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mamamax
03-23-2010, 06:37 PM
Ok then - the health care bill has passed and been signed into law. Now what?

I had no idea just how many people in the US were without insurance - 83%

Here's a good "overview" http://www.healthwikisource.com/

And the full text: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.4872:

Looks like insurance companies will no longer be able to deny claims based on pre-existing conditions (excellent). Some Medicare reform down the road, companies with 50 employees or more will be required to provide insurance, and parents will be able to keep their kids on their family policies until they reach age 26.

Looks like a very complex thing. Was wondering how the changes may effect our future health care choices. Will it be easier or harder to say: to have insurance cover Schroth in WI - or an out of network surgeon?

Pooka1
03-23-2010, 07:44 PM
Looks like a very complex thing. Was wondering how the changes may effect our future health care choices. Will it be easier or harder to say: to have insurance cover Schroth in WI - or an out of network surgeon?

Linda has mentioned a few times that coverage is heading towards evidence based choices. If that was in relation to this bill then I think bracing and PT are on chopping block.

jrnyc
03-23-2010, 11:37 PM
i do believe that the percentage is around 15%..it is defintiely not 83%!! the number quoted is usually 44 million..that doesnt come out to 83% of America!!

if you check the internet for a percentage, it most often says that 15% of Americans are without health insurance at this time...

jess

titaniumed
03-23-2010, 11:48 PM
If there are 300 plus million people, how can 32 million be 83%?

Where do these numbers come from?
Ed

titaniumed
03-23-2010, 11:52 PM
Nevermind. This is not a govt website.

It sure looked like it.
Ed

titaniumed
03-24-2010, 12:28 AM
Mamamax

We still have to wait this out.......

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36012201/ns/politics-washington_post

Ed

jrnyc
03-24-2010, 12:32 AM
i think it will take time to se how it goes...it is nerve wracking...a little bit i think...cause who knows what it will cause to happen...my sister lives in montreal & she has "free medical care" but said the taxes are really high up there!
i hope it works out well & brings needed insurance to those who lack it...just hope it doesnt mean loooong lines at the doctor's office & treatments denied from insurance companies! am sure they will find a new way to deny people! they are so good at that!!

jess

JenniferG
03-24-2010, 03:53 AM
I don't think there's a perfect system. We have free medical care for all, but because of the long waiting lists, most Australians take out private health cover. This ensures you get what you need promptly and with your choice of doctor. Health insurance premiums are paid by the individual in Australia, not the employer.

Health insurance is not compulsory here but there are good incentives to take it out e.g. 30% (I think it is) is subsidised by the Government.

I believe everyone should be entitled to health care, even at the expense of higher taxes.

mamamax
03-24-2010, 05:12 AM
The White House web site posts a link to frequently asked questions -

http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq#r1

I like that (it appears) treatment decisions will be placed back into the hands of doctors in consultation with their patients (vs the insurance companies).

That treatment decisions were ever taken out of the hands of our doctors - has been something that has bothered me for quite some time.

Fact Check: Thanks Ed! 83% certainly sounded out of line ... and it is :-) Here's a web site that makes the numbers clearer. Still, a LOT of people uninsured. http://www.factcheck.org/2009/03/uninsured-us-citizens/

michael1960
03-24-2010, 07:43 AM
Good discussion.

While it says that we can get the treatment our doctors recommend, I bet that if it is not in the list of services approved by the insurance company, it will not be covered.

For example, many of us are discussing VBS, and the fact that it is not covered by many insurance companies. And while an orthopedic surgeon may feel that it is best for the child, the insurance company can still deny it.

I wish the reform addressed forcing insurance companies to include new surgical techniques in their approved list of services.

I was also wondering that if insurance company A covers VBS. And our insurance company B does not, can we switch to a new insurance company, with no pre-existing conditions, and get VBS covered?

I look forward to reading more comments on all of this. Thanks for starting the discussion.

Michael

jrnyc
03-24-2010, 09:55 AM
wonder if they will still be able to cop out with calling things "experimental"!! am waiting to see how long dr anand's method will be "experimental" to some insurance companies...though i do know that blue cross/blue shield anthem paid for it in CA for at least 2 patients i spoke to...

jess

CHRIS WBS
03-24-2010, 11:59 AM
Was wondering how the changes may effect our future health care choices.

What choices? Over 30,000,000 more insured plus critical doctor shortage (with more threatening to leave the profession with passage of this bill) equals rationed care. And donít forget taxes, taxes and more taxes. Welcome to western Europe.

Karen Ocker
03-24-2010, 01:22 PM
My brother-in-law developed cancer in his 50s. Couldn't work because of chemo, lost insurance, lost everything to medical bankruptcy. In Western Europe, where have family with medical problems, no-one worries about medical bankruptcy. Some have chosen to buy a supplement for private care(Germany/Switzerland) for say, a private room. At least they do not worry about losing everything.

