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Thread: Health care Summit- what a joke

  1. #41
    Senior Member M&K's Retrievers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koolaid View Post
    What do you think about extending coverage to say children, or even to an age where younger adults would still be enrolled full time with high tuition costs? Kind of like once you should be able to take care of yourself, you're on your own, but until then they would have some help?
    There are two areas that should be adressed by any government: (1.) those who cannot afford insurance and (2.) those who are uninsurable because of existing conditions. Both situations are already taken care of due to the fact that no one can be refused treatment including the uninsurable. Most states have uninsureable risk pools which allows those who are uninsurable to purchase coverage. As it stands today in America, everyone, including illegal aliens cannot be refused treatment. They need to stop trying to fix something that isn't broken.
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  2. #42
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M&K's Retrievers View Post
    There are two areas that should be adressed by any government: (1.) those who cannot afford insurance and (2.) those who are uninsurable because of existing conditions. Both situations are already taken care of due to the fact that no one can be refused treatment including the uninsurable. Most states have uninsureable risk pools which allows those who are uninsurable to purchase coverage. As it stands today in America, everyone, including illegal aliens cannot be refused treatment. They need to stop trying to fix something that isn't broken.
    They are actually only required to be provided life saving treatment. There is no requirement that they be provided non-urgent care. Chemo and radiation treatment, for example, would not need to be provided even though the patient is likely to die without them. Estimates are that more people die each year because they lack health insurance than die in traffic accidents.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Hoosier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    They are actually only required to be provided life saving treatment. There is no requirement that they be provided non-urgent care. Chemo and radiation treatment, for example, would not need to be provided even though the patient is likely to die without them. Estimates are that more people die each year because they lack health insurance than die in traffic accidents.
    Jeff, I'm curious as to how they can estimate something like that. It would seem to me that a higher percentage of the people who engage in risky behavior (dysfunctional alcoholics, drug addicts ect.) would not be buying health insurance, or have a job to provide it. In these cases, which I think would be a large number, wouldn't it be lifestyle rather then lack of medical coverage that causes death. Just seems like a statistic that would be easy to twist to support your position. I haven't had a statistics class though.

  4. #44
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    To be fair, I think any such studies are necessarily speculative. The fundamental logic, however, is sound.

    First, people tend to forget that the uninsured are typically not the poor. The poor are covered by Medicaid, just as the aged are covered by Medicare. The uninsured are typically people who have lost their jobs or are working full or more than full time time in jobs paying enough to make the rent, but not enough to pay the premiums for private insurance.

    The care the unisinured fail to get is preventative care, such as vaccinations or early detection services (colonoscopies, mammograms, etc), care for chronic ailments such as asthma, and services following an emergency medical intervention such as post operative care, care following a heart attack or stroke, or even chemo or radiation therapy. Many of these services used to be provided by public health clinics or free clinics, but these have largely closed.

    None of these services qualify as urgent care that must be provided for free. However, all of these services have been proven effective over and over again at reducing mortality and morbidity dramatically. Instead of seeking preventative care or early treatment, the uninsured wait until small problems have grown into medical emergencies. In some cases this is a matter of pride. In others a simple matter of economics.

    The most recent study estimated deaths that were largely attributable to lack of insurance at 45,000 people per year (http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/09/18/deaths.health.insurance/. Also see http://www.factcheck.org/2009/09/dyi...-of-insurance/). This was largely a repeat of a study done by the National Institutes of Health in 1993 which estimated deaths at 18,000 per year. The difference is largely attributable to the growth in the number of the uninsured.

    EDIT: Following a 42% increase in premiums charged for the health insurance I offered employees through my company, many of my staff dropped coverage because they could not afford the cost. Unfortunately, I could not afford to pay the cost for them. One young woman with two small children was then diagnosed with a brain tumor. She was lucky. The tumor was removed at the expense of the Maryland Medicaid program. She received the care she needed and returned to work afterward. However, she was no longer eligible for health insurance because of her pre-existing condition.
    Last edited by YardleyLabs; 02-26-2010 at 05:28 PM.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Hoosier's Avatar
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    Profits drive innovation. How is this bill going to affect R&D for medical devices, and pharmaceuticals? I know they are proposing a fee on medical devices, but is the government going to just tell these industries how much they are going to pay for devices?

  6. #46
    Senior Member M&K's Retrievers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier View Post
    Profits drive innovation. How is this bill going to affect R&D for medical devices, and pharmaceuticals? I know they are proposing a fee on medical devices, but is the government going to just tell these industries how much they are going to pay for devices?
    You got it. The best health care system in the world is about to take major steps back ( a nice way of saying going down the sh!tter).
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  7. #47
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Both the pharmaceutical companies and the medical device manufacturers are comfortable that their profits will rise with a bill the provides universal coverage. Their fear is a bill that allows the government to begin negotiating prices aggressively.

  8. #48
    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    Both the pharmaceutical companies and the medical device manufacturers are comfortable that their profits will rise with a bill the provides universal coverage. Their fear is a bill that allows the government to begin negotiating prices aggressively.
    I agree wholeheartedly....but wont certain insurance carriers reap enormous profits if insurance is mandated and they are the designated insurer of choice by the govt
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonMallari View Post
    I agree wholeheartedly....but wont certain insurance carriers reap enormous profits if insurance is mandated and they are the designated insurer of choice by the govt
    I suspect that will depend more on the details. The plans being discussed do not have any "designated" providers. Rather they provide exchanges where any company can put forward a plan meeting minimum service standards and then compete for a broad market through the "exchanges". For companies that now profit from selling "fine print" policies (meaning those that give benefits in large type but take them back in small type), this approach will cut into their business by removing much of their ability to fool unsuspecting customers. While not one of the big abusers, Aetna, for example, may lose business since they have developed a specialty practice of selling policies with low premiums and even lower benefits (high deductibles, 40% co-pays, and low life time maximums). However, the major companies still believe they will benefit from the increase in population served as long as coverage is virtually universal and there is no public plan.

    If coverage is not universal, insurance companies stand to lose a lot if there are any real controls on recessions and exclusions for pre-existing conditions. So far, of course, proposals concerning these items have only been window dressing, with the creation of high risk pools with premiums several times those of people outside of the pools, and therefore totally unaffordable. At least some of the Republican proposals have followed this approach, adding billions in subsidies for these pools, which should provide a massive profit opportunity. A similar strategy was followed with New Jersey auto insurance at one time. The insurance companies managed to get the majority of NJ drivers classified into the high risk pool and made huge profits from the public subsidies. It is this kind of problem that leads me to oppose any plan that is not virtually universal. There is too much money to be made in abusing the margins that define who is in and who is out with any non-universal plans.

  10. #50
    Senior Member Hoosier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    Both the pharmaceutical companies and the medical device manufacturers are comfortable that their profits will rise with a bill the provides universal coverage. Their fear is a bill that allows the government to begin negotiating prices aggressively.
    I don't know how you can say they are comfortable that profits will rise. When the reality is that the government will impose pricing pressure that will drive down profits and limit R&D spending. As new products are released the average selling price begins to erode over time and it is only through the release of new products that the average selling price is maintained over time. If the cost to develop, provide clinical evidence, gain approval and market those products can not be recouped by the uplift in selling price the companies will not pursue those new products. Innovation, that is the result of research that is developed into a marketable product is only there through many failed attempts in the R&D cycle. The cost of developing new technologies that provide a better quality of life and extend life comes at a cost.
    I don't know about you but I don't want medical advancements and available technologies to become equivalent to the Christmas season price wars between Walmart and Kmart.

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