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Forum topic by Grumpy posted 08-22-2008 03:04 AM 2559 views 2 times favorited 130 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Grumpy

19709 posts in 2602 days


08-22-2008 03:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: health insurance health insurance

I watched a video called ‘Sicko’ yesterday. It’s a documentary about the American health system done by a US resident that had health issues. The picture he painted about the health system was pretty bleak. People being turned away & refused treatment because they had no insurance cover & insurance companies going to great lengths to discredit claims.
Is this a true situation or is it greatly exaggerated?. Has anyone seen this Doco.?

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python


130 replies so far

View ChicoWoodnut's profile

ChicoWoodnut

904 posts in 2566 days


#1 posted 08-22-2008 03:25 AM

I have worked in Healthcare for 25 years. It is both true and exaggerated.

1. Yes, Health insurance companies go to lengths to keep from paying claims.

2. Yes people get turned away because they can’t pay. Then they get really sick and ultimately get treated. The treatment isn’t free, the institution passes the cost on to people who can pay.

3. People are driven into poverty by tragic illnesses. My father in law was a (very) small business owner. He could not afford health insurance. His wife caught pneumonia and ultimately died. He was left with a $200,000 hospital bill for a 4 week stay in an intensive care ward. His only choice was bankruptcy.

Is it as bad as the movie portrays? Probably not. But we could do better.

-- Scott - Chico California http://chicowoodnut.home.comcast.net

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15807 posts in 2969 days


#2 posted 08-22-2008 03:49 AM

Scott is right, Grumpy. We have major problems, but probably not so bad as that movie shows.

The problem as I see it is that insurance has gotten so expensive that many working people can’t or won’t pay for it. Then when they get injured or seriously ill, they do end up getting treatment, and that makes the price go up for those who are paying.

As much as I distrust the government to manage anything properly, IMO we need a system where every working person pays in through an automatic deduction from their pay, just like social security. If everyone payed into the system, there would be enough to cover everyone’s care.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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JimB

35 posts in 2629 days


#3 posted 08-22-2008 04:20 AM

Right now I pay 25 percent of my income for health insurance. I need to because of my health problems. 4 weeks ago I had my 5th heart procedure. My meds are outrageous in cost, but ins covers most with co-pays.
I am one of the lucky ones, because a lot of my costs are covered. My last procedure, 28 hours in the hospital, for one stent, 11,000 dollars. Thats without costs from 2 specialists that have not come in yet.
Could our system be better, absolutely. Is it going to get there? Not with the politicians in this country.

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19709 posts in 2602 days


#4 posted 08-22-2008 04:43 AM

Thanks Chico & Charlie. We have a system down here that a lot of people complain about but at least if you are really sick ithe hospital will cost you nothing but you still pay your local GP or dentist. It does come out of everybody’s income tax though. The trick is to go in as a public patient if you can & the cost is nil.
If you want non essential treatment like cosmetic surgery or dental work you have to pay for it. If you want to choose the best specialist yourself for a heart operation or get in front of the waiting list you pay for it.
My wife & I have private health insurance to avoid the risks of not being treated ASAP. I am not denigrating the public health system over here but like anywhere if you want quick service you pay for it.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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Grumpy

19709 posts in 2602 days


#5 posted 08-22-2008 04:48 AM

Jim, sorry to hear your plight. 25% of your income, that really sucks.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Praki's profile

Praki

196 posts in 2748 days


#6 posted 08-22-2008 05:28 AM

Yeah, I saw that documentary. Michael Moore exaggerates to draw attention which makes it easy for the skeptical to dismiss it. It is also hard for people to really understand where the health system in our country really stands. I have heard, anecdote of course, of better and broader coverage in European countries. But, I have seen quite a few people put up with significant health problems for lack of coverage.

We definitely need improvements in healthcare. People going bankrupt for health care shouldn’t be happening in the richest country in the world.

-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

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lew

10161 posts in 2506 days


#7 posted 08-22-2008 05:40 AM

$1253.00 a month. No Dentist. No Eye Coverage. On a retired income.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Grumpy

19709 posts in 2602 days


#8 posted 08-22-2008 05:48 AM

Praki & Lew, looks like we all have some issues with health systems.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile

lazyfiremaninTN

528 posts in 2704 days


#9 posted 08-22-2008 06:03 AM

Working Pre-Hospital and having worked in the E.R. and a Doctor’s office, I can say that the health care system is most definately broken. I have seen people think that the E.R. is used for primary care and the Primary Care Doctors send patients to the E.R. for things that they just don’t want to deal with.

