End the hoaxes, part 4: When India’s health care beats the U.S., it’s time to change


Can’t see any reason to reform health care in the U.S.?  Read this letter to the editor of the Stockton (California) Record:

August 22, 2009

I recently returned from India with my partner (a Lodi resident, born and raised in Stockton), who had hip surgery there because he has inadequate health insurance and could not afford to have the surgery done here. He, by the way, had excellent care there at a fraction of the cost here, including travel.

It is difficult to understand the paranoia of citizens who are blind to the obvious manipulation by politicians and insurance executives. Insurance companies, through their politician spokespeople, continue to succeed in duping Americans into believing they cannot trust the government, while they make decisions based primarily, if not solely, on huge profits. Certain politicians are willing to sell Americans down the river in the hopes of regaining some political ground.

Though the government may not be great at controlling costs, it does not make decisions based only on maximizing profits into private pockets, and it answers to us at election time. Is our faith in our system at so low an ebb that we alone among industrial nations cannot manage this? Insurance companies act only for themselves.

Me? I trust the government over insurance companies any day. Common sense tells us we need reform, we need it now, and it must address the inequalities of a system that is inherently untrustworthy due to greed and selfish motivation. A real, functional public option is key to meaningful reform.

Susan Amato
Lodi

Need health care?  Insurance company won’t authorize your treatment?  Just fly to India.

It’s the “India Option Plan” from Sen. Chuck Grassley. Claims that health care in the U.S. is the “best in the world” need to be qualified:  Best in the world for those fortunate enough to have insurance that will cover treatment, and which won’t drop them when the bills start coming in; for others, second-world and third-world coverage is reality.

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17 Responses to End the hoaxes, part 4: When India’s health care beats the U.S., it’s time to change

  1. Nick Kelsier says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/21/AR2009082101778.html

    5 Myths About Health Care Around the World

    By T.R. Reid
    Sunday, August 23, 2009

    As Americans search for the cure to what ails our health-care system, we’ve overlooked an invaluable source of ideas and solutions: the rest of the world. All the other industrialized democracies have faced problems like ours, yet they’ve found ways to cover everybody — and still spend far less than we do.

    I’ve traveled the world from Oslo to Osaka to see how other developed democracies provide health care. Instead of dismissing these models as “socialist,” we could adapt their solutions to fix our problems. To do that, we first have to dispel a few myths about health care abroad:

    1. It’s all socialized medicine out there.

    Not so. Some countries, such as Britain, New Zealand and Cuba, do provide health care in government hospitals, with the government paying the bills. Others — for instance, Canada and Taiwan — rely on private-sector providers, paid for by government-run insurance. But many wealthy countries — including Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland — provide universal coverage using private doctors, private hospitals and private insurance plans.

    In some ways, health care is less “socialized” overseas than in the United States. Almost all Americans sign up for government insurance (Medicare) at age 65. In Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, seniors stick with private insurance plans for life. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the planet’s purest examples of government-run health care.

    2. Overseas, care is rationed through limited choices or long lines.

    Generally, no. Germans can sign up for any of the nation’s 200 private health insurance plans — a broader choice than any American has. If a German doesn’t like her insurance company, she can switch to another, with no increase in premium. The Swiss, too, can choose any insurance plan in the country.

    In France and Japan, you don’t get a choice of insurance provider; you have to use the one designated for your company or your industry. But patients can go to any doctor, any hospital, any traditional healer. There are no U.S.-style limits such as “in-network” lists of doctors or “pre-authorization” for surgery. You pick any doctor, you get treatment — and insurance has to pay.

    Canadians have their choice of providers. In Austria and Germany, if a doctor diagnoses a person as “stressed,” medical insurance pays for weekends at a health spa.

    As for those notorious waiting lists, some countries are indeed plagued by them. Canada makes patients wait weeks or months for nonemergency care, as a way to keep costs down. But studies by the Commonwealth Fund and others report that many nations — Germany, Britain, Austria — outperform the United States on measures such as waiting times for appointments and for elective surgeries.

