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McCain Campaign Protests YouTube's DMCA Policy 597

Posted by kdawson
from the sauce-for-geese dept.
Colz Grigor writes "It appears that CBS and Fox have submitted DMCA takedown notices to YouTube for videos from the McCain campaign. The campaign is now complaining about YouTube's DMCA policy making it too easy for copyright holders to remove fair-use videos. I hope they pursue this by addressing flaws in the DMCA."
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McCain Campaign Protests YouTube's DMCA Policy

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:11AM (#25380943) Journal
    Is it wrong for me to hope that the same thing happens to Obama so that when either of them win, they remember the idiocy that is the DMCA and reform it?
  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:16AM (#25380977)

    Is it wrong for me to hope that the same thing happens to Obama so that when either of them win...

    No, it isn't.

    they remember the idiocy that is the DMCA and reform it?

    It is naive of you to hope for this part, though. Good luck with that.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:16AM (#25380983)

    Why should McCain be against takedowns? That seems to be the entirety of his election strategy this year.

  • Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Exanon (1277926) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:17AM (#25380993)
    To think that the DMCA defenders would actually change their minds over this is ridiculous. They wont care about the DMCA since it doesn't affect them for the most part. Once the videos are back, the DMCA will once again be "a much needed weapon to save hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US, it said so right here in this report".
  • Oh, Please... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:19AM (#25381021)

    Money != speech

  • by Tx (96709) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:21AM (#25381029) Journal

    The sad thing is they won't. Here they have clear and direct personal experience of the DMCA as currently implemented preventing legitimate content from being posted. You'd think that would do it. But they're* pleading special case for politicians, rather than calling for reform of the DMCA as a whole. And if they're taking that stance now, while the issue is hot and they might win a few votes for challenging an unpopular law, there's little chance of them turning around and calling for reform later.

    *I say they, I'll pretty much bet the Obama camp takes a similar stance to the McCain camp, I guess we'll see.

  • by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:21AM (#25381033)

    McCain voted for a bill (the DMCA) that made service providers responsible for doing an immediate takedown of content alleged to have been improperly posted regardless of the merits of the complaint if they wanted the fullest protections the law could provide. Complaining when a company is complying in full with that law hardly seems fitting.

    It's almost a shame the Obama campaign isn't submitting more content (defensible as fair use) that could be mechanically considered to infringe themselves; if this were the case, there would be less perception that YouTube is pushing a political agenda via their takedown process.

  • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:23AM (#25381059) Homepage

    If anything happens, they'll just see to it that the DMCA doesn't apply to political ads.

  • by overshoot (39700) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:23AM (#25381061)
    They don't seem to realize that this is John McCain they're dealing with not some nobody prole.
  • If this law is hampering your campaign, why did you vote for it, McCain?!

    I'd say you could potentially gain back some of your totally trampled credibility by suddenly proposing a repeal of the DMCA with your senate position, but I somehow doubt that such a miracle would occur...

  • Re:Oh, Please... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by schwit1 (797399) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:30AM (#25381137)
    Opinions vary.
  • by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:36AM (#25381167)

    It's completely different provisions that make the DMCA unpopular.

    Shielding service providers as long as they promptly process takedowns and put content back up on counter-notices is a Good Thing; without it YouTube wouldn't exist. Moreover, the DMCA provides for legal penalties if misused -- if a supposed copyright holder has something taken back down after the person who posted it gave a counter-notice, they're on the hook if such was done wrongly.

    The McCain campaign is presumably whining about the process because the information they're trying to promulgate is time-sensitive (only relevant up to the election) and they don't want the downtime it takes to provide counter-notices -- but once they do provide counter-notices, CBS/NBC/whoever won't be able to have it taken back down without risking their own necks. It's a good process, though, and I don't see any reason to fill it with loopholes.

    The parts of the DMCA that make it illegal to circumvent the dongle check in the 15-year-old piece of accounting software my consulting client's small business uses (company long out of business, dongle recently broken) are complete BS, but the takedown and counter-notice process is reasonable.

  • by Atzanteol (99067) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:38AM (#25381189) Homepage
    Gawd I wish you weren't right... :-(
  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:42AM (#25381215)

    *I say they, I'll pretty much bet the Obama camp takes a similar stance to the McCain camp, I guess we'll see.

    Well, one way to hold Obama's feet to the fire is to say that you will vote for McCain if Obama doesn't say that he will reform the DCMA.

    Here is the thing, if this issue really is that important to you, then you must be willing to make sacrifices (Voting for McCain if you were planning to vote Obama, or the reverse). They need to know that their position, or lack thereof is worse than people not voting for them, they are actively voting against them. It is a bitter pill to swallow, for them and us. Who will blink first?

    This holds true for whatever candidate you support. Threaten to withdraw that support, and mean it, if there are issues you need addressed. The other candidate may not be what you prefer, but you can be damned sure that all promises made to special interests will be forgotten if keeping them means costing them the actual election. If there is one thing that politicians like more than lobbyist money, it is winning the election in the first place.

