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(The Week)   For those still worried about universal health care (aka Medicare For All), we're basically living it already for COVID vaccines: funded by the government with no worrying about networks, copays, balance-bills, referrals, or finding a fax machine   (theweek.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Medicine, Health care, Health economics, Vaccination, Public health, Healthcare, recent study, vaccine shot  
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512 clicks; posted to Politics » on 21 Apr 2021 at 10:18 AM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-04-21 9:26:54 AM  
"Yeah, but this is Covid, it's different. They SHOULD pay. But cancer treatment if you're unemployed, that's different. That's your problem from your bad choices or whatever. Also, Covid doesn't really exist but I'm getting the vaccine anyway just because. No, you shut up."
 
2021-04-21 9:45:54 AM  
I haven't paid a copay for mental health for a year. Really weird. And good.
 
2021-04-21 9:46:33 AM  

theteacher: I haven't paid a copay for mental health for a year. Really weird. And good.


Me, either. Just 100% of the bill.

USA, USA, USA!
 
2021-04-21 10:20:17 AM  
So this is the dystopian future I was worried about.
 
2021-04-21 10:20:32 AM  
It could be that way, for every healthcare need. It SHOULD be that way.

It's a constant source of shame that we don't agree on this and that most politicians are scared to go for it.
 
2021-04-21 10:21:37 AM  
How are we going to pay for it?
 
2021-04-21 10:21:52 AM  
Yes, and that zero cost combined with the smooth lines, orderly roll-out, complete lack of paperwork hassles, and competent medical staff has just made it the WORST. THING. EVER.

Why would we ever want the rest of our healthcare system to work like that?
 
2021-04-21 10:22:02 AM  
That's what I thought, too, until I got my first vaccination and had to fill out my pharmacy insurance information, and saw they billed it $40 for the vaccine.

I mean I'm sure the govt would have paid for it if I hadn't had insurance, but they definitely aren't paying for it across the board (unless the govt is reimbursing private insurance costs?).
 
2021-04-21 10:22:12 AM  
And now I'm totally unmotivated to work, and instead spending all my time on Fark. Thanks, O'Biden!
 
2021-04-21 10:23:02 AM  
shiat... I'd be happy if my insurance worked out of state.
 
2021-04-21 10:23:43 AM  

sinner4ever: How are we going to pay for it?


Tis a silly question.  Just answer "It's good for business and the economy."  That's how all government largess works.
 
2021-04-21 10:24:20 AM  
Until we all agree that the old and infirm should be ground up and recycled universal health care, both preventative and acute, is the most humane and *cheapest* solution.
 
2021-04-21 10:24:51 AM  
I still had to show my insurance card to get my vaccine, which was then checked against the pharmacy's database for coverage; they then billed $28 back to United Healthcare with whatever esoteric code that UHC uses for Covid vaccines; UHC processed the claim, paid the pharmacy, the pharmacy paid J&J and their nurses, and UHC sent paper copies of the claim form that showed a zero balance to my home.

I count three different corporations (J&J, CVS, and UHC) who profited from the deal, at least five different people (nurse, pharmacist, CVS billing, UHC claims rep) who had to be involved in the claims process, and a huge amount of paper waste and back and forth required just to get a critically necessary shot.

Sorry, this isn't what universal healthcare should look like.
 
2021-04-21 10:26:27 AM  
Psh, I'd rather have to call the insurance company multiple times to get different answers to the same question, give up, go to the doctor and hope I'm covered.  Then hear nothing until I get a bill 6 months later saying I owe hundreds of dollars and it's due in one week.  begrudgingly pay, but then receive that same bill one or two additional times because their system generated additional notices before the first even got to me.

Then I want to sit around and wait with a random pain in my abdomen until after the start of the new year to see a doctor, because that's the magic date where my health insurance company resets my score to zero where they don't have to cover anything for a while.

That's what real freedom looks like.  Europeans and Scandanavians...and Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, and Britons (lol Brexit) don't know what they're missing.
 
2021-04-21 10:27:20 AM  
....and the $600/week on top of Unemployment money was $15/hour for 40 hours/week UBI. That got knocked back to $7.50/hour because fark you. This will too
 
2021-04-21 10:28:26 AM  
When I went in for my vaccine I was expecting to be asked about insurance, and I was pleasantly surprised at how seamless and simple it was without the insurance runaround.  We absolutely could do this for all healthcare.  I'm sure employers and HR depts would rather not be in the health insurance business.
 
