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Old People aren't Cost Effective

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Silvery, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Man, this statement totally reminds me of Logan's Run. Death to all with black palm flowers! :)
     
    martaug likes this.
  2. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    Talk about the wrong place to address this subject... Silvery's coming to terms with some bad news, this is the last thing she needs to hear.
    But you are quite correct, unfortunately. The elderly were given pensions after the 2nd world war, as the people felt they had deserved it. How this would be financed, was of later concern. Well, now the baby boomers are drawing their pensions, so the issue has become very pressing on the economy.
    The funny thing is, this is neither a left or a right-wing issue, since neither political alignment dares to alienate their elderly voters. I'm annoyed with my own political party, as this is one of the few subjects that they actively ignore, and offer no solution for. In fact, only a centre party in Holland, D66, has even had the courage to address the problem. And it has severely cost them in popularity.
    martaug, are you advocating that the elderly should get priority over other age categories, or do you naively think that all patients can be treated adequately? Because it's easy to bash:smash: whatever reasoning doctors use to assign priority, but you're not offering a better alternative. Talk is cheap.

    Tal, I can't help but find it endearing whenever martaug resorts to swearing; he's like the MacEnroe of the Boards. It's not like he's strengthening his case:shake:. But that leaves you with the unenviable task of correcting him. But he's a good discussion partner, so it's worth the trouble. Almost. Maybe... I think.:p
     
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  3. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Not necessarily. The theoretical principle of socialist economy, which would most likely apply to healthcare as well, is "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" (substituted to "according to his work" in the USSR, but in that case a retiree would not suffer either) . A theoretically perfect socialist system wouldn't care about the cost and benefit - you either can perform the service, in which case you do it, or you can not perform the service. There would definitely be some prioritizing, but it probably would not have cost and benefits as its primary factor. That what you call "socialist" systems end up with cost-benefit analysis being so important is not because they are socialist, but because they exist within a market economy* and must deal with external pressures to be maximally efficient.

    Of course, many countries that have universal healthcare also have private healthcare existing side-by-side with it to cover cases where patients might need (and can afford) faster resolution or additional procedures. It's the same as having private investigators or security companies when you also have the police - but I haven't heard many people say we don't need a public police.

    @ TGS: What is considered a "European model" is actually a very flexible term- sometimes the state plays a bigger role, sometimes it only provides minimum coverage at minimum price (which is kinda what I have here) and people who need more, well, pay for it. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_healthcare, which I am willing to trust with the general situation, pretty much every EU country has some degree of private medical health care - even states such as Sweden and Finland. What Obama is proposing, as far as I can tell, is a plan will allow for completely private insurance for those who want it. It can only become close to what most European states have if the majority choose the public option. If they do that, then probably it is because they believe it is better for them, but that's all according to the principles of the free market.

    *: at least, those that exist in western and central Europe. Healthcare in Ukraine or China might be a different beast altogether - but I doubt you meant such countries, and even they have to cope with a world economy that is decidedly capitalist.
     
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  4. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Just to respond to several peoples points without quoting huge chunks of text

    The nursing home that she was in at the time she was ill was fantastic, the staff even went to visit her on their own time when she was in hospital

    We wouldn't have let her have treatment for cancer as we think at her age life is about quality, not quantity. The beef is the doctor saying that financially, it didn't benefit the NHS to treat her
     
  5. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Ha, ha, ha! How funny - We already HAVE universal, government health care for the elderly, Martaug. It's called Medicare, and maybe you have heard of it (most everyone else has). And I'm sure most conservatives are opposed to that as well.

    http://www.medicare.gov/
     
  6. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I think that even in a perfect socialist state, the overall cost of procedures vs. the perceived benefits of those procedures would come into play, which to me is another way of saying "cost benefit" analysis. And even in such a society, the elderly, the extremely ill, and the society's outcasts would suffer.

    That's not to say that those marginalized groups fair any better in a free market system. The evidence is clear that they don't.
     
