Re: Health-care discussion on 'Tis a Gift to be Simple



  • Copy-pasted for posterity (I purged all related comments) should anyone actually want to discuss...

    @Anonymous said:

    @wtf said:
    The funny thing is that the very nature of "undocumented" work means that the people working for the lowest rates are net donors to the social security system - which today is essentially a back-door funding mechanism for current expenses, thanks to that vacuous traitor Reagan. So the people you're blaming health care increases on (wrongly) are in fact paying double taxes to support policies like, say, Bush's tax breaks for the people who need them least.

    What a country!

    I'm afraid you have a grave misunderstanding of how "undocumented workers" work.  I know several people who have hired these undocumented people on occasion and the system works like this:  The "undocumented worker" gets paid cash.  No records of the transaction are kept by either party, so the employer does not withold payroll tax, and the "undocumented worker" is not known by the federal government, so they don't pay income tax.  Most times, any money that is not used to feed the members of the family that are in the US with the worker is sent back to the worker's family in Mexico.  This is a fact of life in the local construction trade mainly because so many young able-bodied Americans shudder at the thought of doing manual labor, but also because the ones that are actually willing to do the manual labor are only willing to do that because they were too brain dead to get a job flipping burgers.  Your only source for competent people willing to work is to go to the illegals.  And most of the ones I know of are actually getting paid very reasonable rates, not minimum wage.  It's just another form of outsourcing.  But those people are not the problem.

    The problem with this country is not limited to illegals.  There are a huge number of lazy and/or brain dead people who exist simply to put a drain on the system.  These are the people, white, brown or otherwise, that are sitting there in the ER with 6-8 kids because little Timmy has a runny nose and a low-grade fever.

    And as for why so many people are opposed to the health-care bill, here's my perspective on it:  I have a genetic condition that affects my bones and I am officially considered handicapped.  No individual insurance company will take me because of the condition, so I have to work so I can be a member of a group plan that can't exclude pre-existing conditions.  When I was between jobs 6 years ago, I tried to get health insurance through the government so I could afford my meds.  I was told that there was nothing they could do for me unless I had a child or a pregnant live-in girlfriend (And I stress the girlfriend part.  If she was my wife, then that would fall under the "sorry, nothing we can do." category.)  As it stands right now, my co-pay for a regular doctor's visit is $40.  If I paid out of pocket, I could see the doctor for $35.  And yet when I pay that $40 the insurance company gets hit with over $400 for the doctor's visit.  Nothing in the health care bill has changed any of this.  The fact is that our health-care system, just like our immigration, taxation, and public education systems, is completely broken.  As a citizen I'm tired of the government half-assing things and throwing money at the problem without accomplishing anything.



  • @Anonymous said:

    If I paid out of pocket, I could see the doctor for $35.  And yet when I pay that $40 the insurance company gets hit with over $400 for the doctor's visit. 

    When I was in the ER many years back for a certain "incident" which some of you may recall, I was billed like $50 for 6 sponges (the kind Walgreens sells for $8/box), even though only 2 were used. They told me "a new box was opened" and that "they charge by the box". Since sponges are individually/sterily wrapped, I asked if I could have the other 4 sponges. The answer was no.



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    When I was in the ER many years back for a certain "incident" which some of you may recall, I was billed like $50 for 6 sponges (the kind Walgreens sells for $8/box), even though only 2 were used. They told me "a new box was opened" and that "they charge by the box". Since sponges are individually/sterily wrapped, I asked if I could have the other 4 sponges. The answer was no.

    My parents have the type of insurance where you usually pay the bill yourself, then get the money back from the insurance company.

    On their trip to the US, my father suddenly developed pain in the ear, so, on account of being tourists in New York at night who don't know anybody there, they went to an ER.

    Turned out to be simply some earwax pressing on the eardrum. Took a doctor about 2 minutes to diagnose, a nurse 5 minutes to remove and about two hours in the waiting room.

    And yielded a $800 bill (with the bill stating: We may hit you for more if we feel like it.) They even charged "rent" for the two hours of waiting.



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    @Anonymous said:

    If I paid out of pocket, I could see the doctor for $35.  And yet when I pay that $40 the insurance company gets hit with over $400 for the doctor's visit. 

