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Author Topic: The Political Thread  (Read 1211288 times)

Professor Bear

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16530 on: 10 December, 2019, 05:40:36 pm »
"88% of Conservative Party election advertisements found to be misleading" is being reported by the BBC, ironically under the misleading headline: General election 2019: Ads are 'indecent, dishonest and untruthful' implying it's a problem with all the political parties.
The article contains a stretch that Reed Richards would be proud of:

Quote
for Labour, it said that it could not find any misleading claims in ads run over the period. However, it noted that the party's supporters were more likely to share unpaid-for electioneering posts than those of its rivals. It said one of these contained leader Jeremy Corbyn's disputed claim that a Tory-negotiated trade deal with the US could cost the NHS up to £500m a week by driving up the cost of medicines

So yeah: people talking to each other on social media is the same as a political party paying Facebook to publish lies.  Glad we've cleared that up.

radiator

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16531 on: 10 December, 2019, 09:17:56 pm »
We are moving to a US model. We will become a low-tax/small-state place, where the rich are rich and the less wealthy too often consider themselves temporarily embarrassed soon-to-be-rich, and so fight against the higher taxes that would make their lives better. (Arguably, that’s already happened in this GE run, with the bullshit about people under Labour “on average” paying £2k+ more tax. Yes. Because some people are super-rich and that monumentally skews things.)

As for voting Tory, it’s never been my bag, but I’ve in the past understood it. I know people who have voted Tory in the past. They’re not bad people. We don’t share politics, and they may be a bit "head in the sand” on certain issues (along with – mostly – being insulated and privileged), but they weren’t bad. Now, I’m past that. In this GE, you’re either ignorant of reality or flat-out horrible if you’ve voting Tory. And that we’ve 40%+ looking at voting for a repainted UKIP, that doesn’t say good things about the future of the UK. (Although if the Tories get a majority, I don’t think the UK as an entity has a future.)

Pretty much agree with you word for word, though I personally have never fully agreed with the 'temporarily embarrassed millionaire' reasoning for the poor being convinced to vote against their interests. Most poor people I know are aware they will always be poor. It's more that the right wing leans heavily on social issues and culture war rhetoric to keep the plebs on their side. Here, it's things like guns, abortion and immigration, over in the UK it's Brexit and immigration.

I live in the US, and feel deeply conflicted about it. On the one hand, I'm personally pretty comfortable (at least I am for the time being). I'm financially stable and have 'good' health coverage. However I don't see myself staying here for the rest of my life, because due to healthcare and sky-high property taxes you only realistically stand a chance of ever retiring, or even perhaps transitioning to working part time in your old age, if you have a rock-solid private pension plan (which due to the ever more precarious state of work, vanishingly few people have anymore). Workers rights are non-existent - I didn't even realise before I moved here that you can literally be sacked for no reason and given no notice, and most people get by on 10 days or less of holiday a year, with sick days being deducted from that. They sell all this by calling it 'freedom'. You are 'free' to leave your job at any time, just as your employer is 'free' to get rid of you on a whim.

I would not wish the insurance-based American healthcare system on anyone. It is a literal nightmare on every level.

You have to sit through tedious, impenetrable insurance seminars. You sometimes have to have a separate policy just to cover your deductible. You have the constant stress of worrying about losing your job, because that also means losing your health coverage, exponentially increasing the anxiety of job security (its no wonder that there is such a mental health crisis in this country).

And even if you are 'covered', you really aren't ever 'covered'. If you travel to different state for example, your coverage may vary completely and you could still be on the hook for thousands if something goes wrong. On our old policy, apendicitis was not covered. At all. Weeks after we switched to a different provider (which you have to do constantly for boring reasons) my colleague got apendicits. If we hadn't just switched providers, he would have received a bill for $20,000+. And that's with insurance. Another acquaintance had complications with the birth of their child. They still had to pay a lot out of pocket, but if they didn't have insurance, their bill would have been almost $300,000.

It really is almost inconceivable to a Brit. Never get complacent about the NHS. It is a godsend.

Funt Solo

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16532 on: 10 December, 2019, 10:41:57 pm »
I was born in Calhab but live in the US now, and radiator speaks true!

The health care system here is madness.

Imagine you go to the Doctor (with insurance coverage), they immediately charge you money before you get to the waiting room (about $20 or so: this is called an Office Co-Pay.  Co-Pay seems to be doublespeak for "You Pay").

Then, you get to see the Doctor. Whatever treatment you get is costed - but you're not told what the cost is. If you ask the Doctor, they'll tell you they don't know: that's up to their finance office and your insurance company. If you ask the finance office, they'll tell you they don't know: that's up to the insurance company. If you ask the Insurance Company, then you're on hold for hours: and then the person who answers the 'phone is a minion that deals with millions of people and often doesn't have a clue what's going on either.

