Discussion:
Today's daily insidious Republican act: college birth control
(too old to reply)
band beyond description
2007-03-24 00:27:23 UTC
Permalink
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070323/ap_on_he_me/colleges_contraceptives

Birth control prices soar on campuses
By JUSTIN POPE, AP Education Writer
Fri Mar 23, 10:39 AM ET


Millions of college students are suddenly facing sharply higher prices
for birth control, prompting concerns among health officials that some
will shift to less preferred contraceptives or stop using them
altogether.

Prices for oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, are doubling
and tripling at student health centers, the result of a complex change
in the Medicaid rebate law that essentially ends an incentive for drug
companies to provide deep discounts to colleges.

"It's a tremendous problem for our students because not every student
has a platinum card," said Hugh Jessop, executive director of the
health center at Indiana University.

There, he said, women are paying about $22 per month for prescriptions
that cost $10 a few months ago. "Some of our students have two jobs,
have children," Jessop said. "To increase this by 100 percent or more
overnight, which is what happened, is a huge shock to them and to their
system."

At some schools women could see prices rise several hundred dollars per year.

About 39 percent of undergraduate women use oral contraceptives,
according to an estimate by the American College Health Association
based on survey data.

Many students could shift to generics but experts said they might still
pay twice the previous rate.

"It's terrible, because these are students who are working very hard to
pay for their tuition and books at a time when tuition costs are edging
up as well," said Linda Lekawski, director of the university health
center at Texas A&M, where the old price for birth control pills of
about $15 per month is expected to triple. "This is one thing they've
been able to benefit from for years."

The change is the result of a chain reaction started by a 2005
deficit-reduction bill that focused on Medicaid, the main federal
health insurance program for the poor. College health officials say
they had little idea the bill would affect them.

Before the change, pharmaceutical companies typically sold drugs at
deep discounts to a range of health care providers, including colleges.
With contraceptives, one motivation was attracting customers who would
stay with their products for years.

Another reason the discounts made business sense was that they didn't
count against the drug makers in a formula calculating rebates they
owed states to participate in Medicaid.

But in its 2005 bill — which went into effect in January — Congress
changed that. Now the discounts to colleges mean drug manufacturers
have to pay more to participate in Medicaid.

The result: Fewer companies are willing to offer discounts.

Many colleges kept prices low for a few months by buying in bulk before
the new law took effect, but have now run through their stockpile and
started increasing prices. Also, many students fill the prescriptions
quarterly so are only now seeing the increase.

Some students said they doubted the price increases would dissuade many
students from buying contraceptives, but said it would be noticed.

"I feel like if an individual's going to seek it, they're going to seek
it and try to find the
resources for it," said Betsy Henke, student body president at Indiana
University. But, she added: "Anything that is an increase in what a
student is paying is going to have some type of impact."

The price hikes will "definitely have an effect on students," said
Lindsay Hicks, a Sexual Health Awareness Peer Educator at Kansas State
University, where she said prices were rising from about $10 to about
$30 per month.

The ACHA contends the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services should have added college health centers to the exemptions
lists and has supported a proposed rule change that would do so. A
spokesman for the agency said it is reviewing that proposal.
____
On the Net:
http://www.acha.org/
--
Peace,
Steve
Edwin Hurwitz
2007-03-24 03:11:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by band beyond description
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070323/ap_on_he_me/colleges_contraceptives
Birth control prices soar on campuses
By JUSTIN POPE, AP Education Writer
Fri Mar 23, 10:39 AM ET
Millions of college students are suddenly facing sharply higher prices
for birth control, prompting concerns among health officials that some
will shift to less preferred contraceptives or stop using them
altogether.
Prices for oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, are doubling
and tripling at student health centers, the result of a complex change
in the Medicaid rebate law that essentially ends an incentive for drug
companies to provide deep discounts to colleges.
"It's a tremendous problem for our students because not every student
has a platinum card," said Hugh Jessop, executive director of the
health center at Indiana University.
There, he said, women are paying about $22 per month for prescriptions
that cost $10 a few months ago. "Some of our students have two jobs,
have children," Jessop said. "To increase this by 100 percent or more
overnight, which is what happened, is a huge shock to them and to their
system."
At some schools women could see prices rise several hundred dollars per year.
About 39 percent of undergraduate women use oral contraceptives,
according to an estimate by the American College Health Association
based on survey data.
Many students could shift to generics but experts said they might still
pay twice the previous rate.
"It's terrible, because these are students who are working very hard to
pay for their tuition and books at a time when tuition costs are edging
up as well," said Linda Lekawski, director of the university health
center at Texas A&M, where the old price for birth control pills of
about $15 per month is expected to triple. "This is one thing they've
been able to benefit from for years."
The change is the result of a chain reaction started by a 2005
deficit-reduction bill that focused on Medicaid, the main federal
health insurance program for the poor. College health officials say
they had little idea the bill would affect them.
Before the change, pharmaceutical companies typically sold drugs at
deep discounts to a range of health care providers, including colleges.
With contraceptives, one motivation was attracting customers who would
stay with their products for years.
Another reason the discounts made business sense was that they didn't
count against the drug makers in a formula calculating rebates they
owed states to participate in Medicaid.
But in its 2005 bill — which went into effect in January — Congress
changed that. Now the discounts to colleges mean drug manufacturers
have to pay more to participate in Medicaid.
The result: Fewer companies are willing to offer discounts.
Many colleges kept prices low for a few months by buying in bulk before
the new law took effect, but have now run through their stockpile and
started increasing prices. Also, many students fill the prescriptions
quarterly so are only now seeing the increase.
Some students said they doubted the price increases would dissuade many
students from buying contraceptives, but said it would be noticed.
"I feel like if an individual's going to seek it, they're going to seek
it and try to find the
resources for it," said Betsy Henke, student body president at Indiana
University. But, she added: "Anything that is an increase in what a
student is paying is going to have some type of impact."
The price hikes will "definitely have an effect on students," said
Lindsay Hicks, a Sexual Health Awareness Peer Educator at Kansas State
University, where she said prices were rising from about $10 to about
$30 per month.
The ACHA contends the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services should have added college health centers to the exemptions
lists and has supported a proposed rule change that would do so. A
spokesman for the agency said it is reviewing that proposal.
____
http://www.acha.org/
How nice. I love living in the country where we have the highest medical
expenditure in the world but lag behind many countries in actual health
care delivered. I just went to the doctor and discovered that the office
has been sold because a bitch who used to be a doctor there had decided
to sue the office. I don't say bitch lightly but I have to say that the
one time I had to see her when I was sick and my doctor wasn't available
I left furious and humiliated after my encounter with her. Consequently
the office manager decided that there needed to be a co-pay when they
take blood. The nurse explained to me that she thought that this was not
only a bad idea, it was probably illegal exposing them to potential
lawsuits. I have been trying to call my insurance company all day to
find out what the real deal is, but no one will answer the phone (there
was a building emergency?). If they don't require a copay on this, my
next call is to a lawyer. If only the money grubbing bureaucrats would
get the hell out the way between me and my doctor and whatever medicine
I might need, we might be able to move forward as a country.


