Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

The current system has its flaws but it does something profoundly right:

Most people who have health insurance are paying for their own individual health insurance either directly or indirectly through their employer. They are paying into the system for what they get back.

Obama supporters dream of a different system where taxes pay for health insurance instead. The problem with that is that nearly half the population pay no net federal income taxes. 

People get this and they’re pissed off about being saddled with paying for yet another thing for the nearly half of the population who pay no net taxes.

A big reason I have such disdain for the federal government is that the people who don’t pay have not just a lot of control over how money is spent but have an incentive to get ever increasing goodies given to them. Health insurance is just the latest.

According to the 2008 exit polls, over 60% of the people who pay no net federal income taxes voted for Obama. Zip.

So yea, I’m sure they’d love to see the idea of health insurance paid for by tax payers, because it’s free for them.

But the remaining near half the population are stuck with the bill.

And that’s just one reason. Loss of freedom, rationed care, the unintended consequences of moving away from the free market are just a handful of other reasons.

But for me, one of my big frustrations is just getting sick of being stuck with the tab of paying for people who hide their parasitic demands behind the illusion of “compassion”.


Comments (Page 2)
on Aug 11, 2009

Quit forcing insurance carriers to cover things that they don't want to cover (viagra for instance). 

Why on earth would a government force health insurance carriers to cover Viagra?

 

on Aug 11, 2009

Why on earth would a government force health insurance carriers to cover Viagra?

I'm not passing judgment, but limp-dick voters, maybe?

on Aug 11, 2009

I'm not passing judgment, but limp-dick voters, maybe?

I guess this is where the argument that such a health care system is for the benefit of those who _need_ health care but cannot afford it breaks down.

I don't think many people really _need_ Viagra to survive.

And if a public system financed Viagra, it would obviously take those funds away from more (or actually) serious matters.

 

on Aug 11, 2009

And if a public system financed Viagra, it would obviously take those funds away from more (or actually) serious matters.

You've hit on one of the sensitive nerves of public financing of healthcare - deciding what's 'serious' becomes a political matter.  Do we suppose that Pfizer, through its agent PhRMA, is ponying up millions of dollars to enable healthcare czars to deny coverage for Viagra?

This has happened previously with Medicare - coverage of drugs for erectile dysfunction and annual (as opposed to biannual) mammograms were both political, not medical, decisions.  Just two examples, there are more.  Once single-payor is in place, we'll end up with the equivalent of 'earmarking' in coverage decisions.

on Aug 11, 2009

So, as I see it, you're spending more than just about anyone to receive health services that are of comparable quality to everyone else.

You are kidding right? I looked up a heart bypass surgury in canada (using official canadian government sites for waiting list lookups), it has a 6 to 18 month waiting period. By then you are DEAD. This is why so many canadians come across the border to get treated in the USA, because they can just pay for something and get medical treatment, instead of being killed off by their own government.

All those "first world countries" are going bankrupt with massive national debts, with their so called "free healthcare" being a major source of bankrupcy.

The same system was tried in hawaii and, I think it was massechusets? recently in the USA and it went bankrupt in both places.

and that whitehouse page is total bullshit.

on Aug 14, 2009

The more you read, the better it gets.

on Aug 14, 2009

PS. I PERSONALLY KNOW canadians who came across the border to get treatment in america. They are VERY unsatisfied with the prospect of "waiting till you are dead". Or want the healthcare THEY PAY FOR despite choosing to smoke and drink. (rationing from a tax based pool deprioritizes those people, even if they pay a lot to the system from making a lot of money)

on Aug 14, 2009

 

You are kidding right? I looked up a heart bypass surgury in canada (using official canadian government sites for waiting list lookups), it has a 6 to 18 month waiting period. By then you are DEAD. This is why so many canadians come across the border to get treated in the USA, because they can just pay for something and get medical treatment, instead of being killed off by their own government.

All those "first world countries" are going bankrupt with massive national debts, with their so called "free healthcare" being a major source of bankrupcy.

