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Forum Post: Healthcare? Government does it cheaper.

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 13, 2012, 6:26 a.m. EST by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I was asked to start this thread, this was quick response to a comment didn’t check latest numbers, might be 97 cents vs, 62 cents now or a bit different. I had not really planned to defend this, on this fine morning, but here we go.

The government gets 93 cents out of every dollar taken in out to pay for healthcare, while the private sector gets about 67 cents to the providers, you've made a great case for socialized healthcare. We spend a lot more on healthcare than we welfare so fixing this first is an even better idea.

UPDATE 02/18/2012

http://www.kff.org/insurance/snapshot/oecd042111.cfm

They all use more government.

193 Comments

193 Comments


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[-] 12 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

If you give health care to all; paid for through taxes; and remove the "for profit" component; you would save 30%+ right out of the gate. Some of the things you do need to spend money on to supply health care to someone is doctors, nurses, hospitals, drugs, medical equipment, clinics, etc. The one thing you don't need is insurance companies. They offer no service except to jack-up the costs and provide a return for their investors at patients expense.

Think about it. The only way an insurance company can make money is to collectively overcharge their customers the percentage of profit margin, over and above their expenses. The expenses include the paying of claims, but also include, executive pay and bonuses, employee pay, benefits, taxes (maybe not), Marketing and Administrative Expenses ( you even have to pay for their TV ads), utility costs, maintenance costs, and much, much, more; that are passed directly to the patient on top of already high actual health care costs.

A 2004 economic study published in The New England Journal of Medicine determined that a national single-payer healthcare system would reduce costs by more than $400 billion a year "despite the expansion of comprehensive care to all Americans." I'm sure that figure has increased since then.

I think the cartoon at the bottom of this page says it all -

http://www.healthcare-now.org/whats-single-payer/

Cheers :)

[-] 2 points by Nevada1 (4464) 2 years ago

Hi Sparky, Good post. Best Regards, Nevada

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

Thanx Nevada!!

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I'm sure it has, thanks for the post.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21344) 2 years ago

Great post. Thank you.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Thanks for stopping by, and I know you were talking to Sparky, it is a good post.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21344) 2 years ago

Well, he gave more detail than you did, LOL!, but it was directed at you too!

[-] 1 points by flip (5207) 2 years ago

from an article about the cuban health care system in znet - “I’m on pesquizaje”, my daughter Rebecca told me. “All of the third, fourth and fifth year medical students at Allende have our classes suspended. We are going door-to-door looking for symptoms of dengue fever and checking for standing water.”[1]

As a fourth year medical student at Cuba’s ELAM (Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina, Latin American School of Medicine in Havana), she is assigned to Salvadore Allende Hospital in Havana. It handles most of the city’s dengue cases. Although she has done health canvassing before, this is the first time she has had classes cancelled to do it. It is very unusual for an outbreak of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness, to occur this late in the season. She remembers most outbreaks happening in autumn, being over before December, and certainly not going into January–February.

Groups of medical students are assigned to a block with about 135 homes, most having two to seven residents. They try to check on every home daily, but don’t see many working families until the weekend. The first sign of dengue they look for is fever. The medical students also check for joint pain, muscle pain, abdominal pain, headache behind the eye sockets, purple splotches and bleeding from the gums.

What is unique about Cuban medical school is the way ELAM students are trained to make in-home evaluations that include potentially damaging lifestyles — such as having uncovered standing water where mosquitoes can breed................................Imagine

Do you remember Hurricane Katrina and the number of New Orleans residents who languished while the state and national governments did nothing meaningful? Do you remember the photos of the 1000 Cuban doctors inbatas ready and waiting to come to New Orleans, just like they went to Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and dozens of other countries hit by disasters? Do you remember the US government, that would increase the suffering of its own people rather than accept help from Cuba?

It may be difficult, but imagine that, at the height of the Katrina disaster, the US closed medical schools in Gulf coast states and coordinated the work of attending to medical and public health needs of the poorest in New Orleans. It may contradict your life-time of experiences, but imagine that medical schools across the US sent their students to survey living conditions of poor black, brown, red, yellow and white Americans to determine what causes elevated mortality rates and then announced that no one would return to medical school until they were part of a national plan to resolve health-care needs.

It may bend your mind to the border of hallucination, but imagine that health-care professionals throughout the world demanded that people of the global South be spared the mosquito infestations, rising waters, droughts, floods, species extinctions and all other manifestations of climate change brought on by the gluttonous overproduction of the 1% in the global North. Imagine new medical care based on help going to those who need help the most, rather than obscene wealth going to those who invest in the sickness industry.

Imagine citizens welcoming health professionals to walk through their homes because they do not fear being reported to the police and because they have seen mobilisation after mobilisation improve their lives rather than ensnare them in empty promises. Imagine a new society.

Don Fitz (fitzdon@aol.com) is editor of Synthesis/Regeneration: A Magazine of Green Social Thought. He is co-coordinator of the Green Party of St. Louis and produces Green Time in conjunction with KNLC-TV.

Submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author, having first appeared at BlackAgendaReport.com.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21344) 2 years ago

Thanks, flip. That is so interesting. It shows how American hubris holds us back. If only we could open our minds and try new ways of doing things, especially in health care.

You might find this segment from the Dylan Ratigan show interesting. The guest is the author of a book on BigPharma and she talks about how their goals have shifted over the past 30 years from solving health issues to making profits:

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/big-profits-for-big-pharma/6rtvm6t

[-] 1 points by flip (5207) 2 years ago

yea ratigan has been on to some good stuff lately - where did that come from - wasn't he a cnbc guy? i would say she is mostly correct but seems to me that 30 yrs ago things were not all that much better - they were mainly concerned with profit then - here is noam on corporations - "They're mostly unaccountable to the public. Of course they are not real persons, they are immortal, they are collectivist legal entities. In fact they are very similar to other organizational forms we know and are one of the forms of totalitarianism that developed in the 20th century. The others were destroyed, these still exist, and later they were required by law to be what we would call pathological in the case of real human beings.

So they are required legally to maximize power and profit no matter what effect that has on anyone else. They are required to externalize costs, so if they can get the public or future generations to pay their costs, they are required to do that. It would be illegal for corporate executives to do anything else.

By now, in what are called trade agreements, which have nothing much to do with trade, corporations are granted rights that go way beyond the rights of persons. They are granted the right of what's called "national treatment." Persons don't have that right. Like if a Mexican comes to New York, he can't claim national treatment, but if General Motors goes to Mexico, it can claim national treatment. In fact corporations can even sue states, which you and I can't do.

So they're granted rights way beyond persons. They are immortal, they are extraordinarily powerful, they are pathological by legal requirement, and that's the contemporary form of totalitarianism. They are not truly competitive, they are linked to one another. So Siemens and IBM and Toshiba carry out joint projects. They rely heavily on state power; the dynamism of the modern economy comes mostly out of the state sector, not the private sector. Almost every aspect of what's called the "New Economy" is developed and designed at public cost and public risk: computers, electronics generally, telecommunications, the internet, lasers, whatever...

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (21344) 2 years ago

I can't argue with any of what Chomsky says there. It's all sad and true. And, yes, Dylan Ratigan has come a long way. He's a real liberal now which is quite funny. I'm not even sure he realizes it. LOL!

[-] 1 points by flip (5207) 2 years ago

it is great when someone opens their eyes!

