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martin schulz
08-12-2009, 05:57 AM
I really don't want to start an uproar here, but seriously I really don't get it.

There was a little report about the recent arguments in the US in German TV yestarday and from what was presented and from what I understand it is as this:

1. Obama promised during his campain to push a national Health Care bill
2. the Health Care bill draft is now finished
3. the Health Care bill is designed to help those who now don't have any insurrance whatsoever (which is absolutely unbelievable for me, since Health Care privately insured, or governmental insured is mandatory here)
4. People are protesting against the Health Care bill, holding up posters with "Obamahdinejad” or “Nobama Deathcare" on it.

I really don't understand this. I thought everybody will be happy to see that someone will at last understand the important issues and is working to get people insured. Why is it then that there is so much hostility against the bill, especially by people who are in need of it (I mean the rich hardly need and Health Care insurance).

mmd
08-12-2009, 06:08 AM
Martin, we here in Canada are watching what is going on to the south of us with a reasonable level of incredulity, too. And our Canadian health care system is being used as the "bad example" on television commercials to scare the US citizens away from a national health care plan for the USA. We just don't understand what all the fuss is about - a healthier population is a more productive population and a more productive population makes a stronger nation. It seems to be in everyone's best interest to have as many people healthy as possible, so we don't understand the resistance among the USA citizens.

Different cultures seperated by a common language, I guess...

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-12-2009, 06:26 AM
We British don't understand it either; like you, it seems perfectly obvious that the US "healthcare system" (what system?) needs replacing with a modern system such as developed nations all have.

The limit for us in Britain was reached yesterday when a US newspaper told its readers that Professor Stephen Hawking, who has motor nurone disease, "would be allowed to die if he lived in Britain because the NHS would not care for him".

Professor Hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.

Cambridge University is in England.

Professor Hawking is cared for by the NHS.

:confused::rolleyes::eek:

GregW
08-12-2009, 06:32 AM
Do try to understand what's going on...it will only give you a headache.

GregW
08-12-2009, 06:36 AM
Cambridge University is in England.

Professor Hawking is cared for by the NHS.

:confused::rolleyes::eek:

Don't cloud the issue with these minor details, stick with the facts. ( I feel a headache coming on.) :)

downthecreek
08-12-2009, 06:38 AM
Professor Hawking is cared for by the NHS.

:confused::rolleyes::eek:

As are all the other unfortunate sufferers from this horrible disease in the UK.

PeterSibley
08-12-2009, 06:41 AM
Incomprehensible !

martin schulz
08-12-2009, 06:44 AM
...such as developed nations all have.

Sometimes I wonder if the US really is a "developed Nation".
Watching some incidents, including the NewOrleans flood, election campaigns and the ridicoulus presentation of the WOMD threats in Iraq on the telly I often thought this country is more a 3rd world country or obscure banana republic, than the enlightened, democratic and free country we all believe.

Perhaps keeping people uneducated via a lousy education system isn't such a good idea afterall (except for those who make use of the peoples naivety).

Again, this is not an USA bashing thread, but you guys are subject in our news and I just want to know what really is going on.

Chris Coose
08-12-2009, 06:46 AM
Ask yourselves, "How was it Americans re-elected the dubbya?" Therein, lies the answer.

Neo****birds hate poor people. neo****birds lie.

Rigadog
08-12-2009, 06:51 AM
Basically those with a vested interest in the system as it stands are (and have been for years) waging a propaganda/fear campaign to keep things as they are so that they can live off the fat. It is that simple.

Pugwash
08-12-2009, 06:51 AM
Again, this is not an USA bashing thread, but you guys are subject in our news and I just want to know what really is going on.

It's Americas level of political awareness laid bare.

"Health Care" is just the side show, whats on display is the remarkable level of ignorance, insularity, disinformation, lack of discourse & polarisation, present in the US.

Hot Air
08-12-2009, 06:57 AM
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in the Obama administration - or so says the arch conservative, neocon shill Camille Paglia


By Camille Paglia

Aug. 12, 2009 | Buyer's remorse? Not me. At the North American summit in Guadalajara this week, President Obama resumed the role he is best at -- representing the U.S. with dignity and authority abroad. This is why I, for one, voted for Obama and continue to support him. The damage done to U.S. prestige by the feckless, buffoonish George W. Bush will take years to repair. Obama has barely begun the crucial mission that he was elected to do.
Having said that, I must confess my dismay bordering on horror at the amateurism of the White House apparatus for domestic policy. When will heads start to roll? I was glad to see the White House counsel booted, as well as Michelle Obama's chief of staff, and hope it's a harbinger of things to come. Except for that wily fox, David Axelrod, who could charm gold threads out of moonbeams, Obama seems to be surrounded by juvenile tinhorns, bumbling mediocrities and crass bully boys.
Case in point: the administration's grotesque mishandling of healthcare reform, one of the most vital issues facing the nation. Ever since Hillary Clinton's megalomaniacal annihilation of our last best chance at reform in 1993 (all of which was suppressed by the mainstream media when she was running for president), Democrats have been longing for that happy day when this issue would once again be front and center.





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But who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises -- or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the party and should immediately step down.
There is plenty of blame to go around. Obama's aggressive endorsement of a healthcare plan that does not even exist yet, except in five competing, fluctuating drafts, makes Washington seem like Cloud Cuckoo Land. The president is promoting the most colossal, brazen bait-and-switch operation since the Bush administration snookered the country into invading Iraq with apocalyptic visions of mushroom clouds over American cities.
You can keep your doctor; you can keep your insurance, if you're happy with it, Obama keeps assuring us in soothing, lullaby tones. Oh, really? And what if my doctor is not the one appointed by the new government medical boards for ruling on my access to tests and specialists? And what if my insurance company goes belly up because of undercutting by its government-bankrolled competitor? Face it: Virtually all nationalized health systems, neither nourished nor updated by profit-driven private investment, eventually lead to rationing.
I just don't get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way? The U.S. is gigantic; many of our states are bigger than whole European nations. The bureaucracy required to institute and manage a nationalized health system here would be Byzantine beyond belief and would vampirically absorb whatever savings Obama thinks could be made. And the transition period would be a nightmare of red tape and mammoth screw-ups, which we can ill afford with a faltering economy.
As with the massive boondoggle of the stimulus package, which Obama foolishly let Congress turn into a pork rut, too much has been attempted all at once; focused, targeted initiatives would, instead, have won wide public support. How is it possible that Democrats, through their own clumsiness and arrogance, have sabotaged healthcare reform yet again? Blaming obstructionist Republicans is nonsensical because Democrats control all three branches of government. It isn't conservative rumors or lies that are stopping healthcare legislation; it's the justifiable alarm of an electorate that has been cut out of the loop and is watching its representatives construct a tangled labyrinth for others but not for themselves. No, the airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan -- it's the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves.


