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Author Topic: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick  (Read 34962 times)

Barry Hufker

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #105 on: January 24, 2011, 06:01:49 pm »

Ken,

I agree.  We are probably both set in our minds, but the conversation has been good.  You bring up important points I'll have to look into as I have no additional information to offer.

I suppose I'll have to leave it at that.

Many thanks and all the best,

Barry
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Jon Hodgson

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #106 on: January 24, 2011, 06:11:25 pm »

A couple of numbers jumped out at me from this page

  http://www.healthpaconline.net/health-care-statistics-in-the -united-states.htm

Now, they quote some numbers for 2005 from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Firstly they say

"In 2005, personal health care expenditures were paid by private health insurance 36%, federal government 35%, state and local governments 11% , and out-of-pocket payments 15%"

So that means that 46%, nearly half of the money came from government, and therefore I assume taxes?

Then they say

"The United States spends twice as much on health care per capita ($7,129) than any other country"

So, roughly speaking, it would seem you're already paying almost as much in taxes for healthcare as countries with a socialized system... which since they're about as healthy as you are (looking at the statistics), should be almost enough.

But then you're doubling it with private payments, and a load of you go bankrupt every year doing it.

Seems to me you're getting shafted, and the "I don't want to pay for anyone else" argument is not only selfish, it's misguided, you're already paying, you're just not getting value for money.
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Bill_Urick

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #107 on: January 24, 2011, 07:14:48 pm »

Been away for a bit. Busy weekend.
Apparently the name calling is in the past and the thread's back on topic.

Yea!

Looking forward to reading everyone's comments when time permits.

Carry on.

Razz
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Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.

Barry Hufker

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #108 on: January 24, 2011, 08:34:31 pm »

Bill,

I'd be happy to call you the names I didn't call you earlier.

Barry

Razz
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mgod

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #109 on: January 24, 2011, 09:10:04 pm »

Jon,

Your logic and analysis of the actual numbers just doesn't feel good. We are a very feely nation.

We're told day in and day out that we have the best health care system on the planet and that we are the envy of every other country. We would rather go to an early grave than find out that's not true. The deification of presidents who catastrophically increased the size of government and debt by small government crusaders is all you need to see.
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jonathan jetter

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #110 on: January 25, 2011, 12:22:03 am »

Jon Hodgson wrote on Mon, 24 January 2011 18:11



"The United States spends twice as much on health care per capita ($7,129) than any other country"

So, roughly speaking, it would seem you're already paying almost as much in taxes for healthcare as countries with a socialized system... which since they're about as healthy as you are (looking at the statistics), should be almost enough.

But then you're doubling it with private payments, and a load of you go bankrupt every year doing it.

Seems to me you're getting shafted, and the "I don't want to pay for anyone else" argument is not only selfish, it's misguided, you're already paying, you're just not getting value for money.


hi Jon-

i want to say that i agree almost entirely with your opinion on this, and with the source that you quoted.

i want though to reference our other discussion in the other thread where i mention not having any respect for the politician/CEO/billionaire-behind-the-scenes class.

would you not say that the machinations of the super-rich/super-powerful are most directly responsible for the health care mess you quoted above, and all in the name of enriching themselves to an even greater extent?  to me, at least, the two discussions are inextricably linked.....
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Jon Hodgson

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #111 on: January 25, 2011, 08:26:23 am »

jonathan jetter wrote on Tue, 25 January 2011 05:22

Jon Hodgson wrote on Mon, 24 January 2011 18:11



"The United States spends twice as much on health care per capita ($7,129) than any other country"

So, roughly speaking, it would seem you're already paying almost as much in taxes for healthcare as countries with a socialized system... which since they're about as healthy as you are (looking at the statistics), should be almost enough.

But then you're doubling it with private payments, and a load of you go bankrupt every year doing it.

Seems to me you're getting shafted, and the "I don't want to pay for anyone else" argument is not only selfish, it's misguided, you're already paying, you're just not getting value for money.


hi Jon-

i want to say that i agree almost entirely with your opinion on this, and with the source that you quoted.

i want though to reference our other discussion in the other thread where i mention not having any respect for the politician/CEO/billionaire-behind-the-scenes class.

would you not say that the machinations of the super-rich/super-powerful are most directly responsible for the health care mess you quoted above, and all in the name of enriching themselves to an even greater extent?  to me, at least, the two discussions are inextricably linked.....


