Friday, April 21, 2006

Medicare Quacks

Friends of Medicare and Socialist tyrants everywhere are trumpeting proudly over the collapse of the Albertan “Third Way”. The Medicare tyrants believe our healthcare system promotes justice benefiting the common Joe when in fact their ignorance of markets and the principles of freedom endanger the very people they claim to protect.

I want to present two actual scenarios and ask the lefties out there to respond. I would like to hear about their subjectively concluded definition of fairness.

I work with a man who has spent 30 years in the oil patch and now needs both of his knees replaced. His knees are destroyed and at the young age of 51 he spends everyday dealing with chronic pain and has to take a shitload of pills to deal with it. Well you say get his knees fixed then. Well the doctors won’t do it because he is too young for the surgery. Our benevolent healthcare system doesn’t want to do the surgery twice. So if they replace them now then he will have to have them replaced again before he dies. So between the still productive of ages of 45 to 57 they have expected him to live in constant pain so that when he is an old man he will have good knees. This is a man that made good wages his whole life, paid taxes his whole life and now he is expected to suffer. How has the Canadian way helped him?

I know another man that was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was told further testing would be needed to confirm the initial diagnosis. The tests couldn’t be done for another nine weeks. The doctor told him that was too long and he should go to the States if he could afford it. He re-mortgaged his house to pay for the testing down south. It was lucky he did because the American doctor told him a nine week wait would have probably killed him. He paid for the surgery and was back home within a week. How did free healthcare help this man? Does anybody ever calculate how many people have tied in a waiting line in Canada? Do you think this survivor resents the fact he had to re-mortgage his house in order to save his life? No. He resents a government that makes it illegal to save his own life. It is illegal in Canada to pay for your own medical costs! This is immoral.

How did the friends of Medicare help these men? Should the Friends of Medicare be held responsible for this needless suffering? Why is it illegal to take care of your own health needs?


At 3:56 PM, Blogger Hangin to the left said...

Your scenarios make me laugh. "I know a guy who... and another guy..."

1st scenario: under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he should have the right to the surgery. Tell him to challenge his "doctors" on that.

2nd scenario: the question you present is a question of wait times. We as a society want the best services for the least amount of money. No one wants to pay more, yet they are unhappy with the wait times. Society as a whole needs to decide what they want in terms of benchmarks and fund it accordingly. This doesn't have to be done by raising taxes, as there is much waste in government that can be shredded and reallocated to health care.

Now lets look at your notions of the markets and freedom.

You make this random comment at the beginning about markets yet do not suggest how the markets would help. I will say this. Opening up health care delivery will help some people gain access quicker. Look at the United States as an example where wait times are lower. The reason for that, of course, is that 50 million people in teh US can't afford to walk in the door of a hospital to wait in line. What about those who can't afford to mortgage thier homes to have a child, or to treat their cancer.

On freedom, what about each individual's freedom to access helth care. If you limit access to those who can afford it, what about a low income earner's freedom of choice?

At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Another_Sean said...

The Scenarios make me cry, but your unhinged reponses make me laugh.
1) You're wrong. Go look up the terms of the Chauolli (sp?) decision to see why ( I count at least 3 reasons, but there may be more).
2) The problem is wait times? The problem is that people are dying and you suggest that "society as a whole needs to decides what they want...". Candian society as a whole can't decide on who to elect for PM, and you figure that this same "society" should come to some monolithic decision?
Yes, let's look at the US, where wait times are lower.
Those people who can't afford health insurance (as opposed to those who CAN afford it and CHOOSE not to purchase it) are covered under Medicare/Medicaid - a coverage that is very much like the Canadian system.
The point does come down to freedom - why should someone have to re-mortgage their house to pay foreigners to save their life? Why are they not free to use their money to save their lives in Canada?
The real point is that, under the current bloated medical system, there is no competition and so the costs rise without control. And without competition, there is no motivation to provide additional services. So, maybe, the solution is to introduce some form of Private enterprise to the mix - maybe not in the form of private insurance, maybe in the form of private healthcare providers paid through the current medicare infrastructure. Unfortunatly, your fellow travellers in the Friends of Medicare (proud health care union members all) are of the opinion that is not something that is acceptable either.
So, what is the solution? Beats me - but suggesting that we need to continue with minor tweaks to our health care dictatorship IS NOT a solution.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Hangin to the left said...

1) the competition factor doesn't fly. The cost of surgery and other medical expenses are higher in the US than in Canada where prices are controlled.

2) the Chaoulli case pointed out that the individual has the right to health treatment in a timely fashion. If the public system can't provide it, then s/he should have the right to get it privately. In that case, lets fix the current system.

3) the idea of insurance companies deciding what they are willing or not willing to pay for is a much worse scenario than the two presented in the original post.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger angryroughneck said...

