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BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?

McGrath of Harlow 21 Jul 09 - 08:21 PM
artbrooks 21 Jul 09 - 08:01 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Jul 09 - 07:52 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Jul 09 - 07:36 PM
lompocan 21 Jul 09 - 06:24 PM
Bobert 20 Jul 09 - 08:38 PM
artbrooks 20 Jul 09 - 07:05 PM
Riginslinger 20 Jul 09 - 06:53 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Jul 09 - 11:05 AM
DMcG 20 Jul 09 - 02:58 AM
Leadfingers 19 Jul 09 - 11:25 PM
artbrooks 19 Jul 09 - 08:35 PM
gnu 19 Jul 09 - 05:42 PM
Stringsinger 19 Jul 09 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Romanyman 19 Jul 09 - 01:54 PM
Riginslinger 19 Jul 09 - 12:07 AM
pdq 18 Jul 09 - 02:21 PM
pdq 18 Jul 09 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,An NHS problem 18 Jul 09 - 07:34 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jul 09 - 02:01 AM
katlaughing 17 Jul 09 - 11:20 PM
artbrooks 17 Jul 09 - 11:05 PM
katlaughing 17 Jul 09 - 10:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 09 - 08:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 09 - 08:56 PM
kendall 17 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM
DougR 17 Jul 09 - 08:48 PM
artbrooks 17 Jul 09 - 03:43 PM
Art Thieme 17 Jul 09 - 03:41 PM
katlaughing 17 Jul 09 - 02:53 PM
Leadfingers 17 Jul 09 - 01:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 09 - 12:46 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 17 Jul 09 - 11:24 AM
Stringsinger 17 Jul 09 - 11:11 AM
Bobert 17 Jul 09 - 07:40 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 17 Jul 09 - 07:35 AM
GUEST 17 Jul 09 - 12:35 AM
katlaughing 17 Jul 09 - 12:15 AM
DougR 16 Jul 09 - 10:31 PM
Art Thieme 16 Jul 09 - 09:31 PM
Ebbie 16 Jul 09 - 09:01 PM
Bobert 16 Jul 09 - 08:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 09 - 08:37 PM
artbrooks 16 Jul 09 - 08:13 PM
katlaughing 16 Jul 09 - 08:07 PM
artbrooks 16 Jul 09 - 07:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jul 09 - 07:42 PM
DMcG 16 Jul 09 - 06:46 PM
Ebbie 16 Jul 09 - 06:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jul 09 - 05:20 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 08:21 PM

And of course if you want a test of some kind in a hurry, you can pay for that from a private hospital, and if it indicates you need medical treatment have that through the NHS on the basis of that test.

As I write earlier, I'm really puzzled by why people who haven't some financial stake in the present US system should be frightened of a change to something which could give them far more security, and in practice, far more choice as well.   

But I suppose it's largely a matter of rigid ideology.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 08:01 PM

Don, I have a similar situation to your last question...that is, I have free point of service care available to me and I have an insurance plan that I pay for. I normally use the latter, since I can afford it and the other system (the veterans' healthcare system), while excellent, is stretched. However, there have been occasions (such as some forthcoming brow surgery) that my insurance refused to pay for but that I had approved through the veterans' system with no problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 07:52 PM

I should point out that you CAN have NHS care for your emergencies, pre-existing, and long term chronic problems, and still use private care for other things, IF YOU SO CHOOSE.

What you cannot do is mix private and NHS care for the same illness (so called topping up).

This, I believe will change, in the fullness of time, but you do have to ask yourself why anyone who could afford to pay for drugs which are too expensive for the NHS (especially when the benefit is very marginal) would not pay for the whole of their treatment, and leave NHS resources for those who REALLY need them.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 07:36 PM

""One thing we have to recognise is that sometimes the NHS simply can't do things in the way those actually involved in the heartbreaking events would like. In a private scheme, as long as can pay, you can have virtually anything you like, but that is something you have to give up with a NHS-like scheme.""

This is pure egregious nonsense.

The NHS ensures that those who cannot afford to pay still receive all the treatment they need.

THOSE WHO CAN AFFORD TO PAY CAN CHOOSE ONE OF A NUMBER OF PRIVATE SCHEMES WHICH SUPPLY THEIR NEEDS TO THE EXCLUSION OF ANY WHO DON'T HAVE THE FUNDS. HSA and BUPA, to name but two.

