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Thread: The United States finally catches up!

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    Default The United States finally catches up!

    Health care for all. At last.

    Now I just need a decent co-op to buy my insurance from, as opposed to those odious insurance companies.

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    Thank God. Now I'm not doomed to a life of poverty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diana View Post
    Oh crap. Are you serious. Thanks for ruining my night. *goes to look for news* before I burst into tears on the spot. Maybe it's not as bad as I fear. . .
    Did I tell you my brother in law is ISTj?; he's so sweet and sentimental too, but in a courageous, honorable way....he will also cry, I am sure...lol...no hard feelings dear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diana View Post
    Oh crap. Are you serious. Thanks for ruining my night. *goes to look for news* before I burst into tears on the spot. Maybe it's not as bad as I fear. . .
    No kidding... *sigh*
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    I'm going to be fined for not having health insurance?

    Er... wait, what's that about a co-op? (Are you sure that will even work?)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    I'm going to be fined for not having health insurance?

    Er... wait, what's that about a co-op? (Are you sure that will even work?)
    Well if you can afford it, then you should already have it. The fine doesn't go into effect 'till 2014. If you don't make enough to pay for it, then you won't have to: there will be subsidies available for the poor.

    But, really now: is or is not your HA satisfied at this point?

    The health insurance industry will be able to go non-profit, as soon as people start putting up health co-ops. A few co-ops already exist, accounting for about 1.2 million Americans. They are regional however, and we need co-ops all over the place to make this work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    Well if you can afford it, then you should already have it. The fine doesn't go into effect 'till 2014. If you don't make enough to pay for it, then you won't have to: there will be subsidies available for the poor.
    In my opinion, insurance is dumb, for financial reasons. I should be able to take care of my health better and cheaper with my own money than by shipping it off to someone else to give it back to me as I see fit. In fact the more money I have, the more true this is - I might actually welcome health insurance if it's subsidized due to me not being able to afford it.

    Also, I actually do have health insurance right now (my parents' still applies), and actually I'll probably get it from my employer whether I like it or not, but if I get the choice I'd rather keep my money than spend it on health insurance. Now, if I could get some arrangement where the money I put into my health fund is literally the coverage I get (and that satisfied the law), then I'd be placated... but I'd think there would be some sort of overhead in getting such an arrangement to satisfy the law.



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    If you want lower health care costs, then you're going to have to support price caps on health services, or even price reductions. As it is, health costs are too high except for the most routine care to be affordable by most Americans.

    In industries where costs explode out of control, insurance tends to become a factor. You see, you need auto insurance because the price of a car is enormous. Now you need health insurance because doctors are increasing their wages, hospitals are increasing their fees, etc. No one is telling these industries that they can't raise their prices, and as such, insurance becomes necessary to make the costs affordable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diana
    Who says? See, this is what really bothers me most about it. What gives anyone the right to dictate something like that? You're going to tell me what I should and should not do? You're going to tell me that I should have to pay some crooked insurance company year after year for the rest of my life for the priviledge of living in this country? There is no escape. Get health insurance or pay a fine. No choice not to buy health insurance at all.
    You have to have car insurance to drive. Do you not need to drive a car? Certainly sometimes you must. How to get to work if not by car? In some places you can drive a bus, but not everywhere.

    Would be great if some common commodities, like cars and health care, weren't super expensive. But they are! What are you going to do to control costs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    If you want lower health care costs, then you're going to have to support price caps on health services, or even price reductions. As it is, health costs are too high except for the most routine care to be affordable by most Americans.
    While I would like lower health costs, that's neither my point nor something that I would even want done if other sacrifices would be needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    In industries where costs explode out of control, insurance tends to become a factor. You see, you need auto insurance because the price of a car is enormous. Now you need health insurance because doctors are increasing their wages, hospitals are increasing their fees, etc. No one is telling these industries that they can't raise their prices, and as such, insurance becomes necessary to make the costs affordable.
    Insurance fundamentally cannot counteract the problem of higher prices; the money must come from somewhere, and at its best insurance functions as a way to support the few from the pocketbooks of the many - that many being everyone who happens to not need it. When it gets to where everyone needs it, the model breaks down to the point where everyone is essentially paying their own costs plus overhead; the problem is disguised while becoming worse. Insurance is only effective when a large number of people have a small, relatively equal chance of massive loss, but are each able to afford the "average" loss; in this case, everyone pays the average loss and no one is ruined.

    If the buffer were removed, then the cost of a given service would directly affect use of the service, and the old principles of economics that tend to drive prices down would work more effectively, because the people making the choices are directly concerned about the money being spent.



