The NHS Vs the Republicans

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The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby Aspman » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:12 am

Ooh this has turned into a bit of a spat.

Some muppet of a republican decided to use the NHS as a an example of why there should be no healthcare reform in the US.
Unfortunately rather than picking on genuine problems in the NHS (which there are plenty) he did the usual tactic of twisting the words of ordinary people to exaggerate the truth of the problems they were highlighting.

Now the NHS is a bit of a sacred cow in the UK, a bit like the Queen Mum you are never meant to have a pop at it.
But it has many problems.

The NHS is NOT free. This is often the argument thrown about for the NHS over the US system. It's not free we pay a lot for it in tax. If you had an NHS style system in the US you would not pay insurance but you probably would pay just about as much in extra tax.

A big advantage is that you will get treatment whatever your circumstances. Pre-existing conditions, no problem. Poor lifestyle, no problem, no money, no problem. You WILL get treatment, from the moment you are born until the moment you die.

You will NOT get access to the latest and greatest drugs, you WILL likely have to wait to see a specialist doctor unless your illness is life threatening. This wait could be a long time and I'm talking up to 24months not just a few weeks. But that would be extreme and for thinks like arthritis, and bone specialists.

Cancer treatment is pretty good in the UK (well Scotland anyway) you'll be seen within 2 weeks or sooner for cancer. You are more likely to die in the UK. US survival rates are higher.

Many hospitals have cleanliness problems due to cost cutting on cleaning services. There has been a backlash on this and things are changing but not fast enough. Too much money is spend on administering the systems of the NHS. But what they politician won't tell you is that there are there to report on the requirements set by the politicians. Until the politicians back off with their targets and reporting statistics they bureaucracy can't be cut.

So there you are, some facts on the NHS. Now go debate.

From personal experience the NHS has been pretty good to me but I'm a very light user. I go to the doc about once every 5 years. My Dad has had, and is getting very good treatment for prostate cancer.
My Mum has had not so good treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. She needs two new knees but isn't getting them. Not terrible treatment by any means, not the scare stories you hear, just not 100%.
My sister in law did have one of the horror stories where she gave birth when no staff were about and would not come, her baby was delivered with the help of a cleaner but was tangled in the cord and died. The hospital was exonerated :shock:
That was nearly 20 years ago though, things are better.
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby Harry » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:04 am

I found it amusing they way they used Stephen Hawkins as an example of someone who 'did not get timley treatment' only for him to turn around and says he owes a lot to the NHS and thinks they do a remarkable job...bunch of muppets..
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby Vorlin » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:07 am

Yeah, the medical system over here in the US needs a lot of help as well. They have all sorts of breaks and tax cuts and bypasses, it's sickening really. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it's here period, but we really could use an overhaul but that'll never happen. Churches and hospitals pretty much go hand in hand with all the breaks they get. It's one reason why a hospital can write off a 15,000 charge for something like ICU/EU/MRI/Cat Scan due to the patient being an 'invalid'. I've heard some horror stories as well from people around here and that's one reason why I never even see a doctor for a physical unless it's required by a new job or something, which hasn't happened. And man, that bit you mentioned about your sister in law having a baby birthed by a cleaner? Holy sh** I'd be f'ing pissed the hell off...and the hospital was exonerated? What kind of bullsh** is that?

Ending, I'm with you on the reform....it needs help, and a lot of it, and damn the liberals over here that try to prevent every change known to man.
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby Panama Red » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:14 pm

A lot of the current issues in the US is understanding whats on the table, a lot of seniors are easily spooked by individuals who have an agenda (such as Republicans receiving millions in kickbacks or donations :roll: from pharmaceutical companies who stand to lose billions with the Health Reform) and drop fancy words such as "Death Panels"....I laughed so hard when I saw who came up with that, so typical of Sarah Palin, this from a Governor who delayed funding to Alaska's medicare which saw a drastic drop in Health Care for the citizens of Alaska. I just find the hypocrisy of the Republicans revolting, the Democrats do not need them for this to pass, they should stop trying to be bi-partisan and say damn it, it's going to go ahead and the Republicans can whistle dixie, unfortunately I am not that naive to think some of these Democrats don't have their fingers in the same pot as some of the Republicans, hence the split amongst some of the Democrats...the pharmaceutical organizations have a lot of clout and a lot of spare cash to throw around...

For the record, the living will and end of life subjects were actually raised by Republicans 20 some years ago, and it's the right thing to have for those families who are going through these processes with loved ones..

