Filed under The Public Square
Tagged as health care
Google “medical tourism” and you’ll find that people from the good ol’ USA often travel to other countries for medical treatment that is just as high quality as ours but at much reduced rates. When I lived in Austin, many people went to Mexico City for major dental work. It was cheaper, and good quality work, even after factoring in travel expenses. I even had a friend from Kansas fly to Mexico to have gastric bypass surgery done. She said she stayed in a five star hotel across the street from the hospital after the surgery. An RN came several times a day to check on her, meals were delivered by room service, and she flew home in a week. All for $9000. She is one of the few people I know who kept the weight off after the surgery and that was 8 or 9 years ago.
The point, and I do have one, is we act like any medical care outside our borders is inferior, when in fact, it can be quite good, and a fraction of the cost even if you pay out of pocket. The out of pocket costs are likely less than deductibles, copays and add-on so notorious in the USA.
I think the problem in the USA is good ol’ greed……..and corporatization.
Look around and see how many doctors are working for a corporation (and, yes, I am talking about the Catholics here)
When I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s – most doctors were in private practice or maybe a partner.
But – then again – we did not have all these specialty doctors – which IMHO – are not necessary in all cases.
I’ve noticed since my doctor’s office was bought by the Catholics – my entire family (we all see the same doctor) has been ‘referred’ more to those ‘specialty’ doctors – which is more profit for the corporation because the speciality doctors also just happen to belong to the same corporation.
See how this goes?
Bottom line though – when one corporation (Catholics) have bought up the majority of the hospitals and doctors clinics – where is the free market that is supposed to bring those competitive prices?
Let’s not forget – my friends – which party believes that corporations are people too???
That – in a nutshell – is why this country pays way more for health care than anywhere else.
BTW – My health insurance paid $168,000 for 29 days at St. Joseph Via Christi when I was starting my cancer journey.
The next day after I was discharged – their billing person was on the phone harassing me to find out when I was going to be paying my share of that bill.
Yes – I do MEAN – harass. These people were like vultures circling around my head.
I’ve learned something in the past year – if you need any x-rays and/or other radiological exams done – I go to Cypress Imaging. They are with the Wichita Radiological Group.
They told me, as long as you make a payment every 30 days – they will leave you alone. And this is true.
I had to have a P.E.T. scan done and Cypress does not do them – so I had to go back to Via Christi.
Since this was my first scan for the year – I had to pay my deductible and co-pay – which came to about $1,000.
Via Christi was on my ass – again – to pay up within 30 days. I asked them for a payment plan and I was told they give 6 months and if it’s not paid in full by then, then it’s sent to collections. That was about 2 years ago.
My friend just had several scans done at Via Christi and her doctor told her that her health insurance covered it – but then it came back as denied. So, she ended up with a $10,000 bill – and Via Christi billing person told her she had to pay it in full within 3 months..
She told them there was no way she could do that and they told her to use her credit cards – or they could get her a credit card from the ‘trusted’ bank down town.
And within a few days, a credit card arrived in her mailbox from this ‘trusted’ bank.
She had not consented to get that credit card……..so who the hell applied for it?
She is so mad at these Catholics – and I thought I was the only one…..LOL
So – you see – when money is involved – don’t trust some place just because they have a big golden cross with Jesus hanging on it in their front lobby.
M-O-N-E-Y rules the day……..don’t kid yourselves for one minute.
Sick care is really what we’re discussing here. Health care is stuff like food, shelter, warmth from cold, and maintaining health… When we get sick some of us are lucky enough to actually receive care. Care goes way beyond stemming the bleeding, addressing the emergency, temporary patches. Care means let’s find out what’s going on and what’s best for each individual.. Americans aren’t YET even guaranteed sick care, let alone health care. No one but the most skilled at ignoring reality thinks the poor working mom or dad has the money to get sick care just because they’re sick. And all those rumors about hospital emergency room visits are overblown. That same poor working mom or dad might take their child to the hospital emergency room if they’re having trouble breathing, badly injured…, but they just keep on keeping on through most illness. And studies show they don’t live as long. It all catches up to them.
