October 8, 2007

You Dems, always complaining without offering a plan.

I'm sick of hearing that utterly false Republican spin.

I've had the decidedly unwelcome displeasure of having a rather pompous anonymous commenter with a somewhat unhinged obsession with trying to either:

A. Get me to agree with his right wing views as if there's simply no other logical position, this through literally endless comments, and utterly ignoring my every response or answer, or

B. Demanding that I personally present, explain and discuss in detail incredibly complex policy issues such as abortion, health care, and the like. (Like I'm paid to do this or something.)

This strange person, and I only use that term after long experience with them, is at it again.

This time he's got it in his head that I should put forth an entire plan for public supported health care plans. (something of course which is a subject so large and complex that even the major media shys away from it, and which takes dozens of experts who've studied and specialized in the area years to devise.) and then lay it out in blog comments.

The sheer ridiculous nature of that demand aside, I addressed his obsession this time by suggesting he look up the health care plan proposals of the various candidates and get his jollys that way. I made the mistake of thinking he actually wanted to learn about health care policy proposals. Wrong.

As I should have known, that's not what he's after. He doesn't want to educate himself on the details of Democratic health care proposals. He's got his opinion on that from right wing blowhards and that's good enough for him. No, he doesn't want details or explanations, he's obsessed with having me explain it all to him, evidently so he can then breathlessly spring his well rehearsed Republican talking points on me, to which he feels there's simply no way to disagree. (while utterly ignoring all my responses or counter arguments in the process.)

The person really should have their own blog (and did, but it failed). Now they expect to dictate the discussion here, but go completely deaf when I do address their questions and answer them in a way that deviates even slightly with their pre-conceived right wing stances.

At any rate, they recently left a comment demanding a debate on healthcare on a post which had NOTHING to do with the subject whatsoever. (the off-topic comment being yet another annoying habit of theirs.)

They of course demanded that I merely lay out the entire universal health care issue, all of it's various proposals, plans etc. in detail, then lay out MY own personal proposal on how to fix the entire health care system in this country (I don't remember declaring for president), and do all this in comments. (lunacy, I know.)

And this is the same person who loudly bitches if I write a reply that's longer than three paragraphs, saying they simply can't comprehend that much.

Against my better judgement (I should just ignore this crap. It never changes.) I responded. I told them I'm neither capable nor interested in dissecting incredibly complex universal health care proposals, a subject even the major press with their resources seems incapable of doing. (Yet this person demands that a unpaid blogger argue the entire issue....and in comments.)

I suggested that they go look at the candidate's plans on their websites.

That, of course, wasn't good enough for them, since it denied them a chance to regurgitate their goofy right wing taking points. (or in this case, "stalking points".)

I recieved this response from them: (typos entirely theirs)
Dope, THAT is exactly the problem - the candidates have no in-depth position papers.

Their only comment on healthcare is to 'have a singlr payer system.'

Tey, like you, love to critcize, but fall alarmingly silent when asked for details.

Quite easy to say, 'the system is a mess' but a whole new game to actually come up with a tangible thought on how to correct the problem.

Government run healthcare does not solve one fundamental issue - it only makes the taxpayer financially responsible.

So...are you just a blowhard - or do you have specific suggestions on how to better the system?

I will be waiting anxiously for your clever response...

All they want to do is spout goofy right-wing talking points. If I provide any response which doesn't detail an entire national health care plan, or if I decline to tackle such an enormous issue as if I'm both an expert and the sole defender of every candidate's plan, it's just a "clever" dodge. This person is about a half a bubble out of plumb.

The reason I mention all this is to point out that they're simply a liar and lazy on top of it. (OK, OK, harsh, but read on.)

The top Democratic candidates (and perhaps all of them) have devoted entire policy speeches to their plans, that much I knew. The details I assumed could be easily found on their web sites.

It took me all of 3 minutes to find what this dim and argumentative blow-hard casually tells us doesn't exist.

So for his benefit, as well as anyone else that cares to educate themselves on the Democratic health care proposals, (which I highly recommend, if for no other reason than to be able to more easily spot the inevitable right wing lies about it down the road.) here's just some of what I found.

John Edwards has several pages on his health care proposals, including this policy statement.

Barack Obama has an extensive page with several links detailing his proposals to address the health care crisis, even providing a health care policy discussion blog. (at which this commenter could presumably indulge his deep need to argue and demand that others see things his way on this topic, and just as likely be eaten for lunch by people who actually know the subject.)

On the Obama website you can also read an overview of the Obama plan or a document providing full details of the plan, a health care plan Q&A, and a video of his speech on health care policy which he delivered in Iowa City.

And for anyone who wants to delve deeper into the weeds of Obama's health care policy proposal, there's even an extensive article by David Cutler, economics professor at Harvard University and Obama's health care adviser discussing the plan in a way that should make policy wonks rub their thighs in delight.

Hilary Clinton has laid out her comprehensive health care proposals in detail in speeches and provides highlights here.

On her healthcare page, in the sidebar to the right she provides extensive links to the full transcript of her speech introducing her health care policy, state reports, how her plan would affect various groups such as seniors and women, and even a video of her health care speech for those (like the commenter) who apparently don't like to read.

You can also download and digest an entire 16 page booklet explaining her entire proposal.

And that's only three Dem candidates. I'd imagine all the rest have their health care proposals online as well.