[-] 1 points by slizzo (-96) 2 years ago

You don't understand how insurance works. The problem is the nonstop govt intrusion that perverts a system that used to work fine. Not to mention mandates that force them to cover every last f'ing thing every group of whiners demands.

Resist the desire to kneejerk. They have become horrible and next to impossible to deal with. I am not defending them in their current state. But I do know it wasn't the clusterfuck it is now 20-30 yrs ago before govt couldn't resist co-opting them and the massive pile of money they sit on.

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

Where do you think the massive pile of money they sit on came from. It came from patients - people. It's the company's PROFITS after all of their expenses.

In a single payer system, there are NO profits. That's where the savings come in. You still pay for insurance (through taxes), but you pay wholesale prices. Why should we give any insurance company such a huge profit, when we can self-insure ourselves at a much cheaper price?

Hell, if you owned business and paid for employee HC; wouldn't the relief of that burden help your business?

Insurance companies = huge tax on health care !!

[-] 1 points by slizzo (-96) 2 years ago

Like I said, you don't know how insurance works. All money that comes in, is paid out, is invested and is profit is REGULATED. They don't keep what they want because they want to. Not my opinion, just how it works. Take a licensing class for selling insurance. Then you'll understand.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

If there is no profit being made, why would people want to go into the healthcare field?

[-] 6 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

A good salary, like doctors in the rest of the developed world gets. Europe has no shortage of doctors.

My own doctor (American) was really pissed off at the new health care law. She couldn't understand why universal single payer, NOT for profit was off the table. She doesn't see why fee for service should be the model. She is constantly squeezed financially by insurance companies who also routinely deny coverage of needed medications and procedures for her patients. She went into medicine because she wanted to help people, not because she wanted to become a millionaire. Instead she can hardly be either, since her practice is enslaved to insurance company bean counters.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I am a dentist and we have been fortunate to be spared (so far) most of the nonsense that medicine experiences so we are able to both help people and make money. It still sucks dealing with insurance companies obviously but the worst one to deal with, and it isn't even close, is Medicaid (Medicare doesn't do dental so I have no experience with it).

Very few dentists accept Medicaid and most people think because the reimbursements are so low, and they are. But another reason is the bureaucracy involved. For example on a new patient you often have to do an exam and then wait up to 8 weeks before treatment can begin so they can review the plan. They then decide which procedures of any given treatment plan we can do. They completely take the doctor AND the patient out of any decision making. It sucks so only very few places will treat them and it ends up being really crappy work because that is what they usually ending up agreeing to pay for.

I am not saying government run healthcare is not the answer, I really don't know. But to throw more money into our current system without completely overhauling it is to throw money down the drain.

[-] 4 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

"But to throw more money into our current system without completely overhauling it is to throw money down the drain."

I agree with that last sentence completely. I don't begrudge Doctors making a good living, either. I just think, as do most doctors these days (according to polls), that the fee for service model is a detriment to medicine.

In my own case, it was the private insurance companies that delayed care for over a month, at a time when 3 separate doctors were saying my life was in imminent danger. It was a purely bureaucratic issue that delayed care, allowing the disease to do more irreversible (and completely avoidable) damage and nearly killed me.

One medication I am currently on costs close to $20,000.00 per year. It is taken bi-monthly. My doctor has been begging the insurance companies to allow me to double the dose, as my body is slowly deteriorating, and I'm losing function in my hands, my back and my legs and feet. They won't give clearance. In the meantime I am becoming crippled. My doctor is furious, especially as the permanent damage being done is absolutely avoidable. In the meantime. I am living in often agonizing pain.

There are horror stories like mine everywhere you look, perhaps not so much or often in dentistry (though I'm sure you've seen a fair share), but in many other specialties. Indeed, I'm sure you are aware of the Harvard study demonstrating conclusively that 45,000 Americans die each year due to lack of access to affordable health insurance.

I am not suggesting Medicaid is the answer. It is specifically designed for the very poorest citizens and as such congress always underfunds it.. After all, the poor have virtually no voice in the halls of power. But if universal health care was extended to all, including the middle and upper middle class, underfunding would not be tolerated for long. The middle class is far more easily mobilized, far more vocal, and far more effective in making things better for themselves that the poor are.

European systems, with some exceptions, are less underfunded than we are, after all, provide care with better outcomes on average, and cost about half of what our system does. And the doctors there seem, by all accounts fairly happy where they are.

[-] 2 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I am sorry to hear about your medical problems, I hope you can get things straightened out with your insurance provider.

I agree with a lot of what you say though - our system is a mess. Access to care and screwed up priorities are the two biggest problems. I remember a few years back Medicaid was cutting funding to their dental program in my state. And of all things to cut, they cut one cleaning and one exam per year, so people only got cleanings and exams every year instead of every 6 mos. For a population of people with pretty low health IQ it had some pretty bad consequences. But Medicaid would then pay for the extractions and dentures to deal with those consequences with no problem. Completely ass backwards.

[-] -1 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

Doctors hate Medicaid and the government restrictions. I started going to a "Walk-In Doc". He charges $30 for a visit and you pay cash only. Works great. Why????? Because he discovered that insurance and government are not the solution, they are the PROBLEM with healthcare. Get both out of the way.

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Most doctors disagree with with fee for service. Most favor single payer systems.

[-] -1 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

And your example is why many are leaving the medical world.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

There are many reasons, I imagine. But being enslaved to private insurance companies is not the least of them, I'm sure.

On a personal note, I once had a roommate who was a physician assistant. He worked in a private non-profit health clinic. Because of reimbursement rates by insurance companies he was mandated to spend no more than 8 minutes per patient. That was a specific directive to all Doctors and PAs. (And in this facility, the PAs did all the checkups and made all the diagnoses, drew all the bloods, reviewed all the lab results, and prescribed all the medications - the doctors only signed off on the orders.) Longer than that and the facility would be forced to close down. Imagine his constant frustration about his ability to provide real care for his patients.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

Define "good salary"

[-] 3 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Ask the doctors what they think, especially the ones in Europe, who are on salary and satisfied with it.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

Your the one who brought it up - I am asking you. I dont care what european doctors think is a good salary. I am concerned what American doctors think is a good salary since they are the ones who we expect to accept it. But of course - you have no idea what any doctors make. You are engaged in drone think.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Since I am not an American doctor, I can't speak for them about their salary requirements. Anything I tell would would be unsubstantial. And, since you clearly know that, it is not information you want, but something else.

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

right - so why are you discussing something you admittingly know nothing about?

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Polls have indicated that Americans doctors would prefer a universal health care system and are opposed to the fee for service system we currently have. You did not ask about that, you asked about a specific dollar amount they would prefer.

Nice attempt at misdirection, though.

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

what poll ? produce the backup.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

No.

You are a troll. Your tactics are transparent. Finding the polls for the likes of you would be a total waste of my time, since you and I both know the data would not serve to change your mind. Your attitude was set in stone before you posted a syllable here, and you know it.

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

hahaha! just as I suspected lol! Set in stone - as is yours lol!

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Difference is, I did not post dishonestly, as you did. I did not attempt to misdirect, as you did. Your lack of integrity an character is showing in bold relief.

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

and why don't you go fetch me an answer to my question & maybe you will learn something

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

cant answer - as suspected. Troll is a compliment. Thank you.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

You're welcome. Now go back to your CATO and Republitard buddies and drink yourself into a coma.

http://www.minnesotamedicine.com/PastIssues/February2007/ClinicalHealthCareFebruary2007/tabid/1709/Default.aspx

http://www.nhms.org/topics/12-14-2007_a.pdf

http://www.pnhp.org/news/2008/march/most_doctors_support.php

Just a couple of the many polls.

