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Old 08-01-2009, 10:30 AM   #121
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My experiences in other countries that have lower costs highlight some differences. Less paperwork and fewer tests to diagnose immediately to mind Ė and this is confirmed by non-US family members. Treatment also tends to differ, but Iím not sure what to conclude from that.

In addition, all of my elderly family members have passed away in hospitals, while most of the elderly family of my (non-US) close friends and family have all passed away at home. A hospital is not only a terribly expensive place to die, itís also a terribly lonely and unfriendly place to die.
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:50 AM   #122
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Maybe death is somehow nicer at home (as if that's possible). But keep in mind that I have elderly relatives who have gone to hospital very very sick, possibly dying, and have recovered and returned home to live more years. Some of them 10 or more times. I'm skeptical of any prognosis that assumes death is inevitable and withholds care. Sure it's possible and sometimes it might be correct, but sometimes it might be wrong, too. Dying years early because care was withheld to contain costs seems like a poor outcome in order to save money.
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:58 PM   #123
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Iím not trying to oversimplify or generalize, just comment. My view is that when so many people can make so different critical observations, almost all correct yet still not find agreement, the system is rotten to the core.

Unregulated profit driven medical underwriting, unequal tax treatment, employer-centric coverage and absence of clear national standards for access and care have lead us down this road. While I donít particularly care for the federal government to involve itself in the solution, itís clear (to me) that meaningful improvement will not otherwise come about.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:56 PM   #124
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I'm retired and have affordable BCBS insurance at the present, so my concern is that I be able to continue with that insurance since I can afford it and it has served me very well.

So, I attended a health care town hall on 25 July, held by my 44 year old congressman whose background is lawyer, city prosecutor, state congressman, US congressman of 10 years. Extremely bright and energetic. Definitely an Obama supporter and nearly rabidly so.

In the 2 hour of speech and questions, he carefully avoided answering with "I don't know" so many times that it got chuckles from the audience. To his defense, his is not a member directly tasked to write the bill, but claimed he is working with committee members to shape the legislation.

I'm wondering if anyone has been to a town hall and have more specifics now that congress it out.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:49 PM   #125
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There are a lot of "I don't knows" because there is still negotiation going on.

Another "I don't know" would be what happens if no bill of substance is passed. Like what kind of employer do you have (government or private) and will it continue to be able afford to be able to offer retiree health care.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:14 AM   #126
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Having experience with both the German and Estonian health systems (which are very different from each other) I'll add one thing that seems to help lower overall cost.

In both systems, the doctors assess you and then start you with the least expensive treatment option that they believe will fix you before they move up to the more expensive treatment options.

To be clear though, they start you with the cheapest option they believe will help you, not just the cheapest option. Because it would be more expensive in the long run if they treat you with something that won't work and then have to treat you again after that.

Also to tie in is the lawsuit issue. The doctors don't have to run unnecessary tests or use expensive unnecessary procedures because they're not constantly trying to cover their ass in case of a lawsuit. I'm not certain how malpractice is handled in either country but I found this info on Germany, though it's not official.

Law and Medicine: Germany
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:59 PM   #127
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'

I think we are equal enough in the US to be able to provide a mechanism to pay for health care for everyone. People shouldn't die because they can't pay. Now they do.
I have been away for a while, but I thought I would comment on this one... Ok... I can see your point of view. You have made yourself very clear here. No one should die because of their inability to pay. I understand and respect your point of view.

If that point of view is consistant, then you must feel exactly the same way about housing, clothing, and food. Lack of any of those things will make you just as dead as lack of healthcare. In some cases... they might make you dead even FASTER, than lack of healthcare. So if we follow this logical line of reasoning out to it's conclusion, then you really would be in favor of socialism. As that is really the only way to ensure what you have said that you wanted. If govt. does not have total control over the population, then there will always be those that will choose to "do their own thing". The only way to achieve your stated goal is for a socialist govt to make sure everyone does what they are told to do. And in that way they will ensure the maximum positive outcome for everyone.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:54 PM   #128
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I have been away for a while, but I thought I would comment on this one... Ok... I can see your point of view. You have made yourself very clear here. No one should die because of their inability to pay. I understand and respect your point of view.

