Third Party & Independents Archives

Everything is Bi-Partisan

While we listen to the candidates/parties argue over the healthcare crisis in our country, insurance companies are already at work trying to get the un-insured insured.

Earlier today I saw an ad targeting those without health insurance. (No link - just an 800#.)
An offer that sounded great to me. I need to call and see if they insure people like us, who already have insurance, since the premium they showed was about 40% less than what we pay now.
My state was of no help since we had to be without insurance for at least 6 months to sign up for the healthcare plan through it. (Which I would have loved to do since the premium is less than half with the same carrier.)

Seems the marketplace may solve the problem of the un-insured for us, but we still need our government to make sure that companies have to insure ALL of us no matter what our health issues. If that can't be accomplished in a way that one can afford, and without many of the pre-existing condition problems, the government needs to step in and take care of the health insurance itself. Preferrably with an income based premium if the person is healthy enough to work.

Everything our political parties have us arguing about has a solution. We, the voters, just need to stop helping them play their games.

Posted by Dawn at February 14, 2008 2:24 PM
Comments
Comment #245329

It’s not easy to live at the expense of everyone else.

Perhaps if we stop a number of other abuses hammering and cheating most Americans, and get rid of the unnecessary middlemen and cheaters, then health care can become affordable again.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 14, 2008 3:28 PM
Comment #245335

Dawn How can the marketplace solve the problem when the marketplace is the problem? Think about it for profit insurance and for profit hospitals have investors that want one thing, your money. They dont care about your health issue, they just want your money.
Insurance companies have raised premiums consistantly year after year. Much higher than the rate of inflation. There is actually very little competition on a local level for insurance companies. While not a monopoly it is a near monopoly. They employee doctors to keep you from collecting when you are ill. The give these doctors bonuses based on rejecting claims. Is that really what you want as the answer to the problem?
Once agin Albert Einstein comes to mind- How can you fix the problem using the same logic that created the problem.


Posted by: j2t2 at February 14, 2008 4:26 PM
Comment #245353

My guess is that the insurance companies know more about what will be required of them by our government than we do and they are trying to find a way to make it easier on themselves.
If in the end it is better for us…
I know FULL WELL how much premiums have gone up and how the insurance is covering less. We have always been self-pay.

Posted by: Dawn at February 14, 2008 7:23 PM
Comment #245357

Well Dawn Im not quite naive enough to beleive for 1 second that the insurance companies give a rats a## about me other than to take my money. To think they are trying to make it better for… you gotta be joking. Whew you had me going there for a minute I actually thought you were serious with that comment.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 14, 2008 8:23 PM
Comment #245363

ok j2t2.

So much for my article of hope.
I would like to hear what your solution is.
If insurance companies are forced to compete won’t we be better off?
Does it matter if it is a company who charges lower prices that causes this competition or does it have to be the government?

Posted by: Dawn at February 14, 2008 9:48 PM
Comment #245368

Dawn, I have no trust in the for profit hospitals and insurance companies to do anything positive regarding health care in this country. There is no incentive at this point for them to doanything but continue to gouge the american people.

My solution is a system just exactly like the frech have. Yes socialized medicine is the answer. Once we get past all the lies and distorations perpetrated upon the American people by those with a vested interest in health care there is no better alternative.
Currently if you get sick you lose your job and your health insurance and end up bankrupt. Why thats crazy. Are we such dog eat dog pukes that we cant do better than that? Currently even if you dont get sick but lose your job you lose your health insurance and usually go with out until you have another job and enough time in the job to qualify for their benefits,and thats if your fortunate enough to find a job with those benefits. Why thats crazy. More and more Americans are doing without health care insurance because their employer doesnt offer it or they cannot afford it on their wages. Why ?
Do we honestly think the “universal health care ” offered up by Romney works? it just forces people that cant afford it to become outlaws. It does benefit the insurance companmies with the captive consumers however. Doesnt do anything to bring costs down or qualiy of service up.
Anytime a company hires what amounts to private investigators to check your background when you file a cliam is not on your side. When they hire doctors whose sole job is to deny your claim they are not on your side. Whenever a company refuses to insure you because of a list of prior medical conditions they are not on your side. Why would we even think this approach would work. It hasnt, its only gotten worse over the years and there is no incentive for them to change.
Its time to trash the current system and do it just like the french. they are right we are wrong the free market approach to health care is a sick twisted perverted joke and its time admit it and throw out the bums. Hopefully that answers your question.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 14, 2008 10:17 PM
Comment #245373

The only thing the health insurance companies care about is getting every cent they can from ya. And the Government sure as hell aint gonna help things any.
The best way to get health care affordable again is to get the insurance companies out of it and keep the government out of it.
If folks had to pay out of their own pockets for health care they’d start looking for the doctors, hospitals, and drugstores that have the best service and lowest prices. And believe me in order to keep patients and customers all three will lower their prices and give better service.
Why ya might even get doctors to make house calls again.
But as long a folks don’t want to take responsibility for the things that they claim are important to them,like health care, and want someone else to pay for it for them ya aint gonna get affordable health care. And ya sure aint gonna get affordable health insurance.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 15, 2008 12:20 AM
Comment #245402

I had affordable insurance once when I was working 1099. It was a catastrophic coverage policy by Blue Cross and it ran me about $140/mo. While I had that policy I still went to the doctor for the routine stuff and just paid out of pocket. He gave me plenty of drug samples for the name brands, then prescribed the generics for when they ran out.