    If IP/copyright reform is as important to Slashdotters as we claim, then you HAVE to take positions like this to force it to be a real issue. Again, a bitter pill, and not for everyone, but you have to ask yourself, how important is copyright reform to me?

  • by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot@NOspam.nexusuk.org> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:46AM (#25381257) Homepage

    DMCA aside, videos published on the web don't *have* to be published through YouTube. If you don't like your publisher's policies, change publisher or publish it yourself. Americans are always very protective of the free market, and this is an example of why it is a good thing - there are alternatives to YouTube, use them.

  • Re:Oh, Please... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aproposofwhat (1019098) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:51AM (#25381309)
    But

    Money == <access to advertising slots>

  • Re:HAHAHAHAHAHA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:02AM (#25381387)

    here's the actual vote:
    SENATE: 100% Democrats; 100% Republicans (unaminous)
    HOUSE: 90% Democrats; 85% Republicans (veto-proof)
    PRESIDENT:
    Signed by *democrat* William J. Clinton in 1998.

    What was that about being a "republican" bill? It looks like a typical Duopoly bill to me, supported by BOTH sides, since they both pretty much act alike.

    People like the person you were addressing are a serious impediment to rational discourse on the internet. They are insulated by the web, and have created some sort of cognitive dissonance that hides the real world situation from themselves.

    Typical fanboy behavior. Unfortunately, it applies to all aspects of society; Sports teams, cities, nations, ethnicities, OS, and obviously politicians all have their fanboys. What really bugs me is when people like him get so wound up in their own fanaticism that they begin to engage in the old practice of 'If I can't have it, then no one can.'

    But thanks for looking up the vote totals. I like to see that sort of information tossed back at these fanatics at every opportunity regardless of claims to any political ideology.

  • Ha Ha! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fujisawa Sensei (207127) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:18AM (#25381519) Journal
    Hey McCain,

    Its your bill, in at least the fact that you voted for it?

    Since you're a Senator are you going show some genuine spine, and sponsor legislation to change or repeal that POS?

  • by pmbasehore (1198857) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:20AM (#25381527)
    OK, at the risk of sounding reasonable (and losing karma) I think we need to put the blame where blame is due.

    As a conservative, I generally vote Republican. However, I am mature enough to recognize that many of the elected officials in the Republican party have directly or indirectly caused the current economic situation. I am also knowledgeable enough to recognize that the elected officials in the Democratic party are equally to blame.

    The blame lies with Republicans, Democrats, the Legislative branch, and the Executive branch. (I don't have enough information to blame the Judicial branch for anything.) ALL are equally guilty, and BOTH parties make equally valid statements about the other's responsibility.

    Yes, Clinton's fiscal decisions (Glass-Steagall act repealed, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, others) had their hand in creating this downturn. Yes, Republican legislation (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) and partisanship also had their hand in creating this downturn.

    Skip the partisanship. Give the blame where it is due--not with the party that differs with your own viewpoint (whichever party that may be), but the elected officials sitting in the Senate, the House, and Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Let's be a little more reasonable here, OK?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:28AM (#25381609)

    Fox != FoxNews
    Fox is far more liberal than FoxNews (I don't care if they _do_ share a parent company...)

  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:35AM (#25381669) Journal

    Yes, and who can we blame for the fact that most of them still sit in the senate, the house, and Pennsylvania Avenue?

  • by Danse (1026) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:35AM (#25381681)

    Skip the partisanship. Give the blame where it is due--not with the party that differs with your own viewpoint (whichever party that may be), but the elected officials sitting in the Senate, the House, and Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Let's be a little more reasonable here, OK?

    That was really my point. The gp poster was trying to tie all of our problems around the necks of the dems, so I pointed out that the republicans had a hand in it as well. Both sides have caved to the financial industry in a lot of ways and let them run wild. Trying to point at one or the other is oversimplifying in the extreme.

  • by Ioldanach (88584) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:52AM (#25381845)

    I think the Republican Party needs to lay low for a few years, be an opposition party, and come up with a new plan and a new message. We've played all the old cards and its time to come up with the something new.

    Maybe they could become the party of fiscal responsibility and small government again, it worked pretty well before they abandoned it a couple decades ago. They keep airing ads about "those tax and spend liberals," which are funny coming from what's now the party of tax and spend conservatives.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:01AM (#25381939) Journal

    Maybe you like waiting in line for health care. I don't.

    Mind telling me where in the United States you can get health care without waiting in line? In my town a 10am appointment means sitting in the waiting room until at least 11am.

  • by dachshund (300733) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:04AM (#25381963)

    Skip the partisanship. Give the blame where it is due--not with the party that differs with your own viewpoint (whichever party that may be), but the elected officials sitting in the Senate, the House, and Pennsylvania Avenue. Let's be a little more reasonable here, OK?

