What don't you like about your healthcare system?

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by Cheung, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. Pete LSD

    Pete LSD Regular Member

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    Health care insurance subsidies eyed

    Chronic patients expected to get aid

    Ella Lee

    Updated on [FONT=&quot]Feb 09, 2010[/FONT]

    Should people with pre-existing illnesses be forced to pay higher premiums for private health insurance?

    Insurance companies say yes, but the government says no, and insurers and medical activists now expect it to resolve the impasse by offering to subsidise the premiums of patients with pre-existing conditions.

    The issue has emerged as the major roadblock in negotiations with the industry over a voluntary medical insurance scheme about which the government plans to consult the public this year as a way to relieve the financial pressures on the heavily subsidised public health sector.

    Insurance providers are in talks with health officials about the scope of the coverage and on how to use the scheme's HK$50 billion start-up fund to attract more people to sign up for voluntary insurance.

    In a recent submission to the government, the insurance sector outlined an agreed "basic plan" that removes exclusions for mental illnesses and congenital diseases and makes premiums age-specific.

    But the sector is standing firm on not including people with pre-existing conditions in the basic plan, meaning chronically ill patients would have to pay a higher premium for coverage.

    The government asked the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers yesterday to reconsider its position.

    A health care professional familiar with the negotiations said the government had to devise an insurance plan that truly pooled risks.

    "The government cannot design a plan that only benefits the insurance sector and covers only healthy people, who may not use the services," the professional said.

    Cheung Tak-hai, vice-chairman of the Alliance for Patients' Mutual-help Organisations, said some health officials had raised the possibility of subsidising the higher premiums insurers will charge people with pre-existing conditions.

    "We think this is acceptable because it is a voluntary scheme not a mandatory one," Cheung said.

    Funded out of tax revenue and charging low medical fees, the public health care system has been financially burdened by an ageing population, costly advances in medical technology and the higher expectations of patients.

    The government hopes at least 500,000 people will join the voluntary insurance scheme so that their health risks will be shared and more people will opt for private services.

    Officials hope the scheme will be able to provide choices and better services to patients who can afford private insurance, and will set standards for private medical services and insurance plans.

    The insurance industry's proposed "basic plan" covers only inpatient services and local medical claims. Patients would be able to choose various kinds of "top-up" packages for more benefits, such as overseas claims and better private services. There will be caps on claims and patients will have to pay part of the treatment costs to discourage unwarranted use of the services.

    The industry has warned that providing a flat rate for everyone would make the premium too expensive, and as a result the plan would not be marketable and sustainable. Health officials have said the exclusions in existing medical plans have discouraged people from buying them. Some chronically ill patients have difficulty getting coverage or have to pay a very high premium.

    Peter Tam Chung-ho, executive director of the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers, said the sector was "sincere" in reaching a consensus with the government.

    "However, the basic plan cannot be too ambitious at the start or there will be many problems in the implementation. We can always improve it in the future," he said.

    Tam said the industry believed there should be different rates for healthy people and those with pre-existing conditions, "otherwise there will be a downward spiral effect with healthy people having to share the high premiums, and the plan will become unpopular and, at the end of the day, unsustainable. There is a gap between us and the government and we want to narrow it."

    Elaine Chan Sau-ho, a member of the federation's health care reform task force, called on the government to make good use of the HK$50 billion start-up fund to make the pool as big as possible for the maximum sharing of risk.

    Tax exemptions for medical expenses would benefit only taxpayers so the government should also consider premium subsidies and savings for the needy, Chan said.

    About 3.2 million Hongkongers are covered by medical insurance, one million by individual plans and the rest by company plans.
     
  2. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    one more effort by the Dems to pass their health-care bill??..

    *sigh*..it's like one of those things that never seems to die off and the Dems seem to not learn anything much from the past..but oh heck, since the current Congress got nothing else better to debate or work on, might as well..the Dems gonna try one more time w/another deadline around Easter..:p

    If anyone is in favor of the current health care bill (yes, the one sponsored by the Dems), one is either dumb, or simply not paying attention. There's no question that SOMETHING needs to be done abt the current U.S. health care system because the costs are out of control. The problem is the Democrats' bill doesn't address the costs issue, and cost is THE problem (anyone says 'Amen' to that?). The Dems' bill basically focuses on coverage measures. On the other hand, the Republicans want to take measures to get costs under control (yes, which had been covered several times in this thread), which will help with the coverage problem but won't eliminate it. This is why bipartisan politics are so important. If they can take some of the coverage measures from the Dems and combine it with the cost cutting measures of the GOP, we would have a bill that would ACTUALLY work, have the support of the general public, and pass through the freakin' Congress easily!