My brother in law (23) on the other hand has a cell phone, cable, Internet, a nice car, a motorcycle, etc., but he goes without health insurance. Says he can’t afford it and can’t afford to go see the doctor. He takes his dogs to the vet though….

j2t2 your experience at a “for profit” hospital is exactly the opposite of mine. In my area the for-profit is much nicer and the care is higher rated than its non-profit counterpart. Might be another reason why a national solution to health care is unwise.

Ron, a lot of that has to do with the “cost reimbursement” model of compensation that our health care providers operate under. Elective procedures are typically priced on a fixed price basis, and you can shop around for a good doctor and a good price. Under the cost reimbursement method all you do is look at the charges after the fact and think what a rip off. Remember it was the use of cost reimbursement contracting that gave us $900 hammers.

Posted by: George in SC at February 15, 2008 2:07 PM
Comment #245421

George in SC, Yeah I to had affordable insurance once, but its been was long ago. The whole concept of insurance coverage needs to be rethought IMHO. Do you ever wonder why the Canadian, the French and the English can have such good health care systems and yet we cant seem to do it? Usually the USA is known for making a good idea better yet in the case of health care we are competing in the bush leagues with 3rd world countries. Why would the Canadian, French and English governments be able to accomplish health care for all its citizens yet we are unable to? what are we missing that they have?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 15, 2008 4:52 PM
Comment #245428

“what are we missing that they have?”

The desire to give up and let govt make all of our choices for us?

Posted by: kctim at February 15, 2008 5:40 PM
Comment #245445

kctim “The desire to give up and let govt make all of our choices for us?”

The French, Canadian and English havent given up, nor do they have their government make all of their choices.In fact their governments makes relatively few of their health care decisions for them. Our insurance companies make more decisions for us than their government does for them. This kind of propaganda is blatently inaccurate. It is without merit yet it is bandied about as if it were a fact by the corporatrist fringe groups in this country.
Are we as Americans so dumbed down that we cannot see through the consistant falsehoods perpetrated by those that seek to return our country to pre-civil war mentality?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2008 12:53 AM
Comment #245494

j2t2
So being against having the government doing our thinking for us and taking care of everything for us is Pre-War Between the States thinking? I hardly think so. The freedom to make your own choices. And the freedom to reap the consequences of them good or bad.
I’m sure as hell not defending the insurance companies, all of which are profit driven, interfering with us getting the treatment we need. They aint doctors and don’t know a thing about us except what they see on paper. How do they know what’s best for us.
This is why we need to get insurance companies out of health care.
But letting the government take it over aint any better. With the propensity our government has for wanting to run and control everything they spend a penny on it’s be doing the same thing. Or worse.

George
If folks shopped for health care the same as they shopped for cars, houses, and other items they would know the cost before they had the elective surgery. Then it wouldn’t seem like a rip off.
The same with shopping for a doctor before ya go see one. If folks would refuse to go to doctors that charged $80 to $100 per visit the doctors would start lowering their rates to keep and attract new patients. This would cause other doctors to do the same. The same with hospitals.
And the only way folks will do this is if they had to pay for their health care out of their pockets.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2008 1:23 PM
Comment #245495

Correction:
It’s the freedom to make your own choices.
Not
The freedom to make your own choices.

Edited to much out.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2008 1:25 PM
Comment #245511

Ron If we elective surgery out of the equation shopping for doctors doesnt seem to be to logical, especially when its your child hurting. In an emergency situation you may end up going to the hospital directly and try negoiating with them while your kids in the waitng room seriuosly ill. Besides if you gets your costs discounted the next guy has to pay more or the corporate heads will roll. Sorta like the emergency room being used by those without insurance. Somebody has to pay.

The problem with this issue is there are so many people without insurance and jobs that dont pay enough to afford an insurance policy that covers the entire family and with small kids those visits to the doctors and pharmacy add up. All it takes is one serious problem and you are homeless or the hospitals bill collectors are hounding you.
Another problem is getting ill and losing your job, which is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy today. It could happen to any of us Ron why not a system that protects those that worked hard all their life only to lose it all because of a medical problem.

I dont think the real issue is elective surgery though I think the real problem here is ideology. Let that thing go for a minute and check out other countries and how they manage to do it. The free market works for most but not all things, this is one of those things it has failed at. Just cause it says 1 size fits all doesnt mean 1 size really fits all.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2008 3:57 PM
Comment #245529

j2t2 said: Just cause it says 1 size fits all doesnt mean 1 size really fits all.

And that’s exactly what you’ll get if the government takes over health care. Proof? Just look at everything else it controls. Never mind the different needs of different places and different folks. It’s the governments way or the highway.

If folks are out shopping for the best health care at the lowest prices before someone gets sick or hurt the doctors and hospitals would already have reasonable prices. You wouldn’t have to try to get a discount while your youngin is laying in the ER. And both would be more willing to take payments on their bills than they are now.
Medicare was supposed to make sure that the elderly paid for very little of their health care or none at all. Today they all have to pay a big part of it. And a whole heap can’t afford their co-pays. That’s because government keeps cutting what it pays out and requiring the elderly to pay more and more. They have to have supplemental insurance to help with their co-pay and a whole heap can’t afford that either.
But never mind the governments failure with medicare. Let’s get it involved with every ones health care.
When I was a youngin almost no one insurance. The doctor would drive the 16 miles from town to our house. Treat as many of us that was sick. Even have the medicine needed most of the time. And his bill wouldn’t be more than $5.00. And would let my parents make payments. He’d even come out on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday at no extra charge. Try getting into a doctors office on a weekend or holiday today. If ya do you’ll most likely get arrested for burglary.
I had surgery when I was 7. According to what my Momma told me one time the bill for my 5 day hospital stay was only around $170. The doctor bill was around $40. And both took payments. Try that today.
If health care is so important to y’all why would ya want to trust the government with it? When was the last time ya saw it get anything right?

