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Google Protects Healthcare From Michael Moore 1153 1153

An anonymous reader suggests we stop over to ZDNet for a case where Google may be stepping on the wrong side of that famous Don't Be Evil line. A Google staffer is offering to help the healthcare industry contain the damage that Michael Moore's film is about to do. (Here is the original Google Health Advertisement blog post by Lauren Turner; in case it disappears, it is reproduced in full in the ZDNet post.) Quoting from the Google post: "Many of our clients face these issues; companies come to us hoping we can help them better manage their reputations through 'Get the Facts' or issue management campaigns. Your brand or corporate site may already have these informational assets, but can users easily find them? We can place text ads, video ads, and rich media ads in paid search results or in relevant websites within our ever-expanding content network. Whatever the problem, Google can act as a platform for educating the public and promoting your message. We help you connect your company's assets while helping users find the information they seek."
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Google Protects Healthcare From Michael Moore

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  • by Volante3192 (953645) on Saturday June 30, 2007 @11:51PM (#19703461)
    Is it too hard to believe that maybe, just maybe, he wants to spur debate on the health care issue in the US? I doubt the majority of people in the US would say they're happy with their coverage.

    Whether or not you agree with him is irrelivant: the point is to open debate. Bring the issue into the open rather than let it fester like sores that don't get treated.

    And as far as documentaries being neutral, I really wish people would get over that fallacy. Unless you're Ken Burns making a documentary on something happening over a century ago, the film ends up taking a side. Would you consider Battle for Brazil a 'neutral' piece? It doesn't exactly place Sid Sheinberg in a very favorable light.

    I'll admit Moore uses more non-documentary techniques, and they seem to fall more under Op/Ed pieces, but strictly speaking, a documentary is a documentation of fact. Whether or not those facts picked are the mainstream or the outlying data points, or if they have a heavy emotional impact, it still makes them fact. Facts on the fringe are still facts.

    And I think there's enough questions about that Roger and Me incident to not have it carved in stone yet...but it sounds like you've already made your mind up. That, I think, is Moore's biggest problem...he's too polarizing. The films he makes are great for opening conversation; but people seem to have already made up their mind before...
  • Re:Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arthurpaliden (939626) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @12:13AM (#19703605)

    Except of course for the 45 Million Americans who cannot afford it and have no insurance.

    What Cuba has is an excellent 'low tech proactive health care system for every one' as opposed to the United States which does not. It has high tech medicine availible for those who can pay. In Cuba I can go to a doctor as soon as I feel unwell. I will then be treated usually preventing my illness, say pneumonia, from getting worse. I know the visit to the doctor is 'free' as opposed to in the United States where I only go to the Emergency room when I am nearly dead because I cannot afford to go to a doctor at the beginning of the illness and then the state has to pick up the entire cost on my hospital stay.

  • by nido (102070) <nido56@yah o o . c om> on Sunday July 01, 2007 @12:18AM (#19703641) Homepage

    The only way you can really do this is crippling tax rates on the super rich,
    One thing that gets glossed over in SiCKO is how much profiteering there is in the U.S. healthcare system. For example, when my Grandmother was in the final months of her conventional treatment for Multiple Myeloma (sp?), her doctor perscribed Thalidomide [essentialdrugs.org]. Cost for a one month supply (30 pills, iirc) was $2309.99. Cost in Brazil: $0.09/pill. Thalidomide's patent has long-since expired, but the U.S. distribution company has patented a method that's supposed to keep the pill away from pregnant women (Thalidomide was banned because it causes birth defects).

    Just one example - there are countless others.
  • Bull spit (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 01, 2007 @12:18AM (#19703643)
    >Cuba has a great medical system...as long as you are one of the elites.

    My buddy's girlfriend severed her tendons in a home accident while they lived in Cuba and was taken to the local hospital and operated the same day. She is canadian so of course its not the same as a local but she told us about the people she met on her floor (no political apparatchiks) and compared it to waiting times in Canada and it wasnt even close.

    Is there favoritism?
    Probably the same you get if you are in the US and are part of the 'chosen' tribe: it doesnt affect you either way if it doenst affect you.

    Bottom line, service was quick and grandmothers and housewives were treated as well.

    The doctor/patient ratio in Cuba is still very high even though they've sent tens of thousands of doctors and nurses in Venezuela (those animals.... how dare they offer to take care of a poor population where 3/4 have never seen a doctor or dentist in their lives) and while their technology is behind ours, our own population want exactly dying 40-50 years ago without the fancy gadgets we have now.

