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Thread: Europe's free, state-run health care has drawbacks

  1. #31
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albatross View Post
    One reason admin costs are so high is because insurance policies in the US are complicated. Coverage varies from individual to individual. So, even when dealing with honest insurers, there is a lot of confusion regarding what is/isn't covered. The way a treatment is worded on an insurance form can make a difference in whether it is covered or not, which leads to resubmission of claims with new wording to describe the same procedure.
    Except health care corporations have decided to do this so that they can deny coverage to people and not have to pay out on claims. If they didn't do this, then many of the problems of the US health care system would be gone. UnitedHealthcare routinely dismisses claims of policy holders even if their claims that are clearly covered under their policies. There'd be much less in administrative costs if they chose NOT to employ these tactics.

  2. #32
    Silver Member albatross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Except health care corporations have decided to do this so that they can deny coverage to people and not have to pay out on claims. If they didn't do this, then many of the problems of the US health care system would be gone. UnitedHealthcare routinely dismisses claims of policy holders even if their claims that are clearly covered under their policies. There'd be much less in administrative costs if they chose NOT to employ these tactics.
    I agree. That's what you get when you put health care in the hands of businessmen - profit becomes the driving factor in all decision making.

    IMO, we need a major change to our health care system to provide UHC in this country. However, I also think that a system like the NHS or the Canadian system would never get through Congress. The insurance companies have a powerful lobby, and the Congress doesn't give a crap about the people - they simply pay lip-service to our concerns to get elected.

    I also think that keeping the focus on the government-funded single-payer systems is a great way to maintain the status quo. You can keep raising the same fears of long waits for medical care and the specter of socialism without actually having to offer a solution.
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  3. #33
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Thank you all for responding to my question. I have really learned a lot about UHC.
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  4. #34
    Elite Member Wiseguy's Avatar
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    It's not free, it's paid for by taxes. Nothing in life is free.
    Agree - that's a pet peeve of mine too.

    The system in Australia (Medicare) is seen as one of the best examples of universal health care in the world.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(Australia)

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    Quote Originally Posted by crumpet View Post
    Nothing in life is free.
    My love for you is free!

    Butt, when did you live in the UK? From what I've read, NHS is in decline. Not that people don't receive excellent care, just that the oversight of the system has caused a lot of problems.

    I love the idea of universal healthcare. I just want a plan that will give healthcare to those that need or want it, while allowing others to retain health insurance. I know the UK has that system and I believe Canada does.

    I know the costs are sky high, but profiting from healthcare has also helped create good standards of care. I'm afraid to trust Americans to keep up that level of care under UHC. That is my main concern: Can Americans deliver quality care under UHC?

  6. #36
    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamaste View Post
    My love for you is free!

    Butt, when did you live in the UK? From what I've read, NHS is in decline. Not that people don't receive excellent care, just that the oversight of the system has caused a lot of problems.

    I love the idea of universal healthcare. I just want a plan that will give healthcare to those that need or want it, while allowing others to retain health insurance. I know the UK has that system and I believe Canada does.

    I know the costs are sky high, but profiting from healthcare has also helped create good standards of care. I'm afraid to trust Americans to keep up that level of care under UHC. That is my main concern: Can Americans deliver quality care under UHC?
    That was sweet! I'm not as good a person as you, I'm a whore, so my love will cost you a quarter. Still a bargain in today's economy, don't you think?
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  7. #37
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Crumpet - I like your position on sex so I believe a quarter is well worth it!
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamaste View Post
    My love for you is free!

    Butt, when did you live in the UK? From what I've read, NHS is in decline. Not that people don't receive excellent care, just that the oversight of the system has caused a lot of problems.

    I love the idea of universal healthcare. I just want a plan that will give healthcare to those that need or want it, while allowing others to retain health insurance. I know the UK has that system and I believe Canada does.

    I know the costs are sky high, but profiting from healthcare has also helped create good standards of care. I'm afraid to trust Americans to keep up that level of care under UHC. That is my main concern: Can Americans deliver quality care under UHC?
    Read my words: People whine about the NHS because they take it for granted and feel entitled to complain. They cannot picture themselves being under a system where a long term treatment could leave them bankrupt or simply dead if they couldn't afford it. If they made the reflexion, they would be very grateful of having UHC.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamaste View Post
    That is my main concern: Can Americans deliver quality care under UHC?
    The Swiss thought they couldn't and fought it for years. Now they have excellent UHC. The only thing standing the the way, in the USA, is our enormous military expenditures. You want your taxes blowing up villages, providing guns for corrupt Latino militias, or providing some quality UHC for you and your family? We are still a rich country. How do you want to spend that wealth?

    The only ones who suffer under UHC are the insurance companies. Here in Germany so many people are switching to UHC that the private insurance plans are in real trouble - and they are trying to get laws written that once a person chooses private health care they cannot ever go back to UHC. Does that sound right to you? That's insurance companies for you!

    But Germany is losing MDs by the boatload. The doctors are learning Dutch, Spanish, Portugeuse so they can practise under better systems. Germany's private healthcare is very like the USA's and the doctors are fed up with paperwork, bonuses for NOT treating patients, and fighting for their money from insurance.

