Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Poll Question About Socialized Medicine

Do you have a RIGHT to healthcare and prescription drugs?

If yes, please explain why you have that RIGHT.

If no, tell me why.



  1. I'm a Registered Nurse so I look at this through different eyes. I don't think people have a right. In my mind rights are reserved for life, speech, right to bear arms, press, etc. I don't think right is a good word to use. I think there is maybe a moral obligation to ensure people do not die of a treatable illness irregardless of ability to pay.

    It has always been my opinion that we would save money giving people basic health insurace. Anyone that does not think we already have universal health care is fooling themselves. People that do not have insurance wait until they are sick and then go to the Emergency Room (where I work). Their care then costs us considerably more. We pay for this either through goverment programs or by writing off the cost of the visit. Either way it is using resources.

    The only other option is to lock the doors of the ER and tell these people they cannot be treated if they do not pay first. Who is willing to stand at the door and do this job? Who will stand there, look a dying man in the eye and say they cannot come in because they do not have insurance.

    I think the issue is degrees. We cannot and should not give everyone premium insurance but I do believe we would save money in the long run by providing basic care. I also believe that people should have to help pay somehow.

    One of the docs I work with suggests that people that receive free care should have to work it off. Our ER has a program in which we help pay for prescriptions for people that do not have money. His thoughts are that if they get a prescription free that costs say $50, let them come in and do $50 worth of work to pay for it. This would not only get our money back but there also would lilely be a lot more people all of a sudden coming up with the money.

  2. Deborah on the BaysideJune 10, 2009 at 10:25 PM

    A privilege, not a right. We are privileged to live in a society whose strong attitudes toward work, thrift, team association and social obligation has given us both a surfeit of wealth and a desire and ability to help those in need beyond any measure of the past.

    Rights are balanced by responsibility in a moral and ethical people. In another they can spawn an ugly sense of entitlement. We have way too much of that going on.

    CASE IN POINT. At my first job I worked with a single mother whose 2-year old continually got the sniffles. And she took her to the doctor EVERY time. She even admitted she knew there was nothing wrong, just little allergies but "SINCE I DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR IT I think I should have the doctor see her to make sure, because I want to be a good mom."

    That's when I learned about AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) and, indeed I WAS PAYING HER DOCTOR BILLS. Since I had my own emergency need for a doctor at the time that I couldn't afford, (and I saw her buying little things like shoes and weekend trips I couldn't afford either), her admission left a bitter taste of reality in my mouth. And a lesson from Econ 101: Wants and needs will always exceed the ability to pay.

    What you attach no value to you will waste. I fully believe in our moral obligation to assist those who cannot do for themselves. But I know the minute I do that I create a hangers on effect that worsens as I get more generous with the genuinely needy -- which I want to do. Chuck's idea is on the right trail.

    The conundrum is how to create a society in which those who don't need it restrain themselves for the sake of those who do, from each according to his ability and to each according to his need. Ooops! Think someone tried that already.....

  3. Thank you Chuck and Deborah for the VERY thoughtful posts!

    Chuck I understand where you're coming from, I only fear that paying for their insurance, no matter how limited at first, will morph into the Frankenstein monster that plagues European economies, and resulted in many deaths. I sorta like the idea of making recipients work off their debt, but don't let them into the pharmacy. :-)

    Deborah, the story you told happened to ME! Years ago I was busting my hump cleaning carpet and I had customers (no kidding) using food stamps and running their kids to the ER for bug bites! I was barely making ends meet as a commission carpet installer/cleaner on 350-700 per week, and I had CUSTOMERS with no traceable income eating up my tax dollars!

    As expensive as our current mess is, I fear the Government health care monster even more. You also wrote:

    " And a lesson from Econ 101: Wants and needs will always exceed the ability to pay."

    Thank you!
    And what limits the consumption of wants and needs?
    And what will limit consumption when PRICE is removed from the equation?
    Government imposed RATIONING. Get ready to die grandma and grandpa and breast cancer patients with slim chances for survival.

    I have a follow-up post planned for the subject of Socialized Medicine and I plan on shamelessly stealing the ideas of posters like Deborah and Chuck. Thanks again!

  4. In Germany, when they raised the patient part of the payment, visits to the doctor dropped by a large percentage.

    I'm struggling with your question; I do NOT think it's a right (particularly for illegals who are forcing LA hospitals to close willy/nilly and who've been responsible for a huge part of our money problems) but I, like my friend Deborah, think CHuck has some good points in his comment.

    And there's so much WASTE. St. John's Hospital, near Deborah and me, sends your first bill marked NOT A BILL. I figure they could save a lot of money NOT sending that but just sending your final revised bill after insurance has had at it, right!? Hundreds of patients a month...printing, postage, work, etc..?!! This probably carries across the board.

    good luck with your new post, Morgan. it's no easy subject.