You're right to say anecdotal evidence is not a legitimate form of debate. Treat the situation as hypothetical then. Why is it illegal to take care of your ownhealth needs? What right does the state have to restrict my medicinal options?

And now remember anecdotal evidence is not a legitimate form of debate.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Hangin to the left said...

I guess its a choice right, either we want out medical options restricted by the state or restricted by the market.

Either we want the government to offer services, wait times, and pay for them through our democratically achieved insurance coverage (all paying taxes as a premium) or we want private insurance companies, out to make a profit, to decide what services we will get.

The current system limits your options in Canada for services offered by the government. By no means does this limit your choice to go elsewhere to purchase these services.

The "choice" is still there. THe benefit is that in Canada, even the poor can choose to be healthy.

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You offer a false dichotomy HTTL, it is not a two-way choice between all government control and all private control. For one thing, there is a sliding scale of mixed public/private control, and for another, I personally would to have a little of that control myself, and I don't see that option on your list. Would ALL private care have to be delivered through insurance? What about the concept of 'user pay'?

What does your final sentence, "THe benefit is that in Canada, even the poor can choose to be healthy.", mean? The poor cannot afford to go else where to get competent, timely care, how can you say that they can choose anything when you have just forced them into a single stream of health care? The only choice you give them is between mediocre health care and no health care.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Hangin to the left said...

Great question!

The problem as I see it with private funded delivery, as in "you are responsible to get insurance or pay yourself for health care" system is that the poor cannot afford to do so. They are not given the choice. Their choice is limited to this: stay sick.

In Canada's system of collective responsibility for health, we all contribute to a system that helps everyone, regardless of income. Low income earners or poor people have the choice to seek medical treatment because the service is accessible to them.

THis ties in to your questions of "What about the concept of 'user pay'?" My question to that is what about those who cannot afford to pay.

In the case of the poor, those who cannot afford health care are limited in their "freedom". I guess between me an the conservatives on this blog is our definition of freedom. You believe that you should be free to do what you want. Rather, I see your definition of freedom as benefitting and enabling certain sectors of society (the affluent and middle income earners) while limiting it to the poor or low income earners. I believe that everyone is entitled to freedom and that there should be systems in place that enable those with restrictions on thier freedom to be able to choose health care.

While I understand your definition of freedom, I think that it lacks compassion for those who cannot be free under your definition.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger angryroughneck said...

Freedom; does not mean free to do what I want but rather-- in regards to health--Free to protect and maintain my own health-- free from arbitrary state coercion. This type of freedom applies to all people regardless of class.

A big difference between liberals and conservatices. Liberals are elitist thinkers that think people can't help themselves so they-- the liberal elite-- benevolently spend their time trying to guide the confused masses.

Conservatives believe people are independent beings capable of forging for themsleves-- without a state leash leading them around in a bureacratic folly. (evidentially socialism is a complete failure)

And once again back to the main point--my right to choose private health care does not conflict with the state's ability to offer free public care. So what is your moral right to restrict my health options? What right do you have to deny me a certain type of healthcare?

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Hangin to the left said...

Let me just point out some of the garbage you just spit out:

"Liberals are elitist thinkers" do you mean big L or small l? When I mention conservative, I mean small c. I thought we were discussing ideology and theory rather than name calling.

"the confused masses" I'm not sure who you think these masses are, but by no means do I think that low income earners are confused.

"Conservatives believe people are independent beings capable of forging for themsleves" but only to the extent that our naturally God given abilitites will allow us. Your train of thinking means that only those who have natural abilities and the proper environmental upbringing deserve health care as opposed to those who do not. You forget that even though we are all independant, our outcomes are dependant on the environments in which we are raised. If your parents think that the sky is green, there is a strong possibility that you will also believe that. Not 100%, but there is a strong possibility.

"moral right" this made me think of Pat Robinson. HAHAHAHAAHA

At 8:15 PM, Blogger angryroughneck said...

Ahhh the nastiness finally comes out. But no problem let me explain.

"but only to the extent that our naturally God given abilitites will allow us. Your train of thinking means that only those who have natural abilities and the proper environmental upbringing deserve health care as opposed to those who do not."

Another liberal cliche... people are empty beings completely predetermined and unable to make choices for themsleves. They are poweless bodies compelled to act certain ways...

Garbage. Man is not a victim. Man is a discerning being capable of judgement and decision.

Claiming that man is determined either by his nature(which is racist) or his nurture invalidates the individual mind.

the most determing factor in an individual's life will be the Choices he makes-- the choice to work, the choice to save, the choice to gain knowledge, the choice to live a healthy life, the choice to be honest, the choice to percerve?, the choice to be trustwothy.

"If your parents think that the sky is green, there is a strong possibility that you will also believe that. Not 100%, but there is a strong possibility."

This is funny. Did your parents teach you socialism was the way to freedom and higher living standards. Did your parents teach you that social engineering had wonderful benfits. Dis your parents teach you that big governments have historicaly protected the rights of its citizens?

