Forums - Politics Discussion - American Government health spending seen hitting $1.8 trillion

Rath said:
mrstickball said:
Rath said:
mrstickball said:
Argh_College said:
sethnintendo said:

That is what you get with most of the population fat and unhealthy.  Relying on prescription drugs rather than address the real problem.  Americans have become too lazy and will take a cure all pill for anything even though that pill is only hiding symptoms (and probably causing more problems).  Too bad the only way to really address it is with a lifestyle change.  Eating as little processed foods as possible and rarely going to fast food is a start.  Eating what you are supposed to goes a long way.  If you eat shit then you will probably become shit.  You are what you eat.

Thats nor just a US problem but WW.

Well i guess you´re right but most people are lazy and like to eat shit and drink alot. I dont think we can do anything about it...

Sure you can.

It'll have everyone screaming bloody murder in the streets.

Its called "Letting Darwin Do His Thing"

Cut off all subsidies. All freebies. Make people pay for their care, or go to a charity that can help them with their problem on a case-by-case basis. Then, if someone wants to eat cheetoes for lunch and have Mt. Dew for dinner, or have unprotected, STD-ridden sex all the time, they are free to do it. But if they won't get a free ride. In one generation, you'd have all the lazy, (physically) useless people gone, and the ones that survived knowing what it takes to live life proper and in good health. Not because its just the right thing to do, but its the most affordable way to go.

Of course, such a method requires smaller government and a responsible populace. Those are the core reasons we have the problems we do today.

Christ that's extreme, and disgusting. Things like that are exactly the reason why I despise the extreme libertarian point of view.

 

The core problems with Americas healthcare system aren't down to the fact that the government is involved, otherwise other countries with socialised healthcare (ie. pretty much the entire developed world) would have the same problems.

Americas healthcare system is plainly fucked, the rest of the worlds is not. This can be basically seen in this graph.

 

So then, please give me an exact dissertation as to why our health care is so expensive, and what can be done to directly lower costs. I've already given my answer(s) as to why our system is so expensive, and I'd like to hear your reasons as well.

As for the extreme nature of a libertarian system: Just remember that prior to social medicine, hospitals still existed. My contention is that if the government weren't taking 3.5% of every American's money for Medicare, and loosened regulations up, cost of care would plummet, and the better off would give charitable contributions to hospitals for those unable to pay.


Once again socialised systems exist (and are universal) in many countries which have far lower healthcare costs than America.

Americas costs come from quite a few angles - the influence that big pharma is allowed to have with doctors (including things like kickbacks), how easily and often doctors can be sued for malpractice and how long it takes for doctors to become fully qualified. It's not as easy to fix as letting the poor people who don't really matter die.

Actually we spend less on drugs as far as a percentage of healthcare costs when compaired to the OCED average.  It like healthcare are actually very small contributors to the problem.  What we pay doctors is above average though... that to is about average percentage wise.  As other OCED nations, so a bigger problem but still not near the biggest.

One issue is that well... american's want the best... and because it's a capitlist soceity, essentially hospitals need to get the best equipment.

If an MRI has a .5% chance of finding head trauma better the hospital needs it.    The US is a heavy adopter of new medical technologies. 

Versus something like socialized programs, where they can place new technology in relativly few hospitals and hold it out only to specific groups, or heck, not even adopt it for years.  Since there is little to no competition.


Also, interesting story... New Zealand where you are from, actually pays a higher percentage of medical treatments "Out of Pocket" then the US does... as do most OCED countries with socialized systems.  Something that's... strange, to say the least no?

http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RL34175_20070917.pdf



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^ @ kasz - I'm confused as to why you say that a socialised healthcare system does not have competition. Every single name at the two links below is competing to provide the best healthcare in a single state in Australia (population around 7 million iirc)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Australia
http://www.elections.nsw.gov.au/candidates_and_parties/registered_political_parties/list_of_registered_parties

scottie said:
^ @ kasz - I'm confused as to why you say that a socialised healthcare system does not have competition. Every single name at the two links below is competing to provide the best healthcare in a single state in Australia (population around 7 million iirc)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Australia
http://www.elections.nsw.gov.au/candidates_and_parties/registered_political_parties/list_of_registered_parties

A) Fighting over a monopoly isn't exactly the same thing.

B) It's one issue out of DOZENS their "customers" require.



A) True, it is slightly different, a public system has the happiness of the majority as its number one priority and economic matters (breaking even, profiting or costing less) as a secondary concern, whereas Capitalism prioritises profit above other things. These slight similarities lead to slightly different effects, but there is still fierce competition in both systems to provide the best possible services. The only time that problems actually arise, is when socialism is combined with totalitarianism - in a single party state, such as the USSR, there is no longer competition.

