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The Consequences of Socialized Medicine

35 posts in this topic

United States of America. (1776 - 2010)

So we are now over the line, no longer a capitalist-leaning mixed economy. We are the EU of America, a socialist state.

Given today's horror, what next? I mean that question in three senses:

1. Legally/politically

I'm missing something basic about reconciliation. The Senate voted against funding abortion; the House, for it. How do these get "reconciled?" (Of course, this is just one of many issues of disagreement between the bills, but it's representative.) Is there anything the GOP can do procedurally to stop the bill from reaching Obama, who will sign it into law? What happens with the 35+ states who have voted (or who are likely) to sue the federal government? Can they stop it, or will this be brought after it becomes law?

2. Activism

What now? For Objectivists, more of the same: get the word out. Educate. Go after the most likely targets. More broadly, I think the near-term hope lies with the Tea Parties. They need a leader, and a message. The American revolution took decades to escalate, and had many fathers with differing opinions. That gives me hope (though far from certainty) that the mess of today's Tea Parties can turn things around.

3. Practical consequences and actions

Given that nobody knows what's really in the bill, or what will concretely happen, what actions should be taken to contain the damage to one's own life and health? If debating about getting Lasik surgery, for instance, should one get it now, or wait for the details to emerge on health care?

I spoke with a friend this evening about possibly leaving the country -- not immediately, but just recognizing for the first time that that was a possibility in the next few years. I'm not there yet, but boy, is the desire strong to give up and "Go Galt" as they say.

Thoughts, anyone?

Yes. I have thoughts, mostly grim. Last night The Equalization of Opportunity Bill passed. How much longer until Directive 10-289?

The only comfort I can offer is this. The vote was very close, given the majority the Democrats have in the house. That means a lot of Democrats are running scared. Now, if the Independent Voters pour out their wrath in November many Democrats will go down. There will be blood on the snow. If this puts the Fear into the Democrats the rest of us might just be able to save ourselves.

On the other hand, if the Independents do not come through in November I am afraid night has fallen on America.

Bob Kolker

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Idaho has already set in motion against the bill, Virginia will file a motion as soon as the bill is passed. And I heard on FoxNews that at least (I think I heard this number) 20 other states are to follow. That's on the good side.

The bloodbath in November will be the other. If not, bye bye.

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United States of America. (1776 - 2010)

So we are now over the line, no longer a capitalist-leaning mixed economy. We are the EU of America, a socialist state.

This really isn't that horribly bad compared to so many of the other things we have long accepted. It's horrible, but it still isn't the full deal (full, government paid health care).

The next election will be a political bloodbath for Dems, and everyone knows it.

I spoke with a friend this evening about possibly leaving the country -- not immediately, but just recognizing for the first time that that was a possibility in the next few years. I'm not there yet, but boy, is the desire strong to give up and "Go Galt" as they say.

Don't. We are still the best by a long shot. My girlfriend was born and raised in Europe, and it has been honestly a terrifying eye opener to get a full understanding of just what life is like over there across the pond. We are still light years from reaching their levels of immense government intrenchment, immense taxes, layers of bureaucracy, etc, etc. Working people make so little money, that most children stay home with their parents, well into their 30's. No matter how much you make, it just isn't possible to save up, go buy a house, and go raise a family. The entire concept that in America people in their early 20's actually move out of their homes and raise families just staggers my girlfriend. There are just differences that you can never understand until you sit down and spend a lot of time with people who were raised there. Now she is sad and terrified, because she thought that by coming to America she had finally escaped all of it. Living in those socialist countries really is psychologically crushing for ambitious people like her.

Spending two weeks with her family there was a mixed blessing. It was terrifying to for once get a true glimpse at a nation under socialism. It was uplifting, because only now have I really begun to understand how the American culture is so drastically different from its European counterpart.

I think for generations to come, Europe will remain its old self: a grinding cycle of misery, pointless wars, economic collapses, governments growing out of control, etc. It will always be what it is, because the culture is so entrenched in it.

America is different. Our culture got a clean break from the European tradition of warfare and fascism, both geographically and intellectually. Americans still hold that difference, the difference that makes them resent having the government intrude into their life or their pocket book. There is a spirit of defiance in the name of individual liberty that is non existent over there.

Stay in America and fight for your and your children's future. Because once we go, it's lights out for the world. I don't think the rest of the countries who still love freedom could withstand the constant pressure and storm of problems if we go. The USA is the Atlas of the world; even the countries that hate us and despise us know that it's true.

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Stay in America and fight for your and your children's future. Because once we go, it's lights out for the world. I don't think the rest of the countries who still love freedom could withstand the constant pressure and storm of problems if we go. The USA is the Atlas of the world; even the countries that hate us and despise us know that it's true.

I am in agreement with this post. This next bit will make me unpopular with some posters on this board, but I hear talk of revolution and stuff among Objectivists over this and my first thought is "Are you nuts?!?" because as terrible as this bill is, America is still miles ahead of most of the human race. As far as it is fallen, it is still in its present form one of the most life enhancing nations ever in human history.

