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Archive for Friday, April 21, 2006

Health care crisis

April 21, 2006

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To the editor:

Just a few facts to describe our crisis: 45 million people have no health insurance in the United States and many more are "underinsured" with plans that offer limited coverage and high deductibles. We spend more than twice as much on health care as do people in other developed nations, yet we lack universal coverage. Half of U.S. personal bankruptcies, affecting 2 million people annually, were attributable to illness or medical bills (Himmelstein et. al., 2003). Do we need more statistics to convince us to demand a single-payer system of our congresspeople?

Jean Drumm,

Lawrence

Comments

billyflay 7 years, 12 months ago

does anyone know how good prison health care is? do they offer sex ed classes? pass out condums?

we may be able to use the prison model to take care of the duds on the outside,

frankly, the liberals and their overzealous effort to take care of bad guys is a bad idea, we need less bad guys, not more,

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 12 months ago

So fewer people are dying each year in the U.S.? People are living longer? Infant mortality is down?

Well, one reason infant mortality is down is because no doctor or hospital would even think about refusing services to an infant. Not unless they want to perform professional suicide, because the word would get out, you know.

Doctors and hospitals do deny services to adults, though. All the time. No money, no services. If you already owe your doctor, they will demand money before you can even get an appointment anymore, regardless of how sick you are.

How many people die each year because they can't afford medical treatment? How many people die from cancer each year because they can't afford it?

I admit I don't know what the answer is, but something has to be done.

I have health insurance, and it's barely better than nothing. Quite frankly, if I had enough money to pay that deductible out of pocket, I'd be rich enough to pay for medical services without health insurance.

I remember a time when people who had health insurance had no deductibles, and no co-pays. And it wasn't that long ago. What the hell happened?

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wonderhorse 7 years, 12 months ago

i_tching

Nice saracasm, but guess what? I gave her $5 and I am going to be out of a job next month, and I am republican. Go figure--your broadbrush paint job isn't accurate (what others would call profiling.) Try again.

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awoc 7 years, 12 months ago

i-tching, that is hilarious, I love it.

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i_tching 7 years, 12 months ago

Yes of course, if you posit an entire layer of middlemen between the consumers and the product they must consume, the cost will be...

Higher.

Higher is better, right?

The higher the price is, the more likely you will shop around for the best competitive price on that EKG you need to diagnose your heart attack, and then subsequently, of course, you will use your amazing super-chronosynclastic decoder-ring consumer-choice powers to negotiate, as you lay dying of myocardial infarction. a good price on your bypass surgery.

And you of course have the $125K in cash to pay for it, which the magic hand of the free market allowed you to save for just this occasion. You've got $125K on hand, don't you? Or did you spend a little of this on Turkish Delight?!

Of course you have this cash. All truck drivers, waitresses, and construction workers have this immediately at hand. This is America, no?

I was talking with the diner waitress the other day, and she was saying how her earnings of $50 a day have allowed her to amass a fortune in cash with which she can pay for the $1000-a-day ventilator care for her breathing-machine-dependent infant son.

"No problem," she claims. "I make so much money at less-than-minimum-wage offerings that I'm stinkin' rich," she squealed.

"As a matter of fact," she told me, "I'm going to sell one of my Napa vineyards later this week so I can take my son on a sub-orbital space flight later this month," she said, as she passed me the bill for $8.75 worth of eggs and toast.

I could see how she would be piling up the dough, so I didn't feel a need to tip her more than $1.00 for her hour of service.

Why give it away? know what I mean? It's a Republican world, dontcha know.

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awoc 8 years ago

The people with insurance who complain the most about the single-payer system aren't able to grasp the fact that they're already paying for the uninsured through higher healthcare costs and higher premiums. Why not do it up front.

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howard_beale 8 years ago

Uncon.....

Is that you, Macon?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

The same is true in all industrialized countries-- it just costs us a lot more to get there.

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Godot 8 years ago

In the US, fewer people are dying every year. People are living longer. Infant mortality is improving. All thanks to the quality of health care in the US.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/6250.html

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

I guess we have been looking at different documentation.

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Jamesaust 8 years ago

bozo - they deliver (well-documented) measurably less healthcare. Heck, I didn't even realize that point was in dispute.

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Godot 8 years ago

How do you know that? Other than communist China, is there another country the size of the US that has a single payer system?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

While you can certainly find problems with single-payer systems, James, on the whole they deliver just as good healthcare as our system, for considerably less money.

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Jamesaust 8 years ago

"Do we need more statistics to convince us to demand a single-payer system of our congresspeople?"

Yes.

For every nightmare story presented from uninsured America, there are two from people living in 'single-payer' prisons. You'll get some form of health care delivered with a scowl, sooner or later (unless you die first).

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xenophonschild 8 years ago

I've already begun the process. Will interview about a dozen carriers, see who and what looks best.

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Godot 8 years ago

Xeno, here's an idea. For $120,000 a year, you could probably hire a company doctor. Put someone on retainer.

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Godot 8 years ago

Xeno, $5,000 is just a drop in the bucket if you actually get sick. My guess is your employer is planning on having the taxpayers bail you out.

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rightthinker 8 years ago

unconchobro may be a jokster apparently.....I hope so.....'cause if not, he be trippin'---sheeeeeet!!

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xenophonschild 8 years ago

uncon: I'm a liberal Democrat. "Spellchecker" might not be a bad option for you to pursue.

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unconservitiveperson 8 years ago

Perhaps rightwingers should not get insuarnce!! Thats one way to limit thier propogation...:)

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xenophonschild 8 years ago

The owner of our company told me last evening to "find an inexpensive, efficient health-care provider" for almost two hundred employes. He wants us to each contribute no more than fifty dollars a month to a common fund that users can draw on for medical expenses under $5,000; anything over that would have to be paid for by the individual.

Our present carrier, Humana, is ridiculously expensive (average - $280 per month) and flatly inefficient. Since most medical needs fall under the $5,000 range, it may be something that can help our people. Now, if only I can find a carrier willing to set up this type of program.

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rightthinker 8 years ago

The healthcare insurance debacle in America can be likened to a huge, red, festering abcess with a large pussy head that is juuuuuust about ready explode and spew foul smelling fluid all over the place.

Call a doctors office as a result of a referral from your primary physician and the rude person on the other end spends 98% of her/his time harping on your med. bennies almost in an interrogation style and about 2% actually discussing anything related to the reason you need to see their doctor.

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