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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:15 am 
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JeremyB wrote:
Ginger Josh wrote:
This video is interesting. It may not be a complete picture, but it certainly made me think more about both sides of the issue.

One of the comments on that video pointed out that the US funds most of the world's healthcare research and development.

Interesting. I never look at the comments, so I didn't see that. Green obviously has a more liberal perspective than I do, but the video made me interested in looking into that idea more. Since I have an older brother with chronic health issues, my family has seen the worst of government healthcare and private insurance.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:30 pm 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
Ginger Josh wrote:
Yes, even though it was passed on a partisan basis, the legislation is still a sort of compromise.
I disagree...not a single republican voted for it, nor helped sponsor it.

A compromise between more conservative democrats and more liberal democrats. True socialized healthcare would have never passed.
Edit: And it was The Heritage Foundation that originally came up with the individual mandate, isn't it?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:25 pm 
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I generally don't like doing line-by-line responses, but there were a lot of specific assertions that I wanted to refute.
Masked Midnight wrote:
I find that list to be rather vague, personally (i.e. "emergency services").

Of course it's vague, it was only a paragraph haha. My point is that a specific list could be constructed and should be provided by the government. For example's sake, I feel like "emergency services" include ambulances and treatment for immediate, live-threatening danger (poison, rapid blood loss, etc). I would also include maternity care. There's probably stuff I'm missing, but the bottom line is that there are some health care services which should be available to everyone (and therefore financed by the government, since the private sector can't guarantee the acquisition of any good).
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The problem with having the government involved is that it sets dangerous precedent for more and more regulation.

You can argue that against anything.
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I'd argue that we can't just have government protect "some things" when we don't know what those are. We have nowhere to draw the line -- and we certainly shouldn't let the government do that.

See above re: what "some things" are. I also see no problem in letting the government do that, seeing as the government is representative of the people (also note that laws are not writ in stone, succeeding administrations may add/remove items from "the list" as the opinions of the people change)
Quote:

What I'm talking about isn't regulation, it's provision. I agree that the private sector should be able to do what they want with regards to offering health insurance. But the government should also provide basic health care to people who need it. Public libraries and schools don't regulate the library or education industries.
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I fail to see the relevance of this.
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Ideally, the government would provide tax incentives to corporations who provide high quality packages; this would hone the competitive edge.

Not sure I completely understand you here, but I don't think it's a good idea for the government to pick winners or losers in any industry.
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So, the I should have to pay for someone else's antibiotic? These things cost money. Where's my incentive to have a high income/work hard just to pay for everyone else's medications if I can get free healthcare by being poor?

To answer your first question, yes, if the antibiotic is being used to treat something that's "covered" under the basic list. Same way you pay for someone else's defense attorney if they're charged with a crime. I'm going to assume that your second question was sarcastic, because there are obviously other things in the world worth working for besides basic health care. Like, say, health care that covers other things (e.g. specialized doctors), or a house, or a car, or a cigarette. I don't see people quitting their jobs because of a system like the one I'm proposing.
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There's a difference between making a public system private (like education) and making a private system public (Obamatax). :)

Could you explain? Education is a mix of private and public, and I'm proposing that health care be done in the same way. Why, exactly, is it a good idea for the government to provide basic education but not basic healthcare? You'd be hard-pressed to argue that education is more important...
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The reason things are so expensive is because the government intervened in the auto and housing industries favoring certain markets. You shouldn't have to pay for my car; why should I have to pay for your health insurance? The government doesn't give free cars.

My point was that the private sector can't guarantee the acquisition of goods. If there are people who don't have enough money to find a bed to sleep in or a sandwich to eat, they're not going to be able to afford privately provided premiums, no matter how inexpensive they are.
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Education should actually be left up to the States; the DOE and common core has only hindered the system (but that's a debate for another thread ;)).

It's also a debate that isn't really relevant here. If you think that the states would handle it better, then I'll amend my proposal and argue that the states should do what I'm saying.
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I really don't see how higher premiums for the majority of Americans helps preserve the right to life.

