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Old 10-29-2015, 05:47 PM   #1
Fixit7
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Health care costs


I recently had a T.U.R.P. operation.

Operation took 2 hours and a one day hospital stay.

Bill is $13,800.

As I am retired, it will take 4.5 years to pay it off.

The U.S. healthcare system needs a serious overhaul.
 
Old 10-29-2015, 06:00 PM   #2
jefro
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I am lucky enough to be covered by a plan. Obamacare has caused all the private doctors to become corporate clones. They figured out a way to get my free testing each month to a now $19.63.

Personally I don't think that free medical would work in the USA. Some countries may do OK with it but there are too many crooks in the US.

Don't retired people qualify for medicare or something?

I was told at the hospital one time to say I was broke. They said that Medicade would cover it all. Seems some groups qualify for that.
 
Old 10-29-2015, 06:23 PM   #3
Fixit7
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I am 60 and am on SSDI.

The procedure was considered out patient, so medicare does not cover it.

I only have Part A.
 
Old 10-29-2015, 06:28 PM   #4
yancek
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I think the system for health care which has been prevalent in the US since World War II is sorely lacking. Prior to that time, people generally paid their physician when they had some minor medical ailment. Some few would be able to afford insurance for a major illness. During and after World War II, the country started associating Health Care costs with employment and the number of employers required to pay at least part of the cost increased. The problem with associating Health Care with employment is that if a person leaves or loses a job, s/he is without health care and generally, starting with a new employer, no Health Care for a certain period. I know very few people who have been employed by the same employer all their working lives. Federal employees in the US from Congressmen down to Postal Workers of course have the best insurance.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=114045132

Quote:
Don't retired people qualify for medicare or something?
Minimum age for Medicare is 65.
 
Old 10-29-2015, 06:56 PM   #5
Fixit7
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If a person is on disability, they can get Medicare earlier than 65.
 
Old 10-29-2015, 08:00 PM   #6
jefro
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What is the solution? I know a couple in Canada that keep US insurance. They don't feel the Canadian system would get them the care they needed in time. Seems they say it's easier to die than get a procedure in Canada. I don't know first hand, just what they say.
 
Old 10-29-2015, 08:41 PM   #7
sundialsvcs
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Both my uncle and his younger brother (my father ...) experienced C. Difficale infections.

My uncle received the "less expensive (non-)alternative" drug 'approved' by his insurance company ... and today lies comfortably buried in the National Cemetery.

My father received the same verdict ... until my family walked into the Revenue Management department of that hospital with a certified check ... at which point an accountant(!) telephoned the doctor(!!) to authorize(!!!) the dispensing of the antibiotic ... it cost about $800 more ...

... that saved my father's life.

But, let's do the Numbers here. From any "actuarial" point-of-view, that turn-of-events "obviously" should never have happened, since my father's continued presence on Planet Earth has obviously "cost" the strictly-for-profit health care (sic) enterprise many thousands(!) of dollars of "avoidable (sic) expenses" since then.

(This same "health-care (sic) for-profit enterprise" is well on its way to bankrupting a 'tri-county hospital' that a prior generation's industrialist sought to endow. Thereby eliminating business competition. This same company also announced that it would choose which insurance-plans it would accept, and which it would not ... although they briefly backed off when they realized that they did not yet ... quite "fully monopolize all health care (sic) options in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.

So ... let's just cut straight to the facts:
  1. First and foremost ... and, just like the health-insurance companies upon which you are utterly and completely dependent ... we are a for-profit corporation.
  2. "Therefore, the moment you 'cost us money,' you die!"
  3. As a corporation, we have all the "legal rights" that "li'l ol' you" have ... and tens of millions of DOLLARS, besides."
  4. "Yes, we are shamelessly paying millions of dollars a month to whoever will take it ... AND ... 'they are taking it' ... KNOWING THAT 'votes' are now exclusively cast by Computers who (inexplicably?) leave NO PAPER TRAIL.

We pay millions of dollars a month to 'elected' (sic) officials who cheerfully accept the money, knowing in advance that they cannot be 'voted out' ... as long as they continue to do precisely as we say. The "election results" will ALWAYS be as we wish them to be.

("You say you wanna file a lawsuit?") Be my guest! Yeah, so-what if it cost $2 Billion per Justice (say) to buy(!) Citizens United. We have it on record that they took the money, and now not a single one of (the five that mattered, at least) can pretend that there is remaining in all of "the United States Government" anything(!) that does not boil down to this one thing:

"M-O-N-E-Y ... for ... M-E ... M-E ... M-E."

In their determination to keep wearing those silly black robes and to go to work each day in a marble tomb, surrounded by phalanxes of lawyers who will kiss their a*s, every single one of them is now guaranteed to conveniently forget that Article 2, Section 4, ever put "bribery" side-by-side with "treason."

So ... "just go away, American (Non-)Voter!" "We PWN U, D00D!"

. . . u-n-t-i-l . . .

. . . it once again occurs to the "318.86 million American citizens" that, i-f they put their determined minds to it, "the 800 give-or-take people who comprise The United States Government™" are ... as the country's founders intended, "seriously out-numbered.™"

We shall see. "I saved my father ..."
 
