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PBO
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03.25.2010, 05:03 PM

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Originally Posted by redshift View Post
I have to know out of curiosity, ZP, PBO and anyone else not from the US, why the interest?

I consider myself among the more enquiring Americans, but I can assure you that 99.44% of us could give a vermin's derriere about what goes on outside our borders. Yes we are that ignorant.

So what is it that makes you guys not only care, but seem to take a passionate stance on things like this? I can't seem to wrap my American mind around that, I'll admit...

Thoughts?
It's hard to answer in a few words, funny you should put it that way though. I know you're speaking only for yourself but the 'ignorant American' is a widespread belief the world has when watching the US...not saying it's right or wrong mind you

I think it's fair to say that every country wants to get these basic issues right. Most don't! Healthcare in Australia is very good on a world standard but ask anyone who lives here & it sucks...when you dig deeper on an individual basis, it usually sucks because it's not perfect by their measure. They can tell you all about how this did or didn't happen to them, how the system could be improved to work better for them or their family. Most people do lack the high view on what the issues are, so the personal discontent gains a big, widespread & ineffective voice...I digress

My family have suffered & benefited equally under a poor health system, so by the law of averages I should be content but I'm not. I have expensive health insurance for my family that is largely a joke, the combined revenue from this was supposed to supplement the 'free' service but in my experience it puts you in front of expensive doctors, specialists, surgeons & services that you pay for. Sure you can claim back against your policies but there's always a shortfall. The issue that really smarts though is the same doctors, specialists, surgeons & services are all free if you're prepared to wait in the free system...as a result only the wealthy & very needy process their health needs through the insurance stream...the system is a con


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redshift
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03.25.2010, 06:19 PM

Alright thanks for the frank replies!

The most accurate slogan for the new health care system might be "We're so concerned with your health, we're willing to kill you over it"

It appears as if in the last howevermany years, many other countries have adopted American business tactics. To some degree you have all been Americanized. I realize that may sound like an insult, I don't mean it that way. ZP btw I am old enough to remember when we actually referred to Canada as our "friendly neighbor to the north".

Crossing the border was as simple as making your 'declarations' by answering just a few questions going through customs. Lots of fake terror later, we now just about have to give a blood sample to even be considered. That's as much our fault as Canada's, but likely more ours.

PBO I'll come out and say it, I'm surrounded by drones. These are not people like the rest of the world has come to define them. It's hard for me to fathom the way "most" Americans live their lives. With their shallow, robotic American Idol, bluetooth stuck to their ears 24-7 chat about nothing, pathetic cardboard and plastic daydreaming lives they have become the ultimate reflection of marketing gone berserk.

Someone asked why there was a little black kid next to Obama while he signed the bill. I think it's pretty obvious that was a nice little window-dressing photo op designed to tug at someone's (not mine) emotions. They know logic would never work in sales, because logic makes sense. Instead they have perverted the course of people's own will. I imagine many Americans fancy themselves as a model on a billboard, they are merely a product to be shaped and packaged in any way the marketers see fit. They are even proud of it, it defies me.
   
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zeropointbug
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03.25.2010, 06:30 PM

I completely agree with every word you said Red. Logic is not present in today's society, it really is like you say, about emotions, grab them emotionally, then you need not use logic... simply how the human brain works.

Here is a link to the transcript to the States law suit.

http://media.mcclatchydc.com/static/...arelawsuit.pdf

And here is the 2,400 page Marxistcare reform bill.

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-...3590pp.txt.pdf


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zeropointbug
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03.25.2010, 06:39 PM

I find something about everyone's opinion on this thread, state of things, and the government odd. Everyone that has posted has blasted the whole thing, and your government, but then, not to offend anyone, most of you don't do much research into what is really going on, as far as behind the scenes, and as a global picture (very important). Then, when I bring anything up that actually pins an act or event or true motives on big brother (ex. 9/11...) most people ignore it and claim:

"why would our government do that to it's own people".

Am i the only one who sees the irony in this?


