All Forums > General Discussion > Non-Sports > OT- North Carolina and Duke in a mess
10/24/2012 4:43 PM
There is all sorts of evidence to refute that.  When Texas capped pain and suffering their healthcare costs dropped over 7% in the first year alone.  I'd call that fairly substantial.
10/24/2012 6:11 PM
You're 100% wrong on causation vs. correlation.

Seriously, look it up.  There's almost no NON-PARTISAN study that supports tort reform as the reason for decreasing premiums.  Premiums have decreased across the board since the mid/late 2000s.  In both states with and without tort reform.  And again, Minnesota - a state free for all to sue frivolously for as much as they want - has the lowest of all med mal premiums.

It's a big insurance company and medical field scam.  Sorry if that offends you because of who you are and what your parents do.  I know my comments probably wouldn't make me happy if I was you, but they're the truth.  Insurance companies don't want to pay out large claims despite, you know, that being what people pay them for.  But the reality is med mal claims were stagnant long before premiums started to increase dramatically.

Everyone pretends because of the McDonald's case (which didn't even come close to happening the way people think and conservatives say) and other very, very limited punitive damage cases that we are a litigious nation full of lawsuits and huge jury verdicts.  Sorry, that's just not the case.  People aren't suing less because there's a cap on non-economic damages.  If you have a claim, you have a claim.  People with frivolous lawsuits weren't winning awards beyond the cap anyway.  It just has no effect but to screw consumers and help insurance companies.  Med mal premiums are a ludicrously small amount of health care costs and health care costs in general are outpacing inflation. 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/751009

http://www.citizen.org/documents/Malpracticeanalysis_final.pdf
10/24/2012 6:16 PM
10/24/2012 6:20 PM
I'm sorry, but people who oppose tort reform misrepresent the issue dramatically.  I don't have time to get into why right now, but maybe tonight.
10/24/2012 6:30 PM

Well I'm not misrepresenting anything, sorry.  But I'd be happy to have a civil discussion on the topic.

To that, let me issue a retraction.  I said: "People aren't suing less because there's a cap on non-economic damages.  If you have a claim, you have a claim."

That's not really true.  People are suing less, but what I really was going for is that the level of frivolity isn't changing.  Med mal cases costs assloads to try.  The claims are still there and are legitimate, but it isn't economically feasible in states like Texas to try these cases because the costs end up not making the recovery worth it.  It only ends up hurting consumers with legit claims.  Maybe some frivolous claims are extinguished in the process, but it's certailny a net negative for everyone but the insurance company and health care field.

I would really like you to respond to the recent and oft-cited study from Texas which highlights that, in fact, tort reform did nothing to reduce health care costs.

10/24/2012 7:04 PM
It's based on Medicare spending only, and Medicare spending is largely regulated by the Federal government.  Honestly, it's obvious to me that the people running the study opposed tort reform or they wouldn't look at Medicare at all, much less exclusively.  Private insurance costs are a far more meaningful barometer.
10/24/2012 7:30 PM (edited)
isack, there's no doubt the insurance companies support tort reform for the reasons you lay out, but actual punitive damage awards are not the only cost associated with litigation practices. Perhaps the biggest cost is the practice of defensive medicine by doctors out of litigation fear... billions of dollars of unnecessary tests or procedures meant to protect doctors, not patients. A New England Journal of Medicine study concluded that every surgeon will face at least one medical malpractice suit at some point in their careers. One-in-14 doctors is sued every year. About 20% of neurosurgeons and cardiac doctors are sued every year. True, 80% of the suits are ultimately dismissed, but the costs of defensive medicine practiced out of litigation fear are staggering.
10/24/2012 10:29 PM
Sorry for starting this.  Shouldn't have derailed whatever this thread was any further.  Not the forum for it.
10/25/2012 5:15 AM
Posted by isack24 on 10/24/2012 10:29:00 PM (view original):
Sorry for starting this.  Shouldn't have derailed whatever this thread was any further.  Not the forum for it.
just that time of year. in a few weeks, we will have a new president, who has less to do with our daily lives than we all make it out to be (well, i didnt mean to say obama would lose, just the election will be over). and we can go back to not caring. its the american way, is it not? get up in arms without the follow through?

