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Let the people decide!!

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posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 06:18 PM
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By "the people" i mean me and you. ATS users


There is a lot of discussion in the political boards about the issues, and everybodies opinions on how the candidates react to the issues. There have been a lot of good arguments about who's wrong, and who's right. But what i have yet to see is anyone who's offered their opinion for what the possible answer could be. So allow me to start




Healthcare



From what i've read, both from the candidates, and from a lot of media outlets, is that the real issue here is the cost of health care, and not nesessarily the cost of the health insurance.

So for me, this is a quick fix. Limit the cost of the actual care.

Im sure that everyone reading this can either tell a horror story, or knows someone else who has a horror story, about getting those dreaded doctor bills. Most people's response to a high doctor bill is "well, you should have had health insurance"

which, for me, is disappointing. I find it outrageous that a doctor can charge $30,000 for open heart surgery.

Now don't get me wrong, i know that they are very skilled, and highly trained...but so are teachers, metal workers, and police officers.

There is no cost you can place on a human life, this is true, so why is the cost placed on such a life-sustaining surgery so high than only the rich can afford it? Even with most health insurance companies today, the average american will seen their surgery broken down as such

$30,000 for surgery
- 1500 deductible
____________
$28,500

Now the insurance policy (atleast for most) is going to be 80/20 -- IF the procedure is even covered.

So. Of your original 30k bill, you are responsible for 20% of the remainder, or $5700 dollars. Certainly much better than 28.5k, true. But now if you factor in the cost of the actual insurance, for most ~ 250 dollars a month, you can add an extra 3000 dollars, so lets bring the hypothetical balance up to 8700.

For the "average" american - 8700 is no more acheivable than 28.5k
Though there is a stark difference between the two, financially speaking, one is no more plausible than the other....and this is still contingent on rather or not your insurance company is going to cover the operation.

(in an early attempt to dispell the 'payment' reply that is bound to happen)
Most hospitals will accept payment plans, this is true. But some won't. And what's more, most will come after you in court to get a judgement, especially on a balance this high.


So, for me, i say you limit the cost of the heart surgery.
that, and i say you monitor what is actually being charged.

Have you ever seen an "itemized" bill from a hospital stay?
it's all coded. Days of google searching may never decipher the code, though your insurance company (if you have one) should be able to do it for you. very good article on this very issue can be found here

How much of that 30k operation was actually for the cost of the operation, and how much of it was for padding in the hospitals pocket?

I believe health insurance is so expensive, because health CARE is that much more expensive (insurance companies have to make money too)

As for my horror story?
I was charged 970 dollars for a standard phsyical. The doctor never spoke a word to me, and never laid a hand on me. The doctor was not even there. The phsyical was conducted by the nurses, standard weight/height/blood pressure, etc.

That was it. It was to qualify for my workplace benefits.
$970 dollars.
It took a year, 1 letter from a lawyer, and countless phonecalls/emails to the hospitals corporate office to get the issue settled.

Instead of attacking the insurance companies, i say the government starts policing the people providing the actual "care".

But thats just my opinion

What's yours




posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 06:34 PM
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Could you name any country in the world who would have the system you are suggesting...or something close to it?



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 08:10 PM
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Well, first allow me to say that im just insinuating an idea here
I dont know if anyone else actually practices this notion

i did a little bit of google'ing and came up with This article....

it sort of sums up what im trying to say.

my favorite passage from that article comes from when they're talking about recieving medical care is that it "should not be seen as a commodity but rather as a social benefit."




[edit on 11-6-2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 08:20 PM
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I get what you're trying to say. You do know that part of the reason why medical professionals charge so much is the exorbitant payouts of malpractice suits right?
Capping payouts is difficult. You can set a price on loss of work but setting how much "pain and suffering" is worth is much harder.



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 08:42 PM
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reply to post by mysterychicken
 


I understand that this is the excuse given for a cost increase


but i respectfully disagree with it. ... in a way.

yes it will raise the cost because the output of money in lawsuits is enormous. This i agree with.

But malpractice...thats something different all together.

You go to have your right shoulder worked on, and they operate on your left. Either way you were going to be out for weeks, not worth a million dollar lawsuit, IMHO

but

You go in to have your apendix removed, and they...i dunno....amputate your leg

you deserve a lot of money - IMO - and the hospital should get no money for the operation.

I know it happens, and the person gets millions, etc, and that drive sup the cost, i just think its sad that they use that as an excuse.

Its like saying "im not good enough at my job, so ill charge more"
*shrugs*

Its just how i view it

They're multi-millionares (a lot, not all) because they charge a lot of money to set a broken leg in a cast.


I guess the main reason behind my argument is

If government will tell the insurance companies what they can and can't charge (or atleast 'attempt' to as some political ideals suggest)

why won't they tell the doctors the same thing?



