If you had any doubt about the end goal..

Harry Reid, as bold as can be and without any reservation or shame, admits Obamacare’s real purpose is to facilitate the lefts dream of a government controlled single-payer healthcare system. From the horse’s mouth:

In just about seven weeks, people will be able to start buying Obamacare-approved insurance plans through the new health care exchanges. But already, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is predicting those plans, and the whole system of distributing them, will eventually be moot.

Reid said he thinks the country has to “work our way past” insurance-based health care during a Friday night appearance on Vegas PBS’ program “Nevada Week in Review.”
“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.

When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”

So there you have it. Don’t worry that Obamacare is about to destroy health insurance as we know it and force most of us to pay more for a system that will spiral out of control as it reduces access and quality of care, while prices keep climbing, because in the end that’s exactly what it was designed to do so we can end up with government controlling all access to healthcare.

The left has wanted to control healthcare for a long time. Being able to guard the gates of medical care from those that fail their political purity tests, not to mention getting their hands on what already amounts to 1/5 of our economy and will only keep growing in numbers as more people live longer and our population ages, is power incarnate. And while these evil fucks pretend to do what they do to “help’ the little guy, only idiots miss the fact that they only people being helped is these power hungry fucks themselves.

BTW, have you seen this blatant admission by the left that Obamacare was designed to fail, so we shouldn’t worry our pretty heads about the details and problems, because the prize has always been a single payer system, anywhere else in the LSM? Wouldn’t you figure any responsible and real media would be all over such an incredible admission by one of our country’s main power brokers? If this isn’t news, then what is? Well, don’t be surprised. The reason it is not front page news is precisely because Harry Reid committed a faux pas admitting this fact everyone on the left knows is true, and they all have no desire to get this out in front of the people that they still need to keep in the dark to march on to that single payer system they all have that raging boner for.

In the long run the big losers are always the productive American people. But the left despises those people more than anyone else, so there.

Comments are closed.

  1. stogy

    So there you have it. Don’t worry that Obamacare is about to destroy health insurance as we know it and force most of us to pay more for a system that will spiral out of control as it reduces access and quality of care, while prices keep climbing, because in the end that’s exactly what it was designed to do so we can end up with government controlling all access to healthcare.

    Actually, pretty much none of any of that has happened in any country with a national health insurance scheme. And there is still private insurance, private hospitals, and wait for it… lower costs.

    Having lived in 4 countries with national health insurance schemes, I can say now that the system is infinitely better and cheaper and more efficacious than the US system is now, or will ever be under Obamacare.

    BTW, have you seen this blatant admission by the left that Obamacare was designed to fail,

    This would be about the best news on healthcare in the US that I have seen in quite a while.

    Hot! Thumb up 4

  2. Seattle Outcast

    Just remember how much twisting and turning and cherry picking of data was done up to come with theoretical examples of “lower costs”. Perhaps we would all be best served by finding a democrat that espoused “health care reform” that didn’t want socialized medicine. Since there aren’t any, and all models of “reform” were specific examples of socialized medicine that “worked” better than all the other failures, I think the end goal is pretty fucking obvious.

    Just remember that none of them wanted to “reform” health care by deregulating the insurance businesses and letting them compete across state lines, and allowing them to offer limited policies.

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  3. Section8

    Just remember that none of them wanted to “reform” health care by deregulating the insurance businesses and letting them compete across state lines, and allowing them to offer limited policies.

    Exactly, nor allowing purchase of drugs from overseas, where we get to pick up the slack of negotiated rates in other countries. The left had to cozy up to the drug companies, because the left is all about crony deals with corporations, then they pretend to bitch about it. Also, there is a lot more to this. Lifestyle habits, amount of non citizens flooding a system, when is a life worth putting the effort into saving, such as at child birth and old age, and a host of other factors also adjust the numbers. Sure we certainly have problems here, but more of what fucked things up to begin with is not the answer.

    This would be about the best news on healthcare in the US that I have seen in quite a while.

    So why wasn’t it sold this way from the beginning? Why was anyone who brought it up just a paranoid tinfoil hat wearing nutcase? The problem is there is absolutely no honesty from you guys on the left. None, zero. I’ts just lie after lie to justify whatever you believe the end goal should be. Oh that’s right, you’re a libertarian, I mean centrist, or whichever label of the week you want to use. I know you’ve used these two labels before to describe yourself. I also know honest will never be one of those labels. Not without getting a good laugh out of it anyhow.

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  4. salinger

    Just remember that none of them wanted to “reform” health care by deregulating the insurance businesses and letting them compete across state lines,

    And how would one do this without infringing on states rights? One might have to set up a federal insurance system

    Exactly, nor allowing purchase of drugs from overseas.

    Yeah this is an excellent idea

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  5. Section8

    Yeah this is an excellent idea

    No shit. Fraud happens? Wow I never knew that. We should just ban buying and selling anything. After all that is what sows the seeds for fraud anyhow regardless of industry. Genius.

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  6. Seattle Outcast

    And how would one do this without infringing on states rights? One might have to set up a federal insurance system

    WTF?

    Sort of like how we make sure that telecom businesses aren’t also selling voice and data packages across states lines so they can offer better deals. This way they have to devote all their efforts to just the people inside of each state, and even if the cost is many times what it would otherwise be, we know that when we call about getting a phone upgrade we talk to a real live person, and not some computer, or even worse, a call center in India.

    There, that makes about as much sense as your statement.

    Placing artificial restrictions on companies that sell health insurance so they can’t operate nationally hasn’t helped anybody. Likewise, the states mandating what the insurance has to cover has also driven up costs. Or do you think that covering aromatherapy treatments and other “alternative medicine” was free?

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  7. salinger

    We should just ban buying and selling anything.

    Or maybe set up some dastardly business crushing regulations and rules, but that of course would require enforcement and adherence thus adding cost to the product. Better to just say it’s cheaper from unregulated sources and not bother with details – it’s only one’s health and all.

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  8. Section8

    LOL! The very fact that is illegal is what makes it all the more easier for the fraud in the first place. It’s not rocket science to figure out when the buyer is by default a criminal, the seller can do what the want. What is the buyer going to do about it? Turn themselves in? Also, I did not say unregulated, I said the problem was limiting where products could be purchased. Regulation can come when the buyer is not a criminal. It’s pretty simple stuff here.

