O/T: Fired Up, Ready To Go

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On 09/14/2009 10:44 AM, Morris Dovey wrote:

Sure, but all that stuff has to be done anyways for the paying patients. The incremental work to handle the non-paying patients should be comparatively small.
Chris
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Who pays for the 20% administrative overhead the insurance companies absorb today? Health insurance administration in Canada absorbs 6%, it's 4% in France and an astonishingly efficient 1.5% in Taiwan. What baffles me is why so many folks are apparently content paying an extra 20% for insurance that goes to executive salaries and marketing campaigns and so on while being horrified at the thought of the supposedly greater inefficiency govt. would bring to the process. The insurance companies have been getting away with murder--refusing customers with pre-existing conditions, finding excuses to drop customers who paid their premiums for years but now need treatment, raising their rates far ahead of inflation, not to mention absorbing a fifth of the money they take in for "administration." We're being screwed six ways from Sunday *now* by the industry--are we just supposed to bend over and smile forever, paying more than any other nation on earth for health care while coming in 13th among wealthy nations in life expectancy and infant mortality? My usual instinct is to suspect that govt. can usually makes things worse, but when it comes to health care we need to do something different, it can't go on like it is now because we simply can't afford it.
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On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 10:46:05 -0700, DGDevin wrote:

That's a good point, and one that the right wingers on this group consistently ignore.
I also wonder how many of them rejected Social Security and Medicare, or plan to when they reach that age?
Not to claim that the left is always logical :-).
If we all used reason, voted for the common good instead of self- interest, and had the needed information, all laws, candidates, and propositions would be approved or rejected almost unanimously.
But then we wouldn't be human :-).
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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DGDevin wrote:

But you said it yourself: "...so many folks are apparently content..." If so many are content (85% by the last measure), why take a chance on screwing it up?
The Senate plan will be introduced tomorrow (Wednesday). It will contain a mandatory insurance provision that will require as much as 17% of a family's income (roughly equivalent to doubling their rent). This manadatory provision is necessary in order to pay for the new coverages.
Of course those who can't afford the required insurance premium will have its value subsidized by the government (they really do think we can't use numbers).
And who, besides the president, says we can't afford it? I suggest the difference between 16% health premium and a 30% tax rate in the U.S. is better than 0% health premium and a 50-70% tax rate as in the UK, France, Canada, and other countries held up as exemplars.
Life expectancy and infant mortality are flawed metrics for the efficacy of a health-care delivery system. First, many people in this country die from things totally removed from the medical universe: traffic accidents, gang-related shootings, executions, terrorism, suicides. When a drunk drives into a bridge support at 100 mph, neither the best nor cheapest medical system in the world will do any good. (Consider also Princess Diana.)
A better metric is life expectancy for five years AFTER diagnosis of an extreme disease. In virtually ALL cases, the U.S. leads the world. For example, after a diagnosis of chronic heart failure, the rate of survival for five years is:
U.S. - 96% Canada - 86% U.K. - 55%
Similar numbers obtain for breast, prostate, and indeed, all cancers.
Also, many deaths are attributable to social factors beyond the influence of the medical system. The survey you quote (in which the U.S. ranks 13th) also ranks South Africa as, like, third from the bottom! South Africa has the best medical system in Africa - it was the home of the first heart transplant, for crying out loud! South Africa also has the highest incidence of AIDS, about which even the best medical system can do almost nothing.
Infant mortality is another bad hat. When a severely premature infant is born in the U.S., we move heaven and earth to save its life. Many, unfortunately, expire after heroic measures add only a day or two to the infant's life. In France, NO measures are taken for an infant whose birth weight is less than about 1.5kg. Virtually ALL these deaths are recorded as "stillborn."
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

