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Old 07-02-2013, 04:58 PM   #21
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why?
I find that our current system (i) parses out healthcare based on actuarial tables and (ii) is overly pharmaceutical driven. When almost 70% of Americans take prescription drugs, there is something wrong with the system.

I visit a non-insurance doctor twice a year. The cost of the visits, blood tests and supplements are well below the cost of my contributions to a health care plan. My doctor is not constrained by accepted minimums and can make recommendations for optimal health. Add in healthy eating, regular exercise, minimal alcohol consumption, no drugs and avoidance or risky or thrill seeking behavior and I remain very health for someone who is almost 50.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:59 PM   #22
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Honest question: do you feel that other 'socialized' services deny your ability, as an individual, to choose? Some examples include your local police department, fire department, library, etc.
Very good question.

I really won't call those "socialized" services. Historically, police and fire are core services provided by any form of government. They provide a benefit to society as a whole rather than to the individual. We actually have similar elements within healthcare such as mandatory vaccinations.

Healthcare has traditionally been an individual responsibility. I don't see a cross over between the two.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:03 PM   #23
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We paid cash for our second baby -- I was between projects and our health care had run out. What no one tells you is that when you're a cash patient, the costs drop dramatically. But we still were in debt for two years paying that off.
This is a completely alien concept to me. I hadn't even considered it. What the fuck, America?
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:07 PM   #24
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My doctor is not constrained by accepted minimums and can make recommendations for optimal health. Add in healthy eating, regular exercise, minimal alcohol consumption, no drugs and avoidance or risky or thrill seeking behavior and I remain very health for someone who is almost 50.
You are also a lucky person. Not everyone shares the same outcome.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:09 PM   #25
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Add in healthy eating, regular exercise, minimal alcohol consumption, no drugs and avoidance or risky or thrill seeking behavior and I remain very health for someone who is almost 50.
health isn't something we can take for granted though - you never know when you will need emergency or life-saving treatment... i think healthcare needs to be available to all as a safety net in those worst times of our lives... i've never planned to be ill, but have certainly been very glad to have good cover when i've needed it... a healthy lifestyle isn't always a guarantee of good health either... a friend of ours has just died from pancreatic cancer - he was really healthy - he didn't drink, smoke, did regular exercise - he died within weeks of being diagnosed, and had only recently retired - just one of those completely unexpected things...

i really would hate for any of my loved ones to be caught unprepared - being ill is bad enough, but being unable to cover the costs would surely make it a whole lot worse, i can't imagine...
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:22 PM   #26
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I find that our current system (i) parses out healthcare based on actuarial tables and (ii) is overly pharmaceutical driven. When almost 70% of Americans take prescription drugs, there is something wrong with the system.

I visit a non-insurance doctor twice a year. The cost of the visits, blood tests and supplements are well below the cost of my contributions to a health care plan. My doctor is not constrained by accepted minimums and can make recommendations for optimal health. Add in healthy eating, regular exercise, minimal alcohol consumption, no drugs and avoidance or risky or thrill seeking behavior and I remain very health for someone who is almost 50.


much of this seems reasonable to me.

what happens if you get cancer?

i was in a freak accident a few years ago. i have medical insurance that i pay for out of pocket since like nathan i have a creative job, and i still paid easily over $10,000 getting to a recovery.

i (and i assume you, as a lawyer) have an excellent job where i can afford to shell out 5 figures if the need arises.

most people can't.

i've had catastrophic coverage only in the past as well. i once saw an out-of-pocket doctor for a full physical and while i was delighted with the experience and level of care, the bill for the physical and all the blood tests was over $700. now, i pay a $25 co-pay, but it's a rushed and hurried experience with a doctor who has no time to answer any questions at all. i'm quite healthy on the whole, and i'd almost prefer the $700 once a year rather than the $270 a month for insurance.

but then, i've been on the other side where someone else's negligence puts you in the ICU for a week.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:28 PM   #27
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i (and i assume you, as a lawyer) have an excellent job where i can afford to shell out 5 figures if the need arises.

most people can't.
I don't know how it is in other countries, but in the US the most common trigger for homelessness is a single episode of medical emergency that screws a person's finances so completely that they literally lose everything. One uninsured cancer or catastrophic accident is all that stands between most Americans and the shelter.

