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Medical bills tied to 60 percent of bankruptcies

Health Care 2009

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#21 Vapor Trails

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 11:13 PM

View PostCertifiably Cait, on Jun 5 2009, 12:09 AM, said:

{{{{{{{{Rhea }}}}}}}}}  Just because you can never be hugged enough in my opinion.

Don't think I've forgotten YOU, buster. :p

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#22 Lover of Purple

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 11:27 PM

I've read this before about bankruptcy and medical bills.

Low cost supplemental insurance (like AFLAC) often helps people avoid bankruptcy due to medical bills (especially if they have a major medical insurance policy). These insurance programs help out by paying the person cash directly so they may be able to keep their bills current. Many of these illnesses are often unavoidable (like cancer) so it isn't their fault. Even heart attacks happen to healthy, active people. I strongly suggest people look into them, especially if their family history includes any major problems. Also, accident supplemental insurance of these same types could also help. Maybe the government should be educating people about such programs to help with people that can afford them, it could help reduce future stress on any government programs developed.

#23 Cait

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 11:31 PM

View PostPalisade, on Jun 4 2009, 08:14 PM, said:

^ You seem to think that long-term, America does not have to live within its means with regard to health care.

While I agree with you that America has to live within its means, I don't think you've looked at what it means to a society or community to live without certain services.  If children can't get immunized, we chance infectious diseases making a return and infecting people.  People who drop dead or go into coma's from diabetic shock.  The overload on infrasturcture, emergency rooms, EMT's, etc.  All of the things we don't do have an affect on an entire community, or a least potentially do.

Some of us aren't bleeding Liberal Blue to cover the "children", we're aware of what the cost will be if we don't do it.  Homeless in the streets raise the specter of disease from elimination alone.  People have to eliminate waste.  They will do it on your lawn if no facilities are available.  People who are starving will steal food.  One of the instinctive drives has been triggered--Survival.  No one is going to remember 'stealing food is a crime'  or sit down on a bus bench and starve to death.  People will steal.

If the population were small, we could all take the "F*ck them.  They should have lived within their means" approach.  They wold be far enough way that no lasting consequence would befall our community.  But we do have a huge population, and there is no place to "put" the poor and diseased.

When it comes to public health the state has a compelling interest in keeping disease under control to protect the rest of the population.  The state has a compelling interest in protecting private property from damage.  I seldom hear anyone talking about the consequences to the rest of us for denying basic health services or housing services to those that can't live within their health care means.  Most complain about the cost in taxpayer money, but no one looks at the reality of every day living without some of these services.  The consequences to you and me, NOT the poor who can't afford to live within their means.  It is enlightened "self interest" that motivates some of us, not some Liberal altruistic motivation.

Sometimes I think it is "pay for it now; or pay for it later -- only pay more later."

But, I still do believe we have to live within our health care means.  But then we should make plans for where to put all the bodies when they drop, what to do with the thieves who steal food, what to do when accidents on the freeways go up becuase heart attacks and strokes occur while someone is driving, etc. because they could not afford medication.  We either plan for how to take care of people's health, or we plan what to do with the consequences of poor health in our citizenry.  But either way, we're gonna pay.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#24 Cait

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 11:33 PM

View PostGhost Rider, on Jun 4 2009, 09:13 PM, said:

View PostCertifiably Cait, on Jun 5 2009, 12:09 AM, said:

{{{{{{{{Rhea }}}}}}}}}  Just because you can never be hugged enough in my opinion.

Don't think I've forgotten YOU, buster. :p

{{{{{{{{{{{Cait}}}}}}}}}}}}

:hugs: :hugs: :hugs:

I loves me my hugs.  Thanks Saul!!!  :)

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#25 Palisades

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 09:35 AM

View PostCertifiably Cait, on Jun 4 2009, 10:31 PM, said:

While I agree with you that America has to live within its means, I don't think you've looked at what it means to a society or community to live without certain services.


Personally, I think your horror story is exaggerated. Vaccines for infectious diseases are relatively cheap, so if it comes to the point where large swaths of families can't afford to immunize their children, we're pretty much screwed anyway. Large numbers of people have heart attacks and strokes today, but heart attacks and strokes don't even make the list when it comes to the major factors involved in traffic accidents.

I wonder if you've looked at the consequences of national insolvency. That's the logical consequence if medical care is paid for by the U.S. government and medical care continues its long-established trend of swallowing up ever more of our national output.

Before that happens, what you'd see is everything else getting squeezed: education, police protection, administration of justice, keeping prisoners locked up, road and Interstate maintenance, research and development (private and public), investing in our future.

Edited by Palisade, 05 June 2009 - 09:42 AM.

"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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#26 Nonny

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 10:11 AM

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Rhea}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
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"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

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#27 Nonny

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 10:13 AM

View PostPalisade, on Jun 5 2009, 07:35 AM, said:

View PostCertifiably Cait, on Jun 4 2009, 10:31 PM, said:

While I agree with you that America has to live within its means, I don't think you've looked at what it means to a society or community to live without certain services.


