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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:23 pm 
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Yes, the reason drugs cost more in the US is the re-importation ban. The US market subsidizes drug costs in many other countries. Without that subsidization, drug costs would have to be higher elsewhere. (Which might cause patent thieves in, say, China etc, to produce copies of drugs.)

I don't know what Fox news has to do with this, but here's the Webster #1 definition for socialism: "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods". Private insurance is not the least bit socialistic. Claiming otherwise is ridiculous and just muddies the discussion.

I've heard the "volume discount" thing all the time from politicians. But have you ever really done any research on it, or are you just taking their word for it? For my plan that I currently get through my employer I could buy it myself for not much. I don't have the exact figures from our accounting department but it can't be much more than they're paying. If anything it might be slightly less if I bought it myself.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:33 pm 
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frogbyte wrote:
Yes, the reason drugs cost more in the US is the re-importation ban. The US market subsidizes drug costs in many other countries. Without that subsidization, drug costs would have to be higher elsewhere. (Which might cause patent thieves in, say, China etc, to produce copies of drugs.)

I don't know what Fox news has to do with this, but here's the Webster #1 definition for socialism: "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods". Private insurance is not the least bit socialistic. Claiming otherwise is ridiculous and just muddies the discussion.

I've heard the "volume discount" thing all the time from politicians. But have you ever really done any research on it, or are you just taking their word for it? For my plan that I currently get through my employer I could buy it myself for not much. I don't have the exact figures from our accounting department but it can't be much more than they're paying. If anything it might be slightly less if I bought it myself.


I agree on the drugs.

For the 10th time. It is socialist in nature, it is *NOT* a system of government. It's the same definition as when you would say something is socialized. It just means Everyone pays in and then gets back according to their needs. That is socialistic in nature. It is not synonymous with the system of government, because it's not a government. If it was socialized, it would be people paying in and getting benefits according to need. The only thing that changes is the profits. Furthermore you can't even get socialists to agree on what socialism is. There are many different varieties.

Yes, I have had insurance through employers and on my own. My insurance wasn't much cheaper than what my employer got it for, and I was a young healthy man under 30 at the time. The very lowest risk group. For anyone older or female, you can see a very big difference.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:02 pm 
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I see what you mean about insurance going "to each according to his needs", but it's still confusing. It'd be like calling Al Gore a "conservative" because he wants to "conserve" swamps and rain forests or whatever. Anyway...

Do you mean you're in favor of removing the ban on re-importation? I have to admit I'm not 100% certain what would happen if we removed the ban. It seems obvious that initially US prices would go down, but I'm concerned counterfeit drugs might become a rampant costly problem. It seems like it's maybe worth a try though, since it's such an easy law enforcement policy change. It's a confusing dynamic system because it depends on what happens in the socialized Canadian drug market.

So if there are low-risk cases where buying alone is cheaper, and high-risk cases where buying alone is more expensive, that's not really a "group discount", that's just me subsidizing the old fat guy in the office down the hall. Effectively I'm getting paid less than him, assuming that our cash salaries were the same. If he was paying for it himself, he might have some incentive to get in shape - instead the company is footing the bill so who cares.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:03 am 
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frogbyte wrote:
I see what you mean about insurance going "to each according to his needs", but it's still confusing. It'd be like calling Al Gore a "conservative" because he wants to "conserve" swamps and rain forests or whatever. Anyway...

Do you mean you're in favor of removing the ban on re-importation? I have to admit I'm not 100% certain what would happen if we removed the ban. It seems obvious that initially US prices would go down, but I'm concerned counterfeit drugs might become a rampant costly problem. It seems like it's maybe worth a try though, since it's such an easy law enforcement policy change. It's a confusing dynamic system because it depends on what happens in the socialized Canadian drug market.

