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Old 06-02-2020, 08:57 AM   #1
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Default The Public Healthcare Debate

I know that most of us have long been either in hearty support of, or at least leaning towards, a public single payer health care system here in the United States. For my part, I have always been an avid supporter of the "Medicare for all" idea, even though how it would/could be actually implemented is quite up in the air and open for debate. One thing I have been and will remain adamantly supportive of is that the current profit incentive/motivation needs to be taken completely out of any kind of healthcare system. Every human being has a right to access quality healthcare. But then I saw this:


I have to admit that I really enjoyed Michael Moore's documentary, "Sicko". When it comes to public healthcare and a federally run single payer system, like Medicare, I've thought "ya, this could be done and, with a few tweaks, could be economically viable". Then I saw the above documentary and, I'll have to admit, it made my thinking on this stop dead in its tracks. Now I'm scratching my chin and I really don't know what to think. I just know that what we have now is an utter disaster and is totally unfair and untenable.

Okay, so where is my thinking on this now?? I don't know. I'm going to have to think about this long and hard. So, I'd like some input from the community here. But please, watch the video. I mean, think broadly and fairly about what it presents. What do ya'll think??

~Theo~
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Old 06-02-2020, 12:02 PM   #2
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I think we could easily afford it with tax and finance reform. And we desperately need it.
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theoddz View Post
I know that most of us have long been either in hearty support of, or at least leaning towards, a public single payer health care system here in the United States. For my part, I have always been an avid supporter of the "Medicare for all" idea, even though how it would/could be actually implemented is quite up in the air and open for debate. One thing I have been and will remain adamantly supportive of is that the current profit incentive/motivation needs to be taken completely out of any kind of healthcare system. Every human being has a right to access quality healthcare. But then I saw this:


I have to admit that I really enjoyed Michael Moore's documentary, "Sicko". When it comes to public healthcare and a federally run single payer system, like Medicare, I've thought "ya, this could be done and, with a few tweaks, could be economically viable". Then I saw the above documentary and, I'll have to admit, it made my thinking on this stop dead in its tracks. Now I'm scratching my chin and I really don't know what to think. I just know that what we have now is an utter disaster and is totally unfair and untenable.

Okay, so where is my thinking on this now?? I don't know. I'm going to have to think about this long and hard. So, I'd like some input from the community here. But please, watch the video. I mean, think broadly and fairly about what it presents. What do ya'll think??

~Theo~
We have universal healthcare in Aust and it is funded through taxation but managed by the states.

The Medicare levy helps fund some of the costs of Australia's public health system known as Medicare. The Medicare levy is 2% of your taxable income, in addition to the tax you pay on your taxable income. ... The Medicare levy is collected from you in the same way as income tax.

we also have subsidised medicine in Aust.Medicare

Medicare came in when I was about 13.Before that we had private healthcare,my father worked 2 jobs so we had top cover.

It would be political suicide to end medicare here in Aust,although they have undermined it, by stealth underfunding it,also a medical degree in a private hospital in Aust,is worthless,as all the top surgions work in public hospitals.
Private hospitals here are hopeless and I always try and avoid private health providers,they mainly do cosmetic surgery.
Yes tobacco is very exspensive here,result being most people gave up smoking,including myself.

Having been to the USA twice,I understand why the virus has hit so hard,a very unhealthy population,with serious health issues,but are forced to work,as healthcare is connected to work.My Ex was also amazed when she came here,at the quality of our food,now that's coming from an American not me.

My generation is much healthier,than my parents,so yes preventative healthcare does work.Imagine your military budget spent on the citizens.

The USA has a military budget,the size of the world combined,you kinda can only blow up the planet once.

Is medecare perfect-No,we have to work within the framework of capitalisim.

And he also never mentioned Cuba,who actually have the best healthcare in the world,which is why they send doctors not weapons to war torn countries.

I hope this has been informative,not patriotic,as I see myself as a world citizen.
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Old 06-02-2020, 05:51 PM   #4
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I've experienced if you pay for the higher health insurance your deff. get more. The doctors are better, ( so they say ) you get better meds., more medical essentials , this is one that piss' me off really bad ~ when hospitalized the food and accommodations are different. The better the plan the more you get. It's all shamefull. There will never be equality. Greed beats equality every time .
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:05 PM   #5
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Thank you for posting this video Theo, my thinking is in line with what they are saying. There are many hurdles to getting anything resembling universal health care in the states and I believe one of the biggest obstacles will be the American concepts of "freedom" to do whatever we want with our own lives free from restrictions and regulations. "Individuals" will want to continue to behave in ways that undermine personal and public health while expecting care for no additional expense. I think some of the Euro examples of accountability would be a good step, but in the states?

We saw how the conversation began during the primaries where everybody though Medicare for all was a great idea as long as the loudest voices just kept shouting about FREE everything. Then when Warren got her feet held to the fire and tried to start explaining costs, it quickly started to lose its shine.

