Comments about ‘Cancer patients can get coverage under health care law, but some of best hospitals off-limits’

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Administration: Networks will get closer scrutiny next year

Published: Wednesday, March 19 2014 7:53 a.m. MDT

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gmlewis
Houston, TX

Year after year, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is rated the premier cancer treating institution in the nation by Newsweek magazine.

Under Obamacare, it is included in the networks of only 2 out of 11 plans. I guess life is cheap under the Affordable Health Care Act, but it isn't affordable.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

@ gmlewis: So the choice for cancer survivors is no insurance and thus no access under the old plan, or insurance and limited access under Obamacare.

Limited access is definitely not a good thing - but it is better than no access at all.

These "failures" of Obamacare illustrate the harms and problems of for-profit insurance and make it more and more apparent that the United States needs to stop playing games with the health of her citizens and join the rest of the first world countries and offer single-payer.

freedomingood
provo, Utah

So from 0 cancer treatment to 4 of the best cancer treatment centers in the WORLD is bad? Only in republican think at the DN.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

So Democrats, what have you accomplished with your Obamacare? Fewer people today actually have insurance than before! We were told 40 million people were without health insurance before and now you are boasting that 4 million (we still don't know what fraction of those have paid) now have coverage while you don't mention that 7 million previously insured have lost their coverage, their doctors or their hospitals or are paying much higher co-pays, deductibles and premiums? Critical Obamacare mandates have been postponed, delayed and watered down so anyone can claim "hardship" and not be penalized for opting out! Obamcare is a disaster anyway you look at it and Americans will remember your lies, your false promises and the mess you have left our healthcare system in and vote you out in November!

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Tolstoy" I don't think you read the article very well. They stated that it used to be that insurance companies were trying to get their customers access to the best cancer centers. Now, they are just trying to keep insurance affordable. That shift has only occured since Obamacare was passed.

You can thank the government for the 2 tiered system that we are going to end up with in a few years. I will be similar to Cuba's. The wealthy and well connected get the best care, while the rest get substandard care.

gmlewis
Houston, TX

@Tolstoy: I was lamenting that most of the Obamacare plans did not include top cancer treatment facilities in their networks. It makes a life or death difference when fighting cancer.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ Redshirt & gmlewis: From the article, "Before President Barack Obama's health care law, a cancer diagnosis could make you uninsurable. Now, insurers can't turn away people with health problems or charge them more. Lifetime dollar limits on policies, once a financial trapdoor for cancer patients, are also banned.
"'Patients may have fewer choices of doctors and hospitals in some exchange plans than others ... but the rules for such plans go a long way toward remedying the most severe problems that existed for decades,' said Steve Weiss, spokesman for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network."

Tolstoy is reading it exactly right.

And Redshirt, we already have a two-tier system - Obamacare actually evens things out.

@ Mountanman: Several fact checking groups have proven Boehner's claim false. Repeating it will not make it any more true.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Kalindra" you are wrong. We didn't have a 2 tier system. Prior to the ACA we had HIPUtah which was an insurance pool that was set up specifically for people that were deemed uninsurable. Plus, most employer based insurance policies would take you regardless of medical history. HIPUtah was an insurance program run and operated by private companies that granted access to the best cancer treatments in Utah. The HIPUtah was not unique to Utah, but each state had a similar program before the ACA was passed.

So, the facts are that prior to the ACA we did not have a 2 tier system, but a system that was better because it did not nearly the same limits that the current system is building up.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ Redshirt: There were certain requirements that had to be met to qualify for HIPUtah - it was not automatic for all who applied. And there were a great many who did not qualify and therefore had no insurance. There were also a great many who qualified but were unable to pay their co-payments, even though they were working.

As long as there have been Americans who cannot afford proper medical care, there has been a two-tier system. And yes, since medical care in the US is profit based even under Obamacare, that two-tier system will continue.

You may choose to deny the two-tier system that has existed in American health care for a great many years, but any honest research will show it existed long before Obamacare. (Hint: The two-tier system was part of the driving force of discussions by Republicans in the 90's regarding healthcare reform and was a huge incentive behind Romneycare.)

Oh - and HIPUtah (as well as all other HIPs) received taxpayer funds to operate - insurance companies weren't doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Kalindra" you are right that insurance companies did not create HIPUtah, and that it did receive state funding to lower premiums for lower income people. However, the reason why HIPUtah was created was because the States and Federal Government have been adding so many mandates to insurance companies that they could no longer afford to insure everybody that wanted insurance. Back in the 1980's a person with diabetes could get insurance on their own. By the mid to late 1990's they couldn't.

HIPUtah was created to fix the problems created by the government in the first place. Now the HIPAA plans are not good enough so we replace them with the ACA.

Actually we don't have a 2 tier system yet. We have a system where you can get whatever care you are willing to pay for either out of pocket or via insurance. All of that goes away once the ACA collapses the insurance companies.

Rather than going for the government solution, how about we look at what has worked in the past and go for that?

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ Redshirt: Yes, let's look at what works - worldwide, that would be a single-payer/socialized medicine.

People should not profit of of others' ill-health.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Kalindra" why not? Farmers profit from feeding you. The power company profits from providing you electricity. The clothing stores profit from selling you clothes. The gas company profits from you buying gas. Builders profit from building houses or apartments.

Without those, you will die and suffer from ill health. Is is wrong for those industries to profit also?

Here is the big question. If it is wrong to profit from others ill health, then why do you support the ACA? The ACA was originally supposed to decrease the deficit. How can they decrease the deficit without PROFITING?

What is wrong with profit? You realize that if it wasn't for profits in healthcare that Research and Development would not occur, nor would clinical studies be performed. Do you really want to halt progress in the healthcare?

Eliyahu
Pleasant Grove, UT

@redshirt:
"if it wasn't for profits in healthcare that Research and Development would not occur, nor would clinical studies be performed."
That simply isn't true. Research and clinical studies are done in countries with national health care plans ("socialized medicine") just as they are done here. For example, the VA conducts a lot of research and clinical studies without the profit motive being involved at all. You're just repeating the mantra of the drug industry which claims that long patents and high profits are needed for R&D despite the fact that they spend six times as much on advertising prescription drugs to the public as they do developing them, and that most of their "new" drugs are just modifications of existing ones to keep profits up when patents expire.

The real question is why we need an insurance industry as middlemen, when their primary function is to rake off 20% to 30% of the money spent on healthcare to profit them and their stockholders?

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Eliyahu" and where does the money come from, even in socialist healthcare systems? Don't they have to charge more for the services than what they cost? Yes they call it a tax, but it is still profit.

So again, what is wrong with profits?

If profits are wrong for healthcare, what about for heat, electricity, housing, food, clothing, transportation? Now, if profits are bad, what about taxes, shouldn't those be just as wrong?

Why should the government profit because you are sick?

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