So if there are low-risk cases where buying alone is cheaper, and high-risk cases where buying alone is more expensive, that's not really a "group discount", that's just me subsidizing the old fat guy in the office down the hall. Effectively I'm getting paid less than him, assuming that our cash salaries were the same. If he was paying for it himself, he might have some incentive to get in shape - instead the company is footing the bill so who cares.



That's not quite the same thing. Now if you were just making a comparison to another meaning of the word conservative, that analogy would make more sense.

I am in favor of being able to import drugs freely, removing any bans. I don't think you have to worry about counterfeit drugs. there are plenty of reputable companies in other countries, some of them are even divisions of the same drug companies here. You also can't keep clients if they keep leaving when they discover the drugs are fake. You can make a lot more money just selling the drugs.

No, it is actually both. Like I said, insurance on your own is only marginally cheaper than the total cost of your insurance benefit if you are a healthy non-smoking normal weight man under 30. Otherwise it will cost you more. Big companies get a discount for the same reason they get a discount on anything. Because there is no reason to be concerned about the profit margin when you are talking about thousands and thousands of policies. Any salesman out there would be making any and all deals to land a huge sale like that.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:06 pm 
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The point is that those two uses of "conserve" are as similar as the normal definition of "socialism" is to the idea that private insurance is socialistic.

Interestingly, re-importation was discussed at the summit today apparently, though it's unclear where it stands.

It's possible that a salesman might be able to shave a few percent of a price to make a sale, but insurance margins are slim - you're not talking about a big savings. And it's certainly not going to bend the cost curve down - it's essentially irrelevant. The only thing that will lower insurance costs long term is to lower health care costs, and the key to lowering health care costs is to introduce more personal responsibility and incentives into the system.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:12 pm 
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The next argument I want to you two go at- Puppies vs Kittens- which is cuter and makes the better pet? :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:39 pm 
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Well the long answer is that you've asked a complicated question that depends on a number of conditions, such as the type of living space available, and amount of time available to care for the animal, so it would be a gross oversimplification to universally declare one superior to the other. However the short answer is puppies.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:07 pm 
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frogbyte wrote:
Well the long answer is that you've asked a complicated question that depends on a number of conditions, such as the type of living space available, and amount of time available to care for the animal, so it would be a gross oversimplification to universally declare one superior to the other. However the short answer is puppies.


to further complicate the situation, 2 specific dog breeds are going to behave very different. Whereas cat breeds typically behave the same(obviously among captive breeds).
ie. a husky is a very energetic and difficult to train animal, whereas a rottweiler is generally a calm obedient dog.

:roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:30 pm 
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frogbyte wrote:
The point is that those two uses of "conserve" are as similar as the normal definition of "socialism" is to the idea that private insurance is socialistic.

Interestingly, re-importation was discussed at the summit today apparently, though it's unclear where it stands.

It's possible that a salesman might be able to shave a few percent of a price to make a sale, but insurance margins are slim - you're not talking about a big savings. And it's certainly not going to bend the cost curve down - it's essentially irrelevant. The only thing that will lower insurance costs long term is to lower health care costs, and the key to lowering health care costs is to introduce more personal responsibility and incentives into the system.


re-importation will crash and burn because many of the legislators are in pocket of the drug companies.

Personal responsibility and incentives have nothing do with it. That is not going to help anything. The reason costs are high is that we are paying for the people who do not have coverage and we are doing so in the most inefficient way possible. This is the 2nd or third time I have said this.

All I have received in opposition form anyone is some poorly constructed tangent arguments merely attempting to snipe at minor points. If anyone had a proper rebuttal to my actual main point, I dare say I would have seen it by now.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:42 am 
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Rucifer wrote:
The next argument I want to you two go at- Puppies vs Kittens- which is cuter and makes the better pet? :lol:


Kittens all the way, i like dogs too but cats are just so small and furry lol


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:57 pm 
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Jebus wrote:
Rucifer wrote:
The next argument I want to you two go at- Puppies vs Kittens- which is cuter and makes the better pet? :lol:


Kittens all the way, i like dogs too but cats are just so small and furry lol


I have to go with kittens too. Cats crap in box! You can't beat that. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:50 pm 
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Ironman wrote:
re-importation will crash and burn because many of the legislators are in pocket of the drug companies.


