Comments about ‘Letters: Medicaid expansion’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 16 2013 12:14 a.m. MST

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

One real issue that I have seen is that there is a huge disparity between what a procedure will cost WITH insurance vs WITHOUT insurance.

I had a minor outpatient surgery and the bill came to about $9,000 total of which the insurance paid a good chunk.

The same surgery without insurance would have been billed at about $24,000.

This was for total hospital time of about 5 hours including about a 20 minute surgery.

I understand negotiating a good rate for your big customers (insurance companies) but this is ridiculous.

The hospital certainly made money at $9000. They would obviously make a KILLING at $24,000.

Something is just not right.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

I'd love for someone to explain to me how the "best healthcare system in the world" allows a working citizen to end up in a situation like this. If you are rich, it is the best in the world. If not, you can window-shop and dream.

one old man
Ogden, UT

I note with interest and amusement that none of our usual right wingers who scream about the "evils" of the ACA have posted anything here this morning.

Could it be that they are actually reluctant to try to answer this letter without appearing even more heartless and foolish than they usually do?

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Single payer health care. For everyone.

Grundle
West Jordan, UT

Complete free-market health care. For everyone.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

old man,
we don't need to, Hutterite points out one of the evils of Obamacare. It does NOT deliver what was promised. That does not mean I would advocate a single payer system - that just drives care to the bottom. Too bad dems were not interested in a bi-partisan effort.

Obamacare does NOTHING about the costs of health care, NOTHING. All it does is funnel even more money into the pockets of insurance companies by forcing everyone to be their customer.

One could ask what this patient's credit card bills have been since her first procedure and how that compares to what health insurance premiums available through the state's existing exchange would have been. Nowhere does the author say the premiums available through the exchange were out of reach for her, he just leaves for us to assume they were. For all we know, she chose not to purchase the available insurance prior to her first diagnosis which would have kept her out of this dilemma. Did she lack insurance because it was too expensive or because she CHOSE not to buy it?

one old man
Ogden, UT

lost -- try reading the letter more carefully.

She couldn't afford insurance. And even if she'd had it, the company would probably have found a way to cancel it when cancer was diagnosed.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Emajor" tell us why the systems that cover everybody no matter what do such a poor job of actually caring for people? Why do women in England have to give birth in hospital bathrooms, elevators, and offices? Why are people in Hong Kong limited to the number of visits to the Doctor? Why are Canadians more likely to die waiting for cardiac surgery than the Americans to their south?

Which is easier for you mind. To allow somebody to suffer because that person does not have the money to pay for their care or to allow the same person to suffer because the government does not have the money to pay for their care?

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

old man,
OK, I've re-read it.

now go back to my comment. Which ended up being cheaper, the premiums she thought were too high, or her credit card bills? We don't know.

IF the insurance was too high, it was a good economic choice for her to forgo the insurance and self-fund her treatment, which she was able to do, though the use of credit cards is an expensive way to fund something. It again says that Obamacare forcing everyone to buy insurance is a bad thing, if self-funding care even through expensive credit cards is cheaper.

Suburbs of SLC
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@lost in DC: I could be mistaken, but I believe Utah's insurance exchange isn't yet operational for those who are self-employed. That is in the plans, especially if they want to keep the approval they've received from Obama, but as it stands now, there's a very limited number of small businesses who qualify to shop there.

@RedShirt: I, too, have heard horror stories from European healthcare systems (my great uncle even experienced it, and travelled to the US for care, which a range of family members helped pay for). That said, I've found Europeans always strongly defend their systems. They would never dream of repealing them. The London Opening Ceremonies even included a tribute to the National Health System. Generally speaking, the primary problem with their systems is just plain, old, lack of doctors. I wouldn't want their system created in the US. But I think it is unfortunate that we're never allowed to discuss it. It makes far more sense to me to consider their systems, and consider how to improve upon it and avoid the pitfalls they have experienced, rather than continue with our current malfunctioning system.

UT Brit
London, England

@RedShirt

My wife gave birth to two of our kids in a nice hospital room with 2 midwives attending. I think you will find out that there are times of exceptional circumstances but I am sure that things like that never ever happen in the US........

@Suburbs of SLC

Having lived in the States and experienced your healthcare system I would never want to experience it again. The NHS has served my entire family very well and the rest of 1st world certainly does not hold the US system as some sort of pinnacle to achieve, its quite the opposite.
You spend double the amount per person than UHC countries for worst results. I struggle to understand how people can defend the US system when they actually compare it to other countries systems. People love to cherry pick examples like Redshirt above but look into all the facts and figures, overall the US system is woefully inadequate.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "UT Brit" the problem is that it is not exceptional circumstances. The problems are becoming more common and are no longer the exception.

