“We are so hampered by ideology, we seem unable to do what everyone else has.
I strongly recommend TR Reid's book The Healing of America - it gives the answer to your question like no one else.
The US is the only first-world nation without inexpensive coverage for all -- and those systems aren't all government run or single-payer, some are more privatized than ours, with better outcomes, more access, etc. There are huge differences across the world, but the one thing countries with the best systems (which all cost less per capita than ours) have that we don't, is they all have non-profit insurance. Doctors, hospitals, labs - they can also still profit, but there is an irreconcilable conflict between paying investors and paying for people's healthcare. When you have to pay investors, and profit as a percentage of the healthcare economy, there's no incentive to bring down the cost of the system. The incentive is to CONTROL to system to the investors' advantage. When for-profits cherry pick, the non-profits have to do the same to survive, which leads to the horrendous administrative burden in the system, around a half trillion dollars annually. No other advanced nation puts up with this. The question is, when healthcare costs are now 20% of our economy, when do we decide we can no longer afford this one investment opportunity (healthinsurance) and do what everyone else has done?”
bobbrowntown on May 13, 2013 at 22:11:13
“Thanks for your thoughtful and informative response.”
“Regardless of whether this information is made public, the real problem remains that patients are still not given a binding quote, in a timely way, for what their financial responsibility will be under their health plans (or not, if they have no insurance), BEFORE they get the care.
My doctor ordered an MRI and sent me to radiology. I couldn't get them to give me a quote, but they said not to worry about it. Having already been dinged by such talk before, I persisted in going to their insurance department, and after maybe 90 minutes of talk, found out that I would be on the hook for something like $2,000. The copay was more than the total cost of an MRI from another center I'd had just months earlier. If I hadn't been sent for that one by another doctor, there's no way I would have known there was a cheaper alternative -- no one quotes prices to you, under the policy or not, they want a doctor's order. It's just not practical to price services before you get them. It's like buying a car and only being allowed to know what it will cost when someone sends the bill after you've driven it home.”
bobbrowntown on May 8, 2013 at 02:50:37
“universal health care, they have it in other places. why not here?”
“I'm guessing he KNOWS the Republicans keep choosing party over nation! But do the Republicans? I mean, at least when Reagan was President, you had a sense that the architects of the whole trickle down nonsense knew better. As Reagan's budget director David Stockman admitted 30 years ago, the whole supply-side thing was just a Trojan Horse for cutting top tax rates. But then they started believing all that stuff, and we've been hampered as a nation because of it ever since. (It's when I stopped voting Republican, when they stopped being fiscally responsible.)”
“The MIT police are THE reason I came into adulthood with a positive opinion of police officers. In my time they were highly competent, genuinely concerned, vigilant, and just warm, lovely people to a one. Definitely went above and beyond the call for the students, and didn't sweat the small stuff. Best of the best. My heart is broken for that community.”
“MIT hires the most amazing people for police officers. The campus was always a safe zone even when Central Square was full of drug dealers and prostitutes. This is horrible. Prayers to the community and the officer's family.”
“Wow. All I can say is, this man has a healthy emotional life and his kids are incredibly lucky. My heart goes out to them. I, too, have lost someone close to ovarian cancer, and would not wish it (or even the treatment) on my worst enemy.”
Mar 28, 2013 at 23:48:02
“Everyone dies eventually. What, are we expected to die in a sterile medical setting? If we want to build homes to last, people will live and die there, and maybe even be born there, it's part of the character, the history of the home just like people have histories.”
“But he claimed he couldn't do that (even with all that government help) and run the company he'd built himself at the same time. Didn't bode well for his ability to run the nation and military at the same time.”
cobrakai2002 on Mar 14, 2013 at 02:19:10
“Slow down. The winter olympics are more important than anything this nation has ever encountered. And the angelic Mitt Romney flew down from clouds to fix the irreparable WINTER OLYMPICS! ”
“Exactly. He told us government couldn't create jobs but wanted us to give him control of government to create jobs. Let's see him deliver those 12 million jobs in the private sector! Shouldn't he be promising more? You know, seeing as it's not government and all.”
“No offense, but you do realize that this country was founded on the novel idea of democracy and one man, one vote? Also, that Switzerland is currently a more direct democracy that we are? And a market-based economy (with a higher per capita income and quality of life)?
Just be cause we are a market-based system, doesn't mean we have to do it in the dumbest way possible so that we risk losing our place in the first world.”