As an aside, I also found this article which shows how similar the Clinton and Romney health care proposals are. I hope the commenter doesn't bother to read it, or the congitive dissonence might make his ears bleed.

Again, it took me all of three minutes to find all this, yet this goof makes a fool of himself by parroting the utterly false right wing spin on the subject,
"THAT is exactly the problem - the candidates have no in-depth position papers. Their only comment on healthcare is to 'have a singlr payer system.'
Tey, like you, love to critcize, but fall alarmingly silent when asked for details.
Quite easy to say, 'the system is a mess' but a whole new game to actually come up with a tangible thought on how to correct the problem."

Yeah, "ALARMINGLY SILENT", aren't they?

(The major press might be "alarmingly silent" on covering these plans in any way which might actually inform the public as to what they entail, ( they assume we can't deal with such complex subjects, they're not "sexy" enough, and besides, you can't cover it in less than a minute.) but certainly not the actual candidates who have to struggle to get their plans before the public.)

The spin my echo chamber commenter repeats has been trotted out endlessly for years now. But for the right wing Republican party, facts are mere nuisances, and reality is for suckers.

Will this stop this person from demanding that I personally lay out a complete solution to our national health care crisis and defend it? Sadly, I doubt it.
It would be a worthless pursuit anyway, as I've already heard all the right wing spin already seeking to deny children and the needy health care.

But frankly, I don't want to hear it. I've heard it all before, and I simply believe, from all I've read and heard on the subject as well as my personal views, that the anti-health care spin is almost entirely a bunch of crap cranked out by the enormous industries whose golden goose stands to be taken away. I don't have any interest in hearing some poor schmuck repeating talking points for multi-billion dollar insurance and health care corporations.

I consider it sad to hear average people, people who truly would be helped by improving the system, who out of ignorance, fear, and obedience, argue against their own interests, not to mention society's.

And fundementally, it galls me to hear anyone who argues vociferously AGAINST fixing what is clearly an out of control and horribly flawed system. EVERYONE knows it's terrible the way it is, yet these people can't stand the thought of doing anything about it.

They have, as always, a almost childlike simplicity in their thinking, insisting that every problem, no matter how huge and nuanced, be reduced to simple black and white.

And as with most Republican right wingers, they're motivated by fear. In this case, as with many other issues, all they need to hear is that their taxes might go up, and they react like Pavlov's dogs, instantly wetting themselves and parroting whatever goofy arguments against the policy they can find, facts be damned.

And add to that of course, the horrible worse-than-death spectre of the mere possibility, the mere idea that they MIGHT be contributing a dollar or two to help out someone with brown or black skin or a "poor person". Ewwwwwww! This makes them break out in a cold sweat.

Now of course if every dime of the taxes they've paid for the last 10 yearss ends up paying for a fraction of the cost of some new leather seats for the corporate jet of some corrupt defence contractor... hey, that's cool. Not a peep.

The fact of the matter is that they're already being taxed, and taxed more heavily, by the current health care system, by co-payments and a miriad of hidden costs, yet they're unable or unwilling to comprehend it.

And in the fear catagory again, they've been duped into believing all sorts of unfounded horror stories about the effect of these plans, bullshit about not having any control over anything, and of course, completely false and misleading "facts" about other country's largely successful national health care systems.

So I'm crossing my fingers that this might hold this wanker at bay. But I feel confident that they won't bother reading (much less actually comprehending) any of the health care proposals linked to above. To actually consider that Democrats may have a sound, rational, and reasonable plan about anything is just too far outside their comfort zone. (It's only natural to get a little panicky when your party is sliding down the tubes.)

After all, authoritarians have a deep desire to forego critical thinking. They prefer blind faith and follow their leaders without question, as well as attack all opponents their leaders tell them they should oppose, again, without question. To admit that these plans have merit? Perish the thought.

So next time some winger tries to say that the Democrats "have no plan", tell them it ain't so.


At 10/08/2007 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you TID for, once again, proving your stupidity. Did you read the links that you provided?

1. Hillary gives -0- ideas for reducing costs.

2. Edwards gives -0- ideas for reducing costs.

(I apologize, their ideas for reducing costs are as simple as that a 'single payer system will mahically accomplish this.'

3. Obama indeed gives specifics, however they are quite questionable....

A new program, Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) will provide some benefit (he is somewhat foggy on how, although quite wordy).

He will, "align incentives for excellence" - again, a nice thought, but there are no specifics on how this would be implimented.

"Reform medical malpractice" - so Obama has embraced a Republican idea here, which I expect will not please too many in the Democrat camp (as they have been fighting this for years!).

Improve technology infrastructure. An amazing insight here, as though this is not being done everyday already.

"Competition in the drug markets." Again, few specifics are given in this bullet-point. I am interested to see how he feels that he will increase the free market system.

He will use "more generics". WOW! Now why didn't anyone think of this before (they did).

"Preventing Waste" - again, a new concept (not) with no specifics.

So Dope, thank you for the links - they prove the point perfectly, that there is a lot of 'healthcare speak" being thrown around, but no specifics that mean anything.

At least Obama tries, but he provides no real answers. Edwards and Hillary do what Democrats do best -

They state the problem in a manner which tells that they understand the problem (which they do), tells the people that they care about the problem (which they might, especially if it will get them elected), but then never address a solution - other than telling that the government will take care of it.

