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The Doctor Will See Your Credit Score Now

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the what's-up-doc dept.

Privacy 464

mytrip writes to mention that the same people who invented credit scores are working to create a similar system for hospitals and other health care providers. "The project, dubbed "MedFICO" in some early press reports, will aid hospitals in assessing a patient's ability to pay their medical bills. But privacy advocates are worried that the notorious errors that have caused frequent criticism of the credit system will also cause trouble with any attempt to create a health-related risk score. They also fear that a low score might impact the quality of the health care that patients receive."

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Fundamentally broken (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105556)

They also fear that a low score might impact the quality of the health care that patients receive.

Of course this will impact the quality of healthcare that people receive. Don't be absurd. Look, as someone who is involved in his family business (12 docs, 100 total employees), the ability of patients to pay is fundamental because healthcare is a business. Doctors graduate medical school with six figures in debt, buildings cost money, running a business with good people takes money to pay your employees with and more. It is hard enough as a small business in medicine, but competing with larger hospital groups who make access like this part of their business practice (like HMOs) are making it even harder because they shunt patients who are less able to pay to the local doctors or smaller clinics, and these are the businesses that suffer the burden of non-payment.

What is the solution? Trying to figure out who has what insurance (some insurance is better than other types) and who can afford to pay for more expensive procedures is just bad medicine and bad social responsibility. Socialized medicine is not it either, however, a return to fee for service medicine is a better option for all people involved. Scrap the HMOs (who are in business to make money, not provide health care), scrap the insurance companies (middle men extracting their pound of flesh) and return to a system where you pay for services rendered with insurance for catastrophic coverage. Granted, many specialized procedures will not be utilized as much but health care coverage for two healthy people is often in the $8k-$12k/year range as it is. And what is the average American getting for that expenditure? You are paying typically out of pocket expenses on top of that as well if you do take advantage of health care services and if you prove a bad insurance risk, you get dropped entirely. Look, insurance companies are not in business to help you stay healthy, or get well... They are publicly traded companies who's bottom line is profit and that profit comes at your expense. A classic parasitic business model that has been promulgated on the American public. However, this will have to change as it is dragging down US business, small and large, big time.

Re:Fundamentally broken (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105588)

American society is all about me. It's not about you. It's about me. Let the poor die, stupid miserable bastards. America hates the poor, grinds them up on the mill of the American Dream, grist for the wealthy. Fuck those that can't pay for health, and fuck their disgusting children. Jesus loves a rich America where the poor are crushed under the weight of big business. Money is the God of America, and Jesus is all about the Money. The only thing that counts in America is business; business and money. Society can go get fucked, because business is overlord. Congressmen sell their worthless souls to it, and those that can't afford decent health care should be given a fucking bullet and told to put it between their eyes, because America is all about me.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1, Insightful)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105644)

And it's not the governments responsibility, or duty, to fix this.

They can only make it worse.

Re:Fundamentally broken (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105662)

Last time I checked, the sole reason for the existence of government is to be the servant of society. Why can't government do this? I mean, it's a government of the people, by the people and for the people, right?

I do enjoy your secret code for "Fuck the poor". Good for you. JEsus loves you.

Re:Fundamentally broken (2, Insightful)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105668)

They should be the servant, not the provider.

Promote the general welfare, not provide.

Re:Fundamentally broken (-1, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105690)

Yes, more code for "fuck the poor". Jesus is extremely pleased.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1, Interesting)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105752)

Oh yea, "fuck the poor", how about quoting something I actually said instead of pulling ideas out of your ass. "Promote the general welfare" is an actual quote from the constitution, unlike you I don't have to pull quotes out of my ass. The poor can and will always be better served through individual actions than through government programs.

Helping the poor, when it comes to government, is code give me more power. You aren't smart enough, or capable enough, to make your own decisions. You can't help the poor without me. You need me.

Tell that to the churches in my area, who provide more for the poor than any government would be willing provide. I think that pleases Jesus more than your rhetoric.

Re:Fundamentally broken (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105818)

Yes, churches are all quite capable of opening multimillion dollar healthcare facilities. And so they should, so that you can continue being a sociopath with no sense of charity.

Jesus loves you, you sick sociopathic monster. Heaven has a special place for the greedy, where they never have to worry about the poor again.

God bless America, a culture based solely on you.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105964)

You know, I don't usually get pissed, but you are just absolutely, entirely and most definitely full of shit. I mean that in it's purest sense. You have absolutely no idea what the hell you are talking about.

You can't/won't improve your argument, so you resort to name calling. The last bastion of a lost arguement. If you want to prove me wrong, give me some facts, I'll read and study them. If I'm wrong, show me why.

If you can't, good luck trolling in the name of Jesus. Hopefully that works out for you.

Re:Fundamentally broken (-1, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105988)

Hey, my argument is that Jesus loves your sociopathic nature, your fundemental belief that those who can't afford health care can all get stuffed. I mean, I supporting you here, you sociopathic mastermind, and I get this kind of treatment? I mean we both know the poor deserve it, they're lazy and stupid, I mean, money is absolutely everything. Nothing else matters. Healthcare should be solely determined by profits. Jesus loves profits, and he loves sociopaths like you.

Jesus bless you.

Re:Fundamentally broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22106028)

Have you not heard the old quote "Give me liberty, or give me death!"?

Re:Fundamentally broken (1, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105784)

You are clueless. Do you really think that anyone who is against socialized medicine feels that way because they dont like poor people and they think they are better than them? The vast majority of us who want a free market for health insurance do so because we know that in the long run, everyone including the poor will be much better off. Free markets a) promote innovation and better health care and b) drive costs down. People who are against socialized medicine understand this and we have better arguments than saying that everyone who isnt on our side hates poor people.

Re:Fundamentally broken (5, Insightful)

JohnSearle (923936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105992)

So you are saying that at the cost of the present, you're banking on tomorrow? I understand that's one argument for a free market society, but come on, you're talking about human lives. I would rather not pay for cheaper health care with the blood of my neighbours.

