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County health plan selected to participate in state insurance exchange

Original post made on Jun 4, 2013

The state agency charged with organizing health care exchanges as part of the federal Affordable Care Act announced recently that 13 different plans, including Contra Costa Health Plan, will be offered for residents seeking health care insurance.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 11:25 AM

Comments (18)

Posted by Julia, a resident of Alamo
on Jun 4, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Great news .. slowly but surely every state/county will join the Affordable Care Act.

Thanks for listening.

Julia Pardini from beautiful Alamo


Posted by Trish, a resident of Danville
on Jun 5, 2013 at 6:49 am

This is stupid...

Every PERSON should own their OWN health care. Medical insurance should only cover items that we can't plan/pay for, like cancer, illness, etc. that requires more investment - just like insurance typically works for your car, home, etc. I pay annually for home insurance, but that doesn't cover yard maintenance, a new roof, etc. It only covers unplanned, detrimental occurrences. People go to the doctor now if they even have a little sniffle.... get some sleep and some orange juice... an OTC medicine should be fine...

However, people want "insurance" that covers medical check-ups, child birth, annual exams, etc. This is all routine and should be offered separately from insurance. Insurance is for the big stuff that's unplanned because this price gouging has to stop. It's the insurance agencies and government robbing us blind..

I can go to a doctor for a check-up once a month for $200/visit. I pay substantially more with insurance... There is no transparency in government as there is no transparency in the insurance agencies... They charge what they want... Now, with what I see happening to the Obama regime and his co-conspirators I am even more convinced this is the wrong answer.

I want to own my own health care. I want to make my own decisions about my health care professionals. I want affordable health coverage - not INSURANCE. Health coverage and health insurance is an individual's personal responsibility or those with familial support - not the taxpayers...

Just my 2 cents.


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Jun 5, 2013 at 8:57 am

Trish, it would be a lot more than 2 cents worth if your theory held sway. Preventive care is a lot cheaper than dealing with "cancer, illnesses" etc. after they've taken hold. Unless you're willing to turn people away from Emergency Rooms to die in the street we already have "universal health care" - it's just that we deliver it in the most expensive, least efficient manner imaginable. **That's** what's "stupid."

Of course, you're just following the "bash Obama" party line, regardless of whether it makes sense or not.


Posted by Linda Donahue, a resident of Danville
on Jun 5, 2013 at 9:02 am

Will the death panels be located in the healthcare facility or separate?


Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Jun 5, 2013 at 9:53 am

They're all in Alaska -- within sight of Russia! Here's a pic: Web Link

Lotsa floes -- no waiting for now, but you never know, the way things are going with man-made climate change ...


Posted by Louise, a resident of Danville
on Jun 5, 2013 at 9:56 am

There are NO death panels - wake up people. That is a lie propagated by Mr. Sean Hannity and the likes.


Posted by Conservator, a resident of Danville
on Jun 5, 2013 at 10:09 am

@Trish,

Your thoughts seem to be very typical of those that see themselves at or near their personal zenith of health (e.g. the indestructible 20's, the resilient 30's or even the 'born-free' early 40's).

Out of curiosity, since you stated that something like 'child birth' is "routine", you must have a broad tolerance or expectation for out-of-pocket expenditure. So for someone on Medicare, is everything just 'routine for getting old' or does that constitute the timeframe in your mind where insurance is or isn't needed? Are you planning to 'own' your Medicare or let the payroll tax help you own that when time comes?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Danville
on Jun 5, 2013 at 10:17 am

@Louise, thank you! I work in health care specifically with the senior population, and the very idea of "death panels" ranks right up there with the notion of implanting microchips in everyone. The new health care regs are not without issue, but putting granny out to pasture is not one of them.

@Trish, I'm with "Huh?" on this one. Health insurance companies would likely be thrilled to have us pay out of pocket for routine screening and prevention. However, people would be less likely to do so and the companies would then be much more likely to pay for treating serious diseases, surgeries, etc. It's less expensive to cover the screening. In addition, insurance companies have negotiated rates with their physicians, so the fees they pay for these services are considerably lower than what we would pay out of pocket.