If I read this wrong, please educate me. Please give me a point-by-point understanding on how they propose to AFFECT THE COST ISSUE of healthcare. Thanks for taking the bait!

At 10/08/2007 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You provide a link showing that the Romney and Clinton plans are similar. Let's face it, does anyone think that ANY politician, Dem or Rep are going to make the changes necessary to hold back the runaway healthcare costs?

Let's be honest, all the politicians are discussing is WHO is going to pay the HUGE healthcare costs.

Whether you call it government, individuals or corporations, no politician has the backbone to deal with the real issues, make the necessary changes over the long haul,and the individual will pay for it - through higher taxes, increased product costs (if you stick it on corporations, they will pass it along - a point that Dem's never seem to understand).

We need real leadership out of our politicians - and none seem willing to give us anything more than we have had.

At 10/08/2007 8:45 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And the Republican alternative is better because.........?

They do nothing? Just give the serious problem lip service?

You favor bullshit rhetoric and no action other than complex schemes sold as "benefits" which only benefit large corporations over at least laying out a clear alternative as a start a serious policy debate with the goal of fundemental fixes to a broken system?


What's your problem with candidates that specifically lay out viable health care plans?

You fixate on the fact that they don't account for every dime which will be used to finance their plans. This from a person who whole-heartedly endorses a party who's entire economic philosophy is based on a thoroughly debunked theory and utter scam, namely, "trickle-down" economics, whose basic tenant is that if you slash income TO the government, the government will get more income.

You take that as an article of faith, and then bash Dems for at least trying to accomplish something for all the citizens of this country?

At 10/08/2007 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope, you've laid it all out for him...and for us. Obama's plan seems to take good ideas from both sides of the isle and wrap them together.

And yes, more generics, which was "tried before" and voted down after the big drug companies flooded the Hill with lobbyists and campaign money.

Obama's stance is a good place to start for pragmatic people with open minds.

But for those minds that faithfully and blindly follow the false "literal" interpretations of their beliefs, there's no hope.

At 10/08/2007 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huck, read Obama's plan. It is not a plan - it is a bunch of nice words that make one think that he might do something.

Do you honestly that the 'Federal Employee Health Benefit Program' is anything that will deliver lower costs?

The only thing that Obama's plan has that makes any sense to the COST OF HEALTHCARE is 'malpractice reform.'

Are the Republicans any better - NO!

How unbelievably stupid are you people? These are the same Democrats that ran on ending the war in Iraq and THEN DO NOTHING! Every single Dem POTUS candidate acknowledges that a 'significant troop presence will be necessary in Iraq, 'for years.'

Now you are going to buy into the healthcare issue hook line and sinker...

They are ALL bought and paid for, yet you turn a blind eye. No wonder you kept electing Lane Evans!

At 10/08/2007 11:17 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 7:07.

Soooo.... I guess we're supposed to kill the good because it's not perfect? Bash on efforts to actually do something about the problem simply becuase it's not absolutely flawless?

What is?

At 10/09/2007 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not even close. Rather than putting a 'political' fix (which is no fix at all) on a problem, putting forth a true and real effort, one that might step on some toes, is needed.

If you think that the cost of healthcare (the real issue) is going to be corrected by creating a new government program, then you are dumber than I thought.

We need to ask real questions, tough questions.

This is an issue that has the potential to kill our economy - and we are allowing our politicians to do nothing about it (other than play games with verbage).

And too many of us are willing to believe that there silly little programs,or silly little position-papers mean something.

Be honest - do you really think that the cost of healthcare will be affected at all by any of the positions that any of the leading candidates have put forth?

At 10/09/2007 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm just as stupid as anon thinks, but here's something else I like about Obama's plan: investment in IT healthcare systems.

Electronic billing systems, electronic record systems, electronic prescription systems are all helping and will continue to help to drive down costs. It helps automate preventive care plans, and saves patients time dealing with billing, refills, scheduling, etc.

Who would benefit? Patients, providers and these three companies: Athenahealth, GE Healthcare Systems, and McKesson Corp.

At 10/09/2007 11:14 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 7:00 a.m.

Since your really seem to have a beach ball sized burr up your behind about this issue, and a good deal of anger and frustration about Dem proposals, complete with sketchy reasons why they won't work, complete with some wholely unsuported belief that it will "wreck" our economy (like spending a trillion or so on Iraq at the same time as issuing one enormous tax cut after another won't.) and the pessimistic belief that "nothing can be done" about health care costs. You simply base all your arguments on shit that you just make up.

The fact is that many of these plans may actually have a real effect on health care costs.
Doesn't it seem logical that an ENORMOUS percentage of health care costs are sucked up by massive administrative costs, paperwork, advertising, billions spent on lobbying efforts to keep the whole gravy train rolling, etc.?

As Huck points out, simply streamlining the process would realize many hundreds of millions in savings. There is likely not one person reading this who hasn't had to experience the innumerable layers of crap that one has to go through for something as simple as a serious cut or an earache or some other relatively minor injury or illness. And that's only the tip of the iceberg. Every time someone gets treatment, there's literally an army of employees being paid to process their claims, spend hour upon hour on the phone trying to decipher and coordinate payments from government and private insurance companies, and on and on and on.

It simply couldn't GET any more inefficient, with much of it being duplicated efforts, etc.

