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Tuesday, March 14 - 1:00pmSanction this postReply
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The key to reforming America's health care system is identical to the key to reforming America's whole economy: deregulation. That's the magic word and concept. However boring, banal, unoriginal, and uninspired that prescription seems, deregulation is still the ultimate and definitive answer.

To understand how important this idea is, it must be borne in mind that regulation is just another word for regimentation, which is just another word for mandation, which is just another word for dictation, which is just another word for dictatorship. To solve virtually all of America's health care problems just get rid of the government tyranny involved. Let people live. Let people be free. This will work to solve virtually all of America's economic problems too.

And fixing these two seemingly beyond-hopeless messes is not -- as practically everyone today believes -- mind-bendingly difficult or infinitely complex. In fact, as already hinted at above, it's ultra-fast and ultra-easy. And anyone who says otherwise is considerably ignorant or morally dubious, if not both.

Step One is: Get rid of all the medical licenses. These constitute nothing less than a form of enslavement. They forbid people from working and acting as they wish and as society needs. So get these wretched bureaucratic waste-papers the hell out of the way.

 

No more government permissions or licenses needed for doctors, nurses, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, pharmacists, nursing homes, personal home assistants, or other health care workers or facilities. Any medical business can open, and anyone can work in it, in a new and beautiful land of health care liberty, opportunity, efficiency, and excellence.

Licenses raise the cost and lower the quality of medical care radically. Every year, almost certainly, hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans die from them. And millions get terribly sick or stay injured or uncured. All for no reason except Big Brother.

 

Despite what virtually everybody thinks today, licenses weren't created to insure quality, competence, or minimal standards. They were created to kill competition and freedom. This they do very well. Also people.

With restrictive government medical licensing, large and disreputable elements of the health care industry profiteer wildly. And the pathetic suffering patients get financially and medically crushed. Under coercive government licensing -- which is absolute medical tyranny -- practically everyone gets gratuitously sick, injured, mangled, or killed.

Step Two is: Get rid of the F.D.A. The Food and Drug Administration is a heartlessly evil and dictatorial organization which has no right to exist. They too raise the cost and lower the quality of health care fantastically. Especially in the long run. Medical drugs, devices, and procedures are impacted dramatically. Especially in the long run. Almost beyond doubt, still more hundreds of thousands of innocents are mercilessly annihilated each year.

The F.D.A. says "no" when all the doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, patients, and customers want to say "yes." This is a government agency of pure regulation and tyranny. They create nothing but unspeakable agony and an extravagant slaughterfest.

 

Every one of America's totalitarian and death-worshiping medical rules, regulations, and laws needs to be immediately repealed. And every one of the F.D.A.'s employees needs to be instantly fired -- if not ruthlessly hunted down, like rabid wolves, and then exterminated from the face of the earth.

Under the Federal Death Administration the simplest drugs, devices, and procedures take decades to come to market. And that's assuming they get "approved" at all. Under the F.D.A. an aspirin worth two cents routinely costs five dollars each. A fifty-dollar hospital room generally costs two thousand bucks. And courtesy of F.D.A. control you normally have to share hospital rooms with strangers, like the worst flophouses imaginable. You have to wear hospital gowns which the poorest Bangladeshi beggars would refuse.

Altho' it's hard to estimate, probably 95% of all miracle drugs, devices, and procedures never even get invented at all, thanks to government regulation and the F.D.A. And so Uncle Sam's medical torture and bloodbath goes on and on. The F.D.A. Is a virulently anti-freedom, anti-human organization dedicated to inflicting misery and death upon every single defenseless American possible. Of the 2.6 million deaths recorded each year in the U.S. Probably more than 300,000 are unnecessary, even in the short run. So, at a minimum, the F.D.A. and the license laws perpetrate several new medical 9/11s every week of the year.

 

Step Three is: Even tho' it only moderately matters -- after blissfully terminating all medical permission papers and the lawless F.D.A. -- Americans need to be liberated in a few other health care areas as well. They need the freedom to purchase insurance across state and national lines, as well as buy drugs from overseas. And they obviously shouldn't be coerced into purchasing Affordable Care Act-type incompetent and over-priced government-regulated insurance plans.

