Variance

GM: Feeding the Healthcare Giant

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Variance    0

GM: Feeding the Healthcare Giant

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The world's largest automaker is being driven deep into financial trouble not only by the cars of a competitor, but also by the medical bills of its own workers and retirees.

Last year, GM spent $5.3 billion on health care -- enough to buy a GMC Yukon for each of its U.S. employees. By 2008, General Motors will likely spend more on health care in the United States than on its hourly-worker payroll.

Read "Stranglehold" @ The Detroit News

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jry    0

i can see why healthcare costs are starting to swallow up the general. i am watching ours go bananas.

and that is the presidents fault because???

doesn't matter which party is in power. we don't look to government for our solutions. they usually screw it up. look at canada. their people want to come here for medical help. and if we get this great social health care plan, who is going to pay for it? do you want your taxes to go up? it has to come from somewhere.

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razoredge    0

the company I am currently working for makes its employees pay most or so it seems, for a family plan it will be over 100 per week :blink: ...............so you know what my answer is :lol:

No thanks, I dont need it. Never had it, wont support the insurance industry, wont support the hospitols and doctors and drug companies..........so screw you, you filthy thievin pigs

Now , smart boys, tell me ? What would happen if everyone in America simply said screw you to the whole damn mess? Then we would see them come crawling for our dollars and then we would see respectable insurance rates, respectable Doctors wages, respectable hospitol rates, and drugs that arent more valuable than gold itself.

Everyone abuses "health care". Got a wittle bubu, run to the doctors, got a wittle belly ach.....run to the doctors, got a wittle snivel........run to the doctors

suck it up and you might find you are actually healthy and a less frail attitude will do wonders for your overall health.

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razoredge    0

It is the governments job to make sure the people paying their keep are not getting screwed or more properly I believe the legal term is grand thieft larceny. This is what regulation is for, we are slowly seeing the end results of Regans deregulation. This whole system needs to be brought to its knees. Its abused and abusive itself.

Our government seems to think they work for themselves and their personal interests, gains and promotions.................hello!............you work for us you jackasses !

slackers !

Edited by razoredge

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suck it up and you might find you are actually healthy and a less frail attitude will do wonders for your overall health.

Hmmm...without healthcare workers of all types ... I'd be dead.

Cort:33swm."Mr MC" / "Mr Road Trip".pig valve.pacemaker

MC:family.IL.guide.future = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/

chdQB = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/quilt.html

"I'm just out to find the better part of me" ... 5 For Fighting ... 'Superman'

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Member55    0

the company I am currently working for makes its employees pay most or so it seems, for a family plan it will be over 100 per week  :blink: ...............so you know what my answer is  :lol:

No thanks, I dont need it. Never had it, wont support the insurance industry, wont support the hospitols and doctors and drug companies..........so screw you, you filthy thievin pigs

Now , smart boys, tell me ? What would happen if everyone in America simply said screw you to the whole damn mess? Then we would see them come crawling for our dollars and then we would see respectable insurance rates, respectable Doctors wages, respectable hospitol rates, and drugs that arent more valuable than gold itself.

Everyone abuses "health care". Got a wittle bubu, run to the doctors, got a wittle belly ach.....run to the doctors, got a wittle snivel........run to the doctors

suck it up and you might find you are actually healthy and a less frail attitude will do wonders for your overall health.

198927[/snapback]

You should at least have a high deductible policy so you don't end up with a $100K bill one day.

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CARBIZ    1

National Healthcare is a holy mess, but it has more to do with unions pushing up costs, horrible bureacracy and patients crying over every little thing.

A lot of GM's problem is because its biggest competition doesn't have to face the same healthcare costs, partly because Japan has national healthcare and because what few plants they have built here are newer, their work force younger, etc.

I am all for national healthcare, but I also believe that it should be blended with hospitals and clinics competing for customers. I also believe in some form of deductibles, or at least a damned invoice so a patient knows how much they just cost the system.

There are a lot of reasons Canada's system is a mess (see above) but the Elephant in the Room that no one is allowed to talk about is the real cost of the immigration system. I saw a recent study that compared Canada's system to Sweden's and the analysts scratched their heads over why Sweden spent less per capita but had shorter waiting lists, etc.

HELLO? IS ANYBODY HOME? Canada is host to 300,000 new people every year, many of whom have NEVER even been to a doctor in their lives.

