Dr Mario agitates for universal health care in Mushroom Kingdom

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20 Responses to “Dr Mario agitates for universal health care in Mushroom Kingdom”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nintendo, it’s a-so funny! I LOL’d despite having zero political interest. Boy, it sure was fun to have a laugh and not run around with a flamethrower looking for a fight.

  2. zyodei says:

    Coaxial: I’m not going to get into an argument about the efficacy of CAM. Certainly, there are many double blind, peer-reviews studies that support many of these therapies. Now, they might just be placebo, who can tell. I personally have used acupuncture and herbals remedies with great and immediate success. But, I suppose that’s just an anecdote.

    But there are two important points: first, people should have the freedom to choose any therapy they want. If my tax dollars are going to support a service I would never use, I am being cheated and my freedom to afford the therapies I do want is restricted.

    Now, there might be some evidence out there that CAM is a sham. There is also plenty of evidence that pharmaceuticals and hospitals kills tens of thousands of people a year. Especially in the age of the Internet, where all the information is available to make a well formed opinion, it is the right and responsibility of every person to make the decision they consider best for their own situation.

    A wrong decision an individual makes can kill that person. A wrong decision enacted on a population can kill millions.

    And you miss the central point of my comment – pouring money down the rathole of hospital care for people who are sick primarily because they eat all sorts of awful foods is really an awful waste of money and doesn’t do much to make people’s health better.

    On a side note, your comment also shines light on another fundamental problem in modern medicine – how studies are conducted, how research money is distributed. The more say government and corporate medicine has in how research money is distributed, the more research will be done that by its very nature supports the prevailing orthodoxy.

  3. zyodei says:

    @ cowicide: OK, I’m generally suspicious of any uncited claims on single issue advocacy web sites, but assuming that all that is true and valid:

    A) Did you read the first item on that page? Single payer, as it is advocated, would more closely represent (2), Halliburton run healthcare, than it would Sweden.

    The political process in America is totally corrupt and corporatized. How can can anyone think that this political sytem will produce an honest health care system? A rotten tree produces rotten fruit.

    B) I’m sure that the VA is better than HMOs. I’m not arguing that the health care system is not completely rotten, horrible, and expensive. What I am worried about is that a national health system would set the worst aspects of it into cement.

    Here’s a bit of anecdotal evidence. My whole family are something of health freaks. Eat very healthy, exercise a lot, etc. And my whole family, without exception: have never been sick beyond a cold, never been hospitalized except for injury, etc.

    Socialized treatment of injuries, sudden illness, etc. I don’t have a problem with – although it would be best implemented on state/local levels to allow people to have some choice in what services they want.

    But we must recognize that true health does not come out of a pill bottle, does not come from a hospital.

  4. Grim Beefer says:

    @17

    Your free market mumbo jumbo sure does sound nice, but it’s too bad that reality is exactly the opposite of your claims.

    “Government control of any industry always results in increased costs because the profit motive does not exist.”

    Are you fucking kidding me? Then how do you explain the fact that the United States pays double, per capita, for health care in comparison to every other industrialized nation, and those countries have big wasteful univeral health care. Shouldn’t their lack of a profit motive make them far more expensive than our market based approach?

    In the real world, not an economics textbook, insurance providers routinely deny coverage to sick people, along with a host of other slimy techniques to cheat people out of the service that they pay for. That’s called being “competitive”.

    We’re not talking jumbo jets and Ipods here, these are people’s fucking lives, so maybe we could adopt an approach that puts human suffering above profits? Just a suggestion.

  5. Cowicide says:

    #17 POSTED BY DSTNTMBRK:

    What evidence do you base this claim on? Private control of health care would result in competition between providers which would drive the price DOWN.

    Here’s my evidence that you are wrong. Where’s your evidence that you are correct?

    Be sure to check out the comparison charts too

    Can’t sign in to this thread, so I’ll try using Anon. – Cow

  6. Anonymous says:

    What people and especially Michael Moore fail to recognize is that the universal health care in many countries – the UK in particular – arose from someone throwing a switch at the start of the game. They didn’t go through 65 years of developing a mind-numbing corporate system devised to do as much profit-taking as possible.

    All that time later, we think we’re going to just “throw the switch” and make everything work just like in “every major video game franchise” – and I am sorry, but that is not going to work. Unless you do something radical, like get rid of all the major health insurance companies, and then privatize and re-org all the hospitals and treatment centers.

    A healthcare system “like the UK” (or whatever) requires a setup like the UK. But we’re so focused on profit here that will never, ever, work.

    ps – anyone who would “gladly give more of my tax money to the government.” needs to have their head examined, imho

  7. Cowicide says:

    @ cowicide: OK, I’m generally suspicious of any uncited claims on single issue advocacy web sites, but assuming that all that is true and valid:

    Don’t assume anything then. Do what I do. Research. Cross-reference facts. You may never find anything that is “all true and valid” in life this way, but I think you’ll get a hell of a lot closer to that anarchistic utopian goal than udderwise.

