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Unread 08-25-2009, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,353 posts, read 5,205,307 times
Reputation: 5972
Quote:
Supposing there was a doctor that hung a sign in his office that said "I have no malpractice insurance. If you sue me, you will get nothing. I charge $25 for an office call. Take it or leave it."
Highly unlikely this would work...great idea tho.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 08:19 PM
 
Location: MN, someday AK
49 posts, read 57,539 times
Reputation: 41
Wow! Great points here. Interesting ideas as well. I'd like to add a little bit. First let me point out that I am fairly young, 25. So I'm only recently becoming enlightened to the pains of carrying and using the health care system independently from my family. Wow! Insurance is not cheap and when you need to use your insurance for an emergency room visit or whatever else, watch out! Its not easy to be a single person in the health insurance realm. Anyways, I agree about dental coverage. Why oh why isn't dental coverage included in general health insurance? My dad's company lost their dental coverage about 6 years ago and never got coverage again. I remember my parents being very upset and debating about how they were going to handle dental coverage for all 5 of us kids. Also, I was living in India for 6 months this year and WOW the difference is amazing. First of all, some of the most educated doctors come out of that country and they have some of the most advanced health care there. Second of all, you can walk up to any pharmacy and ask for a majority of drugs from the pharmacist without a prescription and he'll give it to you. On top of that, drugs over there cost next to nothing! I remember I was sick a few times over there and my prescriptions (3 different ones for about a weeks worth) cost only 16 cents! Of course for some really heavy drugs you are required to carry a prescription but for most not. Just think how much we could save if we could walk up to a pharmacist and get antibiotics or whatever and not have to pay for a doctor's office visit as well. I don't really understand how India has structured all of that but it seems to be working for them. Also, big pharmaceutical companies do not advertise drugs in India. They don't push brand name prescriptions in your face ever. I'd like to see big changes in our system in the future. This is a great thread too. I'm learning a ton just from reading everyone's ideas, opinions, and observations of our current system. Thank you everyone!
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Unread 08-25-2009, 08:25 PM
 
Location: MN, someday AK
49 posts, read 57,539 times
Reputation: 41
Oh and I just wanted to add that I agree with the atrocity of insurance companies refusing to pay for things as well due to whatever excuse they can think of at the time. Then why the hell are we paying them such high premiums in the first place?? What are they really covering for us? Their own butts most of the time. Makes no sense, no sense at all.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
37,147 posts, read 31,295,013 times
Reputation: 26538
There's an ad currently running on TV paid for by some acronym collective of health insurance companies (AHIP, I think) that has the audacity to blame their standard internal practices on somebody else. They are telling us that if we get bipartisan (read: Republican) reform the words "preexisting conditions will be removed from the language". Even though they were put into the language unilaterally by the insurance companies, who are the only people who ever say those words. AHIP members are perfectly free to take the words "pre-existing conditions" out of the language at 12:01 AM tonight, without any government action or reform at all.
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Unread 08-27-2009, 11:17 AM
 
3,885 posts, read 2,746,502 times
Reputation: 10083
Wow! Great points here. Interesting ideas as well. I'd like to add a little bit. First let me point out that I am fairly young, 25. So I'm only recently becoming enlightened to the pains of carrying and using the health care system independently from my family. Wow! Insurance is not cheap and when you need to use your insurance for an emergency room visit or whatever else, watch out! Its not easy to be a single person in the health insurance realm. Anyways, I agree about dental coverage. Why oh why isn't dental coverage included in general health insurance? My dad's company lost their dental coverage about 6 years ago and never got coverage again. I remember my parents being very upset and debating about how they were going to handle dental coverage for all 5 of us kids. Also, I was living in India for 6 months this year and WOW the difference is amazing. First of all, some of the most educated doctors come out of that country and they have some of the most advanced health care there. Second of all, you can walk up to any pharmacy and ask for a majority of drugs from the pharmacist without a prescription and he'll give it to you. On top of that, drugs over there cost next to nothing! I remember I was sick a few times over there and my prescriptions (3 different ones for about a weeks worth) cost only 16 cents! Of course for some really heavy drugs you are required to carry a prescription but for most not. Just think how much we could save if we could walk up to a pharmacist and get antibiotics or whatever and not have to pay for a doctor's office visit as well. I don't really understand how India has structured all of that but it seems to be working for them. Also, big pharmaceutical companies do not advertise drugs in India. They don't push brand name prescriptions in your face ever. I'd like to see big changes in our system in the future. This is a great thread too. I'm learning a ton just from reading everyone's ideas, opinions, and observations of our current system. Thank you everyone!

