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Snakebite victim charged $89,000 for 18-hour hospital stay
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andiamo



Joined: 24 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:21 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Autofysrto, Isn't kind of funny, that the Devil always seems to pop up every where. I beg of you Autofysrto, please don't be to hard on these poor posters.

The Ispy poster might come here to attack you soon. Be careful.


I haven't heard much of Robert. Do you know how he is doing lately. I hope that he is well. I kind of miss his comments.

Hey Mr. Villain, Do you have any idea of how Robert is doing? I heard you and were very tight. Can you share anything news of Robert with us here on this forum.

I'm sure that there are few people here that miss him as well.
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villainesta



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:08 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

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I'd gladly trade a $2700.00 tax credit


When I retired and lost my medical coverage I got a letter from Blue Cross/Shield informing me that I could continued with my coverage for...$8000./yr.
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Scorpion



Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:25 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

villainesta wrote:
Quote:
I'd gladly trade a $2700.00 tax credit


When I retired and lost my medical coverage I got a letter from Blue Cross/Shield informing me that I could continued with my coverage for...$8000./yr.


COBRA
"The right to COBRA continuation coverage was created by a federal law, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). COBRA continuation coverage can become available to you when you would otherwise lose your group health coverage. It can also become available to other members of your family who are covered under the Plan when they would otherwise lose their group health coverage."


And you can thank the GOVERNMENT for that chance to continue your medical insurance coverage at such a bargain rate when you no longer have an income.
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villainesta



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:28 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
And you can thank the GOVERNMENT for that chance to continue your medical insurance coverage at such a bargain rate when you no longer have an income.


As a proud libertarian of course I eschewed government hand outs that are rotting the moral fiber of this great country unlike that fake Ayn Rand who was only too glad to receive aid from the government she despised.
Actually I had a retirement income and purchased BlueCross/shield down here for a reasonable sum. I don't know why it was so high in Philadelphia but it came out that the guy who was the head of the Penna. BC/S instead of returning any surplus money was banking it and had stashed some 4 or 5 billion.
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autofyrsto



Joined: 17 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:48 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

eyenstein wrote:
I'd gladly trade a $2700.00 tax credit ... For a SINGLE TRIP to the E.R. that averages about TWO GRAND.
scorpion wrote:
The right to COBRA continuation coverage was created by a federal law ... And you can thank the GOVERNMENT for that chance to continue your medical insurance coverage at such a bargain rate when you no longer have an income.

This is typical of government problem "solving". Government wants health care to be cheaper, so what does it do? It manipulates incentives. It waves $2,700 in front of the noses of working Americans (really it offers not to pilfer this money, which belonged to the employee all along, but that's another issue), and gives it to them on condition that they buy health care from their employers rather than shop for it in a competitive market. People take the money. No surprise there, but then what? When they lose their jobs, they lose their coverage. Who didn't see that coming? So how does government solve this new problem? Does it repeal its own perversion of incentives? Of course not. It passes a new law called COBRA that forces employers to pick up a tab for continuing health coverage for people who no longer add value to the company. Then to all the progressives who think this is a great idea, because Econ 101 is like voodoo to them, it's a big stinking mystery why employers are so reticent to hire people whose continued health coverage they will have to pay for. Now we have more unemployment. Capitalism doesn't work, right? The market is broken! So how will the government deliver us from unemployment? The last thing it will ever do is repeal its own perversions of incentives that have caused these problems in the first place.

villainesta wrote:
How much is catastrophic? $30,000? $100,000? $300,000? The plan is meaningless without some idea of what amount is needed to be on hand to cover non-catastrophic bills. ... no-frill? what does that refer to?

I don't have all these answers for you, but I'll refer you to two short videos that will set you on the proper research path. They are both of John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, and a great role model for progressives, IMO, who should like to know how markets work. He now offers plans to his employees (aka "team members") similar to the ones described in this 1994 Cato article. I'm not sure if this required any change in the law. I'll have to look into that. In the first video, Reason.tv interviews Whole Foods employees to get their opinions about the Whole Foods health care plan:

Reason.tv | Natural Food Fight: Whole Foods and Health Care

Of course, being from the libertarian Reason.tv, this has probably been slanted in Mackey's favor. For all I know, someone is out there right now digging a mass grave for Whole Foods employees who are dying under this plan. If you take the video at face value, though, the employees seem to be getting by.

The next video is of John Mackey, interviewed at Forbes. He describes some frill procedures that either are now or might become mandatory for Whole Foods to cover, such as in vitro fertilization, mental health coverage, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, acupuncture, chiropractor visits, etc.:

Forbes | Whole Foods' Health Plan: How Does It Work?

