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Mad As Hell; Why the public is so pissed off

Discussion in 'Topical Discussions (In Depth)' started by Scorpio, Jan 18, 2017.



  1. Scorpio

    Scorpio Скорпион Founding Member Board Elder Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    Mad As Hell; Why the public is so pissed off
    Chris Martenson

    [​IMG]


    Fair warning, my family just received a 61.5% increase in our healthcare insurance premium of 2017, on top of last year’s 24.8% increase, so I am quite annoyed at the moment. For my non-US readers, perhaps what follows will interest you as a means of understanding how and why Donald Trump came to be elected President. I am going to be channeling some of my inner crank today.

    If you want to understand why Trump won the recent US presidential election, you can't overlook the economic data. If you do, his victory may look mighty confusing, alarming even. But once you understand the degree to which the average US family and the entire Gen-X and Millennial generations are being completely hosed economically, everything starts to take shape.

    As most struggling Americans can tell you, real household income has gone nowhere for more than 20 years:

    [​IMG]

    This multi-decade burden of "running ever faster just to stay in the same place" is what led many US voters to reject Hillary Clinton, the establishment candidate, and instead roll the dice on the iconoclast promising to upend the system.

    But if Trump's plan to “make America great again” means a return to the 1980s and 1990s when median real incomes climbed smartly, he’s not going to be able to pull that rabbit out of the hat, I’m afraid. None of the conditions in place then are with us today including cheap, abundant energy (remember, oil was $10 a barrel in 1998); not to mention that we were riding the tailwinds produced by all of the gains from the early, explosive stage of the technology and internet revolutions.

    Instead, we're at a stage where the pie is no longer expanding -- it's now a zero-sum game where those with power are using their advantage to continue to increase the size of their slice at the expense of the rest of us. The US now routinely subjects its citizens to racketeering, charging excessive prices that are increasingly cumbersome to avoid. One example among thousands; a Viagra pill that costs less than $1 in India, costs over $38 in the US:

    [​IMG]

    (Source)

    Cell phone plans in the US are 2x to 3x more expensive (and more limited in terms of both data and speed) than any of the other countries I’ve traveled to in the past few years. A phone bill from AT&T in Hong Kong is a single page long and clearly explains how your unlimited high speed plan ended up costing you around $30/mo. In contrast, my bill from the same company in the US runs about 30 pages, and seems intentionally opaque in helping me understand why I'm spending over $100/mo for a limited data plan with much slower speeds.

    There's no good reason for this except that in the US, companies have learned they can get away with predatory tactics by “wearing down” customers with gigantic, indecipherable billing statements.

    This is pure racketeering. Your phone carrier is counting on your cable company to be running the same complexity scam. Ditto especially for all of your insurance providers whom you just know, in your heart, you'll have to battle ferociously with for what you're owed should you ever need to really use that coverage.

    And it's not just corporations; the government is in on the action, too. The US tax code is now over 74,600 pages in length, and the IRS cannot even get close to answering questions accurately. Yet the citizen is on the hook for getting everything exactly right or else incurring stiff penalties, necessitating the use of expensive CPAs -- which is still no guarantee that an auditor's subjective judgment might go against you.

    Fun fact: during the first 26 years of its existence, the US income tax code grew by 104 pages. Over the past 30 years, it has grown by 50,000 pages.

    While our politicians to expand the tax code, as far as I know nobody from any US government agency has been at all interested in the obvious price collusion displayed in this chart:

    [​IMG]

    (Source)

    Believe it or not, there are two price lines on this chart (one red, one blue) from supposedly independent companies who are allegedly competing with each other -- but most clearly are not. Humalog and Novalog are both manufactures of injectable insulin.

    Insulin is an absolutely vital, non-substitutable necessity for people with diabetes and these companies saw fit to collude and jack up the prices over 1000% in ten years, from $25 a vial to over $250.

    Why would two separate companies maintain the exact same price for their competing products for 20 years? I don’t have any other explanation except for collusion.

    In any sane, rational and caring nation this wouldn't have happened. But under Bush, and then Obama, such predatory behavior went completely uninvestigated let alone punished.

    So it's no wonder then that so many people looked at the ‘status quo’ candidacy of Hillary Clinton and said No thanks. Many families cannot afford more years of status quo predation by the unchecked rapaciousness of US cartels -- er, corporations -- and their government protectors.

    Look, we all knew that the faux recovery seen over the past seven years had to end sometime, sooner or later. A “recovery”, mind you, that never actually happened except in the fantasy press releases of the government's statistical fabricators, lovingly reproduced by unquestioning “journalists” working for corporate entities harboring deep conflicts of interest.

