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Tony Grist

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P.S. [Aug. 14th, 2009|03:04 pm]
Tony Grist
Since I wrote the last post, David Cameron (the leader of the British Conservative Party) has had to undertake a damage limitation exercise after a Conservative MEP (Member of the European Parliament) went on American TV to rubbish the
National Health Service.

Over here, you see, even Conservatives (which roughly- very roughly- translates as Republicans) think socialized medicine is a good thing. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2009-08-14 02:28 pm (UTC)
Socialized medicine, like Social Security and Medicare, are entitlement programs that, once enacted, become the "third rail" of politics. Touch them and die.

That doesn't mean they couldn't stand a healthy dose of reform. And, speaking for myself over here, I would prefer that the reform not hamstring the private model unless and until the public model is improved. There are plenty of ways to go about that. Believe it or not, the Republican Study Committee actually has an alternate plan, released the same day as the House bill. It isn't getting any coverage at all.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-14 02:57 pm (UTC)
I can understand opposition to aspects of the Obama plan (I haven't studied it) but not to socialized medicine as such.
I don't understand why so many people are getting so hysterical about it.

I feel about socialized medicine the way Churchill felt about democracy- it's the worst system there is- except for all the others.
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[User Picture]From: qatsi
2009-08-14 07:59 pm (UTC)
I like your Churchill analogy - it does seem a good summary.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-14 08:03 pm (UTC)
I love that line so much I probably overuse it. I'm not a huge fan of Churchill's, but he did say a number of eminently quotable things.
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2009-08-15 12:00 am (UTC)
This anaology works for me.
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[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2009-08-15 05:26 am (UTC)
Politics in America thrive on hysteria in lieu of facts, at least when it becomes necessary to rally the masses around your cause. Back in the late 80's when Bush Sr. and Michael Dukakis were the candidates, "liberal" was the dirty smear word. Now it's "socialism". I'd guess that a sizable percentage of Americans flipping out aren't sure exactly what socialism entails, only that they've been told to fear it. At this point, were you able to definitively prove that Jesus was a socialist, red state America would burn their Bibles.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-15 07:54 am (UTC)
And these are mostly poor people (or comparatively poor people) the ones who would actually do best under socialism. It's sad to see people bloviating against the interests of their class.
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From: tf_1
2009-08-14 03:59 pm (UTC)
I think they do have committees to decide which cases get funded and which don't. After all, a hospital's budget is finite. And I think this can be very difficult for people who sit on the committees, who have to decide to prolong the life of persons A and B, or save person C etc.
I also think that you get a similar thing with private healthcare, albeit profit driven. The insurer is going to want to limit what they pay out and maximise profits, which means you get fine print and certain things not covered.
From a high level private and public healthcare are very similar: everyone who can afford to pays into a pot, and a minority seek treatment at any one time. Both systems allow for the richer people to get better treatment (they are both flawed in this respect). I think the private system is just a bit more responsive to how much money you can afford to put in, or shall we say less fair. This is great when you're rich, but bad when you're poor.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-14 04:21 pm (UTC)
Quite so.

My parents used to subscribe to a private health scheme called BUPA. When I came of age my father offered to keep on covering me and I said "no thank you" because (a) I'm a lefty and (b) because I believed and still believe in the adequacy of the NHS.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-14 04:16 pm (UTC)
The death committe thing is plain silly.

The reality- over here- is that National Health trusts- each of which has to manage a limited budget- have in certain cases refused to buy very expensive new drugs for sufferers from terminal cancer. These drugs don't cure the disease, but are claimed to slow its progress. There has been a lively, impassioned debate about the ethics of all this.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2009-08-14 05:00 pm (UTC)
Perhaps if some Democratic leaders stopped referring to the protestors as "astroturfed" and "carrying swastikas" we might be willing to follow her example.

Plenty of blame to go around here. So how about we stop now?
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2009-08-14 05:32 pm (UTC)
Are the folks who say that Avastin isn't prescribed for advanced colon cancer in your country misinformed? That's a genuine question. Avastin is both effective and expensive and I read that it is not used in the U.K.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2009-08-14 05:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I am using Avastin as a marker for willingness to use expensive treatments as I have a personal connection -- it has kept my sister alive for some years now. But I see that it "may not be widely available on the NHS."
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