Wading in on... HEALTH CARE

@BCRMike (279)
Vanderhoof, British Columbia
April 25, 2010 3:08pm CST
Yup. I'm back. And I am now going to into your never ending health care debate. From a different angle. The complaint is the Obama health plan is going to cost more money. How much is open to debate. But, did you stop and think, that if you had single payer health care, like Canada and the rest of the industrialized world, you wouldn't be paying private for profit health INsurance companies? And you would actually have MORE money in your pockets that you do now? Just cut the hearts out of the INsurance companies, and you save money. Sounds all socialist I know, but really you are part way there now, so what's the difference?
2 people like this
10 responses
@laglen (19783)
• United States
26 Apr 10
Mike, there are a lot of factors involved here. First of all, nobody is saying that nothing should be done. We all agree that there are some issues to address. Now, what we dont agree on, is FORCED purchasing of goods or services, Monopoly of service, paying for something three years before you get anything from it, misrepresentation of facts. How would you feel if they told you, you have to purchase this house, but you dont get to see it, or know how many bedrooms or bathrooms there are until AFTER you sign the contract. Crazy huh? Regarding the single payer, or Universal, there are plenty of countries that offer this, I would pitch in for the plane ticket for who ever wants this. Also, if this is such a good thing, why has our Congress exempted themselves? There are plenty more but hopefully this will give you somewhat of an idea what the complaints are.
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
27 Apr 10
Good point. Why did our Congress exempt themselves from this????
1 person likes this
@laglen (19783)
• United States
27 Apr 10
Good question, why do they exempt themselves from most laws they make?
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
27 Apr 10
Aside from asking why congress exempted themselves which is in itself a valid question... What alternatives did the Republicans offer? NOTHING. They were all about same old same old and saying no and HELL NO! If Obama hadn't tried to reach agreement with them, and turned around and rammed it through months ago, I could see a problem. But he didn't. He tried to compromise.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13926)
• United States
26 Apr 10
Mike, I know you love the government run health care in your country. Now I've heard plenty of horror stories about it in Canada, but for the sake of argument, we'll assume everything is as fantastic for everyone as you say it is. First, the problem doesn't start with the insurance companies, it ends with them. If health care weren't ALREADY overpriced, the insurance companies couldn't function. They set the price of their insurance and their deductibles. Hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies set the price of the actual care your insurance pays for. If surgery didn't cost tens of thousands of dollars, nobody would spend $200 to $2000 a month to have insurance in case they needed that surgery. Now aside from the cost of insurance (which is a result of healthcare costs) the biggest complaint is how often they deny claims. This is a valid complaint. They deny claims a lot. They'll break their own rules,violate state statutes, and give people the runaround doing everything they can to avoid paying a claim. Guess what? the government run health insurance medicare and medicaid in this country do the EXACT SAME THING. In fact they do it more than ANY private insurance in the country. You have this bizarre belief that it will be cheaper because the government is "not-for-profit". That means absolutely nothing. First off, our government is NOT a non-profit. It's not even close. The fact that our politicians are too incompetent to run a government without a massive deficit doesn't mean the government is non-profit. I majored in public administration and non-profit management. In this country, non-profit means you CAN MAKE A PROFIT, only that profit must be reinvested into your organization. The government does NOT have to reinvest any profits. The best example would be one of the only states with a budget surplus, Alaska. Their surplus was distributed as a check of roughly $1300 to every man woman and child in the state. Such a thing is completely illegal for a non-profit organization. Now even if we pretend the government was non-profit. That still doesn't help. Government officials are stupid. They are HORRIBLE with money. Look at the budget of any government agency. Look at the contracts they sign with private businesses. Now if you bought say, 1000 computers, don't you think you'd get a volume discount? Don't you think that the computers would cost you LESS than the average consumer? Not if you work for the government. The government literally pays $3000 for laptops that YOU could buy, individually, for $600 a piece yet they buy them in bulk. I know this for a fact because I've seen both public schools and libraries do it. You might think this were one stupid library system or one not so savvy school district, but I have seen this in multiple Florida counties and in school districts in multiple states. Maybe things really are that good in your country. Maybe we should subcontract our healthcare out to Canada to provide for us. All I know, is that the government here, the one I've lived with my whole life. does NOT know how to run ANYTHING well and they don't care how much money they lose because it's not THEIR money, it's the taxpayers.
