Are You Sure You Actually 'Like' Your Private Health Insurance?

  
Via:  bob-nelson  •  3 days ago  •  51 comments

Are You Sure You Actually 'Like' Your Private Health Insurance?
In 2018, as millions of Americans borrowed $88 billion to pay for health care, 62 CEOs of health care companies made a combined total of $1.1 billion in compensation

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


originalWhen I talk to friends, family, and colleagues about Medicare for All, sometimes someone asks, “but don’t people like their insurance?” It’s not hard to see where they got that idea.

Even with the Affordable Care Act’s protections against the insurance industry, too many of us worry about dire financial consequences if our health takes a turn for the worse.
FOX13 Salt Lake City

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the leading lobbyist for the for-profit insurance industry, says 71 percent of Americans “like” their private health insurance. It’s important to scrutinize the messenger and the message here. If McDonald’s told us that 71 percent of their customers said their food was healthy and nutritious, we’d be reasonably skeptical at the very least.

When independently surveyed, only 16 percent of Americans trust the health insurance industry to put patients before profits. The only group we trust less is Big Pharma (only 9 percent believe these corporations prioritize patients). So how do we make sense of all this? Do people really “like” health insurance plans sold by such untrusted corporations?

As a physician who regularly haggles with insurance companies, I have many four-letter words for that industry. “Like” is not one of them. Similar to millions of Americans with private health insurance, I have paid absurd co-pays, premiums, and deductibles to different insurance companies over the course of my career. I am certain I have never “liked” private health insurance the way I like comic books or the way my wife likes spin classes. I begrudgingly tolerate private health insurance (for now). The same goes for my patients, colleagues, friends, and family. Out of fear of financial ruin, we have allowed ever-increasing portions of our paychecks to go to health insurance companies.

But that is a false sense of security. Even with the Affordable Care Act’s protections against the insurance industry, too many of us worry about dire financial consequences if our health takes a turn for the worse. Four in ten Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance say their family is struggling to pay premiums, medical bills, or out-of-pocket medical costs. Half of us have a family member who is avoiding necessary medical care or prescriptions because of cost.

When push comes to shove and families decide to seek medical attention, their worst fears of financial devastation can come true. Of Americans reporting problems paying medical bills, 73 percent are cutting back on food, clothing, and other basic necessities. Over six in ten of these everyday Americans have already depleted what little savings they had. One in three GoFundMe crowdfunding pages is directed toward paying for health care. For millions of patients and families, private health insurance is a source of, not a savior from, financial hardship.

As a physician and public health policy adviser, I used to believe the insurance industry would become better partners in our health care through the very reasonable guidelines and expectations set by the Affordable Care Act. Over the last several years, I have lost faith and accepted the insurance corporations for what they are: machines of unappeasable greed, accountable only to shareholders, never my patients or other families. In 2018, as millions of Americans borrowed $88 billion to pay for health care, 62 CEOs of health care companies made a combined total of $1.1 billion in compensation. When it comes to our current health care system’s priorities, patients are no match for profits.

We do not have to live like this. Thousands of physicians, medical students, nurses, and our colleagues across health care (but sadly, not the American Medical Association) are joining the Medicare for All movement because we want our work to be about protecting people’s health, not destroying their wealth.

In the current Medicare for All legislation in Congress, patients and families will have full comprehensive benefits without the lurking clouds of financial stress. Prescription drugs will be significantly cheaper because Medicare will finally have the power to negotiate for better prices with Big Pharma corporations. Hospitals will have stable, predictable financing for providing health care to patients and families. Similarly, physicians can expect to spend more time with patients rather than haggling with multiple insurance companies and their endless obstacle courses. Most importantly, every person in America will have the peace of mind of knowing their health care is a basic human right, not a privilege to be negotiated.

Medicare for All recognizes that being healthy is hard work. Preventing, treating, and managing illness takes a lot of effort on the part of patients, doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, and so on. We are all worthy of health care, regardless of what we earn, where we live, or who we are. When we make health care a basic human right through Medicare for All, we recognize how each of us is vulnerable and none of us should be abandoned.

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Bob Nelson
1  seeder  Bob Nelson    3 days ago
If McDonald’s told us that 71 percent of their customers said their food was healthy and nutritious, we’d be reasonably skeptical at the very least.
 
