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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Well, the US now has an insurance mandate
Thread: Well, the US now has an insurance mandate This thread is 8 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 · «PREV / NEXT»
mvassilev
mvassilev


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posted March 23, 2010 05:58 AM

You probably qualified for a lot of government programmes, then.
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Mytical
Mytical


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Chaos seeking Harmony
posted March 23, 2010 06:10 AM

Lol, maybe.  However, we didn't take any.  I was raised that you survive by the sweat of your brow.  You don't take handouts.  Handups .. sometimes.  Handouts?  Never.  I come from a different time, and a different area then most.

You helped your neighbor if they were down, you watched out for each other.  You worked, hard, and played harder.  We might have not always had enough to eat..sometimes our roof leaked or we didn't have one.  Yeah, I was poor .. dirt poor, but in ways richer then a lot of billionaires could ever hope to be.  I graduated high school, and yes I had employment since I was 13-14 years old.  Earlier if you don't count getting paid (farm work).

Dad got disabled at work, after the lawyers, doctors, and such got theirs ..we got squat (remember this was a much different time..not like now with multimillion dollar settlements).  My mom worked a little and took care of us and dad.  We did the rest (brought in what money we could, etc).  That was life.  *shrugs*.

If you think even with government programs that we would have had the same chances as somebody with a silver spoon in their mouth..you are delusional.
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DagothGares
DagothGares


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No gods or kings
posted March 23, 2010 07:28 AM

Quote:

Lol, maybe.  However, we didn't take any.  I was raised that you survive by the sweat of your brow.  You don't take handouts.  Handups .. sometimes.  Handouts?  Never.  I come from a different time, and a different area then most.
I wonder if you have any right to complain when you don't use the facilities that were specifically there for people like you.
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Mytical
Mytical


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Chaos seeking Harmony
posted March 23, 2010 07:30 AM

Who said I was complaining?  I just stated that some people did quit school to support family, and not for drugs/alcohol/etc.
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DagothGares
DagothGares


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No gods or kings
posted March 23, 2010 07:32 AM

Quote:
Who said I was complaining?  I just stated that some people did quit school to support family, and not for drugs/alcohol/etc.
Ah, true, but if the facilities were there it can hardly be called social injustice.
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Mytical
Mytical


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Chaos seeking Harmony
posted March 23, 2010 07:48 AM

Just buzz words I am afraid.  Yes, a community should come together and help each other out.  Ideally money should mean absolutely nothing, we should all have access to everything, and help each other because we CHOOSE to.  Unfortunately Utopia doesn't exist yet, and it may never.  Social Justice, Social Injustice are just the latest Buzz words.  People should help people, period.  Unfortunately people are greedy, selfish, and self centered.  A governement shouldn't have to force people to give medical treatment to the poor.  Or help the poor get food..or etc.  Because people should do it without being told.  That is not what a government is for.  It is for protecting, supplying roads, helping make sure that people are not taken advantage of (unfortunately good luck with that in America).

Bleh I am rambling again.
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JoonasTo
JoonasTo


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What if Elvin was female?
posted March 23, 2010 07:52 AM

Goverment is for anything the people want it to be.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted March 23, 2010 08:07 AM

Quote:
@JJ
Quote:
In any case, let's just wait until you bring in 60k of cash, legally, before you start talking about how easy it is, right?
As far as I remember, your parents are paying for you at this point.


I make more than 60k of cash, legally: so am I entitled?  I don't want to belittle my accomplishments by saying it was easy, but it wasn't akin to moving a mountain, either.  It was a farely simple formula: work my ass off, find something I like, and do it without becoming (too) distracted.  I could be wrong, but I don't think mvass was saying it's easy to succeed and become wealthy (or at least self-sufficient).  Indeed, the whole point of his steps was work.  I think, and I agree to some extent, that the formula for success is simple - not necessarily that the execution of the formula is simple.  That's an important distinction.  Just as, perhaps, it's easy to write a recipe for baking a cake, and indeed it only takes a few simple ingredients.  But actually baking a good cake is pretty damn hard work that takes a lot of practice and dedication.  

