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Old 11-11-2012, 16:26   #286
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

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Originally Posted by propellanttech View Post
I love the posts which focus on the expense of the medical field in the US.

None of you know anything about expenses.

Let me explain why medical care is so expensive in the US:

When someone can sue McDonalds for burning themselves with a cup of coffee, this country has a problem. It is known as the legal system.
I'm so glad you brought this up, because that is not what happened. She didn't get an ouchie on her lip, she had 3rd degree burns on 6% of her body. She was hospitalized for 8 days. McDonalds knew that the coffee was dangerously hot, they had received multiple complaints about it, and they did nothing.

When the woman had extensive medical bills McDonald's refused to pay for her medical care, that they knowingly and negligently caused. She naturally sued to recover.

McDonalds was hit with 2.7 Million dollars in Punitive damages which was later reduced to 480k. The Judge called McDonalds' conduct reckless, callous and willful. That was TWO day's worth of coffee sales. And, near as I can tell, McDonald's coffee has not shot up in price as a result. They did make it edible though.

The Actual Facts about the Mcdonalds' Coffee Case
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Old 11-11-2012, 16:30   #287
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

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OHHHH yeah. $8,000 in the ER for me for what turned out to be a medication-induced panic attack. $8K (plus the ambulance) -- over a side effect. Oh yeah -- the cost of that medication, per month, in the US? $385 a month. The cost, in Canada, for the same med (generic, not available here)? $85 -- for THREE months. You can bet your bippy I got it from a Canadian pharmacy.
Last August, a couple of weeks before we were headed for a couple of weeks sailing on the Swedish west coast we were having a little dinner for friends.

I figured I should polish the wine glasses. Used a little too much force and the stem broke and I showed the stem in my left wrist, just below the thumb.

Apart from filling the sink with blood I managed to cut a tendon and a nerve for the thumb. My neighbor drove me to my local clinic (surgery over here) and the nurse on call fixed it up temporarily and said I had to go to the regional hospital 5 miles away (no charge of course).

Now not bleeding like a stuck pig any longer I jumped a bus (free) went back home and got in the van and drove over there. Checked into the emergency and within 30 minutes I was looked at (and sawed up) by the emergency physician and let go (no charge). For some reason the sawing up didn't work 100% and after a couple of checks by my local doc he feels we need to have it looked at by a specialist (no charge).

The stress or whatever triggered a major outbreak of Shingles (OUCH) late the same weekend. Saw my doc (both I and my wife have the same family doc - *great* guy) on Monday morning, got a supply of 800 mg Acyclovir (5 times/day for a week), a bunch of painkillers and a referral to a specialist at the regional. Saw him a month later, he checked me out, they took a bunch of tests (all came back fine) and decided to put me on a 6 month regime of Acyclovir 400 twice/day as they have had good results from that in the UK (you don't get the vaccine until you're 70 over here). My doc also gave me a subscription of a week's supply of 800 to have on hand if I felt another breakout would be coming (no charge).

Anyone having an idea of what all this would have cost me in the US without insurance?
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Old 11-11-2012, 16:36   #288
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

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Last August, a couple of weeks before we were headed for a couple of weeks sailing on the Swedish west coast we were having a little dinner for friends.

I figured I should polish the wine glasses. Used a little too much force and the stem broke and I showed the stem in my left wrist, just below the thumb.

Apart from filling the sink with blood I managed to cut a tendon and a nerve for the thumb. My neighbor drove me to my local clinic (surgery over here) and the nurse on call fixed it up temporarily and said I had to go to the regional hospital 5 miles away (no charge of course).

Now not bleeding like a stuck pig any longer I jumped a bus (free) went back home and got in the van and drove over there. Checked into the emergency and within 30 minutes I was looked at (and sawed up) by the emergency physician and let go (no charge). For some reason the sawing up didn't work 100% and after a couple of checks by my local doc he feels we need to have it looked at by a specialist (no charge).

The stress or whatever triggered a major outbreak of Shingles (OUCH) late the same weekend. Saw my doc (both I and my wife have the same family doc - *great* guy) on Monday morning, got a supply of 800 mg Acyclovir (5 times/day for a week), a bunch of painkillers and a referral to a specialist at the regional. Saw him a month later, he checked me out, they took a bunch of tests (all came back fine) and decided to put me on a 6 month regime of Acyclovir 400 twice/day as they have had good results from that in the UK (you don't get the vaccine until you're 70 over here). My doc also gave me a subscription of a week's supply of 800 to have on hand if I felt another breakout would be coming (no charge).

