Can someone "dumb down" what Obamacare really means? - page 14

by EarthwormRN 22,139 Views | 138 Comments

I don't have time to watch the news or read articles so I don't understand much of what is being talked about. Can someone explain to me how it changes for citizens and what it will do to the future of our healthcare system?... Read More


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    Quote from SC_RNDude
    Despite what the liberal politicians and some of the media tell you, most people want as many people as possible to have access to healthcare throughout their lives, and such access is not magically guranteed by a taxpayer funded health service.
    True enough. The US already has several taxpayer-funded health systems that are very restrictive. One is the Veterans Administration, which is a true health service and its cousin, the military health system. Both are restricted to service members. Another is Medicare, which is a health insurance system, again restricted, generally by age. Unfortunately however, something on the order of 15% of the US population does not have either health insurance coverage or general access to a health system. Another large segment of the population has restrictive health insurance coverage.

    While I'm sure everyone wants people to have access to good health care, the fact is that until rather recently, no one did anything about it. I'm not wild about "Obamacare" (and frankly prefer a much more consumer-oriented system that makes individuals responsible for paying for most routine health care costs, reserving insurance for catastrophic events) but at least it is an attempt. Just as importantly, Obamacare also makes an attempt at addressing the hugely important issue of the high cost of health care in the US. Again, this is not a new problem but no one even attempted to address it before.

    Actually, I take that back. The Heritage Foundation made an excellent start in addressing both issues back in 1992. Their plan was implemented a few years ago by a very forward thinking governor in Massachusetts and while it has some problems, has worked reasonably well. Perhaps that man will run for higher office and implement the plan nationally after Obamacare is repealed.
    Last edit by chuckster on Aug 23, '12
    cdsga likes this.
  2. 6
    Any health care system in which decisions about care are made entirely by companies with a profit motive does not act in the best interest of the people it supposedly serves. Do an online search for health insurance company deception/deceit/etc. and see what comes back. Insurance companies that institute automatic audits of customers who have had breast cancer surgery, with the intention of finding a technicality to justify canceling the policy. Companies who deny coverage for items that should be covered, with the hope of frustrating customers into quitting, thereby saving the company money. Appeal processes with artificially complicated or arbitrary rules, with many technicalities designed to increase the possibility of an error so they can dismiss the appeal.

    I am a long-time veteran of what I call the "insurance wars", and health insurance companies are pretty much at the bottom of my barrel of unscrupulous businesses. They are one of the few remaining pure cash businesses. They sell no product or service, apart from a promise to pay health expenses under certain conditions. Their policies are written vaguely - deliberately, so that they can be interpreted more than one way. Appeals panels are rigged in their favor. Usually the first two steps are internal, followed by an outside (and supposedly objective) arbitrator. Even if the arbitrator doesn't work directly for the insurance company, they won't keep paying him for long if he decides against them too frequently. The more they deny you, the more of your money they get to keep.

    This is why I find the proposal for a voucher system laughable. This fixes nothing, only funnels more money into the same broken system we already have, and makes private insurers richer while they still screen out those likely to cost them money. Anything that gives insurance companies more power is not a good thing.
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    Susie2310, I was responding to this whole post:

    Quote from Susie2310
    Jeweles, coming from England, I know that the problems you mention exist there too. In England, some people, who can afford to do so and are fortunate enough to be accepted by insurers, take out private health insurance. I believe there are a lot of problems with the way the health service is run, and with providing a uniformly good level of care. In the English system there have been problems with lack of organization and funding too, and other abuses. But in spite of the many problems with the service, I still believe that a taxpayer funded health service is a good thing, and I support it because I want everyone to have access to health care throughout their lives.
    I'm not saying your points are or aren't valid, only that people reading here should understand that this is just one person's experiences and opinions. Which you may have felt was implicitly understood, but not everyone would understand -- and the other person I addressed seemed to think she was speaking for all of Canada in her post. People have also made the same kind of sweeping generalizations about the US based on anecdotes, so to be fair, I probably shouldn't have singled the two of you out.

    Also, I think the first graph (in this post) does put your point about private insurance in England into perspective. Even if some people do choose to take out private (mostly supplemental) plans, clearly the amount that is spent privately in the UK per capita is a tiny fraction of what is spent privately in the US. According to this data, it's just $370 in the UK compared to $2,572 in the US. That's 14% in the year this data was collected. And it's a small fraction compared to what is spent publicly in the UK (17%, or 15% of the total).
    Sisyphus likes this.
  4. 0
    Quote from Elinor
    Susie2310, I was responding to this whole post:



    I'm not saying your points are or aren't valid, only that people reading here should understand that this is just one person's experiences and opinions. Which you may have felt was implicitly understood, but not everyone would understand -- and the other person I addressed seemed to think she was speaking for all of Canada in her post. People have also made the same kind of sweeping generalizations about the US based on anecdotes, so to be fair, I probably shouldn't have singled the two of you out.

