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Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Harry Boy, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My Jersey:

    Imagine what America's health care system will be like in another 10 years with those Vermin Bastards in Washington running it.
    2012, so long democrats, so long President Jug Ears.


    Todays News:
    Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too little.

    More than 3,000 patients eligible for Medicare, the government’s largest health-insurance program, will be forced to pay cash if they want to continue seeing their doctors at a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix, said Michael Yardley, a Mayo spokesman.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  2. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ~~~Out of Order~~~ PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey
    Happy New Years old people ...

    Thanks for helping to build this great country now please die off and move one.

    Sincerely ... Barack Obama and the Democrats.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  3. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    PolitiFact | Obama claims Medicare benefits will not be cut under the health care bill

    The St. Petersburg Times, which won the 2009 Pulitzer did a great even handed analysis of how Medicare is affected by health care reform legislation. The legislation proposes to cut $500 million without cutting payments. Huh? It will not have any future increases, so after adjusting for inflation, it will be cuts to the hospitals and doctors If they forgo the proposed $250 billion in cuts to the physicians which they have done annually, it balloons the budget deficit. If they keep the cuts, along with the Medicare cuts, what you will see is the Mayo Clinic at the tip of the iceberg. Physicians and hospitals will simply choose not to participate with Medicare rather than lose money on every Medicare patient making it harder for Medicare patients to find a participating hospital. The net result will be like Medicaid, the medical and dental state run plans for the indigent. It's nearly impossible outside the inner cities ( and rare then ) to find participating doctors.
  4. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Harry Boy, your post supports the need for health care reform. The Mayo Clinic will stop accepting Medicare under the current rules. That's why the rules need to be changed.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  5. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My feeling is that once health care reform is passed, it will need to be modified. The Dems will propose increases in Medicare funding if necessary, and the Republicans will be hard pressed to oppose it especially since they have considerable support among the elderly. There's a lot of political positioning going on, IMHO, with the advantage to the Democrats.
  6. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Rookie

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    Why don't we just put them in ovens, like they did back in the old country. :confused2: :rolleyes:

    Look for this type of stuff to not only continue, but to happen more often.
  7. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My Jersey:

    It's heartening to see conservative advocate for increased Medicare funding. I too support increased Medicare funding, even if we don't get health care reform. People who helped build this country should not be denied quality health care.
  8. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Rookie

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    In theory, you're right. But in reality, that system is bankrupt...... and that is paying rates that do not cover the rising costs of services. That's why the Mayo clinic is not going to accept them anymore. They cannot afford to. These lose money out the wazzo. The Government cannot administrate ANYTHING efficiently. Medicare is one example.

    It comes down to the reasons why services are so expensive? A simple thing like tort reform could save a boatload of money right of the bat. Congress won't touch it with a ten foot pole. That is just one example to show they aren't serious about health care reform. It's about giving Obama a trophy at this point.

    Personally, I am not against health reform (its sorely needed), I'm just against THIS health reform.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  9. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually, several studies have shown that tort reform would have a negligible impact on health costs. Also, if a doctor causes your brain child to become brain dead because of medical malpractice, how much do you think you should get to help your child? And do you favor tort reform across the board, or only for victims of medical malpractice? Further, if you read about medical malpractice suits, most of them are for relatively small money (around $250k on avg., I think I read) and are very justifiable. the tort reform movement basis its arguments on those rare absurd verdicts.

    http://washingtonindependent.com/55535/tort-reform-unlikely-to-cut-health-care-costs

    At lest one study touted by conservative websites says tort reform would save $54 billion over 10 years. That's $5 billion a year (and then they argue it would actually save $10 billion). While that's a substantial amount of change, it's hardly enough to fundamentally change the costs of health care in the US. Further, if there is tort reform, why would a hospital invest millions in improving their processes and delivery systems when they could just pay relatively small fines instead? But, again, I'm for victims rights, so I don't favor tort reform for those who are truly victims of medical malpractice.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/10/10/cbo-tort-reform-would-save-54-billion-to-the-deficit/

