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CVC
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Quote:
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.

You're right, the Constitution doesn't say anything about these things becaue they are not rights.

The Constitution, regardless of its age, is the Supreme law of this country and should not be disregarded. It can be amended if times change, but it should not be ignored or changed unofficially by either of the branches of the government.

Now Civetcat, you may say, bs - health care is important and just because the Constitution doesn't address it, it should and therefore, we'll consider it a right.

Well, keep in mind that if we all don't protect the Constitution that we will suffer from its abuse and neglect. Case in point, look at how Bush has messed with our civil liberties.

If you don't adhere to the Constitution then you cannot complain when others deviate from it.

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CVC wrote:
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.

Yes, that's true, however it only covers a segment, its not broad coverage for everyone. Medicaid is being abused right now & costing much more than it should. So you already have abuse, doctors & hospitals not getting what they want for their services, and people with insufficient coverage. Medicare does not cover everything and old folks need supplemental insurance to cover anything medicare does not. The list of stuff that is not covered or doctors will not provide care for under medicare, increases every year.

Like I've stated, I don't feel this is an area that the federal government should be involved in.

Civetcat, I just don't get you. You stay extended periods of time in obviously a third world country, and choose to look the other way, in spite of bragging to have the means to help out. You statement is cold and callous.

Many communities have free and/or low cost medical clinics. If your's doesn't maybe you should be involved in changing that situation.

CVC
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Cowgal - I am a limited government type of person so I find it difficult to disagree with you about the federal government not being involved in this.

But, I keep coming back to the fact that hard working people do not have access to affordable health care. I do contribute to the free clinic, but the free clinic can't care for the people who need care.

So what do we do?

As I said before our government feel free to give away our taxes to other countries, to corporations and to useless projects - all while people suffer and die. All while children do not get preventative care.

I don't know what the answer is but I do know we need to have the discussion.

And, it did liven up the forum a little Big smile

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CVC, I honestly don't know what the answer is to the problem. Some small communities seem to have solutions, but I'm guessing most do not. A lot probably also depends on how much money comes in from industry, energy, etc. If its strictly a farming community its probably poorer than one that has energy related industries. Here in Colorado that is most definitely the case.

If the federal government wishes to provide equal healthcare to all, maybe they should approach it by giving grants to states and having them manage. But then how do you decide how much to allocate? What if one state claims to be poorer than another? Its most definitely a conundrum.

Also where do you draw the line as to how much healthcare a person is entitled to? Is it unlimited? As may be the case in cancer patients? What if its lung cancer due to smoking? Is that person entitled to the same treatment as someone that has not smoked?

Interesting topic and I'm not sure that there is a simple solution.
Guess we'll find out what our new president elect has in mind when he gets into office.

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Quote:
Civetcat, I just don't get you. You stay extended periods of time in obviously a third world country, and choose to look the other way, in spite of bragging to have the means to help out. You statement is cold and callous

Sometimes I do help out but rarely, I don't have the means to help all who need it here or abroad. It's the same callousness that allows doctors who work in the third world to withhold spending $15 on a surgical pack for the C section. There's just too much. Sometimes if they feel it personaly and there are no other means they take up a collection amongst the workers. Perhaps if we in the US were forced to see the people killed or impoverished we might not be so easy to deny universal coverage.

Twenty years ago in southwest China I saw a young guy with a compound fracture on his leg begging in the big city, by the third day he was no longer awake. He was the first one I walked by, me and thousands of other human beings on a street in China. Now I'm more thick skinned. I've learned not to look closely, but I know these things go on day after day after day.

I'm going to Laos, I have family there, if push comes to shove I'm the person of last resort to pay for the motorcylce accident so a kid can walk or medicine for whatever. Counting nephews and nieces, brothers and sisters in law there are fourteen people. My income is modest, I've been lucky and manage my money responsibly.

