OT - A intriguing "open lette"r on health care ...

Page 6 of 10  
"Upscale" wrote:

In the end, yes.
You are talking about a segment of the population that is at the bottom of the economic scale.
Lack of formal education also comes into play.
Also what gets included is sex education (i.e. birth control) now that Bush is gone.
Unrelated but it helps to illustrate the point that a little money spent at the right time, can save a whole lot later.
Malaria is a serious problem in parts of Africa, primarily transmitted by mosquitoes.
Bill Gates has brought in some mosquito netting and given it to people.
The reduction in malaria cases has been dramatic.
As usual, things get down to timing.
Lew
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"dpb" wrote:

As I said earlier, it is the real elephant in the room.
It is THE issue that society must face.
When do you say, "Enough is enough"?
Do we require everybody to have a "Living will"?
At least then, the desires of the person most affected are known.
Do we nationally adopt the procedures that are in place in Oregon?
Do we empower the government to make these decisions?
I think NOT.
What part does a persons religion have in this process?
Tough questions, but it now is the time to face up to what are not only tough, but uncomfortable questions to answer.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote: ...

I don't follow that at all -- everything you've written up to this point seems to be supporting nationalizing all health care--now you're putting it into the individual's province where I've said it belonged all along and gotten ripped...I'm cornfoozed for sure now, good buddy.
--
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"dpb" wrote:

I've stated and continue to say that the elephant in the room is "Mom & Pop".
I am truly glad the decision(s) on how we as a society address this issue is not mine.
In addition to the cold hard economic facts, there are the emotional ones involving religion, personal values, etc.
I neither support or oppose "nationalizing all health care"; however, I do support EVERYBODY having health care insurance.
My money is on some form of hybrid private/public program will come out of Congress pretty quickly.
The politicians, if nothing else, astute at reading the tea leaves and responding to what the public wants.
The majority of the public wants health care coverage for the total population, and Congress is going to satisfy the public desire.
That's how they get re-elected.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote: ...

Polls should as many as 80% were against bailouts; no poll showed anything at all approaching a majority in favor--how did that come out if the above were the primary driving force?
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"dpb" wrote:

Am clueless what polls you are referring to.
Been watching any C-Span lately?
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

No TV other than OTA networks. All stories in every paper I saw indicated general public was highly opposed.
Just an observation that the pol's don't always do the expected and other political factors come into play besides public opinion.
Certainly the current administration/congress leaders have intentions; what they actually get incorporated is yet to be determined.
And, of course, there's the old saw of "careful what you wish for; you just might get it".
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DAGS: poll bailout
Lots to clue you.

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"Swingman" wrote:

And what about the person who has no family?
Should they just shoot themselves?
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

The should make a plan and carry it out -- that could be LTC insurance, arrangements for private 3rd parties, whatever--but it ain't my responsibility nor that of government.
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Tsk, tsk ... that's precisely why we, the responsible, give to charities, churches, and the like ... to care for both the unfortunate, and for those unfortunately irresponsible ... a method with a track record of more than a few thousand years, many more than the last couple of hundred when governments became heavily involved and the irresponsible became the prevalent type.
--
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"Swingman" wrote:

An admiral trait; however, how does that provide a means of containment of run away health care costs?
:Lew
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A Proposal:
Nobody, including me, wants anymore gov't involvement in our lives than me.
The exception being when the scope of the task is such that only government has the necessary resources to handle the task.
Reorganization of the health care systems is IMHO, one of those tasks; HOWEVER, is does not require the government taking over the health care system such as has been done in other countries.
Rather is will require the government to develop a set of laws that will govern the way private enterprise operates in the health care market.
One of those ways is for the government to form the John Q Citizen division of the federal employees health care system and offer coverage to anybody who wants to participate at competitive rates.
You don't have to buy the government insurance, but you DO have to buy health insurance from somebody.
There will be a segment of the population which will require some form of subsidy, and I leave that to others to resolve.
The whole purpose is to provide health care for everybody so that we can transition from sickness treatment to preventative health care at lower cost per transaction.
A benefit of such a program is that it will force the private sector to offer competitive health insurance rather than the "Cherry Picking" products now offered.
Open up the drug purchasing programs to competitive bidding, and I don't want to hear any bull shit from the drug companies about research costs.
They all ready spend more on advertising than they do on research.
The above still does not address the ballooning costs of health care for the elderly, but it is a start, and it would not surprise me if much of the above is where things are headed based on some of Obama's comments.
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You forgot, "for a while." Long-term care doesn't last forever.
Last year, we got to deal with the delight of poor diagnosis that is post-bypass delirium. My father had bypass surgery and came home from the hospital barely containable (he escaped an Alzheimers wing twice). We, which mainly means my mother (since no one else is local) got to going on the nursing home shopping process.
Dad has long-term insurance, but it has a lifetime cap. So the dilemma pondered at the time was whether to use it or save it for a worse time.
As it turns out, everything worked out fine and a few months put him mostly back to his old self.
Not taking a side. Wish I knew what the ideal answer was.
--
Drew Lawson | It's not enough to be alive
| when your future's been deferred
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Drew Lawson wrote:

