1. birgerjohansson says

    (BTW, Priapus Mushroom just testified against himself, admitting he sent Rudy to the Ukraine)

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 1

    Generalissimo Bonespurs could admit to murdering JonBenét Ramsey and he’d face no consequences.

  3. jrkrideau says

    @ 2 cartomancer
    It said the video was unavailable. I don’t know why this should be.

    You do not live in the USA?
    It is also unavailable in Canada.

  4. quotetheunquote says

    RE: #2, 4, HBO is understandably concerned about copyright, so they’re pretty keen on “trawling” through Yt and removing shows. I’ve sometimes had good luck finding excerpts from LWT over on Dailymotion, though.

  5. says

    This debate is so damn simple to me. Insurance companies need to make a profit. Government does not. Insurance companies are parasites, slowly leaching away at the rest of us to survive and profit. Do they offer any service for this beyond making flashy commercials? I’m a bit simple when it comes to finance, but it looks to me like it’s a lot cheaper to endow a single government agency who’s only goal is to enhance public health than it is to rely on dozens of corporations operated by for profit millionaires.

    I say fuck-’em send-’em packing like the snake oil salesmen of two centuries ago. Yeah, it’s going to suck having all those insurance drones looking for a new career, but the long term benefits are going to save trillions of dollars.

  6. Akira MacKenzie says

    Ugh… Just read the comments on that video. Beside regurgitating all three of right-wing talking points that Oliver just debunked as if they hadn’t watched the segment at all, many of them added a fourth argument that John didn’t address: Pure sociopathy. “WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY FOR THE HEALTH CARE OF SOME FAT ASS TYPE II DIABETIC WHO SPENT THEIR ENTIRE LAZY-ASS LIVES STUFFING THEIR FAT FACES?! IF THEY CAN’T AFFORD A DOCTOR, LET ‘EM DIE!!!”

    This country can’t collapse soon enough.

  7. harryblack says

    What benefit does HBO get from refusing the ad revenue they could get from views in foreign countries?
    “Im sure a business would not do something that didnt benefit them” isnt an answer…

  8. killyosaur says

    @harryblack probably has something to do with the deals HBO has with stations in other countries where their content airs. In the case of the UK that is Sky Atlantic (Comedy? apparently it changed?) and Bell Media in Canada. whatever the deals are, probably results in HBO not being able to air segments on youtube in those countries where they would be the sole beneficiary of the revenue stream… Yay capitalism…

  9. starskeptic says

    The video is from LWT’s own YT channel so I doubt HBO will be removing it…

  10. Saad says

    Akira, 8


    I wonder if they know they already do this in the form of insurance premiums.

  11. davidc1 says
    I known the above is two years old .

    This might be TMI ,but around this time last year i had to have a colonoscopy ,and because of the NHS we have in GB i didn’t have to pay anything at the point of service .But the shower of gits we have in Govt for the next five years are planning to sell it off.Even though they keep saying the NHS is not for sale
    Does anyone know how much i would have been charged in America ?

  12. Akira MacKenzie says

    Saad @ 13

    There are those who would proudly argue that, along with pre-existing conditions, insurance companies should deny coverage to those with “self-inflicted” aliments such as smokers, alcoholics, drug addicts, the obese, etc. Not only would it hold people “accountable” for their misspent lives, it would further reduce health care costs for the “deserving” who’s accidents and ailments are not fault of their own.

    When did sociopathy became endemic in American society?

  13. says

    Those of us with insulin resistance may have skeletal muscle that produces more fat and less glycogen following high carbohydrate meals, even if we are young and lean.

  14. oddie says

    @14 prices are not standardized, I have seen anywhere from 2000-3000 dollars depending on where you get it w/o insurance

  15. tacitus says

    @13: Saad


    I wonder if they know they already do this in the form of insurance premiums.

    It’s worse than that. They’re already paying for the healthcare of the tens of millions of chronically ill, poor, elderly, and veterans — i.e. all the people the private insurance people have determined they cannot make a profit out of — through their taxes.

    We have already socialized the losses and privatized the profits, and it’s costing the country dearly. We pay far more for healthcare than any other nation on earth, per capita, for pretty much the same outcomes overall.

