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The Dummy's Guide To Healthcare

Tyler Durden's picture


Initially presenting the potential problems of our current healthcare environment, the creator of 'the bears that explained Quantitative Easing' provides much food for thought on the unintended consequences of Obamacare (in all its 2700 page glory). For everything you need to know about how it devolved to this ("To understand healthcare in America, you have to think about bananas") and how to think about the new tax's potential implications (e.g. lower quality of service, capped hiring rates among employers), seven minutes well spent.


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Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:11 | 2573969 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I put up my own hit piece on Obamacare at my blog.  Because Obamacare is SO big and complicated, I could not cover all bases.  But, I covered some of them.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:18 | 2574244 surf0766
surf0766's picture

Good read. Thanks

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:48 | 2574384 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Thank you!  Bloggers depend on the kindness of strangers to read their stuff.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:59 | 2574676 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Obamacare is another entitlement program that will increase the size of the federal government.  Few people understand the economics behind this massive undertaking and the damage it will permanently cause the economy.

In 2011 the total federal, state, and local portion of the GDP for the USA was 41.9%.  In previous decades it was typically 36.9% up to 2006.  In 2007 the percentage jumped to 39.1% and has been above 40% ever since.  The federal portion of the GDP is 24.3% with the remaining 17.6% allocated to state and local governments. 

The USA ranks 7 out of 32 OECD countries for the size of the government sector.  Only Australia 35%, Estonia 38.1%, Korea 30.9%, Slovakia 39.4%, Switzerland 34%, and Turkey 36.3% have smaller public sectors.  Demark has the highest public sector, 59.3%. 

This is vitally important for long term economic growth.  Andreas Bergh of Lund University has shown that for every 10% of government consumption of the GDP economic growth is lowered 0.5% to 1%.  Over decades this can be seen when comparing the economies of the USA and the high tax European economies. 

The German purchasing power parity is only 79% that of a US citizen, $37,900 versus $48,100, France 73% and England 75%.  Past government consumption was limited in the United States to around 36% while in Germany 48% was typical and in France 52%.  Over decades the small differences add up to large discrepancies in living standards.

Currently in the USA 18% of the GDP is devoted to medical care.  With Obamacare a portion of the private health care market for employers able to afford it would remain private.  Federal and state governments through Medicaid, Medicare, Schips, VA, and other government programs currently control 47% of the health care dollar. 

With Obamacare a two tier system would quickly emerge.  Those with private insurance and those on the government run program.  An estimate of this would put the government control of the health care market with Obamacare up to 75%.  This would increase the federal governments control over the GDP from 24.3% to close to 30% of the GDP and total government consumption up to 48%.

In the post WWII history of tax collections for the federal government the most revenue collected as a percentage of the GDP was 20.6% in 2000.  This happened once in 67 years of tax collections.  Typical years the taxes collected were 18%.  Currently because of the poor economic performance only 15.4% of the GDP was collected in taxes in 2011. 

To cover the expansion in the scope of the federal government services massive tax confiscation efforts will be needed to pay for federal programs.  Going from 15.4% of the GDP collected in taxes to 30% by 2014 will create huge economic disruptions in the economy, massive unemployment and reallocation of workers never seen in the history of the USA.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:02 | 2574687 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Good video Tyler.  Good explanation of the third party payer system.  There I gave you a compliment.  Now I am going to spinner class and then hitting the JD.

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 00:44 | 2575438 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Bananas. Fitting allegory for a Banana Republic.

Free Shit 2012!!!

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 08:31 | 2576231 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture




All your children now work for me.....undoing 147 years of Abe Lincoln's folly.


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 19:01 | 2574955 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Economy is already damaged by the cost of healthcare. US pays twice what most countries do per capita. And with it being employer provided, that's a huge cost that employers don't have to pay in other countries.

We spend a big chunk of our GDP on Afghanistan, etc. No benefit to average citizen unless you believe this is somehow preventing another terrorist attack.

Denmark has a higher self reported happiness factor than US. So do most other countries in Europe with high government spending as %GDP.

Germans have 79% purchasing parity of US? How did you get this? In Germany mothers don't usually work. People who do work often work 35 hours a week. Health care costs half as much as US. A big chunk of US GDP is financial engineering that actually produces negative wealth. Another big chunk is wars and weapons. German unemployment less than half US and a German high school graduate can actually make a decent living. Not so much US. All this with almost  no natural resources and surrounded by countries that they regularly had wars with. German auto worker makes more than US working for the same company.


US per capita income and standard of living has been either flat or declining for decades despite more people per family working.





Fri, 06/29/2012 - 20:16 | 2575096 economics9698
economics9698's picture

I use the CIA world fact book for my GDP numbers or the OECD numbers.  The CIA web site is readily available. 

Watch the video and it does a excellent job of explaining why we pay 18% if the GDP in health care when it should be 12% to 14%.  Government interference in the marketplace with corporate health insurance, government programs pumping billions into the industry, and so forth.

The video did a great job; I think I will use it for my blog on health care.  What I posted above was my rough draft.   

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 21:43 | 2575233 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

I don't believe the government interference in the marketplace is the problem. Already many doctors refuse to accept Medicare patients because the reimbursement is too low..

One reason we pay such a high percentage of GDP is because of the lack of the single payer system. About 30% is consumed by insurance companies. For example, I just screwed around for 4 weeks for a medical test for one of my kids between a  regular doctor, a specialist and the insurance company and the insurance company would not pay for it. Turns out it only cost $200. Each of those 3 parties probably spent that much screwing around arguing about whether it was necessary.


Medicare is rife with fraud partly because the government is largely prohibited from investigating it except in the most outrageous cases. Not that the record of the SEC inspires any confidence in this regard but this could be outsourced.


Likewise, drug companies have made it illegal for Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices which is what most countries do. If they did, it would stifle innovation? The most significant drug development in reducing medical costs since antibiotics was anti-ulcer developed in socialist Australia.



