Date: Dec 10, 2012 3:02 PM
Author: Paul A. Tanner III
Subject: Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM, kirby urner <kirby.urner@gmail.com> wrote:
...Our household benefits from Medicare as well
> as Social Security.
>


Then why are you against increasing Medicare funding and spending so that patients' out of pocket costs can do down as well as making it available to everyone who wants to be on the program?

>> Either government will be involved in helping to pay for health care
>> or it will not. Either government's present role in helping to pay for
>> health care will expand, stay the same, or it will contract.
>>
>> I am arguing for it to expand. Kirby argues against that, with all
>> kinds of hints that he would like to see it contract.
>>

>
> There's a double meaning to "contract" -- "KON tract" vs. "con TRACT"
> that's obscuring your argument.
>


This is just beating around the bush. Big government in a particular instance like heal are can mean simply being a big financial instrument by which people get their health care because of getting it paid for.

I am not arguing for the Federal government to be the only actual provider of health care. (Where it is, is does one of the best jobs in the world - see the below for proof of the fact that the VA hospital system is one of the best in the world.) I argue only that it should be the entity that should finance it - let the private entities that presently deliver it continue to do so.

So this is still you being against Medicare being expanded to a universal health care financing system, single payer.

>> The necessary result of it even just not expanding is that the only
>> thing left to meet all that growing unmet need is charity.
>>
>> And yes, the unmet need is growing since the private marketplace is
>> rejecting a greater and greater percentage of the population, leaving
>> more and more with no health care. We now have close to 100 million
>> people - close to 1/3 of the entire population - that are either
>> under-insured with junk insurance with out of pocket expenses so high
>> they might as well not have insurance, or with no coverage at all.

>
> It's true that hospitals are closing their doors to large numbers who
> have no coverage. Lots more hospitals and clinics might be needed, to
> avoid this.


This is not just hospitals. It's the entire delivery system, including doctor offices and clinics.

> The thing I was expressing to Paul was skepticism. Big governments
> may be up to the job of providing higher living standards, but not
> every big government is big in the same sense. Some are big dummies.
>
> I don't think his Feds have the brains or the courage to be like
> Swedes and take care of people with health care needs.
>


Your hatred of the US government blinds you to the truth, which is that it is so capable and is doing so:

"How Veterans' Hospitals Became the Best in Health Care"
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1376238,00.html

Quote:

"If you're surprised, that's understandable. Until the early 1990s, care at VA hospitals was so substandard that Congress considered shutting down the entire system and giving ex-G.I.s vouchers for treatment at private facilities. Today it's a very different story. The VA runs the largest integrated health-care system in the country, with more than 1,400 hospitals, clinics and nursing homes employing 14,800 doctors and 61,000 nurses. And by a number of measures, this government-managed health-care program--socialized medicine on a small scale--is beating the marketplace. For the sixth year in a row, VA hospitals last year scored higher than private facilities on the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index, based on patient surveys on the quality of care received. The VA scored 83 out of 100; private institutions, 71. Males 65 years and older receiving VA care had about a 40% lower risk of death than those enrolled in Medicare Advantage, whose care is provided through private health plans or HMOs, according to a study published in the April edition of Medical Care. Harvard University just gave the VA its Innovations in American Government Award for the agency's work in computerizing patient records.

And all that was achieved at a relatively low cost. In the past 10 years, the number of veterans receiving treatment from the VA has more than doubled, from 2.5 million to 5.3 million, but the agency has cared for them with 10,000 fewer employees. The VA's cost per patient has remained steady during the past 10 years. The cost of private care has jumped about 40% in that same period."

> I'm sad that Paul only has this failing poor excuse for a government
> to look up to, to think of as maybe getting "big" someday (in the
> sense of wise).
>


Like I said, your hatred of our federal government has blinded you to the truth that it has and still does much good even in just health care, whether it in the delivery it via the VA hospitals or just financing it via Medicare and Medicaid.

> Good luck getting universal health care from such brainless
> warmongering numbskulls Paul, seems like a long shot.
>


Yes, people like you standing in the way of expanding Medicare to all who wish to be one it does make it more difficult to expand Medicare to all who wish to be on it.

>
> I think a better plan would be for the 50 states to gradually distance
> themselves from DC and make stronger alliances with more mature states
> that are more likely to last.
>


Oh, sure, the conservative "let the states do it" mantra.

