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Medical Plans, Health Costs ...


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#1 MaraM

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 10:32 PM

This is all dc3's fault I'm starting this thread! :thumbsup:

Lots of reasons are given for health care being so expensive and at times simply unavailable to many. Is it a 'right' or a priviledge for citizens to have health care, paid for by their taxes and a nominal 'same cost for everyone' health plan?
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#2 dc3

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 11:55 AM

This is all dc3's fault I'm starting this thread! :thumbsup:

Lots of reasons are given for health care being so expensive and at times simply unavailable to many. Is it a 'right' or a priviledge for citizens to have health care, paid for by their taxes and a nominal 'same cost for everyone' health plan?


Well since it's my fault that you started this thread then I feel obligated to help get it started.

A health system paid for through taxes and a nominal cost sounds like social medicine. This has it's up sides and it's down sides. It addresses all of the people who need help, but there may be limited access to specialist and equipment like MRIs, I will look for supporting documentation for the doubting Thomas out there, but it will have to wait till later, the lawn needs my attention before it gets too hot and completes the job of scrambling my brains. :flowers:

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#3 ussr1943

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 12:17 PM

My stance:
"The persuit of LIFE Liberty and the Persuit of happiness."

EDIT: I realize I didnt really specify what I meant. I think we are all entitled to healthcare, as long as we are doing our duty to our nation/community the nantion should take care of our health.

Edited by ussr1943, 07 July 2007 - 01:48 PM.

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#4 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 12:28 PM

People who dont work because they dont want to dont deserve health care or food stamps for that matter and its not fair to make people pay to house people like that. Laziness should not be rewarded as it is in the USA.

We have illegals come in our country and are able to get better health care than us because they cannot turn anyone away. Maybe we should all become mexican citizens and come back to the USA illegally then we can get the same health care as the ones who dont pay taxes.

The Health care system needs to be redone so it works for the people not the lazy and illegal. The illegals costs us billions every year and we just dont do anything about it.

#5 dc3

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 01:30 PM

CGM...the problem is that we are going to have to deal with these indigents on one level or another. As I mentioned in another thread, the people who can't afford to go to see a doctor will wait until they are in serious condition which will cost much more than it would have in most cases had they gone in when it could have been treated on a outpatient basis. It doesn't matter which way you look at it, we the tax payers are going to foot the bill, so why not make health care available to all and stop these expensive stays in the hospital that could have been prevented.

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#6 mommabear

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 02:27 PM

Not all of us are indigent or lazy. We simply cannot afford health insurance. We don't get any help with employer provided plans, we have pre-existing conditions (and age) that push private health insurance premiums out of reach. We are working, but our income is not considered poverty level to qualify for any state assisted health plans. We are SOL.

Edited by mommabear, 07 July 2007 - 02:28 PM.


#7 MaraM

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 04:06 PM

I honestly can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to not have full medical coverage, mommabear, especially when working and doing the very best possible. It must be down right scary living day to day with possible massive medical costs that could loom at any time!

In a different thread, we wandered onto this topic as well, and I hope no one minds my paraphrasing myself from earlier ...

Earlier, dc3 mentioned people with insufficient coverage or people without any at all often put off seeing the doctor until they absolutely must - resulting in the 'train wreck syndrome'. Truly horrible - yes, for the financial costs involved for something that may have been treated early and/or prevented - but far worse surely for the patients themselves.

I honestly and firmly believe that all citizens are entititled to proper health care at a reasonable price, regardless of their health at the time they are receiving coverage.

Wonder how priorities wandered 'so far off'. First, take care of the citizens who pay the taxes and make the countries what they are - and worry about giving away the millions upon millions and 'forgiving' outstanding massive loans far later - after 'our own houses' are put in order.

- - -
I wonder if it wouldn't make far better sense medically as well as financially to have a 'triage' center at each emergency room that is a tad different than most are now. Those that are not in need of true emergency care are simply not treated in the expensive hospital environment at all. Rather, they could be sent to a 'walk in clinic' environment for treatment. Yes, it would still cost money to treat everyone, but surely not a fraction of what it costs the way our systems are run now.
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#8 BlackSpyder

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 04:10 PM

Many young adults (well I'm on the upper end of this range now) like myself dont have insurance because our employers look at the larger workforce which is higher paid and sets the policy by what the average employee can almost afford. Meanwhile the younger employees are forced to either swallow the price tag, get their own insurance (usually at a lower rate but not much lower), or do without (which is what I do).

The Insurance industry in general is a joke. I see no reason for it to cost a 23 year old male with no health issues, no tobacco use, who hasnt been to the Doctor's office (outside of drug tests and physicals) in the last 5 years $125USD a month with a $1000 deductible and thas only for Health care no Eye or dental included.

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#9 mommabear

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 09:31 PM

MaraM:

I wonder if it wouldn't make far better sense medically as well as financially to have a 'triage' center at each emergency room that is a tad different than most are now. Those that are not in need of true emergency care are simply not treated in the expensive hospital environment at all. Rather, they could be sent to a 'walk in clinic' environment for treatment. Yes, it would still cost money to treat everyone, but surely not a fraction of what it costs the way our systems are run now.


