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Koch Brothers own study says that Universal Healthcare is cheaper than current US system

Forums - Politics Discussion - Koch Brothers own study says that Universal Healthcare is cheaper than current US system

fatslob-:O said:
Puppyroach said:

I thing many on your "side" of this matter seem to think that we who are in favor of universal healthcare see private entities as being harmful to the industry. They can exist as much as they want, but will then compete with stateowned entities. I am not a bif fan of price control but having a stateowned entity will bring competition that forces others to lower their prices in order to compete. For example, we have a government run pharmacy that competes with private entities on the pharmaceutical market. When Swden privatized large parts of the pharmaceutical market, prices generally increased though wich means that I as a customer paid quite a lot more for medicine than before when the government had monopoly on the market. I am still in favor of privatizing the market, but it is important to have public options aswell.

And this will not hinder medical research. As someone else pointed out, 11 out of the 20 largest pharmaceutical companies are not american so obviously innovation continues in a country where the government runs the healthcare industry. America is a great contributor, but they have a tendency to over-inflate their own importance in this field. If they weren´t as big, other countries would likely fill the void, simply because medical research is ne of the most fundamental parts of our society.

Finally! Some real dialogue here! Thank the lord even though I'm an agnostic atheist ... (should tell anybody how desperate I am to look for open ended discussion) 

Sorry if I did generalize about "your side" viewing private health entities as generally being harmful and yes the price of medicine (particularly some of the new and lead edge patented ones) are not ideal and I guess America could work to improve that by introducing a 2 tiered system to medicaid (medicare for all is nothing more than a distant dream) to improve coverage such as providing visits to only to general practitioners, only being able to use unpatented generics along with deciding whether to apply deductibles to other health services or not depending on the cost which means that Americans would now have a 3 tiered health system and I too realize the value in providing more cover or higher access but we have to stop spooking the truly hardline experts in medicine so much to be able to keep their talent so that they can afford to teach prospective medical students to pass the talent around to make highly specialized or personalized care more accessible in the future ... 

We also need to learn to respect all sorts of intellectual properties. If the majority of us here respect the concept of copyright then it should not be so foreign to accept the of having a mini monopoly on drugs through patents ... (pharmaceutical companies often only have around 10 years to potentially profit off of it's development sometimes maybe even less once a patent expires and generics come into pricture) 

Most of the pharmaceutical state owned enterprises don't sound at all like their competitors to global giants such as Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer or Novartis so I get the impression most of the time that national health care providers with a single payer system in these countries just use collective bargaining (price control in it's purest form) against these giants to pay for medicine in bulk at reduced rates but America is swept under the rug in the process bearing the brunt (70% profit = America) of producing these leading edge treatments ... 

Price controls hinders medical research and drug supply in practically any case and just because 11 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies are located outside the US does not mean that most of the drugs are not initially and majorly developed inside the US either. There's a reason why lot's of foreign firms out there make acquisitions or partner with American firms to either gain access to the market or the facilities. FDA is noticeably quicker than the EMA to approve drugs too so leading edge drugs like Kymriah are still the bread and butter of the US market despite having some of it's development from the outside ... (many smaller companies like Spark Therapeutics being an extremely promising American startup that's only five years old benefit too by already getting FDA approval for it's cure to a progressive blindness disease)

I genuinely believe if everybody could just invest more (and not just leave it to America) that we could soon have a hard cure to many life afflicting and chronic conditions such as from common cancers, to HIV or diabetes ... 

A potential way we could get more direct funding to the R&D operation itself is if we just have the government shopping around for whichever entities (whether private or state owned) to secure the licensing and production rights instead but it does beg the question if any governments are willing to pay to pioneer access to treating rare diseases or conditions ? 

Absolutely, I think it is naive to think that the US simply could adopt a European-style system of healthcare since that wouldn´t take into account that the US has a different structure altogether compared to my country of Sweden. Also, here in Sweden we actually have both public and private options in the healthcare sector, although the private entities receive their funding from the government. So they are more like the Charter School version of healthcare I guess =).

When it comes to these matters it often becomes very onesided where the different sides seem way to absolute in their stances. The end result might be a solution in between, where american citizens from one state can buy into the medicare system for a period of time and then the government evaluates the results. Because there is no reason to forbid any private entities, just let Medicare compete along side them and I believe the system would equalize after a period of time.