Of course neither will treat emergencies, nor will they get involved in either pre-existing, or long term chronic cases, which tells you all you need to know about private health care funded by insurance.

They WILL insure you against Yakbite, PROVIDED it doesn't occur in a zoo, or in Russia/Mongolia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: lompocan
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 06:24 PM

I have been working vigorously to inform people in my community about a single payer system. I see a major ethical issue here, and I am surprised at how many Americans use so many excuses to avoid the ethical situation of caring for people's health. Money, fear of socialism (without understanding what socialism really means), political ideology (as opposed to rationally looking at the issue), but most of all is the notion that the government will automatically mess things up. So many mythologies are clouding their reality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 08:38 PM

Heard today that the status quo lobbiests have spent over $20M in the last 3 months to derail Obama's plan...


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 07:05 PM

What should it be worth when a surgeon amputates the wrong leg - and then has to go back and cut off the correct one? Not all malpractice awards are outrageous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 06:53 PM

And outrageous awards to malpractice victims.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 11:05 AM

Amidst all the heated blather about how the bills should be paid, there's a more fundamental problem: Why are the bills so damned high?
Young doctors entering practice often drag along load of a quarter to a half-million dollars in student loans. This is a direct result of Med schools underutilizing their highly paid staff (who, like other doctors, use the student loan argument to justify exorbitant rates.)
A series of government scholarships to be awarded to students willing to agree to a period of community service would be a huge step forward.
So would opening up more teaching facilities--I don't believe that the number of medical schools has increased over thae past thirty or forty years, while the general population has been expanding at a better-than-healthy rate.
    Then, reduce balkanization of health care. I currently am seeing no fewer than six doctors on a regular basis--most of who look at the same blood test results, give me a cursory examination, and fill out their Medicare reports. Much of what I encounter on a recurring pattern of visits to doctors' offices can be handled just as well by a med tech; required blood test could easily be shared by all the doctors involved.
    Drug pricing is so outrageous that it's almost unbelievable. I just had cataract surgery, and one of the prescribed eyedrops I have to use costs (without a haealthcare plan discount) $78 for a five milliliter bottle: that's roughly $15000 per liter for something that's about 99.5% water.)or bout $7500 per pound. And that's not an unusual rip-off---injections of Procrit, commonly used in cases of anemia, and typically required every two to three weeks, are billed a $2500 per poke. I know all about the amount of research and testing the drug companies perform, but I also know about their bloated profits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 02:58 AM

The "Postcode Lottery", while real enough, is one of those problems that is inherently unwinnable. The UK is divided into a number of largely autonomous regions for health provision. That immediately raises the issue of whether the treatment available should be identical in them all, or do you allow for differences. It would seem pretty obvious, for example, that there should be greater provision for treatment for poisoning by certain agricultural chemicals in the countryside than in the centre of the city. Conversely, there needs to be investment in the medical 'disaster training' involving evacuation from the underground system in London, Newcastle etc which isn't relevant to rural areas (or more precisely, the kinds of disasters differ.)

So it follows that with any degree of independant planning, there must be different priorities in spending and that will inevitably lead to differences in what is available, if only in the waiting periods by the regions.   

Much of the press - particularly but not exclusively the tabloids - bemoans and demonises thr "postcode" lottery. It never, of course, considers the alternatives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 11:25 PM

The only real problem with the NHS in UK is the "Post Code Lottery"
Which CAN mean a patient cant get the drugs or treatment required in a reasonable period !
One thing for sure is that in UK a low paid working person will NOT be bankrupted by developing a minor illness , NOR be put off getting treatment until the condition they have has reached a critical point !
Michael Moore's "Sicko" has been mentioned earlier . I agree there IS a lot of 'propaganda' in the film , but there is also a frightening amount of straight fact about what the Insurance Companies will do to avoid paying out at all if they think they can get away with it .


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 08:35 PM

Well, I really doubt that anyone in particular is condoning the suffering of their brothers and sisters in the name of greed. The real problem with making anything happen in a democracy is that minor thing called "majority rule".   Mr. Obama, assuming he wanted to, really cannot wave a wand and make things happen. He must first get legislation introduced that accomplishes a particular purpose and then get at least 51 Senators and 218 Representatives to vote for it.   Anything that has any chance at all of passage must be relatively moderate, as Americans define the term.

