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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Nijmegen, NL
    Posts
    2,199

    Default OT: Health care reform

    I don't want to spoil anyones thread, so here goes.

    I did not think that discussions could get any more polarized than the discussions about using stops with $$$Mr. Market$$$'s stock picks, but the new US Health Care Reform (HCR) is a strong contender. As an outsider, and a biased outsider, I am hardly qualified to comment. I would like to shout, but will instead whisper: "Welcome to the civilized world", and I might even be wrong. How to get more clarity and (hopefully) less bias? Perhaps I could start with some questions.

    • How to view the current system? From a return on investment perspective it seems to be a wet mess. Or is it, in spite of that, still the best of all possible health care systems?
    • How important is health? I would say very important. Everybody should be able to live a healthy life or to get essential care when necessary and the cost should not be a barrier to entry. Or should it? What are the limits of essential care and where does excessive expense start? What to do when people take or have taken exceptional risks?
    • What would be good alternatives to the current system of the new HCR?


    Quantitative arguments preferred. That something, according to you, is "socialist" might be an excellent indication that you will never accept it, but it is rather light on nice hard facts that can be discussed.

    I would like to add that HC insurance is inherently "socialist", as Americans would call it (not with any reference to historical or social socialism, but as an over my dead body swear word). After all a group of people pools money in the hope that the other guy or gal benefits from it. For who would be the sucker that gets ill, just to receive the benefits?

    Regards,

    Karel
    My Investopedia portfolio
    (You need to have a (free) Investopedia or Facebook login, sorry!)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    6,314

    Default

    i think it is a grand idea to have some dialogue on healthcare in general and this bill on HC reform that we just got shoved down our throats. most of everyone here by now knows how I feel about what they have done and the ramifications it will bring. but lets air it out in a civil manner and see what everyone's views are. i dont know how they run the healtcare system by you Karel or in other countries and I would like to hear about that and how others feel about the services they get under their plans. microchip who apparently lives in the UK explained yesterday about their socialized system of care and it didnt sound as if he liked it one bit. lets air it out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Nijmegen, NL
    Posts
    2,199

    Default

    Just for reference: the Dutch system is compulsory and has two forms of insurance, one for extraordinary (or exceptional) costs, like long-term treatments (hospitalization, costs caused by disabilities), and another for ordinary healthcare costs. The first is covered by income dependent taxes (a percentage over the first 32K), the second has a compulsory part with basic coverage, paid from a premium paid directly to the insurer and set by the insurer. Each insurer has to offer the same basic package for the same premium to all comers. Insurers can compete on price, but the premiums are pretty close. The risk is equalized by means of a common pool, from which insurers get compensated for high-risk clients. It is also possible to buy additional insurance with the insurer which the client has chosen for the basic package. This offers more scope for competition.

    Right now the biggest problem with our healthcare system is cost control. The costs and services were supposed to be optimalized by supply and demand, but right now the quality of service seems to be dropping and the prices are certainly rising. Perhaps the market is not a good model for healthcare, but that should become a subject of research before any conclusions can be drawn.

    See also: Healthcare in the Netherlands (Wikipedia)

    Regards,

    Karel
    My Investopedia portfolio
    (You need to have a (free) Investopedia or Facebook login, sorry!)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    647

    Default

    Could they have went through the old system and fixed the flaws? I completely agree that the costs from the medical providers are out of control. It's comical how you can have a severely reduced price when you let them know you will be paying cash and not using insurance. This is for the day to day expenses, not hospital stays for illness or accident.

    I was in a car accident awhile back and had to see a neck doctor. 5 minutes of actual Doctor time. She talked to me for about 3 mins and moved my neck for the other 2. I received a bill for $350. What a disgrace, a ripoff. Of course, I am sure she thinks that the insurance will pay for it.

    I am a for profit person. I don't care if companies make money. I was thinking, what if health insurance companies were non-profit? Most of the bonuses like the one the United Health care guy received were from denying coverage, raising premiums and/or dropping coverage for preexisting conditions.

    Why do MRI's have to cost $1500? Why do X-rays cost $300? I had a sinus surgery done about 6 weeks ago. I had to have 4 debrievements. This is where the PA goes in and scrapes and sucks snot of of my nose and takes about 5 minutes each time. The first 3, I didn't see the costs as they were covered by my deductible. The 4th one was in the new calendar year, so I have to pay. The bill is for $1100 but I will owe $500 for the deductible.

