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Japan’s experience with universal health care
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, September 29, 2007

It seems like at least once a week, you can find a story about a foreign "universal health care system" which documents its failure. Yet despite that, we seem determined not to heed those lessons. I can't help but think that comes from the "but-the-right-people-haven't-tried-it-yet" mentality which continues to attempt to stand-up socialism around the world and continues to fail.

Our story this week comes from Japan:
Now, according to a recent release by the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, it is failing in Japan.

If universal care were the genuine cure-all, the one country where it should work is Japan. They have a homogenous population, healthier lifestyle, eat more fish and soy, more vegetables and far less obesity than here. If universal care does not work there why should it work anywhere?

According to Japanese legislator Takashi Yamamoto, who was just diagnosed with cancer, "abandoned cancer refugees are roaming the Japanese archipelago." Patients are told they¹ll never get better, even when treatments exist, and many are not even informed of their diagnoses. Cancer mortality rates in Japan have been steadily climbing and are now more than 250 per 100,000, while U.S. rates are now around 180 per 100,000.

Japanese public television showed the stark contrast. In the U.S., multiple specialists meet to discuss a cancer patient's care. In Japan, a single doctor usually makes the diagnosis and carries out treatment with minimal consultation.

While Japanese patients want American-style treatment, their policymakers are alarmed. With a huge national debt and corporations worried about higher taxes, they say Japan can't afford to pour money into treatments that can't extend life span by very much.

"America did too much of this and that's why their medical costs have grown," said Masaharu Nakajima, a surgeon and former director of the Health Bureau at the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Since Japan enacted universal health insurance in the early 1960s, the emphasis has been on a minimum standard of care for all. People must pay a monthly health-insurance fee, and large companies pay also. Coverage decisions, doctors' pay, and other rules are set by the central government.

Japanese doctors complain that they have no time to spend with patients. The experience of seeing a doctor is summarized as "a three-hour wait for a three-minute visit."

"Our rights as individuals are not being recognized," stated lung cancer patient Hidesuke Hashimoto. Mr. Hashimoto, a former math teacher, undertook to study his options on his own, moving along to a different hospital when told there was nothing more that could be done, and sometimes paying out of pocket (Landers, Wall Street Journal 1/11/07).
Unlike the previous post, this isn't rocket science. See the highlighted line? Again, the grand claim of such a system is it will be more efficient and less costly. Nary a one of the systems in existence today that I've read about has lived up to the "efficiency" claim, if access and waiting times are a measure of efficiency. Every one of them seems to suffer from lack of access.

Secondly, the "less costly" claim seems to be accomplished by limiting access and limiting treatment. A rigid structure with prescribed treatments which disallow deviation. Imagine the sort of cancer treatment forced on the Japanese attempted here. Now imagine it with any other chronic disease you can name.

What's the premise at work in a system like that?
Commenting on the WSJ article, Craig Cantoni, a columnist in Scottsdale, Ariz., writes: "Like nationalized health care in other countries, the Japanese system is based on the premise that the state owns your body." Therefore, "the state can dictate what medical care can be withheld from you, either by policy or by making you wait so long for care that you die in the mean time."
We see all sorts of bloviation by the left about attacks on our liberty. Yet, for the most part, they are supportive of the most insidious attack on our liberty you can imagine with their call for some form of universal health care system here. And make no mistake, all of the leading Presidential candidates are talking about an eventual government-run system despite their obvious spin.

I continue to wonder what it will take, in terms of examples of the consistent failures of these sorts of systems to do what they claim they're going to do, for us to learn that lesson before it is too late.
 
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In their own minds, the left is being perfectly consistent on this. And they’ve convinced themselves that their healthcare position supports freedom.

That’s because, as a recent commenter here named Kathy demonstrated, they’ve completely redefined what they mean as "freedom".
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
With a huge national debt and corporations worried about higher taxes, they say Japan can’t afford to pour money into treatments that can’t extend life span by very much.

"America did too much of this and that’s why their medical costs have grown," said Masaharu Nakajima, a surgeon and former director of the Health Bureau at the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.


Wow, really? You mean costs grow when you try to do more? Amazing! Next you’ll be telling me something crazy like how people should decide on their own whether or not these costs are worth it!
 
