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July 9th 03, 09:36 PM
I'm reviewing my health insurance and interviewing companies. One agent
disclosed an alternative that I did not know was available. His company has a
sub-basic option where someone who is unable to pay for a full policy or is
otherwise uninsurable can purchase the insurance company discount. For
instance, if an operation is $10,000 retail, and the insurance company has
contracted to pay doctors only $4,000 for the operation, that lower price can
be bought. The rate for such a 100% co-pay "policy" is fixed at less than $100
per month.

While this option might not be good for many people, it could make a huge
difference to others. An example he gave was of a family with the parents in
the 50s with dependent children. A full policy might not be affordable, but
something like this could limit losses on the more common problems.

The company is a national U.S. company. There may be other insurance companies
offering a similar option. If anyone is interested, email me and I'll provide
the name and number of the agent who brought this to my attention.

ares
July 10th 03, 12:18 AM
I was wondering about such things; and also like it's such a pain to even
deal with insurance companies sometimes, that I wonder how many knee docs
would say yes if a person says, hey, here's $2000 cash up front for that
knee and they don't have to file with the insurance hassels. The thing is
that you might have to be savvy about what the going rate is for all this
crap. And then again when the hospital is involved you gotta deal with
their fees too.
ares

> wrote in message
...
> "George" > wrote:
>
> >I don't understand the mechanics from your description. Is the idea that
you
> >pay the <$100/month fee and then you pay for the procedure according to
the
> >insurance company's rate schedule?
>
> Correct.
>
> >If the plan is what I think than it seems the big weakness would be
serious
> >illness. A percentage of a large fee is still a big expense.
>
> Also correct, but a 50% or more cost reduction is nothing to sneeze at.
>
> >I don't think there is such a big difference between what insurors pay
and
> >some hypothetical "retail".
>
> I think you are seriously in error on this. I've seen enough invoices
that
> show cost/allowed/co-pay to know that the cost differences can be
substantial.
> I was just told of a surgeon who charges $5400 for a full knee
replacement, yet
> accepts $1700 as payment in full from an insurance company for the same
> replacement.
>
> > Thankfully I don't have health issues but I was
> >involved with billing matters before my father died. There were only a
few
> >cases where the provider wanted more money than what the insuror paid and
it
> >was never more than 10%.
>
> That is a different case. If a provider of services wants more than what
they
> contracted with your insurance company for, that is reason to inform the
> insurance company and state insurance commissioner. It is trying to make
you
> as a third party responsible for the contract between provider and
insurer.
>
> >I would also imagine you could negotiate on your
> >own such as "Doc, I don't have health insurance so will you accept the
same
> >fee you would get from the insuror?"
>
> Some places will negotiate, others won't. You can get stuck trying to
bargain
> with a receptionist or billing clerk without your having any staying
power.

ares
July 10th 03, 12:18 AM
I was wondering about such things; and also like it's such a pain to even
deal with insurance companies sometimes, that I wonder how many knee docs
would say yes if a person says, hey, here's $2000 cash up front for that
knee and they don't have to file with the insurance hassels. The thing is
that you might have to be savvy about what the going rate is for all this
crap. And then again when the hospital is involved you gotta deal with
their fees too.
ares

> wrote in message
...
> "George" > wrote:
>
> >I don't understand the mechanics from your description. Is the idea that
you
> >pay the <$100/month fee and then you pay for the procedure according to
the
> >insurance company's rate schedule?
>
> Correct.
>
> >If the plan is what I think than it seems the big weakness would be
serious
> >illness. A percentage of a large fee is still a big expense.
>
> Also correct, but a 50% or more cost reduction is nothing to sneeze at.
>
> >I don't think there is such a big difference between what insurors pay
and
> >some hypothetical "retail".
>
> I think you are seriously in error on this. I've seen enough invoices
that
> show cost/allowed/co-pay to know that the cost differences can be
substantial.
> I was just told of a surgeon who charges $5400 for a full knee
replacement, yet
> accepts $1700 as payment in full from an insurance company for the same
> replacement.
>
> > Thankfully I don't have health issues but I was
> >involved with billing matters before my father died. There were only a
few
> >cases where the provider wanted more money than what the insuror paid and
it
> >was never more than 10%.
>
> That is a different case. If a provider of services wants more than what
they
> contracted with your insurance company for, that is reason to inform the
> insurance company and state insurance commissioner. It is trying to make
you
> as a third party responsible for the contract between provider and
insurer.
>
> >I would also imagine you could negotiate on your
> >own such as "Doc, I don't have health insurance so will you accept the
same
> >fee you would get from the insuror?"
>
> Some places will negotiate, others won't. You can get stuck trying to
bargain
> with a receptionist or billing clerk without your having any staying
power.

Karen Wheless
July 10th 03, 01:03 AM
> I don't think there is such a big difference between what insurors pay and
> some hypothetical "retail".

Unfortunately, that's not the case. I have a plan with a fairly large
deductible, which I have never met so far, so I usually pay cash for my
doctor's visits. I just keep my bills in case I have an accident or
severe illness that would push me over the deductible - I can submit
them later if necessary. I had to go to the doctor last year to get
stitches and a tetnus shot. I told the billing person and the manager
that I was paying cash. The cost was over $300. I said "here, I can
pay the bill RIGHT NOW and you don't even have to send me a bill or deal
with the paperwork." I pulled out my wallet and showed them the cash.
I explained that I had Blue Cross with a deductible, and there was no
need to even submit my bill to the insurance - I'd just keep a copy and
if I needed it later, I'd deal with the paperwork. But they refused to
give me any kind of break on the price, even though I knew that the
"insured" price was much lower. Absolutely no discount. I talked to
the manager. Same response.

So the billing agent says that I should submit the bill to my insurance
company. I explain that the insurance company won't pay it, because I
have a high deductible plan. She's insistent. So I do. They submit
papers to the insurance company. I submit papers to the insurance
company. Bills and phone calls are exchanged. The insurance company
basically says "this is our established fee for this service, but we
won't pay it because she hasn't met her deductible". This took weeks of
time and lots of paperwork. I had to call the doctor's office three
times to get it straight.

After all this, I finally get the bill. I'm only required to pay the
insurance company amount. It ended up being about $120 - more than 50%
less than what they wanted to charge me when I was paying cash. (And
for me, making a few phone calls and submitting paper work was not bad
compared to spending almost $200 more - I have the time.)

It's amazing to me, but it seems to be the case - if doesn't matter if
it takes three times as much work, three times as much paper, three
times as much time for the doctor's office - you only get a discount if
you have insurance. If you pay cash, you pay two to three times as
much.

(As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
$5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)

Karen

Karen Wheless
July 10th 03, 01:03 AM
> I don't think there is such a big difference between what insurors pay and
> some hypothetical "retail".

Unfortunately, that's not the case. I have a plan with a fairly large
deductible, which I have never met so far, so I usually pay cash for my
doctor's visits. I just keep my bills in case I have an accident or
severe illness that would push me over the deductible - I can submit
them later if necessary. I had to go to the doctor last year to get
stitches and a tetnus shot. I told the billing person and the manager
that I was paying cash. The cost was over $300. I said "here, I can
pay the bill RIGHT NOW and you don't even have to send me a bill or deal
with the paperwork." I pulled out my wallet and showed them the cash.
I explained that I had Blue Cross with a deductible, and there was no
need to even submit my bill to the insurance - I'd just keep a copy and
if I needed it later, I'd deal with the paperwork. But they refused to
give me any kind of break on the price, even though I knew that the
"insured" price was much lower. Absolutely no discount. I talked to
the manager. Same response.

So the billing agent says that I should submit the bill to my insurance
company. I explain that the insurance company won't pay it, because I
have a high deductible plan. She's insistent. So I do. They submit
papers to the insurance company. I submit papers to the insurance
company. Bills and phone calls are exchanged. The insurance company
basically says "this is our established fee for this service, but we
won't pay it because she hasn't met her deductible". This took weeks of
time and lots of paperwork. I had to call the doctor's office three
times to get it straight.

After all this, I finally get the bill. I'm only required to pay the
insurance company amount. It ended up being about $120 - more than 50%
less than what they wanted to charge me when I was paying cash. (And
for me, making a few phone calls and submitting paper work was not bad
compared to spending almost $200 more - I have the time.)

It's amazing to me, but it seems to be the case - if doesn't matter if
it takes three times as much work, three times as much paper, three
times as much time for the doctor's office - you only get a discount if
you have insurance. If you pay cash, you pay two to three times as
much.

(As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
$5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)

Karen

George
July 10th 03, 01:34 AM
"Karen Wheless" > wrote in message
news:1fxuf2l.1x25wuzulcsliN%[email protected] net...
> > I don't think there is such a big difference between what insurors pay
and
> > some hypothetical "retail".
>
> Unfortunately, that's not the case. I have a plan with a fairly large
> deductible, which I have never met so far, so I usually pay cash for my
> doctor's visits. I just keep my bills in case I have an accident or
> severe illness that would push me over the deductible - I can submit
> them later if necessary. I had to go to the doctor last year to get
> stitches and a tetnus shot. I told the billing person and the manager
> that I was paying cash. The cost was over $300. I said "here, I can
> pay the bill RIGHT NOW and you don't even have to send me a bill or deal
> with the paperwork." I pulled out my wallet and showed them the cash.
> I explained that I had Blue Cross with a deductible, and there was no
> need to even submit my bill to the insurance - I'd just keep a copy and
> if I needed it later, I'd deal with the paperwork. But they refused to
> give me any kind of break on the price, even though I knew that the
> "insured" price was much lower. Absolutely no discount. I talked to
> the manager. Same response.
>
> So the billing agent says that I should submit the bill to my insurance
> company. I explain that the insurance company won't pay it, because I
> have a high deductible plan. She's insistent. So I do. They submit
> papers to the insurance company. I submit papers to the insurance
> company. Bills and phone calls are exchanged. The insurance company
> basically says "this is our established fee for this service, but we
> won't pay it because she hasn't met her deductible". This took weeks of
> time and lots of paperwork. I had to call the doctor's office three
> times to get it straight.
>
> After all this, I finally get the bill. I'm only required to pay the
> insurance company amount. It ended up being about $120 - more than 50%
> less than what they wanted to charge me when I was paying cash. (And
> for me, making a few phone calls and submitting paper work was not bad
> compared to spending almost $200 more - I have the time.)
>
> It's amazing to me, but it seems to be the case - if doesn't matter if
> it takes three times as much work, three times as much paper, three
> times as much time for the doctor's office - you only get a discount if
> you have insurance. If you pay cash, you pay two to three times as
> much.
>
> (As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
> a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
> I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
> haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
> $5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
> hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)
>
> Karen

I know doctors who will give you a good rate for an immediate payment. I
also compare notes with friends who have found the same. Perhaps the idea is
unique to my area?

I think a high deductible policy is a good idea and I had one. Last June the
insurer gave the required six month notice that they were dropping all
policies in my state. I did extensive searching and did not find another
insurer willing to write a high deductible policy. You would think it would
also be good for insurers because it eliminates the "nuisance" claims.

George
July 10th 03, 01:34 AM
"Karen Wheless" > wrote in message
news:1fxuf2l.1x25wuzulcsliN%[email protected] net...
> > I don't think there is such a big difference between what insurors pay
and
> > some hypothetical "retail".
>
> Unfortunately, that's not the case. I have a plan with a fairly large
> deductible, which I have never met so far, so I usually pay cash for my
> doctor's visits. I just keep my bills in case I have an accident or
> severe illness that would push me over the deductible - I can submit
> them later if necessary. I had to go to the doctor last year to get
> stitches and a tetnus shot. I told the billing person and the manager
> that I was paying cash. The cost was over $300. I said "here, I can
> pay the bill RIGHT NOW and you don't even have to send me a bill or deal
> with the paperwork." I pulled out my wallet and showed them the cash.
> I explained that I had Blue Cross with a deductible, and there was no
> need to even submit my bill to the insurance - I'd just keep a copy and
> if I needed it later, I'd deal with the paperwork. But they refused to
> give me any kind of break on the price, even though I knew that the
> "insured" price was much lower. Absolutely no discount. I talked to
> the manager. Same response.
>
> So the billing agent says that I should submit the bill to my insurance
> company. I explain that the insurance company won't pay it, because I
> have a high deductible plan. She's insistent. So I do. They submit
> papers to the insurance company. I submit papers to the insurance
> company. Bills and phone calls are exchanged. The insurance company
> basically says "this is our established fee for this service, but we
> won't pay it because she hasn't met her deductible". This took weeks of
> time and lots of paperwork. I had to call the doctor's office three
> times to get it straight.
>
> After all this, I finally get the bill. I'm only required to pay the
> insurance company amount. It ended up being about $120 - more than 50%
> less than what they wanted to charge me when I was paying cash. (And
> for me, making a few phone calls and submitting paper work was not bad
> compared to spending almost $200 more - I have the time.)
>
> It's amazing to me, but it seems to be the case - if doesn't matter if
> it takes three times as much work, three times as much paper, three
> times as much time for the doctor's office - you only get a discount if
> you have insurance. If you pay cash, you pay two to three times as
> much.
>
> (As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
> a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
> I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
> haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
> $5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
> hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)
>
> Karen

I know doctors who will give you a good rate for an immediate payment. I
also compare notes with friends who have found the same. Perhaps the idea is
unique to my area?

I think a high deductible policy is a good idea and I had one. Last June the
insurer gave the required six month notice that they were dropping all
policies in my state. I did extensive searching and did not find another
insurer willing to write a high deductible policy. You would think it would
also be good for insurers because it eliminates the "nuisance" claims.

July 10th 03, 01:53 AM
(Karen Wheless) wrote:

>(As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
>a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
>I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
>haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
>$5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
>hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)

I'm finding that BCBS in Florida is not a good idea. Remember that BCBS is NOT
a nationwide plan. If I were to move to another state, I would have to
re-apply to that state's BCBS program. If, in the interim period, I had
developed a major illness it would be tough luck for me. Also, since Florida
and California are the states with the highest rates for insurance fraud,
getting a policy with BCBS is almost impossible anyway. Seems they only want
the groups, where any fraud can be split among that group's members.

I will be getting another high deductible plan to replace my existing
(expensive) one. I've learned to ask what my rates would be if I were ten
years older. That way, I can figure what I expect for inflation and purchase a
plan that may be affordable for ten years. I also want true portability, in
case Jeb or the Miami contingent set up a banana republic for the state.

