Opinion

Letter: Health care ideas

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  • Cheesecake Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2017 6:44 a.m.

    State-level, public insurance is the best solution to our healthcare mess. It's not perfect, but it's a heckofalotbetter than what we're doing now. When everyone has insurance, everyone has access to healthcare. When everyone has access to healthcare, society at large improves. Parents can have children without the fear of costs. Children can see doctors without bankrupting their parents. Seniors can see doctors without mortgaging their otherwise paid-off house. Businesses, especially small businesses, are no longer burdened with providing health coverage. Single payer also means a reduction in overhead and administrative costs, which are currently estimated at more than 30% of healthcare costs in the USA. Compare that to other industrialized nations that spend 10% - 15% on admin. Costs can be negotiated with private doctors, pharmaceuticals too. There's public accountability. And your life in the balance is no longer a for-profit endeavor by insurance companies. Sure, taxes may rise a notch, but when compared to current taxes + insurance, it would be cheaper for all of us.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    March 17, 2017 8:21 p.m.

    Redshirt

    "You do realize that on average the wealthy pay a higher percentage of their income in income taxes than you do"

    Only if they get most of their income from labor, which most wealthy like Warren Buffet and Mitt Romney don't. They get their income from dividends and capital gains...passive income, thus Warren Buffets secretary pays a higher rate than he does. They have sold us a bill of sale that somehow giving them an extra low rate is somehow better for the rest of us, and the GOP just decided that it is more important to lower the wealthy's tax rate from 23.8% back to 20%, and they won't have to pay FICA on it. That almost trillion dollar tax break is more important than 26 million Americans projected to lose insurance.
    Government shouldn't favor one type of income over another for special tax treatment. Income should be income, if anything passive income should be taxed at a higher rate, or only given if the capital gains came from a 10 year old company or less, not verizon dividends or Berkshire Hathaway stock appreciation.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    March 17, 2017 7:18 a.m.

    To "LOU Montana" if as you say "Tax Cuts is Free STUFF!" then why are you not annoyed with the 50% of the US that qualifies for so many tax cuts that they pay 0% income tax? Why not be annoyed with the smaller segment that has negative income tax rates. You do realize that those that pay no income tax are literally living off the backs of the middle class and wealthy.

    You do realize that on average the wealthy pay a higher percentage of their income in income taxes than you do. You claim that you don't envy them, but it sure sounds like you do.

    To "ugottabkidn" actually your health does not effect me at all. Other nations are working to emulate us, but the people are slowing them down and are not allowing the change from socialized medicine to a private insurance model. For example, Canada has wait list insurance to allow people to get quicker service. In the UK they have a growing private insurance market that gets people into better hospitals.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    March 16, 2017 9:49 p.m.

    RedShirtHarvard - Cambridge, MA; No class envy here. I am just tired of seeing the wealthy live off the backs of hard working Americans. Tax Cuts is Free STUFF!

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    March 16, 2017 7:21 p.m.

    Mr conservative in NC weighs in, and he couldn't be more predictable in his response. Not sure we're on the same page. You are going on about health insurance, and I am talking about healthcare, which you might consider to be one and the same. Of course, health insurance cost is directly related to price of HC services. Let me get this straight? You are indicating that we had a nearly perfect "free market" situation with healthcare and insurance, before obamacare? Just being clear about that, because I would strongly disagree.

    "free market has nothing to do with the source of where the funds came from, but the choice in how those funds are spent. Thats like saying you giving your kids 10 dollars for dinner where they choose where to spend it is somehow anti free market."

    Nice try, but more accurate, to say I give my kid $10 for dinner, and also being forced, by "big brother" to give neighbor kid $10 dollars for dinner. Then both go eat, at the same restaurant, so my kid's $10 has to compete with neighbor kids, for dinner services. Causing artificial demand, and possible higher costs thanks to artificial demand. This is you leftwing guys idea of growing the economy.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    March 16, 2017 6:30 p.m.

    RedShirtHarvard
    "I have never had a problem getting a quote up front from a medical provider."

    Seriously? I guess you are pretty healthy then or use your insurance.

    That may be true for something simple or routine. The problem with medical care you can go in for something you think is routine then...Oh, we should do this test or that procedure.

    Doctors cost like 20-30% of healthcare dollar.

    They don't control or price things like labs, hospital costs, MRI's or pharmaceutical products. A surgery may involve multiple providers.

