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leekohler
Jul 21, 2009, 04:26 PM
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-tue-problem-insurance-0721jul21,0,5666288.column

Wow- this is why we need reform. No one should have to go through this.

Michael Napientek of Clarendon Hills was in excruciating pain and needed back surgery. His wife has worked in the health-care field for 30 years and thought she knew how to navigate the insurance bureaucracy.

Before Napientek was wheeled into an operating room Oct. 27, his doctor obtained a preauthorization number. The surgery went well, and within weeks Napientek was feeling much better.

Until April. That's when the couple began receiving a series of letters from the insurance administrator with chilling news: Claims for the surgery had been denied, leaving them on the hook for the heart-stopping total of $148,000.

"I hit the roof," said Sandie Napientek, Michael's wife.

The couple's descent into health-insurance hell left them worried not just about how to pay the bill, but also puzzled over how "preauthorized" surgery could not be covered.

Napientek said she appealed the decision three times -- and was rejected each time.

"They're just throwing out any excuse they can possibly find," she said. "It's just a ridiculous game."

The couple's health insurance was provided by Sandie Napientek's employer, Accelerated Health Systems. The policy was a self-insured plan, meaning Accelerated Health Systems funded the plan, which was administered by a company called UMR out of Wausau, Wis.

Napientek said she called a UMR representative to complain and was told preauthorization did not guarantee payment. UMR initially said her husband had not exhausted all conservative means of pain relief. Later, after the couple showed evidence he had, in fact, tried conservative pain-relief methods, UMR said he had not provided documentation to support the "appropriateness" of the surgery.

"I don't have [$148,000]," said Michael Napientek, lead doorman for a high-rise in Palatine. "I'd almost rather have the bad back than to spend [$148,000], but what are you going to do?"

Sandie Napientek said that under the terms of her health-care plan, UMR administered the benefits but her employer funded the payments. After claims reached a certain threshold, she said, it was paid for through a separate stop-loss insurance plan.

Napientek said she spoke with her boss and her director of human resources, but neither could get UMR's decision reversed.

"It's just horrific," she said after e-mailing What's Your Problem? in late June. "The stress of all this has just been unbelievable. I've had many sleepless nights."

If UMR did not change its mind, the Napienteks said, they would have to find the money somewhere.

"I doubt they'd accept $10 a month," Sandie Napientek said.

The Problem Solver called a spokeswoman for UMR, who forwarded the call to Greg Thompson, a spokesman for UnitedHealthcare, which owns UMR. UnitedHealthcare also provides health insurance for Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune.

Thompson promised to check the status of the Napienteks' complaint.

On Saturday, the couple received a letter from UMR saying it would pay for the surgery after all.

InvalidUserID
Jul 21, 2009, 04:50 PM
Nice to know insurance companies will always be there...

...

...

...

...

...to accept the premiums and then run when actually needed.

leekohler
Jul 21, 2009, 05:00 PM
Nice to know insurance companies will always be there...

...

...

...

...

...to accept the premiums and then run when actually needed.

I wonder what would have happened had The Problem Solver not called.

Shivetya
Jul 21, 2009, 06:25 PM
But what we are getting is not a solution to this issue, this is catastrophic care...

Yeah what has happened is wrong and I do not doubt it will be fixed.


The difference here is, at least her Doctors had the right to make the choice to give her treatment. In many countries with government controlled medicine Doctors with years of experience, seven or more years beyond college, can be overruled by a bureaucrat.


What is being put forward in today's Congress needs to be stopped only because it isn't what we need but what they want, total control over an even larger and more invasive part of our economy.



Look, anyone can find a dozen examples of insurance companies doing it wrong, but at least with an insurance company you have the government regulators on your side, if not the press. Who is going to be on your side when the government determines you don't need that operation right now because your surviving.... you can just wait.

anjinha
Jul 21, 2009, 06:35 PM
But what we are getting is not a solution to this issue, this is catastrophic care...

Yeah what has happened is wrong and I do not doubt it will be fixed.


The difference here is, at least her Doctors had the right to make the choice to give her treatment. In many countries with government controlled medicine Doctors with years of experience, seven or more years beyond college, can be overruled by a bureaucrat.


What is being put forward in today's Congress needs to be stopped only because it isn't what we need but what they want, total control over an even larger and more invasive part of our economy.



Look, anyone can find a dozen examples of insurance companies doing it wrong, but at least with an insurance company you have the government regulators on your side, if not the press. Who is going to be on your side when the government determines you don't need that operation right now because your surviving.... you can just wait.

Care to share your source for that?

Our healthcare system is nowhere near perfect, but I don't know a single case of someone who couldn't get treated when they needed too. It is true that some people might have to wait for surgery if they have a non urgent condition but people still have the choice to get treatment at a private hospital if they wish. Either way, they WILL get treated.

skunk
Jul 21, 2009, 06:47 PM
Look, anyone can find a dozen examples of insurance companies doing it wrong, but at least with an insurance company you have the government regulators on your side, if not the press. Who is going to be on your side when the government determines you don't need that operation right now because your surviving.... you can just wait.There is absolutely no reason why you cannot have private health insurance and universal healthcare free at the point of delivery.

Gelfin
Jul 21, 2009, 06:52 PM
Look, anyone can find a dozen examples of insurance companies doing it wrong, but at least with an insurance company you have the government regulators on your side, if not the press. Who is going to be on your side when the government determines you don't need that operation right now because your surviving.... you can just wait.

So, under public health insurance we are at the mercy of government bureaucrats, but under private insurance at least we can count on government bureaucrats.

Heilage
Jul 21, 2009, 07:00 PM
Disclaimer:I don't have any detailed insight into the american welfare system.


Is it just me, or does the insurance seem to never cover what people really need covered?

anjinha
Jul 21, 2009, 07:05 PM
Disclaimer:I don't have any detailed insight into the american welfare system.


Is it just me, or does the insurance seem to never cover what people really need covered?

That's what it seems like to me.

MyDesktopBroke
Jul 21, 2009, 08:14 PM
B
The difference here is, at least her Doctors had the right to make the choice to give her treatment. In many countries with government controlled medicine Doctors with years of experience, seven or more years beyond college, can be overruled by a bureaucrat.


What is being put forward in today's Congress needs to be stopped only because it isn't what we need but what they want, total control over an even larger and more invasive part of our economy.



Look, anyone can find a dozen examples of insurance companies doing it wrong, but at least with an insurance company you have the government regulators on your side, if not the press. Who is going to be on your side when the government determines you don't need that operation right now because your surviving.... you can just wait.

I probably have missed something in the 1000+ pages of the reform bill, but from what I hear, it sounds like everyone who actually likes their current health care situation will actually get to keep it the way it is: controlled by private insurance companies who get to call the shots.

The public plan will just be one option, right?

Zombie Acorn
Jul 21, 2009, 08:54 PM
If you have insurance and this **** happens its pretty ****ed up. I have no problem with the government stepping in and putting a foot down against **** like this at all, in fact they should do a similar policy as they tried with the credit card companies and make the health insurance fully disclose these loopholes in layman's terms so everyone knows to go to a better insurance company.

solvs
Jul 21, 2009, 09:13 PM
Yeah what has happened is wrong and I do not doubt it will be fixed.
Not necessarily. Not under current law. This happens all the time, and there is often nothing people can do but declare bankruptcy. Which, even then may not help now, especially after bankruptcy "reform", which didn't get to the point of the biggest group who declare it - those who do so because of healthcare costs.

Public outcry and pressure from the coming legislation may do something about this particular case, but it's still happening elsewhere.

The difference here is, at least her Doctors had the right to make the choice to give her treatment. In many countries with government controlled medicine Doctors with years of experience, seven or more years beyond college, can be overruled by a bureaucrat.
Patently false in most cases, but what about here where an insurance company bureaucrat can do the same thing? Uh, see above. In some cases, hospitals won't even do anything, especially when it's this expensive, if insurance won't pay for it because they know the people won't be able to. In this case, they thought they had approval, which was only afterwards denied. Are you ok with that as long as it isn't the gov doing it?

What is being put forward in today's Congress needs to be stopped only because it isn't what we need but what they want, total control over an even larger and more invasive part of our economy.
Again, patently false. I can tell you're listening only to far right chatter, and haven't actually read the bill, nor legitimate analysis. There are many problems with the bill, but this it not one of them. Nowhere close. If anything, the current proposals seem to want to discourage public options and reward private insurance.

Look, anyone can find a dozen examples of insurance companies doing it wrong, but at least with an insurance company you have the government regulators on your side, if not the press.
'Nother swing and a miss. Very little gov regulation, and what little there is doesn't do anything to stop this type of things, if what is even enforced. Part of the new reform proposed does just that, which you seem to be against, even though it's completely watered down and full of loopholes so they can continue to just right on screwing people just like this.

And if you think it's only a dozen, you're missing that it can be the rule overall, not the exception.

Who is going to be on your side when the government determines you don't need that operation right now because your surviving.... you can just wait.
Not an issue in the way you think it is. Definitely better than who helps you when an insurance companies does this, which despite what you seem to think is almost no one. Again, part of what is being proposed. The reason it's watered down so that could happen is because of people like you, who seem to be saying we should be doing almost nothing at all. Even though it's better than nothing, which is what the people that is designed for have. The side effect might be that companies like this will stop doing such things so much or else lose customers to the public plan, which compared to this, is going to look better. That's their fault. Maybe they should look again at their multi-billion dollar profits.

If you like your insurance, and it doesn't do this, the public plan will do nothing but maybe lower your rates and stop this type of thing from being so common.

Is it just me, or does the insurance seem to never cover what people really need covered?
Not always, but they make things much more difficult for people, and even when you have coverage, it can be hit and miss.

I probably have missed something in the 1000+ pages of the reform bill, but from what I hear, it sounds like everyone who actually likes their current health care situation will actually get to keep it the way it is: controlled by private insurance companies who get to call the shots.

The public plan will just be one option, right?
Absolutely, but when you're the opposition and you have nothing, you have to throw something out there to convince them this type of thing isn't what's happening to them and hurting them so much, which we all see everyday.

Then stall, delay, talk about costs while ignoring the cost savings, pretend new regulation they've already tried will fix everything when it won't do anything, then find a way to water down what little is left over a plan that wasn't great to begin with, but again, for those who have nothing or something like this, is a necessary evil.

solvs
Jul 21, 2009, 09:17 PM
so everyone knows to go to a better insurance company.

If they can afford it, if it will cover them, if it doesn't do the same thing because they all do...

Meanwhile, the one of the major things about the new bill is that it does just that, which you oppose, while supporting those who water down what little is already there.

dukebound85
Jul 21, 2009, 09:22 PM
There is absolutely no reason why you cannot have private health insurance and universal healthcare free at the point of delivery.

you're right, who really needs income?

May i please pay for Joe Six Pack son's college education too in full? I don't need any money, I need to give it away to people I don't know who will profit off my work

Zombie Acorn
Jul 21, 2009, 09:26 PM
If they can afford it, if it will cover them, if it doesn't do the same thing because they all do...

Meanwhile, the one of the major things about the new bill is that it does just that, which you oppose, while supporting those who water down what little is already there.

If insurance companies go down I don't get to eat thanksgiving in a 12k sq ft house. Go ahead and pass your bill, I am going to be healthy for at least another 30 years to allow it to fail due to budget constraints and mismanagement.

solvs
Jul 21, 2009, 09:51 PM
you're right, who really needs income?
Anyone who wants better than what the gov offers, which isn't much unless you have nothing.

May i please pay for Joe Six Pack son's college education too in full? I don't need any money, I need to give it away to people I don't know who will profit off my work
So his kid, who doesn't have much through no fault of his own because of his parent(s) (even though it could be a much more complicated issue like illness or death, or even simply stupidity) should be able to work hard in school, get a combination of scholarships, student-aid, and loans he can actually pay back (even if he takes a lower paying job helping other poor people that doesn't pay much) and go to college which he might not otherwise actually be able to so he can be a productive member of society? Yeah, that would be horrible. Meanwhile, if you can afford it, you can send your kid to an even better school. Also helped by public money, no matter what kind of school it is. If you fall somewhere in the middle, your kids can usually still apply for scholarships, aid, gov backed loans too. Even those of us without kids, we benefit from having children in school too, from pre-elementary to college (all of which, even private get gov aid). That's what we do in a society, we all take care of each other. Some of us luckier, some of us work harder, but we all benefit.

Or you could just sit around on welfare because it's SO easy for anyone to get and SO much better than working to earn more and have better lives, which is why everyone is on welfare, and we spend ALL that money on it, even though it isn't, they don't, and we don't.

If insurance companies go down I don't get to eat thanksgiving in a 12k sq ft house. Go ahead and pass your bill, I am going to be healthy for at least another 30 years to allow it to fail due to budget constraints and mismanagement.
Um, what?

Zombie Acorn
Jul 21, 2009, 09:58 PM
Um, what?

The universal system is not going to work, everyone will be on public health a few years after and only a portion will be working productively enough to pay taxes for it (earn their keep). It just doesn't seem like a very productive system to me at all, especially with no incentives to be healthy. Kind of like social security, except it starts out paying immediately and you don't necessarily have to pay in.

anjinha
Jul 21, 2009, 10:10 PM
The universal system is not going to work, everyone will be on public health a few years after and only a portion will be working productively enough to pay taxes for it (earn their keep). It just doesn't seem like a very productive system to me at all, especially with no incentives to be healthy. Kind of like social security, except it starts out paying immediately and you don't necessarily have to pay in.

At this point in the U.S., considering its healthcare system, people have every reason to try their best to be healthy: insurance companies are unreliable, expensive and sometimes even any insurance is very hard to get. Some people go bankrupt from not being able to pay their medical bills. Still, Americans are fatter and in poorer shape and health than lots of other countries that have universal healthcare.

Explain that.

dukebound85
Jul 21, 2009, 10:34 PM
At this point in the U.S., considering its healthcare system, people have every reason to try their best to be healthy: insurance companies are unreliable, expensive and sometimes even any insurance is very hard to get. Some people go bankrupt from not being able to pay their medical bills. Still, Americans are fatter and in poorer shape and health than lots of other countries that have universal healthcare.

Explain that.

do you have first hand experience with US health insurance?

I do and its not bad at all

in fact, I would call it excellent in the services it provides

anjinha
Jul 21, 2009, 10:45 PM
do you have first hand experience with US health insurance?

I do and its not bad at all

in fact, I would call it excellent in the services it provides

It's good until they deny you coverage for absolutely no reason...

Demosthenes X
Jul 21, 2009, 10:45 PM
The universal system is not going to work, everyone will be on public health a few years after and only a portion will be working productively enough to pay taxes for it (earn their keep). It just doesn't seem like a very productive system to me at all, especially with no incentives to be healthy. Kind of like social security, except it starts out paying immediately and you don't necessarily have to pay in.

Is that why the USA spends more per capita on health care than anyone else in the world, but ranks 37th in the world for overall performance, and 72nd for general health? Guess who ranked first: France. A country with public health care.

dukebound85
Jul 21, 2009, 10:47 PM
It's good until they deny you coverage for absolutely no reason...

There is always a reason....

Stop demonizing insurance companies. If you agree to a policy and it states what it covers you have no right to complain as you agreed to it

yojitani
Jul 21, 2009, 11:22 PM
do you have first hand experience with US health insurance?

I do and its not bad at all

in fact, I would call it excellent in the services it provides

Frankly, I would rather not have to deal with health insurance companies at all. I'm lucky that my insurance is extremely good and, because I'm in a university town, the medical attention I get is exceptionally good. However, insurance companies are like any other service company and if there is a problem, you will never get a straight answer and will end up spending hours on the phone and pouring over every word of your contract until you can find the bit that supports your argument.

The problem is that no person should ever have to worry about 6,5,4,3,2 figure bills for health care unless, of course, they opt to. It is inhumane - unfortunately, the US medical system is inhumane. Insurance companies are just the tip of the iceberg.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 21, 2009, 11:55 PM
Is that why the USA spends more per capita on health care than anyone else in the world, but ranks 37th in the world for overall performance, and 72nd for general health? Guess who ranked first: France. A country with public health care.

We probably spend more on education too and we still lag behind on that every year, public education. We still have some of the most prestigious colleges in the world, we also have some of the best doctors and pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Guess where 62 percent of your drugs originated from since 1940? I would say that should put us up in the ranks a bit since all other countries are benefiting from it. Oh second place is Switzerland with 6.8%

90% of those drugs the US produced were, you guessed it, name-brand profit making companies. Damn private companies putting in all that money to save lives. We should have hoarded the drugs for a while to get ourselves up a few ranks in performance. :rolleyes:

The US's problem in performance has nothing to do with health care, it has to do with lack of caring for themselves. We have a 30% obesity rate, france has 9%. Lets not go into how a doctor is going to magically motivate you to lose weight and be more healthy.

anjinha
Jul 21, 2009, 11:58 PM
The US's problem has nothing to do with health care, it has to do with lack of caring for themselves. We have a 30% obesity rate, france has 9%. Lets not go into how a doctor is going to magically motivate you to lose weight and be more healthy.