And no, there's no promise of success.  You can work your ass off and fail.  But you are certainly more likely to succeed if you work hard than if you do nothing.  I know, a lot of people want to just sit on their ass and live comfortably.  It has a certain appeal, I admit, but I have more dignity, pride and self-respect than that, and to be honest, I wouldn't feel right eating food paid for by someone else's hard work and dedication.  Not when I can go out and earn the food myself.  But maybe that's just me.    


The problem is - you had a chance to do all that: you were NOT living in some abysmal slum, your parents lived an ordered life, and they could afford living in a decent neigborhood so that you could go to a decent school. Your parents were NOT unemployed, and you did NOT have six bothers and sisters, and the neigborhood was NOT a war zone, and you were NOT forced to become prematurely grown-up... you did NOT have to earn money as early as possible to help bringing through the family, you did NOT lose a parent or two early and so on and so forth.
You are not always that free in your decisions, and for some people the regular world with a decent flat or even a house, an ordered childhood with a peaceful neighborhood and the normal elementary-high-(college) childhood and youth to develop is pretty far away and alien.

You know, making sure that there are no or at least as few as possible dredges of society, no scum, no slums and so on is just SELF-PRESERVATION! One way of it. If you are rich (as a society) you can either give some of the wealth away to the beggars, OR give some of it away to make sure there are no (or as few as possible) beggars, or  give some of it away to buy protection (police force); OR you can give away money for all of this in a combination, which is usually done.

Giving some of it away to make sure there are no beggars, is the most difficulöt option, because you have to make sure that everyone gets a good education and the right idea about society. Which means, you do not only need a good educational system, you have to make sure as well, that it reaches everyone and that everyone can benefit from it NO MATTER THE LIVING CONDITIONS OF THEIR PARENTS!!!
Which is the snag here.

The snag is, that children can't choose where they live, and consequently they are free to choose only between the options that present themselves.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course, a lot of kids who do HAVE all the right options STILL decide to go for the wrong ones. That's because their education goes the wrong way as well. Many don't learn anymore in childhood that they have to work for their success and for their wishes to come true and so on - which used to be VERY different only a few decades earlier. Many kids learn today that they get everything they want, having to do only the bare minimum, if anything. In earlier times kids learned, they get nothing, if they do nothing.
It's not the kids's fault. You know, if you grow up being the little prince or princess you will BEHAVE like one in time.


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del_diablo
del_diablo


Legendary Hero
Manifest
posted March 23, 2010 08:55 AM

Quote:
You probably qualified for a lot of government programmes, then.


For some reason I doubt that.
From what I recall to have read:
*Poor
*Grows up working
*Dad got snowed up, the guy should have qualified for quite the bit regardless. I doubt it, i think it was just insurance, and thats it, and that failed
*Went to the army, which ruined any chance of scholarship or furter progams
*Etc

Its a sad story, life don't work as you think mvass.
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Mytical
Mytical


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Chaos seeking Harmony
posted March 23, 2010 09:00 AM

Pretty much the sum of it Del.  Thing is, I don't complain about my life.  Yeah it was hard, but built a lot of character.  As for my dad being injured, he did start out on workman's comp.  It wasn't like it is now though..was sporatic at best.  Everytime he would get ANY money lawyers would take over a third, medical bills most of the rest.  Now I will admit that he eventually got disability, but to be honest it was not much.

I messed up when I tried to go into the Military, if I had known I had NASH, I could have gotten scholorships instead.  Live and learn.
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Corribus
Corribus

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The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted March 23, 2010 01:46 PM
Edited by Corribus at 15:09, 23 Mar 2010.

Quote:
The problem is - you had a chance to do all that: you were NOT living in some abysmal slum, your parents lived an ordered life, and they could afford living in a decent neigborhood so that you could go to a decent school.

Of course, you are making assumptions about me, but irrespective of that, regardless of what advantages my parents bestowed upon me: if I had done nothing, I would be nothing.  