Lastly, the whole Ayn Rand on Medicare thing doesn't move me at all. It speaks only to the strength of government manipulation of incentives, and not to any individual's failings. If the government were to nationalize the production of all food, I don't think Ayn Rand would be a hypocrite if she continued to eat. Similarly, when the government destroys the entire health care system after a century of intervention, I don't think anyone is a hypocrite who takes refuge under whatever ruins the government maintains.
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sharks-eat-commies



Joined: 26 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:16 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

autofyrsto wrote:
eyenstein wrote:
I'd gladly trade a $2700.00 tax credit ... For a SINGLE TRIP to the E.R. that averages about TWO GRAND.
scorpion wrote:
The right to COBRA continuation coverage was created by a federal law ... And you can thank the GOVERNMENT for that chance to continue your medical insurance coverage at such a bargain rate when you no longer have an income.

This is typical of government problem "solving". Government wants health care to be cheaper, so what does it do? It manipulates incentives. It waves $2,700 in front of the noses of working Americans (really it offers not to pilfer this money, which belonged to the employee all along, but that's another issue), and gives it to them on condition that they buy health care from their employers rather than shop for it in a competitive market. People take the money. No surprise there, but then what? When they lose their jobs, they lose their coverage. Who didn't see that coming? So how does government solve this new problem? Does it repeal its own perversion of incentives? Of course not. It passes a new law called COBRA that forces employers to pick up a tab for continuing health coverage for people who no longer add value to the company. Then to all the progressives who think this is a great idea, because Econ 101 is like voodoo to them, it's a big stinking mystery why employers are so reticent to hire people whose continued health coverage they will have to pay for. Now we have more unemployment. Capitalism doesn't work, right? The market is broken! So how will the government deliver us from unemployment? The last thing it will ever do is repeal its own perversions of incentives that have caused these problems in the first place.

villainesta wrote:
How much is catastrophic? $30,000? $100,000? $300,000? The plan is meaningless without some idea of what amount is needed to be on hand to cover non-catastrophic bills. ... no-frill? what does that refer to?

I don't have all these answers for you, but I'll refer you to two short videos that will set you on the proper research path. They are both of John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, and a great role model for progressives, IMO, who should like to know how markets work. He now offers plans to his employees (aka "team members") similar to the ones described in this 1994 Cato article. I'm not sure if this required any change in the law. I'll have to look into that. In the first video, Reason.tv interviews Whole Foods employees to get their opinions about the Whole Foods health care plan:

Reason.tv | Natural Food Fight: Whole Foods and Health Care

Of course, being from the libertarian Reason.tv, this has probably been slanted in Mackey's favor. For all I know, someone is out there right now digging a mass grave for Whole Foods employees who are dying under this plan. If you take the video at face value, though, the employees seem to be getting by.

The next video is of John Mackey, interviewed at Forbes. He describes some frill procedures that either are now or might become mandatory for Whole Foods to cover, such as in vitro fertilization, mental health coverage, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, acupuncture, chiropractor visits, etc.:

Forbes | Whole Foods' Health Plan: How Does It Work?

Lastly, the whole Ayn Rand on Medicare thing doesn't move me at all. It speaks only to the strength of government manipulation of incentives, and not to any individual's failings. If the government were to nationalize the production of all food, I don't think Ayn Rand would be a hypocrite if she continued to eat. Similarly, when the government destroys the entire health care system after a century of intervention, I don't think anyone is a hypocrite who takes refuge under whatever ruins the government maintains.


What employers pay their ex-employee's COBRA premiums? None that I know of.
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villainesta



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:20 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

First what Whole Foods offers its employees today doesn't predicate what they will offer tomorrow.

We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general," said Armstrong, according to a transcript first obtained by Capital New York. "And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan.

The video's give hardly any information of the details of the plan. Will Whole Foods pay all costs after the $3000 deductible? How many days of hospitalization will Whole foods Pay. Medicare offers 150 days. The advantage of government health care is one can rely on the availability of the plan. Not so in private industry. As to your irrational belief that the government is the sole responsible agent for the demonstratively broken system that is health care in the US it starts your arguments from a nonexistent basis. To make some sense of the problem one must begin with an analytical perspective not an ideological one.
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villainesta



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:43 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
Lastly, the whole Ayn Rand on Medicare thing doesn't move me at all. It speaks only to the strength of government manipulation of incentives, and not to any individual's failings. If the government were to nationalize the production of all food, I don't think Ayn Rand would be a hypocrite if she continued to eat. Similarly, when the government destroys the entire health care system after a century of intervention, I don't think anyone is a hypocrite who takes refuge under whatever ruins the government maintains.
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You dodge the issue. According to the Ayn Rand gospel there should be no government
health insurance so she should have saved her money to cover her costs. That she couldn't is testament to the error of her preaching.People like Steve Forbes and you, don't need insurance as you can pay your costs out of pocket and are against universal single payer health insurance because it will raise your taxes. Not an unreasonable position but let's be clear on this.
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autofyrsto



Joined: 17 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:34 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

sharks-eat-commies wrote:
What employers pay their ex-employee's COBRA premiums? None that I know of.

You are right, sharks. I re-read the FAQ. It says that "Employers may require individuals to pay for COBRA continuation coverage. The premium that is charged cannot exceed the full cost of the coverage, plus a 2 percent administration charge." So the individual pays for the premium, but administrative fees are capped at 2% of the premium. I imagine this still is not a good deal for whoever is offering the service. If it were, the government would not have to fix the price of administration.

villainesta wrote:
The video's give hardly any information of the details of the plan.

