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  1. #1741  
    Yup, health insurance companies are purely parasitic. They bring nothing to health care and simply siphon off money.

    Please note that in most other industrialized nations it is against the law for health insurance companies to make a profit.
  2. #1742  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    Yup, health insurance companies are purely parasitic. They bring nothing to health care and simply siphon off money.

    Please note that in most other industrialized nations it is against the law for health insurance companies to make a profit.
    Thank God I live in this country! Oh oh....is it okay to mention God in here?
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  3. #1743  
    Quote Originally Posted by clemgrad85 View Post
    Thank God I live in this country! Oh oh....is it okay to mention God in here?
    Why? Or are you making stereotypical assumptions again? Would be interesting to know what Jesus would think of this discussion regarding the poor and the sick, wouldn't it?
  4. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #1744  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    Yup, health insurance companies are purely parasitic. They bring nothing to health care and simply siphon off money.

    Please note that in most other industrialized nations it is against the law for health insurance companies to make a profit.
    What value does government bring to healthcare? None, they take X dollars and give back less than X dollars. They are a net negative.

    So, what's the solution? Minimize both government and insurance companies--that's my preference. Of course the difference between the two is that no one forces me to give my money to insurance companies. Government takes whatever they want.

    You don't like insurance companies. Ok, don't use them. Is anyone forcing you to buy health insurance? Of course, I'm not sure if you have health insurance--I'm speaking about anyone. Get all your friends to do the same, and pretty soon, you won't have health insurance companies. Don't do business with them--that's completely your choice.

    Let me ask you daThomas--do you have health insurance? If so, why? If they bring nothing--meaning they have no value and no benefit, then why would you (or anyone) have health insurance at all?

    Are you really claiming that hundreds of millions of people pay hundreds of dollars a month for NOTHING?

    KAM
    Last edited by KAM1138; 09/09/2009 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Additional Point
  5. #1745  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    Why? Or are you making stereotypical assumptions again? Would be interesting to know what Jesus would think of this discussion regarding the poor and the sick, wouldn't it?
    Yes....yes it would. When I took a course at our church on money in our lives, while they did discuss tithing, there was also quite a bit of info on being wise with one's money. I'll be on the look out for what Jesus thought about Caesar or government providing everything for everyone. I think if one does provide support for the poor and sick it is something Jesus would be quite happy with and would support. I was helping folks just last night pack food packages for children and I think Jesus would be quite pleased with that use of my time. Oh, that had nothing to do with the government, by the way.
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  6. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #1746  
    Quote Originally Posted by clemgrad85 View Post
    Yes....yes it would. When I took a course at our church on money in our lives, while they did discuss tithing, there was also quite a bit of info on being wise with one's money. I'll be on the look out for what Jesus thought about Caesar or government providing everything for everyone. I think if one does provide support for the poor and sick it is something Jesus would be quite happy with and would support. I was helping folks just last night pack food packages for children and I think Jesus would be quite pleased with that use of my time. Oh, that had nothing to do with the government, by the way.
    To my knowledge Jesus didn't advocate government forcibly taking money from people and giving it to others. That's not a virtue. Choosing to give your own money to someone else is a virtue.

    Of course, since when does morality or virtue have a role in government? We aren't allowed to force our moral views on others now are we?

    KAM
  7. #1747  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    Why? Or are you making stereotypical assumptions again? Would be interesting to know what Jesus would think of this discussion regarding the poor and the sick, wouldn't it?
    I have to add one more comment to this.....and that is I find it interesting that some folks believe that it is the Christian thing to give money (aka, taxes) to the government to let them (government) decide what is the best thing to do. In this country, we seem to applaud the giving of tax dollars (you know, our patriotic duty) while looking down at the giving of money or time directly to charities that we (as individuals) feel is a better use of our money.

    I've said this before, I think folks who believe that the government is best at deciding who to help should voluntarily give more when they pay their taxes! How awesome would that be? Liberals, who want to allow the government to hand out money, could contribute an additional 5%, 10% or more to Uncle Sam! This would allow liberals the chance to feel good about themselves and those of us that feel we are better at choosing worthy charities (Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, and other local charities) can feel good as well. The best thing about this is you can do this now! You can give the government more of your money! It would be a "win win" for everyone!

