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Submitted on
December 10, 2013


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Greetings Comrades and Counter-revolutionaries alike, Sorry I haven't written anything for a while, I had deadlines to meet. Anyway I thought I may as well cover this subject.

Since the election of Barack Obama in 2008 one of the key issues that faced his administration was health care reform.  After much back and forth the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act better known as Obamacare was passed a Bill which does little to nothing to deal with the problems that most Americans face and in many ways only reinforced the private insurance industry.
It was at this point that I lost any faith in Obama making any change to America’s political course and my opinion of him has only gone downhill from there.

And yet to hear the right wing talk you’d think the ACA was Lenin’s decree on land. form the with claims that national health care would lead to an all-powerful government and that it would use “death panels” (Rather ironic when we remember that many of these same right wingers cheered the idea of letting uninsured people die).

The whole thing has been depressing but in hindsight not surprising. To use a rather tasteless metaphor, health care is the Afghanistan of American politics, just about anyone who's gone there has failed.

Thanks for reading please add thoughts in the comment section.

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ComradeSch Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I have made a petition against obamacare and privatized health insurance. Please take a look:…
I suspect one of the problems with the US Government is that people in this country collectively haven't decided what it should be.  To follow the left or to follow the right when both parties are two sides of the same coin with media and polititians using sensationalist rhetoric to keep people at each others throats. "FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR! The [party] wants to enslave us all, won't someone think of the children!" Which shuts down reason and does not encourage intelligent dialog to discuss what is it we really need to do. Instead it seems like people are going by vague generalizations like bring back the jobs or we need change.

I disagree that socialize medicine is necessarily the golden the solution, but it is a potential solution and worthy of being discussed. What we needed to do was shut down the dogma and discuss the merits of each solution brought to the table. How was [solution] carried out elsewhere? What works? What doesn't work? What do people on the streets using the system have to say about this? Once the proper research was done, come up with a solution that seems like it will work the best within the American context.

As is, I don't see any intelligent solutions that will come from Congress as long as the people and the politicians are under the influence of divide and conquer.  Where only the zealots are heard and the reason for not listening to others is, "[ideology] is bad because its bad" with people thinking only by the labels  and hearsay instead of going by the merits of the argument made.

On another note on ObamaCare, having people enter their personal information on a website with no security put into it is setting this country up for the largest case of identity theft EVER. I encourage everyone who put their information in to keep a sharp eye on your credit rating. I guarantee you that hackers will be able to get at your information.  The intentions were good but the implementation was sloppy.
Master-of-the-Boot Dec 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Lennin wouldn't have taken anything from the Republicans, he'd have broken skulls, chopped off heads, which is more than Todd Akin and Bobby Jindal deserve. 
sonrouge Dec 16, 2013
So long as you demand the irrational, you'd better be get used to disappointment.
Considering Socialized health-care in almost all first world countries in the modern era has worked out marvelously, it doesn't seem irrational that the American system couldn't accommodate it. Plus, with a universalized system, more people would be covered and therefore not die (saving lives is what medicine is all about, right?) and bureaucracy, while existent, would be cut significantly since rather than there being three healthcare organizations- Medicaid, Medicare, and various offices to facilitate private insurance sales and regulate them within State limits, there is one organization to facilitate the distribution of coverage, regulate hospitals, negotiate payment, and set coverage standards. I live in Canada and while there's a lot of things that I'm not happy about this country (symmetrical federalism, no representation for Native Americans, fracking, the pipeline, cutting of corporate taxes, and education system screw-ups) one thing I am eternally thankful for is my freaking amazing universal healthcare.     
sonrouge Dec 31, 2013
"The question is not whether the system works, but whether we like the way it works. Just because something works doesn't mean it is desirable. Concentration camps work, if your purpose is to enslave people. Stealing works, if all you care about is money. Lying works, if you don't give a damn about your personal integrity. Literally anything, no matter how monstrously immoral will work, depending on your desires and how you define the term work."

