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California Universal Health Care Bill Passes

California 2006 Health Care Financial Ruin Democrats

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#41 FlatlandDan

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 02:56 PM

I've been lucky with the NHS.  Everytime I've needed to see a doctor, I've been offered an appointment within an hour.  If I want to see my GP, they'll offer me something at some point in the day.  My birth control is free (which is an amazing benefit). I found an NHS dentist no problem and he's fantastic.  I've found no problems when I've moved areas with transfering my files or finding new services.

Hurrah for the NHS!!  They're doing just fine in my books.
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It gives a lovely light."
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#42 tennyson

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 03:08 PM

Quote

Evidently, the new trend is for Americans to travel to other countries to have some medical procedures done because the cost of travel and medical care is less than what they'd have to pay out of pocket--even with insurance--to have the procedure done here.

Yeah along with a healthy dose of "let the buyer beware". and the people who can afford to do this aren't the ones who are dependent upon the health care system for thier services anyway if they have the rescources to go to all that trouble out of pocket for thier health care.
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#43 Rhea

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 03:59 PM

I'd be thrilled if Congress were spending a fraction of the money spent in Iraq on universal health care. For some reason, though, the Republicans mostly have a big hard-on about it. God forbid that poor folks get coverage.  :eek:

Besides, considering how they f*ck*d up the Medicare prescription coverage, I'm not sure I want THIS congress to diddle around with universal health care anyway. Maybe when some more reasonable people are voted in...
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#44 Spectacles

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:42 PM

View Posttennyson, on Sep 10 2006, 04:08 PM, said:

Quote

Evidently, the new trend is for Americans to travel to other countries to have some medical procedures done because the cost of travel and medical care is less than what they'd have to pay out of pocket--even with insurance--to have the procedure done here.

Yeah along with a healthy dose of "let the buyer beware". and the people who can afford to do this aren't the ones who are dependent upon the health care system for thier services anyway if they have the rescources to go to all that trouble out of pocket for thier health care.

It amazed me, too, that people would pay to travel out of the country to have procedures done, but apparently it's a growing trend. And they're doing it because their out-of-pocket costs, even with insurance, are more expensive than, say, flying to Thailand to have spinal fusion surgery.

Quote

In December, the Boynton Beach, Fla., nursery owner was told by his American doctors that he would need spinal fusion surgery. The price he was quoted was close to $70,000, and under his American States individual health insurance policy, he would be responsible for $14,000 of the tab.

So Thailand beckoned again.

This time, Mr. Pearson, who just turned 60, checked in to the sleekly modern Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, where he received a less radical form of spinal surgery that has made him feel like a new man.

The second bottom line? For the surgery, a four-day hospital stay, an extra week in a recuperation center and round-trip plane tickets for himself and a partner, the total bill came to just under $7,000.

Bruce Pearson had thus become a willing volunteer in of one of the fastest-growing trends in modern health care -- "medical tourism," or going overseas for cheaper medical treatment.

While no one officially tracks the phenomenon, the statistics at Bumrungrad International give a sense of how fast it is growing.

Last year, Bumrungrad treated 58,000 American patients, 70 percent of whom traveled there especially for such procedures as hip and knee replacement, angioplasty and prostate removal, said spokesman Ruben Toral. That was 25 percent more U.S. patients than it treated in 2004, he said, and so far this year, American patients are running 20 percent above last year's figures.  

Medical tourism has existed for years, but until recently, it mainly consisted of Americans traveling abroad for cosmetic surgery, or wealthy foreigners coming to the U.S. for organ transplants and other advanced medical procedures.

Today, however, travel to India, Thailand, Malaysia and Latin America for medical care is being driven by Americans who don't have health insurance or have only minimal coverage.

A report by the U.S. Census Bureau last month said that the number of Americans with no health insurance climbed nearly 3 percent in 2005 to 46.6 million.

While many of those people are the working poor, "what doesn't often come out is that 15 million of those people have family incomes of at least $85,000 a year," said Thomas Keesling, founder of IndUShealth, a North Carolina agency that is routing American patients to India.

Many of those folks are self-employed business owners such as Bruce Pearson, or professionals who have been denied insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions, or employees who are being asked to bear an increasing share of their companies' health insurance premiums.

At some companies, the typical premium for a family of four is $11,000 a year, and employees are being asked to pick up 25 percent to 30 percent of that amount, so that "you're out several thousand dollars before you even draw on the health care delivery system for anything," said Paul Mango, head of the North American health care practice at consulting firm McKinsey & Co
.

