Going Universal

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    A very enlightening article:

    Going Universal

    The American healthcare system is, simply put, a mess, but we may finally be ready to fix it.​

    By Ezra Klein​

    December 26, 2006 ​


    THE STATISTICS, by now, are well known. Forty-seven million uninsured Americans. Premium increases of 81% since 2000. Small businesses failing, big businesses foundering, individuals priced out and, amid all this, skyrocketing profits for insurers, hospitals and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

    The American health system, put simply, is a mess.

    - more at http://tinyurl.com/ycda3t
     
  2. billwald

    billwald
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    No point to being healthy without having enough to eat. How about a universal food system?
     
  3. Baptist in Richmond

    Baptist in Richmond
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    Nah, let's just leave things just the way they are. Obviously, there is no problem if we simply ignore it, or better yet, just let the problem die on the vine. After all, it's not our problem....

    Regards,
    BiR
     
  4. carpro

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    And what caused it?

    A good case can be made for government price controls being the culprit.
     
  5. Terry_Herrington

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    It's about time for universal hearth care! :thumbs:
     
  6. Magnetic Poles

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    Health care in America is a travesty. The rich get the care regardless. Most people have health insurance tied to their jobs, and they exclude a lot of things. Lose your job, and who can afford COBRA? We don't have health care, as insurers won't cover things until they become dire. Instead, we have sick care, and only sometimes then. I suspect if someone were to put a pencil to it, we already pay enough to cover everyone, especially accounting for the cost of taking care of the very sick, who might not have gotten in that shape if they had proper health care.
     
  7. LadyEagle

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    A good case can be made for insurance companies being the culprit.
     
  8. Alcott

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    If the government has authority to be involved in health care of citizens (not to mention non-citizens)... make french fries, onion rings, ice cream and anything breaded and fried illegal; ration sugar severely, and if that doesn't seem to be working, outlaw sugar, too; make smoking illegal everywhere, any time; appoint personal trainers to report on all people as they supervise their daily exercises.

    I you want the government involved in the healthcare of people, let's really do it!
     
  9. DeeJay

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    They could appoint a goverment rep. to attend your church pot lucks and make sure all the food is healthy and fat free. He would also walk around and make sure you eat your vegies.
     
  10. Alcott

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    Yes, indeed. Government has a compelling interest in the health and fitness of its people.
     
  11. rbell

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    When the government is involved in paying our healthcare, they quickly will take control of our life choices to minimize those costs. It might sound good on the surface (healthier folks), but it gives up something very important--the freedom to be in charge of our person.

    If I am in charge of me, then my eating loads of trans fat is simply a stupid choice, that will adversely affect my health later.

    If the People's Republic of Amerika is in charge of me, then it will dictate to me what I will do in order to cost other folks the least. They will ban trans fat (New York City, November 2006), so that I can never have those evil french fries Once again...some would say it sounds good, until we realize we have ceded control of our persons to a number cruncher in Washington DC.

    I haven't had my healthcare provided since 1987. I have always paid for it out of pocket. Is it too expensive? Sure. Are there scores of folks who can't afford it? You bet! Is socialism the answer? Not in my book.

    Some ideas:
    • Offer "a la carte" options, at our own risk. Allow me to decline maternity coverage, or substance abuse coverage--understanding that if I then need it after I've declined it, I'm up the creek.
    • Tort reform. Sorely needed.
    • This isn't worded well...but figure out some way to keep from our government having to provide health care to the thousands of people here illegally. I'm willing to help the kids...but if you as an adult come over here illegally, no free health care for you. Pay for it.
    Yep. healthcare is a mess.
     
  12. TomVols

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    We're blaming insurance companies, the government, but no one is blaming the American consumer, who should bear much of the blame. No one expects their homeowner's insurance to pay for new porch paint or their auto policy to pay for oil changes. However, the expectation is that health insurance pay for almost everything from tooth cleanings to check-ups. When insurance companies pay for this, doctors charge what they will. Insurers are to blame for paying the outlandish prices. Doctors are to blame for gouging the insurance companies but understandibly charging a price that will be paid. But the American consumer must bear blame for expecting their health insurance companies to "pay" for their healthcare. Americans are responsible for paying for their healthcare. Insurance is to cover catastrophies. Once Americans retake responsibility, prices will come in line. The uninsured do need protection for catastrophies, especially children. But once again, when we're assigning blame, let's not leave out the especially guilty.
     