Anyone having an idea of what all this would have cost me in the US without insurance?
your house.
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Old 11-11-2012, 16:38   #289
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

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I wish there was more discussion about how Obamacare is going effect cruisers from the US and much less about the problems of US health care etc.

I guess the cost of US health care is a cruiser related topic in general. Bue all know the answer far as a cruiser is concerned.
As a fulltime US cruiser too young for gov supplied Medicare, health insurance is our single largest annual expense. We keep a catstrophic policy with $7k deductible. I only want insurance for extreme conditions. I can easily afford to pay for the day to day stuff in clinics outside the US. I am really insuring my nest egg, as major medical bill gets paid by the gov after I spend down all my assets - even though I've been a good working citizen my whole career, med care requires bankruptcy. The removing of pre-existing conditions from US policies will mean we will have much more choice as to the policies that make sense for us. Our individual policy went up 30% this year. It is now at tbe point that we need to make a change. We'll see how many choices we end up with over tbe next year. Obamacare maynot be the way I'd change the system, but it is a move in the right direction, i.e. away from profits only big biz system.
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Old 11-11-2012, 17:04   #290
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

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your house.
Yeah, I think you're pretty right on about that..

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Old 11-11-2012, 17:30   #291
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I wish there was more discussion about how Obamacare is going effect cruisers from the US and much less about the problems of US health care etc.

I guess the cost of US health care is a cruiser related topic in general. But we all know the answer far as a cruiser is concerned.
Don:

I think the problem is the bureaucrats are still writing some of the regulations for Obamacare over at Health and Human Services. As was mentioned this is really about regulating the insurance industry not a healthcare plan. We know some things are a given like insurance companies will have to insure people with pre existing conditions. Which IMO is a good thing especially as we get older and will tend to develop some new ache and/or pain or condition. For me I am still waiting to see if my $500+ bill for my group insurance plan will go down in price once 2014 rolls around. An extra couple of hundred bucks each month in the cruising kitty would be nice. But, somehow I don't see that happening. I hope I am wrong.
I think the prudent cruiser will have to pay for some type of Obamacare plan even if they can't use it while cruising outside of the U.S. Minor healthcare issues will be out of pocket expenses for them. The good news from some people I know who had health problems in places like Belize and some posts here those costs are much lower than in the U.S. and the quality seems very good. The Obamacare insurance might be looked at as catastrophic insurance when you want to be treated in the U.S. and will need to return. The big unknown is how one will be able compare the various insurance plans that spring up and finding doctors that will take the insurance. Yeah, you will be able to get insurance but, will you be able to find a doctor? After Obamacare passed my girlfriends doctor stopped taking Medicare patients and went to a boutique plan. Where for $1,000+ per year you will have unlimited visits and access to her via phone & email. More doctors might go the same route. Yeah 30,000,000 more people will have insurance under Obamacare but, will there be enough doctors who will see them? A big unknown at this point. You still might have to spring for extra bucks if you want a doctor on call.
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Old 11-11-2012, 17:59   #292
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

As one who has many likes and issues withI am pleased to see that this issue has been so well reviewed.
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Old 11-11-2012, 18:18   #293
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

Just my two cents but there is a big difference betwence insurance coverage and health care. There are/were lots of folks covered by Medicare/Medicaid that simply do not have a doctor/health care professional to look at the, figure out what is wrong and treat them. While most hospitals in the US will treat any one who walks in the emergency room the fly in the ointment is that you may have to wait in the emergency room for 17 hours before a nurse will even look at you and triage you to the next level.

In economic terms goods and services are rationed by time or money. If health care is rationed by money the big shots with the golden plans get the best care, if it is rationed by time the poor will still have to wait 17 hours in the emergency room; and perhaps more to the point even if you have bottom of the rung Obamacare you will still have to find a doctor that will treat you with that coverage as opposed to only treating patients with insurance that pays doctors better.
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Old 11-11-2012, 18:38   #294
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

This thread is at the point where I think everyone has had to voice their opinions on a very political subject. In general we do not allow gross political discussion on this forum, but healthcare does relate to cruising.

