Is it just me? health insurance related

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  1. Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier View Post
    No need for the condescendence Easy: I read it, but did you? The "may" refers to certain situations - i.e., the health outcomes in certain situations are superior in Canada, but this superiority is not consistent across the board. Or in even more other words: in certain situations Canadian healthcare is most certainly superior, but not in every situation.
    What that means is that if it is only superior in some conditions it is inferior in others. So stating that is superior based on that is valueless as I can just as validly state US healthcare is superior from the same data. So its minimal value data.

    I as well don't think that the US healthcare is without need of changes, but universal health care isn't either the best choice, or realistically affordable by us as a country. When the cost will come to over $10,000 per uninsured person per year, we need to take a far far far closer look at the math as the private industry will cover a family of 4 for less than that.


  2. Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier View Post
    Jesus man, you have to be kidding me. You stated that the Canadian system is inferior to the U.S., system, and then used a comparison of other Universal Healthcare Systems. So, I showed you several studies that refuted your points, showing that the Canadian system is superior to the United States system, or at least equal to it, using an actual comparison between the two nations. Nothing I have said is unrelated. If anything is annoying, it is your back in a tizzy because I called you on your bull****.
    For being so high on your logical horse, you can't seem to read. If you read that article, you would have read your precious wait times that you grossly misrepresented. You called me on no bull****, you step in every thread trying to talk down to people spewing nothing but pure bull**** all over every thread. "Socialism is amazing, you just dont understand" "Canada healthcare is better" "You dont have a right to believe in this or that because its not in line with my own beliefs"

    You constantly preach from high on your rock, and most honestly find it condescending, and annoying. Now please, retort my post with words that only exceed 12 characters long to try and crucify me to my proverbial cross.
    The Historic PES Legend
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    What that means is that if it is only superior in some conditions it is inferior in others. So stating that is superior based on that is valueless as I can just as validly state US healthcare is superior from the same data. So its minimal value data.
    Easy, if you read the entire study, there are very few situations where the Canadian system was found to be inferior. The majority of the case-studies found that either: a) the Canadian system was superior; or b) that the systems were equal, or results were inconsistent. A very small percentage found that the Canadian system was inferior, and I think if we both read and speak about the study honestly, that is what we will find. As you said though, this is valueless as a claim the Canadian system is superior overall.

    I as well don't think that the US healthcare is without need of changes, but universal health care isn't either the best choice, or realistically affordable by us as a country. When the cost will come to over $10,000 per uninsured person per year, we need to take a far far far closer look at the math as the private industry will cover a family of 4 for less than that.
    I completely agree. Something that is feasible in the scope of 30 million may not be on the scope of 300 million. I was never arguing that Universal is superior to private-sector, Easy. We were comparing relative care for the citizens of each country, and you said something I felt was false. So, in the context of care for Canadian Citizens, I defended the system. In no way I am saying the U.S., should adopt this type of system, or that it is viable for every nation.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier View Post
    I completely agree. Something that is feasible in the scope of 30 million may not be on the scope of 300 million. I was never arguing that Universal is superior to private-sector, Easy. We were comparing relative care for the citizens of each country, and you said something I felt was false. So, in the context of care for Canadian Citizens, I defended the system. In no way I am saying the U.S., should adopt this type of system, or that it is viable for every nation.
    Hmm, well i've known enough canadians who maintain US insurance and get care here even though they maintain multiple residences that i'm not so sure about your feelings on quality of care for canadian citizens, but you're right its not entirely relevant anyhow.

    Whats interesting in some ways is that the socialistic system in canada can enjoy a useful life a good bit longer than in most other countries due to canadas "youth" as a country and significant amount of natural resources and space to expand. Socialistic policies work decently at any point where you can continue to pull more natural resources and continue population growth whether by births or by immigration. Its when you reach germany's point of declining population and relatively maximized out resources and space that the socialistic policies show the worst of their weaknesses. If the population isn't growing then you have negative GDP growth yet with longer lifespans you have higher cost of maintaining your non-working population both in terms of food + healthcare. Not a good combo.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Hmm, well i've known enough canadians who maintain US insurance and get care here even though they maintain multiple residences that i'm not so sure about your feelings on quality of care for canadian citizens, but you're right its not entirely relevant anyhow.

