Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cheaper is not always better....

When you get a bid on getting your roof replaced (for an example) and you get 3 different bids. Do you pick the cheapest one out there?

When you go grocery shopping, do you fore go name brands and always buy the cheapest thing there is?

When you buy a new car do you forget personal preference/need or performance ratings and buy the cheapest thing on the lot?

I'm going to venture a guess and say no, you do not always buy what's cheapest....

So why do the Republicans feel that we need to always settle for what's cheap? They have a new health care proposal that they are touting as cheaper than the President's plan. So, what? That doesn't make it the plan that will suit the needs of the American people. Consumers are willing to pay for quality. So, why can't we get a quality health care plan that meets our needs, even if we have to pay a little more for it? I think any individual would be willing to pay higher taxes for quality. And I shouldn't just say "higher taxes" because that sounds overwhelming. The thing is that most times, it doesn't really amount to all that much more when it comes down to it.

20 comments:

patrick said...

why should I or my family have to pay higher anything? we have an excellent health insurance plan I don't want what the government has to offer. Thanks but no thanks they can keep it.

cancer mommy said...

Cheaper is not always better, you're right. And with a public option, there will be more, less expensive private insurance options as well. They will have to offer something to compete with the public option or lose more and more customers.

Sometimes we pay taxes for things we don't use, ie-- schools, roads, fire departments, police departments, etc. You don't always directly use these services the government makes you pay for. But we all have to pitch in, which makes them cheaper for everyone, and we all have access to them should the need arise. The same should be true of healthcare. Just because you choose not to use it now, doesn't mean we shouldn't all pitch in some so everyone has access to what they need. And, in the event you no longer have that great healthcare coverage you have now, you'll be happy you have the public option to cover your costs. Anyone who says government can't do anything right doesn't understand what their government does for them right now already.

Monkey Girl said...

Patrick,
That's great that you have wonderful health insurance, however you are in the minority. The rest of us Americans pay hundreds of dollars a month to contribute to health insurance plans that don't want to pay for one damn thing.
I'm waiting for the day that we pay into a health plan that literally pays out nothing...oh wait, I already have that.
Without competition, our health insurance companies currently don't have to even remotely be reasonably priced.
When I take my daughter to the doctor to get her 12-17 year old immunizations and my insurance decides they won't pay the bill...what choices do I really have.
Currently health insurance companies are deciding the type of health care we Americans get...they make the decisions, not the doctors. They pressure the doctors not to run tests, they have departments that determine that they'll save more money if they deny care for my terminally ill relative. Since when do businesses make decisions on my families health?
Every other industrialized nation has some sort of universal healthcare.
Over 60% of bankruptcies are from inability to pay health care bills.

Perfect example.
Patient 1 covered by health insurance goes to the doctor, the doctor bills insurance for $177.00, insurance company agrees to only pay $9.00. Doctor has to agree to that contracted price.

Patient 2 NOT covered by health insurance goes to the doctor, the doctor sends the patient a bill for the same treatment as Patient 1 yet bills the patient $379.00 because they don't have health care insurance...and the patient must pay the bill or be threatened with taking it to collection.

Tell me why someone with no insurance is being charged more?

Because the doctor is trying to make up for the $$$$ the insurance companies aren't paying.

Sound fair?

patrick said...

MG-

I live in the US but I have lived in a country with socialized medicine. Let me tell ya while the idea that everyone has access to healthcare is a wonderful idea in all reality those that have the $$ and want treatment (cause treatments are denied on universal healthcare to or there is a waitlist) know where to go to get treatments, many come to the US or to other places where they can pay for the care that the need.

Insurance companies have a formula on how and what they pay in regards to terminal patients. If your terminal then you should be in hospice and really lets be honest if your really terminal what treatments are you looking for outside of being kept comfortable? If your looking for a "miracle" then regardless if we (USA) has universal healthcare or not your terminal relative is not going to get much. Sorry those are the facts and if you think that universal Health Insurance is the answer to what ails this country then your sadly mistaken.

patrick said...

Oh and MG you can go to a "clinic" or your local health dept in many cases and get your kids the immunizations they need at a reduced cost, if you really are having issues. There are always options :)

guy who trapped monkey girl said...