I believe that our medical services for pay system is horribly broken and has no business calling itself "Health care". I see no health or care involved, what I see is an industry build on the promotion of disease and the patching up of symptoms and no regard for prevention or responsibility. That said I have no solutions or even good ideas, we have a three tier system that is broken and needs a complete reboot. I keep asking myself who is going to pay and how?

I do think taking the profit motive out would create an opportunity to change priorities but then we have the same question of "who runs it?" I look forward to seeing what others here have to say because I'm stumped.
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:38 AM   #6
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For starters, I believe all ads for pharmaceuticals should be banned. A tremendous amount of money is spent on TV and magazine ads, and guess where that comes from?

All health care providers should be required to openly state their prices, just like a fast-food menu board. Let competition do its work; if hospital A costs $$ and hospital B costs $$$$ for equal services, hospital B is going out of business. None of this "in network" and "out of network" stuff. One reason costs are so out of control is it's impossible to get a straight answer on how much anything costs. Medical providers shouldn't be able to charge some astronomical sum simply because insurance will cover it.

I believe in theory in interstate insurance, but to make that work and prevent massive fraud, I've little idea. Ultimately, the entire insurance business is hugely bloated and inefficient, but I have too little knowledge on how to possibly reform it.
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:17 AM   #7
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I hear what you all are saying about how the expense of such a nationwide single payer system would almost be just plain out impractical and, in the end, disastrous. I do think, however, that removing some of the profit incentive would drive overall costs down.

Even in traditional business models, costs always go up when you have middlemen (insurance companies) involved. Could that be where the first slice of a type of precision "trimming down" could begin?? At least, in theory?? Insurance companies seem to be the base cause of a lot of costs going up. They are, by and large, public companies, so they have shareholders to appease, therefore, they are in it to make as much money as they possibly can. In this case, it's at the expense of another person's health and/or well being. That's where the profit motive lies, in large part. I think everyone would agree that every living organism on this planet has the drive to live, and we humans also feel that the quality of our health determines a lot of the quality of our lives. What person wouldn't do everything and anything to just live?? What would YOU sell, bargain, beg, steal, lie or cheat for, if for nothing else, life?? Just to keep taking one breath after another without screaming in pain?? C'mon, be honest. This FOR PROFIT health "system" that we have, here in the US, has a sincerely captive audience. It isn't hard to understand. Yet we will give anything, ANYTHING to anyone who will help us live to see another sunrise, even if we are flat broke, living in a cardboard box under a bridge with nothing to eat but dirt.

Leveling the economic playing field in the health care industry is going to mean taking the huge profits away from the insurance companies, and they might just have to reinvent another business model that they can survive under. Maybe get rid of the shareholders and replace them with folks who really do have some skin in the game....like maybe the patients they are charged to take care of/insure?? I don't know what the answer is, but this much I do know: Something is going to have to give if our entire democracy is going to survive. We ALL do better when the interests of the public good is served, so we've got to start with one measure of common sense and make sure that ALL of our citizenry, not just the ones with $$, can just stay alive.

I've gotten a bit jaded, over the years, because I've worked in the US health care industry (both private and public sectors), and one of the big reasons I switched to the public sector (VA - US gov't) is because I saw what the real conditions were in the private/for profit systems, back when they brought in the concept of "Managed Care". We providers used to cynically call it "mangled care". I loved the VA system, overall, because it didn't require that a patient have enough $$ to get care. All that mattered was that that person served our country and put his/her life on the line for his/her countrymen/women. We treated all Veteran patients equally, no matter what. They are ALL precious lives to us. Oh, and something like 40% of us are Veterans, ourselves, so that helped. I once heard someone comment that, "if you want to see what socialized (I assume they were meaning government run) medicine would look like in this country, take a look at the VA." I thought that was kind of interesting, because it's widely recognized, according to consistent polling, that the VA Health Care System has held the top rating in patient satisfaction (of all US health systems) for many years now. The VA was one of just a few systems that brought about using computerized patient records/charting that streamlined VA care and reduced costs, nationwide. It also served to improve the quality and timeliness of care, also. Overall, it is a very impressive system, and I'm very proud to have worked in it, serving my fellow Vets.

I am so thankful to you all who have shared your thoughts here. I'd also like to extend a hand out to every and anyone else here to throw out your ideas and thoughts about this here, too. BFP is, admittedly, a microcosm of our LGBTQ communities, I think, and we all come from various walks of life, occupations and arenas. Something someone says here, or other places, might end up reaching the right ears and create constructive conversations in other places, with other ears. An idea is an idea, you know!! I've gotten a lot more to think about now, thanks, again, to those who have shared. I tip my hat to ya'll!!!

~Theo~
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Old 06-03-2020, 03:04 PM   #8
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This will be controversial, I know, but please read my entire post if you care to respond to my post.

