Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Redistribution of wealth in America

This is a video, a rare exception that took place in Washington recently when Congressman Rogers from Michigan spoke about Obama's inane healthcare changes. He says in 3 minutes what separates the Left from conservatives, from people who believe in big government to people who believe in letting citizens get on with it by themselves, from people who want handouts to people who just want handups. I found his argument very compelling. The sad fact is this bill will pass and America the Great will spill into being America the Mediocre.

5 Opinion(s):

Expat Joe said...

I cannot understand the short sightedness of not having a national health care system. We have the worst financial crisis since the great depression. Thousands have lost their jobs and cannot pay private health care. Health care insurers pick and choose their customers.Woe betide you if you are stricken with an incurable condition and cannot work.If left to the tender mercies of unscrupulous health insurers who can pick and choose their clients, you will perish unless there is a safety net. A national health insurance based on non profit principles has proven in the EU to be the best defence against money grabbing health insurers. In the Netherlands and no doubt the other countries in the EU national health insurance is not a charity, but paid for by all. In my opinion a national health care system is one of the first obligations of government to ensure the health of its people.

Doberman said...

I hear you Joe but how do you pay for it? Are Americans not taxed enough? Have you seen the level of taxation in Europeans countries? Do you know that the US system is miles superior to the European/ socialised medicine countries? It's a toss up. Everyone gets coverage, you pay more for less and standards become mediocre. In socialised medicine you don't get to pick your doctor, you get what the country can afford. Waiting lists become months and years. I'd rather pay and pick my health provider and choose my medicine literally. In socialised countries, costs are weighed more stringently. Why give a 78-year old smoker a new heart when it is better to give it to a 50 year old non smoker? Get where this is going and what is happening in Europe, Canada and elsewhere? With private insurance, the 78 year old smoker gets his heart.

In the system you have, you pick when, who and how you want to be treated. That luxury leaves you and becomes a nameless bureaucrat's decision. Do you want a bureaucrat between you and your doctor?

FishEagle said...

@Expat Joe, the short sightedness of your arguments can be highlighted. It's been estimated that humans have far exceeded the earth's carrying capacity. The successful management of natural resources have a major impact on the economy and the well-being of people. Those people that work for their health care are usually the ones that also do family planning. They will think carefully about having kids because they know they will need to cover their kids' health insurance. When you provide everyone with free health care you create a culture of entitlement. People that could not afford health care will no longer be deterred from having more children and thereby place more pressure on our natural resources. They know they won't have to pay for their health care. Who knows what else will follow after health care is free? It's socialism that caused the present financial crisis yet you haven't learned from this mistake.

Expat Joe said...

I can of course only speak of my own experience which have on the whole been very favourable with regards to the health care system. My family and I emigrated from South Africa following a hijacking and shoot-out some ten years ago. My older son has a chronic condition and cannot work. From the day we stepped off the plane we were covered under the compulsory national health insurance. As a matter of fact we had arranged via an immigration bureau to have our son seen to by specialists within days of our arrival. One can choose one's own medical practitioners and the public is encouraged to compare hospitals prior to hospitalisation. As misfortune would have it, my younger son got Non-Hodgkin lymphoma four or five years ago.He was treated urgently - no waiting list-and has recovered fully. In some instances there may be a waiting list for surgical procedures, but I understand that one can arrange for treatment in say Belgium or Germany where waiting lists are smaller or non existent. On the other hand, my mother died of a heart condition aggravated by flu and would probably have lived a few more years if there had not been a waiting list for heart surgery. She was close to eighty years of age at the time. We received her hospital call-up on the day of her funeral.
I was treated for for cataracts in both eyes and could choose the hospital and surgeon. The waiting list was six weeks for each eye.I do not have to use spectacles anymore except when driving in bad weather.
What does get my goat is that I understand that if one has to go for surgery a panel has to evaluate the urgency and procedure. An acquaintance recently retired as a G.P. assured me that this elaborate system was designed to be fair to all parties and to protect the interest of the patient.There are probably a lot of protocols in the Netherlands but if one has to believe Michael Moore, the American system also has plenty of flaws.
Tomorrow I have to go for my annual flu jab and over the next month get another two shots against the H1N1 Swine Flu. These vaccinations are 'free' to all over 60 years of age and diabetes suffers.
The health care system is definitely nor free, but the premiums are bearable because everyone is compulsorily insured and must pay according to the package selected. I must say that I have not studied the pros and cons of the health system in the Netherlands, but from what I have experienced myself, I am very grateful.It certainly beats the experience we had at the then J.G.Strydom Hospital (J.G.S. " Jy Gaan Sterf" )where we had to wait for almost a day before my son was attended to. Thirty patients - okes with curly hair and great rhythm- were triaged before him with all kinds of injuries ranging from bullet wounds, stabbings and blunt trauma injuries from the odd brick and the ultimate weapon for getting your own back the knobkierie.

Viking said...

Expat Joe,
your story shows the benefits of the system, sure, and you are right in saying the US system has some flaws, not least that in the USA health insurance is very expensive. I think that largely has to do with associated costs in the medical industry deriving from lawsuits, etc.

But the fundamental issue is that healthcare is always rationed. The fact is that some medical procedures are incredibly expensive. If you have a stroke or some unforeseen event you can be landed with a $100k bill which can bankrupt you unless you have insurance.
Most Americans ARE covered, and something like 15% aren't and they take a gamble every day.
Someone pointed out recently that the fire service doesn't ask whether you have insurance before they save your house, so why should doctors? But the response is that they still send you a bill! And it costs a lot less to put out a fire than to perform heart surgery (my mother was billed for having the fire service cut her out of a wrecked car, and for the ambulance, etc.).

The point is, healthcare is really expensive, and the question arises of who will pay. The UK NHS is the third largest employer in the world and sucks up some 30% (?) of taxes, almost as much as Welfare.

And costs are still cut. They COULD screen the entire population annually for say, cancer, and that would save thousands of lives, but they don't, because it would be insanely expensive.