Written By: Mariner
URL: http://www.concordparty.net
Page 12 (printed page 12 = file page 14, which includes the un-numbered title pages) of this presentation (warning-large PDF file) shows the history of co-payment increases for Japan’s universal health care. In 1984, Japan introduced a co-pay of 10% for the population under age 69, which was increased to 20% in 1997 and to 30% in 2003. For the elderly population, the co-pay has also increased and is mean-tested into two tiers, with the richer tier set at roughly $55,000 in annual household income, which also has a 30% co-pay, and is basically 10% for those earning less.

Many policy experts believe that the co-payment for the employed population in Japan is going to 50% from the current level of 30%.

I suspect this is hardly the left’s idea of "universal"
 
Written By: m.jed
URL: http://
Craig Cantoni, a columnist in Scottsdale, Ariz., writes: "Like nationalized health care in other countries, the Japanese system is based on the premise that the state owns your body."
Is the light beginning to come on for the American Media? Universal Health Care means that "the government" makes decisions about your body.

Aren’t the abortion rights people always arguing that "your" laws should stay away from "my" body? How does that square with a desire for the federal government to know and decide how much and what kind of medical attention we get?

I know, another liberal inconsistency, what a shock. But could this not be used as an argument that might get NARAL and the like to see things from a more libertarian point of view?
 
Written By: Less
URL: http://
I continue to wonder what it will take, in terms of examples of the consistent failures of these sorts of systems to do what they claim they’re going to do, for us to learn that lesson before it is too late.
It is too late.

The question is not whether we should have government healthcare, it’s how we want to change the existing system which is overwhelmingly government run, just in a messy piecemeal fashion.

Let me take my healthcare dollars and join the FEHBP, as a choice, and I’d be happy. That’s government run healthcare that seems to work pretty well.

But we still have the big problem of people desiring to choose whether they will pay for and have health insurance, but not being able to choose whether they become ill and require treatment that is beyond their means to pay, coupled with the fact that as a society, we are just not prepared to say "tough luck, you made a bad choice, go die". I figure we have two choices, make the decision that if you choose not to health insurance, you’re SOL, or have universal coverage, since our practice of providing healthcare to anyone who truly needs it regardless of whether they can or will pay amounts to universal coverage anyway.

We have shown time and time again that we are not going to tell people they are SOL, so there we are.

Cap

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Firstly, when the government starts underwriting healthcare costs in a large way with a coherent program, they will start enforcing more and more control on costs. Basically it will evolve into a socialized medicine program. Don’t delude yourselves.

===============

There’s one aspect not mentioned that gives these programs a huge leg up on cost savings.

They shut out nearly all malpractice awards. If you by some chance you are allowed to sue and by some miracle you win, your award is miniscule.

Although the Democrats are pimping programs that don’t change your ability to sue, that will not last for long. The expense of healthcare will force similar shutout of lawsuits. I mean you simply can’t pay doctors less than their malpractice fees. The Trial Lawyers should be abandoning the Democrats in droves this time around.

And even with the advantage of not paying spit in the way of malpractice and not performing Cover Your Backside medical tests and procedures, their efficiency is sub-par.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
if there is any government program i might be ok with them implementing in the drive to help health insurance, its setting up a separate legal council in which all medical malpractice cases must pass through. There by taking the burden of combating frivolous cases off of medical institution. Their sole purpose would be acting as a gate between actual malpractice and simply risks of medical care. I think fixing the sue happy culture would do alot to relieve medical bills and in turn make it easier for people on the poor side to afford insurance.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
I continue to wonder what it will take, in terms of examples of the consistent failures of these sorts of systems to do what they claim they’re going to do, for us to learn that lesson before it is too late.
Not going to happen. We’re going to insure all the kids. And as they grow up we’ll just insure more. And as the river of government money drives costs up (as it always does) more and more people will be priced out. And the government will save them.

No one ever notices that nearly all the problems governemnt is saving them from were created by government in the first place.

Expensive Healthcare.
Expensive College.
Expensive Energy.
Failing schools.

Government will save you. Just as soon as it’s done creating the next problem.
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
I continue to wonder what it will take, in terms of examples of the consistent failures of these sorts of systems to do what they claim they’re going to do, for us to learn that lesson before it is too late.
It’s just like socialism and communism, the left keeps believing it won’t fail it’s just run by the right people with the right intentions.
 
