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Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 1352

Yes, and there's actually also the Physician's Oath to deal with, as you're not refusing care, only government-provided care, and at the time the Physician won't know who will ultimately need to pay. I brought it up more to make a rhetorical point, as I think hardly anyone would actually feel so strongly about their principles of keeping the government out of their business as to agree to this, making the practical aspects of implementing it a rather moot point. :)

Although to address the case you mention, what would probably happen in that case is that you'd get treated, but then the government would refuse payment and you'd get the whole bill yourself.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 2) 1352

And for the sake of disclosure:
---I am anti-monopoly and pro-choice biased. People should have as many choices as possible; not be forced into making just one singular choice. Example: "Buy hospital insurance or... well there is no other choice."

As opposed to the current situation of "Buy hospital insurance or... don't, then wait until you get critically ill and require very expensive care, go to the emergency room, and let the American taxpayer foot the bill for your treatment"? This is the fallacy of the "choices" argument - it assumes, for things like health care, that you can make an informed decision about whether or not you need it and that your decisions affect no one but yourself. When you leave the realm of theory and hypotheticals and start looking at real-world scenarios, though, you realize those assumptions just don't hold. Letting people just die if they make poor health care choices isn't really a viable option for any society that wants to remain civilized and humane, and requiring people to get easy and affordable preventative care is actually much cheaper (and I suspect generally more effective) than just waiting for people to get really sick and doing emergency treatments. In other words, by paying in to health care, you reduce the potential burden on your fellow man to ensure you are cared for, which I see as simply being a responsible citizen.

Moreover, your ability to make an informed decisions about what health care you need relies quite heavily on your ability to predict the future, and if we were very good at that no one would even need health care because you could predict any oncoming illness, or even your own death, and prevent them. :) Needing health care is quite often a scenario you don't anticipate unless you've already had numerous health conditions in the past (or are genetically / hereditarily pre-disposed to certain illnesses), in which case, our current health care system will, well, avoid you like the plague.

In short, I don't have a problem with letting you make your own choices... until I have to foot the bill because you decided to avoid health care altogether and that whole "just don't get sick / seriously injured" strategy didn't pan out for you. Then it's not just an issue of liberty, but also one of fairness to your fellow man and personal responsibility. If you want unfettered liberty, go live in the woods somewhere where you get no benefits from society. Then no one will ask anything of you; but there also will be no one to help you when things go bad.

Or, you could just recognize that there's a balance between liberty and living together in a society. We agree to abide by certain behaviors when in society because they give us important benefits in return. It is important always to monitor and keep that balance in check so that the society does not unreasonably restrict your liberty, but it is just as important to understand that sometimes if you want the plentiful benefits a society provides you, you need to agree to work with others on some things proactively and not just take an "it's my way until I need the highway" approach. A lot of people who talk about liberty don't like the part where government / society asks of them, but they seem to have no problem asking things of government / society when things really go to pot, which I don't see as a truly principled stand. I think the choice should be thus: if you ask for the government to get out of your business, you should also in those areas sign a waver saying you forbid the government from providing you with any assistance. So, if you don't want to be mandated to get health care, you sign a waver explicitly forbidding the government from helping you in any way when you get critically ill. Then you are 100% reliant upon your own, personal, health care plans or lack thereof, and if something bad happens to you, the government can honestly say it was willing to help but it needed to respect your wishes as a citizen. I think that would be fair. How many people do you think would sign up for that?

Comment Re:And science fiction got there first. (Score 1) 532

In Japan, you can actually use cell phones to make purchases. Just swipe your phone over a surface, similar to how you swipe a credit card, and you've paid. Of course, people tend not to 'load' tons of money into the phone, in case it gets stolen, but it's used for many common purchases, like at convenience stores and such. Apple is probably already working on this, considering that it's one of the only things iPhone can't do that many other phones in Japan can. It's also a hardware feature, meaning it's something to get people to upgrade their phones rather than just their OS. I wouldn't be surprised if it showed up in iPhone 5. I kind of remember actually reading some rumors to that effect.

In fact, aside from the "psychological reaction analyzer" component, I don't think we're very far from implementing the 'missing' features of the Joymaker at all.

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