"Shocking" news - US Health care sucks

Discussion in 'Politics' started by dddooo, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. U.S. health care mediocre across the board
    Rich or poor, black or white, Americans get equally shoddy treatment
    “It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or poor, white or black, insured or uninsured,” said chief author Dr. Steven Asch, at the Rand Health research institute, in Santa Monica, Calif. “We all get equally mediocre care.”
    Overall, patients received only 55 percent of recommended steps for top-quality care — and no group did much better or worse than that.
    But all health experts interviewed fretted about the uniformly low standard. “Regardless of who you are or what group you’re in, there is a significant gap between the care you deserve and the care you receive,” said Dr. Reed Tuckson, who is black and a vice president of United HealthGroup, which runs health plans and sells medical data.
    Health experts blame the overall poor care on an overburdened, fragmented system that fails to keep close track of patients with an increasing number of multiple conditions.


  2. http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=64668&highlight=doctor

    ...and don't forget that <b>millions</b> of Americans suffer from severe clinical depression, and seek medical help.

    They are prescribed one (often useless) serotonin/dopamine/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor product after another, to no avail. Once that fails, the M.D. then starts in with the MAOI's & tricyclics- usually useless as well. Then in hail mary fashion come the scripts for benzos, mood stabilizers, and other 'creative' but irrelevant medications, as the patient suffers on the brink of suicide.

    All this despite the fact that a clinical trial conducted at Harvard Medical School has already proven that the answer lies elsewhere:

  3. Yup, that's what happens when you allow the people that write the checks to practice medicine.
  4. Came across this yesterday which was not reported in mainstream media. Anthem is pecking my eyes out. :(

    Publishing date: 03/16/06

    RISMEDIA, March 16 — The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
    (HELP) Committee ended a stalemate over a decade old and voted in favor of a landmark bill to allow business and trade associations to band together across the nation and offer affordable group health insurance to working families, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) Chairman of the HELP Committee said. The bill was approved by an 11 to 9 vote.

    “Today’s vote is the first major step in 15 years toward more affordable health insurance options for small business and working families,” Enzi said “The people who make up the bedrock of our economy – small, family owned businesses, have issued a mandate for change. It’s time for the Senate to pass this bill. No more excuses.”

    The bipartisan bill, “The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act,” S.1955, which was introduced by Enzi and cosponsored by Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT), will allow business and trade associations to band their members together and offer group health coverage on a national or regional basis in direct response to runaway costs that are driving far too many employers and families from comprehensive health insurance.

    “If Small Business Health Plans can harness the power of America’s small business owners, it would force the entire marketplace to respond. If we transform health insurance to a market where small employers and family-owned businesses can demand better benefits at better prices, insurance companies would be forced either to keep up with the competition, or lose their market share,” Enzi added.

    “With the help of a diverse group of Senators and business groups representing small business, we’ve bridged the gap between small business proponents of traditional
    AHPs and state-based interests worried about the prospects of dramatic regulatory changes in health insurance markets,” Enzi added.

    Designed to enhance the market leverage of small groups as well as individual policy holders, “The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act” will give associations a meaningful role on a level playing field with other group health plans; streamline the current hodgepodge of varying state regulation; preserve the primary role of the states in health insurance oversight and consumer protection; make lower-cost health plan options available; and achieve meaningful reform without a big price tag.

    Working with Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), Enzi also included important safeguards in the bill to prevent adverse selection that would split healthy and sick groups and send premiums skyrocketing for the sick groups. The bill preserves the state role in protecting insurance consumers and ensures that small business owners will have the choice of both basic and enhanced packages of benefits.

    Senator Nelson said: “If we don’t do something to help small businesses cope with the costs of health care, soon we will have an entire workforce without health insurance coverage. Health care premiums are experiencing double-digit growth annually; small businesses can’t keep up with the costs. As a result, fewer employers are offering health coverage and fewer employees are covered. The continuing problem of skyrocketing heath care costs is a grave threat to our working families. This action by the HELP Committee today is the first step in addressing this problem.”

    Senator Burns said: “The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and
    Affordability Act represents the best opportunity to bring affordable health insurance to small businesses in Montana and across the nation. I know this is a goal for all Senators, and I look forward to working with members from both sides of the aisle in achieving this important goal.”