Grrrrr.
Edwin
Richard Morris
2007-03-24 03:46:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edwin Hurwitz
Post by band beyond description
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070323/ap_on_he_me/colleges_contraceptives
Birth control prices soar on campuses
By JUSTIN POPE, AP Education Writer
Fri Mar 23, 10:39 AM ET
Millions of college students are suddenly facing sharply higher prices
for birth control, prompting concerns among health officials that some
will shift to less preferred contraceptives or stop using them
altogether.
Prices for oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, are doubling
and tripling at student health centers, the result of a complex change
in the Medicaid rebate law that essentially ends an incentive for drug
companies to provide deep discounts to colleges.
"It's a tremendous problem for our students because not every student
has a platinum card," said Hugh Jessop, executive director of the
health center at Indiana University.
There, he said, women are paying about $22 per month for prescriptions
that cost $10 a few months ago. "Some of our students have two jobs,
have children," Jessop said. "To increase this by 100 percent or more
overnight, which is what happened, is a huge shock to them and to their
system."
At some schools women could see prices rise several hundred dollars per year.
About 39 percent of undergraduate women use oral contraceptives,
according to an estimate by the American College Health Association
based on survey data.
Many students could shift to generics but experts said they might still
pay twice the previous rate.
"It's terrible, because these are students who are working very hard to
pay for their tuition and books at a time when tuition costs are edging
up as well," said Linda Lekawski, director of the university health
center at Texas A&M, where the old price for birth control pills of
about $15 per month is expected to triple. "This is one thing they've
been able to benefit from for years."
The change is the result of a chain reaction started by a 2005
deficit-reduction bill that focused on Medicaid, the main federal
health insurance program for the poor. College health officials say
they had little idea the bill would affect them.
Before the change, pharmaceutical companies typically sold drugs at
deep discounts to a range of health care providers, including colleges.
With contraceptives, one motivation was attracting customers who would
stay with their products for years.
Another reason the discounts made business sense was that they didn't
count against the drug makers in a formula calculating rebates they
owed states to participate in Medicaid.
But in its 2005 bill â?" which went into effect in January â?" Congress
changed that. Now the discounts to colleges mean drug manufacturers
have to pay more to participate in Medicaid.
The result: Fewer companies are willing to offer discounts.
Many colleges kept prices low for a few months by buying in bulk before
the new law took effect, but have now run through their stockpile and
started increasing prices. Also, many students fill the prescriptions
quarterly so are only now seeing the increase.
Some students said they doubted the price increases would dissuade many
students from buying contraceptives, but said it would be noticed.
"I feel like if an individual's going to seek it, they're going to seek
it and try to find the
resources for it," said Betsy Henke, student body president at Indiana
University. But, she added: "Anything that is an increase in what a
student is paying is going to have some type of impact."
The price hikes will "definitely have an effect on students," said
Lindsay Hicks, a Sexual Health Awareness Peer Educator at Kansas State
University, where she said prices were rising from about $10 to about
$30 per month.
The ACHA contends the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services should have added college health centers to the exemptions
lists and has supported a proposed rule change that would do so. A
spokesman for the agency said it is reviewing that proposal.
____
http://www.acha.org/
How nice. I love living in the country where we have the highest medical
expenditure in the world but lag behind many countries in actual health
care delivered. I just went to the doctor and discovered that the office
has been sold because a bitch who used to be a doctor there had decided
to sue the office. I don't say bitch lightly but I have to say that the
one time I had to see her when I was sick and my doctor wasn't available
I left furious and humiliated after my encounter with her. Consequently
the office manager decided that there needed to be a co-pay when they
take blood. The nurse explained to me that she thought that this was not
only a bad idea, it was probably illegal exposing them to potential
lawsuits. I have been trying to call my insurance company all day to
find out what the real deal is, but no one will answer the phone (there
was a building emergency?). If they don't require a copay on this, my
next call is to a lawyer. If only the money grubbing bureaucrats would
get the hell out the way between me and my doctor and whatever medicine
I might need, we might be able to move forward as a country.
Don't think that your doctor has clean hands in all of this. The AMA has
done its part to protect the medical profession and its monopoly.
Edwin Hurwitz
2007-03-24 17:06:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Morris
Post by Edwin Hurwitz
How nice. I love living in the country where we have the highest medical
expenditure in the world but lag behind many countries in actual health
care delivered. I just went to the doctor and discovered that the office
has been sold because a bitch who used to be a doctor there had decided
to sue the office. I don't say bitch lightly but I have to say that the
one time I had to see her when I was sick and my doctor wasn't available
I left furious and humiliated after my encounter with her. Consequently
the office manager decided that there needed to be a co-pay when they
take blood. The nurse explained to me that she thought that this was not
only a bad idea, it was probably illegal exposing them to potential
lawsuits. I have been trying to call my insurance company all day to
find out what the real deal is, but no one will answer the phone (there
was a building emergency?). If they don't require a copay on this, my
next call is to a lawyer. If only the money grubbing bureaucrats would
get the hell out the way between me and my doctor and whatever medicine
I might need, we might be able to move forward as a country.
Don't think that your doctor has clean hands in all of this. The AMA has
done its part to protect the medical profession and its monopoly.
My doctor? I have had three doctors in 5 years because the insurance
companies keep screwing with who they can work with. They each seem to
try to fit in some where only to have to move because of reasons that
have nothing to do with doctor/patient issues. The AMA is a lot weaker
in the face of the insurance companies than it used to be. Every doctor
I have been to has complained about the crap they have to deal with and
most of them think that it's only a matter of time before the system
collapses completely. More of my medical dollars go to the middlemen
than go to the doctor. I am thinking that perhaps it's getting to be
time to go back to pay as I go. Being self employed makes it even more
expensive to deal with all this. I don't think that employers should
have to be in the business of providing health care. I don't understand
why businesses don't all vote for politicians who will give them single
payer health care. Talk about voting against self interest!

