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Author Topic: Facing blistering criticism, Blue Cross of CA stops doctor letters  (Read 1708 times)
RandallS
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« Topic Start: February 13, 2008, 10:36:39 am »

This AP story is yet another reason why I think we need to replace for-profit insurance companies with a government controlled single-payer system that accepts everyone no matter what their medical condition and puts everyone in one "pool" so the costs are shared by hundreds of millions.

Quote
LOS ANGELES—Blue Cross of California quickly halted its practice of sending letters to doctors asking them to report conditions it could use to cancel new patients' medical coverage after a widespread wave of criticism.

The move announced Tuesday by the state's largest for-profit health insurer came just hours after revelations in the Los Angeles Times that the company was sending the letters, prompting outcry from doctors, patients, the governor and even presidential candidates.

Facing blistering criticism, Blue Cross stops doctor letters
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« Reply #1: February 13, 2008, 11:03:55 am »

This AP story is yet another reason why I think we need to replace for-profit insurance companies with a government controlled single-payer system that accepts everyone no matter what their medical condition and puts everyone in one "pool" so the costs are shared by hundreds of millions.

I would think it would be a lot cheaper too, though I'm far from knowledgeable on the subject. I've become more aware now than ever on the costs. With the strong possibility of loosing my job soon, I've been looking into the cost of health insurance for my family in case I end up self employed.

I wouldn't be able to afford the COBRA coverage for my current employers insurance which is over $1500 per month. So far, the cheapest family coverage I've found is well over $600 per month, and that is basically to cover something big like a major illness with hospital stay. Even then, there would be between $5000 - $10,000 deductible. For better coverage, the cost averages between $800-$1100 per friggin month!  Somewhere, which I can't recall where, I read that the average national rate for family coverage is something like $12000.00 per year. That took into account what employers pay as well as individuals.

I'd like someone to explain how that is affordable considering it's more than many pay for a decent sized mortgage?
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« Reply #2: February 13, 2008, 12:01:32 pm »

This AP story is yet another reason why I think we need to replace for-profit insurance companies with a government controlled single-payer system that accepts everyone no matter what their medical condition and puts everyone in one "pool" so the costs are shared by hundreds of millions.

Facing blistering criticism, Blue Cross stops doctor letters

Lols the San Jose Mercury...

Hopefully were they to create a government regulated insurance system, they would regulate and cap the pharmaceutical industry at the same time - as well as the markups on things like office visits and routine appointments.   

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« Reply #3: February 13, 2008, 12:08:10 pm »

This AP story is yet another reason why I think we need to replace for-profit insurance companies with a government controlled single-payer system that accepts everyone no matter what their medical condition and puts everyone in one "pool" so the costs are shared by hundreds of millions.

Facing blistering criticism, Blue Cross stops doctor letters

Blue Cross dropped my mother's coverage last year because she missed a payment. It was an oversight and she was fully prepared to make it up with a double payment but they said no..sorry, you're terminated. She'd been paying on it faithfully for 5+ years. Now she has no insurance and about 7 months until she can get Medicare.

Just before Thanksgiving this year she developed a series of medical problems that required a 6 week hospital stay. There was no major surgery involved but she did spend a lot of time in intensive care.

The bill for her hospital stay alone was $350,000. All we could do was laugh when we saw it because there's no way she could ever pay it.

The hospital tried to work things out, they took off $150,000 and then asked for a monthly payment of $3000. Again, no way that could happen. Eventually they wrote it off to charity. Thank goodness. But she still has doctors bills in the 10's of thousands.

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« Reply #4: February 13, 2008, 12:34:20 pm »

This AP story is yet another reason why I think we need to replace for-profit insurance companies with a government controlled single-payer system that accepts everyone no matter what their medical condition and puts everyone in one "pool" so the costs are shared by hundreds of millions.

Facing blistering criticism, Blue Cross stops doctor letters

That’s a disgusting unethical practise.  It makes me so glad that I have the NHS in the UK. My sister needed a heart transplant which we got on the NHS. If we where in the states we would have not been able to afford it or would have been crippled financially for decades since I found out some interesting stats about hear transplants:

“1 in 4 donated hearts comes from an uninsured American, the ratio is much lower on the recipient side. “

“Hence, it apparently all boils down to money, at least where insurance is non-existent. The average cost of a heart transplant according to a study by the Battelle Institute/Seattle Research Center, runs from $50,000 to $287,000, averaging at $148,000”

“There’s no “discounts” but a simple, “Here’s other ways you can go arrange the money” attitude”

In my own personal ethics I believe having access to health care is a basic human right, not a privilege.
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