I don’t think American’s attitudes will change in my lifetime, but someday I hope. We’ll get to the point Canadians and citizens of every other civilized nation reached long ago where sick care is something you go get — everybody, not just those who have the money. No one thinks they’re more deserving than another of sick care. The wealthy still have more resources available, that’s a given and always will be for whatever subject you discuss.
You nailed it fnord…..it is the sick care that is the most expensive form of health care costs.
But – when our system is set up to pay more for the sickest – then where is the incentive for prevention care?
Bottom line though – I just don’t understand these Republicans who think that everyone can just go buy health insurance .
1) They’re not making enough money to go buy their own insurance.
2) The price of heatlh insurance on your own is astronomical.
And – GOD FORBID – if you ever get a disease like cancer – then you’re days of getting health insurance is very limited……….
I guess I should have never made that wish to get cancer — huh?
That is how I think Republicans truly feel – that sick people somehow got sick on purposes. What a bunch of B.S.
I’ve often told my husband – imagine how much more fun we could have had on that $168,000 than to spend it in some hospital where – if you do not have family members with you to make sure you’re taken care of – you may, or may not, be able to get someone to answer your call light when you push it…
I feel sorry for these elderly people with no family or from long-term care facilities. They are shipped around these hospitals like chess pieces on a game board.
And why do you ask? M-E-D-I-C-A-R-E…..
Don’t kid yourselves – hospitals and doctors do not want to see M-E-D-I-C-A-R-E go away..
I do not remember it but one tale my wife told me was when they were trying to decide where to sent me for after care and treatment for my brain injury.
Their first suggestion was Larner the State mential hospital. I screamed “No” and Iwas sent to Tulusa. My point being that it was cheaper to send me to the State mential hospital. I dread the thought of having became aware in State mential hospital. Money is such a poor reasoning for what care one would receive.
There is a down side though, for some even the best treatment would have no effect. Prolonging life would be worse then to allow nature to take its course. The judgment call is often beyond simple human thought. Who is truly quilified to make such decisions?
Money should never be the deciding factor in medical care. To do so means that those with the money would be judged to be judge worth the effort and the poor would be out of chances, think of all that would not have been if such a condiction were the sole deciding factor. Trump would live forever and many minds that improved life and living would have been throw out to the waste bin.
That says it ALL, rd: “Money should never be the deciding factor in medical care.”
I will never understand any human being who thinks some humans are more worthy than others. To me, that is the greatest sin of them all.
RD – you’ve been through alot – and have come such a long way – I give you kudos – and your wife and family deserve kudos also for being so supportive!
I have to wonder though – do those Teabaggers who were being such bullies about health care reform – do they really not know how the real picture of health care system in the USA or do they just NOT care?
KInda like Republican Rob Portman changing his mind about gay marriage after his son came out as gay – is that what it is going to take to change health care?
Someone in their own personal life is going to have to be denied health care before these buffoons acknowledge that every person should have the same access to the same health care?
Let’s not forget that 47% videotape of Romney at that fundraiser in Florida. Remember one of those things he named as people feel they are ‘entitled’ to is health care……
This is the GOP message – and no amount of rebranding or chanigng their marketing tactic is going to change the fact that these current CONS are mean-spririted, hateful, vengeful and greedy.
All for Me and None for Thee – is the new GOP motto.
What I’ve heard from republicans ever since President Obama uttered the words ‘reforming health care,’ is that it is his fault — everything, all price increases, premium increases, any doctor shortages or doctors not accepting new Medicare patients, EVERYTHING! Most of the ‘things’ they blame him for were problems long before they ever heard his name, let alone before Obamacare. They don’t know what Obamacare is, what is implemented when, and they don’t do the easy research to find out, but out of their ignorance comes complaining. It is, after all, what they do best!