Given the current philosophical climate, if there was a revolution, there is no way it would result in the US Constitution being enshrined as the law of the land once more. It will either be converted into a pure democracy, or some mish mash of politically acceptable things of compromises already made(such as social security or faith based initiatives) will find themselves enshrined into the new constitution by the conservative victors.

The correct course of action is to vote those people out, and then immediately repeal it. Democrats will be so desperate to make amends after losing *all* their power that the repeal should go through without issue since they would rather give up that bill, than lose their chance of ever getting their power back. Look at how they reacted after losing just 1 senate seat, before their delusional fog settled back in their minds.

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Stay in America and fight for your and your children's future. Because once we go, it's lights out for the world. I don't think the rest of the countries who still love freedom could withstand the constant pressure and storm of problems if we go. The USA is the Atlas of the world; even the countries that hate us and despise us know that it's true.

I am in agreement with this post. This next bit will make me unpopular with some posters on this board, but I hear talk of revolution and stuff among Objectivists over this and my first thought is "Are you nuts?!?" because as terrible as this bill is, America is still miles ahead of most of the human race. As far as it is fallen, it is still in its present form one of the most life enhancing nations ever in human history.

There are things in other countries that people there have accepted as casual life that would cause shock and outrage us here.

When my girlfriend completed a medical related degree in her home country, it took literally eight years for the ministry of health to process her paperwork and send the official title and legal documents she had earned. In the meanwhile, she had to re-renew a "temporary" document every year for those eight years. Simply obtaining the temporary document required paying the government money, and renewing it every year required a payment to the government as well.

It is also a routine thing for the government to sometimes pay contractors or employees literally months, sometimes even years, later than when it was due.

The people accept it, as their spirit of defiance has been crushed. Statism as the default has been accepted, at least psychologically.

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The people accept it, as their spirit of defiance has been crushed. Statism as the default has been accepted, at least psychologically.

Not even that much. There was nothing to crush. Statism is as good as metaphysically given.

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This next bit will make me unpopular with some posters on this board, but I hear talk of revolution and stuff among Objectivists over this and my first thought is "Are you nuts?!?" because as terrible as this bill is, America is still miles ahead of most of the human race. As far as it is fallen, it is still in its present form one of the most life enhancing nations ever in human history.

And that is reason enough to revolt against every attack on it. But a literal "revolution" is not practical for a variety of reasons, some of which you indicated.

... The correct course of action is to vote those people out, and then immediately repeal it. Democrats will be so desperate to make amends after losing *all* their power that the repeal should go through without issue since they would rather give up that bill, than lose their chance of ever getting their power back. Look at how they reacted after losing just 1 senate seat, before their delusional fog settled back in their minds.

But it's hardly ever an either-or situation politically. There are always "compromises" and never enough of the best people in office to stop them.

Obama has already said that his health control bill is only the first step, for two stated reasons. One is that he has previously agitated for and very recently acknowledged that he wants a complete government takeover for "universal" "single payer" health care. The other is that they know that the health care control bill will not work and will required "corrections".

They were willing to put anything in it just to politically and legally entrench the premise, both by establishing legal and political authority and to put into motion a process in reality of wrecking the insurance companies in order to create a void and a crisis. They know that it is destructive as written. It was intended to be in order to accelerate destroying private medical care and insurance through controls and economic strangulation, with the intent to blame the result on capitalism and manipulate people into demanding, out of desperation if nothing else, more government controls and spending.

In this sense it is deliberately worse than the Canadian and other systems, which at least 'function' as 'stable' bureaucracies providing some sort of 'health service' to most people. They know the system they just passed is unstable and won't work at all; they intended that and fully expect it. As further "reform" progresses there will be more than enough Republican "moderates" eager to "pragmatically" tinker in order to "improve" what is now in fact a fascistic government-run system without repealing it. Even if parts of it were to be repealed in such a process of "corrections" or through some of the court challenges, the overall destructive trend continues downward as intended.

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In this sense it is deliberately worse than the Canadian and other systems, which at least 'function' as 'stable' bureaucracies providing some sort of 'health service' to most people. They know the system they just passed is unstable and won't work at all; they intended that and fully expect it.

You give too much credit to Canadian socialized medicine. I thought similarly until yesterday:

Consumers are about to feel the brunt of pharmacies’ battle with the Ontario government over generic drug pricing as the country’s largest drugstore chain prepares to slash store hours and staff in a bid to escape a massive profit hit.

Shoppers Drug Mart is moving quickly to scale back the number of stores it keeps open around the clock and until midnight; shut some stores’ pharmacy sections early; ditch free services such as deliveries and patient counselling or charge for them; and chop a program to hire 350 pharmacy students this summer.

“There will be things we don’t like to do but we have to do,” Jurgen Schreiber, chief executive officer of Shoppers Drug Mart, said in interview Thursday, even before the government’s sweeping changes are enacted.

[...]

The pharmacies’ dire predictions follow the Ontario government’s move on Wednesday to introduce proposals that would slash the price of generic prescriptions in half, to 25 per cent of the equivalent brand-name drug, from the present 50 per cent level.

