published Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Medicaid Expansion

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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nucanuck said...

Using the existing Medicare/Medicaid structure offers the best possibility for cost controlled universal health care. Private insurors could offer additional coverage above the basics.

The US cannot be competitive with other nations while spending 40 to 80% more for health care. Our overall results aren't better...we just pay more.

February 26, 2013 at 1:29 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

US taxpayers already get hit as hard for health as foreign taxpayers, so why aren't we already getting what they get? Because our government is wasting health dollars. So why should we trust our government with more health dollars and more control?

Instead, increase supply so costs go down. Increase the supply of medical personnel by letting nurses, pharmacists, etc write prescriptions, not just doctors. (Stop using laws to make favored groups rich; legalize competition.) Increase the supply of drugs by making approval easier. Increase the supply of insurance by making it easier to compete with existing companies. (Stop crony capitalism; legalize competition.)

Reduce the demand for medical services by making people pay out of their own pockets for at least some part of services. Encourage high-deductible catastrophe-only coverage, and medical savings accounts whereby we can keep what we don't spend. Let insurers set rates according to what they think risks are, so people who make wise lifestyle choices aren't forced to subsidize people who make foolish ones.

O'Romneycare claims to increase demand (cover everyone) while reducing supply (paying doctors less) without 'death panels'? Why not repeal the law of gravity along with the law of supply and demand?

February 26, 2013 at 6:04 a.m.
MTJohn said...

AndrewLohr said...US taxpayers already get hit as hard for health as foreign taxpayers, so why aren't we already getting what they get? Because our government is wasting health dollars.

Actually, Andrew, it is because we do not have a health care system in this country. We have a health industry. And, the first beneficiary of the health industry is not the patient - it is the corporate bottom line. If the desired outcome is huge profits and second rate care, free-market economics is the solution.

February 26, 2013 at 7:17 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Let insurers set rates according to what they think risks are, so people who make wise lifestyle choices aren't forced to subsidize people who make foolish ones.

Not all risks are lifestyle choices. You play the hand your were dealt, and for some that is family history and genetics. On choices? Other countries spend WAY more on public and preventative health than the US-Americans absolutely hate being told what to do (as the backlash to the First Lady's efforts show). Europe pays for this through much higher tax rates-up to 75% in some countries. Although their systems are not perfect, they enjoy better health overall than we do-less disease, less obesity, less teen pregnancy,etc. They have better support for families with children, including maternity and paternity leave, day care, and quality schooling through university. In some countries nursing home care is also free.

As far as government wasting health care dollars? I will try to find the info, but administrative costs in medicare and medicaid are lower in percent of overall costs than commercial insurance companies, I believe. At any rate, the health care act is not to take the place of private insurance, but essentially prevent insurance companies from denying or cancelling policies and push all Americans to pay for health care coverage especially while they are young and healthy.

In our system, one serious illness, surgery or accident can cost you your job, home and assets. That is shameful.

February 26, 2013 at 7:42 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

TN is wise to avoid letting the reckless, out of control federal government make mandated changes to such and important program. Maybe the States can start working with the feds again when they start acting responsibly.

February 26, 2013 at 8:59 a.m.
conservative said...

Hey nucanuck,

The U.S. could save a lot of money on health care if we just made everyone wait for health care like they do in your La La Land Canada.

"Surgery wait times longest in 18 years"

CBC News

Posted: Dec 12, 2011 9:36 AM ET

"Wait times to receive medical treatment in Canada are the highest they've been in 18 years, according to a new report."

"The median wait time is 19 weeks between the referral from a general practitioner and the start of elective treatment, finds the report, released by the Fraser Institute Monday."

"“At 104 per cent longer than it was in 1993, this is the longest total wait time recorded since the Fraser Institute began measuring wait times in Canada,” reads the report."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2011/12/12/wait-times-surgery-fraser.html

February 26, 2013 at 9:23 a.m.
jdavid said...

The first 15 cents of our medical dollars go to insurance companies to distribute other 85 cents to our doctors and our druggist. A single payer plan with the ability to negotiate with the drug companies would be a big first step in allowing us to compete with the rest of the civilized world. Con, I'll try to read the report later but note the word "elective" in your choice of out takes. Doesn't that make a little more sense.

February 26, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.
conservative said...

Ah, the virtues of Socialized Health Care.

"Patients wait longest in Canada, Sweden and Norway"

"Wait times are the boogeyman of public health systems all over the world. They cut to the very heart of the debate over costs versus access to care."

"Hardly a week goes by where we don’t see a story on the world’s ever-lengthening patient queues (and trust us, we make it our business to keep up on these things). Fortunately, a new OECD study has shed some additional light on the subject."

"In Health at a Glance 2011, researchers investigated wait times across 11 countries using data from a 2010 Commonwealth Fund Survey. They found more patients waiting longer for specialist appointments and elective surgery in Canada, Sweden and Norway."

