US Government Shutdown

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Seanchaidh:

tstorm823:
the price of insurance has finally stabilized. I don't think they wrecked the ACA, I think they improved it.

The price of insurance has 'stabilized' at too much with deductibles that are too high. The ACA was (market-based) trash to begin with aside from the medicaid expansion and mandate of coverage for pre-existing conditions. What is needed is an elimination of the health insurance industry via a single-payer system paid for by taxes. With no deductibles. Health insurance company profits are literally a form of inefficiency.

Not exactly. Although I was a quite vocal opponent of the ACA because I see that it does not go far enough, it was still better than what we had before, and many lives have been saved due to it's existence.It served as a good stepping stone to move us towards universal healthcare, not that it was universal healthcare itself. The problems of course were the loopholes and active sabotage. Allowing states to " opt out" of medicaid funding, allowing underwriters to be exempt, allowing insurers to pick and choose which markets they will retreat from, allowing the deductibles to rise rather than eliminating deductibles all together. All of these things were problems from the beginning, but in reality the most we could hope for as a first step at the time due to not having the votes to pass it.

The conservative and moderate democratic voting bloc blocked more progressive alternatives, including the plan I backed at the time that provided medical and dental universal healthcare. It simply was not possible to get it passed due to the reality that it is not possible to elect that many progressives to office. No matter how much we want all regions to elect progressives, not all regions are as progressive, and even if you can get conservative or moderate districts to vote democrat, it still does not mean they will elect progressive democrats. That is the problem here, that too much of the nation is not progressive enough to elect progressive officials. Keep in mind this has to pass the house, senate AND be signed by the president. We did not have enough progressives in office then, and we do not have them now. It is not just the Republicans you have blocking this, it is libertarians and moderate and conservative democrats as well.

EDIT: In addition, the GOP intentionally sabotaged the ACA in swing states by refusing to pay the insurers that kept up their end of the deal running them out of those markets.

https://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/03/ohio_health_insurers_are_owed.html
https://www.healthinsurance.org/blog/2017/05/17/10-ways-the-gop-sabotaged-obamacare/
https://www.protectourcare.org/the-cost-of-sabotage-how-republicans-deliberate-actions-to-undermine-the-affordable-care-act-make-health-care-more-expensive-for-american-families/
https://www.apnews.com/553476353876416f89e3701fac5ed267

Despite all of these sabotage efforts however, millions of people have gained access to care they would not otherwise be able to receive if the ACA had not been passed. Don't get me wrong, you know I want quality universal healthcare for all where people can be treated and not have to pay a cent at the time of services provided, however, I still think it is going to take " steps" to get to that point if we want to see it happen in our lifetime due to those opposed are not going down without one hell of a fight.

Seanchaidh:

The price of insurance has 'stabilized' at too much with deductibles that are too high. The ACA was (market-based) trash to begin with aside from the medicaid expansion and mandate of coverage for pre-existing conditions. What is needed is an elimination of the health insurance industry via a single-payer system paid for by taxes. With no deductibles. Health insurance company profits are literally a form of inefficiency.

I agree that too high is where we're at, but better stable at too high than too high and still rising. I agree it was trash to begin with. I don't agree with single-payer as necessary. I do agree health insurance company profits are currently a huge inefficiency, but I don't agree with that as a rule. It's tempting to think of middlemen profiting as always inefficient, but it's possible for people in the middle to generate more value in managing and directing assets than what they take off the top. Basically all work is some form of shuffling things around to where they're needed, I don't see why payments for healthcare should be a logical exception to that. But practically speaking, the way insurances and healthcare providers and any other party sticking their hands in the honey pot are currently behaving is certainly enough fraud and conspiracy to trust-bust the whole market.

Lil devils x:

There was so much going on with this, I am not even sure where to start. There are so many angles. Not only was the program not defined enough and was relying on a bad government faulty food pyramid, you had an extreme amount of sabotage from within the schools and those who compete for contracts as well. This was hit from so many angles, because sadly school contracts are big money and lots of underhanded shat goes on in that regard as well. We had everything from students being served onions as a vegetable requirement and intentionally making the food taste bad to some schools not having the funding to even serve healthy food. The only way they will make a healthy food program work in schools is if they actually fund it themselves, take contracts out of state and school districts hands by providing the food themselves, have standard menus and recipes, and not use the faulty standard government approved food pyramid. They also have to have alternative options available for students who are not able to tolerate milk, wheat, nuts and certain fruits and fish for every meal provided by schools. This is a monumental task, and will likely have to have a crapton of work done after implementation to get it right. Removing the politics of food contracts is the biggest hurdle, because no matter what you try to do, those who have money to lose or gain from this will sabotage any efforts to get it right regardless. The program was doomed before it ever got started and of course Trump would do nothing to improve it as he was on the side of those who actively sabotage any efforts to improve lunches or address obesity.

That's a fair assessment. My point was just that nothing is lost by axing a program that was, as you say, doomed from the start. I don't see anything wrong with the suggestion of standard menus. The "nanny state" complaint about this seems silly to me; "you can force my kids into 7 hours of prison every day, and you can feed them lunch, but if you're making that lunch out of anything healthier than gravy covered doritos, that's a step too far!" But I think it's better to not impose DCs will on every school in America IF that will is doomed not to accomplish anything anyway.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

The price of insurance has 'stabilized' at too much with deductibles that are too high. The ACA was (market-based) trash to begin with aside from the medicaid expansion and mandate of coverage for pre-existing conditions. What is needed is an elimination of the health insurance industry via a single-payer system paid for by taxes. With no deductibles. Health insurance company profits are literally a form of inefficiency.

Basically all work is some form of shuffling things around to where they're needed, I don't see why payments for healthcare should be a logical exception to that.

Because that's already the job of doctors.

Seanchaidh:

Basically all work is some form of shuffling things around to where they're needed, I don't see why payments for healthcare should be a logical exception to that.

Because that's already the job of doctors.

Hopefully not. I don't want my doctor to worry about processing payments when they can hire someone who didn't go through medical school to process the paperwork and run the register.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

Basically all work is some form of shuffling things around to where they're needed, I don't see why payments for healthcare should be a logical exception to that.

Because that's already the job of doctors.

Hopefully not. I don't want my doctor to worry about processing payments when they can hire someone who didn't go through medical school to process the paperwork and run the register.

Doctors already hire someone entirely distinct from the insurance companies that they receive payment from to process their payments (or they do it themselves). This would not change with single-payer. So...

This is THQNordic's Statement of the situation.

And Valve's statement of the situation.

Sales of Metro Exodus have been discontinued on Steam due to a publisher decision to make the game exclusive to another PC store.

The developer and publisher have assured us that all prior sales of the game on Steam will be fulfilled on Steam, and Steam owners will be able to access the game and any future updates or DLC through Steam.

We think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period. We apologize to Steam customers that were expecting it to be available for sale through the February 15th release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know.

Burnouts3s3:
This is THQNordic's Statement of the situation.

And Valve's statement of the situation.

Sales of Metro Exodus have been discontinued on Steam due to a publisher decision to make the game exclusive to another PC store.

The developer and publisher have assured us that all prior sales of the game on Steam will be fulfilled on Steam, and Steam owners will be able to access the game and any future updates or DLC through Steam.

We think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period. We apologize to Steam customers that were expecting it to be available for sale through the February 15th release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know.

Oops! Wrong board!

Burnouts3s3:
snip

TBH One part of me was curious on hearing how the shutdown caused Metro Exodus to be an Epic Store exclusive...

The worst part about this is many who do not make enough as it is to survive also do not receive back pay from this:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/the-lowest-paid-shutdown-workers-arent-getting-back-pay/ar-BBSTbm7?ocid=spartandhp

Unlike the 800,000 career public servants who are slated to receive full back pay over the next week or so, the contractors who clean, guard, cook and shoulder other jobs at federal workplaces aren't legally guaranteed a single penny.
They're also among the lowest-paid laborers in the government economy, generally earning between $450 and $650 weekly, union leaders say.
And even as they began returning to work Monday, they were bracing for more pain. President Trump's new deadline for Congress to earmark funding for his proposed border wall is Feb. 15. Agencies could close again if no deal is reached.

