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Sun Jan 17, 2016, 04:03 PM

The cost of single payer .... the math at my house.

My husband is currently on chemo. He's on a medicare advantage plan. I am too young for medicare. I have recently had to stop working but was self employed. I still have some income from my store (run by hired staff). I buy medical care insurance through Kynect, which is targeted to be closed.

We have spent enough on medical care the last 8 years to be able to itemize it on our taxes and get a deduction. Prior to 2013 that means anything over 7.5 % and thereafter anything over 10%.

With single payer, if I had to pay a 10% tax on every penny we have coming in as income, including social security benefits, in order to pay for singer payer, we'd be ahead in 2015 by about $2400. If the math holds up as expected in 2016 it will be closer to $3300 we'd be ahead by buying single payer with the rest of America.

*********

My brother and sister in law work for the same medium sized company, who pays 75% of the medical care insurance premiums. They have family coverage including them both and 2 working college age kids. The premium they pay is $688 a month. This means the employer is paying $2064 a month. With deductables and copayments my brother's family spent $11691 on medical care for the 4 of them. The combined income for all 4 of them is $77844 in 2015. Their employer paid an additional $24768.

At a 10% tax for single payer on their income they would have paid $7784 and been ahead $3907. This doesn't even take into account the money their employer spent on premiums instead of wages. Give the employees an extra $12000 each in in come, tax it at 10% for single payer plus whatever regular tax rate they would have and they still come out $1000's ahead every year.

******

Every time someone tells you WE can't afford single payer ask yourself WHO IS "WE". Just follow the money. Predators are everywhere in medical care at at every level. It's one thing to make a good living being a medical care professional, or manufacturing medical devices and treatments, or running a medical care facility. It's quite another to be swimming in gravy while the hungry starve. When the doctor owns the testing machines and constantly sends people for testing on it, or has a relative working at XYZ medical device manufacturer making commission on all the knee replacements, or stents or whatever that are used... which is more common that you think.... it's a recipe for using the sick as cash cows and even making marginal people actually sick.

We've got to chop the the absolutely predatory nature of sick care in this country out of the equation. Whatever it takes.

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Reply The cost of single payer .... the math at my house. (Original post)
KentuckyWoman Jan 2016 OP
djean111 Jan 2016 #1
Moostache Jan 2016 #65
StarzGuy Jan 2016 #78
masmdu Jan 2016 #86
JDPriestly Jan 2016 #88
Warren Stupidity Jan 2016 #2
KittyWampus Jan 2016 #5
Vincardog Jan 2016 #8
one_voice Jan 2016 #22
Curmudgeoness Jan 2016 #24
one_voice Jan 2016 #38
AllyCat Jan 2016 #26
one_voice Jan 2016 #37
pangaia Jan 2016 #66
passiveporcupine Jan 2016 #82
Vinca Jan 2016 #9
passiveporcupine Jan 2016 #10
Enthusiast Jan 2016 #19
SickOfTheOnePct Jan 2016 #20
Enthusiast Jan 2016 #25
SickOfTheOnePct Jan 2016 #30
Enthusiast Jan 2016 #39
SickOfTheOnePct Jan 2016 #40
A Simple Game Jan 2016 #62
SickOfTheOnePct Jan 2016 #68
A Simple Game Jan 2016 #69
KentuckyWoman Jan 2016 #42
SickOfTheOnePct Jan 2016 #45
-none Jan 2016 #60
SickOfTheOnePct Jan 2016 #67
-none Jan 2016 #71
SickOfTheOnePct Jan 2016 #72
-none Jan 2016 #74
SickOfTheOnePct Jan 2016 #75
-none Jan 2016 #90
SickOfTheOnePct Jan 2016 #91
LiberalElite Jan 2016 #34
Enthusiast Jan 2016 #43
sulphurdunn Jan 2016 #73
rhett o rick Jan 2016 #85
George II Jan 2016 #77
Warren Stupidity Jan 2016 #80
George II Jan 2016 #81
nashville_brook Jan 2016 #3
KentuckyWoman Jan 2016 #4
sammythecat Jan 2016 #48
nashville_brook Jan 2016 #59
hunter Jan 2016 #6
truedelphi Jan 2016 #11
hunter Jan 2016 #36
truedelphi Jan 2016 #7
Autumn Jan 2016 #33
eggplant Jan 2016 #12
Autumn Jan 2016 #13
eggplant Jan 2016 #27
Autumn Jan 2016 #14
Enthusiast Jan 2016 #15
phylny Jan 2016 #16
7962 Jan 2016 #23
Recursion Jan 2016 #56
phylny Jan 2016 #87
7962 Jan 2016 #17
NewJeffCT Jan 2016 #79
joanbarnes Jan 2016 #18
Uncle Joe Jan 2016 #21
cantbeserious Jan 2016 #28
Bigmack Jan 2016 #29
senseandsensibility Jan 2016 #31
SickOfTheOnePct Jan 2016 #32
KentuckyWoman Jan 2016 #41
SickOfTheOnePct Jan 2016 #44
senseandsensibility Jan 2016 #46
LiberalElite Jan 2016 #35
Jim Beard Jan 2016 #47
Vinca Jan 2016 #58
eridani Jan 2016 #49
Kalidurga Jan 2016 #61
eridani Jan 2016 #89
GoneFishin Jan 2016 #50
tomp Jan 2016 #51
chervilant Jan 2016 #57
Bad Dog Jan 2016 #52
ctsnowman Jan 2016 #53
mountain grammy Jan 2016 #54
Recursion Jan 2016 #55
LiberalElite Jan 2016 #63
ViseGrip Jan 2016 #64
Douglas Carpenter Jan 2016 #70
PatrickforO Jan 2016 #76
Kennah Jan 2016 #83
KentuckyWoman Jan 2016 #84

Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 04:12 PM

1. I believe that the real reason behind being for Single Payer is that the current level of profits

 

for providers, insurance companies, and Pharma will fall. Human beings do not even enter into the equation, for those who are against Single Payer. People who are impoverished by premiums/co-pays/out-of-pocket, people who cannot afford the premiums and do not qualify for subsidies - are considered collateral damage from profit-making.

Funny how people get all upset about someone wanting to commit suicide, but sending kids off to get shot, and knowing people die from lack of medical care or food are just considered business as usual.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 11:41 AM

65. The ones who scream the loudest for this system are usually "Pro-Life" as well...

Makes me sick every time...

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Response to djean111 (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 02:29 PM

78. Even with Medicare I can't afford either eye or dental care...

...so I just have to wait for the sales on eye glasses (which I need to wear all the time) and pay for the eye exam out of my pocket. I tried one or another eye care policies but what I learned is that the cost of the premiums and co-pays far exceeds the cost of just out of pocket for the same service. It's like paying extra for no extra service so I dropped the policy.

I suppose the same can be true for dental. I set up an appointment and they wanted $100 just to check my mouth, which I could not afford so I didn't keep the appointment.

Single payer would go a long way for me so long as it included both dental and eye care. As they say, Medicare does not cover everything and even though I paid for it while working 40 years (then becoming disabled) and I still have to pay Medicare premiums every month out of my SSDI benefit.

Every month I have to collect free food boxes from St Mary's Food Bank to help make it to the end of the month. I often put off refilling my numerous prescriptions because even with a small pension along with my retirement benefit I can't make it through the month before going broke.

I'm already living like a hermit. I don't have any extra money to do much of anything. I suppose I could disconnect my DTV, my internet connection and my smarty (haha) phone, then I would be stuck at home even more (if that is even possible) tied to my basic land line phone being afraid to go anywhere.

I suspect that others would say to me, just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and cancel all those "luxuries" and live a bland life.

I also suspect that there are a multitude others who find themselves in the same position as I and that's not right. We shouldn't be forced to live like this. It's no wonder there are so many suicides in the US these days. And, yes I also attempted suicide 5 years ago but didn't take enough sleeping pills to do the job. I got help from my doctors and psychiatrist who were instrumental in enabling me to qualify for SSDI. Without it, I would simply not be here today.

I am a Sanders supporter.

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Response to StarzGuy (Reply #78)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 04:20 PM

86. Try http://www.zennioptical.com/ Cheap glasses from $6.95

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Response to StarzGuy (Reply #78)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 07:35 PM

88. In Europe, dental care is covered. I think vision is too, but really discretionary things

like cosmetic dentistry would not be covered.

Dental care is especially important for older people. And bad dental care, let's say, infected gums for example, can lead to other medical problems in some cases.

Single payer should include basic dental and vision care.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 04:14 PM

2. It amazes me that Clinton supporters are twisting

 

themselves into republican knots attacking universal healthcare. This has been a goal of our party since Harry Truman.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 04:28 PM

5. Not a Clinton supporter but Sanders plan doesn't build on what is there-

 

and this jeopardizes people's access to healthcare.

Sanders' plan isn't the only path to travel to "universal healthcare".

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 05:35 PM

8. What is your plan to universal healthcare? How is it b etter than Bernies' Medicare for all?

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Response to Vincardog (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:20 PM

22. I have medicare..

and it's quite easy to go bankrupt with that. Medicare for all isn't the answer either, unless it's tweaked but good.

No script coverage EXCEPT part D which sucks ass & cost you more. 80/20 coverage--that 20% adds up after a while. and I won't even get into all the shit they DON'T cover.

So yeah, medicare for all ain't all that.

I think medicaid for all is a better idea. They cover more including prescriptions. Include everyone. No one has a separate plan ie poor people/elderly.

Dental & vision is a must as well.