    Unfortunately, our electoral system does not have a "throw the bums out and replace them with good, solid human beings" lever. So, with due respect, your analysis doesn't actually help us do anything about the situation.

    Sure, let's say all politicians are to blame. What then? I mean, we can vote against the incumbent in every election, but mostly that just means some other party-supported figure gets in, and that's that. We could try to vote third party (where there are even serious candidates) but it's mostly a losing proposition. This country has a winner-take-all approach to running elections that fundamentally makes it difficult to elect parties outside of the big two.

    You're not going to get a perfect outcome no matter what you do, so here are the practical measures I'm taking:

    1. I think deregulation has a lot to do with the financial meltdown, so I'm voting for the candidates (and parties) that seem most likely to bring back sane regulation. I'm not expecting perfection (unfortunately), but I'm going to be as pragmatic as I can.

    2. Within the national party that I choose, I'm going to contribute to and vote for candidates that even further support that approach.

    3. I'm going to strongly work for campaign finance reform laws, because I think that a lot of the compromises we've seen in Washington have been transparent sellouts for campaign contribution.

    4. I'm going to try to identify /which/ party really stands behind each piece of bad legislation (i.e., if all members from party A voted for it, and 10% of party B did, then I'm going to identify party B as the one I'm most likely to be able to influence and I'm going to support certain candidates within that party).

    I don't think these are going to be perfect, but if enough people take action, I believe we'll make things substantially better. Unfortunately, complaining about "all the bums" in DC is just a great way to make sure they get to keep doing what they're doing.

  • by Tanktalus (794810) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:06AM (#25381981) Journal

    * (The real blame lies with the 1990s president who repealed the Glass-Steagall of 1933 which allowed banks to invest in risky stocks, and thereby created the current crisis. But the media is being hush-hush about that. Don't want to risk losing the Obama election.)

    Odd, I'd blame the banks for their crisis by investing stupidly. I guess it's like a kid who just turned legal, going out, getting entirely plastered, driving home, and hitting nearly everyone they see on their way. Except that here mommy and daddy have to pay about $700B for bailing them out.

    Mind you, I'm on the House and Senate Republicans' side on this one. They took the risk, they should pay for it. If they don't, and see that mommy and daddy will always bail them out, will they ever learn?

    Maybe the US needs a constitutional amendment to make these bailouts illegal. Then maybe corporations will learn to take reasonable risks - ones that, if they should fail, won't put them under. And then pass a law requiring that 95% of board members' pay (and that should include all chief officers) are in the form of stock and stock options: 10% stock, 90% stock options (none of which can vest in less than 5 years). Then they'll take the long-term view of their corporations.

  • by electrictroy (912290) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:16AM (#25382117)

    If certain persons (cough democrats) can give praise to Clinton "Because he created the wonderful economy of the 1990s"
    then I certainly think it's fair to blame Clinton when he repeals Glass-Steagall.

    Turn on CSPAN. What do you hear? "Bush is at fault... Bush did this wrong... Bush's policies made the stock market fail," and on and on and on. I'm just playing the game that the Congress people are playing. If they can lay all the blame/praise on a single president, then I can COPY the "esteemed representatives" and do the same thing.

    It seems fair to emulate what I see inside the Congress.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:16AM (#25382123) Journal

    Lol.. Waiting one hour is no where near the same as waiting 5 or 6 hours or the dreaded waits of days and years that cause people to shop other countries for health care that they can get for free in their own countries. India has a pretty thriving medical tourism industry specifically because of flaws and waits in other countries. You don't seriously think someone would jump a flight to india to see the doctor one hour sooner do you?

  • Re:HAHAHAHAHAHA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ded Bob (67043) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:22AM (#25382219) Homepage

    Typical fanboy behavior. Unfortunately, it applies to all aspects of society; Sports teams, cities, nations, ethnicities, OS, and obviously politicians...

    You forgot the most vehement categories: editors and shells. :)

    I agree with you. While I highly prefer vim and zsh, I have no issue with someone else using Emacs or bash. Another thing to consider is that people are determined to see things in black and white. I am tired of hearing how there are only two options when Congress is deciding something. R's want one thing and D's want another. The two options will of course be (almost) complete opposites. Compromise or another possibility that does not upset either party is not an option.

    Maybe the number of options proposed is related to the number of parties present in Congress?

  • by geminidomino (614729) * on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:22AM (#25382229) Journal

    *wipes eyes* 10/10 for style (minus several million for good sense). Masterfully done. Not even any typos.

    Remember, my vacuous trolling friend, the opposite of "intellectual elite" is "ignorant peasant."

