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Old 10-09-2007, 11:15 AM   #21
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Considering that the government has been meddling in health care since WWII, I would be curious to see what the free market would actually do with health care.

The tax deduction for employer-provided health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid have distorted the free market for healthcare so much that I wouldn't be suprised if government-run healthcare ended up being better than our current system.

I think that actual free-market healthcare would be better than both though.

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I'm just curious. Do you think the private sector does a better job with health insurance?
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:23 AM   #22
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I don't look at health insurance as something the government should run. Do you really trust the Congress to put in place a plan that would work? I know I don't.............
The fact that our politicians are venal, corrupt and incompetent does not necessarily mean that the concept of single payor national health care is wrong.
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:26 AM   #23
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I don't look at health insurance as something the government should run. Do you really trust the Congress to put in place a plan that would work? I know I don't.............
I ma not a huge fan of any gubmint. But I think healthcare access is important enough to take a realist view. Our current system is unparalleled at delivering the very highest quality, most advanced care. What it is not so good at is delivering basic services to everyone. I can't see how the private market ever could deliver basic services to everyone. So in my mind, the logical conclusion is that we need a gubmint-based solution for at least making sure everyone has access to a certain level of care.
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:32 AM   #24
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Not sure I want to trust my health to a program set up by venal, corrupt and imcompetent people.
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:33 AM   #25
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I'll be staying away from this conversation now that brewer has arrived. I don't want to be tricked into talking about Hitler again!
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:35 AM   #26
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I'll be staying away from this conversation now that brewer has arrived. I don't want to be tricked into talking about Hitler again!
Nah, I'll be good. No trickery at play on this thread.

Seriously, can you come up with a realistic way for the private market to cover everyone, at least at a basic level? I can't, but maybe I am just not imaginitive enough.
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:56 AM   #27
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Not sure I want to trust my health to a program set up by venal, corrupt and imcompetent people.
You mean insurers?
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:57 AM   #28
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Here's something interesting I read that would help cover the uninsured for basic healthcare like immunization shots and annual check ups. Notice that it's not a givernment sponsored entity and is completely profit driven but can still make a difference.

No-insurance health clinic chain opens in S.F. - San Francisco Business Times:
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:02 PM   #29
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Here's something interesting I read that would help cover the uninsured for basic healthcare like immunization shots and annual check ups. Notice that it's not a givernment sponsored entity and is completely profit driven but can still make a difference.

No-insurance health clinic chain opens in S.F. - San Francisco Business Times:
Not a bad start, but the fees will be out of reach for many and you would still be screwed if you had an accident of some sort.
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:09 PM   #30
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Here is an interesting discussion on the pros and cons of free market delivery of healthcare from a consulting firm in the UK. It doesn't seem to matter what kind of system you have, someone will always be complaining about it.

A market solution might be efficient, but I don't think it would be equitable. Our system is a mess. Whether it's more of a mess than the NHS in the UK depends on where you sit. Bottom line: we spend a lot more per capita than anywhere else in the world and have 47 million uninsured.

Quoting from the article:

"Within most societies there exists, in some form or another, a concern that health care resources and benefits should be distributed in some fair or just way"

From where I sit, this should be the starting point for any discussion. If you don't agree with this premise, what do you offer as an alternative starting point other than: It's all about me?
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:22 PM   #31
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Not a bad start, but the fees will be out of reach for many and you would still be screwed if you had an accident of some sort.
I don't think that the fees are unreasonable at all. If your only two choices are to pay hundreds of dollars a month for insurance or $59.00 for a comprehensive physical exam, the choice is pretty obvious.

Check out what services they offer and the prices.
Welcome to QuickHealth

I agree that it's not a fix all. I'm not sure what the solution is for a major accident or if you need surgery. It's a great service though for preventive and basic healthcare.
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:24 PM   #32
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I don't think that the fees are unreasonable at all. If your only two choices are to pay hundreds of dollars a month for insurance or $59.00 for a comprehensive physical exam, the choice is pretty obvious.
It seems more than reasonable to you and me, but there are literally millions (tens of millions?) of people in the US for whom this is out of reach. We will always have the poor, as Christ said. Just a fact of life.
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:45 PM   #33
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I went in search of the makeup of the 47 million uninsured. Seems like 10 million are not U.S. citizens and 18 million make more than the national average family income and choose to be uninsured. Of the 18 million 8 million make between $50,000 and $75,000 a year. From one of the articles:

Kaiser Family Foundation, a liberal non-profit frequently quoted by the media, puts the number of uninsured Americans who do not qualify for current government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 13.9 million and 8.2 million.

If these numbers are right, it seems to me we should be talking about the 14 million uninsured. Approximately 4% of the U.S. population. (assumes 300m total population)
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:49 PM   #34
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You mean insurers?
Venal, corrupt, and incompetent people? I think that refers to corporate fatcats.
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:53 PM   #35
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I went in search of the makeup of the 47 million uninsured. Seems like 10 million are not U.S. citizens and 18 million make more than the national average family income and choose to be uninsured. Of the 18 million 8 million make between $50,000 and $75,000 a year.
Um, you might want to rethink that bit about the 18MM who make more than the national average. Many/most are residents of states where costs are much higher than national average family income. Where I live, I'd be squeezing a family of 4 into a small rental at $1500 a month, and private market insurance would be at least as much as the rent, assuming I could somehow afford it on, say, $60k a year.

We don't all live in low cost areas.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:00 PM   #36
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We don't all live in low cost areas.
People have the ability to choose where they live. If the costs of an area are to high to be affordable to a family, that family can move to a lower cost area, no?
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:04 PM   #37
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I went in search of the makeup of the 47 million uninsured. Seems like 10 million are not U.S. citizens
We could discount non-citizens except for the fact that they still use ERs around the country.

In other words, we're still paying for their sometimes minor problems in a highly inefficient manner.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:12 PM   #38
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People have the ability to choose where they live. If the costs of an area are to high to be affordable to a family, that family can move to a lower cost area, no?
Haaaaaahahahahahaahaha!

Seriously, you want big population migrations to happen based on healthcare availability/affordability? And why wuld you think that our $60k coastal family would do any better in flyover country? Costs may be lower, but so will their earnings.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:46 PM   #39
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Seriously, you want big population migrations to happen based on healthcare availability/affordability?
That could actually happen if there were anything even approaching a free market or transparency. Since to insurers neither transparency or a free market is a good thing, we won't see that happen.

But it could.. when private insurance starts costing more than housing, which it now does for some.

[And then whatever 'convenient' area might get overcrowded and then quality would go down, or cost would go up, or both, I'd imagine.]
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:47 PM   #40
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Brewer,
I agree there are folks in high expense areas and it may/does pose a problem. My point is that the often figure of 47M that is tossed out to justify ripping up the current health care system needs further scrutiny.

Having had this conversation on another thread with Martha and several others, I do not believe that the nations health care situation will be solved between the folks that post here. To some it is a true critical issue that affects there FIRE, to others it is just another political debate.

Will Washington solve this problem? They will try. And, it will lead to many lively conversations on this board.
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