Tue, 08/14/2012 - 22:56 | 2705784 SteinRobyn17
SteinRobyn17's picture

Everything in this video is asleep on the money. If Obamacare is not repealed, aggregate will disentangle absolutely as described. No one can altercate with what is presented here. Unfortunately, it doesn't amount one whit, because we accept been accomplished to amount activity aloft thinking. Activity will win the day, but "feeling" will never get you to these conclusions. The abstracts are cold-hearted, so they MUST be amiss ... or so we will be told.? I accept a actual bad activity about the future. Sarasota Florida Medicare Supplement

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 15:50 | 2815985 SteinRobyn17
SteinRobyn17's picture

They are not talking about arcade about for the insurance. They are adage humans don't shop? about for cheaper medical casework because they alone pay their copay and the allowance aggregation has to aces up the rest. This agency humans are accommodating to get added abundant and added big-ticket tests than are all-important as it does not anon affect their finances.Best at Home Teeth Whitening

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:45 | 2574606 dognuts
dognuts's picture

End end game in health care is to have everyone on Medicare.  I give it at most 10 years and everyone in the country will there.  One by one the insurance companies will stop coverage and you will be forced into Medicare.  Than just one more reason to rely on the government.  They know it.  Once this puppy start there's no going back.  

Just wait until you see the items we will be forced to buy in the name of national security. 


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:55 | 2574645 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



...end game in health care is to have everyone on Medicare.

Really?  To be eligible for Medicare you must be 65 years old, or...


Before age 65, you are eligible for free Medicare hospital insurance if:

  • You have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for 24 months; or
  • You receive a disability pension from the railroad retirement board and meet certain conditions; or
  • If you receive Social Security disability benefits because you have Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis); or
  • You worked long enough in a government job where Medicare taxes were paid and you meet the requirements of the Social Security disability program; or
  • You are the child or widow(er) age 50 or older, including a divorced widow(er), of someone who has worked long enough in a government job where Medicare taxes were paid and you meet the requirements of the Social Security disability program.
  • You have permanent kidney failure and you receive maintenance dialysis or a kidney transplant and:
    • You are eligible for or receive monthly benefits under Social Security or the railroad retirement system; or
    • You have worked long enough in a Medicare-covered government job; or
    • You are the child or spouse (including a divorced spouse) of a worker (living or deceased) who has worked long enough under Social Security or in a Medicare-covered government job.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 20:19 | 2575103 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Are you being intentionally dense?  I just wrote up the 2022 eligibility requirements:

1.  USA residency

2. A pulse.

There.  I also simplified things, as well

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 08:37 | 2576250 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Gonna need a Doctor with a pulse willing to help you.....that ain't gonna happen.


Sat, 06/30/2012 - 18:34 | 2577680 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

That's right, so be sure to write your congressperson.

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 16:24 | 2577564 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

There is Medicare and Medicaid.  (medicare for over 65, medicaid for everyone else)

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:43 | 2574771 ATM
ATM's picture

The entire system will have blown up before then. In 10 yrs there will not be a US Dollar being used as currency. It will have imploded and a new money will be used. That also means that our government will have collapsed as well. Obamacare or no Obamacare does not matter at this point. We have reached the mathematical point of no return. The debt cannot be serviced without real economic growth but you cannot have real economic growth while servicing the current debt load.

It is on to a debt death spiral and nothing is going to stop it. I feel that all of these socialist type laws, all the big brother invasions of privacy are to try to condition us for the new system but it will backfire on TPTB who are doing these things to try to come out the other side in fully charge. They will not.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 19:14 | 2574986 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

When the governments money dies so do it's laws. The USA has already exceeded the time this happens for all governments. I hope I live to see the reset happen.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 20:16 | 2575100 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Sooner than you think.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 20:22 | 2575107 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

How many times have Latin American countries devalued and issued new currencies?  Did the countries or even the governments disappear?  Nope.  Did the underclass or entitlements disappear?  No and typically, no.  But somebody will get completely bent over.  Guess who?

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 00:56 | 2575449 economics9698
economics9698's picture

What ends up happening is you pay $13 for a Big Mac meal and $23 for a spaghetti dinner with no drink.  Crime quadruples and people kill each other all the time.

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 18:36 | 2577683 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

I don't know about the food, but the crimes will happen.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 21:45 | 2575238 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Really? I keep reading that fewer and fewer doctors accept Medicare because it pays too low. So if you actually want a doctor you can see you still have to pay. Wish that was not the case.


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 23:56 | 2575375 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Quite a few fux posting here voted for this in 2008.


Sat, 06/30/2012 - 07:18 | 2575890 Chaffinch
Chaffinch's picture

Cut military budget by 98%. Cut cost of Big Government by 99%. Cut insurance companies 100%. Cut banks 99%. Cut lawyers 99%. Too much of our resources going towards blowing people up and politicians and paper pushing / button pushing. Cut the bureacracy and concentrate on caring for sick people. Use taxes to educate doctors for free and hire qualified doctors at max $100,000 a year and provide free health care. Cut politicians salaries to $50,000 max until US debt reduced to zero. Only those with a vocation need apply. (And for those seeking to enhance a politician's $50k salary with bribe money, just dare to try it -zero tolerance!) When US can reduce $16 trillion to zero then think about paying doctors a bit more, but in the meantime only hire those happy to cure sick people for a reasonable professional salary.

Scrap the PPT and put them in jail. Scrap derivatives. Scrap naked short selling. Jail Corzine, Dimon and Blankfein. Re-create stock market on a capitalist model, so that it can operate as an efficient distributor of capital.

Scrap fiat because politicians can't handle the temptation inherent in paper money they can just print.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:08 | 2573973 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Only medical insurance is corrupt.


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:22 | 2574015 vato poco
vato poco's picture

"Just as any conscientous shepherd cares for the health of his flock (before he delivers them to the slaughterhouse), so it is with your friend & shepherd Big Brother and you!"

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:24 | 2574024 King_of_simpletons
King_of_simpletons's picture

Obamacare = Ponzi scheme, just like social security and medicare.

With an aging population & declining birthrates, the whole kaboodle will collapse.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:49 | 2574080 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

"We don't care if you don't eat your banana, we only tax you if you don't buy it."


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:54 | 2574142 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Wait, why does no big pharma fit into this?

I guess I am the dummy.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:07 | 2574179 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Beacause the Republican-controlled House and Bush administration took care of them back when Bushcare Medicare PartD was put into place. 

