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Poll

Do you like Trump

yes
1 (9.1%)
no
10 (90.9%)

Total Members Voted: 11

Voting closed: September 14, 2020, 10:15:14 PM

Author Topic: A little poll  (Read 1207 times)

Offline cosworth151

Re: A little poll
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2020, 01:50:48 PM »
How perfect for 2020 - the Kobayashi Maru Presidential election. An absolute no-win situation. It was perfectly described by Paul Simon in his song Mrs. Robinson:

Laugh about it, Shout about it,
When you've got to choose,
Either way you look at it you loose.

Socialism is the boogie man word of American politics. Social Security, Medicare, Workers compensation insurance, Unemployment insurance, child labor laws, workplace safety regs - they were all denounced as Socialism by the right when first introduced. Most of them still are.
“You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
― Bob Dylan

Offline Scott

Re: A little poll
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2020, 06:33:16 PM »
But isn’t socialism really a bad word in the US because most people think of it to have the opposite meaning as capitalism? 

Switzerland is a fine example of Socialist Capitalism, and along with it a far more pure form of democracy than Americans (we call it Direct Democracy).  Just about everything is for profit, right down to hospitals and unemployment funds.  But the law is that everyone has to have things like health insurance and unemployment insurance (as well as in fact an eye watering myriad of insurances) so if you aren’t in a financial situation to afford it, then there are tax breaks and other benefits to ensure that you have them anyway. 

For the record, our health insurance, which covers almost everything - prescriptions, band aids, massages, ambulances and all recovery care, is about 1/4 the average household costs of the US but significantly more than Canadian and UK family costs.

I like our capitalistic socialism for the most part.
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Offline Jericoke

Re: A little poll
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2020, 08:42:06 PM »
But isn’t socialism really a bad word in the US because most people think of it to have the opposite meaning as capitalism? 

Switzerland is a fine example of Socialist Capitalism, and along with it a far more pure form of democracy than Americans (we call it Direct Democracy).  Just about everything is for profit, right down to hospitals and unemployment funds.  But the law is that everyone has to have things like health insurance and unemployment insurance (as well as in fact an eye watering myriad of insurances) so if you aren’t in a financial situation to afford it, then there are tax breaks and other benefits to ensure that you have them anyway. 

For the record, our health insurance, which covers almost everything - prescriptions, band aids, massages, ambulances and all recovery care, is about 1/4 the average household costs of the US but significantly more than Canadian and UK family costs.

I like our capitalistic socialism for the most part.

Socialism and Communist became conflated during the 'red scare', so there's still plenty of people who don't care that there's a difference:  "better dead than red".

Any system is going to work for some people, and not work for other people.  Normally you'd think the majority of people would choose a system that benefits the marjority.  The American system is very clever though, where they convince people to enact policies that don't work for them, but WOULD work for them if they were rich.  Nobody wants to get screwed over once they become rich!

Offline Dare

Re: A little poll
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2020, 08:50:27 PM »
Here if your lucky enough to reach 65 you get
to enlist in Medicare which cost around $144 a
month. Six years ago it was $106. The bad part is
it doesn't cover all your medical bills so you need to
buy a supplement plan. Some your responsible for up
to $6800 a year. So if your unlucky enough to have a illness
or accident 12/31 and then at the first of the year your out
$13,600. My supplement is $118 a month and I'm responsible
for the first $187.  So $262 a month for my health insurance.
Could Socialismn be any worse?
"The
democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those
who are
willing to work and give to those who would not."
--
Thomas
Jefferson

Offline Andy B

Re: A little poll
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2020, 09:43:56 PM »
Here in NZ a visit to the Docs is NZ$19 for 15 minutes and a prescription at the pharmacy will cost, for me, NZ$40 but for that I get top ups for free and that'll last three months. If I need to go to hospital for an operation its covered by ACC, Accident Compensation Corporation, which is government funded and an ambulance costs NZ$80 as they are only 80% government funded although I donate NZ$80 per year so am entitled to free ride per year which I hope not to take up!
Compared to the UK where the NHS pay for just about everything, a small fee is paid for prescriptions, and the waiting rooms are full with some who do not need to be there just because they have a cold, this does not happen in NZ as there the NZ$19 to pay for that visit.

I'm quite happy with the NZ system but none of them are perfect.
Once you have retired every day is a Saturday!

Offline Alianora La Canta

Re: A little poll
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2020, 11:29:39 AM »
Warning! Long post alert!

I'm in the UK, and the NHS is paid for by general taxation, An approximation can be obtained by dividing one's tax payments by 5 (the NHS is about 20% of the average person's tax bill). As a low-wage worker, I paid just over £1000 per year for NHS service (about 40% of which was National Insurance, and the other 60% from my employment. This matters, because unemployed people and those on benefits only pay the National Insurance component. In most cases that's automatically taken from the benefits and therefore the government pays it, but there are circumstances where someone may have to pay the government back for that component later, usually if they go abroad in the same tax year or break their obligations severely).

