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Suicrat

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#1  Edited By Suicrat

Limiting your liability as a prerequisite for doing business with people is not an infringement of other people's "rights". My employer's rights are not being infringed if I refuse to perform specific unsafe tasks, and the "rights" of consumers to consume are not being infringed if the legal department of a company decides to put their products/services behind a no-class-action wall.

If I was digitally selling goods to millions of anonymous users I would stipulate the exact same term. No one goes into business to sacrifice their profits to help ambulance chasing lawyers get rich.

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#2  Edited By Suicrat

Am I the only one who watched episode 3 of Breaking Bad a second time while waititng for the Bombcast?

I can't stand this waiting weekly for episodes shit.

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#3  Edited By Suicrat

@TheHumanDove: I live here, duder. I've seen the provincial governments come with cap in hand to Ottawa to get transfer funding to bridge the gap on their healthcare shortfalls, I've seen premiers and finance ministers delivering speeches talking about how healthcare delivery in their respective provinces is going to change. And the issue at hand is the Affordable Care Act, which has very little in common with the way the healthcare industry is run in Canada.

And what exactly am I incorrect about? That 26 000 000 more people will be eligible for Medicaid over the next four years? That is an objective of this law touted by its authors, not a warning issued by its opponents. Am I wrong that the Democratic Party-controlled legislatures (the House and Senate prior to the 2010 elections and the Senate thereafter) haven't passed a budget during the Obama administration? That is a matter of public record. Am I wrong that no legislator would even bother to try to get re-elected after raising taxes to the level required by the increased liabilities that states and the federal government have set out for themselves? Again, if I was wrong about these things, then why would these liabilities need to be channeled in such diffuse and obscure ways as set out in the body text of the Affordable Care Act itself?

Please tell me what it is that I'm wrong about, and not that I'm just wrong.

I wish people would actually read at least some of the content of the Affordable Care Act, and at least some of the justifications, precedents, and principles cited by Justice Roberts in his decision opinion, instead of just telling the people who have read it that they're just wrong.

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#4  Edited By Suicrat
@TheHumanDove

@Suicrat said:

@Contrarian: I urge you to consider the fact that current taxpayers are not paying the full brunt of these programs. Future generations are because treasuries are borrowing to make up the shortfall.

This fact is being widely overlooked but I feel it is the most egregious flaw in the logic of "universal" health care.

Nope. You clearly don't know how our taxes work. We're not dooming our future generations with our universal health care at all. It's self contained as it is, actually.

@TheHumanDove

So you honestly think any elected member of any legislative body is going to vote for a budget that fully funds the expansion of a provision in the ACA to expand Medicaid eligibility by 26 000 000 people? So that's why not even the democrat-controlled Senate has passed a budget during the Obama administration?

Also, telling you straight up, you don't have universal health care, you have an obligation to buy insurance. Even the most dyed-in-the-wool lefties are acknowledging that.
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#5  Edited By Suicrat

Yes, this is an absolutely beautiful defacement of a random Wikipedia page! Keep up the good work, Giant Bomb community!

If what was being asserted was somehow inaccurate, or was not properly sourced, I might have a problem with it, but since it is accurate, and it is properly sourced, it's great!

(And yeah, 39 hours later, it's still up!)

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#6  Edited By Suicrat

@Contrarian: I urge you to consider the fact that current taxpayers are not paying the full brunt of these programs. Future generations are because treasuries are borrowing to make up the shortfall.

This fact is being widely overlooked but I feel it is the most egregious flaw in the logic of "universal" health care.

