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Threatening the merc's way of life
June 30, 2009 12:32 PM   Subscribe


 
It's an interesting way to recast the healthcare debate, for people who have not thought about the issue in those terms.

However, we do already have private security companies that supplement and in some cases, on privately-owned land, virtually replace public policing. To stretch the analogy further, there's nothing stopping Canadians from purchasing private healthcare, even with a single-payer plan.

Nonetheless, Obama has already said single-payer is a non-starter with him. So the taxpayers are still going to be subsidizing the failed capitalist approach, with half the funds going to pay for shuffling paperwork.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:45 PM on June 30, 2009


To stretch the analogy further, there's nothing stopping Canadians from purchasing private healthcare, even with a single-payer plan.

It's against the law for doctors to charge for insured services, I believe. At least in Ontario.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:50 PM on June 30, 2009


It's against the law for doctors to charge for insured services, I believe. At least in Ontario.

Charge higher than the insured rate, I think you mean?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:52 PM on June 30, 2009


It's against the law to both charge and bill OHIP in general - you do one or the other. But the market for private services is so small almost no one does it.
posted by GuyZero at 12:54 PM on June 30, 2009


Charge higher than the insured rate, I think you mean?

Charge the insured person (as opposed to the provincial insurance) is what I meant. A quick google couldn't find rules for doctors, but this is the rule for provinces designed to encourage provinces to forbid doctors from extra billing (basically, if the patient pays $20, that's $20 less that the federal government will give the province):

Extra-billing (section 18)

Under the CHA, extra-billing is defined as the billing for an insured health service rendered to an insured person by a medical practitioner or a dentist (i.e., a surgical-dentist providing insured health services in a hospital setting) in an amount in addition to any amount paid or to be paid for that service by the health care insurance plan of a province or territory. For example, if a physician were to charge patients any amount for an office visit that is insured by the provincial or territorial health insurance plan, the amount charged would constitute extra-billing. Extra-billing is seen as a barrier or impediment for people seeking medical care and is therefore, contrary to the accessibility criterion.
User Charges (section 19)

The CHA defines user charges as any charge for an insured health service other than extra-billing that is permitted by a provincial or territorial health care insurance plan and is not payable by the plan. For example, if patients were charged a facility fee for receiving an insured service at a hospital or clinic, the fee would be considered a user charge. User charges are not permitted under the Act because as is extra-billing, they constitute a barrier or impediment to access.


Of course, provinces seem to lack the balls to enforce their own laws in many cases.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:58 PM on June 30, 2009


I'm sorry, but when you wrote, "It's against the law for doctors to charge for insured services" I took that to mean that private doctors can't bill for services they perform. Which is not the case, clearly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:01 PM on June 30, 2009


You know, I can't read anything on salon anymore. I have never seen so many pop-ups before.
posted by parmanparman at 1:04 PM on June 30, 2009


On one hand, I'd love to drop this analogy on my ultra-conservative in-laws.
On the other hand, I'm afraid all it would do is make them question the necessity of universal police protection. Seriously.
posted by lekvar at 1:04 PM on June 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


No, private doctors obviously bill, but they bill the province.

There are a very small number of companies running private clinics that bill patients (either for insured services, or bill the province for insured services but have yearly membership fees required in order to see doctors in those clinics). These are of questionable legality but the provinces look the other way.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:04 PM on June 30, 2009


Also relevant is the current debate on Fire Care
posted by heathkit at 1:11 PM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and youtube comments are rarely worth viewing, but I figured I should record the comment from the above video for posterity.
In the next video, please consider covering recission:
She's on fire, and the fireman arrives.
Everything is fine, she's covered, but the fireman decides to go online and check her records.
He finds out she once had sunburn as a 4-year-old, but didn't report it on her initial Fire Care application.
The fireman calls in to the station and the private Fire Chief cancels her coverage.
The fireman departs as she disappears in a cloud of smoke.
The practice of rescission doesn't get nearly enough attention in this debate.
posted by heathkit at 1:13 PM on June 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Actually, privatized policing makes more sense than privatized healthcare. For one, I can provide my own policing if it comes to the worst, or even get my neighbors to join a mutual protection scheme. Homemade weapons have a greater utility than a homemade CAT scanner, and the idea of a "neighborhood watch" sounds far more appealing than that of "neighborhood surgery". Also, and this may come as a shocker, but whilst I know when I'm being mugged by a mugger, I don't know when I'm being mugged by a doctor.

