PDA

View Full Version : Let's have Health Care like the UK



tpaschal30
02-13-2009, 07:58 PM
"Waiting Times. Waiting lists are a huge problem in Great Britain. Some examples: 750,000 are on waiting lists for hospital admission; 40% of cancer patients are never able to see an oncologist; there is explicit rationing for services such as kidney dialysis, open heart surgery and care for the terminally ill. Further, minimum waiting times have been instituted to reduce costs. “A top-flight hospital like Suffolk Est PCT was ordered to impose a minimum waiting time of at least 122 days before patients could be treated or the hospital would lose a portion of its funding.”"

source
http://healthcare-economist.com/2008/04/23/health-care-around-the-world-great-britain/

Henry V
02-14-2009, 10:27 AM
And yet, despite all that terrible rationing (which also happens in the US), the UK still ranks 18th and the US ranks 37th as of 2000 by the WHO.

As your linked article states in the UK health care accounts for 7.5% of GDP. In the US estimates range from 15-17% (twice what is spent on education).

So, the US is far and away number one in cost per person and in the percent of GDP spent on health care yet we are consistently is middle of the pack in outcomes (of course not according to the CATO inst.). These great results despite 20 years of attention to health care costs and many projections are that health care will consume 20% of GDP in the near future. I am sorry but these are not results to be proud of, especially if you are a fiscal conservative.

If the choice is to stay the course with the current system tweaking it here and there like we have for 20+ years and going to a completely different system where there may be some rationing but it would cost half as much, I am all for a new universal or single payer system like the rest of the world. Lower cost and just as good if not better outcomes.

luvmylabs23139
02-14-2009, 10:39 AM
And yet, despite all that terrible rationing (which also happens in the US), the UK still ranks 18th and the US ranks 37th as of 2000 by the WHO.

As your linked article states in the UK health care accounts for 7.5% of GDP. In the US estimates range from 15-17% (twice what is spent on education).

So, the US is far and away number one in cost per person and in the percent of GDP spent on health care yet we are consistently is middle of the pack in outcomes (of course not according to the CATO inst.). These great results despite 20 years of attention to health care costs and many projections are that health care will consume 20% of GDP in the near future. I am sorry but these are not results to be proud of, especially if you are a fiscal conservative.

If the choice is to stay the course with the current system tweaking it here and there like we have for 20+ years and going to a completely different system where there may be some rationing but it would cost half as much, I am all for a new universal or single payer system like the rest of the world. Lower cost and just as good if not better outcomes.

People in the UK who can offord to, pay outside the system in order to get faster and better service, and access to drugs the gov't won't pay for but are readily availble in the US.

Cody Covey
02-14-2009, 10:47 AM
to bad they all die from cancer

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/561737

Gerry Clinchy
02-14-2009, 11:10 AM
And yet, despite all that terrible rationing (which also happens in the US), the UK still ranks 18th and the US ranks 37th as of 2000 by the WHO.


I've never heard of anyone who had a mandatory waiting period of 122 days before being admitted to a hospital here in the U.S. Quite the reverse, I have had friends whose doctors insisted on immediate hospitalization upon examination of the patient.

Would the mandatory waiting period make the statistics look better than they actually are? Some of the people waiting would die before they get into the "official" medical statistics?

Matt McKenzie
02-14-2009, 11:22 AM
And yet, despite all that terrible rationing (which also happens in the US), the UK still ranks 18th and the US ranks 37th as of 2000 by the WHO.

As your linked article states in the UK health care accounts for 7.5% of GDP. In the US estimates range from 15-17% (twice what is spent on education).

So, the US is far and away number one in cost per person and in the percent of GDP spent on health care yet we are consistently is middle of the pack in outcomes (of course not according to the CATO inst.). These great results despite 20 years of attention to health care costs and many projections are that health care will consume 20% of GDP in the near future. I am sorry but these are not results to be proud of, especially if you are a fiscal conservative.

If the choice is to stay the course with the current system tweaking it here and there like we have for 20+ years and going to a completely different system where there may be some rationing but it would cost half as much, I am all for a new universal or single payer system like the rest of the world. Lower cost and just as good if not better outcomes.


Or you could just save yourself some trouble and move a few hundred miles north. Enjoy all the medical rationing you can stand. A few years ago, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent chemo and radiation and a week after she was pronounced, "in remission", she was diagnosed with colon cancer and we started the whole process again. It's been almost four years and so far, she's in the clear. If we had been forced to wait any signifacant amount of time for the treatment of her breast cancer, she would no longer be with us. If necessary, I'll work three jobs for the rest of my life to pay for overpriced American health care for my wife or children rather than have to settle for waiting lists and substandard health care so that we can all get it for "free".
This is going to sound terrible to some of you, but if you have made choices in your life that have resulted in your inablity to get health care in this country, you have made some bad ones. If you "can't afford" health care for your family but have a cell phone, a car, a television or new clothes, your priorities are screwed up and I'll be damned if I'm willing to sacrifice my family to make up for your lack of judgement and responsibility.
Statistically, we can expect my wife's cancer to return at some point. I want access to the best treatment on the planet if that happens. The best treatment on the planet is currently in the USA but if the left gets their way, that will no longer be true. But at least it will be "fair". We can all suffer together, then. Screw that!

Eric Johnson
02-14-2009, 01:24 PM
NPR recently discussed a recent study in Sweden that compared cost of medical care to life expectancy. The bottom line was that the greater the life-cycle cost, the longer lived was the population.

The reason is that if the population is healthy, there will be several more years of life in which to incur some medical cost. Further, in countries with say a life expectacy of 70 compared to one with a life expectancy of 75, the end result was the same with comparable costs. Thus, the country with the 5 years of extra life expectancy had 5 years of routine care plus the end result to pay for.

This is a single study and it screams a need for replication.

Eric

zeus3925
02-14-2009, 03:03 PM
France is considered to have one of the best health care systems. When I visited France a year and a half ago, the French I spoke with were very happy with their system.

