Healthcare costs soaring

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by pseudobrit, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #1
    It's not just passing along an increase in health care costs, it's a PAY CUT.

    Until people start seeing it this way, nothing will be done. People make no distinction between medical care and gasoline costs.

    link
     
  2. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #2
    That's almost like taking money from you by force...
    ;)
     
  3. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I'll ask the obvious question.
    Is there anyone on this earth who is smart enough to devise a viable and sustainable healthcare system?
     
  4. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #4
    The obvious answer is to be found in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, among the various more or less functional systems in those countries.
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #5
    i'd say incorporating education and prevention would be a good start.
     
  6. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    The employer-paid system is completely unsustainable and medicare's a joke. Wait until the 76 million baby boomers get kicked off their employers plans and onto medicare. What a disaster that will be.

    And yes, plenty of other countries have figured out health care, like all of Northern Europe for example.
     
  7. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #7
    PB, I agree with your point completely.

    As for viable healthcare policy, I wonder about the applicability of a plan comparable to the Scandinavian model, considering our diverse and extremely large (comparatively) population. Does a plan designed for a relatively homogenous population of 17 million scale well to a hodgepodge group of nearly 300 million?

    Does the success of those European plans lie in part with other social factors, including demographics, cultural ideology and habits?

    With a system as bad as ours, one can only think that anything is an improvement, and that the current system must be so very profitable to some as to withstand the criticism and change from our government or our population.

    Sadly this seems to be an ideological argument about a most basic right. Sure, no-one wants to subsidize someone else in this country or pay more taxes to that (or many other) ends.

    As PB pointed out, however, the problem is not one of actual cost/sacrifice, as many public health plans are considerable cheaper and more efficient than what we have now, but of the inability for people to filter costs through their ideological filter.

    While we may pay less and less into the Federal coffers, we are paying out the nose in a multitude of ways which obscure this fact, either by design or our collective obstinance.

    Sadly, by the time things truly are devastating in healthcare costs, we may be too poor as a country to do what is needed.

    Other than that, the elephant in the room is that the same attitude that allows us to constantly defer an obvious problem to the future, is the same attitude that makes many of us live so unhealthily.
     
  8. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #8
    We are a long way from universal healthcare in this country. I've heard the idea from conservatives about a pre-tax healthcare account coupled with catastrophic insurance which, unfortunately, I believe we will see first.

    This will have 2 effects, the first will be that the catastrophic insurance will get dinged heavily on things that could have been treated easily early on but people didn't want to go to the doctor and pay with their own money. Due to this effect the insurance companies will develop a "new" insurance that is remarkably like our current insurance only it is backed up by the catastrophic insurance. Three big benefits here:

    1. Healthcare has now been pushed completely from the employers to the individual
    2. 2 different insurance policies where there used to be only one
    3. A gap where the lesser insurance can say that a claim is big enough for catastrophic but catastrophic can claim that it was too small.

    Once people realize that their employers are saving a lot of money, since they are no longer providing healthcare, and that the savings are not being passed in higher wages or lower prices there will be an easy victory for whichever political party can come up with what would appear to be a viable government healthcare plan.

    I figure the whole process will take 20-30 years, and the really unfortunate part is that things are going to get worse before they get better.

    I could be completely wrong given the way Bush's approval ratings are going, but never underestimate what Rove can do in 3+ years of spinning.
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #9
    Public health care is the reason why I would never move to the US after I graduate. It's either go back to Canada (where I'm from), or stay in Oz after Uni is finished.

    Its not even the money. I rarely go to the doctor in Canada, and yet we still pay super high taxes. However, I think of a country as being similar to a community, and we should all be willing to support each other and help each other out, even if it means paying higher taxes when you rarely use the healthcare system. Some people may argue that it's not their responsibility to take care of everybody else, but it is in a way because we'll all be better off for it. Think about education, for example. People and couples who never have children don't pay lower taxes. Their taxes still fund education. Same with people who's children have grown up and are out of school. We'd be a lot worse off if everybody had to pay the cost of their childrens schooling, wouldn't we? Higher crime rates, more homeless, etc. People are willing to subsidize others when it comes to education, but why not healthcare?

    Personally, I don't like the fact that poorer people won't even be able to go to a doctor as more and more workplaces are shifting costs to employees. It stinks. Certain things should be covered by taxes, and basic healthcare is one of them.

    The US spends more money on healthcare than anyone else in the world, and yet Americans get the least back. I don't get it.
     
  10. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #10
    I wonder how the profits are looking?

    Coincidence?

    Not surprised.
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    I couldn't agree more. It's disgusting that we are the only industrialized nation with no national health care plan. It's time this option was explored.
     