    When I was in the ER many years back for a certain "incident" which some of you may recall, I was billed like $50 for 6 sponges (the kind Walgreens sells for $8/box), even though only 2 were used. They told me "a new box was opened" and that "they charge by the box". Since sponges are individually/sterily wrapped, I asked if I could have the other 4 sponges. The answer was no.

     

    How about 8 bucks per diaper when I took my 2 year old child to the emergency room.



  • I will remember this thread when, at some point in the future, I actually have a heathcare bill to speak of. I'm currently effectvely paying for everybody else.



  • First of all, there is no way you could pay out of pocket $35 to see a doctor, unless the doctor was your friend.

    Secondly, there is no way the insurance company paid $400 for the visit.  The doctor might have billed $400 but he would not be paid $400.   He'd paid around $75 for an ordinary office visit, plus or minus a few bucks depending on whether he is in NY City or the sticks.

    The reason the sponges cost $50 is because the insurance companies do not pay full price.  They may pay 50% or less, so the hospitals charge more than they should so when it is cutback they still get some money.  The hospitals have a lot more clout than ordinary doctors, especially the bitg name ones.  The people without insurance that can afford to pay wind up getting hurt by this.  If you have no insurance, and have to go to the hospital, it is always a good idea to ask them if they will accept the "PPO rate" AKA the "In Network rate". 

     



  • @campkev said:

    How about 8 bucks per diaper when I took my 2 year old child to the emergency room.
    You'd pay that? I'd just undress the kid and leave it on one of their seats, see how fast a free diaper materialises.



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    @Anonymous said:

    If I paid out of pocket, I could see the doctor for $35.  And yet when I pay that $40 the insurance company gets hit with over $400 for the doctor's visit. 

    When I was in the ER many years back for a certain "incident" which some of you may recall, I was billed like $50 for 6 sponges (the kind Walgreens sells for $8/box), even though only 2 were used. They told me "a new box was opened" and that "they charge by the box". Since sponges are individually/sterily wrapped, I asked if I could have the other 4 sponges. The answer was no.

    You should have sued them for the 4 sponges and then settled with them for just 2 sponges and then posted the court transcripts, thus violating the terms of your settlement...


  • @galgorah said:

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    @Anonymous said:

    If I paid out of pocket, I could see the doctor for $35.  And yet when I pay that $40 the insurance company gets hit with over $400 for the doctor's visit. 

    When I was in the ER many years back for a certain "incident" which some of you may recall, I was billed like $50 for 6 sponges (the kind Walgreens sells for $8/box), even though only 2 were used. They told me "a new box was opened" and that "they charge by the box". Since sponges are individually/sterily wrapped, I asked if I could have the other 4 sponges. The answer was no.

    You should have sued them for the 4 sponges and then settled with them for just 2 sponges and then posted the court transcripts, thus violating the terms of your settlement...

    No, he should have gotten the sherrif's office involved and charged them with theft, and/or fraud, for charging for a purchase that was not delivered.

    But in general, I am in agreement with the other's who believe our current medical system is severely broken.



  • @Medezark said:

    our current medical system is severely broken.
     

    I don't think a non-broken medical system currently exsists anywhere, and with conflicting interests pulling on the money heap from different directions, it's unlikely that we'll learn from past systems to build that better mousetrap.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Medezark said:

    our current medical system is severely broken.
     

    I don't think a non-broken medical system currently exsists anywhere, and with conflicting interests pulling on the money heap from different directions, it's unlikely that we'll learn from past systems to build that better mousetrap.

    Well, for a start, practical application of eugenics and a complete overhaul of the pharmaceutical patents and prescriptions system needs to be put into place.



  • @Medezark said:

    Well, for a start, practical application of eugenics and a complete overhaul of the pharmaceutical patents and prescriptions system needs to be put into place.
     

    Look, it's fun that you start brainstorming about a better system, but before any of that can happen, all involved parties need to pull on the money heap from the same direction. You can do that by authority/legislation, or by convincing them ethically, or by first coming up with a financial system that benefits all, and then, only then can you make a better healthcare system.