But you said yourself that with universal healthcare people don't have as much incentive to try to keep healthy because they don't pay more if they get sick... But the truth is that France has only a 9% obesity rate and generally better health even though they have universal care, so the exact opposite of the U.S., where people have to pay a lot if they get sick but they still don't try to eat better to get healthier...

Zombie Acorn
Jul 22, 2009, 12:02 AM
But you said yourself that with universal healthcare people don't have as much incentive to try to keep healthy because they don't pay more if they get sick... But the truth is that France has only a 9% obesity rate and generally better health even though they have universal care, so the exact opposite of the U.S., where people have to pay a lot if they get sick but they still don't try to eat better to get healthier...

I don't pay a lot if I get sick, I go to the clinic and get an exam. They charge me less because they don't have to deal with insurance ******** at all and I am paying in cash or credit.

I can't remember the last time I got an exam, but my brother went in recently and got antibiotics, a vaccine, and a checkup for 80 bucks.

At the college clinic it was even less.

The thing is that the health insurance cost isn't something people factor in when they decide to live a certain way (obviously). Its our culture.

The only way I would back a government health plan is if it was only for non-maintenance work. People shouldn't get stuck with 150k in debt because its counter productive. They should be paying for their yearly visits or whatever people do (I don't like doctors so much so I would make them as far and few between as possible).

anjinha
Jul 22, 2009, 12:06 AM
I don't pay a lot if I get sick, I go to the clinic and get an exam. They charge me less because they don't have to deal with insurance ******** at all and I am paying in cash or credit.

I can't remember the last time I got an exam, but my brother went in recently and got antibiotics, a vaccine, and a checkup for 80 bucks.

At the college clinic it was even less.

Last time I got sick I went to the clinic. A consult is $4 I think but because I'm a blood donor I didn't have to pay anything. Didn't pay for my last vaccines either.

SLC Flyfishing
Jul 22, 2009, 12:16 AM
When I was in Portugal, I was informed by the group I was working for, that if I became sick and needed more than just basic care, I'd be flown back to the US for treatment. The hospital in the town I lived in was atrocious too, people were actually smoking in the hospital wards.

SLC

anjinha
Jul 22, 2009, 12:26 AM
When I was in Portugal, I was informed by the group I was working for, that if I became sick and needed more than just basic care, I'd be flown back to the US for treatment

I think that's probably the case with a lot of countries with free healthcare. I'm travelling through Europe this Summer and I had to get a European health card to make sure I can get treatment if I get sick.

Still, you could go to a private hospital to get treatment.

What town did you stay in?

LethalWolfe
Jul 22, 2009, 12:35 AM
There is always a reason....
I applied for coverage w/a major health insurance a few years ago and got denied because I took a prescription med for seasonal allergies.


Stop demonizing insurance companies. If you agree to a policy and it states what it covers you have no right to complain as you agreed to it
And if one's option are agree to an over-priced, under-performing health insurance plan or go w/o insurance that's not really much of a choice is it? Unless you land a good group health insurance plan via your employer (or union) you are at a significant disadvantage trying to get insurance as an individual in this country.

Medical bills is listed as the leading cause of bankruptcies in the US and nearly 80% of those people who declared a medical bankruptcy had health insurance.
Link (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/health-care-reform/2009/06/new_study_shows_medical_bills.html)

Last anecdote of the post. 20 years ago I broke my arm which required an out patient trip to the hospital to get it set (no surgery but I did have to knocked out) and have a cast put on. Insurance covered everything and it was about $8k IIRC. 10 years ago I broke my hand in London which required surgery, 1.5 days in the hospital and a couple of physical therapy sessions (the surgical procedure was also superior to what was okayed to be used in the States and allowed me to start PT sooner). I was in London less than 6 months so I had to pay out of pocket for all the costs (only the initial x-rays and dr consult I got in the ER were coved by the state). My total bill from the London hospital was not quite $3k USD. I had to do a lot of waiting around to see the doc, get a room, etc., but I'd rather pay $3k and wait a few hours longer than pay $8k and get seen sooner.

I don't know what it's like in London today, but there are some serious flaws in the US system that need to be addressed.


Lethal

Zombie Acorn
Jul 22, 2009, 12:41 AM
Last anecdote of the post. 20 years ago I broke my arm which required an out patient trip to the hospital to get it set (no surgery but I did have to knocked out) and have a cast put on. Insurance covered everything and it was about $8k IIRC. 10 years ago I broke my hand in London which required surgery, 1.5 days in the hospital and a couple of physical therapy sessions (the surgical procedure was also superior to what was okayed to be used in the States and allowed me to start PT sooner). I was in London less than 6 months so I had to pay out of pocket for all the costs (only the initial x-rays and dr consult I got in the ER were coved by the state). My total bill from the London hospital was not quite $3k USD. I had to do a lot of waiting around to see the doc, get a room, etc., but I'd rather pay $3k and wait a few hours longer than pay $8k and get seen sooner.

Lethal

This is the part of the system that is messed up in my opinion. The decider of price is basically the max the insurance company will allow to be charged, not what doctor or hospital gives the best price/care.

Personally if I was a hospital I would be charging the max to the insurance companies too. Which is probably why your bill was so high in the US.

Ugg
Jul 22, 2009, 01:31 AM
The universal system is not going to work, everyone will be on public health a few years after and only a portion will be working productively enough to pay taxes for it (earn their keep). It just doesn't seem like a very productive system to me at all, especially with no incentives to be healthy. Kind of like social security, except it starts out paying immediately and you don't necessarily have to pay in.

Yep, England, Canada, Germany, France and the rest of the civilized world immediately collapsed when they began universal health care.:rolleyes: Get real.

There is always a reason....

Stop demonizing insurance companies. If you agree to a policy and it states what it covers you have no right to complain as you agreed to it

But if the policy is intentionally misleading and relies on subterfuge and legal mumbo jumbo to deny any pay out...

Something tells me that if it were a mortgage or a car loan, your attitude would be different.

This is the part of the system that is messed up in my opinion. The decider of price is basically the max the insurance company will allow to be charged, not what doctor or hospital gives the best price/care.

Personally if I was a hospital I would be charging the max to the insurance companies too. Which is probably why your bill was so high in the US.

I love your facile responses. All you can say is the current system is effed up, any potential changes are effed up, you're perfectly healthy and always will be and everyone else is a lazy SOB.

Do you ever have anything constructive to say?

solvs
Jul 22, 2009, 06:15 AM
The universal system is not going to work, everyone will be on public health a few years after and only a portion will be working productively enough to pay taxes for it (earn their keep). It just doesn't seem like a very productive system to me at all, especially with no incentives to be healthy. Kind of like social security, except it starts out paying immediately and you don't necessarily have to pay in.
I don't even know how to respond to this other than to say again, um, what?

do you have first hand experience with US health insurance?
I do. It sucks. Also ask the over 80% of us in every poll that says the same.

I would call it excellent in the services it provides
If you can afford it. Or have really good insurance. Though even then, not always.

There is always a reason....
I can't believe anyone can actually say that with a straight face. I mean, seriously... you're kidding right? No... there isn't. They can, and do, pretty much screw people over, like, all the time. Ask the millions of people who are just like the above.

Stop demonizing insurance companies. If you agree to a policy and it states what it covers you have no right to complain as you agreed to it
Wow, again, I just don't know how to respond to this. No, not at all. Nowhere close. If you can even read through all the fine print, and even if aren't one of those who has no choice but to go with whatever your employer has, you can still easily get screwed over by them. See the article this thread is about, and realize this is not some random, isolated incident.

This is the part of the system that is messed up in my opinion. The decider of price is basically the max the insurance company will allow to be charged, not what doctor or hospital gives the best price/care.
Actually the health insurances can negotiate a lower price, so they usually get a better deal than you would paying outright.


As to your other points, so much misinformation from both of you that we've gone over and over in this thread and others. Part of the legislation proposed is reform and oversight where there is little at this point, which would prevent some of these issues. It also currently, and I'd guess moreso as it goes on, encourages the use of other means of insurance other than itself, so no, unless the other insurance companies can't compete at all (and they can) not everyone is going to be on them. Even if they were, then what would be the problem if it's cost saving overall, and people could be healthy enough to work without having to go bankrupt because of health related bills? If insurance is so spectacular though, why would people then be wanting this so much? Why wouldn't they buy insurance otherwise if it's so easy and affordable and works so well? Why do mixed systems work so well elsewhere (even though you think they don't, facts say otherwise), while they spend less than we do for our lower care overall? Why are there pills that don't cure, but treat, while some are the same as other pills that do the same thing, but the new ones are more expensive and pushed by doctors told by pharma they need to push them? Who do you think helps to pay for those clinics that don't charge you much Z, and what would you do without insurance if you got REALLY sick, like with the big C, even through no fault of your own?

And duke, do you really believe what you wrote is true in most cases, because I'm still reeling from those assertions that if you actually tried to argue to most Americans right now (like the above) they'd laugh in your face?

Demosthenes X
Jul 22, 2009, 08:01 AM
We probably spend more on education too and we still lag behind on that every year, public education. We still have some of the most prestigious colleges in the world, we also have some of the best doctors and pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Yes, but is the average student attending those schools? Of course not. You judge the system based on its median delivery, not on the top schools in the country. :rolleyes:

The US's problem in performance has nothing to do with health care, it has to do with lack of caring for themselves. We have a 30% obesity rate, france has 9%. Lets not go into how a doctor is going to magically motivate you to lose weight and be more healthy.

LOL. That's funny.

And FWIW, in the UK Doctors receive bonuses based on how healthy their clients are. So if they can convince a client to quit smoking, for example, they get a bonus.

Queso
Jul 22, 2009, 08:36 AM
When I was in Portugal, I was informed by the group I was working for, that if I became sick and needed more than just basic care, I'd be flown back to the US for treatment. The hospital in the town I lived in was atrocious too, people were actually smoking in the hospital wards.

SLC
And this was when exactly? Portugal, whilst still the poorest country in western Europe, has come a long way in the past decade.

I also find it surprising they'd fly you all the way back to the US when both Germany and Switzerland are so close. Both those countries take in huge numbers of US patients a year because their hospitals are so good.

SLC Flyfishing
Jul 22, 2009, 08:40 AM
I think that's probably the case with a lot of countries with free healthcare. I'm travelling through Europe this Summer and I had to get a European health card to make sure I can get treatment if I get sick.

Still, you could go to a private hospital to get treatment.

What town did you stay in?

I was shuffling between Barreiro and Moita. Mostly in Barreiro. Are you familiar with the area?

At any rate, the company I was working for said they didn't feel comfortable with the quality of care available there and that I'd be flown home, get treatment and then fly back if it was anything beyond a basic course of treatment for an infection or something. Definately no surgery, and definately no hospital stays, (I'm sure if there had been an emergency there would have been an exception.)

SLC

iGary
Jul 22, 2009, 08:45 AM
Personally if I was a hospital I would be charging the max to the insurance companies too. Which is probably why your bill was so high in the US.

Insurance companies generally have an "allowed amount" for just about every service. The bill usually denotes what the hospital charged, and what they actually agreed to take in payment from the insurance company (usually much, much less).

I had a sleep study done about four months ago. The hospital charged the insurance company $1,200 for the study. The insurance company actually paid them $650. Same kind of deal.

SLC Flyfishing
Jul 22, 2009, 08:46 AM
And this was when exactly? Portugal, whilst still the poorest country in western Europe, has come a long way in the past decade.

I also find it surprising they'd fly you all the way back to the US when both Germany and Switzerland are so close. Both those countries take in huge numbers of US patients a year because their hospitals are so good.

This was 2000-2001. And I don't exactly know why they wouldn't fly me to Germany, except that perhaps they still felt like the care I would recieve in the states was the best available. It's not like the US isn't on the cutting edge as far as medical treatment and health care worker training and skill, we're just having trouble roping in the costs. I'd still take care in an average US hospital over care in an average hospital anywhere else.

anjinha
Jul 22, 2009, 10:03 AM
I was shuffling between Barreiro and Moita. Mostly in Barreiro. Are you familiar with the area?

At any rate, the company I was working for said they didn't feel comfortable with the quality of care available there and that I'd be flown home, get treatment and then fly back if it was anything beyond a basic course of treatment for an infection or something. Definately no surgery, and definately no hospital stays, (I'm sure if there had been an emergency there would have been an exception.)

SLC

That is seriously weird. I don't know Barreiro and Moita very well but they're really close to Lisbon, where you could get excellent treatment at a private hospital.

What company were you working for anyway? Was it a portuguese company or an american company?

And the smoking in the hospital thing definitely doesn't happen anymore.

This was 2000-2001. And I don't exactly know why they wouldn't fly me to Germany, except that perhaps they still felt like the care I would recieve in the states was the best available. It's not like the US isn't on the cutting edge as far as medical treatment and health care worker training and skill, we're just having trouble roping in the costs. I'd still take care in an average US hospital over care in an average hospital anywhere else.

And still Portugal is above the U.S. in terms of healthcare, Portugal was ranked at no. 12 while the U.S. was number 37.

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 10:31 AM
And still Portugal is above the U.S. in terms of healthcare, Portugal was ranked at no. 12 while the U.S. was number 37.

How is that ranked? I can tell you, if my insurance covered it, I'd much rather go to a world-renowned specialist in America than go to Portugal. I'm not saying there aren't good doctors there, but the top doctors in America are pretty outstanding.

It seems like that ranking is more of a ranking of insurance coverage rather than quality of medical care available.

Peterkro
Jul 22, 2009, 10:34 AM
This was 2000-2001. And I don't exactly know why they wouldn't fly me to Germany, except that perhaps they still felt like the care I would recieve in the states was the best available. It's not like the US isn't on the cutting edge as far as medical treatment and health care worker training and skill, we're just having trouble roping in the costs. I'd still take care in an average US hospital over care in an average hospital anywhere else.

It would be my guess the company you worked for would take the cheapest option, so maybe their insurance policy was written to make the most for the insurance company and get you back into the extremely profitable U.S. healthcare industry. The idea that treatment would be better in the U.S. is frankly laughable.(there may be some hospitals in the U.S. that are leaders in certain areas just as there are in other countries).

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 10:38 AM
The idea that treatment would be better in the U.S. is frankly laughable.(there may be some hospitals in the U.S. that are leaders in certain areas just as there are in other countries).

I hope you're joking, but I suspect you aren't. If you can pay for it, the U.S. has outstanding medical treatment. It's said we have the worst healthcare but the best doctors.

anjinha
Jul 22, 2009, 10:39 AM
How is that ranked? I can tell you, if my insurance covered it, I'd much rather go to a world-renowned specialist in America than go to Portugal. I'm not saying there aren't good doctors there, but the top doctors in America are pretty outstanding.

That's a big if. The thing is, what's the point of having world-renowned specialists if only a select few can afford them?

There are excellent specialists outside the U.S. and there people can actually afford to see them whether they have insurance or not.

I hope you're joking, but I suspect you aren't. If you can pay for it, the U.S. has outstanding medical treatment. It's said we have the worst healthcare but the best doctors.

How many people are uninsured in the U.S. again? And the ones who are insured, how many of those are denied coverage by the insurance companies?

Any treatment is ALWAYS better than no treatment.

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 10:43 AM
That's a big if. The thing is, what's the point of having world-renowned specialists if only a select few can afford them?

Because they're there and some people's insurance does cover it. It's not like everyone here is dying because they can't get medical treatment. Our lines are short, our waiting times are remarkably low, and we have the world's best medical technology. It costs money.

I asked a question though: what are your figures from and what do those rankings take into consideration? A link would be nice.

Any treatment is ALWAYS better than no treatment.

I don't just want "any treatment". I'm covered well by my insurance, I get GREAT treatment.

sushi
Jul 22, 2009, 10:44 AM
Didn't pay for my last vaccines either.
But you did pay for your vaccines. I guarantee that. Somehow you paid for that service through higher income tax, property tax, etc.

You may think that you didn't pay, but you did. Nothing is free.

anjinha
Jul 22, 2009, 10:50 AM
Because they're there and some people's insurance does cover it. It's not like everyone here is dying because they can't get medical treatment. Our lines are short, our waiting times are remarkably low, and we have the world's best medical technology. It costs money.

46 million Americans are uninsured!! Of course your lines are short, 46 million people can't even afford to get treated. That's not exactly a good thing.

I asked a question though: what are your figures from and what do those rankings take into consideration? A link would be nice.

The link was posted in macrumors some time ago, I'm trying to find it...

I don't just want "any treatment". I'm covered well by my insurance, I get GREAT treatment.

In countries with free healthcare you have a choice: you can get public healthcare or get treated at a private hospital if you can afford it. Anyone gets treated, those who can afford it can get it through the private system.

But you did pay for your vaccines. I guarantee that. Somehow you paid for that service through higher income tax, property tax, etc.

You may think that you didn't pay, but you did. Nothing is free.

I know that I pay taxes, but I'm a 22-year-old student and I'm living on my own. If I get sick it's nice to know that I don't have to worry about having one more bill to pay by myself.

