Comments about ‘Cost-control plan for health care could cost you’

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Published: Saturday, May 17 2014 11:41 a.m. MDT

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humbug
Syracuse/Davis, UT

Hospitals should be required by law to tell patients up-front what the procedure is going to cost. Then, if it is not within "reference pricing" the patient can choose to go elsewhere prior to having the procedure performed. There is something very shady about performing work and then afterwards sending a bill, with no prior commitment as to what the bill will be.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

You know, a single payer system would prevent this problem, but you can't bring yourself to endorse what's right in this case.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Let's hope, cost control, doesn't mean being on a long waiting list.

Meckofahess
Salt Lake City, UT

@Hutterite:

My friend, we may not agree on everything, but I certainly do agree with you on this. A single payer system makes a lot of sense for our healthcare system. That would help to eliminate much costly overhead and inefficiency in our system which in turn helps to lower costs. As a healthcare professional, I have watched hospitals gouge patients and insurance companies for 35 years. I went into healthcare to help people, not to break them financially. Healthcare has become nothing more than a for profit business (where hospital administrators and Doctors) make huge profits from helpless sick human beings who have no choice but to pay their fees or suffer and/or die. Perhaps this "reference pricing" will help to expose this out of control and over priced system?

RichardB
Murray, UT

And Obama continues destroying Obamacare.

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

This is what to expect when you have a for profit system. Insurance companies are out to make a buck. Politicians of both parties are going to help out big business, and aid them in making money. Insurance companies are big business.

Whether we have Obamacare or whatever cockamamie program that Republicans will endorse, the result will be substantially the same. As long as there is money to be made in the medical business, then we, the consumer, are just another source for profit.

Maybe, if we did what most western-style democracies do with health care, we could both reign in costs, and still provide adequate care to the public. However, neither Republicans nor Democrats will ever allow this.

worf
Mcallen, TX

@ordinaryfolks:

You may be right about for profit systems.

All property should be regulated by politicians, and perhaps re-distributed.

Look at the equality of healthcare for our Veterans.

We can share equal nothing in a poverty state.

Works in Cuba!

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

"Some experts worry that patients could be surprised with big medical bills they must pay themselves, undercutting financial protections in the new health care law. That would happen if patients picked a more expensive hospital"

Uh huh

" . . . that would happen if patients picked a more expensive hospital?"

Then . . . DON'T pick a more expensive hospital.

Stormwalker
Cleveland , OH

@Hutterite
@Meckofahess

Agree with you both. I think there are three problems.

First, every stage of health care is monetized and profit driven - at the end of the day, the real "customers" of hospitals, networks, and insurance companies are the stockholders, not the patients. We need single payer.

Second, we want it all. We want a 79 year old man with severe diabetes, kidney failure, advanced glaucoma and severe dementia with a sub-40bpm heart rate to have a pace-maker and weeks in ICU with placement of a feeding tube because "we love him, we can't just let him die." And there is nobody to put the brakes on - $500,000 in medical expenses for 90 days of miserable extension of life with no quality. We need to deal better with death and end-of-life care.

Third - and impossible - we need to back the politics out of it. There is so much money being made, and politicians are so cheap to buy, that Big Pharma and Big Insurance are not going to let it change.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Some people seem to believe that by demonizing, penalizing and restricting doctors and hospitals that politicians, bureaucrats and lawyers can make healthcare more available, cost less and produce better results.

Some people also believe in unicorns, the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny. All of whom are as likely to produce the promised results.

Ask yourself, Americans, is your healthcare better, cheaper and faster now than before Obamacare was passed? Ask yourself again in a year or so when all the hidden Obamacare taxes and fees kick in.

There is no such thing as a free lunch, or free healthcare.

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

Why do we pay for viagra? We all are forced to contribute money to this drug when we pay for insurance that covers it for my neighbor. E.D. is not a terminal illness.

Why do we spend endless money on end of life care? At 90+ years old, someone who is kept on life support for endless days in a hospital ought to be allowed to pass with dignity. Nobody cheats death, and life is really all about quality not quantity.

Why is it every other country operating as a western style democracy has better health care results than do we? We spend endlessly on health care and are sicker.

Why is it necessary that someone makes a profit buck (I am not talking about a fair salary for the good Dr Welby) from my illness?

Why does every other commercial on TV look like a commercial to get me to buy a new drug? Should not my medical practitioner know what drug to prescribe? Do I really need to know what treats weak bladders?

Medical care in the US today is about making a buck for corporate America, not making me healthier.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

DN subscriber -

"Ask yourself, Americans, is your healthcare better, cheaper and faster now than before Obamacare was passed?"

No change here. I kept my old health care plan.

But millions of Americans are protected by health care insurance now, who were not before.

The ACA is good for the nation and it's citizens.

But "Conservatives" are slow in learning that.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

GaryO,
the mental gymnastics you go through to defend the indefensible are mind-boggling. It must be exhausting and frustrating defending this monstrosity - and the worst provisions have not yet kicked in.

millions more lost their plans and can no longer see their doctors without paying exorbitant fees.

over 70% of those who signed up on the exchange had insurance before, so not really that many added to the rolls, and millions still uncovered.

Obamacare was, is and always will be a lie. It is bad for the nation and its citizens (no apostrophe after "it" when used as a possessive, only when used as a contraction - glad I could help)

but you got yours, so what does it matter how many other people it hurt?

can you liberals and BO apologists spell "rationing"?

OneWifeOnly
San Diego, CA

@DN Subscriber, you wrote:
“Ask yourself, Americans, is your healthcare better, cheaper and faster now than before Obamacare was passed?”

Yes.

Several years ago I needed to have a “foreign object” removed from my foot. Step 1, visit Primary Care Physician. Step 2. x-rays Step 3, Specialist visit. Step 4 x-rays because specialist did not want to use previously obtained x-rays. Step 5 surgery. All along the way not one medical professional could tell me my out of pocket cost. End to End time was several weeks while I was using crutches.

This last week I had a piece of glass in my foot that my husband and I could not remove because it was too deep and too close to the bone. Step 1, Primary Care Physician - $20. Step 2, x-rays. Step 3, Specialist visit - $40. Surgery performed in her office to remove the glass. End to End time 1 day.

Yes, mandating physicians to share existing medical data electronically saved me money, saved me time, and saved my insurance company money. This will ultimately translate to my insurance company making more profit, my employer saving cost of insurance premiums and me remaining healthy and active.

OneWifeOnly
San Diego, CA

Also, if my primary care physician or the specialist were to charge significantly more than most doctors (as the example in the article illustrated a $40,000 treatment with plenty of choices in the $30K or less range) then I would ask my doctor why he was so much higher. If his answer justified the cost to me, I would pay the $10K difference. If he wasn't able to justify the price difference I would ask him to lower his rate or shop around. The ability to know medical pricing in advance is the critical piece in our health care system currently missing and I look forward to this change.

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