July 9th, 2012


(no subject)

So the other day I was hanging out with some of my liberal-leftist-commie-pinko-socialist-anarchist friends. (You decide if that's the appropriate adjective for one of my friends, all of them, or each friend has some combination of those. Enjoy.)

One of them was all happy about John Roberts (he went so far as to call him a "hunk") going to bat for the ACA. According to my buddy, the ACA is indeed going to help Americans, long term, by essentially eliminating for-profit healthcare in the US.

What what what? My ears perked up as he spoke. I'm in favor of single-payer, UHC, cause nobody, no matter how poor or irresponsible, should die cause they can't see a doctor or get the needed meds or required surgery, cause they can't afford it. Life is more important than money. Full stop.

So, he said that the ACA would bring about (essentially) the end of for-profit healthcare in the US. He says this because of the part of the bill that requires a specific % of money collected by spent on actual patient healthcare. This %, iirc, is around 80%. Which means if a company pulls in $100M, it MUST spend $80M on patient healthcare, OR--it must REFUND the money over that %.

That does, to me anyway, sound like a cap on the profitability of healthcare. That sounds like a good start.

My friend was explaining that yes, they can make a little on the top, but such a small amount that it's not terribly profitable and eventually, the healthcare market will be able (and willing, cause there won't be monied interests fighting against it) to collapse into a single-payer style system.

Now, I'm no expert on the ACA, healthcare or insurance. But this sounds good to me. This sounds right. And it sounds like one reason I should actually THANK Obama for this HCR. There were moments when I viewed it as a gigantic handout to the insurance companies--requiring us all to go buy their shit. But with this requirement about spending a certain % on patient care, I no longer see it as a corporate handout.

I'm curious: do you see the mandate regarding a certain % being spent on patient care or else there must be a refund as a good thing or a bad thing? (c'mon you greedy fucks free market libertarians, explain why companies should be allowed to make 80% profit off my illness)
Also, do you see this as being the slow road to the elimination of for-profit healthcare in the US?

And finally, on the whole, are you happy or unhappy with Obama for his HCR? What, specifically would you want done different?

Two is one too many

[WARNING: very gory NSFW pic, please don't open if you don't want to see dead fetuses!] This article includes a picture of a young mother on the hospital bed, the corpse of her 7-month old stillborn baby laid lifeless beside her after the lethal injection she was given by the local family planning authorities. This is a moment that millions of Chinese families have gone through in recent years, after failing to comply with the One Child policy that's aimed to curb population growth in the most populous country. Pictures like these have circulated around the Internet, being uploaded by families who've endured such massacre, and have caused a huge outcry. Comments vary, but the general sense is expressed by one that made me the most impression: "They say that's what the Japanese devils and the Nazi used to do. Except this is happening now, and it's not a separate incident... These people should be executed..." Another one said, "This is pure murder, plain and simple. These are not real human beings. This country is full of monsters".

Until recently, the drama of this family and millions like it would've gone unnoticed and ignored, especially if it happened in remote rural areas like this. It would've been just part of the statistics. But now the broad online echo is an example of a rising activeness within the Chinese society, showing how much the One Child policy is hated by the Chinese. Despite all the blackout that the state is attempting, there's an increasing number of outlets and ways to express one's position in China. The authorities just can't tap all of it. They're trying to keep the whole thing under a close supervision, so they must be already well aware of the widespread discontent with such policies.

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