2021-04-21 10:28:58 AM  

BitwiseShift: sinner4ever: How are we going to pay for it?

Tis a silly question.  Just answer "It's good for business and the economy."  That's how all government largess works.


It's not a silly question, it's a disingenuous question that sinner is mocking. It's a question that is only ever asked when people are trying to do good things. When it comes to increasing our "defense" budget, funding concentration camps for immigrants, mass incarceration and the war on drugs, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, or needlessly going to war no one ever asks about how we will pay for it.

Maybe if we stopped paying for bad things we'd have money to pay for good things.
 
2021-04-21 10:29:47 AM  

sinner4ever: How are we going to pay for it?


With the tax revenue that's saved by the vaccine restarting the economy? Or would you prefer that money goes to bomb people in other countries?
 
2021-04-21 10:30:37 AM  

bluejeansonfire: It's a constant source of shame that we don't agree on this and that most politicians are scared to go for it.


Sometimes you just have to shove it down the white trash throat and tell them to fark off.
 
2021-04-21 10:30:41 AM  

bluejeansonfire: It could be that way, for every healthcare need. It SHOULD be that way.

It's a constant source of shame that we don't agree on this and that most politicians are scared to go for it.


It's black people's fault we don't have universal health care.

(because they exist, thereby forcing racists to keep good things from everyone to make sure that black people don't get good things)
 
2021-04-21 10:31:19 AM  

sinner4ever: How are we going to pay for it?


One less F 35?

/I know, that's silly.
 
2021-04-21 10:31:22 AM  

Shaggy_C: I still had to show my insurance card to get my vaccine, which was then checked against the pharmacy's database for coverage; they then billed $28 back to United Healthcare with whatever esoteric code that UHC uses for Covid vaccines; UHC processed the claim, paid the pharmacy, the pharmacy paid J&J and their nurses, and UHC sent paper copies of the claim form that showed a zero balance to my home.

I count three different corporations (J&J, CVS, and UHC) who profited from the deal, at least five different people (nurse, pharmacist, CVS billing, UHC claims rep) who had to be involved in the claims process, and a huge amount of paper waste and back and forth required just to get a critically necessary shot.

Sorry, this isn't what universal healthcare should look like.


I'm fully insured in Florida. I got my vaccine at CVS as well, but I never gave them my insurance information. Mostly because you had to fill out a bunch of forms online to get the appointment, so I only filled in mandatory fields so I could hit submit ASAP. Regardless, no paper work other than the vaccine card.
 
2021-04-21 10:31:42 AM  
Moderates,
You didn't even notice poor people had the same care you had.
This does't take away from the idea of you being special just because we aren't letting the poor workers go without healthcare. You can still feel superior when you go out on your boat knowing they don't get vacations.
 
2021-04-21 10:32:50 AM  

Shaggy_C: Sorry, this isn't what universal healthcare should look like.


...do you think, under a UHC regime, that health care would just happen, and there wouldn't be corporations involved anymore or currency and doctors would doct simply out of the goodness of their hearts and we just wouldn't charge them anymore for rent or groceries and then we all sing at the nightly communal bonfires?

It means, from the end-user's perspective, that you pay a fee - taxes, a monthly premium, whatever - and then you just ...get healthcare. You walk into a place that fixes people, walk out fixed (or on the road to), and that's that. No calling sixteen different billers and providers to navigate the Byzantine labyrinth the HI bureaucracy created specifically to obfuscate the entire process and squeeze us for profits for not knowing that "329H4C" costs you $10k, but "329H4D" is only $1k and YOU'RE the idiot for not jumping up during your heart attack and shouting "GIVE ME THE GENERIC ADMINISTERED FROM AN IN-NETWORK ANESTHESIOLOGIST" loud enough for the hospital admins to hear.

Let the businesses worry about how to classify and code bill and get reimbursed. Let them fight each other for their share of the taxes/premia we'd already be paying, Let them fight.