Most public hospitals do that already...not sure about for-profit hospitals though. The "clinic" part is usually right next to or very nearby the emergency room. Several years ago I went to the clinic/emergency for a bladder infection, after trying the at-home cranberry juice remedy for a couple of days. Women know about those.

It cost almost $200, for the labs (pee in a cup), and a prescription for the antibiotic and those wonderful little brown pills that stop the spasms that make your eyes roll into the top of your head. A few years later I got another one and went back. The admitting nurse at the desk took pity on me when I said we had no insurance. She said are you sure it's a bladder infection? I said yes. So what she did was talk to a doctor, he wrote the script and I got my antibiotic and wonderful little brown pills, for about $35. I left with the promise that if I didn't get better, I would come back, because some infections are more serious than others. I have no idea what the full cost would have been that time, but I'm sure it would have been higher than the other time.

Truthfully, except for saving the money for "emergency" doctors that would see you, and the "emergency" cubicles you still wait in, the cost for medical care is still prohibitive for a lot of people. I mean, I had no choice by that time but to go for help, but if a simple bladder infection costs over $200 in a clinic, forget about any kind of routine yearly checkup or something like that at a regular doctor's office.

My husband has to go to a cardiologist every year to get his blood pressure prescriptions renewed. This doctor was referred to us by an out of state hospital when he had problems with his other BP medications on a vacation, ended up in the hospital, and was told to see a cardiologist when we got back home. Turned out the old BP medications didn't work in high altitude...so he was okay after all...after an $8000 bill for that.

Anyway, of course on his first visit for the complete checkup, that was an arm and a leg. Although I don't remember exactly how much now. But because the doctor knows we don't have insurance, unless he notices something or the hubby complains of something, he skips the yearly cardiogram so we can save the money. It's basically, hi, how ya feeling? "Pretty good." while the doctor takes his BP. And then the hubby walks out with his prescriptions and that office call is "only" $90.

I just finished paying off a hospital bill from 2004. Another one will be paid off this month. That one only took about 8 months to pay off. Both for the husband.

I haven't seen the inside of a doctor's office for anything in 25+ years. I guess I've been lucky. I managed to get through menopause without any hormones. Which might be a good thing now that we're hearing about all the cancer associated with hormones. I did do something to my right knee a few years back. Hyper-extended it or something when stepping off a ladder and missing that last rung. I just put myself in a knee brace from the drugstore for about 8 months, and worked with it by exercising and stretching it, until I could walk normal again.

We're still too young for Medicare. With the hubby's health history and our ages now (63 and 62) private insurance would run us upwards of $800 to a $1000 a month, (maybe more now) if we can even get it. And the deductibles would be astronomical, I'm sure.

It's kind of ironic in a way, because it wouldn't pay us to get insurance unless we did end up with some horrible disease or injury that would tally up hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills. For us, hospital and doctor bills when we are forced to do it, are like having a car payment for a second car that never gets paid off.

Sorry, I tend to rattle on when this subject comes up. :thumbsup:

#10 MaraM

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 11:05 PM

Wow, I'm stunned. Honestly.

First, that someone young and healthy like yourself, BlackSpyder, would have to pay that much for basic (no extended health care) coverage - and the deductable!!!

And mommabear - how does the average person possible pay those kind of fees incurred?!! I think I'd be weeping into my beer (drat that I don't drink beer, but that's beside the point!) at the very thought of it.

And wow, the medical tests are sure expensive!!! A friend visiting from England forgot to take out traveller's insurance (ugh!!) and we dragged him off to our family doctor when he became ill. No insurance so the fee was $55.00 ... cost $35.00 for the blood test to be done at a local lab and then just needed antibiotics thankfully.

I think I'm just truly puzzled. I read about why health care is so expensive in the States and please do correct me if I've misunderstood something ...

Everyone who applies to health insurance privately (not through a company group plan) pays a rate per month set down by the insurance companies themself? Example - high premiums for someone healthy like you, BlackSpyder, and beyond the capability of the average person to pay if they are ill at time of applying or elderly?

And if people can afford the premiums, they can still be turned down for coverage?

And most insurance plans/hospitals are run/owned by private companies?

I'm not trying to be obtuse here but simply struggling to understand ... Why would a private company take this on if they didn't expect to make a huge profit? (And I would think that's after they pay huge, huge wages to the 'top people').

So ... if money is there to be made, wouldn't it make better sense to have the government run/own things so 'normal wages' could be paid to the 'top people' and the citizens receive better/more available health care - and the government still make a profit?

I know I could be wrong but when I hear of people blaming 'overweight' people as the 'biggest problem' or any of the other reasons I've heard about what is wrong with the health system, I'm ever so inclined to agree with dc3 when she says, " It doesn't matter which way you look at it, we the tax payers are going to foot the bill, so why not make health care available to all and stop these expensive stays in the hospital that could have been prevented" - and perhaps the core of the problem lies within the system itself rather than the people?

