The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

State of the Union - healthcare costs Options
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 8:37:48 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
Posts: 881
Neurons: 4,354
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Listening to this year's State of the Union Address I was kind of impressed by the President's willingness to address the issue of ridiculously high prices for medical services in the US. Unfortunately I have very little first hand knowledge of the country. However, this is something that strikes a foreigner almost as soon as he/she starts to learn about life in the U.S. - prices for healthcare services are just long way higher than what the actual costs are, and many fold higher than what they are in other countries.

I guess this should be a very important issue for Americans, and an issue that is probably underestimated in press coverage of the Address.

I wonder if I get it right, and would be interested to know what Americans themselves think about it.
towan52
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 9:42:49 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/28/2012
Posts: 1,895
Neurons: 212,741
Location: Waco, Texas, United States
We won't hold our breath waiting for a significant improvement. The large pharmaceutical companies have most (if not all) Republican politicians in their pockets to protect their revenues. In addition they probably have a goodly number of Democrats.

Voldermort for Trump 2020
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 10:51:49 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,525
Neurons: 48,875
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Kirill

As someone else who isn't American, I think that this is all bound up in the investigation and overhaul of what are called "Campaign Donations" due to start next week, I think.

"Campaign donations" is innocuous wording - brings up the idea of little old ladies sending off a couple of quid from their Pension; or school-kids whipping up a collection from other students etc.

But what it refers to is millions - if not billions - of dollars from huge corporates and conglomerates who bribe incoming politicians to look after their interests. In the case of pharmeceutical giants, this includes banning competitors; legislation to suppress generics; altering regulations; or "looking the other way" when more crippling price hikes are imposed.

With more young people, women, and a diverse multicultural mix now replacing all the 'old white men' who once monopolised the government, there's a determination to try to drag ALL members of American society into the 21stC in line with the rest of the world. These new politicians are determined to stamp out the tragedy of working people - including children - dying because they can't afford treatment (or take maternity leave or holiday pay to allow some healing time).

Trump would never give back all the money he's made from big corporations - his words about tackling the problem are as empty as his protestations that he is not a sexist, racist or completely corrupt person. He was told what to say. He said it. It means nothing: and he'll fight all the female, brown, black, gay, forward-thinking politicians - from both sides - who try to cut out one of his lucrative money-streams. It would dry up if pharmaceutical companies were suddenly no longer able to condemn people to death with impunity.
Pam Archer
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 10:58:52 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/6/2016
Posts: 3
Neurons: 55,870
Location: DeRidder, Louisiana, United States
Kirill Vorobyov, capitalism has failed in this area. Our previous administration thought it was a good idea to mandate that all Americans have health insurance. Who benefited? Big insurance companies of course!! The "Affordable Care Act" didn't make care affordable at all. It made health insurance the law, with a big annual penalty for not having it! Not only do I have to pay the penalty for not having insurance, I have to pay out-of-pocket all the outrageous prices the healthcare industry would pass along to my insurance, if I had any. Same with prescription medications. No insurance means I have to pay out-of-pocket. If it weren't for public assistance programs offered by the state where I live, I would already be dead from not being able to afford basic healthcare.

Is there an answer? I don't know. Socialism looks pretty good sometimes.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 11:17:29 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 32,956
Neurons: 204,442
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Yes - if you dig around (as far as you can through 'shell companies', finance consortia, trading groups, etc. you will find that the same people own the major holdings in the Pharmaceutical Industry, The Medical Industry, The Mental Health Industry, The media (to be honest, I bet the most right wing Breitbart and Fox News are owned - at the top of the ladder - by the same people who own the most left-wing Huffington), the political "Election Industry" and who knows what else?
- OIL, of course.

I'm not American - but you're right - it IS something which strikes foreigners, and is something which I would think SHOULD be a major issue for all Americans.
But somehow . . . it doesn't seem to work like that. Many Americans seem to like paying inordinate prices.

I know, I had 'flu in Florida and someone called the doctor.
It cost $80 for me to see him for two minutes and hear "You have 'flu" and I got a prescription for ten antibiotic tablets. These would have been $160 for ten tablets at a 'normal American Pharmacist', I got them for $29 by shopping around. Apparently the manufacturing costs would be about 50 cents for the ten tablets.

