Saturday, April 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Medical cost out of control

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From page A8 | November 18, 2012 | 20 Comments

While I was visiting my son in Texas, my wife was taken to a local hospital with chest pains, thinking heart attack and taking no chance.

Without checking if she was allergic to any medication, she was given morphine from which she had a reaction. This was quickly corrected. After an EKG she was informed that she did not suffer a heart attack.

At this time, she wanted to return home, by now under the influence of who knows what. A long story made short, she spent one night in the hospital.

About one week later she received a bill for $85,000. Yes, you read it right. One night, $85,000.

Something is majorly wrong here, folks.

Cliff Tillotson

Fairfield

Letter to the Editor

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Discussion | 20 comments

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  • rlw895November 18, 2012 - 12:18 am

    Sounds like what Michael Moore was trying to tell us in his documentary "Sicko."

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  • Mr. PracticalNovember 18, 2012 - 7:05 am

    Actually it sounds like we need health care reform that addresses the high cost of health care rather than legislation that is primarily insurance regulation and taxes.

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  • rlw895November 18, 2012 - 7:19 am

    MrP: Agreed. Too bad the Republicans were too busy trying to make Obama a one-term president when they had a chance to serve the public.

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  • Mr. PracticalNovember 18, 2012 - 7:39 am

    Republicans had no say in the matter. They weren't invited to the party.

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  • rlw895November 18, 2012 - 8:44 am

    That's the Republican mythology all right. Meanwhile the evil socialist Obama was forcing the Republicans' own universal health care plan down their throat, a plan that the insurance companies think is just fine, but that does way too little to control costs. Obama moved to the right, and the Republican's moved further right and It doesn't cost the state anything to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to lower the approval requirement for LOCAL taxes from 2/3 to something more reasonable, such as 55%. School bonds are already at 55%. Paradoxically, for a school district to pass a school maintenance tax, it would have to get a 2/3 majority even though the tax to build the schools in the first place only required 55%. him. The country lost, and for what? The great Republican success in the 2012 elections?

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  • rlw895November 18, 2012 - 8:51 am

    Sorry, I don't know what happened to that post. Here it is again: That's the Republican mythology all right. Meanwhile the evil socialist Obama was forcing the Republicans' own universal health care plan down their throat, a plan that the insurance companies think is just fine, but that does way too little to control costs. Obama moved to the right, and the Republican's moved further right. The country lost, and for what? The great Republican success in the 2012 elections?

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  • Mr. PracticalNovember 18, 2012 - 8:51 am

    With all due respect, none of that has anything to do with my original comment that we need real healthcare reform and not just insurance regulation and taxes.

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  • rlw895November 18, 2012 - 8:56 am

    Good observation! We agree again;-). My replacement post is what I intended.

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  • Mr. PracticalNovember 18, 2012 - 9:16 am

    rlw, I simply commented on the merits of the act. You, uncharacteristically, made it into a partisan blame game. It seems to me if we really want compromise, we need to discuss the issues rather than rhetoric about perceived party position.

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  • rlw895November 18, 2012 - 11:03 am

    MrP: Thank you for thinking so well of me, but I must be forgiven for a little venting now that the pressure and worry over the election is over. I DID say we agreed;-). The best we can say about the ACA is it was the best we could do, it WAS progress, and its major fault is it doesn't contain costs enough. The question now is, have the Republicans in congress dug themselves so deep in a hole the can't get out to solve problems? Will the 2014 or 2016 campaign start now, or will serving the public no matter who gets the credit rule the day? The are still a lot of now anachronistic tea partiers in congress to whom the Republicans sold their soul. That only the Republicans can fix. And it must be fixed, because those people don't compromise. It's the proverbial "my way or the highway," all the while blaming Obama for being obstructionist. Obama, the most unilateral compromiser I've ever seen. The Republicans have such a good deal in him, it's amazing to me the Republicans don't see it.

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  • Mike kirchubelNovember 18, 2012 - 1:02 pm

    I would like to see,the health insurance industry out of the picture . We dont need them to take their fAt slice of money out of the Middle. We need universal health care with a Kaiser type solution,or a single payer plan to keep prices in line

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  • Mr. PracticalNovember 18, 2012 - 1:08 pm

    Mike, the health insurance industry operates at razor thin margins. The government will not be able to operate as efficiently as the insurance industry does. In the end, it would increase the cost of care and create another IRS type bureaucracy. The insurance industry is not the problem. It's the cost of health care that's the problem. Insurance premiums simply mirror that.

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  • Razor thin profit? What a absurd comment!November 18, 2012 - 1:36 pm

    Health insurance companies are seeing record profits year after year..Your comment is the most moronic statement I've ever heard! ://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/14/business/14health.html

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  • Mr. PracticalNovember 18, 2012 - 1:49 pm

    Interesting that your NY Times editorial doesn't quote numbers. It simply makes an unqualified statement. I'll leave you with this from the Washington Post that proves my point. The health insurance industry is not the problem... "The health-care sector is absurdly profitable. According to this data at Yahoo Finance, the sector-wide profit margin is 21.5 percent. But the insurance industry is one of its least-profitable parts: Its profit margin is at 4.54 percent. Hospitals are also a bit strapped, with an average margin of 3.5 percent."

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  • JonesyNovember 18, 2012 - 2:31 pm

    Mr P, isn't "legislation that is primarily insurance regulation and taxes" your partisan way to reference “Obama Care”? I believe Obama Cares goal to have everyone maintain health insurance IS in part to lower health care cost especially in this case, Emergence Room Cost. Otherwise it's just the latest GOP idea of health care..."Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance," Romney said in an interview with Scott Pelley of CBS's "60 Minutes". "If someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care."...Hope you have insurance to cover this Cliff...

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  • Mr. PracticalNovember 18, 2012 - 5:29 pm

    Jonesy, it's not a partisan comment at all. I'd feel the same way, whether it was Republican, Democratic or bipartisan legislation. I hope I'm wrong, but I believe the end result will be less people insured at a huge cost to taxpayers. Young families (those over 25 that will no longer be allowed on their parents plan) will be the first to suffer. Their premiums will be going up to subsidize seniors because of the 4:1 ratio maximum between rates for the oldest and youngest insureds. That age group is already struggling to maintain insurance. Now when they can't afford it they will be fined and be out-of-pocket for their healthcare. That's unacceptable and violates principals of how insurance works.

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  • The SugarJarNovember 18, 2012 - 5:57 pm

    Probably one reason why health care shouldn't be insurance.

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  • Mr. PracticalNovember 18, 2012 - 6:09 pm

    SJ, whether it's private or government operated it's still more or less insurance. If the government runs it, add 50% to the overall cost or a 50% reduction in the quality of care. Which would you choose?

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  • Mike kirchubelNovember 18, 2012 - 7:02 pm

    Where can i confirm your figures, Mr. P?

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  • The SugarJarNovember 18, 2012 - 7:04 pm

    I don't accept that government run must mean more expensive. Running something not for profit, can be very cost-effective. So the choices you present as either/or aren't meaningful to me.

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