And for the record, while it's true that I did not grow up in poverty, my father did, and he made something of himself through very hard work; went to a poor school district; sent himself to college through a scholarship; worked his ass off; had to join the navy to pay off all the money he had to borrow; is now very successful.  

So no, I did not grow up in a shack.  I grew up in a nice house in a nice neighborhood and went to a nice school.  However, all that was earned on the sweat of my father, who worked very hard so that I had the advantages that he did not. I am immensely grateful for that.  But it doesn't negate the hard work that I did to get where I am.  And there are plenty of kids who grow up in nice homes like I did, who don't work hard and end up poor.  So it's a little unfair for you to say, "Oh, you had some advantages; your hard work doesn't count."

EDIT: Oh and, to get this back on topic, I missed this bit from Vlaad:

Quote:
Could you please elaborate on "the system is completely screwed up"? For example, who benefited from the 200 dollars saline?

I don't pretend to have all the answers, Vlaad, or to have an easy bulleted list of all the things that are responsible for the inflated costs.  I'm not sure anyone does.  However, I can think of three contributing factors:

(1) Too much litigation inflates prices.
Some doctors pay six-figure insurance premiums to protect themselves from lawsuits, many of which are frivolous.  And even those lawsuits that aren't frivolous ask for ridiculous punitive damages.  If you are the beneficiary of a medical accident, even a terrible one, why does that automatically entitle you to sue a hospital for seventy million dollars?  Lawyers collect about half of that, by the way.  We can all sympathize when someone sues because a doctor showed up to surgery drunk.  But we've developed this mentality that says that anytime something goes wrong with medical treatment, we are entitled to compensation.  I go in for surgery, I have a complication that is not the result of any negligence, I sue for millions of dollars.  What?  Are you kidding me?  It's really just a byproduct of our mentality that anytime something goes wrong, we deserve to be compensated for it by someone else (see my Everyday Moral Dilemmas thread #1 for a simpler example).  Sorry, but I don't buy it.  Sometimes snow hits the fan, ya know?  Deal with it.  You aren't owed a fat wad of cash every time something bad happens to you.  [/takes a breath] Anyway: doctors have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly just to protect themselves from this bullsnow.  Most people are now probably thinking "Oh, poor doctors, they make so much money anyway."  Well it doesn't work like that - because not only the doctors are sued, but hospitals as well, and in any case, who do you think is actually paying for all that malpractice insurance? Yeah, you are.  Your hospital bills are increased to compensate for it.  You the patient (or your insurance company) are paying the lawyers and the idiots who sue every time they get a cut or bruise.  And it's worse than that!  Not only do people sue when someone bad happens to them in a hospital, but they sue everyone involved.  Have a mishap during surgery?  Sue the hospital, sure.  Sue the surgeon, too.  But hell, while you're at it, better sue the anesthesiologist and the radiologist.  Maybe the pathologist.  ER reception, the ambulance that got you there, the 911 tech who took the call, the secretaries and even the goddamn janitor.  EVERYONE is listed on the lawsuit.  And you don't think all that nonsense drives up costs??

You might ask yourself: why doesn't this healthcare bill contain any sort of lawsuit reform?  Hmm.. thinking, thinking... could it be because most of the people who pass laws in this country are lawyers?  Certainly they don't want to pass legislation that regulates how much money lawyers can make off of cash cows like this.  I heard something interesting on the radio yesterday.  A caller posited an interesting question: if Congress is so interested in making sure that poor people have access to the same advantages that rich folks have, such as healthcare, why doesn't Congress pass legislation that ensures that all poor people have access to the same expensive legal representation that rich folks do?  Think about it.  When a rich person gets arrested, he can pay millions of dollars to hire hot shot attorney teams.  A poor person is assigned an overworked, underpaid public defendant.  That hardly seems fair.  Maybe Congress should regulate the ABA and make it so that attorneys cannot make preference to clients of certain economic persuasions; maybe Congress should put a limit on attorney hourly rates; and etc.  Congress is all too willing to butt its head into the health insurance industry; the legal industry is also a huge industry that just screams inequality.  Yet you know as well as I that Congress will never do that, because Congress is made up of a bunch of lawyers.  Seems a bit of a double-standard, doesn't it?