.................................................. ..................................................

Meeptjeep,

This thread seems to be winding down, but I want to address a couple of your points.

1. You state private health insurance coverage is not cheap and oh, how right you are! Its not cheap at all. I don't know what kind of a plan you are pricing, but if you are looking at a private plan (non-employer based) offered by someone like Blue Cross/Blue Shield remember you are paying the entire cost of the coverage. Employees in a corporate setting typically pay 1/2 or even less of the cost of such a plan. The employer picks up the rest. Its why in America finding the right job can be so critical. Also, employees in a group have some bargaining power because there are so many of them. They get even lower total rates because they can force medical providers and insurers to give them discounts.

2. You ask why dental coverage is not included. Very simple. The plan is already costly and including the services of dentists would raise the premiums even further. Are you willing to pay the difference to get it?

3. You speak praisingly of a system where people can buy antibiotics over the counter along with other medications. I must educate you what a bad practice this is. We have a very serious problem in this world right now with bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics Much of this problem stems from the overuse of these medications by people. I can guarantee you in countries where these are sold over the counter the problem is at its worst. I can assure if such a system were adopted everywhere it will will speed up a day of reckoning that we will likely face when we have no medicines that can treat some bacterial diseases. This is going to lead to epidemics and many deaths I fear.

4. India probably does have some good ideas for containing prescription drug costs. I personally would like to pass a law banning some forms of marketing by pharmaceutical companies (direct to consumer advertising). Many countries reduce prescription drug costs by forcing pharmaceutical companies to sell to only one entity--the government. This is effective in keeping costs down. I do worry though that it might lead some drug companies to do less research and development of new medications based on the notion that profits will be more limited. Its still an idea we need to seriously explore and consider to reduce costs.

I've been a little disappointed by this thread so far. I've seen a number of people complain about inadequate health care services in their area. Very few have addressed the whole issue of why health care costs so much in America. Administrative costs (health insurance billing, etc) consumes somewhere between 25% and 30% of all healthcare dollars. This compares with 1-3% in many countries. I think this is where the greatest potential for savings is. If we could establish standardized billing rates and standardized billing procedures we could get somewhere.
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Unread 08-27-2009, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,288 posts, read 9,975,348 times
Reputation: 7930
Here are the top 10 things missing from health care reform plan (and often absent from the debate):
#1) Ending the FDA's suppression of natural cures and safe, effective nutritional supplements.

#2) Initiating a real investment in public education to teach people about how to prevent disease with nutrition.

#3) Ending Big Pharma's monopoly on drug prices and drug patents (not to mention patents on human genes and animals).

#4) Restoring the ability for local doctors to practice local medicine without being controlled from bureaucrats in Washington.

#5) Cracking down on junk food advertising, soda advertising and pharmaceutical ads that convince people to purchase products that will only harm them.

#6) Banning dangerous chemical ingredients that cause diseases in the first place (aspartame, MSG, sodium nitrite, etc.)

#7) A real effort to improve school lunches and serve food that's nutritious instead of food that's cheap and convenient.

#8) Ending bizarre food subsidies on crops like corn that end up making high-fructose corn syrup the cheapest sweetener for manufacturers to use.

#9) Affirming health freedom for parents who wish to opt out of the current system of forced vaccinations and gunpoint-enforced chemotherapy.

#10) Requiring honest food labeling where irradiated and GMO foods are clearly labeled as such.
If this resonates with your way of thinking please visit: Health Revolution Petition for health reform in America
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Unread 08-28-2009, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
37,147 posts, read 31,295,013 times
Reputation: 26538
Why does Cuba have a higher life expectancy and a lower infant mortality rate than the USA? If anybody is willing to set aside for a moment the knee-jerk anti-communist mouth-frothing, perhaps we can learn something from their example.

Cuba has universal health care. Everyone gets total free access to all health and medical services. In spite of a shortage or absence of some medications and equipment, they still live longer than we do.

The Cuban diet is completely organic. There are no factory-made chemicals applied to any agricultural production. There are no chemicals added to their food. Relatively little food is processed in any way at all. Allergies are rare, because there are very few chemical products in their environment.

