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Suggessions for health care?

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02/14/2008

I'm unclear as to what you're looking for. There is a difference between health care (such as seeing a doctor) and health insurance and I suspect given the timing of the question you may be asking about how we can improve access to health care in the US. The Dems basically are talking about what amounts to UHC--Universal Health Care--which can be having everyone obtain insurance, somehow or go to a "single payer" which would be the government. The Republicans basically want private industry to reform itself as well as increasing options for HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) or the like. Neither side of the aisle is addressing the major problems we have with health care in the US, which in my view, are government meddling (we can't have a standard insurance plan offered in all 50 states--the law won't allow it--that raises the cost of offering plans, as one example). The other major problem is that there are only a handful of large insurance companies and they are routinely violating both contract law and antitrust laws. Linda Peeno, MD testified that SHE had often denied treatment JUST to save the insurance company money (http://www.thenationalcoalition.org/DrPeenotestimony.html) Furthermore: "the vast majority of health insurance policies are through for-profit stock companies. They are in the process of "shedding lives" as some term it when "undesirable" customers are lost through various means, including raising premiums and co-pays and decreasing benefits (Britt, "Health insurers getting bigger cut of medical dollars," 15 October 2004, investors.com). That same Investors Business Daily article from 2004 noted the example of Anthem, another insurance company. They said the top five executives (not just the CEO) received an average of an 817 percent increase in compensation between 2000 and 2003. The CEO, for example, had his compensation go from $2.5 million to $25 million during that time period. About $21 million of that was in stock payouts, the article noted. A 2006 article, "U.S. Health Insurance: More Market Domination, More CEO Compensation" (hcrenewal.blogspot.com) notes that in 56 percent of 294 metropolitan areas one insurer "controls more than half the business in health maintenance organization and preferred provider networks underwriting." In addition to having the most enrollees, they also are the biggest purchasers of health care and set the price and coverage terms. "'The results is double-digit premium increases from 2001 and 2004-peaking with a 13.9 percent jump in 2003-soaring well above inflation and wages increases.'" Where is all that money going? The article quotes a Wall Street Journal article looking at the compensation of the CEO of UnitedHealth Group. His salary and bonus is $8 million annually. He has benefits such as the use of a private jet. He has stock-option fortunes worth $1.6 billion." --Save America, Save the World by Cassandra Nathan pp. 127-128 And this article gives disheartening info on how United Health Care, a huge insurer, doesn't deliver on its contracts with impunity: http://www.newsmax.com/medicine_men/medical_insurance/2008/01/03/61543.html To date, the only sensible plan I've seen for reforming the system is this one. QUALITY, ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE health care for all.

That means preventative care (physical with follow up). Real medication (no Medicare "donut holes" the really ill are ripped off again.) No bogus ridiculously low "caps" on needed medical procedures. No abuse of the ER. No paying for the silly with the sniffles to go to the doc for free. No more bankruptcies over medical bills. I want THIS plan that ends abuse of the taxpayer, takes the burden off employers, provides price transparency, and ends the rip-off of the US taxpayer at the hands of insurance (which has been repeatedly documented).

http://www.booklocker.com/books/3068.html

Read the PDF, not the blurb, for the bulk of the plan. Book is searchable on Amazon.com

Cassandra Nathan's Save America, Save the World