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      It Is All Up To You!

      5 months ago

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      Healthcare is not just about numbers and statistics. It is about life and death and it is personal. Consider this from Donald Berwick, a senior fellow at The Institute For Healthcare Improvement.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/health-care-coverage-is-not-enough-we-need-delivery-system-reform_us_596b777de4b0d6341fe98c85?section=us_politics


      "This gets personal fast. In March, my brother almost died. An overwhelming infection with Legionnaire’s disease shut down his lungs and his kidneys. For ten precarious days machines and medicines took over, orchestrated by a tireless team of a score or more intensive care unit doctors, nurses, and technicians. Today, he’s back at work.

      Why did he survive? First, because he had health insurance that he can afford. He would be bankrupt right now without it. But he is a single childless adult, at age 61 not yet old enough for Medicare, and he has several preexisting conditions. If the Senate bill passes, millions of people like him could easily find themselves without insurance in states that cut back on Medicaid, or where the individual market would no longer cover the care needed by people with pre-existing conditions.

      Second, he got top-notch care. Having spent most of my professional career as a student of health care quality, I saw that his care was virtually flawless. But I also know that that is not even close to the norm."


      Healthcare is personal for me as well, as I suspect it is personal with everyone else. If any on us have not personally experienced the shortcomings of the healthcare system, we probably personally know people who have.

      My father passed at the age of 39 in 1968, from colon cancer. When I grew up in the 60s I never heard of ANYONE visiting a doctor. Other than a physical I got each year in order to play football in high school, my first visit to a doctor for what I would consider as primary care, was when I enlisted in the Air Force at age 21.

      Since my father died at 39 of colon cancer, I obviously have a family history of cancer. I have ten siblings, six brothers and four sisters. Most of us are over 60 years old now, but the only sibling we have lost is a brother who died of colon cancer at 39 years old, because he had no health insurance and received no screenings for colon cancer and wasn't diagnosed with it until it was in stage four. He died a little over a month after we discovered he had colon cancer.

      My father and my brother are not the only people in the USA who die each year from diseases that could be treated and cured or prevented with adequate primary healthcare. I don't know that I believe healthcare is a right, but I do know that I believe the wealthiest nation in the world should be able to provide adequate basic healthcare for all of its people, regardless of their ability to pay. I don't care how that care is labeled. It can be called socialized medicine or voodoo economics or simply people looking out for each other, as long as the end result is treating and preventing curable diseases.

      Cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and other treatable diseases that cause death, don't discriminate by ethnicity or income level or political ideology. And let's get real people, NO PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANY CAN COVER PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. And that IS simple math. The goal of for-profit businesses is to make profits, and no company and make a profit by providing healthcare to people who have serious illness at the moment they are covered for health insurance. The only entity that can do that is a government that has the ability to incur deficits if necessary, in order to provide adequate health care to its people. EVERY FIRST WOLRD NATION in the world EXCEPT the USA does this.

      Additionally, most people under 65 years old probably do not realize that Medicare is NOT FREE, AND it doesn't cover everything. So even liberals who say they want Medicare for all, need to understand that elderly people with no income have to pay $134 per month for Medicare, which covers about 80% of their healthcare needs. For this reason, many elderly people don't even have Medicare.

      The bottom line is this. I don't care what political party you support and why you support them. At some point in your life and the lives of people you love, YOU and they will need healthcare services that you cannot pay for on your own. We can all pitch in to help each other, or many of us can die an early death from treatable and curable diseases by continuing to play politics with how we fund healthcare. IT IS ALL UP TO YOU!

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          TOCB
          5 months ago

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          Healthcare is not just about numbers


          When your 20+ trillion it does limit your options.


          Does it make sense to spend tens of thousands to gain a week or month of life?





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              TOCB
              5 months ago

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              Very well said and to the point. The problem is our Health Care Companies only care about the bottom line.

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                  Rosemarie Polsinelli-Perkett
                  5 months ago

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                  Health insurance should not be left to private industry, because their goal is to make a profit and there is no way to do that if they have to cover pre-existing conditions.

                  Health care delivery can remain primarily private. We could, as a nation, pay what we currently pay and cover everyone, if we had a single payer pool. Then we could work on developing healthier lifestyles to bring delivery cost down. There are many other things we could do to bring cost down as well.

                  If our goal is to treat and prevent illness a single payer system is the most cost effective way to do that. There are reasons every other first world nation in the world have some form of universal health care.

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                      TOCB
                      5 months ago

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                      There are also many people that will not go to a doctor no matter what kind of insurance they have. I worked with one at a big ten university. We had great insurance. He retired at 62 and died of a heart attack at age 64. Never went to a Dr. in the 40 years he worked at the university. As we speak millions still do not have or want health care in this country. What do we do with people like this?

                      What did you do in the Air Force? I was a Boom Operator on KB 29's and KC-135's

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                          Zeke Zellers
                          5 months ago

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                          I repaired Communications and Navigation Aids and Electronic Counter Measures receivers and transmitters on the F-111D. Thank you for your service, sincerely!