Just like "the states" "did it" with respect to all of the following further below - NOT!

Never mind learning from history.

Never mind that the federal government doing good via federal legislation and/or federal courts AGAINST what so many states wanted to do is why we have these facts: The "whites are the master race" Confederacy - the actual precursor to German Nazism - did not last in the US. Jim Crow laws were killed. Segregation was killed. Civil rights greatly expanded. The environment was saved from a very bad and worsening situation, and from there we have much improvement - see the Clean Water Act and its followup as an example:

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blogs/the-clean-water-act-turns-40

Quote: "1972 was a watershed year for American water. That fall, an unusually unified Congress overrode President Nixon's veto and passed the Clean Water Act, a historic law that transformed the country's relationship with its water supply....Before the Clean Water Act, only about a third of U.S. water was safe for swimming or fishing; the rest was fouled by sewage, oil, pesticides and heavy metals. The country was losing up to 500,000 acres of wetlands per year, and 30 percent of tap water samples exceeded federal limits for certain chemicals....After four decades under the CWA, an estimated 65 percent of U.S. waterways now pass the fishable/swimmable test, while average wetland losses have fallen below 60,000 acres per year. And according to a 2012 EPA report, 90.7 percent of U.S. community water systems met "all applicable health-based standards" in 2011...."There's a huge amount to celebrate in terms of progress," says Scott, who serves as communications director for Clean Water Action. "But at the same time, clean water is very easy for people to take for granted because of all the success we've had.""

Then of course we have Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

I again reiterate all the facts I gave and documented in

"Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7934201

and in prior posts

"Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7933893

and

"Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7933416

and

"Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7934681

including all the links I gave that mathematically private charity could never meet any more than a tiny few percentage points of the total need, and also such facts that federal government programs like Medicare are vastly more efficient at financing health care than private insurance companies.

I now include "the states" as those things that like private charity have proved that they are not up to the task of "doing it" - at least the vast majority are not.

"Let the states do it"?

There has never been anything standing in the way of them doing it. Yet the vast majority them never do, with many of them dragged kicking and screaming by the federal government to doing the right thing.

Even now, we still have 41 states letting the vast majority of their homeless (because this vast majority do not have children under 18) and also vast numbers of their working poor rot, REFUSING to let these people get health care assistance or food assistance, REFUSING to let these people on Medicaid or Food Stamps.

I again point out the facts for those who are ignorant of the facts: The vast majority of the health care needs of these above people are NOT met by the emergency rooms (ERs)! The ERs do do NOT give the vast majority health care care to these people above! Why? Because they are legally obligated to ascertain only whether a presented condition meets a certain legal definition of a life-threatening emergency and then if it does, to treat it only for as long as it meets this definition. If it does not meet said definition, you are shoved out the door with a referral that useless for a who do have the money to pay for their health care. The vast majority of health care needed to prevent preventable loss of life or limb or to stop suffering does NOT meet such a definition! Which is why the vast majority of the homeless continue to suffer and have much lower life expectancy and partly why in the US there is still a correlation among those under age 65 and not allowed on Medicare or Medicaid such that the poorer people are, the higher their mortality rates.

Note: This obscene correlation used to exist in the US for those aged 65 and above and in Canada for all ages, but no more. This is no more for them because of FEDERAL government mandated universal health care.

Back to the fact that ERs do NOT give the vast majority of needed care: This law that they must give even just emergency care regardless of ability to pay was passed by the FEDERAL government in 1986 over the objections of Republicans, who objected so much they filibustered it in the Senate - it only was barely passed the way Obamacare was passed, via so-called budget reconciliation, which is a way to pass some laws in the Senate so that 60 out of 100 votes are not needed, but a simple majority of at least 51 votes (the US Vice President casting vote 51 in case of a 50-50 tie).

I mean, good God, even just this obscenity of these above horrors experienced by these above homeless and otherwise poor people people in all those states and the obscenity of why these horrors persist - and that the states did nothing with respect to mandated even just ER care - should be enough for anyone who actually has a conscience to see that the conservative mantra "let the states do it" is just plain evil.

For the people of the vast majority of states, for all these areas I mention above and more, history has proved that the federal government is the only hope for getting the job done in terms of meeting all that growing unmet need being created by the incapability of the private marketplace and private charity to getting the job done.