Not only are peoples' Credit destroyed due to Trump and food panties depleated, there are many who still going to continue to suffer as they may never catch up due to this.

There are people trying to help them for future shutdowns, it may be too little too late for many of those affected even if they do pull off a miracle and get it passed.

A group of Democratic senators introduced a bill last month aimed at changing that. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have proposed legislation that would repay contractors up to $965 per week with public money and restore sick days used during the shutdown. (It's unclear whether the bill will advance.)
The push for compensation comes at a time when only 4 in 10 Americans say they could cobble together $400 when faced with an emergency expense, according to the latest Federal Reserve data.

I am doubtful it will advance though. Republicans tend to like shutting the government down since they have done so repeatedly and do not like having to pay more to do so.

tstorm823:
I don't agree with single-payer as necessary. I do agree health insurance company profits are currently a huge inefficiency, but I don't agree with that as a rule. It's tempting to think of middlemen profiting as always inefficient, but it's possible for people in the middle to generate more value in managing and directing assets than what they take off the top.

Right, because when my grandpa has cancer, I TOTALLY trust an industry that has a profit motive to deny care when they can get away with it, and I TOTALLY care about this industry generating "value".

People go bankrupt in the US over healthcare costs.

People get hit with huge charges for stuff that their insurance doesn't cover.

People have been screwed over and denied care from insurance companies that they've paid into. There's this one case I keep hearing about, where a woman was denied skin cancer treatment because her company said "It says here on your record you had acne as a kid. You say acne, we say it was cancerous skin lesions. That's a pre-existing condition, we can't cover your treatment" and she died.

There are countless other cases where these companies skimp on the care they give out, often to the severe detriment of the people who depend on them. Here's a case where a company downgraded a diabetic kid's insulin to save money, and took their sweet time (breaking state law) getting around to changing it back to the kind that worked, AFTER they initially denied the revert. Kid almost died. https://www.silive.com/news/2019/01/he-asked-me-if-hes-going-to-die-said-dad-of-11-year-old-whose-insurance-company-denied-insulin.html

Meanwhile, up here in Canada, where we have a system that actually makes sense...

I get severe intestinal pain, might be appendicitis, get brought to hospital, turns out it's a minor infection, get antibiotics, stay the night with an IV because the doctors insist "Hey, we'd rather be safe than sorry", no charge.

My grandpa gets a cancer diagnosis? "Your TEP scan is in two weeks, you can start Chemo next monday". Only charge to worry about? 15 bucks a day for parking, and that can be reduced to 15 a week if you do about 5 minutes of runaround at the hospital to upgrade your parking coupon.

A friend gets some kind of seriously nasty stomach bug that's making it impossible to attend work, and the doctors are having trouble diagnosing the problem? All the dozens of scans and tests are free. She's posting right now about how relieved she is she immigrated to Canada so she isn't going broke over this.

Look, I'm not a complete radical. As flawed as Capitalism is, I don't hate the entire system, I think in a lot of industries, it can be good at generating incentive to do things. You know, as long as there are intensely strict guidelines to prevent corporations from abusing their employees or endangering their customers.

But for stuff that's essential to the functioning of a society? You can't have a profit motive attached. It will pervert the entire process.

Because the LAST thing you want when you're seriously sick or injured is to know that the people you're depending on for care more about making money off of you than helping you.

It should not be a radical position that if you see someone in need of help, you help them first and worry about profit later.

I thank my grandparents frequently for choosing Canada over the US when they came here, purely on this one point alone

But practically speaking, the way insurances and healthcare providers and any other party sticking their hands in the honey pot are currently behaving is certainly enough fraud and conspiracy to trust-bust the whole market.

Hey, here's a thought...

If the entire market is involved in such rampant fraud that the entire market should be busted...

Maybe there's a problem with the system/industry that's letting the market run that way.

You can't trust large corporations to "do the right thing". They are designed to only care about generating growth for their shareholders. I don't want to depend on the mercy of an amoral money-making-machine to decide what care I get, if any thank you very much.

Imma just close off with mah boi Kyle Kulinsky who just covered the story of the diabetic kid and hit it out of the park, especially at the end: https://youtu.be/1DLZiXZdSDg

Lil devils x:
Not only are peoples' Credit destroyed due to Trump and food panties depleated

Only took one misplaced R to make this sentence hilarious XD

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

Basically all work is some form of shuffling things around to where they're needed, I don't see why payments for healthcare should be a logical exception to that.

Because that's already the job of doctors.

Hopefully not. I don't want my doctor to worry about processing payments when they can hire someone who didn't go through medical school to process the paperwork and run the register.

This is sort of one of the issues frequently levelled at the NHS; that there are in fact too many people who are just processing papers and running the register. That you have far too many instances of managers managing managers so it becomes a clusterfuck of bureaucracy rather than being able to actually do its job of making sick people better

aegix drakan:

Right, because when my grandpa has cancer, I TOTALLY trust an industry that has a profit motive to deny care when they can get away with it, and I TOTALLY care about this industry generating "value".

You do care about that industry generating value. If you go in with a broken bone, and they fix it, that's valuable. I'm not saying middlemen in healthcare can make money (they obviously do), I'm suggesting their presence might be capable of helping the healthcare industry provide better care. To do so, they'd have to direct people to more effective or more convenient solutions rather than pushing the most expensive procedures and making people get their drugs from CVS.

But for stuff that's essential to the functioning of a society? You can't have a profit motive attached. It will pervert the entire process.

Hey, here's a thought...

If the entire market is involved in such rampant fraud that the entire market should be busted...

Maybe there's a problem with the system/industry that's letting the market run that way.

There are a lot more things than healthcare that are essential to the functioning of society, and we let profit motive continue to take care of most of them. But healthcare stands out, based on the astronomically rising prices, there's obviously something different about healthcare. There are plenty of factors: it's an industry hit particularly hard by the rising cost of education, and it's an industry with constantly emerging technology where providers would be negligent to not be state-of-the-art, etc. But the profit motive of healthcare providers isn't what's driving the costs up. There aren't doctors going into work thinking "I'm gonna wring these suckers for all they're worth". The problem is in the profit motive of health insurance, the immoral (and should be illegal) practices they've used, and the complicity of the federal government in this.

Health insurance got popular in America before the government had healthcare programs, so when they made Medicare, they modeled it as an insurance program. And they start haggling with healthcare providers about the cost of things just like insurers are want to do. And they use that collective bargaining power that supposedly makes things cheaper to go "hey, we're the government, give us a super big discount", and they basically had to, and the discounts and rebates started flowing. And then the insurers went "we cover more people than the government, give us the discount too!" and they basically had to. But you can't give like a 50% discount to 95% of your customers and still be solvent. So they collectively come up with a handy dandy solution: raise the prices. If we double the cost of everything, we can give people 50% discounts and effectively charge what we wanted to in the first place. That's the part that should be illegal, that the government should be regulating out of existence, but if they do that, they're putting Medicare in an even more questionable place. I concede that a lot of this is people doing bad things for profit motive, but we should ban the bad things, not the profit motive.

So why is this bad, if it's just charging people the normal amount anyway? Cause it screws over the uninsured or underinsured. Everyone knows the services rendered don't cost and aren't worth the tens of thousands of dollars than bankrupt people. But 90% of the country has insurance, insurances that demand to pay 90% under the list. You can't be solvent and give that kind of discount unless your list price is 10x what it should be. People who aren't covered are screwed so insurers can lie about the value they're providing. The most ridiculous examples are all in pharmaceuticals. I've spent time in the back of a pharmacy. When something isn't covered, people sometimes ask if they can just pay for it, and usually that just leads to regret that they asked. A bottle of pills could cost $5 to manufacture, and the insurance will pay $10 to provide it to the end customer, and the official list price is $3000. It's complete nonsense. And a lot of times people are being deliberately directed to more expensive treatments by messed up insurance formularies because of backroom deals designed to distort the market. None of this is ok, and it really is the problem, because if you look into breakdowns by nation, the US healthcare system provides pretty comparable services to the rest of the world and just pays grossly inflated prices for it. 90% of people are insured, including all the poor and elderly by the government. That's not the problem. People aren't using more or less medical care here, that's not the problem. It's literally just paying more for the same things, and that's because of bad actors colluding to raise the market price of goods and services for their own benefit. And then Obamacare thought it would fix the mess by mandating insurance and telling insurance they had to spend a particular percent on care, to which the insurers took the new customers and pressured everyone to get the most expensive care possible so they could raise premiums, and both the insurers and hospitals ended up with piles and piles of money.