But the question is who will define the term "terminal"? A for-profit insurance company? At one time diarrhea was terminal. Go to any ICU or NICU and ask any nurse as to who recommends their patients to be released. Odds are that they will say that it is the insurance representative who has the final say as to when the patient should be released, not the doctor. (We have seen it with my own eyes! They walk through and say to the attending nurse: "...this one can go home now. Go tell the doctor" <- actual quote that we overheard)

We also have lived in country that has socialized health care and it was excellent. Heads of states from other countries would go there for their health care.

I say have a base line heath care that will cover all and if you (or your employer) want coverage above the base, then fine, get it from a for-profit insurance agency.

patrick said...

I would think it would be the Dr that classifies a patient as "terminal" and usually once your Dr gives that diagnosis you are eligible for hospice care.

I have had family members in the ICU in this country and it has always been the DR that suggests the move and has never been our insurance company.

And what is your definition of "base line" health care that covers all? Does that just cover preventive things (physicals, immunizations) or are you looking for more in your base line?

patrick said...

We also have lived in country that has socialized health care and it was excellent. Heads of states from other countries would go there for their health care.

Definitely not Canada or the UK perhaps some place in Asia

Jen said...

I have friends in both Canada and the UK, and they can not understand our health insurance and how insane it is to have people without coverage or going broke b/c they can't afford the bills.

I think the important part is that with the "public plan", it provides competition to bring costs down. People are still free to keep their private insurance. It's not like the gov't plan will be free, people will still have to pay for it, but the competition will keep costs down to a manageable amount. It will also give a place for people with pre-exisiting conditions, b/c it's not fair that they can't get insurance when they are the ones needing it the most.

guy who trapped monkey girl said...

"...always been the DR that suggests the move and has never been our insurance company."

Looks they are saying what the company (hospital) wants them to say in public. (Or the insurance company has trained the doctors well) Be in the ICU for longer than a week and you begin to hear the truth as to what happens behind the scenes and who ACTUALLY runs the show.

And yes... it was Asia where they reviewed the other countries (EU and Canada) and took what was good and eliminated what wasn't.

We also have family in Australia and they has a three tiered health care system.
1st - basic care at basic doctor/clinics. I believe it is similar to medicare coverage paying the least to the clinics.
2nd & 3rd - are insurance coverage on top of the state's coverage with better doctors and covers more issues. 3rd being the most expensive and affords the user to go to the more expensive clinics (~$1k per year for a family of three)
Personally I have never been there but I hear nothing but "...don't know how we ever lived before..." from them.

Why cannot we cherry pick what works and eliminate what doesn't? Why dose everyone always point out the aspects that fail and not what will give basic humanitarian coverage to people - not just the blessed with a great job with benefits? (Actually I should run for Congress just so I can have their health and retirement plan)

Monkey Girl said...

The only people I know that don't complain about their health insurance coverage are:

government workers
congress men/women
senate men/women
state/county/city workers
insurance company employees
and most military

If you fall into those categories...how good for you, the rest of us have been struggling for quite some time.


Honestly, I don't understand the mentality of people, who say, "I've got mine, who gives a shit about anyone else".
What kind of people don't give a shit about people who have less than they do? Do you tell people in Africa...tough shit, sorry you weren't born in America?

We have Americans right here who are having to decide between food on the table or meds that they need to stay alive. What kind of shitty system is that?
We'll only take care of you when you hit 62/67? And even them, not very well.

I'm done with this conversation with someone who doesn't even give a shit about his fellow man.

I hope you're never in a position to need help from any one else...

patrick said...

Jen,

I have had family members with pre-existing conditions able to get insurance and no extra cost /penalty and have the conditions covered.

MG-

Dont fall into any of those categories. But love the insurance coverage we have had for the past 18 years.
Most people are in the position of picking food or meds cause they dont take care of themselves, have you seen the amount of obese people in this country (as a start)? Also doctors in this country are RX happy writing scrips when a lifestyle change is what the person really needs. Why is it in this country the average senior needs 10 scrips while in other countries seniors really are not on prescriptions at all?
Oh and not everyone in Africa has less than us americans but I can bet you the average african is healthier than us (those not infected with AIDS at least).

patrick said...