Written By: Jay Evans
URL: http://
It’s just like socialism and communism, the left keeps believing it won’t fail it’s just run by the right people with the right intentions.
Unfortunately, the world’s supply of unworldly, selfless angels is limited.
 
Written By: Random Numbers
URL: http://randomnumbers.us
It’s just like socialism and communism, the left keeps believing it won’t fail it’s just run by the right people with the right intentions.
I wish y’all would address the reality that if we, as a society, are not willing to say no to anyone that needs healthcare, we already have universal healthcare.

This debate is not whether to have it or not, this debate is whether to change it, and how to change it, but unless you can change the opinion among our society that no one that needs medical care should be denied, you are arguing the wrong point with the red scare nonsense.

Here’s your real choices IMHO.

1. Say no, and oppose any advancement of universal healthcare, allowing people who don’t care at all about your concerns to develop the policy.
2. Participate in the process and protect your concerns.
3. Convince Americans that we should not provide care to people who cannot afford it, or choose not to pay for health insurance.
4. Say no, and fight to protect the status quo.

Since the status quo is untenable and Americans are not going to say no to people who need care, and I want my concerns addressed, the only logical course of action I can see is participate in the process.

But go ahead and make simplistic comments about socialism (as if we didn’t already have it) if it makes you feel better.

Cap


 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
We can argue about health care forever, but this is one thing that sticks in my mind. I have read and heard many people, even heard myself complain about the mindless, seemly ignorant, uncivil insurance company and hospital bureaucrats. Well, just consider those mindless, seemly ignorant, uncivil bureaucrats being replaced by the mindless, seemly ignorant, uncivil, CIVIL SERVICE PROTECTED and CONGRESSIONAL PROTECTED government bureaucrats. That should send a shiver down anyone’s spine.
 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://
That should send a shiver down anyone’s spine.
If that’s how the policy were developed, it would be awful.

That’s why I prefer seeing something more like the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan, where the government appoints an independent board to negotiate with private insurers to get the best value. As far as Medicare, kill it and put Medicare eligible Americans on the FEHBP as well, same goes for the VA, and Medicaid.

There’s 10,000,000 insured in the FEHBP (making it the largest in the country), and they have enormous buying power, and negotatiate better deals than any other benefit plan in the country, and the satisfaction is 88% while the prices have consistently outperformed the rest of the healthcare market by a significant margin. This is the plan that Congress enjoys.

Open this plan to all Americans, but don’t force anyone out of business, they can compete to participate in the fed plan, or they can compete with the fed plan in the open market. Let the best plan win.

Meanwhile, we killed two other bureaucracies... woohoo!

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Cap - you aren’t proposing a different kind of socialism, you’re just selling it that way - which is hardly the way to sell anything here. You’re proposing cutting the government and government regulation out of a government structure, leaving it free-standing, and eliminating the government structures currently competing with it.
 
Written By: Adirian
URL: http://
Cap - you aren’t proposing a different kind of socialism, you’re just selling it that way - which is hardly the way to sell anything here. You’re proposing cutting the government and government regulation out of a government structure, leaving it free-standing, and eliminating the government structures currently competing with it.
Am I selling?

I thought I was sharing my opinion and why I hold this opinion.

If you disagree, that’s fine, but tell me why, and how you would do it better, and why you think you can accomplish your preferred solution.

Your description may be accurate, I’m not sure, but it doesn’t seem to be asking me to do anything other than consider the formulation of my argument. How would you formulate my argument?
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
But we still have the big problem of people desiring to choose whether they will pay for and have health insurance, but not being able to choose whether they become ill and require treatment that is beyond their means to pay, coupled with the fact that as a society, we are just not prepared to say "tough luck, you made a bad choice, go die".
So, how many old people died due to lack of medical care prior to Medicare?

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Here’s your real choices IMHO.

1. Say no, and oppose any advancement of universal healthcare, allowing people who don’t care at all about your concerns to develop the policy.
2. Participate in the process and protect your concerns.
3. Convince Americans that we should not provide care to people who cannot afford it, or choose not to pay for health insurance.
4. Say no, and fight to protect the status quo.
The right choice would be to phase out medicare and medical, and change the system so that employeers no longer are involved in obtaining health insurance for employees.

