Covered CA throws a party – only 10 sign up

Covered CA throws a party – only 10 sign up

This week California’s Obamacare health insurance exchange, Covered California, rented the Sacramento Convention Center, and opened its doors to the public for a sign-up party, complete with balloons and press.

Obamacare, McKee, Cagle, Nov. 11, 2013

CBS 13 reported 1,500 people showed up to apply and enroll in person. The health fair was sponsored by the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, the California Endowment and Covered California.

“People in Sacramento got a chance to sign up for the new health insurance option in person if they didn’t want to do it online,” CBS 13 said.

“No waiting lines, no problems with computers, people are able to sign up today,” said Betty Williams, Outreach Coordinator with Covered California. Williams is the former director of the NAACP in Sacramentocurrent Sacramento County ACLU director and lost a bid recently for the Sacramento City Council.

Even with 300 Covered California “assisters,” by the end of the day only 10 people completed applications, the Sacramento Bee reported.

CalWatchdog.com reader John Thomas Flynn told me he emailed Sacramento Bee reporter Richard Chang with questions, after the enrollment celebration, and after he read Chang’s story, “Health care sign-ups proceeding, at least in California.”

“I was told that they need 24 hours to approve the applications,” Chang wrote back to Flynn, in an email forwarded to me. “Therefore, I reported it as 10 enrollments completed. They were completed, but we don’t know whether they’ve been approved.”

Only 46 other applications were started. Oddly, Medi-Cal application numbers were not available for the event, even though some people attended just to sign up for Medi-Cal, according to the Bee.

Enrollment figures?

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Covered California released its first enrollment figures Wednesday, showing only a small portion of the state’s 5 million uninsured had signed up.

According to Covered California CEO Peter Lee, “Thousands are enrolling. That is the loud and clear drumbeat that California enrollment is working.”

However, an “enrollee” isn’t truly “covered” until he or she has made a payment and been issued a policy, just as in the real world of insurance works. No payment, no insurance plan.

“With some of the snags that we’ve had in the past 40 days, it’s to be expected with something brand new like this; but, I do expect it to smooth out and it to be a humongous turnout,” said Williams.

“Sign-ups are proceeding all right. They got 10 of them on Saturday.…with 7 million uninsured, that means they’ll need 700,000 more enrollment parties,” Flynn quipped.

Defiant Board

Covered California front page, Sept. 24, 2013

The Covered California Board of Directors voted 5-0 Thursday to continue scurrying toward the state’s year-end deadline to cancel more than 1 million private, individual health insurance policies.

Covered California board members said existing policies are being terminated because they do not meet the new requirements under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The defiant decision by the Covered California Board, in opposition to President Barack Obama’s directive this week to extend existing health plans, demonstrates the left hand doesn’t know what they right is doing.

Granting privileges

The California Legislature and the new Covered California health insurance exchange have been handing out more than $500 million in taxpayer dollars to contractors. Much of the money is going for “outreach” and “education programs” connected to voter registration drives through the health exchanges, as I wrote in a recent story.

The California NAACP received $600,000 for door-to-door canvasing throughout the state, targeting African Americans. And the ACLU is actively involved in registering new voters through Covered California enrollments. Is it any wonder Betty Williams is an Outreach Coordinator for Covered California?

Covered California announced in May it would award $37 million to 48 organizations to “conduct outreach and education programs” on how Californians can access “affordable health care coverage.”

Covered California calls these “partnerships,” and the goal is to “increase awareness about the new benefits, to educate targeted audiences, and motivate consumers.”

“The Obama administration granted $910 million to California to set up its insurance exchange,” I wrote. “The $910 million was targeted not for actual health care, but for bureaucratic spending. This included $360,000 a year for the executive director, and other rich compensation packages for exchange employees.”

Radio host exposes Covered CA ‘con’

220px-Hugh_Hewitt

National radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt discussed Covered California on his show this week. As for the “Covered California is working fine” declaration, Hewitt linked to my recent story about trying to enroll. And he talked about why there are no numbers on current enrollees.

“In fact, the state exchanges — while not all as abjectly miserable failures as Healthcare.gov — are close behind the federal failure in ineptitude and some are actually worse,” said Hewitt, who broadcasts from Southern California.

Hewitt asked the questions the mainstream press will not:

* “Who, if anyone, has actually made a payment to their new health plan? Almost certainly no one, which Lee will excuse as unnecessary right now.

* “Who, at least then, has gotten a real bill? Who has in hand a policy that will pay claims incurred after 1/1/14?

* “How many people have a new insurance card in their wallet with a policy number and a known price, deductible and doctor network?”

He said of his home state, “The biggest con of all seems to be running out of California, where the huge flaws in the ‘CoveredCA.com’ scheme are getting easier and easier to understand as a fraud upon the people of the Golden State, even as the Los Angeles Times and other MSM outlets flee the facts.”

The Los Angeles Times story he was referred to was headlined, “Healthcare plan enrollment surges in some states after rocky rollout.” It claimed, “A number of states that use their own systems, including California, are on track to hit enrollment targets for 2014 because of a sharp increase in November, according to state officials.”

The Times article is short on details, and is mum on projected or current enrollments. It ignores the more than one million Californians who have received cancellation notices of their current health insurance plans.

58 comments

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  1. The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit
    The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit 22 November, 2013, 16:37

    It is sad Katy to watch you enjoy the slow start of the ACA— almost, AS IF, you want it to fail.

    Curious. Have you sided with the Repubs who are against it but offer no other solution?

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler 23 November, 2013, 08:25

      I certainly want this Soviet program to fail. It’s almost as much fun as watching the dissolution of the Soviet Union 22 years ago.

