Health Care and the Liberal Mindset

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QUINNSCOMMENTARY
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Health Care and the Liberal Mindset

Post by QUINNSCOMMENTARY »

Time for a serious discussion, are you ready?

Massachusetts was the first state to “solve” the health care crisis, in a manner of speaking he said sarcastically.

Having spent 47 years administering employer health care programs, serving on the Boards of directors of four HMOs, consulting for the Federal government and writing 200 plus articles on the subject, let the games begin.

“The first priority of the Massachusetts effort was to broaden coverage so that residents could be insured," says Jon Kingsdale, head of the independent state agency that oversees the program. Tackling costs would come later. “The way to do this is to make the moral commitment to cover everybody.” Kingsdale says. That forces “the political leadership, doctors, hospitals, and health insurers to grapple with how to make this affordable.”

Really?

More people are insured in MA, that is true, but it is also true that the result among other things has been an increase in demand for health care, including preventive care. The first year estimated costs for the program were $472 million and the actual costs were $625 million. The budget for the new fiscal year is $869 million.

One has to wonder when all the grappling with costs is going to begin.

The Liberal says, cover everyone and we will figure the costs out later, The Conservative says, if we can figure out how to control costs, the problem of the uninsured will largely go away because health care will be more affordable.

The big solution on the table in MA is electronic medical records. What is your solution to controlling health care costs?

Then, tell us how you define "affordable" health care. And please no, it should be "free" to everyone, because it should be provided by the government. Let's keep this in the zone of reality.
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." George Bernard Shaw



"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody is not thinking" Gen. George Patton



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yaaarrrgg
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Health Care and the Liberal Mindset

Post by yaaarrrgg »

QUINNSCOMMENTARY;908621 wrote:

The Liberal says, cover everyone and we will figure the costs out later, The Conservative says, if we can figure out how to control costs, the problem of the uninsured will largely go away because health care will be more affordable.

The big solution on the table in MA is electronic medical records. What is your solution to controlling health care costs?

Then, tell us how you define "affordable" health care. And please no, it should be "free" to everyone, because it should be provided by the government. Let's keep this in the zone of reality.



First off, look at how other countries are doing it, and take the best of each approach. Most other places are actually providing more services, at a lower price. The fact that America can't seem to figure out health care is really somewhat of an embarrassment.

One big reason that the costs are so high, is that at the federal level the pharmaceutical and health insurance companies make sure their buddies they paid to get elected are looking out for them. We don't want any of that Canadian medicine ... it's too freakin cheap!

Another reason is that Americans are extremely unhealthy. There's really no incentive to change that in a free market system, since Americans are the cash cows of the food, pharmaceutical, and health insurance industries. IMO unhealthy behaviors should be taxed to cover the cost of the health problems they will produce. If you eat unhealthy foods, for example, it should cost more, to include the price of what that food contributes to your subsequent triple bi-pass surgery. :)
qsducks
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Health Care and the Liberal Mindset

Post by qsducks »

yaaarrrgg;908646 wrote: First off, look at how other countries are doing it, and take the best of each approach. Most other places are actually providing more services, at a lower price. The fact that America can't seem to figure out health care is really somewhat of an embarrassment.

One big reason that the costs are so high, is that at the federal level the pharmaceutical and health insurance companies make sure their buddies they paid to get elected are looking out for them. We don't want any of that Canadian medicine ... it's too freakin cheap!

Another reason is that Americans are extremely unhealthy. There's really no incentive to change that in a free market system, since Americans are the cash cows of the food, pharmaceutical, and health insurance industries.

IMO unhealthy behaviors should be taxed to cover the cost of the health problems they will produce. If you eat unhealthy foods, for example, it should cost more, to include the price of what that food contributes to your subsequent triple bi-pass surgery. :)



Normally, I don't get into these insane debates, but I do have to thank you Yarrggg.
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Health Care and the Liberal Mindset

Post by QUINNSCOMMENTARY »

yaaarrrgg;908646 wrote: First off, look at how other countries are doing it, and take the best of each approach. Most other places are actually providing more services, at a lower price. The fact that America can't seem to figure out health care is really somewhat of an embarrassment.

One big reason that the costs are so high, is that at the federal level the pharmaceutical and health insurance companies make sure their buddies they paid to get elected are looking out for them. We don't want any of that Canadian medicine ... it's too freakin cheap!