If that point of view is consistant, then you must feel exactly the same way about housing, clothing, and food. Lack of any of those things will make you just as dead as lack of healthcare. In some cases... they might make you dead even FASTER, than lack of healthcare. So if we follow this logical line of reasoning out to it's conclusion, then you really would be in favor of socialism. As that is really the only way to ensure what you have said that you wanted. If govt. does not have total control over the population, then there will always be those that will choose to "do their own thing". The only way to achieve your stated goal is for a socialist govt to make sure everyone does what they are told to do. And in that way they will ensure the maximum positive outcome for everyone.
I disagree on believing what I believe is socialism. Socialism is owning the means of production. Every society has some redistribution of wealth. Public education is a big example. I have no kids but I pay school taxes. Some redistribution goes to the very wealthy. Some goes to business (sugar subsidies anyone?) Some is inter generational. Even insurance is redistribution of wealth. Suburbs with their high infrastructure costs are supported by more than suburban dwellers. I could go on and on.

I believe it is healthy for society to take care of our weakest members and is the right thing to do. I believe in providing certain minimums for people. Food stamps for food. Housing assistance, even if it is only SRO housing. Some small cash assistance so people can clean and dress themselves. And more importantly, assistance in helping overcome the issues that led to the need for the assistance. The goal, if possible, is to help people become healthy happy productive members of society. Providing no assistance at all is not motivating, it is debilitating.

To me it is about values.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:18 PM   #129
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It is amazing to me how people can be so gullible. You are parroting Fox News when you spew out words like "socialized medicine", and death to the seniors. You are being manipulated and outsmarted. I wish I could afford to send every citizen in the US a copy of one of Bill Moyer's Journal segments with Wendell Potter. It was the best segment to ever reach the airway on this subject. You should go over to PBS or YouTube and watch what you can of it. It comes from the horseís mouth. An executive from Cigna whose job it was to do the dirty deed, instill fear into the public, discredit Michael Moore (who he says was right on) and introduce all the scare tactic statements including the terrible wait times in Canada.

This is a well oiled and funded campaign to fool you guys. Have you gone on some of the Canadian message boards and asked Canadians what they think of their health care system? That might be a good idea. Do you know who the most celebrated Canadian hero is? It is the man responsible for passing government funded health care in Canada. He is their Abraham Lincoln. The "wait" is for people who do not have life threatening disease. If a brain cancer is suspected, you go to the head of the class for your MRI. Yes, some people who can afford it might elect to go to the US to get their procedure done faster, and some do. But for the most part, Canadians are very grateful for their health care.

Better yet. Look at the French system. Have you talked with some Parisians lately about the French health care system? (Rated # 1 in the world) I'll give you a clue. They feel sorry for Americans.

Take a look at who doesn't want a public plan:

1. Most doctors (not all luckily) - Less money for them (reduced payments similar to Medicare reduced payments) How will they ever survive.

2. Hospitals: (with a few exceptions-those who furnish life saving services to people without insurance like Chemo and dialysis etc) Lower payments similar to Medicare payments for more patients. Might not be able to make as much money.

3. Insurance Companies. No explanation needed here.

4. Any industry that makes money from our current system, like the one that made the video posted above.

I agree, there are a few problems that need to be addressed that would help everyone in the medical field, and one of the main ones is tort reform. But as the legislators are primarily lawyers, I doubt that we will live to see that happen in our life time anyway.

I have cancer, and I have Medicare with a supplemental policy. I spent a month in the hospital at MD Anderson and my bill was about $125,000. I believe it cost me a total of $159., so I can't really complain about Medicare. ("Socialized medicine") Don't know if I could say that if I was still on my not so good public plan.

This fight is also political and you all know it. The Republicans wanting to destroy the Democratic Party, so they can get the power back and keep their jobs...We are the pawns in the game.