I suppose this is the long running socialist vs. capitalist debate, but you really need to look at the facts... socialist-democratic societies seem to be much happier, better educated, etc. then the American free market society, bent on the idea that individual happiness is best served cold with individual self-interest.

Check out the HDI http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index [wikipedia.org] (America is 12th), and Poverty Index http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Poverty_Index [wikipedia.org] (America 17th), for some, albeit contestable, evidence to my claim that socialist countries seem to be doing better off than the American self-aggrandized way of life. Plus, it would appear the United States is doing nothing more than slipping further away from those top socialist countries.

- John

Re:Fundamentally broken (1, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106040)

You can weight the different factors to make the countries appear in any order you want on that list. Kind of like how when USNews started ranking schools they hired guys who went to princeton to do it. Guess who consistently wins, Princeton. Same kind of thing, he who controls the weights controls the order of the list.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

JohnSearle (923936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106134)

It's the United Nations who use both of these indexes to measure human well-being, not Mao. Plus the HDI was developed with the help of a diverse group, including Gustav Ranis of Yale University ahref=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Indexrel=url2html-31644 [slashdot.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index>, who is US educated, and at a very expensive university.

I can agree that statistics may be subject to certain biases, but when numerous countries / academics agree upon it's usefulness, it hard to contest by simply saying, "I don't believe statistics because they may be biased."

- John

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106000)

He is just one of those people who think that anyone not towing the line and in agreement with himself is the enemy. It is like the immigration debate, if you want people to obey the laws and at least sign th guest book when entering the country, you are now a racists. The sad thing is that attitudes like his close off any real discussion that might find real solutions that could work in everyones favor.

Somehow I suspect that would be ok with him too, it forbids the possibility that we might fix something and he would run out if shit to cry about. This way, he has a perpetual purpose.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106034)

Alright then, I'll bite.

Let's say you've got some low-income fellow, not poor enough for government assistance, but not enough cash to pay health insurance. He gets something really expensive, let's say full-blown thyroid cancer requiring a total thyrodectomy. Now this isn't an emergency room situation, this is a helluva lot of imaging ($$$), a very major surgery ($$$), several days in the hospital ($$$), radioactive iodine treatments to kill any surviving cancer cells ($$$) and likely three to five years of monitoring ($$$).

So you tell me the system that a) doesn't let him die and b) doesn't leave him completely destitute.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106068)

The problem is that he cant afford it precisely because the free markets havent been able to do their job here. As one example that you listed, Imaging should not be a hugely expensive thing. But because of artificially high barriers of entry for people who provide such services and health insurance removing consumers incentive to price shop it is very pricey.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106094)

How about the surgery itself? That's going to be the single most expensive aspect.

And will this marvelous totally free market system make it affordable to him?

Re:Fundamentally broken (2, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106036)

Do you really think that anyone who is against socialized medicine feels that way because they dont like poor people and they think they are better than them?


Of course. The rest of your response is merely a propaganda formula used to make this obvious idea look less disgusting.

Re:Fundamentally broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105730)

Last time I checked, the sole reason for the existence of government is to be the servant of society. Why can't government do this? I mean, it's a government of the people, by the people and for the people, right?

I do enjoy your secret code for "Fuck the poor". Good for you. JEsus loves you.
The idea of socialized medicine makes sense. Hell, it even works well in other nations. Really, though, how can you have any faith whatsoever that the Federal Government will do anything but make things worse?

Re:Fundamentally broken (2, Insightful)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105806)

Last time I checked, the sole reason for the existence of government is to be the servant of society. Why can't government do this? I mean, it's a government of the people, by the people and for the people, right?

Because under the Declaration of Independence, the purpose of government is the protection of the people's rights against oppression. The Preamble of the Constitution does give a longer list of purposes, but unless you accept a reading of the Constitution so broad as to render the "enumerated powers" list meaningless, ours is a government with limited powers, which means that it does not have the legal authority to do absolutely everything a majority votes for. In fact the Constitution is designed not to simply give people what they vote for. If it were, there would be no need for a Bill of Rights, because the people would simply be trusted never to, say, have 51% of the people vote to kill the other 49% and take their stuff. And if they did, a strict majoritarian belief would say that that's perfectly all right! So, before leaping to the conclusion that government ought to do something, we ought to consider whether it has any right to do so. Any coercive government action involves a reduction of the freedom which it's government's main purpose to protect, and so should be weighed carefully against this cost.

Another reason "why government can't do this" is practical. People are having the debate over just how effective foreign health systems are, usually comparing a pure socialist system to the half-socialist system we have now, but there's good reason for skepticism about whether giving our government more power over our money and other aspects of our lives is a good idea. See eg. China, Soviet Russia, North Korea, and other places where people were/are controlled allegedly for their own good.

On a related note, a government-run health system of whatever stripe leads logically to a system more intrusive than any existing today. If government is put in charge of your health, it has a legal and financial justification for controlling what you eat, where you live, how you work, what you do for fun, how you feel -- everything. Would you willingly submit not just yourself but everyone else to such a trend?

Re:Fundamentally broken (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105878)

I'm sure the poor guy who can't afford chemo will be glad that the reason you want to deprive of him of life-saving healthcare is to preserve his liberties. God bless you, you rationalizing sociopath!

Re:Fundamentally broken (4, Funny)

spirit of reason (989882) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105912)

I'd just like to point out that your examples of bad "socialist" governments have little relevance. The people in those examples have no power over who makes up the government. The US uses a relatively legit ballot to determine who takes office in many cases (for those with the greatest power), so it is fallacious to predict the US's performance with some socialist policies based on those examples.

