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Old 01-28-2008, 05:48 PM   #1
Nimrod's Son
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Default Universal Healthcare is Wonderful and Will Ensure Better Health care for everyone

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/global/ma...dex/nhs127.xml

Don't treat the old and unhealthy, say doctors


By Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 27/01/2008

Have your say Read comments
Doctors are calling for NHS treatment to be withheld from patients who are too old or who lead unhealthy lives.
Have your say: Should lifestyle play a role in deciding who gets NHS treatment?
Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations, according to doctors, with most saying the health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone.

1.7 billion is spent treating diseases caused by smoking, such as lung cancer and emphysema

Fertility treatment and "social" abortions are also on the list of procedures that many doctors say should not be funded by the state.
The findings of a survey conducted by Doctor magazine sparked a fierce row last night, with the British Medical Association and campaign groups describing the recommendations from family and hospital doctors as "out*rageous" and "disgraceful".
About one in 10 hospitals already deny some surgery to obese patients and smokers, with restrictions most common in hospitals battling debt.
Managers defend the policies because of the higher risk of complications on the operating table for unfit patients. But critics believe that patients are being denied care simply to save money.

The Government announced plans last week to offer fat people cash incentives to diet and exercise as part of a desperate strategy to steer Britain off a course that will otherwise see half the population dangerously overweight by 2050.
Obesity costs the British taxpayer 7 billion a year. Overweight people are more likely to contract diabetes, cancer and heart disease, and to require replacement joints or stomach-stapling operations.
Meanwhile, 1.7 billion is spent treating diseases caused by smoking, such as lung cancer, bronchitis and emphysema, with a similar sum spent by the NHS on alcohol problems. Cases of cirrhosis have tripled over the past decade.
Among the survey of 870 family and hospital doctors, almost 60 per cent said the NHS could not provide full healthcare to everyone and that some individuals should pay for services.
One in three said that elderly patients should not be given free treatment if it were unlikely to do them good for long. Half thought that smokers should be denied a heart bypass, while a quarter believed that the obese should be denied hip replacements.
Tony Calland, chairman of the BMA's ethics committee, said it would be "outrageous" to limit care on age grounds. Age Concern called the doctors' views "disgraceful".
Gordon Brown promised this month that a new NHS constitution would set out people's "responsibilities" as well as their rights, a move interpreted as meaning restric*tions on patients who bring health problems on themselves. The only sanction threatened so far, however, is to send patients to the bottom of the waiting list if they miss appointments.
The survey found that medical professionals wanted to go much further in denying care to patients who do not look after their bodies.
Ninety-four per cent said that an alcoholic who refused to stop drinking should not be allowed a liver transplant, while one in five said taxpayers should not pay for "social abortions" and fertility treatment.
Paul Mason, a GP in Portland, Dorset, said there were good clinical reasons for denying surgery to some patients. "The issue is: how much responsibility do people take for their health?" he said.
"If an alcoholic is going to drink themselves to death then that is really sad, but if he gets the liver transplant that is denied to someone else who could have got the chance of life then that is a tragedy." He said the case of George Best, who drank himself to death in 2005, three years after a liver transplant, had damaged the argument that drinkers deserved a second chance.
However, Roger Williams, who carried out the 2002 transplant on the former footballer, said doctors could never be sure if an alcoholic would return to drinking, although most would expect a detailed psychological assessment of patients, who would be required to abstain for six months before surgery.
Prof Williams said: "Less than five per cent of alcoholics who have a transplant return to serious drinking. George was one of them. It is actually a pretty successful rate. I think the judgment these doctors are making is nothing to do with the clinical reasons for limiting such operations and purely a moral decision."
Katherine Murphy, from the Patients' Association, said it would be wrong to deny treatment because of a "lifestyle" factor. "The decision taken by the doctor has to be the best clinical one, and it has to be taken individually. It is morally wrong to deny care on any other grounds," she said.
Responding to the survey's findings on the treatment of the elderly, Dr Calland, of the BMA, said: "If a patient of 90 needs a hip operation they should get one. Yes, they might peg out any time, but it's not our job to play God."

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:50 PM   #2
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Whatev. Every system has its detractors. So some doctors have an opinion. Doesn't change the fact that NHS is still a hundred times better than the clusterfuck of human suffering and corporate corruption that we have here in the States.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:52 PM   #3
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Don't American health insurance companies already do this

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by suncrashesdown View Post
Whatev. Every system has its detractors. So some doctors have an opinion. Doesn't change the fact that NHS is still a hundred times better than the clusterfuck of human suffering and corporate corruption that we have here in the States.
No it isn't. You're living in a fantasy world.

