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Health Care Reform Truths and Untruths

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure IMHO is the right place for this but since any discussion relating to health care reform quickly deteriorates into an argument about is being proposed and what isn't it might at least be of interest here.

It researches and reports on what it finds with regards to the validity of claims being made about the reforms being proposed. Seems relatively unbiased to me.

PolitiFact.com
post #2 of 19
Good link, I will have to check that out further. Nonpartisan is a rarity.
post #3 of 19
That is a great link - very funny site too.
post #4 of 19
Looks like everyone has it pretty much wrong on some points.

What I would like to see is a side-by-side "plain English" version of whatever bill is approved by each side of the legislature. A good example would be the section often quoted as prohibiting everyone's private insurance in 2014. What it actually says is that if your private plan doesn't meet the regulations by 2014, it's not illegal, but no new members can be added except for new dependents. I would guess that everyone would want their plan to meet the guidelines, anyway.
post #5 of 19
I'm wondering what all these new reforms are going to do to the cost of insurance for those of us that have to pay at least a portion of their coverage? Seems to me that if the coverage increases the cost will too, and employers are not going to be willing to pick up the additional costs.

Oh yeah, Obama is going to print more money. That will help, lol!
post #6 of 19
actually, since private insurance ends up paying a good portion of the non- and under-insured costs in real life, the idea would be that costs of private of insurance would decrease once reforms are put through. What I think this might do is put small and mid-size employers on a more level playing field with the larger companies who have traditionally offered 'good' insurance as a way to get the best employees.

Employers are already unwilling to pick up increasing costs - if you've had a chance to look at, let's say, Hewitt Associates' annual projections of private insurance premiums, plus the rising level of employee contributions to cover those costs, it's really a no-win for anyone if reform, of some sort, does not happen, and soon.

I agree with Mr. Blanche - there have been so many distortions, and yes, plain out lies, regarding what's been included in any of the proposed bills, that people really haven't had a chance to think rationally about it, I believe. I mean, I cannot believe that anyone without Bill Gates' resources, whose coverage depends on being employed, is seriously happy that the two parties are not working together to find a way to make health insurance affordable and available to all - and, honestly, would this not be a good thing for the country, economically?

I realize that people fear change (and forget that Roosevelt was also vilified for introducing things like, oh, social security), but it's really past time for the partisan posturing to end and a Manhatten project be implemented to work on a viable health care system for this country.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
I mean, I cannot believe that anyone without Bill Gates' resources, whose coverage depends on being employed, is seriously happy that the two parties are not working together to find a way to make health insurance affordable and available to all - and, honestly, would this not be a good thing for the country, economically?
And I believe in Santa Claus!

What you are suggesting is an oxymoron. How can it be affordable to all? Doctors, hospitals and other health care providers aren't going to lower their incomes so everyone can be covered. Insurance companies aren't going to lower their premiums so everyone can afford it, especially if they are being told to increase their coverage. The government is going broke already because tax revenues are down due to the recession. So how are the increased benefits going to be paid? The Obama wish list comes with a price tag, and if the people getting the insurance aren't going to pay more, well please tell me how these costs will be covered. Printing more money will not solve this problem.

And, BTW, I don't care what Obama says about this insurance not covering illegal immigrants, that is BS. For one thing, health care professionals cannot, by law, ask for citizenship status when someone goes to the hospital. We are a humane nation, and hospitals will not deny life saving treatment to anyone, regardless of their immigration status. These people will be treated, just like they are being treated now, and the taxpayer, the private payer and the insurance companies will bear the burden, just like now. And those that can't pay will just walk away, just like now.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty's Mom View Post
And, BTW, I don't care what Obama says about this insurance not covering illegal immigrants, that is BS.
Prove it! It's easy to call something BS, but I want to see the section in a health care bill that authorizes your tax dollars to be spent paying for health insurance for illegals. Seeing as how there is a section in HR 3200 entitled "NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS" (Sec. 246, p. 143) I'm highly skeptical you can produce such a thing.

If your complaint is that illegal aliens will be able to buy insurance, that seems pretty bizarre. Would you rather they go to the ER and get treatment on your dime rather than being able to pay for their own coverage?
post #9 of 19
Well for one thing, I heard a judge that is very familiar with Constitutional Law say today that there is no way denying coverage to illegals would be legal under our Constitution. As long as "everyone" is covered, there is no way to deny coverage to a certain group or class of people, any more than you could deny coverage to bald men (as an example). "Everyone" means everyone, not just those legal citizens. We don't deny them medical care now, so why would we under Obama's bill? To do so would invite court intervention, and the Supreme Court would overturn it.

Heck, the police can't even ask the legal status of someone they stop for a traffic violation. You honestly think hospital admissions people are going to screen patients for their legal status?