    Like this

  2. Nick Kelsier says:

    4. Cost controls stifle innovation.

    False. The United States is home to groundbreaking medical research, but so are other countries with much lower cost structures. Any American who’s had a hip or knee replacement is standing on French innovation. Deep-brain stimulation to treat depression is a Canadian breakthrough. Many of the wonder drugs promoted endlessly on American television, including Viagra, come from British, Swiss or Japanese labs.

    Overseas, strict cost controls actually drive innovation. In the United States, an MRI scan of the neck region costs about $1,500. In Japan, the identical scan costs $98. Under the pressure of cost controls, Japanese researchers found ways to perform the same diagnostic technique for one-fifteenth the American price. (And Japanese labs still make a profit.)

    5. Health insurance has to be cruel.

    Like this

  3. Nick Kelsier says:

    In Japan, waiting times are so short that most patients don’t bother to make an appointment. One Thursday morning in Tokyo, I called the prestigious orthopedic clinic at Keio University Hospital to schedule a consultation about my aching shoulder. “Why don’t you just drop by?” the receptionist said. That same afternoon, I was in the surgeon’s office. Dr. Nakamichi recommended an operation. “When could we do it?” I asked. The doctor checked his computer and said, “Tomorrow would be pretty difficult. Perhaps some day next week?”

    3. Foreign health-care systems are inefficient, bloated bureaucracies.

    Much less so than here. It may seem to Americans that U.S.-style free enterprise — private-sector, for-profit health insurance — is naturally the most cost-effective way to pay for health care. But in fact, all the other payment systems are more efficient than ours.

    U.S. health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs in the world; they spend roughly 20 cents of every dollar for nonmedical costs, such as paperwork, reviewing claims and marketing. France’s health insurance industry, in contrast, covers everybody and spends about 4 percent on administration. Canada’s universal insurance system, run by government bureaucrats, spends 6 percent on administration. In Taiwan, a leaner version of the Canadian model has administrative costs of 1.5 percent; one year, this figure ballooned to 2 percent, and the opposition parties savaged the government for wasting money.

    The world champion at controlling medical costs is Japan, even though its aging population is a profligate consumer of medical care. On average, the Japanese go to the doctor 15 times a year, three times the U.S. rate. They have twice as many MRI scans and X-rays. Quality is high; life expectancy and recovery rates for major diseases are better than in the United States. And yet Japan spends about $3,400 per person annually on health care; the United States spends more than $7,000.

    4. Cost controls stifle innovation.

    False. The United States is home to groundbreaking medical research, but so are other countries with much lower cost structures. Any American who’s had a hip or knee replacement is standing on French innovation. Deep-brain stimulation to treat depression is a Canadian breakthrough. Many of the wonder drugs promoted endlessly on American television, including Viagra, come from British, Swiss or Japanese labs.

    Overseas, strict cost controls actually drive innovation. In the United States, an MRI scan of the neck region costs about $1,500. In Japan, the identical scan costs $98. Under the pressure of cost controls, Japanese researchers found ways to perform the same diagnostic technique for one-fifteenth the American price. (And Japanese labs still make a profit.)

    5. Health insurance has to be cruel.

    Like this

  4. Nick Kelsier says:

    In Japan, waiting times are so short that most patients don’t bother to make an appointment. One Thursday morning in Tokyo, I called the prestigious orthopedic clinic at Keio University Hospital to schedule a consultation about my aching shoulder. “Why don’t you just drop by?” the receptionist said. That same afternoon, I was in the surgeon’s office. Dr. Nakamichi recommended an operation. “When could we do it?” I asked. The doctor checked his computer and said, “Tomorrow would be pretty difficult. Perhaps some day next week?”

    3. Foreign health-care systems are inefficient, bloated bureaucracies.

    Much less so than here. It may seem to Americans that U.S.-style free enterprise — private-sector, for-profit health insurance — is naturally the most cost-effective way to pay for health care. But in fact, all the other payment systems are more efficient than ours.

    U.S. health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs in the world; they spend roughly 20 cents of every dollar for nonmedical costs, such as paperwork, reviewing claims and marketing. France’s health insurance industry, in contrast, covers everybody and spends about 4 percent on administration. Canada’s universal insurance system, run by government bureaucrats, spends 6 percent on administration. In Taiwan, a leaner version of the Canadian model has administrative costs of 1.5 percent; one year, this figure ballooned to 2 percent, and the opposition parties savaged the government for wasting money.

