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POLICY/INTERNATIONAL: The Weekly Standard on moron support

In an article called Socialized Medicine on Life Support, there is just yet more rubbish from a libertarian doctor form a libertarian "think-tank" writing in a conservative weekly. For chrisssakes, Canada doesn’t even have "Socialized Medicine" — defined as the physicians providing the care working for the state.  That would be Cuba, Sweden or even the UK.  Canada has single payer….In American terms Medicare is single payer, the VA is socialized medicine…

It’s not even worth refuting the rubbish they write, but just once it would be nice if the sources they quote actually had done some, say, real research.

And as for the hackneyed old arguments; "Canadians flooding the US looking for care". Rubbish. "Opinion polls show Canadians think their health care is in crisis" — not compared to the US (read down to "System Satisfaction"), and "long waits for care everywhere but the US" — again just BS.

But the point is that these guys don’t need to deal with the truth or even fake real research.  Spreading FUD about anything that’s not the US status quo is all that’s needed.

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disregardedHarveyDuncan KinderLintheorajones Recent comment authors
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disregarded
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gadfly
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gadfly

//Gadfly, I’d be willing to bet that you were “played” a little too.//
I think so, too, because the doctor had an interest in channeling business to his private clinic. I wonder how many other students this happened to…?
I do hate learning about things “the hard way”. Why does the damage always have to be done first, lol. 🙂

Sue
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Sue

//I’d also like to underscore that both of these problems relate to the fact I didn’t understand the insurance. In years since, I’ve tried to read insurance documents, but I don’t understand them (at least before I go through an experience that illustrates what the terms are). My reading ability is higher than average: I can’t imagine people who barely have a high school education being forced to be “responsible” for understanding their insurance. That’s not paternalism, it’s realism.// I know in the case I was referring to which was a similar situation involving a doctor who operated a clinic/day… Read more »

gadfly
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gadfly

//your mistake– not asking how much?// I’d never been billed for anything else out of the grad school medical center, so why would I ask? By the way, I got dunked for another few hundred dollars later when I didn’t file my claims on time. While that sounds like a laziness penalty, I was sick at the time. So the problems caused by my medical condition were exacerbated by a financial penalty while the insurance I was paying for got an excuse not to pay the pharmacy bills. I’d also like to underscore that both of these problems relate to… Read more »

Harvey
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Harvey

Sue said: “A lot of us would rather have wider access to a basic system than limited access to one with all the bells and whistles” What’s basic and what’s “bells and whistles”? Insurance should really be reserved for the big less common events, like cancer, that require expensive or long-term treatment. But most people then don’t see the benefit most of the time. They want “basic” care for everyday problems. So they get antibiotics for their sniffles, and get stiffed on their radiation therapy. Auto insurance doesn’t cover wear and tear or routine maintenance. Health insurance shouldn’t either. Deductibles… Read more »

Sue
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Sue

//Healthcare system transformation ought to include increased personal responsibility and a further departure from the concept of “paternalistic” medicine.// I couldn’t agree more. The problem is that a lot of health care providers and insurance companies like the paternalistic focus because limited choice and consumers divorced from price shopping translate to higher margins. Coincidentally, I’ve seen an example similar to Gadfly’s and it also involved a doctor with his “own” facility. He made patients sign a financial responsibility statement indicating that they would pay any charges the insurance company didn’t, but the office was just representing that this was to… Read more »

Eric Novack
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gadfly-
your mistake– not asking how much? and not understanding the relative risks of waiting versus going ahead with surgery.
doctor’s mistake– not explaining the above.
Healthcare system transformation ought to include increased personal responsibility and a further departure from the concept of “paternalistic” medicine.

gadfly
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gadfly

Another part of the hidden costs problem is that even with insurance, you can end up being surprised with a big bill after the fact. In grad school, I hurt my knee in a karate class. My knee troubled me enough to go to school medical center. A doctor found a fairly small cyst in an x-ray. He offered knee surgery (done by himself at his own private facility – he only worked part time for the school). I said “sure”, and I didn’t give it a second thought because I was insured through the school, and I figured insurance… Read more »

Abby
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Abby

At least in Massachusetts and CT it’s community rated. A lot of people here don’t realize that in most places it’s medically underwritten.

Sue
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Sue

//Most believe that food and shelter are more basic than healthcare. Should the government require that supermarkets carry certain brands of food? Perhaps they should dictate how the stores display their items so that it is easier for certain customers to find what they need? Since food is so important and it is unfair that some people cannot afford to shop at certain stores, perhaps those stores ought pay a penalty for their exclusivity? // Let’s imagine that grocery shopping were like our healthcare system. First, there would only be a few large food distribution chains plus a range of… Read more »

Duncan Kinder
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While conceivably it might be possible to favor some health system other than single-payer and possibly even to favor the U.S. status quo, anyone – ANYONE – who uses the term “socialized medicine” to disparage health care reform is clearly frivolous and arguing in bad faith.
On the other hand, perhaps the time has come for health reform advocates to wrap themselves in the “socialized medicine” banner. After all, many terms, such as “Gothic” architecture, began as pejoratives but wound up being embraced by their advocates.

Eric Novack
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There is general agreement to the statement: “Does the US healthcare system need substantial reform?” The question — how? Every legislative mandate — most borne out of a good motive– raises costs for everybody. Do we want Congress to legislate every drug that should or should not be covered (eg. Viagra)? Is it reasonable to force physicians to offer translation services for ANY patient seen, regardless of language, at the physician’s expense (current Medicare regulation)? Should Medicaid be forced to cover unlimited transportation from home to doctor’s office or hospital? Most believe that food and shelter are more basic than… Read more »

Sue
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Sue

On the MS issue, the best health care my husband who has MS has received has come from the VA. VA Health Care in our area is outstanding and it proves that government-run systems can work. More importantly, without VA he would be uninsurable and not undergoing any treatment because the current cost of drugs for MS exceeds $1000/month. None of our private, employer-based insurance programs were covering his drugs before we successfully got VA to acknowledge that his condition was service-related (he’d had an attack in the Army that was noted, but not diagnosed–neurological disease suspected but not confirmed–glad… Read more »

Sue
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Sue

//Why would you think Canada’s system is mediocre compared to the US?// I wasn’t implying that, just responding to the post that implied Canada’s system could be inferior. A lot of us would rather have wider access to a basic system than limited access to one with all the bells and whistles. You can buy any level of care in the U.S. if you want to empty your wallet and/or have access to to a good insurance program. I’d be surprised if Canada’s system would allow all the treatment possibilities found in our system based on the discussions I’ve seen.… Read more »

Lin
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Lin

I have a friend who has MS. As soon as she graduates from college (Ivy League, BTW) she is seeking employment in Canada. She saw the way the health care system treated her mother, who also has MS, and doesn’t want fighting for health care to define her life.