Old 10-30-2015, 03:09 AM   #8
qlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixit7 View Post
I recently had a T.U.R.P. operation.

Operation took 2 hours and a one day hospital stay.

Bill is $13,800.

As I am retired, it will take 4.5 years to pay it off.

The U.S. healthcare system needs a serious overhaul.
It would take me four decades to pay that much!!!
Fortunately, we have Government hospitals here in South Africa... :P
 
Old 10-30-2015, 08:45 AM   #9
sundialsvcs
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The United States of America is such a more-enlightened place! Don't you want to move here?

There will be a "social security" system only for the present old folks, and, the sooner that profit-sucking "medicare" system can be done away with, the more profitable our futures will be.

I recently had an uncle who was shot in the face. He was "treated and released." Since then, he has had blackouts and has been admitted to a trauma hospital ... but only because he is a Veteran. (The "VA Hospital" system, which is the only government-funded hospital system, is on the cross-hairs of the private medical industry, which wants to buy it up.)

The US Constitution listed two "high crimes" by name: bribery, and treason. (Article 2, Section 4. In the same article, it defined a pathetically useless system of "impeachment" by which the members of government could laboriously fire themselves.) The founders, sweating away in a Philadelphia closed room before air-conditioning was invented, knew that the government could be laid low if it betrayed itself, and named two ways to do it. However, I think they refused to see how universal bribery could become, and they did not anticipate, "unconstitutional."

The article defining the Judiciary is by far the shortest of all. Either none of them were lawyers or judges, or they just didn't get around to it. They never gave the Supreme Court jurisdiction over the Constitution itself. They defined a very laborious system of "amendments" which has only been exercised twenty-odd times. The document itself, which in toto fits on two handwritten pages, has never undergone any serious revision. Yet.

... except by "treaties," negotiated in secrecy by corporations, and above all else kept entirely out of the public's eye.

It might have cost a billion dollars or more per-justice to buy Citizens United, and they're confident that their treachery will never be discovered, and maybe it never will be, but, as a Very Wise Man observed, "by their fruits shall ye know them."

All eight-hundred of them are confident, also, that no matter what happens their grip on power will never be in jeopardy. Computers count (sic) the votes, but leave no paper trail. (Don't get a receipt at the hamburger stand, and they'll give you a free burger. But when .. and if .. you vote ...) They're also certain that the only viable candidates in every race will be employed by "The Two-Party System, Inc." which features two major brands: Republican, and Democrat. To keep the populace distracted, they've moved talk about an upcoming Presidential election eighteen months away from the actual event.

But history will regard the USA very curiously in hindsight. It appeared from nowhere, blessed by isolation from 18th and 19th century naval warships and its willingness to practice genocide on native populations which did not have firearms or an immunity to smallpox. It never lost a war until 1950, after which it never won one. (Except for its bloodiest war, which it fought against itself and as a "total(!) war," thereby nearly destroying itself.) It never had a strong Constitution, never had a solid fiscal policy, and, because it lacks the "vote of no confidence" ability of the common people to fire their own appointed leaders, does not have a government that is accountable to them. However, if you listen to America talk about itself, it proclaims itself to be "the leader of the free world."

For most of American history, the non-elites were expendable. Miners quipped that the companies protected their mules, because mules had to be replaced but men didn't. For most of its history, except for the 1930's through the 1970's, there were no social support programs. In this "enlightened" country, the young now especially face:
  • You cannot get a college education. It'll cost a quarter-million dollars, and "river's risin'."
  • You will never retire.
  • Anyone from anywhere else in the world will be hired in favor of you, because they are "indentured servants" (and "peons"), reinvented.
  • You might well be thrown into a for-profit prison for the rest of your days.
  • You cannot go to a for-profit hospital.
  • You are required to buy insurance from a for-profit company who nevertheless does not have to sell you equal coverage. (The penalty for non-compliance is $500.)
  • A phalanx of older-and-older people nevertheless continue to dotter through "the halls of power," chanting that there's absolutely nothing that 300 million people can do about it, let alone "peacefully but effectively."

The darkest hour is always right before the dawn. But USA's once-golden star is setting fast. The Internet has opened up the world to inspection by itself, while the old leaders can't even handle e-mail.

"Death by old age" sucks, in some ways, but it is effective for regime change . . .

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 10-30-2015 at 08:48 AM.
 
Old 10-30-2015, 12:31 PM   #10
rtmistler
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Every person's situation is different. And there are varieties of costs of medical procedures, hence why insurance companies negotiate "reasonable and customary" rates for medical tests, procedures, and services. Because one hospital feels that the rates for their specialists are $300/hr whereas the medical insurance companies can say, "No! $150/hr!" And negotiate some form of contract that says an acceptable to both parties result.

I have a disabled family member well under 65 who is on Medicare. I believe persons can opt for Part A or Part B during annual open enrollment between January 1st and March 31st every year. One option would be to evaluate this type of situation, the urgency of it, and determine if it could be scheduled in the future. I do realize that that's not always possible or realistic.

