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(News9 Oklahoma)   Not news: Bake sale and yard sale for dying vet so he can see Vietnam memorial. News: Enough money is raised to go. Fark: Enough to go AND pay for his medical bills   (news9.com) divider line 44
    More: Spiffy, bake sales, Vietnam, cancers, Oklahoma  
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4779 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Aug 2012 at 8:24 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-12 05:18:05 PM
Did you check out his picture? Fark DC, they should be sending the dude to Paris. Those bells aren't gonna ring themselves.
 
2012-08-12 08:16:08 PM
He is a vet, shouldn't he be going to the vetrans hospital? How does he have any medical bills? But anyway good on him.
 
2012-08-12 08:29:48 PM
sammiejunkmail: He is a vet, shouldn't he be going to the vetrans hospital? How does he have any medical bills? But anyway good on him.

Unless he was career, or he was disabled or wounded in the line of duty, the VA doesn't pay for everything, and doesn't provide comprehensive medical care, nor do they pay for things deemed "unnecessary" or "experimental"
 
2012-08-12 08:31:15 PM

sammiejunkmail: He is a vet, shouldn't he be going to the vetrans hospital? How does he have any medical bills? But anyway good on him.


Seriously? VA treatment isn't the best and the waiting list is prolbably longer than he has left.
 
2012-08-12 08:34:01 PM
Just when I was getting nice and comfortable with my cynicism. Damn you, Oklahoma.
 
2012-08-12 08:45:12 PM

sammiejunkmail: He is a vet, shouldn't he be going to the vetrans hospital? How does he have any medical bills? But anyway good on him.


Even if he's going to the VA (a fate I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy), he's bound to have OTHER medical expenses that no insurance covers. VAs are good for treatment, but if he needs in-home care, for instance, or wants better care than the VA will afford him, that cost comes out of his own pocket.

Love how people think "medical bills" and assume its only for hospital care and medicine.
 
2012-08-12 08:46:38 PM
"I really can't say how much I appreciate the people in Oklahoma"

This marks the first time in recorded history that these words were spoken without sarcasm.

In all seriousness, great story.
 
2012-08-12 08:53:51 PM

Captain James T. Smirk: "I really can't say how much I appreciate the people in Oklahoma"

This marks the first time in recorded history that these words were spoken without sarcasm.

In all seriousness, great story.


I hear Oklahoma is OK
 
2012-08-12 08:55:42 PM
Too bad he didn't get to live in a country where he didn't have to rely on charity to pay his medical bills.
 
2012-08-12 09:02:27 PM

sammiejunkmail: He is a vet, shouldn't he be going to the vetrans hospital? How does he have any medical bills? But anyway good on him.


Never been to a vet hospital, have you? It's a half step up from a county hospital.

farkityfarker: Too bad he didn't get to live in a country where he didn't have to rely on charity to pay his medical bills.


Amen to that.
 
2012-08-12 09:03:05 PM

farkityfarker: Too bad he didn't get to live in a country where he didn't have to rely on charity to pay his medical bills.


THIS
 
2012-08-12 09:05:43 PM
Made my day! Actually got a little teary eyed. Must just be tired.
I hope that's not a "racial epithets"? It won't be tolerated. (rolls eyes)
 
2012-08-12 09:05:58 PM
OK, OK, I had no idea it was so bad at the veterans hospitals. sorry at least he got the bills paid.
 
2012-08-12 09:21:53 PM

sammiejunkmail: OK, OK, I had no idea it was so bad at the veterans hospitals. sorry at least he got the bills paid.


I really don't understand why people have such poor opinions of VA hospitals. My family had a ton of experience with the VA hospital in Birmingham, AL last summer when my dad was being treated for terminal cancer . When they realized it was terminal, they sent him to the palliative care unit of the hospital until he was stabilized and then they arranged for him to have hospice care in his home. He didn't have to pay for a thing. He had a nurse on call, a hospital bed, ramps, wheelchair, all sorts of things. And of course all the medicine that he needed. And he was only in the military for a minute. Less than 2 years. Not a retiree and his condition was absolutely not service connected.

I would think that all the VA hospitals have a standard of care that is the same across the board, but I guess that's not true. All I know is the Birmingham VA hospital was fantastic.
 
