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Author Topic: Medical Bills  (Read 3155 times)
BlueBee
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« on: January 08, 2012, 01:27:48 PM »

We’ve seen in previous posts there is a near universal hatred of Obama’s attempt to keep medical costs in check among beeks.  That’s all great until you get sick and start seeing some real bills these days.  So I’m wondering if any of you out there have any medical cost stories to share?  Good or bad?

Here’s a couple bills hitting close to home this month.  

$41,000 to have a gall bladder removed.  That was what the hospital billed my Dad to have his gall bladder removed in December.  It was a laparoscopic removal.   Yes, insurance covered most of that, but ultimately SOMEBODY paid this exorbitant price.

$887 for a 3month refill of narcolepsy meds.  That was what they wanted from the wife of a friend.  She decided coffee was going to have to replace the meds Smiley
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2012, 01:58:01 PM »

i don't right off the top of my head, but how about 41,000 for a car, and 150 a month for iphone service.  life is about choices!

you can go back and read all of our posts about insurance and how 3rd party medical coverage drives up cost.  you can read about the cost of being sued day in and day out by nutters who believe that if the is a DR at the end of your name, you are wealthy.

if there is any part of that you don't understand from the old posts, i'm sure someone....maybe even I?  will be happy to help you out.
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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 #2 on: January 08, 2012, 02:13:27 PM »

Rather or not you want to buy a $41,000 car is a choice.  Rather or not you have to get an infected Gallbladder removed is not really a choice unless you’re a tea party fanatic. 

When comparing cars to gallbladders you might also consider that it takes thousands of man hours and a lot of raw materials to make a car.  You are paying for labor from thousands of fellow Americans (or Japanese) when you buy a car.  To get a gallbladder removed it takes 1 hour and a team of about 6 people. 

$41,000 for 1 hour of “work”?  This is what you defend?

Car prices are determined by capitalism, medical prices by cronyism and monopolistic practices.   
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buzzbee
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 03:17:21 PM »

Medical bills also are high because of the large staff a hospital requires to comply with government regulations.Lets not think that all that money goes to a team of six. Did some one wash the linens in the hospital? I am assuming it was done in a sterile environment? Was the patient kept warm during the visit?
How many of the nursing staff checked on the patient?
 A lot of what people expect with a stay in the hospital costs money.And to be honest, a doctor still needs a lot more schooling than the guy on the assembly line.I have never heard of a UAW worker needing to carry malpractice insurance,although with some of the lemons produced,maybe they should?

i am guessing nobody spent a lot of money so that a laparoscopic removal is possible. I bet the equipment for the procedure alone is expensive,let alone the time it takes to learn to do it without killing the patient.
Perhaps we should use old surgical methods for removal with a higher risk of failure. Or it least make it a lower cost option?
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 03:28:24 PM »

Quote
Rather or not you have to get an infected Gallbladder removed is not really a choice unless you’re a tea party fanatic.  


not sure i see the connection between the tea party and a gallbladder.  having never been to a tea party event, i may not have heard about it....

Quote
When comparing cars to gallbladders you might also consider that it takes thousands of man hours and a lot of raw materials to make a car.  You are paying for labor from thousands of fellow Americans (or Japanese) when you buy a car.  To get a gallbladder removed it takes 1 hour and a team of about 6 people.


all of whom have 100's of thousands of dollars and "man hours" worth of education, and done in a hospital with millions of dollars of equipment.  also, your 41 thousand for the surgery helps pay for the cost of insurance for every one else and for those who carry no insurance and still get the 41 thousand dollar surgery. every hospital has a staff of lawyers.  every doctor carries malpractice insurance that can be over 100 thousand a year, depending on specialty.

