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Author Topic: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.  (Read 5525 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter

Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« on: June 30, 2009, 05:02:26 AM »
I never know there was an actual term for this, though I've seen it happen to friends. Considering the issues with the private healthcare system in the US are partly responsible for my current situation, I don't have a lot of respect for its defenders.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/19/begala.health.care/index.html
Quote
You probably have never heard of Robin Beaton, and that's what's wrong with the debate over health care reform.

Beaton, a retired nurse from Waxahachie, Texas, had health insurance -- or so she thought. She paid her premiums faithfully every month, but when she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, her health insurance company, Blue Cross, dumped her.

The insurance company said the fact that she had seen a dermatologist for acne, who mistakenly entered a notation on her chart that suggested her simple acne was a precancerous condition, allowed Blue Cross to leave her in the lurch.

Beaton testified before a House subcommittee this week. So did other Americans who thought they had insurance but got the shaft. As Karen Tumulty of Time magazine (who has been the journalistic conscience of health care coverage) wrote, other witnesses included:

"Peggy Raddatz, whose brother Otto Raddatz lost his insurance coverage right before he was scheduled to receive an expensive stem-cell transplant to treat his lymphoma. Why? Because Fortis Insurance Company discovered his doctor had found gall stones and an aneurysm on a CT scan -- conditions that had nothing to do with his cancer, that never bothered him and that he wasn't even aware of. And Jennifer Wittney Horton of Los Angeles, California, whose coverage was canceled because she had been taking a drug for irregular menstruation. Now, she can't get coverage anywhere else. 'Since my rescission, I have had to take jobs that I do not want, and put my career goals on hold to ensure that I can find health insurance,' she told the subcommittee."

The subcommittee's chairman, Democrat Bart Stupak of Michigan, called the hearing to highlight the obnoxious and unethical practice called rescission. His researchers produced performance reviews of insurance company bureaucrats who were praised and rewarded for kicking people off their coverage.

Then Stupak asked three health insurance executives the big question: Will your company pledge to end the practice of rescission except in cases of intentional fraud?

All three health insurance executives said no.

...

Offline Sel Nar

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2009, 11:17:32 AM »
That is the sort of thing that I feel is So Morally Reprehensible that it's on a level of Murder by Proxy.

<Rant>I may rag on the US. healthcare system simply by merit of me not being American (Plus all the jokes of walking into the ER costs 5000$ or so, just to sniff the air) but when the Medical Insurance companies are cutting insurance for Life-saving measures, just because of various unrelated or 'pre-existing' conditions, well... that makes my blood boil. Insurance is supposed to help Defray the costs of serious incidents such as Car accidents, Fire, or medical Emergencies. It is NOT there to soak you of a pile of money then Kick you to the Curb as soon as you ask for a helping hand.<Rant>

Here's a laugh, and an example at the same time; My dad can't leave Canada as his Hemophilia is a "pre-existing condition" [Duh; it's a genetic Disorder], and no insurance in the US would cover him; the general sentiment from Doctors in Canada is that if My dad had something as minor as a nosebleed in the US. He'd have to sell our home to pay off the bills. And a 70-acre farm rakes in a fair bit more than a half-acre townhouse, so, well... you get the idea.

So, yeah. that's my two cents, be it as rambling and as disjointed as the rest of my thought processes.

Offline The Overlord

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2009, 05:21:05 PM »

I will say this much on the matter-


My aunt is going in the late stages of a brain tumor and there’s been plenty of medical care. They put her into good facilities including now a hospice, as she needs help for everything.

Nine years ago my father got plenty of insured treatment for his cancer until he passed. I am glad that my family has gotten as much care as it has.


I can tell you this much, if I get anything serious and companies start dropping me in the future, I’ll move to act decisively while I still can. No one will get proxy murder on me without me taking someone down with me. If society dares to turn its back to me, it will get a blade in it.




And you can take that shit to the bank.

Offline fossildude181

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2009, 05:36:42 PM »
Insurance companies can be spotty, but it's considerably better than nationalized health care. What incentive is there to invest in a system where you don't make money? Where's the logic in rationing off health care instead of increasing the supply?

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Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2009, 05:41:27 PM »
Insurance companies can be spotty, but it's considerably better than nationalized health care.

That would be a matter of some debate.

What incentive is there to invest in a system where you don't make money? Where's the logic in rationing off health care instead of increasing the supply?

Ask the people that can't afford massive health insurance premiums. They might have an answer or two.

