TCS Daily


Prostitution Insurance

By Arnold Kling - May 15, 2007 12:00 AM

Once upon a time in America, an employer came up with an idea for saving on payroll expenses. He noticed that many of his employees seemed uncomfortable with the idea of paying for sex, even though they wanted it. So he tried reducing worker salaries by $1000 a month, and instead he gave his workers an insurance card that they could present to prostitutes whenever the workers wanted their services. Paying for the card cost only $500 a month per worker, so the employer made higher profits.

A few years later, a major war broke out, and the government put limits on worker salaries. Employers were unable to give raises. Instead, many employers copied the idea of prostitution insurance, and the government winked, allowing employers to circumvent the salary limits.

After the war was over and salary limits were lifted, the practice of offering prostitution insurance remained widespread. In part, this was because income tax rates were now higher than they had ever been, and prostitution insurance was an untaxed fringe benefit.

Two decades after the war, a President with a compassionate agenda won a landslide re-election victory. He delivered on campaign promises to use taxpayer funds to provide prostitution insurance to the poor and to the elderly.

Both consumers and the providers of prostitution services became accustomed to using insurance cards. Paying for sex directly was frowned upon as something no decent, middle-class person would do. Instead, the first thing that would happen when a consumer visited a brothel or a prostitute was that the consumer would present his insurance card to be photocopied.

Over time, prostitution became increasingly sophisticated and expensive. Scientists and engineers developed expensive new sex toys, and highly-paid specialists grew to outnumber ordinary general prostitutes.

Nonetheless, not everyone was happy. Some consumers were not employed by companies offering prostitution insurance, nor were they eligible for government-provided prostitution insurance. Sometimes, these consumers would show up at brothels and expect free sex, with the cost shifted to other consumers.

There was a market for individual prostitution insurance, but it never really developed properly. Many consumers were willing to remain uninsured, and insurance companies saw little opportunity to profit from this small market.

The cost of employer-provided prostitution insurance continued to rise. It began to eat up a larger and larger portion of potential salary increases. Both employers and employees became troubled by this trend.

Many people began to agitate for universal, government-provided prostitution insurance, arguing that such systems were working in Canada and in many European countries. Such a single-payer system for prostitution would solve the growing problems of the uninsured and relieve the strains of employer-provided prostitution insurance. Most importantly, it would allow people to continue to be insulated from having to pay for sex.

Unfortunately, shifting the costs of prostitution insurance to taxpayers was fiscally impossible. Prosticare, the government's popular insurance program for the elderly, was projected to run into deficits of tens of trillions of dollars in another 50 years. Forestalling such a bankruptcy was going to require drastic cuts in future benefits. Trying to expand Prosticare to cover everyone would have forced such cuts to take place today, and no politician wanted to risk a confrontation with senior citizens. So although politicians talked a lot about universal single-payer prostitution coverage, they never seriously proposed enacting it.

The American public had grown accustomed to enjoying unlimited access to the services of prostitutes. They continued to be averse to paying directly for sex, and they had become increasingly insulated from having to do so. As a result, America's share of GDP going to prostitution, already the highest in the world, rose rapidly.

A few economists argued that Americans ought to try to get over their discomfort with paying for sex. The economists proposed that Americans pay for prostitution with their own money, in which case they would be less likely to obtain unnecessary services. In addition, consumers would pay more attention to cost, which would force prostitutes to lower their prices in order to avoid losing business.

Most people, particularly prostitutes, were outraged by the economist's suggestions. The idea of paying for sex was too offensive to contemplate. So the existing prostitution insurance system kept stumbling along.

Arnold Kling is the author of Crisis of Abundance: Re-thinking How We Pay for Health Care, published by the Cato Institute.


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192 Comments

Golly!
You demean the honorable tradition of prostitution when you lower it to the level of "universal" healthcare. Shame on you!

Asinine
A completely meaningless comparison. The story should have included pimps who murdered uninsured individuals who could not afford prostitutes. THAT would have made the analogy better.

Imbecile essay insurance beneficiary?
This looks like something submitted to receive spacefilling nonsense lame writers subsidy funding, for material unable to find a real market.

In other words...
...any analogy that doesn't support socialist views is a waste of bytes, eh?

Are you suggesting...
that Dr. Kling took NEA money for this? Disgusting!