    The world champion at controlling medical costs is Japan, even though its aging population is a profligate consumer of medical care. On average, the Japanese go to the doctor 15 times a year, three times the U.S. rate. They have twice as many MRI scans and X-rays. Quality is high; life expectancy and recovery rates for major diseases are better than in the United States. And yet Japan spends about $3,400 per person annually on health care; the United States spends more than $7,000.

    4. Cost controls stifle innovation.

    False. The United States is home to groundbreaking medical research, but so are other countries with much lower cost structures. Any American who’s had a hip or knee replacement is standing on French innovation. Deep-brain stimulation to treat depression is a Canadian breakthrough. Many of the wonder drugs promoted endlessly on American television, including Viagra, come from British, Swiss or Japanese labs.

    Overseas, strict cost controls actually drive innovation. In the United States, an MRI scan of the neck region costs about $1,500. In Japan, the identical scan costs $98. Under the pressure of cost controls, Japanese researchers found ways to perform the same diagnostic technique for one-fifteenth the American price. (And Japanese labs still make a profit.)

    5. Health insurance has to be cruel.

    Like this

  5. Nick Kelsier says:

    (This next article is rather long to be posted in one post so I’m posting it in three separate parts in reverse order. That way it looks right when read top to bottom. And my apologies to Ed for the length. But I’ve had enough of Rocket’s inanity.)

    Not really. American health insurance companies routinely reject applicants with a “preexisting condition” — precisely the people most likely to need the insurers’ service. They employ armies of adjusters to deny claims. If a customer is hit by a truck and faces big medical bills, the insurer’s “rescission department” digs through the records looking for grounds to cancel the policy, often while the victim is still in the hospital. The companies say they have to do this stuff to survive in a tough business.

    Foreign health insurance companies, in contrast, must accept all applicants, and they can’t cancel as long as you pay your premiums. The plans are required to pay any claim submitted by a doctor or hospital (or health spa), usually within tight time limits. The big Swiss insurer Groupe Mutuel promises to pay all claims within five days. “Our customers love it,” the group’s chief executive told me. The corollary is that everyone is mandated to buy insurance, to give the plans an adequate pool of rate-payers.

    The key difference is that foreign health insurance plans exist only to pay people’s medical bills, not to make a profit. The United States is the only developed country that lets insurance companies profit from basic health coverage.

    In many ways, foreign health-care models are not really “foreign” to America, because our crazy-quilt health-care system uses elements of all of them. For Native Americans or veterans, we’re Britain: The government provides health care, funding it through general taxes, and patients get no bills. For people who get insurance through their jobs, we’re Germany: Premiums are split between workers and employers, and private insurance plans pay private doctors and hospitals. For people over 65, we’re Canada: Everyone pays premiums for an insurance plan run by the government, and the public plan pays private doctors and hospitals according to a set fee schedule. And for the tens of millions without insurance coverage, we’re Burundi or Burma: In the world’s poor nations, sick people pay out of pocket for medical care; those who can’t pay stay sick or die.

    This fragmentation is another reason that we spend more than anybody else and still leave millions without coverage. All the other developed countries have settled on one model for health-care delivery and finance; we’ve blended them all into a costly, confusing bureaucratic mess.

    Which, in turn, punctures the most persistent myth of all: that America has “the finest health care” in the world. We don’t. In terms of results, almost all advanced countries have better national health statistics than the United States does. In terms of finance, we force 700,000 Americans into bankruptcy each year because of medical bills. In France, the number of medical bankruptcies is zero. Britain: zero. Japan: zero. Germany: zero.

    Given our remarkable medical assets — the best-educated doctors and nurses, the most advanced hospitals, world-class research — the United States could be, and should be, the best in the world. To get there, though, we have to be willing to learn some lessons about health-care administration from the other industrialized democracies.

