The rest of the story being that they set free the lion of fire, but first
blinded it in one eye. That's the part that some folks forget, that
self-interest cannot be allowed unchecked freedom, it must be restrained by
law or we might as well be living in a jungle.
Or as another wise person once said, "No man chooses evil because it is
evil; he only mistakes it for happiness." And a lot of people think greed
is the way to happiness, they sure do. Bernie Madoff will probably be
reflecting on that for some years to come.
Actually, it's worse than that. Insurance companies, and this includes
government programs like MediCare and MediCal, will only pay 10% of the
cost of a procedure. If someone needs an MRI and it costs $200 to
perform, the hospital absorbs 80% of the cost and insurance picks up
20%. Hospitals learned that if they wanted to get reimbursed, they had
to raise the price of the procedure to $2000, that way they got the $200
that it actually cost. This hurts the uninsured because legally, the
hospital cannot charge different rates, therefore the uninsured are
paying $2000 for a $200 procedure that shouldn't cost that much, if not
for the screwed up way the insurance industry works.
It tells you they're making money. We hear a lot of complaining about the
uninsured using up the valuable resources of emergency rooms. If this is a
problem, why don't the hospitals open clinics next door to the emergency
rooms for snot-dripping infants, broken toes, and non-critical care?
I once worked in a hospital's computer room, located under the Life Flight
helicopter's nest. The air ambulance was forever coming and going. One of
the administrators told me: "We lose $5,000 every time the helicopter takes
off -- but we make it up in the emergency room." (This was back when $5,000
was a lot of money.)
Yeah, it's worked out SO well for Great Britain and many other of those
countries the OP touted are either on the same verge of bankruptcy in their
systems, taxing the snot out their citizens, or (more frighteningly)
rationing care and planning on more rationing.
The One has already alluded to age-based means tests when he was asked
about how one woman's mother with a tremendous love of life and great
spirit at 100 was given a pacemaker to help keep her quality of life. The
One made the absolutely cold (not cool, but *cold*) statement, "Uh, well,
umm, I think "spirit" is a pretty subjective thing and we won't be able to
do that under my plan"
Cold, calculating, and scary. Many of you rec.ww denizens are reaching
ages that are going to fall into the "not of value to society" category.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
This is indeed scary. It is also scary that (on average) an exceedingly
high percentage of one's lifetime healthcare costs are expended in the
last year of life. And that a lot of those costs do hardly anything to
prolong life, let alone quality life.
I do know how difficult choices that need to be made are, believe me.
But what of chemotherapy to prolong life with a few months, considering
the agony that at least some go through with the treatment?
As I said, difficult choices. Be sure you have them written out in the
appropriate form, so your doctors and loved ones know what your real
I do understand the concept and its tendency to break down. Insurance
company clerks make those types of decisions all the time. Now, hey have
a profit motive instilled in them, where supposedly the government clerk
only needs to weed out fraud.
I really think that due to a poorly understood provision (separation of
powers) you always have recourse through the courts. Whether a
principle is worth the expense is another thing. And I am afraid it is
your money that is used first. That is the case whether the insurance
agent is an insurance company clerk, or a government clerk.
For profit insurance companies have grunts on the payroll whose total
job is to find ways to weasel out of meeting their contractual
obligations to their customers.
That's a private not a governmental happening.
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