Universal Health Coverage

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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:04 am

The United Kingdom, which has as much experience with socialized medicine as nearly any country, is moving to decentralize its system and put patients and doctors back in charge. This change is driven by public outrage over the poor quality of medical care that many receive from the National Health Service. This horror story illustrates what happens when health care providers no longer have to compete for your business: "Girl Texted Pics of Herself Dying."

A desperate woman texted photos of herself slowly DYING to her mum as she lay suffering on a hospital bed - being ignored by NHS doctors.

Tragic Jo Dowling, 25, sent over forty messages to her mother and best friend including pictures of a deadly rash spreading across her body as her life ebbed away.
The poor woman knew she was desperately ill, but couldn't convince her doctors and nurses to pay attention:

Doctors abandoned Jo on an observation ward and gave her headache tablets and fluids as they failed to spot the purple rash spread over her arms, hands and legs. As the hours passed terrified Jo took photos of her rash on her mobile phone and sent them to her mum and best friend describing her condition as "getting worse".

The meningitis bug left her in septic shock choking and coughing as fluid filled her lungs and she died four hours after her last text message - just 14 hours after arriving at hospital.

Her family yesterday accused the hospital of "neglect" after an inquest at Milton Keynes Coroners' Court heard doctors failed to spot she was suffering 'blood poisoning shock'. Coroner Tom Osborne criticised the hospital for a "communication breakdown" that led to her death as tragically a simple dose of penicillin and antibiotics would have saved Jo's life.

The inquest heard there were only two doctors on duty to cover the entire hospital the night Jo died.


That's what happens under government medicine. President Obama has said that his health care plan is designed to drive private insurance carriers out of business and thereby lead to socialized medicine over a 10 to 20 year period.

It is not too late to repeal Obamacare and put American medicine back on the right path.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:17 am

There were strikes in Greece when I was there. We were told medical care was one of the key issues. Apparently, medical care is very good in Greece, at the few hospitals that are there. Most medical outside of the main population centers is at private clinics, for which they are supposed to be reimbursed. Due to the financial situation in Greece, the reimbursements have not been happening.

Our cab driver says he pays 5000 Euros into the system, and gets nothing out of it, because the monies for reimbursement have not been forthcoming. The others we spoke to did not tell us how much they pay into the system.
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:02 pm

I've argued from the begining that the high cost of health care is not due to the insurance companies. If I'm wrong, then our healthcare problems will be solved.
Thinking is overrated
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:53 pm

Last week, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) had the staff of the Joint Economic Committee work on a flowchart of ObamaCare that has made the rounds of the blogosphere, thanks to its impossibly complicated representation:

Image



It turns out that Brady may be a master of understatement. According to Politico’s Gloria Park and Fred Barbash, no one can figure out exactly how many new agencies ObamaCare will spawn once it comes into effect. In fact, the Congressional Research Office can’t figure it out either. The language of the bill leaves open the possibility of an infinite string of new agencies and bureaucracies:

Don’t bother trying to count up the number of agencies, boards and commissions created under the new health care law. Estimating the number is “impossible,” a recent Congressional Research Service report says, and a true count “unknowable.”

The reasons for the uncertainty are many, according to CRS’s Curtis W. Copeland, the author of the report “New Entities Created Pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

The provisions of the law that create the new entities vary dramatically in specificity.

The law says a lot about some of them and a little about many, and merely mentions a few. Some have been authorized without any instructions on who is to appoint whom, when that might happen and who will pay.

Those agencies created without specific appointment or appropriations procedures will have to wait indefinitely for staff and funding before they can function, according to Copeland’s report.


