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#310758 - 02/05/19 06:07 PM Healthcare
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2613
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
The current talk about healthcare seems more a wish list than a genuine discussion of facts and costs. I believe, for instance, that medicare for all is a really terrible idea. I also believe that our system, healthcare for profit, is not only poor healthcare but incredibly expensive. Its really time that we take some hard looks at the single payer systems around the world. There is no question about their costs -they are, on average, half of what we spend! If you ask a Canadian, for instance, if they would prefer to have the American system, they just laugh and move on. The same holds for all others I have talked to. The difference is waaaay different than all the systems on political healthcare. Not once, for instance, have I heard anybody take our healthcare for profit to task. Instead costs seem to not even be a subject. When somebody suggested the end of health insurance companies our clever politicians immediately came up with a number of solutions to save the insurance companies. Its also rare to hear the simple fact that the United States is the ONLY nation in witch expected life expectency is going down. This is also one of the most dangerous to have children (and not dying).

The facts are pretty plain. To make a single payer system costs must be contained. This is done in a number of ways. Drug companies can exist but they are rigorously controlled as to profit and pricing. The same is true of every other facet of healthcare. Those against will go nuts and threaten everybody that if such happens everybody will simply die. The rebuttal, of course, is to refer to the existing, cost effective, single payer system. The simple fact is that they seem to not only providing healthcare for all but also doing it for half of what we are currently paying. That would mean that we would actually save something over a trillion dollars a year. What may be even more important is that those single payer systems are consistently providing better healthcare than our own for-profit system which seems more interested in profits than anything else.

These are, incidentally, known facts and easily researched. I could offer any number of studies and sites but, I betcha, you get the picture. Political healthcare is is an exercise in wishful thinking, its really time this thing gets examined with facts, science, and reality instead of all the obvious concern with our current healthcare for profit which is beginning to kill us!

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#310759 - 02/05/19 07:25 PM Re: Healthcare [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1865
Originally Posted By: jgw
I believe, for instance, that medicare for all is a really terrible idea.


Why?

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#310762 - 02/05/19 09:09 PM Re: Healthcare [Re: chunkstyle]
Greger Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 15648
Loc: Florida
Yeah, why? We've basically got everything in place to crank up a national healthcare system by tweaking what's already in place.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#310763 - 02/05/19 09:13 PM Re: Healthcare [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8873
Loc: North San Diego County
We obviously desperately need some drug price reforms. The real problem is the patent system. Patents are supposed to make new inventions available for everyone, with reasonable royalties for companies making generics. But our current system is just a legal extortion racket. Drug companies with exclusivity can charge ANYTHING they want and insurance companies and Medicare are required to pay it. I just read about a drug for cystic fibrosis that has a price tag of $350,000 a year! I take a drug for MS that costs them about $100 a year to make and they charge $75,000 a year! And all the other drug companies who make an MS drug charge about the same. Talk about price fixing! How's this for an example: Levitra $30 a pill. Generic levitra from Canada $0.23 a pill.

Insurance companies and the VA can negotiate a slightly lower cost, but Medicare is prohibited from negotiating by law. That is pure legal extortion and draining Medicare. Medicare-for-all retaining this non-negotiation requirement would be a windfall for drug companies who could send drug prices soaring.

There is a lot of confusion over these plans. The biggest point is do we charge everybody zero, and pay for it all in taxes. (Good luck with that.) Or do we let people over 65 get it for the $120 per month we now charge for Medicare Part B, and let younger people buy into it every year for 20% less than their ACA policy would cost.

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#310765 - 02/06/19 12:24 AM Re: Healthcare [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1865
Healthcare or Healthco.
This issue should reveal the ideological fault lines within the democratic party.
Ideology matters. No more than with this issue. Most democrats will side with the insurance corporations. A handful will side with their constituents and make the arguments.
The Neoliberal market world Dems are on record with the Insurance Co.'s
Market World Pelosi backs the industry

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#310766 - 02/06/19 01:34 AM Re: Healthcare [Re: jgw]
rporter314 Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 6936
Loc: Highlands, Tx
The free market does not care about consumer cost. It is a money making machine and if it can get away with overcharging, well ... then ... it makes more money.

My contractual agreement with the federal government is that it will provide for the general welfare. Now, whatever "general welfare" means, the federal government has an obligation based on my contract to make provisions. Healthcare for all citizens sounds like precisely what the Founders may have meant by general welfare.

Federal government ... do your job!!!!!
_________________________
ignorance is the enemy
without equality there is no liberty

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#310768 - 02/06/19 03:38 AM Re: Healthcare [Re: rporter314]
Greger Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 15648
Loc: Florida
Hopefully there are qualified people somewhere being paid to formulate an orderly transition from healthco to healthcare....?
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#310769 - 02/06/19 03:57 AM Re: Healthcare [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1865
Hope in one hand......
There is a case being made on the left that ties it together with the economy and Green New Deal and is getting scored for cost and savings.
My guess will be to kill the messenger by the 'market oriented' democrats and scare the public over costs and raised taxes. Doing the soft sell of the industry.
Access and affordability ahead! Enhanced tax deferred health savings accounts off the starboard... And more means testing. Lordy how they like them some means testing.

Well see what the democratic political concensus cooks up keep their donors happy while tamping down expectations. It's what they're paid for.

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#310770 - 02/06/19 08:52 AM Re: Healthcare [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8873
Loc: North San Diego County
They can go radical with it and make it all tax paid, if they get enough Democrats elected in 2020. But the problem with aggressive partisan legislation is that it tends to get killed when the opponents get back in power. You want something to last? Get enough bipartisan support for it so when the pendulum swings, there are still people on both side of the aisle that supported it. Then it's tough to kill.

That's exactly what the Democrats were trying for with ACA. They kept adding things and subtracting things to get some Republican buy-in. They also needed Blue Dog Democrat's votes to get it passed, so it was nobody's idea of ideal. The idea was just to get something passed, and then to enhance it later. Of course, later never came. Just continued Republican attempts to kill or cripple it because there was no buy in.

So I think an approach that has staying power is to gradually lower the age at which people can buy in to Medicare. That slowly boils the insurance companies' frog, so they don't have a sudden shock. They are already in the Medicare Advantage business and make money processing Medicare claims. This would just gradually shift their business toward the Medicare side.

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#310774 - 02/06/19 02:10 PM Re: Healthcare [Re: pondering_it_all]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 17153
There are a number of Medicare-for-all plans out there. I think the 2020 race is going to be the public debate over them. The two that I think make the most sense are the "public option" ones and the "Medicare at 55" plans, because they do a good job of boiling the frog. But we shouldn't mistake Medicare for a universal healthcare plan, any more than the ACA. The ACA has gotten a bad rap because it is actually too close to Medicare, in reality.

Medicare really isn't "single-payer," since there are many costs to the recipient: premiums, co-payments, cost-shares, deductibles. (I just paid $346 yesterday for one medication for my wife.) Medicare costs for 2019 and, according to Kaiser family health, 34 percent of enrollees are in a "Medicare advantage" plan: Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage. There are also Medicare supplement, or "Medigap", insurance plans. So, private insurance is a big part of "Medicare" as it exists in the real world, and Medicare is far from "free health care". It is subsidized healthcare. Medicaid-for-all is closer to what many advocates want, but that doesn't have the same good reputation.

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