Understand that's medicare for someone on disability. I pay almost 100 out of my disability for coverage with additional for rx coverage.

That bolded part--very important. Can't tell you how many times my docs have had to 'fix' the dx to get me much needed blood work done. It's beyond fucked up. So you won't find me singing the praises of medicare.

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Response to one_voice (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:41 PM

24. I agree with you.

That is why I don't like the term "Medicare for all" when talking about universal health care. I really like your "Medicaid for all" idea. But that is basically the same as my understanding of universal health care.

When we think of the amounts of money that we have to pay for insurance, copays, deductibles, drugs, and things that are not covered, the cost per person would be less in taxes to pay for "Medicaid for all" as long as there are limitations of what the medical and pharmaceutical industry can charge.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 07:47 PM

38. Yup. I agree with you as well.

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Response to one_voice (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:45 PM

26. Do you think it would be better if a bunch of prople

Were in the pool? I've always heard that if we had millions of "young" "healthy" people, Medicare would be cheaper and better. I don't know enough to know if that is true. Maybe no one does. Just curious about your take on it.

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #26)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 07:46 PM

37. I wonder if a 'buy in' system would be

a better idea. First it would sound better when trying to sell it rather than an additional tax. It could be like the medicaid system as opposed to the medicare system.

The poor and elderly wouldn't pay anything. Everyone else would pay according to a scale. Instead of the taxes that now go to medicare it would go into this pool as well. That would have to be worked out.

I'd want to see; a tired rx plan something like $10, $15, $25 doc visits $20 specialists $30 and so on.

Pharm companies couldn't be allowed to run rough shot with these costs. It's asinine. Drugs here cost far more than any other country. Sometimes they're a head of us in r&d and implementation.

Here's an example. I read about a new treatment for hair loss, they use your own blood platelets to re-grow hair. They've been doing it overseas for a bit. The cost in US dollars was like 400. Now it's here. Of course ins doesn't cover it--the cost here, $1600. One treatment using your own blood platelets. Why would it costs so much here.

Our **costs** are outrageous. It's not just about implementing decent healthcare; we need get the costs under control. imo.

Of course these are just some rough off the top of my head ideas and I'm sure there are better ones out there.

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Response to one_voice (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 12:06 PM

66. I agree that Medicare as it is now is not good enough.

Maybe those who use the term "Medicare for all" mean the concept of Medicare.

Perhaps because some understand that better than ..what- Single Payer, or Universal Health Care, or whatever..

remember the -'DUH ! Keep the government outta my Medicare.'

I have a Medicare/Advantage plan.. and it covered 99% of my chemo, lumbar punctures, Ct Scans, etc. 3 1/2 years ago. But last year my advantage company, MVP, non-profit by the way, wised up. Now they pay only 80% of chemo if my cancer comes back. That is HUGE!

And so it goes...

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Response to one_voice (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 03:32 PM

82. If you read Bernie's plan, you will see that it's much better and cheaper

than Medicare.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 05:37 PM

9. Two points.

#1 - Bernie would never, ever do anything to jeopardize anyone's healthcare. He doesn't plan to just sign the next GOP "end it" bill. A logical way to do it would be to keep the AFA, add a public option which would be Medicare, and let the system create itself. The Hillary fabrication of Bernie's intentions is unfair. You have to wonder if she's getting donations from BC/BS and the rest of the thieves.

#2 - There's a huge difference between "universal healthcare" and single-payer via Medicare For All. The OP has illustrated the point that with the current effort at universal healthcare via big insurance, she's spending a foolish amount of money out of pocket for things that aren't covered. Unless we get big insurance out of the picture, there will always be people filing for medical bankruptcy in this country.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 05:38 PM

10. His plan may be for the final version

but still done in stages as we can get congress to act on it.

We should be looking at how other countries switched over and what the ramifications were.

building on what is there means keeping all the private insurance companies intact...and operating the way they are now. That will never work. We need to take the excessive profit out of insurance and health care. The current system has no negotiating power.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:13 PM

19. Sander's plan builds on the already existing Medicare system by expanding it to everyone.

You say Bernie's plan jeopardizes access to health care. What an absurd claim! The core goal of the Sander's plan is to expand coverage (access) to every single citizen.

The goal isn't only universal heath care. The goal also includes efficient universal health care.

All the systems in the developed world are universal and more efficient than in the US. Why would you expect a US universal Medicare for All system to be inferior to everyone else? That makes no sense.

Additionally, any other "universal healthcare" plan that preserves the private health insurance system will result in rationing of resources just like what we already have.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:15 PM

20. It has to be done in steps though

I don't see any possible way to do a simple switchover from the current system to single-payer. And the transition is going to be where the difficulties come into play.

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Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:42 PM

25. If this country can wage two wars simultaneously surely we can a get a health care system up

and running without too much difficulty.

