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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-09-2006, 07:03 PM   #41
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

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Whats the other alternative?
you suggest that i have a viable alternative to the current system; i don't -- nor have i seen a convincingly viable alternative put forth elsewhere. achieving what i suspect folks want is not likely possible, and attempts to reach such an unachievable result will end as you have suggested, subject to my modifications: "less than satisfactory, relatively unreliable service at a very high cost with tons near unimaginable levels of bureaucracy and an "I dont give a crap about* f**k you" attitude.

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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-09-2006, 07:14 PM   #42
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

If Walmart sold medical insurance ,* started a chain of hospitals and medical offices, they could import doctors and rx. from china and undercut the competion. Cost would be so low that most anyone could afford it.

That would really piss-off the AMA and others, but they could prob. make it work if they wanted to.

I think Costco already offers insurance to customers.

Not the kind of hospital I'd go to , but maybe not such a nutty idea ?
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-09-2006, 07:25 PM   #43
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

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they could import doctors
no doubt you've noticed that we've been importing MDs for many years now ...
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-09-2006, 07:29 PM   #44
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

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Whats the other alternative?
you suggest that i have a viable alternative to the current system; i don't -- nor have i seen a convincingly viable alternative put forth elsewhere. achieving what i suspect folks want is not likely possible, and attempts to reach such an unachievable result will end as you have suggested,
So much for the Big Pie Principle.
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-09-2006, 07:39 PM   #45
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

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If Walmart ...
re Walmart clinics, see:
http://money.cnn.com/2006/03/31/news...1706/index.htm
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-09-2006, 07:57 PM   #46
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

I am ready to retire and have the funds but health care insurance is my major issue. I do not know how to solve this problem.
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-09-2006, 08:31 PM   #47
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

Yea, sign me up for this brilliant move ... can't wait to get health care like they have in Great Britain ... :
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-09-2006, 08:44 PM   #48
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

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Yea, sign me up for this brilliant move ... can't wait to get health care like they have in Great Britain ...
You're saying that the American medical machine is no better than England's? Or the American insurance industry is no better than England's? You're saying, if there were to be any Gov involvement, and there need not, that the US gov is and can be no better than England's?

The same people who constantly crow about how great the American "anything" is simultaneously find every component of it infinitely trashable. We simply can do not better... be no better.. manage no better.. produce no better than whatever their most deridabe straw man example is. But we're better than everybody. But all extant deficiencies are OK and must not be addressed or we'll be "Like Them"

(Unless I'm reading you wrong)
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-09-2006, 09:07 PM   #49
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

If the gubmint provided catastrophic insurance, almost all Americans could afford to self-fund or buy inexpensive insurance for physicals, tests, and treatments. No doubt there would be a desire for gold-plated, wrap-around insurance as well, just as those who can affiord it now buy Medicare wrap-around policies. (Obviously the poor would need more complete assistance, as they do for food and housing.)

As a first <I mistyped that as frist>step, COBRA should be extended to 3 or 4 years (at cost plus 1%), and 60-year-olds and up should be able to buy into Medicare at cost.
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-09-2006, 10:14 PM   #50
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
If the gubmint provided catastrophic insurance, almost all Americans could afford to self-fund or buy inexpensive insurance for physicals, tests, and treatments. No doubt there would be a desire for gold-plated, wrap-around insurance as well, just as those who can affiord it now buy Medicare wrap-around policies. (Obviously the poor would need more complete assistance, as they do for food and housing.)

As a first <I mistyped that as frist>step, COBRA should be extended to 3 or 4 years (at cost plus 1%), and 60-year-olds and up should be able to buy into Medicare at cost.
Astro gets it right once again. Dead on.

Pretty sharp for someone from the slow country .
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-10-2006, 05:00 AM   #51
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

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If the gubmint provided catastrophic insurance ...
but this is not likely the universal health coverage the folks want, which i trust means full benefits and modest if not near zero cost.
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-10-2006, 05:34 AM   #52
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

The illusion of a free lunch will never die.

The idea of 'somebody else' paying for it is nice.

heh heh heh
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-10-2006, 06:11 AM   #53
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

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Originally Posted by razztazz
The same people who constantly crow about how great the American "anything" is simultaneously find every component of it infinitely trashable. We simply can do not better... be no better.. manage no better.. produce no better than whatever their most deridabe straw man example is. But we're better than everybody. But all extant deficiencies are OK and must not be addressed or we'll be "Like Them"
(Unless I'm reading you wrong)
That's a very good observation razztazz. Recently, I noticed that too.
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-10-2006, 07:48 AM   #54
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

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Originally Posted by unclemick2
The illusion of a free lunch will never die.

The idea of 'somebody else' paying for it is nice.
Point well taken.

But there probably would be some true savings to a certain extent: take out the insurance company profit, even out the cost of emergency room care subsidies for those with no assets, and remove the barriers to early retirement or between-job gaps in coverage. Believe me, it is REALLY expensive when someone with no insurance defers getting their gall bladder removed ($10k total) and 6 months later it ruptures with peritonitis, etc., etc. ($250K if they survivie).

