I read the news today, oh boy

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Kaharz
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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It is so expensive because we are funding out healthcare system by over charging Canadians.

Joking aside there are a few reasons. Not everyone is insured, but hospitals can not refuse emergency care. There are also people on medicare or medicaid (public insurance) and that does not pay hospitals and doctors very well. So people with private insurance or can afford to pay out of pocket get over-charged to make up for the rest.

Then there is the issue that hospitals in the US are for-profit.

Then there are issues with insurance. Not only are insurance companies trying to make crap tons of profit, but until recently they were almost completely unregulated. Now they are barely regulated. Before there was no requirement as to how much money went to overhead, profit and claims. Now they have to put a certain amount to paying out claims I believe. So they are forced to be more efficient if they want to profit. The new regulations will hopefully help lower costs, but it is only a small step. The other issue with insurance is the malpractice insurance doctors and hospitals have to carry. Since it is so easy to sue and win in the US and awards are so high, malpractice insurance is insanely expensive. I've heard some doctors pay out 70% of their gross income to stayed insured.

Hospitals and doctors also jack up bills expecting to negotiate down. They rarely expect to get paid in full because they end up negotiating with everyone. For instance, my doctor charges $75 or so for a consult, but my insurance only allows him to charge $60 whether I'm paying out of pocket or with my insurance.

The last reason I can think of is the for-profit system means everyone is competing for customers so they are constantly trying to add things that have no real impact on healthcare but kay draw more customers and will raise costs.

Our healthcare system is absolute clusterfuck and most of it can be traced back to the private insurance system.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

UNC Hospital almost doubled the salary of its only heart surgeon from 335k/year to 600k/year to keep him from leaving a few years ago. All his salary comes from clinical revenue. Average cardiologist pay is around 584k/year.


In other news, it seems almost inevitable that my university will have a school shooting in the next couple years.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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Liriodendron_fagotti wrote: In other news, it seems almost inevitable that my university will have a school shooting in the next couple years.
The school I theoretically go to is a 'minority' school in Baltimore. A few weeks ago a crime report was emailed out about an incident in a parking lot on a Saturday. Apparently there was an argument and someone got out of a car a pulled a gun. They failed to notice some cops nearby, but the cops noticed them. They got away, but the only action was a request for information if anyone knew the suspects. No lockdown. No media coverage that I saw, although there probably was some. Not horribly long before there was a report called in about a possible gunman at a small private college just outside the city. The school was locked down, the local news was interuppting regular programming with updates. Turned out to have been a teenager with a pellet gun going to shoot birds in the woods nearby.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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Liriodendron_fagotti wrote:In other news, it seems almost inevitable that my university will have a school shooting in the next couple years.
Only if Anita Sarkeesian threatens to critique video games there.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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Kaharz wrote:It is so expensive because we are funding out healthcare system by over charging Canadians.

Joking aside there are a few reasons. Not everyone is insured, but hospitals can not refuse emergency care. There are also people on medicare or medicaid (public insurance) and that does not pay hospitals and doctors very well. So people with private insurance or can afford to pay out of pocket get over-charged to make up for the rest.

Then there is the issue that hospitals in the US are for-profit.

Then there are issues with insurance. Not only are insurance companies trying to make crap tons of profit, but until recently they were almost completely unregulated. Now they are barely regulated. Before there was no requirement as to how much money went to overhead, profit and claims. Now they have to put a certain amount to paying out claims I believe. So they are forced to be more efficient if they want to profit. The new regulations will hopefully help lower costs, but it is only a small step. The other issue with insurance is the malpractice insurance doctors and hospitals have to carry. Since it is so easy to sue and win in the US and awards are so high, malpractice insurance is insanely expensive. I've heard some doctors pay out 70% of their gross income to stayed insured.

Hospitals and doctors also jack up bills expecting to negotiate down. They rarely expect to get paid in full because they end up negotiating with everyone. For instance, my doctor charges $75 or so for a consult, but my insurance only allows him to charge $60 whether I'm paying out of pocket or with my insurance.

The last reason I can think of is the for-profit system means everyone is competing for customers so they are constantly trying to add things that have no real impact on healthcare but kay draw more customers and will raise costs.

