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Old 12-18-2013, 12:53 PM  
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Medical bills underlie 60 percent of U.S. bankrupts:

Medical bills underlie 60 percent of U.S. bankrupts: study



(Reuters) - Medical bills are behind more than 60 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday in a report they said demonstrates that healthcare reform is on the wrong track.


More than 75 percent of these bankrupt families had health insurance but still were overwhelmed by their medical debts, the team at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University reported in the American Journal of Medicine.


"Unless you're Warren Buffett, your family is just one serious illness away from bankruptcy," Harvard's Dr. David Himmelstein, an advocate for a single-payer health insurance program for the United States, said in a statement.


"For middle-class Americans, health insurance offers little protection," he added.


The United States is embarking on an overhaul of its healthcare system, now a patchwork of public programs such as Medicare for the elderly and disabled and employer-sponsored health insurance that leaves 15 percent of the population with no coverage.


The researchers and some consumer advocates said the study showed the proposals under the most serious consideration are unlikely to help many Americans. They are pressing for a so-called single payer plan, in which one agency, usually the government, coordinates health coverage.


"Expanding private insurance and calling it health reform will fail to prevent financial catastrophe for hundreds of thousands of Americans every year," Dr. Sidney Wolfe of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen said in a statement.


About 170 million people get health insurance through an employer but President Barack Obama says soaring healthcare costs hurt the economy and force businesses to drop medical insurance for their workers.


CANCELED COVERAGE


"Nationally, a quarter of firms cancel coverage immediately when an employee suffers a disabling illness; another quarter do so within a year," the report reads.


Obama told Congress on Wednesday he was open to making mandatory health insurance part of the overhaul.


Neither Congress nor Obama are considering the kind of single-payer plan advocated by Public Citizen, Himmelstein and his colleague Dr. Steffie Woolhandler.


"We need to rethink health reform," Woolhandler said. "Covering the uninsured isn't enough.


"Only single-payer national health insurance can make universal, comprehensive coverage affordable by saving the hundreds of billions we now waste on insurance overhead and bureaucracy."


The researchers studied 2,134 random families who filed for bankruptcy between January and April in 2007, before the current recession began.
They used public bankruptcy court records and surveyed 1,032 people by telephone.


"Using a conservative definition, 62.1 percent of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical; 92 percent of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5,000, or 10 percent of pretax family income," the researchers wrote.


"Most medical debtors were well-educated, owned homes and had middle-class occupations."


The researchers, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said the share of bankruptcies that could be blamed on medical problems rose by 50 percent from 2001 to 2007.


Patients with multiple sclerosis paid a mean of $34,167 out of pocket in 2007, diabetics paid $26,971, and those with injuries paid $25,096, the researchers found.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/...5530Y020090604
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:03 PM   #76
Loneiguana Loneiguana is online now
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Speaking of articulation, why don't you articulate your best argument for how Obamacare addresses underlying health care costs in a concise and coherent manner and then we can talk. Until then, I'm not really interested in responding to the cut and pastes you post that you don't even seem to understand.
I did. You ignored it because, well, you are just here to present misinformation, distract, and deflect. Or you are just stupid.

Quote:
Section 9007 says the IRS can now take away a hospital's tax exemption if it tries to charge patients who needed financial aid more than the average amount paid for services by insurance companies and Medicare. In other words, hospitals cannot try to make people like Gilbert pay the inflated chargemaster prices.
See, that is a consumer protection to help those who lack the insurance's ability to negotiate the prices. Remember, it isn't a free market if the buy has no power in the negation.

And then there was this consumer protection.

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g. Section 9007 of the Affordable Care Act instructs the Internal Revenue Service to take away the tax exemption for nonprofit hospitals like Yale--New Haven unless they become aggressive about informing patients clearly of the availability of financial aid and take steps to learn whether patients need such assistance before they hand over their bills to lawyers or debt collectors.
But I guess conservatives are also against consumers having information available as well?
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:40 AM   #77
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hopefully in 2017 when Vermont goes single payer and once it proves successful, other states will follow
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:54 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Bump View Post
hopefully in 2017 when Vermont goes single payer and once it proves successful, other states will follow
That was tried with the current healthcare law...

It was successful in Mass.

Of course, once a Democrat, not a republican, wanted to bring to the nation, republicans didn't like it anymore.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:52 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
I did. You ignored it because, well, you are just here to present misinformation, distract, and deflect. Or you are just stupid.
Actually, I was asking you to say it in your own words. But I'll give up on that stretch goal and work with what you have.

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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
See, that is a consumer protection to help those who lack the insurance's ability to negotiate the prices. Remember, it isn't a free market if the buy has no power in the negation.
Yeah, I already pointed out that that was a form of price control. That's fine. As prone to poor and often counterproductive results as they are, price controls are an effort toward cost containment, so I'll give you that. But this "best argument for how Obamacare addresses underlying health care costs" impacts only a small percentage of health care charges. Even if it does a good job keeping those charges in line, it does almost nothing to rein in overall cost inflation. I think I will comfortably continue to point out that Obamacare does nothing to address this primary problem, if that's the best you have.

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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
And then there was this consumer protection.



But I guess conservatives are also against consumers having information available as well?
That has absolutely nothing to do with health care cost inflation.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:33 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Actually, I was asking you to say it in your own words. But I'll give up on that stretch goal and work with what you have.



Yeah, I already pointed out that that was a form of price control. That's fine. As prone to poor and often counterproductive results as they are, price controls are an effort toward cost containment, so I'll give you that. But this "best argument for how Obamacare addresses underlying health care costs" impacts only a small percentage of health care charges. Even if it does a good job keeping those charges in line, it does almost nothing to rein in overall cost inflation. I think I will comfortably continue to point out that Obamacare does nothing to address this primary problem, if that's the best you have.