    Reality is, it's not. Which means: this is a bad bill!:( *sigh*
     
    #242 ctjcad, Mar 5, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  3. OneToughBirdie

    OneToughBirdie Regular Member

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    Concur with you on runaway cost should be addressed.
     
  4. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    warren buffet said that too. Throwing money into the problem isn't a fix. Canada seem to be heading that road. Canadian Healthcare system is even harder to fix because we still have the belief our healthcare is free. If we mention the word private healthcare (as in a hybrid system), canadians go berserk. However, canadians turn another cheek when our rich ceo and politicians go to private and out of country for their need when they r sick.
     
  5. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    At present time
     

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  6. silentheart

    silentheart Regular Member

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  7. kish-mah-ash

    kish-mah-ash Regular Member

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    Looks like USA will soon be come the freakin' USSA (United Sociatlist States of America)!

    Free healthcare for everydbody?wait until what you see coming all you DAMN-O-CRAPS, libereals and the Bullsh!t Odumbo supporters.
    The people made the wrong choice once.and guess what,this will be the result.Enjoy your last few years of being a replublic.
     
  8. extremenanopowe

    extremenanopowe Regular Member

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    God 'blessed' America..... ;)
     
  9. kish-mah-ash

    kish-mah-ash Regular Member

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    yo homie,
    you wanna help pay the taxes for the new universal healtch care piece of crap plan?
     
  10. extremenanopowe

    extremenanopowe Regular Member

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    No problem. Put into my tab. He's encouraging pole to get sick n die faster. Lol
    done deal. He won n move on. ;)
     
  11. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    Here's what I like about my healthcare system:

    It's 1:00am and I just helped a woman deliver a baby. When she came to the hospital it took her five minutes to sign in. She had excellent nurses and good drugs. She delivered without a problem. She'll have good postpartum care in a private room. Then she'll go home. She was never quizzed by a billing department. She won't be sent an itemized bill. Best of all, I get paid directly into my bank account by three tickmarks on a single sheet of paper.

    More tax? Yup! Perfect? Nope! But blessedly simple for simpletons like me.:rolleyes:
     
  12. Pete LSD

    Pete LSD Regular Member

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    And being a good doctor you get to remove those cysts (you know what :D) once in a while = pricelss! :D:D:D

     
  13. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    oh my wallet...

    ..are you kidding me???...This just passed bill is bad and probably the most corrupt bill in the U.S. history of legislation. Guess what, all the (219) Yes votes came from the Democrats. And 0 (yes, that's ZERO votes) came from the Republican side. Even then 34 Democrats voted against it. And that's what's probably gonna happen during the final Senate vote.
    Talk about democracy, eh? Even the majority of the U.S. people were against this bill. Guess what also, does Prez BO know what's in the bill? He probably hasn't even read it. We, the people, don't even know what's written in the bill (which was written in the middle of the night behind closed door). Where's the transparency as promised by Prez BO???..:confused:
    There has never been a major significant bill which had a lopsided vote like this health care reform bill. Even when the controversial Social Security Act and the later Medicare and Medicaid legislations were passed, they had support from both sides of the aisles (Republicans and Democrats). That is the way to pass a good legislation. But not with this.
    The worst is, the U.S. doesn't even have the money to cover this? Forget about all those CBO budget projections...every time the govt. says the total will only cost this much, it'll end up even more..

    Like master silentheart already mentioned, this bill at the end would end up as a bad bill (i know he is probably furious over this historic night; i hope he's getting a good night rest:p). I can't fathom what he'll post tomorrow morning...:eek::p

    Anyway, it is what it is; perhaps it's already destined...We'll just see what happens in 4 more yrs (2014 once the people get something back for their tax money). Or in 10 or more years once the system is bankrupt, i hope everyone will take a look back at this moment in U.S. history..:p
    ..do you really think the U.S. system will be as simple as that of Canada???..:confused::eek::(
     
    #253 ctjcad, Mar 22, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  14. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    No, I fear not dear neighbour. The US is facing a difficult transition no matter how the final product turns out. :( My post was only gratitude for the blessings I have here (for now).
     
  15. silentheart

    silentheart Regular Member

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    after I saw the bad news, I had 3 beers. They are special one with high alch content. I was so sad that I have to use alch to numb my pain. Guess what, if this is a good bill, why not have bulk of the bill effect before the next election? Why have it goes in effect after 2014? He is not a leader. Just a big talker. Please stay tune to ABC's special on this issue.
     
  16. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    canada's system is almost free. We still have to pay some monthly healthcare insurance.
    Secondly, not all healthcare are free; dental, eye examination, most chiropractic. Also, u have to wait a long time to get the needed healthcare. Bottom line, yes, most healthcare in canada are free but u risk dying from waiting for the services, or (from my experience) we get the run around more so than paid services because gov't pay doctors by services (quantity not quality) and some doctors just rig it up so u need to see them often. Canada's free healthcare system is unsustainable. U will see each year more and more gov't budget goes to healthcare costs and start bumping out other services.