The idea you raise in the end is an interesting one and I think it´s very, VERY important that the political discussion doesn´t focus on demonizing private entities. The blame for the problems that are right now in the american healthcare system are mostly a result of the political body of the country.



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Jumpin said:
The fact that there are Americans in here attacking the idea of universal healthcare shows exactly how brainwashed the country is. Is it a coincidence that pretty much every American is on some form of medication? It's a big scam, of my entire office, virtually no one is on any kind of medication except birth control; but when an American comes in, it's always some kind of cocktail of anti-anxiety, adhd, depression, some kind of endocrine correcting meds, and painkillers -- do you guys as a country realize this isn't normal?

Have you ever streamed US TV before? There are TONS of commercials for medications that I am pretty sure would be illegal in most of the developed world. You really can't mix this kind of neoliberal economy with the medical industry and expect it to work.

Totally agree with everything you said.  There is  only one other country besides the US where it is legal to show prescription medication ads on TV.  Unless you absolutely need them to survive you shouldn't take any prescription medications.  Also there are a ton of prescription medications where the side effects end up being worse then the aliment they supposedly treat.      



Hiku said:
outlawauron said:

Europe and Asia would have a big problem with that though. Without the US to defend them, they'd have to spend some of their own money on military.

That said, I don't think people are really down for it. Even with the report above being about equivalent for Medicare/Medicaid + Insurance money, you'll be paying the same for worse care. I think I'm good.

They do spend some money on their own military, if they're allowed to have one. USA's protection is not the only factor though. NATO is obligated to defend any of it's members from attack. That's why we haven't had a war break out in Europe (Among EU & NATO countries) since NATO was established after World War 2.
USA is the biggest deterrent for Russia though. But USA can certainly cut some of it's insane defense spending, and still have a higher annual defense budget than the closest 4 countries combined, and still be able to protect a NATO nation.

Also, that $610 Billion is apparently going to be $717 Billion this year. Fantastic...
As for "paying the same for worse care", can you elaborate on that? Why would you get worse care? The idea is that the funds would be more efficiently spent on the hospitals and patients, rather than focusing on corporate profit. Which is an issue when USA is the only country on the list where the government isn't allowed to negotiate for drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies. Which is why your prices have skyrocketed, and you can buy the same US manufactured drug for up to 3-5 times cheaper, in Canada.

And just for clarification, the World Health Organization doesn't even rank USA's healthcare among the top 25 in the world: http://thepatientfactor.com/canadian-health-care-information/world-health-organizations-ranking-of-the-worlds-health-systems/
Although that was in the year 2000, but I heard they're ranked 36'th today. Which is one rank higher than their 2000 placing.

NATO defense spending is measured as a percentage of GDP. It's supposed to be 2% and nearly all of the NATO countries fall incredibly short of that. The US will never not be far out ahead in pure numbers unless the US economy collapses. Shutting down defense spending is synonymous with closing down bases and retracting the size of the military by recalling the hundreds of thousands of soldiers stationed abroad.

As far as paying the same for worse care, there isn't really any service that has been taken over by the government and had a positive impact in final product. The quality of service or product always gets worse. I have no reason to believe that the service would improve or even stay the same. The price of drugs or cost of the service doesn't impact the quality of the service. Hence the, pay the same for worse service.

As far as the WHO, they rank (appropriately) the overall mean of healthcare available in the US. The quality of care varies so much from city to city, not even to mention the jumps that can take place from state to state. The very best hospitals in the world are in the US, but that is a byproduct of the higher costs. The level of care that a very poor person receives (although free or nearly through Medicaid) is not near the level of care that someone who can afford the best receives.



-CraZed- said:
Biggerboat1 said:

I think you're mixing up Sweden with Switzerland in regards to the your neutrality reference... 

 

Also, the idea that selling drugs to counties outside the US not being profitable doesn't make any sense, otherwise why would they be selling them there?

No I don't think I am, Swedish neutrality.

And no one said there wasn't any profit it is that it affects profit margins and thus the US with it's relatively open markets drug companies can charge more here to bolster those margins. Quote form SA article: :..."In Europe, meanwhile, the impact of austerity on health budgets since the financial crisis has led industry executives to complain of single-digit percentage annual price declines."

Industry executives complaining that their prices, meaning what they are allowed to charge due to pricing controls, dropped by a mere single digit percentage. You don't think they are jumping at the chance to gouge US customers if they are complaining about that? 