And what do you mean every system has detractors? We're talking about forcing people to pay via taxes for a system that only protects the very healthy.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:53 PM   #5
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Don't American health insurance companies already do this
They can charge higher premiums. That isn't the same as having doctors deny coverage.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:58 PM   #6
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it still amounts to not being treated.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:02 PM   #7
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Default Just my two cents.

We have universal healthcare, and it "works". Of course the system has its flaws, the health insurance funds are short of money most of the time and people sometimes have to wait a bit before they can undergo surgeries which aren't immediately necessary, but hey - that's still better than a system where so many people don't even wanna go to the doctor because they simply can't afford it.
In short: The US way of big insurance companies virtually deciding over life and death is inhuman.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:02 PM   #8
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No it isn't. You're living in a fantasy world.

And what do you mean every system has detractors? We're talking about forcing people to pay via taxes for a system that only protects the very healthy.
Well first of all, most of the shit you bolded are just opinions of some doctors. But secondly, and most importantly, they said that 1 in 10 hospitals deny SOME treatments to obese and smoking patients. Seems like a much better way to ration treatment that someone's ability to pay. I mean, my health insurance is great and paid in full by my employer, and that's great for me, but a lot of people I know who take care of themselves way better than I do aren't that lucky.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:04 PM   #9
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it still amounts to not being treated.
How? Because some plans charge a higher premium on the insurance? All insurance companies do this. Homeowners, auto, you name it.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:06 PM   #10
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Well first of all, most of the shit you bolded are just opinions of some doctors. But secondly, and most importantly, they said that 1 in 10 hospitals deny SOME treatments to obese and smoking patients. Seems like a much better way to ration treatment that someone's ability to pay. I mean, my health insurance is great and paid in full by my employer, and that's great for me, but a lot of people I know who take care of themselves way better than I do aren't that lucky.
That's their fault. People want health coverage but aren't willing to pay for it. Everyone who whines about lack of coverage could easily make it a priority in their lives and give up some vice or expense that waste their money on and get their own personal health coverage. I know a number of people who have done so, and really it doesn't have to be more complex than giving up cigarettes or sodas or going to movies.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:18 PM   #11
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That's their fault. People want health coverage but aren't willing to pay for it. Everyone who whines about lack of coverage could easily make it a priority in their lives and give up some vice or expense that waste their money on and get their own personal health coverage. I know a number of people who have done so, and really it doesn't have to be more complex than giving up cigarettes or sodas or going to movies.
Well let me say that I have been through times where I have had to forgo my vices and the finer things in life just to make rent, and buying my own health insurance was still out of the question because it was cost prohibitive.

I'd say the "fantasy world" is the one where we're expecting mega-corporations to be benevolent enough to not try to, for example, fuck me out of coverage if I need major surgery and need to exercise my insurance policy.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:31 PM   #12
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I'd say the "fantasy world" is the one where we're expecting mega-corporations to be benevolent enough to not try to, for example, fuck me out of coverage if I need major surgery and need to exercise my insurance policy.
Because as we all know, no one in America ever has surgery.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:51 PM   #13
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Wow.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:05 PM   #14
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Wow.
isn't it just?

i am continually amazed and alarmed at the idea that there is no public health care system in the united states

i just take it for granted that part of the taxes i contribute are used to maintain a public health system here. if something unexpected and horrible were to happen, i have peace of mind that i won't be battling insurance companies and banks to get treatment.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:14 PM   #15
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The only argument I am able to understand is that they don't want higher taxes [duh], but everything else is beyond me.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:31 PM   #16
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The only argument I am able to understand is that they don't want higher taxes [duh], but everything else is beyond me.
absolutely with you on this one

i think the best way forward is to have a mix of public/private options - so keep your public system in place and allow universal access, especially for chronic-acute emergency. then allow for private insurances and services to establish themselves and take the burden off the public system by focusing on para-medical services (dental, optical, physical therapy) and elective procedures

the government can reward those who take out private insurance by offering a rebate based on premium/level of plan and age. thereby the government contribution is seen as delivering a saving to the group of people who are paying for their own insurances blah blah blah as well as reducing the burden on the public system

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:37 PM   #17
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i just take it for granted that part of the taxes i contribute are used to maintain a public health system here. if something unexpected and horrible were to happen, i have peace of mind that i won't be battling insurance companies and banks to get treatment.
I'd rather battle an insurance company than the government. At least when your insurance company fucks you over, you can always switch to another one.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:49 PM   #18
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Yeah, but why would you have to battle the government when it's paying for everything, anyway?