All medical research should be capitalist and not communist, as most of it is today. The socialist National Institutes for Health, and similar state abominations, should also be abolished. Malpractice tort reform should bring together expert judges and juries who base their decisions upon science and medical truth -- not upon a desire to rob innocent rich people blind and help contemptible poor folks hit the litigious lottery. Medicare and Medicaid -- which serve mainly to torture and slaughter the old and the poor -– should be replaced by private insurance, personal savings, self-care, free internet advice, and charity in an overall health care system of exceptionally high-quality and stunningly low prices. A booming economy, under deregulated full capitalism, will also generate massive amounts of disposable income to lavish on health.


The current American welfare state system is horrific and murderous beyond compare. We need to bring a complete and immediate halt to Big Brother's on-going medical holocaust.

 



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Friday, March 17 - 4:13amSanction this postReply
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That's all well, fine, and good, and easy to agree with, but it depends on something else: a change in culture, i.e., a change in the implicit philosophy of the common culture.  So-called "health insurance" whether Obamacare or whatever the Republicans replace it with is wrongful on many grounds, the most basic of which is the denial of what insurance really is. The basic life insurance (death insurance) of a hundred years ago was of the same intention as commercial insurance invented during the first great age of modern commerce.  The Lloyd's Coffeehouse was one of many places where men of commerce met.  Bank clearing houses were begun at the same time in those same coffeehouses. There was no intention that you pay a shilling of nominal premiums because you intend to declare a 1000-pound loss as soon as possible. And that is what so-called "health insurance" has become.  And it had nothing to do with the government.

 

Back about 1991-1993, when I was covered by a corporate plan, it was obvious to me, sitting in the waiting room, that most of the other people were there because they had nothing better to do than to be sick and get paid for it.  It was "free market socialism."   That is rooted in the common culture which asserts and advances altruism in all of its consequences.

 

As for the call to abandon licensing, it is valid, of course, and, again, the markets have long since responded, with some disturbing exceptions.  We patronize a wide range of alternative healthcare providers, in addition to the medical mainstream.  You have to shop to meet your own needs.  There is no licensing for most of the "quacks" who serve us so well.  This weekend, my wife and I are going to an artificial salt mine; it should be interesting...  At the same time, though, one of the battles that my ex lost was arguing against licensing for her speciality.  The other practitioners wanted to be state-licensed so that they could bill insurance companies for their work.  A couple of years ago, I sent her a Taggart Transcontinental t-shirt for her birthday. She has the right philosophy.  The insurance carriers have the wrong philosophy: they believe that they profit from "free market socialism."

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 3/17, 4:17am)



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Friday, March 17 - 8:33pmSanction this postReply
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Michael -- People today almost never know the best philosophy, or right goal, of health care: high quality and low price. They think the goal is being insured. But paying for health care as you go -- rather than indirect payments via insurance -- is a viable alternative, just as paying as you go is viable for high-quality, low-price food, clothing, transportation, etc.

The price to satisfy the government in getting permission to work medically [licenses], or to sell drugs and medical products [F.D.A.], seems astronomical. And the death rate due to the welfare state also seems beyond any normal ability to state or comprehend. Where is the horror and outrage?

The world is utterly brain-washed into welfare statism and away from liberty, especially regarding health care.

 

(Edited by Kyrel Zantonavitch on 3/17, 8:35pm)



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Saturday, April 1 - 9:12pmSanction this postReply
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Kyrell, I applaud your reasoning. I recently published an article on FEE's website concerning the history of medical liscensing in 19th century America and the state-medical cartel it produced. The article describes the unpublicized but widespread motives of the political doctors, who lobbied state legislatures for the purpose of controlling medical school curriculum, reducing the number of medical schools and making entrance much more difficult. Of course, the purpose of medical licensing itself was to restrict the number of practicing physcians and control their medical thinking.  

 

Repealing Obamacare is Not Enough

 

There is no way to improve medicine in the United States without junking licensing, as you've so clearly explained. Of course, almost no republicans want to do this, and the democrats' heads would explode. So we're headed for full blown socialized medicine soon. That event will continue the trend toward alternative medical ideas, that in some instances are superior to those of the state-medical establishment. 



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Sunday, April 2 - 10:44amSanction this postReply
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Mark,

 

I ran into the same kind of thing getting licensed in the state of California as a psychotherapist.  There was an unholy alliance between the APA (the special interest group funded by licensed psychology professionals) and the schools (setting the curriculum) and the state licensing board (the APA actually supplied the questions for the written exam!). 

