The Public Option / Medicare For Everyone

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 13, 2009 1:34 PM GMT
    Which makes more sense? Giving for-profit insurance companies 30 to 35% profit for acting as the greedy middle man in health care (with bonuses given to staff for denials), and where pre-conditions exist (they don't insure sick people), or giving 3.5% to 5% to a government, or non-profit, organization, whose mission is to promote health and wellness?

    Now, to me, having a degree in computer science, schooled in logic, and seeing the example of Medicare, and The V.A., as well, as knowing a number of "self-pay" folks, the answer is obvious. Perhaps I'm too clear-thinking in my view, but, this one seems like a no-brainer, and would bring the U.S. into line with regular countries that view health care with the likes of other services like fire, police, libraries, schools, and so on, and do so with much less expense.

    Is there something I'm missing or am I just that much smarter? Is it better that we give up 1/3 of the cost to the shareholders of insurance for acting as a middle man with profit as their incentive? Logically, does that improve the quality of the care for those folks who are not "self-pay?"
  • mustangd

    Posts: 434

    Sep 13, 2009 4:20 PM GMT
    Chuck, i think you are seeing more clearly than most people. you are seeing with logic, and not feelings. too many think with their feelings these days, which makes it easy for them to be manipulated by those entities that are operating with an agenda. this is true in politics and in the marketplace, healthcare being the example in that it is both a political and marketplace topic. there is a tremendous amount of money involved in this topic, which means there is a tremendous amount of profit involved, which means there is a lot of power involved, and that power doesn't want the staus quo changed. they will play on people fears, and generally pull out all the stops to prevent a real change in healthcare in the u.s.

    the real question here isn't whether we need healthcare reform i think the majority will agree on that, it is in what form and how to pay for it. in that respect, the obama adminstration hasn't hasn't been as clear and specific as it could have been from the outset. they laid out their goal, but not how to get there, at least not in a way that is concise enough for all us bubba gumps to understand in a way that doesn't let our feelings come into play.

    the town halls just fed people needs to vent, and gave a venue for the special interests to torpedo the issue in the media. congress and the president have waffled, public option yes? public option no? there should be a public option, it is the only way to put competition back into a situation that is monopolized by for-profit top heavy institutions.

    what the president might do, is put together a plan that is incremental. go back on tv and basically say, " i understand there is a lot of fear about a government run health plan, and health reform in general, even though the v.a., and medicare have succeeded to a standard that is beyond question better than no coverage at all, here is what i propose, we start with a national prescription drug plan. we can save millions of $$ for those americans using prescription drugs annually by the government buying in bulk, here is how we will pay for it.... once that is up and running, and we have tuned it up to eliminate any problems and waste, we will re-visit healthcare reform, in the mean time, we will go back to the drawing board and come back to you within one years time with a plan that spells out specificaly what we should do, and how we are going to pay for it."
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Sep 13, 2009 4:33 PM GMT
    I'm sure this is already posted all over the place already:

    I would also add the AMA as a group that does not want a public option. There are lots of greedy doctors that put their wallets above the Hippocratic Oath.
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    Sep 13, 2009 4:39 PM GMT
    The problem with for profit health care is that profit for the "shareholders" trumps everything and profit justifies everything. If you look at who the "shareholders" are you will see that a relatively few large shareholders are the beneficiaries and the people who have the most to lose are the patients. It's your money or your life!

    The CURRENT "for profit" health insurance companies .. they are the real death panels if there are any.
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    Sep 13, 2009 4:46 PM GMT
    ActiveAndFit said
    The CURRENT "for profit" health insurance companies .. they are the real death panels if there are any.


    Quoted for truth.icon_biggrin.gif

    And that was a very bright observation Chuckles. *scratches Chucky behind the ear* Who's a good Chucky? Yes you're a good Chucky. Chucky Chucky Chucky.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Sep 13, 2009 4:49 PM GMT
    ActiveAndFit saidThe problem with for profit health care is that profit for the "shareholders" trumps everything and profit justifies everything. If you look at who the "shareholders" are you will see that a relatively few large shareholders are the beneficiaries and the people who have the most to lose are the patients. It's your money or your life!

    The CURRENT "for profit" health insurance companies .. they are the real death panels if there are any.
    Stop making sense.
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    Sep 13, 2009 6:48 PM GMT
    I have no horse in this race... but...

    Isn't Medicare going broke in a few years (of course, after 2016) and why profit became a dirty word, doesn't it foster innovation and competition (and lower costs)?

    Edit: Or is the private system somehow corrupt?

    I'm sorry if I'm being naïve.
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    Sep 13, 2009 7:23 PM GMT
    Medicare takes 3.5 % administrative fees. Insurance companies take 30% to 35% for being the middle man. Here's the very obvious rebuttal to Medicare being broke. It's been robbed for other projects, and because for-profit insurance denies treatment to sick people (pre-existing conditions), they don't really provide insurance, but, rather, just take their skim of 30% of the top, without adding real value. Because of their methods, preventative care is delayed or doesn't happen at all. After that's all said and done, that smoker that just turned 63, or 65, who didn't get proper treatment when they were younger, now becomes very expensive to Medicare. The 30% is not put into research, nor preventative health, but is purely 30% of money wasted for profit taking on the sick and injured. In a country that supposedly represents Christian ideals, it's an oxymoron.

