Sick brit

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Turns out that's becoming a *major* problem. The economic realities of healthcare are such that the end-user is being exposed to the true cost of healthcare, and the end-user is very unhappy about that, because the end-user has been sold a bill of goods by the government and the insurance industry.
I happen to be in that business, BTW, and you are welcome to read some of my opinion pieces on that subject on my website. Even if you aren't in Texas.
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Howard Lee Harkness
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Lot of folks never even look at the withholding on their checks, much less the cost of things not reported. Quick to complain they're underpaid, though.
Now explain to me why the regional hospital buys its employees BCBS?
wrote:

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George responds:

Outside of area coverage while traveling? There doesn't seem to be much else in the way of a rationale. My mother was an RN, and she got courtesy treatment from doctors and hospitals for her entire career, as did us kids until we left home. I guess she paid for pills.
Things have changed.
Charlie Self "When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary." Thomas Paine
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BCBS was started by doctors, for doctors. They have some of the highest rates charged for health insurance.
On the upside, they have very good customer service. And they pay the doctors more quickly (and more generously) than most other insurance companies.
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VA only supplies drugs fifteen/twenty years out of fashion. Not that they don't have therapeutic value, I suppose, but it's a different world looking at VA meds versus civilian for the same condition. Most of our younger ER docs don't even recognize 'em when you bring them to the hospital.
Long past time to trash that bureaucracy in favor of Medicare "V."
was ordering a prescription out of NZ. It was about half the

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If you want a good preview of what Kerry's healthcare would be like, go spend a day at a VA medical center.
I don't really have a quarrel with the out-of-fashion drugs; many of them still work just fine for a fraction of the cost of the fancy new stuff. I have a problem with rationing of healthcare, though.
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Howard states:

Rationing of healthcare goes on every day. Those with insurance get it. Those with a modest amount of money either do without or pay through the nose. Those too poor to pay, get some slap dash care that may or may not be good.
I spent part of the morning at my 'local' VA facility getting a Hyagel (sp?) injection for my knee. I was in and out in 20 minutes. Last week, it took about 25.
But they can't get flu vaccine. Makes one wonder what sources the Chicago Bears have, as well as Congress. And if you believe that the Bears are the only sports team to be "special" I've got a real deal for you on a bridge.
Charlie Self "When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary." Thomas Paine
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

I have *never* had a visit at the Dallas VA facility take less than 4 hours. The one time that took only 4 hours was just to schedule the *real* appointment for 6 weeks later. And they assigned the time & date without any consulation with me. I could either be there on that day, or resched for another 6 weeks out.
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George states:

Actually, it turned out VA was right--they were nervous about Vioxx and Celebrex and took them out of their pharmacy before the general withdrawal of Vioxx.
As far as out-of-date medications go, one of mine was so far behind the times that it had just reached the reference books, and hadn't reached local doctors.
I think you're making some general statements from information laid on for specific cases: it is accurate at times, but it strikes me like the big complaint that VA has a much higher death rate than the general run of hospitals; it also has a majority of patients much older than those in general hospitals.
And however you name the bureaucracy, it is going to be reasonably large, especially with two new combat arenas feeding it patients. Charlie Self "When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary." Thomas Paine
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Nope, what I say is what I say. It is my experience, and presented as such. I see lots of VA pill bottles, even though the nearest facility is over 100 miles away from the area I serve.
Death rates is your straw man, as is your political insinuation.
The purpose of the VA was to provide a benefit to those who had served in a day when such benefits were not routinely extended to those who had reached a certain age or infirmity. Those days are past. Extending Medicare or Medicaid level benefits to veterans would certainly result in a saving to the vast majority of vets, who would not have to travel, though it would cost more, I'm sure. When medical attention is inexpensive and available nearby, it will be used. As with the other mentioned programs, however, hidden costs in the form of write-offs by participating providers will never be mentioned. Private insurances will simply have to pay higher prices to subsidize the system.

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George responds:

Well, the nearest VA to me is 50 miles away and right now I'm going there weekly. I saee lots of pill bottles from VA, too, and my experience is the opposite, for the most part, of yours.

