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Old 03-10-2011, 08:02 PM   #21
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I'm not entirely sure we're under any obligation to support corporations that entered into bad deals elsewhere, through paying top dollar for products that they sell for less elsewhere.
I would agree that we aren't. But this is the method used to help finance and create national healthcare in other countries; I'm saying take that whole foundation away (which we would be doing by going to a national healthcare plan ourselves) and see how happy people are with national healthcare still.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:08 PM   #22
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I would agree that we aren't. But this is the method used to help finance and create national healthcare in other countries; I'm saying take that whole foundation away (which we would be doing by going to a national healthcare plan ourselves) and see how happy people are with national healthcare still.
This is a complex question, but likely if all the pharmaceutical firms stopped doing what they call research it would have minimal effects on the health and welfare of populations.

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Old 03-10-2011, 09:39 PM   #23
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This is a complex question, but likely if all the pharmaceutical firms stopped doing what they call research it would have minimal effects on the health and welfare of populations.

Ha
It goes beyond pharmaceutical companies though. Take the BC Cancer Agency in Canada, for example. A couple years ago they identified the DNA sequence that may cause breast cancer. They actually work to treat cancer patients. But while they get a small amount of funding from the Canadian government, in large part they get donations from private parties (including an organization that finds millions in donations from here in America specifically for Canadian health care), research is farmed out to American universities and businesses, and the equipment used in this particular discovery was developed and made here.

This is not unusual.

Nor is it true that what pharmacies do is so-called research, though this would be more obvious if patent laws were changed to extend patents for when a drug goes to market (which would also make things a little cheaper for us). When a drug company only has about 5 years to make up hundreds of millions of dollars from a 20 year patent limit (from research that's gone well, let alone losses in areas that proved a dead end), we see more attempts to make up those profits in other drugs that look stupid to a lot of us, but cost them less and may take less time to get to market.

If all pharmaceutical companies stopped doing research (and if all medical equipment developers stopped producing as well) we wouldn't see much of a change for the things we already have cures and treatments for. For the rest who are suffering and dying, and for the improvements in future cures and treatments, that research is needed desperately.

The problem is, healthcare is expensive. It's always going to be expensive. It's inherently expensive. It's stupidly expensive. It's inherently a limited resource as well. There are ways make it all somewhat better (though it's never going to be some Utopian ideal, and it sure isn't going to be readily available to everyone no matter who says otherwise), but every single one of these ways are exactly the opposite of what national healthcare (and at the moment, primarily employee-provided insurance) promises.
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:57 PM   #24
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One aspect of the new health care law is to cover more people by putting them into Medicaid. It's something else indeed.

Medicaid is Worse than No Coverage at All


From the link above:
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Washington contributes to this mess by leaving states no option other than across-the-board cuts. Patients would be better off if states were able to tailor the benefits that Medicaid covers—targeting resources to sicker people and giving healthy adults cheaper, basic coverage. But federal rules say that everyone has to get the same package of benefits, regardless of health status, needs or personal desires.
These rules reflect the ambition of liberal lawmakers who cling to the dogma that Medicaid should be a "comprehensive" benefit. In their view, any tailoring is an affront to egalitarianism. Because states are forced to offer everyone everything, the actual payment rates are driven so low that beneficiaries often end up with nothing in practice.
Dozens of recent medical studies show that Medicaid patients suffer for it. In some cases, they'd do just as well without health insurance. Here's a sampling of that research:
• Head and neck cancer: A 2010 study of 1,231 patients with cancer of the throat, published in the medical journal Cancer, found that Medicaid patients and people lacking any health insurance were both 50% more likely to die when compared with privately insured patients—even after adjusting for factors that influence cancer outcomes. Medicaid patients were 80% more likely than those with private insurance to have tumors that spread to at least one lymph node. Recent studies show similar outcomes for breast and colon cancer.

. . .
The liberal solution to these woes has been to expand Medicaid. Advocacy groups like Families USA imagine that once Medicaid becomes a middle-class entitlement, political pressure from middle-class workers will force politicians to address these problems by funneling more taxpayer dollars into this flawed program.
President Barack Obama's health plan follows this logic. Half of those gaining health insurance under ObamaCare will get it through Medicaid; by 2006, one in four Americans will be covered by the program.
So--build a crappy program, force more people into it, make the states administer it but don't let them optimize it, and let the many disgruntled patients vote for more resources to "fix" it (with OPM). Who is being "used" here?
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:15 PM   #25
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Advocacy groups like Families USA imagine that once Medicaid becomes a middle-class entitlement, political pressure from middle-class workers will force politicians to address these problems by funneling more taxpayer dollars into this flawed program.
Families USA. There's a go-to source for knowledge and well thought out reasoning.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:53 AM   #26
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Well, it took a few days more than expected, but right on cue, Vermont has passed a bill in the House to become the first state with a single payer system. How will they pay for it? Just charge businesses more money, of course!