Medicade and Medicare by all objective measurements have been very well run and efficient programs for delivering care to those who qualify.

So yes, I most definitely have the opinion that almost any of the proposals put forth by these candidates would indeed be more effective, and less costly.

At 10/10/2007 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All you care about is money. All you care about is profit. Books, links and God knows what the qconline is paying you to serve as thier patsy?

At 10/11/2007 11:31 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Yeah, I'm rakin' it in and stackin' it up.


Where do these numb-nuts come from?

At 10/11/2007 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey anomnutz, I care about money and profit. I care about spending less on health care. I care about letting private companies develop ways to help us spend less on health care while they make a profit. I care about balancing our budget. I care about the rate of increase of our national debt. I care about the potential impact that mortgage-based collateral debt obligations could have had on our Treasury debt had the Fed not acted aggressively. I care about the impact that annual defense budgets requiring multiple supplementals has on financial accountability and long term readiness. I care that the DoD civilians keep trying to triple veteran's health care premiums. I care about salvaging American manufacturing jobs more than I necessarily care about union enrollments. I care about Deere's future profits. I care that there's nothing neutral about net neutrality. I care about making the QC more attractive to new businesses. I care that major league baseball has become too expensive for families to enjoy. There's lots of other money and profit things I care about, but how much Dope makes or doesn't make with his blog isn't one of them. If he makes a million or zero, I'm happy to read TID.

At 10/11/2007 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope, please allow me to take a stab at this healthcare issue...

Free healthcare will increase demand. Free anything increases demand for that particular product or service. So we have INCREASED DEMAND.

'Supply' remains unchanged.

Increased demand and an unchanged supply - leads to...

1. Increased costs,
2. Shortage of the product or service.

Shortages of a product or service, leads to - RATIONING.

Let me explain in a manner that even the dimmest liberal might be able to understand...

Say, Budweiser costs $3.00 a can. The U.S. Government decides to underwrite the cost of Budweiser to - FREE.

Demand for Budweiser goes through the roof - everyone wants a Bud.

AB can only produce so much Budweiser. What are they to do?

1. Increase the cost which the government will pay (simple law of 'supply and demand'),

2. Start rationing Bud (whether they do so by design or not, the fact is that there is only so much Bud to go around).

So - can you finally understand that FREE government healthcare has some serious flaws and issues?

Can't wait to see a reply or two from the liberal camp...

At 10/12/2007 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the elementary lesson in macroeconomics and the laws of scarcity. Fact is, the lack of efficiency in the operations of healthcare is what's limiting supply. Billing, scheduling, insurance claims are all friction and limit delivery of healthcare. Unnecessary patient visits to the emergency room because of lack of access to regular or after hours routine care service is wasteful. One doesn't consume an MRI machine when it's used, but every minute it sits unused is wasteful. Every minute a doctor's office is closed is wasteful (to some degree). Every minute a provider spends on insurance paperwork is wasteful. Every misdiagnosis or late diagnosis is wasteful.

Although I've been called stupid, I'm not stupid enough to think that healthcare can or should be free. But it can certainly become cheaper by becoming more efficient in its delivery.

To use your beer example, having medical insurance in America is like working with a beer company. Every time someone wants a beer they have to spend an hour to call for a beer delivery, wait two days for a beer truck to show up with one cold beer, fill out 10 pages of paper, wait 2 hours with the beer sitting on the counter, then be told the beer costs $180 (but I can buy it in Montreal for $3), your insurance covers it a month later for $60 and your copay is $2.50. Seems like the beer just could have been $2.50, it's now warm, and if you want a second beer you're going to have to start all over again.

To me, that's the business model I see our healthcare system using, and that's what needs to be fixed.

At 10/12/2007 7:40 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 4:26.

My only response is to note that providing care to those who currently can't afford it or don't get it, or get it only AFTER the condition is very advanced or serious, via ERs, already IS a demand. The demand is there.

Simply meeting it isn't "increasing" the demand. It's simply meeting it.

I also find it rather disturbing that the entire premise of your oh-so-businesslike outlook (part of the entire problem, after all) is to supress care, rather than expand it.

You seem to think that allowing the citizens of the United States to have access to needed health care, both acute as well as preventitive, which all parties agree would save a tremendous amount of money in the long run, would be a really bad thing.

I disagree.

At 10/12/2007 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think that when the government pays for 100% of ones cost of healthcare, that people will not flock to the doctors and ER's for every malady - you are severly foolish.

Again, all one has to do is look to Canada and the UK to see the supply-demand issue working out.

And Huck, you are still stuck on more and better computers will solve the problem? Are you kidding - you honestly believe that the healthcare industry has spared themselves from the best equipment?

You guys are absolutely goofy...

At 10/12/2007 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The difference between the parties on this comes down to one question:

Is access to medical care, both preventative and responsive, a right or a privilege of the American people.

Liberals like myself believe it is a right, and thus merely viewing the issue as a business model is inappropriate.

Conservatives treat health care as a privilege, and that if you can't afford it, that's too bad. Hopefully youwill find a way to take care of yourself.

I'm surprised that that isn't the first question we ask politicians, or anyone else who gets involved in the debate.

As for increasing supply and demand, the government provides "free" police protection, and that hasn't resulted in neighbors calling the cops every time someone is playing music too loud, or cuts them off in traffic. The specter of rationing and wait times, etc., is just a specter.

