GENERAL CHAT forum: National healthcare, pros & cons

 
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ImageOldgardenrose
Jul 15, 2012 10:23 AM CST
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
I am soliciting opinions and personal accounts on the merits of a national healthcare system without the political crap we are being inundated with on a daily basis. Medicare, Medicaid, group healthplans, private insurance etc. There is so much twisted information in the politcal ads that they should all be ignored.
ImageOldgardenrose
Jul 15, 2012 7:06 PM CST
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
I will start with my latest medical issue. After having been harassed by the family doctor for 10 years, I finally had a colonoscopy. I am on Medicare part A and B with a supplemental policy Plan F. There were some additional x-rays taken to check for any additional problems. The hospital bill was $3,786.66 with Medicare paying $591.55. My Plan F paid $31.84.

The surgeon's bill was $780.00. Medicare paid $220.50

The radiologist's bill was $131.11. Medicare paid $26.68.

The total, including physician office call was $4,037.77. Medicare paid $642.32. My Plan F paid $82.49.

The gist of this story is a patient without insurance would be liable for the full amount but one with insurance would essentially pay nothing. Another story is my wife required stitches over one of her eyes. (no, I did not smack her a good one). I mistakenly told the clinic billing clerk she was not covered by insurance for this matter. The bill was $400. I went home and checked her policy and she was covered. The bill became $200 which I paid due to her deductible.

There are a lot of arguments pro and con concerning national healthcare and forced insurance but, and no one seems to want to talk about it, all workers and employers are forced to pay a medicare tax in addition to the SS or FICA tax.

ImageZanymuse
Jul 15, 2012 7:13 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Jerry, are you saying that you had to pay the difference between what the bill was and what they paid?
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Imagethreegardeners
Jul 15, 2012 7:15 PM CST
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Ontario, Canada
Perpetually happy!
We have national health care in Canada. I've never paid a penny, ever, for any surgery, or any Dr. visit.
Mind you, we pay almost 43% of our income to taxes...but it's worth it, I'll never have to worry about not having a needed operation because I can't afford it.
[Last edited Jul 15, 2012 7:17 PM CST]
Quote | Post #892951 (4)
ImageZanymuse
Jul 15, 2012 7:23 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Lee Anne, 43% includes all taxes or do you have sales taxes and others added onto that?

And does that tax rate apply to everyone regardless of their income or is it different for the rich or the poor?
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Imagethreegardeners
Jul 15, 2012 7:29 PM CST
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Ontario, Canada
Perpetually happy!
That includes all taxes of one kind or another. Income taxes are decided by income. The more you make the more income taxes you pay.
Everybody, no matter their income bracket, pays the same taxes on liquor and gas. Property taxes. Taxes that go towards our old age pensions and taxes that pay for unemployment insurance. Property taxes. 15 % sales taxes.
But....our roads are fixed, our streets are clean, we never have to worry about being sick or unemployed, we have one of the best education systems in the world, etc., etc...and our minimum wage is $10.25/hour.
[Last edited Jul 15, 2012 7:31 PM CST]
Quote | Post #892956 (6)
ImageZanymuse
Jul 15, 2012 7:39 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
That sounds like utopia to me. So what is the catch? Surely there must be one Whistling
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Imagethreegardeners
Jul 15, 2012 7:45 PM CST
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Ontario, Canada
Perpetually happy!
I haven't found one yet...I mean, don't get me wrong...there's always going to be people who complain, no matter what. People are always going to take advantage of the "system"...welfare, mothers allowance, etc. But, our streets are safe, we don't have any ghettos, there isn't the big distinction between the "classes" like there is down there. Everybody is well educated. When I lost my job last year, for instance, the gov't (my tax dollars at work) paid for me to go back to school to be re-trained in a better field.
ImageOldgardenrose
Jul 15, 2012 7:47 PM CST
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
No. So far I have paid nothing for my medical services. The Plan A and Plan B pay 80% and my supplemental Plan F picks up all the deductibiles and co-pays. My wife's COBRA insurance expired due to the time limit and she has just a Plan C or comprehensive coverage with a $500 deductible. In both cases, as you probably know, all medical facilities including doctors and hospitals agree to accept the Medicare/Medicaid or insurance allowances as full payment. If one does not have insurance, the medical industry is free to "charge whatever the traffic will bear".