Ironically, the CRS report intended to rebut the arguments made by Brady and others in crafting diagrams such as the one above. CRS wanted to say that there wasn’t enough certainty in the number of agencies, panels, and committees to put them into flowcharts with connecting lines. Like Nancy Pelosi once argued, the CRS report says that we can’t know what’s in ObamaCare until the government rolls it out.
That in itself is a big, big problem. It seems clear that Congress just authorized a self-perpetuating bureaucracy, one that can expand on its own and make determinations far outside of the boundaries Democrats promised during the ObamaCare debate. And if that’s true, then it is equally true that the claims made on the cost of administering ObamaCare had no real basis in fact. How can one estimate a cost for a bureaucracy that is entirely undefined in size and scope?

Brady probably didn’t create the chart above as a best-case scenario, but that may be indeed what it is, at least in terms of certainty.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:07 pm

This is what happens when bureaucracy itself becomes self-aware. It creates little bureaucracies which breed more bureaucracies. The decisions of the people nor their representatives will no longer be needed - bureaucracy itself will dictate the requirements for more bureaucracy, and create the bureaucracies to fill those requirements.
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby analog » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:03 pm

This is what happens when bureaucracy itself becomes self-aware. It creates little bureaucracies which breed more bureaucracies.


Parkinson described this in his book "Law of Delay", which describes how organizations become obese and die from it.
His data predicted that by 2035 everybody in Britain would be employed in civil service leaving nobody to produce anything.
He asked 'how can a people exist merely by reading one anothers' memoranda?'

We tried a variant, to exist by recycling one anothers' mortgage loans, that didn't work either.

a.
Cogito ergo doleo.
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Shapley » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:21 pm

The Greeks used to cast off their democracies every so often, when the burden of self-rule became too much. They would replace them with tyrants, apparently because tyrants had the ability to get things done, whereas Democracies tended to wallow in their own mess. The tyrannies would dissolve and democracy would creep in, only to be overthrown again when it slowed progress. Tyranny, in the true Greek meaning, does not denote any kind of wickedness, it merely refers to a ruler who exercises complete authority.

I have no desire to see tyranny here in the U.S. However, it is clear that our Republican form of government is bogged down and wallowing in its own mess. Methinks we need a shake-up of some type. Do you think the T.E.A. Party can have any impact?
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:07 pm

Today the Washington Post reports on an effort at the FDA to decertify Avastin as a treatment for breast cancer and its implications for cost savings at Medicare:

Federal regulators are considering taking the highly unusual step of rescinding approval of a drug that patients with advanced breast cancer turn to as a last-ditch hope.

The debate over Avastin, prescribed to about 17,500 women with breast cancer a year, has become entangled in the politically explosive struggle over medical spending and effectiveness that flared during the battle over health-care reform: How should the government balance protecting patients and controlling costs without restricting access to cutting-edge, and often costly, treatments? …

The FDA is not supposed to consider costs in its decisions, but if the agency rescinds approval, insurers are likely to stop paying for treatment.

“It’s hard to talk about Avastin without talking about costs,” said Eric P. Winer, director of the Breast Oncology Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. “For better or worse, Avastin has become in many ways the poster child of high-priced anti-cancer drugs.”


With the new ObamaCare regime in place, the issue of cost has now become openly part of the FDA process. This is a perversion of their mission, which is supposed to only involve product safety and effectiveness, not bean-counting. If Medicare doesn’t want to cover Avastin, that should be a separate issue handled by CMS and HHS. This strongly suggests that the FDA has become politicized to a degree where their recommendations lose credibility — a dangerous situation for consumers and providers alike.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Shapley » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:38 am

Image


Let me get this straight. We're going to be "gifted" with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don't, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, to be signed by a president who also smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke.

What the hell could possibly go wrong?
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby piqaboo » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:53 pm

oh dear.
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:14 am

The Obama administration reshuffled the rollout of Obamacare in order to convince Americans what a great deal they would get. By “front-loading” the most popular provisions to make them effective immediately, the White House hoped that the momentum would shift to support for the one legislative achievement of Barack Obama.. Instead, ObamaCare remains as unpopular as ever, and the bill will come due just before the midterms:

Health insurers say they plan to raise premiums for some Americans as a direct result of the health overhaul in coming weeks, complicating Democrats’ efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before the midterm elections.

Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators.

These and other insurers say Congress’s landmark refashioning of U.S. health coverage, which passed in March after a brutal fight, is causing them to pass on more costs to consumers than Democrats predicted.


There is more than a little irony involved:

In addition to pledging that the law would restrain increases in Americans’ insurance premiums, Democrats front-loaded the legislation with early provisions they hoped would boost public support. Those include letting children stay on their parents’ insurance policies until age 26, eliminating co-payments for preventive care and barring insurers from denying policies to children with pre-existing conditions, plus the elimination of the coverage caps.

Weeks before the election, insurance companies began telling state regulators it is those very provisions that are forcing them to increase their rates.


These premium hikes will hit individual and small-group plans hardest. The ObamaCare bill was supposed to make it easier on individual policyholders, not tougher. Instead, they’ll pay the biggest cost in the short term.

The White House has already accused these insurers of unfair pricing, but that just proves that the administration didn’t understand the industry they want to run. Front-loading new benefit mandates means higher costs for insurers. Insurers pass higher costs to consumers in premium increases. If there were no costs associated with these new benefit mandates, they wouldn’t have had to been mandated in the first place. This is Econ 101, and yet no one in the Obama administration appeared to have realized what “front-loading” new benefits would mean.

Democrats have tried pleading that ObamaCare will eventually lower costs for everyone while giving more benefits to everyone, an empty promise that will get exposed much sooner than they anticipated, thanks to the Obama administration. Small wonder most of them have stopped talking about ObamaCare on the campaign trail.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Shapley » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:30 am

If they had any idea why insurance companies require co-payments, they would realize the effect of mandate their reduction or elimination on some proceedures. It ain't rocket science.

Unfortunately, Democrat politicians don't understand even that simple economic concept...
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Marye » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:40 am

Called my doctor yesterday looking for an appointment. "Suffered this long" I said, "So I can wait". "Come tomorrow morning at 9 am." So I did. "You need an xray, Mary. Go next door and I will call you this afternoon." X-ray took 5 minutes including the wait. In to work within an hour. Probably the same service you in the U.S. get, except it didn't cost me anything. Still prefer my sort of universal health coverage.
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:44 am

Marye wrote:Called my doctor yesterday looking for an appointment. "Suffered this long" I said, "So I can wait". "Come tomorrow morning at 9 am." So I did. "You need an xray, Mary. Go next door and I will call you this afternoon." X-ray took 5 minutes including the wait. In to work within an hour. Probably the same service you in the U.S. get, except it didn't cost me anything. Still prefer my sort of universal health coverage.


Hi Mary!!!

You must keep in mind we're not interested in taking care of people's health down here; it's all about keeping the health care industry profitable, you see. :wink:
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Shapley » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:45 am

Actually, we're interested in taking care of people down here, but we don't agree on how to do it, or who has to pay for it. It's the same debate we've had for decades.
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Marye » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:46 am

OperaTenor wrote:
Marye wrote:Called my doctor yesterday looking for an appointment. "Suffered this long" I said, "So I can wait". "Come tomorrow morning at 9 am." So I did. "You need an xray, Mary. Go next door and I will call you this afternoon." X-ray took 5 minutes including the wait. In to work within an hour. Probably the same service you in the U.S. get, except it didn't cost me anything. Still prefer my sort of universal health coverage.


Hi Mary!!!

You must keep in mind we're not interested in taking care of people's health down here; it's all about keeping the health care industry profitable, you see. :wink:


Oh that's right I forgot. :lol:

Nice to say HEY OT! again.
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby piqaboo » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:01 pm

I like copays. They make me think.
I hate medical horror stories. They make me use up copays.
Meningitis can look like ANYTHING (except a healthy child).
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:11 am

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby piqaboo » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:12 pm

So what does that mean?
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Re: Universal Health Coverage

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:01 pm

piqaboo wrote:So what does that mean?


Image

You'll pay more for less care
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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