The concept of buying the discount is that you don't get into any insurance
pool. You gamble that you won't have an expensive illness, and you avoid the
inflated rates caused by fraud and people who go to the emergency room for
sniffles.

July 10th 03, 01:53 AM
(Karen Wheless) wrote:

>(As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
>a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
>I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
>haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
>$5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
>hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)

I'm finding that BCBS in Florida is not a good idea. Remember that BCBS is NOT
a nationwide plan. If I were to move to another state, I would have to
re-apply to that state's BCBS program. If, in the interim period, I had
developed a major illness it would be tough luck for me. Also, since Florida
and California are the states with the highest rates for insurance fraud,
getting a policy with BCBS is almost impossible anyway. Seems they only want
the groups, where any fraud can be split among that group's members.

I will be getting another high deductible plan to replace my existing
(expensive) one. I've learned to ask what my rates would be if I were ten
years older. That way, I can figure what I expect for inflation and purchase a
plan that may be affordable for ten years. I also want true portability, in
case Jeb or the Miami contingent set up a banana republic for the state.

The concept of buying the discount is that you don't get into any insurance
pool. You gamble that you won't have an expensive illness, and you avoid the
inflated rates caused by fraud and people who go to the emergency room for
sniffles.

Buster
July 10th 03, 02:12 PM
Karen Wheless wrote:

> (As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
> a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
> I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
> haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
> $5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
> hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)

I'll add my two cents on this again. I have a high deductible plan ($2,500
deductible) coupled with a Medical Savings Account (MSA). As a 39 year old male
smoker I pay $63 month for my insurance (Unicare). It's a PPO plan and I even
though I must pay the first $2,500, I get those services at a discounted rate.
As an example, a $100 xray last year ended up costing me $34.

I put the difference between what I pay for my policy and what I would pay for a
conventional 80/20 policy into the MSA. I can write off MSA contributions on my
taxes, and then the money can be used iether for covering the deductible in the
future or other non-covered medical expenses. I used it to get LASIK a couple
of years ago. I believe that an MSA account can be converted to a conventional
IRA when you turn 65.

There are restrictions, and this won't work for everyone. But for those that do
qualify I think it is well worth considering.

Buster
July 10th 03, 02:12 PM
Karen Wheless wrote:

> (As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
> a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
> I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
> haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
> $5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
> hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)

I'll add my two cents on this again. I have a high deductible plan ($2,500
deductible) coupled with a Medical Savings Account (MSA). As a 39 year old male
smoker I pay $63 month for my insurance (Unicare). It's a PPO plan and I even
though I must pay the first $2,500, I get those services at a discounted rate.
As an example, a $100 xray last year ended up costing me $34.

I put the difference between what I pay for my policy and what I would pay for a
conventional 80/20 policy into the MSA. I can write off MSA contributions on my
taxes, and then the money can be used iether for covering the deductible in the
future or other non-covered medical expenses. I used it to get LASIK a couple
of years ago. I believe that an MSA account can be converted to a conventional
IRA when you turn 65.

There are restrictions, and this won't work for everyone. But for those that do
qualify I think it is well worth considering.

George
July 10th 03, 02:22 PM
"The Real Bev" > wrote in message
...
> Karen Wheless wrote:
>
> > (As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
> > a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
> > I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
> > haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
> > $5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
> > hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)
>
> Curiously enough, I was checking the BC of California rates for such a
> plan (family, parents 40 and 37) last night:
>
> http://www.bluecrossca.com/user_groups/Visitors/Individual/
>
> PPO Share 2500 ($2500/person deductible, $5000 family) (this may mean two
> $2.5K deductibles rather than an aggregate deductible)
> Out-of-pocket maximum = $5K/$10K
> You pay 30% of negotiated fees (40% of well-child fees)
> (Negotiated fees are lower than normal fees, but it's
> really hard to find out what they are in advance.)
> Generic drugs: $10/30-day prescription
> $325/month/family
>
> PPO Share 5000 ($5K/person deductible, $10Kmax)
> 30-40% of negotiated fees
> deductible doesn't apply to office visits in either plan
> same, pretty much, as above.
> $216/mo/family
>
> --
> Cheers,
> Bev
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> The Marketing Professional's Motto: "We don't screw the customers. All
> we're doing is holding them down while the salespeople screw them."
> -- Scott Adams

Interesting, I checked with BC of PA when looking for replacement insurance
and the available deductibles here are lower and the rates much higher.

George
July 10th 03, 02:22 PM
"The Real Bev" > wrote in message
...
> Karen Wheless wrote:
>
> > (As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
> > a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
> > I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
> > haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
> > $5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
> > hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)
>
> Curiously enough, I was checking the BC of California rates for such a
> plan (family, parents 40 and 37) last night:
>
> http://www.bluecrossca.com/user_groups/Visitors/Individual/
>
> PPO Share 2500 ($2500/person deductible, $5000 family) (this may mean two
> $2.5K deductibles rather than an aggregate deductible)
> Out-of-pocket maximum = $5K/$10K
> You pay 30% of negotiated fees (40% of well-child fees)
> (Negotiated fees are lower than normal fees, but it's
> really hard to find out what they are in advance.)
> Generic drugs: $10/30-day prescription
> $325/month/family
>
> PPO Share 5000 ($5K/person deductible, $10Kmax)
> 30-40% of negotiated fees
> deductible doesn't apply to office visits in either plan
> same, pretty much, as above.
> $216/mo/family
>
> --
> Cheers,
> Bev
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> The Marketing Professional's Motto: "We don't screw the customers. All
> we're doing is holding them down while the salespeople screw them."
> -- Scott Adams

Interesting, I checked with BC of PA when looking for replacement insurance
and the available deductibles here are lower and the rates much higher.

George
July 10th 03, 02:44 PM
"Buster" > wrote in message
...
>
>
> Karen Wheless wrote:
>
> > (As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
> > a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
> > I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
> > haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
> > $5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
> > hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)
>
> I'll add my two cents on this again. I have a high deductible plan
($2,500
> deductible) coupled with a Medical Savings Account (MSA). As a 39 year
old male
> smoker I pay $63 month for my insurance (Unicare). It's a PPO plan and I
even
> though I must pay the first $2,500, I get those services at a discounted
rate.
> As an example, a $100 xray last year ended up costing me $34.
>
> I put the difference between what I pay for my policy and what I would pay
for a
> conventional 80/20 policy into the MSA. I can write off MSA contributions
on my
> taxes, and then the money can be used iether for covering the deductible
in the
> future or other non-covered medical expenses. I used it to get LASIK a
couple
> of years ago. I believe that an MSA account can be converted to a
conventional
> IRA when you turn 65.
>
> There are restrictions, and this won't work for everyone. But for those
that do
> qualify I think it is well worth considering.

I like the idea of an MSA. I had a reasonably priced policy but the insurer
cancelled everyone in PA last year. Apparently a lot of insurers are running
away from my state perhaps to force tort reform.

I would be interested in your opinion regarding my MSA experience. From what
I found the MSA is just a trust so you need to have someone handle the trust
and pay them a management fee. From what they described the trust must
handle the payments and do associated reporting. The possible trustees I
contacted said there was too much paperwork and no money in doing MSA trusts
so they would not start any new trusts. And Congress may not approve for
MSAs to continue after this year. I found some insurers that also handled
the trusts but they would not write in my state. Does any of the above sound
correct?

George
July 10th 03, 02:44 PM
"Buster" > wrote in message
...
>
>
> Karen Wheless wrote:
>
> > (As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
> > a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
> > I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
> > haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
> > $5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
> > hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)
>
> I'll add my two cents on this again. I have a high deductible plan
($2,500
> deductible) coupled with a Medical Savings Account (MSA). As a 39 year
old male
> smoker I pay $63 month for my insurance (Unicare). It's a PPO plan and I
even
> though I must pay the first $2,500, I get those services at a discounted
rate.
> As an example, a $100 xray last year ended up costing me $34.
>
> I put the difference between what I pay for my policy and what I would pay
for a
> conventional 80/20 policy into the MSA. I can write off MSA contributions
on my
> taxes, and then the money can be used iether for covering the deductible
in the
> future or other non-covered medical expenses. I used it to get LASIK a
couple
> of years ago. I believe that an MSA account can be converted to a
conventional
> IRA when you turn 65.
>
> There are restrictions, and this won't work for everyone. But for those
that do
> qualify I think it is well worth considering.

I like the idea of an MSA. I had a reasonably priced policy but the insurer
cancelled everyone in PA last year. Apparently a lot of insurers are running
away from my state perhaps to force tort reform.

I would be interested in your opinion regarding my MSA experience. From what
I found the MSA is just a trust so you need to have someone handle the trust
and pay them a management fee. From what they described the trust must
handle the payments and do associated reporting. The possible trustees I
contacted said there was too much paperwork and no money in doing MSA trusts
so they would not start any new trusts. And Congress may not approve for
MSAs to continue after this year. I found some insurers that also handled
the trusts but they would not write in my state. Does any of the above sound
correct?

ares
July 10th 03, 05:16 PM
I don't know, I'm just going by what chickpea mentioned.
ares

"Pat Meadows" > wrote in message
...
> On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 22:18:41 GMT, "ares" >
> wrote:
>
> >I was wondering about such things; and also like it's such a pain to even
> >deal with insurance companies sometimes, that I wonder how many knee docs
> >would say yes if a person says, hey, here's $2000 cash up front for that
> >knee and they don't have to file with the insurance hassels. The thing
is
> >that you might have to be savvy about what the going rate is for all this
> >crap. And then again when the hospital is involved you gotta deal with
> >their fees too.
>
> $2000? Surely you're joking. Maybe the surgeon's fee is
> $2000 (although I think it would be FAR more than that), but
> there will be at least that much in hospital charges and
> anesthetists, etc. Probably MUCH more.
>
> I had laser eye surgery (that took 3 minutes and was
> performed in the doctor's office, NOT in a hospital) last
> year: the doctor's bill was $750.
>
> Pat

ares
July 10th 03, 05:16 PM
I don't know, I'm just going by what chickpea mentioned.
ares

"Pat Meadows" > wrote in message
...
> On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 22:18:41 GMT, "ares" >
> wrote:
>
> >I was wondering about such things; and also like it's such a pain to even
> >deal with insurance companies sometimes, that I wonder how many knee docs
> >would say yes if a person says, hey, here's $2000 cash up front for that
> >knee and they don't have to file with the insurance hassels. The thing
is
> >that you might have to be savvy about what the going rate is for all this
> >crap. And then again when the hospital is involved you gotta deal with
> >their fees too.
>
> $2000? Surely you're joking. Maybe the surgeon's fee is
> $2000 (although I think it would be FAR more than that), but
> there will be at least that much in hospital charges and
> anesthetists, etc. Probably MUCH more.
>
> I had laser eye surgery (that took 3 minutes and was
> performed in the doctor's office, NOT in a hospital) last
> year: the doctor's bill was $750.
>
> Pat

The Real Bev
July 10th 03, 09:03 PM
Pat Meadows wrote:
>
> On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 22:18:41 GMT, "ares" >
> wrote:
>
> >I was wondering about such things; and also like it's such a pain to even
> >deal with insurance companies sometimes, that I wonder how many knee docs
> >would say yes if a person says, hey, here's $2000 cash up front for that
> >knee and they don't have to file with the insurance hassels. The thing is
> >that you might have to be savvy about what the going rate is for all this
> >crap. And then again when the hospital is involved you gotta deal with
> >their fees too.
>
> $2000? Surely you're joking. Maybe the surgeon's fee is
> $2000 (although I think it would be FAR more than that), but
> there will be at least that much in hospital charges and
> anesthetists, etc. Probably MUCH more.
>
> I had laser eye surgery (that took 3 minutes and was
> performed in the doctor's office, NOT in a hospital) last
> year: the doctor's bill was $750.

Not bad, my mom got charged $90 or so for getting a wartlet flicked off
with the dermatologist's fingernail!

--
Cheers,
Bev
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Of course SoCal has four seasons:
Earthquake, Mudslide, Brushfire, and Riot

The Real Bev
July 10th 03, 09:03 PM
Pat Meadows wrote:
>
> On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 22:18:41 GMT, "ares" >
> wrote:
>
> >I was wondering about such things; and also like it's such a pain to even
> >deal with insurance companies sometimes, that I wonder how many knee docs
> >would say yes if a person says, hey, here's $2000 cash up front for that
> >knee and they don't have to file with the insurance hassels. The thing is
> >that you might have to be savvy about what the going rate is for all this
> >crap. And then again when the hospital is involved you gotta deal with
> >their fees too.
>
> $2000? Surely you're joking. Maybe the surgeon's fee is
> $2000 (although I think it would be FAR more than that), but
> there will be at least that much in hospital charges and
> anesthetists, etc. Probably MUCH more.
>
> I had laser eye surgery (that took 3 minutes and was
> performed in the doctor's office, NOT in a hospital) last
> year: the doctor's bill was $750.

Not bad, my mom got charged $90 or so for getting a wartlet flicked off
with the dermatologist's fingernail!

--
Cheers,
Bev
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Of course SoCal has four seasons:
Earthquake, Mudslide, Brushfire, and Riot

The Real Bev
July 10th 03, 09:05 PM
George wrote:
>
> "The Real Bev" > wrote in message
> ...
> > Karen Wheless wrote:
> >
> > > (As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
> > > a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
> > > I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
> > > haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
> > > $5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
> > > hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)
> >
> > Curiously enough, I was checking the BC of California rates for such a
> > plan (family, parents 40 and 37) last night:
> >
> > http://www.bluecrossca.com/user_groups/Visitors/Individual/
> >
> > PPO Share 2500 ($2500/person deductible, $5000 family) (this may mean two
> > $2.5K deductibles rather than an aggregate deductible)
> > Out-of-pocket maximum = $5K/$10K
> > You pay 30% of negotiated fees (40% of well-child fees)
> > (Negotiated fees are lower than normal fees, but it's
> > really hard to find out what they are in advance.)
> > Generic drugs: $10/30-day prescription
> > $325/month/family
> >
> > PPO Share 5000 ($5K/person deductible, $10Kmax)
> > 30-40% of negotiated fees
> > deductible doesn't apply to office visits in either plan
> > same, pretty much, as above.
> > $216/mo/family
>
> Interesting, I checked with BC of PA when looking for replacement insurance
> and the available deductibles here are lower and the rates much higher.

