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Ron in Portland
11-01-2009, 12:48 PM
Okay, I didn't want to hijack the thread started by Signgirl (which I felt had some very clear and insightful comments from her) so I'm starting a new one. She raised some very interesting points (that seemed to get buried by everyone's debate over who put us in the mess we're in). I also agree with what she said about the people that are commenting on this site. Your minds are pretty well made up and you're not going to convince many people to see the other side clearly.

That said, I would like to hear what Canadians think about their health care system, and why. With a starting point of Signgirls comments:

"...a National Healthcare system on the verge of bankruptcy where 12 hour Emergency room waits aren't abnormal and 18 month waits for scarce Medical Specialists aren't either.
A huge percentage of Canadians do not have a family Physician and many rural areas have no M.D.s. At least 4 small Community hospitals in my area have been legislated to close their E.R.s and emergencies are being sent up to 40 miles away."

Is this her perception only? What is the general opinion, in Canada, of your Health Care system? (since I have little doubt confidence that our Government will be able to create anything other than a system that will grow exponentially large while being ineffectual at the same time). What are your personal experiences with the system? Are some areas of the country better than others?

Your thoughts?

zeus3925
11-01-2009, 10:16 PM
It seems like there is a temptation to cite Canada's or Britain's experience in the health care debate. The jist of it is that any reform here is going to have rationing just like you have in Canada and Britain.

Britain addressed the rationing several years ago. It is no longer an issue there. There are other health care systems out there that work better than the one we have--most notably France's.

A reform of our health care system does not mean the rationing will follow as an inevitable consequence.

Ron in Portland
11-01-2009, 11:56 PM
That's the thing. I ofter hear Canada cited as "see, they have it and it works" and I guess I question the veracity of that and would be interested if those in Canada feel it works.

As for France's health care system, what makes it workable? The question I would ask (not knowing much about their system), is does it work because it's good, or does it need to be integrated with the rest of their system (which I would question).

M&K's Retrievers
11-02-2009, 12:37 AM
.

The jist of it is that any reform here is going to have rationing just like you have in Canada and Britain. Britain addressed the rationing several years ago. It is no longer an issue there. There are other health care systems out there that work better than the one we have--most notably France's.



A reform of our health care system does not mean the rationing will follow as an inevitable consequence.

I suggest you consider rationing your savings.

code3retrievers
11-02-2009, 01:50 AM
It seems like there is a temption to cite Canada's or Britain's experience in the health care debate.

The jist of it is that any reform here is going to have rationing just like you have in Canada and Britain. Britain addressed the rationing several years ago. It is no longer an issue there. There are other health care systems out there that work better than the one we have--most notably France's.

A reform of our health care system does not mean the rationing will follow as an inevitable consequence.


The problem is, that our government has never run a successful program that is not full of fraud, waste and did not cost more than advertised.

dnf777
11-02-2009, 05:36 AM
The problem is, that our government has never run a successful program that is not full of fraud, waste and did not cost more than advertised.

In that case, are you suggesting we scrap our government run defense system, and give it all over to private, for-profit security companies, like Blackwater, in order to reduce fraud and waste?

YardleyLabs
11-02-2009, 08:04 AM
Both England and Canada opted to created nationally run health systems where clinics and doctors are operated directly by the government. Based on health outcomes, both seem to do a better job at maintaining the health of their populations than we do with our health systems. However, the proposals on the table for the US are very different and are based on our own traditions of health care. Under the proposals here, what has actually been proposed is an extension of our existing health insurance system with no real change in our systems for delivering care. In our current systems we have rationing. This shows up in waiting times for certain types of specialists and it also shows up when insurance companies deny reimbursement based on a mix of technicalities and cost containment measures. More importantly, it shows up when over 30 million citizens (ignoring the non-citizens) are unable to receive care because they lack insurance. If those 30 million people receive insurance, either because of government subsidies, or because some generous person decides to pay premiums for them, there will be some increase in demand for care. over time, health care providers will adjust. There will be some reduction in services that are not very necessary, and there will be some increases in the number of providers. In exchange, 30 million working people will receive care that is essential. I believe that's a trade-off that fits well with our traditions as a country.

M&K's Retrievers
11-02-2009, 08:48 AM
[QUOTE=YardleyLabs;519837] More importantly, it shows up when over 30 million citizens (ignoring the non-citizens) are unable to receive care because they lack insurance. If those 30 million people receive insurance, either because of government subsidies, or because some generous person decides to pay premiums for them, there will be some increase in demand for care. over time, health care providers will adjust. QUOTE]

I believe about 50% of the uninsured are so because they don't want to buy it not because they are uninsurable. I also believe that we should provide for those who cannot get insurance do to eithor medical conditions or poverty. Having said that, none of these 30 million can be denied treatment in this country so I wish folks would stop portraying them as at the mercy of the insurance company villians. It doesn't make sense to "fix" a system that works for 85% of the country to appease 15%. Fix the 15%. I'm not saying the 85% doesn't require some tweeking but not 2000 pages of government intervention.

zeus3925
11-02-2009, 09:57 AM
As for France's health care system, what makes it workable? The question I would ask (not knowing much about their system), is does it work because it's good, or does it need to be integrated with the rest of their system (which I would question).

Here you go, Ron.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9994.php

It isn't perfect but it is considered by most measures to be the best. When I visited France 2 years ago, French citizens I spoke were enthusiastic about their health care system.

YardleyLabs
11-02-2009, 10:06 AM
[quote=YardleyLabs;519837] More importantly, it shows up when over 30 million citizens (ignoring the non-citizens) are unable to receive care because they lack insurance. If those 30 million people receive insurance, either because of government subsidies, or because some generous person decides to pay premiums for them, there will be some increase in demand for care. over time, health care providers will adjust. [quote]

I believe about 50% of the uninsured are so because they don't want to buy it not because they are uninsurable. I also believe that we should provide for those who cannot get insurance do to eithor medical conditions or poverty. Having said that, none of these 30 million can be denied treatment in this country so I wish folks would stop portraying them as at the mercy of the insurance company villians. It doesn't make sense to "fix" a system that works for 85% of the country to appease 15%. Fix the 15%. I'm not saying the 85% doesn't require some tweeking but not 2000 pages of government intervention.Actually, "want" may be a little strong. If you are a single parent household working two jobs for 60 hours per week at $10/hour, your monthly earnings will average $30,000 per year. Taxes will consume $3-4000 of that and rent another $12,000. Health insurance premiums would be another $12,000, leaving about $80-100 per week for all other expenses including food for four. You would not qualify for any form of governmental assistance. The reality is that people in this position skimp on health insurance by being underinsured and uninsured, and then they hope for the best. While they cannot be denied care urgently needed to preserve their lives, they are not required to be provided any other form of care. Radiation or chemo treatment of cancer, for example, would fall into the category of things that they would not qualify to receive (which doesn't mean that some health care providers wouldn't provide treatment anyway.). In fact, what they tend to not receive is preventative care. As a consequence they become ill more often and their illnesses are more serious when first treated. It is generally estimated that 20-40,000 people per year die as a consequence of not having health insurance.

