T Nation

Health-Care Policy

[quote]100meters wrote:

The VA in general has a great care to cost ratio, I think you’re confused about problems at a particular hospital.

Also every politician seems pleased as punch with their health care (obviously)
If its good enough for the President and Rudy’s prostate, it’s good enough for me.[/quote]

So what your saying is they are sticking their fingers up our collective asses?

I know enough about the VA hospitals, and all the complaints there are. Yes they have care to cost ratio, because they don’t pay their doctors anything. They also have a problem covering anything, because they are trying to save money. i.e. rationing health care.

Besides, when did you suddenly find this love for the military?

Also why does the left have no trust in the government, but want to give it all our money, and full faith in trusting it with our health? I could never grasp that.

[quote]The Mage wrote:
100meters wrote:

The VA in general has a great care to cost ratio, I think you’re confused about problems at a particular hospital.

Also every politician seems pleased as punch with their health care (obviously)
If its good enough for the President and Rudy’s prostate, it’s good enough for me.

So what your saying is they are sticking their fingers up our collective asses?

I know enough about the VA hospitals, and all the complaints there are. Yes they have care to cost ratio, because they don’t pay their doctors anything. They also have a problem covering anything, because they are trying to save money. i.e. rationing health care.

Besides, when did you suddenly find this love for the military?

Also why does the left have no trust in the government, but want to give it all our money, and full faith in trusting it with our health? I could never grasp that.[/quote]

when didn’t I love the military. I come from a military family.
Also the left not trusting govt.? That’s the right, not the left. And I’m giving the money now, I’m just asking to get in on the benefits.

Great, other people want to own even more of my paycheck for an even bigger social program. The Social Security nightmare looming on the horizon isn’t a big enough problem already?

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Great, other people want to own even more of my paycheck for an even bigger social program. The Social Security nightmare looming on the horizon isn’t a big enough problem already? [/quote]

So lets all move to single payer right?
(also social security fine)

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
100meters wrote:

So yeah we both suck, but they’re 40% of the cost.

Cheaper like France is cheaper?

.[/i][/quote]

Cheaper as in twice the amount of Canada, with our 15 percent uninsured, while getting less effective care. And hating it more.

[quote]100meters wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Great, other people want to own even more of my paycheck for an even bigger social program. The Social Security nightmare looming on the horizon isn’t a big enough problem already?

So lets all move to single payer right?
(also social security fine)[/quote]

No thanks, I don’t want a nanny state. I’m a free and independent individual and I’m willing to carry the burden of taking care of myself. Now, if you’d just respect that and take care of yourself while leaving me be.

Oh yeah, social security is wonderful…So wonderful that it’s going to fail to pay out it’s obligations, and is already propped up by IOUs. Wonderful. Let’s not forget that Medicare program too.

[quote]Sloth wrote:

No thanks, I don’t want a nanny state. I’m a free and independent individual and I’m willing to carry the burden of taking care of myself. Now, if you’d just respect that and take care of yourself while leaving me be.

Oh yeah, social security is wonderful…So wonderful that it’s going to fail to pay out it’s obligations, and is already propped up by IOUs. Wonderful. Let’s not forget that Medicare program too. [/quote]

Some people read Orwell’s 1984, and actually thought it was a good idea.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
100meters wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Great, other people want to own even more of my paycheck for an even bigger social program. The Social Security nightmare looming on the horizon isn’t a big enough problem already?

So lets all move to single payer right?
(also social security fine)

No thanks, I don’t want a nanny state. I’m a free and independent individual and I’m willing to carry the burden of taking care of myself. Now, if you’d just respect that and take care of yourself while leaving me be.

Oh yeah, social security is wonderful…So wonderful that it’s going to fail to pay out it’s obligations, and is already propped up by IOUs. Wonderful. Let’s not forget that Medicare program too. [/quote]

Uh, you would still be a free and independent individual. You would just pay less, and most likely be satisfied more? Win, win.

Yes social security will fail to pay it’s full obligations, maybe, 35 years from now when the economy will surely slide to 1.8 % growth/per year, as it has never averaged in any decade since the 40’s.

[quote]100meters wrote:
Sloth wrote:
100meters wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Great, other people want to own even more of my paycheck for an even bigger social program. The Social Security nightmare looming on the horizon isn’t a big enough problem already?

So lets all move to single payer right?
(also social security fine)

No thanks, I don’t want a nanny state. I’m a free and independent individual and I’m willing to carry the burden of taking care of myself. Now, if you’d just respect that and take care of yourself while leaving me be.