Something is seriously amiss, I'd say. It's good that these people have the resources to fly out of the country to save themselves several thousand dollars for surgeries, but I feel for the ones who don't have those resources and are either under-insured or stuck with massive deductibles. People who make too much for Medicaid but too little for a plane ticket to Thailand plus medical expenses are simply stuck, often with pain that lowers their quality of life.

The whole thing is mind-blowing to me....58,000 Americans traveling to Thailand last year alone to save money on medical procedures? And "medical tourism" a growing industry fueled by inadequate private insurance and rising health care costs in the U.S.? Holy moly....
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#45 tennyson

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 05:19 PM

Interesting I wish there were better data.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#46 Lin731

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 06:47 PM

Hey Spec, I saw a special I think on CNN on the issue of medical tourists and the funniest part, a large chunck of the docs treating them overseas were trained and board certified here in the US. So the real question for me is, why are these docs going to other countries when the pay is far lower for their services?
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#47 tennyson

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 08:24 PM

There are things beyond pay, although some of them will make equivalent money at home in relation to its economy as they would in the US. They have connections to home, family and culture and possibly a desire to bring back the knowledge they have gained and use it in thier homeland. Many people would gladly take a pay cut to maintain the web of connections that defines them and unites them with others in terms of family, shared values and culture.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#48 Themis

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 07:45 AM

View PostLin731, on Sep 10 2006, 05:39 PM, said:

I have a friend still working where I used to work, the place that led to back surgery (and I think she's working on her own "zipper neck" as I type this). It's too physically demanding but she can't quit. Why? Because she has pre-existing medical conditions. If she changed jobs, she'd most likely be denied coverage by a new employer.


IF you manage to get a new job while still employed so you can go direct from one to another, HIPAA provides that if you were covered by insurance and qualify for a new policy within three months (a standard waiting period in a new job), the new policy has to cover pre-existing conditions.   I don't know how COBRA affects that - you can pay on your own to keep your coverage for three months (maybe 6 - I'm with a small company not covered by COBRA but Tennessee law provides that I could do that for three months),

People like me, who want to quit their job because they hate it and then devote full time to looking for a new one probably wouldn't be eligible for a new policy within 3 months... Group policies used to deny pre-existing conditions for a year; that may have changed as things are getting so much tighter.

So my mantra is "4 years and two months 'til Medicare."  Never thought I'd be in this position.  Of course we have two more years of the current administration, so Medicare may go bye-bye before I get there.

Themis

Edited by Themis, 11 September 2006 - 11:13 AM.

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#49 Palisades

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 08:19 AM

View PostSpectacles, on Sep 10 2006, 03:42 PM, said:

Something is seriously amiss, I'd say.

<snip>

58,000 Americans traveling to Thailand last year alone to save money on medical procedures? And "medical tourism" a growing industry fueled by inadequate private insurance and rising health care costs in the U.S.? Holy moly....
The cost of living is much lower in Thailand than in the U.S. Consequently, the doctors, medical professionals, and other hospital staff in Thailand can be paid a much lower salary than their U.S. counterparts and still have the same (if not a higher) standard of living.


Lin said:

We, at the very least need standardised forms for ALL providers.
Actually, the problem would be solved if the medical providers would just computerize. Computers can convert between different form formats quite quickly, and it's a simple if tedious functionality to program. That way every provider could use the form format that works best for it.

Edited by Solar Wind, 11 September 2006 - 08:34 AM.

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#50 Broph

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 09:32 AM

View PostGodeskian, on Sep 6 2006, 07:38 PM, said:

Unfortunately while everyone is 'covered' it's in many cases nothing more than a nice platitude. Someone I know has been waiting over five years, half a decade, for a simple piece of surgery that really doesn't qualify as elective, because she has NHS cover rather than private.

Exactly. And instead of being able to choose your insurance provider who may or may not allow certain procedures or medicines as opposed to one government-run agency that will have their own blanket veto.

And what will the rich do? They'll go for supplemental insurance, which the insurance companies will love since it will only cover things that aren't covered by state-run insurance, which won't come up that often for most people, and they'll charge an arm and a leg for it.

We already have clinics for people who don't have insurance in most places. Doesn't California have such clinics?

#51 Themis

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 11:22 AM

Clinics can handle colds, flu, bronchitis, maybe broken bones. I don't know that they're set up for anyone's continuous health care.  And many of those clinics get some government funding; better universal health care so someone can get continuing health care.  Again, most people won't go to clinics or ERs until something is critical; they don't use them for preventative care. Not adults, anyway, they might for infants and children since scools require immunizations.  There are a couple of church-sponsored free clinics in Nashville.  But if I become unemployed and lose insurance, that's not where I want to go to monitor my diabetes, cholesterol, heart, etc. etc. on a continuing basis.  I think there may be one free dental service. No insurance for that - I just have to go further in debt when I need root canals or crowns.