So to circle back to what you were quoting me on, a single-payer system would (hopefully) rid us of this nonsense, but I don't think that's the only way to rid us of this nonsense. Just break out the trust-busting anti-collusion laws and break down the lies about what things actually cost. "But tstorm, that would make it not look like Medicare gives people 20x more value than people pay into it." Great!

tstorm823:

You do care about that industry generating value. If you go in with a broken bone, and they fix it, that's valuable. I'm not saying middlemen in healthcare can make money (they obviously do), I'm suggesting their presence might be capable of helping the healthcare industry provide better care. To do so, they'd have to direct people to more effective or more convenient solutions rather than pushing the most expensive procedures and making people get their drugs from CVS.

This merely advocates the value that an administrator can lend to the process. Nobody is disputing that: administrators will obviously exist in any functional healthcare system, be it nationalised or not.

But how does the profit motive improve this role? All it does is provides that administrator-- as well as their bosses, and everybody up the ladder-- with an overwhelming reason to emphasise profitability over all else. Including mortality rates.

And so, in a profit-driven healthcare system, a patient must choose between bankruptcy and going without surgery.

Silvanus:

This merely advocates the value that an administrator can lend to the process. Nobody is disputing that: administrators will obviously exist in any functional healthcare system, be it nationalised or not.

But how does the profit motive improve this role? All it does is provides that administrator-- as well as their bosses, and everybody up the ladder-- with an overwhelming reason to emphasise profitability over all else. Including mortality rates.

And so, in a profit-driven healthcare system, a patient must choose between bankruptcy and going without surgery.

Because a) high profitability and high cost aren't synonyms. Lower costs encourage more people to pay that cost, profitability is maximized somewhere in the middle of maximum cost for a single service and maximum customers, where supply and demand intersect at the same price. The point where you ask "why not just add on $10 more" to the price, and the answer is "because we'd actually make less money." Profit motive doesn't just motivate you to charge more. It also motivates you to provide for more people.

b) Even if you don't think demand can't be lowered by the price of healthcare, businesses have nothing to gain from the dead or bankrupt. Businesses thrive in the long term by having consistent customers in the long term. Even in the ideal scumbag scenario where your only motive is profit and you have no shred of humanity in you, if you take all of a person's money and their life goes to hell or they die, you lose in the long-term as you just lost a stream of future profits for the sake of a quick buck now. That's a poor business decision. You can't choose profitability over mortality because dead people don't pay very well.

tstorm823:

Silvanus:

This merely advocates the value that an administrator can lend to the process. Nobody is disputing that: administrators will obviously exist in any functional healthcare system, be it nationalised or not.

But how does the profit motive improve this role? All it does is provides that administrator-- as well as their bosses, and everybody up the ladder-- with an overwhelming reason to emphasise profitability over all else. Including mortality rates.

And so, in a profit-driven healthcare system, a patient must choose between bankruptcy and going without surgery.

Because a) high profitability and high cost aren't synonyms. Lower costs encourage more people to pay that cost, profitability is maximized somewhere in the middle of maximum cost for a single service and maximum customers, where supply and demand intersect at the same price. The point where you ask "why not just add on $10 more" to the price, and the answer is "because we'd actually make less money." Profit motive doesn't just motivate you to charge more. It also motivates you to provide for more people.

b) Even if you don't think demand can't be lowered by the price of healthcare, businesses have nothing to gain from the dead or bankrupt. Businesses thrive in the long term by having consistent customers in the long term. Even in the ideal scumbag scenario where your only motive is profit and you have no shred of humanity in you, if you take all of a person's money and their life goes to hell or they die, you lose in the long-term as you just lost a stream of future profits for the sake of a quick buck now. That's a poor business decision. You can't choose profitability over mortality because dead people don't pay very well.

You are applying the economic theory of wants to a commodity that people need.

One can not choose to forego life-saving healthcare. There's no "I won't buy that life-saving treatment" because if that choice is made that individual ceases to exist. So they will pay for it, however they can. "Demand" is the desire to purchase something and the ability to pay for it but that also is supposed to conform to the idea of opportunity cost.

Healthcare breaks the standard supply and demand calculation because demand is almost a vertical line. People will pay whatever price because they have no choice.

Healthcare is not an industry that the government can let regulate itself. Whats more, the United States, by refusing to adopt the single payer method, is negatively impacting the healthcare provided by other nations. Medical professionals migrate to the US to enjoy the super profits on offer there for their services, because the industry is not regulated like every other developed nation.

Abomination:

You are applying the economic theory of wants to a commodity that people need.

One can not choose to forego life-saving healthcare. There's no "I won't buy that life-saving treatment" because if that choice is made that individual ceases to exist. So they will pay for it, however they can. "Demand" is the desire to purchase something and the ability to pay for it but that also is supposed to conform to the idea of opportunity cost.

Healthcare breaks the standard supply and demand calculation because demand is almost a vertical line. People will pay whatever price because they have no choice.

Healthcare is not an industry that the government can let regulate itself. Whats more, the United States, by refusing to adopt the single payer method, is negatively impacting the healthcare provided by other nations. Medical professionals migrate to the US to enjoy the super profits on offer there for their services, because the industry is not regulated like every other developed nation.

Wants vs needs is not a factor that applies only to healthcare. The vast, vast, vast, vast, vast, vast, vast majority of healthcare goes to fixing conditions that kill you slower than hunger or thirst will. It's pretty in theory to say "I will die without this!" but that is the exception, not the rule. "I might die sooner without this" is a very different problem, and one people pay to have in many circumstances. If you want to take the price tag off of "I've been hit by a car and my lungs are bleeding" care, I'd hear that out, but setting up a program to deal with the exceptional circumstance is very different than rewriting the rules.

Also, I wrote an entire second paragraph in case you thought demand was a vertical line, so there's that. The willingness of people to give up everything they own for the sake of buying something doesn't mean the people selling it have reason to take everything they own.

tstorm823:
b) Even if you don't think demand can't be lowered by the price of healthcare, businesses have nothing to gain from the dead or bankrupt. Businesses thrive in the long term by having consistent customers in the long term. Even in the ideal scumbag scenario where your only motive is profit and you have no shred of humanity in you, if you take all of a person's money and their life goes to hell or they die, you lose in the long-term as you just lost a stream of future profits for the sake of a quick buck now. That's a poor business decision. You can't choose profitability over mortality because dead people don't pay very well.

There is no business out there that actually thinks this way outside of public relations pablum. They will absolutely take everything you have if they can because then they get it. It makes no difference that the health of the economy as a whole suffers if every business acts like that whenever given the opportunity, the health of the economy as a whole is not what individual businesses are concerned with. Individual businesses will maximize their own profit at everyone else's expense (certainly including the expense of other businesses) unless compelled otherwise by some outside force like a government.

Taking everything a person has > having a worker and consumer that will most likely work for and consume the products mostly of other businesses. The idea that businesses as a general rule will forgo profit in order to avoid ruining people's lives is utter fantasy.

Seanchaidh:

There is no business out there that actually thinks this way outside of public relations pablum. They will absolutely take everything you have if they can because then they get it. It makes no difference that the health of the economy as a whole suffers if every business acts like that whenever given the opportunity, the health of the economy as a whole is not what individual businesses are concerned with. Individual businesses will maximize their own profit at everyone else's expense (certainly including the expense of other businesses) unless compelled otherwise by some outside force like a government.

I'd believe you if this didn't contradict reality so much. Taking everything a person has doesn't accomplish anything. At some point in your life, I hope you actually accomplish something you're proud of and get compensated for it so you can see that people want to pay for things. And appreciate the wealthy getting wealthy by providing others with things they want. And see many of the richest people desperately giving money away because at a certain point, the only meaningful thing you can do with more money is dedicate it to causes beyond yourself. And learn that America plows over most of the world in social spending (as an amount and as a percentage of gdp) when you include private spending, not even including what's aimed at other nations. Profit is the difference between the amount earned and the cost to get there. The desire to create more value to exchange with someone else out of your time, talent, and resources is profit motive. It's not evil.

