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Defence vs Healthcare

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  • 13-07-2017 2:32am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 24,488 ✭✭✭✭


    The below facebook post was on my feed yesterday as someone liked it or something
    https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/posts/10156120727627908

    Basically Bernie pointing out the ridiculous spend on defence when healthcare is ignored. What really struck me however is the slant of a large number of the comments.

    There seems to be an acceptance that as defence is enshrined in the constitution that there is a general acceptance of the spend but because healthcare is not "yer on yer own" so to speak

    I know facebook is hardly the ideal sampling method but I was actually quite surprised about the reaction. Is the reaction an actual thing in the US in general, do a substantial portion of the population have this same general view, that the level of defence spending is acceptable and that healthcare shouldn't be the state's problem?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 82,236 ✭✭✭✭Overheal


    Folks yell about the constitutional mandate for the military when it's in the same statement as welfare:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,143 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    What can you expect from a culture that is basically self centred??? Lip service is paid to community and charitable work is collected like a trophy to include on the CV for college.

    I'm fine why should I have to pay for someone's healthcare??? On the other hands if bad guys come, they might harm me, so I'll pay for that alright. They simply do not understand the concept of collective responsibility nor shared risks. Until they get that there is not much chance of them coming up with a basic healthcare system.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,694 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manach


    However it could be argued that not only was such encompassing welfare not in the form as invisaged by the US founders but the need to retain some form of military was (given their rebellion against the Crown). It has also been pointed in policy reviews* of the previous administration that the deep cuts and the reduction of spending to the US Military (%ofGDP) makes it problematic to ensure it presents a proper force posture - this in turns leads to increased global instability and in turn effects the US domestic scene.
    Hence Sen. Saunders is playing to his base but not reality.

    *
    Colin Dueck, The Obama Doctrine: American Grand Strategy Today
    W. Murray, America and the Future of War


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,280 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    Overhead, you are quoting the preamble, though, not the content of the Constitution. SCOTUS has observed that the preamble "has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States or on any of its Departments". There is no healthcare equivalent to the provisions of Art 1 section 8 which relate to defense (And the General Welfare mentioned in that section's introduction refers to the States, not the people). Further, defense is the only mandatory function of the federal government. The Federal Government, by the Constitution, may do various things, and has the power to do various things, but Art 4 Section 4 contains the only "must do", and that is defense. Finally, the issue of external military action is, by the Constitution, reserved exclusively to the Federal Government, whereas there is no prohibition on States conducting healthcare activities.

    Besides, we already throw more money than anyone else into healthcare. It's not a matter of the amount of money we throw in, it's a matter of what we get for the money. We may throw more money than anyone else into our military, but we arguably get a better military than anyone else for our money. I don't think it can be reasonable to say we get a better healthcare system than anyone else.

    Jim2007 is slightly mischaracterising our 'lip service' to charity. http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/14/news/charity-donations-americans/index.html
    Compare those per capita figures to those of Ireland. http://www.thejournal.ie/charity-donations-ireland-1698132-Sep2014/


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,143 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    Jim2007 is slightly mischaracterising our 'lip service' to charity. http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/14/news/charity-donations-americans/index.html
    Compare those per capita figures to those of Ireland. http://www.thejournal.ie/charity-donations-ireland-1698132-Sep2014/

    I was actually talking about behaviour not figures.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,747 ✭✭✭✭wes


    The US outspends all other countries on there military by a huge amount. They could cut the military budget in half and still be spending more than anyone else, and still have a superior military force.

    I think its a conversation worth having in the US, some of that money could be spent on health, education, the poor, NASA, and non-military scientific research (to be fair military scientific research, does feedback into civilian applications, so that shouldn't be cut).

    Of course, cut to buying military hardware (for example) that isn't needed etc, will impact jobs in certain states, so will face opposition from those states. So it isn't quite so simple.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,143 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    wes wrote: »
    I think its a conversation worth having in the US, some of that money could be spent on health, education, the poor, NASA, and non-military scientific research (to be fair military scientific research, does feedback into civilian applications, so that shouldn't be cut).

