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How did this slip under the Radar?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Admin, May 10, 2005.

  1. Admin

    Admin Staff Member Administrator Moderator NES Member

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  2. Lynne

    Lynne

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    Why am I not surprised? Well....it's very possible (remember now, I'm an optimist) that due to EXTREME health care costs, some folks in the gubbermint MIGHT decide to SEND THEM ALL PACKING!!!!

    <sigh>...one can always hope....
     
  3. FPrice

    FPrice Retired Zoomie NES Life Member NES Member

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    Um, sounds like some hospitals may see this as a way of generating income?
     
  4. YogSothoth

    YogSothoth

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    I can imagine my sister's view of this (she's a doctor who worked for charitable hospitals in Louisiana and Nebraska and is now a doctor for the VA): to hell with the politics and the "right and wrong" of the situation, let me do my job. Deal with all that other stuff once I've helped this person.

    This is just my guess at what my sister would say, and she's probably not representative of the majority of people, but she doesn't care who walks into the hospital for care, only that she gives them the best care that she can.

    I personally have a real problem with so many of my tax dollars going to cover the health care costs of illegal immigrants, but the question my sister would ask would be: what do you tell a mother with a sick child sitting in the emergency room? They're already here, the damage is done and now it's all about saving a life.

    Of course, the cynical side of me believes that, given the nature of the health care industry, the millions of dollars that will be spent (up to a billion, it seems) will be squandered and put to much worse use than saving people from illness and death.

    The whole reason any of the questions above exist, however, is because we haven't tightened our borders and put the squeeze on illegal immigration. It's the root cause: if the borders are closed to illegals, then we don't have to deal with spending our tax dollars taking care of them because the only immigrants we will have will be legally documented, tax-paying immigrants who we're more than happy to welcome into our country (as long as they do so legally).
     
  5. KMaurer

    KMaurer Moderator NES Member

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    I've had the same sort of attitude from faculty who tended to view administration as simply a bunch of people wo got in the way of them doing their jobs. My reply was always "Go ahead -- be my guest; of course don't expect an office, computer support, paycheck, insurance coverage or a retirement plan. Socrates got along just fine without them; I'm sure you can too." I think that good-hearted people like this should treat as many illegal aliens as the spirit moves them to serve, off the clock and paying for supplies and tests out of their own pockets.

    Ken
     
  6. JonJ

    JonJ Moderator NES Member

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    I heard somewhere that like 14 hospitals in So. Cal. closed their ER's. They were losing so much money by giving free health care to illegals that it was cutting into the normal operation of the hospitals. When that happens, we all pay but in a much different way. We who pay lose our healthcare.
    YogSothoth, all good points and I can't disagree with you at all.
    CLOSE THE BORDERS
    Jon
     
  7. SiameseRat

    SiameseRat

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    I don't think that it's fair to expect Drs to not get paid for doing their jobs- regardless of who they're treating. However, I can't get over the fact that I'm an American and I don't have affordable healthcare. Maybe I should emigrate to Mexico, sneak back across the border and THEN I can get an appointment with my Dr.
     
  8. KMaurer

    KMaurer Moderator NES Member

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    Oh, I definitely believe that health care providers should be paid for doing ther jobs, otherwise my wife wouldn't be bringing in as much money to help support my gun habit. [wink] OTOH, when some of them start whining that everybody has to get the best health care regardless of whether or not they can pay for it and whether they're here legally or as a criminal, then I have to believe it's my right to decline to pick up the bill. If they want provide that care out of their own pocket, that's their decision.

