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  1.    #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by solarus View Post

    3) Healthcare - there should be fall back provisions to ensure that the people that don't have access can get the care they need (yep you read that right - I will say to my conservative colleagues on the libertarian side of the party, not everything in life boils down to an economic transaction), but the health care bill that was passed does nothing to address the fundamental problem of healthcare in this country - the expense of the actual treatment, it only addressed or tried to, the cost of coverage.
    While I certainly post a lot of abrasive opinions on this forum, most people know that the only issue I am totally committed to is providing care to people that need it....regardless of the cost. I realize this is not a popular position, but that's the way I see it. It is immoral to allow people to be bankrupted or to die a preventable death because they were born poor, or if not, because their insurance company screwed them. While I agree with your characterization about the deficiencies of the reform bill (i generally favor a single-payor system, or a heavily controlled private system like Germany's) it does do several things that make it monumental, and that the republicans would never support or care about. Children can no longer be denied insurance for prior conditions. Do you have any idea how important that single item is to million of families? When fully implemented, anyone can not be denied insurance for pre-existing conditions. That's even more important. Keeping children on your insurance longer is important. There are bad things, too. The fact that we continue to involve private insurers in all this is just plain wasteful in my opinion. They provide nothing of value in the equation. But of course, there was no way to exclude them given the "special interests" of most republicans and many democrats. What it boils down to is that we have something, albeit flawed, that will increase the care to millions of people that currently do not have access. That meets my criteria for something valuable, courageous and important.
  2.    #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    If he's such "the cat's meow" to healthcare, why slip him in past the senate confirmation process like a thief in the night?

    This is a case of Obama "playing politics", not the right. Nice spin.
    You're kidding, right? They haven't supported anything he's tried to do. If Reagan were alive he wouldn't be approved by the republicans if Obama appointed him. If you really want to criticize Berwick, at least do it after reading something about him. He is a true opinion leader in American medicine, and totally non-partisan. All he cares about is the safe provision of health care, and that is clear to anyone who has been following his career for fifteen years. As was noted in the blog I posted, it's hard to criticize that, but I"m sure you'll find a way. Pure politics, pure and simple.
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    #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    That meets my criteria for something valuable, courageous and important.....
    .... and also known as wealth redistribution.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
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    #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    While I certainly post a lot of abrasive opinions on this forum, most people know that the only issue I am totally committed to is providing care to people that need it....regardless of the cost. I realize this is not a popular position, but that's the way I see it. It is immoral to allow people to be bankrupted or to die a preventable death because they were born poor, or if not, because their insurance company screwed them. While I agree with your characterization about the deficiencies of the reform bill (i generally favor a single-payor system, or a heavily controlled private system like Germany's) it does do several things that make it monumental, and that the republicans would never support or care about. Children can no longer be denied insurance for prior conditions. Do you have any idea how important that single item is to million of families? When fully implemented, anyone can not be denied insurance for pre-existing conditions. That's even more important. Keeping children on your insurance longer is important. There are bad things, too. The fact that we continue to involve private insurers in all this is just plain wasteful in my opinion. They provide nothing of value in the equation. But of course, there was no way to exclude them given the "special interests" of most republicans and many democrats. What it boils down to is that we have something, albeit flawed, that will increase the care to millions of people that currently do not have access. That meets my criteria for something valuable, courageous and important.
    Not to rehash the old health care thread again but... I just hope somewhere deep down you understand that Republicans/Conservatives (even Libertarians) want what you want: health care for everyone who needs it. The difference is who provides it and at what cost: both personal as well as economic. I think if we all give each other the benefit of the doubt that nobody wants to see children go without care, everyone will be better off.
  5.    #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    Not to rehash the old health care thread again but... I just hope somewhere deep down you understand that Republicans/Conservatives (even Libertarians) want what you want: health care for everyone who needs it. The difference is who provides it and at what cost: both personal as well as economic. I think if we all give each other the benefit of the doubt that nobody wants to see children go without care, everyone will be better off.