I am aware that the videos do not offer details of the plan. I specifically wrote that I was posting the video to set you on your own research path. The employees in the video, whom I assume are familiar with the details of the plan, say they are satisfied with the plan. I take them at their word. If you believe that they should be unsatisfied with the plan, or that the views depicted are not representative of Whole Foods employees, or whatever, then I think maybe the burden is yours to demonstrate that. It is your turn to contribute some more research. You might try stopping into a Whole Foods and speaking yourself to some of the people who work there.

villainesta wrote:
The advantage of government health care is one can rely on the availability of the plan. Not so in private industry.

The disadvantage is that guaranteed availability invites overuse. The higher demand tends to inflate the price.

villainesta wrote:
As to your irrational belief that the government is the sole responsible agent for the demonstratively broken system that is health care in the US it starts your arguments from a nonexistent basis.

I'm willing to consider other agents responsible for the high cost of health care, such as an increase in demand from the aging population. Name a few others and I'll tell you what I think, but one can not reasonably downplay the dramatic effects of pervasive government intervention, whose purpose is to choke off supply, and whose tax policies discourage market activities.

villainesta wrote:
To make some sense of the problem one must begin with an analytical perspective not an ideological one.

You will never accept my analysis because you dismiss Econ 101 analyses as ideology.

villainesta wrote:
You dodge the issue. According to the Ayn Rand gospel there should be no government health insurance so she should have saved her money to cover her costs.

You refuse to acknowledge the issue. You dismiss the issue as ideology. According to the Ayn Rand gospel, government should not choke off supply and enact tax policies that discourage market activities. According to the Ayn Rand gospel, the government should not destroy markets. You refuse to acknowledge that these government activities have any substantial effect on the price of health care because you dismiss Econ 101 as ideology.
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villainesta



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:04 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:

villainesta wrote:
The video's give hardly any information of the details of the plan.

I am aware that the videos do not offer details of the plan. I specifically wrote that I was posting the video to set you on your own research path. The employees in the video, whom I assume are familiar with the details of the plan, say they are satisfied with the plan. I take them at their word. If you believe that they should be unsatisfied with the plan, or that the views depicted are not representative of Whole Foods employees, or whatever, then I think maybe the burden is yours to demonstrate that. It is your turn to contribute some more research. You might try stopping into a Whole Foods and speaking yourself to some of the people who work there.

first the nearest Whole foods is 60 miles from here so I am not going to drive that far as I know that a) any health plan has to look good for workers at this level and b)I am sure the manager would hardly want to have a private individual interviewing his employees and c) It's doubtful any employee would want to criticize Whole Foods during working hours. I don't need to do research as private insurance can be downgraded or eliminated at any moment so as a substitute to a government plan it fails the practicality test. .
My guess is Whole Foods will not divulge details of their plan. No details are given on their web site. I suspect the first time their health care fails to provide the necessary
coverage in a big way we will find out the details and just how generous is the coverage as they claim.

villainesta wrote:
The advantage of government health care is one can rely on the availability of the plan. Not so in private industry.

The disadvantage is that guaranteed availability invites overuse. The higher demand tends to inflate the price.

I assume you mean because more people get health care. I have had some experience with this and back when ford was prez he urged all citizens to get flue shots and it was mandatory at fort Dix and as it turned out a number of men were paralyzed as a result. Also my wife paralyzed from the waist down. She spent a month ibn the hospital as with my all frills policy I could see the specialists jumping on the band wagon. If there is overuse that;'s where it is. I can't see a patient saying no I don't want an MRI-it's not necessary and will drive up costs You have to deal in reality as Ayn would say.

villainesta wrote:
As to your irrational belief that the government is the sole responsible agent for the demonstratively broken system that is health care in the US it starts your arguments from a nonexistent basis.

I'm willing to consider other agents responsible for the high cost of health care, such as an increase in demand from the aging population. Name a few others and I'll tell you what I think, but one can not reasonably downplay the dramatic effects of pervasive government intervention, whose purpose is to choke off supply, and whose tax policies discourage market activities.

{color=blue] Have you forgotten so soon? I gave you a long list as to that. and for sure the greatest cause is the vast expansion in scientific progress in the medical field. 100 years ago there wasn't much that a hospital could do for most diseases. The think is how to sxcale back the medical professions imputest to throw all available resources at a patient. I had a cousin that lived to 102 and she had a hip replacement in her 90s![/color].

villainesta wrote:
To make some sense of the problem one must begin with an analytical perspective not an ideological one.

You will never accept my analysis because you dismiss Econ 101 analyses as ideology.
when one believes in rock solid free markets one is dealing in ideology
and not reality. Corporations are the last ones to want totally free markets.


villainesta wrote:
You dodge the issue. According to the Ayn Rand gospel there should be no government health insurance so she should have saved her money to cover her costs.