Basically, it requires universal insurance coverage. You may visit a health care provider of your choosing. Hospitalization is covered by the government. Treatment for catastrophic illness such as cancer is covered by the government. There are no gatekeepers regulating access to specialists and hospitals. It delivers a better result at lower cost than the US system.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1447687

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_28/b4042070.htm

twall
02-14-2009, 03:22 PM
If the choice is to stay the course with the current system tweaking it here and there like we have for 20+ years and going to a completely different system where there may be some rationing but it would cost half as much, I am all for a new universal or single payer system like the rest of the world. Lower cost and just as good if not better outcomes.

Do you really understand what you are saying? What do you think "some" rationing means? What do you consider better outcomes? Look at the states in the US with state sponsored insurance and where physician assisted suicide is legal. In Oregon a woman had a recuurance of her breast cancer. The state insurance refused to pay for chemotherapy but would pay for physician assisted suicide. Do you think she is happy with the lower cost and "better" outcome?

Why are healthcare costs higher in the US? Have things improved with HMO's and PPO's? How will universal (government) healthcare be better? If you think you will be happy with government insurance look at getting on medicaid and then tell me what you think. Look at provider lists and then tell us how great you think government insurance is. Shop for malpractice insurance and then figure that into the costs fo government insurance. Figure out how many non-US citizens are either receiving medicaid or incurring cost at hospitals that will never be reimbursed and then tell me about US healthcare costs. Ask a senior citizen on Medicare about their "donut hole" and then tell me how great it will be to have the governement run our healthcare system.

What has the government ever taken over from the private sector and done a better job at? Do you want your medical decisions made by a government employee who reports to a political appointee? I don't understand why free people are so willing to give up their freedom so willingly. The grass isn't green on the otherside of the fence.

If socialism is so great then how come people from socialist countries have been immigrating here for so many years? People in this country nwo expect to have everything given to them. They are so hungry for government handouts they will willingly give the one thing that sets this country apart from all ther rest, our freedom.

God help us!

Tom

Matt McKenzie
02-15-2009, 06:12 AM
France is considered to have one of the best health care systems. When I visited France a year and a half ago, the French I spoke with were very happy with their system.

Basically, it requires universal insurance coverage. You may visit a health care provider of your choosing. Hospitalization is covered by the government. Treatment for catastrophic illness such as cancer is covered by the government. There are no gatekeepers regulating access to specialists and hospitals. It delivers a better result at lower cost than the US system.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1447687

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_28/b4042070.htm

Are you ready to be taxed at French rates?

Gerry Clinchy
02-15-2009, 06:30 AM
Are you ready to be taxed at French rates?

I would agree that it is only fair to compare health costs of various countries to their tax rates. While the health costs may appear to be lower, the subsidization of those costs may not be evident in the figures.

I believe the overall tax rate in Sweden is also quite high.

Perhaps the governments of other countries are more efficient than the U.S. government? I believe that the costs of Medicare greatly exceeded what was anticipated when the program was started.

One lesson I think we should have learned, when money must pass through a bureaucracy before actually getting to the end of the pipeline, there is a lot of room for the money to be used inefficiently.

zeus3925
02-15-2009, 07:25 AM
Are you ready to be taxed at French rates?

In general, their health care system cost less to the consumer than ours even when you you factor in the taxes. But their costs are going up like everyone else's.

The French spend their public money on a lot of different things than we do. They are investing in high speed rail for instance. They are hugely expensive. But , they sure are nice. I rode one from Portier to Paris. 200 mph and as smooth as if you were sitting in your living room Lazy Boy.

Pete
02-15-2009, 09:20 AM
It simple for countries who rely on us to protect them to spend their money on other things besides defense.
We crush all other nations in the charitable contrabution catagories
We crush all other nations in providing free medical to illegal alliens and food to people who don't have any for one reason or another.
There is not another nation on the face of this earth that blows money on other countries and their programs while neglecting our own problems like this country.
All you america haters are lucky to live here. when my son complains how rotten he has it I usually point him to the door just so he knows where its at if he wants to find a better place.

Pete

Henry V
02-15-2009, 10:02 AM
Wow, so much to respond to.

Do people in UK that can afford private insurance buy it?. Yes, I am sure some do. What percentage, I don't know. Do you? So, don't those who can afford better insurance here have better access to medical care too. Don’t kid yourself.


Would the mandatory waiting period make the statistics look better than they actually are? Some of the people waiting would die before they get into the "official" medical statistics?
These sentences make no logical sense. Do you somehow think that a death while waiting will somehow exclude you from being counted as a death and thus improve mortality rate statistics? Sure, OK.

Think we don’t wait for care in the U.S. take a look at this http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_28/b4042072.htm

While I understand citing cases to prove your point, I could also cite cases in the US where private insurers have made just as egregious decisions to deny treatment as public systems.


Do you want your medical decisions made by a government employee who reports to a political appointee? I don't understand why free people are so willing to give up their freedom so willingly.
So, having your medical decisions made by a for profit insurance company bureaucrat makes you feel better about our system? Exactly, what freedom would we be giving up? If you are fortunate enough to have an employer who offers health care insurance, what real freedom do you have that would not be available under a universal payer system? I am sure most of us can now choose between one or two plans at best. Once you have that insurance card, what freedom do you have to choose your clinic, etc?

People don’t have to go on Medicare, do they? They can choose to forgo it and enroll in private insurance, can’t they? Why don’t they go totally private in huge numbers if it is such a bad program? Yes, most take the low cost system and those that can afford it choose a supplement plan. Imagine that, kind of like the UK.

If you don’t think that many thousands of U.S. citizens aren’t going outside the U.S. for health care take a look at this article or search “medical tourism”. http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/2008/10/01/medical-tourism-everybodys-guide-to-affordable-world-class-medical-travel.html


In general, their health care system cost less to the consumer than ours even when you you factor in the taxes. But their costs are going up like everyone else's.
This can’t possibly be true;) It is counter to what the CATO institute says and we simply can’t be spending twice what all other countries spend on medical treatment in terms of GDP. It can’t be true. The stats are wrong. Our system is the best. The best for someone at least.