I do not believe that every person has the right to medical care. People have the right to what they can afford in this country, everything from shoes to food to justice. We may not like it, but that is the capitalist system we have set up in the U.S.

That said, I believe every person deserves medical care. We cannot call ourselves decent human beings if we don't provide basic health care to everyone that we can afford to. Somebody has to pay for it - but if we are good, humanitarian folk, then we should be willing to pay for it.

Even if we're not all good, humanitarian folk, we should recognize that it is in our own self interest to provide health care for everyone. This is one of the things that Americans will have to be convinced of in order to provide universal health care. I used to work with an otherwise perfectly reasonable, decent woman who felt, "I had to work hard to get a job where I get good healthcare. Why shouldn't everyone else have to do the same?" (I'll just mention that the numbers don't work out with this reasoning - there will always be people who slide to the bottom of the economy, and no matter how hard they work, or don't work, they will never get a job with great medical benefits.) What I said to her instead was, "You have to think of it from the point of enlightened self-interest." If only some of us have health care and others don't, the unhealthy ones will make the rest of us unhealthy. We want ALL people to be vaccinated against transmissible diseases so they don't spread. Likewise, we should want all people with the flu to be treated, so they don't spread it around. Consider the plight of a grocery store worker, with no health care and no sick days. They go to work even when they're sick, because if they don't work, they don't get paid - and these low-paid workers can't afford health care with no insurance. Yet, they are handling your and my fresh produce, trimming our meat, cutting slices of cheese in the deli and all the while transferring their germs to everyone who shops at that store.

Re: Insurance Companies - they are EVIL. They will do anything at all to avoid having to pay a claim. It doesn't matter if they are in the right or not, what matters to them is: can they wiggle their way out of paying? I have worked for insurance companies and I know how deceptive and underhanded they are, on a regular everyday basis. Anyway, this is probably best discussed in a new thread, if anyone cares to. But insurance in its current form, for all of the reasons stated previously in this thread and others, is a huge impediment to getting affordable health care in this country.
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaMa'am View Post
This will be controversial, I know, but please read my entire post if you care to respond to my post.

I do not believe that every person has the right to medical care. People have the right to what they can afford in this country, everything from shoes to food to justice. We may not like it, but that is the capitalist system we have set up in the U.S.

That said, I believe every person deserves medical care. We cannot call ourselves decent human beings if we don't provide basic health care to everyone that we can afford to. Somebody has to pay for it - but if we are good, humanitarian folk, then we should be willing to pay for it.

Even if we're not all good, humanitarian folk, we should recognize that it is in our own self interest to provide health care for everyone. This is one of the things that Americans will have to be convinced of in order to provide universal health care. I used to work with an otherwise perfectly reasonable, decent woman who felt, "I had to work hard to get a job where I get good healthcare. Why shouldn't everyone else have to do the same?" (I'll just mention that the numbers don't work out with this reasoning - there will always be people who slide to the bottom of the economy, and no matter how hard they work, or don't work, they will never get a job with great medical benefits.) What I said to her instead was, "You have to think of it from the point of enlightened self-interest." If only some of us have health care and others don't, the unhealthy ones will make the rest of us unhealthy. We want ALL people to be vaccinated against transmissible diseases so they don't spread. Likewise, we should want all people with the flu to be treated, so they don't spread it around. Consider the plight of a grocery store worker, with no health care and no sick days. They go to work even when they're sick, because if they don't work, they don't get paid - and these low-paid workers can't afford health care with no insurance. Yet, they are handling your and my fresh produce, trimming our meat, cutting slices of cheese in the deli and all the while transferring their germs to everyone who shops at that store.

Re: Insurance Companies - they are EVIL. They will do anything at all to avoid having to pay a claim. It doesn't matter if they are in the right or not, what matters to them is: can they wiggle their way out of paying? I have worked for insurance companies and I know how deceptive and underhanded they are, on a regular everyday basis. Anyway, this is probably best discussed in a new thread, if anyone cares to. But insurance in its current form, for all of the reasons stated previously in this thread and others, is a huge impediment to getting affordable health care in this country.
I just want to add,Aust does have private health insurance as well as universal healthcare,although my cousin who is very well off gay man they both had top private health cober,his partner got prostate cancer,out of pocket was $16,000,he now is an avid advocate for free health care.
I am poor,I had ovarian cancer,I got the cadilac of treatment in the best cancer clinic in the country 100% free.But I have paid my taxes all my life from working,so its not actually free,but who misses 1.5 % of tax,it is morphed into tax you pay.without it,I would be dead now,I was told I would have died within 6 mths.should I be dead,because I got sick?
If so,I do not believe we are so called civilised.

