Obama's latest kickbacks to special interests...

Steve Levin

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It's certainly sad that the US has become the primary profit center for the pharma companies. While no one would argue that worse off countries like Mexico, Thailand, etc., should not have to pay the prices that better-off countries pay, the fact that well-off european countries are paying nowhere near the cost of developing drugs is outrageous.

The cost of developing medication should NOT be borne primarily by people in the US. US prices need to come down, and prices in other well-off countries need to come up.

Steve
 

Momentum57

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what makes you think you can not run a few Hospitals?

same thing goes for Jon Stewart point about the military

What makes me think they can not run a few hospitals is that they can not run the VA system. Just a few years ago we learned what government run hospitals are like Cockroaches and care don't mix neither should government and administration of hospitals.
 
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nomix

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Yet the army seems to do it pretty well, heck, in the words of FDR, look to Norway, it's not a perfect system, there is no such thing as a perfect system. But it works very well.

When do you want to introduce the privatized police system?
 

Momentum57

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There are fully privatized cities and towns like Sandy Springs GA operated by CH2M Hill. 94% of the population voted to incorporate and expressed displeasure with county services. CH2M Hill took over services its entire bureaucracy is outsourced. The company collects garbage, paves roads, writes permits, even runs the courts. The people elect their government they tell the company what they want it gets it done.
 

Momentum57

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I cant tell if your trying to be racist?

Are you saying that privatizing is wrong and that a huge government health care would prevent people from going to a foreign doctor?
 

Plissken

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It's certainly sad that the US has become the primary profit center for the pharma companies. While no one would argue that worse off countries like Mexico, Thailand, etc., should not have to pay the prices that better-off countries pay, the fact that well-off european countries are paying nowhere near the cost of developing drugs is outrageous.

The cost of developing medication should NOT be borne primarily by people in the US. US prices need to come down, and prices in other well-off countries need to come up.

Steve

First off, a metric truckload of those drugs are developed outside the US (about six miles from where I live is a massive GlaxoSmithKline research and production lab.)

Second off, why do you think those European prices are so low? Could it be... because our socialised healthcare system a) buys in bulk, b) demands proof that the drugs work on a cost-effective basis.

Thirdly, if we didn't have the NHS, do you genuinely, honestly think the prices in the US would come down?
 

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tigger

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Which is quite ironic, as we're talking about the most liberal presidency regarding ecconomy since, what, Taft?
Right. Reagan just needed a "dirty word" for his opponents, without looking like an idiot calling everyone communists (ah the good old days, when people knew the definition of words like that.)

And you are different in this case how?
...
Ask a conservative. Or ask one of our senators (the ones receiving tens of thousands of dollars from the health insurance lobby) why we can't even get public option when a majority of the US wants it.

The only difference is that these guys have bought and paid for our government, leaving them free to screw us over. And unfortunately there are enough people out there willing to believe that this is the way things should be, that this is best way.

Nevermind that western Europeans generally pay half per capita of what we do for healthcare. Surprise! Expensive doesn't inherently mean effective. Conservatives ought to know that; considering how much they love to complain how expensive and ineffective our government is.

Some Republicans are also vowing to repeal the pathetic healthcare reform we've gotten, returning us to the current system. Right now over 60% of the bankruptcies in the US are because people can't pay their medical bills. 30 years ago that number was under 10%.

Why anyone would want to keep our current system or give more power over to health insurance companies or pharmaceuticals I can't understand. Unless they're employed by said industries (like many in our Senate.)
 
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nomix

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This is where ideology comes into the picture, but the problem with absolutism is that it doesn't work all of the time.

It's why I like mixed economics, it's not marxism, it's not lasseiz-faire, it's the reason why every single civilized country on earth also like mixed economics.

And when the current system doesn't seem to work, it's an indication that ideology failed this time, just like collective farming failed to turn out more grain.
 

nomix

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Not so sure about that, if the object of the exercise is to avoid private property, all the basic marxist experiments worked out really well, even if we don't want that.
 

Steve Levin

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People will always support the public option in the generalized, "that sounds good" mode. They envision it as something where they would get the quality and responsiveness of the best health care we have now, for zero or near-zero cost.

But then when you dig into the details...support falls away. A large reason that American health care costs are so high is the level of service and responsiveness that Americans demand.

You often see examples of great medical service in Canada or Europe citing situations involving emergency rooms. And that's not surprising; virtually all health services cover crisis situations well, so in any comparison, the lower costs of nationalized services clearly win out.

But when you look at non-critical services, the responsiveness of nationalized systems is much worse. Look at Norway, for instance, where there is, on average, a delay of over three months in scheduling hip replacement surgeries for the elderly. And that's three months tacked onto other, similar delays in the process of getting to where the actual surgery is scheduled.

In the instant gratification land of America, such delays are broadly considered unacceptable. And as such, in order to avoid them, we fundamentally end up paying more, because the tradeoff for responsiveness is typically efficiency of utilization (that's a fancy way of saying that when you can schedule things without pressure, you can make sure everyone is always busy, rather than having times where potentially people are getting paid but not working at 100%).