2012-08-12 09:25:59 PM

sammiejunkmail: OK, OK, I had no idea it was so bad at the veterans hospitals. sorry at least he got the bills paid.


Care for active duty members at the big name sites like Wally Reed can be highly suckful.
 
2012-08-12 09:36:17 PM
Ultrafark: No health inspectors or HOAs interfering.
 
2012-08-12 09:38:43 PM
In most developed countries, it would be inconceivable and barbaric for any person, much less a veteran, to have to rely on charity to pay necessary medical expenses.

America, Fark Yea
 
2012-08-12 09:46:12 PM

farkityfarker: Too bad he didn't get to live in a country where he didn't have to rely on charity to pay his medical bills.


And, just who do you suppose would pay for it? The money comes from somewhere. Even in the UK, it isn't free, it's just taken from everyone up front in the form of taxes and applied to medical costs as opposed to being paid at time of service by the individual/insurance company.

Doctors still get paid, medicine and equipment and support staff still cost money, hospitals still need funds to keep going, etc.

Now, if we had a comprehensive way of cutting down costs (and I don't mean just reducing services or limit patient care, but instead mean finding ways of reducing the costs of medications, equipment, etc.), reigning in our litigous society, and fix our fetish with having to get every test and drug known to man when it's not needed, maybe we would have a chance at bringing the costof healthcare back to within the means of most people.

Or, you know, we could just have the government take care of us all and pay for everything, since the government has this mystical money faerie that can just wave her magic wand and suddenly make money come out of nowhere...

/how does the government pay for every program to take care of everyone who is too broke to afford it, when the more people who are broke, the less people pay in taxes, with which the government pays to support the poor people who are broke...
//has had to deal with overwhelming hospital bills, it sucks.
///what do you mean iit costs 10k to hook up a couple of leads and monitor my heart rate and bp for an hour?! How about I give you $50 and tell you if it seems abnormal?
 
2012-08-12 09:51:13 PM

Doc Daneeka: In most developed countries, it would be inconceivable and barbaric for any person, much less a veteran, to have to rely on charity to pay necessary medical expenses.

America, Fark Yea


Again, I have to ask: who would pay for it?

It may seem heartless to ask this, but seriously, what's the difference between asking taxpayers to pony up to cover treatment, and asking for volunteers to help pay for it? At least those who are giving to help do so after being asked, rather than simply being forced into it.

This guy is sick and needed help, beyond the level of the VA, and presumably he didn't have access to medicare/medicaid. I'm all for relieving him of his burden to help him.

but even in these other developed countries you speak of, the money comes from somewhere.
 
2012-08-12 09:55:58 PM
Newsflash: people who are too dumb to get into college and have no options other than going into the military after high school don't often end up in lucrative careers and enjoy cushy retirements full of traveling.
 
2012-08-12 10:05:46 PM

Kit Fister: Doc Daneeka: In most developed countries, it would be inconceivable and barbaric for any person, much less a veteran, to have to rely on charity to pay necessary medical expenses.

America, Fark Yea


Again, I have to ask: who would pay for it?

It may seem heartless to ask this, but seriously, what's the difference between asking taxpayers to pony up to cover treatment, and asking for volunteers to help pay for it? At least those who are giving to help do so after being asked, rather than simply being forced into it.

This guy is sick and needed help, beyond the level of the VA, and presumably he didn't have access to medicare/medicaid. I'm all for relieving him of his burden to help him.


but even in these other developed countries you speak of, the money comes from somewhere.


We could change this - vis.berkeley.edu by moving the big red slice's boarders together a bit more.
 
2012-08-12 10:11:43 PM

Kit Fister: It may seem heartless to ask this, but seriously, what's the difference between asking taxpayers to pony up to cover treatment, and asking for volunteers to help pay for it?


The difference is that one is assured and one is a gamble.

When you are sick and in need, that's a big farking difference.
 
2012-08-12 10:12:25 PM

xl5150: Newsflash: people who are too dumb to get into college and have no options other than going into the military after high school don't often end up in lucrative careers and enjoy cushy retirements full of traveling.


Reality Flash: There was a draft at the time.
 