What does this have to do with higher premiums? I'm saying that everybody in the US deserves the right to basic health care. With no premium.
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In fact, I think Obamacare and federal intervention hinders such a right due to people no longer being able to afford health insurance.

Like I said earlier, I'm not defending the entirity of Obamacare. What I am saying is that we shouldn't have a country where anybody is in the position of not being able to afford basic health care.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:35 pm 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
Sharkfin wrote:
Considering that insurance was insanely expensive before the ACA, what specific government intervention do you believed increased the cost of insurance and harmed competition?
A prominent coalition of physicians explains it here. I'm referencing the federal provisions listed, though; state laws are another issue. :)

The first one that they list (creation of Blue Cross/Blue Shield) drove down the cost of medical insurance -- any subsidized competitor generally creates a new -- lower -- equilibrium price in a competitive market.

The only decent attempt they make is by talking about how third-party provided insurance increases costs. But this doesn't make a huge amount of sense because the reason employer-provided plans exist is not necessarily because of regulations -- it's because people want them. People want to take a pay cut to get into a subsidized insurance program from their employer. (Furthermore, no one would ever seriously propose eliminating third-party health insurance, so their advocacy seems to be a little worthless.) So while regulations may have exacerbated the problem, they certainly didn't create it, and abolishing them wouldn't solve it -- particularly since health insurance is basically expected now.

The article seems to be a exercise in attempting to target a bunch of stuff that the organization doesn't like -- is there any particular one that has a feasible application that you'd like to advocate for?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:23 am 
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Where's my incentive to have a high income/work hard just to pay for everyone else's medications if I can get free healthcare by being poor?

Do you really think like this? :? I would imagine that helping people who are in need is one of the primary incentives to work hard and have a high income. Most of the people with whom I am close who are making more money than the people around them have told me that one of the things that really pleases them about their income is the relatively high percentage of it that they are able to use to help other people. Granted, these are primarily Christians, so the same logic may not apply to you, but I don't see why it wouldn't -- one of the benefits of being able to produce more than we need is the fact that our surplus can help others. Maybe you don't like the particular mechanism -- you'd rather bring all your goods to the parish priest, who then distributes based on need, or you'd rather have a voluntary approach to taxation, or you'd rather just hand out money and food as you walk down the street, or whatever -- but it nevertheless seems like you have all the incentive to have a high income and work hard to help those in need.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:47 am 
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Or, if you're not that altruistic, you just get to use more of it on yourself.

Disincentives for economic advancement are a real thing - e.g. poorly-designed welfare systems that reward you for not working. (Side note: despite much rhetoric to the contrary, our current welfare system does not, in fact, generally do this.) But minor side-benefits like more heavily subsidized healthcare don't seem sufficient. As long as working harder still improves your overall quality of living, you have an incentive to improve your economic situation.

Nobody thinks, "If I worked full-time, I'd be able to buy a house, save for retirement, and live a much better life... but I'd also have to pay for other people's heathcare, so I'm not going to try to improve my life."

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:48 pm 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
I wrote:
Masked Midnight wrote:
Where's my incentive to have a high income/work hard just to pay for everyone else's medications if I can get free healthcare by being poor?

Do you really think like this? I would imagine that helping people who are in need is one of the primary incentives to work hard and have a high income. [...] Maybe you don't like the particular mechanism [...] but it nevertheless seems like you have all the incentive to have a high income and work hard to help those in need.

In all respect, Sir, I believe that you're misunderstanding my position. Do allow me to clarify. First of all, I would encourage individual philanthropy among individuals. I believe that people should be free to do as they see fit with their money. I do not believe that government or anyone else should infringe upon individual's natural right to property by deciding how best to spend our money. [...] We should be free to give as much as we want on our own terms -- not that of a central planner.

Your "clarification" has almost nothing to do with your original claim:
-- You say there is no incentive to work hard if doing so helps those with medical needs.
-- I say that seems like a great reason to work hard.
-- You respond that government should not tell us how to spend our money.