I daresay that it will be a long while before Americans are willing to accept that degradation in health coverage to reduce costs. Especially when most Americans ARE covered right now. And half of those NOT covered have made a conscious decision not to do so, as they make in excess of $50,000/year -- clearly an income level that can afford health coverage (especially since many of that number are quite young and health care costs would be fairly low -- perhaps 5% of their income).

And the current health bill...as the costs become more obvious that they will be rather staggering... support has fallen like a rock.

In short, everyone -- including myself -- loves the idea of a public option in theory -- but we overwhelmingly hate the concept once the true details begin to surface.

Steve
 

Plissken

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You didn't answer my question about the price of pills coming down in the US.

The US system is not designed to heal the patient, because it isn't in the interest of the healthcare companies to do so.

And the entire Bill is about healthcare being extended to people who have no healthcare whatsoever.
 

Steve Levin

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You didn't answer my question about the price of pills coming down in the US.

The US system is not designed to heal the patient, because it isn't in the interest of the healthcare companies to do so.

And the entire Bill is about healthcare being extended to people who have no healthcare whatsoever.

Let's tackle the second two points first:

#2 is rubbish. Total and complete rubbish.

#3 is incorrect with reference to the bills being discussed in the United States.

As to #1, sure, the costs in the US are too high. At the same time, realize that if the US costs come down, European costs will by necessity have to rise. The US prices have subsidized R&D while everyone else benefited. Tha absolutely MUST end and Western European nations must no longer be allowed to pay absurdly low prices while the cost of R&D is pushed onto America.

Steve
 

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And half of those NOT covered have made a conscious decision not to do so, as they make in excess of $50,000/year -- clearly an income level that can afford health coverage (especially since many of that number are quite young and health care costs would be fairly low -- perhaps 5% of their income).
Tell ya what, I'll give you my relatives number. He employs 40 people, and yet he can't provide them with affordable coverage. He is forced to pay 5 figures for his family's insurance because his son contracted juvenile diabetes (not cause he's fat).

My brother is covered by the cheap piss-poor state sponsored plan because he can't get coverage being part time at work and my parents insurance dropped their student plan at 20 now. I know dozens of other students in the same boat, education or health care.

I live miles from a county with 15% unemployment, how many of those families lost coverage when they lost their jobs.

5% of their income is complete shit, you're talking about low-income households. Even households with insurance 5% would be their deductible.

Good population control though :|
 
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Plissken

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Let's tackle the second two points first:

#2 is rubbish. Total and complete rubbish.

No, it isn't. It is not in the interests of private business to turn customers away - this is the problem at the heart of privatised healthcare. Socialised medicine treats patients as a cost - it is in their interest to have as little dealing as possible. Private medicine treats patients as a profit centre, it is in their interest to keep you as long as possible.

I am constantly amazed at the constant bombardment of pills and treatments on US television. I can't remember the exact ad, but one of them was going on about "Indigestion Syndrome". (It wasn't indigestion, but something equally trivial, possibly acid reflux or something. Will try and Google for the ad.) The key word they used over and over was "syndrome". Like indigestion was an ongoing illness, that can be treated with a course of pills, which you keep taking to stop it happening again.

Second, look at Viagra - they were sponsoring NASCAR for crying out loud! "You need this product and you'll always need this product" - ads that are exactly like the ads for hair colouring for men to hide grey hairs, and then Viagra to get it up, because if you don't take these pills, you are not a success.

Why can I get 500 Ibuprofen in the US for about ?5? Because they push it like a commodity. (And US drug costs aren't high - compared to high street UK, they are cheap! When I come back from the States, my luggage rattles with stuff like that. My wife and I stock up on Ibuprofen and it is enough for two years worth!)

#3 is incorrect with reference to the bills being discussed in the United States.

Really? Then point me to the text of the Bills being discussed, because I wasn't aware there was two healthcare fights going on.

As to #1, sure, the costs in the US are too high. At the same time, realize that if the US costs come down, European costs will by necessity have to rise.

Can you name one example of when US drugs costs came down that wasn't mandated by law?

The US prices have subsidized R&D while everyone else benefited. Tha absolutely MUST end and Western European nations must no longer be allowed to pay absurdly low prices while the cost of R&D is pushed onto America.

I'll ask again - if the European prices rise, why does that mean the US price will come down? And can you please name one instance where this has happened. Because these are capitalist businesses and they aren't going to give away a dime if they don't have to.

I know I wouldn't!

And the cost of R&D - you appear to be word blind, because I already said I live near one of GlaxoSmithKlines biggest R&D campuses. Well, two, and they are a few miles apart in Cheshire, in the UK. (Used to be AstraZeneca.)

Those companies do not have to sell their drugs to the NHS. They willingly sell at a lower price because they want to make money. The cost of the same tteatment in the US is so high because you are being price gouged, not because you are subsidising everyone else.
 
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