Senate Healthcare Bill

Discussion in 'Politics' started by transformer_99, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. transformer_99

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    Senate bill fines people refusing health coverage - Yahoo! News

    Oh, I can't wait for this ? Define affordable ? Because if the current system is perceived as "acceptably affordable" even after getting the weak healthcare insurance that is available, that gets changed every year that it's offered to weaken benefits, then this is no solution.

    I understand they're trying to come up with a solution, but let's say we hit a period of higher unemployment like we have. They would fine someone for dropping their coverage because they had to eat or pay rent ? Since unemployment is a state benefit, they'd have to force states to offer healthcare as an unemployment benefit (if the poor are subsidized partially or entirely) ? Cobra would have to go away ? Otherwise the way this bill is structured, if you're alive/breathing you have to be covered period and it's not like motor vehicle insurance. The other issue is, what kind of insurance is it ? PPO, HMO, Medicaid level or Medicare level ? Co-pays, what about those ? Are incomes going to increase enough to pay for this ? Otherwise I see this as what another thread was about, simply lining the pockets of the current medical industry ?

    Thought(s) ?
     
    #1 transformer_99, Jul 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2009
  2. gymfresh

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    Single payer health systems are not socialized medicine. Socialized medicine is where government handles facilities, delivery and administration. (Not that that's a horrible thing, but it seldom works out well or efficiently.) People -- and that includes members of Congress -- need to get over this rabid distrust and hatred of government. Government is as good as you make it, and some countries have good government; generally these are societies that don't spend inordinate amounts of time Government ultimately is us, so government-bashing is just a perverse form of self-imposed failure.

    A single-payer healthcare system combined with health co-operatives and for-profit providers can work just fine in the US. It's almost guaranteed to be fairer and more efficient that what we have now or what is being proposed. The system needs to be financed 100% out of taxes and the burden taken completely off of American business so it can finally throw off this illogical yoke, focus on what it does best, and compete more efficiently and justly with foreign businesses. Why is the US Chamber of Commerce not rushing to push even President Obama out of the way to get this done?

    Ultimately workers are more productive if they're not obsessing over whether their kid's leukemia is going to bankrupt them. Twenty phone calls a week to your HMO to plead for treatment and/or reimbursement tends to cut into your job effectiveness. Being legally indebted to "buy" health insurance does little to end this worry. A sick or bankrupt population is no use to anyone... healthcare access should be as automatic to citizens as police and fire protection. It's one of the key definitions of and measures of success of an affluent society.

    The current debates in Congress show that our representatives and senators still don't get it. They should be working to unite this country as a single risk pool -- an incredible asset we have with 300 million mostly healthy people -- instead of looking to further factionalize it.
     
    #2 gymfresh, Jul 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2009
  3. sparky11point5

    sparky11point5 New Member

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    Well said. The people lined up against reform have really offered no alternative to the broken status quo. We have hugely profitable health insurance companies rationing care, making decisions about appropriate level or type of treatment, rewarding providers for services not results, and a host of other problems. This is such a disservice to everyone but the insurance industry and for-profit health care providers.

    Public plan or single payer is the only way.

     
  4. joyboytoy79

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    As someone who has recently been denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition, I see insurance itself as the problem. Insurance puts two concepts that are fundamentally at odds with each other under the purview of one system. On the one hand we have profits. On the other we have health care. To entice prospective clients, insurance companies create lists of benefits. The benefits sound great, and include everything anyone could possibly ever need. However, to maximize profits, insurance companies must limit who can actually receive the benefits advertised.

    To make a long story short, insurance companies wind up offering the most benefits to those who are least likely to need them. "You have no family history of cancer, have never smoked and have no exposure to second-hand smoke, exercise regularly, eat plenty of green leafy vegitables, and live in the cleanest state in the union? We'll insure you up to 40 million on lung cancer treatment!" Insurance companies turn huge profits because they are charging people for coverage those people will likely never need, and denying coverage for services people are highly likely to need - how is this helpful for anything other than the bottom line?