Several months later you get a bill (actually, several) for a mystery amount of $$.

My daughter broke her leg last December. She was insured, which cost $2130 per year. For the broken leg we had to pay $4661.  (Again, note: that's with insurance.) Without the insurance, we'd have had to pay much more (more than $6791, if you're wondering if the insurance was "worth it"). By the way, the cost was spread out over 23 separate bills, one of which I had to battle over to get the correct costing: saving me $382 after several long 'phone calls over several months.

More crazy: your insurance might insure you for a particular hospital, but when you visit you sign a form that says "anything we do that isn't covered you have to pay for". This may include the treatment you are given, or the Doctor that treats you (who charges you separately for their time).

---

TL;DR

Fight tooth and nail for your National Health Service. It's rock solid gold.
« Last Edit: 10 December, 2019, 10:44:53 pm by Funt Solo »
Frank would know.

Dandontdare

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16533 on: 10 December, 2019, 11:02:07 pm »
I work in British health insurance dealing with the employees of a couple of large international banks. They do get very generous policies, with cover for pre-existing conditions and suchlike, but I've had several Americans find it hard to believe the relative simplicity: "so that's it? I just give them this number and you pay ALL the bills? Oh what's that, there's a deductible excess? How much? £75 - per year?"

One of the top schemes allows them to have treatment anywhere in the world - for 90% of the world, this is done on a pay-and-claim back basis, but for the US we have to hire an intermediary billing company as hospitals always start with a crazy price and then basically expect to haggle it down with the insurers.

radiator

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16534 on: 10 December, 2019, 11:23:11 pm »
Quote
My daughter broke her leg last December. She was insured, which cost $2130 per year. For the broken leg we had to pay $4661.

As you point out, I think most people would quite reasonably assume that a figure like $7000 would be what you might end up getting charged if you weren't insured, when in reality the cost of deductibles alone can be truly eye-watering. Even someone who jumps through all these hoops and has top of the line insurance could still easily find themselves crippled with debt through no fault of their own. That fact alone should in any sane world be more than enough to invalidate the whole system. Argument over.

The most bizarre thing is how brainwashed people are.

The people I work with are intelligent, fairly engaged liberal types. And on the subject of healthcare, they occasionally ask me things like 'so is it better over there or here/which system do you prefer?'. They are fed such a concentrated diet of lies and propaganda - even by the so-called 'left-wing' media - on an almost daily basis that they genuinely think they have the superior system. Remember that those pro-NHS protests in the UK a few years ago were widely reported as anti-NHS protests by the US media.

I think a lot of people in the UK have become genuinely complacent. They bitch and moan about the NHS so much - they clearly haven't got a clue what the alternative would really mean in real terms for themselves and their loved ones. They are fully prepared to swallow all the BS and let the Tories get away with privatising the NHS by the back door - which, if you actually listen to pretty much any NHS employee, is clearly already well underway. And it drives me nuts.
« Last Edit: 10 December, 2019, 11:28:38 pm by radiator »

shaolin_monkey

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16535 on: 11 December, 2019, 03:43:08 am »
To raise the spirits a little I messed with Boris’s grim attempt at an already shit film.

He ignored the golden rule of the internet - never allow a picture of yourself holding a placard.

Thread:

https://twitter.com/scowlingmonkey/status/1204271500343177216

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16536 on: 11 December, 2019, 07:25:27 am »
I was born in Calhab but live in the US now, and radiator speaks true!

The health care system here is madness.

Imagine you go to the Doctor (with insurance coverage), they immediately charge you money before you get to the waiting room (about $20 or so: this is called an Office Co-Pay.  Co-Pay seems to be doublespeak for "You Pay").

Then, you get to see the Doctor. Whatever treatment you get is costed - but you're not told what the cost is. If you ask the Doctor, they'll tell you they don't know: that's up to their finance office and your insurance company. If you ask the finance office, they'll tell you they don't know: that's up to the insurance company. If you ask the Insurance Company, then you're on hold for hours: and then the person who answers the 'phone is a minion that deals with millions of people and often doesn't have a clue what's going on either.

Several months later you get a bill (actually, several) for a mystery amount of $$.

My daughter broke her leg last December. She was insured, which cost $2130 per year. For the broken leg we had to pay $4661.  (Again, note: that's with insurance.) Without the insurance, we'd have had to pay much more (more than $6791, if you're wondering if the insurance was "worth it"). By the way, the cost was spread out over 23 separate bills, one of which I had to battle over to get the correct costing: saving me $382 after several long 'phone calls over several months.