 

The licensing examiners (a group made up of already licensed therapists who were willing to accept the low pay offered) gather every six months to conduct the oral examinations for applicants.  And on purely subjective grounds (masquerading as an objective standard) flunk a high number of those that appear before them - some years it was 50%.  I was eminently qualified, very well prepared, and had actually helped to prep many of my fellow students - but they flunked me - not once, but twice.  It took me a year longer to get my license then it should have.  The administrative recourse was just a blind dead end to make it look like a fair process.

 

It is true that repealing ObamaCare is not enough, but it is going in the right direction.  The elimination of licensing (including the FDAs licensing of drugs) is also in the right direction, but in each case the best approach involves a short transition period that encourages the growth of the free market (and therefore ACTUAL) safeguards to rise up.  Free market sources of information - a choice of a kind of Consumer's Guide functions that let consumers get expert information.  It wouldn't take very long at all - just months.

 

The current struggle in Washington, where we see RyanCare as ObamaCare Lite, is clearly a way to keep government in charge of healthcare while pretending to be free market oriented.  The Freedom Caucus seems to be almost the last holdout for not pushing all healthcare in the direction of Medicare and Medicaid and veterans healthcare.

I agree that the current direction is towards full blown socialize medicine.

 

Kyrel is right.  The world is utterly brain-washed into the idea that government should be in charge of... well,  everything.



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Monday, April 3 - 5:42pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Steve,

 

The problem with Amerian medicine is that it is so expensive that even middle class people can't afford to pay if they get sick. Then they go bankrupt enroute to often chronic illness or early death, because the state medical cartel has so regimented and hobbled medical thinking, that it is mostly not effective in healing diseases, (as opposed to blunt force trauma injuries). The cartel actively seeks to suppress and punish thinking out of step with its approved doctrine. Facts and good reasoning are not barriers to this ideological persecution. 

 

Obamacare and other medical welfaare programs attracted major support, because the mdedical setup is so expensive and ineffective. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are dishonest when they talk about America's medical system being the great in the world. In fact, it costs much more than medical treeatment in quite a few other countries. But Hannity and Limbaugh don't care about facts: They're Republican advocates. 

 

  



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Wednesday, April 5 - 5:10pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Mark,

 

Before I hit Medicare age, I was paying over $900/month for insurance and I had no illness!  I've been on Medicare for a number of years now, and I've watched the cost for the supplemental and Part D plans go up till I'm paying nearly $400/month now, and I still have no illness!

 

The costs are made of a number of parts.  Highly trained people (e.g., doctors) are going to be well paid, even in a totally free market.  Insurance is always going to cost more than you spend in a month where insurance claims are not being made because the insurance company is doing the actuarial risk covering.  And the cost of the research that moves medicine forward has to be covered somewhere.  But then comes the set of costs that should not be a part of the package: Bad tort laws that allow civil law to be a redistribution system for some lawyers, drive costs up everywhere.  And an even greater set of costs that come from the many, many ways that government regulations get in the way (and line special interest pockets).

 

It is hard to say whether the American health system is the world's best or not, because that would require a standard for judging - which is never specified.  There is a great deal of medical innovation that comes into being here in America and then flows out to the rest of the world.  How do you put a value on that?  If some country were to make use of the latest technology, best medical educational practices and did so inside of a Capitalist system, they would clearly have THE best health care system.

---------------

 

You wrote:

 

Obamacare and other medical welfaare programs attracted major support, because the mdedical setup is so expensive and ineffective.

 

I don't understand that.  I think that medical welfare programs attract three kinds of support:

1) Politicians who use other peoples money to buy votes and campaign funds,

2) Consumers who try to find a medical system that is best for them in an enviroment where the government has killed or captured any freemarket source of healthcare,

3) Special interests that want to profit from regulations that put taxpayer money in their pockets.

-----------------

 

You wrote:

 

Hannity and Limbaugh don't care about facts: They're Republican advocates.

 

Actually, they are conservatives which put them at odds with the Republican establishment.  And to the degree that they are supporting Trump they are veering into some sort of nationalist populism and it appears to be something that needs to be examined one policy at time.  As far as I know, both Hannity and Limbaugh are staunch opponents of ObamaCare and would like to see a significant movement towards a freemarket health care solution.  (That's not as good, of course, as what an Objectivist would call for, but far, far better than what the GOP establishment, much less the Democrats are calling for).

-----------------

 

I'm up for supporting any proposal to the degree that it moves towards Capitalism so long as it is the best of the proposals that are out there at the time. 

