Health Care Reform Can't Wait - Sign the Petition!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 25, 2010 8:04 PM GMT
    Tell Congress to move forward and pass health care reform. Sign the petition.

    http://www.healthcarepetition.org/75200_laf?tr=y&auid=5984640
  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    Feb 25, 2010 9:07 PM GMT
    Done deal. icon_smile.gif



    http://www.healthcarepetition.org/75200_laf?tr=y&auid=5984640


    Honestly, I don't know if I trust the government to get anything major done. They seem to busy fighting for power to get anything else done. I'm hoping that the California creates its own universal health care plan.

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    Feb 25, 2010 9:18 PM GMT
    As a Canadian who isn't particularly satisfied with our own healthcare system (to say nothing of the fact that most policymakers here are quite concerned that it's unsustainable), I have a question -

    The petition calls for two key things:
    (1) improving access to insurance coverage and
    (2) lowering the costs of care

    With either of the bills before Congress, and the new one as since proposed by President Obama, do these bills meet either/both of these two conditions? If so, how specifically?

    Thanks in advance!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 25, 2010 10:22 PM GMT
    Done and I would ask that all oif look at each senator and each house member and see how much money they receive from pharmacuticals and insurance companies and their vioting records to see how many times they voted no on healthcare, if they voted yes only to get a special deal and if they keep saying their job is to see Obama fail, THEY ALL SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE SEAT THEY OCCUPY. icon_evil.gif
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    Feb 25, 2010 10:38 PM GMT
    Done
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 25, 2010 10:56 PM GMT
    Done.


    To answer your question, riddler78:

    The current health bills don't create an economic climate that would cause rates to decrease. That is why the Progressive Left is not in favor of these bills and reconciliation is being considered in the Senate in order to implement a public option. If insurance can be provided via a public option at an "X" amount that is lower than the average private plan, people will use that plan and leave their private plans due to the lower costs of the public plan. The impetus will then be placed on private insurers to lower their costs around the same price of the public option plan if they want to stay in business.

    Consider a price war between gas stations. If station "A" sets a price at $2.50/gallon of regular gas, and that is the average price for the area, but then station "B" sets a price of the same type of gas at $2/gallon, who do you think people will choose? Station "B", of course. So therefore, station "A" will lower their price in order to get customers back to their station.

    The reason why the insurance industry is fighting healthcare reform, especially the public option, is because it will reduce their exorbitant profit margins. Shame on them and those who support their greed at the expense of people's lives!!

    It's simple economics.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 25, 2010 11:29 PM GMT
    Thanks coolarmydude!

    Ok a bunch of follow up questions if you're game. If the goal of the public option is more competition, then here are the concerns as voiced by Greg Mankiw:
    http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2009/06/whats-point-of-public-option.html

    (Ignore for a moment Mankiw's background as I think it's largely irrelevant to this argument), Mankiw argues that the end result (whether intentionally or unintentionally) of a public option would actually be less competition i.e. a backdoor to a single payer system.

    The basic reasoning being that presumably a public option would be subsidized thereby not offering honest competition health insurers and over time would result in private insurers going under or removing themselves from the markets where the government's option exists (an example of this is coastal hurricane coverage in Florida where most private insurers have largely left the market - pity Floridian taxpayers the next time a massive hurricane hits as the risk seems to be underpriced). If no subsidies are offered, then doesn't it mean then that this is just another not for profit plan that can be created as a competitor tomorrow?

    You note that private insurers reap "exorbitant profits". Can you point me in the direction of some links to this? I don't ask facetiously either. Previously my specialization in i-banking was in financial services/insurance and of the firms I saw, I didn't encounter any that would characterize as having substantial profit margins. And the irony as you note, is that health insurers seem to actually benefit from the plans currently being proposed:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=aet (Aetna) - Aetna, one of the largest private health insurers reported profit margins of 3.67%. Compare this to Google for instance with profit margins of 28%.

    Further, two details that I've found a bit odd - which don't really fit with some of the rhetoric being used:

    (1) The US spends more per capita on public healthcare (Medicare - not including Medicaid if I'm not mistaken - at least according to Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Canadian_and_American_health_care_systems "Total government spending per capita in the U.S. on health care was 23% higher than Canadian government spending, and U.S. government expenditure on health care was just under 83% of total Canadian spending (public and private)." Given that this is the case, why doesn't the US have a better healthcare system? Does it follow that Medicare/public health is already one of the major competitors to private healthcare systems? Bear in mind that most Americans do not even qualify for Medicare - so the numbers become even more disproportionate in that spending on those who qualify for Medicare would greatly exceed that of what the Canadian government spends for public healthcare.

