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"Would Americans accept 'Socialized Medicine'?" asks Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt in the...

"Would Americans accept 'Socialized Medicine'?" asks Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt in the NYT. They already do - "the vast health system" that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs operates, which Reinhardt describes as the "purest form of socialized medicine." The VA system is also one that neither political party would ever seek to privatize.
Comments (33)
  • winnersdon'tquit
    , contributor
    Comments (211) | Send Message
     
    "the vast health system" that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs operates, which Reinhardt describes as the "purest form of socialized medicine."

     

    The quote fails to articulate the level of care the VA provides our wounded warriors. VA operated facilities would stand no chance of surviving in the competitive private arena.Unfortunately many VA patients have not the resources for a better care facility, and are relegated to this "government option".

     

    Our fighting men and women deserve better.
    5 Aug 2012, 06:56 AM Reply Like
  • Sam Liu
    , contributor
    Comments (3864) | Send Message
     
    FIRST ALL tax payers (individuals and private industry) need to pay their taxes honestly
    5 Aug 2012, 07:33 AM Reply Like
  • mrdirt
    , contributor
    Comments (418) | Send Message
     
    Yes the 49% on the public dole should be able to get jobs and pay
    their fair share of taxes.
    5 Aug 2012, 07:44 AM Reply Like
  • rbkrmk
    , contributor
    Comments (45) | Send Message
     
    @ Sam Liu

     

    "FIRST"... Why are you calling me a tax cheat?
    What makes you think individuals and industry owners (which I am both) are dishonest?
    Why didn't you write... honest tax payers money misspent by government?
    Have you donated to the Disabled American Vets lately?
    5 Aug 2012, 08:18 AM Reply Like
  • Terry330
    , contributor
    Comments (866) | Send Message
     
    Most Americans that pay no or low taxes have full time jobs, but todays conservative jobs pay $7.25 hour, and come with food stamps. Its the loss of union jobs that place so many families if poverty.
    5 Aug 2012, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • Sam Liu
    , contributor
    Comments (3864) | Send Message
     
    rbkrmk:

     

    I am trying to point out that most people with small businesses or file itemized tax returns, typically liberally take off tax write offs (Leona Helmsley abuses).

     

    That is above the generosity the govt already gives that sector to reduce their taxes.

     

    Other matters is the fragrant abuse of govts misspending.

     

    I was just trying to point out that many Americans have this "holier than thou" complex.

     

    There was a young lady at the farmer's market collecting at the Ferry Building for vets yesterday.

     

    My mother fund raises for disabled vets, and I have volunteered at the VA hospital in Palo Alto.
    5 Aug 2012, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • rbkrmk
    , contributor
    Comments (45) | Send Message
     
    There you go again Sam..Calling tax payers frauds. Not all individuals and small businesses are the "queen of mean" like Helmsley nor leaving their fortunes to a dog.

     

    Following tax code abusive?
    Citizens with complexes?
    Government generosity to small business?

     

    Charitable contributions are deductible..Does this make the contributor holier than thou?
    6 Aug 2012, 08:21 AM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3148) | Send Message
     
    You mean those jobs that don't require a HS diploma and pay $40+/hour? Sorry, but they aren't coming back and it has nothing to do with conservatives.
    6 Aug 2012, 08:32 AM Reply Like
  • Sam Liu
    , contributor
    Comments (3864) | Send Message
     
    my 10% is not tax deductible, I donate it in cn.
    6 Aug 2012, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • Sam Liu
    , contributor
    Comments (3864) | Send Message
     
    i'm not calling tax payers fraud.

     

    I'm asserting that a significant portion of tax payers, on top of the generosity of the govt, knowingly commit deficient tax returns.

     

    no need to respond to this post, my original post was clear enough.
    6 Aug 2012, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • rbkrmk
    , contributor
    Comments (45) | Send Message
     
    Isn't responding a fundamental American right?