BUT medecare will not cover my trans surgeries at all,which means we are dicrimated as Transgender treatment for those wanting it is surgery.
Medecare also will not cover cosmetic surgery,all of that is in private sector of our health system.
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Old 06-03-2020, 10:11 PM   #10
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Nice subject topic to discuss, Theo. I watched your video and found myself listening intently. Not sure I could add much to your discussion here, but I can say that for most of my own adult life, I've never had health insurance coverage. Ever. My parents both had union jobs; so growing up I had the best of health care one could get. My dad was a vet, so between both my parents' work related health coverage for our very big family, plus his VA benefits, we pretty much had the best health coverage one could get during the 60s and 70s. Seems like a life time ago. Especially since my dad died in February and my mother turns 81 this summer.

The only time I ever had health coverage, was when my employer was responsible for my health coverage after I was hurt on the job (near death car wreck in my employer's car). I'm sure the bills for my health coverage were in the high thousands, if not cresting past a million in fees.

Other than that, I am still without health coverage. I could always elect to have my current employer's health coverage, but it covers nothing. I'd still have to cough up money for an office visit or heaven forbid if I caught the COVID 19 virus. I am sure I would die, if that happened.

I hope to find myself employed by a union back employer, later this year. If I am lucky to find myself hired by them, and if I stayed with them for 5 years or more? Then I'd have health insurance benefits for the rest of my life.

I agree though. Health insurance is a proverbial money pit. I'm lucky that I have been in fairly good health all my life, up until I was hurt on the job. I was in my late 50s when that happened. Injuries in your latter years can cause significant impacts. I know it did for me.

I look forward to following your forum discussion. Thanks, Theo.
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Old 06-03-2020, 10:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaMa'am View Post
This will be controversial, I know, but please read my entire post if you care to respond to my post.

I do not believe that every person has the right to medical care. People have the right to what they can afford in this country, everything from shoes to food to justice. We may not like it, but that is the capitalist system we have set up in the U.S.

That said, I believe every person deserves medical care. We cannot call ourselves decent human beings if we don't provide basic health care to everyone that we can afford to. Somebody has to pay for it - but if we are good, humanitarian folk, then we should be willing to pay for it.

Even if we're not all good, humanitarian folk, we should recognize that it is in our own self interest to provide health care for everyone. This is one of the things that Americans will have to be convinced of in order to provide universal health care. I used to work with an otherwise perfectly reasonable, decent woman who felt, "I had to work hard to get a job where I get good healthcare. Why shouldn't everyone else have to do the same?" (I'll just mention that the numbers don't work out with this reasoning - there will always be people who slide to the bottom of the economy, and no matter how hard they work, or don't work, they will never get a job with great medical benefits.) What I said to her instead was, "You have to think of it from the point of enlightened self-interest." If only some of us have health care and others don't, the unhealthy ones will make the rest of us unhealthy. We want ALL people to be vaccinated against transmissible diseases so they don't spread. Likewise, we should want all people with the flu to be treated, so they don't spread it around. Consider the plight of a grocery store worker, with no health care and no sick days. They go to work even when they're sick, because if they don't work, they don't get paid - and these low-paid workers can't afford health care with no insurance. Yet, they are handling your and my fresh produce, trimming our meat, cutting slices of cheese in the deli and all the while transferring their germs to everyone who shops at that store.

Re: Insurance Companies - they are EVIL. They will do anything at all to avoid having to pay a claim. It doesn't matter if they are in the right or not, what matters to them is: can they wiggle their way out of paying? I have worked for insurance companies and I know how deceptive and underhanded they are, on a regular everyday basis. Anyway, this is probably best discussed in a new thread, if anyone cares to. But insurance in its current form, for all of the reasons stated previously in this thread and others, is a huge impediment to getting affordable health care in this country.
*clapping*

The bolded is exactly the scenario I fear at work. Although these days we have to get our temperature taken before we can clock in, I have seen many coworkers come in with non-contagious things that make them feel miserable, simply because they can't afford to miss a day (and/or can't afford the doctor). One was a woman undergoing chemotherapy who developed severe edema because she came back to work too soon after surgery.
(Our boss tried to screw around with her FEMA benefits; a little bird told her about a local attorney used by said bird who made Jaws look like a tuna. Friend must have name-dropped the attorney to our boss, as it got fixed right quick.)
In my own life, I have had to go to the free clinic, and I have also had the best care available. My feeling is that free clinics and the like are crucial. I am not saying staff them with quacks and give substandard care; in fact, I believe in a massive push for universal preventative care, especially for children. It may sound cold, but I think resources should go firstly for prevention. If you choose to smoke or drink yourself to death, that's on you and I don't want to pay for your choices.
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Old 06-04-2020, 05:35 PM   #12
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The only time I ever had health coverage, was when my employer was responsible for my health coverage after I was hurt on the job (near death car wreck in my employer's car). I'm sure the bills for my health coverage were in the high thousands, if not cresting past a million in fees. . . . Health insurance is a proverbial money pit. I'm lucky that I have been in fairly good health all my life, up until I was hurt on the job. I was in my late 50s when that happened. Injuries in your latter years can cause significant impacts. I know it did for me.
Lucky is right.

