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Opponents of US Healthcare Reform Lose Battle on Merits; Resort to Tantrums/Theatrics

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Again...this would be far more productive if you could acknowledge the argument on the difference between accessibility/distribution and quality of talent and technology.

 

How much does quality of talent & technology matter in this debate, though?

 

It often comes up in health-care debates, but how much of our current excellent technology & treatment options comes from the current health care system versus simply that the US is the world's scientific powerhouse? A lot of important medical developments don't even come from companies, but rather from federally-funded research.

 

It seems to me that the technological level of healthcare in the US is a non sequitur - its occurence with our current system is a coincidence, rather than a consequence of the system.

 

And no health-care bill is going to change it, one way or the other. If we impose total UK-style healthcare, our MRI machines aren't all going to suddenly breah and drug companies won't suddenly go bankrupt, but nor will we suddenly and instantly cure cancer and start pooping diamonds.

 

I've yet to see any plausible link between the aspects of our healthcare up for reform and our technological level of treatment, and I'm not sure it should even be part of the debate.

 

IMHO, changing the funding levels of NIH and NSF will do more for technological quality of care than anything proposed by either party about insurance.

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How much does quality of talent & technology matter in this debate, though?

 

It matters because the hearts and minds you are trying to change don't believe you are arguing honestly since you won't acknowledge the point. Likewise, I imagine you don't feel the conservatives are being genuine when they discount the WHO's studies and infant mortality rates, or any other measure that synthesizes the two concepts.

 

You're talking past each other and it isn't working for either of you. It would serve the opposition better to concede that the WHO studies suggest a rotten equal accessibility to healthcare for the citizenry. It would serve the supporters better to concede that technology, talent, scientific excellence is great without reservation - however is not the only measure of a healthcare system.

 

Conflating the two keeps either side from reaching any agreement - it keeps the arguments disingenuous and divisive. There may still be disagreement even after reconciling that detail, but at least then it becomes honest disagreement. Right now, it's too politically toxic and appears to serve the interests of partisans.

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Are you acknowledging the difference between the two. And if you are, how then do you rate our talent and tech? How do you rate the quality of care for the few that get it? I haven't seen any studies on that at all. Only on the "system", not that particular parameter.

Yes, I acknowledge the difference between the two, but I fail to understand why you'd prefer us to look at a small subsystem instead of the system as a whole (a relatively tiny component in the much larger machine). It's like something is wrong with your car, and we are discussing the various pieces... the engine, the transmission, the interior, the layout of the dash, the trunk space, the gas mileage, etc... and you're trying to focus the conversation on the tires. "Look guys, look at how great these tires are. Why won't you acknowledge how wonderful these tires are?"

 

I think it misses the point. I understand what you mean that both sides tend to be talking past one another, but it's a bit of a non-starter to ask whether we agree there are some bits of high quality... Of course we acknowledge that... so what? We are here trying to fix the larger system, so IMO it doesn't really matter how many local "islands of excellence" exist within it.

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Conflating the two keeps either side from reaching any agreement - it keeps the arguments disingenuous and divisive. There may still be disagreement even after reconciling that detail, but at least then it becomes honest disagreement. Right now, it's too politically toxic and appears to serve the interests of partisans.

 

Absolutely -- well said. Hits the nail squarely on the head.

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I think it misses the point. I understand what you mean that both sides tend to be talking past one another, but it's a bit of a non-starter to ask whether we agree there are some bits of high quality... Of course we acknowledge that... so what? We are here trying to fix the larger system, so IMO it doesn't really matter how many local "islands of excellence" exist within it.

 

But the supporters of this effort are *not* acknowledging it, so it gives the opposition the wiggle room to discount your claims. It would seem more effective to explain to the masses that yes, we do have great healthcare but not everyone has access to it and that's part of the measurement. Otherwise, they get the impression that you're trying to pretend as if our hospitals and doctors don't even compare to Jordan or Bosnia. It's that kind of misunderstanding that's makes it easy for the opposition to refute your claims.

 

But enough on that point, I'll leave it lay.

 

We're still divided on the same old points really. Some of us remain consistently wary of expansion of federal power (since most of its offices pander to the whims of the highly biased and subjective majority) and will yield to virtually no excuse or intent, noble or otherwise while others are comfortable investing in measured doses of centralized control and justice for the welfare of the citizenry.