    Often doctors won't know what tests they will want to order until after they have actually spent time on the physical exam and history. You may get a price for the physical exam up front, but the O2 company will have thier price, a birth price would only be guessing and only true if there are no complcations, the hospital has their prices and good luck trying to get a firm price for its services, lab costs are not controlled by any doctor or office and often cost cash paying individuals far more than allowed amounts by HMO's.

    So yea, paying cash works great if you are healthy, not so great if you actually need healthcare.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    March 16, 2017 6:00 p.m.

    This just in: there is not and can not be a Free Market in a system of monopolies. It's impossible. You cannot stop and shop for which ambulance company to call in an emergency. The American healthcare system is like forcing me to decide which firehouse to pay to put out my fire or maybe calling the West Valley police when I need a cop because they don't charge as much as Sandy. We are talking about healthcare delivery. My health, your health effects everyone else. Again, if we are so good at it then why is no other nation clamoring to emulate us? In Oct. my wife and I both took a ride in an ambulance from Sandy to Murray. I was hauled off by Sandy City, her trip was supplied by a for profit company. Her's cost us 50% more. No difference in service.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    March 16, 2017 5:57 p.m.

    @redshirthavard.

    What I am saying is getting a firm quote outside of family doctor is impossible.

    Approximates are not quotes.

    Maybe in your state it is different.

  • Edgar Samaria, ID
    March 16, 2017 4:35 p.m.

    Redshirt - like Elder Oaks said, "The Savior's Golden Rule says..."

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    March 16, 2017 4:20 p.m.

    To "Shaun" really??? I have never had a problem getting a quote up front from a medical provider. I have even had a dentist tell me that by paying cash I would pay less than if I used insurance. I was able to get an approximate cost for maternity care from a hospital. I have siblings that have been able to get quotes for the cost of many different procedures.

    Plus the WSJ and their experts who study this sort of thing have also found that if you offer cash up front that it is cheaper. Are you saying that your opinion is better than the research done by the experts?

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    March 16, 2017 4:12 p.m.

    @redshirtphilosphy. Your argument about the free market is flawed.

    Most healthcare providers outside of maybe a GP can not and will not give you an upfront price or even a firm price on care. You can't have a free market if you can not compare the variables up front.

    So unitl the day comes that republicans force healthcare providers to provide concrete upfront pricing there will never be a free market.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    March 16, 2017 3:56 p.m.

    To "UtahBlueDevil" the question isn't about social responsibility to the poor. There are multiple studies out there showing that conservatives are more active than liberals at helping the poor directly.

    The question is how do you pay for the help you give the poor. Do you act like the conservatives and help them yourself directly? Do you act like liberals and force everybody around you to help the poor?

    Which way is more in line with Jesus, forcing people to help the poor or letting people make that choice themselves?

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    March 16, 2017 3:37 p.m.

    From the beginning, it was declared that man must earn his bread by the sweat of his own bread. The irrefutable fact is that this also goes for health care.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 16, 2017 3:10 p.m.

    "If you think pre-obamacare was a "free market" environment, you are a not even a 1/4 as smart as you think. Any "market", where one person receives free goods and services, no matter the cost, and another has to pay for their own, and is compelled to pay for the free goods the other receives, is not a free market."

    Good grief.... talk about not knowing how the system works? The government doesn't dictate who you get your insurance from. On the markets, the person who gets the services chooses who they get insurance from. No mandate to use one company or another. Each insurer sets their own rates - no one dictates what they choose other than the states themselves - which they had a hand in before ACA .

    A free market has nothing to do with the source of where the funds came from, but the choice in how those funds are spent. Thats like saying you giving your kids 10 dollars for dinner where they choose where to spend it is somehow anti free market.

    We get that some conservatives believe their is no social responsibility for the poor - that the poor are to be disposable workers - but fortunately not all feel likewise.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    March 16, 2017 2:25 p.m.

    To "Whatever" the problem is that the socialists/Progressives have killed the free market. They didn't like not having control over it so they decided that a free market and the prosperity that comes with it wasn't worth it. Now we have more of a Socialist/Fascist system where the government controls and micromanages the healthcare system.

    Here is the bigger question, what socialist nation has the technology and ability to respond like the US does? Also, when it comes to most diseases, what country has the survival rate that the US does?

    You see, your ilk wants the new car for the same price as the 10 year old car.

    Here is an example of the free market at work. Ask your doctor if they offer discounts if you pay cash for their services. Read "How to Cut Your Health-Care Bill: Pay Cash" in the WSJ. Doctors know that if they can bypass the red tape the government has imposed it save them a lot of time and money.

