Michael Moore puts Sanjay Gupta into intensive care

Michael Moore, whose movie on US health care, Sicko, is said to be a devastating indictment of said system (haven't seen it yet), had a bit of dust up recently with CNN's health correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. You can see it on the video linked below. Here's the scenario. With Moore as an upcoming guest of Wolf Blitzer (one of the least bright of the low wattage dimbulbs the network barfs up nightly), CNN runs a Gupta "fact check" of the movie which largely confirms Moore's facts but alleges minor discrepancies which Gupta characterizes as "fudging the facts." The odd thing is that Moore is largely vindicated by the faux fact check but he (correctly) went ballistic at the way it was spun as "fudging," clearly implying he was being intentionally dishonest and misleading. You can see the argument between the two of them in these videos. They're worth watching.

What do we learn from the fracas? Among other things, the US, who spends $7000 per person, has essentially the same ranking as little Cuba (crippled by a cruel US embargo), who spends $250 per person. Canada does have long waiting times for its national health service. How long? Even longer than the US, who is next. Of course as Moore points out, we have shortened our waiting times to nudge Canada out for last place by eliminating 44 million of our fellow citizens from the line. Oh, yes. We also learn the "most trusted name in news" and their colleagues are monumentally untrustworthy. Except you knew that already.

Gupta was badly roughed up and had he any testicles prior to the interview would have found them gone after it. Given his track record, he actually had nothing to lose. I'm not a violent or blood thirsty kind of person, but even I have to admit it can be entertaining to watch someone beat up in public.

The winner: Michael Moore. By a knockout.

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So Michael Moore the documentarian takes on CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta the medical science guy in the former's first appearance on the network in three years, arguing that the latter committed libel by claiming the filmmaker "fudged the facts" in the new documentary Sicko. The two argued vociferously…
As Revere points out, Michael Moore gave Sanjay Gupta a whomping. What I missed in the Moore-Gupta match, though, was the big picture. Basically, they argued over details: Gupta put together a "fact check" that claimed Moore fudged various numbers, while Moore showed that his numbers were…
I've got a piece up on the website of The Nation about why we should be glad Sanjay Gupta won't be the Surgeon General. Basically, there are aspects of his medical coverage that I don't think are very consistent with what we want in the nation's doctor. A brief excerpt: And then there was the time…
An alert reader noticed that when he performed a Google search on 'Sicko', guess who pops up in the sponsored links? Why, our good friends at AEI, a denialist organization second only to CEI, but since they have a lot of the same people working for both it's really just academic which one you're…

Apparently, the WHO statistic is a measure of efficiency, so comparing it to spending makes no sense.

By brtkrbzhnv (not verified) on 13 Jul 2007 #permalink

There was a story in The Guardian last Thursday (12th July) written by a USAian who had good things to say about the British NHS, A precious provision:

... Though we were unlucky in the tragic hand dealt to Dillon, we were lucky in one thing: the wonderful care he received through the NHS. He was born in our north London local general hospital, the Whittington, and ended up spending most of his short life there. ...It's difficult to say how different our experience would have been had we lived in the US. While American medical care is among the best in the world, everything would have depended on our insurance cover. My partner and I aren't married and both of us are freelance, an entire lifestyle difficult to maintain in the US when insurance is tied to your employment. For most of Dill's life I was a member of an internet support group, made up of some 200 families around the world with Dill's condition.US members had a unique theme, and it was all about insurance. Their sometimes desperate, usually middle-of-the-night messages focused on who was covered for what, how to work the system, how to cope when you had no insurance, how to get the piece of equipment that would greatly enhance your child's quality of life. For those who could get ample coverage, the form-filling was soul destroying. Many families had to routinely do fundraising. At least one of the families was trying to move to Britain specifically for the healthcare. ...

I lived in England for about a decade, and generally liked the NHS. I now live in France, which also has a fairly sensible health care system. In both countries, healthcare is a matter of health, not insurance and wealth.

As I understand it, in the 1950's, both the USA and Canada were contemplating publically funded medicare. The Canadian Medical Association and the American Medical Association were against the proposal.

It happened that in Canada we had a fiesty socialist named Tommy Douglas who was a minister as well as the premier of Saskatchewan, a small province on the prairies of Canda. Tommy Douglas, as a young boy, had been threatened with a leg amputation until a surgeon provided his services free of charge so the leg could be saved. This and Tommy's concern for his community propelled him forward to do the unthinkable in North America. He instituted free hospital care under the direct withering criticism of the Canadian Government and a protracted doctor strike. Many doctors of similar belief came into Saskatchewan and provided medical services despite threats to life and limb.

His bravery and steadfastness shamed the Canadian Government into following suit...and that is how universal healthcare was born in Canada...

...If Tommy Douglas had been American then I fully expect that you would have universal healthcare and we wouldn't because the immense medical lobby was just as against it in Canada at the time as in the USA.

Don't believe what you are told by the medical lobby in the USA. Universal Medicare is our proudest achievement as a country. Yes, it could be better but everyone recieves care and I remember well, people going losing everything in an attempt to keep a loved one alive. I walk into the emergency room, sick as a dog, but with no concern of how I will pay for the service...I'm really sorry that you can't have the same because it is a real quality of life issue...and is manageable and affordable...no matter what you are told.

Tommy Douglas was not a communist or a socialist or in the end a devil. He was a hero that had the courage of his convictions.

Tommy Douglas is considered one of the Greatest Canadians by the CBC.

Tom, by US standards, Saskatchewan is hardly "small."

Saskatchewan, middle of Canada's three prairie provinces, has an area of 588,276.09 square kilometres (227,134.67 sq mi) and population of 968,157 (according to 2006 census data); mostly living in the southern half of the province. 202,340 (July 1,2006) live in Saskatoon making it the largest city, followed by the capital, Regina (population: 179,246, July 1, 2006). Other major cities, in order of size, are Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Yorkton, Swift Current, and North Battleford. Many people live in small communities making Saskatchewan known as small town Canada.

The population and cities may be small, but that is one large hunk of real estate.

I cracked up over your description of the big bad Wolf Blitzer....right on sir!!! As for Moore and Gupta...with medical professors like this....we are in deep shit...

Lets put it on Mikey, he is a man of the people! He lives in Manhattan now that he has left Michigan... on Fifth Avenue. Fox said his movie was brilliantly done which surprised him. Then, when he was interviewed once about it and they started to auger in on the meat and potatoes of what he said in it, urps no lets get combative.

CNN started asking questions too and he answers questions with questions. They are the media, you have to answer them as they are like a big flock of carrion birds. I saw both. Michael Moore is an agenda pusher and with all due respect Tom, you dont have to worry about how to pay for it in Canada because its an imposed taking by government. I am not sure about the Canadian UHC plan and whether its legal or not. Here it patently isnt and would take a law to impose it. The option was given to the people here because it isnt in Tennessee or the US whether to participate or not. What we ended up with was rationing and hospitals opening up in Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, and the Carolina's because first the illegals were in like a flood, then the indigents who I fully support them getting care. It took literally 10 hours to be seen initially in an emergency room

Then they did something about it...they made it worse. The hospitals faced with going broke raised their rates to the "single payer" Tennessee government and it blew the states budget for it in the second year by 25%, then 50 and finally 150% in rolling year averages. 750 milllion in the hole when it shut down. We are all still paying for it.

They will continue to push this and push it and it sounds all well and good but like Social Security it will bankrupt the system because the smart people will become lawyers that sue government for poor, rationed healthcare and we would end up dumping it very, very quickly if implemented. The courts would be flooded as would the emergency rooms. Canada would also likely see a flood of new patients as well as the law is also specific, they have to treat you where you are under UHC. The oldies would cross the border to visit your private physicians rather than stay here for the Hil and BillmeCare. This will bankrupt this country in under 5 years if not sooner. We are Americans and they will simply raise the rates again and again until it accounts for every dollar taken in. Cant finance defense and all of the other programs when this would be implemented.

I saw both exchanges and I would put it at a even draw at best. I agree that it costs way too much in this country for healthcare and thats their vig. But you know why it costs so much? Doctors that make mistakes are ordering every test, every console of every phase to ensure they are able to prove what they did was done. LITIGATION....!

Cap what a patient could get ? Un-American. Its all been a big plan and how they'll push it along. I always say as well....How you going to pay for it? Uh-uh, dont start on national defense. You wont get one vote for your plan because unlike the elitists, Americans as a rule know we got a bad situation in Iraq, and one that will get worse within weeks of our pullout. Then they come for us. They also know there is a dragon in the East called China.

Another thing... these numbers that everyone comes up with are just like the ones that the drug companies come up with for who is supposed to take what. ADD drug criteria comes from the people who make....ADD medicines. Same with high cholesterol and the others. If the people who make the numbers are the ones who are pushing the agenda then its already in question.

Michael Moore... man of the people. It would cost nearly a trillion dollars to do this and it wont change a thing except that it would start voluntary and then as it went broke, mandatory. You dont have to worry about paying for it....? I worry about it even being there at all.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 14 Jul 2007 #permalink

Sorry, Randy: Go to his website and watch the videos where he answers all questions with citations and documentation. Gupta is a moron and he was spinning like crazy. As are you. You keep throwing costs out there as if they are facts. The facts are that UHC costs less than we spend now, by a long way, and you get more for it.






I really like this one from the Wall Street. Very descriptive.


Now I warn you all, this could start the second civil war The states in the South are too poor to provide this unending cradle to the grave coverage. It starts elective and then they make it mandatory. I can assure you that things could get a lot worse than they are. The leftists want it because it ultimately turns this into a communist/socialist state and country, and thats they way they like it. Too harsh? Uh-huh.

The Russians have UHC and their pensioners have to decide whether to eat or cover what the government doesnt. That list of whats not covered grows in every country now including the UK who are sending people in droves to Florida via Virgin every day for healthcare. First its a certain rate, then costs rise to meet it. Then your copay goes up, then the rate, then the copay again. Never ending spiral.

It all sounds well and good, but even witchdoctors have to get paid. This will lead to a revolt and the doctors themselves might lead it. Its another disincentive program and it puts government squarely in your pocket, squarely in control of your healthcare and squarely able to subject you to their will.

Its also illegal under the Constitution and it will be ruled as such almost immediately on a reach down. Why? Because its mandatory participation not elective. It will make the US totally unable to compete in the world and it will flood the US will illegal immigrants. How do you think that Gray Davis got thrown out? They registered 3 million illegals to vote in one year, then with that voter registration card they applied for social services. The state went bust in just two years. Their medical bills alone accounted for 100% of the California budget and they didnt realize it until it was done.

There will be poor always, help them out if you can but you are not your brothers keeper. Seems I read that somewhere. Rome fell because of its social programs. Dont be surprised if you see a bunch of states bail from the Union over this. Federally mandated theft from someone to pay for someone else and its as blatant as it gets. Imposition of will by group of little states but high in poor population on those that are large and have an affluent status is not going to go over well.

We become slaves to the government under this program and it will destroy once and for all the healthcare system in the US.

Look at the last cite. It said that Don Sundquist tried to impose an income tax to preserve it? Hey dont worry, we will just crank up the taxes on someone who has money for those that dont. Redistribution of wealth. They didnt earn it, they didnt work for it. You did and the government just takes it from you? That bullshit is over in the country and everyone is waking up that we pay taxes for pork and putz's. Its great to have everyone covered but oops there goes Taiwan as we mothballed our fleet. Ooops there goes downtown Manhattan because there wasnt money for intel operations. Oooops, inflation goes off the scale because it not only costs too much to provide it, now we have to account for it too. Whats next, microchips under your skin?

And everyone knows that Medicare/Medicaid, and all of the other programs like Social Security, and the Federal Retirement system is so well run. Cradle to the grave will ensure that our kids get to see that grave a lot sooner from either bad healthcare or someone dropping a bomb on us.

