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Sunday, 15 January 2012


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I assume that O's health stuff is poor stuff, without knowing much about it. But the American system - if "system" is quite the word - has some appalling flaws that really do need putting right. The one that stunned me when I learnt about it was the way in which you typically lose "health insurance" for a year when you move jobs. Then, unless your spouse has cover (and if your move is geographical, she or he is likely to lose cover too) you and your family are uninsured. Suppose one of you contracts some horrible illness in that year: when your new employer gives you new health insurance, treatment of that condition is not covered because it is a pre-existing condition. Potential calamity!

This problem arises because health cover typically comes with employment, and that in turn originated in government action because the habit started long ago to get around government wage-fixing laws. If a firm couldn't retain or attract staff by giving a pay rise, it would do so by offering free health insurance. This has evolved into a system which must be bad for the people en masse, by inhibiting movement between jobs, and bad for people individually, by exposing them to tremendous worry and risk, and occasional catastrophe. Lunatic really. Since government got them into this mess, there is a case for government getting them out. Though the Federal government seems to be so corrupt and incompetent that it's hard to believe that it will improve things even if O is binned.

You are quite right, DM, in thinking the American system is a balls-up. It will only be 'cured' when a direct customer/producer relationship between patient and doctor is re-established. As it is, either employers or insurance companies get in-between causing maximum expense and inefficiency. According to everything I read, Obama's Leviathon is already broke, in all senses of the word, and it hasn't even begun as yet!

I don't know why they just don't copy the French system.

Not too sure how they do things there, DM, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that their health service was in financial trouble, too.

Aye, but everyone I know who's used ours and theirs has preferred theirs. One feature is that the patient has to pay part of the costs - so there is some incentive to keep costs down. But it apparently has the key feature that (practically) everyone wants - you should never find yourself bankrupted by medical costs.

"you should never find yourself bankrupted by medical costs"

Hmmmn! I need to think about that one because it depends a bit on what you mean by "bankrupted". Not the least of the problems with government underwriting of health services is that the cost of them increases without check. So long as the government is, so to speak, 'underwriter of last resort', then the medics and the hospitals are free to ramp up their charges.

Many medical expenses are routine and not very costly. There is no case for insuring against them. But big deal medical stuff is, for most individuals, unlikely but catastrophically expensive should it occur. That is exactly the sort of phenomenon for which insurance is the right answer. That point still leaves open the role, if any, for government. But I doubt that practical politics leaves open the question of a government role: public opinion will insist on it. Therefore the art is to find how it can be done with least damage, in particular without encouraging endless cost inflation. You can make the case that even the not very impressive NHS does a better job of containing costs than the American system. I dare say everyone else's system does better yet.

At a dinner party once, I heard a woman say that she'd used the British, Canadian, French and Icelandic systems. The British was worst, the Icelandic best. For keeping hospitals clear of infection, the Dutch do far better than us. Etc, etc - anyway, no one ever copied our "envy of the world system" and I doubt that any sane country would copy the American. But there are plenty of other models to learn from.

Yes, it's gonna definitly be iffy but not necessarily by the medical stuff.

The mass of the pundits and the "experts" fail to completely take into account (or even if they have an inkling of what the "Regular Joes and Josephines") have in their Heart of Hearts concerning the Leviathan known as Wall Street.

(Incidentally that "Big Mo" in this context should likely more accurately be termed "The Big Muddy" the latter referring to the states along the river which transects from the furthestmost north to the sourthernmost Gulf - The Mighty Mississippi River.)

Romney is the epitome of Wall Street - and that translates as Excess Personified. Perhaps Romney's strengths - such as they are - might come to be accepted south of the Mason-Dixon Line if only because of the certain alternative. But only just might. My fear is how large the portion of "Stay-at-Homes" is gonna be.

Though admitting - certain written headlines do attract notice!

DM, I will give some further thought to this whole subject and then post on it.

JK, yes, I notice the MSM are painting him as a Wall St. type despite the fact that his company was based in Boston! You may be right about the 'stay at homes' but I sense, from 'over here', that matters are so serious that people will want to get out and vote.

I reckon David - you're not seeing much from the Tea Party. None of the airway media (including FOX) are reporting on that loosely affiliated and it is precisely that "loosely" bit being much interested in anybody except for Rick Perry.

Now I could provide links for a dozen or so regional newspapers so you could study the commenting - but we've "enjoyed" back and forths over JK's excessive linkings before. So JK'll not do that.

Suffice to say South Carolina has always been viewed by the "Experts" as "The Belweather Primary" --- probably more accurate this time because of the SuperPacs (only because SC is a single state running a Primary all by it's lonesome on a particular moment in time --- likely to mean Perry will drop off the media's radar).

But then later there will be groups of states running Primaries on and especially Groups at the same Moment in Time.

There will be blood!

Should you wish to get a snapshot of what actually happens viz, South Carolina politics all one need do is look up a fellow by the name of Lee Atwater - do please forgive:

Voting is compulsory in Australia and rightly so.
Australians are so very apathetic about politics that, if voting was optional, only the staunchest party followers would bother to toddle along.

Personally, I INSIST on voting.

While I may not vote for the idiots who actually win power I demand my little tiny say in which idiots I would prefer to be in power.

Not that there's much difference any more. Once elected everybody's only aim to is stay in power and how they achieve that is not important.

"Not that there's much difference any more. Once elected everybody's only aim to is stay in power and how they achieve that is not important.

True in the US too, and regretably Andra.

"Small Government Conservative" GW Bush creates the largest bureaucracy the world has ever known - The Department of Homeland Security (estimated 165,000 new government workers - no "on-budget" figures available). The National Debt is doubled. Cost projections of the unfunded Prescription Medicines for Seniors Act of 2005 - $1Trillion by 2015. Costs of the current wars estimated in the area of $4Trillion and rising (funded via "Supplementals" ie borrowing from mainly China. TARP bailout $1Trillion. AIG Bailout $695Billion.

Sorry, Andra, but I absolutely disagree with compulsory voting. If the brain-dead morons cannot be bothered to get off their arses to vote then I, personally, am very happy that they stay at home and do not interfere in an election.

JK, thanks for the link. From here it looks like Romney is the man to beat - for good or ill.

Well David - recall my mentioning the Tea Party?

Might want to think again:

Further Muddying the waters:

Remember Mountain Meadows?


Getting kinda intursting over here David - and kinda quick-like:

Vury, vury quick-like:

Perry dropped out. Endorsed Newt

Newt's most recent ex-wife has a TV interview in the can. "Reports" indicate she alleges Newt wanted an "open marriage".

I'm thinking if Mitt doesn't rocket up pretty soon - the mission to take the Executive will be an aborted mission.

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