It is clear that those of you defending the current system and are OK with the facts that we pay far more than any other country, that we have overall mediocre outcomes from these expenses, and that we still have lots of uninsured people. As I said before, I’ll take a system that costs substantially less and has just as good of outcomes and there are many good models to follow. A little more rationing (maybe) and a little longer wait (maybe) might be a worthy tradeoff. Stay the course and we will soon spend 20% of GDP on health care. We will just have to disagree about this.

Gerry Clinchy
02-15-2009, 10:18 AM
Quote:
Would the mandatory waiting period make the statistics look better than they actually are? Some of the people waiting would die before they get into the "official" medical statistics?
These sentences make no logical sense. Do you somehow think that a death while waiting will somehow exclude you from being counted as a death and thus improve mortality rate statistics? Sure, OK.

It wouldn't change the mortality rates, but sure could cut down on the cost factors :-)

tpaschal30
02-15-2009, 07:56 PM
Remember this stat above all.


"40% of cancer patients are never able to see an oncologist"

Remember never!!!

FoggMoore
02-15-2009, 08:58 PM
It is my understanding that 20-25% of medical costs is billing expense. It seems like that might be a good place to start cutting costs.

Patrick Johndrow
02-15-2009, 09:28 PM
And yet, despite all that terrible rationing (which also happens in the US), the UK still ranks 18th and the US ranks 37th as of 2000 by the WHO.


Wow...that is according to the World Health Organization…how do they rank the U.S. vs. UK in dental care?

Bob Gutermuth
02-15-2009, 09:54 PM
If you really want to know how good the US healthcare system is, in comparison to the systems in Canada or the UK, you need only ask someone who has been thru a major disease. 2 yrs ago I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Within 6 months of diagnosis, I went thru chemo, radiation and surgery and was Deo Gratia declared cancer free. My waits were in terms of a few weeks for the various tests, CT scans, PET scan, staging surgery, and treatments at U of Maryland one of the best cancer centers in the country. The Canadians and Brits can keep their system, had I been in either of those countries I would very likely be 6 ft under.

Matt McKenzie
02-16-2009, 05:17 AM
In general, their health care system cost less to the consumer than ours even when you you factor in the taxes. But their costs are going up like everyone else's.

The French spend their public money on a lot of different things than we do. They are investing in high speed rail for instance. They are hugely expensive. But , they sure are nice. I rode one from Portier to Paris. 200 mph and as smooth as if you were sitting in your living room Lazy Boy.

I notice you quoted but didn't answer the question. I've ridden the TGV numerous times, but I'm not willing to be taxed at the French rate to have bullet trains here.

Hew
02-16-2009, 06:57 AM
There have been a couple of non-rhetorical questions that nobody has taken a stab at answering...

1) Twall asked, "What has the government ever taken over from the private sector and done a better job at?"

2) Hookset asked, "Are you ready to be taxed at French rates?"

Buehler? Buehler? Anyone? Buehler?

Some other random thoughts:

- The cost of medical malpractice insurance has risen dramatically and has an adverse effect on the costs and efficiency of our system. I wonder why the Democrats and their trial lawyer constituency never mention these costs when they wring their hands about health insurance accessibility? Now that's a rhetorical question. ;-)

- The fear of being sued also effects costs:


Doctors in the state order at least $1.4 billion worth of diagnostic tests and hospital stays each year out of fear of litigation instead of a patient’s actual need, according to a report from the Massachusetts Medical Society. http://www.protectpatientsnow.org/site/c.8oIDJLNnHlE/b.4784079/k.1ED3/Doctors8217_group_Unnecessary_medical_tests_drive_ up_health_care_costs_in_the_state_by_at_least_14_b illion_a_year.htm


- I read an article recently that the US leads the world in preventative medicine and diagnostics (eg, mamograms) precisely because our system is for-profit, and it is in the insurance carrier's financial interest that you stay well.

- It's amusing that Henry has twice poo-poo'ed a CATO Institute article that nobody has even mentioned or linked to (or is likely even aware of), yet pimps as the Holy Grail the highly subjective rankings of a 9 year old UN study as proof of our broken and inefficient healthcare system. I'm surprised we didn't rank lower than 37th given WHO's mission, "In the 21st century, health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defence against transnational threats."

- Yes, Americans travel to Bangkok for their Addadicktome or Whackadickoffame surgeries, but I'm pretty confident what country 99% of the world would like to come to for treatment if their life depended on it.

tpaschal30
02-16-2009, 07:32 AM
"In designing the framework for health system performance, WHO broke new methodological ground, employing a technique not previously used for health systems. It compares each country’s system to what the experts estimate to be the upper limit of what can be done with the level of resources available in that country. It also measures what each country’s system has accomplished in comparison with those of other countries.

WHO’s assessment system was based on five indicators: overall level of population health; health inequalities (or disparities) within the population; overall level of health system responsiveness (a combination of patient satisfaction and how well the system acts); distribution of responsiveness within the population (how well people of varying economic status find that they are served by the health system); and the distribution of the health system’s financial burden within the population (who pays the costs).

The majority of their indicators are measures of "fairness", not total health care quality. The U.S. can have the most highly trained doctors, the most advanced medical technology, and the cleanest and most comfortable hospitals...but still rank below a society where the shaman-physicians give the same voodoo to the tribal chief as they do to his subjects."

zeus3925
02-16-2009, 08:23 AM
I notice you quoted but didn't answer the question. I've ridden the TGV numerous times, but I'm not willing to be taxed at the French rate to have bullet trains here.

Of course not. But the health care system is is not a a contributor to the burden of the consumer when you consider the actual out of pocket cost of their system vs. ours. I used the trains as an example of how the French use their public money vs. how we use ours.

I hate to pay taxes as much as anyone. But when you compare our tax rate with other countries, we don't have that much to complain about.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_revenue_as_percentage_of_ GDP

I believe we should also pay as we go. There has been a culture some of our fellow citizens have adopted that says government owes them everything, but, they don't want to pay for it. If we really were serious about servicing our debt, our tax rate would be somewhat higher.

