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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-18-2006, 07:55 AM   #21
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

In my experience, people who are prosperous, have enjoyed great health and have avoided chronic illness find the market-driven system to be fine. When faced with chronic illness, job loss in the face of illness, or even (sometimes) a desire or need to retire, they often change the way they feel.

Understandable change of heart, after being beaten down time after time after time by a Kafka-esque and failed system - the 25 y.o insurance company phone receptionist telling them their last drug or procedure wasn't covered, the $125 aspirin in the hospital (to make up for the $2500 MRI scan they had to do for free on the penniless ER patient), the pretty wealthy 75 y.o. scrambling to sell everything so her husband's nursing home bills don't impoverish her, and on and on.

Not any easy problem but the first step is to recognize it exists. Like it or not, your turn will come (unless you are "lucky" enough to meet a sudden demise after a life of good health). I remember Medical Society meetings where even a hint of support for a national level catastrophic care policy would get you shunned. Now the shunners are in their 70s, and lobbying for broader Medicare coverage. Live goes in circles, they say.
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-18-2006, 08:23 AM   #22
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

Hmmm

As an old fire breathing SW Washington Democrat with a Finnish Grandmother who read strange Minnesota newspapers(mailorder) in her lifetime - my ability to achieve a balanced view of the situation is somewhat limited.

I will speculate - ala the 'World is Flat' school - the business view may undergo a shift in coming years on the basis of competiveness.

And I don't think placing the entire burden on the individual/insurance industry model as it exists today will be acceptable.

Don't know what will emerge - but expect a lot of screaming and yelling and nashing of teeth - before something workable happens.

40% of all medical cost in the U.S. is on the taxpayers nickel in some form right now

Can't remember where I saw that number.

heh heh heh heh - this one will be with us for a while - sorta like SWR.
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-20-2006, 10:26 PM   #23
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

Sorry I couldn't get to this sooner. We had to do a border run to Burma/Myanmar and it took the whole day.

Martha:
Quote:
Akaisha, I think healthcare is more about relationships and trust than about shopping.* You develop a relationship with a primary care doctor.* Primary care doctors are not terribly expensive in and of themselves.* You develop a health condition and your doctor makes recommendations.* You may ask for a second opinion, but no matter what you want what is best for you, not necessarily the cheapest solution.*
You have made some good points, Martha. Everyone's approach to healthcare is different, there is no doubt. I haven't had a primary care physician since I was a child living at home with my parents. I moved across country when I was 21, and although I had insurance, I don't remember having a primary care physician. When we bought our restaurant I was 27. In the decade we owned the restaurant, I could* count on one hand how many shifts I missed due to illness. I think stress is what held me together.*

When Billy worked for Dean Witter, a health care policy was provided - and I went to a medical clinic in our town for this or that -- and some of the doctors were kind, some were cold. There was nothing even nearing a 'relationship' with any doctor... Of course I appreciated the kinder ones more, but what I wanted was a professional opinion. I had friends for relationships... I don't mean that to sound cold, so please take that in the manner in which I am offering it.*

When I am hiring someone, I am hiring a service -- you know what I mean? I want new eyeballs looking at the facts, and someone who can assess a situation. If I have 7 minutes in a doctor's office I do not want to spend 5 of those minutes talking about how my cucumbers are growing in my garden or how my dog is doing. It is entirely possible that since I was never given the "Leave it to Beaver" life - I could be jealous of those who have..? so I have a different approach to the providing of healthcare.*

When I mention shopping around for a health care policy, I mean 'value' not necessarily the cheapest. And when I need medical care, I discuss my options with the doctor, and we decide together what we do. If he suggests a test or procedure, I ask him why, and I ask him what result or information he is expecting to get from it. I also ask if he thinks it is necessary, and then we discuss it a little more. I don't go for the cheapest, I go for value for money spent.* I also do not hold the belief that everything under the sun should be done to save me from dying.

Martha:
Quote:
With respect to insurance, as I mentioned, if you are perfectly* healthy or employed by an employer that offers insurance you will have a pretty easy time of buying* health insurance....Trapping people in unwanted jobs is not good for anyone. Also, many states allow insurance premiums to increase after you become ill or as you age.* This can price people right out of the market.* Again, they have no bargaining power.