In other words, go to a free markets system, so that once again the consumer is in charge.

The fundamental problem with our current system is that the insurance companies and government are in charge, not the consumers. All the plans of the left and the Democrats will only make this worse.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
So, how many old people died due to lack of medical care prior to Medicare?
Nine

Does this question somehow address the point?

Is there a numeric qualifier where Medicare makes sense and a threshold of the number of people dying outside the hospital that is acceptable?

Medicare is a bad program, I’m with you on that, but Americans are still not prepared to let ANYONE go without care. Do you understand that this fact alone makes our system a defacto universal healthcare system?

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
In other words, go to a free markets system, so that once again the consumer is in charge.
The medical industry, including providers and insurers, are so entrenched in government as to be quasi-governmental themselves. There can be no free market in healthcare, only more freedom for existing players to exploit the advantages they have bought for themselves.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Does this question somehow address the point?
It addresses the point that "we" need to provide healthcare for the poor:
3. Convince Americans that we should not provide care to people who cannot afford it, or choose not to pay for health insurance.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
The medical industry, including providers and insurers, are so entrenched in government as to be quasi-governmental themselves. There can be no free market in healthcare, only more freedom for existing players to exploit the advantages they have bought for themselves.
Yes, there can be a free market in healthcare.

Ending government funded healthcare, and government enticements to employeers to buy medical insurance are the key steps required to move towards a free market in medical care. I would support a temporary ban on employeer provided health insurance to move us along more quickly.



 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
It addresses the point that "we" need to provide healthcare for the poor:
No, it does not do that at all. The point was not about providing healthcare for the poor, the point was about the decision by the American people not to withold care from anyone, regardless of whether they can or will pay.

As has been brought up many times in this forum, many of the uninsured are simply young people who have a low risk of needing medical care, so they make what they consider to be an informed economic decision, and it works out pretty well for most of them. But some are felled by serious medical conditions which they cannot pay for. As a society, we have determined that these people should get care, whether it is emergency room care, or something else.

You have failed to address this societal paradigm that while you want to let people choose whether or not they will pay for insurance, you are not changing the fact they will indeed seek and gain medical care, for free, if needed.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Yes, there can be a free market in healthcare.
No, there can’t be a free market in healthcare in this country.
Ending government funded healthcare, and government enticements to employeers to buy medical insurance are the key steps required to move towards a free market in medical care. I would support a temporary ban on employeer provided health insurance to move us along more quickly.
If you do all of these things, you still end up with an industry run by institutions that are so entrenched in government that the only signficant change would be their ability to exploit their advantages. You can’t put this genie back in the bottle.

Do you think that somehow HCA, a private sector corporation, is going to suddenly be met with competition that is not completely entrenched in government? You’re dreaming.

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
No, there can’t be a free market in healthcare in this country.
Yes, there can be.
If you do all of these things, you still end up with an industry run by institutions that are so entrenched in government that the only signficant change would be their ability to exploit their advantages. You can’t put this genie back in the bottle.

Do you think that somehow HCA, a private sector corporation, is going to suddenly be met with competition that is not completely entrenched in government? You’re dreaming.
The reason for these "institutions" is for compliance with the requirements of government programs and insurance compainies.

HMOs grew out of a need to manage health care so that insurance companies and the government would have warm fuzzies they were not getting stiffed. If we went back to a free market payments system, the need for this level of management would disappear. Competition would take care of the rest.

That said, we won’t go back to a free market system anytime soon. Not because we can’t, but because most people are economically ignorant, and fear the "unkown" of freedom.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
The reason for these "institutions" is for compliance with the requirements of government programs and insurance companies.
You are correct in part, but you have also ignored the other side of the equation, that being the extent to which these institutions have manipulated government to their own advantage.

When the government puts up some regulation that makes entry into some industry more difficult, they may have some rhetoric that provides political cover, but generally, this is the result of lobbyists for those already in an industry attempting to close the door on competition.

In the scenerio you paint, the government would remove all the barriers and get out of the way, but the current protected players would have a huge advantage, and long before any real free market outcome would be observed, these same companies would go right back to government, with new legislation to protect them.

Ayn Rand was right that in order to have a free market, you must separate business and government in the same way you separate government and religion, the problem is that this is impossible, making an actual free market impossible.