Oh yeah, social security is wonderful…So wonderful that it’s going to fail to pay out it’s obligations, and is already propped up by IOUs. Wonderful. Let’s not forget that Medicare program too.

Uh, you would still be a free and independent individual. You would just pay less, and most likely be satisfied more? Win, win.

Yes social security will fail to pay it’s full obligations, maybe, 35 years from now when the economy will surely slide to 1.8 % growth/per year, as it has never averaged in any decade since the 40’s.
[/quote]

No, I wouldn’t. You see, taxes are taken from my income. My income is generated through my labor. Labor eats up my time. The more programs socialists put the government in charge of, the more taxes they need. Meaning, they OWN a greater and greater percentage of my labor. That’s my time, my sweat. Not yours, not theirs. Again, leave us liberty minded individuals alone. I will take care of my own life. For good or bad. Just please, don’t use the force of government, the most powerful monopoly in this country, to keep eating away a greater percentage of my efforts. Give to charity, it’s what free people do.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Give to charity, it’s what free people do.
[/quote]
Exactly! The more prosperous people become the more charitable they become. We seem to be forgetful of how philanthropy used to work in this nation.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

Exactly! The more prosperous people become the more charitable they become. We seem to be forgetful of how philanthropy used to work in this nation.
[/quote]

Agree fully.

Some facts for the health-care debate:

[i]Beyond Those Health Care Numbers

By N. GREGORY MANKIW
Published: November 4, 2007

WITH the health care system at the center of the political debate, a lot of scary claims are being thrown around. The dangerous ones are not those that are false; watchdogs in the news media are quick to debunk them. Rather, the dangerous ones are those that are true but don�??t mean what people think they mean.

Here are three of the true but misleading statements about health care that politicians and pundits love to use to frighten the public:

STATEMENT 1 The United States has lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality than Canada, which has national health insurance.

The differences between the neighbors are indeed significant. Life expectancy at birth is 2.6 years greater for Canadian men than for American men, and 2.3 years greater for Canadian women than American women. Infant mortality in the United States is 6.8 per 1,000 live births, versus 5.3 in Canada.

These facts are often taken as evidence for the inadequacy of the American health system. But a recent study by June and Dave O’Neill, economists at Baruch College, from which these numbers come, shows that the difference in health outcomes has more to do with broader social forces.

For example, Americans are more likely than Canadians to die by accident or by homicide. For men in their 20s, mortality rates are more than 50 percent higher in the United States than in Canada, but the O’Neills show that accidents and homicides account for most of that gap. Maybe these differences have lessons for traffic laws and gun control, but they teach us nothing about our system of health care.

Americans are also more likely to be obese, leading to heart disease and other medical problems. Among Americans, 31 percent of men and 33 percent of women have a body mass index of at least 30, a definition of obesity, versus 17 percent of men and 19 percent of women in Canada. Japan, which has the longest life expectancy among major nations, has obesity rates of about 3 percent.

The causes of American obesity are not fully understood, but they involve lifestyle choices we make every day, as well as our system of food delivery. Research by the Harvard economists David Cutler, Ed Glaeser and Jesse Shapiro concludes that America’s growing obesity problem is largely attributable to our economy�??s ability to supply high-calorie foods cheaply. Lower prices increase food consumption, sometimes beyond the point of optimal health.

Infant mortality rates also reflect broader social trends, including the prevalence of infants with low birth weight. The health system in the United States gives low birth-weight babies slightly better survival chances than does Canada’s, but the more pronounced difference is the frequency of these cases. In the United States, 7.5 percent of babies are born weighing less than 2,500 grams (about 5.5 pounds), compared with 5.7 percent in Canada. In both nations, these infants have more than 10 times the mortality rate of larger babies. Low birth weights are in turn correlated with teenage motherhood. (One theory is that a teenage mother is still growing and thus competing with the fetus for nutrients.) The rate of teenage motherhood, according to the O’Neill study, is almost three times higher in the United States than it is in Canada.

Whatever its merits, a Canadian-style system of national health insurance is unlikely to change the sexual mores of American youth

The bottom line is that many statistics on health outcomes say little about our system of health care.

STATEMENT 2 Some 47 million Americans do not have health insurance.

This number from the Census Bureau is often cited as evidence that the health system is failing for many American families. Yet by masking tremendous heterogeneity in personal circumstances, the figure exaggerates the magnitude of the problem.

