Healthcare... again

Discussion in 'Politics' started by GeneWright, Nov 16, 2021.

  1. GeneWright

    GeneWright Well-Known Member

    I have been living in Korea for a few months now, and i have to say, universal healthcare is way better than it's depicted by even the optimists in the United States.

    I've had 2 experiences so far (not many, I know) and they blow the United States out of the water.

    1. I needed a chest xray done for work. I went to a clinic, without notice, and at the time uninsured. I explained what I needed, and they signed me up. Within 15 minutes, I had done my x-ray, consulted with a doctor about the results, and was leaving. My work paid for this test, but the uninsured total was about $21

    2. I needed to see a doctor about getting local prescriptions for some daily medications. I set up an appointment for later that week. I'll admit, as a foreigner it was confusing as I went to a large university hospital, but there were people to help me through the system. This time i had my national insurance. My total for the appointment: $10. The meds, normally $30/month in the US, $12.

    The doctor's have been excellent, the machines are just as advanced as the U.S., every med or procedure you could imagine in the U.S. is done here, and I only pay $35/ month to the National Health Insurance. so what am I missing?

    One final anecdote: when I expressed my disbelief of everything to my co-workers. They replied, having both spent over 10 years living in America, "welcome to the rest of the world"
  2. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    I am glad you have had such a positive experience, Gene…. We do have such and inflated system here. The costs are just so darned out of whack. We have spent so much time building such a large feeding trough for special interests, pharmaceuticals, lawyers, insurance, etc. that anything we do is self defeating. The ACA only served to drive up costs. It is rather like keeping an old car running. We are past the point of keeping our system in place economically so we seem to be stuck with it. The only hope we have of getting our medical costs under control is to entirely dismantle the system and start over and that just doesn’t seem to be a practical solution either.
    ddddd likes this.
  3. GeneWright

    GeneWright Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately I think you're right, we do need to dismantle it and start over, but getting that done seems impossible in our current situation.

    On a personal note, my experiences here have given me a much more pessimistic view of the ACA. There were some great pieces to it, like allowing kids to stay on their parents' healthcare longer and blocking denial of insurance to those with pre-existing conditions. However, after seeing how things actually should be run, it's somewhat apparent that those writing the ACA were less interested in actually overhauling the system to help people and more interested in mandating people be customers of the massive insurance companies.
    Mopar Dude likes this.
  4. StankyBoy

    StankyBoy Well-Known Member

    For all I know, Korea does a good job with this.

    compare to NHS in the UK, or whatever is in Canada and you’ll see how poorly these things can go…

    i think a smaller population helps as well. Instituting this for 350 million Americans I feel wouldn’t be easy. Even 35 million like Canada is a lot of people to service.

    also, you’re lucky they took your X-ray, and that it didn’t fall into the black list of uncovered procedure.
    ddddd likes this.
  5. StankyBoy

    StankyBoy Well-Known Member

  6. toughcoins

    toughcoins Rarely is the liberal viewpoint tainted by realism

    Pass meaningful tort reform first, and everything else will not long afterward fall into place.
    Mopar Dude likes this.
  7. GeneWright

    GeneWright Well-Known Member

    Korea has over 50 million people for the record. As for Canada and the UK, it really can't be any worse than it already is in the U.S.

    With something like New Zealand's no fault insurance to go with it?
  8. toughcoins

    toughcoins Rarely is the liberal viewpoint tainted by realism

    Sort of, but going further and, while eliminating malpractice suits against practitioners currently-licensed at the time of performance, requiring re-evaluation for maintenance of licensure when something goes awry.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2021
  9. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    TC is right..... There is a great deal of malpractice insurance fees tied up into a typical medical bill. It is astounding the amount of insurance that a businessperson has to keep. I can only imagine how stiff a doctors insurance coverage is.
  10. GeneWright

    GeneWright Well-Known Member

    I looked into it, the average doctor pays ~$7500 in malpractice insurance annually and it has indeed been dropping in states where tort reform laws like hard limits on settlements exist. The problem is that despite this cost being surprisingly low (when compared to a typical medical bill) and dropping, medical costs have continued to increase rapidly. In a way, this makes sense.

    If we enact stronger national tort reform laws, the insurance companies may choose to pass those savings along to the doctors or simply pocket the extra profit. If they do pass it along then the medical industry may choose to make our costs cheaper, or they may also choose to pocket the profits.

    What I'm getting at is that I think the idea of a pre-dominantly for-profit healthcare and insurance system may be inherently flawed. There's a clear conflict of interest issue here in both.
  11. ddddd

    ddddd Well-Known Member

    The issue isn't the for-profit nature of healthcare but the cronyism and influence of the few big insurance companies. More competition and less regulation in the industry could open it up to more players, more innovation, and better service.
  12. toughcoins

    toughcoins Rarely is the liberal viewpoint tainted by realism

    It's not just malpractice insurance that drives cost. The extensive menu of treatments that people today resort to that people 50 years ago did not undergo very lengthy and expensive clinical trials to receive approvals.

    Long gone are the simple days when a stethoscope, cotton gauze and aspirin were the hallmarks of the practice. Today it's the MRI Scanner, 10 visits to the Physical Therapist and Xanaflex.