    Just another example of what could happen if you returned to a free market system.

  • Whatever Springville, UT
    March 16, 2017 1:13 p.m.

    @RedShirtHarvard

    Yeah. Lots of stuff was different 60 years ago.

    Same Question: Name one country that HAS a successful free market healthcare system.

  • Husker1 Northern Utah County, UT
    March 16, 2017 12:43 p.m.

    @Open Minded Mormon "$30 a month/everyone is covered/no questions asked.

    Canada, Australia, Scandinavia, Europe and Asia all seem to be doing it better than us"

    And those countries are just like the US, right? Name a city in any of those countries that is like Detroit. Very different cultures and tax systems.

    I've gotten health care in Canada, Germany, and England and I would much rather get my treatment in the United States any day.

  • Husker1 Northern Utah County, UT
    March 16, 2017 12:39 p.m.

    @IceCreamGhost "Also, I strongly disagree about your stance on birth control.
    It should be covered because it's a medicine that prevents many medical conditions (not just pregnancy). Every adult woman I know uses it or has used it in the past...."

    Sounds like Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Men and women should pay for their own birth control.

    @Lou "Cory, you forgot the most important thing. First and always on the Republican agenda is TAX CUTS for the RICH!"

    When will doctors find a cure for class envy?

    The only workable plan is quite simple: get government out of health care and leave it to the free market where it belongs.

    @John Charity "The reason that health care costs have soared out of control is because of government interference."

    I'm generally a free market guy but it gets tricky with health care because providers know you need it. It's not just a want. An emergency room visit is not like shopping for a new car. The doctor has you over the proverbial barrel.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    March 16, 2017 12:34 p.m.

    To "JoeBlow" you do realize that the WHO bases their healthcare listings more on how much the government pays and less on if people actually get care.

    The WHO has admitted that the US is the quickest to respond to medical issues, they have the most advanced treatments, the most research, and the most innovative products being discovered.

    To "IceCreamGhost" the comparison between the US and the rest of the world on spending is like asking why somebody spends more on a new car instead of buying a 10 year old car. We get what we pay for, and that is the most modern system out there.

    To "Edgar" if you factor out accidental deaths, the US is #1 for life expectancy. We just get in more accidents than other countries.

    To "The Educator" you do realize that Trumpcare is just Obamacare with a new paint job.

    To "marxist" you mean the model where the elites get the best care, and everybody else gets very poor care?

    To "Whatever" no country has a free market system anymore. However, the US system used to be free market and it was the best when it was free market.

    To "Edgar" forcing others to do your charity work is not caring for others, that is oppression.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    March 16, 2017 11:26 a.m.

    "The problem with your suggestion,..... So, how do you propose providing health care for those who can't afford it?"

    How do you justify the need to provide anything beyond very very basic, affordable healthcare to everybody? Sometimes life isn't fair. No guarantees. You can spend your money trying to take care of everybody and their needs or desires, but that doesn't mean the rest of us should have to. Don't force your morality on me. After-all, that is what your kind always tell the rest of us when it comes to taking care of societies issues.

  • Edgar Samaria, ID
    March 16, 2017 11:12 a.m.

    JCS said, "The only workable plan is quite simple: get government out of health care and leave it to the free market where it belongs."

    About 30 years ago, Dallin H. Oaks, who you all might familiar with, gave a talk and stated, among others, "Are we our brothers’ keepers? In other words, are we responsible to look after the well-being of our neighbors as we seek to earn our daily bread? The Savior’s Golden Rule says we are. Satan says we are not."

    With that thought in mind, there is no place for healthcare as a 'for profit' industry. "The free market" has got us to the place we are today, with costs skyrocketing and millions of our neighbors without the means to care for themselves. The current healthcare plan being considered in Congress can be called the 'Republican Insurance Program' or for a shorter name it can be appropriatel;y named R.I.P.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    March 16, 2017 10:29 a.m.

    This healthcare proposal will replace automobiles as well as I-phones.

  • Crusader Layton, UT
    March 16, 2017 10:20 a.m.

    For profit insurance companies paying corporate hospitals and doctors is not a good model for healthcare. Period.

    Why is nobody talking about nationalizing our healthcare system?

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    March 16, 2017 10:17 a.m.