 
 
Greg Jones
2  Greg Jones    3 days ago

I love my Medicare Advantage Plan through United Health Care.

The problems that remain with "Medicare For All" or single payer, or whatever you want to call it...

is that it still won't be free and some states will likely extend it to cover illegals and their kids and extended families.

Like any type of socialized health care, it probably will not cover a lot of conditions, situations, or experimental procedures.

Since the government will try to keep costs in line, care at times might be limited, rationed, or even denied.

Thanks to lower payments to providers and hospitals, lots of doctors may retire, not accept Medicare patients, or establish "pay for service" practices. Wait times for appointments and procedures will likely increase. To reduce costs, hospitals will likely try to discharge patients as soon as medically possible.

And no one has of yet come up with a solution of who will pay for it all.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
2.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Greg Jones @2    3 days ago

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Sunshine
3  Sunshine    3 days ago

I have excellent health coverage which is provided by my employer.  Got me through a serious illness of cancer without any financial burden.

I was able to have the best surgeons, chemo, and radiation doctors and treatments in my area.  

I am very happy with my health coverage and do not want to lose what I worked for and earned for many years because of being forced into socialized medicine.

 
 
 
lib50
3.1  lib50  replied to  Sunshine @3    3 days ago

Socialized medicine actually gives you the same thing and cost less for everybody, including the employers.  I don't think a lot of Americans really understand national healthcare.   It is just like what we have (in the 2 countries I lived in), except it is free or costs much less.  By free I mean not paid out of pocket, its part of your taxes.    You still get great care, I never once had a bad experience, and had less waiting than I do here.  There are some appointments you can't even get for 2 months here!  My daughter had 2 surgeries overseas, excellent care both times.  Multiple doc appts, no problem.  House calls?  Ok, that was a while ago, but had it in Ireland back in the day, long after they stopped here.  We have good healthcare now that has translated into retirement coverage (thank you UNION).  But if the US had a better healthcare system,  we would all be covered and it would cost far, far, less.  There are so many models to choose from, it would be nice if we could start and see how ours can be better using the experiences of other countries throughout the world. US employers already pay too much, and its part of the reason salaries are so low, plus we now share far more of the cost of treatment.  There are better ways.

 
 
 
Sunshine
3.1.1  Sunshine  replied to  lib50 @3.1    3 days ago
Socialized medicine actually gives you the same thing and cost less for everybody, including the employers. 

Really?  How is that?  Who is paying for it?

There are some appointments you can't even get for 2 months here!

I have never had to wait 2 months for any appointment/procedure/treatment in my entire life for myself or my family.  I don't know anyone who has unless it is with the VA.

US employers already pay too much, and its part of the reason salaries are so low, plus we now share far more of the cost of treatment.

Do you know why employers pay so much?  Because the cost of Obamacare was passed on to them through taxing mandated by Obamacare.  And those expenses are passed on to the employees.  I am in a position where I can bargain for my insurance to be paid for but not all employees can.

I have excellent health care and insurance, and I plan on keeping it that way.  And my children do to because they have worked for it.

Don't libs want people to stay out of their health care, well stay out of mine.

 
 
 
lib50
3.1.2  lib50  replied to  Sunshine @3.1.1    2 days ago

Like I said, Sunny, information is your friend.  Instead of continuing to defend a healthcare system that is declining,  there are ways to improve care and cost.  But continue to live in your bubble (which I also inhabit, by the way, with good benefits).  Its not enough for the the future, and likely won't last out from retirement to death if previous healthcare promises are an indicator.  This has nothing to do with 'working for it'.   Don't know why some people have such a problem seeing things outside their personal lives.   And by the way, my 2 month wait is NOT the VA, and not unusual for this medical department. 

Do you know why employers pay so much?  Because the cost of Obamacare was passed on to them through taxing mandated by Obamacare.  And those expenses are passed on to the employees.  I am in a position where I can bargain for my insurance to be paid for but not all employees can.

Wrong.  Obamacare began containing prices.

https://www.statnews.com/2019/03/22/affordable-care-act-controls-costs/

In 2017 alone, health expenditures were $650 billion lower than projected, and kept health care spending under 18 percent of GDP — basically a tad over where it was in 2010 when the ACA was passed. It did all of this while expanding health coverage to more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans.