Now go fuck yourself.

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

My apologies what did I post that was dishonest? I am asking questions that you seem to not be able to answer.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Hahaha!

Troll.

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

Because it PAYS well and they want to help people! Many people have life-long careers working for a non-profit organization. I would have expected, that you as a dentist, would understand this concept. I hope you're not trying to spin this by implying that workers in the healthcare field, would have to work for free under single-payer.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

No, I don't think they would have to work for free, just for less. But more importantly, the single payer would likely dictate what procedures can be done and what the payment for the procedures would be. What if some people want better treatment than what the single payer will allow? Will private practices still be able to cater to these peoeple?

A lot of what I do is elective in my eyes but essential in the eyes of my patients. In a single payer system, who would determine what is elective and therefore not covered? It would be a huge headache for just dentistry, which makes up only a very small slice of the overall healthcare market.

I think the government should provide basic health insurance to everyone that needs it but if you can either get something better through work or with your own money, you should be able to.

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

Good points and good discussion. First let me say, that because single payer in the US does not exist; the details cannot be defined. Many countries that use social medicine, structure their systems differently. With that being said, I'll try to address your concerns.

Would single payer dictate what procedures can be done? - I'm sure it would, similar to what insurance companies do now. An example may be that an expensive MRI may be questioned when a simple x-ray is all that is needed to determine a fracture.

What would the payment for the procedures would be? It would be the same payment schedule as insurance pays now.

Will private practices still be able to cater to people that want better treatment than what the single payer will allow? - Absolutely; these people would have the choice of either paying out of pocket, or purchasing a 'Cadillac' rider for elected procedures such as cosmetic surgery, etc.

Who would determine what is elective and therefore not covered? - Insurance companies and Medicare have standards now for what is covered. Similar standards should be adopted.

I would also like to direct your attention to the post below written by Risp from the Netherlands. He (or she) has first hand knowledge of BOTH systems and it's interesting to learn the effects of the two systems, on the people of that country.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I could live with a lot of what you mention but I fear it would simply re-create the situation we are in now, but cost even more money.

As it is now, people who are poor and on Medicaid and Medicare, from a dental perspective at least, get much lesser quality work. Mainly because if I were to accept Medicaid patients, and still use my same materials and staff, I would loose money. So the places that do accept them as patients need to use lower quality materials, lesser trained staff, and often perform lower quality procedures. So it results in a situation where the poor get worse treatment than everyone else, while the rich get better care, and everyone else is in the middle.

If under single payer private practices can still exist, those that can afford the costs or the cost of the Cadillac rider will go there, those that can't will go to places that accept single payer. I just don't see how that is any different than just extending insurance to those who don't have it, kind of like what is trying to be done now.

I have no doubt that the systems that the Scandinavian countries are using work great for them. I did my residency with a couple Norwegians and they were generally very happy with it. A big difference though is the size of the countries and a relative lack of 'health IQ' among Americans, especially low-income ones. They were pretty shocked at how unhealthy a lot of Americans were, especially younger ones. And plus we just have a lot more people who are much more diverse in regards to their healthcare expectations.

Without doing something to first to teach Americans healthy habits, and actually having them change themselves, offering a single payer system that actually pays for good quality care will run the debt through the roof.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

one fear i'd have, and don't know if the study adjusted for it, is over-utilization when the government gets involved. expansion to more people would increase this effect. in addition, from direct observable experience, every single other program the government has paid for (i.e., subsidized or financed) has resulted in sky-rocketing costs. examples are housing, post-secondary education, and defense. in other words, the study's conclusion is very counterintuitive and flies in the face of what we have observed directly and repeatedly. i actually believe private insurers provide some checks on sky-rocketing costs. probably healthcare should be conducted by the providers as strictly non-profit.

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

So you think health care providers (doctors, nurses, emt's, etc.) should be non-profit and the insurance companies should remain for profit? Right?

[-] 1 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

right. but don't forget, employees of non-profits still receive salaries,,, the difference is non-profits do not have shareholders; and, therefore, the profits do not inure to the benefit of private individuals--this then removes the incentive to pursue profits and to do their job without shareholders pushing them for ever more profit.

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

So, are you telling us that the government doesn't have those expenses plugged into their numbers when they determine "healthcare costs"?

Are you saying that the government doesn't have to pay claims, executive pay and bonuses, employee pay, benefits, marketing and administrative expenses, nor utility costs, maintenance costs and much more that are charged against the government budget.

No wonder they can do it so cheaply. The taxpayer is paying all that.

[-] 3 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

Yes they do have those expenses ........ what single-payer does not plug in is PROFIT. But you knew that, didn't you?

[-] -1 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

problem with this is: the trough would be left open and unguarded (if basically non-profit) for all those pigs to feed until they're big fat hogs. for profit is the only motivation to keep costs in check--both parties battle over each dollar and somewhere a balance is struck.

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

Oh, I see. So we should keep those "big fat hogs" away from our healthcare trough by keeping prices high and affordable, only for the rich. Let the others die, huh? I see where you're at. You are transparent.

[-] 0 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

no i am all for low cost good universal healthcare as a goal, but when you open the public coffers, absent extremely effective management and controls, the public would pay tremendously more (like we do now for defense) as the hogs feed in an attempt to steal every dollar they can under the guise of providing healthcare. the condition (effective mgmt.) is the issue. and i do NOT believe the government could ever do that--it's incompetent, plus there'd be healthcare decisions made for political reasons. imagine romney running on a platform regarding whether we should cover some experimental procedure or medicine.

[-] -1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

But what you don't realize is that they don't count those expenses when they factor in the cost of healthcare. Go look it up and you will find out that this is true.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

administrations cost should be less when data can be handled electronically

[-] -1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

Here is an excerpt taken from a report by the American Medical Association

Perhaps the most obvious shortcoming of many estimates is that they ignore unreported spending on administration of government programs.

Such uncounted administrative costs that are especially evident include:

Costs associated with Tax collection to fund the health care program —this is analogous to premium collection by private insurers.

Whereas premium collection expenses of private insurers are rightly counted as administrative costs, tax collection expenses incurred by employers and the Internal Revenue Service do not appear in the official NHE accounting systems

Costs for program marketing, outreach and education

Costs for customer service programs

Costs associated with auditing by the Office of the Inspector General

Costs associated with contract negotiation

Expenses associated with building costs of the Centers

Expenses associated with Services (CMS) program

Staff salaries for CMS personnel with program responsibilities

Congressional resources exhausted each year on setting payment rates for services

So here we have a list of costs associated with the healthcare program that is not included when they calculate what it will cost, but yet private companies do include all these costs.

Explain that if you may.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

no acronyms please

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

Ok, I'll try not to let that happen in the future.

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

So what you are saying is medical insurance has the ability to defy competitive market forces unlike every other product or service? Awesome! So why don't we centrally plan everything else? Sounds like a great idea!

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

What I'm saying is medical insurance companies cannot compete with a single - payer system. How could it when the same service is provided minus the big fat profit margin? As far as every other product or service; health care is different. When people don't have access to health care .......... THEY DIE !!

Or is that "Awesome! " to you too?