just curious really, does spasticity = bistiza? not that it much matters... we all get too sucked into this **** that we ultimately have no ability to control and then go back to our lives with hopefully no impact on any relationships - not worth hating one another over **** we just cant change. (and i do mean hopefully, my mother in law told my wife a week ago she viewed me in a totally different light, i.e. much less respectfully (she REALLY respected me previously, and me her, shes a great woman) for being liberal. i assume in a few weeks it will blow over)
10/25/2012 5:17 AM
Posted by dahsdebater on 10/24/2012 3:41:00 PM (view original):
billyg, I should clarify that I wasn't using tax-rates as a stand-alone measure of how government impacts the economy.  I'm just using it as a very visible measure of to what degree a country is a welfare state.  If you live in Denmark you pay more taxes, get free healthcare, two years worth of unemployment insurance, two years worth of maternity leave, 6 months of paternity leave, and various other benefits.  I'm using tax rates as a stand-in for social wealth redistribution programs, but it's much easier to measure tax rates since it's a fairly straightforward number or set of numbers.
i get it, i pretty much agree with what you are saying.
10/25/2012 5:30 AM
Posted by spasticity on 10/24/2012 3:25:00 PM (view original):
"
heres the reality bub - your system doesn't work. you want to bankrupt the world? then for your sake, i hope your ideas succeed.
Actually, it DOES work. The ultimate reality is that the wealthy want to convince everyone it doesn't work because the current system is to their benefit, and since they have the power to influence ideas, that's exactly what they do. No one wants to try a system like this because they think it won't work because they buy into the propaganda.

I've studied the economics. So have many people I've worked with. If you'd have seen what I've seen, you would be INCREDIBLY surprised to find out the things that would be not only financially and economically viable but would probably work wonders and be better by far than what we have now.

But no one wants to live outside their comfort zone. No one wants to beleive the actual numbers and what those who study economics have to say. And some economists get paid to say what the wealthy want them to say, just like anyone else.

The truth is capitalism isn't the great thing so many people would have you believe. There are better systems, but as long as the wealthy continue to convince everyone else that isn't true, it will remain the same.  "


I'm not going back and trying to find your disclaimer in all those lines of ranting, but this is what I was responding to re: stating opinion as fact.  It annoys me that you're coming across as holier than thou about your magical analysis that we don't understand.  And even better, you won't elaborate on it because it's not worth your time.

I'm curious if "I've studied the economics" just means you have an undergrad degree in economics.

are you responding to me in this post? i havent a damn clue, its so confusing at this point with the quotes of quotes. there is my quote to start it,  but then later a quote from bistiza, and so i initially thought you were talking to me but then the rest of what you say doesnt really sound like you are responding to me. really the way bistiza laid out the quotes from others, i should have done that, that is so much more readable, but i honestly dont know what he did. maybe its that quote button i see starting at me on the top right line of this forum post area... but im not sure. anyway, not having a clue if you are talking to me or not, i dont have much comment at this point...so yeah, just let me know...
10/25/2012 8:49 AM
spasticity was responding to bistiza.  The top 4 paragraphs were quoting bistiza's response to your post (in the quote box).

