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David Colton on the Case for Universal Health Care
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Author David Colton discusses The Case for Universal Health Care. If “progress”means making things better, one of the most obvious targets for improvement is the American health care system—which spends roughly twice as much per capita as its peers, and obtains worse outcomes. David Colton’s book is a terrific, fair-minded one-volume summary of this issue. (Disclaimer: I ran for Congress in 2008 on the Libertarian ticket on a pro-single-payer platform—earning the wrath of other Libertarians and gaining an opponent in the primary election.)

(Republished from Truth Jihad by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Health care 
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  1. Wyatt says:

    Hey Kevin, could you please stop inviting dumbfucks onto the podcast? I need some good background listening while I work on other things, but your recent guests have proven extra stupid and I don’t know if you’re doing the Jesse Waters/Tucker Carlson thing of inviting them on for us to have a laugh at them. Regardless, I find it’s a better way to vet the conversation before listening by looking at their websites and seeing how long it takes for the stupid to come out. From Colton’s Website:

    -Because abortion is one of the major issues that divides us along political party lines, it is time for liberals/progressives/Democrats to reframe and take the ‘high ground’ on this issue.

    -Trump also uses fear to appeal to his supporters, such as the suggestion that if African-Americans move into white suburbs, home values will depreciate, drug use and crime will increase, and their children will date and even marry your daughters! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

    -Democrats have a long and distinguished history of fighting for universal health care (UHC). In fact, it’s a century long history in which they’ve made some strides (Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare), but have also had a lot of setbacks – it has literally taken them 100 years to get these three pieces of legislation passed.

    Like, he’s just dumb. This is the kind of guy who doesn’t recognize that Medicare is part of the reason why healthcare is so expensive, owed to the fact that the government used to just pay out when hospitals and doctors charged, not bothering to audit the healthcare system to figure out why bandages were now 200 dollars or 15 dollars of morphine had a thousand percent markup.

    The healthcare system now is terrible because it is the worst of both worlds and the government wants more control of the pie. Once you look outside of the heavily regulated medical industries, (dentistry, plastic surgery and eye care) things suddenly look more affordable and reasonable. Universal healthcare is a shitty solution for a problem that didn’t used to exist when the federal government and Democrats in particular kept their filthy fucking hands out of other people’s business.

    • Agree: ben tillman
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  2. MarkU says:

    Healthcare systems that depend on giving money to insurance companies are a stupid idea. Basic healthcare services, along with education, work better as state run enterprises. I live in the UK, nobody here has to decide whether to bankrupt the family, or let granny die. It sees that lots of Americans think that state run facilities are ‘communism’ or something. Seriously, is it worth paying extra just because you are afraid that someone else will get something for nothing? because that is exactly what you are doing. I’m sure the insurance companies and big pharma are laughing at you. Our NHS was once very good, ever since the creeping privatisation it has just got worse and worse but for the majority of the population it is still preferable to what the majority of Americans have.

    • Agree: Kevin Barrett
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    , @Wyatt
  3. TG says:

    I respect free enterprise but, there are things that a blind faith in Mr. Market will just screw up.

    How about we have a ‘free market’ in national defense? I mean, everyone can pay whatever they feel like paying to whatever private defense contractor they feel like to protect their nation – or not. What’s not to like? Oh, and soldiers can just change sides whenever the enemy makes a higher bid. Isn’t patriotism just communism by another name?

    Or to be (only slightly) less absurd, how about a free market in roads? Yeah, let’s privatize the roads and bridges, and let every private property owner charge whatever the market will bear. So someone trying to drive a truck from Iowa to Florida will have to negotiate with 500 separate landowners each of whom has a monopoly on crossing their property. You know, that’s how they did it in the dark ages in Europe. They didn’t call them the dark ages for nothing. Without exception, EVERY serious industrial power has a publicly funded transportation network. Duh.

    The problem with healthcare, is that everyone who is sick – or who has a kid that is sick – is under duress. And the quality and pricing of medical care is opaque, even to medical professionals in other areas. There can be no free market when people are under duress, and they do not have the information to make an informed decision.