    Keep spreading the FUD my friend
  • by casings (257363) * on Sunday July 01, 2007 @12:20AM (#19703659)
    So by your logic all of those tobacco, alcohol, firearm lobbies are just doing their part and not actually evil. Trying to spin coverage of a practices pretty universal unethical practices is unethical. If you believe the healthcare companies practice is ethical and you feel like you need to defend it, thats great and you are entitled to your opinion, but the majority of the western world disagrees with you, more importantly the majority of ethical intellectuals disagrees with you.

    Protect an unethical corporation/system all you would like. Just don't claim to be doing "good".

    Google went a long way with their don't be evil slogan, but now that they are public, it is my opinion that it is time to put it to rest, because it just ain't true no more.
  • Sicko is BS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by forlornhope (688722) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @12:34AM (#19703745) Homepage
    I'd just like point out this link: http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1563758/st ory.jhtml [mtv.com]

    From MTV no less. But its worth a read. In short, you can't mandate access to a scarce resource without rationing. The best course of action (IMHO) is to reduce the cost of healthcare. And no, I'm not talking about making health insurance charge less by some law, I'm talking about reducing the real costs. The cost of malpractice insurance is one area that creates a big impact on the final cost of health care. Also moving more of the development of new drugs into public institutions and making sure that the results aren't privatized. Even patent reform could help in this area.

    There are underlying realities in the health care industry that can not be changed. You can't increase the number of EFFECTIVE doctors and you can't make them work for peanuts. You can drive down the costs of education, equipment and drugs through the use of public funding though.
  • Re:Not Evil (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jorghis (1000092) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @12:35AM (#19703757)
    Dont get me wrong, I have a pretty low opinion of Michael Moore, but his criticisms of the health insurance industry are very accurate. They do routinely find ways to deny life saving operations to people who have been paying their premiums their entire lives. Let me repeat that, people who have been paying for the insurance their entire lives die because the insurance companies want to save a few bucks. This is very evil. Moore cant help but be accurate in his criticisms of the HMOs, its so easy to find outragous stories about what they have done to their clients. Socialism may be a bad idea, but something does need to be done about these insurance companies letting their clients die. Shame on google for trying to help them with their image. If they want to clean up their image they should stop trying to find ways to let their clients die.
  • by canuck57 (662392) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @12:49AM (#19703837)

    (And no, I'm not arguing that Canada has a perfect system, either)

    Then we agree. Both systems are foobar just that there are not that many "objective" people that can admit it. I have lived 10 years in the US, and about near triple that in in Canadian system and can honestly say they BOTH have serious problems. I am going to get the revenge of the mod down but what the heck...

    Canada's claim to fame is that it is "perceived" to be universal. And it is sort of if you overlook the regional approvals that go on. Often based on age and are you paying taxes. Case in point, I had a career/lifestyle threatening condition, as did my mother, about the same time. I wait 30 days, she waits 1 year and 4 months. Tehy occured about the same time, same issue, same doctors, just that I am working any paying taxes. The difference, I could say disability insurance if they didn't fix it, my mother is already on CPP/retirement (Social Security for the US readers).

    Next Canadian point, my father in law has been waiting 4 months to see a specialist about dizziness due to what is suspected to be an inner ear issue. There are also numerous cases where hospitals out west ran out of the ability to deliver babies so they went to Montana (lucky kids, hope they get their dual citizenship).

    So for Canada you have a backlogged, often rationed and "tax" expensive system and no options as there is only one service provider and they know it.

    In the US, subscription is option so coverage is not universal. It's biggest weakness. While I don't agree with government doing it, the US should have a law that says if you work you or your employer must pay and subscribe including your dependents. Also the nickel and dime paper work, a service charge to could Kleenex used? Come now? Hasn't the autocracy costs been added up? But never had to wait in line...

    The best thing would be for Canada and the US to sit down together and figure out what is best of both systems and how to eliminate the was and BS in both. But I suspect such insight in our politicians isn't there.

  • Re:Micheal? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 01, 2007 @01:47AM (#19704155)
    I suppose a lot of folks who would be disappointed or even outraged by this news are also proponents of other progressive social causes such as net neutrality.

    If you are in that group, consider that true net neutrality means that the "bad guys" get to get their messages carried, too.

    Why indict Google for providing a level playing field?

