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Messages - quadz

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1
Politics / Re: Current Politics & History Only Thread
« on: Today at 09:14:31 AM »
Haunted, there is no “competition” in the health insurance industry. It’s all about statistics and probabilities in the general population. The actuaries track the population and diseases and they all use the same measures. If you become sick enough you will be dropped.

[…]

The insurance companies negotiate drug prices in secret with manufacturers and distributors. Those manufacturers also limit supply to keep prices inflated. That’s why epinephrine costs $600 per dose and insulin, who’s patents expired 60 years ago is upwards of $450 per month. The list price of insulin has gone from about $20 per vial in 1996, when Humalog entered the market, to about $275 per vial today. Where’s the competition?

The next time you go to buy your prescription medication ask the druggist what the insurance company pays above your co-pay, then ask what the retail price is. First answer: we can’t disclose that. Second answer: you probably can’t afford it.

I agree with these criticisms of the industry, but it continues to seem like a set of problems exist that could be addressed with targeted anititrust legislation.

As bad as the ACA turned out to be overall, one thing I appreciated about it was the attempt to include a Patient Bill of Rights: preventing being denied coverage due to a preexisting condition; etc.

The govt. has not shied away from targeting specific monopolistic practices in other industries. I mean, Microsoft was forced to offer a choice of web browsers in their OS. And were made to stop some shady bundling practices they were forcing on OEMs (something like that, would normally research but in a hurry.)

But we didn't say, look at this problem with Microsoft, I guess the solution is that the government should be making PC operating systems instead. Which is what seems strange to me about the healthcare issue. It's like hey here are some specific problems. How do we fix them? I dunno let's just nationalize the whole thing.

I read about a hospital or clinic a few years back that offered a straightforward pricing menu. Sounded like a great idea. You need this procedure done, here's what it will cost.



Saw this thread about Medicare this morning:


https://twitter.com/chadfelixg/status/1232308354770460672

Quote from: Chad Felix Greene
People on the left do know that you can't opt out of Medicare, you must pay a premium, you must buy additional policies to cover things like drug coverage, you have copays AND not only does it not cover everything, they have a 2,000 pg PDF of requirements, right?

Medicare rejects an absurd amount of claims sent to them, largely on technicalities.

'The code you gave was A-4538-3, the correct code is A-4538-3.2.'

And guess who is held responsible for the cost? YOU.

You are.

Medicare is both absolutely terrible AND compulsory.

So it baffles me that Democrats are pretending Medicare For All will suddenly be free of everything currently in place in Medicare and absolutely no one on their side asks any questions.

Did you know Medicare imposes fines on hospitals if a patient comes back to the hospital within 90 days of their visit?

Did you know if a patient stays sick or gets worse, Medicare fines the hospital?

In the $50k per patient range?

One reason behind the cost of healthcare.

Hospitals build teams dedicated to managing the insane Medicare system just to keep from getting fined and hopefully get paid.

Non-profits especially.

Medicare and Medicaid do little but insert TV sitcom levels of absurdity into the healthcare system for all involved.

Medicaid gives you free healthcare?

You get a newly issued card monthly which you must continually update with the hospital.

Many hospitals won't take it because Medicaid reimburses $0.10 to the $1.00 charged.

Medicaid patients are treated differently than private-pay.

I worked for state insurance. The worst conversation was 'I'm sorry, Sir, but you have to pay the Medicare premium. You can't keep your current insurance. I know you have to travel 50 miles to find a place who will consider taking Humana...'

Medicare is not a good thing.

I'd really like to see a legislative approach that targets specific problems with the industry, rather than adds an extra layer of new problems.


2
Politics / Re: Current Politics & History Only Thread
« on: February 24, 2020, 05:56:54 PM »
This seems like a non-sensational, probably mainly accurate rundown of what to expect:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fiu8yfTxHXo



4
/dev/random / Re: The Strange and Interesting Thread
« on: February 23, 2020, 12:25:21 PM »
"Daredevil 'Mad' Mike Hughes was killed in a rocket crash while trying to prove his Flat Earth theory."


https://twitter.com/justindchapman/status/1231336002175717376

(Parachute "deployed" immediately at launch, unfortunately.)