    Whats interesting in some ways is that the socialistic system in canada can enjoy a useful life a good bit longer than in most other countries due to canadas "youth" as a country and significant amount of natural resources and space to expand. Socialistic policies work decently at any point where you can continue to pull more natural resources and continue population growth whether by births or by immigration. Its when you reach germany's point of declining population and relatively maximized out resources and space that the socialistic policies show the worst of their weaknesses. If the population isn't growing then you have negative GDP growth yet with longer lifespans you have higher cost of maintaining your non-working population both in terms of food + healthcare. Not a good combo.
    Pretty much agree here, Easy. As I said, in Canada's case it is feasible, for a wide range of reasons, and that is all I was trying to establish. Not that it is better in all, or even most, circumstances.
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier View Post
    D, you used a newspaper as a reference, so maybe attacking methodology is not the best suited avenue for this discussion? As to John Stossel there, the WHO rankings consider 37 measures that take into account quality-of-care, and the rankings are generally quite systematic - obviously, Mr. Stossel has a bit of political slant himself. Anyway, the other study I quoted was a systematic review of case studies which more or less concluded with the same point I made above.
    The WHO study is a piece of **** to anyone with half a brain who reads it. One of their 'systematic' measures is to automatically upgrade health care systems because they are single payer, and then use that to conclude that single payer is better. Called begging the question. I may as well hypothesize that blondes are more intelligent than brunettes and when testing them automatically give blondes a ten percent hike in their grades. Wow, wonder what my conclusions will be...

    They also rate equality of health care higher or better than health care which is more variable, roughly meaning equally distributed ****ty health care rates 'better' in their study's methods than unevenly distributed but universally higher quality care. They also rate life span without correcting for nonhealthcare related issues that affect life span, which is rather convenient if you're the nation with a higher death toll due to car accidents, military deaths, and other nonhealthcare related deaths. Infant mortality is another bull**** figure because we bring more problematic pregnancies to term in the US than in other countries. We have higher infant mortality because more high risk kids are born here that would die in the womb or get aborted in other countries.

    So, relative opinions on the health care systems aside, the WHO report is a load of steaming bull**** that literally begs its own conclusions in various areas and deliberately uses slanted data. Using it for birdcage liner would do it too much respect. Quoting it as some kind of authority means you either haven't read it or are deliberately or through ignorance overlooking massive errors and biases that present.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier View Post
    At any rate, I can understand why you both endorse a private-sector system, and, as Easy said, it stems from differences between the countries themselves. No point in continuing to argue what we both "feel" is right.
    How do you with a straight face refer to the US as a 'private sector system'?

    You are aware that just under half the health care costs raised and settled in the US anually are paid by the government through our own single payer systems Medicare and Medicaid, correct? You are aware that the majority of the rest of the system is a third party payment system, mostly subsidized by employers via the government mandated HMO Act, which itself was a reaction to the situation that arose after WWII when the government froze wages and forced employers to offer other 'benefits' to compete for employees, and then the government made those benefits tax deductable for companies but not individuals essentially forcing the whole country into employer subsidized third party payment or government care, correct? You are aware that it is the government at the state and federal levels which stops proper risk tiering and mandates coverage for uninsurable conditions, as well as de facto outlaws a la carte coverage, correct? Yoiu are aware that it is the AMA via government mandate which essentially controls the supply of doctors in the US, correct?

    If so, please explain to me what kind of massively twisted and distorted view of the world one must have in order to view the US system as a 'private sector' system.

  8. You know, I could almost (really not quite, but much closer) be behind a universal catastrophic only coverage plan. It would be a lot cheaper at least than full sniffles/headaches/prescription coverage.

    damn bush for medicare part D

  9. Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    How do you with a straight face refer to the US as a 'private sector system'?

