Can patients demand changes in the healthcare system?

Are healthy people patients?  Sometimes I wonder.

If you’re healthy, you rarely see a doctor.  If you go for a “routine” checkup every five years, you just aren’t very affected by the system.  You might not even know what the system is.  Your health insurance premium is deducted from your paycheck, so you never really see that money — not the way you would if you had to write a check in that amount every month.  The cost doesn’t sink in.  Or maybe you’re fortunate enough that your employer picks up the tab, so it doesn’t cost you anything to have insurance.

Those blue-moon office visits require a co-pay, but insurance covers the rest.  Healthy people aren’t perceived as patients.

The average person I talk with doesn’t even have a doctor.  They say things like, ”I haven’t been to a doctor in years,” or, “I’ll have a checkup when I’m 50.”  A variety of excuses all add up to the belief that there’s no reason to establish rapport with a doctor unless you’re ill.  If people aren’t sick, they don’t see themselves as patients in need of a physician.

In a recent article speaking about the current healthcare system, Kevin Pho says,

Neither the time physicians spend with their patients, nor the use of the tools necessary to facilitate a stronger patient-doctor relationship, are valued … E-patients can help, by recognizing the constraints on physicians and demanding that changes be made in the health system that will help doctors better meet the needs of empowered patients.

Interesting idea, but I just don’t see how this would ever happen.

First, because healthy people — those who don’t have a doctor, or those who show up every few years for a check-up just to reassure a spouse that everything is still okay — are not likely to feel any compulsion to press for changes.  They don’t need to email their (non-existent) doctor, or insist on longer appointments, or pay by the hour instead of by the appointment, as long as their insurance pays the bill for their rare encounters with the medical profession.  People with the time, energy, and resources to facilitate change don’t think of themselves as patients caught in a broken system desperately in need of being fixed.

Those who do see the need for change, who care, who desperately want change, are those who aren’t healthy.  They have seen, up close and personal, how the system needs a major overhaul.  Unfortunately, their conditions that put them in a position to experience the shortcomings of our current system also put them in a position of not having the time and energy needed to push changes through the appropriate channels.

Yet here is Dr. Pho saying that patients should demand changes.

“Demands” is a strong word.  I don’t really see how patients could demand changes.

Strike?  Historically, employees were sometimes subjected to horrible working conditions.  With the creation of unions, employers suddenly learned that they didn’t hold all the power.  When all the employees of a company banded together and refused to work unless their demands were met, things improved for employees everywhere.  The tactic was successful because employers lost money when nobody would work for them.  ”No workers” led to “no production” led to “no income.”  The employers benefited financially by making things better for employees.

Healthcare is different.  There is no patient’s union.  We can make a list of “demands” but to whom would those demands be made?  What is the “or else” with which someone is threatened if the system doesn’t change in response to our demands?

I suppose I could threaten my insurer:

  • Pay my medical bills promptly, or else…  what?
    …I’ll pay them myself and wait for you to get around to sending me a reimbursement check.
    Guess that doesn’t give the insurer any motive to change.
  • Pay my doctors what they’re worth, or else… what?
    …I won’t go to the doctor any more.
    Right.  The insurers would love that.  The threat of patients/doctors not seeing one another doesn’t hurt insurers financially.  It helps them.  If patients make demands to the insurance company and say, “Change the system or I refuse to see a doctor,” then the insurer is in the position of raking in premiums but not making any payments.
  • Pay my doctors for their time and expertise, or else… what?
    …they’ll stop accepting the insurance you provide.
    That means I’d either have to change to a doctor willing to accept the ever dwindling insurance payments, or I’d have to pay out of pocket instead of going through insurance.  Either way, the insurers would save money.
  • Offer me a better policy, or else…
    …I’ll take my business somewhere else.
    Since they only want the business of healthy people from whom they can milk the premium without having to actually make any payments for healthcare, they’d be only too happy to drop my policy now that I’m costing them money.

Or maybe I could demand that my doctors stand up to the insurance bullies.  Then again, overworked doctors with waiting lists of people looking for a physician would drop any patient who makes waves.

Our senators and representatives recently demonstrated that they’re not interested in making the changes that patients and doctors have said need to take place.  People might demand, “Make these changes or we’ll vote you out of office,” but most people aren’t single-policy voters.  Obviously, our congressmen aren’t too worried about it so demands in that area are unlikely to be effective.

