Are you on track to meet your financial goals for retirement?
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What states have you considered for your retirement years?
All 50 states ranked for retirement from worst to best
Lately as I have become more educated about Social Security and Medicare I have realized how much I did not know.
5 things the average American should know about Medicare
Has it been relatively easy for you or your relatives to make decisions about Medicare and Social Security? What have been good sources of information on these topics — the government, professionals, or other resources?
With the death of Fidel Castro, the healthcare system in Cuba has received some attention.
How Cubans Live as Long as Americans at a Tenth of the Cost
What parts of the Cuban healthcare system do you think could be adopted here?
Along with all of today’s articles on the issues with increasing plan costs under Obamacare, came this article.
Why the U.S. Still Trails Many Wealthy Nations in Access to Care
Despite our stereotype that other countries with more socialized forms of medicine are morasses of long waiting periods and lack of access, it turns out that we are worse on those measures than many other countries. And we pay more to boot.
While Obamacare may not be the most perfect system out there (my own opinion is that if they put real teeth into the penalties, they would fix the rising plan costs in a hurry, but I digress), it is clear that our healthcare system is a mess and it was a mess before Obamacare, and that we need to be moving towards the models used in other industrialized countries (which doesn’t have to be single payer, by the way).
I have one pet theory: I think Americans value healthcare less, at least while they are healthy. Perhaps that is why healthy Germans, Swiss, and Canadians will pay more taxes or pay for their mandated plans, while healthy Americans simply won’t. That of course is what leads to the dreaded death spiral – if healthy people don’t participate in the system, only sick people are left, driving up costs. It seems like other industrialized nations have figured out how to get everyone into the system, but we haven’t.
by Honolulu Mother
In this Vox article, Sarah Kliff describes the process of coordinating her health care for a minor medical issue as “a part-time job where the pay is lousy, the hours inconvenient, and the stakes incredibly high.” She writes that
But American medicine demands another scarce resource from patients, and that is their time. The time it takes to check in on the status of a prescription, to wait for a doctor, to take time away from work to sit on hold and hope that, at some point, someone will pick up the phone.
I found dealing with the copious administrivia stemming from my daughter’s broken limb last year to be frustratingly time-consuming, and I wasn’t even dealing with the lion’s share of it. The billing disconnects between providers and insurer, the denial based on my husband’s name having been accidentally entered in the patient slot for one provider, the confusion as to whether some new piece of mail was an issue to be attended to or just another routine notification; it seemed that once we left the safe and familiar harbor of routine annual appointments we were at sea without a compass.
How have your experiences as a patient or patient’s family member been? Do you think the burden of administrative health care management falls on patients because practitioners aren’t aware the burden is there, or do you think it’s a more deliberate outsourcing as suggested by the following quote?
“Patients can often become the health care system’s free labor,” Mayo’s Montori says. “The health care system knows that patients are motivated, that they want to get better. So it gains efficiencies by transferring the work.”