politics & job scarcity - page 3

Okay, I've got two issues I'm wondering about--- Five years from now, does anyone have any insight/information to support the notion that there could actually be a glut of CRNA's on the market? ... Read More

  1. by   u-r-sleeepy
    Wintermute -

    You are a liberal, eh? I agree access to healthcare should (and could) be improved upon, but going at it from a socialized medicine avenue is THE wrong Rx. in my opinion.

    Simply take a look at the State of Tennessee's "TennCare" program right now. It started out a bit along the lines of "Heil Hilary's" vision for "reforming" healthcare. It is currently breaking the back of the State's budget and is now in full blown crisis. Why? There are plenty of "reasons" but the simple truth is:

    Easy access to FREE HEALTHCARE - Woopie!!! Tens of thousands of people got into the system that never belonged (it IS managed in the "classic" gubmint werk style) and the state never weeded them out. People who aren't from Tennessee moved here (or visited long enough) to enroll and now come back for a "visit" whenever they need to see a doctor/tests.

    I personally know a guy who used to be "poor" and got his kids on it. He recently made $150k/yr and his FOUR CHILDREN are still in the program. The oldest is 14 and getting "free braces" at Tennessee Taxpayer expense. This type of "compassion" is NOT limited....

    The spending (waste) is so out of control that the Tennessee State Legislature is currently trying to introduce either an income tax or else a Lottery to try and curb the runaway costs.

    An economist was brought to Tennessee recently to evaluate how to solve the state's crisis. He has a great track record in solving some other state's and city's budgets so it was interesting when he came back with his analysis:

    Cut the fat from the TennCare program and you will balance the budget without the need for an Income Tax or Lottery. As I recall the local Democraps in the state house & senate didn't like that advice so they decided to look for another voice to listen to.

    The only time liberalism looks good to me (I used to lean that way... when I was younger) is in THEORY. The results of reality are too scary for me when you see what happens putting that kind of "compassion" into practice.

    I have a quick question:

    If you consider yourself a "liberal" - do you go down the street you live on everytime you get paid and dole out 50% of your paycheck to your neighbors? If not, why do you keep electing people who do that very thing?

    I recognize there is room for disagreement on plenty of the "political/social" issues, but I think the lefties have pushed some things a bit too far at this stage in the game.

    Sorry for my rant. As I recall, this kind of "compassion" is credited to a great degree for the fall (from within) of Rome.... Too many people on the public dole has quite a price tag. It seems to me the Russians didn't have the greatest success either with socialism. Then again - what do I know?!?
  2. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by WntrMute2
    Yup, I'll pay. It is the right thing to do. Others need our help. The I've got mine mentallity is disturbing to me.
    There is no question that there are members of society who we, as a society, must support. Those, who owing to mental or physical disability, cannot work and support themselves. But, they are a very small minority of our society.

    You say the "I've got mine" mentality is disturbing to you. Fair enough, it has its moments with me as well. But far more disturbing to me is the "I've got yours" mentality.

    Kevin McHugh
  3. by   Qwiigley
    Health care is not a right. Period. I am sorry to offend, thee. But with rights come responsibilties. With responsibilities come action. Better to pay for the 300- 700 dollars a month for a couple to get health insurance than to have SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Bad idea, any way around it. The market will determine the type of care you will receive. Information and education is the key.
    Britain and Canada have tried it. It doesn;t work, sorry to say. The people are not happy, the workers (MD. RN etc) are not happy.
  4. by   u-r-sleeepy
    Who said the people of Oregon lack any common sense?!?

    http://news.statesmanjournal.com/article.cfm?i=51274

    ;-)
  5. by   CoreyB
    I am not sure socialized medicine is the way to go, but the current program clearly isn't getting the job done. Everyone has been howling at the idea of deadbeats getting benefits, but the majority of uninsured Americans are working or the dependents of workers. The unemployment rate is currently about 5%, while 15% of Americans are without coverave and only 62% of Americans obtain coverage through their employer (I realize the sats aren't directly comparable. I just used them to give a general idea. Ins stats from census 2000). There are a lot of working people and their families that don't have access to health care, and that is wrong.

    People who work fulltime should be entitled to health insurance, period. If paying the health insurance premium of an employee is going to hurt the employers profit margine so badly that he can't afford it, perhaps he can't afford to hire the employee in the first place.

    While we're opposing wellfare, lets make sure we end corporate wellfare as well.

    As for access to opportunities, I think it's obvious that some people are victims of circumstance, namely poverty and ridiculously inept parenting. If anyone doubts this, I'd invite you to ask your local nursing school if you could shadow some of the students or instructors while the do their public health home visits. I'm in the middle of completing that semester right now and it has been a real eye opener. It's a nice idea to think that even if you're severely disadvantage, all that is required to be successful is a little more hard work. After seeing the manner in which many children raised in "real" poverty grow up, I just don't think that's true.