B) I don't see how a holistic approach to running a country can be considered worse than running each sector with complete disregard for the rest of the country. Lets consider a scenario where a factory owner can increase output by $x at the expense of emitting significant amounts of a chemical, which will cause health problems to the general population equal to $2x. A free market (no goverment intervention) capitalist would suggest that the factory owner should go ahead with the output increase.
The owner of a hospital has a chance to install some high tech machinery, which costs $1.25 * x and will eliminate health problems in the population by 1.75 * x. The capitalist hospital owner would go ahead with it.

The net effect of these two decisions, in the capitalists case, would be a decrease in useful factory output by 0.25x and an increase in the cost associated with health problems by 0.25x.

Total profit = -0.5x

For a socialist situation, the government would correctly identify that, due to the interaction between factory output and health, this particular factory upgrade would not be worth it. If they could find some other way to increase output, then they would still go ahead with the hospital improvement, as it has a net profit.

Capitalism is inherently flawed, because of selfishness. (Note, I am not saying Socialism is perfect, please do not respond as if I did say this.) In some situations, socialism will produce better results, in some, capitalism will. I gave you a(n obviously cherry picked) example of where socialism will produce better results.

In conclusion, I don't think either pure capitalism or pure socialism are sensible. In the case of something vital (health, education water, electricity), I think that governments generally do better at providing these services - a company can alienate significant numbers of poor people without it impacting on their bottom line. democratic governments cannot do so, and must therefore provide a minimum standard to everyone. Many systems allow for private competition with the government - We have private schools and healthcare systems in Australia and they cater to the people that are willing to spend the extra money.
Whereas other things, production of consumer goods, food etc are generally best done by private companies only. The one thing I will add is that even here, I do not advocate complete free market capitalism. I believe in government regulations such as the requirement that food companies provide nutritional information. I disapprove of other forms of government regulation in these markets, such as the Australian governments bizarre decision to prop up a stupid and unsustainable rice growing industry in a country that is mostly desert.

Wow, that was a long response. If you got to this point, well done :)

scottie said:
A) True, it is slightly different, a public system has the happiness of the majority as its number one priority and economic matters (breaking even, profiting or costing less) as a secondary concern, whereas Capitalism prioritises profit above other things. These slight similarities lead to slightly different effects, but there is still fierce competition in both systems to provide the best possible services. The only time that problems actually arise, is when socialism is combined with totalitarianism - in a single party state, such as the USSR, there is no longer competition.

B) I don't see how a holistic approach to running a country can be considered worse than running each sector with complete disregard for the rest of the country. Lets consider a scenario where a factory owner can increase output by $x at the expense of emitting significant amounts of a chemical, which will cause health problems to the general population equal to $2x. A free market (no goverment intervention) capitalist would suggest that the factory owner should go ahead with the output increase.
The owner of a hospital has a chance to install some high tech machinery, which costs $1.25 * x and will eliminate health problems in the population by 1.75 * x. The capitalist hospital owner would go ahead with it.

The net effect of these two decisions, in the capitalists case, would be a decrease in useful factory output by 0.25x and an increase in the cost associated with health problems by 0.25x.

Total profit = -0.5x

For a socialist situation, the government would correctly identify that, due to the interaction between factory output and health, this particular factory upgrade would not be worth it. If they could find some other way to increase output, then they would still go ahead with the hospital improvement, as it has a net profit.

Capitalism is inherently flawed, because of selfishness. (Note, I am not saying Socialism is perfect, please do not respond as if I did say this.) In some situations, socialism will produce better results, in some, capitalism will. I gave you a(n obviously cherry picked) example of where socialism will produce better results.

In conclusion, I don't think either pure capitalism or pure socialism are sensible. In the case of something vital (health, education water, electricity), I think that governments generally do better at providing these services - a company can alienate significant numbers of poor people without it impacting on their bottom line. democratic governments cannot do so, and must therefore provide a minimum standard to everyone. Many systems allow for private competition with the government - We have private schools and healthcare systems in Australia and they cater to the people that are willing to spend the extra money.
Whereas other things, production of consumer goods, food etc are generally best done by private companies only. The one thing I will add is that even here, I do not advocate complete free market capitalism. I believe in government regulations such as the requirement that food companies provide nutritional information. I disapprove of other forms of government regulation in these markets, such as the Australian governments bizarre decision to prop up a stupid and unsustainable rice growing industry in a country that is mostly desert.

Wow, that was a long response. If you got to this point, well done :)

Got through it all.  The problem in general I have is that your example isn't well, relevent... because it's generally one that wouldn't happen in the US anyway.

It's not like the US doesn't have ANY medical regulations.


Outside which, the US IS known for it's early adoption polcies as far as medical technology goes... so the (most peoples happiness) angle doesn't really work.

A better way to put it would be most peoples perceived happieness on the day they vote.

 

Because of everyday competition, upgrades when available need to be made quicker in the US... and not only that, research to make said upgrades is more important.   Since if you are a hospital who makes new technology in agreement with medical researchers, that's to your benefit.

Government hospitals?  They can just sit back and wait, they've got no real motivation to fund research, outside of raising their own costs.  Same with the government in general.