// and leave us the fark out of it while we convalesce and treat ourselves of the various maladies entropy sees fit to bestow
 
2021-04-21 10:32:53 AM  
menschenfresser
That's what I thought, too, until I got my first vaccination and had to fill out my pharmacy insurance information, and saw they billed it $40 for the vaccine.

I mean I'm sure the govt would have paid for it if I hadn't had insurance, but they definitely aren't paying for it across the board (unless the govt is reimbursing private insurance costs?).


If the government is not reimbursing the insurance companies directly then it will be done indirectly through favorable regulations and legislation.
 
2021-04-21 10:34:24 AM  

Resin33: I'm fully insured in Florida. I got my vaccine at CVS as well, but I never gave them my insurance information. Mostly because you had to fill out a bunch of forms online to get the appointment, so I only filled in mandatory fields so I could hit submit ASAP. Regardless, no paper work other than the vaccine card.


So maybe that's the lesson here; just lie and claim you don't have insurance, and then you never have to pay for anything. It's a bit like Trump does when a contractor comes after him for a bill. "I can't pay, I'm broke!"

Ah, what a country.
 
2021-04-21 10:35:04 AM  
Well, a 10 second shot that can be given by anybody with minimal training is a bit different than brain surgery, but sure, exactly the same thing.
 
2021-04-21 10:35:18 AM  
I had to show my insurance card,  they had to call and verify my insurance, which took about 30 minutes. 2 other people I knew had them same issues where they had to wait while their insurance was verified.
 
2021-04-21 10:36:36 AM  

menschenfresser: That's what I thought, too, until I got my first vaccination and had to fill out my pharmacy insurance information, and saw they billed it $40 for the vaccine.

I mean I'm sure the govt would have paid for it if I hadn't had insurance, but they definitely aren't paying for it across the board (unless the govt is reimbursing private insurance costs?).


Depending on the vaccine, they vastly increased the price there...

Pfizer, $20, Moderna, $15, Astra Zeneca, $4...

Given how a nurse can spend less than 5 minutes, that's still a very healthy profit margin... Especially since many places use a clinic system where you can have 15-20 people waiting after getting it for the observation period....
 
2021-04-21 10:37:15 AM  

NikolaiFarkoff: "Yeah, but this is Covid, it's different. They SHOULD pay. But cancer treatment if you're unemployed, that's different. That's your problem from your bad choices or whatever. Also, Covid doesn't really exist but I'm getting the vaccine anyway just because. No, you shut up."


As a recently diagnosed cancer patient, I'm getting a kick...etc
 
2021-04-21 10:39:42 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-04-21 10:40:36 AM  
Monday morning i got up outa bed: "Ugh... i need to go use that .gov website and sign up for my 2nd covid shot. This is going to be such a PITA."

==checks email first==

IMPORTANT: We have scheduled your 2nd covid shot is scheduled for this saturday at 1:30, please respond if you cant make it. Otherwise we'll see you this saturday!

"Well that was easy!"
 
2021-04-21 10:41:24 AM  

Dr Dreidel: It means, from the end-user's perspective, that you pay a fee - taxes, a monthly premium, whatever - and then you just ...get healthcare. You walk into a place that fixes people, walk out fixed (or on the road to), and that's that. No calling sixteen different billers and providers to navigate the Byzantine labyrinth the HI bureaucracy created specifically to obfuscate the entire process and squeeze us for profits for not knowing that "329H4C" costs you $10k, but "329H4D" is only $1k and YOU'RE the idiot for not jumping up during your heart attack and shouting "GIVE ME THE GENERIC ADMINISTERED FROM AN IN-NETWORK ANESTHESIOLOGIST" loud enough for the hospital admins to hear.


I lived in Britain for the last four years. I lived in Spain several years ago before that. I know full well how 'socialist' healthcare works, and I'm a huge supporter of such a model.

In the ideal world, you would walk into the CVS and tell them you need your Covid vaccine. They would pull up the central health database, check to see that you haven't already had it, and boom, give you the vaccine. You leave. There is no billing, no claim form for procedure and product 329H4D submitted back to the insurance company, and no one-off payment made to the pharmacy for your specific jab, and no explanation of benefits sent back to you as the end consumer weeks after the fact.

That would be an efficient system that would be cheaper for society and easier for the end user. The current covid model is only "socialist" for those who don't already have insurance, and you know the government is paying through the nose to administer it.
 
