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Old 08-16-2009, 11:53 PM   #286
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Well, you know the scores of people that are dying daily while waiting for lifesaving surgeries, right? It's gotten so bad that the government has resorted to getting in front end loaders to dig mass graves for all the people they're killing.


hence, Death Panels.

you see?
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:46 AM   #287
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Exactly. 830,000 waiting till when? Waiting till tomorrow? Waiting till next week? Waiting till 6 months from now?
I guess it's better for 830,000 uninsured people to die in the U.S. from a total lack of access to treatments just so the very rich can always be first in line.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:51 AM   #288
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Exactly. 830,000 waiting till when? Waiting till tomorrow? Waiting till next week? Waiting till 6 months from now?

Because we know that in the US, people are told that they need surgery, and then they immediately proceed to the closest hospital where they are operated on within 20 minutes. Geez.

That's not even to mention the absurdity of the number in the first place.
exactly. when i had surgery last year, i had to wait too! of course, the surgeon isn't always immediately available to do surgery minutes after receiving your diagnosis. that and if you need to take any time off work, you obviously need to give your boss some kind of notice and also so you can get any disability/leave situated.

i know this is something all sides do so i'm not pointing fingers at republicans or anything, but i hate the scare tactic where facts and numbers get distorted like this.
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:14 AM   #289
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we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less government control and more individual empowerment
Good luck trying to tell your insurance company what you want to have, particularly when even the highest deductible option, presuming that you're perfectly healthy, is still probably too expensive to have.

Quote:
Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs)
The sheer purpose of high-deductible insurance is to discourage ever using it, while allowing insurance companies to continue to collect premiums. So let's figure this out. Is the purpose of health care reform to get people to buy insurance policies they can't effectively use or to make health care affordable for people who are sick? If it's the latter, then high-deductible insurance plans and HSAs are not the solution--just a contributor to the existing problem.

Quote:
Equalize the tax laws so that that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.
Again, to reap tax benefits, you have to have the money to spend in the first place. Health insurance, even at the crappiest level, is too expensive for most people to purchase on their own.

Quote:
Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.
Perfect. So our non-competitive insurance companies that already look for excuses not to cover insured ailments can now continue to charge just as much and cover even less. And if you don't like it? Tough!

Quote:
Enact tort reform
An idea that looks good on paper, but how much has this idea been thought out? If, through medical malpractice, a family member is now stuck with a complication that will require treatment that will cost millions of dollars to effectively treat over a lifetime, are we to tell them that they are only entitled to partial payment, and, thus, will have to treat the doctor's mistake themselves out-of-pocket? It's always nice to advocate that "other people" be forced to deal with less, but I wouldn't doubt that everyone wants their own family members fully covered in such circumstances. Americans, after all, ultimately believe in fairness.

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how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have to food or shelter?

Health care is a service that we all need, but just like food and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges.
Poor people who do not have effective access to food and shelter are provided it by the government, both through food stamps and government-subsidized housing. In this case, however, not only is health insurance prohibitive in cost to the poor, it is also out-of-access to much of the middle class, unless it is employer-provided. It is quite clear that the private system is broken, and the private sector has failed to adhere to capitalistic practices of "supply and demand." Instead, we have a system that deals with inelastic demand and supply costs that are allowed to rise exponentially without limit.

Quote:
Even in countries like Canada and the U.K., there is no intrinsic right to health care. Rather, citizens in these countries are told by government bureaucrats what health-care treatments they are eligible to receive and when they can receive them. All countries with socialized medicine ration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments.
Or, if you're in the U.S., you're told by your insurance company that your cancer treatments aren't covered because they're "experimental," and your hospital won't pay for it, because the treatments costs upwards of $500,000, and expect you to pay for it out-of-pocket. Or, if you're lucky and they do it anyway, your end-of-treatment reward is a trip to personal bankruptcy court. But hey...as long as the wealthy can get liposuction and a face lift ASAP--that is, the kinds of optional procedures that are likely to require waiting lists in Canada and the U.K. to make room for necessary operations--who the fuck cares about the lower classes?

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every American adult is responsible for his or her own health

...

Recent scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat. We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age.
Gee...doesn't that sound like an ad for Whole Paycheck Foods? Frankly, if he really cared, he would devote more energy into getting people greater access to affordable, healthy, chemical-free foods. But, as we can see even in his own company, corporations still see it as a prime opportunity to charge people top dollar to access such foods, whereas cheap, nutrient-poor foods that are slowly poisoning us are what most people are forced to deal with.

