Originally Posted by zannej
Bud, I think comparing car insurance and restaurant meals to health insurance is like comparing apples to oranges.
Having a car is very helpful and there are times when it can be a life-saver to be able to drive away, but there are other people who can drive someone (not always, but most of the time) if need be.
A person can still get some less expensive food at grocery stores and such (if they don't live in a "food desert") and still survive.
But medical care is not something that can really be compromised.
Medical treatment requires very specific care, medicines, and procedures. People can and do die from lack of treatment. People don't die because they can't eat at a fancy restaurant and ones who are very desperate for food will pick through the trash (I've seen people doing that). But you can't pick through the trash for medical care.
I'm not saying we should bring all the medical prices down to an unfair level so they would need to make up for it in other ways. I'm saying we should bring it down to a reasonable level so that they are able to make a little bit of profit over breaking even as an incentive. When they have a test that costs maybe $5 to run and they charge $800 or even $8,000 for it, that is absurd. They can charge maybe $20 to $50 or even $80 if they need to make up for the cost of the equipment. And the more people that can afford it, the more likely they are to get $ from doing those tests.
As for the cheap/free clinics-- they aren't available in some areas. People might have to get a lift to places 2 to 3 hours away. And some people aren't able to get there. And places like Walmart (at least where I live) won't always let people have days off when they need to go to appointments or even when they have medical emergencies. The local Walmart here has fired at least 5 employees (that I know of) because they needed medical treatment. (Which is why I think they need to enforce the rules for the Family Medical Leave Act more strictly).
I'm not sure how I feel about a Walmart run clinic. Maybe they can pull it off in Canada, but not where I live. I know they sometimes have eye clinics at Walmarts, but actual regular medical.... I wouldn't trust them. I think I'd trust Costco more, but there is no Costco in my area.
I'm not suggesting that people just straight up get a free ride, but people should not be dying because they can't get medical treatment- and I do know that some hospitals will refuse to treat children because the parents can't afford it. I've had friends who couldn't get their kids treated for painful injuries/medical issues because they couldn't afford to pay the full amount up front and the doctor's refused to do the treatment without said payment. And if they were charging reasonable amounts or allowing payment plans, my friends would have been able to afford it. I get they don't trust payment plans because people don't always pay, but necessary treatment should not be withheld because of money.
Of course you are right comparing anything that is not exactly the same is comparing apples to oranges. Even when going grocery shopping for fruit.
Basically the discussion comes down to two or three things. The first being is healthcare a commodity like apples and oranges or a car, to be bought and used to make our life better and more enjoyable, or is it a right all men are entitled to give to us from God. Secondly is compassion to our fellow man that we should all have. The third item is cost and how far we should go with our compassion and then what happens when we hit the cost prohibited point and our compassion persists.
All people are different in their beliefs. Where I live we have a large Amish population. Their belief is they take care of their own. If they get sick they doctor themselves as best they can and when they canít they go see a doctor and insist on paying cash. If a kid gets a tooth ache they go to the dentist and tell him to pull the tooth out. It is their way and it is their right. They drive their buggies down the public roads without the inspections I have to pay for every year and without car insurance.
So letís assume health care is a right given to us from God. I think you will agree we need to put limits on it. I have needed reading glasses for the last 10 years and I would love to go get eye surgery and have 20/20 vision again. The thing thatís stopping me is my very good insurance says go for it and pay for it yourself because all they think I need is a 10 dollar pair of glasses from Walmart. I could make a case thatís not very compassionate. Or should we only be compassionate when it is life or death. Well that is a hard one also because most of the cost of health care is at the end of life. And who makes the call when someone is very old and wants a procedure that costs 100 grand and will keep them alive another 6 months.
No matter how much money is available and how low we lower costs there will never be enough and sadly people wonít get treatment with or without insurance. The goal of ACA was to insure everyone. All we heard about was the 14 million that didnít have insurance. Then lately if Trump had his way it would be 20 million. It would be easy to insure everyone if we lower our compassion for our fellow man to the point the funding will cover. We are all covered now. Granddad who is retired needs a knee replacement we take a look at his knee and we tell him you donít work anymore you are on social security here is a cane (next). Grandma needs a bypass she is 88 here are some nitro pills (next).
What level of quality do we expect and at what level of compassion do we show. We have a ER doc in our family and he tells me most of his 12 hour shift is telling people they donít need painkillers they are asking for or bringing back to life ODís with some expensive drug and then seeing them come back in a week later OD again. Do we lower costs and toss these drug users out the door and help some sick people.
We do agree on one thing if Iím having chest pain I would much rather go to Costco than Samís Club.