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03/11/2014 02:20:52 PM · #126
Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Let's not confuse not having insurance with not having access to health care...



Try accessing health care without insurance…unless you're independently wealthy you're not getting access.


I'm pretty sure my work experience would say you are wrong.


I don't mean simply going for a check up or treatment for a minor injury.

Try getting cancer treatment or treatment for a similar life threatening and/or rare disease...unless you can afford it, have insurance or are cute enough to raise megabucks with a fundraiser...you're out of luck. Of course, if you have enough assets, you can kiss them goodbye along with experiencing the joy of being turned over to collection agencies, getting sued and eventually, bankruptcy when they've taken all of what you do have. Nothing helps treatment like wondering if you'll have a home to return to when the chemo is breaking you down.

//money.cnn.com/2013/04/26/news/economy/health-care-cost/

If you're right, why were some 2 million people forced into bankruptcy over medical bills? Why are there millions of people with chronic illnesses that don't take their medication because they can't afford it?


You misunderstand me. I'm not saying there aren't problems, I'm saying the statement that "50 million Americans have zero access to healthcare" is misleading. They do have access to healthcare and receive it and out of 50 million, only 2 million apparently are crushed with bills they can't get out from under. The other 48 million seem to be getting by somehow. Again, not saying we're in some ideal situation, but that Judith overstated the magnitude of the problem especially when she joins it with a statement that people "don't give a shit".

Message edited by author 2014-03-11 14:21:26.
03/11/2014 02:22:46 PM · #127
Originally posted by Cory:


My point is that the whole thing is broken - badly, badly broken. And people are still willing to play along - it's a shame really, we DO deserve better. And this system seems like it must fail, as it's completely unsustainable in it's current form.


I agree. It's broken. We need universal health care coverage and no more health insurance companies.
03/11/2014 02:30:39 PM · #128
Originally posted by posthumous:

Originally posted by Cory:


My point is that the whole thing is broken - badly, badly broken. And people are still willing to play along - it's a shame really, we DO deserve better. And this system seems like it must fail, as it's completely unsustainable in it's current form.


I agree. It's broken. We need universal health care coverage and no more health insurance companies.


I generally support free enterprise. With that being said, my thought is that the best alternative is fully government controlled, although it does need to go deeper than just the insurance - no private hospitals, etc... Private doctors would be fine, but they should be outside of the 'government healthcare complex'. Once healthcare is looked at as big business, then it's a certainty that profits will take priority over people.
03/11/2014 02:58:43 PM · #129
Originally posted by Cory:

Once healthcare is looked at as big business, then it's a certainty that profits will take priority over people.

Once ...? In the mid-1970's filmaker Donald Goldmacher made "Do No Harm" -- a documentary about how the pharmaceutical industry worked. At that time, for something like fifteen straight years, the pharmaceutical industry had been either number one or number two in overall profitability, trading places every so often with the oil industry. I doubt things have changed significantly in the past forty years. And try checking out the compensation package for the CEO of a "non-profit" hospital ...
03/11/2014 03:08:41 PM · #130
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Cory:

Once healthcare is looked at as big business, then it's a certainty that profits will take priority over people.

Once ...? In the mid-1970's filmaker Donald Goldmacher made "Do No Harm" -- a documentary about how the pharmaceutical industry worked. At that time, for something like fifteen straight years, the pharmaceutical industry had been either number one or number two in overall profitability, trading places every so often with the oil industry. I doubt things have changed significantly in the past forty years. And try checking out the compensation package for the CEO of a "non-profit" hospital ...


Agreed. I never said it was a recent development, just that once the parameters are set up in this fashion, the outcome is pretty much inevitable.
03/11/2014 03:14:46 PM · #131
My introduction to the medical industry came via the Berkeley Free Clinic ...
03/11/2014 03:27:45 PM · #132
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Let's not confuse not having insurance with not having access to health care...



Try accessing health care without insurance…unless you're independently wealthy you're not getting access.


I'm pretty sure my work experience would say you are wrong.


I don't mean simply going for a check up or treatment for a minor injury.

Try getting cancer treatment or treatment for a similar life threatening and/or rare disease...unless you can afford it, have insurance or are cute enough to raise megabucks with a fundraiser...you're out of luck. Of course, if you have enough assets, you can kiss them goodbye along with experiencing the joy of being turned over to collection agencies, getting sued and eventually, bankruptcy when they've taken all of what you do have. Nothing helps treatment like wondering if you'll have a home to return to when the chemo is breaking you down.

//money.cnn.com/2013/04/26/news/economy/health-care-cost/

If you're right, why were some 2 million people forced into bankruptcy over medical bills? Why are there millions of people with chronic illnesses that don't take their medication because they can't afford it?


