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Interesting article on healthcare plans...

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by masomenos, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. masomenos

    masomenos Less is more

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    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122152292213639569.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    Now one of the authors is an economist who is an adviser to Obama so I don't know that everything in here is unbiased. That said, I would like to hear peoples reactions to the article and point out anything that's false.
  2. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Zone Supporter

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    It's essentially a fluff piece supporting Obama authored by people who advise and work in his campaign. That's not to say it lacks any substance, but its primary goal is garnering support for Obama, not presenting an unbiased view of both health plans.

    Obama would, for all intents and purposes, socialize the US health care system. Universal, government-provided health care has benefits and drawbacks that have been discussed ad nauseum. Our current health care system has benefits and drawbacks that have been discussed ad nauseum.

    In this debate, one question supersedes all others: Are you comfortable with the US government providing health care, given its repeated problems handling medicare and social security?
  3. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    I can't really refute much of this, because there are very few "facts" there... mostly just "claims."

    I don't honestly know the plans inside and out.

    But I am suspicious that the author is an Obama advisor. Seems like he has a pretty big stake in the race regardless.

    I'd like to see a truly independent analysis of the plans. I don't really know where to get that, though, as right now most of the "details" are given out by the campaigns themselves and are obviously biased.
  4. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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  5. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    Looking more closely at that article, the author says "Those already sick are completely out of luck." But then later in the same paragraph, he acknowledges that McCain has a provision to cover those with pre-existing conditions, but the author just dismisses that saying "McCain has proposed a high-risk pool for the very sick, but has not put forward the money to make it work." As if Obama has explained how he's going to fully-fund his astronomically expensive program.

    I also get a kick how he dismisses the $5000 tax credit, saying that it's only half of what a policy costs. That still sounds pretty good to me. What does he want... the government to pick up the whole tab for your health care? That sounds like socialized medicine to me... oh wait. :D

    Also, while I'm not going to challenge what he says a policy costs the average family, I know that $12,000 sounds awful high to me. My company has an excellent plan for our employees, and it costs about $7,000 per year per family.
  6. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    Sen. Obama's proposal will modernize our current system of employer- and government-provided health care, keeping what works well, and making the investments now that will lead to a more efficient medical system. He does this in five ways:

    - Learning. One-third of medical costs go for services at best ineffective and at worst harmful. Fifty billion dollars will jump-start the long-overdue information revolution in health care to identify the best providers, treatments and patient management strategies.

    So Barack Obama is going to determine how and where and when to treat patients instead of doctors.

    - Rewarding. Doctors and hospitals today are paid for performing procedures, not for helping patients. Insurers make money by dumping sick patients, not by keeping people healthy. Mr. Obama proposes to base Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals and doctors on patient outcomes (lower cholesterol readings, made and kept follow-up appointments) in a coordinated effort to focus the entire payment system around better health, not just more care.

    So he is going to tie the income of everyone in the medical field based on how well individuals behave when not in a doctors office. Stupid.

    - Pooling. The Obama plan would give individuals and small firms the option of joining large insurance pools. With large patient pools, a few people incurring high medical costs will not topple the entire system, so insurers would no longer need to waste time, money and resources weeding out the healthy from the sick, and businesses and individuals would no longer have to subject themselves to that costly and stressful process.

    This is already done. The fact he wants to change it worries me.


    - Preventing. In today's health-care market, less than one dollar in 25 goes for prevention, even though preventive services -- regular screenings and healthy lifestyle information -- are among the most cost-effective medical services around. Guaranteeing access to preventive services will improve health and in many cases save money.

    How is going to enforce peoples behavior? I want Barack to come to my house and drive me to my appointments for colon cancer screening.

    - Covering. Controlling long-run health-care costs requires removing the hidden expenses of the uninsured. The reforms described above will lower premiums by $2,500 for the typical family, allowing millions previously priced out of the market to afford insurance.

    Hidden expenses of the uninsured? It's not hidden. It shows up in every medical bill I pay. Illegals and welfare recipients are destroying the medical field. I'm getting real tired of paying everyone else's way.


    In addition, tax credits for those still unable to afford private coverage, and the option to buy in to the federal government's benefits system, will ensure that all individuals have access to an affordable, portable alternative at a price they can afford.

    Again with the wealth redistribution. Socialism. First he wants to give my money away to people who don't pay taxes and then he wants some more of my money to pay for their health care. How much is enough?
  7. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    My only health care plan at this time is called Workers Comp.

    I guess if I get hurt, I better hope I get hurt at work.
  8. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    I've worked in the healthcare industry basically all my life, starting from the time I worked in a drugstore, through interning in pharmacy, two yrs of pharmacy school and since college, working in healthcare with various insurance companies either directly or indirectly. I have spent countless hours studying healthcare plans that are domestic and foreign (ie, national healthcare, universal healthcare, single payor systems etc etc).

    I can say without a doubt our healthcare system as is, is by far the best in the world. There are FAR too many drawbacks of "national" healthcare systems and both the quality of care and availability of care will be severely compromised. The vast majority of the public think because it will be supposedly "free" (which in itself is an untruth, as it will cost taxpayers billions) that its an improvement. The only people in those systems who actually believe it are the one's who have no reason to access it, or have their care limited mostly to primary care/prescription drug pickup type visits.