That's also interesting -- I thought that California had some of the
highest rates in the country.

--
Cheers,
Bev
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Of course SoCal has four seasons:
Earthquake, Mudslide, Brushfire, and Riot

The Real Bev
July 10th 03, 09:05 PM
George wrote:
>
> "The Real Bev" > wrote in message
> ...
> > Karen Wheless wrote:
> >
> > > (As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
> > > a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
> > > I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
> > > haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
> > > $5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
> > > hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)
> >
> > Curiously enough, I was checking the BC of California rates for such a
> > plan (family, parents 40 and 37) last night:
> >
> > http://www.bluecrossca.com/user_groups/Visitors/Individual/
> >
> > PPO Share 2500 ($2500/person deductible, $5000 family) (this may mean two
> > $2.5K deductibles rather than an aggregate deductible)
> > Out-of-pocket maximum = $5K/$10K
> > You pay 30% of negotiated fees (40% of well-child fees)
> > (Negotiated fees are lower than normal fees, but it's
> > really hard to find out what they are in advance.)
> > Generic drugs: $10/30-day prescription
> > $325/month/family
> >
> > PPO Share 5000 ($5K/person deductible, $10Kmax)
> > 30-40% of negotiated fees
> > deductible doesn't apply to office visits in either plan
> > same, pretty much, as above.
> > $216/mo/family
>
> Interesting, I checked with BC of PA when looking for replacement insurance
> and the available deductibles here are lower and the rates much higher.

That's also interesting -- I thought that California had some of the
highest rates in the country.

--
Cheers,
Bev
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Of course SoCal has four seasons:
Earthquake, Mudslide, Brushfire, and Riot

Ribeldi
July 11th 03, 04:52 PM
wrote in message >...

You gamble that you won't have an expensive illness, and you avoid the
> inflated rates caused by fraud and people who go to the emergency room for
> sniffles.

And inflated rates are also caused by people who have group insurance plans
who go to the doctor for a broken fingernail.

Ribeldi
July 11th 03, 04:52 PM
wrote in message >...

You gamble that you won't have an expensive illness, and you avoid the
> inflated rates caused by fraud and people who go to the emergency room for
> sniffles.

And inflated rates are also caused by people who have group insurance plans
who go to the doctor for a broken fingernail.

Joyce
July 11th 03, 04:52 PM
On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 09:15:21 -0400, Pat Meadows >
wrote:

>
>My husband used to have BC/BS of PA - $349/month (for one
>person) - then it went up and we had to drop it anyway as we
>cannot pay it anymore.
>
>He's one of the more than 41 million uninsured Americans
>now. A terrible risk to take, but he's got a lot of
>company...
>
>Pat

I didn't realize how expensive health insurance is. I am lucky in
that the company my deceased DH worked for will provide me with
coverage at no cost on the level he had chosen for the rest of my life
or until I remarry (fat chance). I do not have to choose a HMO, but
if I use a dr. within their (United Health Care) it is very
reasonable. I also get perscriptions for $10.00 or $5.00 for generic
drugs.
Joyce

Joyce
July 11th 03, 04:52 PM
On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 09:15:21 -0400, Pat Meadows >
wrote:

>
>My husband used to have BC/BS of PA - $349/month (for one
>person) - then it went up and we had to drop it anyway as we
>cannot pay it anymore.
>
>He's one of the more than 41 million uninsured Americans
>now. A terrible risk to take, but he's got a lot of
>company...
>
>Pat

I didn't realize how expensive health insurance is. I am lucky in
that the company my deceased DH worked for will provide me with
coverage at no cost on the level he had chosen for the rest of my life
or until I remarry (fat chance). I do not have to choose a HMO, but
if I use a dr. within their (United Health Care) it is very
reasonable. I also get perscriptions for $10.00 or $5.00 for generic
drugs.
Joyce

Elizabeth
July 11th 03, 05:52 PM
"Pat Meadows" > wrote in message >
> I have recently read - on mailing lists - of married couples
> paying $781/month for health insurance!
>

Try $781 a person in Texas if you are an individual over 55 and the
insurance company has any reason to "rate" you - i.e. that ingrown toenail
you had 25 years ago.

EBBY

Elizabeth
July 11th 03, 05:52 PM
"Pat Meadows" > wrote in message >
> I have recently read - on mailing lists - of married couples
> paying $781/month for health insurance!
>

Try $781 a person in Texas if you are an individual over 55 and the
insurance company has any reason to "rate" you - i.e. that ingrown toenail
you had 25 years ago.

EBBY

Larisa
July 11th 03, 10:58 PM
might also try hospitalization-only insurance; it's something like $20
or $30/month. That way, you pay for the doctor's visits (which is not
too much if you're basically healthy), but if you've got a serious
illness, you are covered.

That's what I'm considering, since I'm uninsured now.

LM

wrote in message >...
> I'm reviewing my health insurance and interviewing companies. One agent
> disclosed an alternative that I did not know was available. His company has a
> sub-basic option where someone who is unable to pay for a full policy or is
> otherwise uninsurable can purchase the insurance company discount. For
> instance, if an operation is $10,000 retail, and the insurance company has
> contracted to pay doctors only $4,000 for the operation, that lower price can
> be bought. The rate for such a 100% co-pay "policy" is fixed at less than $100
> per month.
>
> While this option might not be good for many people, it could make a huge
> difference to others. An example he gave was of a family with the parents in
> the 50s with dependent children. A full policy might not be affordable, but
> something like this could limit losses on the more common problems.
>
> The company is a national U.S. company. There may be other insurance companies
> offering a similar option. If anyone is interested, email me and I'll provide
> the name and number of the agent who brought this to my attention.

Larisa
July 11th 03, 10:58 PM
might also try hospitalization-only insurance; it's something like $20
or $30/month. That way, you pay for the doctor's visits (which is not
too much if you're basically healthy), but if you've got a serious
illness, you are covered.

That's what I'm considering, since I'm uninsured now.

LM

wrote in message >...
> I'm reviewing my health insurance and interviewing companies. One agent
> disclosed an alternative that I did not know was available. His company has a
> sub-basic option where someone who is unable to pay for a full policy or is
> otherwise uninsurable can purchase the insurance company discount. For
> instance, if an operation is $10,000 retail, and the insurance company has
> contracted to pay doctors only $4,000 for the operation, that lower price can
> be bought. The rate for such a 100% co-pay "policy" is fixed at less than $100
> per month.
>
> While this option might not be good for many people, it could make a huge
> difference to others. An example he gave was of a family with the parents in
> the 50s with dependent children. A full policy might not be affordable, but
> something like this could limit losses on the more common problems.
>
> The company is a national U.S. company. There may be other insurance companies
> offering a similar option. If anyone is interested, email me and I'll provide
> the name and number of the agent who brought this to my attention.

Elizabeth
July 11th 03, 11:20 PM
> >might also try hospitalization-only insurance; it's something like $20
> >or $30/month. That way, you pay for the doctor's visits (which is not
> >too much if you're basically healthy), but if you've got a serious
> >illness, you are covered.
> >

I've never heard of such a policy, but that's not to say it doesn't exist.
What company offers this?

EBBY

Elizabeth
July 11th 03, 11:20 PM
> >might also try hospitalization-only insurance; it's something like $20
> >or $30/month. That way, you pay for the doctor's visits (which is not
> >too much if you're basically healthy), but if you've got a serious
> >illness, you are covered.
> >

I've never heard of such a policy, but that's not to say it doesn't exist.
What company offers this?

EBBY

Joyce
July 12th 03, 12:46 AM
On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 17:06:11 -0400, Pat Meadows >
wrote:

>
>We found a similar insurance - the only one my husband could
>get (since BC/BS is required by Pennsylvania law to offer
>this). He has pre-existing conditions that prevent him from
>getting most insurance.
>
>It's for low income people only. It does not include drugs
>or doctor bills - neither is included. It does not include
>tests either. Just hospitalization.
>
>For one person it costs $176/month.
>
>We didn't get it, partly because his medical expenses are
>mainly doctor visits and medications - which are not
>included - and also because he becomes ineligible for
>Pennsylvania's Adult Basic Plan for Low Income People (this
>is a good plan) if he has *any* insurance coverage. One
>must be uninsured for three months to be eligible for the
>Adult Basic Plan.
>
>He's on a waiting list for the Adult Basic Plan. We don't
>know how many people are on the waiting list.
>
>Pat

Geez, Pat, what is he waiting for - the people on the plan before him
to die? That sound terrible, why isn't there enough plan for everyone
who needs it?
Joyce

Joyce
July 12th 03, 12:46 AM
On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 17:06:11 -0400, Pat Meadows >
wrote:

>
>We found a similar insurance - the only one my husband could
>get (since BC/BS is required by Pennsylvania law to offer
>this). He has pre-existing conditions that prevent him from
>getting most insurance.
>
>It's for low income people only. It does not include drugs
>or doctor bills - neither is included. It does not include
>tests either. Just hospitalization.
>
>For one person it costs $176/month.
>
>We didn't get it, partly because his medical expenses are
>mainly doctor visits and medications - which are not
>included - and also because he becomes ineligible for
>Pennsylvania's Adult Basic Plan for Low Income People (this
>is a good plan) if he has *any* insurance coverage. One
>must be uninsured for three months to be eligible for the
>Adult Basic Plan.
>
>He's on a waiting list for the Adult Basic Plan. We don't
>know how many people are on the waiting list.
>
>Pat

Geez, Pat, what is he waiting for - the people on the plan before him
to die? That sound terrible, why isn't there enough plan for everyone
who needs it?
Joyce

Clisby Williams
July 12th 03, 02:22 AM
Karen Wheless wrote:

>>
>>
>(As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
>a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
>I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
>haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
>$5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
>hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)
>
>Karen
>
>

BC/BS of Georgia offers a PPO plan with a $5000 deductible. We could
buy it for our family
of 4 for $276 a month.

Clisby

Clisby Williams
July 12th 03, 02:22 AM
Karen Wheless wrote:

>>
>>
>(As far as the alternative health plan suggestion, I think this would be
>a good idea - if you could combine it with a very high deductible plan.
>I've heard that these are available, and fairly cheap, although I
>haven't really looked for one myself. You would think a plan with a
>$5000 deductible, for example, would be quite cheap, but I think it's
>hard to find them. Maybe from Blue Cross?)
>
>Karen
>
>

BC/BS of Georgia offers a PPO plan with a $5000 deductible. We could
buy it for our family
of 4 for $276 a month.

Clisby

SpammersDie
July 12th 03, 02:40 AM
"Pat Meadows" > wrote in message
...
> On 11 Jul 2003 13:58:08 -0700,
> (Larisa) wrote:
>
> >might also try hospitalization-only insurance; it's something like $20
> >or $30/month. That way, you pay for the doctor's visits (which is not
> >too much if you're basically healthy), but if you've got a serious
> >illness, you are covered.
> >
>
> We found a similar insurance - the only one my husband could
> get (since BC/BS is required by Pennsylvania law to offer
> this). He has pre-existing conditions that prevent him from
> getting most insurance.
>
> It's for low income people only. It does not include drugs
> or doctor bills - neither is included. It does not include
> tests either. Just hospitalization.
>
> For one person it costs $176/month.
>

It may be "For low income people" but to me, it sounds like "Correctly
designed insurance." I want my insurance to cover the financially ruinous
expenses, not regular doctor visits which is a budgetable expense. No point
in giving extra money to the insurance company now just to ask for it back
for an annual physical.

Why is it "For low income people only?"

SpammersDie
July 12th 03, 02:40 AM
"Pat Meadows" > wrote in message
...
> On 11 Jul 2003 13:58:08 -0700,
> (Larisa) wrote:
>
> >might also try hospitalization-only insurance; it's something like $20
> >or $30/month. That way, you pay for the doctor's visits (which is not
> >too much if you're basically healthy), but if you've got a serious
> >illness, you are covered.
> >
>
> We found a similar insurance - the only one my husband could
> get (since BC/BS is required by Pennsylvania law to offer
> this). He has pre-existing conditions that prevent him from
> getting most insurance.
>
> It's for low income people only. It does not include drugs
> or doctor bills - neither is included. It does not include
> tests either. Just hospitalization.
>
> For one person it costs $176/month.
>

It may be "For low income people" but to me, it sounds like "Correctly
designed insurance." I want my insurance to cover the financially ruinous
expenses, not regular doctor visits which is a budgetable expense. No point
in giving extra money to the insurance company now just to ask for it back
for an annual physical.

Why is it "For low income people only?"

Albert Wagner
July 12th 03, 11:00 AM
On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 10:29:14 -0400
"linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:
<snip>
>... you expect other people, who are
> already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their
> families, to subsidize your expenses.

It seems that a real polarization had taken place in the US in the last
twenty years, so that it is relatively safe to say that, regarding this
and related topics, there are two opposite groups: (a) those
mean-spirited and selfish people who believe that luck played no part in
their success and (b) those who understand that misfortune can befall
anyone and therefore a rational society will provide a safety net for
themselves and their neighbors.

Your post places you squarely in group "a". I doubt that anything
anyone says could change your mind. But at a minimum, those of us in
group "b" should not hesitate to identify group "a" people at every
opportunity. From your viewpoint, feel free to call me "liberal",
"socialist", or whatever you think is appropriate to a group "b" person.
True or not, I'll probably take it as a compliment.

Albert Wagner
July 12th 03, 11:00 AM
On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 10:29:14 -0400
"linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:
<snip>
>... you expect other people, who are
> already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their
> families, to subsidize your expenses.

It seems that a real polarization had taken place in the US in the last
twenty years, so that it is relatively safe to say that, regarding this
and related topics, there are two opposite groups: (a) those
mean-spirited and selfish people who believe that luck played no part in
their success and (b) those who understand that misfortune can befall
anyone and therefore a rational society will provide a safety net for
themselves and their neighbors.

