SICKO what did you think?

citygirl

Registered
I am not a huge fan of Michael Moore & yes, I think he glossed over many issues with other health care systems. That being said, I don't think there is a reasonable person who would argue that the US healthcare system is in good shape.

Malpractice insurance is a huge issue & having a huge amount of consequences. There are doctors who won't perform certain higher-risk procedures due to the likliehood of being sued. If there is a problem in a surgery, for example, the entire surgical team is usually sued (even those who may have had nothing to do with the procedure itself). Doctors are paying outrageous amounts to carry that insurance.

On the other hand, you have the HMOs who squeeze doctors & only pay a fraction of the doctors bills due to negotiated rates. Ever look at a bill in the states? For example, my gyn charged $500 USD for an annual checkup. She was reimbursed $75 by my health care company.

And to self-insure in outrageously expensive. At my last company, health insurance was entirely employee-paid. This was a large company & we did get the benefit of being in a pool. My insurance as a single, healthy person was about $300 USD a month. I also had a $1000 deductible & co-pays on medication, etc.

Did I think his movie was 100% accurate? Not really but I do think he did a great job of pointing out that the US health care system is in a crisis right now...
 

chris

Registered
Citygirl, do you really think $300 a month is a lot for health insurance? I am paying 600 pesos here for a comprehensive plan and I have to pay 60% of the cost of medications. Incomes are hardly as high in Argentin as in the US, so the real cost of private insurance in Argentina (a necessity given the very poor quality of public hospitals) is quite high unless you have a plan through your work. You mention ridiculous malpractice rates in the US. True but doctors also earn ridiculous amounts!
 

auntieapple

Registered
I think Chris you need to change your health insurer. $600 p.m. plus 40% cost of meds.
I pay around $1,000 per month for a family of 3 adults and two children. Yes we pay 60% meds but the health care is fully comp, brilliant and I may choose any institution I like. This plan also includes all dentistry. Just for the record, Medicus have never refused any requested exams as many insurers do. I have had not only a baby with them but also major surgery and they have never batted as much as an eyelid when doctors have made investigation requests.
 

bigbadwolf

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"citygirl" said:
And to self-insure in outrageously expensive. At my last company, health insurance was entirely employee-paid. This was a large company & we did get the benefit of being in a pool. My insurance as a single, healthy person was about $300 USD a month. I also had a $1000 deductible & co-pays on medication, etc.
You were fortunate. If you self-insure, you can often be paying $600 a month for a bare-bones policy with very high deductibles.
The idea that physicians are raking it in should be debunked. People are leaving the profession: it's saturated, and the stress is very high. And it's not necessarily the medical work that makes it stressful but rather the hassle of having to deal with penny-paring insurance companies and working for HMOs who are now treating physicians like other workers, trying to get more hours and more work out of them for the same money. Paying malpractice insurance for those in private practice is another headache.
Yet another example of unfettered capitalism not working well with regard to overall social welfare.
 

chris

Registered
Auntie, I have OMINT. It is one of the best in Argentina, similar to MEDICUS. I can use the best hospitals in Argentina (Instituto Diagnostico and many others), I have dental coverage, I am not charged anything for doctor apts, lab tests, etc. It includes coverage in neighboring countries and some coverage in countries farther away. I believe 40% coverage for medication is standard with all plans. My plan is not the best offered by the insurer but one of the best. When I started it was $300 pesos which at that time was $300 dollars. I will not switch to reduce the plan by 100 pesos or so. There are benefits to staying with a medical plan for a long time and I am not going to risk that. My point was that $300 a month for medical coverage in the US, a country with much higher salaries than Argentina, is not a lot. I was also trying to point out that private health care in Argentina is quite expensive in relation to local salaries. You say that you pay 1,000 pesos for a family of four- Most people do not earn more than 1,000 pesos a month.
 

citygirl

Registered
Chris - my point is that I was paying $300 a month with the benefit of being in a pool. If I were an independent contractor, I would probably have been paying 3x that amount. If I were married with children, I believe the cost was about $1000 a month US.
And again, that didn't include vision, dental & had a $1000 deductible plus costs for medications, co-pays, maximum cap for payout, etc. And most doctors aren't getting "rich" being doctors. Btwn being squeezed by the HMOs & carrying the malpractice insurance (and lets not talk about the loans that they incur to go to medical school), its not exactly the most lucrative of professions..... PS- You might want to shop for insurance. I pay less than 300 pesos a month with Galeno for a very good plan (medical, dental, etc) & that includes international coverage when I travel.
 

Bill

Registered
Sorry for getting back on-topic here but I'll mention that I watched Sicko and thought is was like most MM movies; entertaining and filled with half-truths. Like the evening news, he tends to focus on the bad rather than the good. I'm sure there's millions of Americans that have decent healthcare.
MM is a hero in Canada of course. Serious rockstar treatment and it was a near riot when he showed up to sign books. His bit about the Canadian system was fairly true although he didn't mention waiting lists but then again, he didn't mention how low-income citizens get free healthcare. It's strange to me as a Canadian to hear about these insurance stories in the states since healthcare is such a standard here. It's law that you have to be covered.
Anyway. I liked the movie and recommend it. 3 thumbs up.
 

bigbadwolf

Registered
"NJCaramelo" said:
I just think healthcare anywhere in the world should be a basic human right.
Not in the land of the free and the home of the brave. And these bozos have been trying with all their might and main to export their neoliberal ideology of a stripped-down (if not now non-existent) social welfare system to the rest of the world.
The problem with jackass Michael Moore is he doesn't grapple with fundamental questions such as: Why has the US never had a universal health-care system? Why has health-care always been tied to the workplace, with the employer typically bearing the brunt (which they increasingly don't do now)? What is the ideology that allows HMOs and big pharma to get away with massive profits, while the health of ordinary people is of no concern? In Minneapolis, the Chairman of United Health took home a $1 billion pay package two years ago. Why is American food so adulterated today? Why is ir that industrial outfits can dump toxic chemicals into American drinking water in flagrant violation of health and environmental guidelines and get away with impunity? These are the things this donkey should be concerned with. But, nope, he's got to play to the gallery.
 

chris

Registered
Citygirl, Thanks for your comments. I don't know how much you would have to pay for a health insurance policy in the US nowadays. I imagine there are decent plans for much less than $1,000 a month however I would have to check. As for local insurance, price depends on a number of factors such as the quality of the insurer, whether the plan is open or closed, includes a dental plan, international coverage, the age of the policy holder etc. I have been covered by mine for a long time and will not change it to save 100 pesos. There are obvious benefits to being in a plan for a long time. As for doctors in the US, I have to disagree with you. Malpractice insurance is high but so are profits. Anyway not all doctors work for themselves. I believe that if they work for a hospital or a group medical practice they do not have to provide their own insurance. I have yet to meet a doctor in the US who did not have a high income, live in the most expensive neighborhoods and enjoy numerous perks.
 

auntieapple

Registered
Dear Chris,
I pay 1,000 pesos for a family of 5 not four and one of those is an 18 year old daughter so is classed as an adult. therefore 3 adults 2 children with, like you, full cover including abroad for up to two months plus dental. I thinks thats a good deal.
 
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