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  9. salinger

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  10. salinger

    I said the problem was limiting where products could be purchased. Regulation can come when the buyer is not a criminal. It’s pretty simple stuff here.

    Oh – I see. You’re talking about that magic land where regulation and enforcement is free and the honor system makes sure nobody ever tries to sneak inferior products into the market. Yeah I think we should be buying everything from there. Pretty simple solution.

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  11. AlexInCT *

    So you are advocating that we do away with states rights where health insurance is concerned – and that there be a universal level of coverage that is available throughout the whole United States, one where providers could bid on providing said services?

    Instead of having the feds purposefully break the existing private system so they can force single payer universal healthcare run by the feds on us? Please save the usual stupid “State’s rights” argument for people not bright enough to see that the only time a progressive cares about state’s rights is right before they do something that will completely destroy said rights.

    There is a real simple solution. Have the feds mandate and supervise a system that provides a basic and catastrophic only insurance policy for all citizens that covers expenses once they go over a certain annual expenditure (say $10K), and that functions like an insurance policy. Then get the feds completely out of the business of regulating healthcare and leave it up to the states to sell health coverage plans (which are not issuance).

    But that system will never allow them to take over 1/5 of our economy and own us by controlling access to healthcare for the serfs.

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  12. Xetrov

    And there is still private insurance, private hospitals

    for the rich (which is a bad thing, right?).

    and wait for it… lower costs.

    If you disregard the 50+% Tax rates they pay, sure it’s “lower costs”. I’ve got a bridge to sell you, cheap.

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  13. Section8

    Oh – I see. You’re talking about that magic land where regulation and enforcement is free and the honor system makes sure nobody ever tries to sneak inferior products into the market. Yeah I think we should be buying everything from there.

    Seriously? Oh well I guess we’ll leave it here. If you’re just going play stupid you can do that on your own.

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  14. salinger

    If you’re just going play stupid

    What’s stupid is thinking that removing regulation will result in safer and cheaper health care.

    ‘Cause it’s stupid to point out the fact that overseas products may be cheaper because they are produced with little or no regulations or supervision by regulatory bodies and that adding those regulations and regulatory enforcement may just alleviate the savings.

    It’s akin to the GOP mouthpieces who claim to want to keep all the popular parts of Obamacare (which basically amounts to anything that has been rolled out already – closing the donut hole – kids stay on til 26 – pre -existing condition stipulation etc.) but assume it’ll magically pay for itself.

    So,

    If you’re just going play stupid you can do that on your own.

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  15. Section8

    What’s stupid is thinking that removing regulation will result in safer and cheaper health care.

    It is ILLEGAL to purchase outside our borders. Please understand the difference between regulation, and outright illegal, please understand the term fraud, and how it factors into remedy when someone is screwed over. If you can’t or won’t comprehend these simple terms that’s fine. that is your problem. You’ve repeated the same nonsense multiple times now. So either you are deliberately trying to argue points I have never made, which is absolutely dishonest and the only reason I’m responding now, or your reading comprehension is piss poor, and maybe we need to regulate you out of the education business.

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  16. stogy

    Exactly, nor allowing purchase of drugs from overseas, where we get to pick up the slack of negotiated rates in other countries.

    As opposed to the current monopoly system, which is not based on costs of research, advertising or manufacturing drugs, but on generating the maximum profit from the market, regardless of the impacts on health. Supply and demand doesn’t work when competition has been removed from the system. And just allowing insurance companies to compete across borders will not be enough to fix the problem.

    The biggest fallacy of the current US health system is that is based on free market principles. It’s not. It’s based on fixed interests milking as much out of the system as they can through deception, cronyism, and bribery. The problem with Obamacare is that adds 40 or more million Americans to an already broken system. Universal healthcare is ONE way that things might change (although I doubt whether the lobby groups above would ever let that happen).

    Alex above argued that governments will control access to healthcare. Could they do a worse job than the current HMOs, who also act as gatekeepers to healthcare, and constantly try to wriggle out of paying for essential coverage? In 4 countries with national health coverage, I have never been turned away. I have always received the care I needed. I have never had to wait more than 4 or 5 days for anything (this means a top heart specialist). I have paid manageable costs over and above the national rates for care, and had an acceptable amount of my salary paid away for the services I have received. Drugs have been affordable, although had I been poorer, it might have been a little more of a struggle.

    But my brother in the US recently had an accident. He is VP of an internet TV company. A deep cut severed some nerves and ligaments in his hand and fingers, and because the company had fallen a little behind in its insurance payments (it was going through a rough patch at the time), he didn’t receive any care at all. The feeling in his fingertips might come back eventually. If he had had the accident here, where I am now, a developing country – or indeed any of the countries I have lived in over the past 20 years – he would have gold star care for far less. Paid through his taxes.

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  17. salinger

    It is ILLEGAL to purchase outside our borders.

    And making something illegal is not a regulation because…? What precisely do you see as the difference between laws and regulation? (That’s a rhetorical.)

    What you are failing to comprehend is maybe there is good reason behind the regulation – I mean law.

    Albeit – chances are the laws are there just as much to protect US business interests as consumers. Even so thinking that throwing the market open to all comers is the answer is pretty shallow thinking. Now I’m off to go mtb’ing – thank god my private insurance premiums are paid up.

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  18. Section8

    And making something illegal is not a regulation because…? What precisely do you see as the difference between laws and regulation? (That’s a rhetorical.)

    Fucking wow. You should not be allowed to teach period.

    There is a huge difference between banning access and having rules over the access and quality and again fraud. You really should not be allowed to be in the education system. It is an absolute disservice.

    Also the good reason behind the law? Well it’s lobbying. Pure and simple. Even re-importation of drugs.

    You can look it up. The proposal was stripped out of Obamacare due to lobbyist from the Pharma industry.

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  19. Seattle Outcast

    There is regulation, and then there is “I don’t understand what medical insurance really is, but I think that it should automatically cover everything, and be free.”

    Removing the excessive regulation designed to force insurance companies to be charities is what needs to be done. Also remove the regulation deliberately designed to eliminate competition. Finally, I’d break insurance away from the existing model of being a part of your work benefits.