    Ken
     
  9. Lynne

    Lynne

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    What Ken so eloquently said. (well put, dear boy :) )
     
  10. YogSothoth

    YogSothoth

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    Here's where I think my sister would disagree:

    "I will treat without exception all who seek my ministrations, so long as the treatment of others is not compromised thereby, and I will seek the counsel of particularly skilled physicians where indicated for the benefit of my patient." - Hippocratic Oath excerpt

    Just to address it now, I believe that "so long as the treatment of others is not compromised thereby" is an individual caveat, not a system-wide caveat. If we could interpret it to mean system-wide, we could argue that treating illegals negatively impacts availability of health care for legal residents. That last statement hasn't been proven to my knowledge (although it seems awfully logical). Regardless, because of the interpretation of the oath I suggest (similar to the DOJ's interpretation of the right to keep and bear arms being an individual right), it would only apply to a doctor trying to treat too many at once, thereby reducing the efficacy of treatment.

    With the amount of time and money spent learning medecine, I am also of the belief that health care providers should be compensated (and well) for doing their jobs. My sister spent a ridiculous amount of money on loans for her education, and she took jobs at charitable hospitals where she made bargain-basement money because she wanted to help people who needed it most (this with credentials from Duke, UPenn and Temple). That's the same reason she's now at the VA. Again, I think the problem doesn't occur in the hospitals with the doctors attempting to provide the best care for everyone regardless of who they are. I believe this should continue to be the case, because exclusionary practices in something as basic a need as medecine ain't a good idea: we would then be faced with some refusing to treat others based on individual prejudices or whims.

    Instead, the problem occurs at the wide-open borders and with the politicians, Democrat and Republican, who either turn a blind eye or actively encourage illegal immigration in order to further their own agendas. Then, when hospitals face a crisis point attempting to treat all these illegal immigrants who are not paying into the system via insurance or private funds, the government is left holding the bag and digging ever deeper into our taxes to fund a problem they should have been addressing all along. The costs we're being forced to foot are only a symptom of the problem. It's yet another injustice we, the legal citizens, are being forced to accept by a government that could give a rat's ass about the effect of illegal immigration on the people as long as it keeps them feeding at the trough (either by placating a particular demographic to earn another term, or by washing the back of another country's leader or by turning a blind eye to the illegal hiring practices of big-donating businesses, etc., etc.).

    I'm mad as hell that my taxes are paying for an illegal immigrants' healthcare, along with so many other wasteful things that the goverment squanders my taxes on. Obviously the hospitals aren't dumb: most of them are businesses and they know that if they're losing tons of money due to a problem that the government's lack of action is causing, they're damn well going to recoup those losses (which is the only reason I can think of that the government is providing a bailout like this). But I believe it's not the job of health care providers to pick and choose who to treat, according to the oath they all take, nor should it be. They should simply treat the sick without worrying about whether the necessary supplies are available and who's handling the billing. The focus here shouldn't be on the doctors doing their jobs or the hospitals trying to recoup their losses; the focus should be on a government refusing to do their jobs and protect the interests of all the legal citizens of this country.

    However, any illegal treated should be deported as soon as they are physically able to get on a bus back across the border. Then, to stop them from getting great health care and just running back across the border, we should close the damn border already! Then we can stop trying to stem the hemorrhaging with tax money.
     
  11. KMaurer

    KMaurer Moderator NES Member

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    In the abstract I can agree with that. My wife jumped through similar hoops, including an internship at Cook County Hospital (before it got cleaned up sufficiently to become the model for ER). I guess where the problems come in is focused in three little words: "should be compensated." Leaving aside for the moment the meaning of "should", we can get right to the first problem: the use of the subjunctive voice. It's all well and good to say that something should be done, but certainly that must means that somebody should do it. Who are we talking about? You? Me? Them? How about the patients? Or the Mexican government? No, the subjunctive seems to be used most frequently as a euphamism for "our government."