    "But they don't have to run their ads!" you might say. Well, if the ads don't get clicked, they don't often show up, regardless of CPC. And that's where Google is doing no evil.
  • Re:Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Prof.Phreak (584152) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @02:12AM (#19704295) Homepage
    20-somethings who choose to have $150 a month extra partying money

    That's assuming you're employed with insurance. Ever priced self-employed insurance? It's -way- more than $150 a month. A friend of mine pays $1500 a month. It just about approaches his mortgage, and in a few years (due to inflation), it will surpass it. Isn't that a bit ridiculous?
  • by Newer Guy (520108) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @02:25AM (#19704371)
    I don't have health insurance. My COBRA ran out in January. I was paying amlost SEVENTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH for Blus Cross that paid 80% of IN NETWORK stuff-and even THAT had a yearly deductible applied to it. My son caught Lyme Disease last summer, and the co pays and deductibles for that ONE incident cost me almost $6000.00! Doing consulting last year, I grossed about $52,000. Take away $1668.00 (monthly COBRA) * 12 months and then add $6000.00 to that. What do you get? TWENTY SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS! HALF of my pre-tax income went DIRECTLY to health insurance. Actually, it was closer to THIRTY TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS, because my wife has Asthma and takes medication for depression, and my 17 year old daughter fell on ice and fractured her tailbone. And some of you here have the NERVE to tell me this is okay??? I have an average sized family with four children on the health insurance. Health care costs were the SINGLE BIGGEST EXPENSE I paid last year! MORE then housing, MORE then food, MORE then ANYTHING...IN fact, MORE then EVERYTHING ELSE PUT TOGETHER!!!

    But this is okay for most of you, RIGHT? After all, YOU have company health insurance, and you're single..RIGHT? Well, so did I, until one day when I was LAID OFF!

    Don't you DARE say that the health care system in the USA is fair or equitable! It isn't...and I'm LIVING PROOF OF IT!!
  • Re:Not Evil (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kir (583) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @02:49AM (#19704483) Homepage
    I'd like to see the reaction to your argument if you replaced any mention of health care industry with oil industry. It would be quite ugly I'm sure.
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @03:06AM (#19704553) Journal
    I have not had healthcare for years for financial reasons and America still has the best health care system in the world.

    I admit I am becoming quite conservative over the last few years and would formally agreed with you.

    The problem I see is as of right now if the cost of health care keeps going up by the time 2020 comes along 100% of all taxes will just pay for medicare/medicaid!

    Universal health care will break our government and cause it to bankrupt. Also the public sector is quite bad and I have seen Canadian health care first hand. 5 hours waiting to get your teeth clean?? The bean counters and greedy admins are worse in the public sector where they are not accountable. Universal health care would magnify the problem.

    America is not alone in the issue of declining health care. We need to bust these small pharmaceutical companies up which hold all the patents and charging obscene rates. Europe too is having skyrocketing Intellectual property rights for standard procedures and drugs owned by a few and the tax payers are being screwed over.

  • by optikSmoke (264261) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @03:29AM (#19704687) Homepage
    I have been doing a lot of reading up on health care statistics lately, and I recognize most of those mentioned in the above post. The most astonishing fact I've stumbled upon is that the U.S. *government* spends more on health care per capita than most other nations (including Canada). Then, you add on that the States also spend more (much much more) per person than other nations on private funding, and you can understand why the system costs more.

    I think the whole "public healthcare raises taxes" argument is lost right there -- if the States had a system anywhere close to the efficiency of other industrialized nations', they could theoretically be spending just as much at the government level and chuck most of the private health costs. Of course, that's probably unrealistic in that it would likely be politically difficult to build a system like that out of the one in place now.

    Anyway, since I can't recall all of the sources of the statistics I've read, I did a bit of googling for you. Right off the top, the OECD (http://www.oecd.org/) [oecd.org] is an excellent source that often pops up in such discussions. They have an entire section on Health statistics of member nations.

    And here's spending info courtesy of the WHO: http://www.who.int/whosis/database/core/core_selec t_process.cfm?countries=all&indicators=nha [who.int]
    This includes per capita government spending on health care, which happens to show that Canadian governement spending (for example) is less than U.S. Government spending, per capita.

    And a bit of a comparison of average life expectency and spending on health care (note the disparity when it comes to the U.S.): http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/spend.php [ucsc.edu].

    Anyway, what tends to bother me the most about these debates on Slashdot is that it often comes down to people with data to back them up versus people who blindly believe that the American system MUST cost less. I mean, it isn't government-run, right?