EDITED to add: Others answered while I was typing.
Hello Pam Archer.
Yes - somehow, the American government just hasn't managed to get its head around how to run a proper heath service (we have a health service, not a health INDUSTRY - there's a big difference).

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 6:22:24 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
Posts: 1,420
Neurons: 9,014
Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
There is an Australian broadcaster Dr Karl Kruszelnicki who holds many degrees including in Physics, Medicine and Surgery having worked in hospital around Sydney. He tells the story of being in America and charged $1000 dollars for a particular service that he knew would only have cost $10 dollars in time and materials.

The mark ups in American healthcare are ridiculous.

Pam Archer, I am sorry for your plight I am very lucky I live in the UK with the NHS, if I had to pay for the treatment I need I would be blind at best, dead at worst already.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
progpen
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 2:13:56 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,046
Neurons: 369,910
Location: March, England, United Kingdom
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Many Americans seem to like paying inordinate prices.


No, just that many Americans don't know any better. Having the most expensive health care system in the world that also happens to be one of the most inefficient is the only thing many Americans know. They have also been spoon fed drivel saying that the rest of the 1st world countries are 'Socialist' or 'Communist' and that all good US citizens should fear them and their ways.

There are several industries dictating to the US government and to state governments what will and will not be allowed and the original Affordable Care Act (ACA) was never going to be allowed. So there were poison pill amendments that negated much of the good that would have been done by the Act. The mandate was left because opponents knew they could use it as a weapon against those for the ACA. They also knew that the mandate would only really work as a piece of a larger puzzle.

Almost half of the voting citizenry in the US consistently vote against better health care because it has been wrapped up in the flag and politics.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 4:39:40 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
Posts: 881
Neurons: 4,354
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Drag0nspeaker wrote:

Yes - somehow, the American government just hasn't managed to get its head around how to run a proper heath service (we have a health service, not a health INDUSTRY - there's a big difference).


Yes.. You know my views - coming from a country where socialism was taken to extreme forms and the whole thing burst after having brought enormous amount of suffering on people, I am always very cautious about implementing any socialist ideas.

However, I tend to agree that healthcare is probably one area that works best as a public service, rather than as a commercial industry.

At the heart of it is the fact that a totally commercialized "healthcare" industry has wrong incentives. In fact, the opposite to what they should be.

The healthcare system/service must make sure people are healthy. Whereas a commercialized "healthcare" industry is interested in people being sick so people pay more and more for medical services and goods (medicines).

Maybe Americans can find an American solution - e.g. Trump mentioned (if I understood correctly) making hospitals at least publically disclose their "price lists", thus encouraging price competition between them and a downward pressure on prices. Maybe this could work as a first step, I don't know.

Thank you, eveybody, for your views and insights.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 5:49:50 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 43,029
Neurons: 506,178
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Kirill,

you might be interested to see a couple of articles in TFD/Wiki:

https://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/welfare+state
https://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Nordic+model

I'm not trying to sell the idea of Nordic system to the others, but there might be something...


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 11:24:44 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,525
Neurons: 48,875
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Hey JJ - just wanted to say that the China part wasn't clear at all. Yes, since 1981 China has been instituting policies - some that worked, some that didn't - to try to address the huge divide between abject poverty... and wealth of an order it's hard to get one's head around.

However: - they DO have health-care for all. I know because, as I lived and worked there, I was covered by it. China has the largest population in the world - and the most difference between poor and obscenely rich. But every one of those people has health-care. The ridiculous proposition that America "can't afford" to take care of it's citizens is risible - at least to all the (healthy) citizens of the rest of the world!
WinceRind
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 1:17:31 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/3/2019
Posts: 2
Neurons: 135
Pam Archer wrote:
Kirill Vorobyov, capitalism has failed in this area.


That is not quite right. Capitalism has done exactly what it is designed to do - maximize profits.
That in some areas it also produces lower prices is just a side-effect. It works when the demand side is flexible, if you charge too much customers walk away or eventually you get competition.
Health care demand is not flexible. Your kid has cancer ? That'll be $10 million, thank you. What, selling your house only brought you $500k ? We'll give you a discount and take that, thank you. What, still too much ? You can always walk away...
Same applies to utilities, demand is not flexible (or do you just go without water/heat/electricity if they jack up the prices too much ?) and that's why they are regulated. And the hurdle of entry for new competition is very high.
How this plays out can be easily seen looking at internet providers in the US (in many many markets).
Unless you're lucky enough to live in an area where a new competitor entered by laying fiber you have a choice between the local cable provider and the local phone-line owner (DSL). They are near universally hated, be it TimeWarner, Cox or Comcast on the cable side or AT&T or Centurylink on the DSL side. They have a duopoly and it shows. Their customer satisfaction scores are extremely low yet they rake in the cash year after year. Why ? No competition because of high barriers for entry (and also bribing of politicians to keep competition out). And let's face it, internet access has long gone from a nice-to-have to pretty much a necessity. Want to go find a job or study without internet access nowadays ? It should by now be regulated like a utility.