In common English words
Do you really think that peoples' need for medical services - and that's what it often is, a matter of life and death -- is on a par and equivalent to some men's desire to purchase sexual services.

Let's be more specific: you have a young working mother wih a chronically sick child, lets' say with ashma, who needs attention. Your idea is her desire for having his son treated is just the same as a 40 year old guy bored with his wife who wants some paid companionship on the side?

And socialist is great - so anyone who doesn't agree that the two desired expenditures are exactly morally equivalent is a socialist.

Sure. Go for it.

No I'm not
Something this thin would get turned down. This is a totally a free-enterprise charity case.

Recent hilarious report on the state of American prostitution -- oops, no, healthcare
Really funny reading.

US Continues To Lag On Health Care, According To New International Comparison
Science Daily — The U.S. health care system ranks last compared with five other nations on measures of quality, access, efficiency, equity, and outcomes, in the third edition of a Commonwealth Fund report analyzing international health policy surveys. While the U.S. did well on some preventive care measures, the nation ranked at the bottom on measures of safe care and coordinated care.
Another new Commonwealth Fund report comparing health spending data in industrialized nations published today reveals that despite spending more than twice as much per capita on health care as other nations ($6,102 vs. $2,571 for the median of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] countries in 2004) the U.S. spends far less on health information technology--just 43 cents per capita, compared with about $192 per capita in the U.K.
"The United States stands out as the only nation in these studies that does not ensure access to health care through universal coverage and promotion of a 'medical home' for patients," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "Our failure to ensure health insurance for all and encourage stable, long-term ties between physicians and patients shows in our poor performance on measures of quality, access, efficiency, equity, and health outcomes. In light of the significant resources we devote to health care in this country, we should expect the best, highest performing health system."
In Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care, by Karen Davis, Ph. D., and colleagues, compare surveys on physicians' and patients' experiences and views of their health systems conducted in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. between 2004 and 2006. Key findings include:
On measures of quality, the U.S. overall ranked 5th out of 6 countries. The U.S. ranked fifth in coordinated care, and last in patients reporting that they have a regular doctor (84% vs. 92%-97% in other countries).
On access measures the U.S. ranked last overall, including last on timeliness of care: 61% of U.S. patients said it was somewhat or very difficult to get care on nights or weekends, compared with 25%-59% in other countries.
On efficiency, the U.S. ranked last overall, including last on percent of patients who have visited the emergency room for conditions that could have been treated by a regular doctor if one had been available (26% vs. 6%-21% in other countries). The U.S. ranked fifth of six countries on primary care practices having "high clinical information functions," defined as practices having at least 7 of 14 office practice information functions, including electronic records, electronic prescribing, computerized safety alerts, and patient reminders systems and registries (19% compared with 8%-87% in other countries).
Multinational Comparisons of Health Systems Data, 2006, by Jonathan Cylus and Gerard Anderson, Ph.D., of The Johns Hopkins University, compares health spending data in nine Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States and, where possible, the median of all 30 OECD countries. Key findings include:
In 2004 the U.S. spent the most per capita on hospital services, and Canada and Japan spent the least. Adjusted for differences in cost of living, inpatient acute care spending per day in the United States was nearly three times the median OECD country ($2,337) and over five times more than Japan ($419).
The U.S. spent twice the OECD median per capita on drugs in 2004--$752 compared with $377.
Nearly one-third (30.6%) of individuals in the U.S. were obese in 2004, compared with 13 percent of the OECD median.
The U.S. had about two and a half times the OECD median for years of potential life lost due to diabetes--101 per 1,000 people compared with 39 per 1,000 (U.S. data is for 2002).
The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation working toward a high performance health system.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070515074645.htm

translation
eric can't refute any of the arguments made, heck, he probably can't understand any of the arguments being made,
so he'll just fling insults.

in eric's world, govt has to provide whatever people feel they need, free of charge
and of course the evil rich have to pay for it.

Gibberish
What "argument" is being made? That health care is like prosittuion? That patients are like johns? That funding prostitution like Medicare would not be a great idea? How is this an argument? Help everyone out here.

In Mark's world, words have no meaning whatsoever
and there's no such thing as a fact - just whatever comes into his head at the moment.

Mark is correct, you don't understand.

And you couldn't explain a kleenex to a runny nose
If you don't have anything to say - and you don't - why waste everyone's time?

