OT Health Care

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wrote:

Then they have 1 day to cure you. No problem. Obama can do anything.
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I've seen "Sicko" that's what got me to thinking about our rotten health care here in the U. S. of A.
David Nebenzahl wrote:

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Cooniedog wrote:

As Upscale noted, there's a lot of rationing for lack of better nomenclature I've observed in talking w/ business acquaintances where I've done onsite support work and gotten to know them quite well. They're quite close to US border so it is routine for them to simply forego the Canadian system and drive to Minot, ND or other border towns for routine care, paying out of pocket rather than wait. That's for the kids have ear ache, etc. The parents mostly just tough it out has been my observation.
That doesn't address the problem that although it's been a few years now since I retired so there may have been some improvement but the last time I was on site they were in a plant outage so had fair amount of overtime pay in his packet. That period the total witholding was over 50% of his gross.
The other thing I have observed over the last 20 years or so is that in rural US, the primary place from which we can recruit physicians to come to small, under-served areas that are not popular places for US-educated doctors other than SE Asia and the South American locations is Canada. In the local health care system in this relative to other places within 100-200 miles but still small by city standards place almost one-quarter of the doctors are expatriate Canadians. They come despite the seeming lack of cultural amenities and non-idyllic climate primarily because they have simply become fed up w/ "The System". When one contemplates that these folks are packing up and moving permanently from their birthplace because the burdens of practicing medicine in the US are so much lighter on them, that's pretty telling in my book to follow the direction from which these folks have come isn't a really good idea.
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One of the most rational responses I've seen on this issue so, of course, everyone will ignore it.
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On Wed, 13 May 2009 13:47:08 -0500, dpb wrote:

We live close enough to Canada that we vacation there quite often. We usually stay in B&Bs and health care is one of the subjects that always comes up. Most Canadians I've spoken to seem to like their system although they do admit that sometimes there are long waits for elective items and occasionally for critical ones.
But I think we have to balance that against two other things. There are a lot of uninsured people in the US who don't get routine care at all or who get charity care which is often given at a lower standard just because of lack of funding. And of course, nobody in Canada ever went bankrupt from medical bills.
So I suspect the percentage of unserved/underserved patients may be close to the same in the US and Canada.
And as another poster pointed out, a doctor can make a better living in the US - so can a drug company :-). But I've known too many doctors who treat medicine as a calling to care much about the ones for whom it is only a business.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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illnesses.
I'll answer your question the best I can, but it's definitely not a woodworking question. It's also a difficult question to answer. It's true, that in some cases, there's an extremely large waiting list for treatment. It's not an outright refusal of healthcare, just a fact that someone may have to wait years for treatment. Some might argue that it's another way to refuse help. Many Canadians who can afford it, choose to go to the USA and pay for treatment they might have to wait years for in Canada. That part is certainly true.
There are certain cases where some individuals have been denied healthcare primarily on the basis that there's only so much money to go around and that it's considered more prudent to direct funds where the greatest number of individuals can be treated. A simple example of this (and many of these cases are in the courts) is funding for special education for autistic children. I believe the Ontario courts ruled that funding ends for those children six years or older even though it's agreed that they'd still benefit from this education. I'm not prepared to argue for or against the morality of any of this. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/07/07/autism-ontario.html
Another example and something I consider to be health care is dentistry. It's not covered by general healthcare anywhere that I'm aware of in Canada, yet it's agreed that poor dental care can result in a host of diseases ~ diabetes for example. So, yes simple example would confirm that some types of healthcare are not funded.
So, maybe the answer to your question is yes to both questions. But it's too complicated question to answer outright. There's always going to be exceptions to every argument and there's always a host of variables to consider when answering it. Personally, I have a host of medical difficulties. I'm not going to go into details, but for the problems I've had and currently have, I feel I have a great deal of experience with the Ontario healthcare system. Does that make me an expert? I wouldn't think so, but for the average person walking around, I think my experiences eclipse most of what the general public has experienced. Anyways, that's the way I feel whether it's factually true or not.
Why the question?
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Upscale wrote:

