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Health Insurance Whistleblower / Lies Sold about Canada's Healthcare System

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Aug 9, 2020 - 3:26:54 PM

banjoy

USA

9139 posts since 7/1/2006

I thought this was interesting enough to mention here, you know, where all the best armchair experts on every topic imaginable congregate to duke it out...

This article / opinion piece came out three days ago, authored by Wendell Potter, a former Vice President of Corporate Communications for CIGNA Insurance and who has since stepped out as a "whistleblower" describing how it was his mission for more than 20 years to mislead the public on health insurance in the US.

What I find interesting is how his deceptions worked quite well, and as far as I can recall, I have seen the false and misleading information he describes in this piece, often surfacing in past BHO threads on this topic presented as "fact."

Anyway, interesting stuff worth considering...

The Health Care Scare: I sold a lie about Canadian medicine

Edited by - banjoy on 08/10/2020 00:26:50

Aug 9, 2020 - 3:41:37 PM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

16932 posts since 6/5/2008

Really decent of the guy to 'fess up. Good way to earn respect.

I walked in, major abdominal surgery, ICU post op. 10 days in a surgical ward room of 2.
Signed my name and walked out. No surface cost. We don't even pay health insurance premiums any more (February?).

Nice picture of Hinton's trauma room. Clearly they did a little "gardening" to round up a suite of diagnostic equipment. Just shows that they have it all. So does the little hospital in my village of McBride. I need treatments 3 times per week. Might have to wait 10 minutes. Same for medical lab appointments. Just sit for a few minutes and visit with others.

Aug 9, 2020 - 3:46:03 PM

banjoy

USA

9139 posts since 7/1/2006

I still can't even get a Covid-19 test. The minimum I have been quoted is $140 office visit plus the unknown cost of the test, which they would not quote me by phone...

Aug 9, 2020 - 4:37:21 PM

73290 posts since 5/9/2007

We are now able to get quick tests in Maine.

Aug 9, 2020 - 4:42:34 PM

1715 posts since 4/10/2005

RE it being interesting how the deceptions worked quite well, there are some fascinating treatises on cons and conning, and what factors make people vulnerable to deception. I gotta dig up some of that stuff.

Aug 9, 2020 - 5:29:29 PM

banjoy

USA

9139 posts since 7/1/2006

quote:
Originally posted by steve davis

We are now able to get quick tests in Maine.


To clarify, that info I cited was from about 2+ months ago when I called around. I do not have any health insurance at all, and a quick check shows that currently all the testing stations here require some type of insurance, in addition to tests being limited to "certain patients" whatever that means. So to be tested I must first qualify for the test, and if I did then I have to pay in full up front before the test is done. Thus, I can't get a test here, my reality. I've got an appointment this week at a local free medical clinic for the uninsured for some health issues that have come up for me, and I'll also see if they offer Covid testing (even for the antibodies, I'd kinda like to know).

Edited by - banjoy on 08/09/2020 17:31:17

Aug 9, 2020 - 5:37:54 PM
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banjoy

USA

9139 posts since 7/1/2006

quote:
Originally posted by ceemonster

RE it being interesting how the deceptions worked quite well, there are some fascinating treatises on cons and conning, and what factors make people vulnerable to deception. I gotta dig up some of that stuff.


I'm sure you will. If you read the linked piece you'll see how this industry-PR effort planted this disinformation in primary news sources so it ends up being repeated ad nauseam from many different directions. I know that certain right wing sources pounded on this heavily while left wing news sources seemed to parrot away as well. This is nothing new, I think it boils down to a lie repeated often enough is often believed, which defines propaganda.

I believe your digging may reveal this to be true whenever and wherever big bucks are involved. Just guessin' from this armchair, to see what you dig up from your armchair.

Edited by - banjoy on 08/09/2020 17:45:25

Aug 9, 2020 - 9:43:30 PM
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Paul R

Canada

13095 posts since 1/28/2010

I'm being observed for my prostate cancer. Appointments - no charge. PSA tests - no charge. Any medical issues I have, nobody calls out "pre-existing condition". I have a dermatologist appointment coming up. No charge. I got shingles and flu vaccines - no charge (you can even get the flu shot at the pharmacy - free). Coronavirus testing free and timely. You have a good health care system if you can afford to pay for it. Everyone can afford ours.