You set such a fine example.

Insanity
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
"Albert Einstein"


Government controls of wages (socialism) during the war led to the current health insurance problem.

How will more socialism make it better?

Lets cover the children first!
Regardless of how we all feel about whether adults should have universal prostitution coverage, we can all agree that no child should be without it. Preventative prostitution is most important to establishing good lifetime sex habits.

But it doesn't start in childhood. We need pre-natal prostitution coverage as well! And don't forget about our pets. Prostitution for dogs is out of control.

And still absolutely nothing on topic: just namecalling
Why don't you set an example? In the context of this story, show us how and why prostitutes are just like health care workers, for example.

Speaking of insanity, document your claim
Sure: WWII measures produced "the current health insurance problem," and nothing anyone tried since then could do anything. Why not tell us about the Easter Bunny.

You're just saying that because you're a broken down old hooker nobody wants anymore
And you think the government will send you clients you can't get on the free market.

Comedy
The story is a parody on the health care system but was that lost on you? Apparently so.

The crux is that even at 40 million uninsured (a dubious number) they represents ~12% of the population. Now common sense dictates that one figure out a effective way to get the system under market forces and offer lower cost policies to people not totally nationalize the system unless of course you seek to further empower yourself by taking control of yet another part of everyday life.

Instead the socialist left, in a typical power grab, seeks to nationalize the system (something that never works except in cobweb filled minds like yours) so we are all equally miserable.

Look at France under Socialism. The standard of living has declined to 17th in the EU. Socialism fails every single time it is tried.

In the first place health insurance was not intended to cover splinters and headaches. It is intended for catastrophic care. This means you pay for normal routine care. However, as parodied in the story, people don't want to pay for anything EVEN THOUGHT THEY ALREADY ARE. Does it occur to people that salaries are lower due to health care costs? Might young people opt for a high deductable plan to lower premiums?

How about the self employed that use HSA's, like me, to the tune of a 5000.00 year deductable. It covers what I need, care in case I vapor lock or get cancer. Not a spliter or the needle I just stepped on 20 minutes ago and now I need a shot for.

Why do people think health care is intended to be free? It is a necessity. SO is food. I suppose were going to nationalize grocery stores next?

I am ready for it
Everyone else is ready to suckle at the national breast. I say free food. I want free groceries and a lifetime of meals at Ruth's Cris Steakhouse. It is my RIGHT!

After all, if health care is a necesity and a right is not food?

Eric lives in the usual leftist fantasy land...

Sign up for your food stamps, bro...
And live the high life, if you can show you're broke enough. Go for it. you'd be really, really surprised, however: Ruth & Chris meals aren't included. But continue the fantasy.

But wait - here's a real kneeslapper. Your friends' kid is slowing dying and he can't afford care. Why not go tell him that he shouldn't get attached to things he can't afford, and take him out for aturn with government paiid hooker.

People want it, but don't want to pay for it.

FDR's Socialism started current problem
"During World War II, labor was predictably scarce. But in an effort to limit inflation, President Franklin Roosevelt had imposed wage and price controls, meaning that employers could not attract workers with higher wages. So instead, employers attempted to outbid each other by offering
health insurance and other benefits as incentives to prospective workers. Wage controls were lifted after peace was restored, but the employer-sponsored
system persisted."

http://homepages.nyu.edu/~jf1264/furman_2006_unhealthytaxcode_democracy.pdf

This is an example of how little the government understands free markets.

So capitalism didn't work?
> So instead, employers attempted to outbid each other by offering
health insurance and other benefits as incentives to prospective workers. Wage controls were lifted after peace was restored, but the employer-sponsored
system persisted."

You mean, it was wrong for employers to offer health care? That they shouldn't have competed? This makes no sense at all.

You'd be surprised
The market is doing a fine job supplying food and sex. It isn't doing so well with medical care. All the dancing doesn't change the fact.

>. The standard of living has declined to 17th in the EU.

Except all the other countries in the comparison are just about as socialist. So even you take this number seriously - few do - the moral is better socialism, not another model.

You'd be surprised
The market is doing a fine job supplying food and sex. It isn't doing so well with medical care. All the dancing doesn't change the fact.

>. The standard of living has declined to 17th in the EU.

Except all the other countries in the comparison are just about as socialist. So even you take this number seriously - few do - the moral is better socialism, not another model.