    I’d rather just receive the cash, thank you, and then have the option of buying the insurance package that fits my needs from a company of my choosing, regardless of where the company is located.

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  20. Section8

    The biggest fallacy of the current US health system is that is based on free market principles.

    Yes I agree completely. The left say it’s the free market that is the failure. I completely agree it has been wrought by government interference for decades, and has made it inefficient and costly. Everything from making employers pay that started in the 40s there by taking the individual out of the process of negotiation, to the HMO of the Nixon/Kennedy era to laws involving the emergency room where people naturally started flooding emergency rooms to now Obamacare, and one bad idea after the other is pinned back to the “free market” just as this POS will be.

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  21. salinger

    You can look it up. The proposal was stripped out of Obamacare due to lobbyist from the Pharma industry.

    This just in – the ocean is salty.

    It still doesn’t change the fact that simply opening up the borders to anything that comes in is the answer; or that pointing out doing so could open up a whole can of unintended consequences; or pointing out the fact that these overseas drugs may be cheaper because they are not held to the same quality standards.

    I have an idea – how about you just make ad hominem attacks instead.

    I forget – what is it you do for a living?

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  22. stogy

    This just in – the ocean is salty.

    You commenting from your motorboat? We can put this down to real world observations if that’s the case.

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  23. Section8

    I have an idea – how about you just make ad hominem attacks instead.

    You’re right Salinger, banning is the only way to go. Free market people don’t believe fraud should be punished. It’s all a lie, there should be no oversight or accountability whatsoever. All foreign goods are dangerous, even the re-imported ones. There should be no remedy for victims because they had it coming. To invite more competition inherently invites death because everyone will just lie, and since all will do so, we should all be be allowed to get away with it. Yes, thanks for being proactive and putting me back to my senses. Now that we’re in agreement feeling better now?

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  24. salinger

    You’re right Salinger, banning is the only way to go.

    Never said that – but it is an easier argument to win.

    Let me reiterate:

    Opening up the market to all comers doesn’t necessarily make the products received safer or cheaper – especially if they are coming from a source where regulations are lax or non-existent.

    Conforming to the US standards in drug safety might make these overseas produced drugs just as expensive as their domestic counterparts.

    Again, I didn’t catch what you do for a living.

    Thumb up 2

  25. AlexInCT *

    You’re right Salinger, banning is the only way to go. Free market people don’t believe fraud should be punished. It’s all a lie, there should be no oversight or accountability whatsoever.

    There goes Sally again with another argument that basically amounts to accusing anyone that says that government is too big, ineffective, inefficient, intrusive, and downright destructive, of wanting to have no government and live what amounts to the lawless wild, wild west. It’s more of the “Because less government is SOMALIA!!!!1!!eleventy!!’ line of thinking. Boring and outright deceptive.

    Seriously, our healthcare problem right now is the over regulation to destroy the private system. I am sure Sally knows it quite well. But he likes the single payer idea, so his response is more cowbell till the system implodes. The fix for heallthcare, in these people’s minds, like everything else, is government provided, with others paying for it. Doesn”t matter if it will suck, kill more people than private healthcare ever could have dreamed off, and simply bankrupt us all, because we don’t have anymore other people’s money: that’s not the point. Collectivist with their hands out must have collectivsm, or nothing else. Profits are evil, and that’s the end of that. Period.

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  26. Section8

    Never said that – but it is an easier argument to win.

    You implied the hell out of it from your snide initial comment linking to a case of overseas fraud to responses such as this.

    Me:

    It is ILLEGAL to purchase outside our borders.

    You:

    And making something illegal is not a regulation because…? What precisely do you see as the difference between laws and regulation? (That’s a rhetorical.)

    What you are failing to comprehend is maybe there is good reason behind the regulation – I mean law.

    Emphasis mine.

    Since this trip down memory lane is only a few posts ago in the same thread, I think interpreting this as not allowing outside resources which is banning (you might want to put that on your list of look up words for the day) is a pretty safe assumption. Now if you are reconsidering, that’s fine, but let’s not pretend all along that banning outside drugs wasn’t what you were defending.

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  27. Section8

    I forget – what is it you do for a living?

    I work, occasionally take walks on the beach, and I like walking in the rain.

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  28. CM

    I forget – what is it you do for a living?

    Likewise, I’m still waiting for a picture of Seattle Outcast so I have the opportunity to criticise his appearance. Something tells me we’ll both be waiting a while.

    Alex above argued that governments will control access to healthcare. Could they do a worse job than the current HMOs, who also act as gatekeepers to healthcare, and constantly try to wriggle out of paying for essential coverage? In 4 countries with national health coverage, I have never been turned away. I have always received the care I needed. I have never had to wait more than 4 or 5 days for anything (this means a top heart specialist). I have paid manageable costs over and above the national rates for care, and had an acceptable amount of my salary paid away for the services I have received.

    Yep, anyone I talk to here about that argument always shakes their head and looks puzzled. I would personally rather have a transparent and accountable group of people decide thresholds to determine healthcare decisions, as opposed to people behind a closed door who need to look out for their shareholders above anyone else. It’s always a little strange to hear one of the worst arguments so badly mangled and put forward as a positive.

    Being able to guard the gates of medical care from those that fail their political purity tests,

    Alex in which country does that happen?

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  29. Section8

    Yep, anyone I talk to here about that argument always shakes their head and looks puzzled. I would personally rather have a transparent and accountable group of people decide thresholds to determine healthcare decisions, as opposed to people behind a closed door who need to look out for their shareholders above anyone else. It’s always a little strange to hear one of the worst arguments so badly mangled and put forward as a positive.

    Well you and your friends in NZ being puzzled is basically due to ignorance. People who don’t want government running things because it’s all about people behind a closed door who need to look out for their shareholders above anyone else really misses the point. Hal and others have had many posts on this and the fact you and your friends can’t comprehend isn’t the fault of our nation nor the people in it. Maybe just focus on yourself then and not volunteer opinions about something you know nothing about. That is unless you’re fine representing NZ as a populace of arrogant clueless individuals.

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  30. Mississippi Yankee

    I forget – what is it you do for a living?