(By the way, if we wish to compare national debt, France's is 2.9 % of GDP vs. ours of about 16%).

Julie R.
02-16-2009, 08:36 AM
"In designing the framework for health system performance, WHO broke new methodological ground, ...
The majority of their indicators are measures of "fairness", not quality. The U.S. can have the most highly trained doctors, the most advanced medical technology, and the cleanest and most comfortable hospitals...but still rank below a society where the shaman-physicians give the same voodoo to the tribal chief as they do to his subjects."

Well there you have it. Let's start using witch doctors and voodoo! Let's train all the meth lab technicians to cook juju pots full of gris gris potions and addicts can sell them on the streets. Let's staff emergency rooms with shamans instead of physicians! Who needs government health care when we probably already have the talent right here! Just think of all the Haitian and Tanzanian immigrants we can put to work....

Henry V
02-16-2009, 10:54 AM
- It's amusing that Henry has twice poo-poo'ed a CATO Institute article that nobody has even mentioned or linked to (or is likely even aware of),
What is really amusing is that you apparently did not read the first posting in this thread, click on the link posted there, and then note that the one and only other link referenced by that article is in fact a CATO report.

Bob Gutermuth
02-16-2009, 11:03 AM
Given that the UN is the biggest anti-America body in the world, except when they want our $$$$ to waste on some idiotic project, I could care less where they rank anything American. We could save a fortune by getting the US out of the UN and booting the UN out of the US.

subroc
02-16-2009, 11:10 AM
If we really were serious about servicing our debt, our tax rate would be somewhat higher...

If we were serious we wouldn't have created the debt in the first place. We wouldn't exacerbate the problem with a pork bill like the one scheduled for signing. We are a country that is moving rapidly to providing social services that will touch every aspect of our lives. We will become dependent on those services and taxes will rise to pay for them. Those onerous taxes will stunt start up business and innovation, (cost of entry and all that) and will effectively kill the goose that laid the golden egg, which is capitalism. Our GDP growth will slow to a crawl just like all the nations that have similar amounts of social programs. Those social programs commitment will do to the nation what the union benefit packages have done to GM.

subroc
02-16-2009, 11:13 AM
Given that the UN is the biggest anti-America body in the world, except when they want our $$$$ to waste on some idiotic project, I could care less where they rank anything American. We could save a fortune by getting the US out of the UN and booting the UN out of the US.

I agree with this.

Matt McKenzie
02-16-2009, 12:56 PM
Of course not. But the health care system is is not a a contributor to the burden of the consumer when you consider the actual out of pocket cost of their system vs. ours. I used the trains as an example of how the French use their public money vs. how we use ours.

I hate to pay taxes as much as anyone. But when you compare our tax rate with other countries, we don't have that much to complain about.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_revenue_as_percentage_of_ GDP

I believe we should also pay as we go. There has been a culture some of our fellow citizens have adopted that says government owes them everything, but, they don't want to pay for it. If we really were serious about servicing our debt, our tax rate would be somewhat higher.

(By the way, if we wish to compare national debt, France's is 2.9 % of GDP vs. ours of about 16%).

I wouldn't have a problem paying higher taxes if we were actually cutting spending and increasing revenues with the intent of paying off the national debt. However, I believe that raising taxes (especially for the evil, disgusting "rich" and those awful corporations) is counterproductive in that it will retard investment, but it doesn't matter. The truth is that politicians on both sides of the aisle buy votes with our money.
I also believe we should pay as we go. The problem as I see it is that many feel that government owes them everything and expect those who have been responsible enough to provide for themselves to also provide for those who have been irresponsible.
The underlying question in all of these political threads is this: do you want your government more involved in your life or less? I think that for the most part they are all a bunch of idiots interested primarily in reelection and party power and the less influence they have on my life and that of my family, the better.
Show me one program, department or administrative funtion run efficiently and effectively by the Federal government. There isn't one. I have one question for those who want the Fed more involved in our health care. Would you like it modeled after Medicare/Medicaid, the Department of Education or the Department of Homeland Security? Maybe you would like to take a page from that shining beacon of efficiency, the DOD.

Here's an idea: stop comparing the US with other countries. It's apples and bicycles. Pick any ten categories that you think we are particularly weak in, find a country that beats us in all ten, pack a suitcase and find your happiness.
Does the US have room for improvement? Absolutely! But the things that made this country great are the things that make us least like France or UK or any other country on the planet. We have true liberty and economic freedom and an environment that allows things like Microsoft and Apple and Starbucks and Google and the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins and MIT and Coca Cola and Walmart to exist. Regardless of what the World Health Organization says, the highest quality health care is here in the US. More people try to emigrate (or is it imagrate?) to the US every year, legally and illegally than any other country. Many times more people travel to the US every year for health care than from the US for health care. If we suck so bad, move! There are several flights a day leaving the US for anywhere you want to go (thank you Boeing, McDonnel-Douglas, Delta, American, Continental, etc.)

Hew
02-16-2009, 01:52 PM
What is really amusing is that you apparently did not read the first posting in this thread, click on the link posted there, and then note that the one and only other link referenced by that article is in fact a CATO report.
Ah, I see, you were referencing a link that was referenced by another link that nobody even commented on. Gee, how could I have missed something that obvious in the original article? BTW, I actually read the original article...something you couldn't have laid claim to when you asked, "Do people in UK that can afford private insurance buy it?. Yes, I am sure some do. What percentage, I don't know. Do you?"

pssssst....the answer is 10% (there, now you still don't have to read the article you're commenting on)

zeus3925
02-16-2009, 06:07 PM
I wouldn't have a problem paying higher taxes if we were actually cutting spending and increasing revenues with the intent of paying off the national debt. However, I believe that raising taxes (especially for the evil, disgusting "rich" and those awful corporations) is counterproductive in that it will retard investment, but it doesn't matter. The truth is that politicians on both sides of the aisle buy votes with our money.

As I have seen it over the years the voters abhor a situation where governments pay off debt or set aside a surplus. As for the characterization of the rich and the corporations--those are your terms not mine. I'm glad you want to pay more taxes to reduce debt while the Leona Helmsleys of the world go free.

