Get Out And Vote Mass!!!

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Mattb
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Re: Get Out And Vote Mass!!!

Post by Mattb » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:29 pm

SOBF wrote:MattB,
I have read conflicting reports about torte reform reducing the cost of insurance. To assume that it will make little difference seems strange to my simpleton mind. Dr.'s are a business and if their cost of doing business goes through the roof do you believe these cost's are passed on ? When the cost of copper went from .60/ft to 2.50/ft the cost of doing plumbing jobs went up. If an OB/GYN pays 250,000/yr does that cost get past on the the consumer? I'm not saying it's the only contributing factor in high health care costs ,but it does not help.
Here is another example of waste that could help reduce cost. If I'm in a nursing home and my monthly meds are prescribed and I have a 30 day supply and I croak on the 2nd of the month. All the other meds get thrown away even though they still in the bubble pack. Seems like there are some waste issue's that can be with...by the way gov't regs require those meds to be chucked....those could be thousands of dollars worth
SOBF,

I also admit that I don't understand exactly how all of the different puzzles interconnect on this issue , I try to find folks that do understand and analyze their results. As far as I'm aware, the most comprehensive and up-to-date study was done by the CBO last year - http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9924 ... Issues.pdf - it's a big document, but they get to tort reform around p 153 - their basic conclusion was that tort reform wouldn't have any measurable effect on health care spending. Outside of the CBO, it's hard to find studies on such a politically charged subject that aren't too badly spun - this article from a blog over at Salon looks at some of the common issues raised by the right and is pretty well researched (it's Salon, so they're coming from the left, but as long as you know that going in, you can calibrate your BS meter accordingly): http://open.salon.com/blog/mahabarbara/ ... ort_reform

You raise some good points about waste - there's probably millions of little things like you've cited that do add up, but that stuff only gets you so far, and that's not far enough - it'd be great to address all those little wasteful things, but it's no substitute for real reform, and it doesn't do squat for the tens of millions of people that can't get insurance.

The bottom line, for me anyway, is that we spend way too much and get way too little for it, and it's an incredible handicap for America as we try to compete in a global economy -and it's getting worse at an unbelievable rate. It can be hard to wrap your brain about just how out of whack the US system is compared with the rest of the world, but this graphic does about as good a job as any I've seen (from National Geographic):
Image
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
-Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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SOBF
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Re: Get Out And Vote Mass!!!

Post by SOBF » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:19 pm

Matt,
The chart may show disparity what is spent ,but many of the countries including Canada rely on the us military spending to protect them and that leaves more dollars for other things like subsidizing their healthcare. I'm not saying this is right at all ,but it is happening.
Getting back to a more direct billing between doctors and patients would certainly help. Cosmetic surgery is a good indicator. The prices for Lasik etc have plummeted because of competition and insurance companies do not cover the procedures. I recall a Dr. form NY (I believe)stopped taking insurance payments cut his staff (they were just doing paper work) he only takes cash and he cut his office visit price from approx $135 to 80 something and he was able to spend more time with patients. It was an interesting take on it anyway.
Somewhere along the way we (most of us) became accustomed to a $25 copay etc so we had no incentive to shop around. My insurance changed in a big way for 2010. I can assure you if I need an MRI I will be heading to Boston where they are about 1/3 of the cost here in Maine.

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SOBF
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Re: Get Out And Vote Mass!!!

Post by SOBF » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:43 pm

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I found it funny

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Mattb
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Re: Get Out And Vote Mass!!!

Post by Mattb » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:12 pm

SOBF wrote:Matt,
The chart may show disparity what is spent ,but many of the countries including Canada rely on the us military spending to protect them and that leaves more dollars for other things like subsidizing their healthcare. I'm not saying this is right at all ,but it is happening.
Getting back to a more direct billing between doctors and patients would certainly help. Cosmetic surgery is a good indicator. The prices for Lasik etc have plummeted because of competition and insurance companies do not cover the procedures. I recall a Dr. form NY (I believe)stopped taking insurance payments cut his staff (they were just doing paper work) he only takes cash and he cut his office visit price from approx $135 to 80 something and he was able to spend more time with patients. It was an interesting take on it anyway.
Somewhere along the way we (most of us) became accustomed to a $25 copay etc so we had no incentive to shop around. My insurance changed in a big way for 2010. I can assure you if I need an MRI I will be heading to Boston where they are about 1/3 of the cost here in Maine.
SOBF,

You lost me there with the Canada example - Canada has more money because they rely on us for our military presence, I get that, but it's an odd leap from there to the fact that they spend about half (per person) what we do. I mean, if we were spending what Canada spends, we'd have a whole lot more cash left over.

You do make good points about consumers being divorced from the realities of cost - both cost of services and cost of insurance. I've always favored the idea of divorcing health insurance from employment, but it's been a political non-starter. Consumers don't care what it costs, because they don't think they're paying for it, companies don't care what it costs because they understand that they're just passing the costs on to their employees and employees raise holy hell about cuts in coverage but don't seem to be nearly as upset about not getting a raise because insurance costs ate up all that money.
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
-Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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SOBF
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Re: Get Out And Vote Mass!!!

Post by SOBF » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 pm

I would love to see healthcare insurance not be tied to employment. It was Gummint regulation that caused this as well.
Yes this was a very quick search so don't hang me.
http://www.neurosurgical.com/medical_hi ... urance.htm

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BigCliff
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Re: Get Out And Vote Mass!!!

Post by BigCliff » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:53 pm

West Chester wrote:Matt, its a simple yes or no question. No need to explain politics or what has happened in the past. Do you or Do you not agree with the Obamacare buyouts?
One take on it that I heard is that the deals made for NE and LA would be easily ruled unconstitutional and overturned if other states decided to challenge it.

Do I think there's a good chance Obama knew this and was fine with letting the deals initially slide, in order to get the votes of two senators too stupid to know better? Yep. And I have no problem with it either, because the folks in those states shouldn't get anything different than the rest of us.
Buy better hooks and bourbon.

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