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Neal Winkler
08-17-2007, 08:01 AM
Since this is a health site, I figured this particular political topic would be appropriate.

If my sources are correct, today $.51 out of every dollar spent on health care is spent by the government. So, knowing that we have about 50/50 split between private and government spending, and that health care sucks, which direction should we teeter towards, if any, to fix it?

Well, being the laissez faire type of guy that I am, I think that the government is much more inefficient and wasteful than the private sector, and that unlike a private firm that is inefficient and wasteful, it is much harder to for government to go out of business and be replaced by someone better. Therefore, nationalized health care will do diddly squat to cut health care costs, and do nothing but tax the crap out of us. Nationalized health care will not only raise prices from the suppliers end, but it will raise prices from the consumers end by increasing demand, ie, people will go to the doctor far more frequently.

Furthermore, nationalized health care will quell innovation. Because people will be poorer due to an increase in taxes, and health care will only cover conventional medicine, there will be a much smaller demand for alternative medicine. We will be stuck with the status quo of "eat lot's 'o carbs and take these statins," indefinately.

Proponents of nationalized health care say, "But look, all those contries with nationalized health care have longer life expectancies than we do! It must be a good thing!" However, correlation does equal causation. Nationalized health care has nothing to do with their greater life-expectancies, which is simply do to them being less fat than we are.

Anyways, that's just some initial thoguht to get the debate rolling.

Mike ODonnell
08-17-2007, 09:25 AM
Have a fat tax....if you get fatter every year....you get taxed per extra lb....

Neal Winkler
08-17-2007, 12:29 PM
If private insurance companies wanted to work something like that out to keep fit people from shouldering any burden of increased costs, then that's their business, but I'd like to keep anything like that out of the governments hands. What about intra-abdominal fat? You'd need a method that could meassure that so skinny fat people have to pay up to.

Ken Urakawa
08-19-2007, 07:25 AM
NPR was speaking about this the other day. More specifically, it started off talking about the trend for Americans to travel to other countries (i.e., India) to have medical procedures done "cash & carry", then they branched out into health care in general.

Thought it was interesting that India has a much higher percentage of doctors per capita than the US (and remember, a BILLION people). The high numbers of very well trained health care professionals keep costs low enough to justify paying for the trip, the procedure, and expenses during recovery time. Plus you can choose which doctor/hospital to go to. One place apparently performs 350+ open heart surgeries a day with much lower complication rates than most US facilities who don't have the practice.

Also talked about the European system. One instance in particular was mentioned, where a family was travelling in Great Britain, and the Mother/Grandma had some sort of health crisis. She was hospitalized, and had to be left there while the family returned home. The guy gave the hospital his credit card and asked them to provide the very best care for his mother. When he returned to pick her up a few weeks later, the staff was very apologetic, and explained that his mother's care had cost, *gasp*, $4000. And she was raving about the care and service she had been provided with.

BUT, then you also hear about people having to wait for a year to have their appendix removed, and about having 2 distinct levels of care available: very basic, and pretty cushy (for those who can afford it).

Anyway, long-winded post, but I thought it was interesting hearing about "Medical Tourism". Not just for sex-change operations anymore!

Steve Shafley
08-19-2007, 09:53 AM
The global leader in the removal of craniopharyngiomas (a non-cancerous brain tumor arising from some developmental machinery near the pituitary that hadn't been turned off) is a doctor in China. He's operated on over 300 of these tumors, both adults and children.

The most experienced doctor in the US is probably around 70-80. It's a tricky location, and having a skilled neurosurgeon generally determines how the rest of your life is going to go.

Derek Simonds
08-19-2007, 10:08 AM
One of my best friends father just went to somewhere in Latin America for a cash and carry procedure on his prostate. The treatment was some type of procedure that uses lasers or light to deal with the prostate cancer and isn't even available in the states. He has no loss of erectile function and is cancer free since the procedure. It cost him a total of 25k for the trip and procedure. He deems it well worth it.

I pay over $900 per month for health insurance for my wife and 2 kids. The company I work for pays for me completely. It is amazing what health care costs in FL and I am sure it is similar in other states. We have techs that work at our office that are there mainly for the insurance for their families. Crazy.