Compared to the 2010 projections, the government’s Medicare bill in 2017 was 10 percent ($70 billion) less, and spending for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program was a whopping $250 billion below expectations (partially — but only partially — due to the failure of some states to expand the program). The actuary had predicted in 2010 that employer-sponsored insurance would cost $1.21 trillion in 2017, but it came in at $1.04 trillion, a difference of $170 billion for that year.

Put another way, health care spending in 2017 was $2,000 less per person than it was projected to be. And for the 176 million Americans who have private employer-sponsored insurance, their lower premiums averaged just under $1,000 per person.

Barack Obama pledged on the campaign trail and as president that he would sign a health care bill that lowered family health insurance premiums by $2,500. Conservative politicians and pundits roundly mocked him. Yet the ACA has more than delivered on that promise, saving about $4,000 per family. And these lower health care premiums probably contribute to the recent rise in workers’ wages.

One reason the ACA’s enormous success in cost control goes unappreciated is that no one experiences the difference between projections and reality. What could have happened is intangible. All we feel is what actually happens.

Informative articles below.

https://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/health/health-care-spending-study/index.html

https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/why-is-healthcare-so-expensive

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/mar/13/us-healthcare-costs-causes-drug-prices-salaries

The United States spends twice as much on healthcare as 10 other high-income nations, driven by the high price of everything from prescription drugs to doctors’ salaries, a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds.

Recent attempts to reform American healthcare have assigned blame for the high cost of care to nearly every sector – from drug companies to hospitals to health insurers.

However, a co-author of the new study said those arguments ignore the “800-pound gorilla”: sky-high prices everywhere.

“Most countries get to lower prices one of two ways: they either have a very strong price setter, usually a government agency, or more efficient markets,” said Dr Ashish Jha, co-author of the study by researchers at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health. “The US has figured out how to do the worst of both.”

In the study, America was compared to 10 other countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Sweden, France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Researchers used 98 indicators to compare countries across seven areas: general spending, population health, structural capacity, utilization, pharmaceuticals, access and quality and equity. The majority of the data came from international organizations, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. What researchers found was not a single sector with high prices, but that every sector had extraordinary price tags.

For example, the average salary for a general practice physician in the other countries was between $86,607 and $154,126. In the US, the average salary was $218,173.

Per capita spending for prescription drugs in other nations ranged from $466 to $939. In the US, per capita spending was $1,443.

The US also spends more on administrative costs. Other nations spend between 1%-3% to administer their health plans. Administrative costs are 8% of total health spending in the US.

This results in US health costs that, as a percentage of gross domestic product, are nearly double that of other nations. In 2016, the US spent 17.8% of GDP, compared to 9.6%-12.4% in other countries.

At the same time, America often had the worst population health outcomes, and worst overall health coverage.

The US ranked last in life expectancy; had the worst maternal mortality rates (nearly triple that of the United Kingdom); more infant deaths than any other country, and a high rate of low birth weight babies

Other countries had universal, or near universal, health insurance rates. The US ranked last. Just 90% of Americans have health insurance, leaving about 27 million people without access to healthcare.

Advertisement Jha said whether the US moves toward more private healthcare, as advocated by Republicans, or to single-payer healthcare, as advocated by liberal Democrats, price tags on all American health services need to be addressed.

“I’m happy to move in either direction that will allow for lower prices, but right now we’re not even having that debate,” said Jha. “We’re fighting over all sorts of other things.”

The study’s possible weaknesses include comparability of data, with different countries having “modest” differences in data collection.
 
 
 
Sunshine
3.1.3  Sunshine  replied to  lib50 @3.1.2    2 days ago
Barack Obama pledged on the campaign trail and as president that he would sign a health care bill that lowered family health insurance premiums by $2,500

Where is my $2500.00?  Insurance premiums have increased under Obamacare. 

Yes, information is your friend.

https://money.cnn.com/2016/11/04/news/economy/obamacare-affordable/index.html
https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/states-discover-the-high-cost-of-obamacares-free-medicaid-expansion/
https://freebeacon.com/issues/dem-senator-high-cost-obamacare-legitimate-criticism/

And by the way, my 2 month wait is NOT the VA, and not unusual for this medical department.

