Any thoughts on the health care crisis?
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

I don't know, I've thought about it a lot and I'm stuck at WHY does it cost so much? I don't understand it.


Health care costs to exceed $20,000 per family in 2012 - Mar. 29, 2012
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

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Originally Posted by *Dean* View Post

All these people who support the Republican position, where do they think they are going to get health care insurance when they
lose a job or if they retire before 65? It's far to costly and the costs are climbing more than 8% a year.

Lots of companies don't have retirement plans anymore and health care isn't covered after you leave the company.

There is a roll for government to play in our life.
I tried to find out what it would cost for private insurance on me... Won't happen as it stands right now. My pre-existing conditions prevent me from getting my own plan. Go figure.

I keep thinking about car insurance - I mean I pay $70 bucks a month to cover a 20K car and medical and if someone else is involved, that same $70 a month will cover their car and their medical. I pay $600 a year to cover a home worth $150K, should it burn to the ground, the insurance company will rebuild that home, should we have a theft, the insurance company will pay for that. Our rates don't double should something like that happen, they go up a little, but not through the roof. How is that? And why can't health insurance companies follow suit?
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

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Originally Posted by Cherry View Post
I don't know, I've thought about it a lot and I'm stuck at WHY does it cost so much? I don't understand it.


Health care costs to exceed $20,000 per family in 2012 - Mar. 29, 2012
When you drill down on where the costs really come from, I think you'll see that even the title of this hyperlink is misleading. Sure, a family with insurance will pay over $20,000, but what is that $20,000 really paying for? Its paying to the costs differentials of those on medicare, and those who do not have insurance. It takes X to run a hospital. Insured patients will generally pay for their care. Medicare pays only an allotted fee based on procedural costs only, but this hospital has period costs that must absorb the uncovered patients, and the amount that medicare does not cover. All of this is rolled up to the insured patients.

One of the primary questions faced by the supreme court is whether this should be a federal issue, or a state issue.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

Americans use the terms health care and health insurance interchangeably and this is incorrect. Single payer is health care not insurance. Single payer assumes you pay in and probably get back less than what you pay. PPO's are health insurance because they operate on the assumption that you will pay less than you get back, generally speaking.

None of this really matters in a so called market where there are no price controls. Even under Obamacare, the doctors and labs are REWARDED for doing such and such but consumers are ostensibly PUNISHED for not doing such and such. So there's no downside to much of anything the provider does, ever. Whereas there's nothing but downside to the consumer.

Do you know why every drug company in the world wants FDA approval? Because the US is the only large (and the largest actually) price unregulated market in the world.

Nope, only once Americans come to understand they're not consumers of health care but of health insurance, which actually games the system against them is when they'll object enough to change things.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

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I'm not really for being forced to do something by the federal government but I
do believe it will get us much closer to a single payer system.
This will cut out $1 for every $3 spent in the USA for healthcare.

I would go further and use our US Taxes that we currently pay
and use it to cover everyone in the United States. Pay for it
by cutting the Defensive Budget by more than 50%.
There were some really good plans offered by thinktanks at the time of the health care debate, some of which really seemed to leverage combined pricing like you mention, but our politicians refused to even consider them. I really don't think this is an issue between democrats and republicans, when it comes to the general public. Lots of people see them both as a threat to what our country stands for. I just wonder if it'll take a few more failed election cycles for the politicrats to finally see this.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

The problem with single payer though is that it becomes highly politicized. In the UK, the NHS routinely disallows older patients or patients with a poor health history from qualifying for kidney transplants for example. It is in your face rationing. This worries many people.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

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The problem with single payer though is that it becomes highly politicized. In the UK, the NHS routinely disallows older patients or patients with a poor health history from qualifying for kidney transplants for example. It is in your face rationing. This worries many people.
This is my concern. But there is incredible opportunities within the "markets" of health care, American ideas, which could really drive down costs to the levels that we could support as a people. Right now, we have about 50 small markets, with solid boundaries between them. And, people have no vested interest in managing their health care expenses. Take a look at it this way: say that you were buying a new car. What if you had to buy a model that was only sold in your state? In addition, since the government only provides bicycles for some people, and others just can't afford a car, when you buy yours you also have to pay a charge that covers cars for another twenty people in your neighborhood. There would be riots! But this is what we have, in essence, in the health care system. Hate to say it, but if we want to provide coverage for everyone, it will have to become nationally market driven if you want to avoid a government run program that will eclipse all other expenditures in the national economy.

I'm making it sound way too simplistic, I know, but we almost have to treat it like a precious commodity, and be willing to accept that the end result will not look much like what we currently have, if we want an efficient system that still doesn't ration health care.

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Old 03-29-2012, 12:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

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But doesn't the UK have companies that offer a rider policy that
you can buy which would cover the extra procedures?

I would think that most people would buy a rider policy if it was affordable.
Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?

Not really very "universal" if all people just get "quite a bit" of the benefits.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

The question I always ask myself:

"Should healthcare be a 'perk' or a 'right'?"

I lean toward it being a "right." Having a job doesn't make your life and health more important than any other human being's.

And even now - those of us who are paying for insurance - or even consuming "healthcare" - we are already helping to cover the cost of the uninsured people.

If "little Johnny" breaks his arm and goes to the ER - he gets treated even is his parents don't have insurance. Some of this is already built into our healthcare premiums and the cost of an average ER visit.

And maybe - just maybe - if more people can afford to go to the doctor for regular check-ups and can afford to take "maintenance" medications, then fewer people will be having expensive trips to the ER that could have otherwise been prevented.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

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I know that for home owners and auto.....I believe the state regulates it. At least in Texas it does.
I'm not sure if the state regulates the cost of health care insurance.