    You are aware that just under half the health care costs raised and settled in the US anually are paid by the government through our own single payer systems Medicare and Medicaid, correct? You are aware that the majority of the rest of the system is a third party payment system, mostly subsidized by employers via the government mandated HMO Act, which itself was a reaction to the situation that arose after WWII when the government froze wages and forced employers to offer other 'benefits' to compete for employees, and then the government made those benefits tax deductable for companies but not individuals essentially forcing the whole country into employer subsidized third party payment or government care, correct? You are aware that it is the government at the state and federal levels which stops proper risk tiering and mandates coverage for uninsurable conditions, as well as de facto outlaws a la carte coverage, correct? Yoiu are aware that it is the AMA via government mandate which essentially controls the supply of doctors in the US, correct?

    If so, please explain to me what kind of massively twisted and distorted view of the world one must have in order to view the US system as a 'private sector' system.
    That was a nice little diatribe. Apparently the differences between you and I stem from you being unable to read. Allow me to bold two statements for you:

    In terms of expenditures, the U.S., expenditure for its system is equal to the amount, or exceeds the amount, that Canada spends as a percentage of GPD, Easy.
    At any rate, I can understand why you both endorse a private-sector system, and, as Easy said, it stems from differences between the countries themselves. No point in continuing to argue what we both "feel" is right.
    Now, what do these statements mean? Two things: a) I am fully aware of the exorbitant involvement of the U.S., Government in Health Care provision, the substantially greater % of GDP the U.S., government spends on health care provision compared to Canada, and the per-capita tax cost; and b) I was making a statement about what both Easy and Adams would ideally like the system to be [private sector] - i.e., they were both criticizing the current [and predominantly] single payer system in favor of a completely privatized system. (This means they were "endorsing" it.) To that end, I understood and, to a certain degree, agreed with their motivation. Easy and Adams were pointing out the inadequacies in the current U.S., system, and promoting an all for-profit method; I saw their motivation.

    You may want to fully consider statements before acting pompous.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    You know, I could almost (really not quite, but much closer) be behind a universal catastrophic only coverage plan. It would be a lot cheaper at least than full sniffles/headaches/prescription coverage.

    damn bush for medicare part D
    I don't think anyone is against a safety net except free market anarchists. The problem is designing that safety net to have as little impact on the market as possible. So the questions arise: how do you build the net but generally provide disincentives to use it; how do you do something which has been up until now impossible, that being control the cost of a government program? To the first question limited coverage with means testing and wagee garnishment are good starts. No tax guaranteed budget is another. That meaning, tally the bills for the year, then pay them. Don't tax everyone first. In so doing you essentially make a first purchase for them of the service and disincentivize marginal buyers to seek out private coverage. In much the same way people use the public school system with the justification of, "Why not, I'm already paying for it..." To avoid that payment has to come after use. As for controling costs, if payment comes after the fact I guess you could average returns on specific care categories and determine a return, below market to once more disincentivize use.

  11. another option would be to "criminalize" risky behaviors IF you are accepting the safety net. Ever read the book Holy Fire by bruce sterling?

  12. Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier View Post
    You may want to fully consider statements before acting pompous.
    And on this point you're right, my bad, but from a guy who quotes the WHO report as an authoritative source, pot-kettle-black and right back at you.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    And on this point you're right, my bad, but from a guy who quotes the WHO report as an authoritative source, pot-kettle-black and right back at you.
    No, you are right: the WHO report certainly has its inadequacies, and I posted it in haste, as a heat-of-the-moment response.

    On the issue as a whole: I agree with your hypothetical plan above; I have no qualms with it whatsoever. My original criticism stemmed from the warped operation of the U.S's current system, and my defense of the Canadian system was based on the two as-of-now.

    My only concerns with a la carte coverage would be transparency; however, "transparency" is usually government-mandated, and this may have unintended consequences on the market.

  14. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    another option would be to "criminalize" risky behaviors IF you are accepting the safety net. Ever read the book Holy Fire by bruce sterling?
    No, what's it about?