Where was it?

And don't call me Sunny unless you mean it in a kind way and I don't think you did.

 
 
 
lib50
3.1.4  lib50  replied to  Sunshine @3.1.3    2 days ago
And don't call me Sunny unless you mean it in a kind way and I don't think you did.

Actually I didn't mean it in a bad way and you would know if I did (I didn't think sunny was a bad nickname),  all I want to do is have a debate about healthcare reform.  You dismiss my 2 month appointment wait, and I am living it, my appointment isn't until August when I won't even be living here any more.  We have a great plan with great coverage, $5 co pay (and not Kaiser, its a great PPO).    Why is it so hard for people to understand the reality of others experiences?  I'm blunt and I try not to say things to people that they can't take.  I guess I thought you exhibited the same tendencies here.  This subject is at the top of my priorities and I'm really passionate about it.  When I read yours and other posts here, they are also blunt and sharp.  Sounds like one of those 'dish it out but can't take it' moments to me.  And we can't really have a debate about the broader topic of reform if everything is seen through a personal experience with no understanding of others experiences. 

 
 
 
Sunshine
3.1.5  Sunshine  replied to  lib50 @3.1.4    2 days ago
And we can't really have a debate about the broader topic of reform if everything is seen through a personal experience with no understanding of others experiences. 

That is the topic of the seed. You are using and talking about your personal experiences.   Why wouldn't I talk about how it effects myself and my family isn't that what others do? Why shouldn't I protect what I have worked for?  Do you think you should just be able to come along and take something from me and replace it with something that is inferior and then want to tax me more for it? What right do you have to do that? 

I stay out of others health care so you can just stay out of mine.

 
 
 
lib50
3.1.6  lib50  replied to  Sunshine @3.1.5    2 days ago
I stay out of others health care so you can just stay out of mine.

No, you don't.  You want to restrict a woman's right to choose.  At least be honest here.  

 
 
 
Sunshine
3.1.7  Sunshine  replied to  lib50 @3.1.6    2 days ago
You want to restrict a woman's right to choose.

I do?  If you are going to make a false statement you better dam well back it up.  Go through all my comments and let's see what you find....you will find just the opposite.

Yeah, let's be honest here.

 
 
 
epistte
3.2  epistte  replied to  Sunshine @3    19 hours ago
I am very happy with my health coverage and do not want to lose what I worked for and earned for many years because of being forced into socialized medicine.

What do you fear would be taken from you if we had universal healthcare coverage? 

 
 
 
Ender
3.2.1  Ender  replied to  epistte @3.2    18 hours ago

I always wondered that. It is one thing you would think most people would be for, instead of lining insurance company pockets.

Yet it seems most people believe the doom and gloom, that it would end healthcare, socialism, blah blah... I still think it boils down to the 'I got mine screw you' attitude. They think they are paying for everyone else, even though everyone would pay into the system.

I am always amazed that people would willingly pay a grand a month for insurance yet universal healthcare? No way.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.2.2  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Ender @3.2.1    18 hours ago

Obamacare death panels.....

 
 
 
epistte
3.2.3  epistte  replied to  Ender @3.2.1    18 hours ago
always wondered that. It is one thing you would think most people would be for, instead of lining insurance company pockets. Yet it seems most people believe the doom and gloom, that it would end healthcare, socialism, blah blah... I still think it boils down to the 'I got mine screw you' attitude. They think they are paying for everyone else, even though everyone would pay into the system.

Many people do not appear to understand how the basic concept of insurance functions. It is not a savings plan for a single person. It is money from a wide spectrum of people pooled together to limit the financial costs to any group in that plan. The more people you have in the pan the cheaper the individual costs are.  We must also end the idea of insurance companies making a net profit from coverage or allowing them to make medical decisions as a way to limit coverage costs. 

I am always amazed that people would willingly pay a grand a month for insurance yet universal healthcare? No way.

Universal heathcare isnt going to be free, but it will be cheaper than the current system for most people.

The idea of insuce companies making a net profit on healthcare is relatively recent. 

For-profit insurance companies moved in, unencumbered by the Blues’ charitable mission. They accepted only younger, healthier patients on whom they could make a profit. They charged different rates, depending on factors like age, as they had long done with life insurance. And they produced different types of policies, for different amounts of money, which provided different levels of protection.