    Fine. Show me the plan. We have a basic disagreement here. From what I've seen, those who yell about "wealth redistribution" are by definition saying they really don't care about those that have less access. As Berwick noted once when he was talking about the British Health Service, providing care for all by definition requires redistribution of wealth. I have seen nothing from republicans that suggests they actually care, whether it was attempting to do away with SCHIP, or blocking any kind of expenses for Medicaid. Show me any plan that provides that coverage, right now, and I would be glad to consider supporting it....but you won't find one, because it doesn't exist.
  6. #26  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    If he's such "the cat's meow" to healthcare, why slip him in past the senate confirmation process like a thief in the night?

    This is a case of Obama "playing politics", not the right. Nice spin.
    I had a big long thing written, but it wasn't big and long enough and It kept creeping as i tried to make a broader point but i need to get back to my studies. so i erased it and decided to keep it short and incomplete.

    I will say this In his defense.

    I have had the fortune to debated and discussed quality improvement for healtchare in person with Dr Berwick, and have taken courses with his IHI cofoudner Paul Batalden. I believe he is very competent, and only political as it aids in his personal mission of improving healthcare for patients.

    I think it is not appropriate to put him in a conservative or liberal box, because ultimately these are not what matters.

    geesh, I feel like that can be misinterpreted so many ways.

    you may be able to view something in our simple bi-partisan ideology, but it isn't necessarily what drives it, and ultimately you may be missing the point entirely by doing so.
  7.    #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by windzilla View Post
    I had a big long thing written, but it wasn't big and long enough and It kept creeping as i tried to make a broader point but i need to get back to my studies. so i erased it and decided to keep it short and incomplete.

    I will say this In his defense.

    I have had the fortune to debated and discussed quality improvement for healtchare in person with Dr Berwick, and have taken courses with his IHI cofoudner Paul Batalden. I believe he is very competent, and only political as it aids in his personal mission of improving healthcare for patients.

    I think it is not appropriate to put him in a conservative or liberal box, because ultimately these are not what matters.

    geesh, I feel like that can be misinterpreted so many ways.

    you may be able to view something in our simple bi-partisan ideology, but it isn't necessarily what drives it, and ultimately you may be missing the point entirely by doing so.
    I have also worked with Don Berwick, and use the IHI Open School for instructional purposes to train students. You are exactly correct in saying he is apolitical. That would not, however, permit him to be approved by the republicans because he was proposed by Obama. Just more of the same.
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    #28  
    Quote Originally Posted by EVOandBACK View Post
    There will always be the "leachers" in any society. It is a fact of life. The phrase "and the rich get richer" is true. The top 1% or so controls a large majority of the wealth in our country. The wealth distribution is only get more polarized and eventually it will be the downfall of us if we dont control it. You cant have 50% of America that cant make a living on blue-collar jobs and then have people with an absolutely ridiculous amount of money that they'll never reasonably need. Im not talking about anyone in the 10's of millions area. I'm talking about 100's of millions. These people pay a very small percentage of their total wealth in taxes, with a lot of them pay NONE. This is not right.

    In your mind, these "leachers" are living a good life. Do you honestly believe that? If someone is on Medicare, their standard of living is terrible. Noone wants to be that person, they fall into that life as a mistake or lack of knowledge. These people aren't getting a "free ride"..they're living in the dumps and we're giving them the most basic means for a pitiful existence. thats the fact.
    I get where you're coming from and I agree with what you're saying to a point. The "leachers" you're describing, the one's that clearly need help, are not the issue. The issue is those people, for example, who seem to able to afford cable TV, a cellphone on top of a home phone, a car or access to decent public transportation yet somehow are eligible for food stamps. I'm not blaming the person here - you can't blame someone in that position for taking what's offered to them, but you have to ask why its offered in the first place to people who could rejig their budget and quite easily afford their food costs. Welfare reform went a decent way to giving people access to the services/money they needed (a good thing) but only for a certain amount of time (a good thing also) thus providing incentive to improve one's position. Why the same can't be done with other government programs escapes rationality.

