You think the government can not make things worse? You have never been in
a VA hospital or seen by a VA doctor. Piss poor doctors and second rate
coverage if you can even get into a Hospital or find a doctor
You are confused Medicare sets the rates charged by hospitals and doctors in
a given area, and sets them high. I don't know what private coverage you
have but my coverage arranges with doctors and hospital to pay far less than
Medicare allows per person in the area. The reason Medicare pays five
times as much as the VA for the same coverage, is Medicare payments to
hospital are a round about way to reimburse hospitals and doctors for free
emergency care they must provide, under the Hill Burton Act, for the
indigent.. The only was a doctor can charge you less than the Medicare rate
is for him not to treat Medicare patients
Paying for drugs was never a problem for me but I now spend around $250 less
a month for my meds, since the drug law went into effect, and I do not buy
part 'D'. The sad part is, even though I never applied for SS, because of
the Medicare law I can not even buy private coverage unless I sign up and
pay for part 'B.'
Because of all the old folks in Florida, they get all of their drugs free
and need not pay a monthly premium.
What you say should make a lot of sense, but in my mind, NOTHING
could be worse than having the government run anything so important.
Everything I've ever seen the government try to take over is
always poorly run and more costly. Can you think of anything
they've run better and more cheaply? Let's even make that easier.
Can you think of anything they've run well?
Personally, I want the government in my life much less than it
already is. Not more.
It's a virtual monopoly, and consumers (1) are discouraged
from shopping around for the best prices; (2) usually have
no awareness of what their insurer is paying for medical
care and how this differs from what someone with other or no
insurance would pay.
Unlike auto repair shops, when was the last time anyone saw
doctors' offices advertising the cost of a routine 10k mile
body checkup in the local newspaper? Or what's the cheapest
ER within twenty miles for getting a laceration sewed up?
Given the wait times in many ERs for such an injury, may as
well make the driving radius 100 miles. (Wait times can
routinely be long in some ERs, because some are dedicated to
certain types of injury, and these injuries fill up the ER.)
Consumers, overcome with fear uncertainty and doubt, now
view health insurance as not something for peace of mind but
something from which they should get their money's worth
every year. Which of course just raises health insurance
It seems increasingly more "funny money" is getting around,
too. E.g. in the past year for two minor procedures, once
the billing source heard I was not affiliated with any
insurer but was paying directly, they slashed my bills. So
now the uninsured can count on the insured to pay the cost
of "negotiating" lower fees? I do not want to rely on this
(even though in theory I received a smaller bill these last
times). It's not free market action. Consumers have no idea
of the actual costs of services.
It does resemble a pyramid scheme: Insurance Company X says
that, by purchasing their plan, you'll get a 20% discount
from the "normal" price that doctor's office Y charges. Y
does not want to give money away, so s/he raises the prices
on services. X responds by raising the prices for the
consumer. The consumer Z is just happy s/he's getting 20%
off whatever price.
Government intervenes to prevent monopolistic practices all
the time. While health care providers and insurers may not
be breaking the law on trusts (= monopolies), they are
violating the principles on which this law is based.
This is a trick question, since rarely have direct
comparisons been possible.
We could talk about the construction of interstate highways,
USPS vs. UPS (they seem pretty competitive), disaster relief
(despite Katrina, it would be only conjecture to say a
private firm could handle such a situation better), Medicare
for the 65 and older crowd vs. private insurance today, and
not get anywhere meaningful.
The USPS makes a profit and only charges 39 cents to deliver a letter
to Buttfuck Idaho.
Well, the US Army used to pay a soldier $15,000 plus rations to drive
a truck in a war zone. Now they give Haliburton a cost-plus contract
to hire civilians at $100,000 to drive a truck which, if blown up or
abandoned, represents a profit for the Company.
I would like to have health insurance that I can't lose to the whims
You must have your head pretty far up something if you haven't heard
1. The US is virtually(?) the only industrialized nation that does
not have universal nationalized health care
2. The US has the highest per capita health care costs in the world
3. The overall quality of US health care is mediocre.
4. All the above are getting worse.
The United States continues to spend significantly more on health care
than any country in the world. In 2005, Americans spent 53 percent per
capita more than the next highest country, Switzerland, and 140
percent above the median industrialized country, according to new
research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The
study authors analyzed whether two possible reasons - supply
constraints and malpractice litigation - could explain the difference
in health care costs. They found that neither factor accounted for a
large portion of the U.S. spending differential. The study is featured
in the July/August 2005 issue of the journal Health Affairs.
The study authors reviewed health care spending data on 30 countries
from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
for the year 2003. U.S. citizens spent $5,267 per capita on health
care. The country with the next highest per capita expenditure,
Switzerland, spent $3,446 per capita. The median OECD country spent
$2,193 per capita.
I guess we would be better off if the government gave us all free medical
care, free drugs. Why stop there? What about giving us a free insured car
to go to the doctor, as well as buying the gas to run it. How about a free
cell phone to call 911 if needed? How about three months paid medical
leave for us and our families when somebody gets sick? How about maid
service when we can't clean the house when we get sick. How about paying
somebody do to our grocery shopping? How about a minimum wage of $25 a
hour, and a 30 hour week so we don't have to work hard to get the things we
'need?' How about a displaced worker payment equal to our take home pay,
when all of our jobs go off shore because of all the imports we buy? How
about a free college education like in Russia, so we can go to China to
design the Toyotas they will soon build there for the American market? Hell
we can just raise the death tax to 95% and raise tax rates for the rich to
90% again, the rate in pre President Kennedy days, at least till the rich
start moving out of the county, like they are doing in France ;)
As I recall, the economy was doing pretty well back in those Kennedy
The rich can leave as long as they pay the 95% exit tax that will fund
our nationalized health care. Like Bill Gates told the graduates,
life isn't fair.
And why shouldn't we raise the lazy bum rich kids windfall tax to 95%
(of the estate over $1 million)? Like Bill Gates told the graduates,
life isn't fair.
I love how you snip the bottom half of my post and then jump back up
and top post your response. Must have been something there that
really bothered you.
The US the economy was doing pretty sure was do pretty well after the
Kennedy cut the marginal tax rate to 50%, the income to the federal treasury
tripled. Just as the income to the federal treasury doubled after
President Reagan cut the marginal tax rate to 35%. There has been another
huge increase in income to the federal treasury after President Bush tax rat
cuts. Currently the federal treasures income is the highest in the history
of the world.
You must believe it to be fair for the government to pass a law to tax all
of the money YOU earned all year, at three times the rate you are currently
paying, then tax whatever money you have left over at the end of the year at
a rate of 55%? LOL
I base my above comments on Canada, which has had Gov. basic medical
care for many years at a nominal quarterly cost per individual.
Medical costs in Canada are much less and even those who don't have a
good medical plan or lots of money get the same care.
A big cost saving in Canada is the approx. 30% cost in the USA of
insurer overhead cost.
As for drugs they are much lower cost in Canada and there is a rebate
based on income. Those with lots of money can afford the drugs.
The stories of USA citizens, often seniors, who can't afford required
medical procedures, is very sad.
Even China has very low cost or free medical.
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