    These treatments are incredibly expensive because their costs of approval must be recovered from the marketplace. Our beastly bureaucratic government must find ways to make such approvals faster and more affordable so that its attendant high cost doesn't get passed onto the consumers.
  13. GeneWright

    GeneWright Well-Known Member

    So let's assume everything you said is true, why would costs be lowered if we made these changes? Why wouldn’t they just make more profit? Afterall, even though it's not entirely the fault of malpractice suits, lowering malpractice insurance (in states with stricter tort reform) has had no impact in those states on rising medical costs.

    Also, those tests you mentioned aren't uniquely hard to approve in the U.S. compared with other modern nations. Yet somehow they are uniquely expensive in the U.S.

    Another conversation with my co-workers that blew me away:

    Me: "I can't believe the xray and doctor visit was only about $20 uninsured. I expected the xray alone to be $100-$200 uninsured"

    Them: "No way you'd pay that much. It's not like you had a surgery done"

    That a surgery could even come close to that cheap floored me again. Bear in mind their system is far more efficient than ours and their medicine is every bit as modern and advanced as the U.S.

    One great example of efficiency is cutting out the insurance middleman. No insurers means clinics dont have to deal with claims being processed, what's covered and isn't is clear to everyone (no surprise bills either!). No insurers means patients can go to any doctor they like, no more dealing with calling insurance to see which procedures are covered or which doctors/clinics are "in-network" because they all are. No insurers means no complicated back and forth calls and paperwork between the patient, the clinic, and the insurance company where the insurance company is financially incentivized to cover as little as possible.
  14. c jay

    c jay Well-Known Member

    What legitimate business can give 75% discounts for being in network? Had a $6,000.00 ambulance ride get knocked down to $1,500.00 for "being in network". I covered about $300.00 out of pocket and insurance covered the rest. The ambulance was part of the fire department, which I believe is paid out of my property taxes. I think the numbers are fixed between the insurance company and provider, with the uninsured getting billed at full rate. I believe they really, really need to be regulated by price controls based on cost plus 10. They are begging for it. This unfortunately brings out the socialist in me. There is a time for regulation and a time for deregulation.
    GeneWright likes this.
  15. Profiler

    Profiler Well-Known Member

    $7500 for malpractice insurance is an average. The doctors malpractice insurance depends on their specialty and malpractice insurance is also applied to the hospital. Look up Atlas MD . Their model is close to what your describing for South Korea. Remember, the median income in South Korea is only $14,000/yr .
  16. GeneWright

    GeneWright Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is. I thought that was appropriate given we are looking at healthcare costs across the board as well.
    Not sure what your point is here. Can you clarify? I also dont believe that's true, or at least, I'm not finding that number. I know it's lower than the U.S., and if it is true, bear in mind cost of living (especially food) is ridiculously cheap here.
  17. GeneWright

    GeneWright Well-Known Member

    Just wanna revisit this to point out that Americans are not in good company with our healthcare system. We can and should do it, but we're heavily propagandized by both Dems and Reps to believe it's impossible or not in our interest.

  18. CoinOKC

    CoinOKC T R U M P - 2 0 2 4

    I believe that depends on WHERE in the United States you're talking about and WHAT specifically you're comparing. For instance:

    Groceries are 36% higher in Seoul than in Chicago:

    Just about everything is cheaper in Seoul than in New York City (but, who wouldn't have guessed that?):
    Nearly everything, but groceries is higher in Seoul than in Los Angeles. Again, I'm sure everyone would have guessed that:
    In the wonderful state of Oklahoma, everything except for restaurant prices are lower than Seoul:

    So, before making a blanket statement about the cost of living being "ridiculously cheap" in a certain location, know that there are many different factors involved, e.g., Location, Politics, Taxes, Natural Resources, Manpower, Geographical Anomalies, etc. that determines a certain location's cost-of-living.

    I urge you to visit Oklahoma City (my hometown) and see what a beautiful place it is, meet the people, view the natural wonders and experience everything Oklahoma has to offer. You may find that you enjoy a faster-paced lifestyle (albeit a considerably more expensive one) especially after you've experienced Seoul. But, please keep in mind, the cost-of-living changes drastically across the United States depending on where you go.
    StankyBoy likes this.
  19. GeneWright

    GeneWright Well-Known Member

    Interesting you should bring that cost of living comparison website up. There's a few caveats to it I noticed when planning my move.

    1. Seoul is bigger than NYC. By around a million people, however the cost of living in Korea is not the same as the cost of living in Seoul. I do not in fact live in Seoul, but I still live in a city with double the population of OKC, Suwon.


    Now it's just groceries making all the difference. But that brings me to point #2.

    2. How are the prices of groceries calculated? When looking at moving abroad, I realized that this website has a weakness, it indexes product (especially groceries) in an american-centric manner.


    As you can see, most prices are relatively the same, but there's a few items that go crazy and skew the numbers. Some prime examples: milk, beef, cheese, wine. Those are all much higher here. However, that's because they don't really drink milk/wine or eat cheese/beef like Americans do. It's a specialty here rather than a staple. Beef is always the premium restaurant item whereas you can get pork dirt cheap. How might the price index differ if they compared the cost of a mid-range soju instead of a mid-range wine? What's the cost of a slab of seaweed in America? How much is 떡 (rice cake)?

    So please keep in mind, the cost-of-living changes drastically across Korea depending on where you go and what you do.
  20. charley

    charley Well-Known Member


Share This Page