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One of my new pursuits is benefitting from Government programs.

And I gotta say....

Are there times where things are slow or tedious? Sure.

Are there times where someone on a chat or phone call - isn't a Four Seasons employee being all doting? Absolutely.

Are there times where there's a bit of arrogance? Sure.

BUT..... I gotta say, most of the time - the things get done. Benefits, tax refunds, etc...the checks arrive, the things get done.

Sure, private sector does many things better -- but let's not forget that we don't hear people praising the experience when they have to call their cable company or cell phone provider.

Government can do some things well.
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Sure, private sector does many things better -- but let's not forget that we don't hear people praising the experience when they have to call their cable company or cell phone provider.

Government can do some things well.


Dealing with Medicare is FAR easier than dealing with any other health insurer. I've been on it almost 7 years and never needed to call because they made an error, deprived me of coverage, didn't log my premium.
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I hear you and believe you.

My parents say same thing about Medicare.

Where it comes to health care HMOs and insurers are my one biggest beef. I can't express my disdain for the companies - but even for the whole concept. A business model that is VITAL to people - that makes a profit by taking as much money in as possible, BUT by paying the least out.

And they've turned doctors into little hamsters on the wheel, eager to get their 15 minute office visits over because they need to cram people in.

And doctor's offices are partially just a collection agency - whether they dog patients for unpaid bills, or whether they've got to work with 20+ insurance policies per day. I'm very fine with good doctors making poop-loads of money. I'm happy for hospitals to make nice profits - - heck, I'd like a talented doctor working on me. I like good staff and amenities at a hospital. They provide it, by golly - pay them for it. Even drugs - - at least they invent stuff.

HMOs? What the hell do they do? NOTHING. Trouble is that nuanced conversations can't happen in Tribalistan America. So it's gotta be "SOCIALIZED DEATH PANELS!" or "GREEDY HMOs!". The discussion just can't ever be had: How to merge the beauty of the profit motive for those who create value.....WITH affordable delivery of health services via Medicare or similar.

Wendell Potter, an ex HMO P-R exec wrote a book about how the industry influences not just politics - but media. I gotta say, I think HMO special interests are as skilled as gun lobbies, Israeli lobby, and AARP. Many times, these cable news hosts and A.M radio hosts (some of whom I listened to quite a bit back in the day)_ are secretly paid off to attack any there to the HMO companies.

And it works. Tribalism, PLUS typical American lack of thinking ability means you've got a huge part of America (yes, people I voted with many times), actually OPPOSING things that give them health insurance subsidies, pre-existing protections, rural health access etc.

I still stand by my prediction of years ago: America will have bigger mechanisms for socialized medicine - and it'll be RED STATES that demand it. I started to be proven right when Oklahoma voted to expand Medicaid under ACA, and Governor Kasich did similar in Ohio and got re-elected there.

Sad part is it'll happen with poor planning, NO pilot testing, and without buy in from all parties - and it'll sorta suck.

It'll be a shameful waste.
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NOt all HMOs are bad. I was happy with Harvard Plan back in the 80s/90s when I lived in MA. It's called Harvard-Pilgrim now (merger). I think it's still ranked #1 in the country. I heard good things about Kaiser-Permanente when I lived in CA, but none of their facilities were close to me at the time. If health care is too inconvenient, people tend not to get it even if needed.
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