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yea! socialized medicine

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by bododie, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. bododie

    bododie New Member

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    SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Thirteen-year-old Lukas Moeller has Down syndrome. His father is a doctor who came to Australia from Germany to help fill a shortage of physicians in rural communities.


    Bernhard and Isabella Moeller and their son Lukas moved to Australia from Germany two years ago.

    But now Australia has rejected Dr. Bernhard Moeller's application for residency, saying Lukas does not meet the "health requirement" and would pose a burden on taxpayers for his medical care, education and other services.

    The case has provoked an outcry in the rural region of southeastern Victoria state, where Moeller is the only internal medicine specialist for a community of 54,000 people. Residents rallied outside Moeller's practice this week, demanding that the decision be overturned, and hundreds of Internet and radio complaints from across the country bombarded media outlets Friday.

    Moeller vowed to fight the immigration department ruling.

    "We like to live here, we have settled in well, we are welcomed by the community here, and we don't want to give up just because the federal government doesn't welcome my son," he said Friday.

    The doctor has powerful supporters. Victoria Premier John Brumby has pledged to support the family's appeal, and federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said Friday that she would speak to the immigration minister about the case.

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    Moeller moved to Australia two years ago with his wife, Isabella, their daughter, Sarah, 21, and sons Lukas and Felix, 17, to help fill a critical need for doctors in rural areas. They settled in Horsham, a town of 20,000 about 100 miles northwest of Melbourne.

    Moeller's temporary work visa is valid until 2010, but his application for permanent residence was rejected this week.

    In its decision, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship cited Lukas' "existing medical condition," saying it was "likely to result in a significant and ongoing cost to the Australian community," according to a statement Thursday.

    "This is not discrimination. A disability in itself is not grounds for failing the health requirement -- it is a question of the cost implications to the community," the statement said.

    Moeller said immigration authorities did not take into account the family's ability to provide Lukas with the care he needs.

    "They think he is a burden for the Australian community," Moeller told Melbourne radio station 3AW. "But we are absolutely able to support him, and I don't want him to rely on any government pension anyway. He's well looked after. And actually, he can contribute to the community here. He already is contributing to it."

    Immigration officials "weren't even interested in what we have done and are able to do for him," the doctor added.

    Moeller said Lukas attends a mainstream elementary school, where he has an aide, and receives speech therapy. The boy also plays soccer, cricket, golf and table tennis.

    Cora Halder, head of the Down Syndrome InfoCenter in Germany, called the decision outlandish.

    "The case with the Australian authorities is disappointing and unacceptable, especially because Australia has very advanced programs for people with Down syndrome, far more than in Germany," she said.

    David Tolleson, executive director of the Atlanta, Georgia-based National Down Syndrome Congress, agreed.

    "What is the cost implication to the community of a doctor shortage?" Tolleson asked. "I assume the son had the same costs for the last two years, and they were happy to have the family and use the dad as a doctor."

    Down syndrome, caused by an extra chromosome, is characterized by mental retardation of varying degrees. Those with the condition also can have other problems: Nearly half will have a heart defect, some serious enough to require surgery soon after birth.

    Trig Palin, the 6-month-old son of U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has Down syndrome, and she has pledged to shift billions of dollars to programs for children with special needs if she is elected.

    Tolleson said that people with Down syndrome have a spectrum of abilities.

    "Some need more support, some go on to graduate from college with a four-year degree, and most are somewhere in between," he said.

    Of the Australian decision, he said, "I would seriously hope they would rethink their policy and rethink the benefits which a person would bring to the community, not the least of which is the dad."

    Moeller made the same argument, noting that his qualifications were benefiting Australia at no cost to taxpayers.

    "I am a specialist in internal medicine, and I am the only one here. This is a crucial service for the area," he told 3AW. "I'm a qualified, well-trained professional, and I came here without the Australian community having to pay anything for me to get this qualification."

    Don McRae, director of clinical services at Wimmera Health Care Group, said the hospital had invested a lot of time and energy in recruiting Moeller.

    "It's distressing for Dr. Moeller's family and distressing for the community who have welcomed him and relied on his medical services," he said.

    Australia's immigration minister, Chris Evans, has no power to intervene in the case until after it is appealed to the Migration Review Tribunal or a court upholds the department's decision.

    But Roxon, the health minister, said, "There is a valid reason for this doctor and his family to be eligible to stay here in Australia.

    "As a government, we understand the importance of having doctors working in our rural and regional communities, and we support them in many ways and continue to do this," she said.

    Neighbors in Bad Driburg, about 130 miles from Cologne in western Germany, where the Moellers lived before emigrating, recalled the family's excitement at moving to Australia, which they had fallen in love with while on a vacation.

    "They were fine people," said Caecilia Thormann, a former neighbor, adding that Lukas "was a friendly boy, a very friendly child."


    Australia's immigration department said it appreciates Moeller's contribution to the community but said it must follow the relevant laws in considering residency applications.

    "If we did not have a health requirement, the costs to the community and health system would not be sustainable," the statement said.
     
  2. Unite Our Nation

    Unite Our Nation New Member

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    Yeah, they want the good Doctor's skills and work, but not his child. Is this where we are headed?

    Since obama holds no value for infants 8 months old, able to live on their own out of the womb, why would he care for a disabled child?
     
  3. bododie

    bododie New Member

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    Socialized medicine. Bummer for all the obese children of irresponsible obese parents.
     
  4. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    YES! Lets pick out the examples times socialised medicine cocks up. Far less frequently than the millions of people who have no access to medicine ALL THE TIME because they are too poor in the USA.
     
  5. Unite Our Nation

    Unite Our Nation New Member

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    EVERYONE in America has access to emergency care and treatment. Don't believe me, check the records of the scores of Mexicans who get free care. Check the laws posted on the walls of all hospitals and clinics. No one is allowed to be turned away.

