The VENT Thread

BaroqueAgain1
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:27 pm

It's called The VENT Thread for a reason. :P ;)
All of us get to rant about pretty much whatever we want. And, yes, the fact that 'health care system' is kind of an oxymoron - our health isn't its top (or 2nd or 3rd) priority, it doesn't care and the system is broken - is definitely worth ranting about. :evil:
stark
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:47 pm

starrydreamer wrote: There's something to be said about ranting rather anonymously to strangers.
I'm sorry if that confuses you.
Well, I guess so?
Just wish it was about a $12,000 car or repairs to your roof,
something most of us could relate to as there's nothing worse than looking at a child laying in a hospital bed.

Okay, I've got a question that might generate some conversation......Why do so many people from around the globe come to America for medical treatment, and this includes our Canadian friends to the north?

Is the American healthcare system really as bad as you suggest?
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
BaroqueAgain1
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:57 pm

IMHO, there are two separate things at work here.
Our doctors and hospitals are excellent, with probably some of the best care in the world. If a foreigner has the funds, or insurance that works for them here, then it's no surprise that those who can afford it come to the US for treatment.
If, however, you happen to be a not-in-the-1% resident with inadequate, expensive or non-existent insurance, that quality care may be hard to come by. :?
Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:05 pm

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:IMHO, there are two separate things at work here.
Our doctors and hospitals are excellent, with probably some of the best care in the world. If a foreigner has the funds, or insurance that works for them here, then it's no surprise that those who can afford it come to the US for treatment.
If, however, you happen to be a not-in-the-1% resident with inadequate, expensive or non-existent insurance, that quality care may be hard to come by. :?
Bingo
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:07 pm

Starry, if you haven't already read that contract in depth.

I've switched jobs quite a bit in the past few years and often if you're met money towards one deductible you can roll it over towards a new one.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
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starrydreamer
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:20 pm

/d
BaroqueAgain1 wrote:IMHO, there are two separate things at work here.
Our doctors and hospitals are excellent, with probably some of the best care in the world. If a foreigner has the funds, or insurance that works for them here, then it's no surprise that those who can afford it come to the US for treatment.
If, however, you happen to be a not-in-the-1% resident with inadequate, expensive or non-existent insurance, that quality care may be hard to come by. :?
Exactly.

My son gets EXCELLENT care here. No complaints about his providers. Health insurance is a different beast altogether. For example - a doctor prescribed an inhaler for my son. Our insurance provider, who has never actually seen my son, denied that prescription. It's not for anything extraordinary - I think it's a newer inhaler and it costs insurance more. Why is our health insurance and not our doctor deciding what medicine he gets?

My husband and I both are well educated and fully employed. We have insurance through our employers, which are both large multi-national corporations. We are luckier than most, and we can pay that $12,000 - it just hurts quite a bit.

There are plenty of things worse than looking at a child in a hospital bed, by the way. My kid's chances of recovering from anything he has are really good. That doesn't mean I don't get to vent about it.
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starrydreamer
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:21 pm

Somnambulist wrote:Starry, if you haven't already read that contract in depth.

I've switched jobs quite a bit in the past few years and often if you're met money towards one deductible you can roll it over towards a new one.
Oh really?? I'll look into it, thanks!!!
Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:31 pm

starrydreamer wrote:
Somnambulist wrote:Starry, if you haven't already read that contract in depth.

I've switched jobs quite a bit in the past few years and often if you're met money towards one deductible you can roll it over towards a new one.
Oh really?? I'll look into it, thanks!!!
I hope yours ends up being like this.

Apparently health care companies hate insuring both insurance agents and attorneys, because we read the contract too much. I had a $3k ded at my previous job and I found a one line sentence on page 31 of the contract and I held them to it. I had to fight but they honored it. I think I called them 3 times a day for a week but oh well. The companies make money hand over fist, they can deal.

