Healthcare Reform
Posted: 15 September 2009 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Where do you fall on the fence on healthcare reform?  Public Option, is it good or bad?  Are there alternatives that should be considered vis-a-vis the public option (i.e. fat tax)?

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Posted: 15 September 2009 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Blue Belt
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I haven’t paid too much attention to healthcare reform because I don’t think it will ever happen.  While most people agree that the healthcare system needs to be reformed, everyone is scared that any attempt at changing it will make it worse.

The cynic in my predicts that the Public Option will end up drawing in a-lot of the high-risk patients, such as the elderly and smokers.  As a result I would think that the Public Option would not have enough people paying premiums to cover those high-risk/high-cost patients, causing the Public Option to rely on taxing the rest of the nation. 

However, I see the benefits of the Public Option.  I do believe that access to affordable healthcare should be a right to Americans and documented immigrants (but not free healthcare). I am somewhat skeptical that the public option would save money by cutting down on the administrative costs through economies of scale because it’s not like the Federal government is known for being streamlined and efficient.

I’m also not sure if the competition of the Public Option would drive down the cost of private health insurance because, from what i understand, people who have healthcare plan through an employer would be precluded from choosing the Public Option.  That would seem to eliminate a large portion of the the direct competition between private insurance and the public option.

Basically, I don’t have an opinion currently.  I’m just skeptical.

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Posted: 15 September 2009 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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first, i think everybody should watch michael moore’s sicko.  it paints a pretty poor picture of the health care industry at present.

i haven’t looked at what obama’s proposing enough, but i do believe that health care is something that everybody should be entitled to.  i don’t remember who said it (in an article i read), but i agree that profit should not be the most important motive in the health care industry.  it is one of those things that we should be able to take a loss on because of the greater good it will bring. 
i did have a passing thought that obama should make military service a requirement for all and let everybody have veteran’s benefits, but i was told that wouldn’t work.

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Posted: 16 September 2009 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I have to say is that people are so narrow minded that they don’t think that, eventually, everyone will become sick and that it’s better to try and treat them on a preventive basis rather than wait from them to enter the emergency room.  Isn’t it always a better decision to ensure that people have access to at least the base level of medical care so that treatable ailments don’t become chronic or life threating ones?

Alternatively, on the subject of cost, I think the Japanese may be onto something by having a price ceiling vis-a-vis a published book that dictates what doctors can charge for what.

Lastly, I don’t see a problem with a public option so long as it’s strong enough to compete with private plans.  What President Obama outline to Congress wasn’t all that strong.

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Posted: 16 September 2009 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The only way I see the public option competing is if they are on the same playing ground as private insurance.  Either they do tiered pricing by underwriting patients by health status which would increase administrative costs, or they disallow tiered pricing by private insurance as well.  As far as I’ve read, they want to disallow rejecting customers based on health status or preexisting conditions but they didn’t say the insurance companies couldn’t charge any price they want.

It sounded like they didn’t expect more than 5% of the population to go for the public option.  How does that economy of scale compare to the largest insurance companies?

Does anyone know how much commission health insurance sales agents make off of a sale?

I’ve collected a long list of medical bills in the last couple years and a lot of the pricing is insane.  One doctor charged $1200 for something the insurance company fairly reimbursed him for $85.  That’s jacking up the price 1400%.  The doctor never saw me.  All he had to do was interpret some test results sent to him which probably took a few minutes.  The rest was done by hospital clinic staff for which there was a separate large bill.  If for whatever reason, the insurance company had denied my claim, I guess I might have had to pay that.

Is there anything else we pay for which one would have to make 5 phone calls per item to find out how much will be charged and then even then that number might not be the one you end up with?  The prices are so hidden that even other doctors don’t know what other doctors are charging and so none can call each other out.  I don’t think we even need a price ceiling; just open price information would probably take care of a lot of it.

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Posted: 21 March 2010 08:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Looks like something is going to pass.  Just for giggles I went to the fox news website to see what the reaction was.
Two opinion articles that stood out to me: 
Obamacare is the new Roe v. Wade.
Obama to America, “I win, you lose.”

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