Page 5 of 263 FirstFirst 1234567891555105 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 3937
  1. #61
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    30,970

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LtMarvel View Post
    Yaaay! Something was actually done!
    Pull List; seems to be too long to fit in my sig...

  2. #62
    Elder Member Charles RB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    35,828

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post
    what other non-evidenced-based medicine is Congress considering paying for? Acupuncture? Reflexology? Homeopathy? After all, they're lobbying to be covered.
    Well, acupuncture and homeopathy are covered on the NHS by some primary care trusts, though only for minor problems (apparently it can work there) or in conjunction with conventional care (to make the patient feel better). I don't know if other countries have the same.

    If they're lobbying for the same in your country, that's a subject for debate. If they're lobbying for anything greater - being used for major illnesses - they can fuck off.
    "We must fight on!"
    "We'll die. We fight and we die, that's how it goes."
    "Then we die gloriously!"
    "There's an important word there, and it's not gloriously."
    - Only You Can Save Mankind

  3. #63
    for the lulz 7thangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    8,653

    Default

    oops

    10char
    Last edited by 7thangel; 10-14-2009 at 01:50 AM.

  4. #64
    for the lulz 7thangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    8,653

    Default

    dedicated to all those who care

    Check Out Our Swell New Video Game, 'Senate Finance Committee'!
    http://zaiusnation.blogspot.com/2009...ideo-game.html

    Play the wacky new game Senate Finance Committee, the game where you get to act like a real United States senator! The object of the game is to collect as much money as possible from lobbyists while preventing any kind of actual health care reform from taking place. Score big bucks for making the health care, insurance and pharmaceutical companies happy, but watch out for the dreaded health care reform legislation!

    courtesy of zaius nation

  5. #65
    Elder Member Shellhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Twin Cities
    Posts
    17,749

    Default

    I've been at my current job for about five years, but it's a small business that has been through some rough times. We're on our third CEO right now, not counting my recent ten-day stint as acting CEO. So even though we have a really nice medical insurance plan, I've been reluctant to use it.

    Why? Because I don't want to find out that I have some kind of chronic condition, then lose my job in the worst job market I've seen, and then end up denied coverage for the rest of my life due to a pre-existing condition. It's horribly unfair, and I will at least be somewhat happy about any new law that ends the pre-existing condition exclusion.

    That said, if there isn't going to be a public option in this health care reform, how are we going to stop the insurance companies from ripping everybody off? They are all too happy to pass on cost increases to consumers, which is why everybody's premiums are increasing much faster than wages. Tort reform alone won't do crap either, because the insurance companies aren't going to lower their rates when they can just increase their profits instead.
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
    Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

  6. #66
    Open Wide The Chief5425's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    436

    Default

    And just then...the law of unintended consequences showed up...

    A speechwriter on health care for Obama, Hillary and others recently moved to Massachusetts, a state that has already enacted a health care plan very much like the one Congress is considering foisting on all of us. This should have been heaven for her...living under the policies she's advocated for so long.

    Utopia, however, did not ensue....

    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/10...linton-doesnt/


    Health Care Speechwriter for Edwards, Obama & Clinton Without Insurance Now

    For the first time in my life, I am without health insurance and it is a terrible feeling.

    In the past, I paid attention to the health care debate as a speechwriter who prepared speeches, talking points, op-eds, and debate prep material on the topic at different times for John Edwards, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and others. Now, I'm paying attention because I'm a citizen up the creek without a paddle.


    Throughout my life, I have been very lucky because my insurance has always been there whenever I had a crisis. When my 10-speed hit a patch of leftover winter sand, and I went flying into a telephone pole, it covered the x-rays and stitches and concussion diagnosis. When a half a ton of sheet rock fell on me, my insurance paid for the cast on my foot. When my depression kicked in and I was hospitalized and painting ceramic pieces in art therapy to boost my self-esteem (sheesh), it made sure that when I got home my medical bills didn't make me reach for a razor. And when there were growths in my uterus, it covered that medical procedure and every regular check-up, lab test, broken bone, sports injury, and antibiotic prescription in between.