Palindromemordnilap:

Lil devils x:
Not only are peoples' Credit destroyed due to Trump and food panties depleated

Only took one misplaced R to make this sentence hilarious XD

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

Because that's already the job of doctors.

Hopefully not. I don't want my doctor to worry about processing payments when they can hire someone who didn't go through medical school to process the paperwork and run the register.

This is sort of one of the issues frequently levelled at the NHS; that there are in fact too many people who are just processing papers and running the register. That you have far too many instances of managers managing managers so it becomes a clusterfuck of bureaucracy rather than being able to actually do its job of making sick people better

LMAO! I completely missed that. Now it makes it sound as if Trump stole their credit cards and bought up all the edible undies causing a world wide shortage! XD

I Agree there are far too many running the register and they too are added to the costs of Grandma's heart medication. That is one of the biggest parts of the problem is too many hands in the cookie jar driving up medical costs at every turn. Whether it is medical supply and equipment, Pharma or insurance billing and debt collection, you have everyone and their dog wanting to hitch their wagon on to the price to treat patients to get a piece of a "sure thing" and people are dying due to this making it so they can no longer afford to receive the medications and treatments they need. To resolve this we have to honestly kick many of those profiting from this to the curb to reduce the costs as people are being crushed under the current weight.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

There is no business out there that actually thinks this way outside of public relations pablum. They will absolutely take everything you have if they can because then they get it. It makes no difference that the health of the economy as a whole suffers if every business acts like that whenever given the opportunity, the health of the economy as a whole is not what individual businesses are concerned with. Individual businesses will maximize their own profit at everyone else's expense (certainly including the expense of other businesses) unless compelled otherwise by some outside force like a government.

I'd believe you if this didn't contradict reality so much. Taking everything a person has doesn't accomplish anything. At some point in your life, I hope you actually accomplish something you're proud of and get compensated for it so you can see that people want to pay for things. And appreciate the wealthy getting wealthy by providing others with things they want. And see many of the richest people desperately giving money away because at a certain point, the only meaningful thing you can do with more money is dedicate it to causes beyond yourself. And learn that America plows over most of the world in social spending (as an amount and as a percentage of gdp) when you include private spending, not even including what's aimed at other nations. Profit is the difference between the amount earned and the cost to get there. The desire to create more value to exchange with someone else out of your time, talent, and resources is profit motive. It's not evil.

There are homeless people freezing to death in the United States right now. The source of profit is exploitation of workers; taking the surplus value that they produce and appropriating it for oneself because you have the necessary ingredients that allow you to be an employer.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

There is no business out there that actually thinks this way outside of public relations pablum. They will absolutely take everything you have if they can because then they get it. It makes no difference that the health of the economy as a whole suffers if every business acts like that whenever given the opportunity, the health of the economy as a whole is not what individual businesses are concerned with. Individual businesses will maximize their own profit at everyone else's expense (certainly including the expense of other businesses) unless compelled otherwise by some outside force like a government.

I'd believe you if this didn't contradict reality so much. Taking everything a person has doesn't accomplish anything.

It gets the business PROFIT-- the entire point of a business under capitalism.

tstorm823:

Wants vs needs is not a factor that applies only to healthcare. The vast, vast, vast, vast, vast, vast, vast majority of healthcare goes to fixing conditions that kill you slower than hunger or thirst will. It's pretty in theory to say "I will die without this!" but that is the exception, not the rule. "I might die sooner without this" is a very different problem, and one people pay to have in many circumstances. If you want to take the price tag off of "I've been hit by a car and my lungs are bleeding" care, I'd hear that out, but setting up a program to deal with the exceptional circumstance is very different than rewriting the rules.

Also, I wrote an entire second paragraph in case you thought demand was a vertical line, so there's that. The willingness of people to give up everything they own for the sake of buying something doesn't mean the people selling it have reason to take everything they own.

You are applying macro-economic thinking to an industry comprised of thousands of micro-economic thinking companies.

They will and do milk people for everything they're worth because the industry does not care about the actual health of the individual beyond immediate profits. If someone dies and can't pay, it doesn't matter, because they're still making so much money off the people who don't die and still have to pay. The supernormal profits are so extreme in the health industry they can literally just write off debt with next to zero concern.

Finally, board members or shareholders will continue to demand 10% profit growth over previous year - guess where that comes from? It sure as hell isn't from population increase.

Seanchaidh:

There are homeless people freezing to death in the United States right now. The source of profit is exploitation of workers; taking the surplus value that they produce and appropriating it for oneself because you have the necessary ingredients that allow you to be an employer.

We've been here before. The vast majority of rich people earn their wealth in their lifetime. You have the ingredients necessary to be an employer. So why don't you do it?

It gets the business PROFIT-- the entire point of a business under capitalism.

Does a dairy farm suck the milk out of a cow until it dies of dehydration? You don't need an ounce of morality to appreciate how bad a business plan that is, and people have more than an ounce of morality.

You are applying macro-economic thinking to an industry comprised of thousands of micro-economic thinking companies.

They will and do milk people for everything they're worth because the industry does not care about the actual health of the individual beyond immediate profits. If someone dies and can't pay, it doesn't matter, because they're still making so much money off the people who don't die and still have to pay. The supernormal profits are so extreme in the health industry they can literally just write off debt with next to zero concern.

Finally, board members or shareholders will continue to demand 10% profit growth over previous year - guess where that comes from? It sure as hell isn't from population increase.

Most healthcare is payed in some way by the government, medicare/medicaid/government employees/military/wards of the state, that's not for profit. Of the rest of us, there are non-profit insurers, though there used to be many more. Most hospitals are nonprofit (which actually creates some curious situations where for-profit insurers are limited in their profit to a fixed percentage so they try and pay out as much as possible, but they're paying non-profits care providers who now have too much money and not enough to do with it). You could probably navigate most of the healthcare system without a for-profit business determining your level of care if you lived in the right place. But nobody is insulated from this market failure. It's not the abstract concept of businesses sucking people dry deliberately, it's a systemic failure that's caused issues with even the most well-intended players in the market. Greed is a motivator, but greed is not a competitive advantage. If one business makes you bankrupt for a treatment and another doesn't make you bankrupt, you go to the latter. If it was just greed, the existence of the well-intentioned would drive prices down to compete with them, but that isn't happening because the bad actors take part in monopolistic collusion and regulatory capture.

And it's not wrong of me to suggest businesses want a consistent flow of money rather than instant profit: we're talking about health care and health insurance. The insurance industry makes it's money by spending the big sums of money and then spreading out the cost of that to the entire customer base. Keeping the widest possible base of customers feeding in money every month is their business model. The idea of it is to not be bankrupted or killed by the cost of healthcare, their entire purpose is to keep you solvent, and their profit comes from the regular payments of financially solvent people.

Oooookay, here. We. Go.

TLDR: Small business is good, they do care about their individual customers. Large corporations don't give a damn about you, and will milk you dry and leave you to die because there are a billion other suckers out there, and they only care about making their next investor meeting look good.

If you trust large corporations to do the right thing, you are a sucker and a fool.

Wall of text, GO.

tstorm823:

aegix drakan:

Right, because when my grandpa has cancer, I TOTALLY trust an industry that has a profit motive to deny care when they can get away with it, and I TOTALLY care about this industry generating "value".

I'm suggesting their presence might be capable of helping the healthcare industry provide better care. To do so, they'd have to direct people to more effective or more convenient solutions rather than pushing the most expensive procedures and making people get their drugs from CVS.

Except that in the real world, they don't provide better care unless you're rich enough to afford it. And they tend to push for whatever procedures are cheapest for them. As for meds, the pharma companies routinely jack up the prices of the same exact drugs they were selling last month, and insurance companies do their best to go with the cheapest ones, or to find some way to pay only part of the drug cost instead of the full cost, see that diabetic kid case above.

There aren't doctors going into work thinking "I'm gonna wring these suckers for all they're worth". The problem is in the profit motive of health insurance, the immoral (and should be illegal) practices they've used, and the complicity of the federal government in this.

