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financechoices
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Private healthcare  Reply with quote  

I understand alot of US healthcare is provided privately and would love to learn more about this, ie how much it costs, whether its cheaper the healthier you are, what happens if you can't afford it etc.

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Post Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:17 am
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Andrew
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If you meant healthcare insurance then prices vary widely depending on what coverage and deductables are wanted and it can certainly be cheaper for young healthy people, etc.

If you are just talking about the healthcare itself, then I suppose that you could say it's all private.

Maybe I'm not helping much, can you clarify?
Post Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:36 pm
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financechoices
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Here in the UK healthcare is provided by the NHS via taxation. I merely wondered how it was provided in the US as I often here it is done privately.

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Post Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:03 am
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MattL
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Re: Private healthcare  Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by financechoices
I understand alot of US healthcare is provided privately and would love to learn more about this, ie how much it costs, whether its cheaper the healthier you are, what happens if you can't afford it etc.


Typically healthcare insurance has been part of a "benefits" package paid for by your employer. Healthcare insurance keeps getting more expensive, it's getting out of hand. Most companies now will charge you as an employee to be on their plan, but it is still much cheaper than on your own. Most people could not afford healthcare insurance on their own plan.

Our government subsidizes the poor through medicare. It is paid for by our tax dollars. So if you work your ass off and have money, you pay for your healthcare and those that don't have money. If you are lazy, unmotivated and don't have money you are taken care of.

Nice system, huh? Rolling Eyes

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Post Fri Aug 19, 2005 6:25 pm
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financechoices
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It sure sounds tough and unlike the founding principals of America.

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Post Sat Aug 20, 2005 11:08 am
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Freelancer
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Yeah, it's pretty crappy. As long as you have a decent job, it's likely that you'll be able to afford the insurance offered through your employer. But then you have people in my parents' situation: My dad was "offered" early retirement around age 55, and at that time he was still allowed to get insurance through the company, which meant a reduced price. Just a year or so ago, though, the company stopped giving health-insurance benefits to ex-employees, so my parents' insurance payments were going to go from maybe $150 per month up to $600! And he's RETIRED, so they don't have any steady income coming in anymore. I don't know what they ended up doing, but I know they couldn't afford that.
Post Sat Aug 20, 2005 1:28 pm
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financechoices
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What happens if you don't have medical insurance? Can you simply pay per visit to the hospital instead? ie if you are healthy and never go then you're fine and only pay if you get sick

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Post Sat Aug 20, 2005 1:49 pm
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David Briggs
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A national healthcare system for all Americans (not just the elderly under Medicare and the indigent under Medicaid) is long overdue.

The for-profit healthcare, pharma and insurance industries are united in trying to prevent this, and/or guaranteeing that any laws or regulations which do get enacted continue to grow their share of the GNP. They are abetted in this effort by right-wing propagandists who decry creeping socialism and point to intolerable rationing and waiting lists in countries where health care is a right instead of a luxury.

Rationing and waiting lists? Do you know how far in advance you need to make an appointment to see a physician in the United States?

And the method of paying for our private healtcare system is ridiculous. Why should insurance companies be allowed to cherry pick the healthy, dictate premiums, select which tests and treatments they pay for, and capture an entire tier of profit on top of the profit being captured by the providers?

Don't get me started. No, wait. On second thought, I want to blast this absurd status quo over and over again until radical reform is finally achieved.

~~David
Post Sat Aug 20, 2005 2:05 pm
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financechoices
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The only thing in life that should be a right is personal freedom to live your life how you please.

I don't know enough about the US system to comment but here in Britain we have a nationalised health service and the idea of other people paying for my problems is one I'm not comfortable with at all.

I get rights by working for them, they shouldn't be given to me on a plate.

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Post Sat Aug 20, 2005 2:30 pm
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David Briggs
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Do you feel the same way about schools and roads?

Health care is too important to be left up to business to determine how it should be distributed and at what price. We are just getting reamed.

~~David
Post Sat Aug 20, 2005 3:21 pm
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financechoices
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quote:
Originally posted by David Briggs
Do you feel the same way about schools and roads?

Health care is too important to be left up to business to determine how it should be distributed and at what price. We are just getting reamed.


Yeah I do. I also feel the same about the food I eat, the energy I use, the clothes I wear, the hosue I live in and all the other vital services provided by the market.

