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John Rawls, why not free health care system

by MaxManus
Tags: care, free, health, john, rawls
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Ryan_m_b
#19
Mar6-12, 01:44 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
The more I think, the more it all boils down to education. The more educated people are, the better decisions they will make on average. The key to health care, might be the education system. Of course that is a long term campaign and people won't have the patience for it.
Possibly, I'm all for increasing education. Though there would still be the issue of how to provide for diseases/accidents that occur regardless of ones behaviour and education.
micromass
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Mar6-12, 01:45 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
I never did. I simply said I hesitate to pay for people when they make very poor decisions. Income doesn't enter into the equation for me.
I understand and I agree. People who make poor decisions and who know what the consequences are, put themself at risk.

But I also think it is crucial to educate the people enough so that they don't make poor decisions. People often don't realize the result of their decisions, and this is something we should stop. A good education system is crucial in that. This is exactly why education should be very cheap or at least affordable.
Greg Bernhardt
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Mar6-12, 01:47 PM
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Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
Possibly, I'm all for increasing education. Though there would still be the issue of how to provide for diseases/accidents that occur regardless of ones behavior and education.
I wouldn't be opposed to chipping in to help, in order to make it affordable. This of course is requires a utopian society.

I think we need a clear objective study on WHY health care is not currently affordable. From there you can start to problem solve.
Ryan_m_b
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Mar6-12, 01:51 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
I wouldn't be opposed to chipping in to help, in order to make it affordable. This of course is requires a utopian society.
I'm not sure it has to be utopian, as micro pointed out it works quite well in Europe as well as countries like Canada. It's not perfect but it works quite well and there's nothing to stop us continue to improve.
Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
I think we need a clear objective study on WHY health care is not currently affordable. From there you can start to problem solve.
Emphasis mine. I totally agree but severely doubt it will happen. With an issue this divisive it would be difficult to even get people to agree whether or not something was objective.
Greg Bernhardt
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Mar6-12, 01:51 PM
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Quote Quote by micromass View Post
But I also think it is crucial to educate the people enough so that they don't make poor decisions. People often don't realize the result of their decisions, and this is something we should stop. A good education system is crucial in that. This is exactly why education should be very cheap or at least affordable.
Agreed as I said a few posts earlier. I think everything follows education. But it will take time, because parents are the most important in development, but you can't directly change parents. You can only slowly change children through education. With proper education you can slowly wind down the delinquents over generations.
russ_watters
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Mar6-12, 01:54 PM
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Quote Quote by MaxManus View Post
My refference is Kymlicka p 70-72
Could you provide a short quote please.
MaxManus
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Mar6-12, 02:32 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Could you provide a short quote please.
There are difficulties in trying to compensate natural inequalities, as we will see in section 5. It may be impossible to do what our intuitions tells us is most fair. But Rawls does not even regognize the desirability of trying to compensate such inequalities.

p 72
russ_watters
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Mar6-12, 02:39 PM
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That quote doesn't mention healthcare...

There should be a concise quote that supports your thread's premise.
MaxManus
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Mar6-12, 02:52 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
That quote doesn't mention healthcare...

I should have mentiond that Rawls calls health a natural good and natural inequalities are differences in our health.
Vanadium 50
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Mar6-12, 05:51 PM
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This is getting off track.

Quote Quote by MaxManus View Post
Hey, I'm reading about rawls in Kymlicka Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Introduction and it says that Rawls did not favour a free health care system. Does anyone know why?
If you want to know what Rawls thought, it's best to read Rawls, not about Rawls. (Although, truth be told, he's not an easy read.

Quote Quote by MaxManus View Post
not give at least some compensation to the sick people.
Note that "free health care for all" and "at least some compensation to the sick people" are two different things. If you are going to study philosophy, it's vitally important that you be clear in your thinking and writing. Mixing up two somewhat related things will not help in the least.
MaxManus
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Mar6-12, 06:26 PM
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Quote Quote by Vanadium 50 View Post
This is getting off track.



If you want to know what Rawls thought, it's best to read Rawls, not about Rawls. (Although, truth be told, he's not an easy read.



Note that "free health care for all" and "at least some compensation to the sick people" are two different things. If you are going to study philosophy, it's vitally important that you be clear in your thinking and writing. Mixing up two somewhat related things will not help in the least.
1) Yes I should read rawls, but i'm not sure if he gives an answer to my question in his famous works.


2) Yes I see my opening post was unclear. According to Kymlicka Rawls doesn't want to compensate sick people at all.

But don't agree that it is strange that Rawls not to want to compensate the sick? For what he tries to do is see how we would like our society to be if we did not know who in the society we would be and Rawls himself thinks that we only would allow inequality if it benefitted the least advantaged.

But he excludes health status from the calculation of who is least advantaged.
Gokul43201
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Mar6-12, 06:54 PM
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Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
Reasons I've heard against such things include not wanting to pay for other people or wanting to encourage competition (both things that I don't agree with).
What is your argument against them?

