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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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Healthcare epidemic: Sugar, the bitter truth



  • The answer like in an improv class is “Yes and...” Yes sugar is a terrible addictive substance which should be taxed heavily AND we should have public government funded healthcare to address America’s numerous healthcare problems. It is not necessarily an either/or situation.
  • You don't need government to save your life. You don't need government to save our health care. Do yourself a favor and do it yourself. And, along the way you'll save medicare because more will NOT need it.
  • Remember, it is our government who promoted the low fat, high carb diet, the very thing that's killing us.
  • edited June 2018
    I take care of myself, thanks. Still not the point. The concept of insurance is to create a risk pool. The risk pool is financed collectively to protect individuals from unforeseen events including and especially health related ones. The healthy finance the coverage of the sick with the promise that when they get sick —not if but when because even if you never touch a teaspoon of sugar you will eventually get sick—they will be covered too. As many people need to join the risk pool as possible for it to effectively insure the group. Again and again throughout the developed world publicly funded healthcare has been shown to be cheaper per capita and have better outcomes in terms of life expectancy than the U.S. private healthcare system. Centralized government funded healthcare creates the largest risk pool and it avoids the inherent conflicts of interest private for profit health insurance has. If sugar is a problem and it is, it should be taxed enough to cover the additional costs to the healthcare system. That in no way is a case against having public healthcare.
  • Provided that any government run program is well run and focused on well thought out solutions. Since politicians are only interested in getting re-elected, any program they devise will be compromised. Government isn't the answer to our problems, government is the problem. In this case, the government decided on an approach in the 70's believing it would solve heart disease, it didn't. It actually got worse! Did they fix it, no, they doubled-down and Americans are suffering today because of it. There's your beloved government at work! I have better things to do with my money.
  • edited June 2018
    “Government isn't the answer to our problems, government is the problems.”
    One could apply such absurd reductive logic from a left wing perspective too:
    “Private corporations aren’t the answer to our problems. Private corporations are the problem.” Health insurance isn’t or shouldn’t be a cyclical consumer good one can elect to have or go without. It is an essential staple of life for humanity as eventually everyone gets sick. Those without health insurance who get gravely ill usually go bankrupt in the U.S. As an essential good, insurance will either be provided by the government or the private sector. The difference between a democratically elected government and the private sector is if we don’t like the officials running our public healthcare insurance system we can vote them out of office . The average person has no say whatsoever who runs Aetna or Humana. And just as you say politicians only want to get re-elected, I can just as easily say CEOs only care about getting their quarterly bonuses and getting as much profits for shareholders as possible, not in providing the best health insurance for consumers. Insurers profit by cherrypicking their risk pool, by insuring as many healthy people who pay their premiums every month as possible while denying as many sick people’s claims as possible. That is the inherent conflict of interest in private sector health insurance. And this is not theory. It’s borne out in the data. America’s private health insurance system stinks.
  • edited June 2018
    Let's play the game of 'follow the money'. Statins are easily the most profitable drug ever! Ask yourself, why do they exist? In the 70s the government hired a person named Ancel Keys to create a study on heart disease. Based upon Keys' findings we have what is referred to as the American Diet. Did they cure it? No, but now many of you are taking medication for a condition that either doesn't exist, or exist because of a diet the government recommended.
  • edited June 2018
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  • edited June 2018
    @Maurice Fact is Maurice if you’re obese like Michael Moore and over the age of 65 the government is already paying for your and millions of other obese Americans healthcare vis Medicare. I’m not saying sugar should be banned but taxed appropriately to cover the additional costs to the existing government healthcare system—a system by the way that has already proven itself far more effective at negotiating the cost of procedures to help obese folks like you and Michael Moore than private insurers. As a true red blooded conservative like yourself who hates “freeloaders” on the public dole I figure you would like the idea of forcing people who consume excess sugar to help pay for the public cost of their care. By the way high taxation of other addictive harmful products— cigarette for instance—already exists and yet people can still get their smokes. Or perhaps they should have more access to a product killing them with lung cancer tax free? By the way, do you plan on refusing or have you already refused to accept Medicare coverage when it’s offered you because you hate taking handouts from the government and believe everyone should fend for themselves? Somehow I believe otherwise, that you’ll be on the public healthcare dole or already on it like every other senior citizen.
  • I think it is a personal responsibility of our eating habit and not rely on the government or the insurance companies to tell us what is good or not good with respect to sugar consumption. Rather than cutting out all sweets, but moderation is the key.
  • edited June 2018
    The number one disease in America is heart disease with expected annual cost to hit a trillion in the near future. The American Heart society states the official cause is obesity due to diet and lack of exercise. Review the diet they recommend and you may find their recommendations are at least partly responsible for obesity. Imagine the savings to annual health care if heart disease was cured, not just managed?
