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Uninsured's leave $49 billion in unpaid hospital bills

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by KI4MVP, May 10, 2011.

  1. KI4MVP

    KI4MVP formerly LJ4MVP

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    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washin...aid-hospital-bills_n.htm?loc=interstitialskip

    Who do you think picks up the tab? The insured. The more people there are who's expenses aren't being paid, the more the costs rise for the ones who do pay. Which is one reason why we need universal healthcare in this country. I already explained the other reason, that preventive care lowers overall healthcare costs.
     
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  2. DougHeil

    DougHeil The LeFraud Interaction

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    Yes of course. With Uni Care our government can decide who lives and dies so more people would be dead who won't be able to go to the emergency romm, because, erm, hm, they're dead.

    :D

    Anyway, I'm sure that survey didn't separate out the illegal immigrants who we also treat in the emergency room and don't pay their bills.... none of them.

    I'm also very sure the survey doesn't think about the fiasco we would have with fewer doctors which means less care available, which also means probably more people heading to the ER because the government rules our lives.
     
  3. KI4MVP

    KI4MVP formerly LJ4MVP

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    Right, doctors are going to quit practicing medicine because suddenly all of their bills get paid.
     
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  4. Man Called X

    Man Called X Not a **** was given

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    Okay, how about a fuck you to all those people making close to 100k a year that aren't paying their medical bills? You act like it's all poor people that don't pay. I'll tell you right now if I would've had the means to pay mine, I would have. You can thank your own federal gov't for forcing you to foot the bill for my cancer treatments.
     
  5. ButterMPancakes

    ButterMPancakes

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    Just fuck everybody, really. . .
     
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  6. bob2the2nd

    bob2the2nd member 32

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    so what youre saying is if there was somehow a way we could insure these people, so their medical bills werent going unpaid, we could help reduce the debt... i for one am shocked
     
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  7. Man Called X

    Man Called X Not a **** was given

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    How do you insure people that are clearly within their means to do so, but still choose not to? I suggest bullets to the brain. Saves the trouble of stupid people breeding.
     
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  8. cavman

    cavman I need your wifes number

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    The US healthcare system is shit, and all it would take for some of you to see that the system needs to be changed drastically is to live in my shoes for 5 min. I will have a huge smile on my face when it all crumbles to the ground.
     
  9. AanandM7

    AanandM7 Missing the 2003 Draft

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    I'm guessing you can see Russia from your house.
     
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  10. Randolphkeys

    Randolphkeys Admittedly Pompous Staff Member

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    Additionally, did you know that procedures actually cost more if the person receiving treatment is uninsured? Because insurance companies negotiate contracts with medical care providers, they get a discount on labor costs. If someone has a $2,000 procedure with health insurance, it can go up 60% without the special insured discount rate. This was meant to persuade people to get the insurance, but instead it just makes the uninsured medical bills impossibly expensive. Hence backruptcy among those who are uninsured and fall sick.

    Joining the rest of the non-third world and nationalizing the process solves this loophole.
     
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  11. KI4MVP

    KI4MVP formerly LJ4MVP

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    I never said it was only poor people. There is a spiraling issue. Uninsured people can't afford to pay when they need healthcare. This drives up the cost of healthcare, which drives up the cost of insurance, which means even less people can afford healthcare. I want you and everyone else to have health insurance that pays the bills when you need help that gets us out of the spiraling issue.

    And even better than paying for expensive treatment is paying for inexpensive preventive care that eliminates the need for the expensive treatment in the first place.
     
  12. Dirk Gently

    Dirk Gently Premium Member

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    I haven't seen any evidence that preventative care is an effective long term solution to rising medical costs. 25% of all hospital visits are for child birth, those wouldn't apply. Almost 50% of all hospital visits are through the emergency room, the majority of which are due to sprains, strains and auto accidents.

    The few conditions that can benefit from early treatments (heart disease and cancer), I haven't seen evidence that many people would take preventative measures for those conditions but currently aren't. Nonprofits seem to have filled the awareness void there, so we see breast cancer awareness month and american heart month bring attention to those issues. There's not a lot of people out there who would take action to prevent those issues, but currently aren't. You either go to regular screenings or you don't. You either eat healthy or you don't. You either stop smoking or you don't.

    Wired magazine did an interesting article last year that talked about the decision making progress of people who knew they were at risk for a disease (http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/01/ff_decisiontree/all/1). Often times people don't make the "best" decision, as far as minimizing future health costs associated with their behavior. It's often times only after significant negative effects have shown up (a heart attack, gum disease, etc) that people decide to change behavior. Making it slightly easier for them to be prescreened wouldn't do much to alter their decision making process. Most of the people who would have significant medical conditions that could prevented, wouldn't go anyway. It would mostly be healthy people who were already looking out for their health that would show up, adding additional costs to overall medical care. It would be the people who didn't need to show up, who would be most likely to show up. People who don't care about being healthy won't show up for optional prescreenings.

    If we're serious about reducing medical costs in the country we need to address the underlying causes. We can tax unhealthy food, with the proceeds from that tax going to cover the additional health care costs associated with eating unhealthy. We aren't going to get people to stop eating Big Macs, but if those cost a bit more they might cut back. And if they don't cut back, they're at least paying into a system that will cover some of their costs when they are older and on Medicare. If the tax payers are footing the bill for some of their coverage when they're older, they should pay in more if they make poor health choices before then.

