PDA

View Full Version : SICKO



Writer2011
06-06-2007, 12:05 AM
SICKO---well Michael Moore is at it again--this time he's attacking the health care industry (health insurance)-- I think he's hit the nail on the head, nailed the last nail in the coffin..

Honestly though, health insurance companies are nothing but rackets, they make TRILLIONS of dollars off people that are "sick" where health companies say we aren't "sick."

Way to go Mr. Moore :) I applaud you.

cray
06-06-2007, 12:17 AM
listen buster, i know i'm new around here but there's no need to be call me,..

...wait,..oh. ok.
nevermind.

(i didn't see it yet, no comment.)

Sheryl Nantus
06-06-2007, 12:57 AM
Canadian journalists took him to task for his inaccurate portrayal of the Canadian health care system.

http://newsbusters.org/node/12914

pesky reporters!

:D

kristie911
06-06-2007, 01:30 AM
It still won't make me like him.

Writer2011
06-06-2007, 01:47 AM
I thought Fareineheit 9/11 was AWESOME!!

Writer2011
06-06-2007, 09:54 AM
A great deal of Democrats *like myself* supported the above aforementioned film..

kristie911
06-06-2007, 04:35 PM
The film itself was okay, and I'm stressing just okay here, but I still dislike the man immensely. It causes me to not really give a shit what he has to say. Sort of like Rosie, someday she might say something that makes sense (okay, maybe that's a stretch but you see what I'm trying to say here) but I'm still going to dismiss her out of hand, because it's her. :)

rhymegirl
06-06-2007, 05:04 PM
I saw him on Oprah yesterday.

Our health care system stinks, that is for sure. I know quite a few people who have no health insurance because either their employer doesn't offer any or they just can't afford it. And some insurance companies keep upping their rates and give you less benefits.

I believe he said the U.S. ranks 37th as far as our health care system goes. That's not very impressive.

Bmwhtly
06-06-2007, 05:24 PM
That's the one thing about our health care system; It may be messy and inadequate, but at least it's free.

cjmouser
06-06-2007, 05:51 PM
Our health care system sucks. Full stop. But it's not exclusive in its suckiness. National health care is not so hot either, which is why many British come here to try to stay alive. To them paying $700 a month for health insurance is a joy compared to lackidaisical treatment.

The thing is, people are sicker now than we ever were. It's nothing to know a half dozen people who are being treated for some type of cancer. I remember back when it was referred to as the C word and spoken about in hushed tones.

We have a sick society --- a society that eats junk, overeats, and smokes and drinks and abuses healthy bodies. Then we complain when we can't afford to pay to repair the damage. ON top of that, we have hospitals that are charging astronomical rates ($8 for an aspirin) and getting away with it. They can charge one person $3,500 for an MRI and then turn around and charge the next person $5,800, solely based on the type of insurance they have. It's called Health-care cost accounting and amounts to a free-for-all pricing system between HMOs and health care providers. Why are all people not charged the same for the exact same services?

It seems to me that if medical treatments were made more affordable more people would be willing to pay out of pocket for treatment. My chiropractor charges me $30 a visit. THIS IS REASONABLE for a fifteen minute visit. His office is busy every day.

I don't even want to get into the costs of medicines. That's another area where comsumers are raped regularly.

Writer2011
06-06-2007, 05:56 PM
Be careful for what you wish for about "free" healthcare... A friend of mine is from Canada and she said you'll wait two or three months for an MRI.. So it's not always greener on the other side.

There has to be a happy medium drawn somewhere, unfortunately there won't be.

FatTire
06-06-2007, 05:59 PM
Moore has become a cartoon of a cartoon. I'd respect him more (no pun intended) if he just presented the honest facts. Instead, he disorts everything he touches. It waters down his message IMHO.

cjmouser
06-06-2007, 06:02 PM
The happy medium is to set reasonable costs for services. If you had to pay only $50 for an MRI, would you even bother with insurance?