I understand. This is so annyoying about health insurance companies. Having health insurance for the healthy seems a bit silly. The moment one becomes ill and actually uses his health insurance, rates go up or one can find they are no longer insurable. It doesn't matter if you have had no claims, if you cross over a certain age barrier, your rates can go up. Trapping people in unwanted jobs because of a health care policy is more exploitation by the health care insurance companies. Also, to demand that an employer supply HCInsurance is much of the same. We are all being held hostage to this one issue. There is no freedom of movement or freedom of choice.

On the other hand, I don't believe the state should be dictating prices. That is price control, and is a very slippery slope.. :P

Martha:
Quote:
I question whether universal coverage would increase cost for everyone, given cost comparisons with countries that provide national healthcare...But I refuse to acknowledge it would be more expensive without some real evidence of that fact.* I also refuse to buy arguments that the care would not be as good unless I am presented with real evidence of that fact.*

This reminds me of the old saw "Is the glass half-full or half-empty?" The same evidence is there but people 'see' it differently. You can ask, 'is it half - empty?' and someone will say,* yes, of course. You can ask 'is it half-full?' and someone will say yes, of course.* *

If socialized medicine was doing so great, there wouldn't be the need for those private care clinics and hospitals opening up in Canada (see above article I mentioned previously). More and more Canadians are becoming disenchanted with their system. When there are guaranteed payments, there is no incentive to provide better service at a better price, and more efficiently.* *8)

You see, the same evidence is there for the both of us, but our premises are different. This is why I wonder if the Health Care Issue will ever truly be 'solved' . If our premise is so different - how can we get to a common solution?
Martha:
Quote:
Minnesota has done pretty well with using the insurance model and subsidizing health insurance for the low income and those with preexisting conditions.* However, one problem with the model is that when money gets tight, there always is talk of cutting the subsidized insurance to the poor.* States are doing that now with medicaid.*
Putting the distribution of health care into the government's hands will simply tie us to them, and prevents us from having any say about it. Politicians sell their promises of health care to voters in order to get elected, and voters sell their votes for the promise of 'free' health care. Isn't Medicare insolvent? Don't we already have problems with Social Security? The Welfare program has had terrible difficulties over the years... These government programs aren't the answer, in my opinion.* :P :P

Sure we can all use a safety net. But there has to be defined limits to it... (IMO)

Also, most human beings over the age of 36 have "pre-existing conditions" or a propensity to one..* what's the point? The insurers only want to insure healthy people who can guarantee they will stay healthy? It is aggravating..
Martha:
Quote:
This is one of the reasons I am coming to the conclusion that an insurance model is not going to work.* Insurance companies are not going to cover at reasonable cost the poor and unhealthy without subsidies.* If subsidies are viewed not as an entitlement, then they will be subject to political whims and risks of cuts when state budgets are tight. So, I am coming to the conclusion that it is time to take on the insurance lobby and have national healthcare.* *
Yes, you see, our premises are different. I do not see this as an entitlement issue. In fact, I have a hard time with the attitude of "I'm entitled to something, you pay for it." I think that is part of the problem. I have no trouble with a defined and limited safety net. The government is notoriously inefficient. How could this dispensing of health care by the government ever be effective? And if someone else pays for the healthcare, then shouldn't they also decide the parameters? Why would they want to pay for health care for someone who smokes, or is overweight, or eats meat, or doesn't exercise, or drinks heavily, or uses drugs....* I simply do not see it as a panacea.

Rich_in_Tampa
Quote:
In my experience, people who are prosperous, have enjoyed great health and have avoided chronic illness find the market-driven system to be fine.* When faced with chronic illness, job loss in the face of illness, or even (sometimes) a desire or need to retire, they often change the way they feel.
Often, but not always. You have a point Rich, yet one that could still be debated.