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

when people don't have access to food they die also. What else would you like to subsidize for people to "live" ? Do people die from not having birth control? do people die when they don't have access to the morning after pill supplied by their religious employer? You seem to think this debate is about healthcare - it's not. It's about making you dependent on the government so you vote to maintain your dealers power.

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

It's obviously NOT about healthcare for you. Your true motives are beginning to bleeding through. Birth Control .......... Comon'

[-] -2 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

yea - birth control is mandated in the new healthcare law as well as the morning after abortion pill. or didn't you know that? What are my motives? The only motive I have is to wake you up to the fact that you are being bought and made a dependent of the government for free stuff. Just like a drug addict. If you cant see that your too far gone already.

[-] 0 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

I would not be so quick to think the government can do it cheaper. Whenever their is a monopoly (no competition) prices can be set at whatever those in power decide.

My dad told me that he went to the doctors office and his bill went up 30%. He asked the doctor why. The doctor told him "That's what Medicare pays, don't worry you are not paying it."

A few years later the doctor told him he could not longer do one of his tests in the office and they had to do it in the hospital. The cost went from $800 to $1,700. He said there was no reason however the new health care act requires it. The hospital lobby made sure of that.

There was another test that he used to do in the office with a pin prick and a drop of blood. Now with the new rules he has to draw a test tube and send it to the medi-lab. Again the cost tripled. The medical lab lobby group made sure of that.

[-] 1 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

exactly why lobbying rules need to be revised. i am sick of these lobbies stealing money from you and me. worst is the defense lobby... we are throwing away 50 billion for example on the osprey program, and i've seen several former generals go on non-MSM (RT News) and say the program is worthless, not useful and should've been dropped 40 billion ago. this happens every second of the day. second worst is the financial lobby.

[-] 0 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

Cannot agree more. The politicians are just a s guilty as the lobbyists. Often companies that get favors are run by cousins, old friends...

Nancy Pelosi's Brother in law was given $737 Million "green jobs" funds. Don't you love when they put s nice name on it like "green jobs" so we will all think it is a good thing.

[-] 1 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

these stories, oft heard, should make all americans very sick. that said, one wonders if a person who promises to act solely in the public's best interest, without pork barreling his friends and supporters, is even electable? in PA there's a guy, Toomey (i think) who's famous for getting about $200 million in airport funds for his little town in western PA population about 30,000. few people use the airport, and in fact, for the cost of a flight from his airport to the nearest hub per passenger, the federal subsidies could fly a family of 4 to paris--saw that on 60 minutes. this is plain wrong, as anyone in his right mind knows.... but my question to you is whether he'd be electable without such ludicrous promises of pork-barreling? in other words, I think the electorate is also complicit/ responsible for the current, atrocious state of affairs that we call government. bridge to nowhere, airport to nowhere, would they be electable?

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

Why else would these folks spend tens of millions to get a job that pays about $100,000.

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

Don't get single payer confused with 'Obamacare'. IMHO, costs will increase under his plan, because it adheres to the 'for profit' model and still doesn't cover everyone. With the fee-for-service model, you get service; and many times, much more than you actually need. Especially if you have insurance. The more service; the more money they make. Under Single payer, the incentive to 'over service' the patient disappears. Each person, regardless of ability to pay would receive high-quality, comprehensive medical care, and the free choice of doctors and hospitals. Individuals would receive no bills, and co-payment and deductibles would be eliminated. Most people would pay less overall for health care than they pay now.

Doctors’ incomes would change little, though the disparity in income between specialties would shrink. The time currently wasted on administrative duties could be channeled into providing care; and clinical decisions would no longer be dictated by insurance company policy.

The massive numbers of administrative personnel needed to handle itemized billing to 1,500 private insurance companies would no longer be needed. A negotiated “global budget” would cover operating expenses. Budgets for capital would be allocated separately based on healthcare priorities. Hospitals would no longer close because of unpaid bills.

In general, businesses would see Single-Payer limit their health costs and remove the burden of administering health insurance for their employees.

As for the stories that you posted; I have no reason to doubt you, as there is much fraud and manipulation within our current system ....... however, if a single payer system was adopted, I would hope to think that there would be a complete review of ALL current policies. It would be OUR system; and we could make it as we want it.

[-] 0 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

You put too much faith in politicians who spend tens of millions to get jobs that pay $100,000. Hmm...

[-] 5 points by Risp (24) 2 years ago

I live in the Netherlands. We had a few years ago healthcare provided by our Government. Our politicians changed this system, pulling back government from the healthcare system, privatizing the healthcare system. Now, just a few years later, we have to pay more and more for our healthcare system and the standard of healthcare service provisions is decreased. Just a few years ago, before the liberalization of healthcare, everybody had access to our healthcare system. Now, with the privatization of our healthcare system, more and more Dutch people can not afford the healthcare system anymore.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

Neoliberalism strikes again.

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

Thank you for this important point. I hope everyone reads this carefully, as it exemplifies the detriment of a for profit system. This is a great example, in reverse and shows the before and after effect.

Cheers and good luck to ALL the Dutch people !!

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Thanks for adding to the thread.

[-] 3 points by Nevada1 (4464) 2 years ago

Hi factsrfun, Thank you for post. Best Regards, Nevada

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Hello right back, Nevada, thanks for stopping by

[-] 3 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

Government does it cheaper ?!?!?!?!?!?!?
How is that possible ?!?!?!?!?!?!?
I believe that is impossible !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The foxes told me so !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Rs told me so !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I believe in SMALL government
.....................because I don't KNOW any better
..............................................or
..................................................because I have a small one

[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

The VA does it cheaper. Medicare does it cheaper. And several countries do it cheaper AND better.

[-] 2 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

38 countries do it better (US healthcare ranked 39th by WHO)--yet politicians lie and say we have the best healthcare in the world.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Thank you and you are correct. And to bensdad above re how can they do it?

Well the first thing is they buy less graft. And then they cut out some of the corruption. And after that they sacrifice some of the fraud. And then they don't allow them to persuade you with an incessant barrage of TV ads that you should ask your doctor for _____. And then instead of paying per procedure, they pay them to keep you well. And they encourage you to walk and exercise. And on top of that they don't pay farmers to grow too much corn and turn it into corn sugar, called glucose and discourage food processors from putting it in every type of food and over the counter medication that you take. And after that they offer you some incentives to quit smoking and keep your weight down. I won't tell you the rest because you aren't smart enough to understand it or to remember it or to care about it.

[-] 1 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

we are on the same page. and the political lies are what i love--those in the know truly are, and should be, very disgusted at the politicos and the country. however, we do have some stellar doctors, provided you can afford them. for example, steve jobs at his age would never have received a liver transplant,,, but we allocate, currently, the care to those who can afford it, then if there's some spare doctor-time and resources, those 30 million uninsured people can fight for it--what a joke--humanity, civilization, society? non-sequitor, richest nation has 50% of people at the poverty level and 30million who basically cannot get healthcare?--that's another lie--we are not the richest nation, i've traveled extensively to many far better off countries.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Yeah, we have seen a lot of Europe the last two summers. Met and talked to a lot of locals. It gives you a bit different perspective on "American exceptionalism" and not in such a good way.

Why would we try to design a new healthcare system by having a hundred or so lobbyists and 535 members of easy virtue, in a millionaires club (of your user name) try to do it? Not when we have a professor at Harvard who has designed one of the best systems in the world (for another country of course). He could design one. Or we could have a referendum to pick one of the top five that others are using or we could try a dozen other methods all of which would work better than what we have done. We could subcontract it out to Canada, eh? It isn't just an insurance problem or a drug problem or a med device, hospital, lab, doctor shortage, preventative medicine, or whatever problem. It is all of them and they all must be fixed in a coherent and comprehensive way. You or I could do it better than it is being done. I would do it for free.

