Saturday, September 05, 2009

How is this a good system?

I am SO frustrated over the health care issue.
People whining and complaining that the federal government might KILL our current EXCELLENT health system. You know the one- private insurance that covers everything at a whim.
Maybe I am just an odd duck. I know lots of people where the cracks are.
My parent had Parkinson's. He had great supplemental insurance-yet there were times we could not get an appointment for him.
A friend's mother had cancer with Medicare and great insurance, but she was upset when a doctor missed some vital signs and the mother died "prematurely in her early 80's".
My daughter had health insurance, but did not realize it. Her appendix was removed in the emergency room and she was sent home six hours after the surgery.
My sister in law had cancer and the insurer made sure her rates went up and pushed her out of the system- $2200. a month.
I know two families who have chosen to abort a child rather than deal with the bills(after insurance) of those children who had serious medical issues. The medical issues would have sent them into bankruptcy and more.
On to the "heck I don't know anyone uninsured".
A nephew who lost his health insurance because of chronic illness- declared bankruptcy - twice. He is a pharmacist now (in case you think only slugs get into this position).
A small business owner who "hires" her adult sons to make sure they are covered because they do not make enough to pay for the $400. premiums.
For those of you who have health insurance and are smug in that fact- what will you do when you can no longer cover your own children. They take that Taco Bell part time job to get by and they have no insurance and then they are in an accident?
Yup, I see those people every day - in the military. Parents who put their lives on the line instead of going bankrupt because a child is ill. They are insured now- but they chose the only system that would take them and their children with no consideration of prior problems. The price is they choose to possibly give their lives. IS this volunteer or mercenary?
The health care is the same for E-1 to General officer. It is good enough for most congressmen. Opps- it is government run.
BTW- the military only covers dependents until 22 now- whether they are in school or out.

I don't get the Christian take on this.

Cover the really poor and the people over 65 (who were only supposed to last another five years when their care was covered) but forget about those who are in the middle.
Is this REALLY Christianity? The same people who stand outside of clinics and pray for babies? Only care for the elderly (you know they have to have that orthopedic shoe and go go chair) and the poor- but everyone else live in fear of getting really sick (unless you are a well paid professional or work for one OR are in public sector)

You say there is a way to do it- just not the way that is proposed.
WHAT IS THE WAY???????????????????????????????????????????????

And yes, I am fully covered and will be until I die, under public sector medical care.


janie said...

I think everyone wants health care reform. We just don't want what the bill coming out of the House is handing us. We don't want sneaky, underhanded things done to us before we have a chance to even know they are happening.

I don't understand why you blame the discord on Christians. A lot of this mess could easily be fixed by common sense. Allow people to buy their health insurance like they do home insurance, or car insurance. They box us in to just a few companies who are local, instead of making those companies compete for our business. Then they complain that premiums are too high! Guess why!

And why whould the lawyers get a pass in this? They drive up the price of everything with their never ending lawsuits, and no end in sight. There is not likely to be any tort reform, as the lawyers give so much money to the Democrats! They would be killing the goose who laid the golden egg!

If you really believe that this is not a good system, you should go live in England. It really sucks there!

I would think that people who aborted their babies probably could not deal with the problems those babies brought, health wise, more than money (insurance) wise. I am not condemning them, I don't know what I would do. I have a son with birth defects, who is fine after many years of surgery, but we didn't know it was coming; not until he was born. He was 40 years old last month, now I don't know what I would have done without him. Just my own thoughts, there.

I don't want the IRS to be reporting to some 'panel' in DC about how much I make, or what we own. It is not for the IRS to be used in that way.

I don't want the government to say that I am too old for treatment of certain things, just because I am past the age of usefulness- 60 or so.

We don't want Socialized Medicine! We don't want Socialized anything in this country! We don't want some sneaky politician slipping something in a bill that will bind us and cripple us, so our rights are gone in this country.

I will stand up for our rights. If we don't, we won't have them!

I notice you have to approve of everything posted as a comment. That's what happens to free speach in a socialized country.

Janette said...

Janie- if you have a 40 year old son- you probably have medicare. Medicare is socialized medicine.

RAnn said...

We know what we have; the question is what we'd be trading it for. A single-payer, first dollar system sounds sensible but we've seen the Canadians waiting in line. I'll admit I haven't read the bill but I read an article today that said it capped hospital capacity at its current level. If that's true, then adding people to the pool of potential customers (since that is a goal of this reform, right?) is going to reduce the ability of the system to provide service to those customers--thus creating lines for us.