    I am not sure what this system is. One idea is the negative income tax. It eliminates social security, Medicare, all welfare, food stamps. Instead every adult 21 and older gets $10,000 or what ever figure works best. From this they are required to buy health insurance. If a woman has children and no husband, the man is tested DNA and required to pay something. He has a bank account since he gets $10,000 a year too. If he has a minimum wage job of $8 an hour he adds $16,000 to his $10,000 less insurance cost. Not too bad if he ends up with $23,000 a year. If the lady works too they now have $46,000 together. Think about it. Maybe it is worth discussing.

  • Whatever Springville, UT
    March 16, 2017 10:06 a.m.

    Please name one country that has a successful free market healthcare system. Just one.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    March 16, 2017 9:58 a.m.

    The American Healthcare Act has one purpose and one purpose only. Tax cuts for the wealthy making health insurance for everyone else a so-called "Cadillac" plan. Question for all: why are there no other nations clamoring to emulate the American system of delivering healthcare?

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    March 16, 2017 9:50 a.m.

    "going up by double-digit percentages way before the ACA. That was due to "the free market", not the government."

    If you think pre-obamacare was a "free market" environment, you are a not even a 1/4 as smart as you think. Any "market", where one person receives free goods and services, no matter the cost, and another has to pay for their own, and is compelled to pay for the free goods the other receives, is not a free market. Any market where the consumer is prevented from deciding an acceptable price for goods and services received, compared to the alternative of going without, or shopping for a more acceptable offer, is not a free market. The list goes on and on.

    The letter writer in right on track. Some ideas may need a little adjustment, but a perfect place to begin for an appropriate healthcare system. No we don't need to do so much comparing to other countries. We have a very diverse country, in both race, culture, freedoms, and work ethics. No reasonable reason to expect exact same life expectancy or even costs of medical care.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 16, 2017 9:40 a.m.

    The only workable plan is to quite simply get insurance out of health care, and get everyone in. Everyone is going to require health care, and everyone has a pre existing condition. Life.
    I'm not in Calgary this morning because I like the weather. It's snowing. I'm here for health care, because the system works. Yes, I'm also a Canadian taxpayer. But consider this. I don't even know the concept of 'premiums' here. Nor what an MRI costs. Because patient care is important, not insurance, in health care.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 16, 2017 9:39 a.m.

    Cuba's healthcare system is a model for the world. Let's have a good look at it.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 16, 2017 9:18 a.m.

    @John Charity Spring;

    My insurance premiums were going up by double-digit percentages way before the ACA. That was due to "the free market", not the government.

  • Ford DeTreese Provo, UT
    March 16, 2017 9:02 a.m.

    Sorry, but this plan looks a lot like the horrible Ryan plan that nobody really likes.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    March 16, 2017 9:02 a.m.

    JCS,

    The problem with your suggestion, as with all conservative plans, is that it fails to account for all those who are excluded by the market. Your holy free market isn't very free for most people, only for those who have enough money to buy what the market sells. So, how do you propose providing health care for those who can't afford it? And don't give us that nonsense about the free market bringing costs down low enough that everybody can afford quality health care. That is simply fantasy. The free market, above all, creates winners and losers, and as the winners absorb the market share of the losers, we end up with monopolies. Basically, if left to its own devices, the free market naturally erodes the conditions in which a free market can exist. What we really want is a fair market, which can only exist if government does its job of regulating the market. Sorry, this doesn't fit in with the conservative bromides that pass for policy statements, but it's reality.

    And as for health care, it is one of the elements of society that, like education, is a common good that government provides more effectively than the market. Other countries understand this.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 16, 2017 8:41 a.m.

    It's 2017,
    America seems to be the only country still struggling with this.

    How about this:

    $30 a month/everyone is covered/no questions asked.

    Canada, Australia, Scandinavia, Europe and Asia all seem to be doing it better than us.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 16, 2017 8:32 a.m.

    ".... Will it cover more people for less? I don't think that we could know that."

    Sorry Joe but that's an easy one..it will cover far fewer people...people particularly at the lower end of the economic spectrum.

    Health care that is dependent on monies from those being treated (be it personal money, or insurance monies) will always disadvantage the poor.

    The writers plan is completely unrealistic when it suggests a service plan for patients. If you can't afford insurance how do afford a service plan. $50 a month to pay off a $10,000 surgery?

    Secondly HSA's are complete nonsense for the poor and the middle class. Once again HSA,s are your money and how do you save enough over the course of even 40 years when you make 50K to cover multiple 50K hospital stays when you're 60?