It is mathmatically impossible to cover more people for less money.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty's Mom View Post
Well for one thing, I heard a judge that is very familiar with Constitutional Law say today that there is no way denying coverage to illegals would be legal under our Constitution. As long as "everyone" is covered, there is no way to deny coverage to a certain group or class of people, any more than you could deny coverage to bald men (as an example). "Everyone" means everyone, not just those legal citizens. We don't deny them medical care now, so why would we under Obama's bill? To do so would invite court intervention, and the Supreme Court would overturn it.
Show me the section of the bill that says "everyone is covered." It's not there. It says that everyone who isn't already covered by an employer, medicare, or medicaid can buy into private insurance through an insurance exchange. The key word is BUY. There are provisions for vouchers to help low income families pay for it, but the section I mentioned above specifically forbids illegal aliens from receiving them.


Quote:
Heck, the police can't even ask the legal status of someone they stop for a traffic violation. You honestly think hospital admissions people are going to screen patients for their legal status?
And nobody is asking them to. Honestly, you're tilting with windmills (or strawmen) with the ER thing. When they go to a hospital, they'll be asked for an insurance card, just as they are now. They won't be given the insurance card, they'll have the option to BUY it. If they don't buy it, it will be no different than before. If they do, they'll be paying for their own health care.

Quote:
It is mathmatically impossible to cover more people for less money.
Seeing as how other nations manage to provide at least comparable care for much less per patient, that's clearly not true. You seem to be a big proponent of tort reform. Hypothetically, let's say that were passed and it was the silver bullet Republicans claim it is and lowered health care costs by 20%. You could then cover more people for less money.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grogs View Post
If your complaint is that illegal aliens will be able to buy insurance, that seems pretty bizarre. Would you rather they go to the ER and get treatment on your dime rather than being able to pay for their own coverage?
If they end up not being able to BUY insurance I'll eat my hat! After all, illegal aliens have been were targeted as customers by mortgage lenders, credit card companies, corporate America AND Blue Cross for years etc and did anyone squawk?
Quote:
Blue Cross of California, whose parent, WellPoint Inc. (WLP ), is the nation's largest health insurer, sells health insurance to matrÃ:censor:cula holders from company-staffed desks set up inside Mexican and Guatemalan consular offices in the U.S.
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine...3001_mz001.htm
post #12 of 19
I can't argue politics intelligently, will not even try. But what I always wonder about is....since European countries and Canada have been able to implement a National Medicine program, it obviously can be done. How did they do it? Has the USA tired to learn anything from the other countries that already have socialized medicine?
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by otto View Post
I can't argue politics intelligently, will not even try. But what I always wonder about is....since European countries and Canada have been able to implement a National Medicine program, it obviously can be done. How did they do it? Has the USA tired to learn anything from the other countries that already have socialized medicine?
If you go back and do a search you will find that many folks here believe our (European and Canadian) healthcare is very bad, sadly lacking, and doesn't work so that would explain why they don't want anything like it and some have even said that in the US one can get much superior healthcare than any of us have in these other countries. So based on that information I can easily understand why the US would not want a health care program.

I've also seen that the argument isn't about health care so much as it is about health insurance - 2 different things apparently.
post #14 of 19
Thanks for answering. That makes some sense. Like I said, I don't follow politics at all. Cats are much easier to understand.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by otto View Post
I can't argue politics intelligently, will not even try. But what I always wonder about is....since European countries and Canada have been able to implement a National Medicine program, it obviously can be done. How did they do it? Has the USA tired to learn anything from the other countries that already have socialized medicine?
What we are hearing about other country's health care, especially Canada, is that medical care will be rationed resulting in long waits for critical care. That doesn't set well with most of us older folks. I agree that health care needs to be reformed. I also believe it can be done. I believe most of us want to see a day when we aren't worried about losing our health insurance. But I believe that right now the biggest obsticle to getting a GOOD bill through Congress is OBAMA fatigue.

We have seen Obama push for and get a bailout for the banks and insurance companies and auto makers that were thought to be too big and too important to fail. Then we've seen these same companies on the verge of failure, get billions from the government and pay out huge bonuses, and party like a bunch of drunken sailors. We've seen these same companies go back to the well for a SECOND bailout, and spending more on bonuses and business outings to luxurous resorts.

We've seen a bill pushed through Congress, "cash for clunkers". The dealers took this on good faith, but many are still waiting for government reimbursement, sometimes owing over a MILLION DOLLARS for a single dealer. Then the brain trust that wrote this bill did not EXCLUDE participation for foreign cars like Toyota and did not specifically target the AMERICAN car makers who received bailout money - GM, CHRYSLER in particular, and FORD who did not take bailout money.

We've seen Obama push through a multi billion dollar stimulus bill that months later is not stimulating anything. Unemployment keeps rising. And despite Obama's campaign promises that there will be no earmarks or pork projects, this stimulus bill is full of both.

