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To Hell With Medical Insurance: Universal Health Care IS Best for US Health and Finance

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:09 PM
Original message
To Hell With Medical Insurance: Universal Health Care IS Best for US Health and Finance
Universal Health Care - Most developed countries have it. We have "universal" roads, schools, water, sewage, fire protection, universal military, etc but propaganda misled the pubic into thinking Universal Health Care is a bad idea. My cousins in New Zealand and Australia have it, my friends in Canada have it, and they are astonished that we in the great USA do not. Astonished!

From Wikipedia:

Nearly 45 million Americans, about 15 percent of the population, lacked health insurance in 2005.<10> The lack of universal coverage contributes to another flaw in the current U.S. health care system: on most dimensions of performance, it underperforms relative to other industrialized countries.<11> In a 2007 comparison by the Commonwealth Fund of health care in the U.S. with that of Germany, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the U.S. ranked last on measures of quality, access, efficiency, equity, and outcomes.<11>

Avoid medical bankruptices
A recent Harvard University study found that medical bills are a leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. The study found that many declaring bankruptcy were part of the middle class and were employed before they became ill, but had lost their health insurance by the time they declared bankruptcy.<12> In the U.S., people leaving a job can continue with their former employer's health insurance plan under the COBRA but usually at a rate that is double what the employee paid while employed, and only for a limited time. When an employer-insured person loses a job due to illness and does not have sufficient resources to continue to pay for COBRA health insurance, they also lose their health insurance coverage. A single payer system, it is argued, would avoid medical bankruptcy, which is almost unknown in other advanced western industrial countries.

Proponents and support
Physicians for a National Health Program<14> the American Medical Student Association<15> and the California Nurses Association<16> are among those that have called for the introduction of a single payer health care program. In Congress, Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) has repeatedly introduced The United States National Health Insurance Act (HR 676). As of August 2008, HR 676 had 91 co-sponsors.<17>

The issue has often been debated, most recently in the 2008 presidential elections, and there are signs that the American public has warmed to the idea. A CBS News/New York Times poll published in February 2009 reported that 59% say the government should provide national health insurance (up from 40% thirty years earlier) <18>

Types and variations
The United States, Canada and Australia have single-payer health insurance programs named Medicare; however, Australia's and Canada's programs provide universal health care,
while U.S. Medicare is only for senior citizens and some of the disabled.<15> Government is increasingly involved in U.S. health care spending, paying about 45 percent of the $2.2 trillion the nation spent on medical care in 2004.<19>

According to Princeton University health economist Uwe E. Reinhardt, Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP represent "forms of 'social insurance' coupled with a largely private health-care delivery system" rather than forms of "socialized medicine." In contrast, he describes the Veterans Administration healthcare system as a pure form of socialized medicine because it is "owned, operated and financed by government."<20>

The Veterans Administration is a single-payer system and provides excellent quality, said Reinhardt. In a peer-reviewed paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers of the RAND Corp. reported that the quality of care received by Veterans Administration patients scored significantly higher overall than did comparable metrics for patients in the rest of the U.S. health system.<21>

Some writers describe publicly administered health care systems as "single-payer plans." Some writers have described any system of health care which intends to cover the entire population, such as voucher plans, as "single-payer plans,"<22> although this is an uncommon usage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_payer_health_care

...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_payer_health_care

By the way, for those who don't want Nationalized Health Care, you can still fork out the dough to private insurance companies if you prefer the high deductables, refusal of coverage, and hefty monthly premiums. Enjoy if you wish.





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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. Can't argue with the obvious!
:applause:
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Clear Blue Sky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. VA excellent quality? Ever been a patient or doctor in a VA hospital?
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Sshhhh....you'll wake them.
They seem to really enjoy this "The VA provides excellent medical care" dream.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. no one is living in a dream, but only the GOP and Insurance COs are against National Health Care
so join them if you want.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. WTF?? My comment was about the quality of VA care...
I didn't say anything about universal access to health care.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. 45 MILLION CAN'T GO TO ANY DOCTOR OR HOSPITAL
UNLESS THEY WANT TO GO BANKRUPT

THEY HAVE 0 NO NADA HEALTHCARE. SO YES, ANY HEALTH CARE IS BETTER THAN
NO FUCKING HEALTH CARE.
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Clear Blue Sky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Careful what you wish for...
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. are you lost? you want to continue the republican policies that keep 45 million without health care?
wow, thats amazing that there are still people who fall for the insurance companies
propaganda.

