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Posted Oct 9, 2012 21:16 UTC (Tue) by Seegras (subscriber, #20463)
Patents are over-regaulation at its worst. The total anathema of any free market.
Posted Oct 9, 2012 21:28 UTC (Tue) by dashesy (subscriber, #74652)
Posted Oct 9, 2012 22:12 UTC (Tue) by Seegras (subscriber, #20463)
Posted Oct 9, 2012 22:20 UTC (Tue) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
Unfortunately if it Is true that certain essential services like 'health care' and other tasks can only be properly done by government... then all I can say that we are well and truly screwed because the governments, essentially all governments and especially the USA one, are ran by either evil men and/or incompetent morons. It means that there is no possible solution for the plight we are in right now.
So far, at least in the USA, the best solution they have come up with so far to reduce the price of health care and provide universal coverage is 'Make it illegal not to buy health insurance'. This sort of thing does not fill me with much confidence.
But that is neither here nor there.
The reality is:
The government is destroying technological progress, destroying the profitability of competitive corporations, and strangling innovation through it's use of laws the government says is designed to promote progress, increase profits, and artificially boost the rate of innovation.
There are people in there that ACTUALLY BELIEVE that the problem isn't that the patent system is terrible, but the fact that everybody else in the world is not forced to run under the same system.
Posted Oct 10, 2012 13:26 UTC (Wed) by robert_s (subscriber, #42402)
Ah, an American. You haven't really travelled much outside the US, have you? Government-run health care works surprisingly well in many countries, though I can only personally vouch for the UK.
Posted Oct 10, 2012 19:02 UTC (Wed) by Jonno (subscriber, #49613)
And yes, that includes the € 6'000'000 hearing implant the deaf child needs in order to start hearing. She was on the news as a human interest story recently. The cost was only mentioned in passing, the news wasn't that a girl got an expensive treatment, it was how exalted she was when hearing her mother say her name for the first time.
*That* is what a 32% income tax + 20% VAT buys you...
Posted Oct 10, 2012 19:05 UTC (Wed) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
Posted Oct 11, 2012 10:00 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Posted Oct 11, 2012 10:07 UTC (Thu) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Posted Oct 11, 2012 10:53 UTC (Thu) by andresfreund (subscriber, #69562)
Posted Oct 12, 2012 0:21 UTC (Fri) by cortana (subscriber, #24596)
Posted Oct 12, 2012 3:01 UTC (Fri) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
In a pure government run system, paying for treatment yourself is not allowed.
That's why I said that government run systems only work when you have the option to not rely on them.
for all that people have been claiming that medical care in the US is a disgrace and behind the rest of the world, when people with money really need treatment, they come to the US to get it (except when the AMA has not blessed the treatment, then the people with money go where the AMA doesn't block new treatments)
This indicates that while the 'health care system' may not be what you want, the medical care available is what you want.
the problem is trying to find a way to solve the problems without loosing the advantages.
Posted Oct 12, 2012 7:58 UTC (Fri) by ekj (guest, #1524)
You're saying that in a fully governmental medical system, there's a risk that a few people who get only good care, but could avoid paying out-of-pocket for excellent care, are worse off. Countries with universal healthcare don't typically have any rules prohibiting buying additional care for yourself though, so this is largely a strawman.
I've not seen anyone claim that the medical care available to those with money in USA is a disgrace. The part that is disgraceful is at the other end of the scale.
Universal health care
Posted Oct 12, 2012 8:14 UTC (Fri) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Posted Oct 12, 2012 8:49 UTC (Fri) by ekj (guest, #1524)
A lower middle-class person who gets sick with no health-insurance, risks losing the small amount of wealth he has, and to have the income of the family drop to welfare levels. A person with essentially zero wealth, and income which is already at welfare-levels is immune to financial woes of this sort.
According to CNN, medical debt is involved in 60% of the personal bankruptices that occur. I'm guessing that's mainly people who are neither wealthy nor dirt-poor.
Posted Oct 12, 2012 9:23 UTC (Fri) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Posted Oct 12, 2012 9:44 UTC (Fri) by cortana (subscriber, #24596)
You can lose your credit rating! This means you will pay significantly more for any kind of credit for many, many years in the future.
Posted Oct 12, 2012 10:18 UTC (Fri) by ekj (guest, #1524)
A) If you're "really poor", your credit rating is likely to be poor to catastrophic already.