Your post places you squarely in group "a". I doubt that anything
anyone says could change your mind. But at a minimum, those of us in
group "b" should not hesitate to identify group "a" people at every
opportunity. From your viewpoint, feel free to call me "liberal",
"socialist", or whatever you think is appropriate to a group "b" person.
True or not, I'll probably take it as a compliment.

linda-renee
July 12th 03, 04:29 PM
"Pat Meadows" > wrote in message

> Some of the new drugs for auto-immune conditions (such as
> rheumatoid arthritis) cost MORE THAN $1200 PER MONTH. That
> would be $14,400 per year for ONE DRUG ALONE. They prevent
> crippling, in the case of rheumatoid arthritis. How much
> would you pay to prevent yourself being crippled?

Well, you say it yourself. You're using new medications that didn't exist
before, products are much more expensive than previous generations of drugs,
and you wonder why insurance costs are going up. Clearly this is true for
many health care products and services that people demand today which were
not widely available in the past. But you expect other people, who are
already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their families, to
subsidize your expenses.

linda-renee
July 12th 03, 04:29 PM
"Pat Meadows" > wrote in message

> Some of the new drugs for auto-immune conditions (such as
> rheumatoid arthritis) cost MORE THAN $1200 PER MONTH. That
> would be $14,400 per year for ONE DRUG ALONE. They prevent
> crippling, in the case of rheumatoid arthritis. How much
> would you pay to prevent yourself being crippled?

Well, you say it yourself. You're using new medications that didn't exist
before, products are much more expensive than previous generations of drugs,
and you wonder why insurance costs are going up. Clearly this is true for
many health care products and services that people demand today which were
not widely available in the past. But you expect other people, who are
already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their families, to
subsidize your expenses.

Elizabeth
July 12th 03, 05:03 PM
"linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote in message
> Well, you say it yourself. You're using new medications that didn't exist
> before, products are much more expensive than previous generations of
drugs,
> and you wonder why insurance costs are going up. Clearly this is true for
> many health care products and services that people demand today which were
> not widely available in the past. But you expect other people, who are
> already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their families,
to
> subsidize your expenses.
>

linda-renee,

How do you know that you will always be able to work & will always have
health insurance? If you find yourself unable to afford health care for
yourself or your child, what do you plan to do? It's been my experience
that those with your attitude are the ones who scream the loudest when they
need help. My brother is a perfect example of this. He has always been
very judgmental of anyone who needed help with medical costs until his
daughter had a baby out of wedlock and was not covered by insurance. Then
he decided that the govt. should take care of her and the baby. Now he has
health problems and can't work. Just this week he applied for help with
medical expenses at the hospital. It's all different now. Of course I feel
like it is my responsibility to point out to him that he is a hypocrite.

EBBY

Elizabeth
July 12th 03, 05:03 PM
"linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote in message
> Well, you say it yourself. You're using new medications that didn't exist
> before, products are much more expensive than previous generations of
drugs,
> and you wonder why insurance costs are going up. Clearly this is true for
> many health care products and services that people demand today which were
> not widely available in the past. But you expect other people, who are
> already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their families,
to
> subsidize your expenses.
>

linda-renee,

How do you know that you will always be able to work & will always have
health insurance? If you find yourself unable to afford health care for
yourself or your child, what do you plan to do? It's been my experience
that those with your attitude are the ones who scream the loudest when they
need help. My brother is a perfect example of this. He has always been
very judgmental of anyone who needed help with medical costs until his
daughter had a baby out of wedlock and was not covered by insurance. Then
he decided that the govt. should take care of her and the baby. Now he has
health problems and can't work. Just this week he applied for help with
medical expenses at the hospital. It's all different now. Of course I feel
like it is my responsibility to point out to him that he is a hypocrite.

EBBY

JoelnCaryn
July 12th 03, 05:15 PM
>> I had laser eye surgery (that took 3 minutes and was
>> performed in the doctor's office, NOT in a hospital) last
>> year: the doctor's bill was $750.
>
>Not bad, my mom got charged $90 or so for getting a wartlet flicked off
>with the dermatologist's fingernail!

I got charged $600 for a doc to walk in, say, essentially, "Well, we've already
talked about this and you seem pretty up on it. Want me to send in a
specialist who knows more than me?"

JoelnCaryn
July 12th 03, 05:15 PM
>> I had laser eye surgery (that took 3 minutes and was
>> performed in the doctor's office, NOT in a hospital) last
>> year: the doctor's bill was $750.
>
>Not bad, my mom got charged $90 or so for getting a wartlet flicked off
>with the dermatologist's fingernail!

I got charged $600 for a doc to walk in, say, essentially, "Well, we've already
talked about this and you seem pretty up on it. Want me to send in a
specialist who knows more than me?"

JoelnCaryn
July 12th 03, 05:27 PM
>might also try hospitalization-only insurance; it's something like $20
>or $30/month. That way, you pay for the doctor's visits (which is not
>too much if you're basically healthy), but if you've got a serious
>illness, you are covered.

Don't forget that you probably pay a portion of various parts of the bill up to
an annual cap. Still better than going bare in the case of a major problem.

My insurance is like this -- grad-student's-spouse-and-children insurance
through the university, with no prescription coverage, though 10 times as
expensive as you quote as it runs about $400/ mo. -- and during a
hospitalization last year I paid 10% of this and 50% of that and 0% of this and
so forth on each bill until I hit the annual cap of $6000 in my own expenses.
Still not a bad deal for us last year, even though we paid out over $10K in
medical bills on a low income, because without it we would have paid about
$70K.

JoelnCaryn
July 12th 03, 05:27 PM
>might also try hospitalization-only insurance; it's something like $20
>or $30/month. That way, you pay for the doctor's visits (which is not
>too much if you're basically healthy), but if you've got a serious
>illness, you are covered.

Don't forget that you probably pay a portion of various parts of the bill up to
an annual cap. Still better than going bare in the case of a major problem.

My insurance is like this -- grad-student's-spouse-and-children insurance
through the university, with no prescription coverage, though 10 times as
expensive as you quote as it runs about $400/ mo. -- and during a
hospitalization last year I paid 10% of this and 50% of that and 0% of this and
so forth on each bill until I hit the annual cap of $6000 in my own expenses.
Still not a bad deal for us last year, even though we paid out over $10K in
medical bills on a low income, because without it we would have paid about
$70K.

lpogoda
July 12th 03, 06:48 PM
Pat Meadows wrote in message ...
>On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 22:46:51 GMT, Joyce
> wrote:
>
>
>>
>>Geez, Pat, what is he waiting for - the people on the plan before him
>>to die? That sound terrible, why isn't there enough plan for everyone
>>who needs it?
>>Joyce
>
>Well, they don't have to *die*, as such. They can also move
>out of Pennsylvania, or start earning enough money to
>disqualify themselves for this plan. Or die, of course.
>
>The State legislature of PA established this plan and
>specified that it is financed by PA's part of the
>tobacco-suit money. That money just goes so far.
>
>I don't think most states have ANY low-income plan such as
>this. AFAIK, it's unusual.
>
>Of course, again AFAIK, every other developed country in the
>world has a national health care plan. We are the *only*
>developed country I know of that does not have a national
>health care plan.
>

In Ontario Canada, the public/private split for health care financing is
70/30. In New South Wales Australia, the split is 65/35.

In the US, the federal government pays about 75% of health care
expenditures.

Whether or not you call it a national health care plan, if it walks like a
duck and quacks like a duck and swims like a duck ...

lpogoda
July 12th 03, 06:48 PM
Pat Meadows wrote in message ...
>On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 22:46:51 GMT, Joyce
> wrote:
>
>
>>
>>Geez, Pat, what is he waiting for - the people on the plan before him
>>to die? That sound terrible, why isn't there enough plan for everyone
>>who needs it?
>>Joyce
>
>Well, they don't have to *die*, as such. They can also move
>out of Pennsylvania, or start earning enough money to
>disqualify themselves for this plan. Or die, of course.
>
>The State legislature of PA established this plan and
>specified that it is financed by PA's part of the
>tobacco-suit money. That money just goes so far.
>
>I don't think most states have ANY low-income plan such as
>this. AFAIK, it's unusual.
>
>Of course, again AFAIK, every other developed country in the
>world has a national health care plan. We are the *only*
>developed country I know of that does not have a national
>health care plan.
>

In Ontario Canada, the public/private split for health care financing is
70/30. In New South Wales Australia, the split is 65/35.

In the US, the federal government pays about 75% of health care
expenditures.

Whether or not you call it a national health care plan, if it walks like a
duck and quacks like a duck and swims like a duck ...

Albert Wagner
July 12th 03, 06:57 PM
On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 20:38:15 GMT
"Chloe" > wrote:
<snip>
> I understand that misfortune can befall anyone. I also pay a *lot* of
> taxes that specifically support things like indigent health care. I
> know exactly where the money goes and can tell you exact amounts I pay
> because that's how the property tax system where I live works. What do
> you think--am I paying enough now to qualify as a nice person
> (incidentally, it's supposedly one of the highest property tax rates
> in the nation), or are you going to label me mean-spirited and selfish
> because I don't take the money I have left and go out and buy some
> state of the art medication for somebody else who can't afford it?
>
> Oh, one more thing. If I do choose to do that--and give a lot of my
> money away--what happens if in 10 years I need some of that medication
> myself?

The discussion was about universal health care. I don't think there is
a national property tax. So the portion of your property taxes that
goes to indigent health care will be unnecessary; as will anything you
currently pay on premiums. Whether you give your money away or it is
stolen from you or you develop some catastrophic illness will no longer
concern you regarding health care, as it would be guaranteed.

Albert Wagner
July 12th 03, 06:57 PM
On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 20:38:15 GMT
"Chloe" > wrote:
<snip>
> I understand that misfortune can befall anyone. I also pay a *lot* of
> taxes that specifically support things like indigent health care. I
> know exactly where the money goes and can tell you exact amounts I pay
> because that's how the property tax system where I live works. What do
> you think--am I paying enough now to qualify as a nice person
> (incidentally, it's supposedly one of the highest property tax rates
> in the nation), or are you going to label me mean-spirited and selfish
> because I don't take the money I have left and go out and buy some
> state of the art medication for somebody else who can't afford it?
>
> Oh, one more thing. If I do choose to do that--and give a lot of my
> money away--what happens if in 10 years I need some of that medication
> myself?

The discussion was about universal health care. I don't think there is
a national property tax. So the portion of your property taxes that
goes to indigent health care will be unnecessary; as will anything you
currently pay on premiums. Whether you give your money away or it is
stolen from you or you develop some catastrophic illness will no longer
concern you regarding health care, as it would be guaranteed.

Albert Wagner
July 12th 03, 07:24 PM
On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 18:01:23 -0400
"linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:
<snip>
> I really do believe that the so-called crisis
> is directly related to the astronomical increase in the demand for
> health care.

I agree.

> Technology that never existed before, pharmacology that never existed
> before,

Are you arguing that these or good things or bad things?

> extension of longevity without a corresponding improvement in
> standards of health,

It seems to me that higher longevity is the *result* of improved
standard of health.

> and an entitlement mentality

This phrase is the kind of mindless blather that causes the knee-jerk in
liberals. I've never known anyone who could define this "entitlement
mentality" in a way that it applied to anyone rational.

> that insists that everyone
> should be able to get everything at every time, irrespective of cost.

If this is *your* definition of "entitlement mentality" then I can only
say that it applies only to the most irrational of citizens.

> If we
> scaled back our expectations, costs would be lower, and more people
> would be able to afford what is truly basic health care. But the
> definition of basic health care isn't even close to what it was 20 or
> 30 years ago.

And a good thing that is, too. As you pointed out there have been
advances in medical care. There are many, and better, ways to control
costs besides scaling back our expectations.

Albert Wagner
July 12th 03, 07:24 PM
On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 18:01:23 -0400
"linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:
<snip>
> I really do believe that the so-called crisis
> is directly related to the astronomical increase in the demand for
> health care.

I agree.

> Technology that never existed before, pharmacology that never existed
> before,

Are you arguing that these or good things or bad things?

> extension of longevity without a corresponding improvement in
> standards of health,

It seems to me that higher longevity is the *result* of improved
standard of health.

> and an entitlement mentality

This phrase is the kind of mindless blather that causes the knee-jerk in
liberals. I've never known anyone who could define this "entitlement
mentality" in a way that it applied to anyone rational.

> that insists that everyone
> should be able to get everything at every time, irrespective of cost.

If this is *your* definition of "entitlement mentality" then I can only
say that it applies only to the most irrational of citizens.

> If we
> scaled back our expectations, costs would be lower, and more people
> would be able to afford what is truly basic health care. But the
> definition of basic health care isn't even close to what it was 20 or
> 30 years ago.

And a good thing that is, too. As you pointed out there have been
advances in medical care. There are many, and better, ways to control
costs besides scaling back our expectations.