nbcrusader, I'm interested to know how a healthy population doesn't benefit society as a whole. I'm willing to admit that American medicine is deeply fucked- no arguements here- but in fact national health insurance works a lot like a fire department. Everybody pays. Not everybody uses it all the time, but everybody can rely on the ability to use it when they need it. Everybody benefits from the increased safety and is protected from the errors and mishaps of their neighbors as well as their own, whether it's a fire spreading from one house to another or controlling the spread of an epidemic.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:11 AM   #28
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I find that our current system (i) parses out healthcare based on actuarial tables and (ii) is overly pharmaceutical driven. When almost 70% of Americans take prescription drugs, there is something wrong with the system.
Absolutely agree. When people/companies can get rich from the very diagnosis they can give to someone - we are left to trust human nature to run its course, and we know how that usually turns out.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:51 AM   #29
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does someone who gives birth in the Netherlands feel as if someone else has funded their birth, or do they feel as if they've paid into a system that guarantees access to all at a reasonable cost possible only when, like social security, the young and healthy pay for the sick and old (or the pregnant, or the unlucky, or the accident victims, or those with cancer) until it is their time to derive the benefits they have already paid for? why in the US do we have a mentality where we so dislike our fellow citizens we assume that any social service somehow comes at a direct cost to ME -- "on my dime" -- without any ability to empathize that, what if not but for the grace of God there go i?

I haven't given birth, but here as far as I'm aware nobody feels anything like that. We don't even consider it, since it's the system as we know it that we all contribute to healthcare and those things are taken care of.

We don't share your mentality, at least not for the most part. Personally I would't want to pay for the diseases caused by lifetime choices(ie smoking, heavy drinking or morbid obesity), but we still do as it's the system. If we all pay our share, healthcare stays avoidable for everyone.

The entire point of insurance is that you HOPE you never need it. But we can never know this for sure, we don't know what lies in the future. Even the most healthy people can still get in accidents, or get cancer. Even if you minimizez the risks, there's still a chance. Sure, I bitch sometimes about paying for insurance I don't use. But then I think how goddamn lucky I am that I don't NEED to use it. It means I'm still healthy.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:45 AM   #30
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If I was paying into the system for health care I actually benefit from, I'd probably bitch less about the amount of my paycheck that comes out for it. A good chunk of money comes out every two weeks for my own health insurance, where I still have to pay good-sized copays and deductibles if something happens, in addition to the portion that comes out so the assholes I drive to the hospitals don't have to pay for 1) their ER visit for their sore throat or ear infection 2) the ride itself 3) the over the counter medications that would cure their non-emergent condition in thw first place. It could be the same amount of money under one name, it could be a slight bit more. If I didn't feel like I was getting penalized on te healthcare front for having a job, I'd be ok with that.

If I have my appendix out and I get a script for Percocet after the fact, I believe it runs me about 80 bucks with my "real" health insurance. I wanted to punt a woman through the 72 inch tv in her apartment who once called because she had her appendix out two days ago and "felt sore." I asked her why she didn't get her pain meds filled, and her response was because with mass health, it used to only cost a dollar, but with "obamas bullshit welfare state" (oh fucking irony), she now has to pay 3 dollars and why should she do that when she can go back to the ER and get more for free? She's far from the only person I've heard first hand express similar sentiments. I haven't been able to wrap my head around that one and see how the healthcare system here isn't broken.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:18 AM   #31
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The entire point of insurance is that you HOPE you never need it. But we can never know this for sure, we don't know what lies in the future. Even the most healthy people can still get in accidents, or get cancer. Even if you minimizez the risks, there's still a chance. Sure, I bitch sometimes about paying for insurance I don't use. But then I think how goddamn lucky I am that I don't NEED to use it. It means I'm still healthy.
True and I think it's also related to the monthly HI premium we have to pay. The monthly premium for the basic (mandatory) coverage is about $125 - $150, on top of my head without using a currency converter. It differs a bit between which insurance company you're with, but that's about it. On top of that there's the yearly co-pay of $400 - $450 (I think) for specialist procedures and medicines. But anything higher and it's all covered by the insurance. This is mostly about 'necessary' procedures. Like when you need surgery for a broken bone, appendicites, cancer, etc.
I believe these costs are significantly lower than they are in the US. Hence, there's probably also less of an 'entitlement issue' (though some probably still feel like it).
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:29 AM   #32
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Very good question.