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@nOSPAm.yahoo.com> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:24AM (#25382255) Journal

    They don't love Obama, if they did, they would be crowing about how the election is already in the bag. Democrates have over 270 electoral votes, within the margin of polling error. It's a done deal, we've won the presidency. The only question is, will Democrats take a filibuster proof supermajority in both houses? If the media were really liberal, instead of greedy, they would tell the truth. But a tight race means more viewers, so they continue to make it seem closer than it is.

  • by mweather (1089505) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:30AM (#25382355)
    And what's the waiting time for that same surgery in the US if you have no money to pay for it?
  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:36AM (#25382431) Journal

    It's a matter of degree. In Canada, the average waiting time for a necessary surgery is 18 weeks [www.cbc.ca].

    And how is that relevant to Obama's health care plan? He hasn't purposed a single-payer Gov't sponsored system.

    Having your appointment happen an hour late isn't even close.

    No, it's not, but the point is that health care in this country is already broken. Pointing to other countries where it's broken more doesn't justify leaving our existing system in place.

    We don't have enough primary care doctors because they don't make as much money as specialists yet have the same costs of doing business (malpractice insurance being the big one). Ditto for OB/GYNs. Our insurance system sucks -- what's the point of having insurance if you wind up paying out more money than you can afford in deductibles and co-payments? Isn't insurance supposed to protect you from financial disaster? What's the point of having insurance if you have to argue with them on your death bed to get them to pay the bills? Why can my car insurance company offer a simple deductible after which all damage is fully covered but no health insurance provider can?

    Our pharmaceutical industry sucks -- why can they profitably sell drugs in Canada at cheaper prices than they can in the United States? Why do they get away with making minor reformulations of their product (typically an "extended release" version) to extend/get new patents and shut out generics? Why do they spend more on marketing than they do on research? Shouldn't life-saving drugs sell themselves?

    We need solutions from both sides of the aisle to fix this problem. The insurance and pharmaceutical companies need to be reined in and regulated better (typically a democratic solution). Scum-sucking ambulance chasers need to be reined in (typically a republican solution). Punitive damages shouldn't be allowed unless the health care provider was grossly negligent -- if he/she wasn't than you shouldn't be able to collect more than your actual damages.

  • by flyingbuttressman (1386203) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:39AM (#25382481)
    I agree with you on principle, but the problem lies with low wages and the habit of companies like Wal-Mart of keeping their employees part-time, un-unionized, and reliant on government assistance. If you want to take the steps to increase the minimum wage to a decent living wage and improve workers' rights then I'm 100% behind you. As far as health care goes, the first thing we need to do is end discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and genetic risk. I don't think socialism is perfect, but it would improve the standard of living across the board.
  • by Falstius (963333) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:45AM (#25382585)

    No, buy many Americans jump on a plane to India because they can't afford to get their treatment in the US. It is common to have to wait months to see a specialist in the US. The difference is, when you do get to see them it can bankrupt you (even if you thought you had insurance).

  • by MrMunkey (1039894) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:51AM (#25382671) Homepage
    The problem here is with emergency situations. Any normal person would be freaked out, and the last thing on their mind would be money. Now with worrying about living they have to deal with the insurance company stating that some procedure won't be covered, but they're being told that this procedure is the best chance they have. Why should anyone have to make their case to live?

    I used to be against a socialized medical system, but over the years I have come to realize that health care should be a right, and not a privilege.
  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:51AM (#25382675) Journal

    Well I have cable, Internet access, cell phone, and two computers bought in the last two years. And I can get public healthcare whenever I want.

    You could afford it too if you had SAVED your money, instead of demanding your neighbors' pay the bill for you (tax their paychecks & give the money to you).

    What country do you live in where you get to have tax paid for you by your neighbour? I pay taxes too.

    There are arguments for public healthcare that are nothing to do with whether we should have welfare for the poor:

    * Everyone benefits from a healthy society, such as stopping contagious diseases, and having a healthy workforce.

    * Private companies tend to discriminate, making it unfair to anyone with any pre-existing conditions for example. I'm happy to pay for costs myself (whether towards a policy, or taxation), but I'd rather not gamble my health with the private insurance companies, thanks.

    The US has state schools does it not? Surely we should privatise schools instead of having this "socialist" schooling system? And what about the military, what's this nonsense about Government funded defence? Anyone who suggests otherwise has a "gimme gimme gimme" attitude, and they want to "raid their neighbors' wallets", right?

    You see, even if the US, there are lots of things where things are funded by the Government, and it is sensible to do so. My views lean towards right-wing pro-capitalist, but this doesn't mean that we have to have an entirely 100% laissez-faire capitalist society. I find this attitude that any kind of regulation amounts to "socialism" rather odd, especially since the US clearly isn't anywhere near a 100% laissez-faire capitalist society, anyway.

    (I'm also curious how you manage to save 1/2 a million in just five years just by not having cable etc?)