One beneficial aspect would be NO MORE INSURANCE INDUSTRY RED TAPE PAPERWORK WORKLOAD.

The entire rest of the developed world can do this. The transition will be a piece of cake.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 07:09 PM

30. OK

So how would you transition, in one step, from the current system to a single-payer system. That is, how would you turn off insurance one day and turn on single-payer the next?

There's no question that single-payer would be better than the current system, but if you think we can turn off the latter and turn on the former with no issue, I'd be very interested to see your ideas.

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Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #30)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 07:48 PM

39. People a lot more knowledgeable and better informed than I am will work out the details.

I assure you, what patients and doctors are dealing with now is far worse than a transition to single payer. This is a non issue.

The health insurance industry red tape has made health care a nightmare.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #39)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 08:02 PM

40. Yes, the experts will work it out

And none of them will say that it will be a piece of cake. It will be difficult, and it will take years. It's necessary, but it won't be fast or easy.

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Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 10:47 AM

62. The medicare system is already in place it doesn't have to be turned on,

most providers already use it. Doctor's offices would only have to quit using different procedures for multiple insurance companies and just use the procedure for billing medicare. Oh, and they could lay off one or two people or utilize them for some other purpose than fighting with insurance companies for payment.

We are not talking about anything new, just getting rid of the wasteful 20% overhead insurance companies and switching to the already used medicare with 2% overhead. That is assuming we do something different with parts B and D which would be a big plus.

The government is not going to nationalize the medical industry, just eliminate the insurance industry. Gone will be the days of having to decide which policy is best for your situation.

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Response to A Simple Game (Reply #62)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 12:26 PM

68. It won't be nearly that easy n/t

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Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #68)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 12:59 PM

69. No of course it won't be that easy, but it won't be like starting over with the ACA either.

Plus the part B and D thing needs to be addressed too.

Nothing that is insurmountable. I would assume it should be much easier than setting up the ACA because it is already in place and working. It just needs to be able to accommodate more clients, probably why Bernie wants to do it State-by-State. Remember States already do Medicaid, that system probably could be expanded to serve the new Medicare.

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Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 08:50 PM

42. I think it will take 2 years.

One year to warn everyone and get the computer systems in place and additional staff trained at CMS along with providers who do not currently take medicare but will if that is their only choice. (Some providers will choose to go cash only or close up) You would also use year one to educate the public. By the end of year one you'd have all the systems, personnel and providers ready to roll. You could have the letters out to all the first group of citizens to be covered by medicare.

2nd year would be moving the public over to medicare.

Insurance companies aren't going to lose much in the process at first. They are already heavily invested in Medicare through advantage and supplemental plans. Over time we can improve Medicare away from the current 80/20 system to 100% coverage. This gives the insurance industry plenty of time to adjust their business model.

A lot of people disagree with my take on it, but I'm convinced this is doable.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #42)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 09:28 PM

45. I think it's doable

I don't think it's doable in two years.

As for providers, I hope that if we go to single payer, we don't follow the Canadian model, which I believe prohibits providers from providing services on a cash basis outside of the system. While I believe that everyone should have to pay the taxes to support the system, I have no problem with people going outside of the system and paying cash if they choose to do so.

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Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #45)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 09:15 AM

60. The health insurance companies are the problem with our health care.

Their profits stand between you and your doctor.
Why let them participate in any Single Payer plans. Canada has the correct idea. Do not let the insurance companies cover anything except elective procedures.
Too many people just cannot get away from the idea that we need some kind of insurance for health care. The insurance itseld is the root of the problem. Get rid of it!
Since we are the very last industrialized nation to not go to some kind of universal health care, why are we not looking around to see how all the other countries have switched over and are doing it? The hard work has already been done all over the world. Why are we still trying to figure it out alone?

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Response to -none (Reply #60)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 12:23 PM

67. Who said anything about letting insurance companies participate in single-payer?

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Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #67)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 01:30 PM

71. That was the way I read with what you wrote.

Single Payer Universal Health care covers everyone.
We Americans are way too hung up on money, to the detriment of everything else that should count for more.

I have read posts here on DU of Americans visiting other countries, and needing health care and getting it without the hassle we have in this country, even if we do have insurance.

Health care is a Right in many parts of the world.

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Response to -none (Reply #71)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 01:40 PM

72. Interesting

Since the word "insurance" wasn't even in my post.

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Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #72)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 02:01 PM

74. One can describe something without using any words naming it.

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Response to -none (Reply #74)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 02:02 PM

75. If I had meant insurance, I would have said insurance

I very specifically said cash.

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Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #75)

Tue Jan 19, 2016, 10:11 AM

90. Which means insurance didn't cover it.

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Response to -none (Reply #90)

Tue Jan 19, 2016, 04:47 PM

91. No, it means no such thing

Did you even read what I wrote?