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georgec
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03.25.2010, 06:41 PM

The rest of the world should care what happens here in the USA, because if we fail it will be like the first big domino hitting the table and we all know how that works.
   
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redshift
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03.25.2010, 06:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeropointbug View Post
I find something about everyone's opinion on this thread, state of things, and the government odd. Everyone that has posted has blasted the whole thing, and your government, but then, not to offend anyone, most of you don't do much research into what is really going on, as far as behind the scenes, and as a global picture (very important). Then, when I bring anything up that actually pins an act or event or true motives on big brother (ex. 9/11...) most people ignore it and claim:

"why would our government do that to it's own people".

Am i the only one who sees the irony in this?
Nope. But people will connect the dots in their own time.

There was a day Americans spoke highly of the nation, and of each other. There was little reason to speak badly of government (and doing so would get you some mean looks) and for the most part we took pride in our work and our land. That's what the history books tell me anyway, because all of this happened well before I was born. And I hate feeling reminiscent of what I never experienced.
   
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Pt 1, Old System
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Finnster
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Pt 1, Old System - 03.25.2010, 06:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBO View Post
I don't have a clear understanding of where US health care was & is being taken too

Can someone give me the abridged version so I can avoid hours of research?
Nearly all hospitals, doctor practices, and medical companies are privately owned (ie not owned by the govt.) Health Insurance, which is used to defer risk of high medical expenses (as does house, fire, auto, etc.,) in the US is primarily provided by your employer if you work for a large company, or member of a union, or work for the gov't.

People who work for small companies, small business owners, trade workers (ie plumbers, carpenters,) low wage workers or the unemployed have no health insurance provided to them. They have to buy insurance on the open market, as an individual with thier own wages.

The cronically ill, the elderly, as well as children of very low income families are provided coverage provided by the gov't. These programs are known as Medicaid, Medicare, and SChip respectively. These programs were put into place as these groups (minus the kids) tend to be very expensive to care for, and usually cannot purchase H Ins that is affordable, bc of their high medical costs and H. Ins companies cannot provide plans that would be profitable.

The major problems with the current system in a nutshell:

1.) Healthcare costs for US citizens are the most expensive per capita and as per % of GDP in the world. However, life expecancy is lower than many other industrialized countries, and lags behind the UK, France, Singapore, Japan, and more (see below.) Its questionable whether the much higher expenses has translated into a healthier society.




2.) Healthcare costs outpaces inflation and wage growth. HC inflation has been in the double digits for many years. The ranks of uninsured has grown dramtically since the economic meltdown and high unemployment.



3.) Millions are uninsured and have no coverage. People with no coverage either forgo care, pay entirely out of pocket, or just don't pay hosiptal bills entirely. Roughly 1/4 to 1/3rd of all personal banruptcies are due to medical expenses.

4.) As health insurance is provided by for-profit private industries, they have adopted many unpopular and controversial policies to limit layouts. These include: Lifetime benefit caps (usually $1M,) pre-existing condition exclusions, and a a practice known as recision. Policies can also be dropped at nearly anytime.

Pre-existing condition exclusions is a practice where a new insurance policy can deny coverage of any treatment towards a medical condition that was there before the policy was initiated.

Recisions are retro-active denials of coverage is the insurance company determines/decides that a medical condition arises from some other condition before the policy was initiated, or the policy holder is determined to have not fully disclosed all health history, and the Ins provider did not have all the facts when it wrote the policy.

-In effect, there are two different systems of HC coverage, depending on how you are employed. One, if someone is a member of a group plan (via a large employer) Pre-exisiting condition exclusions and recisions are generally not applied as the policy is written for the group as a whole.
Two, if a person carries individual coverage, Pre-E Excl generally apply, and recisons can occur. They are also more subject to price volitility and coverage droppage, as they do not have the protections of the group.

