Health care reform vs health care insurance?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by SMM, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #1
    Over the past few months, considerable debate has taken place about whether we should provide help for low-income families to buy HC insurance. Just that alone went down to defeat, when congress could not get enough republicans to override bush's vetoes.

    S-CHIP is just a small stop-gap measure which really does not address what our Country really needs; comprehensive health care reform. When I read stories like this, it makes me realize that we have a long way to go to clean this mess up.

    The insurance industry has been given carte blanche to embed themselves like ticks in the health care process. They provide nothing of substantive value to the process. Yet, every dollar (figuratively) passes through their fingers, and they take a piece. It is long overdue for their lobbyists to be given the boot, and better methods implemented.
     
  2. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #2
    I wish you would quote a bit out of stories like when you post a link, even if it's just a teaser.....I suspect it would have more impact.....is that a complaint? LOL, sorry

    I doubt healthcare insurance is going to go away any time soon, even if we move towards a national healthcare system. Private insurance continues to exist even in countries such as the UK where there's a national healthcare system, and it's likely to continue to exist here......indeed, there may not be healthcare reform if it means forcing people who are satisfied with their insurance coverage to abandon their current coverage......but as this story shows, reforms are needed in the insurance industry no matter what happens regarding national healthcare reform.
     
  3. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #3
    Private health care insurance is available in the UK because the people who could afford it were willing to pay for the convenience of having their health care now rather than 3 monts from now. And that's the reason the US, will never have a single payer system either. Americans want the best, and they want it right now.
     
  4. SMM thread starter macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #4
    Sorry, I did not realize I was not doing it right. I try not to be redundant and will generally refrain from repeating the same exact information I am linking too. Looking out for MR's disk space you know. :) Maybe you would provide some guidelines to make my posts more acceptable?
     
  5. SMM thread starter macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #5
    This largely due to the fact that few Americans think in terms of preventative health care, and so they are always in 'crisis mode'. This is changing fortunately. Still, there is not question that many fail to recognize that living a healthy life-style is more beneficial than running to the doctor every time something is amiss.

    In 1993, I went to a public doctor's office (surgery) at Ross-On-Wye, when I was vacationing in GB. I called in the AM, and was seen before lunch. The cost was zero, even though I was a foreigner. It was a very professional/pleasant experience all around. One think I noted were the numerous information sheets, sign-up logs, meeting notices, etc. for various preventative and maintenance programs they had. There was no question how much effort was being made to address the causes of poor health. I was very impressed.

    I think the HMO model holds considerable promise for solid, affordable health care. I was in one and thought very well of it. It was not perfect, but I have very few complaints, and they were working hard to address what issues they had. I have read about other HMO's that were not as good (for one reason or another). That should be expected. It was a new industry and a business can be well-managed, or poorly run. I do think it holds promise.
     
  6. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #6
    First of all, it's nowhere near that bad. Especially for emergencies. But healthcare isn't exactly instantaneous here either. I've never had a situation here where I didn't have to wait. Just last week my Mother was trying to make an appointment for my Stepfather, and the next opening they had was in Dec. Not to mention those not insured, who can't get anything affordable. And as seen by the article reference above, even if you have insurance, that still doesn't guarantee coverage.

    I'm sure there will always be the option for private care, as well there should be. But that doesn't negate the need for other options, such as for poor children, the elderly, and those who can't get insurance otherwise, as with those with preexisting conditions or the people mentioned in the article who were simply dropped for whatever reason. Most of us would just be happy with having better regulation so the above doesn't happen as often and so that people do have options they can count on, but that isn't happening either.
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    With HMOs, it's not a matter of well vs. poorly run, IMO. I think it's a conceptual flaw which causes them to be so frustrating to both patient and doctor, and to be so costly in the end. By design, the HMO places a non-medical insurance company bureaucrat between the patient and the doctor. The HMO bureaucrats are fully incentivized to try to prevent medical care, because they make more money the less care you get. They often do this not so much by outright denying medical treatments that a doctor might want to order, but by creating a variety of obstacles to that care. They don't seem to mind burning up your time, your doctor's time, and their time in the interest of making obtaining care more difficult. I have personally experienced my HMO spending more time and money denying me care than it probably would have cost to have simply approved it in the first place.
     
  8. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #8
    Never happen. The American way of thinking just isn't up for single payer systems where everybody gets treated the same. Heck, even the countries that have it don't like it.
     
  9. SMM thread starter macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #9
    Notice I was careful in my wording. I have heard as many bad stories about HMOs as I have had good experiences. I have personally seen that a well-managed HMO offers many advantages. The question is whether enough good HMOs come forward to reverse the negative perception they currently have.
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    That's right, they'd sooner have our system.
     
  11. SMM thread starter macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #11
    What are you using as source data for such a bold statement? Just curious.
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    No doubt, we'd hear about Canadians coming to the US for treatment -- which is a veritable flood of course and indicative of widespread disenchantment with the Canadian health care system. I see Canadian citizens in my doctor's office all time.
     
  13. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #13
    my problem with HMO is it serverlly limits your choices on doctors. You have to us one in their system and god forbid you are in an area where their are no doctors in the system.