You refuse to acknowledge the issue. You dismiss the issue as ideology. According to the Ayn Rand gospel, government should not choke off supply and enact tax policies that discourage market activities. According to the Ayn Rand gospel, the government should not destroy markets. You refuse to acknowledge that these government activities have any substantial effect on the price of health care because you dismiss Econ 101 as ideology

Ayn believed people should take care of themselves are be taken care of my private charities. When crunch time came she abandoned that unrealistic view. It CAN'T be denied If government NEVER had any involvement in health care she would have died in agony.
.
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autofyrsto



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:55 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

villainesta wrote:
first the nearest Whole foods is 60 miles from here so I am not going to drive that far ... My guess is Whole Foods will not divulge details of their plan. No details are given on their web site.

I would imagine that Whole Foods would divulge the details of their plan at least to job applicants, if no one else. I don't think we're dealing in trade secrets, here, but fair enough. I don't have more details, so we'll have to leave it at that.

villainesta wrote:
I can't see a patient saying no I don't want an MRI-it's not necessary and will drive up costs You have to deal in reality as Ayn would say.

I don't think one can reasonably maintain that every medical procedure is always 100% necessary. It sounds like you want every request for every medical procedure always to be honored. I'm afraid that's just not possible in a world of scarcity. You have to deal in reality as Ayn would say. I don't even think universal health care in other countries can offer that, can it? Whoever is on the hook paying for this stuff has to draw a line somewhere.

Individual risk is another issue. I'm pretty sure that as people realize their health needs are financially covered, they take on health and safety risks that they may not otherwise have. True, a person in immediate need may not be able to opt out of an expensive MRI, but I believe that once patients are on the hook for paying higher deductibles and covering more of their own medical costs, they will live their lives so as to minimize the need for such expensive procedures. I know that won't save everyone, but incentivizing healthier, less risky lifestyles will surely reduce overconsumption of health care resources. That will leave more resources available, at more affordable prices, for those who have no choice but to use them.

villainesta wrote:
for sure the greatest cause is the vast expansion in scientific progress in the medical field. 100 years ago there wasn't much that a hospital could do for most diseases. The think is how to sxcale back the medical professions imputest to throw all available resources at a patient.

I'm afraid that I don't see how this supposed to be a strike against a private health care market. So, in times past, the medical profession had more affordable but less effective ways of diagnosing and treating illnesses and injuries. Along came an innovator who offered a better way to do it, but unfortunately, because we live in a world of scarcity, it comes at a price. Basically, the innovator introduces a new option, which, unfortunately, is not available to everyone. Is it fair to say that the health care system is now too expensive, and therefore worse off, as a result of vast scientific progress? I don't think so.

And is this really what happened to our snakebite victim? Am I to believe that vast expansions in the science of antivenom caused the price of it to soar to $81,000 per vial? My opinion is that government supply restrictions that make producing and stocking antivenom a crime for most people have increased the price of this treatment at neglibile benefit. This but one among a plague of other interventions that have destroyed the health care marketplace. If you want to talk about throwing all available resource at the patient, let's start with ditching government-mandated emergency helicopter trips to ship antivenom from the zoo to the hospital. Let's start there. Is that off the table?

villainesta wrote:
Corporations are the last ones to want totally free markets.

Absolutely. Absofrigginlutley. Put me down for totally free markets, and against corporate cronyism.

villainesta wrote:
autofyrsto wrote:
You refuse to acknowledge that these government activities have any substantial effect on the price of health care because you dismiss Econ 101 as ideology

when one believes in rock solid free markets one is dealing in ideology and not reality. ... Ayn believed people should take care of themselves are be taken care of my private charities. When crunch time came she abandoned that unrealistic view. It CAN'T be denied If government NEVER had any involvement in health care she would have died in agony.

My observation is that is where there are trouble in markets, some foolhardy government intervention is usually not far away. Conjecturing a cause-effect relationship between the intervention and the problem is usually not very difficult for those who understand how markets work.

Why do you resort to such tortured evasions? I asked you to admit one thing, based on the most elementary economic awareness. I asked you to admit that government intervention in the health care market increases the price of health care. Your response was: "Ayn believed people should take care of themselves are be taken care of my private charities. When crunch time came she abandoned that unrealistic view. It CAN'T be denied If government NEVER had any involvement in health care she would have died in agony." What the heck is that? That is a sad, tortured evasion. Sure, I can speculate, as I have repeatedly, that maybe if government intervention had not caused the price to skyrocket in the first place, then maybe Ayn Rand might have been better able to afford private health care. You continue to pretend that the effect of government intervention on price is not an issue. You are pretending. Do you think maybe you can stop pretending for a minute that you don't hear what I'm saying? Give me a true or false on this statement:

True or False? Government intervention in the health care market increases the price of health care.
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villainesta



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:54 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't think one can reasonably maintain that every medical procedure is always 100% necessary. It sounds like you want every request for every medical procedure always to be honored.