    Nationalized health care is no more communist than public roads. The government accepts bids and writes contracts to private providers. Most real work is done by market-based enterprises with plenty of room and incentive for profit and loss. Just like roads. It’s not a perfect system, but it can be made to work.

    Or we can look the other way as people with diabetes are denied insulin – a cheap drug invented a century ago – and scream at the top of our lungs that anyone who finds that situation intolerable is a ‘socialist’. Ohh, scary, ‘socialists.’ Not letting people with diabetes die because they can’t afford $10,000 a year to pay for drugs that cost ten cents a dose? If we go that way, next thing they’ll be wanting to outlaw indentured servitude and child slavery, it’s a slippery slope I tell you.

  4. @Wyatt

    Substantial dental work is not affordable or reasonable by any means. If it were, we wouldn’t have many millions of Americans forgoing clearly needed dental treatment and surgery because they cannot afford it.

    Otherwise see your point.

    • Replies: @The Real World
  5. @MarkU

    You have a great point. I would say that whatever medical insurance and medical care system we come up with, the profiteering “middlemen” insurance companies should be cut out of the process and out of the loot.

  6. Wyatt says:

    Basic healthcare services, along with education, work better as state run enterprises.

    I wish I could convey through text how much I laughed at your foolishness. I don’t know much about the UK, but the US government has meddled in education over the last 60 years and you can see a direct correlation between the meddling and the decline in education. For a funny example, Obama used the Department of Education to stop negro boys from getting suspended for their natural, African unruliness and thus impinging on the education of whites, yellows and browns who were in those schools to actually learn.

    It sees that lots of Americans think that state run facilities are ‘communism’ or something.

    State run facilities aren’t communism. They’re horribly run, wasteful, inefficient shitholes where nothing gets done and unions and lobbyists put pressure on politicians to keep them that way. So they’re exactly like communism, actually, but without the ideology that underpins communism.

    Seriously, is it worth paying extra just because you are afraid that someone else will get something for nothing?

    From the wiki page on the History of the NHS.

    “A leaflet was sent to every household in June 1948 which explained that

    It will provide you with all medical, dental and nursing care. Everyone — rich or poor, man, woman or child — can use it or any part of it. There are no charges, except for a few special items. There are no insurance qualifications. But it is not a “charity”. You are all paying for it, mainly as tax payers, and it will relieve your money worries in time of illness.”

    There is no such thing as getting something for nothing. YOU will be the one to pay for those who pay nothing. And this is the issue with universal healthcare. The issue with universal healthcare is that all taxpayers pay extra for those who want something for nothing, thereby increasing the tax burden and diminishing the quality of life for taxpayers. If someone has to pay, let’s say 3% on 50k for universal healthcare, they’re on the hook for 1500 a year whether they use the service or not. Just 10 years of that is enough for a car, a partial down payment on a home or tuition for school. And because governments are always trying to devalue their currencies to reduce the value of their debts, that 1500 each year loses value over time.

    Further, the ability to exclude people who make terrible lifestyle decisions (smoking, drinking, overeating) from common healthcare would cut costs hugely because just a few bad habits eat up the bulk of healthcare costs in the US. If someone’s going to be a retard and smoke until they get lung cancer, drink until they need a new liver and eat like a pig until they waddle around like one, then they are going to burden the system unduly and worsen everyone else’s standard of living.

    Because that’s exactly what happened.

    Just 5% of people eat up half the costs. In a system concerned with fairness, these people would be excluded, their bad decisions would cull them and everyone else gets to enjoy a higher standard of living, unburdened by dumbasses with poor impulse control.

    Our NHS was once very good, ever since the creeping privatisation it has just got worse and worse

    Or it could be the introduction of more women doctors who retire earlier and don’t specialize like men do. Or the increasing immigration to Britain without the brain drain benefit America has. Or your per capita debt is 3 times higher than the US and you can’t devalue your currency like the Fed can.

    Out of curiosity, how old are you? I’m curious on whether you’re old enough to know better.

