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Author Topic: obscene profit check  (Read 2737 times)
kathyp
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« on: October 26, 2009, 10:38:51 AM »

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20091025/D9BI4D6O1.html

they went after the oil companies until they found out there really were not those "excessive" profits after all.  now they are after the insurance companies.

a more worrying thought:  if the insurance companies really are working on such a thin profit margin, what will government interference do to them?  if they are forced to take patients with preexisting conditions and not charge more, compete for customers against a government program, and lower premiums across the board, how many will survive?  looks like any way you slice it, a public option in any bill that's passed, may become our only option as time goes by.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 10:56:25 AM »

*Governments, whether they are local, state, or federal have a way of killing businesses with regulation & Taxes, they either go out of business or move to a State with less of a stranglehold, thus increasing their bottom line, not the Government's bottom line. The Obama Machine will do just that, kill the insurance industry ( except for a hand picked few ) and put more people on the government teat. Did you notice the number of banks shuting down for whatever reason, I bet my money they are being forced to close thus ending competition for the larger evil banks, the same goes for the insurance companies that are own by Obama's friends.


* DISCLAIMER: My 2 cents.

 
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troutstalker2
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2009, 07:05:02 PM »



  Obama has accomplished in 10 months what Bush could not do in 8 years, unite the Republicans

  David
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2009, 07:39:29 PM »



  Obama has accomplished in 10 months what Bush could not do in 8 years, unite the Conservative Republicans

  David

Fixed it for ya  Wink
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2009, 07:47:41 PM »

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Obama has accomplished in 10 months what Bush could not do in 8 years, unite the Conservatives.


fixed it better  grin
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2009, 07:12:22 AM »

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Obama has accomplished in 10 months what Bush could not do in 8 years, unite the Conservatives.


fixed it better  grin


I knew you would do dat  grin
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2009, 08:45:07 AM »

Or the government will realize over time that they are inept at running insurance programs and then just pay the people who have been already running it for years to run it for them, leaving us with crap coverage and twice the cost. rolleyes
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Rick
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2009, 09:07:18 AM »

sorry, but i have to disagree. the government (both parties) does know how to run health care and the insurance co. they've given themselves the best that tax payer money can provide, grin rolleyes
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« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2009, 09:35:44 AM »

I dont claim to know much of anything, but there has/needs to be some kind of reform in the insurance/medical world.  Being charged $2.00 for a canned coke and $4.50 for an apirin or two while on an overnight stay in the hospital leaves an empty feeling in the wallet and a bad taste in the mouth. Hospitals gouge the insurance companies and the insurance companies gouge the insured.  My current policy of which I pay approx. $400 a month for family coverage through my employer goes up every year and their coverage drops likewise.  I am now at $250 co-pay for an emergency room visit and a $4000 per person deductible. Somethings got to give. I'm not saying the public option is the fix, I'm just saying there should be some kind of checks and balances installed.
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Keith13
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« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2009, 09:48:19 AM »

I dont claim to know much of anything, but there has/needs to be some kind of reform in the insurance/medical world.  Being charged $2.00 for a canned coke and $4.50 for an apirin or two while on an overnight stay in the hospital leaves an empty feeling in the wallet and a bad taste in the mouth. Hospitals gouge the insurance companies and the insurance companies gouge the insured.  My current policy of which I pay approx. $400 a month for family coverage through my employer goes up every year and their coverage drops likewise.  I am now at $250 co-pay for an emergency room visit and a $4000 per person deductible. Somethings got to give. I'm not saying the public option is the fix, I'm just saying there should be some kind of checks and balances installed.

But that is an inflated cost for an aspirin. No insurance company pays that cost that is the cost to an uninsured patient paying his own way. Insurance companies have negotiated rates they pay with all different health care providers which are much much lower.

If the govt gets in the insurance business private healthcare will go away plain and simple. no for profit business can compete with the bottomless pockets of a govt business

Keith

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« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2009, 09:53:03 AM »

I dont claim to know much of anything, but there has/needs to be some kind of reform in the insurance/medical world.  Being charged $2.00 for a canned coke and $4.50 for an apirin or two while on an overnight stay in the hospital leaves an empty feeling in the wallet and a bad taste in the mouth. Hospitals gouge the insurance companies and the insurance companies gouge the insured.  My current policy of which I pay approx. $400 a month for family coverage through my employer goes up every year and their coverage drops likewise.  I am now at $250 co-pay for an emergency room visit and a $4000 per person deductible. Somethings got to give. I'm not saying the public option is the fix, I'm just saying there should be some kind of checks and balances installed.