      Already, Obamacare destroyed my medical insurance. I still have no idea what policy I will, if any, have starting Jan. 1. The least I can get is a little schadenfreude.

      Reply this comment
      • NTHEOC
        NTHEOC 23 November, 2013, 11:05

        Have you sided with the Repubs who are against it but offer no other solution?
        ———————–
        Please Katy, answer this question! Do the repubs have any other solution to the failed healthcare system of the US……..

        Reply this comment
        • Carlin Horger
          Carlin Horger 26 November, 2013, 16:41

          The Republicans have offered many things such as, tort reform, buying insurance across state lines (like auto ins.) Health savings accounts. for a start. but it has been easier for the libs to deaf to any other ideas but their socialistic form of redistribution….

          Reply this comment
      • NTHEOC
        NTHEOC 23 November, 2013, 11:11

        John Seiler says:
        November 23, 2013 at 8:25 am
        I certainly want this Soviet program to fail.
        ==================
        Soviet program?? WOW!! That’s really,really reaching John. The ACA/Obamacare will come around to full swing and succeed no problem. Remember, SS,Medicare/medical, and other highly popular programs started off very slow to but became the backbone for people rely on. Covered California is here to stay so do yourselves a favor and embrace it!!!!!!

        Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 23 November, 2013, 18:10

        “Do the repubs have any other solution to the failed healthcare system of the US…….”

        ObamaCare was a democrat party creation. They even named it after their messiah. The democrats broke it. It’s up to them to fix it. Not the republicans. Don’t try to shift the blame. If Obama could change it’s name to “GWBushCare” and get away with it – there’s no doubt he would do it.

        Reply this comment
        • SeeSaw
          SeeSaw 25 November, 2013, 09:19

          No, the Republicans are the ones who named it after our President–The Democrats created the “Affordable Care Act”. And you are the one who is on the Republicans’ “messiah” kick! I suppose you want to deny that the Iraq war was a creation in the minds and actions of our former Republican President and Vice-President–a war that has killed hundreds of thousands of human beings! How many people have died in the attempted rollout of the ACA?

          Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 26 November, 2013, 10:28

          Hillary Clinton (demonrat) coined the term “ObamaCare” when she ran against Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign. It wasn’t republicans who made the term up. Oh, and Obama himself used the word “ObamaCare” repeatedly hundreds or thousands of times until just lately when his legacy legislation began to implode. Now even Obama is distancing himself from “ObamaCare” and calling it the “Affordable Care Act”.

          I’ve always blamed Bush for Iraq. You must have me confused with someone else. I never let political ideologies stand in the way of truth like some people do.

          Oh, besides promising us that ‘You can keep your health care plan if you like it. Period. No matter what’, Obama also promised us that all US troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan under his watch. Now Obama has an agreement pending with Karzai in Afghanistan that would keep US forces in Afghanistan to 2024 and beyond. So the ‘messiah’ lied again. Will you be objective like I am and call him out? Or will you support the ‘messiah’ so that more american boys can shed their blood and lose their lives?

          Reply this comment
    • John Russell
      John Russell 23 November, 2013, 22:11

      – you’re either an ideolog zombie or you haven’t been paying attention; didn’t you hear about the 40+ House bills to repeal the law? Or heard about the amendments to Obamcare starting in 2009 to IMPROVE healthcare? Next time, change from MSNBC to a real NEWS channel, and make informed comments. What the conservatives have been saying all along is now coming true with the implosion of Obamacare; while you’re busy rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, those with at least a double-digit IQ can see a sinking ship!

      Reply this comment
    • Teddy
      Teddy 27 November, 2013, 09:45

      Employer-sponsored medical insurance was a response to depression-era wage and price controls. The fix should have been to make these benefits taxable income. This is not “health care”, it’s a hedge against risk.

      The first post blames Repubs. This is heat, not light, and it’s foolish. Healthcare originated from the Christian denominations, which have been handed their hat. So now look what the socialists have given you.

      Reply this comment
    • Paul Preston
      Paul Preston 29 November, 2013, 10:32

      “If you want to keep your Doctor, you can keep your Doctor period.”

      Reply this comment
  2. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 22 November, 2013, 23:07

    Why doesn’t Covered California give us the data that REALLY matters? Like the ratio of enrollees accepted so far for the 100% subsidized Medi-Cal plan to the enrollees in the private plans? And how ’bout those younger (18-35)healthy enrollees who’ve signed up for the private plans who are necessary in the risk pool to pay for all the Medi-Cal or sick elderly enrollees? How many of them have signed up and how many of them are needed to keep ObamaCare in California afloat?

    Boy, it looks like this Covered California program is turning into another government jobs bonanza. Look at how much those mid-level administrators are making. $360,000? More than 2x what the governor makes. More than the VPOTUS. What a total farce.

    2 days ago I took a walk around the block. Some guy was standing with some brochures in his hand on the sidewalk. As I passed him he asked “Do you know what Covered California is?”. He spoke is a deep foreign accent like an ESL grad who flunked. I had to listen closely to understand what he was saying. I said “Isn’t that ObamaCare?” He said “It’s the Affordable Care Act in California”. (the libs avoid using “ObamaCare” these days). I said “Talking to my acquaintances it doesn’t sound too affordable to me”. He smiled and said “Yes, it’s not as affordable as people first thought”. I gave him credit for his honesty. So I took his brochure. A nice expensive glossy. He must have been the supervisor because there were 3 Covered California reps on the homeowner’s front porch peddling their product. I guess it took 4 of them to get the job done. But that’s the government for ya! Job creation is about putting bodies on the gov payroll to bring that monthly unemployment number down – It’s not about productivity or efficiency. But then it never was! Was it?