The happiness and less stress in some of those countries is another helpful factor in achieving the success that they enjoy and I do mean ENJOY.

[-] 1 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

Well put. I'd help you and the Harvard prof. (who is he?) devise a system all for free, from the comfort of my office and without a single lobbyist distracting the achievement of the goal: the best healthcare in the world for all, and at a reasonable price.

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[-] 2 points by guru401 (228) 2 years ago

The government f*cks everything up that it touches. Look at the student loan industry.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I guess I just have a little more faith in America and Americans than you do. Of course I lived near the Great Smoky Mountain Park and I thought the government and their "make work" workers did a heck of a job last time we pulled ourselves out of something this bad, and the town I grew up in has been making tons of money because of it ever since.

[-] 1 points by guru401 (228) 2 years ago

Right. I have no faith in Americans. Did I say that? I have more faith in the American people, rather than our bought-and-paid for government officials. Politicians couldn't care less about the best interests of the people. I don't look to the government to provide me with anything. I have more belief in myself.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Since when did our elected officials stop being Americans? Maybe it's because too many people talk about them as if they weren't.

[-] 1 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

oh, so you forgot about housing too?? everything the gov't finances gets real nice and fat at that trough and collapses under it's own weight. you and i pay for it--isn't it a great country??

[-] 2 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

I can't remember if this information regarding Blue Cross profits had been previously linked in other threads on this topic, but at the risk of redundancy here's something interesting:

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20110618/ISSUE01/306189984/blue-cross-profits-surge

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Hey you can't repeat the truth too many times, thanks for stopping by.

[-] 2 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

Here's an interesting read on the topic of profit The Blues make:

http://www.thedenenbergreport.org/article.php?index=381

Note: Since Blue Cross is a non-profit, "profit" is termed "surplus" as in surplus revenue.

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/industry_activity/9276/blues_reserve_and_surplus_determination/623159

and this:

http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_health_care/016676.html

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

More good stuff, the more people know, the better off we are.

[-] 2 points by jomojo (562) 2 years ago

Imagine what it could be, if healthcare were managed by people who wanted to cure the sick.

[-] 2 points by Anti385 (58) 2 years ago

But that's like imagining the unimaginable...

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Imagine if unicorns danced on endless fields of chocolate roses

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 2 years ago

Imagine if the unicorns and roses were metaphors for your future.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

"Imagine all the people, sharing all the world, you who who

you might say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

I hope someday that you will join us, and the world will live as one."

J. Lennon

[-] -3 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

lennon was a capitalist, who lived in a very expensive landmark apartment building in nyc. he wrote words that would sell, for money. he didn't live the words.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

If only he had lived in a world where we could.

[-] 1 points by lollercoaster (38) 2 years ago

I'm calling bullcrap on this post. The US spends a ton of money on healthcare, more than most socialist countries in Europe, or Canada, or the United Kingdom (whatever floats your boat). But healthcare sucks.

I'm not saying privatized medicine would help, but if we have this much money we're wasting, maybe somebody should cut through the damn red tape already, instead of making healthcare even more confusing here.

Oh, and here's a source. http://www.kff.org/insurance/snapshot/oecd042111.cfm

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I "liked" your post it proves my point so well

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

All those places spend less and get better care, because they have single payer.

[-] 1 points by Progression (143) 2 years ago

So in summary, the government does it cheaper by removing the profit margin? Sounds reasonable.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

That certainly is part of it, this was a quick post almost as important is the not worrying if you're qualified to receive medicine, then all you have to check is that the person is really sick and nobody's stealing but compared to making sure your policy covers "it" those are much cheaper.

[-] 1 points by tbuontempo (194) from Jersey City, NJ 2 years ago

In regards to this point, I want to expand it.

In all instances, non-profit or government controlled industries will always be cheaper, in terms of cost to the consumer.

Why?

No need for profit. Think about it. In all instances, in a vacuum, government or not for profit can always provide a consumer with a better price. Especially in terms of government with an area like health care, the economies of scale exacerbate this point.

Since government and not for profit can always lower cost by not requiring a profit, operating at cost, they will always be able to provide the consumer lower cost services and goods.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I agree, this is why I think in order to maintain free enterprise system and the resulting innovations/competition which comes from it one must be careful in which services one allows the government to provide. We learned a long time ago that we couldn’t force power companies to negotiate with each property owner if we ever wanted people to get electricity. Things like education and healthcare, even electricity, I live in a “public” held area, my house is worth more because rates are cheaper than the “private” company. Other things like IPads people can decide for themselves, government should not get involved (except to enforce contracts and such making commerce possible) Anyway that’s the way I see it mostly.

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

lololol. yeah, let's not consider all the money the United States steals from people in order to support their "cheaper" healthcare plan.

Let's look at reality for a moment. Providing a good or service requires a certain amount of work. The provider of that good or service needs to charge a certain amount in return for providing it so that they can afford to purchase the other goods and services they need but do not produce. Now in a free marketplace, providers may charge whatever they wish and "consumers" can choose to pay it or not, or learn to produce the good or service for themselves, if they can not afford to purchase it.

There is nothing that would allow "government" to "do it cheaper" other than the use of force. "Government" is not composed of physicians and healers. "Government" is not "doing healthcare". The only way it can involve itself in the provision of healthcare is to force others to provide it according to government specifications. This is a fundamental violation of the rights of those who are to provide the services. Do you really want to be under the knife of a doctor with a gun to his head (or paycheck)?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Yeah paying taxes is "stealing" and living in America is like being in prison, and all the nasty little peasents want to do is steal the money of the King to pay for their little boo boos, if they're not begging for more wages they're trying to tax OUR money, don't they know WE own this country.

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

not sure if this is sarcastic agreement or poorly worded refutation?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Then it must be agreement

[-] 1 points by mako (42) 2 years ago

So what you are saying is medical insurance defies all other markets forces based on competition. That's amazing. What makes medical insurance so special? Why don't we have everything else centrally planned by the government? Sounds like a great idea.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I'm not the only one saying it. Every Republican in congress said it when they pointed out that if they allowed the "public option" no private company could possibly compete with the efficiency of government bureaucrats. After paying out multimillion dollar salaries and bigo stock bonuses, private companies wouldn’t stand a chance. Now if you don’t believe me get a letter from LA to NY for less than 50 cents without using the post office.

[-] 0 points by mako (42) 2 years ago

the post office is going broke, medicare is going broke. to bad examples of central planning. An endless sinkhole for the taxpayer to fund.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

The post office is far from broke, but they do fund their retirement plan about a 100 times better than any private company because the GOP in congress made them do stuff they refuse to require of private companies, in an effort to kill them, even so if they charge 25% of what the next cheapest provider does (about 87 cents) they'd be rolling in the bucks. You should read the whole story not just the headlines. If medicare is going broke it's not because of waste but underfunding, can you explain why the GOP was so afraid of competing with the bado government, you would think they would welcome the chance to show how much better the private sector was.

[-] 0 points by mako (42) 2 years ago

wake up - the post office ran a 5 billion dollar deficit last year. where have you been? you can always claim underfunding if you run short of money lol. medicare is 20 times the cost of what was claimed when they started the program.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

And private care is 20 times cheaper?