My bad re. Sweden, didn't know that - stand corrected!

To your second point though, I understand that the European market is more challenging than the US but I'm certain there is still plenty profit to be made outside the US otherwise they wouldn't be selling to those markets. Also, even if they were making more money from Europe and others - do you really think they would treat the US any differently?

They'll maximise the profit they can make in each region, full stop. They're corporations, that's what they do...

What makes you think that a more profitable EU business would bring out their charitable side in the US?



outlawauron said:

NATO defense spending is measured as a percentage of GDP. It's supposed to be 2% and nearly all of the NATO countries fall incredibly short of that. The US will never not be far out ahead in pure numbers unless the US economy collapses. Shutting down defense spending is synonymous with closing down bases and retracting the size of the military by recalling the hundreds of thousands of soldiers stationed abroad.

As far as paying the same for worse care, there isn't really any service that has been taken over by the government and had a positive impact in final product. The quality of service or product always gets worse. I have no reason to believe that the service would improve or even stay the same. The price of drugs or cost of the service doesn't impact the quality of the service. Hence the, pay the same for worse service.

As far as the WHO, they rank (appropriately) the overall mean of healthcare available in the US. The quality of care varies so much from city to city, not even to mention the jumps that can take place from state to state. The very best hospitals in the world are in the US, but that is a byproduct of the higher costs. The level of care that a very poor person receives (although free or nearly through Medicaid) is not near the level of care that someone who can afford the best receives.

At least in my country there are numerous examples of services and products that have dropped in quality after they have been privatised. If a company wants to make profit from health care, it might not have much motives to cure people in the long run, while a goverment might/should have the motive to take as good care as they can to minimize expenses (if its free/almost free for the citizens). If the motive is to make people healthy (to save money) instead of making money from the sickness, then the service can also be better. Of course anything can be done well or like shit. Personally I view health care, education, police, fire department and such, as things that should be at least mostly handled by the goverment/state etc



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The thing about healthcare under capitalism structures is that your health is put into the hands of people that want to makes as money off of you as possible.

Single payer healthcare simply cares about your health.



Massimus - "Trump already has democrat support."

PSintend0 said:
outlawauron said:

NATO defense spending is measured as a percentage of GDP. It's supposed to be 2% and nearly all of the NATO countries fall incredibly short of that. The US will never not be far out ahead in pure numbers unless the US economy collapses. Shutting down defense spending is synonymous with closing down bases and retracting the size of the military by recalling the hundreds of thousands of soldiers stationed abroad.

As far as paying the same for worse care, there isn't really any service that has been taken over by the government and had a positive impact in final product. The quality of service or product always gets worse. I have no reason to believe that the service would improve or even stay the same. The price of drugs or cost of the service doesn't impact the quality of the service. Hence the, pay the same for worse service.

As far as the WHO, they rank (appropriately) the overall mean of healthcare available in the US. The quality of care varies so much from city to city, not even to mention the jumps that can take place from state to state. The very best hospitals in the world are in the US, but that is a byproduct of the higher costs. The level of care that a very poor person receives (although free or nearly through Medicaid) is not near the level of care that someone who can afford the best receives.

At least in my country there are numerous examples of services and products that have dropped in quality after they have been privatised. If a company wants to make profit from health care, it might not have much motives to cure people in the long run, while a goverment might/should have the motive to take as good care as they can to minimize expenses (if its free/almost free for the citizens). If the motive is to make people healthy (to save money) instead of making money from the sickness, then the service can also be better. Of course anything can be done well or like shit. Personally I view health care, education, police, fire department and such, as things that should be at least mostly handled by the goverment/state etc

Well, privatization generally means more competition, which leads to a host of outcomes. In other industries where private vs public compete, there is a very observable gap in quality of service to the point where the government service is a bit of joke. Nice to know that some people believe that the government is more altruistic than I. I'm not that optimistic.



outlawauron said:

Well, privatization generally means more competition, which leads to a host of outcomes. In other industries where private vs public compete, there is a very observable gap in quality of service to the point where the government service is a bit of joke. Nice to know that some people believe that the government is more altruistic than I. I'm not that optimistic.