    That position is undeniably false, and I really wish we could at least get past that part of the debate so that something meaningful can come from these discussions. Of course, faith in the free market, just like any other faith, doesn't require facts to be believed.
  • Re:Sicko is BS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by maop (309499) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @03:45AM (#19704769)

    So, who should get treatment first? Two patients, exactly the same disease, in exactly the same stage. One is a famous surgeon and the other is a mentally ill homeless person. Who should be treated first? What if you can treat only one? What now?
    When you have two things with the same priority FIFO [wikipedia.org] comes to the rescue.
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @04:11AM (#19704889)

    Do you really want the people making decisions for you at the most vulnerable point in your life to be motivated by how much money they can make off of you, rather than what would be best for you?
    This doesn't change in a fully socialised health care system:

    http://news.netdoctor.co.uk/news_detail.php?id=180 52027 [netdoctor.co.uk]
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3196134.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    http://www.nice.org.uk/ [nice.org.uk]

    Etc, there's several more examples. In a socialised system, instead of making money off you, the care depends on how much you're going to cost the budget. Exactly the same thing as commercial healthcare.

     
  • by Skald (140034) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @04:13AM (#19704899)

    You need a treatment or you'll die. How much are you willing to pay to stay alive? I'd pay everything that I have, because it does me no good when I'm dead. This doesn't depend on how much I have. In fact, I'd be willing to pay money I don't even have yet. This is why so many people go into debt to stay alive in the USA.


    Assuming that there's only one person able to save my life, sure. Of course, that's not much of a market.

    That one person is going to make a lot of money... so much that other people are going to want to be able to do what he does. Once there are a suitable number of people willing to save my life, I have choices, and the price will drop. We won't stay alive without food, either... and most of us would have difficulty doing so without housing. Markets are about supply and demand.

    This glosses over a lot of important details, but so does the point being addressed. Possibly a good argument can be made that markets don't regulate health care well... but this isn't it. This argument doesn't address the most obvious free market predictions.

    By the way, if there really is only one person who has the cure for your disease... be thankful he's there, and that you do have the choice to give him everything you have in return for saving you. You can still decide not to.
  • by mvdwege (243851) <mvdwege@mail.com> on Sunday July 01, 2007 @05:03AM (#19705061) Homepage Journal

    According to my friends working in "Big Pharma," basically the prices they sell overseas, including Canada are "profitable" on a per-unit basis, because drug duplication costs are close to zero but the research is high.

    I respectfully suggest you go over to the SEC site and download and read the yearly statements of the Big Pharma companies. You'd be surprised how they actually spend their money, as opposed to what they tell the public via their PR firms. And yes, the low-level drones in such companies do belong to the public, they get fed the same bullshit.

    In fact, I have Pfizer's 10-K in front of me now, and they are in the midst of a reorganisation cutting staff in their PGRD division and closing down entire R&D centers (and in the meantime expressing concern that attrition is so high in the R&D group. I wonder why that is?)

    And to close down the much-ballyhooed cost of getting approval: according to the 10-K, that takes 800 million dollars, and may take 10-15 years, so that cost can be amortised. Meanwhile, an approved patented medicine (a 20-year monopoly, remember?), may bring in 2 billion annually.

    You are being lied to. The facts are out there, look them up.

    Mart
  • Re:Mod Parent Down! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @05:28AM (#19705143) Journal
    I don't know if this is evidence, but I saw him in an interview promoting his book on PBS this last weekend. He goes on about how all the hospitals in the UK give people money when they leave to make sure they have a way home and food in their stomach. This interviewer asked if that was true, then why in the guardian was there a story about a 70 some year old woman treated and released and was found in the parking lot because she had no way home and no one to call for a ride. He said people fall through the cracks. He asked Moore about why, if the healthcare is so good in france, why then are they always protesting and stuff. And then more said it was becuase of the protests that it is so good. And then the interviewer asked if it is so good, why are we seeing them protest about the same stuff? and moore moved on to talking about canada avoiding the question.

    Then moore said he went to Canada and went to a hospital emergency room and saw nothing different then in America. He said there wasn't any waiting like everyone says. And the interviewer asked a few questions then Moore finally admitted that there is generally a 4 to 6 week waiting priod to see specialist and then to ge treatments authorized.