Joyce
July 12th 03, 09:23 PM
On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 12:08:17 GMT, "George" >
wrote:

>
>"Joyce" > wrote in message
...
>> On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 17:06:11 -0400, Pat Meadows >
>> wrote:
>>
>> >
>> >We found a similar insurance - the only one my husband could
>> >get (since BC/BS is required by Pennsylvania law to offer
>> >this). He has pre-existing conditions that prevent him from
>> >getting most insurance.
>> >
>> >It's for low income people only. It does not include drugs
>> >or doctor bills - neither is included. It does not include
>> >tests either. Just hospitalization.
>> >
>> >For one person it costs $176/month.
>> >
>> >We didn't get it, partly because his medical expenses are
>> >mainly doctor visits and medications - which are not
>> >included - and also because he becomes ineligible for
>> >Pennsylvania's Adult Basic Plan for Low Income People (this
>> >is a good plan) if he has *any* insurance coverage. One
>> >must be uninsured for three months to be eligible for the
>> >Adult Basic Plan.
>> >
>> >He's on a waiting list for the Adult Basic Plan. We don't
>> >know how many people are on the waiting list.
>> >
>> >Pat
>>
>> Geez, Pat, what is he waiting for - the people on the plan before him
>> to die? That sound terrible, why isn't there enough plan for everyone
>> who needs it?
>> Joyce
>
>Not Pat but I know the mechanics of the mentioned plan. Remember the tobacco
>settlements a few years back where each state got a box of money to
>compensate for the extra costs associated with smoking related diseases?
>Most states just took the money and put it into their general fund. PA used
>it to fund a health plan. Since the plan is solely funded from the tobacco
>money there is a balancing act on the number of plan members to insure there
>are sufficient funds to pay for the plan in future years.
>

Thanks, George. Maybe they should add a little to help people like
Pat's DH who really deserve help. Sad situation.
Joyce

Joyce
July 12th 03, 09:23 PM
On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 12:08:17 GMT, "George" >
wrote:

>
>"Joyce" > wrote in message
...
>> On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 17:06:11 -0400, Pat Meadows >
>> wrote:
>>
>> >
>> >We found a similar insurance - the only one my husband could
>> >get (since BC/BS is required by Pennsylvania law to offer
>> >this). He has pre-existing conditions that prevent him from
>> >getting most insurance.
>> >
>> >It's for low income people only. It does not include drugs
>> >or doctor bills - neither is included. It does not include
>> >tests either. Just hospitalization.
>> >
>> >For one person it costs $176/month.
>> >
>> >We didn't get it, partly because his medical expenses are
>> >mainly doctor visits and medications - which are not
>> >included - and also because he becomes ineligible for
>> >Pennsylvania's Adult Basic Plan for Low Income People (this
>> >is a good plan) if he has *any* insurance coverage. One
>> >must be uninsured for three months to be eligible for the
>> >Adult Basic Plan.
>> >
>> >He's on a waiting list for the Adult Basic Plan. We don't
>> >know how many people are on the waiting list.
>> >
>> >Pat
>>
>> Geez, Pat, what is he waiting for - the people on the plan before him
>> to die? That sound terrible, why isn't there enough plan for everyone
>> who needs it?
>> Joyce
>
>Not Pat but I know the mechanics of the mentioned plan. Remember the tobacco
>settlements a few years back where each state got a box of money to
>compensate for the extra costs associated with smoking related diseases?
>Most states just took the money and put it into their general fund. PA used
>it to fund a health plan. Since the plan is solely funded from the tobacco
>money there is a balancing act on the number of plan members to insure there
>are sufficient funds to pay for the plan in future years.
>

Thanks, George. Maybe they should add a little to help people like
Pat's DH who really deserve help. Sad situation.
Joyce

The Real Bev
July 12th 03, 09:49 PM
JoelnCaryn wrote:
>
> >> I had laser eye surgery (that took 3 minutes and was
> >> performed in the doctor's office, NOT in a hospital) last
> >> year: the doctor's bill was $750.
> >
> >Not bad, my mom got charged $90 or so for getting a wartlet flicked off
> >with the dermatologist's fingernail!
>
> I got charged $600 for a doc to walk in, say, essentially, "Well, we've already
> talked about this and you seem pretty up on it. Want me to send in a
> specialist who knows more than me?"

What, you said yes? Aaarrrggghhh.

Did the specialist do any good?

--
Cheers,
Bev
************************************************** ***************
"...and then I'll become a veterinarian because I love children."
-- Julie Brown

The Real Bev
July 12th 03, 09:49 PM
JoelnCaryn wrote:
>
> >> I had laser eye surgery (that took 3 minutes and was
> >> performed in the doctor's office, NOT in a hospital) last
> >> year: the doctor's bill was $750.
> >
> >Not bad, my mom got charged $90 or so for getting a wartlet flicked off
> >with the dermatologist's fingernail!
>
> I got charged $600 for a doc to walk in, say, essentially, "Well, we've already
> talked about this and you seem pretty up on it. Want me to send in a
> specialist who knows more than me?"

What, you said yes? Aaarrrggghhh.

Did the specialist do any good?

--
Cheers,
Bev
************************************************** ***************
"...and then I'll become a veterinarian because I love children."
-- Julie Brown

Chloe
July 12th 03, 10:38 PM
"Albert Wagner" > wrote in message
...
> On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 10:29:14 -0400
> "linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:
> <snip>
> >... you expect other people, who are
> > already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their
> > families, to subsidize your expenses.
>
> It seems that a real polarization had taken place in the US in the last
> twenty years, so that it is relatively safe to say that, regarding this
> and related topics, there are two opposite groups: (a) those
> mean-spirited and selfish people who believe that luck played no part in
> their success and (b) those who understand that misfortune can befall
> anyone and therefore a rational society will provide a safety net for
> themselves and their neighbors.
>
> Your post places you squarely in group "a". I doubt that anything
> anyone says could change your mind. But at a minimum, those of us in
> group "b" should not hesitate to identify group "a" people at every
> opportunity. From your viewpoint, feel free to call me "liberal",
> "socialist", or whatever you think is appropriate to a group "b" person.
> True or not, I'll probably take it as a compliment.

I understand that misfortune can befall anyone. I also pay a *lot* of taxes
that specifically support things like indigent health care. I know exactly
where the money goes and can tell you exact amounts I pay because that's how
the property tax system where I live works. What do you think--am I paying
enough now to qualify as a nice person (incidentally, it's supposedly one of
the highest property tax rates in the nation), or are you going to label me
mean-spirited and selfish because I don't take the money I have left and go
out and buy some state of the art medication for somebody else who can't
afford it?

Oh, one more thing. If I do choose to do that--and give a lot of my money
away--what happens if in 10 years I need some of that medication myself?

Chloe
July 12th 03, 10:38 PM
"Albert Wagner" > wrote in message
...
> On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 10:29:14 -0400
> "linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:
> <snip>
> >... you expect other people, who are
> > already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their
> > families, to subsidize your expenses.
>
> It seems that a real polarization had taken place in the US in the last
> twenty years, so that it is relatively safe to say that, regarding this
> and related topics, there are two opposite groups: (a) those
> mean-spirited and selfish people who believe that luck played no part in
> their success and (b) those who understand that misfortune can befall
> anyone and therefore a rational society will provide a safety net for
> themselves and their neighbors.
>
> Your post places you squarely in group "a". I doubt that anything
> anyone says could change your mind. But at a minimum, those of us in
> group "b" should not hesitate to identify group "a" people at every
> opportunity. From your viewpoint, feel free to call me "liberal",
> "socialist", or whatever you think is appropriate to a group "b" person.
> True or not, I'll probably take it as a compliment.

I understand that misfortune can befall anyone. I also pay a *lot* of taxes
that specifically support things like indigent health care. I know exactly
where the money goes and can tell you exact amounts I pay because that's how
the property tax system where I live works. What do you think--am I paying
enough now to qualify as a nice person (incidentally, it's supposedly one of
the highest property tax rates in the nation), or are you going to label me
mean-spirited and selfish because I don't take the money I have left and go
out and buy some state of the art medication for somebody else who can't
afford it?

Oh, one more thing. If I do choose to do that--and give a lot of my money
away--what happens if in 10 years I need some of that medication myself?

linda-renee
July 12th 03, 11:55 PM
"Albert Wagner" > wrote in message

> "linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:

> >... you expect other people, who are
> > already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their
> > families, to subsidize your expenses.

> It seems that a real polarization had taken place in the US in the last
> twenty years, so that it is relatively safe to say that, regarding this
> and related topics, there are two opposite groups: (a) those
> mean-spirited and selfish people who believe that luck played no part in
> their success and (b) those who understand that misfortune can befall
> anyone and therefore a rational society will provide a safety net for
> themselves and their neighbors.

> Your post places you squarely in group "a". I doubt that anything
> anyone says could change your mind. But at a minimum, those of us in
> group "b" should not hesitate to identify group "a" people at every
> opportunity.

Yeah, whatever. I went quite a few years with no health insurance because I
didn't have regular employment and I couldn't afford insurance on my own.
We did without the health care we needed unless I had cash in hand. I
didn't expect other people to provide for me. But knock yourself out
assigning me to the appropriate stereotype.

linda-renee
July 12th 03, 11:55 PM
"Albert Wagner" > wrote in message

> "linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:

> >... you expect other people, who are
> > already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their
> > families, to subsidize your expenses.

> It seems that a real polarization had taken place in the US in the last
> twenty years, so that it is relatively safe to say that, regarding this
> and related topics, there are two opposite groups: (a) those
> mean-spirited and selfish people who believe that luck played no part in
> their success and (b) those who understand that misfortune can befall
> anyone and therefore a rational society will provide a safety net for
> themselves and their neighbors.

> Your post places you squarely in group "a". I doubt that anything
> anyone says could change your mind. But at a minimum, those of us in
> group "b" should not hesitate to identify group "a" people at every
> opportunity.

Yeah, whatever. I went quite a few years with no health insurance because I
didn't have regular employment and I couldn't afford insurance on my own.
We did without the health care we needed unless I had cash in hand. I
didn't expect other people to provide for me. But knock yourself out
assigning me to the appropriate stereotype.

linda-renee
July 13th 03, 12:01 AM
"Elizabeth" > wrote in message

> "linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote in message

> > But you expect other people, who are
> > already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their families,
> to
> > subsidize your expenses.

> How do you know that you will always be able to work & will always have
> health insurance? If you find yourself unable to afford health care for
> yourself or your child, what do you plan to do?

Same as I did for the years we had no insurance. We did without. It's not
an ideal situation, and I do empathize with those who are on the outside
looking in. But there is only so much that the overburdened citizenry can
do to provide for everyone. I really do believe that the so-called crisis
is directly related to the astronomical increase in the demand for health
care. Technology that never existed before, pharmacology that never existed
before, extension of longevity without a corresponding improvement in
standards of health, and an entitlement mentality that insists that everyone
should be able to get everything at every time, irrespective of cost. If we
scaled back our expectations, costs would be lower, and more people would be
able to afford what is truly basic health care. But the definition of basic
health care isn't even close to what it was 20 or 30 years ago.

linda-renee
July 13th 03, 12:01 AM
"Elizabeth" > wrote in message

> "linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote in message

> > But you expect other people, who are
> > already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their families,
> to
> > subsidize your expenses.

> How do you know that you will always be able to work & will always have
> health insurance? If you find yourself unable to afford health care for
> yourself or your child, what do you plan to do?

Same as I did for the years we had no insurance. We did without. It's not
an ideal situation, and I do empathize with those who are on the outside
looking in. But there is only so much that the overburdened citizenry can
do to provide for everyone. I really do believe that the so-called crisis
is directly related to the astronomical increase in the demand for health
care. Technology that never existed before, pharmacology that never existed
before, extension of longevity without a corresponding improvement in
standards of health, and an entitlement mentality that insists that everyone
should be able to get everything at every time, irrespective of cost. If we
scaled back our expectations, costs would be lower, and more people would be
able to afford what is truly basic health care. But the definition of basic
health care isn't even close to what it was 20 or 30 years ago.

Gary Heston
July 13th 03, 12:51 AM
In article >,
linda-renee <[email protected]!net.> wrote:

> [ ... ] I really do believe that the so-called crisis
>is directly related to the astronomical increase in the demand for health
>care. Technology that never existed before, pharmacology that never existed
>before, extension of longevity without a corresponding improvement in
>standards of health, and an entitlement mentality that insists that everyone
>should be able to get everything at every time, irrespective of cost. [ ... ]

That's one major factor. The other is malpractice lawsuits. Clamp down on
the "plaintiffs' bar" and treatment will get less expensive.


Gary

--
Gary Heston
PHB: "That's the sort of leadership that will turn this company around."
Wally: "Were we doing well?"
Dilbert, 5/23/3

Gary Heston
July 13th 03, 12:51 AM
In article >,
linda-renee <[email protected]!net.> wrote:

> [ ... ] I really do believe that the so-called crisis
>is directly related to the astronomical increase in the demand for health
>care. Technology that never existed before, pharmacology that never existed
>before, extension of longevity without a corresponding improvement in
>standards of health, and an entitlement mentality that insists that everyone
>should be able to get everything at every time, irrespective of cost. [ ... ]

That's one major factor. The other is malpractice lawsuits. Clamp down on
the "plaintiffs' bar" and treatment will get less expensive.


Gary

--
Gary Heston
PHB: "That's the sort of leadership that will turn this company around."
Wally: "Were we doing well?"
Dilbert, 5/23/3

Sewmaster
July 13th 03, 01:48 AM
Pat Meadows wrote:
>
> On Thu, 10 Jul 2003 12:05:44 -0700, The Real Bev
> > wrote:
>
> >> Interesting, I checked with BC of PA when looking for replacement insurance
> >> and the available deductibles here are lower and the rates much higher.
> >
> >That's also interesting -- I thought that California had some of the
> >highest rates in the country.
>
> My husband used to have BC/BS of PA - $349/month (for one
> person) - then it went up and we had to drop it anyway as we
> cannot pay it anymore.>
> He's one of the more than 41 million uninsured Americans
> now. A terrible risk to take, but he's got a lot of
> company...
>
> Pat

He sure does, & it is a terrible risk. We're in that same boat.
Feels very grim & stressful.

Sewmaster

Sewmaster
July 13th 03, 01:48 AM
Pat Meadows wrote:
>
> On Thu, 10 Jul 2003 12:05:44 -0700, The Real Bev
> > wrote:
>
> >> Interesting, I checked with BC of PA when looking for replacement insurance
> >> and the available deductibles here are lower and the rates much higher.
> >
> >That's also interesting -- I thought that California had some of the
> >highest rates in the country.
>
> My husband used to have BC/BS of PA - $349/month (for one
> person) - then it went up and we had to drop it anyway as we
> cannot pay it anymore.>
> He's one of the more than 41 million uninsured Americans
> now. A terrible risk to take, but he's got a lot of
> company...
>
> Pat

He sure does, & it is a terrible risk. We're in that same boat.
Feels very grim & stressful.

Sewmaster

JoelnCaryn
July 13th 03, 03:43 AM
>> I got charged $600 for a doc to walk in, say, essentially, "Well, we've
>already
>> talked about this and you seem pretty up on it. Want me to send in a
>> specialist who knows more than me?"
>
>What, you said yes? Aaarrrggghhh.

Nah. But the specialist was sent in anyway. The $600 was just for the first
doc's visit, *not* for the specialist.

>Did the specialist do any good?

No. Not his fault, though. "The etiology of this disease is unknown, but
we're sure this is the correct treatment..." -- which I knew. Mostly I was
just an interesting specimen.

JoelnCaryn
July 13th 03, 03:43 AM
>> I got charged $600 for a doc to walk in, say, essentially, "Well, we've
>already
>> talked about this and you seem pretty up on it. Want me to send in a
>> specialist who knows more than me?"
>
>What, you said yes? Aaarrrggghhh.

Nah. But the specialist was sent in anyway. The $600 was just for the first
doc's visit, *not* for the specialist.

