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The_Girl_Of_Summer
03-12-2010, 12:22 AM
So i'm not trying to start a major debate, i have a class this semester that is called 20th century health care reform. I have to do two projects while looking at previous healthcare trys and other systems as well the new bills. So I wanted to know how you feel aboutthe current system, what you think we could fix, and what are your views on the new bills here in America. And if you are from the UK (this is what one of my projects are on) how do you feel about your NHS system? The stuff that i get from you can actually go into my powerpoint and help me out.

sodascouts
03-12-2010, 04:38 AM
Health care is a huge mess and while it seems nothing being proposed is going to fix things, we can't let them stand as they are either. The status quo is awful, but will changes make things better or worse? Is it better to pass a mediocre bill just to get something through and make some kind of change, or to hold out for a stronger bill even though a stronger one might never get passed at all? I don't have any answers and it seems no one else does, either, no matter what they say or what side of the aisle they occupy.

But something's gotta change.

Prettymaid
03-12-2010, 09:27 AM
It's bad when, although I have medical insurance, I put off making appointments and having even routine procedures done because I know that the expense will have to be added to a payment plan that Hubby and I are chipping away at. I don't understand why all the money I've put into a health plan all these years still has me owing big bucks. And I'm not talking major procedures - well, Hubby did have his gall bladder removed last summer - but for me we're just talking the routine stuff. Although my doctor is "in my network", his staff had me go to a facility that was not "in my network" to have a colonoscopy last year. I'm still paying for that.

How about the cost for prescriptions? I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and my Doctor prescribed one of those that are advertised a lot on television (I forget the name). When I went to pick it up they told me that even with my insurance it would be $95 a month!!! I left it there. When I told my doctor about it he quickly and simply prescribed a generic substitute. Why didn't he just prescribe the generic in the first place!!??!!

TimothyBFan
03-12-2010, 10:05 AM
I echo what PM said. We are on a family plan thru hubby's work where we pay $91.00 a week out of his pay check, for what good it does us. I had to have a minor surgery last October (Timothy's birthday in fact) that cost a bit over $8,000.00, I am making payments on the amount left after insurance paid, the amount to be paid by me....$5,986.00. Our sons has severe ear problems (Cherubism) and last winter in a 3 month period, we shelled out over 700.00 in prescriptions alone, WITH INSURANCE!!!

Our co-pays are ridiculous, and we go nowhere but in network. We were forced this year to take wellness physicals which literally scared the h*ll out of me because we just don't go to the doctor and always considered ourselves pretty healthy "for our age". I knew I had high blood pressure and I take a medication already for it which cost me $90.00 a month until I meet my $2000.00 deductible for the year! We took them and on a scale of 1 (best) to 4 (worst), I was a 1, good everything else. Unfortunately hubby wasn't so lucky, he came in at a 3 and so starts the cholestrol, high blood pressure and a couple other drugs to get everything up to par. Right now his drugs are being given to him by the doctor until the find the right ones that work for him, then I'm sure we will start paying which scares me to death. If my medication is $90.00 a month, what will his be on top of that?

I think it's sad, when a nation like ours, has hard working citizens that would rather let their (or are forced to let their) health go because if something is found out to be wrong, will cost them big $$$$$ that most times they cannot afford. But yet my neighbor, who doesn't have insurance, will use the emergency room for her doctor visits or the sniffles, then calls to tell them she has no insurance when the bill comes in, and has most or all of the bill written off. It's just not right!!!!

Nancy is exactly right, "somethings gotta change".


Now aren't you sorry you asked for my opinion?

Brooke
03-12-2010, 11:12 AM
How about the cost for prescriptions? I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and my Doctor prescribed one of those that are advertised a lot on television (I forget the name). When I went to pick it up they told me that even with my insurance it would be $95 a month!!! I left it there. When I told my doctor about it he quickly and simply prescribed a generic substitute. Why didn't he just prescribe the generic in the first place!!??!!

Because the doctor gets big kickbacks on those name brand prescriptions from the drug companies. The more they prescribe, the more they make! The more drugs they can get people to take, the more money they get. It's a vicious circle. Sad but true.

And I have no solution either. If people truly need these drugs....sometimes I wonder!

Troubadour
03-12-2010, 11:30 AM
See, reading stories like this about the American system kind of scares me! The thought that someone might put off going to see the doctor because they are thinking about the cost worries me. I'm not saying that our system is perfect, but I truly believe that one of the great things about Britain is the NHS. It gets criticised left, right and center, but the fact that everyone is entitled to healthcare, regardless of class or wealth, is such a positive thing in my eyes. Speaking personally, I have never had a problem with my doctors or my hospital experiences. The operation I was due to have on the 10th of March was arranged within a month or so of my consultation. It's a minor procedure, not urgent, but they fixed it for me straight away. I've always found them to be efficient and friendly. I understand this is not the experience of everyone - there are always horror stories - but I think the NHS gets an awful rap at times for no good reason.

cynd1231
03-12-2010, 12:14 PM
Don't get me started on the cost of prescription drugs. I work for a PBM (pharmacy benefit management organization) that services several of the Big Blues and I am outraged on a daily basis at the cost of so many drugs -- to say nothing of the issues that require countless patients to obtain a "prior authorization" approval from the insurance company before some meds will even be covered at all! My son-in-law is a Brit and we've had numerous deep discussions about the advantages of NHS care. Personally, being in the industry for seven years (something I'm frequently ashamed to admit) has given me a whole new insight and perspective on the issue of national health care and I see far more advantage than DISadvantage.