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Old 08-06-2009, 03:00 PM   #130
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[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]It is amazing to me how people can be so gullible. You are parroting Fox News when you spew out words like "socialized medicine", and death to the seniors.
To me, it is you that sound like a parrot for the left when you say:
Quote:
This is a well oiled and funded campaign to fool you guys.
and:

Quote:
I wish I could afford to send every citizen in the US a copy of one of Bill Moyer's Journal segments with Wendell Potter.
It was linked here. I was not impressed. It just fed on some people's fear and loathing of capitalists (and I do think they should be jailed if they do wrong).

I don't belong to any of the groups you mention, and I am skeptical of the govt plan. What do you make of that? I suspect that the Canadian govt plan works as well as it does because it is not a US Govt plan. Didn't Canada do a Cash for Clunkers program? $300 instead of $3500 and $4500? Did it run out of cash in 4 days? Maybe there is something to learn there?

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I can't really complain about Medicare.
Isn't our govt telling us that Medicare is unsustainable? So how does that help future generations? Send my kids, and any future grandkids a Thank You note.

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The Republicans wanting to destroy the Democratic Party, so they can get the power back and keep their jobs...
Are you saying the opposite is not true?

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We are the pawns in the game.
Ahhh, finally, we agree!

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Old 08-06-2009, 04:20 PM   #131
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This is a well oiled and funded campaign to fool you guys. Have you gone on some of the Canadian message boards and asked Canadians what they think of their health care system? That might be a good idea. Do you know who the most celebrated Canadian hero is? It is the man responsible for passing government funded health care in Canada. He is their Abraham Lincoln. The "wait" is for people who do not have life threatening disease. If a brain cancer is suspected, you go to the head of the class for your MRI. Yes, some people who can afford it might elect to go to the US to get their procedure done faster, and some do. But for the most part, Canadians are very grateful for their health care.
Are there any Canadians that can tell us how they like their health care system? If this has already been discussed in any other threads, I apologize in advance.

I just got back from a vacation to Vancouver and Whistler, BC, Canada. While there I asked 5-6 Canadians how they like their health care system and they all liked it. Admittedly this is not a scientific poll, but I was just curious about how a few people in Canada would respond to that question. I asked them if medical lawsuits are possible and they said yes, but those are very limited....no lottery win in Canada when a medical treatment doesn't go according to plan. There is always a risk when getting medical treatment. Perhaps that is one of the first things that can be "fixed" here in the US by limiting the awards in medical lawsuits. On the downside, they do pay more in taxes to support health care in Canada.

Any comments from Canadians?
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:32 PM   #132
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There is always a risk when getting medical treatment. Perhaps that is one of the first things that can be "fixed" here in the US by limiting the awards in medical lawsuits. On the downside, they do pay more in taxes to support health care in Canada.

Any comments from Canadians?
Tha cannot be fixed under a Democrat regime. Democrats need bodies for votes- big unions, teachers, governemnt workers of all stripes other than military. They also need large donors-Wall Street, part of Silicon Valley and Trial lawyers.

The Cash for clunkers was for the UAW and Obama Motors. Not messing with malpractice is a a gift to the trial lawyers. Don't expect that to change.

Obama may be a statesman, but of course that has limits.

Ha
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:04 PM   #133
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HaHa,

Medicare is not sustainable, nor is our current health care system as a whole. There is massive fraud and the gov has been funding the medicare advantage program, and there have been abuses in over-testing. All of the above have been adressed with proposed fixes in the bill. They are trying to address the waste and fix it. They are also trying to make it so insurance companies can't get rid of the sick and keep the healthy.

Don't forget. The insurance companies don't want to cover you when you reach 65 yrs. old. That's when you start to need expensive care. They want to give that part to the government, purge the sick, and refuse you if you have a pre-existing condition whenever they can. I would call that cherry picking at it's best, and hardly a model for good insurance.

