12
   

here's hoping health care reform fails

 
 
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 08:36 am
I am totally against current health care reform mainly because I'd like to see real health care reform and the current proposals don't address health care reform. I blame the democrats equally as much as the republicans.
 
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 09:32 am
@dyslexia,
Most of it was written by insurance company lobbyists and the Republicans are corporate whores while the Democrats are dorky wimps. No one wins.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 09:39 am
I can't believe that neither party can come up with a simple plan to regulate
health care. Other nations can do it, so there is no reinventing the wheel, just
look how others do it and apply.

I also hope the health care reform fails - at least as it is standing now!
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 09:44 am
@CalamityJane,
It should be simple. Give every American citizen exactly the same healthcare every US politician has: Guaranteed coverage backed by the American people.
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 09:54 am
@Green Witch,
I should be simple, but it's not for one primary reason. Who is going to pay for it? It won't be any more expensive that what it is now and could be significantly cheaper, but right now private businesses and individuals pay all the fees directly. Under what you propose, the government has to get all that money so that it can pay. The way to do that would be to increase taxes on individuals to the same overall extent as the benefit they achieve and to impose a head tax on businesses equivalent to what they pay now. Both of those numbers are straight forward and well known quantities. You could easily make some adjustments so that low income workers and very small businesses pay less than their more wealthy and larger compatriots. It's all very straight forward until you hit reality. Americans have lost the connection between taxes and benefits. We somehow believe that we can pay lower taxes and still get benefits, that we can go to war and not pay anything to support it. As long as that is in place, healthcare is hard and we have to take small steps if we want progress. Given that reality, the current proposal is better than failure and failure now basically means failure for decades to come, so here's hoping for success.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 10:11 am
Last night's 60 Minutes report on health care was sobering:

Quote:
While all Americans will eventually die, CBS's 60 Minutes reports, it may turn some heads to find out how much the government will spend when it happens -- in 2008, about $50 billion in the last two months of life.(Equal to the budget for the Dept. of Homeland Security)


"You might think this would be an obvious thing for Congress and the president to address as they try to reform health care. But what used to be a bipartisan issue has become a politically explosive one - a perfect example of the costs that threaten to bankrupt the country and how hard it's going to be to rein them in."

Dartmouth researcher Elliot Fisher explains how as many as one-fifth of Americans end up dying costly deaths in intensive care units, saying "It's the path of least resistance." The report explains, "Fisher says it is more efficient for doctors to manage patients who are seriously ill in a hospital situation, and there are other incentives that affect the cost and the care patients receive. Among them: the fact that most doctors get paid based on the number of patients that they see, and most hospitals get paid for the patients they admit"


They added that of all the countries where the govt pays for medical care, we're the only one where there are no budget constraints. The danger of bankruptcy is very real.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  3  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 10:24 am
@engineer,
People have to pay a healthcare tax instead of paying their money to private insurance companies. If Americans put the money they are now paying to health insurance companies into a public plan we would all be covered. A large part of the reason insurance costs are so high is because people who are buying insurance are being billed for people who need care and cannot afford to pay for it. Hospitals and doctors have to make up the difference somewhere and insurance purchasers get the bill. Insurance companies are behind the staggering premiums doctor's pay for malpractice - not the patients.

I'm a good example of the problem engineer. For my husband and I to have insurance (we are self employed, small business owners) it would cost us about $12,000 a year for basic coverage. In addition, we would have to purchase a special disability insurance that covers our premium bills in case we get sick and cannot run our business. A common problem of small business owners is that if they are sick and can't work they might miss a premium payment and thus lose their health insurance. Insurance companies love this excuse to get out of paying for serious illness treatments. That disability insurance is another $4,000. So our cost to have insurance is $16,000 per year. In France, the average small business individual pays $3,600 a year in taxes for guaranteed coverage. My husband and I could each manage to pay another $3,600 in taxes to have health insurance. There are many small business people like us who could be paying into a public system, but we don't even have the option. I would at least like the option.


JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 10:49 am
@dyslexia,
I too would like to see real health care reform. I agree that what we're talking about isn't it and it only scratches the surface of dealing with the uninsured, underinsured, and the sky-rocketing cost of health care.

On the other hand, we'll never see real health care reform in this country until the next generation of workers is paying for the health needs of the retired boomers. We don't have it in us to make hard decisions. The generation coming up behind us, who for the most part have never gone without, will not be so hard pressed to pull a plug here and there (or everywhere).
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 12:20 pm
@Green Witch,
I'm completely with you, but a significant portion of the American population is not for paying any "healthcare tax" even if it is exactly equivalent to the amount they pay now for copays and employee contributions.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 12:24 pm
@engineer,
I can't say I have a lot of hope either. You would think telling people they would not have to worry about going bankrupt from medical bills and their loved ones would always have access to decent care without needing the approval of a flunky from an insurance company would make sense to everyone, but alas, they just don't get it. We are our own worst enemy.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 03:39 pm
@dyslexia,
I completely agree.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 03:48 pm
@dyslexia,
My brother, who works in health care, agrees with you completely. He believes that only a single payer system will address our health care problem, and that the current tinkering falls too fall short to do any good.

He thinks the proposed bill will cover up the problem, allowing it to get even worse.

If you let the present system collapse (without a bandaide) then we can fix it for real.

I am ambivalent about this line of reasoning... I would like to think that moving in the right direction is a good start...
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 03:53 pm
@ebrown p,
Yes. It not only falls short, the actual workings are going to be incredibly complex.

I one time devoted days in straighting out an issue with the state's (NM) department of labor. The whole damn dollar amount was under $15.00. We didn't need the money, time involved was worth hundreds, and we did not have the option of ignoring it.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 03:54 pm
Let me bring up the big taboo at the center of any rational health care discussion.

The problem is rising health care costs-- and it is a fact that there is a limit to the amount our country can spend on health care.

The only answer is health care rationing.

Currently we are rationing (using cost, and insurance company profits as the decision process). A good deal of the cost we are paying for health care is getting around the fact that someone has to decide whether to spend millions of dollars keeping someone alive for a few more months.

We need to have a real national discussion about balancing health care and costs-- this means deciding at what point we stop paying exorbitant amounts of money denying the fact that we are all going to die anyway.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 03:54 pm
@ebrown p,
Sometimes if you let the house burn down, you don't get a new shiny house rebuilt from the ground up, you just get a lot with a burnt house in it.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 04:04 pm
@engineer,
Well, you do have to pay for the new house. You just want make sure you get what you paid for.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 04:10 pm
@ebrown p,
What he said.
0 Replies
 
rabel22
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 08:37 pm
I would like to know what the 12,000 dollars a year my wife and I pay for health care is if not a tax of one kind or another? Between medicare and private coverage thats what we pay per year. If everyone paid 6 grand a year I'll bet we could have real health care. But you are all right when you say that the whole healthcare system needs to be revamped. Lots of luck makeing that happen.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 09:32 pm
@rabel22,
Just what kind of private coverage do you have?
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 09:58 pm
I don't know. At this point I'm thinking that just about anything -- anything -- would be an improvement on what the situation is right now. Universal health care seems like such a no-brainer, it's mind-boggling that there's even a controversy about it.
0 Replies
 
 

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