    Fully socialized medicine injects a great deal of mobility into the workforce. When you don’t have to worry about paying for your kid’s medical bills every time they get sick, you can apply for jobs without having to worry if their insurance cover is good enough. I have friends who left jobs they loved because they needed better insurance and friends who were stuck in a job because they needed the insurance cover. Meanwhile, in the UK both my brother-in-law and sister-in-law left good jobs to start what ultimately became multi-million dollar businesses without for one second having to worry about risking the health of their family.

  16. chris61 says

    I don’t know how we’re going to get from here to there (without totally disrupting the economy) but I sure hope someone figures it out fast.

  17. says

    I don’t know how we’re going to get from here to there (without totally disrupting the economy)

    Of course we’re going to disrupt the economy. Part of why we’d be saving money is because there literally exists an entire job category – medical billing specialists – that would no longer exist, not to mention an entire industry – private medical insurance – that would also no longer exist, or at least would be cut dramatically. Canada has private supplemental insurers that provide benefits over and above the minimal benefits provided to everyone, but since the minimal benefits are fairly good, these are reduced to covering things like prescription drugs and “alternative medicine” (or at least, this is all I’ve ever used it for).

    So trying to make the transition “without totally disrupting the economy” is to defeat the point of trying to make the transition to begin with.

    That said, the spending for system start up costs can easily include appropriate unemployment benefits as well as job retraining funds. Once everyone has insurance implemented, then you gain the economic mobility benefits mentioned by tacitus. I’ve got no reason to think that this won’t work in the US since Canada managed to do it.

  18. chris61 says

    @22 CripDyke
    I hope you’re right but I just don’t see it. There are significant differences between Canada and the US. For one thing I don’t think medicine was ever the big industry in Canada that it is in the US. Moreover when Canada transferred to universal coverage most of the hospitals were already public institutions. For a third thing Americans have been taught to see medicine as a product that they should be entitled to consume as much as they want or can afford. I just don’t see many of them accepting the notion that for non-emergency tests you just might have to wait weeks or even months. There are many people who support Medicare for all but only if they can keep the level of coverage they currently enjoy. That just isn’t going to happen.

  19. mastmaker says

    I have reasonably good coverage from my employer. I have registered for care with a pretty big chain (Stanford Healthcare, part of Stanford University) in a major metropolitan area. They are in-network for my insurance provider. In spite of all this, costs are ridiculous (about $200-$250 for an office visit, up to a $1k for blood work, before we hit the out-of-pocket limit) and wait times are ludicrous. If I want an appointment with my primary care provider – about 2 months minimum. Of course, I can walk into an urgent care clinic if I have an illness that can’t wait, but my PCP who knows my history is very hard to get hold of. No “government provided solution” can be worse than this.

  20. tacitus says


    Canadian healthcare sector is big enough to be 10% of the nation’s GDP, which is right inline with other major western nations, except the US, of course.

    There are many people who support Medicare for all but only if they can keep the level of coverage they currently enjoy. That just isn’t going to happen.

    One could easily argue that’s not going to happen either way. Most Medicare funding comes out of public funds, and the cost of end-of-life care in the US is astronomical, mostly because the doctors will provide heroic care (e.g. major surgeries) to dying patients if they ask for it.

    The US taxpayer is already footing most of the bill when it comes to caring for those who cannot afford health insurance. They will be no worse off if the pool is expanded to include everyone and we no longer have to fund the profits of the health insurance industry.

    The only people who would miss their private insurance plans are the wealthy and white collar workers in corporate America. In nations with national healthcare, companies can still offer private insurance if they want (I had private health insurance through work in the UK), and the wealthy are more than welcome to keep their private doctors.

    Before Obamacare, as many as a million Americans were declaring bankruptcy because of medical bills every year, impacting the lives of millions more in terms of spouses and children. That simply does not happen in nations with national healthcare.

    I doubt many people will miss the current system, except those who profited from it, and those who are ideologically hidebound.

  21. Ishikiri says

    I was a bit apprehensive of this video when I first saw it in my feed, as even though Oliver has been generally on point in the past, I thought it might be a big media opportunity to dunk on Bernie Sanders. I was pleasantly surprised, though.