We provide electricity for the Matrix.......In this case, money.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 14 Jul 2007 #permalink

Something we can't spin - as a society, we accept the suffering, financial destruction, and even death of fellow citizens with such ease. Moore is right to ask "Who are we?"

The freelance poster above is right. It is a question of freedom. The freedom to live and make decisions unhampered by the need to get or keep health insurance. Too many decide things like marriage, divorce, parenthood, retirement, based on insurance needs. Too many can't work part-time to care for a child, a sick relative, or go back to school. Too many can't open a business, travel for a year (or even a month), build their own home, or any other thing that requires missing work for more than two weeks a year. And way too many stay in jobs they hate, sometimes for a lifetime, because they or a family member has a pre-existing health condition and they fear the loss of insurance.

Michael Moore is a hero. He is holding up the mirror, and we need the guts to look at how we choose to live.

Kruger, 2 points. 1st: and illegal taking, buy a plane ticket to a country like Nigeria if you dont want anything "taken" from you. Taxes are what runs a modern society. As we can see in what W has done to this country, you need taxes. We are rapidly becoming a third world country with crumbling infrastructure and no services, unless you are rich.
2nd: The point about universal health care is that everyone needs to be covered. It cant work in just one state when the next state over people have no care. It must be the enire country or it wont work.

So its okay to take something that you didnt earn from someone else I guess Rob? Kind of sounds like what the country was founded under...taxation. I dont see any crumbling infrastructure. I just posted and it was held up and it covers this in about a half dozen articles and commentaries.

Peggy-So your belief is that this is a right and not an elective. What if the country can only pay for it by raising taxes eventually to the point where you have a two tiered system. Those that can pay secondary insurance rates and those who end up in a indigent sicko pool? I have seen this in action here in Tennessee and it was a best a cluster-....

It was imposed by Democrats and REMOVED by Democrats because it bankrupted the state. It will bring the country down completely and likely cause states to leave the Union. The best way sometimes to play a game is not to play it all. They tried to repay for it after imposing an income tax and over 3000 cars blocked the entrance to the Legislature when they did. Think it cant get worse. Watch!

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 14 Jul 2007 #permalink

Those cites are still held up for review......

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 14 Jul 2007 #permalink

Kruger, Like I said, it's a mirror he's holding up. Do you have the courage to look? If you go see the movie today, let us know. Then we can talk about it.

Randy: "So its okay to take something that you didnt earn from someone else I guess Rob? Kind of sounds like what the country was founded under...taxation."

So you are opposed to any taxation for any purpose? No military, police, schools? Or do you pick and choose. Not a bad idea. I don't want a penny I've earned to go to this obscene war.

Randy: "Those cites are still held up for review......" Any time there are a bunch of links (two or more, I think) in a comment, the system automatically holds it for review as a defense against comment spam. I can't stop it from doing that. It then depends on my seeing it to "release" it to be published. That depends on whether I know about it and see it. If I leave my keyboard (it happens but not as often as Mrs. R. would like) I may not see it for 12 hours. So be warned. I'm not doing it on purpose.

The cites are still held up for review Revere. I dont have any answers for the poor except that they will be around forever. That definition of rich under the last Clinton plan was a single mother of three making 50,000 a year. You do the math. It is as I said, pay for it without taking it from someone else. The Congress is authorized to tax for the army and navy, please find "healthcare" in the Constitution for me.

Also those cites and they are not from all right wingers (Nashville Tennessean surely isnt) newspapers are still in your inbox for review. They state the case far better than I can.

As for military, police and I knew you would say it, Iraq. Those are covered already by a straining money situation. Want to add more to the problem? They are covered under the Constitution in national defense.

By the way whats up with that thing? It holds the cites "for review". I think it does it to you when you try to cite as well... ? .

Peggy-It all depends what you consider to be deplorable. I am happy that I can afford it, I have no problem with putting the incurables and etc. into a pool and paying for them. But this UHC is nothing but a cash flow plan for the Dems. Another giveaway and then oh shit there goes the economy. You want to see 20% interest rates? I can guarantee more than 10% inside of two years if this were implemented. America would fall apart. We need to make babies and the only way thats going to happen is if the economy is good and strong, not throwing money at a problem that has been around since they made the serpent and the staff.

Heartless, cruel? Realistic. You have to have it to give and you do NOT destroy a country because a group believes that someone is entitled to something that they dont have. Well we will just take it is the idea. Entitlements? Shit show me that in any Constitution. You are entitled to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness not that it will be provided for you.

Socio-communism..... plain and simple and it will give rise to dicators. Dont start, because GWB is elected by the people. Revere, see if you can find those cites please.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 14 Jul 2007 #permalink

The US system is broken. 15% uninsured, 30% of spending going on administration (primarily, trying to shift the burden of costs to another payer) and large numbers of providers in some fields going unpaid, because the form definitions get changed repeatedly and are defined by those 'faceless bureaucrats' that everyone seems to fear in other systems.

The US has a golden opportunity, that may happen after the next national elections. Enough anger at the results of crony capitalism, and enough of a decimation of the Republican party, may allow for same sane discussion of health care policy. The US government now spends more on health care than any other country, but gets less. Even physicians are relaxing their suspicions of this notion. It's the wasted opportunities and unnecessary deaths that's frustrating.

One comment about the Canadian system. It started, and remains, a provincially run system ( provinces=states ). It's partly funded by the Federal government ( about 25% ) and there are Federal laws ( Canada Health Act ) that control it in general terms, but each province runs it's own system and pays for about 75% of it. Coverage is transferable. Where I live, in Northwestern Ontario, the closest regional centre is Winnipeg, Manitoba. There are reciprocal arrangements that allow Ontario residents to have neccessary work done in the Manitoba system. Although we live on the border with Minnesota, similar arrangements with the US system are extremely limited, due to the high costs in the US system. We *do* have a fairly serious problem locally with US residents fraudulently using, or attempting to use, the Canadian system. Think about that when you complain about illegal immigration! Also makes you wonder why this would happen if the US system is so wonderful.
I brought this up because UHC at the Federal level in the US is in my opinion, too large a step to be politically realistic. If it ever happens in the US, I think it will start at the state level, at a time when the Federal government is sympathetic. The provincially run system in Canada is probably a bit more expensive than a single Federal system but does, I think, provide a more responsive system. Health care, as I believe Tom DVM will attest, is a *huge* issue in Canadian politics - not UHC itself but how to improve it. Provincial politicians are closer to the issue. It also allows for a certain degree of local innovation.

MRK: it looks to me that your citations have shown up, but were placed in chronological order based on their original posting time (see above at 8:04 AM).

It is good to have opposing views like yours fighting your corner (in boxing parlance), but surely you can also see there is a lot wrong with the for-profit health insurance industry, with its primary interest being to make more money by disapproving procedures (or delaying approval until the patient dies). There has to be some compromise that would be better than the current system. Moore errs on the side of drama vs. balance a lot in my opinion, but we need gadflies like him to get things moving, and I am glad he fights his corner as well.

I live in British Columbia and our right-wing provincial government recently initiated a "Conversation on Health". It's a traveling town-meeting that allows a public forum to discuss concerns about, and possible solutions for, deficiencies in our health-care system (the main deficiencies being waiting lists caused by under-funding). The government was clearly hoping for a groundswell of support for re-privatizing the system -- their pals in the insurance industry are licking their lips, as are some vocal doctor/entrepreneurs. However, the groundswell turned out to be for less private delivery and more public delivery. So much for Kruger's government oppression scenario above. Yes, Canadians are very proud of their public healthcare system, even if the politicians and right-wingnuts don't want it.

The thing that shows Kruger's arguments for the BS they are is that the US spends far more per capita than any other western industrialized country and yet ranks near the bottom among those countries in general measures of health. Not only is the US system inequitable, but it is grossly expensive compared to the alternatives that already exist out there.

This is a case where socialism is not only more equitable but more effective at getting value for the health care dollar.

"Moore by KO" seems overstating it a bit. I'd say Moore by unanimous decision. He was weak early, getting caught up quibbling about figures in Cuba when that time could have been used to argue more substantive issues. He came across as using the highest figures he could find, which would be consistent with his history. He was also unimpressive taking so long to respond to Gupta on the "Free" issue. It was not a good start.

But Moore came on strong in the end, and had Gupta staggerred against the ropes for the rest of the fight. His description of the financial and insurance arrangements and greater costs here was impressive, as were his comebacks on waiting times. In the end, he had Gupta agreeing with him on most items. I go into more detail on my blog.

Tommy Douglas is considered one of the Greatest Canadians by the CBC.

And his grandson, Kiefer Sutherland, currently makes a living in an American television series which, perhaps more than any other pop culture influence, has worked to legitimize torture as a tool of the military and of law enforcement.

I can't imagine anything less Canadian. The phenomenon of generational rot is real.

It is devoutly to be hoped that the legacy of Douglas and his work will long outlast the influence of Sutherland.


Funny to see right-wingers trying to scare people with words like "communism" and "totalitarian". Come on, let's be serious. In Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and many other countries they do NOT have dictators and they do NOT have controlled economies. What they do have is a better healthcare system than you have there in the US. And talking about life, liberty and property withtout adressing healthcare. Kruger, please explain to me how do you keep your life if you are sick and can't get medical treatment? Please explain it in plain English, since I am a foreigner and English is not my first language.

You do not need to have Fidel on charge to have a decent healthcare. I really would like to know if what's going on is that they are afraid to see that the Holy Market is not allmighty.

PS: Despite the fact I live in Venezuela I do not support Chávez, so please don¡t start to attack me with that.

UHC costs less per user. Less. LESS. LESS.

No one is trying to "take" anything off you. You save money, and get a better outcome. IT COSTS LESS.


It is better financially, medically, morally, and abosultely any way you care to measure it. It is an absolute no-brainer. The US contempt for UHC is a freaking wonder of the world. It's a scary story we tell each other, here in Australia. Did you know that in America...

By SmellyTerror (not verified) on 14 Jul 2007 #permalink

There are many (by definition) successful socialist countries in the world including Canada.

Who decided that socialism was a bad thing?

And folks you could end up with a lot less even yet and you STILL would have to pay for some other guy to have healthcare. Its a taking pure and simple and it was the reason that they couldnt put it in mandatory in Tennessee or most of the S. States. Its prohibited to make it mandatory.

This dog isnt going to hunt folks. The costs are just too high and with an older ageing population, there just isnt going to be enough to go around. They'll have to tax our kids to death and inflate the economy so high that they'll likely have trouble getting and keeping a job. Once this cycle starts they wont be having babies because they'll cost too much.

Hammer away folks, government intrusion into your lives will be nearly complete if it happens. The one last bastion and everyone rasies hell each time it happens now. So you just toss the towel, and demand healthcare for who? Someone you dont even know and if they are sick this supposedly is your problem?

Watch what happens when they start singing their songs about the praise of Sweden. Moderately strong economy, but no military mission either. Iceland, I think the whole island is on welfare or nearly. Finland? Please, FINLAND?

The UK has had this for 60 years and the costs just keep on rising and they keep on cutting what they cover. Sounds just like what they tried to implement here and it was a disaster. Look and read the numbers folks. They arent my numbers 750 MILLION dollars in a state that has 6.5 million people in debt. DO THAT MATH and then assure me that government has my back. They do but its only because my wallet is there.

Jesus said, "Heal thyself." That may not carry any meaning for most or some but its indicative of the fact that the Almighty if you believe said that you have to care for yourself. Its not the responsibility of another to take care of you.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 14 Jul 2007 #permalink

MRK: "Jesus said, "Heal thyself." That may not carry any meaning for most or some but its indicative of the fact that the Almighty if you believe said that you have to care for yourself. Its not the responsibility of another to take care of you."