                          I attended the funeral of one of my best friends, who I met in the Air Force, just a couple of weeks ago. He was one who did not go to a doctor as much as he should have. When he was diagnosed with cancer it was in stage four. This is a real problem with men.

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                                  TOCB
                                  5 months ago

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                                  Good balanced story and it shows at it's core part of the reason the Republicans are having problems finding a way to improve the ACA and also remove some of the negative cost issues with the plan at the same time.


                                  I read a lot about things like 'everyone has a right to health insurance. I agree, however this guarantee does not mean it must be free for some and very expensive for others. You need to take a trip back 70 to 80 years ago to before WWII when effectively very few people had anything like would look like health insurance today. With a few exceptions like coal mines and some steel mills, there was little association with health care and employment. I think it would be fair to say private health insurance plans were at about the same level pet insurance policies are today.


                                  Thousands of our soldiers entering basic training had never had seen a Doctor for a physical exam until their induction in the Army in the 1940's. There were charity hospitals in larger cities, so if you lived in a more rural area you had to catch a bus to the closest big city that had a charity hospital. Even if you had money, you had to travel to bigger cities to see specialist because most medical services were delivered in small towns by General Practitioners who often operated clinics out of old homes where they often lived upstairs. Routine procedures that are now only done in hospitals were done in these Doctors offices. Babies were delivered there, you had your tonsils out there, all sorts of regular medical procedures were performed in Doctors homes or small clinics. In fact VA hospitals were set up all over the country after WWI & II because there were were very few hospitals in rural areas that could provide the kind of medical treatment seriously injured vets required.


                                  Now with that background out of the way....what can we do? Medicare is a good model because the people covered by Medicare are older and sicker than most and should be the most expensive. We also have Medicare Advantage plans that are basically PPO or HMO type plans where there is a single gate keeper that makes referrals to specialist. In my plan there are no regular annual deductible for regular care and office visits are $5 and Specialist are $20. Most drugs are free with a 90 days supply for things that you will take on a long term basis, or maybe $20 or $40 for higher priced drugs. (pay for two months, get one month free. In the advantage plans the Government pays a third party provider a flat fee to take over that Medicare patient, and all costs that person has for the year are the responsibility of the third party. (in my case it would be Humana) My point is we know what Medicare spends per patient and I assume the Government has some idea what Humana is spending per patient. We know what the VA spends, and we know what Medicaid spends. I'm unclear if anyone in Congress has any idea what the total per patient costs have been under the ACA when you factor in all the outside costs.


                                  It would be useful to see all of theses costs for these various programs side by side, with a variance explanation. Then we should compare that with the cost of large private companies that have similar plans. GM comes to mind. Also the Government provides a private plan to millions of Government employees. Some years back the number was around $9,750 per person in private company plans. The first question to ask if it cost more per person to pay for medicaid than GM or other Government programs cost, then maybe the Government should be giving money to GM to cover people with medical insurance. I have never seen this kind of study and I doubt anyone in Congress has either.



                                  Start with the basics, then you can figure out what the cost per person should be and how to you provide a national plan that provides core coverage to everyone and those that have money to spend can by supplemental plans like they do in most of Europe.


                                  Remember in Europe even with many employers providing coverage the Medicaid like plan is payed for by a national sales tax that is currently around 20%, the bulk of which goes toward providing for core health coverage. So to say medical coverage is free is not really true. In that example there is no cap on sales tax, so the millionaire pays many times more for their coverage, but at least the millionaire drug dealer pays taxes when they buy something, even if they declare zero on their income tax they still pay something. (also higher income people pay some more of their income toward health care as part of their regular income tax) This income tax does not apply to lower income people, much in the same way it does not apply in this country.


                                  Lets hear other opinions on how to pay for health insurance for everyone, I think we all agree this is not 80 years ago.

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                                      TOCB
                                      5 months ago

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                                      It's not up to me as all I can do is vote. But I'm not even sure that my voted was counted. Are you sure that your vote was actually counted? No one knows for sure how the votes are counted. And that's the problem as I see it. The voting system gave us Donald Trump and everyone was surprised by that result.


                                      Now I agree that we need better and less expensive health care for all Americans. All I can do is try to call my GOP Senators who never answer their phone personally. They have people to do that and they are argumentative. My congressman won't even allow people to talk to him at town hall meetings. He's demanding that any questions addressed to him be in writing before hand so he and his crew can screen the questions. The President refuses to go in front of the cameras and his press secretary won't allow the cameras to be turned on when they give a press conference at the White House Press Briefing Room. How did we come to that? The President and his son are meeting in private with Russian Operatives who are conspiring to bring the USA down. Russia does not want to make American Great Again, That I can guarantee you.


                                      I send letters to my US Senators from IN and call my congressman but I get no answers that I like. They all want to gut Obama Care simply because it's helping the poor and taking money away from the most wealthy people.


                                      If John McCain didn't have a blood clot in his head Mitch would have the 50 votes he needs to gut Obama Care right now this week.

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                                          Swamp-fox
                                          5 months ago

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                                          I am not sure there are enough votes to carry the bill. Susan Collins said there are eight to nine senators who have some serious problems with the bill.

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