With the Republican party leaderless and in backbiting disarray following its destruction by the ideologically incoherent George W. Bush, Democrats are apparently eager to join the hara-kiri brigade. What looked like smooth coasting to the 2010 election has now become a nail-biter. Both major parties have become a rats' nest of hypocrisy and incompetence. That, combined with our stratospheric, near-criminal indebtedness to China (which could destroy the dollar overnight), should raise signal flags. Are we like late Rome, infatuated with past glories, ruled by a complacent, greedy elite, and hopelessly powerless to respond to changing conditions?
What does either party stand for these days? Republican politicians, with their endless scandals, are hardly exemplars of traditional moral values. Nor have they generated new ideas for healthcare, except for medical savings accounts, which would be pathetically inadequate in a major crisis for anyone earning at or below a median income.
And what do Democrats stand for, if they are so ready to defame concerned citizens as the "mob" -- a word betraying a Marie Antoinette delusion of superiority to ordinary mortals. I thought my party was populist, attentive to the needs and wishes of those outside the power structure. And as a product of the 1960s, I thought the Democratic party was passionately committed to freedom of thought and speech.
But somehow liberals have drifted into a strange servility toward big government, which they revere as a godlike foster father-mother who can dispense all bounty and magically heal all ills. The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than in the near total silence of liberal media and Web sites at the Obama administration's outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable "casual conversations" (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/) to the White House. If Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced. His failure to do so implicates him in it.

elf
08-12-2009, 07:12 AM
You guys have to understand that when the Declaration of Independence was composed it expressed the belief that the residents of the colonies had the innate right to three things and that no government had the right to interfere in the acquisition of those.

The three things were life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The uproar over universal health care in the US is an example of the last of those.

The English and Spanish adventurers from Europe to the "American" continent came for one of two things - riches or religious monoculturism.

brad9798
08-12-2009, 07:24 AM
Perhaps keeping people uneducated via a lousy education system isn't such a good idea afterall

No bashing here ... move along, now ... nothing to see! :rolleyes:

Take our top students against any country's top students and see what happens.

There's an obvious reason our generalized 'test scores' don't show well ... I'm surprised you were not aware of it!

elf
08-12-2009, 08:07 AM
As to why there is so much hostility over the bill: that's easy to explain. Large health insurance companies and big pharmeceutical manufacturers are big contributors to Republican politicians and conservative political action groups, and these financial interests oppose this health care reform bill because it will cut into their profits. The money interests are funding all sorts of groups which are propagating lies and distortions about the bill. The Republicans have made it very clear that they are NOT interested in any sort of compromise, but simply want to kill this bill completely. This has been true of every attempt to reform American health care for many decades now.

I think that is about as objective an explanation as you're likely to get.

Pursuit of Happiness.

Joe (SoCal)
08-12-2009, 08:23 AM
Norman dont forget that "This will be Obama's Waterloo"
Just look at his poll numbers LOOK AT THE POLL NUMBERS he's slipping in Rasmussen poll THE Rasmussen poll !!!!!. The (TRUE) American people are mobilizing the Tea Bags are working we are taking BACK control out of the democratic freedom and liberty given to us by GOD.

Whew ok my head hurts channeling Sean Hannity :D

ucb4ume
08-12-2009, 08:33 AM
An interesting article in Salon.com by Camille Paglia

http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2009/08/12/town_halls/

...It isn't conservative rumors or lies that are stopping healthcare legislation; it's the justifiable alarm of an electorate that has been cut out of the loop and is watching its representatives construct a tangled labyrinth for others but not for themselves. No, the airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan -- it's the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves.

LeeG
08-12-2009, 08:40 AM
Ask yourselves, "How was it Americans re-elected the dubbya?" Therein, lies the answer.

Neo****birds hate poor people. neo****birds lie.

beat me to it

J P
08-12-2009, 08:48 AM
Large health insurance companies and big pharmeceutical manufacturers are big contributors to Republican politicians and conservative political action groups, and these financial interests oppose this health care reform bill because it will cut into their profits. The money interests are funding all sorts of groups which are propagating lies and distortions about the bill.

The money interests fund whomever has influence on their profit including Democrats. Plutocracy ... kleptocracy.

Senator Baucus (D-Montana) receives plenty of funding from these groups.
http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?type=C&cid=N00004643&newMem=N&cycle=2010

Dan McCosh
08-12-2009, 08:51 AM
No bashing here ... move along, now ... nothing to see! :rolleyes:

Take our top students against any country's top students and see what happens.

There's an obvious reason our generalized 'test scores' don't show well ... I'm surprised you were not aware of it!

Problem being our top students are all from other countries.

Dan McCosh
08-12-2009, 08:52 AM
What I don't get is why most of those screaming about "socialism" appear to be medicare recipients.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
08-12-2009, 08:59 AM
I really don't want to start an uproar here, but seriously I really don't get it.

There was a little report about the recent arguments in the US in German TV yestarday and from what was presented and from what I understand it is as this:

1. Obama promised during his campain to push a national Health Care bill
2. the Health Care bill draft is now finished
3. the Health Care bill is designed to help those who now don't have any insurrance whatsoever (which is absolutely unbelievable for me, since Health Care privately insured, or governmental insured is mandatory here)
4. People are protesting against the Health Care bill, holding up posters with "Obamahdinejad” or “Nobama Deathcare" on it.

I really don't understand this. I thought everybody will be happy to see that someone will at last understand the important issues and is working to get people insured. Why is it then that there is so much hostility against the bill, especially by people who are in need of it (I mean the rich hardly need and Health Care insurance).


It's almost impossible to understand what the US does. What they say is easy to understand, but what they do has little relation.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
08-12-2009, 09:02 AM
the limit for us in britain was reached yesterday when a us newspaper told its readers that professor stephen hawking, who has motor nurone disease, "would be allowed to die if he lived in britain because the nhs would not care for him".

Professor hawking is the lucasian professor of mathematics at the university of cambridge.

Cambridge university is in england.

Professor hawking is cared for by the nhs.

:confused::rolleyes::eek:


rotflmao:D:D

martin schulz
08-12-2009, 09:03 AM
No bashing here ... move along, now ... nothing to see! :rolleyes:

Take our top students against any country's top students and see what happens.

There's an obvious reason our generalized 'test scores' don't show well ... I'm surprised you were not aware of it!

Yes perhaps I have been a little bit too sarcastic.
But I have been in a average US High School and to tell you the truth I was very much surprised about the overall quality of it. You are probably right about top-score students and high class universities, but Joe Schmo or Joe the Plumber are left behind with what I consider a mediocre education.

The question for me is, "why is that so", and "is there a purpose behind it?"