Personally, I think your horror story is exaggerated.
Tragically, I know it's not.
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#28 Rhea

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:35 AM

View PostPalisade, on Jun 4 2009, 08:14 PM, said:

^ You seem to think that long-term, America does not have to live within its means with regard to health care.

I still don't understand what you mean by that, apparently. How do you live within your means with regard to health care, specifically? You either have insurance or you don't. Right now, I'm paying $760 a month for medical insurance that I can guarantee you I can't afford. It's certainly not living within my means, but the alternative is unacceptable.

Or is it that you think that all the uninsured folks are somehow simply not scrimping enough to pay for health insurance?

It may be that you mean something else that I'm just not seeing, but it would help if you would articulate what you mean.

LoP, I have supplemental insurance through AARP. But all it does is pay $75 - 100 a day directly to you when you've been hospitalized, which helps, but is a drop in the bucket. I've never read of supplemental insurance that does anything else.

When you're on Medicare, you pretty much have to get a supplemental policy to make up what Medicare doesn't pay. Those work differently. And they're way cheaper than conventional health insurance. (My mom pays $300 a month for hers, but in all the years she's had it, she's never had to pay a penny for anything other than prescriptions, and that includes any kind of medical care, up to and including hospitalization.)

Edited by Rhea, 05 June 2009 - 11:39 AM.

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.
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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

#29 Palisades

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:38 AM

View PostRhea, on Jun 5 2009, 10:35 AM, said:

View PostPalisade, on Jun 4 2009, 08:14 PM, said:

^ You seem to think that long-term, America does not have to live within its means with regard to health care.

I still don't understand what you mean by that, apparently. How do you live within your means with regard to health care, specifically?

Some medical procedures and/or treatments are foregone.

Edited by Palisade, 05 June 2009 - 11:39 AM.

"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

#30 Rhea

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:41 AM

View PostCertifiably Cait, on Jun 4 2009, 09:33 PM, said:

View PostGhost Rider, on Jun 4 2009, 09:13 PM, said:

View PostCertifiably Cait, on Jun 5 2009, 12:09 AM, said:

{{{{{{{{Rhea }}}}}}}}}  Just because you can never be hugged enough in my opinion.

Don't think I've forgotten YOU, buster. :p

{{{{{{{{{{{Cait}}}}}}}}}}}}

:hugs: :hugs: :hugs:

I loves me my hugs.  Thanks Saul!!!  :)

Me too. ;) And thanks, Nonny.

Edited by Rhea, 05 June 2009 - 11:42 AM.

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

#31 Rhea

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:48 AM

View PostCertifiably Cait, on Jun 4 2009, 09:09 PM, said:

View PostRhea, on Jun 4 2009, 07:59 PM, said:

As you know better than most, sometimes the unexpected happens in life,as it has to both of us.

Yes, we do share a very specific experience.  Most people don't even know what kind of long term damage can be done.  They see you recovered after such an accident and from then on out, forget it ever happened.  You and I know that no one can get "hit" like that and not pay the price in illness and pain down the road.  As my doctor put it at the time, the skeletal system wasn't meant to take that kind of abuse.  You can recover, but your long term health will suffer.  It's just the way it is.

Additionally, you have a pre-existing that ALL insurance companies count when it comes to coverage.  I've had some pre-existing since I was 18.  That's a long time to go without any coverage on certain things.  They all like to say it is from a pre-existing, and I can't prove it isn't.

{{{{{{{{Rhea }}}}}}}}}  Just because you can never be hugged enough in my opinion.

Thanks. The main reason I stopped being self-employed after 16 years was that I could no longer get medical coverage on my own. The school system's group policy didn't have pre-exclusions, so that's the only reason I have insurance now where they can't cancel me. Nobody else will insure me because I'm on both retirement disability and Social Security disability (when you work in the school system you pay into both and are entitled to both, no matter how puny the amounts may be). But by law, they can't cancel the COBRA unless I fail to pay, and also by law I go on Medicare automatically in 2 years (less now), and the COBRA has to be extended till the Medicare kicks in (if I can manage to keep paying it, natch).

And I was 23 when I got hit, so I know exactly what you mean. And you've had a loss I can't begin to understand. Add that to your health problems and I wonder how you get out of bed in the morning.

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Cait}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
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

#32 Themis

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:51 AM

View PostPalisade, on Jun 5 2009, 04:38 PM, said:

Some medical procedures and/or treatments are foregone.

Examples, please, of procedures and treatments you think someone should forego if they don't have money up front or money for co-pays??
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#33 Rhea

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:02 PM

View PostPalisade, on Jun 5 2009, 07:35 AM, said:

View PostCertifiably Cait, on Jun 4 2009, 10:31 PM, said:

While I agree with you that America has to live within its means, I don't think you've looked at what it means to a society or community to live without certain services.


Personally, I think your horror story is exaggerated. Vaccines for infectious diseases are relatively cheap, so if it comes to the point where large swaths of families can't afford to immunize their children, we're pretty much screwed anyway. Large numbers of people have heart attacks and strokes today, but heart attacks and strokes don't even make the list when it comes to the major factors involved in traffic accidents.