To start with, the 47 million includes about 10 million residents who are not American citizens. Many are illegal immigrants. Even if we had national health insurance, they would probably not be covered.

The number also fails to take full account of Medicaid, the government’s health program for the poor. For instance, it counts millions of the poor who are eligible for Medicaid but have not yet applied. These individuals, who are healthier, on average, than those who are enrolled, could always apply if they ever needed significant medical care. They are uninsured in name only.

The 47 million also includes many who could buy insurance but haven’t. The Census Bureau reports that 18 million of the uninsured have annual household income of more than $50,000, which puts them in the top half of the income distribution. About a quarter of the uninsured have been offered employer-provided insurance but declined coverage.

Of course, millions of Americans have trouble getting health insurance. But they number far less than 47 million, and they make up only a few percent of the population of 300 million.

Any reform should carefully focus on this group to avoid disrupting the vast majority for whom the system is working. We do not nationalize an industry simply because a small percentage of the work force is unemployed. Similarly, we should be wary of sweeping reforms of our health system if they are motivated by the fact that a small percentage of the population is uninsured.

STATEMENT 3 Health costs are eating up an ever increasing share of American incomes.

In 1950, about 5 percent of United States national income was spent on health care, including both private and public health spending. Today the share is about 16 percent. Many pundits regard the increasing cost as evidence that the system is too expensive.

But increasing expenditures could just as well be a symptom of success. The reason that we spend more than our grandparents did is not waste, fraud and abuse, but advances in medical technology and growth in incomes. Science has consistently found new ways to extend and improve our lives. Wonderful as they are, they do not come cheap.

Fortunately, our incomes are growing, and it makes sense to spend this growing prosperity on better health. The rationality of this phenomenon is stressed in a recent article by the economists Charles I. Jones of the University of California, Berkeley, and Robert E. Hall of Stanford. They ask, “As we grow older and richer, which is more valuable: a third car, yet another television, more clothing �?? or an extra year of life?”

Mr. Hall and Mr. Jones forecast that the share of income devoted to health care will top 30 percent by 2050. But in their model, this is not a problem: It is the modern form of progress.

Even if the rise in health care spending turns out to be less than they forecast, it is important to get reform right. Our health care system is not perfect, but it has been a major source of advances in our standard of living, and it will be a large share of the economy we bequeath to our children.

As we look at reform plans, we should be careful not to be fooled by statistics into thinking that the problems we face are worse than they really are.

N. Gregory Mankiw is a professor of economics at Harvard. He was an adviser to President Bush and is advising Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, in the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.[/i]

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Give to charity, it’s what free people do.

Exactly! The more prosperous people become the more charitable they become. We seem to be forgetful of how philanthropy used to work in this nation.
[/quote]

Obviously better to let government use it’s ability and resources to provide healthcare which allows charities to do things they are actually good at, with the net effect of less money coming out of pocket. Or better use extra money saved from single payer to give more to charity.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Some facts for the health-care debate:

[i]Beyond Those Health Care Numbers

By N. GREGORY MANKIW
Published: November 4, 2007

WITH the health care system at the center of the political debate, a lot of scary claims are being thrown around. The dangerous ones are not those that are false; watchdogs in the news media are quick to debunk them. Rather, the dangerous ones are those that are true but don�??t mean what people think they mean.

Here are three of the true but misleading statements about health care that politicians and pundits love to use to frighten the public:

STATEMENT 1 The United States has lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality than Canada, which has national health insurance.

The differences between the neighbors are indeed significant. Life expectancy at birth is 2.6 years greater for Canadian men than for American men, and 2.3 years greater for Canadian women than American women. Infant mortality in the United States is 6.8 per 1,000 live births, versus 5.3 in Canada.

These facts are often taken as evidence for the inadequacy of the American health system. But a recent study by June and Dave O’Neill, economists at Baruch College, from which these numbers come, shows that the difference in health outcomes has more to do with broader social forces.

For example, Americans are more likely than Canadians to die by accident or by homicide. For men in their 20s, mortality rates are more than 50 percent higher in the United States than in Canada, but the O’Neills show that accidents and homicides account for most of that gap. Maybe these differences have lessons for traffic laws and gun control, but they teach us nothing about our system of health care.

Americans are also more likely to be obese, leading to heart disease and other medical problems. Among Americans, 31 percent of men and 33 percent of women have a body mass index of at least 30, a definition of obesity, versus 17 percent of men and 19 percent of women in Canada. Japan, which has the longest life expectancy among major nations, has obesity rates of about 3 percent.