Cubans are well educated. There is universal mandatory education to the age of 15, and free education after that for any student who is capable of advancing, all the way through doctorate.

There is no subclass in Cuba to suffer the institutional poverty that pulls down their life expectancy average. Cuba's population is 10% black, similar to the USA, and 100% Hispanic. But every Cuban's opportunities are genuinely equal.

All of the above are factors that militate against the general health and longevity of Americans. Unequal access to health care, toxic junkfood, millions of uneducated dropouts, and an unaffluent minority subclass. Can we learn anything from this?
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Unread 08-29-2009, 12:24 PM
 
3,885 posts, read 2,746,502 times
Reputation: 10083
[quote=CosmicWizard;10481276]Here are the top 10 things missing from health care reform plan (and often absent from the debate):
#1) Ending the FDA's suppression of natural cures and safe, effective nutritional supplements.

A mythology. The FDA doesn't suppress any cure that can scientifically be shown to be "safe and effective". Some people will not accept this though.

#2) Initiating a real investment in public education to teach people about how to prevent disease with nutrition.

A good idea. However, I think it is being taught. My son is taking "Food and Nutrition" as part of his high school curriculum. A similar course was taught in junior high.

#3) Ending Big Pharma's monopoly on drug prices and drug patents (not to mention patents on human genes and animals).

More needs to be done here. I think these patents run too long. I think on occasion, the government ought to buy out the patent rights and stop allowing the company to profit indefinitely.

#4) Restoring the ability for local doctors to practice local medicine without being controlled from bureaucrats in Washington.

Standardization brings costs down. Non-standardization drives costs up. We need to focus more on costs than the individual rights of a physician.

#5) Cracking down on junk food advertising, soda advertising and pharmaceutical ads that convince people to purchase products that will only harm them.

Not a terrible idea, but do you realize the first amendment free speech protections apply to advertisers too? They don't enjoy absolute protection, but you have to show some pretty compelling reasons for ending their advertising.

#6) Banning dangerous chemical ingredients that cause diseases in the first place (aspartame, MSG, sodium nitrite, etc.)

Sigh....a health food nut obviously. Why not mention things that have a huge correlation to bad health like tobacco? We still have 60 million Americans smoking cigarettes despite their undeniable connection to lung cancer and heart disease. The things you mention may kill a 100 people a year. Tobacco kills 150,000 every year due to smoking related illnesses.

#7) A real effort to improve school lunches and serve food that's nutritious instead of food that's cheap and convenient.

A good idea, but someone has to pay for it. Schools are locally controlled and this often is a battle that must be fought individually with each of the 6,000 plus school districts in this country.

#8) Ending bizarre food subsidies on crops like corn that end up making high-fructose corn syrup the cheapest sweetener for manufacturers to use.

Probably a good idea. At least this one would save money too. You will have to fight the agricultural lobby to get it through Congress. All those Iowa corn farmers love those subsidies.

#9) Affirming health freedom for parents who wish to opt out of the current system of forced vaccinations and gunpoint-enforced chemotherapy.

This is absolute nonsense. Vaccinations are the cheapest most effective way ever devised to fight illnesses that cause death and morbidity. I'd do exactly the opposite if I had my way. I mandate vaccinations for every child who could not show an allergy to the vaccine. I'd make the vaccines free. Finally, I'd fine parents who didn't vaccinate their kids. If we ever adopted this cute idea of yours, health care costs would jump several billion dollars per year at least.

#10) Requiring honest food labeling where irradiated and GMO foods are clearly labeled as such.

Again, you seem very concerned about your food being "poisoned". However, not one word out of you about actual proven dangers from products like tobacco. Alcohol is another one. Its ok in moderation, but so many people can't use it in moderation its a public health nightmare. If you could eliminate drunk driving that alone would save millions in healthcare costs from hospitalizations due to accidents. Why not focus your efforts on real dangers like this instead of speculative dangers like "irradiated foods"?
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Unread 08-29-2009, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
37,147 posts, read 31,295,013 times
Reputation: 26538
[quote=markg91359;10513908]
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
My responses in bold

Here are the top 10 things missing from health care reform plan (and often absent from the debate):
#1) Ending the FDA's suppression of natural cures and safe, effective nutritional supplements.

