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60 Minutes - Remote Area Medicine
Old 03-02-2008, 06:52 PM   #1
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60 Minutes - Remote Area Medicine

Anybody watching the 60 Minutes segment on Remote Area Medicine? They used to set up the mobile medical units only in third world countries and remote places. Now they are doing 60% of their work in the US to treat the under- and uninsured. This segment was on a setup in TN. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have good health insurance and the ability to afford my deductible. Watching this reminded me all of our citizens don't necessarily have the same access.

The organization operates on $250,000 per year with lots of donated time and supplies. Amazing.
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
Anybody watching the 60 Minutes segment on Remote Area Medicine? They used to set up the mobile medical units only in third world countries and remote places. Now they are doing 60% of their work in the US to treat the under- and uninsured. This segment was on a setup in TN. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. Watching this reminded me.

The organization operates on $250,000 per year with lots of donated time and supplies. Amazing.

Just finished watching the piece, I am just dumbfounded, both my wife and I were just speechless after. Not sure how to feel. I have this awful feeling that we here in america are not as lucky as we think we are. The greatest mation on earth? Not likely.
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:59 PM   #3
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It's a great program, and the founder ought to be nominated for sainthood.

The first patient they profiled stated that he had major medical, but he could not afford the deductible. Knowing nothing else about situation, it made me wonder if maybe some of these folks could function on there own with a few priority changes. A major medical w/$500 deductible ain't that bad these days.
On the other hand, clearly there were some folks with nothing.
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:34 PM   #4
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JPatrick...

Agreed about the first guy... and he was driving an SUV which we all know suck gas like crazy... and had a 400 mile round trip to get there... but don't know what else he is spending his money on... but he WAS insured and still went to get 'free' health care.... not someone I would want in line IMO...

Now, the lady at the end who had a vision problem... and was only on SS... she was a bit different... but even SHE said that she could get help with church and family and friends, but just did not want to ask...

And how much does a PAP smear cost? The one lady had not been tested in what, 2 or 3 years even though she might have cancer I don't know, but I think I would go without cable or a cell phone or something else to spend the few dollars every 6 months to make sure I do not have cancer...

The people they profiled to me were bad choices.... they were not the destitute and the uninsured or the ones who could not get some kind of help... I am sure that the other 900 or so had some people in real need, but there probably would be others like the ones profiled.....


BUT... I agree... it is a very good charity if people are interested in donating... I am sure their funds will be growing after this show... but they more than likely will still be as efficient as they currently are.... GOOD FOR THEM!!!
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:25 AM   #5
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I have this awful feeling that we here in america are not as lucky as we think we are. The greatest mation on earth? Not likely.
I've been in Asia since Nov. and was just in Cambodia for a week.
Believe me, the poorest of us in the US don't even come close to the average in some of these countries. I've been on camping trips where our facilities were leaps and bounds better than the everyday conditions in most of these 3rd world countries.
I, for one, am so thankful to be fortunate enough to live in a country of IMO, prosperity and opportunity.
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:27 AM   #6
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This is about the working poor.

Don't let the SUV lead you to the wrong conclusions. It is easy to pick out one or two observations that seem to be contradictions. There may be a few that are better-off or made bad choices with purchases. But that is not all of them.

Believe it or not folks, we have a health care problem in this country. It is a shame. A large portion of the working population cannot afford health care.

The fact is people will always make bad forward looking choices that involve analyzing risk and mitigating risk since they do not understand... especially for things like health problems (which happen in an unexpected timing and way). They wind up trapped!

This particular issue and situation could happen to you through no fault of your own. You could be driven into bankruptcy very quickly with a health problem even when you are otherwise financially stable.

Something needs to change. This is the one reason that I may vote Dem this election in spite of other concerns. Unfortunately, McCain is just singing from the same old conservative song book. I do not have much confidence that health care will be a real priority with him.

If McCain does not begin speaking up on Health care and SS (with a credible plan)... And keeps striking that same old sour note about Iraq... He will not get my vote.

Unfortunately ultra-conservative people have hardened their opinions on this issue.
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:33 AM   #7
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Chinaco....

But the SUV IS my point... at least for the one they showed... and I did say who knows about the rest of the 900 or so people....

This guy HAS health insurance!!!! He HAS what people are saying so many of the 'poor' do NOT have..... the proposals that are being made would not change this guys life one bit.... he still would be making BAD decisions because he is unwilling to pay a $500 deductible!!! COME ON.... are we supposed to just give away health care for free


And why only 'health care'? Why not food? (even though we do give away probably more food than any other country).... but, why should I not get 'free food'... is it not important for everybody? Are we not living in the richest country in the world? And what about housing (even though we do give away probably more housing than any other country in the world)... why can they not just give me my housing for free Is IT not also important WELL, the Soviet Union tried this and it failed.... let's not try and do it here...


