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"A Possibly Fatal Mistake" that we all should pay for
Vanity ^ | October 14, 2012

Posted on 10/14/2012 5:09:00 AM PDT by Acton

An editorial writer at The New York Times (Nicholas Kristof) makes an impassioned plea to vote for Obama because a friend from his youth and days at Harvard (Scott Androes) is dying of cancer:

"Yet for all his innate prudence, Scott now, at age 52, is suffering from Stage 4 prostate cancer, in part because he didn’t have health insurance. President Obama’s health care reform came just a bit too late to help Scott, but it will protect others like him — unless Mitt Romney repeals it.

If you favor gutting “Obamacare,” please listen to Scott’s story. He is willing to recount his embarrassing tale in part so that readers can learn from it.

I’ll let Scott take over the narrative ...."

Kristof includes several paragraphs written by his friend, Scott Androes, which indicate that Androes feels like he "blew it" and feels like a "damned fool." Androes says, "I would have bought insurance if there had been any kind of fair-risk pooling." Androes also says, "I didn’t go see the doctor because that would have been several hundred dollars out of pocket — just enough disincentive to get me to make a bad decision."

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: accountability; election; newyork; newyorkcity; newyorktimes; nicholaskristof; obamacare; vanity; welfare
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Of course there is no effective way to respond to an editorial by The Grey Lady. She is right on all issues of policy, and those of us who disagree are just too benighted to know it. Kristof and Androes in this article both acknowledge that his friend is sick with Stage 4 prostate cancer because he "blew it". But his conclusion is strange -- that Obamacare will somehow save money and lives. All the evidence is that in a free market, it will do neither.

This is a very sad case, and as the story relates, Androes is now paying $1,400 for an ambulance ride when he did not pay "a few hundred dollars" for an early diagnosis. So I am not sure Androes will ever pay for anything unless he deems it to be "fair." He even says he would have bought health insurance if he thought it was "fair."

What does he mean by that? This is the difference between supporters of Obamacare and supporters of the free market. Are the costs of groceries or energy "fair?" Just because I don't think the cost of gas is fair does not mean that I run my car until it is out of gas. And Kristof thinks Androes is "innately prudent?"

Health insurance is currently fair by one measure, since it costs what the insurance companies have to spend, less administrative costs, less a return to their shareholders. The logic of Kristof and Androes is haunting in its stupidity, lack of logic, and lack of economic understanding -- but that's what Harvard has been producing for the last 30 years or so.

Kristof and Androes think that health insurance costs will be more fair if the "return to the shareholders" in the current system is replaced with a government bureaucracy -- which has never proved less costly than free market alternatives. Overall costs will rise because (1) more people will be accessing the system, (2) government bureaucracies are inefficient, nothing you can do about that, and (3) the fact that people perceive it as a bargain (hence, what Androes calls fair), means that people will use more health services than they would in a free market. Androes is really saying that he would not have bought health insurance unless he thought it was "more than fair".

There is nothing in Obamacare make insurance more fair to society as a whole. Sure, there may be some "damned fools" like Androes who will go to a doctor earlier if they think it is fair -- that is, if they think it will cost someone else more than their share of the health care costs. And maybe the insurance company shareholders will get screwed and not get any dividends any more. (Athough most of those shareholders are pension funds that are seeking a constant return for other old age expenses, so nationalizing that income stream will have other consequences.) But that savings will be more than offset by the cost to society of a new government insurance agency coupled with a down payment of 16,000 new IRS agents. Taxes of high net worth individuals will go up, and some people think that is always fair. But as the return to health care professionals decreases, there will be fewer health care professionals.

The economic logic of this article is baffling, yet it is worth studying because it represents the logic of The New York Times -- and graduates of Harvard. And that alone should scare the daylights out of citizens who can think and take care of themselves without a government subsidy.

1 posted on 10/14/2012 5:09:08 AM PDT by Acton
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To: Acton
Failure to plan ahead on YOUR part does not constitute a crisis on MY part.
2 posted on 10/14/2012 5:12:06 AM PDT by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: Acton
He went to Harvard and yet didn't have health insurance??? The closest I ever came to attending Harvard is having walked through Harvard Square and yet I've been smart enough,and hard working enough,to have never been without health insurance.

My eyes are welling up right now but I can't quite reach the Kleenex.

3 posted on 10/14/2012 5:14:09 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Ambassador Stevens Is Dead And The Chevy Volt Is Alive)
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To: Gay State Conservative

He didn’t plan ahead so my granddaughter’s have to pay? NO


4 posted on 10/14/2012 5:20:56 AM PDT by South Dakota (shut up and drill)
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To: Acton

Hey Kristof...tell us again how Obama recited the Koranic Prayers in PERFECT Arabic and said the call to prayer is the most beautiful sound in the world...tell us again, PLEASE!