    But the “little people” (hereby defined as those occupying the bottom 95% of the socioeconomic ladder) have long known they've been getting screwed. Sadly, it's just getting worse.

    The Obamacare Disaster

    Obamacare (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act) is a disaster. We always knew it was going to be. Why? Because it represents the single largest give-away to the health insurance industry in our lifetime.

    Obama and the DC politicians crafted the Affordable Care Act as a monstrously large bill. And they failed to take on the biggest source of fat in the entire system: the healthcare insurance companies themselves. Of course, these companies have very well-funded lobbyists and pushing back against them on would have required real leadership and possibly cost some political capital. So they were left entirely alone, with all of the massive increases in healthcare premium costs left to be borne by “somebody” other than them.

    Well that “somebody” has turned out to be pretty much everybody:

    Obamacare Benchmark Premiums to Rise 25% in Sharpest Jump Yet

    Oct 24, 2017

    Monthly premiums for benchmark silver-level plans are going up by an average of 25 percent in the 38 states using the federal HealthCare.gov website, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a report today.

    Last year, premiums for the second-lowest-cost silver plans went up by 7.5 percent on average across 37 states.

    (Source)

    Now what’s both fascinating and part of the electorate anger is that the same government that forced Obamacare on everyone is also the same government that swears that health care inflation is running at only 2.5% to 3.5% per year over the past few years. Here are the governments numbers:

    [​IMG]

    (Source)

    I find myself wondering what country (or planet?) those numbers are for. Because for those who actually pay for their health insurance, the answer for sure isn't either "America" or "Earth".

    In total, US health care premiums have fully tripled since 1999.

    But for fun, using the government’s own CPI-Med data from the table above, if healthcare premiums had tracked the government’s stated rate of inflation between 2006 and 2015 then they would be some $2500 less today than they actually are:

    [​IMG]

    People are angry because they are being lied to. Or more accurately: lied to while being robbed.

    Even worse, while the rate of health care inflation is being understated at the individual premium level shown above, it's also wildly understated in the larger inflation statistic used to level-set everything from cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to pay raises across the country.

    As explained in the Fuzzy Numbers chapter of The Crash Course, even though healthcare spending is nearly 18% of GDP, for some reason healthcare comprises only 5.85% of the CPI basket:

    [C]urrently CPI-MED accounts for 5.825% of the overall CPI. Increases in the share of medical expense paid by individuals (as opposed to their insurers), will not affect CPI levels.

    (Source)

    And:

    U.S. health care spending grew 5.8 percent in 2015, reaching $3.2 trillion or $9,990 per person. As a share of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.8 percent.

    (Source)

    Does it make any sense to record something that's nearly 18% of GDP as only 5.8% of your inflationary experience? Nope, it sure doesn’t. Unless your desire is to mask the actual rate of inflation.

    In simple terms, just healthcare's share of inflation alone comes to (0.25)*(0.18) = 4.5%. That’s more than twice the rate of the supposed total inflation we are experiencing all by itself. Throw in rising rents, car prices, and energy and it’s far more likely that an urban consumer is experiencing total price inflation closer to 6% or more per year.

    Now, if you were a government bean-counter who want to mask the impact of a rapidly-rising factor within the nation’s inflation rate, presumably to blunt the statistical damage and make things look rosier than they actually are, all you need do is weight that item less in the basket used to calculate inflation.

    For example, if the vegetables making up 18% of the cost of your shopping cart have gone up in price by a whopping 25%, that’s going to leave a mark.

    But what the government does is pretend that your shopping cart only has 6% vegetables, and is increasing at a much lower annual rate -- say 3.2%. Voila! Reported price inflation for carrots and celery is now much lower: (0.06)*(0.032) = 0.12%.

    Even though you're forking out 4.5% more at the grocery counter, the government is loudly telling everyone you're only seeing an increase of 0.12%

    This is infuriating, of course.

    Here’s what this looks like in chart form. Total inflation is being sold to us as low – "too low" and "dangerously low" even. But I’ve helpfully included where the chart would show the total rate if were only what we're seeing with health care costs:

    [​IMG]

    (Source)

    Imagine how much higher it would be if we added in the actual inflation observed in other costly sectors like food, housing and education. Obviously there’s something desperately wrong going on here.

    This is statistical lying and weaseling of the worst sort, which of course everyone can see through because it gets harder and harder each year to balance the family budget. If you're alarmed by fake news, perhaps you should be more alarmed by fake data, something the US government has perfected and continues to perpetuate.