"In all three of these countries, at least 50% of patients surveyed had to wait 4 weeks or more to see a specialist (in Canada that figure was 59%). According to the report, all three of these countries had “significant” numbers of patients who had to wait six days or more to see a GP."

http://expathealth.org/healthcare-news/global-patient-wait-time-statistics/

February 26, 2013 at 10:59 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

jdavid said... "The first 15 cents of our medical dollars go to insurance companies to distribute other 85 cents to our doctors and our druggist. A single payer plan with the ability to negotiate with the drug companies would be a big first step in allowing us to compete with the rest of the civilized world."

...a product of the government schools. The indoctrination is strong with this one.

February 26, 2013 at 11:07 a.m.
Easy123 said...

BRP,

"...a product of the government schools. The indoctrination is strong with this one."

Your Rick Santorum, "indoctrination" talking point is getting old. It's still as unfounded as the day you started spouting it.

February 26, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.
conservative said...

Hey nucanuck,

Is pain the price Canadians pay to save money on health care?

"Surgery wait times longest in 18 years"

CBC News

Posted: Dec 12, 2011 9:36 AM ET

"Canadians are being forced to wait almost 4 ½ months, on average, to receive surgical care, prolonging the pain and suffering patients and their families are forced to endure," said Mark Rovere, a co-author of the report. "Despite significant increases in government health spending, Canadians are still waiting too long to access medically necessary treatment," Rovere said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2011/12/12/wait-times-surgery-fraser.html

February 26, 2013 at 1:26 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Hey Conservative,

You're ignorant.

Myth #4: Canada has long wait times because it has a single-payer system.

The wait times that Canada might experience are not caused by its being a single-payer system.

Wait times aren’t like cancer. We know what causes wait times; we know how to fix them. Spend more money.

In 1966, Canada implemented a single-payer health care system, which is also known as Medicare. Since then, as a country, Canadians have made a conscious decision to hold down costs. One of the ways they do that is by limiting supply, mostly for elective things, which can create wait times. Their outcomes are otherwise comparable to ours.

Please understand, the wait times could be overcome. Canadians could spend more. They don’t want to. We can choose to dislike wait times in principle, but they are a byproduct of Canada’s choice to be fiscally conservative.

Yes, they chose this. In a rational world, those who are concerned about health care costs and what they mean to the economy might respect that course of action. But instead, they attack the system.

http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-03-2012/myths-canada-health-care.3.html

February 26, 2013 at 4:27 p.m.
conservative said...

Hey nucanuck,

Canada saved a lot of money on it's health care when it's citizens left La La Land and fled to the U.S. for health care.

"Daily Caller News Foundation Report: Thousands fled Canada for health care in 2011"

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/11/report-thousands-fled-canada-for-health-care-in-2011/#ixzz2M13GVdaR

"A Canadian study released Wednesday Canada-for-medical-care-2011-ff0712.pdf">found that many provinces in our neighbor to the north have seen patients fleeing the country and opting for medical treatment in the United States."

"The nonpartisan Fraser Institute reported that 46,159 Canadians sought medical treatment outside of Canada in 2011, as wait times increased 104 percent — more than double — compared with statistics from 1993."

"Specialist physicians surveyed across 12 specialties and 10 provinces reported an average total wait time of 19 weeks between the time a general practitioner refers a patient and the time a specialist provides elective treatment — the longest they have ever recorded."

February 26, 2013 at 4:43 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Hey Conservative,

You're ignorant.

Myth #1: Canadians are flocking to the United States to get medical care.

How many times have you heard that Canadians, frustrated by long wait times and rationing where they live, come to the United States for medical care?

I don’t deny that some well-off people might come to the United States for medical care. If I needed a heart or lung transplant, there’s no place I’d rather have it done. But for the vast, vast majority of people, that’s not happening.

The most comprehensive study I’ve seen on this topic — it employed three different methodologies, all with solid rationales behind them — was published in the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs.

The authors of the study started by surveying 136 ambulatory care facilities near the U.S.-Canada border in Michigan, New York and Washington. It makes sense that Canadians crossing the border for care would favor places close by, right? It turns out, however, that about 80 percent of such facilities saw, on average, fewer than one Canadian per month; about 40 percent had seen none in the preceding year.

Then, the researchers looked at how many Canadians were discharged over a five-year period from acute-care hospitals in the same three states. They found that more than 80 percent of these hospital visits were for emergency or urgent care (that is, tourists who had to go to the emergency room). Only about 20 percent of the visits were for elective procedures or care.

Next, the authors of the study surveyed America’s 20 “best” hospitals — as identified by U.S. News & World Report — on the assumption that if Canadians were going to travel for health care, they would be more likely to go to the best-known and highest-quality facilities. Only one of the 11 hospitals that responded saw more than 60 Canadians in a year. And, again, that included both emergencies and elective care.