Isn't "love thy neighbor as theyself" also attributed to Jesus?

And, um, wasn't the quote about healing more like, "Physician, heal thyself?"

For me Jesus quotes really don't matter because I'm Atheist through and through. But for Christians, it would seem as though love would be the answer to many of today's burning issues.

My head sometimes feels as if it will explode from trying to understand those "I've got mine, you go get your own" self-avowed Christians.

And as for "having more babies," why not have all the anti-abortonists pledge to adopt every child that would otherwise be aborted? I thought not.

Michael Moore living in Manhattan, interesting. That tells me a great deal about him right there. Why would a man who wants reform and changes in the U.S. decide to live there? I'll still have to think about it further but the first thing that comes to mind is the fame has gone to his head. And he's a picture of health himself? Have you heard the saying, "you are what you eat?"
How immature to mispronounce Gupta's name.

Is there any other way to provide UHC other than raising taxes?


I'm tired of paying for your cops and firemen. Go pay for them yourself.

Lea, what's your bias against New York City? Quite a few progressive people live there, it is one of the more liberal cities in the nation. Germany has a public/private partnership. But even if our taxes were raised for pay for single payer, it will cost less than we are putting out in premiums, copays, deductibles, overcharges to cover the uninsured and hideously overpriced drugs.

That Jesus was such a brilliant libertarian, and huge on keeping what's rightfully yours:

Matthew 25:
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Or this gem:
And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

I know, I know, those are all about personal charity, not evil-government-theft-of-what-you-worked-hard-for and poor-people-who-need-health-care-don't-deserve...

Yes, Finland. They live longer than Americans on average. They live better. They have less crime. And it seems they are better educated than you now.

You sound like a doom prophet when talking about the old people. We hav had problems before. Remember how much people there was in England when Malthus was alive? Today there are much more and they live far better. And yet Malthus said that was impossible. And it might be that the countries that I named do not have military missions, SO WHAT? Wouldn't it be better if you used all that money to heal and educate your people instead of being screwing up countries which you helped to build WMD in the first place? Why you are not complaining about your tax money being used to maim and kill but you complain a lot when you hear it will be used to heal?

Lea: I don't know if you've ever lived in Manhattan (I have) but for some people (like me) it is the most high energy, intersting and exciting place to live except maybe Paris (a tie). Cating aspersions on anyone who lives in a particiular city may also not be considered the most mature way to express oneself, either, but we all do things like that. I'm not trying to pick on you. Just picking on you for picking on him the way you did.

Randy: You don't complain about my money being used to pay for things you think are needed (e.g., the keystone cops we call TSA or the US military). So it seems you are not a very pure libertarian. Indeed, considering you willingness to give up other people's civil rights, not a libertarian at all.

As an example, of how well countries do on health-care issues, we looked at the costs of cataract surgery--a simple operation--on a global basis. The cost in Canada is about 17% of that in the USA. In terms of cost-effectiveness--cost utility--the cost utility is about 8 times better than in the USA. [Lansingh V, Carter M, Martens M. The global cost-effectiveness of cataract surgery, Ophthalmology, 2007]. In Canada, the witing times might be longer, but you get far more bang fior the buck.

And once again folks,







And when the medical rationing shown above started and the opinion polls of the system were taken people were SICKO of the system in Canada. The response? Try to outlaw private medical care. Cant complain if your government takes the right to it away from you huh?

You also as a result saw that Ottawa decided that okay the system sucks, lets create a board and add... you guessed it more money to it. They did so by taxing again. Look the care when you finally get it in Canada is bar none excellent. But I have friends in low places. One of which is in the MOT up there who says its great when you can get it. His son was laid up in an emergency ward with a broken leg from a skiing accident for a day, then they moved him upstairs without it being set for another day. Nothing fancy, just a simple break.

I cant see letting government get anyone under more under their control than we already are. We are going to become cash flow cows, just as we are now for Social Security. Government will use us for bother and that will ensure that we will never see anything worthwhile come from either.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 15 Jul 2007 #permalink

And when the medical rationing shown above started [...]

medical rationing started when medicine began. the attention of medical professionals is, always has been, and will remain a scarce resource --- not just by economists' definition of "scarce", but by the common-english understanding of the word.

medical rationing is a fact everywhere, including (and most especially) in the USA. the problem is that here, the criteria for who gets what rations is whether or not they can pay cash for it up front. that is an inhuman, antisocial, and anti-egalitarian system of rationing, and those of us who get screwed by it (i.e., everyone not independently wealthy) are beginning to get sick of it.

take me for instance. i'm (just barely) middle class; i have a PPO insurance plan. i pay a good deal of money for it, and my employer pays even more. i get a couple of cheapskate plastic cards for it. what i do not get from that money is shorter wait times, greater access to health care, or even any real confidence that my care will be paid for if it is actually provided. and i'm supposedly one of the lucky ones.

yes, mr. kruger, i want you to pay for my socialized health care. i want you to pay for me to live under a better, more equal, healthcare rationing system, one that might actually give me a ration of care when i need it, one where payment will be provided for me when it's needed and the money i paid into the system won't just be money flushed down the toilet as treatment gets denied. i want you to pay for a share of that, for me, in your taxes --- and in return, i will agree to pay for a share of the same for you, too.

don't like paying to support the other members of the society you live in? go live as a hermit in some cave somewhere. society is all about supporting one another; those who would enjoy the benefits of living in one, yet not want to pay for them by supporting their fellow citizens, make themselves parasites.

By Nomen Nescio (not verified) on 15 Jul 2007 #permalink


Silence about why Kruger is silent about His taxes being used to maim and kill but really aggressive about those same taxes used to cure and heal. I think that a word from Nordic mythology is coming to my mind...

If Canadian healthcare is soooooo bad, evil and nasty, why do the Canadians live more? Two more years to be accurate (Or should I say 2.34 years, for those fans of Dr. Gupta?). And what happens when uninsuranced people in the US get sick? they do not wait more than in Canada? And one of the links you are pointing to only says that there must be a better analysis of the waiting lists. How does that prove your point about the evil government in Canada?

And in another link they talk about "crumbling health system" and "Liberal government", please, come on, is that biased information you want us to believe?

And why you remain so silent about the Nordic countries? I am sure you would have something useful to say...

You have to have it to give and you do NOT destroy a country because a group believes that someone is entitled to something that they dont have.

"Why should I have to pay for other peoples' health care?"

It will make the US totally unable to compete in the world and it will flood the US will illegal immigrants.

"Some people scam the system."

So its okay to take something that you didnt earn from someone else I guess Rob? Kind of sounds like what the country was founded under...taxation.

"The original intent of the founding fathers was libertarianism."

There will be poor always, help them out if you can but you are not your brothers keeper.

"You want to legislate altruism!"

I dont see any crumbling infrastructure.

Apparently, you don't mind government-funded roads and other infrastructure.


Hi Everyone. Interesting conversation.

Believe I am free...and I cherish my freedom...and I will die free one way or another.

The whole basis of the healthcare system is 'peace of mind'.

I pay every month in my taxes to the government, a porportion, actually a significant porportion (more than 50% of all monies collected as taxes) too look after other peoples problems so that when I get sick...I won't have to worry about my family going broke if I die during an extended treatment that fails.

And the fact that I pay a little more tax than my friends in the USA doesn't affect my quality of life...which of course benefits from my loved ones being garunteed healthcare if needed.

It is probably cheaper in the long run than what you pay in the USA now...in other words, I could probably save you out of pocket money with a universal healthcare system and give you better care at the same time.

...and as far as competitiveness goes, a lot of companies have invested in Canada, over the last thirty years, to specifically avoid the private healthcare insurance costs in the USA...

...and of course as a trade-off, they have to pay a little higher taxes in our socialist-liberal country. /:0)

I think average USA citizens should come to our hospitals and talk to our citizens and have a look for themselves...

...we are not the bogeyman...except to doctors and private health insurance companies and private hospitals.

Didn't say I had bias against NY City melanie. Manhattan, Fifth Avenue, is costly, very costly is it not? If Moore is all for the people and reform then he should lead by example. He could live somewhere equally as nice and a great deal less showy. Perhaps living there is wonderful, progressive and liberal however, we are influenced by the area's we live in. You all can relate to vacation's right? Getting away from it all? How good you feel afterwards? Don't make me explain anymore than that, just think about it please.

Was that Casting revere? I'm guessing that's what you meant. You say then I cast a slanderous remark on Moore. Yes, you're right. There's far too many people who really need to question the exorbitant ways they live. I'm falling in line with K's thoughts on people need to live on less.

Have any of you hit on any of the links that MRK provided? Read one or two of them and maybe you'll understand his point-of-view better. Some short snips from only one article: "one quarter of the state's population was on TennCare. that one-quarter of enrollees (250,000+) were fraudulent ... . as soon as TennCare was launched, liberal "public advocacy" groups waged a litigation campaign to force the state to cover more under the program. By 2000, the benefits under TennCare were so generous as a result of court-orders
anytime the state tried to get the cheats and free-riders off the program, the same liberal "public advocacy" groups successfully sued to prevent the state from eliminating them from the TennCare rolls". From the americanthinker dot com link.
Nomen Nescio and I are in the same spot basically however, I'm not of the mind to have more taxes taken out of our pay, or for the "barely middle class" to carry anymore of a burden. So please find another way, if one exists.

And they live only about 1.5 years longer, but it doesnt mean productive either. 78 years in the US. So whats your point Nomen? I cant see that giving away the health care system to government is going to improve anything but by 1.5 years. They live about 5 years longer in Macau, Andorra (where in Hell is that?), Hong Kong and Japan. But thats statistics for you.

So lets just go and call it economics, that someone has the right to something that belongs to you because of what? They are not covered by healthcare? Oh, big and good reason. Open your wallet because I told you to, open your rights up for yet another taking by government. And when they cant pay for it, we wil up them taxes again. 50% Tom....It was 40 here until Kennedy and then saw what was happening and they dropped it because it was strangling the economy.

The best way for the poor to be covered is for them to get a job and work for something. I live in a state where they will not even try to get a job. Havent since high school. So who they gonna tax because someone else doesnt want to work? Certainly not them because they fall below the "povery line". Why? Because like Nomen, its someone elses fault that they didnt work hard in school, didnt get a skill, or do what is necessary to better themselves. The insinuation by Nomen is that something is wrong, he pays too much and he wants to put that burden on someone else and that this is fair and such. Its fair only in his and others eyes. The government controls us by taxation, the economy is going good because of the reduction in taxes. This by far and large will be the biggest blunder we could ever make in our capitalistic society and it will result in a two-tiered system. Those that have UHC and those that have UHC and private insurance...again. It will push those people into assigned risk pools and at some point in time government will have to push the chips in and hope for a win. To lose means the system will be even more broken than what it is. Tell me how a mother of three under the Clinton system that was suggested making 50K a year is rich.

Now as for the sick, I patently exclude those who develop or have conditions that are life threatening, or are unable to work. My own brother has post polio syndrome and isnt able to work any longer. He has lost the ability to write, and slowly but steadily he is being bent over so far that it will kill him. You know what he does? He works part time each day until he isnt able to any more sorting things in file cabinets for a company in town. He doesnt complain and he gets off his ass and goes to work even though he gets the payments every month.

He and others are the reason we need and have a welfare system. This is though going to turn a whole generation into a bunch of lunks because when you raise taxes, we will no longer be cost effective in the world. We will be a healthy group of declining individuals in the US. There will be no baby production because it will cost too much. Lets see someone making 25,000 a year will lose about 18% now in taxes, if we use Tom as an example it will go to 50%. House payments, car payments, utilities is going to ensure that there is no spendable income left. It will slip most to just survival status. We will slip to third world economy status like someone dropped us from a plane.