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:40 | 2574090 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:57 | 2574156 Plymster
Plymster's picture

I junked you because you don't have enough HAs.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:21 | 2573979 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Excellent work!  Everything in the video is spot on.  I have had two employees tell me, today, that health insurance premiums will be going down.  I explained why this is not true.  Not only because of supply and demand, but also due to the inflation tax to pay for other people's free lunch healthcare. 

We used to pay for health insurance for all of our employees.  When the taxes increased with ObamaCare, we decided we did not need to pay twice, so we eliminated healthcare benefits and limited our companies (fired people) to below 50 employees.  Now, all those employees will have gone from getting free healthcare from their employer to paying a fine tax, and not having any healthcare benefits, because the fine will be less than the premiums.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:21 | 2574010 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Big bro Googs doesn't hire people over 40 cuz that's the ripe age when you become an increased liability. Their gameplan is in milking the shit out of a batch of 22 - 38 year olds and moving on to the next batch. An  older professor I had a few years ago, he said that his buddy, a brilliant guy with a PhD in Mathematics, got turned down by that shitcorp just for being in his late 50s. My professor friend will be an expert witness testifying in an age discrimination case against big bro.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:54 | 2574144 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Below 50 is the number of employees, not the age, which exempts employers from providing healthcare under Obamacare.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:48 | 2574788 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Yeah, I know. I was just mentioning the kind of age discrimination you end up seeing in corporate hiring practices now because of healthcare costs. Young people are easier to mold, order around, overwork, and dispose...

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 23:28 | 2575334 i-dog
i-dog's picture

I'm over 60 yet, for decades, I have aimed to only hire people between 24 and 32. Below 24, they generally don't have enough real world experience to properly apply their academic theories...above 32 they seem to think they should "manage" rather than "do"!

I also prefer to hire females, particularly in management positions, because males are generally just looking for ways to steal your customers and ideas and start up in competition with you (which just happened to me *again* last year...this time losing the whole freaking business and a seven-figure nestegg!).

It's my money and my business, so I'll hire who the fuck I want!

Junk away, entitlement pansies!

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 17:38 | 2577639 NOTfromSanFrancisco
NOTfromSanFrancisco's picture



Wow!... 4 pluses and no junks...Bet you are disappointed... Or surprised...


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 23:20 | 2575342 darkpool2
darkpool2's picture

Please dont be such a moron. Dont blame the corporations when all they are doing is responding rationally to the framework imposed upon them.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:25 | 2574028 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

They got it passed, it has passed the smell test of the SCOTUS. There is no telling just how far these fuckers will ultimately go in imposing their will on the taxpayers. Why not raise the "tax" to 2k..........3k......7k? Nothing would surprise me.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:29 | 2574049 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Shifting 401k to US treasuries would probably fall under one vision of how far they will go.  Someone need to hold those bags of shit and the Fed is probably overfilling its diaper jeanie.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:42 | 2574100 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

Ugh. I hate when then shit happens. Overfull diaper jeanie stinks!

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:11 | 2574214 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Capital Hill is the diaper jeanie and Congress is nothing buy suits fulls of shit. Someone needs to empty it now.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:27 | 2574261 g speed
g speed's picture

DRH  --I've been predicting that since I started commenting on ZH and for much longer on WSJ sites. My take is a 10% one time tax on 401k cash and market value of equities/insurance plans--by the way that may be closer than we think the way "markets" are being pumped. Also look for an increase in withdrawal penalties above and beyond income tax, and a shortened time limit on mandatory withdrawal after age 72 to increase yearly earnings. 

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:02 | 2574435 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I had a debate with a liberal at my house regarding 401k's in general and I was trying to explain their lack of liquidity based on age restrictions for withdrawal, penalties, and taxes.  I also tried to show difference between nominal and real terms based on using gold and dollars as measuring stick.  I tried to explain counter-party risk of the firms that hold these 401K's, the respective insolvency of those firms, and used MF Global as an example. I tried to show him the fact that inflation adjusted terms of the "gains" he was talking about were real inflation adjusted loses.

I was told my talk was all to tin-foil hat for his liking. The power is strong in the matrix.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:29 | 2574530 exi1ed0ne
exi1ed0ne's picture

I've had a lot of conversations with similar outcomes. My belief is that on some level people understand the truth of the matter, but the realization is so horrible and would so totally destroy the pillars supporting their view of reality that they unconsciously recoil. It's not that it is exactly hard to see how things work, but their internal sanity safeguards prevent it.

You have to admit it's not easy to take that first step outta the cave. There are days where I wish the blue pill was still an option, but mostly I thank $deity that I was given a lucid moment and chose red.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:48 | 2574785 ATM
ATM's picture

No one wants to hear that they are going to be a debt slave. It might interfere with that Jersey Shore episode their going to watch.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:30 | 2574055 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

They will.  The Individual Mandate tax (if you do not buy health insurance) will be kept very low for a couple of years.  Then it automatically goes up, a lot.  They WANT people and small businesses to drop coverage now and in the near future...  So the government comes along in a few years with "The Solution", a one payer, Socialist system.

The people will eat it up.  Government to the rescue.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:26 | 2574207 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Yes I think it will go something like this:


Gov. "Official": The bad speculators have driven up the price of insurance more than we predicted and we are going to have to increase the "minimum" fine so that we can cover the costs so in order to drive down the price of insurance.  As we also expect that the price will increase next year we will have a scaling up of the minimum fine annually.  Additionally, because more people now visit hospitals and doctors for splinters and sniffles there will be a co-payment for every visit.  We expect the savings of this program to be passed on to the tax payer just as most of the gov. programs have driven down costs of most things.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:30 | 2574298 g speed
g speed's picture

You are so off base-- the scam is much simpler-- The gov't will borrow from the insurance pool the same as they did with SS. and issue IOUs to the program-- don't forget the plan is "administered" by the gov't 

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:34 | 2574311 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

I don't disagree at all but they will still try to collect more because that is what they do.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:49 | 2574790 ATM
ATM's picture

That's not even a prediction. It's a simple truth to government. They always and everywhere increase their footprint until the people take it back. That's just a simple fact.

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 16:36 | 2577577 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

Don't forget.  The fine will increase for SOME PEOPLE, while other more special people will receive exemptions.

This is a social engineering, wealth-transfer goldmine for politicians, because they will hold the power in deciding who does and does not get their penalty payment covered by the State.