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 08:58 PM
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As long as health care is a business, there will be no healthy people. There is no profit in telling someone they are fine.

At the same time, there is little profit in the terminally ill. The insurance companies will fight till your dead than say you're no longer covered.

It's why pills are being prescribed to our children like candy. Get them sick, keep them sick, and the profits will just keep rolling in.

Health care in the United States is the predatory exploitation of anyone and everyone possible. It has nothing to do with actually healing the sick.

It's a shame. It really is.



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by mrwupy
 


I totally agree with you

and that is also a double edged sword

having it a business makes it worth more money -which brings brighter minds, and influences medical breakthroughs

and the otherside of that is
there is money is research for as long as research continues
there is money in a cure, until the ailment is gone entirely

So do you charge a billion dollars for the cure? Then nobody buys it


Its all sick IMO. I personally don't feel as though making American taxes pay for the health care is the answer.
It certainly is a beter option than what we have right now, but it only creates more problems.



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 09:08 PM
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reply to post by Andrew E. Wiggin
 


That's why I stated "part' and it really is a part of it. How to prevent malpractice is a different animal. If a Dr truly fails his/her duty (not an honest mistake) that should be it...no more "DR" in front of your name and no more practicing medicine again.

Restricting the prices the ins co can charge along with capping procedure/service costs aren't a bad idea at all and actually address the malpractice issue too. If Dr's made less net there would be more incentive for people who care to go into that field as opposed to those wanting $$$ (they've been using it as an excuse not to pay nurse more forever).


[edit on 11-6-2008 by mysterychicken]



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 09:11 PM
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reply to post by mrwupy
 


Ah the pitfall...if you're too good you drive yourself out of business.
I think most people in medical fields (not the corporate end) truly want to help but are playing the game. Only we lose...



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 09:14 PM
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Excellent point!
Which is why there is a potential shortage of nurses that could be considered an epidemic scale (story Here )

Being a nurse anymore, atleast when you're talking in stereotype, is a "joke"

You do more work than a doctor
You get paid less than a doctor

and when there's a problem, or a mistake is made
you get more blame from the doctor

It's like being an asst.manager at any store in america

1.) A job is a job
2.) you work the line, while your boss sets at the desk

nobody wants that.


[edit on 11-6-2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]

[edit on 11-6-2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 09:17 PM
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reply to post by Andrew E. Wiggin
 


I'm not a nurse but my cousin wrote the book on it (well A book).
Where Have All the Nurses Gone

They (and CNA's) really are the backbone of the health care industry. I thought about going into that profession but then talked to too many nurses and decided not to.

If nurses were allowed to provide more encomapsing care it would also bring down prices...not surgery mind you but general practice type stuff.
Instead they have to get their masters degree to be an ARNP and put in almost as much college time as the Drs and still get paid less.





[edit on 11-6-2008 by mysterychicken]



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 09:32 PM
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i'll definately have to read that, thanks for sharing


Ultimately - i think we've discussed options for healthcare, without actually just "Complaining"

very good start

if i may have the last word on the healthcare issue of this campaign

its sad to me when gas station owners can be sued for selling Cheap Gasoline

and doctors can buy big yachts and live in fancy castles, despite ripping people off with unbelievable medical care costs



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 09:41 PM
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reply to post by Andrew E. Wiggin
 


Since the issues have been discussed I would like to point out that there are Dr that do work for little to nothing. From the local clinic that only charges $40 for a visit and the Dr works with you to get the lowest prescription to the Surgeons who offer free services at charitable Hospitals they are heroes making a difference in the everyday world.



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 09:47 PM
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Couldnt have said it better


Good point. Even in the mucky mess that is our medical system - there are still valiant hero's who work for the greater good.






A lot of what i've read, both on these forums, and in the newspapers, etc, isnt really covering the issues we face as americans. instead, it's covering the issues that the two candidates must face, each in their own respect. It's all about Mccain vs Obama. Choose Obama because mccains old, choose mccain because obama is too young

it really is quite disheartening. So thats why i started this thread. What are the issues as you see them? If anyone else wants to chime in on the healthcare issue - please - by all means, i would love to hear what you have to say.

If you want to talk about another issue, thats great too!


Obviously, to talk about any of the issues, is to spark a heated debate. To offer solutions to oil prices, food costs, energy, etc, would surely offend one side over the other. Which shouldnt be the outcome


But dont let that shy you away.
Bring on those issues. Maybe tomorrow, when big brother does his daily sweep, he'll print off this thread and rush it to the election .quarters or something



You can't expect change unless you're willing to give your own two cents

[edit on 11-6-2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 04:01 PM
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Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
Now don't get me wrong, i know that they are very skilled, and highly trained...but so are teachers, metal workers, and police officers.

