Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: John Key(nesian)

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  • George Darroch,

    Why doesn't it cost 3 dollars for a bazillion tampons - just like our common-or-garden drug prescriptions?

    Why the hell not?

    I'd love it if we had a government that did things like that. What do we have to do to get one?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Tautoko the suggestion that ACC covers *all* disabilities...because the elephant in the room is illness-related disabilities. Yep, I'm well aware that some illness-related disabilities can be somewhat self-inflicted (except there are genetic components in - for instance- alcohol-related disorders) - but so can accident-caused disabilities.

    Hsving people in my family who have had a very hard row because their disabilities are not self-caused but are illness-related (and, although they've paid ACC levies for yonks, have absolutely no ACC help) and other family who've run into the back of a bus while pissed and had a heap of ACC help...the inequity, the unfairness, the non-justice trumpets very loudly-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    And why do you think thousands of women just have to eat this ridiculously overpriced expense merely because we have ladybits?

    But the government supplies you with nearly-free hormonal contraception! It's not _their_ fault you choose to keep being icky once a month when you could be period-free (and ritually pure in several cultures, to boot!) year-round.

    More seriously, this is actually a very sensible argument. I'd vote for it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Like your idea on the insulation George. Our house could certainly do with a bit more (under the floor namely).

    Well, we better invest in educating our kids in Asian languages then, as we're still terribly isolated by our linguistic shortcomings. We could probably turn that around in about 10 years if we worked hard.

    Not so sure about that though. Having taught English in Korea for 4 years the progress being made there is insanely slow. They have been going hard at learning English for well over a decade and you would struggle like hell to find anybody in the street beyond a pretty appalling level of command of the language.

    The government keeps trying to up the level of funding and teachers and rules and schemes etc etc. It would be costing them an enormous amount but at the coalface you'd hardly notice any improvement. Largely because they have too many students nowhere near enough teachers and oversized classrooms.

    Language is a funny thing. Unless it is being learnt at a kindergarten level or total immersion at primary level it takes a monumental amount of effort to learn. I have kids at my school in Auck who have been at high school now for 2-3 years and still have extremely poor english and yet they are surrounded by it wall to wall. Then theres those who seem to have no natural ability at picking up a second language. Some kids and uni students I taught just get it and develop incredibly quickly while others seem to make no real progress whatsoever in years.

    Peace out

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Love the insulation idea, and the cheap FHPs. That's the kind of milk-in-schools socialism I can get behind...

    Apropos ACC. As noted above I think slarty is right about the effect this has on dodgy employers, but the charge that ACC-hate is "yankee" thinking is a slur. I have never ever discussed ACC with an American who didn't think it was a great idea. And Americans seem to grasp quickly that it's socialised compulsory insurance, and ask why it doesn't apply to illness too. The reason Americans are stuck with the system they've got is that they just can't get there from here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Oh, yeah, and may I say how absolutely thankful I am that this hasn't turned into a thread about rugby. I could barely care less about it, and I know I'm not alone. I wouldn't be surprised if the percentage of rugby-agnostic people on PAS was higher than in the general population, either.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Oh, yeah, and may I say how absolutely thankful I am that this hasn't turned into a thread about rugby. I could barely care less about it, and I know I'm not alone. I wouldn't be surprised if the percentage of rugby-agnostic people on PAS was higher than in the general population, either.

    Right, poll time.

    Rugby fan?

    Me, Yep.

    Rugby League is better though.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    And Americans seem to grasp quickly that it's socialised compulsory insurance, and ask why it doesn't apply to illness too.

    Well, in theory it doesn't need to apply to illness because our health system is already socialised.
    When you have a common law system, the availability of tort remedies means that people will go after others who cause them inconvenience. It's the nature of the beast. ACC removes that avenue, even though our health system would treat the injured regardless (but with the caveat that non-residents would be billed for treatment, as doesn't happen under ACC).
    Illness doesn't offer a cause of action, for the most part, and where it does it's usually covered under ACC. ACC is about keeping the lawyers out of it, rather than about ensuring that everyone is covered for all possible medical-related eventualities.
    Consider this: we're the only common law country where you cannot sue for personal injury. That's courtesy of ACC. We're not the only country with socialised health care, though. Not even vaguely close. Not the only common law country with it, either.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    what would you like money spent on? Where do you think a spare billion could be well spent?