On the other side of the equation, they will also control who GETS ACCESS to the healthcare services.  There will be a who-you-know or a which-underpriveleged-group-do-you-belong-to system.

Thirdly, they will not only control who gets access, but which vendors and providers get to practice medicine.  They will select the health insurance companies to get on the "exchange" and those companies will in turn require only certain vendors/providers/hospitals.

The degree to which this one law will transfer wealth is not going to be fully grasped by people until it is way too late.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:28 | 2574747 donsluck
donsluck's picture

Ah, America. The only remaining 1st world country still on the "English" system of weights and measures, hurting their global competitiveness. Ah, America, the only 1st world country without national healthcare, instead they make it a crime NOT to pay the insurers (who do not PROVIDE health care). I suppose you prefer this fascism to their socialism?

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:47 | 2574783 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You think the europeans aren't fascists? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Stop it, you're killing me!

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:58 | 2574821 ATM
ATM's picture

Ah America, the only first world country with the longest life expectancy in the world. (for now. That's adjusted for traffic deaths, and infant deaths because places like France don't consider a baby a person unless they were born after 22 weeks, weighed at least 500 grams and they don't count premature births who die before the normal due date as miscarriages.)

Ah America, the country that has the best medical care in the world. Hey, we're the fattest most sedentary but that good old US health care system keeps us alive the longest! (for now) 

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 03:38 | 2575516 zhandax
zhandax's picture

...had the best medical care in the world

There.  You are now 2014 prepared.

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 02:50 | 2575505 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

The two systems are always inexorably intertwined. One never has fascism without socialism (and vice versa).

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:46 | 2574113 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

now multiply the hedgeless experience by oh, thousands and we have, clearly, a brilliant public health and economic model. 

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:17 | 2574237 RmcAZ
RmcAZ's picture

15.3% of my current compensation goes to insurance that I don't even hardly use as a healthy person in my 20's... I plan to keep track of this percentage over the next few years and watch it go down as Obamacare starts coming into play. /sarc

My sheepish friends and family seem 100% convinced that Obamacare is going to fix everything. But as much as I try to explain, they simply cannot understand that it is merely a ponzi scheme that will hasten our demise (a la Social Security and Medicare).

When are people going to start to care about how much health care costs? When it eats up 30% of their income? 50%? At this rate, with inflation, increased taxes, increased health care costs, etc. it will not be long before 90%+ of the population has zero real income.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:31 | 2574300 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Yeah, my 22 yr. old nephew bitcched up a storm about his premiuims until he got hit by a car (hit and run) and got a load of the bill.

Don't hear shit out of him anymore about this.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:30 | 2574750 donsluck
donsluck's picture

Of course you don't know the cost until you get the bill. Hospitals should be required to post their fees for service just like gas stations.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 18:00 | 2574802 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Your insurance company sets the fees they "allow" under the contract with the provider.  Your insurance company can provide you with the fee, once you give them the proposed procedure (a cpt code).

Most hospitals and physicians are happy to provide you with their "usual and customary" fee for a given procedure, however, the "allowable" amount is always less, depending on the contract your insurance company negotiated.

The Medicare allowable fees are available on the CMS website.  They are about half, or less, than the usual and customary fees. 

If you are a cash pay patient, I suggest offering 95% of the Medicare allowable, plus another 50% off on secondary procedures (like Medicare and most other plans get).  Hospitals and providers will almost always accept this arrangement.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 18:00 | 2574825 ATM
ATM's picture

Why would anyone care what it costs. Their employer pays the premium, they may pay a small deductible that is the same no matter what and they get to consume as much as they want. As far as the average American is concerned health care is free beer. 

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 18:17 | 2574835 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



...they may pay a small deductible...

Not in 2012!  Where have you been, Rip Van Winkle?

Most plans, now, have a high deductible ($5,000) and 70/30 coinsurance.  Meaning, the patient is responsible for 100% of the first $5,000 of allowable (discounted) charges, then 30% of the allowable after that.  On a $10,000 surgery, the patient responsibility is $6,500.  The insurance pays $3,500.

The consumer (the employer) can pay a higher premium to the insurance company for a lower deductible and coinsurance, but very few choose to do so.

FWIW, Medicare's deductible is $140 per year, with 80/20 coinsurance.  Monthly premiums range from $100 to $300 per month, depending on your income.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 18:31 | 2574907 flattrader
flattrader's picture

It would have hardly mattered.  He was barely conscious and in no position to negotiate.


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:38 | 2574332 JohnKozac
JohnKozac's picture

True. The average dolt has no idea. My premiums soared 53% and the insurer told me, "it's to pay for Obamacare"...cost shifting in its most devious diabolical form.

People are forced to subsidze those diabesities who eat those triple stack grease burgers (with the super sized chocolate ice cream shake) every day......sick!

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 19:05 | 2574963 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Hmm, well that's already been happening for decades -US employers increasing the cost of health insurance, changing it to cover less or dropping it altogether.

You think they offer it because they are kind? It's only to be competitive in getting workers. With present unemployment rates, they don't need to do much to accomplish that.



Sat, 06/30/2012 - 00:05 | 2575383 Freddie
Freddie's picture

I have had two employees tell me, today, that health insurance premiums will be going down..... (fired people) to below 50 employees.

Sounds like you missed to ignorant idiots who needed to be fired.   The U.S. will be like France but more like Zimbabwe.  No one will hire new employees.  There will be no job creation just more TSA workers.  Hope and Chains.


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:15 | 2573983 LouisDega
LouisDega's picture

The bottom line is i die. What else ya got for me?

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:33 | 2574310 g speed
g speed's picture

The fine print--they die!

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:13 | 2573989 unionbroker
unionbroker's picture

i have free healthcare, it does not make me run to the doctor all of the time that argument is total bullshit.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:27 | 2574029 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Unionbroker, are you UAW?

Autoworkers in high-spending communities receive roughly 50 percent more services than those in low-spending communities, but the higher quantity of services appears to be largely accounted for by greater health needs. Autoworkers in high-quantity communities have significantly more disease diagnoses and appear to be much sicker than enrollees in low-quantity communities.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:32 | 2574058 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I wish I could find the speical 20/20 did on the subject of senior citizens on Medicare and how they would treat constant doctor's visits as social events.  Sure senior's health falls apart due to age, but they were going in the doctor's office constantly because, in their view, they already pay for all of those benefits through taxes. 

