious medical conditions through the public system is generally rapid. Some procedures require wait times, which if not urgent, may be up to three years. The system has holes, but generally works well and seems to allow more choice than what has been described for Canada. It definately covers everyone, so no-one in Australia will go untreated for serious medical concerns (Australia tends to be a bit socialist in outlook; we’ve only recently privatised telecommunications). I do not know how our tax rates compare, but families are not charged extra in taxes to cover medical expenses.



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Anonymous

posted August 5, 2007 at 11:28 pm


Mick,
You are right — i think describing someone as “mean-spirited” is also a negative opinion which adds nothing to the discussion and in my mind makes the person using it seem less credible. To me, other people’s subjective opinions tell me more about the person speaking them and nothing important about the subject.
I responded to yours because I believe you have a lot of interesting points to make and the pejoratives take away rather than add to the credibility of what you are saying.
I don’t bother to read or respond to comments that are almost totally just name-calling and otherwise negative opinions.



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Payshun

posted August 6, 2007 at 1:59 am


Honestly I don’t get that at all. Someone please explain how it is preferable for children to go w/o any coverage.
p
Someone please tell me why it’s better for these kids to have no coverage.



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kevin s.

posted August 6, 2007 at 10:06 am


“Someone please tell me why it’s better for these kids to have no coverage.”
This is an implied false choice that ignores the conversation that is taking place.
Trent,
Thank you for the summary of the health system in Oz. I would be concerned about a publically-funded system that encourages citizens to take private insurance. Such a system would remove the most dissatisfied consumers, those most likely to agitate for change. We’ve seen this with our public school system.



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justintime

posted August 6, 2007 at 1:50 pm


Yes, thanks to Trent for the brief summary of the Australian health care system.
It’s a good example of a post contributing to the discussion at hand rather than dismissing the discussion as futile, as Paul did with his comments about the Canadian system.
I’m with Kevin (big surprise) and concerned about a publicly funded system that encourages private insurance – for the same reason Kevin states.
Kevin, does this mean you’re opposed to school ‘vouchers’?



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kevin s.

posted August 6, 2007 at 2:59 pm


“I’m with Kevin (big surprise) and concerned about a publicly funded system that encourages private insurance – for the same reason Kevin states.
Kevin, does this mean you’re opposed to school ‘vouchers’?”
I am not. Why would what I said indicate that I am opposed to vouchers?



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justintime

posted August 6, 2007 at 3:25 pm


Kevin: ‘Such a system would remove the most dissatisfied consumers, those most likely to agitate for change. We’ve seen this with our public school system.’
Removing the most dissatisfied consumers from the public education system by the use of vouchers removes those most likely to agitate for change.



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kevin s.

posted August 6, 2007 at 3:50 pm


“Removing the most dissatisfied consumers from the public education system by the use of vouchers removes those most likely to agitate for change.”
People don’t need a voucher to go to private schools. That was my point. You spend trillions of dollars creating a public health care system, people grow tired of it, and purchase their own (if they have the means). The system therefore loses its most powerful advocates for change. This is a part of what has happened in public schools.
Vouchers would represent a system closer to what I would advocate for healthcare, only it is easier to institute free choice into a healthcare system before creating a gigantic governmental bureacracy (replete with powerful unions) as opposed to having to peddle backwards.



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justintime

posted August 6, 2007 at 4:43 pm


Kevin says:
‘Vouchers would represent a system closer to what I would advocate for healthcare,…’
Fascinating.
An education system based entirely on vouchers.
Please explain how this would work, Kevin.
‘…only it is easier to institute free choice into a healthcare system…’
How would you institute free choice in the existing system?
Or do you think the present dysfunctional system allows free choice?
‘…before creating a gigantic governmental bureacracy’
The existing system requires gigantic governmental AND corporate bureaucracies to maintain its dysfunctionality.
“… (replete with powerful unions)’
I knew you’re anti-union.
‘as opposed to having to peddle backwards.’
Please explain what you mean here.



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justintime

posted August 6, 2007 at 5:52 pm


Excerpt from a diary on DKos, written by Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General of New York state, now running for governor on the Democratic Party ticket:
‘We provided health care coverage for every child in New York. This initiative is the meaningful first stage of the plan we are currently crafting to provide universal healthcare coverage. New York is taking a unique, incremental approach that will build on the experiences of other states around the country. In a nation as prosperous as ours, there is no excuse that every man, woman, and child does not have health care.’
While the Bush administration remains hostile to the idea of universal health care, New York state (and others) are moving towards it.



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kevin s.

posted August 7, 2007 at 1:54 pm


“An education system based entirely on vouchers.
Please explain how this would work, Kevin.”
You get a voucher based on your child’s age. You may use it at whichever school you choose. Obviously, it would take awhile to move toward that system, since our public education trainwreck is so deeply ensconced in our society.
“How would you institute free choice in the existing system?
Or do you think the present dysfunctional system allows free choice”
I’ve answered this above. The present dysfunctional system (wherein health insurance is tied to worker benefits) limits choice.
“The existing system requires gigantic governmental AND corporate bureaucracies to maintain its dysfunctionality.”
Corporate bureacracy is an oxymoron.
“I knew you’re anti-union.”
I am certainly opposed to unions I am required to subsidize with my tax dollars. Having observed the deleterious effect they have had on our public schools, and the way union employees operate in Minneapolis, I am not interested in having them administrate my insurance benefits.
“Please explain what you mean here.”
Really? Okay. It is easier to start with a hybrid system that allows choice between private providers than it is to try to change an existing governmental bureaucracy.
And I am unsurprised that a Democrat posted a pro-UHC commentary on a left-wing blog site.



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