Also perhaps it is beneficial to evaluate what the added parts of Medicare cover and determine if those parts are potentially needed by an individual. The tendency for hospitals to consider things as day surgery is much more common these days, and as a result they are out-patient procedures. Evaluating if you need that classification of coverage is a good thing to consider.

Other alternatives which someone mentioned are that there are free and reduced care considerations for low income persons. Unfortunately if someone has low income but does have assets, they may not qualify. I don't know the guidelines. I've long overheard colleagues who ended up with extremely large medical bills due to an odd circumstance where they pay $5/mo to the hospital and that's what they do.
 
Old 10-30-2015, 12:36 PM   #11
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
I know a couple in Canada that keep US insurance.
That is clearly the ideal situation. Not the cheapest one, but you get the best of both worlds.

Last edited by dugan; 10-30-2015 at 12:37 PM.
 
Old 10-30-2015, 05:51 PM   #12
sundialsvcs
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The process should be simple: "You are legally obligated to perform the procedure if it is medically necessary, and you will be compensated a fixed amount. However, ultimately you will be covered for all costs of providing this society-necessary service. You therefore have no "profit motive." Health-care professionals are paid a flat (and generous) wage to do what they do, regardless of what or how-many procedures they find it medically necessary to perform. Society deems that it is most-important to society that everyone have access to medical care. Society deems this to be "a basic human right," guaranteed by the "right to Life" as set forth in the Preamble to the US Constitution.

It cannot be said that you enjoy the "Inalienable Right" to "Life .. and the Pursuit of Happiness" if an illness or accident will destroy you financially. It is therefore Unconstitutional for "for-profit health care" or "for-profit insurance" to exist, nor in fact for "insurance" to be required to obtain access to whatever(!) medical care you medically need, in the professional opinion of your physician, who knows that (s)he will not receive one dollar more nor one dollar less as a result of that opinion.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 10-30-2015 at 05:52 PM.
 
Old 10-30-2015, 06:48 PM   #13
Jeebizz
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The free market will fix it, won't it?

Healthcare is not a right, it is a business, pay up or die. Its capitalism at its finest.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not for pure communism or socialism, but lets get serious now, how can anyone believe that leaving health services purely to the free market is good?

I think we have pretty much seen the free market in action in healthcare. At this point the government SHOULD step in.

Doesn't matter though, what was done is completely legal so how dare the government should stop this? This is an example of the free market at work. If some people now can't afford it, oh well.
 
Old 10-31-2015, 08:51 AM   #14
sundialsvcs
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"Certain unalienable rights ... life ... the pursuit of happiness."

"We the people ... in order to promote ... the general welfare ..."

It is patently impossible to "make money" providing health-care ... or insurance which is required to obtain health-care. You now have two competing corporations, neither one of which has the interest of the patient nor the public in mind.

You have "an inalienable right" to: the health care that you need, and to public education beyond high school.

Unfortunately, the Constitutional prohibition against Bribery must be re-instated first, because we've allowed multi-billion dollar industries to be created for health, insurance, and education ... all of which have served to deny access to these fundamentals to millions of people, but who also have ... well ... "billions of dollars. Wouldn't you like to have some [more]?"

It should be possible to make a difference with some basic gum-shoe investigation. Who bribed the Supreme Court justices who passed Citizens United? We know somebody did, because we can walk into the National Archives and see the handwritten text of Article 2 Section 4 Word 25, and because we can see the intended effect of this perverse "imperial decree." Armed with this proof of criminal wrongdoing, these five people could be impeached, and imprisoned. That would be a good beginning.

Realizing that your government is flawed-by-design and corrupted throughout, and resolving to do something about it instead of continuing to wring one's hands, isn't a political nor a political-party act: if you see that it's broke, you have to fix it. It isn't easy to do this, and it must not be, because so many people are stakeholders, but since so many people are stakeholders, it must be accomplished. And not by violence, but by willful determination much like the determination that created this government in the first place.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 10-31-2015 at 08:55 AM.
 
Old 10-31-2015, 12:05 PM   #15
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Please analyze carefully why the US healthcare system is one of the least efficient (cost/quality).
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3825477.html

There are actually many reasons for this, so the situation is complicated. Factors are the health habits of the population, the laws and litigation surrounding healthcare, the insurance system, the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, and the doctors.

I really hope you don't blame it all on the doctors (as they are the most accessible to blame), because they too have to deal with all these factors while also trying to provide you with adequate medical care. They have to fight with insurance companies to have them pay for your procedures, and if they don't I've seen doctors just tank the cost because they cannot let the patient die. Many doctors I've seen also have to constantly cover their asses from litigation. If they feel it is not cost-effective to do a CT scan or MRI on a patient, and they miss something in one patient, they will be sued. To avoid this, they order expensive but highly accurate tests to cover their asses from litigation.

I think any industry with a lot of money up for grabs will be tumultuous and inefficient. The govmn't should step in and sort things out, right ? Oh, wait, that is if they are not corrupt, in which case they will favor the best lobbier.
 
  


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