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About Kragar

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    Huntington Beach, CA

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  1. Dang. Always loved me some Streetheart. RIP.
  2. I do remember you commenting on SA's plan. I too wonder about billable hours, or more precisely: patient visits. Last time I had to see a doc in BC was after a car accident. I was in and out so quickly, with a prescription (a not terribly useful one) and recommendation to come back in a couple days, so the whiplash symptoms could be revisited. When I read up on the prescription later, I couldn't get over what he did. It wasn't going to hurt, but it wasn't what I needed. Anyhow, I saw a chiro soon after (always have supported them), and much preferred the treatment, even though it cost more. I wonder how many just try to see as many patients as possible, to prop up the bottom line as much as trying to being more helpful. There's nothing wrong with working more to earn more, but if the work suffers as a result, then it doesn't help the customers all that much. I hear ya on two-tier. But isn't it already coming into play in Canada (and UK...) with supplemental plans? And something that gets overlooked by many in the debate over our two systems are taxes and illegal immigration. Canadians pay higher income taxes to help cover the costs of having more social services like health care. And with little control over illegal immigration now, tacking on health care for them (who likely need it more than the average person due to their previous situation) means additional pressure on our potential health care costs. It's a big ol mess, to be sure.
  3. HMOs are generally terrible (IIRC, Hillary's first attempt to fix health care back in the 90s). They are a low cost insurance plan, which lowers choice because many doctors won't accept the reduced costs and care options involved (see my earlier comment about reduced quality ). I don't know the spread on those with HMO vs PPO, but I learned right away to pay for the PPO. Not having a choice about your carrier through employer plans is a problem, since it greatly reduces competition and consumer knowledge of what they actually have. There is generally still some choice between HMO and PPO (the preferred option), and some tweaks here or there. Each plan then has options of which doctors will take the insurance, with PPO being better than HMO. I made a comment (not sure what thread) about how the Swiss handle this. No employer plans, and much better competition... I believe they have more insurance companies to choose from, despite having 1/15th the population. And, there's no restrictions for pre-existing conditions. The only thing government did there was mandate having coverage and subsidizing lower incomes to better afford it. I like the sound of that so much better. IIRC, their outcomes are better than both of ours.
  4. Just spit-balling: Cut down on the number MRI's or other costly tests approved, denying certain procedures to the elderly, denying a more extensive, cosmetically preferred procedure in favor of something cheaper that medically does about as good a job. Meds that don't work quite as well. Basically, anything to cut costs, and when it comes down to a political decision rather than medical, there is only so much influence the medical community can have. Or, there's always tax increases!
  5. Agreed. All this work for something that is so similar is wasteful. To be fair, approval rating for something that hasn't been implemented yet though has less meaning. I suspect Obamacare has lower ratings now than it does before it was passed. If the GOP can ever get something sorted out so that there is a real bill that gets passed, then a better comparison can be seen. However, the way things look now, it will still suck
  6. I agree with this. But something to consider: wait times and doctor availability, things that are worsening in Canada, and are also part of "quality". The professionalism if the politicians is what I am most concerned about here. I know (for the most part) the docs and their teams do their best. If they can't resolve the wait time issue and it worsens, what's to stop them from other cuts in quality to try to balance things out?
  7. That's because the GOP bill is about as crappy as Obamacare. From what I heard, many bill proposals don't change much of Obamacare at all. IMO, repeal the whole thing, and only do something to deal with the uninsurable. We already have a program for those that struggle to afford care.
  8. I hope you are right. IMO single-payer is not the solution. It might work in the short-term, but when you have one entity responsible for bill, and they are not the consumer, they won't care about the cost or quality of the service. Single-payer might seem "fair", but those with money will always find a way to get better service, so the degradation in quality just impacts a larger percentage of the population (poor and middle rather than just poor).
  9. While it sounds elegant, the defense budget wouldn't come close to solving this. Medicare, which only covers about 15% of the population, accounts for well over half of the defense budget. And, the defense budget includes all of their spending, including the VA (so, more health coverage). And of course, Medicare sucks, clearly a bare-bones program. Perhaps the for-profit aspect has a big enough impact there, to make the difference, but that's a lot to make up for. While it would obviously make a difference and cut costs, it's not enough. Also, since defense spending is only about 3.5% of GDP, per the NATO agreement can they really cut all that much? These are all just small pieces in that fustercluck (nice!). And, while you point out that it's a pipedream with the current GOP, I say it wouldn't matter with the lobbyists in so frickin deep on both sides. Their only political party is the budget, and how much they can grab from it. I doubt that the progressives would want to cut the costs, because if it is more expensive, then that is more money they need to take in taxes. And those too closely tied to the lobbyists (which is almost everyone in DC) just do what they're told/paid to do. If the insurance companies could at least improve their competition, and be allowed to sell across state lines (for instance), that would at least get those corporations interested in cutting costs.
  10. I think there's a number of pieces to that puzzle. Pharmaceuticals are more expensive here than up north, and since too many doctors and/or patients rely on drugs as the solution, that doesn't help. Additionally, I suspect some over-treating going on, for example excessive tests that aren't needed. It's a massive cash cow, and lobbyists work hard to keep the money flowing. Increasing competition between insurance companies will go a long way to help fix that, but it's easier said than done.
  11. The strategy referenced here is for health care, not the election.
  12. Awesome, thanks. I know what you mean about the sunglasses experiment. There's a place we often stop for food when driving up north out of LA, and the deep blue sky over the mountains looks great to me, but it is blah in the pic. Looking forward to trying this out Edit: even better, it's a much lower price than Nikon's
  13. Agreed, but it's not just him. How many Reps or Senators campaigned about the same thing, and now they aren't sticking to their word, for fear of being seen as the bad guy? Honestly, I don't think either side has/had a "winning" strategy. With rumors about Obamacare deliberately being flawed, to enable the drive towards single-payer (which I know you consider a win, but when the government cannot afford Obamacare, can't handle their current single payer system (the VA), expecting them to handle single payer for the country is more than a pipedream IMO), and the GOP too afraid to try what many of them claim to be right, we just continue on our path down the drain.
  14. Good to know, thanks. Wasn't aware about Session's earlier support, but that makes sense.
  15. Yeah, I don't get this either. And I can't see there being too much closeness between these two before Sessions was nominated. Trump needed some conservatives in his cabinet, and Sessions was a decent choice. I can't imagine they sent each other Christmas cards before Trump entered the race all those months ago.