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 10:55 AM
46 million Americans are uninsured!! Of course your lines are short, 46 million people can't even afford to get treated. That's not exactly a good thing.

Baloney. My wait times aren't so much shorter because 13% (estimate) of the population doesn't have insurance. I'll buy 13% shorter...


In countries with free healthcare you have a choice: you can get public healthcare or get treated at a private hospital if you can afford it. Anyone gets treated, those who can afford it can get it through the private system.

And are most of the amazing doctors in the "free" (as sushi said, it's not free) healthcare system or in the private system? By virtue of basic economics, it would seem that, on average, the better doctors would gravitate to where they can make more money.

anjinha
Jul 22, 2009, 10:57 AM
:rolleyes:Baloney. My wait times aren't so much shorter because 13% (estimate) of the population doesn't have insurance. I'll buy 13% shorter...

And are most of the amazing doctors in the "free" (as sushi said, it's not free) healthcare system or in the private system? All that happens is that the private healthcare isn't able to compete with people who are providing healthcare for below cost.

Most of the good doctors work in the public system and in a private clinic/hospital on the side. Yeah, imagine that, doctors here actually want to treat people instead of just making money... :rolleyes:

Peterkro
Jul 22, 2009, 10:57 AM
I hope you're joking, but I suspect you aren't. If you can pay for it, the U.S. has outstanding medical treatment. It's said we have the worst healthcare but the best doctors.

Yes great treatment is available (at a price) in the U.S. but great treatment is also available in most European countries. I'm guessing who's saying the U.S. has the best doctors is ,er, U.S. doctors.

anjinha
Jul 22, 2009, 10:59 AM
Baloney. My wait times aren't so much shorter because 13% (estimate) of the population doesn't have insurance. I'll buy 13% shorter...

Yeah, why should you care about 46 million people in your country, you're insured, that's what matters... :rolleyes:

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 11:06 AM
:rolleyes:

Most of the good doctors work in the public system and in a private clinic/hospital on the side. Yeah, imagine that, doctors here actually want to treat people instead of just making money... :rolleyes:

I didn't know you could do both. I was asking. Out of curiosity: Why do they have a private practice in addition to working in the public system?


Yes great treatment is available (at a price) in the U.S. but great treatment is also available in most European countries. I'm guessing who's saying the U.S. has the best doctors is ,er, U.S. doctors.

No, it's the thousands of people who fly into the U.S. to get cutting edge procedures done by the world's top-ranked doctors. It's pretty well accepted that the U.S. has some of the best doctors. That's not fiction. I also know that great treatment is available in most European countries. I never said it wasn't.

Yeah, why should you care about 46 million people in your country, you're insured, that's what matters... :rolleyes:

That's part of it. The other part is that I like getting treatment NOW. I have a non-urgent shoulder condition that results in partial dislocation every month or so. Surgery would fix it. I can call tomorrow, set a surgery date, and not have to wait nearly as long as someone in a public system. I like that.

Ugg
Jul 22, 2009, 11:07 AM
It would be my guess the company you worked for would take the cheapest option, so maybe their insurance policy was written to make the most for the insurance company and get you back into the extremely profitable U.S. healthcare industry. The idea that treatment would be better in the U.S. is frankly laughable.(there may be some hospitals in the U.S. that are leaders in certain areas just as there are in other countries).

My guess is that either the insurance company was getting kickbacks from the hospital groups it was sending expats to or the company could only write off expenses on American soil or some such accounting gimmick. It of course had nothing to do with quality of care.

Peterkro
Jul 22, 2009, 11:10 AM
And are most of the amazing doctors in the "free" healthcare system or in the private system?

Several years ago I was treated for a problem that in the U.K. has three world renowned experts, I could have seen any of the three and after some research chose one. The cost directly to me nothing I could have paid 100,000 to see any of the same three privately but figured that was a bit steep for a slightly better environment (newer buildings more glitz generally). Incidentally the cure rate for the disease is ten percent higher in the U.K. than the U.S.

iGary
Jul 22, 2009, 11:10 AM
No, it's the thousands of people who fly into the U.S. to get cutting edge procedures done by the world's top-ranked doctors.

Which isn't a big number when you think about it...

Based on my experience with friends who live in other countries, the "you have to wait ages for an appointment/surgery/treatment" argument simply doesn't add up, either.

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 11:11 AM
My guess is that either the insurance company was getting kickbacks from the hospital groups it was sending expats to or the company could only write off expenses on American soil or some such accounting gimmick. It of course had nothing to do with quality of care.

Nevermind the fact that the hospital that SLC was next to allowed cigarette smoking inside the hospital wards.

anjinha
Jul 22, 2009, 11:17 AM
I didn't know you could do both. I was asking. Out of curiosity: Why do they have a private practice in addition to working in the public system?

The public system is good but it's not perfect. This way people have a choice.

No, it's the thousands of people who fly into the U.S. to get cutting edge procedures done by the world's top-ranked doctors. It's pretty well accepted that the U.S. has some of the best doctors. That's not fiction. I also know that great treatment is available in most European countries. I never said it wasn't.

Then there's the millions of americans that go to Canada, Cuba or even Mexico to get treatment. The grass is greener on the other side apparently...

There was a kid in my school that had some weird disease. They couldn't treat him properly here. He went to Cuba to get treated. Yeah, Cuba. He's fine now. Imagine that, there are excellent speciallists outside of the U.S. :rolleyes:

That's part of it. The other part is that I like getting treatment NOW. I have a non-urgent shoulder condition that results in partial dislocation every month or so. Surgery would fix it. I can call tomorrow, set a surgery date, and not have to wait nearly as long as someone in a public system. I like that.

Yeah, who cares about 46 million people? You want to fix your shoulder pain NOW even though it's not urgent. Never mind that you would still be able to get private care if the U.S. had Universal healthcare, it's still better to let all those people be uninsured...

Nevermind the fact that the hospital that SLC was next to allowed cigarette smoking inside the hospital wards.

That was 9 years ago and that is not allowed anymore here. And still it was probably a designed waiting area meant for smokers.

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 11:22 AM
The public system is good but it's not perfect. This way people have a choice.

Now I'm very interested. Why do the doctors not dedicate 100% of their time to the public system?
Then there's the millions of americans that go to Canada, Cuba or even Mexico to get treatment. The grass is greener on the other side apparently...

They go to Mexico to get breast augmentation surgeries.

anjinha
Jul 22, 2009, 11:26 AM
Now I'm very interested. Why do the doctors not dedicate 100% of their time to the public system?

Why would they have to? And some doctors do, my aunt is a doctor and she works 100% in a public clinic. Some doctors work in the public system and private system. And some (not many) work solely on the private system. It's called having a choice.

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 11:27 AM
Why would they have to? And some doctors do, my aunt is a doctor and she works 100% in a public clinic. Some doctors work in the public system and private system. And some (not many) work solely on the private system. It's called having a choice.

Believe me, I understand what choice is. I can go to anyone now. Again, why do doctors not commit 100% of their time to the public system? What's in it for them if they do private practice?

LethalWolfe
Jul 22, 2009, 11:28 AM
They go to Mexico to get breast augmentation surgeries.
Next year alone, an estimated 6 million Americans will travel abroad for surgery, according to a 2008 Deloitte study. (http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/27/india.medical.travel/index.html) and it's for a lot more than boob jobs.:rolleyes:

WHO Healthcare rankings (http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html) w/the US at 37.


Lethal

Queso
Jul 22, 2009, 11:29 AM
No, it's the thousands of people who fly into the U.S. to get cutting edge procedures done by the world's top-ranked doctors. It's pretty well accepted that the U.S. has some of the best doctors. That's not fiction. I also know that great treatment is available in most European countries. I never said it wasn't.
As I've already posted, this is a two-way street. Both Germany and Switzerland take thousands of Americans a year, is this because the German and Swiss doctors are better?

Both those countries have universal healthcare. You really shouldn't believe what you're told. The US has great healthcare for those that can afford it, but there are many countries that can realistically claim to have the best.

Ugg
Jul 22, 2009, 11:51 AM
They go to Mexico to get breast augmentation surgeries.

What about the insurance companies that are now encouraging their clients to go overseas for non emergency procedures? To me that's the market place talking and it's saying that US healthcare is too expensive for what you get.

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 12:13 PM
What about the insurance companies that are now encouraging their clients to go overseas for non emergency procedures? To me that's the market place talking and it's saying that US healthcare is too expensive for what you get.

I agree it's too expensive...if your insurance doesn't cover it. If it does, we have a great selection of world-class doctors and low waiting times.

geese
Jul 22, 2009, 12:48 PM
I agree it's too expensive...if your insurance doesn't cover it. If it does, we have a great selection of world-class doctors and low waiting times.

I have to say, you're not making a good case for the US health system.

"US Healthcare: Its brilliant if you can afford it and your insurer isnt an arse. Otherwise, you can flip off.

LethalWolfe
Jul 22, 2009, 12:52 PM
I agree it's too expensive...if your insurance doesn't cover it. If it does, we have a great selection of world-class doctors and low waiting times.
And there's the rub - very good doctors and facilities that are harder and harder to get access to. That's heading down the road to healthcare failure, IMO.


Lethal

MyDesktopBroke
Jul 22, 2009, 12:52 PM
I don't think anyone can say that some of the best doctors in the world are not in America. However, when (mostly) rightwingers use this in an argument and say, "if American healthcare is bad, why do Arab sheiks and assorted royalty and government members come to the US to get treated," it is almost an admission of the problem: the system works great, if you are in the wealthiest percentile and can afford to pay for the procedure yourself.

There's a difference between the quality of US doctors and US healthcare. People talk about the evils of government rationing, but as it is, they have to go through a monopolized system that makes huge amount of money from denying their product to their customers.

kavika411
Jul 22, 2009, 12:54 PM
I don't think anyone can say that some of the best doctors in the world are not in America.

Some of the best doctors in the world are not in America.

gotzero
Jul 22, 2009, 01:23 PM
One of the things that really bugs me is that people to not think that their medical coverage is worth it if they have to pay for it. Almost everyone feels that way, yet there is so much pushback against health insurance reform. I just do not get it.

As always, I feel bad about these people that get boned by insurance, but by admitting that is not worth it on their dime, there is a cognitive dissonance when they disagree with nationalization or reform.

Demosthenes X
Jul 22, 2009, 01:32 PM
It seems like that ranking is more of a ranking of insurance coverage rather than quality of medical care available.

Do you understand how averages work? No one is denying that the USA has some very, very good treatment facilities. The Mayo Clinic and the Sloan Cancer Centre are amongst the very best in the world. But the point is, the average level of care is worse. So yeah, if you can afford to go to Mayo or Sloan-Kettering, you're great. But if you're an average American, going to an average Doctor, you'd be better off in one of the 36 countries that rank higher.

Ugg
Jul 22, 2009, 02:04 PM
Do you understand how averages work? No one is denying that the USA has some very, very good treatment facilities. The Mayo Clinic and the Sloan Cancer Centre are amongst the very best in the world. But the point is, the average level of care is worse. So yeah, if you can afford to go to Mayo or Sloan-Kettering, you're great. But if you're an average American, going to an average Doctor, you'd be better off in one of the 36 countries that rank higher.


Badandy has made it clear that he doesn't care about the average American.

Maids are still needed to clean hotel rooms, landscapers to mow lawns, people to change oil in cars, etc. American society has all deemed these occupations as below average and because of their low pay, Badandy doesn't believe they should have health coverage. He's only interested in ensuring that the wealthy are waited on hand and foot.

Unfortunately, way too many Americans feel the same way. That sure puts lie to the phrase "all men are created equal"

Sdashiki
Jul 22, 2009, 02:19 PM
Why arent Doctors treated the same way as Police, Fire, Emergency, Education departments?

Why arent Drs considered public servants? They serve the public in a more direct way than any other civil servant.

Wouldn't we all be better off?

I call the police, they come, do whatever it is they do, and leave. I didnt pay a dime.

I send my kid to school, they learn and become better people, I didnt pay the teacher(s) a dime.

TAXES should be paying for public services. Private health insurance as the only REAL way to have healthcare was a moronic greed fed idea.

But in all honesty, its TOO LATE to change it now. Youve got Drs spending $150k on schooling wanting to make that money back. Sure, Id say alot of Drs arent interested in money, but give me a break, they are in it to GET PAID. And if you, today, said we are regulating Dr pay, theyd go on strike saying "I made a million last year working for a private hospital, who the hell are you to give me a pay cut!?"

IDK, everyone has an opinion on this Healthcare subject, but not a single person has a REAL solution.

iShater
Jul 22, 2009, 02:51 PM
I agree it's too expensive...if your insurance doesn't cover it. If it does, we have a great selection of world-class doctors and low waiting times.

Insurance companies are notorious for declining such expensive treatments. There is a growing industry of advocates that you hire to have them deal with insurance companies for you and navigate through the hurdles they put in your way.

I assume you have been getting your insurance through your employer? Have you looked at the cost/coverage of getting it on your own? even with a "pre-existing" condition (which is a wide range)?

Our waiting times might seem low, but really there is a reason minute-clinics are becoming successful, and it is not only because of people without insurance. I recently tried to see my PCP for what turned out to be a bad cold, good luck trying to get the appointment BEFORE the cold ran its course. :rolleyes:

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 02:52 PM
Do you understand how averages work? No one is denying that the USA has some very, very good treatment facilities. The Mayo Clinic and the Sloan Cancer Centre are amongst the very best in the world. But the point is, the average level of care is worse. So yeah, if you can afford to go to Mayo or Sloan-Kettering, you're great. But if you're an average American, going to an average Doctor, you'd be better off in one of the 36 countries that rank higher.

I know how averages work, thanks. I know people who don't make a lot of money who have good health insurance. They're fiscally responsible. It's their body and they realize it's their problem to take care of it through getting insurance. They make it a priority, because it is.

Badandy has made it clear that he doesn't care about the average American.

Badandy doesn't believe they should have health coverage. He's only interested in ensuring that the wealthy are waited on hand and foot.

Step off your soapbox and make decent arguments instead of just insulting me. You wouldn't talk like you are if you were speaking about this issue in real life, so please, get with the program and engage in civilized discussion. You're not going to convince anyone being rude.

I said that people with good insurance usually get good healthcare. It's called personal responsibility.

I, again, ask anjinhamarota: Again, why do doctors not commit 100% of their time to the public system? What's in it for them if they do private practice?

iGary
Jul 22, 2009, 02:58 PM
I said that people with good insurance usually get good healthcare. It's called personal responsibility.[/B]

What would you recommend to someone who can't get insurance because of a pre-existing condition?

What would you recommend to someone who gets laid off, loses coverage and then gets diagnosed with an expensive, life-threatening disease?

matthewscott661
Jul 22, 2009, 03:02 PM
Is it just me, or does the insurance seem to never cover what people really need covered?

It's not just you. My brother had some kind if operation on his foot a few months back, and our insurance said it would be totally covered minus our deductible of $250. OK. Good.

Until we get the bill and see that while the operation itself was covered, none of the tools used to perform the operation were covered. When asked why they weren't covered, a representative of the insurance company stated that those tools were not viewed by the company as necessary to perform the operation. If that is the case, then why are ALL of the tools not covered? Was this doctor supposed to perform the operation with absolutely no tools?

It was ridiculous, so we appealed the case and after a few months of being ignored by the insurance company, our case was overturned. After the issue was resolved, my family immediately started shopping for new health insurance.

Ugg
Jul 22, 2009, 03:32 PM
I said that people with good insurance usually get good healthcare. It's called personal responsibility.


BS

I know a number of people who are very responsible and successful who have been financially and emotionally devastated by insurance companies that are anything but.

The system is broken and as matthewscott661 points out, the insurcos are using underhanded tricks to deny people coverage. Just like the republicans used accounting sleight of hand to deal with California's budget, so are insurance companies out to screw over everyone they possibly can by using bizarre tactics.

Your platinum plated insurance must cost you thousands of dollars a month or is provided by the US government, because I've never heard of such an immediate response to a chronic condition.

barkomatic
Jul 22, 2009, 03:38 PM
Why arent Doctors treated the same way as Police, Fire, Emergency, Education departments?

None of these professions require hundreds of thousands of dollars in education cost. Believe me, you want a well educated doctor to work on you.

Why arent Drs considered public servants? They serve the public in a more direct way than any other civil servant.

You could consider them public servants but you have to pay them. No doctor is going to work for the salary of a policeman. It's not worth it.

Wouldn't we all be better off?

Not in my opinion. Making doctors the equivalent of public servants like police and fire would be a disaster.

I call the police, they come, do whatever it is they do, and leave. I didnt pay a dime.

I send my kid to school, they learn and become better people, I didnt pay the teacher(s) a dime.

TAXES should be paying for public services. Private health insurance as the only REAL way to have healthcare was a moronic greed fed idea.

The sad state of the human condition is that money motivates most people. You will not change this with lectures about the public good. If we had complete public health coverage in this country you would be treated with medical technology the equivalent of the 1950's.

