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Sodas
09-19-2008, 10:37 PM
Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.

John McCain - this month's edition of http://www.contingencies.org/ - you can see a preview in pdf form at http://www.contingencies.org/septoct08/mccain.pdf (Better Health Care at Lower Cost for Every American)

tanaww
09-19-2008, 10:42 PM
Oh sweet Jesus....

Frenzy
09-20-2008, 12:07 AM
i admit i don't understand the health care system. i get coverage thru my employer, and they have 2 choices: a for-profit providor (Blue Cross) and a not-for-profit providor (Kaiser). i have insanely cheap coverage ($50/month for family), though it doubled from last year, and will double again the next two years. It's still less than what my brother pays for his coverage thru his employer (over $400/month for family coverage). i know we have a few in the medical profession here on the board, can you elucidate the system for my uneducated self?

John Snow
09-20-2008, 12:49 AM
i know we have a few in the medical profession here on the board, can you elucidate the system for my uneducated self?

no.

Frenzy
09-20-2008, 12:55 AM
no.
ouch. :eek: :p

Terez
09-20-2008, 01:06 AM
I'm sure Yuri will fill us in. :D

tworiverswoman
09-20-2008, 01:29 AM
Hawaii is the only state in the nation with mandated health care coverage for employees who work more than 20 hours per week. It was passed back in 1976, and I found out today that there is a special exemption from ERISA (federal) that Hawaii had to have, or we wouldn't have the coverage. Ain't that interesting? We had to have a SPECIAL EXEMPTION FROM ERISA, signed by Ronald Reagan, so that most employees in Hawaii would have health care coverage. Our government amazes me, sometimes.

The law allows employers to recover up to 50% of the premium from the employee, but it's capped at 1.5% of the employee's earnings -- so most employers don't even bother charging.

My company has the full package -- major medical, dental, drug and vision -- at a cost per employee of slightly less than $400 per month. We offer plans through either Kaiser (HMO) or HMSA/Blue Cross. I find it fascinating that the Carpenter's union (which two of our employees are members of) charges us around $3.50 per hour worked for Health Care coverage -- which, assuming a 40-hour week, comes to over $600 per month. :mad:

The plans can cover dependents -- but my bosses draw the line at paying for them -- you want to cover your six kids, you pay for it. The employee, however, is free -- which isn't really all that bad a deal.

Bryan Blaire
09-20-2008, 09:03 AM
Well, I don't really like a lot of government regulations on much, but health care is one area where I think that government regulations have the ability to really provide some good benefits. Not in the form of federal-run health care, etc, which we already have and it just doesn't work, but in the manner that they could provide mechanisms and incentives to the market that would make health care more affordable.

It all amounts to causality and consequences, and no one in the political race this year really has a clue.

Interesting information about Hawaii, Tru!

Crispin's Crispian
09-20-2008, 02:06 PM
Well, I don't really like a lot of government regulations on much, but health care is one area where I think that government regulations have the ability to really provide some good benefits. Not in the form of federal-run health care, etc, which we already have and it just doesn't work, but in the manner that they could provide mechanisms and incentives to the market that would make health care more affordable.

Are you talking about Medicare? Why do you say it doesn't work?

Bryan Blaire
09-20-2008, 02:39 PM
Have you had to actually file a claim and get it paid through Medicare? Have you seen the actual budget they operate on vs. how much they end up paying out for medical expenses? Have you been called by a doctor's office for four months when they are trying to get paid because Medicare hasn't paid them? After trying to deal with them for my grandmother vs. dealing with my insurance company: Medicare doesn't work.

The Medicare system is not a good system, and does have a lot of corruption inherent within the system, etc. The prescription expansion pretty much serves as yet another government hand out to the pharmaceutical industry (not a lot different than a good deal of all health care systems in the US anyway). Considering that Medicare was considered as a basis for a national health care system to cover everyone, I'll vote No, thanks.

Crispin's Crispian
09-20-2008, 02:45 PM
Have you had to actually file a claim and get it paid through Medicare? Have you seen the actual budget they operate on vs. how much they end up paying out for medical expenses? Have you been called by a doctor's office for four months when they are trying to get paid because Medicare hasn't paid them? After trying to deal with them for my grandmother vs. dealing with my insurance company: Medicare doesn't work.