5 posted on 10/14/2012 5:23:26 AM PDT by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Acton

The guy was billed $1400 by Swedish for 6+ months of intensive care. He was approved for charity care,

So what does this say about the entire premise that people like this irresponsible man in denial about his cancer symptoms, are doomed without a government mandate??


6 posted on 10/14/2012 5:27:16 AM PDT by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change)
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To: Acton

You’re more likely to die of prostate cancer in the UK, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, France ,Finland, Canada, and Germany than you are in the United States so explain how socialized medicine saves lives.


7 posted on 10/14/2012 5:27:59 AM PDT by Leroy S. Mort
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To: Acton

If you read the article, you learn that this man had a good job with benefits, but quit because he had a “midlife crisis” and wanted to have time to read books and play poker.

This man does not get my sympathy. We all are tempted from time to time to “check out” out of our lives, but responsible people know that that is not an option.

Here’s the money quote: “a humane government tries to compensate for our misjudgments.”


8 posted on 10/14/2012 5:31:08 AM PDT by jtal (Runnin' a World in Need with White Folks' Greed - since 1492)
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To: Acton

There’s no real mention about the man’s ‘spirit’, so if the current officeholder of the President of the United States of America is going to be consistent, he will unequivocally deny the care and give him a pain pill.

http://iusbvision.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/obama-old-people-dont-need-life-saving-treatments-they-can-take-a-pain-pill-and-be-left-to-die/


9 posted on 10/14/2012 5:34:34 AM PDT by KStorm (Just a normal guy, tryin' to catch a train.)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks Acton.
"Yet for all his innate prudence, Scott now, at age 52, is suffering from Stage 4 prostate cancer, in part because he didn't have health insurance. President Obama's health care reform came just a bit too late to help Scott, but it will protect others like him -- unless Mitt Romney repeals it."
Oh look -- when Romney becomes POTUS, he'll have the power to repeal legislation.

PARTISAN MEDIA SHILLS ping.


10 posted on 10/14/2012 5:35:55 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Acton

Wow. This NY Slimes article is just one big barf alert.

Kristoff is just piling on the “rural farm boys go to the big city” allusions in an effort to down play the fact that this guy is a not only a Harvard graduate but also a FINANCIAL CONSULTANT.

See when they want something from everybody else they are just dumb hicks because only a dumb hick would end up in the situation his friend Scott is in. Get it? They are soooo folksy.

See references from the article below:

“friends through the Future Farmers of America”
“room together for moral support among all those city slickers.”
“We were the country bumpkins”
“we kept deer rifles under our beds”
“the only champion judge of dairy cattle”


11 posted on 10/14/2012 5:37:06 AM PDT by Smokeyblue
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To: Acton
Yet for all his innate prudence, Scott now, at age 52, is suffering from Stage 4 prostate cancer, in part because he didn’t have health insurance.

Nonsense. He could have paid for preemptive medical care (physicals) out of his own pocket UP FRONT. That is called being prudent.

He was lead to believe that medical insurance will magically result in his health which has never been the case. Now that the govt is charge of healthcare, we should see a rapid increase in the quality of and frequency of healthcare. (NOT).

12 posted on 10/14/2012 5:37:34 AM PDT by nonsporting
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To: Acton

Stupid is as Stupid does..........no sympathy here.
The article shows that you don’t have to be uneducated and dumb to make major screw ups, you just have to be CHEAP and wait for someone else to pick up the tab.
When I had my prostate cancer operation the guy in the next bed had tried to treat his prostate problems by avoiding regular doctors......until it was almost too late.
Again, Stupid is as Stupid does.


13 posted on 10/14/2012 5:38:10 AM PDT by BilLies (The Progressive Liberal American Press will be the death of freedom in this country.)
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To: Gay State Conservative

Hey, sounds like we have the same Harvard education! I too have managed to always have health insurance.... Guess we both took the common sense and personal responsibility course.


14 posted on 10/14/2012 5:39:35 AM PDT by Newton (All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.)
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To: Acton

We have here a financial analyst who was somehow able to afford a Harvard education and who quit his job to read books and play cards. Using this person as a means to persuade us to his side makes me question the intelligence of the author.

We do have a problem in this country regarding hard working, low income folks who can’t afford health insurance but are required to pay taxes to provide it to parasites and illegal aliens who breed like cockroaches.