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 07:26 PM

34. Here ya go- just released - Medicare for All

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Response to LiberalElite (Reply #34)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 08:51 PM

43. It sounds reasonable to me. Of course I'm not a health care bandit either.

The profiteers stand to lose.

They should be thankful for the undeserved largess they have received for decades. Instead, I fully expect them to go Full Asshole on us making everyone miserable and fighting single payer all the way. Can hardly blame them because they have been receiving free money all this time. They have come to believe they are somehow deserving of a cut of health care money.

The opposition will probably employ some of the same Tea Party faces and tactics that we all know and love so well.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 01:48 PM

73. What is there, is a functioning

 

medicare system that has been in place for 50 years and works just fine. Half the people already receive some form of federal healthcare. Adding the entire population would not be difficult and would cost much less than our current Byzantine system. There is a reasons why we have the kind of healthcare system no one else does, and it has nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with private gain and political corruption.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 03:57 PM

85. If you know of a plan that "builds on what's there" and gives us universal healthcare,

 

please let us know. The idea that his plan "jeopardizes people's access to healthcare is a scare tactic.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 02:25 PM

77. NO Clinton supporters are "attacking universal healthcare" at all. I don't know where you get that.

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Response to George II (Reply #77)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 02:39 PM

80. You are at least consistent.

 

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #80)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 03:24 PM

81. Inasmuch as you threw out a negative (and false) comment about Clinton supporters....

....but haven't been able to say where or when, I guess I can say the same about you.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 04:19 PM

3. i have a chronic illness that requires that i keep up on research

which i was doing this morning. one article in particular i was saddened to see a number of commenters saying they couldn't deal with the cost, pain and isolation of the illness anymore. They just wanted to die -- and I totally get it. I know this is OT, but when it comes to medical issues, if you're already sick and you can't afford treatment, the thought crosses your mind constantly.

there was a study in the news last week about how many people OD'd on opiates were re-admitted to using the pain medication again. the story was breathlessly repeated on NPR. I yelled at the radio, "don't you get it? people in pain WANT to die!" the dumbass assumption is that people are partying on pain meds. the reality, i bet you anything, is that people are trying to check out early and don't succeed.

jesus.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 04:23 PM

4. ...



All I got. Wish it was more.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 01:30 AM

48. That's just terrible

and yet we can spend absolutely obscene amounts of money on our military, no problem, to ensure that Jihadi John doesn't come into our kitchen and saw our head off, but when it comes to the REAL and CERTAIN threats to our health and well-being we're pretty much on our own.

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Response to sammythecat (Reply #48)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 08:37 AM

59. yep. one of the comments broke my heart. a woman in mississippi...

no ACA, lives out in the country, so it's a major drive to the pain center every month. She's bedridden. Has a whole family to take care of, but the family is having to care for her. keep in mind, this a condition that most people don't believe exists, fibromyalgia -- which is actually on a spectrum of conditions that include migraines, chronic fatigue, lupus and some other autoimmune diseases. The comments were responding to a story about medication called Cymbalta, which is expensive, and can have the side effect of suicidal ideation...but I don't think she could afford the drug, so I don't think her state of mind had anything to do with the SSRI. in her comment she just flat out said that couldn't make the drive anymore, she could deal with being a burden, or taking on the debt, and she just wanted to die.

and i get it. you wake up in pain every single day. your world gets a little smaller. you're less able to work. with some of these conditions you're less able to think straight b/c they attack your central nervous system ("fibrofog" is a thing). the only drugs that are FDA and lobbyist approved are SSRIs that are super expensive, have terrible side effects and have a questionable track record for treating pain. when you look at surveys of what patients report help their pain, it's rest, hydrotherapy (hot water), medical cannabis and hydrocodone -- pretty much in that order. the SSRIs are further down the list.

this is a robust survey -- the green bars show "made it better," the red bars show "made it much worse"
http://curetogether.com/fibromyalgia/treatments/pmi/

i actually have fibro in addition to degenerative disc disease, arthritis and all kinds of fun mechanical bone issues. so, i know the difference in what kind of drug treats what kind of pain, and in what manner. the reason fibro patients like medical cannabis is b/c it releases their muscles and kills the pain. the opiates put the pain to the back of your mind so you can live. the SSRIs just take money out your bank account.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 04:43 PM

6. My wife suffered a COBRA plan until it timed out.

Then my wife was uninsurable and we waited five terrifying months until she was accepted by our state's limited "high risk" insurance plan.

She did survive, but I'm left with an undying hatred of the U.S. health care "industry," and with an ability to joke around with telephone medical debt collectors because I know they are lowest underpaid and abused minions of the scum at the top.

It's the folks making big multi-million dollar annual "salaries" and other "benefits" who are the true enemy.

The U.S.A. is not a civilized nation yet.