    Reply this comment
  3. Queeg
    Queeg 22 November, 2013, 23:16

    This could end up being the biggest administrative failure since “blow up the boxes”.

    Reply this comment
  4. Katy Grimes
    Katy Grimes Author 23 November, 2013, 17:30

    Ted, Queeg, NTHEOC — pay close attention:

    1. Any alternative plan would be vetoed by this President.

    2. Any alternative government plan is irreconcilable to a free market structure.

    3. Because there will be no significant changes to federal health care statutes until after Obama is out of office, there is no point for me or anyone to outline a formal health care vision that has no chance of becoming law.

    However, only truly free market solutions will work. It was government regulations and government policy interventions in the setting of prices which led to this mess, from a once free market insurance system, based on supply and demand.

    But if you want some of my free market solutions, here are a few:

    * Medicare enrollees should be issued vouchers and be allowed the freedom to choose any health plan on the market.

    * give all workers control over their health care dollars, and decision-making authority.

    The CATO Institute says “Congress should reform the tax treatment of health care with “large” health savings accounts. Large HSAs would reduce the number of uninsured Americans, would free workers to purchase secure health coverage from any source, and would effectively give workers a $9.7 trillion tax cut without increasing the federal budget deficit.” I agree whole heartedly.

    * state monopolies on insurance need to be broken up, to allow everyone to purchase health coverage from whichever companies they wish (or not), regardless of US location.

    Many people would choose to purchase catastrophic coverage, and self-fund the rest. Those alternatives have largely been removed by this government.

    “Congress should reform Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program the way it reformed welfare in 1996. Block-granting those programs would reduce the deficit and encourage states to target resources to the truly needy,” said CATO.

    Touché

    Katy

    Reply this comment
    • NTHEOC
      NTHEOC 23 November, 2013, 21:35

      There are millions of German, and Canadian citizens who do not have the faintest idea what any of their health care really costs.There are millions of French citizens who do not have the faintest idea what their hospital care really costs.
      Yet these nations have control of health care costs and none of them has millions uninsured or deeply in debt to medical providers!!! The government does know what everything costs, and stomps on any provider or drug company that attempts price-gouging. Health insurance is not something that you decide to buy in these countries. Health insurance is not something that a private insurer decides to sell you and maximizes their profits off your healthcare! We have been in deep need of nationalized healthcare and it has finally come…….

      Reply this comment
      • John Seiler
        John Seiler 24 November, 2013, 08:20

        Canada’s system suffers long lines for important procedures: http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/publications/waiting-your-turn-2012.pdf

        Canadians DO know the cost, which is why they save up to drive South to the U.S. to pay hard cash for medical care, thus avoiding Canada’s socialist lines. And except for socialized medicine, in many ways Canada’s economy now is freer than ours.

        As to the Fatherland, its mostly socialist system takes its cues from America’s semi-free system. If Obamacare becomes law, the Germans no longer could do that because both models would be socialist:

        “Franz Knieps: A few years ago, we introduced disease-management programs, an approach we adopted from the United States. Because that country has so many different health insurance plans, it is often a laboratory for new ideas. Some US health insurers are using disease-management programs to improve the quality of care delivery while managing costs. We were impressed by the results these insurers were obtaining, and so we decided to implement similar programs in Germany.

        “We now have disease-management programs for patients with heart disease, diabetes, and some other common chronic conditions. The programs were designed using evidence-based guidelines, which ensures that the treatments included in the programs’ protocols are the most effective ones available.

        “To participate in the programs, patients must agree to get regular checkups from their doctors and to adhere to treatment recommendations. The doctors must agree to adhere to the programs’ protocols and to educate the patients about self-care. The programs give both patients and doctors an incentive to participate. For example, doctors are given additional money for each patient they enroll, and copayments are lower for enrolled patients. The health insurers benefit as well, because the programs are designed to prevent disease exacerbations, complications, and the high costs they entail. The insurers were also given additional funding from the federal risk-adjustment scheme to cover the programs’ initial costs.

        “Clear evidence is emerging that the programs have been very successful. Millions of patients have already enrolled; all of them have agreed to abide by the program’s protocols.”

        Like Canada, Germany also imposes strict limits on treatment — that is, rationing:

        “Franz Knieps: By law, our health insurers cannot reimburse for services that are deemed unnecessary. Thus, a doctor who provides such services will not be paid for them.

        “To determine the value of medical services and products, Germany established a national agency, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care [Institut für Qualität und Wirtschaftlichkeit im Gesundheitswesen (IQWiG)]. This agency is similar to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence [NICE] in the United Kingdom. Like NICE, IQWiG investigates medical devices, drugs, and other forms of treatment to determine how effective they are. If IQWiG decides that a given treatment does not provide value, the treatment can be excluded from the benefits package. These decisions are made by a very special institution in our system—the Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss [G-BA], a federal joint committee that represents doctors, nurses, other health professionals, the health insurance funds, and hospital owners. If IQWiG decides that a new device or drug is no better than existing therapies, reimbursement is set near the rate given to the existing therapies. But if IQWiG decides that a new drug or device is a real innovation, there are many fewer restrictions on reimbursement than in other countries.”

        Source of the interview: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/health_systems_and_services/how_germany_is_reining_in_health_care_costs_an_interview_with_franz_knieps

        And Germany’s birth rate is so low, about 1.3 per woman, that it soon will not have enough young workers to pay for old retirees. We have that problem, too, but it’s not as acute.

        Sorry, I don’t want that system for me. My ancestors immigrated from Germany more than 110 years ago to avoid Bismarck’s quasi-socialist system to live in free America.

        Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 24 November, 2013, 11:18

        “The government does know what everything costs, and stomps on any provider or drug company that attempts price-gouging.”