Each of these people is individually elected by the residents of the state (for Senators) or Congressional District they represent.    Regardless of what some people, including some people on Mudcat, would want you to believe, the vast majority of our elected representatives are honest and well-meaning individuals. They are not paid anything under the table by insurance companies, the AMA, or anybody else, and the US Congress is not owned by anyone.   They serve their constituents, not the national party or any corporate lobbyist, and they have to go back home and explain their positions to those people. Most are elected with 55% or less of the votes cast and, if their votes do not reflect the will of the voting public, they will serve only one term.   The 20% or so who are non-party centrists will shift over to the other guy.

Congress is trying very hard to craft a health care plan that can both pass this Congress and (from the Democratic Party's perspective) allow it to survive more than two years. This is why there isn't, and never will be, any single-payer proposal submitted to Congress (other than the sort of bill that is proposed without a hope of passage and dies in committee).   The American public is simply not interested in giving that much control over something as important as their health care to the Federal government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: gnu
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 05:42 PM

Kendall (and others)... barbaric is polite. How anyone can condone the suffering of their brothers and sisters in the name of greed is... beyond barbaric.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 04:19 PM

" Moreover, it introduces a risk that medical decisions get overridden by polical ones."

This is exactly what is happening now when the insurance lobby owns the congress.
The political decisions are being bought and the medical decisions now take a back seat.
The CEO stand between the doctor and the patient. You can still pay and pay and not
get served with a private insurer.

NHS in other countries are not overriding medical decisions through politics. Only in the US where lobbyists control the doctors. Big Pharma and the AMA are examples.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Romanyman
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 01:54 PM

The trouble with those of you in the USofA is that you have never thought beyond the mighty dollar, that is sad, how many poor people die every year because your doctor want thousands just to say sorry you need a specialist, and then you have to pay him, he then gives a kick back to the original doctor, and so it goes round, you all just sit on your butts and say, well thats the way it is, duh, over here i go to my doctor, if need be i get a referal to the specialist, get an operatin, whatever, cost to me, nowt , nil, nadda, nothing, zero,

However, there is a cost of course, this done by way of national insurance, a tax if you like, but its paid by me and its a tiny amount per week, it covers everything from ingrowing toe nails to the dreaded disease, yes we have private health care but as in the U.S, its limited, costly . Unless you have been within a national health system i doubt you will understand, but its simple and easy to set up, then again those fat cat doctors, insurance types, will hate it, oh dear how bloody sad. forget the money think of someone you love dying because they cant afford healtcare, gladly that dont happen here. best i can say is learn about it , use it, do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 12:07 AM

I've often wondered what happened to Zelda!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 02:21 PM

About the health care legislation mentioned "in at least ten states" plus a "just for fun" thrown in...


"Sheila Kuehl was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1994, becoming the first openly gay person elected to the California legislature. She was later a founding member of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus. She served as Speaker pro tempore during the 1997–98 legislative session, becoming the first woman in California history to hold the position. After three terms in the Assembly, she was elected to the California State Senate in 2000, beating Assemblyman Wally Knox in the Democratic primary. Re-elected in 2004 with 65.7% of the vote, she has repeatedly been voted the 'smartest' member of the California Legislature.

In 2006, she sponsored a bill that would prohibit the adoption by any school district in California of any instructional material that discriminates against persons based on their gender or sexual orientation.

Throughout her career as a legislator, Kuehl has taken a leadership role on health care policy. Her foremost objective has been securing passage of legislation to establish a single-payer health care system in California. SB 840 passed both houses of the legislature in 2006, but was vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; it was reintroduced in 2007 and again passed the state Senate, with a vote pending in the Assembly. SB 840 passed both houses of the California legislature in August 2008 and was, again, vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger."


Sheila Kuehl played Zelda in the Dobie Gillis television show.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 12:10 PM

"Single-payer health care is a term used in the United States to describe the payment of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers from a single fund. It differs from typical private health insurance where, through pricing and other measures taken by the insurer, the level of risks carried by multiple insurance pools as well as the coverage can vary and the pricing has to be varied according to the contribution of risk added to the pool. It is often mentioned as one way to deliver universal health care. The administrator of the fund could be the government but it could also be a publicly owned agency regulated by law. Australia's Medicare, Canada's Medicare, and healthcare in Taiwan are examples of single-payer universal health care systems."