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 17, 2008 12:23 AM
Comment #245537

Ron is there any relevency at all between what your parents paid back in the day for your surgery and the health care mess today? It is a whole new world out there and the corporations run it. But just for grins what was the new price of the car they drove to the hospital when you had your surgery? I’d say between $1000 and $1500. What kind of vehicle can you get today for the same price.
Ron such a defeatist attitude, where is your patriotism? I find it insulting that you would possible think that France Canada and England can run a health care system that much better than the United States of America can. I mean I understand what the past 7+ years of Bush can do to our national confidence but Im not giving up, the next administration may be able to offer some hope for us all.
Lets face it Ron the insurance companies have us by the short hairs and will bankrupt many thousands of people over the next 20 years and kill off just as many. Where else in the industrialized world would there be a nation of people that would allow that to happen to their fellow countrymen? Is this what conservatism is about?
Now next question Ron, can you tell me what type of illness or health problem I will have 3 months from now so I can go cut my best deal with a doctor and hospital that specializes in the right kind of treatment for my specific illness or health problem. Im all for pre determined costs but its tough to negoiate when neither of us can determine what the future holds.Maybe I should just keep paying until they say stop. Afterall with the Bush tax cuts the money supply is endless.. or not.
Ron of course medicare is screwed up, when you put the fox in charge of the chickens as we have done the past 7 years what would you expect to happen. Boy Bush has sure cost this country a lot. Much more than money for the Pharma’s , our confidence in ourselves our fellow Americans and our Country seems to be at an all time low. Who would have thought that we would rather deal with completely corrupt and dishonest insurance companies than with a single payer system and the federal government. I find it disheartening that we feel so negative about this country’s ability to do anything as good as other countries. Maybe we should just throw in the towel and see if we can get bought out by one of the countries better able to deal with the problems we face today. Sort of like a corporate takeover of the country.
I guess its safe to say Ron that I find your approach to health care for all of us, including those just starting out in life, to be less than acceptable. While it might work for well established people in smaller communities it wont work for the other 90% of us. If there was a free market answer I would be all for it but so far the free market has proven to be the problem not the solution.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 17, 2008 2:13 AM
Comment #245571

j2t2 said: Ron is there any relevency at all between what your parents paid back in the day for your surgery and the health care mess today?

Yeah, Because folks didn’t have health insurance and folks had to reach into their pockets to pay the medical bills. They wouldn’t go to a doctor that charged the arm and leg that doctors charge today. Also to keep their patients the doctors would do more and were more flexible than doctors today because folks weren’t told by some insurance company what doctor they had to go to in order to get their insurance to pay.

I don’t believe for one second that Canada, England, and France, can run, or is running, health care any better than any other government or the private sector. They just have their folks, and a whole heap others, brain washed into believing they can.
It just aint Bush that’s screwed up Medicare. As I recall there’s been a few Democrat Presidents that’s helped screw it up. Clinton is one that comes to mind. And y’all want his wife as President?
Fact is both parties have helped screw up medicare. No one President or party can be held 100% responsible. Even though we all know the world was so much better with the Democrats in charge.
NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your either missing my point about shopping for a doctor or ya just don’t want to get it. You don’t wait until your sick to find a doctor or hospital with the best service and prices. You find them before ya get sick. That way three months from now when your diagnosed with some sort of major illness your diagnosed by the doctor that’s giving ya the best service and price.

If ya would read what I wrote and not what ya want to read I wrote you’d know that I’m against the insurance companies running health care too. How can a bunch of idiots sitting in some insurance office know better than my doctor what I need to stay or get healthy? They can’t. And neither can a bunch of idiots sitting in some government office.

BTW, A new Ford in 1953 was about $1300 to $1600. Depending on the trim line, body style, and options. Cars might cost a heap more today than then. But more folks can afford a new car today than then. But y’alls argument is that a whole heap fewer folks can afford health care today. And I agree on that.
Reckon I just disagree with y’all on how to solve the problem. And as long as folks either want some insurance company or the government running health care I’ll continue to disagree.

We need to get the insurance companies out of health care. And keep the government out of it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 17, 2008 3:28 PM
Comment #245572

P.S In 1953 the year I had the surgery my parent bought a 1948 Ford. They couldn’t afford a new car either.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 17, 2008 3:33 PM
Comment #245574

“It just aint Bush that’s screwed up Medicare. As I recall there’s been a few Democrat Presidents that’s helped screw it up.”
Well that may well be true Ron but it takes a republican to allow the drug companies to write the laws and not allow the government to negoiate drug prices.

“I don’t believe for one second that Canada, England, and France, can run, or is running, health care any better than any other government or the private sector. They just have their folks, and a whole heap others, brain washed into believing they can.”
So thats its their brainwashed. well at least they brainwashed them to the point where their systems cost less and does more if lifespan is any indicator. Seems we should wash a few brains over here. I guess thats theory is better than facts getting in the way.

“Your either missing my point about shopping for a doctor or ya just don’t want to get it. You don’t wait until your sick to find a doctor or hospital with the best service and prices. You find them before ya get sick”
Ron I get your point what I question is with medicine being so specialized which doctor do you negoiate with if you dont know what your going to be sick with down the road. For minor things I can understand but once you start moving up the chain with specialized doctors your plan starts to fall apart IMHO. Same problem with a long term illness suchh as diabetes or arthritis. Some meds are quite expensive.