Roughly 80 people are killed per year from UXO, maybe the same number not reported, roughly 3 or 4 hundred maimed, usually kids playing with the cluster boms, scrap pickers, or farmers hitting something with a hoe. Lot of limless people. I'm not real big on wars either. An English woman on her own initiative brought their dysfunctional rehabilitation cliinic into the modern world, she secured funding, trained people set up a small shop to make limbs, Her name is Jo, I recomend her for sainthood and I donate. I also donate to the local watt (temple) the monks care for the old destitute and orphans.

http://www.copelaos.org/ fifty bucks buys a leg

We in America don't need to turn our gaze from those in need. Collectively we are ungodly rich. Rich beyond imagination.

The funny part is I think universal care would cost us less than we pay now. And if you like what you have now you keep it. Of course like expat and all the people in the rest of the world we might eventually choose the govt health care plan.

Obama hasn't varied in his pre election plans much from what he stated on his web site. Lots of people accuse him of veering to the right but that's not so. He hires the best people for the job regardless of ideology. If you take a look at his web site you can probably see what his position is on health care and what he'll suggest to congress.

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A government big enough to give all things to you is big enough to take all things from you.
Ben Franklin

How much responsibility for our lives do we really want to concede to the government? I'm sure they could do the same wonders for our healthcare they have done for social security. I don't know what the answer is but it probably doesn't lie in the hands of Hillary, Pelosi, Kennedy etc etc.

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civetcat, as usual you jump on in without the slightest inkling of knowledge about the subject at hand.
Your response is meant to be nothing but inflammatory and an attempt to start an argument over baseless assumptions.
You have absolutely no idea about the Constitution, the people who wrote it and why it was written the way that it is.
Your lack of knowledge of even the basics of American Culture, Society and the Government process and limitations can only be described as unfortunate and reprehensible for an American citizen.
Furthermore, until you post a response that shows at least a smidgen of base of fact I will assume that you are only trying to elicit an unfavorable response from the others on this forum and I will ignore you lil fella.

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[quote="cowgal"
Interesting topic and I'm not sure that there is a simple solution.

I agree there will be no simple solution.
I still say Tort Reform will bring down the cost of Health Care thus bring down the Insurance for it along with Auto insurance, General Liability insurance and of course Malpractice insurance.
But that will only be the starting point. Doctors and hospitals will have to step up and meet the challenge also and quit over charging for services and material.
Lets face it, the Government has a proven track record of failure in administrating social programs to sucess.

In Florida we have a program called "Healthy kids". It provides low cost affordable A+++ medical and dental coverage for children whos parents dont have access to employer supplied coverage. It is not income based and anyone with children can qualify as long as there is not a parent who can get insurance thru their employer and they dont qualify for medicaid.. It is better coverage than my BCBS !!!
This is the way it should be I believe, the States should all do something like this.
Add this with the various charitable organizations and there is no excuse for anyone to not get the medical care they might need, at least in Florida.

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Here's my solution for those who don't have health care: go out and get a job with health care benefits.

That may sound like the Archie Bunker solution, but hear me out. I don't disagree that people should have health care. I disagree that government is the most efficient way of serving that need.

I'm a firm believer that we need to invest more in education. People who want to pursue higher education should be able to do so without breaking the bank. I don't see it as a right or an entitlement -- I see it as an investment for the government. People with college degrees get higher paying jobs and return the government's investment in the form of taxes paid over a successful career, coupled with economic impacts associated with spending their income and reduced reliance on government-provided services.

Along the same lines, well-educated people land better jobs that offer health care benefits. If government is going to step in, I feel it should be in the realm of small business owners that can't afford decent health care plans for their employees.

Keeping healh care in the private sector keeps it in the open market where companies can compete to serve the need. Competition in the health insurance business breeds efficiency and keeps costs lower -- a government monopoly would remove that competition and its benefits.