Aetna and Cigna were both offering major medical coverage by 1951. With aggressive marketing and closer ties to business than to health care, these for-profit plans slowly gained market share through the 1970s and 1980s. It was difficult for the Blues to compete. From a market perspective, the poor Blues still had to worry about their mission of “providing high-quality, affordable health care for all.”

In 1994, after state directors rebelled, the Blues’ board relented and allowed member plans to become for-profit insurers. Their primary motivation was not to charge patients more, but to gain access to the stock market to raise some quick cash to erase deficits. This was the final nail in the coffin of old-fashioned noble-minded health insurance.
 
 
 
Ender
3.2.4  Ender  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.2.2    18 hours ago

These same people also gladly accept Medicare, VA benefits etc.

The sad thing is, insurance companies actually had what I would call death panels.

 
 
 
Ender
3.2.5  Ender  replied to  epistte @3.2.3    18 hours ago
It is money from a wide spectrum of people pooled together to limit the financial costs to any group in that plan.

I had someone argue that it doesn't work that way. It didn't matter how many people were in the pool, on and on. I could only shake my head.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.2.6  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Ender @3.2.4    17 hours ago

When a for-profit is faced with the choice between spending money to treat patients, or to pay dividends to shareholders...

 
 
 
epistte
3.2.7  epistte  replied to  Ender @3.2.5    17 hours ago
I had someone argue that it doesn't work that way. It didn't matter how many people were in the pool, on and on. I could only shake my head.

This is a concept that they should have learned in a high school life skills course. 

How it works

When you buy a policy you make regular payments, known as premiums, to the insurer. If you make a claim your insurer will pay out for the loss that is covered under the policy.

If you don’t make a claim, you won’t get your money back; instead it is pooled with the premiums of other policyholders who have taken out insurance with the same insurance company. If you make a claim the money comes from the pool of policyholders’ premiums.

https://www.abi.org.uk/data-and-resources/tools-and-resources/how-insurance-works/

 
 
 
MUVA
3.2.8  MUVA  replied to  Ender @3.2.1    16 hours ago

I don't want the government involved in my healthcare.Some have the attitude you got yours and I want yours. 

 
 
 
epistte
3.2.9  epistte  replied to  MUVA @3.2.8    16 hours ago
I don't want the government involved in my healthcare.Some have the attitude you got yours and I want yours. 

Who exactly are these people that you are referring to? Is that the way Medicare works?

I'd rather not have a private for-profit insurance company who is more interested in net profit and shareholder returns than my health to be involved in my healthcare or my medical decisions.  I also don't want pandering politicians who seek to further their conservative beliefs involved in my medical decisions.

 
 
 
JBB
3.2.10  JBB  replied to  MUVA @3.2.8    16 hours ago

That is a silly statement. What you "want" is immaterial. Government is involved in all aspects of your healthcare already. From what insurance companies cover and what they don't to the professional standards of caregivers to the drugs you are allowed to take government is involved,..

 
 
 
evilgenius
4  evilgenius    3 days ago

Being a country boy at heart (even though I now live in a small city) I'm very aware of how badly rural America is when it comes to health care and access to health care.

Fact - 49% of rural Americas cannot afford a $1000.00 emergency. 

Fact - Over 20% of rural health care providers are on the brink of closing - 36% of the hospitals in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Maine and Mississippi are in financial jeopardy. 

Fact - Only 59% of workers in rural areas are offered employer-sponsored health insurance. On average, individual market plans cover 63 percent of medical costs, compared to 75 percent covered by group insurance plans.

Fact - The rural privately insured are over 50 percent more likely to have no drug coverage.

Fact - Rural Americans are more likely, on average, to have poorer health than those living in urban areas.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
4.1  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  evilgenius @4    3 days ago

Gee...

Maybe somebody should do something.

President Trump’s base is largely rural, so I'm sure he will propose improvements to the ACA to resolve these problems...

 
 
 
evilgenius
4.1.1  evilgenius  replied to  Bob Nelson @4.1    3 days ago
Maybe somebody should do something.

That would require bipartisan work. We are too busy being divisive.

President Trump’s base is largely rural...

As some of my family reminds me too often.

I'm sure he will propose improvements to the ACA to resolve these problems.

