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Health care in Victoria


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#1 davek

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 09:20 PM

Davek - you and I will obviously differ on market vs tax payer/central provision for health care, regulatory measures etc...
in the fall, while H1N1 likely propagates, 'normal' flu will be doing the same.


Thank you for the link. It was interesting, although as one of the participants, Mr. Aaron, pointed out, there wasn't much diversity amongst the speakers. But that's Brookings for you. I read the whole thing, and I'm sorry to say I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. Perhaps a hint?

#2 jklymak

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 07:45 AM

This argument assumes that a statistically significant proportion of insured Americans feel at risk of losing their coverage, and I see no grounds for that assumption.


Its a huge concern for many people. The threat of losing your insurance coverage prevents job mobility and discourages entrepreneurship. I lived in the US for many years and can assure you people many worry about their health care.

Furthermore, I find it difficult to credit the idea that the willingness of Canadians to complain explains the great difference in satisfaction between them and insured Americans, and the scant difference between them and uninsured Americans. I suppose it's possible, but it think it's at least equally possible that the American system is no worse than Canada's.


I don't doubt for a minute that the US system for insured Americans is as good as the Canadian. It may even be slightly better, if more costly per patient. My only point is that asking an American how satisfied they are with their healthcare and a Canadian is like asking a Winnipegian and a Victorian how satisfied they are with the weather: - the weather could be objectively better in Victoria, but the person in Winnipeg may be more satisfied because they are comparing with how things could be.

#3 davek

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 11:11 AM

...My only point is... they are comparing with how things could be.


And my only point is that I have presented you with statistics suggesting that relative to Canada, US health care may be superior for insured Americans and nearly as good for uninsured Americans. In response, you have concocted a theory that simply dismisses the stats in favor of your previously held beliefs. Now, I don't find the theory plausible, but I have acknowledged it's possible that you're right.

However, it is also be possible that the survey accurately reflects the state of affairs. So when someone says " ... 1/3 public 2/3 private is worse than 100% public..., I hope you'll understand that I can't accept that at face value. In fact, when comparing the 100% public Canadian system to other OECD countries that have universal access publicly funded health care systems, those models that produce superior results at lower costs have user fees; alternative, comprehensive, private insurance; and private hospitals. http://www.fraserins...thCare2008.pdf'>Link.

Free markets have made cars, computers, cell phones, and a host of other goods and services available to all segments of society. There is no reason it can't do so for health care, including swine flu prevention.

#4 eseedhouse

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 11:49 AM

And my only point is that I have presented you with statistics suggesting that relative to Canada, US health care may be superior for insured Americans and nearly as good for uninsured Americans.


If you select only the studies that support your viewpoint, you can "prove" anything you want to those who don't understand statistics. A good discussion of this in another context may be found at http://krugman.blogs...erature-trends/. What counts is that the overall conclusion from all the studies is clearly that private health care comes out clearly worse than public health care.

Free markets have made cars, computers, cell phones, and a host of other goods and services available to all segments of society. There is no reason it can't do so for health care, including swine flu prevention.

Actually only one of the examples given above, cars, was mainly developed by "free markets". Government was in at the start of the other two examples, and without that government action they probably wouldn't have happened. Even for cars there was heavy government involvement in the process early on, as may be found by reading the history of the Tank, much of whose development subseqently "tricked down" to the "private" sector.

I don't question, by the way, that "free markets" are often the most efficient mechanism for distributing goods widely. They often are, but not always.

Currently all of the most vigerous world economies have mixed economies with large government sectors, whereas there is not one example of an advanced society that has no government sector.

The only real argument is how to determine which mechanism works best for a given situation. In the case of health care I believe the evidence is in, and it is clear that some variation of publicly funded health insurance is best, and that it is best run by governments. You can, of course, ignore the evidence if you like, but not if you want to be thought of as reasonable. Which I admit may not be your aim here.

#5 jklymak

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 02:22 PM

And my only point is that I have presented you with statistics suggesting that relative to Canada, US health care may be superior for insured Americans and nearly as good for uninsured Americans.


No you stated the results of customer satisfaction surveys, which I do not feel is a very objective measure.

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/


Ooooops... I'm sorry, but I can't take anything from the Fraser Institute, Fox News, etc seriously.

Free markets have made cars, computers, cell phones, and a host of other goods and services available to all segments of society. There is no reason it can't do so for health care, including swine flu prevention.


The problem is, you can do w/o a cell phone. Sure, it would suck, but would you sell your house to get one? OTOH if I have cancer, I'll do whatever it takes to get better. That makes medicine a pretty distinct commodity.

#6 davek

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 06:58 PM

… I read one section at the referred site where they talk about the "law of demand" but don't actually say what this mysterious "law" is…


One only has to read http://www.econlib.o...nc/Demand.html'>four sentences before finding the definition, and the sentence even starts with “The law of demand states…"
Having already been caught pretending to have read and understood something that you have not (twice!), I’m a little surprised you would try it again so soon, and so blatantly.