I guess I dont see the private sector handling it well and with the costs so high for any kind of medical care I dont see your idea as being servicable for most people in this country. So I will continue to vote for those that want to get a single payer system in this country.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 17, 2008 5:23 PM
Comment #245579

In some ways, government rationed heatlhcare will be worse, and in some ways it will be better.

For example, one way it will be worse is the waiting periods. For some foreigners that can afford it, they come to the U.S. for operations that they must wait months or years to get in their own country (provided by the government). One case I heard of was a person in Canada with a brain tumor. Had the person waited the 9 months it would have taken before getting an operation, rather than coming to the U.S. and getting the tumor removed immediately, the person would have died. This is an obvious problem with rationed health care.

One way it will be better is if it eliminates one of the obvious unnecessary middlemen: insurance companies. Also, today, tens of millions have no coverage at all and can not afford health care now, and those that get it are bankrupted by a few days in the hospital, or one visit to the E.R. Even some people with health insurance are still bankrupted because the medical costs are so ridiculously high, and the costs exceed the lifetime policy limits.

Yet, millions of illegal aliens get free health care. But hundreds of hospitals are closing because of it.

And the medical community isn’t what it used to be. There’s a lot of price gouging and billing fraud, costing tax payers billions annually.

Medical costs are also very high because of government meddling (e.g. Medicare). Health care providers are shifing costs for Medicare patients to other paying customers.

And 195,000 people are killed each year in the U.S. by preventable medical mistakes. That’s appalling. Since 1999, that is over 1.5 million people killed by preventable medical mistakes. That is more than all the U.S. troops killed in the American Revolution (4,435), War of 1812 (2,260), Indian Wars (1,000), Mexican War (1,733), Civil War (462,000), Spanish American War (385), WWI (53,402), WWII (291,557), Vietnam (58,209), Korea (36,574), and Iraq Gulf War (529), and the current Iraq war Mar-2003-present (3,963), combined.

Health care may be affordable if we stopped a number of other abuses hammering and cheating most Americans, and get rid of the unnecessary middlemen and cheaters. Perhaps then, health care can become affordable again?

Or, perhaps the U.S. is simply suffering a total fiscal and moral melt-down?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 17, 2008 7:48 PM
Comment #245603

J2
“This kind of propaganda is blatently inaccurate”

Will we be forced to contribute to the govt run healthcare program in any way?
If not, then have at it.
If yes, then it is govt making our choices for us, not propoganda and I will do everything possible to fight it.

Posted by: kctim at February 18, 2008 9:49 AM
Comment #245610

kctim with that type of logic the government can do nothing but make all of our choices for us. If we pay taxes they make the choice is simply to narrow of a view point to be viable. How can any government run under a such a tight restriction. Apply this viewpoint to corporations and see how well it fits into the real world kctim.

I mean just because they tax us to build a road doesnt mean they choose where we drive to. They may determine what route/routes we use to get there as the roads are a limited resource but not when how why or what we do.
Just because we pay taxes to have a police department does mean the government is telling us which law/laws to break or for that matter which laws not to break. We make that choice ouselves.

The single payer system such as Canada or France has would be no more restrictive than what we have now with insurance companies. In fact in most cases it would be less restrictive.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2008 11:03 AM
Comment #245624

J2
With that type of logic, government can do nothing but run government, as it was intended to do.

And forced enrollment and compliance with a govt healthcare program is definetly more restrictive than what we have now.
Right now, I can choose which insurance to use and I can even choose to go without any if I so choose. Under a forced govt healthcare mandate, the govt takes my money, no ifs, and’s or buts.

Protecting our rights is a million times more important than creating more feel-good laws which further restrict them.

Posted by: kctim at February 18, 2008 2:30 PM
Comment #245634

j2t2-

I thought your complaint was the for profit hospitals and the lousy delivery of health care?

Anyway, we already have more people signed up for Medicare and Medicaid (single payer systems) than France and Canada combined. Between those, the federal workers, the military, etc. the government covers about 1/3 of the population already, and yet we still seem to be in a “crisis.” I don’t see how expanding Medicare to the rest of us helps contain the costs or improves the care.

We need to de-couplle employment and health care to address the portability issues and unlock the job-lock. We need tort reform so that a guy like Edwards is forced to live in only a 5,000sq house (couldn’t resist that one). We need to get away from paying for health care on a “cost reimbursement” basis. We need more ideas like the Benny Card (I’ve got one and it works great) to simplify how we pay for health care. We need all of those before we could begin to take on another system like France’s.

Posted by: George in SC at February 18, 2008 3:39 PM
Comment #245638

George while Im sure some of the ideas you have mentioned have merit and will help the current system to work a little bit better I still think as long as insurance companies are involved we are just spinning our wheels. I mean when you think about it they have no incentive to keep rates low. They have incentive to keep costs low, not rates. I am use to hearing the free market will work to keep rates low but when you look at the track record of the free market’s ability to keep the rates low how impressed are you?

The insurance companies are placed between us and the doctors and the hospitals. The insurance companies actually hire doctors and detectives to deny claims. I fail to understand how that benefits the patient. It is doomed for failure as far as the patient is concerned. No matter how many or what size bandaids we put on it its still a sick system.
Now Ron and D.A.N has advocated for a direct pay system and Im looking into that type of system more seriously but on the surface it just looks like its setting us up to fail. By us I mean younger people just start families and such as well as anyone with ongoing problems or a major illness.It seems a key piece of this approach is still a major medical policy from the insurance company. I can understand this approach for the young healthy single guy and maybe the very well to do but for the rest of us I dont see the benfits.

So for now I am saying we are just throwing good money after bad and we might as well look at a new way of doing it before we run out of bandaids.