Some times the enemy is us. We love it when our representatives go porking for us. We treat them like heroes when they bring home the bacon.


The underlying question in all of these political threads is this: do you want your government more involved in your life or less? I think that for the most part they are all a bunch of idiots interested primarily in reelection and party power and the less influence they have on my life and that of my family, the better.

Though out my life I have been involved in working as a citizen by getting involved in the government's life, instead. How about you Hookset? You look like you'd make a pretty good candidate to me. You certainly have a lot of ideas and passion. How about running and help to see the bozos out.


Here's an idea: stop comparing the US with other countries. It's apples and bicycles. Pick any ten categories that you think we are particularly weak in, find a country that beats us in all ten, pack a suitcase and find your happiness.

First in response to the title of this thread, I threw in the French example as one that works. Secondly the first amendment protects yours and my right to free speech. Nowhere does it say that I have to move if I disagree with Hookset.


the US have room for improvement? Absolutely! But the things that made this country great are the things that make us least like France or UK or any other country on the planet.

Maybe you need to travel some. France in particular is more like us because our revolution inspired theirs. Their political thought inspired ours.


Regardless of what the World Health Organization says, the highest quality health care is here in the US.

Show me the numbers.


Many times more people travel to the US every year for health care than from the US for health care.

Yep, I have seen those folks from Muslim lands down at Mayo but we aren't looking to Arabs for solutions--at least I hope not.


If we suck so bad, move!

Nothing that I have posted before has been derisive of this country. I have a right to say what ever I wish to say in this country.

This is my land as well as yours. My forefathers fought to establish that right for you.

My mother's family arrived in North America in 1635. We came to what is now the US in the height of the Revolution and we didn't come to throw the Brits a luau.

We have family that was on the Lewis and Clark expedition. I am a direct descendant of several of the men of La Croix's Company of the Michigan Territorial Militia that fought in the Battle of the Raisin in the War of 1812. We had family in the Civil War, WWI,and Korea. My father built B-24s during WWII. I drew digital maps used in cruise missiles and flight systems during the Gulf Wars.

You don't like what I have to say? After you, Alphonse.

tpaschal30
02-16-2009, 07:12 PM
2004 numbers



A third of the medical costs for the
uninsured are uncompensated.
About a quarter of the total medical
care costs are paid directly by the
uninsured out-of-pocket, however
people who are uninsured for the full
year pay for over a third of their care
(35%) out-of-pocket—a considerably
higher share than paid by either the
full-year or part-year insured
populations, who paid for just under
20% of their care out-of-pocket.
In 2004, uncompensated care is
estimated to be $40.7 billion. Adults
uninsured for the full year receive the
majority of uncompensated care,
$26.3 billion (65% of the total amount).
Children are less likely to be
uninsured and their average health
care costs are less than adults as well.
Uncompensated care represents 2.7%
of the projected total personal health
care spending for 2004 of $1.5 trillion.

sourcr
http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/The-Cost-of-Care-for-the-Uninsured-What-Do-We-Spend-Who-Pays-and-What-Would-Full-Coverage-Add-to-Medical-Spending.pdf

Uncompensated health care costs are only 1% more than shrinkage cost in the retail sector. From wiki


n financial accounting the term inventory shrinkage (sometimes truncated to shrink) is the loss of products between point of manufacture or purchase from supplier and point of sale. The total shrink percentage of the retail industry in the United States was 1.7% of sales in 2001 according to the University of Florida's, National Retail Security Survey.[

Are we on the verge of a shrinkage crises in America!!!

ErinsEdge
02-16-2009, 08:43 PM
My son is currently living in Finland with his Finnish wife and they have socialized medicine. What basically happens if you have an elective surgical problem, it does not get done unless you pay for it by yourself. For example, her father has severe attacks of tachycardia. They put him on medication and he is now on disability. I asked about getting an ablation. Well, they don't offer it unless you go somewhere else. My friend had it here, she went on meds, they doubled the meds but the attacks came more often and she went to the ER and they zapped her and that feels like you are dead. She had the ablation and it will be gone forever. Back to normal activity. The Father now is in his early 50's and will the rest of his life with the quality of his life compromised and it could be fatal at any time. Anything complicated and you will be on a list forever.

code3retrievers
02-16-2009, 11:45 PM
Yes, but just think, now everyone will be able to afford substandard health care.

Matt McKenzie
02-17-2009, 07:55 AM
Sarge,
Feel free to address me by my name as I sign every post with it.
A few things: to suggest that I travel more is ridiculous. I would suspect that I have visited more countries than 99.9% of the people who frequent this board.
Yes, you have the right to speak your mind about your country and your government and I by no means want to stifle that. In fact, I've spent the last 22 years of my life serving to preserve that right for all of us. I just find it tiresome to hear nothing but negativity toward the US coming from some corners. If that is an unfair representation of you, I apologize. Sometimes the rhetoric of those of you that fall left of center kind of all blends together and becomes one high-pitched whine to me. I'm sure the posts made by those of us who fall right of center have a similar effect on you. I simply feel that those who want the US to be like any other country just need to save us all the hassle and move there.
As far as running for office, I don't believe that I would be electable at any level due to my abrasive and sometimes uncompromising nature. To be completely honest, I (like most of us here) take the lazy approach and throw rotten fruit from the bleachers. It's so much easier to sit around and complain than to actually take action to make things better. I'm working to take a more active role in the process, but sometimes think that my definition of "better" is far different than that of the majority of my fellow citizens. All of us (those of us who actually pay attention and who actually care about what is happening around us) want what we feel is best for the country, we just disagree on what "best" is.

zeus3925
02-17-2009, 08:40 AM
Matt, I see you are in the Navy. Thank you for your service!!

I like you care deeply about this country. I will not however ask anyone that disagrees with me to leave. My own political outlook is a mixture of conservative, liberal and moderate thought. I believe there is wisdom in all of them that can better the country.