Universal health care bill passes, 89-47 | Vtdigger.org

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Hsiao proposed a 14.5 percent payroll tax, and also suggested that an income tax could also be an option. The House Health Care Committee decided the “details” are beyond the Legislature’s purview for the time being. The board and a team of eight researchers from the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration will devise the system; lawmakers will be responsible for approving a financing plan (2013), a budget (2014) and plans for implementation of the system (2012).
14.5%! How is this saving money again? Now your individual person making $250k gets to pay $36,250/year for health insurance. That sounds way better than $100-400/month. What a great system.

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Scheuerman said under the proposal, self-insured companies would pay double – they would pay insurance premiums and potentially a payroll tax, as suggested by Hsiao’s report. Scheuerman said a number of large, self-insured companies could be affected, and she rattled off a list: GW Plastics, General Electric, General Dynamics, Pizagalli Construction, Plasan, King Arthur Flour, Cabot Creamery, CVPS, among others.
By the time companies are done paying for this, they won't have any money left to pay employees with apparently. I foresee a massive exodus of business to other states coming.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:05 AM   #27
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I'm calling it now. June 3rd, 2013, the first bread lines in Vermont.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:16 AM   #28
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14.5%! How is this saving money again? Now your individual person making $250k gets to pay $36,250/year for health insurance. That sounds way better than $100-400/month. What a great system.
Under what system are total health care insurance costs $100-$400 per month? I'm no fan of government mandated universal care, but . . .
If the citizens of Vermont want to bankrupt their state and drive citizens and businesses out, that's their business I guess. It's a different kettle-o-fish on a national level
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:22 AM   #29
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Under what system are total health care insurance costs $100-$400 per month? I'm no fan of government mandated universal care, but . . .
If the citizens of Vermont want to bankrupt their state and drive citizens and businesses out, that's their business I guess. It's a different kettle-o-fish on a national level
Even in MA, where costs for insurance are higher than other states, individual policies are $300-500/month. In states with full underwriting like VA, most people can get an HSA policy with a $3-5k deductible for $75-250/month. That's the problem with a payroll tax - individuals pay a far higher cost than families for the same benefit.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:28 PM   #30
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Under what system are total health care insurance costs $100-$400 per month? I'm no fan of government mandated universal care, but . . .
Most any high deductible plan for a healthy 25 year old. Note that they might be on the hook for another average $400 a month to meet the deductible.

Oh, you're over 50? That's different...
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:42 PM   #31
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Most any high deductible plan for a healthy 25 year old. Note that they might be on the hook for another average $400 a month to meet the deductible.

Oh, you're over 50? That's different...
But how often will they meet the deductible on average, once every 10 years? A 60-year old male in VA in good health can get a $3k deductible HSA plan for $240/month, FYI.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:53 PM   #32
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This mess for people under 65 will probably be fixed when I turn 65.
My thoughts exactly.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:17 AM   #33
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Suits me. Better yet, have the feddle gubmint pull its pants up and implement a single payor system.
Don't worry, they will. However, we will need to raise your marginal tax rate 15% to pay for it, but you're cool with that, right?
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:47 PM   #34
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What's the problem?
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:50 PM   #35
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Don't worry, they will. However, we will need to raise your marginal tax rate 15% to pay for it, but you're cool with that, right?
105%, if they actually want to pretend it's going to work. 200% with government efficiency.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:10 AM   #36
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You have to wonder if some of those states that initiate a single payer program will be able to entice businesses that are interested in shedding health care costs from their books.

While they may have some sort of tax related to it, much of the cost will be shifted to the consumers of health care services.

It might turn into a competitive advantage for certain businesses... assuming they provide health care benefits.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:16 AM   #37
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No thanks. I will worry about my own health and health care and pay for whatever health care I receive out of my own pocket. At some point, if the government becomes too onerous and demands more of my money to pay for other's care, I will seriously consider taking myself and my money to some other part of the world and look at the great American social utopia experiment from afar.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:42 AM   #38
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No thanks. I will worry about my own health and health care and pay for whatever health care I receive out of my own pocket. At some point, if the government becomes too onerous and demands more of my money to pay for other's care, I will seriously consider taking myself and my money to some other part of the world and look at the great American social utopia experiment from afar.
When you move, unless you go to a third world country, you will probably find yourself under government sponsored universal health care more extensive than anything the US is likely to adopt.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:53 AM   #39
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When you move, unless you go to a third world country, you will probably find yourself under government sponsored universal health care more extensive than anything the US is likely to adopt.
Central America here I come!

It's just so uninspiring to see so many people wanting something for free from the government (and by free I mean paid for by your neighbor's tax money).
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:20 AM   #40
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No thanks. I will worry about my own health and health care and pay for whatever health care I receive out of my own pocket.
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Central America here I come!

It's just so uninspiring to see so many people wanting something for free from the government (and by free I mean paid for by your neighbor's tax money).
Very principled approach. (sarcasm emoticon missing). In the pre-Obamacare environment millions loose (or never get) health insurance through no fault of their own. Your self stated approach (out of my own pocket) only works because you would be willing to steal your care from the rest of us if you suffered a devastating uninsured illness or injury and ended up in an emergency room. No civilized country (including ours) would throw you out and no set of pockets (outside of the top 2%+) could afford the bills. You would be forced to default on your bills and dump them on us.
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