Offline Jude

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2009, 07:44:30 PM »
I learned of human nature in a way very different from most, I think.  My cynicism grew out of the most trivial thing, an internet message board.  For many years I played an MMORPG called Asheron's Call by a company called Turbine and read the associated message board that the community of my server used.

Nearly every time a message popped up on the board about someone being banned, it was the same story.  "Turbine took my account away for no reason.  I did nothing wrong.  This is so unfair."  And every time someone wrote something like that, it turned out they had actually done something to lose their account.  I slowly began to realize that people lie a whole lot, especially when authority is involved.  It's almost natural for people to rally against the "big guy" in every situation and suspend any measure of skepticism.  I see it time and time again.

Does this mean I honestly believe that in every situation of someone being screwed by an insurance company that the people claiming such are lying?  Nope.  Does this mean I believe quite often the facts are being misrepresented at least a little?  Yeah.  I bet most of the people forming an opinion based on the nurse aren't scientists, nor do they understand Dermatology enough to actually analyze the insurance company's claim to decide whether or not it's a valid point.

It probably never occurred to most people who read that, that maybe the condition of her skin actually did indicate a cancer problem.  One which she neglected either out of incompetence or carelessness.  I'm not trying to make a point of blaming the victim here, I'm merely arguing that there are shades of gray in all of these stories which people ignore.

You rarely hear anyone arguing the insurance company's side, instead there's this notion that the insurance company should be operating like a charity.  What people fail to realize is that even a system of socialized medicine has its casualties.  In our system its failure to cover certain individuals or people who get screwed by the insurance company.  Under socialized medicine its rationing.  It's not like the government will start running things and the problems will magically go away:  no system is perfect.

To be honest I do think we can improve our health care system.  I think there's a lot we can do to make things better, but I don't think the problem is just the insurance company's fault.  That's a really naive and tritely "anti-authority" point of view, but a common one none the less.  There are a ridiculous amount of problems, but here's a few:

- Faking sick.  I'm sure everyone was guilty of this as a child once or twice, and then your parents made you go to the doctor.  That's wasted money.  It costs your health insurance quite a bit.

- Irresponsible spending because your health insurance provider is footing the bill.  I.E. you probably don't really need that test done, but why not, you're not paying for it.

-  Clinging to life at all costs.  Sometimes it's just time to say goodbye.  Life is an amazing thing, a precious thing.  But you have to be able to put a price tag on it (no matter how much we don't want to) because that's how the system works.  If you're 80 and forcing your health insurance company to pay out in order to keep you alive another 5 years, they're gonna have to work hard to screw someone else over in order to keep their business profitable.  You could be killing someone in their 30s or younger.

You could throw in the fact that we don't take enough preventative steps and many other things into the mix.  I just wish people would realize we're every bit as responsible for the problem as the insurance companies are.  Take what you hear with a grain of salt.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 08:18:37 PM by RandomNumber »

Offline Serephino

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2009, 09:58:50 PM »
So you're saying that if an elderly person gets sick they should just give up and die because they're old so that insurance companies can pay for treatment for a younger person and still make a profit?  I bet your opinion on that would change if the elderly person was your loved one. 

I agree that some people waste money on unnecessary things, but no one should put a price tag on a human life.  That's disgusting.  I suppose there are exceptions to every rule.  I don't think it's right to keep someone in a coma alive for years with very little hope of them waking up, or people with diseases that will never be able to take care of themselves and would have a poor quality of life. 

People don't defend big corporations for a reason.  Right now insurance companies are mainly concerned with profit.  Every month people pay them an ungodly amount of money.  The average person can only go to the doctor a few times a year, but end up paying thousands. 

I don't know about your doctor, but a visit to my family physician is $75.  The best insurance plan I've been able to find is $190 with like a $500 deductible.  So even if I do fake being sick one day in a month they still made $115 off me that month. 

I am not a big fan of insurance companies because when I needed gallbladder surgery I was screwed.  It was a pre existing condition so no one would take me.  I could have died, but no one cared, not even the surgeon.  My credit is now ruined because of medical bills.         

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2009, 10:51:20 PM »
There is some truth in Random’s words.  Medical insurance companies are more a side effect rather than the problem with private healthcare.  Insurance companies will always look for loop holes in their contracts.  They have an entire army of lawyers to do this very thing and have no qualms about doing so.  An example of this would be the home owner’s insurance companies after Hurricane Katrina.  They would refuse to pay for flood damage to a house citing that the wind had pushed the water into the home, meaning that it was wind damage.  Those insurance companies could not afford to pay for all the claims they were now receiving and so had to protect their companies.  So in essence they are being good capitalists.