1 person likes this
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
27 Apr 10
OH, you said it way better than I did.
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
27 Apr 10
Or maybe, go all in and let government run it all and see how costs are reigned in.
@Taskr36 (13926)
• United States
27 Apr 10
Well Mike our federal government already spends more per capita than any other country in the world. Giving them a blank check when Obama has already quadrupled Bush's record deficits will NOT make things better. Every business our government has run is broke and becomes a money sink. The simplest way too look at it is to see how the current government run healthcare is working. Medicare and Medicaid are broke and many doctors won't accept it. On top of that is has a higher rate of denied treatment than private insurance.
@dawnald (84157)
• Shingle Springs, California
27 Apr 10
Well I'd be out of a job, for one thing. But I'm in favor of single payer insurance. Looks like the insurance companies won most points in this battle though.
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
28 Apr 10
What do you do? Sell insurance?
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84157)
• Shingle Springs, California
28 Apr 10
Nope, I work for a large health insurance company, in their IT department working on systems enhancements to their billing and broker commissions systems.
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
29 Apr 10
Then wouldn't your services be valuable in Life?
1 person likes this
@eidoj31 (23)
• United States
26 Apr 10
I agree with you that insurance companies are the heart of the money problem when it comes to healthcare. They get to decide how much they will pay and what procedures that you can have. If the insurance company deems it unnecessary, then it doesn't matter what your health is, they will not pay for it. Insurance companies get to decide how long it will take you to heal, and do not have to pay if it takes longer than the allowed time. Healthcare insurance is a huge rip off, but one that we can't afford to be without.
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
26 Apr 10
Absolutely. You have nailed it. So, the TEA Party people want you do die because you can't afford health insurance. Nice eh?
• United States
26 Apr 10
and the dem.s want to fine you if you can't afford it. They are both wrong and should be listening to some of the financial advisers out there who have better plans then either side.
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
27 Apr 10
Then you fight the fines in court by producing you tax returns, proving you don't have money. But then, you will be able to get on public assistance then won't you.
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
27 Apr 10
So let me approach it from this way. We do need an Insurance overhaul, though if you have a job as good as I did (Focus on the Family), I paid nothing and was fully covered as was my whole family. Again, this country does need Insurance overhaul. But there are some great insurance companies in our country. Enough said about that. About the Obama Care plan, the USA was not set up from the beginning that Federal, Federal, Federal (did I say Federal) government could force us to BUY such a thing as health care from them. And it will cost most of us. Plus the IRS in charge? The IRS???? Come on now. I lived in Australia and Holland for a long time. So I know a little about government health care. And I did say "a little." Also, I believe Massachusetts' health care model is something we can believe in. I'll have to research that a little more. And even though he keeps saying that abortion will not be funded Obama keeps finding ways around it so that it is. The language he uses is very tricky. The world has told us for years, "USA keep your hands and your opinions out of our country." Well . . . hallllloooo! Again, yes to laying down some rules for private insurance.
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
27 Apr 10
You don't have to use the Canadian model when talking government run health plans. There are many more countries that have them. And they are supposed to be even better that ours. But you country is broken and you (as a whole) seem to think government cannot be trusted and insurance companies which have been sticking it to the people of the US for so long, are okay. Insanity they say, is doing the same thing, over and over, hoping for a different result each time. You have to do something different.
1 person likes this
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
27 Apr 10
Naha, I didn't say that. I said we need government to overhaul private insurance. We definitely need insurance companies to be "policed." And yes, we don't trust government. Anything Obama has promised so far will not unbreak us. Bottom line though, Mike . . . the whole world is broken.