Rich:
Quote:
Understandable change of heart, after being beaten down time after time after time by a Kafka-esque and failed system - the 25 y.o* insurance company phone receptionist telling them their last drug or procedure wasn't covered, the $125 aspirin in the hospital (to make up for the $2500 MRI scan they had to do for free on the penniless ER patient), the pretty wealthy 75 y.o. scrambling to sell everything so her husband's nursing home bills don't impoverish her, and on and on.
Yes we can't allow ourselves to be charged $125 for an aspirin, and there is no doubt our system is broken. I believe it is our responsibility to check the bills we receive and make noise about over charges.* ** I have done this many times. Also, I have brought in kleenex, vasoline, towellettes, and personal meds when appropriate so that my family member isn't charged like that. It stinks, but we can no longer go into these situations like sheep, believing that the hospital and doctors have our best financial and personal care in mind. This is an illusion, and has been one for a very long time.

It sounds like you are angry and cynical about this, Rich...* ** You have certainly painted an inflammatory picture here. BTW, just because a doctor recommends an MRI doesn't mean I buy one. (I hope that "penniless ER patient wasn't a reference to me...)*

Rich:
Quote:
Not any easy problem but the first step is to recognize it exists.
I agree. That is what we are all doing here, is it not?

Rich:
Quote:
Like it or not, your turn will come (unless you are "lucky" enough to meet a sudden demise after a life of good health).
Well, again, you have a way of writing that is inflammatory. I don't want to get hooked into the picture you have painted, because it is fear-based, and I don't find that to be productive.* None of us know how or when we will die. None of us know the future at all.* *And -- you are assuming that I have had no experience with ill health, or severe financial threats, and that is how I am basing my opinion.* *:P

No doubt, this whole subject is fearful, and it is easy to get angry and demanding about it. It's easy to slip into the idea that we are 'entitled' to be taken care of. Life is often terrifying.*

Rich:
Quote:
I remember Medical Society meetings where even a hint of support for a national level catastrophic care policy would get you shunned.
Well, you can't worry about being 'shunned'.* :P* This happens on both sides of the aisle, wouldn't you agree? Do they walk away from the water cooler when you arrive? Do they no longer respect your professional opinion? Are you no longer invited to their parties or BBQ?* I know it's disappointing when colleagues don't respond with support for an idea we have proposed. -- Have the courage of your convictions, Rich, and may the best ideas 'win.'*

Rich:
Quote:
Now the shunners are in their 70s, and lobbying for broader Medicare coverage. Live goes in circles, they say.
I personally don't have experience of this particular example, so I will take your word for it.

unclemick2
Quote:
Don't know what will emerge - but expect a lot of screaming and yelling and nashing of teeth - before something workable happens.
That's what is happening now, no doubt!

Unclelmick:
Quote:
40% of all medical cost in the U.S. is on the taxpayers nickel in some form right now
Is that true?

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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-21-2006, 08:45 AM   #24
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy

I understand. This is so annyoying about health insurance companies. Having health insurance for the healthy seems a bit silly. The moment one becomes ill and actually uses his health insurance, rates go up or one can find they are no longer insurable. It doesn't matter if you have had no claims, if you cross over a certain age barrier, your rates can go up. Trapping people in unwanted jobs because of a health care policy is more exploitation by the health care insurance companies. Also, to demand that an employer supply HCInsurance is much of the same. We are all being held hostage to this one issue. There is no freedom of movement or freedom of choice.

On the other hand, I don't believe the state should be dictating prices. That is price control, and is a very slippery slope.. :P
If we keep the insurance model, it seems the choices of what to do are limited. We could let the market dictate who is covered and at what cost. That would result in many people not being insured. Currently there is 18 million uninsured in the United States. And this is with some significant regulation of insurance companies. For example, insurance companies have to cover everyone in a group if they offer a group plan.

Another option is to subsidize cost for ill people and poor people, those who insurance companies ordinarily would not cover or not cover at an affordable price. The problem with this solution is that insurance companies will end up wanting a subsidy for anyone who is not perfectly healthy. Already insurance companies when selling individual plans do not want to insure people who aren't perfectly healthly. And insurance companies are raising rates to unaffordable levels for small group plans, making it difficult if not impossible for small employers to provide coverage to employees.