2012-08-12 10:14:35 PM

2wolves: xl5150: Newsflash: people who are too dumb to get into college and have no options other than going into the military after high school don't often end up in lucrative careers and enjoy cushy retirements full of traveling.

Reality Flash: There was a draft at the time.


Not for college students.
 
2012-08-12 10:27:14 PM
We need bake sales and yard sales to raise money for medical care for our veterans? What a supremely farked up country I live in. I am deeply ashamed.
 
2012-08-12 10:36:45 PM
store.afa-online.org
 
2012-08-12 10:43:09 PM

Marcintosh: Kit Fister: Doc Daneeka: In most developed countries, it would be inconceivable and barbaric for any person, much less a veteran, to have to rely on charity to pay necessary medical expenses.

America, Fark Yea

Again, I have to ask: who would pay for it?

It may seem heartless to ask this, but seriously, what's the difference between asking taxpayers to pony up to cover treatment, and asking for volunteers to help pay for it? At least those who are giving to help do so after being asked, rather than simply being forced into it.

This guy is sick and needed help, beyond the level of the VA, and presumably he didn't have access to medicare/medicaid. I'm all for relieving him of his burden to help him.

but even in these other developed countries you speak of, the money comes from somewhere.

We could change this - by moving the big red slice's boarders together a bit more.


I generally agree with you, but the cash is still coming out of someone's pocket, and shouldn't we be doing this anyway to more quickly pay down our deficit and pay off our debt?

Also, while I love the military, I think we can most effectively do this if we stop stationing our military all over the world and stop fighting other people's wars/getting involved in shiat that's none of our business. Let someone else deal with the world's problems for a while.

That said, having been in the position of owing over 100k in medical bills because insurance refused to cover most of my shiat, I would love to see the cost of healthcare drop/a better solution come along. I don't think having government manage it is the answer (look at the DMV, the TSA, the general statement of quality of VA medical care, and so on, then tell me you REALLY want our government administering general healthcare...)
 
2012-08-12 10:45:32 PM
Fark liberals have assured me this story is impossible, only the government is capable of charity like this. So confused.
 
2012-08-12 10:57:01 PM

BronyMedic: sammiejunkmail: He is a vet, shouldn't he be going to the vetrans hospital? How does he have any medical bills? But anyway good on him.

Unless he was career, or he was disabled or wounded in the line of duty, the VA doesn't pay for everything, and doesn't provide comprehensive medical care, nor do they pay for things deemed "unnecessary" or "experimental"


THIS. I have about six 'good' years serving in the Reserves (it's more like 9 including IRR time but I didn't have enough points every year due to various things like the summer I had mono and couldn't do AT). I am not in any way complaining about this, but those six years count for nothing towards the 'Veteran' status, at least with the VA hospitals.

I was never deployed, so that's a big/main part of it, but even if you are, iirc from the most recent thing I heard, you can only get VA care for like a year after the deployment UNLESS you have a certified service caused disability. And apparently it's a biatch to get those certified.

The VA is great when it works, and if you're eligible (and the facility is good, I have heard some are terrible). Too bad I'll never be eligible. /shrug

/so I might I end up alone and uninsured someday
//I'll just go die on the steps of the Capital building
 
2012-08-12 10:57:19 PM

Via Infinito: sammiejunkmail: OK, OK, I had no idea it was so bad at the veterans hospitals. sorry at least he got the bills paid.

I really don't understand why people have such poor opinions of VA hospitals. My family had a ton of experience with the VA hospital in Birmingham, AL last summer when my dad was being treated for terminal cancer . When they realized it was terminal, they sent him to the palliative care unit of the hospital until he was stabilized and then they arranged for him to have hospice care in his home. He didn't have to pay for a thing. He had a nurse on call, a hospital bed, ramps, wheelchair, all sorts of things. And of course all the medicine that he needed. And he was only in the military for a minute. Less than 2 years. Not a retiree and his condition was absolutely not service connected.

I would think that all the VA hospitals have a standard of care that is the same across the board, but I guess that's not true. All I know is the Birmingham VA hospital was fantastic.


The quality of care varies from state to state and from veteran to veteran. Most veterans in most states get royally farked.
 
2012-08-12 11:05:59 PM

xl5150: 2wolves: xl5150: Newsflash: people who are too dumb to get into college and have no options other than going into the military after high school don't often end up in lucrative careers and enjoy cushy retirements full of traveling.