    PPC lets you get more choices and no special hoops to jump though to go see a specialists for something. No having to go see you GP just to get a referal to some other doctor because that is what you need. You have any idea how much that would annoy me if I had to that to go see one. I know some of the stuff I would need done right off the bat I going to want a specialist. There are things I do not want my GP prescribing to me. For example my anti depressants or having to go though them to get my knees looked at. I am a strong believer in specialist.
     
  14. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #14
    25 years in the health-care provider biz. Talking to patients in Canada that come here (Minnesota) for health care. Talking to doctors that have emigrated to the US to get out from under. Lot's of stuff on the internet. UK's addition of a second tier of health care (for those who can afford it), Canada's Supreme Court decision that thrid party payers can do business in Canada too (popular demand). I'm not a big fan of our current system in the US, but single payer won't fly here. Widespread disenchantment with HMO's and problems in the Veteran's Administration show that pretty clearly.
     
  15. SMM thread starter macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #15
    Regardless of what health care will look like in the future, the bottomline is we need fundamental changes in the system. I have never been part of a task force trying to deal with health care issues. I do know that considerable work was done several years ago. Hopefully the next administration will take this up as a priority project.
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #16
    This is a self-selected sample, and it's got all of the problems of self-selected samples. If you travelled to Thailand, you'd meet Americans having elective surgeries in Thai hospitals. Does this mean the Thai healthcare system is superior to the US system? The Americans who travelled to Thailand might say so -- but all this really means it that some people can afford a wide variety of choices. Many, many other can't. Most, in fact. Those are the Canadians you are not meeting in Minnesota.

    Doctors in the US can also "get out from under." They simply stop accepting patients with insurance plans that don't pay well. I was forced to change doctors because mine did just that.
     
  17. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #17
    So then, you've completely ignored everything SMM and I said.

    Again, no one is calling for pure single payer for everyone. That's a strawman argument. There are people right now who have no insurance or their current coverage is lacking, or lack of regulation that allows them to easily be denied coverage. Something needs to be done, as our current system is not working.

    Doesn't that point toward the desire for better healthcare? Those same people who are saying gov doesn't work are the ones currently running the VA. Some of which has been outsourced, and has the same negative issues HMOs have. If we had better oversight and regulation at least, that would be a good start. As it stands now, private insurance makes money by denying you coverage. Some of us have a problem with that. Those Canadians who can afford more are like the Americans who can afford more. Those aren't the ones we're talking about it. It's the ones who can't that currently need the help.

    I've also worked in the healthcare industry, and have family members who still do, so we can swap all sorts personal stories and anecdotes, but I'd rather focus on the facts, and the fact is we have an awful lot of people who are not being taken care of by the current system.
     
  18. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #18
    Just had an insurance meeting this morning at work. Guess what? Premium increase percentages are up higher than wage increase percentages again this year, and our coverage is getting limited a little more.

    So I'm paying more for less. That's how the free market is supposed to work, isn't it? :confused:
     
  19. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #19
    Not a working one.
     
  20. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #20
    something no one though about yet but one reason the cost of medical insurances is going up is because medical cost are going up.
    Good part of the reason those cost are going up is because doctor malpractice insurances is sky rocketing. The reason those are going up so quickly is because of the huge law suits people are bring against doctors. A lot of the claims are for over kill and multi million dollar claims that should be happening. People suing when a love one dyes in a risky operation to begin with or a compaction happens in a risky operation.
    Now something else that needs to be targeted by law is protection doctors against malpractice law suits that are well rather insane.

    America is way to sue happy these days.
     
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #21
    I read somewhere recently that the cost of lawsuits to the overall medical care system is something like 0.25%. My health insurance premiums have gone up 50% in just the last two years. I have an idea that lawsuits aren't really the main cause.
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #22
    That's just one of those pesky facts. Lawyers are involved. And not just lawyers, the most dreaded of all -- the TRIAL LAWYER (cue spooky music). And if trial lawyers are involved, the mighty right-wing Wurlitzer gets cranked up to full volume. "It's all the damn trial lawyer's faults. We mustn't let businesses be faced with the consequences of their actions."

    IOW, lets distort the "free market" of the court system.
     
  23. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #23
    Tort reform is a red herring. The previous GOP led Congress already tried that. Costs are still going up. Maybe we should look more at how while technology and costs for the doctors and hospitals have gone up, it still doesn't correspond to end cost for the rest of us. Healthcare coverage has actually been going down, but the healthcare industries profits have gone up. They charge more, but we get less, and so do the doctors and hospitals. Plus, they need so many more bureaucrats and underlings to give you the run around to deny you coverage. But very few will say the real reasons, especially the politicians who get who knows how much from the healthcare lobbyists. There's your higher cost.

    Please don't believe all the talking points about malpractice, because the evidence just doesn't support that scapegoat.
     
  24. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #24
    Indeed it doesn't. I'm taking a class right now on the American legal system and how tort law is unique to American law (these days at least) amongst wealthy nations. For the most part, malpractice suits don't go very far and don't cost much in the grand scheme of things. If you want to know where your money is going, follow the insurance company's profit margins...
     
  25. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #25
    Anymore it's almost impossible to obtain treatment from a doctor or a hospital without first signing liability release forms which commit you to arbitration in the event of disputes over care. It seems we're already getting "tort reform," courtesy of the insurance companies.
     

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