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Old 07-11-2009, 02:11 AM   #15
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The only major difference between the two countries is that here in Canada you dont have to pay one penny out of pocket for health care.
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:15 AM   #16
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The only major difference between the two countries is that here in Canada you dont have to pay one penny out of pocket for health care.
Interesting. One reason given for the escalating costs of healthcare is the lack of patient involvement in the costs. If someone else is paying, both the doctor and the patient could be prone to scheduling more tests and procedures than prudence might otherwise dictate.

I've worked in Toronto and Calgary. I spoke at length to my colleagues there about their opinions of their healthcare. Not one of them reported it as "excellent." Several complained about long wait times to get care. I do appreciate the fact that generally medicines are much cheaper in Canada. I'm not sure how lower costs reconcilles with "not paying one penny out of pocket for healthcare." For us, medicine is our largest healthcare out of pocket expense.

What personally worries me is governmental intervention in the decision process of whether or not I can get care at all. It is no secret that the costs of Medicade in the US are soaring. One of the rumors about governmental direction to control it was the restrictions, based on age, to expensive treatements. For example, a 76 year old man who developed prostrate cancer would be denied chemotherapy because the mortality tables expect him to die of other causes before he would die from the cancer. So, in Canada, are you satisfied that all who need procedures can get them, regardless of age or does the government intervien?
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:36 AM   #17
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At the risk of getting too political, I would like to express a viewpoint.

A basic health care plan for all that would include preventative practices would be a good idea. Everyone would pay variable deductibles and for the insurance coverage based on a percentage of what they earn, with a cap. This basic plan would cover Physician visits, diagnostic testing, treatments and therapies. The plan would also cover surgeries and hospital stays. All separate insurance plans provided to politicians and government workers would be abolished in favor of this single plan.

This basic plan would exclude emergency room visits for simple problems that are treatable in a more cost effective setting such as Urgent Care Centers. Diagnostic testing would have to start with the least expensive test first before progression to more expensive diagnostic tools. The least expensive drug for treatment would have to be tried before more expensive drugs were approved.

The insurance industry would develop supplemental policies that allow individuals to bypass the normal waiting periods and for those that wished to opt out of the government program, similar to private verses public schools including a voucher to be used by them to offset the cost of private insurance.

Finally, all the Attorneys in the world would be placed on an Island in the middle of the ocean where they could do the least harm.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:39 AM   #18
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Hey, we already have socialized medicine in the US. It's called HMO and more and more Private healthcare insurance companies are going toward it. Before I retired I worked with lots of Canadians from the telecom industry and, without fail, they said the US view of Canadian healthcare is blown WAY out of proportion. Some Americans telling those horror stories cite a couple of examples of lack of access and make a genrealization that the entire Canadian system is flawed. We've proven that the private sector cannot manage a healthcare system. HMO's, preexisting conditions, in network cost compared to out of network (lack of access) and outrageous premiums. When I retired at 60 I was unable to obtain healthcare due to preexisting conditions which except for enlarged prostate were no longer existing (moderate blood pressure). No matter, I was refused by 3 companies and forced to obtain insurance from the Texas insurance pool which is 2x the cost and a $5k deductable and $1M max. This is absurd and no matter how you spin it the US healtcare system is broken and rhetoric or hiding our head in the sand will not fix it.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:59 AM   #19
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The biggest problem, regarding high medical costs, in the US is the out of control tort system. This causes the medical community to perform far too many tests to protect them in case of litigation. Many doctors are avoiding certain high profile specialties due to the legions of trial attorneys tripping over themselves to sue.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:32 PM   #20
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The biggest problem, regarding high medical costs, in the US is the out of control tort system. This causes the medical community to perform far too many tests to protect them in case of litigation. Many doctors are avoiding certain high profile specialties due to the legions of trial attorneys tripping over themselves to sue.
Tort reform was passed in Texas several years ago for not only help with reducing the huge settlements but also reduce insurance (malpractice and patient) and reduce medical tests. Tort reform in Texas did not live up to all the hype though. It did reduce the size of law suit settlements but did not lower malpractice insurance by a significant amount. It also has been learned that in medical network doctors that request medical tests and referrals see a financial benefit. So, in Texas, tort reform really helped the insurance carriers. Also, in the state of Texas Doctors review Doctors and they are reluctant to take the license away from another Doctor. So, from a patient perspective, tort reform took away the only really effect weapon a patient had. Tort reform has helped reduce the BS malpractice cases but has severely penalized those with legitimate grievances against hack Doctors protected by their peers.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:37 PM   #21
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Here in Michigan. I suffered for several years with bad knees, the ins. co. wouldn't
pay for the surgery until I attained the age of 60 (joint replacement)
When I was old enough and told the surgeon to schedule it there was a six week wait.
So I don't get too concerned at hearing of delays elswhere.
Milt
Now wait just a minute here....I'm sure that if you had knees that required to be replaced and had your policy in force when your trouble began, you would not have had to wait until you were 60. Now if you had a pre-existing condition (the bad knees) when your policy was issued, then you may have had to wait for a certain period of time before it would be covered (usually 1 year). I'd like to know who your insurance company is.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:29 PM   #22
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We have serveral problems with our health care sysytem, but having the government run it won't solve anything, but only make it worst. How many times has the government try to run something that worked the way they promise? Medicare/ medicaid sure didn't, remember the 1500.00 toliet seats, and the left handed hammers. The govt agency (CMS) that over sees the medicare part C and D is another example of a joke gone bad, and has been a nightmare since it started. My dear old dad once said that if you have a problem and the government gets involved, then you have two problems.