Jared Buffie
08-19-2007, 01:44 PM
I've been a patient and provider (chiropractor) in both USA and Canada. I have lots to say about this, but it all boils down to this:

As long as people gauge their health by how they feel and then run for drug/surgery once a symptom appears, they will be unhealthy - it doesn't matter what system they are in.

If anyone (including Micheal Moore) thinks that healthcare is free up here in Canada, they are crazy. Gas is over 1.05 per litre (about $4/gallon), and it's not uncommon for people to pay in excess of 60% of their income in total taxes. The majority of that goes to fund healthcare. What I liked about living in the USA is that we could opt out - our family had NO insurance, but I could pay out of pocket for emergencies. Up here, I can't opt out - since we never use the system, I'm essentially paying for other people to be sick. I hate it.

There's always a provider, patient, and payer. Ultimately, the patient is ALWAYS the payer, although in the states their dollars go through insurance companies and in Canada they go through the gov't. My province basically acts as the monopoly health insurance company - yes, coverage is universal, but also often third rate.

In USA, providers will base their care on what the insurance companies will pay for, whereas here people are put on 7 month wait list for MRI's.

My answer - universal EMERGENCY coverage for all. Make people pay out of pocket for everything else... ie drugs - after a while they will want to stop paying the costs, and start taking care of themselves.

Mike ODonnell
08-19-2007, 03:01 PM
up here in Canada, they are crazy. Gas is over 1.05 per litre (about $4/gallon)

Why the hell do you need gas for a dog sled????

Jared Buffie
08-19-2007, 03:26 PM
Why the hell do you need gas for a dog sled????

Actually, it's for the bonfires to keep the polar bears away. We all have them. It's the real reason for global warming... (if there is in fact global warming... not trying to recreate a rest day mudslinging from a certain other website...)

Chris Lowndes
08-20-2007, 12:33 AM
Make people pay out of pocket for everything else... ie drugs - after a while they will want to stop paying the costs, and start taking care of themselves.

This sound very nice! What if you have a low paid manual job and maybe end up havin to pay for drugs to treat an illness with high cost drugs? For example are you saying people with MS have not taken care of themselves?

Chris

Steve Liberati
08-20-2007, 04:20 AM
It's ashame how much we as a country have come to rely on the gov't and even private industry to care for us physically (nat'l health care) and financially (social security). For that reason alone, I completely agree with the pay cash out of pocket model that seems soooooo odd to sooooo many people (we're conditioned to believe we can't live without health care in a civiized world which is BS). Personally, I'd option to set aside my own (interest bearing) medical account for time of emergency, along with recieve help from rest of family and community (goes both ways of course) in bad times, and if god forbid something does happen...I'll just fork over a $100 or so min. monthy payment for the rest of my life to pay the out of control medical expenses on my own. Either way and no matter how you slice the insurance companies (like the house at the casinos) always wins in the end.

Allen Yeh
08-20-2007, 04:51 AM
My answer - universal EMERGENCY coverage for all. Make people pay out of pocket for everything else... ie drugs - after a while they will want to stop paying the costs, and start taking care of themselves.

While some conditions are controllable through taking care of themselves, many others are not.

Jared Buffie
08-20-2007, 07:18 AM
While some conditions are controllable through taking care of themselves, many others are not.

Unfortunately, the bulk of spending is on "lifestyle" diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and of course the "made up" dieases like depression, PMDD, IED, SAD, etc... Statins and antidepressants are the leading selling classes of drugs out there right not, followed by BP drugs and diabetes drugs. Look it up.

Of course there needs to be a safety net to help those who can't help themselves.

Mike ODonnell
08-20-2007, 07:43 AM
This sound very nice! What if you have a low paid manual job and maybe end up havin to pay for drugs to treat an illness with high cost drugs? For example are you saying people with MS have not taken care of themselves?