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and a few others should hang their heads in shame for the way they are politicizing this issue, reform is needed, whether you think it's socialist or not, doesn't come into it.....the reforms will drive prices down so that everyone can afford to get medication they need to live...you already have Medicare which is government run, so I don't think the Republicans argument washes... :breakfast:
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby Aspman » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:21 pm

Better healthcare, for both the US and the UK, lies some way away from the models we have at present.

Many other European countries have superior health services and I think we need a more flexible solution with probably private contributions becoming part of the NHS in the UK. I'd probably top-up my healthcare if I could but it's an all or nothing deal. You go private or you go NHS.

Needs a big cultural change. I don't think the US needs a bigger change but it is in the opposite direction. Maybe some form of social insurance is needed to provide better healthcare to those who cannot afford insurance or who are denied it through other conditions.
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby Panama Red » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:38 pm

Aspman wrote:Better healthcare, for both the US and the UK, lies some way away from the models we have at present.

Many other European countries have superior health services and I think we need a more flexible solution with probably private contributions becoming part of the NHS in the UK. I'd probably top-up my healthcare if I could but it's an all or nothing deal. You go private or you go NHS.

Needs a big cultural change. I don't think the US needs a bigger change but it is in the opposite direction. Maybe some form of social insurance is needed to provide better healthcare to those who cannot afford insurance or who are denied it through other conditions.


Here in Canada, you can have as many as you can afford, I (due to military service) have a federal plan and at work I have Blue Cross, also there is the Provincial coverage, so I currently have 3 plans, my dental pays out 90% (crowns and some roots are 50%) if I paid into the Blue Cross dental plan, I could conceivably get 100% coverage on Dental, what my federal plan does not pay out, Blue Cross would cover the rest...premiums for Blue Cross can be stiff, and they are always moving the "what you are covered" lines, same with the Federal plan, although the premiums are not as stiff. so even though many people think our Health Care is free, it ain't, it's just that a lot of it is covered by premiums and taxes.

Apparently the French version of Health Care is both private and public and this is what makes it #1 in the world right now, so maybe a combination of both is what is needed, I think this is where Canada is headed eventually, as more and more private services are created to fill the gaps.

I strongly believe the main culprit in all of this, is the drug companies, have you seen some of the prices for some of their drugs, unbelievable, its like the Goose who laid the Golden Egg for these guys, everyone is medicated today.... :wink:
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby rapier57 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:57 pm

In the last round of this reform for health care, Canada's system was used as the boogeyman to scare folks away from universal healthcare. It was as lame an argument then as it is now. And the folks behind the whole thing are the pharmaceutical companies, as has been mentioned. They like the whole idea of "re-importing" drugs from Canada. First they sell the drugs to Canada at about half the price they can get in the US. Then, we would re-import them to the US for a bit more, so the drug companies get more than they would have just selling to the US in the first place.

Yeah, I understand the cost of research and the need for ongoing research. But, come on folks. Most of the real research in drugs, health care and disease is done by Universities and funded by public/private grants. Then the drug companies come along and take the results, patent them, and sell the drugs for large prices to "recover their costs."

Lipitor is one such drug. I have a burr about this because I have to take it. Can't get it generic because the drug company will not release the formulary for generic production. Lipitor has covered its costs years ago. This is all about greed.

Greed, greed, greed. All at our expense.

Same with medical equipment. New sonogram equipment. Very pricey. And, it is nothing more than an embedded XP system, with a SuperVGA monochrome video and a specialized input device. So, where is the high cost part(s) that justify the muli-thousands of dollars of cost to the medical office? And the subsequent exorbitant cost of treatment to you, the medical consumer?

In the corporate CEO's bonus.

You think the Wall Street meltdown was bad. If we could place the same regulatory controls on the medical system, CEO's would be selling their Bentleys and multi-million dollar homes and moving to the --- god forbid --- suburbs.

Never gonna get off this soapbox.
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby Harbinger » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:33 am

The propaganda that we have a "free-market" healthcare system is about as monumental a lie as the concept that we have a "free-market financial sector" and that lack of regulation caused the current problems.

It is the largess of the welfare ponzi-schemes (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) that have ballooned costs and driven physicians out of the market. There is an incredible wealth of historical fact and presidence to support this claim--one need not look nor think very hard to discover this. However, the progressives high-jacked this country nearly a century ago, and we're now stuck with a one party system where all prosperity descends from Glorious Mother USSA. The ultimate irony is how far we have philosophically devolved to this point in a nation founded on the realization that government is evil and ineffective.

