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Healthcare House Party Discussion Questions (Corrente Style)

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Here are Corrente's questions for health care house parties. We feel they're lot more true to life -- and uniquely American -- than Daschle's!

Please feel free to add your comments at the end (although, for some reason I haven't been able to figure out yet, they may appear in reverse order, newest first).


oceansandmountains's picture
Submitted by oceansandmountains on

Why not ask people who have health insurance through their employer (particularly if they seem satisfied with their coverage) how much they think it would cost to replicate that insurance if they lost their job. A surprising number of people have little, if any, idea of how much health insurance coverage costs in the private sector. Could open some eyes to single-payer.

Ask if married or domestic partner-ed couples who are on one insurance policy could afford to separate or divorce and maintain their present level of coverage.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

submitting answers.

Is there a way to add a final question -- something like "Is there anything else you would like us to know?" followed by a larger text box?

Also, "Has there ever been a time when you have had insurance but have been refused tests or procedures the insurance company didn't agree were necessary?"

I wonder if there's any way to ask about situations where your doctor has been reluctant to order tests or procedures because of the insurance you carry. You know, when your doctor is discussing options with you, casually flips through your chart and then says something like "But it's probably not necessary in your case." or "But that procedure doesn't guarantee results." Or some other way of discouraging a course of action that moments earlier s/he was recommending.

A friend of mine who's a doctor once told me I was crazy if I thought that my doctor wasn't considering the insurance I had as well as my medical needs when deciding how to treat my case.

Submitted by hipparchia on

tell me that a doctor's contract with an insurance company can prohibit the doctor from even telling you about possible treatments if that insurance doesn't cover them.

splashy9's picture
Submitted by splashy9 on

They are not told about any treatments to speak of. Usually it's treat the symptoms, or the infection, and hustle you out.

I really noticed it with my husband, who just went on Medicare in the last year or so. Suddenly all kinds of things were suggested, and tests done. Before - not at all.

splashy9's picture
Submitted by splashy9 on

Have you had health insurance?

Many people I have known didn't have it at all until they started a program that helped poor people get some forms of cancer screening. Guess you could call that insurance provided by the government...but it doesn't cover anything but specific cancer screening (breast, cervical, uterine) and treatment. It's like they think the only things that are important in women are their reproductive/female organs. No colon cancer screening.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

paying your health insurance premiums each month? (if you have both a paycheck and a job). Or maybe What percent of your monthly income goes to insurance premiums each month? Or what percent of your income goes to paying for all your health care needs per year?

Ironically, I am very lucky that my % is very low, while my mom and other family members who have less income than I do, pay a much higher percentage. And it's not because the premiums are roughly the same but a lower percentage of my income, but their premiums are much higher than mine. It's a rather perverse result that those with less margin pay a lot more.

Many of the problems with the current system are not just about those who don't have access to care (although it's the biggest one), but also that those who do still have a crappy system that costs too much for stupid reasons. Strategically, the success of single payer probably rests as much if not more on persuading the Haves that it solves many of their problems, not just highlighting the problems of being one of the Have Nots.

Nervine5's picture
Submitted by Nervine5 on

is scary and wrong. My spouse and I have gone through four different, more expensive and less beneficial employer provided insurance plans in six years, with pay increases being less than the premium increases. Along with the constant changes in insurance policies was the different in-network providers (new doctors etc. to bring up to speed with your healthcare needs).

We got very frustrated with the employer being in charge of our health insurance and checked out the possibility of buying our own policy. Needless to say, we found that that option was cost prohibitive. Alas, it turned out that crappy was better then nothing. And we could pass on certain appointments, procedures and AVOID the ER. We've learned that huge cuts may leave a scar without stitches, but so what? And we're learning to be very careful.

Also home remedy books and self diagnostic books must be a real big money maker now. If I had the money I'd invest in that market.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"Has the availability (or lack thereof) of employer-sponsored health-insurance influenced a career decision you've made?"

In MA, which has mandatory insurance, it's striking how often one hears people discussing the burden of getting and keeping employer-supported health insurance.

Submitted by ohio on

For Section 3:
splashy9's point is a good one: "Have you ever had your own health insurance? If so, was it through work or did you pay for it yourself? If you've never had your own health insurnace, why not?"