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#7  Edited By Suicrat

@Brodehouse said:

@Suicrat I understand your points, and absolutely, private has the incentive to challenge each other on price and that could keep prices low. But that's not the nature of publicly traded corporations, they demand growth by their very nature and a health corporation only has two options; higher prices or more sick people. By nature they have a captive audience; anyone who needs health care to prevent crippling pain will pay their last dollar for it, and private health has no incentive to charge them any less. Public health has a democratic incentive to keep people pleased with their care (same as any service). I think it mostly comes down to the central stumbling block of whether one considers health a luxury, or a public necessity. I consider it the latter, as I said, it's a moral obligation of a sovereign. I'm not for private health care the same way I'm not for private police or military; I expect those to be my right based on citizenship, just as paying my taxes is my responsibility. Maybe I can understand the other viewpoint, but that's just not how I was raised, and that's not the culture I'd like to live in (Luckily for everyone involved, all western democracies practice freedom of movement, Libertarians are free to emigrate to Rapture if it so pleases them).

What you call a democratic incentive is a pretty fancy euphemism for public choice. But what happens is, the most effective planners and builders are not who win elections, it's the most effective orators who win elections. And their ability to make promises on other people's dime represents the moral hazard of spending the money of people whom he is not administrating. He is not administrating future generations, so he sees no harm in taxing them. The future taxpayers of a jurisdiction aren't disenfranchised, they never got to be enfranchised in the first place.

On the other hand, in a market more free than that found in either the U.S. or Canada, providers that choose one of the two options you lay out are choosing a lower marketshare, lower revenues, lower profits, lower shareholder return, fewer investors, and therefore, failure.

Listen to the arguments Steve Jobs makes for privatizing education and see how he equates it to the automobile industry at the time in North America (which, as he suggested, was enormously competitive, enormously lucrative, and enormously beneficial to people who otherwise would not have been able to afford automobiles.)

Loading Video...

Now, admittedly, in this video, the system he suggests would not be that different from the libertarian mainstay "voucher system", but the process of competition driving down the cost of education and driving up the quality of service is reflective in other industries that are far more unfettered than education is, for example, the technology industry. Where faster, more user-friendly products are constantly being outmatched by new products and services, and prices are continually falling.

This notion that it's the "moral obligation of a sovereign" imbues coercive power with far too much responsibility to be managed effectively. The "sovereign", as you put it, may be "obligated" to be the nominal provider of the services you deem "public necessities", but the way he goes about producing that "public necessity" is from the coercively taken fund of current (and in the modern age, mostly future) taxpayers. This moral obligation is merely being passed on to other people, not embraced by the so-called sovereign.

When theory mismatches practice, you get the state our world is in. It's a nice idea that some overarching paternal figure provides our most essential needs, but that fantasy is betrayed by the reality that all values require economic and intellectual input, and those elements have to come from somewhere.

The difference between healthcare and the services offered by police and military forces is they are not in the realm of coercion. Police forces and Militaries are forces, their product is the application of force. Their practices need to be adjudicated by objective law, and met with thorough oversight and scrutiny, but they are part of the core functions of a government, which is in the loosest sense of the word, a coercive institution. The notion that things like healthcare and education need to be woven into the role played by coercive institutions is utterly bizarre, when closely examined.

The give and take you describe of cause: I pay my taxes, and effect: and in return I get an ever-eroding quality of healthcare is on its face corrupt. You are obligated to uphold your end of the social contract (lest you go to jail for tax evasion), but the service provider is not obligated to do anything more than write laws and spend your money. Your opportunity to sue for breach of contract only comes during election years, but even then your rights to publicly petition are severely curtailed, leading to the inevitable high success rate of incumbent candidates, who can stack the jury in their favour by buying votes with the voters' money promising ever greater, unaffordable services.

If conscientious people like yourself could see that the rhetoric of social contract theory is simply not matched, simply not upheld by the other side of the bargaining table, we'd have a louder and more unified class with which to sue for the continual breach of said social contract. Instead we have an ever-increasing number of voices trying to add to the list of proposed obligations (childcare, broadband internet, food, a guaranteed income) without regard for what is expected of them.

Ugh, not the Bioshock fallacy again. Even a cursory observation of the social and political institutions in Rapture would render a decidedly illiberal verdict against that imaginary place. There was no freedom of movement, there was no free market, there was no freedom of thought; there was just a crazy man who valued his own contributions to industry. Just because you're an electrical engineer doesn't mean you're a capitalist.