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#52 Rhea

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 11:50 AM

View PostBroph, on Sep 11 2006, 07:32 AM, said:

View PostGodeskian, on Sep 6 2006, 07:38 PM, said:

Unfortunately while everyone is 'covered' it's in many cases nothing more than a nice platitude. Someone I know has been waiting over five years, half a decade, for a simple piece of surgery that really doesn't qualify as elective, because she has NHS cover rather than private.

Exactly. And instead of being able to choose your insurance provider who may or may not allow certain procedures or medicines as opposed to one government-run agency that will have their own blanket veto.

And what will the rich do? They'll go for supplemental insurance, which the insurance companies will love since it will only cover things that aren't covered by state-run insurance, which won't come up that often for most people, and they'll charge an arm and a leg for it.

We already have clinics for people who don't have insurance in most places. Doesn't California have such clinics?

Yes, we do. At great expesne. And they still using friggin' emergency rooms as clinics, causing closure of hospitals due to uncollectible mountains of bills.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#53 Rhea

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 11:51 AM

View PostThemis, on Sep 11 2006, 05:45 AM, said:

So my mantra is "4 years and two months 'til Medicare."  Never thought I'd be in this position.  Of course we have two more years of the current administration, so Medicare may go bye-bye before I get there.

Themis


You and me both. With two more years of Bush and this spendthirft Congress, I'm beginning to worry whether there will be anything left when I get to be eligible.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#54 Nonny

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 12:39 PM

View PostThemis, on Sep 11 2006, 09:22 AM, said:

I think there may be one free dental service. No insurance for that - I just have to go further in debt when I need root canals or crowns.

Themis
Most free dental services in this country are limited to extractions.  That's right, pulling out otherwise healthy teeth that might just hurt for need of a simple filling.   Extraction.  A filling might cost less, but it won't be covered by the agency providing the care, and this goes for the VA too.  

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#55 Rhea

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 01:01 PM

View PostNonny, on Sep 11 2006, 10:39 AM, said:

View PostThemis, on Sep 11 2006, 09:22 AM, said:

I think there may be one free dental service. No insurance for that - I just have to go further in debt when I need root canals or crowns.

Themis
Most free dental services in this country are limited to extractions.  That's right, pulling out otherwise healthy teeth that might just hurt for need of a simple filling.   Extraction.  A filling might cost less, but it won't be covered by the agency providing the care, and this goes for the VA too.  

Nonny
I need two more bridges at the moment - the quote for one (my half) was $1800. I don't know yet about the other smaller one.

I went into hock to get the first fixed bridge, and I guess I'll go further in hock to get at least one of the others.

Dental insurance in this country is a joke. It covers routine care, fillings and extractions. Everything else is either not covered or at 50%.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#56 Palisades

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 01:06 PM

View PostRhea, on Sep 11 2006, 12:01 PM, said:

I need two more bridges at the moment - the quote for one (my half) was $1800. I don't know yet about the other smaller one.

<snip>

Dental insurance in this country is a joke. It covers routine care, fillings and extractions. Everything else is either not covered or at 50%.
Why is it that you expect other people to pick up the tab for things that you want?
"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

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#57 Themis

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 02:24 PM

Didn't you see the word "need"  in Rhea's post?????

As far as dentistry, people "want" tooth whitening, gaps closed and other cosmetic procedures.  People "need" bridges, root canals, crowns and other joyous things.  And most dental insurance, and I'm talking PRIVATE dental insurance, only covers routine care, not the really expensive stuff.

Actually I think the free clinic in Nashville handles fillings and such, but I also think it's open very few hours and has quite a waiting list, which doesn't help if your tooth actually hurts.

Themis
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#58 Palisades

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 02:54 PM

View PostThemis, on Sep 11 2006, 01:24 PM, said:

Didn't you see the word "need"  in Rhea's post?????

As far as dentistry, people "want" tooth whitening, gaps closed and other cosmetic procedures.  People "need" bridges, root canals, crowns and other joyous things.  And most dental insurance, and I'm talking PRIVATE dental insurance, only covers routine care, not the really expensive stuff.

Actually I think the free clinic in Nashville handles fillings and such, but I also think it's open very few hours and has quite a waiting list, which doesn't help if your tooth actually hurts.