B) It's still a larger loss to loose large fractions of your income, and all of your wealth, and your credit-rating, instead of losing only your credit-rating.
C) If you're "really poor", then there's very few situations where getting credit will help you, it will help short-term, but at a cost of additional pain longer term. The exception is if the short-term cost is for something that gives you additional income longer-term. (say buying a used car, to be able to commute to a new job you got)
Posted Oct 13, 2012 0:56 UTC (Sat) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
My Insurance gives me a statement for each transaction that shows what the medical provider billed, what the 'negotiated' rate that the Insurance company is actually going to pay based on, and how much of that I owe.
I's very common for the insurance rate to be a 60% or larger discount of the price that an individual would have to pay. I've seen quite a few cases where what the provider accepts as 'payment in full' is a 90% discount off of what they would charge someone without insurance.
And it doesn't matter if the Insurance company is going to pay the bill, or if I am going to have to pay the bill (part of the deductable, past the limit for the year, etc)
If I could pay the same rates that the Insurance companies pay, I would not need to have any insurance beyond a 'catastrophic event' policy that wouldn't kick in without an event over say $10,000
Posted Oct 12, 2012 9:42 UTC (Fri) by cortana (subscriber, #24596)
Posted Oct 12, 2012 10:10 UTC (Fri) by andresfreund (subscriber, #69562)
Does that answer the question?
Posted Oct 12, 2012 10:43 UTC (Fri) by cortana (subscriber, #24596)
Posted Oct 12, 2012 14:23 UTC (Fri) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
I might also point out that in the UK at least, most people who can afford private medicine still don't use it because they trust the NHS more. (The NHS is one of the most trusted organizations in the country, certainly far more so than the politicians who are its nominal bosses). In any case, as I mentioned above, particularly serious or complex conditions would probably get bounced to an NHS facility and NHS staff in any case, because only they have the scale to deal with them.
The NHS has lots of problems, including perennial shortage of funds, but I don't see how you could say that it only works because of the existence of private facilities. Indeed when the NHS recently tried to rely on private facilities to do some of its more routine surgical work for it, it generally didn't work, with contracts mandating payment for operations whether or not they are ever carried out, a frighteningly high percentage of botched operations, and so forth. (This caused a pretty big scandal and a lot of severely indebted NHS trusts.)
Posted Oct 12, 2012 22:33 UTC (Fri) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
For the two remaining readers let me revisit for a moment drag's nth edition of the libertarian credo:
Unfortunately if it Is true that certain essential services like 'health care' and other tasks can only be properly done by government... then all I can say that we are well and truly screwed because the governments, essentially all governments and especially the USA one, are ran by either evil men and/or incompetent morons.
The same works for patents: we have fought software patents in Europe successfully before, we should keep doing it (more and better), and spread the word to other not so lucky countries. We have many powerful friends, and we have to fight hard to win. Software patents have done no good to software development, ever; like slavery, half-measures are no good; total abolition is the only way.
And now let me roll down my banner and drift away.
Posted Oct 19, 2012 14:32 UTC (Fri) by robert_s (subscriber, #42402)
"That's true in every government-run health service I am aware of"
This is not a realistic portrayal of the UK NHS. To quote Simon Burns (no, I am no fan of his): "Our latest survey of over 70,000 patients shows that an overwhelming majority - 92% - say that their overall experience of the NHS was good, very good or excellent."
Posted Oct 20, 2012 14:59 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Posted Oct 23, 2012 15:44 UTC (Tue) by robert_s (subscriber, #42402)
An interesting view.
Posted Oct 23, 2012 17:41 UTC (Tue) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
Any health care system that's controlled by a single entity is going to have cases where it fails badly. It may work for many common cases, but if you are in the group that it is failing badly for, you need to have the option of using a different system.
Government run systems are not exceptions to this. They work when people have the option to go elsewhere. If people do not have the option to go elsewhere, you end up with a black market in medical care (or with those with enough money flying to other countries to get care)
In the western world no government has tried to lock things down this tightly, but from stories I've heard In the communist countries things have tended to be far more locked down.
Posted Oct 24, 2012 16:03 UTC (Wed) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Posted Oct 11, 2012 12:50 UTC (Thu) by etienne (subscriber, #25256)
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