If it wasn't in the healthcare contract it was in the employee handbook.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
Tessablue
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:05 pm

You don't have to defend yourself for what you've said, starry- this is explicitly a vent thread and I literally can't imagine what it's like to have to navigate those sorts of fears and problems. Please don't feel guilty for finding a healthy outlet to express yourself. I wish I had more to offer in terms of advice, but I wish you and your family the best.

Heartily agreeing with those who have pointed out the discrepancy between quality of care and affordability/access to care. The same thing plays out with our universities and our research institutions- the product is at or among the best in the world, but the system it is embedded in ranges from broken to barbaric. I'd also like to point out that the standard of care we are accustomed to is increasingly imperiled, but that's the sort of thing that doesn't get noticed on a wider scale until it's too late.
stark wrote:That said, are we suppose to feel bad for your kid and send prayers or should we be feeling even worse for the parents who need to come up with $12K?
I try to make a point to avoid responding to you, but the fact that you are interested in presenting this as a binary choice may say a lot about you as a person.
stark
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:09 pm

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:If a foreigner has the funds, or insurance that works for them here, then it's no surprise that those who can afford it come to the US for treatment.
If, however, you happen to be a not-in-the-1% resident with inadequate, expensive or non-existent insurance, that quality care may be hard to come by. :?
Living in America's first sanctuary state, I can pretty much assure that your basic assumptions are not valid.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:20 pm

I've worked in insurance in a few roles for 10+ years at this point but what BA said is 100% true

Well, I suppose unless you are medicaid pending and then go back to Columbia to never pay your bill after open heart surgery, which happens. But a lot of wealthy people just pay up front.
Last edited by Somnambulist on Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
Tessablue
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:23 pm

To add to the point, I have a friend who regularly flies home to Russia for surgeries and dental care because even with the additional travel costs, it's about an order of magnitude cheaper.
Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:27 pm

Dental is awful.

I went for the first time in 2 years and my dentist asked me why I went so long without coming back. I'm like dude, I couldn't afford it if something was wrong.
I find out I need a new crown because they one they put in 3 years ago has a hole in it. Bye-bye $1400. Who has this lying around?
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
stark
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:33 pm

Somnambulist wrote:Dental is awful.
Bye-bye $1400. Who has this lying around?
Theoretically, you should.
Somnambulist wrote:I've worked in insurance in a few roles for 10+ years at this point
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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starrydreamer
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:34 pm

Somnambulist wrote:Dental is awful.

I went for the first time in 2 years and my dentist asked me why I went. I'm like dude, I couldn't afford it is something was wrong.
I find out I need a new crown because they one they put in 3 years ago has a hole in it. Bye-bye $1400. Who has this lying around?
Oh gosh, dental IS the worst. Even with dental insurance, there's a cap on how much insurance will pay. And it is not enough to cover a root canal and a crown. At least, not in NYC, which is where I was at the time.

I'm part of a FB community for my son's main medical problem, and we have members from all over the world. From what I gather, there is excellent health care in the UK, Australia, and Canada (I'm sure there are in non-English speaking countries as well, but the group is for English speakers). All three have nationalized health care.
Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:40 pm

stark wrote:
Somnambulist wrote:Dental is awful.
Bye-bye $1400. Who has this lying around?
Theoretically, you should.
Somnambulist wrote:I've worked in insurance in a few roles for 10+ years at this point
Baby boomer? Definitely.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
stark
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:30 pm

Somnambulist wrote: Baby boomer? Definitely.
Is that a bad thing??

Okay, so here's some personal stuff that helps form my opinions.

Once upon a time there was this really big healthcare company in California that offered as part of their benefit package, lifetime medical coverage for free once you met the mathematical retirement formula, years of service plus age had to equal 75.

Medical coverage was very important to me, not me personally but for my wife whose family had a lot of costly medical history.
After my first couple of years working there I relented to a life-long dream and that was to live on the beach in sunny Southern California.
The move took me 75 miles away from my office and on SoCal freeways (Ventura to LA/Pasadena) 150 miles each day roundtrip should have been reason enough to change employers. I had friends telling me how crazy I was, I had Doctors telling me the dangers of stress, I had car dealers amazed at how fast I could put 200,000 miles on a new car. But the fact is that the for next 30 years I had intimate knowledge of the 101, 118, 126 freeways and the red lights directly in front of me.

