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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

SpokenTruth said:

Have you ever been to any of those countries?  Because you gave a misconception while trying to claim something else is a misconception.

Actually, I live in some of those countries and it took me SEVERAL YEARS to refer to a specialist in a rare genetic condition AFTER I was diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder so what exactly did I claim was a misconception ?

The fact that the US has the highest amount of specialists across the world if not maybe even the highest in proportion to general practitioners ? Superior cancer care ? Highest possible accountability ? Best all around access to many medical imaging equipment ? Holds the most amount of clinical trials and produces the most amount of new molecular entities ?

Are any of these statements misconceptions ?

Hiku said:

Better is not arguable imo when over 45 000 people die every year in the US because they can't afford healthcare. And that number is 0 in every other industrialized country.
Unless someone lacks compassion for people who are less fortunate than yourself. Just the other day there was a story about a mother who lost her child because the ambulance suggested she take a car, because she wouldn't be able to afford the ambulance ride. Only in America...

My friend from Florida got bit by a dog and had to get a rabies shot. He's just a college student but was forced to pay over $4000 USD for those shots. And that's a lot of money for a college student. If that happened to me I'd pay $10 - $15. What a garbage system.

Using ideology to advance your case does not help in your argument at all since one approach to health care does not invalidate the other ... 

What some patients view as justice or injustice is not necessarily the same for doctors. Universal health care is an institution that sharply clashes with Americas existing paradigm of health care innovation as I outlined before with the potential for our future generations being robbed of options in leading edge treatments or coming in unprepared with emerging illnesses. Life perishing maybe sad but a true tragedy is when multiple generations are born into this world faced with a lack of response for an incurable condition that could've been solved far earlier ... 

Universal health care proceeds to encroach upon what lies in our investment of beyond just current humanity and it also exists as a tool to appropriate a better future for many generations ahead. Do you truly think that sacrificing the potential of future generations by establishing a counterproductive institution is worth the short term fix of a small portion of our woes ? 

Last edited by fatslob-:O - on 02 August 2018

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Aeolus451 said:
vivster said:

All I'm reading in this thread is about higher cost for the government. Let's assume for a moment the US is not able to have a long term plan for UHC that's cheaper than the current system. So it's gonna be a bit more expensive. Wouldn't it be alright to increase the cost of a system if that means overall higher coverage?

It's not a bit more expensive. Blahous mentioned in this report that it would cost the government at least 32 trillion extra and it would cost at least 6 trillion more overall. He said those are low ball figures and they are likely higher. No especially since it would stifle our advancement of meds, tech and medical procedures. It wouldn't end up as a net positive for everyone. In the current system, taxes are low for everyone and anyone just pays for whatever healthcare they want with no rationing. 

Social services are not supposed to be a net win for everyone. They're supposed to be a win for the lowest classes.

Btw the stifle of innovation is a great little fairy tale that's been told for centuries by wealthy businessmen to keep their taxes low and extend the wealth gap. Nice that you still believe in it.



If you demand respect or gratitude for your volunteer work, you're doing volunteering wrong.

fatslob-:O said: 
Hiku said:

Better is not arguable imo when over 45 000 people die every year in the US because they can't afford healthcare. And that number is 0 in every other industrialized country.
Unless someone lacks compassion for people who are less fortunate than yourself. Just the other day there was a story about a mother who lost her child because the ambulance suggested she take a car, because she wouldn't be able to afford the ambulance ride. Only in America...

My friend from Florida got bit by a dog and had to get a rabies shot. He's just a college student but was forced to pay over $4000 USD for those shots. And that's a lot of money for a college student. If that happened to me I'd pay $10 - $15. What a garbage system.

Using ideology to advance your case does not help in your argument at all since one approach to health care does not invalidate the other ... 

What some patients view as justice or injustice is not necessarily the same for doctors. Universal health care is an institution that sharply clashes with Americas existing paradigm of health care innovation as I outlined before with the potential for our future generations being robbed of options in leading edge treatments or coming in unprepared with emerging illnesses. Life perishing maybe sad but a true tragedy is when multiple generations are born into this world faced with a lack of response for an incurable condition that could've been solved far earlier ... 

Universal health care proceeds to encroach upon what lies in our investment of beyond just current humanity and it also exists as a tool to appropriate a better future for many generations ahead. Do you truly think that sacrificing the potential of future generations by establishing a counterproductive institution is worth the short term fix of a small portion of our woes ? 

Ideology (that humans living in a society have a right to live...) does not help my argument, but your ideology of sacrificing 45 000+ people a year who didn't need to die, because that may approve a hypothetical useful drug sooner, helps your argument?