    T.R. Reid, a former Washington Post reporter, is the author of “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care,” to be published Monday

    Like this

  6. Nick Kelsier says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/21/AR2009082101778.html

    5 Myths About Health Care Around the World

    By T.R. Reid
    Sunday, August 23, 2009

    As Americans search for the cure to what ails our health-care system, we’ve overlooked an invaluable source of ideas and solutions: the rest of the world. All the other industrialized democracies have faced problems like ours, yet they’ve found ways to cover everybody — and still spend far less than we do.

    I’ve traveled the world from Oslo to Osaka to see how other developed democracies provide health care. Instead of dismissing these models as “socialist,” we could adapt their solutions to fix our problems. To do that, we first have to dispel a few myths about health care abroad:

    1. It’s all socialized medicine out there.

    Not so. Some countries, such as Britain, New Zealand and Cuba, do provide health care in government hospitals, with the government paying the bills. Others — for instance, Canada and Taiwan — rely on private-sector providers, paid for by government-run insurance. But many wealthy countries — including Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland — provide universal coverage using private doctors, private hospitals and private insurance plans.

    In some ways, health care is less “socialized” overseas than in the United States. Almost all Americans sign up for government insurance (Medicare) at age 65. In Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, seniors stick with private insurance plans for life. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the planet’s purest examples of government-run health care.

    2. Overseas, care is rationed through limited choices or long lines.

    Generally, no. Germans can sign up for any of the nation’s 200 private health insurance plans — a broader choice than any American has. If a German doesn’t like her insurance company, she can switch to another, with no increase in premium. The Swiss, too, can choose any insurance plan in the country.

    In France and Japan, you don’t get a choice of insurance provider; you have to use the one designated for your company or your industry. But patients can go to any doctor, any hospital, any traditional healer. There are no U.S.-style limits such as “in-network” lists of doctors or “pre-authorization” for surgery. You pick any doctor, you get treatment — and insurance has to pay.

    Canadians have their choice of providers. In Austria and Germany, if a doctor diagnoses a person as “stressed,” medical insurance pays for weekends at a health spa.

    As for those notorious waiting lists, some countries are indeed plagued by them. Canada makes patients wait weeks or months for nonemergency care, as a way to keep costs down. But studies by the Commonwealth Fund and others report that many nations — Germany, Britain, Austria — outperform the United States on measures such as waiting times for appointments and for elective surgeries.

    In Japan, waiting times are so short that most patients don’t bother to make an appointment. One Thursday morning in Tokyo, I called the prestigious orthopedic clinic at Keio University Hospital to schedule a consultation about my aching shoulder. “Why don’t you just drop by?” the receptionist said. That same afternoon, I was in the surgeon’s office. Dr. Nakamichi recommended an operation. “When could we do it?” I asked. The doctor checked his computer and said, “Tomorrow would be pretty difficult. Perhaps some day next week?”

    3. Foreign health-care systems are inefficient, bloated bureaucracies.

    Much less so than here. It may seem to Americans that U.S.-style free enterprise — private-sector, for-profit health insurance — is naturally the most cost-effective way to pay for health care. But in fact, all the other payment systems are more efficient than ours.

    U.S. health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs in the world; they spend roughly 20 cents of every dollar for nonmedical costs, such as paperwork, reviewing claims and marketing. France’s health insurance industry, in contrast, covers everybody and spends about 4 percent on administration. Canada’s universal insurance system, run by government bureaucrats, spends 6 percent on administration. In Taiwan, a leaner version of the Canadian model has administrative costs of 1.5 percent; one year, this figure ballooned to 2 percent, and the opposition parties savaged the government for wasting money.

    The world champion at controlling medical costs is Japan, even though its aging population is a profligate consumer of medical care. On average, the Japanese go to the doctor 15 times a year, three times the U.S. rate. They have twice as many MRI scans and X-rays. Quality is high; life expectancy and recovery rates for major diseases are better than in the United States. And yet Japan spends about $3,400 per person annually on health care; the United States spends more than $7,000.

