The new Health Bill in the US - what are the pros and cons?

@vandana7 (98615)
India
March 23, 2010 8:18am CST
I am interested in this because something like this is needed in India as well. So let us discuss it. Those who have any points against it are also welcome as we might collectively find a way out. We Indians might then be able to use the modified format with fewer drawbacks.
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8 responses
@speakeasy (4171)
• United States
23 Mar 10
The current health care reform bill is a disaster and I hope India does not try to copy it. 2/3 of the American people were against it in it's current form. Insurance companies, doctors and hospitals, and AARP (improved Medicare prescription benefits were included to get their support) are the ones who are for it because they plan to benefit themselves from it! A far simpler and better plan would have been to expand our Medicare program so it covers everyone. Medicare is paid for in a couple of ways. One is a tax that every working person pays. The second way is a monthly premium that people pay for Medicare Part B and C. Medicare Part A - is for hospitalizations and nursing home care. There is no cost to the people who are eligible for it. Medicare Part B - is for outpatient care and people pay a monthly premium which is the same for everyone who has it. Medicare Part C - is prescription coverage. Once again people pay a small premium for this. People who are poor can get Part B & C at a reduced rate or free depending on their income. People who want better coverage can buy additional coverage through private insurance companies. Medicare is already in place and expanding it would not be difficult. Doctors and hospitals are already familiar with the system. Insurance companies would not be able to charge as much though because they would only be insuring people for the things the Medicare system does not cover
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@speakeasy (4171)
• United States
24 Mar 10
Medicare is not the only health system that is "corrupt"; but, most of the corruption is with doctors, hospitals, and providers of "medical equipment" who are overbilling Medicare or falsely billing Medicare for things that were not provided. The same is true of the Medicaid system and health insurance companies. Many insurance companies ask their insureds to check all EOB's (Explanation of Benefit) to make sure that the medical providers are providing the services the insurance company is being billed for. Many of them will even pay a percentage of the false charge back to the insured who turns in these false claims (though most people don't know that). I would like to point out that the primary supporters of the new healthcare reform law are the same group of people that have been "corrupting" Medicare - doctors, hospitals, and providers of "medical equipment". It is easier to "overhaul" a single program than the mixed up mess that Congress and the special interest groups slapped together and are calling "healthcare reform".
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• United States
24 Mar 10
Unfortunately the Medicare system is corrupt. There is misuse and too many people using the system that are not kept in check. Also financially money isn't used well at all. Really it should have had a financial over haul then an expansion.
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@vandana7 (98615)
• India
24 Mar 10
I think it is so unfair to let medical insurance companies get away! :( There should be a comprehensive policy under which all ailments should be covered, and insurance company should only be able to increase or decrease its premium by a predefined fraction for every condition that the insurance purchaser fails to meet. That would be a good incentive to people for taking care of their health. As to corruption, isn't it all white money? Which means, all of it is taxed? So are we looking at the net amount? What I mean to say is - person has a Medicare A = bill is $500. The doctor pays some taxes, the medical equipment manufacturer pays his taxes, and so on. Net effect - is it the same as stating the amount truthfully? :) Is medicaid different from medicare?
@jb78000 (15139)
23 Mar 10
you're being brave asking this in here vandana. i'm in a country that has had an nhs for ages. while it's not perfect i doubt very much anyone would want to scrap it. i think one of the main pitfalls to look out for is too much being spent on unnecessary admin faffing around rather than going where it should go.
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@jb78000 (15139)
23 Mar 10
not had any problems with it myself but i know they exist. on the other hand i was not impressed with the systems in countries where if you didn't have insurance you didn't get more than very basic treatment, if you were lucky. one of these was in the americas although not the states it appeared to be the same system they at least used to have. maybe with less aid for the poorer citizens.
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@jb78000 (15139)
23 Mar 10
i don't think it is resented because just about everybody uses it.
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@vandana7 (98615)
• India
23 Mar 10
Hi bunny, long time no see. :) Where have you been? :) Ok so you all have NHS. But it is a drain on the government, isn't it? No returns! Do taxpayers resent it? Do you think people tend to be a bit more complacent since the government would pick up the tab? Are there any major loopholes? Out here, except government employees, rest of us have to buy medical insurances. There is a lot of haggling when the amount is to be paid. :( The rich can afford it anyway, the poor get from the government. We the ordinary people have no choice but to hope we dont get sick, and if we do, it should wipe us off in no time. :)
@dawnald (85129)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Mar 10
See response #3. lol
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@vandana7 (98615)
• India
23 Mar 10
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
23 Mar 10
Personally I am for it. The most valuable resource a country has, lies in the people who populate it. Many countries have healthcare coverage for their citizens. Opponents criticize these plans, citing those who seek medical care in other countries for whatever reason. Here in the U.S., without universal coverage, there are still thousands who seek treatment in other countries. To formulate a reasonable plan, I would think that studying plans already in existence would be valuable in seeing what works, and what doesn't.