Chris

That's a tough one....for example I have heard of people that who once they got off their crappy diet, cut out sugars and artificial sweeteners, and get some DHA have all symptoms of MS practically disappear....or kids who had 5+ seizures a day would have all seizure stop on a high fat/low sugar diet.....so how does one know what is really causing the symptoms? I just wish doctors would put more effort into pushing healthy lifestyles and less into just pill popping solutions. Unfortunately our medical system is not setup for that. Great Emergency care.....terrible Long Term Health care.

Sad the basics are simple...but no one will follow them because modern society says that we need a "Cure" not "Prevention" and don't worry there is a pill for every problem. The more pills we have, the less people need to take control of their own health. The more times doctors say it's because of your "genetics", the less power people feel they have over their own health.

Chris Lowndes
08-20-2007, 07:56 AM
Of course there needs to be a safety net to help those who can't help themselves.

Yes but nets have holes in! Is the safety net in the countries mentioned [North America] set up?

First of all help those who are ill, lifestyle or not. Then parrallel to this through education teach children and those with a poor education about movement and nutrition which will in the end reduce the "lifestyle diseases' Do not just pull the rug, european countries have perfomed pretty good results i.e. finland http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/mg18524861.700-interview-the-heart-healer.html through education did pretty well and they have a public healthcare. Private healthcare is not always the cheaper option, and many are after all trying to make a profit.

chris

John Alston
08-20-2007, 08:43 AM
The best idea I have heard so far has been a mix of coverage and health savings accounts. I will try to share it as best I can from memory:

Basically, each citizen gets a health savings account, money each year dedicated for health care spending. Be healthy, use it wisely and when you're old you end up with a nice chunk of change in your acct for old person health care or spending as you wish.
The other key to this is that everyone gets "catastrophic" coverage. That is, things a reasonable person can't be expected to have the money for will be covered. Hit by a car and you need new knees and many surgeries, etc, you're ok.

What I like about it is that it includes incentives for taking care of one's self - live healthy and you get to spend your HSA on what you want later - and it also covers the things people aren't responsible for. So your heart surgery required due to viral infection is covered but your obesity related surgery comes out of your HSA.

There's better descriptions of it - notably one is in The Undercover Economist by Tim Hartford.

Also, we should realize that tying health care to employment is a really weird system. Why should my job pay for my doctor?

Jared Buffie
08-20-2007, 09:09 AM
When I lived in the states, I loved the idea of HSAs. What it does is turns the patient into a consumer (ie shop around for the best service at the best price) because essentially they are spending their own money, and BCBS is not footing the bill. That SHOULD drive costs down.

For all Americans who think that socialized health care is the answer in any form, spend a day in the ER up here in Canada. Due to budget restrictions, some rural ER docs are payed what works out to $12/hr. So what do they do? Head for the states. That creates a physician void that is filled by importing docs from abroad, who's training is subpar. But in the end, you get what you pay for.

People would be alot healthier if they stayed away from their MDs entirely. I haven't been in well over a decade, and my kids have NEVER been to the pediatrician. And we're the healthiest family you will ever meet.

Like I said before, the answer is in a mindshift. Go to Super Wallmart this Saturday and look around at what people are buying. Your premiums are going up because of the cost to treat them. If it were a socialized system, it would be your tax dollars.

Why are people so set against personal responsibility? Accountability? If poor people don't want to be sick, stop eating shit. Exercise. I do. EVERYBODY knows fats food and soda are bad for you. So stop eating it. Cut out sugars. Don't want to? Pay for your own drugs then. Stay away from MY wallet!

Eric Kerr
08-20-2007, 08:31 PM
Found this interesting discussion while the CF boards were down. I need to come here more often.

This will probably ramble a bit. I've had to think about this kind of thing some due to some unfriendly laws in-place here in MO regarding non-maintstream healthcare providers, but I don't have all the pieces in place, yet (likely never will)

Market failures

The health care industry is replete with market failures. Case in point drugs not being developed using natural substances because they are not patentable.

Or a cure for AIDS. The drug companies don't want to cure AIDS, they want to treat AIDS and all the related malodies.

Or promoting homebirth verses hospital births for low risk birth pregnacies. I submit to you that the easiest way to get a natural childbirth at one of the local hospitals is NOT to have insurance.