Thanks for taking the time to attempt an answer to, as you say, a very difficult question.
Your response is, IMO, erudite, and, since it is based on personal experience, its value is therefore increased.
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Thanks Karl. Now, how much you want to bet that one of my other "discussions" is going produce the comment that my illnesses have made me hate the world and I'm out to get everybody? :)
BTW, this summer I've been commissioned to produce benches for the trestle picnic table I built last summer. No money involved, but I'll get invited over to a good half dozen outdoor parties. They will be pretty close to half size copies of the table itself. I figure with such a nice looking design, why play with perfection. :) I'll post them when they're made.
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Well said. And I think those two succinct sentences cover all methods and attempts at subsidized health care.
I am and have been very actively involved in the care of my elderly, sickly parents. I was astonished that Medicare/Medicaid does not cover glasses for the elderly. You gotta be kidding me... no glasses for those old, weak eyes? Nor does it cover hearing aids.
In fact, when my Mom PASSED (as in totally gone) out at her birthday party at her favorite restaurant, my parents just got bill that Medicare/Medicaid refused to pay. It wasn't the resultant hospital bill, it was the >transport< bill to get a 79 year old woman with type III diabetes and high blood pressure to the hospital. Even though she could not stand up and had to be wheeled to transit, M/M determined that someone could have taken her to the hospital.
It goes on and on. The system is inconsistent, out of touch, and filled with more levels of bureaucracy than can be imagined.
But, on the other hand, last year my folks paid about $2500 for a pacemaker and defibrillator to be installed. This included 8 days in the hospital, the surgeries and all fees, and a month in rehab with physical therapy. The hospital and the M/M team responded immediately and Mom was in the hospital and scheduled for surgery the day she went in for a "dizzy spell".
So good work there. They saved her life. And the resultant bills were somewhere along the $140,000 range with the rehab and follow up visits for the next 6 months.
In discussing these matters with a visiting friend from Montreal, he was able to shine a light on the health care system in his part of the world.
We in the USA all KNOW that everywhere else in the world that the health care systems of all other countries (including Cuba!) is all sunshine and lollipops. Everyone gets whatever they want, whenever they need it, and all aspects of their health and well being are covered immediately and paid in full by the state.
According to my Canadian friend, not so.
Here is life in Canada according to his report, not mine, I am simply sharing what he told me:
- if you have a terrible cough or cold, the wait to see is doctor is so long that you will be well by the time they give you your appt. (a little humor there, he is sure they do this on purpose)
- if you have an emergency like broken bones, a terrible bleeding cut, or something that requires immediate treatment, you are treated well. He would know, he makes commercial institutional furniture so those things happen
- if you have something that can "wait" like an unidentified pain somewhere, it will indeed wait. Sometimes for months
- re-hab and after care are a little thin. He cites his broken leg that was broken in 2-3 places when he was mountain biking (must be something in the CA water - he's 54) to his favorite fly fishing area. After they took the cast off, his rehab was a printout of exercises, and they told him to stay off of it until he felt more comfortable. He said it was the same when his wife was hurt in a non life threatening car wreck
- according to him, there are a lot of questions about the quality of care as well. Again, physicians are told to be mindful that there is only so much money in the system (see the aftercare comments) and not to spend the dough all in one or two places. He said there is a lot of "take two of these and call the office in the morning"
- wondering about the quality of care ties in to the fact that CA doctors seem to make about 1/3 or less the dough American doctors make. If you could make 2/3 more money for doing the same thing, it would be a powerful incentive to move somewhere else
- in the CA system, psychiatric help is almost non existent. He has a partner that has physician diagnosed bouts of chronic, severe depression. Yet, all he gets is pills. He said that to see his shrink, the guy calls, and it is 6 weeks to 2 months to get to see "his" doctor
- According to him, changing doctors is almost impossible. If you don't like the care you are getting, then you should go away. He cited many examples of this, and I was surprised until he explained. He told me that at one time you could change doctors, but that so many people went from one doctor to another (no charge, right?) until they finally found one to tell them what they wanted to hear that they system was too clogged
He told me that the CA system shines in two areas. First, it IS actually open to everyone, regardless of any conditions as long as they are Canadian. Second, if you have medium grade illness where you can take the time to schedule treatment, or an absolute screaming emergency the system works.
He has had two corrective surgeries that were non life threatening, and while he waited two+ months to get them, it went off well and had no problems (or a bill!).
He has never had problems when taking an employee to the emergency room with injuries from work. No 3 hour wait while they verify insurance, the company information, etc. Just take them in and they are treated. Try THAT here, construction guys!
Overall, he sees the CA model not being nearly as good as it was, and no improvement on the horizon. He expects it to get worse before it gets better due to the fact that small taxes to subsidize the system are extremely unpopular.
And like here, the conversation is never far away about what to do with the failing national health care system.
For me it was an enlightening discussion. And we both agreed, that both systems don't totally suck, but that both could be much better.
But where to start? How to do it?
Decades of appointing committees, making commitments, making health care a "priority" and all the other drivel from politicians has gone absolutely nowhere.