    On taxes, you neglected the fact that many many people (probably an overwhelming majority) who earn hundreds an millions of dollars a year re-invest that money into the economy to further their own wealth which in turn creates economic activity that leads to jobs, increased wealth for workers, and opportunities for advancement. I'm not sure where you get the idea these people don't pay taxes either. The top 20% pay 80% of the income taxes so something is being done right. Of course there are loop holes that are used and abused by the ultra wealthy but none that would reduce tax liability to $0. Tax avoidance is a big issue, but again the tax structure (ex capital gains, fees etc) provides avenues for the government to get their money one way or another. I would argue better enforcement of tax law and simplifying the tax code itself is the best way to ensure everyone pays their "fair share". By increasing taxes you will only force those people already avoiding taxes to find more and more creative ways to do so.
  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    Based on my observations.....I would argue that neither side of the political spectrum in the USA knows anything about delivering good health care to the entire population.
    Quote Originally Posted by tcrunner View Post
    To keep this on-track, I'll disregard the broad-brushed politics involved in your response to focus on the healthcare issue:

    Insurance companies, their trolling lobbyists, Baggers' movement, their Republican flying monkeys, and online whisper campaigns extolling the evils of what they falsely feared would be socialized medicine were the responsible parties for the removal of a viable Public Option. There is no other economically sustainable way to provide universal coverage.



    Agreement on the definition of the problem is the issue. To listen to the Insurance Propagandists and their sock-puppets, there is no problem. According to them, 17% of the US GDP is just as healthy and economically sustainable as can be. That is essentially all that was heard from Republicans. That is a lie and nothing more!

    Republicans could have presented opinions from healthcare economists to illustrate their political position. Did they? Absolutely not! Wonder why? Because the only other thing unsustainable about healthcare reform were the Republicans'/Freedomworks, Inc's deceptions. To them, it's about the 'greater good' of returning power to the same Republicans who very recently brought us economic catastrophe, world-wide wars without end, torture, FEAR, and internal divisiveness unlike anything we've ever seen. Nixon and Hoover would be be in awe of their work.


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  10. #30  
    Quote Originally Posted by EVOandBACK View Post
    I'm talking about 100's of millions. These people pay a very small percentage of their total wealth in taxes, with a lot of them pay NONE. This is not right.
    You do realize that this wealth is tied up in assets that aren't taxable until they're sold, right?

    In your mind, these "leachers" are living a good life. Do you honestly believe that? If someone is on Medicare, their standard of living is terrible. Noone wants to be that person, they fall into that life as a mistake or lack of knowledge. These people aren't getting a "free ride"..they're living in the dumps and we're giving them the most basic means for a pitiful existence. thats the fact.
    That depends on who you talk to. A relative of mine is a social worker in Louisiana and another works for the SSA. Some of their "clients" are as you describe, but a large number are devoted to scamming the system for whatever freebies they can get while the "baby daddy" pays for luxuries (ex the client's vehicles are usually much newer than the staff's, kids with $200+ shoes being fed by WIC, etc.). They've said it can be quite depressing (but sometimes rewarding) when most of the day is spent trying to deter con artists rather than helping people. Or trying in vain to explain to someone that working plus getting a reduced WIC subsidy gives them more resources to care for their kids than not working and getting the full allotment.
  11. solarus's Avatar
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    #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by tcrunner View Post
    To keep this on-track, I'll disregard the broad-brushed politics involved in your response to focus on the healthcare issue:

    Insurance companies, their trolling lobbyists, Baggers' movement, their Republican flying monkeys, and online whisper campaigns extolling the evils of what they falsely feared would be socialized medicine were the responsible parties for the removal of a viable Public Option. There is no other economically sustainable way to provide universal coverage.



    Agreement on the definition of the problem is the issue. To listen to the Insurance Propagandists and their sock-puppets, there is no problem. According to them, 17% of the US GDP is just as healthy and economically sustainable as can be. That is essentially all that was heard from Republicans. That is a lie and nothing more!