>Might young people opt for a high deductable plan to lower premiums?

Sure they might. What about older people who can't buy health insurance at any price because of pre-existing conditions? No probem??

Capitalism Works, Socialism does not
When you squeeze a balloon, it distorts.

When the government squeezes free markets, they distort.

How can you call government wage and price freezes capitalism?

Arguing with a mirror
Lets suppose that the 43 million so called uninsured ( a proven falsehood) get no care. Now there are what 350 million people in the US?

43/350 = 12%. So lets nationalize a entire industry, the finest health care in the world so 12% can have free care? Why sheep boy? Explain it to me since I am so ignorant?

Lets take 1/7+ of the US economy and hand it over to poltiicians because you think they can do a better job? Get real sheep boy. There are far better ways to insure health care than nationalization. People like you are spoiled little brats who are naive enough to think that something is free if government does it (despite a 2 trillion budget). In fact, that since government does it that the lack of profit motive makes it cheaper? Reality shows that the profit motive results in lower costs and better care, faster.

Why do you suppose 100% of the time free markets supply products cheaper, faster and at lower cost? How much sheep boy do you think a cell phone would cost if the government had implimented it? Do you think the government could have made the PC?

Stoplights systems are a excellent example. In NY state the stop light controller must meet certain standards. Now it has likely changed but 2 years ago it still required a 6502 processor (used in the first Apple 2) and 64k of RAM and if it didn't meet the standard it was not allowed. Funny since the 6502 is utterly obsolete and 64k is a joke but this was the government standard for stop light controller. See how advancement is stopped? Do you think new drugs are made by lard ass politicians?

Now all the sudden you going to have the same mentality tell me how my health care is to be run? You think because some are without health care handing it over to government is the solution?

Wake up and smell the roses. Politicians are not about care they are about empowerment. Do you value freedom at all? Do you even have a concept of what Freedom is? Do you have any pride? Is there a concept of individuality in your mind? Does not the proven failures of nationalized industries through history mean nothing or are you so conditioned to be a sheep that as long as it "feels" good it is OK?

Food stamps, never. I will starve before I serve the master.

Government is a lousy servant and a fearful master...

Baaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

If what you say is true
Then how come only 12% are uninsured? Typical that you exagerate the numbers. Ohh, somebody is suffering so lets nationalize.

Ok, well then how about oil, food and clothing? Why stop? What is the difference? Do we not need each? Why not nationalize everything?

I never claimed the system is perfect and I think it has flaws. However, I argue the flaws are government induced and not market induced.

I think we can develop a system where all are covered but it remains private and market oriented.

I do not want to see a system where the government runs 100% of it. That is un-American and a formula for disaster.

Lots of fun...
Y'all. Lighten up. It was an attempt to dig out some sanity regarding this particular "tar-baby" the government might never get rid of.

When you remove the "life and death" features of health care in America then certain other aspects of this mess stand out. This is all that the author, our very good friend Dr. Kling did here. The article worked well enough for him to present it to us and you guys are stuck on the superficials and have fallen back into your hopeless, standard bickering among yourselves. Don't you ever get tired of that?

Nevertheless, this is a serious problem and we need to think a lot more about it before the answer will come out of this process.

Let's go back to the "tar-baby" problem.

"Unfortunately, shifting the costs of...insurance to taxpayers was fiscally impossible. Trying to expand ...care to cover everyone would have forced...cuts to take place today, and no politician wanted to risk a confrontation... So although politicians talked a lot about universal single-payer...coverage, they never seriously proposed enacting it."

OK. That's your tar-baby. The government cannot live with it and the government cannot let it go. They have allowed the various industries that benefit from this phenomenon to become so powerful over the years that the doctors and the drug companies literally hold the power of life and death over all of us. That power should be the sole province of the sovereign.

We must pay or we might die...of something relatively pedestrian. Like a really bad cold. They've never needed to withhold services because we've never stopped paying them more and more. And we do not seem willing to call their bluff.

With the tar-baby everything we do makes more of a mess and in spite of that we are still holding onto it. The enduring problem here is that no one is willing to make any such move.

He simply holds up the completely intact tar-baby, for all to see, declaring that it is a thing of beauty and a joy forever...although someone must put it down. Someday. But not on his watch. He is unwilling to mess himself up disturbing the fine shape his hands are trapped by. Like manacles.