    Of course it is, but the mind set is not there. To a European, with the possible exception of the U.K. to some extent, the benefit of having a healthy, well educated society is obvious, so the discussion is around the what and the how. Where as in the US it is still at why: why should I pay for someone else's education or healthcare?


  • Registered Users Posts: 350 ✭✭Palmy


    They all complain because they don't want to pay any more tax for the likes of healthcare. I keep reminding them they are paying for it any way with premiums and deductibles. My insurance for my family last year was just over $12,000 with me close to paying $4,000 of that and my employer made up the rest. This mind you is for 70% coverage with doctor copay at $45 visits and family deducible of $3500 yr. I had a girl in work who's daughter got water on the brain and spent 2 weeks in ICU and a further week after that in hospital. After rehabilitation her bill was just under $1 million dollars. To which insurance payed $700,000 leaving her with a bill of $300,000. Your still screwed no matter how you look at it. The military spending in kind of crazy and anyone who has served is treated like a national hero. Yeah I get it you served your country but no one forced you to join and serve. ( Apart from the Nam Vets ). Where I work we give a 10% discount all day everyday for veterans. I've worked with people who suffer PTSD who had worked as a cook in the Air Force and never went into combat and another who was a photographer milking it and then a genuine guy who stood on an IED and one leg was an inch shorter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,934 ✭✭✭20Cent


    Doesn't make sense to me. Military spending is used to make the population safe when spending some of it on health would protect and save far more people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,104 ✭✭✭techdiver


    20Cent wrote: »
    Doesn't make sense to me. Military spending is used to make the population safe when spending some of it on health would protect and save far more people.

    Exactly this. I would bet anything that more people die as a result in underspend in healthcare as opposed to the potential impact of a similar underspend in defense.

    America is not a rational country. It is governed by fear mongering and over the top rhetoric. The average education level is well below most of the developed world, so there is less critical thinking involved when challenging these policies.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    Of course it is, but the mind set is not there. To a European, with the possible exception of the U.K. to some extent, the benefit of having a healthy, well educated society is obvious, so the discussion is around the what and the how. Where as in the US it is still at why: why should I pay for someone else's education or healthcare?
    There's a much greater sense of national community in Europe than the US.

    Which is funny because I would say there's a much greater sense of patriotism in the US.

    But it's practically a national pastime in the US to segregate and pit people against one another. Slot people into little boxes. She's an African-American, bisexual, atheist, liberal, urbanite Sanders-supporter, whereas I'm an Hispanic, conservative, christian, rural Trump-supporter.

    You see it in their media and in online discussion all the time. Step one in any debate is to stick labels on the other guy so you know who you're up against. Everyone has labels. Which ultimately creates division, gives everyone their own unique little flag to rally under.
    Whereas in Europe for the most part we don't have this. Aside from a couple of mouth-breathers who use terms like "Blueshirts", we are all Irish and therefore recognise that we pay taxes for the common good of all Irish people.

    But in the US they don't want to pay taxes to support the other guy because he's not like me and therefore not my responsibility. The US media have been fuelling this for decades because it's really good for making people angry and scared and therefore engaged.
    But it's what will tear the US apart in the end.

    Amercians defend America as an institution, but don't recognise America as a community. Europeans recognise their nations as a community, and are much slower to defend them as an institution.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,280 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    techdiver wrote: »
    Exactly this. I would bet anything that more people die as a result in underspend in healthcare as opposed to the potential impact of a similar underspend in defense.

    America is not a rational country. It is governed by fear mongering and over the top rhetoric. The average education level is well below most of the developed world, so there is less critical thinking involved when challenging these policies.

    What underspend? Our problem isn't that we're not spending enough. Public spending on healthcare ($1.6trn)is twice the amount spent on defense ($0.8trn). Education, as an aside, is in between the two (but closer to defense, at about $1trn). That doesn't count private healthcare (Or private education, on the aside).

    Public health is about $4,848 per head, the $1.6trn budgets divided by 330mn people. Public health in Ireland, EU14.6bn into 4.7 million, about E3060 per head, that's about $3,570 US for comparison. If one includes private money, we rocket up with the highest expeniture per head in the world, almost twice that of Ireland. Granted, we have some pretty significant capital expenses like air ambulances given our huge country, but we are still paying a crapload.