15 posted on 10/14/2012 5:40:33 AM PDT by Wage Slave (Army Mom!)
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To: Smokeyblue

Haaaaaavad grad, financial adviser, quits to play poker and read books...

Someone tell me why I should pay for this parasite and his multiple “unfortunate” decisions?


16 posted on 10/14/2012 5:41:53 AM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Acton

Fallacies and stupidity.

Health Insurance is heavily regulated by the States and has to have competitive rates, meet actuarial standards, take into account all the mandatory coverage for conditions that are not illness or injury related.

There are idiots who save for, or purchase expensive toys - but resent having to pony up money for repairing their bodies. The same people who will willingly spend more on vet bills than for doctor visits.

I would love to see a record of this guy’s expenditures over his working life and compare is excesses to his prudence.


17 posted on 10/14/2012 5:42:57 AM PDT by sodpoodle (Life is prickly - carry tweezers.)
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To: Leroy S. Mort
For the cost estimates of the health care plan in place the USA could add a wing to every VA administration hospital and dedicate it to medical care for the poor. We could open 50 more medical schools and train more MDs. But. No. We have to get more administrators and IRS agents and lawyers to make sure the populace doesn't break the arcane and convoluted mess they dumped on us. The chronically ill and terminal will get death counsel visits but experimental and heroic measures will be used on Mickey Mantles and Ted Kennedys and such. This guy in the editorial has no game. He would be dead no matter what plan we choose.
18 posted on 10/14/2012 5:44:03 AM PDT by carumba (The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made. Groucho)
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To: Acton

Anyone who thinks Government run Health Care is a good idea needs to spend some time talking with someone who has lived under one of ‘Great White Father’s’ Indian Health programs.


19 posted on 10/14/2012 5:46:20 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Acton
Shocker: World death rate holding steady at 100%!

http://www.theonion.com/articles/world-death-rate-holding-steady-at-100-percent,1670/

I'm almost 59. I have not had a checkup for many years. If I get cancer, I expect to die. Life is a mist. Hopefully if I get cancer, nobody will have to pay for my treatment, because I won't get it. Philippians 1:21 For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

20 posted on 10/14/2012 5:46:53 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: Acton

Ironically, ObamaCare doesn’t solve the problem that moved him to not get health insurance. ObamaCare doesn’t make insurance cheaper or more broadly accessible, it merely mandates you get it, or pay a fine - either way, the individual is now merely being forced to shell out what they already couldn’t afford, or at least think they can’t afford - which Mr. Androes could have already done without ObamaCare, if he’s had the foresight to do so.


21 posted on 10/14/2012 5:51:01 AM PDT by Yashcheritsiy (It's time to make Obama a minor footnote in the pages of history)
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To: silverleaf

the hospital paid for the charity by jacking up the bills of reponsible people who got sick. under commiecare, according to 0, he would have gotten no treatment, just a pain pill. socialism kills and liberalism makes people mean.


22 posted on 10/14/2012 6:03:06 AM PDT by bravo whiskey (if the little things really annoy you, maybe it's because the big things are going well.)
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To: Acton

When I went thorough cancer treatment, my hospital roommate had low income and no insurance. The hospital took her in as a charity case. She got the same level of care I got, which was world class. Under Obamacare, we would both get substandard care. Maybe we’d have been better off not having the surgery, but taking the pain killer. We’d have both been dead five years ago.


23 posted on 10/14/2012 6:05:10 AM PDT by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: Yashcheritsiy
"Ironically, ObamaCare doesn’t solve the problem that moved him to not get health insurance."

Not only that. Whose to say that some bureaucratic panel wouldn't tell him to take a hike. His cancer is too far gone and it would be a waste resources. I take it he's a white male and I'm sure there is some young, homosexual, illegal alien who needs a sex change surgery and that money would be better spent on him/her.

Or

They will allow treatment but it will start six months to a year from now after he is already dead.

24 posted on 10/14/2012 6:06:39 AM PDT by Smokeyblue
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To: Acton

Has Sally Struthers put on a costume? Uhhhh never mind.


25 posted on 10/14/2012 6:09:20 AM PDT by catfish1957 (My dream for hope and change is to see the punk POTUS in prison for treason)
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To: jtal
If you read the article, you learn that this man had a good job with benefits, but quit because he had a “midlife crisis” and wanted to have time to read books and play poker.

It also sounds like he didn't go to the doctor from 2003 to 2011. Either he had an extremely virulent prostate cancer (which is often the case if you get prostate cancer before 50), or he carried it a long time, and a normal physical would have caught it years earlier, when he would have had a chance at cure or long-term survival.

Would he have even gone to the doctor every year or two if he was insured? Maybe.