    Republicans could have presented opinions from healthcare economists to illustrate their political position. Did they? Absolutely not! Wonder why? Because the only other thing unsustainable about healthcare reform were the Republicans'/Freedomworks, Inc's deceptions. To them, it's about the 'greater good' of returning power to the same Republicans who very recently brought us economic catastrophe, world-wide wars without end, torture, FEAR, and internal divisiveness unlike anything we've ever seen. Nixon and Hoover would be be in awe of their work.
    You won't get much argument by me on on the negative influence of lobbyists, be it the insurance industry or a union.

    But you are simply WRONG on the fact that the Republicans did not put forward ideas for healthcare reform. If you didn't like them that's one thing, but they did exist. They had solutions & ideas on the GOP website for ages, they discussed the solutions in the press, online, etc...They did a lousy job of promoting their ideas and they didn't frame them into one comprehensive plan, probably in some part due to the fact the the insurance lobby was pushing them in other directions as you pointed out.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    While I certainly post a lot of abrasive opinions on this forum, most people know that the only issue I am totally committed to is providing care to people that need it....regardless of the cost. I realize this is not a popular position, but that's the way I see it. It is immoral to allow people to be bankrupted or to die a preventable death because they were born poor, or if not, because their insurance company screwed them. While I agree with your characterization about the deficiencies of the reform bill (i generally favor a single-payor system, or a heavily controlled private system like Germany's) it does do several things that make it monumental, and that the republicans would never support or care about. Children can no longer be denied insurance for prior conditions. Do you have any idea how important that single item is to million of families? When fully implemented, anyone can not be denied insurance for pre-existing conditions. That's even more important. Keeping children on your insurance longer is important. There are bad things, too. The fact that we continue to involve private insurers in all this is just plain wasteful in my opinion. They provide nothing of value in the equation. But of course, there was no way to exclude them given the "special interests" of most republicans and many democrats. What it boils down to is that we have something, albeit flawed, that will increase the care to millions of people that currently do not have access. That meets my criteria for something valuable, courageous and important.
    davidra - I admire your passion about the healthcare issue, even if we do disagree on the details of how to achieve the goals you and I desire - I am certainly in agreement with you on a what should be provided and what is immoral. For example - No-one has yet to explain to me how a child can be denied healthcare. The usual libertarian argument of personal responsibility doesn't work - its not the kid's fault his parents can't afford or won't buy insurance (and let's be honest its usually the former). And admittedly I lean much more towards "healthcare as a right" rather than I do "healthcare is a responsibility" but I have a lot of difficulty reconciling that belief with the complete lack of efficiency of the US government - no matter who is in control, so a hybrid system like France's or a tightly regulated system like Germany's would probably be a reasonable compromise for me.
    Last edited by solarus; 07/09/2010 at 03:20 PM.
  12. #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by tcrunner View Post
    Spare us the self-pleasuring humor. K? Cool!
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    #33  
    Quote Originally Posted by windzilla View Post
    I had a big long thing written, but it wasn't big and long enough and It kept creeping as i tried to make a broader point but i need to get back to my studies. so i erased it and decided to keep it short and incomplete.

    I will say this In his defense.

    I have had the fortune to debated and discussed quality improvement for healtchare in person with Dr Berwick, and have taken courses with his IHI cofoudner Paul Batalden. I believe he is very competent, and only political as it aids in his personal mission of improving healthcare for patients.

    I think it is not appropriate to put him in a conservative or liberal box, because ultimately these are not what matters.

    geesh, I feel like that can be misinterpreted so many ways.

    you may be able to view something in our simple bi-partisan ideology, but it isn't necessarily what drives it, and ultimately you may be missing the point entirely by doing so.
    There are very good reasons for vetting appointees through Senate confirmation hearings. You're missing the larger point that slipping him past *IS* partisaned policking.... the very thing you seem to be claiming is being avoided.

    And while I think it's cool that you had the opportunity to personally hold your own confirmation hearing with the good doctor, I'll stick with the Senate process if you don't mind.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  14. #34  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    There are very good reasons for vetting appointees through Senate confirmation hearings. You're missing the larger point that slipping him past *IS* partisaned policking.... the very thing you seem to be claiming is being avoided.