If you could have read my post objectively, you would understand I said that the PATIENT unless he/she is a doctor is in no position to know what is necessary and what is price padding. It has long been argued that overuse of medical procedures was A reason for the expensive of health care and the doctors would counter with it was necessary to defend against law suits placing the blame on the law profession. rather than the government. Republicans have long wailed about Tort Reform as the law profession and university professors who of course are all liberal are the 2 most evil agents undermining the noble capitalists.

Quote:
but I believe that once patients are on the hook for paying higher deductibles and covering more of their own medical costs, they will live their lives so as to minimize the need for such expensive procedures.


Oh sure. Just like Ayn Rand who presumably as I must assume she wasn't a total fraud must have lived what she considered a healthy life style so she could deal with her medical expenses from the proceeds of her book sales. We know how that turned out. As we have seen when the ACA was first announced the Tea Baggers set up a howl about DEATH PANELS when if they thought like you they would have praised them for their cost cutting potential. Isn't that what you are advocating: rationing health care?

Quote:
Basically, the innovator introduces a new option, which, unfortunately, is not available to everyone. Is it fair to say that the health care system is now too expensive, and therefore worse off, as a result of vast scientific progress?


We now come to the nub of the problem. What you are saying is that a citizen of the USA with it's multi-trillion economy, is entitled to only the health care he/she can afford.So, when a patient enters a hospital lets say a credit is established based on insurance or wealth if no insurance is available, and the course of treatment is established utilizing only an affordable protocol.So what happens if the patient is not cured when his credit runs out? You can see the problem I hope.


Quote:
And is this really what happened to our snakebite victim? Am I to believe that vast expansions in the science of antivenom caused the price of it to soar to $81,000 per vial? My opinion is that government supply restrictions that make producing and stocking antivenom a crime for most people have increased the price of this treatment at neglibile benefit


You seem to have totally misunderstood the basis of this thread. Go back and re-read the first post. The antidote cost less than $1000 and why was the application during an 18 hour stay priced at $81000?

The hospital defended its prices, saying it has to charge prices higher than retail because of the various discounts it is required to give insurers.

So the government had NOTHING to do with the price of the antidote. So are the insurance companies to blame? If Horizon Blue is any guide from my experience,, highly likely i pay all my bills through direct pay from my checking account. But I can't do this at Horizon and have to mail a check every month by snail mail. Maybe they are hoping I will be hospitalized unable to send my remittance and they can cancel me if it looks like I will run up a big bill. Eliminate private insurance companies and you can reduce the cost of medical care substantially

.
Quote:
That is a sad, tortured evasion. Sure, I can speculate, as I have repeatedly, that maybe if government intervention had not caused the price to skyrocket in the first place, then maybe Ayn Rand might have been better able to afford private health care.


Yes pure speculation with no evidence to prove your point. I offered the findings of a bi-partisan study which you cherry picked for causes and what the study shows there is no one silver bullet that will contain the problem. Yes the government has cause some of the price increase but that is due to the Progressive position that citizens are entitled to health care and if it means higher taxes on the small percentage of individuals who posses an unfair share of the wealth so be it. Beyond that overall goal there is much to be done in making the health delivery system more efficient but as we can see today, there is a body of the electorate that is opposed to this on principal with the foolish belief that in a totally free market marvelous benefits will ensue despite experience time and time again of the corruption of those who wished to profit at the expense of the whole.
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autofyrsto



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:40 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Alright, well, tort reform is another matter. We can talk about that later if you like....

villainesta wrote:
Oh sure. Just like Ayn Rand who presumably as I must assume she wasn't a total fraud must have lived what she considered a healthy life style so she could deal with her medical expenses from the proceeds of her book sales. We know how that turned out.

Wouldn't that have been great if Ayn Rand could have single-handedly slashed the cost of medical care across the nation by defying government incentives and living a healthier lifestyle? I think your obsession with Ayn Rand is unhealthy. I think maybe you should put your Ayn Rand voodoo doll down for a few minutes and consider the bigger picture.

villainesta wrote:
As we have seen when the ACA was first announced the Tea Baggers set up a howl about DEATH PANELS when if they thought like you they would have praised them for their cost cutting potential. Isn't that what you are advocating: rationing health care?

The howl about death panels was idiotic for just this reason. He who pays the piper calls the tune. Everyone knows that. When the numbers no longer add up, there comes a time to pull the plug and give the next poor soul a chance to use those scarce medical resources. That isn't my preferred Utopia. That's just reality, and just as true for private, third-party payers as it is for a government single payer. I know that the progressive position is that, since resources are infinite and economics don't matter, everyone should freely take medical resources at their pleasure in perpetuity. I'm sorry I can not join you in that position, as much as I would love to. As a libertarian, I have to take economic reality into account.

villainesta wrote:
We now come to the nub of the problem. What you are saying is that a citizen of the USA with it's multi-trillion economy, is entitled to only the health care he/she can afford.So, when a patient enters a hospital lets say a credit is established based on insurance or wealth if no insurance is available, and the course of treatment is established utilizing only an affordable protocol.So what happens if the patient is not cured when his credit runs out? You can see the problem I hope.