EDIT: Sources

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/09/18/deaths.health.insurance/index.html

http://www.nchc.org/facts/coverage.shtml

http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2003/A-Shared-Destiny-Community-Effects-of-Uninsurance/Uninsured4final.ashx (http://www.iom.edu/%7E/media/Files/Report%20Files/2003/A-Shared-Destiny-Community-Effects-of-Uninsurance/Uninsured4final.ashx)

Matt McKenzie
11-02-2009, 10:12 AM
Here you go, Ron.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9994.php

It isn't perfect but it is considered by most measures to be the best. When I visited France 2 years ago, French citizens I spoke were enthusiastic about their health care system.

Are they enthusiastic about the tax rate? Would you be enthusiastic about Americans being taxed at the French rate?

ErinsEdge
11-02-2009, 10:31 AM
The reality is that people in this position skimp on health insurance by being underinsured and uninsured, and then they hope for the best. While they cannot be denied care urgently needed to preserve their lives, they are not required to be provided any other form of care. Radiation or chemo treatment of cancer, for example, would fall into the category of things that they would not qualify to receive (which doesn't mean that some health care providers wouldn't provide treatment anyway.). In fact, what they tend to not receive is preventative care. As a consequence they become ill more often and their illnesses are more serious when first treated. It is generally estimated that 20-40,000 people per year die as a consequence of not having health insurance.
No, this is the reality. Many people will not pay one cent for health insurance and will not get it even if it is forced on them. Good luck at fining them. I know people like this that are self employed. I have even directed them to places that give almost free care and they won't do it. However, in the old days when they had cheap insurance through work they were at the Dr all the time. I also hear about how in Canada the Doctors care about you and have wellness programs and they don't in the US. That is poppycock. If you go to a doctor he is going to harp on you to eat well, don't smoke, loose weight and exercise but they can't make people do it. I have even heard people advocating wellness programs stand there and could lose 70 pounds. It's about responibility. The only health program that will really work is when each person has to take responsibility of where money is spent and that's why it would be better to give people a HSA and let them spend it and take responsibility than a handout.

dnf777
11-02-2009, 10:59 AM
I believe about 50% of the uninsured are so because they don't want to buy it not because they are uninsurable.

That may be very true. As a gainfully employed, insured citizen, my selfish concerns are now past the uninsured, and focus on the 50% of medical-expense-related bankruptcies that occur in this country. How is that?? (roughly 60% of all bankruptcies are medical related, and of those, HALF are with folks who HAVE insurance)

subroc
11-02-2009, 11:48 AM
...If those 30 million people receive insurance, either because of government subsidies, or because some generous person decides to pay premiums for them...

I believe it is the same thing.

zeus3925
11-02-2009, 12:04 PM
Are they enthusiastic about the tax rate? Would you be enthusiastic about Americans being taxed at the French rate?
A lot of this comes out in the wash. Expenses out of pocket for health care premiums vs. taxes for health care.

Gerry Clinchy
11-02-2009, 01:01 PM
If you are a single parent household working two jobs for 60 hours per week at $10/hour, your monthly earnings will average $30,000 per year. Taxes will consume $3-4000 of that and rent another $12,000. Health insurance premiums would be another $12,000, leaving about $80-100 per week for all other expenses including food for four. You would not qualify for any form of governmental assistance. The reality is that people in this position skimp on health insurance by being underinsured and uninsured, and then they hope for the best. While they cannot be denied care urgently needed to preserve their lives, they are not required to be provided any other form of care. Radiation or chemo treatment of cancer, for example, would fall into the category of things that they would not qualify to receive (which doesn't mean that some health care providers wouldn't provide treatment anyway.). In fact, what they tend to not receive is preventative care. As a consequence they become ill more often and their illnesses are more serious when first treated. It is generally estimated that 20-40,000 people per year die as a consequence of not having health insurance.

Family of four: Since this is a single-parent household, that means there are 3 kids?

However, tax wise, if someone earned $30,000 and paid $12,000/year for health insurance, they would deduct part of the $12,000 on their income tax return (about $11,100 ... the amount of 7.5% of gross income). However, here in PA, they'd still be paying State Income Tax and Local 1% income tax, neither of which allow any "deductions", which comes to 4.09% ($1227). However, with 3 kids at this income level they might qualify for some tax reduction at the state level. I'm not sure exactly how that works. And they couldn't get away with not paying SS/MC: about $2,175.

However, there are some programs for providing insurance for the children in mid-income households.

That said ... why not fix this particular problem with an expansion of Medicaid, a program already in place. Except that a lot of people who qualify don't apply for Medicaid, we are told, due to the cumbersome process for doing so. Fix that.

However, back to the thread ... what do people who actually have a govt program for health care think of it? I do believe that having a public option is a step toward the govt providing the whole magilla.

I don't think that it is a fair comparison to compare health care to defense. The Constitution does specify that defense is a duty of the Federal govt. And there are definitely times when the Defense Dept falsl prey to the same problems as the rest of govt-run programs ... the oft-cited $600 toilet seats and $200 hammers.

YardleyLabs
11-02-2009, 01:25 PM
Family of four: Since this is a single-parent household, that means there are 3 kids?

However, tax wise, if someone earned $30,000 and paid $12,000/year for health insurance, they would deduct part of the $12,000 on their income tax return (about $11,100 ... the amount of 7.5% of gross income). However, here in PA, they'd still be paying State Income Tax and Local 1% income tax, neither of which allow any "deductions", which comes to 4.09% ($1227). However, with 3 kids at this income level they might qualify for some tax reduction at the state level. I'm not sure exactly how that works. And they couldn't get away with not paying SS/MC: about $2,175.