What counts is that the overall conclusion from all the studies is clearly that private health care comes out clearly worse than public health care.


This might be true, but given your apparently pathological inability to avoid committing academic fraud, who could take your word for it? Will you provide some evidence, or will you be falling back on accusations of unreasonableness and irrationality?



Ooooops... I'm sorry, but I can't take anything from the Fraser Institute, Fox News, etc seriously.


Healthy skepticism is good policy, but dismissing evidence solely because of its source is the equivalent of finding someone guilty by association. I know it’s unlikely that either of us is going to change the other’s mind, but there are other people following this debate, and if they know that you are basing your positions on sources that are pretty much saying what you already believe, they are going to value your arguments accordingly.


No you stated the results of customer satisfaction surveys, which I do not feel is a very objective measure.



Both the http://www.usatoday....alth-poll1.htm'>ABC News/USA TODAY/Kaiser Family Foundation health care poll and the http://johnrlott.tri...nadasurvey.pdf'>Harris/Decima TeleVox poll on Canadian health care are far more than customer satisfaction surveys, so I expect others will find their objectivity less unacceptable than you do.


The problem is, you can do w/o a cell phone. Sure, it would suck, but would you sell your house to get one? OTOH if I have cancer, I'll do whatever it takes to get better. That makes medicine a pretty distinct commodity.


There was a time when you could sell your house and still not be able to afford a cell phone, but market forces have driven costs so low that any 14 year old with a newspaper route can now choose between a wide variety of high-quality, inexpensive phones and plans. The only thing preventing similar progress in cancer treatment, health insurance, or swine flu treatment is government intervention that protects suppliers from competition.

#7 eseedhouse

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 07:24 PM

One only has to read four sentences before finding the definition, and the sentence even starts with “The law of demand states…"


"The law of demand states that when the price of a good rises, the amount demanded falls, and when the price falls, the amount demanded rises."

I read it and I stand by what I said. That isn't a law. A law in science is a statement that equates variables whose units are defined and in a mathematical form, as an equation. To claim that as a law is just laughable. It isn't a law, it's just a fairly mundane observation.

In what units is "demand" measured and what amount of demand increases supply (and what units is supply measured in?) in exactly what proportions? What repeatable experiments demonstrate this relationship.

Having already been caught pretending to have read and understood something that you have not (twice!)


Right, keep saying it because we all know that repeating a lie makes it true...

There was a time when you could sell your house and still not be able to afford a cell phone, but market forces have driven costs so low that any 14 year old with a newspaper route can now choose between a wide variety of high-quality


There was a time prior to that when no one could buy one at any price because they did not exist. The silicon chips that made them possible at all were developed by government enterprises and at government expense and primarily for government's purposes. Something you appear to have "forgotten" for your own convenience.

To speak for a moment to the rational among us, I will just point out that I am not and never have denied the efficacy of so-called "free markets" for many purposes, which "davek" seems to be trying to give the impression that I have been doing.

The market system is one of human kind's greatest inventions. So is government. Both exist for the service of humankind, not the other way around.

#8 Newlywednotnearlydead

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 07:59 PM

There was a time prior to that when no one could buy one at any price because they did not exist. The silicon chips that made them possible at all were developed by government enterprises and at government expense and primarily for government's purposes.


Proof please.

#9 davek

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 08:19 AM

To speak for a moment to the rational among us...


Accusations of irrationality are no substitute for proof, but poseurs rely on them anyway. Instead of ad hominem and bloviation, how about you simply supply the evidence I asked for? Bonus points if you can relate it to swine flu.

To claim that as a law is just laughable. It isn't a law, it's just a fairly mundane observation.


And I'm not interested in your doubleplusgood Orwellian bullshit Newspeak, or any other types of evasion, either. Just your evidence.

#10 Phil McAvity

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 08:40 AM

^providing proof for things anything esseedhouse says shouldn't be required (in his mind). He constantly insists that everyone provide proof for everything they say but of course he's not required to prove anything he says.
In chains by Keynes

#11 eseedhouse

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 11:01 AM

Proof please.


Read any book on the history of the computer, or of the twentieth century for that matter.

#12 eseedhouse

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 11:29 AM

^providing proof for things anything esseedhouse says shouldn't be required (in his mind). He constantly insists that everyone provide proof for everything they say but of course he's not required to prove anything he says.


I don't recall ever asking anyone to prove anything in this forum. I recall having asked for evidence from time to time, but that is not the same as asking for proof.

I am not asking anyone to believe anything I say just based on the mere fact that I say it anyway. If we have two contradictory claims and we wish to know which one is correct then we may, if it is important enough to us, look up the evidence and make up our own minds.