    So, at least from an interview promoting the movie, it seems like everything is contrived in the same sense the GP was claiming. This move is "Moore of the same" (pardon the pun). Or at least all indecations seem that way.
  • Re:Sicko is BS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jbssm (961115) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @05:47AM (#19705225)
    Err man ... but the life expectancy in Europe is higher than in the USA ... if we don't care about dying and we don't spend as much money as Americans trying to get a cure how do you explain that?

    Your health system is fucked because most of the money people put in to it goes to make insurance companies richer not actually to take care of people.

    I see lots of greedy non-human people in this forum saying that they don't have to pay for other people problems ... guess they are so stupid that they don't realise that they are paying insurance and instead of paying to help other people they are paying to get insurance companies richer ... well, what can we say ... Americans.

    Bottom line is, medical treatment costs in Europe and much lower than in USA and people live longer AND we don't let children dye without treatment just because their parents cannot afford it. We are more humane and more efficient!

  • Re:Critical thinking (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ThEATrE (1071762) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @05:55AM (#19705265)
    What good aspects, exactly? The company the employee worked for didn't want to get sued, so they provided him with health care.

    It's frustrating sometimes to interact with someone who's so blind.
  • Re:Critical thinking (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lysse (516445) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @05:59AM (#19705297)
    What would the story have been if he'd severed his thumb on his own time? Or developed lung cancer?
  • by blitz487 (606553) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @06:26AM (#19705425)
    ...for the illusion of 'free' health care.

    A lot of people believe that the US health care system is free market. It is not. 50% of all health care dollars are spent by the government. The government runs 5 socialized health care systems: medicare, medicaid, military hospitals, VA hospitals, and the indian hospitals. The rest is heavily regulated from top to bottom. It might be only 10% free market. Most of the problems with it are attributable to government interference.

    Remember our wounded soldiers the government abandoned at Walter Reed Hospital? Look forward to plenty of that with the government running your health care.
  • Come On.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wdr1 (31310) * <wdr1NO@SPAMpobox.com> on Sunday July 01, 2007 @06:33AM (#19705445) Homepage Journal
    Oh Lord... Listen people, free speech cuts both way. It not only allows you to say what /you/ believe, but it also allows others to say what /they/ believe.

    There's no love lost for insurance companies from me, but I'd much rather they too have free speech, even if it means "spinning" things their way, than to start censoring anyone who disagree with Michael Moore.

    -Bill
  • by Weedlekin (836313) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @06:36AM (#19705459)
    "We also have humane and effective universal health cover in Australia and you can take out private insurance if you want a private room for mum and baby, silicone implants, ect."

    That's the way it also works in a lot of European countries (but not of course all of them). Everyone pays for the state system from taxes (so rich people who never use it are paying far more than the poorer ones who do), but there are is also private healthcare funded by those who choose to buy insurance or pay for a one-off item such as "vanity" cosmetic surgery. There are two main advantage to a choice-based environment: (1) the state can concentrate its resources on those who actually need them; and (2) there is secondary set of medical services (beds, doctors, nurses, advanced equipment such as MRI) that the state can pay to use when required, but are entirely maintained at someone else's expense when the state doesn't need them.

    (state system funded by everyone) + (private sector paid for by those who want to use it) > (state sector only) OR (private healthcare only)
  • by whoop (194) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @07:19AM (#19705637) Homepage
    I work in this evil health care system. I treat people with kidney failure. I treat everyone from homeless to wealthy people. They get their medication, treatments, and kidney transplants whether it be from their own insurance or state money and charities.

    A coworker's mother with no insurance was diagnosed with uteran cancer. She was given a list of charities, free clinics, etc to contact. She did, had a hysterectomy, and is recovering without a penny spent.

    In 2006, my wife racked up $600,000 in a hospital stay. The insurance settled with the hospital (as they do) for about $200,000. I pay $250 a month for it through my mediocre job. I would have to work 66 years for them to break even for that one stay. At no time did they say, "Alright, we've paid enough, you're out of the hospital on your own."

    There are plenty of counter-examples to Michael Moore's movies. I've seen more people die from a fear of needles (voluntarily refusing treatment) than from lack of insurance/money.
  • Re:Not Evil (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vertinox (846076) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @08:22AM (#19705935)
    And I suppose if you obediently believe every line that Moore has to tell you about the matter is the whole and honest extent of the truth, then there is no possibility that anything could counter it.

    That's the problem with these things. When the truth gets a bad spokesperson, people discount it.

