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Free health care: Is it a handout, or a form of insurance?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Eukaryote, Jun 24, 2006.

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Is public health care a handout or a form of insurance?

  1. It's a form of insurance.

    62.5%
  2. It's a handout.

    29.7%
  3. It's a radioactive monkey!

    7.8%
  1. De Lorimier

    De Lorimier North American Scum

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    Considering I actually pay taxes (if them checks don't bounce) to the government, I'd say it's an insurance. Giving the quality of treatment I and my family members received in the last few years, I also get the feeling it's a handout. But that's only because of the horror stories I read about in other countries without free healthcare. I'm glad we take education and health seriously here and understand how important it is for our society to prosper. Call it socialism or any other evil word, I call it the least we can do.
     
  2. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

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    Two problems with 'free' health care:

    * With zero price tag, the system gets overloaded with timewasters or very minor ailments.
    * Studies have shown that people expect better quality from things they pay for than from things that are free. In combination with the placebo effect, healthcare that you pay for gets a better result than free stuff.


    Note: Both can be mitigated with modest (eg. $5) fees for doctors' visits.
     
  3. .Shane.

    .Shane. Take it like a voter Retired Moderator

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    I totally agree. A small co-pay (which I have to pay and I have a decent health plan where I work) is a good incentive to just going to the doctor willy-nilly.

    I think a good co-pay would be $5 for under 13, $10 for 13-65 and $5 over 65.
     
  4. De Lorimier

    De Lorimier North American Scum

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    Both are interesting points. Let's see.

    People (especially senior citizens) do show up at the hospital with a common cold here, it's a fact. But the personnal is trained to sort the cases and make sure the ER is not filled with benign cases. As long as it doesn't clog the system, I'd rather have a few old folks getting treatment than staying home because they'd rather keep their money for something else.

    Those studies you talk about don't apply for the country that I live in. People do get faster treatment in the private sector, but the majority of people agrees that the quality of services is just as good in the public system. The placebo effect doesn't really apply there.
     
  5. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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  6. Sidhe

    Sidhe Deity

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    A bit of both, but with all of it's faults it works a hell of alot better than the alternative, going by the amount of wasted money for a lower standard of healthcare argument here.

    Yeah I had asthma once and no inhaler(left my coat round a friends house with two of my inhalers in it!!) I work in a hospital though, so I'm lucky.Anyway I had to wait for nearly two hours for treatment, it was wonderful to see the triage system in action and I fully agreed with all those cases that were let in before me, good job guys and girls :goodjob: Another benefit was I got to miss a couple of hours off work and got sent home, hurrah! The system works :)
     
  7. EdwardTking

    EdwardTking Deity

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    While I dare say alcohol and tobacco result in state health systems
    having additional costs, the high taxes on alcohol and tobacco in
    the UK more than pay for that. Illegal drugs generates work for
    the NHS but without any mitigating tax revenue stream.

    As a UK NHS consumer, I don't see many time wasters here either;
    and most doctors are pretty good at tipping off their secretaries;
    who are only too willing to put the time wasters last in the queue.

    In my experience the biggest time wasting is caused by tightfisted
    employers who from time to time decide, that to reduce costs and
    improve their profits embark on an absenteism drive and set very low
    or zero rate absentism policies whereby any unplanned absence
    not supported by a note from a doctor is a disciplinary offence.

    So one ends up going to the local doctor just for severe flu,
    which equally annoys the doctor, oneself and other patients.

    After a while the staff, usually with the connivance of junior
    management revolt. Human resources often then decides to
    very expensively retire early a willing few good people with
    chronic health problems, often arising from overworking to build
    the business, because that is a far easier way to improve
    the absenteism rate down from m.m% to n.n%.

    So it is capitalist (legal and illegal) greed, rather than lazy individuals,
    that time wastes state funded health services the most.
     
  8. Sidhe

    Sidhe Deity

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    I'm lucky the NHS has a fair policy towards sickness absence, I'm on my final warning and just had time off for a cold:(

    Because I have an underlying medical condition as atested by my Dr's though they raised the 3.4% expected absenteesm level to 7%, unfortunately I appear to be consistently failing that too, so no doubt I'm a gonner soon, can't complain though, the jobs too physical, and when I have asthma I tend to suffer alot of sickness with colds striking me like bullets to the lungs. I can't be moved into another job because I'm not disabled by the illness, well I am, I tend to fall asleep after an asthma attack, but not badly enough disabled to constitute a disability. What bothers me is my sickness absence procludes me from finding another job in the NHS despite it being physical related and the jobs I apply for being non physical, so I either have to leave the NHS or get sacked :eek: catch-22. The NHS policy on sickness absence is eminently fair though I will say that, and I don't feel hard done by. Maybe I can get an office job? Who knows?
     
  9. YNCS

    YNCS Ex-bubblehead

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    Personally, I have never got a psychological thrill out of the idea of a medical emergency ending up being a financial crisis. A good number of years ago, I had an accident which caused massive internal injuries and took several years and many surgeries to correct. The total bill was over $200,000. Fortunately, my medical bills were covered. But if they hadn't been, there's no way I could have paid them in less than 30 or 40 years.