    I would aggressively throw the whole billion at pre-emptive health care. Literally move the ambulance up the cliff and actively engage families with asthma, diabetes, obesity, smoking etc. Lots more GPs and community nurses, and fund them to set up programmes and come visit families and set up nutrition, lifestyle, health initiatives, and regularly revisit them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Up the revolution brother.
    Food isn't exactly optional, but I still have to pay for it!"

    Nah that's dumb. That's not cool that's dumb pal. If you can't handle the politics of the idea just consider the economics. Actually you should try and understand the politics too. ...

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    A month ago, in yet another bicycle accident

    You're like a riding, talking advertisement for not commuting on a bike!

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Right, poll time

    Yes, rugby fan, although much more so since moving to Australia.

    Yep, I'm well aware that some illness-related disabilities can be somewhat self-inflicted (except there are genetic components in - for instance- alcohol-related disorders) - but so can accident-caused disabilities.

    We currently have the awful situation where some diseases that result from environmental factors that happen over a relatively short period of time are covered, and others that happen gradually aren't. It really depends on your ability to prove that it was an "accident". It's pretty subjective, and it's awfully stressful for those who are trying to fight to be covered. I've had a physician instruct me on how to fill in a form, as my injury (which happened during running) may have been rejected as an accident. This also tends to make people rightfully resentful of the ACC, as they're suffering while others in similar or better circumstances are covered.

    The idea of extending the ACC to cover rehibilitation and income protection for all illness isn't a new one. It's something that the Labour Government of 1990 seriously considered, and it's been suggested a few times since, although not as far as I know properly examined in recent years.

    Perhaps we could gradually pull non-accident related illness into the system, perhaps starting first with cancer and arthritis.

    There might be good reasons against it, but I haven't heard them yet.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    The experience of PPP here in the UK is that the private sector will only invest if the state takes on the vast majority of the risk inherent in the projects. This means the state gets left holding the baby and paying interest on it. How this benefits the state is beyond me.

    PPP is driven primarily by national accounting rules. Under said rules if the private sector borrows money to build a school or a hospital then that borrowing does not impact on the nation's books. Whereas if the state borrowed the money (at vastly lower interest rates) to build the school or the hospital that debt is on its books.

    So because of an accounting rule that could be changed, a slight of hand is effected. This slight of hand extracts much more money from the public purse than would have been the case. And this is a good thing?

    That is all before we get into shoddy building, buildings under specc and since the private sector usually gets to run these things after they are built, slow and inadequate maintenance. The for eg hospital management can do nothing about this as they are not party to the contract. They just have to pay the cost of it.

    Of course they could buy out the contract, but to do so they would have to compensate the holder for all those years of printing money they would have had....

    Don't go there.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Kia ora, Islander. It is indeed an elephant.

    Well, in theory it doesn't need to apply to illness because our health system is already socialised.

    Matthew, to clarify, I'm talking about long-term disability support services, not short-term health ones. Some conditions like cancer are a bit blurry, but we're mainly talking about support workers and equipment that meet people's daily needs so they can get on with life.

    ACC currently provides better support, largely because its insurance-based nature means steadily increasing future demand is handled automatically. Non-ACC funded services require the goodwill of politicians for regular increases, and they're usually several years too late and nowhere near enough to provide comparable service.

    As the boomers all go grey over the next 20 years and refuse to die young, it's non-accidental disability that's going to increase astronomically. Arthritis, loss of vision and hearing and similar age-related conditions will be more common. The lack of properly funded supports will prevent those folks contributing to family, community and economy just when we need older workers and volunteers. Those opportunity costs make the investment look small for any smart politician.

    I believe we can manage that investment over time starting right now by applying the same actuarial approach, leaving that billion for other tasty items.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    actively engage families with asthma, diabetes, obesity, smoking etc

    Can. Of. Worms. Wouldn't that just turn into another lovely game of 'Shame the Unworthy Smokers and Fatties'?

    (Lucy, I forgot that I should be pumping government-subsidised synthetic progesterone into my body to avoid my own ickiness! Silly me.)