    I work, occasionally take walks on the beach, and I like walking in the rain.

    Please don’t tell us you like pina coladas too

    ORA

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  31. AlexInCT *

    Alex above argued that governments will control access to healthcare. Could they do a worse job than the current HMOs, who also act as gatekeepers to healthcare, and constantly try to wriggle out of paying for essential coverage?

    Did you really ask this as an honest question or was this tongue in cheek? You must be an absolute moron to think government will do anything but orders of magnitude worse.

    Private companies that abuse their customers will end up with no customers and go belly up (unless they can have government force people to stay with them regardless of how bad their service is). Private companies also have to work within a framework which will result in punishment if they abuse the workings of that framework. When government runs things there will be neither an incentive to do well nor any framework to prevent abuse, and you bet your ass that there will be massive abuse and zero quality from the fucking bureaucrats on power trips. Who do you think you can turn to for redress of problems? Other government bureaucrats that find no fault with their own ever?

    Nothing is more capable of unmitigated and unchecked evil than a government bureaucrat. With so few exceptions as to be dismissed as statistical errors, you with get the same fucking shitty, listless, lazy, and vindictive fucking employees you get at the DMV or at the IRS. Nobody but an absolute fucking idiot would pretend these people would do anything but mediocre, if you are lucky, and bad otherwise. And when you complain they will punish you to remind you of your place.

    Your faith in government bureaucrats just freaks me the hell out. These fuckers would ream you and you would still end up defending them out of stupid ideology. That’s not just insane, it is fucking frightening.

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  32. salinger

    Now if you are reconsidering, that’s fine, but let’s not pretend all along that banning outside drugs wasn’t what you were defending.

    Yep you got me. That’s exactly what I meant when I said:

    Or maybe set up some dastardly business crushing regulations and rules, but that of course would require enforcement and adherence thus adding cost to the product.

    and

    ‘Cause it’s stupid to point out the fact that overseas products may be cheaper because they are produced with little or no regulations or supervision by regulatory bodies and that adding those regulations and regulatory enforcement may just alleviate the savings.

    and

    overseas drugs may be cheaper because they are not held to the same quality standards.

    and

    Conforming to the US standards in drug safety might make these overseas produced drugs just as expensive as their domestic counterparts.

    But you knew I really meant just ban outside drugs – not that the chance that outside drugs might be cheaper because of substandard manufacture.

    It must be tough being omniscient – how do you cope. Or is that your job?

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  33. Seattle Outcast

    Likewise, I’m still waiting for a picture of Seattle Outcast so I have the opportunity to criticise his appearance. Something tells me we’ll both be waiting a while.

    Sorta like this, only with less compassion…

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  34. Seattle Outcast

    I would personally rather have a transparent and accountable group of people decide thresholds to determine healthcare decisions, as opposed to people behind a closed door who need to look out for their shareholders above anyone else

    This how I know that you don’t actually know what medical insurance really is. Come back when you understand things at an adult level.

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  35. CM

    Well you and your friends in NZ being puzzled is basically due to ignorance. People who don’t want government running things because it’s all about people behind a closed door who need to look out for their shareholders above anyone else really misses the point. Hal and others have had many posts on this and the fact you and your friends can’t comprehend isn’t the fault of our nation nor the people in it. Maybe just focus on yourself then and not volunteer opinions about something you know nothing about. That is unless you’re fine representing NZ as a populace of arrogant clueless individuals.

    Ah, right, thanks for that. Very cutting etc.
    With respect to the actual argument I’m talking about, what exactly am I missing?

    Sorta like this, only with less compassion…

    I hope with more of a beard though, not that sculptured effeminate nonsense.

    This how I know that you don’t actually know what medical insurance really is. Come back when you understand things at an adult level.

    Perhaps I don’t. Although I’m still pretty sure there’s a profit motive involved (and which will be the only actual goal that matters), and like any type of insurance company that wants to remain financially viable, a strong determination to deny as many claims as possible (just as their competitors do). Along with that must go a degree of companies keeping as much information to themselves as possible. I’d also be surprised if you’d argue that sick people don’t spend months/years fighting their insurance companies in court.
    Neither you nor Section 8 provided anything of substance there.

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  36. Mississippi Yankee

    and like any type of insurance company that wants to remain financially viable, a strong determination to deny as many claims as possible (just as their competitors do).

    Except for frivolous cosmetic surgery I’ve never seen or heard of ANYONE who was denied a claim by their insurance company.

    Perhaps your old standby Wikipedia can find some anecdotal evidence contrary to my experience.

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  37. stogy

    Did you really ask this as an honest question or was this tongue in cheek? You must be an absolute moron to think government will do anything but orders of magnitude worse.

    Well at the moment, the healthcare industry owns the US government, a situation which definitely I think is orders of magnitude worse.

    Your faith in government bureaucrats just freaks me the hell out. These fuckers would ream you and you would still end up defending them out of stupid ideology.

    You don’t seem to get it. I am not arguing for government to take over all healthcare. I am suggesting a a national public health payment system – based on the Australian model. A small tax on salaries is used to pay private healthcare providers, and encourages innovation, provides better care, and reduces costs. Doctors and hospitals are competing for both patients and a larger portion of the healthcare pie. Everyone gets a basic level of care.

    Nationalised health care doesn’t mean that private healthcare providers cease to exist, it doesn’t mean that there are no private health insurers, nor does it mean that government death panels decide who lives and dies. In every country with a national health insurance it works well – people get the care they need, costs are kept down, and people are healthier. Conservative governments in these countries have mostly ended up pledging support for these schemes because they are so overwhelmingly popular with voters that dismantling such systems would be electoral suicide.

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  38. CM

    Did you really ask this as an honest question or was this tongue in cheek? You must be an absolute moron to think government will do anything but orders of magnitude worse.

    Our government largely controls our healthcare here and I don’t see any inconsistent or shocking ‘gatekeeping’ going on, or arguments about what is ‘essential’ and how much it will cost. No large group has been formed to protest the government performing badly in terms of healthcare – it’s NEVER an issue at election time. That’s because they do it really well, and cheaply (although the US is looking to put an end to that by requiring that we end Pharmac, the government’s purchasing arm, in return for a free-trade agreement).
    Just because something is run by the government, doesn’t inherently make it ‘worse’. It doesn’t matter that you don’t believe that (and I know you don’t because you’re an ideologue and are therefore REQUIRED to, and you don’t even deny it).