>Did the specialist do any good?

No. Not his fault, though. "The etiology of this disease is unknown, but
we're sure this is the correct treatment..." -- which I knew. Mostly I was
just an interesting specimen.

The Real Bev
July 13th 03, 06:51 AM
JoelnCaryn wrote:
>
> >> I got charged $600 for a doc to walk in, say, essentially, "Well, we've
> >already
> >> talked about this and you seem pretty up on it. Want me to send in a
> >> specialist who knows more than me?"
> >
> >What, you said yes? Aaarrrggghhh.
>
> Nah. But the specialist was sent in anyway. The $600 was just for the first
> doc's visit, *not* for the specialist.
>
> >Did the specialist do any good?
>
> No. Not his fault, though. "The etiology of this disease is unknown, but
> we're sure this is the correct treatment..." -- which I knew. Mostly I was
> just an interesting specimen.

Wonderful. They should have paid YOU. I love it when they say something
like "You have ideopathic neuropathy" as if it actually meant something
besides "Pay me $600."

--
Cheers,
Bev
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
"The language of victimization is infinitely extensible." -- Me

The Real Bev
July 13th 03, 06:51 AM
JoelnCaryn wrote:
>
> >> I got charged $600 for a doc to walk in, say, essentially, "Well, we've
> >already
> >> talked about this and you seem pretty up on it. Want me to send in a
> >> specialist who knows more than me?"
> >
> >What, you said yes? Aaarrrggghhh.
>
> Nah. But the specialist was sent in anyway. The $600 was just for the first
> doc's visit, *not* for the specialist.
>
> >Did the specialist do any good?
>
> No. Not his fault, though. "The etiology of this disease is unknown, but
> we're sure this is the correct treatment..." -- which I knew. Mostly I was
> just an interesting specimen.

Wonderful. They should have paid YOU. I love it when they say something
like "You have ideopathic neuropathy" as if it actually meant something
besides "Pay me $600."

--
Cheers,
Bev
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
"The language of victimization is infinitely extensible." -- Me

Albert Wagner
July 13th 03, 10:25 AM
On Sun, 13 Jul 2003 09:32:05 -0400
"linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:
<snip>
> Well, gee, I'm just going to yield to your anecdotal evidence from a
> few friends. What the bleep do I know?
>
<Huge anectotal story here with lots of doctor/nurse jargon>

Answering anecdotal evidence with yet more anecdotal evidence is
unconvincing.

<snip>
> You, of course, would like them [insurance compainies] to operate as
> charitable institutions.

Exagerating a statement to the point of being ridiculous is also
unconvincing. No one advocated insurance companies operate "as
charitable institutions."

> Managed care came about as a result of increasing costs; they didn't
> cause them.

They have however caused serious, irrevocable, damage to patients in
their attempts to cut costs.
I have personal anecdotal evidence that you probably don't want to hear.
Just curious: what other kind of evidence would you expect to find
concerning whether health care was good or bad? The statistics are
built on the accumulated experiences of real people. The rising outrage
at HMOs and "managed care" would not happen without widespread
"anecdotal" evidence.

> I agree that there are flaws in the way managed care is sometimes
> managed. If you can do it better and cheaper, why not open your own
> insurance company and see how easy it is?

This makes you sound like an advocate of both managed care and insurance
companies.

>
> You assert that our care costs more. Do you mean we spend more
> aggregate money on health care? Do you mean that health care workers
> in the US earn more money than foreign health care workers? Do you
> mean that procedures are charged at a higher rate? Does it mean that
> the average person uses more health care, which would cause it to cost
> more? Do you mean that the amount of dollars the average taxpayer
> spends for other people's health care is more than what the average
> taxpayer spends for other people's health care in other countries?
> It's not as simple as you state.

Yes;yes;yes;yes;yes; Of course, it's not simple. But it is
correctable.

>
> I don't know why I participate in these threads, I really don't. I
> must be crazy. You are fixated on the idea that health care sucks in
> this country, and I am convinced we do the best we can under the
> circumstances.

I think that you are taking this all too personally. No one is
attacking nurses as the cause. I am sure that the nursing staffs across
the country are in fact doing the best they can "under the
circumstances." But why not change the circumstances?

<snip>

Albert Wagner
July 13th 03, 10:25 AM
On Sun, 13 Jul 2003 09:32:05 -0400
"linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:
<snip>
> Well, gee, I'm just going to yield to your anecdotal evidence from a
> few friends. What the bleep do I know?
>
<Huge anectotal story here with lots of doctor/nurse jargon>

Answering anecdotal evidence with yet more anecdotal evidence is
unconvincing.

<snip>
> You, of course, would like them [insurance compainies] to operate as
> charitable institutions.

Exagerating a statement to the point of being ridiculous is also
unconvincing. No one advocated insurance companies operate "as
charitable institutions."

> Managed care came about as a result of increasing costs; they didn't
> cause them.

They have however caused serious, irrevocable, damage to patients in
their attempts to cut costs.
I have personal anecdotal evidence that you probably don't want to hear.
Just curious: what other kind of evidence would you expect to find
concerning whether health care was good or bad? The statistics are
built on the accumulated experiences of real people. The rising outrage
at HMOs and "managed care" would not happen without widespread
"anecdotal" evidence.

> I agree that there are flaws in the way managed care is sometimes
> managed. If you can do it better and cheaper, why not open your own
> insurance company and see how easy it is?

This makes you sound like an advocate of both managed care and insurance
companies.

>
> You assert that our care costs more. Do you mean we spend more
> aggregate money on health care? Do you mean that health care workers
> in the US earn more money than foreign health care workers? Do you
> mean that procedures are charged at a higher rate? Does it mean that
> the average person uses more health care, which would cause it to cost
> more? Do you mean that the amount of dollars the average taxpayer
> spends for other people's health care is more than what the average
> taxpayer spends for other people's health care in other countries?
> It's not as simple as you state.

Yes;yes;yes;yes;yes; Of course, it's not simple. But it is
correctable.

>
> I don't know why I participate in these threads, I really don't. I
> must be crazy. You are fixated on the idea that health care sucks in
> this country, and I am convinced we do the best we can under the
> circumstances.

I think that you are taking this all too personally. No one is
attacking nurses as the cause. I am sure that the nursing staffs across
the country are in fact doing the best they can "under the
circumstances." But why not change the circumstances?

<snip>

linda-renee
July 13th 03, 03:32 PM
"Pat Meadows" > wrote in message

> This theory falls apart when you compare the USA's health
> care costs to those of other countries with comparable
> health care. Ours costs a heck of a lot more.

> No, we don't demand more health care than other countries.
> Not enough more to account for the difference.

> At least not than the other country wherein we have friends
> and family and know about the healthcare situation from
> them, as it affects them *personally*.

Well, gee, I'm just going to yield to your anecdotal evidence from a few
friends. What the bleep do I know?

Has any one of your friends demanded that their loved one, irreparably
damaged after a violent trauma, stay on a ventilator, with four vasopressor
drips going, IV feedings, continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, going
for CT scan after CT scan "just in case," receiving 1:1 care in ICU, when he
has brain stem function and can do nothing but suck like a fish all day and
drool from the side of his mouth, he has failed kidneys, he's incontinent of
bowel and bladder, and there's absolutely no potential for any meaningful
recovery? I have. I've been the nurse. And it's not always Grandma.
Sometimes it's a 50 year old lady who suddenly strokes out in the middle of
her work day. She has minimal brain activity and is going to be a
ventilator-dependent vegetable for the rest of her life, but her son (who
lives in the next state and never visits) refuses to allow her to come off
the ventilator and let nature take its course, because some day "God will
provide a miracle." She could live for another 40 or 50 years. Sometimes
it's the 40 year old woman who calls an ambulance in the middle of the night
to come to the emergency room, to tell me she has the sniffles. I provide
her directions to the drug store so she can buy a box of Kleenex. She can't
understand why we won't call her another ambulance, or at least a taxi, for
God's sake. Naturally, she has Medicaid. Then there's 95 year old Grandma
in the nursing home, staring at the walls, her arms and legs contractured
because she hasn't been able to perform active range of motion in 10 years,
mostly blind and mostly deaf, fed and medicated via the tube that the family
insisted on having because she can't swallow without , gets wheeled to Bingo
twice a week where she wonders what all the commotion is about, wonders why
Junior and his kids don't visit more than an hour on Christmas. Sometimes
it's the housewife with a hangnail (insert your own favorite useless malady)
who goes from doctor to doctor, wanting new labs and new tests and new
medications until she finds the answer she wants, because insurance will pay
for it, although each doctor has told her there's nothing left to do.
Sometimes it's even my premature baby, who was kept in newborn ICU for two
months and survived what might have killed a similar baby in another
country.

>Another part of the cause - of course - is the profits that
>the insurance companies make.

You, of course, would like them to operate as charitable institutions.
Managed care came about as a result of increasing costs; they didn't cause
them. I agree that there are flaws in the way managed care is sometimes
managed. If you can do it better and cheaper, why not open your own
insurance company and see how easy it is?

You assert that our care costs more. Do you mean we spend more aggregate
money on health care? Do you mean that health care workers in the US earn
more money than foreign health care workers? Do you mean that procedures
are charged at a higher rate? Does it mean that the average person uses
more health care, which would cause it to cost more? Do you mean that the
amount of dollars the average taxpayer spends for other people's health care
is more than what the average taxpayer spends for other people's health care
in other countries? It's not as simple as you state.

I don't know why I participate in these threads, I really don't. I must be
crazy. You are fixated on the idea that health care sucks in this country,
and I am convinced we do the best we can under the circumstances. I think
you're a very nice person, Pat, but if you and your ex-pat husband really
feel England is so much better, why did he leave and why do you both stay?

linda-renee
July 13th 03, 03:32 PM
"Pat Meadows" > wrote in message

> This theory falls apart when you compare the USA's health
> care costs to those of other countries with comparable
> health care. Ours costs a heck of a lot more.

> No, we don't demand more health care than other countries.
> Not enough more to account for the difference.

> At least not than the other country wherein we have friends
> and family and know about the healthcare situation from
> them, as it affects them *personally*.

Well, gee, I'm just going to yield to your anecdotal evidence from a few
friends. What the bleep do I know?

Has any one of your friends demanded that their loved one, irreparably
damaged after a violent trauma, stay on a ventilator, with four vasopressor
drips going, IV feedings, continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, going
for CT scan after CT scan "just in case," receiving 1:1 care in ICU, when he
has brain stem function and can do nothing but suck like a fish all day and
drool from the side of his mouth, he has failed kidneys, he's incontinent of
bowel and bladder, and there's absolutely no potential for any meaningful
recovery? I have. I've been the nurse. And it's not always Grandma.
Sometimes it's a 50 year old lady who suddenly strokes out in the middle of
her work day. She has minimal brain activity and is going to be a
ventilator-dependent vegetable for the rest of her life, but her son (who
lives in the next state and never visits) refuses to allow her to come off
the ventilator and let nature take its course, because some day "God will
provide a miracle." She could live for another 40 or 50 years. Sometimes
it's the 40 year old woman who calls an ambulance in the middle of the night
to come to the emergency room, to tell me she has the sniffles. I provide
her directions to the drug store so she can buy a box of Kleenex. She can't
understand why we won't call her another ambulance, or at least a taxi, for
God's sake. Naturally, she has Medicaid. Then there's 95 year old Grandma
in the nursing home, staring at the walls, her arms and legs contractured
because she hasn't been able to perform active range of motion in 10 years,
mostly blind and mostly deaf, fed and medicated via the tube that the family
insisted on having because she can't swallow without , gets wheeled to Bingo
twice a week where she wonders what all the commotion is about, wonders why
Junior and his kids don't visit more than an hour on Christmas. Sometimes
it's the housewife with a hangnail (insert your own favorite useless malady)
who goes from doctor to doctor, wanting new labs and new tests and new
medications until she finds the answer she wants, because insurance will pay
for it, although each doctor has told her there's nothing left to do.
Sometimes it's even my premature baby, who was kept in newborn ICU for two
months and survived what might have killed a similar baby in another
country.

>Another part of the cause - of course - is the profits that
>the insurance companies make.

You, of course, would like them to operate as charitable institutions.
Managed care came about as a result of increasing costs; they didn't cause
them. I agree that there are flaws in the way managed care is sometimes
managed. If you can do it better and cheaper, why not open your own
insurance company and see how easy it is?

You assert that our care costs more. Do you mean we spend more aggregate
money on health care? Do you mean that health care workers in the US earn
more money than foreign health care workers? Do you mean that procedures
are charged at a higher rate? Does it mean that the average person uses
more health care, which would cause it to cost more? Do you mean that the
amount of dollars the average taxpayer spends for other people's health care
is more than what the average taxpayer spends for other people's health care
in other countries? It's not as simple as you state.

I don't know why I participate in these threads, I really don't. I must be
crazy. You are fixated on the idea that health care sucks in this country,
and I am convinced we do the best we can under the circumstances. I think
you're a very nice person, Pat, but if you and your ex-pat husband really
feel England is so much better, why did he leave and why do you both stay?

linda-renee
July 13th 03, 05:28 PM
"Chloe" > wrote in message

> I hope you'll be willing to address a question, though. DH's mother was in
> her mid-70s when she had a stroke that left her without the ability to
> swallow and with greatly diminished mental acuity. DH had her medical POA,
> and he believed that she would not want to be kept alive via a feeding
tube.
> But the doctors said to him, literally, "Don't you want her to have a
chance
> to get better? We really can't predict just how much function she will be
> able to regain." He and I both actually had the sense that if he flatly
> refused the tube and told them he wanted her to be allowed to die that
they
> simply would not have complied and that some kind of legal battle would
have
> ensued.

There might have been a couple of options. First, have an independent
medical professional review the record and the case to see if there really
was any potential for viability. I'm certainly not suggesting that someone
who is very sick who could conceivably be saved to a decent quality of life
be cut off at the knees. Then, if your expert doesn't see much hope for
your relative, take the case to the hospital ethics committee to see if they
will look at the case. There are other disciplines besides the doctors
involved, and they may be able to come to a reasonable compromise. Third,
consider transferring her to another facility, where you might encounter a
more sympathetic health care team. Fourth, you could--although it's not a
good idea--take her out against medical advice.