I'm looking forward to this much needed change in how health care is provided throughout the country (the status quo is clearly not working for most) but I also accept that there will need to be revisions as we move forward.


Posted by PSMacintosh, a resident of Danville
on Jun 5, 2013 at 11:10 am

I was at the DMV yesterday and experienced firsthand what it was like to have Government provide a "service."
Such a terrible system, so many "errors", so much room for improvement and yet so little incentive to make improvements, no accountability, and no competition. Just a lot of simplistic employees looking to make more money for providing less.

It is very frightening and dangerous whenever Government tries to offer us another "service" by extending itself further into yet another field of free enterprise business. And now we are letting Government move further into the field of medical provision. God help us all!
Give it 20 years and then you'll understand (of course, too late by then).


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Jun 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm

PSM, you're absolutely right. We should only trust out health to private companies like Enron, Lehman Bros., TWA, DeLorean Motors and Pets.com. I mean, when you consider that the administrative overhead for government services like Medicare and social security is a small fraction of the overhead and profit siphoned off by private enterprise, how good could it be, right?

</sarcasm>


Posted by Walter Andrews, a resident of Alamo
on Jun 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm

The death panels are real under the guise of "we will not TREAT you"--just today Lady Stabilius said of a 10 yr old child---some ppl die---yawn--her family just got a court ORDER to get her on a lung transplant list!!! Do u drones really think the dems will be on gov healthcare (healthkill) or keep their elitist private?? Hmmm??


Posted by Trish, a resident of Danville
on Jun 6, 2013 at 7:58 am

Thank you PSMacintosh and Walter. You both illustrate my point perfectly. I never said let old people die. I never said let ANYBODY die. My main point is personal responsibility, free thinking, independence, and innovation. I am not a negative person. I believe in people. I think that's the difference between what I SAID and what others INFERRED. Please do yourselves a favor and give other people the benefit of the doubt... You may be surprised!

"Huh?" and "Sharon" and folks that instantly went to defense mode of Obama and government healthcare - it's time to wake up! The government is taking more and more control. They are more and more intrusive. They are more and more corrupt. People that work for the government are part of the problem. The insurance folks and government officials are lining more of their pockets with our funds. I'm getting robbed and know it… You're getting robbed, but believe "the government is here to help."

Imagine that your insurance only covered the detrimental items just as it does now for your car and home. Now, imagine a lifetime care option (much like that with maintenance on your car) where you can have so many doctor visits per year or month and what you're purchasing is spelled out. A private service, and NOT government, that will allow you to maintain your loyalty to a single doctor, facility, etc. for your lifetime. That's what I'm talking about!

My concern is over the use of "insurance" as a term that covers EVERYTHING! INSURANCE isn't to cover EVERYTHING. We're ALL going to DIE. Face it! Life is fragile. Life is beautiful. Life is amazing and we all want to be around as long as possible to enjoy it…

Now, let's be generous and say it costs approximately $50,000 to have a baby. Well, if I had my own personal lifetime health coverage, I might decide to add that to my plan so that I'm covered for the prenatal visits, checkups, surgery, etc. If I was making those payments since I was little (or even not so - much like life insurance is set up) then maybe I wouldn't be paying $2,000+ per month in insurance. Maybe at that point health services become more affordable because insurance folks don't need to account for everything under the sun in your monthly bill. In this way, insurance covers the big stuff (unplanned), but another option is available to cover routine maintenance, etc.

When you're young, you don't go to the doctor too often except for regular checkups, illness, and as required by the government (schools, travel, etc). Most drugs can be bought over the counter to fix most symptoms for young and old folks depending on the ailment. Then, as you get older, you need more expensive fixes to your medical problems. This is GENERALIZED. Please don't send more hate mail...

The point is, though, that by paying for health coverage that lasts your ENTIRE life where you pick you provider, you know the costs of the services so that you can make the decisions about your health care. It would be great to know how much each item costs so you can determine if you want to pay for it or not. Put the power back into the patient's hands. It shouldn't change based on where you work.

