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What the country is already paying for health care.

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posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 12:24 PM
I started this thread to hopefully layout all the problems that come with NOT finding a way to cover the uninsured in this country. There is a cost if we do nothing at all. If we don’t’ try to find some kind of compromise, then the situation will continue to get worse and worse, until one day, we’ll look back and say, “We really should have done something back then.” I don’t think we should let it get to that point.

We should learn from our past mistakes that waiting until a problem becomes so big that the only way to change it is so drastic that it will negatively affect us all. Take the bank bailouts for example, pollution, social security, etc.

I understand that some people feel that they will be paying for people to be covered by some sort of public option, but most don’t understand that they already are:

Uninsured add $900 to health premiums

WASHINGTON - Health insurance premiums will cost families and employers an extra $922 on average this year to cover the costs of caring for the uninsured, according to a report released Wednesday.

With the added cost, the yearly premiums for a family with coverage through an employer will average $10,979 in 2005, said the report from consumer group Families USA.

By 2010, the additional costs for the uninsured will be $1,502, and total premiums will hit $17,273. In 11 states, the costs of the uninsured will exceed $2,000 per family.

You can see the contradiction in complaining about your health insurance premium being so high but then also being against the government finding a way to help give health care coverage to the uninsured. Every year, your premiums get higher and higher because of the large number of people not covered by health care.

Part of the problem with people not being insured is that they wait until something really bad is wrong with them to see a doctor. By then, the cost to treat them becomes much more expensive than if they had preventive care or were able to head it off before it got too bad.

If you come down with a disease like diabetes, heart disease, or you have a stroke, cancer, heart attack, it’s not like you’re NOT going to go see a doctor if you don’t have coverage. And a problem arises when those people who NEED to receive health care but aren’t insured and can’t pay for the services that were provide to them. Not only does the doctor/hospital not get paid, but they continue to fall deeper and deeper into debt.

Medical Debt Huge Bankruptcy Culprit

You may think personal bankruptcies are the result of job loss or wild credit card spending.

But a new study published in The American Journal of Medicine says the biggest reason for going into bankruptcy is medical debt.

Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman reports the study says getting sick is a factor in 62 percent of personal bankruptcies -- an increase from just eight percent in 1981.

And among those who filed for bankruptcy, 75 percent reported having some type of medical insurance. But The Washington Post says people in bankruptcy with insurance were nearly $18,000 in the red. And those without insurance had an average of almost $27,000 in medical debt.

Public option support poll

Contrary to the current information being portrayed in the media that the issue of creating a public option for health care is extremely controversial nationwide, it seems that the majority of Americans actually favor a public option:

A large majority of Americans favor public health option, study shows

The study found that between 68 percent and 88 percent of Americans either strongly or somewhat support health reform ideas that include national health plans, a public plan option, guaranteed issue, expansion of Medicare and Medicaid and employer and individual mandates. Reaction to capping the current tax exclusion of employment-based health benefits is mixed.

The survey also found that if the current tax exclusion of health benefits were capped (as some have proposed), 47 percent of respondents would switch to a less costly plan if the exclusion were set at $5,000, 38 percent would keep their plan and pay the taxes, and 9 percent said they do not know what they would do.
The survey was conducted May 8 to June 2 through 21-minute telephone interviews with 1,000 individuals age 21 and older.

I highly doubt it, but I hope this will change some people’s minds about their opinion on the health care issue. I know that people seem to be die hards when it comes to their political opinions and their minds usually just cannot be changed but I think part of the problem is that there is so much conflicting information out there that it’s just “safer” to stick to your guns. But the facts I’ve posed above aren’t partisan, they aren’t up for interpretation, and they aren’t there to serve a political agenda.
Continuing to not solve this problem is cost ALL OF US more and more every single year. And SOMETHING has to be done.


posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 12:28 PM

Government spending on uncompensated care:" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Source

Uninsured Americans could incur nearly $41 billion in uncompensated health care treatment in 2004, with federal, state and local governments paying as much as 85 percent of the care, according to a new Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) study.

What Do We Spend Now?
Medical costs for all the uninsured may reach $125 billion in 2004.

One-third of this care ($41 billion) is uncompensated, meaning it is not paid by insurance or out-ofpocket by the individual.

Another major finding of the study, authored by Urban Institute researchers Jack Hadley and John Holahan, is that if the country provided coverage to all the uninsured, the cost of additional medical care provided to the newly insured would be $48 billion—an increase of 0.4 percent in health spending’s share of the gross domestic product.

"Leaving 44 million Americans uninsured exacts a substantial price on society as well as individuals, while covering the uninsured would improve their health care without generating large increases in overall health spending," said Diane Rowland, executive director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

Of the $41 billion in spending on uncompensated care, $35 billion or as much as 85 percent is federal, state, and local government spending. Two thirds of the $35 billion in government spending on uncompensated care is attributable to the federal government, most of which goes toward payments to hospitals to offset losses incurred when a large share of patients are unable to pay their hospital bills.

Now, I don't really know what I think about Obama's health care plan. And you should know that I'm not a supporter of his, nor am I a "righty", but I do think that this is a problem that needs to be solved somehow.

And I don't believe that we have the option of just letting the current system "just be" when insurance companies and some health care providers take advantage of the fact that health care is a necessity and there are simply some who cannot afford it.

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