    Now, the fire department, the public schools, the libraries, and the police department, are arguably essential services. They don't operate at a profit, and often operate at a loss (stupid folks do stupid things and still get rescued). We wouldn't consider denying someone with a burning house service, but, that's EXACTLY what we do EVERY DAY in a health care system that's driven by GREED.

    I live with a 20 year old type one diabetic. For those who don't know, diabetes type 1 is an auto-immune disease caused by when your body mistakes a harmless protein for a harmful ones. It's not caused by chronic bad behavior, but, is a immune system defect. Logan / flex89, who I speak of, is in very good health other than his chronic disease of diabetes. Here in Texas, Logan can't get insurance expect via a group plan, or via the Texas Risk Pool. Logan has a "pre-existing condition." The Texas Risk Pool is a public option, BUT, IT'S NOT ALLOWED to compete. Let me say AGAIN...The Texas Risk pool is NOT allowed to compete in the insurance place. The TRP has to have rates higher than 79% (that number changes) of the insurance companies. SO....guess what? Logan can't afford that insurance. LET ME SAY one more time, in Texas, THE public option is NOT allowed to compete. That's not really a public option, is it?

    I'd pose this question to "Engineer." What if Logan was your son? Would you work 2 dead jobs at Walmart to provide for him? Would you mortgage your house for him? Why must the insurance company be protected from competition here in Texas? Why can't the Texas Risk Pool compete if they can do it cheaper?

    In reality, the Texas Risk Pool was formed to keep state wide health plans from gaining hold. You see, The Texas Risk Pool is actually operated by Blue Cross, who certainly don't have an interest in lowering return on investment to the shareholders.

    I'd put this statement to "Engineer:" Look at what you've become. What if you were a 20 year old diabetic? Would you do what my doctor told me..."You're on your own. Good luck finding someone to treat you.LOL"

    The private system is beyond corrupt. It's also obstructionist. Who do you think has been running the scare tactic ads? United Health Care. Who do you think gave George Bush $998,000? The health care lobby.
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    Sep 13, 2009 7:47 PM GMT
    Chuckystud, you have made a great case for the public option. Wish I could add more than my support for it.
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    Sep 13, 2009 7:48 PM GMT
    Insurance is a lot like Vegas. The odds are always stacked against the customer. Every single insurance executive should be viewed the way bookies and loan sharks are viewed - with contempt. They are literally betting on ways to dupe you out of your money. Profits in the insurance industry should be illegal. Anything made after all claims and expenses are taken care of should be returned to those paying premiums.
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    Sep 13, 2009 8:22 PM GMT
    chuckystud:

    Thanks for giving me a reality check on this. While the nature of my job has me reading news and lot of stuff from the United States what you wrote wasn't something I was aware of.

    If insurance companies are being protected from competition, then the system is indeed corrupt and its ugly... perverse results are not surprising.

    If Logan were my son and we lived in Mexico, we would be able to have the Mexican Institute of Social Security (Which covers all workers, no string attached) to give him treatment (except in the case of complications for not taking good care of his condition, but it seems is not the case). But then again, here in Mexico we keep hearing about this institution going broke in a few years, and how it is sometimes ineffective and the mantra that "private enterprise would do it better and cheaper that goverment" keeps being repeated. I say this for you to see where I am coming from, that and our friends in San Diego's praise for the U.S. system, but we never knew the details.

    On the other hand, it seems INSURANCE COMPANIES are your weakest link there... I know they are here in the private sector, my father had private insurance, paid for decades and when he needed it they stripped him of the benefits on a technicality, we ended up paying for his eye surgery. It was infuriating to say the less.

    I'm beginning to get it...
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    Sep 13, 2009 11:48 PM GMT
    You just wanna' smack someone....
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    Sep 14, 2009 12:55 AM GMT
    The purpose of keeping the status quo in health care is this: Making sure the insurance companies maintain their astounding profits. That's it.