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:40 | 2574091 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



You have just described my parents and their friends.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:25 | 2574226 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Well you should call more...


But really it is not just the "patients" that will drive the cost up from more visits and going when they don't need to it will be every single hospital doing MRIs when someone scrapes their knee or giving drugs just "in case" or using silk gauze because it is more comfortable or having more "specialists" visit your room when you have tonsils out because they want to provide you with better care (yet you don't need a neurologist and optometrist to give you ice cream).



Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:46 | 2574374 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

That's my parents, too.  They each have weekly physician appointments and they take an entire pharmacy's worth of prescription drugs.  Their monthly prescription bill, even with coverage, costs more than more than my mortgage does.  Yet they "need" all those drugs because "Doctor said so".  My father takes 16 different prescription drugs a day. All the appointments are for "follow up care" that really isn't needed.  But going to the doctor's office seems to be the highlight of their week, because that's all I ever hear about when I talk to them.  I want to tell them to get a hobby or something, but then they'd be all pissed off at me and who needs that noise?

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:00 | 2574427 Iwanttoknow
Iwanttoknow's picture

Ever looked at the Boobtube?Under Slick Willie,it became legal for big pharma to run ads directly at the consumers.Most of the time, patients ask the doctor for specific meds.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 18:36 | 2574916 Jena
Jena's picture

We really need a co-pay with Medicare so that there is a reality to all the office visits.  As it is now, there is little reason for anyone to limit how often they see their doctor.  But what am I saying?  Taking $500 Billion out of Medicare will reduce the availability and affability of those now willing to see Medicare patients.

As for the prescription drugs, switching Medicare Part D over to an all-generic system would make a lot more sense.


But hey, we can afford everything.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 19:02 | 2574949 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



I believe that Medicare does have a co-pay for office visits, and I think it is $35 this year.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 19:53 | 2575066 Jena
Jena's picture

It depends on the secondary insurance that pays the 20%.  Some require no co-pay at all so while the patient pays the monthly fee for that, they don't pay anything for the actual visit.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:39 | 2574346 JohnKozac
JohnKozac's picture

True, Dr grandfather brings his Yatze toys with him when he goes to the doctors....

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 20:48 | 2575146 Oldballplayer
Oldballplayer's picture

My 85 year old hasn't been to the Dr since 1986.  Of course, she doesn't use a toilet anymore either.  Methinks that Medicare account is about to be drained.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:59 | 2574159 Poofter Priest
Poofter Priest's picture

And this could 'possibly' be that the workers in the 'low quanity' areas appear to have less disease because they get less care for dianosis.

If my health care were free or even cheaper, that would not cause me to go to a doctor more often.

Remember that the insurance companies will do what they must to discredit systems that work in other countries if their golden calf of profit were to be affected.

I always thought that one thing that could help would be to nationalize the malpractice insurance.

But that would NEVER happen because the insurance gods would lose a dime.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:52 | 2574387 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture nationalize the malpractice insurance.


But that would NEVER happen because the insurance gods would lose a dime.


It says...A Berkshire Hathaway Company!

Cronyism For The Mother Fucking Win!

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 20:38 | 2575130 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

If you nationalize medical professional insurance, then you are asking for it to become a political football.

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 03:44 | 2575519 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture


Not sure here mate, I worked for nissan motor manufacturing at the sunderland plant for one year in my early twenties.  Hard, damn hard manual work.  It was soul destroying mate, the same process every ninety seconds fitting window winders and door trim.

It fucking wrecked my back, if you complained about the massive work load, or the stupid ammount of time you had to do your bit, out the door.

It was so bad I walked, I literaly couldnt do it any more.  Any auto worker has my respect just for the job they do.  I dont know if all plants opperate the same mind, as I only worked in that one, but my back is testimony to what I endured.

Just saying

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:38 | 2574034 SemperFord
SemperFord's picture

With my current company I have been with for 4 years, I have not used my insurance, not even once!

Prior to that I had no insurance for 10 years, I eat healthy and take time to exercise everyday, if people had the brain power to do that less poeple would be sick and need to actually use insurance.

The retards who don't take care of themselves should not get any healthcare unless they pay for it. I always said that if you are fat and get diabetes, smoke too much and get lung cancer, drink too much and get liver disease you should pay or die, I know I sound like an ASSHOLE but their are people born with dissabilities who wish they were normal and those born normal don't appreciate what they have. Junk all you want but 100 years ago most of these parasytes would have died and nobody would have cared.

EDIT: This does not include people born with something that could not have been avoided, I am not heartless but do believe that's what charities are for.

Also, My Grandpa is 86, smokes one or two cigs a day, drinks tequila every once in a while but unlike most he moves around, does not watch tv, so I am not saying you can't do things that are not "good" for you just in moderation.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:46 | 2574088 Shameful
Shameful's picture

I go to the doctor all the time (confirm that have no muscle tears) and get full blood work labs done about every other month. I work out 4 days a week and eat about the cleanest diet the modern world will allow, and appear to be the picture of healthy. Do I need to constantly know all my health markers, or routinely check to make sure that I'm not injured by my workout routine? Nope, but since it's 'free' to me I do, and the labs cost a fortune!

Sure people at high risk should pay more, but how else will Uncle Sugar be able to step in and mandate specific diet and exercise regimes to the cattle?

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:50 | 2574128 SemperFord
SemperFord's picture

I don't think it's about uncle Sam mandating an exercise routine as it is about just taxing us all and I am still not going to visit the doctor, can't stand the smell and don't want to be around the "Walmart window lickers"

That's good that you actually care about your health but is your time not important?

Maybe I am too busy for even that ;)


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:56 | 2574152 Shameful
Shameful's picture

I can definitely see the gov taxing 'bad' food, IE anything not put out by the main food combines. Why fight for market share when get a better ROI on pure lobbying?

My time? I get a ton of sick time. Since I never get sick I have to use it up somehow. One of the benefits of good health. Besides lets me know what supplements and eating changes produce the best results. I'd never spend the listed amount for this, but since the labs are 100% free to me I like to see them.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:59 | 2574163 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture



Nope, but since it's 'free' to me I do, and the labs cost a fortune!