Anothor option is to require insurance companies to insure everyone and regulate the prices they can charge.


Quote:
Yes, you see, our premises are different. I do not see this as an entitlement issue. In fact, I have a hard time with the attitude of "I'm entitled to something, you pay for it." I think that is part of the problem. I have no trouble with a defined and limited safety net. The government is notoriously inefficient. How could this dispensing of health care by the government ever be effective? And if someone else pays for the healthcare, then shouldn't they also decide the parameters? Why would they want to pay for health care for someone who smokes, or is overweight, or eats meat, or doesn't exercise, or drinks heavily, or uses drugs.... I simply do not see it as a panacea.
When you buy insurance, part of what you are doing in spreading risk around all those who buy into the same insurance plan. If we have national healthcare, we are spreading around the risk to everyone. Yes, government is inefficient. But so are insurance companies. I see national healthcare much like providing education, defense, and infrastructure like roads.

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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-21-2006, 08:55 AM   #25
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

Well said, Martha.

One comment: insurance companies are indeed more efficient than our woeful government bureaucracy. The problem is that the fruits of that efficiency do not get churned back in to benefits and lower premiums, they get taken out as profits or share price. A national program of some sort would have that slack to play with (and admittendly squander in some cases).

My favorite proposal: keep private insurance for the first $10K of legitimate medical care, for those who are not retired or impaired (a deductible, if you will). Let a national plan pick up larger amounts. Subsidize the first $10K as needed for those who are disabled, etc. Some would go out of pocket for that 1st 10K per individual, others would buy insurance for it. Yes, $10K is alot of money, particularly for a large family, but it would not be totally catastrophic for the rest of your life for most folks with an income. Heck - we are already paying $10-12K per year per family for a better private insurance plan.

I'm not smart enough to know all the details but this seems to me to be a reasonable compromise, tweaking the actual numbers as needed. It has been proposed in the past, but I haven't heard much about it recently.
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-23-2006, 10:40 PM   #26
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

Martha:
Quote:
If we keep the insurance model, it seems the choices of what to do are limited.* We could let the market dictate who is covered and at what cost.* That would result in many people not being insured.* Currently there is 18 million uninsured in the United States.* And this is with some significant regulation of insurance companies.* For example, insurance companies have to cover everyone in a group if they offer a group plan....Another* option is to subsidize cost for ill people and poor people, those who insurance companies ordinarily would not cover or not cover at an affordable price.* The problem with this solution is that insurance companies will end up wanting a subsidy for anyone who is not perfectly healthy.
Every model will inherentlly have limitations. You are right, many people are now uninsured. Some of those people are self-insured, some are illegal aliens, some are the poor, some are healthy young people who will choose to insure when they reach their 30's perhaps, and some are self-employed people.

http://www.ahip.org/content/pressrel...px?docid=15301

March 9, 2006 HSA Growth Accelerating Among Employers and Consumers
• In the individual market, 31 percent of new enrollees in HSA/HDHP plans were previously uninsured.
• In the small-group market, 33 percent of policies were purchased by companies that previously did not offer coverage.
• The group market now comprises 58 percent of the enrollment in HSA/HDHP plans, up from 21 percent in September 2004.

"An HSA is an account to which individuals and employers can contribute funds for future medical expenses.* By law, HSAs must be accompanied by a qualifying HDHP.* Preventive care services are generally covered by HDHPs and typically do not count against an individual’s deductible.* Earnings on HSA funds accumulate tax-free, balances can be rolled over year-to-year, and withdrawals made for qualified medical expenses are tax-free."