    The first option is the easiest and has been used the most—almost exclusively, even—but it's also the least accurate because you never know what inspired it and it's basically a shot in the dark.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Medezark said:

    Well, for a start, practical application of eugenics and a complete overhaul of the pharmaceutical patents and prescriptions system needs to be put into place.
     

    Look, it's fun that you start brainstorming about a better system, but before any of that can happen, all involved parties need to pull on the money heap from the same direction. You can do that by authority/legislation, or by convincing them ethically, or by first coming up with a financial system that benefits all, and then, only then can you make a better healthcare system.

    The first option is the easiest and has been used the most—almost exclusively, even—but it's also the least accurate because you never know what inspired it and it's basically a shot in the dark.

    Wrong.  First you people need to vote me in as Absolute Dictator For Life.   Vote Early, Vote Often.



  • @Medezark said:

    @dhromed said:

    @Medezark said:

    our current medical system is severely broken.
     

    I don't think a non-broken medical system currently exsists anywhere, and with conflicting interests pulling on the money heap from different directions, it's unlikely that we'll learn from past systems to build that better mousetrap.

    Well, for a start, practical application of eugenics and a complete overhaul of the pharmaceutical patents and prescriptions system needs to be put into place.

    Yeah, eugenics. That worked sooo well when they sterilized the dumb, poor and retarded in the US. Not to mention that Nazi Germany took the US-American eugenics movement as a shining beacon on how to do their holocaust.



  • @Rhywden said:

    @Medezark said:

    @dhromed said:

    @Medezark said:

    our current medical system is severely broken.
     

    I don't think a non-broken medical system currently exsists anywhere, and with conflicting interests pulling on the money heap from different directions, it's unlikely that we'll learn from past systems to build that better mousetrap.

    Well, for a start, practical application of eugenics and a complete overhaul of the pharmaceutical patents and prescriptions system needs to be put into place.

    Yeah, eugenics. That worked sooo well when they sterilized the dumb, poor and retarded in the US. Not to mention that Nazi Germany took the US-American eugenics movement as a shining beacon on how to do their holocaust.

    The problem is there is no one that can be trusted to make the decisions on what genetic traits should be prevented from being passed down.  Our current reproductive technologies allow traits that would normally preclude persons with those traits from living to reproductive age to live happy productive lives with little or no sign that they have those traits.  Personally, I don't believe in "reproductive rights".  In nature, the "right" to reproduce is earned by demonstrating superiority of one sort or another to potential mates.  Either through the ability to provide or care for offspring, or the ability to produce offspring with desirable traits (intelligence, drive, beauty (physical beauty being attributal to health), strength, etc).  But, in light of the unknowns of climate change and a changing environment due to polution, it would be difficult to determine what traits would be most beneficial to humans in the future.  We could however, strive to eliminate those traits which would, without medical intervention, create a foreshortened lifespan or reduction in quality of life.  We've even been able to extend the reproductive age out to the point where even genetically healthy parents have an ever increasing risk of genetic defects due to gamete decay, or the parents will be unable to provide for their offspring into or past adolescense due to the parents advanced age.

    Eugenics does not necessarily require sterilization, however.  Recent advances have allowed for the removal of some genetic abnormalities from the gametes, and even therapeutic removal of those traits from those affected.  Persons treated in this way would be allowed to reproduce naturally.  Also, "sterilization" techniques are no longer permanent.  Even if someone is "sterilized" because they carry a specific trait, that sterilization could be reversed at a later date after gametic correction of the trait.  Also we have a surplus of parentless children who would beneift from being raised within loving homes provided by parents who would pass on dangerous or deadly genetic defects to natural children.

    But your "argument" is valid.  Due to the inherent evils in man, any individual or group given the decisive power to determine what traits are desireable or undesirable, even with the best of intentions, would screw everything up.



  • @Medezark said:

    But your "argument" is valid.  Due to the inherent evils in man, any individual or group given the decisive power to determine what traits are desireable or undesirable, even with the best of intentions, would screw everything up.
    QFT. Eugenists would have abort Stephen Hawking or Michel Petrucciani because of their undesireability ...



