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Comment Re:Still faster / easier to apply than it used to (Score 1) 382

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At what level of coverage? Does everybody get the latest stem cell therapy? Cancer treatments that have a 1:10 chance of working? Robotic replacement limbs? Who decides who gets what? Why should I be forced to pay for insurance that I neither want nor need? Why shouldn't you be forced to pay extra if you are obese or smoke?

In Australia we tax cigarettes and alcohol steeply, and there's moves to tax high sugar products for exactly this reason.

And you do realize that "who decides" is currently decided by your insurance company? Which, with a single payer system, will still exist but needs to offer a lot more service then they do currently to compete. In Australia, private insurers advertise on the basis of being able to cut your waiting time for an elective procedure, get a nicer hospital bed, or coverage for things which are assessed as untenable or unproven by the public system (our big blindspot is dental, and you can usually get a better selection of optics under coverage).

Funnily enough, if something severe happens to you though, you usually want to go into the public system anyway since the surgeons and doctors get more experience treating complicated cases then people who are solely private (also just more experience overall).

Of course the other thing is, notably, our public system does frequently pay for cutting-edge treatments for people who need them - the research is publicly funded, the patients have to be very specifically chosen, and usually viable candidates need to relocated to somewhere it can happen. The latest stem cell therapy isn't something you can usually buy anyway, and you specifically definitely can't afford it.

Comment Re:It's unfortunate. (Score 1) 699

Quoth Wikipedia:

Chickenpox is rarely fatal, although it is generally more severe in adult males than in adult females or children. Non-immune pregnant women and those with a suppressed immune system are at highest risk of serious complications. Chickenpox is believed to be the cause of one third of stroke cases in children.[13] The most common late complication of chickenpox is shingles (herpes zoster), caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus decades after the initial episode of chickenpox.

Or to summarise, it's bad for some people. Particularly pregnant people, and people with immunodeficiency disorders (such as AIDS).

This will also include anyone who has an organ transplant (immunosuppressants for the rest of their life), or is presently being treated for cancer by virtually any means.

Comment Re:my wife works as a medical technician (Score 1) 699

I think you will find that more people die from the preventable disease than die from the vaccine.

Depends on how you define "death" when there are no more cures developed anymore, and patients are left with only expensive treatments that are designed to be never-ending to ensure maximum profits.

Financial death can be sometimes worse than physical death. You may stop beating your Modern Medicine drum. No one gives a fuck when they can't afford to take advantage of it.

Yeah America should really get on and implement an Australian style public health system. Or...well pretty much anywhere in the modern world except America really. But I like our one.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 699

Also because if a group of people does become unimmunized, they're unlikely to geographically dispersed such that herd immunity will be effective. In fact, schools and other social events concentrate vulnerable pretty easily contagious groups (like children) so you need a lot of dispersal in order for it to work. The recent case with the American megachurch is going to be the textbook example here.

It's also possible for immunized people to contract much less severe forms of a disease (you can still get measles if you're immunized - but it's a lot less severe). So an unimmunized person can contract a serious illness from someone who may not even realize what they have because it's scarcely symptomatic.

Comment Re: Good. (Score 0) 699

No, when things happen in a hospital you are proximal to modern civilizations concentration of knowledge and applied technology which has made the single biggest difference to human health outcomes ever.

When you are not proximal, if something goes wrong, you're about 15 minutes away under ideal conditions. Too bad brain death can occur in 3 minutes.

And you're not including other factors - the hospital doesn't call the on-call ob-gyn's until they know there's a problem. Home births take an infrequent event (giving birth) and for no reason decide to bias the odds against the survival of the women and fetus.

Comment Re:EVERYBODY had measles, mumps and chickenpox (Score 1) 699

If you have the vaccine you can still get the measles, but you get a milder form of it which does not have the same effects. I was vaccinated and did get a mild form in primary school.

Before the widespread use of a vaccine against measles, its incidence was so high that infection with measles was felt to be "as inevitable as death and taxes."[3] Today, the incidence of measles has fallen to less than 1% of people under the age of 30 in countries with routine childhood vaccination. ...

The benefit of measles vaccination in preventing illness, disability, and death has been well documented. The first 20 years of licensed measles vaccination in the U.S. prevented an estimated 52 million cases of the disease, 17,400 cases of mental retardation, and 5,200 deaths. ...

During 1999–2004, a strategy led by the World Health Organization and UNICEF led to improvements in measles vaccination coverage that averted an estimated 1.4 million measles deaths worldwide.

I like that your concerned enough to ask the question as though its unanswered, but not concerned enough to actually spend 2 minutes to lookup wikipedia.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 699

I've also found how much it hurts depends entirely on how much the person holding the syringe controls lateral movement - for me, the actual puncture is exceptionally mild, but what starts to ramp up the pain is the needle being flexed side to side.

Some nurses for blood donation are good about this, others seem to think that once the needle is in they really don't need to pay too much attention while taping that long spool of flexible plastic tubing in place.

Comment Re:Not Autonomous (Score 2) 182

The Taliban in Pakistan aren't at the negotiating table trying to get the drone attacks stopped because it's ineffective. They're their because, if you're a Taliban leader, you never know when you're about to be killed by a drone strike - and that kind of takes the edge of all the perks of being a warlord when you get promoted while they're still looking for the last guys smoking boots.

Frankly, the idea that the US would be less hated if they showed up in person with soldiers to kill people is just propaganda from the other side. The US is hated because they're killing a bunch of civilians when they carry out drone strikes. They'd be just as hated if they did it with tanks or commandos.

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