 

But, right now I'm seeing what really does look like a major clash - not in health care, or any single issue, but in ALL issues - between the progressive movement which seems to have nearly severed its ties with a fixed reality, with reason, with law, with checks and balances, with democracy and is rapidly heading to the point where nothing will lie between our nation and totalitarianism but force of arms.  (Take a look at that Dan Greenfield blog entry I linked to in the post I made here earlier today - I really do think we are approaching an ugly kind of turning point in history - when you read it, ask yourself, how many threads are left that bind us to a civilized culture where after reasoned discussions we vote our political future?)



Post 7

Thursday, April 6 - 7:26pmSanction this postReply
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The second or third leading cause of death in the USA is pharmaceutical drugs administered by a medical doctor. A study a number of years back, within the last 18 years, pegged it in 3rd place. I seem to remember reading a few weeks ago about another recent stufdy that placed it as the second leading cause.

 

Another study revealed that Americans pay way more for medical care than in any other country. If you're curious, use a search engine. It's commonly cited series of facts. By way more, I mean 50% more or so. 

 

Another study revealed that 25% of medical studies are fraudulent. I read this in a book by a swedish cardiologist, who wrote about the disconnect between incontrovertible facts of science, logic, and contemporary medical doctrine. They;re still preaching that colesterol deposition is the cause of heart disease, on the basis of which they tell people to avoid animal fats. That's bad advice for many people, a claim borne out  by three huge studies over the years and decades that demonstrate no connection between colesterol consumption by eating meat and heart disease. But this violates the officially sanctioned doctrine of the medical cartel, so most physcians and all establishment organizations--joined at the hip to the state by funding and perks--continue to preach the same nonsense. 

 

If you're devoted to the idea our state run medical system upholds science and western civ, I'm probably not going to persuade you otherwise. But remember that licensing restrictions were hammered into place by doctors actively seeking to reduce the numbers of practicing physcians, a claim for which there is all sorts of evidence, some of which I described in thee article I posted above. More important than the motives of the political doctors is the fact that these restrictions violate the rights of physcians, prospective physcians and medical consumers, by restricting the freedom to achieve and to consume. Almost as important is the fact, from economics, that restricting the supply of a service incrreases its price. In the case of medical practice, the resulting increase is large.

 

Don't make the mistake of conflating science and intellectual achievement with the state-medical cartel, an error I beleive is implied by your comment. Many intellectual heavy weights are opposed to the medical establishment, and not from a left wing perspective. They're defenders of old fashioned science, based on evidence and logic. Many of them have refuted pet establishment hypothical constructs that are false, yet treated as proven facts by the press and cartel medical publications and organizations. 

 

Don't take my word; go read. 



Post 8

Friday, April 7 - 3:05pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Mark,

 

I'd go on replying to your posts, but I think we are really both on the same side.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe we both support completely unregulated capitalism (excepting initiated force, fraud and theft, of course) - everywhere, including health care.

-----------------------

Don't make the mistake of conflating science and intellectual achievement with the state-medical cartel, an error I beleive is implied by your comment.

I don't know which comment of mine you are referring to.

------------

 

p.s., I sent you an 'email' in the ROR "Mail Home" section



Post 9

Saturday, April 8 - 11:02pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks Steve, I'm glad you favor laissez faire capitalism, as do I.

 

The point I was trying to get across, and not very effectively, is that licensing restrictions have everything to do with costly and not-so-effective American health care. They are a central causative factor, not a tangential influence. In the absence of licensing restrictions, a thousand revolutions in medical ideas would ignite; and incomes would fall for physicians who do not think actively about medical science, but are content to milk unearned incomes from their legal privilege. Physicians who are intelligent, innovative and effective--meaning those who think for themselves rather than passively reflecting "consensus"--would earn high incomes. As you know, this happens in every other unregulated field of endeavor.   

 

Many--but not all--of today's medical doctors function as health officials, not scientific entrepreneurs. 

 

I am happy you responded as you did. 



Post 10

Sunday, April 9 - 7:21pmSanction this postReply
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Mark,

 

We agree with only very minor exceptions - NOT exceptions where government is good for health care, just exceptions where licensing isn't the ONLY government evil in health care. 