    We are spending the money. We are spending the amount of money that any first world nation should be proud of, and nobody else can touch. It's not the dollars, it's the regulatory system (or lack therof) which results in those ungodly amounts of dollars not achieving what they should. Whatever the fixes happen to be to make US healthcare equate with that of any other nation, there is absolutely no need to reduce the US defense budget to do it.

    (See http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/total_spending and https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0b/OECD_health_expenditure_per_capita_by_country.svg/600px-OECD_health_expenditure_per_capita_by_country.svg.png )


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,143 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    Public health is about $4,848 per head, the $1.6trn budgets divided by 330mn people. Public health in Ireland, EU14.6bn into 4.7 million, about E3060 per head, that's about $3,570 US for comparison. If one includes private money, we rocket up with the highest expeniture per head in the world, almost twice that of Ireland. Granted, we have some pretty significant capital expenses like air ambulances given our huge country, but we are still paying a crapload.

    I have to say I can't see the US ever reaching a point where they have anything bordering on universal healthcare. There a simply too many factor to thwart it.

    For instance there is the attitude of the average voter - they simply do not believe it is possible.

    For example, an American friend of mine who lives in Dublin needed hospital out patient treatment over last summer and as it happened an old college buddy was staying with him and went to the hospital with him on each occasion. No matter how it was explained to him, this friend left at the end of the summer convinced that a big bill would eventually turn up and have to be paid.

    Similarly here is Switzerland, I've seen several US colleagues arrive and when covered by Swiss health insurance are told by their doctor they can have medical procedures they were refused in the States. Many refuse because no matter how often it is explained to them, they still are convinced that a big bill will eventually arrive. So are even happy to head home having avoided paying the big bill......

    When people have such low expectations, it is not surprising that they make low demands on their politicians.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,649 ✭✭✭eire4


    What underspend? Our problem isn't that we're not spending enough. Public spending on healthcare ($1.6trn)is twice the amount spent on defense ($0.8trn). Education, as an aside, is in between the two (but closer to defense, at about $1trn). That doesn't count private healthcare (Or private education, on the aside).

    Public health is about $4,848 per head, the $1.6trn budgets divided by 330mn people. Public health in Ireland, EU14.6bn into 4.7 million, about E3060 per head, that's about $3,570 US for comparison. If one includes private money, we rocket up with the highest expeniture per head in the world, almost twice that of Ireland. Granted, we have some pretty significant capital expenses like air ambulances given our huge country, but we are still paying a crapload.

    We are spending the money. We are spending the amount of money that any first world nation should be proud of, and nobody else can touch. It's not the dollars, it's the regulatory system (or lack therof) which results in those ungodly amounts of dollars not achieving what they should. Whatever the fixes happen to be to make US healthcare equate with that of any other nation, there is absolutely no need to reduce the US defense budget to do it.

    (See http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/total_spending and https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0b/OECD_health_expenditure_per_capita_by_country.svg/600px-OECD_health_expenditure_per_capita_by_country.svg.png )

    I will disagree with you about the US military budget. In my opinion it is way over the top. But I will agree with you in terms of health care in the sense that plenty of money is being spent. The problem is it is a for profit system and so there are massive amounts of money wasted because the system is all about raking in as much profit as possible and not about the actual health of Americans never mind advertising and all sorts of other expenses which again have nothing to do with the actual health of Americans.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11 Irellevant


    So I've been watching US politics , especially in the last few days I've come to notice healthcare is a contentious issue even more then I originally thought . From this I wanted Irish opinions on which system you find the best our two tier system , americas insurance mandate or the more common single payer/medicare for all/socialised medicine system .


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 91,034 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    Oddly enough military need was a driving force for health care in the UK.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/z83ggk7/revision/8
    The Second Boer War began in 1899 ...

    Before men could join the army, they had to pass a medical inspection. As the war progressed the number of men failing army medical inspections was found to be one in three. They were declared unfit for military service and refused entry.

    This led to questions being asked about the physical condition of the working class male. The government would have to do something to ensure basic health levels among the population.

    ...
    Governmental reports published in 1904 stated that free school meals and medical examinations should be introduced in Britain to help combat the poor physical condition of many British citizens.


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