Our healthcare system is absolute clusterfuck and most of it can be traced back to the private insurance system.

Thanks for the explanation, it's something that's always bothered me but this makes a lot of sense.

Liriodendron_fagotti wrote:UNC Hospital almost doubled the salary of its only heart surgeon from 335k/year to 600k/year to keep him from leaving a few years ago. All his salary comes from clinical revenue. Average cardiologist pay is around 584k/year.
Yeah, I thought about salaries,* but yeah, huge increases like that are going to make a difference too.

*American doctors do tend to earn more than Canadian ones but our doctors are paid decently well too, and high pressure surgeons always make a lot of money. I think heart surgeons here tend to make between 100k-300k/year
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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No indictment for Darren Wilson, who slew an unarmed black teenager at a distance of ~100 feet.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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Your country is garbage.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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Absolute garbage.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

I feel gross.

In 2010, 11 out of 162,000 federal cases before grand juries did not result in indictments.

I think Australia's rude treatment of those officers is preferable to this.

E: Like a million times more preferable
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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I'm continuing to reserve judgement. I don't really know what happened during the actual shooting and haven't really looked into either. I know what the cop claims happened, that he struggled with brown and shot him once, brown backed off, charged the officer again who fired again and killed him. But I don't know if the evidence or other witnesses back that up.

I have seen enough that Brown was an absolutely enormous 18 year old who had recently stolen some merchandise from a store and assaulted the shop keeper. I'm not saying he should have got shot for that though. But a lot of the portrayal has implied that Brown was an innocent teenager gunned down without any real provocation.

Things are definitely fucked up here. There is blatant discrimination and serious racial inequity. There is a gross lack of accountability for police. There are definitely cases where police use an incredibly or completely unjustified amount of force and are not properly punished for it. If everything did happen just as the cop said, I'm hesitant to blame him in a criminal sense. I probably would have acted similiarily, although I'm not trained to deal with those kinds of situations. Even if the cop's account was true, there were probably things he could have done to prevent the situation. So I don't think he probably should continue to be allowed to have a badge and gun. But if his account is true, don't think he deserves jail time either. He almost definitely should have been indicted though so there could have been a proper trial and we could have gotten a better picture of the full story.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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Kaharz wrote:I have seen enough that Brown was an absolutely enormous 18 year old who had recently stolen some merchandise from a store and assaulted the shop keeper..
I'm not familiar enough with the evidence to say anything else, but I'll mention that Darren Wilson is also an enormous grown man, and one who is a trained cop with a gun. He is actually the same size as Brown was. So I don't know why that seems to be a sticking point in this case.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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There are precisely two accounts claiming Brown charged at Wilson after the former ran over one hundred feet away. The first is Wilson's account, wherein he claimed that grabbing Brown felt like he was a baby trying to hold onto Hulk Hogan, and that Brown looked "like a demon". The second account is from a diary that begins with "Well I'm gonna take my random drive to Florisant. Need to understand the Black race better so I stop calling Blacks Colored fellers and start calling them People."

Remember that study about how white people attribute superhuman qualities to blacks?

e: i forgot we wordfiltered that one, kind of takes a bit of punch away
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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DonRetrasado wrote:Your country is garbage.
A local radio station just did a poll and the majority of people here apparently think the grand jury made the right decision. Between this and facebook and a few domestic issues going on right now I'm thinking our country is kind of garbage too.
Kaharz wrote:I'm continuing to reserve judgement. I don't really know what happened during the actual shooting and haven't really looked into either. I know what the cop claims happened, that he struggled with brown and shot him once, brown backed off, charged the officer again who fired again and killed him. But I don't know if the evidence or other witnesses back that up.
Well right off the bat I can confirm that the coroner's report shows he was shot six times. So there's already a contradiction right there. I'm pretty sure most of the witness testimony claims he was surrendering with his hands in the air, but that's a bit harder to look up because the news has done a shit job of covering this story. (though mentioned briefly in the article I linked.)

