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Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION

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Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION

Posted by Charles [448.2996] on August 21, 2009 at 09:08:27:

Real Health Care Reform - Universal Single Payer
The best solution is off-the-table because it doesn't protect high profits for health insurance and drug companies

by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Health insurance and Big Pharma lobbying and political contributions will continue at a ferocious pace, and, as always, will yield industry-friendly results at the expense of real change. Their stranglehold only allows minor changes, possibly making the system worse. Organizations like Physicians for a National Health Program want Americans to have the same system in place in all other Western countries and elsewhere, including Venezuela, South Korea, Japan, Cuba, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. But not in America - the only industrialized country without it despite spending more than double per capita than the other 30 OECD countries and delivering less for it.

In a September 2007 report to Congress, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) compared 2004 US health care spending with other OECD countries:

America then averaged $6,102 per person, well over double the average $2,560 for OECD countries;
US health care spending was 15.3% of the economy compared to 8.9% on average for OECD countries; for Canada it was 9.9%; Germany - 10.6%; Great Britain - 8.1%; France - 10.5%; and Japan 8.0%;
"US prices for medical care commodities and services are significantly higher than in other countries (delivering comparable care) and serve as a key determinant of higher overall spending;" high insurance and drug costs are the most significant factors;
life expectancy in America is lower than in other OECD countries;
the US ranks 22nd on life expectancy at birth; post-65, it's 11th for men and 13th for women;
America has the third highest infant mortality rate after Turkey and Mexico;
heart disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases are the top OECD country causes of death; America ranks 17th for heart disease "despite (performing) substantially more invasive heart procedures than all the other (OECD) countries;"
quality of US health care isn't superior overall; nor do Americans "have substantially better access to health care resources, even putting aside the issue of the uninsured;" and
because of the cost, many Americans delay or forego treatment.
World Health Organization's (WHO) Ranking of World Health Systems
WHO ranks America 37th overall, behind Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iceland, Malta, Colombia, Cyprus, Morocco and Costa Rica and about equal to Slovenia and Cuba.

In other measures, it has the US 24th on life expectancy, 72nd on level of health, 32nd in distribution of care, 54 - 55th in financial contribution fairness, 15th in overall goal attainment, and first in per capita amount spent. If Obamacare is adopted, it will drop America lower in world rankings by making its dysfunctional system worse.

In a 2007 Commonwealth Fund study comparing Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the UK and US, America ranks last as in its earlier studies on access, patient safety, efficiency, chronic care management, and equity. Most notable is its absence of universal coverage. Overall, the US ranks poorly on its ability to promote healthy lives through affordable, high quality care. Its for-profit system prevents it.

National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) Data
Founded in 1990, NCHC is the "largest and most broadly representative alliance working to improve America's health care." Its membership includes Common Cause, Consumers Union, AARP, Children's Defense Fund, several labor unions, numerous medical groups, including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and American Academy of Family Physicians, League of Women Voters, and National Council of La Raza. Below are data it reports on US health care coverage, costs and quality.