But in all honesty, its TOO LATE to change it now. Youve got Drs spending $150k on schooling wanting to make that money back. Sure, Id say alot of Drs arent interested in money, but give me a break, they are in it to GET PAID. And if you, today, said we are regulating Dr pay, theyd go on strike saying "I made a million last year working for a private hospital, who the hell are you to give me a pay cut!?"

IDK, everyone has an opinion on this Healthcare subject, but not a single person has a REAL solution.

Neither do you it seems, and neither do I really.

However, I don't believe healthcare is as dire as it is being made out to be. I do think our country can do a much better job of providing basic preventative coverage and to regulate private health companies. If a provider says they will cover a procedure than they should cover it--not deny it later hoping you won't take them to court.

skunk
Jul 22, 2009, 03:48 PM
The sad state of the human condition is that money motivates most people. You will not change this with lectures about the public good. If we had complete public health coverage in this country you would be treated with medical technology the equivalent of the 1950's.This is obviously untrue. How otherwise would you explain the fact that many of those countries with universal healthcare have just as good medical facilities and doctors as the US?

However, I don't believe healthcare is as dire as it is being made out to be. I do think our country can do a much better job of providing basic preventative coverage and to regulate private health companies. If a provider says they will cover a procedure than they should cover it--not deny it later hoping you won't take them to court.Tens of millions denied proper healthcare is as dire as it gets. The figures speak for themselves, and they speak volumes.

beatzfreak
Jul 22, 2009, 03:51 PM
It's not just you. My brother had some kind if operation on his foot a few months back, and our insurance said it would be totally covered minus our deductible of $250. OK. Good.

Until we get the bill and see that while the operation itself was covered, none of the tools used to perform the operation were covered. When asked why they weren't covered, a representative of the insurance company stated that those tools were not viewed by the company as necessary to perform the operation. If that is the case, then why are ALL of the tools not covered? Was this doctor supposed to perform the operation with absolutely no tools?

It was ridiculous, so we appealed the case and after a few months of being ignored by the insurance company, our case was overturned. After the issue was resolved, my family immediately started shopping for new health insurance.

Yeah, it's this kind of crap that's scary. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to what they cover or don't cover.

A friend of mine got cancer. He paid $1000 per month for his insurance plan and thought it was a good plan. They paid for his chemo, but wouldn't cover the nausea meds, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, etc. and some other random things. His bill was over $100,000. When he appealed, they dropped his coverage. He's in remission, but the cancer can come back and now no one will cover him.

LethalWolfe
Jul 22, 2009, 03:52 PM
I said that people with good insurance usually get good healthcare. It's called personal responsibility.

So someone who can't get covered, or can't get affordable coverage, because they have a pre-existing condition, according to the insurance companies, isn't personally responsible? Really? Someone who is stuck in a less than stellar group plan through their employer isn't personally responsible?

How about people who do have insurance and still get hosed?
Link (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/health-care-reform/2009/06/new_study_shows_medical_bills.html)

Sixty-two percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were linked to medical expenses, according to a nationwide study released today by the American Journal of Medicine. That's nearly 20 percentage points higher than that pool of respondents reported were connected to medical costs in 2001.

Of those who filed for bankruptcy in 2007, nearly 80 percent had health insurance. Respondents who reported having insurance indicated average expenses of just under $18,000. Respondents who filed and lacked insurance had average medical bills of nearly $27,000.
Emphasis mine.

The problem w/saying that as long as you have good insurance you'll have access to good healthcare is that it's getting harder and more expensive to have good insurance.


The sad state of the human condition is that money motivates most people. You will not change this with lectures about the public good. If we had complete public health coverage in this country you would be treated with medical technology the equivalent of the 1950's.

FUD much?


Lethal

anjinha
Jul 22, 2009, 04:01 PM
I, again, ask anjinhamarota: Again, why do doctors not commit 100% of their time to the public system? What's in it for them if they do private practice?

I don't know, I'm not a doctor. But why is that an issue anyway? The private sector needs doctors too, if doctors are willing to do both there's more alternative for the patients to choose from.

I really don't see the issue here... :confused:

iShater
Jul 22, 2009, 04:01 PM
I know people who don't make a lot of money who have good health insurance. They're fiscally responsible. It's their body and they realize it's their problem to take care of it through getting insurance. They make it a priority, because it is.

I said that people with good insurance usually get good healthcare. It's called personal responsibility.

I, again, ask anjinhamarota: Again, why do doctors not commit 100% of their time to the public system? What's in it for them if they do private practice?

I am waiting for you to respond to my earlier post, because I am curious how you get your insurance.

How is fiscal responsibility really involved here? I am confused, because I can shop around for insurance all I want, they don't have to cover me.

Any why would they want to be 100% in the public system? aren't you all about choice? why don't you want them to offer the choice?

leekohler
Jul 22, 2009, 04:06 PM
None of these professions require hundreds of thousands of dollars in education cost. Believe me, you want a well educated doctor to work on you.

College professors do. They don't make tons of cash.



You could consider them public servants but you have to pay them. No doctor is going to work for the salary of a policeman. It's not worth it.

And putting your life at risk on a daily basis as a police officer is worth it?


The sad state of the human condition is that money motivates most people. You will not change this with lectures about the public good. If we had complete public health coverage in this country you would be treated with medical technology the equivalent of the 1950's.

The rest of the civilized world seems to be doing just fine. We can too. And the last person I want operating on me is someone who became a doctor because of the money.



Neither do you it seems, and neither do I really.

However, I don't believe healthcare is as dire as it is being made out to be. I do think our country can do a much better job of providing basic preventative coverage and to regulate private health companies. If a provider says they will cover a procedure than they should cover it--not deny it later hoping you won't take them to court.

Unfortunately- people get denied all the time. I had a friend who recently had his leg amputated because of a tumor. Prior to the amputation, the insurance company stated they would pay for a prosthetic leg. After the amputation, they denied it. It wasn't until after my lawyer threatened them with a lawsuit that they relented.

barkomatic
Jul 22, 2009, 04:09 PM
This is obviously untrue. How otherwise would you explain the fact that many of those countries with universal healthcare have just as good medical facilities and doctors as the US?

Most of the technology and advanced pharmaceuticals that other countries use in their healthcare programs was developed here--under a private system that rewards people with lots of money for their acheivements. If there was no money, those individuals would focus their efforts elsewhere.

Tens of millions denied proper healthcare is as dire as it gets. The figures speak for themselves, and they speak volumes.

I would say hundreds of millions of citizens with very low quality healthcare in a fully public system is far worse. Whatever solution we find cannot endanger everyone else as a result.

LethalWolfe
Jul 22, 2009, 04:12 PM
I would say hundreds of millions of citizens with very low quality healthcare in a fully public system is far worse. Whatever solution we find cannot endanger everyone else as a result.
That's laughable considering that countries like France and the UK, which have national healthcare, are ranked far higher than the US in terms of healthcare quality.


Lethal

anjinha
Jul 22, 2009, 04:13 PM
I would say hundreds of millions of citizens with very low quality healthcare in a fully public system is far worse. Whatever solution we find cannot endanger everyone else as a result.

Seriously? I would take basic healthcare over no healthcare any day...

leekohler
Jul 22, 2009, 04:13 PM
Most of the technology and advanced pharmaceuticals that other countries use in their healthcare programs was developed here--under a private system that rewards people with lots of money for their acheivements. If there was no money, those individuals would focus their efforts elsewhere.

Wow- that was unbelievable. Do you know how much R&D goes on in other countries?

Even if it didn't, it's not our responsibility to pay for all the R&D for the rest of the world.

And if our health care system continues down the path it's on, there won't be any money for anybody.



I would say hundreds of millions of citizens with very low quality healthcare in a fully public system is far worse. Whatever solution we find cannot endanger everyone else as a result.

Except that's not what happens, or would happen.

matthewscott661
Jul 22, 2009, 04:13 PM
i just noticed that the Urban Dictionary word of the day is unsurance (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=unsurance&defid=3488595)

July 22: unsurance

Coverage by contract whereby the party which has undertaken to guarantee protection or coverage against loss by a specified peril reneges said coverage when protection or action becomes necessary.

I had to take little Throckmorton to a specialist for his asthma, but the visit was not covered by our health unsurance policy.



Kinda funny given this heated discussion on the very same day

barkomatic
Jul 22, 2009, 04:17 PM
College professors do. They don't make tons of cash.

Somewhat true. Most professors get all kinds of aid to help them pay for their education.


And putting your life at risk on a daily basis as a police officer is worth it?

Police officers don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to pay off. Also, many police officers take the job *because* its more dangerous.

The rest of the civilized world seems to be doing just fine. We can too. And the last person I want operating on me is someone who became a doctor because of the money.

Not the rest of the civilized world but some of them. They are doing just fine using technology and pharmaceuticals developed here under a private system.


Unfortunately- people get denied all the time. I had a friend who recently had his leg amputated because of a tumor. Prior to the amputation, the insurance company stated they would pay for a prosthetic leg. After the amputation, they denied it. It wasn't until after my lawyer threatened them with a lawsuit that they relented.

This is angering and it's a shame your friend had to go through that while dealing his recovery. I certainly think companies should be more tightly regulated to lesson this type of abuse.

skunk
Jul 22, 2009, 04:23 PM
Not the rest of the civilized world but some of them. They are doing just fine using technology and pharmaceuticals developed here under a private system.Please do not repeat this canard without evidence. It is absolutely untrue.

anjinha
Jul 22, 2009, 04:24 PM
Not the rest of the civilized world but some of them. They are doing just fine using technology and pharmaceuticals developed here under a private system.

1st Not everything was developed in the U.S.

2nd In other countries you have a choice. You can get treated under the public system or under the private system, if you can afford it. The bottom line is anyone gets treated. Most people don't even bother to go through the private system, even when they can afford it, because the public healthcare is very good.

3rd No one is saying the private system shouldn't exist. My point it that the existent private system should co-exist, like in most civilized countries, with a public system. 46 million uninsured people is no joke, specially when you add the ones that are insured but denied coverage for stupid reasons.

leekohler
Jul 22, 2009, 04:26 PM
Somewhat true. Most professors get all kinds of aid to help them pay for their education.

That's only true for some. Most pay over $100,000. I have a friend finishing his PhD right now who's in that boat.

Doctors also can get a lot of financial assistance. I have a friend who's a heart surgeon. He does heart transplants. He spent 20 years serving in the Army to get there. That's dedication, and that's the kind of person I want operating on me. And you and I paid for his education.




Police officers don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to pay off. Also, many police officers take the job *because* its more dangerous.

Many doctors take the job because they want to help people. Those are the doctors I want.



Not the rest of the civilized world but some of them. They are doing just fine using technology and pharmaceuticals developed here under a private system.

See my above post about R&D. And no- most of the civilized world is healthier than we are.




This is angering and it's a shame your friend had to go through that while dealing his recovery. I certainly think companies should be more tightly regulated to lesson this type of abuse.

At least we can agree on that.

Peterkro
Jul 22, 2009, 04:38 PM
Most of the technology and advanced pharmaceuticals that other countries use in their healthcare programs was developed here--under a private system that rewards people with lots of money for their acheivements. If there was no money, those individuals would focus their efforts elsewhere.


As others have said could we have some sources of how much R&D the U.S. does as compared to other countries, then a break down of how much is funded by tax payers in the U.S.,considerably more than you think I suspect.

mgguy
Jul 22, 2009, 04:39 PM
BS

Just like the republicans used accounting sleight of hand to deal with California's budget ...

What are you referring to here?

Ugg
Jul 22, 2009, 04:57 PM
Most of the technology and advanced pharmaceuticals that other countries use in their healthcare programs was developed here--under a private system that rewards people with lots of money for their acheivements. If there was no money, those individuals would focus their efforts elsewhere.



BS, until recently, most of the major pharmaceutical companies were European. GSK is British and quite a few have their origins in Switzerland and Germany. Much of the research in the US is done at federally funded research universities and then the technology is licensed by the drug companies. In other words, it's heavily subsidized by the US government. How's that for socialized medicine?

Somewhat true. Most professors get all kinds of aid to help them pay for their education.

Oh, and those poor impoverished doctors are left to fend for themselves?

What are you referring to here?

The fact that rather than deal honestly with their customers, they use subterfuge and legal dishonesty to make money.

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 05:34 PM
I don't know, I'm not a doctor. But why is that an issue anyway? The private sector needs doctors too, if doctors are willing to do both there's more alternative for the patients to choose from.

I really don't see the issue here... :confused:

Just think. Why would a doctor take time away from the public system and put it towards private practice?

leekohler
Jul 22, 2009, 05:35 PM
Just think. Why would a doctor take time away from the public system and put it towards private practice?

You could try answering the question. ;)

.Andy
Jul 22, 2009, 05:40 PM
Just think. Why would a doctor take time away from the public system and put it towards private practice?
A combination of better remuneration and freedom to work for oneself and set one's own hours.

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 05:46 PM
A combination of better remuneration and freedom to work for oneself and set one's own hours.

Exactly what I was looking for. It really took a doctor (I think, .Andy?) to finally get my question?

Most of the good doctors work in the public system and in a private clinic/hospital on the side. Yeah, imagine that, doctors here actually want to treat people instead of just making money...

The point isn't that doctor's are greedy. The point is that they're out there to do a social service and make a decent living. I'd hope you understand, anjinhamarota, that any time a doctor is spending in private practice is time they're not spending on the public system. There sure must be advantages for private care patients that a universal healthcare system doesn't appropriately confer to the whole populace, huh...

@Lee: I make it a point not to answer my own rhetorical questions. ;) It's no fun that way.

leekohler
Jul 22, 2009, 05:49 PM
Exactly what I was looking for. It really took a doctor (I think, .Andy?) to finally get my question?



The point isn't that doctor's are greedy. The point is that they're out there to do a social service and make a decent living. I'd hope you understand, anjinhamarota, that any time a doctor is spending in private practice is time they're not spending on the public system. There sure must be advantages for private care patients that a universal healthcare system doesn't appropriately confer to the whole populace, huh...

@Lee: I make it a point not to answer my own rhetorical questions. ;) It's no fun that way.

That's a lot better than a lot of people getting no health care, don't you think? ;)

Example from my own life:

During college and for a few years after, I couldn't afford to see a dentist. You know what happened when I finally could go? Two root canals, root planing and many, many cavities. That's expensive, and my insurance paid for most of it, even though I paid thousands out of pocket too. Now, don't you think that it would have been better had I been able to see a dentist during that time? Don't you think all of that was preventable? I certainly do. But there was no way I could go to the dentist when I could barely afford food and rent.

geese
Jul 22, 2009, 05:54 PM
Just think. Why would a doctor take time away from the public system and put it towards private practice?

You seem to think that the medical profession is less well remunerated under a 'public' system (lets use the NHS as an example here) then a private system. Why do you assume that?

Dont forget, in the case of the UK at least, the vast majority of medical jobs are in the NHS. In fact, alot of private practitioners operate from NHS premises, and work for both private and public.

I dont know how the continental system works - could someone briefly explain? It seems to be different to the UK one.

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 05:57 PM
That's a lot better than a lot of people getting no health care, don't you think? ;)

It depends, will the people who used to be covered by private insurance be in the public system and have to deal with the longer waits (necessary if doctor's split their time) or do we stipulate that they remain under private insurance? With the first option, you have decreased level of service, albeit more accessible to the general population. The doctors who split off their time to work in the private practice will be both limiting the time they spend on the public system and are the ones that the privately covered people are willing to pay more for--namely, the really good ones. With the second, you rely on private insurance trying to compete with another option (the public system) that is not operating for profit.

skunk
Jul 22, 2009, 06:05 PM
It depends, will the people who used to be covered by private insurance be in the public system and have to deal with the longer waits (necessary if doctor's split their time) or do we stipulate that they remain under private insurance? With the first option, you have decreased level of service, albeit more accessible to the general population. The doctors who split off their time to work in the private practice will be both limiting the time they spend on the public system and are the ones that the privately covered people are willing to pay more for--namely, the really good ones. With the second, you rely on private insurance trying to compete with another option (the public system) that is not operating for profit.Again and again one has to ask: if so many other countries can achieve a result with universal health care which ranks them above the USA, what is it that makes the USA uniquely unable to achieve a similar result? Are you greedier than anyone else? More venal? Less imaginative? Less efficient? Less compassionate? Less competent? If you are none of these things, what is the problem?

Badandy
Jul 22, 2009, 06:13 PM
Again and again one has to ask: if so many other countries can achieve a result with universal health care which ranks them above the USA, what is it that makes the USA uniquely unable to achieve a similar result? Are you greedier than anyone else? More venal? Less imaginative? Less efficient? Less compassionate? Less competent? If you are none of these things, what is the problem?