I have had good health insurance most of my life, except for a few years in my 20s when I was self-employed. Like most 20 year olds, I thought nothing really bad would ever happen to me. Luckily for me, nothing really did until recently in my 50s - in the past six months I have been hospitalized three times, for multiple days each time - once for pneumonia, once for a pulmonary embolism and once for gout. I have no idea how much the bills that I have to pay are going to be for the most recent rounds of hospital stay, although the one from six months ago ended up only costing me about $1500, plus the payments that come out of my paycheck (which are pretty low) due to my excellent health insurance. It would have been about $60,000 otherwise.

Somehow, we are going to have to convince young, healthy adults that healthcare is a lifetime investment.
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:11 PM   #13
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Default History of Health Insurance . . .

I got home earlier and was setting up to make a post, when my phone rang and it was my night for my telephone conference with my therapist. So I'm back now, and can proceed with what I hope is helpful.

So, first, yes. I've been lucky, but lucky in a way that I had good health care growing up, due to my parents having access to health care coverage. I was born in the late 50s, so the span of my growing up years were between then and the late 70s. That was the building block of care I had for my health, growing up.

But as I went out on my own, and found myself in an artist-like career (a hairdresser), I spent the bulk of my adult life making a living as a hairdresser. Back then, you paid some sort of rent for your time to practice in a salon. You were lucky if you made enough money to buy groceries for yourself or put gas in your car so you could make it to work, to earn a living. I recall that in the beginning, I only had maybe $50/week - if that. There was no such thing as having access to health insurance. It wasn't until 20 years later, that a salon I worked in actually had any health insurance that a person could opt to buy. The problem back then is the same as it is today: Health insurance coverage costs more than what you could possibly sink into a functional policy that actually helps you to have access to services, the basic type of checkups, but if you happened to have to need more than basic healthcare, then your so-called health insurance policy demanded that you spend thousands out of your own pocket, before the health insurance company even lifted a 'hand' to help you. Sound familiar, to some of you?

So, as I went on in life, I actually ended up raising two of my own biracial sons and I just could never, even then, afford any health insurance coverage. For any of us. The answer back then was to seek medical assistance via a county health clinic. One could usually be seen on any given day, sometimes for no cost of service or if you made more money than most folks, they would render services on a sliding scale fee. That was helpful for me and my sons, back then, because I was not going to hand over half of my monthly income for a health policy that would never help us at all. Sure, it helped the health insurance company employees and executives, but health insurance offerings have mostly never been affordable or helpful, then or even now.

I don't feel lucky not having health insurance. I was incredibly lucky to live in a time where visiting a county health clinic served as a way to remain healthy, when I could never afford a health insurance policy back then or even now. IF I wanted to elect to pay into a health insurance policy sponsored by my current employer, then half of my earnings would go into the health insurance 'toilet' and not ever be used to help me see a doctor or attain any other type of health related service, unless I conveniently had a money tree growing nearby.

But, back before I could even remember life as child growing up in my very big family, I seem to remember that it was only back then, shortly after WW2 that people could even go see a doctor or have a doctor treat them for any health reason. Our family lived in a very rural part of my former home state of Idaho and back then, the only hospitals around were Catholic hospitals and Catholic nursing homes for the sick and dying or for those in need of some form of round the clock nursing care. Nursing, as a paid, skilled profession, has only been around for the last 100 years or so. If I recall correctly.

Anyway... I thought it would be useful to leave a link to an article about when Health Care Insurance came into existence. I found an article on a website sponsored by neuro-surgeons from Northern California, and after looking around at other links (to include wikipedia, or other history type links), I think the article I found seems to give one a better understanding as to how the health insurance found its footing as a business and grew into the monster industry that it is today.

To read the article, click on the title provided below:

The History of Health Insurance in the United States
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Old 06-05-2020, 09:21 PM   #14
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To read the article, click on the title provided below:

The History of Health Insurance in the United States
Thank you for the link to this useful article, Kštzchen.

My dad used to talk about living on a farm when he was growing up. They were subsistence farmers. I asked him why, once, they never believed in going to the doctor. He said that nobody could afford a doctor; when things went wrong you just had to live with them. He had a knee injury when he was a teenager - he stepped down out of a grain house with a heavy bag of grain on his shoulder, and his knee bent completely backwards. It affected him his entire life, which he lived in chronic pain.

I hate the thought of people having to go through life this way - yet, people do it all the time. I don't know what my point is here - I'm not sure I have one.
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Old 06-06-2020, 02:25 PM   #15
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Lucky is right.

I have had good health insurance most of my life, except for a few years in my 20s when I was self-employed. Like most 20 year olds, I thought nothing really bad would ever happen to me. Luckily for me, nothing really did until recently in my 50s - in the past six months I have been hospitalized three times, for multiple days each time - once for pneumonia, once for a pulmonary embolism and once for gout. I have no idea how much the bills that I have to pay are going to be for the most recent rounds of hospital stay, although the one from six months ago ended up only costing me about $1500, plus the payments that come out of my paycheck (which are pretty low) due to my excellent health insurance. It would have been about $60,000 otherwise.

