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The new Massachusetts health plan, the first in the U.S. requiring all residents to have medical insurance, won the approval of the federal government, helping to ensure medical coverage for the state's poorest citizens.
That doesn't sound right....it makes it sound like how car insurance is 'required'. Will ppl get fined or punished if they don't buy health insurance?

Anyone have more links/info?
 

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Hospital emergency rooms have been becoming the point of call for treatment of people with no cover. This should change when the new law starts increasing the number of people with cover. Emergency rooms are not allowed to refuse treatment.
So, will they now start refusing treatment...or what?
 

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That doesn't sound good actually...if health insurance is required, then in theory, ER's could turn people away. Scary.
 

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I'll reserve judgement either way until I find out if Mass. government is giving the people healthcare, or simply requiring that they have health care. There is a huge difference, IMO.
 

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Yes, I beleive you are required to have it. I think they have extended who is eligible for state funded, but there are still going to be those people who fall between the cracks: make too much to get state funded, but really don't make enough to buy their won. I'm not sure what happens if you don't have it. The one thing I like is that businesses who won't offer it to their employees have to pay into the state funded insurance.

I'm sure someone who has followed this more closely can give more info.
 

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Actually my husband just wrote a paper about what single payer insurance is and that is what Massachusetts is going for. Coverage is compulsory but its compulsory because the state will be offering it. Where everyone has coverage regardless of income and job status. I absolutely think that businesses and workers should have to pay taxes to get health coverage if the state is going to act like the insurance company (like Canada only tweaked a little). This sort of reform is going to hurt at the start but I have very high hopes for it! Turning people away won't be an issue because everyone WILL have access to health insurance, hence will be able to pay for health care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by BathrobeGoddess
Actually my husband just wrote a paper about what single payer insurance is and that is what Massachusetts is going for. Coverage is compulsory but its compulsory because the state will be offering it. Where everyone has coverage regardless of income and job status. I absolutely think that businesses and workers should have to pay taxes to get health coverage if the state is going to act like the insurance company (like Canada only tweaked a little). This sort of reform is going to hurt at the start but I have very high hopes for it! Turning people away won't be an issue because everyone WILL have access to health insurance, hence will be able to pay for health care.
Well said! I think that even if some people fall through the cracks (which is a bad, bad thing) fewer people will be without care. I don't think (from what I've read and know about the Canadian system) that this means that people will be forced to get biomedical care they don't want. I do think it means fewer people will end up in financial ruin because of lack of care.
 

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Originally Posted by Synthea™
That doesn't sound good actually...if health insurance is required, then in theory, ER's could turn people away. Scary.
Insurance companies are already making the decisions on care instead of the doctors. The ER is the only place that doesn't turn anyone away in an emergency. How are they going to ask for insurance if you're unconscious, ykwim?

John Kerry was here last weekend speaking about Health Care. I'm glad to see he's in tune with his State. He actually wants everyone to have access to the same care the Congress does. Personally, I need visuals to understand all this crap.
 

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From the link in the OP...

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The state's universal health insurance program will use a combination of subsidies and penalties to make coverage more affordable and to encourage people to buy it.
What are the penalties and who is going to be getting wealthy from this law?
 

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The agreement, announced Tuesday, allows the state to implement its revolutionary program in which 100,000 of the poorest people will be added to the federal Medicaid rolls; another 200,000 previously uninusured will receive premium assistance to buy low-cost insurance; while an additional 200,000 will be required to sign up for low-cost programs that will be offered by private insurers.
http://www.thedailystar.com/news/sto.../28/talk8.html

Since I can't find a copy of the plan online, I can't tell.
 

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But this is ridiculous:

Quote:
Percentage of national economy (GDP) spent on healthcare (2002)
(Source: WHO)

USA 14.6%
Universal cover NO

Life expectancy at birth (years): male 75.0 female 80.0

UK 7.7%
Universal cover YES
Life expectancy at birth (years): male 76.0 female 81.0

Canada 9.6%
Universal cover YES
Life expectancy at birth (years): male 78.0 female 82.0

France 9.7%
Universal cover YES
Life expectancy at birth (years): male 76.0 female 84.0
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/heal...p?newsid=41708

And I think we can learn from other governments.
 

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Originally Posted by Danelle78
But this is ridiculous:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/heal...p?newsid=41708

And I think we can learn from other governments.
There's a very easy answer to the question of why U.S. costs are so high even though healthcare here is so abysmal and out of reach for many. : Most of the money the U.S. spends on healthcare is related to administration costs. In countries where you don't need five people looking over every claim to decide why to deny it, the costs are much less expensive. Also, the U.S. model of treating disease rather than preventing it has a huge impact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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Originally Posted by MountainLaurel
There's a very easy answer to the question of why U.S. costs are so high even though healthcare here is so abysmal and out of reach for many. : Most of the money the U.S. spends on healthcare is related to administration costs. In countries where you don't need five people looking over every claim to decide why to deny it, the costs are much less expensive. Also, the U.S. model of treating disease rather than preventing it has a huge impact.
It also has to do with the absense of evidence based medicine. Medicine in the US embraces many "normal" (expensive) procedures that are often not necessary and even harmful. The two areas in which these are most prevalent are of course, OBGYN (episiotomy and c section come to mind) and end of life care. Circ is another example. When the government pays for care, they are a lot more open to cost saving measures (one of the main reasons why midwifery is covered in Canada and the UK- is what we all know- it is much, much cheaper than a medicalized birth).
 

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Originally Posted by swimswamswum
It also has to do with the absense of evidence based medicine. Medicine in the US embraces many "normal" (expensive) procedures that are often not necessary and even harmful. The two areas in which these are most prevalent are of course, OBGYN (episiotomy and c section come to mind) and end of life care. Circ is another example. When the government pays for care, they are a lot more open to cost saving measures (one of the main reasons why midwifery is covered in Canada and the UK- is what we all know- it is much, much cheaper than a medicalized birth).
You're absolutely right, although hopefully that will be changing slowly. I work at an academic medical center and help teach an EBM workshop to third-years. So at least new doctors going out there are being taught to incorporate EBM into their practice. But until then, we still have to deal with the fact that it takes 10 years for new research to be incorporated into a doctor's daily practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I work at a med school too (as a GA). My department has some people who've published a lot about EBM and birth and it really is amazing how many harmful practices become part of the "culture" of medicine. I agree that things are changing slowly.
 

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Originally Posted by swimswamswum
I work at a med school too (as a GA). My department has some people who've published a lot about EBM and birth and it really is amazing how many harmful practices become part of the "culture" of medicine. I agree that things are changing slowly.
DH's employeer offers insurance but they don't pay for it. We declined it becuase it was $480 a month. There is no way we can take on a $500 a month payment for something that in all honestly we rarely use.

Instead DH has about $2,000 a year put in a flex account. We use this for our medical care and pay the doctors cash. We have had several doctors actually discount the bill because we were paying cash instead of insurance too. (They charged me $136 for my ultra sound as opposed to their stated rate of $240.)
 
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