  • by nedwidek (98930) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:54AM (#25382735)

    I agree with you in spirit. Too bad that idea ends up taking the economy completely out. Hey, we'll be eating dog food on the streets, but we showed them they needed to take responsibility for their actions. What we have here is a lose-lose-lose situation.

    Still bad mortgages should never have been allowed to be rolled up into hedged funds and then given a AAA rating. Amazing how the private industry that does so well at regulating itself and making sure bad things don't happen missed that one. Then again the government actively voted against regulating such things so they're not a better choice. Unfortunately people are just plain stupid and greedy.

  • by ari_j (90255) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:59AM (#25382833)
    Not to get side-tracked, but first off do you know of a jurisdiction within the United States that allows punitive damages for regular negligence? I am not aware of one, but I haven't exactly looked into all of them.

    You do ask a lot of good questions. Do you know of a place in the world that has answered these questions? Do you know what Obama has actually proposed? It mostly consists of tax credits and requiring insurance companies to do things like cover preexisting conditions.

    Do you know what that actually means? It means that, not only does the government increase taxes on the wealthy to pay for private health insurance for the poor, but the insurance companies can and will increase their rates for all people because of the increased risk they are bearing. The alternative to that result is that insurance is no longer a profitable business and companies will get out of it.

    As to doctors not making enough in the primary care market, I know a lot of them who do just fine. As a matter of fact, quite a few have immigrated from Canada, where the government decides how much doctors should be paid and where that number is simply not high enough to motivate a good doctor to stay.

    The health care system is not perfect. It could be improved. Forcing private businesses to engage in unprofitable activity and forcing both types of premium increases on wealthier taxpayers is indistinguishable from socialism and nobody has stood up with any convincing evidence that it will work in the long term.
  • by the_arrow (171557) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @11:02AM (#25382895) Homepage

    Today, the majority of people who claim they can't afford health care actually could if they were more reasonable about their spending choices in other areas.

    Yes, like spending less on food maybe? There are lot of people who can barely afford to feed themselves or their children, maybe you have any ideas on how they should handle their economy to afford good health care?

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @11:21AM (#25383233) Journal

    And whose fault is that? Maybe you should stop wasting money on $1000 a year Cable TV, or $900 a year Internet access, or $700 a year cellphone connections, or buying a new $2000 laptop every other year. ----- Maybe then you could afford the healthcare. Let me introduce you to new words: "self-sacrifice" "self-help" and "self-responsibility/initiative".

    Oh, blow it out your fucking ass with the self-responsibility bullshit. I don't waste money on any of those things that you mentioned and I have a pretty decent chunk of change tucked away (six months of my income). In spite of all of that I still couldn't afford a major medical diagnosis without insurance. It would bankrupt me.

    Ever known anyone that got cancer? Those bills run into the hundreds of thousands. Mind telling me how someone who is making middle class wages can afford to take a hit like that?

    Funny you mention this example, because that's EXACTLY what I do. In the event of an accident, buying a used car for $3000-$5000 makes a whole lot more sense than paying ~$15,000 per decade to the insurance rapists. I have the state-required minimum, but I do not insure my car. It's cheaper to just junk it, and buy a used one.

    Well kudos to you for being financially responsible. Next time my wife gets sick I'll tell her it's cheaper to just junk her and find a new one.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @11:23AM (#25383289) Journal

    So, this month, healthcare has cost me $27,627. I can barely afford my deductible; you really think people can pay that kind of cash out of pocket?

    Dude, just get rid of your $1,000/yr cable bill as electrictroy suggests. You'll be able to pay off those medical bills in 27 years if you do that!

  • by mosch (204) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @11:24AM (#25383305) Homepage

    > Well, one way to hold Obama's feet to the fire is to say that you will vote for McCain if Obama doesn't say that he will reform the DCMA.

    Sure. This makes sense if you believe the DMCA is more important than differing stances on foreign policy, education, science, health care, economic policy, neocolonialism, women's rights, etc, etc....

    Personally I have trouble imagining anybody, from either party, switching their affiliation based on the DMCA.

  • by Silverstrike (170889) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @11:24AM (#25383319)

    I pay $0 on cable, $180 on internet, and I haven't bought a new computer in six years. As a result of this self-sacrifice, I have saved 1/2 a million in just five years, and I can EASILY afford a doctor's visit at any of a hundred hospitals within driving distance.

    Given your estimates, you'd have saved $18,000 in 5 years. Your ability to save $500,000 in five years is helped by your frugality, but your frugality is certainly not the reason for your ability to save. Your above average income is.

    If you SAVED your money, instead of wasting it on non-important trivia, you wouldn't have to hold your hand out. You'd be able to pay your own bills.

    Yea, that's a really arrogant statement coming from someone who obviously is able to make $100,000+/year. I grew up the only son of a Bartender(mother) and a non-Union(Unions are evil through, right?) Bricklayer(father). Obviously, we did not have health insurance. I distinctly remember weeks of ramen and huge pots of homemade soup after I came down with strep throat, because the doctor's appointment and prescribed amoxicillian depleted the family budget for the month. This draconian cost cutting would happen anytime I got sick a as child. Can you even imagine how that made a young sick child feel? To know that his illness is essentially bankrupting the family?