Finally, the study’s authors examined data from the 18,000 Canadians who participated in the National Population Health Survey. In the previous year, 90 of those 18,000 Canadians had received care in the United States; only 20 of them, however, reported going to the United States expressively for the purpose of obtaining care.

http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-03-2012/myths-canada-health-care.1.html

February 26, 2013 at 4:46 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Hey Conservative,

Need more proof?

In sum, the number of Canadians receiving care in the U.S. appears to be extremely low compared to the amount of care that Canadians receive in Canada. There does exist a group of Canadians who come to America 1) To receive therapies not approved in Canada; 2) To avoid long waiting lines; and 3) Because of limited capacity in Canada in certain technologies. However, these Canadians are by far the exception, not the rule.

The idea that Canadians flock to the U.S. specifically for healthcare loses even further legitimacy when one considers that the number of Canadians treated in the U.S. does not just include people who specifically go to the U.S. for healthcare; it also includes care given to Canadians traveling in the U.S., Canadians working in the U.S. on business travel, and Canadians who move to the U.S. during the winter to avoid the cold ("snowbirds"). Finally,in some rural areas of Canada, it is more convenient to go to the U.S. than to travel long distances to healthcare facilities due to simple proximity.

Unfortunately, the image of Canadians crossing the border will continue to be conjured up despite the fact that such images are based purely on anecdotal evidence. As Katz writes: "Despite the evidence presented in our study, the Canadian border-crossing claims will probably persist. The tension between payer sand providers is real, inevitable, and permanent, and claims that serve the interests of either party will continue to be independent of the evidentiary base. Debates over health policy furnish a number of examples of these "zombies" - ideas that, on logic or evidence, are intellectually dead - that can never be laid to rest because they are useful to some powerful interests. The phantom hordes of Canadian medical refugees are likely to remain among them". In the end, the image of Americans crossing the border to obtain Canadian drugs may be more realistic than the image of Canadians crossing the border to obtain American healthcare.

http://www.amsa.org/AMSA/Libraries/Academy_Docs/WaitingTimes_primer.sflb.ashx

February 26, 2013 at 4:51 p.m.
conservative said...

Hey nucanuck,

This just yesterday in the Canadian press. Wendy Berringer of Nova Scotia has waited 11 years for foot surgery and is still in pain. Still no surgery.

ELEVEN YEARS, nucanuck, in foot pain!!

Yes, but health care, like you say cost less in Canada. Yes, if they won't spend the money to treat their citizens, health care in Canada will always cost less than the U.S..

"11-year surgery wait has N.S. woman speaking out Wendy Berringer in pain for more than a decade CBC News"

Posted: Feb 25, 2013 7:07 PM ET

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2013 9:11 PM ET

"Wendy Berringer has waited more than a decade for surgery to fix a bone deformation on her left foot."

"Her foot problems got a lot worse while she was waiting to see Dr. Mark Glazebrook, who's about to become the province's only foot and ankle surgeon."

More at :

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/02/25/ns-11-year-wait-ortho.html

February 26, 2013 at 6:13 p.m.
conservative said...

Hey nucanuck,

Do not overlook the fact that Nova Scotia has ONE foot and ankle surgeon.

Just think of the money Canada will save with just ONE foot and ankle surgeon in Nova Scotia.

I have to admit that the U.S. can't top that.

February 26, 2013 at 6:19 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Easy123 said... "The wait times that Canada might experience are not caused by its being a single-payer system."

I love how "progressives" cannot understand cause and effect. When the government refuses to pay enough for services, doctors stop offering services! Wait lines or outright elimination of service develop. Get ready for your "health care nirvana" ride promised by the Statists!

February 26, 2013 at 6:21 p.m.
Easy123 said...

BRP,

"I love how "progressives" cannot understand cause and effect. When the government refuses to pay enough for services, doctors stop offering services!"

I love how you have no clue what you're talking about. That isn't the case in Canada. The government hasn't refused to pay for any services. Canadians just don't use as much healthcare as Americans. It's that simple.

"Wait lines or outright elimination of service develop. Get ready for your "health care nirvana" ride promised by the Statists!"

If that's the case, then why are there wait times in America? We spend double on healthcare compared to Canadians.

February 26, 2013 at 7:26 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I think I smell a dork in the room.

February 26, 2013 at 7:40 p.m.
Easy123 said...

It's probably your upper lip.

February 26, 2013 at 7:47 p.m.
degage said...

Hey guys, even if Easy knows you are right he can't admit it because he is lost in the progressive movement and they have to go along with the boss(obama).