A mythology. The FDA doesn't suppress any cure that can scientifically be shown to be "safe and effective". Some people will not accept this though.

The poster misstated, but had a point. The FDA suppresses any statement that a product is effective (see your 'freedom of speech comment below) unless the FDA's standard of proof is met---virtually impossible to do by anyone without a big pharma budget.

#2) Initiating a real investment in public education to teach people about how to prevent disease with nutrition.

A good idea. However, I think it is being taught. My son is taking "Food and Nutrition" as part of his high school curriculum. A similar course was taught in junior high.

No student believes anything he is taught in school. The poster means a REAL public education program like the one about tobacco.

#3) Ending Big Pharma's monopoly on drug prices and drug patents (not to mention patents on human genes and animals).

More needs to be done here. I think these patents run too long. I think on occasion, the government ought to buy out the patent rights and stop allowing the company to profit indefinitely.

#4) Restoring the ability for local doctors to practice local medicine without being controlled from bureaucrats in Washington.

Standardization brings costs down. Non-standardization drives costs up. We need to focus more on costs than the individual rights of a physician.

A doctor should always have the right to treat a patient according to the medical expertise he has, without outside influence. Tratment is standardized by court precedents in malpractice suits, not by the govenment.

#5) Cracking down on junk food advertising, soda advertising and pharmaceutical ads that convince people to purchase products that will only harm them.

Not a terrible idea, but do you realize the first amendment free speech protections apply to advertisers too? They don't enjoy absolute protection, but you have to show some pretty compelling reasons for ending their advertising.

The "reasonable man" concept, used widely in courts, should apply here. False advertising is a crime, and should be broad enough to cover what the reasonable man would conclude from the advertisement.

#6) Banning dangerous chemical ingredients that cause diseases in the first place (aspartame, MSG, sodium nitrite, etc.)

Sigh....a health food nut obviously. Why not mention things that have a huge correlation to bad health like tobacco? We still have 60 million Americans smoking cigarettes despite their undeniable connection to lung cancer and heart disease. The things you mention may kill a 100 people a year. Tobacco kills 150,000 every year due to smoking related illnesses.

Tobacco has already been dealt with, with great hooferaw. Tobacco started with a warning label, and that should to applied to other things where the risk is clear and recognized.

#7) A real effort to improve school lunches and serve food that's nutritious instead of food that's cheap and convenient.

A good idea, but someone has to pay for it. Schools are locally controlled and this often is a battle that must be fought individually with each of the 6,000 plus school districts in this country.

Schools receive federal funding for lunch, but only if the nutrition meets the federal guidelines, which are laughable.

#8) Ending bizarre food subsidies on crops like corn that end up making high-fructose corn syrup the cheapest sweetener for manufacturers to use.

Probably a good idea. At least this one would save money too. You will have to fight the agricultural lobby to get it through Congress. All those Iowa corn farmers love those subsidies.

#9) Affirming health freedom for parents who wish to opt out of the current system of forced vaccinations and gunpoint-enforced chemotherapy.

This is absolute nonsense. Vaccinations are the cheapest most effective way ever devised to fight illnesses that cause death and morbidity. I'd do exactly the opposite if I had my way. I mandate vaccinations for every child who could not show an allergy to the vaccine. I'd make the vaccines free. Finally, I'd fine parents who didn't vaccinate their kids. If we ever adopted this cute idea of yours, health care costs would jump several billion dollars per year at least.

#10) Requiring honest food labeling where irradiated and GMO foods are clearly labeled as such.

Again, you seem very concerned about your food being "poisoned". However, not one word out of you about actual proven dangers from products like tobacco. Alcohol is another one. Its ok in moderation, but so many people can't use it in moderation its a public health nightmare. If you could eliminate drunk driving that alone would save millions in healthcare costs from hospitalizations due to accidents. Why not focus your efforts on real dangers like this instead of speculative dangers like "irradiated foods"?

The number of teens injured in high school sports probably exceeds he number injured in traffic accidents. Abolishing HS sports would also save millions in health care. But in a free country, we have to make some allowance for people who wish to engage in risky behavior.
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Unread 08-30-2009, 08:11 AM
 
Location: MN, someday AK
49 posts, read 57,539 times
Reputation: 41
And may I add....

Lowering the prices of organic foods. It cost so much more to try and eat healthy. Hard to afford the organic stuff.
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