Think about what you're paying for on a very basic level when you are in the hospital. The average charge for a semi-private room is $4-500. That's for a bed and four walls and utilities, television, telephone, intercom to call the nurse. Much like you would get at a motel, (without the intercom) AND without the privacy.

On top of that, everything you receive is itemized. Every time the nurse visits, every test that is taken, every drug that is administered, every time the doctor visits, the water pitcher, disposable cups, Kleenex, TOILET PAPER -- EVERY THING. If you are given one Tagamet for an upset stomach, it shows up on your bill.

If you are charged for every single item that you recieve, how does a hospital warrant charging over $400 a day for a room, when the Motel 6 can do it, including cleaning costs, laundry, sanitation, advertisement, everything, for under $40 bucks a night?

They can't say it's because you are being monitored 24 hours a day, because you pay for that separately.

The last time I got an emergency room bill I almost had a heart attack. I called and told them that if they would send me a bill commensurate with services rendered, I would pay it. My husband got something in his eye, we waited four hours for the doctor to look in his eye, hand him a little tube of cream and refer him to another doctor. It came to over $1,400 dollars. Uh uh. I never heard back from them.

kristie911
06-06-2007, 06:39 PM
I know there are a lot of people in the US clamoring for national health care. But as far as I'm concerned our politicians f--k up every other damned thing they touch, do we really want to put them in charge of our health too? No thanks, I can kill myself just fine without them.

And as far as Michael Moore, I agree with FatTire...if he would just present the facts as they are, he would get a lot farther. Wasn't there a book called Michael Moore Is A Big, Fat Idiot or some such? I thought it was a very apt title, though I never read the book.

pconsidine
06-06-2007, 06:58 PM
Entertainment Weekly just did a feature on this one. One of the things they mentioned in the interview was that Moore hardly appears on camera this time around. He said that he didn't want to upstage the far more compelling stories of the actual sick people he was depicting.

And Moore's documentary style has always been about drawing attention to generally overlooked issues in the most absurd way possible. The fact that he has brought the same style to well known problems doesn't mean that he should be expected to change his style. As writers, I would think we would at least respect the creative integrity of that.

III
06-06-2007, 07:28 PM
A buddy of mine is a surgeon in the military. He says they get a lot of patients from Mexico because San Antonio is one of the closest major military posts to the boarder. If there's a bad accident in Mexico, the families will bribe a border guard and dump the injured family member across the border into the U.S. The U.S. military is then obligated to give them full medical care, including long-term open-ended care if they remain in a coma, even if the person has no identification at all. This is all funded 100% by our tax dollars and burdens our military physicians and it happens every single day. So yes, there is PLENTY of free health care in America as long as you're not a resident.

BarbJ
06-06-2007, 07:44 PM
"So yes, there is PLENTY of free health care in America as long as you're not a resident."

Truth. I'm too young, too old, too rich, too poor, a legal citizen, and without children, so I have no healthcare. Here in California, the majority of our politicians are worrying about the illegals not getting health care. We who pay our taxes count for little in this state. And if I can't afford to buy insurance, I certainly can't afford to pay for national health care.

Okay, rant over. Regarding Moore, because of his blatant bias, i have to take everything he says with a a grain - or shakerful - of salt. He does bring up issues that need to be addressed; it's the man himself that bothers me.

Writer2011
06-06-2007, 08:18 PM
Well at least Michael Moore has the nerve to make a documentary about it and attack the growing problem...

Speaking of services...I had an MRI in April, it cost over $3,000 and two Epidural Steroid Injections at $1,300 a pop...

Sheryl Nantus
06-06-2007, 08:53 PM
Well at least Michael Moore has the nerve to make a documentary about it and attack the growing problem...

Speaking of services...I had an MRI in April, it cost over $3,000 and two Epidural Steroid Injections at $1,300 a pop...

'cause, you know - no one else has heard of the problem.

sorry, I can't take Moore seriously. Ever since he depicted all Canadians as having unlocked doors 'cause we have gun control I've had no time for the buffoon.

and he needs a makeover by the Queer Eye Guys desperately. He makes enough money to afford a shave and a new shirt by now - the "poor fella making good" theme doesn't fly.