    I’ve spent many years in a country that has strict gun control, pervasive urban and intercity rail transportation, and universal health care. As others in similar positions can probably attest, the extent to which American right-wingers flagrantly lie about those things is mind-boggling and rage-inducing. It goes beyond mere ignorance and incuriousity, these people must know that they are wrong on some level. Yet they continue to spread lies in defense of status quo power. I found myself involuntarily clenching my jaw and getting out of my chair to stomp around upon seeing those Fox News clips.

  22. brightmoon says

    I have an elderly neighbor who can only stand up for about 10 minutes. Taking a shower is a horror story . He wasn’t exaggerating I’ve had to help him a couple of times. . He’s been waiting 6 months for the insurance to approve a shower chair that he can’t afford .

  23. says


    I’m not addressing the justice of the thing, but have you considered going to your local thrift store? They have a constant influx of shower chairs and I’ve bought several there over the years. When insurance finally comes through you can then give the thrift-store item back (or pass it on to someone else in need via craigslist) if the new one is substantially different/better in ways that tailors to your neighbor’s needs. Or if the thrift store one is good enough you can wait til the chair is approved and then simply send them the thrift store receipt.

    To make sure they’ll reimburse, the receipt might need to be dated after approval comes in … unless you tell them in advance that you’re going to buy the chair and wait to see if reimbursement is approved. Prior notification is usually necessary, but is also usually sufficient. And in any case, it’s not going to be very expensive.

    What you don’t want to do is just drop the request entirely. That rewards them for their delay. Of course, you can also threaten them with a lawsuit should the lack of timely acquisition of the chair end up causing a fall and thus tortious injury. That might get you what the neighbor needs but it can also turn some insurance agents vindictive, so you never know if that’s a good plan or not.

  24. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    In my area there are “lending closets” that provide the type of medical device you describe. If you live in NE IL I might be able to provide you one still in the original box.

  25. publicola says

    Although many insurance industry workers would lose their jobs, the new medicare system would probably require a very large quantity of new workers with the very skills the displaced workers already possess.

  26. chris61 says

    @26 tacitus
    I’m not arguing it won’t be an all-round better country for everyone once we’ve transitioned to universal healthcare – I’m just saying I don’t see how we get from where we are now to there. To me it appears that it will require a major readjustment of how many Americans think about health care.

  27. Kagehi says

    According to the “Trumpites”, and “Fox News Viewers” at work, the problem is that having it would… somehow result in all other companies selling insurance going into used car sells, or something? Because, there wouldn’t be any other options, or something, and this means waiting times, etc.

    However, the stupid thing about it, from an actual doctor, “We are running out of doctors, because who in their right mind wants the cost of becoming one, the literally suicide inducing stress, and the fact that, while being paid way more than say a minimum wage workers, their wages have ‘stagnated’ for decades, so.. also, no money to pay off all that debt.” So.. Pass it, and we get “socialist medicine”. Don’t pass it and we get… all the problems of socialist medicine, including long waits for basic medical care, and the existing denial of services to anyone too old, too poor, too.. something.

    In other words, the “long waiting” will happen anyway, because, once the current doctors retire, we won’t have any to replace them. So, unlike other places, for “some care” taking longer, everything will. Gosh, that sounds great, right? lol

  28. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Kagehi #36, France has more doctors per capita than the US. Most are family physicians, not specialists. They also don’t worry about a quarter of a million dollar debt for their training since hey graduate without debt. The average physician makes only a little more what I did as a scientist in industry. Guess who is rated is rated first, and who is rated 37th.

  29. Ishikiri says

    The scope of the undertaking would have to involve nationalizing major health insurance companies and folding their employees into Medicare, since as many have pointed out, Medicare for all can’t be Medicare as-is. But financing health care costs is only one part of it. The FDA needs to be given the authority to set drug prices, and doctor training needs to be streamlined (which should be in connection with Sanders’ free education plans).

    Here in Japan, the government dictates the prices of drugs and medical procedures, and doctor training generally consists of a six-year program for high school graduates. I’m sure that implementing something like the latter would be a huge sticking point for the AMA, because like so many stupid things that persist, the old boys in charge don’t want to change it because “I had to go through it, so why should it be any easier for young people?”