Somewhere, somehow, costs need to be contained, but how? The cost of food (as necessary to all of us as medical care) is contained on the top end by our ability and willingness to pay for it and on the bottom end by the cost to produce it. If farmers don't get enough money for their produce, they go out of business, capacity goes down and that makes prices go up, eventually, if the market is allowed to work. Medical care costs are contained because the payer (insurance or government)says "we'll only pay x for y" but the consumer constantly demands more, with no reason to moderate his/her demand, since there is limited personal sacrifice involved. Obamah says his system will result in greater efficiency and maybe he is right, but that produces a one-time improvement in the balance sheet, then what? How is his system going to handle increased demands for healthcare (we boomers aren't getting more healthy in our late middle-age)? How is it going to handle new, expensive treatments? What is going to happen when prices go up higher than expected when the government is running the system? We aren't getting honest answers to those questions. Does this mean that old people aren't going to get needed effective treatment because it isn't cost effective? Does it mean that the government is going to limit hospital capacity so as to keep utilization full (and prices down and waiting lists up).

This whole thing seems rushed, not thought out and thrown together. There is a goal of "covering everyone" but no sensible plan.

Janette said...

Ruth- who gets the care now? Is it fair because a person happens to be hired by a "good place" they get coverage- and someone else doesn't? The elderly get care because they are always covered. Have you been to an emergency room in the last few years? Hospitals are jammed becasue the uninsure HAVE to be cared for there.

I see lots of questions on your comment- but no answers.

Janette said...

"If you really believe that this is not a good system, you should go live in England. It really sucks there!"
Have you lived in England?

Plumbob said...

Whenever I see people from universal healthcare countries joining the debate it is always to defend their systems.

Yes, universal healthcare isn't 100% perfect but it sure seems better than the American healthcare hellhole. And no, I haven't lived in the US, but I do know that over 60% of all bankruptcies in American are due to medical costs and 75% had health insurance. (source:

If I get cancer, or have a car accident, I just worry about recovering. I don't have to worry about what is being covered, what care is being denied, and what the final bill will be.

Elena said...

Janette, everyone gets care now. If you need care, you get care. And if you can't afford care, there is Medicaid (A program you should LOVE) or in some instances the hospital will even forgive the debt if you qualify with certain income levels. There are also payment plans.

So people get care. That's a red herring. The real question is what can we do to bring down costs.

But Obama doesn't talk about that as much and the reason he doesn't, i believe is because he is really more interested in intrusive big government being able to control more aspects of Americans' lives and remove more of our privacies.

If this is supposed to be such a great plan by the way, why are they looking for the IRS to enforce it? Really Janette - you want the IRS, the most feared govt entity to be forcing you to accept certain procedures or not regarding your personal health care?

Clare said...

"If you really believe that this is not a good system, you should go live in England. It really sucks there! "

No! It doesn't! Sheesh Janie, don't believe everything your press tells you.

This is funny. Here in the UK we hear horror stories about medicine in the US!
For every negative story you can give me about someone being denied medication or waiting 110 years for their hip replacement, I can swap you another horror story that we have heard from YOUR side of the pond ( about bankrupcies, financial ruin, cost driven abortions etc etc)

I'm a midwife, although not practising at the moment (just busy homeschooling and having babies myself mainly).When I was training the US was often cited as an example of poor obstetric practice ( high c/section rates, unnecessary interventions eg routine antenatal ultasounds that were not clinically indicated etc. The impression was that alot of clinical decisions are based on other 'business' factors such as the requirements of the insurance policy, rather than evidence of clinical value)And relatively poor perinatal outcomes given the first world advantages you enjoy.
I have heard of other stories of doctors working in A&E who had to delay diagnostic screening until the patients insurance status had been checked.
My American friend Edith says that when she first came here she expected the NHS to match the horror stories she had heard about it back home. She was taken aback at how far from the truth that picture was. She laughed as she told me that 'everyone' in the US thinks the NHS is awful because 'that's what they've been told and they don't know any better'.
We have lots of political back and forth here about healthcare reform too, because our system also has it's flaws. But any move to undermine the NHS is political suicide. And guess what...the press jump on it and use the American system as a 'warning' as to the perils of private insurance based healthcare.

I'm saying this, not to knock the US system, but simply to flag up the fact that it is a matter of perspective, and what you have been told. And what you've been told, may be a somewhat skewed version of the actual truth 'on the ground'.
And don't forget, here in the UK we also have the option of supplementing our cover with private health insurance too. Many people choose to do that, or their work offers cover.
But it's funny that our respective healthcare systems, with all their manifest, albeit different flaws,, are, in both our countries, political 'holy cows' and any attempt to change them is to provoke nationwide revolt.
I'm curious about the vociferous objections to US healthcare reform. I'm trying to understand it. I know that much of it must be legitimate because I'm hearing alot of smart people voicing strong objection to it.
For me, the strongest negative point of the NHS is the tax payer funding of abortion, something I feel very unhappy about here in England where most people don't give it a second thought.
But please, hearing Americans comment on the 'dreadful NHS' is really galling, because it just isn't. And here, we defend it just as hotly as you resist it.
Go figure.