(2) Over consumption. Why do people need to go to the emergency room every time they have a sore throat?  The truth is, they don't.  And yet, they do.  Why?  Because someone else is paying for it, that's why.  I can pretty much assure you that if you had to pay for it every time you took a trip to the doctor, you probably would think twice about going the next time you were a "little" sick.  And yet most insurance policies aren't set up to discourage frivolous visits to the doctor.  Once you meet your deductible, you have a free pass to go as often as you like.  But that's not what the purpose behind insurance is.

Most types of insurance exist to protect people from catastrophes.  Car insurance, for example.  Do you file a car insurance claim every time you ding your car?  That's because car insurance policies are set up to discourage over consumption.  If someone bumps into my car and causes minor damage, I could certainly call my insurance company and file a claim.  However, the deductible is high and my premiums would go through the roof.  It wouldn't be cost effective to file a claim, and so I either fix the problem myself, or live with it.  I use my car insurance only when my car is completely totaled, and it will cost several thousand dollars to fix (not to mention huge medical bills, if applicable).  Essentially car insurance exists for catastrophic damage.  If I'm in an accident that might cost tens of thousands of dollars, I would have a hard time fronting that cash immediately.  I could be in some real trouble in that case.  So I purchase car insurance to protect me from having to pay a huge financial burden all at once.  Note that I ultimately do pay a lot of that burden eventually myself through increased premiums over the next few years, but that amount is spread out so that I can handle it.  Car insurance is not set up so that people get free repairs every time something bad happens to their car - and I see people often grumbling about this perceived "flaw" in the way car insurance is set up.  "I pay all this money and I can't even get that scratch fixed on my car!"  And I say, "No, that's not why you have insurance."  

That's really the problem with health insurance.  People have this perception that insurance is like a gift card that rewards you with free services, but that's not what it's supposed to be.  Insurance isn't supposed to be a ticket that allows you to take your kid to the doctor for a Band-Aid whenever he scrapes his knee.  Insurance is supposed to be for when your kid gets his leg run over by a school bus and you can't afford to pay a few thousand dollars up front to have it fixed.  And it's this misuse of insurance that drives up costs.  When insurance companies have to pay every time something bad happens to you, that drives up costs.  I'm sure you can figure out why.  So: what do we do?  We have to change insurance policies to discourage over consumption.  High deductible plans are perfect.  Health savings accounts are even better, because they allow people to save money at the same time they are paying for an insurance service - in some ways it's like a mortgage.  People will be much less likely to go to the doctors for that little boo-boo if they have to take their own money out of a health savings account in order to do so.  It's easy to over consume when you think (those are very key words) a big insurance company is paying for it.  Less easy to over consume when you think you are paying for it.  Of course (back to the key words) you are always ultimately paying for it.

(3) Taxation and Group Policies. There's another fundamental problem with the way insurance companies are set up, and that is that most people are on group policies, through employment.  It's very expensive and difficult to obtain an individual policy.  This has a lot to do with how insurance policies are taxed, and I don't completely understand it myself, but essentially the bottom line is that individual policies aren't freely competitive, even though they would ultimately be better for the consumer.  Why?  You may have noticed that you and your office mate pay the same premiums for health insurance if the policy is the same.  Have you ever asked yourself why that is?  That's because your place of employment negotiates with the insurance company for a group rate.  To obtain that group rate, underwriters base the rate on a "health average".  Perhaps to understand that better: if you wanted to get an individual policy, an underwriter would look at your health as an individual to determine how much of a risk you are.  If you are a healthier individual, your rate is lower.  If you are a less healthy individual, your rate is higher.  However, underwriters can't do that for group policies so they base your rate on an average.  What that means is that if you are healthy, you're paying a higher premium than you should.  And if you are unhealthy, you are paying a lower premium than you should.  This system also does not encourage people to lead healthy lifestyles or to not over consume, which should be obvious.  Again, this ultimately drives up costs because insurance policies are not custom tailored to the individual's needs.  Depersonalization leads to more over consumption and inefficiency as well.  There are some ways this could be fixed; changing the way insurance is taxed is one way: if you get insurance through work, your company often pays part of the premium and you can take your premiums out pre-tax.  Not so if you pay for an individual policy, where you pay the whole thing and it's post-tax as well.  