Edwin
volkfolk
2007-03-25 22:38:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Morris
Don't think that your doctor has clean hands in all of this. The AMA has
done its part to protect the medical profession and its monopoly.
The REAL cause of this is those fucking lawyers who advertise on TV
promising to "get you what you deserve"

IMO there is a direct corralation between the ABA permitting lawyers to
advertise and the increase in medical costs

With apologies to any lawyers out there in RMGDland, lawyers suck (and my
father who was an attorney for 45 years predicted that insurance costs would
sky rocket when the ABA changed their rules about lawyers advertising)

Scot
Edwin Hurwitz
2007-03-25 23:27:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by volkfolk
Post by Richard Morris
Don't think that your doctor has clean hands in all of this. The AMA has
done its part to protect the medical profession and its monopoly.
The REAL cause of this is those fucking lawyers who advertise on TV
promising to "get you what you deserve"
IMO there is a direct corralation between the ABA permitting lawyers to
advertise and the increase in medical costs
With apologies to any lawyers out there in RMGDland, lawyers suck (and my
father who was an attorney for 45 years predicted that insurance costs would
sky rocket when the ABA changed their rules about lawyers advertising)
Scot
Well, in speaking to doctors about this, they said it is an issue, but
not really the main one driving up health care costs. The real problem
is the insurance companies. There is a lot of money going in, but much
less is actually making it to the health care providers. The rising cost
is also meaning that a lot more people are dropping out of the system
and using the emergency room as their clinic. They can't pay for it, so
we all do. It's pretty much a lose/lose scenario for doctors and
patients. Single payer would go far to alleviate this. Another thing
would be to repeal Bush's pharm plan and let people band together to
lower the price. United we stand and divided we fall and division is
institutionalized and written into law at this point.

I think after Hillary got shot down (with her plan that was actually
pretty lame), the insurance companies began to feel they could get away
with anything. With Republicans in their pocket, they have. Along with
big pharm, this is where the real money is going.

Edwin
Neil X.
2007-03-24 05:42:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edwin Hurwitz
I love living in the country where we have the highest medical
expenditure in the world but lag behind many countries in actual health
care delivered.
Yeah, you have to have the ability to deal with bureaucracy to get
services, no doubt.

But which countries, exactly, are delivering better health care than
the US?

