The Cost of Health Care

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Cooknn, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #1
    Just watched Peter Jennings last documentary before his death Breakdown — America's Health Insurance Crisis. Health insurance costs are sky rocketing, but data from the US government says that almost every dollar we put in gets spent on actual health care and very little goes into administration (or for big buildings as I would say).

    So if the insurance companies are playing fair the fault of the system must fall on the actual cost of health care, correct? Why are these procedures so expensive :confused: They showed a machine that cost a couple of $million to detect future heart problems. Of course the doctors that spent those millions are going to want everyone to have that test so they can make their money back. Seems to me they paid too much for that machine and consequently everyone suffers.

    Interestingly enough they showed a study that people who received more health care were actually more inclined to health problems :rolleyes:
     
  2. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #2
    I like having free health care here in Canada.

    I would argue that the "Health Care System" should be renamed the "Disease Care System". People have such a reactive nature to so many things, as opposed to a proactive/preventative approach regarding their health. They wait until they have health problems, take medication which has who-knows-what for side-effects, and only mask their symptoms, not address the real issue. Quite sad really.
     
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #3
    The problem is we have a for-profit system, so health care providors are incentivized to produce greater demand for health care rather than cure people.

    Think about it.
     
  4. Cooknn thread starter macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #4
    So, health care costs in the US are causing corporations to have trouble competing - to the point where they are closing facilities and laying off thousands (GM), yet countries like Canada offer free health care to everyone? This doesn't compute :cool:

    My initial thought is that it's time to change the system.
     
  5. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #5
    Never happen under Bush.
     
  6. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #6
    Yep, that's what I'm talking about. This is why we see more and more things being classified as "disorders". That way, if it's a "disorder", a nice drug company can make a drug to treat it. :rolleyes: Don't worry about actually curing people, just focus on how drug companies, etc. can make more money.

    Sounds like a good idea to me. Ain't gonna happen though. :cool:
     
  7. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #7
    I think that's a pretty fair generalization. But what can be done to radically change the system? Pharmaceutical avarice, padding and rationalization of high costs justified under the guise of "research" costs? DFA regulations, HIPAA red tape and its supplanting of the family care network, the Nursing Home Industry and their lumping together and over-medicating of patients just so the nursing staff can have a more tranquil 8 hour shift by flat-lining libidos of inmates under the catch-all diagnosis of "predementia"? Physician and nurse competence, bed-side manner and malpractice? The cost of malpractice insurance and where that is absorbed? What are the alternatives? Would a socialized, medical program ever be adopted in the U.S.? Would it work, it if were accepted? Is their any electable person, office and administration that would not cave in to the pharmaceutical industry and its lobbyists? What recourse and actions are we left with? It's not like we can boycott hospitals, nursing homes and doctor's offices and vow to stay healthy for the length of our days.
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    i guess i'd have to see those studies, because that's not my understanding, at least for the health corporations.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #9
    You've just illustrated why I don't go near prescription drugs. They aren't ther to heal you, they just make you more sick. My Dad took blood pressure medicine (rather than changing his diet and exercising) and ended up with Crohn's disease as a result. I told my doctor I would NEVER take such drugs. My doctor agreed it would be a bad idea. So- we decided if my blood pressure ever goes sky-high, we would modify my diet and I'd work out even more than I do now.
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #10
    I wouldn't blame the doctors. They are as constrained by the system as anyone in it. Your doctor might well prescribe a drug for you because it's covered as a formulary in your health insurance plan, even though another might be more suitable.

    Last I heard, the insurance industry takes 25-35% of every health care dollar, and they are incentivized to provide as little health care as possible. The entire system in the U.S. is back-asswards, which is why we pay the most and get the least.
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #11
    I have friends at work who go to their doctors less than they should because they are paranoid the doc will put them on some drug to cure their "ills" and make them worse. I'm not kidding. There is a serious lack of trust.
     
  12. Cooknn thread starter macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #12
    On the spot last night they said government studies show (if my memory serves me correctly) 87 cents of every health insurance dollar going to the actual cost of health care. They said that figure hasn't changed in over 20 years. Seemed hard to believe to tell you the truth...
     
  13. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #13
    wow is that some bad stuff, i don't know a doctor on this earth that would do that.

    I know i wouldn't for my patients.
     
  14. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #14
    I think that eventually the US will have a national health care system because the current system is unsustainable. Think about how much health care and military spending account for in the US economy (14% plus 4%, more or less). Health care costs are growing and eventually those two sectors alone will amount to over 20%, while most wealthy industrialized nations (with national health care) will be spending about 10% on them. Eventually it will become obvious to everyone (not just everyone who can read) that the US system is more expensive and wasteful.

    In a way, it was heartening to see the head of GM essentially saying that corporations need to stop paying for health care. If corporations push to limit their role, I still believe Americans have a sufficient sense of social justice to recognize that a national system is needed and that health care should not be something that only the wealthy can afford.
     