He did say the GoP will be known as the "party of great health care", but we can't know what it is until he get's re-elected. /s

 
 
 
Sunshine
4.1.2  Sunshine  replied to  evilgenius @4.1.1    3 days ago
He did say the GoP will be known as the "party of great health care", but we can't know what it is until he get's re-elected. /s

Kinda like having to pass Obamacare before we know what's in it. jrSmiley_26_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  Sunshine @4.1.2    3 days ago

Hell, I am still waiting for my mythical $2500 savings we were promised!

What's a few more years, eh?

 
 
 
Sunshine
4.1.4  Sunshine  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.3    3 days ago
What's a few more years, eh?

Still waiting too.  One of Obama's many broken promises.

 
 
 
MrFrost
4.1.5  MrFrost  replied to  Sunshine @4.1.2    3 days ago

It was released 14 months before it was passed, how much time did you need? 

 
 
 
MrFrost
4.1.6  MrFrost  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.3    3 days ago
Hell, I am still waiting for my mythical $2500 savings we were promised!

It was based on participation...the more people that use it, the cheaper it got. Don't blame Obama because your party has a bunch of rednecks too stupid to figure it out. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
4.1.7  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  MrFrost @4.1.6    2 days ago
Don't blame Obama because your party has a bunch of rednecks too stupid to figure it out. 

   tenor.gif

 
 
 
Sunshine
4.1.8  Sunshine  replied to  MrFrost @4.1.5    2 days ago
It was released 14 months before it was passed, how much time did you need? 

Ask Pelosi....she said it had to be passed before she knew what was in it.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.9  Texan1211  replied to  MrFrost @4.1.6    2 days ago
It was based on participation...the more people that use it, the cheaper it got. Don't blame Obama because your party has a bunch of rednecks too stupid to figure it out.

That remains one of the stupidest things foisted on the American public.

Like adding millions of services is going to make them cheaper somehow.

Millions more are participating--but I don't see my costs going down.

 
 
 
Sunshine
5  Sunshine    3 days ago
Maybe somebody should do something.

Maybe they should move.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
6  Ed-NavDoc    3 days ago

I am perfectly happy with my health insurance situation. I have Medicare A&B as primary and TriCare for Life as my secondary. I pay a annual premium of $1,000.00 per year with zero out of pocket expenses except for about $40.00 per month in prescription costs. Now all the above was not free. It comes from 20 years of honorable service in the United States Navy in two wars and shed my blood on two continents. I firmly sympathize with those that are not as fortunate as I am but life is like that sometimes.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
6.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @6    3 days ago
Now all the above was not free. It comes from 20 years of honorable service in the United States Navy in two wars and shed my blood on two continents

Thank you for your service Ed.

I do need to point out, however, that you have Medicare because you turned 65. You likely had the VA before that in exchange for your service, but you have Medicare because you and every other tax paying American has been paying into the program. Some believe that's a pretty good idea and think if they pitched in more now (paying insurance premiums into Medicare instead of to some private health insurer who spends 14% on overhead and profit vs Medicare that spends 1%) that they could buy into Medicare early. I don't see why that kind of Medicare option would be a problem, it wouldn't ban private health insurers, though it would likely create some competition that could drive down even private health insurer premiums.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
6.1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @6.1    3 days ago

Actually, I have SSDI with Medicare due to service connected disabilities that prevented me from working a regular job, not because I turned 65. I am actually 64 and have had it for the last 6 years. Va did not become a option until about 10 years ago due to the fact that I was retired military. I had to wait for the VA to rate me at least 40%. I have since had that disability rating raised to 90%. I agree with what you said about the Medicare options.

 
 
 
MrFrost
6.1.2  MrFrost  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @6.1.1    3 days ago
service connected disabilities

A little off topic but...would you believe I have been trying to get that since 1991?

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
6.1.3  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  MrFrost @6.1.2    2 days ago

I hear you. It took me ten years of fighting the bureaucracy tooth and nail to get it. I tried it on my own for a couple of years, then went through a veteran's advocate group before I was successful. Best advice I give vets is to get a lawyer and let them fight it for you.

 
 
 
Sunshine
6.1.4  Sunshine  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @6.1.3    2 days ago
Best advice I give vets is to get a lawyer and let them fight it for you.