Somehow, we are going to have to convince young, healthy adults that healthcare is a lifetime investment.
In Aust the govt subsidises private health care,young people were joining ,but as they wanted more profit and raised prices,they left.As our public health care has the best care.
,even through this pandemic crisis,the govt socialised all private hospitalis in case the country was overun,this is an ultra right wing govt,but they could not afford the virus getting out of control,and they handed it over to medical professionals.
yesterday we had 2 cases nationally and 7,000 case with 100 deaths covid clinics are free testing,I noticed one just sprung up near me,as we are heading into winter.
NZ have eradicated the virus,now a lot of this has been luck for Aust,but the fact is the govt can take swift action in these times coz 90% of our health is socialised and people will get tested because they are not afraid of an $18,000 bill."I saw a bill on FB".
But it means people can do preventative medecine.
I find it amazing that socialised anything must be perfect,
even when private everything is so flawed and obviously inept,I pay $6 for all my medicines,as the govt subsidises medicines.
this is why most countries in the world has it.
,works both ways though,means you have a healthy fit population for a workforce.I hardly ever went to the doctor till 2014 when I got really sick.
Truth is I would have loved to immigrate to the US,but your healthcare is why It would be impossible.
I visited a friend in Santa Cruz,she was paying $700 a month for her and 3 kids,I couldn't believe it,obviously children here have full free health and dental coverage as they don't work,their parents still only pay 1,5% of their wages for medecare.No it doesn't make a profit,it's not supposed to,so we have no millionaire executives to pay.
I hope I'm making points of why I am passionate about it,not being antagonistic.
sometimes this mode of communication can be in a way,the writer never intended.
cheers
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Old 06-06-2020, 04:33 PM   #16
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Default @ Theo

I found a couple of interesting news articles: one from back in 2013, published on the website AlterNet (link found here).

And I found another more recent news article, discussing health care models @ Wharton - University of Pennsylvania (See link to article embedded in title below):

Is Canada the Right Model for a Better US Health Care System?


Half way through the Wharton health care debate article, I found this interesting quote, which is similar to the idea tabled for conversation in your forum thread, Theo:
Quote:
ďAt the end of the day, the debate is about what are our values. What is the best way we should structure a system of insuring our public?ĒĖDan Polsky

What do you think, Theo? Do you think Dan Polsky is narrowing in on an idea which seems to be part of the health care issue (social values)?

I think social values is part of the problem. Not everybody values the same things socially - or at least it seems that way.

I thought leaving these two links I found might be useful, as part of the larger conversation in your thread about Public Health Care.


~ K.
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Old 06-06-2020, 07:49 PM   #17
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I pay $6 for all my medicines,as the govt subsidises medicines.
this is why most countries in the world has it.
I pay a lot more than $6 each for most of my medications, and I have great insurance and I use manufacturer's coupons. If most of the cost weren't covered, I don't know how I'd ever be able to afford medications. Any healthcare system that we have now or go to in the future really must cover medications.
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Old 06-07-2020, 03:54 PM   #18
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I pay a lot more than $6 each for most of my medications, and I have great insurance and I use manufacturer's coupons. If most of the cost weren't covered, I don't know how I'd ever be able to afford medications. Any healthcare system that we have now or go to in the future really must cover medications.
I can never believe the cost of medecines in the US,but then tobacco is so cheap.
Our govt would love to get rid of medecare,the 1% are drouling at the thought of it,but it is one thing most agree on.
free health care as a human right,it teaches us to look after each other and there is no debate in this country,around healthcare.
Over hear there is zero conversation about money and healthcare,I guess if it was so bad the private sector would not need govt contracts,they can't stand on their own,they take our tax dollars to subsidise them,this is a conversation we have here.
If private health is so great,why do they need govt subsidies.

I just want to say,using the pandemic in this topic,I mean no disrespect to all the people who have died in the US,and apologise if my comments have caused any hurt,it was never my intent.Vincent
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Old 05-01-2021, 11:25 AM   #19
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Default Good morning Theo, I'm bumping your thread today...

I came across an incredibly well-written op-ed type news article concerning troubling issues surrounding the US Health Care system and thought I would share it here. Take note that this op-ed was published during the spring of 2019, a few months before the Covid-19 epidemic ignited like a wild fire across the globe.

_______________________________________.

Health Care in the US Should Be Affordable and Accessible

Americaís broken health-care system extorts its patients just so they can access a basic human right.

by Beverly Gologorsky @ The Nation

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

(EDITORíS NOTE: This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch).

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

(May 9th, 2019) On this extremely hot summer day, the ear-splitting siren screaming through New Yorkís streets is coming from the ambulance Iím inóon a gurney on my way to the ER. That only makes the siren, loud as it is, all the more alarming.