BTW We pay almost twice as much per capita as the French and the Ccanadians do but dont get the results. What are we missing?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2008 4:42 PM
Comment #245647

“With that type of logic, government can do nothing but run government, as it was intended to do.” kctim thats a very general statement that doesnt really address the “how” of the question “How can any government run under such a tight restriction.” Its like answering yes to “what color is the sky”.

“And forced enrollment and compliance with a govt healthcare program is definetly more restrictive than what we have now.
Right now, I can choose which insurance to use and I can even choose to go without any if I so choose. Under a forced govt healthcare mandate, the govt takes my money, no ifs, and’s or buts.”

Its not any more restrictive than anything else we pay taxes for. Is there no room at any level of government for a health care system that works. It certainly is not as restrictive as most insurance plans that disqualify you for needing the plan. Insurance companies take your money then can refuse to service, you is that any less restrictive? Anyway I would hope they put a libertarian/anarchist/conservative clause in the plan just for this reason. I would not like to see anyone be forced into this plan, however I would, being vindictive, like to see a huge buy in later for those that would like to change their mind as they gain wisdom. It would seem to be a fair way of handling it dont you think?

“Protecting our rights is a million times more important than creating more feel-good laws which further restrict them.”
Well actual rights anyway. I would hardly think a decent health care system would be considered a feel good law kctim. But to let the health care system continue to fail because we beleive paying our fair share of income tax is a violation of our rights, because its at the point of a gun, doesnt seem right either kctim.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2008 5:58 PM
Comment #245675
j2t2 wrote: The insurance companies are placed between us and the doctors and the hospitals.
Exactly.

And the government too!
Medicare, government meddling, and massive fraud is shifting costs to all other patients.

And not only are greed, price gouging, and fraud rampant, but they are killing 195,000 people per year (in the last 8 years, that is over 1.5 million people killed by preventable medical mistakes. That is more than all the American soldiers killed in the American Revolution (4,435), the War of 1812 (2,260), the Indian Wars (1,000), the Mexican War (1,733), the Civil War (462,000), the Spanish American War (385), WWI (53,402), WWII (291,557), Vietnam War (58,209), Korean War (36,574), the Iraq Gulf War (529), and the current Iraq war Mar-2003-present (3,963), combined!).

j2t2 wrote: The insurance companies actually hire doctors and detectives to deny claims. I fail to understand how that benefits the patient. It is doomed for failure as far as the patient is concerned. No matter how many or what size bandaids we put on it its still a sick system.
Exactly.

Step (1): Remove the millions of people in the insurance companies making billions of dollars, while providing NO net benefit.

j2t2 wrote: Now Ron and d.a.n has advocated for a direct pay system and Im looking into that type of system more seriously but on the surface it just looks like its setting us up to fail.
It does require common-sense, honesty, transparency, and accountability.

If it fails, it is not the failure of the system. It is a failure of the people.
And that is actually at the root of most problems in America today.
Progress is very slow (2.00 steps forward, 1.99 steps backward).
But the U.S. has been going backwards for over 30 years.
There is quite simply too much fiscal and moral bankruptcy in the U.S. today.
And the voters are responsible for it too, because they whine and complain about government corruption, but repeatedly reward incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates (since year 1980).

j2t2 wrote: By us I mean younger people just start families and such as well as anyone with ongoing problems or a major illness. It seems a key piece of this approach is still a major medical policy from the insurance company.
No. In this Direct Pay Health Care System, there is no insurance company. It is back to the way it used to be. Pay the medical community directly. The medical community should recognize the wisdom of that system. They don’t like dealing with the greedy insurance companies either.
j2t2 wrote: I can understand this approach for the young healthy single guy and maybe the very well to do but for the rest of us I dont see the benfits.
Why not? It seems like a no-brainer.

As for the wealthy, they probably would not participate, since their rates (as a percentage of income) would be too high. But that’s OK, since the wealthiest 5% own 60% of all wealth in the U.S.

j2t2 wrote: So for now I am saying we are just throwing good money after bad and we might as well look at a new way of doing it before we run out of bandaids.
Well, the Direct PAy System makes the most sense.

But, humans don’t always do what makes sense … that is, until failing to do what makes sense becomes too painful.

As for a government rationed health care system, that would possibly be better than the current system, if the insurance companies (unnecessary middlemen) are eliminated.
Currently, health care is unaffordable, because the insurance is unaffordable. Duh!
And what do the insurance companies provide that is of any net benefit?

However, there’s a few problems with a giving the already severely bloated, do-nothing, wasteful federal government something else to do.
The federal government, at this time is too incompetent to manage it.
Just look at the National Debt, Social Security, Medicare, bloat, waste, etc., etc., etc.,.

We also need more doctors and health care providers.
But there are some that want to limit the number of new students, pharmacists, etc.
That needs to end.
We need to create more schools and create incentives to increase the numbers seeking a career in the medical profession.
Currently, the U.S. medical schools graduate only about 16,000 doctors each year.
That number has been almost constant for over two decades.
There are 20,000 first year residencies available each year.
Where do the other doctors come from?
The difference (of about 4,000) is coming from overseas (e.g. Pakistan, India, the Middle East, etc.).
Also, the number of students in American medical schools preparing to become primary care physicians is going down (not up).
Think about this.
There are now more jobs in government than all manufacturing in the U.S.
The U.S. has a fundamental problem, and it increasingly appears that the U.S. has been going backwards for many years, becoming more fiscally and morally corrupt each year.