A number of parents are electing NOT to vaccinate their children because they believe the horror stories about vaccines causing autism (absolutely not true). One local community decided en masse not to vaccinate their children because of the horror stories on the Internet, and a chicken pox epidemic swept through the town (which is mercifully small). One child was blinded and two died from a childhood disease that everyone thinks of as relatively benign. I think that the consequences of childhood diseases like mumps, measles and chicken pox are not real to these parents because they were born after vaccination was common. I was a child pre-vaccination, and every time there was an epidemic, kids died or were deafened or blinded or made sterile because of these diseases. Parents today haven't experienced that. They don't even get that's why the damn vaccinations exist in the first place.

The only reason parents are supposed to get out of vaccinating their kids in California is for religious reasons. But you wouldn't believe how many parents are not vaccinating their kids for stuff like chicken pox and then blithely signing off on religious grounds.

And it's not just that - it's also cultural differences. Some immigrants don't understand vaccination, are fearful not just of that but of doctors in general, and don't want their kids vaccinated. You can't imagine the cultural divide that exists between Hispanic immigrants and Americans. We've actually had to explain to parents about bathing, tooth brushing and deoderant. Especially deoderant. ;)

The point is that saying the poor should be able to get their kids vaccinated doesn't even begin to cover the problem. It's easy to say, but it also assumes that all people who don't get their kids vaccinated have the same circumstances and come from the same income group. Not so.

Edited by Rhea, 05 June 2009 - 12:03 PM.

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

#34 Rhea

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:04 PM

View PostThemis, on Jun 5 2009, 09:51 AM, said:

View PostPalisade, on Jun 5 2009, 04:38 PM, said:

Some medical procedures and/or treatments are foregone.

Examples, please, of procedures and treatments you think someone should forego if they don't have money up front or money for co-pays??

I'd like an answer to this one as well.
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

#35 Nick

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:08 PM

I'm curious--if you were king for a day, how would you change our healthcare system, Palisade?

Edited by Nick, 05 June 2009 - 12:08 PM.


#36 Palisades

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:10 PM

View PostThemis, on Jun 5 2009, 10:51 AM, said:

View PostPalisade, on Jun 5 2009, 04:38 PM, said:

Some medical procedures and/or treatments are foregone.

Examples, please, of procedures and treatments you think someone should forego if they don't have money up front or money for co-pays??

You'd like to phrase this as just me thinking it. Whether the expense of medical care is paid by the individual or born by the entire society, in the end, we're going to have to make some tough choices about what medical treatments/procedures will be paid for and which will be foregone. If we do not voluntarily make the decisions, external events will force them on us when the economy has been milked dry.

I would suggest that such decisions be made on the basis of the cost of the procedure/treatment relative to how much long-term good it does.

For example, stitching up a gash and setting broken bones are relatively high value.

Treating types of cancer prone to relapse is not. Neither is extravagant health care when death is imminent and treatment confers a respite measured in months.
"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

#37 Palisades

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:12 PM

View PostNick, on Jun 5 2009, 11:08 AM, said:

I'm curious--if you were king for a day, how would you change our healthcare system, Palisade?


Increase transparency into pricing.
"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

#38 Rhea

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:12 PM

View PostPalisade, on Jun 5 2009, 10:10 AM, said:

View PostThemis, on Jun 5 2009, 10:51 AM, said:

View PostPalisade, on Jun 5 2009, 04:38 PM, said:

Some medical procedures and/or treatments are foregone.

Examples, please, of procedures and treatments you think someone should forego if they don't have money up front or money for co-pays??

You'd like to phrase this as just me thinking it. Whether the expense of medical care is paid by the individual or born by the entire society, in the end, we're going to have to make some tough choices about what medical treatments/procedures will be paid for and which will be foregone. If we do not voluntarily make the decisions, external events will force them on us when the economy has been milked dry.

I would suggest that such decisions be made on the basis of the cost of the procedure/treatment relative to how much long-term good it does.

For example, stitching up a gash and setting broken bones are relatively high value.

Treating types of cancer prone to relapse is not. Neither is extravagant health care when death is imminent and treatment confers a respite measured in months.

Am I understanding you that you would make decisions on who lives and who dies (and how they die) based on the cost of treatment?
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

#39 Nick

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:22 PM

View PostRhea, on Jun 5 2009, 01:12 PM, said:

Am I understanding you that you would make decisions on who lives and who dies (and how they die) based on the cost of treatment?

I think he means individuals would decide based on the cost of treatment.  A terminal cancer patient would have the option of undergoing costly surgery, radiation therapy and chemo even if it was unlikely to cure them or extend their life a few more months--if they were willing and able to pay for it.

Otherwise, they see the $100k,$200k,etc price tag up front and opt to go for a "just make me comfortable" exit.

#40 Palisades

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:22 PM

View PostRhea, on Jun 5 2009, 11:12 AM, said:

Am I understanding you that you would make decisions on who lives and who dies (and how they die) based on the cost of treatment?

Based on value.

Edited by Palisade, 05 June 2009 - 12:23 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



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