You know what? I think you're right about those numbers, I'm sorry about that I got it wrong. (See guys, that's how you do it.) Still if congress would remove the special rules that only the post office has to follow it would fix the problem.

[-] 1 points by mako (42) 2 years ago

free market

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

nothin' in life is free....

[-] 0 points by mako (42) 2 years ago

exactly - everything is a trade-off. including freedom. you want to trade freedom for security just like the coward who prefers paternalistic dependency.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I don't think me and my children working forever to pay off debt to a bunch of rich people is freedom. I say the 1% sent these yahoos to Washington with their campaign contributions, they ran up the debt, I say let them pay it!

[-] 0 points by mako (42) 2 years ago

so that settles it - you prefer paternalism for you and your children.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I just said I don't want paternalism, much English?

You think government exits in order to enslave the masses for the pleasure of the Royals, Your kind have always felt this way.

[-] 1 points by mako (42) 2 years ago

so you are for less government power more a Libertarian?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I'm for a government that that provides the best environment for it's citizens to achieve their highest potential. This is something best done by maximizing individual freedom, while guarding against the development of unbalanced systems, such as an individuals negotiating with the collective power of a corporation for wages.

[-] 1 points by mako (42) 2 years ago

excellent! Libertarian!

[-] 1 points by shooz (17842) 2 years ago

No such thing. It's impossible.

[-] 1 points by mako (42) 2 years ago

who's fault is that?

[-] 1 points by shooz (17842) 2 years ago

It's the "fault" of those people that try and convince you it's real.

[-] 1 points by mako (42) 2 years ago

who is that?

[-] 1 points by shooz (17842) 2 years ago

Those people who convince you of the illusion.

[-] 1 points by mako (42) 2 years ago

LOL! so your answer is go in the opposite direction - More central planning?

[-] 1 points by shooz (17842) 2 years ago

Reading comprehension not so good?

Assumption levels kind of high?

You must be convinced of the illusion.

[-] 0 points by mako (42) 2 years ago

it's either more central planning or less. take your pick.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

is this military health care ?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Good morning Matt, didn't know if you were itchin' for a fight, or just wanting the discussion to start going. Seems your a serious person pleased to "meet" you.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

not looking to fight or profit

the US armed forces threats their members with respect when it comes to healthcare

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I would say that I agree, it was a bit rougher in the late 70's when I served, the guys on the ship weren't always the best but my family got first rate treament back at base and I got taken care of when the command sturtcure didn't get in the way. They change training/mangement tatics at lot under Reagan I'm told which has continued, except we do ask an alfully lot of those who serve, at least that's my understanding from firends that stayed in.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

Thank you - you got it right
we could save 20-30% without the insurance leaches
how do we get rid of the insurance leaches ? we get rid of the supreme court's citizens united decision
how do we do that ?

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 2 years ago

Write Wendell Potter and ask him these questions. Read his blog, his book.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

during the health care debate I listened to most of the hearings via npr & cspan ... I recall hearing one where Obama .. challenged the Dems who wanted single payer health-care ... he replied (something like this) .... now is not the time ...14%(?) of our economy right now is in healthcare insurance or healthcare management ... we cannot afford to put another 14% in the unemployment lines right now in this recession ... you need to figure out a better way (or something ?) ...

[-] 3 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

thanks for that very interesting item
but "14%" of all workers do not work for medical insurance companies. the employees would still be needed - just as they are in the Medicare system
the biggest losers would be the ins execs making $1,000,000+ /year and the stockholder leeches

[-] 0 points by fairforall (279) 2 years ago

stockholder leeches - hehe. what an idiot.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I'm in favor of adding a couple of justices to the court, ones that believe people come from biological process not legal ones.

As far as healthcare we tell the Donald Trumps of the world to stop their whining and tell’em their going to pay for healthcare, then we levy a tax and do single payer. If they got to spend less time at Tiffany’s because somebody needs a heart transplant, well so be it.

[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

How would you ADD justices?
FDR tried and failed
What do you mean
ones that believe people come from biological process not legal ones.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Nothing requires there to be nine, true FDR failed but that dosen't mean it can't be done.

Corporations are the result of a legal process and as such cannot be "people".

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[-] 0 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

Government healtcare in many other European countries has worked but is slowly getting ready to collapse. Look at Greece

[-] 0 points by PretendHitGirI (13) 2 years ago

Obama has the answers! Do not privatize anything! Our government needs to grow much larger, don't you people get it?!?

The average federal salary is around 75K, WITH GREAT BENEFITS!

The average US salary, including factoring in the 21+ million high paying federal salaries, and not factoring in the very high paying overseas government contract salaries, is only 26K, with shitty or no benefits.

We all need to work for the government. Seriously, it will be different than communism! I promise! Ask GirlFriday and ZenDog if you don't believe me!

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I got a better idea why don't we all just become historians for Freddie Mac they pay over a million a year!

[-] -1 points by PretendHitGirI (13) 2 years ago

Let's make sure that only republicans do that, first.

Of course we all know that the corruption is rife on both sides of the aisle.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Time to move to Mexico? Pick a side and get in the fight, wait a minute looks like you picked a side, you would just rather people just not know what it is.

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[-] 0 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

YEARS ago, government was not in healthcare and most people could afford medical care,,, without insurance. Government is now in healthcare,,,,,,, you cant afford to be without insurance. Interesting how that worked out for us. Depending on your age,,, ask your parents or grandparents how much it cost to go to the doctor,,,, nearly nothing. Not today thanks to the government.

[-] 2 points by Gillian (1842) 2 years ago

Many years ago, doctors were intelligent and thoughtful care providers that had the ability to run their own practices. They often bartered with their patients who could not afford their services. They saw their patients after hours. Their patients knew their receptionist. The doctors cared and took pride in being a care giver. Today, they are nothing but mere corporate puppets that aren't even allowed to think for themselves. Any training they did receive was dictated by insurance companies, food industry and other corps that fund their programs in school.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I am a dentist so I cannot really speak for medicine but a lot of dental practices, including my own, still operate as you mention above. We don't barter though simply because if I give someone a deal on a crown or something, then everyone coming through the door will want the same discount on their crown.

But we develop treatment plans with no input whatsoever from the insurance companies, we simply come up with what the ideal treatment would be. It is up to the patient to figure out what is covered and what is not and if they can't afford something we will go back and come up with an alternate plan.

I briefly worked at a community health center right out of residency where we treated mostly Medicaid patients and that is where you really see the insurance company (Medicaid) control every aspect of the patient-doctor relationship. When you talk about doctors simply being puppets and not caring it holds a lot more true for those involved in the government run programs than private practice/insurance. They required patients wait up to 8 weeks before treatment can begin so they can review the plan and then they (I have no idea who 'they' is) would pick and choose what procedures the patient could and could not have without ever actually seeing the patient.