Re:Fundamentally broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105956)

What jackasses are modding this troll up? Come on, show of hands.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105726)

And it's not the governments responsibility, or duty, to fix this. They can only make it worse.
Some Swedes and Canadians called. They asked "is he fucking serious?" There's actually an interesting video about the Stockholm system here [google.com]

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105982)

Yeah, those Canadians [gastricbypasscanada.com] sure [nejm.org] are [repec.org] happy with their health care. There are pros and cons to all systems. You pay less directly overall in Canada, but you have longer waiting times and higher taxes.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

Al_Lapalme (698542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106076)

There *are* cons - but it's not aboot paying less -- it's aboot being able to not pay at all if your employer screwed you and you're out on your ass. It's a real comfort to know that regardless of what happens to me (financially) - ie, laid off, broke, w/e - I'll still get the same level of health care as everyone else, if I need it. (consequently, and to be on-topic - I also don't have to worry about the level of health care depending on how well I've paid in the past)

The wait times are indeed longer - and the taxes higher too - and alof of our talent tends to move to the states because they make more money there - so we're left with huge doctor shortages everywhere - but at least I don't have to worry about how to pay for that amputation.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

link5280 (1141253) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105908)

On the other hand do you think the insurance companies and health care providers will fix it? I'm not necessarily in favor of a socialized health care or a massive government intervention, but as long as the bottom line is the objective it will continue on its current course.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105816)

Of course, this sort of story was just BEGGING for the trolls to come out..... but I'm going to reply to this one, just because it's a fundamental part of the issue at hand, really.

American society is SUPPOSED to be all about individual rights and freedoms for YOU and ME. The "catch" has always been, great responsibility comes along with great freedom. People who want part 2, but not part 1 of that equation lead us to the vast majority of our society's ills.

The very idea of the "dollar" boils down to a symbol of one's work/labor. Our system does revolve around this "dollar", in the sense that one is supposed to work for THEIR OWN good/benefit. Money is not supposed to just be freely handed to a person, nor should a person be put in a situation where their labor doesn't result in the earning of dollars. (EG. Government demanding free labor of its citizens "for the greater good" or indentured servitude to another individual.)

People's laziness and attempts to "bypass" this have led us to calls for "socialized medicine" and other such "solutions" that ultimately don't work, and undermine our whole political system. I'm afraid I have to largely side with one of the first people who replied to this story. They said our best policy is going to be a simple "pay as you go" one. Anything else maintains the downward-spiral we're all in today; where prices keep soaring, driven by insurance providers needing to make their profits as "middle men" and healthcare providers needing enough "padding" in each bill to cover the costs of all those who can't pay for the services they're expecting to receive anyway.

We have to "reset" medicine to a point where people pay a fair price for their care, but nobody gets a subsidized "free ride" either. No more going to a hospital and being billed $18 for a band-aid. No more requiring "permission" of an insurance company before getting one's needs attended to either. Just a simple understanding that our Constitution nowhere guarantees "free medical care for all". (Note that this doesn't mean interns and doctors wishing to volunteer certain percentages of their time to charitable causes couldn't still opt to provide some level of care to the needy.)

Re:Fundamentally broken (-1, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105854)

A long-winded way of saying "fuck the poor".

America, the civilization of the sociopath. And yes, all those poor are all lazy bastards, fuck 'em. Jesus loves the greedy, and despises the poor, and he loves big ol' generalizations about who makes up the poor.

Re:Fundamentally broken (5, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105642)

Oh bullshit, socialized medicine is the solution and we've seen it work pretty well in western europe.

My ability to pay has nothing to do with my credit or money in my bank. It has everything to do if my insurance decides to screw me or screw you. An MRI I needed a couple of years ago which was supposed to be covered by insurance cost me 1500. My insurance paid them 1100. Both of those parties are just trying to screw me for cash. Instead of working with insurance companies the MRI people just pull a number out of their butts. Their inability to work with my good insurance or the insurance's inability to pay fair prices puts me in the middle of a capatalistic nightmare where my own health is used as leverage points to see who can bill the most and pay out the least. This is incredible! The most pathetic part of this was that I was told by the MRI people that if my insurance refused to pay anything they had a nice low cash price of 300 dollars. In other words theyre making money at 300, but bill 1500!

Sorry, but the only way out of this nightmare is mass socialization of medicine and getting away from the idea that my illness should make you rich.

Re:Fundamentally broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105680)

The problem is with your insurance company attempting to screw you. MRIs have standardized costs and the insurance companies are in a constant bidding war to pay out the least they possibly can. Whenever Medicaid/Medicare lower their reimbursement rates (often way below the cost of providing services) the private insurance companies try to match the reimbursement. When your MRI people said $300, they are at least trying to get something to minimize the loss, but it is still a loss for them.

Re:Fundamentally broken (4, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105946)

Where is the costs in an MRI? I have had several and some of these machines are 20 years old or better. You would assume that they are paid for at 1500 a pop. Sure there is on going maintenance and staff but where is the cost? I got my MRIs at a diagnostic imagine center who had someone in the machines every 30 minutes. $1500 a pop, they were open between 7 am and 8 pm so at twice an hour or so they would make roughly 39,000 a day. I'm sure they aren't spending that much a day but lets just say they only make half that, it is still $97,000 a week on one machine. They have three or four of these running like this plus CT and Xray machines plus they have a blood lab. It is in a medical building that houses something like 40 specialist offices with different fields so they are packed all the time.

This doesn't even address the fact that Vet labs can do MRIs for less then $200. I know it isn't the same thing but if they can buy the equipment, pay the staff, train the staff, and offer the services at those prices, they it shouldn't be much more difficult for a hospital or imaging lab to do the same.

So why is the cost of a MRI $1500? Because they can charge that much, it is the only reason, their break even point is far less then that and likely even less of the machine is paid for and in maintenance mode. I'm willing to bet that $300 is the real costs (staff, using the machine, electric per use and so on) and they only wanted to cover that with the Cash billing. To me, that makes a firm $1500 a little bit stupid. It is a medical procedure, not a Car or Big Screen TV.

I don't buy into the socialized medicine, but I think there is some things that can happen to make it more affordable to the less capable of paying for it. I don't have much sympathy for the GPs situation either, but saying it costs X dollars because that's what they standardized on is a little shady if you ask me. Especially when someone is being told that their lives or quality of health could depend having the test/procedure or not. If it was a TV or car and fear wasn't part of the choice in having it, then I could agree. In any other profession, the life and death fear factor along would be enough to get fraud charges dropped on the sales staff in most states.

Re:Fundamentally broken (3, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105746)

Oh bullshit, socialized medicine is the solution and we've seen it work pretty well in western europe.


