Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Sun May 19, 2013 2:56 pm

Son started complaining of painful urination.

Took him to Urgent Care facility because it was "$75" copay, compared to $200 for ER.

Well, turns out it was a UTI.

Insurance covererd 0, because the Dr at said Urgent Care wasn't in network, even thouhg Care center was. $600 bill to get Iv's, and Antibiotics, because I didn't think to ask if the dr I saw at the facility that was in my network was also in my network.

FU people who like the current US health Care System.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Sun May 19, 2013 3:32 pm

I had some surgery done int he US before I left for NZ 10 years ago. In between the time I signed up for the surgery and the actual operation, something changed with the anesthetist and he was no longer covered by my health plan. I got to pay the full $2,000 for his services even though nobody informed me of the change.

You do bring up a good point, Shoju. With a national system like NZ has, the facility doesn't matter. Wherever I could have taken my wife, all of the procedure would be covered by the national system. The last thing you need when a loved one is in pain is to figure out where to go that is covered by your particular insurance plan. You just want the closest place that you can get her to fastest, to get her taken care of, because what counts at that moment is getting medical assistance, not unraveling insurance company bullshit.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Sun May 19, 2013 5:05 pm

My mom prefers to cross the border and go to hospitals in Mexico... Her cholecystectomy was done for less than 4 grand! That included doctor, surgery, surgery room, anesthesiology, room and medicines.

That's how shitty she thinks of the US healthcare system.

When I had my 2nd kidney stone, i dragged my ass across the border to a mexican hospital... doctor, one night stay and medicine for 100 dollars, vis a vis the 1.5 grand I had to pay the first time I had to go through that.

The doctors and big pharma can go all EABODs and DIAF
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Mon May 20, 2013 7:17 am

What isn't discussed here is the payment for the national systems over taxes - the highest taxbracket for US taxes (source) is 39.6%.
I'm in the lowest tax bracket in denmark, and I pay 39% after the tax free deduction (depending on whether you work or not you get one of 2 deductions before taxes are calculated) - I have 7,250USD worth of deduction before I pay tax (and thats the lower of the deductions as I'm not employed, but on a social pension due to a work accident 12 years ago).

Tax is more than healthcare of course, but its so neat that we have healthcare segregated into 5 "regions", whis is listed seperately on the tax bill; 6% in 2013 (down from 7% in 2012)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Mon May 20, 2013 10:16 am

Koatanga wrote:I had some surgery done int he US before I left for NZ 10 years ago. In between the time I signed up for the surgery and the actual operation, something changed with the anesthetist and he was no longer covered by my health plan. I got to pay the full $2,000 for his services even though nobody informed me of the change.

You do bring up a good point, Shoju. With a national system like NZ has, the facility doesn't matter. Wherever I could have taken my wife, all of the procedure would be covered by the national system. The last thing you need when a loved one is in pain is to figure out where to go that is covered by your particular insurance plan. You just want the closest place that you can get her to fastest, to get her taken care of, because what counts at that moment is getting medical assistance, not unraveling insurance company bullshit.


Completely agree.

Before my wife got her current job, if she had a diabetes related issue that required a rescue squad, I couldn't call 911. Because if I called 911, they would dispatch a private ambulance service, as well as the Fire Dept, and the private company they would dispatch was a real pain in the ass to deal with, and we would end up having to eat the bill, and then go for reimbursement for the insurance.

If I just called a local ambulance company, and told them that my wife was a T1 Diabetic, and that her blood sugar was low and she was unresponsive, they would come, free of charge, and then they would bill the insurance for whatever they had to do while there (transport / glucagon / etc...) and never bothered us. Why should I have to jump through hoops when my wife is in a state of emergency?

The American Health Care and Insurance System blows. It's a joke.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Mon May 20, 2013 12:59 pm

Nooska wrote:What isn't discussed here is the payment for the national systems over taxes - the highest taxbracket for US taxes (source) is 39.6%.
I'm in the lowest tax bracket in denmark, and I pay 39% after the tax free deduction (depending on whether you work or not you get one of 2 deductions before taxes are calculated) - I have 7,250USD worth of deduction before I pay tax (and thats the lower of the deductions as I'm not employed, but on a social pension due to a work accident 12 years ago).

Tax is more than healthcare of course, but its so neat that we have healthcare segregated into 5 "regions", whis is listed seperately on the tax bill; 6% in 2013 (down from 7% in 2012)

Do keep in mind that when comparing taxes you also need to factor in the cost of health insurance as a de-facto tax, whether that is paid by the employee or the employer. If they were able to trade the dollars they pay in medical insurance for tax dollars directly, they would probably be able to fund a more efficient system than what they currently have via the economy of scale.

