Obama's Health Care plan. Is it a stepping stone to H.R 676, or a road to nowhere? - page 3

Here is a brief overview of his plan. I wonder if it will actually do enough. Part of me thinks that any health care plan that allows the private sector to operate is a waste of time and... Read More

  1. by   hillarypeace2006
    Quote from Jolie
    So does that effectively prohibit one from using private insurance to speed access to a necessary (but non emergent) procedure such as joint replacement, repair of torn ligaments, gall bladder removal, etc?

    If private insurance is used only for elective procedures (cosmetic, eye refraction, etc.), isn't it cost prohibitive? I can't imagine anyone purchasing private insurance unless they plan to have an elective procedure done, which, it seems, would make the cost of such coverage very expensive.

    When I lived under a UHC system in Europe, I paid for a private policy as a supplement so I could have a private doctor. It was approximately 30-45 us dollars for 6 mos of coverage. But as Bluehair mentioned anything that was payable under UHC was covered there and incidentals like a private room, and my visits with him instead of the UHC doc was covered by the private insurance. Much more reasonable than what we pay here.
  2. by   keithjones
    anyone in this thread ever read the US constitution? government does not exist to redistribute wealth thats communism see how well that works for russia and cuba. government also doesnt exist to replace private business thats socialism. if you like these forms of government feel free to move to the countries that espouse them. then when you feel like timely quality health care move back. i believe no one is entitled to anything but what they earn for themselves. I have lived off of less than 25k a year for the last 10 years (family of 4) and have gone without insurance at times and agree that it often sucks, but god forbid that once I finish my CRNA that i be taxed at 60+ percent to pay for someone elses insurance. our government is a wastefull behemoth. a driveway for a local rest area visitors center no longer than 20 foot off the main road cost three quarters of a million dollars to concrete. a homeowner can get the same drive paved for less than ten thousand. and you want this government to pay your health care bill for you... with your money? sure take half my pay to give me less benefit and less choice than i can get with one tenth my income ! that makes sense.
    Last edit by keithjones on May 12, '09
  3. by   Honnte et Srieux
    Quote from hillarypeace2006
    When I lived under a UHC system in Europe, I paid for a private policy as a supplement so I could have a private doctor. It was approximately 30-45 us dollars for 6 mos of coverage. But as Bluehair mentioned anything that was payable under UHC was covered there and incidentals like a private room, and my visits with him instead of the UHC doc was covered by the private insurance. Much more reasonable than what we pay here.
    I'm assuming you are speaking of Austria? Looks like a good system, but I don't think our congress would even give it a second look after a five minute review of the demographics.

    Of course it's important to point out that it's very expensive (social programs alone take over 30% of every worker's paycheck), and compulsory (everyone who works must pay).

    I'm not saying that's wrong one way or another, but that method won't go over well here; we already don't force millions of our lowest wage earners to pay taxes, so to match this program would require that we start taking a chunk of EVERYone's pay for healthcare.

    Additionally, Austria has a population about the same as NYC...not sure how you can translate that model to a population that is over 300 million, and has a substantially LARGER percentage of minorities than Australia. and a substantially LARGER percentage of immigrants.

    I propose that if we cut back our migration rate to match Austria (that would be about a 75% reduction in immigration), then if we somehow could change our minority percentage to less than 10% of the population, and required every worker, from the fry-guy at McD's to the CEO at Microsoft to pay out 7% of their income just for health insurance...then it might insure more people (this is not elitism, it's about apples-to-apples comparisons). Additionally, I'm interested in seeing how their negative rate of natural increase will affect their ability to insure themselves in the next generation.

    Thanks.
  4. by   hillarypeace2006
    Quote from Honnte et Srieux
    I'm assuming you are speaking of Austria? Looks like a good system, but I don't think our congress would even give it a second look after a five minute review of the demographics.

    Of course it's important to point out that it's very expensive (social programs alone take over 30% of every worker's paycheck), and compulsory (everyone who works must pay).

    I'm not saying that's wrong one way or another, but that method won't go over well here; we already don't force millions of our lowest wage earners to pay taxes, so to match this program would require that we start taking a chunk of EVERYone's pay for healthcare.

    Additionally, Austria has a population about the same as NYC...not sure how you can translate that model to a population that is over 300 million, and has a substantially LARGER percentage of minorities than Australia. and a substantially LARGER percentage of immigrants.

    I propose that if we cut back our migration rate to match Austria (that would be about a 75% reduction in immigration), then if we somehow could change our minority percentage to less than 10% of the population, and required every worker, from the fry-guy at McD's to the CEO at Microsoft to pay out 7% of their income just for health insurance...then it might insure more people (this is not elitism, it's about apples-to-apples comparisons). Additionally, I'm interested in seeing how their negative rate of natural increase will affect their ability to insure themselves in the next generation.

    Thanks.
    Well if the demographic argument is where you want to draw a distinction, you should look at German which has a higher overall population and yes Austria is about the same size as Maine so difficult to compare. However, taxation and fees for healthcare are done in a progressive manner, and the average income burdon for citizens is only 9%. With an aged population, the country's benefit has been to increase the population of the country which is why in addition to healthcare the progressive social agenda includes a lot of support for women's health funding to help people grow families, the 20% VAT is a tax that is heavily responsible for funding these initiatives. Now of course we would need to look at how we could reform other social programs but as for healthcare I can't see any reason or argument that you've pointed to that would make this undoable here.