We already have a form of socialized medicine here in the US. I've been unemployed for several years, I'm a Type II diabetic with other, unrelated health issues, and I get all my medical care from the US government, free of charge. If I were working, I'd have to pay a co-pay, but not much. How? Oh, it was easy! All I had to do was spend three years in the US Navy, including 7 months in Tonkin Gulf back in '72.

Re:Fundamentally broken (2, Interesting)

Kyojin (672334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105750)

Sounds like you lost out on $100 there - cost you $400 paying the difference between the insurance of $1100 and the MRI cost of $1500, whereas if you'd said insurance won't pay, it would have cost you $300.

Re:Fundamentally broken (2, Insightful)

ilikepi314 (1217898) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105760)

(1) I've read several articles about socialized systems in Europe being severely in debt. If that's the case, even if its a good idea and works short term, its not sustainable. We would have to do things different that Europe, especially given the amount of debt we're in already. (2) Purely making so much profit annoys me, but then we must remember that doctors start off with lots of debt, have to pay many bills, insurance (malpractice, etc.), not to mention the crazy expenses required to buy things like MRI machines. Do you plan on paying for your doctor to go to school? Feel like chipping in to buy an MRI? If not, then you have to pay something later on when you do need a doctor and an MRI. Oh, but the government will pay for it, right? Guess what, tax increases to offset the price (or simply more national debt). Someone has to pay for it somewhere, at least until we can reach Star Trek enlightenment and completely do away with the entire concept of money and debts (which humanity is nowhere near ready for). Our system obviously needs improvement, but pretending that socializing medicine is going to solve all of our problems is just deluding yourself.

Re:Fundamentally broken (5, Interesting)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106074)

I've read several articles about socialized systems in Europe being severely in debt.

You have to stop reading propaganda. The "severe debt" is usually a misrepresentation of an overall governmental debt which has been shrinking throughout Europe ever since most governments adopted "balanced budget" policies back in the 1980s. Many European governments routinely end up with budgetary surpluses which leads to a lively debate on how to spend them, with some advocating rapid debt reduction while others investment in other things. The same applies to Canada, which also sports socialized medicare and which has been running budgetary surpluses for almost a decade now.

As a matter of fact, the most debt inducing and downright ruinous economic policy is practiced by none other then the "free market knows best", "conservative" goofuses running the USA, where the government debt is spiralling completely out of control, with most of the money going to gigantic military contractors and mercenaries with no conceivable return on that investment to the average taxpayer other then piles of dead foreign people and rapidly increasing general global hostility, not to mention othe wee things such as the devastating trade imbalances.

If that's the case

It isn't, although some greed-monkeys, like our "small medical businessman" GP, do oh-so-dearly want it to be true.

even if its a good idea and works short term, its not sustainable.

See above. Most EU governments project declining debts, while the US debt is increasing astronomically, despite of the ever more obvious and heavy-handed attempts by the US elites to instill a vicious dog-eat-dog "society" in there, with clear-cut stratification of the economic royalty and the de-facto indentured slaves underneath.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1, Interesting)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105852)

We have socialized medicine.

I work in a pharmacy (trying it out before I decide if I want to go to pharmacy school). I see Medicare/Medicaid and state Medicaid patients all day, every day. They pay nothing.

But hey, those programs won't be around much longer since it's going to be bankrupt by 2019 [google.com] . Let's instead pay everything for everyone so the system can be bankrupt by next year.

Re:Fundamentally broken (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22106072)

We could always stop pouring billions upon billions of dollars into killing people and focus on keeping people alive.

Re:Fundamentally broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105976)

Oh bullshit, socialized medicine is the solution...The most pathetic part of this was that I was told by the MRI people that if my insurance refused to pay anything they had a nice low cash price of 300 dollars. In other words theyre making money at 300, but bill 1500!

And just think, without insurance... socialized or not... everyone would be paying the "cash price" and the insane medical bill inflation will stop post haste, once doctors have to start competing on price again. Without having insurance around to raise the cost of everything to your $30 copay or $500 deductible, you'll actually start seeing more inexpensive clinics for people who don't have the money for fancy tech when stuff that's been around for years and doesn't cost $10k to use will work in 90%+ of the cases.

Socialized care won't fix the real problem of expensive healthcare. It's simply a giant bandaid to replace the festering bandaid we have now. It won't make it cheaper to see the doctor, it just makes it harder to see where the money to do so came from.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105802)

Man how I agree with you. Except I have no problem aiding the poor that can't afford health care. By this I don't mean the ones who drive a new car or have 3 quads in garage, I mean the people who don't trade health care insurance payments for a nicer car or more toys to break your arm on. I'm talking about the Schmuck who would be missing out on something like food or houseing if they paied for insurance. But enough about that.

I'm glad you brought up the HMO's. America went through a public health coverage debate years ago along with many other countries like England and Australia and Canada. Those countries picks a form of socialized medicine and our great leaders gave us HMOs. People don't realize that everything they despise about the state of health care in the US is directly related to the government fixing the problem in the first place. It is a little self destructive of society to think they would somehow get it right this time. Look at everything else they attempt to copy from other countries like education.

It just isn't an idea that I am comfortable with letting them fix. And I am wondering, why is everyone supporting socialized medicine demanding that socializing the system is the only way to go. Isn't there things that we can fix with the existing system that could be a less painful option then allowing the government to screw us again? And don't these people realize that they will end up paying for it anyways, either directly with increased taxes and fees or indirectly through increased product costs? I was talking to someone a while back who thinks we can just print a couple billion dollars and use it only for health care. So this shows a little about the disconnect people have on the topic.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

link5280 (1141253) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105858)

The system you suggest would just compound the problem. The current system has many flaws, but those who do have coverage typically get decent care (there are exceptions of course). Getting more people to participate in the health care system by making it affordable for all is a better solution, along with preventive care. A fee for service system is what exists right now for the uninsured, and it's one of major causes for high cost of health care. The uninsured cant afforded to pay for any services, so they allow a once easily treatable problem manifest into much larger and costlier one. Since the cost usually gets absorbed by the hospitals, it is then passed onto those who can pay. As a result premiums and co-pays increase and those who at one time could afford insurance declines. The stats I see seem to reflect this.