Strikes work because everyone participates.  I don’t see that happening in healthcare.  Even if there was a suitable “or else” situation that would have the potential of forcing appropriate change, the price would be too high.  How many individual patients would willingly forgo medical care and give their lives just to make a point that the system needs to change?  How many physicians, after all their training, would turn their backs and watch needy patients die or become permanently disabled when it’s in their power to make a difference?

It might sound good to say that patients should demand changes in the system, but from where I sit, it’s just empty words.

WarmSocks blogs at ∞ itis.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice

    I think the government is going to do some of what you listed. Who knows……insurers may be tamed to the point they are void?

    There are many waves happening to help patients. I think even a TV show like Dr. Oz is helpful in empowering patients to just take care of themselves (and his series of books. He puts the patient first…which seems so obvious..yet elusive with some physicians). I think the government may eventually regulate our supplements, our weight, and habits (they already profit a lot from it….so it’s a bit of a conundrum if they want us to get healthy and their sin tax income goes down). The government is rewarding EMR’s, and that may be helpful to patients also (if we can get completely OpenNotes for self-discovery on what the service paid for actually entails).

    I tend to think it’s conversations online that will change things. Information is powerful when in the right hands, and patients seem to have an underlying anger against the insurers and some doctors. They are being vocal….and sometimes it seems there are cyber-lynch mobs that contact their representatives…..and the town hall meetings were effective if you could get your representative to have one.

    And, yet, we had some of most misinformed voters in the last election. They often voted based on some altruistic “Change” mantra that was based on their emotions, instead of real facts. So, indeed, people want change and are pursuing it. Whether it’s the way we would like it to be is up for grabs…….but I think people are going to change the healthcare system and on some levels I am relieved, and on another I am a bit terrified.

    • HJ

      Alice says, “I think the government may eventually regulate our supplements, our weight, and habits (they already profit a lot from it….so it’s a bit of a conundrum if they want us to get healthy and their sin tax income goes down).”

      The government doesn’t make a profit. You can say that some government officials benefit directly from taxpayer money or from private industry that they protect. When the government brings in more than it spends, it’s called a surplus. At this point, the government borrows money to pay for stuff. So where does profit come into all this.

      Alice also says, “And, yet, we had some of most misinformed voters in the last election. They often voted based on some altruistic “Change” mantra that was based on their emotions, instead of real facts.”

      What facts are you talking about?

  • jsmith

    Pts are in no position to demand major changes.They’re at the bottom of the heap. Unorganized and not in control of the money. Interesting, we primary care docs are only just above them. The big fighters in the cage match are the government, pharma, insurance companies, hospitals and, to a lesser extent, medical specialists. It’s a war of all against all, with shifting alliances. No one party is in control although the feds have just made a big power play, in case you haven’t noticed.
    Uwe Reinhardt’s Economix blog at the NY Times discusses the players in some detail.
    Interestingly, pts who pay cash completely change the power dynamic, but that can get expensive.

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice

    The government doesn’t make a profit [end quote]

    Have you read how much of the cost of a pack of cigarettes the government makes a profit from? They make more than the manufacturer. I an unsure how much is to pay for tobacco related illnesses, but one site said the manufacturer makes a quarter a pack. Some call cigarettes the “Golden Goose” of government.

    You asked about my statement on misinformed voters. Have you watched the video where they pulled people out of the voting line and asked them bare bones basic questions? Some didn’t even know the name of the VP candidate, yet they knew all kind of silly facts about Sarah Palin (no…I am not a supporter of hers). Then one video showed people who actually thought if Obama was voted in they would not only get food, but gas paid for. They were stoked!

    • HJ

      Alice says, “Have you read how much of the cost of a pack of cigarettes the government makes a profit from?”

      It’s not profit. Your use of the word profit is wrong. Those are cigarettes taxes not profit. Regardless if the taxes are too high or not, the administration, congress, supreme court don’t directly make more money if they raise the cigarette tax. If for some reason the government brought in more money than it spends, that money isn’t distributed to the administration, congress (unless they vote on a pay raise) or the supreme court. The president doesn’t get the pocket the revenue.

      I live in a state where over $3 dollars goes to my state government, 5 times as much as the federal government gets. I work for the state. Does that mean I profit from cigarettes?

