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Let's really talk about Healthcare


john5746
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You're saying that the PBS doesn't deny drugs because they cost too much, but rather deny the drugs that should be easily affordable in order to keep a surplus for those that are not?

 

Justin, the PBS doesn't "deny" anything. The bottom line here is that it is a subsidy scheme, some products and drugs are subsidised and some are not. This is no different from any other subsidy scheme. Thinking about it, you could consider a lot of our system as a subsidy scheme. We are basically saying that we will subsidise your medical costs.

 

Wednesday morning I was short of breath (had been for a few days) and decided to see the Dr. So I phoned and got a 10.45 appontment. A full checkup, with blood workup and lung function, ECG, blah blah came to about $160. After paying the bill I went to the Medicare office and go the refund of about $140. So you could say that I was subsidised to the tune of $140 for that visit. Does thinking of it like a subsidy scheme make it more understandable?

 

And as to freedoms etc, exactly what freedoms does your system give you that our system doesn't give me? If you think that you will have to give up freedoms to have a UHC system then you must think you have more freedoms than I do. What are they?

Edited by JohnB
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I just thought I'd add that if you're really in a hurry for a checkup that doesn't cost, go to your local airport.

 

You'll get a free x-ray and breast exam for the ladies and if you mention terrorism they'll throw in a free colonoscopy.

 

There's always a cheap way out. :D

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JohnB,

 

I've been thinking about this subsidy thing for awhile. I have had a few conversations with Phi about subsidies before, and since, have come to the conclusion that subsidies do not fit in with my ideological view point. That being said I can see where in some cases they may be necessary, but even when necessary, undesirable from my point of view. Maybe I'm just a stickler on giving people handouts that I don't see as warranted.

 

Anyway...as far as "same day out-of-pocket expense" for a particular visit, I spend just about the same as you. Except... I don't have to go through the hassle of paying more on arrival, then having to go out of my way to get a refund.

 

The quickest answer I can give about what freedoms that my system gives me more than your's gives you, is that I have the freedom of not having someone dictate what I do, how I do it, and when I do it, just to get medical attention. Other than the normal constraints of a private business system. Which in my mind is more acceptable coming from a market rather than a government's political agenda.

It seems that people want all that's good and nothing that's bad, without realizing that everything good has it's bad points. In order for those people to control this they have to do so by government intervention. Doing things in this manner only make for a larger control by government, which equates to having more rules, conditions, mandates, taxes, crime, etc...

 

I just thought I'd add that if you're really in a hurry for a checkup that doesn't cost, go to your local airport.

 

You'll get a free x-ray and breast exam for the ladies and if you mention terrorism they'll throw in a free colonoscopy.

 

There's always a cheap way out. :D

Touche`, I never thought of it that way. The biggest arguments I've been in on that subject were about those things being more of an inconvenience rather than an attack on personal freedom. But that's another topic altogether.
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is that I have the freedom of not having someone dictate what I do, how I do it, and when I do it, just to get medical attention.

 

But nobody does that for me. I choose which Dr to see and when I want to go. (Within the usual restraints of appointment availability, but you can't always get a restaurant table when you want it either) If I have concerns I can change Drs or go to the GP for a referral to a specialist. I don't see where these limitiations that you think apply come in at all. I keep giving examples of exactly how I get medical treatment and Drs appointments under our system, where in any of them has there been any indication at all that anyone other than me gets to choose the who, why, where and when of my appointments? (Within the usual booking parameters of course)

 

My local medical centre has 10 Drs working out of it. I don't work 24/7/365 and neither do they so if I want to see a particular Dr then there are booking constraints, but this is true of any business. If I get p*ssed at one Dr I can go to another, hell, I can go to a different medical centre if I want to, there are no restrictions on me at all in this. I choose to use the centre I do because it's been around a very long time and has been my family centre since before I was born. A couple of the Drs there were giving me vaccinations when I was a kid. I know them, and they know my complete family medical history so I choose to continue giving them my business. I can't say it strongly enough, nobody dictates to me the how, what, why and where of general medical attention.

 

Even thinking of it as a subsidy really isn't correct. The rebate side of the system works exactly the same way as normal insurance. You pay a premium as part of your taxes and when you incur a cost you get cash back from the insurer, in this case the Gov. but it works like any other insurance. Pay premium -> incur cost -> make claim -> Get refund. I add that the only reason I have to go to the Medicare office is because I keep forgetting to give them my bank details. If I do that the claim is lodged electronically by the medical centre and the refund placed directly into my account with no paperwork.

 

The free hospital system does have some waiting, but that is triage and is also normal. Okay, you don't get a room to yourself and you will be seen by the Dr on duty rather than picking and choosing your own special Dr, but if you want these things then that is why we have private health insurance.

 

Anyway...as far as "same day out-of-pocket expense" for a particular visit, I spend just about the same as you. Except... I don't have to go through the hassle of paying more on arrival, then having to go out of my way to get a refund.

 

You get a checkup, with blood tests and lung function for $20?

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