I see smugness in those with excellent insurance, paid for by employer--just get sick and not be able to work and/ or have your spouse get sick at the same time. Your insurer would never cover you if you do not work. We have lost employer coverage in retirement. We thought we were immune. You would be glad to have a safety net under you.

I personally would prefer higher taxes with lower premiums(they are limited under the new law-phased in over time) and never have to experience what my brother-in-law has.

Pooka1
03-24-2010, 01:49 PM
Scandinavian countries regularly rank as having the best standard of living in the world. They have high taxes and lots of safety nets and score near or at the top on science knowledge.

The proof is in the pudding... compare living standards.

CHRIS WBS
03-24-2010, 02:13 PM
No comparison. Scandinavian countries combined have only one-fifteenth of the U.S. population.

Bottom line is this thing will most likely bankrupt our country. For sure something had to be done to address problems, but a government takeover based on backroom deals by a bunch of crooks was not the answer.

jillw
03-24-2010, 03:49 PM
There will likely be more gatekeeping for services. People who are not "vigorous" are more likely to have certain procedures denied. Vigorous is the word my mother's doctor used when he was trying to convey to my mother that something like hip replacement surgery wouldn't necessarily be denied to her under the new system because of her age. Rather if it was someone her age who also had, for example, cancer or cirrhosis and therefore who "based on evidence" or statistics doesn't have a great chance of a long remaining life who might be denied a hip replacement (or spinal fusion). Just an example.

Or some of those premie babies who statistically do not have a good shot of surviving...the parents may lose the choice of whether expensive measures can be taken (unless they have a trust fund).

I find the uncertainty of it kind of scary - who and how will these decisions be made? What decisions will be made?

Our insurance coverage runs from mid year to mid year so we'll probably find out before most people how premiums will be impacted. I know they will go up substantially (they're already pretty high), but that's almost the least of it (even though it is important also)...I'm more concerned about access to services in the future. I guess it will play out over the next year or so...

I wonder how quickly before the med school enrollment goes down and the more highly qualified students decide to pursue other careers?

jrnyc
03-24-2010, 05:23 PM
very confusing...one person says the premiums will be limited by law...another says the premiums will go up substantially...dont know which it will be...

i didnt have "excellent" insurance when i worked...i had average insurance! and i had to retire due to severe pain! i really would have preferred to keep on working...especially since i took a hit on my pension that i worked so hard for! i couldnt even afford to take months off to have the surgery...but that is a whole other story...

now that i am retired, i pay a whole lotta money to cover myself...and now my husband, too...even with that, i go to some doctors who dont take insurance, for their special knowledge...or some who just dont take MY insurance...like Dr Anand....and Dr Boachie...and i get no reimbursement...must go to in network doctors only...

i have no sympathy for any folks who now dont want to be doctors cause maybe they wont get as rich...there are lots of doctors who stop taking insurance as soon as they build their practice! maybe some doctors will have to live on similar salaries to that of teachers...oh heavens...what a hardship! :rolleyes:

jess

mamamax
03-25-2010, 06:02 AM
On March 23rd, Attorney Generals from fourteen states Lawyered-up and filed legal action against the US Department of Health & Human Services, Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Labor in a complaint that basically says that this bill is unconstitutional.

Was reading through the complaint which is available on the Internet - seems Medicaid under this new bill will be expanded beyond what some states believe is even financially possible given the current economic outlook - and that Medicaid participation by states was originally set up to be voluntary, not manditory. Another "talking point" is the tax that will be levied against citizens who do not have insurance by 2014 which will involve a penalty against them of approximately $700 or 2.5% of their income (whichever is greater). The only exemption being for those who do not earn enough to pay taxes in the first place. After 2016 the "penalty" will increase annually. My first thought was - what if someone doesn't pay up?

The complaint is 23 pages long and I'm not done reading it yet. It is odd that not 1 Republican voted in favor of this bill. That's quite a statement.

I'm really surprised we haven't seen more town hall meetings about all this. I live in a state that is leading the way in this 14-state law suit and we are famous for such things.

Pooka1
03-25-2010, 06:13 AM
It is odd that not 1 Republican voted in favor of this bill. That's quite a statement.

It's a statement alright but not the one you are thinking about.

Republicans continually voting against their own interest is so strange that it is finally attracting attention and study of social scientists...

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/haidt08/haidt08_index.html

I am not a social scientist and I'm not convinced it is even a science but I think it is obvious why people vote against their interest in say economic matters... it's to have their way on social matters. They do what they need to in order to impose their social views on innocent people.

Their economic views are not crazy per se but their social views are because they are totalitarian.