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
When the government puts up some regulation that makes entry into some industry more difficult, they may have some rhetoric that provides political cover, but generally, this is the result of lobbyists for those already in an industry attempting to close the door on competition.
This isn’t the way our health care system evolved.

During WW2 employeer provided medical benifits became a loophole to get around high income taxes, and this is what drives the employeer provided insurance system.

In the 1960s government stepped in directly with Medicare.

Employeer provided insurance systems and government programs are the big things driving our system, and they are what lies behind the push towards HMOs.

The primary government regulation driving this is designed to prevent Medicare "fraud". Specific lobbying to reduce free market competition would be essentially irrelevent, since the competition in this case is for the government/insurance cash cow. If you don’t agree, can you specifically list any regulation that acts as you claim?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
If you don’t agree, can you specifically list any regulation that acts as you claim?
There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of regulations that allow health care providers to perform regulatory capture to prevent free market competition.

Here’s just one story...
How Inova Captured the Regulators

By Steven Pearlstein
Washington Post, Friday, December 8, 2006; Page D01

As the Federal Trade Commission wraps up its antitrust review of Inova’s purchase of Prince William Hospital — and Inova’s near-monopoly on hospital services in Northern Virginia — it might consider Request No. VA-7343, filed this year with the Virginia health commissioner.

Inova asked permission to buy a new three-dimensional X-ray machine known as a CAT scanner for an outpatient facility in Lorton. It was one of three such applications from Northern Virginia. The others were from Reston Hospital Center, owned by HCA, Inova’s chief rival, which wants the scanner for a new diagnostic center in Ashburn, and the Cardiovascular Group, the largest group practice of cardiologists in Northern Virginia, which wants to remove radiologists from the heart-treatment process by doing diagnostic work in-house.

A CAT scanner is part of the emergency department at Inova Fairfax Hospital. Inova has most of Northern Virginia’s CAT-scan market. (By James M. Thresher — The Washington Post)

It took roughly nine months for these three applications to wind their way through the state’s "certificate of public need" process. Regional health planners recommended against all of them, while state bureaucrats in Richmond came to the opposite conclusion. But at the end of a cumbersome process, the state health commissioner approved only one application — Inova’s.

That would be the same Inova that went out of its way to oppose the other two applications, along with another that proposed moving an existing machine from Sterling to Lansdowne. And that would be the same Inova that, according to state statistics, already controls 62 percent of the CAT-scan market in Northern Virginia.

This isn’t a story, however, of political influence, although Inova has plenty. Instead, this is the story of a what economists call "regulatory capture" — a condition by which a regulatory process has gradually been co-opted by the very industry it was supposed to monitor. What started as a reasonable attempt to control medical costs by limiting the number of hospital beds and X-ray machines has become a blunt instrument in the hands of dominant players to deter and discourage competition.

Under the certificate of public need process, Inova was able to go before regulators and argue that putting a CAT scanner five miles from its Loudoun Hospital, as HCA’s Reston Hospital Center proposed, or across the street from its new heart institute at Fairfax Hospital, as the Cardiovascular Group proposed, would threaten its own CAT scanning business. To varying degrees, I’m sure that’s true. But what kind of competitive market can you have if you start with rules that say upstarts shouldn’t be able to lure away customers by offering better service and lower prices?

Sometimes, of course, there is no incumbent. But there, too, Inova knows how to work the system to make sure nobody gets in line ahead of it. In its Lorton application, for example, Inova admits it won’t really need a CAT scanner there until it completes construction of its new "health-plex." And even then, it says, there won’t be enough volume for the scanner to turn a profit for at least two years. In granting Inova’s application, the state health commissioner acknowledged it was premature.

But by getting its application in early and relying on the strong preference under the regulations for locating key equipment at general hospitals and 24-hour emergency rooms, Inova got the jump on competitors. And now that it has the first scanner in the Lorton area, Inova will have a strong legal basis to oppose future applications for a diagnostic center or outpatient surgery facility there, arguing that there’s not enough business to go around.

At times, even the bureaucrats in Richmond realize they are being used to snuff out competition. That’s what happened recently after they approved HCA’s application to build a hospital near Dulles Airport in Loudoun County, over the heated protests of Inova and Loudoun Hospital. One of their stated reasons was to inject some needed competition into the Northern Virginia hospital market.