    Now I'm not in favor of spending any of my tax dollars on people that aren't willing to work for themselves. I just think it makes sense to set up a system in which working families have access to healthcare. I think that it is especially important and cost effective for example to provide preventative care, like immunizations to children. Which are likely to be cheaper than emergency room visits later. ER and trauma care happens to be some of the only care that is mandated by the feds. It's an unfunded mandate that leaves hospitals and local governments holding the bag, forces many hospitals to stop providing emergency and trauma services, and...I wonder if it limits the their ability to pay us what we're worth?

    All I'm saying is the system could stand some improvement, and I felt like WntrMute shouldn't take all the heat.
  6. by   London88
    Wintermute you need to stop generalizing that everyone who is an alcoholic is hearing voices. A schizophrenic can get disability insurance. Are we discussing healthcare or the homeless? Are we discussing educating the poor migrant worker or healthcare. Do you believe that giving healthcare to all those people you mentioned above will take care of their education and them not being homeless. Keep things in perspective! I can see you and I are going to duke this one out to the end.

    CoreyB,
    I definitely agree with what you are saying in terms of people who are working should be entitled to healthcare, as well as others such as the young, the elderly, and the ill. However I cannot agree that I should pay for those people who have brought their own problems on themselves. However the one benefit of social medicine is that by the time many of these people reach the hospital from the ETOH induced cirrhosis of the liver they will be made DNR and we won't be wasting too much money on them. I know I sound harsh but life did not deal me an easy hand when I got to the U.S. I had to struggle to put myself in the position I am today, and I could have felt sorry for myself and made some of those choices that Wintermute and I are disputing but chose not to. I earned my healthcare.
  7. by   kmchugh
    Dave

    Like you, I was once pretty liberal in my thinking, and believed that health care was a right. But, I tend to be reflective, and upon a great deal of thought, I quit being a liberal, cold turkey. The reason is simple. Liberals are long on the greater good, on caring for mankind, on making sure we all have equal access to health care. But, they are pretty short on how reasonably to get these things done. In short, long on nobility, short on cash. And, after a great deal of observation, I have come to believe that entitlement does not beget empowerment. Rather, entitlement increases dependence on government. Which is really, I believe, the ultimate goal of the liberal. Make someone dependent enough on you, and that person will vote you into office forever. To not do so is to cut your own throat.

    You said "Yup, I'll pay. It is the right thing to do. Others need our help." I'll admit, that's a pretty noble sentiment. But. I want you to look at that attitude from a personal perspective.

    Currently, I know you are in CRNA school. I'm sure financial considerations were not your only reason to pursue this goal, but I'm equally sure that financial considerations played at least some role. Lets round figures, just for ease of calculation. Suppose you went to school with the plan of earning $100,000 annually. You can't eat plans while in school, though, so I am assuming that student loans are necessary. Maybe you don't need loans, but certainly the average CRNA student could not get by without the loans.

    If you are like me, you swallowed hard at the loans you were taking, but comforted yourself with the knowlede that you would be making up to three times what you made as a staff nurse after graduation, making the loans payable. But, lets suppose that two weeks before graduation, we pass national health care. Suddenly, your taxes will go from about 38% to 55%. So, instead of bringing home $62,000 from a $100K paycheck, you bring home $45,000 from the same paycheck. Suddenly, you are making no more than you made as a staff nurse, but you are much further in debt than you ever were as a staff nurse. And since health care providers in a national health care plan are in effect government employees, health care salaries will go down. Now, owing to your national health care plan, you make less than perhaps you have ever made in your life, and still have the school debts of a person making $100000. So, who's going to pay those debts? The government, since they were the ones to put you in this predicament? Great, where is THAT money going to come from.

    Next, salaries for health care providers are going down. As a result, applications for nursing school, medical school, and advanced health care schools will go down. Why spend 8 years becoming a physician, with four more years of residency, to earn $50,000. I can do the same thing without the student loans by becoming a NYC garbage collector.

    Your national health care made you significantly poorer. Still willing to ante up? Not to sound harsh or cold, I'm not. Part of the reason I followed the path I did was to improve the lot in life of myself, my family. I really don't want to compromise that by saying that every person in the US has the right to dip into my pocket to pay for their health care.

    Kevin McHugh
  8. by   smiling_ru
    Why should we care? Because they are fellow human beings and we have a responsibility to help them when they are suffering.

    As broken as our medical system is now, everyone does have access to health care, although that care may be in an emergency room, rather than a Dr's office.

    With a national health care plan I believe there would still be differences in the level of health care services rendered to each individual, relative to their perceived value to society. How to fix our healthcare system is a question beyond my capabilities to answer.

    Someone on this board said "I also agree with Kevin in that many of us who have got this far did not have anything handed to us." No one on this board made it where they are now without some type of help, what that help was depends on where they started. "everlast song, you know where it is depends on where you start".

    I can promise you that the person standing on the corner high/drunk or otherwise wasting our resources did not have the opportunities that you had, did not have the support system that you had, or did not have the intelligence to acheive more, that you had. Does this truly make that person less then human, not worthy of anything from those of us that did have doors opened.