Aug 10, 2020 - 12:39:30 AM
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BelfastFiveString

Northern Ireland

93 posts since 7/22/2020

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

I still can't even get a Covid-19 test. The minimum I have been quoted is $140 office visit plus the unknown cost of the test, which they would not quote me by phone...


I'm so shocked by that. Here, you call and then get it same day (for free). It may take a day but some get results within a few hours - everyone I know who has had a test called at 9 am, gets it, and has the result by the end of the day.

Edited by - BelfastFiveString on 08/10/2020 00:43:24

Aug 10, 2020 - 1:30:19 AM

banjoy

USA

9139 posts since 7/1/2006

quote:
Originally posted by BelfastFiveString
quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

I still can't even get a Covid-19 test. The minimum I have been quoted is $140 office visit plus the unknown cost of the test, which they would not quote me by phone...


I'm so shocked by that. Here, you call and then get it same day (for free). It may take a day but some get results within a few hours - everyone I know who has had a test called at 9 am, gets it, and has the result by the end of the day.


It might have changed since I tried 2+ months ago, but when I google tests for Spartanburg, SC many sites instruct to "Bring ID, insurance and your co-pay" ... with no consistency ... some sites require an appointment and referral, some do not, some will test only those who qualify for a test, some will test anyone. The only consistent thing I can see is it is not free. I posted above what I was told then.

I will find out more this Wednesday and post here if things are different ... I'll correct any errors or misunderstandings ... but that these inconsistencies exist, I think, speaks volumes.

Yes, I guess we have the best health care if you can afford it.

Aug 10, 2020 - 4:45:48 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

24833 posts since 8/3/2003

Our town has been giving out FREE tests to our citizens. Last month they gave tests once a week, all you had to do was show up (wearing a mask and staying in your car) and they would test you for free, no insurance, no co-pay, no fee, FREE. Guess different states do different things.

We can also get tests (for a fee) at the local emergency centers or at the hospitals emergency room or at our doctor's office.

Aug 10, 2020 - 4:53:38 AM

73290 posts since 5/9/2007

I accrue no medical bills with my VA.
I believe all Mainers can be tested for little or no money.

Aug 10, 2020 - 5:17:08 AM
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banjoy

USA

9139 posts since 7/1/2006

Okay, I stand corrected. I had to wait until some of these places opened at 8:00am, but I did confirm there ARE free drive-up tests available here in Spartanburg, not universal at every place, some places still charge. CVS Pharmacy offers free drive-through tests by appointment only, for example. That is news to me. Another place I called charges for everything (through insurance, which I don't have, so can't get tested there).

So I called the place that quoted me $140 before and they are still quoting me that amount, but now they are telling me the test is free, where before they would not quote a price. It seems the $140 fee is for ANY walk-in appointment with no insurance. They did not make that clear before and still charge for walk-in visits, even for Covid testing.

So my bad. It does appear there are free tests available, if I make an appointment first. This was not the case at all 2-3 months ago. I haven't kept up with local news.

My apologies for the extreme thread drift and my incorrect, outdated info inserted here, lesson learned ... and I hope this thread can get back on track ... being about the whistleblower article about the Canadian health system...

Edited by - banjoy on 08/10/2020 05:19:05

Aug 10, 2020 - 5:30:55 AM
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Players Union Member

DC5

USA

13124 posts since 6/30/2015
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quote:
Originally posted by Brian T

Really decent of the guy to 'fess up. Good way to earn respect.
 


Too bad he had to lose respect first.  As he himself asked, How many died because of this deception?  I myself used much of that mis-information to rally against "Socialized Medicine".  It took this pandemic to get me to see the light. 

Still, there's a right way, a wrong way, and the American way.  If we ever do implement a Canadian style system, we'll screw it up and everyone will be the worse for it. 

Aug 10, 2020 - 6:05:44 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

12475 posts since 5/24/2005

I am curious on all this "free" or "no charge" health care in Canada. And, it would seem that many of you in Canada are satisfied with your health care. But, my question is...What are the income and sale tax rates for those paying the bill, including you and the fat cats?
Brad

Aug 10, 2020 - 6:09:33 AM

73290 posts since 5/9/2007

Canada used to pay tax around 35% for everything,I think.
They also have government help of 35% in their businesses?