Peace,
Neil X.
Richard Morris
2007-03-24 13:03:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil X.
Post by Edwin Hurwitz
I love living in the country where we have the highest medical
expenditure in the world but lag behind many countries in actual health
care delivered.
Yeah, you have to have the ability to deal with bureaucracy to get
services, no doubt.
But which countries, exactly, are delivering better health care than
the US?
Google "infant mortality rates by nation"

R.
theothr1
2007-03-24 14:48:22 UTC
Permalink
High school girl with a bourgeois dream
Just like the pictures in the magazine
She found on the floor of the laundromat
A woman with kids can forget all that
If she comes up pregnant what'll she do
Forget the career, forget about school
Can she live on faith? live on hope?
High on Jesus or hooked on dope
When it's way too late to just say no
You can't make it here anymore
d***@v.n
2007-03-24 19:17:33 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 24 Mar 2007 06:03:13 -0700, "Richard Morris"
Post by Richard Morris
Post by Neil X.
Post by Edwin Hurwitz
I love living in the country where we have the highest medical
expenditure in the world but lag behind many countries in actual health
care delivered.
Yeah, you have to have the ability to deal with bureaucracy to get
services, no doubt.
But which countries, exactly, are delivering better health care than
the US?
Google "infant mortality rates by nation"
R.
Richard, as with all statistics, there's more than meets the eye on
this. There are huge disparities in the way births are recorded. For
example in Japan and some European countries, a baby is only
considered a live birth if it has signs of life at birth.In the US a
birth is only considered a stillbirth if it never gains signs of life.
A closer look at numbers show that Japan and the US have the same rate
of perinatal deaths(22wksgestation to first 7 days of life) Japan has
a higher rate(by 25%) of stillbirths(stillbirths are not reported in
infant mortality rates). So while our IMR may be higher it is driven
higher by the fact that we resuscitate more babies, and theirs is
driven down because they don't.
Despite all the sensationalism about other countries delivering better
healthcare, the truth of the matter is our medical centers are filled
with people from around the world who come here to get the best care
available. Are there problems with our delivery system, sure, but it
still is the best there is.

Steve
Richard Morris
2007-03-24 20:54:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@v.n
On Sat, 24 Mar 2007 06:03:13 -0700, "Richard Morris"
Post by Richard Morris
Post by Neil X.
Post by Edwin Hurwitz
I love living in the country where we have the highest medical
expenditure in the world but lag behind many countries in actual health
care delivered.
Yeah, you have to have the ability to deal with bureaucracy to get
services, no doubt.
But which countries, exactly, are delivering better health care than
the US?
Google "infant mortality rates by nation"
R.
Richard, as with all statistics, there's more than meets the eye on
this. There are huge disparities in the way births are recorded. For
example in Japan and some European countries, a baby is only
considered a live birth if it has signs of life at birth.In the US a
birth is only considered a stillbirth if it never gains signs of life.
A closer look at numbers show that Japan and the US have the same rate
of perinatal deaths(22wksgestation to first 7 days of life) Japan has
a higher rate(by 25%) of stillbirths(stillbirths are not reported in
infant mortality rates). So while our IMR may be higher it is driven
higher by the fact that we resuscitate more babies, and theirs is
driven down because they don't.
Despite all the sensationalism about other countries delivering better
healthcare, the truth of the matter is our medical centers are filled
with people from around the world who come here to get the best care
available. Are there problems with our delivery system, sure, but it
still is the best there is.
Provided, of course, that you can afford it. How many people do you think
have no access to health care in this country because they can't afford it?
How many go without care and treatment? Is that the best?
theothr1
2007-03-25 15:51:29 UTC
Permalink
"Richard Morris" > wrote .
:
:: Provided, of course, that you can afford it. How many people do you
think
: have no access to health care in this country because they can't afford
it?
: How many go without care and treatment? Is that the best?
:
:
-- -
Oh lord! The truth hurts!
d***@v.n
2007-03-26 01:18:05 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 24 Mar 2007 13:54:34 -0700, "Richard Morris"
Post by Richard Morris
Post by d***@v.n
On Sat, 24 Mar 2007 06:03:13 -0700, "Richard Morris"
Post by Richard Morris
Post by Neil X.
Post by Edwin Hurwitz
I love living in the country where we have the highest medical
expenditure in the world but lag behind many countries in actual health
care delivered.
Yeah, you have to have the ability to deal with bureaucracy to get
services, no doubt.
But which countries, exactly, are delivering better health care than
the US?
Google "infant mortality rates by nation"
R.
Richard, as with all statistics, there's more than meets the eye on
this. There are huge disparities in the way births are recorded. For
example in Japan and some European countries, a baby is only
considered a live birth if it has signs of life at birth.In the US a
birth is only considered a stillbirth if it never gains signs of life.
A closer look at numbers show that Japan and the US have the same rate
of perinatal deaths(22wksgestation to first 7 days of life) Japan has
a higher rate(by 25%) of stillbirths(stillbirths are not reported in
infant mortality rates). So while our IMR may be higher it is driven
higher by the fact that we resuscitate more babies, and theirs is
driven down because they don't.
Despite all the sensationalism about other countries delivering better
healthcare, the truth of the matter is our medical centers are filled
with people from around the world who come here to get the best care
available. Are there problems with our delivery system, sure, but it
still is the best there is.
Provided, of course, that you can afford it. How many people do you think
have no access to health care in this country because they can't afford it?
How many go without care and treatment? Is that the best?
Granted it can be improved. A lot of the problems stem from problems
within the medicaid system. There is a problem w/ lack of education.
Many working people don't think that they would qualify because they
have a job or own property etc. The working poor are the ones with
limited access. Another problem is with the very poor, who overutilize
certain aspects of the system, using the ER as a source of primary
care. These folks have no incentive to change their behaviour because
it costs them nothing, so what if they rack the gov't up with a few
hundred dollar ER visit simply because they have a cold or an upset
stomach and want pepto-bismol. The amount of money wasted here could
easily be used to expand the roles of medicaid to allow more to
qualify. Even with the problems, if something were to happen to me and
I needed medical expertise, I wouldn't go anywhere else to get it.
Neil X.
2007-03-26 03:28:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Morris
How many people do you think
have no access to health care in this country because they can't afford it?
How many go without care and treatment? Is that the best?
That is a problem of resource allocation, not a problem with the
quality of our health care.