So has this thread ran its course? We are getting objections from some members who see this thread as far too political for this forum.

tookish, are you okay with closing the thread that you started? Do you have your answers?

Others, is it time to close this thread?
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Old 11-11-2012, 18:58   #295
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

The complainers don't have too read it and complain in silence. Reading it its a choice. I'm in my mid thirties and have gotten some good information from the thread. I'm not add into healthcare laws and rules like some on here that are older and have really used this thread to do google searches on points that others have brought up, especially healthcare in other countries. Please don't lock thethread because of the complainers.
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Old 11-11-2012, 19:06   #296
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

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Just my two cents but there is a big difference betwence insurance coverage and health care. There are/were lots of folks covered by Medicare/Medicaid that simply do not have a doctor/health care professional to look at the, figure out what is wrong and treat them. While most hospitals in the US will treat any one who walks in the emergency room the fly in the ointment is that you may have to wait in the emergency room for 17 hours before a nurse will even look at you and triage you to the next level.

In economic terms goods and services are rationed by time or money. If health care is rationed by money the big shots with the golden plans get the best care, if it is rationed by time the poor will still have to wait 17 hours in the emergency room; and perhaps more to the point even if you have bottom of the rung Obamacare you will still have to find a doctor that will treat you with that coverage as opposed to only treating patients with insurance that pays doctors better.
That's never been my experience. I suppose that in a very poor, very densely populated city center it might be possible for such a wait but it's far from the norm, and even with platinum insurance you'd have the same wait in that particular hospital.

Last time I went to ER was a friday evening and I was seen by a doctor in 10 minutes complaining of a kidney stone.
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Old 11-11-2012, 19:42   #297
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

No David I don't think it is time to close this thread

One of the great things about your country is the right to free speech.
I understand in some communist countries and dictatorships they actually
do try and censor what people are allowed to discuss on the internet.

This discussion has not descended into abuse. I am very proud of the fact that so many of our members are able to discuss without hurling mud.

To those usual suspects that would shut down an intelligent exchange of ideas
One way or another, may I quote Oscar Wilde –
“I may not agree with what you say
but I defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself”

To those complaining, I say “simply ignore the thread”
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Old 11-11-2012, 19:45   #298
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

I am certain there is inefficiency in the US system. However, I have been well taken care of by my private insurance without having to share my private information with everyone who works for the government. But to be honest, there is not a shortage of stories of people coming to America for their healthcare by our doctors, including Canadian politicians who I am sure get "better" attention then the ordinary citizen up North. \There is a reason the Senate, the Congress and the Executive Office have exempted themselves from Obamacare. I am willing to bet it isn't because they think they "deserve" less then those who can't exempt themselves. As always, follow the money ... or in this case, the health coverage. It is telling that Obama has exempted himself from "Obamacare" isn't it?

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Our Canadian medical costs as a percentage of GDP are 1/3 less than in the States. We live longer. I suspect there is a ton of inefficiency in the US model.
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Old 11-11-2012, 20:50   #299
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

David -

I had no idea the thread would have this much activity. I especially appreciate the international contributions and informative links. I have learned a lot, added to and subtracted from my Christmas card list and generally been very impressed with the flow of ideas. Let's just let the thread take its course and thanks for keeping it on track!!
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Old 11-11-2012, 22:07   #300
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Re: Obamacare = early retirement anyone?

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I am certain there is inefficiency in the US system. However, I have been well taken care of by my private insurance without having to share my private information with everyone who works for the government. But to be honest, there is not a shortage of stories of people coming to America for their healthcare by our doctors, including Canadian politicians who I am sure get "better" attention then the ordinary citizen up North. \There is a reason the Senate, the Congress and the Executive Office have exempted themselves from Obamacare. I am willing to bet it isn't because they think they "deserve" less then those who can't exempt themselves. As always, follow the money ... or in this case, the health coverage. It is telling that Obama has exempted himself from "Obamacare" isn't it?

Once a congressman serves five years they are entitled to wholy paid health insurance (and 100% retirement). Since the primary effect of the ACA is to require everyone to have health insurance, it's pretty much a moot point. Military personal, and a number of other people that have health insurance provided by the federal government were exempted. In part they were exempted to ensure that there weren't conflicts where the military/congressional health coverage didn't cover some required procedure as mandated by the ACA. It isn't nefarious, it's just to prevent conflicts.
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