Leavitt in the WSJ -- "Health 'Reform' Is Income Redistribution"

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mkrishnan, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #1
    The WSJ is really establishing itself as not caring about public welfare in the healthcare arena... (This is from today's opinion)

    It's not that I'm such an idealogue on this issue that I'm unwilling to hear debate, but this strikes me as much like the case of the Mackey editorial they previously published that pans to centricism by claiming to be interested in discussion about real options but in actuality is advocating doing nothing at all because there's no actual concern for the welfare of sick Americans.

    The comparison to home insurance is particularly galling. It may be true that we do not try to sell insurance to people while their homes are on fire, but we also do not deny them the services of the fire department because they were unable to purchase insurance before the fire. :rolleyes:

    I like the WSJ but apologize, because I'm mostly ranting here....
     
  2. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #2
    Any news outlook that let's the dirty digger gain control of it becomes trash no matter how illustrious it's history (see also the Times).
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #3
    Sadly the WSJ is owned by Murdoch along with Fox News, so its not a great source anymore :(.
     
  4. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #4
    I don't know why that one isn't trotted out more often (or maybe it is, and I just don't notice). It certainly frames the issue very well. I suppose the counter is that we don't deny people the right to seek emergency treatment because they don't have health insurance either. And, in either case, it can leave the individual with a serious debt to pay. But, then again, the solutions to protecting the individual from fire (smoke detectors and suppression systems) are made to protect the most at risk (free distributions by the fire department, mandates for sprinklers in every apartment and new home). For health, the protections (well visits, preventative care) are set up to leave the most at risk exposed (high costs, no mandate for providing preventative care).

    Anyway, we can ignore this opinion piece. Leavitt is forgettable in that way. The only former Utah governor that woth paying attention to is Huntsman.
     
  5. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #5
    What you say is true -- in the end, the fire analogy is just not a good analogy. It's true that we do offer emergency services and some urgent care services to the un- or under-insured. It's also true that the state doesn't pay for a person who has a home fire to get back up to their standard of living before the fire (instead enacting measures to encourage people to be insured, if not force them to do so).

    I also don't disagree that, conceptually, there exists a line where things of most kinds can be considered luxuries. When someone's house burns down, no one is saying we should buy them a new mansion and Subzero appliances. Getting a nice new home is understandably above and beyond what every American should expect as part of human dignity (having a roof over one's head is not). No one is saying that it's sad we live in a country where all Americans do not have access to Mercedes Benz's and that we should enact a public program to buy a C-class for everyone.

    But if you get right down to it, I think very few Americans would say that surviving leukemia or receiving cardiovascular care that would prevent one from having a heart attack or stroke really falls into the realm of luxury services. Many Americans might call elective cosmetic surgery a luxury service, but would not think a burn victim or breast cancer survivor is pursuing a wholly cosmetic service. Sports fitness assessments might be an extravagance but rehabilitation for people in car accidents is not.

    Very few Americans, that is, aside from Leavitt, Mackey, and the editors of the Journal. I think, in honesty, it's shocking to me because this a view that is about as much out of tune with the American sense of decency as birthers are. And the Journal, which says many sensible things (many more than Fox News, certainly), has become its mouthpiece.
     
  6. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #6
    This looks like its right up there with the Washington Time's editorial "Death Panels by Proxy" (referring to part of the Baucus bill).

    Let's just face it, there is no good media out there anymore, not in this country. Reporters have turned into pontificaters, and it doesn't matter if an editorial is fact based or not, as long as it is flashy they'll print it.
     
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #7
    So no American media to be used as a PRSI source? Is that where we should go with this?
     
  8. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #8
    I don't see issue with the reasoning in the article. I thought thats why dems were pushing for a public option. In reality dictating to private businesses to provide insurance without assessing risk or tieing their hands to assessing risk is going to cripple them.

    The whole rationale behind a public option (in my mind) is to create a safety net for those who fall through the cracks when private industry will not be able to cover them.
     
  9. tofagerl macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

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    #9
    Income Redistribution... Snicker... You americans with your fancy synonyms and allegories and stuff.

    Here in Europe, we call a tax a tax, and then people vote on wether to tax or not.
     
  10. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #10
    I agree with most of what you wrote, execpt for one small, possible exception in the above. But, I'll get back to that in a moment.

    I don't disagree with what you state here, but at the same time, I think the problem that has developed in this process is that we (both sides) have dehumanized those who disagree with us. Instead of seeing logic as you present it here, one side will villify you for wanting the government to take over the world while the other will mourn over the fact that every day half of America dies from the lack of health services because the insurance industry has never paid out a claim.

    So, the disagreement. Somethign like sports fitness assessments are the type of thing that not only should be covered, it should be provided as a government service. Not a full scale review, but I imagine that we could reduce the numebr of deaths and injuries that we see in the US from exertion if people were evaluated proir to starting fitness efforts. Even it is a superficial evaluation, knowing that you are at high risk for a heart attack could reduce the number of old folks that die shovelling snow, etc.

    The most essential services to get running are those reduce costs beyond the cost of deployment (i.e. the profitable ones).
     
  11. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #11
    Did I Say that? I sure didn't mean to... I think everybody here in PRSI knows that every source has to be taken with a grain of salt, there are legitimate articles out there, but finding them is harder than it ever should be.
     
  12. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #12
    I thought:

    Said it pretty well :eek:.

    After replying to yet another post saying Fox News was a "legitimate" source I got a bit pissed off.
     
  13. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Uh, we pay taxes for the fire department.