    We can look at other optional poor health choices as well, if we're really serious about reducing health care costs in the country. Almost everyone who smokes for a significant amount of time ends up with expensive health costs down the road. Health insurance companies already take this into account and charge more to cover them. That same cost isn't being accounted for, for all the uninsured. Evidence suggests that additional taxes on tobacco significantly reduce the amount of total smokers (http://www.golocalprov.com/politics/Tobacco-Tax-Is-a-Win-Win-for-Rhode-Island/). For those who choose to continue to smoke, the taxes they're paying help offset the additional health care costs they'll incur down the road.

    Making people be accountable for poor health choices, and making them pay the true cost of those activities up front, not only reduces those behaviors (and reduces health care costs), it also helps to pay for those costs down the road, when taxpayers or insurance companies would have to pay for them. Requiring everyone to have insurance, or making it easier to get preventative care both work on paper but not in the real world. Factoring in the true cost of poor health activities gets us much further.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  13. KI4MVP

    KI4MVP formerly LJ4MVP

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    How does a person take preventive medicine for things like high blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and type 2 diabetes if they don't go to the doctor to find out you have the diseases? How does a person got to the doctor, find out they need the medication and get the $4/month prescription if they don't have health insurance? Instead of getting treated with regular preventive checkups, people go to the intensive care with a heart attack or stroke that very likely could have been prevented for $4/month.

    And I have no problem with taxing tobacco more to cover the associated health care costs. Tax it enough to cover healthcare costs related to both smoking and second hand smoke, then actually use the money to pay those costs and take them out of the insurance system all together. Also, more state should follow Ohio and ban smoking in public places.
     
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  14. bob2the2nd

    bob2the2nd member 32

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    25% of all hospital visits are for child birth? i would love to see that stat. but even if we take it at face value are you going to argue that having child birth at a hospital doesnt reduce the risk of something going wrong? and by doing so reduces cost in the long term
     
  15. KI4MVP

    KI4MVP formerly LJ4MVP

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    I reread this, why are you looking at stats for visits? Even if 50% of visits are for ER, there's a wide range of reasons people end up in the ER. anything from a cold or a sprain to life threatening conditions that turn into extended hospital stays.
     
  16. Dirk Gently

    Dirk Gently Premium Member

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    There are certainly fringe cases where preventative medicine can help, I'm not discounting that. I just haven't seen any evidence that people who would take those aren't getting those just because they don't have insurance. In most cases people with high blood pressure and cholesterol know they have that because they have a family history of it. I'm not opposed to people being checked for that, and I think it can be beneficial. I just don't see making the process easier to access making a significant difference on overall healthcare costs. Evidence of already insured people shows that most people don't bother with regular checkups. Those who do, many still ignore changing their routine (taking new medicine, changing behavior, etc). In a perfect world, people would care about it, and act proactively. We don't live in a perfect world, and most people aren't willing to act with the best interests of their long term health costs in mind.

    In order for preventative care to be effective, you need to fundamentally change human behavior. The easiest way to do that is financially. For most, that doesn't mean just making it free. Adding a yearly health tax for everyone, that can be written off by people who had a checkup could work. Most people do a really bad job of acting in a way that reduces their future health care costs. Until that issue is addressed, we're looking at small improvements at best.
     
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  17. KI4MVP

    KI4MVP formerly LJ4MVP

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    you must not be around many people who can't afford health care.

    And what you want to call the fringe cases are where we spend the most healthcare dollars (outside of the cost of smoking, which I said I would handle differently).

    and

    http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/AAG/dhdsp.htm
     
  18. Dirk Gently

    Dirk Gently Premium Member

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    I don't see it an issue about some people not being able to afford health care. My point is that those who do have health coverage generally don't seek preventative care. Those who do generally don't change behavior to improve their health future. What's more, those cases that could be effectively solved with preventative care are a drop in the bucket of total health care.

    I just haven't seen any evidence that there are a significant portion of the population who would seek preventative checkups if given the means. I haven't seen any evidence that even if those people did get regular checkups that they would alter their behavior. I'm sure there are fringe cases where some people would get regular checkups and would follow through on inexpensive ($4 a month) that they can't afford. I'm not opposed to that happening. The reason to that shouldn't be done under the guise of reducing future health care costs, because I think at best it breaks even (more healthy people who don't need regular checkups would be the ones most likely going, those who don't care about their health, are are the least healthy, wouldn't show up). There are better ways of reducing future health care costs. The two aren't mutually exclusive.
     
  19. KI4MVP

    KI4MVP formerly LJ4MVP

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    who do you think is less likely to get preventive care, people with health insurance or people without health insurance? And the problem isn't just preventive care, I have seen people bypass treatment because they couldn't afford healthcare. Some missed work longer than necessary because they couldn't go get treated. I even know of someone who died because they put off treatment for pneumonia until it was too late because of the cost. This sort of thing simply shouldn't happen.
     
  20. VicDiMoneJr

    VicDiMoneJr Towel Waver

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    Where do you get your information? Because hospital charges do not vary based on the patient's insurance provider. At least they sure don't at my employer. The contracts negotiated between hospitals and insurance providers determine how much the insurance provider will pay based on the diagnostic resource group the patient is coded.
     

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