 

More or less, anyway.

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But the supporters of this effort are *not* acknowledging it

I just did. ;)

 

 

 

We're still divided on the same old points really. Some of us remain consistently wary of expansion of federal power (since most of its offices pander to the whims of the highly biased and subjective majority) and will yield to virtually no excuse or intent, noble or otherwise while others are comfortable investing in measured doses of centralized control and justice for the welfare of the citizenry.

So, you are also in support of taking medicare away from the elderly, and letting them bankrupt themselves trying to care for their health before dying a sad, miserable, painful death?

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Note the importance of Mokele's post

It seems to me that the technological level of healthcare in the US is a non sequitur - its occurence with our current system is a coincidence, rather than a consequence of the system.

 

Medical innovations are usually heavily dependent on basal research conducted on federal money. The US pours a lot of money into applied medical research (just think NIH, the single largest funding body). Changing the health care system will not affect that.

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Some of us remain consistently wary of expansion of federal power

 

So, you are also in support of taking medicare away from the elderly, and letting them bankrupt themselves trying to care for their health before dying a sad, miserable, painful death?

 

And clubbing baby seals.

 

It's important. They won't let us back into the right-wing club house without at least three baby seal skins per week.

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Flippancy aside, iNow has a good point - you can't be only against federal intrustion/power for a particular age group.

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Medical innovations are usually heavily dependent on basal research conducted on federal money. The US pours a lot of money into applied medical research (just think NIH, the single largest funding body). Changing the health care system will not affect that.

 

If it is dependent on federal money and more federal money will be going towards basic care could that result in less towards research?

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If it is dependent on federal money and more federal money will be going towards basic care could that result in less towards research?

 

Not necessarily - either other government programs could have their spending cut or taxes could be raised. Plus, NSF and NIH are pretty minuscule portions of the federal budget, less than 1%.

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So, you are also in support of taking medicare away from the elderly, and letting them bankrupt themselves trying to care for their health before dying a sad, miserable, painful death?

 

While medicare could be argued as a power play, I don't think it has to be. I do believe their attempts at cost control with lower percentages of pay out compared to private insurance companies cause price increases in the market as a whole. No different than non-payers in the ER that drive up prices for the market as a whole. It's no secret that hospitals try to recover that lost revenue with an increase in prices - and insurance companies don't enjoy the leverage of Federal power at the negotiating table.

 

And while I also don't like the idea of redistributing the property rightly earned by the citizenry, I have already conceded that I am willing to rob my neighbor to save someone who can't afford medical attention. My definition of "save" is probably different than yours however.

 

So, that said, obviously no, I don't support yanking medicare away from the elderly or denying treatment for chronic conditions because someone can't afford healthcare, and I don't think it has to be an expansion of federal power to do so, other than the implied power gained from the taxation to support it. One does not have to lead to the other.

 

Incidentally, a public remedy for coverage doesn't have to lead to the other either. The house bill unfortunately does.

 

 

My goal though, in this discussion was just to remind folks that there's a legitimate difference of political philosophy at play here. It's not always about "those damn republicans" that want to starve children, kill polar bears, steal grandma's money and help Wal-mart subjugate the poor.

 

There is, underneath the tactic and strategy at play in the political rhetoric, a genuine interest in opposing this bill. It is incredibly impacting and the outrage is not manufactured as much as it is amplified. The two "townhall meetings" in my area - Lees Summit and Blue Springs Missouri - were almost entirely fired up locals, sprinkled with professional looking activists. Some were even Union members. Anecdotal, to be sure, but it reconciles with what I've read across the country.

 

That's all I've got. Later.

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I don't support yanking medicare away from the elderly or denying treatment for chronic conditions because someone can't afford healthcare, and I don't think it has to be an expansion of federal power to do so, other than the implied power gained from the taxation to support it. One does not have to lead to the other.

 

This was an interesting passage to read following Jon Stewart's interview with Betsy McCaughey. She made the same argument. This bill is going to mean we deny treatment to the elderly!

 

What? Where's your evidence for that? Where does it say that in the bill? When has any member of the Democratic party suggested that healthcare reform will come at a cost of denying healthcare to the elderly?

 

Perhaps case in point for the OP... this is, by the way, the same argument that underlies the whole "death panels" meme. This is not in the proposed legislation.

 

The argument that healthcare reform is going to result in denying care to the elderly is not based in reality.