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    Taking money from people and giving it to the poor is demeaning to the poor people. It's like saying they aren't capable of taking care of themselves. Also, the health care bill is going to put tremendous stress on the economy(stress that I do not think it can take). I think it's retarded both from a philosophical viewpoint and an economical viewpoint, not to mention authoritarian, fascist, and limiting to individual liberty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitta View Post
    Taking money from people and giving it to the poor is demeaning to the poor people. It's like saying they aren't capable of taking care of themselves. Also, the health care bill is going to put tremendous stress on the economy(stress that I do not think it can take). I think it's retarded both from a philosophical viewpoint and an economical viewpoint, not to mention authoritarian, fascist, and limiting to individual liberty.
    +1

    Bottom line is, a lot of people are working for insurance companies. It's not clear where those people would get jobs without the insurance system. That's why the insurance system was upheld.

    Most likely, the insurance industry is going to collapse anyhow because most of the people who need health care most are immanent. They can't be cured, and they are going to be getting a lot more end-of-life treatment under this plan, meaning premiums are going to skyrocket.

    There was general agreement on eliminating the coverage denial clauses, so there's no use to get mad at the Dems just because your health premiums are about to soar.... Hell, if I hadn't told you about it, most of you would have no clue that the insurance industry is headed over a cliff. Hardly anyone does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diana View Post
    Paying in full, in cash immediately is after all a heck of a lot better than having to go through multiple stages of red tape to get an insurance payment, and just talking to any business office, nearly all will give you a break.
    I think for the vast majority of people, going through those stages is not really an option. Who can pay for treatment these days? I couldn't even pay for my co-payment...(thanks, mom and dad).


    Quote Originally Posted by Diana View Post
    I've had places give as much as a 60% discount (paying for health services of various kinds for my ex-husband after his accident had me writing some places checks of $20-$30,000 a month, so I know how expensive it is. And that's out-of-pocket, no insurance.
    As far as I know, the bill also addresses the issue of overcharging.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post

    Most likely, the insurance industry is going to collapse anyhow because most of the people who need health care most are immanent. They can't be cured, and they are going to be getting a lot more end-of-life treatment under this plan, meaning premiums are going to skyrocket.
    Your premiums skyrocket because medical care has gotten ridiculously expensive. In addition, with mandatory health insurance, people won't have to go to the ER when they are sick, which means that hospitals won't have recover their loss when treating uninsured patients by adding it on to other bills.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    Your premiums skyrocket because medical care has gotten ridiculously expensive. In addition, with mandatory health insurance, people won't have to go to the ER when they are sick, which means that hospitals won't have recover their loss when treating uninsured patients by adding it on to other bills.
    The reason medical care is so expensive is because of government intervention.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitta View Post
    The reason medical care is so expensive is because of government intervention.
    Is that right? Care to elaborate?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    Is that right? Care to elaborate?
    Due to government intervention, health insurance is already mandated to some extent. As I stated, this buffer prevents market forces from directly affecting the cost of health care... this means that the only thing left to fight high pricing is legislation. I won't say that legislation can never do the trick, but it would take quite a genius to pull that off, and such a genius hasn't showed up recently.

    Hmm... I wouldn't put the blame squarely on the government recently. More like they tried to solve a problem that was already there (the public's over-reliance on insurance), and only managed to make it worse.

    By the way, RE: the "more jobs" argument, that's a pretty weak argument because when the work being done is worthless, it amounts to giving people money for nothing (and further guaranteeing that they will accomplish nothing useful).



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    Could you explain how exactly government intervention has influenced healthcare costs?

    And how can there be an "over-reliance" on insurance?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    Could you explain how exactly government intervention has influenced healthcare costs?
    I thought I just did that?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    I thought I just did that?
    You said:

    Due to government intervention, health insurance is already mandated to some extent.
    What would be an example of such intervention/legislation?
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    Uhm. I kind of understand that this isn't really universal health care, more like "mandatory health insurance you have to pay for". Kind of meh.

    I would rather not pay for auto insurance either, and I don't think it should be a requirement either.
    Here, it wasn't mandatory up to 25 years ago. They changed because lots of accidents would become a legal mess, clogging the judicial system. I guess, this is a problem mostly for high-population-density kind of places, thus it might be unlocked for states that have a more judges per capita (and where the liklihood of having an accident involving other people is lower).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    What would be an example of such intervention/legislation?
    I'm thinking of the health insurance provided by employers. Hmm, but upon investigation, even that technically isn't required. Looks like I don't have quite the case I thought I had.