Sy Leon

And like many who love the irrational, your love for your "amazing universal healthcare" is only possible through ignorance of the complete price of it.
In the USA, 17.5% GDP is used on medical care. By contrast, in Canada, only 9.5% GDP is used on the medicare system, which translates to less than four million dollars in contrast with the billions thrown into the morass of private insures, medicaid, TRICARE, Vet Care, and charities that American politicians and businessmen call a 'healthcare service'. The taxes are not ridiculous at all, seeing as the highest average tax rate in Canada is only 33%, where as in the states they can climb up to 39.6% in federal income tax, plus State Taxes. We don't have homeless veterans out on the streets, we get coverage on time without even having to count our dollars. Furthermore (savor this moment everyone because this is the only time I will ever praise a Conservative government) the Canadian Government has managed to EXPAND coverage and grow the national GDP during a global recession.

There's a joke in Canada, "Whenever an American makes a joke about Canada, I go to the hospital and get my feelings checked for free."
sonrouge Jan 1, 2014…

By the way, if the government pays for your healthcare up in Canada...what's stopping them from using that kind of power to control you?  What's stopping them from saying "Oh, we don't like your views, so we're not going to pay for your healthcare"?
Wherever you Ayn Rand-worshiping Atlas Society (though I admit I found the site interesting, if not overtly biased)  got their information, it was totally wrong. I live in a rural area in a deficit province (provinces still recovering from the 2008 Recession, though in my province's case it was sucked dry by Irving Oil and left to rot), which is considered the lowest-performance classification in Canada, and my wait time whether in a Medical Clinic, the ER or the operating room, my waits have never been over an hour. Any controversy around 'medical rationing' is easily thrown out the window since Canadians have access to higher-quality, healthier, and cheaper pharmaceuticals and medical drugs (due to government price control). the longest Ambulance response time is 8 minutes, 59 seconds in contrast to the 12-15 minutes on the average American ambulance. There was a controversy a couple years back about a Veteran not getting his 'first priority care' that they are guaranteed in their employment and retirement packages, but that was more due to military bureaucracy and the shifting of books rather than the actually quality of the healthcare system. 

Any other case of delay can be attributed to the ratio of physicians-to-citizens being far below OECD average, this being because privately-run Universities have a heavy bias to wealthy-background applicants to medical school because they are more likely being able to pay, thus they will deny students who are above qualified, having aced their MCAT and their Bachelors Degree, in favor only of those that have passed and have rich parents, which are the minority in Canada, as in any capitalist society. This is changing though, as the Deans are becoming more integrated into the actual healthcare business, the search pool has widened, and government subsidies have allowed students from poor and middle-class backgrounds to attend universities like Dalhousie Halifax. 

In response to the potential exclusion of certain individuals from Healthcare based on government bias (first off that has never happened since Lester B. Pearson first initiated the public healthcare system), the system is far too decentralized and checked to let that happen. Doctors negotiate their own hours (so long as they meet a minimum quota of hours a day) and are expected to run their own clinics, pay their own staff, and facilitate their own appointments for said clinics. Furthermore, Doctors bill the Provincial Crown Fund for Medicare (called Horizon in New Brunswick and OHIP in Ontario), a state-owned corporation, for their hours. The Crown Fund then processes the paperwork and bills the provincial government, which reimburses the doctor. Thus, doctors are independent enough to be separate from government bias. The only issue with this is the greedier class of doctors may 'double-bill' and 'triple-bill', which involves exploiting a loophole in the Crown Fund's billing mechanism that allows the Doctor to bill both the Crown Fund and the Provincial Government directly at the same time, thus getting two payments for the same hours. This is being subverted starting this year as other doctors are reporting their co-workers to the Provincial Courts and Universities and the Provincial Government are collaborating to design an efficient way to close the loophole. 