Pam Archer wrote:
Our previous administration thought it was a good idea to mandate that all Americans have health insurance.


How else would the whole system work ?
Would you prefer if people got to choose if they get car insurance ? "Yeah, I know I destroyed your car. But I don't have insurance and also no money. So I guess you're just out of luck...". That was actually very prevalent in the US not too long ago. That's why many people had/have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance on their own policy. Essentially paying other people's car insurance.
Or get insurance only once you need it ? "Hello, I got in an accident yesterday, could I please get a policy starting 2 days ago ? Yes ? OK, thank you..."

Since 1986 the US had this law
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Medical_Treatment_and_Active_Labor_Act
(The claims of incidences about US hospitals asking about your ability to pay before they treat you is mostly from before that time)

The only way to make non-mandatory health insurance work is to do away with this law. And to tell people "you have the freedom to choose not to have health insurance, but in case of need you absolutely and totally are on your own and have to pay for your own care !!"
I don't think many countries would do that, apparently not even the US.
And if you make it voluntary but with a backstop - then it's just the usual: privatize the profits, socialize the losses.

Pam Archer wrote:
Who benefited? Big insurance companies of course!! The "Affordable Care Act" didn't make care affordable at all.

Yet it slowed the rate of increase
https://www.factcheck.org/2015/02/slower-premium-growth-under-obama/
"Republicans say the average family health insurance premium has increased by $4,154 under President Obama. That’s right — and it’s a much slower rate of growth than under President George W. Bush."
I don't think much more could have been achieved considering the total opposition of Republicans to a plan that used to be one of their own, just because it came from 'that black devil'. And opposition from corrupt politicians in his own party.
progpen
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 4:50:30 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,046
Neurons: 369,910
Location: March, England, United Kingdom
WinceRind is correct that the ACA slowed the rate of increase in health care costs. There were also other demonstrable benefits that have been well reported, but conveniently ignored by the (R) leadership. The poison pill amendments thoroughly diluted the majority of the benefits that the population would have experienced, but there was still enough progress that people noticed. What could have been the best solution to the US health care crisis ever implemented became a baby step that the (R)s have tirelessly tried to poison after the fact.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 5:16:11 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
Posts: 881
Neurons: 4,354
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
progpen wrote:
WinceRind is correct that the ACA slowed the rate of increase in health care costs. There were also other demonstrable benefits that have been well reported, but conveniently ignored by the (R) leadership. The poison pill amendments thoroughly diluted the majority of the benefits that the population would have experienced, but there was still enough progress that people noticed. What could have been the best solution to the US health care crisis ever implemented became a baby step that the (R)s have tirelessly tried to poison after the fact.


If this is so then why would a republican President Donald Trump even dare to raise this issue in his address?

Maybe he is not as bad as many of you routinely picture him, after all.

Maybe it's just that the actual devide between what can bring people prosperous future and what will plunge them into misery and degradation is not along party lines. This devide goes across party lines, and not only in the U.S. of course. It is about mental settings, sense of duty and responsibility, willingness to face problems and find solutions versus just yielding to the temptation to keep kicking the can along the road as long as you personally are fine. It seems to me the world needs leaders who face and address problems, not ones who keep kicking the can. And against this scale they should be judged. No?
progpen
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 6:44:08 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,046
Neurons: 369,910
Location: March, England, United Kingdom
Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
progpen wrote:
WinceRind is correct that the ACA slowed the rate of increase in health care costs. There were also other demonstrable benefits that have been well reported, but conveniently ignored by the (R) leadership. The poison pill amendments thoroughly diluted the majority of the benefits that the population would have experienced, but there was still enough progress that people noticed. What could have been the best solution to the US health care crisis ever implemented became a baby step that the (R)s have tirelessly tried to poison after the fact.