  7. Triactus

    Triactus United we stand, divided we fall Veteran

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    Silvery, I'm sorry for the bad news you got. Losing a loved one in a sudden accident is less infuriating than knowing their health is not what it should be. You got my permission to put rice in the gas tank of the bad mannered doctor's car... :)

    While I don't know how the healthcare in the US really is since I live in Canada, I can say that it's not necessarily better here. It probably depends on the province of course, but in Québec, the healthcare system is in shambles. Don't get me wrong, I am a strong advocate for public healthcare. Only it's necessarily better. The state has trouble paying doctors here so in the last decade, there has been a massive exodus of doctors.

    We're left with incredibly long waiting lists and numerous budget compressions. I lost my family doctor because I hadn't seen him in five years (he probably tought I was dead and since they have such demand, closed my file to open another).

    My grandmother was also in a old folks home, they since they are short-staffed, they sometimes lock the residents in their rooms because they don't have the manpower to look after them.

    I know they have budget constraints, but the whole mediacal sector a lot of times have no humanity in their dealings with patients...

    Anyways... Like I said, I'm not against public healthcare at all. Only, if your going to do it, at least do it right and make it a priority.

    C'mon maurtog is like the bad seed at school. He smokes on school grounds, wears a leather vest and rides a motorcycle!! He doesn't listen to the teachers and gets suspended once in a while. However, it's soo entertaining, your wondering what he'll do next! :p

    [Don't encourage him. It will end badly. -Tal]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2009
  8. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    Hi Silvery, that's terrible to hear about the way your grandmother was treated. Regardless of how she was there was no justification for the treatment by the first ward. Everybody deserves to be treated with dignity, particularly the elderly.

    I do understand what the doctor was saying when talking about the cost benefit analysis but I'm amazed that he put it to a family like that. That showed no human courtesy. What he meant was that if they spent the money on her then that would be X amount of procedures they couldn't perform on other people and overall more people will benefit if they do the other procedures. Money isn't infinite so somebody has to make those choices. Simply giving more money won't solve the matter either. Ireland's health spending was at a very low base so over the last number of years we've poured money into it but the improvement is nowhere near the same as the increase in money. America of course spends a collossal amount on health without getting the best results.

    I'd say that the doctor was also aware that ye probably wouldn't go for the treatment in any case. My granny was in a very similary situation when she died (years of dementia followed by a turn for the worse). The doctors asked us if they should do everything they could for her but we asked them not to. Whatever was medically wrong it was obvious that is was simply old age was the problem and that she'd merely suffer something else straight away even if they did cure her. So we left her be (btw this was also the doctor's advice, I'm not trying to say we were getting rid of her!).

    Can we take it that by posting in angles you're ok with people discussing the costs thing? I'd understand perfectly if you're touchy about this at the moment.
     
  9. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Joac - Callous you may be, but you have yet to master the fine art of avarice like those corporate Greedmeisters here in the US. Of course, if you are willing to let go of a few of those lofty morals you seem to possess, there may be some hope for you as of yet. If you really wish to learn how to make ANYTHNG cost effective, then you've come to right land of mindless capitalists.

    The problem you present is how to make the elderly cost effective, which can be quite vexing. I mean, you know how some old people just "hang in there," even though it's obvious to some that they have outlived their usefulness to society. Imagine, being such a drag upon all those young and upcoming people to whom they (in their younger days) have given birth, struggled and sacrificed to support for a good portion of their lives. The shame of it.