  • It strikes me that, insofar as healthcare is concerned, there are instantaneous costs and long term costs. The instantaneous cost of lung cancer, for example, might be astronomical but only a fraction of the ordinary total cost, including Medicaid, of a long lived person with good health habits and genetics. If heart disease was "cured", the resulting cost of health integrated over time might or might not exceed the cost of managing or ignoring the underlying shorteners of life span. As much as people might blast me for saying this, much of the cost of health care could be eliminated by limiting reproduction of family genes that lead to early heart problems without bias toward healthy lifestyles. Doesn't medical innovation interfere, sometimes, with natural selection?
  • @Anna: You're assuming genes have anything to do with heart problems, or you have data?
  • TedTed
    edited June 2018
    @MFO Members; Lewis said, " I’m not saying sugar should be banned but taxed appropriately to cover the additional costs to the existing government healthcare system" Tax and spend, tax and spend, main agenda of the left wing. The next thing you know, the liberals will want to tax the air we breath !
  • Aren't they doing that already in California (breath tax)?
  • edited June 2018
    Is it not the greatest irony that the Republican party has become the one of fiscal irresponsibility because perhaps liberals say Tax and Spend, but lately the Republican mantra has been Don't Tax but Still Spend? I would wager that Ted receives Medicare benefits and/or has family and friends who receive Medicare benefits and if someone said we're cutting or even eliminating your Medicare benefits because the cost of covering seniors from sugar related diseases--obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer: has gotten too high, he and his elderly conservative cohorts would scream bloody murder. The thing is you happily take the government funded benefits, you just don't want to pay for them.
  • If you've been compelled to pay into a program, why shouldn't you receive what was promised? I agree that Republicans should be more fiscally responsible and should use this opportunity to pass a balanced budget amendment. Perhaps if we can get rid of more RINOs, we'll be able to do it.
  • edited June 2018
    @BrianW Seniors today who paid into Medicare during their working years receive way in excess in costly medical benefits than they paid in. In other words, Medicare has been a fabulous deal for them economically, obvious to anyone who has studied the rate of healthcare inflation. Yet the conservatives among them seem perfectly fine accepting these benefits that far exceed their costs and on top of that eagerly seek to deny healthcare to everyone else, even though Medicare has been an excellent deal for them. The mantra for conservative seniors has been--socialized medicine for me but not for you.
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  • edited June 2018
    It is now hilarious insanity that Maurice is equating a "carbon tax" on the pollution ruining our air quality and killing the planet with taxing "the air we breathe." All I can say is I wish the air I breathe had a whole lot less of the pollutants they want to tax. But if the air you breathe is like that and you prefer it that way, I suggest trying to put your mouth over a smokestack or a car's exhaust pipe and see how long you last. That's not the air living human beings can normally breathe.
  • I've lived in a country with government run healthcare and I can tell you that it's not some kind of utopian system. People too often over simplify a complicated issue. I prefer a system that would allow doctors and their patients to decide the best care rather than bureaucrats
  • edited June 2018
    @OOBY Never said centralized health insurance is some "utopian system." Yet every developed nation that has centralized medicine spends less per capita on health insurance and has a longer average life expectancy than the U.S. These numbers have been shown again and again. And how much "oversimplifying" is it on your end to assume that every centralized health care system doesn't "allow doctors and their patients to decide the best care rather than bureaucrats?" Different countries have different centralized systems and some allow more patient/doctor control than others. The U.S. already has a centralized system for the elderly called Medicare and that system costs significantly less per capita for the same exact medical procedures as those in the private health insurance sector.
  • @00BY: Thank you for the voice of experience and reason!!!!
  • And, Medicare is also as poorly managed as Social Security. Its that bureaucrat issue again.
  • edited June 2018
    @LewisBraham: Pointless. Minds closed due to lack of maintenance. Similar to bridges in low-tax, low government Mississippi.
  • You're right it is pointless. As pointless as you guys ever admitting to any fatal flaw for any Government run program.
  • edited June 2018
    I've trained myself to NOT ADD Salt in any food I eat. Kinda like cultivating taste for beer. Frankly, I did it when my mom was unwell and was not supposed to have any Salt. So I said, "You will have it because I will also have it without salt". Then after that I kinda got used to not have any salt in my food.

    I'm trying to reduce added sugar too. But THIS is much harder for sure. I think every thing should be done in moderation. Stopped buying Soda long time back. Once a month rationing of Pizza with Coke. That's it.
  • @VintageFreak- Yes, pretty much same here. Never use regular salt and almost never add "light salt" to anything. Pizza about once a month (with red wine) and no soft drinks. A little lemonade on a hot day, though. Like you said, moderation in everything. Cutting sugar much harder than salt... just read the labels on all of the food products that you buy. Hell, even fresh fruit or an ear of sweet corn is packed with fructose.
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