    Don't like the idea of criminalizing the behaviors. At root that means you accept the government's role in the area as legitimate, not one of necessary but minimal evil. That's one of the reasons why we're in our current state anyway. We ceded power over health care to the government. Now because 'we' bear the burden of health care 'we' have to have our options restricted and our lives intruded upon.

  15. its science fiction, but the relationship is that people are able to have life extending medical procedures but how many / how often is dictated partially by you NOT doing risky behaviors.

    I'm not sure about criminalizing, but my problem with any universal coverage of any sort is that I dislike paying a premium for someone who (for instance) smokes cigarettes, eats wrong, etc.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    No, what's it about?

    Don't like the idea of criminalizing the behaviors. At root that means you accept the government's role in the area as legitimate, not one of necessary but minimal evil. That's one of the reasons why we're in our current state anyway. We ceded power over health care to the government. Now because 'we' bear the burden of health care 'we' have to have our options restricted and our lives intruded upon.
    It also poses the very real possibility for discriminatory coverage provision/denial. "Risky behavior" can be an entirely subjective and arbitrary determination, and has the possibility to preclude certain population groups. It could be entirely exclusionary, and rule out coverage for certain individuals deemed to be "risky" as a function of their daily lives. For example, and to link to the other thread, the higher proportion of homosexuals with AIDS could naturally lead to homosexuality being deemed as "risky behavior"; when, in reality, there are myriad factors which lead to higher exposure.

  17. Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier View Post
    It also poses the very real possibility for discriminatory coverage provision/denial. "Risky behavior" can be an entirely subjective and arbitrary determination, and has the possibility to preclude certain population groups. It could be entirely exclusionary, and rule out coverage for certain individuals deemed to be "risky" as a function of their daily lives. For example, and to link to the other thread, the higher proportion of homosexuals with AIDS could naturally lead to homosexuality being deemed as "risky behavior"; when, in reality, there are myriad factors which lead to higher exposure.
    and yet whether its sticking a needle in your arm, or a genital somewhere, its a conscious choice you make. I don't see why people who choose not to do those things should pay extra to cover people who do - particularly pay for your own insurance as well as pay taxes for someone who for whatever reason has no coverage. If you a drug addict with no job and no societal value, the fact that you continue to choose to use drugs doesn't obligate productive citizens to pay for your housing, food and health care.

  18. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    and yet whether its sticking a needle in your arm, or a genital somewhere, its a conscious choice you make. I don't see why people who choose not to do those things should pay extra to cover people who do - particularly pay for your own insurance as well as pay taxes for someone who for whatever reason has no coverage. If you a drug addict with no job and no societal value, the fact that you continue to choose to use drugs doesn't obligate productive citizens to pay for your housing, food and health care.
    And the drug addict scenario may be a justifiable one, but the premise itself simply lends itself toward exclusionary policies. Once you give an administration the option to begin "criminalizing" personal behavior, with the consequence of coverage-denial, you will certainly have moral imperatives guiding policy decisions. I see what you are saying, but the concept as a whole would be nothing more than an outlet for moral puritanism to explicitly suppress certain groups within society of their personal freedoms. As I said, higher probability does not equal causation, and labeling this or that behavior as more or less dangerous than any other is entirely arbitrary. It would most certainly not take into consideration all the cultural, societal, and economic factors that: a) predispose people to certain behaviors in the first place, or; b) make the outcomes of those behaviors more probable. I am ardently opposed, despite whatever my moral reservations may be, to any entity regulating personal choices that do not directly harm anybody but the end user. This stands for drugs, sex, and whatever other act some certain group is bound to find reprehensible, due to whatever justificatory authority.

  19. Encyclopedia Brittanica says insurance is

    a system under which the insurer, for a consideration usually agreed upon in advance, promises to reimburse the insured or to render services to the insured in the event that certain accidental occurrences result in losses during a given period. It thus is a method of coping with risk. Its primary function is to substitute certainty for uncertainty as regards the economic cost of loss-producing events.