Hazel McCallion (who is about 100 years old!) has been Mayor of Mississauga (city of about a half million people adjacent to Toronto) for about 25 years, and she caught a lot of flak a few years ago for saying just that.

A recent example is the 15,000 Lebanese-Canadians who were "repatriated" and the Canadian government waived the usual 90 day waiting period for health coverage, even though many of these people hadn't stepped foot in (or paid taxes either) this country in decades.

SHHHH, we can't talk about this.

I will never understand why governments in both Ottawa and Washington sit back and let our countries slide into oblivion when the solutions are obvious.

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CARBIZ    1

Do we really need cheap nannies and housekeepers that badly? I know that is over simplifiying that issue, but the next time I hear some meat packer or apple picker whining that they can't find anyone to do their labor, I want to scream: of course, nobody is going to do it for $5 an hour! Try $10 an hour and see what happens. I would gladly pay 5 cents more for an apple to keep the jobs and money here.

Without getting into a huge discussion on this, I want to make one point clear about immigration TODAY and the immigration of 75 years ago that built both our countries: 75 years ago immigrants got off the boat (literally), were often told where to go (fill up the Prairies) and received NOTHING. No medical, no grants, no free housing - nothing. Today, they can get an apartment, free medical, dental, $1,500 a month bursary - all while waiting for a refugee claim that can take 3 years to wind through the system. This costs BILLIONS.

Today, with $5 phone cards, the internet and cheap air fare, these peope do not need to become Canadians or Americans. They can come here for the money, send it back home, not pay taxes and never even learn the language!

GMAC and other banks will not lend to taxis. Do you know why? Because they pay everything cash, live here for 3 years, then head home and live like kings with their $80,000 they horded away.

Yeah, I know there are tons of exceptions: my partner is Brazilian. But the cost to both our countries in terms of defending and protecting these "expatriates" around the globe is enormous. These people are also dragging us into conflicts we should have nothing to do with because they picket and protest our capitals here.

Sorry, too early to be ranting and I realize this is way-off topic with healthcare and GM.

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razoredge    0

The only people that wont agree with you Carbiz are the blind, ignorant, or "bleeding hearts club' and those benefiting from cheap labor.

And it does have alot to do with healthcare & GM.

This is a large portion of the labor force GM and their employees have to compete against

This is part of the reason America cant have National Health care, because they already have their hands full, paying for all the mess that comes from immigration and illegal immigration, this country is a free ride to those that cross the border. Quite the opposite for those born here to American parents.

and

Yes, lack of volumn of youth in the old American industries work force has limited the contributions from the still healthy and working to maintain the health care and retirement pools. It was a good system, sold to generations of Americans as the way to go. Then our government let the rich wallstreet/CEO/economist types sell our soul across borders knowing damn well it was going to create serious issues when it came time to pay the piper.

Thats the most disgusting part, they damn well knew all this was going to transpire and simple said "too bad" "we know its tough" "we feel for you" "yes, we know" "gee thats horrible"

Most interesting part is, those employed by our government or I should say US/WE THE PEOPLE, are working for the only stable industry in our country. Their healthcare, retirements, vacations, jobs and pay raises are guarenteed, so when they give us the "we can understand how you feel" I simply want to give them a serious concussion so I can later say "I understand how that must have felt"

:pbjtime: party hardy aMErica

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ellives    0

Well said. The problem is that people are sheep and lemmings and will never get organized enough to put the government in its place. I can only hope that people will get out and vote straight ticket Democrats in November so Bush will be castrated for the last 2 years of his miserable presidency. Sorry to disappoint the Republicans who read this and dismiss it as a "whining Dem." In fact I'm a Republican and have been until Bush and his criminal friends bushwhacked the country (no pun intended.) I'll be back when he's gone.

I wonder how long it will be before GM declares bankrupcy simply for the opportunity to dump their healthcare and pension obligations. It's the only way to level the playing field. Of course a lot of customers won't buy from a bankrupt company but it's a risk they have to take otherwise the future of GM is going to be "death by a thousand cuts" unfortunately.

Go GM!

The only people that wont agree with you Carbiz are the blind, ignorant, or "bleeding hearts club' and those benefiting from cheap labor.

And it does have alot to do with healthcare & GM.