Reality Flash: There was a draft at the time.

Not for college students.


Yes, even for college students. Some of them got draft deferments. Not all.
 
2012-08-12 11:23:01 PM

Kit Fister: Marcintosh: Kit Fister: Doc Daneeka: In most developed countries, it would be inconceivable and barbaric for any person, much less a veteran, to have to rely on charity to pay necessary medical expenses.

America, Fark Yea

Again, I have to ask: who would pay for it?

It may seem heartless to ask this, but seriously, what's the difference between asking taxpayers to pony up to cover treatment, and asking for volunteers to help pay for it? At least those who are giving to help do so after being asked, rather than simply being forced into it.

This guy is sick and needed help, beyond the level of the VA, and presumably he didn't have access to medicare/medicaid. I'm all for relieving him of his burden to help him.

but even in these other developed countries you speak of, the money comes from somewhere.

We could change this - by moving the big red slice's boarders together a bit more.

I generally agree with you, but the cash is still coming out of someone's pocket, and shouldn't we be doing this anyway to more quickly pay down our deficit and pay off our debt?

Also, while I love the military, I think we can most effectively do this if we stop stationing our military all over the world and stop fighting other people's wars/getting involved in shiat that's none of our business. Let someone else deal with the world's problems for a while.

That said, having been in the position of owing over 100k in medical bills because insurance refused to cover most of my shiat, I would love to see the cost of healthcare drop/a better solution come along. I don't think having government manage it is the answer (look at the DMV, the TSA, the general statement of quality of VA medical care, and so on, then tell me you REALLY want our government administering general healthcare...)


To answer your question free of political bias: Charities just can't cover it, because people just won't. No matter where or when you look, in history or in modern times, other countries or this one, wherever the government keeps its hands off healthcare--and public welfare spending in general--and allows charities to pick up the slack--there is no public welfare spending and the poor and needy suffer terribly.

The Roman Empire knew this--they had (for the time) comparatively high taxes, which went in part to paying for public education, public hospitals, roads, the Roman equivalent of food stamps, (aka "bread and circuses") and all the things the Judean People's Front of Judea didn't think were important. Post-Rome, when local governments lacked the ability to enforce taxes and let the nascent Church take care of the poor, very little got done except at the local level, mostly because the local priests and monks could guilt-trip people into tithing; but on a large scale, people starved and died at the whim of their local baron.

At the height of the British Empire, social services were abysmal, because the British government's view was precisely that the government wasn't in the business of helping its citizens out, and charities should do the work. They also held the opinion that providing assistance would encourage people not to work and rely on their government for handouts--the result was a series of famines in India, where the Royal Governor refused to either request relief or even suspend taxes. Similar famines occurred in other colonies. During the Irish Potato Famine, the government was of the opinion the Church should pick up the tab (they couldn't); after the Crimean War, wounded soldiers could go to the workhouse if their church couldn't provide for them. (intaglio versions of Rome and Britain, but you get the idea) (I'm sure I'm wrong on the details, so STFU for gods' sake)

Basically, UNLESS the government steps in and helps out, charities cannot provide the care, because they lack the additional support structures needed to bring aid to the needy. In addition, charities usually help their own, but vanishingly few can or will provide help to anyone who asks. Mormon charities are actually pretty amazing--if you are a Mormon. Catholic charities are better, but have a marked preference for aiding Catholic or at least Christian supplicants. And in either case, charities fluctuate at the whim of the economy--bad economy = fewer donations = fewer people who can be helped, at a time when more people are going to need help.

Since a government can compel payment to social services by way of taxes and allocations, only a government can tax and spend for the good of ALL people. Asking people to voluntarily dig into their pockets to help the needy means that most people will take the stance "I worked for what I have, let them work for theirs!" or whichever bootstrappy slogan is in vogue that decade.

If you really want to fix the situation, the fix is at the top end--taxation and allocation of money--not to make everyone raise money from willing volunteers and bake sales.
 
2012-08-12 11:23:10 PM

Via Infinito: sammiejunkmail: OK, OK, I had no idea it was so bad at the veterans hospitals. sorry at least he got the bills paid.