    Rugby fan: check.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Rugby fan: Yes this Saturday, No the one before that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Not rugby fan, any format.
    Not competitive sports-fan full stop.
    Except for fullblooded stomp-on-throat quiz games (especially when they behead the losers, drooool!)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Perhaps we could gradually pull non-accident related illness into the system, perhaps starting first with cancer and arthritis.

    I am truly glad of a couple of reasons that some might consider here to not be priorities, but in trying to consider a few desires to "spending a billion" on our countries wellbeing,I am happy to say,I see billions being spent already on health and I admire anyone who knows what the next problem on the list is. Yep I think it would be roses if the country subsidised my plugs. At the same time I work with a woman who is trying to prevent death for women in gestation having predetermined difficulties (e.g. Diabetes).
    I know what goes into getting funding, and this is needed every year.I have watched this for years and remember that everyone is vying for a piece of the health sector pie.I see women wanting cancer treatments,men wanting cancer treatments,obesity,diabetes, growing each year,so we get more millions and it's still not enough but having spent the last few years trying to get my shit together with the generosity of the NZ health system, I think our little country is really really excellent.Sure some days at hospital had some of the girls acting like they had their periods, (which incidently I think is normal) so what .I say, we could just work through a list, any list, and keep going each year to get through as much as possible and I do see Labour trying to do this.innit?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    (Hee. This thread is weird as hell. When rugby rules, Tampax and ACC statistics collide!)

    Only at PAS I suspect.

    And surely I'm not the only one that thought this...

    (!)

    I'm not sure about that sarcasm tag. It looks like an upside-down vagina to me.

    ...was pretty funny? I'm sure it's capable of a mysoginistic interpretation, but I'm guessing that wasn't the intent.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I could think of nothing worse than reverting back to a pre ACC regime in NZ, even given that we have a reasonably good socialised health system. Relying on the courts to supply timely / useful restitution and punishment for health and safety/healthcare really places far too much reliance on both the skill, speed and effectiveness of the court system.

    Having now been exposed to English tribunals, courts and their PI system from the employer or corporate side the sheer uncertainty that exists is more than enough reason to dislike PI litigation. It massively complicates everything. From a victim side I can't see how it is any better either - the courts are slow (hard not be really) and it always comes down to a battle of determination - are you determined enough to stick through a complicated, expensive process or will you just let it go?

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1024 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "(Hee. This thread is weird as hell. When rugby rules, Tampax and ACC statistics collide!)"

    I always remember ben elton parodying 1980's UK tampons ads that started with the classic phrase,

    "ladies do you have a secret."

    It is weird talking about female health issues because it's not something thats been discussed much (by the hairy gender at least). Actually is this a health issue or just accepting there is biology that women have that men don't , a difference that almost certainly makes them the superior gender.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Rugby fan?

    Me, Yep.

    Me - one of the many, many things I'm utterly indifferent to. (As, I'm sure, most rugby fans don't give a toss about the finer points of the internal chronology of the Star Trek universe.) If you're into that sort of thing? Well, far be it from me to be judgmental about your lifestyle choices but I really wish you'd stop ramming it down my throat. :)

    What I despise: The way otherwise sensible people (and a good chunk of the media) suffer severe brain damage whenever the R-word is mentioned. With all due respect to our gracious host and other PASers, the world did not end when the ABs lost a rugby match. And now they've won, they're not the hottest shit since I last had a binge and purge night out on the "Indian hot" curry.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I always remember ben elton parodying 1980's UK tampons ads that started with the classic phrase,

    "ladies do you have a secret."

    Yes - menstruation doesn't involve a discrete drip of blue dye that strongly resembles toilet cleaner.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    maybe I'm showing my age - but does no one here remember what it was like pre-ACC?

    Simple example - in the middle of the 70's oil shock no one would carpool (or even give their friends a ride) to work because they were all dead scared of being sued if they had an accident

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Those who think The Herald has its editorial tongue firmly planted between John Key's buttocks might care to look the other way, but I find it hard to disagree with Brian Fallow here:

    Through the thickening murk of political claim and counterclaim about tax cuts and Government borrowing, a few things can still be seen fairly clearly.

    One is that partisan squabbling along the lines of "You're borrowing for tax cuts", "No we're not, we're borrowing for infrastructure" is simplistic nonsense.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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