This is a large portion of the labor force GM and their employees have to compete against

This is part of the reason America cant have National Health care, because they already have their hands full, paying for all the mess that comes from immigration and illegal immigration, this country is a free ride to those that cross the border. Quite the opposite for those born here to American parents.

and

Yes, lack of volumn of youth in the old American industries work force has limited the contributions from the still healthy and working to maintain the health care and retirement pools. It was a good system, sold to generations of Americans as the way to go. Then our government let the rich wallstreet/CEO/economist types sell our soul across borders knowing damn well it was going to create serious issues when it came time to pay the piper.

Thats the most disgusting part, they damn well knew all this was going to transpire and simple said "too bad" "we know its tough" "we feel for you" "yes, we know" "gee thats horrible"

Most interesting part is, those employed by our government or I should say US/WE THE PEOPLE, are working for the only stable industry in our country. Their healthcare, retirements, vacations, jobs and pay raises are guarenteed, so when they give us the "we can understand how you feel" I simply want to give them a serious concussion so I can later say "I understand how that must have felt"

:pbjtime: party hardy aMErica

199550[/snapback]

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frogger    117

The immigrants I've worked with are pretty much the hardest working people I know.. Some have language issues but overall seem to have far less of an attitude of entitlement. Don't get me started on the office staff that seem to spend a third of their day joking around, chit chatting or gossiping, get stressed out over a bit of responsibility/ownership, then complain they don't make enough coin.

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Thats the most disgusting part, they damn well knew all this was going to transpire and simple said "too bad" "we know its tough" "we feel for you" "yes, we know" "gee thats horrible"Most interesting part is, those employed by our government or I should say US/WE THE PEOPLE, are working for the only stable industry in our country. Their healthcare, retirements, vacations, jobs and pay raises are guarenteed, so when they give us the "we can understand how you feel" I simply want to give them a serious concussion so I can later say "I understand how that must have felt"

Hmmm....I know what you mean, but it just seems a different form of "suck it up"...........Cort:33swm."Mr MC" / "Mr Road Trip".pig valve.pacemakerMC:family.IL.guide.future = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/chdQB = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/quilt.html"You've made a fool of everyone" ... Jet ... 'Look What You've Done'

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razoredge    0

Hmmm....I know what you mean, but it just seems a different form of "suck it up"...........

Cort:33swm."Mr MC" / "Mr Road Trip".pig valve.pacemaker

MC:family.IL.guide.future = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/

chdQB = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/quilt.html

"You've made a fool of everyone" ... Jet ... 'Look What You've Done'

199731[/snapback]

No its not, you have no idea. We lowly spend our whole life sucking it up and toughing it out. When you go through that and still have the carpet pulled out from underneath while the rest build Mansions on the Hill.................no, dont need to be told to suck it up.

frogger, thats great, Im so happy, but we dont need more people, hard worker or not. This word "entitlement" is an abused blanket word. Yes, we born in America are entitled to a decent job and decent standard of living. Our parents and Grandparents employed our Government to make the right long term decisions to ensure this for their children, all their children. In the same token we the children of America are entitled to give an honest days work for an honest days pay. THERE - no abuse of the word entitlement whatsoever, word put right in its place.

Ive broke sweat with many a good man, they were born here, ready willing and able to get any job done. I have seen slackers and halfslacks, I doubt its a trait confined to American born children of the men and woman that fought and worked hard to make this a better country. Especially in the blue collar world, not sure what it is those cubicle people actually accomplish in a day/week/year/lifetime. People enter, people leave, people enter, people leave, but never do we see and form of accomplishment. Waterboy seems pretty busy though................. :lol: ......................... :pbjtime:

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No its not, you have no idea. We lowly spend our whole life sucking it up and toughing it out. When you go through that and still have the carpet pulled out from underneath while the rest build Mansions on the Hill.................no, dont need to be told to suck it up.

Oh, I don't have an idea?

In your original post in this thread you indicated that people should "suck it up" in terms of being sick vs. going to the doctor. Sorry, with my health issues, I can't do that.

Also, with my health issues, I know all too well what it is like to "suck it up" and "tough it out" ... only to watch others with no health issues have more opportunities and more affluence than me.

Yet, I'm still here ... and take my road trips ... and don't let anything or anyone stop me.......