        Such an uniformed opinion. How do people come up with this nonsense?

        Government and big business in the medical industry has formed a monopoly alliance in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act through the ‘pay for play’ (pay for congressional votes) system that allows big business to run roughshod over the US consumer and extort the free-market that any normal businessman would go to jail for.

        This is the reason Americans pay 40% or more for US-made pharmaceuticals than our global neighbors in other 1st world nations. Reimportation of US- made drugs was made illegal by congress, thus keeping the price for domestic pharmaceuticals artificially high. The State of Maine fought this by passing a State law that would allow it’s citizens to purchase pharmaceuticals by mail from Canadian, Austrailian and New Zealand pharmacies. The pharmaceutical industry has initiated ligitgation against Maine to prevent their citizens from making their own free economic choices which would save them substantial discretionary income used to pay for life-saving drugs.

        This is the reason you can travel to Singapore or India and get a heart bypass surgery for $15k-$20k in a 1st class hospital performed by US educated and trained cardio-thorasic surgeons when the same surgery costs $150k in a regular US hospital.

        This is the reason you get charged $20 for a Tylenol pill when admitted in a US hospital when you could purchase that pill for pennies at the local pharmacy.

        This is the reason a cash-paying patient is charged 10x’s the amount for medical services than one billed through insurance. Logically, the opposite should be true. Cash is paid immediately with no bureaucratic hassle. Less hassle for everyone. Yet the cash payer is punished for not using the insurance system.

        Oh, and in government programs (medicare, medicaid, etc..) the gov pays medical companies an inflated price (over and above the price on the open market) for a device needed by a patient. If the gov paid the market price the medical companies would go bankrupt.

        Examples of collusion are rampant. This is the main problem with healthcare. Monopolized medicine. All the prices are hidden from the patients. Patients are unable to make informed decisions at the point of sale (like you can at WalMart). You buy in the dark and get billed later. And then you wonder why your insurance premiums are going through the roof!

        Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 24 November, 2013, 11:40

        Oh, and to those who claim that the insurance companies and the medical companies didn’t want ObamaCare – please, cut it out.

        The medical industry wrote the Affordable Care Act then paid Congress to pass it. Their political contributions to congress quadrupled leading up to the ACA approval.

        Did you know that if the insurance companies don’t make a minimal profit under ACA that YOU the taxpayer kicks in to GUARANTEE that they do?

        Like I told you….nothing really changes under ObamaCare except for those who are burdened with paying all the new costs – the productive working middle-class.

        The rest of them make out like bandits. Always have – always will – due to the collusion between government and big business.

        Reply this comment
    • Ted Steele, CEO
      Ted Steele, CEO 24 November, 2013, 09:10

      Katy– Please try to pay attention.

      You say that if you had an alt plan the President wouldn’t sign it….so…..I guess why bother?

      Are you kidding? Remember when Paul Ryan developed an alt budget that of course no President would ever sign? Didn’t stop him now did it? Hmmmmm

      Try again Katy. If you all had an alt plan you’d trot it out. You don’t. So you want us all to go back to the dark ages again. Please concentrate on the war against women and leave health care alone– so far you’ve shown nothing.

      Reply this comment
  5. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 24 November, 2013, 09:13

    Katy–

    Please come back when yo can turn your 5 fragmented Fox News talking points into a cogent plan that is actuarily supported and protects Americans as much as the ACA will when up and running. If I were you I would contact Paul Ryan’s office.

    The Ted System

    Reply this comment
  6. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 24 November, 2013, 13:44

    My first choice would be a true ‘free-market’ healthcare system in America. You pay out of pocket for your routine doctor visits/procedures and for your pharmaceuticals. You carry insurance only for hospitalizations and catastrophic medicine. Oh, and medical procedures – be it with devices or drugs – that extend life for 3 months at a cost of millions of dollars to the system should be outlawed unless the patient can finance the cost him or herself. If these simple methods were employed you would see consumer medical costs plummet. The reason you won’t see this common-sense approach implemented is because of the collusion between the medical system and the lawmakers. Neither would allow it because they want the robbery to continue. They want you to continue to spend $1 of every $5 for healthcare when many 1st world nations spend only the equivalent of $1 of every $8 to $11 for their healthcare and get better quality healthcare than we do in America.

    Actually, given a choice between the current healthcare system in Germany or France or Austria or Canada and our current healthcare system – I would choose theirs. They spend much less, per capita, on healthcare and their citizens live longer than ours. I have known many Germans and Canadians who really like their healthcare system, especially when compared to ours. In the past I needed to see a specialist for a certain medical conditions and it took a full 6-8 weeks to get an appointment with one in the network. Drugs are rationed for many healthcare plans in America. If the drug isn’t on the plan formulary – you don’t get it. In Germany if you twisted your ankle badly on Saturday and needed a strong pain reliever – instead of going to the ER to see a doc who charges you $500 for the visit – you could visit your local German pharmacy and the pharmacist would provide you with the medication that you need w/o a physician prescription. If the doctor of your choice is not in your HMO/PPO plan network – you don’t see him. If you feel chiropractic treatments would help your condition – unless it’s covered by your plan – you won’t get it. Those are all examples of rationing in our healthcare system. We just don’t call it ‘rationing’. We use more politically correct terms.

    I

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler 25 November, 2013, 08:35

      1. You wouldn’t like the Canadian system so much when you had to wait in a long line and were forced to go to the USA for treatment for cash.