A natural birth is much cheaper than than a Cesarean.

Ergo, some regulation is needed. How much is debatable. I'm with Neal here in that I think the government would botch it like most things they try their hand at.

We already have universal healthcoverage

The thing that no one wants to talk about is that we already have a form of universal health coverage. It may not be on the books, or in the public mind, but it is there.

Say for instance an uninsured person gets run over by a moving company's truck in the street, while crossing illegally. The paramedics aren't going to ask if he has insurance, they are going to do their job and keep the poor fellow together long enough to get to the hospital.

At the hospital they are going to do what they can to keep the person alive.

So who do you think pays that bill? The insurance company? The government? Sure they pay, but what happens after that? The insurance company raises everyone's rate and the government just charges you more taxes.

You say, well that is only in an emergency. Okay, but I suspect you'll find government agencies, or goverment sponsored not-for-profit oraganizations dolling out some level of healthcare for those that can't afford health insurance.

Oh and the moving company will offer, out of court, a sum of money to the uninsured person who was crossing the street illegally in order to prevent that person from filing suit against the moving company. (I've actually seen this scenario happen)

Current climate

Businesses are starting to whine that they have to compete with countries that offer universal health coverage. So it probably will not be long before the political wheels start spinning in the direction of universal health coverage in ernest.

To my knowledge, all of the main democratic candidates have proposed some level of universal health coverage. Hillary has even championed it during Bill's turn in office. Although I've heard her recent proposals are somewhat more middle of the road relative to HillaryCare.

Half arsed thoughts on what to do about it

Whatever we end up doing, it probably needs to be a mixture of healthcare and medical emergency care.

Healthcare = preventative care or treatment for non-life threatening maladies

Routine physicals
Chiropratic adjustmets
Massage
Relaxation Therapy
Physical fitness program
Sound nutritional program
Dental hygiene
Sleep hygiene
Treatment of chronic or genetic diseases

Medical Emergency Care = Aieeee! I cut my arm off with a band saw type care

Healthcare also needs to be reviewed as outcome based, something above and beyoned "Lived" or "Died", perhaps something like an Apgar score.

I also feel that medical practioner's should have some level of limited liability so they can try new therapies or procedures or just go against the grain of what is commonly accepted without having their insurance pulled in the event of one bad outcome.

The last two items deserve peer review and transparency to the public. If you're consistently having bad outcomes or patients exhibit low "Apgar" scores post procedure, then people can vote with their wallets and go to the people that are getting it right.

And as freakily Orwellian as it might seem, I can seem some pretty useful advantages to a Medical Records Database. And if you leave it up to the private industry to manage the health care system, a Medical Records Database will be used. It makes too much economic sense.

Lastly, people do need to take more responsibility for their health. Doctors are not gods. They have a shingle on their wall that says they are licensed to "practice" medicine. Sure they have studied a lot, but they are people. They don't know everything and they sometimes make mistakes, both avoidable and unavoidable.

The best bet is to get educated, keep learning, and get with healthcare providers that think the same way.

Eric

Chris Forbis
08-20-2007, 09:10 PM
Here's another vote for HSAs.

Neal Winkler
08-20-2007, 10:12 PM
Interesting discussion, keep it coming. I know Ron Paul is for HSA's, not sure about any of the other Republican's. Dem's, forget about it...

Allen Yeh
08-21-2007, 03:41 AM
Unfortunately, the bulk of spending is on "lifestyle" diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and of course the "made up" dieases like depression, PMDD, IED, SAD, etc... Statins and antidepressants are the leading selling classes of drugs out there right not, followed by BP drugs and diabetes drugs. Look it up.


I guess here is where I'll have to disagree with what I consider to be a sweeping generalization, not all people afflicted by what you consider "lifestyle" diseases are in fact living a lifestyle to have deserved whatever they have.

Diabetes - Type I and Type II are different in cause, I found it hard to say the 5 year olds lifestyle is what causes him to have developed type I.

Heart disease - Umbrella term for all kinds, the kind people think of is the "eat fast food and clog artery type" but there are some types i.e. hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that is a higher risk for athletes than the first group.

