US Universal Healthcare

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05 Mar 2019 21:31 #335189 by Manu
US Universal Healthcare was created by Manu
I often see this issue come up in social media. I think we can all agree here that we want people to be able to have access to healthcare. The issue revolves around how to best do that to ensure efficacy, efficiency and sustainability.

So, how do we begin to fix US healthcare?

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05 Mar 2019 21:51 - 05 Mar 2019 21:53 #335192 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic US Universal Healthcare
In Australia we have both public hospitals and private hospitals, anyone can turn up and get treatment at the public hospital anytime for free. But its slower because its busier..... and so if you have health insurance coverage you can instead use a private hospital which might be faster or more comfortable. What does it cost for the public system.... 2% taxation on income.

It extends to other medical services as well, like GP's and specialists but in the form of a rebate to reduce the cost by various amounts.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(Australia)

We have a much smaller population though, and no land borders with other nations... but also a smaller economy, so the question I wonder is can the US afford such a system!?

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Last edit: 05 Mar 2019 21:53 by Adder.
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11 Mar 2019 19:10 #335394 by Omhu Cuspor
Replied by Omhu Cuspor on topic US Universal Healthcare
In terms of U.S. healthcare, I doubt any single person has the definitive answer, but I hope this is a helpful contribution.

I recall reading years ago that when an Asian country - Vietnam, if memory serves - wanted to implement a system of universal health care, they studied the public health care systems of various nations to determine which system did the best overall job of caring for its clients, preventing fraud, and being financially viable. They then set out to model their own system after the optimal choice.

They picked America's Medicare as their benchmark. To me, that speaks well to the idea now frequently promoted in the U.S., "Medicare for all", since the system does only apply to senior citizens and some people with disabilities today.

If we go that way, the big question to me is how to make the shift from our current, for-profit healthcare system to an exclusively taxpayer-funded system without causing economic chaos as insurance agents, claims adjusters, accountants, actuaries, and the like are fired. I am sure we can work this out, but as far as I know it hasn't been addressed yet.

Affordability, which is often raised as an objection, isn't an issue. The Koch brothers, in attempt to prove Medicare for All isn't viable, commissioned a study to prove the point. Their own study showed that over a decade, Medicare for All would cost around $2 trillion less than our current system.

We can do this.

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12 Mar 2019 03:19 #335406 by TheDude
Replied by TheDude on topic US Universal Healthcare
Controversial opinion: insurance is only expensive because the price of healthcare is too high. Getting a treatment in the US can cost much higher than getting the same treatment in another country. I've looked into the cost of some hospital supplies; some hospitals charge over 1000x the actual cost of an item (such as an IV bag) in the US. If hospitals and doctors did not charge ridiculously high fees, insurance companies would have to pay them less. If insurance companies didn't have to pay as much, people buying the insurance wouldn't have to pay as much. An affordable and reasonable healthcare system which doesn't require compulsory membership (and thereby respects the autonomy of individuals in the state) is totally achievable, it just requires doctors to take seriously their duty to heal the sick.
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12 Mar 2019 04:08 - 12 Mar 2019 04:09 #335410 by Kyrin Wyldstar
Dude your completely uninformed as to the machinations of health care. There are 3 major factors in health care, only two of which can be priority at any time. Those factors are high quality, affordability, and universality. So the question becomes, which one of these three do you want to sacrifice to maximize the others?

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12 Mar 2019 09:10 - 12 Mar 2019 09:12 #335420 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic US Universal Healthcare

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote: Dude your completely uninformed as to the machinations of health care. There are 3 major factors in health care, only two of which can be priority at any time. Those factors are high quality, affordability, and universality. So the question becomes, which one of these three do you want to sacrifice to maximize the others?


I, in the past month, went from being misdiagnosed to having an official diagnosis from a specialist, pre op appointments, to having the surgery, and now am quickly recovering... all without a dime spent.

If the US decided some of its insanely over-inflated defence budget was to go to defend the health and well-being of its citizens, perhaps then you'd have excellent universal healthcare without having to sacrifice any of those three...

And that is coming from someone who has lived in two countries with universal healthcare. So yeah, I understand it quite well.
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12 Mar 2019 14:56 #335434 by Kyrin Wyldstar

Arisaig wrote: I, in the past month, went from being misdiagnosed to having an official diagnosis from a specialist, pre op appointments, to having the surgery, and now am quickly recovering... all without a dime spent.

If the US decided some of its insanely over-inflated defence budget was to go to defend the health and well-being of its citizens, perhaps then you'd have excellent universal healthcare without having to sacrifice any of those three...

And that is coming from someone who has lived in two countries with universal healthcare. So yeah, I understand it quite well.


I did not say you didnt understand it. However just because you use it does not automatically mean you do. Also I didn't say the US system was not in need of some sort of reform. My comments above were a commonly used triad when addressing health care concerns however. The problem in the US is that health care is neither a free market system nor is it fully regulated. It is half and half, making it subsidized and and partially govt regulated, leading to increased costs. That combined with the fact that the US population is just generally less healthy than a lot of other countries with universal health care systems make it one of the least effective systems around for general health care even though we have some of the greatest medical technology available. For example the US actually ranks number one in 5 year cancer survival rates but it is expensive. So the question then becomes how can we bring the cost down.