And through it all, I stuck with my original plan, and I'm very happy I did as my wife does indeed have the same spinal issues as her father. So, after 34 years with the same company, the dreadful staff meetings, the changes in upper management etc. etc. I accepted the early retirement package as I had endured and reaped the desired benefit.

I paid a big price but imho it was worth it. In about the 1993-94 timeframe the First Lady got involved in national healthcare and it really scared me and my decision to stick it out was even easier as I never wanted to be dependent on the government. In fact, after her round table meetings with leaders in the medical industry, she was quoted as saying that whatever the Nation comes up with as a solution, it's obvious that Kaiser Permanente (my employer) is several years ahead of us!

IMHO, Hillary, Barrack, Bernie et al almost put a fatal stake in our healthcare system, but I do believe it's salvageable and will once again be the worldwide leader despite a few one-off stories of loyalty to some individuals homelands.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:48 pm

I'll agree Obamacare helped to skyrocket premiums and deductibles but the alternative is very sick people and poor people not being treated. Having my own chronic medical issues I don't find that acceptable.

I do find a 3k deductible to be unaffordable though.

And we are not going to fix healthcare anytime soon. Not until we fix insurance fraud, fix the cost of it, stop America from being a litigation driven society so med mal can go down, and stop hospitals from charging an insane markup from what you can also do out of office. Tell Medicare to stop setting quotas of procedures offices have to do in order to get full Medicare payment. Because one Medicare does it the rest of the carriers follow in suit.

It took 3 years and thousands of dollars in tests and unncessary medication for me to find out I have a congenial muscle problem. No doctor would think of this despitey asking. Specialist tunnel vision is real and costly.

No party is going to do this. No one in Washington cares about any of us.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
Tessablue
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:01 pm

stark wrote: IMHO, Hillary, Barrack, Bernie et al almost put a fatal stake in our healthcare system, but I do believe it's salvageable and will once again be the worldwide leader despite a few one-off stories of loyalty to some individuals homelands.
Yeah it was really terrible how two of my family members got insurance for the first time in their lives and then didn't die when they had serious medical issues. I also don't see any difference in being dependent on your employer vs. the government, and I have no desire to contort my life around one aspect of an employer.
Somnambulist wrote: It took 3 years and thousands of dollars in tests and unncessary medication for me to find out I have a congenial muscle problem. No doctor would think of this despitey asking. Specialist tunnel vision is real and costly.
Ugh, isn't that the truth. I have really good coverage now for the first time, so I know I should be gearing up for another round, but it's just so draining and depressing. Glad you eventually got an answer, and I'm always interested to hear suggestions for changing the system from people "on the inside," so to speak. My suggestions all revolve around restructuring med schools. The current system favors people who do not have the emotional constitution to be good doctors, and I worry that it's only going to get worse from here as economic inequality continues to grow.
stark
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:34 pm

Tessablue wrote: Yeah it was really terrible how two of my family members got insurance for the first time in their lives and then didn't die when they had serious medical issues. I also don't see any difference in being dependent on your employer vs. the government, and I have no desire to contort my life around one aspect of an employer.
I didn't mean to imply that there was only one employer aspect of contorting my life, obviously sticking with one company for 34 years has other attributes as the path to management becomes easier, the salary goes from entry level to $100,000+ and the benefit package is overly rewarding when it seems like you have too much vacation time accrued on the books. The other choice of changing employers every couple of years just never seems worth it in the long run to me.

Always curious about first time insured like your family members.....
Can they afford it?
Are they happy with their selection of Doctors etc.?
Do they think Dr's salary should be capped at $100/hr to help reduce costs, lol

What did they do in prior years without insurance if they fell on the stoop and broke their leg?
thanks, just curious.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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