Of course, they're both insanely stupid ideas once we leave the realm of neoliberal fanboyism, which this article points out clearly enough.
posted by Sova at 1:19 PM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


The analogy in the linked piece is somewhat useful because it does give Americans the flavour of what health insurance is like for Canadians and citizens of other countries with socialized medicine. Which is: like the police, it's just always there. In America, you don't think about whether you'll have police protection when you consider switching jobs; in Canada, if you switch, or for that matter quit, you job, the issue of health insurance never enters your consciousness.

Now, that being said, just like the police, you bitch about health care in Canada. Quite a lot. And it's always being pointed out how much better Europe and England does it. But there's something very reassuring about knowing that, if the worst happens, you'll be taken care of without question.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 1:22 PM on June 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


ou bitch about health care in Canada. Quite a lot.

Fuck that crazy shit. That never happens in America.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:28 PM on June 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm afraid all it would do is make them question the necessity of universal police protection.

So who's got universal police protection? I live in a rich neighborhood, and get pretty good police protection. About six miles away, in the ghetto, they get crappy police protection (I mean, on the scale of 911 calls being answered in 2 days, if at all). The residents live in terror of crime. In between, there's a little town where the cops are spectacularly corrupt, and really good at hauling people out of their cars and terrorizing them, and operating a lucrative speed trap. We have little towns where the dominant business is the racetrack... hmmm. Wonder what kind of cops they have there? May I ask, do you live in a big city? Are there parts of that city where you're afraid to go because of a fear of crime? I'll bet there. In fact, I'll bet there are really, really big parts of town that you're afraid to walk in by day. Why should that be? Don't we have universal police protection?
posted by Faze at 1:30 PM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually Sova, you may only know you're being mugged by a mugger when if you regain conciousness afterwards.

But I've already made that point.

The danger in using this logic with certain people is that there are those who will cheerfully argue that the police are an amred gang, despite the fact that the police will almost never shoot you just because they don't like the color of your shirt.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:32 PM on June 30, 2009


Kind of a strained analogy.

I used to live in a town that didn't have any police. If you called 911 and said you were being attacked, they probably would have dispatched a State Trooper from the barracks 10 or 15 miles down the Interstate, but it was widely understood that all they were going to do was maybe take some photos of your corpse and investigate, not actually protect you from anything. There was no expectation of that. Once every few years, if somebody complained a whole lot, the town would put in a request and they'd have somebody run radar for a day, or tag a few drunks coming out of the local bar. But that was the extent of the "policing" that went on.

At least in the sense that people in urban areas think of it, the police just didn't exist. (And this was a source of amusement when people would occasionally move in from other areas.) And it's not like there was a gaping demand for their services; life went on just fine. The bank hired a private-security company after they got knocked over by crackheads a few times, and the 7-Eleven installed bulletproof glass after the same, but there wasn't ever a public outcry for a professional police force.

(They did have a partly-professional/partly-volunteer fire and EMS service, which got a little public funding but also charged non-low-income residents for services rendered. I.e. they'd send you a bill for fire and EMS calls to your house, although they had a "membership" that included up to 3 calls a year that you could buy for $50 or so, and just out of good taste I don't think they charged for domestic structural fires.)

Anyway, where I'm going is that there are lots of ways to do policing and fire/EMS service besides the model they seem to be alluding to in the article (which I would call the "big-city urban model"). What works well for some people in one area might work poorly for other people in a different area. There are widely varying expectations on government services, and this is why a lot of them are handled at a local level where those expectations can be met with a minimum of intermediate bureaucracy.

If you want to go down the road of using law enforcement as a model for healthcare policy, that's fine, but I don't think it supports a universal single-payer system at the Federal level at all.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:35 PM on June 30, 2009


"I'll bet there are really, really big parts of town that you're afraid to walk in by day. Why should that be? Don't we have universal police protection?"