My other arugment is, the present system obviously isn't working, and many conservatives even acknowledge that. Why not give a universal health care system a chance rather than continue with the same old broken system.


At 10/12/2007 5:31 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 7:43,

Not so sure we're goofy as much as you're willfully ignorant. That is, stupid on purpose to avoid admitting that what has been said is valid and makes sense.

First of all, demand hasn't "wrecked" any of the successful national health care plans that currently serve their populations quite well, and... and this is a very important point... at least as good and most times better, than the system we have here. (unless of course you're insured up to your eyebrows and don't worry about it. Or... you're a right winger who doesn't give a rat's ass about anyone else's health.)

Sure, there are problems with all health care systems, and it doesn't take a detective to find anecdotal evidence where things haven't gone well.

It sure wouldn't be hard to do that in this country. Hell, every single reader here, including you, has likely either experienced or had first hand knowledge of some really shitty incidences or lousy care or having to fight tooth fang and claw to even get care, and that's not even considering the horror stories from those who actually HAVE health insurance and have the nerve to try to make a claim. Talk about messed up!

I can't argue for Huck, but what he says makes sense. Sure they have tons of information tech now, but do you actually think it's not duplicated, or more like repeated about 12 times as each entity has to have their own system?

And it's equally as clear that the technological side of things isn't nearly as efficient as it could be.

For instance, I know of many cases where when a person has to be hospitalized, or when they transfer from one hospital to another, or one doctor to a specialist, or in other instances, where they have to actually go pick up their records from one doctor, IN PERSON, and then carry them to the other doctor, IN PERSON.

This is just a hassle to a relatively healthy person, but what about the person who's sick with chemotherapy, or who has just broken their leg, or are elderly and immobile?

They're still expected to come pick up their records if they want them to be transfered to a hospital or another doctor, often within less than a mile of where the records are!

Is that efficient?

Not only that, but simply GETTING your records is a battle, with doctors seeming to fight something as simple as releasing records to another doctor. It's often a very complex situation and you literally have to battle with a dozen people just to get your medical records so you can get treatment.

Now is THAT efficient? Wouldn't being able to zap all of one's records from one place to another, much like faxing them, make things much easier?

And in the area of billing, the vast simplification benefits were all the various insurances and co-pays and this, that, and the other thing all cut out would be massive.

Stay in the hospital now, and you can get a dozen bills from a dozen doctors, the hospital, clinics, pharmacy, and on and on and on. And every one is mailed, and every one requires a separate response, etc.

Hospitals are in the process of trying to make their computerized processes more up to date, but there's still a long way to go.

(consider whether to have an entire building full of hundreds of rows of shelves stuffed with folders and records, and a dozen people just to manage them, or having a small office with all of that information on disc and instantly searchable and retreivable by one person.)

Basically, you're blowing smoke Doc. Willful ignorance.

This country needs national healthcare, and like it or not, it's going to have it eventually. The sooner the better.

At 10/12/2007 5:36 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


Excellent observations.

I'd put it slightly differently however.

I think it's a question of whether one believes health care is simply THE RIGHT THING TO DO IN A CIVILIZED (and supposedly Christian) SOCIETY. Is it an appropriate use of the resources of the country.

You have the right wing view correct. They've got their's, to hell with everyone else.

Republicans are really big on trying to force their hyper-religious views down everyone's throat, and loudly proclaim how Christian they are.

But apparently their bible has had the sermon on the mount completely erradicated and revoked, because they sure the hell don't even come close to believing in Jesus' admonition that we be our brother's keeper.

I guess they don't consider anyone who's poor or has darker skin tone than they do could possibly be THEIR brother.... icky poo.

At 10/12/2007 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First I'm stupid, now I'm goofy? Go back and read what I wrote. If all you could think of while reading it was computer technology, you missed it.

My point is that we need to build a common set of business standards for the health care industry. It's about efficiency, organization, process standardization, etc. Our health care system is a overlapping and wasteful patchwork of separate systems: insurance companies with separate requirements and processes, specialists that aren't synch'd with primary care providers, emergency rooms that receive patients because it's the only place open after 5pm, record keeping that is different at each doctor's office. Even the same companies will have different policies and processes in different regions or even different hospitals. Just having expensive equipment sit idle for a moment is wasteful when patients are waiting.

Tech solutions won't solve a thing before we standardize processes. First, it's a matter of maximizing productivity of care givers and efficiently getting patients through the care system. We need to have a health care system that operates efficiently, not the wasteful way major airlines did in the years after deregulation.

Access to health care is more than a question of rights. To me, it's a matter of civil and moral obligations to help those that need care, just as there's a civil and moral obligation to assist those in peril on the sea.

At 10/13/2007 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are exactly right - the only problem is that liberals thought that
(1) 'retirement' was a right, then (2) when a soup line is not good enough, food stamps (where a receipient can buy filet and T-Bones, which, I guess now is a 'right'),
(3) the 'right' to a job, regardless of work-ethic or unemployment,
(4) a 'right' to affordable transportation (public transportation),
(5) affordable housing is a tax-payer funded 'right'

Now it is, (6) free and unlimited healthcare.

Gentlemen, this is not liberalism, this is SOCIALISM. If you believe in these things, at least have the backbone to stand up for your beliefs and call it what it is.

And, Dope, please name me a government funded system that does not have rationing as part of their plan...

