Americans agree: nation's health care system needs fixing

dublinbay z6 (KS)

This is encouraging. Now if our politicians could just get together!

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"Regardless of party affiliation, nearly everyone wants to see the nation's health care system improved, and a majority want big changes. That includes people for whom the system is working well, and those who may be political opposites.

That's the big picture finding of a new Public Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos survey of Americans' attitudes on health care. The survey is part of the Hidden Common Ground 2020 Initiative, which seeks to explore areas of agreement on major issues facing the nation.

The survey removed politically charged language such as "Medicare for All" and "Obamacare" and simply explained the basics of health care approaches in an effort to capture voters' true opinions.

[. . .]

Instead of saying "public option" . . . , pollsters asked respondents how strongly they agreed with the concept of a new federal health insurance program that gives people a new choice beyond the current private insurance market.

Any adult could buy into the program on a sliding scale, they were told, and 48% were in favor. A survey released last week by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found similar support, with the same percentage of Americans favoring such an option.

When described in general terms, 46% of respondents said they would support market-based plans and 45% could back Medicare for All-type plans.

Five goals were rated by more than 90% of those surveyed as very or somewhat important:

  • making health care more affordable for ordinary Americans;
  • lowering the cost of prescription drugs;
  • making sure people with preexisting medical conditions can get affordable health insurance;
  • covering long-term care for the elderly and disabled;]
  • and making sure all communities have access to enough doctors and hospitals.

[. . .]

. . . When queried on the specifics, respondents said they didn't want moving from state to state to make health care any more complicated.

[. . .]

Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said most of all it's clear voters want something done about the prices they pay.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/red-blue-america-see-eye-100027288.html

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So we mostly agree--then why does nothing get done?

Guess we need to get rid of the politicians and their tag-alongs. The rest of America knows what it wants.

It's kind of like gun control or climate change reform: average Americans want some "controls" or "reforms" by wide majorities, but once the political types get involved, unanimity flies out the window!

The weakness of a "representative" democracy, I guess. It provides a loudspeaker for our disagreements.

Kate

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Comments (28)
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numbersjunkie

We, the American people agree, but the insurance industry is in control of congress. It's no easy fix either. Granting everyone access to "free" healthcare is never gonna happen until the costs come down and access is ensured. The profit motives are preventing that.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Per Trump, this was going to be an easy fix -- with lower premiums and better benefits.

Still waiting while Mr.-Know-It-All spends his time on the golf course, tweeting slander, and watching television.

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Ziemia(6a)

"Prescription drug costs are a major concern for consumers and a fiscal challenge for public and private payers. In response, lawmakers are considering a broad range of policy options, including allowing the federal government to negotiate the price of prescription drugs on behalf of people enrolled in Medicare Part D drug plans, a proposal which has strong and bipartisan public support (Figure 1).


Members of the 116th Congress have introduced bills to change the law and allow government drug price negotiation. "

https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/whats-the-latest-on-medicare-drug-price-negotiations/
We should require Medicare to negotiate drug pricing.

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Ziemia(6a)

The background:

"Even before the Medicare Part D benefit took effect in 2006, some policymakers were proposing a change in law that would allow the Secretary of HHS to negotiate prescription drug prices with drug manufacturers on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), the law that established the Part D benefit, includes a provision, known as the “noninterference” clause, which stipulates that the HHS Secretary “may not interfere with the negotiations between drug manufacturers and pharmacies and PDP sponsors, and may not require a particular formulary or institute a price structure for the reimbursement of covered part D drugs.” In effect, this provision means that the government can have no direct role in negotiating or setting drug prices in Medicare Part D."

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adoptedbyhounds

Given the size of our population and massive customer base, I am not understanding why it is left to Americans to subsidze drug prices for the drug companies, while Canada gets to negotiate lower prices for its citizens.

It wouldn’t hurt to have our government look into whether or not this arrangement, where Americans keep drug companies profitable by paying astronomical prices, and Canada gets to negotiate lower prices, is the best we can do. More equitable pricing for Americans is something our leaders should be looking into. It was the GW Bush administration that did not want negotiations. I would be more than happy to have President Trump negotiate a better deal for Americans.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Lol adoptedbyhounds the remedy to that is so very easy: empower your government to negotiate drug prices just like Canadians and every other citizen in a developed nation around the world have done.

Let the industry set the price and you get astronomical prices.

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Nana H

ABH, I am pretty sure HR 3 puts you on a good path to that. Starting off with Medicare and Medicaid. Maybe you should call McConnell and tell him to get to work. Then again they would lose all that Pharma money for their campaigns......can't be having that!