Don't take it out on me, I was just asking a question. I was planning on speaking to my wife about it when she gets home from work. She works with Medicare on a daily basis, and from what she's described it doesn't sound too bad.

But again, I was just asking your opinion, not for a rant about how I'm not qualified to understand it.

Bryan Blaire
09-20-2008, 02:51 PM
I wasn't trying to take it out on you or rant. Those were actual questions, in addition to my irritation at Medicare. ;) I'm not saying you can't understand it, but much of the above is things that I've had to personally deal with. Personal mileage may vary. I haven't met anyone in Texas really happy with the Medicare system versus what service they can get from private insurance.

I honestly don't know what the problem is, because some doctors' offices seem to get paid well and smoothly, while others get the shaft. Some places are required to turn in certain other forms for claims, while other locations (sometimes with the same doctor working at another location) do not have to turn in those forms. It also seems to depend on which bureaucrat you are having to work with, and how bad that person's day has already been, etc.

To some extent, because I work for the gov't, I am inherently suspicious of any government systems (especially ones that have to be created/expanded) because I already see just how bad the great majority of the government agencies really are. It's just a bad, bad, bad return on tax payer investment.

SauceyBlueConfetti
09-20-2008, 03:41 PM
i know we have a few in the medical profession here on the board, can you elucidate the system for my uneducated self?

::soapbox::

I am not in the medical profession, I am in the insurance industry...I help companies plan, compare and implement their benefit packages...so i have no carrier affiliations here. You could say I am the one who works as the watchdog for companies VERSUS the carriers.

National healthcare will add to the destruction of our economy and bog us down more than ever in red tape. Just my opinion, and that could change if someone comes up with a decent plan. Neither McCain or Obama will solve this, but they could START as process.

FYI, non for profit means nothing in healthcare. Just longer meetings in the annual budgeting to figure out where to spread (or hide) the money next time. Again, just my opinion.

If you think tax code is hard, try getting an explanation of medical self funding by Blue Cross or how the Rx rebates and discounts work. I play bullshit bingo with Rx reps, they usually know less than I do and can NEVER explain their projected costs to me the first time without me poking holes in the numbers.

Taking state control from these issues will again cause more red tape and constant struggles for power which only leads to people getting sicker and dying faster. Corporation continue to drive out the small competitors who can ACTUALLY MANAGE health care.

The uneducated population contributes to the problem. Anyone know how much an actual doctor visit costs? Most see $10 office visit and move on. Rx is worse. I bet you all pass by gas stations in favor of a .10 savings at the next corner, but not one of you negotiates with your doctor on his costs. Do you compare hospital rankings, services and pricing? Do you check your Rx for cost vs. suitability? (some of you do, if you have a brand name copay on your plan).

High deductible health plans will be the future, and I would recommend you ask your employers about them. If you have one PUT THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT YOU CAN in the health savings account every single, bloody year, 'cause Medicare ain't gonna take care most of you once you hit 67 and the folks doing this will be the ones to live the longer, healthier, happier lives. Otherwise, go the way of Walt Disney.

Best of luck. McCain can't recall how many houses he owns, I am sure not trusting him (and his mega-rich wifey) to plan my medical future.

If you wan't statistics of costs, let me know. I do that every day and would be happy to share.

$600 a month for family medical coverage is likely less than 50% of the actual (premium) cost btw. I have seen two sets of preemie twins in my career, both almost bankrupted the companies. If you have family medical coverage, thank your employer and hope you keep your job.