  13. LadyEagle

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    How can you say it is the American consumer's fault when even those of us who have health insurance (premiums paid out of our payroll) are paying through the nose? Drugs manufactured by American drug companies are CHEAP overseas, and some are even handed out free!! If you are working in this country, you pay through the nose. If you aren't working or are an illegal alien with no health insurance and have to be hospitalized, it is written off (Hill-Burton Act - over 80 hospitals in Los Angeles have shut their doors, BTW, due to non-pays).

    In our case, co-pay BC&BS for a doctor's visit is 30 bucks, up $10 in 2006 & I would not be surprised if it went up another $10 for 2007. Our co-pay on a non-generic antibiotic is $50.00. We can't even go to the hospital where our family doctor has privileges because that hospital is not "in network" even though it is the closest hospital to our house (reason being that BC & the hospital couldn't negotiate 'the contract' and haven't been able to for the past 4 years or so). So I disagree, Tom. It is NOT the consumer's fault, at least not the working consumer.

    PS: If you are on Medicare, the government is already in charge of your health care. (Edited to say, technically, the government is already in charge of our health care - Utilization Review, Peer Review, JCAHO, etc.--consumers mostly just don't know it or realize it).

    Let's face it, insurance companies are out to make money. Their stock holders demand it.

    I remember when I had BC&BS years and years ago, they paid for everything. If you went to the hospital, they paid and the employee didn't even have a co-pay, let alone a balance left over to pay the hospital after the insurance payment was deducted. But this was long ago before HMOs & PPOs and Utilization Review.
     
    #13 LadyEagle, Dec 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2006
  14. carpro

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    The last time you were in the hospital, did you demand an itemized statement to be sure you received all the goods and services the hospital charged your insurance company for?
     
  15. TomVols

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    LadyEagle, you're making my point. The American consumer has come to expect their insurance companies to be Santa Claus instead of a catastrophic safeguard.

    When your water heater goes out, do you ask your homeowner's insurance company to pay for it? When your alternator goes out on your car or your transmission, do you ask your auto insurance company to pay the tab? Why not? Same principle applies. What if we demanded these insurors did that? What would happen to the price of that insurance? What do you think would happen to the price of water heaters and transmissions?

    There's a reason bread doesn't cost $20 a loaf. We can't/won't pay that price. The market won't bear it. The market does bear the exorbitant cost of health care thanks to overcharging doctors, complicit insurance companies, and petulant consumers.

    A doctor I know charges $150 a visit if you have medical insurance. He charges you $30 for the same visit if you don't. Why? One can pay it, another can't. I can list a list of doctors and health-care providers a mile long who do the same thing. My wife has had two surgeries and probably four outpatient proceedures in the last two years. Each time, the doctor and hospital has quoted her the "insurance" price and the "self-pay" price. Guess which one is substantially less?

    Even with your rising co-pay, I would venture that your insurance company is paying the overwhelming majority of the cost every time you see your doctor. We've basically hired insurance companies to pay our debts for us. They've gone along with the deal, and healthcare providers are making full use of that privilige. Everyone's to blame, while no one is 100% guilty necessarily.

    Carpro is right..we've forgotten that healthcare is a business and we're the customers. The market is out of whack, but it is the market. Sadly, major changes are going to have to occur and they'll be painful one way or another. That's the only real way we'll get health costs where they need to be.
     
    #15 TomVols, Dec 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2006
  16. 2 Timothy2:1-4

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    I agree we cannot use medical insurance for every little tidbit of needs and expect to maintain low premiums. I hear alot of screaming about the loss of freedom when a conservative President implements safty measures to defend against terrorism but the same folks do not mind the loss of freedom when it comes to personal social issues like insurance, social security and what kind of foods that can be sold to the public.

    I would also say the same argument runs in the other direction. Some will give up freedoms for security issues but not for social issues. It appears that we as Americans will allow some loss of freedoms for reasons that are most important to us. Some for social issues and others for security issues.

    What would America look like if we were careful not to lose freedoms in any arena?

    But that is another thread.
     

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