    (2) Ironically, the largest denier of healthcare claims isn't any private insurer, but Medicare: http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=18523 "Medicare denies 6.85 percent of its claims, higher than any private insurer. Aetna was second, denying 6.80 percent of its claims." The denial rate is more than double the average private insurer. So while I think there seems to be this pervasive view that private insurers are holding back on accepting legitimate claims (no idea if this is the case or not), what is Medicare's reasoning? Why would Medicare be one of the largest deniers of claims?

    Finally - do those who sign the petition understand that this is only in support of a public option? (no where is this stated on the front page). I ask because one of the sponsors of the petition is the SEIU which supports the current legislation as proposed by the President - and at least for what's being discussed at this healthcare summit, the public option is not even being discussed for inclusion: http://politics.theatlantic.com/2010/02/as_obama_holds_summit_progressives_continue_push_for_public_option.php

    Sorry, I know it's a lot of questions.
  • travelot

    Posts: 27

    Feb 25, 2010 11:43 PM GMT
    And when station "A" goes out of business and Station "B" follows shortly there after, then the goverment will take over and costs will sky rocket.

    As for insurance companies and their exorbitant profit margins? Please check out earning reports and I think you will see that they are not as high as you may think. Overall Averages well below !)% There are other, more profitable businesses to be in if you really want to make money.

    With a few very small changes to the current insurance, laws, and controls that deal with health care, NOT THE HEALTH CARE THAT IS PROVIDED, the major cost for people could go down with very little cost to the goverment. (WE THE PEOPLE) All it is is a power grab.

    I'm sure I will catch hell for these comments, but when reading through some of these issues, it is so unheartning to think a group of people can be so onesided, when there are so many simple solutions to the problem.

    Lets look at the numbers and see what we get in return, I think we will not see something we will like. Lets just hope we don't have to see the numbers live. But than again, some don"t take effect untill 1018 well after the policy makers are gone.

    Cheers Guys.






    coolarmydude saidDone.


    To answer your question, riddler78:

    The current health bills don't create an economic climate that would cause rates to decrease. That is why the Progressive Left is not in favor of these bills and reconciliation is being considered in the Senate in order to implement a public option. If insurance can be provided via a public option at an "X" amount that is lower than the average private plan, people will use that plan and leave their private plans due to the lower costs of the public plan. The impetus will then be placed on private insurers to lower their costs around the same price of the public option plan if they want to stay in business.

    Consider a price war between gas stations. If station "A" sets a price at $2.50/gallon of regular gas, and that is the average price for the area, but then station "B" sets a price of the same type of gas at $2/gallon, who do you think people will choose? Station "B", of course. So therefore, station "A" will lower their price in order to get customers back to their station.

    The reason why the insurance industry is fighting healthcare reform, especially the public option, is because it will reduce their exorbitant profit margins. Shame on them and those who support their greed at the expense of people's lives!!

    It's simple economics.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 26, 2010 12:17 AM GMT
    travelot said And when station "A" goes out of business and Station "B" follows shortly there after, then the goverment will take over and costs will sky rocket.

    As for insurance companies and their exorbitant profit margins? Please check out earning reports and I think you will see that they are not as high as you may think. Overall Averages well below !)% There are other, more profitable businesses to be in if you really want to make money.

    With a few very small changes to the current insurance, laws, and controls that deal with health care, NOT THE HEALTH CARE THAT IS PROVIDED, the major cost for people could go down with very little cost to the goverment. (WE THE PEOPLE) All it is is a power grab.

    I'm sure I will catch hell for these comments, but when reading through some of these issues, it is so unheartning to think a group of people can be so onesided, when there are so many simple solutions to the problem.

    Lets look at the numbers and see what we get in return, I think we will not see something we will like. Lets just hope we don't have to see the numbers live. But than again, some don"t take effect untill 1018 well after the policy makers are gone.

    Cheers Guys.



    Unfortunately, people concentrate on the dollars of profit rather than the margin. Most people see a number with a lot of commas and they automatically think it is unwarranted and exorbitant, when in reality it could just be due to the massive size of the company's market. If people looked at the margins in comparison with other industries they would realize that insurance companies, and oil companies for that matter, have very tight profit margins. Microsoft net income margin 27.7% , Met Life net income margin: -5.5%

    And I agree with you....not sure why the first step is a phone book sized piece of legislation. Why not make small changes to the current laws until the ideal environment is achieved? The answer: everything congress does is complex, convoluted, and ridiculously expensive.