Oh Faze, I love it when you generalize from your crazed paranoia in order to argue against straw men.
posted by klangklangston at 1:42 PM on June 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Of course, this article doesn't really make sense unless there's some big groundswell of progressive support I haven't heard about for nationalizing hospitals, doctor's practices, ambulatory surgical centers, and drug companies, converting 17% of our economy to government control in one fell swoop.

Ironically, a system of mercenaries, all operating under their own rules and accountable to their own companies and not the government--but instead of being paid by individuals gets paid in a lump sum by the government--is pretty much the analogue of what the progressive groups in the U.S. are arguing for right now. I'm not saying having the government pay mercenaries to protect people isn't a better solution than having only the rich pay mercenaries but... well, I don't think that's quite the point the author was trying to make.

Analogy fail.
posted by iminurmefi at 1:44 PM on June 30, 2009


You don't really have a right to police protection.
posted by vilthuril at 1:50 PM on June 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


@Kadin2048 How many Murders were there in this town?
posted by NiteMayr at 2:16 PM on June 30, 2009


You guys do your best to figure this one out. We'll wait over here.

(Universal health care is the only thing a government can do for you. )
posted by sporb at 2:21 PM on June 30, 2009


I liked the comments on the article's web page more.
posted by peppito at 2:37 PM on June 30, 2009


In Michael Moore's documentary SiCKO the point is made that police, fire, postal and library services, as well as Social Security checks are "socialized." Why shouldn't health care be provided as well?
posted by ericb at 2:47 PM on June 30, 2009


NiteMayr: "@Kadin2048 How many Murders were there in this town?"

I didn't know of any off the top of my head; I actually looked it up out of curiosity, and there was apparently 1 murder case filed since 1995. Not sure what the story was, though.

In 2005 the most common crimes reported were vandalism (46 reports), burglary/B&E (28 reports), and simple assault (15 reports).

Basically what 'policing' amounts to is showing up after something happens and filing paperwork so that the people involved can conduct insurance claims, obtain restraining orders, or sue each other.

In the time that I was there, at least one person was shot and killed while breaking into a house, but the homeowner/shooter wasn't charged with anything so I don't know if it would come up in any statistics.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:47 PM on June 30, 2009


One factoid I haven't seen brought up is the difference in costs between police services and healthcare services.

The city of Fresno is paying $150M per year for a city of 500,000, or $300 per person per year.

One advil can cost that much at a hospital, LOL.
posted by @troy at 2:52 PM on June 30, 2009


Regarding the discussion here about Canada's ban on private insurance/billing, you'll be interested in Chaoulli v. Quebec (2005). Looking at this book's introduction to it:

6 provinces (Quebec, Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, P.E.I.) ban private health insurance [for services covered by the public plan, of course]. Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Ontario prohibit private doctors from charging more than they would receive publicly. At least as of this book.

(for what it's worth, the Supreme Court discussion was ugly as all hell in this one, split 3-3 for and against, with the 7th avoiding ruling on the Canadian Charter - this decision has not had a major impact, contrary to a lot of predictions by journalists at the time).

This article is interesting, but it's argument by weak analogy. Health care is not really the same as police protection. What I think the proper analogue of the police are, is emergency intake. You show up at the hospital in dire straits. And as far as I know, under your health care system, hospitals are required to treat someone who needs it. They already are the cops.

Health care is like the entire legal system. The cops fall into it, as do the jails, the DA's offices, and the courts themselves (which, going back to my earlier topic, also has the role of enforcing private contracts). In the U.S., as in Canada, as probably in most European nations, the rich have always and will always do better, on both sides of the analogy, than the poor. It's a matter of both reducing that gap, and raising the bar.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:56 PM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why shouldn't health care be provided as well?

Like I said above, because it's expensive. Now, if my understanding of economics is correct, mandatory private health insurance, on the model of mandatory car insurance, would be an economical free lunch since in the end the premiums would come out of rents and house payments and not personal consumption . . . assuming my theories are correct, of course :)
posted by @troy at 3:00 PM on June 30, 2009


hospitals are required to treat someone who needs it

only life-threatening issues, and often only in theory not fact.

Fat lot of good that does in maintaining a healthy and productive populace.
posted by @troy at 3:01 PM on June 30, 2009


only life-threatening issues, and often only in theory not fact.