    EDIT: By the way....I would like to applaud (sincerely) the doctor in here for the giving of his time. Again, I say that sincerely with no sarcasm, for his giving of time to help sick people for free. That, to me, is what this country is about....volunteers helping others while asking nothing in return.
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  8. #1748  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    I realize it's fashionable this time around to make the insurance carriers the demons (last time was the pharmaceutical industry, but apparently they get a pass this time), but why exactly is it any less a conflict of interest for a doctor to be advocating a pro or con position?
    No even though David is right about insurance reform being sorely overdue, doctors organizations deserve no free pass here. Seems to me that, desipte their lip service otherwise, the AMA is far more concerned with protecting doctors salaries than about the care their patients get. And I am glad you brought up pharmacy companies. I am really sick of all the money they spend on direct patient to pharma advertising for lifestyle drugs. Not feeling 'happy' enough? Want to maintain an ******** for four hours? Talk to your doctor. If they did not spend all that money enticing people to buy drugs they don't neccessarily need, or money priming politicians, or money bribing doctors with dinners ans samples, our drugs would be a he'll of a lot cheaper. Insurance is the biggest pig at the rising health care cost trough but pharma is getting their snout in too and the AMA is lcking what gets onvthe floor. Thats how I see it. And onething I can't understand is when conservatives start going on about the need for tort reform to keep those poor doctors from goIng out of business but with the next argument saying doctors are too rich and we need to go after them instead of the insurance companies. If anyone can explian that one yo me I would be much obliged.
  9. #1749  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    I realize it's fashionable this time around to make the insurance carriers the demons (last time was the pharmaceutical industry, but apparently they get a pass this time), but why exactly is it any less a conflict of interest for a doctor to be advocating a pro or con position?
    And Toby, I'm still Hoping you'll share something funny with us. Underneath that icy analytical cover I know there's got to be a wild and crazy guy! How bout a joke to lighten stuff up?
  10. #1750  
    Quote Originally Posted by E.LesterBrown View Post
    No even though David is right about insurance reform being sorely overdue, doctors organizations deserve no free pass here. Seems to me that, desipte their lip service otherwise, the AMA is far more concerned with protecting doctors salaries than about the care their patients get. And I am glad you brought up pharmacy companies. I am really sick of all the money they spend on direct patient to pharma advertising for lifestyle drugs. Not feeling 'happy' enough? Want to maintain an ******** for four hours? Talk to your doctor. If they did not spend all that money enticing people to buy drugs they don't neccessarily need, or money priming politicians, or money bribing doctors with dinners ans samples, our drugs would be a he'll of a lot cheaper. Insurance is the biggest pig at the rising health care cost trough but pharma is getting their snout in too and the AMA is lcking what gets onvthe floor. Thats how I see it. And onething I can't understand is when conservatives start going on about the need for tort reform to keep those poor doctors from goIng out of business but with the next argument saying doctors are too rich and we need to go after them instead of the insurance companies. If anyone can explian that one yo me I would be much obliged.