If we go for universal health care with high quality it becomes quite expensive. If it is a single payer system the Govt foots the bill for this expense and that comes out of taxes. In the case of Canada and Brittan those systems are extraordinarily expensive making tax rates on middle and lower classes extremely high. What I think we should be looking for is to make health care not universal but affordable and high quality and these things would be provided if our health care system was moved to a free market system. This leaves the majority of the population with the ability to get good health care and then at that point the small portion that cant afford it can be picked up and covered with relatively small governmental investment.

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12 Mar 2019 15:08 - 12 Mar 2019 15:10 #335435 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic US Universal Healthcare

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote:

Arisaig wrote: I, in the past month, went from being misdiagnosed to having an official diagnosis from a specialist, pre op appointments, to having the surgery, and now am quickly recovering... all without a dime spent.

If the US decided some of its insanely over-inflated defence budget was to go to defend the health and well-being of its citizens, perhaps then you'd have excellent universal healthcare without having to sacrifice any of those three...

And that is coming from someone who has lived in two countries with universal healthcare. So yeah, I understand it quite well.


I did not say you didnt understand it. However just because you use it does not automatically mean you do. Also I didn't say the US system was not in need of some sort of reform. My comments above were a commonly used triad when addressing health care concerns however. The problem in the US is that health care is neither a free market system nor is it fully regulated. It is half and half, making it subsidized and and partially govt regulated, leading to increased costs. That combined with the fact that the US population is just generally less healthy than a lot of other countries with universal health care systems make it one of the least effective systems around for general health care even though we have some of the greatest medical technology available. For example the US actually ranks number one in 5 year cancer survival rates but it is expensive. So the question then becomes how can we bring the cost down.

If we go for universal health care with high quality it becomes quite expensive. If it is a single payer system the Govt foots the bill for this expense and that comes out of taxes. In the case of Canada and Brittan those systems are extraordinarily expensive making tax rates on middle and lower classes extremely high. What I think we should be looking for is to make health care not universal but affordable and high quality and these things would be provided if our health care system was moved to a free market system. This leaves the majority of the population with the ability to get good health care and then at that point the small portion that cant afford it can be picked up and covered with relatively small governmental investment.


Its easily affordable. As I said, the military is massively over-funded. You don't need to increase taxes, just redirect the ones from filling a desert with the newest tanks that were bought just to justify spending increases and instead spend that on the average joe just trying to get medical help. Its common sense, but that's something American politics has been void of for a while now...

and no, I didn't say you said I didn't understand it, your comment in the quoted text wasn't to me. I said that because then no one can say I don't without a reason...
Last edit: 12 Mar 2019 15:10 by Arisaig.

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12 Mar 2019 15:33 - 12 Mar 2019 15:33 #335439 by Kyrin Wyldstar

Arisaig wrote:
Its easily affordable. As I said, the military is massively over-funded. You don't need to increase taxes, just redirect the ones from filling a desert with the newest tanks that were bought just to justify spending increases and instead spend that on the average joe just trying to get medical help. Its common sense, but that's something American politics has been void of for a while now...

and no, I didn't say you said I didn't understand it, your comment in the quoted text wasn't to me. I said that because then no one can say I don't without a reason...


No its not massively over funded. Its just not that simple as "dont buy a few tanks" and your good! In fact the US provides the major portion of NATO funds to support national defense budges of most European countries. We are also the primary protectors of Japan in conjunction with their national defense force. We are the primary deterrent to military aggression from countries like North Korea and Russia. The US military was forced onto the world stage in WWII and put down a global aggression which left us a world leader in defense and that has never changed. In fact one of the things Trump is trying to do is get other NATO nations to step up and spend more on their national defense so we can reduce costs. However that is not the case today and if we were to pull those budgets and weaken our stance, aggressive nations and organizations would be on our door step and they would be on yours as well. This is what happened during 911 under the democratic military reductions and weak stances like what happened in Somalia. This idea that if we just put our weapons down that everyone will just play nice is a naive thought.

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12 Mar 2019 15:44 #335440 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic US Universal Healthcare

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote:

Arisaig wrote:
Its easily affordable. As I said, the military is massively over-funded. You don't need to increase taxes, just redirect the ones from filling a desert with the newest tanks that were bought just to justify spending increases and instead spend that on the average joe just trying to get medical help. Its common sense, but that's something American politics has been void of for a while now...

and no, I didn't say you said I didn't understand it, your comment in the quoted text wasn't to me. I said that because then no one can say I don't without a reason...


No its not massively over funded. Its just not that simple as "dont buy a few tanks" and your good! In fact the US provides the major portion of NATO funds to support national defense budges of most European countries. We are also the primary protectors of Japan in conjunction with their national defense force. We are the primary deterrent to military aggression from countries like North Korea and Russia. The US military was forced onto the world stage in WWII and put down a global aggression which left us a world leader in defense and that has never changed. In fact one of the things Trump is trying to do is get other NATO nations to step up and spend more on their national defense so we can reduce costs. However that is not the case today and if we were to pull those budgets and weaken our stance, aggressive nations and organizations would be on our door step and they would be on yours as well. This is what happened during 911 under the democratic military reductions and weak stances like what happened in Somalia. This idea that if we just put our weapons down that everyone will just play nice is a naive thought.


It sorta is, and of course its more complex than the example I gave it. Your country loves war and profit of the rich over the lives and mental and physical well-being of the hard working American.

but, of course, more complex than that. More funded than the next twenty counties militaries combined, while many of those following it also fund a full military, pay their soldiers better, and have healthcare. But whadda I know, eh?

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