Peter Malcolm Jardine
08-12-2009, 09:04 AM
Sadly, I am starting to think that Health care reform in the USA may not succeed. As some have said, Obama may have met his Waterloo.... a very very very sad thought.

martin schulz
08-12-2009, 09:16 AM
Sadly, I am starting to think that Health care reform in the USA may not succeed. As some have said, Obama may have met his Waterloo.... a very very very sad thought.

You mean a health care reform that will probably help people (no matter how badly constructed) will fail, but a war that was created on fake and constructed evidence, that brought death, destruction and pain for many people including those in the US, was easily pushed through?

George Roberts
08-12-2009, 09:18 AM
"It seems to be in everyone's best interest to have as many people healthy as possible, so we don't understand the resistance among the USA citizens."

Half true statements are so difficult to understand.

There seems to be economic costs that affect that statement.

---

The Obama plan was to extend health care to everyone and pay for it by reducing costs.

The current Obama plan is to keep costs the same and tax the wealthy to pay for it.

Next week the Obama plan is to admit costs will rise and to tax the middle and upper class to pay for it.

---

We are talking about 18% of te economy that the government wants to recreate. This is after huge amounts of money were dumped on bankers and car companies.

It takes a bit of time to digest these changes and even more time to do them right. A bit of public discussion should not hurt.

Pugwash
08-12-2009, 09:48 AM
The question for me is, "why is that so", and "is there a purpose behind it?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q

;)

Peter Malcolm Jardine
08-12-2009, 09:49 AM
You mean a health care reform that will probably help people (no matter how badly constructed) will fail, but a war that was created on fake and constructed evidence, that brought death, destruction and pain for many people including those in the US, was easily pushed through?


When your culture is created based on armed conflict... so it goes

Keith Wilson
08-12-2009, 09:59 AM
Two things going on, Martin, as I see it:

The current US health care system developed more or less by accident. There was an attempt at a national system like most other countries some 60 years ago, but the doctors were vehemently against it, and it died. Employer-paid health insurance started at about the same time, and it worked reasonably well then; it was inexpensive at that level of technology, and most people stayed at their jobs for longer than they do now. Medicare (tax-supported health care for those over 65) and Medicaid (tax-supported health care for the genuinely poor) was added in the 1960s, again over the vehement opposition of conservatives.

However, private insurance has gotten increasing expensive, and because of that fewer employers are paying for insurance. There are several reasons - improved technology (we can do a lot more than we so could do in 1960), high administrative costs for private insurance (roughly 1/3), a truly bizarre cost and payment structure - various reasons, and people argue endlessly about which of them are more important. One way or another, the US has a wildly expensive health care system, and increasing numbers of people have no insurance at all. Germany spends about $3500/year/capita, roughly 10.5% of GDP, while the US spends about $8000 or close to 18% of GDP.

Why haven't we fixed it? Good question. In every other developed country, people are used to thinking of heath care as a basic public service, like roads, or public schools, or fire departments. For various historical reasons , this hasn't been the case in the US, and moving health care form the private capitalist sphere to the public sphere requires a change in thinking.

The resistance to change comes from two sources, which reinforce each other. The first is that some people and corporations make lots of money off the current system. They're worried that they won't if it's changed, and have been spending heavily to influence the outcome and keep making money.

The other factor is resurgent conservatism in the US since the late 1970s, which includes a strong anti-government Libertarian streak. It was partly a reaction against some ill-advised government programs in the '60s and '70s, but not merely that. I won't go into all the roots of the idea; suffice it to say that it's a strong part of US politics, particularly in the south and parts of the west. You can see examples here every day. And the US has never had a significant democratic socialist component in politics, nothing like the German Social Democrats or the French Socialists, or even the British Labor Party or the Canadian NDP. Those making money under the current arrangement have every interest in encouraging cynicism about government and hard-core free-market ideology, however irrational.

Eventually, of course, the US heath care system will get expensive and unequal enough that change will be inevitable, but it remains to be seen if that has happened yet. We can only hope that it happens before too much damage is done.

martin schulz
08-12-2009, 10:03 AM
Keith Wilson - Trying to be reasonable...

...you did your best. Thank you!

cbcc
08-12-2009, 10:10 AM
The world didn't understand the Declaration of Independence either. It's fascinating to me that the whole world seems focused on what our healthcare system is like.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-12-2009, 10:13 AM
Would you be better off admitting the US health care is just fine the way it is, and correcting your border problem.

49°N is probably the wrong number - 44 or 45?

TomF
08-12-2009, 10:15 AM
The world didn't understand the Declaration of Independence either. It's fascinating to me that the whole world seems focused on what our healthcare system is like.It's the same contradiction that's always fixated us about the US.

Truly lovely aspirational ideals in your founding documents, paired with patchy and sometimes downright contradictory practices in domestic and foreign policies. Sometimes with the one actually trying to justify the other.

Keith Wilson
08-12-2009, 10:16 AM
The Declaration of Independence wasn't anything new; it merely put into practice ideas that had been around for a while already, most of them developed in Europe.
It's fascinating to me that the whole world seems focused on what our healthcare system is like. That's only because we're arguing about it so loudly right now, an argument that seems very odd to most people from other countries.

martin schulz
08-12-2009, 10:18 AM
It's fascinating to me that the whole world seems focused on what our healthcare system is like.

Yes we are sitting back gloating about the US, which is constantly trying to persuade the world that it is the shining light of reason and freedom in a dark socialist world, is not even able to ensure that its citizens get a proper education or reasonable health care, let alone unemployment compensation (socialism alert).

cbcc
08-12-2009, 10:22 AM
The Declaration of Independence wasn't anything new; it merely put into practice ideas that had been around for a while already, most of them developed in Europe.That's only because we're arguing about it so loudly right now, an argument that seems very odd to most people from other countries.

Both good points.

Pugwash
08-12-2009, 10:22 AM
Yes we are sitting back gloating about the US, which is constantly trying to persuade the world that it is the shining light of reason and freedom in a dark socialist world, is not even able to ensure that its citizens get a proper education or reasonable health care, let alone unemployment compensation (socialism alert).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcz_NHAFGS0

:)

Keith Wilson
08-12-2009, 10:24 AM
. . is not even able to ensure that its citizens get a proper education I disagree; that has not been my experience at all. There are enormous regional and even local variations here, and the problem is mostly on the low end - lack of equality, not lack of quality. The same is true of health care BTW.
If you can't express it in five pages, it's not worth consideration. Silly. You really do want to keep lawyers gainfully employed, don't you? Precise laws about complicated issues require lots of words; otherwise we argue endlessly about what those five pages really mean.