Level of Care USA:

Person A: 8
Person B: 7
Person C: 0

Average: 5

Level of Care UHC:

Person A: 6
Person B: 6
Person C: 6

Average: 6


This is a vastly simplified example, and you may think the UHC outcome is better, which would be a valid opinion. But if we stipulate that doctors split their time between public and private systems, lower quality service will result for those who are already covered. The doctors who end up splitting their time more will be the ones those under the private system find worth paying far extra for--the really good ones. That leaves less "good doctor man-hours" for the public system and leaves the private health companies trying to compete with a system that is only trying to break-even.

Let me elaborate slightly. Government policies, by tampering with the market, create deadweight loss. This is not debatable, it is a simple fact of economics. What the government seeks to do with these policies is make sure the increase in social benefit (by insuring those who don't have insurance) does not exceed economic inefficiencies resulting from sub-optimal market outcomes (through competition). That's the basic idea, but this wikipedia article is a great start.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadweight_loss

Here's an article on income taxes and deadweight loss:

http://ideas.repec.org/a/tpr/restat/v81y1999i4p674-680.html

EDIT 2: You'll also realize a myriad of instances where republicans have failed to understand basic economic principles and gone against all of this. I know, and it's part of the reason I'm de-registering as one in the coming months (when I find time). No need to rub it in.

Peterkro
Jul 22, 2009, 06:26 PM
Level of Care USA:

Person A: 8
Person B: 7
Person C: 0

Average: 5

Level of Care UHC:

Person A: 6
Person B: 6
Person C: 6

Average: 6


This is a vastly simplified example, and you may think the UHC outcome is better, which would be a valid opinion. But if we stipulate that doctors split their time between public and private systems, lower quality service will result for those who are already covered. The doctors who end up splitting their time more will be the ones those under the private system find worth paying far extra for--the really good ones. That leaves less "good doctor man-hours" for the public system and leaves the private health companies trying to compete with a system that is only trying to break-even.

I think you misunderstand how the U.K. system works,the vast majority of doctors in the NHS work only for the NHS. The ones who do private work are mainly Consultants of which there are only 32000 in the entire country,the ones under contract to the NHS work for forty hours or more per week for the NHS and have a private practice outside that,usually that means they do one clinic a week at a private hospital (which quite possibly is just a separate wing on a public hospital) . Some people for whatever reason wish to be treated privately,now that doesn't mean the better Consultants work part time in private practice,in fact large numbers are approaching retirement and often give up the NHS for the lighter work load of a small private practice as they age.

sushi
Jul 23, 2009, 04:23 AM
WHO Healthcare rankings (http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html) w/the US at 37.
I think that this comment is rather telling:
The World Health Organization's ranking of the world's health systems was last produced in 2000, and the WHO no longer produces such a ranking table, because of the complexity of the task.

Maybe I am reading this wrong, but it looks like it's based on old data (1997):

Spreadsheet data details:
Annex Table 1 Health system attainment and performance in all Member States, ranked by eight measures, estimates for 1997

So is there anything more current out there that you know of?

opinioncircle
Jul 23, 2009, 08:25 AM
What's funny to me is that it seems like you could actually get health care coverage and for some reason a while after you signed your deal get dropped from this very same deal...That amazes me: you pay for some coverage but when you need it, you're let go...

iShater
Jul 23, 2009, 08:44 AM
What's funny to me is that it seems like you could actually get health care coverage and for some reason a while after you signed your deal get dropped from this very same deal...That amazes me: you pay for some coverage but when you need it, you're let go...

Amazing eh?

rhett7660
Jul 23, 2009, 10:57 AM
I wonder what would have happened had The Problem Solver not called.

They would be in a load of trouble trying to pay off the bills.... Good lord and then the companies wonder why the people want some sort of health reform. Idiots....

SLC Flyfishing
Jul 23, 2009, 01:14 PM
Nevermind the fact that the hospital that SLC was next to allowed cigarette smoking inside the hospital wards.


That was 9 years ago and that is not allowed anymore here. And still it was probably a designed waiting area meant for smokers.

Well no it wasn't. I went to church there while I was living in Barreiro (you'd be surprised but there were a lot of Mormons in Portugal). I went to the hospital to visit one of my fellow congregation members sons who was in the psych ward with schitzophrenia. They were smoking in the psych ward, they had armed guards in there as well, and the place was as depressing as hell. The rest of the hospital was not so nice either, and everyone (well not everyone but you know what I mean) was smoking throughout.

Now admittedly, I don't know if it was a private or public hospital. I'd guess public since the people I was visiting weren't well to do at all, the opposite in fact. And yes things have likely changed since then, but still......

I don't mean this to sound like an ill report of Portugal, that place was fantastic overall. But I didn't have any confidence in the health care system, and my company didn't either. Their stated reasoning was that they weren't comfortable with the health care standards enough to put employees through surgical procedures.

SLC

Peterkro
Jul 23, 2009, 01:45 PM
Well no it wasn't. I went to church there while I was living in Barreiro (you'd be surprised but there were a lot of Mormons in Portugal). I went to the hospital to visit one of my fellow congregation members sons who was in the psych ward with schitzophrenia. They were smoking in the psych ward, they had armed guards in there as well, and the place was as depressing as hell. The rest of the hospital was not so nice either, and everyone (well not everyone but you know what I mean) was smoking throughout.

Now admittedly, I don't know if it was a private or public hospital. I'd guess public since the people I was visiting weren't well to do at all, the opposite in fact. And yes things have likely changed since then, but still......

I don't mean this to sound like an ill report of Portugal, that place was fantastic overall. But I didn't have any confidence in the health care system, and my company didn't either. Their stated reasoning was that they weren't comfortable with the health care standards enough to put employees through surgical procedures.

SLC

I don't know when Portugal brought in it's first non smoking laws but certainly in the U.K. locked mental health wards were amongst the last places to ban smoking, it being extremely difficult to allow patients outside to smoke as is the case in most hospitals where they have people who insist on smoking,and as anybody who has worked with mental health patients will tell you they tend to smoke like demons.

anjinha
Jul 23, 2009, 02:16 PM
I don't mean this to sound like an ill report of Portugal, that place was fantastic overall. But I didn't have any confidence in the health care system, and my company didn't either. Their stated reasoning was that they weren't comfortable with the health care standards enough to put employees through surgical procedures.

SLC

Again, was your company American or Portuguese? Seems to me that if it was an American company they would have no idea of the quality of healthcare in Portugal and, like other Americans, would think that any system outside of the U.S. is subpar.

But yeah, why would you trust the opinion of someone who has actually lived here all her life and has real experience in the quality of healthcare provided here?

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 02:23 PM
Again, was your company American or Portuguese? Seems to me that if it was an American company they would have no idea of the quality of healthcare in Portugal and, like other Americans, would think that any system outside of the U.S. is subpar.

It was subpar if they allowed smoking inside the hospital.

But yeah, why would you trust the opinion of someone who has actually lived here all her life and has real experience in the quality of healthcare provided here?

Because you don't seem to have anything to compare it to. SLC, on the other hand, has experienced both environments. Smoking in a hospital in the U.S., even nine years ago, was not tolerated, and for good reason.

anjinha
Jul 23, 2009, 02:37 PM
It was subpar if they allowed smoking inside the hospital.



Because you don't seem to have anything to compare it to. SLC, on the other hand, has experienced both environments. Smoking in a hospital in the U.S., even nine years ago, was not tolerated, and for good reason.

I don't know about the hospitals 9 years ago, at that time I was only 13. I do know that NOW smoking is not allowed anywhere in a hospital. I also know that whenever I or any family member of mine went to the hospital we had excellent care.

You want to compare one issue 9 years ago? Fine. I care more about what happens now and I do know that we've come a long way.

What I also know is that even though Portugal is one of the poorest countries in Europe we manage to provide GOOD healthcare to EVERYONE and no one goes bankrupt from it, which is more than the U.S. can say. If I got sick I would rather it happening here than in the U.S. because I know that there my family wouldn't be able to afford it.

Our healthcare isn't perfect. But anyone gets treated. Those that think that the public system is not good enough can go to the private system. And honestly, I don't know anyone here that actually thinks the private system is worth it, for most cases the public system is very good.

SLC Flyfishing
Jul 23, 2009, 02:37 PM
I think this must have been the place, though i couldn't find a physical address on their map. The photo looks like the place.

http://www.hbarreiro.min-saude.pt/Homepage

SLC

anjinha
Jul 23, 2009, 02:42 PM
I think this must have been the place, though i couldn't find a physical address on their map. The photo looks like the place.

http://www.hbarreiro.min-saude.pt/Homepage

SLC

I really don't know that hospital so I can't comment on it. I lived my whole life in the north of Portugal and only moved to Lisbon 3 years ago. I've only been to Barreiro once or twice and never to the hospital.

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 02:48 PM
You want to compare one issue 9 years ago? Fine. I care more about what happens now and I do know that we've come a long way.

And I never said Portugal hasn't. You said this when responding to SLC's very specific predicament (which occurred 9 years ago).

Seems to me that if it was an American company they would have no idea of the quality of healthcare in Portugal

We are talking about 9 years ago. That's what you were responding to and that's what I was responding to.

I make no claim to know the ins and outs of the Portugese health care system, and I've refrained from making any guesses as to its efficacy.

Demosthenes X
Jul 23, 2009, 03:12 PM
Level of Care USA:
Let me elaborate slightly. Government policies, by tampering with the market, create deadweight loss. This is not debatable, it is a simple fact of economics.

:rolleyes: Government policy creates deadweight loss if the market is performing optimally to begin with. If the market is distorted, then government policy can create a pareto improvement.

The USA already spends more than anyone else on health care. So, if health care reform means the USA spends the same or less, and coverage increases, then there is potential for pareto improvement.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 03:30 PM
Can anyone explain how Obama's notion to force insurance to cover uninsurable patients (lets not forget the purpose of insurance is to bet for the health of someone in order to make money) and capping charge amounts, basically running their businesses for them, isn't counterproductive when the public option is going to be backed by the tax payer (which now days means endless supply of money until no one wants to invest in the US anymore).

The way I see it the government will allow the private industry to slowly spiral itself out under new regulations and then "come to the rescue" trapping us in a public system forever. If you tell me I have to insure joe who has already been diagnosed with a disease and you cap the amount I can charge you just broke the whole concept of insurance.

Is this really competitive or is it just a ploy to get us to bite and send us down the drain later?

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 03:43 PM
:rolleyes: Government policy creates deadweight loss if the market is performing optimally to begin with. If the market is distorted, then government policy can create a pareto improvement.

The USA already spends more than anyone else on health care. So, if health care reform means the USA spends the same or less, and coverage increases, then there is potential for pareto improvement.

Give doctors malpractice amnesty until intentional abuse was found. Probably get our costs down as low or lower than most countries. I can't even remember what my friend said he has to pay for his insurance to be an anesthesiologist.

leekohler
Jul 23, 2009, 03:45 PM
Can anyone explain how Obama's notion to force insurance to cover uninsurable patients (lets not forget the purpose of insurance is to bet for the health of someone in order to make money)

You just illustrated why the free market and health care don't belong together.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 03:52 PM
You just illustrated why the free market and health care don't belong together.

That isn't part of the argument though, if that was Obama's stance he should come out and say that. There is no doubt that these companies are betting on the health of their people and rely on the high percentage of success to outweigh the low percentage, high cost unsuccessful bet. Forcing them to take a bad bet while knowing its a bad bet is going to put them out of business.

SO... lets come out and say what we really want to do instead of throwing the blanket over everyone's eyes, aye? This plan will not increase competition at all, this is going to kill the insurance industry. In fact it shouldn't even be considered an "insurance" entity at all if this is the way we plan to run the businesses. Health Safety Net is more appropriate.

I don't get how you can say in one sentence that you don't want to control the private insurance industry, and the next you are talking about forcing everyone to become insurable and basically running their business.

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 04:01 PM
:rolleyes: Government policy creates deadweight loss if the market is performing optimally to begin with. If the market is distorted, then government policy can create a pareto improvement.


There's no need to roll your eyes, I'm quite aware. In most cases, government intervention usually does create deadwight loss (income taxes, rent control, subsidies) and political discourse is usually concerned with the balance between that deadweight loss and the overall societial benefit a change in policy is thought to bring. In this case, I'm arguing that the industry isn't at paretto efficiency because of government intervention. That's not to say further government intervention couldn't improve the pareto optimality, but I think that the proposed policies would make the market even more imperfect by introducing more non-competitive pressure.

@Lee:Actually, I think the free-market does belong together with healthcare under proper government supervision (not the quasi-control we have now/will have), even though it seeks to operate at a profit. It's how we allocate doctor's time and how we gauge their competence. Having private healthcare try to compete with a non-competitive entity (the government not operating for profit) is very bad economically.

This plan will not increase competition at all, this is going to kill the insurance industry.

Quite right. No one can logically say that providing an alternative to private insurance that doesn't care about profit counts as economic competition.

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 04:16 PM
the purpose of insurance is to bet for the health of someone in order to make moneyThe purpose of national health insurance is to ensure everyone gets the healthcare they need.

leekohler
Jul 23, 2009, 04:21 PM
That isn't part of the argument though, if that was Obama's stance he should come out and say that. There is no doubt that these companies are betting on the health of their people and rely on the high percentage of success to outweigh the low percentage, high cost unsuccessful bet. Forcing them to take a bad bet while knowing its a bad bet is going to put them out of business.

SO... lets come out and say what we really want to do instead of throwing the blanket over everyone's eyes, aye? This plan will not increase competition at all, this is going to kill the insurance industry. In fact it shouldn't even be considered an "insurance" entity at all if this is the way we plan to run the businesses. Health Safety Net is more appropriate.

I don't get how you can say in one sentence that you don't want to control the private insurance industry, and the next you are talking about forcing everyone to become insurable and basically running their business.

I have no problem with putting insurance companies out of business. None whatsoever. The whole concept of health insurance is ass-backward.

Demosthenes X
Jul 23, 2009, 04:40 PM
There's no need to roll your eyes, I'm quite aware. In most cases, government intervention usually does create deadwight loss (income taxes, rent control, subsidies) and political discourse is usually concerned with the balance between that deadweight loss and the overall societial benefit a change in policy is thought to bring. In this case, I'm arguing that the industry isn't at paretto efficiency because of government intervention. That's not to say further government intervention couldn't improve the pareto optimality, but I think that the proposed policies would make the market even more imperfect by introducing more non-competitive pressure.

Really? Because that's the exact opposite of what you said here:

Government policies, by tampering with the market, create deadweight loss. This is not debatable, it is a simple fact of economics.

Hence, :rolleyes:. Try and keep your argument straight.

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 04:48 PM
Really? Because that's the exact opposite of what you said here:



Not really. I mean, of course government policy can improve pareto efficiency if it's trying to improve a situation it's already tampered with.

Be civil, there's no need to be rude, especially when you don't take the time to understand my point.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 04:53 PM
The purpose of national health insurance is to ensure everyone gets the healthcare they need.

And the purpose of the national education system is to make sure everyone gets the education they need. We've seen how well that helped us.

Eraserhead
Jul 23, 2009, 04:56 PM
Given the US spends twice as much as a percentage of GDP as the British and four times as much as the Singaporeans I don't think you can say the current American system is particularly efficient.

And the purpose of the national education system is to make sure everyone gets the education they need. We've seen how well that helped us.

While it is true that private schools generally give a better quality of education than state run schools, if state run schools didn't exist how would the poor possibly be able to educate their children?

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 04:58 PM
I have no problem with putting insurance companies out of business. None whatsoever. The whole concept of health insurance is ass-backward.

Not really, I think we just implemented it wrong. Insurance should be about disaster recovery, think about how little our premiums would be if everyone paid their own maintenance costs and insurance was only for disasters such as $xx,xxx dollar surgeries?

The reason I don't want a public system is because I want to pay for my care and my care alone. If they can devise a way so that the cost is evenly spread over everyone I wouldn't have a problem with it. If you have 5 kids you pay 5x as much as me. If I am practicing more healthy I pay less than you.

Given the US spends twice as much as a percentage of GDP as the British and four times as much as the Singaporeans I don't think you can say the current American system is particularly efficient.

I guarantee I can get to a doctor/surgery much quicker than they can. There is a cost involved with it.

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 04:59 PM
I have no problem with putting insurance companies out of business. None whatsoever. The whole concept of health insurance is ass-backward.

But the concept of competition isn't ass-backward. What if only one supplier offered hard drives for Macbooks? We'd all be stuck paying for a more-expensive, lower-quality hard drive. Competition is good, but when people try to argue that the government getting more involved in healthcare is stimulating competition (by not caring about profit, no less!), they're off their rocker. It's non-competitive.

Eraserhead
Jul 23, 2009, 05:00 PM
If they can devise a way so that the cost is evenly spread over everyone I wouldn't have a problem with it. If you have 5 kids you pay 5x as much as me. If I am practicing more healthy I pay less than you.

Just think how big the bureaucracy would have to be to manage such as system.

Eraserhead
Jul 23, 2009, 05:01 PM
ut when people try to argue that the government getting more involved in healthcare is stimulating competition (by not caring about profit, no less!), they're off their rocker. It's non-competitive.

No it isn't - people still pay for private insurance in the UK. The main difference is that if it cost too much people would just stick with the free NHS.