Yeah, okay. What other professional has to train for nearly two decades after graduating high school? Teachers? Wrong. Metal workers? Wrong. Police officers? Wrong.


Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
$30,000 for surgery
- 1500 deductible
____________
$28,500

Now the insurance policy (atleast for most) is going to be 80/20 -- IF the procedure is even covered.

So you pay $1,500 for one of the most advanced, technical, and risky procedures in the world. Count me in.


Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
So. Of your original 30k bill, you are responsible for 20% of the remainder, or $5700 dollars. Certainly much better than 28.5k, true. But now if you factor in the cost of the actual insurance, for most ~ 250 dollars a month, you can add an extra 3000 dollars, so lets bring the hypothetical balance up to 8700.

Same thing, $8,700 for something state of the art, which requires nearly 20 years of training to perform and hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment, all for $8,700.


Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
For the "average" american - 8700 is no more acheivable than 28.5k
Though there is a stark difference between the two, financially speaking, one is no more plausible than the other....and this is still contingent on rather or not your insurance company is going to cover the operation.

Bull#, $8,700 isn't much at all.


Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
So, for me, i say you limit the cost of the heart surgery.
that, and i say you monitor what is actually being charged.

And then no one becomes a cardiothocratic surgeon, since they can't afford to be in training that long, and hospitals won't open those sort of surgery units because they can't afford it.

Great idea! Keep it up.



Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
I believe health insurance is so expensive, because health CARE is that much more expensive (insurance companies have to make money too)

Kind of, they probably feed off of one another. More on that.


Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
I was charged 970 dollars for a standard phsyical. The doctor never spoke a word to me, and never laid a hand on me. The doctor was not even there. The phsyical was conducted by the nurses, standard weight/height/blood pressure, etc.

That was it. It was to qualify for my workplace benefits.
$970 dollars.
It took a year, 1 letter from a lawyer, and countless phonecalls/emails to the hospitals corporate office to get the issue settled.

That sucks. Why did you go to a hospital for a physical if you could go to a private practice doctor? I think a lot of this problem stems from third-party payments, especially corporate. That is, that much of our health insurance is pegged to employment. A person won't complain about a $1,000 checkup if $950 of that is covered. But we'll feel it in the cost of insurance.

Basically, we need to look less at charging $30,000 for a rare surgery, as it's often warranted, and more at the average checkup and where the money comes from.



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 04:08 PM
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I see
you are awfully good at pointing out the very things that the hospitals and doctors lean on as excuses.

medical care should be a societal benefit, not a commodity.

8700 dollars?

What happens if you're one of millions of americans who makes $7.50 an hour?
Are you going to have your wages garnished so the doctor can buy a golden thread rope for his new yacht?

Im glad you disagree with my ideas, but im disappointed that you dont have many of your own


It's like going to Wal-Mart and getting mad at WAL MART for charging....

$6.99 for a bag of walnuts

They charge $6.99 because the cost to them was probably around 40% less, and their 40% markup pays for the building/employees/profits/etc

If that bag of walnuts was cheaper, then it'd to be cheaper to you

its a horrible example, because id dint put much thought into it.

But the idea remains the same
Why is the doctor who performed the operation on a yacht in the Bahamma's, and his patient in a court room in middle-town america, because he can't afford to pay fro the operation?



[edit on 12-6-2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]

[edit on 12-6-2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 06:49 PM
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next topic
Remember the show "street smarts" that became such a huge success because some americans are so stupid that they couldnt tell you who the current vice president is?

*shakes .* i do. And though it was entertaining, it was also disheartening. Is that how we will be remembered centuries from now?


Re-Educate America

Of course - you cannot shove rhetoric and equations down the throats of Americans. They won't stand for it....because it violates their right to ignorance....or something like that


But you can inspire them to educate themselves by doing marvelous things.
The country marveled at themselves when we walked on the moon
Children everywhere were running around in make-shift spaceman suits, dreaming of being the next footprint in space

The country prayed together to bring the Men of the Apollo 13 mission home.

For a short while, the country was again inspired at the International Space Station. I remember a commercial that got my blood pumping...its premise was "ISS: You will see it in your life time"

I mean - thats soo cool!

I was at work the other day - when Hillary Clinton was giving her resignation speech, i had it on fox news. 2 black kids and 2 white kids (i'd say....ages 9-13 roughly) were watching the show, along with their parents and a lot of other people in the store.

You heard general gasps from the adults who didnt know Hillary was calling it quits

but the most shocking comments i heard came from these 4 little children
They were actually discussing the election as if they were you and I.
THey were talking about the keypoints of the election, and how happy they were that "B. Obama" won the nomination.

They seemed to just "get it" which is somethign you dont see much in today's youth.
So this election has people who normally arent interested in politics, finally educating themselves about politics, because they are inspired by certain candidates.