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91z4me    0

the company I am currently working for makes its employees pay most or so it seems, for a family plan it will be over 100 per week  :blink: ...............so you know what my answer is  :lol:

No thanks, I dont need it. Never had it, wont support the insurance industry, wont support the hospitols and doctors and drug companies..........so screw you, you filthy thievin pigs

Now , smart boys, tell me ? What would happen if everyone in America simply said screw you to the whole damn mess? Then we would see them come crawling for our dollars and then we would see respectable insurance rates, respectable Doctors wages, respectable hospitol rates, and drugs that arent more valuable than gold itself.

Everyone abuses "health care". Got a wittle bubu, run to the doctors, got a wittle belly ach.....run to the doctors, got a wittle snivel........run to the doctors

suck it up and you might find you are actually healthy and a less frail attitude will do wonders for your overall health.

198927[/snapback]

You have NO idea what kind of a mess the Healthcare industry is in right now. It is getting so bad that MDs, DMDs, DCs, and almost all other POS providers are banding together to get rid of 'managed healthcare'. To give you an idea of what that is: there is a company called American Chiropractic Network (ACN) who basically laid down some 'algarithms' to figure out how much pain you are in, when it began, and when you should be better by (this is only applicable to Chiropractic but there are other organizations like this for each specialty). They sell their 'management' service to insurance companies as a cost cutting measure. The patient fills out a survey which is faxed to ACN who 'rates the patient'. Basically they give you a window of time in which to get the patient better. If the patient is not better within that window then the patient has to fill out another form. And they can be denied coverage for care at any point! ACN can say "sorry but the patient does not meet our criteria for coverage." Which means that your insurance will not cover the procedures or treatment even though you are supposed to get X amount of visits and you have been X-5, 10, or 15 TIMES! So basically the insurance company pays them to deny YOU coverage to save THEMSELVES money!

Things are getting bad enough that there are MAJOR lawsuits being filed against ACN in several states, for things like Antitrust and collusion.

And that is just on the DC part. On the MD, like your Primary family care doctor, side they are getting absolutly crappy return rates for services billed. We are talking like 20% reimbursment rates!!! So the doctor bills $100 for a visit/exam and gets $20. Well that covers his 2 staff in the office for less than an hour, plus he or she is paying for rent/heating, cooling bills/power/water/malpractice insurance which is HUGE. And many other things people have no idea about. There is a reason that there is a HUGE drop in the number of MDs graduating and opening practice, it isn't as profitable as it used to be thanks to managed healthcare.

I have tons more I could type but I gotta get to class. More to come later on today after class, if you guys want to hear about it.

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ohsnap    0

You have NO idea what kind of a mess the Healthcare industry is in right now.  It is getting so bad that MDs, DMDs, DCs, and almost all other POS providers are banding together to get rid of 'managed healthcare'.  To give you an idea of what that is: there is a company called American Chiropractic Network (ACN) who basically laid down some 'algarithms' to figure out how much pain you are in, when it began, and when you should be better by (this is only applicable to Chiropractic but there are other organizations like this for each specialty).  They sell their 'management' service to insurance companies as a cost cutting measure.  The patient fills out a survey which is faxed to ACN who 'rates the patient'.  Basically they give you a window of time in which to get the patient better.  If the patient is not better within that window then the patient has to fill out another form.  And they can be denied coverage for care at any point!  ACN can say "sorry but the patient does not meet our criteria for coverage."  Which means that your insurance will not cover the procedures or treatment even though you are supposed to get X amount of visits and you have been X-5, 10, or 15 TIMES!  So basically the insurance company pays them to deny YOU coverage to save THEMSELVES money!

Things are getting bad enough that there are MAJOR lawsuits being filed against ACN in several states, for things like Antitrust and collusion.

And that is just on the DC part.  On the MD, like your Primary family care doctor, side they are getting absolutly crappy return rates for services billed.  We are talking like 20% reimbursment rates!!!  So the doctor bills $100 for a visit/exam and gets $20.  Well that covers his 2 staff in the office for less than an hour,  plus he or she is paying for rent/heating, cooling bills/power/water/malpractice insurance which is HUGE.  And many other things people have no idea about.  There is a reason that there is a HUGE drop in the number of MDs graduating and opening practice, it isn't as profitable as it used to be thanks to managed healthcare.

I have tons more I could type but I gotta get to class.  More to come later on today after class, if you guys want to hear about it.