    Don't get me wrong, I want national medical care. I just want it done correctly so that people BENEFIT and it doesn't turn into some Government cluster f***!
     
  6. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    Doesn't everyone want everything done correctly.

    We live in the real world. I support the idea of medicine for all, but the NHS is a shambles where money is thrown and funneled into it and it dissapears into the disorganzation and beauracracy.

    It needs to be revamped, not removed.
     
  7. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    It's important to grasp the >>>inherent<<< characteristics of socialized medicine:

    1. It will always be under the purview of indifferent bureaucrats, and that will significantly degrade the quality of the service. Unlike in the US where if you don't like the rep of a hospital or physician and can fire him and go elsewhere, there's no going elsewhere with a state-run system. Don't like the state system's rules, waiting lines, poor quality? Tough - take it or leave it.

    2. Socialized medicine will always be rationed - when something is "free", even the poor product of socialized medicine, then people will always demand an unlimited amount, with the result that service is rationed. Practical consequences of this is limitation of medicines available; long waiting lines; the unavailability under the system of effective but expensive procedures; cutoff ages, not related to any medical criteria, for serious operations, etc etc.
     
  8. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    ......good point well made!!
     
  9. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    ...but that is going to be true of private care as well because then you (your HMO) can be constrained by costs as well as the terms and conditions of coverage? It is not unusual for insurers to pull coverage if treatment becomes expensive or ration cover if certain criterion are not met e.g. pre-existing illnesses or family histories.

    As pre-diagnostic testing (or whatever its called) becomes more prevalent as part of medicare applications, rationing of coverage where DNA testing or family history suggests suseptability to certain types of chronic ailments will mean that certain people (currently healthy people for example) could be refused as the insurers will not want to take the risk.

    The NHS is there as a universal provider, free at the source of treatment :rolleyes: However, there is the option to go private, indeed a lot of companies offer private medical schemes but everyone pays towards the upkeep of the NHS. I have comprehensive private medical coverage for the family which is pretty cheap but don't mind paying the social security tax as who know I may need it sometime! The point being there is a comprehensive free facility avialiable without worry or stress if needed!

    As you know the NHS is not perfect, no system is but the imperfections do not detract from the fact that it is a very good system and the quality of care is generally very high.
     
  10. Sihouette

    Sihouette Active Member

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    You're talking about two issues, not one. You're talking about immigration rules and a health issue. Different countries have different criteria for deducing whether or not an immigrant represents an undue burden.

    It's quite likely that he got rubber-stamped and that his unique qualifications will outweigh the burden his son will be. Has his hearing been decided yet?

    No? Then why is this thread here?
     
  11. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    Ok, nearly EVERY time there is socialized medicine, it screws up.

    As for the people too poor here, NONE receive NO care. Everyone gets some amount of health care.
     
  12. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    No, there are related.

    In a free market capitalist system, no patient is a burden to the country. Instead the burden is on the patient, or the people who care for the patient. As a result, this doctor would be able to earn enough to provide the care for his son, that is required.

    However... in a socialized system, the burden is on the country, and as a result, the country will find any way it can to limit who can access the system. Such is the example here. A doctor, no matter how much he earns, is at the mercy of the government for his sons sake.

    And the point being, that any time you give control of health care to the government, the government will always become a tyrant in supplying it.

    It's the same in every country it's tried. France, England, Canada, and a host of others.
     
  13. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    So to boil your point down, you have a free market option, but in case you can not afford it, you have the free system that backs you up.

    Here's my issue. The free system sucks. I've heard about all the people who have been waiting months to get on the waiting list, to wait months to get an appointment, to wait months to get a diagnostic test, to wait months to get the surgery, to wait months to get the rehabilitation treatment.

    Now in America, you would see a doctor in hours, get a diagnostic test in days, get the surgery in a few weeks at most, and be given whatever drugs you need in a month at most. I know this cause i just watch a co-worker go through it.

    In the UK under NHS, I heard of people dying while waiting for care. Do you understand that in the US, if a patient died after waiting years on years for care, that there would a national outcry?


    Another problem is, you are paying 25% tax for health care. Let's do some math. Let's say I earn $20,000 this year. I'm going to lose $5,000 to pay for free health care. Most people in the US do not pay $5,000 a year in health insurance costs. Plus everyone earning more than my $20K is going to pay a heck of a lot more in tax.

    The most expensive insurance plan I could find for family coverage, was $375 / month, which is roughly $4500 a year. So... the most expensive coverage I could find in the free market, is cheaper than the "free" system you have under government. PLUS... you have to pay extra on top of the tax, to get a private system or you sit in waiting lists for ages.

    On top of that, your private system is horribly expensive. Why? Well government doesn't pay the hospitals enough to cover the cost of the services it provides. (psst: that's how they spend less on health care than us) Thus, that uncovered cost is pass on to paying customers to make the difference. (just like medicare here)

    So not only are you paying 25% of your income in taxes for system that is horrible, but you are also playing inflated cost of a private system to subsidize the cost of your socialized one.

    Now if I have to choose between paying $5,000 plus a year for a crappy system, or paying $4,500 or less for a good system, I think I'll take option 2.
     
  14. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    It screws up EVERY time? Stop talking rubbish. First of all, you don't live in a country with socialised healthcare, and so you've never had to use it. I do, and I've use it successfully many, many times.

    The reason you think it screws up all the time is because fairly often a news story pops up on reuters or something and you think its an accurate depiction. By the same logic, planes crash ALL THE TIME because every time they do, they make the news.

    Think before you speak.
     
  15. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    Andy...there is just soooooo much wrong in your post (no. 13) that its pretty well pointless going into it needless to say many thanks for your contribution :)
     
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