Rather than accept the verdict and gear itself up to compete, Inova turned to another government procedure — zoning — to block HCA’s Broadlands project in Loudoun. By the time it’s all resolved by the courts, somebody probably will have found a cure for cancer.

As it happens, a legislative task force in Richmond is considering whether the state should continue to play a role in regulating expansion of health-care facilities. Many of the state’s physicians have joined with anti-regulation conservatives in a push to abolish the certificate of public need process, as more than a dozen states already have. To his credit, the state health commissioner wants to reform the process in ways that would make it harder for dominant hospitals to game the system to their advantage. But Inova and the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association argue there’s nothing wrong that a bit of streamlining can’t cure.

Think about it: an industry group lobbying to preserve regulation. What’s wrong with this picture?
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
What started as a reasonable attempt to control medical costs by limiting the number of hospital beds and X-ray machines . . .
Started out reasonable!? Economic stupidity . . .
As it happens, a legislative task force in Richmond is considering whether the state should continue to play a role in regulating expansion of health-care facilities. Many of the state’s physicians have joined with anti-regulation conservatives in a push to abolish the certificate of public need process, as more than a dozen states already have. To his credit, the state health commissioner wants to reform the process in ways that would make it harder for dominant hospitals to game the system to their advantage.
Sounds like it’s changing.

Thanks for the post Captain. However, I don’t see this particular case as preventing a free market in medical care. As indicated in the story, there is already movement in the free market direction with this particular problem . . . and state level restrictions can be avoided by going to other states. The "free states" could then potentially enjoy prosperious healthcare systems.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
However, I don’t see this particular case as preventing a free market in medical care.
It’s endemic if the entire system. Regulations on healthcare, though seeming to be protecting patients, are often industry regulation capture tactics. Though some of these can be closed or narrowed, it’s a game of whack-a-mole, when one is closed, another opens. Unless you want a competely unregulated healthcare system, with an end to licensing and everything, regulatory capture is going to insure that whether the government is running it or not, it’s going to seem like it’s government run.

There was another case in California, where they banned internet diagnosing and internet prescriptions, in the name of patient safety.

It turns out that diagnosis on the internet were more accurate, and adverse reactions to prescriptions were lower with internet prescriptions. So the empirical evidence indicated that internet medicine was as least not doing any harm, but the California medical community, those who stood loose, used regulatory capture tactics to protect their turf.

As long as states and the federal government can regulate any aspects of healthcare, and as long as our represnetatives campaign with corporate dollars, regulatory capture tactics will eliminate the possibility of a free market in healthcare.

Here’s the key question. Do you think that the players in this trillion dollar business want a free market???

They don’t, they just want the government to leave THEM alone, but they want to insure that the government makes it as hard as possible for any new players to get into the game.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
"I wish y’all would address the reality that if we, as a society, are not willing to say no to anyone that needs healthcare, we already have universal healthcare."
That ("address[ing] the reality") is exactly what’s happening anytime anyone points it out as socialist.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
That ("address[ing] the reality") is exactly what’s happening anytime anyone points it out as socialist.
Other than you Billy, who I am quite sure would be opposing the prevailing the opinion that no one should be turned away, but I doubt there are many even on this libertarianesque board that would agree to a policy that said that said that if you can’t pay, you can stay out in the parking lot and die.

So pointing out that it is socialist is not the same as changing the policy, and I guarantee that there are a tiny minority of Americans willing to change the policy.

That may make us a socialist country.

But opposing policies that have this dynamic as it’s foundation, without trying to change the dynamic, is just spitting in the wind.

if I wanted to change the policy, that’s where I’d start... just say no to treating people who can’t pay. if you win that battle, the rest is easy. If you don’t win that battle, anything else you do is irrelvant, we have defacto socialist healtcare in this country.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
"Other than you Billy, who I am quite sure would be opposing the prevailing the opinion that no one should be turned away,..."
Pop quiz: are you opining on my politics, or ethics?