    Since I care more about my country than my personal pride, here's how I lost my insurance: I moved. That's right, I moved from Washington, D.C., back to Massachusetts, a state with universal health care.

    In D.C., I had a policy with a national company, an HMO, and surprisingly I was very happy with it. I had a fantastic primary care doctor at Georgetown University Hospital. As a self-employed writer, my premium was $225 a month, plus $10 for a dental discount.

    In Massachusetts, the cost for a similar plan is around $550, give or take a few dollars. My risk factors haven't changed. I didn't stop writing and become a stunt double. I don't smoke. I drink a little and every once in a while a little more than I should. I have a Newfoundland dog. I am only 41. There has been no change in the way I live my life except my zip code -- to a state with universal health care.

    Massachusetts has enacted many of the necessary reforms being talked about in Washington. There is a mandate for all residents to get insurance, a law to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition, an automatic enrollment requirement, and insurance companies are no longer allowed to cap coverage or drop people when they get sick because they forgot to include a sprained ankle back in 1989 on their application.

    Even if the economy was strong and I was working more, I still couldn't afford my premium. I am not alone; I've got 46 million friends in a similar situation. We wake up every day worried that a bad cough, an accident while walking the dog, or that dreaded pain on the right side of the abdomen will send us into complete financial ruin.

    As luck would have it, I didn't schedule a physical before I left D.C. I thought I could get that taken care of when I moved -- after all they had reforms, automatic enrollment, and universal coverage in Massachusetts, all the things I'd written about for politicians. Health care would be affordable. It didn't dawn on me that it would just be affordable for other people.

    Now, sharing my experience doesn't make me an expert in health care policy anymore more than my knowledge that Kajagoogoo sings "Too Shy" makes me an expert in music. What my story does is serve as a cautious reminder that we need to get this right, not right away. A rushed bill will have consequences. Reforms will not be cheap and some people may be priced out.

    How could all of these weeks and months go by and no one is examining and talking about what has worked and what hasn't worked in Massachusetts?

    While the state has the lowest rate of uninsured, a report by the Commonwealth Fund states that Massachusetts has the highest premiums in the country. The state's budget is a mess and lawmakers had to make deep cuts in services and increase the sales tax to close gaps. The number of people needing assistance has at times overwhelmed the state. The mandate means that some people who can't afford insurance are now being slapped with a fine they also can't afford. There is no "public option" in the way the president describes it, no inter-state competition, no pool for small businesses and self-employed individuals like me to buy into groups that negotiate cheaper rates. So far I haven't found any "death panels," but if I get sick and need a hospital, I sure hope I can find one and a feisty granny to pull my plug.

    What makes this a double blow is that my experience contradicts so much of what I wrote for political leaders over the last decade. That's a terrible feeling, too. I typed line after line that said everything Massachusetts did would make health insurance more affordable. If I had a dollar for every time I typed, "universal coverage will lower premiums," I could pay for my own health care at Massachusetts's rates.

    So far, the most informed and civil discussion I've had about this issue has been with some of the sales representatives with the top providers in Massachusetts as I searched for an affordable plan. Each person I talked to was kind and considerate and truthful. One man said that he prepares everyone for the "sticker-shock," whether they are a family of four or an individual.

    Right now, the truth is if I could buy my health plan from D.C., then I would. If I could buy into a public option, co-op, or trigger plan, whatever they want to call it, then I would. If I qualified for the new exchange, then I'd get into that, too, but four years is a long time to go without a physical, pap smear, and to have this mole checked. If someone were to put Medicare for All back on the table, then I would be fine with that too. Honestly, it's starting to make the most fiscal sense: $450 billion we pay to insurance companies could be redirected to Medicare, $350 billion in savings in paper work, and of course that $500 billion in savings for "waste, fraud, and abuse."