5
Politics / Re: Current Politics & History Only Thread
« on: February 23, 2020, 11:23:22 AM »
As far as this particular topic - hailing from the UK as I do, I see it less as demanding someone else's labour, more as changing the method of payment. The NHS works by taking its funding from taxation: everybody who makes use of it, pays for it, and when they make use of its services they've already essentially paid for what they receive, so they don't get hit with a big lump sum they can't afford. There are basic prescription charges but they're low and limited.

From what I've seen, UK politicians are clamoring about the NHS being underfunded, while expenditures have continued to grow:



I've noticed UK citizens praising the NHS in one breath (as in, "we're glad it exists") and then in the next breath talking about increasing wait times for life-critical operations, overworked doctors, rundown hospitals in parts of the country.

While I do want to see some form of universal coverage in the U.S., I do not want it to work like the NHS.

Currently I have excellent coverage through my employer - and it's a small business, fewer than 20 employees. Hospitals are clean, plenty of doctors to choose from, wait times practically nonexistent, certainly for anything urgent. (My wife waited 2 or 3 weeks for a corrective eye surgery, but there was no health risk associated with the delay.)

When I was self-employed, it was harder (and more expensive) to get coverage. But the fact that my current employer is such a small business and yet is able to provide top-notch health coverage, suggests to me there are parts of our strange system that nevertheless actually do work well.

What I mean is: I would like to see us move toward universal coverage without breaking the parts of our system that are producing good results. To do that, I think we would need to incentivize businesses to continue offering coverage, rather than have them stop providing it once a government alternative begins to exist. That is, I think the government plan ("public option") should be there to pick up the slack so that people who are self-employed can afford coverage, and people who are temporarily unemployed aren't left out either.

I'm willing to pay some amount more in taxes to achieve universal coverage through some form of "public option", but here is what I do not want:

  1. pay more in taxes
  2.  AND get worse care (like the NHS)

(I can accept #1 but not #2.)



The tax system in the UK also works very differently, mind: since the UK is a single state with no federal/state issues, there's a single set of tax brackets depending on income, and you don't do your own taxes: that's all taken care of automatically and you just get a statement each tax year. For 99% of the population, nobody either owes anything or gets any refunds.

For me, it's a hard stop at 49% (state + federal combined.)

In a system designed to value personal liberty, the government should not be taking more than half of one's yearly earnings. This would be prioritizing the collective over the individual, in a way that points in the direction of tyranny.

I'm fine with marginal tax rates, paying a higher percentage as I cross earning thresholds. But do the math at the end of the year and it better not cross 49% in total. If the government can't function taking HALF of one's earnings, then something is wrong in a way that I don't condone "throwing more money at the problem" to fix.

:ohlord:

6
Politics / Re: Current Politics & History Only Thread
« on: February 22, 2020, 06:29:32 PM »
tl;dr: I agree regulation would seem appropriate in your example scenario, but positive rights are incoherent.

P.S. I tend to write in declarative, closed statements. As opposed to more open-ended dialogue that would keep a conversation flowing. (Don't mind me. Always interested in more ideas.)


7
Politics / Re: Current Politics & History Only Thread
« on: February 21, 2020, 08:39:06 PM »
To put it another way: One possesses 100% of one's natural rights in isolation. Tribes or governments can protect these rights, or infringe upon them, but there's no way to add to them. Any legislation that purports to guarantee someone else's labor on your behalf is an entitlement, not a right.
Which begs the question: if the right to life and liberty are inalienable human rights

Again: You are already in possession of 100% of your right to life and liberty while living in isolation.

These rights concern what may not be taken away from you or may not be imposed on you.

By adding other people to the system, you do not acquire the right to demand someone labor on your behalf.


isn't it infringing on those rights to deny someone healthcare because they can't afford the exorbitant prices charged by corporations? Case in point, the 3000% price increase of insulin recently hiked up by a corporate shark just because he could.