200793[/snapback]

Huge word! I'll open up my statements and find that my dr billed $120 for a visit and got paid like $60 or so and that's with a PPO! When my boyfriend had to elect health insurance he asked about HMO vs PPO and I told him to stick with a PPO even though it's a higher deduction from his paycheck. HMO's are trying to save money and the consumer and dr's both feel the pinch.

As far as GM, the problems will only get worse......the baby boomers are exploding, there is still a high percentage of "older" workers in the workforce, and costs are ballooning out of control.

I'm not sure what the solution is but it is a mess.

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razoredge    0

OK Cort, theres no need for this conversation. This is what I said

Everyone abuses "health care". Got a wittle bubu, run to the doctors, got a wittle belly ach.....run to the doctors, got a wittle snivel........run to the doctors

It had nothing to do with people that are really sick.

Back in 70 the doctors made a great fortune removing my mothers brain tumor, then she died. At least some good came from it ey ?

My Grandmothers doctors had her on enough medication to float the Titanic back to the surface.....for decades ! Her blood was so screwed up she could no longer heal from simple cuts, scratches or bruises. So they sold her more pills.

My wifes sister was misdiagnosed and treated for something she did not have, the treatment compounded the illness, she eventually died, family deeply in debt, her husband will never be free of the debt.

Thats just a few instances from within family. Think of the percentages

As for the insurance companies cutting the amount they are willing to pay for a service. I have seen that on bills for Mother and our daughter, I absolutely love it. There should be more of that today. Thats how it works for us. "this is what you are going to do and this is how much we are going to pay you"...........there Doctors, welcome to the real world. You all make it sound so intensely worse than it actually is. Its more like they try to charge $180 for 5 minutes of their time and the insurance companies say......"No.....well pay you $120 for 5 minutes of your time". I paid to get a DOT interstate physical, it was $120 dollars for a 5 minute checkup and answer a few questions. Here another good one........required sports physicals...........When I was young, our school used to have the local Doctor come in and we'd all get our physicals, piece of cake............done. We'll we all know today schools just cant get their hands on enough money regardless of how many millions they collect. So its up to the parents. Cha/ching "$125 please" in and out in 5 minutes...........well thats the doctor, of course you have to sit there 45 minutes because business is booming and they over schedule. cha/ching, cha/ching, cha/ching

Now how about the othordontist, I paid for ne of them, for a while, what a racket those quacks got going, I estimated $1000 per hour 5 years ago. Today I hear braces are closer to the 5 grand than the 35 hundred I was supposed to pay..........over two years.............for something that was fixed in one.............

Well, my daughter has excellent teeth and I got DR. Ortho out of his strenuous labor half a year earlier than planed and I saved a $800. I could see all the effort :rolleyes: he was putting into her teeth (which had been perfect for 6 months by that time) was really stressing him out....................... :lol:

Now wanna get into the employment medical services that have poped up everywhere ? Big business........that !

Ive built houses in Doctor/hospitol neighborhoods..............sorry, they'll not get symphathy from me. Nor will the poor impoverished insurance people.

Healthcare giant should read Healthcare Pigs

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91z4me    0

Razor I have a few statistics you might like. There was a study in the AMA medical journal done in the 1990s about something called iatrogenic deaths, that means death caused by a doctor directly, a mis-performed treatment, a prescibed treatment, or prescribed medication. In that study the AMA found that 180,000 deaths a year due to iatrogenic injuries! Now lets put that into perspective because there are 300 million people in the US so the figure seems small. That is equivalent to 3 jumbo jets full of people crashing every 2 days. So how long if that were a different profession or career would people stand for it?

Now that being said, mistakes happen in EVERY industry and in some cases injury or deaths will result. Am I advocating getting rid of medical docotrs? NO! There are FAR more benefits to medical healthcare than there is against it.

Also we need to state a few things here. Medical doctors usually practice what is called the allopathic model or pharmasutical industry based medicine. There are vitalistic doctors but usually they are 'alternative healthcare providers', Chiropractors, Homeopaths, and other providers.

Also you may want to reconsider the value you place on that doctors time. Lets remember they have TONS of training in understanding YOUR body. I am taking gross anatomy in Chiropractic College right now and let me tell you that you can learn by reading a book but when you have your hands INSIDE a human body you learn SO much more! Also they have overhead, staff, office bills, and HUGE amounts of student loans to pay back. Their time IS that valuable.