Right. So this is a problem. My perspective as a libertarian is to ask; Well, what sorts of policies will make health care more affordable? What sorts of policies will make that patient's credit line go a little further? I understand the progressive position, which is to take money away from someone else who has it and use that money to extend a patient's credit. I think this can take us only so far. We will run out of other people's money before we run out of health problems, and taking things from others is a violation of libertarian ethics, to boot. Yes, as a last resort, I understand that this will bring temporary relief to many people. Fortunately we are not at the last resort, for government can help reduce the cost of health care immediately by ceasing its pervasive interventions which, at every turn, reduce supply, confound market functions, and drive up prices. I would like to try that first. If that doesn't work to your satisfaction, then lets talk redistribution.

villainesta wrote:
You seem to have totally misunderstood the basis of this thread. Go back and re-read the first post. The antidote cost less than $1000 and why was the application during an 18 hour stay priced at $81000? The hospital defended its prices, saying it has to charge prices higher than retail because of the various discounts it is required to give insurers.

I think you may have missed my post in which I have already responded to this point directly. It is here, and reproduced below for your convenience:

autofyrsto wrote:
I would be remiss if I did not point out some interesting editorial decisions on the part of Yahoo! News. They linked to the original story, which came from The Charlotte Observer. Notice these differences. ...

Whereas Yahoo! News reported:
Quote:
The hospital defended its prices, saying it has to charge prices higher than retail because of the various discounts it is required to give insurers.

The Charlotte Observer reported:
Quote:
Asked to comment on the snake bite billing, Lake Norman officials provided a written statement: “… Hospitals only collect a small percentage of our charges, or ‘list prices.’ We are required to give Medicare one level of discount from list price, Medicaid another, and private insurers negotiate for still others. … If we did not start with the list prices we have, we would not end up with enough revenue to remain in operation. … Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.

Observe that, according to the original statement, the hospital is "required" to give a discount to Medicare and Medicaid. The hospital negotiates with private insurers. That whole bit about providing uncompensated care, presumably under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act? Well, whoops. That's a very interesting editorial choice on the part of Yahoo! News, is it not?

So let's set the record straight.

villainesta wrote:
So the government had NOTHING to do with the price of the antidote.

Setting aside the mandated Medicare and Medicaid discounts that Yahoo! News, whoops, "forgot" to report, my position is that when the government makes possession of antivenom a crime for all but those few who have the resources to pass through the government's medicine gauntlet, that reduces the available supply of antivenom and drives up the price of administering it. I don't think Yahoo! News' failure to spoon feed that to us makes it any less true. First of all, it follows from basic economics. Second of all, I've demonstrated here that you should not trust Yahoo! News to spoon feed anything to you. You may just have to think for yourself, perish the thought.

villainesta wrote:
autofyrsto wrote:
Sure, I can speculate, as I have repeatedly, that maybe if government intervention had not caused the price to skyrocket in the first place, then maybe Ayn Rand might have been better able to afford private health care.
Yes pure speculation with no evidence to prove your point. I offered the findings of a bi-partisan study which you cherry picked for causes and what the study shows there is no one silver bullet that will contain the problem.

I think it is equal speculation on your part to assume that pulling back on government intervention would not have made health care affordable enough for Ayn Rand to purchase privately. I get this a lot from progressives. They either can not or will not fathom how government intervention destroys markets. Then, if I try maybe to guess what things might have been like had the government not destroyed them, then that's poo-poohed as illegitimate speculation. It's a no-win for me, argumentatively, when the supporters of government dominance use government dominance to justify government dominance and dismiss the alternatives.

villainesta wrote:
Yes the government has cause some of the price increase but that is due to the Progressive position that citizens are entitled to health care and if it means higher taxes on the small percentage of individuals who posses an unfair share of the wealth so be it.

Okay, fine. I'm glad we have that out in the open. I'll just repeat what I said above, which is that I would save redistribution for a last resort. We are not yet at that last resort, as government can reduce health care costs substantially by curtailing its intervention.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:37 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
Wouldn't that have been great if Ayn Rand could have single-handedly slashed the cost of medical care across the nation by defying government incentives and living a healthier lifestyle? I think your obsession with Ayn Rand is unhealthy. I think maybe you should put your Ayn Rand voodoo doll down for a few minutes and consider the bigger picture.


I don't think you should downplay Rand's poisonous ideology that has had a considerable roll in the financial disasters in recent times.

Rand's fingerprints are all over the recent Goldman story. The case in question involves a hedge fund financier, John Paulson, who went to Goldman with the idea of a synthetic derivative package pegged to risky American mortgages, for use in betting against the mortgage market. Paulson would short the package, called Abacus, and Goldman would then sell the deal to suckers who would be told it was a good bet for a long investment. The SEC's contention is that Goldman committed a crime – a "failure to disclose" – when they failed to tell the suckers about the role played by the vulture betting against them on the other side of the deal.