I agree with you when you say we have one hell country. But we will end up frozen in gridlock if we choose Franken or Limbaugh as our prophet. No question the country is swimming in one big pool of alligators right now. We need to talk to each other if the republic is to survive. United we stand, divided we fall.

tpaschal30
02-17-2009, 10:32 AM
Matt, I see you are in the Navy. Thank you for your service!!

I like you care deeply about this country. I will not however ask anyone that disagrees with me to leave. My own political outlook is a mixture of conservative, liberal and moderate thought. I believe there is wisdom in all of them that can better the country.

I agree with you when you say we have one hell country. But we will end up frozen in gridlock if we choose Franken or Limbaugh as our prophet. No question the country is swimming in one big pool of alligators right now. We need to talk to each other if the republic is to survive. United we stand, divided we fall.

You need to stand for something. Being wishy washey and not seeing right and wrong is not standing for anything. Being judgemental is suddenly a bad word. Is good judgement not a virtue anymore!

zeus3925
02-17-2009, 11:28 AM
You need to stand for something. Being wishy washey and not seeing right and wrong is not standing for anything. Being judgemental is suddenly a bad word. Is good judgement not a virtue anymore!

The world ain't black or white. And picking and choosing from various colors is not wishy washy. Its the moderates that can cut through when the ideologues have become deaf, blind and vocal.

I am for a society that runs well and functions harmoniously. I refuse to join either the Limbaughite fringe or the Frankenite fringe. They are merchants of hate and divisiveness. There's no wishy washy about that.

Marvin S
02-17-2009, 12:21 PM
My own political outlook is a mixture of conservative, liberal and moderate thought. I believe there is wisdom in all of them that can better the country.

Everyone is different - I read everyone until they prove they are not fit to read - that includes many from all spectrums. What I find from reading your posts is you favor the latter 2 ideologies more than you favor the former, so to consider yourself using conservative principles is a stretch.

Barry Goldwater was a Libertarian Conservative - Esteemed by all of us who are proud to call ourselves Conservative & many others

Bob Dole was a typical moderate & look at KS & the US today -

Jimmy Carter was/is a liberal - the Meddler gets my vote for the worst POTUS we have ever had - But give the latest edition 4 years, he may make Carter look good.

You can't straddle the fence between these three ideologies without ending up with wounds.

tpaschal30
02-17-2009, 12:31 PM
The world ain't black or white. And picking and choosing from various colors is not wishy washy. Its the moderates that can cut through when the ideologues have become deaf, blind and vocal.

I am for a society that runs well and functions harmoniously. I refuse to join either the Limbaughite fringe or the Frankenite fringe. They are merchants of hate and divisiveness. There's no wishy washy about that.

You right it is not all black and white. And on certain issues it is a hard call. Certain issues there is no middle ground. Like the death penalty and abortion. There is right and wrong, good and evil, and funny and sad. Our upbringings and experiences help us along with those judgements(if a wrong judgement does not kill us first). Most middle of the roaders just don't want to make the call for fear of offending or not being cool and PC. We make judgements every day. Who we associate with, what we do, where we go, and when we go. I just think judgement is given a bad name.

Henry V
02-17-2009, 02:15 PM
Well Hew, of course you are right again, but then you are always right aren’t you?


It's amusing that Henry has twice poo-poo'ed a CATO Institute article that nobody has even mentioned or linked to (or is likely even aware of)


Ah, I see, you were referencing a link that was referenced by another link that nobody even commented on…. Yes, just what was I thinking bringing up the relationship between a CATO report and this thread much less bring it up twice. I do stand corrected, both your statements above are technically correct. This thread was only started with quotes taken directly from a CATO report (actually misquoted in part). Indeed, the report was not “mentioned” or directly "linked” just as you say, but the CATO report was the only “referenced” item in the article linked to start this thread. Nothing that anyone paying attention should be "aware of". Yes, as you suggest any reference to CATO is irrelevant to this discussion despite the fact that all the sentences in the quote that started this thread came directly from their report. My bad.

On the 10%, yes, I missed that in the CATO report. Or wait, maybe I was just trying to see if the original person who started this thread or anyone else had actually read it. Congrats, you did.

Great job Hew. You sure showed me. We have the best health care in the world because we pay far and away the most and we should not look anywhere else for ideas on how to improve our system to provide good care at a lower cost. Actually, I really hope health care accounts for 30% of GDP some day because that will be a super extra good sign that we are a wealthy nation. Now that's CATO type thinking. See I can learn.

tpaschal30
02-17-2009, 03:22 PM
Well Hew, of course you are right again, but then you are always right aren’t you?



Yes, just what was I thinking bringing up the relationship between a CATO report and this thread much less bring it up twice. I do stand corrected, both your statements above are technically correct. This thread was only started with quotes taken directly from a CATO report (actually misquoted in part). Indeed, the report was not “mentioned” or directly "linked” just as you say, but the CATO report was the only “referenced” item in the article linked to start this thread. Nothing that anyone paying attention should be "aware of". Yes, as you suggest any reference to CATO is irrelevant to this discussion despite the fact that all the sentences in the quote that started this thread came directly from their report. My bad.

On the 10%, yes, I missed that in the CATO report. Or wait, maybe I was just trying to see if the original person who started this thread or anyone else had actually read it. Congrats, you did.

Great job Hew. You sure showed me. We have the best health care in the world because we pay far and away the most and we should not look anywhere else for ideas on how to improve our system to provide good care at a lower cost. Actually, I really hope health care accounts for 30% of GDP some day because that will be a super extra good sign that we are a wealthy nation. Now that's CATO type thinking. See I can learn.

We need to look at getting market factors involved rather than emulate systems lesser than ours. If shotgun shells were insured where we only paid 20% of the cost, they would be high as heck as well.

zeus3925
02-17-2009, 05:03 PM
You can't straddle the fence between these three ideologies without ending up with wounds.

Who says I can't. I think this labeling is a bunch of bull crap anyway. I am interested in what works and to hell with the label. I am not interested in political "religions".

YardleyLabs
02-17-2009, 06:06 PM
We need to look at getting market factors involved rather than emulate systems lesser than ours. If shotgun shells were insured where we only paid 20% of the cost, they would be high as heck as well.