Dan McCosh
08-12-2009, 10:24 AM
Two things going on, Martin, as I see it:

The current US health care system developed more or less by accident. There was an attempt at a national system like most other countries some 60 years ago, but the doctors were vehemently against it, and it died. Employer-paid health insurance started at about the same time, and it worked reasonably well then; it was inexpensive at that level of technology, and most people stayed at their jobs for longer than they do now. Medicare (tax-supported health care for those over 65) and Medicaid (tax-supported health care for the genuinely poor) was added in the 1960s, again over the vehement opposition of conservatives.



However, private insurance has gotten increasing expensive, and because of that fewer employers are paying for insurance. There are several reasons - improved technology (we can do a lot more than we so could do in 1960), high administrative costs for private insurance (roughly 1/3), a truly bizarre cost and payment structure - various reasons, and people argue endlessly about which of them are more important. One way or another, the US has a wildly expensive health care system, and increasing numbers of people have no insurance at all. Germany spends about $3500/year/capita, roughly 10.5% of GDP, while the US spends about $8000 or close to 18% of GDP.

Why haven't we fixed it? Good question. In every other developed country, people are used to thinking of heath care as a basic public service, like roads, or public schools, or fire departments. For various historical reasons , this hasn't been the case in the US, and moving health care form the private capitalist sphere to the public sphere requires a change in thinking.

The resistance to change comes from two sources, which reinforce each other. The first is that some people and corporations make lots of money off the current system. They're worried that they won't if it's changed, and have been spending heavily to influence the outcome and keep making money.

The other factor is resurgent conservatism in the US since the late 1970s, which includes a strong anti-government Libertarian streak. It was partly a reaction against some ill-advised government programs in the '60s and '70s, but not merely that. I won't go into all the roots of the idea; suffice it to say that it's a strong part of US politics, particularly in the south and parts of the west. You can see examples here every day. And the US has never had a significant democratic socialist component in politics, nothing like the German Social Democrats or the French Socialists, or even the British Labor Party or the Canadian NDP. Those making money under the current arrangement have every interest in encouraging cynicism about government and hard-core free-market ideology, however irrational.

Eventually, of course, the US heath care system will get expensive and unequal enough that change will be inevitable, but it remains to be seen if that has happened yet. We can only hope that it happens before too much damage is done.

An excellent summary. I would add only one tidbit--the $8,000 per capita is more than a third of the median US family income, based on a four-person household. That would appear to be unsustainable regardless of any reform in methodology.

Milo Christensen
08-12-2009, 10:35 AM
An excellent summary. I would add only one tidbit--the $8,000 per capita is more than a third of the median US family income, based on a four-person household. That would appear to be unsustainable regardless of any reform in methodology.

Dan - Real median household income in 2007 was $50,223 (http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/012528.html).

TomF
08-12-2009, 10:41 AM
...Let's pass a law, in Congress, that a bill can't be longer than five pages. ...You'd simply off-load the details even more into regulations, or break up large but cohesive groups of issues into even more disjointed bits.

I'm all for succinct laws, and think that a 1000 page bill is well over the top. But some bills need to be pretty hefty, to cover the ground.

Eric D
08-12-2009, 10:47 AM
Being one in the medical field, I guess I see things differently than most here. How many of you cared for any and everyone that came through the doors of your private practice or responded to the ER each and every time they called? Was your first question do they have insurance? Will I get paid?

No, your answer is what is the issue, where are they and how may I help.

Of course everyone wishes to be paid for their services and time, but how many of you wrote off 1-3 million PER year for the last several years in charity care???

The issues with health care come from the fact that we must practice defensive medicine since one screw up or missed factoid and everyone wants to instantly become a millionaire. So, to CYA, we order more tests, CT's MRI's etc. to "really make sure" so we can stand in a court of law and try the best of our ability to defend our judgement.

If only practicing medicine was like cooking and all the variables were constant. Often the "mistakes" are due to YOUR own body being an individual, unique creation that can adjust often in ways that science has yet to grapple with. Is that my fault? Am I just lazy or stupid for not knowing an unknown? Should you never have to work again for the rest of your life or your kids either because of this?

Why all the excess?????

Oh yah, because all of us seem to want everything for nothing.

Examples...

Canada. My own father is a citizen of your country. Lives in BC. Tore out his shoulder, had Thoracic Outet Syndrome. Required surgery to remove a rib. Only took the system there 18 months to approve of this. He was only offered 2 months of rehab. So, for 16 months he was not able to lift his arm above his head (pretty tough for a Master carpenter) and was placed on partial disability. Anyone try living for extended time on disability? wow, that is not much....

Isoloated case you say? In the last 3 weeks I have taken care of 3 people who came here on tourist visas and "ended up" having chest pain while in our city, turns out they all needed open heart surgery and were turned down. They all had their bypass surgeries here, all did well, and are now returning home...wonder how/who will pay for that????

As far as all the criticism of our intellectual capacities, our schools, and all the other political crap that has come out in this thread, I do chuckle. One country/person claiming to be superior to another, telling everyone that they are this or that and you are wrong....don't you guys tire of that ever?

One last thing, one of the major issues in America is the fact that anyone who enters an ER will be and MUST be treated. That includes poor, unisured, illegal immigrants, INSURED, Medicare, Medicaid, basically everyone...Facts are right now over 60 % of those going to the ER have no insurance. Who pays? Eventually those with insurance and the tax payers since the rates go up so they can collect from those with money to cover the rest. There are some that advocate that if you don't have a drivers license/green card/visa you should not be treated. Is that what we want? I don't think so....

The answers to these issue are not easy, but greed is the core to this issue and until that is resolved it will always be an issue. But how does any country, especially one that was founded on the prinicples of freedom to choose, pursuit of happiness, now try and limit one sector but not the other on finance? Allow businesses to run rampent, but now try and curtain insurance and medical professionals since of course we all know they are the devil....What happened to the understanding of the fore fathers that this country actually believed in a God, maybe practiced in different ways, but underlying there are moral limits that one must have for themselves, and curtaining them is a must. Now I am not saying that I have the right to curtail you, or for that matter, you to me, but at what point do we say enough???

Hospital system I work with is building like mad, new clinics, wings/wards...what happened to bad economy? what happened to fiscal responsibility? They say that if they don't have the latest and greatest they loose insurance contracts because you and I apparently don't like sitting in an old clinic or old hospital. We demand the best, cost be damned.....but where do they get all the money????

Please take some time to learn before spouting inane comments, as always there are many sides to this issue. Something needs to be done, however, Obama will not get it right because of his insistence to push it so fast without trying to understand all the factors involved.

High C
08-12-2009, 11:09 AM
Thank you, Doctor D.

martin schulz
08-12-2009, 11:11 AM
...we must practice defensive medicine since one screw up or missed factoid and everyone wants to instantly become a millionaire. So, to CYA, we order more tests, CT's MRI's etc. to "really make sure" so we can stand in a court of law and try the best of our ability to defend our judgement.

