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Thread: Coronavirus.

  1. #31
    Coronavirus.
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    The whole purpose of the strategy is to keep numbers low enough for our medical system to cope. That seems to be working. The problem with this is that it prolongs the situation. The big question will be how long are we willing to keep our economy shut down and how many deaths are we willing to accept to open it up again. Death versus debt.
    You guys are doing a great job of holding it down, but look at the extreme end. Everyone knows about Italy and New York to at least some extent. What may not be well known is that the healthcare system is so overwhelmed that if EMS is called for a cardiac arrest, they are not to resuscitate nor transport to the hospital. They are to be declared deceased unless their heart restarts spontaneously. They just can't handle the capacity, nor the risk to the workforce. The risk is something that can't be stressed hard enough... healthcare workers are no less susceptible and this is taking its toll mentally, physically, and literally reducing their numbers as some get sick and die from it. And it's not just healthcare worker.s.. it's also first responders; police; so much more. I was reading about the challenges a nuclear power plant was facing in refueling their reactors. And don't forget about the aircraft carrier with the virus spreading through the crew. Man, this is bad! Lifting restrictions to "save the economy" will literally destroy our healthcare system. Our police force. National security. Food production. And so much more. Ours. Yours. Everyone's.

    It takes two weeks to see the results of any change we might make so until a vaccine is available the strong argument is for continuation of the current public isolation with some staged relaxation of regulations followed by 14 days of observation, then reversal if necessary.
    Personally I don't think the current situation will change any time soon, my guess is barring a breakthrough on the vaccine front we'll still be in the same or a very similar situation come Christmas.
    My wife is directly and indirectly involved in at least 10 clinical trials involving vaccines and other treatments. That's just her one team at her one company. It's a literal feeding frenzy. But she has extensive insight on the process and barring anything truly revolutionary, she says the earliest anything can be hoped for is 12-18 months, and that's already due to bypassing the normal early stages of lab and animal testing.

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  2. #32
    Coronavirus.
    Cr00zng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    I think there has been some confusion over what I stated about Medicare. What you said above is true, however, an in hospital stay can be costly. Medicare only pays for 80% of your hospital bills and with today's hospital costs, that can amount to a substantial out of pocket sum. We also have to remember that there are co-pays involved with Medicare out of hospital coverage.

    I have secondary health insurance which picks up where Medicare stops. I also have free prescriptions.
    Medicare rules and regulations are confusing in themselves that contributes to misunderstanding just how Medicare works. Having my better half working with these rules and regulations certainly helps me understanding Medicare.

    True, Medicare Part B, outpatient services, only pays for 80% of the “allowed amount” of service charges. It does not matter how much the service charges, Medicare has a set of allowed amount for every services provided. For example, if the service charge is $200 and the allowed amount is $100, then Medicare pays $80. Most people with Medicare Part B also have Medigap insurance from a commercial insurance company that pays the 20%. The deductible and copays are, well, deducted from the Medicare payment and become patient liability. The Part B deductible in 2020 is $144.60, while most service visit has $20 copay. One of the exception is ER, where copay is $50.

    Medicare Part A, inpatient services, covers hospital services and works differently from Part B. While working in the US, you pay for the premium in the form of Medicare tax deduction. Using this service has a $1,500 deductible and no additional copay. Most commercial Medigap policies pay for this deductible. If it does, inpatient services cost nothing for people who has Part A.

    I have Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D. The latter one is for prescription drugs, also from a commercial insurance company.

    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not an advocate of Socialized Medicine. We have a population of over 330 million which is much larger than countries like the UK and Canada. Medicare for all would likely bankrupt our national treasury which is already skating on very thin ice.
    Yes, the population in the US is close to five times of the UK. On the other hand, the 2019 US GDP was seven times of the UK GDP, or $21.2T vs. $2.9T.

    In my view, healthcare is, or should be part of the human rights like in most countries around world. Most of these are not socialist countries and they call their single payer system national healthcare and other names. It's not a question of money, it is a question of policy.

  3. #33
    Coronavirus.
    Cr00zng's Avatar
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    First responders and healthcare workers are on the front line in fighting the Corona virus. It's not a stretch to call fighting the Corona virus a combat zone. If that's the case, why are they not receiving some form of hazard pay?