The mere fact that I have expressed an opinion is not, by itself, any reason for anyone else to change their mind. I am not, as a matter of fact, very interested in changing anyone else's mind, merely in expressing my own from time to time. And to some extent counter balancing many of the more (imo) widely irrational claims often made here. No one should change their mind based merely on what I or anyone else says in any event, and anyone who would is running the risk of being extremely gullible.

I am merely expressing opinions, which anyone may agree or disagree with. But apparently some wish to subject me to a higher burden of proof than they themselves are willing to answer to. Their wish has no obligatory value to me.

Some here seem to get very upset when someone else merely posts an opposing viewpoint. I think that this suggests that they themselves are not very secure in their own viewpoints.

As to the swine flu, which I thought was the subject, we shall know whose opinions were correct in the fairly near future, I suspect.

It is extremely interesting though, that the main point under discussion these days in this thread appears to be my personality. What this has to do with the likely outcome of the current H1N1 pandemic is a little hard to see. A cynic might say that people who are getting the worst of an argument tend to switch the discussion to personalities.

#13 eseedhouse

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 12:13 PM

On the off topic question of "free markets" and health care, one could, if one cared, take a look at this World Health Organization link.

If one was interested in looking at actual evidence, of course.

As Paul Krugman says today, "...the standard competitive market model just doesn’t work for health care: adverse selection and moral hazard are so central to the enterprise that nobody, nobody expects free-market principles to be enough. To act all wide-eyed and innocent about these problems at this late date is either remarkably ignorant or simply disingenuous".

#14 davek

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 07:31 PM

For those who didn’t follow the links, they lead to an article discussing the continuing popularity and relevance of a paper written about 40 years ago. If anyone can tell me what the article is “actual evidence” for, I would be grateful. As for Krugman’s embrace of the paper as being supportive of his philosophy, it is even noted in the link that;

"(Kenneth Arrow’s paper) is sometimes cited to demonstrate that health care is not as exceptional as many people claim and that market mechanisms can play an effective role in the medical care industry in the same way as they do in other economic activities (including sectors with an effect on health, such as food and housing). In contrast, it is also cited to demonstrate that market failures in health care justify the creation or preservation of non-market institutions."

So I don’t see how this really advances the pro-intervention argument.

As for the role of the free market in dealing with swine flu, I think the history of Lasik eye surgery is very instructive. Not heavily regulated, and covered by neither Medicaid, Medicare, nor insurance, the average price of the procedure has declined over 38% in the past ten years, while quality and availability has risen so that it has the highest patient satisfaction ratings of any surgery. Could this have happened in a third-party payer system? It hasn’t so far…

#15 eseedhouse

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 07:46 PM

As for the role of the free market in dealing with swine flu, I think the history of Lasik eye surgery is very instructive. Not heavily regulated, and covered by neither Medicaid, Medicare, nor insurance, the average price of the procedure has declined over 38% in the past ten years, while quality and availability has risen so that it has the highest patient satisfaction ratings of any surgery. Could this have happened in a third-party payer system? It hasn’t so far…


It couldn't have happened without lasers, that's for sure. And Lasers were developed by government agencies. In fact the development of high powered lasers (which is what allows Lasik to be possible) was generally developed under the heavily subsidized "star wars" (SDI) program initiated by the Regan government. One perhaps good outcome of that irrational program.

Lasik is of course controversial medicine and by no means without risk. On the other hand high powered lasers develped under SDI and used in government funded hospitals before "Lasik" became heavily advertised undoubtedly saved the vision of a nephew of mine whose parents could by no means have even dreamed of paying it's cost in a privatized system.

On the other hand it is hard to see how lasers are going to help anyone with H1N1 flu.

Now the vaccines now under development likely will, but their development is being heavily subsidized by government, as it should be.

#16 davek

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 08:02 AM

^I'm confident most people will see the flaws in this post, so in the interest of bringing this tedium to an end, I'm happy to leave it. If there is anyone who missed the logical failures, oversights, irrelevancies, and non-sequitors, please send me a PM.

#17 eseedhouse

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 02:22 PM

Really, you guys give up so easily. But thanks for the admissions of failure, it brightens my day.

#18 davek

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 02:41 PM

Really, you guys give up so easily. But thanks for the admissions of failure, it brightens my day.


Aaah... self-declared victory! Is there anything sweeter?

Don't forget to high-five somebody...

#19 eseedhouse

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 10:21 PM

Aaah... self-declared victory! Is there anything sweeter?.



If so then I am merely following your own multitudinous examples.

#20 mat

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 11:02 PM

In response to posts in various threads on the viability and preference of private vs public health care. Please discuss the issue here.

You're not quite at the end of this discussion topic!

Use the page links at the lower-left to go to the next page to read additional posts.
 



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