Sunday, February 10, 2008

Slippery Slope : Means Testing + Healthcare Insurance

Means testing..... Does it make sense when it is conducted upon admission to a hospital without knowing what the final bill is?....
Most people think the answer is to get insurance and that will protect them. Insurance in the form of MediShield used to be administered by the govt....but it is now put in the hands of private "for profit" insurance companies. While many think that insurance is cheap today and give sufficient coverage when they are ill, one just have to study the American system and see what happened to their system based on insurance and that will be what will happen to us 10 years from now.
Here's Professor Elizabeth Warren explaining how a system based on insurance and privatisation to seek the best profits evolves:

Prof. Warren has other interesting works such as the documentary "Maxed Out" that exposed the problem of credit card debt among Americans - this problem (among others) is threatening to sink the US economy into recession.


Onlooker said...

Actually, Everyone should have realize by now.This combination will result in something like the Current US Healthcare system.You will not receive medical care when you need it the most and your health depend on some doctor director who was paid to reject your request for an insurance payout for a treatment to a disease.
Look under "HMO" and the death of a lot of Americans after Nixon pass the law. Nixon who is famous for "Politician lies,people dies."
Oh by the way,There is also a conflict of interest. Corporate imsurance(money source) VS People(voters).but in this case He think People are expandable.

Anonymous said...

I believe every nation is facing the crisis in healthcare. Economic development with its stresses brings with it more health problems for people.

Years ago Singapore had been known for having the highest rate of heart disease in S E Asia. Now death by colon cancer has surpassed heart disease as the no. 1 killer in Singapore.

We are just see the tip of the iceberg. The PAP government is scrambling to hold things in place as the demand for healthcare continues to rise, what with the influx of millions of foreigners.

Preventative healthcare which had been talked about years ago is no longer in focus. And why? Because the health authorities have not found the true way to prevent diseases, never mind the official promotion on healthy lifestyle: eat more vegetables and fruits, exercise regularly, have enough sleep. Silly to say the least because these are things which everyone knows.

To repeat, the health authorities have not found the answer OR they are in cahoots with the Western medical profession and industry to prevent the true preventative medicine from being widely recognised and practised.

Only in Channel 8 and Channel NewsAsia, do you sometimes get to see a bit on what this preventative medicine is all about. It is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. But the Western medical industry in Singapore is snide about this. Some Western-trained doctors continue to view and call TCM quackery.

Today Western-trained doctors dispense medicines but surely they know that many of these drugs are actually extracted from herbs.

In fact even few parents of baby boomers, let alone the baby boomers themselves, understand well nor practise preventative TCM and for this reason the knowledge is randomly shared and sparsely known among the population.

It is true of course that Western medicine has its special effectiveness in acute health problems such as those requiring surgery.

But immunity of the body against the many degenerative diseases depends on the person having a regular diet of safe herbal supplements. This is found in TCM and the wise householder ensures that his/her family is looked after in this manner.

The general solution for a more healthy population has been around for thousands of years but ironically some of the descendents of such a rich ancestry are either ignorant or contemptous of it.

Although many local Western-trained doctors are taking up acupuncture as papers reported, the PAP is not about to promote preventative TCM widely. Just look at the "Mind Your Body" paper by SPH and you know it is very pro-Western.

One the other hand as in any profession, there are no lack of cheats and quacks around in TCM who charge people exorbitantaly for medicine for serious illnesses. No doubt about this.

However what I am talking about is preventative TCM which helps to strengthen one's immunity against a host of illnesses, so that one would have less occasion to visit the doctor or the TCM physician.

Such preventative TCM with superior herbs is real future "insurance" of our people that can significantly resolve the healthcare crisis of our nation.

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 12:23,

A healthy lifestyle has the unintended effect of people living longer and that poses another expensive problem.

Recent article that discouraging smoking will result in more people living longer and that causes a burden to society.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky

Now that's a joke of the century. Wonder where I can find that article?

Lucky please continue to write more frequently. I can start my own blog but seems to prefer using yours to post comments as I think you are the realest blogger in town and I want to support your blog.

Cheers and Happy Chinese New Year!

LuckySingaporean said...


Article is found here.

Not just smokers but fat people cost the society less overall than healthy people

Anonymous said...

Ah, Lucky, I see the clever logic in that CNN article you cited. Why don't they go for euthanasia, which is a far better way to save on heath cost?

At one time, a Western scientist even propagated a well-accepted theory that mass deaths through war, pestilence, earthquakes and other disasters are necessary evils because they prevent the world from over-population.

This logic never ends if one starts and ends with pure economics without ever thinking about the welfare of humans.

Not too different from PAPism actually.

PAP says state welfare is a burden to the government, so PAP shirks its responsibility on this national fundamental.

For the same reason, the PAP never intended to subsidize healthcare, hence mean-testing now.

In fact the privatisation of former governmental hospitals was I believe partly intended to mask the lack of governmental subsidy on healthcare in the first place.

Now the privatised hospitals - belonging still to the government under such conglomerates as SingHealth and National Healthcare Group - charge commercial rates and the so-called government subsidy is actually a discount written as "subsidy" on this pricing and NOT on the health cost.

This is very similar to what subsidy has come to mean for HDB flats. HDB asserted in the papers that govt subsidy on HDB flats is calculated based on the difference between a commercial developer's and HDB price.

The PAP government does not seem feel ashamed to resort this kind semantic distortion of this term "government subsidy" to hide its true face.

At the same time, PAP demands that private voluntary welfare organisations including churches and temples do the utmost to help the needy.

And if they so much as decline to act on PAP's instructions to carry out certain PAP's instruction in this area - such as setting up new welfare homes or forcing them to accept non-members into their welfare homes - they will be "fixed" in various ways.

This in fact have been the shocking experience of various VWOs like churches over the years but is hardly known to the public at large.

Anonymous said...

Lucky is a millionaire and millionaires dun step into gahmen hospital unless they have a deathwish. Means testing means nothing.

The folks most affected also voted for khaw and hen. They do not deserve your sympathy.


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