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Land of the Free, My Aft!

Sie erhalten ihre gesundheitsversorgung, und Sie werden es mogen. 
[You will get your healthcare, and you will like it.]

Where does the Constitution say that healthcare is a right? As far as I know, it only guarantees us life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It doesn’t guarantee happiness (but gives us the chance to work for it), or healthcare. What about guaranteeing everyone a flat screen TV for every home, or a fast wireless Internet? Maybe a new car every 3 years, or a house. 

And people don’t understand how badly this will get screwed up. The government regularly botches the handling of Medicare. I work for a physician and we’ve seen it firsthand. We once had Medicare declare a patient’s social security number invalid because they insisted she was dead! Well, she looked pretty slagging lively for a corpse to me. And there are no penalties for bureaucrats that answer questions incorrectly. In a General Accounting Office study in 2004, ninety-six percent of the time, Medicare CSR’s gave the wrong answer to questions posed by physicians regarding proper billing procedures. Jeez, I might as well have let a toad give me answers – yes is a jump to the right, no is a jump to the left.  

The state of Massachusetts already has state mandated healthcare. They are finding that they can’t afford the costs. Physicians are now holding ‘group’ appointments. What?! True fact.  http://www.aapsonline.org/newsoftheday/00113
I don’t want to discuss my hemorrhoids in front of 8 other people that I don’t know.   

The government forcing its populace [to buy health insurance] is socialism, plain and simple. On a side note, if I’m forced to get insurance, I want the plan that members of congress get. They have special insurance.  You know, they are the only seniors that are allowed to not get Medicare. If you are 65 and a normal person, you MUST sign up for it, no insurance company will primarily insure you (secondary ins is allowed).   

I am so disappointed with my representatives.

[Apologies BR, if incorrectly translated.  I used an Internet translator.]



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 23rd, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
But, I don’t think the poor are suffering. As I told BR, hospitals aren’t like restaurants where they can be refused service. And generally, the people with no health insurance are aged 20-30, where they are just starting out and don’t have a job with benefits yet. But, they are also the healthiest of the population. I hardly ever went to the doctor back then.
Most of us older folk have had insurance most of our lives, because we GOT JOBS and worked for it. Call me callous, cruel, whatever, but why should I pay more for someone (I’m not related to) to have health insurance. It really pisses me off. Once again, I’m not talking about Medicaid for those who need it.
Similar to the fact that why should I pay school taxes when I chose to never have any kids? Damn, my parents paid school taxes for me way back when. I’m getting screwed with these parents who want their kids to have art and band and new busses and computers and all sorts of crap. Pay for it yourselves. Sell more candy bars.
Rant, rant, rant. I’m done now. Don’t be mad at me.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 24th, 2010 03:07 am (UTC)
Mar. 22nd, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
I think if it's any consolation - and with a lot of fine tuning - it will hopefully turn out like the health care model we have here in Australia. Even if you go to the doctor a few times a year the Medicare levy you pay really does pay for itself. Oddly enough you might not be far off with fast broadband - it may may be as important as education in a few years time I think!
Mar. 23rd, 2010 12:21 am (UTC)
Good intentions are worth squat. Once the government gets its hands on something, it is worthless. And I don’t need a government ‘nanny state’ to tell me that I must buy their special insurance or pay a fine. They think we’re all stupid cows. New York State is bad enough – smoking bans in public, no talking or texting while driving, raise the taxes on fatty foods because we are all too fat and it’s ‘for the children’, ban salt in restaurants, mandatory seat belt use, helmets for MC’s, etc. Argh, I am just full of piss and vinegar today. Actually, I just like to complain.

I mentioned broadband because I remember reading about the government wanting to promote broadband for everyone. But, who’s going to pay for it? Oh, go ahead and tax me more. I'll just quit my job and go on welfare.
Mar. 23rd, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
*Hee* I can't help going LOL a bit because we've got all those laws here and have for a while. Oh, i mustn't laugh, because it is a bit nannying though, but I guess we're kind of used to safety laws and welfare on demand here, it's the great cultural divide.

What are the income tax brackets in the US? The average wage will usually lose a third to tax. On the other hand, the minimum Australian Federal wage is $14 bucks an hour - nobody is allowed to be paid less than that. What does it mean for us? I guess there's no HUGELY rich people, but apart from individual cases affected by ill health and mental illness, there's not the big communities of poor people and all the violence and stuff that comes with it (but then that's also historical too, so it's hard to compare Australia and the US). I have poor friends, but they're kind of fucked up too.

