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Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 09:29 AM   #1
 
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Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

The new law in Massachusetts which is about to be passed requires that everyone in the state have health insurance. If successful, news guys are predicting it could go nationwide.

What are the implications? Do insurance rates go down because everyone must have it? What else would change?
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 09:31 AM   #2
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

My questions is...

If it were to be implimented in California does that mean that the state must provide free health insurance to all those millions of Illegals.

I suspect the economics in California aren't like those in Mass.
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 09:37 AM   #3
 
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

Just noticed that this is already (kind of*) under discussion

* Here.

*in among the boob and Walmart discussions.
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 03:23 PM   #4
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

Quote:
If it were to be implimented in California does that mean that the state must provide free health insurance to all those millions of Illegals.
Health care is already free for the illegals (via the emergency room).
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 03:45 PM   #5
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan
Health care is already free for the illegals (via the emergency room).
Hey, don't be so discriminatory! It's free for anyone with no assets.

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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 03:55 PM   #6
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

When I lived in CA, I voted in favor of health care for illegals. Not because I'm a bleeding-heart liberal or especially wanted to spend my money on illegal immigrants, but because I catch respiratory infections easily and don't want to run into people with horrible diseases like untreatable TB or pneumonia.
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 04:51 PM   #7
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
When I lived in CA, I voted in favor of health care for illegals. Not because I'm a bleeding-heart liberal or especially wanted to spend my money on illegal immigrants, but because I catch respiratory infections easily and don't want to run into people with horrible diseases like untreatable TB or pneumonia.
Really. A drug resistant TB infected cook in a taqueria can do you some real damage.

Ha
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 05:17 PM   #8
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan
Health care is already free for the illegals (via the emergency room).

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Hey, don't be so discriminatory! It's free for anyone with no assets.
Hospitals have obligations to stabilize emergencies before sending you away. You still owe them for the work. And you won't get your TB drugs, your biopsy, or your chemotherapy either.

Martha, the broken record. . . .




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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 05:23 PM   #9
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Really. A drug resistant TB infected cook in a taqueria can do you some real damage.

Ha
Back when I was working a couple of taquerias we used to go to for lunch got closed down by the CA health department. When they reopened, my thrill-seeking coworker would always drag us out to eat there on the first day they reopened.

Yet another way in which working can be hazardous to your health.
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 05:43 PM   #10
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

Walmart. Boobs. Canada. Illegals with TB. What will we think of next?
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 05:52 PM   #11
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

Boobs again.
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 07:13 PM   #12
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha

Hospitals have obligations to stabilize emergencies before sending you away. You still owe them for the work. And you won't get your TB drugs, your biopsy, or your chemotherapy either.
Go to hospital in the north of town. Then south of town. Then east of town. Then west of town. Then in downtown. Oops, back to the north of town again. Rinse, repeat ad nauseum... It ain't gonna be Johns Hopkins, but you can get a lot of care for "free". I know, I know, they still owe for the care. But when you have no money, what is there to take? Agree to a $20/month payment plan in perpetuity? The hospital can sue the 84 year old lady to collect, but there's always bankruptcy protection.

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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 07:24 PM   #13
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Go to hospital in the north of town. Then south of town. Then east of town. Then west of town. Then in downtown. Oops, back to the north of town again. Rinse, repeat ad nauseum... It ain't gonna be Johns Hopkins, but you can get a lot of care for "free". I know, I know, they still owe for the care. But when you have no money, what is there to take? Agree to a $20/month payment plan in perpetuity? The hospital can sue the 84 year old lady to collect, but there's always bankruptcy protection.

And at each hospital she will get a prescription for pain pills, and a referal to an oncologist for her metastized breast cancer, and sent home.

Obligations of hospitals with emergency rooms to provide emergency care no matter your financial situation is a problem, not a solution.
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 07:35 PM   #14
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Obligations of hospitals with emergency rooms to provide emergency care no matter your financial situation is a problem, not a solution.
Here here. If low income people really could get all the health care they needed from emergency rooms, the cost to the rest of us would be astronomical and would be a huge motivator to get us to universal coverage with non-emergency-room providers.

