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Old 04-05-2012, 06:43 PM   #21
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  • Don't forget something like 17% of the population does not have access to health care unless it's an outright emergency.
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That's not really accurate. Doc's still take cash. (Ask the folks with high deductible policies!) There are free clinics. Emergency rooms see the uninsured for issues other than "outright emergencies" and so on and so forth.

I'm not arguing against the need for a better medical system here in the USA. But your statement is just not accurate. Why not say something like 17% of the population does not have insurance and must either pay for services themselves or, if indigent, find charitable or gov't provided free services (which is going to be tough).
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:44 PM   #22
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I wonder what the Kardashians are up to these days.
I'm sure you do...
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:50 PM   #23
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Doc's still take cash. (Ask the folks with high deductible policies!)
I'd love to hear success stories on this, maybe I'm just not doing it right. But my experience has been that health care providers don't even know the price of their services. I've probably asked a dozen times for how much a specific test or procedure cost and have never been given an answer up front. It's a huge failure of the whole HSA scheme IMO.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:57 PM   #24
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I'd love to hear success stories on this. My experience has been that health care providers don't even know the price of their services. I've probably asked a dozen times for how much a specific test or procedure cost and have never been given an answer up front. It's a huge failure of the whole HSA scheme IMO.
Don't know what you mean by success stories....... I have a friend in Wisconsin that currently is a cash customer at the clinic he uses. I wouldn't call his situation a "success story" (as you put it), but he sees a doc from time to time when he's ill and has been able to negotiate prices and pay cash. I wouldn't call him being "denied access."

I believe the clinic he uses has many uninsured customers. They collect from the state or from chartitable organizations when the patients qualify and from the patients themselves otherwise.

I assume from your post that you're going HSA and that you're having issues knowing what things will cost until the EOB arrives with the negotiated prices.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:02 PM   #25
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Don't know what you mean by success stories....
I mean people with HSA policies who have been able to shop around for, or negotiate, prices before treatment is rendered. I haven't had any success doing that - even for completely discretionary services.

My story is a bit more complicated than most, because I'm never in the same place for more than a few weeks. But then, I've also had the same experience in at least three different states so I have reason to believe that it is more common than not.

Edit to add: Even with the HSA policy, where I know I'm paying 100% out of pocket, the billing still goes through the insurance company. I go to the doctor, the doctor probes me, I leave without a clue what I just spent, a bill shows up in the mail later, I pay the bill.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:05 PM   #26
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My views on this topic are well known. But each time I say anything on this topic, these views are shot down in flames by some. Therefore, I am done discussing this or even helping those who have medical questions. Just waiting for these types of threads to be closed....
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We pay way more, for inferior results (vs top 30+ developed countries) and leave 17% of our population without access to health care (unlike almost all other developed countries).
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:12 PM   #27
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I mean people with HSA policies who have been able to shop around for, or negotiate, prices before treatment is rendered. I haven't had any success doing that - even for completely discretionary services.

.
You're changing subjects from my original comments to Midpack. I was talking about having access to medical care if you can private pay or utilize free clinics, Medicaid, charitable groups, etc. I really wasn't commenting on our system being "shoppable." I agree with you that it would be tough to competitive shop for medical services. But that's different than being "denied access."

Again, I'm not speaking up for our current medical system or the people who work within its confines. But I don't like to make my case for improvement by overstating the situation. We don't "deny access" to the 17% of our citizens who don't have medical insurance policies. But many of them certainly have an inferior situation unless they are wealthy.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:14 PM   #28
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Yes, don't know what came over me. Actually I've been reading The Healing of America by TR Reid today, the same guy who did Sick Around The World on PBS, and the book has me stirred up again.

Even though I'm a lifelong conservative, free markets are not going to provide (universal) access to quality health care at anything near competitive prices. Until there is a serious groundswell from all us regular peeps, the special interests will make sure "our" elected officials maintain the gravy train status quo in health care. Hope springs eternal...
Hooray for Midpack. You may make a conservative out of me.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:24 PM   #29
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I'd love to hear success stories on this, maybe I'm just not doing it right. But my experience has been that health care providers don't even know the price of their services. I've probably asked a dozen times for how much a specific test or procedure cost and have never been given an answer up front. It's a huge failure of the whole HSA scheme IMO.
When I had a very high deductible I would sometime say, I'm not sure how this will shake out with insurance, but if you give me the Blue Shield rate I'll pay green cash on the day of the procedure. Sometimes I would say this on the day of treatment. Often it worked, but it did require carrying a fair amount of money. If it seemed too high, I'd just say so. Often doctors consider themselves to be above commerce, a big lie if there ever was one.