    All of this is deeply unfair. And -- surprise! -- people really get annoyed when they're constantly lied to. Eventually their trust goes right out the window. Is it any wonder that a profoundly status quo candidate (HRC) could not sway the voters in rural America, where these trends and insults are even more acutely felt than in urban areas? The status quo is figuratively and literally killing these people.

    As mentioned earlier, my family's health care plan premium went up over 60% in cash costs alone this year. The rate of increase is an even larger when the plans' reduced benefits and increased deductibles are factored in. The out-of-pocket amount for my family will be pretty close to $30,000 this year before any insurance actually kicks in.

    In other words, I'm subsidizing somebody.

    Unfortunately, that somebody is probably not a lower-income person up the street who badly needs coverage, but rather someone in the C-suite at one of the major heath companies.

    Check out the 2013 compensation packages for the CEOs of the major US health insureres. They're truly breathtaking:

    [​IMG]

    Maybe 2013 was a standout year, and is an errant data point. Maybe things moderated in 2014?

    Nope. Everybody apparently deserved an even more massively large payout:

    [​IMG]

    You have to wonder how much care was denied to patients in order to afford those executive salaries. It also bears mentioning, that some of these CEOs ‘earned’ more by 10:30 a.m. on the first day of 2014 than the median household did during that entire year.

    Put a different way, in order to pay out the compensation for Stephen Hemsley, the United Health CEO for 2014, nearly 4,000 families had to pay the full $16,351 amount for healthcare that year. In what sort of world should 4,000 families have to pay close to a third of their total income to a single individual simply for the pleasure of having health insurance?

    Greedy doesn’t begin to cover what’s going on here. If ever there was any sort of 'social contract' between these companies and the public, it's now utterly broken by the rewarding their upper management with tens of millions of dollars – each! – and then jacking up healthcare premiums on families simply because they can. And now, thanks to the "Affordable" Care Act, you can now be fined for not forking over whatever insane price increases the healthcare cartel decides to dream up from their government protected boardrooms.

    Bizarrely, the healthcare insurance options in many states have been vastly reduced as carriers claiming losses, while massive premium increases have been justified also on the basis of losses and reduced profits. I say "bizarrely" because you’d imagine, being a regular person, that such losses should show up in actual profit declines for the insurers.

    Nope:

    Making a killing under Obamacare: The ACA gets blamed for rising premiums, while insurance companies are reaping massive profits

    Oct 28, 2016

    While Americans continue to be hammered by rising health care costs, and while congressional lawmakers (with their taxpayer-subsidized health care) do nothing to lower the cost of pharmaceuticals and medical care, one group is reaping a windfall in profit: health insurance companies and their investors.

    On Thursday, Aetna reported $734 million in profit on $15.8 billion in revenue for the three months that ended Sept. 30. The nation’s third-largest health insurer by revenue handily beat Wall Street estimates for the quarter.

    Aetna’s earnings report came a week after UnitedHealth reported a 12 percent jump in revenue to $46.3 billion for the three months that ended Sept. 30 compared with the same period the previous year. The company collected $36.1 billion in insurance premiums, a sum 11 percent higher than for the year-ago quarter, while profits increased 29 percent to $1.98 billion.

    A Salon analysis of regulatory filings found that the top five health insurers — UnitedHealth, Anthem, Aetna, Humana and Cigna — have doled out nearly $30 billion in stock buybacks and dividends from 2013 to 2015. (The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act in 2012.)

    (Source)

    Similar strong results were noted for Humana in their last earnings release. So how can it be that all these companies are both reporting the need for massively higher premiums while also booking higher and higher profits?

    Well, when you live in a country that routinely subjects its citizens to racketeering, this is exactly the sort of disconnect you have to live with. They say one thing; but you see with your own eyes, or experience with your own wallet, something completely different.

    Conclusion

    Obama’s main failing in the ACA was in not going directly after the powerful insurance industry and forcing its players to participate in the reduction of waste, and sharing in the costs. Instead, they got more than a free pass: they got millions of new enrollees with the right to ‘withdraw’ from any markets and exchanges where they felt their massive profits might take a ding.

    And withdraw they did, with 2 million people losing their coverage for 2017 due to major carriers pulling out of state exchanges.

    Just looking at the cost of healthcare alone, we can detect massive fraud and deceit being foisted on the American public today. What emerges from these many rackets is a corrosion of the social contract. In a word, these arrangements are abusive.

    The enormous pressures we see across the globe, with the rise of what the mainstream news outlets (aka “largest purveyors of fake news”) are trying to label as ‘nationalism,’ are really in large measure simply a reaction to the economic oxygen having been sucked away from the populace of various countries and delivered into the hands of a very tiny elite.