    The sad truth is the United States has the best healthcare in the world - only for those who can afford it. Most (in some parts of the country, all) doctors offices require that their patients have insurance. Though illegal, triage nurses are often incouraged to move those with preferred insurace carriers to the front of the line in the ER. Those without insurance are guarunteed care in the ER, but the costs are 10 times or more than the costs of an office visit, and the care is more rushed, less personal, less concerned with long-term health. Additionally, the uninsured must wait longer to see a doctor. Even if you can afford to self-pay, you are penalised for doing so.

    I think the employer insurance program needs to be abolished. It should be replaced with a (and people are going to hate me for this) taxing system. The money you were paying for your employer based benefits should be instead held in your name by the IRS, or preferably, a new federal entity. You should receive monthly statements about how much money you currently have in your account, including a list of in/out transactions. A card should be issued that is universally accepted by all who perform medical care in the united states. This card is how you pay for medical services, including prescription drugs. This money is yours, and you are responsible for spending it wisely, but you can only access it for medical care - it can, however, be used for medical care for whomever you wish - even complete strangers, if you so choose. This will encourage people to choose doctors and care facilities where they get more for their money, actually encouraging our healthcare systems to become better.

    Of course, there will be times when people are unable to pay for the expense of care that's needed. The costs of cancer treatment are astronomical, and will likely remain so no matter what is done to try to reduce them. Therefore, a small percentage of what everyone pays into their account should be withheld for public usage. This public fund would be used for expenses beyond the scope of common medical care. That is very much how insurance companies are supposed to work, anyway, so that part of my plan wouldn't be a big change anyway.

    Now, let's say you die, and you haven't spent every single penny out of your account. It goes to your survivors! It's kind of like a built in life insurance plan. How novel!

    Of course, this wouldn't solve all of the problems inherent in the current system. Those who don't have insurance now would see an added expense, as their taxes would go up. They would, however, see an immediate and quantifiable benefit to that tax, so it is unlike other tax burdens faced by the poor. It also doesn't address issues for those who are unemployed, though, those who have worked, and have an account already, would likely already have money IN their account when they become unemployed, and it would still be available to them.

    Is my plan anything like the current plans being hashed out in congress? NO. Will such a thing ever exist? Probably not. The insurance companies simply spend way too much money lobbying congress for congress to have any interest in providing a working alternative to their tyrany.
     
  5. SEXXXX

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    Do understand that currently insurance is for-profit business. Unless that changes, expect very little in the system overhaul

    Then again, perhaps another important thing is to review the lobbying system currently in place
     
  6. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    No mater what we say or do in the end it needs to go to what some would call a single pay system. Insurance companies have gotten filthy rich by denial of care. I can personally get on a soap box on this one. My Mother lost her life in 2001 when her Medicare Conversion plan absolutely and positively refused to pay for cardiac care and even hospitalization after a major heart attack. She was stabilized in ER and then within 4-hours sent out of that facility to a convalescent hospital where she was not even attached to a cardiac monitor. This same Medicare Conversion company denied medication and denied her testing that could have uncovered an abdominal aortic aneurysm which was what took her life one week later when it blew.

    Denial of care on the part of Insurance providers is in fact legalized neglect. If a single individual denies care they can be charged with a crime. If an insurance provider does it we have a business expense wich raises the rates of other insureds when they are halled into court. My Mothers death was simply a cost of doing business.

    What we have now is an atrocity. The MD's are not making the money any more and they are being trimmed so badly by insurance providers that many are giving up medicine and doing other things.

    About three years before her death, two of the MD's who had been treating her sent us letters closing their practices because they simply could no longer make sufficient money to provide decent care and maintain office staffing and required equipment.

    Managed care is not managed it is denied. I can recite probably 20 problems with the care my Mother received towards the end of her life and I can document what I say.

    Leaving greedy corporations without regulation in charge will get us less than nothing.
     
  7. transformer_99

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    I agree the HMO has really gone wrong over the past decades. It's a shell game of networks. Even community health centers are trying to turn towards for profit HMO models.

