Author Topic: Episode #150  (Read 16605 times)

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Offline thebob

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #120 on: June 13, 2008, 06:59:05 AM »
Health care is one of those things that nobody wants to pay for, but everyone needs. And possibly the less you earn, the more likely you will need it.

Here in Japan there is a compulsory national insurance system that only pays up to 90% of patient costs. So if you need an expensive procedure you can still be in trouble, but at least you get treated before you get billed!

I also have experience of the UK system in the 80's, and although it was spartan, it was effective (and free).

The problem with private insurers is that they are in business to make money, not to provide care. If you have a pre-existing condition you can have major problems getting coverage. The problem with state-run systems is that they are open to the abuse and inefficiencies that occur without market pressures.

Is it possible to mandate universal care, with penalties for non compliance, then tender these services to the free market and so benefit from competitive stimulation?

Does the overhead of measuring and enforcing compliance, remove too much value from the system?






Offline Neito

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #121 on: June 13, 2008, 10:00:16 AM »
Is it possible to mandate universal care, with penalties for non compliance, then tender these services to the free market and so benefit from competitive stimulation?
This is exactly the way Massachusetts does it. You can't claim a full refund on your taxes, or have to pay more or something if you don't have health insurance.

Offline Espresso Frog

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #122 on: June 13, 2008, 11:06:14 AM »

Is it possible to mandate universal care, with penalties for non compliance, then tender these services to the free market and so benefit from competitive stimulation?

Does the overhead of measuring and enforcing compliance, remove too much value from the system?

I saw that in Germany, which might in fact seduce a lot of people in the ' Union of the 50 states' because it's a non centralized system and that doesn't sound as scary to some.  In the German system you get to chose who will cover you and contribute into a scheme that best suits your income.  What's covered and not covered depends on it. 

http://www.medhunters.com/articles/healthcareInGermany.html

http://www.bundesaerztekammer.de/page.asp?his=1.109.112.3313

It's not bad at all, just like other mainland Europe systems I've seen, I didn't notice any waiting period once I was there.  However I didn't research the whole thing nor had any health problems during that time. 


dont_fear_the_reaper

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #123 on: June 13, 2008, 02:27:49 PM »
I think everyone agrees we need universal coverage.

When you are in a situation where there is no optimal solution the only choice you have is to evaluate which trade offs are more important to you.
Do you want to minimize cost, or wait time?  Do you want to emphasize treatment or preventative care?  Push new treatments or stick with reliable ones?

Offline Kwisatz Haderach

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #124 on: June 13, 2008, 03:10:45 PM »
Do you want to minimize cost, or wait time?  Do you want to emphasize treatment or preventative care?  Push new treatments or stick with reliable ones?


... Embrace unhelpful false dichotomies, or work out a rational solution to a complex problem?

dont_fear_the_reaper

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #125 on: June 13, 2008, 07:41:53 PM »
Do you want to minimize cost, or wait time?  Do you want to emphasize treatment or preventative care?  Push new treatments or stick with reliable ones?


... Embrace unhelpful false dichotomies, or work out a rational solution to a complex problem?

No, those are the only 6 issues to solve for this problem.  The dichotomy is absolutely true.

Offline FlyLikeDaedalus

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #126 on: June 14, 2008, 12:44:21 AM »
"This isn't an argument, it's just simple contradiction."

-No it isn't!
In monotheism, Divine Intervention is like cheating at Solitaire.

Offline seaotter

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #127 on: June 14, 2008, 09:26:30 AM »
"This isn't an argument, it's just simple contradiction."

-No it isn't!

Clearly this parrot is dead.
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." Lewis Carroll

Offline MisterMarc

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #128 on: June 14, 2008, 02:42:05 PM »
Oh, you wanted an argument?

Sorry, this is "abuse."

Offline Kwisatz Haderach

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #129 on: June 14, 2008, 02:52:48 PM »
All I wanted was a license for my pet cat, "Eric!"

Offline skeptember_morn

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #130 on: June 15, 2008, 04:09:47 AM »
Here are some back of envelope numbers on solar flux: (source Wikipedia: Sun, Earth, Solar Energy)
Total solar luminosity:          3.85 E+26 watts
Solar flux at Earth distance:  1,360 watts per square meter
Fraction of solar flux absorbed or reflected by clouds and atmosphere: 45%

In my opinion, there is no value in considering the feasibility or profitability of spaced based energy conversion on its own.  The careful skeptic should only consider the idea in the context of likely alternatives.  In this case I think the Rogues yielded too easily to their pro Space Geek prejudice.  (I say this affectionately.)  When we consider the cost of putting an electronic solar converter in high orbit vs. developing ground based solutions, the idea looks completely ludicrous.

Here is a quick pro/con list
pro: light shines continuously in high orbit
pro: solar energy is 45% more intense in space
pro: putting high tech stuff in space is really cool!

You can see that I'm already reaching here.  Listing all the cons would only be an insult to the dead horse.  Briefly, I think it is reasonable to assume that weight restrictions of orbital based systems would put severe limits on efficiency vis a vis ground based systems.  Furthermore, there is no shortage of space available for ground based solar thermal installations.  We can make them huge if we want to!  Energy storage technologies (i.e. Hydrogen) show promise in addressing the periodic availability of ground based solar energy.  In short, just a brief consideration of the alternatives leads us away from the space based approach.

I think any discussion of spaced based solar power in a skeptical forum should consider the motivations of its proponents.  In this case we have plans drawn up by NASA.  Isn't this a bit like corn farmers pushing ethanol?  Nerds don't get a pass (even if they were the hall monitors).  This segment was a wasted opportunity for good skepticism.  Sorry Houston.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 04:54:48 AM by skeptember_morn »

Offline nativeflame

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #131 on: June 15, 2008, 10:34:31 PM »
Perfect Episode

Offline ganzfeld

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Re: Episode #150
« Reply #132 on: June 16, 2008, 09:02:02 AM »
The actual heat released into the atmosphere isn't the problem with fossil fuels. It's the carbon dioxide which affects the greenhouse affect. By capturing energy outside the Earths atmosphere we would be meddling on a even more fundamental level. It doesn't matter what form the energy comes in as. It eventually will be heat. Second law. Anyone have any idea what percentage of the increase in the total energy balance this would represent?
Pretty  much sums up what I was thinking during this segment. Adding a lot of energy to the system isn't something we want to do. If we're only beaming in what we use, though, I guess it wouldn't be any worse than other methods that essentially add heat energy to the total, such as nuclear. (The Earth makes lots of natural nuclear energy or it would have become an iceball long ago but we temporarily speed up that natural process in our reactors and release that energy as heat during the production and use of that energy.) That's a problem with cold fusion, too. If we can make energy willy-nilly, we'd better come up with some way of dissipating it as well or we're going to be creating even more problems than we already have.
"It may be that Pluto is the nearest of a group of dwarf planets analogous to our Earth and its three near neighbours.", Hector Macpherson, Makers of astronomyā€ˇ (1933)

 

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