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shead

Maybe this comes shockingly, but I absolutely agree that the nation's health care system needs to be fixed. I applauded Congress for trying to tackle the issue under Obama's administration BUT the solution (aka "Obamacare") was not and is not the right solution. Obamacare only addresses it from the insurance POV instead of attacking it from the healthcare and pharmaceutical provider POV. Insurance premiums are astronomical because hospitals, providers, and pharmaceuticals have run amok over the last several decades. Billing for services is not transparent to the patient BEFORE the services are performed, either. People without insurance have historically been able to cut better deals with providers than those of us paying the high premiums each month but if the provider KNOWS you have insurance, they must file it. None of it is FAIR. Both Reps and Dems are to blame for this mess and most of them are in bed with Big Pharma. Capping limits on what a patient can be billed should have been done BEFORE Obamacare was implemented.

And while I agree that people with pre-existing conditions should be able to obtain affordable health care, I don't believe that my family's premiums should more than double per month (which they did) to account for that, either. Addressing rising costs of healthcare is a HUGE fail for both parties.

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Kathy

Until big Pharma and Big insurance are addressed nothing will fix it. Trump rolled back the profits insurance could make. It was limited under ACA to 15%. Now he is fighting in court to roll back the mandate, making it even more expensive for those who have healthcare.

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arthurm2015(Micro-Climate, Zone 10b Sydney, Australia)

Health care was discussed in the Capitalism V Socialism thread which has gone off to thread heaven.

Prescription only medicine costs in Australia are controlled by the Prescription Benefits scheme which no doubt you can google if you are interested.

I am a self funded retired person. Self Funded means I do not get paid the old age pension every month.

Difficult to talk $'s when the exchange rate has to be taken into account, But I googled Apixaban and found this.

"Eliquis Prices. This Eliquis price guide is based on using the Drugs.com discount card which is accepted at most U.S. pharmacies. The cost for Eliquis oral tablet 2.5 mg is around $501 for a supply of 60 tablets, depending on the pharmacy you visit."

Just taken my pill and this is what is on the packet.

Eliquis Tablets 5mg 60 Full cost $93.31

(Apixaban)

Cost to me $6.50

If I earned more than $87500 in a year I , no doubt I would pay the full cost.

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Nana H

How aware are the Americans here of the contents of HR 3? What do they like, what don't they like?

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loonlakelaborcamp(3 A/B)

Pharma costs are outrageous. Insurance reimbursements ridiculously high and erratic. However, if tort reform is not initiated, prices will will stay inflated for even office visits. One Doctor I worked for had to pay close to $300,000.00 a year in malpractice insurance -- without a single claim ever against him. How much do you have to pay for office visits to cover employees, rent, and malpractice (not to mention taxes, student loans, and a living wage for himself.)

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ohiomom

Trump alone can fix this ... since he has closed down the coronavirus, he should be able to tackle this by Monday. Trust him, he is the trump.

Obama is no longer president and he also had a republican congress, so inquiring minds want to know exactly what do republicans do?


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tryingtounderstand

It is amazing how insurance companies can get reduced costs from medical providers. I have witnessed charges or fees being dropped, bigly, depending upon who or what entity/organization is paying for the service.

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Nana H

Loonlake , that is one of the reasons my oncologist chose to leave the States and come to Canada . The malpractice insurance was absurd.

The other two reasons were the dramatically reduced costs in his staff adminisration costs. On two counts , they didn't have to deal with multiple insurance companies and he didn't have to provide health insurance to them.

The final reason was he didn't ever have to tell a patient that he couldn' t give them the care they needed because they could not pay for it .

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Chi

I remember when Trump lied and promised a better and cheaper option. Where is it?

The first very bipartisan step I would like to see is making ALL lobbying illegal. It's a fancy word for bribery for our politicians in exchange for favorable policy and it's not only legal but encouraged.

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elvis

adoptedbyhounds

Given the size of our population and massive customer base, I am not understanding why it is left to Americans to subsidze drug prices for the drug companies

I've been posting about this, along with standardized fees for medical procedures, a couple of times a year here on HT. Discussion has never gone anywhere.

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Nana H

Elvis, what are your thoughts on HR3 ?

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elvis

With respect to my last post, looks like it's been a year since I brought it up again.

elvis

From the OP: The price of medical procedures is still not being addressed by our elected officials (the price of insurance is not the same as the price of the procedures). Until they take steps to deal with that, playing around with insurance markets is just window dressing.

About every 6 months, I post the same sentiment here, and no one here has agreed yet. I say that until the cost of pharma and medical procedures is regulated, no national health insurance program will work properly. Until then, programs like the ACA are not much more than a gift to big insurance. Follow the money.