    I spoke to a small farmer and he said the American Cattle ranchers association was fired up about it. He said there's a part about Methane and they want to charge farmers $2000 per head for their cows farting because of the gas they release into the atmosphere.

    I am a Conservative, a Registered Republican but, I am in favor of something to be done to control costs. We did need reform, just not the new current bill. 1000 pages and no one know what's in them, good or bad. Seems like a lot of BS to me. Oh yeah, $1 trillion right? Where's the money going to come from?

    God Help us all,
    Steel

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    8,958

    Default

    Steelman,
    "Why do MRI's cost $1500? Why do X-Rays cost $300?"

    The B.S. story they tell you is that you have to pay for all the research, employees, buildings, paperwork, executive and management salaries, and land that went into perfecting those procedures over the past 100 years. It's all a crock o' sh*! and nobody ever holds them accountable for their outrageous bills. Oh, I forgot, you're also paying for the education of the professionals that preform the testing. Try being an independent businessman and pulling that crap. As an example today I overheard a group discussing a local doctor who claimed the nurses made more than him. And people believed it! My wife is in the medical profession and her pay has maybe doubled in the 29 years I've known her, while medical billing has skyrocketed over the same time period. Yet, nobody admits to making any $$. Just check out the lifestyle of some of the doctors and administrators if you can get past the gates blocking off their homes and those of the insurance executives from the rifraff.

    --------------billy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,968

    Smile Pete's "SIMPLE" 4 Step Health Insurance Plan!

    I have what is referred to as a cadillac plan , which I have for virtually nothing . Small co pays at dentist, eye dr , prescriptions and specialists !
    I love my plan ......now I will be subject to a tax for the above plan.

    My 4 point plan is as follows: Take the Obama, Reid , Pelosi plan and Shi*Can it! Then institute the following 4 points!


    1. Tort reform. Why should some Drs pay exhorbitant insurance fees. Limit liability to 250K ......Dems won't do it because they were heavily financed by the lawyers!
    2. All should have the ability to shop for insurance across state lines.
    3. An "INDEPENDENT" auditing firm should be hired to root out waste and corruption in all social agencies and recommend cost saving measures that would save Billions!
    4. Finally place a few pennies TAX on "SIN" foods , i.e. high fat , high fructose corn syrup foods. Prime exaamples would be Cinnabuns, KFC etc. Thus if you want to ea t such foods and then suffer High blood Pressure, Stroke, Obesity, you would in essence be paying for your OWN health insurance. This is already done with Tobacco companies who have paid billions in claims to various state health agencies .

    All moneys collected and saved should be diverted to those in need of health insurance. Would this ever be enacted? .....not by the lying, thieving scoundrels we curently have running our government!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    northern ohio
    Posts
    3,373

    Default I am going to regret this (sigh)

    I just know I am going to regret this. Oh well, let the slings and arrows fall where they will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Hansen View Post
    I have what is referred to as a cadillac plan , which I have for virtually nothing . Small co pays at dentist, eye dr , prescriptions and specialists !
    I love my plan ......now I will be subject to a tax for the above plan.

    Oh poor Peter! I have always been taxed on the key employee life insurance premiums paid for me by my company. Gosh oh gee, you mean medical/dental premiums won't be tax deductible any more? Have you actually read this bill Peter? I am looking forward to reading it because by now, I don't know what is included and what isn't because of all the insurance lobbyists greasing the palms of the "no" party.

    My 4 point plan is as follows: Take the Obama, Reid , Pelosi plan and Shi*Can it! Then institute the following 4 points!

    1. Tort reform. Why should some Drs pay exhorbitant insurance fees. Limit liability to 250K ......Dems won't do it because they were heavily financed by the lawyers!

    Oh my my. Somebody is monitoring shabby medical practice? And the insurance companies are reaping the benefit of getting and keeping "exhorbitant insurance fees" they are allowed to charge even the good and the best doctors in the respective specialties? Pete, I don't think the insurance companies will like you for this suggestion. They might just cancel your cadillac coverage for no good reason. hah

    2. All should have the ability to shop for insurance across state lines.

    Agreed. Never could figure out why the insurance company premiums differ depending on which state you live in. Whose idea was that anyway? The insurance companies? Or the state legislators?http://www.seattlepi.com/sound/41724...d88837207.html

    3. An "INDEPENDENT" auditing firm should be hired to root out waste and corruption in all social agencies and recommend cost saving measures that would save Billions!