    BTW, those debit cards, those already exist, they're called HSA's (Health Spending Accounts). They are a poor substitute for a real health plan. You can't save enough for it to be effective. You'd be better served putting that money in a regular bank savings account. That way if you need it to buy groceries or pay rent there is no penalty for other than healthcare use.
     
  8. joyboytoy79

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    Uhhhhh... I think that was my point?:confused:
     
  9. joyboytoy79

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    What i'm talking about is different from an HSA for two reasons:

    1) HSAs don't allow you to carry over money from year to year. You use it or you loose it. That's why they're innefective. It's utterly and completely stupid - which is why insurance companies LOVE them!

    2) HSAs are administered by insurance companies, who charge you exorbitent amounts of money for the priviledge of having such an account. They also limit what you can and can't use your HSA on... and MOST of them opperate on a arrears basis - you pay for services upfront, and then submit the recipts to the insurance company, who usually tells you you can't have your own money.
     
  10. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    I have friends in the UK that have told me their healthcare system has become a nightmare. Universal coverage is extremely expensive. The government sets up rules about who is entitled to what care. If the care is over a certain amount of money, the government places a value on what your life is worth. Then, they determine whether or not you get the care. It is reaching that point in the medicare system.
    I seriously doubt we are going to be able to find care for all, and have it be what everybody wants. Somewhere along the way, it's going to get too expensive, and the government will set limits.
     
  11. joyboytoy79

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    At least when the government sets a limit to what your life is worth it isn't about profits. What we have right now is a system where corporations set a limit to what our lives are worth, so they can protect their bottom line.

    You, see, hootie, people who make statements like what you just made usually (though not always) have insurance they deem adequate. They don't realize that they're paying for services they will never need, and when they do need services the insurance company will bail on them.
     
  12. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    You see joyboytoy, I do not have insurance that is adequate for all I need. Also, I have suffered more than once under federal workman's comp. I cannot get the spine surgery I need. I was injured on duty. As a federal employee, the government has to provide the care, and they are refusing to approve it. Eventually, I will be disabled. You will wind up having to pay to take care of me for the rest of my life. So, put a sock in it.
     
  13. Penis Aficionado

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    Well, I've just watched three people I love go through the wringer of our putrid health care system -- two died and one will be dead soon. And while I agree that something needs to change regarding the financing of health care, I believe the more important thing is this: DOCTORS NEED TO START USING FUCKING COMPUTERS!

    In the case of each of the three people mentioned above, I accompanied them to countless offices where doctors greeted them carrying huge stacks of loose papers, papers in manila folders, x-rays and God knows what else. These were the patient's "records." In some cases they must have been at least 1000 pages. The doctor would then flip seemingly at random to one piece of paper in this enormous stack, read it for a couple of seconds, and then ask the patient to sort of recap exactly what medical problem we were dealing with here, anyway.

    It gets even worse when the first doctor refers the patient to another doctor. The huge pile of paper must physically make its way from doctor #1 to doctor #2. Sometimes the patients are asked to bring it themselves (as if imminent death might not be a bit of a distraction).

    When my father's cancer spread to his femur and he was referred to a surgeon to have a stabilizing rod placed in the bone, at the first meeting the surgeon did not even know that my father had cancer.

    And almost every appointment begins the same way: with a nurse coming in and asking "What medications do you currently take" -- then writing down the patient's response on a notebad, even if the patient is clearly high on painkillers and thinks that a television is a teapot. I've seen the same patient asked this question in two successive visits to the *same* doctor, by the *same* nurse, who must have lost her little notepad from the last time.

    I've heard people say that it's very expensive for doctors to digitize all their records, and that's why they don't do it. Why then did every other business in the world decide in the 1990s if not before that digitizing and sharing information not only increases profits enormously, but results in more knowledgable workers, more creative thinking, better problem-solving and a better product?

    I'm afraid the problem is that too many doctors think that they are essentially Gods, whose methods and practices are simply not open to criticism from outsiders.