26 posted on 10/14/2012 6:11:08 AM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Acton

Why is it sad? He made bad decisions and is paying for them

That is the fruit of the liberal tree. Do not weep for a fool, even a Harvard Grad fool.


27 posted on 10/14/2012 6:11:33 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: Newton

Strange that the product of the so called most prestigious schools are the most stupid. I had an MIT engineer work for me serveral years ago that was dumber than box of sticks.


28 posted on 10/14/2012 6:12:02 AM PDT by catfish1957 (My dream for hope and change is to see the punk POTUS in prison for treason)
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To: Acton

Low Cost Solution: Require “Three Little Pigs” story in Harvard curriculum.


29 posted on 10/14/2012 6:15:51 AM PDT by Chewbarkah
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To: bravo whiskey

All FReepers are sorry for the misfortune of Mr Kristof’s friend. Could Mr Kristof write in a similar tone about babies who are being destroyed by “partial birth” abortions?Does he have the courage to witness such a thing? If Obama is re-elected he will be forced to pay for them!


30 posted on 10/14/2012 6:18:40 AM PDT by abenaki (It CAN happen here.)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Andros, sometimes people just die. We don’t get out of here alive.


31 posted on 10/14/2012 6:25:45 AM PDT by MuttTheHoople (Pray for Joe Biden- Proverbs 29:9)
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To: SunkenCiv
Oh look -- when Romney becomes POTUS, he'll have the power to repeal legislation.

Great catch! I was wondering when someone would point that out!

32 posted on 10/14/2012 6:27:46 AM PDT by Teacher317 ('Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.)
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To: Acton

People like “Scott” make me sick.

I pay my expensive COBRA because I don’t want to foist my potential problems off on someone else. He was acting like a petulant brat.

What is the answer for him? I don’t know, that is not my expertise and I have not spent any time, but I will say, I don’t want to pay for this dude’s irresponsibility.


33 posted on 10/14/2012 6:30:36 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Acton
They are getting desperate.
34 posted on 10/14/2012 6:31:23 AM PDT by nomad
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

It does if you’re a communist. Fact.


35 posted on 10/14/2012 6:34:38 AM PDT by Personal Responsibility (The Left blaming Jim Lehrer for the debate is like blaming Liencoln's assassination on the play.i of)
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To: Acton
No one actually dies of prostate cancer. What happens is the cancer, untreated, moves from the prostate to attack more vital organs of the body. All of that usually takes years.

Like a lot of guys, Scott began experiencing symptoms which were hard to distinguish from noncancerous prostate problems. He was at the age when the prostate can act up. So he ignored it expecting it would go away.

Scott would have gotten cancer with or without insurance. He should be allowed to die in dignity rather than being shamelessly exploited by his “friend” who is a political hack costumed as a gay newspaper columnist.

36 posted on 10/14/2012 6:34:39 AM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: cuban leaf

I am with you Cuban Leaf.

My sister now has colon cancer, no health insurance. For years my mom paid for my sister’s kid’s health insurance. I have a lawyer Democrat friend who makes good money, no health insurance. Would rather buy other stuff, she is a hard working single mom responsible for her own mother, who does have health ins and she has some (4) irresponsible grown kids who she subsidizes, but still, she should have health ins. There a many millions more just like them, living “off the land” so to speak, they freak if they are going to die.

Not me, if I got diagnosed, I would just say to myself “well, you have to die from something”.


37 posted on 10/14/2012 6:36:54 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Newton

Guess we both took the common sense and personal responsibility course.


I teach it It on third Thursday night of every month at 8pm EST /s


38 posted on 10/14/2012 6:38:54 AM PDT by Personal Responsibility (The Left blaming Jim Lehrer for the debate is like blaming Liencoln's assassination on the play.i of)
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To: Brad from Tennessee

Good Post:

Anyone who expects Obamacare to stop Prostate Cancer is worse than an idiot.


39 posted on 10/14/2012 6:39:29 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Yashcheritsiy

So the benefit of Obamacare for Mr. Andores would be that he would have had to get insurance or face a fine.


40 posted on 10/14/2012 6:41:05 AM PDT by Personal Responsibility (The Left blaming Jim Lehrer for the debate is like blaming Liencoln's assassination on the play.i of)
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To: Acton
“The economic logic of this article is baffling, yet it is worth studying because it represents the logic of The New York Times — and graduates of Harvard. And that alone should scare the daylights out of citizens who can think and take care of themselves without a government subsidy.”