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
28 Apr 10
Government overhaul? Police insurance companies? That will be tough. World is broken is a nice way of putting it. Greed and lust for obscene profiteering is perhaps a different way of saying it.
@sierras236 (2740)
• United States
26 Apr 10
Before I get into the debate over whether it will cost Americans more or less, consider this. Those private insurance companies have employees. Employees who process paperwork, deal with the claims, and so on. If those private insurance companies go out of business that is bad news for the unemployment rate which is already hovering around 10%. How is the middle working class that does pay taxes pay for the new subsidies for those out of work citizens? Especially since, the selling of health insurance isn't exactly a transferable skill. Sure the government will hire some but the deficit will still be on the side of the unemployed. You actually won't have more money in your pocket. Why? A couple of reasons. 1. Instead of a split with the company, you will be paying all of your health care costs. Companies are going to ditch paying any type of health insurance as fast as they possibly can. It will cost them less to do so. Isn't it all about the bottom line? 2. The mandate to purchase health insurance. The math here is simple. People who haven't been paying into either the government or private insurance companies will now have to pay. This will automatically decrease the amount of available funds that they have. In theory, this will supposedly lower the costs for everybody. In reality, those costs savings will be offset by the increased demand on the system with a lot less supply of services. (Increased demand, lower supplies equals increased prices. Fundamental law of Economics) 3. Increased taxes to pay for subsidies. Yeah, I know the President promised. Sorry, the new health care bill has already started collecting those. 4. The added taxes on health care supplies and equipment. An automatic increase on the consumer. (Companies always pass new taxes onto the consumer.) 5. The denied claims. Medicaid has one of the highest denied claim percentages. Those who think the government will pay for every little thing are denying themselves or haven't actually looked into single-payer. 6. Borrowed debt. This doesn't seem like it ties into health care but when the government is borrowing money to cover the people on Medicare and you start adding interest it translates to a higher default that has to be paid off. This comes in the form of more taxes. (Oh no, the tax payers are getting slammed again.) Of course, these are a few minor flaws of the single payer system but don't let that stop you from suffering from the misguided facts that it might cost you less out of pocket under the single payer system. Oh and one more thing, WE AREN'T EUROPE. 3.
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
26 Apr 10
Well, I will address your concerns. Your employees who deny claims, er, fill out paperwork can find other jobs within the life insurance world, or find jobs in the REAL world. There would be no change in unemployment numbers. They would at best be a blip on the radar. Company covered insurance, is more affordable for the companies too. So in reality, they might be able to afford to hire more American workers. Shift the burden of the workers for FOR PROFIT health care and they will be pay government for health care instead. Government is cheaper because government is NOT FOR PROFIT. Increased taxes versus outrageous premiums??? You bet the private companies pass it onto the consumer. But medical supply companies, will be able to compete better because they are given access to a larger market. No denied claims under government run health care. I know. I live in Canada where it's been in place for 50 years or more. Pay the government insurance or pay the insurance companies and get taxed for medicare. Hmmmm. Which do you pay more of? Oh, one one more things, YOU MORONS SURE AREN'T IN EUROPE OR YOU WOULD BE ENJOYING PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE FOR FREE!!! The percentage for GDP is available online. We in the rest of the industrialized world are paying way less and living longer. What does that tell you?
• United States
26 Apr 10
Ok I have to say to our Canadian friend there are some issues with your reasoning here. For on thing Government is for Profit. Just look at how much money is handed around under the table and you begin to realize the Mob is honest compared to these folks. As for no denied claims that's great for you ( you've been lucky as I know other Canadians who have been turned down)but this bill makes it very easy for them to decline claims as they do now with almost 60% of the ones they get. As for the Europeans having "Free" insurance many of those nations pay close to 80% of their earnings into taxes to have "free" social benefits. We Americans pay less then 30% in most cases so even with paying premiums we pay less then them. Now many employers will not hire new people when they "pay less" because they will pocket that money. Not to mention this will help to sink many, many small businesses who do not offer health care because they are not big enough to afford it and the fines will bury them too. This has already begun to happen putting many out of work and into the system.