Unfortunately medicine rests at that unenviable intersection of money and morality.  Nobody wants to put a price on our own lives, yet all have a problem paying for the lives of others.  Therefore the healthcare of the nation is entrusted to people whose main goal is to protect profits and see that their investors are made happy.  Blaming them for doing their job is wrong because it is the government and the people that have given them this task.  Insurance companies have long said that the cost of medicine is rising too fast for them to cover effectively but nobody listened.  Many business owners have said that they cannot afford what insurance companies are charging and what is left for them to cover for their employees.  The government and the people of this country failed to listen, instead believing that only the uninsured were having a problem. 

Someone noted that a private system is better than national because it works and makes a profit.  Looking at the state of insurance companies now and the industries that are going under to give their employees benefits, there is a vast amount of room to disagree.  The simple fact is that a completely privatized system is not working.  Something else has to be tried because the healthcare system is sinking steadily and quickly beneath the weight of rising costs and the inability of people to pay those costs while still demanding care.

Also, eighty year olds can live quite well.  Though that aside, if someone wishes to tell a daughter or son that they are not allowed five more years with their mother because of medical costs they certainly can.  I won’t be the one to do that.  If someone would like to tell a mother or father that they won’t get five years with their child because the treatments are too expensive, be my guest.  As cynical as anyone might profess to be, that is beyond that and passing into the world of callous cruelty.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2009, 11:38:03 PM »
Insurance companies can be spotty, but it's considerably better than nationalized health care.

You make this point like it's a fact, when most of the industrialized world - including the population of the United States - disagrees with you.

Healthy people find jobs easier. Healthy people pay their bills. Healthy people are more productive. Guaranteeing health care coverage through one means or another means people don't fear bills. Over sixty percent of bankruptcies are medically related. Over sixty percent of those went into it with private insurance.

Quote
What incentive is there to invest in a system where you don't make money? Where's the logic in rationing off health care instead of increasing the supply?

Because the system makes money even if an individual step doesn't. We don't need Finland's system, we don't want Canada's, but there's obviously a set of solutions that can be tried.

Quote from: RandomNumber
It probably never occurred to most people who read that, that maybe the condition of her skin actually did indicate a cancer problem.  One which she neglected either out of incompetence or carelessness.  I'm not trying to make a point of blaming the victim here, I'm merely arguing that there are shades of gray in all of these stories which people ignore.

Err no, read again:
Quote
The insurance company said the fact that she had seen a dermatologist for acne, who mistakenly entered a notation on her chart that suggested her simple acne was a precancerous condition, allowed Blue Cross to leave her in the lurch.

This is congressional testimony, not he-said-she-said. It's not an anecdote, it's a situation where the insurer's practice has actively denied someone coverage due to a mistake.

Above and beyond that, though, incompetence or carelessness? For something as complex as the human body, that's stretching it, especially since only now, in 2009 is the government actually funding programs to check what treatments actually are effective.

No private system has the incentive to do that, apparently.

Quote
Nobody wants to put a price on our own lives, yet all have a problem paying for the lives of others.

Most people in the United States actually would be fine with paying more taxes to guarantee coverage.

That number is only going to go up over the next four years.

We have a problem paying for the lifestyles of others, but if my neighbor is more productive they are more likely to be able to want and afford my own services, and that of others.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 12:14:06 AM by Vekseid »

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2009, 11:43:27 PM »
Insurance is something you pay in order to have a chance to get help when you need it. 

I would wonder how much of these people money they have taken....and just, not given back? 

Is it not illegal to take money, for a stated purpose, and then tell the people you took the money from to go away?  Is that not fraud?  It's one thing to say, 'no we won't pay for this procedure'.  But that's not what these companies are doing.  It's another thing entirely to say, 'your policy is canceled'. 

Ah well.  The evils of bureaucracy and legal control.

Offline Jude

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2009, 03:09:05 AM »
So you're saying that if an elderly person gets sick they should just give up and die because they're old so that insurance companies can pay for treatment for a younger person and still make a profit?  I bet your opinion on that would change if the elderly person was your loved one.
Ad hominid and assumption much?  Not to mention straw man.  In 2000 the man closest to me in the entire world, my grandfather, was diagnosed with liver cancer.  The doctors took a look at his situation and decided that his chances of survival were grim, but there were things they could do in order to prolong his life and possibly cure him.  There was a chance he could've had chemo, undergone everything, and lived another 10 years.

He chose to die with dignity instead of racking up medical bills and delaying the inevitable.  I miss him a ton.  But I have more respect for him than anyone else in the entire world because he knew when it was his time to go, and went down like a brave, honest man instead of struggling and going out screaming and kicking like a lot of people do who absolutely refuse to face their end.

