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CVC
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Health Care

Our government should make it a priority to provide access to affordable health care to all Americans. Why?

1. The government provides health care for the very poor and the eldery but the working middle class is left out.

2. No American should go without access to health care - if we can spend billions to bring democracy to a country that doesn't want it and hates us, then we can spend that money on Americans. Likewise for the funds we expend on humaitarian aid to other nations.

3. The number of uneducated citizens is growing (what proof Obama won didn't he? Just Kidding - maybe). If we are to be a strong nation, we must make sure that all our citizens are strong.

Early health care is essential for children to learn. Without health care they will not do well in school. We have to break the cycle of proverty and give more people the opportunity to better themselves.

4. We don't need a government administered health program, but the government can provide funding to make private health care affordable and accessible.

Well that should get the debate started.

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I pretty much agree with most that you say,

A couple things to keep in mind,

The amount of foreign aid is much too tiny to make much of a dent in our health care budget, especially if you eliminate commitments (bribes) to Egypt and Isreal for joining the peace process.

The amounts that we're talking are not so huge when compared to Iraq or the current bank bailouts. 50 billion per year is a round number often bandied about.

The public versus private arguement is an old one and for now best left to the individual to choose, or that's the plan. Keep the private plan you have or any one you would like to get, or if able pay for a govt plan or a portion of it. By not forcing anyone to opt into a government plan they are trying to bring health care to all without causing anyone to fear rationing or having a govt choose your care.

When you think about it many people are already on a government plan already. Medicare, medicaid, Veterans Health Care, Federal Employees Health Care or others I probably can't even think of.

The biggest problem with private insurance for health care is that people don't veiw the health of their families the way they do a car or a house. Insurance companies are in business to make money, can't fault them there but they are working at cross purposes to people who are looking for great health care. Besides paying for profit and overhead we are also paying for insurance companies to deny claims and refuse coverage. That's how costs are kept in check. Fine as long as it's not you or yours who get denied benefits.

The number of uninsured is skyrocketing as you read this. A half million newly unemployed every month probably through next winter is a lot of people who used to be on employee based plans who will now have none.

Tuesday I head to the other side of the world. First on my list is preventive care. The cost savings wil pay for the plane, then I get dental, then I go play in the woods. Most people who have high deductible like me skip the preventive, save $3000 or so, and sometimes catch the big C. Or currently their employer pays, or the government.

The down side.

Eventually probably most people will opt for the less costly better coverage of the govt plan. Then we will have another entitlement program like Social Security, Medicare and Medicade. Repubs hate that. Oh well, time to stop paying the most for the worst care of any rich industrialized country.

CVC
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My brother in law is in the military and just got from Peru where they spent time building infrastructure or somthing like that. The government ripped them off before they even could start. They prepaid for the fuel for the helicopters but the government raised the price. keep in mind we're there to help them.

Fuel cost were near a half million. Yes, that is not a lot compared to Iraq, but why not take that million or so it cost for the entire project and use it to rebuild an inner city ghetto here?

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The main problem with health insurance is affordability. It is simply too expensive for most to pay for.
That translates to government sponsored health insurance as well.
Question that needs to be asked is A) why is health insurance so expensive?instead of asking B)where will we get the money to pay for government sponsored health insurance?
The answer to A) is frivolous lawsuits and ridiculous judgements by Judges and Juries.
We have all heard that it is cheaper to just pay a settlement rather than go to trial.
Somebody has to pay for those settlements.....insurance companies do and so that means that people who have insurance pay for it while those who do not have insurance still cannot afford it.

The best answer to get things rolling is Tort Reform.
Enough of the outrageous settlements and judgements and make it so that those that file frivolous lawsuits are penalized when they lose in court and the insurance companies can recoup their legal expenses for defending their insured against such lawsuits.
Of course that is not all that needs to be done but I believe that it is an essential first step, otherwise government sponsored health insurance will bankrupt our Treasury.

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I live with government-provided health care, and I'm not impressed.