Health insurance coverage:
most Americans have employer-provided insurance; costs are shared, and as industrial America became more service-based, employment no longer assures coverage, and when it does it's often woefully inadequate;
in 2007, about 46 million Americans were uninsured, and nearly 90 million (about one-third of the below-aged 65 population) lacked coverage during some portion of the year;
working adults with no insurance topped 20% in 2006; the same year (before today's economic crisis) 1.3 million full-time workers lost coverage; and
employment-based coverage was 62% in 2007; rising insurance costs are largely to blame; from 1999 - 2007, premiums rose 120%, over four times the rate of wage growth;
annual costs are rising at twice the rate of inflation;
in 2007, it was about $2.4 trillion or $7900 per capita;
estimated 2017 spending is projected to be $4.3 trillion or 20% of GDP;
for 2008, the average cost of health insurance for a family of four was about $12,700; it topped $4700 for single coverage but is much higher for older singles and those with a history of poor health;
employee contributions to company-provided coverage rose 120% since 2000; out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and co-payments rose 115%;
medical expenses are the leading cause of personal bankruptcies;
in normal economic times, about 1.5 million families lose their homes annually because of unaffordable medical costs; and
America spends six times more per capita on administrative costs than other industrialized nations.
despite spending more than twice per capita of other developed countries, America ranks low on many quality measures, including life expectancy, infant mortality, and ability to receive needed care;
only 54.9% get the care they need; over 100 million insured Americans get sub-standard treatment, especially for high-cost procedures, surgeries, hospitalizations, and other extended care; and
overall America's health care system fails to deliver quality care to growing millions; affordability is the major factor.
Families USA on Americans Losing Health Care Coverage
Calling itself the advocacy organization for "high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans," Families USA says US Census Bureau data "indicate that some 45.7 million Americans lacked health coverage in 2007." On its web site, it says nearly 3.7 million more lost coverage since January 1, 2008. Those without it now number nearly 50 million, and their ranks are rising exponentially each month.

A May 2009 Health Todd Gilmer - Richard Kronick study estimated the following:

44,230 Americans currently lose health coverage each week;
191,670 each month;
2.3 million each year; and
by yearend 2010, 6.9 million more Americans will be without it unless new policy measures halt it.
Unfortunately, Families USA supports Obamacare (with a public option) calling it "Long overdue steps to modernize the system, improve the quality of care provided, and curb unnecessary spending so our American care system delivers the best possible care." Current House and Senate bills fall short on each count and won't direct spending where it's most needed.

Single-Payer Legislation in Congress
On January 26, 2009, HR 676: United States National Health Care Act or the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act was introduced in the House "To provide for comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United States residents, improved health care delivery, and for other purposes." It was referred to the House Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Natural Resources Committees. No further action was taken.

The bill proposes the following:

establishes the United States National Health Care (USNHC) Program to provide all residents in America and US territories with free health coverage - including all necessary care, primary and preventive care, prescription drugs, emergency care, long-term care, mental health services, dental services, and vision care;
only public and non-profit institutions may participate;
patients may freely choose their providers;
prohibits private health insurance duplicative of this act; insurers may sell non-medically necessary benefits like non-essential cosmetic surgery;
establishes a USNHC Trust Fund to finance the program from existing government revenues, a personal income tax increase on the top 5% of earners, a Tobin-type tax on stock and bond transactions, and progressive payroll and self-employment income taxation;
creates a confidential electronic patient record system;
establishes a National Board of Universal Quality and Access to advise on quality, access, and affordability; and
integrates the Indian Health Service and Department of Veterans Affairs programs into the new one.
On March 25, 2009, S. 703: American Health Security Act of 2009 was introduced in the Senate "to provide for health care for every American and to control the cost and enhance the quality of the health care system." It was referred to the Senate Finance Committee. It had no co-sponsors, and no further action was taken.

The legislation is largely similar to the House bill to provide all lawful US residents with health care services. It establishes a State-Based American Health Security Program, an American Health Security Standards (developmental and administrative) Board, and an American Health Security Quality Council to review and evaluate guidelines, quality standards, performance measures, medical review criteria, and develop minimum competence criteria. It also creates the Office of Primary Care and Prevention Research at NIH within the Director's office and amends the Internal Revenue Code to fund the program.

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)

With over 16,000 physician members nationwide, PNHP believes universal single-payer coverage is a human right no different from food, shelter, clothing, and other essentials to life and well-being. High-quality health care "should be provided equitably as a public service rather than bought and sold as a commodity." All barriers to proper treatment must be removed for "the uninsured, the poor, minority populations and immigrants, both documented and undocumented."

Social justice demands democratic, not corporate, control, "public administration, and (equitable) single-payer financing" by progressive taxation. Doctors should be "professional advocates for (their) patients," not burdened under a wasteful system or constrained from delivering essential care by bureaucratic gatekeepers denying expensive treatments and excluding pre-existing conditions to control costs. Providers should be care-givers, not manipulated tools of marketplace medicine.