I agree that some people waste money on unnecessary things, but no one should put a price tag on a human life.  That's disgusting.  I suppose there are exceptions to every rule.  I don't think it's right to keep someone in a coma alive for years with very little hope of them waking up, or people with diseases that will never be able to take care of themselves and would have a poor quality of life. 
But you have to put a price on human life, even if your ultimate mission is to save as many people as possible.  It's a basic principle of scarcity that there's not enough to keep everyone going.  Putting a pricetag on things and making hard decisions isn't easy.  It's certainly not something the average person wants to do.  I've known people who worked for insurance companies who got physically ill over going into work at times.  They couldn't handle the work.  I understand that it's a difficult thing to do, but it's a necessary evil.

People don't defend big corporations for a reason.  Right now insurance companies are mainly concerned with profit.  Every month people pay them an ungodly amount of money.  The average person can only go to the doctor a few times a year, but end up paying thousands. 
WOAH, a company is concerned with profit!  IMAGINE THAT.  I wonder why they went into business?  And people attack corporations for almost no reason nowadays.  It's a popular sentiment in our society even if it is baseless a lot of the time.

I don't know about your doctor, but a visit to my family physician is $75.  The best insurance plan I've been able to find is $190 with like a $500 deductible.  So even if I do fake being sick one day in a month they still made $115 off me that month. 
You're using evidence from your personal example in order to refute a broad point.  Which makes your usage of numbers completely irrelevant.  If you want to argue against the fact that people faking sick actually costs them a fair amount of money using statistics, you should actually use statistics are relevant.  Granted the original claim was given by me without statistics and the burden of proof is on the one making the claim.  Which really leaves us at an impasse unless one of us actually digs up the numbers.

I am not a big fan of insurance compa nies because when I needed gallbladder surgery I was screwed.  It was a pre existing condition so no one would take me.  I could have died, but no one cared, not even the surgeon.  My credit is now ruined because of medical bills.         
And it sucks that you've fallen through the cracks.  Some people do.  No matter what system we have, some people will always fall through the cracks.  With a population of over 300 million people in the United States a few cases of anecdotal evidence don't prove anything.

Personally in my life I don't know a single person who's ever had any problems with an insurance company.  Does this mean that such problems don't exist?  No.  Does this mean there isn't a problem?  No.  But I can tell you I don't have the information before me to prove anything.  I was simply applying a bit of healthy skepticism and spreading the blame around in a rational manner instead of making a polarized claim without evidence.

You're free to your opinion, but I won't take it seriously unless you've actually done research on it if you're making a solid claim.

Also, eighty year olds can live quite well.  Though that aside, if someone wishes to tell a daughter or son that they are not allowed five more years with their mother because of medical costs they certainly can.  I won’t be the one to do that.  If someone would like to tell a mother or father that they won’t get five years with their child because the treatments are too expensive, be my guest.  As cynical as anyone might profess to be, that is beyond that and passing into the world of callous cruelty.
The world IS callous and cruel.  It's fun to pretend we like in an idyllic universe, but we don't.  I'm not saying that you turn 80 and bam, we magically stop covering your medicine, but if there's an expensive procedure that you need, you're quite old, and it's only going to extend your life a very small amount of time, I don't think the insurance company should cover it.  Be happy that you've lived a long and full life and say your goodbyes.  Using the most advanced bits of medical technology to keep people alive as long as humanly possible is simply not sustainable in the world we live in to date.  I would like to live in a world where it is, but this isn't it.

It's possible I'm wrong.  I certainly wouldn't mind if I was.  It'd probably take some serious change on behalf of the country to facilitate universal coverage while also keeping the cover for seniors at the current level regardless of the situation.  I'm not really sure if I'm against that either.  I'm just trying to point out that such situations make things difficulty, and questioning if it's really wrong to deny someone expensive procedures if it barely elongates life.

Quote from: Vekseid
This is congressional testimony, not he-said-she-said. It's not an anecdote, it's a situation where the insurer's practice has actively denied someone coverage due to a mistake.
I like to watch Cspan and I have enough to know that just because it's happening before congress doesn't mean it isn't anecdotal BS.  However, I will grant you that the initial story wasn't simply for the sake of argument.  How many layers of filtration did the story go through to get from its inception to me?  I'm not dumb enough to trust all of the hands it passed.  Furthermore if you'd actually read what I said instead of straw-manning me you'd see the use of the word "maybe" and realize that I was making a general point about the unreliability of first hand accounts.