People are often denied appropriate medical care we could easily afford as a nation simply because there's no profit in it for some gigantic to-big-to-fail corporation and it's CEOs.

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Response to hunter (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 05:39 PM

11. My heart goes out to you.

When I used to post about our medical bankruptcy here, many folks assumed we had been too dumb or too cheap to obtain insurance.

But at the time of M's mis-diagnosis, we were paying some $ 957 a month to Kaiser, under Cobra.

One reason I used to post about this so much was because if it could happen to us, it could happen to at least 80% of everyone else out there.

My sister-in-law was talking about how her support for the ACA has waned. The treatment for health situations she is facing is pooh poohed. And that is happening not only to her but to many many women. (Oh sure, you think your fibroids are serious enough to warrant treatment, but maybe you should stop drinking coffee.)

And on and on. So my SIL finally realizes that the ACA is about supplying vaccines to everyone who wants them, and to push various Big Pharma items. Although her cholesterol reading is at 160, she is being told her likelihood of her having a heart attack is near certain if she doesn't fill her body up with statins. (Which can cause many other problems, including ALS!)

Meanwhile another friend is avoiding doctors, that is, specialists, for his serious health problems, because he cannot afford to pay out of pocket, which is what he has to do until he meets his $ 5,000 deductible. And since this guy makes around $ 22 K a year, he can't afford to meet that deductible!



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Response to truedelphi (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 07:38 PM

36. Most everyone in the U.S.A. who has medical insurance thinks they have good insurance...

... until they discover they don't.

The game the insurance companies play is that most people won't experience any scary bad medical stuff until they are retired and it's the government's problem.

Someone who dies of a massive heart attack at 55, no problem.

Someone who gets hit by random shit that's expensive to deal with, well then, the medical insurance industry won't be there as your champion, they'll just be another aggravation, another wolf at the door.

Single payer and/or some kind of national health care system needs to be accomplished now. It's what truly civilized nations do.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 05:31 PM

7. Any thinking person knew what the ACA was all about the minute after the

legislation passed. Stock market holdings scored big for the Biggest Insurers, for the next few months!

And of course, the Exchange works ONLY because right now not every single Big Insurer has yet to pull out.

But that is going to happen, and happen soon. The bottom line of a Big Insurer is not to extend relief to the poorest and sickest of the public, but to maximize their earnings.

And there really is no good way to lump all the poor people (often poverty and illness are hand in hand in this country) and so statistically no insurer can find this group of people profitable.

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 07:26 PM

33. I remember the day it passed. Obama called it insurance finance reform.

Only saw it in that one presser but when I heard that I knew it wasn't health care reform.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 05:45 PM

12. Any time someone asks where the money will come from...

...tell them that every dime currently going to insurance companies will pay for it. Private insurance is a leech on the system -- they take in money and provide zero benefit.

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Response to eggplant (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 05:55 PM

13. With the subsidies, much of that money the insurances take in is tax payers money.

When the exchanges first opened there were some threds where people here were talking about their subsidies, any where from under $100 to over $500. That's a heck of lot of tax money that could be going back into our government for Medicare for all.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:47 PM

27. Yep.

The idea that private *for-profit* insurance costs less than medicare (non-profit) is just stupid. Whatever profit they are making is money being stolen from us.

And it is a LOT.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 05:56 PM

14. What it will take is Bernie Sanders.

Because fuck this shit.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 05:56 PM

15. K&R! This post deserves hundreds of recommendations!

Those that complain about the costs associated with single payer are being disingenuous. We know that for a fact. No one could be that misinformed unless it is intentional.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:07 PM

16. When I had a lupectomy almost two years ago,

they inserted needles in my breast to guide the surgeon to find the area, taped them down, and then I had an ambulance ride from the facility to the hospital for my surgery. I kept insisting my husband could drive me, even though insurance would cover the ride because the surgeon ordered it.

In the ambulance, I wondered aloud why the hell my husband couldn't have driven me over, and one of the attendants answered, "Because the doctor's husband is the vice president of this ambulance company. She orders this for all of her patients."

I was pissed off. I, too, want single payer, universal healthcare.

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Response to phylny (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:28 PM

23. If that were the case you'd have reason for a lawsuit.

 

If there was NO medical reason for the tri to be by ambulance, A number of good lawyers would love to smack that bastard down

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Response to phylny (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 08:02 AM

56. How would single payer prevent what you describe?

It doesn't prevent providers from doing stuff like that.

