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Friday, January 13, 2017

HEALTHCARE


HEALTHCARE

A cranky opinion for

CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY


The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with absolutely no knowledge about the subject opined.  Other opinions are welcome and will probably make more sense, so have at it.  As always, please, no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid-head.


Big changes are in store for Obamacare.  At least I hope there will be.  Obamacare is a mess.  It did not bring down costs.  I pay more for my families healthcare than I do my mortgage…by quite a bit…and I’m on Medicare. 

So as a conservative, republican (with a heart) I believe Obamacare was a complete failure, correct?

Not really.  I am a Republicans who understood what Nancy Pelosi meant when she made the much-maligned comment,

“We have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it....”

The bill was twelve million pages long.  If every page was debated it would never be passed, it would be debated forever and then die, never to be resuscitated.  If the bill was passed, however flawed and it clearly would be flawed it would never die.  Never die, but it could be modified and improved.  The only way to change healthcare was to just pass something!

What did we get from Obamacare?  Allowing children to remain on their parent’s insurance until the age of 26 was good…expensive, but good.  Allowing people with preexisting illnesses to be covered was a good and fair thing…very expensive, but fair and good.  That is about all I know about Obamacare other than it has not reduced costs, it has not improved care.

I have a sense from what I read and hear that most doctors hate Obamacare as it costs them money and hinders their patient care among other reasons. 

I have experienced the difference between my old dental care and dental care under cheaper insurance coverage.  I chose to pay without using my plans coverage at all because the revolving door, meat wagon feel of the clinic I was directed to was scary. 

It took me a year to upgrade my policy, more expensive but with traditional care and with dentists that have been digging in my mouth for over 40 years.

This is where I see healthcare going, and it needs to be adjusted, tweaked, and improved, not torn down or discarded.  There will be one brand of healthcare for those that can afford it, one for those that can almost afford it, and one for those who cannot afford it at all.

Healthcare will never be inexpensive.  Years ago healthcare was not as expensive as it is today.  Of course years ago, in many cases, all a doctor could tell you was how many more months you had to live.  Today they can do stuff.  They can do stuff to cure you or make you feel better.  Curing stuff and making you feel better is way more expensive then telling you how many months you have left.

Everyone deserves healthcare.  Some will have better healthcare than others, not because they deserve it, but because they can afford it.  Is this fair?  Someone has to be cared for by the person who finished last in their med school and it will not be someone who has a lot of money. 

Some people will receive A1 top notch healthcare with a mint on their private room hospital pillow.  Others will share a room with many others and their nurse will grunt directions.

That is just the way things work.  If everyone received equal healthcare it would be equally substandard.

What is the solution to fixing Obamacare?  Hell, I don’t know, that is why we have really smart people.  Really smart people and experts in the field will be able to hammer out improvements which make care available to everyone, will encourage good people to enter and stay in the field and will result in a minimum of reasonable sound care for everyone even if it is not of equal quality to everyone. 

We passed the bill and after many years we now know what is in it.  We know what is in it that is good and what is in it that is not so good.  Next step is to improve it. 

If we can keep it from being a political football.  If we can change it without considering how it will affect re-elections down the road, I think we can come up with a much better system maybe even a good system, and a system which can be always be improved.


The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.

29 comments:

  1. Changing the existing system makes too much sense, Joe.
    You get bacon ๐Ÿฅ“ for suggesting it

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  2. Fixing the system is definitely needed, but I don't know how to or even can come up with suggestions to do so. It just doesn't seem right that hard working people trying to get by are having to pay atrocious rates to be insured with sometimes less than adequate coverage. My insurance went up $23 per pay period, which doesn't seem that bad, but services were reduced, like co-pays for urgent care visits, etc. Now nothing is paid until we reach a deductible of $2000. The good news is if I have a catastrophic illness I'll have (some) coverage. The bad news is if I feel I need to see a doctor for something else, I might hesitate, wondering the cost (preventive care is still paid at 100%).

