America & Medi-care

Is the US on the verge of getting universally funded public health insurance?

All the reports I am reading suggest it’s on the cards.

Probably not… I hope not, anyway (at least, not as the current proposal is).
I can see the reasoning behind the current policy that is being debated, but the “massive reform plan” is just not the way to go. I don’t understand why the Democrats always want to push a huge mandate through rather then trying to fix specific issues in a more ad-hoc manner.

Well, every poll I’ve seen says the people are against nationalized health care and very much so. For the proponents of health care, I ask why give power to those who put us in the mess we are in. The current health care problems are created by the government regulations. In their eyes you fix it by adding more regulations. If you want to make it more affordable, deregulate.

The way I see it the plan being proposed is a big improvement on the current system because it will take responsibility for health care away from employers, therefore making US businesses more competitive. I think it is unfair to expect the business sector to shoulder responsibility for individual peoples health care. Health care costs have been increasing at a faster rate than GDP due partly to rapid advances in medical technology for along time now. As I understand it, small businesses offering health insurance to employees has been decreasing for along time as well.

What do you think will happen if the government ran health care? Costs? Go way up. The Obama administration is even saying the middle class will have to be taxed to pay for it. Doctors? How many doctors do you really think are for governmental control, despite what they (gov’t/media) are telling you? If they’re pay will be capped as some are saying, do you see more people becoming doctors? There’s already a doctor shortage. Timely care? Look at Canada and Britain. You let the government take over health care, you’ll see technological advancement in medicine slow to a crawl. The federal government has a history of screwing up things that work fine, such as education and monetary policy. I can’t believe people want to let it decide something as personal as one’s health. The government is after one thing and that is more control.

Why markets can’t cure health care - Paul Krugman (Nobel Laureate)

Hard data does nothing to support gov’t run health care. Why people refuse to look at or believe the data is beyond me. Ideally, everyone should have access to it. A market-based system would make prompt, better care available to all, and for those who can’t afford it, private charity will pick up the rest (much like what happened during the late 1800s/early 1900s). If you really want to know how good a gov’t plan would be, ask your elected representatives why they’ll have their own separate plan. While you’re at it, ask them why they don’t send their own kids to their beloved public schools.

Australia has a single payer system for health care run by the government called Medicare that provides a comprehensive minimum standard of cover for everybody. Government hospitals, private hospitals, GP’s and specialists provide medical services for people covered by Medicare. While private health insurance funds, provide customers with voluntary extra cover using private & public hospitals, and other health professionals whose services are not covered by Medicare. Medicare is partly paid for through a income tax levy of 1.5% on individuals.

Prior to the Medicare system the government provided a socialised medical system for poor and retired people who received medical services through the government hospital system, and this system also dealt with medical emergencies, recouping costs from health insurance funds. These health insurance funds consisted of state based consumer cooperatives, and a federal government owned insurance company, which provided competition to the state based consumer cooperatives. Public and non profit private hospitals, GP’s and specialists provided medical services for these people.

The health insurance funds could not turn away any customers, or discriminate in relation to the plans they offered their customers, or decline to pay any medical claims covered by the health insurance contract. Legislation ensured that health insurance plans offered a minimum standard of cover. Different health plans charged different premiums, but no health plan charged individuals differently, and the government provided tax deductions to individuals and families making health insurance affordable. A universal pharmaceutical benefits scheme also existed, and still exists today, that provides subsidised prescription medication through private sector pharmacies.

The system was replaced by a single payer system partly due to medical costs rising at greater rate than GDP, this was attributed to advances in medical technology that made the system less affordable for low wage earners. The problems that existed with the old system did not necessarily required its abolishment. I believe that was a political decision, and a more piecemeal approach could have solved the problem, but polls consistently show that people overwhelming support Medicare now that it is in place.

The idea that individuals can make medical decisions like what surgery to choose by themselves is fantasist, it’s a fairytale, only doctors can make complex decisions like that, and that is why in Australia the issuing of medical degrees is highly restricted and controlled to stop the over servicing of patients by doctors.

thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

Health insurance texas

As a business owner, I have seen costs rise roughly 60% over the last 5 years. I have had to slash benefits for all employees or face going out of business. I am a huge supporter of reform that lowers costs for me. I could put the costs on my clients, but they would go elsewhere. So, it falls on my employees.

As things stand now, there is no competition among health care companies. If you believe there is, you are living under a rock. Something needs to be done, and at least Obama is trying to do something. Will it go through? I have no idea. The news seems to go back and forth every day.