That's...Exactly what I'm saying?

The doctors aren't to blame, it's the for-profit-price-gouging-middlemen who are the problem, and the federal government that's been bought off by them who are refusing to bring them to heel and regulate them with a very firm hand.

I concede that a lot of this is people doing bad things for profit motive, but we should ban the bad things, not the profit motive.

Forgive me, but when large corporations are rich enough to buy politicians en masse (they've got both parties by the balls), I have little faith that any regulations that are put in place won't just get undone piece by piece later, or just not enforced.

Take one look at how no one was punished for rampant fraud in the banking crash that crashed the entire US economy.

In the instance of healthcare, where a citizen might suddenly have to deal with a several thousand dollars bill for cancer treatment, or people depend on insulin or epipens or any other essential meds, it's far simpler and less abusable to just cut profit out of the equation.

Because large corporations always need to keep growing in order to sustain the shareholders, and they WILL/MUST keep finding ways to cut corners or raise costs in order to do so. Give them a captive market that can't go anywhere else, and they WILL and HAVE abused the fuck out of that.

Besides, trying to find way to make as much money as you can off of people being sick is just freakin' gross.

So to circle back to what you were quoting me on, a single-payer system would (hopefully) rid us of this nonsense, but I don't think that's the only way to rid us of this nonsense. Just break out the trust-busting anti-collusion laws and break down the lies about what things actually cost.

See above, corporations have too much power and will keep trying to circumvent this. They like their captive market that HAS to rely on them.

Is is POSSIBLE to fix the system without using a single-payer system? Yeah, probably.

But it's a hell of a lot harder and messier and more exploitable in than just removing the profit motive entirely and making the government/taxpayers be the single source of money for private hospitals and clinics.

There's probably a reason most of the developed world has moved to a Single-Payer System. It's just so much neater and less exploitable than trying to wrestle with corporations who only care about making more profit next quarter.

"But tstorm, that would make it not look like Medicare gives people 20x more value than people pay into it." Great!

Something about this wording is making it very hard for me to parse. I actually don't understand what you're saying here, sorry.

tstorm823:

b) Even if you don't think demand can't be lowered by the price of healthcare, businesses have nothing to gain from the dead or bankrupt. Businesses thrive in the long term by having consistent customers in the long term. Even in the ideal scumbag scenario where your only motive is profit and you have no shred of humanity in you, if you take all of a person's money and their life goes to hell or they die, you lose in the long-term as you just lost a stream of future profits for the sake of a quick buck now. That's a poor business decision. You can't choose profitability over mortality because dead people don't pay very well.

Aaahhhhhh, I see what's wrong here.

You're looking at it from a "Small business capitalism" perspective.

See, on that scale, your way of thinking makes sense.

But for giant corporations, who have shareholders demanding constant increased growth every quarter? It doesn't hold up. They don't give a shit about the long term.

You're being naive, mate.

If they DID give a shit about the long term, we wouldn't see so many companies consistently do such short-sighted things like:

Oil companies deliberately trying to suppress competing energy sources instead of investing in them, desperately clinging to their eventually-obsolete energy resource. Not to mention the threat of global warming, which will lead to an uninhabitable planet that can't buy their oil anymore.

Huge game publishers going for get rich quick schemes like yearly releases with season pass preorders in games with gameplay-breaking microtransactions or gambling mechanics that are pissing off more and more of their customers, instead of, you know, creating quality products and trying to cultivate a community that loves their work and will buy it, no questions asked.

Banks doing large scale fraud and crazy casino-capitalist bets instead of focusing on long-term safe investments, and then when threatened with fines for their bad behaviour go "Go ahead, fine us, we can afford it".

Media companies like Defy inflating numbers and shuffling money around a shell company to look good to investors and lying to their partners until they suddenly go bankrupt and crash and burn.

And of course Insurance and Pharma companies gouging consumers for life-saving medication and help instead of making sure their customers stay alive and giving them money. Because what do they care if one poor person can't afford to buy their stuff and dies? There are hundreds of thousands of others to make money off of, people who still have money and NEED to keep paying them. What impact does losing a handful of poor people have on their bottom line? Not much.

Large corporations don't give a shit about the long term. They only care about "Did we make growth this quarter". Because their investors only care about "did we make growth this quarter", so that their share value goes up, so that they can then sell those shares and make a shit ton of money before the company inevitably runs out of room to grow and implodes.

This is what Large Corporations are designed to do. Make as much money as possible as quickly as possible, by any means necessary, and damn anything that gets in their way.

tstorm823:

I'd believe you if this didn't contradict reality so much.

Right back at you, buddy.

I've seen enough of large corporations fucking people over to pad their bottom line, only ever averting course when their schemes go viral and they realize they might lose a lot of business instead of just a few people. I can see clear as day that they don't give two fractions of a shit about the long term or about people's lives.

This is reality. The reality where people go "I have this pain in my back, but it'll cost too much to get it check out, it's probably nothing..." and then three years later go "OH SHIT it was cancer, and now it's late stage and now I'm going to die". Where people go "I lost my sister to a diabetic coma because she could not afford her insulin".

Your mom and pop restaurant down the street cares about their customers because they rely on them to stay in business.

Corporations don't care. They see you as a wallet to extract money from, and when you have nothing else to extract, they don't care, because there are millions more out there just like you to extract from. And the second they get too big and collapse, the shareholders bail out and try to cash out their massive investments, and the CEOs exit gracefully with multi-million exit bonuses while saying "Sorry, we don't have enough money to pay our workers severance pay!"

Taking everything a person has doesn't accomplish anything.

Neither does suppressing technology that threatens your eventually-obsolete technology, or gambling with your customer's money in a way that crashes the entire economy, or jacking the price of epipens up by about 300%, but that hasn't stopped shit like that from happening.

It's not that they're doing these harmful things on purpose going "mwahahahaha, we're ruining people!".

It's just that they don't give a damn in the grander scheme because they make more money screwing you than not.

At some point in your life, I hope you actually accomplish something you're proud of and get compensated for it so you can see that people want to pay for things.

I actually have. I helped make a game, and seeing people online go "I am so hype! Can't wait to give you guys money! When are pre-orders available?!" is really nice.

On the flip side, I hope you NEVER have to experience needing to rely on life-saving medicine, only for the company to go "I know it used to cost $40 a bottle, but now it costs $400, to cover 'R&D costs" and for your insurance company to go "Well, that drug is out of our coverage network, so we can only cover you for about $50" and leave you staring at a dwindling bank account, knowing that eventually you will no longer be able to afford the medication and you will die.

And appreciate the wealthy getting wealthy by providing others with things they want.

Or by strangling their competition and going "Wal-mart is now the ONLY game in town in this town, suckers"

And see many of the richest people desperately giving money away because at a certain point, the only meaningful thing you can do with more money is dedicate it to causes beyond yourself.

And many OTHER billionaires just stash all that money overseas in "tax havens" so they don't have to pay taxes and hoard it while demanding MORE tax cuts.

Or they do give away a percentage of their insanely huge income, while still sitting on more money than their entire family would be able to spend in 10 generations, and probably still complain about high taxes.

Profit is the difference between the amount earned and the cost to get there. The desire to create more value to exchange with someone else out of your time, talent, and resources is profit motive. It's not evil.

On it's face it's not evil.

But when you go "I have a monopoly on all the water, I'm charging you $40 bucks a glass, pay up or die. I don't care if a few of you are too poor, there are 7 billion other suckers out there who HAVE to come to me", then yeah, you're evil, no two ways about it.

Long story short...If you trust large corporations (who by design only care about making as much money as possible in the short term) to do the right thing...You are a fool and a sucker.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

There are homeless people freezing to death in the United States right now. The source of profit is exploitation of workers; taking the surplus value that they produce and appropriating it for oneself because you have the necessary ingredients that allow you to be an employer.

We've been here before. The vast majority of rich people earn their wealth in their lifetime. You have the ingredients necessary to be an employer. So why don't you do it?

1)You don't know the first thing about my life circumstances, so kindly stop speculating about them-- especially as if you're some kind of expert on what I can or cannot do.

2)I'm not interested in winning the game of capitalism, buddy. I'm interested in stopping it.