Karen Ocker
03-25-2010, 05:35 PM
This bill is about helping the less rich - persons who cannot afford to buy insurance, those who have lost it and preventing the disasters which can befall anyone. When I was a child-1956- having my first scoliosis surgery there was no medical insurance/only hospitalization. My surgery was $2000;my dad made ~ $5K. It practically wiped us out.

My brother in law had cancer in his 50's, college educated, good job-- lost insurance because he could not work during treatment, lost his house and declared medical bankruptcy. Don't think it cannot happen to you.

We do not see many on the forum without insurance because help of any kind for their scoliosis was impossible.

Yes the money will come from some increases taxes. It seems the more fortunate(insured) in this country are afraid of helping and don't want any sharing of their wealth with the less fortunate.
How we care for the weakest, less fortunate in a society shows the true values we hold as a country.

Pooka1
03-25-2010, 05:44 PM
This bill is about helping the less rich - persons who cannot afford to buy insurance, those who have lost it and preventing the disasters which can befall anyone. When I was a child-1956- having my first scoliosis surgery there was no medical insurance/only hospitalization. My surgery was $2000;my dad made ~ $5K. It practically wiped us out.

My brother in law had cancer in his 50's, college educated, good job-- lost insurance because he could not work during treatment, lost his house and declared medical bankruptcy. Don't think it cannot happen to you.

We do not see many on the forum without insurance because help of any kind for their scoliosis was impossible.

Yes the money will come from some increases taxes. It seems the more fortunate(insured) in this country are afraid of helping and don't want any sharing of their wealth with the less fortunate.
How we care for the weakest, less fortunate in a society shows the true values we hold as a country.

Excellent post Karen!

Completely agree.

JenniferG
03-25-2010, 11:56 PM
Absolutely!

jrnyc
03-26-2010, 05:08 AM
Hey Sharon
loved that article in the link you posted! will take me awhile to re read it...as i just had dental implants on wednesday...OUCH! something to distract me from my scoli and disc pain!! oh goody :rolleyes:

jess

Pooka1
03-26-2010, 05:38 AM
Hey Sharon
loved that article in the link you posted! will take me awhile to re read it...as i just had dental implants on wednesday...OUCH! something to distract me from my scoli and disc pain!! oh goody :rolleyes:

jess

Truth is stranger than fiction with certain political ideologies. :)

Good luck with those implants.

CHRIS WBS
03-26-2010, 09:30 AM
This bill is about helping the less rich - persons who cannot afford to buy insurance, those who have lost it and preventing the disasters which can befall anyone. When I was a child-1956- having my first scoliosis surgery there was no medical insurance/only hospitalization. My surgery was $2000;my dad made ~ $5K. It practically wiped us out.

My brother in law had cancer in his 50's, college educated, good job-- lost insurance because he could not work during treatment, lost his house and declared medical bankruptcy. Don't think it cannot happen to you.

We do not see many on the forum without insurance because help of any kind for their scoliosis was impossible.

Yes the money will come from some increases taxes. It seems the more fortunate(insured) in this country are afraid of helping and don't want any sharing of their wealth with the less fortunate.
How we care for the weakest, less fortunate in a society shows the true values we hold as a country.


Oh, pleeezzzze! This bill is not about helping the less fortunate. It was never even about health care reform. Itís about government gaining further control of our lives. If itís so wonderful, why is Congress exempt from it? By the way, Fidel Castro is doing cartwheels over passage of this bill.

titaniumed
03-26-2010, 11:02 AM
I agree.
Our government does like to control. There is no doubt about that.

Proof seems to come on a daily basis....

The only thing we can do, is to wait till the ball is pitched.

The amount of fines they plan to collect for not having insurance, is mind blowing.
Ed

mariaf
03-26-2010, 02:50 PM
I,too, am skeptical about this bill. While I agree that our current healthcare system leaves much to be desired, I'm not sure this bill is going to accomplish what some folks are claiming it will. And as Ed mentioned, the fines to be imposed are mind-boggling.

Also, so many cities and states are in financial distress. In the NY area alone, it seems there is a story every day on the news about layoffs (cops, firemen, teachers). They are talking about cuts in the transportation program to the point where they want to take away - for the first time in decades - free student metro cards - a cut that many families can't afford. So where is all this money going to come from? Once again out of the pockets of the average Joe??

I can't agree with Karen's statement that:

'the more fortunate(insured) in this country are afraid of helping and don't want any sharing of their wealth with the less fortunate.'

My family is 'insured' but we are far from 'fortunate' finanically - my husband and I work hard just to make ends meet and cannot afford any more dipping into our pockets.