John Snow
09-20-2008, 10:38 PM
I haven't met anyone in Texas really happy with the Medicare system versus what service they can get from private insurance.


that Medicare/Aid is run by the states. So indeed, your mileage varies a lot. Second big problem is, Medicare/Aid claims can go straight to the doc and are painlessly paid, or they may go to the doc's preferred provider organization, in which case there may be much pain. In my Very Large Integrated Health Care System, patients enrolled as Medicare/Aid patients don't even see the process; it simply happens in the bureaucracy and all is taken care of. Finally, those government programs tend to go as cheaply as possible on repayment. So unless you're willing to run a Medicare/Aid fraud shop, you're gonna lose money on those folks. Cost of doing business. Which brings me to a final point. Fee for service docs operate a lot like I do as a researcher. I will put together a study proposal, calculate the budget I need to do the work, then my institution adds in something called 'indirect costs'. This is intended to cover the cost of doing business - the building, the lights, the janitors, the admin staff - that kind of thing. It runs anywhere from 45% to 90% of the 'direct' budget. My institution charges an extra 64% in indirects on top of my original budget. Where this is like a medical office is that many fee-for-service docs will tack an extra amount on their fees for insured or wealthy patients, to cover the cost of doing business- in their case, the uninsured or the Medicaid/Care patients.

It really does work, Bryan, in that poor people and old people are a lot healthier than they were before this, although I won't argue your description of Medicare Part D, the prescription thingy. The whole package is something Eisenhower tried to do, and that resulted in the American Medical Association inventing the term "socialized medicine" to combat him.

tanaww
09-21-2008, 10:24 AM
It is imperative that access to healthcare be equal. Health Insurance be affordable and that all parties: patients, providers and insurers are treated fairly. No one should be without coverage and the level of coverage should not determine the level of treatment (and I mean both where underinsured do not get the care they need and the well-insured get treatments that aren't of value). I used to have a post saved in my bloglines about a mother's struggle with her very young child's illness due to poor medical coverage. That is an atrocity that we need to prevent.

Davian93
09-21-2008, 01:05 PM
Tana, out of curiosity, what is a "treatment not of any value"?

You mentioned it in reference to well-insured.

tanaww
09-21-2008, 01:11 PM
Tana, out of curiosity, what is a "treatment not of any value"?

You mentioned it in reference to well-insured.

I think that sometimes doctors will order tests with a higher profit margin when a less expensive one will work as well.

Davian93
09-21-2008, 01:14 PM
I think that sometimes doctors will order tests with a higher profit margin when a less expensive one will work as well.

I could see that. I could also see them not ordering necessary tests because of cost if they knew the subject didnt have the insurance to pay for it.

Bryan Blaire
09-21-2008, 01:23 PM
Tanaww said:

That is an atrocity that we need to prevent.

I'll only agree with that, Tanaww, if I'm allowed to charge everyone else for IVF if Gil and I need it to conceive. I don't recall any parents asking me for their approval to have a child so that I could prepare my hand-out for them just in case they have a kid with a medical issue. That's a parent's responsibility and the risk they take when having a kid.

Zaela Sedai
09-21-2008, 02:02 PM
Hawaii plans are oh so easy to build!!! I love pulling down those templates punching in a few numbers and then its good to go :)


One thing you guys have to understand about Healthcare is that there are two funding arangements to it. Fully Insured and ASO (Self-Funded)

Fully Insured is where the company elects to have (I'll use UnitedHealthcare since thats where I work) UHC pay all their medical bills. Said company the chooses which plan and coverages that they want. THe better the plan the higher the premiums obviously. The problem that has arisen is that medical bills have risen so much that premiums have sky rocketed. Gone are the days of copays and 100% coverage unlesss you work for the government or the State. I'm not taking all the blame off healthcare insurance providers, but they do need to be able to make money in order to stay in business. Fully Insured has to follow all the state mandates for coverage. Each state madates different coverages for different things....Let me =just take this oppurtunity to say, if you want the most coverage for the most things head down to Texas and work for a smaller company ;) Texas plans are a bitch to implement...90 pages of mandates.

ASO (Self-funded) is where the company you work for actually pays all the bills themselves. They decide what they want to cover and at what rate. Basically UHC is just the middle man and gets all the paperwork done. Generally its the really big companies that do this because it is more cost benficial for them. They gamble that it will be cheaper to pay for the hospital bills then the premiums to the insurance company. A small company would be better off paying premiums then having to pay a million bucks for someones cancer treatments, but larger companies are generally better off paying for the cancer treatment then paying the insurance premiums. Make sense? ASO funded groups do not have to follow mandates unless they choose to...and I belive they can charge the members whatever premium they decide...not 100% on that but I believe its the case. Usually ASO plans are what we would call crappy coverage because the companies you work for want to pay as little as possible. You cant blame the Insurance Industry on that one, you can blame the CEO who would rather have his 5 million dollar bonus then lower insurance rates and healthcare costs for all the little peons that work for him.