LET THAT IDEAL THRIVE
Just because they disagree with your political views doesnt mean you should belittle them and discourage them from further education.

I mean - these kids of different skin color were talking about Barack Obama as if they'd been following him for their entire lives.

Their parents also gave me no indication of aristocrisy....they were normal, run of the mill folk.


To Re-Educate america - you can't throw a trillion dollars into the schools and say "good luck"
you have to do something to unite the common dreams of Americans so that they are given incentive to become more knowledgable.

Today's kids are more interested in becomming rap stars and basketball players. Long gone are the days of astronauts and Fighter Pilots.

Put more money into the space exploration program. Give more money to NASA for future missions.

Swarm the media with stories of new galaxies and stars
Get people dreaming again!!!
Don't limit it to that hideously boring "NASA CHANNEL" No wonder people arent excited anymore. How could you stand to watch that boring filth they put on there?!



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 06:59 PM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
Yeah, okay. What other professional has to train for nearly two decades after graduating high school? Teachers? Wrong. Metal workers? Wrong. Police officers? Wrong.



Hmm... two decades? Did they go for multiple PhD's?

So - the amount of training dicatates the difference between making it affordable for people, and not?
It gives them the right to put a price-tag on a human life?

Teachers make it possible for doctors to exist

Without metal workers - your pocketprotector doctors wouldnt have buildings to practice in

Police deter patients from lashing back at a doctor for charging exorborant amounts of money for a procedure thats been standard for 20 years.

So - why not pay those 3 jobs more money than a doctor?
I mean, without any of the three.....doctors couldnt practice....



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 07:04 PM
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Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
I see
you are awfully good at pointing out the very things that the hospitals and doctors lean on as excuses.

Because they explain the prices?


Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
medical care should be a societal benefit, not a commodity.

I think food is a little more important, and shelter. I'm not going to tax people so that people can abuse health care for free.


Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
8700 dollars?

What happens if you're one of millions of americans who makes $7.50 an hour?

Well let's see. $7.50 an hour, eight hours a day, five days a week, $1,200 a month. $14,400 a year.
$8,700 over 10 years is $870 a year. That's $72.50 a month. You'll have to take interest into account, so it'll be a bit higher.
That's not too bad. I doubt anyone but someone disabled would be working on $7.50 an hour for their entire life. Most jobs around here don't even start there for high school graduates. The bottom line is that if you're working minimum wage, your salary should increase in time as you age.


Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
Are you going to have your wages garnished so the doctor can buy a golden thread rope for his new yacht?

No. I'll have them garnished so that he can pay off his $200,000+ debt from college and medical school, and give some compensation for working for $40-50k a year as a 30-40-year-old resident doctor (who could be making far more with the same work ethic in law or business).


Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
Im glad you disagree with my ideas, but im disappointed that you dont have many of your own

Thanks.



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by Andrew E. Wiggin
Hmm... two decades? Did they go for multiple PhD's?

No. After you graduate from high school, a student doctor must get a 4-year bachelor's degree while taking required pre-med courses. Then 4 years for an MD. And then 5-7 years for a general surgery residency, and I'm guessing around 6 years for the cardiothocratic surgery residency. Factor in the low resident pay, extremely long hours, and the oppressive medical school debt, and you'll see why we're short of cardothocratic and neuro surgeons even though they make a ton of money.

Note that not all doctors have to train this long in residency. The standard family practice doctor just goes to one 3 or 4 year residency, as does the standard internist.

I'm looking at a joint MD/PhD and a career in medical research though. Still early, I'm a pre-med majoring in biomedical engineering.


So - the amount of training dicatates the difference between making it affordable for people, and not?
It gives them the right to put a price-tag on a human life?

Kind of. It regulates salary. If salaries were low, no one would become that sort of specialist, and we'd have an even bigger shortage. We're extremely short of specialized surgeons now, to the point where the majority are forced to work 80-100 hour work weeks regularly (see: always) to fill the shortage. Bottom line is that demand for labor makes salaries increase, and demand is high due to the extreme difficulty in becoming a cardiothocratic surgeon.



Teachers make it possible for doctors to exist

Training is relatively short and easy. And generally, they don't. Professors and doctor professors teach at the university level and beyond. High school level stuff isn't complex at all and nearly anyone can teach it.
Not that I don't have a lot of respect for some teachers, just that it's not hard to get into.



Without metal workers - your pocketprotector doctors wouldnt have buildings to practice in

And without farmers they wouldn't eat. Metal workers make decent salaries, but again, the intelligence, training, and education necessary is just nowhere near specialized surgeons.



So - why not pay those 3 jobs more money than a doctor?
I mean, without any of the three.....doctors couldnt practice....

Scarcity and demand.




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