    In every country with a national health insurance it works well – people get the care they need, costs are kept down, and people are healthier. Conservative governments in these countries have mostly ended up pledging support for these schemes because they are so overwhelmingly popular with voters that dismantling such systems would be electoral suicide.

    Yep, we’re definitely one of those countries. We have a public and private mixed system which works. Alex, why does it work here, and elsewhere? Why aren’t these fuckers reaming us?

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  39. Section8

    With respect to the actual argument I’m talking about, what exactly am I missing?

    There have been multiple threads regarding healthcare over the years and plenty of discussion. If you and your buddies are puzzled by the whole situation or think it’s weird even though it’s really none of your damn business then that’s your problem. You are owed nothing here, especially when your argument is an immediate straw-man.

    although the US is looking to put an end to that by requiring that we end Pharmac, the government’s purchasing arm, in return for a free-trade agreement

    What you choose to do with any agreements regarding the welfare of your country ultimately falls on you and your elected officials. The US has nothing to do with it. Grow up over there.

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  40. stogy

    Yep, we’re definitely one of those countries. We have a public and private mixed system which works. Alex, why does it work here, and elsewhere? Why aren’t these fuckers reaming us?

    NZ isn’t one of the countries that I have lived in yet, but I may visit at a time of year when it is er… less cold.

    Alex: you are being reamed now! Paying too much for an inferior service with poor health outcomes.

    CM: I don’t think a NZ-style system you describe would work in the US because the healthcare industry has been bilking the system for so long that breaking up the monopolies may be almost impossible. And of course, any time that it comes up, people will resort to the ideologues dummy phrase, “socialist takeover” (Did you know the NHS in the UK was started by Mr Conservative himself, Winston Churchill?). It’s a battle that Obama was and is too weak to take on.

    I also don’t think Obamacare is viable and it will fall apart within a few years unless costs can be brought down. The only way I can see of doing that is by introducing genuine competition into the system, and doing that through a national scheme with government set payments to doctors for services – no more paying $40.00 for a $1.00 bandage! Doctors can either accept this payment or charge more, knowing that people will simply go to the next doctor who advertises that they will charge the government rate, or offer some other services to make themselves more attractive at a higher price. People can then pay additionals or get these through private insurance if they want. Efficiencies will then come through better management and less waste.

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  41. Section8

    Except for frivolous cosmetic surgery I’ve never seen or heard of ANYONE who was denied a claim by their insurance company.

    I have not, but according to our overseas friends you and I should be dead in the street by now. I’m sure someone has been denied a claim. Maybe salon.com has a story.

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  42. stogy

    Except for frivolous cosmetic surgery I’ve never seen or heard of ANYONE who was denied a claim by their insurance company.

    I find this pretty comical. The internets is full of complaints about people being rejected for coverage for all kinds of spurious reasons. Do you really actually need me to find you some links?

    Well here’s one:

    A worrisome abdominal pain drove Jalal Afshar to seek treatment last year at healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente…Kaiser granted his request to see a specialist in Arkansas. But it ultimately declined to pay for his treatment there. By June, Afshar said, Kaiser was arranging for hospice care so that he could die at home. Afshar, 58, refused to accept that. Despite Kaiser’s stance, he went back to Arkansas for six months of stem-cell transplants, chemotherapy and other treatments that he says saved his life. Now he owes $2 million for his care and is suing the company in state court for breach of contract and unfair business practices.

    or how about this one:

    Death panels”? I’ll tell you about death panels. My husband faced one some years ago, and it didn’t involve any government bureaucrat. It was run by our private insurer, the sort of corporate entity that foes of health-care reform say will give you anything you want.

    My husband was diagnosed with liver cancer. We were “insured” by United Healthcare. The deal was as follows: You had to use doctors on its list, but if you needed specialized care outside the network, United’s health-maintenance organization would pay for it. Fair enough.

    A liver expert within the network said point blank that for my husband’s case, there was but one place to go, a specialized chemotherapy program at Deaconess Hospital in Boston. Fortunately, it was only 50 minutes away.

    But United Healthcare refused to pay for it. Instead, it directed us to a small, local hospital unequipped to deal with this kind of cancer. Our liver specialist warned, “Don’t waste your time.”

    We naively tried to go through United Healthcare’s appeals process. We would call the number and speak to a handler who said our case would be reconsidered. Days later, a one-sentence letter would arrive by slow mail saying that we were being denied, but call this number to challenge the verdict.

    Around and around we went. We could never speak to anyone making the decisions. No one would even talk to our doctor, who at one point whispered to us, “Mortgage the house.”

    It goes on and on. Hundreds of thousands of cases. Lawyers. Poor service. Deaths. Death panels disguised as insurance providers.

    I have not, but according to our overseas friends you and I should be dead in the street by now.

    I don’t know your actual age, but based on life expectancy stats in the US, the chances are quite high that you will die at an earlier age with poorer care than me. Sorry.

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  43. CM

    There have been multiple threads regarding healthcare over the years and plenty of discussion. If you and your buddies are puzzled by the whole situation or think it’s weird even though it’s really none of your damn business then that’s your problem. You are owed nothing here, especially when your argument is an immediate straw-man.

    It’s like you’re not responding to what I actually said. Because I was being quite specific about a particular argument. Who said anything about “the whole situation”?

    What you choose to do with any agreements regarding the welfare of your country ultimately falls on you and your elected officials. The US has nothing to do with it. Grow up over there.

    Of course it falls on us. But the US certainly doesn’t have “nothing” to do with the demand – that’s ridiculous. It is possible to acknowledge both, which is what I’m happy to do.
    Not sure what has pissed you off so much here. Possibly you’re doing that thing where anyone centre or left on here bears the brunt of your anger/frustration of the left in general, and we are meant to inherently take on the arguments of the left as a large homogenous block.

    I have not, but according to our overseas friends you and I should be dead in the street by now. I’m sure someone has been denied a claim. Maybe salon.com has a story.

    Yep, there it is.