Can you see the difference?
"...but I doubt there are many even on this libertarianesque board that would agree to a policy that said that said that if you can’t pay, you can stay out in the parking lot and die."
So what? That has no bearing on the fact that what we’re talking about is socialism. And the very good reason for pointing that out is the destruction that it causes.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
So what? That has no bearing on the fact that what we’re talking about is socialism. And the very good reason for pointing that out is the destruction that it causes.
Do you really think most people have even the vaguest of what really is and is not socialism?

I am not entirely sure you do.

We live in a nation where business sleeps in the same bed as government, state capitalism, which by definition is a form of socialism, and a prevasive form at that.

The companies that make up the healthcare industry are part of the state capitalism infrastructure, with the exception that they use the state and tactics like regulatory capture to profit from the state capitalism arrangement.

You are defending socialism while you decry socialism.

I’d love to see a state that kept business out of government and government out of business, although I suspect that may be impossible no matter how well the construct is developed. In any case, it is certainly impossible in this country with our current Constitution and the various accepted precedents of interpretation.

What it comes down to is that you live in a socialist country and you think it’s drowing, but all you do is sit around describing the water.
Pop quiz: are you opining on my politics, or ethics?
I would hope, and from reading some of your stuff, this is your politics. Ethically, I would like to imagine that you would pitch in, without coercion, and make sure no one died in your hospital parking lot.
Can you see the difference?
Yes, and I am not suggesting that you are wrong, but I am suggesting that the majority has already ruled on this, we don’t turn people away. I understand that neither the government nor the majority should not have the power to even make this call, but that genie has been out of the bottle for 200 years.

So calling it socialism is not going to make our current defacto socialist system go away, nor is protecting the socialist state capitalist system, nor is documenting the "Endarkenment".

Only if you can get people to say no, it’s not our problem, it’s not the government’s problem, go find another way, will you possibly be able to make a difference.

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
"Do you really think most people have even the vaguest of what really is and is not socialism?"
{laff} I’ve been calling ’em "Eloi" for at least ten years.
"I am not entirely sure you do."
{spit} That’s heartbreaking.
"You are defending socialism while you decry socialism."
Look: this is just idiotic. Nothing in the world about that is true, no matter how or how often you say it.

And you can go "make a difference" on your own. That’s not my job and it doesn’t matter to me whether you like it, respect it, or anything else. I’m just pointing out the facts.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"You are defending socialism while you decry socialism."
Nothing in the world about that is true, no matter how or how often you say it.
I’m not sure why you say this, and I mean that literally, since you gave no indication of why you say it, you simply toss it out there, unsupported.

Perhaps it’s because you believe you decry the pervasive socialism of regulatory capture (or state capitalism, or corporatism, or whatever you want to call it). If this is the case, then you may be right, you could decry the socialism endemic in our construct, and decry the socialism in other proposals.

Or, you may think that the status quo is not socialism, in which case you would be entirely wrong.

If you are aware of the socialist nature of the status quo, which I suspect you are, then you also know that the only way to change this would be to scrap the US Constitution, completely, and begin anew and remove the intrinsic relationship between business and government. Short of that, you have socialist choices, not a choice of whether the path will be socialist in nature, but just the mechanics of the socialist path that will be taken.

Considering your politics, it does not surprise me that you would opt out of that choice of evils.

If everyone who did not like these choices opted out, then we wouldn’t have to worry about socialism anymore... the people left making policy would have us into full fledged totalitarian communism in short order.
That’s not my job
Yeah, I know, and I won’t expect a thank you when it’s not as bad as it could have been.



 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
"If you are aware of the socialist nature of the status quo, which I suspect you are, then you also know that the only way to change this would be to scrap the US Constitution,..."
"You know, if you squinted real hard, you could just about see the light starting to shine in on this guy."
"I won’t expect a thank you when it’s not as bad as it could have been."
Glory be: he’s gonna save us all.

HAH!

That’s the biggest delusion I’ve seen online in a long time.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
That’s the biggest delusion I’ve seen online in a long time.
(sigh) You’d think that people would get it that I might have a tendency toward sarcasm.
"You know, if you squinted real hard, you could just about see the light starting to shine in on this guy."
Not sure if this is an insult or compliment, so thank you, or screw you, whichever applies.

So do you agree with this...

Short of that, you have socialist choices, not a choice of whether the path will be socialist in nature, but just the mechanics of the socialist path that will be taken.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
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    Written By: Mike
    URL: http://

     
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