Quote
Car prices are determined by capitalism, medical prices by cronyism and monopolistic practices.  


not so.  a large part of the cost of a car is determined by labor costs.  since there is no market force in labor costs, the market has no impact on that added cost.  labor costs also include legacy cost...also outside market forces.

there is no monopoly in medicine, but because of insurance, there are no market forces.  you buy or are provided insurance, then you go where you are told to go for whatever treatment they will pay for.  you do not have a choice in how or where the money is spent.

  imagine if medical insurance where like car or home insurance.  you buy the kind of catastrophic insurance you feel you need, and pay out of pocket for the routine stuff.  you would shop for care just as you shop for a plumber or mechanic.  you would shop for insurance the same.  then there would be competition for your dollars and cost would be less.  if you paid out of pocket for even more expensive stuff, you could shop for it and it would cost less.

there used to be tons of low cost and free clinics.  doctor used to volunteer many hours in charity work.  there were charity hospitals.  most of this is gone now.  between malpractice insurance costs and the demand that everyone have everything paid for by insurance so everyone can have everything, choices are actually limited for many.
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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: January 08, 2012, 07:53:05 PM »

Yeah, I've got one for you. My wife went into the hospital with chest pains. 24 hours later they said in was indigestion, not her heart. I received a bill for 16,000 plus. I went there and complained. What did they say?? "Why are you worried about it, your ins. will pay it."
Well, when I told them we don't have ins., they said, "Oh, well, just pay 10.00 a month and the gov. will kick in and make it up after a period of time". I told them where to go, and if they ever wanted to see a penny, they would write it fully paid for 5,000. They agreed immediately. If it wasn't for ins., they would likely have diagnosed it immediately as what it was, gave us a bill for 75.00, and it would have been over. Now add that to this........


Subject:       Medicare Insurance (a short MUST read) Big increase coming
 
 
 
 
  Medicare              Insurance (a short MUST read)
 
 
 
Look clearly at the 2014 rate compared to the 2013 rate.
 
For those of you who are on Medicare, read the following. It's short, but
important and you probably haven't heard about it in the Mainstream News:
 
"The per person Medicare Insurance Premium will increase from the present
Monthly Fee of $96.40, rising to:
 
$104.20 in 2012
 
$120.20 in              2013
 
And
 
$247.00 in 2014."
 
These are Provisions incorporated in the Obamacare Legislation,  purposely
delayed so as not to confuse the 2012 Re-Election Campaigns.  Send this to
all Seniors that you know, so they will know who's throwing them under              the
bus.
 
 
How else is the government going to pay for all the
medical care for the illegal aliens.
 

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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 07:58:20 PM »

Bluebee: You probably better be glad Obama care is not fully in place now, the govt. committee may have turned the procedure for your dad down for some reason like he wasn't health enough to waste the money on or was too old or some other reason.

As for the TEA PARTY events I have been to several and have not seen a gallbladder surgery preformed at one yet but you never know about these crazy right wingers.

I was at a Tea Party meeting at our then congressman Bart Gorden's office in Murfessboro TN during the health care debate and a bunch of AFLCIO bullies came after the gathering started and began chest butting the old men and women and shouting with megaphones and caused quiet a stir. But nobody got cut open or anything.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2012, 09:21:59 PM »

I think health insurance is at a crisis point in our country. It hurts employers, it hurts employees (costs skyrocketing) and it hurts the unemployed.

MANY people are involved in a 1-hour operation, but I'm sure there's still fraud and wastefulness and abuse. Sometimes healthcare providers are charging more to insurance to make up for lost payments from Medicare/Medicaid and indigent patients.

We paid out over $11,000 from our own pockets this past year for insurance, premiums, stop-gaps, dental and medication. And we're a healthy family of 4.
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kathyp
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2012, 10:12:38 PM »

yup, it's expensive.  what if you had the option of only paying for the care you needed for the year, and paying much less for a catastrophic insurance policy?  bet you wouldn't spend 11 thousand dollars for the care you used!
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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
BlueBee
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2012, 10:43:55 PM »

It looks to me like our medical care system was originally designed as a ponzi scheme.  New money flows in from healthy young people to pay the repair bills for old people.  Statistically the old people are the ones that get the most care and the young people pay for (subsidize it) through high insurance rates.  