Fear mongering....? I'd rather not take the test to see if I was right or wrong. Revere pushes it like we are uncivilized if we dont have it. Maybe its because we believe in a free market system. Keep pushing for it and there will be plans coming out of the insurance companies like poop thru a goose. I can say one other thing with a certainty. If bird flu or really any devastating pandemic comes thru it will destroy UHC and the public health care that we do have as we know it today totally, without a doubt. And to pay for it, there wont be anyone left.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 15 Jul 2007 #permalink

Yes, they live 2 years more and it cost less. What I find funny about you is that you don`t mind if some robber-baron steals your money, cheats you and cheats million people, deny covering to people because they are sick and even if these people are hard-working persons, they will suffer and will end broken, but you get incredibly mad that the state might touch your money and invest it in a more efficient way (please, tell me the value that bureaucracy and lawsuits add to health) to turn it on a better system. Could you explain me why you prefer to pay say, 7000 $ a year and cover only yourself, rather than pay 6500$ and cover everybody? I just don't get it.

Yes, the people lives more in Andorra, it is between Spain and France. It is such a shame that a young socialist from a third world country can get better education than an older libertarian coming from the richest country of the world. I do not know why, that is a good answer.

And if meteorite comes all your money won't savce you.

And you are still silent about the taxes and the war. Why is that?

They live about 5 years longer in Macau, Andorra (where in Hell is that?) ...

Andorra is a tiny landlocked nation between Spain and France, in the eastern Pyrenees.

The debate over universal health care will include lots of discussion about cost and taxes. Yes, other countries have higher taxes. But, we pay close to 30%, I think. Add on 10 to 15% they say we need to save for retirement, then add savings for college, and also that amount for the health insurance deducted from the paycheck. Oh, yeah, the deductables and copays. Looks like we pay as much as everyone else, but get less in return and what price can be put on our lack of a sense of security? I bet a lot of our health problems can be traced back to stress. Fear of being unemployed, bankrupt, homeless, or dead due to lack of health insurance is our dirty little skeleton in the closet of the "most free" country in the world.

But when you do Peggy, you give up your rights to the government and this will be the final straw that breaks the bank and the end is revolution. The guy below said that the American system would last only up until its ability to tax was depleted....Nothing left to give. You make a lot of assumptions based upon "we get less." Dont shunt cost/taxes into the debate when its about healthcare as opposed to health insurance. Insurance is something you buy, this is a buy in for more taxes and nothing more than that. You have the option even if you dont have the money to buy insurance, not on taxes. You dont go to jail for not paying your insurance bill.

Alex de Tocqueville - Exploring Democracy in America

"These unique American values, many have suggested, explain American exceptionalism and shed light upon many mysterious phenomena such as why America has never embraced socialism as dramatically as other leading Western countries. To Tocqueville, America was set apart by its peculiar democratic mores. But, despite maintaining, with Aristotle, More, Harrington, Montesquieu, and others that the balance of property determined the balance of power, Tocqueville argued that, as America showed, equitable property holdings did not ensure the rule of the best men. In fact, it did quite the opposite. The widespread, relatively equitable property ownership which distinguished America and determined its mores and values also explained why the American masses held elites in such contempt."

That is what the problem is really. Contempt of the people who have more than the next guy. The perception that one is responsible for the other and his/her problems. We are as equal as the other guy here, but one group and that means the Democrats decides that you are too productive and we need to redistribute the wealth that you have earned. We earn it. They give it away. They do it via taxes. Sorry folks but there arent that many people in the US that can afford it. They will have to tax the millionaires and the MIDDLE CLASS to the nth degree. No it wouldnt be a single rate for everyone, its a new unmitigated cash flow tax to keep the government running. It will be graduated as they tried here first and then they turned around and started socking only the people who were above a certain pay scale. Thus the pool of indigents and pre-existings was created and the spiral on costs, payments, taxes started. They instituted a professional fee thing. If you were a professional (they got to decide who was a professional) you paid between 2000-4000 bucks. Why? Because the state was going broke. So what happened? They left for Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Virginia, the Carolinas. They lived in Tennessee and they worked in another state. The income taxes were even cheaper than the pro-fees.

Guido-Sorry old son if you feel slighted. I have covered the Nords for quite a while here. The Netherlands is one of them and I'll see if Tan06 would like to comment on how she as a doctor hates the system. It prescribes what she can prescribe, what they will cover and not, and how long as a shrink she can see her patients. Thats pure bullshit. Thats done now and without government control. Costs are not everything. And lets see Swedens unemployment is 5.6% and very high among young people.

Health care and health insurance are not the same thing and that leads to some mistaken and dangerous perceptions. It leads to the beliefs that universal health care and universal health insurance are the same. Also its a thought that if a nation has universal health insurance, where the government pays for every citizens health care, then that nation will have universal health care. That means where citizens will have ready access to health care and whenever they need it. As the experience of other nations shows, however, universal health insurance often leads to very restricted access to health care.

Think not? Some people wait for cancer treatments for as long as two years and their cancers become inoperable. Same for heart surgeries. The response when it hits the media is to jack the rates, provide somewhat better services. Then prices rise because the single payer plan is bullshit too because the suppliers can read whats in the media too. It ends up with a never ending cycle. An ever increasing population that votes itself an ever increasing portion of an ever decreasing tax pie. Somewhere it shuts the economy down. And with all due respect Guido I dont think that sitting in Merida with a dictator in charge qualifies your statements. Let there be any thing that drops the value of oil such as a hit on NYC and Chavez will be run out on a rail simply because he wont be able to fund "UHC" down there any longer. The fact that we funded WMD in WWII was a political decision that I personally agree with. We didnt lose one million men in a war we didnt start going into Japan. In fact we wiped out about 250,000 and they gave it up. It prevented total domination of Europe and for the better part we dont have them any longer. I dont discount your age here either Guido, its good that someone stands up for what they believe in. I just disagree. Take it for what its worth. I was very idealistic at 24 like you seem to be. Realistic is what I am today. Our system is poorly run, too much red tape and we have people that are career politicians that are in charge. Changing one bad system for another bad system that will be as worse if not more worse than Medicare is not the way to go.

And by the way, who said the Canucks are an evil government? I didnt. I think they are a great people myself and served with a few of them in the military. Do try not to put words in other peoples mouths Guido.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 15 Jul 2007 #permalink

MRK. Randolph.

Would you agree to a little 'opporutnity cost' accounting...you never know, maybe there is an overall cost savings in it.

Maybe we should compare how much the differences in taxation actually are in Canada and the United States.

Maybe you will have to spend less money and it will be easier for state and local governments because they won't have to be concerned with pension healthcare/disability benefits.

Of course there will be some upset doctors who may threaten to strike and there will be some upset private companies but...that's business.


No, you do not go to jail for no having insurance. You "just" go to the graveyard and never comeback. Even if you *had* money enough to pay for the insurance but you weren't allowed becuase they decided you weren't proffitable. Where's the freedom in that case? Where is your freedom when is not the government but a ruthless crook who has the grip on your wallet? They don't take, they blackmail.

You say: "We earn it. They give it away. They do it via taxes. Sorry folks but there arent that many people in the US that can afford it. They will have to tax the millionaires and the MIDDLE CLASS to the nth degree. No it wouldnt be a single rate for everyone, its a new unmitigated cash flow tax to keep the government running."

But right now the middle class is trapped with something they pay but that they might not use never. If they go unemployed and later sick they won't be ale to get insurance. That is far worse than paying taxes. And you earn your money just because there is a social structure that allows you to do it. If a that people that you despise stop suddenly form doing their work you probably would be affected and life would be very different. And you could say the opposite: That they have to have bad health so you can give your money voluntarily to deceivers who will turn their backs at you the moment you get sick AND uninsuranced and will try to avoid their responsibility if they can when you are sick and insuranced.

What you say about nordics is nonsense. If you look at Human Development Index figures a lot of the countries I have been talking about are over the US and they have the kind of health care you do not like. Other countries even include quack practices as homeopathy for the sake of diversity of alternatives for patients. And yet still have highly productive economies, maybe growing a little bit slower than yours but they are in no way at the edge of doom.

What bothers me is that even if you seem to speak for the right of one to be free and harvest one's reward, when your point is analyzed in depth you are just speaking for the current clase to be dominant forever and make sure that the poor able people is screwed up. You say that the fact that I live in Venezuela with Ch�vez ruling does not qualify my statements. That's absurd. If I say "In the winter the average temperature is lower than it is in the summer", is it less true because I live here with Ch�vez ruling? That's a logical fallacy called "argumentum ad hominem". Besides I do not support Ch�vez because he maims freedoms while he says he enhances them (wow, I am seeing a pattern here), among a lot of other things. Like you point, our dependency of oil is suicide. But there was universal bad health here, and both good and bad insurances and private facilities too, long before Ch�vez, even when the oil price dropped. The free hospitals were terrible in a lot of ways, but they worked to some extent. They are still shitty, but they are better than having no medical care or sinking in debts.

You say: "The fact that we funded WMD in WWII was a political decision that I personally agree with. We didnt lose one million men in a war we didnt start going into Japan. In fact we wiped out about 250,000 and they gave it up. It prevented total domination of Europe and for the better part we dont have them any longer.". Sure. We both agree there. But I am not talking about that war, Kruger. I am talking about the useless fucking expensive war you are muddled now in Iraq. Why aren't so outraged at that?

I hate the arguments you are using because the system they create is perfect for neglecting people and taking away opportunities from them. I was born in a poor family, we could made it to the middle class before a fire screwed us during my childhood. I could learn English on private classes (thanks we have freedom of choice, something I am not against of) in my early teens. I got in college for free (yes, for free) and though the system needs urgent fixes (yes, the people abuse of it, staying 10 years studying instead of five because we get free food) the things it allows outweight the problems. I was sick several times, two of them potentially deadly. Now, I live in Merida, but I will be getting my degree this year and I will go elsewhere to get a MS. I have been in invited to international conferences as a speaker, won essay awards both in Spanish and English and I might get a patent on a idea. This summer I will go to the US as speaker for 3 conferences, some of them with top people, invitation only. If I had lived in the states much of what I have achieved would had been terribly difficult. My family would still be paying the debts, and is not certain I could get an scolarship. The point you are missing is that the success of your economy is not based on individuality and selfishness. It is based on intellectual achievements, and when you punish people from birth they won`t reach their full potential. Instead you make sure that the sons of the rich people, they deserve it or not get everything they need, because of their parents. If your system would really make sure that the abilities of the people determine their incomes, I would agree, but that is science fiction and both you and I know it. When you slam the door on poor people you are slamming the door in the economic growth in your country, on its future and on justice. When you deny health care to a child only because their parents are poor or because the child could make some tycoon to be in risk you are being near sighted and not smart at all, to say it in a nice way.

Oh, let's not forget: You accused of people that wanted an universal system of leftists who want to turn the US in a communist country. Proof that, please. You are fear mongering about civil wars and stuff like that without giving a single proof it could be that way. Europe is now united under the system you say is going to bring division. That's funny.

So, being brief, I am really outraged because you support a system where if you are born poor you will be under a lot of pressure and won't have the same oportunity, a cruel system that prevents people achieving its highest potential, and in this case, that is something personal, as I have achieved my current status thanks to a system that gave not the best healthcare and not the best education, but gave me the base I needed to put myself in the track. I have yet to be really succesfull, but living in this global age has allowed me to be listened and apreciated by my peers.

How ironic that an American libertarian is against the American Dream and supports some semi feudal social system.

Uh-Guido, you are in Venezuela. You dont have a vote old son. You make reference that we keep people down from birth. Thats blatantly false. We dont slam the door on poor people, there are literally millions of success stories and they go back almost three centuries.