4b "(4)(b) Are you delaying treatment now?" is too ambiguous. People may be delaying treatment for reasons unrealted to health insurance---can't take the time off work, have to finish building a house, etc. "Are you delaying treatment now because you don't have insurance or can't afford the deductible?"

Perhaps question 5c "(5)(c) Does what you've heard about or your experience of insurance companies stop or delay you from seeking medical help when you need it?" should come first in Section 5? My reason is that we generally want questions to speak to the widest possible audience to the narrowest in each section. 5c reads like a wide open quesiton that applies to everyone, whether they have insurnace or not.

Section 6 Financial---Another question: Have you ever helped your children, parents, or other family members financially because of overwheleming medical bills?

And one more: Have you ever failed to pay medical bills for treatment you have received?

We need a solution question or Solutions Section, perhaps from the 3 of the original survey questions?

1. What do you perceive is the biggest problem in the health system?
a. Cost of health insurance
b. Cost of health care services
c. Difficulty finding health insurance due to a pre-existing condition
d. Lack of emphasis on prevention
e. An emphasis on health insurance and not on healthcare for all as the solution to our healthcare crisis

2. What do you think is the best way for policy makers to develop a plan to address the health system problems?
a. Community meetings like these
b. Traditional town hall meetings
c. Surveys that solicit ideas on reform
d. A White House Health Care Summit
e. Lobby, vote for, and otherwise support HR676

3. After this discussion, what additional input and information would policy makers need to suport their efforts to make universal healthcare a reality?
a. Public support in the form of letters and events
b. Private support in the form of lobbying assistance on the Hill
c. Tours of local clinics in low-income neighborhoods to see how they can make these people's lives better just by doing the right thing
d. A germ-y child touching their faces every day for three weeks [I'm kidding]
e. [WE NEED ANOTHER RESPONSE HERE---maybe Other: with text input?]

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Multiple choice surveys of this nature are usually designed to elicit a specific response. Additionally they have the potential to prevent novel solutions from showing up. It's more work to "analyze" the open ended questions, but I think its worth it. Let the participants drive the discussion at this point.

I worked on a survey of several hundred graduate students once and the answers to the open ended questions were often more informative than the multiple choice questions, which were designed to get our desired statistics. But the more illuminating and unanticipated responses came from the open ended questions. If people's eyes light up as they are answering, its a good thing. Its hard to get eyes to light up on a multiple choice.

Submitted by ohio on

I'm confused. Isn't the point of this survey to allow people to speak about their pain, fear, and frustration? To get that other people are listening and recognizing that there's problem? And best of all, there is a solution that, by finding common ground through that shared pain, we can drive through politically?

Keep in mind that I don't do scientific research studies, though I am a big fan of the science. I've read some of the studies and the data tells me we already have a solution. The problem then becomes selling that solution and so far, that hasn't worked very well---if facts worked, we already have single payer. So obviously there's something else we got to do to get people on board*. I'd say that's a marketing problem.

*Or to embarass the hell out of Team Obama for their terrible, twisted, inefficient, and nonworkable non-plan.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

You can design surveys to get a lot of different results. Heck, I vote on "values" but that answer can be twisted to mean I vote for anit-choice and anti-gay folk.

One of my favorite quotes is "If you know what you're looking for, you're limited by what you know." Medicare for all may be a solution to the monetary issues (to me, its a very attractive testable hypothesis for the US at this point), but delivery of care is more than just financial. What about rural areas where folks have to travel a ways to see a doctor? What about prevention and/or information delivery? Is having the means to pay for care the same as receiving care? Etc. Personally, I believe information technology can save a ton of lives by tracking misdiagnoses and bad drug interactions/reactions in a statistically useful manner. This could not only save lives, but money since you don't have to treat as many misdiagnoses. Is that part of the medicare for all solution?

Incidentally, if you could compile a list of common concerns and solution ideas you can build a better way to market medicare for all. I guess I'm just for including less biased data. And I like listening to people ;).

Submitted by lambert on

The form we have is about personal experience. The three above are policy and process.

Daschle had two deliverables. Isn't the policy/process one the second of the two?

(Plus, the form we have is complicated enough. Is it a good idea to make it bigger?)

Nervine5's picture
Submitted by Nervine5 on

Does it count that I learned from my sister, who is a Life Insurance Broker, that Life Insurance policies can be denied if you have ever been treated for a 'mood disorder'?