[-] 2 points by Gillian (1842) 2 years ago

Hi Mooks....Dentists seem to have more freedom than medical doctors. But, my point was that years ago...probably before you were born, doctors practiced very differently and did barter with their patients without worrying that other patients would expect the same. There was a mutual trust between the doctor and patients and no one took advantage of anyone. there was no need to because everyone knew that they would get what they needed and deserved one way or another. My favorite doctor and mentor once said, ' The only way out of today's misery is to become worthy of each other's trust". I know two doctors today in the US who are so fed up that they are practicing medicine at their clinics free of charge and accepting payment or donations when anyone offers. Would you do that Mooks? I don't think that medicaid is anymore controlling than any other insurance ( just from personal experience with friends) but I do think that there is a LOT of abuse of medicaid by patients that leads to excessive cost. It's all the same to me and truthfully, the only doctors that I know that are happiest in their careers are the VA docs and it's because they are actually able to spend time with their patients and the vets I know who go there seem to get pretty awesome treatment ( relative to the western paradigm). Personally, I don't think anyone should pay for the quality of care that we receive in this country. Our outcomes are VERY poor for such an industrialized nation. Please don't misunderstand me...I don't blame doctors entirely...I think that patients have been so conditioned to buy drugs and demand things that are advertised to them which compromises the doctor/patient relationship and the quality of care that is provided. The entire system is so flawed. I think we need to BAN direct to consumer advertising for starters!!

[-] 1 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

interesting point at the end. they should also reign in those pharma reps. who make tons of money pushing doctors to prescribe drugs constantly, some of them have sex with the Dr. to prescribe, or they give 50 yard line tickets, etc... it's a bribe and not in the patient's interest and results in over-utilization, that you and i ultimately pay for.

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

Personally, I would not do that, mainly because I would go broke. My assistants and front desk staff are going to probably expect to be paid regardless of what I am actually charging. My suppliers and lab too. I do volunteer once a month at a clinic though where they provide the staff and materials. That is probably the best that most people can do unless they have funding from somewhere else.

I definitely agree with that last point. I don't have a problem with elective things being advertised but some of the claims made by the companies that make the OTC hygiene stuff are ridiculous.

[-] 2 points by Gillian (1842) 2 years ago

I'm not talking about OTC therapies or meds. I'm talking about how truly wrong and dangerous it is that any prescription medication be advertised to the public. It's commonsense that if the consumer isn't qualified to diagnose and treat themselves that advertising ' should' be prohibited. However, drug companies advertise because it works ...the consumer sees the ad, goes to the doctor, asks for the medication and voila..they have it. This is disastrous for doctors as well as for patients and drives the cost of ( poor quality) medical care up with a vengeance. We have been completely conditioned to believe that we need to see a doctor for every ailment we suffer and that we need to come home with some sort of medication. I have an integrative doctor that spends over 2 hours with me per visit once or twice and year and I never come home with drugs or prescriptions. I pay him 125.00 per visit out of pocket. I don't see him when I'm sick ( I haven't been sick once since 03)..I see him for preventive care checkups/annual physicals. I would bet that you have more patients who can pay than those who cannot and hence, I think you would be quite surprised at how many folks would be willing to make a small donation at the time of their visit if they knew that you were someone who was willing to help provide for those who cannot afford dental care. People really want to help each other at their core..they want their lives to have meaningful purpose and to know that they are contributing to others' well-being. I've learned in my life that what I give to others does truly come back to me ten fold...it may not come as soon as I would like it to but it eventually does :D I notified my vet, dentist and my doctor that if they ever have a patient that cannot afford care, to contact me. A few years ago I created a network of folks that work with me to round up the funds and of course the doctors are willing to work on a sliding scale. It's not a utopian idea...in fact, this is exactly how many communities and doctors worked together prior to the " for profit" managed care regime that was implemented in the late 70's and early 80's. Political medicine does not work and never will. Get corps out of politics and maybe we have a chance to rebuild America's health. As it is, we are the most unhealthy industrialized nation in the world and we pay the most for healthcare. The American way seems to be to pay a lot for poor quality in everything anymore and this is exactly what ' trickle-up' economics is supposed to do.

[-] 0 points by slizzo (-96) 2 years ago

Do you stereotype racial minorities the same way you just stereotyped all doctors? What about Jews? Do you feel comfortable stereotyping them, too? (this is ows, a left wing mob, after all)

"nothing but mere corporate puppets" ....oh, the drama!

[-] -2 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

Hey,,,,,, WE AGREE!!!!! Very good. But then unions started demanding health insurance and the rest is documented in your post above. Thanks again.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 2 years ago

I hadn't really thought about how unions influenced the insurance business. Tell me more! Unions don't need to support health insurance IF we had a single payer system anyway.
What really boggles me is that so many Americans fear socialism and I know this thinking is probably a left over remnant of the cold war propaganda machine. I can clearly remember being in my gov't class, a senior in HS in 1979 and my teacher being fired for teaching us about communism. We were not allowed to learn about such things in a government class. Yet, that type of oppression is in itself a form of communism. Ironic, eh and no one raised hell or even questioned the administration. Do most Americans really know what socialism is? What Marxism is? What communism is? Probably not given that they seem to tolerate an awful lot of government/corporate oppression without any backlash. America has many socialized programs that are tolerated and never questioned and yet people are worried about receiving government provided healthcare. People tolerate paying extremely over-inflated insurance premiums that are based on others' use and abuse of the system - which is actually a form of socialism in itself. Group health plans are a form of socialism and people are willing to pay into a group that could ultimately cause them to lose their job AND their life. I don't know if you are aware but insurance companies will actually justify raising premiums so high because one person in a company got cancer or took a psychotropic medication. Anxiety disorders, as common as they are, are considered to be ' high risk' and hence, increase insurance premiums for everyone participating in a group policy. The corps will either remove their high risk employee from the policy or fire them. Years ago I had a doctor who would NOT prescribe newer medications because he said that it put my job security and my ability to get insured at risk. Do a little research on the topic if you're not familiar.

[-] 0 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

I have yet to find a country that I would rather live in, as far as a government is concerned. I yet to find a communist country where people seem to be happy with their life. There are some in America that are not happy but most seem to like their homes, their cars, their freedom to seek something better if they want to. I dont believe in group medical plans. I think everyone should be able to PURCHASE,,, not given,,,, a private plan that meets their needs. Universal healthcare places everyone in a single, dull system. I dont want government to tell me what to do or how to do it.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 2 years ago

Yes, I suppose we love our houses and cars and all the choices we have at the stores and lord knows we can make a dollar doing just about anything we can imagine. But our quality of life ( and our goods) seems to have diminished so significantly and rapidly. I'm not so sure we are all that happy given that about half us or more are taking medication to deal with life and get through the day or night. So, I can't help but wonder how much of our freedom paved a fast road to hell. Apparently, there is a new requirement for insurers to be completely transparent about their coverage. The insurers are angry as heck about this and I'm sure they'll find some way to cover their bums...perhaps adding many exclusions.
I wouldn't be opposed to privately purchased insurance at all IF our medical paradigm was such that it actually helped people to be healthy. But, any plan designed in our current system isn't going to cut the cost of healthcare in this country and improve health outcomes. We need a major over-haul and I'll probably be dead before I see that ever happen here.

[-] -1 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

Liberalim is killing America and killing Europe much faster. The idea of things being GIVEN to the citizens sure sounds GREAT. But at some time there isnt enough going in to be given. Then, once everything hits rock bottom we need to take more severe actions, as exampled in Greece. The world is going to hell in a handbasket right before our very eyes. You can either continue to dig a hole to fall down into or you can have a vision of building and climbing.

[-] 2 points by Gillian (1842) 2 years ago

I don't believe in handouts for everything and I do agree that we are a very enabling society that encourages victimization. I don't think this is just a liberal issue. I've seen this mentality across the board. Let's take a look at all of Bush's tax cuts, incentives, etc.. for 8 years. I knew what he was doing and didn't fall for it for one second. I knew we would end up where we are today and ironically, so did my friends in Wales and Australia but Americans were so gullible. On the other hand, healthcare should be a worthy investment for any nation because when citizens are healthy, they are productive, happy and more well adjusted. An unhealthy society is a huge drain on us economically. We are in a biggo messo right now and it's not improving at all in terms of healthcare.