But, more importantly, I hope we don't end up in a similar situation as other countries, where the wait for care is ridiculously long. For example, I personally know a few families from Canada who came to Shriners in the U.S. because the wait for care in Canada was so long. I've heard similar stories about wait times from a friend living in Italy.

Most people I've talked to do not think this bill will be good for the average, working middle-class family. I truly hope we're all wrong.

mariaf
03-26-2010, 03:05 PM
A friend sent me this - while I have no way of knowing for sure if the claims are totally accurate (I sure hope not) this has appeared on several websites - and the quotes are attributed to a former county judge in Texas, David Kithil.

In a recent article, he voiced his opposition to the bill as follows:

"I have reviewed selected sections of the bill and find it unbelievable that our Congress, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, could come up with a bill loaded with so many wrong-headed elements. We do need to breform the health insurance system in America in order to make coveragebaffordable and available to everyone. But, how many of us believe our federal government can manage a new program any better than the bankrupt Medicare program or the underfunded Social Security program? Both Republicans and Democrats are equally responsible for the financial mess of those two programs.

He goes on.....I am opposed to HB 3200 for a number of reasons.

To start with, it is estimated that a federal bureaucracy of more than 150,000new employees will be required to administer HB3200. That is an unacceptable expansion of a government that is already too intrusive in our lives. If we are going to hire 150,000 new employees, let's put them to work protecting our borders, fighting the massive drug problem and putting more law enforcement/firefighters out there.

Other problems Judge Kithil has with this bill include:

Page 50/section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally.

Page 65/section 164: The plan will be subsidized (by the government) for
all union members, union retirees and for community organizations (such
as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - ACORN).

Page 203/line 14-15: The tax imposed under this section will not be
treated as a tax. (How could anybody in their right mind come up with that?)

Page 241 and 253: Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty, and the government will set all doctors' fees.

Page 272. section 1145: Cancer hospital will ration care according to the
patient's age.

Page 317 and 321: The government will impose a prohibition on hospital
expansion; however, communities may petition for an exception.

Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance-care planning
consultations. Those on Social Security will be required to attend an
"end-of-life planning" seminar every five years.

Page 429, line 13-25: The government will specify which doctors can write
an end-of-life order."

Finally, he states, it is specifically stated this bill will not apply to members of Congress. Members of Congress are already exempt from the Social Security system and have a well-funded private plan that covers their retirement needs. If they were on our Social Security plan, I believe they would find a very quick "fix" to make the plan financially sound for the future."

Again, I'm just posting what was written in the article. I can only hope it's not totally accurate.

Karen Ocker
03-26-2010, 04:49 PM
A friend sent me this - while I have no idea if the claims are real (I sure hope not) this has appeared on several websites - and was supposedly written by a former county judge in Texas, David Kithil.

Again, I'm just posting what was written in the article. I can only hope it's not totally accurate.

We need to stick to the facts not this mass hysteria that drives me crazy. I work in health care and I am delighted something is being done about this.

This business about "death panels". I hope you are not talking about Hospice which involves end of life care and is presently covered by Medicare part A. This is where a person can decide comfort care rather than painful, useless yes, expensive, treatments at the end of their life. My mom, who recently passed away, lived longer than expected on such care.

mamamax
03-26-2010, 06:28 PM
There is a LOT of fear mongering going on regarding the "facts" of this bill. Mostly perpetrated by the guys who didn't vote for it ;-)

Whitehouse.gov is a good source for the Democratic side of the coin. Whatever it is all about, we are stuck with it - and the amendments to come. I really want to believe it will be a good thing ... I hope Karen's take is right.

I have a very close family friend in NJ who is a retired doctor. I asked him what he thought about the bill. He said this (in part):



It could be a wonderful thing if its support were not based on fiction. First Obama should never have allowed the insurance companies to bully him into allowing them to control it. There are not even any price controls. He honestly believes that he can raise half of its cost from Medicare fraud. Pure fairy tales and trumped up figure. There is probably about 50 billion in fraud and the rest is augmented fiction. So he will turn around and do the popular thing. Tax the rich. Problem is he is running out of them (the rich) and will have to lower his earnings definition of who is rich. This program is not a 1 trillion dollar program, it is a 3 trillion dollar program. So he will cut that rich level until believe it or not, you will find yourself being called one of those "rich." We needed a better insurance program like Medicare, but we didn't need it now as we still are in the worst recession since the depression. He should have waited 2 years, cleared up the budget and then brought it in as a federal program. These votes only guarantee inflation. welcome back to Jimmy Carter days.

These are off the cuff remarks from someone who retired early due to much dissatisfaction with insurance companies, and their involvement in "doctoring." I respect his opinions as he is heavily involved now in doing things like funding research clinics at major teaching universities. So, what I'm trying to say is that he keeps abreast of things like this.