You misunderstand me. I'm not saying there aren't problems, I'm saying the statement that "50 million Americans have zero access to healthcare" is misleading. They do have access to healthcare and receive it and out of 50 million, only 2 million apparently are crushed with bills they can't get out from under. The other 48 million seem to be getting by somehow. Again, not saying we're in some ideal situation, but that Judith overstated the magnitude of the problem especially when she joins it with a statement that people "don't give a shit".


Clearly enough people in this country "don't give a shit", or don't give enough of a shit that the US is number one in medical bankruptcies and that millions of people are forced to choose between eating and treatment etc. It's the same people who were at that Republican debate and applauded the idea that "let them die" is a viable approach to health care for the poor.

And those 2 million are just those who declared medical bankruptcy in one year, another 2 million will be forced into it each year. Medical bills are the single biggest reason for personal bankruptcy filings in the US.

The 2 million who get so completely wiped out financially every year that filing bankruptcy is their only option are the tip of the iceberg, not the whole iceberg. That ther could be 50 million people in this country who don't go to the doctor because they know they can't pay or can't afford treatment or who can't afford their meds or take their medication once a day instead of twice or who max out their insurance or any number of situations doesn't seem that much of a stretch.

Message edited by author 2014-03-11 15:44:15.
03/11/2014 04:06:09 PM · #133
Originally posted by Spork99:

The 2 million who get so completely wiped out financially every year that filing bankruptcy is their only option are the tip of the iceberg, not the whole iceberg. That ther could be 50 million people in this country who don't go to the doctor because they know they can't pay or can't afford treatment or who can't afford their meds or take their medication once a day instead of twice or who max out their insurance or any number of situations doesn't seem that much of a stretch.


Heck, even when I had good insurance I would often not go when I 'should' have gone, due to the cost even with insurance, and the sheer frustration of the whole thing. Basically I was looking at between $200 and $1000 for any trip - and then usually at least two visits often many more, with wait times of 2-4 hours.. I simply chose to deal with things myself if possible in order to save money, time and anger/frustration. Maybe someone without a job and responsibilities can afford to spend 20 hours or 30 hours to get something done, but I need, yes NEED, fast and effective service - I don't like the DMV for the exact same reason. (fortunately I can do that stuff online now)

Again, universal health care please. Enough with this crap - I'd like to not suffer huge anger issues on top of whatever illness / injury I might suffer, but today any visit to any medical establishment has proven to be frustrating and angering for a variety of reasons - the biggest being the feeling that I'm getting screwed around.

Message edited by author 2014-03-11 16:08:49.
03/11/2014 04:21:40 PM · #134
Originally posted by Spork99:

And those 2 million are just those who declared medical bankruptcy in one year, another 2 million will be forced into it each year. Medical bills are the single biggest reason for personal bankruptcy filings in the US.


It will be interesting to see if this number goes down with the ACA. Just because you filed bankruptcy doesn't imply you don't have insurance. Crappy insurance could still get you with a mound of bills or just not having a lot of income could mean a few thousand dollars (within a deductible) might be enough to tip you over.

The issue is the money needs to come from somewhere. If we have universal health care then the bill is going to show up on April 15th and not after you see the doc. The only way universal health care works (be it true universal care or the ACA) is by having healthy people pay more into the system then they get in return. There is no such thing as "free" healthcare.
03/11/2014 06:05:41 PM · #135
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

There is no such thing as "free" healthcare.


...and I would agree with that statement 100%. Having said this, I am at a complete loss as to why insurance rates are seemingly so high in the USA. I have two completely separate health and dental plans, in addition to the health care provide by the government and am ever so thankful that I do.

I am sure that many will remember that upon my return from Germany this past July, I was sidelined by a spider bite and remained home for 3 months and had daily visit by nurses to tend to my wounds.

I wonder just how much the care I received would have cost me in the USA.

Ray
03/11/2014 06:17:46 PM · #136
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

There is no such thing as "free" healthcare.


...and I would agree with that statement 100%. Having said this, I am at a complete loss as to why insurance rates are seemingly so high in the USA. I have two completely separate health and dental plans, in addition to the health care provide by the government and am ever so thankful that I do.

I am sure that many will remember that upon my return from Germany this past July, I was sidelined by a spider bite and remained home for 3 months and had daily visit by nurses to tend to my wounds.

I wonder just how much the care I received would have cost me in the USA.

Ray


a big part of it is lawsuits......People are sue happy around here
03/11/2014 07:24:56 PM · #137
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

There is no such thing as "free" healthcare.


