KER Politics – Tue 10 Jan, 2017

Big Al and Doc opine on how they would like to see universal healthcare work in the United States

Healthcare for all Americans must be made to work effectively. Here is how we believe that it can happen.

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Al KorelinRichard Postma

  1. On January 10, 2017 at 1:42 pm,
    Silverdollar says:

    Personally, I believe negotiation of drug prices is a major necessity for any health care system. The VA has a tremendous advantage over Medicare in this regard, I believe.
    I think a basic health coverage policy with a catastrophic feature should be available to everyone. If not, we all end up paying in the long run. As an example, in my State, the county is the payer of last resort. These monies are collected by taxing real estate. Good discussion.

    • On January 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm,
      Big Al says:

      I really appreciate your common sense views, Silverdollar, Thank you!

  2. On January 10, 2017 at 2:25 pm,
    CFS says:

    Medical costs are ridiculous. We have all seen situations whereby the cost of a drug inside the hospital is 5 times the cost at a drug store. Hospitals do not have to be efficient, partly through excessive regulations, partly because they have a captured customer base in a given locality (with exceptions,of course).
    One way to improve efficiency is mandatory publication of some basic costs; then, at least, there could be a choice option for non-emergency treatments.

    With insurance, again competition is restricted. Open up across state lines.

    I am not sure coverage for existing conditions does other than burden those without an existing condition, by force, to pay more to cover others. (That seems highly socialistic to me.)

    I am not sure whether a National Health system is better than the situation in the US or not.On the one hand, it is more expensive.
    On the other, there are efficiencies, and everyone is covered, without involving the added burden of an insurance industry.

    I guess I like a basic healthcare system, with catastrophic and emergency coverage, with a private system for better care for those that can or choose to pay for it.

    Failure in many systems is a lack of preventative medicine considerations.

    • On January 10, 2017 at 3:03 pm,
      Wayne says:

      Persistent ridiculous costs are due to government interference of the wrong kind. Cow dung is currently about $4 a bag. If the government got involved in its distribution, the costs would skyrocket. Look at education. Government is not supposed to distribute the wealth. When it does take from the producers and gives to the consumers-only, the wealthy Harvard graduates just get richer, the middle class disappears, and the poor get poorer.

      • On January 10, 2017 at 4:09 pm,
        Big Al says:

        Very possibly correct, Wayne. Please elaborate a bit more on that one.

        • On January 10, 2017 at 5:30 pm,
          Wayne says:

          Simple economics. FDA creates new program: Dung Stamps for growers who “qualify.” Free dung means suppliers run out of dung. Now we have a dung shortage. Supply and demand. Demand goes up, supply goes down, price goes up. Free healthcare, price goes up. Free education, price goes up. Free food, price goes up. Free anything, price goes up. Maybe somebody can give us an example of the opposite.

    • On January 10, 2017 at 4:08 pm,
      Big Al says:

      I agree with all of your points, CFS, but you must admit, we have to do something about pre-existing conditions.

      Let me think about that one.

  3. On January 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm,
    Wayne says:

    More politics, more bad ideas. Socialism is evil, socialized medicine is evil, not to mention illegal. Where in the Constitution is the right to steal money from some to pay for the medical costs of others? Please name the article and section. Where in the Bible? “Thou shalt not steal.” Very disappointing. The world has obviously paved a ten lane highway right up to your pulpit. You can’t be compassionate with other peoples money.

    • On January 10, 2017 at 4:20 pm,
      Big Al says:

      I completely agree, Wayne, that we can’t be compassionate with other people’s money.

      I do think; however, that ever American should have medical care along the lines that Doc brought up.

      My standard line is,”if I don’t like the golf club and I don’t want to pay the dues, I need to quit the club.”

      • On January 10, 2017 at 5:04 pm,
        Tom E says:

        I did quit. My junk bronze plan for an individual went up from $442 to $774 per month. I cannot afford to pay for other peoples pre-existing conditions. I just miss the threshold for any premium subsidy – even if I did qualify for a subsidy, i would not feel quite right about taking other peoples money to pay for my personal needs. O-care has robbed me of affordable health insurance.

      • On January 10, 2017 at 5:30 pm,
        Wayne says:

        You are a gracious man, Al.

      • On January 10, 2017 at 10:06 pm,
        Matthew says:

        Your standard line needs work, Al. What do you say to those who’d prefer to stay right where they are and still not get screwed over? Socialized anything equals theft.

        This guy has it right…

      • On January 11, 2017 at 4:29 am,
        OOTB Jerry says:

        I bet you deduct the dues off your taxes as a business expense big owl……. 🙂

  4. On January 10, 2017 at 4:05 pm,
    Bonzo Barzini says:

    Doc, in 1966 i was charged $10 for an ambulance ride of 7 miles. Last year my mom was charged $1600 for an ambulance ride home from the hospital of 7 miles.
    In 1971 I had my appendix out and spent 5 days in the hospital. I was charged $100 total for a private room($20 a day). There were no extra charges. Last year my mom spent 6 days in the same hospital. She had no surgery, just had 17 pounds of fluid drained from her chest. She was charged $36000 which Medicare paid. What has happened ? I blame LBJ for trying to “help” us by throwing federal dollars at healthcare.

    • On January 10, 2017 at 4:11 pm,
      Big Al says:

      Look for an upcoming editorial on this one, Bonzo

  5. On January 10, 2017 at 7:11 pm,
    CFS says:

    If you think a single-payer Healthcare system is the solution……

    The NHS created in 1948 is currently in crisis.
    How many Government operations do you know that are run efficiently?

    • On January 11, 2017 at 8:31 am,
      Silverbug Dave says:

      Maybe I should rename myself Uraniumbug Dave.

      Straight from a Google search:
      USA: As a share of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.5 percent.
      UK: The Nuffield Trust think-tank reveals that spending is set to go down from 6.5% of GDP in 2012-13 to 6.2% in 2015-16.

      USA: As a share of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.5 percent.
      UK: Nuffield Trust think-tank reveals that spending is set to go down from 6.5% of GDP in 2012-13 to 6.2% in 2015-16.
      World Bank says total healthcare spending (presumably private and public) in USA = 17.1% of GDP vs UK of 9.1% of GDP.

      The NHS is crap … and yet it is not crap. Many things about it are crap, some things not so. The management is often crap. The GPs are often dismal and the biggest sink for of wasted funds. The ethos of the NHS is not crap. My friends i nthe USA have amazing amounts of stress over healthcare. My friend in the UK went in for an emergency operation a fortnight ago. He is about to come out of hospital. The intensive care unit there was sparkling, the general ward was almost 3rd world. His stress level over his healthcare bill = zero. So maybe he can concentrate o getting well again.

      Google (the repository of truth in the world ;-)) quotes that:
      Life expectancy UK (2012) = 81.4 years
      Life expectancy USA (2012) = 78.74 years

      I rest my case.

      • On January 11, 2017 at 8:36 am,
        Silverbug Dave says:

        In addition to that I have a congenital heart condition. It has been a blight on my life in some ways. My level of stress over my heart problem has been high but I have never (yet) in the UK had to worry about having a pre-existing medical condition, over which I have zero control. Nothing to do with unhealthy lifestyle, just an accident of birth. My stress level over getting insurance for a pre-existing condition (or not getting it) has been zero. It has not had to enter my mind. You can’t put a monetary value on that (or maybe you can). Maybe it is partly why on half the healthcare spending, UK life expectancy is above USA.