    You probably will catch hell for your comment, and me for mine...but opposing viewpoints and diversity of opinion is beneficial to all...hopefully people can see that. Hopefully....
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 26, 2010 12:28 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidThanks coolarmydude!

    Ok a bunch of follow up questions if you're game. If the goal of the public option is more competition, then here are the concerns as voiced by Greg Mankiw:
    http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2009/06/whats-point-of-public-option.html

    (Ignore for a moment Mankiw's background as I think it's largely irrelevant to this argument), Mankiw argues that the end result (whether intentionally or unintentionally) of a public option would actually be less competition i.e. a backdoor to a single payer system. Actually, that would be great, in my opinion.

    The basic reasoning being that presumably a public option would be subsidized thereby not offering honest competition health insurers and over time would result in private insurers going under or removing themselves from the markets where the government's option exists. If no subsidies are offered, then doesn't it mean then that this is just another not for profit plan that can be created as a competitor tomorrow? In the current form, health insurance companies are the middle man and implement a fee for their coverages. If the government did the same thing, there would be no fee. As I said before, I don't have a problem with single-payer system because people's lives should not be a matter of a cost/benefit analysis.

    You note that private insurers reap "exorbitant profits". Can you point me in the direction of some links to this? I don't ask facetiously either. Previously my specialization in i-banking was in financial services/insurance and of the firms I saw, I didn't encounter any that would characterize as having substantial profit margins. And the irony as you note, is that health insurers seem to actually benefit from the plans currently being proposed: Upon further review, their profits are not exorbitant.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=aet (Aetna) - Aetna, one of the largest private health insurers reported profit margins of 3.67%. Compare this to Google for instance with profit margins of 28%.

    Further, two details that I've found a bit odd - which don't really fit with some of the rhetoric being used:

    (1) The US spends more per capita on public healthcare (Medicare - not including Medicaid if I'm not mistaken - at least according to Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Canadian_and_American_health_care_systems "Total government spending per capita in the U.S. on health care was 23% higher than Canadian government spending, and U.S. government expenditure on health care was just under 83% of total Canadian spending (public and private)." Given that this is the case, why doesn't the US have a better healthcare system? Does it follow that Medicare/public health is already one of the major competitors to private healthcare systems? No. It's because we allow the private sector to set prices for private insurance companies. Medicare has a steady lower rate on prices and doesn't influence private sector prices because Medicare currently doesn't compete with the private sector. BTW, doctors LOVE Medicare patients because they KNOW they will get paid. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/11/an_insurance_industry_ceo_expl.html

    (2) Ironically, the largest denier of healthcare claims isn't any private insurer, but Medicare: http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=18523 "Medicare denies 6.85 percent of its claims, higher than any private insurer. Aetna was second, denying 6.80 percent of its claims." So while I think there seems to be this pervasive view that private insurers are holding back on accepting legitimate claims (no idea if this is the case or not), what is Medicare's reasoning? Why would Medicare be one of the largest deniers of claims? First of all, your source's use of the statistics are a bit misleading. Refer directly to the source here: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/368/reportcard.pdf There are a variety of reasons for denied coverage by all insurers and this source breaks down those denials into categories. See pages 5-11. Looking at page 11 specifically, you will get the answer as to why Medicare denies claims from 1 MAR 2007 to 10 MAR 2008.

    Finally - do those who sign the petition understand that this is only in support of a public option? (no where is this stated on the front page). I ask because one of the sponsors of the petition is the SEIU which supports the current legislation as proposed by the President - and at least for what's being discussed at this healthcare summit, the public option is not even being discussed for inclusion: http://politics.theatlantic.com/2010/02/as_obama_holds_summit_progressives_continue_push_for_public_option.php

    Sorry, I know it's a lot of questions.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 26, 2010 12:52 AM GMT
    travelot said, "And when station "A" goes out of business and Station "B" follows shortly there after, then the goverment will take over and costs will sky rocket. "

    Why would station "A" go out of business? Prices would stabilize before they'd go under. If they were struggling to begin with, perhaps they would go under, but if they were secure in the market, they would do okay.
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    Feb 26, 2010 1:13 AM GMT
    coolarmydude saidDone.