Is it really accurate to suggest that we have inferior health care in
the US, when the problem is not in the quality of the health care
available, but rather with our willinness, as a society, to pay the
taxes to permit said health care to be accessible to every individual
in our society?

What we have in the US is not an inferior health care system. We have
an inferior capacity for empathy, an ingrained mentality that
disconnects personal finances from the shared cost of caring for our
fellow citizens in need.

HTH,
Neil X.
d***@v.n
2007-03-26 04:02:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil X.
Post by Richard Morris
How many people do you think
have no access to health care in this country because they can't afford it?
How many go without care and treatment? Is that the best?
That is a problem of resource allocation, not a problem with the
quality of our health care.
Is it really accurate to suggest that we have inferior health care in
the US, when the problem is not in the quality of the health care
available, but rather with our willinness, as a society, to pay the
taxes to permit said health care to be accessible to every individual
in our society?
What we have in the US is not an inferior health care system. We have
an inferior capacity for empathy, an ingrained mentality that
disconnects personal finances from the shared cost of caring for our
fellow citizens in need.
HTH,
Neil X.
I don't know if that is it Neil, although, it may be. Even though most
of us could contribute more, there also needs to be a reform in how
the money is spent. There is a definite multipronged approach, that
needs to adopted to reform medicare/medicaid so that all can be
covered. For those who want to totally socialize medicine, here is a
pretty good comparison betwee our privatized system and a socialized
system....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_and_American_health_care_systems_compared
It's pretty accurate.
Neil X.
2007-03-26 04:29:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@v.n
I don't know if that is it Neil, although, it may be. Even though most
of us could contribute more, there also needs to be a reform in how
the money is spent. There is a definite multipronged approach, that
needs to adopted to reform medicare/medicaid so that all can be
covered. For those who want to totally socialize medicine, here is a
pretty good comparison betwee our privatized system and a socialized
system....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_and_American_health_care_system...
It's pretty accurate.
Well, the US spends much more per capita on health care, and still
leaves a significant percentage of the population without adequate
care. But what the US does far better than Canada is deliver services
quickly and effeiciently to those who do have coverage. It costs a
LOT of money to instantly provide instant care for whatever health
issues arise. I am really glad I don't live in a place where it would
take 2 months for my spouse to get a cancer biopsy or 6 months for me
to schedule a required joint replacement. Canada's system is cheaper
because it doesn't provide the same level of immediate service. Its
main advantage is that it provides the service to everoyone (except
illegal aliens, of course, who aren't covered) with no out-of-pocket
expenses.

Yes, there are cost savings taht could help the US system, but I
sincerely hope that simply making services letss accessible isn't the
method of choice. If we really want to make health care available to
everyone, we have to make insurance able to be afforded, event to our
poorest citizens. That is bound to cost even more.

Peace,
Neil X.
Octopus Ride
2007-03-26 14:07:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil X.
Post by d***@v.n
I don't know if that is it Neil, although, it may be. Even though most
of us could contribute more, there also needs to be a reform in how
the money is spent. There is a definite multipronged approach, that
needs to adopted to reform medicare/medicaid so that all can be
covered. For those who want to totally socialize medicine, here is a
pretty good comparison betwee our privatized system and a socialized
system....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_and_American_health_care_system...
It's pretty accurate.
Well, the US spends much more per capita on health care, and still
leaves a significant percentage of the population without adequate
care. But what the US does far better than Canada is deliver services
quickly and effeiciently to those who do have coverage. It costs a
LOT of money to instantly provide instant care for whatever health
issues arise. I am really glad I don't live in a place where it would
take 2 months for my spouse to get a cancer biopsy or 6 months for me
to schedule a required joint replacement. Canada's system is cheaper
because it doesn't provide the same level of immediate service. Its
main advantage is that it provides the service to everoyone (except
illegal aliens, of course, who aren't covered) with no out-of-pocket
expenses.
Yes, there are cost savings taht could help the US system, but I
sincerely hope that simply making services letss accessible isn't the
method of choice. If we really want to make health care available to
everyone, we have to make insurance able to be afforded, event to our
poorest citizens. That is bound to cost even more.
Peace,
Neil X.
There are lots of reasons why US health care costs so much; malpractice
insurance rates, way too many insurance middlemen, the insured are
effectively paying for the large numbers of uninsured, etc.

Another reason is often overlooked and there's not much that can be done
about this one, not that many would want to: quality.