Maybe I agree with you, but it is hard to see this as a defense of your initial claim, which seems clearly wrong: that hard work can help others who need it does in fact seem like an incentive to work hard (quite a good one, actually).

Furthermore, as MSD pointed out, even if you hate helping other people, there are still plenty of good incentives to work hard. Your claim, then, seems indefensible from both angles.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:53 pm 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
Sharkfin wrote:
The first one that they list (creation of Blue Cross/Blue Shield) drove down the cost of medical insurance -- any subsidized competitor generally creates a new -- lower -- equilibrium price in a competitive market.
This situation allows the government to pick the winners and losers in an industry. Why not just level the playing field for the market? Subsidization is what created monopolies because one company has a profit advantage over another.

Okay, so there are three time periods I want to study: (A) short-run. In the short run, the equilibrium price is driven down, thanks to the subsidization. (B) In the mid-term, firms will begin to exit the market if they find themselves not competitive. Again, prices remain low, because if they went up, firms would not exit the market. (C) In the long run, it's possible that you may be left with a single insurer. Ergo, they can raise prices, right? Not necessarily. If they did, then firms would reenter the market.

Second, I should've actually done some research before initially responding: the "subsidization" that the article refers to is not really subsidization. Here's the thing: back in the day, BCBS was a non-profit -- for good reason. They aimed specifically at protecting the public good in a way that a for-profit insurer simply could not. The reason they were able to win market share was not because of some "subsidization." It's because they were providing a legitimate public service. I'd encourage you to give the first few pages of this a read for more info: http://consumersunion.org/wp-content/up ... lation.pdf

A good argument can be made that they're no longer non-profits (multi-million dollar CEO salaries, etc.) which is why in 1994 they allowed chapters to become for-profit corporations and now they're only recognized as a non-profit in particular states.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ ... story.html


Quote:
Quote:
The article seems to be a exercise in attempting to target a bunch of stuff that the organization doesn't like -- is there any particular one that has a feasible application that you'd like to advocate for?

I'm not quite sure what you're asking...I wouldn't advocate any government intervention in the marketplace.

So how would you suggest a cancer patient, say Robin Beaton (story here, get medical care? What incentive would any insurance company have to take on a cancer patient? Anyone knows that taking them on will never, ever pay back in any shape or form. Why bother taking any unhealthy people at all?

More specifically: how would this not result in a situation where everyone except those who actually need it has cheap health insurance? The point of health insurance is to spread out the cost -- which a totally free market system utterly fails at. I suggest that's why BCBS (arguably the organization that made health insurance popular) started as a non-profit until sufficient regulations were in place.

Quote:
Quote:
So while regulations may have exacerbated the problem, they certainly didn't create it, and abolishing them wouldn't solve it -- particularly since health insurance is basically expected now.
Why is health care expected? Because government has encouraged such an idea among the people.

It's not the government. The expectation for employer-based coverage existed long before the government said anything about health care.

Quote:
Health care is not a right, and certainly not something people should be forced to pay for. So if regulations exacerbated the problem, it follows that repealing regulations would diminish it. I suppose this goes back to my thesis that government should not force anyone to pay for anything for anyone else.

So you're an anarchist. ;)

More seriously, I'm okay with paying a few extra dollars to stop people from dying (important study here), and I'm okay with forcing other people to do so as well. That's what government is: we collectively get together and decide that "hey, I don't want to have to pay for a private defense force all by myself so that I don't get robbed. It's possible that I could fall on hard times and not be able to pay for the fire department to come put out my house fire. I may hurt myself someday and not be able to pay a doctor to see me. I want to make sure that things like that don't happen to other people, either." It may not be a right, but maybe we should consider providing health care a way of ensuring that people do have life, liberty, and are able to pursue happiness.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:14 pm 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
Green Tea wrote:
Maybe I agree with you, but it is hard to see this as a defense of your initial claim, which seems clearly wrong: that hard work can help others who need it does in fact seem like an incentive to work hard (quite a good one, actually).