    Its not about "raiding" your wallet. Its about the acknowledging the value of human life and human dignity. Entitlement programs aren't there to keep fat rednecks on their couches in trailer parks. Yes, those people exist, and yes they do take advantage of government programs. But that is simply part of the cost. It can be mitigated with good regulation, and it can be controlled with good planning and thoughtful program design. But these programs are there there for people like my parents. Who built your house, served your beer, and who the rest of the world has to stand on top of to be "wealthy".

    Because you can't on the top of the pile without standing on all the people underneath.

    And to the GP: Don't worry. Obama's proposals will let you keep your employer coverage you covet. So you don't have to stand in line with the "Rabble".

    One last thing, before you dismiss me as a poor parasite who wants to take your money away too. I'm a Sr. Software Engineer at a major development house, and I also run a consulting company. I will clear over $200,000 this year. I will pay for these programs too -- probably more than you will.

  • by R2.0 (532027) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @11:31AM (#25383447)

    They don't love Obama, if they did, they would be crowing about how the election is already in the bag. Democrates have over 270 electoral votes, within the margin of polling error. It's a done deal, we've won the presidency. The only question is, will Democrats take a filibuster proof supermajority in both houses?

    Three words: "Dewey Defeats Truman" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewey_Defeats_Truman [wikipedia.org]

    If the media were really liberal, instead of greedy, they would tell the truth. But a tight race means more viewers, so they continue to make it seem closer than it is.

    I would be THRILLED if the media declared Obama the victor - it would guarantee a McCain victory. It would fire up the Republican base and depress the Democrats turnout - why bother voting when the election is in the bag? 19 days is a looooong time, especially this year. THAT's why the media hasn't done so - it would hurt Obama, and could not possibly help him.

    But I encourage you strongly to keep telling everyone how the election is already won.

  • I can only speak from experience with the Canadian system because my dad's side of the family is Canadian.

    * One of my relatives had a stroke. They live in Ontario. The hospital in Windsor was too full and had no beds left, so they had to go across to Detroit.

    * My Aunt needed a CT scan and the waiting list in her province was over 6 months long because of how equipment is distributed. Again, had to come here to the USA to get a CT scan sooner.

    These are only two I can remember offhand. Sure, this is only two examples of being raped by the medical system in Canada, but quality healthcare is certainly not accessible nor available to everyone under such a system. It just forces people who can afford it to come here where there aren't any government restrictions.

  • by the_macman (874383) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @12:04PM (#25383989)
    My girlfriend has a condition where her front teeth couldn't touch because her bottom jaw was misaligned. It caused her a lot of pain and she couldn't smile or chew properly.

    The operation was going to cost $40k+.

    She got a letter from her insurance company handed it to the doctor and the operation was completed. Shortly after all, these bills started showing up and the insurance company reneged on their promise. They claimed it was a "cosmetic surgery". After two years of legal battle they finally yielded and paid the doctor.

    So I'm sorry you're wrong. Your letter isn't a golden ticket to hassle free surgery.
  • by mrdoogee (1179081) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @12:29PM (#25384553)
    To use a metaphor:

    Clinton steered the ship toward the rocks. Bush spent 7 1/2 years with the rocks in the front window and did nothing about it. Both seem to be to blame, but you have to hold the guy who's watch it happened on more responsible.
  • Re:HAHAHAHAHAHA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chadenright (1344231) <chadenright@@@hotmail...com> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @12:34PM (#25384649) Journal

    You are mistaken. Ignorance is when ignorant people are clueless to the facts. To an extent, ignorance is forgivable. Hypocrasy is when someone has the facts and chooses to ignore them.

  • by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @12:35PM (#25384673)

    It's a matter of degree. In Canada, the average waiting time for a necessary surgery is 18 weeks. Having your appointment happen an hour late isn't even close.

    Necessary surgery != Surgery you need today.

    In Canada, its a perpetual system of triage. People who need the surgery most get it first.

    That combined with budget limitations means that there are a lot of people who 'need' surgery but have to wait a long time to get it. In some cases they are perfectly fine, other times they are in discomfort or pain until they get it but their lives aren't at risk, and the condition isn't likely to worsen while they wait. And so these people end up waiting an unfortunately long time creating the long average times.

    But if you need surgery now, its an immediate threat, or they expect your condition is going to worsen, you are moved up to the front of the queue. If its serious people get surgery within hours of showing up at the doctor.

    So yeah, the Canadian system is a bummer for people who 'need surgery soon', because they usually have to wait a few months.