    Enzi praised the support of Senator Nelson and Senator Burns, the bill’s cosponsors, saying: “I’m pleased to be joined by my colleagues, Senator Nelson and Senator Burns. They bring invaluable experience to this effort and I am grateful for their commitment to this issue.”

    A report prepared by the Milwaukee firm of Mercer Oliver Wyman, Inc. for the
    National Small Business Association found that the Enzi-Nelson-Burns bill would reduce health insurance costs for small business by 12 percent. In today’s dollars - about $1,000 per employee; and, would reduce the number of uninsured in working families by 8 percent - or approximately 1 million people.
  5. Arnie


    What else would you expect from an industry that is highly regulated and highly subsidized?
  6. I always wondered why somebody like Kaiser Permanente or a huge group of Dr's didn't put together a non profit medical insurance company and crush all the insurers.

    Competition is the best medicine.
  7. They are competing all right, they are competing to sign up and keep as many healthy members and weed out as many sick people and/or risk groups as they possibly can. There is an inherent conflict of interest between health insurance companies and patients which can't be resolved by the free market, assuming of course that the primary objective of the industry is to take care of the sick as opposed to maximizing profits.

    At any rate, the survey is not about the cost of health care in the US which we all know is outrageous, it's about the quality of health services which is also outrageous.
  8. maxpi


    My mom was very savvy about diet, American Indian and grew up on a farm, I continue in that. [well, except for the farm] Don't waste your money on these doctors for cures, only for diagnosis. Find your own cures if you are savvy enough.

    Better/cheaper/safer if you are a savvy consumer of supplements. Get them only from an FDA approved facility and only if they are formulated by PhD's/MD's.
  9. That bill is pure crap. Unless they are plunking down the cash to start their own HMO or insurance organization, they will still have to buy their policies from existing insurers. In which case, insurers will salivate and kiss their potential new clients' asses to get the contracts signed and jack the premiums at a later date to make up the difference. I've seen that proposed bill and it does nothing to address the issue of reimbursement on the part of insurers and the guarantee of a stable payment structure. It only accomplishes 3 things from what I can tell:
    1) Create yet another group of lobbyists; like we don't have enough.
    2) Create another large organizational client structure for insurers to screw over.
    3) Create a pile of crap that's supposed to pass as legislative proof to their constituents that they are actually accomplishing something meaningful to help solve the problem.

    Although it's a noble venture and I wish someone would step up and do it, I don't see it happening any time soon for a couple of simple reasons. First of all, it would take a ton of risk capital to even get it started. Even the combined wealth of all physicians in this country wouldn't come close to being adequate. It would take the combined effort and generosity of some extremely wealthy individuals to make it happen. Second of all, it would have to operate at a serious loss for God knows how long before it could become self-sustaining. The enormously high risk of having ones name involved in a potential failing venture like this is enough to keep a lot of the serious money away.

    At this point, competition has become a huge part of the problem. The drive to cut costs at all costs is creating enormous holes in both coverage and reimbursement practices. You're not selling burgers here. This industry behaves like no other within a capitalistic market.

    Insurers can only make money in 3 ways; none of which is good for the insured or the providers that service their needs:
    1) Charge the client higher premiums and deductibles.
    2) Limit coverage.
    3) Save money by inventing ways to pay the providers less.

    No amount of competition is going to change those facts.

    Unfortunately, in the existing system, quality of care, in a lot of ways, is directly linked to the costs involved. Like I said in another thread, the reimbursement systems used by insurers force healthcare providers to concentrate their efforts on specific practices and procedures that are profitable just to stay in business. When you factor the shortage of skilled practitioners into the issue, it's no wonder why quality of care for such a large percentage of individuals is terrible. Like it or not, money is an enormous part of the problem.

    While preventative medicine has merit, sooner or later, you're going to need to use the system. There is no substitute for a good provider when you are in agony. No amount of herbs and home remedies is going to help you. Of course, you have the right to be stubborn about it. So, good luck with that home root canal kit or do-it-yourself prostate exam.
    #10     Mar 16, 2006