However, there are some programs for providing insurance for the children in mid-income households.

That said ... why not fix this particular problem with an expansion of Medicaid, a program already in place. Except that a lot of people who qualify don't apply for Medicaid, we are told, due to the cumbersome process for doing so. Fix that.

However, back to the thread ... what do people who actually have a govt program for health care think of it? I do believe that having a public option is a step toward the govt providing the whole magilla.

I don't think that it is a fair comparison to compare health care to defense. The Constitution does specify that defense is a duty of the Federal govt. And there are definitely times when the Defense Dept falsl prey to the same problems as the rest of govt-run programs ... the oft-cited $600 toilet seats and $200 hammers.
Tax deductions only help reduce Federal income taxes, not social security and medicare taxes. They are of almost no use at all to the majority of the population. My calculations assumed that few taxes would be paid beyond SS/Medicare. A single parent family of four working 60 hours/week accurately describes a large percentage of the families that I work with on a volunteer basis. In fact, in NJ and PA, the family would be eligible to receive limited Medicaid benefits under the SCHIP program, but would lose that if their income went over $35,000. Expanding Medicaid is actually one of the primary features of the Senate health care plan. There is a little bit of sleight of hand here since 50% of the cost of that expansion would fall on State governments. In fact, many liberals would prefer to see the entire issue addressed through expansions of Medicaid and Medicare. That would have the effect of creating a single payer system. However, those programs are not set up to accommodate partially subsidized coverage where the government pays part of the cost and the individual pays the balance. The approach of using private insurance offering consumers choices and providing the equivalent of vouchers that can be used to pay a portion of the premium cost was actually done to provide greater choice and avoid forcing a single payer system.

Gerry Clinchy
11-02-2009, 03:07 PM
Tax deductions only help reduce Federal income taxes, not social security and medicare taxes. They are of almost no use at all to the majority of the population. My calculations assumed that few taxes would be paid beyond SS/Medicare.

Yes, Jeff, that's what I was figuring, too ... the SS & MC were "inescapable" regardless of income level (the $2175). And the local 1% tax is pretty much inescapable as well (that goes to the school districts).

A single parent family of four working 60 hours/week accurately describes a large percentage of the families that I work with on a volunteer basis. In fact, in NJ and PA, the family would be eligible to receive limited Medicaid benefits under the SCHIP program, but would lose that if their income went over $35,000.

So, they would not be paying the $12,000 for health insurance? Or would they pay some amount to supplement the basic Medicaid?


Expanding Medicaid is actually one of the primary features of the Senate health care plan. There is a little bit of sleight of hand here since 50% of the cost of that expansion would fall on State governments. In fact, many liberals would prefer to see the entire issue addressed through expansions of Medicaid and Medicare. That would have the effect of creating a single payer system.


Well, a single-payer system for a portion of the population ... the 15% currently not insured? That is quite different than applying it to 100% of the population.


However, those programs are not set up to accommodate partially subsidized coverage where the government pays part of the cost and the individual pays the balance. The approach of using private insurance offering consumers choices and providing the equivalent of vouchers that can be used to pay a portion of the premium cost was actually done to provide greater choice and avoid forcing a single payer system.


However, the public option is still on the table at this point.



I just don't have a lot of faith that the govt option would ultimately turn out to be cheaper than private insurors. Was just reading how much Amtrak is losing on each passenger they carry ... ranging from $5/person on its best-used routes between Boston, NY, DC ... up to $500+ on some other routes. Govt keeps putting more $ into bailing out the losses each year. Sounds like deficit spending to me.

There is no question that there has to be some "deductible" on a govt option in order to involve some personal responsibility.

I can recall that some workers at one of my employers, for whom the employer paid the entire health insurance premium, couldn't understand why they had to pay anything for their health care (i.e. the deductible, which was a reasonable one). They expected everything to be free. I'd be willing to bet that many who are in favor of the govt playing a larger role (in the general population) are thinking the same thing. Perhaps those of us on this forum have understanding of the concepts of deductibles and co-pays ... but many people do not; especially if they have not had coverage before.

One factor not mentioned in the dicussion of Canada, France, or UK v. US ... what are the population differences? I'm not up on those figures, but I thought I saw mentioned in some thread that the populations needing coverage are not as large as the US.

YardleyLabs
11-02-2009, 03:28 PM
I just don't have a lot of faith that the govt option would ultimately turn out to be cheaper than private insurors. Was just reading how much Amtrak is losing on each passenger they carry ... ranging from $5/person on its best-used routes between Boston, NY, DC ... up to $500+ on some other routes. Govt keeps putting more $ into bailing out the losses each year. Sounds like deficit spending to me.

There is no question that there has to be some "deductible" on a govt option in order to involve some personal responsibility.

I can recall that some workers at one of my employers, for whom the employer paid the entire health insurance premium, couldn't understand why they had to pay anything for their health care (i.e. the deductible, which was a reasonable one). They expected everything to be free. I'd be willing to bet that many who are in favor of the govt playing a larger role (in the general population) are thinking the same thing. Perhaps those of us on this forum have understanding of the concepts of deductibles and co-pays ... but many people do not; especially if they have not had coverage before.

One factor not mentioned in the dicussion of Canada, France, or UK v. US ... what are the population differences? I'm not up on those figures, but I thought I saw mentioned in some thread that the populations needing coverage are not as large as the US.

Most of the families I work with receive neither Medicaid or private insurance. They earn too much for Medicaid but work multiple part time jobs with employers that do not hire full time to avoid paying for health insurance. They have trouble paying rent and hope for the best on health care. Most will not go to a doctor for themselves unless there is a life threatening emergency. France, England, Germany, Switzerland, etc., have smaller populations individually than the US. They do not have a problem with uninsured people since everyone has coverage. None of the coverage is provided through employers. It is provided through a national health insurance program and through private insurance policies that people may choose to purchase to cover expenses not covered by the national plan. Switzerland, which ranks first based on most measures of health care, has care that is almost entirely provided by private practitioners but paid for by national insurance. The one public component of the health service system is that each canton (equivalent politically to our states) operate a cantonal hospital. The national insurance plan covers 100% of the cost of services in the cantonal hospital or an equivalent cost in a private hospital. Private hospitals flourish, but the competition with the cantonal hospitals -- which are generally outstanding -- encourages them to keep their costs down.