I don't know if that gives you and inside look or not, but thats how the plans work.

tanaww
09-21-2008, 03:47 PM
I'll only agree with that, Tanaww, if I'm allowed to charge everyone else for IVF if Gil and I need it to conceive. I don't recall any parents asking me for their approval to have a child so that I could prepare my hand-out for them just in case they have a kid with a medical issue. That's a parent's responsibility and the risk they take when having a kid.

I am not sure I understand what you're saying here Bryan, but I think that a certain number of IVF cycles should be covered by insurance as a part of every single human being having access to any and all necessary medical care. Parents really can't control whether their child is born healthy. Knowingly delivering a child with severe medical problems is a moral issue and I am not in a position to dictate anyone's morals but my own and those of my minor children. Everyone should have access to necessary medical care. Without Exception.

I blame the comparative amorality of my two adult biological children on you!

Bryan Blaire
09-21-2008, 06:50 PM
Well, that's fine that you think that, Tanaww, and if that was the way it worked, that would be great. However, it isn't, and therefore I shouldn't have to pay for anyone else's children after they are born if I can't get them to turn around and pay for my ability to even have them in the first place.

No, a set of parents can't control whether their child is born healthy, but why does that lack of control automatically make me required to pay for them taking that risk? It is very much a risk to have children, period, and if it isn't a decision run by the "community" for agreement, then the "community" shouldn't be obligated to pay for said children. To do otherwise is to remove, to some extent, the obligation and responsibility of having children from the parents and place it on the "community" without the "community's" prior consent, i.e., you are forcing people to pay or do things for which they have absolutely no control over, and thereby saying that the good of the few outweighs the good of the many.

Crispin's Crispian
09-22-2008, 11:32 AM
But that's how insurance works, and will always work. The vast majority of people paying premiums won't require big payouts from the insurance company. The premiums you pay are actually going to pay for other people's care.

Life insurance companies take this into account when they change premiums based on age, health, and lifestyle. Property insurers do the same thing, just with different factors. I can only assume that group health insurance does the same thing, except on a group by group basis (Zaela, correct me if I'm wrong).

I pay about $663 a month for health coverage (including medical, vision, and dental for my entire family); I pay 35% to my employer's 65% of the premium. That means the total cost to cover my family is roughly $23,000 per year. There's no way the four of us can possibly cost that much, unless something drastic happens.

Sure, you need to build in a profit margin for private companies, but they also need to pay for people who have massive procedures that can easily cost twice or more what we're paying per year.

What you're saying is that you shouldn't have to pay for someone to take a risk unless they're willing to pay for you. But that's how it works. Everyone is paying into a pool, so everyone (should) have equal coverage and opportunity to take those risks. And you sign onto a plan at the beginning--that's when you see what you're agreeing to do.

Neilbert
09-22-2008, 12:45 PM
I am not sure I understand what you're saying here Bryan, but I think that a certain number of IVF cycles should be covered by insurance as a part of every single human being having access to any and all necessary medical care.

How is IVF necessary medical care?

I could easily see making the argument that care for an infant or child is necessary (otherwise the child dies/gets sick/whatever), but I think calling IVF necessary is an abuse of the word.

However, it isn't, and therefore I shouldn't have to pay for anyone else's children after they are born if I can't get them to turn around and pay for my ability to even have them in the first place.

Paying for living children should always be a higher priority than paying people to have children. You might not think so, but any neutral party would agree.

I'm not saying paying for IVF is a baaad thing. But we pay for the living children, and then, if theres money left over, after all the kiddies are healthy, we can talk.

Gilshalos Sedai
09-22-2008, 12:50 PM
See? This is what happens when you're responsible and do the responsible thing. Like wait to have children till you can support them. Then you get slammed by an unforeseen genetic defect that kicks in when you're over 30.

I coulda had kids when I was in my teens, early 20s and been a welfare mom. Then you'd be paying for a whole different problem.

How is IVF necessary medical care?