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    According to Noam Chomsky, this health care bill was only brought on the political agenda (and rather suddenly in the last elections; it's never been a major election issue before) because some of the large companies were paying too much in health care insurance costs for their workers and took that complaint to Washington.
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    I've heard many pleas to take paying for health insurance out of the hands of employers just because it adds to the cost of hiring people.
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    So really we have employee unions to blame for this... which were necessary to counteract employer unions, which are now legislated against.

    Now we see the downfall of capitalism, that the market forces that work so well on the small scale lead to accumulations of power that themselves nullify the market forces.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    Could you explain how exactly government intervention has influenced healthcare costs?
    A typical example, rather common in (southern, to be fair) Italy:

    there are private clinics whose clients get "supported" by the state. Suppose the price of a given treatment without support is X, and suppose that the state covers all these costs. Private clinics will raise their prices up to X+(X-e) with e infinitesimally small. Since half of it will be covered, it will always be more convenient to get coverage rather than not; however, the clinic will basically double the price.

    Now they're trying to get rid of this problem by placing caps on prices; I don't know if it'll work, since there's some collusion between regional-level politicians and private-clinics owners.
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    Quote Originally Posted by electric sheep View Post
    I've heard many pleas to take paying for health insurance out of the hands of employers just because it adds to the cost of hiring people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    So really we have employee unions to blame for this... which were necessary to counteract employer unions, which are now legislated against.

    Now we see the downfall of capitalism, that the market forces that work so well on the small scale lead to accumulations of power that themselves nullify the market forces.
    Again according to Chomsky, public polls have consistently supported some government run healthcare system. If democratic public opinion was a factor, America would have had a health care system for decades now. But health care never became a ballot issue until the manufacturing sector (GM, Ford, etc.) took its complaints to Washington. Prior to that, the [more expensive] private system was maintained because of the interests of pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

    Here he is talking about it. He seems better sourced than many of his critics, and I'll bet quadra values plays some part in my feeling some sympathy for the man's views. Anyway, judge for yourselves:
    Last edited by xerx; 03-22-2010 at 08:44 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    Could you explain how exactly government intervention has influenced healthcare costs?
    Let's try insurance.

    Every state has thousands of mandates that nearly completely define what an insurance plan is. The federal government mandates that you buy insurance from your residence state, effectively giving local insurance companies a monopoly. These two things combined completely destroy any possibility of a true insurance market from developing. Plans are not designed to fit peoples needs, but government bureaucrats wants.

    For example, in Illinois, in-vitro fertilization coverage (which can, from my understanding, be rather costly) is mandated. Given that every insurance policy in Illinois covers in-vitro, people have little reason not use the costly procedure. With more people using a costly elective procedure, health insurance policy costs inevitably rise.
    Last edited by Drommel; 03-22-2010 at 09:08 AM. Reason: Spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    According to Noam Chomsky, this health care bill was only brought on the political agenda (and rather suddenly in the last elections; it's never been a major election issue before) because some of the large companies were paying too much in health care insurance costs for their workers and took that complaint to Washington.
    Chomsky is wrong. It came to the fore because Hillary Clinton thought a single-payer system would promote communitarian values, and so she made it a staple of her campaign. She had neither the credibility (as a factor her Iraq vote) nor the charisma of Obama, and so was defeated by him. Obama found himself not completely opposed to the notion of universal care, and so adopted it as a platform of his campaign. (it also had the helpful effect of neutralizing Hillary's most effective talking point). I don't think the auto industry had any significant role in it at all... it was more about politicians making campaign promises and then being held to account by the blogosphere. It's long been a goal of the communitarian wing of the Democratic Party to have single payer care, and still is. Steven Hoyer made it clear in his remarks tonight that the health care crusade is primarily an exercise in altruism. Once proposed, it became a political necessity to follow through on, as it became clear that votes would be withheld if the politicians didn't make good on their word. And it wasn't a matter of general election politics, either: take a look around Democratic Underground, and you'll see in no uncertain terms that voting against the bill was a recipe for primary election suicide, particularly if it had been voted down. Now that it has prevailed, it's an open question of what the effect of 'no' votes will be, given that the 'no' voters can rely on Stupak and Co. for cover, saying that they were playing the political "in-game" to win their district on the party's behalf. Personally, I think the whole Blue Dog coalition ought to leave town next January. The question is whether Pelosi will still have her speakers gavel if they do....