The Checks & Balances you speak of are corrupt, never worked. What the ThinkTanks suggest to lower the cost of healthcare is to eliminate the "Middle Man", Reduce the Fraud and corruption, Increase the Competition, Cap the rewards of malpractice lawsuits, many of which are frivolous by ambulance chasers, kick out the bad docs and practitioners who keep screwing people up time after time, and keep the GOV out of it too ! There's many more areas that need to be addressed before the costs can come down.
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kathyp
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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2009, 10:16:45 AM »

as BH points out, there are a huge number of things that can be done to bring down cost. 

here is a story that was in a medical mag. 

HIV pos woman goes to eye doc.  complains of blurred vision in one eye and mild headache.  doc does exam.  doesn't find anything alarming, but schedules her for a scan the next day.  overnight, she dies of a brain aneurysm.  doc gets sued for 1.5 million and womans husband wins case.


tort reform would help bring down real charges in health care.

we have talked before about the insurance we are paying for that we do not need.  look and see what your state requires of insurance companies.  how many of you guys plan on getting pregnant any time soon?  yet you pay for that coverage.

i can afford to pay for my doc office visits.  my insurance covers that and i can not buy catastrophic only insurance. 

you are stuck with whatever your company provides for you.  if you could shop your own insurance, even if you got some money from your company to do that, think of how competition could bring down cost.  each insurance company would be trying for your dollars.  you business would save money and cost would come down.

i agree that insurance is expensive, but if the companies are getting 2.5 % profit, the problem is not with what they are charging.

and lets face it.  consumers are pretty stupid about how they  use medical.  they can be.  they have turned over all decisions to insurance companies.  that's almost as dumb as turning it over to the government.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2009, 10:29:51 AM »

Much of the time we don't necessarily have a choice as to how we consume medical services.

Recently on vacation my son did something really stupid and broke his wrist.  Being in a strange town the park ranger directed us to the nearest ER.

After a few xrays and spending 3 hours in an ER with a bunch of idiots (who weren't going to be paying) with sniffles, headaches, stomacheaches, they finally splinted his arm and sent us on our way.  We only got out of there in 3 hours because we were going to leave if they didn't get to us really really soon and buy our own stupid splint.

My insurance (my employer because we're self insured) payed more than $1500 for a few xrays and a $5 splint.  What can we do to get that down to the real cost of services when the hospital is forced to treat for free all the doofuses in the ER that should have been in the doctor office? (Where we'd have been if we were at home!!). 

I have a feeling that my insurance payed for the 3 people treated after my son as well.

Rick
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Rick
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2009, 04:07:27 PM »

Don't count me anticapitalist but profit by definition is money left after expenses. - meaning if you wanted to be sneaky you could spend piles on bona-fide expenses (which ultimately come back to you) like office supplies from an office supply company you already own, paying rent to a management firm which you also own - etc. Salaries and perks are legitimate expenses as well. I was none too fond of insurance companies well before that slob michael moore got involved. only because there has been a genuine trend of denying the benefits the claimants actually paid for.
you pay for something - you expect to have it when you need it.
...and then there's workman's comp - I've seen with others what happens when someone is seriously injured and the default into denial mode. - I have very little pity for insurance companies who don't provide the product they are paid for. (when they get sued)
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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2009, 04:16:25 PM »

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only because there has been a genuine trend of denying the benefits the claimants actually paid for.
you pay for something - you expect to have it when you need it.
...and then there's workman's comp - I've seen with others what happens when someone is seriously injured and the default into denial mode. - I have very little pity for insurance companies who don't provide the product they are paid for. (when they get sued)

very true and i have seen this happen with a friend.  on the other hand, insurance companies deal with a huge amount of fraud.  this is especially true of workers comp. 

we can identify problems with the current system.  why not fix those problems rather than pitching the entire system for something that we know will not give us a better level of care, or save money?
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2009, 11:15:00 PM »

my son did something really stupid and broke his wrist. 