That depends on the policy, of course. Some are better than others; careful shopping is required (just as it is for any other major purchase).
Folks' policies (and ours) don't have time/$$ limits -- they last until DOD once initiated and continue in qualified institution. Have opted to self-insure for any possible inhome or assisted living type arrangement; that's again a choice one must make based on specific circumstances.
I'll iterate that it still is a personal responsibility; not a generic responsibility of the government however one chooses to go.
--
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Do you have a cite that gives that quote in a useful context? All I can find is: http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/8_myths_about_health_care_reform.html
The growing ranks of the elderly are projected to account for just 0.4 percent of the future growth in health care costs, says Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change.
That ends up looking more like a quote from an interview answering an unquoted question. I'd love to know what specifics the number was drawn from.
"The growing ranks of the elderly are projected to account" is actually a vague classification/claim in this context. There are two trends colliding at the moment in US health care of the elderly -- increasing numbers of elderly and increasing per capita cost of care for the elderly. It is unclear (to me) whether Mr. Ginsburg intended to address both or just the former.
BTW, I mean "it is unclear" in the literal sense, not as Usenet code for, "clearly you are wrong." I don't even *pretend* to be an expert on economic issues.
--
Drew Lawson

I only came in search of answers, never planned to sell my soul
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Glittering generalities... :)
That's the problem in everything I've yet heard/read on the subject.
There are great promises made in phrases much like the sentence you wrote above, but never any actual details of what costs are avoided that are greater than the cost of implementing/maintaining and operating the new computerized system.
W/O a credible analysis of that, I'm unwilling to accept a general statement that it will somehow just turn out that way. I compare it to the implementation of word processing in business--we know turn out reams of gorgeous paper spending hours in formatting, adding clip art and so on, printing on color laser printers the same raw data that formerly went on IBM selectrics. It isn't at all clear most of this new technology does anything other than create busywork and the _impression_ of progress rather than anything actually real.
While I'm hear, I'll clarify what appears to be a misconception on your part of what I've written with regard to welfare recipients and the general provision of services.
If you read what I wrote, nowhere will you find that I wrote against the truly disadvantaged or needy that are unable by virtue of illness (mental or physical), handicap, etc., to have access to public aid. I consistently referred to the (mostly young and healthy) group that chooses to be irresponsible (like the ex-SIL I wrote about upthread--he's only one of many of his buddies and others like him all over the country) in order to have more disposable income while still in good health. These folks should have consequences of that irresponsibility come back on them to provide incentives to contribute before they become direct drains on the system.
As for "cheats", I routinely even in this very small community see a number of people cashing in on food stamps that could purchase every bit of required foodstuffs they would need simply by having a car payment half of that they obviously have. There and areas similar are where the system as presently constituted again does not require personal integrity nor demand personal responsibility.
Until there becomes a way in which bad decisions have negative repercussions there is no incentive for those people to change their behavior and under those conditions people will continue to take whatever is offered. Hence, the conundrum that there is essentially no limit to the amount of resources that _can_ be poured into any program--"demand" will always continue to grow no matter how much is spent.
--


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From what I've seen, there will be benefits not only in cost, but better patient care. The HMO that we belong to is on of the largest in MA, They went to a computerized system a bit over a year ago. My wife has a heart condition that started in 2001. Her file was about 6" thick and was carried from the central office to any of the half dozen doctors in four different facilities. Now, nothing is moved and everything is on the computer.
An X Ray would be taken at the hospital. Two weeks later she'd see a different doctor about it so we'd have to call for the x ray, pick it up and carry it to the next doctor and he'd have to send it back when done. No more, it is available at any of the computers in any exam room or doctor's office.
Prescriptions? A couple of mouse clicks and it is ready to pick up at our pharmacy in our town 30 miles away.
I had some knee problems. My x rays and MRI results are right there, in seconds, for the doctor to see.
I'm not so sure the government should be paying for the change, but I can see the benefits anytime either one of us goes to the doctor, and that can be very frequent.
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"Ed Pawlowski" wrote:

What you are describing` is just the low hanging fruit.
Who knows what benefits lie ahead?
It is hard to tell which is progressing more rapidly, medicine or electronics, but when driven to feed off each other, look out for that rocket ship.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote: ...

But don't expect it to be any less expensive. It will likely not be less expensive just different cost division.
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