Fiscal cost aside, it would really provide value, emotional or otherwise, to know that no matter what other b*llsh*t life threw at you (laid off, family crisis, disability) at least for having paid your taxes, you had coverage for catastrophic illness.
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-10-2006, 08:09 AM   #55
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

My question , if we institute socialized medicine, where will all the Canadian doctors who migrated to the United States end up? *We have medicaid , medicare, sliding scale fee clinics. * *I worked until I knew I could retire with a pension and *medical insurance. Wanted to retire five years ago but knew I could not until I reached my goal. *I have no sense of entitlement.
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-10-2006, 08:43 AM   #56
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

My goodness ... I was being very sarcastic.

We have a friend from Britain who regaled us with "impressive" stories of government health care.* People come to America from many countries for treatment they can't receive timely from their government healt care providers in their home country.

We're trashing the dollar, and we are in serious debt.* Great idea ... let's make it even worse with Hillary health care.

Frankly, I'm amazed that otherwise intelligent people would still consider government health care to be a viable option.

There might be some savings by converting from the free market (such as it is in this case) to government control?* No.* By that logic, let's have the feds take over Wal-Mart ... after all, they've driven the prices down, but gee ... if we take out all of that nasty shareholder profit, just think of how cheap everything will be.*

Doesn't work that way.

After this, we can discuss the great success of government / public schools.* But, I won't, not anymore.* This is a tiresome, useless debate.
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-10-2006, 09:43 AM   #57
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

Poboy, you seem to think that there isn't a problem and you can keep working or there is a safety net. More than 45 million don't have insurance. The safety net is small and doesn't cover everyone.

Sliding fee clinics don't pay for your insulin, your lipitor, your asthma drugs. If you don't have insurance, you pay out of pocket or go without.

Say you have a job with insurance, get cancer and are too sick to work. You can't get medicare yet--you aren't yet eligible. You can't get medicaid: you have money in a 401k, own your own home, or don't fall into one of the eligibility categories. You are disabled and lose your job. You can get COBRA for 29 months but how are you going to pay for it? You don't have a job anymore. Oh, and by the way, COBRA is a government mandate, without it there would be no insurance possibilities at all for that person.

I know a number of people that if they had a catastrophic illness they would be wiped out. I would rather pay a more in taxes than watch my friends and relatives lose their homes if they got seriously ill. Or worse, go without care.

We had a secretary in her 20s that got a brain tumor, not malignant. She had constant horrendous headaches. She ended up having to leave work. Thank goodness we have disability insurance at work, it provided her money to pay her COBRA premiums until she was eligible for medicare/social security disability. How many employers provide disability insurance for their staff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by d
you suggest that i have a viable alternative to the current system; i don't -- nor have i seen a convincingly viable alternative put forth elsewhere. achieving what i suspect folks want is not likely possible, and attempts to reach such an unachievable result will end as you have suggested, subject to my modifications: "less than satisfactory, relatively unreliable service at a very high cost with tons near unimaginable levels of bureaucracy and an "I dont give a crap about f**k you" attitude.

And what evidence do you base this opinion on? Doctors are still doctors, nurses still nurses. The insurance bureaucracy seems to have a goal of not covering you. I don't think European countries and Canada feel that their service is unreliable.


Charles, you attack "Hilary style" health care. What do you know about her plan? To make the plan palatable to some on the right, it mandated employer provided health insurance through regulated HMOs. I was with the left in believing that we were better off ditching the insurance model and going for a single payor system.

I find this a very serious debate and not the least bit useless.




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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-10-2006, 10:10 AM   #58
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

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Originally Posted by Charles
We're trashing the dollar, and we are in serious debt. Great idea ... let's make it even worse with Hillary health care.

Frankly, I'm amazed that otherwise intelligent people would still consider government health care to be a viable option...

Doesn't work that way.

After this, we can discuss the great success of government / public schools. But, I won't, not anymore. This is a tiresome, useless debate.
Not clear what your real-world experience in this area has been but, reimbursement levels aside, Medicare reimburses more efficiently than many private carriers. Medicare covers certain things that private insurance doesn't. When MC makes a determination about whether certain services are covered or not, the private sector carriers fall into line within weeks.

My 32 years in the field suggest that each of the current payor types (MC, Medicaid, private fee-for-service, and HMOs) all have about the same level of incompetence. The motivating factors might be different (e.g. private carriers "kite" their payments to make you wait so they make more money, while MC is just bureaucratically slow), but the net result is not all that discrepant.

Given that, I'd sure feel better knowing that catastrophic coverage will never be denied to me for a fair price, and I can plan my life without having to pray that I either a) don't ever get sick or injured, or b) can plead with some carrier for individual coverage that won't cost me tens of thousands a year to get me to age 65.

I'm all for a market economy, but some services just seem to be best provided at a universal level for the "greater good." That is not just for the poor, but also for the "fairly rich" who, because of constraints on health coverage, can't retire early, can't take risks on starting a new business, and can't compete in the global market because health care costs make them noncompetitive. This is a good topic to keep an open mind about, whatever your political leanings.

On a personal level, the health insurance issue (12K/year for me and DW) is a major factor in our decision about the timing of FIRE.
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-10-2006, 10:16 AM   #59
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

Rich, pleeeeease write Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who are looking at the national health care issue, and tell them your experince with reimbursement.

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Re: Americans want universal health coverage
Old 06-10-2006, 10:18 AM   #60
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Re: Americans want universal health coverage

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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
Americans want universal coverage

- As long as they don't have to pay any more taxes and that their relatively good medical coverage they now have isn't degraded.

Not true, I would pay more taxes for decent care, any type of community/group health care actually)

SWR
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