We dont deny health care to anyone. You are not aware that no one goes without healthcare in any state that is on Medicaid. You may have never heard of that there. That too is a paid by taxpayers program. Each state has that or the option to start the disaster that was listed above. You need to check your facts.

To be poor in this country is not a crime. Everyone is afforded by the Constitution the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. NOT THAT IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU!

In 1980 Ronald Reagan took office and the tax rate dropped. Economic stimulus happened almost immediately. We had a 21% interest rate but for the last two years of Carter it was not less than 11% and that was for the good customers. The stock market was at 800. Inflation was at its highest ever, unemployment was nearly 8.0% and all because of the giveaways during the Carter Administration. It should be noted that it wasnt all his making. He let his party go wild and spent, spent, spent. Reagan did too. The difference was that Carter was tax and spend, Reagan was bond and spend. Net effect on the economy for Reagan was that the bonds were paid off and there was a net nothing on the taxpayers except the interest on the bonds. Carters was that it was tax and spend more than we had. You are too young to remember that Carter had to go and borrow several billion dollars from the Germans to cover the shortfalls. Hence the interest rates.

I have been citing all thru the day Guido. I havent seen anything from your end except rhetoric. How very nice you were able to pull yourself up and demand that government take something from someone else to give to you. We call that theft up here, what do they call it there, a government program? UHC will result in high unemployment and high taxes for the US. It doesnt mean that the care will improve either. It most likely will go the other way and as a result be dumped if implemented. We have no new taxpayers and our old people outnumber the young between 7-9 to 1. How are they going to foot the bills when the old people on fixed income are going to be draining it. Do PLEASE tell me how that will happen except to inflate the economy?

As for your reference for you to be brief, please do try Guido.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 15 Jul 2007 #permalink

Lea: I don't know if you've ever lived in Manhattan (I have) but for some people (like me) it is the most high energy, intersting and exciting place to live except maybe Paris (a tie).

High energy. Interesting wording.

It does somewhat color the appreciation of the blazing lights of the Manhattan skyline at night to reflect that the electric power which makes that possible comes predominantly from burning coal. And that obtaining the coal means obliterating entire mountain tops in Appalachia -- permanently altering for the worse a different skyline. Not to mention the permanent choking and poisoning of thousands of formerly vibrant mountain stream ecosystems by the runoff.

Give me (nuclear-powered) Paris any day.


Tom DVM-GM, Ford, Chrysler all want this thing shifted to the UHC because it takes them off the hook for the health care plans they implemented in the sixties. Now they are no longer the big dogs, they and others want to limit their exposure because it aint going to be elective. Shit, buy stock in those companies if it happens because their value at least at GM is going to go up by almost 1/3rd. That stock would be worth nearly 100 plus per share... Keep it in mind.

The state tried this and our good buddy WJC and his wife both said and this is a direct quote, "Tennessee's TennCare Plan will be the example for the rest of the country." In FACT, it nearly bankrupted the state and except for floating bonds, we were. It was a catastrophic disaster and they tried to put an income tax in and it is illegal under the State Constitution to do so. There was nearly an armed rebellion in the State Capitol. You might have seen it on the tube. People were driving their cars up on to the steps of the Legislature and parking them and leaning on the horns. No way they couldnt hear that noise. Death threats, bomb scares. Yep a pretty independent lot we have here. Dont tread on me flags and the whole bit at 4th of July. Volunteers to fight in every war, and the one state that took on Sherman and kicked his ass out of the state at least when the march to the sea took place. Right here in my town.

They can also do the math and none of us can see it coming to anything for our kids except huge tax bills. I am at the end of the boomers and even now the costs are skyrocketing. It will be forced, it will be illegal and like the WPA be found unconstitutional.

No one understands more than I do that the people need to have health services and the poor get that now thru Medicaid if they sign up. TennCare is still here under the new guise of "Cover Tennessee" and now it too is threatening to bankrupt us again from all of the lawsuits from people who shouldnt be on the program at all. They are claiming double and triple benefits and its so abused because they have multiple names on the same ID cards. So what happens? They trot down to the Shelby County Chancery or Davidson County one and file a lawsuit that costs more to fight than it is to just pay them off. The system is goat roped. And those that think that this wouldnt bankrupt the country are just mistaken. Its a takeover, pure and simple. They will simply tell us to pay more and more taxes until the pot runs dry one day and the poor will be right back into the emergency rooms because all of the doctors will be in private practice AS THEY DID HERE! Slow pay, no pay, single pay equates to one thing and that is that in this society of America it will not work because the system is gamed in the favor of those who know the system. They will simply sue it out of existence but not before many, many people lose their jobs from high taxes and non-competitive atmosphere in a world economy. Canada has a huge problem too looming. They are a baby boomer nation and they aint got enough young'uns to pay for theirs either. Oh, they can inflate both economies but you could be making 50,000 and still be poor.

There will be nothing left for anything else if this is implemented. Someone above said something about roads. I am talking about wars and defense. Nothing left. I can also tell you that several higher levels in government that I have been in bars with tell me that it might lead to secession of a bunch of S. States. Its as serious as that. Basically we cut the rest of the country adrift. The people pushing this are not aware of what happened in California either. 3 million illegal voters put Gray Davis in as governor and Bill Clinton into the White House for the second time. Those same illegals jumped right on down with those voter registration cards and got into schools, the states healthcare and absolutely bombed the state budget within a year. Then the Enron thing hit and they emptied the state coffers to pay for electricity. This is from a company that submitted income tax statements based upon EBITDA. The IRS studiously steered away from them and didnt start looking at it until they knew that Gore wasnt going to make it. Now Guido would jump up and down and say urps they are from Texas and it was part of a Bush conspiracy to beat up the poor people. Uh-huh.

If Tennessee was going to be the shining example, then I am coming to Canada. Thats another consideration too Tom. Once the barriers are removed by our left wing you guys had better start learning Spanish. They will be in country within a year and you think our borders are porous? They dont even need to swim to get to yours.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 15 Jul 2007 #permalink

Kruger said: "You make reference that we keep people down from birth. Thats blatantly false. We dont slam the door on poor people, there are literally millions of success stories and they go back almost three centuries."

Oh, sure. Those tough enough to cope with it. And health care wasn't so expensive back at that time. IF you deny health care to CHILDREN based on the fact their parents have no money, if you leave CHILDREN in poverty and malnourished you are slamming the door at their faces and preventing them to reach their full potential. That's no blattantly false. There is people who might be successfull in less traditional ways. Economic success is not the only standard of success.

You could be unfit to apply for Medicaid, insuranced, get sick, and then poof, you are drowning in debts. And it's much more likely that will happen if you have no money other than your income. Let me state that you spend more money per capita than any other country and yet you have no better results. You say you don't want to pay more, but if you modify your system you would not pay more and yet everybody would be included.

You ralk about Carter and Reagan, I do not know. What I know is that European countries are not at the edge of doom neither they are communists.

Pursuit of happiness and not getting it of the shelve? Of course. I have years struggling for that. Is not something I give for granted.

I told you before that Malthus claimed that England could not support its population on that time with a good life standard. Today England is much more populated and life standards are overwhlmingly better. Malthus did not understood the power of human ingenuity and creativity. As I told you before, the solution to the aging problem is more automation and technology, our population cannot grow indefinitively. It seems is difficult for you to understand that when people is poor and unhealthy the creativity suffers and we all suffer as a result. Instead of devoting so much money to weapons your government should study the ways to create a better life standard for all of you without maiming people.

And you still have not answered why you are not outraged at the government taking your money for the Iraq war.

Rethoric? I am saying that your health system can change and that poverty and hunger do little for creativity. Those are facts. I claim that you do not have to be communist to have universal health and you economy does not have to fall in pieces for the taxes required. You can see it now in Europe. Sure, if we do not do nothing we will have a backlash, but we can avoid it with new technology. That is the only weak point of the argument.

You already told me that I was putting words in your mouth. I quoted tyou textually and you said nothing. Now you come with this jewel: "Now Guido would jump up and down and say urps they are from Texas and it was part of a Bush conspiracy to beat up the poor people. Uh-huh." If you are a psychyc you are a lousy one (ass all of them). If you aren't , then stop pretending you know what is on my mind, because you obviously don't. I am not the paranoid here.

And in your analysis you don't include the profits made for the companies by accepting illegal workers and the fact that according to your vision of things the US need to get a higher fertility rate.


Maybe we can make universal healthcare or universal hospital care at least, part of our post pandemic world.

Tom-might have to. The decentralized system might collapse entirely in a post Panflu world. Those boomers are the ones I worry about. They will survive if the numbers are right 2-1, against the young'uns 1 out of 3. HUGELY outnumbered and old people might be the last vestiges of the US. One war and the young ones get taken out , no more US of A.

Guido-Since you dont know then why keep saying I am wrong. I am not upset about Iraq because it took Saddam out and what would happen when we leave. Now is there anything else I can answer for you? The US has provided the shield for Europe for over 50 years and it allowed their systems to go socialized medicine. It wont work in a pure capitalistic system as ours does and its against the law because its not elective if implemented. That should about cover it. England had one hell of a time in the Falklands because they didnt have a big enough military. Go and connect the dots and remember that the Russian Bear is off to the East and getting hungry again.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 16 Jul 2007 #permalink

Mr Kruger, what I don t understand about people such as yourself who argue against "single payer" or "universal" health care often simply -compare- (as in the vids but i only watched one while...) and then critisise -usually- Canada and France (which is in turn praised by others.) It turns into team red / team blue. There are very many different models (and C and F don t have the same one, I can say that for certain without knowing the details as the models are all different) ...surely you admit that (?)44 million without (much, proper, adequate..) access to health care in the US is an undesirable state of affairs?

Perhaps you also feel that employers should not be burdened with paying health care for employees, employers are not nannies or daddies, they merely exchange money for labor in a free market (or some such opinion)? Finally, given two such points-of-agreement (i.e. inalterables in a negotiation procedure, that maybe isn t the best English), could you propose some other arrangement, wild and wooly or schematic, unworked out? Instead of attacking waiting times in Canada, etc?

I often don t bother with this question so consider it a compliment.

Ana-Everyone has "access" to healthcare in the US either by paying for it, paying for insurance and then they cover it or whatever portion is agreed upon, or I pay taxes so that someone who is indigent can be covered. I also pay taxes so that Medicaid can be spread upon the states.

There is and are major differences between access and how it gets paid for. This is where the split begins. The states get I think 25% from the government for covering their people now and the states kick in 75% or there is some mix of those numbers. The problem is that once its implemented under just about any plan, the medically indigent or with pre-existing conditions file suit to get everything covered. That caused the State of Tennessee and if you'll read the cites above to go completely broke by almost a billion dollars. Then when we tried to shuck it because indeed we were going to become a total welfare state and bankrupt in the process, they filed suit again demanding that we continue it. The courts ruled against them of course. This is the prime example. There was NO money to pay the state workers and a government shutdown was imminent until the courts ruled that the state cannot be forced to cover certain things. It is what is deemed by the legislature, under law what is covered.

I am talking about people who were just fat getting stomach staple surgeries, liposuctions, cosmetic surgeries. That isnt healthcare. Thats bullshit. Healthcare is to keep you alive and functional. Being so fat that you cant push away from the table isnt healthcare.

Then there were the mole removals, the broken finger resets because they were crooked after they healed from many years ago. Baby factory births to indigents so they could get ADC payments. Nope, its pure bullshit. So when they HAD to start raising the deductibles and what was covered, they just sued and with as much media fanfare as possible.

I wonder how many advertisers there will be for media if it is pushed in. No money to buy anything so there goes the economy.

