The Real Crisis: Health Care - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2005, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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The Real Crisis: Health Care

While G.W. Bush makes his bogus case for a crisis in Social Security, there seems little interest from him or the Congress to address the health care crisis in America. The signs are everywhere:

--There are 45 million Americans without health insurance. Recently, the Chicago Tribune ran a lengthy piece on this group, and I was surprised to learn that a good many of the 45 million are employed and have money for insurance, but the insurance industry will not insure them. The author of the article, herself a lawyer and freelance writer with a good income, could not buy health insurance, on the grounds that she suffers from a pre-existing condition. Even though she is in excellent physical health, she has been disqualified because she has been treated, successfully, for depression. She even offered to agree to a provision that any health insurance plan she would be allowed to purchase could exclude the depression issue, and the medication she takes to control it, but none would insure her.

--More than half the bankruptcies in the U.S. are caused by medical debt, and in many cases, these are people who do have insurance. The costs are so staggeringly high, that even when the insurance company picks up 80% or 90% after copays and deductibles for major medical procedures, it's enough to send many families to bankruptcy court.

--George W. Bush is touting tort reform as the answer to all this, but even experts who agree with him on the need to cap pain and suffering awards say that tort reform will do zilch to reduce medical malpractice insurance rates, and the degree to which they effect overall health care costs.

--Almost daily, we learn of companies that are trying to opt out of the health insurance benefit for their employees. The costs are so high, and volatile, that business sees it as a wild card they would rather not deal with.

Your thoughts?

Joe B.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 07:15 AM
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RE: The Real Crisis: Health Care

And how many of those uninsured people choose to be uninsured.....Lots....how many have cell phones? I bet most of them........and Cable TV.......most.....a large amount of the uninsured just put paying for coverage below other important things such as individual cell phones and Cable TV.

I know people who made that choice........quite a few.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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RE: The Real Crisis: Health Care

Quote:
79-300SD - 2/7/2005 9:15 AM

And how many of those uninsured people choose to be uninsured.....Lots....how many have cell phones? I bet most of them........and Cable TV.......most.....a large amount of the uninsured just put paying for coverage below other important things such as individual cell phones and Cable TV.

I know people who made that choice........quite a few.
Stellar performance--managed to miss two major points I made. 1--lots of the uninsured CANNOT buy insurance, because the insurance companies WILL NOT ALLOW IT; 2) Even those who have insurance are finding that a catastrophic illness often sends them into BANKRUPTCY. Over half the bankruptcies in the U.S. are fueled by health care debt.

But of course, you are inclined to miss points that do not fit into your neat little world of rabid fascism and Clinton hating.

Joe B.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 10:41 AM
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RE: The Real Crisis: Health Care

Quote:
Joe Bauers - 2/6/2005 5:04 PM

While G.W. Bush makes his bogus case for a crisis in Social Security, there seems little interest from him or the Congress to address the health care crisis in America. The signs are everywhere:

--There are 45 million Americans without health insurance. Recently, the Chicago Tribune ran a lengthy piece on this group, and I was surprised to learn that a good many of the 45 million are employed and have money for insurance, but the insurance industry will not insure them. The author of the article, herself a lawyer and freelance writer with a good income, could not buy health insurance, on the grounds that she suffers from a pre-existing condition. Even though she is in excellent physical health, she has been disqualified because she has been treated, successfully, for depression. She even offered to agree to a provision that any health insurance plan she would be allowed to purchase could exclude the depression issue, and the medication she takes to control it, but none would insure her.

--More than half the bankruptcies in the U.S. are caused by medical debt, and in many cases, these are people who do have insurance. The costs are so staggeringly high, that even when the insurance company picks up 80% or 90% after copays and deductibles for major medical procedures, it's enough to send many families to bankruptcy court.

--George W. Bush is touting tort reform as the answer to all this, but even experts who agree with him on the need to cap pain and suffering awards say that tort reform will do zilch to reduce medical malpractice insurance rates, and the degree to which they effect overall health care costs.

--Almost daily, we learn of companies that are trying to opt out of the health insurance benefit for their employees. The costs are so high, and volatile, that business sees it as a wild card they would rather not deal with.

Your thoughts?