The worst highlights of the system is where an individ policy holder becomes sick, say a heart attack. The initial treatment will usually be covered, but the patient is now high risk. They can then be dropped by their Ins Co. They have to buy more insurance to have continued coverage, but any new policy is likely to have Pre-E excl's in place, that will limit coverage of heart related med problems. Since they are also now high risk, premium costs soar. Very high risk patients may not be able to find any insurance provider, and thus pays 100% of bills of a very expensive system. This is how most med bankruptcies occur. Basically you pay or you die.

There have been instances where the insurance companies run algorthyms that analyze medical patterns of a policy holder, to determine pro-actively if they may become high risk and high cost. Say, scan for prescriptions for drugs that might be used by HIV infected patients, or by people likely to be diabetic. They are then summarily dropped before high med bills roll in.

All in all, an Ins Co's priority is to maximize profits and return shareholder value. This can lead to certain abuses of coverage.
Eventually, policy holders stay in the private insurance system when they are young and healthy, paying low-risk/high-profit premiums. By the time they are elderly, most people move to Medicare, as they are the highest risk and unlikely to be affordibly covered under private ins (and thus are covered by gov't at great expense.)
Some retirees qualify for Health Plan benefits through their employer if they qualify (and are not laid off first ;) and don't have to be covered/paid.) Generally, HC coverage ends when employment ends, unless retired. Unemployed people get F'd generally.

Last edited by Finnster; 03.25.2010 at 07:14 PM.
   
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georgec
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03.25.2010, 06:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by redshift View Post
Nope. But people will connect the dots in their own time.

There was a day Americans spoke highly of the nation, and of each other. There was little reason to speak badly of government (and doing so would get you some mean looks) and for the most part we took pride in our work and our land. That's what the history books tell me anyway, because all of this happened well before I was born. And I hate feeling reminiscent of what I never experienced.
Wow, that choked me up. In the time and place I grew up in there was a sense of pride in ones work and country but I don't see much of that anymore.
   
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Pt 2, the New Bill
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Finnster
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Pt 2, the New Bill - 03.25.2010, 07:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBO View Post
I don't have a clear understanding of where US health care was & is being taken too

Can someone give me the abridged version so I can avoid hours of research?
The new bill does several things in attempt to solve the problems below, however its fair to say the bill prioritizes increased coverage rather than decreasing costs. Both probably will occur, but its debatable how much and by when. No one actually knows for sure, and anyone who says otherwise is FOS.

Pre-existing exclusions are banned, as is recision and lifetime caps. However, this obviously creates a huge new cost for ins companies if they have to actually pay for people who get sick.

So, the Bill mandates that taxpayers purchase or recieve some sort of HC Ins from a private company. The idea is to bring more people into the pool, and defer the risk across a larger pool, so premiums will not have to rise to cover the new costs. Many uninsured are low risk young people with little medical expenses.

To help some low income people afford the insurance, the govt will provide needs based subsidies to buy the ins. There are tax fines of 2% of income if no policy is held. Very poor are just put into medicaid.

To pay for the subsidies, the Bill cuts some Federal programs, as well as raise taxes on some medical industries, as well some wealthy people. Some very high cost employer provided health plans are taxed (they are currently tax exempt.)
Other things in the bill as well, but not worth mentioning here.

Much of these provisions will roll-out over time, with most provisions in effect by 2014.


Ironically, the system that was signed into law was modelled after conservative Republican plans that were offered in the 90's as an alternative to Clinton's health reform plan, and a plan enacted by a Republican governor in the state of Massachusetts in the Naughties.

Conservatives generally oppose the plan enacted by Obama and the Democrats, typically based on the mandated insurance requirement.

Many liberal Democrats were upset with (but in the end voted for) the plan, and favored direct buy-ins to the govt run health programs of Medicare, or some combination of a nationalized health service that cut out the Insurance Company middlemen entirely.

In the end, no one got what they really wanted, but the plan was mostly forced by strict Republican opposition, and a handful of centrist Democratic Senators who were against expansion of govt into the Health Insurance sector. Much of the language, politics and dispersions on radio and opinion news has been vitrolic and anger filled.

