Healthcare Debate in USA


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from out where the anecdotes roam
Mar 7, 2018 - 08:35pm PT
what you can get rid of, if you enact Medicare

how about landmark skyscrapers throughout the country buzzing with frenzied coverage deny-ers. insurance companies are the pyramid builders of our time

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Mar 7, 2018 - 09:07pm PT
I'm (so far) one of the lucky participants in the criminal enterprise that is our health "insurance" system. Lucky, in that I qualify for the ACA subsidies and can actually afford coverage. Without it, the policy my wife and I have would cost $2,000/month, for a plan with a $5,250 deductible and a $6,500 out of pocket limit (the latter of which I hit every year). That's the cheapest plan available in the state of Alaska.

This may sound like a crummy plan, but considering that I've accrued nearly $440,000 in medical bills for cancer treatment over the past 22 months, and the insurance company isn't allowed to deny any procedures (btw thanks really- thanks.), it seems like a steal, and I can manage that out of pocket expense, inconvenient as it might be.

Nonetheless...the fact that so many people (who make slightly more money than I) do not qualify for the subsidies and cannot afford coverage is a travesty, especially in consideration of the outrageous cost of medical treatment for pretty much everything.

I don't pretend to know what the best system might be, but what we have now is not it, and I say this in spite of the fact that I'm benefiting from it. The greater interests of society are not served in any capacity when so many people are unable to afford the care that they need, and when insurance companies serve as a profit-driven middle man to which our congressional leaders (of both parties) are beholden to serving.

Social climber
Mar 8, 2018 - 07:27am PT
the farther left the demands made are the great their support among the electorate.

this is far from a 'do nothing' place. we need to either force the left positions into the mouths of our representatives and the policy they support or we need to run them out so that representatives who will and do will take those seat and assume our side in the legislative battle which are currently occupied by individuals who are signaling just how much of our best interest their willing to compromise on

if you don't have a seat at the table, your on the menu...

Mar 8, 2018 - 07:57am PT
Right now, the #1 priority should be to flip the legislature and save our republic from president trump and an acquiescent congress. Until that happens, followed by replacement of him as executive, everything else is a pipe dream.

Social climber
Mar 8, 2018 - 08:01am PT
and yet right now the democratic leadership is spending money smearing candidates who talk like Bernie and warren.

the talking heads they prefer are telling the party that the leftists need to shut up because winning the house is so important that loyality is owed to the less preferred candidates?!?!

Mar 8, 2018 - 09:24am PT
Well that’s slightly different from what I’m saying. But I would advocate supporting the most progressive electable candidate in each race. In many areas—such as the south— that would mean supporting a fairly conservative Democrat (e.g. Joe Manchin in West Virginia). Right now, with the rule of law being threatened, I don’t think the party has the luxury of stretching its wings ideologically.

Social climber
Mar 8, 2018 - 12:48pm PT

when its clearly shown that leftist adventurism is presently the best way to bolster the base voting against conservatism?

Mar 8, 2018 - 03:42pm PT
Luxury. Pie in the sky. Won’t happen until our government rights itself, at least 3 years from now.

Edit: and I say that wishing we could have policy discussions about healthcare and other important issues. But right now, we simply need to exercise damage control and keep the ship from sinking.

Mountain climber
Mar 9, 2018 - 07:35pm PT
Thank you guys/girls for an enlightening and (mostly) civil discussion. Quite a few interesting facts were discussed and quite a few good ideas were proposed.

Unfortunately many of you have distorted perception of Canadian Health Care system.
So I take liberty to clarify some misconception.

Canadian teaching institutions do not produce enough physicians to meet demands …
At least in Ontario College of Surgeons and Physicians (it’s a doctors’ trade union) has a major say in how many new doctors are required. They do not want to overproduce doctors to have a guaranteed pay. As soon as a certain percent of freshly minted doctors “unexpectedly” emigrates to greener pastures down there we have doctors’ shortage.

OK, this case need some details.
This did happen in Quebec.
In this particular case overworked doctors asked to hire more doctors by their hospital (to decrease their workload) instead of a nominal pay increase.

single payer Medicare has overhead costs of about 2%,
private plans keep as much as 50% to pay out in profits
Actually in Canada “Administrative cost” is 6% while in the US it’s 19%.
Recently I read an article on health care and these numbers are still fresh in my memory (I apologize I do not remember the source).
It means that US health care system can’t be fixed by only eliminating private insurance companies.
A problem of obscene hospital prices should be also addressed.
I still remember from my BCBS training, that doctors’ offices are responsible for largest portion of fraud (the same as in Canada).

Ken M:
most Canadians who are immensely proud of their health care system.
Yes, propaganda departments are very good up here.
As a result many young Canadians believe that we have a superior Health Care system.
At the same time people of my age (who acquired some real life experience with this system) are envious of what you have down there.

>>>>health care in the US has become a world wide laughing stock.
remember michael moores sicko?
Sicko is just propaganda by clueless (?) Michael Moore.
More than 50% of US population have access to Health Care that is envy to an average Canadian with real health issues.

Plus, pardon the thread drift, we both know the absurdity of the coding system.
Such coding system is used in all single payer countries, including Canada.
I am not familiar with another effective way to fight price gauging.

Somebody said something in praise of the VA. I thank my stars I've not seen
the inside of one since the 70's, period. Not a pretty sight. They've got
to be better these days as they couldn't be worse.
You need to pay more attention to VA.
Among all US healthcare programs, VA probably is the most similar to what we have in Canada.
Yes, similar to VA, healthcare in Canada is not getting better.
You can extrapolate current VA state to 10 to 20 years into the future to understand what you should expect from coming US single payer system.

Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Mar 9, 2018 - 08:04pm PT
You can extrapolate current VA state to 10 to 20 years into the future to understand what you should expect from coming US single payer system

Yury, we have a pretty good idea how it works. Medicare is not that bad, I’ve heard.

But, I agree that the high cost of medical insurance is mostly caused by overpriced health services and medications.


Mountain climber
Mar 9, 2018 - 08:20pm PT
But, I agree that the high cost of medical insurance is mostly caused by overpriced health services and medications.
One more cause is unnecessary tests and procedures.
On a healthcare forum I started reading a few years ago:
- typical American concern is about unneeded tests and procedures,
- typical Canadian concern is about waiting time and ability to get access to some new expensive procedures, that were not either approved or fully rolled out in Canada.

You can't have all three:
- good
- fast
- cheap

Social climber
Mar 10, 2018 - 05:08am PT

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