I could easily see making the argument that care for an infant or child is necessary (otherwise the child dies/gets sick/whatever), but I think calling IVF necessary is an abuse of the word.

IVF is no more necessary than having children, period.

Ishara
09-22-2008, 01:16 PM
Wow, it is so times like these that I can really see the difference between our pov's. Tana, for the record, I'd still vote for you (I think you may be Canadian at heart).

Look, we pay into things in the event that we may require acess to them all the time up here. For example, Employment Insurance. I pay a premium on every paycheque that goes straight to the big EI fund. I can draw upon that fund if I'm ever laid off, but I pay it, and happily, in the hopes that I never, ever have to use it myself.

With health insurance, we pay for it through our taxes - there is no deduction labelled "health care." While health care is provided by the provinces, it is funded by both provincial and federal taxes, and the bill is paid for by both levels of government - almost like a co-pay.

I am a firm believer that health care is a basic human right. I have no problem paying for that family with preemie twins. And while I have moral problems paying for the treatment of a lung cancer patient who smoked all their lives, I can live with that too - because it's better than denying someone health care on the basis of affordability or accessibility.

John Snow
09-22-2008, 01:34 PM
and having lived in two very different cultures, I can attest that you're getting very close to the crux of the argument. The difference comes down to whether your cultural orientation is toward the individual or toward the group - in my case, US midwestern or Korean. That's truly what I think the health care debate is about. And welfare, for that matter.

JSUCamel
09-22-2008, 05:29 PM
I'm okay with supporting others who need medical care, if you guys support me when my liver fails again ;)

Bryan Blaire
09-22-2008, 07:32 PM
Camel, let us know if that ever happens. I hope that it doesn't for you, because it sounds like it is an awful, awful experience to go through.

Neilbert, sorry, I completely disagree. I care less about other people's living children than I care about my ability to have them, as I have no (and want no) input or benefit from others having children, those people's kids can kiss my ass. So far as I'm concerned, if you are a parent, and can't afford your kid, that's your screw up and you should deal with the consequences, and that goes for your kid getting sick or starving to death. There's a nice little quote that goes "A lack of planning on your part doesn't necessitate an emergency on my part." To me, that goes perfectly for parents with sick kids. Call me heartless, that's cool, because you are equally heartless for caring less about my having children than others' kids. ;) You may not think that, but you've already proved it to me. ~shrug~ Children are not necessary, so if I can't have them, neither can you. Fair is fair. If you have kids and want me to pay for them, you better be bringing me some cash for my problems as well. ;)

tanaww
09-22-2008, 08:44 PM
I guess I look at IVF as treatment for infertility - a disorder. I'd cover a few cycles if it were necessary.

Tal, I don't see where we disagree?

John Snow
09-22-2008, 09:40 PM
who think IVF should be covered (and while we're on the topic, how many of you have insurance that covers viagra but not birth control pills, lol?) is the risks involved. IVF docs will implant more than one fertilized egg....I knew a doc back in Omaha, an african-american liberal woman, mind you, who routinely implanted 5-7. Then the doc has the conversation - these embryos will not all make it, that's why we implant more than one, so at some point very early we will need to abort some of them - otherwise the health of all will be seriously comprised. Patients nod, sign papers, all the rest. Comes the time to abort, and they turn around and won't do it. Then we have 5 or 6 single gestation babies, all or most of whom have very serious health problems or die at delivery, or, best case, we have parents who have probably never had a child handling 5 or 6 at once. And yet we pick up the cost of that, including all the very expensive care for the injured babies.

Neilbert
09-22-2008, 11:27 PM
Neilbert, sorry, I completely disagree. I care less about other people's living children than I care about my ability to have them,

Color me surprised.

So far as I'm concerned, if you are a parent, and can't afford your kid, that's your screw up and you should deal with the consequences, and that goes for your kid getting sick or starving to death.

I would avoid punishing the child for the sins of the parent if I could. Of course, I would also sterilize mothers who have children irresponsibly.

(Before you play the misogyny card, if the mother is giving birth a. we have her in a hospital and on a table already and b. we know she is the mother)

Call me heartless, that's cool, because you are equally heartless for caring less about my having children than others' kids. ;)

Yes, I consider a living person to be more important than your ability to do something or other.