I am all for having health insurance AVAILABLE to everyone.... but I am loath to force everyone to have it... but even if you have it, there are people who will STILL make bad health care decisions because they want more beer or smokes or something else... and cry foul for being 'poor' and not able to afford health care...

Heck, I still have $70 from my health spending account of only $240 last year I need to spend in the next week or so.... it is not that difficult. We can not regulate away 'stupid'...

Sorry to get off subject... the people who do this are SAINTS...
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:11 AM   #8
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This particular issue and situation could happen to you through no fault of your own. You could be driven into bankruptcy very quickly with a health problem even when you are otherwise financially stable.
We were confronted with that issue with my FIL this week. He's 81, in generally good health, worked as a bookkeeper for eons, the company moved and he didn't want to uproot his family so he took the ER. Last weekend he ended up in a nursing home/rehabilitation center due to catching the flue and being overwhelmed by it. Raised five kids, owns his home, pays his taxes, etc.

He has health insurance and Medicare/Medicaid, but they only cover 20 days in a home. The cost of an extended stay would exhaust his savings (I doubt he could pay cash for a small new car) and the only other asset he has is his house. He got lucky this time, he'll be out in another day or three. After 20 days the cost gives us weak knees.

While I generally believe that people should be held accountable for their own expenses, without very good insurance the cost of a serious illness or accident will bankrupt all but the wealthiest people. And that just doesn't sit right.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:37 PM   #9
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I saw the documentary last night, and I saw Sicko. I'm Canadian so I know that in Sicko they glamorized our system and I expect that I only saw the very worst of the U.S. system.

My political views have always been pretty right wing, but when it comes to health care I'm getting more and more leftish. We Canadians are living with a similar standard of living to the U.S. and somehow we have managed to pay for universal health care. Universal health care has its negative issues but I now see what a wonderful overall concept it is. I don't know any senior citizens who hesitate to go to the doctor when sick. I don't know anyone who can't quit their job because of health care coverage, and I don't know anyone who is afraid that they might fall down and lose two years of wages getting their hip fixed. I also don't know anyone who worries that their particular injury claim may get denied by insurance that they've purchased. It's a great peace of mind. I pay a lot more in taxes than any American but the fear of losing it all due to illness is a concept that I am glad that I've never felt. I think you folks need some lefties to run the place for a term or two.
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:09 PM   #10
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Chinaco....

But the SUV IS my point... at least for the one they showed... and I did say who knows about the rest of the 900 or so people....

This guy HAS health insurance!!!! He HAS what people are saying so many of the 'poor' do NOT have..... the proposals that are being made would not change this guys life one bit.... he still would be making BAD decisions because he is unwilling to pay a $500 deductible!!! COME ON.... are we supposed to just give away health care for free


And why only 'health care'? Why not food? (even though we do give away probably more food than any other country).... but, why should I not get 'free food'... is it not important for everybody? Are we not living in the richest country in the world? And what about housing (even though we do give away probably more housing than any other country in the world)... why can they not just give me my housing for free Is IT not also important WELL, the Soviet Union tried this and it failed.... let's not try and do it here...


I am all for having health insurance AVAILABLE to everyone.... but I am loath to force everyone to have it... but even if you have it, there are people who will STILL make bad health care decisions because they want more beer or smokes or something else... and cry foul for being 'poor' and not able to afford health care...

Heck, I still have $70 from my health spending account of only $240 last year I need to spend in the next week or so.... it is not that difficult. We can not regulate away 'stupid'...

Sorry to get off subject... the people who do this are SAINTS...
I understand your points (in between the rhetoric). You point out some common arguments against it. I must admit, I have a few similar thoughts.... but mainly about the freeloaders who won't work at all. The working poor are different, they are trying to make ends meet. Same goes for someone who lost their job.

Yes, people often make poor purchase decisions... sometime stupid and sometimes mistakes.

I still think affordable health care is important. I suppose that means those who can't afford it will have it provided free.
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:59 PM   #11
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We Canadians are living with a similar standard of living to the U.S. and somehow we have managed to pay for universal health care. Universal health care has its negative issues but I now see what a wonderful overall concept it is.
While watching last night, one of the thoughts that popped into my head was---hey, if they did this in a lower income area in Canada would anyone show up for treatment?
Anyone?
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:12 PM   #12
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I saw the documentary last night, and I saw Sicko. I'm Canadian so I know that in Sicko they glamorized our system and I expect that I only saw the very worst of the U.S. system.

