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What's Next for Health Care?

AIR DATE: April 1, 2010

After a heated battle in Congress, President Obama signed the health care bill. So what does that mean for Nevada when the ink dries? Where can we expect to see immediate change? Where will we see cuts, and what can providers and patients expect to see change? Journalist T.R. Reid and UNLV Professor Chris Cochrane talk about the new legislation and take your questions. Call us at 259-7821 or e-mail

T.R. Reid, columnist, Washington Post and author, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
Chris Cochrane, Professor of Health Care Administration and Policy, UNLV

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Responding to Laurann - (cont) are ill, injured or loose your capacity. In return I would expect, the same from you. While I believe success in mostly is due to self-reliance, I also believe in insurance for catastrophic events. I am happy to be your insurance.
KirkMar 31, 2010 20:06:41 PM
Responding to Lauriann - While I appreciate your clean and healthy lifestyle (we have similar ideas on what a healthy mind and body is), you can never tell what is in store for you. While you may be one of the outliers who will always be healthy, will be sharp until the moment of your death, and live injury free, statistics say your beliefs are likely wrong. Your comment is easily said when you have your health. The one major factor your comment seems to miss is reality. When the reality of an illness, injury or loss of capacity arrives, your attitude will change. Only when someone is faced with reality do her thoughts and beliefs change to survive. Many times when reality encounters a belief or thought, the ability to adapt is too late. To believe otherwise and advocate the same is disingenuous. Next, your argument that the "health care system . . . does not care for health, but is profit drive (sic) by keeping people ill, is incredulous because it is conclusive. Also do I sense distain for a core belief of our democracy that profit is not good?

Assuming you are a US Citizen, while I do not know you, your citizenship is enough for me to extend a helping hand to you when you

KirK Mar 31, 2010 00:00:00 AM
Canada's health care insurance varies by province. For example, in Alberta you have regular insurance -- my sister pays $289/quarter -- but you can buy Supplemental Insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield. Their platinum level service is around $92/month and includes complete medical, dental, and eye care, as well as long-term care, hardware in your bathroom, etc.

When you're 65, it's free until you with Blue Cross at the level you were at before you reached 65.

Doctors, hospitals, labs, and services are private in Canada, unlike Britain. Alberta's stem cell medicine is in the vanguard worldwide, and they have had miraculous success with it over the past 20 years. Ditto cancer research. The notion that you can't get dialysis after 65 is absurd. My mother required 24 hour nurses for six years and special medical attention, but she didn't have supplemental Insurance, so she had to pay $2,500 month.

Ontario is the province that experiences waiting. They have a different system, and it's poorly managed.

The current health care insurance system was not instituted nationwide until the late 50s. It was not 1944.

In Alberta you are required to apply for health insurance within 30 days of moving there. The other provinces are different.

JanieMar 31, 2010 00:00:00 AM
I really object to being labeled "irresponsible" because I do not want to buy health insurance. I just did my taxes and I spent over $10,000 on labs, nutritional supplements, and other health related items. I exercise EVERY day, eat organic unprocessed fruit, veggies, and a small amount of meat a few times a week. I practice mental/emotional health practices like meditation and being aware of my thoughts, choices and how it affects my health. I also have a catastrophic insurance plan that has a $7000.00 deductible (that rose over $30 in one month and steadily increases).

I do not use the "normal" health care system, and wouldn't even if I was to be diagnosed with cancer or some other severe disease. I object to being forced into a "health care" system that does not care for health, but is profit drive by keeping people ill.

BTW, I am a former EMT-I and appreciate the emergency medical system. EMS is the true hero of western medicine. I was forced into a new field when I was in a car accident and could no longer work as an EMT. My own car insurance would not pay without a huge fight, even though it was not my fault. I did the "conventional medicine" thing for several years getting worse and worse. I walked with a cane and was very sick, not able to care for myself without help. Now, years later, I am STILL working on my health due to doctors who did not know what they were doing and made me worse. However, in 2006 I rode my bike 450 miles across the state of NY and continue to get healthier, not because the government TELLS me to, but because I want an amazing quality of life. This is possible for most everyone if we as a culture took personal responsibility to STAY WELL, and the government supported giving people accurate information and stopped subsidizing sick care.

LauriannMar 31, 2010 00:00:00 AM
I'm wondering if there is something in the new health care bill relative to companies that for years have skirted providing health care and other benefits to employees by keeping their hours at a level that would not keep them from being eligible for company benefits? Also, what about the issue of keeping a cadre of "independent contractors" on the roster, again to avoid providing benefits. I understand that these folks can buy on the open market but it seems to me that it would cut the company's bottom line by increasing the number of these people to cut their health care expenses.
SusanMar 31, 2010 00:00:00 AM
First, your guest T.R. Reid just misinformed a caller. Under the law, a Federal High-Risk pool goes into effect in 6 months that will serve people with pre-existing conditions until such time as insurers are required to provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

My own story - when my son was 2, he was diagnosed with a rare immune disease. The treatments were incredibly expensive. Despite having a "cadillac" insurance plan, the out-of-pocket costs in the first year alone came to nearly $200,000, and then I was told that we had exceeded the annual caps. By the age of 4, my son had exceeded the lifetime caps. My family was bankrupted, and we ended up moving in with my parents.

I've studied this law pretty extensively. For my family, it means limits to out of pocket costs, an end to annual and lifetime caps, and it also means that, should I lose my job, insurers will be required to provide coverage for my son.

EvanMar 31, 2010 00:00:00 AM
I don't think much of the healthcare bill because it does not address 2 basic questions: 1) cost reform and 2) use of "insurance"

I have no difficulty mandating people to buy insurance but one basic premise is that we add all these people to the insurance lists and this is supposed to make prices go down. What percentage of these people can, even if mandated, afford to buy it? And if they can't afford it, then subsidies are then given to help out but that goes immediately to the deficit. Why not just cut the whole insurance part out of the equation and then there are some savings and then force to the doctors and hospitals to bring their costs to the point where we can afford them.

KirkMar 31, 2010 00:00:00 AM
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