    And while I think it's cool that you had the opportunity to personally hold your own confirmation hearing with the good doctor, I'll stick with the Senate process if you don't mind.
    perhaps I should have been c
    more clear, sorry for the confusion.

    I have no issues with vetting people through appropriate channels. If this is supposed to go through the senate than it should, I don't know much about process and precedent in that regard.

    I am also not commenting on the sliping past part in my discussion of partisainshop I was talking about the individual individual in questions political allegiance, or rather underlying lack the of.

    I have no doubt that the politicians in the whitehouse and senate will continue to play politics and exercise partisainship where possible, this appointment not withstanding.

    ps I also think it's "cool" I have been able to personally discus/debate healthcare with him. I called my mom, she agrees. However, don't take my defence of his apolitical motivations as endorsment of all he believes, or that he is the perfect candidate for the job.
    Last edited by windzilla; 07/09/2010 at 04:08 PM.
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    #35  
    Quote Originally Posted by tcrunner View Post
    Eating off the edges around the issue of Healthcare reform is hardly engaging on the issue. You and I both know that. Tort Reform (Republicans' crowning achievement) being at the top of their list? Who knew that it would be Republicans who would champion that a person's life has a maximum value of $250,000?
    And eating around the edges of the Republican ideas for reform is no better. Just three more of the issues wanted by the Republicans (you already got one in your reply ) but completely shot down by the Democrats are listed below. BTW - The maximum value isn't about the value of a life its about reducing unnecessary & frivolous lawsuits that occur all to often. But like you I'm actually against the limits on pay when there is a loss of life or severe disability caused. A "loser pays" solution is a much better way to stop frivolous suits.

    1) let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines.
    2) allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do.
    3) give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs. (yeah I know kinda vague isn't it )

    There are a whole lot of other ideas put forward - some bad, some good, in several bills too. Listed here, like them or not, they are ideas and they exist(ed).

    Empowering Patients First Act:
    Republican Study Committee (RSC) - The Caucus of House Conservatives

    Improving Health Care for All Americans Act:
    U.S. Congressman John Shadegg : Serving the 3rd District of Arizona

    Medical Rights & Reform Act:
    Centrist Leaders Unveil Medical Rights and Reform Act | Congressman Mark Kirk ‚€“ 10th District, Illinois

    Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act:
    Press Release | Congressman Phil Gingrey, M.D.

    Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2009:
    U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson : Serving the 3rd District of Texas

    Promoting Health and Preventing Chronic Disease through Prevention and Wellness Programs for Employees, Communities, and Individuals Act of 2009:
    Bill Summary & Status - 111th Congress (2009 - 2010) - H.R.3468 - THOMAS (Library of Congress)

    Improved Employee Access to Health Insurance Act of 2009:
    Bill Summary & Status - 111th Congress (2009 - 2010) - H.R.3821 - THOMAS (Library of Congress)

    Health Insurance Access for Young Workers and College Students Act of 2009:
    Bill Summary & Status - 111th Congress (2009 - 2010) - H.R.3887 - THOMAS (Library of Congress)

    I post all this not to argue the merits of each - just to illustrate that the ideas presented by the Republicans didn't simply "munch around the edges". I would even point out none addressed a key issue for me - providing a safety net for the uninsured and poor.
    Last edited by solarus; 07/09/2010 at 04:12 PM.
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    #36  
    Excellent post solarus.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  17. #37  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    Excellent post solarus.
    I concur


    It has lots of links to bills and ideas and such.

    I'm interested in healthcare because I believe good health helps people to use there liberty freely.

    I have spent the last few years of my life in the ivory towers, and out of them, learning and thinking about this stuff.

    All I can say for certain is that I have more to gain from listening to new ideas and differing oppinions, than I do from doggmatically asserting my own.
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    #38  
    Quote Originally Posted by tcrunner View Post
    The maximum value of one's life is always academic - until it's yours.
    I didn't say I disagreed - as I said..."But like you I'm actually against the limits on pay when there is a loss of life or severe disability caused. A "loser pays" solution is a much better way to stop frivolous suits."