You should own your own health care – not your company because once you're out of a job then you're also out of insurance. That's the place I'm coming from. I have no income, 2 kids, and NO insurance. When my kids have to go to the doctor, it costs me $200 every visit. I'm OK with that as long as everything maintains status quo… If one of them rough houses and gets a broken arm, I don't know what it's going to cost, but you can bet that out of pocket it will probably cost me upwards of $5,000. If my son had a lifetime plan, knowing he's a boy and rough houses, then maybe this would be accounted for in his personal health plan. I'm an older woman – a broken arm is less likely for me. My point is that there's got to be better ideas, cheaper options, and a winning strategy that will allow folks to be covered at streamlined costs. It would be a health care option that is tailored to you individually based on your sex and age. Isn't that a better answer?


Posted by Conservator, a resident of Danville
on Jun 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Trish,

All gross criticism aside, I think I can appreciate the emotional tenets of what you've written. However, from my read of what you are looking for in a primary care physician for yourself and your family, it's either Marcus Welby or a return of the Surgeon-Barbers (historically more often Barber-Surgeons) from a long-past era where you 'bartered' for what you got served.

If we as a society really wanted to address healthcare costs, the two biggest drivers of year over year cost increases come from a 1) for profit healthcare system and 2) litigation expense (i.e. malpractice). Reform or reduce either of those two aspects and you might just get your Marcus Welby, MD back again.


Posted by Citizen Paine, a resident of Danville
on Jun 6, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Con: You're on the right track regarding runaway cost overruns. I'd make two changes. First, there's really no difference betw the for-profit and so-called non-profit service providers. Both kinds of hospitals are gouging the very hell out of consumers who need this service and cannot shop for it. The insurers are not the problem, as Mr. Brill pointed-out brilliantly (sorry -- it's true) in Time mag. The whole medical supply chain is getting rich -- because it can -- on the rest of us.

As to litigation costs, however -- although they are the favorite whipping boy of The Right, even the Wall Street Journal couldn't find that they make more than a few percent difference -- even when you throw in defensive medicine. And you just know they tried!


Posted by Conservator, a resident of Danville
on Jun 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm

@CP,

You and I fully align on the med supply chain as an enabler of cost expansion. I hope you will allow me one more opportunity to reopen the arguments on the causality of litigation costs and perhaps more so the expectation of litigatory expense for both your everyday primary care physician as much as the specialist.

In today's world of Google-degreed MD's, the vast majority of patients present to their physician with a bona fide diagnosis of what ever ails them, which if not refuted or proven so by an ever vast array of diagnostic exams, the physician will be held accountable for any morbidities or the good Lord forbid, a mortality. If a stone is left unturned, it will be held out as likely incompetence during discovery. Thus, the remedy for many in the healthcare profession is to test and test provided insurance will pay for it.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Danville
on Jun 7, 2013 at 6:47 am

I'm afraid the affordable care act will not be able to help with delusional thinking, but it may allow those that need mental health care to access it more easily.


Posted by Christa, a resident of Blackhawk
on Jun 10, 2013 at 7:52 am

Are we to believe the elites like stretch Pelosi feinstein creepy harry reid etc are ALL gonna sign up for gov healthcare???? Not a chance! With the embattled IRS in charge with ALL your med records etc...it will be a matter of time that NRA members - the elderly--conservatives will be denied treatment under some bogus rule.
Soylent green is back.


Posted by Conservator, a resident of Danville
on Jun 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm

@Christa,

They already have government run healthcare and will so for life. Pelosi is 73 and Reid is 72 which means both are Medicare eligible (i.e. government run healthcare) save for the exclusive Cadillac government run healthcare plan that both receive as congressional members. Better try to find another catchy line for the unwashed masses to consume.

BTW, I think I did see a Charlton Heston look-a-like on a front-loader this morning off of Blackhawk road. You must have seen him as well.


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