Its not about goverment being altruistic or not, its about money. If goverment is responsible for the expences of health care, then it should have the motive to keeping people as healthy as possible, because that costs them less. Of course its never that simple, but things can change and health care can be handled well or not, regardles of whether its completely by goverment or by private sector or a mix of both.

Many doctors, nurses etc want to save lives, want to cure people, want to make people more healthy and now that is mostly harnessed for making money, but who says it has to be like that? Nothing would have really changed if all people thought that things are impossible. Many would have thought that women getting the right to vote etc. and Trump becoming the precident, were impossible and would never happen, but they did happen and so did countless of other things that were viewed to  be impossible by many. If goverment sees that its best interest is have healthy citizens and if that can be combined with the fact that many people in health care do want to help people, then maybe something good will happen.

Problem with making money from health care, is that its hard to make money from healthy people and because of that there is little motive to make people healthy in the long run. Thats why I think that it should be changed and be made into something thats not about profits, but instead about not losing money (or ideally just about helping people with health things). And about the competition, there can still be competition even if its wholly handled by the goverment, but I guess I didn´t need to say that as its given.



We should now listen to the Koch Bros? I thought they were old greedy racist gun toting bible thumping homophobic child molesters who polute and pillage the middle class right up their ass? Oh, they lie a lot too.



Wiibaron said:
We should now listen to the Koch Bros? I thought they were old greedy racist gun toting bible thumping homophobic child molesters who polute and pillage the middle class right up their ass? Oh, they lie a lot too.

I don't like them, and I don't like money in politics, but they're old, greedy, and they pollute and pillage, but to my knowledge they are not child molesters, not bible thumping, and not racist (though they do help keep a party in power that is full of such people). Like some "conservatives" in this thread have said, they are in fact quite literally open borders in a way even Hillary and the Democratic party are not. Listening to this study isn't listening to the Koch Bros. It's listening to hardcore Libertarians, capital L, who are utterly and completely opposed to the government doing anything except funding law enforcement to protect life and property from specifically violence and larceny, and potentially funding a military as needed for defense against actual and immediate foreign threats. Yet even they, try as they may, with every motive in the world to succeed, could not prove that the American people would incur a net cost from the most expensive possible government healthcare program anyone has ever devised.

It essentially proved that even the most expensive government healthcare you could imagine would save trillions of dollars over time from what we're already projected to spend under the current system. The Kochs have no incentive to lie in this way, and in fact have every incentive to find a way to fudge the numbers higher by several trillion, but they just couldn't without it being obvious. The single payer system they analyzed just saves that much money. It shouldn't surprise anyone. Even Adam Smith, essentially the originating economist and philosopher behind capitalism, would have told you that our current system is horrifically inefficient due to the horrific amount of rent seeking (costs beyond what is required to create new wealth, like the price hikes from drug companies, or the entire health insurance industry, which adds no value to the system and is just a gatekeeper). The single payer system eliminates these sources of rent seeking by replacing health insurance with a government program that won't and inherently can't ask for more than necessary to pay for the health services, and prevents price hikes by drug companies by creating a monopsony, or the reverse of a monopoly where there are many sellers, one buyer, and thus the buyer gets to bully the sellers in the same way a seller bullies the buyers in a monopoly. Except in this case the "bully" is the entire American populace bullying the whole health care industry to give them cheaper healthcare.

But I mean, if you don't want to believe the Koch brothers, you can believe any of the European countries that do it, from social democracies like Norway and Sweden to places like Italy where a populist party that hates immigrants is the largest party now or Hungary that is currently ruled by an actual alt-right party that really hates immigrants. Or you could listen to the people in this thread that will tell you that we have better cancer care here even though other countries have better 5 year survival rates than us with their 'inferior" cancer care, or that other countries have longer waiting times even though the only reason we don't here is because millions can't afford to even stand in line, or that somehow private companies are going to "innovate" more even though all they do is innovate on how to make more money and most actual R&D could just be funded by the government too and would probably be better for us since we could research technologies that would actually heal us and thus lead to less people seeking healthcare, something a for profit company would never invest in because they need us to come back and keep spending money. And with that last point, that's not to mention at all that single payer wouldn't eliminate the "innovative" drug companies or health technology companies, just the health insurance companies that don't innovate at all or really add anything of value to the system. I don't know what your narrative is, but people from countries who subscribe to a variety of narratives have found a lot to love about universal healthcare. It seriously does not need to be a partisan issue.