You're favoring sacrificing 45 000+ people in a real scenario, in favor of a very hypothetical scenario where this speeds up the approving of future drugs that would somehow end up saving more lives than this system unnecessarily killed?

First of all, keep in mind that most of these newly discovered drugs are not designed to save lives. Usually they are improvements of more common non life threatening drug treatments. In more rare cases they are improvements to drugs designed to save lives. And in even rarer cases, it's a new drug designed to treat a previously un-treatable condition. And in even rarer cases, those conditions are life threatening. Etc.

Just keep that in mind as we go on when you chose your priorities that lead to 45 000+ people a year actually dying.
The most common conditions that lead to premature death today globally will likely remain at the top of the charts for many decades to come. If not centuries.

Now there are three major key factors that the article you linked to doesn't bring up.

1.) The study they cited about the average cost of new drug approvals was heavily criticized by a nummber of industry peers, including Doctors Without Borders, which said it was "unreliable because the industry's research and development spending is not made public". (This is a very important fact that I'll get back to below.) Another publication said it "contains a lot of assumptions that tend to favor the pharmaceutical industry."
Coincidentally (?) the source of that 2014 study in your article can no longer be found: https://csdd.tufts.edu/news/complete_story/pr_tufts_csdd_2014_cost_study
At least every reference link I found lead to that broken link page.
I don't know if they retracted the study due to criticism of lack of evidence, but in either case it leads me into my next point:

2.) At no point in the article you linked does it mention that the primary reason for why US drug prices are so high is because USA, unlike any other modern country on the planet, is unable to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies. It briefly mentions higher costs being a factor, alongside the cases where its newer drugs, but makes no effort trying to explain why the drugs cost so much more in the US when in the cases where it's not a newer drug.
You can find the same US manufactured drug in Canada for up to 5 times cheaper. Manufactured by a US company....
It's literally cheaper in some cases to drive to Canada to buy drugs that were exported from USA, rather than buying domestically.

And the most important part...

3.) Even assuming that the numbers in your article are correct, a key factor they did not divulge is that industry's research and development spending is not made public. In other words, there's no proven correlation between the pharmaceutical industry jacking up prices in the US to them investing the gains into more research and development, rather than pocketing the gains and buying their CEO's their 10th yacht.
The only example this article uses to establish such a concept is a study in regards to the Orphan Drug Act. And here, they did not mention that the Orphan Drug Act established tax incentives for rare disease drug development.

The bottom line is, these kind of tax incentives for rare drug development can be given without jacking up drug prices to multiple times that of what they cost in other countries. And we don't know how much of those extra gains the pharmaceutical industry puts back into R&D because R&D spending is not made public.

The reason that this article seems to conveniently not disclose any of this info may very well be that it was funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

But even if that's not the case, and even if jacked up US drug prices meant a substantial increase in R&D, it does not mean we need to sacrifice 45 000+ people a year for something that very well may not save more lives than it took. Especially not when the majority of people, even in the USA where brainwashing about this subject is high ("we will turn into Soviet Russia or Venezuela if we allow this one more socialistic program, on top of roads, bridges, fire department, parks, libraries, elementary school, elected officials", etc) the majority of people want a single payer system according to polls.

Last edited by Hiku - on 02 August 2018

Aeolus451 said:
CosmicSex said:

The government has the ability to impose price control and it already does to a very great extent with Medicare.  There is no reason why we can't do it here.  There is no reason why we can't lower costs.  There is no reason why we can cut waste.  Europe isn't evil you know.  They do it to take care of their people.  There is always some motive with the folks who don't want people to get care or to save money.  That is the real evil holding us back.  Some people, especially conservatives in the US are programmed by politicians to think a certain way and its alarming how fast they bow down to them.   Liberals have similar issues but Conservatives have mastered the ability to get their followers to fight against their own self interest tooth and nail.   Libs aren't quite there yet. 

You're assuming that UHC is the absolute best way to go at any cost. That's still up in the air. So what if Americans don't buy into it? I never said anything about the EU being evil. It is on an authoritarian kick though and it has problems of its own. The only thing the US should adopt from there is the metric system, they can keep the rest. I'm not okay with paying alot higher taxes and ruining our advancement in med for something I rarely ever use. We already have a system we like and that works.

You can leave the "advancements in medicine" argument in the fridge. Most of the profits of medical companies don't go in to R&D, they go to shareholders. Many types of medicine that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars usually only cost a few cents or dollars to make.

Our system doesn't only grant better coverage then the USA, it's just more cost-effective.



SpokenTruth said:


Apparently some people here think Canada is way behind the US in health care services.

And wait-times are for elective procedures.