    Insurance relies heavily on the “law of large numbers.” In large homogeneous populations it is possible to estimate the normal frequency of common events such as deaths and accidents. Losses can be predicted with reasonable accuracy, and this accuracy increases as the size of the group expands. From a theoretical standpoint, it is possible to eliminate all pure risk if an infinitely large group is selected.

    From the standpoint of the insurer, an insurable risk must meet the following requirements:

    1. The objects to be insured must be numerous enough and homogeneous enough to allow a reasonably close calculation of the probable frequency and severity of losses.

    2. The insured objects must not be subject to simultaneous destruction. For example, if all the buildings insured by one insurer are in an area subject to flood, and a flood occurs, the loss to the insurance underwriter may be catastrophic.

    3. The possible loss must be accidental in nature, and beyond the control of the insured. If the insured could cause the loss, the element of randomness and predictability would be destroyed.

    4. There must be some way to determine whether a loss has occurred and how great that loss is. This is why insurance contracts specify very definitely what events must take place, what constitutes loss, and how it is to be measured.
    #1 is why a single system for no $ for all people doesn't make financial sense. Its why there are different insurance rates in west virginia vs florida vs california. Different people fall into different risk categories, and pay a different premium for those. Whether based on age, race, blood test results etc. Its one of the built in disincentives to smoke or do other risky behaviors like staying obese - you'll save money on your insurance as well as save money on not spending on that habit. If you lose the financial disincentive, you are no more likely to quit smoking or binge eating, if anything less likely.

    #3 is the big kicker there tho. For particularly smoking and inappropriate eating, as well as other activities, "beyond the control of the insured" is quite relevant. Does anyone doubt at this point that smoking causes health damage? Then insurance covering health issues stemming from smoking is ridiculous, particularly if its not insurance whereby the smoker is paying out of his own pocket a premium for coverage based on his risk group, as he is knowingly doing something that harms his health.

  20. Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier View Post
    It also poses the very real possibility for discriminatory coverage provision/denial. "Risky behavior" can be an entirely subjective and arbitrary determination, and has the possibility to preclude certain population groups. It could be entirely exclusionary, and rule out coverage for certain individuals deemed to be "risky" as a function of their daily lives. For example, and to link to the other thread, the higher proportion of homosexuals with AIDS could naturally lead to homosexuality being deemed as "risky behavior"; when, in reality, there are myriad factors which lead to higher exposure.
    The problem with that is discriminatory practices are necessary for proper risk tiering. For something to qualify as strictly insurable you need to know the risk for a class but not necessarily for individuals, and it needs to be something largely out of your control. For example unemployment is not strictly speaking something you can get insured because the risk for being unemployed is not generally known and being employed is largely if not totally in your control.

    On the other hand, specific reasons aside, if being homosexual as a class means you're at high risk for this or that, you should pay more for insurance. Likewise for someone like myself, my family history of heart disease means I should pay more than other people. Proper pricing means proper risk tiering, which means insurance companies must be allowed to employ any effective criteria for distinguishing risk levels between individuals. Now that means different prices for gays, people with bad family histories, people of different races, etc. If you find that distasteful fine, but understand by eliminating the ability to use effective criteria you're just forcing people who would normally pay less to pay more, and those who would otherwise need to pay more get to pass that cost on to others.

  21. Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    The problem with that is discriminatory practices are necessary for proper risk tiering. For something to qualify as strictly insurable you need to know the risk for a class but not necessarily for individuals, and it needs to be something largely out of your control. For example unemployment is not strictly speaking something you can get insured because the risk for being unemployed is not generally known and being employed is largely if not totally in your control.

    On the other hand, specific reasons aside, if being homosexual as a class means you're at high risk for this or that, you should pay more for insurance. Likewise for someone like myself, my family history of heart disease means I should pay more than other people. Proper pricing means proper risk tiering, which means insurance companies must be allowed to employ any effective criteria for distinguishing risk levels between individuals. Now that means different prices for gays, people with bad family histories, people of different races, etc. If you find that distasteful fine, but understand by eliminating the ability to use effective criteria you're just forcing people who would normally pay less to pay more, and those who would otherwise need to pay more get to pass that cost on to others.
    Are we speaking about for-profit, or the "safety net" scenario mentioned earlier? My opposition to criminalizing personal behavior was in regard to the denial of the safety net. Insurability as a premise necessitates the meeting of certain criterion, and the end user remitting his freedoms to betray those criterion, lest he remit his coverage as well. And so, this is of course necessary in an a la carte system. I was against the criminalization of personal behavior.