    But don't despair for even old people can be cost effecive and even as eimployees and workers (who would have guessed). For the answer we have to turn to that paragon of Corporate America, the ever avaricious Wal-Mart. And Wal-Mart must not have made it to Sweden yet, or you would know this. Lucky you. :)

    Anyone who has been to a Wal-Mart has to notice all those old people who greet you and direct you to whatever you are looking for. Well, Wal-Mart employs thousands of these fossils of humanity. And they ARE cost effective. When a worker becomes an employee, the corporation has the option of taking out a life insurance policy on that worker, regardless of age. And here's the best part, in America, the company does not even have to legally let the worker know that the company has taken out a policy on his/her life. But wait, it gets even better, you see the company can maintain that policy even AFTER the eimployee has moved on. And of course, sooner or later, (sooner if it's one of our elderly) that worker will pass on, and guess who benefits? Corporate America. Let's say, a corporate executive needs a new $10,000.00 shower curtain for his private bath in his office suite? No problem. Just have a company lawyer scan the "Dead Rolls" for a settlement. Maybe he/she needs to join a few more conutry clubs and it's draining the company expense account? Hey, no sweat. Maybe we can have an elderly person work a few more hours to move the "natural process" along a bit. ;)

    So who says old people can't be cost effective? Just pay them minimum wage, take out a hefty life insurance policy and wait for them to go off through those Pearly Gates, and it's as if you never had to pay them in the first place. Since Wal-Mart started this back in the 1980s more and more corporations are "jumping on the elderly bandwagon" to turn a few extra "cost effective" bucks.

    Of course, we could just do away with the expense of corporate executives, but who would keep all those country clubs and SPAs in exotic places (among other delights) in business? What would be the fun in that?
     
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  10. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    No coin, i don't think that all patients can be treated adequately(even though in a perfect society that is what you are shooting for) but i would put the elderly in the top 2(or 3) categories of patients.

    It's not just Wal-mart chandos.
    http://www.northjersey.com/business/Banks_make_money_from_employees_life_insurance.html
    http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Insurance/P64954.asp
    They seem to have changed some insurance policies since 2006.
    http://www.insure.com/articles/lifeinsurance/secret-policies.html
    So it appears now that you have to sign a consent to it.
     
  11. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Yep, I'm corrected. I first became aware of the practice about 10 years ago, when the state of Texas sued Wal-Mart for just that, since Texas required that there had to be consent. However, at that time Wal-Mart claimed that it only had to follow the laws in this regard in Arkansas, its corporate location. I was not aware that there had been a federal change in the laws. Thank you, sir. :)
     
  12. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    I had no idea until you brought it up, so i did a little research so that i wouldn't be totally ignorant(partly is ok:p)
     
  13. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I never quite figured out why they are forcing consent on these types of policies. It isn't costing the employee any money and I'm not sure how they would ever even know the policy existed. The older you get the more life insurance costs, so in the Walmart situation they would have to pay a pretty penny to insure a 70 year old greater. Was there any cases of corporations killing their employees for the insurance money?
     
  14. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    As long as the resources are limited by money and not ultimate supply (I can understand such a system for lung transplants), then the only issue is if the patient can pay. If Silvery's nan could afford Chemo, as far as the market was concerned it shouldn't matter how likely she is to live. She can afford the resources, and the resources (I'm betting) are limited by cost rather than supply.

    I think it depends less on the style of system (universal vs free market) and more on the actual implementation of it. I've heard an aweful lot of horror stories from just a few nations, and not many, if any, from others.

    This is another bad generalization that people need to get over. You don't have to be rich to get good medical care in the US. In fact, most people that have insurance have good medical care, even for pricey things like hip replacements or chemo. Sure, there are a couple of lousy insurance companies that'll put you through the ringer before they'll pay, but that news gets around and not many people turn to those companies, who then go out of business. Thinking about it, I don't know anyone who's suffered due to a lack of medical care, and I don't exactly star on the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

    There's an old concept that I remember hearing frequently when I was a child; something to the effect of the level of development in a culture is best judged by how they treat their elderly, or something. Ultimately, it seems to me like you're throwing people off the Titanic before it hits the iceburg, instead of trying to turn the ship.