However, most polls show a slight majority in favor of the new legislation, which trending towards increased support of the reforms.

You can make your own judgements of the quality of our system and reforms.

Beyond that, I don't really want to get involved in this thread as the whole issue has been a flamefest in this country for over a year, and this is destined to become one of those threads that we were asked not to start up again by Mike.
Calling each other Communists, Baby Killers, House Negroes, Liars, Sell Outs, Elitists, etc gets tiresome after a year and there is no likely way the law is going to change anytime soon.
   
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JThiessen
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03.25.2010, 09:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBO View Post
Healthcare in Australia is very good on a world standard but ask anyone who lives here & it sucks...when you dig deeper on an individual basis, it usually sucks because it's not perfect by their measure. They can tell you all about how this did or didn't happen to them, how the system could be improved to work better for them or their family. Most people do lack the high view on what the issues are, so the personal discontent gains a big, widespread & ineffective voice...I digress
This is probably the most level headed view on any "system" that I've seen posted here. It probably describes any modern "western" civilization to a tee. Our issues over here are just more highly publicized because of our supposed leadership in the western world.

The elected boys aren't in a conspiracy to drag us all down, they are just responding to their constituents - which is typically highlighted by the biggest contributors to thier campaign fund. Sometimes what they pass has been good for me, but typically, and the more I make, the more I'm on the side of giving my income to those that either cant or wont work.

I liked the idea of us all quitting our jobs. Kinda brings a smile to my face to imagine the outcome of that. But reality is that there is never solidarity, 'cause people are more interested in protecting themselves as opposed to the overall good.


Finnster - thanks for that last post. Well stated.


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Last edited by JThiessen; 03.25.2010 at 09:58 PM.
   
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georgec
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03.25.2010, 10:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JThiessen View Post
and the more I make, the more I'm on the side of giving my income to those that either cant or wont work.



.
Would you like my mailing address, I will gladly take that unwanted income off your hands!
   
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hyper9e
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03.25.2010, 10:30 PM

I remember some show about two years ago where some guy went around the world looking at other country's health care policy and taking notes on the good and bad. I think the US should try to do something like that. Actually I think Indonesia did that for there health care system and they said it was working good. I'm not taking sides just saying since we were one of the last to reform we should learn from other country's mistakes.


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PBO
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03.25.2010, 11:04 PM

Finnster, thanks very much appreciate your effort & I'm pleased that I understood the US system in a similar way to what you've described

As a general comment...I understand the need for reforms when a "system" & the people within it are asking for change but it does seem some impetuous strategies are being employed, a bit like doubling your next bet after a losing hand in the hope your winnings cover your losses


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georgec
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03.25.2010, 11:09 PM

Great incite PBO! The only problem is they are betting with my money...
   
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PBO
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03.25.2010, 11:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JThiessen View Post
This is probably the most level headed view on any "system" that I've seen posted here. It probably describes any modern "western" civilization to a tee. Our issues over here are just more highly publicized because of our supposed leadership in the western world.

The elected boys aren't in a conspiracy to drag us all down, they are just responding to their constituents - which is typically highlighted by the biggest contributors to thier campaign fund. Sometimes what they pass has been good for me, but typically, and the more I make, the more I'm on the side of giving my income to those that either cant or wont work.

I liked the idea of us all quitting our jobs. Kinda brings a smile to my face to imagine the outcome of that. But reality is that there is never solidarity, 'cause people are more interested in protecting themselves as opposed to the overall good.


Finnster - thanks for that last post. Well stated.
Thanks JThiessen, it may be because I've seen more of health services (through friends & family needs) than a lot of people?

Personally, I'd prefer the money I pay in HC insurance were tipped directly into the government run free system so that everyone received the benefit. Australia needs more hospital beds, nurses, doctors etc...happy to contribute to that

Mind you, I'd also pay the emergency services more. They're underpaid in my view & for the most part do an excellent job...making the job more financially attractive would typically widen the candidate pool giving a better net result for the end user


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