Anonymous said...

As usual, Camille hits it out of the ballpark.

Anonymous said...

Sorry -- read this one first, then the second.

She's dead on right, and she's pretty darned liberal.

Janette said...

No federally funded abortion and no taking away freedoms to not do abortions from doctors. No death panels.
Did you listen to the speech?
My elected congressment would not have put those things in a bill anyway. How about yours?

Janette said...

You do not get care if you do not qualify. I am not talking the really poor. I am talking about the working poor- or even the working middle class.

Elena said...

I listened to the speech - but I also have read the house bill - which you have not.

Elena said...

Janette - I am the working poor. And we always get care. You are simply wrong.

It's also a strawman argument. The issue isn't whether or not Americans have access to health care, because they do. The question is what can we do to make health care more affordable.

janie said...

Yes, I have a 40 year old son, but I an not on Medicare. I was a very young Mama.

Yes, I did live in England, for almost 4 years. Medical care does suck there, especially if you need diagnostic services.

I am uninsured, and I don't go to the emergency room. I go to my Dr's office and pay the much cheaper fee than is charged by the ER. What is wrong with paying for my own bills?

I have been hospitalized twice for some pretty serious stuff. My hospital bills totaled over $60K, and the doctors and labs and all the rest on top of that. The last time I was sick was 9 years ago. We just organized it so that doctors, labs, and all got paid off first, and I paid $25.00 a month to the hospital as I did that. As a bill would be paid off, I would add that amount to paying the hospital. We finally got it all paid, Thank You, Lord!

We are regular people, my DH is a pipefitter for a living. I am a landscaper, doing only design for the past few years. Not rich, by any means!

The bottom line of all this is that older people will not get care. Being close to being an older person, I can tell you that sucks!

That is the only way that Obama's plan can work. If you add so many, take away a living from the medical profession, fewer doctors, more patients, guess what?

Be careful what you sign on to. Myself, I just want to live quiet and peaceful, and I hope we never need health care. I want to be left alone, with the freedoms that we have had all my life, that my Father put his life on the line for and that my son, grandsons, and nephews all volunteer to guard.

I don'[t want the Government to stick it's nose into everything and every part of my life!

Control is the prize!

I have read the bill. You can find it on the internet.

Janette said...

OK- semantics. The working poor get care and they pay for it themselves. They do not pay less (unless they pay in cash or make a deal with the doctor). If something huge happens, they pay for a very long time or go bankrupt. All of the examples I gave were of people who got care. Personally, I think it is irresponsible to raise a family without health care insurance- but I think it is irresponsible to drive without insurance as well. The difference is that one insurance is accessible and affordable and the other is not. There is competition in one- and not in the other.
Janie, I do not think it is reasonable that you have to pay off outragous bills because you do not make enough to get health insurance. You are actually a prime example of what I am talking about.
And you actually lived and used the health care in England and hated it? Wow!
Currently, you and Elena do not have to buy health insurance- you can simply go on the way you would like and pay very high amounts while the rest of the country pays premiums.(no strawman there). You can choose that and if something happens that you cannot pay for-then you can depend on the people around you to shoulder the bills in the end.
Elena- the house bill at the beginning IS not the bill that is going through right now. But you knew that anyway- didn't you ;>)Committees- the Senate---it is a bill being written- not in stone. Your child is studying American government- isn't he? It is a requirement for seniors in most states. Maybe you have another year for that one.
One last thing- Elena made a remark about being disappointed in me. When I opened it (and three others) my computer took it.
First I laughed. I know I can be bossy at times- but I try to be at least kind- not using mommy terms. She must be stuck in mommy mode "bad girl- I am SOOO disappointed in you!"- making me wonder about her home.
She didn't like it when her mother was struggling and I commented that leaving mom on her own was not a good thing because nursing care does not see anything- at least look at it as a corporal work of mercy. She never did leave her mother alone-but she thought about it openly in her blog. Her mother developed a terrible bed sore (meaning the nursing home was not doing their job completely). She caught it. Maybe injecting the Church was mommy like.... I had just lived through the prolonged death of my father and hoped to share experience. Instead I was villified. I guess you have to blame someone. I certainly did not say," you have so disappointed me"---lol.
As far as me being a disappointment to you Elena. I feel that many things you has said and done in the last few years are not very Christian.I might be unChristian at times- but I do not wear a religion on my sleeve. I agreed with Elena on the Eucharist- but I am beginning to think we are in a different Church. What are those teachings on capital punishment? How are we supposed to treat other Christians? How about your Candy blog?
Don't worry- I understand that Elena can dish it out- but blocks me on her comments. So---enjoy this one.