Carry on...
10/25/2012 9:03 AM
but if theres a $1 billion medical procedure that he needs to save his life, and him and me are the only guys who have the procedure - i expect him to pay his own way, and for the govt/health care NOT to pay my own way, and for him to live, and me to die.
I expect that may very well happen the way things work right now. What I'm saying is this isn't the right way to do things when it comes to health care. Just because he has the money to pay for the procedure himself does NOT mean he is any more worthy of receiving it than you (or anyone else). He's EQUAL to everyone else, no matter what money he has or what you or anyone somehow judges to be his contribution to society.
you said we should pay for any medically necessary procedure at any cost
No. I said an independent panel of doctors and medical experts should review each request based upon what is normally medically necessary, with adjustments possible for each individual case and its complexities, and they should decide what is medically necessary INDEPENDENT of any cost consideration. Since all doctors, employees, and facilities get paid equally under my proposal, no one has any incentive to recommend something from anything other than a medical point of view. The patient can then choose to have the procedure (or whatever is recommended), to have part of it (if that is an option) or not to have it, and whatever they choose to have done, the government health fund (or whatever name it has) pays for it. Costs are saved because the government regulates how much people and facilities are paid based on a system that would need to be more complex than I could posit here (and I shouldn't be the one to determine that anyway), but since everyone would get paid the same based on their abilites and facilites all get the same, costs are reduced because there is no price gouging in medical matters. Everyone has equal access to quality health care, no one has to worry about costs or ability to pay, and no more do private companies and individuals get to make money off of the health care issues and problems of others (which is just evil in my opinion).

OF COURSE luck is a factor
Yes, it is, and that means those who happen to be rich did not NECESSARILY work any harder than someone who is less wealthy or even *gasp* on welfare. Perhaps in some cases the ONLY MAJOR difference between two people with vastly different levels of income and/or net worth is pure luck. Yet you would suggest the wealthier individual is more entitled to health care simply beacuse they can afford it based on wealth that they no more deserve than the other person.

 you consider all problems from a perspective that we can treat human beings as ideal.
No. I realize people aren't ideal and no one is perfect. However, you set up a system that rewards those who strive to achieve behaviors you consider ideal. Our modern version of capitalism claims to do that, but in reality it only sets up a system where those who get lucky take advantage of those who are not (that's my opinion based upon everything I've seen).

Those who have wealth largely criticize those who do not and figure they must not be working hard enough or they'd have more money, but that is usually far from the truth. Many people work hard every day of their lives and never achieve the wealth of many others who don't work very hard at all. Yet the lie perpetuated by the modern capitalist machine's wealthy is "if you just work hard enough, then you'll be rich like me", which doesn't work BECAUSE hard work does not translate into wealth in a linear fashion (or anything even close to it most of the time).

Yet in America so many people are sold on the idea that if they work hard they'll achieve their dreams. I'm not saying that can't happen, but I am saying it doesn't work like the wealthy want everyone else to believe. The reason they want others to believe that is because it allows them to remain in charge. As long as wealth is what dictates every decision and option people have, only the wealthy will truly be free.
Most people with some intellect are capable of seeing that socialism is a great system in theory.  MOST of us have the ability to understand why it doesn't work in the real world.  The empirical evidence is with us.  A) productivity goes down and B) eventually someone is going to abuse power, and then the whole thing really goes off the rails.
 
You're oversimplifying a number of things, but I'll ignore that because it has little to do with the point I'm trying to make. Capitalism has flaws too, and we mitigate SOME of those through a system of checks and balances and other methods. The same could be done in a proper socialist system. The things you say here can all be mitigated with proper structure. No system is perfect, however, and there would be issues - the same as there are in modern capitalism. I content the issues would be easier to deal with and would cause less problems overall in a proper socialist setting than in our current system.
but the VAST MAJORITY of people operate based on greed, and so we need to design our economic and social policies around that fact. anything else is simply unrealistic
I agree people are greedy, but as I just stated, the problems of greed can be mitigated if the proper systems are established. Instead of setting up a system to reward greed and going "nothing else works", you set up a system that punishes greed and rewards those who truly work hard for the gain of everyone, not just themselves. Yes, there are flaws with doing this and there always will be, but as I said, there are flaws with the current system too.
I'm curious if "I've studied the economics" just means you have an undergrad degree in economics.
 