    To answer your question, riddler78:

    The current health bills don't create an economic climate that would cause rates to decrease. That is why the Progressive Left is not in favor of these bills and reconciliation is being considered in the Senate in order to implement a public option. If insurance can be provided via a public option at an "X" amount that is lower than the average private plan, people will use that plan and leave their private plans due to the lower costs of the public plan. The impetus will then be placed on private insurers to lower their costs around the same price of the public option plan if they want to stay in business.

    Consider a price war between gas stations. If station "A" sets a price at $2.50/gallon of regular gas, and that is the average price for the area, but then station "B" sets a price of the same type of gas at $2/gallon, who do you think people will choose? Station "B", of course. So therefore, station "A" will lower their price in order to get customers back to their station.

    The reason why the insurance industry is fighting healthcare reform, especially the public option, is because it will reduce their exorbitant profit margins. Shame on them and those who support their greed at the expense of people's lives!!

    It's simple economics.



    This needs to be cleared up....

    http://biz.yahoo.com/p/sum_qpmd.html

    Scroll down to health care plans and the profit margin is 3.40%. That is the same with these industries ...

    Research Services
    Machine Tools & Accessories
    Home Improvement Stores
    Air Delivery & Freight Services

    Health care is also less than these industries...

    Beverages - Brewers - 12.60%
    Railroads - 12.50%
    Wireless Communications 9.60%

    Stop blaming insurance companies for the cost. They are not evil. Did you know that Medicare denies more patients than other insurance companies according to research done by the AMA. Check Metric 12

    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/368/reportcard.pdf

  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Feb 26, 2010 2:42 AM GMT
    Blah blah blah blah blah. You gay bois talk more than the women I work with, and they're at Olympic levels of talking. Stop all the quoting! Say it as an original thought!

    Finding the perfect health care reform bill is like finding the perfect gay man.

    Just accept SOMETHING, and then tweek it when it's weaknesses and strengths arise.

    It's just health care reform. It's not like the French Revolution for Buddha's sake.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 26, 2010 6:01 AM GMT
    sportsguy933 said
    This needs to be cleared up....
    http://biz.yahoo.com/p/sum_qpmd.html
    Scroll down to health care plans and the profit margin is 3.40%. That is the same with these industries ...
    Research Services
    Machine Tools & Accessories
    Home Improvement Stores
    Air Delivery & Freight Services
    Health care is also less than these industries...
    Beverages - Brewers - 12.60%
    Railroads - 12.50%
    Wireless Communications 9.60%
    Stop blaming insurance companies for the cost. They are not evil. Did you know that Medicare denies more patients than other insurance companies according to research done by the AMA. Check Metric 12
    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/368/reportcard.pdf




    This needs to be cleared up, read my response above highlighted in blue text. I admitted about the exorbitant profits claim and I debunked the AMA research claim.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 26, 2010 8:07 AM GMT
    Ugh - I can't figure out how the coding works on this comment system so I've had to make a few edits.

    You state:
    "Actually, that would be great, in my opinion."

    Response: Of course a government monopoly is the exact opposite of competition though. To give you a personal example, I had to get a physical and it took me a little over 6 months to get a bookings at my family physician. It takes about a week to get a regular appointment (maybe a couple days if it's "urgent" - and anything more urgent than this you have to go to emergency) - and that's if you can find a family physician - which in the area is a 4-5 year waitlist. There are also other issues in that the government has been gradually privatizing certain services like eyecare. To see a specialist can take 3+months which obviously if you could have something serious, it could be a bit of an issue.

    You state:
    "In the current form, health insurance companies are the middle man and implement a fee for their coverages. If the government did the same thing, there would be no fee. As I said before, I don't have a problem with single-payer system because people's lives should not be a matter of a cost/benefit analysis."

    Response: The problem is that then care is rationed - which is in a way a cost/benefit analysis. Further, is there not a very real issue of government bureaucrats making care decisions? In Canada, there are a number of treatments that are just not provided as either being too expensive or because they don't buy the equipment necessary to perform them.

    You state:
    "Upon further review, their profits are not exorbitant."

    Response: Does this mean you accept that insurance industry opposition in fighting healthcare reform isn't because of exorbitant profit margins/"greed at the expense of people's lives"?