Another reason that people use the E.R. for primary care is that there is a law that says that any person that comes to the E.R. is subject to a medical screening and treatment for life threating emergencies, regaurdless of race, religion, creed, color, or ability to pay.

Peoples opions of what EMS is for is so screwed up its sad. I can share stories that will make you laugh and cry, like the time that I was called out at 2 am for “my left testicle is bigger than my right”, when asked how long this had been going on and he said 3-4 months. I asked how much he had to drink and he said about a case.

I was called out for a “tick bite” and when we got there I found out the tick bite was 2 weeks old and he thought he has “Q fever”. I asked where he had heard of “Q” fever and he said that he read it in a book. I asked him if he had been to Africa lately, and he advised me that he had never been out of the state (he was in his 40’s). He was rather shocked to learn that “Q” fever is an Africa bush disease…..by the way he had about a 12 pack to drink if not more.

These are just 2 stories of the hundreds if not thousands that are taking place everyday in the U.S. health care system.

-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

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Grumpy

19709 posts in 2602 days


#10 posted 08-22-2008 06:07 AM

Interesting stories Adrian. Never a dull moment in your job.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View ChicoWoodnut's profile

ChicoWoodnut

904 posts in 2566 days


#11 posted 08-22-2008 06:09 AM

Adrian hit the nail on the head when he said “people use the E.R. for primary care is that there is a law that says that any person that comes to the E.R. is subject to a medical screening and treatment for life threating emergencies, regaurdless of race, religion, creed, color, or ability to pay”. Physicians offices often send to the E.R. not only because they just don’t want to deal with it, they send them because the person has no insurance and can’t afford to pay for the treatment. So people end up in the Emergency room simply because it ends up being their only choice.

-- Scott - Chico California http://chicowoodnut.home.comcast.net

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3971 posts in 2815 days


#12 posted 08-22-2008 06:40 AM

I think the system is as Adrian said…broken. Docs having to add unnecessary tests so that visits are covered under ‘Diagnostic Related Groupings”, insurance company nurses and bean counters practicing medicine in pre-certifying hospitalization or denying same before a M.D. has even seen the patient. Cures that take place miraculously on the day your insurance for that visit run out. New mothers and babies discharged before either are ready to assume activities of daily living. Ninety percent of vital signs and bedside care handled by unlicensed health care workers (two weeks of medical terminology classes and knowing which end to stick the thermometer in does not give a person the tools to provide safe or adequate care). It’s a mess. I don’t know what the answer is, but it does seem a shame that the US, one of the world’s richest nations, doesn’t have better provisions for the care of it’s citizens or it’s soldiers.

Micheal Moore does play loose with some of the facts and over-dramatizes, but if it shines a light and causes discussion to ensue then I think he has done his job.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6702 posts in 2731 days


#13 posted 08-22-2008 01:29 PM

Hi all,

As has been said, it is very expensive to have, and inconvenient to use.

But in spite of that, with the cost of a medical treatment being what it is, it’s almost a necessity to put up with it if you can afford it.

I almost think of it as a monthly payment plan, for the pleasure of getting sick anytime I want.

Not having studied the situation I don’t have any answers on how to fix it, but I do know if the government gets involved, we’re screwed.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View lew's profile

lew

10161 posts in 2506 days


#14 posted 08-22-2008 03:20 PM

The high cost of health care can be summed up in two words- Government; Lawyers

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Josh's profile

Josh

119 posts in 2689 days


#15 posted 08-22-2008 03:36 PM

I seen the movie and it had(has) me ready to jump the pond. You don’t want to be sick in the US. Hopefully our next president fixes the system. If you haven’t seen the movie it should be must see. The part that got me is everyone in the movie had insurance. very sad.

The poorest person in France will love longer then the richest in the US on average.

“Not having studied the situation I don’t have any answers on how to fix it, but I do know if the government gets involved, we’re screwed.”

I’m not sure. It is working overseas. The doctors actually get bonuses on how healthy there patients are. They get bonuses for lowering blood pressure and getting you to stop smoking to mention a few. The doctors don’t make as much but they are not hurting either. Plus they actually care how you feel. The system we have now is so bad I see no other option. The problem is taxes would go up and no one is every cool with that. I can understand your feelings to. That is why we have looked at moving overseas. This country won’t fix the problem if it means more taxes. Seems crazy that people would rather die at a younger age then pay more taxes. But when our government waste so much of our money it is hard to give them more to play with.

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