 

And I'm assuming that in the US, every person gets in within a few minutes? I'd damn well expect that if I'm paying that much. Fact of the matter is that you'll still wait around in the US. If we hated the system so much, why is it that the vast majority (86%+) are still in favour of our universal health care? We're not brainwashed – far from it.
Also, I don't know if you've looked at the USA debt clock lately…
And it is impossible for a country to be "bankrupt". To declare bankruptcy, one must register with the government for it. It's a paradox.

 

I cannot stress this point enough: your current health care system is inefficient and you spend a disproportionate amount of money on it for what you get. See this graph.

on Aug 15, 2009

We're not brainwashed – far from it.

That is what everyone says

Also, I don't know if you've looked at the USA debt clock lately…

Which balooned massively due to our stupid entitlement programs and bailout programs and other such rubbish.

on Aug 15, 2009

I cannot stress this point enough: your current health care system is inefficient and you spend a disproportionate amount of money on it for what you get.

Disproportionate to whom? And how is making it LESS effiicent an improvement?

See this graph.

Does not load... but I am sure http://graphs.gapminder.org/ is the most authoritative of sources if it did load [/sarcasm]

on Aug 15, 2009

Disproportionate to whom?

Based on the graph linked, almost everyone (the US probably beats Malawi though), in terms of life expectancy relative to healthcare spending.

All those "first world countries" are going bankrupt with massive national debts, with their so called "free healthcare" being a major source of bankrupcy.

"Also, I don't know if you've looked at the USA debt clock lately…"

Which balooned massively due to our stupid entitlement programs and bailout programs and other such rubbish.

What, you don't think any of those other countries had entitlement+bailout programs of their own?

on Aug 15, 2009

What, you don't think any of those other countries had entitlement+bailout programs of their own?

Which is part of what is making them go bankrupt... Are those countries shining beacons of what is right and how things are to be done, or are the also in dire straits? you can't have it both ways aeortar.

Based on the graph linked, almost everyone (the US probably beats Malawi though), in terms of life expectancy relative to healthcare spending.

1. I don't trust this source

2. You can make a graph show whatever you want.

3. Expectancy / spending is a bad metric, because of diminishing returns... the going from 0 to 100$ in medical spending gives a lot more than going from 1000 to 1100$. And a person who spends 0$ on healthcare and lives 30 years has a 30 / 0$ = infinity expectancy over spending value.

Lets do a quick calculation though...

Country A: 70 years expectancy, 10,000$ per year spent on healthcare. 0.007 life expectancy per $ spent.

Country B: 30 years expectancy, 100$ per year spent on healthcare. 0.3 life expectancy per $ spent...

By your argument this means country B has a better health system, because you get more life expectancy out of dollar spent.

Don't forget also that the #1 cause of death in the USA is self inflicted heart disease caused primarily by over comsumption of junk food. Culturally, americans view salads as "rabbit food"... actually in american dictionaries a salad is: "a base vegatable, such as lettece, with dressing sauce, such as honey mustered, ofter contains garnishes such as croutons, bacon, cheeses, and eggs"

I know because I looked it up and lost a bet on it, I argued that a salad is "mixed chopped vegetables", because that is what salad means in most other countries. (we actually use the world "salad" in hebrew for example).

on Aug 15, 2009

Taltamir: The graph gets its data from the CIA world factbook. It's a comparison of life expectancy relative to % of GDP spent on health care.

It's also worth mentioning that Canada has its own bailout plan, and we have universal health care, and we're not doing too badly. We have a debt, yeah, but it's not too shabby. In addition, $7+ trillion of your debt has no relation to the bailout and is mainly really crappy spending.

on Aug 15, 2009

1. i said it doesn't load, so as far as i knew it was just http://graphs.gapminder.org/

If it is really all CIA world factbook info then its worthwhile info.

2. You manage to skirt all my important points, do you have no proper response to any of my arguments?

It's also worth mentioning that Canada has its own bailout plan

I am torn between using "if everyone jumped off of a bridge would you" and "two wrongs don't make a right" as my response to that

on Aug 15, 2009

Ah, the numbers games played, as with life expectancy per capita GDP, the implication being that the 'healthcare system' is the sole determinant of life expectancy.  I reject the premise as idiotic.

For those interested, here's a good read on why (not an all-encompassing why, mind you, but a good example).

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