    There's where the second part of the problem comes in: the meaning of "should". We all know there's no such thing as "government funds"; that's simply a way to pretend that the money doesn't come from your pockets and mine. Now I personally don't mind paying for this sort of thing, contrary to what one might have assumed from my earlier post. In fact my wife and I annually donate more money to worthy causes that John and Theresa Kerry reported on their tax returns the last time he ran for re-election to the Senate. (No, I most certainly am not a millionaire.) My only gripe is that when somebody says that in this situation "should be paid" (which really means that "the government should pay for it") ends up taking away my choice to make a contribution. Instead it means that we're all forced to pay for something that may or may not be worthwhile, because someone else decides it's worthy, although usually not sufficiently worthy for them to pay for it. It means that it we don't hand over our money like good little sheep, then for the greater good, the general welfare or whatever slogan in in vogue this week, the same people who feel that guns are nasty and nobody whould have them, will send men with guns to take it from us. James Madison once wrote, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." I can't find it either.

    Here endeth the constitutional and libertarian rant for the day. We now return you to your regularly sceduled programming.

    Ken
     
  12. YogSothoth

    YogSothoth

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    I think you're misunderstanding my point:

    My point about doctors being compensated (or "should be compensated") for their work has nothing to do with funds from the government. Hospitals are a business and seek to make a profit. Like anyone, most doctors will work where they will be best compensated for their efforts (although there are always exceptions). Unlike many people, doctors spend significantly more time and money learning their science and, therefore, tend to compensated accordingly as the skills are more rareified and difficult to obtain. Hospitals spend a percentage of their budget, based upon their profits/losses, to offer the best possible salaries in order to attract and keep the best possible staff. "Should be compensated" in this context has no subtle, hidden social agenda: it's capitalism, and I like it. I should be compensated for my work and if I'm not, I get another job. On the flip side, I have a personal responsibility to maintain my professional skills and to keep my work ethic top notch to earn that compensation and provide value to my employer, same as a doctor.

    None of the above has anything to do with our taxes paying doctors. And I fully understand that this money doesn't magically appear, rather it's coming directly out of our pockets (which is why I kept referring to the money as coming from our taxes). What's happening is that the hospitals, being businesses, are going after the government to recoup the losses they incur by treating uninsured illegal aliens. The doctors get paid regardless. My statement about doctors getting paid for their efforts was merely an attempt to agree with your earlier statement:

    The doctors, IMO, are uninvolved in any of this crap happening between hospitals and the government (except insofar as they want to get paid). The doctors don't make judgement calls on who's "worthy" of treatment, they just treat everyone to the best of their ability and as far as their administration will allow. Expecting doctors to make judgement calls about who to treat or expect them to pay out of their pocket if the person is uninsured (illegal or not) is ridiculous, IMO. For example: I don't make judgement calls about which system to maintain based on the percentage on on-time payments from our clients, I maintain them all and keep the systems available, period. My finance department and management team handle the monetary end and can make calls to suspend access for non-paying customers, but that's out of the scope of my job and shouldn't be part of my daily routine when managing my work (much like billing is out of the scope of a doctor's job).

    According to the story I read (that started this whole thread), the doctors are not the ones asking for the money, it's the hospitals (aka: providers). Again, it's because they're a business and they're getting creamed by uninsured illegals affecting their bottom line. The fault for the illegals problem rests in the piggy hands of our government who refuses to police the border and force legal immigration to be the only choice. Here's the quote that should get your blood boiling (as it does mine):

    Business should fend for itself and not seek a governmental bailout everytime they stumble (hello, airline industry?) or fail to keep up. In this case, the hospitals are basically proving to everyone that their revenue loss is directly tied to governmental failure to secure the borders and, therefore, the government is ponying up the dough to keep them happy. Of course, the real problem is that the dough is OUR taxes. I would much rather have that money spent securing the border than shoring up private hospitals taking care of the people who are the very cause of the profit loss (of course, this all falls into a Libertarian mindset where government should be small, frugal and focused on infrastructure and national security). It's ridiculous.

    None of that, however, has anything to do with doctors, compensation for their work or changing how they do their jobs. This is between the hospitals administrators and our government (unfortunately, as always, the tax payers feel the most pain).

    Was I any clearer? I think we probably agree, but I'm not sure I'm getting my point across properly.
     

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