So, why don’t we send more of our own citizens to medical school?
The U.S. has 305 Million people, for cryin’ out loud.
Are we so fiscally and morally corrupt that we can no longer figure this stuff out?
Why do we think government has to do everything, without understanding that WE are the government.
Why is it, for what ever ails us, we think the government must fix it?
The fact is, it is not so much that government must start doing something new that it wasn’t already doing.
The problem is government is irresponsible because the voters are irresponsible.
And it isn’t likely to get better by giving the government more to do.
After all, it isn’t that we lack for good ideas.
The problem is that Congress is where good ideas go to die.
What we should not ask, but demand government to do is to STOP doing the following abuses, and many of our other problems will probably start to be solved in the process.
That is, many of our problems arise from something we should STOP doing, more than something extra we should do, such as:

  • (01) STOP lawlessness; enforce the laws and uphold the U.S. Constitution; stop the abuse of the pardon process that put politicians above the law;

  • (02) STOP starting unnecessary wars (and stop the fear mongering and lies as an excuse to start wars);

  • (03) STOP plutocracy/kleptocracy, pork-barrel, corporate welfare (such as tax subsidies for EXXON with record $44 Billion in profits), graft, bloat, peddling influence, waste, and other abuses of power (e.g. such as Congress giving itself 9 raises between 1997 and 2007);

  • (04) STOP illegal immigration which is costing tax payers an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion annually in net losses;

  • (05) STOP election fraud, stop blocking access to ballots; stop Gerrymandering; implement common-sense election reforms, and give voters a printed verifiable receipt of their vote;

  • (06) STOP the borrowing, spending, and growing the massive $9.2 Trillion National Debt; stop plundering Social Security surpluses ($12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from it);

  • (07) STOP regressive taxation;

  • (08) STOP the abuse of the monetary system; the Federal Reserve is a usurious, dishonest, pyramid-scheme that has far-reaching negative side-effects on our economy and society; the Fed creates money out of thin air, and the Fed and member banks receive interest on it, and then convert money created out of thin air into real assets and property from confiscation via foreclosures and defaults, predatory practices, and usury;

  • (09) STOP the misinformation and ignorance; an educated electorate is paramount; an ignorant electorate will be abused and exploited and only have themselves to thank for it;

  • (10) STOP the unnecessary middle men (i.e. government and insurance companies) and fraud in the healthcare system; stop killing 195,000 per year by medical mistakes; also, if the 9 problems above were adequately addressed, it would reduce the pressues on the healthcare systems; today, it was reported that 9 veterans’ deaths in the V.A. hospital in Illinios were directly linked to negligence, mistakes, violations, and poor medical care; what does Congress do? It gives itself another raise, like its 9 raises between 1997 and 2007; while our troops go without armor, medical care, and promised benefits;
Of course, stopping those abuses is easier said than done, since most voters currently do not yet seem able to STOP repeatedly rewarding incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly with 96.5% seat-retention rates. But, perhaps they will eventually … when the consequences finally become too painful?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 18, 2008 10:43 PM
Comment #245700

J2
Why do some people get to decide what is “decent” and others must obey? Why must I sacrifice, in order to please you? That is not how a free country works.

“It would seem to be a fair way of handling it dont you think?”

Yes, giving people back their rights and freedoms is always good. I believe SS should also be included in this. Let us opt out if we wish and we will live with the consequences of our actions.

Posted by: kctim at February 19, 2008 9:09 AM
Comment #245712

j2t2
You don’t have to negotiate with any doctor. Because folks are already paying out of their pocket they have quit going to doctors that charge an arm and a leg. This has forced all the doctors, general practitioners and specialist, to lower their prices. All ya gotta do is find the one ya want and make an appointment.
And the best part is there aint no insurance company or government bureaucrap telling ya you can’t go to that doctor. Sense both are out of the health care business it aint any of either ones business who your doctor is.
As it stands right now the insurance companies have a list of doctors you can go to. The company we have at the store has about 50 doctors on it’s list. Only one is within 30 miles of here. None are less than 20 miles. We can’t go to the ones in town or over in Valdosta unless it’s an emergency. The insurance won’t pay if we do. And we play hell getting them to pay when it is an emergency. It seem they have a very narrow definition of emergency.
They also require ya to get their approval before ya see a specialist of any kind. This can take up to 6 weeks. If ya have a serious illness it just could be past the point of being treated by the time they make a decision. And all their specialist are in Atlanta. There’s a very good heart specialist in Valdosta but the insurance company won’t pay if ya go to him. He aint on their list.
And with it taking from 8 to 10 weeks to get any government agency to make a decision on anything, it won’t get any better with the government paying. And just how far away will their doctors be?
We’re looking for another health insurance plan. But it seem no one else is any better.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 19, 2008 11:57 AM
Comment #245716


People on both the left and the right will argue the indididuals Vs. the collective rights, depending on the issue.

Some who argue that the individual should be able to opt out of the SS program, might also argue that homosexuals should not have the individual right to marry another homosexual. There are some who would argue the exact opposite on these and other issues.

Perhaps, some day we will understand what democracy means when it comes to RIGHTS and DUTIES.

Posted by: jlw at February 19, 2008 12:10 PM
Comment #245717

“Perhaps, some day we will understand what democracy means when it comes to RIGHTS and DUTIES”

Not until they first understand how to respect the rights of others, JLW, and that will never happen in a democracy where the will of the majority is forced upon the minority.

Posted by: kctim at February 19, 2008 12:23 PM
Comment #245788

Dawn,

I agree with j2t2’s first comment. Private for profit insurance, for profit hospitals, ect. are the problem.

Charity and private enterprise are not going to get the job done. Private enterprise and charity have had 70 years to get the job done. They haven’t done it yet. Are we there yet? How much longer is this going to take?

