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 3)
on Aug 15, 2009

Taltamir: I skirted the other points because they ranged from pointless ('I argued that a salad is "mixed chopped vegetables"'), to covered by either a later post or a previous one.

Look, if the system in every other first world nation is considered socialist and you'd rather not adopt it, that's fine by me. I just resent paying for people from the US coming over to take advantage of it. Which they do.

on Aug 15, 2009

I just resent paying for people from the US coming over to take advantage of it. Which they do.

Do they come to 'take advantage' of the government system or the private, cash-paying part of the system?  There are certainly places offering big discounts for certain surgeries to cash customers, but that's not exactly the same thing, and there are many reasons why lower fees can be offered.

on Aug 15, 2009

Daiwa: They are coming for both. They're coming for cheaper drugs, they're coming for the subsidized health care. Apparently, some Canadians go south for their health care. Maybe we should do a trade?

on Aug 16, 2009

they're coming for the subsidized health care

How is it they get 'subsidized healthcare' if they're not citizens?

on Aug 16, 2009

I personally know an American that married a Canadian for the health care.

on Aug 16, 2009

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.

Exactly, and you seem to want it both ways - 'these countries are bankrupt because of healthcare, but the US isn't, it's only bankrupt because of bailouts' - even though those other countries also had bail-outs.

Anyway if you want to argue that it's the healthcare that's bankrupting those countries, here's two initial things you should be doing. Firstly, show me what their debt is (as a % of GDP) compared to the US, and show it's higher (unless you're arguing they spent far less on bail outs/entitlements, in which case you'll need figures to back up that assertion). Secondly, compare their healthcare costs to that of the US. Good luck with either of those!

I don't trust this source

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

Why don't you trust them - What is the issue you have with the data they're using? How are they incorrectly displaying this data? (since you can only make a graph show what you want if falsify it - otherwise you're constrained by the data being used)

Expectancy / spending is a bad metric, because of diminishing returns...By your argument this means country B has a better health system, because you get more life expectancy out of dollar spent.

You really should look at the graph before doing all this arguing about it... (there are plenty of countries within a similar life expectancy band to the US, but with far lower levels of spending, which can be seen in an instant looking at the graph)

on Aug 16, 2009

You really should look at the graph before doing all this arguing about it... (there are plenty of countries within a similar life expectancy band to the US, but with far lower levels of spending, which can be seen in an instant looking at the graph)

The life expectancy game is a sham. The difference between the country with the highest and the United States which is 30th on the list is roughly 6 years. As far as how much is spent to have that life expectancy per person is also irrelevant because of different lifestyles and population sizes. The Peoples republic of China on the island of Macau is ranked first in the world while the rest of the nation of China is ranked 76th. Both have nationalized healthcare. Japan is ranked 2nd in the world for life expectancy with 127 million people and government run healthcare. Not bad until you ask a citizen how much he pays in taxes for this healthcare. Are you willing to fork over 50% of your income to get free healthcare? We have a country of 300 million people, to provide government healthcare would bankrupt the nation in 30 years. I say 30 years because when the UK went to UHC it was fine for about 20 years then the weight of taking care of the old bit them in the butt.

The UK has a higher life expectancy at 78.7 years with their UHC we don’t have that but our rate is 78.06 it is not UHC that increases or decreases life expectancy it is where and how you live that determines how long you live on average.

on Aug 16, 2009

You really should look at the graph before doing all this arguing about it...

Which part of "the page will not load" do you not understand?

on Aug 16, 2009

ok. I got the graph...

0. If the graph is really based on the CIA world factbook than I trust it, I already said that. I originally pointed out that just some random website is not a reliabile source. (at the time I couldn't load the page for some reason, so I could not see where they got their data).

1. The usa has the highest health expenditure... it also has the nearly the highest expectancy... the vast majority of countries with lower expenditures have much lower expectancy. note the USA has 78 years. the highest, japan, has 82. the lowest, zambia has 41.

2. Many reasons have been given as to why a direct link between health expenses and life expectancy does not exist. Such as cultural choices (everyone loves to point out how fat americans are, except when debating healthcare).

3. The main reason for the USA having such high health expenditure is excessive litigation. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with capitalist vs socialist, those other first world countries HAVE limits on litigation, the current administration wants to socialize our healthcare WITHOUT limiting litigation, which makes sense because the american trial lawyer association is one of the biggest money supporters of BO.