The differences shown are between what the hospital and doctors charged and the amounts approved by medicare as full payment. The slight discrepancy between the medicare approval and medicare payment is usually the 20%. There is a deductibile of something like 13 or 15 hundred dollars automatically for hospital stays before medicare will pick up room charges. That is why supplemental insurance is so important. In 2008, I was admitted to a hospital for gall-bladder surgery which turned out to be more complex than usual. Five days in the local hospital and and another visit to a regional hospital for an ERCP and the total bill was $20,000 plus. Only out of pocket charge for me was $25 per day extra for a private room in the local hospital.

Either the medical industry is being "stiffed" by the government or the medical industry has been "stiffing" the public much the same as the drug industry.

The medical industry is not forced to accept medicare or insurance allowances but they must if they want to accept covered patients. Unless this mess is straightened out, too many doctors and hospitals will "opt out" of the programs. The hospital where I had my colonoscopy had a sign in the hallway saying, in effect, they would not accept medicaid patients except only on an emergency basis as required by law. Next will be doctors not accepting medicare patients.
ImageZanymuse
Jul 15, 2012 8:27 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Quoting:Next will be doctors not accepting medicare patients


That is already happening Sad
My husband is covered by Medicare and the V.A. We pay 8 dollars for each months prescription times 15 scripts ($120.00 per month) and $25.00 per office visit or $50.00 hospital outpatient visit. Hospital and surgical are covered at 80% leaving us in debt to Uncle Sam to the tune of almost $8,000.00 after his 3rd surgery. They are allowing us to pay that off in monthly installments that stretch our budget to the limit each month and do not leave enough income for me to even see a doctor since I am not eligible for medicaid, medicare or medical. I work full time but have no work related health coverage and there is no private insurance available that I can afford.

The clinics are operated on a sliding scale but they combine my wages and his retirement income and do not allow deductions for the money we must pay on my husbands medical needs, or our household expenses. That makes even the clinics unavailable to me. The only way I could qualify is to stop working, become a drug addict or an alcoholic.

The result is that I go without medical exams or treatment of any kind. My only medications are over the counter drugs to treat self diagnosed problems and everything else is something I just have to live with...until I am old enough for medicare or die from lack of health care. I am just one of the millions in this great nation who are the working poor.
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ImageOldgardenrose
Jul 15, 2012 8:59 PM CST
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
My work history involves over 40 years as a union member for a railroad. Our health plans for retirees are negotiated on a national basis the same as active workers. My Plan F is $185 per month but it covers all the medicare deductions and co-pays. My wife is under Plan C @$625 per month until next year when she will be 65 and will revert back to Plan F and medicare. The medicare Plan D for drugs is available at different rates for different protections.

The situation you describe is all too common. Good, honest people actually being penalized while trying to get by while so many others have a totally free ride from the cradle to the grave at your expense. I knew a single mother who would not work overtime because it would raise her income to the point where she would lose her low-interest FHA loan and would be required to refinance at the current bank rates. I could rant on this subject forever but anyone who listens to the politicians on both sides can see the game is rigged for votes.
ImageZanymuse
Jul 15, 2012 9:09 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
I am glad that you and your wife are covered! I am thankful that in spite of the hardships the cost of care for my husband brings he receives excellent care through the V.A. here.

It is time for the millions/billions of hard working and honest people in this country to be treated fairly to affordable health care. The United States of America is a great nation in so many respects but in this it is a FAILURE of mind boggling proportions !
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Imagewcgypsy
Jul 15, 2012 9:24 PM CST
Name: Sherry
Crescent City, Ca.
Quickly...let me just say that I would gladly move to Canada or any other country with national health care if I could get in. I've just recently gotten on Medicare and do not really go to doctors , which is a good thing, because even with Medicare, I have a feeling I cannot afford to be ill. My SIL just went through a bout of (to my thinking) mostly Dr induced problems to the tune of $90,000. My son ended up in the ER for a kidney stone....$10,000. Thankfully, his insurance covered it.