I'll comment here - since I did the same thing a few months ago.  I slipped and in catching my fall, I broke my wrist.  It hurt like hell and I was concerned that it could have been torn ligaments, or something that required surgery to fix - so I got it x-rayed at a small clinic. 

The cost was around $15, and this represents 30% of the full charge - with the national health insurance here picking up the balance (or about $35).  Now of course I pay for that insurance - and I just checked - and see that I pay about $380 a month for full family coverage (with 30% self pay) and an annual cap of about $1,000 - over which I get tax reduction at a 40% tax rate (so I pay the additional 60% over that $1,000).

Emergency room service here is not a charge – the x-ray is.  The emergency room is just a location.  We use the same ICD system that is used in the US – and each service has a charge that is standard across providers – meaning that neither doctors nor hospitals determine the charge.  Being a doctor is one of the better paying professions – and they self govern to limit the supply of themselves to keep it that way, so the difference in costs for broken wrist x-rays ($1,500 vs $50) is mind boggling.  Of course I still have to add in that $380 a month for insurance. But this said - I have to wonder if a nationalised system would not be cheaper.
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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2009, 12:45:06 AM »

i think that in a smaller country, you can probably pull of national health care if the people are willing to pay for it.  it's been a long time since i was in japan, but the people didn't impress me as the type who would use the ER for a runny nose.  they do that here and it's a huge problem in england. you don't have the immigration problems we have and i don't think you have a large part of the population with a welfare mentality. 

 japan does have one looming problem.  they are an aging population that is not replacing itself at a rate fast enough to keep up with future needs.  you do not have the immigration that we have, so you are not even replacing your workforce that way.  what happens to  your taxpayer funded systems when the majority  of your population is elderly?
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2009, 12:53:55 AM »

...  use the ER for a runny nose.  ...an aging population ....  what happens to  your taxpayer funded systems when the majority  of your population is elderly?   

Actually - one of the problems here is that the ERs are used for runny noses.  But this helps infant mortality too.  Very good point on the elderly population - what will happen is that taxes will go up, but health care will be provided.  Japan has virtually no welfare - health care and pension system are it.  Lots of people living in tents, and a very high rate of suicide due to job loss.

The US needs a system that works for the US - agreed.

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Paul

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« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2009, 02:28:43 AM »

$1500 X-rays?  $400 deductible?  Here in Canada our all inclusive Medicare has it flaws for certain but please get National health and make it work.
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2009, 05:12:53 AM »

$1500 X-rays?  $400 deductible?  Here in Canada our all inclusive Medicare has it flaws for certain but please get National health and make it work.

Why would I want to pay for someone Else's health care huh this what it is all about, it's not about lowering the cost, which by the way is what we want, it's about paying for those who don't have it, that's Hillary Care, Obama Care, Kennedy Care, whatever the GOV. wants to call it next week, they are trying to pass a system such as one currently operating in the State of Mass. and it's failing miserably. We just have too many folks in this country who don't belong here, don't have jobs, don't want to work, who can't work, too sick to work, etc who don't pay into all the current systems up and running in a free market system ( we have Medicare, Medicaid, Charity Care, Free Clinics for them, but it is abused and corrupted   Are they going to pay into it if and when we have a Government run National Health care system ? NO !  They will bankrupt it in a few years, plain and simple. We have too large of a population for ANY SYSTEM of affordable Health care, let alone the GOV to run it and tax the life out of what is left of taxpayers WORKING in this country. ( BTW, I remind you that for the last 40 years, jobs have gone overseas meaning less jobs here, more people out of work, maybe those corporations ought to pay for our health care )
We just have too many dishonest and unable bodies roaming this Earth. a Government National Health Care System is not the answer for his Country and I know it is not working well for yours because I know a handful of Canadians here who complain about it all the time  Undecided
 
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« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2009, 07:32:34 AM »


Why would I want to pay for someone Else's health care huh
 
You do realize of course that if you have ANY insurance at all, that you are already paying for everyone elses care in the plan already.
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« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2009, 07:41:38 AM »


But that is an inflated cost for an aspirin. No insurance company pays that cost that is the cost to an uninsured patient paying his own way. Insurance companies have negotiated rates they pay with all different health care providers which are much much lower.