I'm not this guy:
image

Whether or not I or anyone else has the resources at their disposal to start a business-- and whether or not I could do that successfully-- it would be built on exploitation in the theoretical best case scenario. That's not what I want. I'm not interested in moving up the ladder, I'm interested in tipping the whole structure over so that we can all have a say in the decisions that affect our lives and so we can all share in the bounty that human ingenuity is obviously capable of producing but doesn't because of an asinine devotion to our particular crude way of distributing wealth and power.

tstorm823:

It gets the business PROFIT-- the entire point of a business under capitalism.

Does a dairy farm suck the milk out of a cow until it dies of dehydration? You don't need an ounce of morality to appreciate how bad a business plan that is, and people have more than an ounce of morality.

Does a company own its consumers and all their produce? This is such a bad analogy on its face that it should make you embarrassed. A company will try to maximize its income, and that includes ruining people's lives-- people who they pay by the hour (when they can be replaced) and people who buy their products (in cases where demand is price inelastic such as medical care). You vastly overestimate the beneficial effect of the need for the capitalist system to reproduce its conditions and relations-- to be sure, it does, but that only takes you from literally collapsing within a generation to perpetual misery for 90% of humanity.

tstorm823:

Because a) high profitability and high cost aren't synonyms. Lower costs encourage more people to pay that cost, profitability is maximized somewhere in the middle of maximum cost for a single service and maximum customers, where supply and demand intersect at the same price. The point where you ask "why not just add on $10 more" to the price, and the answer is "because we'd actually make less money." Profit motive doesn't just motivate you to charge more. It also motivates you to provide for more people.

"Encourages more people to pay that cost"? What do you imagine we're talking about, here? It's not an iPhone.

Healthcare is one of the most basic requirements in order to live a semi-civilised life. People do not have the choice to look at the surgery or the medicine they need and decide that it's a bit pricey. It is required for them to live.

tstorm823:

b) Even if you don't think demand can't be lowered by the price of healthcare, businesses have nothing to gain from the dead or bankrupt. Businesses thrive in the long term by having consistent customers in the long term. Even in the ideal scumbag scenario where your only motive is profit and you have no shred of humanity in you, if you take all of a person's money and their life goes to hell or they die, you lose in the long-term as you just lost a stream of future profits for the sake of a quick buck now. That's a poor business decision. You can't choose profitability over mortality because dead people don't pay very well.

Yes, this will encourage companies to keep drugs slightly below the price threshold at which large numbers of people could not possibly afford it.

Of course, this does nothing to stop them making it prohibitively expensive to the poor, and nor will it stop them making it seriously financially damaging to those who are on the margins. But it will stop them making most common medicines bankruptcy-inducing.

Well, unless it's surgery. A number of life-saving surgeries are literally bankruptcy-inducing in the United States.

...That's your defence?

Silvanus:

tstorm823:

Because a) high profitability and high cost aren't synonyms. Lower costs encourage more people to pay that cost, profitability is maximized somewhere in the middle of maximum cost for a single service and maximum customers, where supply and demand intersect at the same price. The point where you ask "why not just add on $10 more" to the price, and the answer is "because we'd actually make less money." Profit motive doesn't just motivate you to charge more. It also motivates you to provide for more people.

"Encourages more people to pay that cost"? What do you imagine we're talking about, here? It's not an iPhone.

Healthcare is one of the most basic requirements in order to live a semi-civilised life. People do not have the choice to look at the surgery or the medicine they need and decide that it's a bit pricey. It is required for them to live.

In economic terms, this means that demand is quite price inelastic. Another variable is that frequently healthcare enjoys legal monopolies (patented drugs-- often developed with government funding and then GIVEN AWAY to some corporation-- only one hospital/specialist in town, and so on). So not only is price elasticity of demand quite low, people are often at the mercy of one single entity to provide the needed healthcare good or service.

The only 'efficient' thing about this state of affairs is that pharmaceutical companies very efficiently (with respect to time, amount that can be paid, product that must be provided) come into the possession of the financial resources of everyone who needs the drugs that the government violently enforces their intellectual property rights over.

Silvanus:

tstorm823:

Because a) high profitability and high cost aren't synonyms. Lower costs encourage more people to pay that cost, profitability is maximized somewhere in the middle of maximum cost for a single service and maximum customers, where supply and demand intersect at the same price. The point where you ask "why not just add on $10 more" to the price, and the answer is "because we'd actually make less money." Profit motive doesn't just motivate you to charge more. It also motivates you to provide for more people.

"Encourages more people to pay that cost"? What do you imagine we're talking about, here? It's not an iPhone.

Healthcare is one of the most basic requirements in order to live a semi-civilised life. People do not have the choice to look at the surgery or the medicine they need and decide that it's a bit pricey. It is required for them to live.

Actually healthcare has an extremely elastic demand, more than anything else, because people require it to live.

In scenario 1 someone just die from a disease they can't afford.

In scenario 2 someone is treated for that disease, this usually mean a long tail of checkup and regular pill. More importantly this mean they grow older and get sick again. And the cycle start anew.

The more healthcare is provided the more healthcare is necessary, the demand is pretty much infinite and will never be satisfied because the older people live, the sicker they get. All nation could double there healthcare spending and it wouldn't meet the demand, if anything it would just increase it (in exchange average lifespan would increase by a few months).

I think healthcare should definitely be provided by the state, but i think the biggest advantage of that is that the state can put it's feet down and say enough is enough and just refuse to cover treatment for hopeless case and very old people. In a society were a private option exist the people are tempted to throw away large sums of money and even borrow money to just buy a few more months for there loved one, which is bad for them and bad for society at large (usually pretty bad for the patient too since there last few months end up being heavily drugged and bored in an hospital).

Meiam:
*

That's not what price elasticity is.

Price elasticity of demand (PED or Ed) is a measure used in economics to show the responsiveness, or elasticity, of the quantity demanded of a good or service to a change in its price when nothing but the price changes.

Person living longer and thus developing more capacity to have all kinds of needs to satisfy (as well as the potential to do more productive labor) goes far beyond price. This leads to pointless and asinine analyses like the one you just gave to Silvanus.

Seanchaidh:

Meiam:
*

That's not what price elasticity is.

Price elasticity of demand (PED or Ed) is a measure used in economics to show the responsiveness, or elasticity, of the quantity demanded of a good or service to a change in its price when nothing but the price changes.

Person living longer and thus developing more capacity to have all kinds of needs to satisfy (as well as the potential to do more productive labor) goes far beyond price. This leads to pointless and asinine analyses like the one you just gave to Silvanus.

Yup that's exactly what is

Pill to not die for 1 week: 1 million dollar, person can't buy it dies, demand is 0

Pill to not die for 1 week: 10 $, person buys it, doesn't die, has to buy next week, demand is infinite.

Nothing but the price changed and demand went up.

Meiam:

Actually healthcare has an extremely elastic demand, more than anything else, because people require it to live.

No, it's not. There is an overwhelming consensus that healthcare is generally inelastic-- with some studies even showing near-zero elasticity for certain surgeries, such as appendectomies.

Meiam:
In scenario 1 someone just die from a disease they can't afford.

In scenario 2 someone is treated for that disease, this usually mean a long tail of checkup and regular pill. More importantly this mean they grow older and get sick again. And the cycle start anew.

The more healthcare is provided the more healthcare is necessary, the demand is pretty much infinite and will never be satisfied because the older people live, the sicker they get. All nation could double there healthcare spending and it wouldn't meet the demand, if anything it would just increase it (in exchange average lifespan would increase by a few months).

That is just illustrating that supply begets more demand in healthcare. That's not price elasticity.

Meiam:

Yup that's exactly what is

Pill to not die for 1 week: 1 million dollar, person can't buy it dies, demand is 0

Pill to not die for 1 week: 10 $, person buys it, doesn't die, has to buy next week, demand is infinite.

Nothing but the price changed and demand went up.

I really don't think you understand how PED is measured.

You cannot merely create an extreme imaginary scenario that demonstrates elasticity. Elasticity is measured in reference to real world situations because it is a measurement of real peoples' responsiveness.