What slander. As if American hospitals were letting people die on the streets or in their waiting rooms. The indigent in America get pretty good care, pretty far up the line. Ask any orthopod who's on call in the emergency department the night a homeless person comes in with a broken leg. That's your patient -- at no profit to you -- until that leg is healed. American healthcare workers shouldn't stand for this kind of talk, which, for some reason, has become CW with virtually no supporting evidence.

Fat lot of good that does in maintaining a healthy and productive populace.

America does have a comparatively healthy and productive populace. I think the operative word in the above sentence is "fat." How about we only have socialized medicine only after we have universal compliance with preventive standards of weight, exercise, alcohol consumption, protected sex, and potato chip consumption?
posted by Faze at 3:54 PM on June 30, 2009


June 20, 2009 -- CBS News/New York Times Poll: 72% of Americans Support a Government-sponsored Health Care Plan. Poll [PDF].

April 6, 2009 -- CBS News/New York Times Poll: Majority Would Pay Higher Taxes For Universal Health Care. Poll [PDF].
posted by ericb at 3:59 PM on June 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


"Basically what 'policing' amounts to is showing up after something happens and filing paperwork so that the people involved can conduct insurance claims, obtain restraining orders, or sue each other."

Yeah, totally. Just like 'nursing,' sit around all day waiting for people to die off so you can file the paperwork so that the surviving family can conduct insurance claims, sue the hospital, etc. Nothing proactive.

Actually, doctors do pretty much work for the insurance and pharmaceutical companies if we're going to hypersimplify things.

As far as I'm concerned the big magilla is prevention vs. treatment.
The sole meaningful difference between private health care and public health care is that without profit the medical profession can focus on prevention since there's no incentive to have people sick.
In fact the goal - as with policing (in principle if not always in practice) - is to essentially put yourself out of business by preventing as much negative result (sickness or crime) as possible.
A bad department would have a lot of crime. A bad hospital, medical region - however it would work - would have a lot of sick people. People would bitch because what the hell are their taxes going for?
The results would be obvious - given data was collected.
I don't know how it breaks down now, how many people get sick - etc., but there's no downside to having a lot of sick folks paying for treatment. So why spend a nickel on prevention?
So too a private police force - if we're going with the analogy - would never conduct a sting. They would, at the least, engage in rescission and refuse to respond to, say, a shootout. They wouldn't want merely inflated crime figures, they would want the crime figures as high as possible to justify doing as much busy work as they possibly can to milk the system. Oh, we're 'researching' crime. We're looking into the criminal mind. We've got studies. Blah blah blah. Anything instead of reducing incidents.

Sure, there's a lot of police bureaucracy, but the ancillary benefits of the justice system are enormous. Insurance claims, restraining orders, lawsuits, all carry the force implicit in execution. You get a court order or a summons, you don't just say "Fuck you" because you know if you ignore it someone with a side arm is going to come knock on your door.

So too - with a public health care system its the side benefits that make it worthwhile. Like healthy diet, more exercise, communicable disease control, preventive maternal and child health, chronic disease prevention so there's less money spent on drugs with side effects, plenty more I'm not thinking of - but it's a broader systemic change. And why the hell wouldn't we want that? Philosophically speaking? Oh, yeah, shitty burgers and eyes glued to t.v. advertising.

The same assholes who are howling that teachers need to be accountable and should be paid based only on merit (success of their students) go crazy when it's suggested that doctors and health care professionals be held accountable and get paid based on merit (the health of their patients).
Prevention in profit loss and continual quality improvement of product in business? - F'ing A! That's how you maximize profits and organizational efficiency!

Prevention in health loss and continual quality improvement of the public's health in the health care delivery system? That's crazy talk you socialist bastard!

I appreciate a well-defined framework for decision making as much as the next guy, but profit seeking is not conducive to medical decision making. And it's ALWAYS been that way. Hell, I don't get how that's not in line with conservative thinking (other than whatever tf 'conservative' is supposed to mean is lost about where whatever tf 'liberal' is supposed to mean). The right to life has always trumped the right to property and someone would happily sacrifice their house, car, all their stuff to be healthy again. Doesn't give anyone the right to f'ing take it from them. It is, by it's nature, a hobson's choice for someone who is ill.
We don't let sick people make decisions, why we should let them make financial decisions at such a vulnerable point is nothing short of predation.
Which is, again, only where, as far as I'm concerned, the police analogy holds (although for me it's the inverse), and it's the big magilla here.
You don't leave people to the wolves for profit.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:02 PM on June 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


mandatory private health insurance

Since 2007, we've had it here in Massachusetts.
posted by ericb at 4:03 PM on June 30, 2009


(also I thought the article sucked balls)
posted by Smedleyman at 4:04 PM on June 30, 2009


Actually, doctors do pretty much work for the insurance and pharmaceutical companies if we're going to hypersimplify things.