EDIT:  I also realized that I did misread the original statement you made and your point about me misunderstanding that was valid... I don't know how I got her being a dermatologist out of it.  My reading comprehension apparently failed me.  Apologies for any confusion.

Quote from: Vekseid
Above and beyond that, though, incompetence or carelessness? For something as complex as the human body, that's stretching it, especially since only now, in 2009 is the government actually funding programs to check what treatments actually are effective.

No private system has the incentive to do that, apparently.
Except scientists have been measuring the effectiveness of treatments for a long time now.  In order to make any medical claim you need hard data to back it up or else the FDA (or is it the FTC, I think they both play a role) can sue your ass.  Maybe we didn't have public funding but it's not entirely necessary in every situation as long as peer review of the scientific community is involved in analyzing the studies done.

When all is said and done I actually support health care reform.  I don't think I'd mind paying slightly higher taxes to do so either.  What bothers me is the "it's all the greedy corporation's fault" mentality.  The system is broken for many reasons, and it's not just the Insurance Industry.   There's a lot of blame to be spread around, scapegoating one party isn't fair.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 04:29:29 AM by RandomNumber »

Offline consortium11

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2009, 04:59:08 AM »
I agree that some people waste money on unnecessary things, but no one should put a price tag on a human life.  That's disgusting.  I suppose there are exceptions to every rule.  I don't think it's right to keep someone in a coma alive for years with very little hope of them waking up, or people with diseases that will never be able to take care of themselves and would have a poor quality of life.       

Also, eighty year olds can live quite well.  Though that aside, if someone wishes to tell a daughter or son that they are not allowed five more years with their mother because of medical costs they certainly can.  I won’t be the one to do that.  If someone would like to tell a mother or father that they won’t get five years with their child because the treatments are too expensive, be my guest.  As cynical as anyone might profess to be, that is beyond that and passing into the world of callous cruelty.

I'm not quite sure exactly what these points are doing in a debate about private/public health service... as they are just as (if not more) prevalent in nationalised health systems. In the UK the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is quite possibly the single least popular group of people because it is them who decide whether it is cost effective to allows certain treatments and medications on the NHS. Recently they hit the press because they turned down four kidney cancer drugs because their cost wasn't worth it for the extension and quality of life given. Huge media outcry and now one of those drugs is being offered on the NHS after a U-turn by NICE, which was combined with Pfizer offering to pay for the first round of treatments (but drug companies are evil right...)

Great victory right?

Not really.

The reason for NICE's turnaround was officially new rules of determining how "good value" extending someones life was. In reality it was the media pressure from the case... which means public outcry determines the availability of individual drugs and no-one can think that is the best way to determine things like that.

And because of the outcry people started to see what NICE do and look into their system... and realised that there isn't an unlimited budget. So when people were asking for other life-extending treatments and told no, they looked to those with kidney cancer and wondered why they got it and others didn't. Because of the tight purse strings (as they have to be) you have far better access to life extending drugs if you suffer a rare condition than a common one. If the kidney cancer example above had been breast or lung cancer nothing would have changed.

The thing that may surprise you?

The drug in question (Sutent) is pretty widely available in the US... which corresponds with other studies I've seen that access to high cost drugs is far better in the US than the UK.

Of course, the UK isn't the only style of nationalised health service, and we're noticeably worse than most of Continental Europe when it comes to both the speed of approval and provision of cancer drugs. That said the point still remains... the distasteful task of deciding what to spend on someone to extend their life by months is just as prevalent in a national system as a private one... and probably even more so.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2009, 05:15:14 AM »
I like to watch Cspan and I have enough to know that just because it's happening before congress doesn't mean it isn't anecdotal BS.  However, I will grant you that the initial story wasn't simply for the sake of argument.  How many layers of filtration did the story go through to get from its inception to me?  I'm not dumb enough to trust all of the hands it passed.  Furthermore if you'd actually read what I said instead of straw-manning me you'd see the use of the word "maybe" and realize that I was making a general point about the unreliability of first hand accounts.

EDIT:  I also realized that I did misread the original statement you made and your point about me misunderstanding that was valid... I don't know how I got her being a dermatologist out of it.  My reading comprehension apparently failed me.  Apologies for any confusion.

The issue is a bit deeper than that, though. Nearly the entire population of the planet has precancerous skin conditions in the form of moles and so on. This sort of thing becomes a problem in and of itself - people do not generally have the time to keep track of every potential health issue. We only have so much time in a day, there needs to be a healthy balance between prevention and paranoia.