Now, the instruments in question in this deal – collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps – fall into the category of derivatives, which are virtually unregulated in the US thanks in large part to the effort of gremlinish former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who as a young man was close to Rand and remained a staunch Randian his whole life. In the late 90s, Greenspan lobbied hard for the passage of a law that came to be called the Commodity Futures Modernisation Act of 2000, a monster of a bill that among other things deregulated the sort of interest-rate swaps Goldman used in its now-infamous dealings with Greece.


See http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/matt-taibbi/28281/the-lunatics-who-made-a-religion-out-of-greed-and-wrecked-the-economy

And one Alan Greenspan was a devotee of Rand in his early years. You think such things done't have influence?

Quote:
I know that the progressive position is that, since resources are infinite and economics don't matter, everyone should freely take medical resources at their pleasure in perpetuity. I'm sorry I can not join you in that position, as much as I would love to. As a libertarian, I have to take economic reality into account.


You lost me there as the so-called Death Panels were supposedly part of the ACA so I don't think you can say the Progressive position is no curtailment of treatment. And the Progressive position is to support end of life enablement (suicide) which the religious crazies oppose.on the weird basis that only their god can implement death.

Quote:
Fortunately we are not at the last resort, for government can help reduce the cost of health care immediately by ceasing its pervasive interventions which, at every turn, reduce supply, confound market functions, and drive up prices


Recent history with the scraping of the Glass-Steagall Act and the consequent melt down of our economy certainly must show that the idea of no government is unworkable and your acceptance of the Randian kool-aid hespite the historical record of the built in suicide pill of unfettered capitalism.is analogus to the christians praying for rain.

Quote:
I think you may have missed my post in which I have already responded to this point directly. It is here, and reproduced below for your convenience:


I can see you have no intention of admitting that the cost of the antidote was not a factor in the $81,000 bill. The hospital did not say they had to buy 4 vials at $12,000 each but that they overcharged beyond retail to make up for instances where insurance doesn't cover all their costs. Do you have information that government controls on something as esoteric as the antidote had raised the cost to such levels? By their own admission the hospital blamed a conscious overcharge on extraneous elements that didn't enter in this one man's case.

Quote:
I think it is equal speculation on your part to assume that pulling back on government intervention would not have made health care affordable enough for Ayn Rand to purchase privately


As I have been pointing out in all instances of government NOT intervening in private industry have resulted in corruption and as in 2008 a near fatal collapse. Nothing in history gives me confidence that unregulated greed driven enterprise can succeed.

Quote:
... I would save redistribution for a last resort


You mean everyone should pay their own way? The idea behind insurance is that everyone pays into the pot and those that need the money take it out. Is that so radical an idea?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:28 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
You mean everyone should pay their own way? The idea behind insurance is that everyone pays into the pot and those that need the money take it out. Is that so radical an idea?


Please explain FEMA and the government's flood insurance program to me. Why are people who haven't put any money into the pot taking money out of the pot?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:18 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
Please explain FEMA and the government's flood insurance program to me. Why are people who haven't put any money into the pot taking money out of the pot?


It's a little something called Federal Income Tax. Actually the Federal government is also subsidizing the housing industry by reimbursing losses on second homes and as we know from our experience in Cape May County (if you actually live here) maybe half the homes are second homes.It is my opinion that only primary residences should receive aid. This might have the useful effect of reducing overbuilding on the coastline.

I don't know if you waded thru the above discussion but autofyrsto's clings to the notion that everything the government does is bad. From a web site that claims FEMA aid drives out private aid I found this gem of tortured logic:

Prices after hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods reflect sudden changes in supply and demand. Essentials like water and gasoline soar in price as if to inform people that they should use them sparingly. What is remarkable is not the high prices—which the media always ascribe to “gouging”—but that the market works so well in the face of catastrophe. When local bureaucrats put caps on prices, they create more shortages.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:28 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

villainesta wrote:
I don't think you should downplay Rand's poisonous ideology that has had a considerable roll in the financial disasters in recent times. ... And one Alan Greenspan was a devotee of Rand in his early years. You think such things done't have influence?

I'm not downplaying the ideology. I'm downplaying her personal life, which I don't find as instructive as you do. She was a fallible human being, subject to the same government manipulations of incentives, and a victim of the same government-mangled economy as everyone else. As for the Goldman/SEC/Greenspan issue, I think that belongs in another thread, but I can say here briefly that the man who endeavored to centrally plan the entire monetary system of the world's largest economy kind of lost his libertarian card in the process, if he ever had one.

villainesta wrote:
You lost me there as the so-called Death Panels were supposedly part of the ACA so I don't think you can say the Progressive position is no curtailment of treatment. And the Progressive position is to support end of life enablement (suicide) which the religious crazies oppose.on the weird basis that only their god can implement death.