Obamacare is just a massive power grab under a weak pretense of altruism that doesn't stand against the softest breath of economic, medical, Constiutional, or moral scrutiny.
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby |3lack|ce » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:11 pm

Ok, you all know where I stand politically, but I'm not here to push from that particular slant.

When it comes to healthcare I'm a selfish bastard. The more I get out of it the happier I am, and screw everyone else.

That having been said, I actually *liked* the 'Public Option' which was killed due to insurance company lobbying and grassroots political pressures from some very under-educated citizens. I liked it because it stood a chance at knocking the insurance companies down a peg or 57, it stood a chance at forcing hospital, private practice doctor, and med prices vastly lower, and it's something everyone could've used. One giant US healthcare company would eventually spell doom for every health insurance agency out there simply because of size. The sheer number of clients this thing would have would warrant HUGE discounts in all aspects of medicine, and ultimately cost the insurance companies who can't compete with it their customers, resulting in a big downward spiral for the agencies.

I didn't care for it because it meant more tax dollars out of my pocket, and because of things like 'death panels', etc, but then again I'm not overly old, and I hope I die before I get overly old, so at least that aspect of it is moot.

SO let's look at the next aspect of the Obamacare plan: aka "Putting the Pig on a Diet" - subsidized non-profit agencies take up the slack and offer low-cost healthcare plans to the masses. This one stands a chance at passing, but IMHO it's doomed to fail - simply because it's nowhere near massive enough to compete with the big insurance companies. You can't get a bunch of little guys to gang up on a bunch of big guys in the business world. It won't work simply because just as no two people think exactly alike, no two nonprofits do either - the difference might be slight, but it'll be enough that these will fail and insurance companies will win out.

The final option: Do nothing. Of all the action and spin we've heard from Washington since the Clinton years, it's obvious that if we do nothing at all we'll eventually sink. The rising costs of healthcare, health insurance, and medicines are STAGGERING, and add to it the baby boomer generation we now have to support (yep, they're all retiring). Doing nothing will leave us slaves to healthcare.

So what's the answer? I certainly don't know - but of the three offered by our Comrade President, the public option was the least of the three evils.
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby Harbinger » Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:23 am

I had this thurough and clearly written explaination of all of the incredible evils this bill contains and why healthcare costs so much now (government programs). I was listing and linking my sources when my browser crashed....here is a much abbreviated version.

Page 16: States that if you have insurance at the time of the bill becoming law and change, you will be required to take a similar plan. If that is not available, you will be required to take the gov option. Should you refuse, you will be taxed anyway, then fined (currently) $1,000.
• Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure.
• Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!
• Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)
• Page 42: The “Health Choices Commissioner” will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None.
• Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services. The claim is that no federal dollars will support this, but they already do.
• Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard. Don't believe this, your SS# was originally only for claiming SS benefits. Now you can go to jail for hiring someone without verifying theirs--or legally get a job without one.
• Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
• Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans.
• Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange. Much like they already must for Medicare, Medicaid, SS.
• Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans) Much like they already must for Medicare, Medicaid, SS.
• Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens
• Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.
• Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.
• Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No “judicial review” is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed.
• Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages. The AMA has a long history of using the Feds as a foil to route compeition.
• Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. Should they not already provide the approved government minimum of services.
• Page 126: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families as per government mandated minimum standards.
• Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll BR • Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll
• Page 167: Any individual who doesnt’ have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.
• Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them).
• Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records.
• Page 203: “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.” Yes, it really says that.
• Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid.
• Page 241: Doctors: no matter what speciality you have, you’ll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!)
• Page 253: Government sets value of doctors’ time, their professional judgment, etc.
• Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries.
• Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.
• Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing!
• Page 280: Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions.
• Page 298: Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, you will be penalized by the government.
• Page 317: Doctors: you are now prohibited for owning and investing in healthcare companies!
• Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval.
• Page 321: Hospital expansion hinges on “community” input: in other words, yet another payoff for ACORN.
• Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., rationing.
• Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc.
• Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.
• Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone).
• Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia?
• Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time.
• Page 425: Goverment provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.
• Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.
• Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient’s health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT.
• Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life.
• Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services.
• Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations.
• Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage.
• Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services.

Just as a reminder. Your Social Security Number was created solely to act as a designation for collecting benefits from it. Now it is illegal to hire someone without verifying their number, or hire someone without one. It's called mission creep. This plan affects all areas of life. It is a massive power grab at your life, liberty, and property.