This term seems to be easily misunderstood. That may be by accident or by intent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,An NHS problem
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 07:34 AM

I'm a regular catter, but have decided to post this anonymously - it may become obvious why. If a JoeClone wishes to delete it, so be it.

One disadvantage of the NHS system is that cases like the one in this thread arise. It would hardly be human if the people concerned did not fight tooth and nail for their child/husband/wife/parent to try and get them the best possible treatment. Sometimes the point at issue is a question of using a generic versus a named drug, at other times it is whether NICE [a sort of control board] has authorised the drug. However, the hard truth is that we as ordinary citizens rarely know enough to understand whether the differences involved between a generic drug and the named drug are significant or not. For example, if the 'amount' of an active component varies by up to 45% as that thread states, it does not follow that the effectiveness varies significantly, or even at all. It could, of course, but it is drug dependant. And of course, the company making the named drug is hardly going to underplay the benefits of using their product.

A petition can only really take the decisions out of the hands of NICE and put it into the hands of politicians who, as a rule, know nothing about it and are more concerned with the effect on whether they get re-elected than on the medical consequences. So I am afraid, in my view, these sorts of petitions are not in the best interest of the citizens overall. A petition that "politicians should follow the recommendations of NICE" [which that thread says isn't happening] is another matter, and I'd be happy to sign that one.

All this might suggest I'm posting to the wrong thread. I don't think I am because my main point is that with an NHS system hard choices still have to be made, and we, as ordinary people, become exposed to those choices. They are not simply things the medics involved in the specific case decide. Moreover, it introduces a risk that medical decisions get overridden by polical ones.

One thing we have to recognise is that sometimes the NHS simply can't do things in the way those actually involved in the heartbreaking events would like. In a private scheme, as long as can pay, you can have virtually anything you like, but that is something you have to give up with a NHS-like scheme.

A further complication in the way the NHS is set up is that treatment is all-or-nothing [I believe]. You cannot have the NHS treat 90% of a condition then 'top-up' something with a privately chosen medicine. In this case, for example, the people involved cannot choose to pay extra and have the non-generic drug.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Health care, good? bad?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 02:01 AM

Too bad we can't take the insurance companies completely out of the picture, but the truth be told, they'd launch such a deluge of negative campaigning that the Americans who don't have any critical thinking skills will buy their clever (but vacuous) arguments and oppose the plan. Taking the obscene profits out of health care would be good for everyone. Except the insurance companies, of course.

I've given this some thought. They should buy out the employees of these companies with small plots of land and let them learn something useful, like raising crops or small herds of animals for a reliable local food source. Get them out of the gambling industry (where they bank that they can deny enough drug Rx costs and health treatments to enough people that they can make obscenely huge profits).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 11:20 PM

Well, he didn't say right now re' the States, art.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 11:05 PM

...ten states have active single payer efforts in their legislatures. They are ...New Mexico... The New Mexico legislature is adjourned, and will next convene in January 2011, except for a short budget session in 2010. I don't know what the status of the other states listed might be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 10:23 PM

Art and Carol,

HeyaSweeties! I know you know and we are with you, too. Thanks, darlin's.

Love kat & Rog

And, now, once again, I say Thank Goodness for Dennis Kucinich!:

Dennis Kucinich - www.Kucinich.us

Exciting Healthcare Update

Dear Friends,

With your support, your phone calls, your emails, we won a major legislative victory today for a state single payer health care option in the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. The House Education and Labor Committee approved the Kucinich Amendment by a vote of 27-19, with 14 Democrats and 13 Republicans voting yes.

The amendment propels the growing single payer health care movement at the state level. There are at least ten states which have active single payer efforts in their legislatures. They are California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. The amendment mandates a single payer state will receive the right to waive the application of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which has in the past been used to nullify efforts to expand state or local government health care.