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Old 04-05-2012, 07:32 PM   #30
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  • Don't forget something like 17% of the population does not have access to health care unless it's an outright emergency.
  • Reportedly 18,000 people per year die for lack of health care in the US, some reports suggest it's much higher.
  • And we're the only developed country where people go bankrupt over medical care costs.
  • While paying 50-100% more than other countries.
Once I finish the book I'm reading, I'll probably calm down again, then again maybe not...
I hear that also, but don't believe for a minute that you can't get health care (your 17%) if you need it. This is the biggest give away country in the world. I've know and have seen people on Medicade that only have it because they are too lazy to do anything about it. They are just milking the system. Don't tell me I'm wrong because this has happened within my own family. I've been around the biggest milkers in the world. You know as well as I do, there are people that know they can get by without working by preying on social services for food and shelter. And there are people out there that just can't wait to give it to them.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:57 PM   #31
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My views on this topic are well known. But each time I say anything on this topic, these views are shot down in flames by some. Therefore, I am done discussing this or even helping those who have medical questions. Just waiting for these types of threads to be closed....
Well then, have you heard from the Kardashians?
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:17 PM   #32
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Midpack, it is frustrating when your thread follows a path different than the one you intended. ...



When a poster starts a thread on an extremely complex topic, and claims a single graphic 'sorta says it all', and includes distortions in the little bit he does say ('without access') well, I'd fully expect that it would trigger a diverse stream of comments. Was the 'intended path' to have everyone agree with him? Gee, we don't need discussion forums for that, we all have mirrors in our house. Or one could start a blog and disable comments.


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Right now we're waiting on the Supreme Court. If that goes poorly, ...
By 'if that goes poorly', do you mean 'if the Supreme Court fails to do their job and interpret the Constitution to the best of their ability'? Whatever the outcome, I do hope the SC does their job, which could be different from whatever outcome you or I may prefer or expect.

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Old 04-05-2012, 08:20 PM   #33
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No - and I don't even care who does their paps. How about this for a thread highhack ?
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Well then, have you heard from the Kardashians?
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:50 PM   #34
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When a poster starts a thread on an extremely complex topic, and claims a single graphic 'sorta says it all', and includes distortions in the little bit he does say ('without access') well, I'd fully expect that it would trigger a diverse stream of comments. Was the 'intended path' to have everyone agree with him? Gee, we don't need discussion forums for that, we all have mirrors in our house. Or one could start a blog and disable comments.
I was just sharing a thought with Midpack. No need to make an issue out of it.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:08 PM   #35
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I was just sharing a thought with Midpack. No need to make an issue out of it.
Issue?

It just appeared to me that you were making an 'issue' of other posters input. And I commented on it, as I didn't understand what the problem was with such an open-ended OP.

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Old 04-05-2012, 09:17 PM   #36
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Issue?

It just appeared to me that you were making an 'issue' of other posters input. And I commented on it, as I didn't understand what the problem was with such an open-ended OP.

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Old 04-06-2012, 12:46 AM   #37
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Map sorta says it all...note Iraq & Afghanistan!

We pay way more, for inferior results (vs top 30+ developed countries) and leave 17% of our population without access to health care (unlike almost all other developed countries).
An interesting thing is that we are not exactly a developed country. We have an large unskilled and in some cases non-working, poorly educated or completely uneducated lower class, a barely adequate industrial infrastructure, and some very skilled workers, engineers, managers and high class operating companies floating above all this. We also have quality hospitals and universities but extremely spotty primary and secondary education. All decisions are made by greasing the biggest wheels rather than producing the best results for the nation.

Rather than spend an enormous amount on healthcare and various forms of healthcare industry waste, we should rebuild our infrastructure and make it again financially attractive to do something in the US other than tweet one another all day, or sell paper back and forth on Wall Street. Much of which actually lowers the quality of life and the economy.

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Old 04-06-2012, 01:07 AM   #38
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My views on this topic are well known. But each time I say anything on this topic, these views are shot down in flames by some. Therefore, I am done discussing this or even helping those who have medical questions. Just waiting for these types of threads to be closed....

Even though some might disagree with you (and I am probably one), that does not mean we do not enjoy reading your posts...

And why not help with medical questions I do not see the connection....
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:01 AM   #39
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Did you see this thread High cholesterol problem where I gave some basic advice ? One poster questioned my credententials. Another one questioned basic guidelines. Another poster came to my rescue saying "Some of you are brutal . Have you noticed that rarely do medical people get in these discussions . Its because they are beaten up and spit out . If you really want opinions from the front line not just articles with a bias treat the medical people with the respect they deserve ."

Since then I guess I have tried to stay away from any healthcare-related question, whether Obamacare or clinical questions. It's not a problem, since I joined this board to discuss FIRE anyway...



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Even though some might disagree with you (and I am probably one), that does not mean we do not enjoy reading your posts...

And why not help with medical questions I do not see the connection....
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:35 AM   #40
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Universal Health Care - what are we waiting for?
Someone else to pay fot it.
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