    I remember in college going to a seminar where we lectured and shown detailed info on "Hillarycare". I was with a large group of pharmacists, doctors and other healthcare indsutry people. We came away shocked at what they were proposing. For people who hate the HMO concept, you better start rethinking your views on "national" healthcare, as its almost an absolute certainty that any version we get (regardless of who puts it in place) will be about the most hardcore version of "managed care" they could see.

    There's a reason why people from all around the world want to come here for their care (if they can). We have the highest quality of care along with the best specialists and hospitals in the world. We have the best technology in the world, and have easy access to it. If you go the cardiologist today and find out you have a blockage, in alot of cases you can have it treated and corrected the same day or the next day. If you need a hip or knee replacement, you dont have to wait for months or even years to get it. That is not the case in other countries where they have socialized medicine. Do we have a perfect system? No, but there probably isnt a "perfect" system out there, and its certainly not national healthcare. We can easily see the waste and corruption of Medicare and Medicaid here in the USA, why go to something thats going to cover everyone when they cant even get it right for that small %?

    Be careful what you wish for.
  9. masomenos

    masomenos Less is more

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    This is a good response. Now, that's not to say other people didn't have good responses lol, but I always like hearing from people who are in the industry that a certain issue pertains to. That said, I do know that there is a fairly large number of Drs. who support Obama's plan.

    http://doctorsforobama.net/

    From that site:

    Interesting stuff, I really hope we get some detailed answers on healthcare during the debates.
  10. Aikbach

    Aikbach Well-Known Member

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    With all these bailouts we've allowed the financial sector to use Uncle Sam like an insurance provider, at the tax payer expense.

    Universal healthcare would be like 20 government buyouts, a ridiculous proposition that is even more maddening than the AIG, Lehman, Merril Lynch, Sterns, etc... hand holding fiasco.

    Private enterprise is the engine of the economy and companies should sink or swim on account of their own actions, they were unethical and risky, they deserve to pay the piper.

    The public should not have taken loans they could not afford to repay, they to deserve their debts.
  11. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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  12. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Zone Supporter

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    Your assessment is both perceptive and accurate. However, in my defense, I wasn't going for "good." I aimed for mediocrity, and I achieved such - hence why my response was, in fact, a smashing success.:p:
  13. ThaBigP

    ThaBigP New Member

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    As one of the many who voluntarily choose not to pay for health insurance, I can tell you that folks like me make up a huge percentage (along with illegals) of the uninsured. In fact, I'd bet the vast majority of the uninsured fall into one or the other (perhaps both!) categories. As I get older, though, I'll likely change course. Here's my reasoning: at my company, it would take about $400/month out of my check to get coverage. In my entire post-teenage years, I've spent perhaps $1000 total on medical care. So it's a simple cost/benefit analysis. The problem is too much regulation, and lack of competition. You cannot buy a tax-free insurance policy on your own - in order to do that you MUST go through your employer, meaning you usually have two choices from the same company, PPO or HMO. Buy it yourself and you pay taxes on the money you send to the insurance company. Also, you cannot purchase insurance across state lines. Therefore, the ability to comparison shop is highly limited. So what happens is, people who DO opt to have $400/month or more yanked out of their check make damned sure they "get everything that's coming to them". They take their kids and themselves to the emergency room everytime somebody sneezes. When you bloat a system with artificial demand, the price skyrockets. Look at the housing industry with subprime mortgages if you need any proof of that.
  14. Aikbach

    Aikbach Well-Known Member

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    You need to check into Aetna or Blue Cross then, for about 130 a month you can get full emergency insurance and two doctor visits a year, as well as a $10 dollar co-pay for medicine. It will be very worth it if something happens my friend,without it if you break a leg you'll be out thousands.

    If you go to the emergency room with food poisoning you'll be charged two grand!
  15. ThaBigP

    ThaBigP New Member

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    I will also add that health insurance covers WAY too much in the way of health care. Pretty much anything, even a check-up, is covered by health insurance. So, imagine how much car insurance would cost if everybody filed claims for oil changes...new tires...new windsheild wiper blades....even filling up with gas...or car washes... In that scenario (like the health insurance industry), you're no longer actually selling "insurance", you're just socializing the cost, whatever the cost, of all the activity in that market. Car insurance and home insurance, in contrast, merely cover you in the event of catastrophic loss, such as a car wreck or house fire. You're expected to foot the bill for basic maintenance, meaning the laws of supply and demand truly are at work there, making those things affordable.
  16. ThaBigP

    ThaBigP New Member

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    Yeah, in fact most of that grand I mentioned that I'd paid out so far was when I accidentally knifed my hand real bad trying to separate frozen hamburger patties with a butcher knife. So, yeah, point taken. :cool:
  17. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    It's called OVER-REGULATION by government.

    The price of individual health insurance would drop DRAMATICALLY if you could eliminate government required mandates from policies, or at least offer the option of eliminating it. Case in point is maternity coverage, which is a state mandate (at least in all states I know of). A young male individual has no need for maternity care, so why have to pay for it?
  18. Aikbach

    Aikbach Well-Known Member

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    True, but would said coverage benefit a married man? Could he transfer it to his wife?
  19. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    Thats why it would be better as an option.

    Individual coverage differs from gruop coverage though in that it is not guaranteed issue. Everyone has to be underwritten and most policies have pre-existing clauses for everything (incl maternity)
  20. ThaBigP

    ThaBigP New Member

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    Well, yes, I did neglect to point out the big, fat, pink elephant in the room - the fact that the broad coverage for "everything under the sun" is in fact mandated by government.

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