Molly
03-12-2010, 12:18 PM
I'm in the same boat as a lot of you...literally feeling like I "ration" my healthcare. We've been lucky (knock on wood) to not have had many medical expenses in the last few years, but I know that can change in a heartbeat (as we're getting older like everyone else). I know I hold my breath every time Peter steps onto a football field, or onto a jujitsu mat.

Many of my co-workers are "chipping away" at hospital bills as some of you have said. It scares the bejeebers out of me as I wonder when our "luck" will run out.

And, this is coming from someone who has worked in healthcare my entire life. That being said, I see the other side of the coin. Hospital/clinics/doctors do not make any money off of Medicare/Medicaid patients. In fact, our facility loses money. I know I've said this before, but the amount of payment under those systems is a set amount. If a Medicare person comes in and has their gallbaldder removed -the hospital may be reimbursed $5000. The patient's may have other issues during the stay such as a flare up of a lung condition or a problem with their diabetes. This could make the bill jump up to, oh let's say $7000. We still get paid $5000. We eat the other $2000.

Willie, don't even get me started about people who use the emergency room for things like a toothache or a backache that they've had for a month. I guarantee these aren't people with private insurance doing this.
And since we're a small town, non-profit (non-private) hospital...we turn no one away who needs our help-no matter of finances. Everyone gets the same level of care. And truly, this is how it should be everywhere.

So...bottom line. We're talking about a of money being shoved into this system here...billions of dollars. Who's making money? I know it's not me personally and it's not my facility that's been struggling for years just to keep it's doors open.

I agree...something's gotta change. But, I see how our government runs the public systems it has in place now. There's a helluva lot broke. I just don't know that I have faith in our leaders to fix it.

TimothyBFan
03-12-2010, 01:05 PM
Coincidence that I got this link in an email today. This should really p*ss you guys off! I have never used Costco and the closest one I know of is at least an hour away but it just might be worth checking into once Larry gets straightened around on his prescriptions. And how is this even legal!! Someones letting these drugs be marked up, in some cases, more than 21,000%---yeah--that's right 21,THOUSAND%!! Check out Xanex, Prozac, Claritin.....

http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/generic.asp

sodascouts
03-12-2010, 01:21 PM
Because the doctor gets big kickbacks on those name brand prescriptions from the drug companies. The more they prescribe, the more they make! The more drugs they can get people to take, the more money they get. It's a vicious circle. Sad but true.

And I have no solution either. If people truly need these drugs....sometimes I wonder!

I was forced to buy the generic form of Lamictal for my epilepsy because the Lamictal is priced at over $1100 a month for the amount I take, despite my neurologist strongly advising me against buying generic. Even the generic costs almost $400 a month! Because I've continued to have problems, my neurologist's now prescribed me another medication to take in addition to the Lamictal which costs $150 a month. Whenever I tell my neurologist I've had a problem, she just ups the dosage I'm taking, costing me more money. The last time, I told her assistant (I never get to talk to her directly unless I pay for an office visit) - "I'm not going to double my medication as she prescribed when it's not helping me now. How much do I have to take before we give up on it?" The assistant: "Well, you can experiment with it and see what happens if you just take a little more. Perhaps you won't have to double it." THEN WHY NOT TELL ME THAT AT FIRST???

And perhaps other medicines don't give her as much of a kickback, so she's loath to have me switch.

During my last seizure in January, I think I did something to my leg because it's hurt ever since when I bend it a certain way. No way am I going to a doctor, though, where I'll have to pay thousands for an X-ray. I'll just suck it up and try to avoid sitting Indian-style or doing anything else where I have to bend it all the way.

The_Girl_Of_Summer
03-12-2010, 01:55 PM
Health care is a huge mess and while it seems nothing being proposed is going to fix things, we can't let them stand as they are either. The status quo is awful, but will changes make things better or worse? Is it better to pass a mediocre bill just to get something through and make some kind of change, or to hold out for a stronger bill even though a stronger one might never get passed at all? I don't have any answers and it seems no one else does, either, no matter what they say or what side of the aisle they occupy.

But something's gotta change.

Obama's biggest problem with the new bill for healthcare is that he tried to do a large bill when he should have done smaller bills this is a big reason, i feel, that healthcare is not going to pass. We do need a new system but we also need anti-trust law placed on insurance compaines, which would regulate price and coverage. And we need a new system to cover the 46 million Americans without health insurance. The reson doctors cant make money off medicare is when they refomed it the took away the idea that they were going to completely pay off the bill because eveyone were jacking up the prices and medicare was spending more than they got.