    Private insurance companies take money away from doctors and the patient at the same time. They leech the system dry for the most profits while offering little advantage for any customer or practitioner as far as getting or giving quality care.
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  10. #40
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    ^^^^
    excellent post.
    i fucking hate insurance companies. hate.
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  11. #41
    Gold Member mamaste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasdrubal View Post
    Read my words: People whine about the NHS because they take it for granted and feel entitled to complain. They cannot picture themselves being under a system where a long term treatment could leave them bankrupt or simply dead if they couldn't afford it. If they made the reflexion, they would be very grateful of having UHC.
    I was talking about the official reports about run down hospitals and such not individual complaints. I take those with a grain of salt.

    Quote Originally Posted by olivia View Post
    The Swiss thought they couldn't and fought it for years. Now they have excellent UHC. The only thing standing the the way, in the USA, is our enormous military expenditures. You want your taxes blowing up villages, providing guns for corrupt Latino militias, or providing some quality UHC for you and your family? We are still a rich country. How do you want to spend that wealth?

    The only ones who suffer under UHC are the insurance companies. Here in Germany so many people are switching to UHC that the private insurance plans are in real trouble - and they are trying to get laws written that once a person chooses private health care they cannot ever go back to UHC. Does that sound right to you? That's insurance companies for you!

    But Germany is losing MDs by the boatload. The doctors are learning Dutch, Spanish, Portugeuse so they can practise under better systems. Germany's private healthcare is very like the USA's and the doctors are fed up with paperwork, bonuses for NOT treating patients, and fighting for their money from insurance.

    Private insurance companies take money away from doctors and the patient at the same time. They leech the system dry for the most profits while offering little advantage for any customer or practitioner as far as getting or giving quality care.
    Did you ever see the video of the woman who sat in a hospital waiting room and died? Sub-standard is not uncommon here. We already have free healthcare for the poor and those people are often treated like shit. When it comes to Americans offering quality care, I worry.

    I pay for my mental health care out of pocket because I want as few people as possible to know the details of my treatment. You wouldn't believe how difficult it was to find a doctor who is not a GP and takes cash payments. There's more money in billing insurance companies. Although more and more doctors take cash payment these days, it's still considered a trend and not standard practice. So, for all the complaining doctors do about insurance companies, they sure seem to like them. A lot of doctors are no different than the insurance companies. They're in it for the money.

    I'm not against UHC. I believe America needs it. But there simply are a lot of problems within the medical industry that need to be addressed that cannot be solved by UHC. We need to address those problems or UHC will ultimately be a failure.

    BTW, can I borrow a quarter? I'm broke and Crumpet won't love me if I can't pay.

  12. #42
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    "You wouldn't believe how difficult it was to find a doctor who is not a GP and takes cash payments."

    Is that even legal? Are businesses allowed to not except cash? I know, we're talking health care, anything goes. Want to know how the local hospital, in my last home in the USA, destroyed and bankrupted an entire neighborhood (African American) so they could move in, with county dollars, and create a record keeping complex for insurance companies? Assholes.

    "A lot of doctors are no different than the insurance companies."

    Word. I went to an orthopedist for some foot matters. He didn't even treat me, just gave me the hard sell for these nifty new, custom made, infra-red insoles. But the problem was in my ankle. Ah, but my insurance would pay for the insoles! See? Sleazy shit, man.

    "BTW, can I borrow a quarter? I'm broke and Crumpet won't love me if I can't pay."

    Here's a idea - love insurance! Tell Crumpet to take an IOU or be buried in paperwork for her affection.
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  13. #43
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    Like all great socialist ideas the UK National Health System was a brilliant concept when it was established after WW2 and the Govt, the public and healthcare professionals eagerly embraced it. It worked just fine for the most part for a few years and then, like all bureucratic behemoths, the cracks began to appear as funding was cut back and demand escalated. There are 65 million people in the UK, all of whom are entitled to free healthcare even if they've never contributed a penny towards it via taxes. The hospital system is buckling under the workload and while there are dozens of managers and administrators paying themselves generous salaries out of public money, there is a dire shortage of nurses, doctors, specialist equipment and even cleaning staff and orderlies. The main reason so many UK hospitals have chronic problems with MRSI and other "super bugs" is lack of basic cleaning and hygiene. Nurses spend most of their time doing paperwork rather than caring for patients hands on. It's a miracle that the whole system hasn't collapsed completely and it's only the dedication of the medical staff who work long hours for low pay and little or no thanks that keeps things going. And try to get free dental treatment on the NHS these days when most dentists have opted out and only take private patients.

    I am not knocking the NHS at all. It was a noble idea that literally saved lives by giving everyone access to the necessary treatment and care. But it has been disgracefully neglected by successive Governments who just aren't willing to inject the necessary funding because they know it would mean increased taxation and voters hate that. They want free healthcare but they aren't willing to pay for it.
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  14. #44
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Super bugs aren't just a problem in the UK though. They're in plenty of US hospitals too.

  15. #45
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    I know. But they've become a real problem in recent years because routine standards of hygiene just aren't being met. It's not just lack of cleaning. Staff are very slack about basic things like handwashing, etc. My SIL is an old school ward sister and she's constantly nagging her younger colleagues to use the handwash. She says the computer keyboard they all share is Bacteria Central.
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