You value something alot more if it is your own. I'm not saying that charity should be abolished as people should be free to do what they want with their money. Taxation doesn't offer that freedom.

To use the two services you mention. In Britain private schools outperform public schools in every possible way, as I'm sure they do in most other countries around the world.

As for transport, well you pay to use a train. You pay to use a boat, you pay to use a bus. You should pay to use a road.

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Post Sat Aug 20, 2005 3:45 pm
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David Briggs
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Publicly funded infrastructure is the foundation of a modern society (yes even here in the USA where pursuit of the almighty dollar is the highest of all priorities).

That bus and train fare you pay is not sustaining those transport services. Their existence depends on government subsidies.

Water, sewer, roads, bridges, schools, libraries, parks, police and fire protection, and commuter transport are all examples of societal benefits considered so fundamental as to not be left to fail, survive, or spring forth soley on the basis of marketplace vaguaries. Our economic productivity takes these things for granted and depends on them being there for one and all.

In the UK and Canada, among many other nations, health care is also included on that list comprising the basic social contract. I hope to see the same attitude accepted here in the USA during my lifetime.

~~David
Post Sat Aug 20, 2005 4:21 pm
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financechoices
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quote:
Publicly funded infrastructure is the foundation of a modern society (yes even here in the USA where pursuit of the almighty dollar is the highest of all priorities).


Says who?

quote:
That bus and train fare you pay is not sustaining those transport services. Their existence depends on government subsidies.


It doesn't have to. Many transport services are offered by private companies with no subsidy.

quote:
Water, sewer, roads, bridges, schools, libraries, parks, police and fire protection, and commuter transport are all examples of societal benefits considered so fundamental as to not be left to fail, survive, or spring forth soley on the basis of marketplace vaguaries. Our economic productivity takes these things for granted and depends on them being there for one and all.


Food, finance, clothing, literature, entertainment, computing, medicine, manufacturing (the list is endless) are all examples of societal benefits that are incredibly fundemental to our lives yet controlled by market forces. All of these industries provide services for people of all wealth levels.

As for your examples, water and sewage in the UK is privatised, national parks consist primarily of private land owners, private schools are outperforming public schools each and every year, bridges have tolls to cross them and many libraries are in private hands, such as universities.

Think of it this way. Lets assume that people are selfish and think of themselves first. If you put this selfish person in the private sector they act selfishly but so too do all the other companies competing for that market so service generally improves and costs fall.

Put that selfish person in the public sector and despite the best will there is no competition, costs rise, service levels drop and you get a legal monopoly.

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Post Sat Aug 20, 2005 5:09 pm
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tss4
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quote:
Originally posted by financechoices

As for your examples, water and sewage in the UK is privatised, national parks consist primarily of private land owners, private schools are outperforming public schools each and every year, bridges have tolls to cross them and many libraries are in private hands, such as universities.




So , if your parents don't have money (or made there own bad choices), you don't get to go to school? America was also founded on the principal that ANYONE, no matter where they came from had an equal opportunity. A good education is an essential element of ones opportunity in life. Some aspects of modern society need to be gauranteed to all. Education is one of them.
Post Sat Aug 20, 2005 6:27 pm
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David Briggs
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Yes legal monopolies need to be carefully watched to keep them on mission. And I would never propose that private healthcare or health insurance be prohibited.

But it seems to me that the most effective competition is the presence of a non-profit alternative. I might take a private taxi if I can afford it, for my comfort, convenience and control. But a taxi owner cannot charge me literally anything he wants when I have the choice of taking the bus.

Althogh private enterprise can certainly keep the public sector "value honest" (UPS and Fedex competing with our postal service, for example) I oppose "opting out" of the public systems. There are religionists here in the USA who want to be able to take the tax money they pay to support the public schools and use it instead to pay tuition at their religious schools. That is simply erosive to the social contract.

Same with our Social Security retirement income system. We must just say no to any opting out. Private retirement funding already co-exists very compatibly with the government plan.

Canada's Supreme Court has just cleared the way for USA-style private health insurance and for-profit care to come to their country. It will interesting to see how well (or even if) it can compete with Health Canada, which I believe to be an excellent public system.

~~David
Post Sat Aug 20, 2005 6:32 pm
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