    Yes, that elite still controls the ‘news’ and therefore the narrative; but increasingly people are waking up and deciding for themselves that ‘something is wrong’. Not unlike a person slowly becoming aware that they have somehow fallen into and been the victim of an abusive relationship.

    Let me be clear: if we do not somehow find the courage and appropriate leadership to begin righting these wrongs, this trajectory ends in tears. And it shouldn’t be up to a government body to have to regulate proper action; the insurance companies themselves should have nobody but themselves to blame if they fail to self-regulate.

    Ditto for every major corporation that is running various rackets using a combination of predatory pricing, overly complex practices, and regulatory capture to operate as a cartel.

    If the elites don't manage to figure out how to contain their greed, then an angry electorate is just the beginning of their troubles. Anybody seeking to understand the political landscape really just needs to spend a little time on the eroding prosperity of the bottom 99% over the past 20 years.

    In Part 2: How To Fix The Future we lay out how a critical movement is arising at this time in history. Each of us can assume a role to play in its formation and development, and therefore its eventual success or failure. It's my personal belief that we are past the time where we can avoid major disruption, so each of us must be personally prepared as best we can for upheaval, while also working towards building a new and better narrative to live by.

    Do you have the courage to participate?

    Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)



    [​IMG]

    Chris Martenson, PhD (Duke), MBA (Cornell) is an economic researcher and futurist specializing in energy and resource depletion, and co-founder of PeakProsperity.com (along with Adam Taggart). As one of the early econobloggers who forecasted the housing market collapse and stock market correction years in advance, Chris rose to prominence with the launch of his seminal video seminar: The Crash Course which has also been published in book form (Wiley, March 2011). It's a popular and extremely well-regarded distillation of the interconnected forces in the Economy, Energy and the Environment (the "Three Es" as Chris calls them) that are shaping the future, one that will be defined by increasing challenges to growth as we have known it. In addition to the analysis and commentary he writes for his site PeakProsperity.com, Chris' insights are in high demand by the media as well as academic, civic and private organizations around the world, including institutions such as the UN, the UK House of Commons and US State Legislatures.



    www.peakprosperity.com



    http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/01.17/implode.html
     
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  2. BarnacleBob

    BarnacleBob GIM Founding Member & Mod. Founding Member Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    "People are angry because they are being lied to. Or more accurately: lied to while being robbed."

    This ^ pretty much sums it up!
     
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  3. Someone_else

    Someone_else Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Wrong. Diabetes is obviously a problem, but it is a problem of getting glucose into cells. Reduce the carbs and it is NOT a problem. Food is still cheap, and even a frugal person does not need to depend on carbs for energy. I should qualify that to say "excess energy" because carbs burned up in daily use probably won't be a problem for those with insulin resistance. The problem is with people who keep shoving carbs (glucose) into cells that are already full and DO NOT want any more.
     
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  4. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    This is what I've been getting at whenever a thread about healthcare costs gets started.
    Ie: if they can afford to sell it for less than $1 in India, they can afford to sell it everywhere for less than $1
     
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  5. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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  6. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  7. Area51

    Area51 Seeker Seeker

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    I've never understood why the American public is so fiercely resistsant to the Canadian universal health care model.

    Cost per capita in the US is more than DOUBLE what it is in Canada - - and many Americans still face financial ruin when they get sick or injured.

    It defies logic why anyone would support such an absurd set up. Unfortunately, big pharma has brainwashed the American public - - as well as many posters on this forum - - into believing the Canadian "socialist" health care is evil.
     
  8. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Apparently you haven't seen this. A bit of a real World, undercover look at it.



    Canadians free healthcare system means long waits due to fewer under paid doctors. You might die while on the list waiting for your appointment 9 months after the point you actually needed it.
     
  9. tom baxter

    tom baxter back from 2004

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    many prices are fixed by incomes. As an example, Viagra is made in a factory by robots, packaged by robots in boxes printed and folded by robots. Robots are cheap over the the long run, that's why they are used. After it leaves the factory though the real cost is applied. If you ship 1000 boxes of Viagra to India you have to pay to Indian staff to unpack it, transport it, sell it across the counter. No doubt an Indian doctor has to prescribe it as well. How much do all these people get paid compared to their north american counterparts?

    Everyone wants a high paid job, wants a nice home, new car, lots of toys and holidays. Where does all this money come from? It doesn't come from selling Viagra at $1. It comes from selling EVERYTHING at a much higher price.