      2. On the ease of getting medications in Germany compared to the USA: The problem with that is not our medical system, but the “war on drugs,” which limits what painkillers and other medications we can get over-the-counter. In the 1980s in Michigan, I knew people who drove to Windsor, Canada just to get non-prescription codeine. Nowadays, of course, if you tried to do that and the Border Patrol caught you, you would be accused of being a drug smuggler and shipped to Guantanamo.

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 25 November, 2013, 10:23

        1. There are many more (over a million) US medical tourists going to Mexico, India, Singapore, Thailand, etc… for medical treatment than there are Canadians coming to the US. I recall a poll in Canada in 2009-10 asking whether Canadians preferred the US healthcare system over the Canadian system. About 92% preferred their own. So the claim that Canadians are pouring over the border for US healthcare services is largely a myth.

        2. No. The ‘war on drugs’ was the excuse given. The real reason Congress made the reimportation of pharmaceutical illegal was to keep the price of US made drugs in America articificially high compared to the rest of the world. The pharmaceutical industry paid them to made reimportation illegal. Congress could have just made ‘addictive’ substances illegal. Instead it made the reimportation of ALL pharmaceuticals illegal – to include statins, diabetic meds, anti-depressants, antibiotics, etc…

        Remember, the US citizen would STILL need a prescription from a US medical doctor to order the prescription medicine from the approved Canadian pharmacy. Ordering non-prescription coedine would STILL be illegal under the law.

        The reimportation law was devised by congress as a gift to the US pharmaceutical companies to make you pay 40% of more than your 1st world global neighbors for US pharmaceuticals. You subsidize the rest of the world to finance the all the research and development even though your 1st world neighbors get the same benefit of the drug as you do and should also fund the research and development of these same drugs.

        Why do you think the pharmaceutical industry is in a legal battle with the citizens of Maine who passed their own law for access to PRESCRIPTION medicines from Canada??? Follow the money trail.

        Reply this comment
        • John Seiler
          John Seiler 25 November, 2013, 11:52

          Curious you favor socialized medicine of any sort. If there’s something that’s a sign of collapse, that’s it.

          “1. There are many more (over a million) US medical tourists going to Mexico, India, Singapore, Thailand, etc… for medical treatment than there are Canadians coming to the US.”

          Of course, we have 10 times Canada’s population. I never said millions of Canadians were coming here.

          “I recall a poll in Canada in 2009-10 asking whether Canadians preferred the US healthcare system over the Canadian system. About 92% preferred their own.”

          That’s because they’ve been brainwashed by their own govt.

          “So the claim that Canadians are pouring over the border for US healthcare services is largely a myth.”

          See this: http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/11/report-thousands-fled-canada-for-health-care-in-2011/

          Quotes:

          “A Canadian study released Wednesday found that many provinces in our neighbor to the north have seen patients fleeing the country and opting for medical treatment in the United States.

          “The nonpartisan Fraser Institute reported that 46,159 Canadians sought medical treatment outside of Canada in 2011, as wait times increased 104 percent — more than double — compared with statistics from 1993.

          “Specialist physicians surveyed across 12 specialties and 10 provinces reported an average total wait time of 19 weeks between the time a general practitioner refers a patient and the time a specialist provides elective treatment — the longest they have ever recorded.

          “In 2011, Canadians enrolled in the nation’s government-dominated health service waited long periods of time for an estimated 941,321 procedures. As many as 2.8 percent of Canadians were waiting for treatment at any given time, according to the Institute.

          “In some cases, these patients needed to leave Canada due to a lack of available resources or a lack of appropriate procedure/technology,” according to the Institute. “In others, their departure will have been driven by a desire to return more quickly to their lives, to seek out superior quality care, or perhaps to save their own lives or avoid the risk of disability.”

          “Increases in the number of patients leaving Canada for treatment were seen in seven of the ten Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

          “’Some of these patients will have been sent out of country by the public health care system due to a lack of available resources or the fact that some procedures or equipment are not provided in their home jurisdiction,’ the report concluded.

          “’Others will have chosen to leave Canada in response to concerns about quality … to avoid some of the adverse medical consequences of waiting for care such as worsening of their condition, poorer outcomes following treatment, disability, or death … or simply to avoid delay.’”

          Reply this comment
          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 25 November, 2013, 12:40

            Just curious. Why did you completely ignore my response to item #2 with regard to the US laws that prohibit the reimportation of US made pharmaceuticals so that US citizens would not have to pay 40% or more than our 1st world global neighbors for medicines made in our own country?

            With regard to item #1 let me provide more factual data:

            Your Fraser Institute study did not say that about 46,000 Canadians came to America for their health care treatment. It said that 46,000 received some sort of health care treatment outside of Canada. I thought we were comparing the Canadian and American health care systems here. I suspect only a handful of those 46,000 Canadians actually used the US health care system in lieu of their own.

            And then we know:

            *A Strategic Counsel survey found 91% of Canadians prefer their healthcare system instead of a U.S. style system*

            Which confirms that over 9 of every 10 Canadians prefer their Canadian health care system over the US health care system – so why would Canadians come here to get their health care?

            So we have 10 times the population of Canada? Approximately, yes. In 2011 about 46,000 Canadians went elsewhere to get health care treatment. In the same year about 850,000 Americans went outside our country to get health care treatment.

            10 X 46,000 = 460,000.

            850,000 – 460,000 = 390,000.

            So proportionally it seems that many more Americans flee our country for foreign medical treatment than Canadians flee theirs.

            Then we have this:

            ‘A 2003 Gallup poll found 25% of Americans are “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with “the availability of affordable healthcare in the United States”, as opposed to 50% of those in England and 57% of Canadians. 44% of Americans were “very dissatified”, while only 25% of the British, and 17% of Canadians. With regard to ‘quality’, 48% of Americans, 52% of Canadians, and 42% of Britons say they are satisfied

            Was this Gallup poll due to ‘brainwashing’ too?

