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Coronavirus: Triple Edition


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21 hours ago, Pidesco said:

I pay about 25% of my income in taxes. About 40% of that goes to healthcare apparently. VAT here is 25%.

 

The point, however, that you seem to be missing is that even when taking taxes into account, people in the developed world pay much less for healthcare than the US.

What, if any, percentage of VAT's goes to healthcare?

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21 hours ago, Skarpen said:

The bigger problem however I think is that Americans pay tens of thousands of dollars on medicine and procedures that costs pennies everywhere else. 

I wonder how did that happen?

For drugs it's partially research costs.
When you pay for more drug development than the rest of the world combined these things will happen.

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5 hours ago, Gfted1 said:

What, if any, percentage of VAT's goes to healthcare?

II assume 40% as well, but I don't really know. 

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7 hours ago, Gfted1 said:

What, if any, percentage of VAT's goes to healthcare?

General VAT goes into the Consolidated Fund or equivalent in- so far as I'm aware- every single country that charges it. Consolidated Fund = general spending, not ringfenced for a specific purpose.

(Actually ringfenced spending is quite rare, despite the number of specific levies made by governments. Almost all of them go into general funding...)

Sweden's health care system is ~11% of GDP (~5k USD /c). The US health care system is ~17% (~11k USD /c), so roughly 50% more expensive. [source: OECD]

4 hours ago, pmp10 said:

For drugs it's partially research costs.
When you pay for more drug development than the rest of the world combined these things will happen.

Multiple other reasons besides that too. Without a unified negotiating body purchasers such as individual hospitals have far less leverage when negotiating prices. Lots of low grade payola and influencing results in lots of unnecessary prescriptions, which drives overall costs up. Little downward price pressure on many drugs because if you need the medication your alternative is literally dying, in some cases. Awful regulation that allows gouging and an institutional dislike- sometimes due to what is essentially bribery- of using generics even when they're both legal and significantly cheaper.

Some of those are still present with 'single payer' systems as well though of course.

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1 hour ago, Zoraptor said:

Multiple other reasons besides that too. Without a unified negotiating body purchasers such as individual hospitals have far less leverage when negotiating prices. Lots of low grade payola and influencing results in lots of unnecessary prescriptions, which drives overall costs up. Little downward price pressure on many drugs because if you need the medication your alternative is literally dying, in some cases. Awful regulation that allows gouging and an institutional dislike- sometimes due to what is essentially bribery- of using generics even when they're both legal and significantly cheaper.

Some of those are still present with 'single payer' systems as well though of course.

As far as I know (very much not an expert on patent law of any kind), is that it is possible to extend medical/drug patents in the US provided the drug itself is altered in some way, i.e. "incrementally improved" - which means jack sh*t because that just means changed a bit, not necessarily more effective. Which is why quasi-monopolies manufacturing high-demand medicine like Insulin can price fix to their heart's desire.

And et voilà, you end up paying 200$ for an Insulin pen in the US and 8$ for the same dose everywhere else in the world.

It also proves that it is not entirely about research costs. Insulin was discovered by a research team almost a century ago, the original patent belonging to the University of Toronto.  Canadians being nice as they are licensed the manufacturing to a few US companies at little or no cost, and they went on to patent their incremental improvements. For, well, also almost a century now.

Hands up, who thinks these sort of price increases just happened without, ahem, illicit dealings of the companies involved?

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Cuz I'm looking for a buyer, I have this here, uhm, bridge in NY to sell. :p 

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On 6/16/2020 at 6:16 PM, Pidesco said:

I pay about 25% of my income in taxes. About 40% of that goes to healthcare apparently. VAT here is 25%.

 

The point, however, that you seem to be missing is that even when taking taxes into account, people in the developed world pay much less for healthcare than the US.

I pay just below 33% in taxes, and that's without the 1.x% churchfee they deduct. Don't forget the VAT on VAT for fuel though ;)

The majority of the taxes you and I pay though, go to the municipality and they have nothing to do with healthcare really, elder care though yes, but it's the regional council tax (landstingsskatt) we pay that goes to healthcare, ~11.5% of our wage goes to the regional council and they use ~90% of that money for hospitals and the like.

Edited by Azdeus
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Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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Pft, amateurs. We not only have GST on the GST on our fuel levy (revenue not ringfenced for transport, of course) but we also have an utterly regressive- burden borne way disproportionately by those least able to and those who get least benefit from the costs- regional fuel tax with GST on top of that which was sold as financing a bunch of safety and public transport improvements. Oddly enough, every one of those major public transport and safety projects has been delayed or canceled except... lowering speed limits and putting in more speed cameras.