FYI, medicaid does a great job - it is actually the "Cadillac" of coverage.

My cousins in NZ and Australia are in good health and very pleased with their
nationalized health care, where you don't need INSURANCE.

Insurance is a scam, so only people with stock in Ins, or working for Ins, or politicians
in their pocket - benefit from ins.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Strawman. Seems was complaining only about the "excellent quality" bit.
Of course any health care is better than none, but most VA isn't "excellent quality".
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flyingobject Donating Member (324 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. DO YOU SUPPORT OR OPPOSE NATIONAL HEALTH CARE "UPPITY"?
please answer.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. I CAN USE CAPS ALSO!!!!11 I'M SERIES!!!111
good grief, I support it of course. From the side of a patient, a parent, a child and a health care provider. WTF does my support of national health care have to do with saying VA is not "excellent quality"?

Good grief. Now because I see and say there are serious issues with the VA, you accuse me of being against national health care?

And why put my name in quotes "flying object"? Just trying to be uppity yourself? Or rude?
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. In the 80's
the VA in Dallas was very good. My ex-bf received treatment for a psych issue there that would not have been offered any where else. He also received good care for medical issues. That's been awhile ago.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Some places the VA is good. Others it is very poor.
Overall they do not get the funding or the administration needed to provide very good services for vets. I have spent time with friends in poor ones, and did a clinical rotation through one that I would never advise anyone to go to.
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Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 02:34 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. The VA in the state where I grew up is just piss poor
All of the male members of my family are/were in the military and they would rather die naked on the street than go to the VA for care....Even the Navy Hospital, as piss-poor as that place was, was better than the VA. And with the Navy Hospital, we're talking cracking floors and crumbling ceilings, walls with chips bigger than a dinner plate and broken windows. The rooms were either 43 degrees or 87 degrees....freezing or sweltering.

Granted, this was back in the 80's-90's, and I think the navy hospital closed down when the navy yard moved, so they were forced to go to the VA.

My uncle, an USAF vet, sat in the waiting room for an appointment for 10 hours. TEN HOURS for an appointment. He kept going up to the desk and they told him that he'd be seen shortly, just have a seat, etc. Finally, when the receptionist was getting ready to close for the day there he was, sitting in the waiting room. Oh my, what are you doing here? Waiting for an appointment, he said. Oh, well the Dr is out of the office on Wednesdays, didn't anyone tell you? No, they told me to wait. I've been here since 7am (it was 5pm then). Oh well, sorry about that, it must have been a communication problem. Just call back tomorrow and we'll reschedule you....

Currently that same uncle is in a VA-run nursing home because of injuries he suffered almost 2 years ago from a hit-n-run accident. The conditions are horrid. I'm a nurse, and the things I've seen with my own eyes, and the things I've been told repeatedly by my non-nurse mother and grandmother forced me to write ***SEVERAL*** complaints to the Department of Health. I mean, basic human medical practices just woosh right out the window.

The CNA actually told my uncle, with me sitting in the room, that they didn't have time to take him to the toilet and just "shit your pants, Bobby, and we'll clean you up when we have time". Now, *THAT* is against the law. It's humiliating and degrading to FORCE a patient to soil themselves, to ENCOURAGE them to soil themselves when they are able to get up with assistance and use the toilet.

I said 'No, he's not going to "shit" his pants. If you can't take the time to toilet him, I will, because your suggestion is just completely inappropriate" So I went to take him to the bathroom, she came up to me and PUSHED Me out of the way, almost pushed him over (very fragile physical state secondary to injuries) and said "Oh fucking forget about it. If he can't shit and piss in his pants like everyone else then I'll let him shit in the toilet. He's wearing a diaper for christ's sake".

I immediately went to the DON (director of nursing) and filed a complaint. No way no how should ANYONE use that language, that tone, or that attitude with patients. The DON was very apathetic 'Oh well they're busy and they don't have time to meet everyone's needs the way SOME PEOPLE think they should." and then she went into this tirade about how people "just don't understand" about what it's like to be a nurse, blah blah blah

I informed her that I *AM* a nurse and I understood perfectly what it's like to be overworked and understaffed. I also explained to her that I would NEVER chastise a patient for not wanting to void in their pants, diaper or not. I also suggested that if her staff were so busy, and so lacking caregivers, that she get on a pair of gloves and go out there and help them out.