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Whatever reforms are enacted it is essential that they be financially responsible, and that we have the freedom to choose doctors and the health-care services that best suit our own unique set of lifestyle choices.
Lovely brochure copy, but such flowery language falls flat when the only people who can ultimately live up to this are the wealthy in America. But, after all, unless you're wealthy, who the fuck cares about you?
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:46 AM   #290
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^ Nice post, Melon.

The more I think of this issue, the angrier I get. What I want to know is this: the grassroots supporters that got Obama elected in the first place, where are they all through this? Why is the right allowed to set the tone of this discussion/distort the facts/manipulate discourse? The left needs to get out there and dispel the myths, and basically out-shout the right.

I'm not saying you're all doing nothing, of course, but you need numbers, just like you needed (and had) during the primary and election season. Mobilize, just like you all did then! Don't let this chance slip away without being heard, because who knows when it'll come up again.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:02 AM   #291
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Thanks for actually reading the piece and giving your opinion.

Maybe some others will chime in and not to pick on you but I'm afraid that,

1) The right some feel to healthcare includes the right to expect someone else to pay for it.
2) Some will continue to confuse healthcare with healthcare insurance.
3) Some will ignore the economics of markets and instead trust in government to set prices and dictate choices.
4) Some will ignore the tens of trillions in debt and unfunded liabilities in Medicaid and Medicare and think we should enlarge the role of government in the healthcare system even further.
Quote:

we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less government control and more individual empowerment

Good luck trying to tell your insurance company what you want to have, particularly when even the highest deductible option, presuming that you're perfectly healthy, is still probably too expensive to have.
That's pure speculation on your part.
Quote:


Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs)

The sheer purpose of high-deductible insurance is to discourage ever using it, while allowing insurance companies to continue to collect premiums. So let's figure this out. Is the purpose of health care reform to get people to buy insurance policies they can't effectively use or to make health care affordable for people who are sick? If it's the latter, then high-deductible insurance plans and HSAs are not the solution--just a contributor to the existing problem.
The sheer purpose is that you purchase routine care yourself and rely on insurance for truly expensive procedures. Like the analogy with car insurance. You buy the gas, wax, tune-ups and new tires, your insurance covers expensive accidents. Why is healthcare any different really?

Quote:
Quote:
Equalize the tax laws so that that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.

Again, to reap tax benefits, you have to have the money to spend in the first place. Health insurance, even at the crappiest level, is too expensive for most people to purchase on their own.
Expensive because of state mandates that all policies sold must include X,Y & Z. whether you want or need them. Insurance prices differ greatly from state to state for this very reason.
Quote:

Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.

Perfect. So our non-competitive insurance companies that already look for excuses not to cover insured ailments can now continue to charge just as much and cover even less. And if you don't like it? Tough!
Wrong, they will offer all types of policies with à la carte options. You want high-premium, kitchen-sink, nothing out-of-pocket fine, but don't force that on everyone.
Quote:
Enact tort reform

An idea that looks good on paper, but how much has this idea been thought out? If, through medical malpractice, a family member is now stuck with a complication that will require treatment that will cost millions of dollars to effectively treat over a lifetime, are we to tell them that they are only entitled to partial payment, and, thus, will have to treat the doctor's mistake themselves out-of-pocket? It's always nice to advocate that "other people" be forced to deal with less, but I wouldn't doubt that everyone wants their own family members fully covered in such circumstances. Americans, after all, ultimately believe in fairness.
How about starting with loser pays in cases to weed out frivolous lawsuits?
Quote:
how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have to food or shelter?

Health care is a service that we all need, but just like food and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges.

Poor people who do not have effective access to food and shelter are provided it by the government, both through food stamps and government-subsidized housing. In this case, however, not only is health insurance prohibitive in cost to the poor, it is also out-of-access to much of the middle class, unless it is employer-provided. It is quite clear that the private system is broken, and the private sector has failed to adhere to capitalistic practices of "supply and demand." Instead, we have a system that deals with inelastic demand and supply costs that are allowed to rise exponentially without limit.
We have healthcare programs for the poor and no one is talking about ending those.