    A) Did you read the first item on that page? Single payer, as it is advocated, would more closely represent (2), Halliburton run healthcare, than it would Sweden.

    (A) Comparing a corrupt, no-bid contract whore like Halliburton to a Single Payer system already PROVEN (over and over again) to work in other countries (allowing doctors and patients to have more clinical freedom) is… well… absolutely ludicrous.

    (B) See A

    The political process in America is totally corrupt and corporatized. How can can anyone think that this political sytem will produce an honest health care system? A rotten tree produces rotten fruit.

    Yes, corporate america, the shining city on the hill of non-corruption compared to our “political process”. Please, get real.

    If you will… Let’s get back to the FACTS again… REPEAT:

    “ … The VA health system continues to receive the best quality scores of any segment of the U.S. health system, with the most satisfied patients. It beats the best HMOs in quality ratings, has a model information system, and focuses on primary care. It has led in addressing medical errors and in its application of AHRQ quality guidelines to both inpatients and outpatients. In 2004 it won the Baldridge Prize for quality and patient-safety improvements. … “

    You might want to also look into the success of Medicare as well that our horrific, corrupt and corporatized political system has managed to somehow garner:

    I send you on your way:
    Medicare VS Private Insurers

    & http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/about/Crossroads/06_13_03.html

    I’m not going to argue with you that our political system has corruption and needs a major overhaul… but you are barking up the wrong tree when you go after the Single Payer system. Your throwing out the baby with the bathwater approach will get none of us anywhere. Shall we ban all corporations because some of them are shady?

    we must recognize that true health does not come out of a pill bottle, does not come from a hospital.

    Tell that to someone with a child dying from a genetic disorder whose insurance company is fucking them over and cannot afford the “hospital” and “pills”.

    Once again, I think if you read up on more FACTS about Single Payer instead of playing into the fear and hype the insurance companies throw around it like shit-throwing-monkeys… you’ll come around.

    I agree with you that we need far more preventative medicine and if you truly understood how Single Payer works; you’d understand why it fits that bill so well.

  8. Cowicide says:

    This seems like a good thread to mention the ONLY health care solution that the TV media absolutely refuses to mention…

    Maybe some will at least check it out because of morbid curiosity…

    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/3/11/newly_formed_150_000_strong_nurses

    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/3/11/burn_your_health_insurance_bill_day

    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/3/11/dr_quentin_young_obama_confidante_and

    Hi there, insurance industry lobbyist masters… I hope YOU die.

  9. jacobian says:

    The level of discourse on this subject is distressing. Almost everywhere in Europe (UK, France, Sweden even Ireland) consistently shows better care than the US. Better preventative care, lower cost per person and universal access.

    Those who point out the lack of accountability of government are pointing to a real problem. However the answer to the lack of accountability is not to place it in private hands. Private hands are totally unaccountable through any mechanism whatesoever! They care only for profits.

    Government control of health care means very limited accountability through the electoral political process. Private control of health care means profit is the only drive, and profit is a horrible mechanism for providing health care which actually drives up costs individually and to society (prevention? Hell no! We’d lose our profits!).

    If people want accountability we need to be talking about providing direct delegative control of the hospital system. Not retaining private care.

  10. jacobian says:

    @7

    Your comments fly in the face of actual empirical evidence. Look at how much we spend in the US for far worse care than France. They pay *far* less and get more.

    If you think that your “freedom” is being impinged on by spending on preventative care, what kinds of externalities are you implicitly advocating?

    Preventably deformed or brain damaged babies have what effect on society? Waiting until we have people in the emergency room rather than treating them when it their problem was preventable? Allowing curable diseases to spread does what for you?

    Freedom is a social good. It doesn’t come from being able to do whatever the hell you want and everyone else be damned. It comes from producing a society in which everyone has more capacity for self fulfillment. In the same way that a society where I am free to kill creates a society where I’m oppressed by wide spread violence, creating a society where everyone is sick or disabled produces a society in which I’m pulling more weight and am more likely to get sick.

  11. fltndboat says:

    Sure.This is the problem. Simple love. Grows on you.

  12. fltndboat says:

    I am toast. Dead Meat.

  13. zyodei says:

    OK, sorry if my comments were a bit overwrought and crankish. They were at least overlong. Let me sum it down into two simple points:

    1) If universal health care were provided in America, it would almost certainly be a system of corporate providers receiving government grants to treat people. The profit motive would NOT be removed. It would simply be institutionalized, it would become more fascist, in the original sense of the word.

    2) The best way to enact real health care reform is to seriously rethink whether the whole system of surgery and pharmaceuticals is working for us.