You have shared just a bit of your challenges here. And I am not being sarcastic... but just being able to understand the amount of paperwork and levels of people to be dealt with in your situation make you an expert in my opinion.
The health care system is a monster unto itself, no matter where you are. At this point, I know more about M/M than I ever thought there was to know. In the end, we still have to go to our extended care provider for counseling on what to do to make sure the folks care is covered. BUT... they cannot >tell< us what to do. They can only lay out options. If the are caught coaching or counseling us, they can lose the right to do business with M/M.
I have no idea what it would take to fix any of it. Personally, I don't believe it can be fixed. I think it's too far gone.
Obviously, this is something that has been on my mind...
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Last time it worked in this country was when doctors lived in the neighborhood and there were no insurance companies, or government, involved ... way back when there was no concept of a "right" to medical care and the inevitabilities of life were gracefully accepted.
... I was there, and lived it.
Ironic, these "rights" we have been boondoggled, in ignorance, into cherishing as inalienable, eh?
There is little doubt that history will prove the "right" of every citizen to vote in this country will be at the very root of its downfall .. it certainly wasn't set up that way.
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Just received this email:
Good afternoon,
You are receiving this email because you signed up at WhiteHouse.gov. My staff and I plan to use these messages as a way to directly communicate about important issues and opportunities, and today I have some encouraging updates about health care reform.
The Vice President and I just met with leaders from the House of Representatives and received their commitment to pass a comprehensive health care reform bill by July 31.
We also have an unprecedented commitment from health care industry leaders, many of whom opposed health reform in the past. Monday, I met with some of these health care stakeholders, and they pledged to do their part to reduce the health care spending growth rate, saving more than two trillion dollars over the next ten years -- around $2,500 for each American family. Then on Tuesday, leaders from some of America's top companies came to the White House to showcase innovative ways to reduce health care costs by improving the health of their workers.
Now the House and Senate are beginning a critical debate that will determine the health of our nation's economy and its families. This process should be transparent and inclusive and its product must drive down costs, assure quality and affordable health care for everyone, and guarantee all of us a choice of doctors and plans.
Reforming health care should also involve you. Think of other people who may want to stay up to date on health care reform and other national issues and tell them to join us here:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/EmailUpdates
Health care reform can't come soon enough. We spend more on health care than any country, but families continue to struggle with skyrocketing premiums and nearly 46 million are without insurance entirely. It is a priority for the American people and a pillar of the new foundation we are seeking to build for our economy.
We'll continue to keep you posted about this and other important issues.
Thank you, Barack Obama
P.S. If you'd like to get more in-depth information about health reform and how you can participate, be sure to visit http://www.HealthReform.gov .
This email was sent to snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net Unsubscribe | Privacy Policy
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20500 202-456-1111 Regards,
Tom Watson http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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You are absolutely correct. It started last November...
Larry
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giganews.com:

You need a history lesson.
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Swingman wrote:

A Canadian snowbird friend explained another "string" in the CHS. He must not only remain in Canada, but in his home province for at least 6 months of the year or lose his CHS benefits. Being retired and wanting to travel not only around the world but in Canada, he doesn't care for this part of the system.
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On Wed, 13 May 2009 19:00:38 -0500, Swingman wrote:

I was there too, and was thinking much the same thing. But the doctor and his little black bag often treated people for free if they had no money. One doctor I knew often got paid in chickens, corn (sometimes distilled), etc..