That could be, I'd like to see it at least get a hearing. Interestingly if you read the transcript at http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories ... cript.aspx John McCain was actually complaining about Obama's opposition to re-importation right before the now infamous "The election is over" sound bite that the news shows played repeatedly ever since.

Ironman wrote:
Personal responsibility and incentives have nothing do with it. That is not going to help anything. The reason costs are high is that we are paying for the people who do not have coverage and we are doing so in the most inefficient way possible. This is the 2nd or third time I have said this.


Yes you've said it, but it's bizarrely out of touch with reality. Personal responsibility and incentives work - it's what makes the world go around. This is why capitalism creates prosperity and socialism creates stagnation.

And, yes, right now those with insurance are subsidizing those without through the high cost of hospital care. But socializing health insurance will just cause the subsidization to come in the form of taxes instead of insurance premiums - that's no improvement.

The idea that socializing health insurance is even an option right now is laughable anyway. We're on the verge of economic collapse and the bankruptcy of the US as it is. We need to be finding ways to slash spending, not create new entitlement classes.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:27 am 
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The reason (well, one of them) that health care costs are so high in the US is that we use technology in illogical, and scientifically un-supported ways. Doctors would rather order expensive tests that have little or no chance of benefiting their patients on the chance that it might protect them from an unreasonable malpractice suit. Our fear of lawsuits trumps our fear of spending huge amounts of money on unnecessary tests.

That may explain (at least in part) the high total expenditures, but it doesn't explain why on similar services costs in the US are many times higher than in other developed countries. Any of you Americans had an MRI of anything lately? I'd be curious what it cost, and what the radiologist got paid for reading it. Two years ago my wife had 2 MRs in Australia, complete with the radiologist's reading for Aus$300 each (that was about US$270 at the time, as I recall). I'm guessing that they would have been $1500 each, and another $600-800 each for the radiologist. Excellent quality scans, accurately read, too.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:36 am 
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Yes, that's a factor, the US politicians refer to that as the "defensive medicine" problem. My doctors might disagree, but I think I've seen that first hand on a few occasions in the past.

I believe the hospital near me would be $2000 for an MRI. I didn't actually have one, but I remember asking one time when I thought I'd strained something.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:44 pm 
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frogbyte wrote:
Ironman wrote:
re-importation will crash and burn because many of the legislators are in pocket of the drug companies.


That could be, I'd like to see it at least get a hearing. Interestingly if you read the transcript at http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories ... cript.aspx John McCain was actually complaining about Obama's opposition to re-importation right before the now infamous "The election is over" sound bite that the news shows played repeatedly ever since.

Ironman wrote:
Personal responsibility and incentives have nothing do with it. That is not going to help anything. The reason costs are high is that we are paying for the people who do not have coverage and we are doing so in the most inefficient way possible. This is the 2nd or third time I have said this.


Yes you've said it, but it's bizarrely out of touch with reality. Personal responsibility and incentives work - it's what makes the world go around. This is why capitalism creates prosperity and socialism creates stagnation.

And, yes, right now those with insurance are subsidizing those without through the high cost of hospital care. But socializing health insurance will just cause the subsidization to come in the form of taxes instead of insurance premiums - that's no improvement.

The idea that socializing health insurance is even an option right now is laughable anyway. We're on the verge of economic collapse and the bankruptcy of the US as it is. We need to be finding ways to slash spending, not create new entitlement classes.


Well, I don't know what to say. I've checked, and I'm sure. If I wasn't I would say I'm not sure.


Jungledoc brings up a good point that we do need to address tort reform. However we have to be EXTREMELY careful with that. You don't want to screw the victims.


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