HSAs, A Model of Healthcare (Part I)* - HealthDecisions.org, Opinion, Tom Cochrane
January 09, 2006

"HSAs simply represent an alternative form of health care funding."

http://www.healthdecisions.org/HSA/N...x?doc_id=39968

"There has been a massive amount of investment and activity among health insurers, financial services companies and information technology providers who are focused on creating innovative products and services for the consumer directed health care market. "

Martha:
Quote:
...If we have national healthcare, we are spreading around the risk to everyone.* ...I see national healthcare much like providing education, defense, and infrastructure like roads.*
I see national healthcare as enlarging the welfare state. we must have personal accountabiltiy. As Mr. Murray, the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of "In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State," says:

"The welfare state is pernicious ultimately because it drains too much of the life from life...Aristotle was right. Virtue is a habit. Virtue does not flourish in the next generation because we tell our children to be honest, compassionate and generous in the abstract. It flourishes because our children practice honesty, compassion and generosity in the same way that they practice a musical instrument or a sport. That happens best when children grow up in a society in which human needs are not consigned to bureaucracies downtown but are part of life around us, met by people around us. "

Rich_in_Tampa:
Quote:
One comment: insurance companies are indeed more efficient than our woeful government bureaucracy. The problem is that the fruits of that efficiency do not get churned back in to benefits and lower premiums, they get taken out as profits or share price. A national program of some sort would have that slack to play with (and admittendly squander in some cases).
Press Release, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, January 30, 2006, Contact:* Mohit Ghose

"Health insurance plan profits comprise three cents of the premium dollar.* "

http://www.ahip.org/content/pressrel...px?docid=14702

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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-24-2006, 09:25 AM   #27
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy
[
I see national healthcare as enlarging the welfare state. we must have personal accountabiltiy. As Mr. Murray, the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of "In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State," says:

"The welfare state is pernicious ultimately because it drains too much of the life from life...Aristotle was right. Virtue is a habit. Virtue does not flourish in the next generation because we tell our children to be honest, compassionate and generous in the abstract. It flourishes because our children practice honesty, compassion and generosity in the same way that they practice a musical instrument or a sport. That happens best when children grow up in a society in which human needs are not consigned to bureaucracies downtown but are part of life around us, met by people around us. "
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Amen, Billy

Here's a GOOD essay regarding such.


And if you want to talk MONEY:

quote
If the European Union were a state in the USA it would belong to the poorest group of states. France, Italy, Great Britain and Germany have lower GDP per capita than all but four of the states in the United States. In fact, GDP per capita is lower in the vast majority of the EU-countries (EU 15) than in most of the individual American states. This puts Europeans at a level of prosperity on par with states such as Arkansas, Mississippi and West Virginia.
unquote
Can this be true?* I thought Europe competed with us, at least as the European Union entity.* And if it is true, is not the welfare state the reason?
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-24-2006, 10:47 AM   #28
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

I've been reading this thread from the sidelines and decided it was time to put my 2 cents in.* (Why not, that's what forums are for* ).* Here is a long, but very informative article comparing how healthcare is delivered by other countries.* http://ezraklein.typepad.com/blog/he...ons/index.html

Reading this will give anyone interested some good info on different approaches to healthcare.* Canada's system is not the only approach.* For the record, I favor some sort of national health insurance.* Call it socialized insurance.* It's different from socialized medicine.* * Very different.
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-24-2006, 11:51 AM   #29
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

I'll make just one last comment. I see the trend as being more and more choices and options for those who are perfectly healthy, have a decent income, or who are employed. HSAs work great for healthy people with a decent income. They are next to useless for those with chronic conditions or are poor. I am concerned that at a point "fixes" such as HSAs and Medicare prescription drug benefits will be considered good enough. Leaving many shut out of the system.

For example, the state and federal governments are getting more and more stingy with medicaid. You can't get medicaid just because you are poor or sick. S

Akaisha, you quoted the following:

"The welfare state is pernicious ultimately because it drains too much of the life from life...Aristotle was right. Virtue is a habit. Virtue does not flourish in the next generation because we tell our children to be honest, compassionate and generous in the abstract. It flourishes because our children practice honesty, compassion and generosity in the same way that they practice a musical instrument or a sport. That happens best when children grow up in a society in which human needs are not consigned to bureaucracies downtown but are part of life around us, met by people around us. "

I think I cannot properly respond to this position in a sound bite on a retirement board. Personally, I believe that a society that takes care of its weakest makes for a strong society and enobles us all. But we can't run an experiment to see which philosophy is right.