Here is what must happen. A serious crisis. A show-stopper. Just as the government has gotten itself into an intolerable position on the streets of Baghdad with this nation building and free democracy business all the politicians and all of the people are now crying "Let Him be Crucified!"

So our President will leave office bearing the heavy wooden cross of Iraq to be sacrificed by history that we might all live. Sometime later we will say he was a great man (or perhaps not). Nevertheless, he must take away the shame of the government as if it was his sin alone.

Similarly, some one of the next (few) Presidents must create an unbearable crisis regarding health care. Probably it will be an immense "surge" in Medicare tax that threatens the very economy we live in. Such high taxes that we plunge into recession and every economist in America agrees why. At the same time he will pander shamelessly to the medical world until we hate them too.

The campaign will focus almost exclusively on removing this tax and simultaneously crushing the extortion that the health care industry has imposed on us. A well structured plan that we all agree must be deployed.

Yet the president must persist with his lost cause to the bitter end...and he will thereby leave office bearing the full weight on his shoulders and the tar-baby smeared all over his body to be crucified for our foolishness that we all might enter paradise.

And the government will wake up fresh and smiling in the new sunrise.

It is a familiar story. And such is the way of the world.

And still no argument, just slogans
Is it really so difficult to just talk about the topic?

Type M argument alert
Lemuel attacks my intentions. His attack cannot be further from the truth. I care deeply about children, the unborn, and dogs. How about if we focus on the consequences of my recommendation instead of engaging in mean spirited personal attacks? OK *******?

You're still not getting it, goat man.
I mean, you're not looking at anything except your formulas.

>43/350 = 12%. So lets nationalize a entire industry, the finest health care in the world so 12% can have free care?

First, it's not nationalization: hospitals, clinics, doctors, everything remains private. Second, it's not the 'finest health care in the world by statistical measure. Third it's not so 12 percent can have free care - they already have free care in county emergency rooms, at enormous cost to taxpayers. Fourth, the care they'd get under a national helath insurance program wouldn't be free: they'd pay for it like everyone else in the plan. Otherwise, you're right on track.

>Lets take 1/7+ of the US economy and hand it over to poltiicians because you think they can do a better job?

First, a substanital part of the 1/7 is already governmentally funded: county hospital, VA, medicare. Second it's not handed over to politicians; all that happens is some funding changes for some people. Third, in terms of a better, job, we already pay twice as much as the rest of the world per capita for worse health statisitics.

> There are far better ways to insure health care than nationalization
You mean, by free care in county hospital emergency rooms? Go see how much it costs, and how good it is. What' syour alternative?

>Why do you suppose 100% of the time free markets supply products cheaper, faster and at lower cost?

It's not 100 percent of the time. it's when there's money to be made supplying a product. There's no money to be made supplying health care to people who don't have insurance or money to buy insurance. so what's your free market solution.

And if you think the problems of buiding better chips or stoplights are analogy, you're as dumb as you are rude.

As far as freedom - sure, everyone knows what freedom is.How about stiking to the actual issues, instead of just repeating the word sheep.

>Baaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
That's exactly as articulate and on target as all the rest of your screed.

Type BS argument
Ok, maybe you aren't a used up old trashbag prostitute, but just a prostitute that likes to service children and animals and (good trick) the unborn, and be sure it is done responsibly - you'd do it even if you weren't paid for it. I salute your good intentions and beg your pardon if I implied that you were just in the sex business for the money, and were looking for a government handout.

So a long distant government "distortion" 60 years ago, long gone, is responsible
The genius of the free market was never able to recover from war rationinng in this one field, health care, even though it do so well in everyting else. If you believe this, I have some email from Nigeria that will make you rich.

So a long distant government "distortion" 60 years ago, long gone, is responsible for all the proble
The genius of the free market was never able to recover from war rationinng in this one field, health care, even though it did recover and did so well in everyting else. If you believe this, I have some email from Nigeria that will make you rich.

You still don't get it
You don't seem to have much perspective.

>Then how come only 12% are uninsured? Typical that you exagerate the numbers. Ohh, somebody is suffering so lets nationalize.

The 12 percent is only the tip of a giant iceberg of problems. the 9/10 underwater is the fact that we spend twice as much percapita as other countries, and still have lousy health care numbers - somewhere between Costa Rica and Slovenia. And you're going say this is no problme.