50, 40, 30,or even 20 years ago, health care was mighty unsophisticated
compared to today. Today routine tests and procedures are technological
wonders and cost a fortune. Everyone wants the best, and those that are
insured get it. Even small town clinics have access to the fanciest and
most expensive of machines and protocols. It used to be that if you had a
headache you were told to take two aspirin and call the doc in the morning.
Now people get MRI's and Petscans and ultrasounds for migraines. Everything
involves machines that themselves cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Even if something gives you a chance of a 10% better outcome yet costs 100
times as much as the slightly less effective treatment, you get the 100
times more expensive option. When offered a medicine that costs $20 a
bottle that works fine or one that costs $500 a bottle but has been shown in
some study to be slightly more effective, your doc prescribes the $500 one.
Things like hip replacements in 90 year olds just weren't done much in the
past because the techniques and devices weren't that reliable for folks that
age. Now its almost routine. If you had a bad heart your doc would listen
to it through a stethescope, feel your chest with his hands, and tell you
have a leaky valve. Now you get an echocardiogram every six months.

Everyone wants and deserves the best. Its just that medicine is so
complicated and sophisticated now that the best costs far, far more than the
(in some cases just slightly) less effective, old fashioned alternatives.

OR
d***@v.n
2007-03-26 17:48:20 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 07:07:05 -0700, "Octopus Ride"
Post by Octopus Ride
Post by Neil X.
Post by d***@v.n
I don't know if that is it Neil, although, it may be. Even though most
of us could contribute more, there also needs to be a reform in how
the money is spent. There is a definite multipronged approach, that
needs to adopted to reform medicare/medicaid so that all can be
covered. For those who want to totally socialize medicine, here is a
pretty good comparison betwee our privatized system and a socialized
system....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_and_American_health_care_system...
It's pretty accurate.
Well, the US spends much more per capita on health care, and still
leaves a significant percentage of the population without adequate
care. But what the US does far better than Canada is deliver services
quickly and effeiciently to those who do have coverage. It costs a
LOT of money to instantly provide instant care for whatever health
issues arise. I am really glad I don't live in a place where it would
take 2 months for my spouse to get a cancer biopsy or 6 months for me
to schedule a required joint replacement. Canada's system is cheaper
because it doesn't provide the same level of immediate service. Its
main advantage is that it provides the service to everoyone (except
illegal aliens, of course, who aren't covered) with no out-of-pocket
expenses.
Yes, there are cost savings taht could help the US system, but I
sincerely hope that simply making services letss accessible isn't the
method of choice. If we really want to make health care available to
everyone, we have to make insurance able to be afforded, event to our
poorest citizens. That is bound to cost even more.
Peace,
Neil X.
There are lots of reasons why US health care costs so much; malpractice
insurance rates, way too many insurance middlemen, the insured are
effectively paying for the large numbers of uninsured, etc.
Another reason is often overlooked and there's not much that can be done
about this one, not that many would want to: quality.
50, 40, 30,or even 20 years ago, health care was mighty unsophisticated
compared to today. Today routine tests and procedures are technological
wonders and cost a fortune. Everyone wants the best, and those that are
insured get it. Even small town clinics have access to the fanciest and
most expensive of machines and protocols. It used to be that if you had a
headache you were told to take two aspirin and call the doc in the morning.
Now people get MRI's and Petscans and ultrasounds for migraines. Everything
involves machines that themselves cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Even if something gives you a chance of a 10% better outcome yet costs 100
times as much as the slightly less effective treatment, you get the 100
times more expensive option. When offered a medicine that costs $20 a
bottle that works fine or one that costs $500 a bottle but has been shown in
some study to be slightly more effective, your doc prescribes the $500 one.
Things like hip replacements in 90 year olds just weren't done much in the
past because the techniques and devices weren't that reliable for folks that
age. Now its almost routine. If you had a bad heart your doc would listen
to it through a stethescope, feel your chest with his hands, and tell you
have a leaky valve. Now you get an echocardiogram every six months.
Everyone wants and deserves the best. Its just that medicine is so
complicated and sophisticated now that the best costs far, far more than the
(in some cases just slightly) less effective, old fashioned alternatives.
OR
Well said, Toad. Another factor, especially, looking at medicine, is
that we pay the R&D costs for the world. People often wonder why drugs
are cheaper elsewhere, and this is a huge reason why. Places like
Canada and England have laws specifically banning R&D costs from being
passed on. The amount of money it takes to get a drug to market is
staggering, not to mention the costs of those that don't. Steve
Neil X.
2007-03-26 18:04:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Octopus Ride
There are lots of reasons why US health care costs so much; malpractice
insurance rates, way too many insurance middlemen, the insured are
effectively paying for the large numbers of uninsured, etc.
One of the interesting things in that Wikipedia article that Steve
linked to was that the cost of malpractice insurance and settlements
accouts for less than 0.5% of total health costs. That means if
malpractice were completely eliminated, it would have an indetectable
effect on the current cost of our health care system. Very
surprising. Now, I suspect that if the cost of doctors practicing
"defensive medicine" were factored in, that percentage would
significantly increase. Most of the medical procedures that were
performed on my last time I was in the hospital (for my patellar
tendon repair) other than the surgery itself, were tests that were
conducted primarily with an eye to malpractice prevention.

But yes, the rest of what you right is what I was also trying to say--
instant access to CAT scans, MRIs, these kind of technologies didn't
even exist two decades ago. It's quite the accomplishment that we
manage to supply such health services to every insured individual (and
many who are not insured) in the nation.