This may be why the US accounts for 75% of the World's biomedical research.

 

The problem with socialism tends to be stagnation in ideas and development.



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Yep because in 2006 president Bush put a poison pill in medicare to pay off his lobbyist friends and make a attempt at privatizing medicare and the like. He put in medicare part D which makes it so medicare can't bargin for drugs like every other company does. So when you buy a lot of different pills, you can get bulk price but medicare has to pay store shelf price for the prescription and thats half of that money right there. SO TO ALL YOU AWeSOME REPUBLICONS IN HERE. It's a scam and bush did it to line the pockets of the drug companies, along with poison pills in United States post office.

Lets blame the poor, well if every millionaire payed there fair share and actually paid what I pay percentage wise, we would have 7 tillion back right there. Actually if you want to get specific. All you would have to do is let the bush tax cuts expire. 7 Trillion dollars right there.

So lets pick on the poor because you Republicons don't pay your fair share. The best this country did is in the 1950's and we had the highest union perticipation and the rich payed no less then 50% on there tax's. So Get off the poors backs. You know how you are southern boys.

The deregulation of the banks and wall st. crashed us. because they where using your money making risky bets with money they didn't have on the market. WHo did all that, bush did. He pushed all the laws that are crashing medicare, the ecconomy and screwed all of us. So Why are you talking about the poor. The 1% did all this because they knew the U.S. government would not let them fail, They knew that they where to big and can't fail without taking all of us with them. SO why are you talking about the poor again? This site is so full of people that have no clue what they are talking about. WOW!

http://front.moveon.org/the-easiest-way-to-reduce-the-deficit-by-7-trillion-in-10-years/

Here you go smart guys. Here is the proof. I'm sure we got other that well come and bring up nonsense. So I will not reply because trying to make some of you see past your ignorance is like beating my head up against the wall.

We pay the most on prescription

http://front.moveon.org/why-do-americans-pay-so-much-for-our-prescriptions-and-canadians-dont/



spaceguy said:

http://front.moveon.org/the-easiest-way-to-reduce-the-deficit-by-7-trillion-in-10-years/

Here you go smart guys. Here is the proof. I'm sure we got other that well come and bring up nonsense. So I will not reply because trying to make some of you see past your ignorance is like beating my head up against the wall.

We pay the most on prescription

http://front.moveon.org/why-do-americans-pay-so-much-for-our-prescriptions-and-canadians-dont/


You do realize that the CBO is mandated to use static scoring on all bills, which essentially means that behaviour changes can not be considered when calculating revenue estimates from bills right?

To demonstrate how unrealistic this is, consider that the United States uses around 140 Billion Gallons of gasoline every year and if someone came up with a bill that proposed adding a $10/gallon tax to gasoline the CBO would estimate an additional $1.4 Trillion in revenue to the government because they would be forced to assume that at $13/gallon people would use as much gasoline as they currently are. In contrast, if the CBO was allowed to use dynamic scoring they would (likely) find that tax revenues would fall because people would aggressively cut back on gasoline usage to limit energy costs, cut back on any discretionary expenses, companies would go bankrupt, and lots of people would lose their jobs all leading to substantially lower taxes being paid.



Healthcare spending in the developed world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_system

As you can see the US Government spends far less on healthcare compared to other developed countries relying more on the private sector and yet it's also far less efficient. What a shame. With the size of the US GDP it should have had by far the best healthcare system in the world if it had a universal healthcare system in place like all other advanced nations. But unfortunately due to the lobbying and buying out of US politicians by the medical insurance lobby as well as those ideologically opposed to any idea of helping out others using the State (though not opposed when it comes to other services such as the Police, Fire fighters, Postal Service etc), many Americans are suffering as a result.

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Badassbab said:
Healthcare spending in the developed world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_system

As you can see the US Government spends far less on healthcare compared to other developed countries relying more on the private sector and yet it's also far less efficient. What a shame. With the size of the US GDP it should have had by far the best healthcare system in the world if it had a universal healthcare system in place like all other advanced nations. But unfortunately due to the lobbying and buying out of US politicians by the medical insurance lobby as well as those ideologically opposed to any idea of helping out others using the State (though not opposed when it comes to other services such as the Police, Fire fighters, Postal Service etc), many Americans are suffering as a result.

Universal healthcare is fantastic unless you actually need healthcare ...

I don't have a primary care physician because (almost) no GP within 100 KM is accepting new patients, and if I need to see a doctor it is (usually) a 4 to 8 hour wait at the local clinic. For similar reasons my 1 year old nephew doesn't have a pediatrician, and he has been on a waiting list since before he was born. I have a friend who broke their arm tobogganing and spent 6 hours in the ER before seeing a doctor, and my father spent 3 years waiting on a variety of waiting lists to get through the process of getting knee replacement surgery.

In Canada the Universal Healthcare system has brought about significant equality among the masses by making it equally poor for everyone who is not super wealthy or well connected.