Under the Kucinich Amendment a state's application for a waiver from ERISA is granted automatically if the state has signed into law a single payer plan. With the amendment, for the first time, the state single payer health care option is shielded from an ERISA-based legal attack. Now that the underlying bill has been passed, as amended, by the full committee, we must make sure that Congress knows that we want the provision kept in the bill at final passage!

The state single payer option was one of five major amendments which I obtained support to get included in HR3200. One amendment brings into standard coverage for the first time complementary and alternative medicine, (integrative medicine). Another amendment drives down the cost of prescription drugs by ending pharmaceutical industry's sharp practices manipulating physician prescribing habits. An amendment stops the insurance industry from increasing premiums at the time when people are not permitted to change health plans; and finally an amendment imposing a requirement on insurance companies that they disclose the cost of advertising, marketing and executive compensation expenses (which generally divert money from patient care).

Please make sure you post this message on your social networking site, ask all your friends to get involved and encourage everyone you know to sign up at www.Kucinich.us so we can build full momentum behind this movement for real health care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 08:57 PM

Correction - I was looking at the wrong column on the chart when I wrote in the last post I made:

"It shows the USA as spending... far more per head than virtually every other country.

In fact the chart shows the USA as spending far more per head than any of the other countries in the OECD. $4,887 per head compared to $1997 per head in the UK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 08:56 PM

Correction - I was looking at the wrong column on the chart when I wrote in the last post I made:

"It shows the USA as spending... far more per head than virtually every other country.

In fact the chat shows the USA as spending far more per head than any of the other countries in the OECD. $4,887 per head compared to $1997 per head in the UK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: kendall
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM

We can afford trillions for missles to cream people that never did a damn thing to us, but we cant afford health care for our own people.
The only civilized country in the world that lacks basic health care.
It's barbaric.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 08:48 PM

The Congressional Budget Office reported today that the Health Care Plan under consideration (The Waxman Bill) would not accomplish what Obama promised in the campaign it would do. That, plus the fact that two amendments have been attached to the Bill that many members of Congress find objectionable (Medicaid patients could receive abortions paid for by Medicaid and a "Hate Crime" bill)will, in tandem with cost, sink the Bill. I believe another factor that works against passage is Obama is pushing too hard to get the bill passed before Congress recesses for the summer.

Before you bombard me with charges that the CBO favors Republicans I would inform those that do not know that the Chief of the CBO is a Democrat and his position was formerly headed by Obama's current Budget Director.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 03:43 PM

Another piece of that, kat, is that the medical provider is absolutely not losing any money on what they charge your insurance. That is, the $12.86 represents their cost plus a modest return. The balance of the $44 (that would be $31.14) that they charge the uninsured is pure profit.   I suppose some people would say that that some portion of that pays them back for those whose bills they eventually have to write off - I think I'd call it something else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 03:41 PM

Kat and Rog,

Hello! You know, I'm with you on those points--and more...

Luv,

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 02:53 PM

Some examples of what I consider to be obscene:

We have insurance through Rog's workplace. If we go to their "preferred providers" it costs them and us less money. For instance, for an xray reading:

Total charge = $44
Total charge allowed after "negotiation" = $12.86
Total paid by insurance = $9.00 with us responsible for the remaining $3.86.

On the report it explains that the provider cannot bill us for any of the difference. They have agreed to settle for the $12.86 total.

Another one is for $156 total; they paid $39.69, and we are responsible for $17.01, so they brought that total down a lot, too.

Here is where I think it gets ugly AND how they pay for those discounts: people with NO insurance have to pay the total amount because they have no insurance company "negotiating" for them. They are not in a "pool" of insured people who can drive a harder bargain, so to speak. Almost five years ago, I was one of those people. What I was charged for hospitalization and treatment of congestive heart failure was obscene and there was NO negotiating any lower charges with the hospital; my daughter tried, they refused. We are still paying them on a $13,000 bill for the few days I was in.

So, the very people who need the help the most, those without insurance and, possibly without a job, have to pay MORE. How fucked up is that?

If they don't fix it this time, I do believe there is enough momentum folks will not let them slide by. We saw the power we had when we used grassroots to elect Obama. Those same grassroots folks are now working on health care and other issues. We are not going away...not going gently into that good night. We WILL see change NOW!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 01:56 PM

GOOD !!! And 100


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 12:46 PM

Here is a chart of spending on health care (private and public) in the various OECD countries, giving percentage of GDP spent on health, and money spent per head.