     

    Please explain clearly what "government generosity" means from the point of view of... taxpayers at the top, middle and at or near the bottom.
    6 Aug 2012, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1812) | Send Message
     
    In Canada, I had to wait 11 months to see a stomach specialist.
    5 Aug 2012, 07:22 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3984) | Send Message
     
    Family member just got back from mountain biking trip to Canada.

     

    He injured his leg.

     

    He waxed poetic bout how stellar the care he received was, by a physician who handled professionally competitive athletes - i.e top tier specialist.

     

    From the comments here on SA you'd get the impression Canada's healthcare was terrible, but most of the anecdotes I hear are positive.
    6 Aug 2012, 03:16 AM Reply Like
  • Sam Liu
    , contributor
    Comments (3864) | Send Message
     
    one hopes to get what is paid for
    6 Aug 2012, 03:21 AM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1812) | Send Message
     
    I will repeat. In Canada, I had to wait 11 months to see the stomach specialist. If you think that is 'stellar', then that's your opinion. If public healthcare is so good, why are advocates afraid of private healthcare competition?
    6 Aug 2012, 05:22 PM Reply Like
  • BlueOkie
    , contributor
    Comments (4559) | Send Message
     
    The one true debt we owe is to those who put their lives, minds, bodies and souls on the line for this country! The VA has improved but it has a long way to go! It should be a top priority to provide the best medical care possible.
    5 Aug 2012, 07:48 AM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3148) | Send Message
     
    I think the rest of america tolerates the VA system because most of us arent getting our care there. God help us if the VA model becomes mainstream
    5 Aug 2012, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • frosty
    , contributor
    Comments (690) | Send Message
     
    Last I heard, the VA system was rated more highly by recipients and doctors than most for-profit hospitals. It's a myth that VA hospitals do not provide quality care. Other forms of 'socialized medicine' - the entire military medical system, medicare, medicaid, HMO's and clinics (that you pay for with your earned money rather than through your paid tax money), and emergency room care for millions of poor people. If it's paid for by taxes it's called 'socialized'. If it's paid for by insurance companies it's call 'privatized'. But what's questionable is whether the profits given to health insurers provide any real benefits to the healthcare system, peoples' health, and economic efficiency or just line the pockets of their executives and stockholders.
    5 Aug 2012, 10:24 AM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3148) | Send Message
     
    Most patients and physicians I've talked to feel otherwise about the VA system. No incentive to work harder to get things done quicker. Patients wait days/weeks for routine test, appointments and procedures. Nursing care can be hit or miss. Horrible QA in some cases, like in the multi-state coloscopy/HIV scandal

     

    http://bit.ly/OBRtvF

     

    http://cbsloc.al/MXrGCf
    5 Aug 2012, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • BlueOkie
    , contributor
    Comments (4559) | Send Message
     
    Not any more. It is now called socialized medicine or a tax.
    10 Aug 2012, 08:16 AM Reply Like
  • Ginny
    , contributor
    Comments (255) | Send Message
     
    Professor Reinhardt has pushed socialized medicine for years. Well now he's got it. Americans are not going to like it. Americans are not Europeans and do not like to queue up or be told what to do.Nobody ever talks about the loss in productivity among patients who have to wait for diagnosis and care of problems that impede work. A friend in London, who has a demanding job, had to wait one month to complete testing that would have taken two days in the US, all while he was in great distress. Already, Medicare will not allow cardiologists to order two diagnostic tests on the same day. The patients are floored when they find out that they have to return another day to complete their work up. For those still working, it is costly and inconvenient. But not to worry, pretty soon all the doctors in private practice will be bankrupt, so Professor Reinhardt's wish will have come true. Access to the public Medicare system will be greatly reduced, public insurance or not.
    5 Aug 2012, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • csymalla
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    The great irony in all this is that the masses think an employer who picks your coverage and dictates which private provider is used all while reducing coverage to save costs is a good system. I did not even mention the fact that it so far removes the end consumer from pricing that competition does not come to play. Where are all the minds that believe capital systems are the most efficient because that is not what we have. We have a government and employer run system, which is anti capitalism.
    5 Aug 2012, 12:20 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3148) | Send Message
     