Keith


When I was without insurance I found it to be just the opposite. The actual providers of health care, doctors, pharmacies, ect. would CUT the price to the uninsured. It's the seemingly bottomless pit of the insurance company pockets that has lead to widespread price gouging throughout the health care infrastructure - and the fact that quite a few insurers are wholly or partly owned by medical companies (like J&J owns Met Life) that helps spread (and hide) the actual profit numbers. Almost everyone who services the healthcare industry over charges - mark your prices up 400% and then look magnanimous with a 50% discount.
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« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2009, 08:56:37 AM »


Why would I want to pay for someone Else's health care huh
 
You do realize of course that if you have ANY insurance at all, that you are already paying for everyone elses care in the plan already.

You're right, but a small portion of it in my premium, but when I am billed for something that is NOT covered, extra is tacted on just to for THEM to recoup some of the loses. What I do NOT want to see is more taxes to cover more uninsured, again, there is a section of society that thinks they are entitled, I don't mind paying for those that really need it ( Veterans, Retired Workers, First Responders and all others that contribute to our society ) because I have been most of my life. This Obama Care will kill us in the pocket !
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« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2009, 10:04:21 AM »


When I was without insurance I found it to be just the opposite. The actual providers of health care, doctors, pharmacies, ect. would CUT the price to the uninsured. It's the seemingly bottomless pit of the insurance company pockets that has lead to widespread price gouging throughout the health care infrastructure - and the fact that quite a few insurers are wholly or partly owned by medical companies (like J&J owns Met Life) that helps spread (and hide) the actual profit numbers. Almost everyone who services the healthcare industry over charges - mark your prices up 400% and then look magnanimous with a 50% discount.

What I've come to believe (no evidence, just something a doc mentioned in passing once) is that doctors prices went up when insurance companies denied benefits - Kathyp was not wrong in addressing fraud, but the denials seem to extend beyond just the fraudulent claims maybe. so exactly as you've said, the docs raised their price for the care they really are providing to cover the pay refusals by the insurance companies; insurance companies raised their rates because suddenly they were paying higher fees from what they were paying (can't say where the price increase spiral really ends)  It is a certainty that something needs to be done to deal with the increasing prices, leaving the average patient in a cloud of dust, wondering why a band-aid shows up on the bill at $15.
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« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2009, 10:08:29 AM »

Let's also remember that the Doctors (and hospitals) have to pay for astronomical malpractice insurance costs.

Scott
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« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2009, 10:16:11 AM »

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The actual providers of health care, doctors, pharmacies, etc. would CUT the price to the uninsured. It's the seemingly bottomless pit of the insurance company pockets that has lead to widespread price gouging throughout the health care infrastructure


if you pay cash for your care, except in places like HMOs that have set costs, you will pay less than if your insurance pays it.  insurance charges more and pays more for a number of reasons.  while i do not discount the desire for profit, things like risk sharing, covering state mandates, and in oregon they are required to be part of the insurance pool for low income.

if the uninsured cost us a few billion a year, that is a bargain compared to what is being proposed. 

we do not have that many working poor uninsured.  again, we are asking the wrong question.  why is the government so set on having a national health care plan that will fundamentally change the way we get health care.....and i submit, fundamentally change the psychology of this nation.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2009, 01:31:00 PM »

$1500 X-rays?  $400 deductible?  Here in Canada our all inclusive Medicare has it flaws for certain but please get National health and make it work.
It is a $100 deductable vs. $20 at the Dr. office to discourage use of the ER where we(insurance) will end up paying for the services rendered to those who won't or can't pay.  It is a way of making me more responsible for my costs, so I don't go to the ER with a stomacheache. I was merely pointing out one reason for outrageous costs.

I have great healthcare, we normally never use the ER system, preferring to use the awesome network of dr.s and medical facilities that we have in our area.  Even though I may pay more for my medical than those in Canada, I do NOT want what I have now changed. 

At least we din't want to have to wait for 2 weeks for those xrays.  I don't want your system of insurance, thanks anyway.

I think one of the big problems was caused by forcing hospitals to treat anybody that comes in regardless of problem and payment ability.  That forces them to up prices for everybody to pay for those who can't pay, and everybody knows that so they go to the hospital.

There are fixes that are worse than the problem, and they're trying to make one such fix right now.
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« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2009, 02:41:27 PM »

not only that, but canada sends a lot of patients down here for care.  where will we go??
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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