People who earn more, pay more. The person who pays the most is Stephen Rubin, co-owner of JD Sports, who paid about £36.32m towards the NHS via taxes in 2017-2018 (the last year for which figures were available). You can probably imagine why some wealthy people would prefer a system where they could just pay for private healthcare, but many wealthy people in the UK are proud of the NHS and consider it a major reason in favour of paying tax here. (This does nothing to reduce enthusiasm for avoiding taxes, lest people be accused of consistency. In this, Lewis Hamilton is being very "upper-class British" in his attitudes).

At the point of need, my costs are:

Doctor visit: free when I can get them (my doctor has been closed for all intents and purposes since March but pre-COVID, waits were under two weeks)

Prescriptions: £9.10 per item unless you have a chronic condition, then you can pay £100 to have all your prescriptions at no further charge for the year, or if the prescribed item is used in the medical setting by a doctor (in which case no patient is charged). This is why, until very recently, paracetamol cost the NHS so much - it was often being used by people with serious conditions who'd obtained the unlimited prescriptions for something else and didn't see the point in paying £1.50 for a box of 16 at the supermarket if they could get it for £0.00 with their scheduled prescription. (The problem was that the NHS has a fixed per-item rate for overheads in the prescription service and it was more than the cost of the box, which felt silly given even supermarkets were allowed to sell it...)

For the same reason, band-aids and simple prescribed supplements such as standard multi-vitamins aren't covered (except in a medical setting), but more complex dressings are. I'm glad I didn't have to pay full price (or even full prescription price due to some being changed by the nurse) for the negative-pressure dressings I needed for my laparotomy for two full months after the operation, as each of them would have cost more than the cost of a prescription, and I went through at least 30 of them, giving a cost of at least £273 had I been paying for them myself.

Ambulance: free, unless the use of it was vexatious, in which case it is £160. Note: it does not cost the NHS £160 to do an ambulance journey, unless it's very rural, a rare specialism is involved or it's a transfer of a psychiatric patient - part of the point of charging for vexatious journeys is to punish the offender, because it is a crime. An example of vexatious ambulance use is if you call and then take an ambulance because you broke an arm, despite having viable alternative transport to hospital e.g. someone offering a car ride. If the ambulance staff isn't sure what's wrong with you when they drop you off at hospital, that is never considered vexatious, even if it should have been obvious to the ambulance staff that, for example, your "massive bleed" was actually due to you spilling jam on your arm. Simply calling the ambulance doesn't count because of mobile phone false calls, much to the aggravation of ambulance staff. There is talk of counting ambulance calls resulting from people getting injured while drunk in public as "vexatious", on the grounds that getting drunk in public is a crime, but no law about it yet. (If it happens, it is believed this will result in 10-20% of completed ambulance journeys being paid for, depending on the area, so the attraction is obvious).

If you get ill at a F1 race or other special event on British soil, there's a good chance the ambulance will be private. Legally, the ambulance cannot charge the patient if it is designated as an ambulance (as opposed to a taxi or such) - instead, they charge the venue for being present. They are happiest when there are no patients, because they still get paid but get a more pleasant day's work. Unlike some countries (Hungary, I'm looking at you), any patient who completes a journey in a private ambulance - and, for those using the main providers, anyone who starts such a journey, will have their details recorded in the same system as the NHS one. This means patients who board a private ambulance don't get lost in the system like I did in Hungary.

Hospital visit: free, unless one is sent home with a prescription (in which case, see the prescription fee notes). Patients who just have a cold generally get sent away with cold remedy (that would have been cheaper for them to buy in the shop) at the triage post. So if you are queuing at the door, "people with a cold" are the likely explanation. If you are instead queueing between triage and seeing an A&E bed, it's for people with more serious conditions. Though this can include people with colds if a doctor has determined that self-care with cold remedies isn't working for a given patient (or, as last winter, if COVID-19 is going round unchecked and nobody's got tests to prove it yet - Britain has confirmed cases going back to mid-January and France had some in late December, making it likely it was in the UK before then).

Two exceptions: car parking is as expensive as the average train station. There is generally a place to drop off and collect patients, and bus service is frequent to urban hospitals. Taxis sometimes do reduced fares for transporting patients home, if a hospital has contracted with them, because part of their pay is just for being there. However, if you drive yourself to an appointment - especially if you get there 30 minutes after the town drunken brawl - expect problems...

TV/entertainment is charged at extortionate rates (£5 for 24 hours' access to audiobooks, £7.50 for a day's standard TV (with 4 hours in the morning free because they're the routine treatment hours and fewer patients are watching) and a separate £10 for a day's satellite channels from a given provider). (Prepared patients get round this by bringing their smartphone or laptop, and using the free-but-slow-and-insecure patient Wifi typically found in hospitals. Note that although it is legal to stream TV in hospital if you have a licence, doing it on the hospital wifi will win you no favours with other patients in the hospital bay if they are using wifi at the same time due to bandwidth issues - typically, there is one router per room, so patients in their own room get better service. Also, staff are much happier with patients who use the Wifi service on equipment they know how to use than troubleshooting for patients who pay for the TV with money that the NHS doesn't see because it all goes to the entertainment provider!)