Congratulations, you're part of the problem, just like all those illegals flooding ERs, it's free to them, so they use the hell out of it, same attitude as yours, no difference.


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:54 | 2574351 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Yes, people like me should stop. But why? So I can pay and not get anything out of it? How does that benefit me? My not abusing it certainly won't stop others, and therefore won't put a dent in my bill. If you want to talk about fixing the system to not be abused great, telling the abusers to stop is laughable. I bet you expect bankers to straighten up and fly right because of the goodness in their hearts?

Newsflash people act in their own self interest. Change the reward/punishment system instead of expecting people to not act within their nature. You get pissed that lions hunt on the savanna as well?

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:06 | 2574196 Poofter Priest
Poofter Priest's picture

Then stop going.


You are part of the problem.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:21 | 2574153 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

diet and activity

See also "Food Matters"

and Dr. Max Gerson 

and Dr. Colin Campbell - The China Study - the largest human nutrition study ever performed 

Ironically, the AMA excommunicated Gerson in the fifties as a radical heretic. Funny thing, Campbell, who is very well respected, said Gerson "got it right"  

 I find it fascinating (or disgusting) that in all our governments "cost concerns" they actually promote poor health though our food system and complete avoidance of nurtition - which remains the most efficient, cost effective way to reducing health costs by, surprise, fundamentally increasing health and the body's ability to prevent and fight disease. In the first link, check out how most of the islanders are healthy till they drop at around 100. You could close down most of the care homes, cancer clinics, and numerous other delivery systems - the very things sucking the main money out

but our medical and food system is only about money...big, corrupt money.    

I am becoming more and more convinced that an (organic, permaculture) garden is the common man's ultimate weapon. It probably always was. It fights off the corrupt and poisonous food system, avoids subsidizing the corrupt war hungry oil industry, and sidesteps this excuse for an economy stabbing at the heart of Bernanke's inflation dollar killing game.

A pitchfork starts as much revolution in the dirt than out

have a good weekend  

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:58 | 2574669 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Of course, your victory garden is going to be humped into submission by the commerce claws or any other bullshit congress or executive privilege can imagine...  but I believe you are right...  it's a huge step towards autonomy.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:17 | 2574486 GernB
GernB's picture

While I find your post abrasive and your attitude self centered, I wholeheatedly support your point of view. My opinion of your viewpoint and it's presentation does not negate the fact that it would be wrong of me to ask you to pay for my healthcare. My healthcare is a result of my heritage and lifestyle and neither of those two things are your responsiblity. What's more I don't want you telling me how to run my life, but if you pay for my healthcare, I cannot in good conscience ask you to do so without providing you some means of controlling your costs, meaning you should be able to tell me how much to exercise, what to eat, and control other aspects of my behaviour that might drive up your costs. I'd much rather live my life the way I want and pay for the consequence.

Sometimes I think it's like progressives have never heard the old song: you can't even run your own life I'll be damed if you'll run mine.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:54 | 2574647 SemperFord
SemperFord's picture

Totally, I am not trying to say one should live like I do. Just saying that people born normal like you or I should be responsible for our health coverage.

If some people want to eat junk and get sick from it I should not have to pay for that, I want to be like my 86 year old gramps banging his 56 year old wife and has been for a decade so I choose to take care of myself!

And how am I self centered if I feel there should be something set up by those less fortunate not by those who chose to disrespect their body?

I do apoligize if my words were harsh for some, you can take the Boy out the Marines but you can't take the Marines out the boy.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:34 | 2574070 btb2010
btb2010's picture

"i have free healthcare, it does not make me run to the doctor all of the time that argument is total bullshit"


There is no such thing as "free healthcare" - someone is paying.

The over-utilization of healthcare at so many levels has driven the overall expenditures through the roof even though the government's reimbursement to physicians for a given level of service-procedure has fallen in actual dollars (while plummeting in inflation adjusted $). The amount of (unnecessary)care-(services) delivered that result in no appreciable improvement in outcome has sky-rocketed - ER visits, end of life heroics for people nearly certain to die in a very short time, etc.

The price-fixing of physician reimbursement that the government has engaged in for the last 20+ years has only hastened the decline in the overall quality (intelligence and reliability) of the individuals choosing medicine as a profession. The extremely long 'cycle' time in medicine (for medical professionals) and the technological/medical/pharm and biotech advances have hidden this from the general public but it's about time for TSTHTF.

As the overall 'cost' soars the price fixing by the payers worsens and the quality of the care delivered will further deteriorate. Most people have no recognition of this; but affordable quality care will remain available here, for a price, or out of the US; Cayman's hospital project will now be moving forward if Obama is reelected.


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:41 | 2574096 unionbroker
unionbroker's picture

well duh !!!  of course someone has to pay it is just not me and i rarely go to see my doctor.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 19:12 | 2574979 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Somehow other countries provide universal healthcare at half the cost. It can't be that the US problem is people not paying for visits.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:43 | 2574102 Colonel
Colonel's picture

There is ALOT of other good arguments against socialized "care" in the video besides the one you focus on. Your personal choices probably can't be extrapolated to the whole population.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:47 | 2574117 Withdrawn Sanction
Withdrawn Sanction's picture

i have free healthcare, it does not make me run to the doctor all of the time

First of all, you dont have "free" health care.  The wage increases you did NOT get, paid for your free health care.  Even if YOU did not sacrifice for your free health care, someone did (unless you picked your health care off the health care tree).

Second, the idea of separating the payer from the recipient of health care services is what leads to increases in demand for health care (at the margin and in general).  Does everyone instantly and automatically increase their demand for health care?  No.  Only a simpleton believes that.  This is about generalizations of human responses to changes in incentives.

To put it in terms you're probably more familiar with, do you drink more when someone else picks up the tab or when you're paying?  

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:02 | 2574174 Nate Taggart
Nate Taggart's picture

Obamacare doesn't provide insurance, it makes you buy it.  People who are forced to buy insurance will feel they need to get their money's worth. 

