Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by JirinPanthosa, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  2. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  3. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

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    *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.
     
  4. Alpha Flyer

    Alpha Flyer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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."
     
  5. Alpha Flyer

    Alpha Flyer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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'.
     
  6. Triskelion

    Triskelion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral


    In other words, the costs appear elsewhere than on your hospital bill. Due to the first law of thermodynamics, nothing is "free." ;)
     
  7. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  8. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A depression where everyone had maids. With male pattern baldness.
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Given when the episode came out (November 2000), more likely "Hillary-care."

    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.

    :)
     
  10. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Trek is a satire-free zone.
     
  11. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Just spent five minutes staring into space trying come up with an exception to this.

    I got nothing.
     
  13. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :lol:

    It really is.
     
  14. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It definitely does social commentary. Ad nauseum. And sometimes really badly.
     
  17. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    In many countries with Universal Health Care you don't get a bill. It's funderd via taxes. Yes you have the option of taking out private medical care should you wish do so and can afford to do so. And yes you might have to wait for non-emergency surgery. And yes Universal Health Care isn't without it's issues after all no system is perfect. But in general universal health care it's about providing based upon need rather than ability to pay.
     
  18. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^Picard lifts the unenlightened from the dirt of their ignorance, he doesn't mock them being there in the first place.
     
  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Only because what they were saying was 10 years behind the curve when Voyager was first run.

    Enterprise was asked to do a special AIDS awareness episode for some AIDS foundation nonprofit or day or charity event and maybe they were going to donate pofit fromt he episode or... That was the one where T'Pol was Meldraped by a Vulcan she just met and she claimed that melding was a dity habit only undertaken by sick mutants and she's never been so violated.

    Clueless.
     
  20. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If you watch Let That Be Your Last Battlefield while somewhat drunk it looks like satire.