    Change that bolded part to prudent, and I'll agree with you. I was raised with the teaching that you don't borrow money if you don't absolutely need to, you pay off your credit cards completely every month, and you always maintain at least 6 months worth of living costs in savings. Thinking about it, I can't help but wonder how many of the uninsured in the US have new cars, big screen TVs, or a booming stereo system, but "can't afford insurance". Now, yes, I know that's a generalization, but its a generalization that is all too frequently accurate in the US today. Too many people in the US have learned to put pleasure and entertainment before careful planning, and then expect others to clean up the mess when their plans (or lack there of) fall through.

    You sound like you're complaining, but who's paying for this? The Life Insurance companies, which are even more crooked than Health Insurance (not to mention that I'm betting their plans are voluntary and they could simply not offer them to corporations or such). All in all, I'm not complaining.

    I also don't see why anyone would complain. The company pays for said insurance, so it's not like they're taking anything from the worker. Now, if there were some real insinuations that companies were trying to off elderly people to cash in their insurance policies, I'd be up in arms, but really, studies have repeatedly shown that regular activity just like this keeps mental acuity sharp and improves physical health. In other words, elderly working at Wal-Mart tend to live both better and longer than those that sit at home all day hoping the grandkids visit.
     
  15. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I agree. I think they should be able to do way more things in secret. All these old people need to know is that they have a job to do and they need to be on the job. People don't need to know who's profiting off of their deaths. I mean, It's not like they will be worrying about it once they "pass on." Right?

    Well, that's good point. Even though this is still a great source of income for Wal-Mart (why else would they do it?), insurance companies need to lower those premiums. If they lose too much money in the process, there are plenty of politicians who will make up the difference for them with taxpayer money. We already know that from experience.

    Well, we ARE talking about old people here. Why should large corporations have to do the work that nature will take care of in a short time anyway? We do want this to be "cost effective." So we work them a bit harder, right? It's not like we are paying them a whole lot anyway. And they say that 70 is the new 30. Or is that 60 is the new 40? Hey, who says old people can't be productive members of society, when there's so much money to made off of even their, how can we put this delicately? Demise? No...Departure? That's not quite right either. I got it...Termination. That has a nice "corporate" sound to it.
     
  16. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    Silvery, I'm sorry to learn that about your nan. Good luck.
     
  17. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Thanks darling.

    Chandos, you clearly feel strongly about the points that you're quoting but could you please try to be a bit less sarcastic? You're making yourself look a bit silly babe
     
  18. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Chandos, neither your condesending tone, nor your vague insinuations actually amount to any proof or reason.

    So, what you're really complaining about is someone making a profit off someone else's death? Ok, close down all the cemetaries, all the mortuaries, all the Life Insurance companies (because we all know they do it for profit). We'll just pile our dead in the streets, because even paying the garbage collectors to haul them to the dump would be someone profiting from their deaths.

    Again, vague insinuations do not evidence make, and again, the elderly who work are regularly shown to be healtier and live longer than their equivalents who don't.
     
    Silvery likes this.
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    True - You just need to be rich to be able to pay for it.

    It seems like profiteering off death that turns some people off. But I do think there's a more basic problem - why should a company you work for have the right to take out a life insurance policy on you? I don't have the right to take out a life insurance policy out on my co-workers, or friends, or even other family members. I can only take out a policy for myself. Part of my benefit plan for the company I work for is a life insurance policy equal to my annual salary - but that's paid out to my next of kin. This is going to be paid out to the company.

    I guess the basic questions are: 1) Can a company take a life insurance policy out on anyone - even if they have no connection with the company? (I assume the answer to this is "no".) and therefore 2) Why would becoming an employee of a company give the company the right to take a policy out on you?
     
  20. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Things probably differ by state law, but AFAIK you can take life insurance out on anyone you want as long as you have written consent of the person; and there are typically cirumstances where you don't need consent (e.g. insurance covering multiple people in a family).
    Because if the employer provides a death benefit, they have an insurable interest in that person.
     
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