  22. My thought of the "criminalization" part was more on the order of fines or something along those lines, perhaps even higher taxation on products like tobacco, alcohol, meals over 800 calories, anal lube, etc rather than so much actual jail time, with the point being recouping the additional cost that the groups who use those products cost the overall pool if we were to get stuck with effectively a single risk tier. Again, much less an issue with catastrophic only coverage as the odds of catastrophic events although still higher for some groups are relatively low odds to begin with.

  23. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    My thought of the "criminalization" part was more on the order of fines or something along those lines, perhaps even higher taxation on products like tobacco, alcohol, meals over 800 calories, anal lube, etc rather than so much actual jail time, with the point being recouping the additional cost that the groups who use those products cost the overall pool if we were to get stuck with effectively a single risk tier. Again, much less an issue with catastrophic only coverage as the odds of catastrophic events although still higher for some groups are relatively low odds to begin with.
    Ah. I see. I think there was some misunderstanding here, as all my comments about criminalization were in respects to the "safety net". For a safety net to operate properly under an a la carte system, it must disincentivize people from its use, but not preclude them. In the market, the private insurer then reserves the right to deny and/or charge people based on how that respective insurer determines risk. My point was merely that allowing the government to determine "risky behavior" on the level of this safety net would be nothing more than an avenue for tyranny.

    On the note of increasing taxes, I agree with it morally but disagree in principle. People should regulate their own behavior, and not be penalized for harming themselves. This type of parasitic behavior can then be normalized by the private insurers, by providing higher premiums for people who display this type of behavior.

    As I say, if a la carte is your preference, so be it; however, the risk-tiering cannot and should not occur at the "safety net" level, and be restricted to the for-profit sector.

  24. Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier View Post
    Are we speaking about for-profit, or the "safety net" scenario mentioned earlier? My opposition to criminalizing personal behavior was in regard to the denial of the safety net. Insurability as a premise necessitates the meeting of certain criterion, and the end user remitting his freedoms to betray those criterion, lest he remit his coverage as well. And so, this is of course necessary in an a la carte system. I was against the criminalization of personal behavior.
    As am I. However if those behaviors are not criminalized in the safety net, or at least otherwise dealt with, it serves no purpose because it is just allowing the negligent to pass their costs on to society. If you are going to ask society to provide for your health, then society gets to say under what terms they will do so. If you remit freedoms when entering into a voluntary contract in the private sector, you surely must remit along the same lines when using the government to force others to cover you via public contract. Otherwise you are saying a private organization has the right to deny my coverage or charge more per risky behavior that I may have, but the publically funded system can't do the same thing.

    Where do you think all the risky people will go and 'demand' their 'right' to health care? That's another apsect of US context you may be missing, the welfare rights movement that happened in the sixties and seventies. You see, 'assistance' was usually there in some form or another, but frowned upon. Women on 'assistance' used to have to agree to things like having no make callers. Welfare offices used to make an effort to contact relatives and get them to contribute to a claimant rather than stick them on the public dole. Then the welfare rights movement began and encouraged people not to look on public assistance as shameful, but a right one should be glad to claim. They taught people how to overwelm welfare offices so as to avoid scrutiny and get their case through easily. They changed the very fabric of the US culture to where we now have a permanent underclass who not only received near permanent assistance from the government, but thinks it's their right to receive that assistance and that it's a good thing.

    I don't know if you've had a similar movement in Canada, but this one swept the US a while back and changed a lot of perceptions vis a vi public assistance.

  25. Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    I don't know if you've had a similar movement in Canada, but this one swept the US a while back and changed a lot of perceptions vis a vi public assistance.
    not mine
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