You think Obama is going to advocate competition? Possibly the most likely plan in Congress right now, the Baucus plan, would destroy private insurance. … 98556.html

The Kaiser family foundation has dedicated substantial resources for the purpose of health policy analysis and research in the US, and is considered to be a clearinghouse for health policy issues among policy professionals. It also actively participates in large-scale public health campaigns.

An interesting and informative resource.

You know what, you would think I would care about private insurance, but I don’t. I have an employee who’s wife got sick, won’t reveal details for obvious reasons, and she was covered. Well, they went to get the care provided, and were told that the insurance won’t pay for her care. So, before it would, but now that she has the disease, she is not covered?

I raised hell, and in the end they paid, but I lost a lot of respect for private insurance that day. These type of issues seems to be happening more and more.

I love how people have tried to use the death panel topic. We could say they are part of the current insurance.

I do not have the answers. Reform has been discussed on this topic for so many years, and there are so many reasons why nothing has really been done. As an employer, I want something done because the costs for me are getting to the point that I have considered shutting the doors for good. If you are covered by your employer, you will probably say how great your coverage is, but ask your employer about the increases each year. You will be shocked by how much they are paying compared to you.

Absolutely Correct. My US employer started putting out ‘total compensation’ statements that include both how much I pay for my insurance, the 10 times more that they pay AND the amount of money the insurance company paid out for me that year. As if to say: “See how much you are costing us? You’d better work your butt off” These days it’s all the rage for HR departments of larger corporations to “Pro-actively manage Insurance costs” by working to make sure that low level managers are well aware of which employees are using the most benefits. Bob is a great engineer, but his wife has cancer and the insurance is going to jack up our rate next year if we keep him… is he worth it? Poor bob. MY employer currently won’t accept any new hires who smoke and likely will extend that to other risk factors that make insurers balls twitch in the near future.

If we (the US) don’t get a better system now, you’d better hope your kid doesn’t become obese or gets cancer or type one diabetes (My son has this, diagnosed at 3 yrs old)… because you’ll be screwed. I already know that I can never lose my job or work for myself, because I’ll lose my employer based insurance and NO one will insure us on an individual basis given my Son’s condition.

For those who say we already have health care for all in the US, that the poor can go to the emergency rooms and get treated I call BS. I have personally experienced the substandard level of care available to those who don’t have insurance or are covered by their state’s poverty level plan… It is absolutely horrible, should be criminal. Waits are interminable, Triage does not apply to you no matter how much you scream in pain, you wait until the privately insured are serviced first (I remember coming into an ER with a lightly injured wrist and having them call me immediately while two people one with huge bloody wounds obviously in terrible pain watched me go by). Not to mention the inferior doctors and nurses that they have at the far lower paying county and city hospitals.

The whole thing sucks. It is the perfect system ONLY if you believe that people who have money are more important and deserve to be treated better and faster than poorer people.

The above post is simply wrong WRT to triage. Ability to pay has exactly nothing to do with it. My wife is a surgeon, and she doesn’t even know if any given patient has insurance when she sees them. Not the first clue, they are all treated exactly the same, even if they wear orange jumpsuits and show up in handcuffs.

No difference at all in quality of care delivered. When she gets a 3am consult about someone coming in from jail with a self-inflicted problem (you don’t EVEN want to know, trust me), I’m the one suggesting (half-asleep) that they just let him die. Nope, 15 minutes later she’s getting ready to take the guy to the OR, and I’m stuck in a cold bed.

Triage is not just that the most serious get seen first, but it also depends on the internal logistics. Unless you have an arterial bleed, bleeding is not a “get seen instantly or die” thing. Your wrist vs lacs? There are specialists in an ER. Suture techs sew people up, while the wrist gets seen by different guys. If the ortho guys are idle, and the suture techs are all sewing away, the guys that need stitches are going to wait—sending them to the ortho guys won’t help them, they need to get sewed up, and the ortho guys won’t be doing that. It’s like stuff at night for surgical specialists. It’s only an emergency in my wife’s mind if the patient won’t die, or lose an organ NOW without surgery in the middle of the night (on call). Anything less is NOT emergent, stabilize them, and schedule surgery for nice, daylight hours.

Quality of docs and staff can certainly vary by institution, no question. Such problems are more exaggerated in the major urban areas where they might have a choice to work elsewhere. As it is, State run hospitals literally make pennies on the dollar they bill, they’d not make it a day with out massive subsidy.