      So who do you think benefits from cigarette taxes? Names please.

      Alice says, “You asked about my statement on misinformed voters.”

      Those videos are anecdotal, made by someone with an agenda. Anyway, you have switched from “altruist change” to free gas. Perhaps some of us didn’t like McCain’s health care plan.

  • twicker

    Patients can absolutely demand changes to the healthcare system, just as those who pay insurance premiums can demand changes to the healthcare system (c.f. The Leapfrog Group). Similarly, since older people vote, the Congress tends to listen hard to the Medicare set — almost all of whom are patients.

    Further, most people I know (and I know quite a number of healthy people) see themselves as “future patients;” they may not have a present active condition requiring management, but they expect that, at some point, they will have such a condition. They also almost all have parents or grandparents who are or were patients, and they advocate for those family members. Thus, plenty of people with the time and energy required to force change do, in fact, have the time, energy, and motivation to promote change — at least around here where I live (that’d be central NC).

    Lastly, if something egregious and outside the standard of medical care occurs, remember that there are always the lawyers. Personally, I’m in the Philip K. Howard/CommonGood.org camp when it comes to healthcare legal reform (follow that link to, among other things, see how this differs from the less-effective but more-popular “tort reform” proposals). That said, both provide ways for patients to hold providers responsible.

    And, last but far-and-away not least, there’s always the ability for patients to vote with their feet. Admittedly, in my area we are blessed with a selection of primary and specialist doctors to choose from; doctors do know that you have choices (from the doc-in-a-box to doctors making housecalls), so they have a reason to be responsive. When you have a market, the market can work quite well, especially when the market participants take time to inform themselves.

    Thus, I don’t see the situation nearly as bleak as @WarmSocks depicts it. Admittedly, part of that comes from the peculiarities of the resource-rich medical environment that surrounds me, but part of it also comes because the entire healthcare debate (stretching back decades, for those of us who have been paying attention for decades) brings patient concerns to the fore time and again — since all of us, even healthy taxpayers, pay for healthcare and will, in time, become patients.

    • Alina

      In the current setting patients can only demand so much change. You mentioned the Medicare patients and how Congress listens to them – I don’t think that’s the case. Medicare patients pay the monthly part B fee, some have private insurance, in addition to Medigap, and out-of pocket cost (copays, coinsurance, etc). The part D structure has a huge donut hole which millions reach and some are left to fend for themselves. If beneficiaries would have their say the program would look much different.

      Patients with employer-sponsored medical insurance don’t have any input either. Unless employees would just walk away from their jobs b/c of bad benefits (highly unlikely in today’s environment) it’s not much they can do either.

      As for the Leapfrog group, only some hospitals are participating. Check out the list of hospitals who declined – it’s a very long list:

      http://www.leapfroggroup.org/decline#districtofcolumbia

      Providing quality and type of care data should be an absolute requirement, especially for hospitals that are “not-for-profit” and receive tax breaks.

      If politicians would indeed listen to their constituents, the healthcare law would have addressed the high prices the insurance companies and others charge.

      All and all the author is right in the sense that right now the patients ability to force real change is not there. That’s not to say that will not change in the future.

  • Bill

    You make some great and very subtle points. I especially like your observation that “Unfortunately, their conditions that put them in a position to experience the shortcomings of our current system also put them in a position of not having the time and energy needed to push changes through the appropriate channels.” This is partially what has driven me crazy about a lot of the health care reform debates recently. Those who haven’t suffered from the outrageous inequalities and flaws in the current system are the ones who are often most vocal about how everything is just fine. They, however, haven’t been placed in the necessary position to appreciate the systems failures. There are some great interviews and discussions concerning the future of health care and health care reform at http://www.ourblook.com/topic/healthcare.html which I have found useful and thought provoking on these subjects.

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice

    Alice says: Hey, Twicker is back!:) Good to see you posting.

    HJ quoted: Alice says, “Have you read how much of the cost of a pack of cigarettes the government makes a profit from?”

    HJ says: It’s not profit. Your use of the word profit is wrong. [end quote]

    Well we will have to disagree on that because I believe it’s profit for the government that years ago was not this high. It’s hard to debate about cigarettes because they are so rotten for us, but there is the capitalist debate about our rights and then fast food comes into play, personal rights and liberties, etc. So, let’s lay aside the adverse affects………surely it seems rational to say the government profits? If the sin tax was repealed (and I am not advocating that in this thread) the tax revenue would go way down, so it’s profit when the government gains from our sins. It’s one of the main reasons people want marijuana legalized……it’s so the government can make some money off a substance that is now illegal and costing us money to enforce the current laws (I am not advocating this either, although there are some good debates from libertarians on this).