That design might have kept working if we had a lot of young people employed by healthy corporations and paying into the ponzi scheme.  You need a lot of young people’s money to pay for the bills to keep the old people repaired.  Their bills are accelerating at rates way above inflation.

Today we have just to opposite conditions in which this crazy system was invented.  We have less and less young healthy people paying into the system and we have more and more old people with escalating bills to keep them repaired.  The WW2 baby boom is hitting the hospitals.  The old system can’t be sustained; there’s not enough young people paying in.  Don’t the Republicans grasp this obvious state of affairs?

Obama’s solution is to FORCE ALL the young people (and old people) to pay into the ponzi scheme so that we can continuing paying the HUGE bills the old people are racking up.  Personally I would rather see cost cuts than forcing people to pay into a ponzi scheme.  However lacking the ability to cut costs, I don’t see many other viable solutions besides Obama-care.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2012, 11:03:31 PM »

The ironic thing is the people whom are going to benefit the most from Obama care are the older people (Republican demographic) who are vehemently against it.  The people whom are going to get screwed over (ie carry most of the cost burden) by Obama care are the younger people (Democrats) who voted for Obama! 
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kathyp
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2012, 01:35:00 AM »

Quote
It looks to me like our medical care system was originally designed as a ponzi scheme.


no, that's medicare and SSI.  insurance companies are about spreading the cost.  we all pay for each others care rather than paying for what we use or want.


T
Quote
he ironic thing is the people whom are going to benefit the most from Obama care are the older people (Republican demographic) who are vehemently against it.  The people whom are going to get screwed over (ie carry most of the cost burden) by Obama care are the younger people (Democrats) who voted for Obama! 


i'm not sure that's quite accurate.  you have the democrat and republican part kind of right, but not the ages.  it's simple to understand.  democrats, regardless of age, believe it is the governments job to care for all.  some liberal republicans think that too.  conservatives believe that they make better choices  their own needs, and that the free market not only brings down cost, but improves care.

young people tend to be idealistic.  that's not a bad thing.  at some point, it's good to grow up and realize that the world, and people, are not = to your youthful fantasy.  anyone who has had a chance to get a close look at something like the NHS, knows that national health care is a disaster....unless you want to sacrifice good care for "free" care.  a lot of Canadians know that too. that's why so many of them come here to get the care they can't get at home, in spite of the fact that they have one of the better national systems.

and....what the government provides for....it controls.
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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: January 13, 2012, 03:54:56 AM »

Sometimes I feel like a dentist around here…..

Will you at least concede that if less people are paying money into the insurance companies and more people are taking money out (ie huge hospital bills for an aging population), then basic accounting dictates that the rates people are paying are going to (and have been) skyrocketing?  Will you at least give me that?

If so, then how do you see that problem improving in fantasy land when less people are paying and more people are receiving?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2012, 04:19:52 AM »

Maybe there is something with bee keeping that is keeping this demographic more fit than I would expect.  It is hard for me to believe there aren’t more beeks out there with huge medical bills.  I know of a number of people (some in their 20s/30s) with cancer but I do not know the size of the bills the medical system is billing for their care.  I would bet it’s astronomical though.  Just who is paying for all those bills?

The mother of an uncle of mine got in a 1 car accident and hit a rock a couple of years ago.  She’s in her low 90s now.  Completely shattered her already frail legs.  She’s had countless surgeries and re-surgeries.  They’ve put in, and taken out, enough titanium to build a small aircraft.  She’s now in a 24 hour care nursing home.  Obviously there is no way she can pay for all that care.  Who foots the bill in such cases?  Who should foot the bill?  
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iddee
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2012, 07:57:24 AM »

Bluebee, look at the other side of the problem. If you compare prices of most items we use today with their prices 50 years ago, you will find they are 10 to 15 times as much.

If you compare medical prices to the same period, you will find they are astronomical, in comparison. To the tune of a hundred fold or more.