I think people give the ultra rich too much (dis)credit. It seems to me to be a deligation of responsibility more than anything, you just put the blame for all your ills on a few "super rich" people who aren't really human, because somehow they're all genetically programmed to want to extract the last cent out of everyone (and often it seems in ways that most economists would view as actually damaging to them, the logic of conspiracy is quite convoluted, but that's another discussion).

Your health system has thousands of people (if not millions) involved in it at one level or another who benefit from you being screwed, and you want to put all the blame on the guys at the very top of the income ladder?

One thing I always bear in mind when it comes to the subject of greed and the very rich was an interesting statement by Stelios, the founder of Easy Jet, and worth several hundred million. He said that once you passed a hundred million, unless you took to accumulating things like houses and yaghts, extra money made no real difference to your lifestyle.

You can already afford to do what you want, when you want, the best hotels, the best restaurants, the best of everything.

So, if you're that rich, getting extra money isn't really the aim, for some it's how they "keep score" in the business game, because they still take pleasure from the game, others will take up new ganes... Richard Branson likes trying to get records, Bill Gates set up a foundation.

Everyone is different, and everyone is the same, we're all people, with our own weaknesses and strengths. I've known a number of wealthy people, and they were different. For example two spring to mind, one seemed to achieve his success by being the ultimate shark, he could smell blood in the water from an ocean away, can't say I liked him much (but conversely having met his children I would say that not only was he a very good father, but they didn't share his predatory nature as far as I could see)... the other seemed to achieve his success by finding good people and rewarding them handsomely for what they did for him, so they stuck with him and he continued to profit (as did they).

So sure, there are people at the top who are a big part of the problem, but so are the people clinging to not wanting to pay for other people, or the people who will argue against it just because it's proposed by another party, or the insurance salesmen who'll sell you insurance that doesn't cover you properly because they make a better commission on that, or the doctors who prescribe medicins they get some sort of kickback from, etc etc.

It doesn't matter HOW rich or powerful you are, I challenge you to change British perception on whether healthcare should be available to all regardless of ability to pay. I think THAT is the important difference. Most of the world's healthcare systems are based on an ethos of shared care and shared responsibility. Yours is based on one of every man for himself, and then has a social part grafted on top of it because as a society you'd feel guilty if your selfishness meant people actually did get left to die on the street if they couldn't afford the ambulance fare.

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YZ

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #112 on: January 25, 2011, 09:15:23 am »

Jon Hodgson wrote on Tue, 25 January 2011 11:26


So sure, there are people at the top who are a big part of the problem, but so are the people clinging to not wanting to pay for other people, or the people who will argue against it just because it's proposed by another party, or the insurance salesmen who'll sell you insurance that doesn't cover you properly because they make a better commission on that, or the doctors who prescribe medicins they get some sort of kickback from, etc etc.(snip) Most of the world's healthcare systems are based on an ethos of shared care and shared responsibility. Yours is based on one of every man for himself, and then has a social part grafted on top of it because as a society you'd feel guilty if your selfishness meant people actually did get left to die on the street if they couldn't afford the ambulance fare.


QFE.
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YZ

Gio

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #113 on: January 25, 2011, 09:16:32 am »

+1, Jon.

I also disagree with the notion that the wealthy are by definition inherently evil.

(disclaimer: I'm not wealthy)
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YZ

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #114 on: January 25, 2011, 09:20:20 am »

Tidewater wrote on Mon, 24 January 2011 18:35


I still don't understand calling coverage of a pre-existing condition "insurance". That is impossible, and $1M worth should cost $1M, or I must be missing the trick that gets us there.


Semantics. Different interpretations. Nit-picking. Grasping at straws.

The only 'pre-existing condition' that should matter for a state health care system is: "were you born human?" if yes, you're covered, if not, tough luck.


And about health insurance (which is a completely different beast from state health care):

It's all about statistics, and we're talking science here, not politics; any self-respecting insurance company knows their risks and costs, and in the case of health insurance there's a wealth of information about average costs for each demographic and age group so it is not very difficult to assess how much one should pay for 'unlimited' coverage based on gender, occupation, location, ethnic factors and medical history.

It is not a shot in the dark.
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YZ

YZ

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #115 on: January 25, 2011, 09:25:26 am »

Gio wrote on Tue, 25 January 2011 12:16


I also disagree with the notion that the wealthy are by definition inherently evil.


Absolutely.

Many a wealthy person has gotten there by sheer effort and business acumen.

And those will never be hurt by better market regulation and other progressive and responsible policies.