Sometimes if you give them an out, such as offering to wait a few weeks
before making the decision to cut the feeding tube, they will work with you.
The hospitals don't really want a big legal battle. And always, always,
always--and this means everyone--make your wishes known *before* you get
sick. If you don't want to be kept alive by a feeding tube, put it in
writing! If the case did have to go to court, advanced directives will go a
long way in proving your side.

> At any rate, what do you as a professional suggest that the responsible
> family members do when faced with this kind of situation? I don't think
the
> doctors acted out of malice or greed, I think they were simply doing what
> they're supposed to do, which is act in a manner that preserves life.

linda-renee
July 13th 03, 05:28 PM
"Chloe" > wrote in message

> I hope you'll be willing to address a question, though. DH's mother was in
> her mid-70s when she had a stroke that left her without the ability to
> swallow and with greatly diminished mental acuity. DH had her medical POA,
> and he believed that she would not want to be kept alive via a feeding
tube.
> But the doctors said to him, literally, "Don't you want her to have a
chance
> to get better? We really can't predict just how much function she will be
> able to regain." He and I both actually had the sense that if he flatly
> refused the tube and told them he wanted her to be allowed to die that
they
> simply would not have complied and that some kind of legal battle would
have
> ensued.

There might have been a couple of options. First, have an independent
medical professional review the record and the case to see if there really
was any potential for viability. I'm certainly not suggesting that someone
who is very sick who could conceivably be saved to a decent quality of life
be cut off at the knees. Then, if your expert doesn't see much hope for
your relative, take the case to the hospital ethics committee to see if they
will look at the case. There are other disciplines besides the doctors
involved, and they may be able to come to a reasonable compromise. Third,
consider transferring her to another facility, where you might encounter a
more sympathetic health care team. Fourth, you could--although it's not a
good idea--take her out against medical advice.

Sometimes if you give them an out, such as offering to wait a few weeks
before making the decision to cut the feeding tube, they will work with you.
The hospitals don't really want a big legal battle. And always, always,
always--and this means everyone--make your wishes known *before* you get
sick. If you don't want to be kept alive by a feeding tube, put it in
writing! If the case did have to go to court, advanced directives will go a
long way in proving your side.

> At any rate, what do you as a professional suggest that the responsible
> family members do when faced with this kind of situation? I don't think
the
> doctors acted out of malice or greed, I think they were simply doing what
> they're supposed to do, which is act in a manner that preserves life.

Elizabeth
July 13th 03, 10:33 PM
"linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote in message
news:bern0p$7d4

> Sometimes it's even my premature baby, who was kept in newborn ICU for two
> months and survived what might have killed a similar baby in another
> country.
>

LR,

I'm sure you told us years ago that you were an unwed mother without
insurance. So who paid for your baby's two months in ICU? I'm sure it was
the taxpayers and I'm happy that she had this care. So why do you begrudge
it for everyone else?

I do hope you are not a patient-care nurse. Your attitude is so awful that
I'm sure you would be mean to those old ladies with feeding tubes. Why did
you even go into nursing? We had a nurse at a hospital in this county who
has been indicted for murdering about a dozen patients. Maybe she thought
they were not entitled to live.
http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/07/16/nurse.deaths.arrest/

EBBY

Elizabeth
July 13th 03, 10:33 PM
"linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote in message
news:bern0p$7d4

> Sometimes it's even my premature baby, who was kept in newborn ICU for two
> months and survived what might have killed a similar baby in another
> country.
>

LR,

I'm sure you told us years ago that you were an unwed mother without
insurance. So who paid for your baby's two months in ICU? I'm sure it was
the taxpayers and I'm happy that she had this care. So why do you begrudge
it for everyone else?

I do hope you are not a patient-care nurse. Your attitude is so awful that
I'm sure you would be mean to those old ladies with feeding tubes. Why did
you even go into nursing? We had a nurse at a hospital in this county who
has been indicted for murdering about a dozen patients. Maybe she thought
they were not entitled to live.
http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/07/16/nurse.deaths.arrest/

EBBY

linda-renee
July 13th 03, 11:23 PM
"Elizabeth" > wrote in message

> "linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote in message

> > Sometimes it's even my premature baby, who was kept in newborn ICU for
two
> > months and survived what might have killed a similar baby in another
> > country.

> I'm sure you told us years ago that you were an unwed mother without
> insurance. So who paid for your baby's two months in ICU? I'm sure it
was
> the taxpayers and I'm happy that she had this care. So why do you
begrudge
> it for everyone else?

Guess again. I had insurance; I worked 12 hour night shifts in ICU. Not a
dime of taxpayers' money. Sorry to disappoint.

> I do hope you are not a patient-care nurse. Your attitude is so awful
that
> I'm sure you would be mean to those old ladies with feeding tubes. Why
did
> you even go into nursing? We had a nurse at a hospital in this county who
> has been indicted for murdering about a dozen patients. Maybe she thought
> they were not entitled to live.

You think not wanting people to be put through unnecessary suffering is
awful? Please allow me to assist in correcting your rectocranial
inversion...

linda-renee
July 13th 03, 11:23 PM
"Elizabeth" > wrote in message

> "linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote in message

> > Sometimes it's even my premature baby, who was kept in newborn ICU for
two
> > months and survived what might have killed a similar baby in another
> > country.

> I'm sure you told us years ago that you were an unwed mother without
> insurance. So who paid for your baby's two months in ICU? I'm sure it
was
> the taxpayers and I'm happy that she had this care. So why do you
begrudge
> it for everyone else?

Guess again. I had insurance; I worked 12 hour night shifts in ICU. Not a
dime of taxpayers' money. Sorry to disappoint.

> I do hope you are not a patient-care nurse. Your attitude is so awful
that
> I'm sure you would be mean to those old ladies with feeding tubes. Why
did
> you even go into nursing? We had a nurse at a hospital in this county who
> has been indicted for murdering about a dozen patients. Maybe she thought
> they were not entitled to live.

You think not wanting people to be put through unnecessary suffering is
awful? Please allow me to assist in correcting your rectocranial
inversion...

linda-renee
July 13th 03, 11:24 PM
"Chloe" > wrote in message

> I expect even with this clarification you'll come up with options we
> *should* have had, or suggestions that we could have been better prepared,
> or done things differently, or say we were in an unusual or unfortunate
set
> of circumstances. But the next time you talk about one of those drooling
> vegetables, please be mindful that maybe there's something beyond selfish,
> irresponsible consumption of medical and monetary resources underlying the
> situation.

I give up. See ya.

linda-renee
July 13th 03, 11:24 PM
"Chloe" > wrote in message

> I expect even with this clarification you'll come up with options we
> *should* have had, or suggestions that we could have been better prepared,
> or done things differently, or say we were in an unusual or unfortunate
set
> of circumstances. But the next time you talk about one of those drooling
> vegetables, please be mindful that maybe there's something beyond selfish,
> irresponsible consumption of medical and monetary resources underlying the
> situation.

I give up. See ya.

baron48
July 14th 03, 06:58 PM
"Elizabeth" > wrote in message >...
> "Pat Meadows" > wrote in message >
>
> > This theory falls apart when you compare the USA's health
> > care costs to those of other countries with comparable
> > health care. Ours costs a heck of a lot more.
> >
>
> It seems to me that most people can understand that in this country we spend
> enough money on health care to see that everyone has care. Like Pat says,
> it is the way the money is spent.

That brings up the question of what you mean by "care." What is
considered "adequate" health care? What procedures are considered
"necessary?" How is it paid for? What personal repsonsibility do
people have for taking care of themselves? There are hundreds more
of these types of questions that need to be answered.

> There must be some other reason some people are so opposed to a single-payer
> plan - snob appeal/royalty mentality, perhaps. "I have insurance and you
> don't; therefore I am better than you." Their opposition of course goes
> away if they are personally affected. But they still have the attitude of
> "I should be cared for but not others."

I doubt it is like that for most people. I think what you see is
people looking at the government's track record in health care (Medicare
& Medicaid) and being justifiably nervous about it taking control
of their health care. The Federal Government has $38 trillion in
unfunded Medicare liability hanging over it. That certainly doesn't
make me feel confident. You can also toss in the IRS and the Justice
Department now having access to your medical records with minimum effort.
That's ripe for abuse if anything ever was.

-Tom

baron48
July 14th 03, 06:58 PM
"Elizabeth" > wrote in message >...
> "Pat Meadows" > wrote in message >
>
> > This theory falls apart when you compare the USA's health
> > care costs to those of other countries with comparable
> > health care. Ours costs a heck of a lot more.
> >
>
> It seems to me that most people can understand that in this country we spend
> enough money on health care to see that everyone has care. Like Pat says,
> it is the way the money is spent.

That brings up the question of what you mean by "care." What is
considered "adequate" health care? What procedures are considered
"necessary?" How is it paid for? What personal repsonsibility do
people have for taking care of themselves? There are hundreds more
of these types of questions that need to be answered.

> There must be some other reason some people are so opposed to a single-payer
> plan - snob appeal/royalty mentality, perhaps. "I have insurance and you
> don't; therefore I am better than you." Their opposition of course goes
> away if they are personally affected. But they still have the attitude of
> "I should be cared for but not others."

I doubt it is like that for most people. I think what you see is
people looking at the government's track record in health care (Medicare
& Medicaid) and being justifiably nervous about it taking control
of their health care. The Federal Government has $38 trillion in
unfunded Medicare liability hanging over it. That certainly doesn't
make me feel confident. You can also toss in the IRS and the Justice
Department now having access to your medical records with minimum effort.
That's ripe for abuse if anything ever was.

-Tom

baron48
July 14th 03, 07:03 PM
"Pat Meadows" > wrote in message
>
> This theory falls apart when you compare the USA's health
> care costs to those of other countries with comparable
> health care. Ours costs a heck of a lot more.
>
> No, we don't demand more health care than other countries.
> Not enough more to account for the difference.

Really? Maybe you have statistics that show this to be
true. I would suggest we are must less healthy on average
than any other industrialized country and health care
services are pushed much harder to those who can afford
them.

-Tom

baron48
July 14th 03, 07:03 PM
"Pat Meadows" > wrote in message
>
> This theory falls apart when you compare the USA's health
> care costs to those of other countries with comparable
> health care. Ours costs a heck of a lot more.
>
> No, we don't demand more health care than other countries.
> Not enough more to account for the difference.

Really? Maybe you have statistics that show this to be
true. I would suggest we are must less healthy on average
than any other industrialized country and health care
services are pushed much harder to those who can afford
them.

-Tom

Albert Wagner
July 14th 03, 07:27 PM
On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 12:26:03 -0700
Dennis > wrote:
<snip>
Dennis, you just don't get it. Let me try to make it as simple as
possible.

> I think giving things away is wonderful. I do it all the time --
> goods (new and used), food, money, my time, the very sweat of my brow
> -- and expect nothing in return. But I don't take kindly to things
> being taken from me, even if it is for what some brand "a good cause".

We are all in this together. You obviously believe that you owe nothing
back, in the form of taxes, to the country that has provided the
infrastructure (warriors, laborers, government provided capital
improvements, etc.) in which you were able to make your money. You have
apparently earned so much that you cannot conceive of ever needing help.
So you strut around like a pompous ass lecturing others about taking
your money from you. In fact, the very economic system that you think
rewards you appropriatly for your labor is broken and often randomly
creates winners and losers. Many with your intelligence and effort
fail. And many with nothing more than desire for wealth succeed. No
one is going to steal "your" money, not even for "a good cause." What
we desire is to remove health care from the grips of capitalists and
remove some of the randomness. If we succeed, then some of the money
you owe in taxes will be used for this purpose; And you, along with
everyone else, will benefit.

>
> Now, folks like you (and others in this group) may not like the idea
> of relying on charity.

This has never been a viable option for health care. Why do you present
it a real option?

> Perhaps it bruises your pride. So much so
> that you invent all kinds of fanciful fictions to dress it up and make
> it seem like it is something you are owed just for breathing.

Not "just for breathing," as if that is all the health care losers ever
did. We, like you, work and do the best we can with what we have to
work with.

> But
> regardless of whether you need it because you were foolish or just
> plain unlucky, it's charity. Nothing wrong with charity, but call it
> what it is. Lose the attitude and remember to say thank you once in a
> while.

I know that you believe that your net pay should equal your gross pay,
and that the difference you call "charity." You also apparently believe
that because you pay taxes, just as we do, that we owe you some thanks.
I don't think so. No one has ever thanked me for paying taxes.
Certainly not you.

Albert Wagner
July 14th 03, 07:27 PM
On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 12:26:03 -0700
Dennis > wrote:
<snip>
Dennis, you just don't get it. Let me try to make it as simple as
possible.

> I think giving things away is wonderful. I do it all the time --
> goods (new and used), food, money, my time, the very sweat of my brow
> -- and expect nothing in return. But I don't take kindly to things
> being taken from me, even if it is for what some brand "a good cause".

We are all in this together. You obviously believe that you owe nothing
back, in the form of taxes, to the country that has provided the
infrastructure (warriors, laborers, government provided capital
improvements, etc.) in which you were able to make your money. You have
apparently earned so much that you cannot conceive of ever needing help.
So you strut around like a pompous ass lecturing others about taking
your money from you. In fact, the very economic system that you think
rewards you appropriatly for your labor is broken and often randomly
creates winners and losers. Many with your intelligence and effort
fail. And many with nothing more than desire for wealth succeed. No
one is going to steal "your" money, not even for "a good cause." What
we desire is to remove health care from the grips of capitalists and
remove some of the randomness. If we succeed, then some of the money
you owe in taxes will be used for this purpose; And you, along with
everyone else, will benefit.

>
> Now, folks like you (and others in this group) may not like the idea
> of relying on charity.

This has never been a viable option for health care. Why do you present
it a real option?

> Perhaps it bruises your pride. So much so
> that you invent all kinds of fanciful fictions to dress it up and make
> it seem like it is something you are owed just for breathing.

Not "just for breathing," as if that is all the health care losers ever
did. We, like you, work and do the best we can with what we have to
work with.

> But
> regardless of whether you need it because you were foolish or just
> plain unlucky, it's charity. Nothing wrong with charity, but call it
> what it is. Lose the attitude and remember to say thank you once in a
> while.