You can say she may not be being entirely honest, but the problem is the amount of lies required to make Blue Cross's actions be reasonable gets to be a bit ludicrous. Hell even talking about it works from accepting the view that denying coverage based on pre-existing issues is at all acceptable.

Quote
Except scientists have been measuring the effectiveness of treatments for a long time now.  In order to make any medical claim you need hard data to back it up or else the FDA (or is it the FTC, I think they both play a role) can sue your ass.  Maybe we didn't have public funding but it's not entirely necessary in every situation as long as peer review of the scientific community is involved in analyzing the studies done.

The FDA covers most such things, on an individual device or drug basis. And the FDA does not sue, it terminates your right to sell, which is a bit worse.

I'm talking about evaluating treatments as a whole and comparing drugs, not the approval process which is a completely different beast.

Quote
When all is said and done I actually support health care reform.  I don't think I'd mind paying slightly higher taxes to do so either.  What bothers me is the "it's all the greedy corporation's fault" mentality.  The system is broken for many reasons, and it's not just the Insurance Industry.   There's a lot of blame to be spread around, scapegoating one party isn't fair.

Well no. You have malpractice destroying OB/GYN, doctors who are paid per patient visit, unnecessarily high restrictions on medical licenses, pharmaceutical companies advertising and patent trolling... there are a lot of ugly issues in health care beyond insurance issues.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 12:38:22 PM by Vekseid »

Offline Revolverman

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2009, 05:26:13 AM »
Heath Care is a big scam no matter how its payed for.

Its all about treatments, not cures, or more importantly, prevention.

Offline Jude

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2009, 06:02:27 AM »
The FDA covers most such things, on an individual device or drug basis. And the FDA does not sue, it terminates your right to sell, which is a bit worse.

I'm talking about evaluating treatments as a whole and comparing drugs, not the approval process which is a completely different beast.
But the approval process requires a burden of proof that the drug be shown safe and affective.  Sure, there isn't anything to measure one drug versus  another other than comparing the two statistics which were developed in the initial approval process, but that is a valid comparison at times, and certainly not worthless.

Also the FTC plays a role because it analyzes medical claims made in advertising.

Well no. You have malpractice destroying OB/GYN, doctors who are paid per patient visit, unnecessarily high restrictions on medical licenses, pharmaceutical companies advertising and patent trolling... there are a lot of ugly issues in health care beyond insurance issues.
Again you miss the point.  Everything you name exonerates individuals, and blames government and/or corporations for the problems.  Individuals play a role too with the various unhealthy lifestyles people live in the United States.

It also doesn't help that some people waste time/money on alternative treatments which have no scientific backing instead of actually getting help from professionals.  Just the populace's tendency to distrust medical authorities is mind boggling and inane at times.  A little skepticism is always healthy but the current anti-vaccination BS circling throughout the country is really unacceptable.  We haven't hit a critical point where it's cost us a lot of money yet, but if things don't change it will (like it has in Europe).

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2009, 06:25:57 AM »
But the approval process requires a burden of proof that the drug be shown safe and affective.  Sure, there isn't anything to measure one drug versus  another other than comparing the two statistics which were developed in the initial approval process, but that is a valid comparison at times, and certainly not worthless.

Also the FTC plays a role because it analyzes medical claims made in advertising.

I don't think we're in argument here? I was merely clarifying. The stimulus study covers treatment programs (not just single drugs) and comparing the effectiveness of different programs and drugs.

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Again you miss the point.  Everything you name exonerates individuals, and blames government and/or corporations for the problems.  Individuals play a role too with the various unhealthy lifestyles people live in the United States.

When something bad happens there's often an extenuating circumstance, or the belief that they were following authority.

That last point is the evil behind corporations and governments. It is what makes an organization bad and a person good, and why individuals in general deserve exoneration and organizations more scrutiny. We are, as a rule, a species of followers. The Milgram and Stanford experiments demonstrate that rather brutally.

People will gleefully murder if they are convinced it is the right thing to do.

About 4% of the population bucks the trend - about one in fifty seems to genuinely enjoy causing harm or thinks only for themselves - sociopath, whatever. Likewise, about one in fifty by default critically analyzes the situations they are presented with in a moral light.

The other 96%? Followers, by default.

Who is to blame, then? Leaders who are forced to make hasty decisions based on incomplete information? Policymakers who err in writing out the rules and procedures for their organization? Which person, in the lineup, is to blame for the situation?

That there are truly evil people in this world does not help, of course, but in general there really is an organizational rather than a personal issue. Authority is not a simple cut and dry task.