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  44. Xetrov

    no more paying $40.00 for a $1.00 bandage!

    Knowing several GP’s who have walked away from their practices, I can say with certainty that if that were the case it was broken down by: $34 to cover malpractice insurance (which also drives up medical costs since doctors are forced to run pointless tests/treatments so they don’t get sued), and $4 for medical school loans, leaving the doctor $2. The Greedy Bastard!

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  45. Seattle Outcast

    It goes on and on. Hundreds of thousands of cases. Lawyers. Poor service. Deaths. Death panels disguised as insurance providers.

    This is known as “bureaucracy” – it will be a part of your medical care no matter what path you take, and expecting it to lessen when it is the government that is charge of things is delusional. Will an insurance company watch you die to save money? Some of them, certainly. So will the government.

    If you expect the government to actually succeed at unconstitutionally taking over a massive portion of the economy and effectively run it, provide innovation and new treatments, keep costs down, and also provide unlimited care for everyone, then you are a fool.

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  46. stogy

    $34 to cover malpractice insurance

    Really? I would be interested to see some actual data on that. Doctors in other countries also have to pay for malpractice insurance, so I doubt that’s the only reason. Forbes did quite a nice analysis, and you know what they found?

    U.S. spending annual on physicians per capita is about five times higher than peer countries: $1,600 versus $310 in a sample of peer countries, a difference of $1,290 per capita or $390 billion nationally, 37% of the health care spending gap.

    The data I found says the dominant problem with U.S. health care costs is a labor problem with medical professionals. Wages and work rules (i.e., referral decisions leading to over-utilization, staffing levels in hospitals) have driven costs to a level that is now unbearable (see my earlier post). The situation reminds me of the U.S. airlines in their hey-day: growth and sloppy regulation allowed labor costs to soar; senior pilots were paid about what specialist doctors earn today and had enough free time that many ran side businesses; and high costs would soon gut the air lines financially.

    Moving right along, SO said,

    This is known as “bureaucracy” – it will be a part of your medical care no matter what path you take, and expecting it to lessen when it is the government that is charge of things is delusional. Will an insurance company watch you die to save money? Some of them, certainly. So will the government.

    Again, in the 4 countries I have lived in with national health schemes, my care is planned with my doctor (note: it’s a doctor I choose, not my health insurance provider), and the government has very little say in that care. The bureaucracies that I have had to deal with have been very minimal – at most, In one country, I go in with a receipt from my doctor, and I get back the claimable amount. I have never had a dispute, although I wouldn’t completely rule it out. In another, everything is done through the local health centre where I was registered. No big brother bureaucracy looking over my shoulder. Care was effective and timely.

    In one of the countries I work in now, any person can walk into any hospital and receive treatment for free, regardless of their economic status. This is one reason why they have a life expectancy not far below the US, despite spending less than $50.00 annually per person on health care. (Have a look at the graph on page 1 of the Forbes article. It took me quite a while to actually find the US data…)

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  47. AlexInCT *

    Really? I would be interested to see some actual data on that. Doctors in other countries also have to pay for malpractice insurance, so I doubt that’s the only reason.

    What countries would those be? As someone which has had experience with several of those European countries that the left here in the US seems so fascinated by and wants to emulate I tell you that doctors in those countries don’t need malpractice insurance. First of all, most of those countries do not even allow people to sue for malpractice. Doctors can outright kill you by operating on you while drunk (this happened to someone I know’s dad) and you can do nothing to redress that. Dare to complain after they fuck you over, and watch yourself be black balled by the whole bureaucracy. And in the countries that do allow redress, the one I know of (the Netherlands) has a cap of $10K maximum, regardless of how costly the damage to you. So no, I doubt they pay as much, or at all, for malpractice insurance.

    The cost of malpractice will vary with the medical specialization. GPs will not pay that much, but look at OB-Gyn, cancer docs, or surgeons and they pay big numbers (anywhere from $15k to $40K a year). The greater the risk, the more the cost. But the doctors don’t have to pay just for themselves: they have to pay for their interns, their nurses, and even their staff because apparently you can successfully sue for malpractice if they fuck up your paperwork too. The more people you have working the bigger that annual bill will get.

    BTW, from what I remember reading, medical malpractice suits are trending down at this time. Their numbers each year have steadily been declining for the last decade. So are the total dollars paid out. There is even an indication that premiums are down. But that’s because doctors now run an inordinately large amount of useless tests as a preemptive measure. And the article I read but cannot find pointed out that the cost of these extra tests is double if not triple the current savings in malpractice payouts. So the doctors might be paying less, but we the consumers are paying far more because they are practicing cover your ass medicine. That’s a lose-lose in my book.

    I am not for a second asking that we stop allowing people to sue when they are wronged. I am however pointing out that the system as it exists now encourages lawyers to abuse it. Don’t punish the doctors or the patients; punish the lawyers, and you will see malpractice suits all but disappear and healthcare costs come down. Good luck with that however. One of the democrat’s most powerful lobbies is the legal lobby, and they make billions and contribute hundreds of millions, so no chance of that getting fixed ever.

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  48. stogy

    First of all, most of those countries do not even allow people to sue for malpractice

    Really? I am struggling to think of an OECD country that doesn’t have medical malpractice laws, but if you can identify one, then I will give you a thumbs up. No, really. But I am not actually going to argue against your main idea. Only one of the four countries I have lived in with national health insurance was in Europe, btw.

    But that’s because doctors now run an inordinately large amount of useless tests as a preemptive measure.

    That’s certainly true.

    I am not for a second asking that we stop allowing people to sue when they are wronged. I am however pointing out that the system as it exists now encourages lawyers to abuse it. Don’t punish the doctors or the patients; punish the lawyers, and you will see malpractice suits all but disappear and healthcare costs come down.

    I wouldn’t argue against that either.

    A study led by David Studdert published in the 2006 New England Journal of Medicine concluded that the administrative expenses of the malpractice system were “exorbitant.” And worse, it found errors in jury verdicts in about a quarter of the litigated cases. Juries denied compensation properly due in 16% of the cases, and awarded it about 10% of the time when it was unwarranted. These error rates don’t include damage awards set at improper levels.