Ah yes, I forgot about this other US speciality. The right to sue a microwave company for not putting a sign saying "don't dry cats in this microwave" on their products.

Art Read
08-12-2009, 11:19 AM
"Ah yes, I forgot about this other US speciality."

You, and a whole lot of others! Attempting to "fix" U.S. healthcare without corresponding reform of medical malpractice law in this country is an exercise in futility. Both sides know it. Neither wants to acknowledge it. It might help your understanding to consider the professional makeup of the vast majority of our various legislative bodies.

(And Eric D? Allow me to add my thanks to High C's for your well spoken post...)

Tom Montgomery
08-12-2009, 11:26 AM
Martin; Why don't Americans wake up and adopt the kind of national health care system that the rest of the developed world enjoys?

The answer is simple: Unlike you, we do not want to be enslaved by socialism. We also know that your systems are so horrible that any of you with the means and opportunity flee to The Land Of The Free to either avoid dying while waiting on line for medical care or avoid being euthanized by the State.

Pardon me now while I take a break to lunch on some freedom fries.

martin schulz
08-12-2009, 11:32 AM
It might help your understanding to consider the professional makeup of the vast majority of our various legislative bodies.

Is this meant to be ironic or not?

Art Read
08-12-2009, 11:35 AM
Not. Most of our lawmakers started out as lawyers. And remain beholden to their powerful special interest lobby.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-12-2009, 11:39 AM
Is this meant to be ironic or not?

They don't do "irony".

pcford
08-12-2009, 11:43 AM
We British don't understand it either; like you, it seems perfectly obvious that the US "healthcare system" (what system?) needs replacing with a modern system such as developed nations all have.





The wingnuts are out in force...to some extent at the behest of the insurance companies.

The idiocy of some of some of their comments are truly breathtaking. Yesterday, I saw a women, voice quavering, shouting that she does not want this country to turn into Russia.

Did not know that was in the bill. Death panels of course, but turn this country into Russia?

Art Read
08-12-2009, 11:44 AM
(For what it's worth, "Lawmaking" was never never intended to be a "profession" here... Sadly, it has become just that.)

John Smith
08-12-2009, 11:59 AM
It's Americas level of political awareness laid bare.

"Health Care" is just the side show, whats on display is the remarkable level of ignorance, insularity, disinformation, lack of discourse & polarisation, present in the US.
Amen to that.

I think, however, it is deeper.

People tend to believe what they wish to be true, if someone comes on tv and reinforces that belief, with or without facts.

This explains, to me, why so many are so willing to believe, despite much contrary evidence, that Obama is not a natural born citizen.

TomF
08-12-2009, 12:11 PM
...

Canada. My own father is a citizen of your country. Lives in BC. Tore out his shoulder, had Thoracic Outet Syndrome. Required surgery to remove a rib. Only took the system there 18 months to approve of this. He was only offered 2 months of rehab. So, for 16 months he was not able to lift his arm above his head (pretty tough for a Master carpenter) and was placed on partial disability. Anyone try living for extended time on disability? wow, that is not much....

Isoloated case you say? In the last 3 weeks I have taken care of 3 people who came here on tourist visas and "ended up" having chest pain while in our city, turns out they all needed open heart surgery and were turned down. They all had their bypass surgeries here, all did well, and are now returning home...wonder how/who will pay for that????....So Eric, neither of us know the ins and outs of where your father was in the triage system - who was in front of him and why. We agree though, that the 18 months figure is really long.

Presumably, the doctors and the ORs were all booked to capacity during your father's wait - with patients who were in front of him on triage lists. Time in triaged waiting lines in many specialty surgeries is really a function of specialist availability. So,


you're confident that the triage process was wrong, and someone who was judged to be in greater need than your father actually wasn't?
you're comfortable advocating that the College of Physicians and Surgeons should increase the number of residencies that their members will oversee? The doctors' own professional organizations are the gatekeepers, even more than the number of med school seats.
you're saying that the triage system should be dispensed with, and whoever can afford to pay for the procedure first should take an earlier spot in line?
As to your other example, I'm sure there's some medical tourism to the States - we're aware of some. I am unaware, though, of patients being denied necessary open heart surgery in Canada; I am aware that there's some clinical disagreement over whether more or less intrusive therapies (e.g. surgery or stents) give overall better results in some types of cardiac conditions. And that cardiac care in the US has tended towards surgery, while Canada (and other countries) have tended the other way. Our patient outcomes are pretty close ...

John Smith
08-12-2009, 12:18 PM
An interesting article in Salon.com by Camille Paglia

http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2009/08/12/town_halls/

...It isn't conservative rumors or lies that are stopping healthcare legislation; it's the justifiable alarm of an electorate that has been cut out of the loop and is watching its representatives construct a tangled labyrinth for others but not for themselves. No, the airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan -- it's the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves.

One of the biggest lies in all this is that Congress has a plush healthcare plan. They are part of the same Federal Employees Health Benefit program as are postal workers. I have the same Blue Cross options my congressman has.

My co-pays and deductables are killing my budget. I've reached the point where I do not pursue some of my medical needs because I cannot afford my share of the cost.

Please go to the site: http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/planinfo/index.asp

Once at this site, you can click on your state and see what your options are. You will find many choices, a few of which are nationwide and many that are state by state. The advantages are lots of choices, and no one is denied for pre-existing conditions.

My Blue Cross Standard is a $20 co-pay to see my doctor, if that doc's a preferred provider. While I can go to "any" doctor I wish, I can't afford to outside their contracted providers. I then have a 15% copay for medications, after hitting calendar year deductable. I have a 15% copay for diagnostic tests, AFTER hitting a different calendar year deductable.

If this is plush, the rest of the people are in more trouble than I thought.

pcford
08-12-2009, 12:49 PM
Canada. My own father is a citizen of your country. Lives in BC. Tore out his shoulder, had Thoracic Outet Syndrome. Required surgery to remove a rib. Only took the system there 18 months to approve of this. He was only offered 2 months of rehab. So, for 16 months he was not able to lift his arm above his head (pretty tough for a Master carpenter) and was placed on partial disability. Anyone try living for extended time on disability? wow, that is not much....

Isoloated case you say? In the last 3 weeks I have taken care of 3 people who came here on tourist visas and "ended up" having chest pain while in our city, turns out they all needed open heart surgery and were turned down. They all had their bypass surgeries here, all did well, and are now returning home...wonder how/who will pay for that????....

I do a lot of work for a Canadian owned company....have asked and never heard a negative word about their health care system.

There are horror stories on both sides of the border I am sure. Certainly there is on this side.

pcford
08-12-2009, 12:52 PM
He was skilled at sticking tubes up butts, that was his job, in part. But all that money? Where does it go?

There is a little bit more than a guy sticking a tube up your butt. The anesthesia...(same stuff that kill Michael J, by the way) the equipment...they don't give that stuff away, the facility.