And quite a few of them agree that there must be some degree of 'social consciousness' in a decent society.
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YZ

Wireline

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #116 on: January 25, 2011, 09:46:45 am »

YZ wrote on Tue, 25 January 2011 08:20

Tidewater wrote on Mon, 24 January 2011 18:35


I still don't understand calling coverage of a pre-existing condition "insurance". That is impossible, and $1M worth should cost $1M, or I must be missing the trick that gets us there.


Semantics. Different interpretations. Nit-picking. Grasping at straws.

The only 'pre-existing condition' that should matter for a state health care system is: "were you born human?" if yes, you're covered, if not, tough luck.




Looking at it from the insurer's point of view: your company exists only as long as it can operate in the black.  Your company brings aboard 5 people (example only) that require such expensive treatments to keep them alive and with a quality of life reasonably expected by society that those costs essentially wipe out funds for 400 relatively healthy and routine patients.  

Enough of these types of cases, unfortunately, and insurance companies either must reduce coverage for the 'pre-existing' conditions, put a time limit before pre-existing pre-existing conditions are eligible for care, raise everyone's rates to offset the huge costs of caring for a statistically insignificant percentage of the pool, or go out of business (at which NO ONE has anything...)

It is a harsh and brutal reality, but a reality nonetheless.  Under a federal or state program, there are limited funds, generated only by taxes, fees, etc.  What percentage of those taxes are we as citizens willing to take from road maintenance, public safety, education, defense, food stamps/welfare, and the countless other programs to divert to health care?  

In many states, roads are close to impassable as is, without the additional expense of health care.  Law enforcement agencies and fire departments throughout the nation are closing/reducing forces to essentially become unable to complete their basic functions.  Etc...All because of money.

Again - I am fully supportive of some sort of health care system, but its gonna be tough to come up with one that doesn't come at the expense of everything else, especially our right to know what's in the any proposed package, a freedom to choose without IRS retaliation, and having a say so in whether it goes forward or not.  

Its not easy, but I truly believe it can be done.
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YZ

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #117 on: January 25, 2011, 10:11:25 am »

First:

I have no idea of what 'Obamacare' is about and I'm not defending that particular policy;

Second: I'm talking about a State Health Care System, not a private insurance plan.

Being a State Health Care System implies that it is not-for-profit, so that part of your argument falls.

It also implies that preventive measures will be taken by the State, in the form of health campaigns, 'health ed' classes at public schools and so forth, in order to reduce the need for after-the-fact health care; 'an ounce of prevention...'

That would be a HUGE change to the current way of thinking in the USA regarding public health.

Simply 'patching up' what is already there - and not working - would not do.

The USA needs to do something it abhors doing: look at how other countries do it... then analyze the pros and cons of each system not in relation to what's in the USA now but in relation to the countries where each system is implemented, and have the guts to revamp the US health care status from the ground up.

As said before in this and the other 2 or 3 similar threads: other democratic countries have state health systems that work, there's no reason not to have something similar in the USA.
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Wireline

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #118 on: January 25, 2011, 10:27:35 am »

Fair enough...but keep in mind we are a federated republic, not a democracy, contrary to popular belief.

Prevention only goes so far, and cannot control genetics.

And, most American citizens are pretty well against nationalized anything.  If it works in other nations, cool...I just don't think a nationally mandated anything will work here.

Its not rocket science to know that eating an apple instead of a MickyD's fried apple pie is better for ya, but how many people opt for the latter.  You cannot force people to eat certain foods, and just about anyone with a pulse has already been educated as to proper diet and exercise - caring about it is a different matter.

Look at the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war on illiteracy, and every other federally mandated program.  

Going back to funding - where would you like the extra money to come from?  Whether it is national or private, it still has to be paid for, and since we are already over $14 Trillion in debt, we can't just print more money, we can't borrow more, we can't issue IOUs, we can't ask people to work for free?  What is your solution to the funding, keeping in mind the very real debt burden we carry, to paying for national health care?

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Ken Morgan
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Jon Hodgson

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Re: State of US healthcare - what we can do to not go bankrupt when we're sick
« Reply #119 on: January 25, 2011, 10:49:16 am »

Wireline wrote on Tue, 25 January 2011 15:27

Going back to funding - where would you like the extra money to come from?  Whether it is national or private, it still has to be paid for, and since we are already over $14 Trillion in debt, we can't just print more money, we can't borrow more, we can't issue IOUs, we can't ask people to work for free?  What is your solution to the funding, keeping in mind the very real debt burden we carry, to paying for national health care?




You seem to be having a little trouble grasping this is seems...

You are already paying MORE than everybody else!!!

You don't need extra money to pay for national healthcare, you just need value for money.
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