>I never claimed the system is perfect and I think it has flaws. However, I argue the flaws are government induced and not market induced.

Make your case & be specfiic.

> think we can develop a system where all are covered but it remains private and market oriented.

Make your suggestion.

>I do not want to see a system where the government runs 100% of it. That is un-American and a formula for disaster.

And nobody anywhere is calling for this. Why not look into what people are actually suggesting.

Ah yes - just wave a wand and remove the life-and-death feature of health care
You should really alert the doctors about this - they have a very old fashioned view.

>OK. That's your tar-baby. The government cannot live with it and the government cannot let it go. They have allowed the various industries that benefit from this phenomenon to become so powerful over the years that the doctors and the drug companies literally hold the power of life and death over all of us. That power should be the sole province of the sovereign.

Drug companies sure, doctors to some extent - but you're totally leaving out the interests that are making the most money out of this. Who are they? Look up the Health Insurance Industry Association. Was there some reason this wasn't included in the catalog?

These are the people who are pocketing most of the 100 percent markup that health care gets in the US over other industrialized countries as a percentage of GDP. Might they be conceerned about paycuts?

Before going thorugh the long-picture philsopphizing about presidential angst, why not run the numbers?

Why?
Oh, so health care is different how? How is it better under gonvernment? My free market solution is what I already stated. It is not intended for every day care. If you read the article and knew the history behind it you would understand.

Health care benefits were offered in WW2 after Roosevelt enacted wage restrictions during the war. After the war is stayed as a common place benefit as a relic of wage and price controls.

Now today we expect cradle to grave health care and we expect it to be free? YOu think becasue we pay the state instead of a doctor it is better? Asked a doctor about how well medicare pays lately? Ever care for a elderly parent fool? I did for 14 years and medicare sucks.

Suddenly due to exceptional and expensive advances in medicine, coupled with tort and regulations, we now expect 100% care at zero cost but find it actually is expensive. How profound...

I am not saying we should not make options available to the lower wage base. I am saying that the existance of a lower wage base does not justify nationalization of the entire industry.

If we expected insurance to be what it was intended for, catastophic care, we might not be here.

A excellent example of market forces is Lasix. You can now get Lasix for like $299. Who could have thought laser eye surgery ( a private inititative) would have been so cheap? Cheap because of competition. Do you really think under socialized medicine this was possible? Yes, I suspect you do.

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/009946.php

Geesh, what is a better alternative to nationalization?

Then why not extend that to every aspect of life? Huh? Oil, do we not all need gas? Food, do we not all need food? Lets nationalize the entire world? How is health care unique? Explain to me how without the profit motive drug companies are going to invent new drugs? Why should I be a doctor if I cannot make more than X amount of dollars?

If our health care is twice is bad how come we have higher survival rates?

Jesus man, are you realy willing to be a slave to the state?

Damn, what has this nation become? I am demoralized at how anyone could willingly be a minion of the state.

Sheep are herd animals and sheep follow the herd. People like Hillary are herders and people like you are sheep to be herded. Health care is another way to tighten the herd.



I left none of them out...
You are correct. It might be the insurance companies that ultimately refuse to "allow" treatment since they hold the checkbook.

But all of them only did what the government allowed to get out of control in the interest of further expanding its own agenda into another of our fundamental, natural rights. Buried right there in the "live, liberty, health and property" paradigm.

Just like food, we should all be able to afford health care. Medicine should be a commodity. Medical equipment should be as ubiquitous and inexpensive as television sets are. Medical practitioners should be as plentiful as car mechanics. Hospitals should be as common as hotels and cost about the same to stay in overnight.

We should not be rationing health care to our citizens any more than we should not be rationing food and water. As crazy as gasoline prices are we still do not need insurance to pay for it.

Our government let this happen. Our society made physicians into gods. Our economy saw an opportunity and took it.

Now we need to fix this and no one is willing to step up and take the heat. Look! Health Care is too expensive. It is a simple as that! The industry itself will not take its own money off the table. The citizens are enslaved to it. The government must take care of this.

But some people don't like to read about the "presidential angst".

And don't talk to me about the numbers, Pal. You are seriously out of your depth.