I don't have a problem with paying for Joe, my problem is with the government doing it in such a roundabout way and then using the result to claim that medical costs are out of control.
As a matter of political strategy though it's genius.
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<DIV>&gt; On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 10:42:58 -0400, J. Clarke wrote:<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt;&gt; Joe Homeless walks into the emergency room to get four stitches and he<BR>&gt;&gt; gets them for free, while I walk into the same emergency room and get<BR>&gt;&gt; four stitches on the same table from the same doctor and get charged<BR>&gt;&gt; 2500 bucks.<BR>&gt;&gt; <BR>&gt;&gt; One step toward fixing the system would be a Constitutional amendment<BR>&gt;&gt; restricting unfunded mandates--if the government says that you _have_ to<BR>&gt;&gt; provide a good or service to someone who cannot reasonably be expected<BR>&gt;&gt; to pay for it then the government must compensate you for that good or<BR>&gt;&gt; service.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Need I point out that that solution STILL leaves you paying for Joe - <BR>&gt; just via a different path :-).<BR>&gt; <BR></DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>It is worth noting as well that the problem is less the uninsued and more the $2500 for 4 stitches.....The hospital and/or ER have a cost/expence structure quite beyond ration or reason. Sadly during the entire "health care" debate we've had no attention paid to the actual cost structure.&nbsp; Rod&nbsp;</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV>&gt; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; -- <BR>&gt; Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw</DIV></BODY></HTML>
------=
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"Rod & Betty Jo" wrote: --------------------------------------------- It is worth noting as well that the problem is less the uninsued and more the $2500 for 4 stitches.....The hospital and/or ER have a cost/expence structure quite beyond ration or reason. Sadly during the entire "health care" debate we've had no attention paid to the actual cost structure. ----------------------------------------------------
Think the repeated references to The Cleveland Clinic, The Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins recognize the above issue and suggest they may be a model to a solution.
Lew .

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i go to the mayo clinic. it is one of, if not the, most expensive place for treatment.
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"charlie" wrote:

That doesn't appear to be supported by the data.
Mayo is significantly lower cost (At least 30%) than UCLA Medical Center as just one example.
Lew
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J. Clarke wrote:

Yup, 8 to 10% of what we pay for insurance is shifted to cover the costs of treating uninsured patients (and that's aside from govt. funding used for the same purpose). Folks who don't want their taxes paying for treating the uninsured have missed the little detail that their insurance premiums are doing exactly that right now. Why would anyone be surprised that a corporation seeking profit would pass on an expense like this to their insured customers, did anyone seriously believe they would just eat this expense?

And where will the govt. get the money? Perhaps from the taxes we pay? It doesn't matter which pocket the money comes from, it's all the same pair of pants. So if we're going to pay I'd like to the bill to be as small as possible. That means keeping people out of the emergency room, i.e. providing them with less expensive preventative care rather than having them stumble into the ER when they have no other choice.
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You need to document that number; How was it derived?
while a full 25% is pure insurance overhead, to wit (From UHC 2008 10-K)
Revenue (premiums): USD 81 Billion Payments (medical care): USD 60 Billion Insurance Company Costs: USD 15 Billion Insurance Company Profit: USD 5 Billion.
25% overhead is entirely too much. Need to get rid of the insurance companies entirely to save any money in health care. Add in the savings in the hospitals, doctor's, etc. due to less paperwork, and you end up cutting 50% or more from the costs of medical treatment.
Perpetual HSA's for individuals with competetive catastrophic coverage from multiple vendors would go a long way towards reducing medical costs.
scott
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Scott Lurndal wrote:

It's been quoted in the media of late; I saw it on the AMA website if memory serves.

Their high administrative costs aside, many practices of the insurance industry (like canceling coverage when they can get away with it, including in the middle of someone's chemo therapy) are loathsome and should not be tolerated.
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On 14 Sep 2009 17:37:47 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) wrote:

Maybe so, but it's a lot less than the overhead in most (if not all) manufacturing companies.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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Government projects are typically 30% overhead. It is not known for efficiency. Recall the $600 hammer? The $4500 microwave? The government has no reason to be effecient, it does not need to make a profit, just collect tax money.
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Phisherman wrote:

Uh, the government doesn't make hammers, it buys them, so what its overhead has to do with that of a manufacturing company you need to explain.
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On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 09:49:16 -0700, "DGDevin"

That I don't understand. 'splain to me how my insurance premiums are paying for treating uninsured patients? Are you talking about the increased charges to paying customers (insured or not) to cover non-payers? I don't see any other way the insurance companies would be paying the bills for people who don't have insurance. Certainly not directly.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 10:42:58 -0400, "J. Clarke"

I like the idea of hospitals charging $300 for all emergencies. That would help keep the hypocondriacs and flu patients from taking resources from those that really need it. I rushed a friend to a hospital once, he had a burst appendix. He passed out on the floor while filling out page 4 of the 7 required pages to be admitted. Hospitals will work with those without money--you can pay whatever you can per month until paid up.
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On 09/14/2009 11:17 AM, Phisherman wrote:

The admitting nurse didn't recognize him as an urgent case? Seems odd.
Chris
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The admitting 'clerk' maybe? Did it look like just another OD? Too many unknowns to comment.
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On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 11:26:12 -0600, Chris Friesen

No, at the time nobody knew his appendix had burst. I knew there was something seriously wrong because his skin turned a green color. And because it was a Sunday, they did not know until the following day. The lab technicians do not work on Sunday.
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