(And by the way, that's what I am, a capitalist, not a libertarian.)

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#8  Edited By Suicrat

@imsh_pl: Never said it was a good thing. My point is hyperbole won't help people understand the important case we're both trying to make. The money's not just being stolen from you, is what I'm trying to say.

(Though I don't at all doubt you're aware of that.)

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#9  Edited By Suicrat

@imsh_pl said:

@c0l0nelp0c0rn1 said:

@imsh_pl: You're thinking of Communism, socialism is giving from one who is rich to one who is poor.

Think of it like this. Socialism is taking away 1 value away from Mr. 7 to give to Mr. 5 so that they both become Mr. 6. Communism takes Mr. 7 and Mr. 5 and makes them the people's 12. The problem with governmental socialism, in my opinion, is that it alienates people from any good work that is being done. Throwing money at those less fortunate then ourselves is not going to make anyone more fortunate then they already are, you've got to spend time and money.

I doesn't matter what good is done with the $10 the state has stolen from me, it is still theft.

Dude, they're not gonna tax all the money needed to pay or this thing, they're going to borrow most of it.

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#10  Edited By Suicrat

@Brodehouse said:

@Suicrat I find country living to be an extravagance, rural living you have things that cost less (housing!) and things that cost more (everything else). Move to the city, creeps. This is where we keep the jobs and the services. I've actually managed to live in all three throughout my life (almost in ten year segments), and I've made my choice. We'll have to either increase tax, or decrease quality of services, that's the nature of all book-balancing. It would be nice to get more productivity out of every dollar spent, and I'm sure they'll look at that. But I still think its a moral right of a sovereign to provide health care. Our police expenditures are apparently going up 50% in the next five years; but I don't care. That's doing the right thing for everyone. Every time we buy attack helicopters to sit around and provide nothing I get angry, we could buy a two dozen police officers in every major city in the country for one of those. But I guess that comes down to personal opinion. (Winnipeg, Hihi)

You can't just tell farmers to abandon their lands for the sake of healthcare. Someone's gotta grow some god damn food!

That people should just be expected to accept a smaller amount of purchasing power and decreased quality of care (because it's never one or the other, it's always both. Especially when you look at Ontario's numbers) as the price for "free" healthcare seems absurd and contradictory to me. Why not dismantle the CHA in a sustainable way that incentivizes insurers into the basic services market, decreases tax burdens, and eventually increases quality! The reason why we get diminishing returns on these monopolized industries (healthcare, education, urban transit) is because there is no external pressure caused by the possibility that some other player could steal their marketshare. With single-payer arrangements for these services, providers have a captive market and a guaranteed income flow. There is absolutely no incentive, nor is there any mechanism for catalyzing, improvement in quality or efficiency. Except, of course, in the form of low-resolution, blunt instruments like elections. Which is why the Conservatives have an unlimited majority in federal parliament (which by no means is a good thing.)

Companies compete ruthlessly to offer a wide array or products and services to the working class and poor in our society, and they don't do so out of charity, they do it because it's profitable! And why is it profitable? Because there's a vast pool of potential customers! There's no reason why this same principle of ever-decreasing prices in the markets that do have some semblance of competition can't apply to health insurance.

The reason why the notion of a health insurance market is so terrifying to people is because they look at the states and say "I sure as hell wouldn't want that!" (Except when you're dying of cancer, or you need immediate surgery which has been rationed and bottle-necked in other countries) and the American health insurance market is not by any means an open or free one. Consumers are legally forbidden from purchasing care across state lines, insurance companies are given price floors and ceilings in return for accepting impositions on how and to whom they sell their services, and unemployed and self-employed people have a hard time affording care because prices have an upward-kept pressure on them by group buyers who are incentivized into the market by payroll tax deductions. Yeah, I don't blame any Canadian for not wanting American healthcare, but we don't have it all that much better now, and as you've acknowledged it will continue to erode going forward.