  • bravo31

    Posts: 4

    Sep 14, 2009 1:13 AM GMT
    chuckystud:

    I dont know al the facts about universal health plan. But my question 2 you is how are we going 2 give everyone free health care and not rasie cost and still receive excellent care. I dont know about u guys but I love my health plan and the low cost. I only make 35,000 and pay $26 dollars a month out of my check. I like that I can choice the doctor I want and go 2 any doctor I want for a 2nd opinion. Yes health care not great and we need 2 fix something but over haul is crazy 2 me. My best friend works for a UK company here in the states and paids 200 dollars a month. I think that is crazy. We all can say how much we pay and what is 2 much or what is 2 less. Im 29 and just got health care 3 years ago. Never been 2 hospital for anything thank god. I use 2 go 2 clinics that are free if I ever get a cold or anything. I think there sooo many ways we can lower health care without a over haul. The country and the goverment need 2 come together and get it done. I dont know thats how I feeel.
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    Sep 14, 2009 1:57 AM GMT
    Promote health n Wellness, give health Insurance to everyone. I have a bunch friends who do not have it, which is sad to me.icon_twisted.gif
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    Sep 14, 2009 2:01 AM GMT
    ulee28LT saidchuckystud:

    I dont know al the facts about universal health plan. But my question 2 you is how are we going 2 give everyone free health care and not rasie cost and still receive excellent care. I dont know about u guys but I love my health plan and the low cost. I only make 35,000 and pay $26 dollars a month out of my check. I like that I can choice the doctor I want and go 2 any doctor I want for a 2nd opinion. Yes health care not great and we need 2 fix something but over haul is crazy 2 me. My best friend works for a UK company here in the states and paids 200 dollars a month. I think that is crazy. We all can say how much we pay and what is 2 much or what is 2 less. Im 29 and just got health care 3 years ago. Never been 2 hospital for anything thank god. I use 2 go 2 clinics that are free if I ever get a cold or anything. I think there sooo many ways we can lower health care without a over haul. The country and the goverment need 2 come together and get it done. I dont know thats how I feeel.


    1. Get a better job
    2. Utilize ur health care plan - actually make appts. w/doctors get check ups regularlyicon_eek.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 14, 2009 2:33 AM GMT
    Well, if you take the profit out, you gain 30 to 40 percent right there. By fixing stuff while it's still easy and cheap (e.g. hypertension is about $4.00 a month if caught early but $10,000 if caught late), you can make up a lot of ground, fast. If you don't have folks being sick when they hit 63, then, Medicare saves, money, too. It's not a complicated thing. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. $4.00 for meds, versus $10,000 for the E.R. It's a no brainer.
  • bravo31

    Posts: 4

    Sep 14, 2009 2:42 AM GMT
    1. Get a better job
    2. Utilize ur health care plan - actually make appts. w/doctors get check ups regularly




    Who needs 2 get a better job???????????????? I think its funny that u think i need 2 get a better job. When the probelm is people who dont have health ins at all and the damn illegal who use up the hospital and get the shit for free.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Sep 14, 2009 2:51 AM GMT
    ulee28LT said1. Get a better job
    2. Utilize ur health care plan - actually make appts. w/doctors get check ups regularly




    Who needs 2 get a better job???????????????? I think its funny that u think i need 2 get a better job. When the probelm is people who dont have health ins at all and the damn illegal who use up the hospital and get the shit for free.

    I'd say you are closer to random typing than having an actual decent thought to share.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Sep 14, 2009 7:11 AM GMT
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 14, 2009 5:28 PM GMT
    Anyone who hasn't should view the movie "Sicko" by Michael Moore.
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    Sep 14, 2009 5:40 PM GMT
    From President Obama, this morning:





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    Sep 14, 2009 6:40 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidwhere pre-conditions exist (they don't insure sick people)


    This.

    Why oh why do people support companies which simply do not CARE about the lives of people? Read an insurance policy from a private company and if you're not blinded by the small print you'll realize that what it's actually saying is:

    "we only insure people who have a very little chance of actually claiming that insurance"

    And that automatically excludes the people who NEED it the most.

    How fucked up is that?

    Health is a human necessity. Not a luxury.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Sep 15, 2009 3:01 PM GMT
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Sep 15, 2009 3:28 PM GMT
    Engineer saidI have no horse in this race... but...

    Isn't Medicare going broke in a few years (of course, after 2016) and why profit became a dirty word, doesn't it foster innovation and competition (and lower costs)?

    Edit: Or is the private system somehow corrupt?

    I'm sorry if I'm being naïve.


    It hasn't lowered any costs in seventy years by my estimation. And yes, private insurance is quite corrupt, but you can't really blame the system. Private insurance companies are corporations, which have a single responsibility - maximize shareholder profits, period. Actually performing the intended service (in this case, providing health care access) has nothing to do with the maximization of shareholder profits unless the corporation does such a bad job that consumers go elsewhere for the service, thereby decreasing shareholder profits.

    The best, most efficient way for the health insurance industry, ostensibly in place to provide access to health care, to maximize shareholder profits is to deny access to health care. Ridiculous isn't it?

    Medicare is going broke for a variety of reasons, only one of which is our rapidly aging population. You'd think that they would have seen that bubble coming when the program was dreamed up, but water under the bridge now. The biggest reason for increasing shortfalls is - wait for it - subsidies to private insurance companies. There are other inefficiencies also that are endemic in the health care system, public and private, which are being addressed in the curent reform legislation.

    In case it wasn't clear from my above commentary, I believe that health care is a fundamental right like police and fire protection. It should be free on demand at point of service, paid for by general taxation like other essential public services...