If you're in need of immediate medical treatment, you don't wait. (Aside from the cases where you may need a rare organ donation or something along those lines, which has nothing to do with the way the system is funded.)

I went to the ER one time, and I got to see a surgeon who ran checks on me in a manner of minutes. (Coincidentally happened to be a former classmate of mine.) They prepped me in case I needed surgery right away, but turned out it wasn't something that bad. I got to see another doctor about an hour later, and I stayed at the hospital for 3 days for other check ups. I got three meals a day, some medicine that cleared my condition in a manner of weeks, and was sent home with a bill of $30.
If it was something more serious and I needed surgery, I would have had it on the first day when I visited the ER and the bill would have been the same.

At this point I hope most people realize this, but you still see the dumb "wait times" misconception from time to time.

Last edited by Hiku - on 02 August 2018

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fatslob-:O said:
SpokenTruth said:

Have you ever been to any of those countries?  Because you gave a misconception while trying to claim something else is a misconception.

Actually, I live in some of those countries and it took me SEVERAL YEARS to refer to a specialist in a rare genetic condition AFTER I was diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder so what exactly did I claim was a misconception ?

The fact that the US has the highest amount of specialists across the world if not maybe even the highest in proportion to general practitioners ? Superior cancer care ? Highest possible accountability ? Best all around access to many medical imaging equipment ? Holds the most amount of clinical trials and produces the most amount of new molecular entities ?

Are any of these statements misconceptions ?

Hiku said:

Better is not arguable imo when over 45 000 people die every year in the US because they can't afford healthcare. And that number is 0 in every other industrialized country.
Unless someone lacks compassion for people who are less fortunate than yourself. Just the other day there was a story about a mother who lost her child because the ambulance suggested she take a car, because she wouldn't be able to afford the ambulance ride. Only in America...

My friend from Florida got bit by a dog and had to get a rabies shot. He's just a college student but was forced to pay over $4000 USD for those shots. And that's a lot of money for a college student. If that happened to me I'd pay $10 - $15. What a garbage system.

Using ideology to advance your case does not help in your argument at all since one approach to health care does not invalidate the other ... 

What some patients view as justice or injustice is not necessarily the same for doctors. Universal health care is an institution that sharply clashes with Americas existing paradigm of health care innovation as I outlined before with the potential for our future generations being robbed of options in leading edge treatments or coming in unprepared with emerging illnesses. Life perishing maybe sad but a true tragedy is when multiple generations are born into this world faced with a lack of response for an incurable condition that could've been solved far earlier ... 

Universal health care proceeds to encroach upon what lies in our investment of beyond just current humanity and it also exists as a tool to appropriate a better future for many generations ahead. Do you truly think that sacrificing the potential of future generations by establishing a counterproductive institution is worth the short term fix of a small portion of our woes ? 

Why wouldn't the US has the highest amount of specialist because those very same specialist can pretty much write in what their services will cost.  The US will always have the highest because money speaks more volume then actual caring.  Yes the US leads in medical equipment all the things you list but then again, healthcare in American is a huge profit business.  The margins are off the charts and thus the industry will continue to make sure it stays that way.  What you do not mention is that gaining access to those specialist, equipment has a cost.  Not all insurance will cover a lot of those cost and if they do only partial sum.  So to play in your world still requires you to have deep pockets for find yourself with medical bills that wipe out your savings and cripple your ability to feed your family.

This all sound great and good but can you tell us why the lifespan of Americans is so much shorter than the average in other countries that do not have all these advances in medicine and medical practices.  If I were to read into your statement, basically the lives that is sacrificed for these so called advancement is necessary to support a system that continues to raise the price of admission.



Aeolus451 said:
CosmicSex said:

The government has the ability to impose price control and it already does to a very great extent with Medicare.  There is no reason why we can't do it here.  There is no reason why we can't lower costs.  There is no reason why we can cut waste.  Europe isn't evil you know.  They do it to take care of their people.  There is always some motive with the folks who don't want people to get care or to save money.  That is the real evil holding us back.  Some people, especially conservatives in the US are programmed by politicians to think a certain way and its alarming how fast they bow down to them.   Liberals have similar issues but Conservatives have mastered the ability to get their followers to fight against their own self interest tooth and nail.   Libs aren't quite there yet. 

You're assuming that UHC is the absolute best way to go at any cost. That's still up in the air. So what if Americans don't buy into it? I never said anything about the EU being evil. It is on an authoritarian kick though and it has problems of its own. The only thing the US should adopt from there is the metric system, they can keep the rest. I'm not okay with paying alot higher taxes and ruining our advancement in med for something I rarely ever use. We already have a system we like and that works.