2021-04-21 10:42:25 AM  
Even our most prolific socialist health care system, the VA, is refunding Vets' co-pays from March, 2020 to September, 2021. I've received notifications both by mail & online. Good for me: I've had two surgeries under general anesthesia at VA Hospital Palo Alto, CA this year & my copays on those were nearly $1k total, which I already think a bargain. I have long thought the US needs, if not the Canadian model, then at least the VA model, for everyone.
 
2021-04-21 10:42:37 AM  

acouvis: menschenfresser: That's what I thought, too, until I got my first vaccination and had to fill out my pharmacy insurance information, and saw they billed it $40 for the vaccine.

I mean I'm sure the govt would have paid for it if I hadn't had insurance, but they definitely aren't paying for it across the board (unless the govt is reimbursing private insurance costs?).

Depending on the vaccine, they vastly increased the price there...

Pfizer, $20, Moderna, $15, Astra Zeneca, $4...

Given how a nurse can spend less than 5 minutes, that's still a very healthy profit margin... Especially since many places use a clinic system where you can have 15-20 people waiting after getting it for the observation period....


There's a lot more cost to running a clinic than the good stuff.

There were at least 30 people working at my hospital clinic in a big box that long ago was CompUSA, many of them not giving shots.
 
2021-04-21 10:43:24 AM  

sinner4ever: How are we going to pay for it?


Very easily.  And cheaper than what we pay on aggregate now.  Stop pretending that this is a difficult question to answer.
 
2021-04-21 10:44:56 AM  

ften: I had to show my insurance card,  they had to call and verify my insurance, which took about 30 minutes. 2 other people I knew had them same issues where they had to wait while their insurance was verified.


Where the fark did you get your shot?
 
2021-04-21 10:46:39 AM  

ften: I had to show my insurance card,  they had to call and verify my insurance, which took about 30 minutes. 2 other people I knew had them same issues where they had to wait while their insurance was verified.


The county had a line on the form for  insurance information but i didn't have my card on me. Left it blank, Got shot. Nothing happened.
 
2021-04-21 10:47:04 AM  

sinner4ever: How are we going to pay for it?


'Tis a silly question.  How do we pay for it now?  Use that money, except that instead of half of it going to middlemen it can all go to healthcare.

I pay about $500/mo for premiums and my employer kicks in another $500 (which - make no mistake - is really a diversion of my salary and not a "gift").  So, really, I'm paying $1000/mo for coverage.
Under a universal health care system that $1000 would go to the M4A tax.  The money saved from lower administrative costs would make that $1000 go further.

If I lose my job or I get sick and I can't work my M4A tax goes down to zero just like my income tax would. When I go back to work I go back to paying a M4A tax that proportional to my new income.  However, unlike the old system, when I'm not working I still have healthcare and I'm not dipping into savings or selling my house to pay for it.
 
2021-04-21 10:49:45 AM  

NikolaiFarkoff: "Yeah, but this is Covid, it's different. They SHOULD pay. But cancer treatment if you're unemployed, that's different. That's your problem from your bad choices or whatever. Also, Covid doesn't really exist but I'm getting the vaccine anyway just because. No, you shut up."


COVID-19 is both a Democrat hoax and a bioweapon engineered in a Chinese lab.
 
2021-04-21 10:49:59 AM  
Will M4A be good for the nation? Yes.

Will it be good for well connected insurance companies? No.

It will not happen on those grounds, even though it should.
 
2021-04-21 10:50:21 AM  

thehobbes: ften: I had to show my insurance card,  they had to call and verify my insurance, which took about 30 minutes. 2 other people I knew had them same issues where they had to wait while their insurance was verified.

The county had a line on the form for  insurance information but i didn't have my card on me. Left it blank, Got shot. Nothing happened.


IIRC, I was asked if I had insurance, said yes, they may have asked what insurance but I don't think they even bothered to take it down. Although I may have needed to enter it on the website to pre-register for an appointment.

They even validated my parking for the convention center lot. Didn't even have to pay the $13 to park,. All health care should be like this.
 