What I find incredible is the NYTimes would publish this, I suppose, as an argument for national health insurance. It is like a John arguing that unprotected sex with prostitute would not have consequences if all women would just “putout.” for free .....and/or the government would pay for it. Sandra Fluke to the ultimate.

41 posted on 10/14/2012 6:42:18 AM PDT by BilLies (The Progressive Liberal American Press will be the death of freedom in this country.)
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To: MuttTheHoople

You must be racist.....

Even though this guy might be white.

(Obviously kidding. My first reaction was, “So...” I know that would be bad karma.)


42 posted on 10/14/2012 6:42:36 AM PDT by Vermont Lt (MIf you are a white conservative, you MUST be a racist. ;-))
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To: Acton

So kill the old people and give money to young people to save him.


43 posted on 10/14/2012 6:47:22 AM PDT by bmwcyle (Corollary - Electing the same person over and over and expecting a different outcome is insanity)
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To: Acton
I don't get it. If he had Obamacare would he have applied for Medicaid? How else would he get a price he considers fair? Perhaps he would have got the diagnosis and then got insurance, but the diagnosis would have cost the same amount of money he already was unwilling to pay, and he would have paid the penalties in addition. Perhaps he would have just bought the insurance to avoid the fine, but he could have done that without the threat of a fine, and it would have been cheaper. What kind of logic are they teaching at Harvard?.

I suspect this guy, if he exists, avoided medical care to make a political point, but an illogical point, and now it has come round to a very sad situation . His friend is trying to console him by printing in the NYT that he was only marginally responsible , mostly it was unfair insurance rates that are killing him.

44 posted on 10/14/2012 6:59:05 AM PDT by Marylander (Offendiphobia)
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To: Pearls Before Swine
/i He quit his job with benefits to have time to read books and play poker? /i
/p I am sorry but that is a really p!sspoor excuses as to why he has no heath insurance especially with family members having a history of cancer.
45 posted on 10/14/2012 6:59:18 AM PDT by SledgeCS (I will vote for Obama when he admits that his idea of a transparency means "You cannot see it")
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To: bmwcyle

Yes. From Ezekiel Emmanuel:

The complete lives system discriminates against older people. Age-based allocation is ageism. Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years. Treating 65-year-olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not.

When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated (figure).78 It therefore superficially resembles the proposal made by DALY advocates; however, the complete lives system justifies preference to younger people because of priority to the worst-off rather than instrumental value. Additionally, the complete lives system assumes that, although life-years are equally valuable to all, justice requires the fair distribution of them. Conversely, DALY allocation treats life-years given to elderly or disabled people as objectively less valuable ...

Ultimately, the complete lives system does not create “classes of Untermenschen whose lives and well being are deemed not worth spending money on” but rather empowers us to decide fairly whom to save when genuine scarcity makes saving everyone impossible.


46 posted on 10/14/2012 7:09:03 AM PDT by rlmorel ("It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong." Voltaire)
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To: Acton

The “fair” comes once a year!!!!. “Fair” is a subjective opinion that cannot be used as a foundational element for determining a course of action. The proper foundation upon which to base laws and personal action is justice. “Fair” cannot be determined for the majority because it is subjective and personal. Typical “progressive” shifting of responsibility.


47 posted on 10/14/2012 7:20:06 AM PDT by juniorbear (John 14:6)
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To: Acton
smart enough to goto harvard but NOT smart enough to buy health insurance???

then he's tooo stooopid to live...

48 posted on 10/14/2012 7:35:20 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: jtal

“a humane government tries to compensate for our misjudgments.”

No, that’s what mommies do while they’re raising you (and some do afterwards).


49 posted on 10/14/2012 7:43:04 AM PDT by Heart of Georgia ("Together we will unite America and get this done" - Paul Ryan - August 11, 2012)
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To: Acton
I'm admittedly cheap. I did the calculations on what My family's actual medical costs were versus BCBS over 10 years and figured out that we would have saved $88,000.00

Of course past performance is no guarantee of future returns, but the difference was striking enough to seek a high deductible catastrophic health care plan when I opened my own business.

Small stuff comes out of pocket. When it is time to go to the doctor, it is time, and waiting will cost you more.

I had cancer surgery not too long ago, which was the first event which produced bills high enough to trip the co-pay bit, and paid the rest out of pocket, about $5,000.00

You pays your money and takes your choice.

When the symptoms would not go away, I got checked out--such vigilance is the first line of defense for any prospective patient.

So why did this guy wait? A PSA is relatively cheap, and that might have been enough to indicate it was time to get serious about his condition--before it hit stage 4.

I do not envy him the results of his choices, but I do question waiting so long.

50 posted on 10/14/2012 7:45:04 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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