Free market economics might work. Free market economics might solve the problem - if we had free market economics. It might work if we had a mixed system. The only thing that free market economics has to do with our current economic system is the words “free market economics” printed on the back of the “mission Accomplished” banner.

Free market economics do not build “bridges to no where.” There are no free market economics is this system - none. Private enterprise does not want free market economics. Campaign finance and the privately owned federal reserve are just the opposite of free market economics.

For more on health care:
See: Proposal of the Physicians’ Working Group for Single-Payer National Health Insurance
See also my article titled: National Health Care Solution?
See also my article titled: The Key Line in Understanding the Fight Over CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program)
See also Issue 3 of my article titled: Open letter to Senator Debbie Stabenow

Posted by: Ray Guest at February 19, 2008 11:15 PM
Comment #245790

“And with it taking from 8 to 10 weeks to get any government agency to make a decision on anything, it won’t get any better with the government paying. And just how far away will their doctors be?”
Ron, that not true at all. I have contracted on federal projects in the past and the good thing about them is they are fast pay. Faster than private and state construction projects by far in my experience. In fact it took the feds less time to pay the GC than it did the GC to pay us. Go Figure. With a singlepayer system all doctors that choose to would be available not like the insurance companies where you are required to stay within their plan.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2008 11:36 PM
Comment #245792

“Why do some people get to decide what is “decent” and others must obey? Why must I sacrifice, in order to please you? That is not how a free country works.”
kctim its probably because we are a representative democracy. We elect people to represent us. certaingly you dont think we should have no laws as they trample your perceived rights do you? Just how far out there are you on the libertarian /anarchist thing. Your not suggesting that the minority should make the laws so as not to offend the minority are you?
kctim what do you mean by sacrifice to please me? If we all paid towards a system then you and yours would have the same access as me and mine. In not saying we have a system where you pay for me and yourself I would pay to. So you would be sacrificing for you and yours not me and mine.
Before you get to far out on a tangent Im sure there will be periods where your use of the system may be minimal and mine may be more but there will also be times when the reverse is true.
For those whose ideology wont allow them to be part of such a nefarious loss of their perceived liberties I would propose that they be allowed to purchase a for profit insurance plan or put up the cash for a bond to cover medical expenses the same as some states allow for self pay auto insurance. This would make sure that I dont have to pay for you kctim what could be more fair than that?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2008 11:57 PM
Comment #245793

j2t2
All I can say is you’ve had better luck than most then.
But I wasn’t talking about the government paying. I was talking about it making a decision.
Do ya want to stake your life on some bureaucrap up there in DC making a quick decision on if ya should have a life saving surgery? In fact why do ya want anyone other than your doctor and you making that decision? And if the government gets involved in paying your health cost it’ll be making those decisions. Just like the insurance companies are doing now. Not you and/or your doctor.

j2t2 said: With a single payer system all doctors that choose to would be available not like the insurance companies where you are required to stay within their plan.

*Yeah right* And I got a bridge in Brooklyn I’ll sell ya real cheap.
The government always promises pie in the sky to get folks to except their programs. And the sad part is a whole heap of folks fall for it.

Government pie in the sky programs that’s failed:

Welfare - Was supposed to get folks out of poverty.

Social Security - Was supposed to give retired folks a livable income.

Federal Funded Education - Was supposed to improve education in the US.

Medicare - Was supposed to give the elderly affordable health care.

With failures like these what would make anyone think that government run health care will work?

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 20, 2008 12:05 AM
Comment #245834

J2
I respect your right to decide how to live your life and you respect my right to live mine. That is how it works. It does not trample the rights of others or lead to anarchy.
I know what is best for me and mine, so I wish to keep the choice and decide how and what is best for us.

“If we all paid towards a system then you and yours would have the same access as me and mine”

J2, it has nothing to do with the system used. It is about individuals having the right to decide for themselves. You like the govt group thing, I like my way. We both should be able to choose which way we wish to go.

“This would make sure that I dont have to pay for you kctim what could be more fair than that?”

That is all responsibile people want, the right to live our lives as we, not the govt, see’s best.

Posted by: kctim at February 20, 2008 9:09 AM
Comment #245846

“*Yeah right* And I got a bridge in Brooklyn I’ll sell ya real cheap.
The government always promises pie in the sky to get folks to except their programs. And the sad part is a whole heap of folks fall for it.”
The same thing could be said about insurance companies Ron, yet we cant vote them out and its to late to switch insurance companies once the problem develops… So “The corporations always promises pie in the sky to get folks to except their programs. And the sad part is a whole heap of folks fall for it.”


“Welfare - Was supposed to get folks out of poverty.” A hand up not a hand out has been effective for many but of course not all.


“Social Security - Was supposed to give retired folks a livable income.” IS that why its called SSSI-Social Security Supplemental Insurance. Its not a 401k retirement plan like those that want to destroy it would have you believe. It has served its purpose rather well and should we ever get it back to self supporting it will again. Cant use it to pay for other programs and then claim its a failure can we?


“Federal Funded Education - Was supposed to improve education in the US.” Well at least we are not teaching Creationism in science classes.

“Medicare - Was supposed to give the elderly affordable health care.” well until you let the industry write the legislation and not allow the government to negoiate drug costs.

Ron we could also go on with the many corporate fraud and abuses that are so prevelent now, but to think that big business is anymore the answer in this day and age is looking at it out of one eye.

“With failures like these what would make anyone think that government run health care will work?”