    I'll take a crack at it. In my mind, Tort Reform is not just about the premiums that doctors pay...which obviously effects the practice "overhead"....but also will attack the "defensive medicine" issues that doctors are forced into. Now Obama attacked medical doctors for performing procedures when they simply weren't needed at all (the sore throat being treated with a tonsillectomy example and the crazy example of cutting diabetic's feet off example...what was that about?), but I think what Tort Reform will help in is stopping doctors from having to make medical recommendations (additional testing for example) just to protect their rear end. Like my doctor recommending a Thallium Stress Test. She was not a Cardiologist, saw something odd on my EKG, and advised this test. When I went to the Cardiologist who specializes in this area, he did not feel the test was necessary therefore saving me (not the insurance company in this case, but me) $2100. I told both physicians I was willing to spend the money if it was needed, but the specialist deemed it not necessary. This reduces medical "waste". So Tort Reform is more about, I believe, helping in the "defensive" medicine area. I know the doctor will chime in and likely correct me (typed with a smile doc), but that is how I see it. Does that help at all Les?
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  11. #1751  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    By no means do pharmaceutical companies get a pass. They are worse abusers of the system than anyone....but at least they provide a service....drugs.
    No, they provide a product.
    Insurance companies provide nothing.
    They provide networks with pre-negotiated pricing and coverage in most cases. Not exactly nothing. While I do think that the insurance industry could certainly use some reform (if not outright elimination), they do provide a service. If one had to hit every doctor's office and hospital and shop around on every little procedure, one could certainly spend quite a bit of time and effort.
    If I were lobbying to increase doctor's reimbursements at the expense of the money going to insurance companies, you should ignore what I say.
    You're falling prey to binary thinking. Just because I said that doctors had skin in the game does not mean I think what they say should be ignored. Quite the contrary. At most I'm saying that a doctor's perspective is going to be just as subject to biases and anecdotal evidence as anyone else's.
    I am not saying that at all. If anything, I would suggest that the reimbursements be more equalized between subspecialists and primary care docs so that students have a realistic choice for repaying their loans if they choose to go into primary care.
    I can understand your having that perspective given your chosen path.
    It is ridiculous for an ophthalmologist to be paid $10K for a 30 minute cataract procedure when a primary care doc can spend an hour and a half with a patient and get reimbursed $50 or less. If we need primary care docs, and everyone seems to think we do, then make that career more appealing.
    But I thought that health care shouldn't be about profit?
    That is simply changing reimbursement criteria; it's not lobbying for more money to go to physicians.
    It certainly is. It's just being circuitous about it.
    I think enough already goes to physicians, and I think too much goes to some. Does that make me seem biased toward physicians?
    No, it makes you seem biased towards your own position based on your anecdotal experiences. Your way of expressing it makes you seem dismissive of any other positions.
    You can like it or not, but my bias is toward cost-effective care for every person in the US.
    Maybe the private sector has some innovative ways to make that happen.
    I don't much care about what doctors say, or what people who work for insurance companies say, or what pharmaceutical companies say. I am sick of seeing patients with unexpected diseases pushed to bankruptcy, even when they have insurance. I'll just say it again....not one of you who are opposed to universal coverage have ever been rendered pennyless by a simple surgical procedure, otherwise I guarantee you'd feel differently.
    So, you're saying that we should listen to anecdotal evidence, but only when it's the anecdotal evidence that leads us to agree with your position.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  12. #1752  
    Quote Originally Posted by E.LesterBrown View Post
    And Toby, I'm still Hoping you'll share something funny with us. Underneath that icy analytical cover I know there's got to be a wild and crazy guy! How bout a joke to lighten stuff up?
    Crazy's debatable, but I'm not usually particularly wild. That being said, I'm not particularly icy either. Reserved and even, yes. Analytical, almost to a fault. Regardless, I thought I had posted this joke, but may have gone to do it after the other thread was deleted. It's an old joke that I've modernized a little with the amounts and terminology (CDs didn't exist when I first heard it).

    Little Johnny was sitting in class and heard his teacher saying that they were going to discuss theory vs. reality in class the next day. Being a conscientious student, Little Johnny went ask his dad about it.

    His dad thought a bit and said, "This is probably better explained by a demonstration. Why don't you go ask your mom if she'd have sex with the neighbor for $100,000?" Little Johnny didn't quite understand but went ask his mom who replied, "Wow, that would pay off our house with money left over to take a vacation. I'd definitely have to consider it."

    Little Johnny told his dad, and his dad said, "Now go ask your sister the same question." Little Johnny ran and asked his sister who replied, "Wow, I could buy a new car, pay for college, and buy all kinds of CDs. Yeah, I'd do it."

    Again Little Johnny reported to his dad, but said "I don't get it Dad.. What's this have to do with theory and reality?" His dad said, "Simple, Johnny. In theory, we're sitting on a gold mine here. In reality, we're living with a couple of whores."
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  13. #1753  
    Quote Originally Posted by E.LesterBrown View Post
    If they did not spend all that money enticing people to buy drugs they don't neccessarily need, or money priming politicians, or money bribing doctors with dinners ans samples, our drugs would be a he'll of a lot cheaper.
    Yes and no. There is also the factor of price controls elsewhere to consider. Just like non-paid emergency room fees are subsidized by the people who pay their bills, countries who don't price control their drugs wind up subsidizing those who do.
    Insurance is the biggest pig at the rising health care cost trough but pharma is getting their snout in too and the AMA is lcking what gets onvthe floor. Thats how I see it.
    Then eliminate insurance. The problem is ultimately that people are wanting more and more services for less and less direct cost. Get rid of the disconnect between the payer and the provider. Make the doctors set a reasonable fee that their patients can afford, because if they can't set such a fee they won't have any patients. Make the people making poor health choices have to pay for them directly. If your choice is between health care and that two pack a day cigarette habit or that daily McDonald's habit, why should the government be taking from me to give to you?
    And onething I can't understand is when conservatives start going on about the need for tort reform to keep those poor doctors from goIng out of business but with the next argument saying doctors are too rich and we need to go after them instead of the insurance companies. If anyone can explian that one yo me I would be much obliged.
    Given that I'm not particularly a conservative in the current usage of the term and have not made those arguments, I'd have a hard time explaining them. I think tort reform would contribute to reducing costs from the perspective of doctor's not passing the cost of malpractice insurance to their patients in the form of higher fees, but I certainly don't feel any sympathy towards doctors because of it.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  14. #1754  
    Apparently a doctor from Louisiana, Republican Boustany, will be giving the response to Obama's address tonight. I have to be reminded every once-in-awhile that not every doctor agrees with davidra's opinion on healthcare. It will be refreshing to hear what another doctor has to say.
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  15. #1755  
    Quote Originally Posted by clemgrad85 View Post
    I'll take a crack at it. In my mind, Tort Reform is not just about the premiums that doctors pay...which obviously effects the practice "overhead"....but also will attack the "defensive medicine" issues that doctors are forced into. Now Obama attacked medical doctors for performing procedures when they simply weren't needed at all (the sore throat being treated with a tonsillectomy example and the crazy example of cutting diabetic's feet off example...what was that about?), but I think what Tort Reform will help in is stopping doctors from having to make medical recommendations (additional testing for example) just to protect their rear end. Like my doctor recommending a Thallium Stress Test. She was not a Cardiologist, saw something odd on my EKG, and advised this test. When I went to the Cardiologist who specializes in this area, he did not feel the test was necessary therefore saving me (not the insurance company in this case, but me) $2100. I told both physicians I was willing to spend the money if it was needed, but the specialist deemed it not necessary. This reduces medical "waste". So Tort Reform is more about, I believe, helping in the "defensive" medicine area. I know the doctor will chime in and likely correct me (typed with a smile doc), but that is how I see it. Does that help at all Les?
    I know many people think that, but I am convinced that "defensive" medicine is largely an illusion. I think there are many more doctors who order things out of ignorance about evidence of efficacy in the literature, and I also think that a significant part of this is a few doctors that order stuff for financial gain, always with some justification on their part. Why didn't the second person recommend your thallium scan? The cardiologist would be just as likely to get sued as the primary care doc if you had a heart attack walking out of his office, right? Yet he knew the operating characteristics of the test enough to know that in your situation, it would not be helpful. Unfortunately there are no absolutes in clinical decision-making. Like it or not, every time you see a doctor, they are using probability in some way to deal with the uncertainty involved in testing. The fact is that you wouldn't want, and we coudn't afford, to absolutely rule out cardiac disease in everyone who is suspected of having it. Lots of people would be harmed by the catheterization needed to completely rule it out. So doctors do the best they can, based on experience and the literature. But some are not as familiar with the literature as they might be, in many cases because they are too busy. I have no problem with tort reform at all. In fact, if that would drag some republicans along, I'd be all for it. But it won't, nothing will at this point. To make the right decisions in your case, the physician should have had to justify why she wanted to do the test before it was paid for. And rational, reasonable guidelines exist for that. They are, of course, optional and not required, and that right there is one reason for spiralling costs. But does the doc actually sit there and say "if I don't do this scan I could get sued"? Not in my experience. It's more a culture of wanting to know things that may not actually benefit the patient. Like I said, page through some of the work that AHRQ does if you want to see the way it should be done.
  16. #1756  
    Quote Originally Posted by clemgrad85 View Post
    Apparently a doctor from Louisiana, Republican Boustany, will be giving the response to Obama's address tonight. I have to be reminded every once-in-awhile that not every doctor agrees with davidra's opinion on healthcare. It will be refreshing to hear what another doctor has to say.
    Good. I just hope he doesn't make crap up, which is likely. Then you can listen to Howard Dean as well. Doctors are generally no less diverse than everyone else.
    Last edited by davidra; 09/09/2009 at 07:04 PM.
  17. #1757  
    Quote Originally Posted by E.LesterBrown View Post
    No even though David is right about insurance reform being sorely overdue, doctors organizations deserve no free pass here. Seems to me that, desipte their lip service otherwise, the AMA is far more concerned with protecting doctors salaries than about the care their patients get. And I am glad you brought up pharmacy companies. I am really sick of all the money they spend on direct patient to pharma advertising for lifestyle drugs. Not feeling 'happy' enough? Want to maintain an ******** for four hours? Talk to your doctor. If they did not spend all that money enticing people to buy drugs they don't neccessarily need, or money priming politicians, or money bribing doctors with dinners ans samples, our drugs would be a he'll of a lot cheaper. Insurance is the biggest pig at the rising health care cost trough but pharma is getting their snout in too and the AMA is lcking what gets onvthe floor. Thats how I see it. And onething I can't understand is when conservatives start going on about the need for tort reform to keep those poor doctors from goIng out of business but with the next argument saying doctors are too rich and we need to go after them instead of the insurance companies. If anyone can explian that one yo me I would be much obliged.
    Wouldn't really argue with anything you say, especially about drug companies as I have written and talked about that for some time. While I certainly don't like the AMA's stand on the public option, there is no question that they support universal health care for all. As I said in an earlier post, last month I spent some time with the president-elect of the AMA and we talked about it. I criticized them for not being more vocal and public about their support for universal care and was handed some BS about how that's not how they see their role. And specifically, he said the reason he doesn't favor a public option is that it hasn't really worked in many states where it was implemented as people didn't chose it. However, he also said that if a public option is implemented, the AMA has a number of suggestions as to how to do it fairly and rationally. While I don't agree with much of that, given that the AMA fought for years to suffocate Medicare, I consider their support of universal coverage to be a very positive thing. Could be better, but at least they're not opposed to substantial reform....like republicans.
  18. #1758  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    Good. I just hope he doesn't make crap up, which is likely. Then you can listen to Howard Dean as well. Doctors are generally no less diverse than everyone else.
    Oh I know.....but since you are a doctor, and since you have such a strong conviction for your beliefs on the subject matter and, whether you want to admit or not, are not very flexible on your view points....it often seems as if all doctors think the same way as you. So, I'll be anxious to see what Dr. Boustany says. When you say "I just hope he doesn't make crap up", leads me to believe that anything he says you will likely disagree with. Of course, I will also likely disagree with about anything Obama has to say.....so.....not sure what tonight is all about....other than another Obama speech (yawn)....who knows....maybe he'll surprise me
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  19. #1759  
    Quote Originally Posted by clemgrad85 View Post
    Apparently a doctor from Louisiana, Republican Boustany, will be giving the response to Obama's address tonight. I have to be reminded every once-in-awhile that not every doctor agrees with davidra's opinion on healthcare. It will be refreshing to hear what another doctor has to say.
    Boustany is a retired specialist (cardio surgeon IIRC), so I'd expect his perspective to be different. Although I didn't vote for him, Bill Cassidy is probably a stellar example of a doctor-politician. It's hard to impeach his credentials.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  20. #1760  
    Well....I have to be up at 4:45 to hit the pool @ 5:30, so can't respond to too much of the Prez....but.....having listened to both Obama and Boustany, doesn't seem like much has changed.

    Certainly he said things that most people can agree on....and that is getting people covered without pre-ex conditions (good)....that you can't build a new system from scratch at this point and we should build on what works and fix that which doesn't (good)....trying to get coverage for those that can't afford it (certainly good).....and I think he wanted to open up more competition, but wasn't sure whether he was for or against the public option???? A little confused on that one. But.....I'm not buying certain aspects like how to pay for it.

    One thing that was interesting was when he said to not cover everyone is irresponsible and it affects us all. I can't argue that, but isn't it irresponsible to smoke?....to drink too much?....to eat at McDonalds everyday (not against McDonalds, own their stock!)....to drink soft drinks?....to not exercise? If we can force people to go on health insurance (or pay a fine?), should we also prohibit tobacco? (let me know in advance so I can sell my MO stock), alcohol?, junk food?, and mandate exercise?

    Anyway....still a lot of questions and will be interesting to see if he really works with Republicans. I loved his comment about "significant details to work out"....and also enjoyed watching Pilosi when that one guy yelled out "Liar!" (I think that is what he said). Okay....bed time....I'll be swimming to stay healthy....will everyone else agree to workout and do your part to stay healthy? Anyone????
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