The Hippocratic Oath should be sacred under which physicians observe the highest ethical and moral standards - above all to deliver high quality care using their full range of knowledge, skills and tools. Only under universal single-payer coverage, freed from a for-profit bureaucracy, is that possible.

In testimony before Congress on June 24, PHNP's Dr. Quentin Young said:

Current congressional legislation "will fail miserably in its purported goal of providing comprehensive, sustainable health coverage to all Americans. And it will fail whether or not it includes a so-called 'public option'....."

"....single-payer national health insurance is not just the only path to universal coverage, it is the most politically feasible path to health care for all, because it pays for itself, requiring no new sources of revenue." It eliminates costly private insurance, achieves huge administrative savings (over $400 billion), and redirects them for care.

"Elimination of US-style private insurance has been a prerequisite (to achieve) universal (coverage) in every other industrialized country in the world." America's structurally defective model can't be fixed under current House and Senate proposals. Universal "single payer is the only fiscally responsible option. Two-thirds of (Americans) support it." Most physicians do as well plus the US Conference of Mayors, 39 state labor organizations, and hundreds of local unions across the country. This committee must take the lead to provide it.

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Re: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION

Posted by Ron [3468.1575] on August 21, 2009 at 11:43:39:

In Reply to: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION posted by Charles [448.2996] on August 21, 2009 at 09:08:27:

Hi Charles,

Next you will be saying that the AARP supports Obamacare

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You will pray to never need it. Sounds like a nightmarish hell

Posted by Fork in the Road [358.5467] on August 21, 2009 at 13:14:53:

In Reply to: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION posted by Charles [448.2996] on August 21, 2009 at 09:08:27:

And you want this kind of system??????

In this heartfelt polemic, based on his family's experiences in the health service, our writer argues that it suffers from deep flaws – and we are wrong to ignore them

Friday, 21 August 2009
It was a simple thing. Another blood test, some more investigations into whatever flawed gene or missing protein might be the cause of my daughter's troubled life, with her terrible seizures, her blindness, her inability to walk or talk or eat unaided. Over the past 15 years, there have been many such attempts to identify her condition.

One year later, we asked the doctor, a top geneticist at one of the world's most famous hospitals, what had happened to the results. His office told us a rambling story about financial restrictions and the need to send such tests to a laboratory in Germany. They said there was little he could do but promised to pursue our case.

It was a bare-faced lie. The precious vial of blood had been dumped in storage and forgotten. The following day it was despatched to a laboratory in Wales and 40 days later the specialists came up trumps. They identified her condition, an obscure genetic mutation called CDKL5.

The breakthrough was rather mind-blowing, giving us some peace of mind and the chance to talk to families of the hundred or so other children worldwide identified with the condition. It was also life-changing, since it means our other child and close relatives are in no danger of passing on the condition. Indeed, had we known sooner we might have even tried for more children.

But the most shocking thing was not the lying. Nor even the incompetence. It was our total lack of surprise at the turn of events, since after 15 years suffering from the failings of the National Health Service we are prepared for almost any ineptitude.

Of course, everyone loves the NHS now. It is officially sacrosanct. Our doctors are deities, our health care the envy of the world. And anyone who says anything different is an unpatriotic schmuck who should go and join those losers in the United States. (Although American doctors terrified of litigation would have done all the tests possible on my daughter if I'd sufficient insurance, and would think twice about lying to patients.)

So forgive a harsh dose of reality. I used to share these delusional views, wrapped in a comforting blanket of national pride over Bevan's legacy. But that was before the birth of our daughter sent us hurtling into the hell of our health service. Since then, hours and days and months and years have been spent battling bureaucracy, fighting lethargy and observing inefficiency while all the time guarding against the latest outbreak of incompetence.