    4. Cost controls stifle innovation.

    False. The United States is home to groundbreaking medical research, but so are other countries with much lower cost structures. Any American who’s had a hip or knee replacement is standing on French innovation. Deep-brain stimulation to treat depression is a Canadian breakthrough. Many of the wonder drugs promoted endlessly on American television, including Viagra, come from British, Swiss or Japanese labs.

    Overseas, strict cost controls actually drive innovation. In the United States, an MRI scan of the neck region costs about $1,500. In Japan, the identical scan costs $98. Under the pressure of cost controls, Japanese researchers found ways to perform the same diagnostic technique for one-fifteenth the American price. (And Japanese labs still make a profit.)

    5. Health insurance has to be cruel.

    Not really. American health insurance companies routinely reject applicants with a “preexisting condition” — precisely the people most likely to need the insurers’ service. They employ armies of adjusters to deny claims. If a customer is hit by a truck and faces big medical bills, the insurer’s “rescission department” digs through the records looking for grounds to cancel the policy, often while the victim is still in the hospital. The companies say they have to do this stuff to survive in a tough business.

    Foreign health insurance companies, in contrast, must accept all applicants, and they can’t cancel as long as you pay your premiums. The plans are required to pay any claim submitted by a doctor or hospital (or health spa), usually within tight time limits. The big Swiss insurer Groupe Mutuel promises to pay all claims within five days. “Our customers love it,” the group’s chief executive told me. The corollary is that everyone is mandated to buy insurance, to give the plans an adequate pool of rate-payers.

    The key difference is that foreign health insurance plans exist only to pay people’s medical bills, not to make a profit. The United States is the only developed country that lets insurance companies profit from basic health coverage.

    In many ways, foreign health-care models are not really “foreign” to America, because our crazy-quilt health-care system uses elements of all of them. For Native Americans or veterans, we’re Britain: The government provides health care, funding it through general taxes, and patients get no bills. For people who get insurance through their jobs, we’re Germany: Premiums are split between workers and employers, and private insurance plans pay private doctors and hospitals. For people over 65, we’re Canada: Everyone pays premiums for an insurance plan run by the government, and the public plan pays private doctors and hospitals according to a set fee schedule. And for the tens of millions without insurance coverage, we’re Burundi or Burma: In the world’s poor nations, sick people pay out of pocket for medical care; those who can’t pay stay sick or die.

    This fragmentation is another reason that we spend more than anybody else and still leave millions without coverage. All the other developed countries have settled on one model for health-care delivery and finance; we’ve blended them all into a costly, confusing bureaucratic mess.

    Which, in turn, punctures the most persistent myth of all: that America has “the finest health care” in the world. We don’t. In terms of results, almost all advanced countries have better national health statistics than the United States does. In terms of finance, we force 700,000 Americans into bankruptcy each year because of medical bills. In France, the number of medical bankruptcies is zero. Britain: zero. Japan: zero. Germany: zero.

    Given our remarkable medical assets — the best-educated doctors and nurses, the most advanced hospitals, world-class research — the United States could be, and should be, the best in the world. To get there, though, we have to be willing to learn some lessons about health-care administration from the other industrialized democracies.

    T.R. Reid, a former Washington Post reporter, is the author of “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care,” to be published Monday

    Like this

  7. Nick Kelsier says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090823/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_care_insurance_competition

    Competition lacking among private health insurers

    By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press Writer Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 3 mins ago

    WASHINGTON – One of the most widely accepted arguments against a government medical plan for the middle class is that it would quash competition — just what private insurers seem to be doing themselves in many parts of the U.S.

    Several studies show that in lots of places, one or two companies dominate the market. Critics say monopolistic conditions drive up premiums paid by employers and individuals.

    For Democrats, the answer is a public plan that would compete with private insurers. Republicans see that as a government power grab. President Barack Obama looks to be trapped in the middle of an argument that could sink his effort to overhaul the health care system.

    Even lawmakers opposed to a government plan have problems with the growing clout of the big private companies.

    “There is a serious problem with the lack of competition among insurers,” said Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, one of the highest-cost states. “The impact on the consumer is significant.”

    Wellpoint Inc. accounted for 71 percent of the Maine market, while runner-up Aetna had a 12 percent share, according to a 2008 report by the American Medical Association.