    More disturbingly, a careful 1992 study by Donald Dewees and Michael Trebilcock in the Osgood Hall Law Journal concluded that the frequency of medical malpractice in Canada was about the same as in the U.S. — for about 10% the total cost. In other words, our costly system doesn’t seem to do much to deter malpractice. On medical malpractice at least, Canada does better than we do.

    The U.S. cannot ignore serious reform. To be sure, medical malpractice premiums constitute well under 1% of the total U.S. health-care bill. But defensive medicine adds perhaps as much as 10%. High malpractice costs can shut down clinics that serve vulnerable populations, leading to more patient harm than the occasional case of malpractice.

    Yup, and yup. Although I doubt you’ll like the Canada bit. Everything is obviously always worse up there. It’s socialist.

    But the system I am talking about: costs are curtailed, and there is a greater incentive to reduce prices through a national medical insurance scheme, much smaller bureaucracy (they pretty much only handle repayments), and lots of competing independent providers, with limits on malpractice payouts… what’s not to like?

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  49. Seattle Outcast

    In one of the countries I work in now, any person can walk into any hospital and receive treatment for free, regardless of their economic status.

    Nice to know that you aren’t expected to pay any taxes to cover that medical care. Are these people that provide the medical care all independently wealthy so that they can provide their services for absolutely nothing? How generous of them – do they consider it a hobby?

    As for your medical care, I have the same arrangement via my insurance. The only time I dealt with any paper-pushers is when I needed back surgery and they do everything they can to find an “alternative” prior to giving in to the obvious.

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  50. AlexInCT *

    Yup, and yup. Although I doubt you’ll like the Canada bit. Everything is obviously always worse up there. It’s socialist.

    Based on the Canadians I know and how many of them have family that cross the border whenever they need serious care of any kind (including some of Canada’s top politicians), I would say their healthcare system is nothing to be proud off. As long as all you need is mundane shit, you might be OK, but when the shit hits the fan you better be able to afford care elsewhere or you risk dying long before you get to see the specialists you need.

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  51. Seattle Outcast

    Canada is currently in the midst of revamping their decades-long experiment with government provided health care. Even though the wait for routine surgical procedures can still be over a decade long, and they have hospitals with equipment straight out of 1970 (if you’re lucky), they no longer ban doctors setting up shop on their own to make a profit.

    In fact, if you want corrective eye surgery, the place to go is Vancouver, BC.

    But none of this would be happening if their little experiment in socialized medicine hadn’t ended in some epic failures.

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  52. CM

    This is known as “bureaucracy” – it will be a part of your medical care no matter what path you take, and expecting it to lessen when it is the government that is charge of things is delusional.

    Given the double-up of administration required by tens/hundreds of thousands of different providers of services and a whole bureaucracy involved in the medical insurance industry, how can you say that there is MORE in a more simplified government system that isn’t tied to insurance? I haven’t looked into it, but on the surface it doesn’t make sense that multiple overlapping providers and insurance companies would have less bureaucracy.

    Will an insurance company watch you die to save money? Some of them, certainly. So will the government.

    Maybe. Depends on the government and the system I would assume. But just because it’s the government, that doesn’t mean it will happen more often. And at least if it does happen the government is accountable to the population. There can be accountability, and it won’t require you to go into huge debt to go to court to attempt to get it (fighting on your own against experienced lawyers and company executives who are looking after the bottom line above all else).

    If you expect the government to actually succeed at unconstitutionally taking over a massive portion of the economy and effectively run it, provide innovation and new treatments, keep costs down, and also provide unlimited care for everyone, then you are a fool.

    The Constitutional aspect is certainly a vitally important part of this. But our government, as well as other governments around the world, DOES effectively and efficiently run a healthcare system. They keep costs down because they have much more power. There is plenty of medical innovation here. “Unlimited care for everyone” is a straw man. Decisions still need to be made, but rather than business people making them behind closed doors to ensure the company continues to make healthy profits, they are made transparently and openly and are subject to change if the country indicates a strong desire that change is required.
    I’m not saying that this would work in the US, I’m saying that this is possible, albeit in places that don’t have your Constitution and states and an existing system which revolves around insurance.

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  53. Mississippi Yankee

    I’m not saying that this would work in the US, I’m saying that this is possible, albeit in places that don’t have your Constitution and states and an existing system which revolves around insurance.

    So in other words,an ‘Apples and Oranges’ comparison. Or in your case Sheep and Goats right?

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  54. CM

    So in other words,an ‘Apples and Oranges’ comparison. Or in your case Sheep and Goats right?

    ;-) I like that…
    Exactly. There is no real comparison in terms of an entire system, because we’d need to set aside so much that is soon fails to meet any reasonable definition of ‘comparison’. But we CAN still discuss the mechanics and components etc, based on what happens elsewhere. Which is why my comment was specific to the specific argument being made (contrary to what Section 8 responded with).
    The US health system is entirely up to the people of the US, and the US has it’s own way of doing things based on a number of factors that just don’t occur anywhere else.
    BTW the problems that people keep raising about Obamacare seem to me to be genuine problems. I don’t doubt them.

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  55. Mississippi Yankee

    The US health system is entirely up to the people of the US, and the US has it’s own way of doing things based on a number of factors that just don’t occur anywhere else.

    And that ‘was’ our strongest feature.
    Sadly the despicable left will not be happy until they’ve returned us into pre-1776 Europe West.

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  56. stogy

    The US health system is entirely up to the people of the US, and the US has it’s own way of doing things based on a number of factors that just don’t occur anywhere else.

    This is very true. The importance of looking at other systems, though, is that it can help the US identify strengths and weaknesses in its own system.

    That, and the unjustifiable, fact free attacks and scare campaigns about health systems in other countries being used to bolster what is currently a bloated and expensive non-market based system.

    Sadly the despicable left will not be happy until they’ve returned us into pre-1776 Europe West.

    Fascinating! Tell me more! Who has called for this return to such a time? Why do you think the despicable left wants this? Is ‘despicable left’ the monicker they operate under? I would love to be part of any organization that styles itself as despicable. How fabulous!

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  57. Mississippi Yankee

    Fascinating! Tell me more! Who has called for this return to such a time?