For one thing, private hospitals look at tests as an opportunity for income. Socialized medicine looks at them as operating expenses. So where one system may be inclined to order X-rays or an MRI, the other may be inclined to send you home with motrin and hope it goes away.

Second, one reason health care costs are so high is the insurance factor. It's easy to bill insurance companies because they have deep pockets. In recent weeks, our government has shown just how deep its pockets are -- and if it's in charge of paying the bills, costs will likely increase. If you've ever seen an auto-body shop gouge your insurance, you know what I mean.

Third, government-run operations are more expensive to operate due to inefficiency and administrative costs associated with making sure the system meets political agendas that aren't necessarily associated with business efficiency.

Fourth, government provided health care caps doctor salaries -- a factor to consider when thinking about all the years and expense associated with medical school. Medical expertise would likely drop. The same thing can hold true for pharmaceutical research -- there's less financial incentive.

Finally, socialized medicine has proven to be enormously expensive everywhere it's been implemented, and questions arose about quality of care.

CVC
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Ok so you're not impressed with your government provided health care but at least you have health care. Many Americans don't and I am sure would accept your unimpressive government provided health care in lieu of not having any at all.

Supposing all that you said is true, then what is the answer? Do nothing and let people continue to not receive proper medical care?

The truth is the government already provides health care to low income individuals and families. Why not extend health care coverage to those that work, but don't have access to affordable health care?

Why not think out of the box? I am sure all state governments have health care plans for its employees. How about having the federal government pick up the tab for people to access that plan? Bad idea? Maybe, but we need to figure out how to help the American people.

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Where does it say that Americans are entitled to health care?
Where does it say that the Federal Government should provide health care and/or health insurance to private citizens?
Medicaid and Medicare are group specific and for the most part Medicaid is abused by many.

There are a lot of things that "would be nice" to have but that is not what our Constitution says.
CVC has said where the response should lie, and that is with the States. If a State wants to sponsor a Health insurance plan for private citizens the that is where it should be.

No where in the Constitution and attached Amendments does it say that we have a right to health care or insurance.

The U.S. is a Republic of Free Democratic States and not The United Socialist States Of America.
There is a place like that not far from here, its called Cuba.

CVC
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I suppose the general welfare clause could be used to justify the federal government providing the health care.

However, for me the issue isn't whether the people have a right to health care. I will accept that people don't have a right to health care, but that doesn't change the fact that we need to provide access to affordable health care for our citizens.

The fact is that the poor and uneducated are growing in numbers. A country can't be strong when so many of its people are poor and uneducated. It also makes them susectible to snake oil salesman promising the world.

Whether it is a right or not doesn't change the fact that young children are not getting routine health care and poor health is a barrier to education.

My daughter has the opportunity to become whatever she wants, but so many children don't.

I don't raise this issue because I am a humanitarian, but because I am selfish. The poor are weighing me down and I can't compete with the rest of the world with them holding onto my ankles, but if I lift them up to stand at my side, then I can be competative.

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Not sure what the solution is or quite where to start to solve it. I do agree with Jtapia that we need to look at tort reform as a possible starting point. We need to bring the cost of insurance down & rein in all the outrageous lawsuits.

Next, I think the local communities should be addressing more of the health care issues. Locally we have a non-profit medical clinic that charges on the basis of income. They receive funding from the state, county and United Way (which is of course supported by local donors). To my knowledge anyone has access to this clinic, regardless of income. This clinic was created due to the burden on the emergency room at our local hospital, which is also non-profit and funded by the county & mill tax levies on all property owners. Not sure if this is an ideal situation, but it seems to work here. It is not new, its a system that has been in place for 20+ years. This is not just indigent care, this is primarily for families that are in the middle income class or do not have any insurance at all. They provide immunizations, wellness care, etc. We also have a similar dental program available to anyone.

I do not believe the federal government should be involved in providing health care or insurance. The cost and bureaucracy would be astronomical.