    Proponents of a government plan say it could restore a competitive balance and lead to lower costs. For one thing, it wouldn’t have to turn a profit.

    A study by the Urban Institute public policy center estimated that a public plan could save taxpayers from $224 billion to $400 billion over 10 years by lowering the cost of proposed subsidies for the uninsured, while preserving private coverage for most people.

    “Right now, there’s no incentive for insurers or big hospital groups to negotiate with each other, because they can pass higher payments on through premiums,” said economist Linda Blumberg, co-author of the report. “A public plan would have the leverage to set lower payment rates and get providers to participate at those rates.”

    “The private plans would come back to the providers and say, ‘If you don’t negotiate with me, you’re going to be left with only the public plan.’” Blumberg continued. “Suddenly, you have a very strong economic incentive for them to negotiate.”

    Insurers contend their industry is extremely competitive, and a public plan is unnecessary. About 1,300 carriers operate across the country, although many only have a small share of the market in their states.

    “You can have a very competitive market and still have companies with a high market share,” said Alissa Fox, a top Washington lobbyist for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

    Fox points to the federal employee health program, which also covers members of Congress. It offers a total of more than 260 options and 10 nationwide plans. Despite all the choices, about 60 percent of federal workers pick a Blue Cross plan.

    “Insurers need to be of a significant size to best serve their customers and make sure that people get the best value,” Fox said.

    Nonetheless, lawmakers are concerned. Big insurers are getting bigger. Small businesses in particular have fewer and fewer options for getting coverage.

    Congressional investigators this year looked at insurers catering to small employers around the country. The Government Accountability Office found that the median _or midpoint — market share of the largest carrier increased to 47 percent in 2008 from 33 percent in 2002.

    There’s widespread recognition among lawmakers that a health care overhaul should foster more competition among insurers. The debate is over how far to go.

    The basic framework lawmakers are looking at would encourage competition, even without a government plan. It calls for setting up a big insurance purchasing pool called an exchange. It would be open, at least initially, to individuals and small businesses. The government would offer subsidies to make premiums more affordable.

    Consumers would find it much easier to shop for a plan through the exchange. For one thing, they would be able to readily compare benefits and premiums in different plans. Also, participating insurers would have to take all applicants and not charge higher premiums to those in poor health.

    Offering the option of a public plan would supercharge the competition, supporters say.

    Blumberg envisions a plan that pays medical providers more than Medicare, but less than private insurance. Her study estimated it could grow to 47 million members, leaving 161 million with private insurance. Even so, that would make the new public plan one of the largest insurers in the country, rivaling Medicare, Medicaid and big private companies such as Wellpoint and UnitedHealthcare.

    It’s a scenario that gives pause even to traditional adversaries of the insurance companies.

    “The fear and concern is that the public plan could become the market-dominant plan,” said Dr. James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association. “When you’ve got the federal government involved, it can infuse money into a plan to keep it solvent even if the premiums are lower than its actual costs.”

    Snowe, among the few Republican senators still trying to come up with a bipartisan compromise, wants to hold back on creating a public plan for now and give insurers one last chance to show if they can keep costs in check.

    That’s doesn’t go far enough for liberals, who are loath to give the insurance industry tens of millions of new customers supported by taxpayer subsidies.

    “It would give the industry a windfall without any countervailing force to require them to lower their costs,” said Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager for the advocacy group Health Care for America Now. “The insurance companies could continue to jack up premiums while getting a whole new market.”

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  8. Nick Kelsier says:

    Oh and Rocket, despite your delusion to the contrary a public option is not going to destroy captialism in this country nor will it destroy the health insurance industry. Capitalism and health insurance companies do quite well in the entirety of the rest of the industrialized world, all of whom have some form of public option in their health care. So knock off the stupid fearmongering you little child because it only displays how little faith you have in this country, in capitalism and in the free market you really have.

    You’re a faithless gutless coward.

    Like this

  9. Nick Kelsier says:

    Rocket writes:
    free country of capitalism and free market and citizens who take care of and look out for each other through our own means,

    50 million people don’t have health insurance. People are going bankrupt paying for it. That is not “taking care of each other” you halfwit. To paraphrase Winston Churchill…capitalism is the worst form of economy…except for all the rest. Meaning, child, it isn’t perfect. And only a halfwit thinks that the “free market” is perfect, can take care of everything and the government should do absolutely nothing.