    If this country is about to gamble a trillion dollars plus -- and it will be a big plus no matter what the Congressional Budget Office projection is -- then why not use a system that already exists? My experience in politics has been any time a politician says $500 billion will come from "waste, fraud, and abuse" that's a fancy way of saying, "Hold on to your wallet; we'll pay for it later."

    We have to be careful about how we spend this trillion dollars. Right now, we are $1.4 trillion in the hole and the Senate has been asked to raise the country's debt ceiling to $12 trillion. We are fighting two wars and may increase troop levels in one. We have 250 new Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking care from VA facilities every day, and unemployment is headed north, past 10 percent. Has anyone else thought, "Hey wait a minute? Why are we proposing to spend so much on a mess of a plan?"

    Why can't Washington look north to Massachusetts? What's the lesson for the nation in its successes and failures: universal coverage first or cost reductions? If health care is a right, then why aren't we starting over with Medicare for All? If health care is a responsibility, then why aren't we changing the system to address that? There is a big red flag planted in the middle of this state and it looks like everyone's just pledging allegiance to it rather understanding the warning in its wave.

    For now, I'm going to have to get used to this terrible feeling. I'll eat right. I'll drive 55. I'll keep my dog on a tight heel and pet her to keep my blood pressure down. And I'll hope the economy turns around soon and $6,600 or so a year for health insurance doesn't seem so unaffordable.

    I want health care reform. I need it, but I want Washington to start over. It doesn't make me "un-American" or "astroturf" or "racist." I'm a critic because what Washington is talking about doing has made health insurance unaffordable in Massachusetts.

    If Washington won't go for a simple clean move to a system like Medicare for All, then it needs to do one reform, one new law, at a time -- not with a 1,000 page bill where strange things can hide. Line up the 80 percent of things we agree on and vote one at a time to change pre-existing conditions, cut that $500 billion in Medicare's "waste, fraud, and abuse," create meaningful lawsuit reform, and add some real competition to insurance companies whether it's a public option or a pilot exchange program. Show the country that this is possible with lower premiums and more efficiency and then go for the tough stuff. Critics like me want something done right because we actually are up the creek without a paddle.

    If Congress and the president want to fix health care, then it is time to start over. They need to look at what's worked and what has failed in Massachusetts. They are going to have to actually take former Gov. Sarah Palin's advice and "look north to the future." Who knew that would ever make sense? But if we continue on this current path without looking, it's easy to diagnose what's coming to the country when a health care bill passes.

    A mess.

  7. #67
    Elder Member jesse_custer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    20,646

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shellhead View Post
    That said, if there isn't going to be a public option in this health care reform, how are we going to stop the insurance companies from ripping everybody off? They are all too happy to pass on cost increases to consumers, which is why everybody's premiums are increasing much faster than wages. Tort reform alone won't do crap either, because the insurance companies aren't going to lower their rates when they can just increase their profits instead.
    The argument is that current regulations on insurance companies are curbing competition. If these regulations could be lifted, the invisible hand of the economy will, ahem, appear again. This means that good insurance companies will offer better deals, driving the bad insurance companies out of business.

    Why anyone thinks a company will lower prices enough for all Americans for a service that you pretty much need is a mystery to me. How the invisible hand is always able to jerk off our economy the right way is another puzzle I've been pondering.

  8. #68
    Elder Member Shellhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Twin Cities
    Posts
    17,749

    Default

    Chief, that was an interesting article. I've heard that the Massachusetts plan had some problems, but it's interesting to hear it from someone with such a unique perspective, like this speechwriter. It's too bad that the D.C. insiders hear more from paid lobbyists than regular folks coping with real life problems.

    What I take away from this article is that the public option is an important piece of the puzzle. Without it, consumers would be at the mercy of the insurance companies, and those insurance companies have a duty to their investors to deliver increasing profits. With a public option, there would be at least one valid alternative to the insurance companies, and it would be big enough to have some strong leverage in negotiating costs from health care providers.