    Now I realize that certain conservatives, like MobBoss, whine that single payer health care would cover every one, so undesirables like drug addicts, single mothers, or even (gasp) people on welfare would get the benefit of their tax money. I won't claim that these conservatives hate their fellow citizens, but sometimes it sure looks that way. Certain conservatives and their alter egos, the libertarians, show a real disdain for others. If you can't afford medical care and if you get sick or injured, try not to disturb them when you drag yourself off into a corner to die.

    For many of the conservatives I've encountered, ideology trumps all other considerations. It doesn't matter how much death, destruction, or suffering is caused, because the ideology is more important than any of those considerations. This is often because the ill effects of said ideology are never seen as being applicable to the conservative in question, presumably because they are better/smarter/harder working/more moral/etc. than those to whom the ill effects will apply.
     
  10. Eukaryote

    Eukaryote Deity

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    I dunno about daredevils but that's why the taxes on smokes are so high, to pay for their extra health care.
     
  11. ComradeDavo

    ComradeDavo Formerly God

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    For me, free healthcare is of coruse an insurance. I/my family pays taxes, and in return we go to the doctor or hospital when we are ill or injured. Then you get free immunisation injections and so forth.

    Also well said EdwardTking about the taxes on tobacco/alcohol covering the bill.
     
  12. Moss

    Moss CFC Scribe Retired Moderator

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    I couldn't agree more. I don't care how it's done, and it could be government sponsered or insurance company sponsered, but every person in this country should be allowed access to health care.
     
  13. Eukaryote

    Eukaryote Deity

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    They do something alright, they pay taxes, then if something bad happens the people in charge of the taxes help them out. And it works the same way for you too. Isn't that how insurance works?

    However I DO agree with you about immigrants, no matter how much money they have they don't pay their part in taxes. And that means they havn't earned the right to public services. Hey, that's only fair.
     
  14. Simon Darkshade

    Simon Darkshade Mysterious City of Gold

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    Free health care is a handout. I've got not problem with less tax, Medicare levies and what have you being given back to the taxpayers so they can choose their own health insurance fund. Private medical system is certainly a lot better and value for money here, similar to the private education system.
     
  15. JohnRM

    JohnRM Don't make me destroy you

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    It is an unlawful and unnecessary form of government control over your life.
     
  16. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    Poor people do not pay taxes. Try again.

    So, if you are against it for immigrants who dont pay taxes...why should you be for it for poor people who dont pay taxes?
     
  17. Shadylookin

    Shadylookin master debater

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    the government already pours massive ammounts of cash into our healthcare system now and inevitably some of that money goes to helping drugs addicts, daredevils, single mothers, immigrants, and a whole host of people that conservatives hate. If you completely nationalize health care it would benefit the lower and middle classes and especially children who are not insured drastically more than it would crack addicts.
     
  18. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    And your proof of this is?
     
  19. Sidhe

    Sidhe Deity

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    I pay national insurance anyway, it doesn't cover the medical bills the average person incurs unless your fairly wealthy and seldom sick, so it must be something of a hand out, mind you we had our taxes increased by 1% a couple of years ago to cover new health reforms, and pay for wage increases within the NHS, so the expense is somehwat covered by taxes, but at the end of the day it's a handout too, and one I'm glad of.

    Has anyone got any real objections, I mean except the funds going to junkies or there being a cue of timewasters outside casualty, you know something backed up by a few links instead of some strange personal opinion based on bar room banter? Because if that's the most solid arguments you guys can come up it's pretty flimsy.

    National Health services have failed in how many countries exactly, they don't work because? Is this imaginary objection or is there something tangible to the objections?

    Oh and of course national health systems positively effect those who are poorest, that's not an issue, crack addicts well we don't have many in this country I wouldn't know. I know though that Heroin addicts are alot more rigidly monitored now and are expected to follow rehabilitation plans. There is an agency in the UK set up a few years ago to research and provide better drug rehabilitation treatment, which includes all forms of substance abuse from alcohol to class A substance abuse. I suspect it bothers people to think that those involved with drugs are getting quality care and are being weened off respective drugs, and that this helps to combat drug related crime, but get over it it's an expense you should gladly pay IMO.

    http://www.nta.nhs.uk/
     
  20. Hotpoint

    Hotpoint Rome Treaty Legions

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    Okay for the benefit of those who may not have seen the links and information I posted in another thread:

    University of Maine Study into US Healthcare

    Canadian and American Health Systems Compared

    WHO Healthcare Rankings

    WHO Healthcare System Attainment

    Health Comparison - England & US

    JAMA Study

    When you get right down to it, even ignoring the morality of letting poor people go without treatment, the much demonised "Socialised Healthcare" is simply more cost-effective. Private Healthcare is terribly inefficient (and it's one of very few sectors where you can say that).
     

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