I suspect that a public plan will be more expensive than some private plans and cheaper than others. Under the proposals being considered, people would be able to use their public subsidy "vouchers" to buy coverage from either public or private providers. There would be some restrictions on the ability of people receiving coverage through an employer plan to switch to a different plan. This provision is specifically designed to protect insurance companies from competition.

I suspect that the existence of a public plan -- which by law would not be permitted to receive any public subsidies beyond the premiums charged to persons covered -- would result in lower premiums for private plans than would be seen in the absence of a public plan. This is seen now in states where there is a large non-profit provider (typically BC/BS) of coverage. In these cases, the non-profit tends to hold a large percentage, but not all, of the total market and prices charged by all competitors are lower than in states without a strong non-profit provider. Private insurers recognize this and are therefore opposed to such competition.

Ron in Portland
11-02-2009, 03:53 PM
Here you go, Ron.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9994.php

It isn't perfect but it is considered by most measures to be the best. When I visited France 2 years ago, French citizens I spoke were enthusiastic about their health care system.

Thanks for the information. I appreciate it.

There are a few items that, if this is considered to be one of the better systems, really concern me.

It mentions the "...working population has twenty percent of their gross salary deducted at source..." and this is for a fund that covers 80% of the population. The other 20% have different funds. This is followed by "The contribution of financing through personal income taxes has gradually increased" (hard to imagine that happening in the US, eh?). Still, it was an interesting link to review. Their system still has room (and the need) for supplemental insurance. I take this to mean if you want better coverage or more effective insurance, you pay more. Also, they still have private, profit-oriented hospitals.

On top of this, there's still a co-pay of as much at 20-30% for some things. More for prescriptions. There's 100% payment if you qualify below a certain income level. I'd be curious what that level is and how it would translate to a similar system here in the US.

I guess where I'm going with this is I have little confidence that a govenment overhaul of the health care system is going to reduce my level of service while increasing my costs, both direct and through taxation. Looking at other systems, they don't appear to be the catch-all model that seems to be waved around a lot. I really don't think there is such a thing.

Thanks again.

dnf777
11-02-2009, 03:54 PM
I don't think that it is a fair comparison to compare health care to defense. The Constitution does specify that defense is a duty of the Federal govt.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Like much of the document, open for interpretation. I don't think they were referring to health insurance companies, however. ;-)

Martin
11-02-2009, 04:07 PM
[QUOTE=YardleyLabs;519983]Tax deductions only help reduce Federal income taxes, not social security and medicare taxes. They are of almost no use at all to the majority of the population.

Heck I'll take it where I can get, Fed. level or not.

As far as the expand Medicade thing. Good thing. Add it up. If you make the people that are using it pay for it it would come out alright. Your payment amount, premium, would be based on your income. Take the 47 million who are unindured, fictional no doubt but never the less, at an average of 20 dollars a month and you get 940 mil. Divide that 50 ways, states, and you get 18.8 mil per state. That is just an average. Run the thing like a business instead of a hand out and you will have a winner. The way this bill is worded almost half of it will be paid for with tax increases on the wealthy and tax increases on services. This is a scam and screwing of us the American people. Your insurance prem. will go up because of the providers covering their butts and passing it on to us.

Regards,
Martin

blind ambition
11-02-2009, 05:26 PM
I can tell you that I feel very fortunate to need only worry about the state of my health and not the state of my finances. If there is anything about our system which annoys me it is the serious under funding through out premium structure. I just paid our latest health insurance invoice and it is $288 for three months, that is for two persons...not $288. each but for the two of us. Thirty years ago I paid $90 for the same period...for myself alone! I pay more to insure a $30,000 car than what I pay to insure our health

Try not getting drawn in to parroting Ayn Rand and Karl Marx's "from those who have...", here we think of it as the maximum number of subscribers paying into an insurance scheme all of us will draw from eventually. I don't consider it any greater or lesser display of Socialism than having my property tax entitling me to fire and police protection.

It doesn't get brought up much anywhere but I heard somewhere that the Japanese health care plan has even the French beat.

Nor_Cal_Angler
11-02-2009, 06:49 PM
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, ]promote [/COLOR]the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Like much of the document, open for interpretation. I don't think they were referring to health insurance companies, however. ;-)

See red.....those words ALL imply something PROVIDED heck one (as was pointed out) is PROVIDE.

See blue.....this word imply's the government would like you to "pay attention" you know kinda like a sales pitch...maybe it should have said "hey you pay attention to your general welfare"

NCA

PS..notice the first 3 words are also...WE THE PEOPLE....not WE THE GOVERNMENT. It is the PEOPLE that are to provide those things that are in red and the PEOPLE that are to pay attention to the general welfare of this nation.

dnf777
11-02-2009, 07:02 PM
See red.....those words ALL imply something PROVIDED heck one (as was pointed out) is PROVIDE.

See blue.....this word imply's the government would like you to "pay attention" you know kinda like a sales pitch...maybe it should have said "hey you pay attention to your general welfare"

NCA

PS..notice the first 3 words are also...WE THE PEOPLE....not WE THE GOVERNMENT. It is the PEOPLE that are to provide those things that are in red and the PEOPLE that are to pay attention to the general welfare of this nation.

There are several definitions and usages of "promote". Open for interpretation, as I said.

So are you also saying the "government" should not "provide" for the common defense? The whole purpose of the Consititution is just as stated. It delineates the powers of government, leaving those rights and privelages not mentioned to the states and people.

From all the comments I hear on conservative outlets and some on this list, I'd swear that republicans think ALL gov't is bad, and there is no use for it, or ANY taxes whatsoever. That's called ANARCHY. There are islands in the Pacific where one can exercise anarchy freely.....that is, until someone with a bigger gun comes along. :confused:

YardleyLabs
11-02-2009, 09:33 PM
I can tell you that I feel very fortunate to need only worry about the state of my health and not the state of my finances. If there is anything about our system which annoys me it is the serious under funding through out premium structure. I just paid our latest health insurance invoice and it is $288 for three months, that is for two persons...not $288. each but for the two of us. Thirty years ago I paid $90 for the same period...for myself alone! I pay more to insure a $30,000 car than what I pay to insure our health

Try not getting drawn in to parroting Ayn Rand and Karl Marx's "from those who have...", here we think of it as the maximum number of subscribers paying into an insurance scheme all of us will draw from eventually. I don't consider it any greater or lesser display of Socialism than having my property tax entitling me to fire and police protection.