    ANY person that would put International law above the US Constitution. That includes at least 4 Supreme Court Justices.
    In fact “The Rule of the Sea” law is a perfect current example of attempting to skirting our established maritime laws. The UN arms ban will prove to be another.

    My comment concerning the attempt of “the despicable left” (sorry you didn’t make the cut) to bring the US back into the European fold (or International fold if you like) goes way beyond health care.

    Resenting American exceptional-ism is just one of the symptoms of the disease from which you (pl) suffer. Call it political liberalism or socialism or whatever banner you choose to squat under. And shared misery will always be more important to your mentors, the despicable left, then to chance allowing any segment of it’s surfs to rise above their station. As they pat you on the head and relish your blind obedience I can’t help but wonder if they thank Lenin and Stalin for giving you a name, useful idiot.

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  58. stogy

    Resenting American exceptional-ism is just one of the symptoms of the disease from which you (pl) suffer.

    Oh God. Is it contagious? Am I covered? I will have to check my policy under what… delusions?

    But on the other hand, isn’t it somewhat delusional to argue that the US is exceptional based on some dusty old documents by some dead guys, that many countries have now incorporated into their own systems and even improved on? It was also quite popular amongst the Romans to argue for Roman exceptionalism (caused a nasty war in the end). The more civilised Greeks just used to laugh at them. I guess they would be like the Europeans in your model.

    In fact “The Rule of the Sea” law is a perfect current example of attempting to skirting our established maritime laws. The UN arms ban will prove to be another.

    Almost all international laws used by the US are extremely beneficial to US interests – markets, trade and protection for individuals, companies and property. In arguing against international law and in favor of US exceptionalism, you are saying the world should do as I say, not as I do.

    But as the US has not signed or ratified the CESCR, I don’t see quite how this is relevant. There is no right to healthcare in the US (unless you are following customary law, which is dubious at best here). So I don’t see how the world could force the US to return to pre-1776 laws and trump the constitution at the same time.

    Live abroad for a while and the exceptionalism thing really starts to look pretty weak – nobody else actually cares. You get laughed at even by the Greeks (which has to hurt considering the mess they’re in).

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  59. Mississippi Yankee

    In arguing against international law and in favor of US exceptionalism, you are saying the world should do as I say, not as I do.

    On the contrary, what i and many other Americans are saying is, leave us to our own devices and don’t include the US in your ‘top down’ fantasy.

    The Law of the Sea (which I mistakenly called the Rule of the Sea) is a perfect current example of attempting to skirting our established maritime laws. There are very serious debates on this issue for almost a year now in both D.C. and the UN.

    Live abroad for a while and the exceptionalism thing really starts to look pretty weak – nobody else actually cares.

    Spent about six months with relatives in both Sicily and Crete 40 years ago. Nice to visit, wouldn’t want to live there. Not then, not now. Vietnam for a year before that, nuff said.

    And BTW,those baggy,baggy pants that Greek fishermen wear are called “7 day shitters” that’s because they’re to lazy to get up and use the facilities. So Greeks laughing at me is even less important than the condescension from the likes of you.
    Jealous Much?

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  60. AlexInCT *

    Canada is currently in the midst of revamping their decades-long experiment with government provided health care.

    It is not just Canada. I recently found out that the Dutch revamped their entire system. There is no longer any free healthcare. Government provides catastrophic coverage and people now have to buy their own private healthcare. Of course, the incredibly high taxation and drastically scaled rates remain in place even though the service they were supposed to provide, free healthcare from cradle to grave, has vanished. I hear the Germans are following suit, and that the Brits, French, Spaniards, and Italians are not to far behind them.

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  61. stogy

    I recently found out that the Dutch revamped their entire system. There is no longer any free healthcare.

    I think you should have a closer look at this system before you comment on it. From what I have read, it’s not so far from Obamacare (obligatory private coverage), and may have just as many problems in containing costs.

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  62. Section8

    Good to see Stogy is finally coming clean about his true views about us isn’t it?

    I mean we all knew it anyhow just like with CM, you know the little jabs at the end of just about every post, but now hopefully most here can understand why the best response to these fucks is just to tell them to fuck off. They obsess over the US and spend hours here and I’m sure elsewhere on other US sites “concerned” about us, and obviously some jealousy, or maybe obsessive hate. I mean why would you devote so much time on an American blog to matters that really don’t concern you? Does anyone here fritter away their time going to foreign blogs telling them how they should live their lives? i’m guessing not. Sure foreign matters might be brought up here from time to time, but I doubt anyone bothers to make it their life mission to go to overseas blogs to bitch about them like these guys do. They should start utilizing some of that free mental health care, or maybe they do and this is the result. Just sad.

    Anyhow, back to the topic. First off no one here doesn’t believe there are no issues with the health care system here, but only a few decades back we had the longest life expectancy (which isn’t always the best measure), and model care and we didn’t need mommy and daddy government control to achieve it although more control was in its growing stages. Along came Kennedy’s HMO act and more government interference thereafter brought on by the left, and the end result is a system with growing problems, but it’s always the market behind closed doors bullshit as the reason. The left ALWAYS will conveniently forget their hand in it.

    Insurance is not the major problem, it’s the cost, but hey, a doctor charges sky high rates and the insurance companies drop them as a doctor, guess which side of the story gets on the news? Oh yeah the insurance company won’t pay. Well perhaps they shouldn’t contract with doctors that charge too much, It would make sense wouldn’t it? It would be the mechanism to start bringing down costs. In the end though, they have to re-sign with these doctors since the greed card is played, laws are passed, rallies against the evil insurance companies are done.

    Also, I’ll have to find it later when I have time but the National Academy of Sciences did a study, and while healthcare does contribute some to the dropping expectancy rate, it is not the sole cause, as we all know, and again healthcare here has gone on the decline with more and more government involvement, not less. Life expectancy is not necessarily the best way to monitor healthcare. Life style choices play a role and you should have the right to those choices even if it might not be the best choice. If life were all about a spreadsheet that would be one thing, but it’s not.

    Oh yeah Stogy by the way we also killed off all the dinosaurs, now get some fucking mental help will ya?

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  63. stogy

    Good to see Stogy is finally coming clean about his true views about us isn’t it?

    I truly believe that everyone is entitled to my opinion. What’s wrong with that?

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