    Although it's not what I intended, you're defining what I meant perfectly. Republicans never put forward a comprehensive plan of their own to "compete" with what the Dem's developed. What Republicans did do, as you're showing here, is to take individual bites off the edges. None of which, collectively or individually, solves spiraling costs while providing universal coverage.

    Remember the blank sheets of paper held high in the hands of Republicans during the SOTU address? The same blank sheets of paper which were supposed to represent their comprehensive plan for healthcare reform? Yeah. Me too.
    No point in discussing the political theatrics of blank paper - both parties are quite expert at that kind of mindless distracting crap.

    First, the ideas presented, while not part of one overall bill, were quite encompassing in their reach and would help reduce the cost of access to healthcare. However, the lack of universal coverage seems to be the key issue you are really getting at.

    And to address that, of course an idea for universal coverage wasn't put forward by the Republicans. Most Republicans in Congress, and a good deal of Americans too, view healthcare as a responsibility of the individual not the state. Why would they put forward a plan for universal coverage if to them the issue is the cost of access to healthcare and the cost of healthcare itself, which btw most of their plans were targeted towards. I'm not arguing that's right or wrong, just stating a very logical reason why no universal coverage plan was put forward.

    You as a believer in universal coverage can never, quite understandably so I might add, be satisfied with the Republican ideas put forward. There is nothing wrong with that - that's just the way you view the issue of healthcare. I can respect that - I myself am at odds with most of my fellow conservatives on the issue of healthcare - I'm not for a universal single payer system but I do think there is a role for a comprehensive government backed system to cover the un-insurable and the poor, but only the uninsurable and "poor". And I have no problem with some of my taxes paying for it
    Last edited by solarus; 07/09/2010 at 05:06 PM.
  19.    #39  
    Quote Originally Posted by solarus View Post
    1) let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines.
    2) allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do.
    3) give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs. (yeah I know kinda vague isn't it )

    There are a whole lot of other ideas put forward - some bad, some good, in several bills too. Listed here, like them or not, they are ideas and they exist(ed).
    .............
    I post all this not to argue the merits of each - just to illustrate that the ideas presented by the Republicans didn't simply "munch around the edges". I would even point out none addressed a key issue for me - providing a safety net for the uninsured and poor.
    #2 was nixed by the republicans and a few dems, by the way.

    Essentially every republican plan for health care revolves around "making health insurance affordable for all". There is no evidence that ANY of these things will do that, and if they do, it will take years. All of them involved throwing money into for-profit big insurance, and required little regulation of the industry. Take tort reform, which was implemented in Texas and had no effect whatsoever on health care costs. I want action now, because people are sick and can't get care RIGHT NOW. Show me just one of all those plans that will immediately provide coverage for children with pre-existing conditions. You can't, because none of them will. And that right there is all I need to embrace the health care reform bill.
  20.    #40  
    Quote Originally Posted by solarus View Post
    For example - No-one has yet to explain to me how a child can be denied healthcare. The usual libertarian argument of personal responsibility doesn't work - its not the kid's fault his parents can't afford or won't buy insurance (and let's be honest its usually the former). And admittedly I lean much more towards "healthcare as a right" rather than I do "healthcare is a responsibility" but I have a lot of difficulty reconciling that belief with the complete lack of efficiency of the US government - no matter who is in control, so a hybrid system like France's or a tightly regulated system like Germany's would probably be a reasonable compromise for me.
    But in fact kids are denied care every day, even when their families have Medicaid, because many pediatricians won't take it. If they don't, they're even more in trouble. Spend a little time in a free clinic and see how many of those people are "scamming the system for freebies". I have no problem with a hybrid system. I have no problem with any system that provides care promptly to those that need it, and I've said that many times. The truth is, though, that I think we are unlikely to be able to afford that unless we have a single payor system. I'd be glad to be wrong about that, but that's the way it looks to me.
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