February 26, 2013 at 8:07 p.m.
Easy123 said...

degage,

Hey guys, degage likes to talk out of his ass because he can't admit that he's a hypocrite and completely incompetent. He has to go against everything the President or any non-Republican says because he is a diehard WingNut that commonly believes proven lies, misinformation, and baseless conjecture.

You haven't been right yet, pal.

February 26, 2013 at 8:11 p.m.
conservative said...

Hey nucanuck,

Canada is surely saving a lot of money on knee replacement surgery. They beat America to death on cost savings in this area. However, I hope you never kneed one up there.

"CRITICAL CONDITION: The waiting is often the worst of it"

"Dr. Robert Lafontaine is a lonely man. And a busy one, too."

"Lafontaine is an orthopedic surgeon in Timmins — the only orthopedic surgeon, in fact, — responsible for covering an area roughly equal in size to all of southern Ontario from Ottawa to Parry Sound to Windsor."

"It’s little wonder then that the wait time for nine out of 10 people to have a knee replacement done at the Timmins and District Hospital is four years."

"That’s the worst wait time for knee replacements for any hospital in Ontario — and three times longer than the hospital with the next-worst wait time."

"And that’s not counting the year or so it might take a patient just to get an initial appointment with Lafontaine in the first place."

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/684192--critical-condition-the-waiting-is-often-the-worst-of-it

February 26, 2013 at 8:17 p.m.
Easy123 said...

You didn't read everything you quoted, did you?

"That’s the worst wait time for knee replacements for any hospital in Ontario — and three times longer than the hospital with the next-worst wait time."

Very simple fix. Just go to one of those other hospitals where the wait time is more than three times less.

You should try to read ALL the words next time.

February 26, 2013 at 8:21 p.m.
degage said...

Easy, You never fail to amuse us. You don't have a clue how much we like you to come back with your stupid remarks because we piss you off.

February 26, 2013 at 8:24 p.m.
Easy123 said...

degage,

You never fail to prove how shallow and incompetent you are. But keep acting like I "amuse" you. Gotta keep that front ALLLLL the way up.

You don't have a clue how much I love to see you attempt a baseless attack on me and then try to act like it pisses me off.

You're delusional, bro. YOU are spouting the stupid remarks. YOU are pissed off. But you can believe whatever you want. It makes no difference to me. Your psychological projections are not my problem.

But I totally understand why you would act like that. You're butt-hurt because I call you out on here. Better get used to it though. Wouldn't want you to have an aneurysm or stroke out.

February 26, 2013 at 8:32 p.m.
Maximus said...

Just to get y'all caught up Obamacare is the law of the land. Yes indeed single payer healthcare is on the way for you bottom feeders looking for guvment and the Welfare Pimp Obama to cradle you in their arms and tell you when you can access healthcare. Be careful what you ask for you just might get it. As for those of us near or at the top of the food chain like myself the healthcare marketplace in America is already evolving. Boutique medicine is exploding in the U.S. where you pay a very talented internist a monthly or yearly fee for any time access to high quality state of the art healthcare. Hospitals are also pursuing these cash paying patients aggressively. We are going to see in healthcare what we have seen in our educational system. The gap between the haves and have nots will be expanded with more patients choosing to pay cash for private high quality care as compared to the rationed low tech V.A. Type care and access they will receive will Obamathepimpiminitforthrmoney care. You suckers......and the World Health Association stats you libs like to quote are as bogus as Obama's skeet shooting. The American healthcare system is STILL the best in the world and has discovered, developed, and brought to market more life saving med devices and medicines than any other country in the world period. The number 1 motive for this discovery and innovation PROFIT! You loser libs........get over it and get ready to enjoy your ghetto Obamacare. Nice!

February 26, 2013 at 9:41 p.m.
Maximus said...

Easy and other dildos......the population of Canada is 99% white and about the size of California like Denmark, Sweden and so many other countries it is both academically ignorant and really really stupid to compare their healthcare system to America's.

February 26, 2013 at 10:53 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Maximusty,

"the population of Canada is 99% white"

Incorrect. Try ~86%.

http://www.ccsd.ca/factsheets/demographics/

"and about the size of California"

I hope you don't mean that Canada is about the actual physical size of California. Their populations are a few million apart.

"like Denmark, Sweden and so many other countries it is both academically ignorant and really really stupid to compare their healthcare system to America's."

I'm absolutely blown away with how intellectually bankrupt you truly are. When I think the things you say cannot be any more daft or inane, you always seem to prove me wrong.

There is no doubt in my mind that you have a mental disability.

February 26, 2013 at 11:20 p.m.
dude_abides said...

Pope Maximus said... "As for those of us near or at the top of the food chain like myself..."

LOL Are you illustrating similarities between you and yourself? The janitorial staff at Vanderbilt is better educated than you are, TOES.

February 26, 2013 at 11:45 p.m.
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