    Yup. The greatest step we can take as a nation is to make medical costs more transparent and accountable to the end user. Insurance companies have become a third-party black box to both patients and physicians.
    5 Aug 2012, 12:57 PM Reply Like
  • Hubert Biagi
    , contributor
    Comments (690) | Send Message
     
    This Princeton academic would love to lump everything together into one gray mediocre mess, which is exactly what communism was all about. What these people fail to understand, whether the VA is or is not socialized doesn't matter, because it falls under one of the only real mandates of the federal government, the defense of our country. Whether or not Romneycare in Mass, is or is not like Obamacare, also doesn't matter, because the states have a right to legislate healthcare, but the federal government is trending on dangerous ground when it does.

     

    The founding fathers were aware of this danger, the temptation to have a "higher power" solve their problems. The danger of true democracy, or the rule of the majority, which would trample the interests of the individual, local, and state governments. The idea that the federal government should be given the mandate to insure fairness, in all areas, that is should guarantee happiness, rather than the pursuit of happiness, is the most important tipping point this country has yet faced.

     

    The fundamental question everyone should ask, is not which presidential candidate will do more for them, or which one will maintain or grow the entitlements, or which will support the public sector or the private sector more. The important question, is which candidate is most interested in supporting the principles of the American republic. Which candidate appreciates how far this country has "evolved" from those principles since the start of the "War on Poverty" fifty years ago. After all that time and something like $16T spent on the every increasing entitlement system, all we've managed to do is marginalize the American family and the American drive to succeed. We now face a new form of poverty, one of the spirit. With every new expansion of the Federal government into our lives, we become increasingly morally bankrupt.
    5 Aug 2012, 12:54 PM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1503) | Send Message
     
    I gather most of the SA posters think we should have the vets buy health insurance on their own?
    5 Aug 2012, 12:59 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3148) | Send Message
     
    sure, subsidized by Uncle Sam via the money that goes into the VA system
    5 Aug 2012, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1503) | Send Message
     
    Sounds like Romney/Obamacare.
    5 Aug 2012, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3148) | Send Message
     
    Certainly a better solution than government-run single-payer
    5 Aug 2012, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • untrusting investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9925) | Send Message
     
    H,
    From what we have read, which is not that much, the VA system actually does work reasonably well. Not perfect as nothing ever is but reasonably well. And they certainly have some very traumatic and complex medical issues to deal with for severely wounded vets.
    5 Aug 2012, 08:37 PM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1503) | Send Message
     
    I think you are the subject of the article.
    6 Aug 2012, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • kingsmill
    , contributor
    Comments (144) | Send Message
     
    Speaking medically the VA was established to serve a group with special needs and special claims on society at a time when what we think of as health insurance barely existed. The notion that the private system is ready to provide appropriate care for the seriously war injured at a reasonable cost is ludicrous-- preexisting condition any one. Insurance after the house has been destroyed. Can only happen under Obamney care or single payer -- like the VA.

     

    Let's not even mention the unusual mental health needs of combat veterans.
    6 Aug 2012, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • DianeLee
    , contributor
    Comments (346) | Send Message
     
    Overall, are we addressing health care....or health insurance? Imho, we've embarked on a journey, against our wishes, toward socialized medicine under a 'socialized' government, like good little robots. Current Obamacare addresses health insurance, again picking winners and losers, merely the scenery along the way.
    If we were truly to address health CARE, it might be along the lines of local health clinics with referral privileges to specialists. Perhaps young physicians could retire college loans working in those clinics. We are barely opening the topic.
    5 Aug 2012, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • BlueOkie
    , contributor
    Comments (4559) | Send Message
     
    VOTE in November your medical healthcare depends on it.
    10 Aug 2012, 08:18 AM Reply Like
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