    I for one would had to see Moore do a documentary on the Holocaust or the Sudanese Genocide. People would actually give the genocide deniers a legitimate platform in which to put forth a counter view just because Moore happened to be on the side of those telling the truth.
  • Re:Not Evil (Score:3, Interesting)

    by arivanov (12034) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @09:44AM (#19706459) Homepage
    Sulphur and wear? This is the first time I hear this one. Would you mind posting a couple of references?
  • Re:Mod Parent Down! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) * <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Sunday July 01, 2007 @09:54AM (#19706551) Homepage
    I'm going to say that any system that steals from the working population to help the people who refuse to work is a system that is nowhere near perfect and quite a ways off from ideal.
  • by crmartin (98227) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @10:16AM (#19706725)
    Idiot. What's "evil" about offering rebuttal google ads so heath care companies can answer Moore?

    You want evil, go look up what Castro does to dissidents.
  • Re:Not Evil (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Afecks (899057) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @10:19AM (#19706761)

    moore is a sensationalist idiot

    many people who are sick and dieing cling to unproven treatments which aren't covered by the funds for very good reasons
    Just watch the movie before being prejudicial. You have no clue what you are talking about. It's not just about the "Rainmaker" cases where they kill someone that needed a bone marrow transplant (not experimental at all) which they do show one case of. It's also not about the millions of Americans that have absolutely no health insurance even though that should be enough to upset anyone. No, what's really wrong with the system is how every single step of the way, the medical companies are fighting with you. From the ambulance ride to the IV drugs to the overpriced prescriptions, they are looking for some way to stick it to you. The fact alone that they make more money by giving less medical care is completely flawed and ultimately a case of "letting the wolves guard the chicken coop".
  • Re:Not Evil (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jorghis (1000092) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @11:01AM (#19707139)
    OK, I will bite. What does he say about the american health insurance companies that is untrue? Im not talking about the cuba trip, or his fascination with socialism in general, just want to know what you think is untrue about the health insurance companies. I am not defending him as a filmmaker, I know a lot of what he says is horribly misleading. But he really cant help but be correct when he talks about the health insurance industry because there are serious problems there. So what is he saying about the health insurance companies that is untrue?
  • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @12:59PM (#19708245)
    The AMA set itself up as a gatekeeper to the medical profession and medicine.

    The AMA, and doctors in general, are a real part of the problem. We would have more doctors if we didn't do so much hazing of medical students. We don't let anyone into medical school, and then we make them waste hellish years of their lives studying shit like anatomy that most doctors never use, or staying awake for 30 hour days during their residencies. By the time they emerge from the hazing process they are fatigued and bitter and they support further hazing of doctors because they had to do it and now they are going to enjoy the benefits of being in an exclusive club damn it. So doctors become a scarce resource. Really it isn't that hard to be a doctor, and in my experience most of these guys aren't that good anyway. Talk about a self-worshipping profession.
  • by symbolset (646467) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @01:23PM (#19708441) Journal

    In law it's called "passing the bar". The idea is to rate-limit admission of new practitioners of the arts through processes that are arbitrary and unknowable by the applicants. It's part of the veil of mystery that vests the practitioners with supposed special powers.

    In short, I agree with you. What this system needs is some light.

  • by NIckGorton (974753) on Sunday July 01, 2007 @11:36PM (#19712869)
    That would be a tax to cover a percentage of the population: those who are over 65 who have worked (or their spouse worked) ~10 years while paying that tax, many of the disabled, and those who have end stage renal disease (ESRD) who need dialysis. That would not be what I spoke of in the quote you used which is health care for all.

    Though to be honest paying that tax pisses me off a bit precisely because of one specific wastefulness: Medicare Renal (for those with ESRD.) Diabetes affects about 20 million Americans (mostly type-2). If you have diabetes and no insurance, you are most often unable to treat your diabetes. Untreated diabetes results in many complications, but a common one is kidney damage resulting in ESRD.

    So instead of paying $1000/year to treat a type 2 diabetic with a pill costing $1/day, we wait till he has developed severe and inevitable complications of that untreated diabetes. Then once the horse is out of the barn, we decide to treat him at the cost of $30,000-40,000 per year plus often a kidney transplant (about $100,000 of yours and my taxpayer dollars). So in addition to costing much more, this squanders a scarce resource (kidneys for transplant) into a group whose ESRD could have been easily an inexpensively treated. An ounce of prevention is not only worth a pound of cure, its a shitload less expensive as well

    Its like refusing to pay to put oil in your car till the engine seizes and then buying a new engine. That is, fucktarded.

    Nick

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