Writer2011
06-06-2007, 08:59 PM
I'm sticking to what i've said.

III
06-06-2007, 09:37 PM
Truth. I'm too young, too old, too rich, too poor, a legal citizen, and without children, so I have no healthcare. Here in California, the majority of our politicians are worrying about the illegals not getting health care. We who pay our taxes count for little in this state. And if I can't afford to buy insurance, I certainly can't afford to pay for national health care.


We lived in Sacramento for 12 years and ran into another problem - all the old people from San Francisco sold their homes for millions and moved to Sacramento (which is fine), but they had basically monopolized Kaiser's pain/rehab resources. I had a back injury, but I had to wait 3 months to even get an appointment for a simple Epidural Steroid Inejection. Meanwhile, I laid virtually immoble on my couch with a Duragesic patch and had to go through a week of hellish withdrawls when I got off it. And with the Baby Boomers becoming senior citizens, the problem may not be afforadable health care, but available health care.

pconsidine
06-06-2007, 09:46 PM
We could always just shoot 'em now.

Besides, you should be thankful. The next wave is my generation and we're waaay whinier.

III
06-06-2007, 10:02 PM
We could always just shoot 'em now.


On the surface that would seem to be an ideal solution, but I love too many of those aging farts.

Shwebb
06-06-2007, 10:22 PM
In West Virginia, the politicians were talking about outsourcing medical care and offering incentives insurance if the members fly somewhere else for some kinds of surgery--like, for instance, India or Thailand. Here's (http://healthcarebloglaw.blogspot.com/2006/02/outsourcing-west-virginias-health-care.html)a great blog that explains it.

I don't know what happened to the bill, exactly--after looking at the state employee plan for this year, it doesn't look like it passed. But just the fact that the legislators were considering it says something about our cost versus care ratio.

Celia Cyanide
06-07-2007, 12:55 AM
Wasn't there a book called Michael Moore Is A Big, Fat Idiot or some such? I thought it was a very apt title, though I never read the book.

Although not a very original one.

http://www.amazon.com/Rush-Limbaugh-Big-Fat-Idiot/dp/0141018410/ref=sr_1_3/105-7127439-2456410?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181162871&sr=1-3


'cause, you know - no one else has heard of the problem.

And who exactly is doing anything about it? Everyone knows it's a problem, and yet nobody's really working toward a solution. I work in health care. There are so many rules governing doctors, and whether or not they can bill for certain tests, but there are hardly any rules to make sure insurance companies pay for what patients need, and allow people to get health care when they deserve it.

Tiger
06-07-2007, 01:26 AM
Well at least Michael Moore has the nerve to make a documentary about it and attack the growing problem...

Speaking of services...I had an MRI in April, it cost over $3,000 and two Epidural Steroid Injections at $1,300 a pop...

Neither of these services were covered by your insurance?

Cath
06-07-2007, 01:45 AM
That's the one thing about our health care system; It may be messy and inadequate, but at least it's free.
Actually a common misconception. People living in the UK pay higher taxes on average to cover healthcare. It's not free, exactly, but it does provide a service to all regardless of ability to pay.

benbradley
06-07-2007, 06:07 AM
Our health care system sucks. Full stop. But it's not exclusive in its suckiness. National health care is not so hot either, which is why many British come here to try to stay alive. To them paying $700 a month for health insurance is a joy compared to lackidaisical treatment.
That's one problem with the public's perception of "health care" today, people see insurance and treatment as the same thing. It used to be that health insurance was something with a high deductible, and was only meant to kick in for catastrophic illnesses. Regular doctor visits and minor problems were expected to be paid for by the patient. Now people expect "insurance" to cover just about everything, with a small, token amount "co-pay" to be paid by the patient.

The thing is, people are sicker now than we ever were.
Do you have something to back up that statement? What country are you talking about? I'm very doubtful. Perhaps you can cherry-pick some statistics and show that there are more sick 70+, 80+ and 90+ year olds than ever before, but I sure wouldn't call that a failure of health care. There are a lot more people in those age categories than ever before, whether they're well OR sick.