I'm not sure exactly what, if anything, this healthcare bill does to mitigate the problems I discussed in (2) and (3).  In (2), I believe, very little.  In fact, I think this health care bill will make (2) worse.  It certainly does nothing to change the attitude people have about health insurance.  Indeed, everyone is talking about free health coverage and free insurance. As I've said, that's not the right attitude to have.  

Well anyway, that's a lot off the top of my head.  Maybe that serves as an introduction some of the areas where I believe there are problems, and why the costs of something as simple as SALT WATER are ridiculously inflated.  

(One other thing I should mention: in most industries that sell products to consumers, the prices are negotiated - usually through competition - directly between the service provider and the consumer.  Nobody in their right mind would charge five grand for a playstation, because the consumer can go to the store next door and buy one for cheaper.  This fundamental fact of consumerism doesn't exist in the healthcare industry, where services are negotiated by and paid for by the insurance company.  The actual beneficiary is complete dissociated from the transaction - for the most part the cost means nothing to him.  Is it any surprise that the prices that the consumer sees make absolutely no sense?  The consumer has no say at all in what a reasonable price should be, and cannot argue with inflated prices with the way consumers usually do argue: by taking their business elsewhere.  I think you would see that if consumers had a more direct role in paying for their health services - which would be achieved if insurance was reserved for more catastrophic incidences - that prices would naturally decline and become more reasonable.  This is especially so with "elective" private practices and preventative health services (checkups, eyes doctors, family practitioners).  You see this to some degree in the dental industry, where insurance is really more set up to deal with catastrophes and most services are paid for by the actual consumer up front - the result is that individual dentists are largely competitive with each other, which keeps services reasonably priced.  I'm pretty confident that if the dental industry operated like the rest of healthcare, getting a cavity filled would cost thousands of dollars, most of which would be paid by insurance companies.  Except the poor people who didn't have insurance, of course, who would show up expecting a free filling, paid for by John Q. Taxpayer.)  

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Shares
Shares


Supreme Hero
I am. Thusly I am.
posted March 23, 2010 02:35 PM

Quote:
Appeals to emotion and "that's not how it is" are not counterarguments.

Sorry to bring this one back, but "that's not how it is" is actually a quite good counter arguement. I've seen you use it hundreds of times. It's usually something like this: Some one posts a long post with arguements and some statistics or info. Mvass says: "No".
If I say that we should put more money into grammar research, because grammar kills a billion people every year. Saying that grammar doesn't kill people is a kinda good arguement, since grammar never kills people.
Also, doesn't my arguements hold a higher objective value than yours? My point is, that you say: "It's like this!" and I say "No, it's more like this: <insert real life example>.". Your counterarguement: "You're wrong! Saying that I'm wrong is not an arguement!"
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted March 23, 2010 02:41 PM

Corribus, I don't doubt that you did work hard to end where you are now, but that is not the point - and you know that very well.

Moreover, I DID end up writing about those who have all the same options like you, but don't use them, didn't I?

So what are you trying to tell me?

Maybe, that hard work is - for most people - a necessary prerequisite to accomplish something in life? Doubtlessly.

But what about SUFFICIENT? Is it a SUFFICIENT prerequisite? Here I say NOPE, and I explained why. Agreed or not?

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mvassilev
mvassilev


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posted March 23, 2010 03:30 PM

Shares:
Quote:
Some one posts a long post with arguements and some statistics or info. Mvass says: "No".
I always try to explain why they're wrong. I never just say "No".
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OmegaDestroyer
OmegaDestroyer

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Fox or Chicken?
posted March 23, 2010 03:39 PM

I am happy that Congress was able to push healthcare through so the members have another feather in their cap to help them get reelected.
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Xerox
Xerox


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posted March 23, 2010 04:45 PM
Edited by Xerox at 16:48, 23 Mar 2010.