Anyway, I was thinking broadband due to the advent of cloud computing and the possibility of another social divide between those who have internet connections, and those who don't. I've read a lot of science fiction stories about an "underclass" of people without internet access in the future - that could turn out to be very real ... having the advantage of internet could prove to be a really important thing soon, and could impact on a person's social and financial status in a huge way.

Phew, what a tl;dr! I'm at work waiting for some Workcover dude to turn up, so very very bored.
Mar. 23rd, 2010 01:24 am (UTC)
Well, there's safety and then there is plain common sense. You can't keep piling law upon law upon law telling the populace that they don't know how to properly wipe their ass [you MUST go from front to back because there is less chance of infection]. Come on, I know it's not safe to text while driving, I don't need a law to tell me so. And give me the choice to not wear a helmet when I ride. It's my choice and my head and if I crash, that's why I have health insurance! ;)

I believe minimum wage in the US is $7.25/hr. But, minimum wage is not meant to feed a family of 4. It is a starting wage, that you are supposed to work yourself up from. People are supposed to help themselves, go to school and get a better job, not suck from the government teat for the rest of their lives.

I guess that our average wages lose about a third to taxes also, see Tax Freedom Day at this link:

Although in New York, our TFD is about a month later, because we have more taxes than Congress has assholes. Ooh, I am mean today. I better take a pill. Wait, is it covered by my insurance? No, well, guess I'll just have to pay for it MYSELF!

I can see what you mean with the have and have-nots with broadband. It is almost becoming a necessity, especially in business. I bitch and moan about my dial-up, but I don't want to pay the higher price for a faster connection. It is MY CHOICE to use dial-up. I just mess around on the computer, anyway.

Get to work and earn those health insurance benefits! hahaha.
Mar. 22nd, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
Eh, you've got it translated quite well. The only things would be that our nouns are generally written with a capital letter in front. The rest wrong-spelled is forgiveable. Even we don't understand our commata all the time and English has no ö. ^^

But, well, that are the nice things this time, and, while I hope you won't rip me apart after my comment, I can't agree with you.

I live in a land with healthcare and where one main goal of politics it is to act social and to give everybody the same chances or at least as close as it can get (and I don't really understand what you've got against Socialism, modern Socialsism is nothing like Communism or some bastardized form of Nationalism).
It's a daily struggle and it doesn't always work but they and we try.

For us, healthcare is part of our daily lifes and some form of security as well as exasperation and frustration every other day.
But other than with you, our exasperation and frustration is about the fact that here some of those who provide our healthcare are trying to cut back what they have to do for us and we want to keep our system in place like it is or better.

Oh, how can I explain to you what I mean without failing completely?

Let's see, our healthcare system is divided in two branches.
One branch consists of statutory health insurance funds that are for everyone. They provide everybody with certain services and you only have to pay some money to them(it's a duty for all of those whose income isn't about a certain amount but later about that), the ammount you have to pay is measured for each citizen individually by his income. Those who don't got a large salary pay less, those who have get more money pay a little bit more.
In return they can be sure, that if they get ill, part of the cost of their medicines and their stay at hospital will be paid by them. They pay too, if you're old or injured and need somebody to care for you are home, or if you're going to a doctor to prevent an illness from happening, rehab or other things like that.
They even pay part of your glasses for you.
They don't care if you're old or young, prone to illness or not, reckless, stupif or always careful and making sure you don't get hurt. You pay for the big "If-" and should really something happen, they are there and care for you.

The other branch are private health insurances funds.
If you are willing to pay more and to pay not measured by your income but with regard about your lifestyle, your age etc. as well, you can get insured by a pravate health insurance funds instead.
You have to pay more but you're usually better cared for as well, because there are some extras you get only with those private funds and they want to make money so they have to do their job exceptionally.
(But right now they are trying to get the statutory funds on the same or at least a closer level.)

That's our system in few words and in a less than detailed description.
It provides security and the knowledge that you won't stand in front of a hospital one day, on the verge of dying, only to get told that you should better get a tomb ready because you don't have enough money for the medicine or operation.
You are cared for and you get what you need (mostly) and while the system certainly isn't perfect, it's better than without a healthcare, at least in my opinion.

Mar. 22nd, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
Come on, you should know that I don't mind opposing opinions. Think back on our Tformer discussions!