The reality is that the cost for 'written off' emergency room services is huge, but not huge enough to clearly motivate universal healthcare.
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 09:00 PM   #15
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Go to hospital in the north of town.* Then south of town.* Then east of town.* Then west of town.* Then in downtown.* Oops, back to the north of town again.* Rinse, repeat ad nauseum...* It ain't gonna be Johns Hopkins, but you can get a lot of care for "free".* I know, I know, they still owe for the care.* But when you have no money, what is there to take?* Agree to a $20/month payment plan in perpetuity?* The hospital can sue the 84 year old lady to collect, but there's always bankruptcy protection.*

Wow. I didn't realize it was that easy. Why do I pay for health insurance? Do you use this strategy, Justin?
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-06-2006, 11:30 PM   #16
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

If you really want to free medical care in the US make certain you provide frudulent ID at the intake a la the illegals.* Fake company or state photo-ID or similar surrogate official looking ID is the cost effective way to bug the hospital bill collection system and can be purchased for less than a c-note in any Mexican area of town.

Even the best collection lawyers and their PI's will give up on skip tracing a smart dead beat.* A few small steps will save thousands. It works for Mexicans with little or no education, and it can work for you silly, otherwise law abiding ER's!* Save your money and let the next guy and his taxes pay the bill, that is the true American way these days!
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-07-2006, 12:23 AM   #17
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

I live in California and you can generally get full medical care if you are poor.

There are several drug addicts in my family, and this is how they have always gotten care (I am sure this does not characterize most people on this program, though). For instance, my uncle got treatment for cancer about 10 years ago this way. There is an application procecdure.

Health insurance is available for children on a sliding scale from, I believe, $6 to $18 per month per child if your income is less than 3x poverty line or so (top eligibility was $48K earnings with 2 kids,I think, but my memory is fuzzy). But they get free care, anyway, through Medicaid, which gives them almost automatic enrollment.

My drug addict cousin also gets almost free housing (government pays ~90% of the rent of a private 2 bedroom apartment rental for her and her son) and a small stipend. Because of this help, she does not have to get a job, and has not had one for about 5 years now, and so she does not have to change her drug habits. Her personality is completely changed from what it used to be, and it is real sad.

And, unfortunately, my uncle who got the cancer treatment died about a year ago due to his drug addiction (meth).

Kramer
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-07-2006, 12:59 AM   #18
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

I don't really know how many people (illegal aliens or otherwise) stiff hospitals and doctors on the outrageous medical bills in this country. But I have noticed some trends in the stories I hear. I notice that people who have experience in hospitals and medical care facilities seem to think that uninsured people get minimal, poor care. They often provide first hand tales and specific statistics. I also notice that people who think that health care is given easily to the uninsured tend to tell second or third hand stories -- like how they knew someone that their best friend's second cousin knew who got brain surgery for nothing. And they tend to use these anecdotal stories and extrapolate as the root cause for our expensive medical system.
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-07-2006, 01:20 AM   #19
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

In regards to anecdotes about treatment of insured vs. uninsured, white vs. minority, etc. A study of nearly 7000 folks who had recently gotten care was just published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine and found their treatment was almost equal, amazingly so. Although the general standard of care was low.

http://www.boston.com/yourlife/healt...e_health_care/

Quote:
"It doesn't matter who you are. It doesn't matter whether you're rich or poor, white or black, insured or uninsured," said chief author Dr. Steven Asch, at the Rand Health research institute, in Santa Monica, Calif. "We all get equally mediocre care."
And you absolutely are right in that the price that folks without insurance are asked to pay hospitals is absolutely criminal. 60 minutes recently did a segment on this. It seems that some hospitals are being shamed into lowering some bills. Paying 3x, 5x, 10x or more for the same fees that insurance companies pay! It is unfair and symptomatic of something really wrong.

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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law
Old 04-07-2006, 01:33 AM   #20
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Re: Implications of Mass. Health Insurance Law

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Originally Posted by kramer
In regards to anecdotes about treatment of insured vs. uninsured, white vs. minority, etc.* *A study of nearly 7000 folks who had recently gotten care was just published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine and found their treatment was almost equal . . .
The article was less conclusive than the title might indicate:

Quote:
"Though we are improving, disparities in health care still exist," said Dr. Garth Graham, director of the U.S. Office of Minority Health.

Graham, who is black, pointed to other data showing enduring inequality in care, including a large federal study last year. He also said minorities go without treatment more often than whites, and such people are missed entirely by this survey.
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