Ontario says the cuts will save it more than $500-million annually because it will pay less under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, which covers elderly and disabled patients.

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How do you "poison" something that is already a deadly poison? The left is now starting to come out of the closet with its 1930s overt totalitarian collectivism. The mask is slipping as they thrash in the face of the Obamacare disaster, but it's our minds that they're after in arguments that "me-too-but-slower" Republicans don't dare challenge:

The right is poisoning Obamacare


Handwringing over healthcare.gov's disastrous rollout obscures the greater truth that ACA is a moral imperative

Salon Nov 26, 2013
Robert Reich



Don't dare identify and object to the wreckage already being caused by Obamacare:

... Republicans are now down to their last ploy. They are hell-bent on destroying the Affordable Care Act in Americans’ minds...



"Republicans did it"?

Admittedly, the President provided Republicans ammunition by botching the Act’s roll-out. Why wasn’t HealthCare.gov up and running smoothly October 1? Partly because the Administration didn’t anticipate that almost every Republican governor would refuse to set up a state exchange, thereby loading even more responsibility on an already over-worked and underfunded Department of Health and Human Services...



Kant did it -- and Hitler and Stalin showed them how:

A single-payer system [euphemism for totalitarian socialist takeover] would have been preferable. ...

The moral imperative. [His emphasis] Even a clunky compromise like the ACA between a national system of health insurance and a for-profit insurance market depends, fundamentally, on a social compact in which those who are healthier and richer are willing to help those who are sicker and poorer. Such a social compact defines a society.

The other day I heard a young man say he’d rather pay a penalty than buy health insurance under the Act because, in his words, “why should I pay for the sick and the old?” The answer is he has a responsibility to do so, as a member the same society they inhabit....

The Act also depends on richer people paying higher taxes to finance health insurance for lower-income people. Starting this year, a healthcare surtax of 3.8 percent is applied to capital gains and dividend income of individuals earning more than $200,000 and a nine-tenths of 1 percent healthcare tax to wages over $200,000 or couples over $250,000. Together, the two taxes will raise an estimated $317.7 billion over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Here again, the justification is plain: We are becoming a vastly unequal society in which most of the economic gains are going to the top. It’s only just that those with higher incomes bear some responsibility for maintaining the health of Americans who are less fortunate.

This is a profoundly moral argument about who we are and what we owe each other as Americans...


So soak-the-rich taxes are only a first step towards "single payer" totalitarian control through socialized medicine posturing as "reform". Notice how he lets slip that younger people just starting out are now considered to be "the rich" to be made to sacrifice even at this stage.


His conclusion: Collectivism as "the bigger picture" -- Obamacare is only a "modest step" towards the goal -- the wreckage created by Obamacare so far is only a "triviality" on the way to collectivist utopia:

But there would be no reason to reform and extend health insurance to begin with if we did not have moral obligations to one another as members of the same society.

The initial problems with the website and the President’s ill-advised remark about everyone being able to keep their old policies are real. But they’re trifling compared to the wreckage of the current system, the modest but important step toward reform embodied in the Act, and the moral imperative at the core of the Act and of our society.

The Republicans have created a tempest out of trivialities. It is incumbent on Democrats — from the President on down — to show Americans the larger picture, and do so again and again.

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In this sense it is deliberately worse than the Canadian and other systems, which at least 'function' as 'stable' bureaucracies providing some sort of 'health service' to most people. They know the system they just passed is unstable and won't work at all; they intended that and fully expect it.

You give too much credit to Canadian socialized medicine. I thought similarly until yesterday:

Consumers are about to feel the brunt of pharmacies’ battle with the Ontario government over generic drug pricing as the country’s largest drugstore chain prepares to slash store hours and staff in a bid to escape a massive profit hit.

Shoppers Drug Mart is moving quickly to scale back the number of stores it keeps open around the clock and until midnight; shut some stores’ pharmacy sections early; ditch free services such as deliveries and patient counselling or charge for them; and chop a program to hire 350 pharmacy students this summer.

“There will be things we don’t like to do but we have to do,” Jurgen Schreiber, chief executive officer of Shoppers Drug Mart, said in interview Thursday, even before the government’s sweeping changes are enacted.

[...]

The pharmacies’ dire predictions follow the Ontario government’s move on Wednesday to introduce proposals that would slash the price of generic prescriptions in half, to 25 per cent of the equivalent brand-name drug, from the present 50 per cent level.

Ontario says the cuts will save it more than $500-million annually because it will pay less under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, which covers elderly and disabled patients.

Yes, it's bad in Canada. The point is that there are people in what is left of that health care industry who are at least more or less trying under the limitations imposed to provide some semblance of health care even while it inevitably hurts people through the fallacies of socialism and bureaucratic power seeking. This is in comparison with Obamacare that is intended to wreck what we have (now had) for the purpose of furthering the agenda to a socialist takeover that they don't dare openly advertise (but see the recent article by Herr Reich). They are blaming the wreckage they are causing on greedy insurance companies with the expectation that they can get a terrorized populace to demand a complete government takeover which "has to be" better and simpler than this mess. This strategy is intentionally nihilistic.

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