Another reason is that Americans are extremely unhealthy. There's really no incentive to change that in a free market system, since Americans are the cash cows of the food, pharmaceutical, and health insurance industries. IMO unhealthy behaviors should be taxed to cover the cost of the health problems they will produce. If you eat unhealthy foods, for example, it should cost more, to include the price of what that food contributes to your subsequent triple bi-pass surgery. :)



Unhealthy lifestyles is certainly a factor, but only one of many.

You can't compare other countries to the US without adjusting for poplulations and other factors.

The influence of insurance companies and others on Congress is not a driving factor in the cost of health care. What is however, is the fact for example, that European countries control the cost of drugs and as a result, the US consumer pays for most of the research and development and the world benefits. Again only one factor.

A major factor is the attitude of Americans. That is, we want it all, we want it all now and we assume that high cost equals high quality and it does not. Depending on which study you look at up to 50% of all health care is unnecessary, and worse up to 50% of the care given to patients is the wrong care or inadequate, yet ask any patient and they will tell you their doctor is the best, not true.

Americans also believe fundamentally that health care should be "free." That is, nobody wants to think about paying for health care when those dollars can be spent on more enjoyable things.
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." George Bernard Shaw



"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody is not thinking" Gen. George Patton



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Health Care and the Liberal Mindset

Post by QUINNSCOMMENTARY »

qsducks;908649 wrote: Normally, I don't get into these insane debates, but I do have to thank you Yarrggg.



Why is the debate insane? Give us your views. I have been writing about this issue for 30 years and I am still looking for the one answer that fits America.
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." George Bernard Shaw



"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody is not thinking" Gen. George Patton



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Health Care and the Liberal Mindset

Post by QUINNSCOMMENTARY »

rjwould;908900 wrote: I'm curious, Quinn, exactly which Americans are you quoting when you say "Americans think health care should be free"? Can you offer up a few names?



Years of expereince in dealing with people and their health care tells me that. Think about it, one of the biggest problems physicians and hosptials face is unpaid bills, not from people who have no coverage, but from people who owe 20% of the charge, the same person who complains about an increase of $5.00 in an office visit co-pay spends that much on a cup of coffee. The fundamental truth is that people do not really know what health care costs and when they see a portion of the bill they see it as a financial hardship even when the amount is modest. Most people would be very happy to see a deduction from their pay and no other bills.

$100 spent on health care is not the same as $100 spent on something else, it is a psychological thing that we all expereince.

How much do you think health care should cost you and how? Would you rather pay $500 a month and nothing more, or $100 a month with a high deductible and coinsurance of 20% of the cost? Is a $20.00 copay for a prescription too much, fair or given the drug can cost on average $80.00 per month, it is too little?

Health care is like having someone else pay your electric bill, if they did you would not be so inclined to turn out the lights when you left the room.
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." George Bernard Shaw



"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody is not thinking" Gen. George Patton



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Accountable
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Health Care and the Liberal Mindset

Post by Accountable »

QUINNSCOMMENTARY;908803 wrote: Why is the debate insane? Give us your views. I have been writing about this issue for 30 years and I am still looking for the one answer that fits America.

The 'one answer that fits America' is to let each state dictate its own answer to the issue (issue, not problem). I applaud MA for what they've done. Let them and their voters work their own solutions and keep the federal gov't the hell out of local issues. :yh_clap :yh_flag
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Post by QUINNSCOMMENTARY »

Accountable;909200 wrote: The 'one answer that fits America' is to let each state dictate its own answer to the issue (issue, not problem). I applaud MA for what they've done. Let them and their voters work their own solutions and keep the federal gov't the hell out of local issues. :yh_clap :yh_flag



Not a good idea. In 1974 Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). That law exempts self-insured employers from regulation by State insurance commissions. The rerason was that large employers and some smaller ones do business in many states and it was impossible to administer the benefit plans because of all the variation among the states. 70 Miliion Americans are covered by these plans.

Many citizens of one state receive health care in other states. One of the major problems adding to the cost of health care (insurance) is the mandates from the various states adding up to 25% to the cost of health insurance.

In addition, the states are far more subject to easily influenced politicians, even more so than the federal government.