Cancer - Too many different types of cancer here to point the finger at lifestyle IMO.

At this point who is going to determine what is lifestyle, what is made up and who should get coverage then?

"Well sir since you have lung cancer and that is what is considered a lifestyle disease you'll have to pay all expenses out of pocket."

"But I've never smoked a day in my life, I eat Paleo and I'm a rockstar on the b-ball court."

"Sorry sir, it must have been something you did since we all know cancer is a lifestyle disease."

"But but I don't have $200,000....."

As to the solution, I really don't know, while some options look attractive, they still have cons. The HSA option may work great for some, but what about the lower middle to lower class? It's great for us to say "just eat healthier and many problems will be solved" but I'll tell you as a former starving poor college student that buying 30 packs of ramen and cereal for a week was a magnitudes cheaper than buying veggies, fruits and meat. There needs to be a more sweeping change than JUST the healthcare aspect of things.

Jared Buffie
08-21-2007, 04:36 AM
I guess here is where I'll have to disagree with what I consider to be a sweeping generalization, not all people afflicted by what you consider "lifestyle" diseases are in fact living a lifestyle to have deserved whatever they have.

Diabetes - Type I and Type II are different in cause, I found it hard to say the 5 year olds lifestyle is what causes him to have developed type I.

Heart disease - Umbrella term for all kinds, the kind people think of is the "eat fast food and clog artery type" but there are some types i.e. hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that is a higher risk for athletes than the first group.

Cancer - Too many different types of cancer here to point the finger at lifestyle IMO.

At this point who is going to determine what is lifestyle, what is made up and who should get coverage then?

"Well sir since you have lung cancer and that is what is considered a lifestyle disease you'll have to pay all expenses out of pocket."

"But I've never smoked a day in my life, I eat Paleo and I'm a rockstar on the b-ball court."

"Sorry sir, it must have been something you did since we all know cancer is a lifestyle disease."

"But but I don't have $200,000....."

As to the solution, I really don't know, while some options look attractive, they still have cons. The HSA option may work great for some, but what about the lower middle to lower class? It's great for us to say "just eat healthier and many problems will be solved" but I'll tell you as a former starving poor college student that buying 30 packs of ramen and cereal for a week was a magnitudes cheaper than buying veggies, fruits and meat. There needs to be a more sweeping change than JUST the healthcare aspect of things.

Allen,

We're not in disagreement entirely. I acknowledge the fact that there are people who can't fend for themselves, and need our help.

As for cancer, treatments don't work anyway. It cost $10K+ per month for chemo, but it only works in 2% of all cancers. Even then, "worked" is defined as shrinking the tumor for 30 days. Effectiveness of chemo, or any other cancer treatment for that matter, is not defined by quality/length of life, but rather by whether or not the tumor has shunk for 30 days. It can quadruple and kill you in 45 days, and the treatment would still be defined as "effective" byt the FDA.

5 year survival rates for cancer have only increased marginally in the past 40 years, and can be attributed entirely to the awareness program that has meant earlier detection. Earlier detection does not mean better treatment, it just means that the clock starts ticking on the five years earlier.

Are there 5 year old kids with diabetes and cancer cases like you said, yes they do exist.. but how many do you cactually know?

chris hill
08-21-2007, 05:33 AM
Are there 5 year old kids with diabetes and cancer cases like you said, yes they do exist.. but how many do you cactually know?
h'uh?

John Alston
08-21-2007, 06:27 AM
It's great for us to say "just eat healthier and many problems will be solved" but I'll tell you as a former starving poor college student that buying 30 packs of ramen and cereal for a week was a magnitudes cheaper than buying veggies, fruits and meat. There needs to be a more sweeping change than JUST the healthcare aspect of things.

There's your self indictment for any lifestyle disease!

Seriously, I live in an area with lots of poor eating poor people. I know how much crap food costs. Some of it is dirt cheap, but plenty isn't, and there's plenty of cheap real food.
Too often I see a kid who's already tubby by age 5, eating his own bag of chips on the subway, soda in hand, making a public mess or crumbs and wrappers.