It comes from this site , "Health Affairs - the policy journal of the Health Sphere.

It shows the USA as spending a great deal more of its GDP on health than anyone else, and far more per head than virtually every other country.

Doug's comment about the notion of a switch to a universal health system, on the lines of other countries - "The cost is just too prohibitive" - reminds me of the man who was found burning piles of folding money. When asked why he didn't go out and buy some wood he replied "Are you crazy - how could I afford to go buying wood when it's already costing me a fortune to stay warm".


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 11:24 AM

("The cost is just too prohibitive even for conservative Democrats.")

This statement seems inane. People in the USA are now paying exhorbitant rates for health insurance that they would no longer need. Deduct profit and greed from the system and the per person cost should be much lower.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 11:11 AM

The cost of not doing single-payer is far more costly on the backs of citizens. People die when insurance companies stand between the doctor and patient. The US can't afford not to do it.

If we can spend trillions on war and occupation, we can spend a pittance of that on nationalized health care. The US is bankrupting itself on the defense industry.
Blackwater gets your tax dollars.

Stingy Republicans don't see it that way. Their priorities are not to the citizen but beholden to corporate greed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 07:40 AM

The point is that "single payer" is more efficient than having a highly privatized sysytem that is in the business purely to make a profit and here is where a large portion of the 17% of our GNP goes: into the hands of the health insurers... This is where the overall savings will come...

Yes, paying for it is a sticky point but left out the discussion is that people wil actually be purchasing helth insurance from the government... That is something that the Repubs conviently don't wnat to talk about... Right now we have hundreds of billions being paid to private health insurers by people who are getting ripped off... That money won't be going to the thieves with a public option...

Of course the conservatives will claim that the government will then be ripping them off but that is pure bull... Does the governemnt rip off folk who have Medicare???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 07:35 AM

The simple answer to all those examples is this.

ALL my medical treatment, whether emergency, acute, or chronic is fully funded by the NHS.

I NEVER PAY ONE PENNY DIRECTLY TO THE NHS FOR TREATMENT, NO MATTER WHAT THE COST!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 12:35 AM

Dear Kat,

You have just pointed to one of the difficulties of a system that does NOT understand itself.

If the US government makes a mistake on anyone's taxes, it is NOT responsible. The bureaucracy of the US government does not even understand its own tax laws. Prima facie.

Example from Canada: I am now able to apply for old age security. However, I cannot do so--it is most unwise to do so--until I have been unemployed for at least one month. My situation is such that I cannot afford to be unemployed for one month. SO, I lose $350ish/month because I need the cash and don't have the wherewithal to BE unemployed for a month.

Reminds me of a joke:

Guy goes to a bank and needs to borrow $1000. The bank says, "What do you have as collateral?" He says, "Nothing." They said, "Then we can't lend you any money. He says, "IF I had collateral, I wouldn't need to borrow!"

I do wish you well with the problem. In a word, it sucks.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 12:15 AM

Art, that's same situation we have. I don't have enough recent quarters to qualify for disability (nobody told me I could apply many years ago when I did have, in fact they told me no) and Rog makes too much for me to qualify any other way. If he retires on Social Security, I've been told I may qualify for something, but it was confusing and I don't they even knew what they were talking about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 10:31 PM

I agree with Q. Unless Obama can convince the "Blue Dog" Democrats to vote for the current Bill, it will not pass. The cost is just too prohibitive even for conservative Democrats.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 09:31 PM

To clarify what we can discern from Social Security:

In order for a worker to get SS, they must have worked enough units of time. Those units are called QUARTERS.

My wife did not work enough of those quarters to get SS when she reaches 62. Also, we've been told that because of too few quarters --she can't EVER get it. Not SSI either. --But my income is too high for her to get on SSI----even with our Pub. Aid spend-down amount each month assuring that we are "broke" enough to get the Public Aid card.

There are at least two Catch Twenty-Twos there for ya --- all in one sentence I think.

When I die, Carol will get some percentage of my SS payments---and $300.00

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 09:01 PM

gulp I did indeed mix up a confusing brew. Most of what I described was about Social Security. Medicare is a different, but related, component of what I was talking about.