That's interesting. I thought the progressive response to the Tea Bagger howls about DEATH PANELS was that the Tea Baggers were all nutty and that the ACA did not create any death panels. Are you now admitting that the ACA created death panels? It's alright if you are. It's a fact of life: He who pays the piper calls the tune. And are you advocating end of life enablement (suicide) as a progressive cost cutting measure? Personally, I'd file that under "individual sovereignty" but if you want to re-brand that as a cost cutter, I'll play along....

villainesta wrote:
Recent history with the scraping of the Glass-Steagall Act and the consequent melt down of our economy certainly must show that the idea of no government is unworkable and your acceptance of the Randian kool-aid hespite the historical record of the built in suicide pill of unfettered capitalism.

Unfettered capitalism? Rolling Eyes I'll let you in on a little secret: Pssst! Hey, buddy. The government's Federal Reserve has been centrally planning our country's entire monetary system since 1913. Do you get it? Cool

villainesta wrote:
I can see you have no intention of admitting that the cost of the antidote was not a factor in the $81,000 bill. The hospital did not say they had to buy 4 vials at $12,000 each but that they overcharged beyond retail to make up for instances where insurance doesn't cover all their costs. Do you have information that government controls on something as esoteric as the antidote had raised the cost to such levels? By their own admission the hospital blamed a conscious overcharge on extraneous elements that didn't enter in this one man's case.

I have tried many times to explain to you that the bloated price of antivenom was only the tip of the government intervention iceberg, and that casual research is likely to reveal many other interventions. You've seen for yourself the hospital's stated reasons for jacking up the sticker price, revealed through only the minimal effort of clicking through to the original article. These reasons include mandated discounts on Medicare and Medicaid, and mandated uncompensated coverage that transfers costs to other patients. Yahoo! News edited out these interventions. I see you have demoted them to nameless "extraneous elements" yourself. That's an interesting editorial choice on your part, is it not? And after all that, I think we are still on the tip of the intervention iceberg.

villainesta wrote:
You mean everyone should pay their own way? The idea behind insurance is that everyone pays into the pot and those that need the money take it out. Is that so radical an idea?

No. I support the Mackey Whole Foods plan, which includes high-deductible insurance and a health savings account. Remember that plan? It is the plan that you won't consider because I can't spoon feed to you enough details about it. The idea behind insurance is to pay for emergencies, not to pay for every darn thing, including pre-existing conditions.

villainesta wrote:
From a web site that claims FEMA aid drives out private aid I found this gem of tortured logic: Prices after hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods reflect sudden changes in supply and demand. Essentials like water and gasoline soar in price as if to inform people that they should use them sparingly. What is remarkable is not the high prices—which the media always ascribe to “gouging”—but that the market works so well in the face of catastrophe. When local bureaucrats put caps on prices, they create more shortages.

No, the logic isn't tortured. Perhaps you tortured yourself trying to follow it?
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:22 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

NEW DELHI — India, the second-largest exporter of over-the-counter and prescription drugs to the United States, is coming under increased scrutiny by American regulators for safety lapses, falsified drug test results and selling fake medicines.


:: darn :: government regulators driving up the cost of medications!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/15/world/asia/medicines-made-in-india-set-off-safety-worries.html?hp&_r=0
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:50 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a powerful lobbying group that represents the drug and biotechnology industries, colluded with the federal government to make the terms of Obamacare as favorable to drug companies as possible. Both the federal government and PhRMA secretly agreed to abide by certain undisclosed commitments to one another as part of the passage of the bill, the details of which largely remain hidden from public view.


Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035951_Obamacare_Big_Pharma_health_care.html#ixzz2tPBp1Uxn


villain said
Quote:
I don't know if you waded thru the above discussion but autofyrsto's clings to the notion that everything the government does is bad.


Bad for the people they supposedly represent, good for themselves and their own personal interests.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:33 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

I'm shocked, shocked that private industry was involved in crafting a bill! It's done all the time by both parties as who else would have the expertise in such a complicated industry. and do you really think any congressman has the time to read a bill that runs to 2600 pages. It's a fact of our sophisticated world today. The only way to get the law into play was to just pass it and then fine tune it to eliminate the bugs which is what Obama has been doing. I recently read an article about Jim Leech a congressman no longer in office who was a prime mover in financial matters and he was recently quoted as being dismayed that a bill he wrote was having the opposite effect from what he intended due to a lack of clarity in the wording.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:29 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

villainesta wrote:
I'm shocked, shocked that private industry was involved in crafting a bill! They did a lot more than "craft" it when they poured all that money into the wallets of our elected officials including Mr. President. It's done all the time by both parties as who else would have the expertise in such a complicated industry. And who else would be able to tweak it to their advantage better than the government. and do you really think any congressman has the time to read a bill that runs to 2600 pages. Isn't that their job? It's a fact of our sophisticated world today. The only way to get the law into play was to just pass it and then fine tune it to eliminate the bugs which is what Obama has been doing. Fine tune it? Is that what you call changing the bill as unrecognizable from what the SC voted on? I recently read an article about Jim Leech a congressman no longer in office who was a prime mover in financial matters and he was recently quoted as being dismayed that a bill he wrote was having the opposite effect from what he intended due to a lack of clarity in the wording. Lack of clarity is what the government does best. Look at our TAX laws.


Government intrusion leads to nothing but chaos and consumer cost increases.
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