I don't really believe the scare tactics we find published by the guys who voted no. But I am worried about some things. Fining people up to 2.5% of their salary if they don't purchase insurance seems like a big red flag to me. My state's Attorney General is leading the way in a major 14 state law suit regarding this - and I wonder who is going to pay for that. As it is, Florida's economic outlook is in the crapper and my job (along with thousands of others) is continuously in jeopardy amid shortfalls and budget cuts.

The "death panel" thing is a myth I believe. The truth of that matter involves counseling people regarding living wills. Something I'm not sure is a good thing. But that's a whole other discussion.

I hope you are right Karen. And Sharon - great web link :-)

jrnyc
03-26-2010, 07:29 PM
there are alot of inaccuracies being stated here...and according to Section 1312 part D of the bill i read online in reference to Congress...they will have to be insured in the same manner by 2014...

maybe folks should give this whole thing a chance before stating so very surely that it will be so very very awful...

jess

Pooka1
03-26-2010, 07:35 PM
This is a complicated matter. I do not think PhD economists agree on the forecasts.

The so-called exemption for Congressmen stumped a healthcare insurance expert. There is no need for that... Feds have access to a plan that I believe is going to become available to everyone.

I realize Grassley did have some sort of something for Congressmen or their staffs but I don't think it is what people are claiming.

Anyone know?

mamamax
03-26-2010, 08:10 PM
The double standard will no doubt become a hot topic.

http://stevescomments.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/breaking-news-exempted-from-obamacare-senior-staff-who-wrote-the-health-care-bill/




(D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE-

(i) REQUIREMENT- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that areĖ

(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or

(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).

mariaf
03-26-2010, 08:16 PM
Karen,

You asked:

Why do you bother posting it if the claims might not be real???

I guess I could ask why you claimed "the fortunate (insured) in this country are afraid of helping..."

How can you know that? Do you speak for them? If not, then I guess you had no business posting that either. As I stated, I am 'insured' but certainly not financially 'fortunate' as you put it, so please don't speak for me. Unless you feel you are the only one with "the facts".

By the way, I would gladly share my wealth.......IF I HAD ANY.

I simply posted something that is already out there, hoping others could shed some light. The claims could very well be accurate. I was simply pointing out that there is no way that I, or anyone, can know if half of the studies, information or data out there is totally accurate, yet folks refer to these things all the time.

No need to get so defensive.

Pooka1
03-26-2010, 08:16 PM
I read that. That is no exemption. That is saying members of Congress shall be treated like everyone else.

mamamax
03-26-2010, 08:19 PM
I read that. That is no exemption. That is saying members of Congress shall be treated like everyone else.

Depends upon how it is read? The wording is quite confusing, like most government-speak.

Here's Grassly's take:

http://grassley.senate.gov/news/Article.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1502=24645


And his newsletter from March 24th: http://grassley.senate.gov/news/Article.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1502=25931

mariaf
03-26-2010, 09:15 PM
Some Medicare reform down the road, companies with 50 employees or more will be required to provide insurance, and parents will be able to keep their kids on their family policies until they reach age 26.


I just wanted to say that many insurers currently allow one's children to remain on their policies through college. My husband and I have, at various times, covered our kids on our respective health plans (one policy allows it until age 25, the other until age 26, provided they are full-time students). So this is not completely new.

For the record, I am not against everything in this bill, just hoping that, among other things, we don't end up with very long waiting times like many other countries. And unfortunately, since it's a very real possibility that fewer people will choose to become doctors, that's not an unrealistic concern by any stretch. But I am all for doing away with the pre-existing conditions loophole for insurers and other aspects of the bill.

I'm just still quite skeptical.

jillw
03-26-2010, 09:42 PM
Maria, I can't see how we won't end up with very long waiting times - supply and demand...after all the demand will be going up - this is good since it will be because people who might not have had as much health care due to a lack of insurance will finally have access to health care. That alone should make wait time longer, but at least we know its for a good reason. On the other hand, it seems likely that the number of doctors will go down...probably drastically when the pipeline of future doctors from med school and residency programs fall as a result of this program (not to mention any early retirements). If this is the case, there will be a very large gap between supply and demand and wait times will have to go up. Hopefully the wait times won't go up so much that people miss the window of opportunity for services. God forbid because somebody has to wait for an appointment, diagnosis of something like cancer is delayed until it is too late to treat (in which case treatment might be denied since statistics will show they have a low chance of surviving - hey, but at least that will help control the cost of the program, right? OK, I admit, that last part is a curmudgeon's remark- but the skeptic in me had to say it)

I hope the program works as intended, I am just very afraid to leave something like this up to our government. Weren't they fighting over whether Viagra should be paid for for convicted child molesters and rapists? Come on, lets give the country health care, but I don't want to subsidize that! (by the way, did that coverage remain in the bill or was it eliminated? hopefully the latter)

mamamax
03-26-2010, 10:11 PM
MariaF - I'm both hopeful and skeptical. I don't think you've come across as completely against this bill ... looks to me like you're just wondering, like all of us - how this is going to effect us in the future. So far the greatest advantage seems to be doing away with the pre-existing limitations on insurance policies.