Maybe someone else knows.
States regulate healthcare, but you have to realize that every state is different. For some, this regulation is more like consumer protection. Others are more prescriptive. My friends pick on me and tell me that I should write a book about how to get insurance companies to pay, because I've gotten to know the state agencies in every state that I've lived. Basically, I've haggled hospitals and my insurance out of about $80,000 in unpaid claims since my children were born. The last time I went to a research hospital, the customer reps were telling me that I would have to pay $16,000 in claims that my insurance denied. I remember telling the lady, "Trust me, you will be calling me to tell me that I only owe you $300". Six months later, she laughed and told me that she might tell me I was right if she didn't hate me so much. My craziest example was presenting a spreadsheet to the state agent assigned to my complaint, which showed down to a single shot how I was being charged fees at 300% above fair market value. This was after meeting with our corporate vice president of human resources, and securing her promise to help me fight the charges.

Problem is, you really have to try to understand the rules that apply to your state, and then review every single charge that is processed by the insurer. In other words, the only way I could impact my health care charge was through finding discrepencies in what they said they would cover, versus their normal day to day procedures. Can't really change how much you have to pay for insurance, because your choices are so limited. Even national insurers actually operate on that state level.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

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Originally Posted by nice777guy View Post
The question I always ask myself:

"Should healthcare be a 'perk' or a 'right'?"

I lean toward it being a "right." Having a job doesn't make your life and health more important than any other human being's.

And even now - those of us who are paying for insurance - or even consuming "healthcare" - we are already helping to cover the cost of the uninsured people.

If "little Johnny" breaks his arm and goes to the ER - he gets treated even is his parents don't have insurance. Some of this is already built into our healthcare premiums and the cost of an average ER visit.

And maybe - just maybe - if more people can afford to go to the doctor for regular check-ups and can afford to take "maintenance" medications, then fewer people will be having expensive trips to the ER that could have otherwise been prevented.


I just learned something today I did not know that the high cost of our health insurance is driven in part by the uninsured.

But instead of cute little johnny breaking his arm and going to the ER, why don't we use a more realistic scenario? The crack addict living in a flop house OD's and get's taken to the ER. We're paying for that too. Or the bank robber who gets shot robbing a bank and has to go to the ER before he goes to jail, we're paying for that too.

I think healthcare is a right, not a freaking privilege.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

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I just learned something today I did not know that the high cost of our health insurance is driven in part by the uninsured.
12,000,000 illegal immigrants, most of them uninsured, make up 1/3 of the total uninsured in the country. A conservative estimate for their use of ERs and other unpaid healthcare is $10 billion. Obamacare, AFAIK, doesn't address the issue of requiring illegals to obtain healthcare, so it will keep costing taxpayers.

I'm actually quite sympathetic to the plight of illegal immigrants and would like to see them naturalized and taxed, thus making them subject to the mandate for coverage as everyone else... but I'm probably in the minority in that regard as most people I talk to simply want them deported. Deporting 12 million people many of whom have birthright citizen children simply isn't going to happen so we might as well play with the cards we're holding.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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12,000,000 illegal immigrants, most of them uninsured, make up 1/3 of the total uninsured in the country. A conservative estimate for their use of ERs and other unpaid healthcare is $10 billion. Obamacare, AFAIK, doesn't address the issue of requiring illegals to obtain healthcare, so it will keep costing taxpayers.

I'm actually quite sympathetic to the plight of illegal immigrants and would like to see them naturalized and taxed, thus making them subject to the mandate for coverage as everyone else... but I'm probably in the minority in that regard as most people I talk to simply want them deported. Deporting 12 million people many of whom have birthright citizen children simply isn't going to happen so we might as well play with the cards we're holding.
That's probably a whole topic for another thread entirely - but I tend to agree.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any thoughts on the health care crisis?

A company I worked for charged me $1200 a month for the family plan! This was many years ago. I am in a high rate market area. I could not afford it any longer. I dropped my coverage. Found out if you pay cash you get a huge discount. A $2400 procedure only cost me $800 bucks(this is close to what the insurance co would have negotiated btw.) Insurance market is a scam that doctors and your employer participate in. Those "benefits" help a family guy stay trapped to a job.

I find the argument odd that people that have insurance are paying for those who do not. Well then if everybody is being taken care of then why do we have to change anything? It is also making an assumption that if I do not have insurance that I am not responsible and paying my own bills.

I will also say that I did start to buy my own insurance. It is a very high deductible plan. It costs me $6000.00 a year for my family plan. $2000 deductible. Worst case I would have $8000 and year in medical expenses total. That is way lower then the $20000 that article claims.

Medicaid and Medicare pay crap. I know a lot of doctors that will not accept those programs so those people are SOL. To be a doctor you got big time bills before you graduate from school. Single payer system would cause a lot of people to not to enter the field. Or you would have two classes for healthcare. Government run who decides what you can and can not get. Then the ones that get the good care that can afford to pay there own way.

Mandating everybody must buy insurance does not do a thing to control cost. In fact supply and demand it will probably make things worst. The 2700 page law just is just BS. I wish that I made something that everybody was forced to buy.

Something does need done to control cost though. They could have forced insurance companies to compete over state lines. Instead each state only has a few companies you can pick from. That would at least be a small first step. Rather then this mess they passed that may be ruled unconstitutional.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It would actually be more beneficial for us, financially at least, if we did legalize them. It would inject 12 million tax paying citizens into the economy. Imagine what that could do for our country.
But then the people who employ them illegally would have to them pay minimum wage in addition to payroll taxes and other indirect expenses.
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