    The Massachusetts plan offers a subsidy to low-income people. So I assume that this speechwriter isn't low-income but maybe middle-class. As usual, the middle-class is probably the group that will fare the worst in whatever reform is enacted.
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
    Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

  9. #69
    Peachtree St. Irregular Loren's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    5,406

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles RB View Post
    Well, acupuncture and homeopathy are covered on the NHS by some primary care trusts,
    Seriously? Homeopathy??

    Yeesh.

    though only for minor problems (apparently it can work there)
    Homeopathy can't. I'd say that homeopathy is crap concentrate, but I hate to use the word 'concetrate' in the same sentence. You'd be hard-pressed to imagine a more scientifically useless treatment than homeopathy.

    And how is it a good thing that it's only used for minor stuff? Obviously they're not going to treat, say, AIDS with a homepathic regimen of water-pills. Approving its use for minor problems just means that taxpayers are paying out small amounts of their own money multiple times over for absolute nonsense. It's like taking the position that government subsidization of faith healing is OK so long as it's only used for head colds and acid reflux.

    If they're lobbying for the same in your country, that's a subject for debate.
    As far as I, and any scientifically-minded person is concerned, there is no room for debate. The only acceptable answer is 'no.'

  10. #70
    Elder Member Shellhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Twin Cities
    Posts
    17,749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jesse_custer View Post
    The argument is that current regulations on insurance companies are curbing competition. If these regulations could be lifted, the invisible hand of the economy will, ahem, appear again. This means that good insurance companies will offer better deals, driving the bad insurance companies out of business.

    Why anyone thinks a company will lower prices enough for all Americans for a service that you pretty much need is a mystery to me. How the invisible hand is always able to jerk off our economy the right way is another puzzle I've been pondering.
    Exactly. If coverage becomes mandatory, the insurance companies will get busy signing up all the new business, without any time or competitive pressure to lower premiums for anybody. It's not evil, it's just their job to keep making profits for their investors. Without regulation, the invisible hand will squeeze our throats.
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
    Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

  11. #71
    Elder Member jesse_custer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    20,646

    Default

    And don't get me wrong. I'm not saying there is no merit to the invisible hand idea. But people should keep in mind that it is a theory and doesn't necessarily apply to every fucking situation.

  12. #72
    Open Wide The Chief5425's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    436

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jesse_custer View Post
    Why anyone thinks a company will lower prices enough for all Americans for a service that you pretty much need is a mystery to me. How the invisible hand is always able to jerk off our economy the right way is another puzzle I've been pondering.
    The same way food companies keep prices comparitively low for a commodity we need even more than health care--food.

    Think about it: As much as you may need a flu shot, a cast for a broken arm or even chemotherapy you need food on a daily basis even more, right? So why aren't farmers, food distributors, grocery stores, etc, etc. charging us ridiculously high prices for food? Because of competition.

    Let's say five food companies get together and decide to have a monopoly on food. They say "we're going to charge a thousand dollars an item for groceries" (yes, this is ridiculously oversimplified, but stay with me). The problem is one of those five will look at his books and say "hey, you know, I could charge $995 per item, still make a handsome profit and undercut all those other losers." So he does so. The other four suppliers realize what is happening and attempt to undercut the first guy who violated the monopoly. Before you know it there is no monopoly any longer and food prices come down to something that covers the companie's expenses, still allows them to make something of a profit yet doesn't gauge the consumer.

    This is why private monopolies almost never last. Public monopolies, as in monopolies backed by government, on the other hand? Different story. We pay entirely too much for sugar in this country, for example, because the government charges high tarrifs on incoming sugar imports, allowing domestic sugar producers to charge artificially high prices and get away with it.

    This is why some folks would rather see a simple reform like allowing insurance companies to sell policies across state lines (creating more competitions, breaking the monopoly the in-state insurance companies have at this time) rather than the awful mess like they have in Massachussetts (and that, apparently, congress is about to try to ram down the rest of us).