You have to go through the cost of getting a lawyer now to deal with the bureaucrats?  Yeah, that is what we want more of. jrSmiley_88_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
6.1.5  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Sunshine @6.1.4    2 days ago

Actually, you are mistaken. Most VA advocacy groups charge you nothing unless you win. Then they collect between 20 to 30% of your lump sum award as their fee.

 
 
 
Sunshine
6.1.6  Sunshine  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @6.1.5    2 days ago
20 to 30% of your lump sum award as their fee.

Well that sounds like a cost to me.  Where am I mistaken?

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
6.1.7  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Sunshine @6.1.6    2 days ago

I suppose that depends on what you consider the cost of getting a lawyer is. Most lawyers charge a fee just to talk to them. Then you are responsible for court cost fees. Then there is also a percentage of the ultimate award. Most VA advocacy only ask for a percentage of the lump sum award.

 
 
 
Sunshine
6.1.8  Sunshine  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @6.1.7    2 days ago
I suppose that depends on what you consider the cost of getting a lawyer is.

That is great that you get help for some of the cost, but I would consider any out of pocket expenses to be cost.

It is a shame that you had to hire a lawyer and pay to get the benefits that you have earned through your service.  I would not want anymore of that treatment in our health system for people to get their care.  

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
6.1.9  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Sunshine @6.1.8    2 days ago

I just cannot help but bet the impression you have never served in the military have you?

 
 
 
Sunshine
6.1.10  Sunshine  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @6.1.9    2 days ago
I just cannot help but bet the impression you have never served in the military have you?

What does that mean and why does it matter?  No I have not, but my father served in the early fifties, my uncle in WW2 , my grandfather in WW1 (he died later at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis), two other uncles in Vietnam, one a marine and one an army cook, another uncle on my mother's side was air force.

I don't understand why you are asking.  Are my comments offending you somehow?  If so, that was certainly not my intention.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
7  livefreeordie    3 days ago

Government should be disallowed to have any involvement in healthcare.

i refused to sign up for Medicare when I turned 65 even though I was forced to pay into it since it began in 1965

this is just about more totalitarian government control over our lives.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  livefreeordie @7    3 days ago
this is just about more totalitarian government control over our lives

I doubt many actual Medicare recipients would agree with you. They likely understand that it is a necessity they couldn't live without. The fact is, in the last hundred years Americans life expectancy shot up creating a whole class of elderly that almost didn't exist before social security and Medicare were formed.

"From the 1500s onward, till around the year 1800, life expectancy throughout Europe hovered between 30 and 40 years of age. Since the early 1800s, Finch writes that life expectancy at birth has doubled in a period of only 10 or so generations. Improved health care, sanitation, immunizations, access to clean running water, and better nutrition are all credited with the massive increase.

Though it’s hard to imagine, doctors only began regularly washing their hands before surgery in the mid-1800s. A better understanding of hygiene and the transmission of microbes has since contributed substantially to public health. Disease was still common, however, and impacted life expectancy. Parasites, typhoid, and infections like rheumatic fever and scarlet fever were all common during the 1800s."

https://www.verywellhealth.com/longevity-throughout-history-2224054

I'm sure you'd be quite happy going back to the survival of the fittest, healthcare is for sissy's era when most people died around age 45 to 50, but the rest of us appreciate the advancements made but also accept there is a cost associated with staying healthy later in life and regular check ups and preventative care are a part of that and should be available for all and is made available at 65 in our country. It's one of the things that actually make America great along with social security to give our elderly some sense of financial stability late in life, even if they'd been hit with tragedy and had lost everything or have no family to take care of them.

 
 
 
charger 383
8  charger 383    2 days ago

The health insurance companies we have now have proven to me that they can't or won't do what is needed.  They try very hard to get out of paying for things

 
 
 
TTGA
8.1  TTGA  replied to  charger 383 @8    2 days ago
The health insurance companies we have now have proven to me that they can't or won't do what is needed.  They try very hard to get out of paying for things

You've obviously never dealt with the VA, strictly a government agency.  They try just the same to get out of paying for things and, unlike health insurance companies, they have armed force to back up their "no".

Yep, health insurance companies (every one of them licensed by the government) do give crappy service.  Government run health care is worse.

 
 
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