    Also, I think the first graph (in this post) does put your point about private insurance in England into perspective. Even if some people do choose to take out private (mostly supplemental) plans, clearly the amount that is spent privately in the UK per capita is a tiny fraction of what is spent privately in the US. According to this data, it's just $370 in the UK compared to $2,572 in the US. That's 14% in the year this data was collected. And it's a small fraction compared to what is spent publicly in the UK (17%, or 15% of the total).
    Elinor, the UK government funds the National Health Service by taxing people who are working. This is a fact, not a subjective opinion or experience of mine. This fact was the basis of my posts. If you wish you can google the topics of organization and funding etc. in regard to the National Health Service - my referring to these issues as having a history of problems should be easy for you to check on the internet. Of course I am speaking for myself in my opinions about the National Health Service, and in my opinions on people paying taxes to fund a health service. Yes, in the UK the vast majority of the population use the National Health Service and do not take out private insurance. I am not sure what your point is.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Aug 23, '12
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    Does private health insurance exist in Britain?
    Yes, and it works in a similar way to health insurance in the U.S. Many employers offer private health-insurance plans as a perk to workers — a minority of patients opt out of the NHS system to receive their medical treatments privately. Private patients can choose their specialists and avoid waiting lists for non-emergency procedures; NHS patients wait an average of about eight weeks for treatments that require admission to a hospital, four weeks for out-patient treatments and two weeks for diagnostic tests. While NHS patients have a choice of hospitals, they cannot always choose their specialist.

    Read more: How Does Britain's National Health Service Work? - TIME
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    cdsga, re your quote, we have wait times in the US as well. The data I posted shows that their wait times to get an appointment to see a doctor are actually better than ours, and their wait times in the ER are comparable to ours.

    More from your own link:

    "How does NHS health care compare with U.S. health care?
    Like most developed countries, Britain ranks above the U.S. in most health measurements. Its citizens have a longer life expectancy and lower infant mortality, and the country has more acute-care hospital beds per capita and fewer deaths related to surgical or medical mishaps. Britain achieves these results while spending proportionally less on health care than the U.S. about $2,500 per person in Britain, compared with $6,000 in the U.S. For these reasons, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked Britain 18th in a global league table of health-care systems (the U.S. was ranked 37th). However, there are measures by which the U.S. outperforms Britain: for instance, the U.S. has lower cancer mortality rates."

    And: "It's a British pastime to complain bitterly about the NHS but remain fiercely protective of its existence. A recent 'We Love the NHS' Twitter campaign has received thousands of messages of support, including from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose eyesight was saved by British doctors after he was involved in a rugby collision as a young man and whose son suffers from cystic fibrosis. The leader of Britain's right-wing Conservative Party, David Cameron, expressed his support for the health service on Aug. 14: 'One of the wonderful things about living in this country is that the moment you're injured or fall ill no matter who you are, where you are from or how much money you've got you know that the NHS will look after you.'"

    Quote from Susie2310
    I am not sure what your point is.
    Sorry, I don't know what to tell you. I think I explained my point pretty well, and I don't really have anything more to add.
    Sisyphus likes this.
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    Elinor, I just looked at your post history. Good luck with nursing school.
  8. 0
    Quote from Susie2310
    Elinor, I just looked at your post history. Good luck with nursing school.
    Thanks!
  9. 0
    [/Quote] She was cut from medicaid...no coverage at all any longer with that...she does have Medicare, which she had to pay a $4000.00 deductable for a hospital admission plus she no longer has her perscriptions covered as she did with medicaid. Medicare is cutting payment through reducing benefits for the elderly and a reduction on reimbursment to hospitals. What IS fishy about that is that medicare is making cuts to benefits, their cuts are not making healthcare affordable.[/QUOTE]

    I stumbled into this posting and wonder about some things: HolisticNurse97: if your friend is on Medicare and she stayed overnight at the hospital, Part A would cover most of her stay. Her supplemental insurance, which is required of Medicare recipients to buy, may pay what Part A does not. Part D, also required, may well pay most of your friend's medication.
    I am really curious what your friend's situation was.

    If a patient develops say "decub" while she is in a hospital, the state may well not pay for treatment of this decub.

    The point is current Medicare tries to curb fraud, yes that is true.

    But to say that Medicare is cutting payment through reducing benefits for the elderly and a reduction on reimbursement to hospitals without concrete example/s, is like me telling others "I am the best cook in town"


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