It doesn't get brought up much anywhere but I heard somewhere that the Japanese health care plan has even the French beat.
I assume that someone else is paying the buk of the premium. I just paid mine -- $515 for one person for one month, not including dental. This will increase to $575 in January.

Hunchaser
11-02-2009, 11:23 PM
I'm a Canadian and I grew up with our present health care system. I'm now 59 yrs old. While I was attending university I worked part time in the OR at the Royal Jubliee Hospital in Victoria. My wife has been an RN for the past 40 yrs.

We've always been in good health but about two years before I retired I developed severe chest pain. That was three years ago. I was taken care of very promptly and was given the best care possible. It turned out I had developed a reflux problem brought on by stress. We were living in Vancouver BC at the time.

Then we retired to High River Alberta. A small community south of Calgary. I found a doctor right away with no problems. He retrieved my medical records and now I see him once per year.

In saying that there problems. The line ups occur for non-life threatening items such minor broken bones and things like that. The other down side is the amount of taxes we pay for the service. It ain't cheap.

If you guys adopt this system or a similar system be prepared to pay a lot more in taxes.

Nor_Cal_Angler
11-02-2009, 11:42 PM
There are several definitions and usages of "promote". Open for interpretation, as I said.

So are you also saying the "government" should not "provide" for the common defense? The whole purpose of the Consititution is just as stated. It delineates the powers of government, leaving those rights and privelages not mentioned to the states and people.

From all the comments I hear on conservative outlets and some on this list, I'd swear that republicans think ALL gov't is bad, and there is no use for it, or ANY taxes whatsoever. That's called ANARCHY. There are islands in the Pacific where one can exercise anarchy freely.....that is, until someone with a bigger gun comes along. :confused:

We the people......

that says that, the people DICTATE to the government the established form of justice, the insurance of domestic tranquility, the provision of defense and we promote the general welfare...followed by the part I should have highlighted in my origional post..."and secure the blessing of liberity to OURSELVES.

where does it say that the governemnt DICTATES to the people.

we have lost touch with that simple FACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! of people for the people no if's ands or buts!!!!!!!

opening remark..regards.
(WE the PEOPLE)

Ron in Portland
11-02-2009, 11:57 PM
I'm a Canadian and I grew up with our present health care system. I'm now 59 yrs old. While I was attending university I worked part time in the OR at the Royal Jubliee Hospital in Victoria. My wife has been an RN for the past 40 yrs.

We've always been in good health but about two years before I retired I developed severe chest pain. That was three years ago. I was taken care of very promptly and was given the best care possible. It turned out I had developed a reflux problem brought on by stress. We were living in Vancouver BC at the time.

Then we retired to High River Alberta. A small community south of Calgary. I found a doctor right away with no problems. He retrieved my medical records and now I see him once per year.

In saying that there problems. The line ups occur for non-life threatening items such minor broken bones and things like that. The other down side is the amount of taxes we pay for the service. It ain't cheap.

If you guys adopt this system or a similar system be prepared to pay a lot more in taxes.

Hunchaser, thanks for the feedback. I am somewhat heartened to hear some positive feedback on your health care system. I remain skeptical that our "politicians" can craft and administer a manageable plan.

I do fear that the other half of your statement is all too true...

Gerry Clinchy
11-03-2009, 09:51 AM
Ron in Portland

"...working population has twenty percent of their gross salary deducted at source..." and this is for a fund that covers 80% of the population.

No matter how you slice it, as long as the contribution is based on gross income, those earning more are paying for those earning less. If someone earns $100,000, they pay $20,000. If someone earns $20,000, they pay $4000. The real cost of the services they will receive may, or may not, be smaller than the amount contributed.

Makes me wonder what the total French tax bill is as well, after the health care stuff.

I'd also like to compare other aspects of French daily living to that in the US. For example, some years ago (6 or more years ago), I dealt with a family of 4. Both parents worked for an international company, & they were on temporary assignment here in the US. Both earned what would be considered above-average income.

The company they worked for was willing to pay $1500 for their rent during their assignment here. The home they left in France was a 2BR condo; basically an "apartment-style", in a large building. The home they rented here: 4BR, 2 ba, single home. My sense would be that the lifestyle we take forgranted here, has substantially more amenities than in France.


"The contribution of financing through personal income taxes has gradually increased"

That sounds familiar!

dnf777
11-03-2009, 10:09 AM
We the people......

that says that, the people DICTATE to the government the established form of justice, the insurance of domestic tranquility, the provision of defense and we promote the general welfare...followed by the part I should have highlighted in my origional post..."and secure the blessing of liberity to OURSELVES.

where does it say that the governemnt DICTATES to the people.

we have lost touch with that simple FACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! of people for the people no if's ands or buts!!!!!!!

opening remark..regards.
(WE the PEOPLE)

??????????????
I've read the Constitution several times. The word "dictate" does not appear in regards to the government or people's actions. "Provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare does". Your extreme interpretation would not allow for police departments, court systems, or school crossing guards! They have tried that system in places such as East Timor, and it didn't work very well.

road kill
11-03-2009, 10:12 AM
I'm a Canadian and I grew up with our present health care system. I'm now 59 yrs old. While I was attending university I worked part time in the OR at the Royal Jubliee Hospital in Victoria. My wife has been an RN for the past 40 yrs.

We've always been in good health but about two years before I retired I developed severe chest pain. That was three years ago. I was taken care of very promptly and was given the best care possible. It turned out I had developed a reflux problem brought on by stress. We were living in Vancouver BC at the time.

Then we retired to High River Alberta. A small community south of Calgary. I found a doctor right away with no problems. He retrieved my medical records and now I see him once per year.

In saying that there problems. The line ups occur for non-life threatening items such minor broken bones and things like that. The other down side is the amount of taxes we pay for the service. It ain't cheap.

If you guys adopt this system or a similar system be prepared to pay a lot more in taxes.

Even though you actually lived it, you must be mistaken for we have been told that the deficit will go down as well as not 1 dime of increase on taxes!!

It must be true!!