    The IRS has provision for military combat zone pay. Basically, military personnel serving in the combat zone pay no taxes for the period served in the combat zone. In addition, military personnel suffered injuries in the combat zone pay no taxes, until fully recovered.

    Tax Exclusion for Combat Service | Internal Revenue Service

    The first responders and healthcare worker literary put their life on the line every day; shouldn't they also be exempted to pay taxes during the pandemic? That would be real appreciation, instead of politicians praising them and running commercials in the media.

  4. #34
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    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cr00zng View Post
    Yes, the population in the US is close to five times of the UK. On the other hand, the 2019 US GDP was seven times of the UK GDP, or $21.2T vs. $2.9T.

    In my view, healthcare is, or should be part of the human rights like in most countries around world. Most of these are not socialist countries and they call their single payer system national healthcare and other names. It's not a question of money, it is a question of policy.
    This is one of the things I'm on the fence on. While I agree with this in principle, I also believe the federal government is incapable of running the healthcare system responsibly. But something is going to have to give, and this current crisis is going to be the breaking point. Rural hospitals in particular have been slowly closing over the past decade because they can't afford to stay open, and this will push many of the remaining ones over the edge. When this is all over, I guarantee you the healthcare system and climate will be irrevocably changed and the people of this country need to come to terms with the fact that we need to do what it takes to make sure it is sustainable for the future.

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  5. #35
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    Jonzjob's Avatar
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    You could always try a NHS, but not ours please, it works.
    John.
    Never forget that you are unique, just like everyone else.
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  6. #36
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    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonzjob View Post
    You could always try a NHS, but not ours please, it works.
    Really?

    Hospital waiting times at worst-ever level - BBC News
    Jake

  7. #37
    Coronavirus.
    chscag's Avatar
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    I also believe the federal government is incapable of running the healthcare system responsibly.
    A gross understatement. The VA is a good example of how our government would run healthcare for all.

  8. #38
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    Yes, it works and if you have an emergency you don't have to worry about going bust. Even for you visiting us, if you have a reason to go to E&A you will be seen and odn't have to worry about your bank balance.

    Yes there are problems, but it still works and my pockets are safe.
    John.
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  9. #39
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    Or the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) medical system.

    The bottom line is that anything that is "free" gets swamped. Then rationed.
    Jake

  10. #40
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    Don't worry about a reply as I am signing off of this thread.

    This thread seems to have become a back biting session and I want nowt of it. I prefer the friendly forum I have been a member of for quite a while now.
    John.
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  11. #41
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    Sorry you feel that way, John. Schweb's Lounge is the one place where controversial items can be discussed. I didn't see any back biting, just a discussion of the pros and cons of nationalized medicine. You like it. I don't. You said it worked, and your pockets were untouched. "Worked" is, I guess, a personal observation. Waiting a long time for medical care is, for me, not "working." Presently at the NHS, from the article I cited at the BBC:
    The figures show:
    4.42 million patients on the waiting list at the end of September, the highest number ever
    84.8% of them waiting under 18 weeks - below the 92% target and the worst performance since the target was introduced, in 2012
    76.9% of cancer patients starting treatment within 62 days - below the 85% target
    83.6% of A&E patients admitted or transferred within four hours in October - below the 95% target and the worst performance since the target started was introduced, in 2004
    If that is, for you, a working system, that's fine. For me, having 16% of A&S (emergency room) patients waiting longer than 4 hours is criminal. If the patient is there as an emergency, they should be seen immediately, not parked for 4+ hours.

    In my own experience, when I arrived at the Emergency Room of my local hospital I was seen within 10 minutes, had a CAT scan in about 20 minutes and was admitted within an hour. And it cost me nothing because I have Medicare and a supplemental insurance policy. To me, that is what is meant by "works."
    Jake

