On so-called socialised medicine

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Diuretic, May 15, 2006.

  1. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Apologies if this has been discussed before. But unless a moderator drops the bomb on me I want to bring it up.

    I'll tell you up front that I support a medical system that is largely funded by taxpayers. So why do many Americans, usually on the conservative side of politics, hate it so passionately? What's wrong with taxpayer-funded medical services?
     
  2. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Just my personal view on this. I am against it because:

    1) The government seldom runs ANY social program efficiently.

    2) I am sick and tired of paying for the lazy SOBs who have made government handouts a way of life.

    3) I am against the redistribution of wealth (which this idea is a form of) in general. If you want something...work for it.
     
  3. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Thanks for responding.

    1. I can't argue with a personal conviction so I won't try.
    2. You will be doing this any time you pay tax (so will I of course)
    3. A programme like this really isn't redistribution of wealth, it's using tax payers money for a social programme (but see 1).

    Okay now, should someone be denied health treatment because they have no money to pay for it? These questions are for everyone so feel free to hop in, don't let one person do all the work.

    And may I say I just don't want to butt ideologies on this if possible, I am interested in the different responses.
     
  4. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources.

    Resources are allocated in the most efficient manner at the point where the price and supply curves on the supply demand curves intersect.

    Socialized medicine, rent control, price controls on gasoline, the minimum wage and other government sponsored monkeying around with the market normally set the price at a low part of the curve, which makes the supply side dry up.

    Here in the states, if I need surgery, I don't have to wait. I pay for it, directly or indirectly through insurance. In countries with socialized medicine, that isn't the case. I once had an online penpal from England who had a son that needed a tonsillectomy, she had to wait 6 months. That is not the case in this country.

    The idea that government can and should solve the world's ills is specious at best. The government does not normally do a good job at allocating scarce resources, but price and free market forces do (although, not perfectly).

    1973 - the "energy crisis" - caused by the fact that the government had put a lid on the price of gasoline. People waited in lines for gasoline. Today --- no gas price controls, the price goes up, the price goes down, there still is enough to go around. Oh, so there actually wasn't an energy crisis.... there was a government mishandling of a scarce resource.

    The Great Depression of the 1930s -- banks are failing all over America!!!! Why? It turned out that many states had "unit banking laws" which forbade banks from having more than one branch. Banks which were in farming communities failed by the hundreds. At the same time, Canada, which did not have similar laws, did not have a single bank failure.

    I suspect the reason that the cost of health care is so high has to do with government over regulation in part. Part of the high cost has to do with the fact that all those wonder drugs and treatments cost a lot of money to develop. Part of the high cost also has to do with doctors being sued for any and all reasons. This causes their premiums to go up (which are then passed along to the consumer) and in order to cover their a$$es order unnecessary tests and procedures.

    Another reason may be (and this is just speculation) that health insurance in this country is regulated. I can't, for instance, buy health insurance outside of New York State (at least I don't believe so --- I may be wrong). If this is the case, then I have to ask, "why?". If I limit competition the price will invariably go up, so why can't I purchase health insurance from Joe's Insurance of California, or for that matter, Lloyd's of London?

    I could go on... the idea that there is a population explosion is losing credence. The countries that have large populations usually have bad economic policies which cause shortages and wide spread poverty. Japan, on the other hand, has a large population also, however, it has a free market economy (although not entirely) and enjoys a high standard of living. Things that makes you say "Hmmm!".
     
  5. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    I dont think anyone should be denied emergency services; I am, however, against any elective surgery/treatment, etc that one does not pay for. This includes dentists and optomertrists.

    I am well aware that I pay for social programs whenever I pay taxes; that does not mean I like it. Iwould love it if we (as taxpayers) could determine where we wanted our portion of money to go.
     
  6. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Again thanks for those responses.

    It looks like the main objections lie in elective treatment I think.

    At this point may I explain in broad terms the situation in my country (for ill or better).

    Every taxpayer pays a levy (a tax) which is dedicated towards funding our system. It pays for urgent attention (free). If you want non-urgent surgery you have to wait. Or you can buy private health insurance which is what I do, but I can afford it.
     
  7. CSM
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    Which leads me to ask this question:

    How do you feel about the system in place in your country? How do other citizens of your country feel about the system?
     
  8. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    As we say in cricket, well bowled sir!

    I support our system. Now let me say that isn't blind ideology. I know that if I need emergency surgery (and I have needed it) then I can get it and I won't have to worry about the bill. It's paid for, whatever it is.

    I would like to see more services available for people who can't afford private health insurance but I know that there's a limited amount of money available. So that means I'm happy to see a two-tier system because people like me who can afford to buy health insurance take the burden off the public system, at least in terms of cost.

    Generally-speaking people in this country support the current system and even our conservative government (been in power ten years now) knows not to try to attack it. That way lies sure electoral defeat. I hope that explains that it is seen as socially desirable here. It actually works quite well. There are those who don't like the two-tier system and call for free everything for everyone but the majority know that's not going to happen and see what some say is a discriminatory two-tier system as being necessary. I'm in that camp.

    I think it's reasonable to say that there's a fairly pragmatic policy view on the topic in all parties (not to do so would be electoral suicide)
     
  9. Said1
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    What would you say the differences in services are?
     
  10. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Good question. May I use a personal example. I had causae to see my GP once, I knew what it was. He confirmed me (I had to pay his the balance of his fee and the money that the Medicare care scheme paid, then about $20 difference)., I had to see a surgeon. The surgeon had a look and told me what I knew. He then asked me if I had private insurance. I said what's the diff? He said I get to go into a hospital of my choice, as soon as he can fit me in and he does the operation. If I went as a so-called "public" patient then I would have to wait several months (it wasn't life-threatening or it would have been done immediately) but he would do it at a specific hospital. I had insurance so it was done that week. I didn't see a bill. Between Medicare and my private health insurance I didn't pay a dollar.

    To sum up:

    A. Non-life threatening, a patient without insurance will have to wait, then go to a hospital they are told to go to but the surgeon they consulted will do the op. Cost zero.

    B. Life-threatening, a patient without insurance will get immediate attention at the nearest hospital, will get surgery or whatever they need. Cost zero.

    Private patient in A - gets surgery quicker, hospital of choice (get frills like cable tv if you want it), same deal with the surgeon though.

    Private patient in B - no difference. Get treatment, no cost, it's an emergency.

    You can get dental treatment for zero if you are willing to be a public patient at a hospital and wait. If you have insurance you go to your dentist and get it fixed.

    It's a little more complex than that but in very broad terms that's how it works.
     

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