Before President Obama’s second term ends most Americans will have realized some benefits from Obamacare. I don’t expect to hear any republican credit those improvements to Obamacare, but as the years pass they’ll grow to appreciate it even tho they’ll never give credit where it’s due.
If you wonder how stupid they are just picture the signs they carried to their tea party rallies. 🙂
I agree with you 100%… as long as these REpublicans are seen as being the ones that hate Obama more than they love their country – I predict their party will be headed for the Dinosaur Death Valley..
But – I do believe in the two-party system and we need that checks and balance idealogy in our government.
IMHO – this is what has brought the Grand Old Party to its elephant knees today – their Far Right Wingers have decided that their God has put THEM in charge and NOTHING else matters.
With that logic – where is the checks and balances – which is the best way to govern ALL citizens?
As long as the republicans pick and choose what parts of The U. S. Constitution are worthy (kinda reminds me of the way they decide which parts of The Bible are worthy), and which people (with emphasis on corporations they now deem people) are worthy of government welfare money and tax breaks, I expect them to be irrelevant in national elections.
One of the better impacts of this is the judicial appointments Democratic presidents will be making.
There is a down side though, for some even the best treatment would have no effect. Prolonging life would be worse then to allow nature to take its course. The judgment call is often beyond simple human thought. Who is truly quilified to make such decisions
I hae worked in the long term care business for a long time. And I truly believe that every person should have the right to decide for themselves when the medical technology should be curtailed – if the prognosis is not looking so good.
I’ve actually heard doctors brag about how they got some adult child of a patient to agree to put the father on dialysis – even when the father was fully aware, in his 90’s and both he and his wife agreed – no dialysis.
But the doctor actually said he had to talk a grown child in to the dialysis in order to give their father a few more months.
The problem I have with this scenario is this: the doctor does NOT have the right to ‘talk a grown child’ into something that the patient and his wife had already said NO.
I guess I view death differently than alot of people? There are worse things than death – and I’ve seen them.
But – I am a real staunch believer that every person has the right to make their own choice.
AND their choice should be respected – even if we don’t agreet with it.
On the flip side of this dilemma is this:
If we profess to be such a fine, moral and Christian country that values life – then we need to figure out a way to pay for all this medical technology that is prolonging lives.
And I don’t hear one word from these CON Teabaggers/Evangelicons about how we are going to pay for their desire to be for the sanctity of life.
Personally – if I have to be hooked up to a machine to make my heart and lung work for the rest of my life – then is that really the life I want to live?
I believe in giving peole their own choice – and with that choice should come dignity.
IIRC – fnord posted that letter from the Iraq Veteran that lambasted Bush and Cheney.
I remember reading the part in his letter that this young man has made his choice to go on hospice.
Some of these Evangelicons on the Far Right Wingers section might call him names and think he is doing the wrong thing.
But……as I feel so strongly…..I can understand why this young brave man made that choice – and his choice should be respected.
I’ve heard from too many elderly patients in the nursing home that their wish is to join their loved ones who have already gone on before them. So many of them are the last one in their generation and they keep saying – why am I still here?
My grandmother was that way. She was 98 yrs old when she passed. All of her sisters and brothers were gone – her huband (Grandpa) had died in 41 years ago – and she never remarried.
She had lots of kids, grandkids, great, great-great and great-great-great grankids – but she also did not know most of them by the time she passed.
She barely knew her own kids – she was hard of hearing, could not see and was bedbound. She was way past being ready to leave this Earth.
Then I think of my brother (his birthday is coming up soon). He was riddled with cancer and was ‘tired of being tired’.
I spoke to him on Wednesday before the Monday he died. He told me he had promised the grandkids their monthly trip to the local Pizza Restaurant. It was to be that Sunday.
When I finished our conversation, I was in the middle of a traffic and I had to just cry – because I knew my brother had just told me good-bye for the last time.