    It will be a mess the next president will have to deal with. I'll be curious how (if) the mess gets fixed.

    betty

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  3. Reading this makes me appreciate even more our National Health Service. Because I'm a pensioner I get free medication and nobody pays to see a doctor or for hospital treatment. There are some who go private and fork out but for the majority of us we get it free.

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  4. I don't know what to say to this apart from let the tweaking and adjusting commence.

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  5. I agree with you. Well written and well explained, Joeh...

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  6. My daughter and son-in-law both work for trauma 1 hospitals. Prior to Obamacare, plenty of patients without insurance were treated for free, because no one was turned away. Now those same patients are forced to pay for insurance they can't afford. That's how the new system is 'helping' the truly poor.

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  7. My personal opinion is that insurance of any kind is the root of all evil and if the entire industry was to disappear tomorrow the world would be a better place.

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  8. We've had insurance through work for years, It's high, but I don't know what Obamacare would cost us. (Probably cheaper)

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  9. I hear complaints but I never do much with western medicine

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  10. I've heard a lot of complaints about Obamacare. Can only go so many times a year and no more. Sounds like poor insurance to me. The costs are very high too for what you get. Which isn't much. Everyone should have care, but making the poor pay when they can't afford to doesn't make much sense does it.

    I hope they come up with a good solution.

    Have a fabulous day Joe. ☺

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  11. I've gone round n' round about Obamacare with one of my son's gf's and she swears by it. Says if it wasn't for Obamacare she wouldn't be able to afford ins. Ugh.

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  12. I will see what happens, but I don't believe we can prevent it form being a political football.

    For the past 7 or 8 years, the only choice available, basically, when it came to the ACA was to either repeal it or keep it the way it was. Because of politics.

    Congress passed repeals dozens of times. No fixes appeared from either side.

    Essentially, it was like having a house in which no improvements could be done. You would have to either keep the hosue exactly as it was or burn it down.

    Obviously, Congress has the votes for repeal. Whether they have the votes for any kind of fix remains to be seen, and I am very, very skeptical.

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  13. The husband is retired military and I am on one for military spouses. I pay nothing for the insurance but there is a larger "out of pocket" expense. We tried to add me to his private work insurance but it would of been $1500 a month. That's crazy. So we are sticking with the higher out of pocket expenses. We just have to budget. You're right - medical and healthcare will always be expensive.

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  14. Hi Joeh,

    If you excuse the way our government is trying to break the NHS, healthcare in the UK is free.

    Let that sink in!

    FREE!

    This is what you need over there.

    Admittedly we do have health insurance here but all it does is help you to jump the NHS queue so you tend to get it as a perk from your company to get you back working asap. Or if you are tremendously wealthy you can pay for it like you do in the States.

    But for Joe Normal Public - the NHS is FREE.

    It's the way forward and Obamacare was a step in the right direction from what I understand.

    :o)

    Cheers

    PM

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    Replies
    1. Not saying yours is not a good system, but nothing is FREE!

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    2. My husband is unemployed.We pay $600 a month for non compliant healthcare. At the end of the year we will have to pay a tax penalty for it upwards of $15k. I hope they repeal and replace.

      I have a friend who is a U.K. Citizen with a heart condition. He's pushing 70 and his free UK healthcare doesn't care because they think he's too old to waste money. Another U.K. Friend said the U.K. system of free health care used to be great but they are running out of money.

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  15. The moral of this must be don't get sick if you can't afford it!!

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  16. Health care costs will keep rising because of more complicated treatments and also high salaries for the CEOs of hospitals and other health care providers. Obamacare reduced one source of high cost, which was poor people getting all their "care" at emergency rooms--no preventive medicine, no continuing care, very unhelpful to the patients and inefficient for providers. The internet is full of stories of people who are grateful for the coverage they got via Obamacare and scared witless that they will be entirely without help if the GOP eliminates the ACA with no replacement in sight. I wish we could trust that the replacement would be sensible, but I fear it will, if anything, be another pay raise for the CEOs and drug companies.

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  17. I just hope they don't throw out the baby. I have a good friend who couldn't afford any insurance till Obama. Now she can actually see a doctor or be admitted to a hospital. Like I said. Keep the baby.