I think I understand your explanations. Keep in mind, I work in the healthcare profession, and I see and hear stuff that normal folks don't come in contact with.

"we want to keep our system in place like it is or better."
Exactly. The US healthcare system has been considered to be top of the line. You have heard that Canadians cross the border all the time because waiting times for procedures in Canada are too extreme, right? Well, we better get used to longer waiting times for appointments and procedures. And rationing. ES's grandmother that had to go to the hospital, well, the system would say she is too old and not worth saving. The drugs are needed for young folk who can contribute to society.

The big problems have been with Medicare (old people) and Medicaid (poor people). Medicare-I am paying tax money to the increasing aging population. When I am eligible for Medicare, the system will probably have collapsed. Why should I have to put more $$ into a system (the bill is going to increase the payroll withholding taxes I pay to support more Medicare and Medicaid coverage) that is going to collapse in on itself? Medicare is a Ponzi scheme. Medicare has been cutting back payments to doctors for the last 6 years (but not payments to the fatcat hospitals) to the point that is getting to expensive to even treat some patients. It's not worth the doctor's time to spend 20 minutes to do a doppler test and receive a $5 payment. This bill is going to cut doctor payments even more. We will see doctors leaving the medical profession - why work for pennies when they can go drive a truck and get the same or more money?

Medicaid, if used properly, is supposed to help out people who have fallen on hard times. If you need some help, you go on Medicaid until you get back on your feet. It is not supposed to support/take care of families forever. Why should I be paying taxes to support some lazy aft who just doesn't want to get a job? Hell, if I go on disability today, I can receive more money from the state than I make actually working. Where is my incentive to work? Well, I was raised to work, but where is the incentive for the average dirtbag to work. And believe me, I have seen many dirtbags, both in the doctor's office and in the tax office. And I repeat, I am not talking about folks who just need a little help now and then. New York State is drowning in Medicare debt. My boss stopped taking Medicaid patients 10 years ago. See example above for payment problems.

Regarding being left to die in front of a hospital - that can't happen here. There is a law that hospitals must take care of you, regardless of what insurance you do or do not have. And any doctor/specialist that is called in, also has no choice but to treat you. That is part of the reason that our accounts in Collection were always higher than our regular Accounts Receivable. People didn't pay and we had to eat it. But, that's another rant. Technically, no one is uninsured in this country, you can get treatment at any emergency dept.

Ooh, I really went overboard in the reply, huh. But, that's what's cool about the Internet, you learn all sorts of stuff and hear other opinions. Love ya BR.
Mar. 23rd, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
I understood the new system like something akin to out system and there are no differences between poor, old, young, healthy or ill people.
As long as you don't decide out of your own free will to become insured privately, you all pay the same percentage of your income and all get the same care.
If you're old you get exactly the same treatment as a young patient, if you already are ill somehow and get insured anew, no statial insurance funds can make you pay more or refuse you, they treat you exactly like everbody else.

I know there are problems with the widening age gap, there are here, too, but still that's no reason to just state that you won't pay for them any longer because one day perhaps there will nobody pay for you.
This reasoning IS what could result in nobody paying for you in the end.
I'm even farther away from the age of retirement than you (no offence ^.~) but still I will pay for the older generations and while worried I will also hope that the following generations will do the same for me.
It's not only a duty but also morally right. It's like a circle and you shouldn't forget that those who you pay for now, paid for their own previous generations as well. They earned their right to use part of our money should they need help.

The problem with your medicaid system or our general health insurance funds could be solved easily if they would try to treat people more like individuals. If they would check who is faking it, who's really needing help etc.
And many people who really are invalid in some way, would actually like to get back to work but nobody hires them and gives them a chance. They would provide for themselves if given a chance.

Perhaps you get treatment, but what about expensieve operations?
I mean, perhaps they will keep you alive, but will they try to ensure that you can live comfortably as well?
There's a large gap between helping somebody survive and between making a life liveable again. And those who have a liveable life usually try to fill it and to do everything they couldn't before because of illness or injury, like working and earning money for themselves, perhaps for the first times in their lifes.

Well, and about healthcare not being part of the Constitution.
What about the right to live?
Or about the pursuit of happiness?
Isn't being healthy and not to worry about the time when you're old or ill some part of happiness as well?

I'm ranting right back at you ^^"
Well, at least nobody can say we never talk about something serious ^^
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