Other posts related to politics

Thwart the Other Side; Vote

| November 2, 2010 5:05 pm

Here is why you should vote xxxxxx (insert Republican, Democrat, Pirate, Lizard…):

“It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see….”
“You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?”
“No,” said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, “nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”
“Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”
“I did,” said Ford. “It is.”
“So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t the people get rid of the lizards?”
“It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”
“You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”
“Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”
“But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”
“Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in.”

Douglas Adams, in So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish (1984) Ch. 36

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Rigmarole to Watch a Movie

| October 27, 2010 2:00 pm

Abate the Animal Suffering

| November 1, 2009 8:00 pm

Not a salutary system

| June 16, 2009 4:44 pm

Why is anybody taking these people seriously. That is my question when it comes to radical political organization consisting of a minority of a group, but speaking in the name of the whole group.

Today I listened to my favorite podcast Democracy Now! and I heard this story:

So, curious I am, I started reading about the American Medical Association. Of course they are just an example of a systematic problem, where priorities are totally screwed up. Why would organization that is focusing on a salary of its members be at all concerned about the quality of the service the members provide. As long as they have a guaranteed business, everything is ok. And they do. People will keep on getting sick. The AMA and its members make sure that is the case by fixing symptoms instead of showing and helping people how to live a healthy life. Actually, the problem is that if you live a healthy life, that is one less client for the AMA members. So, no wonder they don’t want the system to change. Who cares about the 50 million uninsured in USA, where there are 250 or more million that happily pay their dues. Of course, the politicians have no problem participating in this scheme, since they get money from the drug and insurance companies. Also, how can AMA talk in the name of doctors, while it only represents about a sixth of the actual doctors.

As Ralph Nader points out, if USA would replace the current health care system with a single payer one, the same amount of money per person would pay about double of what other countries pay for about the same level of service. Just think about it. Is it really so much more expensive to be a doctor in USA than in France, Japan, or UK? If it is, well, US doctors should fix that. Other industries are trying to minimize the costs, why would healthcare be different.

Now, here are some typical complains people have against a single payer systems:

You have to wait to see the doctor

  • Well, I clearly remember so far every single time I wanted / needed to see the doctor, I had to wait. For example, when I got a nasty wasp sting, I had to go to the urgent care center, where I waited about two hours fainting in the waiting room. The nurse came out to check on me every once in a while, but that was it. Also, to get a checkup to a dermatologist, I had to wait 6 months and to get a physical, I had to wait 4 months. 4 months for a physical? Why? Because schools have physical exams, so all the doctors are booked for like 4 months.

Government bureaucrat makes decisions on your health

  • How is that different from the current system, except that the bureaucrat works for a health insurance, whose aim is to minimize the amount of money they pay. My insurance for example does not pay for STD tests unless you are symptomatic. Imagine that you contract AIDS and you are not symptomatic. Wouldn’t you want to know that ASAP? And this is just one example.

Single payer system would waste a lot of money

  • As opposed to the $350 billion that is wasted now?

There would be no innovation

  • Yes, if you slash NIH budget. But, are you saying there is no innovation in space exploration, aviation, weapons, etc?

Quality of health care would go down

  • If the quality of health care is so great, then why is the life expectancy in USA lower than the life expectancy in most industrialized single payer countries. It is actually lower than in Israel and people in Israel are being attacked by terrorists.

And so on. Why are we even talking about this? The current system has been proven to be bad. Its cost increases three times the rate of inflation, the quality is at the lower end of the industrialized world, the emphasis is on fixing symptoms instead of curing disease, and finally there are 50 million people in this system that don’t have access to it. So, why does a minority of people with an obvious conflict of interest deciding this?

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Munificent Twitter Request

| May 22, 2009 7:08 pm