    India's per capita income (nominal) was $1,497 in 2013, ranked at 120th out of 164 countries by the World Bank, while its per capita income on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis was US$5,350, and ranked 106th.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_in_India

    What this means is that although Viagra is cheap in India, their lower incomes equate to you buying Viagra in the US on a yearly income of US$5,350.
    Not many people in India own a car BTW. 13 per 1,000 population is the 2013 figure. If you get rid of your car(s) you will have plenty of money for Viagra.
     
  10. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    The point is, if they can sell at the US$ equivalent of $1 and make a profit, they can sell it anywhere for US$1 and make a profit. Otherwise, it's nothing more than subsidized prices for some, a screwing over for everyone else.

    What they should do is, calculate the total production costs and add a reasonable percentage for profit. They could double the cost. Make it $2. Give 'em a whole 'nother dollar. If there was profit at $1, they'll clean up sellin' it for $2 (edited to add: and no one would need insurance just to be able to afford it. Meaning, they'd sell a shit ton more of it, making even more profit for them )
    The problem you point out is just all the middlemen tryin' to live high on the hog off peoples medical problems.

    The Rx industry needs to setup webpages and let pharmacies and/or doctors order direct from the factory for $2 a pill. Then they mark it up 100% and sell it for $4 a pill to the patient.
    Would beat the hell out of the scam them got going now, and it allows for a good profit margin for those actually serving the patient/customer. I could not care less if some stiff suit working in a guilded tower somewhere who thinks he's worth a quarter $mil/year gets cut off from his boat payment.


    So what ever happened to being ok with making a reasonable profit? We are talking healthcare here, where presumably a big reason for most people to go into the field is because they want to help people.
    ....and then proceed to see just how much money can possibly be milked out of them. It comes down to, "I'll help you, but only if I can financially rape you in the process."
     
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  11. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    ((Unless your desire is to mask the actual rate of inflation.))

    Been saying this forever, inflation is well in double digits, and they don't include everything they should, all forms of taxes to mention one.
     
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  12. ABC123

    ABC123 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    If this article doesnt piss you off you dont have a heart beat!
     
  13. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    In 2007 I had larynx cancer and was treated by a team of doctors that included a Canadian. I asked him what would have happened if I was in Canada. According to him Canada has a large deficiency in PET scan machines compared to the USA. Because of that Larynx Cancer is not provided access to these scans. He said that because of this various PET scan clinics are set up on the USA Canadian border that offer the scans for cash payments. WIthout a scan he said that in Canada they would wait till the tumor was chocking off the airway and they would then operate as a life saving situation.As it was for me my insurance paid for the scan and fortunately this doctor was able to rebuild my throat so that I can still talk. I am now 10 years out and live a fairly active lifestyle. I assume if I was in Canada I would probably be dead based upon Larynx Cancer survival rates when the tumors grow to stage 4 and for certain would not be able to talk.
    For what this is worth that doctor also told me many Canadian employers offer a supplemental health plan that covers many of the procedures that are not covered by the Government plan such as out of country PET scans. Once again, based upon what he told me, we are not being told the whole story and instead are gives an "everything is wine and roses" from the usual leftists that want to control our health care.
     
  14. mayhem

    mayhem Другая перспектива Silver Miner Site Supporter

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    We built out a penthouse apartment for a 21 yr. old Russian gal in Boca Raton who sold old wealthy Russians-American-health insurance. The penthouse was $1.2m stripped with just the bath's and kitchen laid-out. I only did the walls and ceilings, but in the end I would assume she spent another $1m finishing/furnishing it out from what I saw at the party when done.

    We get a lot of foreigners here for health care as we have some of the best Doc's and Hospitals around. Lot's of Canadians in DR offices in the winter. I could have had my back all tricked out with titanium inserts and other high tech stuff if I had the big bucks.
     
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  15. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    HAve any of you heard of Dupuytren's contracture? It causes one of the fingers to retract towards the palm and occurs somewhat frequently in older adults. The usual cure is an operation where the cord in the palm retracting the finger is cut in numerous places almost in a zig zag pattern. The cost is in the thousands of dollars and the rehab it monumental. Consider having a line of cuts starting at a finger down to your wrist and the resultant pain and rehab exercises.
    [​IMG]
    There is now a drug that is being used to inject into the palm to break up the cord that takes 24 hours to work and after it no rehab is needed. THis drug is expensive. However this drug too has a copay help card. I had Dupuytren's, found a physician that used it, got the treatment with perfect results two years ago and no go on as normal with no rehab needed. With the co-pay card my cost was a big O. I understand the issue with drug costs but my point is that if you are ever faced with having to get an expensive drug check if there is a co-pay plan out there. In this case the co-pay card is good for up to $1,200.00. Thats a healthy chunk of change.