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:57 PM   #19
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and for those that cannot afford to play the company game? what becomes of them?

biggest group we are talking about here is the elderly

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:58 PM   #20
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Yeah, but why would you have to battle the government when it's paying for everything, anyway?
he does not understand this concept

if you're fucked up - under a public health system you will get treatment

the time taken to receive the treatment is the biggest point of failure in a public system

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:04 PM   #21
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Yeah, but why would you have to battle the government when it's paying for everything, anyway?
Who says they're paying for everything? Trying to get the US government to pay for the health care related things they're already obligated to pay for (Medicare and things of that nature) is like pulling teeth as it is, what with all the ridiculous amount of red tape and all. I don't see how the government is going to somehow get less tight fisted and easier to deal with when they're in charge of everything. I think it's really naive to think that the government is going to be any more willing to write a big check for a medically questionable procedure than an insurance company would be.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:08 PM   #22
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Yeah, but why would you have to battle the government when it's paying for everything, anyway?
Did you read the article? They're trying to NOT pay for everyone in England.

Also it's not just the taxes, it's that anything we let the government run is shit. Everything. You want hospitals that work like the DMV, by all means, let the government run them.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:10 PM   #23
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Who says they're paying for everything? Trying to get the US government to pay for the health care related things they're already obligated to pay for (Medicare and things of that nature) is like pulling teeth as it is, what with all the ridiculous amount of red tape and all. I don't see how the government is going to somehow get less tight fisted and easier to deal with when they're in charge of everything. I think it's really naive to think that the government is going to be any more willing to write a big check for a medically questionable procedure than an insurance company would be.
Obviously, any health-care reform in the United States in favor of a socialized system would come with a significant amount of reworking in how the government handles these kinds of things. I don't think how the US Government handles these sorts of things now is any indicator of how things would work in a completely Universal system, because it's such a massive sea change in how we do things in this country and would require a completely different ground-work and way of thinking and operating.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:14 PM   #24
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Did you read the article? They're trying to NOT pay for everyone in England.
This is sort of misleading, since the majority of the article is basically saying "hey these doctors are saying people who lead vastly unhealthy lifestyles are a waste of public resources". There's no hard and fast evidence that anyone is being denied care because of some sort of failing in the funding of the public health care system - just pretty baseless speculation that one in ten hospitals in the UK sometimes deny treatment based on the patients commitment to their own well-being and health.

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Also it's not just the taxes, it's that anything we let the government run is shit. Everything. You want hospitals that work like the DMV, by all means, let the government run them.
Can't really argue with that.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:15 PM   #25
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This is sort of misleading, since the majority of the article is basically saying "hey these doctors are saying people who lead vastly unhealthy lifestyles are a waste of public resources"
It is now an unhealthy lifestyle to be old.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:15 PM   #26
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i agree with everything said in this thread by everyone except nim and corg. ill come back and read it later.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:17 PM   #27
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Obviously, any health-care reform in the United States in favor of a socialized system would come with a significant amount of reworking in how the government handles these kinds of things. I don't think how the US Government handles these sorts of things now is any indicator of how things would work in a completely Universal system, because it's such a massive sea change in how we do things in this country and would require a completely different ground-work and way of thinking and operating.
this is a good point to make

Corganist you could look at examples from outside the United States to understand how a public health system works, and how it fails.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:20 PM   #28
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It is now an unhealthy lifestyle to be old.
Now you're just being petty. I didn't say that. And I reiterate, some doctors have an opinion that certain people are a lost cause and a waste of resources. This happens in the US Free-market Fuck-you Corporate health care system too. I don't understand how this is any sort of argument against socialized medicine.

From the article:

"One in three said that elderly patients should not be given free treatment if it were unlikely to do them good for long."

This is an opinion of not even the majority of doctors in the system, and even still, they have to treat whatever the gov't says they have to treat, so fuck their personal opinion. This is no failing in the public health care system.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:21 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by suncrashesdown View Post
Obviously, any health-care reform in the United States in favor of a socialized system would come with a significant amount of reworking in how the government handles these kinds of things. I don't think how the US Government handles these sorts of things now is any indicator of how things would work in a completely Universal system, because it's such a massive sea change in how we do things in this country and would require a completely different ground-work and way of thinking and operating.
This is a very lollipop view of a system bound to be fraught with defecits, shortages, lack of coverage, lack of doctors due to incentive removals, special interest contracts, bureaucracy, oversight, overhead, and fraud.

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:23 PM   #30
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Now you're just being petty. I didn't say that. And I reiterate, some doctors have an opinion that certain people are a lost cause and a waste of resources. This happens in the US Free-market Fuck-you Corporate health care system too. I don't understand how this is any sort of argument against socialized medicine.

From the article:

"One in three said that elderly patients should not be given free treatment if it were unlikely to do them good for long."

This is an opinion of not even the majority of doctors in the system, and even still, they have to treat whatever the gov't says they have to treat, so fuck their personal opinion. This is no failing in the public health care system.
Quote:
among the survey of 870 family and hospital doctors, almost 60 per cent said the NHS could not provide full healthcare to everyone
.. and it is called "Universal" health care, and everyone has to pay for it.

 
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