"the confused masses" I'm not sure who you think these masses are, but by no means do I think that low income earners are confused"

That was Satire. Ha Ha Ha Ha I love spewing garbage.

At 8:28 PM, Blogger angryroughneck said...

"The confused masses"

Who else would need a paternalist nanny state watching over their moral life and confiscating 48 cents from every dollar earned?

At 11:39 AM, Blogger angryroughneck said...

By the way "moral right" this made me think of Pat Robinson. HAHAHAHAAHA"

I asked what moral right do you have to deny me healthcare? Your responce completely takes the question out of context. You laugh why? Do you not understand the question? Why does the question make you think of Pat Robertson?

At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Healthcare in the US will bankrupt you, Healthcare in the UK will kill you.
It's all about choice, I guess.

Quote "It'll Kill You
By Ralph R. Reiland
Published 3/2/2005 12:03:31 AM
In "Die in Britain, survive in U.S.," the cover article of a recent issue of the Spectator, a British magazine, James Bartholomew details the downside of Britain's universal healthcare system.

Among women with breast cancer, for example, there's a 46 percent chance of dying from it in Britain, versus a 25 percent chance in the United States. "Britain has one of worst survival rates in the advanced world," writes Bartholomew, "and America has the best."

If you're a man diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have a 57 percent chance of it killing you in Britain. In the United States, the chance of dying drops to 19 percent. Again, reports Bartholomew, "Britain is at the bottom of the class and America is at the top."


On how things worked in an individual case, Bartholomew writes of Peggy, an American radiologist, who went to Britain to meet her English boyfriend's family. While she was there, her boyfriend's father found blood in his urine and went to a local National Health Service hospital in which no CT scans or cystoscopy tests were done. The patient had asthma and laid in his hospital bed with breathing difficulties but still didn't see a specialist. He was told it would take six weeks. Short of the six weeks, he was discharged from the hospital. Back home, before his appointment with a consultant came up, he died of an asthma attack.

Bartholomew reports that Peggy was "surprised at how 'accepting' her boyfriend's family was." What she saw was an unexpected passivity, a lethal submissiveness to systemic incompetence and tragedy, a reaction that seemed poles apart from how things happen in the United States. Explains Bartholomew: "She didn't say too much because she did not want to come across as a pushy, arrogant American but she was thinking that 'in America we'd go nuts if we were told we would have to wait six weeks to see a specialist. Expectations are so much higher.'"

As a footnote on Canada, the average wait for a simple MRI is three months. In Manitoba, the median wait for neurosurgery is 15.2 months. For chemotherapy in Saskatchewan, patients can expect to be in line for 10 weeks. At last report, 10,000 breast cancer patients who waited an average of two months for post-operation radiation treatments have filed a class action lawsuit against Quebec's hospitals.

None of the above is meant to say that America's health-care system isn't a mess. That's just a different story, with a different set of fatal flaws." unquote

At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's more:

Quote "Bartholomew's clear-eyed about the flaws of the U.S. system. Intriguingly, he concludes (as I've previously suggested) poverty isn't the problem:
The seriously poor do not get the worst of it. They get treated for free.

They get Medicaid, the national subsidy for healthcare for the poor. Their treatment is paid for by the state and subsidised by the hospital, or rather its other patients and — if it is a for-profit hospital — the shareholders. The poor might not get showered with as many diagnostic tests as those with full insurance, but they get treated and without the delays that are normal in Britain.
Rather, he reckons:
[The] major problems are somewhere between middle-income and poor. They are the ones who are not earning enough to take out an insurance policy, or not one with a high limit on medical expenditure. So if they come down with an illness which requires a long — and therefore ruinously expensive — stay in hospital, their insurance may run out and they may have to sell their homes or even go bankrupt. Those who are temporarily unemployed, between jobs, are similarly vulnerable.

The numbers are not large in relation to the whole population. We are talking about a minority of the American population — figures of 35–45 million are mentioned — which is not insured and which is not covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Of that minority only a small proportion will need fairly long-term hospital treatment. But financial disaster can happen and sometimes does. People lose their homes, their savings, everything. Half the bankruptcies in America are people who had previously been ill."

Medicare and Medicaid, I wonder how many Canadain lefties even know that they exist?

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous jeremy said...

what i hate about the left in canada is their ignorant hate for alberta. never mind socialist quebec is veering towards an american style of health care which is private health insurance while right wing, scary, redneck alberta (yet it's had a long history of progrssivness) was leaning towards more private health deliviry (more like europe).

left, right, they're all pro business, not pro market

At 5:11 PM, Blogger angryroughneck said...

I like that-- "left, right, they're all pro business, not pro market"

Best comment ever. And I wonder what businesses do the best-- gov. sponsored ones, or ones that have gov. friends


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