Originally Answered: Socialized healthcare?
UHC is bogus and resolves NO problem, just creates more. Canadian doc on UHC:
"...Another sign of transformation: Canadian doctors, long silent on the health-care system’s problems, are starting to speak up. Last August, they voted Brian Day president of their national association. A former socialist who counts Fidel Castro as a personal acquaintance, Day has nevertheless become perhaps the most vocal critic of Canadian public health care, having opened his own private surgery center as a remedy for long waiting lists and then challenged the government to shut him down. “This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week,” he fumed to the New York Times, “and in which humans can wait two to three years.”
And now even Canadian governments are looking to the private sector to shrink the waiting lists. Day’s clinic, for instance, handles workers’-compensation cases for employees of both public and private corporations. In British Columbia, private clinics perform roughly 80 percent of government-funded diagnostic testing. In Ontario, where fealty to socialized medicine has always been strong, the government recently hired a private firm to staff a rural hospital’s emergency room.
This privatizing trend is reaching Europe, too. Britain’s government-run health care dates back to the 1940s. Yet the Labour Party—which originally created the National Health Service and used to bristle at the suggestion of private medicine, dismissing it as “Americanization”—now openly favors privatization. Sir William Wells, a senior British health official, recently said: “The big trouble with a state monopoly is that it builds in massive inefficiencies and inward-looking culture.” Last year, the private sector provided about 5 percent of Britain’s nonemergency procedures; Labour aims to triple that percentage by 2008. The Labour government also works to voucherize certain surgeries, offering patients a choice of four providers, at least one private. And in a recent move, the government will contract out some primary care services, perhaps to American firms such as UnitedHealth Group and Kaiser Permanente.
Sweden’s government, after the completion of the latest round of privatizations, will be contracting out some 80 percent of Stockholm’s primary care and 40 percent of its total health services, including one of the city’s largest hospitals. Since the fall of Communism, Slovakia has looked to liberalize its state-run system, introducing co-payments and privatizations. And modest market reforms have begun in Germany: increasing co-pays, enhancing insurance competition, and turning state enterprises over to the private sector (within a decade, only a minority of German hospitals will remain under state control). It’s important to note that change in these countries is slow and gradual—market reforms remain controversial. But if the United States was once the exception for viewing a vibrant private sector in health care as essential, it is so no longer."
Hillarycare exists in Taxachusetts. Here's how that stupid plan is panning out--as everyone who knows anything about the actual system predicted would be the result:
"Massachusetts announced that spending on its health care plan would increase by $400 million in 2008, a cost expected to be borne largely by taxpayers."
Last modified: January 29. 2008 5:03AM
That article explains how CA could not even launch UHC it's so damned expensive.
Medicare is touted by the ignorant as the solution. Ha! Docs are leaving in droves and you can see why:
In the US, Medicare is going bankrupt. In 1998, Medicare premiums were $43.80 and in 2008 will be $96.40--up 120%. "Medigap" insurance is common because of the 20% co-pay required for service. Medicare HMOs are common because they reduce that burden without an extra charge in many cases. HOWEVER, many procedures which used to have no or a low co-pay NOW cost the full 20% for the HMO Medicare patient. ALSO the prescription coverage they tended to offer has been REDUCED in many cases to conform to the insane "donut hole" coverage of the feds. Doctors are leaving Medicare because of the low and slow pay AND because the crazy government wants to "balance" their Ponzi scheme on the backs of doctors.
"That dark cloud lurking over the shoulder of every Massachusetts physician is Medicare. If Congress does not act, doctors' payments from Medicare will be cut by about 5 percent annually, beginning next year through 2012, creating a financial hailstorm that would wreak havoc with already strained practices.
Cumulatively, the proposed cuts represent a 31 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursement. If the cuts are adjusted for practice-cost inflation, the American Medical Association says Medicare payment rates to physicians in 2013 would be less than half of what they were in 1991."