    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand
    [...] which were necessary to counteract employer unions, which are now legislated against.
    Well, one Supreme Ct. decision is all that's needed to remedy that. Besides, there are still such things as employer unions... do you think the rich don't speak to each other? They certainly do, and they often invest together. Don't cry for the rich... they're well off enough.
    Last edited by tcaudilllg; 03-22-2010 at 09:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    Chomsky is wrong. It came to the fore because Hillary Clinton thought a single-payer system would promote communitarian values, and so she made it a staple of her campaign. She had neither the credibility (as a factor her Iraq vote) nor the charisma of Obama, and so was defeated by him. Obama found himself not completely opposed to the notion of universal care, and so adopted it as a platform of his campaign. (it also had the helpful effect of neutralizing Hillary's most effective talking point). I don't think the auto industry had any significant role in it at all... it was more about politicians making campaign promises and then being held to account by the blogosphere. It's long been a goal of the communitarian wing of the Democratic party to have single payer care, and still is. Steven Hoyer made it clear in his remarks tonight that the health care crusade is primarily an exercise in altruism. Once proposed, it became a political necessity to follow through on, as it became clear that votes would be withheld if the politicians didn't make good on their word. And it wasn't a matter of general election politics, either: take a look around Democratic Underground, and you'll see in no uncertain terms that voting against the bill was a recipe for primary election suicide, particularly if it had been voted down. Now that it has prevailed, it's an open question of what the effect of 'no' votes will be, given that the 'no' voters can rely on Stupak and Co. for cover, saying that they were playing the political "in-game" to win their district on the party's behalf. Personally, I think the whole Blue Dog coalition ought to leave town next January. The question is whether Pelosi will still have her speakers gavel if they do....
    In light of unknown facts any theory is plausible, but your interpretation doesn't explain why Health Care was never an election issue before this one in spite of having popular support for decades.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    In light of unknown facts any theory is plausible, but your interpretation doesn't explain why Health Care was never an election issue before this one in spite of having popular support for decades.
    I told you: Hillary Clinton. She's a reformer to the core, and the first one to get within striking distance of the Oval Office since JFK.

    Reformers are collectivists, and there is this general consensus among all reformers throughout the world that equal-access care is a mark of a nation's cultural stature. If you don't believe me, watch CNN: that network is about as reformist as you can get. They are still pissed off over there that single payer didn't come along. 'cause they were almost sure it would this time. Michael Moore is particularly furious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    I told you: Hillary Clinton. She's a reformer to the core, and the first one to get within striking distance of the Oval Office since JFK.

    Reformers are collectivists, and there is this general consensus among all reformers throughout the world that equal-access care is a mark of a nation's cultural stature. If you don't believe me, watch CNN: that network is about as reformist as you can get. They are still pissed off over there that single payer didn't come along. 'cause they were almost sure it would this time. Michael Moore is particularly furious.
    JFK was killed 45 years ago. If it takes half a century, almost a quarter of the nation's history, for another major reformer who represents popular opinion to get into office, then the population isn't being democratically represented on a regular or even a marginal basis. That makes Chomsky's case about special interests stronger.

    Other than that, I find it highly dubious that a single person can accomplish this much on her own, without relying on the support of congressmen and senators in the pockets of those special interests I mentioned.

    And I'm not sure what her opinions were before, but if you could provide a source that suggests she lobbied for this consistently throughout the past 20 years, especially during her husband's administration. That would weaken Chomsky's case and I'd be happy to read it.
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    As a purely political statement. I am a believer in universal healthcare, We have the NHS here in the UK and whilst it may not be perfect, i know that if I need to see a doctor I can and if I have need for medical or surgical treatment as will anyone else, from the richest (if they don't have private insurance) to the poorest in the country.

    The system isn't perfect, some people use the healthcare system more than others, some people take adavntage, however that does not change the fact that healthcare is seen as an essential public service, just like a school or library or park.

    Some people get more out of it than others, it is still there for everybody who needs it and I am proud that I live in a country where we have such a system.

    I havn't read exactly what has happened in the US, but if it's taking the country more towards that kind of system, then I say good for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    And I'm not sure what her opinions were before, but if you could provide a source that suggests she lobbied for this consistently throughout the past 20 years, especially during her husband's administration. That would weaken Chomsky's case and I'd be happy to read it.
    A source that suggests she lobbied for universal health care while her husband was in office? That's easy: There's a reason why Bill Clinton's health care reform effort was nicknamed HlilaryCare.