  7. anon[712] • Disclaimer says:

    An argument could be made that universal healthcare can be workable in a totally white country. When nations get more and more nonwhites, the universal healthcare system starts to break down. As the nonwhite population increases, the nonwhites seem to go straight into working in the health care industry and decrease its efficiency depending on their numbers in the system. ( I would make an exception here with East Asiatics). In addition, nonwhites use the medical system to a much higher degree than their numbers would warrant, demanding antibiotics for the sniffles and going to emergency with a sore throat.

  8. @RadicalCenter

    Rad – Yes, involved dental surgery can be pricey in the USA. But there are work-arounds to so many things, incl that.

    Story: A couple years ago, I had a cracked tooth that couldn’t be saved. It was on the side, easily visible when I spoke let alone laughed so I was going to have to do something (unlike 20 yrs prior when a molar in the very back couldn’t be saved so I just had it pulled and that was it).

    I didn’t love the bridge idea so, decided I had to go for an implant which = large $. But, I’m a ferret so I found an established, well-reviewed dental practice and noticed on their website that if you have dental insurance their retail prices will be reduced by 35% and they even recommended a company on there. So, I searched that dental insurance website and a few others.

    Bottomline: all I had to do was get that insurance, I paid two monthly premiums of $17 ea, was able show the dental practice I had it and I was charged $3600 total instead of the retail rate of $5500. I cancelled the insurance after two months and never ran any bills thru it. I believe it’s a legal thing — that the dental practice can charge the reduced pricing to insured patients. It was like that with a chiropractor I had many years ago.

    That was a huge savings. A friend in a different state had a tooth implant about a year prior and she didn’t know to look for things like that so she paid $6000! There are plenty of angles for paying less in American health care.

    • Replies: @JackOH
  9. JackOH says:
    @The Real World

    I repeatedly refused my longtime dentist’s referral for periodontal treatment. I had a relative who’d had the same treatment costing in the low thousands out of pocket for no discernible benefit. It became clear the dentist refused to see me unless I had that periodontal treatment. I packed it in.

    The next few years I went to a university dental hygiene clinic for occasional cleanings. The supervising dentist told me I had a loose front tooth, which I already knew. She said the tooth could not be saved, and that the student hygienist would not be allowed to clean my teeth until I had that front tooth attended to.

    I made an appointment at the local Federally qualified 501(c)3 Community Health Center, one of those Great Society offspring. I told the young dentist I’d been told to have my front tooth removed because it could not be saved. His silent look back at me could be described safely as blank astonishment.

    He prescribed a chlorhexidine rinse that costs me out of pocket about $50 per year. I retained that front tooth, which seems to have restored itself to being firmly rooted in place.

    Makes me wonder how much medicine and dentistry is actually a sort of alternate version of bread-and-circuses, or performance art with audience-patient participation and third-party payer funding.

    BTW-those Community Health Centers, touted by President Bush around 2005, are not free clinics. Cash patients with incomes just above $20 thousand will pay full freight for everything.

    • Replies: @The Real World
  10. @JackOH

    Good info, Jack…thanks. Glad you saved your tooth!

    I said to a friend about a decade ago, “I can’t help but wonder how many dental Docs recommend treatments that aren’t needed. Because people rarely get second opinions about dental work so, it makes for easy revenue if they’re dishonest types”.

    Well, about 6 months later she happened to notice an article in a publication whereby a test was done related to that very thing. Some outfit sent a few dozen people to dentists and in the cases where an issue was found, they then sent those individuals to another dentist and the patient made no mention of any purported problem. Don’t you know, that something like 40 to 50% of the time (if I recall correctly, might have been higher), the second dentist found no problems!

    In this era, it’s much easier to take care of your teeth. The drugstore has many cool tools…from Plackers, to those tiny, round brushes to run between your teeth, to the metal scrapers that the dentists use to remove plaque. I have all of them and since I became almost OCD about teeth care well over a decade ago, I’ve had no cavities.

    My tooth was substantially cracked and infected. I had two dentists give me assessments and both said it was too damaged to do a root canal and crown. The implant has worked out well.

    Since we’re sharing useful info, do some research on on the mineral: boron. The oral surgeon who did my implant remarked how my jaw bone had grafted really well to the implant. I told him I take boron supplements and that was likely why. He was interested in hearing about that.

    • Thanks: JackOH
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