The causes of American obesity are not fully understood, but they involve lifestyle choices we make every day, as well as our system of food delivery. Research by the Harvard economists David Cutler, Ed Glaeser and Jesse Shapiro concludes that America’s growing obesity problem is largely attributable to our economy�??s ability to supply high-calorie foods cheaply. Lower prices increase food consumption, sometimes beyond the point of optimal health.

Infant mortality rates also reflect broader social trends, including the prevalence of infants with low birth weight. The health system in the United States gives low birth-weight babies slightly better survival chances than does Canada’s, but the more pronounced difference is the frequency of these cases. In the United States, 7.5 percent of babies are born weighing less than 2,500 grams (about 5.5 pounds), compared with 5.7 percent in Canada. In both nations, these infants have more than 10 times the mortality rate of larger babies. Low birth weights are in turn correlated with teenage motherhood. (One theory is that a teenage mother is still growing and thus competing with the fetus for nutrients.) The rate of teenage motherhood, according to the O’Neill study, is almost three times higher in the United States than it is in Canada.

Whatever its merits, a Canadian-style system of national health insurance is unlikely to change the sexual mores of American youth

The bottom line is that many statistics on health outcomes say little about our system of health care.

STATEMENT 2 Some 47 million Americans do not have health insurance.

This number from the Census Bureau is often cited as evidence that the health system is failing for many American families. Yet by masking tremendous heterogeneity in personal circumstances, the figure exaggerates the magnitude of the problem.

To start with, the 47 million includes about 10 million residents who are not American citizens. Many are illegal immigrants. Even if we had national health insurance, they would probably not be covered.

The number also fails to take full account of Medicaid, the government’s health program for the poor. For instance, it counts millions of the poor who are eligible for Medicaid but have not yet applied. These individuals, who are healthier, on average, than those who are enrolled, could always apply if they ever needed significant medical care. They are uninsured in name only.

The 47 million also includes many who could buy insurance but haven’t. The Census Bureau reports that 18 million of the uninsured have annual household income of more than $50,000, which puts them in the top half of the income distribution. About a quarter of the uninsured have been offered employer-provided insurance but declined coverage.

Of course, millions of Americans have trouble getting health insurance. But they number far less than 47 million, and they make up only a few percent of the population of 300 million.

Any reform should carefully focus on this group to avoid disrupting the vast majority for whom the system is working. We do not nationalize an industry simply because a small percentage of the work force is unemployed. Similarly, we should be wary of sweeping reforms of our health system if they are motivated by the fact that a small percentage of the population is uninsured.

STATEMENT 3 Health costs are eating up an ever increasing share of American incomes.

In 1950, about 5 percent of United States national income was spent on health care, including both private and public health spending. Today the share is about 16 percent. Many pundits regard the increasing cost as evidence that the system is too expensive.

But increasing expenditures could just as well be a symptom of success. The reason that we spend more than our grandparents did is not waste, fraud and abuse, but advances in medical technology and growth in incomes. Science has consistently found new ways to extend and improve our lives. Wonderful as they are, they do not come cheap.

Fortunately, our incomes are growing, and it makes sense to spend this growing prosperity on better health. The rationality of this phenomenon is stressed in a recent article by the economists Charles I. Jones of the University of California, Berkeley, and Robert E. Hall of Stanford. They ask, “As we grow older and richer, which is more valuable: a third car, yet another television, more clothing �?? or an extra year of life?”

Mr. Hall and Mr. Jones forecast that the share of income devoted to health care will top 30 percent by 2050. But in their model, this is not a problem: It is the modern form of progress.

Even if the rise in health care spending turns out to be less than they forecast, it is important to get reform right. Our health care system is not perfect, but it has been a major source of advances in our standard of living, and it will be a large share of the economy we bequeath to our children.

As we look at reform plans, we should be careful not to be fooled by statistics into thinking that the problems we face are worse than they really are.

N. Gregory Mankiw is a professor of economics at Harvard. He was an adviser to President Bush and is advising Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, in the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.[/i][/quote]

Dear Mr.GREGORY MANKIW:

Omitted from your article:
Canada’s system has half the cost. Yes half the cost. With full coverage.With no added benefit.

sincerely,
100meters

p.s. as you know 47 million is the number uninsured for a full year, up to 80 million could be uncovered at any one time.