Mike ODonnell
08-21-2007, 06:40 AM
I live in an area with lots of poor eating poor people.

Never seen a poor eating another poor person....wow....

There are plenty of lower income families that do cook decently for themselves, lots of people living on $15k a year and learn to make smart choices on how to get food. There are people who know how to shop with little money and get the most in return. Unfortunately we live in a quick gratification based society where we don't want to have to grow our own vegetable, cook food from scratch and just want it microwaved and done in 30sec or less. Also you will see people spend $10 a day on junk food and then say that eating healthy is too expensive. So hence you see soda companies, junk food companies and fast food industries targeting their products for consumption by more lower income people and product placement close to where they are. If kids are drinking soda all day....that is a choice not a survival need. So again, who is teaching kids the right things to spend their money on.....must be the parents? Or is it the school that has 12 Coke vending machines in the halls?

Sugar has got to be the #1 anti-nutrient there is out there.....it affects anyone from every income level...whether it's Soda or fancy $5 Expresso Drinks....so that needs to be the focus, get that away from kids and everyone else....unfortunately Coke, Pepsi, and all the junk food companies have more $ at stake and larger advertising budgets than I do.

Neal Winkler
08-21-2007, 07:05 AM
Allen's got a good point. Even if there is only a little uncertainty concerning what constitutes a lifestyle disease, that's enough to make it unfair. There are many more diseases than heart disease, cancer and diabetes that are lifestyle:

# Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes
# Cardiovascular disease
# Stroke
# Hypertension
# hypothyroidism
# Dyslipidemia
# Hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance
# Congestive heart failure
# Angina pectoris
# Cholecystitis
# Cholelithiasis
# Osteoarthritis
# Gout
# Fatty liver disease
# Sleep apnea and other respiratory problems
# Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
# Fertility complications
# Pregnancy complications
# Psychological disorders
# Uric acid nephrolithiasis (kidney stones)
# Stress urinary incontinence
# Cancer of the kidney, endometrium, breast, colon and rectum, esophagus, prostate and gall bladder

Plus there's others that are not yet recognized by the establishment like acne, plus you can even go over to illness caused by viruses due to a weakened immune system from poor lifestyle (e.g. common cold).

Are you willing to sweep everyone under the "lifestyle" drug even if it means catching those few who really are innocent? Furthermore, there will be those people, for example, who take their doctors advice to a "T", for type 2 diabetes say, and don't get better because their doctor advised them to eat a high carb diet. Are you going to punish them too?

Jared Buffie
08-21-2007, 08:12 AM
I guess it all boils down to this for me:

How do you define health care reform? Simply placing the burden of paying for sick people on the backs of healthy people? Then I say no way.

What I've thrown around up here in Canada is the idea of a tax break for people who are healthy. The big question becomes "how do you define healthy?". I say use the same parameters the US insurance companies use (questionnaires, history, lab tests if applicable). Your tax bill reflects your level of health. Since the gov't is the only payer, it gives them tremendous bargaining power with the drug companies and docs. Like yuo car insurance company rewarding you for being a safe driver.

In Alberta, they have a two tier system that allows people to pay privately for services if they want to (quicker MRI's, etc...). Maybe add a few co-pays/user fees to offset the amount lost by giving tax breaks to people like me. Then people who are using the system are paying for it.

However...

True health care reform will come when people take responsibility for what they put in their pieholes. Why is my family healthy? Because our health is our #1 concern. We're proactive about it, and we won't wait until there is a problem and then depend on an MD or drug to "cure" it.

Everyone on this planet knows that their health is the most important thing in their lives. They would pay anything to get rid of that cancer, heart disease. They'd even ask ME to pay to have their cancer removed! So why the hell can't they do anything to avoid it in the first place?

Live healthy, don't pay for insurance, save that money in an interest bearing account, and spend it as health crisis arise. Shop around, be a consumer. Caarry a high deductible policy in case of emergency.