Straw man? Oh horseshit. What political insinuation? If I have anything political to say, I say it. Beauracracies are unfortunate necessities, and regardless of political party, empire building soon turns them into unwieldy messes. If that's a political statement, so be it.

Cost more? Do you mean extending the benefits to those under 65 as well? If so, it would certainly cost more, but might be offset by reductions in Veteran's Affairs medical centers, hospitals and clinics.
Charlie Self "When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary." Thomas Paine
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"George" wrote in message

The sad thing is that we were _specifically_ told/promised, and on more than one occasion during orientation as draftees in the 60's, that we, as draftees, would be able to take advantage of VA medical care facilities for the rest of our lives, no qualifications.
I had some 30 something VA administrative clerk tell me a year or so ago, as if she was there at the time, that that was never "policy" and we were never told that ... my reaction was that it is an ungrateful nation who will lie to you, then make you fight again for what you were promised
How soon 'they' conveniently forget ... BOHICA
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Swingman writes:

Reminds me of my first trip into the Parkersburg, WV VA Clinic. I was so sick I took a cab there, either flu or intestional disorder. The receptionist refused to pass me through for treatment, though I had my Salem VA card. Her comment, "You're not in OUR system." I was too sick to argue, but I really had a fit when the same bitch later told my wife that they "Would never do that."
Charlie Self "When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary." Thomas Paine
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"Charlie Self" wrote in message

I hesitate to even mention it in that it may be jinxed for all times, but for the first time ever I am actually in _e-mail contact_ with my VA PCP!! ... can you imagine that?
Too damn convenient/good to last.
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Swingman notes:

I'm jealous. I got a phone call from my PCP about 10 days ago. Someone had left a message on her phone that she thought was from me. It wasn't. I lost her blinking extension number and working one's way through the automated horseshit session called a phone system is so maddening I'd rather make the 100 mile round trip and take my chances.
Charlie Self "When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary." Thomas Paine
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I'd just like to clarify what you are saying here: The drug companies sell into canada at a lower price and actually *lose* money, which they make up from profits off the backs of hard-working Americans. So they sell to Canada just out of the goodness of their hearts?
PK
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This, I think we cannot be in disagreement about, right?

I'm not sure they're losing, but if we're paying more than a Canadian for the same thing, one of us is financing the other.

Since the Canadians aren't paying their share, yes, we're paying it for them. How else would you explain the different pricing?

They're probably making a profit on the per-unit costs (incremental), but we get to pay for the startup costs (the research). Been a long time since economics class so I probably fluffed the terminology, but it's the same reason that American TV can sell you a Sony for less than the wholesale cost paid by a smaller vendor.
Dave Hinz
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On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 17:33:37 +0000, Dave Hinz wrote:

No, as long as the pharmies cover their costs, there is no "financing" involved. The extra cost to consumers, over the costs of production and proper distribution, is called "profit." The question is how much profit can the pharmies make before the pig squeals.
There is no "share" that Canadians aren't paying. They're just not getting bled as white.
Again, there is no shortage of funds for research. The cost of research, as astonishingly high as it is, is amortized across a huge market. This is why "orphan diseases" are around: there isn't a big enough market to amortize the R&D. For the mass-market meds we're talking about here, the pharmies do not lose one cent by selling at a lower cost to anybody; they only make less profit on the top.
To recap: Pharmies make a profit selling meds in Canada. Pharmies make a humongous profit selling meds in the US. Cads even sleazier than the med lords can and do bilk unwary consumers. Reputable pharmacies in Canada can and do safely ship meds to smart shoppers.
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Paul Kierstead asks, tongue firmly implanted:

Sure they do. Of course, the fact that if they charged U.S. prices, that particular drug would not sell at all in that area of N. America has nothing to do with it.
Charlie Self "When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary." Thomas Paine
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um... the US pharm companies who supply the canadian market aren't forced to do so. they negotioate with the canadian single payer system to supply drugs there. I can only assume that they make a profit doing so. the fact that the prices for the same drugs are so much higher here has more to do with cronyism and a totally fragmented market than with the research and development costs they keep whining about.
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