            Unless we accept the fact that we Americans pay about $1 of every $5 dollars we spend on health care while the rest of the civilized world spends the equivalent $1 for every $8-$11 dollars, while they outlive us and have better medical outcomes for most major illnesses – we get what we deserve. We will continue to pay more – and get less.

          • John Seiler
            John Seiler 25 November, 2013, 18:38

            Answer: I don’t have enough hours to answer every point of every comment on every article we put up. I’ve been going 11 hours now and still have another hour of work at least. I don’t have a cushy government job.

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 25 November, 2013, 13:57

            “Curious you favor socialized medicine of any sort. If there’s something that’s a sign of collapse, that’s it.”

            Obviously you failed to read my FIRST preferred option for the US health care system (in comment #6). That would be a FULL FREE-MARKET HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. You seem to like to read the parts of my comments that you want to read and then dismiss the rest. That makes for a poor and incomplete discussion.

            I said I would rather have a Canadian health care system than what we currently have in the US – which is a combination of government controlled health care and extortion-based health care in which the medical corporations pay the politicians to pass certain laws that protect their businesses from competition. It’s the worst of both worlds. At least under the Canadian system health care costs MUCH less than what we pay in America (both as a % of GDP and per capita) and the corporate corruption has been eliminated for the most part.

            We get screwed at both ends and PAY MORE to GET LESS.

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 26 November, 2013, 01:14

            You lost me. You spent a considerable amount of time on your previous comments on Monday. You’re the one who claimed that the pharmaceutical reimportation law was enacted due to the ‘war on drugs’. I explained to you why that doesn’t make a bit of sense. Then you went silent.

            You also claimed that I favored “socialized medicine of any sort.” I explained how my previous comment proved that claim to be untrue. Then you went silent.

            Then you posted the Fraser Institute Study and I explained that the study merely reported that 46,000 Canadians received medical treatment outside of Canada. But the study made no claim that any of those 46,000 came to America for treatment. Then you went silent.

            Then I showed you a poll that indicated over 9 of every 10 Canadians preferred their own healthcare system over the American healthcare system. And I referenced a previous Gallup Poll that indicated the brits and the Canadians seemed more satisfied with their healthcare system than we are with ours. No comment.

            If you want to take the time to question my comments and start a discussion -that’s fine. Let’s discuss.

          • John Seiler
            John Seiler 26 November, 2013, 07:54

            I’m sorry, I don’t have time for continuing long threads right now. Too much writing and editing before the holiday.

            Perhaps other commentators can answer your questions.

  7. Queeg
    Queeg 24 November, 2013, 19:49

    It is amazing that a small bunch of goons can bring free people to their knees.

    Reply this comment
  8. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 25 November, 2013, 12:00

    When I actually see price lists posted in the American medical clinics and in the US hospitals with consumers scouring those lists for the best deals – like you would see at the grocery store or at WalMart in a ‘free-market’ economy – that would be the first sign that the government/medical industry monopoly has tripped and fallen. But I don’t expect to see that in my lifetime. The price-gouging racket with higher and higher insurance premiums will continue until it can’t anymore. And most Americans still won’t be able to figure it out.

    Reply this comment
  9. Queeg
    Queeg 25 November, 2013, 23:13

    Teddy…..above the fray Bro…….They got lots of motivational material for circular loser squads in elections……. Not much else!

    Reply this comment
  10. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 26 November, 2013, 13:18

    TIME Magazine will, of course, select a “Person of the Year” for 2013. TIME is asking for reader input to help select the awardee.

    Currently, Edward Snowden is way out in front with about 69% of the votes.

    Guess who’s in 2nd place? VLADAMIR PUTIN!

    Guess what percentage of the votes that Obama has????

    Answer: .3%. And YES. there IS a decimal point before the number 3!!!!

    Looks like Americans are finally waking from their deep slumber!!! lol.

    Reply this comment
  11. dltravers
    dltravers 26 November, 2013, 19:31

    I have had great medical insurance and have watched the costs rise over time. Now the G says I need more expensive insurance with vastly higher deductables that what I have right now.

    The G is incapable of delivering goods and services. How did that become their role? This is a great deal why are the Dems starting to run and sound like the Tea Party in October?

    Reply this comment
  12. The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit
    The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit 27 November, 2013, 09:47

    What about the Monkey Butlers? Will they get affordable vetrinarian coverage???

    Reply this comment
  13. Queeg
    Queeg 27 November, 2013, 10:07

    Collapse give poor John a break.

    He has lots on his plate.

    No thinking/ pragmatic human could ever wade through medieval depressing tomes without depression and exhaustion.

    Save John for editing and writing articles where he shines.

    CWD is a very interesting site…strongly investigative….provocative at times…..catharsis for disturbed Doomers….

    Like Mikey…..We like it!

    Reply this comment
  14. mydoc
    mydoc 27 November, 2013, 10:33

    I have a fix for a failed healthcare system. Abolish administration fees. We spent 1.25 billion to recover 250 Million from medicare fraud. 750 million dollars of that was spent on administration fees. Does anyone get that?? We gave 910 million dollars to administrators to implement ACA in california alone. Really!!! This is why the healthcare system is failing.

    Reply this comment
  15. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 27 November, 2013, 13:45

    As I said previously, my 1st healthcare system choice would be one driven by the free market. Everyone pays out of pocket for routine costs (ie, doctor visits, physicals, routine procedures, x-rays, ultrasounds, blood work, etc..) and insurance is offered only for hospitalizations and catastrophic medicine. All medical clinic and hospitals are mandated to display price lists for consumers to consider when choosing where to obtain medical care. And just like with all other US industries and businesses that offer goods and services, medical providers would advertise their services and pricings to the consumers in publications of their choice.

