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Old 04-08-2011, 06:01 PM
Location: new england
171 posts, read 416,956 times
Reputation: 84


My state health in Mass works fine, who says it has failed?? that's all propaganda from the insurance companys who won't make money off of your health care anymore. It only makes sense, if it's a government run system, they don't have to make a profit on us, therefore it weill be cheaper, the hmos and ins companys have to make a profit, aren't you glad you get to pay for that??
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:00 PM
Location: Greater Boston
30 posts, read 58,780 times
Reputation: 17
Mass Health works for you? Did they hook you up with the Connector? How does your cost on MassHealth compare to similiar private medical insurance?
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:32 AM
126 posts, read 303,287 times
Reputation: 156
Default Here's the real deal

Annie Metal is a single-payer propagandist and clearly not a physician. At the most she is a naive premed who still hasn't faced the realities of working as a doctor in the US. Most physicians enter the profession full of idealism about helping people, but few are able to muster that idealism after their 100th 36-hrs straight of working without sleep as a resident, when they missed their kids' first words and first step, when they missed their family members' funerals, when they've been needle stabbed by an idiot staff worker from a patient who is HIV or Hep C positive, all so that they can treat a verbally abusive drug addict who they just saw last week and who Medicaid doesn't even cover their costs/overhead of treating him.

So to cut to the chase, does money matter? You bet your ass it does. Vermont has another thing coming if it thinks the way it's going to cut costs is by screwing the physicians (who account for less than 10% of the state's health care costs and haven't seen a pay raise in years). Physicians are smart people, they are highly mobile and are used to moving around the country during their medical school and residency years. It doesn't take that many to leave the state before you encounter a severe shortage, there's very little lax built into the system.

Few Americans are capable and willing to go to 4 years of college ($80k), bust their ass to get into medical school with straight As and stellar extracurriculars, do 4 years of medical school ($200k of loans) studying 80-120 hrs a week and doing 24 hour shifts back to back during rotations, take high-stakes 9-hr board exams again and again, do 3 to 7 years of residency working 80+ hrs a week and making minimum wage, and then perhaps another 1-2 years of fellowship, all to make $90,000 in Vermont working 60 hrs a week as an attending when they are 35+ years old with a load of debt that's accruing interest at 7%, no house deposit and often no family. Not to mention malpractice premiums and frivolous lawsuits. Meanwhile, the local policeman or plumber without a college degree is 10 years away from his full pension retirement, and makes more than the primary care doc on his pension alone.

Physicians in Western Europe can afford to make less because they work 38 hours a week, can't be sued (malpractice immunity), take siestas after lunch, and their free medical degree is an undergraduate bachelor's degree (hence most medical research and innovation is done in the US, not Europe). Also professional wages in Europe are just lower overall, for doctors, lawyers, accountants, everyone.
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:32 AM
442 posts, read 475,521 times
Reputation: 127
I guess you didn't read the articles, where it clearly states most doctors will be getting raises. This also winds up costing everyone less money. The money still comes out of your taxes to pay for uninsured folks' emergency room visits and the like. This will save more money, overall. Please read all of the information, before you go on the attack.
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Old 04-09-2011, 04:55 AM
Location: The Woods
16,964 posts, read 22,282,742 times
Reputation: 9095
I won't deny the system is not working here, but the European system isn't either.

Emergency room visits, etc., are costing us tax money, but when the government is paying for everyone's care, taxes will necessarily go up, or services will be cut. This state can't afford much more in the way of taxes, and the politicians don't have the will to cut the wasteful spending in this state either (especially in the field of education).
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Old 04-09-2011, 04:24 PM
442 posts, read 475,521 times
Reputation: 127
The European system is working a whole lot better than MILLIONS of Americans with no health care. The spending will go down, not up. Please read the articles I posted.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:41 PM
Location: Hate VT & hopefully moving back South someday which can't come soon enough
34 posts, read 38,267 times
Reputation: 30
I haven't seen anything about this yet, maybe I've somehow missed it, but here's a question that probably no one can answer.