45 000 people die every year in the US because they can't afford health care. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/09/new-study-finds-45000-deaths-annually-linked-to-lack-of-health-coverage/
That number is 0 in every other modern country.
They may die because they're waiting for a rare organ donation that has nothing to do with the way they system is funded, and happens in the US as well, but not because they can't afford it.

May I ask how many more have to die unnecessarily each year for you to consider your system not working? 100 000? 1 million?
Because every other country draws the line at 1. If one single person can't afford to live, when we can easily afford it, then we are not a humane society. Hence why it's a human right.

Just the other day there was a story about a mother who tried to get her daughter an ambulance ride to the hospital, and the ambulance staff told her to take a car instead because she "wouldn't be able to afford" the ambulance ride. And her daughter died before getting to the hospital as a result.
Whether that was improper conduct on behalf of the staff isn't really the point. It's the fact that these discussions on whether or not someone can afford treatment even comes up at all. And it only does in USA. (We're talking about industrialized nations.)

As for if it's a system you like, in poll after poll, the majority of US citizens want a single payer system, so I'm not sure it's a system people particularly like, in spite of all the brain washing. Which is promising.

And regarding stifling the advances of medical science, there's simply no evidence to support that claim. Because R&D spending for pharmaceutical companies are not made public. I made a long detailed post about that above in my reply to Fatslob. 

As for the cost of Universal Healthcare, there's no doubt that its a more cost efficient system than the one currently in place in the US. Mainly because of the US government's inability to negotiate drug prices, which is not the case in any other modern country, and the reason for why people drive to Canada to buy US manufactured medicine for several times less the cost. Any estimate that comes out with UHC costing more is not taking into account that the US government can change this.
Although even if it hypothetically ended up costing more, there are other unnecesary spendings USA can cut rather than increase taxes on the lower and middle class, such as this bullshit:

Or not give massive tax breaks to the most wealthy in the country. Etc.
Take your pick. But don't suggest USA can't afford it.

Last edited by Hiku - on 02 August 2018

Aeolus451 said:

More people talking nonsensical numbers like Cortez? 😂 It would increase the federal budget commitments by 32 trillion in it's first ten years.... What part of "by 32 trillion" don't some people understand? That's 32 trillion more in taxes to the middle class and rich.

The 2 trillion reduction in national health expenditure over ten years is wrong because it's based on Bernie's assumption that we can lower all payment rates to medicare payment rates. Blahous pointed out that can't be achieved. It would actually increase the NHE by 6 trillion. Other studies have similar numbers.

Then what is you theory behind the US being one of few countries without universal healthcare yet still the cost for healthcare is way higher than countries that do have universal healthcare? Ofcourse it would save money since citizens would pay into Medicare instead of paying to private insurance companies.



Aeolus451 said:
xbebop said:

Yeah, and that's absolutely ridiculous. With any Universal Healthcare system, price controls would also come into play. As such, the costs would go down significantly.

Even so, does it matter if the cost for something is paid through taxes or directly from your pocketbook? It still ends up being paid. And, if other countries' experiences are to be believed, you'd end up paying less than half of what you are now.

With Bernie level of price controls, the innovation and development of meds, tech and medical procedures would stagnate. The US literally pays it forward for everyone in terms of innovation in healthcare. Some of the higher expenses is from higher consumption of healthcare and expensive new medical treatments. The US would never allow price controls for many reasons. Even most dems don't support this because they looked at the cost analysis and realized what it would cost.

Taxes would have to go up expeditiously to pay for the same healthcare at a higher price overall. It would go up by 6 trillion in costs.

Yet the US lags in terms of life expectancy...



Puppyroach said:
Aeolus451 said:

With Bernie level of price controls, the innovation and development of meds, tech and medical procedures would stagnate. The US literally pays it forward for everyone in terms of innovation in healthcare. Some of the higher expenses is from higher consumption of healthcare and expensive new medical treatments. The US would never allow price controls for many reasons. Even most dems don't support this because they looked at the cost analysis and realized what it would cost.

Taxes would have to go up expeditiously to pay for the same healthcare at a higher price overall. It would go up by 6 trillion in costs.

Yet the US lags in terms of life expectancy...

And USA has the highest maternal death rate in the developed world:
https://www.npr.org/2017/05/12/528098789/u-s-has-the-worst-rate-of-maternal-deaths-in-the-developed-world

It's declining everywhere else, but sharply rising in the US.
It's not even close.

But hey, they have a great healthcare system that they like, that works!
Except for the 45 000 who die every year in the US because they can't afford it, when that number is 0 everywhere else.
It doesn't work for them. But screw poor/unlucky people.

Last edited by Hiku - on 02 August 2018