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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-24-2006, 01:39 PM   #30
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

To stir this up a bit*

Consider any disease/condition X.* If you are a profit maximizing
entity, are you better off finding a CURE for X, (which can be sold once
per disease/condition), or a treatment which only suppresses the
symptoms of X, (which can be sold repeatedly until such time as
the patient dies, or recovers on their own)?

I'm starting to think we should make a distinction between treatments.
Something like:
1) Treatments which protect third parties (eg vacination).
2) Treatments which cure the patient (eg setting a broken bone).
3) Treatments expected to extend the patient's life. (cancer drugs).
4) All other treatments.

I would like to see 1 universally available, 2 universally available
with a very high lifetime cost cap, 3 universally available but
with some kind of cost per month/life cap, and 4 available but not
subsidised by anyone.

I would probably offer 1 with no deductable, 2 and 3 with a high
deductable, but cover the deductable for anyone with an income
lower than around five times the duductable.

P.S.
I believe that if you were the only person in the universe, none of
your rights could ever be violated.* *Though not rights, some
universal "entitlements" do seem to be in the best interest of society.
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-24-2006, 09:55 PM   #31
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

So glad someone else got involved in this discussion! whew. I started to feel lonely out here...

It's good to have a lively debate. I am all for having the best idea(s) 'win'.

Martha:
Quote:
Personally,* I believe that a society that takes care of its weakest makes for a strong society and enobles us all.* But we can't run an experiment to see which philosophy is right.*
Martha, I don't disagree with you on this statement as a whole. However, I believe that 'society' is made up of individuals. Having a bureaucratic system to provide the personal touches somehow leaves me cold.*

The socialist 'experiment' has failed... (IMO)* :P

It is entirely possible that the twain shall never meet on this issue.

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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-24-2006, 10:50 PM   #32
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

I just noticed this thread. It is a topic that I have been interested in for years. First, I agree with Martha, Rich, TomZ and others who are able to see that the "health care market” is no free market at all; it is a perfect market from the point of view of the oligarchic sellers of "medial services". What does any business crave- large well financed, information rich providers dealing with atomized, needy, information poor consumers.

In the 1870s Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm 2nd, and Chancellor Otto von Bismarck realized that some nationally mandated important social services would help unite the young German state which had been created out of fragmented small political and geographic entities. Health care was one of the things they provided, as well as education and others.

Most Americans today realize that some things cannot be well done personally or on a mass scale, privately. Oddly, most approve of publicly provided and very expensive education, but not of publicly provided or at least publicly supervised health care. Interestingly, it is likely that competition among education providers would work better than it does in the realm of health care.

We will get some form of universal or near universal care. The surest sign of that is an editorial in last Monday's Barron's, advocating it. The reason? Our system of employer provided care is wrecking certain large old but very necessary employers. Both Ford and GM have closed more plants in USA than they have in Canada because in Canada they are not burdened by employee and even worse, retiree health costs.

As we transition to another way of doing things, we will likely get a more rational system if people are able to look beyond their reflex categorizations of socialism, etc, to see the underlying on-the-ground reality.

Ha


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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-25-2006, 06:29 AM   #33
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

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Oddly, most approve of publicly provided and very expensive education, but not of publicly provided or at least publicly supervised health care. Interestingly, it is likely that competition among education providers would work better than it does in the realm of health care.
Good point re public education.* As a society, we have decided that providing education to all children is worth paying for.* We have decided that building and maintaining roads is worth paying for.* The market doesn't always provide the best solution.

There are over 45 million people without insurance in this country.* And doctors are providing less charity care - http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald...l/14164086.htm

We are losing jobs to other countries that provide national healthcare.* Our health care costs are the highest per capita and, by most standard outcome measures (lifespan, infant mortality), we are near the middle to the bottom of the heap of industrialized nations.* Health care in the US is sick.