...and I would agree with that statement 100%. Having said this, I am at a complete loss as to why insurance rates are seemingly so high in the USA. I have two completely separate health and dental plans, in addition to the health care provide by the government and am ever so thankful that I do.

I am sure that many will remember that upon my return from Germany this past July, I was sidelined by a spider bite and remained home for 3 months and had daily visit by nurses to tend to my wounds.

I wonder just how much the care I received would have cost me in the USA.

Ray


I would opine that you are completely comparing apples and oranges. Of course your insurance would be much less because the company can count on the government picking up a huge portion of the tab. Other reasons might include the absolutely screwed up pharaceutical state of affairs. We pay too much for meds, but you pay too little and it's partly because we pay too much. Anyway, even thought they are both "insurance" I don't think they are very much alike.

Message edited by author 2014-03-11 19:25:30.
03/11/2014 07:55:35 PM · #138
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

There is no such thing as "free" healthcare.


...and I would agree with that statement 100%. Having said this, I am at a complete loss as to why insurance rates are seemingly so high in the USA. I have two completely separate health and dental plans, in addition to the health care provide by the government and am ever so thankful that I do.

I am sure that many will remember that upon my return from Germany this past July, I was sidelined by a spider bite and remained home for 3 months and had daily visit by nurses to tend to my wounds.

I wonder just how much the care I received would have cost me in the USA.

Ray


I would opine that you are completely comparing apples and oranges. Of course your insurance would be much less because the company can count on the government picking up a huge portion of the tab. Other reasons might include the absolutely screwed up pharaceutical state of affairs. We pay too much for meds, but you pay too little and it's partly because we pay too much. Anyway, even thought they are both "insurance" I don't think they are very much alike.


It's more like an apple and an apple tree. We only need to cover the apple, so the direct associated cost is of course much lower, as our insurance is only needed to cover things that our universal health care doesn't cover. This will vary from province to province, but all of the big ticket items, with the exception of medication, are covered.

The sad thing is, your health care, before ACA, still cost more money than ours did. That is without universal health care. I don't know why, but I can only assume that this is mainly due to health care being a huge for-profit business, and thus driving up costs. I guess only time will tell what the results will be under your new scheme (confusing as it is to the rest of the developed world 8-).

03/11/2014 08:06:27 PM · #139
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

There is no such thing as "free" healthcare.


...and I would agree with that statement 100%. Having said this, I am at a complete loss as to why insurance rates are seemingly so high in the USA. I have two completely separate health and dental plans, in addition to the health care provide by the government and am ever so thankful that I do.

I am sure that many will remember that upon my return from Germany this past July, I was sidelined by a spider bite and remained home for 3 months and had daily visit by nurses to tend to my wounds.

I wonder just how much the care I received would have cost me in the USA.

Ray


You'd be living in a box down by the underpass.
03/11/2014 08:26:52 PM · #140
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

... Of course your insurance would be much less because the company can count on the government picking up a huge portion of the tab.


My insurance premiums cover 80% of health and dental care, except for cosmetic surgery. Since I have two plans, what one plan won't pay, the other will. While it is true that the Health Care program is there, most of the costs I have incurred to date are covered by my insurance and as such I doubt that the government is doling out a lot of money for people like me.

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Other reasons might include the absolutely screwed up pharaceutical state of affairs. We pay too much for meds, but you pay too little and it's partly because we pay too much. Anyway, even thought they are both "insurance" I don't think they are very much alike.


Oh, my meds are also covered and I do believe that you are right when you say you folks pay too much, particularly when I see Americans crossing the border to purchase their med in Canada. Does that translate into we pay too little... somehow I don't think so... my translation of the situation is that you folks are simply paying way too much.

Mind you, I would totally be in favour of some form of user fees for those inconsiderate souls who clog up our emergency rooms for the most mundane and insignificant matters. Maybe if they had to pay a bit, they would not be so eager to visit a doctor for a hang nail.

Ray
03/11/2014 09:16:59 PM · #141
In case any of you are wondering, here it is in a nutshell:

Originally posted by Slate:

Prescription drugs, even those manufactured by American companies, cost much less in Canada than in the United States. Why?

The simple answer is price controls. A Canadian law authorizes a review board to order a price reduction whenever the price of a drug exceeds the median of the prices in six European countries plus the United States. Since all the European countries intervene in various ways to hold down drug costs, Canada in effect piggy-backs on other countries' price controls.