More crazy: your insurance might insure you for a particular hospital, but when you visit you sign a form that says "anything we do that isn't covered you have to pay for". This may include the treatment you are given, or the Doctor that treats you (who charges you separately for their time).

---

TL;DR

Fight tooth and nail for your National Health Service. It's rock solid gold.

What he said.  I listened to a New York Times podcast last week who interviewed a woman who was sued by a hospital as her daughter needed a series of operations which turned out not to be covered by her insurance policy.

Our own healthcare system here in Murphyville isn't quite that bad but appalling nevertheless.  The NHS is precious. Hang onto it.
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Jim_Campbell

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16537 on: 11 December, 2019, 07:42:10 am »
I came across a thread on Twitter a few days ago where people were sharing their experiences of US healthcare — specifically, in this case, people who'd had quite serious surgical procedures under local anesthetic because having a general meant an overnight stay in hospital which they couldn't afford. One person described actually watching surgeons open up his abdomen and how much pain you can still feel under a local.

Apparently, in US healthcare, this is Very Much A Thing (to the extent that there's a NY Times article about it that I won't bother linking because it's behind a paywall).

One doctor rightly described the whole thing as 'uncivilised' saying that in this day and age, we shouldn't just be giving people "something to bite down on" during surgery.
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TordelBack

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16538 on: 11 December, 2019, 12:01:37 pm »
Our own healthcare system here in Murphyville isn't quite that bad but appalling nevertheless.  The NHS is precious. Hang onto it.

Every Ethnic Nordy I know who lives/works in the Free State heads back to the Occupied Territories for their medical needs.  Says it all. 

We've a pretty amazing health service here in Ireland, large parts of it almost shockingly free, but there is constant and frequently expensive buggeration in accessing it - €60-€70 for every GP visit and €100 to attend A&E, which is pretty much the only way to get admitted or get seen by any kind of specialist: my old man has been very poorly for the past year and a half, and despite having a list of ongoing issues and associated consultants as long as Pete Well's wang (allegedly) if he takes a bad turn he has no choice but to go back to Casualty each time. 

The average price of Health Insurance here, which 50% of the population feel they need largely to ensure quick access to consultants and procedures, is almost €2000, which is change for the coffee machine in US terms, but still a terrifying €40 p.w. 

Which is by way of saying: any UK party that threatens the NHS in any way should be voted out of existence toot-sweet. 
« Last Edit: 11 December, 2019, 12:06:23 pm by TordelBack »

Professor Bear

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16539 on: 11 December, 2019, 12:33:00 pm »
In normal circumstances that might have happened, but Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit Brexit

TordelBack

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16540 on: 11 December, 2019, 01:46:45 pm »
The average price of Health Insurance here, which 50% of the population feel they need largely to ensure quick access to consultants and procedures, is almost €2000, which is change for the coffee machine in US terms, but still a terrifying €40 p.w. 

This figure that I pulled out of my shapely arse got me thinking (also fact checking, and I wasn't far off: about 2.2 million out of 4.5 million ruddy-cheeked bogtrotters pay an average of €1900 health insurance).  Googling suggests that the UK median household income is £29,000. Taking £1700 for even modest RoI HI for even one member of the household (and let's be honest, it's 2-4) off that would be a 6% reduction in disposable income. Imagine a tax hike that did the same thing.
« Last Edit: 11 December, 2019, 01:50:54 pm by TordelBack »

Tjm86

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16541 on: 11 December, 2019, 01:52:48 pm »
Which is by way of saying: any UK party that threatens the NHS in any way should be voted out of existence toot-sweet.

Which is possibly why the Yanks are being a bit cannier than attempting to buy it outright.  Let's face it, it makes a hell of a lot more sense from their point of view to have a government funded service.  If they get their way on the meds front then all of that extra dosh Johnson is promising is going to be hoovered up by the bar-stewards.

Professor Bear

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16542 on: 11 December, 2019, 02:25:09 pm »
Remember up the thread when I put on my tinfoil hat and said magic votes would appear for the Tories from somewhere?  Apparently they arrived by post already.

sheridan

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16543 on: 11 December, 2019, 04:52:14 pm »
Remember up the thread when I put on my tinfoil hat and said magic votes would appear for the Tories from somewhere?  Apparently they arrived by post already.

That's quite exceptional - if it's true then a BBC reporter is breaking the law by declaring election results before polling day (never mind before the polls have closed - they haven't even opened yet).

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16544 on: 11 December, 2019, 05:16:11 pm »
I was in A&E recently after falling off my motorbike.  The ambulance crew put me in a wheelchair and gave me some kind of vape to smoke which got me absolutely off my tits and most definitely killed the pain. I had a great time.  Sorry, I realise this doesn't advance discussions in any way. 
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