Quote:

Whatever reforms are enacted it is essential that they be financially responsible, and that we have the freedom to choose doctors and the health-care services that best suit our own unique set of lifestyle choices.

Lovely brochure copy, but such flowery language falls flat when the only people who can ultimately live up to this are the wealthy in America. But, after all, unless you're wealthy, who the fuck cares about you?
Guess I have more faith in the American people than you.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:24 AM   #292
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How about starting with loser pays in cases to weed out frivolous lawsuits?
Because an unsuccessful judgment in court is an indication that your action was frivolous. Wow, you have a simplistic view of litigation.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:01 AM   #293
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3) Some will ignore the economics of markets and instead trust in government to set prices and dictate choices.
You keep saying this, you've been shown more than a dozen times that this isn't true, but you just choose to ignore it. The market is not dictating prices, insurance companies are dictating prices.

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The sheer purpose is that you purchase routine care yourself and rely on insurance for truly expensive procedures. Like the analogy with car insurance. You buy the gas, wax, tune-ups and new tires, your insurance covers expensive accidents. Why is healthcare any different really?
This would be a good analogy if an oil change and a phyical cost about the same, or if new cars came with pre-existing conditions, or IF LIFE COULD BE COMPARED TO A CAR.

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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
Expensive because of state mandates that all policies sold must include X,Y & Z. whether you want or need them. Insurance prices differ greatly from state to state for this very reason.
Well healthcare is different from state to state. Podiatry for example: some states allow podiatrists to work all the way up to the knee, others the ankle, and others don't even allow them to work on the hindfoot.
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How about starting with loser pays in cases to weed out frivolous lawsuits?
And will you or the insurance companies decide if it's frivolous or not?
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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
Guess I have more faith in the American people than you.
It doesn't sound like it, sounds like you have a lot faith in insurance companies.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:02 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
Thanks for actually reading the piece and giving your opinion.
No problem. I enjoy commenting on well thought-out articles (and the founder & CEO of Whole Foods, whether one agrees with him or not, is known for those kinds of pieces).

Quote:
Maybe some others will chime in and not to pick on you but I'm afraid that,

1) The right some feel to healthcare includes the right to expect someone else to pay for it.
2) Some will continue to confuse healthcare with healthcare insurance.
3) Some will ignore the economics of markets and instead trust in government to set prices and dictate choices.
4) Some will ignore the tens of trillions in debt and unfunded liabilities in Medicaid and Medicare and think we should enlarge the role of government in the healthcare system even further.
Under normal circumstances, I'm all for an expansion of free markets and coming up with ideas that do not involve more government. Generally speaking, I tend to agree that government does not make many things more efficient.

On the other hand, after weighing all the options here and looking at the facts on the ground, rather than the solution that best fits my ideological leanings, I think we have only three quite extreme options:

1) National health care, with all costs highly regulated to prevent the unequal relationship between the patient and the health care industry. As it currently stands, the private sector is wholly broken, because we have developed a situation where health care is subject to inelastic demand (i.e., if you have an infection that requires antibiotics, you have two choices: treatment at whatever the doctor and pharmaceutical companies want to charge or death), and, as such, unchecked supply costs allowing for a limitless ability to charge whatever they want.

2) Private health insurance, with all practices and costs regulated to guarantee access to health care for everyone (so that the sick aren't weeded out of the system like is done currently) and to prevent costs from spiralling into infinity. I would also mandate that all health care insurance and hospitals be required to register as non-profit corporations to again remove the incentive to overcharge.

3) Ban health insurance entirely for everyone--rich, poor, young, old, sick and healthy--and force the entire system into a free market scenario, where health care supply would be forced into being priced into only what people can afford. Hence, no more $500 doctor visits just to be prescribed an antibiotic, because the market may only accept a doctor fee of $40. In this scenario, obviously, all excess and the high lifestyle that many in the health care industry feel entitled to are decimated.

Quote:
That's pure speculation on your part.
Not at all. Have you tried researching private health insurance? My family has. It's very expensive, with high deductibles, and the coverage is poor.

Quote:
The sheer purpose is that you purchase routine care yourself and rely on insurance for truly expensive procedures. Like the analogy with car insurance. You buy the gas, wax, tune-ups and new tires, your insurance covers expensive accidents. Why is healthcare any different really?
"Routine care"--which I'm not sure how you'd define it--is still billed in the hundreds of dollars or more by the medical industry. If you need car repairs and can't afford them, you end up not driving you car for a while or fixing it yourself. If you need health care and can't afford it, you end up dead. They are not morally equivalent scenarios.