    Six provinces expected to spend more than 50 per cent of revenue on health care within a generation Written by Administrator
    Friday, 24 October 2008
    October 2008 -- Provincial spending on health care is growing faster than revenues with six of 10 provinces projected to be spending more than 50 per cent of all available revenue on health care by 2036, says a new report released today by independent research organization the Fraser Institute.

    New Brunswick and Manitoba face the greatest crunch, with New Brunswick projected to be spending 50 per cent of its total revenues on health care within 11 years while Manitoba could hit the 50 per cent mark within 12 years.

    Newfoundland & Labrador will likely reach the 50 per cent point within 17 years, followed by Nova Scotia in 19 years. Saskatchewan will likely take 25 years to reach the 50 per cent point; Ontario 28 years and British Columbia 31 years.


    taken from http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_3_canadian_healthcare.html
    The Ugly Truth About Canadian Health Care
    David Gratzer


    Like many critics of American health care, though, Krugman argues that the costs are just too high: “In 2002 . . . the United States spent $5,267 on health care for each man, woman, and child.” Health-care spending in Canada and Britain, he notes, is a small fraction of that. Again, the picture isn’t quite as clear as he suggests; because the U.S. is so much wealthier than other countries, it isn’t unreasonable for it to spend more on health care. Take America’s high spending on research and development. M. D. Anderson in Texas, a prominent cancer center, spends more on research than Canada does.

    That said, American health care is expensive. And Americans aren’t always getting a good deal. In the coming years, with health expenses spiraling up, it will be easy for some—like the zealous legislators in California—to give in to the temptation of socialized medicine. In Washington, there are plenty of old pieces of legislation that like-minded politicians could take off the shelf, dust off, and promote: expanding Medicare to Americans 55 and older, say, or covering all children in Medicaid.

    But such initiatives would push the United States further down the path to a government-run system and make things much, much worse. True, government bureaucrats would be able to cut costs—but only by shrinking access to health care, as in Canada, and engendering a Canadian-style nightmare of overflowing emergency rooms and yearlong waits for treatment. America is right to seek a model for delivering good health care at good prices, but we should be looking not to Canada, but close to home—in the other four-fifths or so of our economy. From telecommunications to retail, deregulation and market competition have driven prices down and quality and productivity up. Health care is long overdue for the same prescription
     
    #256 cooler, Mar 22, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  17. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    for those amercians who want to emulate the Canadian healthcare system, here is some timely insight from our former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge

    Liberals urged to champion politically risky health-care overhaul
    Sat Mar 27, 1:36 PM

    By The Canadian Press

    MONTREAL - Federal Liberals are receiving some politically explosive advice to champion the overhaul of one of Canada's most cherished national programs: medicare.


    Influential speakers at the party's policy renewal conference - including former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge - say soaring health-care costs are rapidly becoming unsustainable as the country's aging population requires ever more costly medical services. (ie, as is, canada public medicare way is UNSUSTAINABLE)

    They say those costs must be reined in and are recommending some solutions that have proved toxic to politicians who've flirted with them in the past.

    These include allowing a two-tier, private-public health-care system, imposing hefty premiums or levies on users, introducing co-payments and limiting the scope of health insurance coverage. (What? to copy the US way???)

    The conference's message worries Michael McBane, co-ordinator of the Canadian Health Coalition, who fears the party that introduced universal public health care may be preparing to dismantle it.

    Toronto MP Gerard Kennedy says just because the party is listening to such advice doesn't mean it has to embrace it.

    But Frank McKenna, former premier of New Brunswick, says politicians must have the courage to grasp the health-care nettle.
     
  18. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Maternal deaths have declined globally but poor countries in Africa and Pakistan and Afghanistan are not doing well at all.
    Most countries have improved with declining maternal deaths from 1980 to 2008.
    However, this is not the case with the US which shows an increase from 12 maternal deaths to 100,000 live births in 1980 to 17 deaths per 100,000 in 2008. I am sure the health care costs for the same period must have gone through the roof, but instead of better performance we are seeing shocking mismanagement.
    By comparison, China's maternal deaths was 165 in 1980, only 40 in 2008.
    Hong Kong is the world champion in this with a number of only 1 death per 100,000.
     
  19. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    And you actually wholeheartedly believe statistics provided by China's gov't? :rolleyes:
     
  20. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Visor, why do you jump to the conclusion that these statistics were provided by China? Of course they are not. They are from a study carried out by the British medical journal Lancet funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
    Are you saying the Lancet study is rubbish?
     

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