Despite my daughter being under palliative care, my wife currently spends two hours a day struggling against the system, to say nothing of the other endless appointments that go with being primary carer of a severely disabled child. Right now, following some dramatic hormonal and physical changes, we are waiting to talk to one of our daughter's doctors: the first call went in three weeks ago, followed by three more phone calls and one email. No reply yet.

Or take the request for a bigger size of nappies, urgently needed because of our daughter's sudden weight spurt. A simple thing to sort, you might think. Not in the parallel universe of the NHS. It has taken four weeks, three phone calls, two home visits from community nurses to assess our needs and fill in the requisite forms – and still looks like being one more week before there is any hope of delivery. It may seem comical, but the result is a distressed child and endless extra laundry.

The warning signs of what lay ahead came on our first visit to Great Ormond Street, when there was a young couple who had travelled down from the north-east of England in front of us, their tiny sick baby almost lost in its blankets. "Didn't anyone tell you – your appointment's been cancelled?" the receptionist told them breezily. They looked at each other despairingly.

Such insensitivity is all too typical. When my daughter was seven she underwent a major review at a specialised unit in Surrey, spending three days and nights with sensors connected to brain-scanning devices glued to her head, under constant video surveillance while my exhausted wife comforted her and stopped her ripping off the electronic pads. A huge strain, but worth it given the hope of a breakthrough. When we went to get the results a few weeks later, there was the usual wait. After eventually summoning us, the neurologist asked why we were there. Then she opened our daughter's notes and asked what was wrong with her. Then she couldn't find the results. We stormed out, me in fury, my wife in tears.

There are countless other examples. The celebrated neurologist who measured our heads before blithely asserting that our daughter – suffering up to 30 fits a day – would just have a slightly lower IQ than the average person. The GP who gave her an MMR injection against our wishes, despite warnings it might prove fatal. The nurse who, having been told our daughter was blind, asked if she would like to watch a video. And that is to say nothing of the endless minor irritations: the over-crowded waiting rooms, the blasι receptionists, the unanswered emails, the blinkered attitudes to people with disabilities.

It used to be said money was the problem, but that fails to explain why American health outcomes are not drastically better, given their profligacy. Or indeed, why Scottish death rates from heart disease, cancer and strokes were so much worse when spending levels were one-fifth higher than in England; it cannot be blamed entirely on haggis suppers. And it is striking that for all the money poured in recently, there is little evidence of further improvement in cancer survival rates, for example, or of solving the postcode lottery.

There is no doubt that nearly tripling the health budget in a decade has led to visible advances, especially in the infrastructure. Some of the new hospitals are vast improvements on the crumbling Victorian buildings they replaced, and seemingly small things such as spruced-up waiting rooms and toys for children make a big difference. Unfortunately, it is equally clear that billions have been wasted, poured into a centralised monopoly that focuses on the manipulation of a target culture rather than delivery and innovation. It was little surprise to learn that more managers than doctors were hired last year. And all too often these managers seem to reinforce rather than challenge the patronising attitudes that often predominate, while failing to tackle glaring waste.

One visit to the gastroenterology department of a major teaching hospital summed up many of the enduring problems. Like any hospital regulars, we booked the first appointment to ensure the wait would not be too long. The young consultant was courteous and empathetic, going out of his way to explain the pros and cons of the invasive surgery under discussion. At one point he needed to call a colleague, so picked up the receiver of an old phone on his desk rather than the high-tech device jutting out of his computer screen. He explained that the new system cost £3m but didn't work properly, so no one in the hospital bothered to use it.

After 10 minutes, we left his consulting room. The waiting area felt tense, with harassed parents, bored children, raised voices and too few seats. This unfortunate doctor had to see more than 50 patients during his two-and-a-half hour clinic – or one patient every three minutes, with no time for reading notes, let alone a break. And we had already ruined his schedule. No wonder people were getting exasperated.