Peace,
Neil X.
d***@v.n
2007-03-26 18:21:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil X.
Post by Octopus Ride
There are lots of reasons why US health care costs so much; malpractice
insurance rates, way too many insurance middlemen, the insured are
effectively paying for the large numbers of uninsured, etc.
One of the interesting things in that Wikipedia article that Steve
linked to was that the cost of malpractice insurance and settlements
accouts for less than 0.5% of total health costs. That means if
malpractice were completely eliminated, it would have an indetectable
effect on the current cost of our health care system. Very
surprising. Now, I suspect that if the cost of doctors practicing
"defensive medicine" were factored in, that percentage would
significantly increase. Most of the medical procedures that were
performed on my last time I was in the hospital (for my patellar
tendon repair) other than the surgery itself, were tests that were
conducted primarily with an eye to malpractice prevention.
But yes, the rest of what you right is what I was also trying to say--
instant access to CAT scans, MRIs, these kind of technologies didn't
even exist two decades ago. It's quite the accomplishment that we
manage to supply such health services to every insured individual (and
many who are not insured) in the nation.
Peace,
Neil X.
But, at the same time that there exists these incredible technological
advances, we are also sorely lacking in some areas at an incredible
cost. Case inpoint, I work in one of the premier level 1 trauma
centers in the country, we have the highest number of trauma
admissions of any center in the country. We cover 4states WA, Alaska,
Montana and Idaho. Anyway, what I find amazing is the number of people
who are transferred in from these areas, usually at costly medevac
flights, that don't need to be transferred. We get a huge number of
people who are transferred in because of cerebral bleeding and fairly
often their bleed is either devestating(so there's nothing we can do)
or there is actually no bleed at all. We have no access to the CT
scans done at these other hospitals until the patients arrive, but
those Ct scans were initially read in India. The financial cost is
impressive the psychological cost can be much greater, families are
told that we will be able to fix them only to be told after getting
here that there is nothing we can do.

Steve
Octopus Ride
2007-03-26 18:51:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil X.
Post by Octopus Ride
There are lots of reasons why US health care costs so much; malpractice
insurance rates, way too many insurance middlemen, the insured are
effectively paying for the large numbers of uninsured, etc.
One of the interesting things in that Wikipedia article that Steve
linked to was that the cost of malpractice insurance and settlements
accouts for less than 0.5% of total health costs. That means if
malpractice were completely eliminated, it would have an indetectable
effect on the current cost of our health care system. Very
surprising. Now, I suspect that if the cost of doctors practicing
"defensive medicine" were factored in, that percentage would
significantly increase. Most of the medical procedures that were
performed on my last time I was in the hospital (for my patellar
tendon repair) other than the surgery itself, were tests that were
conducted primarily with an eye to malpractice prevention.
The effect of malpractice rates varies widely depending upon specialty and
region.

Your basic internist isn't effected all that much, but an OB/GYN can be run
out of business by his massively increased rates. I had a neurologist who
was in full panic mode over his rates and he lost two partners because of
it. My pain specialist was literally put out of business and moved to
Arizona to return to internal medicine at an urgent care clinic. My heart
surgeon was once part of a group that included 8 surgeons, all of whom
performed heart surgery on children and infants. When I last saw that
doctor he still was a member of the 8 doctor group, but all of them except
my guy had stopped doing surgery on kids and babies because of the
increasing rates. My guy was for a while the only surgeon doing those
operations in a community of 1.7 million people.

Some areas aren't affected all that much no matter the specialty. But
areas with a huge pool of self proclaimed "heavy hitter" attorneys may
suffer like my old docs did.

This malpractice rate thing doesn't seem to be a problem where I live now,
where no one sues anybody for anything. Here the issue is doctors
refusing to accept Medicare patients because of the unsustainable
reimbursement rates. Who knew that those rates vary widely depending on
geographic location? They do. My mother, a resident of the area for two
years now and who has not only Medicare but a gold plated private plan to
supplement it, has to go to the public clinic and see a PA or nurse for her
primary care. There isn't a single internist in her town that accepts new
Medicare patients. Yet all of her specialists gladly accept it. Its just
so complicated..........
Post by Neil X.
But yes, the rest of what you right is what I was also trying to say--
instant access to CAT scans, MRIs, these kind of technologies didn't
even exist two decades ago. It's quite the accomplishment that we
manage to supply such health services to every insured individual (and
many who are not insured) in the nation.
Yup.

But its obscene that there are tens of millions of people whose only access
to health care is via an emergency room.

OR

volkfolk
2007-03-25 22:42:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Morris
Post by Neil X.
Post by Edwin Hurwitz
I love living in the country where we have the highest medical
expenditure in the world but lag behind many countries in actual health
care delivered.
Yeah, you have to have the ability to deal with bureaucracy to get
services, no doubt.
But which countries, exactly, are delivering better health care than
the US?
Google "infant mortality rates by nation"
This isn't an issue about quality of health care, it's an issue of who gets
health care.; IOW it is a case of have and have not. There is no country
with a higher standard of health care (as long as you have insurance and/or
money)

Scot
band beyond description
2007-03-25 23:56:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by volkfolk
Post by Richard Morris
Post by Neil X.
Post by Edwin Hurwitz
I love living in the country where we have the highest medical
expenditure in the world but lag behind many countries in actual health
care delivered.
Yeah, you have to have the ability to deal with bureaucracy to get
services, no doubt.
But which countries, exactly, are delivering better health care than
the US?
Google "infant mortality rates by nation"
This isn't an issue about quality of health care, it's an issue of who gets
health care.; IOW it is a case of have and have not. There is no country
with a higher standard of health care (as long as you have insurance and/or
money)
Scot
YRYK. but everyone should have access to a basic form of universal
health care. human right, you know?
--
Peace,
Steve
Joe
2007-03-24 14:46:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil X.
But which countries, exactly, are delivering better health care than
the US?
If infant mortality rates is any indication, 35 countries provide better
health care than the US. Imagine that?