 

I'd say that IN ADDITION to licensing, there are other government regulations that hurt the health care industry (r.g., HIPPA is a massive set of privacy regulations that drives all costs of health care higher because of the hoops that everyone in the field has to clear - I had to design software that dealt with it when I was trying to design for automating clinical practice guidelines), and that the laws governing torts have been modified in many ways over time to give those lawyers a way to use the courts to take money from those they sue even when it is unjust to do so (and drive up medical costs to cover lawsuit expenses).  And there is taxpayer money funneled into medical research and that in the end hurts medical science.  And there are the effects of any government action that is causing dislocations in supply/demand/price function of the market. 

 

We both agree that pulling government as far out of health care as it is with, say shoes, (actually farther) and quality would soar while costs dropped like a rock.



Post 11

Monday, April 10 - 4:23amSanction this postReply
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The bigger problem in my opinion is health insurance. 49% of the population in the USA is covered by employer-paid health insurance. Employees have little or no concern about what the cost is.  Employer-paid Health Insurance.  A consequence is that the buyers of individual health insurance under age 65 is a small market, consisting mostly of medically-needy people, self-employed people, and employees of small firms. The over age 65 Medicare supplement market is large, more competitive, and w/o the same kind of adverse selection.

 

A common complaint is that health care costs in other countries is much cheaper. The other countries do not have employer-paid health insurance.

 

(Edited by Merlin Jetton on 4/10, 4:34am)



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Monday, April 10 - 10:16amSanction this postReply
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Merlin,

 

You bring up some good points.  When the consumer (patient) isn't the one paying for a service out of money that belongs to them, then the supply/demand/price equation is put out of whack. 
That would apply to all of the pools of health insurance: employer-paid plans, Medicare gap insurance plans, and that small market of those who are not covered as employees or over 65. 

 

I suspect that the high cost for that last group is only partly the size of the market, but also the costs of administering and the risks associated with a pool that has only 1 patient (the individual purchaser).  Of course, the size of the different markets will also reflect volume savings.

 

But it also has to be remembered that the insurance companies are also paying all the costs pushed into the marketplace by licensing regulations, other regulations, the tort system, etc.

 

I favor getting rid of ALL the regulations such that health care, including insurance, is a private expense - the consumer pays the provider out of their own pocket, or the insurance company pays based upon whatever policies the free market encourages insurance companies to provide.  The tricky and clever bits would have to do with the conversion to a free market from our existing systems that are totally or partially a horrid mess due to regulations.  Given how complex and huge this issue is now, the best to hope for is legislation that makes strong moves in the right direction - in a process that takes a number of years.  Pick the low hanging fruit first - get rid of those things that drive costs up but won't be missed by anyone but a special interest group: like tort reform, like regulations that stop insurance companies from selling across state borders, like regulations on the items that insurance has to cover, like Rand Paul's legislation that permits the formation of pools for individuals (e.g., all small business owners).  That would be my two cents.



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Post 13

Monday, April 10 - 11:32pmSanction this postReply
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I liked some of Rand Paul's plan, especially the part where groups can get together to form health insurance.  There is a problem with regulation and deregulation though.  With deregulation it relies on honest people doing work, and where there aren't honest people there are supposed to be market forces.  But the dishonest people tend to find a way to make their agenda work anyway.  With health care, there is a huge ethical issue involved, so it seems almost inevitable that regulation would happen.

 

(Edited by Korben Dallas on 4/10, 11:34pm)



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Tuesday, April 11 - 10:20amSanction this postReply
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There is a problem with regulation and deregulation though.  With deregulation it relies on honest people doing work, and where there aren't honest people there are supposed to be market forces.  But the dishonest people tend to find a way to make their agenda work anyway.  With health care, there is a huge ethical issue involved, so it seems almost inevitable that regulation would happen.

 

This is why a significant number of the voters need the education about why capitalism is not just the most functional system, but the only moral system - and about the immorality of collectivist/altruistic systems.  Here in the US, since the early 1900s the progressives have known that education (better called mis-education, propganda and brainwashing) was the key to their success and began to purposefully pursue the goal of using the educational system over a period of generations to transform society.  Look at the Fabian Society that was founded in the UK in 1884 and how effective it was. 

 

The Fabian Society is a British socialist organisation whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialism via gradualist and reformist effort in democracies, rather than by revolutionary overthrow. ...the Fabian Society has had a powerful influence on British politics. Later members of the Fabian Society included Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders of new nations created out of the former British Empire, who used Fabian principles to create socialist democracies in India, Pakistan, Nigeria and elsewhere as Britain decolonised after World War II.
The Fabian Society founded the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1895 "for the betterment of society", now one of the leading institutions in the world, an incubator of influential politicians, economists, journalists, prime ministers and liberal billionaires.