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It also doesn't help that some people waste time/money on alternative treatments which have no scientific backing instead of actually getting help from professionals.  Just the populace's tendency to distrust medical authorities is mind boggling and inane at times.  A little skepticism is always healthy but the current anti-vaccination BS circling throughout the country is really unacceptable.  We haven't hit a critical point where it's cost us a lot of money yet, but if things don't change it will (like it has in Europe).

Genuine frauds like homeopathy and such are best placed in their own discussion.

Offline Jude

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2009, 07:01:30 AM »
I wrote a lengthy post which I realized in the middle was becoming totally irrelevant to the actual discussion and philosophic in nature.  So instead of posting it here I'll stow my argument on whether or not we are "followers" as a whole.  My response to you is much simpler than writing all of that out and muddying the thread by going off on a tangent anyway.

Let us assume for the sake of argument people are in fact followers.  There seems to be a prevailing notion of anti-government or anti-corporate sentiments whenever a problem occurs (in this case, healthcare).  Never actually blaming the people.  You know those 2% of people who actually cause change, think differently, and try and influence things?  It's going to take them trying to shift the way we think about these problems for people to become empowered enough to do something about them.

I don't care if the average person is empowered enough to do something currently or not.  They are still ultimately responsible for most of the problems in their life (they as a whole) and until enough people start saying, "look at yourself" then the American populace never will.  We need to stop blaming institutions and organizations or we'll never get to the root cause of things.

Granted those institutions and organizations play a role as well, but we're not even-handed at all in our society.  Politicians frequently tell us "the American people are the solution."  They kiss our ass left and right, because if they actually told us the truth to try and wake us up out of our American Idol induced coma we probably wouldn't listen anyway and instead we'd vote them out of office while downloading another episode of "Will and Grace" off of iTunes.

In a Democracy the power lies with the people.  Each and every official in government is there because we put them there either directly or indirectly (by appointment of an elected official).  As much as we'd like to pretend this isn't the case, we still do vote every 2 years nationally.  Let us also not forget that these corporations survive and thrive based on where we choose to spend our dollar.  We are the problem.  For once it'd be nice to see a mainstream voice say that.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2009, 07:05:37 AM by RandomNumber »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2009, 10:21:15 AM »
I tend to view this in a simple way does a law abiding citizen even if homeless have the same right to health care we give criminals in prison that commit the worst crimes?

I would say focus then if one can say yes to a BASIC safety net access to primary care and treatments that are well known and work for necessary care to spare life and reduce suffering. One doesn't need to give citizens choices just have a medical doctor assigned and specialist care assigned as needed to meet a minimal care standard. The same choice and options an inmate in prisoner gets, maybe a little better. But that could be done cheaply if one has full government control and not provide expensive care options that are experimental to those that need. With modest co-payments on the patiants side based on ability to pay.


Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2009, 08:23:12 PM »
Much of the opposition to socialized healthcare stems from the belief the "free market" is invariably the best way to set costs for goods and services.

Yet there are some "services" that we already (at least implicitly) agree are best rendered by means other than the market.  If a house catches on fire, we don't flip through the Yellow Pages to try and find the best deal  on structure fire extinguishing services.  We dial 911.  Likewise, when we hear the downstairs window get broken and a burglar come in, we don't turn to our partner and say, "Gee honey, remember that flyer in the mail last week with 20% off burglar removal services?  Can you find the number?"  We again call 911...or reach for the Smith and Wesson.

Given the dismal inefficiency of the American health care system, I think we have to ask ourselves if the free market is indeed the best approach to providing health care...or if the market should be relegated to a secondary or auxilliary role (i.e., we have a national health system but delegate certain tasks like ordering medical supplies to the market, just like the fire department might put an order for a new engine up for competitive bids.).

But above all, we really need to jettison political ideology here and focus on doing what works.

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Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2009, 09:16:41 PM »
....I'm not even addressing whatever proceeded.

What astounds me has always been the fact that

'Republican=smaller government, yet wants 'conservative laws to prevail', that ultimately decide how people make very important life choices...so they seem to want smaller government, yet want huge, blanket laws to rule over the populace.
'Democrat=big government to help the masses,the poor...yet also wants to allow people their 'liberal rights'...so they want government to help everyone, yet want to be able to say 'screw you!' if the laws go against what they consider their 'liberal rights'.

...sighs....

All I can say is...

Unaffiliated Independent ftw.

and no...I'm not arguing the points with anyone.