That has absolutely nothing to do with health care cost inflation.
So charging consumers who lack the ability to negotiate up to 1000x the average cost is not price gauging nor abusing the market place...

But consumer protections to keep the market price (an average of what an insurance company can negotiate) for everyone is price fixing.



Considering the government is not dictating the price...

Only saying you can't gouge those who can't negotiate.

And only someone as stupid as you would think that charging up 1000x the average cost of something doesn't led to inflation.
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Last edited by Loneiguana; 01-04-2014 at 07:48 AM..
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:17 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
So charging consumers who lack the ability to negotiate up to 1000x the average cost is not price gauging nor abusing the market place...
Why the word "gauging" when that means to determine the amount of something?

Quote:
Only saying you can't gouge those who can't negotiate.
Price gouging is more often done in situations of extreme scarcity. It's needed to keep demand down when supplies are low or on the verge of being wiped out.

Quote:
And only someone as stupid as you would think that charging up 1000x the average cost of something doesn't led to inflation.
That's not inflation, it could be a price increase due to over demand and not enough suppliers. Inflation isn't just rising prices--it's too much money in circulation often leading to what appears to be a price increase but not based on any demand increase.

No wonder your reading comprehension is what it is.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:18 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Bump View Post
hopefully in 2017 when Vermont goes single payer and once it proves successful, other states will follow
They may but it won't solve the health care problem of delivery. It never has.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:18 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Why the word "gauging" when that means to determine the amount of something?


Price gouging is more often done in situations of extreme scarcity. It's needed to keep demand down when supplies are low or on the verge of being wiped out.



That's not inflation, it could be a price increase due to over demand and not enough suppliers. Inflation isn't just rising prices--it's too much money in circulation often leading to what appears to be a price increase but not based on any demand increase.

No wonder your reading comprehension is what it is.
Charging those without the ability to negotiate up 1000x what an insurer pays is price gouging. And it's not because of extreme scarcity.

Take this example: "She left a few hours later with a bill for $9,418, which included $6,538 for CT scans and $239 for a routine blood test. The charges, I found, were based on something called the hospital chargemaster--a list of hugely inflated prices that no one could explain or defend.

Medicare--which by law pays hospitals and other providers their actual costs, including overhead--would have paid Bridgeport Hospital just $825 for those CT scans and $13.94 for that blood test."

Are you going to argue that CT scans and blood test are in short supply?



Oh, and another inflation is caused by printing money... I already told you why that was stupid, but you sure do like to parrot stupid.

Maybe charging those who have no choice but to pay up to 1000x the average cost has something to do with it.
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:14 AM   #84
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Medicare does not pay actual costs including overhead. I don't know where you got that, but as with most of what you post, someone is selling a load of BS.
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:20 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
Charging those without the ability to negotiate up 1000x what an insurer pays is price gouging. And it's not because of extreme scarcity.

Take this example: "She left a few hours later with a bill for $9,418, which included $6,538 for CT scans and $239 for a routine blood test. The charges, I found, were based on something called the hospital chargemaster--a list of hugely inflated prices that no one could explain or defend.

Medicare--which by law pays hospitals and other providers their actual costs, including overhead--would have paid Bridgeport Hospital just $825 for those CT scans and $13.94 for that blood test."

Are you going to argue that CT scans and blood test are in short supply?



Oh, and another inflation is caused by printing money... I already told you why that was stupid, but you sure do like to parrot stupid.

Maybe charging those who have no choice but to pay up to 1000x the average cost has something to do with it.
You might want to read this: http://www.medpac.gov/publications%5...Mar03_AppA.pdf

Almost all payees except the patient pay predetermined "reasonable" amounts based on DRG and ICD information. These do not take in to consideration whether your CT scanner is 5 years old and fully depreciated, or whether it is 6 months old and the facility is still trying to pay for the damned thing. They also do not take into consideration the people who use the ER as their primary care physician and have no intent of ever paying for the goods and services they receive.

There are 2 primary challenges in a healthcare facility's finances. First, is cost recovery. You know...actually getting enough revenue to cover the real expenses. Second is getting your codes right and getting paid for what was actually done.

Bob Dole remembers running reports on knee replacements. The standard Medicare reimbursement didn't even cover the actual cost of the prosthetic.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:09 AM   #86
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Medicare does not pay actual costs including overhead. I don't know where you got that, but as with most of what you post, someone is selling a load of BS.
Says the person who doesn't even cite what he just said.



I think I'll trust Time over you.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:36 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
Says the person who doesn't even cite what he just said.



I think I'll trust Time over you.
Trust whoever tells you what you want to hear. You're still wrong.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:45 AM   #88
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Trust whoever tells you what you want to hear. You're still wrong.
I'll wait for your citation, knowing full well you wan't ever give me one.

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Old 01-06-2014, 07:57 AM   #89
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I'll wait for your citation, knowing full well you wan't ever give me one.

Anyone who knows anything about medicare reimbursement knows I'm right, and I don't care much whether you understand these things or not, so there's no real reason for me to prove it. That said, Bob Dole gave you a link to a document that talks all about Medicare reimbursement. Have at it or keep waiting. It makes no difference to me.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:05 AM   #90
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Anyone who knows anything about medicare reimbursement knows I'm right, and I don't care much whether you understand these things or not, so there's no real reason for me to prove it. That said, Bob Dole gave you a link to a document that talks all about Medicare reimbursement. Have at it or keep waiting. It makes no difference to me.
It just feels right to me. Facts be darned.

Typical conservative response.

Prove it and nut up or shut up.
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