If someone wants to work hard and support someone else's healthcare, they may. Likewise, someone else who wants to work hard and keep what he earns shouldn't be made to. Obamacare uses tax dollars to support those who cannot support themselves at the expense of those who work hard. As to my point earlier, if you examine healthcare as an issue in a vacuum there is no incentive for people to want to pay for it when they can get it for free. [...] There is no incentive to want to keep paying for your own health insurance when the federal government will provide it to you for free.

I think I can summarize the conversation in the following way.
(1) Initially, you said that people do not have any incentive to work hard to obtain a high salary if doing so involved helping those who need medical attention. It seems now that you have backed off that initial claim, to the point where you no longer affirm it.
(2) In the meantime, you have advanced a second and very different claim: if people are given free health care (in this case, from the federal government), they have little incentive to go spend money on it instead.

If this is an accurate summary, I largely agree with you on both points. With respect to the first, I think you are wise to retract the claim, because there is plenty of incentive to work hard and obtain a high salary when doing so allows you to help others -- in fact, helping others is one such incentive. With respect to the second, I agree that there is little incentive to spend money on a service when the same service is available free of charge. Of course, this only applies if it is substantially the same service -- in my city, for example, the Rescue Mission provides food free of charge, but most people buy their own, for a variety of reasons. In that sense, I am not sure what scope of application your second claim possesses, but it nevertheless seems a sensible claim.

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With those who were the perfection of order.
We who everywhere seek adventure,
We are not your enemies.
We would give you vast and strange domains
Where flowering mystery waits for him would pluck it."


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:30 am 
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Our country was founded with a Constitution based on negative rights. If we want positive rights, we should adopt a Constitution affirming positive rights.

Either way, the ultimate responsibility for the sick and elderly falls on us, as able-bodied working men and women to provide and care for them. Which we are doing a terrible job of. Myself included.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:14 pm 
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David Roth wrote:
Our country was founded with a Constitution based on negative rights. If we want positive rights, we should adopt a Constitution affirming positive rights.

Either way, the ultimate responsibility for the sick and elderly falls on us, as able-bodied working men and women to provide and care for them.

The responsibility to provide for those who cannot provide adequately for themselves -- those who are sick, elderly, young, disabled, etc. -- is something that seems to me a very real, tangible element of social life, and it is an important element (in one way or another) of the debate over how we deal with health care. How does this responsibility fit into your rhetoric about negative and positive rights?

I am concerned that the rhetoric of "negative rights" is not able to take account of these responsibilities, and in fact perverts them. A newborn infant's "right" to be fed would be a "positive right," so would not be legitimate; on the other hand, a mother has a negative "right" to be free of people (such as her newborn or her parents) demanding what is hers. Is this how you would see things?

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With those who were the perfection of order.
We who everywhere seek adventure,
We are not your enemies.
We would give you vast and strange domains
Where flowering mystery waits for him would pluck it."


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:11 am 
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No.

And fortunately we have mothers and fathers to feed babies instead of the Federal Bureau of Baby Feeding.

I disagree with nothing you say, except for the restating of my own words as an argument against.... something?

Rights are rights, positive or negative. But that doesn't mean every institution dedicated to ensuring a right needs to ensure every right. The Department of Education per se is not in charge of ensuring every citizens health. It has specific responsibilities that it will serve better by focusing on its specific task. "A jack of all trades..."
Similarly, the Government of the United States was originally created as a purveyor of Negative rights, and was set up to do so.
If we wish to change the intention of an organization, which we in many ways already have, we should change the organizations constitution first.

I seperated the part about responsibility from the rest of my post for a reason. The responsibility exists whether the government takes care of health care or not, we cannot vote for legislation, then relax becaise we did our part.
This is true whether my ramblings about governments and rights are delusional or as cutting and insightful as rheu are in my head.

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