I really don't understand why people have such poor opinions of VA hospitals. My family had a ton of experience with the VA hospital in Birmingham, AL last summer when my dad was being treated for terminal cancer . When they realized it was terminal, they sent him to the palliative care unit of the hospital until he was stabilized and then they arranged for him to have hospice care in his home. He didn't have to pay for a thing. He had a nurse on call, a hospital bed, ramps, wheelchair, all sorts of things. And of course all the medicine that he needed. And he was only in the military for a minute. Less than 2 years. Not a retiree and his condition was absolutely not service connected.

I would think that all the VA hospitals have a standard of care that is the same across the board, but I guess that's not true. All I know is the Birmingham VA hospital was fantastic.


Glad to hear you think that. We created a campaign and shot a commercial for the UAB Palliative care program, and we did it with sincerity because we all believed in their dedication to their program. Sorry about your Dad. I'm sure that's a hard road.
 
2012-08-12 11:40:26 PM
What a f*cking slacker, now he's going to be sucking up my taxes to pay for health care for himself?

/well, i never
//stomps away like a little b*tch
 
2012-08-12 11:52:58 PM

sammiejunkmail: OK, OK, I had no idea it was so bad at the veterans hospitals.


It was almost legendarily bad before, but good 'ol W. and his crew reduced funding and coverage a lot to find money for their other ventures, ventures which incidentally created a lot more people needing the now reduced level of services. Bad combo.
Hooray for 'supporting the troops'.

/Some of the same politicians who repeated "9/11" every fifteen seconds for a decade to justify whatever they wanted to do, then voted against paying for care for the injured 9/11 first responders.
//Sorry, gotta get that budget under control somehow, and we gave most of it to Halliburton already.
 
2012-08-13 12:36:01 AM

farkityfarker: Too bad he didn't get to live in a country where he didn't have to rely on charity to pay his medical bills.


Look, America has the best health care system in the world. My mind is made up on this, don't try to confuse me with the facts.
 
2012-08-13 01:08:30 AM

Doc Daneeka: In most developed countries, it would be inconceivable and barbaric for any person, much less a veteran, to have to rely on charity to pay necessary medical expenses.

America, Fark Yea


You may be seriously smoking. Any insurance, even public insurance has limits on what it provides. The best example of a national health insurance is the NHS in britain. They would have likely put him on the end of life program the minute he showed up with terminal symptoms. The VA provides pretty good care for a government program, but it does have limits imposed by thousands of bureaucrats trying to meet budget demands. If you want the best care anywhere you need private insurance. My only personal anecdote is that my Professor in Italy had private insurance that would fly her or her husband to america for treatment of anything more serious than out patient care. She was terrified of the local hospitals, even though they were free.

In any case, a community came together and helped the guy. Thats what happens in America. Your outrage is entirely wierd in that most other developed countries enforce this kind of thing at the expense of common human decency. The assumption becomes "the government is going to take care of it so I dont even have to worry about it" when dealing with situations like this.

Maybe if you spent more time being cool with all the awesomeness of America instead of participating in the "America is Crap" attitude of the Democrat Party you would see it differently.
 
2012-08-13 01:28:41 AM

2chris2: farkityfarker: Too bad he didn't get to live in a country where he didn't have to rely on charity to pay his medical bills.

Look, America has the best health care system in the world. My mind is made up on this, don't try to confuse me with the facts.


Best quality of care, but obviously Government has so completely screwed up the delivery of that care with layers of insurance and bureaucracy, that yes it is a mess. If you just have cash, you can get treatment here that is better than anywhere else in the world. The only limits are bottle necks in the FDA or similar regulatory bodies holding back new procedures.

If you want to talk about why he didnt have the insurance to do it then lets talk about Pensions and other "guaranteed" retirement vehicles available through Government and the Military. In almost every single case it is better to have cash in hand from your employer than a share in their Pension Plan. Public Pensions are the worst when it comes to future security as we are seeing right now. A promise from your Government Employer to take care of you forever is what is bankrupting Cities and States across the country. If those employees had just been paid what they were worth and allowed to invest that money in their own retirement vehicles they would all have a greater degree of security right now. The same applies to Military Vets, pay them more, let them invest it, and let them buy their own insurance.