    Back to reality, we most likely will not have a single payor system, so in actuality to compare the systems of most Western European countries is not all that helpful. With the powerful lobby from th AMA and insurers we will most likely get a very watered down version of uhc which would actually be more messy than a straight single payor option.
  5. by   Honnte et Srieux
    Quote from hillarypeace2006
    Back to reality, we most likely will not have a single payor system, so in actuality to compare the systems of most Western European countries is not all that helpful. With the powerful lobby from th AMA and insurers we will most likely get a very watered down version of uhc which would actually be more messy than a straight single payor option.
    When it comes to 'reality,' I am constantly injecting it into the discussion when folks routinely use the pointless distraction of using the European/Canadian comparison.

    You are right...it's not "helpful," so why do socialized advocates keep doing it?
  6. by   UKRNinUSA
    I suspect that Obama's healthcare plan is a stepping stone to HR 676. I believe he is subscribing to the "let the market decide" principal (however we now hear the insurance companies whining "but how can we possibly compete with a publicly funded program?")

    I watched Bill Moyer's PBS show last night that discussed the single payor effort
    here's the link
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/05222009/watch.html

    After watching the show, I agree with RN4MERCY -we have to reform the campaign finance system before we can get true healthcare reform. When we have healthcare lobbyists spending $500 million dollars on influencing legislation rather than on providing healthcare, there is something very wrong. And who knows these politicians might actually get something useful done instead of having to raise funds to buy their next term in office.

    BTW -people routinely use the European/Canadian system comparison to show that, yes it can be done. Take away their publicly funded healthcare programs and substitute them with the US system and there would be full scale rioting in the streets.
  7. by   Agrippa
    One things for sure - you can't get any worse than our current state of affairs.
  8. by   Agrippa
    With President Obama and congressional leaders vowing to pass a health reform bill by the end of the year, a prominent Harvard-based health policy analyst warned a House subcommittee Thursday that the leading incremental models for reform, including those patterned after the Massachusetts plan, are incapable of containing skyrocketing health care costs or providing quality, affordable care to all.

    A single-payer reform would make care affordable through vast savings on bureaucracy and profits," Himmelstein said in his statement. "As my colleagues and I have shown in research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, administration consumes 31 percent of health spending in the U.S., nearly double what Canada spends. In other words, if we cut our bureaucratic costs to Canadian levels, we'd save nearly $400 billion annually - more than enough to cover the uninsured and to eliminate co-payments and deductibles for all Americans."

    A national health insurance program would slash the enormous paperwork burden on hospitals, doctors and patients, Himmelstein said, resulting in hundreds of billions in savings that could be redirected to patient care.

    Half-measures like those proposed by the Obama administration and key lawmakers like Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), many of which mirror aspects of the Massachusetts reform of 2006, can't match the savings of a streamlined, publicly financed system, he said.

    Even if a "public plan option" emerges as part of the House and Senate reform bills, Himmelstein said, it won't be sufficient to challenge the inefficiencies and wastefulness of a multi-payer system: "A health reform plan that includes a public plan option might realize some savings on insurance overhead. However, as long as multiple private plans coexist with the public plan, hospitals and doctors would have to maintain their costly billing and internal cost tracking apparatus. Indeed, my colleagues and I estimate that even if half of all privately insured Americans switched to a public plan with overhead at Medicare's level, the administrative savings would amount to only 9 percent of the savings under single payer."

    Citing his direct experience with the Massachusetts plan, which is facing critical financial problems, Himmelstein commented: "Prevention, disease management, computers and a health insurance exchange were supposed to make reform affordable. Instead, costs have skyrocketed, rising 23 percent between 2005 and 2007, and the insurance exchange adds 4 percent for its own administrative costs on top of the already high overhead charged by private insurers. As a result, 1 in 5 Massachusetts residents went without care last year because they couldn't afford it. Hundreds of thousands remain uninsured, and the state has drained money from safety-net hospitals and clinics to keep the reform afloat."

    While the conventional wisdom in Washington is that single-payer national health insurance is "not feasible" and therefore "off the table," public opinion polls have shown solid majorities continue to support such an approach. In a survey published by the Annals of Internal Medicine a year ago, 59 percent of U.S. physicians said they favored government action to establish a national health insurance program, a 10-percentage-point leap from only five years prior.
    http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/april/...of_david_u.php

    I can see the naysayer's reply now..."hes from Harvard...hes an elitist! You can't believe him! I'm not even going to dignify him by responding to his data! So there. You're wrong. I don't believe you. Socialist hippie."
  9. by   UKRNinUSA
    Better to be an educated, informed, socialist hippie with empathy for the common man's plight than a victim of brainwashing by greedy fatcats intent on furthering their personal agenda of acquiring as much wealth and power as they can at the expense of the rest of us.

    But that's just me -peace and love to y'all (greedy fatcats and their victims included)

    p.s. Isn't empathy for the common man's plight the reason why we all went into nursing in the first place ?
    Last edit by UKRNinUSA on May 23, '09

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