There's actually a fundamental problem with this concept that is well known to health economists. In his classic book, "Doctors, Patients, and Health Care", the late Red Summers noted that there was no comparable market where the sellers of services were the primary determinants of demand. Research as early as the 60's indicated, for example, that increasing the number of physicians in the population was directly linked to an increase in the number of physician visits per patient even after adjusting for all medical considerations. The fact is that a physician with an empty calendar is more likely to call you back for follow up. Direct to consumer advertising opened a new floodgate by giving pharmaceutical companies the ability to create demand for treatments of conditions that were not even considered real problems previously. This process was accelerated by the extension of employee health benefits to cover almost all pharmaceuticals at little to no cost to the covered patient. It fascinates me, for example, that a drug like Flomax, that produces at best marginal symptomatic relief at a huge cost, is prescribed more often that a generic drug like finasteride, which actually has curative properties in addition to symptomatic relief and costs almost nothing.

That's what happens when there is no market discipline on the demand side. Unfortunately, there is probably no way to achieve such market discipline which is the reason that we now have rationing of health services in the form of third party reviews of treatment, and in the future we will undoubtedly have more. Almost nobody in this country pays the cost of their own health care. Those who rail against "socialism" in medicine are actually complaining about the prospect that the working poor may get the same benefits now enjoyed at nominal cost by the rich, the middle class and the poor.

Socialized medicine began in this country during the Depression when hospitals banded together to form Blue Cross to increase their chances of getting paid. It expanded after WWII with broadening access to employer financed insurances, and exploded over the last 20-30 years as almost all caps were elminated on these services (I suspect one of the factors was changes in tax laws making it difficult ot create more generous plans for executives than were offered to lower paid staff).

This led to dramatic increases in costs -- and dramatic improvements in the availability of many types of therapy. The dark side of this was that as these costs grew, companies began to seek out and exploit "loopholes" that would permit them to avoid paying health care costs for a growing number of their employees.

For many years, I ran a consulting company that had as its primary benefit to clients, the advantage of offering them a legal way to hire programmers without paying benefit costs for health care and pensions. Our customers included the major telecommunication companies, the major pharmaceutical companies, the major insurance companies, etc. Many of these companies used this approach to outsource 90%+ of their IT staffing requirements under contracts that imposed caps on markups over hourly wages that precluded offering any employer subsidized health or pension benefits. When the benefits of that had been fully exploited, and more savings were needed to maintain profit growth, the work was moved off-shore. This has directly added to the number of uninsured.

The reality is that our businesses must compete in a global context. When they compete they are the only companies in the world that are expected to be paying employee health care costs as a routine cost of business. Elsewhere in the world, there is either no such coverage for anyone or the coverage is provided universally by the government. Our businesses cannot remain competitive if they must continue to carry this albatross around their necks. The choice for us is do we wish to join the countries that have no employer or government subsidized health insurance programs for anyone (that would give you a free market and lower health costs), or become one of the countries that treat health insurance benefits, at some level, as a social responsibility, not a corporate one?

But when you discuss the ideological issues, you must begin with the fact that we already have socialized medicine and will continue to have socialized medicine until all of us are paying 100% of our own medical costs without subsidy.

tpaschal30
02-17-2009, 06:36 PM
But when you discuss the ideological issues, you must begin with the fact that we already have socialized medicine and will continue to have socialized medicine until all of us are paying 100% of our own medical costs without subsidy.

There lies some of the the problem. Costs began skyrocketing as government became more involved. Jeff your "classic book"seems to neglect no good or service is exempt from market forces.

Milton Friedman on health care;

QUOTE]Rapid technological advances have occurred repeatedly since the Industrial Revolution—in agriculture, steam engines, railroads, telephones, electricity, automobiles, radio, television, and, most recently, computers and telecommunication. The other two features seem unique to medicine. It is true that spending initially increased after nonmedical technical advances, but the fraction of national income spent did not increase dramatically after the initial phase of widespread acceptance. On the contrary, technological development lowered cost, so that the fraction of national income spent on food, transportation, communication, and much more has gone down, releasing resources to produce new products or services. Similarly, there seems no counterpart in these other areas to the rising dissatisfaction with the delivery of medical care.

Two simple observations are key to explaining both the high level of spending on medical care and the dissatisfaction with that spending. The first is that most payments to physicians or hospitals or other caregivers for medical care are made not by the patient but by a third party—an insurance company or employer or governmental body. The second is that nobody spends somebody else’s money as wisely or as frugally as he spends his own. These statements apply equally to other OECD countries. They do not by themselves explain why the United States spends so much more than other countries.

No third party is involved when we shop at a supermarket. We pay the supermarket clerk directly: the same for gasoline for our car, clothes for our back, and so on down the line. Why, by contrast, are most medical payments made by third parties? The answer for the United States begins with the fact that medical care expenditures are exempt from the income tax if, and only if, medical care is provided by the employer. If an employee pays directly for medical care, the expenditure comes out of the employee’s after-tax income. If the employer pays for the employee’s medical care, the expenditure is treated as a tax-deductible expense for the employer and is not included as part of the employee’s income subject to income tax. That strong incentive explains why most consumers get their medical care through their employers or their spouses’ or their parents’ employer. In the next place, the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 made the government a third-party payer for persons and medical care covered by those measures.
Third-party payment has required the bureaucratization of medical care and, in the process, has changed the character of the relation between physicians (or other caregivers) and patients. A medical transaction is not simply between a caregiver and a patient; it has to be approved as "covered" by a bureaucrat and the appropriate payment authorized. The patient—the recipient of the medical care—has little or no incentive to be concerned about the cost since it’s somebody else’s money.[/QUOTE]

Ben S Bernanke on health care;


And I think you’re also correct that one of the main reasons why health care is so expensive in the United States has to do with the fact that we’re always buying with somebody’s money and not with our on money.