Here is where I put costs of healthcare in the USA (Lit = litigious, Soc = socialized, cap = capitalist):

Non-Lit + Cap < Non-Lit + Soc < Lit+Cap (current) < Lit + Soc (Obamacare)

4. So... best country in the world as far as life expectancy is japan, 82 years (land of fish and rice... healthy)... it's spending matches ireland (land of beer) which also has 78 years (just like the USA - land of mcdonnalds), also spending the same are nicaragua at 72, and zimbabwe at 42. All of these countries have the same spending... sure the worse in the world has much less spending and they get 41 years... but unless you pick and choose your information, you see that there is no tangible link between per capita % of GDP spending on healthcare and life expectancy.

on Aug 16, 2009

I personally know an American that married a Canadian for the health care.

So one person who married a Canadian 'to get healthcare' is the basis of your statement?

Like walking in the rain and the snow when there's nowhere to go 
When you're feeling like a part of you is dying
And you're looking for the answer in her eyes

on Aug 16, 2009

which can be seen in an instant looking at the graph

An 'instant' appears to be the amount of time you've actually thought about this stuff.

on Aug 16, 2009

Which part of "the page will not load" do you not understand?

Precisely, you haven't seen it, and yet are commenting extensively on it. If the page doesn't load, then don't comment so much on it, especially with direct attacks on it's reliability when you don't even know what you're talking about because you haven't seen it by your own admission. It's like writing a critical review of a book or film based on it's title without having read/seen any of it.

The life expectancy game is a sham

No sham. Most people would consider healthcare linked to life expectancy, although there are obviously other factors coming into play such as diet+lifestyle. It gives a nice starting place to look at though, although a more detailled study taking into account various other related variables would be welcome. A basic life expectancy+healthcare spending graph (or data) is far more evidence than any of you have given though.

The main reason for the USA having such high health expenditure is excessive litigation

Even if assumed to be correct, that's an advantage of moving to a UHC system - the state would end up paying for all that litigation, and hence would likely be more interested in curbing it.

unless you pick and choose your information, you see that there is no tangible link between per capita % of GDP spending on healthcare and life expectancy

What about per capita spending itself? Do you accept that a country that spent say $1000 on healthcare per person would be expected to have lower life expectancy than an identical country that spent $5000 on healthcare per person? If so, then looking at healthcare spending as a % of GDP is still of some use providing you make sure you group countries in rough GDP per capita bands.

Looking at all of Europe+central asia, for example, there is a clear trend in the data. These will be countries which for the most part are within a broad gdp range, whilst they are geographically close and hence the effects of other variables such as lifestyle differences will be reduced (compared to say comparing Ireland with Malawi).

An 'instant' appears to be the amount of time you've actually thought about this stuff

The irony of stating that in a 1 line response is clearly lost on you!

on Aug 16, 2009

the state would end up paying for all that litigation, and hence would likely be more interested in curbing it.

BIG assumption there.  And not something I've seen in any of the bills.

on Aug 16, 2009

A basic life expectancy+healthcare spending graph (or data) is far more evidence than any of you have given though.

So clearly flawed and insufficient evidence should just be accepted.  I'll accept it as a 'starting place' but not a valid argument in support of the notion that UHC (by itself) = higher life expectancy per %GDP.

on Aug 16, 2009

I personally know an American that married a Canadian for the health care.

 

So one person who married a Canadian 'to get healthcare' is the basis of your statement?

And I know personally candians that came to the USA for the healthcare. Actually I know personally a couple, a rich female lawyer and her stay at home husband. The husband rags on the american healthcare system, and says canadas is awesome. The wife says the opposite (or was it the other way around?)... So what?

aeortar, I was responding to CLAIMS you guys were making. And its web address is sufficient to qualify it as a NON authoratative source.

No sham. Most people would consider healthcare linked to life expectancy

Then most people are idiots, because this shows there is no link:

4. So... best country in the world as far as life expectancy is japan, 82 years (land of fish and rice... healthy)... it's spending matches ireland (land of beer) which also has 78 years (just like the USA - land of mcdonnalds), also spending the same are nicaragua at 72, and zimbabwe at 42. All of these countries have the same spending... sure the worse in the world has much less spending and they get 41 years... but unless you pick and choose your information, you see that there is no tangible link between per capita % of GDP spending on healthcare and life expectancy.

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