Mike ODonnell
08-21-2007, 08:36 AM
What I have come across personally is people just have no clue how to eat healthy. What we take for basics and granted here, the mainstream just have no clue about since their info is based on what they see in advertisements and what their doctor tells them. Little by little we can get the word out and try to help people in their lifestyle changes. People just need to stop the unempowered attitude and realize that they can make changes for the better and the only person stopping them is themselves. It's a long term battle but one worth fighting for. I try to focus on educating as many parents as possible, so they can pass along that knowledge to their kids.

Neal Winkler
08-21-2007, 08:49 AM
Jared,

I say use the same parameters the US insurance companies use (questionnaires, history, lab tests if applicable).

Won't work because I reject the cholesterol paradigm of heart disease.

Jared Buffie
08-21-2007, 10:49 AM
Jared,



Won't work because I reject the cholesterol paradigm of heart disease.

I agree 1000%

In a perfect world, we could use c-reactive protein or ESR values.

Mike...

I also agree 1000% You know I've dedicated my life to it. Always an uphill battle, but it's what I have been chosen to do.

Just so you guys know, I'm not some cold hearted uncompassionate person looking to turn my back on those suffering. In fact, helping those very people is what gets my feet on the flloor every morning. I just know from daily experience talking to some of the sickest people on the continent that a new drug or reformed "sick care" system is not the answer. Many of you don't know that studies place the American medical system anywhere from 1st to 3rd leading cause of death in the country (estimates range from 400,000 - 900,000 deaths per year). The first step in truly helping people is getting them off their drugs, not putting them on more.

Mike ODonnell
08-21-2007, 12:30 PM
Just so you guys know, I'm not some cold hearted uncompassionate person looking to turn my back on those suffering.

Yeah I know, you are just a cold hearted defenseman that won't let me by....so selfish I tell you....

The more I see....the more I try to help....the more I try not to get bitter...but the more I realize people need a good swift kick in the ass sometimes.....and they need to learn to swim as I am tired of throwing life preservers in the water only for them to get out and jump back into the deep-end and wonder why they are sinking to the bottom.....

William Hunter
08-21-2007, 01:10 PM
I used to try to gently encourage people to take more personal responsibility for their health...that has never worked out so well. I may be just getting a little crotchety but I've become much more blunt over the years. The swift kick approach seems to sink in at least a little bit deeper. I use a simple Dan John quote regarding making habit changes like exercising and giving up sugar..."Simple, not easy." Once I've thrown that on their plate, it gives them very little bitch room to discuss how doctors have failed them.

Had a lady complaining to me the other day (she wasn't a patient, she was escorting her elderly mother) that no doc could help her with her fibro and back pain. I asked her about her dietary habits. Turns out she's had a 10 year, 12 pack of coke PER DAY habit. Her mother ratted her out. Of course, the daughter fires back with, "well, you've chain smoked for 30 years!" You gotta laugh to keep from cryin'.

Off topic, Jared, did you go to Life U?

Jared Buffie
08-21-2007, 01:13 PM
I used to try to gently encourage people to take more personal responsibility for their health...that has never worked out so well. I may be just getting a little crotchety but I've become much more blunt over the years. The swift kick approach seems to sink in at least a little bit deeper. I use a simple Dan John quote regarding making habit changes like exercising and giving up sugar..."Simple, not easy." Once I've thrown that on their plate, it gives them very little bitch room to discuss how doctors have failed them.

Had a lady complaining to me the other day (she wasn't a patient, she was escorting her elderly mother) that no doc could help her with her fibro and back pain. I asked her about her dietary habits. Turns out she's had a 10 year, 12 pack of coke PER DAY habit. Her mother ratted her out. Of course, the daughter fires back with, "well, you've chain smoked for 30 years!" You gotta laugh to keep from cryin'.

Off topic, Jared, did you go to Life U?

Yup, graduated in 2003

Stayed in Georgia for 4 years, practiced in Cumming then just moved back home to canada in May.

Don't miss the traffic. Did you go to school there to?

William Hunter
08-21-2007, 02:06 PM
Yeah, I graduated/escaped in 1998. Practiced in FL for 5 years, now up in Rome GA. I too do not miss ATL/Marietta traffic.