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dmuja

"Health care" US style

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I definitely think that there'd be a significant role for the state on the catastrophic insurance side, and on the upfront care side, in order to insure that that vulnerable populations are neither excluded nor have to entirely fend for themselves. I'd prefer to see the role of the state restricted to tax incentives/credits for catastrophic insurance, and setting rules for HSA's for non-vulnerable populations. In neither case should the state attempt to set or control the prices that providers charge for care.

 

I also think that mentally competent adults who happen to be poor are perfectly capable of administering their own care, and would respond to incentives in the same way as people who make enough money to pay for routine car on an out-of-pocket basis - and I think that with the right incentives they'd tend to look after themselves better than a bureaucrat would, no matter who the said bureaucrat happens to be employed by.

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None of the discussions above make any relevance in reducing costs until people start to "shop around".

 

Hell if I had "gasoline insurance" I would never shop around for the lowest cost provider.

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Sort of goes along with paying out of pocket until you reach your deductible. Ditto for choosing which catastrophic coverage you buy, etc.

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Blue Cross in Massachusetts employs more people to administer coverage for about 2.5 million New Englanders than are employed in all of Canada to administer single payer coverage for 27 million Canadians. In Massachusetts, hospitals spend 25.5% of their revenues on billing and administration. The average Canadian hospital spends less than half as much, because the single payer system obviates the need to determine patient eligibility for services, obtain prior approval, attribute costs and charges to individual patients, and battle with insurers over care and payment.

 

Physicians in the U.S. face massive bureaucratic costs. The average office-based American doctor employs 1.5 clerical and managerial staff, spends 44% of gross income on overhead, and devotes 134 hours of his/her own time annually to billing2. Canadian physicians employ 0.7 clerical/administrative staff, spend 34% of their gross income for overhead, and trivial amounts of time on billing2 (there’s a single half page form for all patients, or a simple electronic system).

 

According to U.S. Congress’ General Accounting Office, administrative savings from a single payer reform would total about 10% of overall health spending. These administrative savings, about $100 billion annually, are enough to cover all of the uninsured, and virtually eliminate co-payments, deductibles and exclusions for those who now have inadequate plans - without any increase in total health spending.

 

Don't see how anyone can argue the current system as cost effective, fair, or an efficient deliverer of health care.

 

 

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I think we all agree that the current system is a cluster fuck of galactic proportions, don't we? It's hard to imagine a worse one, although there are those who assume, as a matter of faith, that anything the government takes over would be worse.

 

This is despite enormous evidence to the contrary: Canada and European health care systems, the ability our own IRS to process hundreds of millions of tax returns in just a few weeks, the ability of our military to invade and occupy a country of 23 million in just six weeks, the ability of NASA to go from nothing to putting a man on the moon in less than ten years....

 

Creating an efficient, single payer health care system seems relatively straightforward, given how many existing models that are already out there to learn from, in comparison to these achievements.

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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I bought stock in "health care" years ago and it's been a good ride.

 

I saw some of the writing on the wall with blue cross being privatized, The health care IPO's, record profits, the payment of docs from a pay per visit to a monthly stipend for each head and so on and on...

 

until everyone decides to think of health care as a vital human right and not a for profit business, it will not change. The folks who are in charge of my investment will want to maximize my and their profit by taking it out of somewhere and that is your pocket.

 

I'm all for the government paying for or delivering health care.

The gov can buy me out and take over all the health care systems, blend them into one to streamline the payment, first to get some tangible cost benefits, then move on to the structural concept to cut operational costs. I think we could all benefit from a new and better system.

 

This current system sucks and will just continue to increase in price to us while cutting coverage. It's inevitable.

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We can achieve parity with the health care delivery systems in Canada and European countries simply by privatizing those nations, which we should do immediately after bombing Iran. And I will remind naysayers who will balk at this proposal out of concern over the CO2 emmssions involved, that Canada is fuck of lot closer than Iran, and therefore the respective sorties will require only a fraction the jet fuel.

 

Next.

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until everyone decides to think of health care as a vital human right and not a for profit business, it will not change. The folks who are in charge of my investment will want to maximize my and their profit by taking it out of somewhere and that is your pocket.

 

So clear, so concise, so correct!

Clavote, I have chosen you.

You will have my love child.

 

Unfortunately, this will involve a high deductible and a 50/50 copay.

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Name three ways in which private health care is good for the american people

 

good returns for stock holders, possibly shorter waits for some procedures for those who have insurance, and the perception that the US has the best health care in the world.

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How about this idea:

 

Dutch may give financial reward to kidney donors

Nicola Smith and Aaron Gray-Block, Amsterdam

 

THE Dutch health minister, Ab Klink, is considering a recommendation to offer free health insurance for life to anyone who donates a kidney for transplant.

 

Link

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How about this idea:

THE Dutch health minister, Ab Klink, is considering a recommendation to offer free health insurance for life to anyone who donates a kidney for transplant.

 

This strikes me as a potentially bad idea idea. Offering incentives of one sort or another to get people to donate kidneys may certainly increase the supply of available organs which would be a good thing for those on the waiting list. It may also create adverse incentives whereby people hide certain information during the donation evaluation process which, in turn, may result in some bad organs getting transplanted into unsuspecting recipients.

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JayB Posted: The area where I do think that the US can improve is with regards to pre-natal care in poor and minority communities, especially recent immigrants. To the extent that women in these groups aren't getting care for their unborn children for for a lack of resources - this is indeed a problem, but I don't think it's reasonable to conclude that socializing all of medicine would be more effective in addressing these problems than other approaches that could be undertaken by selective changes in government spending, insurance regulations, etc. However, I also think in these groups, that there are dimensions to this problem that go beyond the mere availability of resources.

 

So Jay...are you must be for the SCHIP bill then and think Bush is an idiot for arguing that we should not be including adults in that program, even though the vast majority of those adults are pregnant low income women?

 

* * * *

I think it is pretty amusing that so many of the men on this board are arguing over infant mortality and maternal mortality statistics. The US has pretty poor numbers given that we have such an "advanced" health care system. It is also a leader in maternity and labor interventions including c-sections, 30% of births at last count. Why? Labor and birth has become medicalized and our culture does not regard pregnancy as a natural healthy part of life.

 

IMO c-sections are up because many docs fear lawsuits and want to make sure to "move labor along" via inductions and other interventions rather than letting women's bodies and the baby determine when it will be born. Many women are also opting for epidurals because of fear of pain and this has been shown to slow down labor and result in higher c-section rates.

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