Sure there are going to be some rather large transition issues that the US will have to get over. They need to revamp their judicial system so that malpractice claims don't drain money from the system. If you can eliminate malpractice suits you can eliminate malpractice insurance and make the entire system much cheaper than it is. Unfortunately, the insurance lobby is rather large in the US, and the issue of eliminating malpractice would already be controversial. It would be easy for the insurance lobby to sway popular and congressional opinion towards keeping the malpractice concept alive, just by frightening the sheep a bit. In reality, the doctor doesn't pay malpractice claims; the insurance company does. The doctor gets disciplined, but there's no reason he wouldn't be equally disciplined if malpractice didn't exist.

By the way the top tax tier in New Zealand is 39%.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Cogglamp » Mon May 20, 2013 3:47 pm

I have to giggle at how Obama castigated and spat at off shore tax havens while running against Romney but then turns around and hands the Commerce nomination to Pritzker who rakes in some ~$50 million from off shore accounts.

I actually think Pritzker is a fine candidate for the position as she is a very astute business woman with serious business chops but the duplicity of the stance taking drives me bonkers.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Cogglamp » Mon May 20, 2013 4:32 pm

Koatanga wrote:
Nooska wrote:What isn't discussed here is the payment for the national systems over taxes - the highest taxbracket for US taxes (source) is 39.6%.
I'm in the lowest tax bracket in denmark, and I pay 39% after the tax free deduction (depending on whether you work or not you get one of 2 deductions before taxes are calculated) - I have 7,250USD worth of deduction before I pay tax (and thats the lower of the deductions as I'm not employed, but on a social pension due to a work accident 12 years ago).

Tax is more than healthcare of course, but its so neat that we have healthcare segregated into 5 "regions", whis is listed seperately on the tax bill; 6% in 2013 (down from 7% in 2012)

Do keep in mind that when comparing taxes you also need to factor in the cost of health insurance as a de-facto tax, whether that is paid by the employee or the employer. If they were able to trade the dollars they pay in medical insurance for tax dollars directly, they would probably be able to fund a more efficient system than what they currently have via the economy of scale.

Sure there are going to be some rather large transition issues that the US will have to get over. They need to revamp their judicial system so that malpractice claims don't drain money from the system. If you can eliminate malpractice suits you can eliminate malpractice insurance and make the entire system much cheaper than it is. Unfortunately, the insurance lobby is rather large in the US, and the issue of eliminating malpractice would already be controversial. It would be easy for the insurance lobby to sway popular and congressional opinion towards keeping the malpractice concept alive, just by frightening the sheep a bit. In reality, the doctor doesn't pay malpractice claims; the insurance company does. The doctor gets disciplined, but there's no reason he wouldn't be equally disciplined if malpractice didn't exist.

By the way the top tax tier in New Zealand is 39%.


You're not really suggesting that a nation that has a population less than a quarter the size of New York City MSA and having less than half the number of total patients as say Kaiser Permanente be a good barometer of how to do things here in the US, are you?

Our system is pretty screwed up but you haven't faced any of the issues that plague nations facing rapidly increasing healthcare costs, namely ageing population, a shrinking workforce including your primary care physicians and current physicians seeking alternative employment means (ie out of the public partnership).
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Mon May 20, 2013 6:21 pm

Cogglamp wrote:You're not really suggesting that a nation that has a population less than a quarter the size of New York City MSA and having less than half the number of total patients as say Kaiser Permanente be a good barometer of how to do things here in the US, are you?

Our system is pretty screwed up but you haven't faced any of the issues that plague nations facing rapidly increasing healthcare costs, namely ageing population, a shrinking workforce including your primary care physicians and current physicians seeking alternative employment means (ie out of the public partnership).

The western world includes more than just New Zealand, and the vast majority of it has public healthcare. Like the metric system, it's something the rest of the western world has embraced that the US is holding out on.

I lived in the US for over 30 years. I did the HMO thing. I know what it's like over there. And yeah, my personal opinion is that the system here is better and the US should do things more like things are done here.

The fact that the US chooses to spend its money unwisely doesn't make our healthcare system any less valid. Take the billions you spend on foreign wars and corporate welfare and channel that into the domestic economy, stop sending US dollars overseas through foreign trade imbalances, and perhaps the US wouldn't be the sinking ship that it is.

China: Hey US here's some plastic crap for your landfills!
US: Shut up and take my money!

Seriously, don't go whining about economic pressures when they are largely self-inflicted and come as absolutely no surprise given the way the country has been run.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon May 20, 2013 6:28 pm

Koatanga wrote:
Cogglamp wrote:You're not really suggesting that a nation that has a population less than a quarter the size of New York City MSA and having less than half the number of total patients as say Kaiser Permanente be a good barometer of how to do things here in the US, are you?

Our system is pretty screwed up but you haven't faced any of the issues that plague nations facing rapidly increasing healthcare costs, namely ageing population, a shrinking workforce including your primary care physicians and current physicians seeking alternative employment means (ie out of the public partnership).

The western world includes more than just New Zealand, and the vast majority of it has public healthcare. Like the metric system, it's something the rest of the western world has embraced that the US is holding out on.

I lived in the US for over 30 years. I did the HMO thing. I know what it's like over there. And yeah, my personal opinion is that the system here is better and the US should do things more like things are done here.