    Naturally, under my proposal, consumer medical costs would fall precipitously. The consumer would win. The medical providers and the insurance corporations would lose. Competition would spur better medicine but the huge excessive profits for the medical corporations and insurance industry would go away. Medicine in America would once again become about providing the best healthcare for the people as opposed to stuffing the pockets of the crony capitalists who make you pay the most of any 1st world nation for your healthcare only to get less in return.

    I realize my proposal would never see the light of day due to the collusion between the medical industry and big government. They want you to pay more and get less. As long as that formula is in place – they win and you lose. And since the government rules your lives by enacting laws for legal bribes that protect big business from competition and force you to buy health insurance (otherwise you pay the government a penalty)- the government and big business wins while you (the consumer) lose.

    And I would propose another requirement that goes along with my free market healthcare proposal. I completely support one’s personal choice to engage in risky medical behaviors like smoking, drinking to excess, eating to the point of becoming obese, etc… But those who engage in such behaviors should pay a premium for their healthcare in line with free market principles. They should not be allowed to offload the incremental costs of their poor habits which result in more treatment for resultant medical conditions to those who choose not to engage is such risky behaviors. So smokers, excessive drinkers, the obese, etc… should pay more in a free market healthcare system. It’s only fair.

    Those are common sense ‘fixes’ for our broken healthcare system. But since the puppet masters of society PROFIT from the system being broken – I have little hope for a remedy.

    The next best (a distant second) solution would be to adopt a system like Canada has. Canada spends much less than we do and they live longer, plus overall show better medical outcomes than the USA.

    Here are some facts on how much different nation’s spend PER CAPITA on healthcare:

    USA: $8,223
    Canada: $4,445
    Australia: $3,670
    Japan: $3,035

    The life span in each of those nations in longer than in America. And their medical outcomes either equal ours or are better than ours.

    This is all common sense. Pure common sense.

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler 27 November, 2013, 14:20

      Pure stuff n nonsense. No way I would prefer those countries’ systems to ours.

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 27 November, 2013, 14:28

        Naturally, you can’t offer reasons or rebut the facts that I provided. You don’t have the time. lol.

        Reply this comment
      • The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit
        The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit 27 November, 2013, 15:44

        well said John– Canada?? Yikes I mean sheeeeeesh— the horror stories out there are legion!!!

        We do need single payer though and in time we’ll get it– maybe Hillary wants another shot at it? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway—-America will do single payer better than anyone! Because WE are exceptional!!!!

        Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 27 November, 2013, 16:38

          91% of Canadians prefer their HC system to ours. Polls have determined that.

          Canada is a single-payor health care system, just as Australia’s and Japan’s are, and most of the rest of the civilized world. lol. I have to assume you’ve never been to Canada, nor spoken to Canadian citizens about their HC system. Btw, I hear horror stories constantly about the US healthcare system. All the polls I’ve seen say the Canadians are much more satisfied with their HC system than Americans are with ours. But I guess both nations have been brainwashed and we can’t take their words for it. lol. Canadians have been brainwashed to think their HC is good and Americans have been brainwashed to think our HC is bad. lol. Funny how that works.

          Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo….war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength!

          Reply this comment
          • John Seiler
            John Seiler 27 November, 2013, 19:47

            The health care system Canadians love is the one they flee to — that in the USA:

            http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/11/report-thousands-fled-canada-for-health-care-in-2011/

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 28 November, 2013, 00:03

            Did you even take the time to read the Fraser Institute Report? The report said that 46,159 Canadians sought treatment outside Canada in 2011. It said zip, zero, nada about any of those 46,159 Canadians coming to the USA for their medical treatment. You should take the time to actually read the report. There was no indication where they went fr their treatment. But they probably went to the same affordable nations that 850,000 Americans went to in the same year – namely Mexico, India, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, etc…. Why would they come to America when they could get the same medical procedure done for 15% of what it would cost them in the United States?

            Btw, Canada has a population of over 36 million. 46,000 is a small drop in the bucket.

            And I explained to you before that an independent poll determined that 91% of Canadians prefer their health care system over the US health care system. Why isn’t that registering?

            There are multiple studies (American and Canadian) that indicate Canadians prefer their health care system over America’s health care system.

            Show me one study that says otherwise. Or show me one study that says Americans prefer the US health care system over Canada’s.

            Waiting…..

            And I gave you the comparison of US and Canadian PER CAPITA health care spending:

            America: $8,223
            Canada: $4,445

            And people are living longer in Canada and their medical outcomes are equal or better than ours!

            How many times do I have to repeat these facts?

  16. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 27 November, 2013, 16:12

    I’ve never seen so many people who favor paying more and getting less. lol.

    Must be something in the water.

    Reply this comment
  17. Queeg
    Queeg 28 November, 2013, 08:29

    Collapse.

    Take a breather

    You’re smothering CWD..

    Our fingers are blistered from scrolling past your thoughtful, meandering, exhausting rants……

    Your head could explode…..no mas!

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 28 November, 2013, 10:23

      That great late conservative historian and philosopher, Will Durant, once said:

      “Truth changes her garments frequently, like every seemly lady, but under the new habit she remains always the same.”

      I just adore that man.

      Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

      Reply this comment
  18. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 29 November, 2013, 12:17

    I looked at the global life expectancy rates.

    Canada is #4 in the world. Males on average live to 80 and females to 84.

    America is ranked #33. Males live to 76 and females live to 80.

    How could Canada be ranked #4 in life expectancy if it had a substandard healthcare system? That doesn’t make any logical sense.