These are, of course, just snapshots over more than a decade. We may have been desperately unlucky, and friends who have suffered heart problems, cycling accidents or had very premature babies will testify to flawless treatment. But then I know of other friends with equally terrible experiences of arrogant doctors, disinterested nurses, lost files and suchlike. I could tell you of the single mother in Scotland rung in the middle of the night and asked if she would like doctors to resuscitate her profoundly-disabled child – and then they did nothing until the mother reached the hospital and berated them. Or the parents of another child with a life-threatening tumour whose care was a litany of mistakes, but when they complained to the hospital's chief executive the notes went mysteriously missing. Or the elderly cancer patient constantly ignored by her doctors. And so on and so on.

For all the rhetoric, this is daily reality in our health service. This is not to denigrate the many fine workers, both on the frontline and behind the scenes. We have come across doctors, nurses, paramedics, therapists and many others who have been supportive, caring and inspirational. Some have gone way beyond the call of duty to help in times of distress or difficulty, such as our palliative care team and the community nurses. But equally, we have come across too many ground down by a sclerotic system that crushes out the idealism or caring nature that presumably made them join the health service.

Clearly there is systemic failure. And it is a question of management, not money. Some of the worst problems encountered have been at the hallowed Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, which uses the strength of its brand to suck up money and increase its reach. Many in the medical world are infuriated by its endless growth, but scared to take on the behemoth. But behind the soft-focus fund-raising and cuddly image lurks inefficiency and, all too often, needless insensitivity.

Indeed, should you feel moved to give money to help sick children, I would advise you to give to the children's hospice movement instead. As I write, my daughter is at Shooting Star in Hampton, Middlesex, a particularly deserving recipient. It is interesting to note that this sector, which derives a paltry five per cent of its income from statutory sources, does not seem bedevilled with the woes that afflicts so much of the public sector.

Anyone who has used health services in other Western nations knows that visiting the doctor or a hospital does not always have to be a frustrating experience. It is possible to run a health service around the needs of the patients, with appointments kept, notes read and consultations in a pleasant, friendly environment.

Given the swelling black hole in public finances, ageing population and rising costs of health care, Britain needs a serious debate about the future of the NHS. Sadly, the indications of the past fortnight are that we are too infantile to have such a discourse. A deranged Tory MEP became engulfed in the crossfire over Obama's reforms after some fatuous remarks in the US media, and back home – in a depressing foretaste of the election campaign – Labour uses it to smear the Conservatives, and panicked Tories rush to pay homage at the altar of Aneurin Bevan.

For all the supposed cost-effectiveness of the NHS, no other country has followed our model, despite what some Republicans might claim. Instead, we should be looking at what we can learn from abroad. No one in their right mind would want to import the American system here. But there are elements to admire: their popular community hospitals, the emphasis on effective diagnosis, even aspects of the much-derided compensation culture. And turning to Europe, there are systems that enshrine consumer choice, meld public and private systems, are cheaper than our own and have better health outcomes.

France is famous for its centralised approach to government. It also performs well on almost all health rankings, and has been top-ranked by the World Health Organisation. Its insurance-based scheme appears a chaotic blend of public and private partnership, but in reality is a sensible solution that blends the interests of patients with the need for some centralised direction, professional autonomy and safeguards for the poor. Like elsewhere in Europe, it has found a way that for all its faults harnesses the benefits of competition within a universal, patient-centred system. We are fumbling our way there, but it is one step forward and three back.

So what should be done here? I can only offer a few suggestions towards a wider debate. Firstly, it seems obvious that any organisation employing 1.5 million people is going to struggle with the concept of dynamism. I suspect the Chinese People's Liberation Army and Indian Railways – two other similarly-sized employers – suffer from similar deficiencies. Surely it makes sense to break up the monolith, thereby introducing genuinely competitive elements while retaining the principle of state-financed care that is free at the point of use. The more patient choice, the better the service will be. And trust me, patients can make highly-complex choices when it comes to their own health.