In fact, it opens attempts to fix stuff like that to charges of "cutting Medicare"

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Response to Recursion (Reply #56)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 05:26 PM

87. How do I know what it will or won't prevent?

My point was that there was "pork" in my bill that was unnecessary

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:10 PM

17. And pay for preventative checkups and physicals as well

 

How many times ive seen folks die and hear "if he'd only gone to the doctor they would have caught it sooner"

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Response to 7962 (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 02:31 PM

79. Medicare only covers one physical

You get a physical when you're first enrolled in Medicare - and, then no more afterwards, unless you get supplemental insurance. When my mom retired 10-11 years back, she was surprised to find that out. You'd think an annual physical would be pretty important when you're in that Medicare eligible age range.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:11 PM

18. Correct. Just imagine the massive bureaucracy running those insurance corporations. WASTE.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:18 PM

21. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for sharing, KentuckyWoman.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 06:53 PM

28. K&R

eom

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 07:03 PM

29. Gotta keep this kicked. nt

 

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 07:13 PM

31. Can you deduct medical expenses from your taxes if they are ten percent?

Does that include premiums you pay out of pocket?

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Response to senseandsensibility (Reply #31)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 07:16 PM

32. You can't include premiums in the total

You can deduct medical expenses you paid that are above 10% of your AGI.

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Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 08:21 PM

41. actually yes you can include premiums in some circumstances.

Last edited Sun Jan 17, 2016, 09:28 PM - Edit history (1)

Self employed people or people buying their own policies can deduct premiums paid with after tax dollars as long as it is not more than their earnings. Even if you are employed by someone else and pay your part of premiums with after tax dollars it is deductible.

But yes, expenses you paid that are above 10% of your AGI are the only part that is deductible.

i pay the full amount of my premium with no subsidy with after tax dollars. I can included the full amount of my premiums in my total medical expenses. In addition, my husband's premiums for medicare are also included in our total because he pays taxes on his social security. Taxes are calculated before the medicare premiums are deducted so he's also paying with after tax dollars.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #41)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 09:26 PM

44. thank you for the correction!

I hadn't even thought about self-employed!

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #41)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 12:26 AM

46. Thanks, KW.

Good news.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2016, 07:30 PM

35. Kicking nt

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 12:55 AM

47. If anyone is expecting Medicare to be free, think again

 

I pay over $100 a month for part A & B and I pay for a supplemental policy that will cover that extra 20% which is $190 a month and add $66.00 prescription part D and it aint cheap.

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Response to Jim Beard (Reply #47)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 08:25 AM

58. Don't you think the cost would go down when healthy people are entered into the mix?

I'm also on Medicare and it's quite affordable given what I previously paid. I have all kinds of extra money I didn't have pre-Medicare. Nothing is free, but when you take the profit motive out of healthcare it gets more affordable. And everyone - to a person - would be covered.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 05:04 AM

49. Anyone woh would rather pay a $800/month "premium"than a--

--$200/month "tax" shouldn't be running around outside without adult supervision.

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Response to eridani (Reply #49)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 09:45 AM

61. Even my SO gets it

I explained it to him and he is really into the idea of saving nearly $4,000 dollars a year even if his taxes go up a little.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #61)

Tue Jan 19, 2016, 05:41 AM

89. Just got a note from another single payer advocate advising--

--that we substitute "premium" for "tax" when discussing this. Not a bad idea at all.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 06:59 AM

50. Even at the worst case extreme I'd rather pay my entire current insurance premium as a tax

and know that there weren't paid insurance company weasels on the prowl looking for scummy ways to shift as many of my medical expenses back onto me through deductibles, out-of-pockets, and uncovered items, and whatever dirtbag tricks they will come up with next.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 07:20 AM

51. There are a multitude of problems in U.S health care...

 

...and they need to be fixed or no system is going to work very well. Removing insurance companies from the loop is a great start.

IMHO, as a medical professional, the single most important move in improving the health of human beings is prevention of adverse childhood events (see the work of Vincent Felliti and Robert Anda). The evidence of both physical and mental illness arising from adverse childhood events is staggering and beyond debate. We need pre-birth intervention, including intensive education, and adequate mental health support for parents and perspective parents. It also means we have to monitor the physical and mental health of our children more closely and support research for evidence based practice on child protection. Children must be protected at all costs, and everyone will benefit. It almost goes without saying that taking care of everyone will benefit everyone.

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Response to tomp (Reply #51)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 08:23 AM

57. Herein lies the big rub.

We are NOT a child-centric society (this is a KEY reason the anti-abortionists really torque me). Almost a fourth of all children in the US are living in extreme poverty--this doesn't include the children whose parents are squeaking by and cannot afford more than the basic necessities. Abuse and neglect of children is rampant, especially for children living in poverty, and very little funding is provided to the agencies charged with "protecting" our children.

Thousands of children live in "group homes," the new nomenclature for orphanages. These children must fend for themselves when they are old enough to be "on their own." Think what it must feel like to know your family of origin was too abusive, or neglectful to take care of you.