The fact that the US chooses to spend its money unwisely doesn't make our healthcare system any less valid. Take the billions you spend on foreign wars and corporate welfare and channel that into the domestic economy, stop sending US dollars overseas through foreign trade imbalances, and perhaps the US wouldn't be the sinking ship that it is.

China: Hey US here's some plastic crap for your landfills!
US: Shut up and take my money!

Seriously, don't go whining about economic pressures when they are largely self-inflicted and come as absolutely no surprise given the way the country has been run.


http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04 ... s-insists/

Since I always harp about wasteful military spending..
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Mon May 20, 2013 9:25 pm

Koatanga wrote:They need to revamp their judicial system so that malpractice claims don't drain money from the system. If you can eliminate malpractice suits you can eliminate malpractice insurance and make the entire system much cheaper than it is. Unfortunately, the insurance lobby is rather large in the US, and the issue of eliminating malpractice would already be controversial. It would be easy for the insurance lobby to sway popular and congressional opinion towards keeping the malpractice concept alive, just by frightening the sheep a bit. In reality, the doctor doesn't pay malpractice claims; the insurance company does. The doctor gets disciplined, but there's no reason he wouldn't be equally disciplined if malpractice didn't exist.

By the way the top tax tier in New Zealand is 39%.

While I'm as big a fan of tort reform as anyone (though it's actually the trial lawyers, not the insurance lobby that really fight it), the affect on the bottom line isn't all that big. It's still important and not insignificant, but not a massive cost driver.

The issue with cost is a tough nut to crack. It's not as if we don't spend a ton on healthcare, or that there is a reason to think our wasteful spending has caused us to spend less on health care than others, http://kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief ... countries/

It's also hardly all doom and gloom in our medical system. Most of the problems are with administration which certainly has it's problems, but the implementation is often as good as it gets anywhere. My mother had a stroke last year when she was home alone, and she lives out on the boonies. Long story short, she got an ambulance ride to a field and from there a helicopter ride to a top notch medical facility where she stayed a few days recovering and going through some therapy which continued after she left. She has made a full recovery and the out of pocket cost was almost nothing.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Tue May 21, 2013 6:40 am

Klaudandus wrote:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04 ... s-insists/

Since I always harp about wasteful military spending..


This drives me insane. Probably because it's rooted in my state.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue May 21, 2013 3:39 pm

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Those words rather ironically spoken by Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address at the end of his presidency. I say ironic because it was his foreign policy and political puppetry that virtually guaranteed the US would have to proliferate conventional and nuclear weapons at staggering rates in order to maintain its stance as the protector and promoter of democracy in the world. Policies effectively re-awakened under Bush II, except where Eisenhower funded militant coups to bring his puppets to power, BII went in directly and had no Ayatollah ready to plug the power vacuum created by toppling Hussein.

Unfortunately, government did fall victim to the military-industrial complex to the extent the US is producing equipment it doesn't need in order to lay out a feast for the super-rich such that the crumbs that fall out of their bloated mouths may feed the starving masses below. They hold the government hostage to the fact that if they stop gorging, there will be no crumbs (jobs) for the masses.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby aureon » Tue May 21, 2013 7:43 pm

Fridmarr wrote:
Koatanga wrote:They need to revamp their judicial system so that malpractice claims don't drain money from the system. If you can eliminate malpractice suits you can eliminate malpractice insurance and make the entire system much cheaper than it is. Unfortunately, the insurance lobby is rather large in the US, and the issue of eliminating malpractice would already be controversial. It would be easy for the insurance lobby to sway popular and congressional opinion towards keeping the malpractice concept alive, just by frightening the sheep a bit. In reality, the doctor doesn't pay malpractice claims; the insurance company does. The doctor gets disciplined, but there's no reason he wouldn't be equally disciplined if malpractice didn't exist.

By the way the top tax tier in New Zealand is 39%.

While I'm as big a fan of tort reform as anyone (though it's actually the trial lawyers, not the insurance lobby that really fight it), the affect on the bottom line isn't all that big. It's still important and not insignificant, but not a massive cost driver.

The issue with cost is a tough nut to crack. It's not as if we don't spend a ton on healthcare, or that there is a reason to think our wasteful spending has caused us to spend less on health care than others, http://kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief ... countries/

It's also hardly all doom and gloom in our medical system. Most of the problems are with administration which certainly has it's problems, but the implementation is often as good as it gets anywhere. My mother had a stroke last year when she was home alone, and she lives out on the boonies. Long story short, she got an ambulance ride to a field and from there a helicopter ride to a top notch medical facility where she stayed a few days recovering and going through some therapy which continued after she left. She has made a full recovery and the out of pocket cost was almost nothing.


Don't you just love people who swear Keynesian economics are complete bullshit adhere to them completely?
I wonder if someone tried to make the joke point of "But if you cut down the thing, the investor's confidence boost will outweigh the closed plants! Read the A-A paper!"
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu May 23, 2013 8:06 am

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