    Most eligible patients with commercial insurance plans paid $0 copay* for XIAFLEX®
    How much you pay for XIAFLEX® will depend on your health benefits or insurance coverage.

    • With the XIAFLEX® Copay Assistance Program, most eligible patients†with commercial insurance plans paid $0 copay for XIAFLEX®
    • The XIAFLEX® Copay Assistance Program can cover up to $1200 of your out-of-pocket costs for each injection of XIAFLEX®
    To find out if you qualify, call 1-800-743-2382.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
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  16. Area51

    Area51 Seeker Seeker

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    You can't be serious with that embarrassing charade of a video.

    The assclown is stunned that he's not able to jump the queue and have his sore wrist tended to immediately as he makes a fool of himself with tacky jokes.
     
  17. Area51

    Area51 Seeker Seeker

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    You prefer to have your health care controlled by greedy opportunists looking to profit off the sick?

    I'm amazed that people can be smart enough to understand how fiat based currency is doomed to failure but are unable/unwilling to realize that for-profit Medicare is counterintuitive.

    There's no money to be made off healthy people, my friend.

    Suppose you weren't one of the fortunate ones to have insurance coverage - - could you have afforded your cancer treatment?
     
  18. mayhem

    mayhem Другая перспектива Silver Miner Site Supporter

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    My skinny, slim, wife who exercises every day has critical bone density loss and get's free injections of a drug called Fortero to build bone density. It takes a Dr. who cares because he has to do 80% of the work to get you hooked up with the Company, and you have to prove your combined income is below 45k.. It's a 2 year protocol, she had to do a report after 6 months and every 6 after. Not a trial, just a very expensive drug.

    Some of those drug discount cards are worthless if you have Medicare Part-D.
     
  19. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    My best wishes for your wife and I am glad her Medical professionals are willing to work for her regarding the medicines she requires.

    YOu are correct on the medicare and medicaid users do not qualify. The ones I have found are for the paying public and, like the ones I previously posted, do not depend on one's income. I am sure though per your observation many do rely on income statistics. In any event there is a co-pay card for your wife's medical issues if you didn't already know. In any event the way I read this there is no income limitations on this $4 plan. THose that might need this medication should go take a look.

    http://www.forteo.com/osteoporosis-...Jo8DlwOs04Jb2qhEfIgIYaArW58P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds
    [​IMG]
    START SAVING NOW WITH THE $4 FORTEO CO-PAY CARD*
    You can download the FORTEO Co-pay Card now and pay just $4 per prescription. Click the box to see if you are eligible and get started.

    *This offer is invalid for patients whose prescription claims are eligible to be reimbursed in whole or in part by any government program. See additional Rules and Restrictions below.
    • Offer is subject to eligibility and valid for commercial plans only (not government plans/government funded programs)
    • Patients pay no more than a $4 co-pay on their FORTEO prescription costs each month
    • Patients are eligible for up to 24 months of therapy
    • This offer covers up to a maximum of $9,000 annually. Other restrictions or limitations may apply
    • Offer void where prohibited by law
    • This offer is invalid for patients whose prescription claims for FORTEO are reimbursed in part or full by any government funded program, including but not limited to Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicaid, Medigap, VA, CHAMPUS, DOD, TriCare or any State Patient or Pharmaceutical Assistance Program
    • If you live in Massachusetts, the Card expires on the earlier of (i) the expiration date of this card (December 31, 2017); (ii) the date an AB-rated generic equivalent for FORTEO becomes available; or (iii) July 1, 2017 absent a change in Massachusetts state law
    • Available only in United States and Puerto Rico for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico
    • Patients must present the co-pay card along with a valid prescription from their physician to their pharmacy to be eligible for savings on their prescriptions. Prior to presenting the co-pay card to the pharmacy, the card must be activated
    • FORTEO Connect will automatically send the card to eligible patients and process the information with their pharmacy of choice
    • By accepting this offer, you agree that if you are required to do so under the terms of your insurance coverage for this prescription or are otherwise required to do so by law, you should notify your insurance carrier of your redemption of this FORTEO savings card
    • This offer is not valid with any other program, discount, or incentive involving FORTEO. It is illegal for any person to sell, purchase, or trade; or offer to sell, purchase, or trade, or to counterfeit this card. This offer may be terminated, rescinded, revoked, or amended by Lilly USA, LLC at any time without notice
    • The co-pay card has no cash value. Offer expires on 12/31/2017. Patients must first use their card at the pharmacy by 12/31/2017 and are eligible for savings for up to 24 months of therapy. You should not take FORTEO for more than 2 years of your lifetime
     
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  20. mayhem

    mayhem Другая перспектива Silver Miner Site Supporter

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    Thank you. She does have Medicare Part-D that was the reason for the hoop jumping no doubt. She get's 3 month's supply sent FedX in a cooler with needles included for free.
     