I don't know about everyone else, but my premiums went up 90% this year. Over the past 5-7 years they only increased by 2-10% each year.

Anyway, tying credit to health care will just make the system worse. People will be forced to put off medical procedures that will eventually cost more if they get worse.

I'll say it again, PREVENTIVE CARE!

http://www.cbpp.org/8-29-06health.htm [cbpp.org]
http://www.nchc.org/facts/coverage.shtml [nchc.org]

I disagree (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105872)

Trying to figure out who has what insurance (some insurance is better than other types) and who can afford to pay for more expensive procedures is just bad medicine and bad social responsibility.

Real-world data shows this to be false. Countries that emphasize prevention, regular check-ups, and healthy lifestyles have better health outcomes at much lower cost than the US. Those are the kinds of medical services that people should be given without regard to their ability to pay.

But if you choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle and then need three heart bypasses and a kidney transplant, you should pay for those yourself or accept the consequences of your irresponsibility.

Health care costs are spiraling out of control because medicine sells the illusion that they can fix anything if only paid enough, and people believe those lies and live accordingly.

Re:Fundamentally broken (4, Interesting)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105920)

Scrap the HMOs (who are in business to make money, not provide health care), scrap the insurance companies (middle men extracting their pound of flesh) and return to a system where you pay for services rendered with insurance for catastrophic coverage.

As a Candian living in the US, you're preaching to the already converted, but still bewildered and dismayed, if not appalled.

I'll add an interesting tidbit of information. Three out of four voters in the US is a member of the American Association of Retired Persons [wikipedia.org] . Sounds perfectly reasonable, given that older folks tend to be the ones that vote, but problematic when you consider that AARP is fundamentally an insurance company.

Insurance companies are Really Big business. And if Warren Buffett's investment preferences are any indication, more profitable than ever. I don't see them going away any time soon despite the gradual awareness by the electorate that their healthcare system, when viewed in the context of the rest of the industrialised world, is an embarassment.

Re:Fundamentally broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105996)

This whole US system is completely fuckin' absurd, it only feeds the middlemen and bloodsucking parasites while you provide a healthcare that is the MOST EXPENSIVE IN THE WORLD yet ONLY THE 18th-20th IN THE WORLD WHEN IT COMES TO QUALITY.

Look at Europe or ANY other industrialized nation: they are AHEAD of us.

Why?

BEcause we keep feeding the fat cats, the parasites and places like yours.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

hdparm (575302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106032)

OK. However, it is really tragic that in the 21st century the wealthiest countries (apart from few examples) don't provide highest quality healthcare for all their people. There is just no way that anybody can convince me that money spent on military in USA cannot be spent for more useful purposes.

Re:Fundamentally broken (1)

MrMarket (983874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106116)

scrap the insurance companies (middle men extracting their pound of flesh) ...Look, insurance companies are not in business to help you stay healthy, or get well... They are publicly traded companies who's bottom line is profit and that profit comes at your expense. A classic parasitic business model that has been promulgated on the American public. However, this will have to change as it is dragging down US business, small and large, big time.

Spoken like a true healthcare administrator who would love nothing more than to negotiate^H^H^H^H^H^Hgouge the costs for medical care one sick patient at a time.

Health insurers provide a critical role in keeping costs down: collective bargaining on behalf of the members and employers that pay their premiums. Just take a look at your EOB and compare the billed amount (what you would pay if you were uninsured and in a weak position to negotiate the price of your surgery/er visit/life-saving procedure) with the negotiated discount that the insurer pays. Insurers pay about a tenth of the price for services because they are in a much better position to negotiate prices. This difference in prices for one ER visit more than makes up for the cost of premiums.

Yes, there are some crummy insurers out there, but there are also a ton of non profits out there that, believe it or not, are pretty passionate about getting the best care possible for their members (BCBS of Louisiana, BCBS or MN, or Harvard Pilgrim to name a few).

Re:Fundamentally broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22106120)

Apparently you are ignorant of reality. Not all Insurance Companies are publicly traded. In fact... some are even non profit.

FULL DISCOLSURE: I work for a non profit insurance company serving washington, oregon, idaho and utah.

how about having a MDFICO (quality of provider)? (3, Insightful)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105562)

how about having a MDFICO (quality of provider)? hell! they wouldn't like that a bit, would they?

Re:how about having a MDFICO (quality of provider) (1)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105590)

It will never happen. Corporate America can do what it likes to individual Americans, who can't do a damned thing about it as a rule.

Re:how about having a MDFICO (quality of provider) (4, Interesting)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105594)

I'm kinda liking the idea of scores based on how likely all insurance companies (auto, medical, etc.) are to pay.

Re:how about having a MDFICO (quality of provider) (2, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105614)

Like I said before... baby boomer DINKs getting medicare before your parents. That's what this stuff is about, preparing for the coming wave of no longer able bodied and making sure that the number of those monopoly bucks the Fed prints are still what gets you into line.

Re:how about having a MDFICO (quality of provider) (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105780)

RateMDs.com [ratemds.com]

Re:how about having a MDFICO (quality of provider) (1)

IvyKing (732111) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105926)

I wonder if a lot of the subprime mortgage mess could have been avoided had the mortgage brokers been subject to a similar kind of scoring, rating how many customers thought that they were ripped off by the brokers.


It would also be interesting to have scoring of the FICO scoring.

Re:how about having a MDFICO (quality of provider) (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106140)

The big problem with the sub prime situation was that these loans were made with the intent of selling them off to investments that wouldn't need the going rate of return. The customer in default wouldn't be the customer of the broker who wrote the loan. The idea is, get the loan for a set amount of time at a lower rate, then mark it up based on the going rate a few years down the road and hopefully the homeowner could afford the increased rates.