    Again agreed. But only if the auditing firm also roots out the evil practices of insurance companies that drop people from the rolls when they get sick or deny coverage for sometimes really questionable "reasons."

    4. Finally place a few pennies TAX on "SIN" foods , i.e. high fat , high fructose corn syrup foods. Prime exaamples would be Cinnabuns, KFC etc. Thus if you want to ea t such foods and then suffer High blood Pressure, Stroke, Obesity, you would in essence be paying for your OWN health insurance. This is already done with Tobacco companies who have paid billions in claims to various state health agencies .

    I think the food industries are already trying to make their products "healthier." KFC now sells grilled chicken: http://www.kfc.com/nutrition/grilled.asp; And there's the trans fat gravy train, with sometimes not so good consequences: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/...at-cover_x.htm The sin tax might be a good idea Pete.

    All moneys collected and saved should be diverted to those in need of health insurance. Would this ever be enacted? .....not by the lying, thieving scoundrels we curently have running our government!

    Certainly not by the obstructionist "no" party anyway, as they are impeding bipartisanism and making our government a laughing stock, not "of the people, by the people and for the people." They just won't do anything, let alone what might benefit the "people." Hmmm...why are they drawing paychecks again?
    time to get out the knitting. yup This uproar will fade away when the advantages of the plan are recognized. Forget the knitting, gotta get a copy of that bill.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    6,314

    Default

    yours is a pragmatic and logical mind river. i always respect your opinions. the thing is that this bill is going to overwhelm small businesses with the charges they are going to place on them with these health insurance mandates. this administration, including bozo obama, bozo biden, and everyone of the democratic legislatures that voted for it have no idea of the consequences that it is going to reap when everything in it comes to light and fruition. this is going to drive the small businessman out of business and with it their brains, initiative, and drive to succeed and propogate business in general. i feel that the end result will tear the country apart by creating a much larger chasm between the entitlement masses and the legit people earning and paying their own way on their own merit. the disenchantment is already there. we are only a step away from what comes next when disenchantment and dispair bring out the worst in human nature. when people have been pushed to the brink and there is nothing left to lose then we will see the worst side of human nature. there are two sides to the axiom, "you reap what you sow" and what this administration is sowing is going to reap the worst of human nature.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    6,314

    Default

    Right now the biggest problem with our healthcare system is cost control. The costs and services were supposed to be optimalized by supply and demand, but right now the quality of service seems to be dropping and the prices are certainly rising. Perhaps the market is not a good model for healthcare, but that should become a subject of research before any conclusions can be drawn.

    Karel,
    I have always respected your analytically precise logic and honesty. i had a bit of a chuckle with the above statement because it is so honest and relevant as to what is going to be happening with healthcare here in the US now that this bill has passed. how long do you go before you pass judgement on a bad situation. when you step in poop do you have to walk around with it on your shoe for a couple for a couple off weeks before you scrape it off just to make sure it was poop.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    6,314

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Hansen View Post
    I have what is referred to as a cadillac plan , which I have for virtually nothing . Small co pays at dentist, eye dr , prescriptions and specialists !
    I love my plan ......now I will be subject to a tax for the above plan.

    My 4 point plan is as follows: Take the Obama, Reid , Pelosi plan and Shi*Can it! Then institute the following 4 points!


    1. Tort reform. Why should some Drs pay exhorbitant insurance fees. Limit liability to 250K ......Dems won't do it because they were heavily financed by the lawyers!
    2. All should have the ability to shop for insurance across state lines.
    3. An "INDEPENDENT" auditing firm should be hired to root out waste and corruption in all social agencies and recommend cost saving measures that would save Billions!
    4. Finally place a few pennies TAX on "SIN" foods , i.e. high fat , high fructose corn syrup foods. Prime exaamples would be Cinnabuns, KFC etc. Thus if you want to ea t such foods and then suffer High blood Pressure, Stroke, Obesity, you would in essence be paying for your OWN health insurance. This is already done with Tobacco companies who have paid billions in claims to various state health agencies .

    All moneys collected and saved should be diverted to those in need of health insurance. Would this ever be enacted? .....not by the lying, thieving scoundrels we curently have running our government!
    Pete,
    the best thing i could say about your post was the i wish that i had said it. very well spoken and a logical initiative to start with. but it makes to much good sense which in light of that we will probably never see take place here in the US.

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