Aug 10, 2020 - 6:15:06 AM

73290 posts since 5/9/2007

Here's Maine's current policy.
maine.gov/covid19/

Aug 10, 2020 - 6:30:11 AM
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Owen

Canada

6111 posts since 6/5/2011
Online Now

Somebody or other [Canadian Taxpayers Federation??] annually publicizes a "tax freedom day" for Canada.  If I recall correctly lately it's been in the first week in July... it supposedly denotes the day when peoples' [dunno just how the  stats are determined.... whether fat cats and those big, bad corporations are included] earnings theoretically (?) switch from paying taxes to paying themselves. 

MY interpretation of this is that about 1/2 of the average dude's income* goes to a tax of some sort.  Our personal taxation rates don't bother me.... seeing government wasting $$ does, although I acknowledge that "wasting" means different things to different people. 

* = I trust Canadians with more precise/pertinent info will step up.

Edit: Reflection leads to guilt.... https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/tax-freedom-day-2020-report  [fwiw, generally I don't hold the FI in particularly high regard.]

Edited by - Owen on 08/10/2020 06:35:48

Aug 10, 2020 - 6:35:28 AM

73290 posts since 5/9/2007

Nothing wrong with a tax that includes everything and still leaves you with some money left over.

Aug 10, 2020 - 10:51:42 AM
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2841 posts since 4/29/2012
Online Now

According to the god that is Google, tax freedom day in the UK last year was May 8th. So before the end of spring I had myself a health service, a police force, a fire brigade, an army, an education system, bridges, roads and other assorted infrastructure, representation in foreign countries, a coastguard, a judicial system, waste disposal, environmental protection, child protection, social services, welfare and unemployment benefits should I need them, border protection.... Seems reasonable to me.

Aug 10, 2020 - 11:34:25 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

13124 posts since 6/30/2015
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by steve davis

Nothing wrong with a tax that includes everything and still leaves you with some money left over.


Be careful what you wish for.  In the U.K. in the 60's adn 70's the tax rate was as high as 98%, which prompted the Beatles not only to move to the U.S. but inspired the song Taxman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAWugfIKyWA

Aug 10, 2020 - 3:59:17 PM

BelfastFiveString

Northern Ireland

93 posts since 7/22/2020

quote:
Originally posted by DC5
quote:
Originally posted by steve davis

Nothing wrong with a tax that includes everything and still leaves you with some money left over.


Be careful what you wish for.  In the U.K. in the 60's adn 70's the tax rate was as high as 98%, which prompted the Beatles not only to move to the U.S. but inspired the song Taxman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAWugfIKyWA


In high taxes also inspires excellent rock and roll, I am for!

Aug 10, 2020 - 5:41:26 PM

BelfastFiveString

Northern Ireland

93 posts since 7/22/2020

*If

Aug 10, 2020 - 5:42:24 PM
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donc

Canada

6400 posts since 2/9/2010
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by DC5
quote:
Originally posted by Brian T

Really decent of the guy to 'fess up. Good way to earn respect.
 


Too bad he had to lose respect first.  As he himself asked, How many died because of this deception?  I myself used much of that mis-information to rally against "Socialized Medicine".  It took this pandemic to get me to see the light. 

Still, there's a right way, a wrong way, and the American way.  If we ever do implement a Canadian style system, we'll screw it up and everyone will be the worse for it. 


Free Covid-19 tests have to be a starting point. What's the use of testing only those with insurance or cash ? Its the poor guy without either who will eventually infect everyone else.  At the moment the U.S does have socialized health care but you're right.  It has been screwed up. As soon as we allow a corporate middle man insurance company to get involved we go back to square one. The reason is basic. Public health care treats the patient. When you allow a private insurance company to get it's nose in the trough its the company that becomes the patient. 

Aug 10, 2020 - 9:19:39 PM

10664 posts since 1/15/2005

Quote : "tax rate was as high as 98% tax rate was as high as 98%"

Steve should be happy with that Dave ..... it leaves a little left over for the person that earned it!

Aug 10, 2020 - 10:03:57 PM

chuckv97

Canada

51957 posts since 10/5/2013

Who wants to fight with insurance companies after they take your money? I’m going through that now with that kidney stone attack and my visit to emergency last January in Arizona.

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