Today, the society functions primarily as a think tank and is one of 15 socialist societies affiliated with the Labour Party. Similar societies exist in Australia (the Australian Fabian Society), in Canada (the Douglas–Coldwell Foundation and the now disbanded League for Social Reconstruction), in Sicily (Sicilian Fabian Society) and in New Zealand (The NZ Fabian Society).   

      [Wikipedia]

 

I quoted the Wikipedia article on The Fabian Society, but here in the US, the greatest influence has been The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory that became a part of Columbia University in 1935 and has given us such wonderful things as our own American version of Political Correctness and idenitity politics.

 

Among the forces in favor of Capitalism there are only a few that are arrayed against the left in trying to win this battle in the realm of education.  We are not only just few in number, but very late to the game.

 

If we could snap our fingers and regulations would magically disappear, the people, not being educated, would still end up voting for people who would reinstate the regulations.  If, instead, knowledgable people are the majority voting, then it ends up deregulated.  Under those conditions it stays deregulated and, sure, there are still some dishonest people who scam insurance companies, but there is then a much more powerful competitive force in play to find the scammers, take them to court, and to never sign them up again.  It is when the government regulates health care that dishonesty flourishs. 



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Post 15

Monday, April 17 - 2:53amSanction this postReply
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You are responsible for your own healthcare.  I recently read a biography of Aaron Burr. His first wife died young, apparently from ovarian or uterine cancer, and all the doctors had to offer was chamomile tea and other herbal remedies.  Those were the days when medicine was not regulated by the government and group health insurance was as unimagined as a Star Trek transporter.  We live in a wonderful future.  And chamomile tea still has its uses.  Personally, I swear by Gypsy Cold Care from Traditional Medicinals ("Seasonal Teas since 1974") of Sebastopol, California. But, I also take two different medical prescriptions for my prostate. Admittedly, if not for regulation, we would have far more and far better.  

 

Biohackers: http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/2012/10/biohackers.html

 

A couple of years ago, I attended a lecture on "Disruptive Diagnostics" by Dr. Tom Kodadek, formerly of UT Austin.  He joined the board of OPKO which has had some problems with its newest offering. Motley Fool here:

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/01/04/whats-next-for-opko-health-after-its-recent-clinic.aspx

 

As for my prostate, I am on my third urologist.  The first one was the best one around, highly regarded, recommended by all. After an unnecessary television inspection that did not tell him anything he did not already know but which was billable, I found someone else. The second one and I just talked past each other.  The third one came to medicine after working in computer software. We see eye-to-eye, comunicate well, and agree on the opportunities and outcomes.

 

Back in 2010, I had an operation to remove half of my thyroid. I had a "nodule."  Several fine needle aspirations over 20 years remained inconclusive, but it wasn't going away... And I was covered by my wife's University of Michigan healthcare plan.  I had to argue with the doctors. They wanted to take out both lobes; but one was fine; so why remove it?  As it developed, removing only the problematic half has become acceptable in the past five years...  Well, here's the thing about healthcare:  Before I went under the knife at the University of Michigan Hospital, I had to sign a statement that I understood that medicine is an art, not a science, and outcomes are not predictable.  And that was from one of the finest teaching hospitals in America.  

 

Just because medicine is an art does not mean that it is superstition. Still, you are responsible for your own healthcare, regardless which century you were born into. You can spend your time complaining about the government, or you can invest yourself in your own research. 



Post 16

Tuesday, April 18 - 9:58amSanction this postReply
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Amen to Post 15!

 

Sanction!



Post 17

Tuesday, April 25 - 3:30amSanction this postReply
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I found Sen. Paul's proposal here: https://www.paul.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/ObamacareReplacementActSections.pdf  It is only two pages.  It closes with this, cited by Korben Dallas: "Pool Reform for the Individual Market Ø Establishes Independent Health Pools (IHPs) in order to allow individuals to pool together for the purposes of purchasing insurance."