I guarantee I can get to a doctor/surgery much quicker than they can. There is a cost involved with it.

Generally I can get a standard doctors appointment in 1-2 days here in the UK. I've no idea what the position is in Singapore, but they do have the world's lowest infant mortality - they also give people quite a bit of choice on how to spend their health money.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 05:03 PM
Just think how big the bureaucracy would have to be to manage such as system.

Exactly, so lets cut the crap and just allow everyone to pay their own maintenance health. You just helped my point.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 05:04 PM
No it isn't - people still pay for private insurance in the UK. The main difference is that if it cost too much people would just stick with the free NHS.

Its like our public school systems. As soon as its implemented you'll have people bitching about only the rich being allowed to get the best educations and its fracturing your populous into the haves and have nots.

Eraserhead
Jul 23, 2009, 05:04 PM
Exactly, so lets cut the crap and just allow everyone to pay their own maintenance health.

Or just have a system funded by taxes.

You just helped my point.

No I didn't. Its probably neutral though.

Its like our public school systems. As soon as its implemented you'll have people bitching about only the rich being allowed to get the best educations and its fracturing your populous into the haves and have nots.

And before it is implemented the poor aren't able to get an education at all.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 05:07 PM
Or just have a system funded by taxes.



No I didn't.

Fine, if you pay $xxxx amount of taxes you can have health care.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 05:09 PM
And before it is implemented the poor aren't able to get an education at all.

We need a better solution to cure both ills then it seems.

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 05:09 PM
No it isn't - people still pay for private insurance in the UK. The main difference is that if it cost too much people would just stick with the free NHS.

The NHS, by not seeking a profit, is non-competitive by definition.

http://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/applec/v41y2009i4p459-468.html


I'm finding a ton of articles but I can't access them because I'm not connected to a network that gives me access to all this good stuff.

I'm not even arguing that the market needs to be completely untouched by the government. Government does do good things and I agree with many of its policies to rectify true market failures. But I don't see the solution as being more government intervention to create an anti-competitive atmosphere.

Eraserhead
Jul 23, 2009, 05:09 PM
Fine, if you pay $xxxx amount of taxes you can have health care.

So then what do you do with the people who can't afford to pay that? Leave them to die in the streets?

And if you actually did leave people to die in the streets you'd get huge protests and riots from the poor - the economic damage alone would be far higher than the healthcare costs.

The NHS, by not seeking a profit, is non-competitive by definition.

But the private companies - which offer private health insurance are competitive. Also if the NHS was wasting too much money the other political party could come up with a cheaper expenditure plan and spend the money elsewhere or offer tax cuts.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 05:12 PM
So then what do you do with the people who can't afford to pay that? Leave them to die in the streets?

And if you actually did leave people to die in the streets you'd get huge protests and riots from the poor - the economic damage alone would be far higher than the healthcare costs.

There would be an exemption plan if you do 1,000 hours of community service and apply to 50 jobs a year until you find employment. I don't understand why you would expect free health care if you haven't had a job for a year.

Eraserhead
Jul 23, 2009, 05:13 PM
There would be an exemption plan if you do 1,000 hours of community service and apply to 50 jobs a year until you find employment.

What about the people who do have a job, but just a low paid one?

Iscariot
Jul 23, 2009, 05:13 PM
I mean, of course government policy can improve pareto efficiency if it's trying to improve a situation it's already tampered with.

Insurance is one area where a Nash equilibrium results in an optimal outcome for the insured. However, in private insurance there is zero incentive for the insurance companies to enter into a Nash equilibrium; they achieve pareto efficiency much more easily through a gentleman's agreement with other insurance companies. As long as there is profit involved it's impossible for a private insurance system to reach the same level of pareto efficiency for the insured as in a public system.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 05:15 PM
What about the people who do have a job, but just a low paid one?

I already established we wouldn't need much because we are only taking care of maintenance health. Insurance companies will still cover disaster relief (dieing in the streets) and their premiums would be low as hell if public was picking up maintenance.

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 05:17 PM
Exactly, so lets cut the crap and just allow everyone to pay their own maintenance health.You need people to do poorly-paid jobs, don't you? How are they going to afford "maintenance health"? And what does "maintenance health" mean, anyway? What is "maintenance health" for someone with cystic fibrosis? Poor teeth? IBS? Any number of genetically unfavourable dispositions? Your promotion of "every man for himself" is both utterly selfish and predicated on your own good fortune, nothing more. Do you really enjoy living in a country where 46 million people are entirely at the mercy of their medical and physiological circumstances?

Its like our public school systems. As soon as its implemented you'll have people bitching about only the rich being allowed to get the best educations and its fracturing your populous into the haves and have nots.Your populace is more "fractured" than any other on the planet. What else is new?

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 05:21 PM
Insurance is one area where a Nash equilibrium results in an optimal outcome for the insured. However, in private insurance there is zero incentive for the insurance companies to enter into a Nash equilibrium; they achieve pareto efficiency much more easily through a gentleman's agreement with other insurance companies.

What are you assuming here? That they engage in collusion or just tacit understanding? If the first, that's what the government is for. If the second, the seeds are ripe for a new insurer to come along provided the barriers to entry aren't too high.

Side question for those in UHC countries: Do you have deductibles?

Your populace is more "fractured" than any other on the planet.

Care to elaborate?

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 05:22 PM
You need people to do poorly-paid jobs, don't you? How are they going to afford "maintenance health"? And what does "maintenance health" mean, anyway? What is "maintenance health" for someone with cystic fibrosis? Poor teeth? IBS? Any number of genetically unfavourable dispositions? Your promotion of "every man for himself" is both utterly selfish and predicated on your own good fortune, nothing more. Do you really enjoy living in a country where 46 million people are entirely at the mercy of their medical and physiological circumstances?

Your populace is more "fractured" than any other on the planet. What else is new?

Maintenance health is your basic checkups, flu shot, meds for strep/flu, etc. Stuff that everyone has to pay.

I wouldn't have to be an "every man for himself" type of person if so many weren't abusing the system. A system only works as well as your weakest link and unfortunately in this country being the weakest link isn't frowned upon as it used to be. I hear people bragging about their unemployment checks, 20 years ago you would have hung your head in shame instead.

Eraserhead
Jul 23, 2009, 05:24 PM
the seeds are ripe for a new insurer to come along provided the barriers to entry aren't too high.

I'd imagine you need quite a lot of financial backing to enter health insurance - probably at least $500 million maybe more I'm not an expert. Certainly long stays in hospital are very expensive and you'd need to cover the risk of a fair few of them happening at once.

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 05:24 PM
What are you assuming here?I think the basic assumption is that with double the healthcare costs and 46 million uninsured, something is very seriously wrong with your system, and it looks as if the health insurance industry is at the root of it.

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 05:27 PM
I'd imagine you need quite a lot of financial backing to enter health insurance - probably at least $500 million maybe more I'm not an expert. Certainly long stays in hospital are very expensive and you'd need to cover the risk of a fair few of them happening at once.

I assure you, in an industry as large as healthcare is, if there was a huge gap between basic economic profitability and the prices which the other market players setting among themselves, $500 million is not a large sum.

I think the basic assumption is that with double the healthcare costs and 46 million uninsured, something is very seriously wrong with your system, and it looks as if the health insurance industry is at the root of it.

Wasn't my question :)

Eraserhead
Jul 23, 2009, 05:28 PM
Maintenance health is your basic checkups, flu shot, meds for strep/flu, etc. Stuff that everyone has to pay.

a) If people who need them don't get flu shots they are also more likely to pass them onto the rest of us.

b) Unhealthy people aren't able to work as hard as healthy people.

c) If you throw unhealthy people out of their jobs just for being unlucky and falling sick, you're going to have to feed and house them and pay huge costs for disaster recovery healthcare.

Whatever you do its going to cost you money.

Eraserhead
Jul 23, 2009, 05:31 PM
I assure you, in an industry as large as healthcare if there was a huge gap between basic economic profitability and the prices which the other market players setting among themselves, $500 million is not a large sum.

Then given how much cheaper the "inefficient" government healthcare systems spend on healthcare, there is clearly room for a competitor to offer similar quality care to that in Europe for a European style price.

That would then bring down the costs of US healthcare as the standard of healthcare in Europe is at the very least adequate.

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 05:31 PM
Maintenance health is your basic checkups, flu shot, meds for strep/flu, etc. Stuff that everyone has to pay.Fantasy world. It's different for everyone.

I wouldn't have to be an "every man for himself" type of person if so many weren't abusing the system. A system only works as well as your weakest link and unfortunately in this country being the weakest link isn't frowned upon as it used to be. I hear people bragging about their unemployment checks, 20 years ago you would have hung your head in shame instead.It's not so much the shameless abuse of the tax and benefit system by weakest link as the shameless abuse of the tax and benefit system by the most powerful and the political class, as it is here and in many other countries besides. Few of the haves have any concept of a social contract.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 05:32 PM
I think the basic assumption is that with double the healthcare costs and 46 million uninsured, something is very seriously wrong with your system, and it looks as if the health insurance industry is at the root of it.

We outspend Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and UK in our education system per kid too and I bet our test results don't show the increase at a 12th grade level. Someone is going to have to take responsibility for this at some time because money isn't the answer. I think its our culture.

Eraserhead
Jul 23, 2009, 05:34 PM
We outspend Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and UK in our education system per kid too and I bet our test results don't show the increase at a 12th grade level. Someone is going to have to take responsibility for this at some time because money isn't the answer.

It isn't government involvement in education though as those countries also have lots of government involvement in healthcare.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 05:34 PM
Fantasy world. It's different for everyone.

It's not so much the shameless abuse of the tax and benefit system by weakest link as the shameless abuse of the tax and benefit system by the most powerful and the political class, as it is here and in many other countries besides. Few of the haves have any concept of a social contract.

They still pay a majority of the taxes and receive very little benefit from their money. I know this first hand as my parents made too much for me to receive any government grant/sub loan until I was 23 even though they hadn't helped me pay for anything. Oh how I love Sallie Mae and their ****ed up interest rates.

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 05:34 PM
Then given how much cheaper the "inefficient" government healthcare systems spend on healthcare, there is clearly room for a competitor to offer similar quality care to that in Europe for a European style price.


Let me think about this one for a little while. I'll be back.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 05:35 PM
It isn't government involvement in education though as those countries also have lots of government involvement in healthcare.

Personally I blame a lot on the anti-competitive teacher unions to tell the truth. My aunt is the head at one of the schools in a low privilege area, she says they have terrible teachers they can't fire.

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 05:37 PM
Care to elaborate?Among industrialised countries, you are outstanding in this respect:The income gap between the rich and the rest of the population is widening. In 22 states, the top fifth of families made more than seven times what the poorest fifth took home, according to the report. In the late 1980s, only one state - Louisiana - had such a spread. Meanwhile, in more than two-thirds of the country, the wealthiest saw their income grow more than twice as fast as the middle-class over the past two decades.
http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/09/news/economy/incomegap/index.htm

Eraserhead
Jul 23, 2009, 05:40 PM
Personally I blame a lot on the anti-competitive teacher unions to tell the truth. My aunt is the head at one of the schools in a low privilege area, she says they have terrible teachers they can't fire.

We have teachers unions and its difficult to fire teachers here in the UK as well.

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 05:41 PM
Among industrialised countries, you are outstanding in this respect:
http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/09/news/economy/incomegap/index.htm

That wasn't your original assertion.

Your populace is more fractured than any other on the planet.

Not only that, but you'll find that even though there is a wide gap in income, the income is usually high enough to afford decent food and shelter, which is markedly different than other countries in the world.

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 05:45 PM
That wasn't your original assertion.My point was a riposte to this:Its like our public school systems. As soon as its implemented you'll have people bitching about only the rich being allowed to get the best educations and its fracturing your populous into the haves and have nots. and as such appears to be right on the nail.

Not only that, but you'll find that even though there is a wide gap in income, the income is usually high enough to afford decent food and shelter, which is markedly different than other countries in the world.Not different from any other country in the industrialised world, where besides decent food and shelter people also get free healthcare.

Demosthenes X
Jul 23, 2009, 06:01 PM
Not really. I mean, of course government policy can improve pareto efficiency if it's trying to improve a situation it's already tampered with.

Then why would you say this:

Government policies, by tampering with the market, create deadweight loss. This is not debatable, it is a simple fact of economics.

You first argued that government intervention always, without argument, creates deadweight loss. You then argued that sometimes government intervention can result in pareto efficiency. Both statements obviously cannot be true.

This is not a case of anyone being "uncivil" or "not understanding your argument". I understand it perfectly. It's contradictory, and, fundamentally, wrong.

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 06:07 PM
You first argued that government intervention always, without argument, creates deadweight loss. You then argued that sometimes government intervention can result in pareto efficiency. Both statements obviously cannot be true.

I'll amend my first statement so it makes sense for you:

Government intervention creates deadweight loss in a market unless government intervention had previously created deadweight loss in that market in which case the proposed government intervention might reverse some of the deadweight loss it previously created.

Better?

And yes, using the rolling eyes emoticon is about civility. I didn't insult you, I wrote something you disagreed with.

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 06:11 PM
I'll amend my first statement so it makes sense for you:

Government intervention creates deadweight loss in a market unless government intervention had previously created deadweight loss in that market in which case the proposed government intervention might reverse some of the deadweight loss it previously created.

Happy?There is government intervention in every single transaction we make in any market through the collection of taxes. Deadweight loss is a sine qua non. Or am I missing something?

SLC Flyfishing
Jul 23, 2009, 06:14 PM
Not different from any other country in the industrialised world, where besides decent food and shelter people also get free healthcare.

Ahh but they don't. They get to pay for it with their taxes instead. Don't Finland and Sweden have tax rates approaching 50% these days?

The difference is that we pay a lower tax rate, then are expected to find our own health care. Instead of paying for the government version whether we plan to use it or not.

Tell me this, how do non medically necessary procedures work in the UK? I broke my nose last month, and I got part of my nasal bone re-set which all told will cost about $3,000 or so, it wasn't medically necessary as I could breathe adequately through my nose. It was mainly a way to reduce the appearance of crookedness to my nose afterward. Even though it was not medically necessary, my insurance picked up the bill, I have no deductible and a $3 copay so I got it all done for about $6 once I paid the prescription deductible after surgery.

Would something like this be free in the UK, or would the government refuse to pay since it's not technically necessary to sustain life or even quality of life? I have a feeling that the US government would refuse to pay for something like this if it was up to them to decide (which it would be in a federal health care situation).

The other thing is, that if my taxes went up to support nationalized health care, I certainly would have no choice but to use it and abandon all choice in the matter, at least until I'm settled into a career and making a better salary. It's not like I'll be able to opt out of paying for the service should I decide not to use it.


SLC

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 06:14 PM
There is government intervention in every single transaction we make in any market through the collection of taxes. Deadweight loss is a sine qua non. Or am I missing something?

No, you're right. I've acknowledged deadweight loss is inevitable, I've only been arguing that sometimes the societal benefit gained from increasing the deadweight loss might not be worth it.

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 06:20 PM
Tell me this, how do non medically necessary procedures work in the UK? I broke my nose last month, and I got part of my nasal bone re-set which all told will cost about $3,000 or so, it wasn't medically necessary as I could breathe adequately through my nose. It was mainly a way to reduce the appearance of crookedness to my nose afterward. Even though it was not medically necessary, my insurance picked up the bill, I have no deductible and a $3 copay so I got it all done for about $6 once I paid the prescription deductible after surgery.

Would something like this be free in the UK, or would the government refuse to pay since it's not technically necessary to sustain life or even quality of life?You paid $6 more than I would have. The NHS is not as rigid in its criteria as you imagine.

Demosthenes X
Jul 23, 2009, 06:21 PM
I'll amend my first statement so it makes sense for you:

I enjoy your subtle jab. I understood your first statement - it is simply wrong. The assertion that government intervention in a market always creates deadweight loss is simply untrue. Intervention will create deadweight loss if the market is efficient to begin with. If the market is distorted, then government intervention can correct that distortion and create a benefit. The market for national defence is one such example: the market will not provide national defence because free riders make it an unsustainable market, yet everyone is made better off when the government steps in and provides national defence.

You're right insofar as government intervention can create deadweight loss, but far wrong in your claim that it always does. And if you make patently false assertions and then claim that it is "not debatable", you're going to get :rolleyes: from those who know better.

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 06:21 PM
You paid $6 more than I would have. The NHS is not as rigid in its criteria as you imagine.


its not free for you either skunk

why you dont realize you dont pay it via taxes is confusing to me

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 06:22 PM
You paid $6 more than I would have. The NHS is not as rigid in its criteria as you imagine.

And I'd guess that SLC's healthcare isn't as limiting as you (or others) imagine either.

anjinha
Jul 23, 2009, 06:25 PM
its not free for you either skunk

why you dont realize you dont pay it via taxes is confusing to me

No one is saying it's free. But it is much easier to pay through taxes than having an accident and getting stuck with a 5-figures bill.