I fell. The pain, its location, and intensity, suggests Iíve probably broken my hip.

The kind face of the emergency medical technician hovering above me asks questions softly and I confess that Iím in terrible pain. Other gentle hands are busy taking blood pressure and doing oxygen counts. These EMT workers, employees of the Fire Department, are good at what they do.

At the ER entrance, the gurneyís lifted out of the vehicle, wheels are dropped, and itís rolled inside. Under a ceiling of bright white lights, it passesóand so I passóone cubicle after another. I catch bits of voices, speaking in several languages.

My friend, whoís come with me to the ER, roots around in my purse for my insurance and then heads for the admissions office. Alone, I close my eyes to shut out the glare of the ceiling lights. I want one thing: relief from the pain. Oblivion would even be more appreciated.

My friend returns to my cubicle and asks, ďIs this the only insurance you have?Ē I panic. Will they not accept me? But they have to! Itís the ER! Thatís the reassurance I offer myself and then I tell her, ďYes, itís all I have.Ē

She looks doubtful. ďWhat?Ē I ask desperately. ďWhat?Ē

ďDonít you have some kind of supplemental?Ē And she begins to try to explain, but I canít deal with this right now. All I want is relief from the pain. Any other moment, Iíd worry about the money, but not now. I canít! Instead, simply to remain half-calm, I remind myself that I have insurance, that I have a health-maintenance organization, or HMO, a plan that offers a wide range of health-care services through a network of providers who agree to work with members.

After vital signs are taken, Iím moved to a hospital room and given pain meds that donít offer oblivion, but do help. There, I learn what the X-rays show: a hip fracture. Surgery necessary. Operating rooms all taken. It may be two days before they can operate, the orthopedic surgeon tells me. My friend whispers that every extra day in the hospital will cost a mint. She then appeals to the staff to expedite the surgery. They canít.

At that moment, I donít care if the hospital costs a million dollars a day, I just want to get better. However, I, too, want the surgery to happen, within the hour if possible, since my leg is now frozen in a distinctly awkward position, thanks to the way I fell, and I realize that it wonít be straight until the operationís over.

Two days later, after successful surgery, I develop an infection, pneumonia, and the days in the hospital begin multiplying into weeks. My doctors are so busy they can only visit once a day, if that, but the nurses, wellÖ theyíre the healers, the angels, though they themselves are desperately overworked.

Everyoneís so busy here. Hospitals have grown larger than ever in recent years as theyíve swallowed smaller hospitals and medical-treatment centers. Given the overworked nature of the staff, I hire a health-care aide to be with me several hours a day. My friend tells me that insurance wonít pick up this expense either, but I canít worry about that now. I simply need to heal.

Finally, Iím discharged to months of physical therapy, three times a week. Fortunately, the therapy practice takes my insurance (not always a given). But on that first visit (as on every visit thereafter), they run my Visa card through their machine and I get charged a $40 co-pay. Thereís nothing I can do about it. After all, my goal is to get back on my feet, literally as well as metaphorically. Still, thatís $120 a week for 16 weeks and so my out-of-pocket patient expenses begin to add up.

Back at home to recuperate, I find a stack of unopened mail, including notices from my insurance company alerting me to the bills that are to follow. Soon enough, they begin to arrive. They include out-of-pocket patient costs for the ambulance, the hospital, doctors, tests of all sorts, drugs of all sorts, and sundry other services. Those bills list both what insurance has paid for each service and the amount of money that I still owe.

And here I experience what must be common to so many Americans. Iím surprised and distressed to learn how much of the cost my insurance doesnít pick up. The surgery, for instance, was $72,000, but my insurance only covers $67,000 of it. The other $5,000 is my co-pay. Add in the co-pays for everything from that ambulance to other medical services, and my costs come to almost $13,000.

AN INSURANCE SYSTEM OF OUT-OF-POCKET DISASTERS

Iím sharing my recent journey as a cautionary tale. And, yet, what am I warning against? That we are all somewhat powerless when sickness strikes, but that those of us who arenít wealthy suffer so much more. The thought of being without insurance is frightening indeed, yet in our present system we pay in so many ways for the existence of those insurance companies. We pay in co-pay; we pay in not getting treatment we need if insurance deems it unnecessary (no matter what your doctor says); we pay yearly out-of-pocket fees whether weíre 20 or 80 years old. (For Medicare patients, a monthly payment comes out of Social Security.) For most American families with insurance, whether workplace-based or individually purchased, premiums go up regularly, if not annually. At present, we have no alternative to the existing health-insurance system, yet it is actually failing us all in so many ways.