DO NOT DRINK THE KOOLAIDE!!!!!
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby Panama Red » Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:53 pm

No "e" on the end of Koolaid. So with that in mind, here are some things to debunk whatever Harbinger listed...

I won't do it in point form, you can all read the page as well as I can and while reading it, make an adult like decision on what to believe...(just don't show up with a semi automatic please)... :pleasantry:


Get Fecking real would ya.... :cool3:

Excerpt:


• Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.



No. That's not what it says. What it says is, it will begin to phase such special needs individuals into the public health insurance system. IOW, those people who qualify for Medicaid and people under 65 who qualify for Medicare will be eligible for this system instead. Seriously, can wingnuts read at all?
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby rapier57 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:32 am

Thank you!
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby Harbinger » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:30 am

Are you reading the same HR 3200?! Ok, ok...we'll just do this the rhetorical way so you can understand that this entire bill is nothing but a power grab.

Obama keeps skrieching that this bill is only to provide "competition", and is funded through its user's deductibles like any 'ol company. They just don't gouge prices like the evil medical industry does. That Obama has made these claims is unrefutable. On that note, Obama whines that there isn't enough competition. Wasn't it the Federal Government that gave US pharmecutical companies non-competitive bids for all federally subsidized healthcare plans? Hrmmm....

Simple economics lesson:

~Medicare & Medicaid do not pay full price for services. They only pay 80-85% of what is actually owed. They cannot be litigated against for repairations.
~Medicare & Medicaid account for 65-70% of all spending in healthcare.
~All US citizens pay into Medicare & Medicaid, yet less than 25% of the population in 2007 is listed as having been insured primarily, or even partly by these two programs.

So let's look at this. You have an entire nation financing less than 25% of the population, that grants itself an indisputable discount of 20-25%, does not operate for profit....yet it's been running up decefits since it was created? Not only that, but in being the Federal Government, it has leveraged as many rules as possible to specifically benefit it over others.

Name one private company that can do this. The above illustrates precisely how there is no such thing as an unsuccessful government program, only underfunded ones. Should I even mention the Post Office? It has a government mandated monopoloy on letter mail, yet despite having no competition, having a tax-payer financed budget, and then force everyone in the world mailing a letter within the US to pay for the service (that its citizens already paid for), yet it's still BILLIONS in debt. This "Public Option" would continue to price fix, be financed by the very citizens and companies "competing" with it, and then operate at a massive defecit. When this goes bankrupt, think they'll pack it up and say, "Sorry guys, it was a good try." NO! IT WILL ALWAYS EXIST, FOREVER MORE.

How in the hell can that be confused with compeition in any manner? It can't. It is a mechanism to run everyone out of business so that it can consolidate control.

Since Medicare and Medicaid grant themselves 15-20% discounts, guess who has to make up for the loss? Insurers, hospitals, and producers. Insurers raise their rates, hospitals charge more than the service is worth, and producers charge more as well. They all do this to offset the direct loss they have no choice but to incur because of Uncle Sam. It's very much how like businesses don't pay taxes, they just raise their prices and the tax is passed directly to the consumer and citizen. On that note, should I even mention the oppressive taxes on private insurers already?

How about some basic market principles? Should we discuss how when prices vanish, that demand becomes theoretically infinite? Do I need to state that infinite supply does not exist? With no reason not to, we have hospitals flooded with people coming in for every cough, scrape, and bruise because it's covered by Uncle Sam. It's created an artificial demand that would not exist if people had to pay for it themselves. Kind of like....well, the federally induced housing boom. We see how well that turned out. Or how about cash for clunkers? People suddenly find it to be the right time to buy a new car instead of saving, or fixing their own when their neighbor has to pay for it. Need I go on?

The point is, Uncle Sam needs and wants more of your money to support itself. It can't bear it's own weight anymore, so it needs you to sacrifice even more than you already do. It accomplishes it through direct taxation, then by killing your alternatives, and ultimately cohercing you to pay for the program whether you use it or not. This bill is a liberty crushing, market warping, and tax gouging nightmare.

The Obama administration and the Democratic Congress have thus far supported and FURTHERED every nightmare Bush and the Republicans did. Obama and his peers have on many times repeatedly claimed that we need more debt to come out of debt. How does that Keynesian gem alone not awaken people that these people KNOW NOTHING?! Do not be fooled. We have a one party system that is bent on assuming as much control over your lives as possible. If you can't agree that there is something nefarious, any infrahuman with half a moment of pause should be able to indenitfy that Washington D.C. is incompitent beyond belief and not to be trusted on that basis alone. This bill only exemplifies this horrifying reality.
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby dinowuff » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:01 pm

OK It's time for my $0.02.