    But contrasted with the American system, and I'm not sure what you are so smug about. Millions of uninsured people can't get the surgery at all. Millions of insured people are 'under insured' and won't get the surgery, millions more have adequate insurance and their insurance company still elects not to approve the procedure... "18 weeks" vs "No".

    By any metrics Canada is healthier than the US. Lower infant mortality, longer life expectancy, better overall health. The majority of americans would actually be better off under the Canadian system than the American system, yet the wealthy elite have convinced them otherwise. Suckers.

    Doubly so, because the wealthy elite are never subject to the system anyway, they can ALWAYS fly to Cuba or wherever to get some procedure or other done tomorrow, so by keeping unified health care out they aren't even protecting themselves from 'long wait times' because they'd never be subject to them anyway. They'd just rather see millions of their fellow american's die in the street than pay more taxes.

  • by Danny Rathjens (8471) <slashdot2&rathjens,org> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @12:41PM (#25384765)
    It's more like "spend and spend conservatives", rather than "tax and spend". All that debt comes from somewhere.
  • by eam (192101) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @12:53PM (#25385037)

    Don't worry. They'll reform the DMCA. The new version will be identical except for a provision excluding political campaigns.

  • by Grym (725290) * on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @01:24PM (#25385661)

    Ok, if you are going to go there, please name 1 case of life-saving surgery that some US citizen required but they were denied because they couldn't afford it. Just 1, please.

    This is a loaded question. To someone outside of the medical community, it might seem fair but it is not. First-hand, objective accounts of such stories are difficult to come by because patient records are confidential and healthcare providers have an ethical obligation (and legal obligation, a la HIPAA regulations) not to speak of such matters without approval from their patients. Plus, the chilling effect of rampant medical malpractice lawsuits has made many doctors silent out of fear of losing their livelihood for speaking the truth.

    Another part of the problem with this question is the disparity between how a clinician might define "life-saving" and how the lay-public defines it. When most people think of "life-saving surgery" they often think only of surgical emergencies. It is true, in this respect, surgical emergencies are treated regardless of the ability to pay. But this is only a small aspect of medicine. Something as simple as bariatric surgery could literally be life-saving. A more mature definition of "life-saving surgery" might be: surgery for a medical condition which falls under the accepted standard of medical care and causally prevents death from that medical condition or associated complications. In that sense, the United States medical system frequently fails patients. And this failure is not limited to surgery.

    An interesting aspect to all this is that by washing our hands of all non-emergency patients, the health care system may paradoxically end up being more expensive. Consider the hypothetical case of an uninsured heart attack patient who shows up in the emergency room and subsequently receives triple-bypass surgery. The associated costs with such a patient could be enormous. But what if this condition had been prevented by proper screening and preventative treatments like cholesterol or blood pressure reducing medications? In comparison, such expenses are negligible. And yet, hospitals are more likely to eat the cost of the former and not the latter because that is what the law and government incentivizes them to do.

    If the sub-prime mortgage crisis is any sign, I think we are reaching a breaking point in our society. Greed and self-interest do not, in most cases, result in maximizing efficiency. It's the prisoner's dilemma and we have chosen self-interest over altruism--paradoxically at our own peril. In my opinion, the quintessential mistake of the past couple decades seems, to be a dogmatic belief that free market capitalism will always prevail in an unregulated environment, regardless of whether the underlying fundamentals to a free-market system are present and irrespective of the context. Medicine is not a widget. Greed is not good. The sooner we come to realize this, the better off we will be.

    -Grym

  • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @02:00PM (#25386345) Homepage Journal

    I agree with your analysis, but your conclusions seem seriously misguided. You are absolutely correct that the current system is woefully inefficient, and far more expensive than it needs to be. Treating colds in the emergency room is simply not how things should be done.

    However, you have made a couple of serious errors. You conclude that we have chosen self-interest over altruism. That's because, quite simply, people tend to act in their own self-interest, while altruism doesn't exist in the real world. At times, some misunderstood instinct or action taken out of enlightened self-interest may appear to be altruistic, but altruism not only can't be relied upon - it has been shown to be entirely non-existent in the human animal.

    Your other error is assuming that there are free-market forces at work in the US Medical industry. There are very few if any. The entire system seems to be made up of a few oligarchical groups battling for slices of the pie, often using legislative variations of one stripe or another. So there are groups lobbying for doctors, there are huge hospital conglomerates, nurses unions, and insurance companies. For the most part, they don't market themselves to the consumers - they lobby Washington for favorable legislation.

    Part of the problem with trying to introduce any kind of free market pressures is, as you pointed out, the lack of transparency. When the insurance companies contract with hospitals and doctor groups, and no outcome-based statistics can be found on hospitals and doctors (much less prices), how would consumers even do any comparison shopping for health care?

    I don't have any answers to these issues. Disregarding the inefficiency and cost issues, I think the availability of health care in the US is outstanding, if not the best in the world. But the costs of the system will destroy it if we don't do something to fix the overhead and unfairness of the system.