    You state:
    "No. It's because we allow the private sector to set prices for private insurance companies. Medicare has a steady lower rate on prices and doesn't influence private sector prices because Medicare currently doesn't compete with the private sector. BTW, doctors LOVE Medicare patients because they KNOW they will get paid. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/11/an_insurance_industry_ceo_expl.html"

    Response: I'm a bit confused. If doctors love medicare patients, why wouldn't the government be able to provide a not for profit option where users could buy into the same pricing that Medicare provides - at basically an immediate lower cost to consumers?

    I note that despite the praise President Obama heaped on the Mayo Clinic they dropped Medicare at at least one of their clinics: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aHoYSI84VdL0 There seem to be a further abundance of articles about doctors dropping Medicare here: http://www.google.com/search?q=doctors+declining+medicare

    You state:
    First of all, your source's use of the statistics are a bit misleading. Refer directly to the source here: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/368/reportcard.pdf There are a variety of reasons for denied coverage by all insurers and this source breaks down those denials into categories. See pages 5-11. Looking at page 11 specifically, you will get the answer as to why Medicare denies claims from 1 MAR 2007 to 10 MAR 2008."

    Response: Thanks for the link. I don't really see a substantive difference as the most dominant reason for private insurers for denial of coverage seems to be that claims were made before coverage began or because they were under the deductible whereas for Medicare either paperwork was missing or the procedure was not "medically necessary". Am I missing something here?

    So what's the purpose of signing the petition if functionally it doesn't seem to say much of anything practical?

    Thanks.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 26, 2010 8:22 AM GMT
    For Gawdsake you people, quite the talk about economics and get yourselves a National Health Service. It really is the only humane way to go. Human life has no price.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 26, 2010 8:23 AM GMT
    Quit even.
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    Feb 26, 2010 9:06 AM GMT
    Brit_Bloke saidFor Gawdsake you people, quite the talk about economics and get yourselves a National Health Service. It really is the only humane way to go. Human life has no price.


    Er... if "Human life has no price", shouldn't the argument be made that there shouldn't be a National Health Service? http://www.john-goodman-blog.com/medical-errors-us-vs-uk/ - basically statistically speaking, there are more deaths per capita because of medical error in the UK versus the US.

    More here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5008935/NHS-targets-may-have-led-to-1200-deaths-in-Mid-Staffordshire.html What's more frightening is that you don't really have much of a choice under a government run system.

    Besides, there is a National Health Service in the US called Medicare that spends substantially more per individual covered than even the Canadian government does. Why wouldn't the US government focus on trying to fix that first?
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    Feb 26, 2010 11:33 AM GMT
    To the original OP request - not a chance in hell!
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 26, 2010 1:06 PM GMT
    Brit_Bloke saidFor Gawdsake you people, quite the talk about economics and get yourselves a National Health Service. It really is the only humane way to go. Human life has no price.



    I echo this comment and direct it towards riddler. There should be no profit margin on people's healthcare and lives. Period! People's lives should not be subject to a free market system. That's just how I and many others view life. Many who support free markets in healthcare are the same ones who think that corporations should have the same equal rights as the people. What is wrong with you all??
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 26, 2010 1:20 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Brit_Bloke saidFor Gawdsake you people, quite the talk about economics and get yourselves a National Health Service. It really is the only humane way to go. Human life has no price.


    Er... if "Human life has no price", shouldn't the argument be made that there shouldn't be a National Health Service? http://www.john-goodman-blog.com/medical-errors-us-vs-uk/ - basically statistically speaking, there are more deaths per capita because of medical error in the UK versus the US. The same thing happens in private practice. It's not a condition of bureaucracy. It's a condition of human error.

    More here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5008935/NHS-targets-may-have-led-to-1200-deaths-in-Mid-Staffordshire.html What's more frightening is that you don't really have much of a choice under a government run system. That's why we're advocating for a public option. Notice the operative word.

    Besides, there is a National Health Service in the US called Medicare that spends substantially more per individual covered than even the Canadian government does. Why wouldn't the US government focus on trying to fix that first? Politically speaking, because of Republicans who will wreck our government when they're in power in order to say, "see, we told you government doesn't work." It makes it even more difficult to improve on already existing things when deficits HAVE to be run up to stave off economic disasters caused by imbalanced tax structures favoring the rich and open-ended wars that one of which has questionable motives. Republicans always predict that government doesn't work and always prove that statement correct when they get into power. If you don't believe me, ask any American which decade was better, the 1990s or the 2000s. And besides, Medicare costs are significantly lower than the US private option averages as I showed in one of my links in a previous post.