John Smith
08-12-2009, 12:52 PM
"Ah yes, I forgot about this other US speciality."

You, and a whole lot of others! Attempting to "fix" U.S. healthcare without corresponding reform of medical malpractice law in this country is an exercise in futility. Both sides know it. Neither wants to acknowledge it. It might help your understanding to consider the professional makeup of the vast majority of our various legislative bodies.

(And Eric D? Allow me to add my thanks to High C's for your well spoken post...)
This puzzles me.

Let's say you are the patient, and your doctor operates while drunk and screws you up for life. You should have no recourse?

Why is a doctor who has been found liable in several suits still practicing?

John Smith
08-12-2009, 12:56 PM
How about some compromise? The greatest fear, and well justified, is that care of a sick person is going to break the bank. Making health care automatic isn't going to drive down cost, it's liable to drive it up.

I had a colonoscopy maybe ten years ago. A good preventative care procedure. It cost, at the time, around a grand, which my insurance picked up. It's probably five grand today. Why, to have a person with a degree spend fifteen minutes with me sticking a tube up my butt is it worth five grand! He was skilled at sticking tubes up butts, that was his job, in part. But all that money? Where does it go?

I had one of those recently. It was more than the grand you had, and my insurance paid it. This year, I'd have to pay 15%, so I'd have to pass on the test.

Glen Longino
08-12-2009, 01:27 PM
How about some compromise? The greatest fear, and well justified, is that care of a sick person is going to break the bank. Making health care automatic isn't going to drive down cost, it's liable to drive it up.

I had a colonoscopy maybe ten years ago. A good preventative care procedure. It cost, at the time, around a grand, which my insurance picked up. It's probably five grand today. Why, to have a person with a degree spend fifteen minutes with me sticking a tube up my butt is it worth five grand! He was skilled at sticking tubes up butts, that was his job, in part. But all that money? Where does it go?

"Why, to have a person with a degree spend fifteen minutes with me sticking a tube up my butt is worth five grand!"

I totally agree.
Next time just let us know. There are at least a dozen of us around here who will be happy to stick a tube up your butt for FREE!:eek::D

John Smith
08-12-2009, 01:28 PM
"Why, to have a person with a degree spend fifteen minutes with me sticking a tube up my butt is worth five grand!"

I totally agree.
Next time just let us know. There are at least a dozen of us around here who will be happy to stick a tube up your butt for FREE!:eek::D
Yeah, I always wanted to fix a transmission :D old tv ad.

Actually, one is not paying the doc so much for inserting the tube, but for knowing where and how to do so.

John Smith
08-12-2009, 01:30 PM
Here's a thought. If we could change our educational system so the doctors and nurses, etc. don't come out of school buried in deep debt, maybe all the costs would come down considerably.

Pugwash
08-12-2009, 01:31 PM
Actually, one is not paying the doc so much for inserting the tube, but for knowing where and how to do so.

I'm not sure you need a medical degree for the "where".

:)

htom
08-12-2009, 02:30 PM
There are a couple of things intertwined in this ... situation.

Thing one: The medical care available to a patient in the USA is probably the best in the world. If it's not, it's damn close to the best.

Thing two: The way we pay for this care (at least the licensed care; the local shaman herbalist takes only cash) is totally screwed up.

Thing three: The insurance companies make money by ... any way they can. They lobby Congress to be allowed to continue to do this.

Thing four: Big pharmacological companies make money by ... ditto. "Treatments" that do not "cure" seem to be their specialty. They lobby Congress, too.

Thing five: Congress wants to be seen to be "doing something", but they don't want to be blamed for anything that might go wrong. Hence, generate bills so complex that no one can understand them, pass them before they're published, and let the courts effectively write the law by choosing between sub^n-clauses in whatever worst-case problem gets to them first.

Keith's summary was actually pretty good.

Eric D
08-12-2009, 02:30 PM
If your doctor was competent, careful, and conservative, then a chunk of the money went for the salaries of the two nurses he had in the procedure room for him... another chunk went to the hospital, which provided the facility, and who maintains the equipment (that tube shoved up your butt costs around $20,000, and doesn't last forever.... the monitors that the doctor watched as he examined your interior might have cost another $20,000... then there's the cost of the basic monitor that was keeping tabs on your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and so on).... another chunk went to insurance, both for the hospital or clinic, as well as for malpractice insurance for the doctor.

What's left over goes to your doctor, from which he probably pays his own office staff and overhead.

Does he earn too much? Well, let's see.... a hot bond trader working for Goldman Sachs can earn $100M a year, and most conservatives will argue that he's worth whatever the market will bear. Why is it any different for a doctor? Unlike the bond trader, he probably spent 12-15 years getting educated, and graduated with $200K in loans to pay off... and all the time, suffered the potential risk of not making the grade, and losing that investment.


You made me laugh when I read this, you are actually quite correct in most of this. Except the scope costs over 100,000 in most cases :D

Also forgotten in this are the Medicare comments of "Usual and Customary" charge should only be 2000, of which they will only pay 80% IF and that is the biggest word IF you have every single I and T crossed and dotted or else you sit in a 3-6 month limbo and IF you don't get it resolved fast enough they might chose to just disqualify it completely (remember, it is up to several local Medicare certified insurance companies to oversee this and they can change the rules according to regionality)

Oh, and don't forget the "withhold" that the hospital charges the docs for the priviledge for ramming the scope in THEIR facility, that is usually only about 40-60% depending on your deal and volume at their facility....in the end, Doc makes maybe 1-2 hundred tops for all the risk and liability....But damn them, they are rich and greedy and need to be stopped for their guttony......

one question....how come all the hospitals are NOT for PROFIT? yet seem to have all of it????

fix that first....

TomF
08-12-2009, 02:35 PM
You made me laugh when I read this, you are actually quite correct in most of this. Except the scope costs over 100,000 in most cases :D

Also forgotten in this are the Medicare comments of "Usual and Customary" charge should only be 2000, of which they will only pay 80% IF and that is the biggest word IF you have every single I and T crossed and dotted or else you sit in a 3-6 month limbo and IF you don't get it resolved fast enough they might chose to just disqualify it completely (remember, it is up to several local Medicare certified insurance companies to oversee this and they can change the rules according to regionality)

Oh, and don't forget the "withhold" that the hospital charges the docs for the priviledge for ramming the scope in THEIR facility, that is usually only about 40-60% depending on your deal and volume at their facility....in the end, Doc makes maybe 1-2 hundred tops for all the risk and liability....But damn them, they are rich and greedy and need to be stopped for their guttony......

one question....how come all the hospitals are NOT for PROFIT? yet seem to have all of it????

fix that first....One common way to fix it is to have publicly owned hospitals and capital equipment. The amortization and operating costs are still paid, but not with a view to generating profit.