My political views have always been pretty right wing, but when it comes to health care I'm getting more and more leftish. We Canadians are living with a similar standard of living to the U.S. and somehow we have managed to pay for universal health care. Universal health care has its negative issues but I now see what a wonderful overall concept it is. I don't know any senior citizens who hesitate to go to the doctor when sick. I don't know anyone who can't quit their job because of health care coverage, and I don't know anyone who is afraid that they might fall down and lose two years of wages getting their hip fixed. I also don't know anyone who worries that their particular injury claim may get denied by insurance that they've purchased. It's a great peace of mind. I pay a lot more in taxes than any American but the fear of losing it all due to illness is a concept that I am glad that I've never felt. I think you folks need some lefties to run the place for a term or two.
I appreciate your perspective. I have always been opposed to this type of thing but these are real problems that we have to address. I don't know if there is a middle-ground solution? I switched to an HMO to save cost a few years ago and it is the best care I have had. KP has it's problems but it does seem to work well.
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:34 PM   #13
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I understand your points (in between the rhetoric). You point out some common arguments against it. I must admit, I have a few similar thoughts.... but mainly about the freeloaders who won't work at all. The working poor are different, they are trying to make ends meet. Same goes for someone who lost their job.

Yes, people often make poor purchase decisions... sometime stupid and sometimes mistakes.

I still think affordable health care is important. I suppose that means those who can't afford it will have it provided free.
Thanks!!! yes... lots of rhetoric

But... that is the point... people make bad decisions and we can not 'protect' them from these bad decision... I mean, you could put subprime loans in this mix also....

I think that we can have some laws that will make health insurance more affordable to all... and make it easier to keep if you lose your job... the examples of portability sound interesting... but that would mean the premiums would have to be 'fixed' to all in some way... maybe make them offer the same price to everyone in a state based on something... like if you smoke you pay more... but that if you and I were to get the same policy, we would pay the same even if you had 'worse' health than me...

I still say, the example they showed would not have changed one bit with the people they showed...

The guy in the SUV had insurance but still did not go to the doctor..

The older lady was on medicare... (and why would medicare not pay for her eye exam? I never did get that one.... maybe she could not afford the glasses)...

The girl just did not want to pay a small fee for a pap smear... so I doubt she would pay the $20 if she was in an HMO....
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:29 AM   #14
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While watching last night, one of the thoughts that popped into my head was---hey, if they did this in a lower income area in Canada would anyone show up for treatment?
Anyone?
The dentists would be quite busy as we have no universal dental care, but nobody would show up for the rest of the medical care. Those that don't make appointments to see their family docs just go to emergency at the hospital at their convenience and often for very trivial ailments(this is a problem with "free" health care),so I don't see any reason for anyone in Canada to use a service like this.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:57 PM   #15
 
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How simple would it be for our government to set up a program like RAM? To finance it they could divert some of the billions being given away in Iraq and stop giving money for bridges to nowhere.
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:58 PM   #16
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How simple would it be for our government to set up a program like RAM? To finance it they could divert some of the billions being given away in Iraq and stop giving money for bridges to nowhere.
Couldn't do it.... there would be enough unions to complain that they should hire all the people that did the work at union wages (not all are docs)... etc. etc.... that it would never get off the ground...

And then all communities would complain that 'they' got it, why not us?
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:23 PM   #17
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"And how much does a PAP smear cost? The one lady had not been tested in what, 2 or 3 years even though she might have cancer I don't know, but I think I would go without cable or a cell phone or something else to spend the few dollars every 6 months to make sure I do not have cancer..."


How much does a PAP smear cost? About $130 for the doctor and another $100 or so for the lab.

If you're lucky and have health insurance one PAP/yr is included by law and so the negotiated costs are less and generally you're not stuck having to pay anything OOP since this doesn't even go against any deductible.

If you're not lucky enough to have any insurance there are some womens clinics or state programs where you can get a PAP for $99 total.

If you have anything that's pre-cancerous or cancerous, you are not lucky at all. A 19 y.o. gal I worked with would be doubled over in pain at her desk. She had no insurance and I urged her to go to a certain outstanding women's clinic in Chicago. Results came back abnormal and she had to go through a series of procedures at the clinic but performed by doctors brought into the clinic from a nearby hospital. I never asked her what her OOP costs were. The clinic itself charged on a sliding scale. She had to make payment arrangements with them. Whatever she paid, it wasn't cheap but had she not been treated her condition would have turned into a cancer in about 3-4 years.

Chicago Women's Health Center
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