  12. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #12
    You don't have to tell me. I have insurance, the only plan my job offers. I went to the emergency room once for a minor problem, and after my insurance paid out, I still owed enough to buy a new high end G5. And then some. It was expensive enough, but the insurance didn't pay much either. But hey, at least I had insurance. I've been without. You're afraid to go to the doctor at all.

    At the moment, I dread getting sick. I won't be able to afford it. Especially if I lose my job because of it. Nice to know that the pharmaceutical companies are reporting record profits though. :rolleyes:
     
  13. pseudobrit thread starter macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #13
    There's only two options for the future of healthcare:

    1) Government coverage

    2) Open market (aka car insurance model)

    I'm pretty certain it's going to fall to #2, in which case the sickest among us will find ourselves the equivalent of a three-time DUI- and vehicular manslaughter-convicted 16 year-old driving a leased red Corvette.

    **** the USA. This nation has given up on the concept of civilization. I'm bailing out ASAP.
     
  14. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #14
    Try working for yourself. I have no idea what I am going to do when my COBRA runs out in 16 months...I pay ~300 a month as it is.
     
  15. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #15
    Anyone who pays for health care is now paying to "insure" the uninsured. Emergency rooms (at least those in public hospitals) don't turn people away because they can't pay. That's part of why your bill is so high when you CAN pay. Everyone is getting health care, but only those lucky enough to have insurance actually pay for it. The cost of providing emergency care for those who can't afford is included in your bill.

    The worst position to be in is having some small income, but not enough to afford insurance. That way when you get sick, EVERYTHING gets taken away: your house, your car, everything that makes your livelihood possible. If you're completely broke already, you can find health care, but they can't take anything away from you because you don't have anything to take.

    Wouldn't it be better if everyone paid what they can afford (via taxes), and then everyone got decent health care without having to give up all their worldly possessions? It would probably actually cost less than the present system, because the working poor would get preventative health care, which is always less expensive than treating the major conditions when they come up.
     
  16. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #16
    Well, everyone receives 'emergency' health care, but only those who can afford it receive preventative health care. I think that's an important distinction.
     
  17. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #17
    It's OK, personal responsibility will take care of you. ;)

    You know, we've had people here that argue that people like you deserve to be without health care if you can't afford to purchase it on the open market, even if that meant you died as a result of a lack of funds. And as I recall, you have some pre-existing conditions that would make an insurer think twice about wanting to cover you. And private companies have the perogative to refuse service to anyone they feel like...
     
  18. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #18
    I think that refusing to cover pre-existing conditions has been ruled illegal.
     
  19. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #19
    It was MY choice to quit a job that provided health care...
     
  20. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #20
    I believe this depends mainly on the laws in any given state. IIRC, in California, insurers can't refuse coverage based on preexisting conditions, but that doesn't stop them from offering policies at rates that would make King Tut cringe.
     
  21. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #21
    That sounds right. This isn't my field, but I was under the impression that this was the case.

    Realistically, I can't imagine that the US will change its system. The health care industry, which accounts for about 14% of GDP, is too big and too powerful to nationalize. I think it will require a long, slow, painful process of expanding government coverage to more people and narrowing government regulation of insurers and providors into stricter standards, with conservatives kicking and screaming every step of the way.
     
  22. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #22
    I could easily be wrong about this -- I'm working from memory (always dangerous). In fact I just noticed another thread where LeathalWolf said he was denied individual coverage for a very minor condition, and he lives in California I believe.

    To the larger problem, I've predicted that we'll begin to see movement on health care when the big corporations make demands of Congress to move on it. Companies like GM already recognize that they can build cars far less expensively in Canada because health care costs in the U.S. are so out of control. Of course GM probably wouldn't mind moving all of their assembly operations to Canada, but not every corporation can do that, so I'd expect pressure to increase on Congress to figure out something. Eventually.
     
  23. pseudobrit thread starter macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #23
    Not so. HIPAA, a small miracle act signed into law by Clinton, only forces a new insurer to cover a pre-existing condition if you had coverage for that condition during the past three months.

    If you were unemployed/uninsured for longer than that and you get a new job or new insurance, and if that new insurer so chooses the restriction in their policy, they may deny coverage for a pre-existing condition.

    American society to its citizens: we dont' care about your (our) health. Go die.

    We're a nation of sociopaths.
     
  24. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #24
    I've often thought it's lucky that Adolf Hitler gave both our countries something unequivocally evil to oppose, but I fear our credit for that brief interlude of ethical relief in a shared history of genocide, imperialism, economic strangulation and support for ignoble regimes has just about run out.
     
  25. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #25
    Then why the complaint about health care costs? It's not like these are taxes being taken from you at the point of a gun...
     

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