Works all over the developed world ...

Keith Wilson
08-12-2009, 02:49 PM
Thing one: The medical care available to a patient in the USA is probably the best in the world. If it's not, it's damn close to the best.

Thing two: The way we pay for this care (at least the licensed care; the local shaman herbalist takes only cash) is totally screwed up.

Thing three: The insurance companies make money by ... any way they can. They lobby Congress to be allowed to continue to do this.

Thing four: Big pharmacological companies make money by ... ditto. "Treatments" that do not "cure" seem to be their specialty. They lobby Congress, too.

Thing five: Congress wants to be seen to be "doing something", but they don't want to be blamed for anything that might go wrong. Hence, generate bills so complex that no one can understand them, pass them before they're published, and let the courts effectively write the law by choosing between sub^n-clauses in whatever worst-case problem gets to them first.


http://www.drseussgoestocollege.com/graphics/things.gif:D:D


One through four are dead-on accurate. Five - I dunno, let's see what happens. They haven't passed anything yet, and since health care policy affects almost everybody, not getting blamed simply isn't an option. There is a some incentive to pass something that actually works, if they want to stay in office.

Pugwash
08-12-2009, 03:44 PM
Thing one: The medical care available to a patient in the USA is probably the best in the world. If it's not, it's damn close to the best.

The problem is identifying which patient it is.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-12-2009, 04:33 PM
We British don't understand it either; like you, it seems perfectly obvious that the US "healthcare system" (what system?) needs replacing with a modern system such as developed nations all have.

The limit for us in Britain was reached yesterday when a US newspaper told its readers that Professor Stephen Hawking, who has motor nurone disease, "would be allowed to die if he lived in Britain because the NHS would not care for him".

Professor Hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.

Cambridge University is in England.

Professor Hawking is cared for by the NHS.

:confused::rolleyes::eek:

Just in case you thought I was making this up, here is Professor Hawking's reply:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/aug/12/birthers-stephen-hawking-paul-rowen

Keith Wilson
08-12-2009, 04:39 PM
Stephen Hawking says:
I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-12-2009, 04:57 PM
He was given "months" to live, twenty years ago.

In the USA, he would be without coverage, bankrupt, and dead.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-12-2009, 05:02 PM
Some more awkward facts, courtesy of our leading RIGHT WING newspaper:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6018237/Barack-Obama-health-plan-how-US-Right-wing-claims-about-NHS-have-been-answered.html

John Smith
08-12-2009, 06:22 PM
You made me laugh when I read this, you are actually quite correct in most of this. Except the scope costs over 100,000 in most cases :D

Also forgotten in this are the Medicare comments of "Usual and Customary" charge should only be 2000, of which they will only pay 80% IF and that is the biggest word IF you have every single I and T crossed and dotted or else you sit in a 3-6 month limbo and IF you don't get it resolved fast enough they might chose to just disqualify it completely (remember, it is up to several local Medicare certified insurance companies to oversee this and they can change the rules according to regionality)

Oh, and don't forget the "withhold" that the hospital charges the docs for the priviledge for ramming the scope in THEIR facility, that is usually only about 40-60% depending on your deal and volume at their facility....in the end, Doc makes maybe 1-2 hundred tops for all the risk and liability....But damn them, they are rich and greedy and need to be stopped for their guttony......

one question....how come all the hospitals are NOT for PROFIT? yet seem to have all of it????

fix that first....
My mom NEVER had such an experience with Medicare, but I've had it with my Blue Cross, so what's your point?

Eric D
08-13-2009, 12:10 PM
My mom NEVER had such an experience with Medicare, but I've had it with my Blue Cross, so what's your point?

John, I am not talking about YOUR mother, I am talking about what happens on THIS side of the exam table to the health care professionals.

Most people NEVER see or hear about that side, only care about themselves and how they were screwed because the bill was so high, but they never understand how it all breaks down.

Dan McCosh
08-14-2009, 12:31 PM
Back to Norm's answer, let's give the doc 300 bucks an hour, the one nurse 50, the room and equipment another 200. The drugs another 20. Today's values, not ten years ago. That's 570 an hour. Let's round it off to 600. Now divide by the quarter hour it took, multiply that by two because there's time in there for prep, and I come up with 300 bucks. I ask again, where's the money going? I couldn't make a living as a carpenter charging that way.


Last time I had a serious medical procedure done the surgeon's fee worked out to $4,000 an hour, not $300. That assumes a half-day of time, rather than the actual hour it took for the operation. That excluded all the hospital, x-ray, specialist charges, etc., which were billed separately. Later I discovered that more than 80% of this fee went to the owner of the clinic, rather than the surgeon who performed the operation. At some point, the idea of trying to perform a service for a single individual, and charge what the average American makes in a year for a day's work does become a difficult model to sustain.
The total charges for that experience did, in fact, exceed my entire annual after-tax income that year by a substantial margin.

George Roberts
08-14-2009, 12:40 PM
Last time I had a serious medical procedure done the surgeon's fee worked out to $4,000 an hour, not $300. That assumes a half-day of time, rather than the actual hour it took for the operation. That excluded all the hospital, x-ray, specialist charges, etc., which were billed separately. Later I discovered that more than 80% of this fee went to the owner of the clinic, rather than the surgeon who performed the operation. At some point, the idea of trying to perform a service for a single individual, and charge what the average American makes in a year for a day's work does become a difficult model to sustain.
The total charges for that experience did, in fact, exceed my entire annual after-tax income that year by a substantial margin.

$4K/hour at 2000 hours/year is $8 million per year. That would suggest that somewhere the model you are using breaks down. (I suspect there is a huge amount of required overhead involved in health care that most people ignore.)

If that is the actual cost of health care, perhaps no one can afford necessary health care. But if that is the value of health care - I have been chastised for saying $5K was more than I was willing to pay, perhaps one should not complain.

Dan McCosh
08-14-2009, 12:48 PM
$4K/hour at 2000 hours/year is $8 million per year. That would suggest that somewhere the model you are using breaks down. (I suspect there is a huge amount of required overhead involved in health care that most people ignore.)

If that is the actual cost of health care, perhaps no one can afford necessary health care. But if that is the value of health care - I have been chastised for saying $5K was more than I was willing to pay, perhaps one should not complain.

That was not for health care--that was for one surgeon. The numbers are real.

MiddleAgesMan
08-14-2009, 01:36 PM
I had pretty good insurance throughout my working years, especially the last ten years with one employer. My share of the premium was reasonable and I was never hounded by providers--the insurance paid their part and I paid mine.

That job went away in May so now I'm doing the COBRA thing. Thanks to the legislation Obama signed in February the premiums aren't out of sight--$155 per month. But after nine months they will jump to about $450 per month and if I can keep up with the premiums I can continue on COBRA for another nine months.

