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Old 09-15-2010, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Barrington
56,641 posts, read 39,054,281 times
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Back in 1986, under the Reagan admin, ( for those who keep score) The EmergencyMedical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) became law. It requires hospitals to provide care to anyone in need of emergency healthcare , regardless of their ability to pay for such services.

The costs to comply with this law are not directly covered by the federal government and are a significant contributer to medical inflation which then becomes the insurer's/co-payors obligation.

ERs are routinely clogged with people seeking care for routine medical problems.

Reportedly, about 85% of all hospitals are not-for profit and fight every day to keep the ER open.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Ohio
22,798 posts, read 16,003,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
That's a gross generality that may or may not be true in view of health insurance.
No, that is a spot on analysis.

In 1979, a typical visit to the doctor's office was $25. I paid that plus the cost of my sports physical my senior year in high school (I had a part-time job at Wendy's plus ran boards for a band and played out in my band). The whole thing came to about $80 which I paid the office visit up front and then sent the doctor $10 or $20 a month (yeah you could do that in the days before "health insurance" existed).

Tickets to see Genesis 2nd row stage center floor were $8.50 which I thought was outrageous since The Who only charged $7.50

For $15 I could fill up the tank in either my '67 Camaro or '70 Plymouth Scamp (I had two cars because I had been working since age 14) go to the cinema show with my girl and pay $2.50/ticket, eat out after the show and go shoot pool and drink beer (18 year olds could legally drink then).

What I see now is that people have no problem paying $50 - $75 for concert tickets; will readily fork over $10 for a ticket at the movies and basically will pay double and triple and 10-fold the price for anything except a doctor's office visit which is usually about $45 and which most people believe should be totally free or only cost $10, which is less than it used to cost before "health insurance" existed.

On top of that, the very same people can find $120 for cable TV, but scream until they start frothing at the mouth and fall over backwards if they have to pay more than $2 for a prescription.

Essentially, it's a matter of priorities and your priorities are whacked.

You need to choose which is more important, a cell-phone or your health.

If you cannot afford the excesses in life, then I suggest you alter your life-style to be more healthy so that you reduce your health care costs so that you afford the non-essentials in life.

Pure and simple, you have no "right" to health care and you cannot adopt any argument to support claims that you do while simultaneously acknowledging that you have no "right" to food and water and I don't see anything demanding "food insurance" or "water insurance."

Quote:
Originally Posted by middle-aged mom
Reportedly, about 85% of all hospitals are not-for profit and fight every day to keep the ER open.
I think you grossly misunderstand the meaning of the phrase "not-for-profit."

"Not-for-profit" means they don't sell stock on the DOW.

"Not-for-profit" does not mean they operate at a loss or make no profit. They do make massive profits, they just don't record them as profits or pay taxes on them as a for-profit corporation would.

Perhaps you could enlighten everyone and explain how the Sisters of Mercy (who own and operate the Mercy Health Care System -- usually hospitals named Mercy, Bethesda etc) and the Franciscan Sisters (who own and operate the Franciscan Health Care system -- generally hospitals named Good Samaritan, St Francis, St George, Christ etc etc etc) are managing to buy up hospitals left and right if they aren't making a profit.

If you all want affordable health care then I suggest you start demanding your state and pseudo-federal legislators to enact legislation that requires health care providers to adopt the Market Economic System in conjunction with Capitalist Economic Theory.

If part of a business unit has poor sales, is losing money, is unable to compete in the market, then the business will do one of the following:

1) shut down the operation;

2) spin the operation off as a separate entity; or

3) sell the operation

When a hospital has a unit that is not profitable and fails to make money or which loses tremendous amounts of money, like a psychiatric unit, the geriatric unit, the orthopedic or the OB-Gyn unit etc etc, the hospitals do not shut down those operations; nor do they spin them off; nor do they sell those operations.

What they do is raise the prices of services for all other units, like cardio-pulmonary and neuro to subsidize the losses incurred by the units that don't make any money.

That means you pay more money than you should be paying, and that's why (in part) hospital costs are rising.

Like I said, where I live, we have 19 hospitals and there just isn't sufficient demand for 19 freaking hospitals.

That means a head of orthopedics, and assistant head, a chief resident, all the residents, the interns, all of the nurses, all of the technicians, all of the fancy orthopedic diagnostic equipment, all of the maintenance for that equipment all of the floor space, all of the floor space that has to be sanitized and swept and mopped and waxed and buffed by the cleaning people etc etc etc etc.