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  18. I wonder if there really IS a health care solution we can even remotely agree on and afford? I'm having my doubts. All I know is the system we had before was slowly but surely dropping more and more people through the cracks every year, and at the other extreme, Obamacare was NOT the answer. On a positive note, my Medicare works GREAT! :)

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  19. A member of our church has a grandson who was born with a terrible illness. The medications cost a fortune. Because the current health care standards do not allow the insurance companies to put yearly or lifetime limits on benefits, his medications are mostly paid for. If that is repealed, and insurance companies go back to having yearly and lifetime limits on how much they will pay for your health care, he will not get the medications he needs once they run out of insurance each year.

    Some parts of the bill were great, some just so/so, others were terrible. Let's find the terrible ones and fix them, find the not so great or could be better parts and tweak them, and leave the good alone.

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  20. Joeh
    Your post generated a lot of interesting comments from most parts of the spectrum of opinions.
    You make a mistake when you say all MD's dislike the system. I don't, though I'm retired now, but I know a lot of doc's that are in favor of it, though most think it needs a lot of improvement.
    Not sure if you know how most docs are paid now, vs 15 years ago. Few are 'private practice', most work for a organization, using Seattle as an example, they employ 78 percent of the docs in Seattle. They have various forms of compensation. Family practice docs tend to get a fixed salary, plus percentages of what either insurance or their patients pay.
    Specialists get the base pay, plus X amount for procedures they perform, surgery, catherizations, etc, that varies on how much the insurance pays, and how much the patient eventually pays. It varies.
    Most of the docs I know are positive about the ACA. It enrolled more people into insurance plans. Most of the docs I know are not profit/money driven. They would like to see a single payer system.
    I don't know a lot of plastic surgeons, but I do know a lot of Cardio and Pulmonary guys. They favor it more than you think.
    Mike

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    Replies
    1. Above, insert 'Swedish' before the first Seattle. Line 7

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    2. I should have said many, and the impression I have is the complaints are more on the line of red tape and forms taking up time and resources than strictly monetary compensation, however unlike you, I have a very limited pool from which to form that impression.

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  21. Here in Ontario we have government insurance that covers a wide range of expenses and even some special coverage for seniors. The balance is made up with health insurance we were fortunate enough to get through our jobs. I think your Obama Care is a good first step. Now you just need to tweek it.

    c

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  22. I am hopeful that our new administration can improve our healthcare. Lord knows we need it. Too much greed here and it's gotten so out of control.

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  23. I understand last year's election had a price tag of $6.8 billion. I wonder how much health care that would have covered.

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  24. I hear there are people who now have coverage that they did not before and the coverage is usable. However, that is only here-say to date: everyone I know who was affected directly by ACA has been hurt by ACA.

    I was unemployed for nearly a year due to ACA passing, causing 2 job offers to get rescinded because of ACA costs to employers. When I did find a job I paid $1k a month for a plan with a $3k deductible and $75 co-pays.

    I know of 5 families who lost their catastrophic care plans and had to sign up for ACA plans that cover nothing until you've spent $3k out of pocket. And they pay as much as 3 times what their old plans cost.

    A friend had to start all over with a new doctor, hospital, and care team in the middle of cancer treatments. His subsequent care was substandard and he now has 6 months to a year to live for a normally very treatable form of cancer. And he's going to pass away penniless because his ACA plan is far more expensive and covers much less than his old plan did.

    The problem is, there's no way to fix it. ACA is such a destructive poison that it has completely dismantled the dysfunction it was to replace while at the same time it has completely destroyed the health insurance industry. There's not enough left to fix, we're starting from less than scratch.

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  25. My GP gave up his practice and went to work at the VA Clinic last summer. I don't so much think it was the change in the amount of money he was making on staff at the hospital, as the changes in the "standard of care." He could not order all the tests he wanted people to have. He had strict guidelines to follow. He said, "When it comes to getting my patients what they need, I am not a good team player."

    Now that I'm retired, I'm paying over 4X what my monthly mortgage was (before we paid it off) for insurance (family of 4).

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