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  7. Z, I know you Angelinos have a devastating problem with illegals in your hospitals. The reason I asked (stressed) whether or not healthcare was a RIGHT will become apparent in my next post.

    The distinction between a RIGHT to something, and it's just being another market based and driven commodity has been lost, and is the most important reason healthcare is such a Mongolian cluster fornication. I know that last sentence is poorly written, by the fourth time you read it, it'll make sense. :-)

  8. Only if its' in society's best interest to keep me going... as measured by the amount of green in my wallet (a proxy for my previous contributions to that society).

  9. Great comment FJ! I'm still getting a chuckle from the truth of it.

  10. dont worry Hussein will make us subsidize every illegal and bozo in the country soon!

  11. WomanHonorThyself said...
    "dont worry Hussein will make us subsidize every illegal and bozo in the country soon!"

    Yes indeed. If it were STRICTLY his call that's what he'd have. It's been my contention for maybe two months that part of Obama's agenda is to create as much market dislocation and economic damage as possible. Why? Two reasons mainly:

    1. It's the natural radical impulse (Nihilism), usually reigned-in only by the desire to be re-elected.

    2. Economic damage has the added benefit of empowering the statists on the left. People will NEED government. Ugghh!

  12. A right? No.

    IMO, we were a lot better off in the fee-for-service days. Back then, I could bargain with my doctor and didn't have to pay the 30% extra in costs that hiring special personnel to manage health insurance costs each and every patient who goes to a doctor who takes health-insurance plans.

    Mr. AOW and I are fortunate in that both of us can take generic medications almost across the board. I've found that I can get those medications more cheaply without going through our health-insurance plan. Now, that's the free market at work.

    Our healthcare costs would cost us a lot less if we didn't have to fund the Doha Agreements.

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  15. If you read the constitution empathically, you will discover that health care is a right.

    (FJ: great commment)

  16. AOW I couldn't agree more! The further away the consumer is removed from the product, the crazier the price becomes. I remeber my parents paying cash for our doctor visits. They griped privately about the price, but it didn't break the damned bank!

    So RK, I take it you're no fan of Sonya the Magnificent? LOL!

  17. Jingo, in my humble opinion, healthcare is an individual responsibility, not a right or a privilege. Americans have the opportunity to lead productive useful lives in which they can provide all the necessities required to live a healthy life. All you have to do is work hard and qualify yourself. Government has no duty to provide health care to citizens. Citizens have the duty to provide that for themselves.

  18. Nope, no ''right'' at all. Thats a persons responsability. We've had the best health care system in the world for the last 100 years or so because of the free market, not because of the government. Hey Morgan, how are you, hows life treating you these days? Can't complain here thank God. Johnnymac.

  19. Fairest and Johnny, you two are absolutely right! You've both made a great statement of Founding Principles. The free market provides what we need, government force and compulsion impoverishes.

    Things are going well for me Johnny. Work has slowed down dramatically, but I still have enough to keep a good crew busy. I left you a voice mail, give my best to Anne!

  20. Jingo, I don't mean we should deny health care to those citizens who are legitimately unable to care for themselves. But charities used to care for their own poor, disabled and disadvantaged within their communities and neighborhoods. Furthermore, those receiving help were grateful for it. They weren't assholes spitting in the faces of the taxpayers & productive, spending their donations on drugs, whores or gambling like the welfare folks of today.

    The thing is, just about anyone with a work ethic, even those not all that bright, can produce a decent living in the USA. And most companies used to provide 100% health coverage for their workers and dependents. Our healthcare was great.

    Welfare, LIBERALISM, has destroyed that. What we ought to do is END Medicare & Medicaid. Replace them with private insurance and see private industry compete for and clean up this mess.

    Why the hell would we want government to take over any more of the healthcare system when it's already failing miserably with the elderly and the poor? That a Liberal for you, they stink at what they're doing so they want to take over the entire segment of the marketplace.

    My heart is broken watching all the car dealerships across the country being closed by the Obama Administration, 500,000 people out of work on the same day, for crying out loud.

    Can you imagine the insurance business layoffs if the federal government takes over healthcare? We're heading in the wrong direction at a record pace. God help us all!

  21. Fairest, in the final analysis, when we get away from the free market delivery of healthcare, we violate EVERYTHING that makes the delivery function properly. In a few days I'm going to post about some REAL solutions to the government and trial lawyer created MESS that we labor under right now.

  22. RightKlik made me laugh out loud!

    then cry, yes.

  23. Jingoist: "I take it you're no fan of Sonya the Magnificent?"

    Are you kidding? She's my new favorite bigot. Rev. Wright is a close second.

    Z: Thank you.