    Then to add insult to injury, Canada spends only $4,445 per capital for healthcare while America spends $8,223.

    Maybe if the US mainstream media and the 6 o’clock news didn’t hide these pertinent facts from the American people more would understand the con job that’s being pulled on them and demand productive change. Not con job change like ObamaCare that just shifts all the added costs to the productive middle class worker by forcing him to buy a product that he doesn’t want or need. I mean real change that dismantles the government/medical industry collusion that is destroying the economy by pilfering nearly 20% ($1 in every $5) of all the money spent in the US economy!

    Reply this comment
  19. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 29 November, 2013, 15:33

    And then when our citizens from the State of Maine simply want to share in the Canadian health care cost savings by buying back common US-made prescription pharmaceuticals shipped to Canadian pharmacies at a cheaper price than they could purchase from a US pharmacy, the US pharmaceutical industry thwarts their freedom of economic choice through court action and the US government backs the pharmaceutical industry.

    You see, these health care cost pressures on the average citizen have gradually consumed America because of actions taken by the medical industry that, in practically any other industry, would constitute a crime. Health care expenses used to consume only a low single digit of our GDP. But today health care consumes nearly $1 of every $5 spent in the US economy. By FAR, the highest cost to GDP ratio on the entire globe!

    Why? Easy. By using their money and political influence to get laws written and passed that amount to legalized extortion of the US consumer – by racheting up prices by 5 times or more of what they should be in a ‘free market’ then by forcing you to buy health insurance, without which you would end up financially bankrupt in the event that you required extensive medical care. If you would prefer to pay for your treatment with cash – instead of submitting to the insurance scam – the providers would charge you 10 times more for their services. So they’ve got you trapped into playing the game by their rules which, of course, benefit them and greatly disadvantage you.

    Again, ask yourself why you should have to pay a minimum 40% more than a Canadian citizen for the same US made drug?

    Ask yourself why a heart bypass surgery in India or Singapore or Malaysia would cost you $15,000-$25,000 cash when the same surgery would cost you $150,000-$190,000 cash in an American hospital when the hospitals use the same equipment, use board certified cardio-thorasic surgeons (trained in America) and the morbidity rates are practically identical?

    Have you ever heard the mainstream US media (liberal or conservative) seriously address this angle when discussing the all-important health care topic before the American people?

    Have you ever wondered why?

    Reply this comment
  20. Queeg
    Queeg 29 November, 2013, 22:04

    My….three more?

    What did we do wrong?

    Reply this comment
  21. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 30 November, 2013, 11:27

    Don’t believe the government when it tells you that your health is their top priority and that it has your best interests at heart. Don’t believe the medical industry either!

    You see, big money destroys freedom. There are Americans who can’t afford their medications because they are priced out of the market. For instance, many people have asthma and need medicated inhalers to breathe properly. Most people I know need to breathe to live. Some are forced to pay $175 or more in the American market for an American-made inhaler that lasts a month. The same inhaler would cost them $60 in Canada. But the pharmaceutical companies have lobbied Congress to make it illegal for these Americans to buy their life-sustaining inhalers from Canada. So they either pony up the American price or suffer. Inhalers are just one example. Many Americans do without other medications for chronic conditions that would prolong their lives simply because they can’t afford to pay the American price. They could afford to pay the Canadian price – but by doing so they would be breaking the law. Even though they don’t call it a ‘death panel’ what else would one call it? By pricing an American out of the US market and forbidding him BY LAW to buy an American-made medication from Canada – effectively it could be viewed as a premature death sentence. And this has been going on for a LONG LONG TIME. Why doesn’t the media – which is supposed to fight and prevent tyranny and protect the interests of the common man – make a huge issue over this? Big money destroys freedom.

    This is why the good people in the State of Maine are outraged that the pharma industry has stepped in to repeal their new law through the courts. The law that would allow them to buy their medications via mail order through Canada, New Zealand or Australia. Common citizens are dying prematurely or suffering in misery because they can’t afford to pay the high American medication prices that subsidize the rest of the civilized world.

    So once again….American style healthcare is more about gov/corporate collusion and big money and greed than keeping you healthy. All the aforementioned facts and statistics point in this direction. My Lord, talk about man’s inhumanity to man!

    Reply this comment
  22. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 30 November, 2013, 12:11

    Oh, another inconvenient factoid.

    Japan is #1 in the world in terms of life expectancy. Males live on average to 83. Females to 86.

    USA = #33. Males to 76. Females to 80.

    Here’s the kicker.

    Japan spends $3,036 on it’s nation’s healthcare per capita.

    USA? $8,223 per capita.

    Duh?

    Reply this comment
  23. Queeg
    Queeg 30 November, 2013, 23:05

    Fast food truly is expensive then? Every french fry takes eights hours off a life!

    Reply this comment
  24. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 1 December, 2013, 16:03

    Dental care is no better. Another racket.

    Root canal and crown runs about $2000.

    Acquaintance just got it done across the border in Mexico for $450.

    No wait times.

    Doc was licensed to practice in both Mex and the US.

    Reply this comment
  25. Shari Posey
    Shari Posey 4 December, 2013, 09:39

    My husband and I signed up on CoveredCa.com without a problem in October. I had to call to ask some questions about which line on our tax return to use because we are both self-employed so we don’t have W2s. Otherwise, it was relatively easy. In our own case, we save money with the new plan offered by the marketplace.

    I lived in Japan for 2 years from 1998-2000 and used their health system. No problems whatsoever and I went to the hospital twice. I also had a $100 root canal and crown done in Japan. I have had no problem with my Japanese dental work and every single one of my US root canals (2 different dentists) have had to be redone.

    Reply this comment

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