 

That is reasonable and realistic.  After all, what is special about an employment group that does not apply to a bowling league, or just a group of freinds who know each other?  Similarly, I point to "community" credit unions.  Under the Credit Union Act, to be different from a bank, the financial services had to belong to a special group.  Telecommunications Workers have a credit union. If you watch NCIS, you may have seen their Navy credit union coffee cups. But just people living in a city can be a "community" and there are such credit unions all over.  I am only pointing out that in terms of human action, the self-defined limits of a group are generally irrelevant to the marketplace.

 

More to the point, insurance and banking are closely related, both in historical development and in the modern context.  So, the same truths of human action would be expected to apply to both.

 

I sanctioned Number 13, not so much because I agree with all of it, but because it is a good question for open discussion based on common premises.

 

I liked some of Rand Paul's plan, especially the part where groups can get together to form health insurance.  There is a problem with regulation and deregulation though.  With deregulation it relies on honest people doing work, and where there aren't honest people there are supposed to be market forces.  But the dishonest people tend to find a way to make their agenda work anyway.  With health care, there is a huge ethical issue involved, so it seems almost inevitable that regulation would happen.

 

Herbert Spencer wrote before Charles Darwin, though both came from the capitalist culture of Birmingham. My point here is that while Ayn Rand clearly advocated "laissez faire" she did not mean the Spencerian claim of "survival of the fittest" (often attributed to Darwin).  "Survival of the fittest" is an ontological truth.  No matter what standard obtains, the unfit do not survive. In the USSR (as still in much of the world), individualists were not "fit" for "survival."  In America, the industrialized western world,  (and among some peoples in what we call "Nigeria"), individualism is the "natural" environment in which the self-interested survive.  Again, coming back to Ayn Rand, she did, in fact, advocate a more pro-active government than we too easily accept.

 

Rand said that because you do not have a right to harm other people, or to put them in harm's way, it would be proper for government safety inspectors to visit factories. Similarly, it could be perfectly valid in a laissez faire society of limited constitutional govenrment for some "FBI" to actively seek out and prosecute fraud. In this case, that could include people who fraudulently claim health care benefits, as well as insurers that fraudulently refuse to pay claims.



Post 18

Tuesday, April 25 - 3:50amSanction this postReply
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Kyrel Zanotonavitch's proposals resonate with libertarian sentiments, but I found them questionable.

 

Step One is: Get rid of all the medical licenses. These constitute nothing less than a form of enslavement.  ... With restrictive government medical licensing, large and disreputable elements ... 

Step Two is: Get rid of the F.D.A. The Food and Drug Administration is a heartlessly evil and dictatorial organization ...

 

Clearly, the first proposal refer only to legal monopolies created by governments.  The marketplace actually depends on very many licenses and certifications and approvals and endorsements. And, in terms of public safety - too easily subsumed under "policing" - I happen to hold very many government-issued certifications and endorsements that carry no legal restrictions against anyone else. The papers just assert that I was shown to know this stuff.  And, not suprisingly, among those also are marketplace certifications and endorsements such as Adult First Aid.  

 

And, moreover, many states and other jurisdictions have "good samaritan" laws that protect uncertified people who do the best they can under the circumstances.  Note, however, that such is not universal, nor should it be.  ("He seemed to have a head wound, so I opened his skull.")  Regulations are necessary to a functioning society.

 

On the questions of the F.D.A., I submit that Ayn Rand would have approved of it, and, while she herself (and through Alan Greenspan) argued against financial regulation, she did not attack medical regulations specifically.  In her lifetime, the Sulfanilamide Disaster of 1937 typified the need for the government to be pro-active, just as they would break up a ring intent on bank robbery before the criminals actually robbed their first bank.

 

And, yes, it is dangerous to have a pro-active government. It does not take Philip K. Dick's Minority Report to dramatize that. But the contrary is the case of a government that stands idle watching harms occur until it can act.  I note that we have a lot of legal language about the judgments of twelve reasonable people.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 4/25, 3:54am)



Post 19

Tuesday, April 25 - 6:59amSanction this postReply
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In reference to post #17, Marotta wrote:

 

Rand said that because you do not have a right to harm other people, or to put them in harm's way, it would be proper for government safety inspectors to visit factories
     [emphasis mine.  Steve]

 

Where did Rand say that it would be proper for government safety inspectors to visit factories?   I don't remember that at all. 

 

(In the absence of probable cause of some violation of an individual right that is written up as law, no government agent has a moral right to inspect private property unless invited.)

 

(I agree that the FBI, or some law enforcement agency should be looking for acts of fraud - whether committed by both by insurers and by insurance consumers - but that is totally different.)



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