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The argument that healthcare reform is going to result in denying care to the elderly is not based in reality.

 

Well I think you mean this kind of health care reform, but I agree that that's not in this bill. In my view it is a concern with regard to single-payer systems, but it's not a major concern with HR.3200/"Obamacare" as it presently stands. It's predicated on too many assumptions that don't seem to play out when looked at closely.

 

One thing that we've talked about that is in there is a change that would increase awareness to the elderly of the costs of palliative care and other treatments that may be more effective if administered to other patients, giving them the opportunity to make choices with that additional information. But there's no discussion from any direction about making those choices mandatory. Nor it is an unwritten subtext -- as I understand it this was actually done in some city where they saw a tremendous decrease in per-patient cost as a result of the approach. If that's true then they don't have to make it mandatory in order to save a pile of money, so there's no need for a hidden agenda. (Apologies for not having a link to this, but I'll keep an eye out for it.)

 

Of course that's just one relatively small program, but in general it feels like HR.3200/"Obamacare" is still quite a long ways from the kind of rationing that takes place under single-payer systems.

 

My two bits anyway.

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Well I think you mean this kind of health care reform, but I agree that that's not in this bill.

I appreciate your concession that those arguments are not based in reality, and are instead some crazy slippery slope speculation, and nothing more.

 

 

Of course that's just one relatively small program, but in general it feels like HR.3200/"Obamacare" is still quite a long ways from the kind of rationing that takes place under single-payer systems.

And how do you suggest it compares to the extreme rationing we're seeing right now from private health insurance providers... rationing which comes in the form of rejected claims and rescissions.

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I'm just sad the "debate" going on regarding the bill has more to do with ridiculous strawmen coming out of conservatives (e.g. "death panels") than the actual merits and vices of the bill.

 

I would love to see a calm, rational discussion about whether or not HR3200 or a single payer system would be better, but that's impossible to have when half the country thinks the legislation is going to strip seniors of treatments they're getting presently from Medicare, or for that matter, create "death panels" that decide whether or not you get care.

 

If there's one takeaway from this thread, it's that any attempts at calm, rational debate about the facts at hand are completely impossible thanks to the sheer amount of disinformation that has been disseminated and is actively believed by a large part of the country.

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And how do you suggest it compares to the extreme rationing we're seeing right now from private health insurance providers... rationing which comes in the form of rejected claims and rescissions.

 

I don't know, but I agree that that seems to exist as well, and I think that point is very important to the discussion.

 

I still am still undecided on this issue, but I have found myself gradually coming around to the idea of HR.3200/"Obamacare", especially after talking with some of my Canadian colleagues about the pitfalls of single-payer. Though I haven't entirely ruled out SP either, and I suspect that all systems have their weak points and all of them could be strengthened if we put our minds to it.

 

But of all the proposals I've heard about, HR.3200 seems like the gutsiest. It may be the one that will need the most hard work and buy-in, but it's also the one that has the best chance of solving all of the recognized problems (including potential ones). It's like you say sometimes with regard to GW -- we should go for it. It's "what we do", right?

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It's like you say sometimes with regard to GW -- we should go for it. It's "what we do", right?

I sure hope so, man. We just cannot continue doing nothing, or continue catering to those profiting from this broken approach, and we should at least try to change things while our collective consciousness sees it as an important issue.

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What? Where's your evidence for that? Where does it say that in the bill? When has any member of the Democratic party suggested that healthcare reform will come at a cost of denying healthcare to the elderly?

 

Perhaps case in point for the OP... this is' date=' by the way, the same argument that underlies the whole "death panels" meme. This is not in the proposed legislation.

 

The argument that healthcare reform is going to result in denying care to the elderly is not based in reality.[/quote']

 

Hey now, I sure hope you're not directing those questions at me. I was responding to iNow's question in post# 206 in his reply to me. I have said nothing about any such thing being in the bill as I don't see it anywhere.

 

If there's one takeaway from this thread, it's that any attempts at calm, rational debate about the facts at hand are completely impossible thanks to the sheer amount of disinformation that has been disseminated and is actively believed by a large part of the country.

 

There's another thing to take away from this thread...it's that any attempts at sincere, honest debate are subverted when arguments are taken entirely out of context by knee-jerk assumptions. Your biases are so primed you couldn't even be bothered to notice iNow's quote in my post to know I was responding to him, and further, why he asked the question to begin with.