So why not do the same thing south of the border? Trouble is, drug companies are willing to sell for less in Canada and elsewhere only because they can sell for more in the United States. They are engaging in what economists call "price discrimination"--that is, charging different prices to different buyers of the same product. Price discrimination works in the drug industry because drugs are very expensive to develop, but fairly cheap to manufacture. As long as companies can recoup their research and development costs by charging high prices in the United States, they can make a profit in Canada and elsewhere by merely covering the cost of making the pill (or tube of ointment or whatever). Similar price discrimination occurs within the United States, with HMOs and other large buyers able to negotiate lower prices while the uninsured pay top dollar.
03/11/2014 10:04:05 PM · #142
United States compared to Canadian Pharm. Interesting read. Pretty much what Bear said but more in depth.
03/12/2014 01:44:53 AM · #143
Yes. Bear has the jist of what I meant by we pay too much and Ray pays too little.

As far as cost of insurance goes Ray, you want to compare your insurance to what we call "secondary insurance". There are people down here who are "double covered" as well. Secondary insurance is much less expensive than primary insurance because the expectation is the insurance company will have much less to cover.
03/12/2014 05:19:56 AM · #144
Originally posted by cowboy221977:

Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

There is no such thing as "free" healthcare.


...and I would agree with that statement 100%. Having said this, I am at a complete loss as to why insurance rates are seemingly so high in the USA. I have two completely separate health and dental plans, in addition to the health care provide by the government and am ever so thankful that I do.

I am sure that many will remember that upon my return from Germany this past July, I was sidelined by a spider bite and remained home for 3 months and had daily visit by nurses to tend to my wounds.

I wonder just how much the care I received would have cost me in the USA.

Ray


a big part of it is lawsuits......People are sue happy around here
people sue to get their medical bills paid.
03/12/2014 07:11:23 AM · #145
Originally posted by posthumous:

Originally posted by cowboy221977:

Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

There is no such thing as "free" healthcare.


...and I would agree with that statement 100%. Having said this, I am at a complete loss as to why insurance rates are seemingly so high in the USA. I have two completely separate health and dental plans, in addition to the health care provide by the government and am ever so thankful that I do.

I am sure that many will remember that upon my return from Germany this past July, I was sidelined by a spider bite and remained home for 3 months and had daily visit by nurses to tend to my wounds.

I wonder just how much the care I received would have cost me in the USA.

Ray


a big part of it is lawsuits......People are sue happy around here
people sue to get their medical bills paid.


and the hospitals sue people who can't pay…or their estate
03/12/2014 12:29:02 PM · #146
And the doctors do many unnecessary tests to try to keep from getting sued...
03/12/2014 12:33:44 PM · #147
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Yes. Bear has the jist of what I meant by we pay too much and Ray pays too little.

As far as cost of insurance goes Ray, you want to compare your insurance to what we call "secondary insurance". There are people down here who are "double covered" as well. Secondary insurance is much less expensive than primary insurance because the expectation is the insurance company will have much less to cover.


If you include the Health Care provided by the taxpayers, then I guess I must fall in the category of "triple coverage" since I have two separate plans that I pay for out of my own pocket. If you factor in what I pay in taxes, which is where I think the government would look to find my portion of health insurance cost, then I would hazard a guess that my "Total insurance" costs is not all that cheap.

I may be out in left field with my next comment but I do believe that in the USA I could have claimed the following as a tax deduction under "Medical expenses". I recently acquired a 15KW generator since we needed constant electrical power for items my spouse needs due to her advance Myotonic Dystrophy. Things like electrically assisted recliners, beds, stairlift, chairlift and a chair to help her get on and off the toilet have to be operational at all times, particularly when I am not home. My accountant tells me that I am SOL in trying to claim this and other similar expenditures on my taxes.

I guess there are good and bad things on both sides of the border.

Ray
03/12/2014 01:02:41 PM · #148
Previously, in the US qualified medical expenses in excess of 7.5% of your income are deductible. It may be different under the ACA ...
03/12/2014 01:27:45 PM · #149
The other thing that I find sadly amusing is that the Right, who tout themselves as proponents of "personal responsibility" are so riled up at the ACA because it requires a level of personal responsibility for one's healthcare by having insurance instead of allowing someone who doesn't have insurance or the ability to pay directly for care to pass all of their costs on to the rest of us who ARE responsible. When someone is driven into bankruptcy over medical bills or otherwise can't pay, where do they think the money comes from to pay for the resources used to provide that care that went unpaid by the patient? The hospital still pays the doctors, nurses, PA's etc. when they provide treatment...

Here's a hint: It has everything to do why I was billed $40 for a pre-surgery sharpie and a $0.15 bandaid will cost you $5 in the hospital.
03/12/2014 01:33:02 PM · #150
I've given in to the fait accompli of the masses and renamed the thread :-)
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