Themis

People definitely don't need bridges and crowns. Bridges keep the teeth from shifting, which is nice but hardly a necessity. As for crowns, my dentist recommended that I get a crown for one of my teeth that I chipped quite badly. However, I haven't because I don't think it's worth the cost. Instead, the tooth just has some type of dental bonding where half of the tooth used to be. And the dental bonding is just for cosmetic purposes. The tooth is dead. I suppose you think that people should be forced to give up their personal savings or wages to buy me that crown though.

Which brings up the subject of root canals. I noticed that the above mentioned tooth felt kind of funny but ignored it for a year or so until I got around to seeing the dentist again for a regular checkup. He looked at the tooth and said I should have a root canal. So I had the root canal. I guess I "needed" the root canal for almost a year but somehow managed to live just fine without it for that same length of time.

~shrug~ I don't see why healthy people should be forced to sacrifice for unhealthy people they don't know -- especially since many people who are unhealthy are unhealthy since they made decisions to eat unhealthy diets, not exercise, and live unhealthy lifestyles.

I'd rather that taxes not confiscate an even higher percentage of my income and investment profits. That way I can continue to save up and afford to buy a house in a few years.

Edited by Solar Wind, 11 September 2006 - 04:23 PM.

"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

FKA:
TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#59 Themis

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 05:00 PM

I had two root canals because I was in extreme pain.  Sorry you didn't get to experience the joy, but gee, maybe your turn will come.  :devil:

I would rather my tax money go to universal health care rather than to many other places it's going.  Right now the US is following the grand tradition of taking care of people in other countries and leaving its own citizens to founder.  Aside from helping to look after one's fellow citizens, it would get a lot of them care before things became critical.  I'd rather some tax money let someone see the doctor for bronchitis rather than coughing their germs all over me.  ER care is more expensive, as is caring for a condition after it has progressed rather than when it is incubating, and the hospitals who have to provide that care to the ininsured will land in financial trouble and not be there to take care of you when you're sick.

You seem to be only able to see how it would affect your own bottom line.  I prefer to see how it affects the country as a whole.

Are you by any chance a republican??!! :angel:

You're probably safe for several years because it's probably a case of the situation having to get a lot worse before the idiots in the legislature do something to make it better.  

Themis
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#60 Rhea

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 07:44 PM

View PostSolar Wind, on Sep 11 2006, 12:54 PM, said:

View PostThemis, on Sep 11 2006, 01:24 PM, said:

Didn't you see the word "need"  in Rhea's post?????

As far as dentistry, people "want" tooth whitening, gaps closed and other cosmetic procedures.  People "need" bridges, root canals, crowns and other joyous things.  And most dental insurance, and I'm talking PRIVATE dental insurance, only covers routine care, not the really expensive stuff.

Actually I think the free clinic in Nashville handles fillings and such, but I also think it's open very few hours and has quite a waiting list, which doesn't help if your tooth actually hurts.

Themis

People definitely don't need bridges and crowns. Bridges keep the teeth from shifting, which is nice but hardly a necessity. As for crowns, my dentist recommended that I get a crown for one of my teeth that I chipped quite badly. However, I haven't because I don't think it's worth the cost. Instead, the tooth just has some type of dental bonding where half of the tooth used to be. And the dental bonding is just for cosmetic purposes. The tooth is dead. I suppose you think that people should be forced to give up their personal savings or wages to buy me that crown though.

Which brings up the subject of root canals. I noticed that the above mentioned tooth felt kind of funny but ignored it for a year or so until I got around to seeing the dentist again for a regular checkup. He looked at the tooth and said I should have a root canal. So I had the root canal. I guess I "needed" the root canal for almost a year but somehow managed to live just fine without it for that same length of time.

~shrug~ I don't see why healthy people should be forced to sacrifice for unhealthy people they don't know -- especially since many people who are unhealthy are unhealthy since they made decisions to eat unhealthy diets, not exercise, and live unhealthy lifestyles.

I'd rather that taxes not confiscate an even higher percentage of my income and investment profits. That way I can continue to save up and afford to buy a house in a few years.

I don't believe I said anything about anybody sacrificing anything for me. I work full time and damn hard for an employer who provides dental insurance for me. As for the bridges, I really can't begin to tell how how appalling I find your assumption that I'm somehow asking anybody to friggin' pay anything for me.

And even my mother, who's 80 and on Medicare, which she paid into all of her life, still pays for expensive supplemental insurance so that what Medicare doesn't cover is paid for.

You can take your assumptions and put 'em where the sun don't shine.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH



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