Like Save January 2, 2018 at 8:27PM

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tryingtounderstand

Elvis, I agree totally with regulation, especially with regard to big pharma. However, in a capitalist society, regulation in the free market would be difficult to accept.

In Canada, our govt negotiates with big pharmaceutical companies. Therefore, as everyone knows, our prices are way lower than in the USA. Keep in mind, that big Parma lines the pockets of govt folk (policy makers) so how much regulation and negotiation can realistically be had?

I am not sure, but in Canada I do believe medical services and procedures are set by the govt. Yet, our drs are not leaving to head south of the 49th, which they could easily do. They seem content to live and work up here.

I know of a few new drs, graduating from USA medical schools and returning home to practice. They have the choice too. One factor is the exhorbitant malpractice ins, costs. Other factors include office management (dealing with various insurance companies) and hiring personnel to do so. This of course, which the bottom line. Another, factor is basic values and beliefs re wether health care is a right or privilege!


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Nana H

Elvis, if McConnell and so many of his Republican Senators weren' t so beholden to big pharma he would allow the House bill which would reduce drug costs, starting with Medicare and Medicaid, come to the floor. I can't imagine there are many Americans who would not support that bill. It passed in a bipartisan way out of the House.

He won' t because it would tick of all those fat cat donors in an election year, screw up post Senate lobbying opprtunities and give the Dems a win. Can't be having that .....so do nothing and screw the American people.

My understanding from a few months ago is that there was a proposal being worked on by two Senators , Grassley and I forget the other one. Why not get them both out there compromise and modify as required? Go to Conference ? That' s how it's suppose to work not this stonewalling. Meanwhile big pharma continues to rake in big money at the average American's expense.

Think you'll be hearing a lot about HR3 in 2020.

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adoptedbyhounds

"Lol adoptedbyhounds the remedy to that is so very easy: empower your government to negotiate drug prices just like Canadians and every other citizen in a developed nation around the world have done."

Not easy at all. Citizens must first elect leaders who prioritize meeting the needs of their own citizens. We don't have that with Dems. At the moment we have a president who has successfully used his negotiating skills to benefit citizens with better trade deals.

But he cannot use those skills to negotiate for us on drug prices unless the law forbidding it is changed. Under Obama, the House was happy to upend our medical system with new laws, including punishment for citizens who didn't buy over priced insurance Obama claimed would save families $2,500 per year.

The current, Dem dominated House cannot figure out how to write a law allowing the President to negotiate for us. So decisions are made by drug companies and insurance companies. We deserve better.

Until Dems are willing to put their own constituents first, and rewrite the law, Americans will continue to subsidize drug prices for Canada while getting socked with prices middle America cannot afford.

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Nana H

"The current, Dem dominated House cannot figure out how to write a law allowing the President to negotiate for us."

ABH, maybe you missed it the Dems have passed just such a bill. McConnell is sitting on it.

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Kathy

Pelosi had to fight to get the loophole to big pharma out of the new Nafta bill.

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arthurm2015(Micro-Climate, Zone 10b Sydney, Australia)

I have changed Wacky and Wonderful into LL Land. Anyway, I remember when Medicare Australia was evolving, there were all sorts of medical insurance plans on offer, so many and so complex that you would have to be an Actuary to find the one that was best value.

I plumped for Private Hospital cover.

That is all I have.

No insurance and an income above X and you pay the medicare levy!

Insurance costs me $A3500 a year.

One basic feature of the medical system here is the most common fee which is set for nearly every medical procedure. Doctors can charge the most common fee. If they do the patient pays nil. If they charge more, the patient pays the Total Amount and gets a refund of the most common fee in his/her/bank account next day.

The System doesn't cover most dental. I pay real money there. Ouch! Nor does it cover most Physio.

Anyway, nothing will happen, mainly because voting is not compulsory or someone will trot out the cost of a million trillion dollars or it will be called Socialism.

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elvis

Nana H

"The current, Dem dominated House cannot figure out how to write a law allowing the President to negotiate for us."

ABH, maybe you missed it the Dems have passed just such a bill. McConnell is sitting on it.

Maybe between that ^^^ and the Senate bill, something will finally get done.

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adoptedbyhounds

"ABH, maybe you missed it the Dems have passed just such a bill. McConnell is sitting on it."

That's entirely possible, Nana! I miss stuff all the time.

When did House Dems pass legislation empowering the president to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices?

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patriciae_gw(07)

I am wondering what happened to support for unbridled Capitalism? I thought that Capitalism was our panacea for everything. Shouldn't competition take care of all these little glitches in your insurance and medical lives?

this is an issue that affects everyone. If not you yourself, someone close to you and here we have all these conservatives suddenly pushing market controls. ??????



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