While I will say that there is a great deal many people can learn through an undergraduate economics program at many fine institutions (so don't discount those who have such degrees), that is not the case for me. I have far more education and expereince dealing with economics than an undergrauate degree would provide, but I will not post my credentials here as I'd rather not reveal them for reasons that have nothing to do with this discussion.
10/25/2012 10:53 AM
Man, I wish I had more time to get involved in this-- Great minds with different perspectives. 
   One thing I would point out is that no one seems to understand what socialism even means.  To have socialism and communism in the same sentence shows that lack of understanding so don't remember who said that, but read some Marx.  

   Socialism, by Marx definition, actually greatly increases business activity by taking the decision to move forward off of the "owner" or wealthy person and putting that decision into the worker's hand.  Not really important if you agree or not with that being right, just that you understand what Marx meant and don't fall for network television's or an old book to "learn" the true meaning.  Socialism also rewards value added.  Many of you have pointed out that people have different value and socialism takes that into effect.  Marx wanted to end hoarding of wealth in the rich and use those resources for the good of all.  After all, be it luck or not (and I agree that much wealth is connected to luck), be it crime (where much wealth also originates), the wealthy are only wealthy because of the poor.  Thinking that a person's hard work is the main cause of them being successful is just childish in my opinion and is the "baby boomer attitude" that doesn't understand nor want to understand the connectivity of all of us.

   I work hard, I make good money-- But I couldn't if that guy in Mexico quit picking my fruits or if the guy who works at the gas station quit coming to work.  Is my job harder than their's-- no way, in fact it is way easier.  So, why do I have my job and they have their job?  Why do I get paid more for a much easier job?  Choices of course play a role but more of a role comes from either my luck in being more intelligent than them or my luck in the situation in which I was born.  You can throw that out the window if you need to to be able to justify your life or your actions but bottom line is, opportunity is not the same for all and never will be why we have a fake free-market system. 

  I don't consider myself a socialist but don't kid yourself for a second and say that we live in a free market system that is better than socialism.  Marx socialism was much more free market than our current system and whoever pointed out that our system is set up to favor those in power hit the nail on the head.  It's probably a large reason for why many of the founding fathers stated that there would need to be another revolution in 100-150 years to again "spread out" that power. 

Glad to see it moving away from personal attacks into debate and look forward to having more time off work to jump in.  Have a great rest of the week guys

10/25/2012 11:05 AM
tbird,

You seem to have a fairly good grasp on at least the basics of some economic concepts. On Marx, I would have said I am a "Marxist" myself except I feared it would lead to people jumping to incorrect conclusions (which may still happen now that I've said it). That often happens with economic concepts - people think they understand what a term means based upon all they've heard and experienced, but it's not usually what they think it is. The best example is "communism", which is a term that gets thrown around a lot to mean something it doesn't actually mean. I could spend all day telling people how their perceptions are incorrect, but that doesn't usually work well in a setting like this and will probably generate more anger than anything else.

You get the general concepts I'm trying to point out quite well, such as the idea that luck plays a MAJOR role in how much money you make or what your net worth is. As I said, even the incredibly wealth individuals we interviewed said as much. When they discussed their lives and wealth with us, they discussed it on their own, and then when we presented them with information we'd obtained or determined, they became even more aware of how much random events helped their success.

You are right when you say opportunity isn't the same for everyone. There are many things which affect it that we cannot control, no matter the economic system. However, in our current capitalist mold, those things are emphasized to the point that the distribution of income is widely varied and the wealthy quite literally hold most of the money. This is one of the reasons why the economy is in such a terrible state today. To oversimplify it, middle class spending drives the economy, but THEY are driven by the choices of the wealthy, i.e. if a wealthy businessman fears trouble on the horizon and takes actions which cost many jobs, the people who now make far less money in the middle class (who lost those jobs) have less to spend. When this happens on a large scale (such as recently in 2008 and 2009 as a large example), middle class spending goes down because they have less to spend - but it all started from the top. If the wealthy spent more money in general (on a large scale), but especially on expanding business opportunities and hiring of jobs that provide middle class incomes, the economy improves.
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