The lending companies couldn't barrow money as cheap as the loans were going out so the idea was to sell them off for a fraction of the paid value so they could keep making loans. This constant cycling of loans would have inflated their values too. But when the brokers realized that these loans wouldn't come back on them, they started making them to higher risk people because they could grab a commission and not have to worry about losing their jobs when it comes back. The government was behind all this except the brokers making the loans to risky people. It is just another thing they neglected until it became a problem.

It is sort of what lead to the land grabs of the 70's where the banking regulations were relaxed to help them make money and stimulate the econemy. Instead of having the effect of a small revenue generation while letting them invest a little into real estate, it ended up with them driving the prices way up which allowed farmers to take $2500 an acre loans out to buy combines on land that was valued at less then $100 per acre a few years before. This of course jacked the prices up so high that no one was buying which means a lot of the banks defaulted on their own mortgages leading into the savings and loan crisis and all the family farms loosing their property.

These two situation alone should be proof that we don't want the government mucking around with this stuff. Add on to this the fact that almost everything we dislike or think is a problem with modern health care is a direct result in them attempting to fix health care with the HMO act in the 70's. There is no reason for any sane person to want them involved at all. They either ignore some important part, or sit back blindly while people find ways to legally exploit the system.

Re:how about having a MDFICO (quality of provider) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105950)

Right.

I had to remind the Doc at the last appt I just had that twice an 18 mg dose is 36 mg, not 40.

Especially for their billing systems! (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105998)

I have had the worst trouble with any entity that I ever owed money to with doctor's offices. Thanks to the time it can take to go through all the insurance paperwork, it can be MONTHS before a debt is finally billed to you so that you can clear it. This only gets worse when you consider the massively outsourced structure of medicine today. I've had miscellaneous expenses from various outsourced diagnostic clinics that tests were sent off take over 8 months to reach me after a visit, and I've had to deal with phantom late charges generated two months after bills were completely paid off!

The last thing I want is a credit system determining how important of a patient I am based on the ineptitude of other doctors at billing me correctly.

I'm going to say it right now... (4, Insightful)

doyoulikeworms (1094003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105570)

Because I know the types of posts that are coming.

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

Re:I'm going to say it right now... (0, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105634)

Because I know the types of posts that are coming.

There's no such thing as a free lunch.


And no sense of common humanity, dignity and charity either.

Jesus loves you. He loves all greedy bastards.

Re:I'm going to say it right now... (2, Insightful)

doyoulikeworms (1094003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105678)

Please spare me your petty attempt to appeal to my morality. If you want to help people, do it out of the goodness of your heart, just as Christ would want. Don't extract wealth from the population through violence (taxation).

Re:I'm going to say it right now... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105706)

I wouldn't dream of appealing to your sense of morality. Frankly, I don't think you have one. Jesus loves those that keep their money close to their chests, buy Congressmen who will do exactly that, and piss on the poor.

Heaven loves you, my sociopathic friend.

Re:I'm going to say it right now... (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105902)

Jesus loves those that keep their money close to their chests, buy Congressmen who will do exactly that, and piss on the poor.
Sweet! I'm going to heaven, after all!

Re:I'm going to say it right now... (4, Insightful)

IQgryn (1081397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105758)

While it may occasionally inspire violence, taxation is not, in and of itself, violence.

Re:I'm going to say it right now... (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105866)

It's enforced with the threat of violence. Don't believe me? Ask Wesley Snipes what happens when you don't pay taxes for a couple of years.

Re:I'm going to say it right now... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105896)

He didn't just not pay his taxes. He attempted evasion. It's a crime. You see, civilization is built on taxes, whether that takes the form of currency or a bushel of grain. Without taxes, the whole things falls apart.

Civilization has been around in one capacity for another for about 8,000 years, so I'm surprised this hasn't occurred to you.

Re:I'm going to say it right now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22106004)

you don't get to be a cheapskate on paying taxes if you're using services that were paid with taxes it's as simple as that.

Re:I'm going to say it right now... (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105978)

No, but the current system is horribly, horribly broken.

The laws of economics pretty clearly state that socialized medicine will *never* be the most efficient system.

However, experience has shown us that it establishes an acceptable baseline, and generally works a whole lot better than the system currently in place in the US. According to the statistics, America's not doing so well at the moment.

Socialized medicine might not be the best answer, but it is one possible solution. Anybody defending the current system in the US needs their head examined (ho, ho, irony!). There's no free-market capitalism to speak of, and the HMOs are little more than the corporate equivalent of a socialized health system (but operate at miserable levels of efficiency, and tend to royally screw their customers). It's also rare to be able to choose your HMO.

Freedom and capitalism, my ass.

Wow (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105596)

that the same people who invented credit scores are working to create a similar system for hospitals [CC] [MD] and other health care providers.
Wow. So I guess these "people" don't feel they have enough power to ruin people's lives?

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105864)

I, for one, hope these people get cancer and die.

There. I said it.

While they are at it, can they track doctors? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105604)

I would agree to having my ability to pay shown to a doctor if a doctor is able to provide me a score of his/her ability to heal. In my experience a lot of doctors are tired, overworked, ignorant, and generally burnt out. I've been burnt out so I do not blame them personally but it would be nice if doctors had to prove them selves by showing people their resume, portfolio of patients, and some references; kind of like other professions that actually has to compete to get work.

Re:While they are at it, can they track doctors? (5, Insightful)

dmr001 (103373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105736)

If you want to look up my licensing status and any restrictions, as well as board certification, go right ahead - http://www.docboard.org/docfinder.html [docboard.org] . If you want to know if I'm a good match for you, you'll have to do the same thing as you would for your dentist, plumber, or lawyer - try me and see if it works out.

If you want to figure out how much I'm charging, good luck: each different plan with each distinct insurance company charges different prices for different procedures or visit types, which is often considered proprietary information so I'm not allowed to know or publicize what it is anyway, lest I collude with other physicians to get better a payment schedule.

And while some doctors may be competing for your business, as a primary care physician, I'm not - our practice (like many) limits new patients. I take Medicaid and uninsured patients along with commercial insurance, and my panel is overflowing. I'm happy to say I love my job, but the long hours, mountains of paperwork, and 13 year old car are typical of my colleagues - we're not exactly living high off the hog, or running our hands through a mountain of gold coins.