The DON stated plainly "Madam, I don't know what kind of nurse YOU are, but *I* do not toilet patients. That is NOT my job."

Unfortunately, that's the only nursing/rehab that is funded by the VA. I've written so many letters, my mother and grandmother have written so many letters our hands are about to fall off. Sadly, there's nothing we can do. His care alone is upwards of $10,000 a month and no way can any of us pay for that.

So I completely understand when posters have issue with the claim that the VA, as an entity, as a whole, is the BEST as far as medical care goes.

Haven't any of y'all read in the last 8 years about the deplorable conditions at VA hospitals, esp when referring to injured troops coming home and getting ABSOLUTELY sub-standard care? I mean, the VA hardly has a shining reputation, and hasn't had a shining reputation among many vets for a very VERY long time....
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Clear Blue Sky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Ask your cousins in New Zealand if the government will pay for
Lucentis for macular degeneration, herceptin for breast cancer, tarceva for lung cancer, Rituxan for lymphoma.

Or the UK for that matter. Some may be funded now on a limited basis, years after they were available here.

Lots of doctors refuse to take medicaid as reimbursement can be below cost. Outpatient surgery centers often won't take medicaid either, forcing hospital care which is more expensive to the patient and to the system.

Find any doctors or hospitals who think medicaid is "Cadillac".
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. support the propaganda all you want, more and more people are waking up
and are pissed about being deceived.

Our country has lost its greatness and has to work to get it back.

We need nationalized health care, and for the dumbasses who want to pay for
insurance, you still can.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. "medicaid does a great job - it is actually the "Cadillac" of coverage"?
No, it isn't. Which is one of the reasons people want better health care coverage (people eligible for Medicare that is). If it were "Cadillac" then why would they want it changed.

And insulting posters is just not a good idea.

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flyingobject Donating Member (324 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. actually, WYVBC is right. Medicaid pays for every thing
Medicaid pays for everything.

Medicare leaves patients paying deductibles and differences between what
Dr. charges and what Medicare allows.

Of course, you could "cut and paste" your proof against this - unless
you are making stuff up.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Are you accusing me of lying when I say Medicaid isn't "cadillac"?
How about having to find a doctor who will take it? Or a dentist? Have you ever had that experience? I have. They get paid such a small fee that many docs/dentists/providers have chosen to not accept Medicaid patients. So, we get stuck with whomever will. Choices are limited. If you can't find a provider, doesn't matter how good it looks on paper.

The system need to be fixed so people with national health care coverage, or VA, or Medicaid, or Medicare, can find decent health care providers who are able to take care of them.

Now, about your accusations of my lying when I give my opinion. Stop.
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. What I've found
especially discriminating, are the walk in clinics who will not even take someone with Medicare as a cash pay patient. They say it's "fraud". Medicare support disagrees. I also had a therapist who gave me a discount for awhile. Then someone told her it was "fraud". It is not. But, the providers are ignorant. Lesson: if you want to pay cash, don't mention Medicare. Is that "fraud"? My calls to SS/Medicare indicate it is not.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. If a person choses to not use their insurance, then it is not fraud.
Fraud is when someone uses their insurance and gets charged a different amount than if they didn't. Fraud is charging an insurance company for things that weren't done, or wouldn't be charged for if the person didn't have insurance.

If you want to pay cash, and get a "payment at time of service" discount, then you can. Even if you have any insurance, including Medicare, medicaid.

I don't see how a clinic could say they wouldn't see someone who pays (if the person choses to not use their insurance). That seems very wrong. Perhaps the provider is concerned that they will be accused of seeing medicare patients only if they pay? Or denying medicare pts coverage, but not if they pay.