Whats even worse is that when you look at the "Social Safety Net" in this country as it exists in the form of Public Spending on Social Programs you find some really scary numbers.

RIght now we spend, every single year, over $500,000 on social programs for every single child born in America. Im not saying we spend it on those kids, but its spent in proportion to their birth. If we had never started the social safety net just using the money we already spend every single year we could give every single child born in the USA every year a $500,000 trust fund that they could use to pay for all the things that the social safety net provides. Well, truthfully it would have to be managed by a blind trust manager, probably appointed by the Governor or the Feds, and the parents would have to submit bills for things like education, housing, health insurance and food....though the food and housing would of course have to be a monthly allowance if you were below a certain income level. The blind trust is needed because when the kid turns 21 the original $500k has to be repaid to the public, leaving the kid with the accumulated interest less expenses of 21 years.

That works out to something like a million bucks. Then trust then becomes a joint Retirement/Healthcare account,and the accrued interest earnings are saved for retirement except for the owners monthly health insurance payments.

If you are keeping track, my plan gives every single kid in america....not just the poor ones...lifetime health insurance purchased on the open market....ie the best money can buy, a cash retirement, enough interest income while young to afford private education and all the books and supplies, etc.....

The social safety net doesnt even come close to the benefits you could realize through private investment. Instead they have become a trap for millions of people. And every year its going to get more expensive, and every year the alternate universe potential of all that wasted money gets larger and larger.

Going with private investment instead of Social Security way back when could have changed the world.

Congratulations Democrats, you screwed us all.
 
2012-08-13 01:48:30 AM

archichris: If we had never started the social safety net just using the money we already spend every single year we could give every single child born in the USA every year a $500,000 trust fund that they could use to pay for all the things that the social safety net provides. Well, truthfully it would have to be managed by a blind trust manager, probably appointed by the Governor or the Feds, and the parents would have to submit bills for things like education, housing, health insurance and food....though the food and housing would of course have to be a monthly allowance if you were below a certain income level. The blind trust is needed because when the kid turns 21 the original $500k has to be repaid to the public, leaving the kid with the accumulated interest less expenses of 21 years.


Yeah, and if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle.

We HAVE the "social safety net" you so decry. It's here and it's not going anywhere. If you want to fix the system, you're going to have to work with what already exists, not have pipe dreams about what COULD HAVE BEEN.
 
2012-08-13 06:52:08 AM
submitted this earlier. was going to submit the first story they ran about the plans for this to raise money, but figured I would wait because knowing how Oklahomans are he would get more than enough to make the trip. The first story he said he believes Agent Orange has something to do with his illness.
 
2012-08-13 06:58:21 AM

Gyrfalcon: Kit Fister: Marcintosh: Kit Fister: Doc Daneeka: In most developed countries, it would be inconceivable and barbaric for any person, much less a veteran, to have to rely on charity to pay necessary medical expenses.

America, Fark Yea

Again, I have to ask: who would pay for it?

It may seem heartless to ask this, but seriously, what's the difference between asking taxpayers to pony up to cover treatment, and asking for volunteers to help pay for it? At least those who are giving to help do so after being asked, rather than simply being forced into it.

This guy is sick and needed help, beyond the level of the VA, and presumably he didn't have access to medicare/medicaid. I'm all for relieving him of his burden to help him.

but even in these other developed countries you speak of, the money comes from somewhere.

We could change this - by moving the big red slice's boarders together a bit more.

I generally agree with you, but the cash is still coming out of someone's pocket, and shouldn't we be doing this anyway to more quickly pay down our deficit and pay off our debt?

Also, while I love the military, I think we can most effectively do this if we stop stationing our military all over the world and stop fighting other people's wars/getting involved in shiat that's none of our business. Let someone else deal with the world's problems for a while.

That said, having been in the position of owing over 100k in medical bills because insurance refused to cover most of my shiat, I would love to see the cost of healthcare drop/a better solution come along. I don't think having government manage it is the answer (look at the DMV, the TSA, the general statement of quality of VA medical care, and so on, then tell me you REALLY want our government administering general healthcare...)

To answer your question free of political bias: Charities just can't cover it, because people just won't. No matter where or when you look, in history or in modern times, other countries or this one, wherever the government keeps its hands off healthcare--and public welfare spending in general--and allows charities to pick up the slack--there is no public welfare spending and the poor and needy suffer terribly.