 

This is the problem with both sides. I came here with an honest intention, and up until this point received an honest reception. But as soon as an emotionally invested supporter "scans" a post and sees the buzz words "elderly", "denied", "healthcare" their assumptions are as misguided as the "deathers". If one side can't be bothered with the facts, then I hardly see how they can blame the other...

 

You are evidence to your own accusation. And you're right, it's a real problem for honest debate. Understanding each other means listening, or reading in this case.

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Hey now, I sure hope you're not directing those questions at me. I was responding to iNow's question in post# 206 in his reply to me. I have said nothing about any such thing being in the bill as I don't see it anywhere.

 

 

 

There's another thing to take away from this thread...it's that any attempts at sincere, honest debate are subverted when arguments are taken entirely out of context by knee-jerk assumptions. Your biases are so primed you couldn't even be bothered to notice iNow's quote in my post to know I was responding to him...

You're the one making the knee-jerk assumption, ParanoiA. He was referring to Betsy McCaughey, not you. So the reception's still honest :P

 

It's an understandable error though, since he used the word "your" under the text he was quoting by you. But read it carefully again.

 

Welcome back too :), it's cool to hear from you again.

Edited by The Bear's Key

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You're the one making the knee-jerk assumption, ParanoiA. He was referring to Betsy McCaughey, not you. So the reception's still honest :P

 

It's an understandable error though, since he used the word "your" under the text he was quoting by you. But read it carefully again.

 

 

Well I thought about that, but then his opening statement was (emphasis mine):

 

This was an interesting passage to read following Jon Stewart's interview with Betsy McCaughey. She made the same argument[/i']. This bill is going to mean we deny treatment to the elderly!

 

I'm not sure who he's saying "made the same argument" except me, since he's replying to me.

 

I can always misunderstand, but I don't see it here. It wouldn't really matter, except it goes with the point he's trying to make.

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If it wasn't your implication that was in the current legislation, my apologies, however the sheer amount of disinformation being disseminated about these bills is maddening.

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Okay crew, please don't flame me for making an on-topic post here. ;)

 

 

 

Majority of Americans Believe Health Care Reform 'Myths' - LiveScience

More than 50 percent of Americans believe a public insurance option will increase health care costs, according to a new survey on assertions the White House has called myths.

 

The national survey, conducted from Aug. 14 – 18, involved a random sample of 600 Americans aged 18 and older living in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. Respondents indicated whether or not they believed 19 claims about health care reform, each of which is considered a myth by the White House.

 

The results could speak to the current partisan debate on a proposed health care overhaul. While overall the majority of Americans said they believe many of the assertions, more Republicans and Independents than Democrats stood by the claims.

 

"It's perhaps not surprising that more Republicans believe these things than Democrats," said study scientist Dr. Aaron Carroll, director of Indiana University's Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research. "What is surprising is just how many Republicans – and Independents – believe them. If the White House hopes to convince the majority of Americans that they are misinformed about health care reform, there is much work to be done."

 

Among the results on items the White House considers myths:

 

  • 67 percent of respondents believe that wait times for health care services, such as surgery, will increase (91 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of Independents).

  • About five out of 10 believe the federal government will become directly involved in making personal health care decisions (80 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of Independents).

  • Roughly six out of 10 Americans believe taxpayers will be required to pay for abortions (78 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of Independents)

  • 46 percent believe reforms will result in health care coverage for all illegal immigrants (66 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of Democrats, 43 percent of Independents).

  • 54 percent believe the public option will increase premiums for Americans with private health insurance (78 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of Independents).

  • Five out of 10 think cuts will be made to Medicare in order to cover more Americans (66 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of Democrats, 44 percent of Independents).

 

 

In short, their scare tactics and lack of merit seems to be working when it comes to changing public opinion.

Edited by iNow

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Interesting article. There IS a cost (CBO estimates show a quarter-trillion-dollar-per-year impact by 2019), but over time the possibility is that the overall cost will be reduced (and in fact this is the only serious proposal that even makes the attempt to do so). I guess that's a fairly subtle point to educate people on, especially when the opposition is deliberately spinning it to sound as bad as possible.

 

I'm confused about the abortion point -- why wouldn't "we" be paying for abortions, such as in the case of patients on Obamacare who need one?

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