Of course all the differing accounts going around is all the more reason for a trial, there's no good reason for the grand jury to decide what it did.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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Kaharz wrote:I'm continuing to reserve judgement. I don't really know what happened during the actual shooting and haven't really looked into either. I know what the cop claims happened, that he struggled with brown and shot him once, brown backed off, charged the officer again who fired again and killed him. But I don't know if the evidence or other witnesses back that up.
And there is a process to find that out. It's called a trial. The grand jury had no business deciding if he is guilty or goes to jail. They were to decide if there is probable cause. This requirement is very low. Normally simply the fact that an unarmed person was shot should be enough. That 6 shots were fired should would normally enough. That there are "contradicting witness accounts" (basically his vs. all others) is not an indication that the case should be thrown out - quite the contrary, the process to clear up these opposing accounts is the trial. 99% of such hearings lead to the trial taking place, throwing it out is HIGHLY unusual.
It is not normal that the accused person gets to speak at this grand jury hearing that only decides if there is going to be a court case. Because that would lead the grand jurors to believe they are deciding about guilt or innocence. The normal way is that they are only presented with the facts that are relevant for deciding if there is probable cause.
The chief prosecutor (I think that's the US English term, not completely sure) was clearly on the side of the white police officer instead of being neutral. One: This is seen by the kind of evidence (including the police officer speaking) presented. Two: He is on the list of people that donated and collected money for the police officer. This is not how this should work. He is not in a position to defend the accused person.
I have seen enough that Brown was an absolutely enormous 18 year old who had recently stolen some merchandise from a store and assaulted the shop keeper. I'm not saying he should have got shot for that though. But a lot of the portrayal has implied that Brown was an innocent teenager gunned down without any real provocation.

Things are definitely fucked up here. There is blatant discrimination and serious racial inequity. There is a gross lack of accountability for police. There are definitely cases where police use an incredibly or completely unjustified amount of force and are not properly punished for it. If everything did happen just as the cop said, I'm hesitant to blame him in a criminal sense. I probably would have acted similiarily, although I'm not trained to deal with those kinds of situations. Even if the cop's account was true, there were probably things he could have done to prevent the situation. So I don't think he probably should continue to be allowed to have a badge and gun. But if his account is true, don't think he deserves jail time either. He almost definitely should have been indicted though so there could have been a proper trial and we could have gotten a better picture of the full story.
It is impossible that everything happened as the police man said. He has already contradicted himself. Earlier he said he was punched 10 times. To the grand jury he said 2 times. The photos of him one hour after the incident in the hospital don't show evidence of being punched severely ... there is some mild redness on his face.
He is proven to have lied before. Like not lied somewhere to someone, lied in an official case. There was video proof that what he said back then was a lie.
Also in general it's a safe bet to assume that cops lie. (Not just when it's a white cop against a black victim, but especially then.) There is even a term for this in English: Testilying. It also includes placing false evidence. Not relevant for this case, all the evidence is against him.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

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DonRetrasado wrote:I'm not familiar enough with the evidence to say anything else, but I'll mention that Darren Wilson is also an enormous grown man, and one who is a trained cop with a gun. He is actually the same size as Brown was. So I don't know why that seems to be a sticking point in this case.
Yes, Wilson is almost as large. I understand he is the same height and only a bit lighter than Brown. But that doesn't make Brown's size any less intimidating. But that wasn't really my point. My point was that Brown has been portrayed as a defenseless, innocent, kid shot without provocation. When in fact he is a large adult and there is video evidence that he is willing to use physical violence in the commission of a crime. That was all. My gripe there is more with media, which as someone else said has done an absolute garbage job of covering this story. But that is not a shock. I have serious issues with the 'news' media, but that is a different tirade. I'm definitely not saying his size and previous actions justify him being shot.
Edminster wrote:There are precisely two accounts claiming Brown charged at Wilson after the former ran over one hundred feet away. The first is Wilson's account, wherein he claimed that grabbing Brown felt like he was a baby trying to hold onto Hulk Hogan, and that Brown looked "like a demon". The second account is from a diary that begins with "Well I'm gonna take my random drive to Florisant. Need to understand the Black race better so I stop calling Blacks Colored fellers and start calling them People."