    Chomsky, by the way, is an insane dumbass who should be ignored.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drommel View Post
    A source that suggests she lobbied for universal health care while her husband was in office? That's easy: There's a reason why Bill Clinton's health care reform effort was nicknamed HlilaryCare.
    Correct me if this is wrong, but Wikipedia doesn't list any provisions for the government to regulate drug prices or remove expensive bureaucratic inefficiencies in the health care system under HillaryCare. I believe this is at least a major part of what Chomsky was referring to as health care reform in the video I posted. In addition, it was never an election issue. But it does weaken his case slightly because he mentioned that it was never suggested by the democrats before.

    It seems more like a government run health insurance policy.
    Clinton health care plan of 1993 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by HillaryCare Provisions
    The Clinton health plan required each US citizen and permanent resident alien to become enrolled in a qualified health plan and forbade their disenrollment until covered by another plan. It listed minimum coverages and maximum annual out-of-pocket expenses for each plan. It proposed the establishment of corporate "regional alliances" of health providers to be subject to a fee-for-service schedule. People below a certain set income level were to pay nothing. The act listed funding to be sent to the states for the administration of this plan, beginning at $13.5 billion in 1993 and reaching $38.3 billion in 2003.


    Chomsky, by the way, is an insane dumbass who should be ignored.
    Do you have something better than an ad hominem? He's usually better sourced than his opponents, whatever you may think of his normative views (which I don't completely agree with myself). Many of his views are also fairly mainstream.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    So really we have employee unions to blame for this... which were necessary to counteract employer unions, which are now legislated against.

    Now we see the downfall of capitalism, that the market forces that work so well on the small scale lead to accumulations of power that themselves nullify the market forces.
    Yep. Now try explaining this to ashton.
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    Anyone who honestly thinks that a bill like this is a good idea, put simply, is uneducated in history, economics, and common sense.

    There are so many reasons why this bill is a bad idea that it is honestly difficult to know where to start talking about it.

    First of all: KIM...

    Could you explain how exactly government intervention has influenced healthcare costs?
    The government bans interstate competition in the health insurance market, and in every state there are countless individual mandates for conditions that insurance companies must include in their policies. This has the effect of drastically increasing the price of premiums. I think I've already explain this to you, but you seem to have purged it from your mind.

    And how can there be an "over-reliance" on insurance?
    The same way there would be an over-reliance on auto insurance if it were to cover the cost of gasoline. Gasoline is a routine cost, so it is natural that insurance does not cover it. However, in the health insurance market, the government has forced health insurance providers to cover routine costs, such as check-ups and prescriptions. The result of this has been an enormous increase in the prices charged for these good and services.

    Have you noticed how eye doctors work in chain companies that advertise competitive prices? Have you noticed that the price of Lasik has gone down dramatically in the past five years? Know why? Yep, because insurance doesn't cover the costs of most services that eye doctors provide, so the price system is actually able to function. When people visit a general practitioner, they don't ask how much the bill will be because they know that their insurance will cover it. Without insurance footing the bill, people actually give a damn about what they're being charged, and doctors must respond accordingly if they want to stay in business.

    You know, I really resent having to explain any of this to you. You're obviously intelligent enough to be able to do some fucking research and find this stuff out for yourself.

    The bottom line is that there are no good arguments for a bill such as this. Every argument that you can come up with is based either in some kind of nonsensical economic fallacy or in ignorance about the facts of the matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    So really we have employee unions to blame for this... which were necessary to counteract employer unions, which are now legislated against.
    Employee unions were never necessary for any reason. Not even in the industrial revolution.

    Now we see the downfall of capitalism, that the market forces that work so well on the small scale lead to accumulations of power that themselves nullify the market forces.
    The downfall of capitalism is caused by excessive taxation, as Marx correctly stated. Capitalism needs only anti-collusion laws and property laws to flourish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    Well, one Supreme Ct. decision is all that's needed to remedy that. Besides, there are still such things as employer unions... do you think the rich don't speak to each other? They certainly do, and they often invest together. Don't cry for the rich... they're well off enough.
    I have hopes of becoming rich someday; if and when that happens, I don't want to be picked on. And "one supreme court decision" is really quite a lot...

    Not that I would want the legislation removed (see below).

    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Employee unions were never necessary for any reason. Not even in the industrial revolution.

    The downfall of capitalism is caused by excessive taxation, as Marx correctly stated. Capitalism needs only anti-collusion laws and property laws to flourish.
    Hence, the proper solution to the employer unions was legislation, and the the employee unions were a mistake in the opposite direction. I like this idea.



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