So, we are not going to be looking at somebody who needs a pill which costs a million dollars, because that's not real. But we are going to look at, say, emergency room visits, which are extremely important for the individual in question, and which can be ruinously expensive in private healthcare systems-- and the literature shows them to be inelastic, with an elasticity of under 0.1. More generally, metastudies have put the elasticity for healthcare "consistently in the range of zero to 0.2": https://www.mathematica-mpr.com/~/media/publications/PDFs/priceincome.pdf.

Meiam:

Seanchaidh:

Meiam:
*

That's not what price elasticity is.

Price elasticity of demand (PED or Ed) is a measure used in economics to show the responsiveness, or elasticity, of the quantity demanded of a good or service to a change in its price when nothing but the price changes.

Person living longer and thus developing more capacity to have all kinds of needs to satisfy (as well as the potential to do more productive labor) goes far beyond price. This leads to pointless and asinine analyses like the one you just gave to Silvanus.

Yup that's exactly what is

Pill to not die for 1 week: 1 million dollar, person can't buy it dies, demand is 0

Pill to not die for 1 week: 10 $, person buys it, doesn't die, has to buy next week, demand is infinite.

Nothing but the price changed and demand went up.

Things that changed:

Price (it increased by precisely 9,999,900%-- the standard way to measure price elasticity of demand is to measure against a price increase of 1%. Needless to say, you're doing it very, very wrong.)
The lifespan of a particular consumer
What fucking time/day it is-- yes, this is a variable.

That's two additional variables in what was still an extremely oversimplified scenario and some extremely flawed method for looking at price elasticity in the first place.

It is reasonable to suppose that there are pills that can be made for $10 (or less) that would stop someone from dying from some horrible affliction, and for the sake of simplicity we can call it "not dying for a week". That doesn't seem particularly far from reality. It is also reasonable to suppose that some of them are patented-- only one entity is legally allowed to sell them.

If the price is $10, the price elasticity of demand is likely to be negligible. What, for your life you can't afford $20 (or $10.10) but you can afford $10?

Such a pill would most likely be sold for something more like $500; sure, somewhat fewer people could buy it, but those that can certainly will right up until the point at which they can't and those that can't will die. But it'll make more profit than otherwise anyway.

Of course, if they can get away with it, the owner might try price discrimination: charging the maximum they can to everyone who wants the pill. Your money or your life.

aegix drakan:

TLDR: Small business is good, they do care about their individual customers. Large corporations don't give a damn about you, and will milk you dry and leave you to die because there are a billion other suckers out there, and they only care about making their next investor meeting look good.

If you trust large corporations to do the right thing, you are a sucker and a fool.

Imma do a general response to your tl;dr before diving into any details. Small business can be good or bad. Large corporations can also be good or bad. Investors, not short sellers but real investors, are largely a good thing, and investor meetings should look good. If you hemorrhage money trying to do good for your customers, you're not going good for your customers for very long.

I don't just trust large corporations to do the right thing any more than I trust them to do the wrong thing. It would be naive of me to think all big companies care about their customers, to imagine them all as good guys. But the naivety would be in lumping whole categories as good guys or bad guys. It's naive to think all big corporations are bad guys just as much as it is to think they're all doing good for people.

As for meds, the pharma companies routinely jack up the prices of the same exact drugs they were selling last month, and insurance companies do their best to go with the cheapest ones, or to find some way to pay only part of the drug cost instead of the full cost, see that diabetic kid case above.

The doctors aren't to blame, it's the for-profit-price-gouging-middlemen who are the problem, and the federal government that's been bought off by them who are refusing to bring them to heel and regulate them with a very firm hand.

Forgive me, but when large corporations are rich enough to buy politicians en masse (they've got both parties by the balls), I have little faith that any regulations that are put in place won't just get undone piece by piece later, or just not enforced.

Lobbying is a problem and we do need to get money out of politics, but corporations would still have a major say in how regulations work even if you do that. If, for example, you try and regulate the price of insulin, it's going to be the companies that make it who know whether it'll still be a viable business under those regulations. Unless you want a society where people are obligated to provide a good or service they don't want to, you have to let the voluntary creation of that good or service be worthwhile.

Corporations "owning politicians" isn't good, but it's not the root of the major issues. There are lots of politicians taking shots at the medical industry, and probably more regulations on it than any other field. They may not be effective, but its illustrative of governments willingness to try to regulate the issues. What the government isn't willing to do is pass any laws that might hurt Medicare or Medicaid.

"But tstorm, that would make it not look like Medicare gives people 20x more value than people pay into it." Great!

Something about this wording is making it very hard for me to parse. I actually don't understand what you're saying here, sorry.

What I'm saying there is that the status quo makes Medicare look really good. A lot of the out of control rise in medical costs comes from the various major players in the health insurance market, including the federal government, trying to maximize their relative value rather than their objective value. If the market value of something is $10, and having insurance means it costs you $9, that hardly makes insurance premiums feel justified. If, however, something is $3000 and insurance makes it cost you $9, suddenly the insurance feels like a steal, even if the insurance is getting a $2990 rebate afterwards.

Medicare and Medicaid are incredibly popular government programs, and this is a lot of the reason why. The taxes paid into these programs are big numbers, to be sure, but compared to the theoretical value being received by people, the value is unquestionable, and compared to what the costs would be out of pocket, it looks like completely outrageous savings. When you see all the reports claiming Medicare saves money, and medicare for All would save the country money, they aren't exactly lying. The programs look very good, and the politicians know it. That's why reforms come in the form of the ACA or Medicare for All, policies built around the existing insurance structure that people know and like. Nobody is willing to hurt Medicare.

But any policy that would get the cost of healthcare under control would hurt Medicare. If you fix the market so that uninsured people don't go bankrupt, all insurance, including those run by the government, and going to appear less solvent. The way prices have been arbitrarily slid around and the values of goods and services has been obfuscated has, in many cases, been as much benefit to federal insurance programs as it has been to private ones. If the cost of healthcare became transparent and manageable, the popularity of these programs would tank.

In the instance of healthcare, where a citizen might suddenly have to deal with a several thousand dollars bill for cancer treatment, or people depend on insulin or epipens or any other essential meds, it's far simpler and less abusable to just cut profit out of the equation.

But I don't think cutting profit out would make a difference. There are for-profits, non-profits, mutual funds, government agencies, private entities, you name it that have contributed to the mess that is US healthcare. Even an organization that's the most good-willed, no profit, for the benefit of their insured people only is going to maximize the benefit they can offer the people. If this is done by offering better care for less money, that's great. But right now, groups are maximizing what they offer by effectively sabotaging and neglecting those who would not contract with them. This isn't competition for profit, this is the type of practice we try to break apart monopolies to avoid happening. If you forced all healthcare to be non-profit, you'd still see these issues, as they still have the job to provide the best for their clients relative to others. A non-profit still goes under if people move to a more attractive competitor. If you move to a single-payer system, you do lose this issue of market manipulation at the expense of others, but you gain other problems too. I do think that would be an improvement, but there are more ideal outcomes than socialized medicine.

Because large corporations always need to keep growing in order to sustain the shareholders, and they WILL/MUST keep finding ways to cut corners or raise costs in order to do so. Give them a captive market that can't go anywhere else, and they WILL and HAVE abused the fuck out of that.

Large corporations don't always need to keep growing because they don't always need to care about shareholders. Shareholder investment is effectively the corporation's debt, and the reason to maintain prices on shares is the ability to take on more debt. A corporation that isn't looking to do that shouldn't care about stock evaluations. I always hear "facebook values plummeted" or "apple stocks are terrible" and that means absolutely nothing to the operations of those businesses, they don't need to issue more stock. People who bought stock as a short-term investment aren't happy, but then they're not really investing, are they? Most large corporations do constantly increase in value because they expand to new markets and the economies around them grow as well, but there's no rule that a publicly traded company has to constantly grow or it dies. Hell, you know how many times Nintendo would have dissolved if that was a thing? People who think constant growth is a mandate freak out every time a company scales back, and a ton of those companies do just fine because that's a silly way to think.

Besides, trying to find way to make as much money as you can off of people being sick is just freakin' gross.

But people giving you the maximum amount of money you can get could also be because you're giving them the maximum amount of value they could acquire. Profit and business success doesn't only come from exploitation and foul-play. The most reliable way to wealth comes from offering people a better existence.