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@vandana7 (98615)
• India
23 Mar 10
Exactly, we dont want to be making the same mistakes as other countries, and we should be adopting what worked in other countries. Then and only then we can put up a demand and ask our government to come up with something like that. But first we do need to understand your policy, understand pros and cons, and try to examine its feasibility in our country. Universal coversage should be there - after all people are paying taxes.
• United States
23 Mar 10
This bill does not ensure people will have health care it insures that those who are not offered health care through work or cannot afford health insurance will be penalized for it. It increases taxes to all the forms of health care that charge the public, which means that they will in turn charge the public to cover the cost. Stated the companies will have a 40% increase, only those who do not know how business works won't be able to see that this will hurt the public. The bill will insure that people illegally in our country will be able to get health care through our government (I have no issue with immigrants who come legally by the way just those who are not legal). The cost of this bill is astronomical and for a nation in a recession idiotic to tack on to a failing government budget of any kind. Not to mention hidden in the bill where smaller unknown sills, laws etc. that the public (and some of the congress) where unaware of. Bills that make financial aid for those who need it to go to college more difficult and a few that in truth I an not really sure what they mean which in it's self is a scary thought. The health reform is based off of some other nations' health systems but not off of the countries who seem to have perfected or nearly perfected their systems no it is based off of a few countries that not only have issues with their health care but whose people would come here to America to get surgeries and what not here. By the way you do have a set to post something like this kudos to you!
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Mar 10
If you would like to look into it more the Norwegians seem to have a very good system. My husband was looking at jobs over there and not only did it seem to work on paper and make sense but everyone we did speak to (not tons of but a good amount of people) was happy with what they had. Coming from the States where that rarely if ever happens I found it very impressive. Unfortunately our politicians did not base off of their system. I also have another complaint about this bill in the USA that ties into what you said. We all know here that the Medicaid system needs a financial over haul something that to me and many others should be done first, but these politicians do not have it scheduled to be even looked into until 2015, they plan to wait 5 years to even try to fix one of the worst problems with our public health care we have now! Ahhhhhh...lol very aggravating.
@vandana7 (98615)
• India
24 Mar 10
Hi Opinionated Lady, I am always interested in what happens in other countries. We could take a few hints you know. :) Ok - in principle you are saying it would tax those who cannot afford it will be taxed! Is that it? Shouldnt the government be bringing everybody on par before implementing such a rule? Like taxing that perk given through work? And then going on to offer rebates to those who take such insurance. :) Health is a big issue my friend. As we get older, medical bills loom large, and no amount of planning seems to be enough. So I would like our government to come up with something that would help us as well. Just what our government should be doing is what we have to learn from others experience. Today this discussion is here. You all are opining. After implementation, if it doesnt succeed, your opinion would definitely be vindicated. I cant say whether it is right or wrong policy. That - only time can tell. But I can say - health for everybody is the right direction for sure. Taking away that much money from economy for non productive purposes does alarm me. But who can say? It might just be a great reform. :) Hoping all the best to you my friend. :) Yeah - I do have guts. :) When our government churns out something like this - I should be able to criticise or advocate it based on experiences of you all. :)
@umadper (947)
• India
23 Mar 10
hi,vandana,i strongly support health bill and i too want to implement the health policy in India also.Like in western countries,i wish that Government should concentrate On HEALTH,PRIMERY EDUCATION...LEADS TO HEALTHY SOCIETY.Happy mylotting.
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@vandana7 (98615)
• India
23 Mar 10
Hi umadper, as of now I dont think Indian government can afford to do that! That is because India has such a large population! Unless the numbers go down reasonably this would remain an area where the government would not come for middle class families. :( At the most, government might stipulate that insurance companies are bound to renew medical insurance policies at stipulated rates. :( That wont be much help. The moment it is done, doctors will hike their fees. :(
• India
31 May 10
Our govt follows many things of the west blindly without considering if it will suit us or not, America is America and India is India.. I have not read in details about this bill, just heard from a professor friend.. Sorry for late response.. Thanks for sharing. Welcome always. Cheers. Prof
• United States
23 Mar 10
I believe that the biggest pro is the fact that now no one will be denied health care due to lack of insurance because everyone now has insurance, and so far I have not found any cons.
@vandana7 (98615)
• India
23 Mar 10
We need it so badly. Out here - the rich can definitely afford to go to good private hospitals, and take medical insurances. They can even fly abroad. The really poor get their expenses reimbursed completely by the government. The bourgeois however has to plan and struggle. We could do with some help from government but the size of our population is so huge, that Indian government would go bankrupt within a month if it has to be kind. If criteria would be defined, then people would use wrong means to get the monies. So I would definitely like to see some program succeeding. :)