IVF is no more necessary than having children, period.

Hey, get this? Children aren't an extension or property of their parents. They are their own living beings. It isn't about "having children" it is about the children themselves. And having children isn't necessary.

Davian93
09-23-2008, 07:42 AM
Hey, get this? Children aren't an extension or property of their parents. They are their own living beings. It isn't about "having children" it is about the children themselves. And having children isn't necessary.

Well only if we want the species to continue. Reproduction is the first and most sacred right we have....all the rest of civilization is simply a shield to allow for safe and productive reproduction. You think I'm over simplyfying, step back and think about what we are all doing here. The whole purpose of society is to allow for safe reproduction and then a safe environment for that next generation. The rest is just fluff.

That's Dav's deep thought for Tuesday morning...enjoy.

tanaww
09-23-2008, 07:55 AM
who think IVF should be covered (and while we're on the topic, how many of you have insurance that covers viagra but not birth control pills, lol?) is the risks involved. IVF docs will implant more than one fertilized egg....I knew a doc back in Omaha, an african-american liberal woman, mind you, who routinely implanted 5-7. Then the doc has the conversation - these embryos will not all make it, that's why we implant more than one, so at some point very early we will need to abort some of them - otherwise the health of all will be seriously comprised. Patients nod, sign papers, all the rest. Comes the time to abort, and they turn around and won't do it. Then we have 5 or 6 single gestation babies, all or most of whom have very serious health problems or die at delivery, or, best case, we have parents who have probably never had a child handling 5 or 6 at once. And yet we pick up the cost of that, including all the very expensive care for the injured babies.

Couldn't that be considered a medical ethics issue? Are there studies mandating five or six embryos as the best amount?

Ishara
09-23-2008, 08:50 AM
Tal, I don't see where we disagree? cause we don't. ;) Your view cmes closest to mine, I think.

Can I just ask why this whole infertility vs children thing has to be a zero sum game?

Why can't we accept the fact that some peole can't have children on their own naturally, or easily and extend IVF as a treatment for their infertility (keeping in mind the thics that Snow pointed out, I am brought to mind of the Gosslins), the same as we would extend physiotherapy for someone who needs help with a bad back?

Why would we even consider it acceptable to deny medical aid to a family who has a sick child thruogh no fault of their own? Now why does our viewpoint change if and when the sickness or injury is the "fault" of the parent? How can you possibly justify denying anyone, let alone a child, good medical care? Isn't it petty to think of it as "they won't fund me, so to hell with them"?

Why can't you want a system that allows for both?

Gilshalos Sedai
09-23-2008, 08:53 AM
Hey, get this? Children aren't an extension or property of their parents. They are their own living beings. It isn't about "having children" it is about the children themselves. And having children isn't necessary.

Hey, Neilbert, I JUST SAID HAVING CHILDREN WASN'T NECESSARY. Therefore, it's an option you elect to exercise so why should I pay for something YOU can do that I CAN'T? Why should I pay for some welfare mom to keep popping them out, when I can't, biologically speaking? And when I finally do, I'm basically going to be pre-spending their college education JUST TO HAVE CHILDREN. And no, until they're 18, children aren't their own "living beings." They're alive, but they certainly aren't self-sufficient.

(For the record, I don't want to pay for anyone's else crap and I don't want anyone to pay for mine, either.)



And Snow, that type of situation is precisely why I don't really want IVF. I DON'T want a litter of children, nor do I want to be forced to abort those "extras."

John Snow
09-23-2008, 10:38 AM
Well only if we want the species to continue. Reproduction is the first and most sacred right we have....all the rest of civilization is simply a shield to allow for safe and productive reproduction. You think I'm over simplyfying, step back and think about what we are all doing here. The whole purpose of society is to allow for safe reproduction and then a safe environment for that next generation. The rest is just fluff.

That's Dav's deep thought for Tuesday morning...enjoy.

so people who chose not to bear children are what? Fluff? There's a friend of my wife's from when she was in college who has deliberately gone that route, the Dalai Lama.