You know good and well that Canadians flock to U.S. hospitals to get medical attention that is unavailable to them in Canada, or available to them after a prolonged wait. Same holds true for the UK.

Personally, I will be able to afford the additional cost of what I will need (thankfully, you socialists will not be able to take this free-market perk out of the system), however, it will be the mindless drones like yourselves that will have to wait in the lines and accept rationing. Again - you will wind up hurting those that you are trying to help.

So, again, where are those countries that are doing so well with government healthcare???

At 10/13/2007 8:37 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And your sainted military is "socialism" too.

You're just consumed with resentment of apparently everyone, so your views are understandibly skewed and out of whack.

If you were on food stamps and had to jump through all the hoops to get them, and then had to put up with assholes like you giving you dirty looks in the checkout line, I'm not sure you'd have the same opinion of them.

And if someone buys filets and other expensive items, then that's their right. But they're likely going to go hungry if they squander their stamps like that.

I guess you would feel better if we FORCED them to buy cheap crap like fritos and mac and cheese or ramen noodles or other things you feel are the only things the poor should be allowed to eat.

The bottom line is that they, as human beings, have the right to "spend" their food stamps how they see fit. But again, if they don't try to stretch them as far as they can, they're going to go hungry.

If you think food stamp reciepients have it made, you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

As to so-called "rationing", we already have it here, and by first hand accounts, the rationing, at least in Canada, isn't really a factor at all, with several reports from actual Canadians saying they're very pleased overall with the system.

If you want to try to damn the entire system there by pointing to a handful of Canadians who come to the states for treatment of unusual or rare ailments, good luck.

Americans are already going to Canada for prescriptions and flocking to Mexico for cancer treatments. And just last week it was reported on the news that several American insurance companies are now OKing trips to some hospital in INDIA for treatment, because they do it well and do it for a fraction of the cost.

Does that mean our system is just a mess?

And give up the socialist boogie-man bull. The country is in no danger of being socialist. Trust me. To suggest so is nothing but a joke.

At 10/14/2007 8:45 AM, Anonymous pb idealist said...

Dope, do you believe that your thoughts that everyone has the right to T-bone steak is echoed by the majority of the left?

Anon provided a list of rights that now exist in our society, do you agree with this list,or what would you suggest are the rights of every U.S. citizen?

At 10/14/2007 9:28 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

First of all, you need to stop trying to frame everything as whether it's a "right" or not.

Not everything has to be a specifically enumerated "right" in order for the government (which you seem to forget is all of us.) to see fit to provide it.

So that's bullshit right from the get-go.

And yes, it's the "right" if you insist on putting it that way, of anyone who has enough food stamps to pay for it, to have a nice steak.


If they want to splurge and spend a huge chunk of their budgetted and very small amount of food stamps for the week on a steak, then WHY THE HELL SHOULDN"T THEY BE ABLE TO???

Answer that.

Because you can't? That's not a good reason.

The program gives a set amount to people who qualify, and that means they can't have a decent car, they can't have any assets, and they can't have over a small amount in the bank. There's dozens and dozens of requirements before you even qualify.

Then IF you qualify, after providing stacks of documents and proof of income, etc., then you can go pick up your stamps, which are a set amount based on whether you're single, or how many kids you're feeding as well.

It's NOT that much.

So what the HELL do you care if they decide to spend them on steak?

Should they be forced to spend them on Ho-hos and cheese in a can?

What's wrong with you?

Believe me, if they buy steak, they're not going to have much left over to eat on the rest of the week.

And have you ever tried to exist eating ONLY things from the grocery store? Try it sometime.

No fast food, no snacks from a machine, NO RESTAURANTS, no take-out, no nothing. Just food you have to make from what you get at the store.

It's not that easy.

Just back up and lighten up.

The entire budget for food stamps probably amounts to what we spend in two days in Iraq, IF THAT.

And if you are so sour on people on food stamps (undoubtedly when you think of food stamps, you probably imagine a minority) then next time you see one buying steak, kick 'em or something.

At 10/15/2007 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd stand by my statement that health care is a right. I am not saying that everyone has to have access to every drug and procedure at all times, but we as individuals have a right not to die because we don't happen to have enough money as our neghbor who is stricken with the same disease.

Where is the right-to-life lobby on this one? Uhold the sanctity of life until they're old enough to take care of themselves but not rich enough?

And this isn't about those worthless poor people who are only poor as a result of their laziness. (I'm being ultra sarcastic here.) It's not about being who are working at all or are using food stamps. We're talking about middle class, two income families, who work, and have worked, every day of lives but STILL can't afford to pay for medicine or other treatment.

Hohfeld wrote about how rights and obligations and that every duty had a corresponding right. In his view anyone who thinks we have a moral obligation (or duty) to provide for the sick must also accept that that person has a right to be helped.


Also, to go into some of the other "socialist" points made anonymous, I don't think people have a "right" to a particular job. I do think that if you are qualified for a job, and are hired, you should not be fired for reasons that have nothing to do with you work erformance. I think full-time workers have a right to be able to earn enough to at least stay above the poverty line. I think we all do have a right to an education and therefor a duty to provide that education regardless of a child's ability to pay. I think we do have a right to affordable housing because poeple shouldn't have to sleep on the street.