Ana-Its all wrapped up together. We have seen what has happened in other countries. We looked at it along with Canada in the sixties and took a pass. Those people who are not covered by insurance can get care just about any time they want if they are signed up and the state picks up the tab. They have access to healthcare, they dont have the capability to pay for healthcare insurance so they want someone else to do it so they can go "supposedly" and become better citizens. This way they dont have to stress because Big Brother government that has done such a fine job so far of every other thing that they get their hands on monetarily.

I want you to understand that I wasnt kidding about that 7-9 to 1 ratio of old people to young ones. Those people are already on Medicare for the better part and 50% of US health care is already government managed as a result. It will go to 70 as the population agest by the end of this decade. So who is going to pay the bills. Certainly not those on Social Security. If they tax them they will starve... But they will have healthcare to keep them alive just that much longer to live in the dark with no lights or heat, or food.

All for healthcare? Sorry, there is no logical progression towards the end and the end for many will be the last paragraph.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 16 Jul 2007 #permalink

Randy: People keep asking you but I don't see the answer (or maybe it gets lost in the thicket of your voluminous responses). My daughter doesn't drive. Why should she pay for roads? I don't want the military in Iraq. Why should you take my money to pay for it? I don't have any kids in public school. Why should you take my money so your kid can go to school? Etc. Why aren't these things the same principle as health care for you? A short and to the point answer would be useful.



Because Revere, roads are paid for mostly by the states. The Congress by law has the right to impose taxes for the military. The states provide schools and the USGovernment subsidizes it as they do the roads. The USGovernment doesnt own healthcare, but they will if this happens. I dont own the war and neither do you but they sure keep someone from blowing you out of your bed at night. Those are constitutionally provided for taxes for the war, and the education. There are 50 states and some 34 have provisions as I understand this that would make it illegal in their states. Tennessee is one of them and thats the reason it failed, they couldnt force it on those who didnt want it.

Short enough?

By M.Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 16 Jul 2007 #permalink

Randy: Short but not exactly to the point. The states pay for roads with my money, right? And Congress taxes by law. My money, right? So we are only asking for a law that allows them to tax for healthcare. Maybe you think that providing health care for other people doesn't keep you safe. I disagree. That's my business, just as the military is yours (or was). I don't think the military is keeping me from being blown out of bed. I think they are making it more likely I will be blown out of bed while simultaneously blowing other people, as innocent as you or I, out of bed. But that's a difference of opinion, not a difference of principle.

I want to know what is the difference of principle between your being made to pay for medical care and my being made to pay (much, much more to the point of bankrupting this nation) for the military.


I haven't had time to read the entire thread, but I like your idea of taxing for healthcare, but I worry about the quality of care.

I believe, to some extent, we ARE being taxed for health care. Those that can afford insurance are, in the end, paying for everyone else. My premium goes not only to pay my medical expenses, but also many more, in my "pool" of insureds. Furthermore, our high premium's are the direct result of making up the difference for people who can not (or will not) pay for medical care.

Taxing for public healthcare might be a good idea. But I'm never very comfortable with the gov't managing such affairs.

The difference between paying for medical care and paying for defense might have something to do with a nation's heart and soul. I would not knowingly leave a family member to suffer, but as a citizen I am expected to accept that some of my fellow citizens suffer and even die due to some twist of fate that leaves them without health insurance. As a nurse, I'm glad to see that nurses in California and elsewhere are starting to pay attention to this and take a stand. We all need to reclaim our humanity and get on with the dialogue about how to best provide universal access to quality healthcare for every person in this country. At least by being last among industrialized nations to tackle this, we can learn from everyone else what works for them and what might work here.

By the way, Mr. Kruger, have you seen Sicko yet?

Don't abandon the ship MRK, although it's unlikely you'll convince them.
peggy, dear heart, read the americanthinker.com link provided above.
Patch! you gotta read the whole post, it's very interesting.

I'm sorry but I am just not willing to turn 1 trillion dollars per annum of cash flow over to the US government. They will divert it for other uses and its the single reason that Clinton HAD to balance the budget with cuts in civilian program spending.

Revere, with all due respect it is as I said before reverting care back to the states as it should be. We dont need another big federal program. We have enough of those already and they are already ratcheting it up in the Congress again and the Dems went back on their word already and the "earmarks" are back in there.

Taxation is legalized theft. We have to have national defense or you can kiss any chance at any sort of economic or domestic security goodbye. Without those two things you got skippy chance of doing anything of any good in the country. AGAIN, the military is in the Constitution. Not healthcare. Nope, just not there. Giving Congress this will destroy us and then when its taxing at 50%, it wont be enough and they'll go to 60% and then you wont have any spendable income. It will be taken up by all the other things that got jacked up by the income tax increase.

One good result? As it shuts down the economy it would drive the gas prices down to near nil. It will drop by about a buck a gallon if you use the Carter days as an example of what happens. But dont worry, you wont have a job to buy gas to go to work for. Scare mongering? No, anytime government spends money they have to account for it. The old 1 dollar to account for it, 1 dollar to spend, so you have to by unfunded mandate spend 1 more dollar and this is a helluva lot of accounting. The single payers will go to the providers and offer up contracts, competitive bidding and when they cant handle it because of the blast of people that will roll thru the door for FREE medical care, they will tax us again and start the endless reduction in services and increases.

Its happened EVERYWHERE and anyone who tells you it hasnt is a flat out liar.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 16 Jul 2007 #permalink

Yeah Peggy I have and he makes some good, valid and credible points. He makes some that are borderline, and some that are just flat false. Everyone wants a net in the world. It doesnt exist and if you think government is going to provide it just because we agree to some shell game you are mistaken. Those people have access to healthcare, but likely not health insurance. There is a big difference and everyone worries about catastrophe in their lives. Okay, so that means that someone else has to buy into your or their catastrophe. This is where it crosses the line in the Constitution and even in Canada, their Supremes said the same thing. If someone doesnt get a procedure and they sue, they get the procedure and we get the bill for both. It will lead to rationing and that is as bad if not worse than having no healthcare. Please do jump onto the links that I provided. I have been in a UHC state and we are seriously screwed still by TennCare and now CoverTennessee.

For the record Revere, I think that the Founding Fathers determined that the military and its uses were done by the Congress and the CIC and that they were necessary. This isnt a necessary issue. Its a states issue as stated before. All Americans have access to healthcare. What you are talking about is a taxation net that will be never ending, is of dubious nature and quality and likely will be the downfall of the nation. Or we will figure it out when the economy goes bust. Once gone in this worldmarketplace it would take 1 or 2 generations to recover. This is as I say IMO, I dont discount that there are Americans who have no health insurance but healthcare is there if they exert the effort to register in any state.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 16 Jul 2007 #permalink

Randy: "Its happened EVERYWHERE and anyone who tells you it hasnt is a flat out liar."

Wby? Just because you say so? I think everyone knows the US military wastes more of your money and my money than any institution in the history of the world. You keep throwing sums of money around (1 trillion?) as if they were facts. Here's a fact: $380 million a day. To make us less safe. Not only theft. But murder and torture. BTW, NIH is your money which "we" took from you involuntarily and will likely save your life multiple times through what it has discovered with your "stolen" money. You drive on roads paved with your stolen money. You eat food subsidized with your "stolen" money. Your children are educated with your "stolen" money. And we kill innocent people with money our government has stolen from me so you can have cheap oil and gas. Money stolen by George W. and Dick Cheney and their cronies. Money they stole from me and from poor people. That's more than theft.

Lea, I looked at americanthinker.com, and I guess we just don't see health care in the same way. Economic systems are just that; they are not religions or written in stone. A capitalist can support some regulation of certain things for the common good. Regulating how we distribute health insurance, now that it is too expensive for most people and for most businesses to provide, makes sense. This is not socialized medicine, it is pooling the risk for everyone so no one gets left out. Show me one country in the world that would trade their system for ours.

Randolph. Honestly, I don't know of one person in Canada who complains that the taxes they pay or the money spent on healthcare is a bad thing...because in the end, we are all going to end up in the healthcare system.

You don't need to worry about overuse...with the amount of malpractise and hospital acquired infections today, no one lines up to be incarcerated in a hospital unless they are so sick that they can't complain...and anyone who gets even a little well, is ready to run out the front door.

Income tax only began to be charged as a way to pay for the first world war...it is still with us...and I don't necessarily think it is a bad thing...in fact, I wish I paid a lot more income tax.

I believe that money should change hands between patient and doctor...because that ensures that the doctor is working for you and not for the government...which makes you, the patient, completely expendable...so user pay for doctors is fine with me.

Tommy Douglas (google his name for more information) overcame a firestorm of protest and really was alone in the end in his steadfastness...to design a hospital-care system not a universal healthcare system...he wanted anyone with serious illness who required a surgeon to be looked after...

...and I would like to never hear again of a family going bankrupt because of a sick family member.

In a war, I assume (haven't been in one other than hockey) that you have to depend on your comrades...I think there is an analogy between this and universal hospital care...because when I pay every month a little bit for everyone else...I do so knowing that they will pay for me...kind of like watching each others back...so to speak.

Well I guess this is one experiment that we will just have to wait and see if anyone wants to undertake. Kind of like the Cobalt 60 bomb. If it reacts with the atmosphere and destroys us all as I believe this will the US, then the bragging rights is all that will be left.

Tom-When you have a government that deliberately works against the people to FORCE them to submit to something that isnt working then thats and argument of course. It is as I said, you dont pay your taxes you got to jail. You dont participate in health care its an option. Time is just going to have to tick on by and see if we want to allow this kind of control over us. Ultimately it will bankrupt the system as its the only logical outcome. Constantly sucking more and more money. You yourself said its 50% in Canada. I think it started I read at about 18%.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 16 Jul 2007 #permalink

Revere, 380 million a day to make us less safe. Thats the military budget per day and its approved by Congress. Not the President. Give them a call. They voted and approved it under the law That murder and theft you pronounce is investigated and adjudicated under the UCMJ. Its not tolerated then, its not tolerated now. Does it happen? Sure, and it happens right here on the streets of the USA.

EVERYWHERE UHC has started it has resulted in constant, continuous increases in costs to the taxpayers. The one trillion dollars a year is pretty much the budget for the US household without the contributions of the employers. Now you shift that to the households and not the employers or just tax them flat. Its a tax. Plain and simple and they will steal from UHC just as they steal from every other program. No one is going to have to pay but the middle class and it creates a whole new situation where we divide the classes again.

You make too much money. Lets take some more of it and give it to someone else who did nothing for it except be born.


By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 16 Jul 2007 #permalink

Randy: So if congress approves UHC, then it's fine with you? Great. BTW, the experiment has already been done -- in every major industrialized country save one. It works, sometimes better than other times. And the US system works, too. But badly. As for the increasing costs, doesn't that also describe the military expenses? And just about everything else?forcing you to stay, right?

I'm somewhat disappointed - upon reading this thread title, I thought for a moment it was literally true. Then I find out it's just talking about the interview. (sigh)

By Caledonian (not verified) on 16 Jul 2007 #permalink

And Revere, those industrialized countries are losing their industrial base just as we are and have. We are slowly being whittled down to nothing. Those same countries are jacking up rates and yes they did in Germany just two months ago, again. Their healthcare budgets now exceed their budgets for all other things combined. You let the Russians start acting stupid again and then as we say in the south, "The nut cuttin' is going to start."