I also knew that he would make himself to be able to give his grandkids one more memory at the Pizza restaurant that Sunday – and that is exactly what he did.
That next day, Monday, my brother called my nephew and asked him to drive him to the hospital in his old truck (not the new truck – but his old truck that he had when he was a young father).
I was not surprised when I received a phone call the next mornig that my brother had passed shortly after midnight.
You see, my brother would have quallified for hospice and alot of people tried to get him to go on it – but he refused. He wanted to live his remaining days the way that he wanted to live them.
And – he did just that – and I respected his decision. I also applaud him for loving his family so much that he made it through that last special day with them.
God …..I miss my brother…
I know I would have liked your brother! I guess each time his loved ones speak about him who he was continues through them. Life is forever altered by the death of a loved one, isn’t it? We go on but differently without them.
I so agree, the greatest act of love could be letting someone go. I do understand the ” They could get better inspite of the odds”. I was at best a touch-up at one point I guess. It would be so much easier if one could know the outcome before the decesion would be made. I guess I view death differently than alot of people? ” There are worse things than death – and I’ve seen them.” . How true, hope springs eternal.
LOL “toss” not “touch”
RD – I wish I knew the answers to every dilemma – but nobody does.
But – my grandma was 98 yrs old – and that was a factor.
You were nowhere near that age and for you, your wife and your family – you all hung in there together and things turned around for you.
And it’s awesome that you had such great support and love – which, BTW, could have been the turning point. I truly believe that medical science can only do so much – our will and spirit within ourselves and the love/positive energy around us can make miracles happen.
That’s why I am such a strong advocate for letting each individual decide for themselves – and – yes, you’re right – money should not have to be a factor in how one can access the medical care they need – if they choose to go that route.
For professing to be such a moral and Christian nation – we treat our citizens like chess pieces when it comes to access to health care.
And that is not right…
Immigrant tuition hearing draws cheers, tears
Standing-room-only crowd gets emotional as panel discusses illegal immigration
(from the link): “But nothing drew a bigger reaction than when Rep. Ponka We-Victors, D-Wichita, wrapped up a series of questions to the bill’s chief proponent, Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
“I think it’s funny Mr. Kobach, because when you mention illegal immigrant, I think of all of you,” said Victors, the Legislature’s lone American Indian member.
The heavily pro-immigrant gallery burst into cheers and applause — a rare reaction in normally staid hearings.”
I’ve often asked Republicans if they are of Native Indian heritage – because, if they’re not, then their families came here illegally.
So – get to steppin…….
That’s when I usually get the Ronald Reagan evil eye………you know, I’ve heard that is supposed to turn you into stone – so you won’t be able to vote against Repulbicans anymore.
Ahh I am starting my own blog I will post a link as soon as I have figured it out. How to work it and populate it with some thoughts and points. You might guess it will not be truly any different from most things I post here.
Already the first was about the Neo-Nazi-cons and their movement.
Ok here is my first attempt at posting a link to it… hope it works.
It worked…..I left the first comment.
Once in a while there is something said that the only reaction one can have is the classic “OH MY FUCKING GOD!!!!” O’ Reily had a dingbat who actually said that it was Obama who took us to war in Iraq! And that Afganistan was also Preisdent Obama’s idea too! Can you say “revisionist history? Can you say they think their viewers must be as stupid as the Liberals think they are?
Can we just call them what they are? Big fat L-I-A-R-S?
What is really sad is that alot of these same folks profess loudly to be such fine Christians that follow the Ten Commandments.
Which Commandment talks about bearing false witness – ie Lying?
Maybe some of these folks really do not understtand and are just being led by the Pied Piper of Stupidity – but the ones doing all the yammering and screaming do know what they are doing and they are doing it for a specific reason – because they HATE Obama so much.
It’s truly sad….but very offensive to me because these folks make a mockery out of Christianity.
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