    Off my soap box now.
    Last edit by smiling_ru on Nov 6, '02
  9. by   Roland
    rationing with another. Instead, of the free market regulating the amount of care which is given, the state is instead left with the task. Like all such socialized systems which reduce incentives, it is less efficient than the free market. While our system certainly has imperfections, many of those emanate from current governmental interference. Thus, since the advent of Medicare, and Medicaid in the 70's we have seen double digit rises in inflation (within the healthcare industry). In fact one could argue that we already HAVE a quasi socialized, health care system.

    In addition, I would like to point out that I am one of those without health insurence. There are certainly times that I wish that I had more access to care for myself and my family. However, even so I wouldn't trade our current system for one which was even more socialized. Given the enourmous defeat of Oregon's plan last night, I feel that I'm probably not alone.
  10. by   London88
    Smiling_ru
    you do make a valid point in terms of where we are today depends on where we started. But I know that you are not assuming that we all had a supportive start and that things just worked out nicely for us. I don't know about others but my husband and I are still trying to decide how I am going to make it through anesthesia school and keep food on the table for the four kids. The struggle is not yet over. I can agree with you that changing the healthcare system is not going to solve our problems, as there will still be disparities in healthcare.
  11. by   smiling_ru
    No, I am not assuming a supportive start. I grew up in foster homes and orphanages, had my first child at 18. On welfare, my first attempt to go to college was thwarted by a system which decreased my ability to buy food, in exchange for the student loans I received.
    Second attempt, a school director who did everything within her power to facilitate my graduation, including financial help (and one clinical day babysitting for me). A daycare center that was subsidized, friends who were there when I needed them, and a lot of hard work. Without those support systems I would be a welfare mother rather than a nurse anesthesia student. So when I look at others I truly believe that there by the grace of god....and community go I.
  12. by   Qwiigley
    I've gotta vote with Kevin on this one, guys.
    Although I do not have the time right now (I'm supposed to be going to a cardiac lecture), I have to say, there has to be a better way. GIVING things a way is not it. People need to decide what is important. Do they want healthcare or do they want to spend $$$ going out everynight and smoking cigs at $6.00 a pack. Multiply that out, couple packs a day, they can buy their own insurance.
    As for employers paying for health insurance. Forget it. Some employees and their work is not worth more than min wage. (in California, close to $9.00/hr) Then you want the emplyer to pay even more?
    Kinda silly, better re-think it.
    More later.
  13. by   WntrMute2
    Thanks to those who spoke up supporting my position. I have a few responses. First kevin, you ask what would I do if subsidized medicine came about and reduced my compensation? Well as you have pointed out in the past so effectivly, There are risks. What about if I go blind the day I graduate. BTW, my school is closing 1/2 way thru. Big risk there. The ASA could convice lawmakers that we are no longer neccessary. Risk surrounds us. I still believe that anesthesia providers would be neccessary, and if the trade-off is less wages for a healthcare system that is available to all. GOOD. BTW guys, i didn't say what form this care had to be in, socailized medicine is only one model. What about vouchers such as the republicans want to use in the school system. A few less bombers a little healthcare, a few less tax breaks for the wealthy and the Enrons, a little healthcare, you get the idea.

    I am still waiting for the first person to rebut that that the guy i described a few posts back is exercising his choice. Tell me his options, someone please let me in? Also, having healthy members of society helps us all, ER costs go down, EMS costs fall. Parents and granparents are around to raise kids. Despite your "pull yourselves up by the bootstrap" preaching. Having healthcare available is the right thing to do. I think this all smacks of whistling past the graveyard. It ain't happening to me, I'll just look the other way and maybe I won't see the horror that exists in the underserved inner cities. Just put this hat on for a moment. I'm a 19 year old black male with a poor education because the schools suck, the teachers are doing riot control instead of math. I didn't do my homework cuz my dad is not around and my mother is a crack ho. I have no skills and the Mcdonalds, burger kings, Supermarkets have moved out to the burbs. Literally I live and try to work in a bombed out area and it has been that way since the 1960s. Now I'd like a job, and would be willing to ride the public transportation but I DON"T HAVE THE MONEY. Not only that, the busses are not on time if they come at all and i can't really read the schedual. Job searching by bus, now there's an option that is sure to be productive. OK, I stop at every place I can get to and guess what I find? Few if any jobs, most taken by other teens and those minimum wage jobs don't come w/health insurance. I'm back to square one.

    BTW Quigly, are you implying that those who can't afford health insurance are all smoking the money away. Ridiculous. What about me, I could afford insurance but it is not available to me as an individual because i have diabetes! Can't get it at ANY price. Just one example. You should be ashamed at that notion.

    London88, I firmly believe that having healthier people in our society raises us all. We would be a better class of humans if we were less willing to leave others behind. And yes, healthy people can take care of themselves better, their children better, educate better. Yes that is what I'm saying.

    Those of you who say "I don't mean to sound cold and harsh, but you are not prying another dollar from my tight wallet" You are being cold and harsh in your words, actions and intentions.

    I just want to leave you with one thought. The fact that you are sitting warm and dry, looking at a computer screen and can access the internet... already puts us among the elite class. There are others out there.

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