Secondly, the target culture should be made less proscriptive and the quality of managers raised. I don't mind managers, just bad managers. Thirdly, these managers and all the medical staff should be given greater freedom to experiment and innovate. This means some failures, but it is vital in any giant organisation. And the Government provides a safety net. Fourthly, there needs to be as much transparency as possible, covering everything from spending to surgical outcomes. This is the information age, after all – and it is our money and our health service.

Fifth, health workers must all realise they are meant to be serving the public. I wonder if medical schools should place greater emphasis on personal skills rather than just narrow academic criteria. And has the drive towards graduate nurses necessarily been a total boon for the care of patients? Finally, politicians should stop trying to micro-manage the NHS – and in return voters and, yes, the media should stop blaming them for everything that goes wrong.

Over the years, I have raised these issues with many politicians. I suggested to William Hague when he was Tory leader that he just tell the truth to the electorate and admit the NHS was a disaster zone. He laughed, and replied that he couldn't possibly say such a thing: "You're far too right-wing on health for us."

Later, I wrote an article for a weekly journal that ended with a challenge to the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown, at the time that Tony Blair and Alan Milburn were coming to terms with the need for root-and-branch reform. Unfortunately it was delayed a couple of weeks, coming out on the day of a group breakfast at Number 11. As I entered the dining room, Mr Brown gave me a wolfish smile and ushered me to sit down between him and Ed Balls, before the pair took me to task for the next half hour. Both seemed unabashed statists when it came to health, who saw more money as the answer to all problems and had little sympathy for the idea of introducing competitive or patient-led elements.

Likewise, David Cameron's experiences have turned him into a cheerleader for the NHS. He is angered by the failures of specialist education and shortfalls in respite provision, but was genuinely moved by the healthcare offered to his late son, as I know from many discussions with him. Days after becoming leader of his party we met for dinner. "I am not going to do what you want on the NHS," he said. "I will reform it if I get the chance, but I won't rip it apart."

Then there was the senior Labour Cabinet minister who told me about the nightmare he was enduring with his elderly relative. "I used to think you had been driven a bit nuts on the health service," he concluded. "Now I think you don't go far enough. It's awful. Absolutely bloody awful. We've got to do something about it."

I won't hold my breath.

Like the health secretary, I am an Everton fan. And like Andy Burnham, the national health service and Everton are among the most cherished institutions in my life. My daughter is still alive, for which I give thanks to the support, dedication and friendship of many in the health service. But it is precisely because I am such a fervent admirer that I believe it is so shameful that the NHS is allowed to limp on in its current state. For too many people, especially many of those most in need of its help, it is something of a disaster zone. The NHS is a sick institution, and cheap political point-scoring will do nothing to solve the problems. We need to find a cure.

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Re: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION

Posted by Sapphire [2999.8077] on August 21, 2009 at 13:43:11:

In Reply to: Re: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION posted by Ron [3468.1575] on August 21, 2009 at 11:43:39:

AARP does support Obamacare:

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Re: You will pray to never need it. Sounds like a nightmarish hell

Posted by Tonia [4685.7899] on August 21, 2009 at 20:32:28:

In Reply to: You will pray to never need it. Sounds like a nightmarish hell posted by Fork in the Road [358.5467] on August 21, 2009 at 13:14:53:


What is really sick is the fact that despite the horror tales regarding healthcare in the UK, healthcare in the US is even worse, and is ranked by the World Health Organization as being far worse than the UK in healthcare quality, access, and many other areas.

Other countries that provide nationalized healthcare such as France, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands, to name a few, rank well above the UK in quality of care. Maybe we should model our healthcare after the healthcare provided in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and other countries with similar high quality nationalized healthcare.

The US is in desperate need of high quality healthcare for all citizens. Unfortunately, some people perceive the current US healthcare debate as a political issue, and are injecting lies intended to deceive the public, racism, and hatred into the debate. Politics has no place in healthcare reform--healthcare reform is about extending goodwill towards our fellow citizens, caring about each other as a nation, and providing healthcare to all US citizens regardless of employment status, race, illness, or ability to pay--just like many civilized nations are already doing today.