I also think we have a right not to starve. From the Cathiolic Standard and Times (Philadelphia): http://www.cst-phl.com/060907/third.html

The common theme to all these "rights" (incidentally I don't think people have a "right" to public transportation, although that doesn't mean we as a nation shouldn't want to provide it anyway) is giving a crap about somebody else, and caring more about a person's well being than about how much something is going to cost you. You think people on food stamps got it great? Switch with them for a week and see if you like it. Same thing with public housing or a minimum wage job.

Sorry for getting a bit off topic, but anti-"socialist" garbage really gets to me. Do any of these people know what a purely capitalistic society would look like? And if they did, could any of THEM survive in it? I don't think so.


At 10/22/2007 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there any prices for this RIGHT?

Can one smoke and still qualify for this right?

Can one over eat and be 300-lbs overweight and still qualify?

Can one drink a case of beer a day, or 2 bottles of Jim Beam and qualify for this right?

Can someone drive drunk 10-times and still qualify for this right?

See, there are issues...

At 10/22/2007 12:45 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

The fact that there are "issues" involved with any attempt to provide a better society is not a valid argument for why it should not be done.

The right seems to insist that everything the government do be utterly flawless and perfect or else it's not worth doing.

This is nonsense.

And I imagine the answer to all of your questions above would be, "yes".

Who do you suppose pays for these people's care NOW?

Do you think they'r denied care when they show up at ERs across the country?

What world are you living in? We're already paying for health care for all of the above.

At 10/23/2007 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not a 'right' versus 'left' issue.

The fact is that we are talking about far more than ER treatment here. We are talking about FULL Healthcare for everyone - on demand.

The left wants no limitations - and if they will accept limitations at the outset, you can bet that the goal (and the final result) will be no limitations soon.

Again, this is not a right vs. left issue, but an issue for the taxpayers - all of us.

Goodness, we cannot pay for Medicare Part B - let alone SCHIP.

Now we are going for full healthcare for everyone - on demand, with no limitations.

You think that this will be paid for by a simple cig tax - or raising the tax rate on the richest few?

No, this is a cost that will be born by all taxpayers - in a major way.

It is insulting when you try to whitewash this as a simple right with little consequences. The consequences are real and only through a real discussion of the real consequences can we make informed decisions on whether it is the proper path.

But to act as though there are no consequences is foolish.

At 10/24/2007 5:38 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

It would be foolish if I believed anything remotely like you say I do.

I don't think it's without "consequences" as you put it. I simply call it paying for health care. You can think of it as "consequences" if you like.

The fact is that, as usual, you're shaking in your little boots over yet another perceived boogie-man, scared by mostly erroneous propaganda fed to you by the right wing.

You seem about to wet yourself repeating "On demand!" "no limitations!"

Well, those are both patently false as things stand.

But seriously, is there something wrong with health care "on demand"?

Should some panel of right wingers decide who should get care and when?

And the thought of "no limitations" has you wringing your hands.

What limitations would you impose? You can get your broken arm set but you can't have that expensive cancer treatment?

I gotta admit, I don't get your way of thinking at all.

If we're going to do this, then let's do it and do it right.

And yes, the TRILLIONS in lost revenue due to the series of Bush's tax cuts for the very wealthiest among us (as well as reinstating the estate tax on estates worth over 50 million or whatever enormous amount it stood at before Bush trashed it, forfeiting yet hundreds of millions in tax revenue that even the rich didn't mind paying), would go a big, big way towards funding this.

You fret and fuss and say the sky will fall, but the fact remains that universal health care has been provided and instituted and managed and run SUCCESSFULLY in nearly every other developed country on the planet.

So why the fear? (aside from the fact that it appears to be the primary inspiration for your views on almost everything.)

Trust me on this, the sky won't fall, the government won't collapse, you'll survive even if you taxes go up a little, and when you're an older man, you'll look back and be damn glad it was done, both for yourself and your survivors.

I realize you like to dismiss this comparison, but to do so is dishonest.

If Bush can demand and get BILLIONS of dollars to fund a reckless and disasterous war of conquest in Iraq (and maybe elsewhere), then the country ought to be able to figure out how to do universal health care.

Again, you're on the wrong side of history, and we WILL have some sort of nationalized health care in your lifetime.

To paraphrase the title of an old book, learn how to stop worrying and love government healh care.

At 10/24/2007 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'On demand' is a noble thought.
'No limitations' is a noble thought.

However, they are expensive and absolutely impossible to provide. All one has to do is look at the Canadian healthcare system or the UK system and find them overrun with limitations and rationing - because the economics cannot sustain themselves.

We cannot rule a government based on 'wouldn't it be nice if...'

Would it be nice if,

"everyone had a house"
"with a 2-car garage"
"with 2 cars"
"actually, 1 car & 1 SUV"
"unlimited groceries"
"access to nice restaurants"
"a job that allowed flex-time"
"and paid a living wage"
"a wage of $35,000 minimum"
"full healthcare"
"retirement after 20-years"

it never ends, does it?

At 10/24/2007 1:42 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Wouldn't it be nice if the government (all of us) constructed an extensive interstate highway system to facilitate commerce and provide the means for people to travel efficiently?

Wouldn't it be nice if the government (all of us) spent millions of dollars on research into disease prevention and cure, and providing a safe food and drug supply?

Wouldn't it be nice if enormous corporate farming operations got millions of dollars in government subsidies if they have a tough year or the market is bad?