Furthermore, this past week I took my elderly father for his annual physical (man has cancer and an ICD for his heart) and the doc's office had him sign a separate paper that if his Medicare HMO did NOT pay for his physical, he'd shell out more than $200 for it. Now his plan says IN WRITING that he gets a physical each year, so why did he have to do that? Because starting THIS YEAR, Medicare and some of the programs have STOPPED PAYING FOR PHYSICALS--they pay for some, not all. We taxpayers are getting screwed royal and so are the docs. Here are FACTS and the pols won't admit to them or address them:
When 75% of the people who declare bankruptcy over medical bills ARE INSURED, then insurance is CLEARLY not the answer.
"Aldrich’s situation is "asinine" but increasingly common, said Dr. Deborah Thorne of Ohio University. Thorne, co-author of a widely quoted 2005 study that found medical bills contributed to nearly half of the 1.5 million personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S. each year, said that ratio has likely worsened since the data was gathered.
Like Aldrich, Thorne said, three-quarters of the individuals in the study who declared bankruptcy because of health problems were insured. "
Linda Peeno, MD testified that SHE had often denied treatment JUST to save the insurance company money http://www.thenationalcoalition.org/DrPeenotestimony.html
"the vast majority of health insurance policies are through for-profit stock companies. They are in the process of “shedding lives” as some term it when “undesirable” customers are lost through various means, including raising premiums and co-pays and decreasing benefits (Britt, “Health insurers getting bigger cut of medical dollars,” 15 October 2004, investors.com). That same Investors Business Daily article from 2004 noted the example of Anthem, another insurance company. They said the top five executives (not just the CEO) received an average of an 817 percent increase in compensation between 2000 and 2003. The CEO, for example, had his compensation go from $2.5 million to $25 million during that time period. About $21 million of that was in stock payouts, the article noted.
A 2006 article, “U.S. Health Insurance: More Market Domination, More CEO Compensation”
(hcrenewal.blogspot.com) notes that in 56 percent of 294 metropolitan areas one insurer “controls more than half the business in health maintenance organization and preferred provider networks underwriting." In addition to having the most enrollees, they also are the biggest purchasers of health care and set the price and coverage terms. “’The results is double-digit premium increases from 2001 and 2004—peaking with a 13.9 percent jump in 2003—soaring well above inflation and wages increases.’" Where is all that money going? The article quotes a Wall Street Journal article looking at the compensation of the CEO of UnitedHealth Group. His salary and bonus is $8 million annually. He has benefits such as the use of a private jet. He has stock-option fortunes worth $1.6 billion."
--Save America, Save the World by Cassandra Nathan pp. 127-128
"Insurance Companies Robbing Patients
Robbing patients to pay CEOs leads to unprecedented medical insurance corporation greed.
Thursday, January 3, 2008 8:52 AM
By: Michael Arnold Glueck & Robert J. Cihak, The Medicine Men"
The ONLY person I can find who did her homework and knows what is actually wrong and come up with ways to fix the problems (and so much more than the free bit you can see) is Cassandra Nathan. Check out the PDF:
QUALITY, ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE health care for all.
That means preventative care (physical with follow up). Real medication (no Medicare "donut holes" the really ill are ripped off again.) No bogus ridiculously low "caps" on needed medical procedures. No abuse of the ER. No paying for the silly with the sniffles to go to the doc for free. No more bankruptcies over medical bills. I want THIS plan that ends abuse of the taxpayer, takes the burden off employers, provides price transparency, and ends the rip-off of the US taxpayer at the hands of greedy insurance CEOs (which has been repeatedly documented).
Read the PDF, not the blurb, for the bulk of the plan. Book is searchable on Amazon.com
Cassandra Nathan's Save America, Save the World
BTW, with her, you'd find it easier to get into med school (there would be more slots), you'd get a way to reduce your student loan burden upon graduation, and you c