2 hours ago, majestic said:

As far as I know (very much not an expert on patent law of any kind), is that it is possible to extend medical/drug patents in the US provided the drug itself is altered in some way, i.e. "incrementally improved"

It's not the drug itself they alter. Insulin and the other well known and egregious example of adrenaline (/epinephrine: epipens) are way out of even the most restrictive of patent systems and cannot be incrementally 'improved'. Instead they alter either formulation or delivery system. Aided by the utterly incompetent USPTO*- "Basmati Rice was invented by RiceTec in the US"/ "Turmeric was invented in Mississippi, we're granting an exclusive right to sell in the US based on that" / "Yellow beans brought from Mexico are a novel US invention, feel free to go back to the market you bought them from and demand royalties- you can near perpetually alter formulations to extend patents there.

It's that way because of little b bribery though- since that's what 'lobbying' amounts to most of the time. It's no accident that every time the US gets involved in trade deals you get a load of utterly reprehensible 'IP protection' designed to force other countries to subscribe to the  broken US patent system and forgo generics; and the amount of lobbying involved to maintain and try to export that broken system is ridiculous. Which reminds me, must just about be due for yet another Disney lobbied extension to copyright to protect Steamboat Willy.

*to be clear, people who work there are still, iirc, paid on the basis of number of patents approved, not on work done so it's the system framework that is broken.

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6 hours ago, Zoraptor said:

Pft, amateurs. We not only have GST on the GST on our fuel levy (revenue not ringfenced for transport, of course) but we also have an utterly regressive- burden borne way disproportionately by those least able to and those who get least benefit from the costs- regional fuel tax with GST on top of that which was sold as financing a bunch of safety and public transport improvements. Oddly enough, every one of those major public transport and safety projects has been delayed or canceled except... lowering speed limits and putting in more speed cameras.

Oh, of course not, that'd be ridiculous! Here I reckon it's used in things like the bonus/malus system for cars; If you buy a brand spanking new car that has "low emissions" you get a tax-break, if you buy a V8 car or similar you get a higher tax. And let's be fair here, it's generally low income people that has to both travel far for work and that has an interest in cars, and there's no way they will be able to afford an electric car. And with them adding a higher tax on cars made after '19 this system has also lead to a massive increase in used car prices.

And not to mention monumentally retarded infrastructure projects that experts say will take about a century for the increased co2 emissions to be paid off. Atleast we're not as fond of cameras as the Brittish government is, I'd be pissed living in London with all those cameras.

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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There's an interesting study linked from SlashDot:

Italy sewage study suggests COVID-19 was there in December 2019

Quote

Scientists in Italy have found traces of the new coronavirus in wastewater collected from Milan and Turin in December 2019 - suggesting COVID-19 was already circulating in northern Italy before China reported the first cases.

So yeah, wow. One wonders when this outbreak actually began. From time to time I've wondered if it had any relation to this event in September:

What happened after an explosion at a Russian disease research lab called VECTOR?

They claim not, but...

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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On 6/25/2020 at 12:01 AM, Hurlshot said:

I give you the future Mrs. Volo.

We do laugh at these types of comments but the sad reality is there are people out there who have no real knowledge of the virus and do think things like  " wearing masks "  is a bad idea .....there willful ignorance should be criminalized because you absolutely increase the risk of virus spread when you dont wear a mask. This is not even remotely a debate anyone should have 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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"there willful ignorance should be criminalized because you absolutely increase the risk of virus spread when you dont wear a mask. This is not even remotely a debate anyone should have  "

Plain old fashion lie. Funny, yet again, where I am,  masks are not worn by a lot of people, yet somehow we manage to not have huge populations infected let alone die by this virus. Why make **** up? Espciially, when the 'professional's can't even get on the same page on the actual effectiveness  of masks. Some swear by them, some claim that they can make it worse, others are  stating they can be helpful in certain situations where you can't maintain 'distancing'. And, that's not counting people who can't use masks (and gloves) properly).

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DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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50 minutes ago, Volourn said:

"there willful ignorance should be criminalized because you absolutely increase the risk of virus spread when you dont wear a mask. This is not even remotely a debate anyone should have  "

Plain old fashion lie. Funny, yet again, where I am,  masks are not worn by a lot of people, yet somehow we manage to not have huge populations infected let alone die by this virus. Why make **** up? Espciially, when the 'professional's can't even get on the same page on the actual effectiveness  of masks. Some swear by them, some claim that they can make it worse, others are  stating they can be helpful in certain situations where you can't maintain 'distancing'. And, that's not counting people who can't use masks (and gloves) properly).