Rankings > Infant mortality rate
(All Ascending)

Rank Country Value / Unit
1. Singapore 2.28 deaths/1,000 live births
2. Sweden 2.77 deaths/1,000 live births
3. Hong Kong 2.97 deaths/1,000 live births
4. Japan 3.28 deaths/1,000 live births
5. Iceland 3.31 deaths/1,000 live births
6. Finland 3.59 deaths/1,000 live births
7. Norway 3.73 deaths/1,000 live births
8. Malta 3.94 deaths/1,000 live births
9. Czech Republic 3.97 deaths/1,000 live births
10. Andorra 4.05 deaths/1,000 live births
11. Germany 4.20 deaths/1,000 live births
12. France 4.31 deaths/1,000 live births
13. Macau 4.39 deaths/1,000 live births
14. Switzerland 4.43 deaths/1,000 live births
15. Spain 4.48 deaths/1,000 live births
16. Slovenia 4.50 deaths/1,000 live births
17. Denmark 4.63 deaths/1,000 live births
18. Austria 4.68 deaths/1,000 live births
19. Australia 4.76 deaths/1,000 live births
Belgium 4.76 deaths/1,000 live births
21. Liechtenstein 4.77 deaths/1,000 live births
22. Canada 4.82 deaths/1,000 live births
23. Luxembourg 4.88 deaths/1,000 live births
24. Netherlands 5.11 deaths/1,000 live births
25. Portugal 5.13 deaths/1,000 live births
26. United Kingdom 5.22 deaths/1,000 live births
27. Ireland 5.50 deaths/1,000 live births
28. Monaco 5.53 deaths/1,000 live births
29. Greece 5.63 deaths/1,000 live births
30. San Marino 5.85 deaths/1,000 live births
31. New Zealand 5.96 deaths/1,000 live births
32. Aruba 6.02 deaths/1,000 live births
33. Italy 6.07 deaths/1,000 live births
34. Cuba 6.45 deaths/1,000 live births
35. Taiwan 6.52 deaths/1,000 live births
36. United States 6.63 deaths/1,000 live births
37. Croatia 6.96 deaths/1,000 live births
38. Lithuania 7.13 deaths/1,000 live births
39. Korea, South 7.18 deaths/1,000 live births
40. Israel 7.21 deaths/1,000 live births
41. Cyprus 7.36 deaths/1,000 live births
42. Slovakia 7.62 deaths/1,000 live births
43. New Caledonia 7.89 deaths/1,000 live births
44. Reunion 7.95 deaths/1,000 live births
45. Estonia 8.08 deaths/1,000 live births
46. Virgin Islands 8.21 deaths/1,000 live births
47. Puerto Rico 8.37 deaths/1,000 live births
48. Cayman Islands 8.41 deaths/1,000 live births
49. French Polynesia 8.61 deaths/1,000 live births
50. Hungary 8.68 deaths/1,000 live births

SNIP rest of list.

Joe
Rupert
2007-03-24 20:12:19 UTC
Permalink
Hey!

Is this "Pharmoterrorism"? A recent study found that abuse of
prescription drugs amongst the younger segments of American society
far outweighs the use of illicit drugs. Maybe we should outlaw
prescriptions, too.

I'll be happy to fund the "War on Drug...Companies"!
Neil X.
2007-03-25 02:13:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe
If infant mortality rates is any indication
Well, I'd suggest that there are many reasons other than the US having
poor obstrtricians for infant mortality statistics. It would be a
stretch to blame that on bad doctors and hospitals.

Peace,
Neil X.
Richard Morris
2007-03-25 03:00:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil X.
Post by Joe
If infant mortality rates is any indication
Well, I'd suggest that there are many reasons other than the US having
poor obstrtricians for infant mortality statistics. It would be a
stretch to blame that on bad doctors and hospitals.
What reasons might we be experiencing that other countries are not?
d***@v.n
2007-03-26 00:42:32 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 24 Mar 2007 20:00:12 -0700, "Richard Morris"
Post by Richard Morris
Post by Neil X.
Post by Joe
If infant mortality rates is any indication
Well, I'd suggest that there are many reasons other than the US having
poor obstrtricians for infant mortality statistics. It would be a
stretch to blame that on bad doctors and hospitals.
What reasons might we be experiencing that other countries are not?
See what I wrote about how other countries count live births.
theothr1
2007-03-24 20:22:11 UTC
Permalink
"band beyond description" <> wrote in
: Birth control prices soar on campuses
-- - -
Oh no! It's going to ruin all
the fun Harvard kids are having!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070322/ap_on_re_us/harvard_abstinence_3
band beyond description
2007-03-24 23:59:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by theothr1
"band beyond description" <> wrote in
: Birth control prices soar on campuses
-- - -
Oh no! It's going to ruin all
the fun Harvard kids are having!
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070322/ap_on_re_us/harvard_abstinence_3
would you, er -- the average guy -- WANT to have sex with Kinsella?
--
Peace,
Steve
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