  14. zyodei says:

    Mario is wrong on one fundamnetal point:

    “But government-funded doesn’t mean government-run.”

    Yes, it does. With money comes power. With money comes decision making ability. You think government is going to just let people make whatever health choices they see fit with this money? Maybe at first it will work like that. Then, a few years down the line, as some corporate hospital/pharma crooks corrupt a few key legislators, suddenly you won’t. Suddenly you will only be able to go to “approved” facilities and buy “approved” treatments, from a handful of politically connected corporate vendors. So it will be pretty much how it is now, but more so.

    UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE IS A MASSIVE CORPORATE POWER GRAB.

    Notice how no proponents of universal health care mention nutrition, alternative therapies, the dangers of pharmaceuticals, or ever question any of the flawed premises of modern “disease maintenence” care?

    “I propose that we set up an oversight committee that would reside on Star World, a place linked to all of our lands.”

    A place linked to all our lands? Like Washington D.C.? Look at what a wonderful job the “Star World” based Department of Education has done for our education system. Since it was created, and decision making power was centralized in “Star World”, the U.S. education system has gone off a cliff.

    However, there’s one good idea in this: treating diseases with “megavitamins”. Seeing how the reason so many Americans are so goddamned sick these days is because they are chronically nutrient starved eating all of these FDA and USDA approved junk foods, at least the author is on the right track here.

  15. zyodei says:

    Well, it gets another thing right. “A government-run plan sounds A LOT like what Bowser wants”

    When was the last time Washington D.C. ran a program without corruption or the voice of $pecial interests drowning out all the rest? Why does anyone believe that this would be any different?

    Hasn’t anyone paid any attention to how miserably the “single payer” V.A. hospital system has failed, the suffering it has caused?

    All of this is not to argue against deep and fundamental health care reform. But real change comes from everyone on an individual level getting educated and making the life style changes that have been PROVEN to keep you out of a hospital.

    Not to tell people that it’s OK to destroy your body, a $100 a pop pill will keep you alive for another couple TV seasons.

    Who pays for the pills is not so important. The fundamental thing is reducing our need for expensive health care through PREVENTION.

  16. Cowicide says:

    #5 POSTED BY ZYODEI , MARCH 11, 2009 9:51 PM

    > Hasn’t anyone paid any attention to how
    > miserably the “single payer” V.A. hospital
    > system has failed, the suffering it has caused?

    Ah.. the “liberal media” got ahold of you, did it?? You’re probably referring to the Walter Reed fiasco as told to you by MSNBC, FOX, CNN, etc.???

    Some facts…

    1. Walter Reed Army Medical Center is an Army hospital and is run by the Department of Defense. The VA hospitals are run by the Veterans Administration (Veterans Health Administration), a separate organization. The news media has clouded this fact and has led the public to presume that all government-run health efforts fail. The VA health system continues to receive the best quality scores of any segment of the U.S. health system, with the most satisfied patients. It beats the best HMOs in quality ratings, has a model information system, and focuses on primary care. It has led in addressing medical errors and in its application of AHRQ quality guidelines to both inpatients and outpatients. In 2004 it won the Baldridge Prize for quality and patient-safety improvements.

    2. There is a lot we can learn from the Walter Reed disgrace. Its operation was outsourced to a Halliburton-connected company in 2002, over the objections of some Army medical personnel and leadership, with a subsequent drastic reduction in staff and loss of government employees with institutional experience. There was also some hanky-panky with the contracting process; when the government employees’ bid for the operations contract came in lower than the Halliburton company’s bid, the bids were “recalculated” to make the private company the lowest bidder.

    â–º source

  17. dstntmbrk says:

    @10

    “Private hands are totally unaccountable through any mechanism whatesoever! They care only for profits.”

    Profits are exactly the accountability mechanism that you claim does not exist. Businesses that do not offer services of value go out of business. Only in the corporatized world of subsidies and monopolies made possible by government intervention in markets can businesses continue to extract money from people who do not want or require their services.

    “Private control of health care means profit is the only drive, and profit is a horrible mechanism for providing health care which actually drives up costs individually and to society”

    What evidence do you base this claim on? Private control of health care would result in competition between providers which would drive the price DOWN. Private control of health care would eliminate the IP laws that pharmaceutical companies use to keep medication costs unaffordably high. Government control of any industry always results in increased costs because the profit motive does not exist.

  18. StrawberryFrog says:

    #9 Thanks for the insightful comment. Finally, someone raising the level of discourse.

    I wonder what the best way to deal with cranks like #4 is -ignore or respond?

  19. coaxial says:

    @4 Well when these alternative theories get through peer-reviewed double-blind analysis of effectiveness, then we’ll talk. Until then, all you have are anecdotes and quackery, which we can all do without.

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