Personally I don't think it's responsible to get kids if you don't have a stable economy or will need to work A LOT because spending time with your kids, especially at an early age, is extremly important.
It's better to wait untill a person can actually support and raise kids without a lot of issues (i'm not saying that this is the case here though, I don't know).
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del_diablo
del_diablo


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Manifest
posted March 23, 2010 05:38 PM

Quote:
Health savings accounts are even better, because they allow people to save money at the same time they are paying for an insurance service - in some ways it's like a mortgage.  People will be much less likely to go to the doctors for that little boo-boo if they have to take their own money out of a health savings account in order to do so.  It's easy to over consume when you think (those are very key words) a big insurance company is paying for it.  Less easy to over consume when you think you are paying for it.  Of course (back to the key words) you are always ultimately paying for it.


What, no "individual share"?! i might be using the wrong words here, a individual share is a small % of the amount or a fixed amount which you pay upon using an insurance. The Norwegian healthcare system got it just to avoid overuse.
I do agree on the lawyer and suing immunity insurace parts being completely ridicules, why can't you Americans get some common sense in the court room?

Xerox: Keep it on søta bror Spread the good word!
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Corribus
Corribus

Hero of Order
The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted March 23, 2010 05:52 PM
Edited by Corribus at 17:54, 23 Mar 2010.

Quote:
What, no "individual share"?! i might be using the wrong words here, a individual share is a small % of the amount or a fixed amount which you pay upon using an insurance. The Norwegian healthcare system got it just to avoid overuse.
I do agree on the lawyer and suing immunity insurace parts being completely ridicules, why can't you Americans get some common sense in the court room?

Yes: here that is known as a "copayment".  Usually it amounts to 20 dollars or so for each doctor's visit.  Hardly much of a deterrant.

HSAs are much better.  Here, you have a really high deductible and pay a comparatively small monthly premium.  In addition, rather than all your money going straight to the insurance company, some proportion of your premiums go into an interest-bearing savings account that you draw from when you go to the doctors office.  While it's true you are paying more for your average doctor visit, the good part about this is that the savings account is your money.  You're allowed to use it only for certain things in the beginning.  You're basically investing in your own health and it is therefore to your economic advantage to both stay healthy and minimize frivolous trips to the doctor's office.  

How can you argue against it, or at least, the philosophy of it?  People have more a direct handle on how their money goes to paying for their healthcare.  It will make people more responsible, will drive down costs, and minimize overconsumption of services.  It's been very slow to catch on, surprisingly.  Probably because of inertia.

You can read more about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_savings_account

One of my greatest disappointments with this bill is that it's just more of the same old-style insurance.  I was really hoping to see HSAs become the new future, but as usual, Congress has no vision and just wants to throw money blindly at a problem, as if just handing out money to the poor is going to solve anything.  
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del_diablo
del_diablo


Legendary Hero
Manifest
posted March 23, 2010 06:09 PM

You are sort of overdoing it, but it sounds to me like your snowed regardless. How are you going to solve this problem properly?
The current "reform" only forces a tad down the throat of the insurance companies, which does something but barely anything compared to what it should be.
I have also heard stories of refusal of diagnostics(deeper than looking at it, using proper equipment), and more bullsnow which is a parallel to overuse/overconsumption? Or is it some random stories of the rare dreaded stuff that happens once in forever(worst case example)?
And I hardly doubt they think they are getting it for free, unless they got it trough their job.

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OmegaDestroyer
OmegaDestroyer

Hero of Order
Fox or Chicken?
posted March 23, 2010 08:47 PM

Good God, our idiot representative sold his vote for only $726,409.  You think he could have held out for more.  
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The giant has awakened
You drink my blood and drown
Wrath and raving I will not stop
You'll never take me down

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