    I have libertarian leanings, but if you study what Ron Paul said about abolishing government agencies so our taxes can go down, what else can I deduce about taxes leading to revenue/profit for the government?

    HJ: I live in a state where over $3 dollars goes to my state government, 5 times as much as the federal government gets. I work for the state. Does that mean I profit from cigarettes?[end quote]

    Alice: You are paid from a pool the state makes in profit from taxes (no taxation and your job is abolished), so if cigarette taxes go into that pool then you are being paid a wage from the state’s profit or revenue (pick the word you want to use). When I worked for the government the tax payers, ultimately, paid my wages. I worked for it, so we can play games with the word “profit”, but I certainly wasn’t donating my time, so yeah……..I profited from my work and from the profit the feds took in taxes. That’s how they paid me, and it was on my profit of that paycheck I paid my taxes back to all the authorities.

    HJ: So who do you think benefits from cigarette taxes? Names please. [end quote]

    Alice: Names? :) Hmmm……….I don’t hang out with smokers or tokers usually, but I know a few who gain from the revenues (do you want the names incase you know them? Maybe we do have some common ground!). This is just such a common sense I hesitate to even type about it. Are you arguing about the use of the word, “profit” or “revenue”?

    HJ quotes..Alice says, “You asked about my statement on misinformed voters.”

    HJ says: Those videos are anecdotal, made by someone with an agenda. Anyway, you have switched from “altruist change” to free gas. Perhaps some of us didn’t like McCain’s health care plan.

    Alice: I didn’t like the McCain plan either, but we did get a bit of it in this plan (taxation on our insurance plans that will start in 2018……hmmm…….sounds like profit for the government to me).
    The videos were of voters in line who were asked basic questions…..sure we all have the right to vote……but whether we should or not remains unclear when we don’t even know what in the world we are voting for… just casting a vote without any clear guidelines or convictions. Sometimes the truth hurts, and in this case the last election will, hopefully, serve the conservatives well as far as all this regulation goes (which includes overtaxation of individuals and some of industry).

    • HJ

      In business, profit = revenue – cost. The government doesn’t make a profit. In fact, the United States government operates at a deficit. So actually, there is no profit. If you want to use profit=benefit, then the government is a entity made up of individuals. I benefit from my state government because they pay me to do a job. Society benefits because I do my job. So everyone profits? Or do you think there are people within the goverment hording money and spending it on wild vacations?

      Alice says, “taxation on our insurance plans that will start in 2018……hmmm…….sounds like profit for the government to me”

      You can argue conspiracy about where your taxes really go, but the taxes on insurance will help pay for benefits for citizens of the United States. Is that what you mean? The government are those that will be offered Medicaid or subsidized health insurance? Taxes are for expensive health care plans. My guess is that you won’t be paying that tax.

      Alice says, “Sometimes the truth hurts, and in this case the last election will, hopefully, serve the conservatives well as far as all this regulation goes (which includes overtaxation of individuals and some of industry).”

      Tax rates for the middle class are historically low. With the Bush tax cuts, I am paying fewer taxes than I ever have. My taxes haven’t been raise by the current administration. I find this “I am overtaxed” matra irresponsible and based more on vindictiveness that anything else.

      I would happily pay more taxes so doctors could get a fair price for their Medicare services. Do you think that it is bad that doctors profit from taxes?

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice

    In business, profit = revenue – cost [end quote]

    Hi! I am rushed because we are preparing for our daughter’s surgery early in the morning, but at least you admitted there is profit. No profit, no program, so if… let’s say the lottery was abolished….so would a whole bunch of programs (the programs leech off the profit…now some programs are more than worth the taxing it takes, while others are just blood suckers). Now liberals think the mere thought of that is horrible, and like to puff and blow about how altruistic they are and how they don’t mind paying higher taxes to help more people. But the reality is quite different.