(I may have a bee in my bonnet about pricey TV).

Annual supplements for use of medical facilities: none.

Recovery/post-treatment outpatient care: free but notoriously limited. There are a plethora of charities that aim to fill the gap. The UK is bad at recuperative medicine compared to much of Western Europe (and for that matter, for people with a good tier of insurance, the USA also does this aspect better than the UK. Much of the USA's problem is getting people to "recovery" in the first place, and how it handles people with no/bad insurance in general).

Other aspects I consider relevant:

Optional vaccinations: variable. I am paying £9 for a flu jab this year and have it privately (my first time ever; fewer viruses in the world seems a good idea about now), but that's because I'm not in the vast range of people who are entitled to an NHS jab (not only including all over-65s, people with chronic conditions or otherwise personally vulnerable, but also anyone who can prove employment working with vulnerable people). The nice thing is that the jab is cheaper for me than with an all-private system because the private provider doesn't have to worry about the complex cases (the NHS looks after those) and has much less demand on its services (meaning there's less demand pushing up the price).

Vaccinations that everyone is expected to have, or is routinely given to people with particular conditions or at set ages, are free. Vaccinations for things like travel may cost up to £80 a set, depending on vaccination history and the GP's choices. Vaccinations for preparation to become a doctor are charged, but are refunded with proof of attendance on a relevant course (universities require proof the necessary vaccinations have "taken" before allowing students to enrol, and the system is designed to avoid fraud).

Preventative care: Occasionally free (statins are the classic example), mostly not covered. The other major weakness of the NHS system - though I think Western medicine in general is poor at this. Healthcare leaflets are a notable example.

Dentistry: £22 for a check-up, tooth polish, preventative care or emergency extraction. £56.50 for a filling, root canal, non-emergency extraction (beware: "painful" by itself is classed as non-emergency; only life-threatening trouble such as an abcess or needing to remove a tooth to treat something else e.g. a fractured jaw, is classed as "emergency"), £269.30 for a bridge, dentures, crowns or other complex non-emergency dental work. Although if you need multiple things, you're only charged for the most expensive one (handy that one time I turned up and discovered I needed 4 fillings and 4 extractions, so only got charged the price of a single filling...)

A few treatments are free: stopping bleeding in the mouth, denture repair and removal of stitches. But only if you don't need one of the paid services on the same visit. Also, there is a 2-month warranty on all treatments, so if it doesn't work, getting it fixed is free. Cosmetic treatments and sports guards must be obtained privately (so all those rugby players in the UK element of the Six Nations are getting their guards privately).

Dentists (NHS and private alike) are at a premium - my bad tooth situation was because I'd not been able to get registered with a dentist for 10 years, only being able to get the occasional emergency dentist visit (and even then, sometimes there is a 6-week wait for service, which is why "emergency non-registered care" allows people with tooth pain to visit, but charges them as a non-emergency extraction if it's just a painful tooth). This is why Britain's teeth are terrible compared to their general health.

Optical: basic tests, lenses and frames free for people with certain conditions or on certain benefits (no longer all of them) on the NHS, otherwise one is at the mercy of private providers. However, basic eye tests tend to be no more than £20, because opticians recognise their importance in encouraging people to get tested (and pay through the nose for sight correction).

Sometimes, these tests identify complex visual problems requiring more than just glasses or contact lenses to fix - things like major sight convergence problems, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetes. Treatment for these is free, unless bifocal or varifocal lenses are involved, or a patient wants a fancier lens/frame than strictly required for medical reasons.

Psychiatry: free... ...but good luck getting out of a psychiatric facility if the staff don't like you or don't understand you. Even court orders demanding one's release are not always enough. At least in the USA, you can generally end an inappropriate psychiatric commitment by having one's financial executor threaten to unilaterally terminate one's health insurance! There's a serious scandal about this at the moment.

(Tangent: I've also found out that two of my previous employers decided not to bother paying National Insurance, One of them wasn't paying me enough per week for them to be eligible, so I should have foreseen this, but the other has no such excuse - and is a council. Sadly, that was 12 years ago and I can't send them to court for their crime).
« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 11:53:12 AM by Alianora La Canta »
Percussus resurgio
@lacanta (Twitter)
http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

Offline Andy B

Re: A little poll
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2020, 09:17:26 PM »
Thanks for the warning Ali and you have impressed me as I didn't think your posts could get longer!
No I didn't read it.
Sorry.  :'(
Once you have retired every day is a Saturday!

Offline cosworth151

Re: A little poll
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2020, 01:34:05 PM »
I did & found it quite interesting. Right after Obama Care came in, my boss at FCR Systems had me look it over. It ended up saving the company several thousand dollars a year & we all had much better coverage.

“You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
― Bob Dylan

 


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