    Are you against victims rights for victims of medical malpractice?
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  10. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ~~~Out of Order~~~ PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Next time you go to see your doctor ... ask him how he or his group is doing with Medicare. I have done this ... they need "X" amount of younger patients so they can make enough to do their job and help keep older people healthy.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  11. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I use to work with a Dr. Fingeroth, one of the best knee surgens in the country. I asked him one tiime what he charged for a total knee. He said $50,000, but if medicare is paying he only got $17,000. Still not bad for four hours work.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  12. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We need to spend more to take care of our elderly. I agree.
  13. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    Nice deflection :rolleyes:
  14. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My Jersey:

    Everyone in this thread is talking about the concern that health care reform will cut more money from Medicare, when Medicare is isn't paying enough as is. I think we all agree that even without health care reform Medicare needs more money in order to take care of our elderly. That's what the thread is about. If there's any deflection, it's from you.
  15. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    My Jersey:

    You missed his point entirely, you deflected to state the same old same old "more money, more money, more money" that has been used dozens of times over and over again :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  16. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No, I think I got the point and the proof of that is that you are avoiding the question. Every post is about the fact that Medicare pays so little that elderly people can no longer go to the Mayo Clinic. There are two solutions: Screw the old people or increase Medicare spending. Which do you support?
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  17. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    I guess everybody was in a rush to go after health care reform that they missed the big reason why they did this...

    The Mayo Clinic isn't like other hospitals, the doctors and hospital aren't paid by volume(they are paid a flat salary) so the number of patients and what the doctors are getting paid per patient isn't a problem: getting paid in a timely manner and getting paid more money for care is. Government funded patients isn't a wise business decision for the hospital, so they are no longer accepting them as a business decision :rolleyes:

    When this happens at a major hospital that is volume based then the bashing of medicare, medicaid, health care reform, hospitals, doctors, greed, insurance etc. can go forth :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  18. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ~~~Out of Order~~~ PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey
    So ... as they prepare to cut the money that doctors make ... consider this study from the Massachusetts Medical Society:

    Massachusetts Medical Society | MMS Physician Workforce Study - 2009

    http://www.massmed.org/AM/TemplateRedirect.cfm?Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=31513

    http://www.massmed.org/AM/TemplateRedirect.cfm?Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=31511

    Why will people enter the medical field if it will not sustain their family?

    If it will not pay for their student loans?

    If they are simply discouraged by the politics of medical care itself?
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  19. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ~~~Out of Order~~~ PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey
    My doctor stares into a laptop for most of my bi monthly visit. We discuss this all the time ... how impersonal the profession has become due to all the crap with insurers ... this new system will make it worse.

    Prescription: more doctors - baltimoresun.com

  20. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ~~~Out of Order~~~ PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey
    One more thing ... the stupid far fetched idea of the Cadillac tax ... the most inane concept I have ever heard of. Rich people don't freaking need health insurance. If they have to pay a premium to get treatment then they will just move outside the system and deal in cash and/or barter.

    This tax will move down the income tier ... to the low level white collar and blue collar people. Who will then choose lesser policies which will throw out the window the concept of keeping the care you now have.
  21. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Duh. The question raised in this thread is, If Medicare doesn't pay enough for the elderly to go to a good hospital, what should we do? Screw the elderly or increase Medicare payments? You seem to be deflecting with your lecture on Mayo Clinic's business practices.
  22. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    My Jersey:

    If you bothered to check HOW they conducted business and paid their doctors and if you actually read ANY of the original article you would understand the WHY instead of spouting off the same tired complaints.

    Here is the original article. Read the entire thing and see for yourself the WHY that wasn't mentioned in the short blurb Harry posted:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aHoYSI84VdL0

    But why would the facts, reasons, direct quotes from the people at the hospital matter when you can spout off about health care again.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  23. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My Jersey:

    Apparently Medicare suits Mayo when Mayo decides, however.

    Buried in the articles about how horrible Medicare is there are these little sentences:

    More than 3,000 patients eligible for Medicare, the government’s largest health-insurance program, will be forced to pay cash if they want to continue seeing their doctors at a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix, said Michael Yardley, a Mayo spokesman. The decision, which Yardley called a two-year pilot project, won’t affect other Mayo facilities in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.


