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Old 03-08-2011, 10:59 AM
 
6,566 posts, read 9,080,964 times
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For years I've been hearing people saying that the U.S health care system is an example of a free market health care system and this is why we have the problems that we have with it. Then I hear people saying that the problem with the U.S system is that it's not an actual free market system and if it were the system would be better.

So exactly how free market is and isn't the U.S system?
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:06 AM
 
69,372 posts, read 55,530,793 times
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Its not..
Government sets the ICD9 rates
They set the ICD10 rates
UCR rates

They say insurance companies cant cross the state line
They dictate what care must be covered and what policies can be written
The government pays a very large percentage of the medical claims in america, below the cost it takes to perform, pushing the balance of the expense onto the private sector to pickup.
Insurance companies have special deals to pay the claims at a similar, "discounted" rate like the government or they tell patients you cant go where you want..

Who is left to pickup the tab? Well those without insurance get the bill, but because so many of the costs have been pushed onto them, the cost is too expensive to pay for.

You get the picture..
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:13 AM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,343,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post
For years I've been hearing people saying that the U.S health care system is an example of a free market health care system and this is why we have the problems that we have with it. Then I hear people saying that the problem with the U.S system is that it's not an actual free market system and if it were the system would be better.

So exactly how free market is and isn't the U.S system?
About 50% of all the dollars spent on health care come from federal or State governments.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Gulf Coast Texas
28,506 posts, read 15,470,727 times
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Health care is not a free market system for the majority of Americans.

If you have plenty of money, then you are able to pay the price of taking care of your own health care - either by paying per doctor visit, or buying your own insurance plan, or a combination of both. Prices are higher because you are not pooled with a bunch of other people purchasing a similar plan. This is when the market is free.

For the majority - they obtain a health insurance policy through their employer, or apply for Medicaid or Medicare. The insurance allows people to pay less than full price for a doctor visit. It is not a free market because the end user (patient) does not negotiate the price of service with the doctor.

Basically, instead of having the discipline to save our own money for medical expenses - we hand the money over to insurance companies ahead of time and then pay a small co-pay for routine visits.

Also - ditto post #2 from pghquest
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:30 AM
 
10,963 posts, read 8,058,574 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post
For years I've been hearing people saying that the U.S health care system is an example of a free market health care system and this is why we have the problems that we have with it. Then I hear people saying that the problem with the U.S system is that it's not an actual free market system and if it were the system would be better.

So exactly how free market is and isn't the U.S system?
The system is rigged. First the majority of healthcare insurance in this country is employer based. That does two things first is hides the real cost of health care from the end user and it deprives people of a certain element of economic freedom. How many people live in fear of losing their jobs primarily based on losing health care benefits? Employer based health care insurance also increases business cost and in many case those cost are past on to consumers in the form of higher prices.

The employer based health care system also penalizes people who are not employed or are self employed. These people can be just as healthy as employed people but they are subjected to higher premiums.

Also if you have the ability to pay for you medical care without health care insurance why do some health care faciilities deny you treatment without insurance?

Last edited by JazzyTallGuy; 03-08-2011 at 12:58 PM..
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:56 AM
 
Location: state of procrastination
3,487 posts, read 6,366,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post
For years I've been hearing people saying that the U.S health care system is an example of a free market health care system and this is why we have the problems that we have with it. Then I hear people saying that the problem with the U.S system is that it's not an actual free market system and if it were the system would be better.

So exactly how free market is and isn't the U.S system?
The only free market areas of health care are in fields like elective procedures in dermatology, plastic surgery, and ophthalmology. Things that insurance do not cover. Get rid of insurance, cut middleman payments, and you will see the prices free fall. Even a totally nationalized health care system (cuts the middle man) would be cheaper than what we have now. Government reimbursements to healthcare providers and services are fairly low.

My 3 hour ER visit cost 3k (covered by insurance) when all I got was an EKG, a bag of normal saline, defibrillator pads (that were not used), and two potassium pills. I saw a doctor and nurse for maybe 5 minutes. The rest of the time I was just laying there.

My mom's ER visit (covered by insurance) to get forehead staples for a laceration cost 500k. I could have cleaned and stitched or dermabonded her lac myself for much less and she would not have a giant scar from the crappy stapling job. She probably had to pay for this out of pocket because she didn't meet her deductible. They wanted her to come back for staple removal... yea right! I did it for her in a minute with a cheap staple removal kit and it didn't cost her a dime.

As you can see the costs with insurance are inflated.

Last edited by miyu; 03-08-2011 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:59 AM
 
39,498 posts, read 40,831,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pghquest View Post
They dictate what care must be covered and what policies can be written
Important point there, this prevents people from getting basic lower cost policies.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
31,777 posts, read 24,913,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Important point there, this prevents people from getting basic lower cost policies.
And it is only because of the government?
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:47 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,343,613 times
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The problem is that the free market does not do business with people who do not have enough money to pay for services or who are bad credit risks.

Its all very well saying the free market will bring prices down and maybe it will. But even lower prices will not help those people who still cannot afford them. I have heard very few people who are willing to let poor people die because they cannot afford treatment or leave someone who has had an accident laying in the street because they don't happen to have their credit card with them.

I think that most reasonable people realize that, when it comes to health care, the free market has its limits.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:56 PM
 
Location: North America
19,633 posts, read 12,454,576 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post
For years I've been hearing people saying that the U.S health care system is an example of a free market health care system and this is why we have the problems that we have with it. Then I hear people saying that the problem with the U.S system is that it's not an actual free market system and if it were the system would be better.

So exactly how free market is and isn't the U.S system?

The US Health System is not free market. It's not like you can go doctor or hospital shopping for a better deal. Hospitals rarely hold sales to beat the competition. There are no BOGOs at clinics.
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