[-] 0 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

I would ask YOU to ask your FRIENDS in Wales and Australia to send some of their money to America. Not to pay for Americans, but pay for the illegal aliens that we are paying for their healthcare TOO. I wonder if your FRIENDS would be as happy with their care if they were forced to pay for over 12 MILLION illegals that are getting free healthcare, education and other infrastructure items. Ask them to pay half of what we are paying to,,,,,,, help us out. See how far that goes with YOUR Friends. Bet you wont be friends after that. Just think about the impact of giving FREE to over 12 MILLION.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 2 years ago

That's a really silly immature response. I lived in Wales and Australia for a short time so I can tell you first hand that the medical care in both places is top notch and not anything like the crap we receive here. Both systems were very efficient from my experience. Everyone pays into the healthcare system and you can purchase an additional private policy for a low price in both places. As far as illegals go, that's another issue and of course no one wants to foot the bill for those who are not citizens. But, i'd rather pay 40-80 dollars a month into a single payer system than to pay hundreds or even a thousand a month to a private for profit insurer while the undeserving still get their cake and eat it too. We shouldn't have illegals reaping benefits period and if I remember correctly, anyone in the UK that is not a citizen must buy a private policy. When Bush enforced the patriot act, he used the medical system as one path to monitor the US population so one would think that the healthcare system alone should be filtering out illegals or anyone with questionable citizenship. That's why we all have to present ID's, fill out consents, etc...now. IF our system were fair and transparent, no illegals would be receiving healthcare and other benefits on our dime. It's our politicians that have allowed that to happen - even to the extent of prioritizing healthcare for illegals in lieu of their own American citizens. I think everyone in Washington needs to take a 12 step program. No system is perfect but I must say that I never had any issues with the NHS. If I ever get really sick, I'm going across the pond for care and I sincerely mean that. So, for me, it's even more frustrating to be ' forced' to buy insurance in a country where I wouldn't even use it.

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by JanitorInaDrum (134) 2 years ago

How did the ripoff thing go with the slimeball college creep?

Frottage frottage.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

You know your right, I don't remember myself, but grand dad always said leaches were cheap, and I hear they're making a comeback but of course they cost a lot more now.

[-] -1 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

When I was a kid my parents took me to the doctor and paid $20. You have to ask the question of how did we get from 1776 to just a few decades back without medical insurance or government assistance. Our great grandparents would think we were lazy sissy people. And most are. Around 200 years without the need for medical insurance and you all whine about it today. You asked for insurance as a condition of employment and now you hate it. Make up your minds.

[-] 3 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

When I was a kid we didn’t have insurance and every time I got sick it was a family emergency. I always felt so guilty. I think American’s children should be able to get sick without feeling guilty.

[-] -2 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

So in the 1800 when there was no insurance you think kids were guilty of getting sick? Or do you think this is a recent thing with the liberal agenda toward everyone should have insurance provided?

[-] 3 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I don't know if you even understand what you just said, but I do know that being six years old running a fever and hearing your parents talk about how they're going pay for the doctor is something American childern shouldn't have to do.

[-] -2 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

You didnt comment on the issue,,, if that was your intention. Getting medical attention in the 1700's, 1800's and early 1900's was accommplished without anyone PROVIDING health insurance. How did they do that before the liberal agenda? Did everyon that got sick die and did our population drop drastically during those times or are people more sissy, frail and whiners today than they were? Just an observation that I got medical attention when I needed it as a child and there was no medical insurance. Wonder why it is the issue of the day? Relatively speaking, my parents income and expendtures was the same as it is today. Their salary was $1.00/day and spent $.80/day. Compared to today.

[-] 3 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

So liberals are to blame for science, I think you’re on to something. Come to think of it liberals are responsible for all progress.

[-] -1 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

LOL,,, If YOU think that for nearly 200 years people had responsibility for their own lives, stood up to their obligations, and survived without mother government and insurance,,, and YOU think there is "progress" today, you really should take your gig on the comedy stage.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Wait a minute, let me look that up on my IPad and see if there's been any progress.

[-] 0 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

The Ipad made by a HUGE "corporation" manufactured in "CHINA" with slave labor? That IPad? American progress related to health insurance? You are great at telling jokes.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Thank you, thank you very much...all your comments are jokes, just not that funny.

[-] 0 points by foreeverLeft (-264) 2 years ago

Yes, the government has shown itself to be a wonderful steward of the taxpayer's money.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

It's like everything it's what you make it, I remember when we landed on the moon.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

So what you are saying is medical insurance has the ability to defy competition & market forces and is exempt unlike any other product or service out there? This is amazing! Why don't we centralize everything else as well?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Wow different name same comment, I'll just cut and paste my response.

I'm not the only one saying it. Every Republican in congress said it when they pointed out that if they allowed the "public option" no private company could possibly compete with the efficiency of government bureaucrats. After paying out multimillion dollar salaries and bigo stock bonuses, private companies wouldn’t stand a chance. Now if you don’t believe me get a letter from LA to NY for less than 50 cents without using the post office.

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

The reason the private insurance companies cant compete is not because the public option is more efficient it's because it has seemingly unlimited taxpayer resources like medicare which is going broke. Holy cow - I cant believe you twisted it like that lol! Are you kidding? When the taxpayer refuses to pay more - that's when the rationing starts. Get ready !

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

They were offered a fully self funded system, just like the post office, and they ran away because they knew the truth, private companies are about squezzing out profits not getting people well. You guys are always pulling out that "unlimited taxpayer resources" crap but small guy trying to open a shop has to go against Walmart's unlimited resources and your fine with that.

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

the post office is broke - were have you been?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Far from broke, but they do fund their retirement plan about a 100 times better than any private company because the GOP in congress made them do stuff they refuse to require of private companies, in an effort to kill them, even so if they charge 25% of what the next cheapest provider does (about 87 cents) they'd be rolling in the bucks. You should read the whole story not just the headlines.

[-] -1 points by slizzo (-96) 2 years ago

The Rx to fix healthcare is the removal of as much govt interference as possible. Not surprisingly, most people think the opposite is true.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Yeah! All those stupid "reality based" people.

[-] 1 points by slizzo (-96) 2 years ago

I see you put "reality based" in quotes. Hmmm...maybe you're not quite as dumb as a bag of shit.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

That's because I was quoteing a Bush offical that was laughing at a reporter for trying to ask a real question. Sorry i forget how much I know and you don't.

[-] 1 points by slizzo (-96) 2 years ago

In conclusion, you're: -not too bright -able to answer questions -dreadfully boring -typical occutard

Good luck with that.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8651) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Thank you,....thank you very much...

[-] 1 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

that would be certain to result in far, far fewer people with access to healthcare. if you're OK with that, tens of millions more unable to have a bone set, or wound stitched up, then OK. at least it would be sure to reduce the population, which is a decent goal too.

[-] 1 points by slizzo (-96) 2 years ago

Did far fewer people have access to healthcare before the govt began the lawyer pissing match against doctors?

[-] 1 points by ineptcongress (648) 2 years ago

doctors mess up too, and so fairness and justice do require that plaintiffs receive compensation. or we could just let doctors be incompetent in certain instances in favor of more people being treated.