We make an assumption that this works in other countries. I have cited, given videos, and above all hammered away at the lefties in this little blog. I have been called a hard ass (that is descriptive) and listened to stuff about births and etc and everyone assumes that it will be BETTER somehow. There is no proof, there is nothing to state that we would be better off and its made on the assumption of universal health care. We are facing off in the next ten or fifteen years with the Chinese and we are financing their efforts. We do this and we lose all competitiveness in the world and even more jobs ship out. Think not? Then PROVE your argument and something beyond a post that we get more for less under the system. I think we will get more for less for about a year, then the realities of the system will weigh in and then they will start jacking rates and cutting. Doctors will leave the system for totally private services as we impose things on them that will not allow them to survive inside the system...as it did in Tennessee. There are hundreds of doctors and small clinics that will NOT take TennCare or CoverTennessee because they end up having to write off so much money. So an assumption of better means what? Prove your case and so far everywhere I turn there are bad news stories, not unlike the bad news stories that I hear now under the system that I am under now. The difference? Its elective and not mandatory. Go give all your money to someone you dont know if you feel guilty. I elect not to. I will vote accordingly as well.

By M.Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 16 Jul 2007 #permalink

Oh and here is the latest from Canada.... Ohhh Canada ! 1.3 billion, but I'll cut the 300 million for the cervical cancer vaccine. I think this is the mandatory Texas vax if I am not mistaken.

I wont on the wait time thing and this is straight from their finance ministry's web page. They only gave 60 million to the military under Canada First. First to go is more like. Sorry Tom, you guys out in the western provinces are within Chinese missile range now. Nothing really to hit up there but it would really whack us both if they attacked Alaska or the oil shale and oil sands areas.

"Improving health care by investing $400 million for Canada Health Infoway to support the development of electronic health records and up to $612 million to support jurisdictions that have made commitments to implement patient wait time guarantees, and by providing the provinces with $300 million for a vaccine to prevent cancer of the cervix."

Seems to me that there is an acknowledgement of long wait times in Canada somewhere to the tune of 1/2 billion plus.

From Health Canada's web pages.

Wait Times in Canada

"The 10 Year Plan outlines strategic investments directed toward reducing waiting times for access to care, especially for cancer, heart, diagnostic imaging, joint replacement and sight restoration services. To support the reduction of wait times, the Federal Government committed to investing $4.5 billion over the next six years, beginning in 2004-05, in the Wait Times Reduction Fund."

Tom its a good medical system dont get me wrong I am impressed by the level of care when its given. But its 50% for Chrissake so that someone else can enjoy the fruits of your labors. You may be charitable with it. Most here wont be because they have seen the higher paying jobs slipping away one by one by one. Some here have conditions that leave them destitute.

Okay, but thats life. Now this acknowledgement in Canada of wait times.

Jump to the UK. They improved the waiting times, but blew an additional 1.2 billion pounds doing it. Not budgeted for and now, yep you guessed it they have to ration healthcare.


Fly across to the Netherlands. They have what is known as COMPULSORY healthcare Acts. In otherwords you dont have a choice.

And guess what they have had increases nearly every other year for the last 10....Waiting times? Doesnt seem to be a database for it. Especially in the shrink area of their processes. One thing is sure, they spend money on this but not for defense and all of the nations of the EU are slowly watching their militaries disintegrate. Could I take a Luxembourg and hold the mayo?

All I see is increases and demands for better services. Kind of like what we are with private insurance companies. so lets just go and throw caution to the wind and implement it and make the assumption ....its going to be okay. Everyone that is too stupid to understand in the US is that they think this is free medical care. We have a whole population of people to our south that are droooooling at the idea of UHC in the US. 13 million that dont pay taxes now would swell to triple that number and once in, you cant get them out.

Lots to consider before we go jump and because 43 million are uninsured in the US doesnt mean they dont get healthcare! Thats a travesty of a big lie. I will give Revere this though, Bubba keep hammering them. If they see UHC starting to happen they will be dropping rates. Employers will see the error in their ways too because if they dont get the costs down so people can afford insurance, then there are only two wells in which to draw healthcare waters from and thats taxation of the middle class and companies. Corporate rates are at about 43% which would go to 60%, and households would go to at least 50% and then more. I hear the jobs market and the economy going to hell in under two years if it happens.

Have a nice day. I think we have beaten this one up pretty good.

By M.Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 16 Jul 2007 #permalink

Randolph. I will save you money. Your contribution to public hospital care will be less than your insurance premiums. We will leave the doctors as either completely private or partial cash payment plus partial susidy.

We will standardize our countries as a block which will make us more effective.

Forget China, its days are numbered...it is going to implode...one way or another. We need to be ready to take up the manufacturing slack when it occurs.

We need a 'Tommy Douglas' in a postion of authority who has the courage of his/her convictions...a rare commodity.

Randy, you keep asking where the money comes from. I don't know how to make text really big, so please imagine this next statement in huge, Tokyo-destroying letters:


Australia has a federal government system based on the US model. Our UHC costs a maximum of 2.5% of personal income (1.5% for below-average incomes). That's it - no additional costs for hospital care. We also have a parallel private system, heavily subsidised by that UHC levy, so people with money who want to skip the queues, can. But everyone is covered.

The US could have the same system. It'd cost less, and give better outcomes (the stats are in, sir. Your anecdotes can't match the multiple published studies). There'd be more money in the economy, less paperwork for business, fewer (by HALF) bankruptcies, better health outcomes, a healthier, more confident population. Why on earth do you think this is a bad thing?

Consider the doom and gloom. Worsening conditions, increasing strain on healthcare, impossible demands. Your system uses its resources vastly less efficiently. Your system dies first.

Wait times??? You do understand that this is factored into outcome measures, don't you? So even if the US has magically low waiting lists, it still somehow comes out in a miserable position regarding overall outcomes. It's a non-issue. You'd have a zero wait time if you just marched people directly to the crematoriums. We're talking about outcomes here.

We can quibble about libertarians and so on, but it doesn't matter. From an individual's point of view, this administrative change just means they suddenly get better healthcare, and they get some of their money back. They also get the security of knowing they'll always be covered, regardless of future situations. What's not to like? Do you actually like paying more just to achieve... what? What do you achieve? Do you actually want to stop other people being covered? Because that seems to be the only outcome.

Is that is Randy? You're willing to pay more, and to see your nation's economy suffer, just to prevent poor people having medical care. Because, seriously, this is the only effect of your present health system.

By SmellyTerror (not verified) on 17 Jul 2007 #permalink

ST-We cant afford it and anything else. Its illegal under our Constitution because its mandatory participation. No one is denied health care in the US and thats where the split continues and this has to be understood in a few words.... Its the fact that they cant afford health insurance and not health care. Health care is abundant and all they have to do is apply for it. Do they get the top notch services that say joe with BC/BS have to offer? I dont know. I do know that we cant afford it and its going to account for a trillion dollars as I posted yestereday of new government spending. Thats govt figures, not mine. Its like somewhere someone thinks that this SERVICE is a right. Its not, and its specifically spelled out in the Constitution what is. Sorry.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 17 Jul 2007 #permalink

Tommy Douglas (grandfather of Kieffer Sutherland) went on to lead the New Democratic Party a party of Social Democrats. So I suppose you might call him a socialist. Good on him!

By Jim Maughan (not verified) on 17 Jul 2007 #permalink

Randy: Sadly, many people are denied health care in the US because they cannot afford it. It happens thousands of times a day. It's a fact. I've seen it and so have many others.


I don't know what planet you live on, but the one I live on charges $500 a month for individual "health insurance" which doesn't cover emergency room visits. God help you if you've got a broken bone.

You obviously have spent no time in the private insurance market and don't know squat about it.

I find it fascinating that you regard anyone without insurance as too lazy to work. I've been putting in 15 hour days for years without it. People like me don't exist for you, just like the low wage workers who have two jobs and no health insurance. I guess we are all just slugs living on welfare. Except we aren't eligible for it if we have any income and any assets. You paint with a broad brush and no experience of what it is like to be a low income American.

Frankly, you don't know what the fuck you are talking about. Yes, Tennessee had a bad experience with a badly designed plan. Canada is having a good experience with a well designed plan, and you'll quote the usual right wingers who predict that it will bankrupt the country. Actually, Harper's tax cuts will do that. Since you are incapable of quoting any objective sources, you are just another right wing nut with an agenda.

The Declaration of Indepedence says that Americans are entitled to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." I think that's a little hard to do if you are sick and can't find a doctor.

The fire department, the health department, the police department and the road department aren't found in the Constitution, so your argument would be....? I suppose you want to do away with Social Security as well, since it isn't in the Constitution. I'd like to do away with the red light cameras in my community, since they aren't found in the Constitution. You also know shit about law and precedent.

If you want to be taken seriously, you are going to have to show up with something more with an editorial from The Tennesseean. The conservative law professors aren't on your side. I suggest that you read Bruce Fein, a conservative Constitutional scholar before you mouth off on civil rights.

You haven't done your homework and it shows.

Okay Melanie, I have been citing as you require all week on this particular little blog and frankly I only pay a hair under 500 a month for full coverage here in Tennessee for four people, and we get emergency room visits and everything short of the hair salon on Friday. Its not my fault and its as I said an insurance company issue and your state insurance commissioners. Its the policies they write where you are. Yes, I would like to do away with the Social Security system because it was to be elective too. Its a cash cow for them to steal from.

They are entitled to life, liberty and pursuit. Not that its going to be provided to you Melanie. I really dont care whether you take me seriously or not. I find your posts often only loaded with horseshit and DEMANDING that I cite. Okay, what in Hell do you want to see? I put up about ten now I think. Where are yours? I put up the ones from Canada's finance ministry, Canada health, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands. They tried to keep people from seeking outside treatment in Canada for a guy with a brain tumor.... Now what the fuck are YOU talking about? They were going to prosecute the guy. Criminal by condition. And they just added another 1.3 BILLION dollars for the fucking waiting time improvement. They did the same in England and they Goddamn had to go and start rationing because to improve it they over spent by nearly 2 BILLION FUCKING DOLLARS.

All I have seen so far is the SUGGESTION that it will cut costs. Uh-huh. All I have seen is what HAS happened and this is by every goddamn post out there on the subject that covers it is that costs have always exceeded the intake. So bullshit on you. As for the fire dept, police etc. The reason they arent in the Constitution because those are states problems, not the federal government.

You have a pre existing condition and for that I am sorry. So this is to be everyone in the US's problem in your estimation? You make assumptions with someone elses rights and their money. You can get care if you want it and you know it. I am very happy you can go to work 15 hours a day. Good. Please do. But if you cant get care then you have to go to the indigent pool and sign up. They get a lot better care than we do here right now under our insurance plan. Top notch, nothing but the finest. And their answer to everything is that if they dont they sue and the rest of us get that bill too! Move to Tennessee Melanie. They'll take care of you no matter what. Even at the cost of bankrupting the state.

Civil rights. Please. Its not there and Brucie knows it. They keep asserting it and thats the reason they keep losing in federal courts when they try to press for it. You can get Medicaid or your state equivalent. But not if you make too much money.

Now pony up the money if you want emergency room care or go to the Medicaid program. If you make too much money then the poverty line is too high in your state. I dont establish that, they do. Social Security is there as well. My brother in law had to after a car accident left him a quad, go out and spend all of his money he had saved for years to qualify for Social Security and Medicaid. Now is it my problem he was going 80 thru an intersection? Nope its a state and local problem in that respect, not the federal governments to get involved in his healthcare.

Enjoy yourself Melanie. I think you are very unhappy person who has a problem and you want the world to hand you an answer. I dont have it and this only would remove a temporary problem for you. It will bankrupt the country, destroy the stock market and raise the rates for everything. 40 million Americans dont have health care is really they dont have access to to health care coverage via traditional insurance. Insurance is an elective, UHC isnt and thats the difference between our system of government and other places. We have the right to say no. The last time we didnt was during the time that S.Security became mandatory. We all know how much they stole from that now dont we?

For the record, I dont like people using the F-bomb in my direction. I think you can express yourself a little more calmly. There are some nearly 80 posts on this and if you had read them all you can see its not my websites, its the canadians, the UK, Germany.