I *think* I understand that for those who already have insurance policies in place, that most of this will be a non issue (for the moment). It's the people without insurance that will be offered affordable (supposedly) coverage - right? And fined if they choose not to take it. Which does seem a little unconstitutional. The effect on Medicare is something many are worried about also.

As for supply and demand .. the spin is that this should create more jobs in the health care industry. We'll see.

Lots of questions - few answers.

mariaf
03-27-2010, 06:58 AM
Yes, Mamamax, there certainly seem to be lots of questions and few answers. I wish I could be more hopeful, of course I'd love to see things change for the better, but I think Jill said it best when she said "I am just very afraid to leave something like this up to our government" - Amen Sister!

It would appear that the government is ignoring the very real possibility of the scenario Jill decribed playing out over and over - where someone with cancer would have their diagnosis and TREATMENT delayed because of the inevitably long wait times we'll be facing. I think we all know that with cancer, early detection and treatment are key. I recall a story not too long ago about a man from Canada with brain cancer who was trying to get to the states for treatment because the wait time he was facing at home for treatment was longer than he was likely to live without treatment! (This story is not an example of mass hysteria, as Karen called it, but someone's husband, brother or father not being given the chance to live because of a flawed health system).

But I guess Jill is right - if someone like this dies before receiving treatment, that'll help control the cost of the program.:rolleyes:

jrnyc
03-27-2010, 08:25 AM
i think the doomsday scenarios should hold off and give this a chance...just a chance...

my sister has lived in Canada for 35 years...she has no complaints about the health care system there...and gets the care she needs...she has had abdominal surgery there as well...

i have insurance that i pay plenty for since i retired...but i am sure that if i had no insurance, this bill would be an improvement for me.....

jess

mamamax
03-27-2010, 09:19 AM
Well said jrnyc ... in fact, didn't the Prime Minister of Canada recently have heart surgery performed here in the US? I heard that when he was questioned about it, he simply said: hey, it's my health (my choice). Many Americans travel to Canada to purchase prescriptions because of finances ... I think regulation on that was left out of this bill, hopefully it will be addressed down the road.

I'll be retiring in a few years and prior to this bill, would have to pay a ton for insurance that would match the benefits I currently enjoy ... hope this new law cuts me some slack. Currently there are doctors who refuse to accept new Medicare patients - that is unbelievable to me.

Both Medicare and Medicaid were very controversial when signed into law in 1965 (after 20 years of heated political debate). There was some pretty wild speculations, including the opinion that passage into law would turn this country into a Communist state. Without both these services, well - I can't imagine how difficult life would be for many.

The 2010 law looks to expand benefits to those falling outside qualification for them, and to refine services (hopefully expanding choices) - resulting in affordable health care for all citizens. The companion bill involves making higher education easier to obtain/afford.

It has taken forever and a day to put something in place that covers all in the US, and working towards this was Ted Kennedy's life's work. So, overall I'm hoping it will be a good thing - I also think we may see many amendments as time goes on, as well as some major colorful political posturing as is done every election year via scare tactics involving Medicare and Social Security.

Either way - we are watching history unfold.

Pooka1
03-27-2010, 09:59 AM
Both Medicare and Medicaid were very controversial when signed into law in 1965 (after 20 years of heated political debate). There was some pretty wild speculations, including the opinion that passage into law would turn this country into a Communist state. Without both these services, well - I can't imagine how difficult life would be for many.


Great post but this comment is what folks should think about.

I don't understand the nexus between this bill and people not going into medicine. How is that supposed to happen? What other highly technical highly lucrative job will these bio majors choose? They aren't just going to switch to biomedical research en masse for at least three reasons:

1. graduate schools can only take what there is funding and space for,
2. biomedical research doesn't pay nearly as much as medicine and certainly nothing like certain medical specialties, and
3. you have to have the mindset for research. Many doctors don't have it and are not even trained to do it.

So I don't view the claims of less medical students after the passage of this bill as credible.

I lived in Canada and had several conversations of the medical system. A doctor told me the way Canada controls costs is rationing doctors. That means they control the number of medical schools and immigration of doctors. If anyone thinks either of those things will happen in the US then I disagree.

mariaf
03-27-2010, 10:31 AM
I truly hope you're right, Sharon.