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
27 Apr 10
Lady, you know from nothing about Canada. Everything you've heard is anecdotal and sponsored by insurance companies. It's time you gave you head a shake and woke up from this delusion you are having.
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
25 Apr 10
One of the problems here, Mike, is that a lot of folks have employer provided insurance coverage that costs them little or nothing in monthly premiums and they have small copays or prescription costs. So, they don't really appreciate what the rest of the country faces in this area. They benefit from group plan rates which aren't even close to the rates individuals are forced to pay or the outrageous deductables they're forced to meet. And, if they don't personally know anyone who has a pre-existing condition and has been denied coverage, it's a concept instead of a hard fact of life for so many. The insurance companies have been riding high for decades, reaping obscene profits while too many Ameircans die from treatable ilnesses and disease. It's time that something was done about this problem.
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
26 Apr 10
We have employer sponsored insurance too. The only thing is, that employers pay less. If employers paid what OUR employers pay, we think that they could afford to hire more people. It seems that the whole conversation is about what's it going to cost "ME"? Single payer cuts out insurance companies only. Everyone has insurance, and company provided coverage is cheaper while delivering more choice for doctors. How can this be bad???
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
26 Apr 10
We too have employer paid coverage too. The employers can better afford the coverage too. And it is the same plan for everyone. No deductibles, no ceilings, no limits. Even prescriptions can be fiddled with to allow something not first line with the special authorization form. The insurance companies are to blame for your bad medical coverage. They need to be stopped from the rape of the US citizen.
• United States
29 Apr 10
Why would we want to copy Canada and Europe when their systems, from things I've read, aren't doing that well? Also, why is it that so many people these days talk as though making a profit is a horrible thing and companies should be ashamed of themselves? What business, including insurance companies, stay in business without making a profit? How would employees get paid if their employers didn't make a profit? There's more to the insurance industry than just charging hefty premiums and either having your claim paid or denied.
@BCRMike (279)
• Vanderhoof, British Columbia
29 Apr 10
Government has an obligation to provide an infrastructure in which businesses can thrive. Highways as an example. Owned by the public for all. People, are a part of that infrastructure. Keeping people healthy promotes a stable supply of that resource. Profiteering by one sector, that takes away from all others, needs to be taken away. Health of the population is part of that. The health INsurance companies have to go.
@bestboy19 (5482)
• United States
26 Apr 10
"...if you had single payer health care, like Canada and the rest of the industrialized world, you wouldn't be paying private for profit health Insurance companies? And you would actually have MORE money in your pockets that you do now?" Who is this, "single Payer," you're talking about, the federal government? Where is it going to get the money? If the government is true to form, that money you say will be in our pocket because we,"cut the hearts out of the insurance companies," will soon be the government's pocket. And the great medical service those of us who had private insurance were getting will be gone. http://spectator.org/blog/2010/04/23/chief-hhs-actuary-finds-obamac http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/04/government-releases-new-numbers-on-obamacare-showing-costs-will-skyrocket/ http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/businesses-react-to-rising-cost-of-obamacare-they%27re-cutting-benefits-450638.html?tickers=mdt,cat,vz,xlv,ixj,%5Edji,%5Egspc&sec=topStories&pos=2&asset=&ccode= I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want to be slave to Washington.
• United States
26 Apr 10
The difference is that in many of the other countries such as in the Nordic Union their system is a good one where one does not mind paying the taxes and having good health care. The bill that was put forward here in America is not a good one and will cost many in the long run more then their private insurance cost. The system has no safe guards against abuse, and by it's own accounts will leave more middle class (our largest class of people) with out insurance and paying fees and fines by the time it is all in effect. There Would be opposition no matter what, but I believe there wouldn't be so much (from all sides) if it was at least a good plan.