First and foremost This bill is change. It's wording, at times, loops around many definitions trying to be all encompassing without actually meaning anything. Remember HIPPA? The bill pretty much said "Don't care how but by [insert date] the health care industry will have rules in place to regulate and protect private medical information".

So about a year before the law came into effect, health care started running amok trying to regulate patient information.

Perhaps; but I doubt it, the government learned from its mistake and decided to define the rules within this bill.

Next Bill Clinton's health care bill was nothing like this one.

I have never seen a Bill become Law in that the Bill doesn't change at the last minute. I have seen Bills passed through congress where the copy the House and Senate approve is not the same wording the President signs. Communication Decency Act!

So what I'm saying is Left Wing, Right Wing, Up Wing, Down Wing... If the U.S. Government implements a National Health Care Plan, they will do it WRONG! The only people that will benefit from such Law, will be the lobbyists and politicians that hold financial interest in the health care system. Why would anyone think any different? Remember we're talking about the United States Government.

Before you go bashing me: What are the three biggest lies?

"I'll only stick the head of it in"
"I wont cum in your mouth"
"I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you"

Cash for Clunkers. A Government sponsored plan... Yea how's that working out for ya! Simple plan - yet dealerships aren't getting paid, clunkers aren't being smashed and people who cannot afford to buy a car didn't benefit anyway. This was a simple plan and the Government failed to implement it correctly.

Iraq War. Remember Bush standing on the deck of a U.S. Aircraft carrier with a BIG BANNER in the back ground that read "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"? Ah Well Saddam was still living in a hole in the ground and there are still troops in Iraq.

So our Government doesn't know when a war is over, can't run a simple billion dollar project and someone expects them to be able to overhaul the Health Care System?

Get a grip.

Finally. Bills are written in that they are open to interpretation. Get a copy of the thing http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3200/show, ask questions, see who's doing what, understand, interpret. And in the end know that what is implemented via Law will not be what you just read.

So long and thanks for all the Fish!
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Re: The NHS Vs the Republicans

Postby Panama Red » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:22 pm

Hmmm, must be pretty well off, if you can afford a 2 Billion dollar fine....just the tip of the iceberg if you ask me, and that is what Obama's trying to correct.. :cool3:



US drugmaker Pfizer has agreed to pay $2.3bn (£1.4bn) in the largest healthcare fraud settlement in the history of the Department of Justice.

Pfizer pleaded guilty to a criminal violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for misbranding drugs.

It illegally promoted four drugs and caused false claims to be submitted to government healthcare programmes for uses that were not medically accepted. (This is why the current system is bankrupt)

US officials said Pfizer would have to enter a corporate integrity agreement.

It will be subject to additional public scrutiny by requiring it to make "detailed disclosures" on its website.

Pfizer's general counsel said: "We regret certain actions taken in the past, but are proud of the action we've taken to strengthen our internal controls."

"The size and seriousness of this resolution, including the huge criminal fine, reflect the seriousness and scope of Pfizer's crimes," said Mike Loucks, acting US attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

The company faces a criminal fine of $1.195bn and a subsidiary company of Pfizer - Pharmacia & Upjohn - will forfeit $105m, totalling a criminal resolution of $1.3bn.

The remaining $1bn fine was levied to resolve the allegations under the civil False Claims Act.

Four drugs

The civil settlement also relates to allegations that Pfizer paid bribes to healthcare providers to induce them to prescribe four named drugs. These are Bextra, an anti-inflammatory drug, Geodon, an anti-psychotic drug, Zyvox, an antibiotic and Lyrica, an epilepsy treatment.

"Although these types of investigations are often long and complicated and require many resources to achieve positive results, the FBI will not be deterred from continuing to ensure that pharmaceutical companies conduct business in a lawful manner," said Kevin Perkins, FBI assistant director, Criminal Investigative Division.

The pharmaceutical firm said earlier this year that it would pay the fine "to put issues that diminish trust behind us".

Pfizer reported a 90% drop in profit to $268m in the fourth quarter of 2008, because of the $2.3bn legal settlement, indicating that the company was aware they would be paying this sum before the terms of the deal with the Department of Justice were announced.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8234533.stm
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