I guess another reason I am skeptical of any system the government comes up with is that several years ago the company my husband worked for went bankrupt. I was working part-time at the time and not eligible for medical insurance. Since COBRA wasn't an option (there was no company left to administer it), we went on the NY State plan (Health Plus) until my husband found a new job.

OK, so it was better than no insurance - but not what I expected. First of all, they said that with my part-time salary and his unemployment we made too much money to qualify for free or low-cost care so we paid the maximum for Health Plus (at that time about $400-500 for the family). Yes, that's cheaper than private insurance, but remember we had just lost my husband's income and this was a HUGE burden financially.

In addition, I came across several doctors in that relatively short time who did not accept it because they said 'it paid them very little'.

So here we were paying several hundred dollars a month for insurance that a lot of doctors wouldn't accept. And I found it laughable that we didn't qualify for a cheaper rate since as I said, we had very little income but the maximum one could make to qualify for a cheaper rate was ridiculously low.

So I guess I'm thinking it could turn out the same for the currently uninsured. Currently the uninsured can go to city hospitals for example. So what if the insurance they will have under this bill is not accepted by a lot of private doctors, will they be back where they started?

Hopefully not. And again, I'm just pointing out how ill-thought out government plans in the past have been - hopefully history won't repeat itself and our leaders have learned something over the past decades. In any event, we have no choice but to wait and see how things turn out. Hopefully, better than some of us expect :)

Pooka1
03-27-2010, 10:51 AM
Maria,

Those are good points and I think we will have to see how things play out.

I just question the mechanics that would necessarily be in place if some of these predictions came true.

There is no other obvious outlet for all these people who would have gone into medicine but chose not to due to something in this bill. Therefore I don't believe the number of doctors is going to decrease. As long as their average salary is still much higher than any alternative, the numbers will hold steady.

jillw
03-27-2010, 07:24 PM
Sharon, Some of these people that major in biology or pre-med will pick something altogether different for the reasons you state (limited jobs outside of medicine).....

The road to becoming a doctor involves hundreds of thousands in student loan debt, deferal of income for a number of years, a pittance of an income during the internship/residency/etc years (especially when you factor in the number of hours worked), -this stage can last close close to a decade for some specialties, sacrafices of quality of life even when all the training is done (called away from and/or missing childrens games for on call issues, disrupted sleep etc ). It's not easy street like some people seem to think. Not even close. Without compensation to make it worth their while, many will choose not to take that path. Now, maybe I should say IF compensation is negatively and materially affected under this bill, many will choose not to go into the field. Maybe compensation and other issues won't turn out to be as negatively impacted after all. Maybe orthopedic surgeons, for example, who spent YEARS honing their craft will still be compensated well. Maybe not, as has been said, I guess we have to see how it plays out.

jrnyc
03-27-2010, 08:17 PM
as i said, i go to doctors who opted out of some or ALL insurance once they had a big enuf practice...my hormone doctor, who is EXCELLENT ( and hard to get since oprah had her on TV!)...is one of those doctors..she is soooo busy...without taking ANY insurance! so i am quite sure there will be other doctors like her..and other patients who find the money to go see them! and i AM NOT RICH...i worked all my adult life as a special ed teacher and then social worker in NYC public schools...not exactly like Wall Street!! i paid Dr Boachie cash for a consult...and Dr Anand....soooo...dont cry for the doctors...please! you never know...maybe they could try lowering the price of med school!! you know, grad school for social work wasnt cheap, either :)
i refuse to feel any pity for these doctors...none at all! is anyone forgetting how rich they got before there were HMO's? why do you think they refuse to take some insurance...and who do you think has been paying for that all these years? Dr Anand doesnt take my insurance...
so who do you feel sorrier for...the patients or the doctors? maybe we should all head for another country to see how those doctors make it work!
REALLY!

jess

CHRIS WBS
03-29-2010, 04:33 PM
http://medinnovationblog.blogspot.com/

jrnyc
03-29-2010, 04:54 PM
according to the lawsuits they file, Physicians Foundation and their members care about little but how much they are reimbursed by insurance companies...they hate Medicare, so it would be expected that they wouldnt like the health care bill, either...they are so busy filing lawsuits against people like aetna and cigna, i am surprised they have time to think of patients...
i dont like the way insurance companies treat patients, but i doubt that these people have patients at heart either!

jess

mamamax
04-02-2010, 06:20 AM
Companies like Verizon, AT&T, Caterpilar, Deere, etc .. enjoy enjoy tax benefits for retiree plans. For Verizon, this amounts to $970 million dollars a year. Our new law eliminates this tax break beginning in 2013. I read in a Bloomburg article where this will cause consumer prices to rise. So, looks like both big business and consumers will share in covering the cost of health care? I think the Bloomburg article may just be covering the tip of the iceburg. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=acOdGHWujF9I

Just a few days ago, the state I live in passed a law where employees like myself, will begin "contributing" to our pension plan. The bill was a last minute "surprise" introduction - following the passage of the health care law (hmmmm). This amounts to me taking $75/year out of my pocket. Doesn't sound like much - but, in addition to rising costs on everything else that I will face + the fact that raises (and cost of living increases) have been, and will continue to be, out of the question till who knows when ... finds me wondering if my personal budget won't become even more stressed than it has been. Of course I'm lucky to have a job, and am grateful for that - even if I have to worry constantly about keeping it amid relentless budget cuts.