My mother had a co-worker whose father died of cancer in Scotland. She was sure he would have gotten better care and still be alive if he'd been treated in this country. We told her that first he'd have to be able to afford the care here.

capitalism---free market---country owned by corporations---that's us.

Now I will go back and read more carefully what was said above...good to know that I don't intend to have a colonoscopy anyway...lol..
Imagewcgypsy
Jul 15, 2012 9:30 PM CST
Name: Sherry
Crescent City, Ca.
There's an interesting book titled 'The Geography of Bliss'....done by an NPR reporter who has for many years traveled the globe and was interested in which countries had the happiest people and what contributed to their happiness. One of the big factors was national health care and not having to worry about their medical care. Here we're mostly owned by the pharmaceutical companies and that in itself is something to worry about.....
ImageOldgardenrose
Jul 16, 2012 5:55 AM CST
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
VA care will be the next axe to fall as some of the politicians are already complaining of the present cost and the tremendous future cost of caring for the wounded war vets returning from the current conflicts.

I am not familiar with the Medicaid processes but, here in Illinois, the state is about a year behind in reimbursing the doctors and hospitals therefore many are opting out of the system. Many doctors of various types have refused to see state employes and state retirees because the state sponsored insurance plans are worthless.
ImageOldgardenrose
Jul 17, 2012 11:51 AM CST
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Glad to hear from our northern neighbors since they have been a major topic for political bs during the healthcare issues here. The opposition, who everyone knows has been bought and paid for by the overall medical/drug industry, has always said what a horrendous system Canada has for medical care. Scarce, illegal drugs. Poor quality doctors and hospital facilities. Long waiting lists to obtain care. Etc.
ImageZanymuse
Jul 17, 2012 12:28 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Oh, and don't forget the one about how the best Canadian Doctors all fled the country so they could practice in other countries where they are better paid...and the elderly are denied treatment because they are no longer productive citizens... Sticking tongue out Yeah, I have heard all that rubbish spew out and be repeated by people that should know beetter and don't!
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Imagewcgypsy
Jul 17, 2012 1:55 PM CST
Name: Sherry
Crescent City, Ca.
Gee....do you mean we're lied to in this country?.......is there any money to be made in that?....
ImageZanymuse
Jul 17, 2012 2:30 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Blinking Lied too? Ummmm...No, I don't think they lie to us...They just don't believe that we are able to recognize fiction and fantasy as they spin their tall tales. Rolling my eyes.
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ImageLaVonne
Jul 17, 2012 3:06 PM CST
Name: Dorothy (LaVonne) Mitchell
Somerset, KY

I hear so many different things about the medical industry...and believe me that is what it is..not health care...the hypocratic oath is just words graduates spout. The meaning of it is lost to them.

I am 67 and on medicare...not elegible for medicaid in my state because I am not a child or pregnant...however they do pay for my medicare premuims which are about $100 a month so I guess I can't complain too much in that regard.

I have been and out of the hospital several times (I am sure you all remember those times) and medicare paid 80%, the hospital adjusted my bill nearly $2k and then billed me for the rest. I have made it a habit to pay my Dr.'s their bills and made a payment when I can to the hospital...some have gone to collections and their demands are unreasonable so I don't pay those. My reasoning...the hospital won't and can't refuse me care, but the Dr.'s can...so I keep them happy.

I am glad to have 2 of the finest Dr's here in Somerset, Ky to take care of my needs...they treat me as a person and address the whole body, not just a part....They aleays greet me with a smile and even call me Miss Dorothy..nor Mrs. Mitchell. Who knows, with there help I may just live another 20 years... Smiling Hurray!

Oh and regarding Obamacare...I don't know how it will affect the American people...I just know that more of our citizens (children and adults) need affordable healthcare from birth to death.
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