Here are some ways that I feel would help our health care system and our country as a whole:

Have doctors start policing themselves better. The AMA has got to take a stand against sub standarded doctors and clean up their professions. I'm not saying that all doctors are bad, but there are some out there that have no business practicing medicine. I've seen first hand some doctors who screw up and have seen other doctors try and cover for them. This is a practice that needs to stop.

We need to stop hospitals from over charging our insurance companies. If they stop charging your insurance for the people they treat that don't have coverage then the rates that you and I pay should level out and go down.

Come up with a price list that hospitals and doctors have to follow, (there's one for medicare and medicaid) make insurance companies pay their percentage of approved charges and mandate that there can be NO balance billing to the client above the allowable charges.

Stop treating Illegal Aliens. If you are in this country illegally, than you don't deserve the medical treatment, SS benefits, or any other benefits that this country has to offer, and then throw them OUT!

Realize that the government cannot and should not be expected to provide every little thing for everybody. You have to take some responsibility for yourself and your own actions. To many times I have seen people that claim that they can't afford health insurance yet, they have new boats, trucks, and (yes) even RV's in their driveway. People today it seems are in a "me, me" mode, and they want their toys NOW.

To many people don't see the "need" for health insurance when they are young and healthly, but once they get sick they run down to their local insurance agent and try to buy a health policy because they just found out that they have to have surgury next week, and they want to have coverage.

Now here's the kicker... we already have a national health plan and it's called medicaid... Now maybe the qualifications need to be looked at and adjusted, but it does exist and it's there for the people who really can't afford health care. At the same time, I don't think to many people who own RV's are going to qualify.

Now before people start flaming me, let me say that while I don't consider myself one of the "rich" people, I am well off, and I do work 70 plus hours aweek, and I would fall into one of the tax brackets that would get hit to pay for all of these reforms.

It really galls me to have to pay for other people who are sitting at home having dinner with their families, and I'm still at work taking care of business so that I can provide a certain life style for my family.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:38 PM   #23
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The way to get the health care system fixed in the USA is to make the Senators and Congressmen go on the same health care plan that the general public uses. Comes under the old adage, good for the goose...good for the gander.


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Old 07-15-2009, 03:42 PM   #24
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The way to get the health care system fixed in the USA is to make the Senators and Congressmen go on the same health care plan that the general public uses. Comes under the old adage, good for the goose...good for the gander.


Ken
That would also work for fixing Social Sercurity...If Congress had to live on SS they would have it fixed in less than 24 hrs.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:18 PM   #25
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The only major difference between the two countries is that here in Canada you dont have to pay one penny out of pocket for health care.
OOHHHH I get it...the answer to everything! Just make it FREEEEEE!

Prevosts all around...it's party time!

What a bunch of malarky, but unfortunately we are heading in that direction as a country...

If you think health care is broken and expensive now...just wait 'till it's FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:58 AM   #26
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Here in Michigan. I suffered for several years with bad knees, the ins. co. wouldn't
pay for the surgery until I attained the age of 60 (joint replacement)
When I was old enough and told the surgeon to schedule it there was a six week wait.
So I don't get too concerned at hearing of delays elswhere.
Milt
To wait a year with sore knees is one thing but waiting 6 months for a diagnostic MRI to determine the spread of cancer is quite another.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:50 PM   #27
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To wait a year with sore knees is one thing but waiting 6 months for a diagnostic MRI to determine the spread of cancer is quite another.

Certainly every case is different and I would not want to disrespect anyone. Most insurance companies will not pay for total knee replacements until someone is 60 years old unless they are really bad.

Total knee replacements last on average between 10 and 15 years and the surgery needs to be repeated. The younger and more active you are the sooner they will need to be replaced. The reason that you have to wait 6 weeks, the Surgeon is really busy because he tells everyone he sees over 60 with knee pain that they need to have their knees replaced.

Don't get me wrong, modern medicine is wonderful and people need not suffer but Doctors over do it many times. Yes, often it's to CYA, but more often it is financially driven. Many bowel and stomach problems can be diagnosed with an Upper or Lower GI X-Ray series at about $60.00 each. The Doctor you go to for the problem could order the X-Ray first, but then if that found your problem, they would not be able to do their Endoscope of Colonoscopy at at $2,000.00 a pop.

I am not in favor of more government, just intelligent medicine that is both clinical, compassionate and economically conservative.
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:44 AM   #28
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We have been fortunate in that our employers have provided free health insurance all during our work careers. When we retired, the coverage stopped and from age 62 when we retired until at 65, we paid ~$2000 a month for coverage (with a huge deductible).

During that time it would have been much less expensive to not have insurance since our medical needs were almost zero. I could have covered all of our needs for under $2000 total.

Now, during the last 20 years our oldest daughter has not has health insurance at all except for an 8 year stretch where her ex had coverage.

She couldn't afford to pay for her own BUT during that time her out of pocket was less than $2000 also. She was one of the 30,000,000 'uninsured'. Under the current proposal, taxpayers would have had to pay over $80,000 to provide for her $2000 needs. And there would be a $20000 shortfall due to costs exceeding expenses in the system. Those expenses are not due to her not having coverage, they are caused by the waste inherent in any government program.

Can anyone show me a government program that has stayed within the estimated costs? NO!

Post office...billions in shortfalls.
SS...Broke and trillions in shortfalls.
AMTRAC...broke and billions in shortfalls.
Medicare...it is so broke, I can't even begin to describe it because congress hides the waste.

Again. For every $1.00 you pay in taxes, $0.70 goes to bureaucratic waste.

Remember, NOT ONE congressman has agreed to drop his currently free health care plan to switch to the program they are going to MANDATE for you and I.

Warm fuzzies? Not.
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