(If it's any consulation, private companies are doing their darnest to get a foot hold in our health care system here in Canada too - eep!).
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#11 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 11:15 PM

I am not talking about the ones who cant afford it thats another story. I am talking about the people who sit on their porches all day and do NO work get free food from food stamps and free housing. Then us who work have to pay for them and the laziness.

What I am saying is we need a new policy. We know a guy or my dad does that was unable to read. He got like 400 a month maybe more for his dissability. Well he learned to read even with his problem. He went to take a test(to see if he could read) and failed it on purpose so he could keep those 400 dollar checks coming in each month.

Yes health care needs to be affordable to everyone.

These doctors who charge a arm and a leg to fix a scratch need to be sued fired or whatever it takes to get the cost down down down.

My dad had to pay 125? 200? for a hepatitis shot. I got mine free for being on medicaid plan. Why should stuff like this cost so much? Why should a dentist visit cost 200 bucks and taking wisdom teeth out 1000 or more? Why 125 a month for health care? Why not 20 bucks?

A lot of this can go back to people being unhealthy just like WE pay for the bad drivers. Every time someone has a accident we pay for it. Every time someone sue's someone over nothing WE pay for it. Money doesnt come out of thin air.

Its a big pot so to speak. We all put in together to help each other. One person gets sick the pot can handle it with little being put in. You get a lot of people taking from the pot the cost to keep the pot full costs more per person.

More healthy americans and cheaper medical costs are what we need! Why does a bottle of vitamins cost 120 bucks? My sister takes some and thats how much they cost. For like 60 pills too!

I get tired of arguing and just talking on this stuff. I want to know what can we do to fix it, what are you going to do? We must work together to solve these type problems not just wine and complain and do nothing about it

Edited by cowsgonemadd3, 07 July 2007 - 11:17 PM.


#12 dc3

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 11:19 PM

Mommabear, What you just described is typical of the working middle class of America, and this is exacerbated by the cost of drugs that the insurance won't cover.

What really bothers me is as wealthy as we are here in America and with some of the leading technology in the world the World Health Organization ranks us as 37th in the world for health care. Just for the record France and Italy are the number one and two on the list.

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#13 dc3

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 11:39 PM

MaraM, Insurance is a scam here in America, I have often wondered if the lawyers and insurance companies are in cahoots with each other. Insurance companies have the right to deny a policy because of a preexisting condition. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, insurance companies are dictating what medical procedures, exams, and medications the doctors can use.

Think of what the future holds for us if insurance companies continue in the same manner, with the mysteries of the human genome understood and modern medicine being able to tell who will be genetically predisposed to certain diseases all it will take will be a simple blood test to determine what each persons future genetic health risk will be. Insurance companies can now demand that you have a medical exam before writing a policy, image how much this will enhance their profits being able to decline a patient for a known preexisting congenital problem that hasn't even manifested itself.

One of my favorite responses to the question of "is that right" is no, but it's true.

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#14 BlackSpyder

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 11:42 PM

Its amazing isnt it. I drop $200USD in tests a year for work (annual DOT physical and optional Drug test from the companies doctor, the drug test reduces my chances of being pulled for a random by 50%, Im in the system twice since I have a CDL and am a mechanic where everyone else is in there once, got pulled 3 times in 3 months before, havent got pulled since). I dont get reimbursed by the company since i get to take it off my taxes at the end of the year. Anyway back to my point..... I get a clean bill of health every year and the only known medical issues I have a some "minor" joint deterioration from 4 years of wrestling in HS (what knocks the price up).

IMHO. If you want to fix the system we need to look at how Canada (because I really love your system) and European countries with Government run(Medicare "ish") or controlled (prices and practices kept in check) systems.

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#15 MaraM

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 12:40 AM

To know that the incredible United States is ranked that low - egad, the people in power should be hanging their heads in shame! (Please don't be angry with that comment - it's just it's stunningly horrible to know that in a country like the USA this could actually happen!).

If the private companies can not only raise premiums because of something like "minor" joint deterioration", what on earth would be the monthly premiums for a healthy family of four? Or a family of 3 healthy and one with cancer, I wonder?

I've hesitated asking this but ...

With the present system, the insurance companies can dictate what, if any, type of tests, procedures and/or treatments a person who is covered will receive? A doctor cannot write orders for scads of preventive/screening tests and have the patient automatically have all the tests done?

What happens if someone has coverage and develops a horrible disease - such as cancer? Surely the insurance company can't deny them each and every treatment possible, regardless of cost? Egad, surely not.

What happens if a person has no coverage - and is a citizen - they get billed and must pay themselves for everything - how on earth can anyone actually afford to pay for medical care received - and still survive day to day and month to month financially?

And what happens if a person has no coverage - and is not a citizen - their medical care is free? (As per taxes pay).

So ... if one is not a citizen - you won't end up in debt by being sick. But if one is a citizen, you will end up in massive debt if you or someone in your family becomes very ill. Hmmm.

Yes, it's a stunningly dreadful system - whatever happened to life/health being a 'right'?! Geesh! But it would be tacky indeed to be giving away millions (billions?) each year to other countries and deny even illegal immigrants medical coverage and have them start dying on the street. Egad. (And surely some illegal aliens are working and are paying taxes, too?)
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