    I say a big kudos to the new Prime Minister of Great Britain for whacking away at the waste within the first three months of his administration. GB was in a state they were sinking in social programs. I have more family members in the UK than here and the sheer deception and waste of that “profit” they make off the taxes is incredible. Did you notice PM Cameron didn’t follow our President’s example? He didn’t use the private jet, he ate a hot dog on the streets of NY (instead of the Four Seasons), then took an Amtrak to Washington. Some say in one trip he saved the taxpayers a million dollars! Now multiply that and then hit the rest of government with their big budget travel. And that’s just one example of putting your money where your mouth is, and walking the walk, and not just talking about what a great humanitarian one considers themself to be. Bravo to the new PM of the Brits!

    • Alina

      Alice – So why shouldn’t we raise taxes for the wealthy to pay for the needy? After all, the poor are the product of our society. In most cases poverty doesn’t come by choice, you know. Where did the wealthy get their money from, if not from all of us? Let’s take an example from the industry – Dr William McGuire, or as they call him “Dollar Bill.” He wanted to retire with $1.6 billion (ended up with about $1.2 billion). How did he make his money? Any contribution to the mankind to deserve this obscene package? NO. He took our money and denied people’s benefits. Which one is worst?

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice

    Twicker writes: Personally, I’m in the Philip K. Howard/CommonGood.org camp when it comes to healthcare legal reform [end quote]

    I listened to Philip Howard on the Michael Medved show maybe a week-or-so-ago? He is a big liberal, but I liked him! :) He seems sincere and wants to use the law for the betterment of mankind and not himself…….now that doesn’t make him right mind you…..because I agree with him about how the law should be used doesn’t mean I believe in communism……(oh I am having fun…..just jerking your chain a bit because I know how that word causes problems……yet it seems some liberals really do unwittingly promote communism with their, “I don’t mind if they raise my taxes to pay for this or that.” Hmm……….ya’ know you could give them most of your check if you want to by way of a donation. Just let me spend my check on the charities and goods I believe in. Good grief, we need some money to spend to keep the economy going and it sure looks like the Clintons are helping the economy. Free enterprise certainly helps a lot of the liberals have more money to spend on themselves).

    Anyhoo………a malpractice attorney called the program when Howard was the guest and it was a very interesting conversation. I wish I had the transcript.

    • Alina

      Love it when people throw words like communism when they don’t know the first thing about. I much rather help people in need than give money to an individual like “Dollar Bill” for doing exactly the opposite.

      As for giving money to the charities – do you know where the funds go to? It’s not where you think….

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice

    Alina…..me thinks you need to stop extrapolating. :) When you go back and read what I really said then we can talk. At this rate it’s just a liberal rant that infers things I didn’t even say.

    • Alina

      Typical…. I think you forgot to mention the rest of it, which goes something like this ”liberal drinking Latte” – courtesy of John McKain. I think that this whole labeling thing works less and less nowadays, really.

      Read all the back and forth posts, symantics, etc. I thought a summary would suffice to make my point and reply to your comments. If we start going into politics we could write a whole book about it!

      You talk about government profit, as if this is the reason why US spends an enormous amount of money. I wish we could focus on the real issues/reasons – Dr William McGuire would be a good example and start. Other issues would be billions of dollars that many players in this industry make every quarter, while people can’t afford to purchase insurance, or they are denied benefits, some dying b/c of it.

      To paraphrase you, I would rather give my money to someone that’s needy rather than to give it to the “Dollar Bill” charity .

    • HJ

      Alice says,”At this rate it’s just a liberal rant that infers things I didn’t even say.”

      I think Alina is spot on…communism, liberal rant are Fox News talking points.

      Alice says, “yet it seems some liberals really do unwittingly promote communism with their, “I don’t mind if they raise my taxes to pay for this or that.” ”

      HJ says, “I would happily pay more taxes so doctors could get a fair price for their Medicare services.”

      So you think I am a communist?

      Alice says, “(the programs leech off the profit…now some programs are more than worth the taxing it takes, while others are just blood suckers”

      The programs are the cost (or expenses) of the equation, not the profit. The programs leech of tax revenue. Currently, the US governments expenses-call them programs if you wish-cost more that the revenue from tax dollars. Perhaps we should get rid of programs that allow the uninsured to forgo payment of their debts-they are just blood suckers.