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 06:25 PM
Intervention will create deadweight loss if the market is efficient to begin with. If the market is distorted, then government intervention can correct that distortion and create a benefit.

I was talking about a situation in which I thought the market became distorted because of government intervention. I should have stated that imperfect markets were excepted. I obviousely know about externalities and public goods, so I suppose that I should have stated that.

And if you make patently false assertions and then claim that it is "not debatable", you're going to get :rolleyes: from those who know better.

And if you could have just calmly explained where I should have clarified or added information you could have gotten your point across just as well without coming off as an arse.

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 06:26 PM
No one is saying it's free. But it is much easier to pay through taxes than having an accident and getting stuck with a 5-figures bill.

no its much easier having it be private and optional than forced upon you whether you like it or not

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 06:26 PM
its not free for you either skunk

why you dont realize you dont pay it via taxes is confusing to meLeaving aside your surfeit of negatives, you have no idea how much I pay in taxes, and as far as I'm concerned I get better value for what I do pay than you appear to get over there.

anjinha
Jul 23, 2009, 06:28 PM
no its much easier having it be private and optional than forced upon you whether you like it or not

Oh, my mistake, I didn't realize people don't like to be able to get treated when they get sick... :rolleyes:

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 06:29 PM
Oh, my mistake, I didn't realize people don't like to be able to get treated when they get sick... :rolleyes:

i never said they dont:rolleyes:

im just not a socialist

leekohler
Jul 23, 2009, 06:30 PM
no its much easier having it be private and optional than forced upon you whether you like it or not

No- it's much more difficult and bureaucratic here. That's not even debatable. That's a fact. It's not easier by any means whatsoever. The only reason are still hanging onto this ridiculous free market notion for health care is because of ideology. When you look at our system, it is in fact, terrible. There can be no doubt about that.

i never said they dont:rolleyes:

im just not a socialist

It has NOTHING to do with being a "socialist"! My god- do you want a private police department and fire department? No? Well then, this is no different.

anjinha
Jul 23, 2009, 06:30 PM
i never said they dont:rolleyes:

im just not a socialist

I agree, it's nice to have a choice. But the way things are now only those who can afford healthcare have any choice. 46 million americans don't.

Demosthenes X
Jul 23, 2009, 06:33 PM
And if you could have just calmly explained where I should have clarified or added information you could have gotten your point across just as well without coming off as an arse.

If you get this riled up by an :rolleyes: emoticon, then perhaps the internet is not for you. And certainly not the PRSI forum. ;)

Peterkro
Jul 23, 2009, 06:35 PM
i never said they dont:rolleyes:

im just not a socialist

O.K. we know what your not,would you like to say what you are?

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 06:36 PM
I guess it's the L-word...

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 06:36 PM
No- it's much more difficult and bureaucratic here. That's not even debatable. That's a fact. It's not easier by any means whatsoever. The only reason are still hanging onto this ridiculous free market notion for health care is because of ideology. When you look at our system, it is in fact, terrible. There can be no doubt about that.



It has NOTHING to do with being a "socialist"! My god- do you want a private police department and fire department? No? Well then, this is no different.

no it really is easy to get health insurance, via work or private

yea why stop there, lets make every industry govt run....:rolleyes:

I guess it's the L-word...

L as in Libertarian, correct

Peterkro
Jul 23, 2009, 06:38 PM
no it really is easy to get health insurance, via work or private

yea why stop there, lets make every industry govt run....:rolleyes:

Not that I'm in favour of the government running anything but they appear better at running banks than the tossers in the private arena.

Peterkro
Jul 23, 2009, 06:39 PM
L as in Libertarian, correct

Well blow me down with a feather, a ***** you I'm alright party member.

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 06:41 PM
That was a surprise!

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 06:42 PM
That was a surprise!

yea my sig doesnt hint at it at all lol

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 06:44 PM
Not that I'm in favour of the government running anything but they appear better at running banks than the tossers in the private arena.

What are you talking about? They used our money to plug a hole that they allowed and private industry gambled on. They haven't ran anything better.

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 06:46 PM
What are you talking about? They used our money to plug a hole that they allowed and private industry gambled on. They haven't ran anything better.So your idea of running a bank well is to gamble with the imaginary profits, is it?

leekohler
Jul 23, 2009, 06:47 PM
no it really is easy to get health insurance, via work or private

yea why stop there, lets make every industry govt run....:rolleyes:

First of all- no one said anything about making everything government run. You guys are seriously paranoid.

Second- the free market doesn't work for certain things. This is one of them.

Third, it's not that easy to get insurance. And even if you do have have it, you can still get screwed by the insurance company. It happens all the time. Do you have any idea how many personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills?

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 06:47 PM
So your idea of running a bank well is to gamble with the imaginary profits, is it?

versus priniting infinite money that the govt does and devalues the currency? lol

which is worse? they are both horrible

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 06:48 PM
First of all- no one said anything about making everything government run. You guys are seriously paranoid.

Second- the free market doesn't work for certain things. This is one of them.

Third, it's not that easy to get insurance. And even if you do have have it, you can still get screwed by the insurance company. It happens all the time. Do you have any idea how many personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills?I put it down to callow youth.

"lol", as the kids say.

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 06:51 PM
I put it down to callow youth.

"lol", as the kids say.

using the age argument to somehow give credence to your opinion is kinda sad

Zombie Acorn
Jul 23, 2009, 06:51 PM
So your idea of running a bank well is to gamble with the imaginary profits, is it?

Every investment is a gamble. I don't disillusion myself to thinking one major slip up in the private industry and the government plugging a hole and throwing us into deep debt makes the government better at running the banking industry. They were part of the problem anyways.

Peterkro
Jul 23, 2009, 06:53 PM
Second- the free market doesn't work for certain things. This is one of them.



To be fair on a nation state basis a free market has never been tried freedom of capital maybe but that' all.

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 06:53 PM
using the age argument to somehow give credence to your opinion is kinda sadBasing your political philosophy on an expectation of continued good fortune is much sadder.

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 06:55 PM
Basing your political philosophy on an expectation of continued good fortune is much sadder.

thinking you deserve the fruits of others hard labor at no expense of your own is way better:rolleyes:

Peterkro
Jul 23, 2009, 06:57 PM
thinking you deserve the fruits of others hard labor at no expense of your own is way better:rolleyes:

Why is it that phrase is usually said by people who've never done a days work in their lives?

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 06:57 PM
thinking you deserve the fruits of others hard work at no expense of your own is way better:rolleyes:How about thinking that others deserve a fair crack at this life even if it comes at a marginally increased cost for those who already have it?

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 07:00 PM
Why is it that phrase is usually said by people who've never done a days work in their lives?

What are you implying exactly?

And from my experience, its those who dont work that want all the subsidies handed to them in life.

How about thinking that others deserve a fair crack at this life even if it comes at a marginally increased cost for those who already have it?

How about thinking one should be able to reap the rewards of their work and not have those who dont work take advantage of it?

anjinha
Jul 23, 2009, 07:02 PM
How about thinking one should be able to reap the rewards of their work and not have those who dont work take advantage of it?

So you also think each person should pay for their own firemen or police services? I don't see you complain that those services are paid by everyone's taxes...

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 07:03 PM
How about thinking one should be able to reap the rewards of their work and not have those who dont work take advantage of it?Are all those who stand to gain from universal healthcare those who do no work? :confused:

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 07:05 PM
So you also think each person should pay for their own firemen or police services? I don't see you complain that those services are paid by everyone's taxes...

I dont think healthcare should be th role of the govt.


Are all those who stand to gain from universal healthcare those who do no work? :confused:

Moreso than those that don't id wager as those that have jobs get it through work

The whole argument is because we have 46million uninsured and i bet most dont work or elect not to pay for it

anjinha
Jul 23, 2009, 07:08 PM
Moreso than those that don't id wager as those that have jobs get it through work

The whole argument is because we have 46million uninsured and i bet most dont work or elect not to pay for it

I work as a freelancer. In the U.S. I wouldn't be able to get insurance even though I work the equivalent of a full-time job while still going to college...

skunk
Jul 23, 2009, 07:09 PM
The whole argument is because we have 46million uninsured and i bet most dont work or elect not to pay for itYou base your entire opposition to universal healthcare on a groundless prejudice?

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 07:11 PM
I work as a freelancer. In the U.S. I wouldn't be able to get insurance even though I work the equivalent of a full-time job and still go to college...

Yes you can.

You can get it right this second if you wanted....

You base your entire opposition to universal healthcare on a groundless prejudice?

No, I base it on the fact the government should be involved in a little as possible

We have different political philosophies yet you can't accept it

anjinha
Jul 23, 2009, 07:12 PM
Yes you can.

You can get it right this second if you wanted....



No, I base it on the fact the government shouldnt be involved at that level

We have different political philosophies yet you can't accept it

What about people who are unemployed because they can't find a job? Or do you think the unemployment rate in the U.S. is because all those people are too lazy to find jobs?

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 07:16 PM
What about people who are unemployed because they can't find a job? Or do you think the unemployment rate in the U.S. is because all those people are too lazy to find jobs?

They get unemployment benefits for one already that can be used to get/help maintain healthcare if one so choosed

A depression/recession would strain even a NHS...how do you think its funded? taxes and the largest one from individuals is income tax

You falsely stated you cant get health insurance in the US unless you are employed or at at a company. You are misinformed

anjinha
Jul 23, 2009, 07:18 PM
They get unemployment benefits for one already that can be used to get/help maintain healthcare if one so choosed

A depression/recession would strain even a NHS...how do you think its funded? taxes and the largest one from individuals is income tax

You falsely stated you cant get health insurance in the US unless you are employed or at at a company. You are misinformed

No, I meant that I probably wouldn't be able to afford it on my own.

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 07:21 PM
No, I meant that I probably wouldn't be able to afford it on my own.



You most likely could...

OutThere
Jul 23, 2009, 07:22 PM
You falsely stated you cant get health insurance in the US unless you are employed or at at a company. You are misinformed

Well you can get health insurance if it isn't supplied by your employer, however it's certainly a challenge for many Americans, when the average premium for an individual is $4,000 (when provided by an employer which is generally less expensive than when purchased privately), almost half the poverty line income for an individual living alone. Minimum wage yearly income is somewhere in the $10-15,000 range.

http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml

SLC Flyfishing
Jul 23, 2009, 07:31 PM
No, I meant that I probably wouldn't be able to afford it on my own.

That depends on how much you make, and how much of a priority healthcare is to you. If your income is low enough you can get Medicaid which I'm fairly sure is about equivalent in care to a European socialized health care model.

I pay $64 a month in insurance premiums and had essentially no copays. I'd be willing to bet that the average person in England pays more than that much in increased tax due to the NHS at my level of income (which is just shy of the $40,000 per year mark). The great thing is that since I have a pair of kids, I'm also entitled to just about 100% of my income tax witheld at tax return time.

I welcome any challenges to the tax in the UK assertion. I could be wrong, if I am show me.


SLC

LethalWolfe
Jul 23, 2009, 07:33 PM
You most likely could...
Not if one has a pre-existing condition like MS or, in my case a couple of years ago, seasonal allergies. Getting good health insurance as an individual in the US can be vey difficult and many times prohibitively expensive (especially if you have a spouse and kids). Even if you have health insurance the system is still against you. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, medical expenses is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US and 80% of the people that declared bankruptcy due to medial bills had health insurance.


Lethal

anjinha
Jul 23, 2009, 07:35 PM
That depends on how much you make, and how much of a priority healthcare is to you. If your income is low enough you can get Medicaid which I'm fairly sure is about equivalent in care to a European socialized health care model.

I pay $64 a month in insurance premiums and had essentially no copays. I'd be willing to bet that the average person in England pays more than that much in increased tax due to the NHS at my level of income (which is just shy of the $40,000 per year mark). The great thing is that since I have a pair of kids, I'm also entitled to just about 100% of my income tax witheld at tax return time.

I welcome any challenges to the tax in the UK assertion. I could be wrong, if I am show me.


SLC

I'm not so sure I could. I actually earn ok, considering I'm still a student, but I also pay for my own college tuition, bills, etc. If I had to pay for private healthcare what I earn probably wouldn't be enough.

(actually, if I was in the U.S. I probably wouldn't be able to pay for college either)

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 07:36 PM
I'm not so sure I could. I actually earn ok, considering I'm still a student, but I also pay for my own college tuition, bills, etc. If I had to pay for private healthcare what I earn probably wouldn't be enough.

when i was in college, i paid 100 a month for insurance

Ugg
Jul 23, 2009, 07:39 PM
You falsely stated you cant get health insurance in the US unless you are employed or at at a company. You are misinformed

What if he had asthma? He wouldn't have a chance in hell unless he lived in Massachusetts. Have you had to brave the terrors of the real insurance market? Not the one that limbaugh trumpets, but the one where insurance will pay for surgery but not the surgical instruments?

Ugg
Jul 23, 2009, 07:44 PM
That depends on how much you make, and how much of a priority healthcare is to you. If your income is low enough you can get Medicaid which I'm fairly sure is about equivalent in care to a European socialized health care model.

I pay $64 a month in insurance premiums and had essentially no copays. I'd be willing to bet that the average person in England pays more than that much in increased tax due to the NHS at my level of income (which is just shy of the $40,000 per year mark). The great thing is that since I have a pair of kids, I'm also entitled to just about 100% of my income tax witheld at tax return time.

Who is subsidizing your insurance? The University you attend, your church, the state? You're obviously not buying a comprehensive insurance plan on the open market. For that you'd have to pay upwards of $500 a month and of course, nobody could have ANY pre existing conditions.

Unless of course it is catastrophic only and you're gambling that nobody breaks a leg much less has a sniffle...

when i was in college, i paid 100 a month for insurance

What did you get for that $100? Who did you get it through? The University? if that's the case then it was heavily subsidized.

Socialist!!!

CHAOS STEP
Jul 23, 2009, 07:53 PM
Libertarianism is a philosophy as ridiculous as Communist ideoligy (and I'm sure that there are plenty of intelligent people who still believe in that voodoo nonsense).

I could say that my argument for this belief is because there is and never will be an ideal 1 idea system for anything, it's just a case of getting the right balance.

Or I could say that I'm sure Libertarianism boffins have got it all sorted, like how everything balances out and the market does this and that ... except when it inevitably falls to pieces and you end up with 1 corporation that runs the world or just all out anarchy.

But instead I choose to back up my statement with the following;

NC MacGuy
Jul 23, 2009, 08:15 PM
Well you can get health insurance if it isn't supplied by your employer, however it's certainly a challenge for many Americans, when the average premium for an individual is $4,000 (when provided by an employer which is generally less expensive than when purchased privately), almost half the poverty line income for an individual living alone. Minimum wage yearly income is somewhere in the $10-15,000 range.

http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml

I'm paying close to $1000 per month per employee and dependents for a decent UHC comprehensive medical/dental small business plan. If I have the option of an 8% payroll tax penalty to not provide healthcare, I'm in. I'll save a pretty penny which can go to help offset my ever growing state(s) and federal tax liabilities. Hope it works out alright.

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 08:39 PM
If you get this riled up by an :rolleyes: emoticon, then perhaps the internet is not for you.

I don't need to get riled up to think you're being rude. As I said, you could have just told me to clarify my statement. I should have originally and I was happy to once you called me on it. But instead you chose to handle it a different way. It's no big deal, I'm just trying to treat people here with more respect lately, it would be nice if other people did as well, even if you think they're wrong.


And certainly not the PRSI forum. ;)

That's better. See how easy that was? :p

leekohler
Jul 23, 2009, 09:40 PM
I dont think healthcare should be th role of the govt.

It most certainly shouldn't be in the hands of the free market. It obviously doesn't work, because the priority of an insurance company is to make money, not to keep people well. That's a bit of a problem, don't you think?


Moreso than those that don't id wager as those that have jobs get it through work

The whole argument is because we have 46million uninsured and i bet most dont work or elect not to pay for it

Or they work and can't afford it.

leekohler
Jul 23, 2009, 09:55 PM
What are you implying exactly?

And from my experience, its those who dont work that want all the subsidies handed to them in life.

OK- now you've done it. Look here, I have been on my own since age 19. I have never taken one thing from anyone the whole time. I was homeless for a bit when I was young as well- and unlike Rush Limbaugh, never took any welfare. I pulled myself up and got on my feet on my own. Don't you dare sit there and say that crap to me. Those experiences taught me a lot, and one of those things I learned was just how much some things simply don't work here. I was without health care that entire time, and believe me, I paid for that later once I did have insurance. My teeth were a wreck because of it and I had to undergo root canals, root planing and have many cavities filled. Oh and guess what? Even though I had insurance, I still had to pay thousands of dollars out of my pocket. All of that could have been prevented. Just because I was broke and in school (and working on top of it), that means I shouldn't have been able to get health care? Are you serious? What if I'd been diabetic?



How about thinking one should be able to reap the rewards of their work and not have those who dont work take advantage of it?

I was working, and I was going to school. So your argument rings hollow with me. It's a load of crap.