If this is so then why would a republican President Donald Trump even dare to raise this issue in his address?

Maybe he is not as bad as many of you routinely picture him, after all.

Maybe it's just that the actual devide between what can bring people prosperous future and what will plunge them into misery and degradation is not along party lines. This devide goes across party lines, and not only in the U.S. of course. It is about mental settings, sense of duty and responsibility, willingness to face problems and find solutions versus just yielding to the temptation to keep kicking the can along the road as long as you personally are fine. It seems to me the world needs leaders who face and address problems, not ones who keep kicking the can. And against this scale they should be judged. No?


Kirill, you are correct about the sense of duty and responsibility and willingness to face problems. I feel that those traits are (in general) missing from the political leaders in the US. This has created the opportunity for corporate interests to fill that vacuum and as has been noted earlier in this discussion, both Democrat and Republican politicians are little more than spokespeople for their corporate sponsors. The difference so far has been that Republicans have, for the most part, been for corporatizing or removing all social programs and services including health care.

One thing to keep in mind about any attempts to fix the health care system in the US is that it is currently $3.5 trillion or $10,739 per person. This is nearly 18% of the GDP. This means that any attempt to fix the system is viciously fought by those making money from the current system.

Edit: As for why the current occupant of the White House says anything, no one including the current occupant knows.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
progpen
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 6:48:25 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,046
Neurons: 369,910
Location: March, England, United Kingdom
One other thing to keep in mind is the fact that there is very little transparency within the health care industries. This means that the profits are likely even larger and the fiscal inefficiency is even greater than we currently think.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Romany
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 1:07:57 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,525
Neurons: 48,875
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Kirill -

"Maybe he is not as bad as many of you routinely picture him, after all"

I know this isn't how you meant it; but this strikes me as extremely naive. If not, then it's rather supercillious and condescending.

Why? Turn the tables:-

If you and YIII are having a discussion in the politics section about the current situation in your area...and I were to come skipping into it and gaily announce that neither of you have any insight into the situation? While I, who have read some articles about it, am more informed about it than you?

How would you recieve that? Would you say "Oh thanks, we never thought of that. Henceforth we will take your advice."?Whistle

While, when you ask: "... why would a republican President Donald Trump even dare to raise this issue in his address?" even his own followers would consider that a humourous question. In fact, it would probably amaze them!

I too had no idea about American politics or personalities. It's taken me three years (the same amount of time it takes to get an undergraduate degree!) of reading, researching, watching, listening, discussing and asking, to find out whatever I know now.

As to Trump, I'd only ever heard anything about him on a couple of occasions in my life - he was just some nouveau riche
Yank."

America, however, has known him for decades, he has put himself in the spotlight so often.

So I too now know about him: a large componant of that knowledge coming, not from news sources and other people's opinions, but from listening to the words coming out of his mouth...and the WAY they come out, in clips going back decades. It also helps to read from nespapers and universities and politicians from all over the world - New Zealand, India, France, China - to get a measure of the man. And the measures he is taking.

I'm not, in the slightest, trying to discourage you from stating your opinion. But keep in mind that this is the stuff we're all living with - just like the war in Yemen, or the famine in some African countries is what those people are living with. We're all familar with the situation.

Perhaps it might help you a little more if you could learn about some of the myriad other issues that have come out of the question of what kind of man Trump is? Then we could all be on the same page.Applause
towan52
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 1:56:32 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/28/2012
Posts: 1,895
Neurons: 212,741
Location: Waco, Texas, United States
These are my random thoughts as an expat Englishman who has lived in the US for 15 years. I have recent UK experience when my father became ill in 2011 and passed away late November 2017 and, regrettably, many contacts with doctors and hospitals in Texas.
1) There are good, caring doctors and hospitals throughout both the UK and the USA
2) There are bad and incompetent doctors and hospitals throughout both the UK and the USA
3) The USA spends more per capita on healthcare (Medicare, medicaid and Veteran Benefits etc.) than some other industrialised countries that have a universal health service (drago's point about "health service" as opposed to "health industry" is well-made). Source for Dave
4) When "big-pharma" say they need all their huge profits for research and development, they are being somewhat disingenuous. They get billions of dollars from federal government grants for R&D. Source
5) Over-treatment and over-medication are rife in the USA, delayed treatment and an unwillingness to approve new drugs are issues in the UK. US Source UK Source

All in all, I prefer the UK system where I won't die because I can't afford the treatment or medication - wait for the howl of protest!