You don't consider life, as in "life, liberty, and the pursuit..." to include health? I guess we disagree there.

Now there we agree. Because qualifying to vote was misused against minorities, we threw out the baby with the bathwater. In Washington we now vote entirely by mail and if you're breathing you qualify to vote. Of course in some states even breathing isn't a prerequisite :-).
The dumber the voter is, the easier he/she can be manipulated. The politicians love the uninformed voter.
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Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Larry Blanchard wrote:

That's why we need "special interests" and "lobbyists" and "Washington insiders." They act as a counterfoil to the masses.
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On 5/14/2009 2:08 PM HeyBub spake thus:

No, that's why we need better education, so that Usenet posters recognize (and avoid) that logical fallacy known as the "red herring".
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Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism

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That I certainly agree with. 30 years ago at the age of 16, I had plastic surgery done on a burn on my arm to make it less noticeable. Entirely a cosmetic procedure. A referral from the family doctor to the plastic surgeon, two weeks later the surgery was done and not a hint of a bill. That kind of cosmetic service would never be funded these days. It seems there was more money available for that kind of stuff then, maybe fewer patients or less demand. Probably a combination of all three. Now, I think the first criteria that is considered is it medically necessary coupled with cost.

I'm sure you're right. There's just too much demand and too little money available.
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Snip

Robert, I think the answer is to eliminate the insurance industry from the medical industry. Perhaps in San Antonio certainly in Houston there are TV commercials paid for by particular "medical groups". These groups are most often made up of select doctors, select clinics, select pharmacies, and select hospitals. These groups DO NOT accept insurance and require you to become a member of their group.
I never paid much attention to these commercials as they sounded like the typical ambulance chaser attorney ad. Anyway 6 or 7 years ago I was listening to a talk radio program that was focused on health care. A doctor from one of these groups was the guest and they were taking listener phone calls. The basic theme of the program that day was how to control and afford health care. INSURANCE to the health care industry is similar to the Labor Union and the Automobile business, they both costs through the roof. Anyway you join the group for about $50-$75 per month for you whole family and when you get sick you simply go to this "group". There is no deductible or co-pay, you pay the full bill at the time of the procedure. BUT the typical office visit is $15-$20, prescription drugs are a fraction of the normal cost that you would normally pay if you did not have insurance. Basically you pay a little more than an insurance co-pay but the cost is till quite reasonable.
A listener phoned in to attest to how well these groups work out for his family. His daughter was an up and coming tennis player, apparently she was quite good. She injured her knee and had a persistent pain that would not go away. They took her to their medical group and were told the bad news, surgery would be needed, arthroscopic surgery. Long story short, $2800 later she was good to go. He indicated that he shopped around to get competing prices from other doctors and hospitals for the same procedure and with out insurance. IIRC the cost was going to be well in excess of $18000.
Apparently these medical groups are doing well as I see more and more of them in different fields, dentistry, family practice, eye care, etc, advertising on TV more and more. From what the doctor indicated on the radio show eliminating the insurance companies from the equation saves everyone money. The doctors office does not need as many people to work the paperwork to collect from insurance companies. Insurance claims are not turned down because there are no insurance claims. Insurance rejections on certain procedures are not turned down because there are no insurance claims. There are no reductions of the amount paid for particular procedures because there are no insurance claims. Cash flow is much better as there is no longer a 2 -4 month wait for claims to be paid because there is no insurance claim. These benefits all repeats themselves for the pharmacies, and hospitals. When the medical industry has to write off and spend billions to simply deal with the insurance industry medical costs naturally go sky high. With these medical groups you don't get treatment if you have no money so non paying illegals crossing the border to have babies for free no longer inflate the cost for medical care for the rest of us.
It used to work in the distant past, why not now? I suppose that the typical citizen/ person working in the U.S. has come to expect to pay nothing except a nothing or a small co-pay and let his employer foot the bill for the insurance costs.
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Leon wrote:

You've hit the nail on the head. Anyone that thinks everyone is going to get medical care for less than what it costs to provide it hasn't thought it through. I do think Insurance has a place to cover catastrophic issues.
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