It's nothing to know a half dozen people who are being treated for some type of cancer. I remember back when it was referred to as the C word and spoken about in hushed tones.
I strongly suspect the hushed tones back then were because the C word meant a near-sure death. People live longer because they don't get as many OTHER diseases as well, and so more people get cancer (generally an older person's disease), but also, more people survive cancer. Nowadays, people get treated for cancer, and more and more often, they survive it and go on live productive lives (Lance Armstrong isn't an unusual case). Many decades ago, when people were diagnosed with cancer, usually that was it, make your final plans - there were very few successful treatments.

Compare today's lifespan with that of 50, 100 and 200 years ago, and see if you can figure out what causes this. It's only partly because of diet - for many it's in spite of their diet. It's because the medical field does more now to save lives than ever before.

I don't even want to get into the costs of medicines. That's another area where comsumers are raped regularly.
As opposed to what? Many or most of these medicines not existing? Many current medicinces didn't exist decades ago, and most wouldn't exist now if the companies who developed and manufacture them didn't expect to get a profitable return on their investment.

The happy medium is to set reasonable costs for services. If you had to pay only $50 for an MRI, would you even bother with insurance?
If you only spend $50 for an MRI, it's subsidized from somewhere. Price out an MRI machine, add in the yearly maintenance costs, and divide by the total MRI's over the life of the machine, and I'd be surprised if the actual cost isn't many times $50.

Writer2011
06-07-2007, 06:31 AM
Neither of these services were covered by your insurance?
Worker's Compensation paid it...I'm out of work on a work related injury.

cjmouser
06-07-2007, 06:48 AM
Perhaps you can cherry-pick some statistics and show that there are more sick 70+, 80+ and 90+ year olds than ever before, but I sure wouldn't call that a failure of health care.

I'm talking about the high incidence of skin cancers, the degeneration of our clean water and air, and more stressful lifestyles (taking business home via laptops and cell phones) and poor eating habits. Our 70-90 year olds are not the concern, it's the baby boomers. They are sicker now and will be sicker later than their parents were.


Nowadays, people get treated for cancer, and more and more often, they survive it and go on live productive lives (Lance Armstrong isn't an unusual case). Many decades ago, when people were diagnosed with cancer, usually that was it, make your final plans - there were very few successful treatments.

But at least you could afford a catastrophic health policy. Have you priced a good old 80-20 lately? They're as high as HMOs and provide less coverage.


If you only spend $50 for an MRI, it's subsidized from somewhere. Price out an MRI machine, add in the yearly maintenance costs, and divide by the total MRI's over the life of the machine, and I'd be surprised if the actual cost isn't many times $50.

Yeah, but at some point that machine will be paid for. Probably a lot sooner than we might expect. Do the rates then go down? Aside from that, a lot of medical equipment can be rented rather than purchased.

Tiger
06-07-2007, 06:57 AM
If you only spend $50 for an MRI, it's subsidized from somewhere. Price out an MRI machine, add in the yearly maintenance costs, and divide by the total MRI's over the life of the machine, and I'd be surprised if the actual cost isn't many times $50.

I think you are right, people are confusing health care with insurance. Yes, doctors and hospitals charge outrageous rates for treatments and medicines, but a lot of this has to do with insurance carriers basing their reimbursements partially on what is charged by providers.

Looking at the post to which you are responding, you'd think that these $3200 - $5800 MRIs were being paid out of pocket instead of by some type of insurance--be it Workers Comp, Medicare, Medicaid, or MEDQUEST.

cjmouser
06-07-2007, 07:05 AM
Looking at the post to which you are responding, you'd think that these $3200 - $5800 MRIs were being paid out of pocket instead of by some type of insurance--be it Workers Comp, Medicare, Medicaid, or MEDQUEST

Based on those rates, how much do you think a person with no insurance coverage at all would have to pay? That's assuming they could get an MRI at all. And by the way, in a policy where the insured has to pay a percentage, those rates could hit the ceiling if hospitals can charge what they want.

