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Did I just experience "socialized" medicine?

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Did I just experience "socialized" medicine?

Postby Flakman » 17 Dec 2009, 15:47

As mentioned in another posting, my wife recently had surgery. Upon checking out I was flabbergasted to see the total bill: NT$13,800 and I had to pay NT$2,200. How is that possible?

$13,800 covered:
-3 nights hospital room (+ food)
-minor surgery
-medicine during hospital stay
-post surgery medicine (one week supply)

First, I was shocked the price was only $13,800...then totally stunned to see I only had to pay $2,200.

I had heard that rates were low and have experienced the standard low rates for standard doctor visits...but, wow, no idea that the government health insurance was set up like this. The wife thinks we will get more money back from our private insurance than we actually paid out (well, she pays $20,000/year for her insurance).
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Re: Did I just experience "socialized" medicine?

Postby CraigTPE » 17 Dec 2009, 16:11

Change the currency from NT$ to US$ and multiply by a factor of 10, and you'd get the approximate cost for the same thing in the US.

I'm dumbfounded that people in the US are against reform. They are fighting to help insurance companies make billions. Insurance companies serve no useful purpose in the health care delivery system. They are parasites. Let the people providing the care make the money, and fund it through a single-payer, not-for-profit system.
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Re: Did I just experience "socialized" medicine?

Postby Chris » 17 Dec 2009, 16:13

Yup. Affordable healthcare: something that the Republicans and Liebercrats in the US are opposed to for some reason.

A couple years ago I had a stomach ulcer. I went to the ER, received a thorough exam, received medication, and paid NT$250. All without waiting. And I went for a followup visit for pain: got a shot of morphine, and paid TEN whole NT dollars.

Now, who in their right mind would be opposed to that?
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Re: Did I just experience "socialized" medicine?

Postby CraigTPE » 17 Dec 2009, 16:19

Someone please explain to me what added value do insurance companies provide to justify skimming 30% of my health care dollars off the top for their administrative and advertising expenses.
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Re: Did I just experience "socialized" medicine?

Postby tommy525 » 17 Dec 2009, 16:26

Well just to let you guys know. When I was unemployed a few months back and had to pay for my own health insurance, i got a fairly good coverage plan at a fairly reasonable price (compared to others) . And that was 250/month USD and I was at the mercy of the hospital for the first 7000 USD of any charges should I need to see a doc. So that means basically ONE visit to the ER for any small thing and that will likely run you the 7000 dollars !!

And last year I had a choice of paying 80/month more (in addition to what the employer already pays for me, about 250 dollars) to get a lower copay of 20/doc visit with no minimum out of pocket. Or not pay the 80 and take my chances. I didnt pay the 80/month and one visit to the ER for an xray on my sprained leg and i ran up the 500 out of pocket needed on that plan.

Its ridiculously expensive here.

To get an individual plan like what you guys have over there costs us about 450 usd/month here.
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Re: Did I just experience "socialized" medicine?

Postby CraigTPE » 17 Dec 2009, 16:36

My HMO in the US, for a 47 year old, charges US$418/month now....
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Re: Did I just experience "socialized" medicine?

Postby Dragonbones » 17 Dec 2009, 16:39

While I, too, chafe at the amount the insurance companies make, they aren't mere parasites, as they function to spread the risk out. We all pay a small to moderate amount so that when any one of us gets hit with catastrophic bills, those don't ruin you. Functioning as a risk-spreader is a form of service, and it's fair that they receive reasonable compensation and make reasonable profit on that service. Whether current profits in the insurance industry are reasonable is another thing entirely. I like the way the NHI spreads the risk in Taiwan much better, of course.
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Re: Did I just experience "socialized" medicine?

Postby Omniloquacious » 17 Dec 2009, 16:41

I'm highly appreciative of Taiwan's national health insurance system, and I'm not even an American. If I were from the U.S., I'd probably find the system reason enough by itself for wanting to stay here.

Paul Krugman waxed lyrical about it when he visited Taiwan earlier this year.
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Re: Did I just experience "socialized" medicine?

Postby Feiren » 17 Dec 2009, 16:55

It is pretty amazing. It has its drawbacks. I had a sports injury (back) that was treated well but then there was no rehabilitation and I couldn't get anybody to tell me what kinds of activities should be avoided. Costs are exploding and premiums will be raised soon but so what. What a great use of taxpayer money!
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Re: Did I just experience "socialized" medicine?

Postby Okami » 17 Dec 2009, 16:55

There are flaws that will become apparent in the next decade. Some of the flaws that make it so cheap are already apparent. The countryside has been stripped of it's healthcare providers as they focus on large hospitals.
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