By law in the United States, no hospital with an emergency room can turn away anyone for needed care, but I can see why the folks doing elective surgeries might want to be sure you can pay your bill. This is America after all, and we are apparently a long way off from figuring out what virtually every other industrialized democracy has: private insurers are in it for the money, and are not necessarily aligned with your best interests.

Re:While they are at it, can they track doctors? (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106050)

If you want to figure out how much I'm charging, good luck
While you're figuring out what services I can afford, I'd like to do the same. I'm not exactly pleased at doctors who push all discussion of fees until after the treatment is done and the patient is already on the hook.

Re:While they are at it, can they track doctors? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22106070)

By law in the United States, no hospital with an emergency room can turn away anyone for needed care,

Not quite. They can't turn you away for an emergency. They can turn you away for everything else if you can't pay.

Sadly, since many people are unable to pay for their emergency care, the hospital ends up eating the bill. Some hospitals decide to close their emergency rooms as a result.

This only makes an existing problem worse. (5, Informative)

kamatsu (969795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105612)

In the United States, those in middle-to-low income groups often get very poor health insurance from their employer, or worse, depend on Medicare/aid grants from the government.

This means that only those with money have proper access to health care, treatment and diagnosis.

In Australia, private cover is only designed to be an add-on for existing government-provided cover via the Pharmaceutical benefits scheme and Medicare. Medicare levies are paid on an income-ramped scale, and you can be exempt in some cases from paying altogether.

In this way, those that can afford good health care (i.e high incomes) enable those who cannot (low incomes) with at least a baseline medical cover that is far more extensive than the government health grants in the US of A.

This introduction of a credit-rating style scheme only makes the problem worse. Someone may have been unemployed and become very ill, and ended up being unable to pay medical bills promptly/at all. They may later have become employed - perhaps even at a high income, but will therefore still be cursed with a poor medical credit rating and be turned away from healthcare.

No one should be denied medical treatment in this way, and the fact that this system is being developed suggests there is something wrong with excessively privatized health like in the United States.

Re:This only makes an existing problem worse. (1, Offtopic)

ilikepi314 (1217898) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105656)

And if someone drives themselves into a ditch and goes to the hospital, will it be possible to steal my identity and affect my health score now too? How easy is it to fix mistakes like that?

This is so backwards (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105626)

What we need is a way for people to reliably assess doctors and hospitals, including who charges how much, before handing their health and wallets over to them.

We also need real accountability for credit reporting agencies. Simply requiring them to change incorrect information after the damage is already for done and requiring each of us to police the companies on our own dime - is crazy. They're immune for normal charges of libel, and should not be.

What's up doc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105632)

Not my credit score.

There was an Opinion Article about this... (1)

dasunt (249686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105676)

In my local paper, there was an opinion article about this that pointed out that credit scores reflect (for the most part) voluntary debt, while medical debt is involuntary debt.

Most people can decide to buy a more expensive car than a less expensive car, or put a new TV on a credit card. But breaking a bone isn't a voluntary decision.

This will do more good than harm (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105686)

This is a good thing. We need more free market forces at work in medicine. The entire civilized world seems to have fallen into this belief that its normal for health care to cost vast sums of money even for relatively simple and routine things. We wouldnt have this problem of people not being able to pay for most health care related services to begin with if it werent for the fact that we have removed the efficiencies that should exist in a market based economy. If we simply did away with all of the things that cause prices to be artificially inflated like insurance (whether government or private) people would be far better off in the long run.

Re:This will do more good than harm (1)

Shajenko42 (627901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105838)

We wouldnt have this problem of people not being able to pay for most health care related services to begin with if it werent for the fact that we have removed the efficiencies that should exist in a market based economy. If we simply did away with all of the things that cause prices to be artificially inflated like insurance (whether government or private) people would be far better off in the long run.
And the AMA?

Re:This will do more good than harm (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105942)

The AMA, while it does some good things has done a lot to drive costs up as well. They make the barriers of entry artificially high in a lot of areas where it does not need to be. This restricts the supply of potential health care providers and as a result will actually decrease the quality even though their goal with extremely high barriers of entry was supposedly to increase quality.

Re:This will do more good than harm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105932)

This is a good thing. We need more free market forces at work in medicine.
That's rather... sickening... People shouldn't be dying because of their financial status... ever. The entire civilized world has the idea that it is civilized to leave your sick for dead if they aren't well to do and that is disgusting.

If we simply did away with all of the things that cause prices to be artificially inflated like insurance (whether government or private) people would be far better off in the long run.
you're not getting this so I'm going to explain it to you: the vast majority of people don't have thousands of dollars just laying around that they can use to take care of large medical bills. The point of insurance is to spread risk, to make sure that if something big did happen, the insurance would pay for it. that way you didn't default on your medical bills or worse, can't pay for life-saving medical care.

Re:This will do more good than harm (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105970)

you're not getting this so I'm going to explain it to you: the vast majority of people don't have thousands of dollars just laying around that they can use to take care of large medical bills. The point of insurance is to spread risk, to make sure that if something big did happen, the insurance would pay for it. that way you didn't default on your medical bills or worse, can't pay for life-saving medical care.
Insurance has evolved from something that was meant to cover catastophic events that the middle class couldnt afford to something that is driving costs up in all areas. Things like a broken leg should not cost the huge amount of money that it does now. The cost of prescription drugs is driven up dramatically because health insurance covers them. If the consumer was responsible for covering the cost him/herself they would be forced to price shop for different drugs and costs would drop dramatically.

To clarify my position I am not against the idea of health insurance for the very high end catastrophic needs. I am against it for things that dont cost fourty thousand dollars. If the average consumer bore those costs themselves, they would be far far better off for it.

Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105692)

Reminding me of this episode:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Care_(Star_Trek:_Voyager) [wikipedia.org]

I forgot what it was called, the something "quotient" which was determined by a computer.

Are they serious? (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105716)

Given the rhetoric of some politicians you'd think the health care industry would be trying as hard as it could to encourage people to support the existing system. Instead they seem bent on driving everyone to embrace socialized health care.

well, even in the light universe... (3, Funny)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105722)

Receptionist: Do you have a Q4A5 planet insurance waiver?

