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      01-06-2008, 09:48 PM   #57
Major General

Drives: F30
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Dallas, TX

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Originally Posted by scottwww View Post
What do you think of this?
The health care system in this country is irrevocably broken, in part because it is only a "health care" system, not a "health" system. We don't need universal health care mandated by federal edict or funded through ever-higher taxes. We do need to get serious about preventive health care instead of chasing more and more dollars to treat chronic disease, which currently gobbles up 80% of our health care costs, and yet is often avoidable. The result is that we'll be able to deliver better care where and when it's needed.

I advocate policies that will encourage the private sector to seek innovative ways to bring down costs and improve the free market for health care services. We have to change a system that happily pays $30,000 for a diabetic to have his foot amputated, but won't pay for the shoes that would save his foot.

We can make health care more affordable by reforming medical liability; adopting electronic record keeping; making health insurance more portable from one job to another; expanding health savings accounts to everyone, not just those with high deductibles; and making health insurance tax deductible for individuals and families as it now is for businesses. Low income families would get tax credits instead of deductions. We don't need all the government controls that would inevitably come with universal health care. When I'm President, Americans will have more control of their health care options, not less.

I also value the states' role as laboratories for new market-based approaches, and I will encourage those efforts. As President I will work with the private sector, Congress, health care providers, and other concerned parties to lead a complete overhaul of our health care system, not more of the same, paid for by Uncle Sam at the expense of hard-working families.

Health care spending is now about $2 trillion a year, which is close to $7,000 for each one of us. It consumes about 17% of our gross domestic product, easily surpassing the few European nations where spending is close to 10% and far higher than any other country in the world. If we reduced our out-of-control health care costs from 17% to 11%, we'd save $700 billion a year, which is about twice our annual national deficit.

Our health care system is making our businesses non-competitive in the global economy. General Motors spends more on health care than it does on steel, $1,500 per car. Starbucks spends more on health care than it does on coffee beans. We have an employer-based system from the 1940's, a system devised not because it was the best way to provide health care, but as a way around World War II wage-and-price controls. Costs have skyrocketed because the party paying for the health care - the employer - and the party using the health care - the employee - are not the same. It is human nature to consume more of something that is essentially free.

Workers complain that their wages are stagnant, but businesses reply that their total compensation costs are rising significantly because they are paying so much more for health care. Health care costs are adversely affecting your paycheck, even if you're healthy. Some Americans are afraid to change jobs or start their own businesses because they're afraid of losing their health insurance. It is time to recognize that jobs don't need health insurance, people do, and to ease the burden on our businesses. Our employer-based system has outlived its usefulness, but the answer is a consumer-based system, not socialized medicine.
Some good points there (amputated foot and shoe thing for example...).
I am not sure what the best option would be but I see huge issues with today's system. Why is the price of my daughter's asthma inhaler medicine over $150 ($50 after insurance) here and the same thing we got in Europe in May for $5 (with no insurance). Why is the price of anti-biotic here close to $100 per box and less than $3 for the same thing somewhere else.

Why do you lose your coverage when you need it (when you get sick and cannot work any more for extensive period or indefinitely) even though you poured hundreds of $$ (plus your company did more than that) every month while you were healthy? Pure business, just like a local car dealership, unfortunately we're dealing with our lives here...

IMO the system other countries have (for example France, Canada, Germany, Serbia...of ones I know) give you a peace of mind and more flexibility. Just like your article pointed out -- some are afraid to be self-employed just because of these things in this country. And it would not necessarily damage our health provider profile -- physician quality and equipment quality. You would be still paying for it through taxes or call it something else...just like other countries do. People in this country get "scared" of the "socialized" term without even understanding it. And the media (like in other cases) makes it even more unknown or wrongly understood.

It is a very wrong perception that Canadians for example have less experienced and worse health professionals than we do, worse hospitals and equipment, longer wait lines and so on in general. And someone came up with a stupid line that Canadians now pour into the USA for medical attention.

I believe that balancing Gov't spendings (taxes, Wars, Homeland Security, other programs...) and Healthcare should be prioritioes of whoever takes over next...