People need to start taking care of themselves and taking some preventative measures on their own to stay healthy. I really believe this country has fallen into "unhealthiness" due to their own bad habits and laziness. Let me explain. Through my husband's job we're entitled to wellness tests and evaluations each year. They not only pay for all the tests, but also give each person a monetary incentive to do the tests. A very low percentage of people take advantage of this great resource. Its free, they give you money to do it, and still very few do it. You know why? Because, they tell you the bad news. Exercise more. Bring down your cholesterol. Lose weight. Quit smoking. People don't want to hear this. They want to continue with their bad habits, then when they get sick, they want a pill or a quick fix. We need to start with improving our own health habits and not expect someone to patch us up because we're too lazy to do it ourselves.

So I may possibly be in favor of government sponsored wellness programs, especially for children, but I'm not in favor of providing free health care to all.

CVC
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cowgal wrote:
I do not believe the federal government should be involved in providing health care or insurance. The cost and bureaucracy would be astronomical.

The government is already providing health care - medicaid and medicare. However, a large segment of the population doesn't have access to affordable health care.

People need to start taking care of themselves and taking some preventative measures on their own to stay healthy. quote]

I agree, but not everyone has the means or the access to health care to take care of themselves. Yes, we have a free clinic here, but it can serve only so many and they are always just scraping by (and yes, I contribute).

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This one sure brings em out a the woodwork.

Most people in America and the rest of the developed world consider access to health care a right, just the way it is.

The constitution doesn't say anything about a lot of things, it was written 200 years ago. Nothing about drivers lisences, nothing about civil aviation rules, nothing about social security, we could go down that road forever.

Malpractice. The vast majority of medical error never goes to court. The doc says he's sorry, that's just the way it is. Of the cases that go to court 60% are due to error and injury, the rest are simply injury but not for sure error, someone got hurt. There are extremely few frivolous suits, the cost of going to court is very high, no lawer is going to assume all the costs of trying to take on the insurance companies without a good chance of success. A freind going to med school said in ethics class the prof told them the #1 thing they could do to avoid getting sued is to say they're sorry when they mess up. Mistakes happen.

The biggest way to cut down malpractice costs is to cut back on malpractice. Information on Doctors is secret, which ones mess up? I don't know, can't find out. No one tells me how many amnios a doc has done before he puts the needle in my wife.

Malpractice setlements have gone down in relation to medical costs, insurance has gone up and will jump due to the market. Insurance companies invest in stocks and bonds.

Where are these free clinics? Where I live you have to already be involved with some govt program. Poor people around here don't collect, they work. The praportion of people who are eligable for food stamps but don't collect is very high.

Preventive care is fine but if my neighbor has cancer I want her to be able to go to the doc and for her family to keep the house when she dies.

Most folks put the added cost at around 50 billion a year. Is that really too high? We are spending 20 times that on the banks. Why is doing the right thing too much?

Notice expat doesn't opt out of his govt sponsored health care, must not be too bad. It's universaly acknowledged that government plans now deliver health care for far lower costs than privately. Even with the fraud that occurs. No one on a govt plan would rather switch to private, if they did they could, but they don't.

American Doctors are the highest paid in the world. Why? Americans by all measures recieve worse care than Europe and Japan. Life span, infant mortality, wait time to see a doctor, positive outcomes from surgery, desease rates. We pay up to twice as much or more for this poor service.

Instead of a war in Iraq we could have had 6 years of Universal coverage. Why not? The first thing the Obama campaign did on their web site was set up a discussion forum similar to this but addressing one topic at a time. I didn't respond myslef there were too many posts all at once. Check it out, I think it's open to the public. There are now 5 topics, it's under "join the discussion" under the video.
http://change.gov/

In another week or a little more I'll be in a place where the cost of a simple operation is too much and people die for lack of $100. I could step in and pay, but I don't. I've seen the same thing for too many years and too many people. That's in another country.

I am an American and I am my brothers keeper. As an American I believe that I must do my part through taxes to pay for those less well off to have access to the very basic health care that the rest of the developed world gets. It's a very small price, I'm happy to pay for expat, (thank you for your service to your country) and I'd also be happy to pay for any others, I hope you in turn would share the cost with me.

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