2021-04-21 10:51:31 AM  
The way Democrats use the term "Universal Health Care" is not Single Payer or Medicare For All, but the asinine combination of Obamacare + public option, forcing people to pay into a for profit system.

Democrats are purposefully confusing the issue, and we should be championing single payer.
 
2021-04-21 10:52:11 AM  

The Reverend Sam Hill: NikolaiFarkoff: "Yeah, but this is Covid, it's different. They SHOULD pay. But cancer treatment if you're unemployed, that's different. That's your problem from your bad choices or whatever. Also, Covid doesn't really exist but I'm getting the vaccine anyway just because. No, you shut up."

COVID-19 is both a Democrat hoax and a bioweapon engineered in a Chinese lab.


I'm still extremely impressed the Dems were able to mount a major presidential and Congressional campaigns, all while working with a complex authoritarian government and its high education institutions.

Shiat, based on all that, they EARNED those senate seats and the presidency. That's hypercompetence.
 
2021-04-21 10:56:21 AM  

BMFPitt: sinner4ever: How are we going to pay for it?

Very easily.  And cheaper than what we pay on aggregate now.  Stop pretending that this is a difficult question to answer.


Nice to see you too.
How was brunch?
 
2021-04-21 10:57:31 AM  

misanthropicsob: The way Democrats use the term "Universal Health Care" is not Single Payer or Medicare For All, but the asinine combination of Obamacare + public option, forcing people to pay into a for profit system.

Democrats are purposefully confusing the issue, and we should be championing single payer.


I wouldn't say they purposefully confuse the issue. I would say that they have a 'big tent' that disproportionately skews towards neoliberalism and have little interest in interfering within a for-profit market in which they have a vested interest in maintaining. There is a large chuck of the party (the people, not the legislators) who want a single payer programme, but in Congress they are outnumbered by the corporatists on one side and outflanked by the progressives who (foolishly, I may add) want to outlaw private healthcare entirely on the other.

So it's not that the party is confusing the issue, it's that they're confused themselves because there is no consensus.
 
2021-04-21 11:00:33 AM  
A guy in my neighborhood is giving covid shots in his basement. Costs $10 but no waiting and no forms to fill out. You give him $10 and he gives you a shot and you are on your way. He seems legit......has a stethoscope around his neck like any doctor on tv.
 
2021-04-21 11:00:36 AM  

AdmirableSnackbar: thehobbes: ften: I had to show my insurance card,  they had to call and verify my insurance, which took about 30 minutes. 2 other people I knew had them same issues where they had to wait while their insurance was verified.

The county had a line on the form for  insurance information but i didn't have my card on me. Left it blank, Got shot. Nothing happened.

IIRC, I was asked if I had insurance, said yes, they may have asked what insurance but I don't think they even bothered to take it down. Although I may have needed to enter it on the website to pre-register for an appointment.

They even validated my parking for the convention center lot. Didn't even have to pay the $13 to park,. All health care should be like this.


I think CVS asked for insurance information for a COVID test. Then I used a private lab that did drive through clinics and there wasn't even a space to put insurance information in. I got my brain poked almost weekly for work. They got paid. 

I paid more in Mexico for a COVID test than I ever did in the US. $700 MEX
 
2021-04-21 11:01:21 AM  
Our current healthcare system is embarrassing. Our peer nations (and a lot of $#!thole countries) outperform us by every imaginable measure. I don't understand why this topic is controversial, much less confrontational. We can fix it, easily, and probably start saving money within a decade.
 
2021-04-21 11:02:33 AM  

untoldforce: Will M4A be good for the nation? Yes.

Will it be good for well connected insurance companies? No.

It will not happen on those grounds, even though it should.


To be honest, it would actually be better for insurance companies as well. They would have less headline revenue, but they may well end up more profitable overall by providing bespoke policies for a more wealthy (and healthy) pool of insured who do not want to go to a "Medicare Doctor." Imagine being able to get rid of all of the people with pre-existing conditions or the smokers or drug addicts or those with any number of other expensive maladies? Throw the expensive sick people to the government to care for, and keep the profitable customers for yourself.

Britain had a thriving private medical industry that sits alongside the NHS for those who are willing to pay to jump to the head of the queue. I don't see why such a programme couldn't work here (notwithstanding the moral opposition from the likes of Bernard Sanders.)
 
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