    In sum, whether private companies continue to pay for health care or the government starts doing it, I have *zero* faith in any reform that does not include this rule: No doctor will get paid at all unless they store patient information digitally in a format that can be easily shared with other doctors and with the patients themselves. Perhaps the government could offer a subsidy to help deserving doctors make that transition.
     
  14. philly0330

    philly0330 New Member

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    Don't forget how slow health care will become over here if it's the "universal coverage" -- plenty of American doctors get big bucks not just from Americans but people from other nations (like Canada) where they can get procedures done in a MUCH faster time frame then they do in certain metro-areas there...!

    Agreed pretty mcuh from above though..!
     
  15. joyboytoy79

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    l

    You do realize, don't you, that federal worker's compensation is administered by private insurance companies, right? Even the oh-so-excellent insurance benefits our find congressmen and women receive are through private companies. So... yes, while i understand you are having problems through a federally mandated program, the problems you are facing are through a privately administered policy. This type of federally mandated private solution simply does not work, as I'm sure you'll agree. Give someone the opportunity to make a buck and they will - mandate it by law and they'll rip you off.
     
  16. OzCock2009

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    THANK YOU!!! Finally someone else is pointing this out! Every time I hear the conservatives with their fear-mongering "socialized medicine" rally cry I cringe at the intentional deception of it.
     
  17. transformer_99

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    Point 1 - You are misinformed what is invested into the HSA is in there similar to Social Security, to be used for healthcare purposes. It's all yours and it carries over for as long as you have the account.

    Health Savings Account FAQ - HSA for America

    Point 2 - Nope, mine spends like a debit card. The doctor swipes it thru the machine like a credit card, you sign the piece of paper like you were buying something at Wal-Mart and go home from the dr's office. They even have OOP reimbursements.. For whatever reason, say you charged your credit card instead. You can always go back and transfer whatever OOP medical expenses over to your HSA card. Yeah, they have fees, you also earn interest.

    I agree, HSA's are pretty weak for serious illness. But the day to day medical and dental expenses, it takes care of those that would normally be OOP. Use it that way and it's not a bad thing. Anyone that is seriously ill will find out health insurance only will go so far as well and if it's catastrophic the common citizen isn't adequately insured anyway. A catastrophic illness and insurance won't matter, if you survive you will be paying that off until they bury you.
     
  18. midlifebear

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    hootie:

    Sounds like you're passively accepting the idea of becoming disabled. Possibly you WANT to be disabled. Have you ever considered for a nanosecond that it's a real possibility to travel to another country where medical care is actually better than it is in the USA to receive the surgery or medical attention to cure you? I have no insurance in the USA. I'm a US citizen. Even if you are monolingual you obviously have access to a computer and can do research on clinics in other countries and the level of medical expertise available abroad for substantially less (often by 90% less) than you would have to pay in the USA.

    Here's an example: More 'Mericuhn men and women have cosmetic surgery in Buenos Aïres than California. And the plastic surgeons are Board Certified by the American Plastic Surgeons Association. My urologist did his two-year residency at the MAYO clinic outside of St. Paul, MINN, after which he practiced medicine and continued to train in France for four years before returning to his home country.

    But it sounds like you'd rather let the current status quo control your life than control it yourself and do something about it.

    I'm hoping for a single payer or some slightly more effective form of universal coverage in the USA, but I'm certainly not sitting around waiting for it to happen. Same thing goes for me being a gay man an "hoping" someday same sex marriage will be legal in the USA. I am currently legally married to the same man. I have been for 9 years. And our marriage is recognized as legal in his home counrty (Argentina), in my adopted home country (Spain), most EU countries and most provinces in Canada.

    In this life you make your own success. Sounds to me as if you want to be disabled. You don't get sympathy points from me. It doesn't matter if your back injury was job-related or not. If you're not getting the health care you need, you should be responsible enough to look elsewhere for a solution.
     
    #18 midlifebear, Jul 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
  19. Kevin7X6

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    Now we're going to let the government do it. I can't wait.
     
  20. slurper_la

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