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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-02-07 05:01
Subject: [links] Link salad still wishes we had single payer in the US
Security: Public
Tags:culture, egypt, healthcare, links, personal, politics, religion, reviews, sex, stories, tech
Boondocks Fantasy reviewed — Not so much with the liking of my story "Jefferson's West".

Space Stasis: What the strange persistence of rockets can teach us about innovation. — Neal Stephenson on space technology. An objection to this essay from Stirling Newberry. (Nicked here from james_nicoll.)

Twenty reasons why it's kicking off everywhere — Some social speculation on a BBC blog about the progress of revolution worldwide. (Via danjite.)

What the Bible Really Says About Sex — This just in: conservative beliefs at odds with objective reality, reality loses. Again.

Melissa Mia Hall — Liz Williams on healthcare and what happened to Ms. Hall. If you're a conservative who opposes HCR without offering a credible alternative (pretty much everyone on that side of the aisle, so far as I can tell), deaths like Ms. Hall's are what you are voting for in your rush to protect the profits of insurance companies and stall a plan that your own side spent years advancing when it was more politically convenient.

?otD: Do you believe full access to healthcare is a right or a privilege? Why?

Writing time yesterday: 2.75 hours (2,800 new words on Sunspin book one, plus revisions and editorial)
Body movement: 30 minutes on stationary bike
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 253.0 (yesterday's momos...)
Currently reading: Between books

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Matthew S. Rotundo: Radioactive
User: matthewsrotundo
Date: 2011-02-07 14:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I say it's more than a privilege, and more than a right. It's an entitlement.

Don't blame liberalism for this, because even the most rock-ribbed conservative out there feels the same way, even if he/she won't admit it.

Yes, my conservative friends, I'm talking about you . . . unless you can honestly tell me that if your daughter were hemorrhaging internally, you wouldn't rush her to the nearest ER and demand treatment, regardless of your ability to pay for it.

If that isn't the very definition of entitlement, I don't know what is.
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User: nicosian
Date: 2011-02-07 15:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Right, and privilege.

It's one of the foundations of a healthy, productive, functioning society, and its certainly not a luxury.

But then I do enjoy cradle to grave access and it's vastly improved over my lifetime, and I enjoy access my US friends only dream of.

And it may well have saved my life, my friends lives, my family's lives so many times over, and they didn't need to fear losing their home, their savings.

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User: anton_p_nym
Date: 2011-02-07 16:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
?otD: Do you believe full access to healthcare is a right or a privilege?

In my opinion it's one of those things that's vastly more efficient when made universal than it is when handled as an a la carte service. Much like access to highways; the current US health insurance system handles much like the Interstates would if they were all toll-roads... slow, expensive, inefficient, inconvenient, with vast and wasteful bureaucracies necessary to administrate the complicated billing systems. (Only the highways would be better than the current US health insurance system, as there are a lot fewer ways you can bill for a toll road and then deny service.)

Yes, here in Canada I pay a lot more in taxes than I would in the US. What you won't hear in the US media, though, how much of the difference is wiped out when you factor in what I pay for my health insurance coverage through work; $40/month is my share for my supplemental plan which includes international coverage, short-term disability coverage, 90% of prescriptions, 80% of dental care, and a rather baroque (but unnecessary for me, thankfully) form of coverage for vision care. Oh, and it's illegal here in Canada to impose "lifetime" caps.

Some wait times are longer here, but mostly for chronic and non-life-threatening conditions; acute care here is about the same as in the US.* I'd argue that we've concentrated a bit too much on acute care, which is why you have speedy service for cardiac surgery but long wait times for hip replacements, but it's a tough balance to strike. Our emergency care is about on-par (except without the insurance hassles) and our preventative care is vastly better for most of the population here.

-- Steve's met more than one person who found it cheaper to live in Canada due to the high cost of private insurance in the US... and that's assuming the carrier actually antes up in a timely manner instead of stalling on every payment.

* The big exception is certain forms of diagnostics, notably CAT and MRI. I'd argue that the US vastly overinvested in that, leading to absurdly low waits and over-reliance on that sort of testing, though again it's a tough balance to strike.
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Lady Jestocost
User: ladyjestocost
Date: 2011-02-07 16:42 (UTC)
Subject: Right or Privilege?
Myself, I think it's neither, but instead comes under "promote the general welfare". Possibly also "provide for the common defense".

I can think of few things more basic to either of these concepts than a healthy citizenry. I think the only way anyone can miss the common interest aspects of full access to health care is if they spend too much time listening to claptrap from the insurance industry and their remoras.

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mlerules: rainbow fist
User: mlerules
Date: 2011-02-07 16:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:rainbow fist
Thx for the Newsweek article on Sex & Bible. Useful for some of the folks who're trying to be good x-tians while struggling w/LGBT issues.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-02-07 16:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That one's a strange one, given how much people both pick-and-choose what they want from the Bible, and how strongly many of them hold to the idea of revealed truth from such a protean document.
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Amy Sisson
User: amysisson
Date: 2011-02-07 18:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think in the U.S. it's currently a privilege, but it should be a right.
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oaksylph: wollemi
User: oaksylph
Date: 2011-02-07 20:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What the State of Iowa says about people interpreting what the Bible says about sex: We evidently have a bill study in progress for a "Religious Conscience Protection Act" that would allow individuals and businesses to refuse to provide housing, services, etc., to people whose marriages such individuals think are against their "religious conscience."


This would seem to be designed to allow discrimination against same-sex couples, but the wording is so vague that it could be used to justify almost any action against any married couple whose union someone thinks is against a "religious" belief set. Liiiike... interracial marriage? Interfaith marriage? Jews? Muslims?

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User: mmegaera
Date: 2011-02-08 01:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A right. And what all the smart countries are doing these days (yes, I'm an American, and no, I think my country is idiotic on this subject).
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User: anghara
Date: 2011-02-08 02:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I would say that it is a bedrock issue for a healthy (if I may use the word here) society. It is far easier to function - AS a society - when all the members of it are assumed to be better off and more productive IN that society if they are basically healthy and if they are not then if they are not in a constant state of stress and anguish while deciding whether to live the rest of their natural lifespans - however short they may be - in abject penury and then condemn their families to do so also after they themselves are gone.

But this doesn't seem to be something your average frothing-at-the-mouth man in the street can get knocked into a head that's too fool of cotton wool and rags and dreams of riches SOMEDAY and when THEY get rich then of course they won't need any of this healthcare stuff and why should they be expected to pay for the welfare of such rabble as they themselves are right at that moment...?

In America it's all about the almighty dollar. Even though healthcare is not a profit industry, it's a SERVICE industry by definition, and only a crazed capitalist lunatic can imagine running a hospital like a corporation. Perhaps the only way this will ever change is if people start seeing themselves as stockholders and protesting that they are ALL short-charged in the healthcare stockmarket.

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mlerules: Brain
User: mlerules
Date: 2011-02-08 05:18 (UTC)
Subject: Good Brain Fodder & My Two Cents' Worth
Do you believe full access to healthcare is a right or a privilege? Why?

Neither, but it should be under our Social Contract. IT though, IMHO, should not be "full access." Some poor kid born w/a cleft palate should be be able to have it fixed. A 15/25/whatever-year old w/poor self-image should not have any right to have the state pay for a nose-job.

Things get even trickier when it comes down to massively expensive efforts to prolong life, 'specially when it seems durned-near impossible (e.g., brain vegetation) for decent life-quality to return. Darned tricky calls to make.

Not allowing - heck, mandating - full childhood immunizations for all residents = massively unwise from a public health perspective.

Edited at 2011-02-08 05:19 am (UTC)
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