Gerry Clinchy
11-03-2009, 11:31 AM
If you guys adopt this system or a similar system be prepared to pay a lot more in taxes.[/QUOTE]

Even though you actually lived it, you must be mistaken for we have been told that the deficit will go down as well as not 1 dime of increase on taxes!!

It must be true!!

And that's what ticks me off ... it would be one thing to promote this program and tell the truth about what it will cost. It's quite another to prevaricate.

I cannot fathom how, the way this is presented, it could be deficit-neutral. Especially when they reduced the penalty for non-participation.

If France's and Canada's program are acknowledged as good programs, then the cost of those programs must also be acknowledged. Meanwhile they are spending lawmakers' time on this mess, when they could actually be doing something constructive about the situation.

ducknwork
11-03-2009, 11:56 AM
If it is going to save so much money, we should begin to implement changes and reform NOW (note: not advocating the part about govt insurance). Then, when a significant amount of money is being saved, insurance premiums will drop, more people will be able to afford it, causing premiums to drop further, etc etc...Then, maybe we should help out the folks that still can't afford insurance and TRULY need assistance.



Save now, spend later regards...

Steve Amrein
11-03-2009, 12:55 PM
If the so called percent is 15 that are uninsured and the number that have it are 85% why dont we just increase the cost of insurance by 15% to cover those who dont ?

Surely a hundred times cheaper than letting the goobs get involved.

BTW how can any group with a 20% approval rating be so egotistical as to think the know better ?

dnf777
11-03-2009, 01:01 PM
And that's what ticks me off ... it would be one thing to promote this program and tell the truth about what it will cost. It's quite another to prevaricate.

I cannot fathom how, the way this is presented, it could be deficit-neutral. Especially when they reduced the penalty for non-participation.

.


Forget healthcare. Does anyone on this list honestly believe that taxes are NOT going to increase? If so, do you honestly think we'll ever get our finances in order and make a recovery carrying an $11 trillion debt?? We better look like we're at least INTERESTED in paying our bills, or it's going to be hard to find the light at the end of this tunnel.

GWB used to talk the talk about "making sacrafice". WHAT sacrafice was he talking about? This is it folks, THIS is the sacrafice we're gonna have to make to pay for two wars and a host of other expenses. Get ready. It may hurt, and mean less vacations and fancy cars for us....but I'd rather make that sacrafice than hand this all off to my kids and grandkids and say, here, pay for it. WE have been handed the Reagan/Bush I/Bush II debt and asked to pay it, I don't want to do that to the next generations.

Gerry Clinchy
11-03-2009, 02:00 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/health/policy/03health.html?th&emc=th

The NY Times today reported some of the figures that I've been wondering about.


As the House moved toward climactic votes on legislation to remake the health care system, the Congressional Budget Office (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/congressional_budget_office/index.html?inline=nyt-org) said Monday that middle-income families might be required to pay 15 percent to 18 percent of their income on insurance premiums and co-payments under the proposal.



Under the House bill, the budget office said, a family of four with income of $78,000 in 2016 would pay, on average, an annual premium of $8,800 and co-payments of $5,000, for a total of $13,800, equivalent to 18 percent of the family’s income.
A family of four with income of $90,100 could also receive subsidies. It would pay $11,100 in premiums and $5,500 in cost-sharing, for a total of $16,600, or 18 percent of family income, the budget office said.
For lower-income people, the subsidies would be more generous. A family of four with income of $66,000 would pay premiums of $6,300 and cost-sharing of $3,700, for a total of $10,000, or 15 percent of its income in 2016, the budget office said.


$8800/year = $733/mo $11,100/year = $925/mo $ 6300/year = $525/mo.

This would appear to be lower than what these families might be paying now. OTOH, it is hard to know unless we also know how the benefits provided compare to present benefits.

If the proposed program is starting with the presumption of paying 15% to 18% of income for health care protection, (and France is presently at 20%), can you begin to imagine where the US premiums will be after 10 years into the program?

ducknwork
11-03-2009, 02:08 PM
Forget healthcare. Does anyone on this list honestly believe that taxes are NOT going to increase? If so, do you honestly think we'll ever get our finances in order and make a recovery carrying an $11 trillion debt?? We better look like we're at least INTERESTED in paying our bills, or it's going to be hard to find the light at the end of this tunnel.

GWB used to talk the talk about "making sacrafice". WHAT sacrafice was he talking about? This is it folks, THIS is the sacrafice we're gonna have to make to pay for two wars and a host of other expenses. Get ready. It may hurt, and mean less vacations and fancy cars for us....but I'd rather make that sacrafice than hand this all off to my kids and grandkids and say, here, pay for it. WE have been handed the Reagan/Bush I/Bush II debt and asked to pay it, I don't want to do that to the next generations.

I totally agree with your post.

However, sacrifice should start at the top and trickle down. No more expensive dates and vacations on our dime. Order a pizza and rent a movie like the rest of us poor bums. Lead by example.

I think I'll order a copy of Dave Ramsey's book to send to the Prez. After he finishes reading it, he should pass it on to each member of congress.

Steve Amrein
11-03-2009, 03:36 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/health/policy/03health.html?th&emc=th

The NY Times today reported some of the figures that I've been wondering about.





$8800/year = $733/mo $11,100/year = $925/mo $ 6300/year = $525/mo.

This would appear to be lower than what these families might be paying now. OTOH, it is hard to know unless we also know how the benefits provided compare to present benefits.

If the proposed program is starting with the presumption of paying 15% to 18% of income for health care protection, (and France is presently at 20%), can you begin to imagine where the US premiums will be after 10 years into the program?


So far most of the big gooberment social programs were under estimated at 7-10 times more than originally estimated. using that math 7X18% =126% plus income,personal property, property, utility, sales, capital gains and a good number that I am forgeting my tax rate will be about 220% OK gotcha:rolleyes:

dnf777
11-03-2009, 04:47 PM
I totally agree with your post.

However, sacrifice should start at the top and trickle down.

Where do Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% fit into that theory? They are up for renewal, so this is a current question, not just bush-bashing.

Jill Chalmers
11-03-2009, 04:48 PM
Getting back to the original question of what Canadians thought of their healthcare system is an interesting question and one that is not easily answered.

Signgirl is indeed correct in her analogy of what is currently transpiring in our hospitals and medical environs. It is a sad state of affairs.