But for giant corporations, who have shareholders demanding constant increased growth every quarter? It doesn't hold up. They don't give a shit about the long term.

You're being naive, mate.

If they DID give a shit about the long term, we wouldn't see so many companies consistently do such short-sighted things like:

Oil companies deliberately trying to suppress competing energy sources instead of investing in them, desperately clinging to their eventually-obsolete energy resource. Not to mention the threat of global warming, which will lead to an uninhabitable planet that can't buy their oil anymore.

Huge game publishers going for get rich quick schemes like yearly releases with season pass preorders in games with gameplay-breaking microtransactions or gambling mechanics that are pissing off more and more of their customers, instead of, you know, creating quality products and trying to cultivate a community that loves their work and will buy it, no questions asked.

Banks doing large scale fraud and crazy casino-capitalist bets instead of focusing on long-term safe investments, and then when threatened with fines for their bad behaviour go "Go ahead, fine us, we can afford it".

Media companies like Defy inflating numbers and shuffling money around a shell company to look good to investors and lying to their partners until they suddenly go bankrupt and crash and burn.

And of course Insurance and Pharma companies gouging consumers for life-saving medication and help instead of making sure their customers stay alive and giving them money. Because what do they care if one poor person can't afford to buy their stuff and dies? There are hundreds of thousands of others to make money off of, people who still have money and NEED to keep paying them. What impact does losing a handful of poor people have on their bottom line? Not much.

Large corporations don't give a shit about the long term. They only care about "Did we make growth this quarter". Because their investors only care about "did we make growth this quarter", so that their share value goes up, so that they can then sell those shares and make a shit ton of money before the company inevitably runs out of room to grow and implodes.

This is what Large Corporations are designed to do. Make as much money as possible as quickly as possible, by any means necessary, and damn anything that gets in their way.

Investment is supposed to be long-term thinking. If a company is wealthy enough in the short-term to not need investors, it wouldn't be taking their money. Investment into a company, especially the huge wealthy investors, is likely not expecting a return for years. If you imagine the people invested in health insurance, you picture fatcats waiting for their dividends, but if I point to the billions invested in clean energy companies or meat alternatives, are you picturing the same thing? Why is investing in healthcare worse than that? Or an example that probably hits close to home, have you used Discord? Discord has provided an excellent tool for gaming, free of charge, with almost no profit model, all on the back of millions of dollars from investors who thought "well, they're offering people something good, so it'll probably be valuable someday. All these tech things that revolutionize the way we live have operated at a loss using investment capitol to stay afloat and you've benefited from them, I'm sure. Should people not do this? Shouldn't we want more people betting their money on the success of the healthcare industry?

Long story short...If you trust large corporations (who by design only care about making as much money as possible in the short term) to do the right thing...You are a fool and a sucker.

You're breaking the world into good guys and bad guys along corporate lines, and it's not necessary or accurate to do so.

Side note: don't worry Seanchaidh, I've got some things to do now but I'll respond to your post soon enough.

Seanchaidh:

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

There are homeless people freezing to death in the United States right now. The source of profit is exploitation of workers; taking the surplus value that they produce and appropriating it for oneself because you have the necessary ingredients that allow you to be an employer.

We've been here before. The vast majority of rich people earn their wealth in their lifetime. You have the ingredients necessary to be an employer. So why don't you do it?

1)You don't know the first thing about my life circumstances, so kindly stop speculating about them-- especially as if you're some kind of expert on what I can or cannot do.

I don't have to assume a thing about you. You're computer literate, relatively intelligent, and have enough free time to banter with me on a video game forum, just find an idea of something you can provide to others and you have all the ingredients needed to start a business and be an employer in no time.

2)I'm not interested in winning the game of capitalism, buddy. I'm interested in stopping it.

You choose not to take part, so you want to tear down everyone else's accomplishments. Which brings us back nicely to how this whole tangent starter.

Whether or not I or anyone else has the resources at their disposal to start a business-- and whether or not I could do that successfully-- it would be built on exploitation in the theoretical best case scenario. That's not what I want. I'm not interested in moving up the ladder, I'm interested in tipping the whole structure over so that we can all have a say in the decisions that affect our lives and so we can all share in the bounty that human ingenuity is obviously capable of producing but doesn't because of an asinine devotion to our particular crude way of distributing wealth and power.

You and others here will jump through hoops to diminish any accomplishments of Trump, Republicans, or businesses, because all their accomplishments are in a system you refuse to represent fairly. Workers in capitalism aren't exploited. An employee in a business is being offered to turn their time and their talent into money that can then turn into the things they want and need. People don't just want a comfortable existence, they want to earn that existence. Employment isn't exploitation, it is demanded by the people. That guy with the boot on his face is not what people think like. People don't work hard for a boss thinking "I'll be boss one day", they're thinking "I'm glad my labor can be used to support my own existence." Government handing out things isn't human dignity, putting your efforts back into the society you live in is dignity. Hell, if people don't actively want to work for their keep, all socialist systems are dead on arrival.

tstorm823:

I don't have to assume a thing about you. You're computer literate, relatively intelligent, and have enough free time to banter with me on a video game forum, just find an idea of something you can provide to others and you have all the ingredients needed to start a business and be an employer in no time.

This is absolute bollocks.

To be a successful, maintainable business, you need a thousand more factors to be in your favour than that: geography, stability, and a huge chunk of capital-- quite outside what a lot of people are able to gather. You also need the ability to devote a large amount of time (far beyond what is needed to post on forums), to the point that many start-up business-owners feel the need to quit their old job... which then increases the capital required yet again. Depending on the type of business, you may also require land or a building, which are also prohibitively expensive. Then you need demand, market research, planning permission, training (often years' worth, depending on the field), legal permits. You need the money required to pay wages until the profits pay for them, which yet again increase the required capital, sometimes to ruinous levels.

And, if you want to start a business in a city, then you can increase every single one of the above factors twofold (and increase the required capital about fivefold). Keep in mind, if you don't want to start a business in a city, but you already live in one... then you'll need to relocate, or commute long-distance, thereby again increasing the time and money required.

This idea that starting a business is easy, and anybody can do it, is so distant from reality that I find it incredible people still buy into it. It puts me in mind of those who travelled into the West in the Pioneers' time, convinced that the American Dream awaited them, only to end up in a subsistence lifestyle, dreaming-- sometimes for decades-- of eventually building something.

It's a nonsensical myth. Even most of the mainstream right-wing have abandoned it.

Silvanus:

This is absolute bollocks.

To be a successful, maintainable business, you need a thousand more factors to be in your favour than that: geography, stability, and a huge chunk of capital-- quite outside what a lot of people are able to gather. You also need the ability to devote a large amount of time (far beyond what is needed to post on forums), to the point that many start-up business-owners feel the need to quit their old job... which then increases the capital required yet again. Depending on the type of business, you may also require land or a building, which are also prohibitively expensive. Then you need demand, market research, planning permission, training (often years' worth, depending on the field), legal permits. You need the money required to pay wages until the profits pay for them, which yet again increase the required capital, sometimes to ruinous levels.

And, if you want to start a business in a city, then you can increase every single one of the above factors twofold (and increase the required capital about fivefold). Keep in mind, if you don't want to start a business in a city, but you already live in one... then you'll need to relocate, or commute long-distance, thereby again increasing the time and money required.

This idea that starting a business is easy, and anybody can do it, is so distant from reality that I find it incredible people still buy into it. It puts me in mind of those who travelled into the West in the Pioneers' time, convinced that the American Dream awaited them, only to end up in a subsistence lifestyle, dreaming-- sometimes for decades-- of eventually building something.

It's a nonsensical myth. Even most of the mainstream right-wing have abandoned it.

Literally hundreds of thousands of people start businesses every year, about half of those succeed past 5 years. About half of all employment in the country comes through small businesses, and more than half of new employment opportunities are created by small businesses. I don't need to argue in theory on why all the things you list won't stop people, because there are entrepreneurs from every walk of live succeeding right now. And also just make a plan and get a loan, I solved almost everything you're worried about.

You can theorize all you want about why people can't just start businesses, but that isn't stopping people.

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