Looks they are saying what the company (hospital) wants them to say in public. (Or the insurance company has trained the doctors well) Be in the ICU for longer than a week and you begin to hear the truth as to what happens behind the scenes and who ACTUALLY runs the show.

I had one family member in ICU for 2 months never experienced what you have. Oh and outside of a $100 copay the ICU was covered 100%.


And yes... it was Asia where they reviewed the other countries (EU and Canada) and took what was good and eliminated what wasn't.

Yup that is what I thought.

patrick said...

MG you could always move to Australia or back to that Asian country your hubby mentioned you used to live in.
And FYI MG, I care about my fellow man, that is why I point out that clinics are available for those with no insurance/limited funds etc. Perhaps you dont like that while you bitch and moan I cant get this or that done I point out to you that you can get those things done and where you can go to get it done.

Jen said...

I'm almost done with this conversation because frankly I'm bored of explaining healthcare to some people.

1. It's actually "scripts" not "scrips".
2. When I have a nutrition supplement that I can give sick patients of mine... I have to find out first if their insurance covers it. Ridiculous. Who's making the decision there, it certainly isn't the doctor.
3. Not everyone falls into the same category. That is what makes America great, the diversity... not everyone has lived their life the same way but all deserve to get healthsaving txs.
4. Not all obese people are sick and many take care of themselves just fine.

Monkey Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monkey Girl said...

Jen,

Exactly!!

Apparently some people don't understand that genetics plays a huge role in a person's quality of health. How they can take of themselves doesn't necessarily determine how healthy they will be.

Honestly, I don't understand the mentality of someone who believes/things that not everyone deserves equal treatment regardless. Good(any) health care shouldn't only for be for the 'privileged' few.

Don't people realize our country pays one way or the other if they don't have health care coverage. Wouldn't it be smarter to provide it before it's an emergency that will then cost 100 times more after the fact? It's called preventative care. And for the record Patrick, there are not free clinics for the 'working poor' i.e. people who work and make more $$ and therefore don't qualify for assistance, surely you're educated and realize that?
"why should I or my family have to pay higher anything? we have an excellent health insurance plan"...you're paying for it already through your taxes. Why do you think health insurance is so expensive? To cover for the people who don't have it and can't pay. Wake up.

Justice and equality are only available to those who can afford it.

mommapolitico said...

I am appalled that the single-payer system is off the table. I am amazed that the care my father received in Norway (treatment, full body scan as preventive, semi-private room)was excellent, and he was simply a visitor who fell ill. The same way that all of our citizens should be educated, the same way that we all should be able to have access to fire and police should be the same for health care. The only way, as MG and company have stated, to get a competitive market going is for there to be competition. And there is no competition in the health care market today. The lobbyists will keep it that way.

As for who is making the decisions, I can tell you that the health care companies will deny claims until they are sued to provide them. Procedures such as kideny transplants are experimental??? That should read, "expensive"!

I can't believe there hasn't been more public outcry for a single-payer, public option. And I am extremely disappointed that The President hasn't brought this to the forefront, either. CM, MG, MWTMG, great arguments, all!

mommapolitico said...

I am appalled that the single-payer system is off the table. I am amazed that the care my father received in Norway (treatment, full body scan as preventive, semi-private room)was excellent, and he was simply a visitor who fell ill. The same way that all of our citizens should be educated, the same way that we all should be able to have access to fire and police should be the same for health care. The only way, as MG and company have stated, to get a competitive market going is for there to be competition. And there is no competition in the health care market today. The lobbyists will keep it that way.

As for who is making the decisions, I can tell you that the health care companies will deny claims until they are sued to provide them. Procedures such as kideny transplants are experimental??? That should read, "expensive"!

I can't believe there hasn't been more public outcry for a single-payer, public option. And I am extremely disappointed that The President hasn't brought this to the forefront, either. CM, MG, MWTMG, great arguments, all!

Jen said...

Actually, there is a public outcry. The recent polling states that 71% of people want the govt public option to be available.

I think Pres Obama is trying to do this differently than Clinton so he is trying to get Congress to sort it out. I'm anxious to see what he has to say this week during his healthcare town meeting.