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Re: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION

Posted by Charles [448.2996] on August 21, 2009 at 20:39:23:

In Reply to: Re: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION posted by Ron [3468.1575] on August 21, 2009 at 11:43:39:

I don't thinnk there is such a thing as Obamacare, he's sitting on the fence. I think it is time for him to get out there with a plan himself, letting Congress hash it out isn't getting us anywhere.

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Re: You will pray to never need it. Sounds like a nightmarish hell

Posted by Charles [448.2996] on August 21, 2009 at 20:41:25:

In Reply to: You will pray to never need it. Sounds like a nightmarish hell posted by Fork in the Road [358.5467] on August 21, 2009 at 13:14:53:

I think they are going to have to cut costs and I certainly don't see insurance companies, doctors or hospitals doing it.

It really pisses me off to see people get staph infections in a hospital and then have to pay for its' treatment, because we're all paying for it.

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Re: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION

Posted by Ron [3468.1575] on August 22, 2009 at 00:18:58:

In Reply to: Re: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION posted by Sapphire [2999.8077] on August 21, 2009 at 13:43:11:

Hi Sapphire,

A couple of weeks ago, Obama said they did.

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Re: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION -- Archive in monopoly.

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.7937] on August 22, 2009 at 09:39:30:

In Reply to: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION posted by Charles [448.2996] on August 21, 2009 at 09:08:27:

Thanks, Charles.

Good summary of the facts! It really is a G------n shame the the crazies refuse to be aware of these realities.

13 years ago my insulin cost me 11-15$ a vial. Now it costs me $133.00 a vial. The Big Pharma is just crowding at the trough shamelessly. No wonder they have so much money to lobby!


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Re: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION -- Archive in monopoly.

Posted by Hope [9735.7889] on August 22, 2009 at 15:05:40:

In Reply to: Re: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION -- Archive in monopoly. posted by Walt Stoll [93.7937] on August 22, 2009 at 09:39:30:

That is awful Dr Stoll...That much of an increase to keep you well? That is the shame in all of this. Once I saw a little old lady digging up pennies to pay for her meds. It broke my heart. That is what I try to tell people. You don't know how it feels to be sick and have to pay so much money to stay well. Or what it is like to get cancer and not have insurance anymore and have to sell your house to stay alive. Or to have a child get sick and not having a way to provide proper care. Not to mention early detection, wellness, and prenatal care.

I think it is sorry to be so blinded by greed that we can not help everyone...not just the poor or the misfortuned...but even someone who may need that help desperately one day!

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Re: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION -- Archive in monopoly.

Posted by Steve [373.8124] on August 26, 2009 at 06:12:14:

In Reply to: Re: Dr. org. say single payer saves 400 BILLION -- Archive in monopoly. posted by Hope [9735.7889] on August 22, 2009 at 15:05:40:

I am not claiming to understand what is good or bad about the current/proposed healthcare systems, but something tells me that if we make our system public (rather than private), decisions about who gets the care and meds will not be in the hands of the individual. I don't understand why Dr. Stoll's meds costs 10 times as much now, but what would we say if the public healthcare system forces manufacturers of insulin out of business, thus causing the supply to drop below demand? Or what happens when rationing guildeines mandate that only people under 60 years old will even get Insulin? I am not saying this will happen for sure, but I have serious concerns about having the government run this most important function.

I see what has happened with Social Security (it was supposed to be a lockbox), Medicare, Medicaid, Fannie, Freddie (quasi governmental orgs) and I just don't have confidence in government running these.

I'd like to see major legal reform to stop rediculous lawsuits that just make people rich and punish doctors unfairly. These lawsuits cause doctors to perform a lot of tests unneccesarily.

I am not in the healthcare business, so I could be way off base here. I consider myself Independent as our current two party system has me very frustrated...

Off my soapbox now.


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