JsLkinHere on Mar 18, 2013 at 14:38:08
“Say what you want, but life in Switzerland is not as free as you think. Why don't you look into their laws on purchasing property, etc. They have many laws and regulations that we do not have. Each country has their pluses and minuses. For those that are dissatisfied with life here, they are free to go elsewhere. Uncle Sam doesn't hold anyone by a ball and chain.”
“I'm no fan of Rand Paul, either. I was today, though.”
CJHAN on Mar 8, 2013 at 04:49:10
“Im no fan myself but what hes was complainig about is something that was never considered an option, (the the government could strike with a drone any american it deemed a threat on us soil) and he was told that by Holder. Holder said that if it where a terroist plot in action that in theory they could strike and I dont think anyone disagrees with that. That being said there should be more guidelines on the use of drones but as someone with alittle bit of intell experience all that info is best to not be public something that Paul coul get in a closed door meeting. Paul was simply grandstanding.”
“So how come rightwingers get to call people they don't like politically "communists" when there's no truth to it, but leftwingers and centrists don't get to call them f@scists or n2zis when there is?”
“No more nested replies, so my reply goes here. Exactly, Switzerland isn't representative of all European countries. You're still in a box though about Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany -- been to any of those countries lately? All democratic systems, higher quality more privatized healthcare (but all non-profit healthinsurance), free education, incredible social safety net. Their quality of life has steadily risen, Switzerland isn't the only one. Many of the countries you could point to that aren't doing so well share more in common with the rightwingers here than any of their wealthy nations do. (Refer to Republicans want us to be Somalia, Democrats want us to be Sweden.)”
JsLkinHere on Mar 2, 2013 at 17:39:03
“There are many countries with system different from ours. The point is, this country was founded upon capitalism and the vast majority of people here want to keep it that way. I'm not saying it's better or worse, it just is. Those that want to change it are dreaming...it's not going to happen.”
“This article wasn't clear as to whether Mayer is simply demanding people spend some time in the office or whether their remote jobs are being turned into office jobs. I suspect it's the former, so that those people feel more a part of the company and can collaborate. The difference between those two possibilities is so large, who knows what this article really means.”
“I think the current crop is just so bad, we're developing a collective amnesia about the past. The Reagan years began the push for "permanent Republican majority" or power at any costs. The so-called Contract With America eventually flowed out of that. The Reagan years began the trend of lisening only to themselves and believing if they repeated something enough, it was true. How quickly we forget the intense persecution of the Clintons, and hoe Republicans shut own the government. They weren't interested in working across the aisle either, Clinton was just such a force of nature, but a once-in-a-lifetime one I think.”
“That's what I mean, they can provide for the least among them because they provide for everyone. We, however, can't provide education for prisoners or healthcare for minimum wage workers without strident opposition because we don't otherwise make the same broadbased investments in our people. We did awfully well as a nation because of postWWII investments in our people and infrastructure.”
eva07 on Feb 20, 2013 at 00:40:42
“Agreed, unfortunately we changed in the last 40 years for the worse..”
“I remember getting a tour of a town on the Eastern side of the country, and spotted a beautiful, architecturally interesting building. It was in an exceptional setting. I was wondering if it was a mansion or of historical interest.
Apparently, it was a home for girls who got into trouble, like juvenile hall, to help them train for good jobs and to be productive members of society.... Imagine that. We can't do that for the least among us here, because we don't do for everyone else first and it wouldn't be fair. The Swiss don't suffer from that dilemma.”
eva07 on Feb 17, 2013 at 17:19:04
“Right, though to be fair, they do it for almost everybody. Their safety net is amazing.”
“I said that to a friend with dual Swiss citizenship recently and she just laughed.
Everyone thinks they're getting a raw deal. A 70-year-old Swiss friend thought he would shock me by telling me he had to pay FOUR HUNDRED francs every month for his healthcare. Shocking. (He with serious chronic disease and elderly.) They do tax your assets over there. But I know too many people who had regular, menial jobs like secretarial work, who could afford good places to live, take vacations all over the world regularly, wear nice clothes, get good education, and even leave inheritances behind after long illnesses like cancer. Not rich people, ordinary working people. Here, you'd leave nothing but debt. We're in an ideological stranglehold for the right, not the box you think we're in.”
JsLkinHere on Feb 17, 2013 at 17:10:59
“My parents and relatives are from Europe. They're not wealthy over there, nor do the people live like average Americans do. The main problem here is, Americans are very materialistic and spoiled. Why don't you research the average cost of living over there? They live in very small residences, own very few clothes, drive very tiny cars and do not eat out all the time like Americans. They take vacations, because they spend very little of their income and save it instead. They do not expect to make $10 and spend $30. That is why most immigrants from ALL countries thrive when they come here. They work hard, study hard and SAVE their money.”