All of those hospitals have an orthopedic section and the demand for those services simply is not there. I freaking sorry but the situation here is such that we don't have people falling out of trees or down the stairs every 10 freaking minutes breaking arms and legs to justify the number of ortho units here.

Because these hospitals are cartels, they don't shut down those operations they just raise the prices of all other services to subsidize them, and worse than that, all of the hospitals raise their prices uniform because they collude to fix prices for services.

Before you sign your own death warrant with a national health care plan, you need to fix the problems inherent in the current system, otherwise those problems will balloon right in your face.

I also don't believe that some of you understand the relevant paradigms, and maybe that's because of your own employment situation.

The issue here is "Career Path."

Those of you who are prior service know what I'm talking about. I'm in a platoon, then at battalion in operations like S-3 or S-3 Air, then to a company then back to battalion, etc etc until I reach the pinnacle (and not everyone's career path leads them to command of a combat division).

An electrician has a career path from apprentice, to journeyman, to master electrician and then to foreman of an electrical shop or their own electrical service business.

Doctors have a career path too.

It starts as maybe an oncology intern at a hospital, to oncology resident at a hospital, to chief oncology resident at a hospital, to private practice in oncology, then assistant head of oncology at a hospital, to the head of the oncology unit at a hospital.

There's also a paradigm that unless you are the head or the assistant head of a unit at a hospital, you cannot get things published in prestigious medical journals or go on lecture tours or be famous.

That was true 40 years ago, but times have changed, and hospitals and the medical profession need to change too.

We don't need hospitals. Hospitals and the whole idea of hospitals is out-moded, out-dated and antiquated, and if that poses problems for doctors, then that's really just too bad because my function on Planet Earth is not to guarantee and subsidize with my tax dollars their career paths so they can run around proclaiming, "I'm the head of OB-Gyn at the big city Mexican Cartel hospital and you're not."

Until something is done about the hospitals, I will not even consider supporting any national health care plan in any form.

You need to tell the Franciscan Sister, sorry, but you can't own 3 hospitals in the same county, you'll have shut down two of them or sell them off.

Then you need to outlaw the Cartels, like the big cartel around here, Tri-Health System. If that requires a regulatory body to oversee it then fine, do that, and ensure there is no collusion and price-fixing and make certain there are stringent penalties, like prison time for those who believe the Feudal System was cool.

Then you need to take steps to break up the hospitals so that none exist, which will result in more efficient operation and delivery of health care services at a substantially reduced cost.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:13 PM
 
48,508 posts, read 88,682,201 times
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Bascailly in 1979 when you went to teh doctors office you certainly were not goig to be lined up for medical chack to test your blood ;your colon and other testig that can now catch many things so early. About teh highest tech a typical doctors office had was X-ray. Thatwas a time of major medical coverage that only covered when you had a major hospital sstay. There was no dental ro office visit coverage. Youalos got less treatment and doctors did not have much liabilty for missing anhting. Then people wanted more coverage to apy for even office visits ;testing and even medicine. Deamnd drive many cost. Want a MRI easily available then its has a life span and has to have setup.You can still live and get about teh same medical treatment now days if you insist and at adjusted rates as to 1979. But you may alos have them cut you open and then sew you backup with the advanced treatments like then.If everybody wanted that care then we alos would see the death arte go up and life span decrese tot hsoe levls or worse with teh bad phyiocal contiion of people now than then.Heart conditions now causedby eating junk fofod and too mcuh would alone have death rates increase by age.Right now the coverage mandated is going to drive the cost up.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 20,093,553 times
Reputation: 15724
Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
Bascailly in 1979 when you went to teh doctors office you certainly were not goig to be lined up for medical chack to test your blood ;your colon and other testig that can now catch many things so early. About teh highest tech a typical doctors office had was X-ray. Thatwas a time of major medical coverage that only covered when you had a major hospital sstay. There was no dental ro office visit coverage. Youalos got less treatment and doctors did not have much liabilty for missing anhting. Then people wanted more coverage to apy for even office visits ;testing and even medicine. Deamnd drive many cost. Want a MRI easily available then its has a life span and has to have setup.You can still live and get about teh same medical treatment now days if you insist and at adjusted rates as to 1979. But you may alos have them cut you open and then sew you backup with the advanced treatments like then.If everybody wanted that care then we alos would see the death arte go up and life span decrese tot hsoe levls or worse with teh bad phyiocal contiion of people now than then.Heart conditions now causedby eating junk fofod and too mcuh would alone have death rates increase by age.Right now the coverage mandated is going to drive the cost up.
Yes everything was simpler in 1979. Interesting how the cancer and heart disease rates, etc. have skyrocketed since then.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,068 posts, read 76,871,028 times
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It's a double edged sword..the medical/drug industry thrive on people being sick or their fear of being sick.
All these drugs don't actually cure the problems; they just mask or ease the symptoms.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:13 PM
 