Glennsallnighter
03-12-2010, 05:44 PM
My goodness!! I'd agree with Lou about our healthcare system over here. Effectively its 2 tier. There is 'Public' and 'Private'.

Public is essentially free. People under a certain income and with a long term condition/disability have 'medical card' which effectively gives them free consultations and medicine no matter what the problem is. So do all people over 70 years of age. But anybody can go free if they want.

The main downside of going public is that if it is a common complaint you may have to wait a while to get the care. Once in the system however you are treated as well as a private patient. Like my dad is waiting for a hip replacement operation. The public system is a 'no frills' system but for the most part it works.

Private means you pay for it. HOWEVER most people who go private have health insurance which for full hospital cover costs us 2200 per annum for myself, hubby and the two kiddies. That covers everything, hospital care, xrays, consultations but NOT medicine. HOWEVER if a family spends more than 95 per month on meds then the balance is free. The private hospitals are more luxurious and probably more comfortable as well. And there are more support services as well.

You do NOT have to make up any difference in fees nor is your policy loaded if you DO claim. ie you pay the same premium whether you have a huge claim in a year or NO claim.

The main thing is that nobody is refused healthcare based on an inability to pay.

Hope this makes sense!! Good luck with your study GOS

Molly
03-12-2010, 06:15 PM
The reson doctors cant make money off medicare is when they refomed it the took away the idea that they were going to completely pay off the bill because eveyone were jacking up the prices and medicare was spending more than they got.

I agree that there were many abuses to a system that went largely unchecked for way too long. But, it seems to have swung the other way now. The regulations are mindboggling and the penalties for not following them are staggering. What this means is there are more "behind the scenes" healthcare workers (which I am one of ). It takes more "office people"/non-clinical people to get a patient from the admitting department until that person's bill gets paid (if it gets paid). This means hospitals and clinics hire more people to manage the paperwork. Someone has to pay for this...and it's reflected in higher operating costs.

I'm not advocating going back to the old days of doctors charging at will and hospital CFO's raising costs unchecked. The checks and balances are a good thing. But, I think the average healthcare consumer doesn't realize the amount of people it takes just to attempt to keep up with and adhere to the governments ever-changing regulations.

bernie's bender
03-13-2010, 12:07 AM
the exact same people who were against seatbelts are against healthcare.

nothing ever changes except the individual issue's name.

For fun, go back and read about who was for and who was against safety belts and legislation to require them to save lives. What you'll find is....

the same exact quotes, vilification and nonsense.

our attention span (in the US) and our actual memory for what actually transpired and transpires... would be humorous except for those who suffer from our fear and prejudice.

Koala
03-13-2010, 04:15 AM
First of all let me say I'm not so familiar with the healscare from the US and UK, so it is for me an interesting discussion!

We have also 'Public' and 'Private' Insurance. Private insurance are usually self-employed or eg teachers or police officers. The most salaried like me are usually insured by a puplic health insurance.
Once a quarter, you have to pay $ 13 consultation fee (however only if you must visit a doctor)!But only once if you has to go in this time to several doctors, you gets a receipt that you has already paid! If you need a medicines you must be paid a small part itself. People with a low-income or chronically sick people must pay nothing for their medications, so much I know!
For my knee I need at the moment a bandage, because I have got them of the doctor prescribed,
if I had to pay only 13$ for it, normally such a thing costs 135$. I had never problems with my insurance, I can choose which doctor I go to or in what Hospital, if necessary!
All in all a good health care!

Freypower
03-14-2010, 06:25 PM
Our system is fairly similar to Britain's NHS but I don't think it is as comprehensive. My fear is that if a conservative government is elected the whole lot will be dismantled and everyone will have to pay for everything. My family has no private cover at all - we rely on Medicare. It's only dental treatment that is expensive for us as you can't claim ANY of that back from Medicare. Medication is expensive though - I am on high blood pressure tablets and it's $30 per packet for those, every five weeks.

The_Girl_Of_Summer
03-14-2010, 06:40 PM
First of all let me say I'm not so familiar with the healscare from the US and UK, so it is for me an interesting discussion!

We have also 'Public' and 'Private' Insurance. Private insurance are usually self-employed or eg teachers or police officers. The most salaried like me are usually insured by a puplic health insurance.
Once a quarter, you have to pay $ 13 consultation fee (however only if you must visit a doctor)!But only once if you has to go in this time to several doctors, you gets a receipt that you has already paid! If you need a medicines you must be paid a small part itself. People with a low-income or chronically sick people must pay nothing for their medications, so much I know!
For my knee I need at the moment a bandage, because I have got them of the doctor prescribed,
if I had to pay only 13$ for it, normally such a thing costs 135$. I had never problems with my insurance, I can choose which doctor I go to or in what Hospital, if necessary!
All in all a good health care!

Koala, At the end of this class i have to submit a proposal of what kind of system i would like to see and i plan on doing something simular to Germany's system.

And thank you to everyone who has taken an intrest in this topic its really helping to get not only the government views, like in my books, but to also get the public opinion's on these healthcare systems