Heck if a Mechanic who went to tech school is worth $40 an hour to diagnose your car, an inantimate object that can be replaced; how much is a doctor worth to diagnose YOUR BODY, which can NOT be replaced?!

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razoredge    0

That college means nothing to me, sorry. To many act like we walk out of highschool and never again learn a thing because we didnt pay some professor and his favorite book to teach us. We endure another type of learned hardship, we only wish we could claim we have huge depts to pay off, it seems we spend the rest of our lives paying some debt we cant put a finger on. Also knowing the math, I believe a few years on market take care of that education quickly, same for the overhead. The Doctors insurance issues have also been created by the very same healthcare industry, the other "highly educated" ball assed, cant make enough money to pay for my special ed "Law.....yers" and the Doctors own failure to focus on their job and not make mistakes. Lets face it, I have yet to see a Doctor really dedicate. Everything is at arms lenght including their effort. Its all about the money, just like every other industry. At one time it was not this way.

Tecs dont make 40 per hour, that 60+- per hour goes to over head, insurance/insurance/insurance, profits for business owners, tool updates, further continued education, commercial property tax's and probably a few things I cant think of.

Long ways from 18-21 hard earned dollars per hour to $1000 for changing rubber bands, prescribing medication, and sticking a paint stir, say "ah" in someone mouth.

The healthcare issue is grand, above and beyond the Doctors, all aspects of it need to be addressed. The primary issue being greed, which leads to the secondary issue, abuse.

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OK Cort, theres no need for this conversation.

Oh?

This is what I said

Everyone abuses "health care". Got a wittle bubu, run to the doctors, got a wittle belly ach.....run to the doctors, got a wittle snivel........run to the doctors

It had nothing to do with people that are really sick.

You may not think so, but I certainly do. Because of my heart issues, I _have_ to, as you put it, "run to the doctors" even for a "bubu" or "belly ache" or "snivel". I canNOT take chances with things that could lead to endocarditis, etc.

Back in 70 the doctors made a great fortune removing my mothers brain tumor, then she died. At least some good came from it ey ?

My Grandmothers doctors had her on enough medication to float the Titanic back to the surface.....for decades ! Her blood was so screwed up she could no longer heal from simple cuts, scratches or bruises. So they sold her more pills.

My wifes sister was misdiagnosed and treated for something she did not have, the treatment compounded the illness, she eventually died, family deeply in debt, her husband will never be free of the debt.

Thats just a few instances from within family. Think of the percentages

I'm very sorry for your experiences, and, sadly, you are not alone. I could tell you stories of people from my heart-related message boards that would rival and surpass the type of debt of which you speak. So, I know exactly where you are coming from with regard to the health insurance industry..... I get frustrated because I'm not in a position to HELP anyone of the people I know that are having unbelievable health problems compounded by mounting debt. And, that could happen to me as well......

Cort:33swm."Mr MC" / "Mr Road Trip".pig valve.pacemaker

MC:family.IL.guide.future = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/

Models.HO = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/trainroom.html

"I can't stay on your morfeine, cause it's making me itch" ... Pink ... 'Just Like A Pill'

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CARBIZ    1

OH, boy. Let's not entirely beat up on the doctors. The entire medical system is a mess and from where I sit it has a lot to do with bureaucracy and protecting petty fiefdoms. It is not restricted to the healthcare industry either.

Pick your field, whether the plumbers, electricians or fire fighters. They all have their turfs. They are all highly organized. They all protect their own. They are all "experts" that can outgun, outargue and outmaneuver outsiders who may take them on in their turf.

Ever try to question an electrical inspector? Ever wonder why you have to walk through 3 metal doors in a concrete corridor because some obscure fire code demands this? Ever wonder why there are 4 people working for the education ministry (in Ontario) for every teacher actually in the front lines?

It is all a mess. But you can't question it. You will get shot down and ridiculed because you "don't know what you are talking about."

To try and get this topic a little bit back on topic, is it any wonder GM has had so many hurdles to pass in the past few years?

It is always easier to set up a campsite (Toyota) than to take it down (GM). GM's campsite was set up at 50% market share. Now, decisions have to be made that have (or will) wipe out half of GM's jobs, benefits, perhaps even brands. It is all ugly. The UAW/CAW will have to admit that the gold plated benefits (including Viagra) that were set up 30 years ago cannot be supported any more.

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