BTW, doctors will NOT expand services without massive increases in insurance payouts.  Most are already operating with the minimum possbile margins.  I shut down practice after the last medicare cuts forced the business into the red   This bill will make care harder to come by and more expensive.  Period.  We have been forging alliances with specialists in the area to provide a circle of care for our familes, it's the only way to guarantee any quality of care in the years to come.  Call it black market medicine if you want to, but it's rapidly becoming a matter of survival.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:06 | 2574187 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

i have free healthcare, it does not make me run to the doctor all of the time


Wait until you get older. Also as others said, it's not free, nothing is.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:10 | 2574210 unionbroker
unionbroker's picture

i am older

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 19:28 | 2575016 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

older older ;)

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 20:44 | 2575137 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

I'm old and except for maintenance, I've never used the system.  But if I get cancer or if a genetic weakness shows up, I'll probably get all of "my" money back.   Some people will put in more than they take out and vice-verse.  That's how insurance works.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 20:29 | 2575116 Fanakapan
Fanakapan's picture

I expect he means Free at Point of Delivery, he probably gets to pay for for it through all those rinky dink little Taxes that most things carry these days. Evidently a Difficult Concept for Americans to grasp :)

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:18 | 2574242 RmcAZ
RmcAZ's picture

You're joking, right? Nobody has free healthcare. Nobody has free anything. Nothing in life is free.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:29 | 2574291 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

My mind is free and so is my advice and opinions.  Most people don't want any of it but it is still free.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:03 | 2574411 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

I know, that whole free love thing was a let down (literally)

and then there's the freeway - the biggest misnomer ever

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:39 | 2574342 g speed
g speed's picture

unionbroker--Free huh? like perpetual motion or John Gault's amazing energy machine-- and none on here say it will make you do anything except pay. Some may chose to use it more than others even to the point of abuse, -- much more likely than if the cost was not covered by others.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:45 | 2574372 unionbroker
unionbroker's picture

yes and i burn down my garden shed and smash my car up all the time so i dont get ripped off by the insurance companies

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:16 | 2574485 Better_late_tha...
Better_late_than_never's picture

Your parents pay for your health care and you're in your 20's. Zoom out a little bit.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:51 | 2574796 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

There is no such thing as "free" healthcare. If it part of your union contract, then it was negotiated in place of real hourly earnings. Money you would be taking home every week, but your union got you a "benefit" instead. Kind of like pensions. So, you're proud to be taking a pay cut?

Sun, 07/01/2012 - 14:22 | 2578881 mkkby
mkkby's picture

JHC you are so stupid you didn't even understand the third-grade level cartoon.  The HIGHER THE PREMIUM the more people consume TO GET THEIR MONEY'S WORTH.  Free doesn't have that incentive.

Aw, forget it.  Can't explain anything to the moron sheeple.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:16 | 2573994 gigit
gigit's picture

but you don't tell the grocer how much you're going to pay for the bananas so why do the insurance companies tell the doctor how much they'll pay for his services??

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:45 | 2574056 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



...why do the insurance companies tell the doctor how much they'll pay

Decreasing reimbursement to the doctors is the best remaining way to increase quarterly revenues, so health insurance executives can be compensated like high-tech executives operating growth companies instead of insurance executives operating income companies

Covered lives sure are not increasing, and premiums are already under pricing pressure, so explain this chart for United Healthcare's stock since ObamaCare.  The explanation is simple, decreasing covered services and physiccian reimbursements.

Google Chart

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:58 | 2574148 flattrader
flattrader's picture

>>>so health insurance executives can be compensated like high-tech executives operating growth companies instead of insurance executives operating income companies.<<<

You got it...but you need to look at a longer timeline...

From 2009 when this debate began--

>>>SEC has reported that the 10 largest health insurers have reported a profit of 428% from 2000 to 2007. Health insurance CEOs averaged 11.9 million in compensation every year. The Labor Dept. Consumer Index has reported a 4.4% increase in health insurance for the 12 months ending in June–that on top of a 4.2% increase from the previous year. Wages in the private sector rose only 1.6%. Watson Wyatt 2 to 5-year survey show that employers expect salaries increases to remain the same or decrease...<<<

Given the consolidation of the insurance industry in the last 10 years and single insurer’s dominance in regional markets, there is no fucking other place to "shop" in most areas.  And if you are in a rural area, forget about it at all.

What an idiot representation of the problem this stupid little video provides.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:44 | 2574776 bearshatinthewoods
bearshatinthewoods's picture

doctors don't determine the price of a procedure or surgery, insurance companies do.  to be an "in-network provider" (aka handcuffed) you have to accept their contracted rates for every procedure you perform.  most people make sure their doctors are "in-network."  i guess that's like looking for the blue chiquita sticker???

UHC cut reimbursement to doctors 24% this march...did your UHC premiums decrease 24%?  did your deductible decrease 24%?  did your co-insurance decrease 24%?  fuck no...but their ceo makes about 1.6 billion in salary and stock options.

in their defense they sign their letters something like "yours in health"

side note: hilarious...according to the video, i would choose to sit in the last uncomfortable chair in a germ-filled waiting room for 2 hours b/c i can!!!

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:04 | 2574447 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

they're not insurance companies, they're investment companies.

notice they get "banklike" treatment from the fools on the hill  

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:17 | 2573997 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

Is she a beanie wearer?

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:17 | 2573999 RougeUnderwriter
RougeUnderwriter's picture

One Question: Will Congress participate in the same plan(s) we have to???



Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:46 | 2574116 financial apoca...
financial apocalyptic contagion's picture

Roughwriter- That is the most relevant question that every politician should answer first and foremost before everything else while introducing a law.

but it doesnt matter in UScorp. we know the answer is either NO or too rich to care

good observation nonetheless

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:16 | 2574481 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

It's like a cake IV with a frosting penalty

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 20:45 | 2575140 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:18 | 2574001 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

I will never participate in this new Ponzi scheme.

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 05:20 | 2575551 Zero Debt
Zero Debt's picture

Gonna be interesting to see the first case of someone refusing to buy the insurance and taking their case to the courts...

