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View Diary: Why can't we start our OWN Public Option? (215 comments)

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  •  doctors and hospitals, not insurance companies, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice in Florida, evangeline135

    are also the main reason for high costs.

    but unlike doctors and hospitals, insurance companies do not add anything.

    •  and also pharma and medical device manufact (3+ / 0-)

      urers...are a LOT of the problem

      when i read in article in huffpo a while ago and all the people were complaining, rightly, about an insurance company that dumped a kid who needed  prosthetic arm that cost thousands of dollars (and it would only last a year because the kid was growing)...but nobody was asking WHY IS THIS PLASTIC AND METAL PROSTHESIS THAT ONLY LASTS A YEAR COSTING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS???

      in europe it is probably, like, 20 bucks or something...

      •  When you have to keep full time staffers (7+ / 0-)

        to fight with insurance companies, well the $s have to come from somewhere.

        Pretty much every doctor's office has at least one full time employee whose sole job is to fight with insurance companies. One dentist office I went to had two dentists, two hygenists, and FIVE paper-pushers. Now that, dear ones, is insanity!

        Member, The Angry Left

        by nosleep4u on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 10:38:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My doctor has a staff of one (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Angie in WA State, evangeline135

          His receptionist.

          Because he takes no health insurance (if you have it, you can duke it out yourself). He charges the same rate as any other doctor I'd seen... $80 a visit.

          He draws blood in office.

          He's from out of country and very political and very against the way health care is set up in the U.S.

          I've zero gripes with him, except that I have to use free clinics when he's out of town.

          And also, I get better care because he doesn't have quotas to exceed that will "ding" him through the health insurance system.

          And as a good man, if I can't pay him, he'll just see me anyways. He has to be careful of malpractice and does pay insurance, and so keeps scrupulous charts. But he doesn't always charge when I've been short on cash. And we all got the swine flu and flu vaccine for free.

      •  You're my hero! (5+ / 0-)

        Thanks for bringing up this point. One of my biggest concerns in the whole healthcare "reform" debate is why medicines & medical devices cost so damn much.  The other is the "punishment" of people with pre-existing conditions, but that's for another rant...

        Blood glucose testing strips are grossly overpriced. They're just plastic, a little metal & some chemicals, but they're at least $1 each. Box of 100 strips costs >$100. I have to test at least 4x/day, so a box that size lasts less than a month.

        Insulin too is overpriced. It's all lab synthesized now & has been for years, yet it too is over $100 a bottle w/out prescrip coverage. I actually wrote a letter to the director of manufacturing at Lilly asking her what the cost per unit is to manufacture a bottle of insulin. Haven't heard back, naturally..

        The insulin pump I use has "pods" that I fill with insulin & adhere to myself. I have to change the pod every 3 days (to reduce risk of infection at the site). Each pod is roughly $45, so for a box of 10 (a months' worth) I would pay $450. My insurance helps some but I have to meet my deductible first since they classify the insulin pump & supplies as "durable" medical equipment. Yeah, something lasting 3 days is durable. Some may argue that I should just go back to injections, but being on a pump provides me with far more precise control of my blood sugar, which in turn reduces my risk of typical complications such as blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart disease.

        I've bitched about this in the comments of enough other diaries that I probably just need to do some research on the topic of overpriced meds & do my own diary. Someday when I work up the courage to post it, I guess...

        •  definitely worth a diary... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive, CKendall

          they are sort of a part of pharma, so I think they are probably benefitting in the same way from reform, i.e. the bill promises that they won't face price controls...

          i think evan bayh has gotten some taxes that were going to be put on them taken off the table...i think there are a lot of these companies located in indiana or something...that is what i heard anyway

        •  The cost looks to be rather less in the UK (0+ / 0-)

          The cheapest box of 50 I could find online was £19. Maybe mail order would be worthwhile!

          However, you can get these on prescription here, and since you use them daily you could then cap your totaol costs at around £90/year using a PPC (Prescription Pricing Certificate). My husband is on loads of meds so he has one of these, we make monthly payments to cover the cost of the PPC by direct debit, and his prescription meds are "free" at any pharmacy. BTW, docs here will often prescribe OTC meds as well if you need them, i.e. cough syrup, paracetemol etc., if they are concerned that you may not take things they recommend due to cost.

          This is not to say that all is rosy. See here for info on dificulties diabetics may have getting the NHS to prescribe enough glucose test strips.

          Political Compass says: -8.88, -8.67
          "We never sold out cos no one would buy."--J Neo Marvin

          by expatyank on Sun Dec 20, 2009 at 12:41:28 AM PST

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          •  Thank you very much for that link. My husband & I (0+ / 0-)

            would love to live in the UK (and yes, we may be starry-eyed Anglophiles) but there's so much to think about prior to making a move like that. Aside from finding jobs, of course. But the more info I can find, the better.

            Now, if we could only get more funding for research into a cure..... Then it would be a wonderfully moot point!

        •  Strangely this was also the case in China (0+ / 0-)

          But this year, as part of the medical reform legislation anout 1,000 of the most common medication were put on price controls resulting in a radical reduction in costs. I take a medication that was reduced from about RMB 200 to RMB 16.

          Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

          by koNko on Sun Dec 20, 2009 at 04:29:45 AM PST

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    •  Partly because they are responding to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, evangeline135

      pressure from the insurance companies.

      Insurers make more money when the thing they're insuring costs more. 5% of 100K is 10x more than 5% of 10K. Ergo, insurance companies have no interest in reducing the cost of procedures -- essentially, their volume would go down.

      They do have a big interest in not paying for procedures at all, as that's immediate cash in hand.

      Member, The Angry Left

      by nosleep4u on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 10:35:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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