I really won't call those "socialized" services. Historically, police and fire are core services provided by any form of government. They provide a benefit to society as a whole rather than to the individual. We actually have similar elements within healthcare such as mandatory vaccinations.

Healthcare has traditionally been an individual responsibility. I don't see a cross over between the two.
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nbcrusader, I'm interested to know how a healthy population doesn't benefit society as a whole. I'm willing to admit that American medicine is deeply fucked- no arguements here- but in fact national health insurance works a lot like a fire department. Everybody pays. Not everybody uses it all the time, but everybody can rely on the ability to use it when they need it. Everybody benefits from the increased safety and is protected from the errors and mishaps of their neighbors as well as their own, whether it's a fire spreading from one house to another or controlling the spread of an epidemic.
I would also like to understand this better. Where is the difference? And 'tradition' isn't a reasonable answer in my book.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:24 PM   #33
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I would also like to understand this better. Where is the difference? And 'tradition' isn't a reasonable answer in my book.
The healthcare equivalent of police and fire services is the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC, coupled with mandatory vaccination programs, protects society as a whole where it would be difficult, if not impossible, to protect oneself.

The Affordable Care Act, on the other hand, covers a wide range of non-catastrophic conditions. No need for government protection of society, as it is government protection of the individual (sometimes from themselves).
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:30 PM   #34
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Fire service wasn't always a government run service.

Just sayin.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:34 PM   #35
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A friend of mine on Facebook has been really upset about a medical procedure that is proving to be extremely expensive even with insurance. She's also not able to get it done when she'd like to and she's just really upset about it. I don't fault her for it, and I feel really bad for her situation.

The ironic thing is that a lot of her friends, who are conservative and very anti-Obamacare (she is too) are writing in sympathasizing and talking about how in other countries you wouldn't have to pay so much and or even get the procedure done for free and how Obama has really messed up our health care. The irony is just unbelievable. But I didn't have the heart to point it out, considering how distraught she is.

England and Australia were mentioned by name.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:37 PM   #36
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To be clear, people who favor national health care do not consider the Affordable Care act to be a solution to all our problems. To my mind it's a rather half-assed fix that fails to address the real problems that make American medicine so expensive. It's better than before, but not great. I doubt America will ever have the balls to do a European style overhaul.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:45 PM   #37
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Fire service wasn't always a government run service.

Just sayin.

Likewise, the CDC doesn't directly respond to individuals in needlike the police and fire departments do, nor is the CDC in every town in America
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:47 PM   #38
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I doubt America will ever have the balls to do a European style overhaul.
How about ANY kind of overhaul.

I am a conservative, and I think that health care is basic human right. It goes right to core of our national values of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.

My desire to "heal" every human being on US soil (well, the entire world - but we are talking about the US for now) as much a possible stems from my faith, which motivates me to love, which works through modern technology and medicine (as well as prayer, of course).

Health care is not, and never should be, considered a business enterprise.

The good news is that as technology improves - I believe you will see a return of the house doctor and small local clinics to treat the minor aches and pains at a very low cost. Hopefully the more expensive items will come down the same way IT costs have come down (price per performance cost).
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:48 PM   #39
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To be clear, people who favor national health care do not consider the Affordable Care act to be a solution to all our problems. To my mind it's a rather half-assed fix that fails to address the real problems that make American medicine so expensive. It's better than before, but not great. I doubt America will ever have the balls to do a European style overhaul.
I think the ACA is a pretty crappy piece of legislation, mostly because it tries to suck and blow at the same time, so to speak.

What is important about it is that it brought to the forefront a discussion of the standard of American healthcare, how America is singularly different from every other western democracy, the stories about bankruptcies, appalling behaviour by insurance companies, etc.

The ACA is (an arguably bad) starting point, that's all.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:51 PM   #40
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I am a conservative, and I think that health care is basic human right. It goes right to core of our national values of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.

My desire to "heal" every human being on US soil (well, the entire world - but we are talking about the US for now) as much a possible stems from my faith, which motivates me to love, which works through modern technology and medicine (as well as prayer, of course).

Health care is not, and never should be, considered a business enterprise.
That's lovely. I'm glad to hear that some conservative Christians interpret things in this way.
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