HAHAHHA
Oh my God, are you actually suggesting our health care is as bad as Slovinia? What a joke. I cared for a elderly parent for 14 years. I have my own problems. My God man, I get excellent care as did my Mom. This is a joke. Been to a third world hospital? Your in for a suprise.

Who are you talking about? Illegals? Yeah, well sorry I have no sympathy for those that refuse to come here legally and then expect free care at my expense.

If you actually think the US care is worse than Slovenia then buy a ticket and go see.
We have the best care in the world. Oh sure, the problem as I see it in your mind is it actually costs money. Well hop damn, what a shocker.

In Cuba it is Free. If Cuba is so great hen why are they drowning to get here? Hillary wants nationalized care as does the Democratic party so forget the platitudes. Hillary care is utter socialist dribble. I am sure you love it because she cares so much. Ohhh, the love and the feelings. How she cares.

Nobody is calling for this, well what do you think they are calling for?

Wake up, it is about power not care. Otherwise Vote Chavez. Maybe he will set you free.

Some of us are willing to make our own way in life. Why is that such a issue? How did this nation get to this point? How did this nation ever manage to get anywhere?

I suggest you read the history of health insurance. The artile explains it perfectly. You just hate the fact you are a *****.




Then make a proposal that understands adverse selection and makes dollars and sense
This isn't about bleeding hearts. This is about dollars and cents.

Insurance is sharing risks. But insurance companies make money by not sharing risks with bad risks.

For car insurances, we understand and accept this. Poor drivers with bad records find it hard to get coverage, and pay much much more when they can. But they're the ones who drove drunk or got the moving violations.

With health insurance, the same factors are in play. Insurance companies don't want to write insurance to unhealthy people - to people with pre-existing conditions. They find it impossible to buy insurance at any price.

People with low income may be able to qualify for high deductible insurance - which doesn't cover preventive care, which then winds up costing far, far more

Healthy young people, by contrast, figure they can play the odds by going without insurance, crossing their fingers, relying on the taxpayer funded county emergency rooms.

The result is an infinitely complicated system of overlapping and underlapping coverages. the bottom line is hugely expensive and still very bad care in emergency rooms, where conditions that could have been treated as outpatient preventive care for $200 winds up costing six or seven figures in emergency drastic measures.

You have a better idea to bring the profit motive to the rescue while resolving the adverse selection issue?? the floor is yours. But saying health care costs are like prostitution costs is a non-starter, even as joke.

Leave out the sheep
Roosevelt and WWII are now six decades behind us. If you really think that long revoked WWII price controls still control the shape of health care in the US, let me sell you some Enron stock.

>Now today we expect cradle to grave health care and we expect it to be free?

No, we do not. We expect it to be available to people who are not rich, who pay for it in taxes as they pay for social security. Or if there's a market solution, a way to make money selling useful health insurance to people who can't afford health insuranc,e please let us know how it works.

>A excellent example of market forces is Lasix. You can now get Lasix for like $299. Who could have thought laser eye surgery ( a private inititative) would have been so cheap?

Ah yes, the Lasix illustration. Lasix is totally elective. There are many, many coronary bypass operations and cancer surgeries. why hasn't competition brought those costs down?

>How is health care unique?

We have the old-fashioned ideas that, for example, children shouldn't be allowed to die of disease because they didn't have rich parents. Please help us break these bad habits.

>Explain to me how without the profit motive drug companies are going to invent new drugs?
Who's telling them to go non-profit. You do realize they spend as much on advertising and promotion as they do on research, don't you?

>If our health care is twice is bad how come we have higher survival rates?

survival rates of what? We have higher infant mortality, higher child mortality, lower lifespan, higher diabetes fatalities, and higher rates in almost all preventable disease. Look it up.

>Jesus man, are you realy willing to be a slave to the state?
Do you really think that people in (say) Holland are "slaves to the state?
Do you really think that having a system where someone who wants to quit his job and start his own company without leaving his family without health care makes this person a 'slave to the state."

Again, why not ease up on the sheep stuff. You're just trying to reassure yourself that you're not a sheep, and in the process you're growing wool and a fuzzy little tail.

Just repeating what the statistics show
Best care here, better than Slovenia. Regular indicators health indicators of pu - not ver good at all.

>If you actually think the US care is worse than Slovenia then buy a ticket and go see.
We have the best care in the world. Oh sure, the problem as I see it in your mind is it actually costs money.