Xev: No.

Receptionist: A D-class standard waiver?

Xev: Sorry.

Receptionist: Any waivers of any kind?

Xev: No.

Receptionist: Then cash will be fine.

Xev: Pardon?

Receptionist: Precious metals or bankable equivalents.

Xev: We have no precious metals or bankable anything.

Receptionist: Then your situation becomes a class 1313.

Xev: What's that?

Receptionist: Ignored.

Xev: You can't do that.

Receptionist: I'm afraid I have no choice. Policy is policy.

Kai: We will pay you later.

Receptionist: I'm sorry, MEDSAT does not accept credit.

Xev: This is an emergency!

Receptionist: I understand. Please inform the next person to appear on the screen.

Xev: Hey, lady, watch! Lexx, blow up that little red moon we just passed.

Privatized health care taken to an extreme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105734)

Nice system ya got there. Up here in Canada, we're not quite that far gone (yet).

Time for DocFICO? (1)

Yahma (1004476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105770)

There is nothing stopping an enterprising consumer from setting up a DocFICO. Bascially a MedFICO in reverse, where the consumers would rate the doctors on their skills and possibly number of malpractice suits filed against them. Perhaps, something like this is needed to even the playing field.

But lets not forget that Medicine, like any other business, is a business, and the way that businesses stay afloat is by providing a service (or product) that paying customers will want. That being the case, someone found that there was a business need for doctors to rate their potential patients ability to pay. In the end, from a purely business perspective, this is not much different than Credit Card companies rating their customers ability to repay their loans. Perhaps, this is morally not the ideal path for us to be taking...

How about healthFICO score (1)

Newton IV (666922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105822)

Next step will be healthFICO score that will determine your eligibility for insurance and your insurance cost, based on your past illnesses reported to Equifax

tit for tat (2, Funny)

Uzik2 (679490) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105826)

Let's put up a web site where you can post the hospital's medical score.
We can see how many sponges got left in patients, etc. Just sounds fair to me.

Re:tit for tat (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106144)

Let's put up a web site where you can post the hospital's medical score. We can see how many sponges got left in patients...

Does this surgical error make me look fat?
     

Thank (Deity of your choice) I live in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105828)

Speaking as a Canadian I am incredibly grateful to live here. Two years ago I had an emergency appendectomy, overnight in ER, CAT scan, emergency surgery followed by a couple days of recovery. How much did this cost me out of pocket? Not a penny. You see we have socialized health care here, if you're sick you get taken care of and you don't have to worry about being bankrupt by the bill.

Add to this more doctors per capita than in the US, more hospital beds per capita, and a longer lifespan and I can't possibly see what sane or rational arguments Americans can make that socialized health care is worse than a pseudo-free market system like in the US.

Hmm... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22105868)

I didn't realize that health coverage was affordable in the first place that a person could actually pay for it. That's why my health coverage is a monthly membership to the local gym for the last six years.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Raptoer (984438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106056)

That's why my health coverage is a monthly membership to the local gym for the last six years.
That will totally help you when you're hit by a car, get some form of cancer, or rheumatoid arthritis, get shot, stabbed, severely cut, have a strong allergic reaction, ect, ect, ect. These types of things where you can do everything right, but still get screwed over by random chance, are why we have insurance in the first place.

The reality is that Socialized medicine is the real solution. However I predict that if it ever does become reality in the US, it will be full of all these wonderful loopholes, corporate deals, scams, graft, ect, that is such a great product of our Democratic Republic in the wonderful US...

Oddly enough, the people who do the legislation (senators and representatives, along with the president) get socialized medicine! I bet they just don't want to share!

Re:Hmm... (1)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106092)

You are 24, 27 max. You should think about things and get health insurance. I do not work for or sell health insurance, nor am I a doctor or a lawyer or in the pharm industry, but unless you are rich, you will need it sooner than you think.

pon raul the pussy doc (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22105930)

pon raul will save us all the pussy doc

No one will really stop them... (1, Insightful)

jbsooter (1222994) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106082)

from putting every aspect of our lives to an index. We won't be able to get good service at a restaurant because our ACTT (Average Cost to Tip) Index is too low and the waitress is busy working the patrons with above average scores. Frugal shoppers will be stuck in long lines in the grocery store because the index that keeps track of how many high markup, name brand products we buy won't qualify us for the express lanes for prefered customers. Our MedFICO score will be shot because the new wave of Medical History Theft screwed us up before privacy and consumer laws could catch up to the problems and we'll have to goto Mexico for our routine exams.

Unfortunately the people making these indexes never have to tell single mothers with starving children that they can't use their services. They give that job to the other single mothers with starving children that they've hired minimum wage to work the reception desk. If they did, they might realize that people are actually more than the sum of their indexes.

The Doctor Will SeeYour Credit Score Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22106090)

If you had to choose between paying for basic needs for yourself and family and paying big bills on time to maintain a perfect credit score, which one would you choose? This is a tough decision that many people have to reconcile. The practice of employers using credit scores to determine if an applicant gets hired for a position can obviously be seen as a social engineering tool. Just in this practice alone, there are ethical issues that rise to the surface. How can a credit score determine the true character of a person? A credit score cannot give account of the money lessons that a person has learned. A credit score cannot testify to the vision and long-range goals that a person has. A credit score alone cannot give accurate and realistic insight into a person's sense of judgment when it comes to prioritizing needs versus wants. Is this to say that bad credit happens to good people? The answer is yes, especially when a person that was not taught financial literacy [typical of public schools] finds himself unemployed or under-employed.

To base the quality of health care that one receives on a person's credit rating is downright unethical. It amounts to putting money (a replaceable item) ahead of life (an irreplaceable thing). A credit score is an algorithmically derived number that cannot predict if an individual would eventually become successful or productive years later. Just imagine a person that would have made a worthy contribution to mankind except for one thing: that person died years before because of a poor credit score!

Capitalism and Healthcare Don't Mix (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22106136)

nuf sed
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