Just look up in your own newspapers the horror stories about the NHS policies. There are countless stories about people or groups of people who are being made to suffer under the NHS.

UT Brit
London, England

@Redshirt1701

I live here thanks and my family use the NHS a lot. Let me guess exactly which paper is doing the complaining? I would bet $1,000,000 that its the Daily Mail (loves to bash the NHS, supported the Nazis, generally terrible paper mocked by the majority of Britain), you can send me a cheque.

I personally know people going through some horrors in the US system. They either cannot get insurance or are under insured. When I see them talking about buying medication meant for animals, doing their own dentistry or see the horrific ER bills that will cripple them financially for years you bet I am glad I have the NHS. These are people I speak with and not some sensationalized news article.
Of course the US has its fair share of newspaper horror stories as well. Hospitals dumping dying people into the streets, people literally dying in the ER waiting to be treated. 60% of bankruptcies caused by medical bills!

The NHS is by no means perfect but your healthcare system is one of the major reasons I left the States and moved back here.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "UT Brit" it isn't the just the Daily Mail. Here are articles from sources other than the Daily Mail.

"100,000 terminally ill 'do not get proper palliative care'" - UK Telegraph

"British Socialized HC Official: Some Premature Babies Should be Left to Die" - The Blaze

"Cataracts, hips, knees and tonsils: NHS begins rationing operations" - The Independent

"'Cruel and neglectful' care of one million NHS patients exposed" - Telegraph

"Girls, 13, given contraceptive implants at school" Telegraph

"Patients 'denied intensive care'" BBC News

"Lung cancer victims denied lifesaving scans" Telegraph

"Patients forced to live in agony after NHS refuses to pay for painkilling injections" Telegraph

"Two patients died after waiting in ambulance outside 'full' Oldham hospital unit" Manchester Evening News

There may be individual hospitals that dump people, but these are articles showing many of your NHS policies that are killing, injuring, or leaving people in pain.

UT Brit
London, England

@Redshirt1701

I really cant be bothered to look them up but you will find similar stories from the US and lots more of them. Type plural of anecdote into google and click the second link. Stories on the left are people from UHC countries, those on the right are US, keep on clicking. That pretty much trumps any stories you can drag up.

Look up the 45,000 people who die each year from lack of healthcare. Look up the child mortality rates (and yes we count what's classed as "live birth" the same). Look up the healthcare costs per person (double in the US compared to UK). Look up your total number of uninsured and underinsured (70+ million). Look what happens when you have a "pre existing condition". Look at the insurance death panel stories.

Overall look at your healthcare ranking (#37 in the world). If more Americans stopped looking at newspaper clippings from other countries and actually did some research you might have a better healthcare system. There would be riots in the UK if the government stopped the NHS. It would be a death blow for any politician that suggested it such is its popularity.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "UT Brit" I am not worried about what socialists think of the US system. For the most part it is better than any other system in the world at actually curing people and making them healthy again.

If you want to look at the uninsured, look at the number of people that CHOOSE to not be insured. At one time 95% of the uninsured were that way by choice.

Yes, look at what happens when you have a pre-existing condition. Most insurance companies will look at your insurance history and will cover your pre-existing condition within 1 year if you have not had insurance, and many will cover your immediately if you have had insurance.

You rely on individual stories of bad hospitals to claim superiority for the NHS. If you bothered to look at the stories I listed, most reflect the policies of the NHS. In other words, your system has directives that injur, not individual hospitals that are bad. Your system is killing, injuring, or leaving people in pain. That cannot be said about the US system.

UT Brit
London, England

Haha yes completely ignore the statistics I posted. 45,000 dead each year from preventable illnesses. You have 100,000 dead from hospital infections a year. Sounds great....

I have personal experience that a lot of those stories you posted are garbage and you will find that some of them are just opinions of people instead of actual policy.

People are not clamouring for change in the UK, we dont have large chunks of the population wanting to style themselves after the US system. We see its obvious flaws. Why does no other first world country want a system like the US? Why do you have such a low ranking in the health care statistics? Why is my friend denied health insurance because of a heart trouble she had years ago? I thought she would be covered after a year right? She is still waiting.......

I very much doubt you know what a socialist is. I do and I certainly dont fit into the definition.

Please actually do some research instead of depending on blogs and tabloid newspapers for information. It might add some credibility to your arguments.

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