[quote]The Mage wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

Exactly! The more prosperous people become the more charitable they become. We seem to be forgetful of how philanthropy used to work in this nation.

Agree fully.[/quote]

Charity and healthcare not actually related.
But yes charity is good!!!

[quote]100meters wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Give to charity, it’s what free people do.

Exactly! The more prosperous people become the more charitable they become. We seem to be forgetful of how philanthropy used to work in this nation.

Obviously better to let government use it’s ability and resources to provide healthcare which allows charities to do things they are actually good at, with the net effect of less money coming out of pocket. Or better use extra money saved from single payer to give more to charity.

[/quote]

No, I don’t think you understand. Free men give to charity, or don’t. They make that decision. Slaves are FORCED to provide for another. You’re still not satisfied with how much of my labor is now owned by government. So, you are willing to use the force of government to TAKE even more of the fruits of my labor. Why would you do that to a free man? Leave us alone. Give to, or start a charity yourself, to help the uninsured.

[quote]100meters wrote:

Dear Mr.GREGORY MANKIW:

Omitted from your article:
Canada’s system has half the cost. Yes half the cost. With full coverage.With no added benefit.

sincerely,
100meters

p.s. as you know 47 million is the number uninsured for a full year, up to 80 million could be uncovered at any one time.[/quote]

Again, how many of those are either recent legal or illegal immigrants? And how many of the remainder are covered by Medicare/Medicaid? And how many of the remainder are choosing not to purchase available coverage.

W/r/t immigration, I don’t think we want to provide further welfare benefits to attract an even greater number of unskilled workers who are a net cost (and who will be a greater net cost with health care benefits).

While the Statue of Liberty may very well say “Give us your tired, poor, hungry, etc” I don’t think we want to base our immigration policy on a gift from France.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
100meters wrote:

Dear Mr.GREGORY MANKIW:

Omitted from your article:
Canada’s system has half the cost. Yes half the cost. With full coverage.With no added benefit.

sincerely,
100meters

p.s. as you know 47 million is the number uninsured for a full year, up to 80 million could be uncovered at any one time.

Again, how many of those are either recent legal or illegal immigrants? And how many of the remainder are covered by Medicare/Medicaid? And how many of the remainder are choosing not to purchase available coverage.

W/r/t immigration, I don’t think we want to provide further welfare benefits to attract an even greater number of unskilled workers who are a net cost (and who will be a greater net cost with health care benefits).

While the Statue of Liberty may very well say “Give us your tired, poor, hungry, etc” I don’t think we want to base our immigration policy on a gift from France.[/quote]

My point was that it appears he’s being less than candid at how big a problem we have, I mean how many people have insurance who wouldn’t be covered for catastrophic, can’t get coverage because of history (say job drops plan, need new plan) how many who yes could get medicare if they got ill, but yet aren’t getting preventitive care to prevent that illness etc… It’s not just the 47 million minus immigrants.

And for very obvious reasons he never points out the cost differences.

Keeping in mind I live in Mass where insurance premiums are some of the highest. Yes I’m very keen to have healthcare fixed.

[quote]100meters wrote:

My point was that it appears he’s being less than candid at how big a problem we have, I mean how many people have insurance who wouldn’t be covered for catastrophic, can’t get coverage because of history (say job drops plan, need new plan) how many who yes could get medicare if they got ill, but yet aren’t getting preventitive care to prevent that illness etc… It’s not just the 47 million minus immigrants.

And for very obvious reasons he never points out the cost differences.

Keeping in mind I live in Mass where insurance premiums are some of the highest. Yes I’m very keen to have healthcare fixed.

[/quote]

I think the reason that everyone - including Hillary - tries to throw around the 47 million number is that it’s supposed to capture not just the temporarily uninsured, but really the uninsurable or those who really cannot afford any coverage. The very large discrepancy between 47 million and 80 million shows that a lot of those people aren’t uninsurable.

I agree though that insurance should be tied to the individual and not to his employment - a tax-code fix to allow individuals to deduct the cost of insurance completely from their income as companies are allowed to do would go a long way toward addressing that issue.

Again, the American government is already spending more on health care then Canada is. (Wait, isn’t 100Meters the one who said Medicare is broken?)

Lets not forget there are people who refuse health insurance. A lot of young people do not think they need it, and It is hard to convince healthy 20 year olds to take the insurance.

Then there are the people who have a choice between free government assistance, or paying for insurance.