How do masks  make virus spread worse? Masks can lead to complacence because people  assume they protect you  from the virus....they dont 

So how based on the actual purpose of the mask do they make the spread worse ?

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Volourn said:

You answered your own question.

Yes then you right, that is a " negative " outcome of masks because some people then disregard other virus spread factors 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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By the way, I just watched the latest and first in 2 months of the White House briefings around the virus 

Trump was absent but Pence ran with it with Dr Fauci as usual playing the voice of reason or rather consistency around the facts 

I recommend everyone watching it to understand the new seriousness the Trump presidency is taking around  the latest increase in the USA. The one criticism I do have for all people who spoke, including Fauci, is the constant comments  like " we not blaming people for wanting to get after the lockdown and we understand how young people think they invincible " ....I get that kind of comment made once but you dont have keep justifying appalling rejection of facts and science that most people worldwide and in the USA are well aware of 

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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4 hours ago, BruceVC said:

 

I recommend everyone watching it to understand the new seriousness the Trump presidency is taking around  the latest increase in the USA. 

 

odd. watching the task force briefing, we recalled our firstest obsidian board covid-19 thread post.

believe pence and you would think the US south and southwest has a few hotspots which should be contained in short order.

nothing to see.

oh, and somehow, not following cdc advice is a first amendment issue. 

...

not need say this, or we would hope so, but the rights o' free speech and assembly does not preclude a person from choosing to follow guidelines which prevent the spread of infection and save lives. the wh has chosen to flaunt cdc guidelines which it simultaneous claims is important for preventing the spread o' the virus.

'cause maga is the new opiate o' the masses.

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Yeah, I tend to agree. It wasnt necessarily what you would have expected considering the huge increase in virus spread and actual people being hospitalized but this is what happens in a world where somehow something like a virus becomes politicized ....but at least  Pence was " acknowledging " how the virus is still a real threat, he did display those charts that clearly showed how the increase was now in Southern States.....thats progress considering past comments and attitudes

Trumps general comments and views during this virus for me have been by far the worst part of his presidency, nothing he has ever mishandled in the past is overall as bad as this. Its worse than his normal world of " alternative facts " because now his views are  literally both directly and indirectly contributing towards deaths due to the virus. The worst part is I honestly think he believes some of his utter ignorance around understanding the virus .....its not his typical " twitter theater ", hyperbole and grandstanding which has characterized his presidency and in many cases you can basically ignore it as it doesnt define some  of the real successes of  his policies which   his clever advisors create and implement 

For example he keeps going on about " if we werent testing as much we wouldn't have as much sick people, ergo lets slowdown on testing " ....its almost like he believes that when the reality is its obviously not the testing that is responsible for virus spread but rather lack of consistency on behavior   around how to prevent the actual virus spread. But I do think he thinks the testing is somehow linked to the increase of people in the USA with the virus 

 

Edited by BruceVC

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Oboma droned a million women and children in the Middle-east, Drump is gonna kill a million of his own people.

Edited by HoonDing

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

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Traces of COVID-19 were discovered in Madrid sewage from March 2019:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-spain-science/coronavirus-traces-found-in-march-2019-sewage-sample-spanish-study-shows-idUSKBN23X2HQ

Surely that has to be a mistake. Perhaps a mix-up or a contaminated sample?

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Seems pretty unlikely to be SARS-CoV2.

There's always the possibility that it's been floating around for a longer time and only recently became better adapted for human- human transmission though. A lot of respiratory infections are 'non specified viral infections' ('common cold' etc) and if its infection rate was fairly low with ~1% lethality it could easily have hidden for an extended period. But it's more likely to be a false positive from a random common cold coronavirus that has a complementary RNA sequence to the SARS-CoV2 primers.

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I kinda feel like the 2nd wave, spike, whatever you want to call it, we're having here in Murica was inevitable. I know a lot of people are going to say that the states going back into lockdown mode because the numbers are rising opened up too soon, and that may be so, but I suspect that this would have happened even if said states had waited longer, simply because of how Muricans are wired. They could have waited another month, another 2 months, or another 4 months and we still would have gotten this spike with dumbasses going out and being stupid then spreading it to everyone else.

Keep in mind, I'm basing this on no scientific data whatsoever and solely on my experiences of living in Murica for 34 years.

Edited by Keyrock

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