Voldermort for Trump 2020
Hope123
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 3:56:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 8,792
Neurons: 50,369
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Hi Kirill.

Trump's Admin has launched attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and pre-existing conditions protections many times, trying to get rid of it completely. Since this SOTU statement came together with the cutting of the cost of drugs, I believe it was more in line with his fixation on and obsession with money and the cost of things that are exorbitant than with any real concern about the people.

In fact he mentioned early on he was going to get Big Pharma to cut costs, and had a meeting with some of them. I forget the reasons given then but it all went away until this mention.

Could it have been something good to say in a speech that everybody agrees with? Drugs and healthcare costs in the US ARE exorbitant. In fact Americans go to Mexico and Canada to get care and drugs and tried to get drugs from Canada and MX online - not sure if they closed that avenue or not. But I heard some politicians warning people not to get drugs from Canada - as they are not safe. lol.

A prominent politician - Paul Rand I think - just came to Canada to a clinic specializing in hernia repairs after he was injured in a spat with his neighbour.

An Epi pen in US costs 3 times what it costs in Canada. I pay $100 and change vs over $300 for the exact same item. Actually after I pay annually the first $100 for drugs, I pay just $6.00 or so as a senior if my doctor signs a form that emergency adrenaline is necessary.

Unlike Canada, fhe US doctors and hospitals already itemize their bills. And yes, it is true. You really do get charged for Kleenex in the US hoapitals.The elimination of bills in Canada has two sides - keeps costs down and fewer bureaucrats, but people might not go as often or to Emerg for a cold if they knew the costs of those visits.

Obama wanted universal single payer as in Canada but settled for what was originally a Republican program. But by the time the Republicans cut that all up because it was a Democrat introducing it, Americans got a program that was dependent upon all signing up. And of course many of the young think they are healthy and invincible and didn't sign. Then the past two years the attacks on the ACA by the Repubs made insurance companies nervous and they put their rates up. Chaos. But many people have seen healthcare now and like what they see.

Trump's tweets tell you more about his thoughts as his thinking is not that evident when he is in performance just reading a script written by someone else during a State of the Union Address. I watched part of it and it was evident he really was just performing for his crowd. He did not come across as genuine except when he hinted that Congress should stop investigations into him. I wonder why he is that afraid that he brings it up in a SOTU address.

As for the drug costs - someone on Twitter tweeted that today his 39 year old American relative died because she couldn't afford her insulin.



"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
progpen
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 2:32:35 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,046
Neurons: 369,910
Location: March, England, United Kingdom
Hope123 wrote:
Obama wanted universal single payer as in Canada but settled for what was originally a Republican program. But by the time the Republicans cut that all up because it was a Democrat introducing it, Americans got a program that was dependent upon all signing up.


Single payer / Universal health care has been a goal for more than 30 years, but it will not happen in the current political environment. This because the Republican leadership will continue to obstruct any progress made by Democrats and the Democratic leadership will not push for single payer because they are busy trying to win over Republicans rather than solve any problems.


Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Hope123
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 2:49:48 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 8,792
Neurons: 50,369
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Just saw this which really ticks me off. Getting so fed up with the US and their meddling in everybody else's affairs instead of looking after their own multiple huge problems caused in good part by huge Coporations and lobbyists.

Big Pharma wants Canada to have to pay exorbitant drug prices - just as they do in the US. Of course they do. I hope Canada has enough power to tell them to f off.

https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5012423?__twitter_impression=true

"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
progpen
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 3:06:40 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,046
Neurons: 369,910
Location: March, England, United Kingdom
I'm hoping that Canada can stop them. I've also noticed that the UK's NHS is in the same boat. US big pharma is telling the UK that if Brexit happens, it will clear the way to US style drug deals for the UK.

I'm not yet sure in which alternate reality anyone would think this is a good thing.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Romany
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 4:19:20 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,525
Neurons: 48,875
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Proggy -

Perhaps I'm way behind the times and it's been changed now: but isn't the reason (aside from the price) that we don't import American pharmaceutical products because their regulations are not in line with those of the UK, Europe and Australia etc.?

I know that there is still a discrepancy in the initial testing period of any new drugs - clinical trials in the USA are regarded as insufficiently thorough and drugs are released onto the market too quickly to determine their long-term effects.