Brita
09-23-2008, 10:46 AM
so people who chose not to bear children are what? Fluff? There's a friend of my wife's from when she was in college who has deliberately gone that route, the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama works towards global peace and bettering our global society. And why does our society need to always be improved and maintained? To sustain our species. And how does our species continue to enjoy the society that hthe Dalai Lama has dedicated his life to improving- by children growing up and continuing on.

What I think Dav is saying (especially when he says the rest of society is a shield for our most precious commodity- our children) is referring to people like the Dalai Lama, it has nothing to do with who individually has kids, or doesn't. It has to do with our overall goal in everything we do- which is the continuation of our species through the protection of our (our meaning our society's) children.

Crispin's Crispian
09-23-2008, 11:15 AM
Brita, I think what you're saying is only partially true anymore. If we have an "overall goal", it has changed from one of species survival to one of improving the lives of as many of the species as we can.

But I wouldn't even go that far. As a society, we don't have an overall goal--we have millions if individual goals that sometimes coincide. As is true for any species, no one individual reproduces for the good of the species. We reproduce for the good of our own family/genetic line. As Bryan so succinctly pointed out, what it boils down to is that each of us cares more about our own family than anyone else's.

But that's just the people who are interested in their families. There are millions of people in our society who don't give a crap about passing on genes, or passing on the family legacy. They are all about making their own lives comfortable and safe, or about making the lives of other people comfortable and safe regardless of age or parental status.

All that said, I think Bryan and Neil have set up a false dichotomy between IVF and medical care for children. I agree with Ishara that it's not a zero sum game. I do, however, strongly believe that it is our responsibility as a society to protect children, regardless of the decisions their parents make. I don't think of it in terms of legacies and Darwinistic survival. I think of it in terms of compassion and empathy.

Davian93
09-23-2008, 11:30 AM
so people who chose not to bear children are what? Fluff? There's a friend of my wife's from when she was in college who has deliberately gone that route, the Dalai Lama.

No I didn't mean it like that Prof. I meant that its a right to have kids...You can choose to not have kids if you want and many do. Brita clarified it pretty well I think.

John Snow
09-23-2008, 12:15 PM
OK, I'll accept that as much better phrased.....thanks Brita, and your endorsement gets you off the Hot Seat, Davian.

Davian93
09-23-2008, 12:16 PM
OK, I'll accept that as much better phrased.....thanks Brita, and your endorsement gets you off the Hot Seat, Davian.

:) In my defense it was 7:42 in the morning when I posted it. Not 100% awake at that point usually.

Brita
09-23-2008, 12:50 PM
Brita, I think what you're saying is only partially true anymore. If we have an "overall goal", it has changed from one of species survival to one of improving the lives of as many of the species as we can.

But I wouldn't even go that far. As a society, we don't have an overall goal--we have millions if individual goals that sometimes coincide. As is true for any species, no one individual reproduces for the good of the species. We reproduce for the good of our own family/genetic line. As Bryan so succinctly pointed out, what it boils down to is that each of us cares more about our own family than anyone else's.

But that's just the people who are interested in their families. There are millions of people in our society who don't give a crap about passing on genes, or passing on the family legacy. They are all about making their own lives comfortable and safe, or about making the lives of other people comfortable and safe regardless of age or parental status.


Yes, there is definitely some truth to this.

I would argue, underneath it all, we primarily protect other species because we recognize that it translates into our own survival. (i.e. take care of the earth so we have a place to live, take care of the bees so they pollenate our food so we can eat etc.). In general anyway.

There are individuals, millionss of individuals, that are only out for themselves. But looking at societies as a whole, as an entity of themselves, the goal is still protection of our species.

Davian93
09-23-2008, 01:55 PM
I liked my deep thought darnit.

tanaww
09-23-2008, 02:57 PM
I thought this was interesting. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26794291/page/2/)

Gilshalos Sedai
09-23-2008, 05:11 PM
The system’s problems, real and perceived, are such that the best jobs in this country offer private insurance. A few of my friends have paid thousands of dollars extra to get private care when they gave birth. For this private care you get your own room instead of sharing a ward with other new mothers and their babies, and extra care from doctors and the nurses.

Oh, lookit that... a difference in the haves and the have-nots.