    The federal government has shown that they are not competent at solutions for this kind of thing, though. A big new bureaucracy in charge of all that money frankly frightens me, because it will quickly be corrupted.

  • by ari_j (90255) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @02:44PM (#25387109)
    You are transferring your risk to the insurance company and paying a premium (the insurance term derives from the normal meaning: a price above what something is worth) for the transfer. The fact that risk is pooled is why the economics of insurance work out, but your statement of the "whole point of insurance", that being "to avoid financial disaster", is only true as a corollary. Financial disaster is a risk and you transfer that risk to an insurer.

    In reality, having written that, I see that we agree on what the whole point of insurance is, I am just stating it one way and you are stating it another. Financial disaster is a risk and to avoid it is to transfer it to someone else. We both agree, despite you saying that I only gave "part of" the point of insurance, that the "whole point" is to accomplish this transfer/avoidance of risk/financial disaster.
  • by dunkelfalke (91624) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @02:55PM (#25387277)

    what exactly is a problem with having both at once?
    everyone gets the same basic health care and if someone wants to have better than average health care they can pay a premium.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @03:58PM (#25388365) Journal

    I haven't seen that particular story but I have seen others. I don't think the American system is the worst there is, in fact, we achieve much better results and until recently we have been known for making the most advancements in medical treatments. The Jarvis guy who invented the first artificial heart claims that if it wasn't for the environment and system in America, it wouldn't have been possible for him to do it. I'm sure there is room for debate there but that isn't important right now. Aside from our accounting differences and life style differences, we are on par or better then the rest of the world. In fact, the WHO's ranking of 37 is primarily due to perceived fairness and people covered. Of course the people covered and how fair that is distributed says nothing about the quality of the health care but more about the access to it. I might agree that access to health care is horrid in the US but I'm forced to blame the people just as much as the system.

    There are nuances like reporting figures and stuff like that which skew direct comparisons of statistics across countries. I remember a story about Cuba having a low infant mortality rate then the US but then it came to be known that it was because if a birth was under so many pounds, regardless of what was done to save it or how long it lived, it was counted as a still birth where in America, if it lived longer then 24 hours, despite any birth weight, it gets counted as a live birth and doctors are required to attempt to save it. What you end up with is a lot more risk on the US side of evens simply because we didn't follow WHO reporting guidelines like Cuba did.

    You have other stats like the number of fatalities from motor vehicle crashes and trama injuries that aren't directly comparable either. If you compare them to distances driven, we are in better standing then many European countries as the average distance traveled before a fatal crash is greater but if you count the actual number of fatalities per accident, we are worse off until you start counting DOAs and separating them. Heart attack is often skewed too, when you look at the time to treatment and the survivability, we are equal with Europe within the first 20 minutes. If it takes longer then 20 minutes before medical attention, it starts changing and we start flowing behind. But when you look at the living conditions in Europe compared to the US where we have larger living spaces, larger yards typically, and are spread out over larger areas, you see how it would be more difficult to get immediate medical attention to heart attack victims. Our number of people serviced by each hospital and the capacity compared to size is relatively the same, but the distances between them and the patients are greater in the US because of our lifestyles. This is mitigated by spreading emergency ambulatory serviced out but there is still a factor to consider. Often the first 5 to 20 minutes is the most critical in these situations.

    Anyways, I'm not making excuses but I have yet to find any study that attempts to deal with this. Even within the states, we have issues like this. In my township, the average emergency response time for a medic call is 8 minutes. In the town ship next to us, it is 20 minutes. The average for the state is 16 minutes. Of course we benefit from a larger volunteer pool that arrive sooner then the emergency squad and start life saving procedures while the ambulance is still in route. I'm not entirely sure why we have so many qualified volunteers, it costs about $1,200 and 40 hours a year out of their own pockets for yearly retraining and certification (maybe that's the medic course and a tech would be less). It is more to get certified and they only get paid (*the volunteers that is) $5 for showing up to a call and $10 an hour for being there. Most calls don't even get them $20 and the people who already work for the county or township aren't allowed to get paid at all.

    Anyways, it is more complex then a simple, they get that or this. We will have to pay for the thi

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:40PM (#25393367)

    That's amazing what you've been through.

    But the problem is regulation on the industry, not subsidizing it or similar.

    The costs for surgery are nominal, the materials can be somewhat expensive, the time is somewhat expensive, but the most expensive part is liability, training and the lack of competition.

    This is due to:

    Patents/Copyrights/etc which stop pharmeceutial/medical equipment companies competing.

    Medical licenses which limit who can teach medicine and who can practise it.

    Liability laws which make companies which operate in this industry, overly liable.

    I've grown up with this industry (My parents work in it, and almost all of their friends are in it), when you talk to them you find out how restricted they are, by these laws.

    If you want cheap quality health care, get rid of these laws.

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"

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