Well like I said if the Canadians , French, and English can do it one could think we here in this Country could do it. They have proven it can be done much better than the way we are doing it now. Yet there are a substantial number of naysayers in this Country when it comes to the desire for anything government to be successful,a self fulfilling prophecy. The present admnistration has done their best to run everything federal in the ground to prove the point. However a competent government can do it, so why can we?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 20, 2008 11:08 AM
Comment #245852

j2t2
You keep acting like I’m defending the insurance companies when I’m not. And I’m not defending corporations either. I’ve said we need to get the insurance companies out of health care. We also need to keep government out of health care. Something your advocating it getting into.
I could list a whole heap of insurance company abuses but your not defending them. Your wanting the government to take charge of another aspect of our lives. Something I’m dead set against.
Every time the government starts spending money one something it wants to control what it spends the money on. This goes for the Canadian, French, and English governments as well as our government. It’s the nature of government. This is why I don’t believe that either of this countries are doing a better of running health care than the insurance companies are here.

Welfare was supposed to be a hand up and not a hand out. But it’s turned into a hand out and hasn’t helped anyone.

Social Security was touted by it supporters as a retirement fund that would insure that every retired American could live above poverty when they retired. It hasn’t lived up to that promise.

“Well at least we’re not teaching Creationism in the class room.” Is that the best defence ya can come up with for such a major failure as government funded education?
Please explain the lowering of standards for passing.
Please explain why history is barely taught anymore.
Please explain why youngsters don’t have to pass a test on the US Constitution anymore.
Please explain how students can graduate a barely be able to read.
Please explain why the US lags behind other developed nations in math skills.
Please explain why the US lags behind other developed countries in science skills.
Please explain the lack of discipline in the public schools.
Ain’t these things important?
Do ya really thing that education is better in this country just because we don’t teach Creationism in the classroom?

Medicare has never given the elderly affordable health care. It was in trouble form the get go and the elderly had to start paying out of their own pockets and cost got out of hand way before your so called industrial writing of laws. And do ya really think the government could do any better negotiating drug cost? Remember the $400 hammers?

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 20, 2008 12:29 PM
Comment #245862

Ron “You keep acting like I’m defending the insurance companies when I’m not.” My intent is not to act like your defending insurance companies Ron but they are the other side of the coin. I undertsand you favor a direct pay system but for most that would involve an insurance company as most cannot afford a 700,000 bill for cancer treatment irregardless of who it is paid to.

“Every time the government starts spending money one something it wants to control what it spends the money on. This goes for the Canadian, French, and English governments as well as our government. It’s the nature of government. This is why I don’t believe that either of this countries are doing a better of running health care than the insurance companies are here.”
Well Ron if you continue to beleive this despite the evidence to the contrary its like peeing into the wind for me try to convince you otherwise so look it up on the net, find a few sites and look at the good and the bad of these other nations approach to health care. You could start with Rays links in this thread.

“Welfare was supposed to be a hand up and not a hand out. But it’s turned into a hand out and hasn’t helped anyone.
Social Security was touted by it supporters as a retirement fund that would insure that every retired American could live above poverty when they retired. It hasn’t lived up to that promise.
Medicare has never given the elderly affordable health care. It was in trouble form the get go and the elderly had to start paying out of their own pockets and cost got out of hand way before your so called industrial writing of laws. And do ya really think the government could do any better negotiating drug cost? Remember the $400 hammers?”
Sure Ron but then privatization hasnt proved to be any better. However specifically I would say that welfare has helped maybe not all but many have went from welfare (actually workfare now) to becoming productive citizens. Should we trash the whole thing because its not 100% successful? SSSI was never a retirement fund Ron it was and is a supplemental insurance. its this tpye of misinformation that tends to cause people to believe the system is a failure when in fact it does exactly what it is supposed to. Medicare isnt perfect Ron but where would these people be if they were left to the predatory insurance companies we suffer now? As far as negoiating Ron I guess we wont know as long as the legislation prohibits them from doing so. But then you wonder why the industry wanted that blurb in the law if the government wasnt any good at negoiating. Seems to contradict your beliefs about the government does it not?

Ron this is what I said:
“Well at least we are not teaching Creationism in science classes.”

This is the words you put into my mouth:
“Well at least we’re not teaching Creationism in the class room.”
Do I need to explain the difference?
and to further it “Do ya really thing that education is better in this country just because we don’t teach Creationism in the classroom?

In the science classroom yes. In a comparative religion class maybe not.

“Please explain the lowering of standards for passing.
Please explain why history is barely taught anymore.
Please explain why youngsters don’t have to pass a test on the US Constitution anymore.
Please explain how students can graduate a barely be able to read.
Please explain why the US lags behind other developed nations in math skills.
Please explain why the US lags behind other developed countries in science skills.
Please explain the lack of discipline in the public schools.”

As far as the education questions you address, let me offer this:
I dont know if its right to blame the federal government for all of these issues to me its
a much more complex issue.

“Ain’t these things important? “

Sure they are important but Ron but dont those countries we fall behind to also have their government funding education. If so should we ask ourselves what the difference is between the countries. Same thing with health care, why can the French and Canadians do it but we cant? Maybe its time for an attitude adjustment on the part of the people of this country.

Anyway Ron, I need to stop here, Ive got a 10hr. drive to get started on. I figure you will want a piece me for not answering each of these points individually so I try to get back to this tomorrow.


Posted by: j2t2 at February 20, 2008 1:42 PM
Comment #245969

j2t2
I have my own beliefs why education here is falling behind other developed countries and failing our youngins. And some of it has to do with federal funding of education. But not all. But I won’t here. Maybe if someone post a thread on education.
Didn’t mean to miss quote ya though. My bad. Reckon I should have just pulled it down from your comment instead of writing it out myself.
Hope ya have a safe trip.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 21, 2008 12:01 PM
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