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Old January 5 2013, 01:09 AM   #1
JirinPanthosa
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Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

I'm getting the impression if an episode came out like this during the health care debates it would have been accused of being about Obamacare.

It strikes me as a cynical vision of what might happen if control over health care were centralized, when you take control over resources away from doctors and patients and give it to a central 'Allocator'.

It seems to be showing one extreme to be identical to the other extreme. Instead of several private insurance companies deciding who gets treated and who doesn't based on their income, one central insurance company decides who gets treated and who doesn't by some sabermetric algorithm.

I don't think this is the implication the writers had in mind, rather it was probably meant to be about a cruelly inflexible medical institution. And ironically, getting somebody to manipulate the system, at gunpoint, in order to get a better share of rations for that particular hospital (At the expense of other hospitals) was their happy ending. It seems like a satirical ending to me. More like the ironic ending of a show like Yes Minister than the real ending of a Trek episode.
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Old January 5 2013, 04:26 AM   #2
exodus
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

Yes, I've heard it called Treks look at the HMO....and yes, I kinda think what you said is exactly what the writers had in mind. That the medical companies run health care, not the doctors. The more you can afford, the better care you receive.

Check out the film "Puncture" starting Chris Evans
It's about how medical companies refuse to spend money on a fail safe needle that would prevent healthcare workers and nurses from accidentally pricking themselves treating patients.
89% of healthcare workers and nurses that have HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis are due to accidental pricking from needles caring for patients.
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Old January 5 2013, 04:27 AM   #3
teya
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

*puts on healthcare administrator hat*

Obamacare is *not* socialized medicine. Doctors & hospitals & insurance companies are still independent entities.

What the society in "Critical Care" did was the extreme version of the US system: it rationed care based on the patient's social status.

In the US, care is rationed based on the patient's ability to pay for it--which is more likely the higher one's social status.
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Old January 5 2013, 05:03 AM   #4
Alpha Flyer
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

The term "socialized medicine" is a meaningless rhetorical construct designed to instil fear and loathing in people thanks to a vague and utterly illusionary reference to communist ideology. Those of us who have always lived in a system where health care is provided by the state to all as a matter of course, not the patient's ability to pay or social status, roll their eyes when it comes up. A couple of years ago I had a severe headache with visual distortions that were consistent with a stroke. I was taken to a hospital where I had a CT scan within 30 minutes. For free. A friend of mine recently DID have a stroke, spent a week in hospital, and four months in rehab. For free. I am on the waiting list for a hip replacement -- yes there's a wait because it is elective, not emergency surgery. When I get it, the 3.5 hour surgical procedure and follow-up physiotherapy will be ... you guessed it. Free. If that's socialism, bring it on.

I THINK that's the entire point of Critical Care. That health care should be provided on the basis of need, not ability to pay, social status or the profit interests of shareholders.

Recommended watching: Michael Moore's "Sicko."
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Old January 5 2013, 05:07 AM   #5
Alpha Flyer
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

Oh, I also gave birth via c-section. For free. A friend of mine gave birth in Manhattan, also via c-section. The price tag? $36,000 (that was 14 years ago ...).

Just sayin'.
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Old January 5 2013, 07:46 AM   #6
Triskelion
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

Alpha Flyer wrote: View Post
The term "socialized medicine" is a meaningless rhetorical construct designed to instil fear and loathing in people thanks to a vague and utterly illusionary reference to communist ideology. Those of us who have always lived in a system where health care is provided by the state to all as a matter of course, not the patient's ability to pay or social status, roll their eyes when it comes up. A couple of years ago I had a severe headache with visual distortions that were consistent with a stroke. I was taken to a hospital where I had a CT scan within 30 minutes. For free. A friend of mine recently DID have a stroke, spent a week in hospital, and four months in rehab. For free. I am on the waiting list for a hip replacement -- yes there's a wait because it is elective, not emergency surgery. When I get it, the 3.5 hour surgical procedure and follow-up physiotherapy will be ... you guessed it. Free. If that's socialism, bring it on.

I THINK that's the entire point of Critical Care. That health care should be provided on the basis of need, not ability to pay, social status or the profit interests of shareholders.

Recommended watching: Michael Moore's "Sicko."

In other words, the costs appear elsewhere than on your hospital bill. Due to the first law of thermodynamics, nothing is "free."
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Old January 5 2013, 08:12 AM   #7
Guy Gardener
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

An imperceptibly higher tax rate, which could even be a perceptibly higher corporate tax rate, because: fuck those guys.

The Doctor was fantastically irresponsible in accepting scarcity and managing resources.

The administrators were unbelievable dense in how they utilized a resource like the Doctor.

They put him to work in a single hospital.

Wow.

Good one.

Despite what happened when Harry tried to make an EMH from scratch, they could have and should have mass produced a more amiable version of the Doctor, until THEY DIDN'T NEED TO PAY FOR DOCTORS, NURSES, JANITORS, ANYONE ANY MORE... And the government could afford health care for everyone.

Of course with such cheap slave labour suddenly available, it would spark off a depression since no one could get a paying job that isn't already staffed by a hologram.
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Old January 5 2013, 10:44 AM   #8
teacake
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

A depression where everyone had maids. With male pattern baldness.
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Old January 5 2013, 11:29 AM   #9
T'Girl
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
accused of being about Obamacare
Given when the episode came out (November 2000), more likely "Hillary-care."

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
until THEY DIDN'T NEED TO PAY FOR DOCTORS, NURSES, JANITORS, ANYONE ANY MORE... And the government could afford health care for everyone.
With every position replaced with a hologram, the result would be fewer and fewer taxes. In time the government could no longer afford health care for anyone.

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Old January 5 2013, 11:53 AM   #10
lurok
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

Trek is a satire-free zone.
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Old January 5 2013, 11:58 AM   #11
Guy Gardener
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

The 1 percenters would still pay taxes and that's actually enough to cover everything.

The rest of us pay taxes to sponsor the Christmas office party for our local respective Inland Revenue Institutions.
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Old January 5 2013, 12:11 PM   #12
teacake
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

lurok wrote: View Post
Trek is a satire-free zone.
Just spent five minutes staring into space trying come up with an exception to this.

I got nothing.
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Old January 5 2013, 12:17 PM   #13
lurok
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?



It really is.
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Old January 5 2013, 12:25 PM   #14
Tosk
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

Is satire really that far from the 'social commentary' that Trek is so lauded for?

"Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement."

Sure sounds like Trek to me. Especially TOS.
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Old January 5 2013, 12:27 PM   #15
Guy Gardener
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Re: Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

Satire is about being mean. Star Trek isn't mean.
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