Revere, they are denied access to insurance. If they cant pay for it then they have to go thru a process to get onto the federal programs that are already there and I will give it to you that its hard to do. They dont want to add anymore to the rolls. But this is the socialism south and I can tellyo that even the goddamn Mexicans that are illegal get treatment at state and partial Federal cost. I dont know what Mels problem is where she lives but the care is there. With a pre-existing condition insurance companies wont touch her except in the assigned risk pools. Here to get onto the state program you get two letters from an insurance company saying that you are uninsurable at more than "X". E.g. someone with a heart condition. Oh, they'll insure you at say 1500 a month. But thats where the state law kicks in and says if its more than I think 600 bucks for a family of four you get on it and stay on it. There are millionaires that are on it here because they couldnt get insured via the insurance companies.

Melanie, I am serious. You should move to a state where its better handled. Its a disaster here financially for the state but you would be covered in about 10 minutes by filling out a card and dropping it off. They would mail you the state insurance program cards. Its as simple as that. Forgive my outburst.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 17 Jul 2007 #permalink

Well Randolph I understand all you say, and it is so that the US actually has "socialized" medecine, in the form of Medicare and Medicaid, with the rest being privatized, along various models of insurance, co-payment, charity, and Gvmt. top-up (to put it briefly) - one might even argue that it is the hybrid character of this system, if one can call it a system that is the problem. It is a mess. An expensive nightmare. I meant -Access- as the outcome, what happens on the ground - it is not good in the US, even I know some middle class ppl who cannot afford operations, etc.

About the ageing population, this is or will become, on the numbers alone, a difficulty in the West. However difficulties can be overcome, in this case, by a combination of principle (moral principle! - which varies by culture) and practical thinking - social engineering, if you will. Just saying something or other is too expensive or not affordable is lame, and when applied to health care it smacks of end time doomerism. I agree though that the relation between the conditions usually assumed necessary for subsistence (housing, food..) and health care are out of whack, and the most gruesome examples come from the US - eg. expensive pediatric care by highly paid and qualified professionals for very poor babies / children, when what the toddler needs is a table, a high chair, a spoon, and three fresh meals a day eaten in the company of at least one caring adult.

Teachers, soldiers, high Gvmt. officials, garbage collectors, in the US are paid by different forms of tax as pointed out. I can understand that for many reasons, discussed here, or not mentioned, many in the US would view doctors (plus para medics, etc. etc.) being paid a flat salary by the Gvmt. (paid in by a progressive income tax scheme) in a sort of Nationalised Health program, resembling a Soviet scheme, or the British National Health, as very peculiar, contradictory to their "principles". Perhaps such a system can t fly in the US. (Although in effect that is what you partly have!)... But that is not the end of the matter...

Ana-Yes, there are all sorts of things out there that are messed up. Our soldiers are supposed to have healthcare if necessary from the VA after they leave if something happens to them or even if they cant afford it. It doesnt happen. The same is for people that CANT afford it as it is run by different states in different ways. This is what they call "states rights" in the US. That which is not in our Constitution is retained by the states and the people.

UHC would likely require a Constitutional Convention. Once you start one, its hard to finish it. All sorts of crazy stuff could get introduced and require voting under the law. It also might take years.

The USGovernment should never have gotten into the medical business in the first place because indeed it is a states program to begin with. 50% of the healthcare in the US is either controlled by government or subsidized in some way as it is now. They do an absolutely bang up job of first making it cost too much, second mismanaging what they have, and lastly the people that are on it (mostly the old) dont get what they have already paid taxes for. Now there are those that want to hand them the whole potato.

There are many,.many considerations that need to be made and mostly what its going to cost. If someone isnt able to work then thats what we need to subsidize, not a spread risk program. Way over 2/3rds of our population is old and becoming less and less productive each day. They are becoming pensioners by Social Security or business pensions. There will shortly be a much smalller middle class. Even if they graduated it there are not enough millionaires to tax in the US and make the numbers come out. That means that they tax the old people because they are and will become part of a new lower middle class that is and will be on fixed income. They will also be on Medicare as a rule at age 65. But they have already paid into that system for care as they lived their lives. To pay for this they would have to start paying ...again. That means paying for what they have already twice and they will have to tax Social Security payments that they are supposed to live on. So its a three time taxation.

They wont be able to tax the kids because there arent enough of them. Hence the 7-9 old people against the 1 that is being born now or is already around. Add in the inflation that will result and it dooms the kids to huge interest rates, huge inflation rates, and low domestic output which equates to no jobs. A kid now might make 100,000 a year but doesnt do anything but pay taxes to the goverment. It becomes a money mill like it did in the 60's to the mid-90's. It goes in, it comes right back out.

Social Security alone will account for every dollar in federal taxes taken in already in under 10 years. There will be nothing for the military, or any other government mandated program. Our Congress is already dealing with the "earmarks" issue that throws money at districts to ensure they get re-elected each and every year. We have Congressmen who think that because you live in Guam that you shouldnt be paid the same as someone in Georgia because of the minimum wage. They always say one thing, then do another. But thats almost Russian as you say.

What I see is an initial acceptance of a Revere program if it happens and within 5 years the problems start and then they accelerate to an inevitable end. That is to put more and more money into a sinking ship and then one day all the gold goes to the bottom of the sea with all the people in it.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 18 Jul 2007 #permalink

Randy: It's not the USG that makes medical care too expensive. It is insurance companies, which are just investment banks taking your money and not paying you any intereset (you are giving them interest free loans). I am now on a USG program -- Medicare -- and glad of it. When my health insurance goes away, which it will, I wouldn't be able to afford medical care without it. The reason politicians can't tamper with Medicare is that it works and is popular. It is also cheaper thancomparable private insurance.

It didn't take a Constitutional Convention to get Medicare and it won't take it to get Medicare for All, which is what we need. You don't seem to recognize a simple fact: the current system is broken beyond repair.

And Revere, what you seem to miss is that this will take all of the available income of families who will not be able to support themselves post implementation as they continue to raise and raise the rates. I'm sorry but with the UHC clan its health care at all costs, and not what the ultimate cost will be. That being that the system will ultimately collapse because of the loads upon it coupled with all of the other needs of the country. None of the other countries ever mentioned have a military of any consequence.

Its been left up to us to protect the world. E.g. three carriers off the Falklands would have eliminated the Argentines in under a week. Instead it took months and a lot of people killed.

Its that Utopia thing I have posited before. Nothing else is being considered except healthcare for the uninsured. Thats a B.S. story. They can get care even if they make too much money for Medicaid. Most states have a graduated plan program. But they still have to pay. Instead someone else is to pay for someone else's problems.

Canada has a tiny military, the UK probably the best and biggest of the lot but not big enough to stand say if the Russians want to get antsy. Nor do the French, Dutch, Germans. Well if this goes in they suddenly are going to be in the same boat as we are. They are going to have to up their military spending because they will cut the bones out of ours as they did when Carter was throwing money out the door for every special interest group.

With Social Security in the toilet already, how could anyone think that this would help anything? It could and would only if you are myopic to everything else. Hell Revere, the pork barrel programs in the new budget on both sides of the aisle under "earmarks" just added another 430 billion dollars to the budget. We never see earmarks on the budget. Its an "other item" listing.

With old people now its the choice between food and medicines. We are going to shift that to the federal government and they will have to make the choice between healthcare and all of the other drags on the system. The old people will only have to choose between food and housing then. But they will live longer to be what? Living to be less productive and require more from the UHC system? Inflation will run completely off the scale and the end result will be almost if not worse than what we have now. I have seen that people live longer under UHC. It doesnt escape me. But to what end? Are they productive for those last 2 years of life. It it worth an additional 2 or 3 trillion dollars of spending to give someone those years. If the diff is that they live in a retirement home for those 2 years then sorry its a no brainer. to do this will require a huge capital investment of the country that will take every nickel we have to start and then when it collapses, huge deficit spending to remove.

I also hear things like "so they wont lose everything if something catastrophic happens" So now we are indemnifying human personal disasters? Katrina comes to mind on this one. I wonder how many human personal disasters this country could stand if panflu or cancers, heart disease gets out of hand?

As for the Congress if they are dumb enough to do this, they'll figure it out once the economy is gone the people will be left with neither private insurance or UHC. They wont be covered by either side of the fence or the coverage so sparse that you might as well not have had it at all. Children of Men scenario. But our children will be saddled with paying back either deficit spending taxes, or deficit bonds. Every scenario painted out there shows that this will go into the red. The Dems like it but it only works if they start pulling other things out and monkeying with the numbers in the far term. Some Dems say it wont work either. I dont know about the Republicans except to say that I dont know any who think this is a good idea.

Its based upon a constant number of single payer "fixed" costs. This has happened in the other countries and their "fixed" costs always go out the window and it results in deficits every year. That isnt a mis-statement. Its every year. Some bad, some good but deficits always have to be paid. Its a problem but its a problem of perception. Someone who has less than the other guy believe that the other guy owes them something. Government should have never, ever gotten into this business at all. Then there would be no question of who is responsible for your life. It woud reside at the lowest common denominator... you!

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 18 Jul 2007 #permalink

MRK, Randy, ....... . Breathe in, breath out, lower your blood pressure, please dear friend.

We're headed for financial collapse anyway kiddo. It happens to every single civilization, history repeats its self again and again.

I don't support UHC because as you said:

Then there would be no question of who is responsible for your life. It would reside at the lowest common denominator... you!

Randy, sigh.

You do realise, don't you, that with UHC people don't have to pay insurance companies any more, don't you? Yes, taxes go up. But all those health premiums you're paying go to ZERO. You end up paying less, but the government ends up with more money to pay for healthcare.

Yes, it costs the government more money. But it costs individuals less. You transfer 80% of the present premiums over to a UHC system, you give the rest back to the taxpayers and the economy, and you get a better system. The money COMES FROM THE PRESENT, BROKEN SYSTEM. Every time you throw around a figure for the cost of UHC, you have to ask - how much is the present system using right now? The answer is more. UHC uses less money and gives a better outcome. It really, really does. Please, use Australia as an example - very similar political system, similar culture, similar individual income and medical standards. Cheaper system, better outcome. The US could happily copy it almost word for word.

What is the element in the US that somehow prevents it from doing this?

By SmellyTerror (not verified) on 18 Jul 2007 #permalink

Lea: Then there would be no question of who is responsible for your life. It would reside at the lowest common denominator... you!

So... why have health insurance at all? Why aren't you looking out for your own health instead of banding together with your fellow citizens by paying a common insurer? Aren't you worried that other people with your health insurer who are sicker than average will be stealing your money? Why should you have to subsidise other people???

Or do you guys actually beleive that health premiums are unaffected by other people? Do you really think you are looking after yourself alone?

Look, governments are there to act on behalf of the people. Government of the people, by the people, for the people? Remember that? Those of us with UHC are proud that we look after each other. Do you genuinely believe that the American people want an every-man-for-himself mentality? Why do you pay for police? Why pay taxes at all?

If you believe that the American people are a generous, caring people, who want the best for their fellow citizens, their economy, and their nation, then the government, as a reflection of the will of the people, should introduce UHC. The present situation is worse by every measure.

Esoteric bullshit like "individual responsibility" doesn't hold water. Pissing money away on a system that will cave in, if it caves in, far faster than a UHC, that costs more per person and gives an inferior outcome, benefits no-one. A "choice" that is always Cover if you have enough money, and No Cover if you don't, is no choice at all.

I'm sure people with no cover, with bugger all money, watching their kids suffer, are just LOVING their freedom. Mmmmm mmm, sweet freedom to choose between no cover and.... no cover! WEEEEEEEEEE!

By SmellyTerror (not verified) on 18 Jul 2007 #permalink

Enough now, revere will bring this subject up again.

Zzz .......