Remember that study about how white people attribute superhuman qualities to blacks?
Thanks for the info. Also thanks for the link of the evidence submitted to the grand jury in I Hunger for Links. I'll read that sometime in the next few days. I was going to read it anyway, but now I don't have to look for it. I really seriously doubt things went down even close to how Wilson said. But I don't like to jump to conclusions. There are of course plenty of cases of ridiculous police abuse and racism, but I don't like to assume anything either way until I at least have some good reasons to assume. I think assuming these things right from the jump is part of the problem. A lot of crime in Baltimore is perpetrated by black people. But that isn't because black people are criminals. There are an unfortunate number of cops who are racists or quick to use excessive force, but that doesn't mean all cops are either of those things. And it doesn't mean every white cop who shoots a black person was racist or was using excessive force.
Astrogirl wrote:And there is a process to find that out. It's called a trial. The grand jury had no business deciding if he is guilty or goes to jail. They were to decide if there is probable cause. This requirement is very low.
I know how a grand jury works and what the purpose is. I'm actually pretty well educated in the US legal system, both formally in school and on my own. I also said he probably should have been indicted so we could have gotten a better picture of the full story. I'm hoping the federal investigation that is still underway finds grounds to go to trial. But they will have to prove it is a civil rights issue in order to do that, not just that it was a murder. So that will be more difficult. There is also the possibility of a civil case. So there may still be a trial, just not a state-level criminal trial.
Astrogirl wrote:t is impossible that everything happened as the police man said. He has already contradicted himself. Earlier he said he was punched 10 times. To the grand jury he said 2 times. The photos of him one hour after the incident in the hospital don't show evidence of being punched severely ... there is some mild redness on his face.
He is proven to have lied before. Like not lied somewhere to someone, lied in an official case. There was video proof that what he said back then was a lie.
Also in general it's a safe bet to assume that cops lie. (Not just when it's a white cop against a black victim, but especially then.) There is even a term for this in English: Testilying. It also includes placing false evidence. Not relevant for this case, all the evidence is against him.
It is generally a safe bet that anyone on the stand is not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth as they are sworn to, even if it isn't intended. Eye witness testimony is shit. It is unfortunate that our criminal justice system is still so heavily based on it. It has gotten a bit better as forensic sciences have advanced, but there are serious problems with how forensic evidence is presented as well. And a lot of people do lie with intent, cop or civilian. I've testified for the prosecution in a case before and I've sat in court and watched a lot of trials for minor offenses where people blatantly lied. I've also testified as an expert witness in a civil case. I've seen the process a good bit. I've yet to actually serve on a jury. The first time I was called to a pool the defendant decide to plea out at the last minute and we were dismissed. The second time we went through three days of jury selection and they could not pool a jury so we were all dismissed and they started over. I've never been called for grand jury duty.

There is definitely racial prejudice in the US criminal justice. Even if I wasn't very familiar with the statistics to back it, I live in a poor, crime ridden city that is 60% black and see it in action first hand. That is a huge problem and people should have been out protesting on the streets regularly before the Brown shooting. Cops definitely lie. Lying is one of their most basic tools when it comes to interrogation. Cops definitely use unnecessary force. A Baltimore cop was filmed beating the crap out of a suspect and it took three months after the video was public for the cop to be arrested for assault and perjury (he claimed the suspect punched him first, which he didn't). Both the cop and the suspect were black. But racial prejudice knows no bounds. There were no major protests over this that I recall. Hopefully we have body cameras soon, but that has become a complete clusterfuck because our politicians are stupid.

The other problem is the basic philosophy of policing in the US. It is an adversarial system. The sole purpose of the police is to investigate crimes and arrest people suspected of committing crimes. They make token gestures towards community policing and such, but that is bullshit. The whole "to serve and protect" is just PR from the LAPD that got promulgated by television and movies. Police in the US aren't even required to respond to criminal complaints or emergency calls. Even when individual officers genuinely try, the system is not set up that way. Cops are there to put people in jail and assist the prosecution in putting them in prison. That is it. We would have been much better off following a policing by consent model. But we didn't. It sucks and it is a huge problem. I'm scared of cops and I'm a middle class, white, law abiding, gainfully employed person. The only cops even notice me are the ones running speed traps on the highways, and even then they are more likely to let me go with a warning if they actually pull me over. But still I get nervous around police. Because even though us white, middle class kids are taught in grade school that police are there to help you, it is becomes pretty damn obvious by the time you are 10 or 12 that they are not.
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