Let's see if I can get it right this time: I draw Social Security each month, and I enrolled when I was 62. I could have waited until I was 65 years old but opted for the earlier date. Everyone who has worked - and paid into Social Security at any time- will eventually be eligible to draw. What I said about opting for the greater amount viz a viz spouses refers to Social Security.

When I become ill or if I need surgery, I present Medicare as my medical payer. It covers about 80% of a given cost. I have the option of enrolling in other insurance on top of Medicare if I wish.

Incidentally I was not intimating that the US system of Social Security/Medicare is the ultimate. Far from it. I am merely pointing out that Social Security/Medicare as a single payer does work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 08:42 PM

Ebbie's point is that Medicare is a public option and costs less to administer than private insurance... Much less... The reason that Medicare is facing financial challenges is not it's cost to administer it but becuase it is not funded correctly...

Actually, Medicare is a very good example of what governemnt can do with a lot less $$$$.... Like Obama said in reference to the insurance companies, "If you are doing such a great job then a public option shouldn't scare you at all".... (paraphrased)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 08:37 PM

Alberta Province in Canada pretty well administers its own program, although there is federal as well as provincial funding.
The major gripe is with elective treatments. The province has severely trimmed its budget.

An example is Cateract eye surgery, which is limited to a certain number. The number has been cut from over 10,000 to 8500. To get the free surgery, Alberta patients end up on a waiting list, now estimated at about one year. The clinics have the staff and time to do more, so paying patients from other provinces and the States get their operations done quickly. The alternative for Alberta patients with money is to go out of the country.
Wait times soar

The quota system applies to several procedures. Many elect to pay approx. $800 for an MRI rather than wait their turn.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 08:13 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 08:07 PM

It is so screwed up over here that they can declare a person handicapped and put them on disability social security BUT they have to wait for two years before getting any medicare/medicaid? benefits!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 07:44 PM

Ebbie, I think you have Social Security and Medicare confused.   Medicare has a common cost - $96 per month for medical care and nothing (in most cases) for hospitalization, regardless of how much a person paid into the system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 07:42 PM

This presupposes, of course, that the person qualifies as a Medicare recipient, whether through age or physical condition.

Precisely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 06:46 PM

Everybody who has paid anything at all into Medicare eventually gets onto the Medicare rolls. There is a big difference in pay ... Plus when a spouse dies the surviving person has the option of retaining their own Medicare or switching to the spouse's payment if the other amount is greater...This presupposes, of course, that the person qualifies as a Medicare recipient

That's not a bad list of the differences between the NHS and Medicare! The amount paid out by the NHS is *not* related to the amount paid in via taxes, *everyone* qualifies, *eventually* only comes into it according to medical need, not what's been paid (although as has been said above, the system works rather better for acute than chronic conditions in terms of responsiveness.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 06:31 PM

I still don't understand the remark about Medicare. Everybody who has paid anything at all into Medicare eventually gets onto the Medicare rolls. There is a big difference in pay, it's true- ranging from the maximum (I think something like $3,000 a month) to the bare minimum (around $600, I think). Most of us come down somewhere in between.

Plus when a spouse dies the surviving person has the option of retaining their own Medicare or switching to the spouse's payment if the other amount is greater.

In addition to that, if a person has divorced after 20 years after marriage, that person can switch to the divorced person's payment, if it's greater than the amount they themselves accrued. The divorced spouse need not even be notified of the fact that someone has tapped into his or her allocated amount.

This presupposes, of course, that the person qualifies as a Medicare recipient, whether through age or physical condition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 05:20 PM

The big difference from Medicare is that everyone is entitled to receive care under the NHS. Not just emergency treatment at hospitals, the lot.

As for the USA, I can understand why there may be people working for insurance companies, or getting money from investing in them, who would be scared of a change that might threaten their livelihood or their income. And I can just about understand that there would be some doctors and so forth who might be frightened of a change that they have been told might threaten their income and job security.

But why people whose only involvement with the health system is as patients or relatives of patients should be frightened, that is very hard to understand.

The propaganda put out by the insurance companies and such must be incredibly clever adverts to get people to believe that they should be frightened of change.

Belloc's words seem to sum up that attitude prettty well:

"Be sure to keep good hold of nurse
For fear of finding something worse"


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