I should imagine that, even if the above doesn't apply any more, most countries would be extremely reticent to import American pharmaceutical products that have been trialed under the current Administration? The number of regulations that they have trashed in order to placate Big Pharma and huge corporations would make any product suss right now!
progpen
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 6:55:32 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,046
Neurons: 369,910
Location: March, England, United Kingdom
Romany, you are correct. I was just focusing on the price but your concerns are even more valid. It's been general knowledge since at least the 1980's that the US pharmaceutical industry has had an unhealthy control over drug testing.

We are frogs in the pan of boiling water...

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 7:51:08 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
Posts: 881
Neurons: 4,354
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Romany wrote:

Kirill -

I'm not, in the slightest, trying to discourage you from stating your opinion.


Thanks, Romany, so I will. Dancing

And you are perfectly welcome to discuss anything related to "my area", of course! Applause Though in fact we both live in the same area, which is Eurasian continent, and I hope no new iron curtains ever get erected on it again. United States of America is a very important nation, so everybody is interested and affacted by what is going on there.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 8:18:32 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
Posts: 881
Neurons: 4,354
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
progpen wrote:

One thing to keep in mind about any attempts to fix the health care system in the US is that it is currently $3.5 trillion or $10,739 per person. This is nearly 18% of the GDP. This means that any attempt to fix the system is viciously fought by those making money from the current system.



Wow, I knew it was big, but I didn't check the exact numbers. 18% of of the U.S.A. GDP for healthcare is really something. For this kind of money the US should be the healthiest nation in the world Angel

Then this only confirms how politically toxic this problem is. That's why I was surprised he even mentioned the need to do something about it. I understand most on this forum are of the opinion that he just wasn't genuine, just said something that he knew public would like. Well, let's see, future will show.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2019 9:59:37 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 32,956
Neurons: 204,442
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
Yes.. You know my views - coming from a country where socialism was taken to extreme forms and the whole thing burst after having brought enormous amount of suffering on people, I am always very cautious about implementing any socialist ideas.

However, I tend to agree that healthcare is probably one area that works best as a public service, rather than as a commercial industry.

Hi!
Sorry it's a month since you posted this . . . I 'lost the thread' somehow.

I agree - Communism would work in a world in which everyone was sane and altruistic (including the elected leaders) and which had resources enough to provide for MORE than the population. Communism or socialism which brings everyone DOWN to the level of the least affluent (except a chosen few) will collapse sooner or later (preferably sooner).

To me, health care, education and justice are the main things which should be public services (and health care includes nutrition and adequate - but not luxury - housing).
But that doesn't preclude people earning better education (by working hard at school, not by paying for a university degree) - or luxury foods if they want.
Justice has to be the same for everyone - no privileged classes.

However, most other areas of social welfare would work better (in my opinion) organised on a smaller scale (maybe with oversight from top government level).
It seems to me that the USA (and possibly Russia) is just too BIG for the Federal/Central government to make decisions for a single individual.

Other than those areas, a free market, competitive pricing, would keep the balance of earnings/costs fairly stable.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Hope123
Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 1:37:14 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 8,792
Neurons: 50,369
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Drago,

I think there are just too many people in the world because everybody has different ideas about how to do things.

On second thought - even in a household of just two, there are differing opinions about how to do things too. Whistle Whistle Whistle

"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, April 6, 2019 11:05:18 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 11,459
Neurons: 57,826
Drag0nspeaker wrote:


It seems to me that the USA (and possibly Russia) is just too BIG for the Federal/Central government to make decisions for a single individual.

Other than those areas, a free market, competitive pricing, would keep the balance of earnings/costs fairly stable.


I agree with these two statements and ideas. The one thing missing in all of the reforms that are discussed is transparent pricing. When prices are clear, the secret weapon of capitalism — competition — immediately drives prices lower, draining the excesses out of the system.

Some places have begun to do that. One such is the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, which provides prices for various kinds of surgeries. If patients paid for all medical services, prices would drop, patients could shop around, and more medical services could be provided for those without insurance. But with lower prices, it may well be that insurance prices would also drop, and people with less money could afford insurance. We won’t know until we try it.

The problem has always been that too many people come between the patient and the care giver/service provider, and prices when paid by someone else, always tend to rise because greed and corruption set in.