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice

    Alina I want to apologize for my curt response earlier. I read what you wrote and thought to myself, “That’s not at all what I was saying.” Then realized I lack time to try to write up a defense to explain, once again, that I am not against helping the poor (I did say some programs are worthy). There is a book titled The End of Poverty you may enjoy. It’s about helping the poor without the help of the government (it’s far more effective because tax dollars rarely mean a free lunch…….(it often comes with more regulating) realizing some have figured out a way to do just that……and that’s what I am against. I want some type of accountability). I believe in volunteerism and charitable work/donations firmly, and try to live this out by doing both.

    The communism word was brought up by HJ earlier, but history bears out socialism can pave the way for communism. When we buy into an ideology that the rich are evil, and the poor simply are living in poverty from no fault of their own (and each ideology has some truth…….emphasis on some……..it’s what happens when we take an exception and use a wide-brush to label a whole part of a socioeconomic situation. It makes it very hard to help those who feel they are, simply, a tragic consequence beyond their own power to even help themselves).

    Over-taxing the rich seems so empowering…….doesn’t it? Yet, an economy thrives on opportunity, and if we discourage investment and get the
    populace to rely too heavily on the government you hurt the middle-class.

    There is so much more to be said about the over-taxation of a nation, and it simply doesn’t work. I am too rushed to delve much deeper into this, but sometimes everything that glitters is not gold.

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice

    I am rushed but again you jump to conclusions. I don’t like TV. I tape GMA, and sometimes watch Doc Oz, but I prefer to read. I subscribe to the liberal mags of Time and Newsweek, so I get most of my facts from them……..for this exact reason.

    HJ a communist? Hmmm…… :)

    Gotta rush to surgery, but I still think this is more of a rant than actually a discussion. The real points are being talked over because if you look at GB as I first suggested you will see that no way can all these liberal programs be supported at the cost of the working class (under the guise of hurting the rich…….now where would some of this thinking throughout history lead?).

    Now who will be hurt most when the Bush tax cuts are revoked? The poor? No, because 40% of Americans don’t pay federal tax. Really do have to run……….surgery in two hours.

    • HJ

      “Now who will be hurt most when the Bush tax cuts are revoked?”

      Your comment was that we are overtaxed…as of now, we are taxed the same as we were in the Bush administration-which were historically low tax rates. You can rail all you want about how you pay too many taxes, but currently, you don’t. If our current tax structure hurts so much, then why are you blaming liberals?

      The trickle-down economics didn’t seem to work considering the tax breaks of the Bush administration. You can be as innovative as you want but if I don’t have any money to buy your product, then your not going to make any money-and your not going to create a job.

      Alice says, “but I still think this is more of a rant than actually a discussion.”

      You’re ranting our you feel if someone disagrees with your world view is ranting?

  • Alice

    ..The reason it is a rant is because direct questions are avoided, false labels, and peropheral issues as an aside and innuebdo which means I would be knee deep digging out of well……..crap…instead of real issues on taxation. That

  • Alice

    Ugh! Droid again……..sorry…..this screen is a nightmare so I will break for now because we are into taxation problems and ideologies that could be bickered about until the cows come home or we get some conservatives rescue us! :)

    • HJ

      “or we get some conservatives rescue us!”

      So we aren’t having a discussion…because no matter what someone with liberal ideas says is automatically wrong-and you are always right. It interesting you continue to make snide remarks about other people’s ideas and then call what they say a rant.

  • Alina

    Alice – you complain about “the liberals” rants, etc, but you’re actually the one that is throwing out a lot of words and labels with absolutely no back up. I wish people would just stick to what they actually have experience with or things that they’ve done extensive research on.

    You talk about communism, free market, etc but it doesn’t seem that you are aware of the fact that both are mere utopia. Despite the fact that some countries have called themselves communist that type of society never existed.

    Communism doesn’t define itself only by a planned economy. To say that we’re moving towards socialism and we’ll be one step away from communism, demonstrates that either you don’t have a good grasp of what these terms mean, or you have a different agenda for continuing with this sensationalism.

    Capitalism has never been achieved either in the true sense. That would presume that the best would be at the top, would make more money than others, which is not the case. The current society rewards incompetence and people conniving others (again, the example I gave earlier is a very good example). The more you can scheme others, the more you make. As for regulations, yes we have plenty of them: by the wealthy for the wealthy.

    In any case, I think that we’re way off topic and we should really concentrate on this whole healthcare mess instead.