Bottom line - where is this going to lead? I'm thinking .... to the doctor (thankfully covered by insurance), and those little blue pills that make life look all rosey (the yellow ones won't be strong enough). Hopefully, the prescription plan will cover most of the cost.

jrnyc
04-02-2010, 07:44 AM
OK...i had to "contribute" to my pension plan for years and years...doesnt everybody? honestly didnt know anybody doesnt have to...and i contributed monthly!

big companies always get the breaks..and the bail outs...and since Bush deregulated the banks..it just got worse...
...the workers...the "common man"... always pay..but that is just how it is...

jess

mamamax
04-03-2010, 08:10 AM
Hi Jess - no, not everyone is required to contribute to pension funds. Until just a few days ago, Florida was one of seven states where government (state, city, county level) employees were not required to contribute.

jrnyc
04-03-2010, 10:57 AM
nice...i know FLA is also a state that doesnt tax civil service employee pensions...NY does, CA and CT do...i think most states, besides FLA and NM do...so i pay state taxes on NYC DOE pension as former special ed teacher and social worker in public schools! i paid into my pension in NYC for YEARS!!! every month!

jess

Pooka1
04-03-2010, 11:03 AM
FLA has no state tax also. It is very attractive to folks who don't have kids.

If you do have kids, FLA has one of the worst public school systems in the country. You get what you (don't) pay for.

If my husband wasn't transferred out of Florida by the time my kids were entering school I would have had to leave in the middle of the night with them. I attended top shelf public schools (in NYC) and I'm not going to deny that experience to my kids.

mamamax
04-04-2010, 09:00 AM
If you do have kids, FLA has one of the worst public school systems in the country. You get what you (don't) pay for.


While this statement was once the popular "group think" ... such is no longer the case today -

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/article960721.ece

Personally, I would like to see our school systems restructured to be more in keeping with the Quaker based Friends school systems - you know, the choice of Presidents, for their children (current and recent past). I was fortunate enough to have my daughter enrolled in Friends for the first six years of her schooling - big difference between Friends and the standard public school system!

Pooka1
04-04-2010, 09:27 AM
While this statement was once the popular "group think" ... such is no longer the case today -

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/article960721.ece

Personally, I would like to see our school systems restructured to be more in keeping with the Quaker based Friends school systems - you know, the choice of Presidents, for their children (current and recent past). I was fortunate enough to have my daughter enrolled in Friends for the first six years of her schooling - big difference between Friends and the standard public school system!


I'm very skeptical. In fact I don't believe the numbers.

When we were in FLA 1997-2000 I believe only MS and LA had worse public schools (on average) than FLA in the country.

What are the SAT scores? That's where the rubber meets the road. That is conspicuous by its absence in those ranking criteria. Last I checked which was a while ago I admit, Wisconsin and Iowa often are the top two states in SAT scores. Wisconsin at least has a huge state tax rate. You get what you pay for.

jrnyc
04-04-2010, 09:57 AM
Hey Sharon
i agree with what you said about the schools...except for NYC public schools...granted, i only worked in special ed, but there were special ed classes in just about all the public schools in NYC...i worked in one pretty good one (on upper west side of Manhattan) and about 22 out of 25 years in awful ones!! you have to live in a good neighborhood....even then there is no guarantee anymore!
years and years and centuries ago, all three of us (sisters) went to public schools in NYC...and they were excellent (back in the 50's and 60's)...somewhere late 60's and in the 70's, it was downhill all the way!! the standards have dropped so low! and i covered some main stream classes that werent all that much better than some of the special ed classes! once i switched to social worker, i saw more of the schools....and it wasnt good! i also spent 10 years doing educational testing of "regular" and "special ed" kids...saw i saw alot of all sides of the school system there....

i say it with sadness...as a born and raised and lived most of my life New Yorker...it saddens me greatly to see what has happened! :(

but...on a brighter note...Happy Holiday to all out there on forum...:)

jess

dailystrength
04-04-2010, 09:28 PM
I was wondering also how the new health plan would affect our scoliosis options... thanks for this discussion. Some tiny part of me wants to keep surgery as an option! Covered!