I'm not confused at all. I know the difference between health insurance and medical costs, and I would a lot rather go in and pay for my services out of my pocket, but with charges the way they are few people have pockets deep enough for that. I think if a person is willing to pay cash, there should be some hefty discounts.

BarbJ
06-07-2007, 06:54 PM
"I think if a person is willing to pay cash, there should be some hefty discounts."

Amen! :D

III
06-07-2007, 07:01 PM
"I think if a person is willing to pay cash, there should be some hefty discounts."

Amen! :D

Yeah, my brother just had a whole bunch of medical stuff done, including an MRI and he didn't have insurance. The original hospital bill was around $16k, but since he didn't have insurance and was going to have to pay cash, they reduced it to around $1k. It's all a big game.

pconsidine
06-07-2007, 07:24 PM
My brother works in the healthcare field and he recommends that those without insurance ask their doctors if they can pay the allowable amount instead of the actual bill. The allowable amount is what they get from the insurance company, and they usually just subtract the extra amount anyway. It can be as much as $100 of a regular office visit, so it's definitely worth checking out.

Celia Cyanide
06-07-2007, 08:00 PM
It's all a big game.

It is. The insurance companies haggle.

Tiger
06-07-2007, 10:10 PM
Based on those rates, how much do you think a person with no insurance coverage at all would have to pay? That's assuming they could get an MRI at all. And by the way, in a policy where the insured has to pay a percentage, those rates could hit the ceiling if hospitals can charge what they want.

I'm not confused at all. I know the difference between health insurance and medical costs, and I would a lot rather go in and pay for my services out of my pocket, but with charges the way they are few people have pockets deep enough for that. I think if a person is willing to pay cash, there should be some hefty discounts.

See post #34.

Check this link: http://www.med-quest.us/eligibility/quest/quest.html

A bill is one thing, out of pocket costs to patients can be something completely different.

III
06-07-2007, 10:19 PM
See post #34.



Post # 34! That's me!! I WIN I WIN I WIN!!!!

(What did I win?)

Tiger
06-07-2007, 10:27 PM
A 98% discount on your next MRI (?)

III
06-07-2007, 11:41 PM
A 98% discount on your next MRI (?)

Can I trade that in for 98% more legroom on my next MRI (a.k.a. pygmy coffin)?

louisgodwin
06-09-2007, 09:48 AM
They can charge one person $3,500 for an MRI and then turn around and charge the next person $5,800, solely based on the type of insurance they have.


Yes, doctors and hospitals charge outrageous rates for treatments and medicines, but a lot of this has to do with insurance carriers basing their reimbursements partially on what is charged by providers.




It is. The insurance companies haggle.

Dang it, Celia. You beat me to it.

This is why they are called "adjusters." Insurance companies hire them to adjust their incoming bills by haggling with medical providers. Some adjusters are better than others which is probably the reason for the $3500 to $5800 price difference mentioned above.

Personally, I can't stand Michael Moore. He's as much of an arrogant blowhard as Rush Limbaugh, just on the opposite side of the fence.

Tiger
06-11-2007, 11:12 PM
I say one of them is the other's evil twin...

Monkey
06-12-2007, 02:49 AM
Personally, unless I need something cut off or sewn back on, I stay the hell away from hospitals.

I took my husband in for a fever a while back...it was an odd fever that over the last few hours had been see-sawing from 99 degrees to 105 degrees. I was monitoring him carefully, giving him fever reducers, and keeping cold rags on all his pulse points. Finally, I decided that the highs were just too high and took him to the hospital.

The doctor there told me that my husband was fine; his fever was slight (99 degrees) and there was no reason he couldn't just pop a fever reducer and be done with it.

I told her that he'd already taken fever reducers and that his fever had been spiking up to 105.

She said, "No it hasn't."

I argued with her, and she said, "Fevers don't do that."

My husband, disgusted with the lady's tone with me, got up off the table, and promptly fell unconscious. His fever was 104.

In the end, they just sent us home. They said it was probably a virus, and they couldn't do anything about it.