  13. #73
    Elder Member jesse_custer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    20,646

    Default

    I'm not sure a comparison between consumables and a conditional service makes sense. In other words, I don't pay for food and have to wait until I'm starving before I can eat it. You have to be a helluva optimist to assume that these companies are going to change their moneymaking schemes just because the government pulls out.

    I don't know, maybe you're right. Look at how well the housing industry thing worked out. Capitalism at its best.

    Not to mention the ethical question of assuming an INVISIBLE HAND is going to save people suffering from things that can kill them. You can't grow health insurance like food.

  14. #74
    Open Wide The Chief5425's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    436

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jesse_custer View Post
    I'm not sure a comparison between consumables and a conditional service makes sense. In other words, I don't pay for food and have to wait until I'm starving before I can eat it. You have to be a helluva optimist to assume that these companies are going to change their moneymaking schemes just because the government pulls out.
    First of all, they're not going to change "their moneymaking ways." They're still going to make money. They're every bit as interested in getting paid for working as you and I are. I'm saying that if they had more competition they'd have to provide better service, lower prices or a combination of both.

    I don't know, maybe you're right. Look at how well the housing industry thing worked out. Capitalism at its best.
    No, that was a combination of a) bad Fed policy, and b) government forcing lenders to make loans to people who had no business owning a house in the first place.

    Not to mention the ethical question of assuming an INVISIBLE HAND is going to save people suffering from things that can kill them. You can't grow health insurance like food.
    No, but there is a production process. At some point somebody puts some effort into insuring others and expects to cover their expenses and then make enough to make a living themselves, just like a producer of apples or sushi or filet mignon.

    Look, part of the problem is that too many people don't know how much their health care costs. Assuming you have health insurance do you really know how much your doctor's visit costs? Your prescription meds? A night in the hospital? You may know how much your copay is but you probably don't know how much it REALLY costs, you just let insurance cover it. People on Medicaid--who pay no copays--know and care even less most likely.

    Should we get single payer health insurance or any plan that is too much of a "free health care plan"...well, wait until you see what happens to utilization. Last Friday a local clinic had a "free" flu shot clinic (I put "free" in quotes because it was a county clinic and thus our county taxes ultimately paid for it...there ain't no such thing as a free lunch). Guess what happened? They were out of vaccine by noon. It's a microcosm of what will happen with "free" health care overall...shortages and, ultimately, rationing.

  15. #75
    Elder Member jesse_custer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    20,646

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Chief5425 View Post
    First of all, they're not going to change "their moneymaking ways." They're still going to make money. They're every bit as interested in getting paid for working as you and I are. I'm saying that if they had more competition they'd have to provide better service, lower prices or a combination of both.
    The point is that I don't trust the bastards. I trust them less than I trust the government. And no one has given me a good reason to trust them. All I get is an invisible hand.

    No, that was a combination of a) bad Fed policy, and b) government forcing lenders to make loans to people who had no business owning a house in the first place.
    Uh, what? Banks loosened their own standards because they didn't have to deal with the subprime mortgages if they could sell them on Wall Street. It was a dumb capitalist game.

    Look, part of the problem is that too many people don't know how much their health care costs. Assuming you have health insurance do you really know how much your doctor's visit costs? Your prescription meds? A night in the hospital? You may know how much your copay is but you probably don't know how much it REALLY costs, you just let insurance cover it. People on Medicaid--who pay no copays--know and care even less most likely.
    Yes, I do know much it costs because my deductible is high. And I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford it. A lot of people aren't.

    Should we get single payer health insurance or any plan that is too much of a "free health care plan"...well, wait until you see what happens to utilization. Last Friday a local clinic had a "free" flu shot clinic (I put "free" in quotes because it was a county clinic and thus our county taxes ultimately paid for it...there ain't no such thing as a free lunch). Guess what happened? They were out of vaccine by noon. It's a microcosm of what will happen with "free" health care overall...shortages and, ultimately, rationing.
    No system is going to be perfect, but I don't hear Europeans complaining as much as Americans about health care for the most part.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •