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Author Topic: Medical Crisis in the USA
Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 1200

Icon 1 posted September 03, 2008 21:43      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you believe the way the medical industry is managed in the USA is great because of the profit motive, and the government can't do any better in managing it, then you are mistaken.

Today, the medical insurance industry is taking a healthy cut out of your health care fees and they are doing a much worse job than the US government does on its worst day.

Don't believe me? Let's compare hospital aspirin to US Government boondoggle hammers.

Cost of Hospital Aspirin: $10.
http://www.allhealth.org/briefing_detail.asp?bi=72

Cost of one Walgreen's aspirin: $.015.
http://www.walgreens.com/store/product.jsp?CATID=304744&id=prod378653

The cost of the hospital aspirin is 667 times more than what I pay for it at Walgreens! Wow!

Now, let's look at that infamous $400 hammer the Pentagon purchased a few years back (and remember what a scandal that was).
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1998/12/21/252693/index.htm

Then, we'll go to Lowe's and buy a good hammer (we wanna good one, because we support the troops). Cost: $29.99
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productList&Ne=4294967294&category=Hammers&N=4294950515

The boondoggle hammer only costs 13 times more than the Lowe's hammer.

If 13 times cost is a government boondoggle, then what is the 667 times cost at the local hospital? It's the untold shame of America.

Or in other words, it's Republican rank-and-file stupidity, and absolute corruption in the highest places.

You see, what you aren't being told is that the the 667 times markup goes to pay for the medical bills of the uninsured and bankrupt. But more tragically it goes to pay the inflated salaries of Health Care Administrators, Health Insurance
Executives and their employees.

How bad is health care administrative cost?

An MBA who administers the business of Health Care makes gobs more money than the physicians you hire to make you better. A sad truth.

Average starting salary of MBA medical administrator $88,000
http://degreedirectory.org/articles/Health_Care_Administration__Master's_Degree_Program.html

(You'll have to add "(MBA)" between "Administration_" and "_Master's" , because Snaggy hates this link - - hey he has Canadian medical insurance, why should he care?)

Average starting salary of MD: $44,000
http://mdsalaries.blogspot.com/2005/10/residency-salaries.html

While the Physician can heal you, that MBA has the power to deny a claim and kill you. And the Republicans in the USA have made it illegal for you to sue the jerk who denied your rightful claim. That's right, in the USA, you have no right to enforce a contract with your insurance company, because Republicans have created a government that gets on your back if you do.

Of course, these are the same Republicans who spent millions of dollars to keep Terry Schiavo alive, when she had no brain left, and her husband was bankrupted. If you lived in the USA, you paid for the medical and legal costs.

One more thing you pay for that I never paid for when I visited the family doc as a kid -- the Medical Forms Specialist. You see, private enterprise has no universal insurance form, so now the Doc has to cut a nurse's hours back by half to hire a paper shuffler. You pay for that in increased fees, and longer waits at the doc's office.

It's a two-semester course, and what does that person make?
Starts an average $22,000 a year in the USA.
http://www.ws.edu/careerinfo/teched/medicalinsurancespecialist.asp

Now, if you do the math, you can see private enterprise has failed in the management of the health care system in the USA. The only ones succeeding are the MBAs who deny claims and kill people legally.

Again, what political party supports this boondoggle? The same party that says if we cut taxes and increase government spending, then our deficit will go down.

They call the concept, "Fuzzy Math".

Yeah.

CP

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Posts: 1809 | From: Glacier Melt, USA | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 04, 2008 00:36      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Colonel Panic:
Now, let's look at that infamous $400 hammer the Pentagon purchased a few years back (and remember what a scandal that was).

I had this explained to me by a guy who'd worked for a big military contractor in the USA.

Uncle Sam doesn't pay for R&D, so, for example, if the contract is for 100 truck-mounted missiles, and the real figures for the contractor are

R&D for missiles: $10,000,000
Build 100 missiles: $10,000,000
100 Trucks to carry missiles $10,000,000
Total: $30,000,000

That $10 million in R&D has to be paid for, but it can't be billed as such, so what Uncle Sam tells the contractors to do is divide the cost equally across all 'deliverables'.
In the example above, the 'deliverables' might be...

100 trucks.
100 missiles
100 spare tyres for trucks
100 jacks for trucks
100 first aid kits for truck glove box

That's 500 deliverables, so each will have ($10,000,000/500=)$20,000 added to the cost to cover the R&D.

Then some Republican congressman who knows full well what's actually going on will stand up in Congress and complain about the $20,000 first-aid kit, and demand an investigation of this shameful waste of taxpayers $$$.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10459 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 04, 2008 03:14      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Briefly veering back to the topic of health care...

Whenever anyone suggests that it would be nice if America actually had a real health care system, the right usually throw up their hands in horror and say it would be ruinously expensive. This table suggests otherwise.