Eanair
Jul 23, 2009, 10:03 PM
How about thinking one should be able to reap the rewards of their work and not have those who dont work take advantage of it?

Absolutely.

How dare an unemployed woman get police assistance I paid for when she gets raped by an abusive boyfriend. The police should just leave her to deal with it on her own.

As you said, one should be able to reap the rewards of their work and not have those who don't work take advantage of it.

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 10:10 PM
OK- now you've done it. Look here, I have been on my own since age 19. I have never taken one thing from anyone the whole time. I was homeless for a bit when I was young as well- and unlike Rush Limbaugh, never took any welfare. I pulled myself up and got on my feet on my own. Don't you dare sit there and say that crap to me. Those experiences taught me a lot, and one of those things I learned was just how much some things simply don't work here. I was without health care that entire time, and believe me, I paid for that later once I did have insurance. My teeth were a wreck because of it and I had to undergo root canals, root planing and have many cavities filled. Oh and guess what? Even though I had insurance, I still had to pay thousands of dollars out of my pocket. All of that could have been prevented. Just because I was broke and in school (and working on top of it), that means I shouldn't have been able to get health care? Are you serious? What if I'd been diabetic?

I was working, and I was going to school. So your argument rings hollow with me. It's a load of crap.

Lee, I was responding to the stupid statement that implied anyone who isn't a socialist hasnt worked a day in their lives. Everyone has a personal story...

Heres the quote again
Why is it that phrase is usually said by people who've never done a days work in their lives?

Why doesn't that raise a hissy fit? seriously its just as, if not more outlandish:rolleyes:

This board is so effing biased to the left it's a wonder why I even try and offer a differing opinion.

Good for you rising above. Doesn't make me change my mind one bit. Everyone has had their share of tough times and I know my family would have definitely benefited from welfare growing up....and yet i still don't support the majority of these welfare programs nor will i ever as i believe it is up to the individual to make himself a success, not rely on the back of society. I have known too many people abuse it with no motivation to rise above and are content taking the free handouts. that is not the intention of the programs at all. So lik you, my views are biased towards my experiences...

It's a different philosophy and guess what, it is a major reason of how our nation has risen to vast improvements in the standards of living across the board for everyone

Deal with it

Absolutely.

How dare an unemployed woman get police assistance I paid for when she gets raped by an abusive boyfriend. The police should just leave her to deal with it on her own.

As you said, one should be able to reap the rewards of their work and not have those who don't work take advantage of it.
I realize there is a role for government and a large part of it is to provide peace and security

I don't believe in the government dealing in healthcare. The government should not have such a large role in how we deal with our lives. That is my opinion and its a train of though just like socialism...

leekohler
Jul 23, 2009, 10:17 PM
Lee, I was responding to the stupid statement of implying anyone who isn't a socialist hasnt worked a day in their lives. Everyone has a personal story...

Heres the quote again


Why doesn't that raise a hissy fit? seriously its just as, if not more outlandish:rolleyes:

This board is so effing biased to the left it's a wonder why I even try and offer a differing opinion.

Good for you rising above. Doesn't make me change my mind one bit. Everyone has had their share of tough times and I know my family would have definitely benefited from welfare growing up....and yet i still don't support the majority of these welfare programs nor will i ever as i believe it is up to the individual to make himself a success, not rely on the back of society. I have known too many people abuse it with no motivation to rise above and are content taking the free handouts. that is not the intention of the programs at all. So lik you, my views are biased towards my experiences...

Then you work on fixing the problems of abusing that system. You don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

It's a different philosophy and guess what, it is a major reason of how our nation has risen to vast improvements in the standards of living across the board for everyone

Deal with it

No- I won't "deal with it". I'm going to push for universal health care. And you know what? We're going to get it eventually, even if it takes the whole system collapsing on itself to get it. You "deal with it".

OutThere
Jul 23, 2009, 10:18 PM
Good for you rising above. Doesn't make me change my mind one bit. Everyone has had their share of tough times and I know my family would have definitely benefited from welfare growing up....and yet i still don't support the majority of these welfare programs nor will i ever as i believe it is up to the individual to make himself a success, not rely on the back of society.

It's a different philosophy and guess what, it is a major reason of how our nation has risen to vast improvements in the standards of living across the board for everyone

Deal with it

So the system is better where everyone pays more because nobody should rely on anyone else? Why do we pay so damn much in the US for these 'improvements' yet still have an average life expectancy worse than almost every Western European country?

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 10:21 PM
No- I won't "deal with it". I'm going to push for universal health care. And you know what? We're going to get it eventually, even if it takes the whole system collapsing on itself to get it. You "deal with it".

And that makes sense how again?

Let's push a massive health reform during the worst recession since the 30's

sounds smart to me:rolleyes:

meanwhile, i will be trying to block this bill

helps when even the fellow dems are getting uneasy on it. always a good sign..

So the system is better where everyone pays more because nobody should rely on anyone else? Why do we pay so damn much in the US for these 'improvements' yet still have an average life expectancy worse than almost every Western European country?

dont you think our nations way of life is the main contributer to this life expectancy, not the current health system? a NHS will not increase the life expectancy.

Iscariot
Jul 23, 2009, 10:21 PM
I welcome any challenges to the tax in the UK assertion. I could be wrong, if I am show me.

I'll give it a shot.

For the sake of illustration, we'll assume you both have the same level of deductions (which for ease of this illustration will be $0).

US:
$40 000 X .15 = $5 403 [tax bracket]
$5 403 X .20 = $1 092 [percent of tax dollar going to healthcare]
$1 092 + ($64 x 12)
$1 860

UK (USD):
$40 000 X .23 = $9 200 [tax bracket]
$9 200 X .18 [percent of tax dollar going to healthcare]
$1 656

UK wins (assuming my rudimentary math and ability to use online tax calculators to be passable). Fatality!
http://www.halolz.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/fatality.jpg

Eanair
Jul 23, 2009, 10:23 PM
This board is so effing biased to the left it's a wonder why I even try and offer a differing opinion.



When you make statements that claim that publicly funded healthcare is not a good idea because only those who work should get it [their reward], you should explain why other publicly funded institutions (such as police, fire, schools, libraries, etc) are exempt from that reasoning, or if you agree that they should be held to the same standard.

The government should not have such a large role in how we deal with our lives.

That wasn't your argument before.

Your stance before was regarding being rewarded for work.

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 10:31 PM
When you make statements that claim that publicly funded healthcare is not a good idea because only those who work should get it [their reward], you should explain why other publicly funded institutions (such as police, fire, schools, libraries, etc) are exempt from that reasoning, or if you agree that they should be held to the same standard.



That wasn't your argument before.

Your stance before was regarding being rewarded for work.

There is a role of government to provide peace, security , certain utilities, and other essential services. It is the price we pay for living in a society.

However, you have to draw lines somewhere and I do not believe a NHS is a role for the government among many other things.

I am not a proponent of anarchy yet that is what everyone here assumes it seems.

anjinha
Jul 23, 2009, 10:33 PM
There is a role of government to provide peace, security , certain utilities, and other essential services. It is the price we pay for living in a society.

However, you have to draw lines somewhere and I do not believe a NHS is a role for the government among many other things.

Why not?

OutThere
Jul 23, 2009, 10:34 PM
dont you think our nations way of life is the main contributer to this life expectancy, not the current health system? a NHS will not increase the life expectancy.

A national health system would definitely increase life expectancy. Such a system is all about preventative medicine like regular consultations with doctors who can provide weight loss help, do tests to catch heart disease, diabetes and cancer earlier than otherwise. The current system encourages people to wait around and only go at the last minute, particularly if they don't have insurance or if they have high deductibles.

Eanair
Jul 23, 2009, 10:34 PM
There is a role of government to provide peace, security , certain utilities, and other essential services. It is the price we pay for living in a society.



In your opinion, why is healthcare not an essential service?

dukebound85
Jul 23, 2009, 10:42 PM
In your opinion, why is healthcare not an essential service?

Anything run by the government is overly burdensome, expensive and delayed. Healthcare is important but it should not be ran by the government

I would rather Obama reform the health system while not nationalizing it. Yes, it is possible to improve the system and not make it government funded

This bill is a 820 billion+ commitment in a job killing tax during a time we are trying to create jobs. how does this improve the current situation the country is facing?

Struggling middle class families need jobs, and small businesses can not afford to hire more workers while paying higher taxes. It’s quite simple – people want to focus on creating jobs, not raising taxes in the time being. This bill is so poorly timed even if i supported it

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 10:44 PM
In your opinion, why is healthcare not an essential service?

Because it's not a public good.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_good

I'm assuming that's why because he's a libertarian.

Eanair
Jul 23, 2009, 10:51 PM
Anything run by the government is overly burdensome, expensive and delayed. Healthcare is important but it should not be ran by the government



You've mentioned that the government should provide "peace, security, certain utilities, and other essential services."

If the government should not, in your opinion, provide healthcare, then you agree that healthcare is not an essential service/utility? Nor that a universal healthcare system could provide greater peace and/or security for the people in this society?

Badandy
Jul 23, 2009, 10:55 PM
You've mentioned that the government should provide "peace, security, certain utilities, and other essential services."

If the government should not, in your opinion, provide healthcare, then you agree that healthcare is not an essential service/utility? Nor that a universal healthcare system could provide greater peace and/or security for the people in this society?

He's a libertarian. If it's not a public good it should be provided for through private enterprise. That's what it boils down to. I linked to it in my previous post.

Eanair
Jul 23, 2009, 11:07 PM
He's a libertarian. If it's not a public good it should be provided for through private enterprise. That's what it boils down to. I linked to it in my previous post.

There seems to be discussion whether healthcare is a public good or private good or somewhere in between.

Private goods may be defined as those which carry a price, which can be easily withheld from those who are unwilling or unable to pay for them (exclusion property), and whose benefits are rival in consumption to those of other goods. While health insurance may fit this simplistic definition of a private good, the commodity "health care" does not. For one, it cannot be easily packaged and marketed as is the case with an ordinary consumer good. Even were this feasible, it would be considered to be "unethical." Second, the benefits derived from "health care" do not rival those of another commodity, such as between buying a TV or a stereo set. Third, the exclusion principle is not fully applicable to health care.

[...]

Universal financial access to health care (assured by health insurance) implies the acceptance of "social solidarity," which suggests that "individual self-interests" are best served by collective action. This, in essence, is the justification for and acceptance of social security, medicare, and other insurance plans, assured by periodic readjustments necessitated by changing demographic and socioeconomic factors. It also underlies the German national health insurance system, which Richard Knox considers as an appropriate model for the U.S. to analyze. Social solidarity mandates a "collective agreement to share the risks and costs of a necessary good . . . health care programs redistribute very broadly, in such a way that everyone who pays into the system understands that he or she may someday benefit from it" (28, 19). Hence, "health care" is evolving as a public or (at least) quasi public good, possessing some, but not all, of its characteristics.

American Journal of Economics and Sociology

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0254/is_n2_v54/ai_16864507/?tag=content;col1

Ugg
Jul 24, 2009, 01:10 AM
Anything run by the government is overly burdensome, expensive and delayed.

Yep, it's time we cancelled the US military, the US interstate system and all federally funded airports, schools etc.

Get real.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 24, 2009, 09:46 AM
Yep, it's time we cancelled the US military, the US interstate system and all federally funded airports, schools etc.

Get real.

These are all terribly inefficient systems, but we have no alternative.

leekohler
Jul 24, 2009, 10:25 AM
These are all terribly inefficient systems, but we have no alternative.

I would say that none of them would fare better under the free market, much like health care hasn't.



Let's push a massive health reform during the worst recession since the 30's

sounds smart to me:rolleyes:

.

It IS smart. We need it now more than we ever have. Otherwise, you're going to see worse collapse in health care then you just saw in any other industry. If people can't afford to buy insurance, who do you think pays when they get catastrophically ill? You and I do- only it's far more expensive. That is not sustainable and cannot continue.

iGary
Jul 24, 2009, 10:32 AM
It really amazes me that some people think someone should be financially punished for getting sick.

Shivetya
Jul 24, 2009, 10:34 AM
So you also think each person should pay for their own firemen or police services? I don't see you complain that those services are paid by everyone's taxes...

Got to love this approach, change the topic to illicit approval.


Sorry, but the city of Atlanta is a perfect example of why your comparison should give pause to turning over something as important as health care to government.

See, Atlanta has budget problems. So instead of reducing overhead by cutting out all those appointed positions (reads friends and family) and cutting back non essential programs they threaten to cut police and fire unless people agree to new taxes. Well they did get new taxes and they still cut back those services.

Ever notice that when the government officials want something they wield the most brutal club they can? Education and Safety are always top on their list. Why? Because people are stupid and the government officials know they can guilt you into accepting whatever they shove down your throats.


Regardless. A persons medical misfortune does not entitle them to the earnings of another person.

iGary
Jul 24, 2009, 10:41 AM
Regardless. A persons medical misfortune does not entitle them to the earnings of another person.

What do you suppose we should do with the unfortunate ones?

iShater
Jul 24, 2009, 11:03 AM
no it really is easy to get health insurance, via work or private

yea why stop there, lets make every industry govt run....:rolleyes:


1) The ONLY way to get a good and affordable health insurance is through work.
2) Private coverage has less protection and higher costs than work-coverage
3) If you lose your job, you lose your coverage. CORBA is prohibitively expensive for someone who just lost a job (The most recent change makes it better, but that would be socialist in your view)
4) If you have ANY type of pre-existing condition, you can be denied. If you ever had a seizure, if you ever had a kidney stone, etc. I have friends who sold their private small businesses and went back to corporate because they couldn't get health coverage for their family because of similar scenarios.
5) With health insurance at work, your company (mostly) is available to help you with issues with claims, when you buy in on your own, you are really on your own.

I have looked at private insurance trying to find something for my sister in-law to get while she was looking for work, it is expensive and the coverage is a joke compared to the work-provided coverage.

thinking you deserve the fruits of others hard labor at no expense of your own is way better:rolleyes:

I work my butt off and I think someone who lost their job and was my colleague yesterday deserves to be protected along with their family until they are back on their feet. I think that extends to me neighbor, and the guy walking down the street. I see US as a society, not just ME.

I dont think healthcare should be th role of the govt.

Moreso than those that don't id wager as those that have jobs get it through work

The whole argument is because we have 46million uninsured and i bet most dont work or elect not to pay for it

We give the government a lot of responsibility. Sometimes they do a good job, sometimes their are inefficient, but it works. Increasingly employers are cutting back health benefits.

Do you know the cost to provide health coverage for a family? considering we have close to 10% unemployment and God knows how much under employment do you think having an axe over your head that you couldn't need a hospital visit is a good feeling that most people make by easy choice?

Yes you can.

You can get it right this second if you wanted....


You never tried, so don't go around saying "Yes you can".

when i was in college, i paid 100 a month for insurance

That was the student plan at school?

In your opinion, why is healthcare not an essential service?

It is no essential because he can afford it through work.

These are all terribly inefficient systems, but we have no alternative.

If you worked in corporate America, then you know that many companies are not efficient, yet they work and deliver.

It really amazes me that some people think someone should be financially punished for getting sick.

No, they should be punished for first being poor and not buying insurance, THEN again for being sick and going down the drain. And then we ask "why did they file for bankruptcy?" :rolleyes:

mgguy
Jul 24, 2009, 11:03 AM
What do you suppose we should do with the unfortunate ones?

How about creating a fund with dollars donated voluntarily by those who want to contribute? There seem to be quite a few people of goodwill, so it shouldn't take that long to get a decent pot of money that could be distributed to those in need of health services.

iShater
Jul 24, 2009, 11:11 AM
How about creating a fund with dollars donated voluntarily by those who want to contribute? There seem to be quite a few people of goodwill, so it shouldn't take that long to get a decent pot of money that could be distributed to those in need of health services.

Great idea. I am sure NOBODY does it today. ;)

I have a great idea, how about we drop property tax deductions, tax capital gains as normal income, and tax health benefits as income.

mgguy
Jul 24, 2009, 11:17 AM
Great idea. I am sure NOBODY does it today. ;)

I have a great idea, how about we drop property tax deductions, tax capital gains as normal income, and tax health benefits as income.

Or, we could drop property tax altogether, reduce capital gains tax rates, and perhaps tax health benefits but at a lower rate than normal income. That would then still provide an opportunity for voluntary contributions from those who are more inclined to pay for the health coverage of those who are not willing or able to pay for it themselves.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 24, 2009, 11:29 AM
Why do the safest and most healthy countries need to worry the most about insurance? It is kind of weird when you think about it. Personally I could care less about being covered by health insurance, its never been a desire of mine. I don't keep renters insurance either, if my crap burns up so be it. I'll start over.

iShater
Jul 24, 2009, 11:30 AM
Or, we could drop property tax altogether, reduce capital gains tax rates, and perhaps tax health benefits but at a lower rate than normal income. That would then still provide an opportunity for voluntary contributions from those who are more inclined to pay for the health coverage of those who are not willing or able to pay for it themselves.

Why pay taxes at all then? :rolleyes: