Airjoe wrote:
Care to source that, Lummox? In my own anecdotal readings on international community sites like reddit, this couldn't be further from the truth. I'm interested in where you're getting that info from.

There was a piece on reason.tv a while back about this. I don't remember the link.
Lummox JR wrote:
But these ideas aren't popular with the folks who want more control over every aspect of our lives. Neither is tort reform, but that's because trial lawyers donate so heavily to their campaigns.

Say what? So the big businesses and insurance interests who push tort reform are better, so you have no rights to recovery when their faulty product maims you? Or a doctor repeatedly commits malpractice (because most doctors are good and don't, but the bad ones tend to repeat and rarely face discipline because of an unwilingness to admit liability) You realize that corporate and insurance put more money in the lobby pot, right? On boths sides (though the GOP is generally the bigger beneficiary, most prominent Dems don't do it without big nusiness money). And that states that have enacted such reforms have not seen insurance rates, medical costs, etc. decline.

A good interview on it:
http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/ would-tort-reform-lower-health-care-costs/

Generally denying access to a forum of justice, which is what tort "reform" is about, is not a good idea. Especially when that area isn't a significant cost driver.

The medical reform question is a tough one that has needed review for decades. There are no easy answers. Starting a huge bureacracy without addressing systemic problems is ludicrous. But it isn't easy- health care isn't like other economic purchases where you can shop around. When you need it, you generally need it soon and the consumers are generally lacking in knowledge to make meaningful comparisons and relying on expert opinions.

Some ideas seem very reasonable such as not allowing insurers to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, allowing transferability in employer plans, and allowing greater cross state shopping. But those are much more limited and don't address problems in the overall model (such as how emergency coverage and its interaction with the un and underinsured, billing, etc.).

If the idea is to increase non emergency coverage, I don't understand why they don't establish publicly funded grants at medical schools to serve indigent and low income populations. Or just lift the income ceilings on Medicare and Medicaid. But, while we are at it, how about we take a look at problems in those systems- many of which cropped up in the last round of "fixes". And the amount of money poured out as waste to "sweeten" bills for votes.
Tort reform is by and large supported by everyone but trial lawyers and their beneficiaries. I'm not saying we should make it impossible to sue for malpractice either, just drain the swamp of a lot of stupid liability issues. Many goods and services cost far more than they should because of the hair-trigger lawsuit culture we live under. That isn't just in medicine either.

And this is definitely a significant cost driver in medicine; to say otherwise is simply absurd. There are other major cost drivers too, but there's no doubt this would actually help. Note that the interview in question is published in a pro-big-government paper and the whole thing is merely the opinion of one person. You can find a voice of opposition on any issue but that doesn't mean that they're right. (Doesn't necessarily mean they're wrong either, but this idea that tort reform would be meaningless is totally out of left field, political pun not intended.)

Also I might add the idea that Republicans benefit more from big business than Democrats is largely a myth. It's a myth that Democrats and their ideological allies like to keep alive though because it helps maintain their populist brand.

One point I will readily agree with is that there are no easy answers. But there are perfectly reasonable solutions to small pieces of the puzzle that, while they may not address the big picture, at least represent an achievable and logical improvement. In the absence of easy answers, it's sensible to chip away at the problem around its edges, in much the same way you don't unsnarl a tangle of Christmas lights by going right for the center of the mess.
Lummox JR wrote:
Airjoe wrote:
Care to source that, Lummox? In my own anecdotal readings on international community sites like reddit, this couldn't be further from the truth. I'm interested in where you're getting that info from.

There was a piece on reason.tv a while back about this. I don't remember the link.

No he is right. I'll find a source later. There is a lot of hospitals on the Canadian border because of this.

Regardless, Canada did one of the worst jobs at universal health care. Just don't say a good universal health care system can't exist, look at some of the European nations.
Europe is going broke a smidge faster than the US. The UK's universal health care system makes Canada's look brilliant.

TANSTAAFL. Socialism run amuck has failed Europe and it's failing us--more of the disease will not cure what ails us. No one will claim the US health care system is perfect, but it works pretty darn well for most people. The trick is to fix the parts of it that don't work so well. As has been said already, there are no easy answers, but there are still some pieces of low-hanging fruit to pick. It isn't necessary to tear down the whole orchard and plant it anew, particularly according to a design that has demonstrably never worked well.
If you think it works 'pretty darn well for most people', Lummox, you're absolutely out of touch. Please feel free to read through the thousands of comments about the topic in this reddit thread. As someone who has been recently severely wronged by the health care industry, it's a smack in the face for you to say it's even close to working well for anyone.
I said most people, not all. When polled about it, a majority consistently says they're mostly happy with their health insurance. A lot of things could stand to be better about it, and obviously it's not perfect, but the idea that creating a free lunch out of thin air is magically going to fix everything is absurd. The idea that it won't even make things worse is absurd.

And dude, seriously, it's not "a smack in the face for you to say it's even close to working well for anyone". That's ludicrous. It's working well for me. It's working well for just about everyone I know. It could work better; it could be cheaper; but it is working for them. That's truth, not a slap at anyone. And I've known people on the other side of that equation, like for example a Canadian who had to wait months to get a pancreatic tumor merely biopsied, during which time it was producing vast quantities of insulin--fortunately the tumor ultimately turned out to be benign, if you can reasonably call an insulinoma "benign". So if the US's health care system has failed you, no one's disputing that's a bad thing, but that doesn't change the fact that in spite of its rough spots it mostly works. Nor does it make a tried-and-failed idea look any better.
To add to what Lummox said. There has never and will never be a time from now until the absolute end of time where everybody wins. To try to achieve that goal is a waste of time. Nothing will ever be perfect. To try to cover everybody will have and already has had its consequences in the countries that tried.
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