  15. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #15
    Take it for what it's worth, but a very good friend had an older aunt-in-law in a Florida nursing home (owned by the same people who killed the old folks in NOLA) who was a week away from being taken off life support.

    They took her in 2 days before the plug was due out to do $15,000 worth of surgery (putting tubes in her throat, IIRC). She spent two days in agony before they pulled the plug. The doctors were smug, secretive and defensive, and refused to discuss it with her family. They had snuck in while she was alone and doped up to get her to sign off on it.

    My friend's wife is a nurse and was asking about the procedure and couldn't understand how it would possibly be necessary for someone about to die.

    I have also been the victim of an egotistical maniac who calls himself a doctor. I suffer from a disease that could have been reversed when I was young, but he was busy playing God with a 2 year-old. He was a cocky, condescending lying creep to my mother (for about 6 years, after which she got sick of his bullying and sought a second opinion), who was fooled into trusting him.

    I'd still like to put a bullet in the ****er. How's that for a death penalty?
     
  16. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #16
    if i have ever had anything wrong with me i always get a second opinion. I have been sick for 14 months i have gone to multiple doctors. Some doctors just don't see/want to see an alternative that another doctor may see. Even for my knee surgery i went to a second doctor just in case he saw a route for fixing my knee that didn't include surgery.

    Always get a second opinion for an illness that is debilitating (sp?). Just because, yes, sometimes doctors are wrong, horribly wrong.

    But i have personally not had any problems with a doctor, and if i ever did i would go to another doctor just to make sure this person wasn't being 100% truthful or correct in my health.
     
  17. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #17
    The drugs I have to take every moth would cost me ~$400 a month if I didn't have insurance.

    My back sugery was $15,000...

    Worth every penny of $269.00 a month.

    BUT

    My primary care doctor sucks ass.

    He has "forgotten" at least three times to call in refills for narcotic pain meds, which the pharmacy can't "just give a few to last the weekend." I ha d business trip to Florida once and I could hardly walk the whole weekend. Thanks, doc.

    The last time I was in, there was a gynecological exam from some woman in my chart, and that was after they had lost it for a couple of months. He looked at my chart and said (this was my pre-op clearance exam) "You're on how much of <such and such>? I had been on that drug for two years - wow, just noticing?

    Now when you get past the gatekeepers, most of the other docs I have seen are excelelnt - in fact there is a Christmas card for my neurosurgeon waiting to me mailed out on my desk.
     
  18. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #18
    Oh, and EVERYONE should be pissed at the prescription companies.

    "Oh, we spend so much money to make new drugs."

    Yeah, that's why you spend half your budget on marketing and advertising, right? (A study I heard about on NPR).
     
  19. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #19
    yes prescription companies do bother me.

    But i have had some wonderful doctors for my illness even thou they haven't been able to diagnose me or treat me properly they have been wonderful doctors. They have done some experimental procedures (Botox injections, yay insurance didn't cover it, 900 for the bottle of botox alone), and they have put me on pain medications whenever i said that i needed them.

    I am extremely grateful to my doctors that i have had in my life and thank every one of them, even if they haven't been able to help me.
     
  20. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #20
    Yeah, it's like my neurosurgeon - I actually enjoy going to see him.

    My regular doctor? I want to bitch slap him every time I go in. The nurse practitioner finally put me on steroids when I couldn't walk or sleep because of my back. He never would.

    I have to get off my ass and find another primary care doctor. :rolleyes:
     
  21. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #21
    yeah thankfully i like my PCP however i need a new one since he is a pediatrician and well i am not a kid still.

    However, i am glad that i work in a hospital so i know who are the good and who are the not so good doctors. Also i go with a doctor that has a good office, i don't want crabby people at the office.

    I am pretty sure i know who i will go with i just need to get the time to start the process.

    I am sorry iGary that you have had a hard time with your PCP
     
  22. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #22
    Possibly this is some sort of average over the entire system. The administrative cost of Medicare and Medicaid is in the low single digits. (I don't recall the precise number but 4% sticks in my mind.) Since a lot of Americans get their health care through these programs, it might well average down the 25-35% grabbed by the insurance industry in private plans to something on the order of 13%.
     
  23. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #23
    "Free" health care? Wow, what a deal! :rolleyes:
     
  24. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #24
    It sure is, glad you recognize that! :) If I ever have an injury or become sick, or even for yearly check-ups and the like, I don't have to worry about paying a huge hospital or doctor's bill - the government pays it for me. Let's see, $20,000 for surgery or the same surgery for free, performed by equally trained medical professionals... hmm, tough choice... ;)
     
  25. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #25
    Not like your taxes in Canada are through the roof or anything....I wonder why some affluent Canadians come to the states for medical care?
     

Share This Page