Insurance companies, Unions, and even the government itself, through Medicare and Medicaid, have inserted themselves between the patient and the hospitals/doctors, resulting in an explosive rise in prices. Most patients have no idea what the real cost of the services are, and the healthcare industry wants to keep it that way. It’s more profitable. The same is true for the pharmaceutical industry.

But even with all of that, there is no system that can take care of everyone for everything. People say healthcare is a right, but it is not. Healthcare is not a God-given right, nor a Constitutional right. In fact, until around 1850, there wasn’t much in the way of healthcare at all. Most often, you either got well, or died. And doctors sometimes killed you while trying to save you. Our first President, George Washington, had his blood drained in an effort to cure him, a practice called blood-letting. He died, likely as a result of that.

In was only in the last hundred years that medicine leaped forward in amazing jumps with discoveries and technology. But as long as there is old age, terminal or catastrophic diseases, there will always come a point where a decision will be made between cost and the quality of life. But until then, the only way I see that the system can be improved is by price transparency, and the removal of Hospital Associations, the American Medical Association, Unions, Insurance companies, and the Government from interference between the patient and the care giver/service provider.

But there may be other avenues I don’t know about. I’m willing to entertain new ideas. There are several different plans in the making, I’ve heard, that are to be revealed shortly. Perhaps one of them will be very good. We just have to wait and see, I suppose.

Or we could do as Oscar D. Grouch does, prejudge and condemn solely on the basis that it comes from Republicans. I’ll let you be the judge of the intelligence behind that approach.

One other thing, however; I noticed that Mick Jagger, of The Rolling Stones, needed a heart valve replacement. Being a citizen of Britain, I thought sure he would have it done by the National Health Service, but he chose to have it done here in the U.S., in New York; interesting. I wonder why?



We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
progpen
Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2019 11:47:43 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,046
Neurons: 369,910
Location: March, England, United Kingdom
Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
progpen wrote:

One thing to keep in mind about any attempts to fix the health care system in the US is that it is currently $3.5 trillion or $10,739 per person. This is nearly 18% of the GDP. This means that any attempt to fix the system is viciously fought by those making money from the current system.



Wow, I knew it was big, but I didn't check the exact numbers. 18% of of the U.S.A. GDP for healthcare is really something. For this kind of money the US should be the healthiest nation in the world Angel

Then this only confirms how politically toxic this problem is. That's why I was surprised he even mentioned the need to do something about it. I understand most on this forum are of the opinion that he just wasn't genuine, just said something that he knew public would like. Well, let's see, future will show.


Kirill, US politicians have been talking about how to fix our health care issues for more than 30 years, so it isn't just Trump telling the people what they want to hear. Ultimately, it's the people who will have to fix the problem, but I have a feeling that this will not happen. Politicians know that all they have to do is set one group of Americans against another (call them the enemy) and the people will forget everything else but that hatred. Then the politicians get to do whatever they want and the people don't care, as long as they have an enemy to focus on.

Edit: So far, the US has lost sight of what is possible and wants to go back to some "better time". Maybe before health care and before real medicine. I guess we will have to wait and find out.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Hope123
Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2019 11:30:16 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 8,792
Neurons: 50,369
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
FounDit wrote:
The problem has always been that too many people come between the patient and the care giver/service provider, and prices when paid by someone else, always tend to rise because greed and corruption set in.

Exactly why single payer works. Just the patient, the doctor who makes all the medical decisions and submits the claim, and the single payer who sets the prices. No pre-existing conditions. No paperwork/bureaucrats for bills sent to patients. Random checks sent to patient to make sure correct services were provided. Any doctor I have ever seen in Canada has been scrupulous about following the rules.

Mick Jagger may have liked a specific doctor or hospital. People come to Canada from all over the world to be treated by Dr.Tirone David, heart surgeon. He lowered the mortality rate from heart surgery all by himself at Toronto General. He did my husband's open heart surgery and twenty years later his secretary still calls for a follow up once a year to see how he is doing.

In fact Paul Rand came to Canada for hernia surgery he needed because of his fight with his neighbour. There is a private clinic that specializes in that surgery. Private owned but not allowed to charge Canadians more than the provincial rate. Foreigners pay through the nose for any treatment in Canada.



"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
progpen
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 2:07:05 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,046
Neurons: 369,910
Location: March, England, United Kingdom
Millionaires and billionaires come to the US because they can be treated like royalty and buy access to services that no one else has. Not because the health care is better.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2019 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.