What's going to happen to those of us who have to travel out of state to see a doctor because there's none in our area and that's the closest? Not all of us live around Burlington and have the luxury of options! Both my mom and I have had to get doctors in NH and I know a few people who travel to Dartmouth. If this is going to be the healthcare plan of VT does that mean other states aren't going to accept it? What'll happen if you're traveling and end up in a hospital a thousand miles away? Which I know that's rare, but can happen!

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that it'll give everyone insurance but there's just too many questions and not enough answers that leaves me unimpressed with it. I feel like it's taking away my right to choose what I want for coverage. The other thing I'm curious about is what the deductible on this plan will be. Right now mine is pretty decent. I don't want to be thrown onto a plan where it's $1000. I know it'll probably take years to get this to happen so I shouldn't be living here by then, but I worry about my family and friends that I'd be leaving behind!
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:39 PM
1,135 posts, read 2,051,964 times
Reputation: 1486
I spoke to my doc about this a few days ago. He said he has no problem with the concept of single payer health care. But he is worried about the reimbursements. His last practice had to shut down b/c the reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare got lower and lower as their expenses for equipment, insurance, etc. kept growing. An interesting side note, he told me that most primary care physicians in Vermont are getting paid similar Medicare/Medicaid rates as they received in 1985.

It's already hard to attract doctors to rural areas. I had to travel an hour to an ob-gyn when I was pregnant b/c there was only one ob-gyn in our entire county and I wanted a group rather than a single doc who might not have been there when I'm in labor. Late last year, our local health center finally recruited a second ob-gyn after nearly three years of trying. They've been trying for two years to recruit another general practitioner.

For me, the biggest concerns are quality and cost. Will single payer coverage provide the same level of care I receive from my private insurance? Would it cost my husband's employer more? Would we pay more than the few hundred dollars we already pay each month?

It worries me that the Legislature has not offered a projection of how much it will cost the state to implement. We could be headed toward another failure like Catamount. It seemed like a good concept (offer affordable insurance to uninsured Vermonters) but it morphed into a nightmare when it wasn't affordable for people who needed it or for the state to administer.

Last edited by LisaMc46; 04-09-2011 at 08:42 PM.. Reason: added sentance.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:12 PM
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,531,553 times
Reputation: 772
Originally Posted by LisaMc46 View Post
We could be headed toward another failure like Catamount. It seemed like a good concept (offer affordable insurance to uninsured Vermonters) but it morphed into a nightmare when it wasn't affordable for people who needed it or for the state to administer.
Catamount's success is in the eye of the beholder. Without it, my spouse and I would be bankrupt. He developed a serious illness shortly after we enrolled in Catamount. We'd have been totally screwed with the private coverage we had before Catamount.

Lots of other self-employed people we know are very grateful to have Catamount. Even with deductible raise next year, no other option could come close to providing such good benefits at affordable rates.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:13 PM
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,067,917 times
Reputation: 925
I have not read through all the posts, but something that was covered in the open forums I attended was what the effects would be with a single payer plan. There would be a very big change in how people are treated for ailments. What many don't realize is that they will have be responsible for their health. Right now, people are not responsible for their health. Many eat poorly or take care of themselves poorly and this puts a big strain on the healthcare system. We looked at why some European countries can support government healthcare, and one of the big reasons is, people in Europe have better diets and are physically in better shape. This translates to lower heart disease, low obesity rates, low diabetes rates, etc. They don't put a strain on their systems because they are healthier.
Another point is hospitals are there to provide a service, but they also can't take a financial loss while providing that service. Something that may happen is if people continue to strain the system, even under a single payer plan, the reimbursement rates will be lower and lower. One thing that may happen is hospitals may privatize because of this. This was an issue for the Catamount Plan. Some physicians were not accepting that insurance plan.
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