I had a jaw tooth pulled yesterday. It cost me 93 times what it cost when I was a kid. If the ins. were gone or much restricted and the litigation controlled, medical costs would go back to comparing with mainstream prices and the system wouldn't need such gross amounts to survive.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2012, 08:22:15 AM »


I had a jaw tooth pulled yesterday. It cost me 93 times what it cost when I was a kid.

iddee.....

What was you a kid 1927 ?  grin Or are you still a kid Huh

   BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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kathyp
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2012, 11:18:58 AM »

Quote
Will you at least concede that if less people are paying money into the insurance companies and more people are taking money out (ie huge hospital bills for an aging population), then basic accounting dictates that the rates people are paying are going to (and have been) skyrocketing?  Will you at least give me that?

If so, then how do you see that problem improving in fantasy land when less people are paying and more people are receiving?

under those circumstances, it can't improve.  you are assuming that we continue to allow people to be served for free.  i am saying that they should not.  get rid of the federal medicare/medicaid programs.  allow states to do what they think is best for those in poverty...and i would suggest an insurance pool that has low cost coverage that the poor BUY at a lower cost.  understand that everyone can't have everything and that shouldn't be a problem.  the state programs are already rationed care.

there are 3 things that could be done right now to lower cost.  get rid of insurance mandates.  this would lower the cost of insurance for those who want it.  do tort reform.  then encourage cash based clinics, which are already popular in many areas, and encourage charity medical care.  much of this must be done on a state by state basis, but that is as it should be.

Quote
I know of a number of people (some in their 20s/30s) with cancer but I do not know the size of the bills the medical system is billing for their care.  I would bet it’s astronomical though.  Just who is paying for all those bills?

you are.  that's what happens when you spread cost across all care. 


Quote
Completely shattered her already frail legs.  She’s had countless surgeries and re-surgeries.  They’ve put in, and taken out, enough titanium to build a small aircraft.  She’s now in a 24 hour care nursing home.  Obviously there is no way she can pay for all that care.  Who foots the bill in such cases?  Who should foot the bill? 


again, you are.  if people paid for catastrophic coverage out of pocket...what they thought they needed....those in that insurance pool would be covering it.  it would be your choice to get into that or not.  if you didn't, the care should be paid out of pocket, or done by a charity organization. 

look at this this way.  if you don't pay for what you need, your care is rationed by you.  if the insurance company, or the government doesn't pay, your care is rationed by them.  i'd rather make my own choices about my care.

the fantasy is that everyone can have everything and someone else will pay.  it doesn't work....anywhere. 
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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
BlueBee
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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2012, 01:55:21 PM »

You seem to be under the illusion that the insurance “pool” has enough people and money to keep paying for all the bills indefinitely.  The insurance pool is feed by real people making real wages and those wages have been flat lined relative to inflation for 30 years for most people.  Medical costs have never been flat lined though, they keep going up at rates way beyond inflation.

So when costs are raising at rates beyond what the pool can sustain, and the number of people feeding the pool is decreasing (un-employment), you have a system that can’t be sustained.

The pool isn’t some magical ATM machine than can just print money like the fed.

I agree with Iddee that the fundamental problem is the medical community lives in their own little world and believes they are entitled to charge whatever astronomical fee for their “labor” as they want.  Since they’ve got the system rigged to prevent competition (limits on med schools, entry fees, litigatin, etc), the cost part of the problem is not going to go away.
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2012, 02:05:16 PM »

i can remember, years ago, getting injured at work.

i saw the bill for one ER visit was $1200 for what amounted to a glorified band aid, luckily the company paid for it, and this was like 15 years ago
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iddee
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2012, 02:29:04 PM »

""Since they’ve got the system rigged to prevent competition (limits on med schools, entry fees, litigatin, etc), the cost part of the problem is not going to go away.""

No, they've got the system rigged to believe in private ins., backed up by gov. ins. Either way, the patient doesn't have to pay, so doesn't care what it cost.

Put the bill back on the patient and you will see empty doctor's offices advertizing for clients instead of waiting 3 months for an appointment. The prices will go down to balance with the rest of the economy.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
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