48,508 posts, read 88,682,201 times
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I mnay cases they keep yopu from have worse problems like a stroke or heart attack.But I just saw the new numbers from my company based o same claims numebrs but witht eh increrase in mandates gy the new healthcare which they are goig to to be grandfather under it and its a 18.9% increase in cost this year.That is based on last years claims cost.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:43 AM
 
28,751 posts, read 31,415,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
It gets worse .... employers are passing all the costs on to employees

Survey: Family health costs soar 14% in 2010 - Sep. 2, 2010

As the costs to individuals continue to rise so the demand for tax payer funded UHC will continue to rise.
The reality is that employers always have passed the cost increases onto employees in the form of flat/lower wages. That's a big part of the reason for the wage stagnation we have in the US. Now, if it becomes completely government sponsored, the government will pass those costs onto the taxpayers.

When, oh when, will we give up the illusion that we can get something for free or heavily subsidized with someone else to pick up the tab?
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:01 AM
 
28,751 posts, read 31,415,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
And yet, in European countries where they have taxpayer funded UHC, their per capita costs are much lower than ours.
Correlation is not causation. There's no guarantee the US government will do a good job. It already doesn't have a good track record. Even a liberal/progressive, Naomi Wolf, has said this about the health care bill:

....I think that what's more important for citizens for notice is that a 2500 page bill got turned into a law without any accurate, thorough, summary of it appearing in any media where any of us could really follow it and make informed judgements. I think the fact that it appeared in the form of 2500 pages without an English language 5 page summary from our government....shows how the people are being deliberately shut out of the deliberative process.

And I guess I also have to say that...you know...as a liberal by heritage, my instinct is to support single payer or government solutions to things like health care.

But when your government has been taken over by the medical lobby, the insurance lobby, and various other special interests that are not sick people, it doesn't necessarily mean that single payer is going to be in your best interest or that a government solution is going to be in your best interest. And so, I'm now kind of witholding judgement until I know more about it and obviously I want... Americans to have health insurance but I'm not persuaded yet that this bill is the kind of thing that we see in...Northern Europe, where the government has literally made sure everybody gets health care.

The health care part of the interview starts around 43:05. The whole interview is worth listening to, IMO. It's nice to listen to someone who I disagree with on a lot of things but who at least has a clue and some respect for perspectives outside her own.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T-jtnifFZo
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:13 AM
 
28,751 posts, read 31,415,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
This is a very complex area, and the reasons why health care costs so much are multiple and complex. They include insurance company greed, tort law (practicing medicine to include unnecessary tests and procedures with an eye to potential lawsuits), the high cost of high-tech diagnostic tools (such as MRI's and colonoscopies), and the reluctance in some quarters to stop extreme end-of-life measures in favor of hospice care.

There is one more reason and I want to emphasize it here: That is our own collective choices of poor health habits. About 20% of adult Americans still smoke, and while we rightly applaud the substantial reduction from 20 or 30 or 40 years ago, this still adds to the cost of health care. Obesity is huge (pardon the pun). There is something seriously wrong in a nation with our rates of obesity, i.e., our values and priorities are sick and skewed. Poor dietary choices and lack of exercise are of course related to obesity, but are also their own separate issues.
Thank you for covering all the basic aspects of the problem.

By the way, scientists have already found a "cure" for high health care costs:

Key to Affordable Health Care: Healthier Lifestyles | LiveScience


Scientists this week are reporting a breakthrough therapy to lower the risk of developing the most common and deadly chronic diseases — diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer — by about 80 percent.

In some ways, this might sound like old news. The therapy is called taking care of yourself: not smoking, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.



Others, such as Michael Pollan, are showing the way toward recognizing real food from fake food in his eloquently short and simple book.

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual

Amazon.com: Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (9780143116387): Michael Pollan: Gateway
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:20 AM
 
28,751 posts, read 31,415,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
That's a gross generality that may or may not be true in view of health insurance. I notice that those making statements like these are just reading the daily news/literature of their class.
The same is true for those who want "free" health care but think someone else is going to pay for it.

I'm glad to see that there are at least a few liberal "governmet solutions" advocates, like Naomi Wolf, who are willing to scrutinize the people they voted for instead of just assuming everything will work out ok because members of "their team" got elected.
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