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Thread: state ownership of pharmaceutical production

  1. #41
    Senior Member Pendragon's Avatar
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    Default Re: state ownership of pharmaceutical production

    Quote Originally Posted by SIR View Post
    I agree your ideas could very well be an improvement/evolution of my basic idea - i appreciate your constructive contribution, pity there cannot be more like it rather than frequent arguements that seem to be the prevalent response when anyone tries to make a reformative suggestion.
    My suggestions were based on responses I have heard from doctor friends when I asked them why medical care is so expensive in the U.S. They all say the same thing: It is the administrators for the medical centers and healthcare plans, who get paid enormous sums. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) in the U.S. not only failed to fix this fault, but institutionalized it. It took a bad situation and made it far worse, as it also required insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. This includes obesity, which is at epidemic levels in many areas and greatly increases healthcare costs.

    The insurers would then have to increase premiums to levels most companies would be unwilling to pay (health insurance in the States is usually provided by employers, at least for working age people). The insurers then came out with "high deductible" plans, in which the patient paid a large deductible before insurance coverage kicked in. For me, it is $3500 per year, with a maximum of $6500. For in-plan medical centers and doctors, the insurer covers 100% after that. Lower income people get subsidies. There are working class people who do not qualify for the subsidies, but who also cannot afford the deductible. It is much higher for families than single people, and kids get sick and injured all the time. One coworker of mine could not afford medical care, but could barely walk and needed surgery. I think he eventually went out on disability. It is things like that and much more that make many Americans so against government healthcare. Of course, there are many other Americans that say "free government healthcare for all!" thinking that waving such a magic wand will make things OK. Which brings us to the other bit of nastiness you saw.

    America is incredibly divided now, some would say on the brink of a civil war. I think that might be a little overstated, but people of opposing points of view are utterly intolerant of any dissent. That extends to election results, and applies to both the liberal and conservative camps. Any failure to conform to a given viewpoint is dealt with by shouting, anger, threats, sometimes violence, with a good dollop of totalitarian righteousness on the side. It all involves a profoundly childish lack of boundaries and self-control, in which democracy becomes largely irrelevant. To be fair, there are still very many who act like bona fide homo sapiens. There are enough baboons to cause plenty of trouble, however.

    When you present a political point of view here, there will be those who support your view, but also those who disagree. A mud-slinging shouting match will almost certainly develop. Sometimes it is fun to wind the nutjobs up, step aside, and watch them try to verbally kill each other, but don't expect much in the way of reasoned discourse.

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  3. #42
    Senior Member SIR's Avatar
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    Cool Re: state ownership of pharmaceutical production

    I happen to have quite close exposure to NHS healthcare through my work in the UK, and from my privileged perspective it seems there is a 50/50 divide; half of people say really good things about the NHS, half have less than favourable things to say... and as much as they will all say 'it was free', they don't disclose how much in tax their 'free' healthcare has actually cost them.

    The way I see it is, if we are to have government (as opposed to anarchy) to ensure basic protections for us as a society then healthcare is definitely a priority and, not being Hiltlerist, I am happy to pay a little to ensure that those who are unable to pay have the same provision. But... I also think that if such a provision exists it should be maintained and audited to a prescribed level which all can be guaranteed to expect and receive - currently, the NHS as a whole is failing in this regard and requires significant reform - including and particularly in the areas of future-proofing and self-sufficiency.

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: state ownership of pharmaceutical production

    Quote Originally Posted by SIR View Post
    ...if we are to have government to ensure basic protections for us as a society then healthcare is definitely a priority...
    From a sentential logic standpoint, this argument needs a lot of work. At best, there are a lot of imbedded premises. I think the conclusion doesn't follow from the premise.

    The basic protections government provides relate to property rights.

  5. #44
    Senior Member Pendragon's Avatar
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    Default Re: state ownership of pharmaceutical production

    Quote Originally Posted by SIR View Post
    I happen to have quite close exposure to NHS healthcare through my work in the UK, and from my privileged perspective it seems there is a 50/50 divide; half of people say really good things about the NHS, half have less than favourable things to say... and as much as they will all say 'it was free', they don't disclose how much in tax their 'free' healthcare has actually cost them.
    I have worked nearly half my career for British companies or British divisions of U.S. companies. All of my UK colleagues seemed to like the NHS, but do say that it can take several months to get a doctor's appointment. When I asked them what if the medical condition is urgent, they said that people can get a private doctor. If someone does not have the money to do this, they are apparently out of luck.

    People who say "the government should take care of it" usually mean "get others to pay my bills". When asked what if they had to pay the way for others instead, they typically respond with a disingenuous "that's ok" or "it won't happen that way". This sticking one's head in the sand approach is unrealistic. It is sweeping any problems under the rug and pretending they do not exist.

    The way I see it is, if we are to have government (as opposed to anarchy) to ensure basic protections for us as a society then healthcare is definitely a priority and, not being Hiltlerist, I am happy to pay a little to ensure that those who are unable to pay have the same provision. But... I also think that if such a provision exists it should be maintained and audited to a prescribed level which all can be guaranteed to expect and receive - currently, the NHS as a whole is failing in this regard and requires significant reform - including and particularly in the areas of future-proofing and self-sufficiency.
    Would you be willing to pay a lot to help others, only to be told "sorry, nothing for you" when you need healthcare? That is what happens in some government healthcare systems, especially when they are setup to benefit demographics who support the ruling party.

    How about requiring patients to follow doctors' advice? For example, enrolling in a smoking cessation program, going on a diet to lose weight, or successfully completing a rehab program? Uncooperative patients are likely a major source of increased costs. Telling these folks to cooperate (or at least try) or they will be on their own might be a good idea.

    A windfall profits tax would help when dealing with miscreant pharmaceutical companies. In the 1970s, U.S. oil companies greatly increased gasoline prices when oil shortages occurred. These increases were far beyond what could be explained by the crude oil shortages alone. Some of the gasoline shortages were fake, with oil refineries colluding and quietly refusing to offload crude shipments to their refineries. The solution was to impose a substantial tax on profits that were generated under such false pretenses. That immediately fixed much of the problem, and could be applied to the pharmaceutical industry today.

    I am all for laissez faire capitalism, but when corporations attempt to stifle competition by price fixing, creating monopolies and gaming the system, they need to get their knuckles rapped. The threat of being nationalized as a punishment could be a useful deterrent.

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