    Medicaid proposals speak for themselves. Cap them to present levels and then give the states the money....that will work well in 15 years when the elderly poor have increased by 25%.

    These are just a couple of reasons the CBO said 24 million would lose coverage with these kinds of proposals.

  • The Educator South Jordan, UT
    March 16, 2017 8:29 a.m.

    So basically you support Trumpcare? Health care for the richest, handouts to insurance companies, and crumbs for everyone else. Nice.

    Get Educated

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    March 16, 2017 8:00 a.m.

    The only workable plan is quite simple: get government out of health care and leave it to the free market where it belongs.

    The reason that health care costs have soared out of control is because of government interference. When medicaid and Medicare were established, they caused doctors and hospitals to start raising prices because they knew they would be paid. It is time to get off this spiral once and for all.

    We do not need another Kaiser Wilhelm II to dictate how everyone must obtain health coverage. It must be left to the free market, or distribution is inevitable.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    March 16, 2017 7:47 a.m.

    My Plan

    1. Government, Corp, individuals, small business, sole proprietors, congressman all have the same set of plans to choose from with the same benefits and coverages. One risk pool for all. This way pre exhisting conditions are covered and if people aren't mandated to sign up all health plans go up the same, not just the individual/exchange market given a death spiral.

    2. Plans cover what a reasonable person would expect including maternity and mental health, no lifetime limits.

    3. HMO's with at least 10% of market share in a state have thier plans available to all. (if we do number 1, no need for 3, but HMO's seem to like making billions here and then not participating there).

    4. Either have targeted tax credits for all and targeted more to the poor, or have 100% tax deductible for all (like current employer market), with expanded help for the most vulnerable.

    No more union cadillac health plans with huge tax subidies with no limits then paltry tax credits to individuals with firm limits as proposed.

    5. Limit drug prices. Encourage living wills/advance directives.

    6. Limit not for profit companies to 8% overhead. Limit for profit insurers to 10% overhead.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 16, 2017 7:29 a.m.

    What a complicated mess you propose. It will collapse and fail. Let's be honest.

  • Edgar Samaria, ID
    March 16, 2017 7:25 a.m.

    The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable. They carry out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy.

    In a recent study they found that the U.S. spent more per person on health care than 12 other high-income nations in 2013, while seeing the lowest life expectancy and some of the worst health outcomes among this group. The analysis shows that in the U.S., which spent an average of $9,086 per person annually, life expectancy was 78.8 years. Switzerland, the second-highest-spending country, spent $6,325 per person and had a life expectancy of 82.9 years. Mortality rates for cancer were among the lowest in the U.S., but rates of chronic conditions, obesity, and infant mortality were higher than those abroad.

    In my opinion, the private insurance industry has created a system that does not provide preventive care and results in the conditions shown above. That's what needs to change.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    March 16, 2017 7:10 a.m.

    Cory, you forgot the most important thing. First and always on the Republican agenda is TAX CUTS for the RICH! They cannot do a thing in this country without first giving a tax cut for the rich. So please start you wonderful suggestion with a TAX CUT for the RICH and I am sure it would get proper consideration.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 16, 2017 6:13 a.m.

    Cory,

    Thanks for the specifics, but in the end, you are just shuffling the deck. Will your plan work?
    Will it really reduce costs? Will it cover more people for less?

    I don't think that we could know that.

    According to the WHO, the US spends far more than any other country on health care.
    In 2014, the US ranked 50th out of 55 countries assessed for "efficiency of healthcare"

    Number 6 on the list was Italy, hardly a third world country. Per capita spending there was under $3300 per year. Compare that to the US spending of $9400.

    There are lots of countries that have excellent healthcare for far far less.

    Tell me Cory. Should we take a chance on your plan? Wouldn't it make more sense to send a team (Mitt Romney could head it) to study what others are doing and adopt parts of their system?

    One thing to be sure of. Any reduction in cost in healthcare means a reduction in corporate profits. Is that why our politicians are so resistant to real change?

  • IceCreamGhost Sandy, UT
    March 16, 2017 5:51 a.m.

    There are many different ways of going about this. We should look around at the other industrialized countries and make a plan because we spend more per GDP and get far less.

    Your plan has good points but it seems really complicated overall.

    Also, I strongly disagree about your stance on birth control.
    It should be covered because it's a medicine that prevents many medical conditions (not just pregnancy). Every adult woman I know uses it or has used it in the past and having it available prevents abortions and unwanted pregnancies which is something that both sides want.
    Dont push your values on other people.