    Mayo will continue to accept Medicare as payment for laboratory services and specialist care such as cardiology and neurology, Yardley said.

    A smart person would ask himself why - and then figure it out.

    Sounds very much like Mayo has an agenda of some sort going on.

    If Medicare is so horrible why not stop accepting it at ALL Mayo clinics? Why just one? Why a "two year pilot?" Why not forever? And why quit accepting payment for one service but not all services?

    If I were Medicare I'd tell them to kiss my ***** - sometimes you gotta suck it up and take the good with the bad. Clinics shouldn't be allowed to pick and choose.

    Imagine the outrage and the public backlash if WalMart suddenly said that effective immediately at some of their stores they would still be more than willing to sell your grandparents some expensive things but not some cheaper things because they made more profit on the expensive things.

    It's manipulative and it's evil and they've left the door open to changing their minds in 2 years if they so desire for a reason.

    About 18 months ago my dentist decided that she was no longer going to accept certain insurances because she said they "didn't pay enough" and she was losing money. Last week I received a Christmas card and a letter from her office saying that they had "changed their minds" and they were now not only welcoming back their old patients (and their same insurances) but offering them a free cleaning and exam as enticement to return. One doesn't have to think too hard to figure out that obviously she wasn't making a go of it without those "lower paying insurances."

    It's not always just about the amount of reimbursement - it's about volume as well.

    Mayo, especially since it's doctors are salaried and not paid per patient, would do well to remember that 50% reimbursement (which they claim is Medicare's reimbursement rate for the now dropped patients) of 100% of a bill is still twice as much as 0% of 0%.

    Private insurance companies and people paying cash, if they have an ounce of sense, will realise that the only way for Mayo to recoup their loss of that 50% is going to be to charge them more.

    All businesses realize that there's a certain amount of loss involved in good salemanship. Medicine shouldn't be any different. You arbitrarily decide that you're not going to accept a certain class of people (and make no mistake, by denying Medicare patients treatment that denial is being limited to a specific group of people - namely old ones) you're also cutting yourself off from their families. Most people find their doctors and clinics through word of mouth - and most people ask family members for their recommendations. Most family doctors, most internists and GPs, they see several generations of families throughout their practice. It's only grandma and grandpa that have medicare - the kids and grandkids generally have their own insurance plans - the "better paying" ones - although as I've stated ad nauseam here before, most private plans don't pay much better (if any) than Medicare does anyhow. Quit treating Grandma and son, daughter, grandson and granddaughter and going to dry up and move away, too. Plus those people in their 40s and 50s who are looking for a GP are going to think twice about picking a doctor or a clinic who isn't going to offer continuity of care past the age of retirement - those middle agers who are looking for a new doctor now are going to be seeking someone who's going to be willing and able to provide medical care until they die - not just until they've used up their profitability.

    It'll be interesting to see how well this "pilot program" works out for this particular Mayo in Arizona. I hope Medicare refuses to pay for any care at any Mayo and I'll bet you if they do that the "two year pilot" will end a lot quicker than in two years - and with a lot less fanfare and breastbeating.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  24. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My Jersey:

    You're really deflecting, and avoiding answering the basic question; Which should we do? Increase Medicare funding or screw the elderly?

    Of course I read the article, and the thread quickly, thanks to conservatives, focused on our treatment of the elderly or the danger of Medicare cuts. Haven't you been following the conversation? And have you read the article? The article states the 3000 Medicare clients will be forced to raise cash because the Medicare program did not pay enough for the hospital to cover costs. So, as everyone but you correctly reasoned, the issue has something to do with Medicare funding. So, efin, which is it: Do we increase Medicare funding or screw the elderly? Why are you having difficulty with that question?
  25. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    You still never address the why and continue to focus on the 3,000 patients only. Ignore it if you want, I won't.