So you see, its all fine and dandy here up North. Meanwhile, life expectancy of 78 years in the US puts itas  50th among 221 nations, and 27th out of the 34 industrialized countries. Of 17 high-income countries studied by the National Institutes of Health in 2013, the United States had the highest prevalence of infant deaths, heart and lung disease, sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancies, injuries, homicides, and disability. Together, such issues place the U.S. at the bottom of the list for life expectancy. Further recent evidence demonstrates that lack of health insurance causes some 45,000-48,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the US.
You are missing one key point. Who funds the medical industry? Like it or not, the wealthy everyone criminalize drive advancement. Mr. Millionaire doesn't want to die and puts his entire fortune into stopping the disease that is killing him. He invests everything he has, because if he doesn't survive, what good is it to him anyway? The end result: Millions invested into the treatment and cure for a disease. This jump starts research and, eventually, can lead to great discoveries that can now be made readily available to everyone. As the treatment becomes more common, the cost goes down and everyone benefits.

On the point of ambulances.. Do your times take into account every factor? Americans are incredibly spread out. Once you get out of the coasts, its a pretty consistent spread of Americans across the entire central region. Canadians.. Not so much. You'd also have to take into account factors like local conditions. An ambulance is going to have a harder time traversing a massive city like New York or a city that has yet to embrace mass transit like Chicago than it would a relatively small city like Toronto, which is still Canada's largest city. Not to mention, I used to live about 40 minutes from town. It took awhile for ambulances to get there. Unfortunately its not exactly practical to build a hospital for a small farm town of 500 in the middle of scenic no where.

The wealthy, in their quest to delay death, also pay the upfront cost of a great deal of advances. When a new medicine is introduced, it is extremely expensive because it must make up the great cost of R&D that it starts off with. The rich buy these medicines, helping to pay off some of the debts accumulated from the development, and prices drop.

Ultimately, the US's "over priced" healthcare system is paying for the entire world's medical advancements. The US has more readily available access to the newest, most cutting edge advancements because we do pay a small fortune (Okay, huge fortune) on our healthcare.

Life expectancy is NOT a valid measurement of a nation's healthcare. The US also has a higher murder rate (Denser cities, differences in culture, etc etc), factors such as natural disasters come into play. You don't hear about many Canadians dying in earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, or hurricanes, all 4 of which can cause devastation in the US on a constant basis) And as will be explained later, culturally the US is different. For better or for worse, Americans are not Canadians. We live in a different environment. All these factors that have nothing to do with the capabilities of the healthcare system makes life expectancy nothing more than a good trivia question. For example: I spent a good chunk of my life living in a small farm town. No exposure to any real crime, teen pregnancies were minimal, STIs rare... On the flip side, there was an increased risk of injury, due to a different idea of what constitutes entertainment, more dangerous work, etc etc. On the other hand, you can have someone born in the lowest slums in Chicago where every day there is at least one murder in his own apartment complex. The culture of the area encourages various negative health factors to spread... So many unrelated things come into play calculating this number.

Infant deaths is also inaccurate. Every country has a different system for calculating infant deaths. Cuba's system: If the infant might not be born alive, they abort it. End result? Nearly no infant deaths. In the US, hospitals will do everything they can to bring about a life birth, no matter the chance of failure. The US also has much stricter guidelines on a live birth than most countries. Many countries, the child has to survive X number of weeks before it is considered to have ever been born. In the US, it goes into the statistics the moment it is separated from its mother. So ya.. Infant deaths, no bueno.

Heart and lung disease.. Perhaps, but these are lifestyle conditions. No amount of healthcare can prevent that.

STIs are also lifestyle... Still nothing to do with our healthcare system's capabilities.

Teenage pregnancies... Again, that is a culture/lifestyle thing. Doctors can't stop that.

Inju- Lifestyle.

Homi- What? How is that related to healthcare?

Disability.. You might have something here. I am not well read enough to comment on it, alas.

So ya, all these signs of a failing health system.. Most of them have nothing to do with the health system.

And finally, you mentioned the healthcare death statistics. If you look at the methodology of the research... We don't have solid answers. It builds upon previous guess-timates. The data collection systems necessary to actually figure this number out don't exist. We have to make assumptions about things we have no solid numbers to support.. NEver a good thing. The 
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