Since Medicare doesn't pay what most places charge, there is a hefty write off of charges. If someone sees medicare pts but charges them cash, they would make more money. I can see this being a concern for potential fraud. Do all providers HAVE to accept Medicare? I know they don't have to accept Medicaid (hence our changing dentist every yr issue).
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. No.
All providers do not HAVE to accept Medicare. In some areas, there are very few providers. I assume Medicaid is the same, but have no experience with it. The girl at the clinic told me it had something to do with income level, which is bogus because everyone over 65 has access to Medicare regardless of income. They just flat out refused to see me even as a cash paying patient after I mentioned my insurance. The man at SS/Medicare said anyone can refuse a patient for any reason. Of course. But, it was clearly related to my insurance coverage per the phone call to the clinic. And the therapist said someone had TOLD her. She didn't bother to confirm. They are misinformed.
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tp1 Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 04:56 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Hmmm
Edited on Sun Mar-08-09 05:05 AM by tp1
Herceptin and Rituxan are fully funded in New Zealand.

Generally the drugs chosen to be funded are done so via a cost utility analysis, hence most of the drugs are generics. But in many cases, drugs which are still protected by a patent can still be funded if they have been shown to give a large enough health benefit given their cost.




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Clear Blue Sky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Herceptin only recently and not for a full course of chemo, only partial.
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tp1 Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Hmm
Nope, full course.
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flyingobject Donating Member (324 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. So Herceptin and Rituxan ARE fully funded in NZ? US INS will hate that!
you just deflated more bogus propaganda!

Great job!
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. as you wrote above...
"Of course, you could "cut and paste" your proof against this - unless
you are making stuff up."

You accept an anonymous internet poster, brand new to the forum, who has only posted on this thread, as evidence. Ah. Great job!
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tp1 Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Sources
Link about Herceptin funding here http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0812/S00083.htm

Link about Rituxan (rituximab) here http://www.pharmac.govt.nz/2004/02/02/010204.pdf

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Thank you. It is good to post sources as anyone can play anyone on the internets.
Edited on Sun Mar-08-09 11:12 PM by uppityperson
Off to read the links.

"Dec 2008. Health Minister Tony Ryall has welcomed the Prime Ministers confirmation that a full 12 month course of the breast cancer drug Herceptin is now available."
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
32. Ask your cousins in New Zealand if they have to
not get ANY treatment for cancer because they can't afford to go to the doctor until they're in agony from advanced cancer and are admitted to the emergency room.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-12-09 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. no they don't have to wait until in advanced cancer

but if they want to spend thousands of dollars on private insurance, they
have the freedom to do so/

But for sure, ask yourself is it better that 1 out of 4 in the US have NO health care at
all, not EVER because they absolutely can't afford it and do not have insurance?

This seems to be a case of "I have insurance right now so you can eat cake"
rather than everyone in no one out.

The US can examine other countries and borrow from the models they like.

That is what Taiwan did about 10 years or so ago.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-12-09 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. I'm on YOUR side--I was just responding to the poster who
was using the possible unavailability of certain cancer drugs as a reason to reject single payer.
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Silverangel Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
30. So, do you think...
that taxpayers should pay for your treatment or should you pay for it yourself?
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Taxpayers should pay for it...
and if you feel differently, well, you might not find this place to your liking.

Sid
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #30
36. Let's see, the current system works by charging other insurance customers for your treatment...
so how is it fundamentally different apart from eliminating the greedy insurance companies as a middleman?
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area51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 06:04 AM
Response to Original message
35. kick. (n/t)
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beaudogjake Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. It's what we do!
Send your resume here! www.procareer.com It's my wife and me.
Again, it's what we do.
As you know things are really tough now, but we can give it try.
note the posted positions have not been updated! :think:
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beaudogjake Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
37. So true! Don't let Insurance companies get in the way of reform! Fight!
As of 2-1-09 my wife and I joined the ranks of the uninsured.
After 35 years of being insured, the insurance companies finally broke us.
The magic figure for us was $2,000.00 per month for our total health-care needs.
Thank you United Health-care!
In their letter explaining to us why our rate had gone up so much, the answer was: "A TREND"
So for $24,000.00 a year, we got a piss poor striped out health-care Insurance Plan,
and a damned "A TREND" letter. Our super plan, covering everything, 8 years ago
was $400.00 a month. How many people must die before everyone in this country
has health-care?
:banghead:
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lib_wit_it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. We must organize. Any groups out there pushing for single payer or
anything like it? Here's one that seems to be on the right track, but not quite there: http://www.healthcareforamericanow.org / ?
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lib_wit_it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. This is better: http://www.healthcare-now.org/
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