States may be able to mandate coverage, but they have no ability to control costs as MA is quickly finding out.
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." George Bernard Shaw



"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody is not thinking" Gen. George Patton



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Post by Lon »

As one who has lived abroad in countries that have what many Americans think is the way to go, I think I will comment. In the case of New Zealand and Australia, both of which have womb to tomb health care (free??) Not really when you consider a 12.5% Goods & Service Tax on EVERYTHING as well as Income Tax. In addition, some 40% have PRIVATE HEALTH CARE as well. Wonder why that is??? Could it be not wanting to go into a Q to wait for your bypass or knee surgery? And why do so many Canadians go to Seattle and Chicago for some procedures? Routine and Basic Health Care just may be better served by a National Plan (maybe), but serious stuff like my Waldenstrom's? I am happy with my PPO supplement to Medicare (which by the way I wouldn't be with out) and the opportunity to choose the best docs and facilities in the U.S. Without the supplement I'd be up the creek as our Government Program Medicare is woefully inadequate.

World Health Care Experts acknowledge that France has the best overall health care in the world and it's ALL FREE. REALLY???? How about France's tax rates?

I don't really think the problem is the Insurance companies or the Pharmas. I think the real problem is the extremely high cost of keeping old geezers like me going. I am playing golf three times a week, tennis twice a week, and swimming daily in between, BUT, starting in December and finishing in February I underwent treatments with just the Dec through February costs in excess of $100,000 and I was never in the hospital. Get this-----Since 2001, my wife and my total medical costs between Medicare and Supplements has been $955,410. Unusual? Not for my age group. And we both look pretty damn good. If we euthanize everyone over 60 that would certainly bring down the costs of health care big time, but that won't happen of course.

Quinn discussed his connection with the Health Care System. My connection when I was working was in selling Employee Benefits to Employers (Group Benefits including Pension and Profit Sharing Plans).

Back in the 70's it was not unusual for a employer to offer either the cash or the health insurance to employees. I would like to have 5 bucks for every 21 to 30 year old that opted out and took the cash. Why??? They are young and healthy and won't get sick. And therein lies the problem in my view. Unless everyone and I mean everyone is in a health plan it ain't gonna work folks. How that is to come about I have no idea.
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Post by Accountable »

QUINNSCOMMENTARY;910369 wrote: Not a good idea. In 1974 Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). That law exempts self-insured employers from regulation by State insurance commissions. The rerason was that large employers and some smaller ones do business in many states and it was impossible to administer the benefit plans because of all the variation among the states. 70 Miliion Americans are covered by these plans.



Many citizens of one state receive health care in other states. One of the major problems adding to the cost of health care (insurance) is the mandates from the various states adding up to 25% to the cost of health insurance.



In addition, the states are far more subject to easily influenced politicians, even more so than the federal government.



States may be able to mandate coverage, but they have no ability to control costs as MA is quickly finding out.
Make up your mind, Quinn. Either you're for federal intervention in healthcare or you're not. You've only pointed out your personal opinions and a couple of obstacles to overcome, nothing more.
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Post by yaaarrrgg »

I saw an article on Yahoo a while back that said that immigrants to the U.S. actually live longer than most Americans, as they have healthier diets, exercise, they often walk instead of drive -- and amazingly -- rarely even go to the doctor. They live differently and avoid many of our health issues. But second generation immigrants adopt unhealthy lifestyles, and develop all the same problems as Americans.
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Post by Accountable »

yaaarrrgg;910763 wrote: I saw an article on Yahoo a while back that said that immigrants to the U.S. actually live longer than most Americans, as they have healthier diets, exercise, they often walk instead of drive -- and amazingly -- rarely even go to the doctor. They live differently and avoid many of our health issues. But second generation immigrants adopt unhealthy lifestyles, and develop all the same problems as Americans.

I think I read the same thing.
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Health Care and the Liberal Mindset

Post by QUINNSCOMMENTARY »

Accountable;910663 wrote: Make up your mind, Quinn. Either you're for federal intervention in healthcare or you're not. You've only pointed out your personal opinions and a couple of obstacles to overcome, nothing more.



The answer lies in a combination of a private sector operated system and some federal uniformity rules. I will talk more about that later.
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." George Bernard Shaw



"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody is not thinking" Gen. George Patton



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Post by Accountable »

QUINNSCOMMENTARY;912343 wrote: The answer lies in a combination of a private sector operated system and some federal uniformity rules. I will talk more about that later.

I look forward to having my mind changed. :)

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