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    In my own experience, when I arrived at the Emergency Room of my local hospital I was seen within 10 minutes, had a CAT scan in about 20 minutes and was admitted within an hour. And it cost me nothing because I have Medicare and a supplemental insurance policy. To me, that is what is meant by "works."
    You can't take your singular, limited anecdotal experience and claim this is the standard of care here. I can personally assure you that your experience is not universal across every hospital in the USA. Some days are better than others, some places are better than others, and even the time of day can matter, but having worked in the industry for well over 20 years in a handful of facilities including level 1 trauma centers, 4 hour waits in the ER waiting room are NOT uncommon right here in the US of A.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  13. #43
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    Cr00zng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeisabeach View Post
    This is one of the things I'm on the fence on. While I agree with this in principle, I also believe the federal government is incapable of running the healthcare system responsibly. But something is going to have to give, and this current crisis is going to be the breaking point. Rural hospitals in particular have been slowly closing over the past decade because they can't afford to stay open, and this will push many of the remaining ones over the edge. When this is all over, I guarantee you the healthcare system and climate will be irrevocably changed and the people of this country need to come to terms with the fact that we need to do what it takes to make sure it is sustainable for the future.
    Medicare, rather CMS, does not actually run much by itself; from treatment to claim processing, private companies do pretty much all aspects of the operation. Its main purpose is to convert regulation changes to operational changes for the private companies. This is why switching from commercial insurance to Medicare is not really noticeable for most people. Other than the substantial monthly premium cost decrease that is.

    It is the Congress with its constant regulation changes and budget cuts for CMS that affects the care that retired people receive.

    I am not certain, that I would agree that the US healthcare system “will be irrevocably changed”. It certainly should change, but it is unlikely. Health care companies making too much profit from healthcare. Just the major health insurance companies, BCBS and UHC, transfer about $5B per year to Wall St., in the form of dividend. Their perennial $30 stock price prior to ACA, or Obama Care, is in the $250 range. They can afford lobbying the Congress to preserve the status-quo.

    Consolidation of hospitals in both, the rural and urban areas, has been ongoing for at least couple of decades for different reasons. In rural areas, the cost of having a hospital outpaced the generated income. In urban areas, the number of hospitals decreased by either merging, or outright purchasing. In both cases, the number of hospital beds available for the area decreased substantially and so did the number of ER departments. The limited availability under normal circumstances was close to the breaking point and crashed with the Corona pandemic.

  14. #44
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    Cr00zng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeisabeach View Post
    You can't take your singular, limited anecdotal experience and claim this is the standard of care here. I can personally assure you that your experience is not universal across every hospital in the USA. Some days are better than others, some places are better than others, and even the time of day can matter, but having worked in the industry for well over 20 years in a handful of facilities including level 1 trauma centers, 4 hour waits in the ER waiting room are NOT uncommon right here in the US of A.
    I do hope that you’ll be safe during this pandemic, wish you the best...

    My recent experience with ER, anecdotally confirms your four hours waiting time. The visit included lab test and CAT scan, about a dozen of people seen me. Comparing my ER visits with commercial insurance, where the waiting time was around two hours, but these visits were 10-15 years ego. It seems to me that nowadays, the type of insurance one has would not really matter and all type of insurances will have the same wait time.

    I think the limited number of ER available in the area is the major factor in determining the waiting time. That, and EMS brings people to the ER that receives priority.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Sorry you feel that way, John. Schweb's Lounge is the one place where controversial items can be discussed. I didn't see any back biting, just a discussion of the pros and cons of nationalized medicine. You like it. I don't. You said it worked, and your pockets were untouched. "Worked" is, I guess, a personal observation. Waiting a long time for medical care is, for me, not "working." Presently at the NHS, from the article I cited at the BBC:If that is, for you, a working system, that's fine. For me, having 16% of A&S (emergency room) patients waiting longer than 4 hours is criminal. If the patient is there as an emergency, they should be seen immediately, not parked for 4+ hours.

    In my own experience, when I arrived at the Emergency Room of my local hospital I was seen within 10 minutes, had a CAT scan in about 20 minutes and was admitted within an hour. And it cost me nothing because I have Medicare and a supplemental insurance policy. To me, that is what is meant by "works."
    I agree with Lifeisabeach, the four hours waiting time is pretty standard in most urban areas. The waiting time does depend on the patient condition, ALS (Advanced Life Support) receive priority over BLS (Basic Life Support) condition. The chances are that your condition had been deemed ALS and you received priority.

    Your supplemental policy pays for copays, mine does not. That was by choice based on my health condition and utilization of the supplemental policy. With that said, I agree, Medicare with the supplemental insurance policy works and an awesome option for retired people. They should stay away from most of the Medicare Advantage plans, that I call Medicare Disadvantage plans, and keep the traditional Medicare plan.

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