Recently, I went in for an emergency C-section. My anesthesiologist didn't get the epidural in correctly, then refused to believe me when I told him that I could still feel everything being done to me. A cloth was blocking my view of the action, but I described everything that was happening. The doc looked at the guys prepping me for surgery and said, "She doesn't really feel that". When I protested, he asked me a bunch of questions about what they were doing, and I answered them all correctly. Eventually, he relented and gassed me, but we argued for quite a while first. What frickin nerve, to tell someone with a scalpel in their hand that I didn't feel things that I was clearly describing and saying that I felt.

And don't even get me started on babies! After that C-section, I learned that a baby born in a hospital is the hospital's. I wanted to discharge my daughter, and was told flat-out that they would call CPS if I discharged her without being given the OK first. They kept us there for days, giving her test after test, and keeping her on an IV, despite not finding ANYTHING wrong with her other than an "elevated" white blood cell count. In fact, at one point I asked - just asked - the pediatrician if I could go against any of his recommendations and had a Social Services person in my room within an hour.


Usually, competition for business means that for-profit ventures have to listen to the consumers. Give crappy costomer service, or simply forget to listen to your costomers, and people will just take their business elsewhere. Not so with the medical establishment; when we need them, we usually can't just go elsewhere. We usually need them immediately, in whatever town we happen to be in, and we usually don't have time or inclination to shop around. Therefore, they do whatever they want and charge us whatever they want. When I woke up from my C-section, they had done a number of things to both the baby and myself that normally required permission slips to be signed. They said, "Here...sign these. This is all the stuff we did while you were asleep." They hadn't even asked my husband, who was waiting just outside. They billed me thousands.

I am grateful that there are hospitals available...would it be asking to much to want them to also be reasonably priced and to listen to their patients?

ap123
06-13-2007, 01:51 AM
I haven't seen the movie yet, so I can't comment specifically on that.

But, I live in the US, NY specifically, and have a child with a chronic medical condition. My husband is a small business owner and we pay (dearly) for our health insurance. Our insurance likes to pick and choose what it will, and mostly, won't pay for.

Like her meds. Current medicine is $230 a month for her regular, daily med. We will probably be adding another soon. Oh yeah, then there's the emergency med we need to have, which is $150 a dose. It's an emergency med, so sometimes she might not need it at all in a month, other times she might need it 5 times. Neither of these meds are on the preferred pharaceuticals list of our provider. Guess what? Being the parent of a child with a chronic disability wasn't on my preferred list as a mother. Wait, I'll put you on hold for 3 and a half hours while I check. Hmm, 2 eyes, 2 ears, one nose, 2 legs...No, sorry, intractable seizures weren't on my list.

So here I am, in a city that yes, people fly in from all over the world to access top treatment in, and we CAN NOT AFFORD that top treatment. Can't pay out of pocket, and insurance only takes you so far. My access to top drs and facilities would be better in a nationalized system. Not to mention meds that still haven't been approved here that are working elsewhere. I know all about risks and side effects, none of these drugs, approved or not, are without serious risks. I wait for appts for MRIs and such, because first it has to fought out each time with the insurance company.

When you have insurance you think you're covered in an emergency. And you are, sort of. Except for that anaesthesiologist who was assigned your case when your child was in the PICU who doesn't take your insurance, and is still sending threatening letters. Really? We went in through the ER, gave all our insurance info, etc. And when that emergency becomes a chronic condition, suddenly you aren't so covered. Even when that chronic condition can result in brain injury, or death.

I don't mean to rant, and I know that very little of my anger has to do with what we affectionately call unsurance, but please. If you are reading this thread and tempted to make comments about how many people have "done it to themselves," think of the many people, both children and adults, who did not make a choice that landed them in the hospital. Sometimes sh*t happens.

Tiger
06-13-2007, 04:36 AM
You have a lucky child with parents like you.

ap123
06-13-2007, 04:48 AM
Thank you Tiger :)

Celia Cyanide
07-09-2007, 01:27 AM
I was just over at Rotten Tomatoes, and it's faring rather well:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/sicko/

91% rating.