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Expensive because of state mandates that all policies sold must include X,Y & Z. whether you want or need them. Insurance prices differ greatly from state to state for this very reason.
They must not mandate very much, because, again, researching private insurance costs, a crappy plan with a high deductible that only covers in emergencies--much like what you advocate--is still very expensive.

Quote:
Wrong, they will offer all types of policies with à la carte options. You want high-premium, kitchen-sink, nothing out-of-pocket fine, but don't force that on everyone.
If you're in the industry of selling insurance, but not actually paying out, why not, as an insurance company, craft a plan that is barely affordable, but covers very little, while making all other plans that actually do cover anything very expensive? Do you really think that the relationship with the consumer and the insurance company is at all balanced to allow for negotiation? It is--and always is--"take it or leave it." There is always a presumption that people buying insurance buy it with the intention of using it, and "using" your health insurance is not at all what these companies want.

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How about starting with loser pays in cases to weed out frivolous lawsuits?
Those kinds of options are already present at the judge's discretion, if the case was truly frivolous and maliciously intended. Chances are, as much as I sympathize with doctors on this front, many of the cases are actually quite legitimate, especially if the judge rules in their favour. If health care costs were reigned in through regulation, so that medical malpractice cases that would normally cost millions to treat over a lifetime in our current system would only cost maybe six figures over a lifetime to treat, I presume that that would do much to limit the impact of tort costs.

Basically, I ask, why enact "tort reform" that limits what victims can recover, but not "health care reform" that limits the costs in the first place, particularly since supply costs are clearly out of control? Why is business guaranteed limitless profit, while wronged individuals must suffer statutory limitation?

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We have healthcare programs for the poor and no one is talking about ending those.
Again, these programs are only available to the very poor. Health care is still prohibitively expensive even to the middle class, particularly if you look at the kind of individuals who are declaring bankruptcy, due to medical bills.

Quote:
Guess I have more faith in the American people than you.
Or, more likely, my stances are based on evidence of what's actually happening on the ground, rather than insisting on a doctrinaire, ideologically-based answer to everything. As it is, the private sector has failed in its 40-year, for-profit health care experiment, and I'm not sure why we expect it to ever get better without massive changes.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:03 AM   #295
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Here's a good indicator of where for-profit health care's priorities lie:

Elusive search for cellulite cure continues - CNN.com

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Elusive search for cellulite cure continues

(CNN) -- Beverly Hunt is a mover and a shaker. A public relations executive who runs her own business in Laurel, Maryland, Hunt believes in looking good. She keeps active and stays in shape.

But she has one slight problem that drives her crazy: No matter how much she exercises, she can't get rid of her cellulite.

"I'm in my mid-40s," she admits. "And no matter how well you try to take care of yourself and what your weight is, what I've noticed is your body changes. And I have some cellulite, predominantly on my thighs."

Cellulite: the word women fear and men rarely notice. More than 90 percent of women develop some type of cellulite in their lifetime, while few men ever experience "cottage cheese" thighs.

Doctors believe that's because estrogen plays a big role in cellulite formation: It appears that excess estrogen causes a weakening of connective tissue, which allows fat to bulge up under the skin, creating cellulite.

"Whether they're thin or heavy, a gym rat or a couch potato, cellulite is one of those things most women face," says Dr. Howard Brooks, a professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and the director of Skin Cosmetic Dermatology of Georgetown. "It doesn't matter if that woman is black, white, Asian; it doesn't matter if that woman eats right, does everything right -- cellulite can still develop."

Because it can be genetic, doctors say one of the best ways to judge how much cellulite you'll develop as you get older is to look at your mother's thighs.

"I would say that there is a bit of cellulite that runs in the family," Hunt admits with a grin.

Brooks says there are a couple of things you can do to curb your cellulite:

Quit smoking. Lighting up damages connective tissue, which causes wrinkling.

Watch your weight. Fat is fat; the more fat you carry, the more cellulite.

Exercise the legs and buttocks. "Instead of all these fancy creams and quick fixes, invest in a treadmill," Brooks says. He explains that exercise can firm up the skin. Cellulite is "still there, but it decreases the appearance," Brooks says.