Brings to mind the PBS Frontline documentary profiling my own primary care physician: Doctor Solomon's Dilemma.
posted by ericb at 4:10 PM on June 30, 2009


What slander. As if American hospitals were letting people die on the streets or in their waiting rooms. The indigent in America get pretty good care, pretty far up the line. Ask any orthopod who's on call in the emergency department the night a homeless person comes in with a broken leg. That's your patient -- at no profit to you -- until that leg is healed.

vs.

"Nobody will see our patients"

Look, my mom is technically indigent by Federal Poverty Level standards and what I've seen of her struggles to find first-world medical care on Medi-Cal is saddening. I don't think I have to use my imagination for what life is like for people who don't even qualify for Medicare.
posted by @troy at 4:39 PM on June 30, 2009


The danger in using this logic with certain people is that there are those who will cheerfully argue that the police are an amred gang, despite the fact that the police will almost never shoot you just because they don't like the color of your shirt.

Neither will actual gang members. That is they will almost never shoot you just because of the color of your shirt. They might shoot you if you are in competition with them over some criminal racket, but I don't think they run around shooting people just because of their clothing very often. It obviously happens sometimes.
posted by delmoi at 4:43 PM on June 30, 2009


"What slander. As if American hospitals were letting people die on the streets or in their waiting rooms. The indigent in America get pretty good care, pretty far up the line."

Bullshit. In this country, income decides your level of care. Why? Why do you have to have money and/or a job to rate decent medical care? I say we have a moral duty to take care of our citizens regardless of income or job status. That is where WE START the debate on how to best overhaul health care in this country. For profit medical care makes no logical sense.
posted by UseyurBrain at 5:14 PM on June 30, 2009


Yeah, totally. Just like 'nursing,' sit around all day waiting for people to die off so you can file the paperwork so that the surviving family can conduct insurance claims, sue the hospital, etc. Nothing proactive.

Calm down. Reread what I wrote; I was talking about policing within the context of one community, that I happened to live in, where the expectations of the community with regard to that service were very minimal.

I'm well aware that the model of that town would not scale well, and I'm certainly not suggesting it. It wouldn't work two towns over where the population density is just slightly higher and the demographics are different, much less in a large city. However it works just fine in that town.

My point is that if you're using law enforcement as the example of a "universal public good" and want to model health care after it, you should be aware that many communities take a different attitude to law enforcement than the article seems to take on premise.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:21 PM on June 30, 2009


Actually Sova, you may only know you're being mugged by a mugger when if you regain conciousness afterwards.

Yeah, that happens to be murdery and not muggery.

But of course, my serious point was that there's an information/knowledge difference between policing and health care. It's usually fairly obvious what amounts to criminal activity, and the difference between what police can do and what private citizens can do isn't really so massive. For health care though, most people don't know a great deal about how much health care they need, how it works, how much it costs, or how to provide it for themselves. Asking them to make an informed choice about the health care they need - or whether to forgo insurance completely - is far less feasible than making a similar choice about policing.
posted by Sova at 6:28 PM on June 30, 2009


What slander. As if American hospitals were letting people die on the streets or in their waiting rooms.

Yeah, what bullshit. If I had acute abdominal pain and was uninsured, I wouldn't go to my hospital. I probably wouldn't go there anyway.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:42 PM on June 30, 2009


May I ask, do you live in a big city? Are there parts of that city where you're afraid to go because of a fear of crime? I'll bet there. In fact, I'll bet there are really, really big parts of town that you're afraid to walk in by day.