    If you really wanted to live in a purely free market capitalist society, Rocket, you’d be screwed 6 ways to sunday every day of the week. And you’d be wondering who was going to protect you and there would be noone there to do so.

    Like this

  10. Ed Darrell says:

    If you are so upset and embarrassed about living in a free country of capitalism and free market and citizens who take care of and look out for each other through our own means, then please..feel free to exercise your right and freedom to leave this country for the one you like.

    [ahem] Rocket, you’re the one denigrating the free enterprise of immigrants who come to make free enterprise work for them by purchasing businesses or starting new ones and making them go.

    You can ship out any time you choose.

    Like this

  11. Ed Darrell says:

    I wonder why our Government gave federal grants to the nation of India to put indians through medical school, help them open convenience stores and hotels chains across america tax free for 5 years?

    I wonder why people make up fantastic false stories like that.

    Like this

  12. Rocket says:

    I wonder why our Government gave federal grants to the nation of India to put indians through medical school, help them open convenience stores and hotels chains across america tax free for 5 years?

    I wonder why we have so many “Patels” that own a hotel chain or convenience store or a doctors practice in America, government subsidized opportunities for private businesses to succeed through capitalism and the free market with incentives like no taxes for 5 years. (which by the way they just change the owner of the business to another family member every 5 years to get another 5 years tax free) These isolated stories posted here are truly remarkable in that they are individual stories lacking all the details and facts necessary for making an informed decision.

    Political smoke and mirrors to anger you, and motivate you to support something that lacks facts and details. It’s not just liberals or just conservatives or just democrats or just republicans. Its Politicians, and the more naive and ignorant and uneducated the voter is, the easier it will be to get a vote.

    Wake up and smell the government control of our lives.

    Socialism has failed in every country that has tried it from the beginning of time. What is so wrong about freedom from tyranny, oppression, socialism, communism, dictatorships, and government control of your life?

    If you are so upset and embarrassed about living in a free country of capitalism and free market and citizens who take care of and look out for each other through our own means, then please..feel free to exercise your right and freedom to leave this country for the one you like.

    Quoted from the Declaration of Independence:
    “..Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

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  13. Nick Kelsier says:

    The right wing needs to read this article:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/21/AR2009082101778.html

    Titled “5 myths about health care” in the Washington post

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  14. Ed Darrell says:

    Good point, Scott. Done.

    It reminds me of the post a couple of weeks ago in which a woman explained that if you have insurance through your employer, you’re not really covered. That insurance stops when the job stops.

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  15. Scott Hanley says:

    “Those fortunate enough to have insurance” needs qualifying, too. That should be, “Those fortunate to have insurance that doesn’t drop them when the bills start coming in.”

    Like this

  16. george.w says:

    I had a Turkish grad student employee who flew home to have dental work done. It seemed incredible to me until he showed me the numbers. Mentioning it to an Indian student she responded that if she needed anything but minor medical care, she would get on an airplane. Even though she had student insurance.

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  17. I emailed this letter to all my conservative relatives that know Obama is ruining the country, first by supporting the bail-out package put thorough by a Republican Congress with a Republican President, and second by attempting to foist communism on our health care system. I might as well try to get my own Representative in Congress to decide how she’s gonna vote after she reads the legislation. She insists that reading first is her process, but I have yet to fail to predict her vote. That’s our problem: readers of Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub already understand the hoax for what it is; those that believe the nonsense, OTOH, are not reading here, but getting their knowledge from PajamasMedia and FOX. When will Americans learn anew to talk and listen across their the ideological divide?

    I remember an high-level administrator for a large state university in the United State touting the superiority of medical treatments in Toronto, where his family made regular trips. This person had some of the best employer provided healthcare available in the US, yet chose to go to a country where the reputed treatment is far worse. There must be thousands of these stories.

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Play nice in the Bathtub -- don't splash soap in anyone's eyes.

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