I know that you believe that your net pay should equal your gross pay,
and that the difference you call "charity." You also apparently believe
that because you pay taxes, just as we do, that we owe you some thanks.
I don't think so. No one has ever thanked me for paying taxes.
Certainly not you.

July 14th 03, 08:36 PM
(Larisa) wrote:

>"Elizabeth" > wrote in message >...
>> > >> >might also try hospitalization-only insurance; it's something like $20
>> > >> >or $30/month. That way, you pay for the doctor's visits (which is not
>> > >> >too much if you're basically healthy), but if you've got a serious
>> > >> >illness, you are covered.
>> > >> >
>> > >
>> > >I've never heard of such a policy, but that's not to say it doesn't
>> exist.
>> > >What company offers this?
>> > >
>> >
>> > Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Northeastern PA offers one. I
>> > believe (I'm pretty sure) it's only for low-income people.
>>
>>
>> But for $20 - $30 a month?
>>
>> EBBY
>
>It's called catastrophic health insurance; sorry if I confused anyone.
> Here's some info: http://info.insure.com/health/catastrophic.html
>
>And it's not just for low-income people, but you do have to be rather
>healthy for it (no pre-existing conditions).

Quote from the site:

"For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida offers a catastrophic health
plan called Essential in most counties. It has deductible of $250 and an
out-of-pocket limit of $2,500 after you've exceeded your deductible. The
lifetime maximum is $1 million. The plan covers hospital, surgical, and X-ray
expenses. Other services such as doctor visits, maternity care, prescription
drugs, and mental health visits are not covered.

According to an online quote, the monthly premium for a 21-year-old nonsmoking
female would be $29."

A 21 year old non-smoking female probably gets the cheapest rate possible. It
simply is not a fair or representative figure to use when discussing insurance
rates.

You can see the lowest cost BCBS plan (now called Dimension IV with a $5000
deductable) at eInsurance.com and plug in different ages. For older folks in
this group the rate would be more like $150 per month. The plan is a 75/25
split instead of an 80/20, has lots of exclusions, is an individual cancellable
plan, and isn't a plan I could be comfortable with in any way. Add to that the
scuttlebutt down here that BCBS is so slow paying that many doctors are no
longer willing to invoice BCBS.

When thinking insurance, contact the doctors and hospitals before signing onto
a policy.

July 14th 03, 08:36 PM
(Larisa) wrote:

>"Elizabeth" > wrote in message >...
>> > >> >might also try hospitalization-only insurance; it's something like $20
>> > >> >or $30/month. That way, you pay for the doctor's visits (which is not
>> > >> >too much if you're basically healthy), but if you've got a serious
>> > >> >illness, you are covered.
>> > >> >
>> > >
>> > >I've never heard of such a policy, but that's not to say it doesn't
>> exist.
>> > >What company offers this?
>> > >
>> >
>> > Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Northeastern PA offers one. I
>> > believe (I'm pretty sure) it's only for low-income people.
>>
>>
>> But for $20 - $30 a month?
>>
>> EBBY
>
>It's called catastrophic health insurance; sorry if I confused anyone.
> Here's some info: http://info.insure.com/health/catastrophic.html
>
>And it's not just for low-income people, but you do have to be rather
>healthy for it (no pre-existing conditions).

Quote from the site:

"For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida offers a catastrophic health
plan called Essential in most counties. It has deductible of $250 and an
out-of-pocket limit of $2,500 after you've exceeded your deductible. The
lifetime maximum is $1 million. The plan covers hospital, surgical, and X-ray
expenses. Other services such as doctor visits, maternity care, prescription
drugs, and mental health visits are not covered.

According to an online quote, the monthly premium for a 21-year-old nonsmoking
female would be $29."

A 21 year old non-smoking female probably gets the cheapest rate possible. It
simply is not a fair or representative figure to use when discussing insurance
rates.

You can see the lowest cost BCBS plan (now called Dimension IV with a $5000
deductable) at eInsurance.com and plug in different ages. For older folks in
this group the rate would be more like $150 per month. The plan is a 75/25
split instead of an 80/20, has lots of exclusions, is an individual cancellable
plan, and isn't a plan I could be comfortable with in any way. Add to that the
scuttlebutt down here that BCBS is so slow paying that many doctors are no
longer willing to invoice BCBS.

When thinking insurance, contact the doctors and hospitals before signing onto
a policy.

Dennis
July 14th 03, 09:26 PM
"Albert Wagner" > wrote in message
>
>> "linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:
>
>> >... you expect other people, who are
>> > already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their
>> > families, to subsidize your expenses.
>
>> It seems that a real polarization had taken place in the US in the last
>> twenty years, so that it is relatively safe to say that, regarding this
>> and related topics, there are two opposite groups: (a) those
>> mean-spirited and selfish people who believe that luck played no part in
>> their success and (b) those who understand that misfortune can befall
>> anyone and therefore a rational society will provide a safety net for
>> themselves and their neighbors.

Al, you loony old coot, you just don't get it. Let me try to make it
as simple as possible.

I think giving things away is wonderful. I do it all the time --
goods (new and used), food, money, my time, the very sweat of my brow
-- and expect nothing in return. But I don't take kindly to things
being taken from me, even if it is for what some brand "a good cause".

Now, folks like you (and others in this group) may not like the idea
of relying on charity. Perhaps it bruises your pride. So much so
that you invent all kinds of fanciful fictions to dress it up and make
it seem like it is something you are owed just for breathing. But
regardless of whether you need it because you were foolish or just
plain unlucky, it's charity. Nothing wrong with charity, but call it
what it is. Lose the attitude and remember to say thank you once in a
while.

the Dennis formerly known as (evil)
--
The honest man is the one who realizes that he cannot
consume more, in his lifetime, than he produces.

Dennis
July 14th 03, 09:26 PM
"Albert Wagner" > wrote in message
>
>> "linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:
>
>> >... you expect other people, who are
>> > already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their
>> > families, to subsidize your expenses.
>
>> It seems that a real polarization had taken place in the US in the last
>> twenty years, so that it is relatively safe to say that, regarding this
>> and related topics, there are two opposite groups: (a) those
>> mean-spirited and selfish people who believe that luck played no part in
>> their success and (b) those who understand that misfortune can befall
>> anyone and therefore a rational society will provide a safety net for
>> themselves and their neighbors.

Al, you loony old coot, you just don't get it. Let me try to make it
as simple as possible.

I think giving things away is wonderful. I do it all the time --
goods (new and used), food, money, my time, the very sweat of my brow
-- and expect nothing in return. But I don't take kindly to things
being taken from me, even if it is for what some brand "a good cause".

Now, folks like you (and others in this group) may not like the idea
of relying on charity. Perhaps it bruises your pride. So much so
that you invent all kinds of fanciful fictions to dress it up and make
it seem like it is something you are owed just for breathing. But
regardless of whether you need it because you were foolish or just
plain unlucky, it's charity. Nothing wrong with charity, but call it
what it is. Lose the attitude and remember to say thank you once in a
while.

the Dennis formerly known as (evil)
--
The honest man is the one who realizes that he cannot
consume more, in his lifetime, than he produces.

Albert Wagner
July 15th 03, 11:16 AM
On Tue, 15 Jul 2003 08:02:26 -0700
Dennis > wrote:
<snip>
> I was taught that it was polite to say thank you when someone gives
> you a gift.

And what is this "gift" that you are so anxious to be thanked for?

Whatever it is, I prefer to be properly quoted.

Albert Wagner
July 15th 03, 11:16 AM
On Tue, 15 Jul 2003 08:02:26 -0700
Dennis > wrote:
<snip>
> I was taught that it was polite to say thank you when someone gives
> you a gift.

And what is this "gift" that you are so anxious to be thanked for?

Whatever it is, I prefer to be properly quoted.

Dennis
July 15th 03, 05:02 PM
On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 12:27:54 -0500, Albert Wagner >
wrote:

Al, you still don't get it. Apparently you have been indoctrinated so
deeply and for so long that you can't even conceive of a way of life
that doesn't involve suckling at big momma government.

>On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 12:26:03 -0700
>Dennis > wrote:
><snip>
>> I think giving things away is wonderful. I do it all the time --
>> goods (new and used), food, money, my time, the very sweat of my brow
>> -- and expect nothing in return. But I don't take kindly to things
>> being taken from me, even if it is for what some brand "a good cause".
>
>We are all in this together. You obviously believe that you owe nothing
>back, in the form of taxes, to the country that has provided the
>infrastructure (warriors, laborers, government provided capital
>improvements, etc.) in which you were able to make your money.

You cling so desperately to your flimsy strawman. I have already
clearly stated that taxes make sense for the legitimate duties of the
federal government, as spelled out plainly in the Constitution. Hint:
charity ain't one of them.

>>
>> Now, folks like you (and others in this group) may not like the idea
>> of relying on charity.
>
>This has never been a viable option for health care. Why do you present
>it a real option?

Don't be silly. What you proprose is nothing less than charity. What
value is added by passing the money through the hands of the federal
government? And what tolls are extracted?

>> But
>> regardless of whether you need it because you were foolish or just
>> plain unlucky, it's charity. Nothing wrong with charity, but call it
>> what it is. Lose the attitude and remember to say thank you once in a
>> while.
>
><snip>
> You also apparently believe
>that because you pay taxes, just as we do, that we owe you some thanks.
>I don't think so.

I was taught that it was polite to say thank you when someone gives
you a gift.

the Dennis formerly known as (evil)
--
"There is a fine line between participation and mockery" - Wally

Dennis
July 15th 03, 05:02 PM
On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 12:27:54 -0500, Albert Wagner >
wrote:

Al, you still don't get it. Apparently you have been indoctrinated so
deeply and for so long that you can't even conceive of a way of life
that doesn't involve suckling at big momma government.

>On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 12:26:03 -0700
>Dennis > wrote:
><snip>
>> I think giving things away is wonderful. I do it all the time --
>> goods (new and used), food, money, my time, the very sweat of my brow
>> -- and expect nothing in return. But I don't take kindly to things
>> being taken from me, even if it is for what some brand "a good cause".
>
>We are all in this together. You obviously believe that you owe nothing
>back, in the form of taxes, to the country that has provided the
>infrastructure (warriors, laborers, government provided capital
>improvements, etc.) in which you were able to make your money.

You cling so desperately to your flimsy strawman. I have already
clearly stated that taxes make sense for the legitimate duties of the
federal government, as spelled out plainly in the Constitution. Hint:
charity ain't one of them.

>>
>> Now, folks like you (and others in this group) may not like the idea
>> of relying on charity.
>
>This has never been a viable option for health care. Why do you present
>it a real option?

Don't be silly. What you proprose is nothing less than charity. What
value is added by passing the money through the hands of the federal
government? And what tolls are extracted?

>> But
>> regardless of whether you need it because you were foolish or just
>> plain unlucky, it's charity. Nothing wrong with charity, but call it
>> what it is. Lose the attitude and remember to say thank you once in a
>> while.
>
><snip>
> You also apparently believe
>that because you pay taxes, just as we do, that we owe you some thanks.
>I don't think so.

I was taught that it was polite to say thank you when someone gives
you a gift.

the Dennis formerly known as (evil)
--
"There is a fine line between participation and mockery" - Wally

A.J. Rivett
July 30th 03, 06:47 AM
Albert Wagner > wrote in message >...
> On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 10:29:14 -0400
> "linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote:
> <snip>
> >... you expect other people, who are
> > already paying higher insurance costs for themselves and their
> > families, to subsidize your expenses.
>
> It seems that a real polarization had taken place in the US in the last
> twenty years, so that it is relatively safe to say that, regarding this
> and related topics, there are two opposite groups: (a) those
> mean-spirited and selfish people who believe that luck played no part in
> their success and (b) those who understand that misfortune can befall
> anyone and therefore a rational society will provide a safety net for
> themselves and their neighbors.
>
> Your post places you squarely in group "a". I doubt that anything
> anyone says could change your mind. But at a minimum, those of us in
> group "b" should not hesitate to identify group "a" people at every
> opportunity. From your viewpoint, feel free to call me "liberal",
> "socialist", or whatever you think is appropriate to a group "b" person.
> True or not, I'll probably take it as a compliment.

In Ontario we have socialized health care as you probably know.
Although it is not without significant omissions such as prescription
drugs not being covered unless the patient is an inpatient in the
hospital, most of us cannot imagine being without basic coverage
irrespective of income. As with any insurance plan, private or
publicly administered, there is abuse and the costs becoming nearly
impossible to control with so much expensive medical technology being
used.

My point is only that most of the patients I see (I am a nuc. med.
tech) are very thankful for the care that is provided, and I rarely
hear complaints from those who rarely use the system....rather they
are generally thankful that they have good health and they do not
resent their taxes going towards health care.

On balance the system costs less for the individual than the American
insurance model but of course it is difficult to compare the models as
those in the U.S. who can afford it receive the very best health care
that money can buy.

It is important that we have a single tier system here. Because the
wealthy must use the system, they make sure that it comes close to
meeting their high standards. Of course we cannot afford an MRI
machine on every street corner but we do the best we can with what we
have and on balance it works well even if there are shortages of
specialists in some areas of the province.

A.J. Rivett
July 30th 03, 03:20 PM
"linda-renee" <[email protected]!net.> wrote in message


I really do believe that the so-called crisis
> is directly related to the astronomical increase in the demand for health
> care. Technology that never existed before, pharmacology that never existed
> before, extension of longevity without a corresponding improvement in
> standards of health, and an entitlement mentality that insists that everyone
> should be able to get everything at every time, irrespective of cost. If we
> scaled back our expectations, costs would be lower, and more people would be
> able to afford what is truly basic health care. But the definition of basic
> health care isn't even close to what it was 20 or 30 years ago.

Exactly. When I started working in the hospital 26 years ago, there
was no CT scanner, no ultrasound, no echocardiography, no mammography,
no oncology and diabetic clinics, no respiratory therapy. These are
just a few of the new services that are offered within a medium-sized
community hospital now that did not exist in 1977. Other areas have
been scaled back but much of the new medicine is capital
intensive....and of course what was only dreamt of 30 years ago has
now become become "medically necessary" for everyone.

The problem seems to be that physicians today cannot and will not work
without the modern equipment and services that are available. Even if
one were to establish a basic level of health that would be sufficient
for a person 20 years ago (and we seemed to do OK back then), you
would not find a practitioner willing to work within such constraints.

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