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:21 | 2574008 sleepingbeauty
sleepingbeauty's picture

i think this is garbage. But I know socialized medicine can work, I live in Canada. People don't go to the doctor more to get their moneys worth. Well maybe some do, but most don't because dr. visits are a PITA.


on the other hand, maybe obamacare is different than what we have here.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:24 | 2574026 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

You guys are pretty tough up there.  The national past times are clubbing people on ice and raping bears.  A hardy folk as you might not go to the doctor more.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:45 | 2574104 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



".....visits are a PITA."

Why are they a PITA?   Could it be because it's a real PITA 2 even get an appointment, much less surgery, etc.?


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:04 | 2574185 sleepingbeauty
sleepingbeauty's picture

Yes and no, like i said below, it is a pain to wait for a knee replacement, but necessary surgeries are fast and done well.

That is the way i prefer it, and most canadians agree. I pay taxes so that noone dies of an easily treated disease because they were poor. We actually think people are more important than money. Crazy, i know.

And frankly, I don't feel overtaxed. I hate paying my taxes as much as others do but i believe the value per taxed dollar is high. 

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:00 | 2574683 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Funny. I watch every fucking day as you guy/gals cross our border in order to purchase everything from dental/medical care to cars, furniture, clothing, groceries, shitloads of liquor/cigs, and anything else that has become exceptionally overpriced in Canada.........

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:33 | 2574063 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

And therein lies the problem.  PITA.  It works, but it sucks, eh?

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:46 | 2574115 sleepingbeauty
sleepingbeauty's picture

Some parts suck. They don't make it easy to see a dr for a cold. But if you have a real emergency, the system rocks. Having had a child who had flesh-eating disease, I believe canadian healthcare is fantastic. Not so good if you need a knee replacement, there is a long line. but that is what we all love about the system, a rich guys knee replacement doesn't get done before a poor persons double bypass.


The rich guy is welcome to pay for his knee replacement in another country. :-)

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:13 | 2574219 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Funny how liberals call conservatives wicked and not caring, while at the same time they can tell someone with money to fuck off so gleefully.  So because someone has assets they can fuck off, but the poor should get better treatment.  Talk about hypocritical.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:20 | 2574255 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

You worked hard all your life, made a nice nest egg, now you have fuck you!

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:55 | 2574406 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Precisely.  Someone who eats like shit and clogs their artieries gets front of the line treatment because of the qualification of being poor.  Man can't walk, needs knee to continue to be productive and is pushed to the back of the line because of the qualification of being rich.  Yup sounds bleeding heart liberal fair to me.

I wish the liberals could just see that these laws benefit those closest to capital hill and are wrapped in the package of being good to others. 

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:11 | 2574461 sleepingbeauty
sleepingbeauty's picture

It is triage. Most serious fixed up first. The rich guy is not sent to the back of the line, any more than the poor guy is sent to the front. It depends on their illness. 

But if you feel that a rich person's comfort is more important than a poor person's life, I think they have a place for you on wall street.


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:28 | 2574289 sleepingbeauty
sleepingbeauty's picture

Not quite, if someone has assets they are not hindered from using their assets to get elective surgeries outside the country. I am considering it. Mostly, the rich in this country wait in line with everyone else. No one is told to F off, that is strictly uncanadian.

And I am conservative, except for the occasional NDP madness.

But yes, I think it is wicked to let people die because they are too poor to afford health care.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 15:30 | 2574295 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

I think it's wicked to have babies if you're too poor to afford children...but nobody made a law for that yet.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 20:48 | 2575145 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

The right to procreate is the only absolute right left.  If welfare mothers couldn't procreate at will, where do you think future soldiers would come from?

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 17:20 | 2574716 lenitivelea
lenitivelea's picture

If I'm eating a steak next to someone starving to death, do you have the right to steal my steak to feed him?

You could ask me nicely. You could make me a social outcast if I don't. You could pay me for it. There are many ways to get the poor bastard a steak.

But you won't, because stealing it is easier, apparently. 


EDIT: Was meant as a response to sleepingbeauty. Sorry, Tempy. 

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 22:11 | 2575268 sleepingbeauty
sleepingbeauty's picture

So in this story, you actually enjoy being the guy eating the steak next to the starving person. And you are indignant about anyone stealing it from you instead of offering it?? And would you share if asked?? From yours and other comments I would guess that you would blame the starving man for being lazy.

I am not sure I understand you. Usually I can understand why someone would deny another person life: revenge or hate or some other emotion, but I don't understand why being forced to share is so horrible. Is it that you deny that any man has the right to make you? Or is it that you have worked so very hard for your money that giving even a piece of it away is unfathomable. Or do you believe that somehow it is their own problem and it is not your responsibility?

I would say that if you (and America as a whole) was generous enough without the forced sharing that no one went hungry or lost their life due to easily treatable medical illnesses, then no one should make you share. But the stats do not prove that to be the case. America has a very low average life span because the poor are not treated well. I do not think you care, but I do.


Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:33 | 2574555 TMT
TMT's picture

Come on, doctor, statist liberals are all about being pro-choice -- You can choose to own a gun (sorry, not anymore), you can choose to have healthcare (sorry, not anymore), you can choose what to do with the fruits of your labor (sorry, not anymore as that's the state's money not yours).  I could go on but you get my point.  They don't belive in choice; they believe the STATE knows best.

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:34 | 2574560 AGuy
AGuy's picture

"Not so good if you need a knee replacement, there is a long line."

Not so good if you can't work because of a bum knee. Then they have to go on disability until they can get the surgery. I recall reading a comment a few years ago about a worker in Canada that slipped on ice and broke his arm. He was told to come back next week because of scheduling. The patient asked would his arm start to set, he was told that they would simply rebrake his arm so they can set it. I guess in Canada, one needs to schedule there accidents in advance to they can seek immediate treatment.

" rich guys knee replacement doesn't get done before a poor persons double bypass."

Thats rather silly, since different doctors perform different procedures. A heart surgeon does not perform knee surgery. Unless all the Canadian doctors are like Dr. Nick from the Simpson, where they do surgery on the fly by reading a book about the procedure during the surgery.

Canada has a considerably smaller population. In the USA, with doctors getting sweezed out of reimbursement and going out of business (fewer doctors) there is no doubt that the quality of service is going down and the wait time for services is going up. Thats even if you have money to pay. I see a lot of Europeans traveling out of the Europe to seek medical treatment. I see that happening here in the US once the Obamacare starts kicking in a few years.


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