Don't even get me started about "mental illness"! I firmly believe that depression is our most pressing epidemic du jour, followed closely by anxiety disorders. Since our society denigrates any mental disorder, a great many people suffer in silence. Those who are courageous enough to seek help and get "diagnosed" are likely taking any of a number of dangerous psychotropics, including Zoloft and Xanax. Medical professionals seldom tell depressed or anxious patients the benefits of diet, meditation and exercise, because such recommendations will not make them the big bucks.

I hate being such a cynic, but I've just turned 60, and I have witnessed our nation becoming the hot mess we're currently struggling to survive. BTW, I've tried to get health care through the ACA, and I STILL don't have coverage, likely because I owe the IRS from a stupid, unintentional mistake back in 2011 or 2012. I had emergency surgery two years ago, and I'll never have enough income to pay the huge debt incurred for that event (yes, I know "never" is an absolute, but--as a math geek--I know it's true...unless I win the lottery...so laughing over here). Sigh...

In addition to the research you've cited, I recommend Alice Miller's work, especially Thou Shalt Not be Aware, and For Your Own Good. (Ironically, Miller's son has written about his mother's failings as a parent, in stark contrast to her erudite writings.)

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 07:34 AM

52. Americans pay more per capita on public health than Britons

Yet we have UHC and you don't. Go figure. Someone is making an enormous amount of money out of this.

Like education, law and order and sanitation, free health care is a right. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It may not be in your constitution, but that's what amendments are for.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 07:45 AM

53. K & R

I have the privilege of watching my check go down $200 a month for worse coverage than I had last year and I had to skip visits then!

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 07:50 AM

54. K & R because math..

it works for us too. Single payer is the only plan that will ever work for everyone.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 07:59 AM

55. You say he's on Medicare? (nt)

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 10:59 AM

63. Kicking nt

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 11:30 AM

64. The Clinton machine in the pockets of insurance companies, with the ACA, a republican plan.

 

Put forth by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Used to be led by Ginny Thomas, wife of Clarence Thomas. They took the applications if you wanted to work in the GW Bush administration.

This was modeled after Romney care. The mandate had to be in the bill, or republicans would not vote for it.

The ACA is a start, but hardly sustainable with individual premium based outlays.

Just look at EVERY OTHER COUNTRY that has healthcare for all.

The only difference with the ACA, is the government gives much of the premiums to the insurance companies, and people pay less out of their own pockets.

Imagine, if these premiums were going to the healthcare facilities, proportionately where taxpayers live.

I agree with Bernie Sanders...and Obama.....THE ACA WAS A START. Not the final product.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 12:59 PM

70. I'm on chemo myself and although I am fortunate enough to still have reasonably decent

health insurance through Aetna and some savings - I cannot help but wonder what it would be like if I had no financial worries caused by my cancer. Of course I would still be sick with a potentially terminal illness - but I would have so much less stress working on my brain. It would make all the difference in the world. Only Senator Sanders among the viable Presidential candidates supports single-payer- the one and only approach that would fix this problem for millions and millions and millions of ordinary Americans. Secretary Clinton has made in clear that she is absolutely against it.

Some people like to say that there is no chance of it getting passed anytime soon. One thing is absolutely for certain is that it will definitely NEVER - EVER happen if we agitate against it. It can only happen - maybe or maybe not in the near future if we agitate for it. Sen. Sanders is agitating for it. Secretary Clinton is agitating against it.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 02:05 PM

76. Kicked and recommended! Absolutely.

The ONLY reason we 'can't' have single payer is that the health insurance and big pharma companies DON'T WANT US TO, because even though it would be by FAR the best for US, their precious profits would (gasp) go down (shudder).

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Original post)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 03:50 PM

83. Life in American Healthcare

Just got one of my meds by mail Saturday. Another one arrived Friday. If it weren't for max contribution to the Flexible Spending Account, I probably would not have them. I think we've spent almost $1,000 of our $2,500 annual FSA contribution, and it's only January 17.

One of the wife's meds we get from Canada. It's cheaper to buy it from Canada than to go through insurance. Prices sometimes vary, so I check every 90 days when it's time to reorder.

Still making monthly payments to medical providers for service received in 2015, and in the case of one provider I think we'll be making payments through September 2016 for service received in early 2015.

Some medical providers are getting tougher to make payments to. Either they want payment in full or they want it paid in full within two to three months or they won't accept monthly payments of less than a certain dollar amount. More and more cases of people going without treatment because they cannot afford to get medical care, even if they have health insurance coverage.

As a state worker, with a union, and arguably the healthcare plan with the most generous benefits of the choices available to me, we live at the edge of healthcare.

'Murica

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Response to Kennah (Reply #83)

Mon Jan 18, 2016, 03:54 PM

84. That could be it's own OP.

A lot of the debate is about getting people "covered". Your post is exact explanation regarding why 'coverage' is not enough. In fact, in my humble opinion caring more about getting people "covered" than "treated" actually sets us back farther and farther.

Thanks for your post in the thread...... but do think about posting as an OP. ..... please?

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