What do you do when sickness occurs, if you arenít rich? Suffer the illness, for sure, and then suffer the out-of-pocket costs afterward. And keep in mind that tens of millions of Americans under age 65 donít have any health insurance at all. (In the age of Trump, in fact, those numbers are on the rise.) Moreover, the persistent growth of income inequality to Gilded Age levels has had a decided effect on the health of many Americans. For low-paid wage workers, the unemployed, and/or undocumented immigrants, getting sick or having any kind of medical mishap is a disaster of the first order. For them, paying out-of-pocket costs of any sort may simply be impossible, which means that they will often do without medical treatment or even medicine. To put this in perspective, 40% of Americans canít afford an extra $400 even in a medical emergency. Imagine what $5,000 or $10,000 in expenses means!

After an illness, accident, or chronic disease hits, a startling number of those of us with health insurance find that we have to choose between paying for daily needs and paying our medical bills. Such expenses leave people even more impoverished and often in debt, which is tantamount to remaining unhealthy.

For the poor, Medicaid, the government program that helps those with limited or no incomes, can make a major difference, but many people donít have Medicaid because their states donít readily offer it. Even where itís more easily available, many with incomes not much above the poverty line donít qualify for it. And as Elizabeth Yuko pointed out in The New York Times recently, ďEven if you are fortunate enough to have health insurance, that doesnít mean that all of the members of your medical teamówhich may include out-of-network specialistsóare covered by your plan.Ē

As I learned with my fractured hip, someone who is in great pain or out of it for any number of physical reasons canít be expected to focus on that future bill. And even if you could, who would want to cancel any of the services needed to heal?

Though Barack Obamaís Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, helped significantly, there are still far too many people who will have to agonize over how to manage both an illness and the co-pays that go with it. Meanwhile, of course, the Trump administration and congressional Republicans are working overtime to undermine Obamacare and deprive ever more Americans of any sense of a medical safety net.

WHAT MEDICARE FOR ALL WOULD MEAN

All the talk about making insurance affordable, under the present medical circumstances in this country, adds up to just so many wasted words. Unless something changes big time, insurance companies will continue to sell us their services at ever-higher prices because we canít do without them. Since we lack alternatives, they remain indispensable. The result: Out-of-pocket costs will continue to rise, no matter what any politician promises. And if the Republicans in Congress were ever to succeed in doing away even with Obamacare, the services that insurance companies now provide would no longer be guaranteed. What then?

With a single-payer system, whether called Medicare for All or universal health care, everyone would be able to access health care; health would, that is, become a right. Most likely, such programs would be covered by a tax increase, yet they would cost each person so much less than what is now being paid out to insurance companies. With single payer or Medicare for All, there would be no more co-pays, no more premiums, no more refusals of non-doctors to pay for services recommended by medical specialists, no more bills arriving at a patientís house.

Understandably, some might be reluctant to part with a familiar health-care system, however flawed, in exchange for a new but untested universal program. Yet once implemented, any version of Medicare for All would be likely to cost less, be so much simpler to access, and ultimately save lives.

The present Medicare system is a good indicator of not only whatís possible, but of the ways in which health care can serve peopleís needs. However, Medicare is offered only to those who are over 65. Nevertheless, Medicare and Medicaid prove the positive. Those programs work well for the elderly and the poor. Even with Medicare, however, insurance companies continue to handle many aspects of your services, should you opt for a Medicare Advantage plan (an all-in-one alternative to original Medicare), in which co-pays and other costs are still the patientís responsibility.

According to Open Secrets, insurance companies, Big Pharma, and hospitals spent a staggering $143 million in 2018 alone in their lobbying efforts against any future Medicare for All plan. Nonetheless, as the National Nurses United association has pointed out: ďThere has never been this much public support and momentum for Medicare for All. Eighty-five percent of democratic voters and 70% of all voters support it.Ē With significant administrative setups already in place, thanks to Medicare and Medicaid, the expansion of those health systems to include everyone seems doable; nor is it hard to imagine that many of the workers now employed by insurance companies would be able to shift to working for an expanding single-payer or Medicare for All program.

Truly decent health care is a necessity for a society in which people do more than just survive. Health is not a negotiable matter. You can decide not to buy a new coat and so shiver through another winter, but you really canít decide to ignore sickness, disease, broken bones, or chronic illness, all of which can put lives on the line. How can any society function properly without health care available to all? How can any society survive in a reasonably decent way when so many millions of people are left with the choice of either being impoverished by illness or living with an otherwise treatable one?

Health care should be as much of a right as public educationóthe right to educate all children, that isówhich was only won after its own set of lengthy struggles. After all, who can now imagine making all Americans pay for the first 12 years of schooling? Yes, we know that there are people wealthy enough to pay for whatever kind of education and health care they want, but they are hardly the majority of Americans.

Good health care must not only be affordable, but also provide easy access to medical servicesóto better nutrition, a healthier environment, and greater longevity. In this context, Medicare for All would be a literal lifesaver.

Finally, good health care is peace of mind, which, at present, our system does not deliver. In my case, the cost of recovery was far too high (THE NATION).
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