At that point I will be uninsurable for a period of about 5 months when Medicare will take over.

And I'm one of the lucky ones. :(

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-14-2009, 01:39 PM
Whoa, some carpola just stuck to the wall. Yes we have a great healthcare system for most of us, but a quick look at life expectancy tables revels that just about all of those singel payer countries live longer. The Irish are an exception. The poor countries where you have to wait in line while your tumer grows, England, France, Germany and Canada all live longer than us. Maybe standing in line out in the fresh air is good for them.

Ireland is the odd man out only because it used to be poorer than the others (not any more, happily)

Dan McCosh
08-14-2009, 01:49 PM
I had pretty good insurance throughout my working years, especially the last ten years with one employer. My share of the premium was reasonable and I was never hounded by providers--the insurance paid their part and I paid mine.

That job went away in May so now I'm doing the COBRA thing. Thanks to the legislation Obama signed in February the premiums aren't out of sight--$155 per month. But after nine months they will jump to about $450 per month and if I can keep up with the premiums I can continue on COBRA for another nine months.

At that point I will be uninsurable for a period of about 5 months when Medicare will take over.

And I'm one of the lucky ones. :(

FWIW, Cobra for me would have been $1,500 per month, and catastrophic insurance ($4,000 deductible) now has been rising with two consecutive 20% rate hikes this year alone.

jbelow
08-16-2009, 10:21 PM
It is good that the BO/Democrap healthcare bill is seen by America as a big cowflop of a plan. It is good for America that BO does not succeed !

Milo Christensen
08-16-2009, 10:41 PM
What is going on in Massachusetts? (http://www.bostonherald.com/jobfind/news/healthcare/view/20090815bay_states_four_largest_health_insurers_po st_losses/srvc=home&position=also) Health insurance required of all, but the four biggest health insurance companies all lost money in the 2nd quarter.

Must be lying about their losses. Obama has repeatedly attacked health insurers for their "outrageous" profits. But Obama wants to model health insurance reform on Massachusetts?

Won't that be great, require everybody to buy insurance from a private company and they'll all lose money and have to have gigantic government bailouts in the next recession? Truly bizarre way to end up with single payer health care, but if that's what it takes, that's what it takes.

elf
08-17-2009, 05:37 AM
Maybe their definition of making money is wrong. $1million executive bonuses kinda take a big piece out of the balance sheet.

Dan McCosh
08-17-2009, 06:12 AM
Health "insurance" doesn't produce anything, and profits are kind of meaningless. The business is managing transfer payments, and the "profits" are how much is skimmed off the top. The costs and profits are ilntermingled, in effect, and the salaries are the profits. Income vs. outgo should be as low as possible.

downthecreek
08-17-2009, 06:56 AM
Some more awkward facts, courtesy of our leading RIGHT WING newspaper:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6018237/Barack-Obama-health-plan-how-US-Right-wing-claims-about-NHS-have-been-answered.html

The "no care for the old" is very rich.

My pa died of esophageal cancer at the age of 89. There was no real hope of a cure. The survival rate for this illness is very low, wherever you are treated. However, he was offered surgery, but advised against it, because it is a huge, complex operation and he would probably not have survived. He did, however, receive radiotherapy, chemotherapy, regular laser treatment to maintain his swallowing as long as possible and two stents - all designed to give his as long as possible in a reasonably tolerable condition. This was exactly the same treatment offered to others 10 or 20 years younger who attended the same clinic.

My mother is 94 and is treated most actively and assiduously for two chronic conditions, managed by her GP and the teaching hospital where she is an outpatient. She has had a cataract removed and some very delicate vascular surgery in the five years. When she broke her femur at the age of 88 she also received not only excellent surgical treatment but also a long course of treatment from the community physiotherapist, as well as advice and help with minor adaptations at home from the community occupational therapist.

All systems have their problems and the NHS is no exception, but, really....... :rolleyes:

PeterSibley
08-17-2009, 07:18 AM
I fear my tag is very much to the point here .

.....I could tell the same story as Downthecreek regarding my own mother , also in here early 90's ....but I doubt anyone who doesn't want to see will do so .

Art Read
08-17-2009, 07:59 AM
Just out of curiosity... What were the salaries for the Skippers of Fannie and Freddy over the past few years?

John Smith
08-17-2009, 08:35 AM
What is going on in Massachusetts? (http://www.bostonherald.com/jobfind/news/healthcare/view/20090815bay_states_four_largest_health_insurers_po st_losses/srvc=home&position=also) Health insurance required of all, but the four biggest health insurance companies all lost money in the 2nd quarter.

Must be lying about their losses. Obama has repeatedly attacked health insurers for their "outrageous" profits. But Obama wants to model health insurance reform on Massachusetts?

Won't that be great, require everybody to buy insurance from a private company and they'll all lose money and have to have gigantic government bailouts in the next recession? Truly bizarre way to end up with single payer health care, but if that's what it takes, that's what it takes.
If the health insurance industry is able to spend $1.4 a day to defeat reform, I find it extremely hard to believe than anyone in that business is losing money.

How much to you think my premiums will go up next year to cover the cost of their lobbyists this year?

As I just posted elsewhere, I think it was a mistake to try to do everything in one bill. I believe we could pass legislation that just improve the present rules for the patients.

In a separate piece of legislation we could address getting everyone covered. I think the primary role of a government option could be supplemental to my private insurance, to cover the co-pays and deductibles. I also think that simply opening Medicare to the uninsured would be a viable idea.

Long term, I find it difficult to enthusiastically support any reform that keeps insurance connected to work. This, IMO, flies in the face of efforts to make our businesses competitive with those in other countries.

I view the overall concept as climbing a set of stairs. Can't jump to the top immediately, so we build a staircase and go up a step at a time. First step is to improve the patient bill of rights under current system. Second step would be to get everyone covered (then we don't need medical on our car insurance).

As each step proves successful, there will be more support for taking the next step.

If the dems, in a separate piece of legislation, with or without republican support, simply eliminate pre-existing conditions from preventing one from getting insurance, prohibit the dropping of a member when he is ill, get rid of the pre-certification requirements, which are just a means for the company to not pay, and insure that everyone in a participating hospital is a participating provider, or has to accept payment as if they were a participating provider, I think all the insured people would appreciate it.

I also think this would be sufficiently simple so as to be done in two weeks.

This done, I think the public at large would be much more receptive to taking the next step.

George Roberts
08-17-2009, 09:10 AM
That was not for health care--that was for one surgeon. The numbers are real.

As I said the numbers do not appear to be correct - the surgeon is not earning $8 million/year net of expenses. You should reconsider your assumptions.

You told us the cost for the health care (the surgeon's portion). You did not tell us the value of that health care. Was the procedure worth it to you?