The average aussie pays $1600/year in taxes to fund our universal health care system, which covers both hospital and GP visits, as well as most common prescription medicines. While the aussie system has its problems, it's basically pretty good. Many aussies also have private health insurance, but that's to get a more comfortable room and prettier nurses when you have your tonsils out, if you're really sick, the private hospital will send you to a public hospital, they're far better equipped.


The far-from-universal public health system in America costs each American $2051/year. Whenever this system is mentioned in the press, it's usually accompanied by words like 'crisis'. Somebody's doing something horribly wrong.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10459 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted September 04, 2008 04:29      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____________ Colonel Panic & The Famous Druid __ It is even worse than the numbers you gentlemen quoted. I at one time was on the Wages & Benifits compensation panels of our UAW Local. We had the charts for return on investment for each and every Skilled Trade, and each all of the production Classifications, They of course truthfully supported us.

At a time that I made twenty five dollars an hour the cost to the company for my labor. Vacation time Pension Fund, Unemployment insurance, workmans comp. Health care. Came to an additional twenty dollars an hour. That is why to the auto companies that it was cheaper to work some one over time, than to hire more employees because the benifits are figured on a forty hour week. So any time over forty hours is only thirty seven dollars an hour. Now Sundays and Holidays were double time so they really wanted the work done before they would work us Sundays or Holidays.

Now the real kicker is that the insurance company that handled our claims never wrote a policy to the big three. They only paid the bills added six percent and forwarded the bill to the correct big three auto maker. I found out that the cost of a policy of that type for an individual would be over three thousand a month. Lets see 3 times twelve is big chunk of change, per year.

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If it don't glow it ain't Ham Radio

Posts: 5473 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
tweety
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Icon 1 posted September 04, 2008 09:50      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't have health insurance at the moment. Currently, being self-employed it's a hell of a lot cheaper for me to put a couple hundred bucks aside each month, maybe stick into a CD or Money Market than it is for me to shell out $350/month for me and the Mrs and then not be taxed on that $4700 a year. Plus, for $350 a month I still get a $20 copay and a $1000 deductible per person. WTF? So, let's say we both visit a doctor once a month. That's $40 x 12 = $480 + $2000 = $2480 + $4700 = $7180. Yeah, that's a freakin' good deal.

We just went through a round of doctors visits and it cost about $500 total. This was for multiple blood tests and one visit to a specialist. Even when I was working for The Man I spent more on health insurance than I got in return. Well, that is until we moved to FL and both of us had regular sinus infections, and then there was the major car accident. Helicopter rides are tremendously expensive and for some reason the insurance company wouldn't pay all of it. Long legal fight, blah blah blah, it was nasty and makes me angry to this day. If it weren't for the ambulance chasing lawyer we hired we would have been royally screwed.

Sure, the US has the best doctors, but when a huge chunk of the population can't afford to access that expertise, who gives a rat's ass? That's like telling a janitor that Rolls-Royce makes the best built cars in the world. And? It's not like someone making $12/hr is going to be buying a Rolls-Royce.

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If I were a good man I'd talk to you more often than I do.
American Fairy Tales
IT, A Philosophy

Posts: 454 | From: IL | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 1200

Icon 1 posted September 04, 2008 11:19      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tweety,

You might look into physicians or physicians networks who charge less to the uninsured.

CP

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Posts: 1809 | From: Glacier Melt, USA | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
tweety
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Icon 1 posted September 04, 2008 11:55      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
CP – The physicians we normally use tend to charge less for the uninsured (the specialist *only* charged us $200, not the normal $350), so that's not really an issue. Plus, the doc we went to see who performed the blood tests was super cheap ($10 for some of the bloodwork).

My main point, though, is that it's cheaper for me to not be insured than to be insured. Even when working for The Man the cost to me per month for two people was about $200. Sure, I didn't have a deductible, but still had the $20 co-pay. So, it still cost me close to $3000/yr for services that may have amounted to $2000.

I see the problem as one of efficiency. If our medical system was more streamlined with less handwork, costs would come down. Of course, it will take the Feds to force the insurance companies to reduce their rates instead of pocketing the profits, a la Big Oil. I'm all for giving the market a chance to work, but somethings just need doing now.

The other thing to remember, and I've heard this first hand from family friends in the medical field, is that while your Doc might charge $300 for a visit, by the time they finish paying their malpractice insurance, the nurse, the paperwork handler, this person, that person and rent, they might go home with $50 in their pocket. Now, let's say they see 2 patients an hour, $100/hr isn't bad, but I can make $60 - $65/hr contracting, and I don't have a medical degree, nor do I have people's lives in my hands. Someone, somewhere, somehow is making way too much money at the expense of patients (please, let's not call them consumers, that's just sick), doctors & nurses.

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If I were a good man I'd talk to you more often than I do.
American Fairy Tales
IT, A Philosophy

Posts: 454 | From: IL | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged


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