Offline fossildude181

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2009, 09:47:11 PM »
The free market works. As long as there's a demand, the supply will move to accomodate it.
Why do we hear tales of the storages of dentists in Great Britain (such that the Daily Telegraph runs a story every other month of patients pulling their own teeth)? Why does it take a month to get an MRI in Canada when in the U.S. it takes a week or less? Why do some Canadian towns hold lotteries in order to determine who can get medical treatment (see Norwood, Ontario)? Why is it that there are stories about British and Canadian hospitals running out of room to put patients, but we don't hear the same of American hospitals? These are all general anecdotes, yes, but they are telling. You get the health care you pay for, and it may cost a bit but it shows.
I'll end this with one last remark: If the nationalized health care of Canada was so good, why have people flocked to the private practices allowed since 2005?

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2009, 10:11:54 PM »
Because Canada's system is horribly flawed.

I think states like Washington are beginning to pioneer what will become the norm - the government guarantees certain minimums (general checkup, guaranteed vaccinations, etc) and limit what insurance providers can't cover in the event of catastrophe.

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Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2009, 11:18:03 PM »
Much of the opposition to socialized healthcare stems from the belief the "free market" is invariably the best way to set costs for goods and services.

Yet there are some "services" that we already (at least implicitly) agree are best rendered by means other than the market.  If a house catches on fire, we don't flip through the Yellow Pages to try and find the best deal  on structure fire extinguishing services.  We dial 911.  Likewise, when we hear the downstairs window get broken and a burglar come in, we don't turn to our partner and say, "Gee honey, remember that flyer in the mail last week with 20% off burglar removal services?  Can you find the number?"  We again call 911...or reach for the Smith and Wesson.

Given the dismal inefficiency of the American health care system, I think we have to ask ourselves if the free market is indeed the best approach to providing health care...or if the market should be relegated to a secondary or auxilliary role (i.e., we have a national health system but delegate certain tasks like ordering medical supplies to the market, just like the fire department might put an order for a new engine up for competitive bids.).

But above all, we really need to jettison political ideology here and focus on doing what works.

Just wanted  to say, this of all I read up to this point. Made the most common sense.   

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2009, 05:33:37 AM »
Why does it take a month to get an MRI in Canada when in the U.S. it takes a week or less?

It doesn't.

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Why do some Canadian towns hold lotteries in order to determine who can get medical treatment (see Norwood, Ontario)?

They're called fundraisers.  I believe the US also has them for procedures and surgeries your health care plans don't cover.

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Why is it that there are stories about British and Canadian hospitals running out of room to put patients, but we don't hear the same of American hospitals?

There are stories about that because people like to whip them out to prove that socialized health care is an evil, pointless thing that's only going to extend your wait times and suck away all your money.

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These are all general anecdotes, yes, but they are telling. You get the health care you pay for, and it may cost a bit but it shows.

No, they are not telling.  I've been under the US health care system as well as the Canadian, and I can tell you right now that there is no hugely discernable difference in wait times or bed spaces available.   I once spent 18 hours in an American ER for a kidney infection because there wasn't enough bed space, for example, and I had to delay having my first pregnancy induced twice because the beds in the Canadian maternity ward were full.   

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I'll end this with one last remark: If the nationalized health care of Canada was so good, why have people flocked to the private practices allowed since 2005?

Because our basic health care doesn't cover everything.  It doesn't cover dental, it doesn't cover vision, and it doesn't cover drugs.  It's why it's called "basic".  Private health insurance has been around a lot longer in Canada since 2005.   "Nationalized" health care is also a misnomer.  The federal government has little to do with our health care plans.  The word you're looking for is "provincial".

Is it a perfect system?  No.  Is it a better system than what I witnessed and experienced in the United States?  I believe so.

 I'll end this way: There are 1.8 million Canadians without a family doctor.  There are 45 million Americans without health care.   Which would you rather be?

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Rescission and the glories of privatized health care.
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2009, 09:41:56 AM »
I hate to say this being a Libertarian but how many people in Canada are afraid they will have to go bankrupt over a health care bill, or in other countries with basic national health care?

I agree that we need something and health care access comparable to what a criminal in a detention care facility is entitled to under the law and court directive should be what we are looking at. For me the big issue is to cover EVERYONE that has a real medical need at a level everyone can afford and that would include even the homeless and wage-slaves surviving on paycheck to paycheck. Most won't be able to be covered at all if the demands of the insurance costs and using it are too high.

Someone has to say NO to treatments and procedures at some point and limiting choice is vital so treatments offered are ones that are cost effective and work. And I would strongly consider outsourcing expensive cases to India, Thailand and other nations with top ofr profit tourist hospitals where the costs for care would be far lower on say heart treatments, cancer treatments and the like. Use the free market forces to a national health care basic plan and it will work, I'm pretty sure of it.