One way that the US is organically different from the countries in Europe is that there is a philosophy (born of the Declaration of Indep) here that is deeply cherished, along the lines that it is government's job and responsibility to provide people with the opportunity to extricate themselves from the cycle of poverty. An unspoken corollary is that it is not really acceptable for government to try to make things comfortable for those seemingly trapped in that cycle. It's a philosophy that's based on the premise that it is always prossible to break free, given the opportunity. In contrast, the US might see the European philosophy as one of resignation and pessimism: it's impossible to break free from a cycle of poverty, so let's at least make things a little more comfortable for those that are stuck in it. In the US, we'd think of that as providing the wrong kind of feedback.
Vanadium 50
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Mar6-12, 07:58 PM
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"Compensate the sick" is yet a third idea you are bringing into the mix.

What you are writing is very un-Rawlsian. It's true that healthcare is not considered on Rawls list of "primary goods". So are many other things we regard as important: such as the ability to enter into a contract - a legally binding agreement between individuals. Indeed, in Justice and Fairness, he specifically argues that the high cost of healthcare in the US leads to injustice.

This thread represents the worst of PF's discussions on philosophy. It's a bunch of people who have never read Rawls arguing about what he might have said or could have said or should have said - and not what he actually said.
Ryan_m_b
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Mar7-12, 01:34 AM
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Quote Quote by Gokul43201 View Post
What is your argument against them?

One way that the US is organically different from the countries in Europe is that there is a philosophy (born of the Declaration of Indep) here that is deeply cherished, along the lines that it is government's job and responsibility to provide people with the opportunity to extricate themselves from the cycle of poverty. An unspoken corollary is that it is not really acceptable for government to try to make things comfortable for those seemingly trapped in that cycle. It's a philosophy that's based on the premise that it is always prossible to break free, given the opportunity. In contrast, the US might see the European philosophy as one of resignation and pessimism: it's impossible to break free from a cycle of poverty, so let's at least make things a little more comfortable for those that are stuck in it. In the US, we'd think of that as providing the wrong kind of feedback.
Sorry but that's totally wrong. The "European philosophy" is best characterised as recognising that ensuring that everyone gets healthcare is more practical and ethical than expecting people to somehow come up with the money themselves. Not being poor is not a case of rolling your sleeves up and getting stuck in, people can work their fingers to the bone and still be poorer than most who work the standard 40hpw. Your statement seems to imply that it would be easier to break the poverty cycle if people had to work for more in life which is not the case. I agree that if you are "poor" but sitting on a mountain of benefit payments then you will probably stay that way but that's a different issue.

Socialised healthcare doesn't increase poverty simply because people don't have to work, being poor still sucks. Secondly having to work for your health clearly does not help break the poverty cycle, instead people just stay poor and sick (the latter of which increases their chances of staying poor. Thirdly not everyone who is poor is so because they do not work for their money, many people work far, far harder than those at the other end of the economic spectrum but get paid orders of magnitude less, in addition many people are poor because of circumstances outside of their control such as economic crises. Fourthly socialised healthcare can help break the poverty cycle by ensuring that illness is not a factor in keeping someone poor, in addition to this you can still work on breaking the poverty cycle whilst possessing a socialised medical system.

Other practical advantages include enabling a monosomy healthcare system whereby one massive provider get's to throw it's weight around to get cheaper supplies and a country where the gross happiness index is higher overall, I judge the latter to be increasingly important these days.
Gokul43201
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Mar7-12, 07:16 AM
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Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
Sorry but that's totally wrong.
What is totally wrong?
Ryan_m_b
#34
Mar7-12, 09:15 AM
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Quote Quote by Gokul43201 View Post
What is totally wrong?
The idea that policies ensuing that everyone has free/cheap access to healthcare via tax payments or state/regulated insurance increases poverty or makes it harder to break the poverty cycle.
JDoolin
#35
Mar7-12, 02:45 PM
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To the original question, "why not a free health care system," we should acknowledge that doctors and nurses and pharmacists, and drug manufacturers and researchers do valuable work, and deserve to be paid! And we should acknowledge that there are hospitals that do provide charitable service, and actually do subscribe to that philosophy that health care should be free.

But don't tell anybody. Matthew 6:2 "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,"

I would also make the case that insurers do valuable work, so long as their goal is to make health-care affordable for everyone. But in an environment of rampant and legal price-fixing, is it possible for such an altruistic health-insurance company to survive?

Some statistics to check out: (Source "Griftopia" by Matt Taibbi.)

"Americans spend an average of about $7200 a year on health care, compared with the roughtly 2900 average for the other market economies that make up the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), and for that greatly increased outlay we get higher infant mortality, higher obesity rates, lower longevity, fewer doctors per 1000 people (just 2.4 per 1000 in the US compared with 3.1 in OECD states), and fewer acute care hospital beds (2.7 per 1000, compared to 3.8 per 1000 in the OECD countries)."

"Moreover, private insurance provides almost nothing in the way of financial protection for those who have it. A full 50 percent of all bancruptcies in America are related to health care costs, and of those, three-fourths involve people who actually HAVE health insurance."

Taibbi goes on to suggest that perhaps a major contributor to that extremely high cost of health insurance is that insurers are legally allowed to do Price Fixing, unlike any other industry, due to a law called the McCarran-Ferguson Act.
Gokul43201
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Mar7-12, 07:24 PM
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Quote Quote by JDoolin View Post
To the original question, "why not a free health care system," ...
That wasn't really the original question, was it?


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