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as a physician, i enjoy seeing these kinds of discussions (the kind word).

in real terms, if someone really wants universal health care which will still be affordable, then certain conditions will have to be imposed to keep it that way.
the word "rationing", which is anathema in congress, must be recognized and used as a basis for coverage. to acknowledge that there is not an unlimited pool of funding from which to draw is the first step to universal health care decision making.

1--the initial step in preventing overutilization is universal co-pays for office visits, er visits, medical procedures, etc. until the patient faces consequences for utilization, there will be no end to utilization. for example, when kansas instituted a $1.00 copay for medicaid patients, our patient volume dropped 30% for medicaid patients. suddenly women realized that their child just had a cold and did not need to see the pediatrician (about 30-40% of such visits to pediatricians are for colds), since it would cost them one whole dollar! well over 30-40% of visits to a family physician are for colds, minor coughs and general aches, all of which are unnecessary.

2-- early life and end of life decisions--just assume a regular hospital bed costs $1,00.00/day to staff, house, etc. ICu and neonatal ICu beds can easily cost over $10,000.00/day. there are plenty of statistics to show that a million dollar preemie kept alive for three months after birth at 22 weeks will almost never survive anyway, will have a risk over 80% of severe mental impairment and blindness if it does survive, to require an age limit under which resuscitation will not occur. the doctors/hospital will be protected from lawsuits because it is required of them and no longer at the discretion of the family, who of course, want everything done for their baby. in the same vein, why put a terminally ill 80 year old in the ICU, who is dying of pancreatic cancer (currently uncurable) for a heart arrythmia for monitoring. a study of medicare expenditures years ago found the almost 60% of medicare funding went to people who died within 6 months. everyone wants the best for grandma and grandpa (forget that they never visit them anyway) since it does not cost them anything. why rescusitate a vegetative state nursing home patient in the hospital just because she is less responsive than before. protecting medicine from lawsuits in these issues could save billions, which could be better spent, since the doctor could actually make appropriate decisions without a cloud of fear. if relatives want everything done, then they can pay for it if it not felt medically appropriate. we might actually start letting people die with dignity in this country.

3--if you want to demand excellence in care, then certainly a limit on the number of patients seen in a usual workday could be applied to physicians to limit seeing too many to be truly effective. if a doctor wants more money, then longer hours could apply. by pre-reducing the number of junk visits with co-pays, more time can be applied to those with real needs. salary caps and payment limits otherwise reduce any incentive to work harder.

4--if universal healthcare enters, then universal liability coverage should also enter. as long as the care was appropriate, no lawsuit can be brought. mistakes could be acknowledged and covered under a workman's compensation system. keeping this out of the courts and lawyers'greedy hands would do wonders to reduce stress, over testing, etc. in reality, plaintiffs lose 80% of suits brought to court, and get less than 15% of each dollar awarded. what does that say for the current system?

4--since the system is tax dollar funded, then those who pay no taxes (illegals,visitors) could still obtain care but with higher copays and limits on utilization. before you think this harsh, let me explain that i live in south texas, ten miles from mexico. at least half of our deliveries in this county are mexican nationals who only come here to deliver (for free). many ill mexican nationals come over here seeking free cancer treatments, kidney dialysis, surgeries, etc. and have never paid one dime into our tax system to fund such care. they get it because it is a federal mandate (unfunded of course) that no one can be turned away for care if they come to an emergency room. people injured in mexico often come here by ambulance to get care, with no idea of ever paying anything for that care. you can just bet that if a copay for er service were instituted, then our er volume would drop by over 1/2, especially burn and trauma cases coming over from mexico.

5--last but not least is the legal quagmire that now exists that so plagues not just medicine, but all business in this country. true "tort reform" would actually mean getting most of this out of the court system entirely, as noted above. setting limits on awards (79 million dollars for an 83 year old man who died while taking a medicine????), requiring proof of negligence before being able to file suit, all play a role in ennabling universal health care and allowing it to be quality care.

i know, this would never pass muster with congress critters, so maybe a little varmint hunting to thin out the pack would help. Thumbs up

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