  21. brosil

    brosil Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    I've been reading the Amish newspaper and they mostly go to Mexico for there cancer treatments. They seem to be doing well with it. There are also cash clinics advertising that will quote a price before doing the work so you can shop for the best price. That doesn't stop them from using the standard medical systems, especially emergency rooms. I'm not recommending any of this but am pointing out alternatives.
     
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  22. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Brick and mortar are dying, malls and strip malls are closing, main street closing up shop.
    Amazon is delivering things with drones. USPS, UPS & Fed EX have to be taking a hit. Ebay saved them for a while. Times they are a changin.
    If drug distribution is so expensive might as well order online from a land far far away or give it away because overpaying in a $12-$15 wage world is not an option.
    Not my job to buy over priced pills from pharmacists so they can drive BMW's and act all toity for counting pills.
    They never shed a tear when NAFTA sold out the very people that paid their bills they just raised prices 10-30 % a year & said suck it up.
    Karma's really a bitch when it finally goes full circle and knocks on your door.
     
  23. tom baxter

    tom baxter back from 2004

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    The point is they can't. Even if Pfizer shipped it direct from the factory to your letterbox the US postage charges would no doubt put it above the Indian price. But Pfizer can't, it has to be prescribed by a doctor so they ship it to pharmacies in small lots and the staff there sell it to you. You end up paying the rent on the pharmacy, the wages of the staff, the electricity bill, the owners profit, the junk mail advertising costs, the doctor's income. All of which equates to jobs in your community, supposedly a good thing no?

    Look at all the millions of manufacturing jobs you have lost, the tens of thousands of small stores sent into bankruptcy by wallmart and things like it. This is a direct result of getting things cheaper. You save $7 on a hairdryer and your son doesn't get a job at the local electrical store. Instead your son has to go to college and rack up a huge debt getting a degree for a job that doesn't exist.
     
  24. Scorpio

    Scorpio Скорпион Founding Member Board Elder Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    That is called a distribution system. The same would apply in India or Canada.
     
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  25. tom baxter

    tom baxter back from 2004

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    No it's not your job to support the local community, you are a consumer and should expect cheap prices.

    Here is a graph of an economy in collapse. It explains the low oil price we enjoy today. Unemployed people don't drive cars much and people with very little income don't have delivery trucks arriving at their doors.

    [​IMG]
     
  26. Area51

    Area51 Seeker Seeker

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    It's got absolutely ZERO in common with WalMart. Completely the opposite.

    WalMart eliminates competition with their low prices and economies of scale - - the result is cheaper goods to consumers.

    Profiteering leeches like Pfizer eliminates competition with patents and lobby groups - - the result is more expensive medicine to consumers.

    Inexplicable how the per capita Medicare cost in America is DOUBLE what it is in Canada. The for-profit Medicare shills can never manage to explain that fact away.
     
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  27. mayhem

    mayhem Другая перспектива Silver Miner Site Supporter

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    Quick example. Spiriva for me. Not covered by Medicare Part D. Costs $185.00 with a supposed discount from CVS because I'm a faithful customer.
    Same ingredient product (also made in Germany) from Canada. = $125.00
    Same as above (also made in Germany) ordered from a ligit Indian pharmacy, = $7.30.
    Same box that comes from Canada. Ya think for the xtra bucks they would at least repackage it.
     
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  28. Area51

    Area51 Seeker Seeker

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    But, but, but...just think of all the "good jobs in your community" that $185 would pay for.

    You know, those hard working folk like doctors...insurance companies...pharmaceutical reps...how are they going to afford all of their luxury toys if people decide they'd prefer to pay $7 instead of $185 for the exact same medicine.

    Some insist the Fed is the biggest scam in America, but it's got nothing on the Medicare industry.

    Absolutely unbelievable that so many people have their heads buried in sand about for-profit Medicare.
     
  29. mayhem

    mayhem Другая перспектива Silver Miner Site Supporter

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    Indeed...

    A couple of years ago I read a report online that has a dead bookmark now, where the big money is made by the pharmacy's on meds. How else can Walgreen's, Rite Aid, and CVS own every major intersection corner. All their employee's are salary with a high turnover. (At least down here) I tried to go to a independent pharmacy here and was turned down because I didn't take very many drugs, and what I did take were cheap.