Eat smart. But Brooks says no particular food can increase or decrease cellulite. "Diet does not really play a role," he says. "I say that, but I say that with a caveat: You do want to -- just for general health purposes -- eat right, of course." Maintaining a healthy lifestyle decreases the appearance of cellulite.

Because women hate the look of cellulite, myriad "treatments" and "cures" have been hyped, ranging from dietary supplements and cellulite creams to mechanical procedures. But health experts agree: There are no permanent solutions.

Although the American Academy of Dermatology addresses the myths surrounding cellulite and its many supposed cures, the group offers no advice for how to get rid of it. The AAD warns women that liposuction, a very popular procedure for removing excess fat, does not rid the body of cellulite. That's because after liposuction, fat eventually replaces itself in the body. Liposuction can actually make the appearance of cellulite worse by physically breaking down the connective tissue, which creates even more depressions in the skin.

There are two FDA-approved laser treatments designed to break down fat to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite: One combines light therapy with suction; the other combines light therapy with massage. The drawbacks? Both treatments require multiple sessions -- as well as maintenance therapy -- to create and maintain the effect. And they are expensive: A series of treatments can cost more than $2,000, and the results are temporary.

Although Brooks tries to explain to his patients that cellulite is one of those things that "you have to live with," he will recommend the FDA-approved treatment consisting of massage and laser treatments -- but only to patients who are desperate to get rid of their dimples and are willing to pay the high price.

"The reason why this works is, we're squeezing that tissue and squeezing that fat and cellulite so hard that we're re-dispersing it and it's no longer in the top layer of the skin -- it's at the bottom layer, so we can't see it any longer," Brooks explains. "But unfortunately, this isn't permanent, and you need a lot of treatments. There is no miracle."

But Beverly Hunt believes in miracles; she is currently undergoing massage with laser treatments. She feels it's worth it. Anything, she says, to rid her fit body of the puckering on her thighs -- even just for a little while.

"Well, it's not a good look," she says of cellulite, especially in bathing-suit season. "It really isn't. I'm at the age where one-pieces are a must, but I'd like to know that -- if you take the time to exercise and you attempt to eat right -- you'd at least look healthy."
And just think: government bureaucrats might force Beverly to be on a waiting list to get rid of her cellulite, while some poor people get life threatening third-degree burns repaired first.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:27 AM   #296
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The tenor of this discussion is a little closer to what we should be having at these townhall meetings.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:40 AM   #297
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Thanks for actually reading the piece and giving your opinion.

Maybe some others will chime in and not to pick on you but I'm afraid that,

1) The right some feel to healthcare includes the right to expect someone else to pay for it.
2) Some will continue to confuse healthcare with healthcare insurance.
3) Some will ignore the economics of markets and instead trust in government to set prices and dictate choices.
Perhaps its more the idea that we all should pay our share, just as we do for education, road repairs etc. I also don't think it's so much that some "trust" government so much. It's just I don't trust the private sector either.


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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
Expensive because of state mandates that all policies sold must include X,Y & Z. whether you want or need them. Insurance prices differ greatly from state to state for this very reason.
Without those mandates, what's to stop insurance companies from refusing to pay for certain types of care. Some of your solutions sound appealing but I'd want to know what you're going to do reign in the power of the insurance companies? I don't see how that can happen without regulation.



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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
How about starting with loser pays in cases to weed out frivolous lawsuits?
What if the loser's lawsuit wasn't frivolous but they lost any way?




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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
Guess I have more faith in the American people than you.
Let's not romanticize the American people. People are people, and at least from our mutual faith perspective, you know what we believe about basic human nature. The American people, like people everywhere want themselves and their families to be safe and healthy--they also want to spend as little as possible and make as much money as possible. That's people. That's the American people.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:43 AM   #298
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Without those mandates, what's to stop insurance companies from refusing to pay for certain types of care.
Ask Blue Cross in California about that.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:44 AM   #299
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I read comments like this and realize how fortunate we are here in Canada not to have to choose between treating catastrophic injuries or mundane illnesses.
Socialist.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:44 AM   #300
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What I'd be interested in is a conseravtive plan that actual gives patients some real power and real choice, rather than giving all the power to the "market" (i.e. the insurance companies).
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