  • @Medezark said:

    @dhromed said:

    You can do that by authority/legislation

    Wrong.  First you people need to vote me in as Absolute Dictator.



    So... I'm right. 🙂


  • @toshir0 said:

    @Medezark said:

    But your "argument" is valid.  Due to the inherent evils in man, any individual or group given the decisive power to determine what traits are desireable or undesirable, even with the best of intentions, would screw everything up.
    QFT. Eugenists would have abort Stephen Hawking or Michel Petrucciani because of their undesireability ...

    You're confusing the idea of Eugenics with the past attempts to carry it out, or something.

    Neither's condition could have been detected during pregnancy at the time of their conception, so no.  Hawking's condition didn't even begin to manifest until well after puberty.  So, no. They would however  be (or in the case of Petrucciani, have been) prevented from fathering children, unless some method could be found to "fix" the genetic problem.  Except for Hawking, who may be experiencing an environmental rather than genetic version of ALS.



  • @dhromed said:

    Look, it's fun that you start brainstorming about a better system, but before any of that can happen, all involved parties need to pull on the money heap from the same direction. You can do that by authority/legislation, or by convincing them ethically, or by first coming up with a financial system that benefits all, and then, only then can you make a better healthcare system.

    The first option is the easiest and has been used the most—almost exclusively, even—but it's also the least accurate because you never know what inspired it and it's basically a shot in the dark.

     

    (This turned out to be a bit rambling...apologies).

    In a broad sense I've got to agree with dhromed - the current "health care" system isn't really so much about health care as it is about the health care industry and its use of "think about the children/elderly/diseased" trump card. I cannot understand why hospitals have an advertising budget - they are acting like normal businesses trying to drum up business for themselves (billboards and television commercials for local hospitals in my area abound... it boggles my mind).

    True health care consists really of only two broad categories: injury prevention/treatment and disease prevention/treatment.  Unfortunately today we also have "symptom treatment" and "quality of life" thrown in there - things that are not really what I'd call "core" health care.

    In my mind, insurance should only cover injury treatment or major unexpected health issues - same as for car insurance or home insurance. You don't have insurance for maintenance items.  You don't "insure" your home or car for basic cleanliness or maintenance. Yes, it's repetitive but it's an important point.

    For the "maintenance" bit, there should be some other system. One big problem with health care as I see it is when insurance started applying to the basic health checkups. 



  • @dhromed said:

    Look, it's fun that you start brainstorming about a better system, but before any of that can happen, all involved parties need to pull on the money heap from the same direction.

     

    I'd argue that'll never happen, nor really should it.

    The patient's first concern should be their health and wellbeing.  Ideally so should the physician's, though there's a healthy mix of wanting efficiency and productivity as well. For insurance, they don't give a damn about how the patient does or how efficient the hospital is as long as it's cheap.

    These people are all approaching the problem from different angles, and they all SHOULD be. They're each concerned about their own best interests, and that's as it should be. While yes, you could pass the financial burden onto individuals and cause them to prioritize money over their health, that's a highly undesirable outcome.



  • @Cat said:

    @dhromed said:

    Look, it's fun that you start brainstorming about a better system, but before any of that can happen, all involved parties need to pull on the money heap from the same direction.

     

    I'd argue that'll never happen, nor really should it.

    The patient's first concern should be their health and wellbeing.  Ideally so should the physician's, though there's a healthy mix of wanting efficiency and productivity as well. For insurance, they don't give a damn about how the patient does or how efficient the hospital is as long as it's cheap.

    These people are all approaching the problem from different angles, and they all SHOULD be. They're each concerned about their own best interests, and that's as it should be. While yes, you could pass the financial burden onto individuals and cause them to prioritize money over their health, that's a highly undesirable outcome.

    Except the Insurance companies, which are parasitic middlemen with no interest except skimming as much cash off the top, from both sides, as possible. (Pay providers as little as the market will bear, and charge clients as much as the market will bare.)

    (See, I used both bear's because i forgot which one was which, and because "bears" are evil).



  • @Medezark said:

    as the market will bare.)

    (See, I used both bear's because i forgot which one was which, and because "bears" are evil).
     

    I aways assumed that "The Right to Bare Arms" meant sth with short sleeves in summer.


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