Clare said...

Did janie say she actually lived in the UK?
All I saw was this
"you should go live in England. It really sucks there!"
But maybe I missed something.
I know a few Americans living here, and all of them have revised their impression of the NHS after having some experience of it.
I would be very surprised if Janie actually has first hand experience of the NHS.
Whilst there are plenty of negative stories about NHS care, there are also at least as many about American healthcare where policies haven't covered essential treatment or people have been bankrupted through horrendous healthcare bills.
My friends husband lost everything after a truck ran him over and mashed his legs up and left him for dead on the side of the road.
He ended up losing his home and even his first wife who couldn't cope with ending up in a trailer.
But when he talked about our medieval NHS it was in tones of horror and loathing. Of course he had no experience, but he had heard plenty.
These assumptions make me shake my head.
I'm not saying the NHS is perfect, but the "take a look at England" is NOT a good argument against socialised medicine.

On another note entirely, I have to take issue with this comment:
" How are we supposed to treat other Christians? How about your Candy blog?"
There is NOTHING incongruous IMO about Elena defending her faith against the most horrendous and scurrilous defamation.
Candy may call herself a Christian but that doesn't make her immune from being taken to task anymore than it did the heretics of old.
It really sets my teeth on edge when the 'That's not very Christian argument' is rolled out.
I really don't think we are expected to float around wearing beatific smiles even under severe provocation.
A little off topic but I couldn't help myself

Clare said...

Here is an account of an Americans experience with the NHS:

"I lived in London four years earlier this decade. I worked there for a large American firm. The company that hired me provided no corporate heath plan so my wife and I were served by Britain's National Health Service, (NHS).

Soon after arriving, I pulled a hamstring tendon. I could barely walk. I needed medical help. That first NHS visit frightened me. How far would I have to go? What kind of terrors awaited me in the waiting room? How long would it take? Knowing British bureaucracy, I wondered: How many yards of paperwork? How many probes and what-nots was I in for? What would it cost?

The answers went like this: Nearest emergency room: three blocks. The visit took 30 minutes. Paperwork: the one form required me to give address and NHS number. Not onerous. I got my leg wrapped, anti-inflammation pills, a cane and advice. Come back if there are problems. No heavy-duty x-rays or scans. Co-payment: 0.

Later I required a prescription. It wasn't an emergency. Appointment was made three days in advance. Cost: two pounds for the prescription. It would've run about $100 in the US. Doctor co-payment: 0."

He then goes on to say:

"Could there be problems? Sure. But Britain's NHS works for a complex population, tens of millions. I now have two sons, two daughters-in-law and three grandchildren living in London. They all get NHS care. All three children were born in London hospitals. One son travels often in tropical countries. He returned to London with a mysterious intestinal problem. His treatment was prolonged, requiring specialists and repeated regimens. The NHS kept at it and now he's fine. Nobody threatened to drop him from the NHS. By contrast, back in the U.S. my wife was refused coverage by a highly-touted HMO. Why? They'd successfully treated her for breast cancer years before.

My wife's now on federally provided Medicare so her ancient history of breast cancer is no longer an insurance curse.

After we moved to Oregon, I needed private insurance. We were specifically warned about not admitting to a list of conditions that would disqualify us in the eyes of private insurers. Fortunately, I didn't have any. No past cancer or diabetes, for example.

Unlike the British population, we in America fall into a range of medical classes: the uninsurable who are sick, the class that can't afford insurance, And there are various classes of medical privilege: Congress, insurance CEOs, the wealthy, some federal and corporate workers, and prisoners. And my wife who has Medicare which sure beats private coverage."


Read the whole thing here:

Clare said...

Yes, I did live in England, for almost 4 years. Medical care does suck there

And how much did you pay for this 'sucky' medical care while you lived in our country Janie?
Did they actually miss something, or was it that you weren't treated to the truly over the top battery of tests you would expect in the US?

One word springs to mind.

janie said...

We lived in a rural area, not in London or any of the bigger cities. We had a lovely neighbor, who was a British citizen, who lived across the street, in the house she was born in. She was in her 40's at the time. She had symptoms, but kept getting put off at the clinic. She couldn't see a specialist for 4 months- that was just the soonest she could get an appointment. She couldn't have specific tests, as that would be the prerogative of the specialist. She was in pain, so they gave her something for that.

She died of pancreatitis, and it was so sad, because it could have been so easily prevented. When the pain got really bad, she just took her pain medication and went to bed. The infection raged and grew, until there was no saving her.

So, no, I didn't have to pay a dime.

I am very grateful for current good health.

I said it before, Control is the Prize! This health care bill is a power grab.

Our very way of life is in danger. Read the bill- Read all the bills, and insist that our representatives read what they are voting on! I think that is the least we can ask of them!