It's too bad, we can't agree on a cure....
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-25-2006, 06:32 AM   #34
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

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Originally Posted by HaHa
We will get some form of universal or near universal care. The surest sign of that is an editorial in last Monday's Barron's, advocating it. The reason? Our system of employer provided care is wrecking certain large old but very necessary employers. Both Ford and GM have closed more plants in USA than they have in Canada because in Canada they are not burdened by employee and even worse, retiree health costs.
I have often wondered why more CEOs don't push for some sort of nationalized health program for just this reason. It seems strange to push this on companies making them less competetive in global markets. One big problem is that the massive deficits from the recent round of tax cuts will make it much more difficult to do something like this. Of course, making national programs harder to implement was one of the real reason the neocons pushed the cut through in the first place. Looks like they have suceeded.
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-25-2006, 07:14 AM   #35
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
In the 1870s Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm 2nd, and Chancellor Otto von Bismarck realized that some nationally mandated important social services would help unite the young German state which had been created out of fragmented small political and geographic entities. Health care was one of the things they provided, as well as education and others.

Most Americans today realize that some things cannot be well done personally or on a mass scale, privately. Oddly, most approve of publicly provided and very expensive education, but not of publicly provided or at least publicly supervised health care. Interestingly, it is likely that competition among education providers would work better than it does in the realm of health care.
Thanks for the historic perspective, Ha. Didn't know that. It is interesting that identifying this need as a national priority spans the social and political spectrum all the way from the left (e.g. modern day Cuba) to the right (examples you gave).

In our typical way, America will fix it. After it reaches crisis proportions. Meantime, let's all take great care of ourselves.
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-25-2006, 09:25 PM   #36
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

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The socialist 'experiment' has failed... (IMO) :P
what exactly do you mean by this statement?

In the context of other statements you have made on this thread, it seems you are referring to Canada and European countries with socialized medicine.

I can't speak about Europe, and I will be the first to agree that there are problems with the Canadian medical system. Also that there is a demand for privately available services in Canada to alleviate long waiting lists for certain procedures.

Neverthless, there are certain facts that need to be considered:

Canada spends 1/3 per capita on healthcare as the U.S.
The life expectancy in Canada is about 3 years longer than the U.S.
infant mortality in Canada is lower
everyone is covered in Canada
according to a recent study in the US, healthcare for the more affluent is not measurably better than for the poor--it's not good for anyone.

so which experiment has failed? Let's face it--there's room for improvement everywhere, but personally I find the Canadian model much more humane.
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-25-2006, 11:30 PM   #37
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

Did y'all see this in your newspaper?*

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...home-headlines

Excerpt:*

"Authorities released a videotape this afternoon of what they say is the dumping of a 63-year-old woman on the streets of skid row.

The videotape, recorded by security cameras outside the Union Rescue Mission entrance on San Pedro Street on Monday afternoon, shows a taxicab pulling a U-turn and then driving out of view. A few seconds later, a woman wearing a hospital gown and no shoes walks from the same direction, wandering in the street and on the sidewalk for about three minutes before a Union Rescue Mission staff person escorts her inside the mission.

LAPD Capt. Andrew Smith said he believes the taxi took the woman, a 63-year-old Gardena resident, downtown against her will after she was discharged from Kaiser Permanente Bellflower on Monday."

Question:* Anybody heard of this type of thing happening in Canada?
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy
Old 03-26-2006, 07:26 AM   #38
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Re: The Cost of Retiring Healthy

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Did y'all see this in your newspaper?*
That is a sad story.

BTW, the untold side of such events is something I have seen numerous times: the impaired homeless patient admitted, treated, and cured or stable. Now what to do? If you discharge them, they will surely get sick again - violence, abuse, substances, the elements. So you look to social workers to find them an alternative. Nursing home? Nope, not needy enough medically (generally you need IVs or some other medical ongoing need). Assisted living? No, not competent enough for the independence. Family? Friends? Hah.

So, they sit in the acute hospital at $1500 bucks a day not receiving any real medical care, under Medicaid (tax) support. Hospitals eventually fill up, and truly urgent patients can't get a bed, etc.

It can be hard balancing your ethical responsibilities to the individual patient against those you owe to society at large. Obviously dumping them on the street is never the right solution but sooner or later they need to leave the hospital.

Seems to me we are all paying for this one way or another. Under the current system it seems we don't get a lot back for our money. I reckon it doesn't need to be a politcal issue, liberal, progressive, conservative, whatever. It's just bad business and bad results.
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