Joe B.
I'm with ya, Joe. I don't think a socialized govt. program is the answer (i don't trust the govt to run it right.). That is not to say that I have an answer, I just know that compulsory govt. socialism isn't it.[:D]

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 02:44 PM
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RE: The Real Crisis: Health Care

Quote:
Joe Bauers - 2/7/2005 10:45 AM

Quote:
79-300SD - 2/7/2005 9:15 AM

And how many of those uninsured people choose to be uninsured.....Lots....how many have cell phones? I bet most of them........and Cable TV.......most.....a large amount of the uninsured just put paying for coverage below other important things such as individual cell phones and Cable TV.

I know people who made that choice........quite a few.
Stellar performance--managed to miss two major points I made. 1--lots of the uninsured CANNOT buy insurance, because the insurance companies WILL NOT ALLOW IT; 2) Even those who have insurance are finding that a catastrophic illness often sends them into BANKRUPTCY. Over half the bankruptcies in the U.S. are fueled by health care debt.

But of course, you are inclined to miss points that do not fit into your neat little world of rabid fascism and Clinton hating.

Joe B.
It is you who refuse to see beyond that narrow little mindset the DNC lets you use.....

Insurance is availible to 99% of the public who wishes to get it.....fact is most of them prefer to spend their money on petty things like cell phones....and other less important things....then whine they have no money.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 03:04 PM
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RE: The Real Crisis: Health Care

You need to find a rational point between level of care and cost levels. This is very difficult. Thanks to huge drug R&D and massive spikes in health care technology, costs have risen enormously in the last 20 years. Okay, we have way better health care than 20 years ago, but somehow we have to pay for it.

Are the costs also rising thanks to the overuse and abuse of the system? This is something we're all grappling with, even in socialized nations. People live longer and require more intervention, but they also have poor health in the meantime thanks to poor lifestyle. Take the example of people just having the occasional MRI as part of their check-up. Insurance companies are trying to spread this cost out, but doctor ordered tests, under pressure from patients, can contribute to costs in a big way.

In Alberta, we're toying with the idea of finding incentives for healthy living. Preventative measure might make some sense. The struggle is to figure how to do it.

Also, poor people tend to have poor health. Reducing poverty might also relieve some of the burden of costs, no matter who's paying.

One thing that interests me, as an economist, is the friction in the labour market in the US that employer driven coverage has introduced. For a nation that seeks to create perfect markets, the labour market has seen a great deal of imperfection introduced. Mandatory drug testing, health care supplied to employed persons only, and so on.

I am curious about premiums. I have only one source, so I have no idea. My cousin lived as a self-employed person in California for a few years, and found non-group coverage very expensive. For his family it was over $1000 a month for comprehensive coverage. Can an unemployed (or employed where they have no coverage) family really buy full coverage for the cost of a monthly cable bill? Our cable bill is about $40 a month. I know some people that are employees, and the portion of their premium not covered by their employer is hundreds of dollars a month. I would like to relay to them the plan that is $40 a month.

One reason most first-world nations have gone to a socailized system is the realization that economic disaster is the result of illness. The consensus post WWII was that massive economic failure of individuals was a detriment to society as a whole, contributing greatly to the boom/bust cycle and could lead to another depression. Social policy (unemployment insurance plans and welfare) were originally designed not out of the goodness of our hearts, but to provide a stable economic base for first-world development. Socialized health care was a part of that strategy.

I'm really trying to see things from your perspective, but I'm having trouble getting my head up my ass
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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RE: The Real Crisis: Health Care

Posted by Blackmercedes: One reason most first-world nations have gone to a socailized system is the realization that economic disaster is the result of illness. The consensus post WWII was that massive economic failure of individuals was a detriment to society as a whole, contributing greatly to the boom/bust cycle and could lead to another depression. Social policy (unemployment insurance plans and welfare) were originally designed not out of the goodness of our hearts, but to provide a stable economic base for first-world development. Socialized health care was a part of that strategy.

An excellent point. The short-sighted perspective of today's neocons will come back to bit us all in the ass in the end. Whether one is on the side of compassion or not, social policy that provides a safety net to keep the society healthier and more secure is to the benefit of all in the long run, no matter their political perspective.

Joe B.
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