Yes and no. Downtown Eastside in Vancouver is widely considered a hellhole, but I don't fear walking through the area, not even at night. Unpleasant, but not dangerous. Guess I'm just rational enough to understand the statistical fact that death/serious injury by auto accidents are far more likely than getting caught in a gang shootout, despite the media's best efforts to hype our city's descent into a drug war zone.

I would not go anywhere near a city with neighborhoods where crime is realistically (statistically) a bigger concern than auto accidents. As rare as that actually happens, it reeks of a sociopolitical culture I want no part with.
posted by fatehunter at 7:09 PM on June 30, 2009


Not to rub it in, but my wife was able to leave our house at 11:45 a.m. on a Monday, walk to the doctor's office without an appointment, get tested and confirm that she was pregnant and get the appropriate prescription, go to the bank and replace her defective debit card, and still show up at work for 1:00pm, without spending a dime, no bills, no receipts, just a form at the beginning. Canadian health care FTW!

In other news, I'm going to be a father!
posted by furtive at 7:35 PM on June 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


In fact, I'll bet there are really, really big parts of town that you're afraid to walk in by day. Why should that be? Don't we have universal police protection?

We do, it's just not perfect. Like everything is not perfect, including any government health care program. But that is hardly justification for not doing it at all. The current system is irreparably broken.
posted by IvoShandor at 7:45 PM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


The city of Fresno is paying $150M per year for a city of 500,000, or $300 per person per year.

One advil can cost that much at a hospital, LOL.


In the USA, yes. See: insurance companies.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:42 PM on June 30, 2009


One of my students had me proofread a paper she wrote on the healthcare situation in America. She ended it with a summary to the effect that the US Congress will fix the situation in 2009.

I laughed and laughed (and cried, because my stepmother is in a terrible situation because of the current way healthcare is provided in America).
posted by moonbiter at 3:15 AM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


"My point is that if you're using law enforcement as the example of a "universal public good" and want to model health care after it, you should be aware that many communities take a different attitude to law enforcement than the article seems to take on premise."

Fair enough. Point taken. Although more of my irritation was directed at the article (in some ways parallel to your point), so poor communication on my part, sorry.

I mean "brass knuckles"?

That (and congratulations to furtive) aside - it's not enough for a health care system to heal someone with a broken leg when they need it.
We already pay massive public costs in health care for the "freedom" of using it privately. Silly. Now, I'm not with the liberal position that health care is a right per se. But I will support the argument - from the other perspective - that it should not be privileged. There are indeed two separate sets of rules governing the wealthy and the poor when it comes to health care.

That's unacceptable on general principles. But practically speaking - I'm paying for Joe Poorguy's heart attack emergency room visit and hospital stay because of years and years of lack of care and prevention for Joe Poorguy's health.

Or, from the inverse, in the society we live in, a guy like me can have muscle mass. You don't see a lot of 3rd world gym rats and athletes (Kenya runners excepted - although their diet is exceptional - low cal, high carb, high vege - wouldn't work to build muscle mass tho).
So - did I build that over a few weeks? No. Took time, effort and education.
So too - how does someone get 300lbs of blubber? How do they push themselves to deteriorating health? Lack of education perhaps. But it does still take time and effort, albeit in a negative direction.
The trade off then is we allow these people to destroy themselves in a barren landscape and place the responsibility for it on their shoulders.
That's mitigated only by helping them when they have gross and obvious and, importantly, immediately life threatening health problems.
Day to day? Nada.
Never understood why though. If we're going to say someone is a fat bastard, responsible for giving themselves a heart attack, why then don't we blame them for being careless and breaking their leg and, similarly, refuse to treat them?
If we're going to say insurance companies have to take the hit for such a guy - why then don't *I* get big benefit checks for being healthy as an ox, training every day and eating healthy?
Common denominator - money. It's about profit, not health.
It's not like people can't eat right and get exercise. We just don't make systemic allowances for it.
"Socialized" medicine will lead to preventive standards of weight, exercise, etc. etc. Or at least it should.

Funny. I say "take the profit out of war" and most people agree with me. Because it's obvious that something other than our national interests are served if industrial and defense contractors can lobby and influence policy enough to monopolize contracts and set pace for foreign policy. Nationalized defense industry? Good idea Smed.
Say "take the profit out of sickness" though and you're a nut.

Maybe pestilence is a better horseman than the other three.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:44 AM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


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