I have been intimately involved with the healthcare system over the past 25 years, through the cancer illnesses of both parents and some ongoing current issues with my own health.

I can say without a doubt, that both my parents received incredible care at no expense to our family. Both parents suffered for many years and had several surgeries along with chemo, radical treatments and test programs. Home care (which was phenomenal) came along with the package. The nurses, the doctors, the teams were incredible. I cannot say enough about the care my parents received. I would never criticize their care or treatment only praise it. Their care was to be admired. And by the way, the support to me in my efforts to care for them was above and beyond. Truly a model of what healthcare could and should be.

What I can say now is that things have changed horribly in the past 13 years. I am lucky in that I have a very good Family Doctor but I can't even think of changing because it is very likely that I will not be able to find one. At this stage I travel 40 kms to my Family Doctor.

I had a recent condition approx. 4 years ago that needed addressing. Although not an emergency or life threatening it was certainly uncomfortable and needed attention. I waited 14 months for an appointment to consult with a Specialist. I then waited another 4 months for the testing procedures to be done. 4 months after that the surgery was done. All in all almost 2 years in the waiting. Had I gone to the US for treatment and paid...it could have been done within a month.

2 years ago I developed a DVT and the reaction was entirely different. Bing bang boom I was dealt with and in the system. Sometimes I wanted "out of the system" but they were right on top of me. Incredible care and no complaints.

Now here's another scenario where once again I am waiting. I have been waiting to see a Radiologist to have a procedure done. My name went on the list in March. The message at his office states that "you will not be called for a minimum of 8 months". I chose this route to avoid a very significant surgery. As it turns out, I could have had the surgery in April and it would be all done with by now. I am still waiting to hear from the radiologist. And by the way, this time, it is serious and could be a big deal if my condition changes. If the embolization had been done in March or April I wouldn't be looking at surgery now.

So...what do we say to all of this? We are all typical Canadians. We really don't complain too much and we just tend to go along. Our healthcare system is not what it used to be. If you have a serious health issue you will be taken care of and it won't break the bank and put you in the poor house. If you have a problem and can wait. You wait. Politicians decide who gets the money and how to distribute it. If you're really sick you will be seen and taken care of. You might have to wait in an emergency room but you will be seen. Some fall through the cracks and stuff happens. I'm sure that happens all over the world.

Our healthcare system is not perfect. It never has been and never will be. I have confidence that if something catastrophic were to happen to me I will be cared for. Is this good enough? Probably. Is it exceptional? No. We have learned to expect a lot less in the last 10 years.

Now if you really want to talk about Healthcare we can get into the whole H1N1 vaccination debacle that is taking place here right now but I don't think you want me to go there!!!

WaterDogRem
11-03-2009, 04:53 PM
Where do Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% fit into that theory? They are up for renewal, so this is a current question, not just bush-bashing.

What's the wealthiest 2% tax rate (with & w/o tax cuts)? And how does that compare to the lower income tax rates?

dnf777
11-03-2009, 05:16 PM
What's the wealthiest 2% tax rate (with & w/o tax cuts)? And how does that compare to the lower income tax rates?

I'm just responding to the quote that sacrifice should start at the top. Personally, I'm all for the tax cuts. I just can't figure out how tax cuts are a sacrafice??

WaterDogRem
11-03-2009, 06:23 PM
I'm just responding to the quote that sacrifice should start at the top. Personally, I'm all for the tax cuts. I just can't figure out how tax cuts are a sacrafice??

Well who said Bush's tax cutz were a sacrifice?

Ron in Portland
11-03-2009, 07:52 PM
Tealgrove,

Thanks for the feedback. It's very informative to hear firsthand what's happening.

You mention that it's changed drastically in the past 13 years. Why do you think that is? Do you think it's economy related issues? Availability? The fact that Politicians are making health care decisions (through the checkbook, at least)? What do you think?

I read what you have to say about your parents care and am encouraged, but it doesn't sound like that would be the case today.

The rationing and the waiting, while personal health deteriorates, really concerns me about implementing something like this in the US. A valid comment was made earlier in this thread that you can't inject millions of people into the line to receive services and not expect the line to get longer. Making healthcare available to more people is good, I applaud the efforts. Providing it "at no cost" gives it a value of zero, and if it's free, people will treat it like it's free. (I have the sniffles; it cost's nothing, I'm going to emergency to get a prescription; it cost's a $20 co-pay, I'll have some chicken soup at home). A simplistic example, but magnified by millions of people and it's an issue.

Additionally, I feel that if our Government is saying the initial cost is X, then it's more likely to be X, plus a few percent more than they thought it would be (or their extimates make unrealistic assumtions), and over time it's only going up. And once that train starts rolling down the tracks and gaining momentum, there's no turning back or stopping it.

theeaterofshades
11-04-2009, 04:02 PM
If they truly want to do something, why not catastrophic/major medical insurance instead of paying for folks to have their sniffles looked at. I resent the government saying that I will have to pay for Cadillac care for others (Many who make more than me with less education)at a time I am being furloughed 8 days per year and have had our only 2nd cost of living increase (a 2% to add to the prior 1%) in the past 10 year period rescinded. This while Wisconsin struggles in the red, while our politicians in Madison still draw daily housing and food allowances while in Madison as well as reimbursement for one trip to their home district per week. I do not get paid extra for food or housing when I show up for work...) Anyhow, back to the insurance issue:

I do not take health insurance through the UW System as my wife gets better insurance through her work. Do I get money back from my employer for the benefit I have given up? No. I am damn well sure that I won't be able to tell the government, please contact my university and you can take the additional money from the money saved on the benefit I do not take.

The president and congress also claim that a government plan will not stop private insurers from existing. But how will a company that is responsible to their shareholders (us... if you have stocks, mutual funds, and/or 401K-403Bs)be able to compete verses a program that has no such requirement and is funded directly by taxes? Also holds true for employers; who will keep plans that cost them money when they could just allow the government plan to pay for it, thus increasing their profit margin. If this happens, I bet my bottom dollar that the savings are not provided back to the employees' salaries in order to off set their increased taxes.