Wouldn't it be nice if we provided health care to veterans after they've served the country?

Wouldn't it be nice if all kids (including you) in this country could receive a free or low cost education through high school?

Thank God people like you were not in charge in decades past, or we'd have NONE of those things. After all, you can't find a "right" to any of them in the constitution, and you'd argue long and loud that none of those were the government's responsibility.

And that's only a fraction of a long list of government provided assets that strengthen and improve our country and society and the health of us all.

What never ends is your belief that we should go backwards and never endevour to improve the condition of our citizens.

What never ends is your selfish desire to not help anyone other than yourself or those like you.

What never ends is your silly belief that government health care simply can't be done.

That's a flat lie, as evidenced by the fact that we're absolutely lagging the rest of the world in this area.

What never ends is your argument that government is the problem, then you get into power and prove it.

At 10/24/2007 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You bring up many great government efforts.

However, you lose it when you state, "what never ends is your silly belief that government healthcare simply cannot be done." "It's a flat lie, as evidenced by the fact that we're absolutely lagging the rest of the world.."

Huh, who has a healthcare system that we are lagging?

Canada - NO!
UK - NO!

Where are 90% of the drugs discovered - THE UNITED STATES!

Where are cures found? THE UNITED STATES!

Where does the world go for its medical attention (Canadians and UK - when not available there)? - THE UNITED STATES!

You have some very good points, yes. The United States healthcare system has COST issues, not SERVICE or PERFORMANCE issues.

No one is dealing with the cost issue, they are dealing with the performance issue.

They'll mess up the service issue (as they have in the UK and Canada), while not addressing the cost issue (and thus making it worse).

At 10/25/2007 11:12 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 5:26

You woefully misinterpereted what I was saying I'm afraid.

First of all, I meant that we're lagging when it comes to government run health programs. I wasn't referring to quality of health care.

Since you bring it up, I would bet my house that we DO indeed lag behind many many countries in a lot of measures of how effective our health care delivery system is.

I haven't gone poking around to find any figures, but I'd bet my bottom dollar that by many measures, we indeed do lag behind many countries, including those with government sponsored health care systems.

You can yell all you want about how we develop most of the drugs. The fact is that we also get charged several times more than other countries for those same drugs.

The drug companies make billions from coming up with new drugs and pushing them on the public. That's not exactly noble, especially when you consider that they rarely do research on drugs which could save lives, but not that many. In other words, they only invest in research into drugs they think will be the most marketable (profitable) Nothing wrong with that, but you can rah-rah the profit driven enormous pharma industry here all you want, but it doesn't prove a thing about our system being any better than anyone else's overall.

The world doesn't always come to the United States for their health care, and you apparently must be pulling that one out of your ass. Sure, some wealthy people fly their jets to Mayo I'm sure.

But how do you account for thousands of Americans who seek their care in other countries? What about the millions of seniors who get their drugs from Mexico or Canada at a fraction of the cost??

You apparently skipped when I wrote previously that there are now insurance companies who approve their clients seeking care in India, because the care is better and the cost is a fraction of what it is here. They come out ahead even when accounting for travel!

But as I said, you're entire argument is bogus, because no one, especially not myself, was even attempting to say that we have lousy health care in the U.S.

You're making up a statement no one said and then arguing like a mad dog against it. Typical, and all too common straw man crap that I deal with every day.

If you somehow leave aside all the people who can't get access to top quality care, the care itself is outstanding.

But that's not the problem. You've completely missed the point.

What is being argued is whether to provide that same excellent care to EVERYONE and find a way to straighten out what is a crippled and broken system of insurance and the way health care is provided.

It's clear that running a health care industry by nothing but profit motive simply isn't going to work.

So we need to devise a way to fix it.

At 10/26/2007 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, now we are getting somewhere - shame it took so long.

I believe that we agree that (1) we have a fine healthcare system as it relates to quality, however (2) it is the COST issue that is the main problem.

I believe that your last comment leads to this meeting of the minds.

However, herein lies the problem...NO ONE, no Democrat, no Republican is addressing the cost issue (other than Republicans being wiling to deal with Malpractice Reform).

The Dem's are screaming for Government Healthcare, but never address how this will deal with cost (and let's face it, they do not address this because the government is that last place to look for efficiencies and lower costs).

Again, if you want to point out where lower costs come from the Democrat plans, any of them (and I am talking SPECIFICS, not politician BS), I am sincerely interested in seeing this.

At 10/26/2007 10:55 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

If our minds met, they've parted company quick enough.

I simply reject your premise that government health care would be any more wasteful or costly than the present system. As a matter of fact, it would provide enormous savings by eliminating redundency and the massive overhead of the present for-profit system.

At 10/26/2007 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And history tells me that you are freaking nuts!

--$400 toilet seats...
--US Post Office (Fed Ex and UPS kick their butts).
--Social Security is left in the dust by private pension accounts.

Sorry buddy, you just are loosing it. I think you should feel fortunate that this post is now hidden from view.

At 10/26/2007 9:35 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You're not nuts, you're just stone ignorant and uninformed.

You've got a burr up your ass about anything the government does. As I say, you rail about how government doesn't work, then you get in power and prove the hell out of it.

Trying to argue that nothing the government can provide is worth doing by citing the three examples you did is something only a dumbass would even try.


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