The Roman Empire knew this--they had (for the time) comparatively high taxes, which went in part to paying for public education, public hospitals, roads, the Roman equivalent of food stamps, (aka "bread and circuses") and all the things the Judean People's Front of Judea didn't think were important. Post-Rome, when local governments lacked the ability to enforce taxes and let the nascent Church take care of the poor, very little got done except at the local level, mostly because the local priests and monks could guilt-trip people into tithing; but on a large scale, people starved and died at the whim of their local baron.

At the height of the British Empire, social services were abysmal, because the British government's view was precisely that the government wasn't in the business of helping its citizens out, and charities should do the work. They also held the opinion that providing assistance would encourage people not to work and rely on their government for handouts--the result was a series of famines in India, where the Royal Governor refused to either request relief or even suspend taxes. Similar famines occurred in other colonies. During the Irish Potato Famine, the government was of the opinion the Church should pick up the tab (they couldn't); after the Crimean War, wounded soldiers could go to the workhouse if their church couldn't provide for them. (intaglio versions of Rome and Britain, but you get the idea) (I'm sure I'm wrong on the details, so STFU for gods' sake)

Basically, UNLESS the government steps in and helps out, charities cannot provide the care, because they lack the additional support structures needed to bring aid to the needy. In addition, charities usually help their own, but vanishingly few can or will provide help to anyone who asks. Mormon charities are actually pretty amazing--if you are a Mormon. Catholic charities are better, but have a marked preference for aiding Catholic or at least Christian supplicants. And in either case, charities fluctuate at the whim of the economy--bad economy = fewer donations = fewer people who can be helped, at a time when more people are going to need help.

Since a government can compel payment to social services by way of taxes and allocations, only a government can tax and spend for the good of ALL people. Asking people to voluntarily dig into their pockets to help the needy means that most people will take the stance "I worked for what I have, let them work for theirs!" or whichever bootstrappy slogan is in vogue that decade.

If you really want to fix the situation, the fix is at the top end--taxation and allocation of money--not to make everyone raise money from willing volunteers and bake sales.


I was going to reply snarkily, but instead I will reply honestly:

If the system works and is well managed, then yes, it's fine. However, a look at the social services we have going right now, and the government's management of them, shows that our leaders constantly raid the available funds in order to pay for other things. Social security, once a protected fund, was made into a general fund and borrowed from repeatedly, without repayment.

a lot would have to change in order to make things work. Until then, what you get are poorly managed programs which are abysmal failures.
 
2012-08-13 07:22:01 AM

Easy Reader: Via Infinito:

Glad to hear you think that. We created a campaign and shot a commercial for the UAB Palliative care program, and we did it with sincerity because we all believed in their dedication to their program. Sorry about your Dad. I'm sure that's a hard road.


Thanks. We were sincerely worried about the kind of care my dad would get at the VA. We'd heard that it was a terrible place too, but we were pleasantly surprised at every turn. The hospital looked new, the staff were competent and understanding and the doctors from UAB were always coming over there to treat patients. Do you think maybe UAB being collocated is the reason the Bham VA is so outstanding?
 
2012-08-13 07:50:34 AM
In Paul Ryan's playbook, the kindness shown to Dennis Hall ... would be **demeaning**
 
2012-08-13 08:26:22 PM

Via Infinito: Easy Reader: Via Infinito:

Thanks. We were sincerely worried about the kind of care my dad would get at the VA. We'd heard that it was a terrible place too, but we were pleasantly surprised at every turn. The hospital looked new, the staff were competent and understanding and the doctors from UAB were always coming over there to treat patients. Do you think maybe UAB being collocated is the reason the Bham VA is so outstanding?


I do think that's a big part. Being a Medical school that's pretty well funded and competently staffed, there's still a lot of enthusiasm for the practice. I've been to doctors that felt like insurance mills, line everyone up, hit the examination rooms one after the other, prescribe everyone the obvious "take two aspirin and call back next week", & disappear. UAB is a little different than the rest. They don't seem so jaded and weary as a lot of other hospitals, and one thing B'ham has is a lot of hospitals.
 
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