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    Feb 26, 2010 11:06 PM GMT
    coolarmydude - You're right that medical malpractice errors exist in private practice as well - but as the stats show, there's not nearly as much in private run systems. It's easy to see why in the incentives that exist. There's a far greater incentive not to err in a private system because of insurance rates but also because of reputation risk.

    re: public option. As noted above, a public option if it uses taxpayer funds would merely result in a single payer system over time as it has for other forms of insurance where the government attempts to manufacture competition with a designated favorite (Florida's coastal hurricane insurance being the primary example). A single payer system would mean no competition.

    re: "Politically speaking, because of Republicans who will wreck our government when they're in power in order to say, "see, we told you government doesn't work." It makes it even more difficult to improve on already existing things when deficits HAVE to be run up to stave off economic disasters caused by imbalanced tax structures favoring the rich and open-ended wars that one of which has questionable motives. Republicans always predict that government doesn't work and always prove that statement correct when they get into power. If you don't believe me, ask any American which decade was better, the 1990s or the 2000s. And besides, Medicare costs are significantly lower than the US private option averages as I showed in one of my links in a previous post."

    Wasn't Reagan's campaign in 1984 basically based on whether Americans were better off? Anyway, if you look at the empirical data, Americans have gotten wealthier - and in this last recession, it's actually wealth Americans who have lost ground as they have had the most capital at risk.

    While Medicare costs may be lower than comparative private options, the problem is that it doesn't seem to be sustainable particularly when you have organizations like Mayo, that the President praised as being well and efficiently run, rejecting Medicare patients. And of course, Mayo isn't alone as you can see from any number of sources on a simple search.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 26, 2010 11:18 PM GMT
    Medical malpractice has nothing to do with health insurance in America. Practitioners are private. Medicare is only a payer system. Even with the public option, the federal government won't put medical practitioners on the federal payroll. So therefore, your Canadian malpractice stats are irrelevant to the American healthcare debate.

    And why are you, a Canadian, so steeped in arguing about American healthcare like you're hellbent to prove a point? I'm not changing my mind!! I've contemplated this issue for the last year and have decided that our current system is broke with a private system only for those under the Medicare age. At least 35 million Americans are without coverage and millions more are in sham policies that have unreasonable lifetime caps.
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Feb 26, 2010 11:34 PM GMT
    Done!

    F*ck insurance companies. I've known too many people who've been screwed over by these bastards, had more-than-legitimate claims denied, policies unilaterally recinded, and left with the kinds of debt even an entire lifetime of work could never pay. Meanwhile rates go up 10-30%+ every year!

    Time for single-payer like every other civilized country on the planet.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 26, 2010 11:57 PM GMT
    coolarmydude - National Health Service is the British healthcare system. Not actually sure what the stats for malpractice in Canada are though I'm familiar with a number of incidents quite recently of relatives of friends where this was an issue (but I'm assuming this is largely anecdotal).

    I do think that how procedures get paid for affects service providers however - especially if premiums are a significant part of medical costs.

    I find healthcare policy pretty fascinating which probably is an unhealthy level of geekery, but the US has a lot going for it with respect to healthcare. I think much of the world is interested in seeing what will happen because of American leadership in medical technology for instance. I'm not saying that this will be damaged but with policy changes will come that risk. Further, much of the world is already copying many process innovations that are happening in the US - e.g. ambulatory care hospitals, commercial emergency care clinics, nurse practioner offices, etc which are already driving down the cost of care. This also doesn't include pharmoeconomics (which is pretty warped insofar as how big pharma markets and sells drugs) or other medical technologies.

    As an example of an idea that's being developed offshore by way of process innovations but that was conceived in the US: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125875892887958111.html

    I'm sure you have a very reasonable reasons of why you would support a single payer system or a public option, but I also suspect that a lot of these issues aren't being addressed in any of the bills being presented by either house or the President. Having both had private health insurance while I worked in the US and also experiencing healthcare for much of my life in Canada, be careful what you wish for.

    Incidentally, I think it's also important to note that of the 36M uninsured Americans, only about 8M of those are actually those who are too poor to afford health insurance (according to Blue Cross Blue Shield). Megan McArdle at the Atlantic also looks at the issue of affordability vs mortality here: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/03/myth-diagnosis/7905/. I think it's very reasonable to look to find ways to help those who want insurance and can't afford it - and this can take the form of subsidies / vouchers / etc., but to change the healthcare of all Americans (most of whom are satisfied by their private healthcare plans) to service a minority, seems a bit unfair, no?