Neil O'Keeffe

Neil O'Keeffe 3 months ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Scott and Michael, I understand your points about why savings can not be achieved on the purchasing side of pharmaceuticals due to it being illegal to negotiate prices or make bulk purchases out of the country. But why is that? Could it be the structure of our plutocratic policies aka bought and paid for legislators that unabashedly serve the best interest of corporations versus consumers/voters. Are we simply supposed to accept the fact that this is the way our government operates and nothing can be done about it? In my mind this issue is the 800 lb. gorilla that no one wishes to address and because of this nothing will change across the board whether it is related to healthcare, energy, environment, education, military spending... We the voters and apathetic non-voters have allowed our country to be hijacked by big money corporate interests and it must be those same citizens either at the voting booth or in the streets that will insist on taking back our government. Can that happen, will that happen, does it really matter? That's up to each individual to answer. Until then all this micro-economic conjecture is nothing more than another distraction from the real issues facing our country. IMHO

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 months ago on Gunshots from helicopters spook South Routt County residents

This is so much better than reality tv or our worn out national political $hit show and far more interesting than the papers other blog debate on the pros and cons of Colorado Care . Thanks for the diversion, entertainment value and keeping it real.

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 months ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

John, I was in healthcare for 20 years practicing wholistic and preventative care before I became disenchanted with our medical system, lack of interest in many patients in doing anything other than finding a quick fix and general apathy toward changing habits unless under duress due to extreme medical challenges. I totally understand and agree where you are coming from but I think first and foremost affordable healthcare needs to be accessible to everyone albeit not perfect and totally prevention oriented healthcare it would be a start. Just in the last twenty years I have seen a shift toward integrating time tested therapies such as acupuncture, wholistic nutrition, qigong, yoga, aurevedic therapies into the western medicine paradigm and yes there is still a long way to go but we are far closer to that goal of a truly integrated and preventative minded healthcare system.

As cynical as it may sound there is big money in keeping people sick and ultimately its up to each individual to find the lifestyle that will help them to maintain optimal health and vitality because it's not coming from our current medical system nor is it necessarily associated with a single therapy or modality rather it is a hybrid of what works best for each person with some common themes regarding diet, exercise and stress management. In the meantime for economic and fareness reasons single payer health insurance represents the best vehicle to get there and as far as the CC effing the 20% while addressing the majority 80% that 20% I am expecting would be the highest wage earners that may end up paying more because of their higher incomes, which most people other than the mythological trickle down theorists don't have a problem with; THEY CAN AFFORD IT! So let's not worry about the 20% that are doing just fine and have more resources then they know what to do with or can spend in a lifetime. Besides altruism is a more direct path to heaven.

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 months ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Scott you say "Their statement on providing healthcare services is because no one knows what the payment structure will be under ColoradoCare and that it is possible that Kaiser would not be able to afford to continue to serve their patients in Colorado." COULD THAT ALSO BE BECAUSE THEY DETERMINE THEIR OWN REIMBURSEMENT RATES? And that is the problem with our current systemdifferent providers negotiate different rates so the same procedure can cost 2-3 times as much from one county to the next. And then you suggest that if profit isn't the motive then perhaps a nonprofit is the best solution, POPPYCOCK! You know darn well that is a farce just look at our own non-profit medical provider YVMC which is known for forcing many locals out of county for many services/diagnostic procedures. My guess is that you have a vested interest in not seeing CC succeed, normally you are very balanced in your approach to any given subject but this rings different for some reason. Do tell!

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 months ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Just another professional opinion coming from the medical community!

..."According to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, health care is a basic human right recognized by most industrialized nations. Even the U.S.-drafted Iraqi constitution guarantees every citizen a right to health care. In Canada and Sweden, the government is the insurer and provider of health care. In Germany, the government is the main insurer and while the provision of medical care is private, the government regulates reimbursement rates and drug costs. The U.K. has a government system of insurance and hospitals and a parallel private system. In managed systems, government regulation ensures that everyone has access to affordable care.

This contrasts with the U.S. where except for the VA and Medicare/Medicaid, insurance companies and medical providers dictate the terms and costs. Regulated systems prevent the game that Aetna is playing where people’s health come second to profit.

Critics of the Affordable Care Act state that the U.S. has the best medical care in the world. If by “best” one means the most expensive, then the U.S. does hold that honor. If one means longest life span, lowest infant mortality rate, and highest quality of health, then the U.S. ranks behind most industrialized nations. According to the CIA, we rank 43rd in life expectancy and 58th in infant mortality.

Single-payer saves money by eliminating third party payer administration and profit costs. The American Hospital Association reports that healthcare providers spend millions of dollars in time, technology and personnel managing dozens of competing and contradictory insurance company policies and forms.

To be sure, this would shake up the medical insurance industry, but the same companies complained that they would not survive the Affordable Care Act, which gave them 20 million new subscribers. Similar to the UK and Germany, these companies can offer private insurance plans for those who can afford them or who wish coverage above and beyond what the government insurance would provide.

The most economical and efficient solution is a single-payer system that keeps the goal of caring for people as the highest priority and protects Americans from the tantrums of private companies profiting on human suffering."

Craig Klugman, Ph.D., is a bioethicist and medical anthropologist who teaches at DePaul University.

http://www.bioethics.net/2016/08/the-tyranny-of-corporatized-health-care-time-for-single-payer/

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 months ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Kaisers self interest couldn't be stated more clearly then by using their own statement taken from your post above.

" Our goal is to continue to deliver care in the communities we serve for years to come and this may not be possible under the new system.

We also believe that this amendment undermines the significant progress that has been made in Colorado through the implementation of health care reform and the Affordable Care Act. Following major accomplishments in reducing the number of uninsured, eliminating pre-existing conditions, establishing our state based marketplace for health insurance options, and creating essential health benefits that must be covered in all cases, Kaiser Permanente has supported health care reform every step of the way. Amendment 69 would undo these achievements, placing significant risk on our members during a lengthy and complicated transition to a new government-managed health care entity. The disruption to the system as a whole might be devastating."

Progress in the ACA that is laughable, the ones benefiting the most from ACA are the insurance companies and hydras like Kaiser, IMHO!h

Another useful and informative link from Phsicians for a National Health Program http://www.pnhp.org/news/articles-of-interest

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 months ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Scott, here is the counter argument to your putting up Kaiser and their lack of support of CC who many see as a multi headed, administratively bloated behemoth who's real interest is in maintaining the status quo. In my mind the physicians themselves are where the rubber meets the road and on the front lines of the realities of our current system and can speak first hand on what universal healthcare has to offer. Maybe Dr. Iverson can add to this. Physicians for a National Health Program is listed below

http://www.pnhp.org/states/colorado

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 months ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Do you own due diligence George and as I said no one has a perfect system but at least they are not purely driven by $$$ and greed and help far more than they hinder. Remember; "Minds are like parachutes and work best when open."

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