    Want the simple beef I have. We are going to take money from people who do produce and many of whom who do pay their way to give to those who REFUSE to prioritize their spending appropriately.

    As in, they will not pay for health care or try under the lament that its too expensive or they don't have the money yet...

    many will have a large car payment, if not more than one.
    many will have stupid cell phone plans
    many will have credit card debt; already showing they don't prioritize properly
    many will have many monthlies (read: all those "its just 19.95 a month"


    I am not against protecting people from losing it all to catastrophic issues, but you should be required to commit your money to daily and weekly needs before asking your neighbor to pay for it. Sorry, but if you have enough for the fancy cell phone, fancy APPLE computer, the nice car, you don't have reason to ask someone else to pay except selfishness.
     
  14. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #14
    People who can afford fancy cell phones, Apple computers and nice cars will be taxed commensurate with someone who makes enough money to buy fancy cell phones, Apple computers and nice cars. If they are overextending themselves to afford these things, such taxation may reduce their ability to afford them somewhat, and the financial consequences of such poor budgeting will sort themselves out naturally.

    Contrast with the present situation, where poor money management combined with an unforeseen medical crisis leads to irrecoverable financial ruin for the individual, but heavy costs to society as well, as we must pay for the high-cost crisis care they cannot afford and did not prepare for.

    Given the latter is at least as expensive, and often more so, is maximally punishing people for not choosing to be responsible really worth the premium cost over taking away the option to not help fund the health care safety net society doesn't have the option not to provide them?
     
  15. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #15
    Most gyms won't allow people to become members unless they have successfully filled out a PAR-Q that assesses their risk of injury, and if that risk is anywhere above "low" a doctor's note in required to continue forward.
    This could actually be implemented at a very low cost; some television commercials and advertising that leads to an online questionnaire that then refers people to local doctors if they don't meet the PAR-Q guidelines. Recently here there was a similar "check up from the neck up" campaign about mental health that I think would work on the subject of physical health as well.
     
  16. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #16
    This is very true. I'm guilty to some extent of it as well. Now I don't lend any credence to the viewpoint, "I don't care whether or not anyone else has healthcare as long as I can purchase the best healthcare in the world as I am rich" or really any variant that amounts to "let's do nothing" or "the market will take care of this" in the absence of any convincing data to support those views. Those views don't involve healthcare reform. I have not personally seen any of them presented with any compelling evidence to support the view that not reforming healthcare is a good idea. Honestly I don't expect to see such evidence (now someone might make a compelling argument that we should table healthcare for one year or three. I see no likelihood of a good reason to do nothing in the long term about healthcare).

    But you're definitely right in that, even among all the people who are legitimately talking about health care, there is too much vilification going on. It gets in the way of legitimate discussions... for instance, we've now been hearing for months about these "cooperatives" and still there is really hardly any discussion about how they'd work. Or, while the death panel business is vile itself and needs no vilification, there is an underlying discussion about end of life (where I think the dominant viewpoint in the US, for instance, has amply been demonstrated to be very different than the dominant viewpoint in Europe or elsewhere, and there needs to be serious discussion about this). That discussion is not happening, for instance, and for shame!

    Yeah... now that probably does fall under an annual physical, but I think one could go back to the original idea of managed care and make an argument that things like sports fitness that keep people active and reduce their risk for a whole host of cardiovascular, orthopedic, and even psychiatric diseases, should actually be at the top of any pyramid of the most important healthcare services, since they are preventative in nature. :eek:
     
  17. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #17
    I guess it just comes down to the definition of a good media outlet. I don't want anyone to tell my what to make of the material they are presenting. I am perfectly capable of drawing my own conclusion and don't need some half-wit reporter to give me their take. I also happen to think that way too many people do rely on said half-wits to tell them what to think of the material presented, thus our current situation. But that's a rant for a different thread... :eek:

    I think you have hit the nail on the head. While ideally everyone would take financial responsibility for themselves it simply isn't realistic. It's a great ideal to hold, but doesn't do anything to further progress on the issue. Furthermore, holding only this ideal in mind when looking at the issue of health care completely ignores the fact that society already does pay for the cost of those not covered by insurance, just not necessarily as directly as a public option might be. With this in mind, it is fairly easy to see that getting these people covered, and thereby minimizing (or at least reducing) the financial cost to society as a whole is beneficial to everyone.
     
  18. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #18
    Now the problem here is that value judgments are everywhere. Not to go all Robert Pirsig on you, but the idea of a truly impartial press is not a memory of good old times but a fabrication. It's just not really even possible. Now that's quite the tangent, but actually, the CSM did an interesting piece on it last week...

    That being said, this was an op-ed. Even still, it draws conclusions that seem particularly poorly related to reality.
     
  19. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #19
    I'm well aware of that, but what we have in the U.S. has gotten a bit out of hand.
     
  20. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #20
    Yeah, more liberal socialism. We should privatize fire protection services. Then after that, we should privatize police services, too. You know, like in Robo Cop?
     
  21. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #21
    What about schools and roads? Both of them should be privatised too.
     
  22. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #22
    Yes, and after those the military should be privatized. In fact, we could just call all the employees "privates".
     
  23. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #23
    Private schools do perform better in standardized testing. Parents tend to be more involved when they are paying straight from the pocket book.
     
  24. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #24
    There is a de facto private option in all these areas already. You can choose private healthcare, private education, private security, private transport, even a well-regulated private militia. What's the problem?
     
  25. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #25
    Don't forget that private schools can dismiss students for any reason, as long as it's not based upon race. When such a selection process in place, they tend to get students who perform better or dismiss those who do not. Public schools have no such luxury - they have to take all.
     

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