    Whatever you say Patters...whatever you say. Not arguing this farther.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  26. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My Jersey:

    So, you're not answering the question raised directly or indirectly by everyone in this thread, as well as the article. It appears that you don't want to say whether you'd rather screw the elderly or increase Medicare funding because you don't want to take responsibility for the impact of your beliefs.
  27. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    I don't see why we have to do either, Patters. Apparently the entire Mayo system doesn't think so, either, since this whole thing is limited to one satellite clinic and to a two year time limit before reevaluating. The fact that they are still accepting Medicare payment for specialists such as cardiologists and neurologists as well as accepting medicare payments for lab work shows that they are hedging their bet and is an acknowledgement that Medicare does not "shortchange" them when it comes to anything other than GP and/or Family Practice physicians.

    It looks like an attempt at blackmail, if you ask me, and has less to do with reimbursement issues and more to do with taking advantage of timing.

    Looking at it from a consumer's point of view, and make no mistake, if you are a patient you are also a consumer, I'm highly suspicious of the whole thing and I think others will be, too. I'd be very reluctant to take my business to a clinic or a doctor who had just cut loose 3,000 of their most vunerable patients. I'd be reluctant to start seeing a doctor when I was 45 or 50 (the average age when people start seriously seeking routine medical care) if I knew that the clinic I was going to be attending was going to refuse to see me once I turned 65 years old. I'd be reluctant to see a family doctor who wouldn't treat my mother or my father, as well.

    As I mentioned earlier, if I were running Medicare I'd be sorely tempted to respond in kind and to cut off all Medicare funding to all of Mayo on the basis that if one arm of the business was being denied to my customers that they obviously didn't need any of my customers. Businesses, especially businesses conducting that business with a nation-wide federal agency, should not be allowed to pick and choose. No other enterprise could get away with refusing to sell lower priced items (such as a GP visit) and agreeing only to sell their more-expensive products (such as a cardiologist or laboratory testing) to a targeted group of individuals and still expect to keep their business.

    Maybe the solution would be as simple as to drop the amount of payment made to specialists and laboratories and raise the amount of payment made to GPs by the difference. There is a severe shortage of GPs nationwide, anyhow, and that's part of the reason. Take away the disparity in payment (and it's not just Medicare which follows this reimbursement practice) and you take away the reluctance of medical students to become GPs. Sure the specialists will scream and squack but the GPs are already screaming and squacking so what difference will it make?

    Meanwhile, I hope people are outraged - not at Medicare but at Mayo.
    Since most elderly people poll out as being highly satisfied with their insurance I see no reason why they shouldn't direct their anger where it belongs - at those trying to blackmail their insurance company rather than at the insurance company itself.

    For that matter, ask youself this question. Most Medicare recepients have a secondary insurance such as Blue Cross, United, Cigna, Anthem, or any number of private insurers who are the same insurers most of us have. Why aren't they making up the difference? Why are they refusing to pay more of a co-pay? Why isn't anyone demanding they step up and begin earning their premiums from the elderly?

    Maybe it's safer to attempt to bully and blackmail a not-for-profit government agency than it is to bully and blackmail a private profitable company?
  28. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I look at it differently. I see the Mayo Clinic as pushing back on Medicare because of losses. "Mayo’s hospital and four clinics in Arizona, including the Glendale facility, lost $120 million on Medicare patients last year, Yardley said. The program’s payments cover about 50 percent of the cost of treating elderly primary-care patients at the Glendale clinic, he said." I know a couple doctors, all who are quite progressive, and both take Medicare patients but complain that they cannot survive on Medicare payments alone.

    Many patients do not have other insurances. Typically, the people with other insurance I think are those who worked for government, universities, and for unions. There are many people who survive on Medicare alone.
  29. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    I don't know the statistics, Patters, but I do disagree with you. I work in a physician's office and I've spent 20 other years working in a hospital. It is a rare medicare patient who does not have a supplemental insurance plan. Offhand, in my current office situation, I can only think of two Medicare patients who do not have a supplemental insurance - and one of them is a 45 year old man with Parkinson's who cannot get a supplement because of his pre-existing condition and one is a really wealthy 92 year old woman. We probably have a current Medicare count of about 240 actively participating patients. Perhaps we're the exception rather than the norm, but I doubt so.

    Interesting thought, though, I'll try to find time to see if it's researchable.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  30. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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