There is no argument that this must be funded. But the only way to be able to fund it without adding deficit is a complete overhaul. As I stated in my earlier post. The only item I see they won't touch is the tort reform, which is a shame. They also compromised with the pharmaceutical companies not to restrict pricing and agreed to the 12 years for patent protection. This was done in a trade for money funded for the donut hole. A help, but not as big as it could have been with reduced drug costs.

I probably shouldn't have made the Fox, Democrat, Republican statement, as I really would like to see political party taken out of this issue. It is just too important to be "party driven". This is an issue that effects everybody, and must be decided on the merits of the bill and the goal, not the party.
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:51 PM   #134
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You are parroting Fox News . . .
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Didn't Canada do a Cash for Clunkers program? $300 instead of $3500 and $4500? Did it run out of cash in 4 days? Maybe there is something to learn there?



It was FOX News where I first heard Health Care reform being equated with Cash for Clunkers.

Comedy Central even spoofed it.

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Old 08-08-2009, 09:14 PM   #135
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It was FOX News where I first heard Health Care reform being equated with Cash for Clunkers.

Comedy Central even spoofed it.

I judge things by their content, not where they were published. I prefer not to limit myself in that way. I assume there is bias no matter the source. That cynicism has served me well.

SNL did a spoof of Julia Child, so I guess she was a lousy cook?

Are you saying the Canada Cash for Clunkers was not $300? I read it on this forum, didn't research it further since it wasn't *that* important to me, and I could see no reason that one of our Canadian posters would have any reason to lie about it. Or that C$C wasn't warning about running out of cash in 4 days? Are those wrong? Sources please.

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Old 08-09-2009, 06:53 AM   #136
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SNL did a spoof of Julia Child, so I guess she was a lousy cook?
Nope. Not my point.

Only in arguing against a post that started with "You're parroting Fox News" you parroted Fox News in your response.

Just thought it was funny.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:30 AM   #137
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Nope. Not my point.

Only in arguing against a post that started with "You're parroting Fox News" you parroted Fox News in your response.

Just thought it was funny.
Except that I absolutely did NOT "parrot Fox News". I came to a conclusion based on information I have read, critiqued and analyzed from several sources. That is not "parroting".

If Fox News, or anyone else said something similar, I have no control over that. It neither validates nor invalidates my response.

If you don't understand the difference between expressing an idea and "parroting", well, I think that is sad.

It would also explain many of your posts.

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Old 08-09-2009, 12:27 PM   #138
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It was FOX News where I first heard Health Care reform being equated with Cash for Clunkers.

Comedy Central even spoofed it.
Yeah, on the Daily Show, which is definitely not a paragon of objective commentary either. Listen to the reaction of the audience some time. It's a WAY left-tilting crowd, and the show's producers know their audience.

Still, there are enough differences between health care and "cash for clunkers" that it's not really a good direct comparison in my opinion. But it does have some validity, I think; it shows very well how much you increase the demand for something when you heavily subsidize it with tax dollars.

We're getting pretty close to personal attacks in this thread recently, folks. Let's try to keep cooler heads. Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2009, 01:38 PM   #139
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We're getting pretty close to personal attacks in this thread recently, folks. Let's try to keep cooler heads. Thanks.
Agreed, thanks for the gentle warning. It's easy to get a little excited and carried away on a topic that may affect us so much.

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Old 08-09-2009, 03:27 PM   #140
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I have cancer, and I have Medicare with a supplemental policy. I spent a month in the hospital at MD Anderson and my bill was about $125,000. I believe it cost me a total of $159., so I can't really complain about Medicare. ("Socialized medicine") Don't know if I could say that if I was still on my not so good public plan.
Hopefully under our new govt plan, private supplementals (for the rich and priviliged who can afford them) will NOT be allowed. Recently developed, expensive treatments for previously life ending diseases can be witheld to achieve cost savings as mandated by the Congressional Committe on Allowed Treatments.

I'm curious, which public plan did you previously have that was "not so good?" Were you a Canadian or have you lived in some other country with a public plan? Or are you talking about some USA state provided plan?
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