I agree this is a regulatory issue, but it is not a rights issue — at least not in the direction implied.

Positive rights are incoherent, as they necessitate compelling others' labor, and such imagined “rights” evaporate as soon as that labor can’t (won’t) be provided.

Where your example scenario becomes a rights issue, is where regulation (to limit price gouging) will necessarily infringe on the seller's economic liberty. And, ironically, the seller is only enjoying a monopolistic position by taking advantage of intellectual property statutes which in turn necessarily limit competitors' liberties.

All of this remains coherent as an expression of negative rights. Through regulation we agree to limit (i.e. subtract from) natural rights in various ways to reign in game-theoretical exploits in the market. And this we agree is necessary to maximize freedom that would be lost in an unregulated system. But none of this requires a pretense that positive rights exist, which make unfulfillable promises in the form of unlimited demands on others labor in the service of said "rights."

tl;dr: I agree regulation would seem appropriate in your example scenario, but positive rights are incoherent.


8
Politics / Re: Current Politics & History Only Thread
« on: February 21, 2020, 02:09:09 PM »
The Woke Left finally pushed her LGBTOOFAR


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzYHBPTfXCI


9
Politics / Re: Current Politics & History Only Thread
« on: February 21, 2020, 01:38:29 AM »
I don’t know if he was being glib or ignorant but when he pronounces John Locke as John Loki he lost all credibility with me.

Sure, that was worth a chuckle. But we all know there's a nonzero probability of mispronouncing words one has only read.

(I once pronounced 'cacophony' as cack-oh-phony while making an earnest point to some of my peers, in my early 20s.) :D


The rest of the video was noise.

How do you mean?

For those unfamiliar with the distinction between negative rights and positive rights, the start-from-scratch attempt to pursue the distinction between natural rights and entitlements in this video should be (at least) illuminating.

He's certainly not wrong about the distinction. And noticing what freedoms exist as an individual in isolation (just you + resources) is a perfectly workable starting point for then contemplating what is changed when another human is added into the mix.

To put it another way: One possesses 100% of one's natural rights in isolation. Tribes or governments can protect these rights, or infringe upon them, but there's no way to add to them. Any legislation that purports to guarantee someone else's labor on your behalf is an entitlement, not a right.



10
Politics / Re: Current Politics & History Only Thread
« on: February 20, 2020, 08:18:40 PM »
Worthwhile vid clarifying natural rights vs. derived rights vs. entitlements.

⇒ What if you found yourself isolated on a desert island. What are your intrinsic natural rights. What happens when we add people?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBKyJ9jOwPs

1:10 - Natural Rights
2:55 - Derived Rights
4:00 - Property Rights
5:00 - Responsibility (to not prevent exercise of others' rights)
7:00 - Healthcare ("…is a human right?")

11
Politics / Re: Current Politics & History Only Thread
« on: February 20, 2020, 06:40:21 PM »
I didn't watch. I was busy watching... uh... what was I watching?
Midget Porn   :nana:

reminded of the following (late 80's)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY89VSH-vC0


12
Politics / Re: Current Politics & History Only Thread
« on: February 20, 2020, 11:22:10 AM »
(Context: Video is from someone who was a Bernie supporter in 2016)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBAT7djXaRU


13
Politics / Re: Current Politics & History Only Thread
« on: February 20, 2020, 11:15:17 AM »
Trump pardoning Blagoshithead just put himself on my fucking shit list.

Interesting to guess at Trump's motives. I presume it is setting the stage for Trump to modify Roger Stone's sentence.

(Should be noted that Blagojevich was not pardoned - he's still guilty. Trump commuted his sentence from 14 years to 8 years.)



14
Jokes / Re: Funny Pictures
« on: February 18, 2020, 12:19:06 PM »



15
Politics / Re: Current Politics & History Only Thread
« on: February 18, 2020, 10:52:24 AM »
I'd like to explore some ideas about marginal tax rates, liberty, and the illusion of "our legitimacy as being lead by competent, honorable people".

But I'm on a deadline so I'll just do another drive-by memeing for now.  ;)





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