Hey, if you have money you can get good health care whereever you live. That's not the test.

And this is really striking:

>Who are you talking about? Illegals? Yeah, well sorry I have no sympathy for those that refuse to come here legally and then expect free care at my expense.
and then:
>If Cuba is so great hen why are they drowning to get here?
So everyone drowning to get out of Haiti are grifting bums. The ones from Cuba deserve all we can give them (and we give 'em a lot)

Here's a bucket more laughs for you
Really funny reading.

US Continues To Lag On Health Care, According To New International Comparison
Science Daily — The U.S. health care system ranks last compared with five other nations on measures of quality, access, efficiency, equity, and outcomes, in the third edition of a Commonwealth Fund report analyzing international health policy surveys. While the U.S. did well on some preventive care measures, the nation ranked at the bottom on measures of safe care and coordinated care.
Another new Commonwealth Fund report comparing health spending data in industrialized nations published today reveals that despite spending more than twice as much per capita on health care as other nations ($6,102 vs. $2,571 for the median of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] countries in 2004) the U.S. spends far less on health information technology--just 43 cents per capita, compared with about $192 per capita in the U.K.
"The United States stands out as the only nation in these studies that does not ensure access to health care through universal coverage and promotion of a 'medical home' for patients," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "Our failure to ensure health insurance for all and encourage stable, long-term ties between physicians and patients shows in our poor performance on measures of quality, access, efficiency, equity, and health outcomes. In light of the significant resources we devote to health care in this country, we should expect the best, highest performing health system."
In Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care, by Karen Davis, Ph. D., and colleagues, compare surveys on physicians' and patients' experiences and views of their health systems conducted in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. between 2004 and 2006. Key findings include:
On measures of quality, the U.S. overall ranked 5th out of 6 countries. The U.S. ranked fifth in coordinated care, and last in patients reporting that they have a regular doctor (84% vs. 92%-97% in other countries).
On access measures the U.S. ranked last overall, including last on timeliness of care: 61% of U.S. patients said it was somewhat or very difficult to get care on nights or weekends, compared with 25%-59% in other countries.
On efficiency, the U.S. ranked last overall, including last on percent of patients who have visited the emergency room for conditions that could have been treated by a regular doctor if one had been available (26% vs. 6%-21% in other countries). The U.S. ranked fifth of six countries on primary care practices having "high clinical information functions," defined as practices having at least 7 of 14 office practice information functions, including electronic records, electronic prescribing, computerized safety alerts, and patient reminders systems and registries (19% compared with 8%-87% in other countries).
Multinational Comparisons of Health Systems Data, 2006, by Jonathan Cylus and Gerard Anderson, Ph.D., of The Johns Hopkins University, compares health spending data in nine Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States and, where possible, the median of all 30 OECD countries. Key findings include:
In 2004 the U.S. spent the most per capita on hospital services, and Canada and Japan spent the least. Adjusted for differences in cost of living, inpatient acute care spending per day in the United States was nearly three times the median OECD country ($2,337) and over five times more than Japan ($419).
The U.S. spent twice the OECD median per capita on drugs in 2004--$752 compared with $377.
Nearly one-third (30.6%) of individuals in the U.S. were obese in 2004, compared with 13 percent of the OECD median.
The U.S. had about two and a half times the OECD median for years of potential life lost due to diabetes--101 per 1,000 people compared with 39 per 1,000 (U.S. data is for 2002).
The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation working toward a high performance health system.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070515074645.htm

Lemuel's endorsement of organ markets!
The life and death feature of kidney transplants means that it should be permissible for live donors to be paid in order to ensure that the paltry 80,000 or so people who need kidneys annually in this country can get them. Life and death trumps what passes for medical ethics, right? And once you're hip to paying live donors for spare parts, it's not much of a stretch to pay the estates of dead donors for well-cared-for parts. Life and death. Glad you're with us on that. Soon you'll start to realize that command and control doesn't solve the life/death problem. It simply redistributes it by allocating a scarce good, medical care, subject to strict rules rather than fluid market processes.

What in the world are you talking about?
And why are you telling me what I believe instead of simply stating what you think the problems are & giving your ideas & soliditing mine?

Not "long gone"
Benefit costs were deductible for business but not for individuals perpetuating the problem.

Socialism has not, will not and cannot improve the lives of anyone except those who are in power.

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