Personally my plan would be to allow people to buy into a "buying pool" insurance if not covered by an employer. This is how it works: In the State of Wisconsin there is an insurance run by the Wisconsin Education Association called WEA Trust. It is fantastic cadilac insurance and roughly 100,000 clients (mostly teachers) are part of it. In the Milwaukee area alone, United Health has almost 400,000 clients insured (from all walks of life). That is roughly 4x the state wide number of WEA Trust. When the Plans negotiate with facilities/providers to get their in plan savings United Health has tons more buying power. In other words, while WEA might be able to negotiate 10-20% savings in network, United is able to negotiate 30-40%.

In my work I have been privy to what some school districts have saved by switching from WEA Trust to an identical plan with more buying power. Increase in network savings were passed on (gasp not all insurance companies are evil) amounting to $1,000 - $2,000 savings for each teacher covered per year. Let anyone who wants to buy into each State's privately run worker insurance plan(s) do so. The more people on board, the more they save personally as will the state for worker benefit costs.

I worked/lived in North Dakota during graduate school and met a large number of people that personally crossed the border from Canada because they could not get procedures approved quick enough that would help their quality of life/ability to work fast enough. They told me that Medical issues would be left to linger long enough that other injuries/illnesses manifested due to the original issue. Thus they came to the US to expedite the process.

Another issue I do not see mentioned is Tort Reform. There is a reason that OB/GYNs and general practice doctors are on the decline, the cost of malpractice insurance. Guess what is not included in the health care legislation and to which party trial lawyers contributed the most money towards. There is a correlation. Working closely with our College of Nursing, I have seen figures that our current shortage of Nurses and Family Practitioners would be further exasperated by this national plan. Add to the current shortage the need for another 200,000 nurses/doctors. When we cannot find them now where will they come from? Who wants to enter as a physician when malpractice insurance rates are so out of control? Is that the insurance industry’s fault? No. It is the fault of the ridiculously high awards lawyers have asked for and judges and juries have provided. Once again the point of an insurance company is to not go bankrupt.

So I guess I am against the current bill in congress. I am against the effort that was trying to ram it through quickly without thoroughly understanding what impacts it will have, especially when there are other tacts that could be tried prior to spending all of this tax money when we are already up to our eyeballs with it now.

Jill Chalmers
11-04-2009, 04:19 PM
I am not huge into politics so I won't venture an opinion unless I really know.

The cost of healthcare just keeps rising and in order to fund this huge machine you need more and more money. Inflation, more people getting sick, aging population, etc. The strain on our healthcare system is building due to all of these factors. This has been going on for years - long before any current economic difficulties. So here you go...raise taxes or cut costs? You know what, raise taxes but then again they instituted a Health Tax and everybody went nuts!!! We hate the health tax.

My own belief is that the politicians are just trying to cost cut and grandstand without knowing what they are doing. They don't really understand health care and its a HUGE MACHINE. It needs lots of money to run effectively. They think that if you do things differently and not fund the healthcare system they way it needs to be funded then it will all be OK. Well, its not. So they stick their noses in where it doesn't belong. They shuffle funding back and forth and then a bunch of beaurocrats fritter it all away on something stupid.

We have had Doctor strikes! The Doctors are paid by the government. They send a bill to be paid to the Government. Sometimes they don't think that they get paid enough and they probably don't. So they went on strike. Work to rule. It was a nightmare.

The government tells doctors how long they can spend with a patient, how many patients you can treat in a week etc. Here's an example....Obstetricians can only deliver a certain # of babies per week. So if you are a pregnant woman and for the past 8 months you have been visiting your Obstetrician and building a rapport and faith in this doctor it could very well be that when it comes to deliver, a doctor you have never seen before or know his, or her,credentials is the doctor who is going to deliver your baby. You have no say and YOUR DOCTOR has no say. This is a direct result of the government trying to hold back fees so as not to pay a doctor overtime.

My experience has been that whenever you have the government involved in things like this it just does not run effectively and they never seem to have the "right" person at the helm.

Ron, that's what I think. I hate government involvement and as I said before, if you're really sick you will get taken care of. So should I complain too much or too loudly? Nope... The Healthcare system needs tons of money and the right people in place to spend it accordingly.

YardleyLabs
11-04-2009, 04:41 PM
Where do Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% fit into that theory? They are up for renewal, so this is a current question, not just bush-bashing.
None of the budget projections submitted by Bush provided for extending the tax cuts and the budget projections submitted by Obama only provided for extending some of the cuts affecting persons earning less than $200k. To extend all the cuts would add hundreds of billions to the deficit, so I am sure that no fiscal conservative would want that to happen.;-)

dnf777
11-04-2009, 04:48 PM
Tealgrove,
I enjoyed reading your perspectives on healthcare. Every point you made, I think, is right on the money. One thing I would add, is the administrative costs that have become one of the largest slices of the medical GDP pie. Patients give money, whether it be taxes or premiums...and that money is used to deliver services, buy equipment, and staff clinics and hospitals. If a retail chain spent as much of their revenues on administrative and distribution costs as healthcare does, they would be out of business. As a rule of thumb, doctors salaries have accounted for 14-17% of the MDGP, rather consistently since the late 60s. Many current physicians have seen salaries cut, both in terms of real and adjusted dollars.

I'm not sure why CEOs, administrators who perform poorly and deliver a poor service in terms of efficiency are profiting off of illness. Or shareholders for that matter. I'm all for free market, but only if all can participate, and our current system prevents just about everyone except the upper echelons from negotiating or engaging in free market practices. What I mean by that is, most insured people in America have insurance provided through their employer. (there's a whole 'nother thread) They HAVE NO CHOICE to choose. (in practical terms...free or heavily subsidized versus 15k out of pocket??) The only dickering goes on is between the VP of HR at these companies and the sales agents of the insurance carriers. Small businesses are being told, thanks, but no thanks....you can't afford us.....and are dropping benefits for employees.

IMHO, healthcare is unique, and probably needs regulatory protection against typical business practices. I think even the most devout capitalists would not want to see people turned away from care due to inability to pay, but their inbred drive to protect and foster profits runs in direct contradiction to compassionate care. Doctors are historically the WORST businessmen, and as such have been run out of the administrative suites of hospitals all over the country. Someone who has taken an oath to treat the sick, and will do so without regard to pay, is basically a sheep at a wolf's den when it comes to business practices.

We'll see what happens. What is concerning, is whatever happens, appears to have been concieved under heavy influence of the insurance giants, with little input from doctors and patients.