    Years ago I leased two Shell gasoline stations,(full service days) both on high traffic corners. The guy who worked in their real estate division lived close by and was a customer. I asked him once about the corner thing. His reply was long term real estate investment. So, now you also know what the pharmacy's long term outlook is.
     
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  30. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Certainly I would have. My room mate in the hospital had no insurance or assets to speak of from what I gathered. One day a social worker came into the room and informed him that since he didn't have insurance there were issues trying to place him with an extended care facility so he would have to plan on staying in the hospital a few more days. That same day a social worker came to me saying that Blue Cross had called saying that I had been in the hospital 11 days now and that I should plan on going home. The way I see it is he, via the medicaid program, got as good as or better care than I did. For my being, as you put it, "fortunate to have insurance" I had to pay co-pays, deductibles and insurance premiums. I also paid taxes along with many others that supported my room mates bills as well. I therefore see it then that I paid twice; once for me and once for my room mate. That is where the big issue in the cost of health care; people that are responsible to provide for their care being charged to cover the costs of those that wont pay their, as you would put it, "fair share."
    I carried insurance for decades before ever actually using it. The insurance companies, whom I agree are not angels, in theory invested my premiums in assets that grew in value until the time it was necessary for me to utilize them. Once again as we see so often, the costs are high because the people that pay their bills are now being charged to cover those that wont pay their bills and until that changes costs will continue to skyrocket.
     
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  31. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    [​IMG]
    Eligible patients can save on SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HandiHaler every month
    If you have commercial insurance, you may be eligible to pay no more than $10 a month for your SPIRIVA prescription.* And, even if you don’t qualify, SPIRIVA offers a low co-pay cost for many patients with commercial and Medicare insurance plans. Talk to your doctor about treating your COPD with SPIRIVA.
    Start here to see if you qualify
    https://www.spiriva.com/copd/copay/step1
     
  32. mayhem

    mayhem Другая перспектива Silver Miner Site Supporter

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    Sorry
    Unfortunately, you are not eligible for the SPIRIVA Savings Card.
     
  33. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Im sorry and hoped it would have helped.
     
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  34. Alton

    Alton Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Here's the one I use now - https://www.goodrx.com/ you can print coupons and/or use their mobile app

    Health insurance was jiggered around for 2017. Will NOT pay for prescriptions until TOTAL (Insured + spouse) deductible is reached...$4500.00 ($2250 each) provided by CVS/Caremark. Rather useless "coverage" for Mrs. Alton and I.

    On topic...why are people so angry? Goes far, far beyond money and markets. Try height of arrogance from rulers, depth and soon to be discovered extent of corruption and depravity (pedogate...Coming to a Representative Near You!) think Clinton Foundation multiplied, murderous cops, murdered cops, asinine wars, regime change, too big to fail banks...where no heads roll and no wrists even get slapped, PC, SJWs, snowflakes, LGBTQ (as long as it ain't kids or critters I don't much care where anyone gets their jollies, I simply do not want to know or hear about your sexual predilections), ain't no such thing as "gender choice", you gots an inny or an outy...please respond accordingly in the proper gender specific bathroom. Endless bureaucracy, endless regulations, endless lying, BS so deep it's difficult to walk around any more, and much, much, too much more brought to us by government and their fake news propaganda machine. Now we can talk money, markets and economics... somebody pass me a vicodin before I start loading weapons...
     
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  35. Professur

    Professur Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    I wonder if they offer one of those discount cards for Viagra ...
     
  36. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Yup they do https://www.viagra.com/savings-offe...=23121503|166374793|0&skwid=43700009731122094
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    In order to redeem this savings offer:

    • You will need a prescription for VIAGRA from your doctor. Don't have one? Find out how to get one.
    • Choose from the options below to get the savings offer.
    • Once you have your savings offer, you can redeem it, along with a valid prescription for VIAGRA, at your local pharmacy.
     
  37. Professur

    Professur Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    A year's supply .... so 4?
     
  38. Flight2gold

    Flight2gold Silver Member Silver Miner Site Supporter ++

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    Area51,
    We all here appreciate your enthusiasm for the Canadian health care system.
    Unfortunately, it will never swing in this political climate in the US.
    Trump is pro business and wants all American companies to succeed but he going to fulfill his promises, as best he can,
    and that includes righting some wrongs, especially in the health care system.
     
  39. Area51

    Area51 Seeker Seeker

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    Curious to know why you feel universal health care "would never swing" in America.

    Is it because the lobbyists are too powerful? Is it because the public is too naive?
     
  40. Alton

    Alton Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Year long?!? I thought after 4 hours you should go see a doctor!!!
     

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