We have learned through the experiences of the past 8 months that what Obama promises is usually NOT what results. So, you want ME to believe that HIS plan for health care reform is going to be good for us because HE SAYS SO???
post #16 of 19
otto I lived in Germany for 16 years and I wouldn't say that their system is that great.

When I was there the way it worked was that there were different health insurance providers, but you did not get to choose. Your profession determined what provider you got insurance from: there was one for civil servants, one for merchants, one for people in technical fields, one for civil servants and so on and then the "catch-all" one for anyone who didn't fit into the available categories. And when I lived there, part of your pay was automatically deducted from our paycheck and sent by your employer to your health insurance provider. The rate was something like 14% of gross pay.

If your income exceeded a certain amount, you could opt out of the compulsory insurance and get "private" health insurance. I opted to do this myself and this was pretty cushy. I wasn't impressed by healthcare at all. Doctors routinely schedule appointments for a dozen patients at the same time and it's like a cattle call in the waiting room. If a patient arrives who is privately insured, they get seen immediately.
Things have changed some and this article might give you a feel for it.
Quote:
“If one is privately insured, one must wait much less longer in the waiting room,” she said. “In a practice, (those with private insurance) wait, for the most part, no more than half an hour. The reason for that is the doctor will be paid a lot more by the private insurer than the public system.

“Therefore, in Germany there is also a second-class society in the health care system debate, which the public feels is very unfair. Everyone who can’t afford private insurance will be treated worse.”
http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009...pective-unive/
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post
Quote:
In Germany, everyone pays into the health care system, although if you are among the wealthiest 10 percent, and make more than 6,000 euros a month (about $8,600), you can elect instead to buy private insurance. About 10 percent of the German population is privately insured.
The article gives a good description, though this bit about private insurance is misleading, as it makes it sound as if people who earn less than €6,000 may not have private insurance, which isn't the case. They can, but there are a number of restrictions on returning to a public health scheme after you opt for a private one. That will soon be moot, as the current plan is to require all private health insurance schemes (Krankenkassen) to offer a "low-cost" basic plan open to everyone.

Quote:
If she becomes ill, she must see her primary care doctor.
Also, there is still no requirement to go through your primary care physician for an appointment with a specialist, though it has been under discussion for decades. If your primary care physician refers you to a specialist, you only have to pay the €10 quarterly deductible once (to the primary care physician). That doesn't usually prevent people from making appointments with specialists directly.

One point the article doesn't touch on is the price of medications. Patients pay a €5 deductible per prescription. Period.

I think a lot depends on the area you live, also. I've been here for almost 30 years, and have never had to wait for more than 30 minutes at a primary care doctor's office, although I'm not privately insured. With the exception of gynecologists and orthopedic surgeons, I've always gotten appointments with specialists within the week.

Quote:
“A privately insured will be visited every day by the head doctor,” she said. “The publicly insured will mostly be visited by a physician assistant.”
This is not the correct translation of "Assistenzarzt", who is a resident physician [registrar in the UK], not a P.A..

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom
When I was there the way it worked was that there were different health insurance providers, but you did not get to choose. Your profession determined what provider you got insurance from: there was one for civil servants, one for merchants, one for people in technical fields, one for civil servants and so on and then the "catch-all" one for anyone who didn't fit into the available categories.
That's no longer the case, meaning you can choose. Both my husband and I are in a merchants' scheme, although he works in health care and I in education. Civil servants are privately insured.

One complaint raised by those who are privately insured is that doctors appear to order too many unnecessary tests in order to raise their incomes. Another is that their right to a semi-private (two-bed) hospital room can mean that they have to share a small room, while two publicly-insured patients may have a three or five-bed room to themselves. The latter is a matter of luck, and often depends on the size of the hospital.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grogs View Post
Show me the section of the bill that says "everyone is covered." It's not there. It says that everyone who isn't already covered by an employer, medicare, or medicaid can buy into private insurance through an insurance exchange. The key word is BUY. There are provisions for vouchers to help low income families pay for it, but the section I mentioned above specifically forbids illegal aliens from receiving them.




And nobody is asking them to. Honestly, you're tilting with windmills (or strawmen) with the ER thing. When they go to a hospital, they'll be asked for an insurance card, just as they are now. They won't be given the insurance card, they'll have the option to BUY it. If they don't buy it, it will be no different than before. If they do, they'll be paying for their own health care.



Seeing as how other nations manage to provide at least comparable care for much less per patient, that's clearly not true. You seem to be a big proponent of tort reform. Hypothetically, let's say that were passed and it was the silver bullet Republicans claim it is and lowered health care costs by 20%. You could then cover more people for less money.
Grog, you are right when you say, "it will no different than before."

If anyone, whether legal or illegal comes into an emergency room and it is really an emergency and they have no money, they WILL be treated.
I would WANT them to be treated if it is an emergency regardless of their immigrant status or monetary status.
post #19 of 19
The Truths and Untruths indeed!
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