  • Alice

    Hmmm………this is worrisome if this is the best you can muster. Is this from textbooks? I can’t figure where else you are getting this stuff on communism and capitalism. How we meet up over at freerepublic.com or even Huffington Post (which has some very weird ideologies)?

    • Alina

      Alice, if I overestimated you, my bad….

      I think though that I didn’t, especially considering that this is an election year, so y’all are out in full pledge and the rest of us have to be subjected to the same non-sense:
      1) overtaxation, even though dems and Obama haven’t made any changes from the Bush era. BTW, were you so vocal back then?
      2) free market – translation, let the wealthy totally rip us off, otherwise we’ll be labeled communism. Same old red scare and smear campaign….
      Of course there is also the family values, abortion, etc but I guess that’s the Family Research Council’s domain.

      I can’t believe that you brought up England as an example – first they’ve never had a socialist society – do you really understand what that means? Second, this country behind the well-mannered mask, has done so much damage to so many that I wouldn’t even dare to bring it up.

      Anyway, I think that I’ve entertained you a little bit more than I should have, so let’s just get off this Rush Limbaugh show, shall we?

      The End.

  • Alice

    Well, of course, I think the liberals are wrong. If I agreed with them I would be one. I am not a full-fledged Republican either though. I consider myself a compassionate conservative, but that means compassionate in the sense that I don’t want more taxes to fund programs. I want people to get out there and change the world, and care about their communities, and stop sitting back and waiting for the government to take more money under the guise of helping others. But I have said that a few times now and it’s becoming a mantra. Sometimes we forget the money is our own, but now people think it’s the government’s and they give us some to live on. It’s a really bad ideology. I really think a good history lesson on Britain and their socialism should scare us all straight into conservatism.

  • HJ

    Alice says, “Sometimes we forget the money is our own, but now people think it’s the government’s and they give us some to live on.”

    But it’s ok to take $8000 from the government for medical care? I don’t see the difference.

    Alice says, “I want people to get out there and change the world, and care about their communities, and stop sitting back and waiting for the government to take more money under the guise of helping others.”

    So the government took money from me to help your family. Why did you sit back? Is there a difference between taking care of your family and caring about your community?

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice

    But it’s ok to take $8000 from the government for medical care? I don’t see the
    difference. [end quote]

    Now, now you know I didn’t take money from the government. But while we are on the topic……aren’t you a state employee posting on a state computer on the taxpayers dime?

    • HJ

      “Now, now you know I didn’t take money from the government.”

      You’re the one that said the hospital got funds from the government.

      I am a state employee…why do you assume I am posting this at work?

  • sara

    Have you seen 5 Strategies for Improving Employee Satisfaction in Healthcare ? I ask because I think the same things that keep employees happy are what keeps clients happy; over all…everyone is happier with quality care, and that only happens when the steps are taken to ensure that possibility.

  • Susan

    People who are healthy should be encouraged and promoted as an example. They view health from a wellness not a disease perspective. They take these steps to stay out of the health care system or when they can afford it, they seek care from other providers than a physician. They have found that an integrative approach of Western & Eastern medicine works best.

    Many have seen that it is the simple changes that are made – diet/nutrition, exercise, weight loss, avoid smoking and large quantities of alcohol, stress reduction and getting off of the gerbil wheel – that lead to a healthier state.

    While there are MANY good physicians to see, it is time consuming and intimidating trying to find that right one and they fear medications offered as first line instead of lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, the current health care system is set up to create victims and not empower people to be active in their healthcare. This is not to blame the patients or physicians; this has been a long time in the making. Health care is stuck.

    Therefore, they have taken matters in to their own hands. And this should be encouraged. As a health care provider myself, this is my motivation for staying out of the health care system. This is what I say during community health talks….”you really do not want to go into the health care system and trust me as you age chronic conditions will start appearing and you want to try your hardest to avoid these conditions now”.

    Changing health care is not my battle any more. I am tired of the fight. I am tired of reading all the arguments about the health care problems and solutions that will never materialize. I am in the field of gerontology and one of the best benefits of this field is talking with those who make it over the age of 80 – these are true survivors. Active and generally healthy 80+++ I ask and listen to their stories about how they did it.

    I live in the present and do what I must to stay healthy. Selfish? Maybe. I’d rather depend on myself to stay healthy than the current health care system.

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