YardleyLabs
02-17-2009, 08:09 PM
If you read the Friedman piece you quoted, you will see that it directly supports my comment. The presence of third payments totally disrupted the effects of price limitations on demand in health care, meaning that, in contrast to other arenas of technological advancement, health care advances have been directly linked to increases in the total percentage of GDP spent on health care. To make that clearer, I've summarized health care expenditures as a percentage of GDP by decade since 1960:

$ Billions
Year______ GDP (Nominal) HCE HCE% %Private
1960__ $ 536.4___ $ 27.5____ 5.2% 75.3%
1970___ 1038.5_____ 74.9____ 7.2% 62.4%
1980___ 2789.5____ 253.4____ 9.1% 58.0%
1990___ 5803.1____ 714.1___ 12.3% 59.8%
2000___ 9817.0___ 1353.2___ 13.8% 55.9%
2007__ 13807.5___ 2241.2___ 16.2% 53.8%

(Excuse funky formatting)

The percentage of GDP going to health care has tripled from 5.2% to 16.2%. You are right that the percentage paid from private sources has declined in that period from 75.3%to 53.8% (a decline of 28.6%). In that same time period, however, the percentage paid out of picket by consumers has declined much more dramatically from 46.8% to 12.0% (a decline of 74%). The difference has come primarily from the growth of private health insurance not paid by consumers. I would be happy to provide my source data to anyone but can't provide a simple reference since I compiled it from separate tables produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and from Health & Human Services.

The bottom line, as I indicated before, is that if you do not want socialized medicine you need to eliminate those third party sources that now pay 88% of each health care dollar. The importance of that is that the 12% that is paid by consumers is paid predominantly by those people who are not covered by any of our private and public health programs -- the uninsured. For the rest of us, the percentage paid by consumers is even lower.

Personally, I don't advocate that. I simply say that if socialized medicine is good enough for 85% of the population, it's good enough for 100%.

Matt McKenzie
02-18-2009, 06:42 AM
Sorry to change the subject slightly, but did you ever wonder why there are no price lists in doctors offices and hospitals? What other good or service do you walk in and buy without knowing the price?

badbullgator
02-18-2009, 08:03 AM
Matt
That is incorrect. While not posted on the wall all you have to do is ask. Most people just don't ask. All doctors and hospitals in Florida anyway have to provide you with prices if you ask. It is an even better idea to ask if you don't have insurance becasue then you know what you are going to be charged and that price can be modified to meet insurance reimbursments.....just ask.

tpaschal30
02-18-2009, 02:44 PM
If you read the Friedman piece you quoted, you will see that it directly supports my comment. The presence of third payments totally disrupted the effects of price limitations on demand in health care, meaning that, in contrast to other arenas of technological advancement, health care advances have been directly linked to increases in the total percentage of GDP spent on health care. To make that clearer, I've summarized health care expenditures as a percentage of GDP by decade since 1960:

$ Billions
Year______ GDP (Nominal) HCE HCE% %Private
1960__ $ 536.4___ $ 27.5____ 5.2% 75.3%
1970___ 1038.5_____ 74.9____ 7.2% 62.4%
1980___ 2789.5____ 253.4____ 9.1% 58.0%
1990___ 5803.1____ 714.1___ 12.3% 59.8%
2000___ 9817.0___ 1353.2___ 13.8% 55.9%
2007__ 13807.5___ 2241.2___ 16.2% 53.8%

(Excuse funky formatting)

The percentage of GDP going to health care has tripled from 5.2% to 16.2%. You are right that the percentage paid from private sources has declined in that period from 75.3%to 53.8% (a decline of 28.6%). In that same time period, however, the percentage paid out of picket by consumers has declined much more dramatically from 46.8% to 12.0% (a decline of 74%). The difference has come primarily from the growth of private health insurance not paid by consumers. I would be happy to provide my source data to anyone but can't provide a simple reference since I compiled it from separate tables produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and from Health & Human Services.

The bottom line, as I indicated before, is that if you do not want socialized medicine you need to eliminate those third party sources that now pay 88% of each health care dollar. The importance of that is that the 12% that is paid by consumers is paid predominantly by those people who are not covered by any of our private and public health programs -- the uninsured. For the rest of us, the percentage paid by consumers is even lower.

Personally, I don't advocate that. I simply say that if socialized medicine is good enough for 85% of the population, it's good enough for 100%.

Socialize medicine becomes rationed medicine. I don't want government making those decisions. Remember the UK model



"Waiting Times. Waiting lists are a huge problem in Great Britain. Some examples: 750,000 are on waiting lists for hospital admission; 40% of cancer patients are never able to see an oncologist; there is explicit rationing for services such as kidney dialysis, open heart surgery and care for the terminally ill. Further, minimum waiting times have been instituted to reduce costs. “A top-flight hospital like Suffolk Est PCT was ordered to impose a minimum waiting time of at least 122 days before patients could be treated or the hospital would lose a portion of its funding.”"

Vicki Worthington
02-18-2009, 03:01 PM
I don't want higher taxes! I pay enough taxes now--actually more than enough.

I don't want to pay for more than my own!

I don't want to pay for illegal aliens!

I don't like birthright citizenship when the parents are illegal aliens!

I don't like birthright citizenship being responsible for inflating the welfare/entitlement roles!

I don't want a government analyst telling me which medical care I can have and which is not available!

Insurance companies are FOR PROFIT companies. No one has to buy insurance--they can take the gamble that they will spend less if they only spend when needed vs. monthly payments. Except--you can't do that with car insurance, home insurance, etc. because there is a greater liklihood in this country that you will be sued for some--often frivilous issue.

We need to stand up and be counted--not "taken care of". We need to assume personal responsibility and get the goverment the heck out of it.

I'm tired of being penalized for being moderately successful!

Matt McKenzie
02-18-2009, 06:17 PM
Matt
That is incorrect. While not posted on the wall all you have to do is ask. Most people just don't ask. All doctors and hospitals in Florida anyway have to provide you with prices if you ask. It is an even better idea to ask if you don't have insurance becasue then you know what you are going to be charged and that price can be modified to meet insurance reimbursments.....just ask.

Thanks Corey. Good info.

Patrick Johndrow
02-18-2009, 09:38 PM
I don't want higher taxes! I pay enough taxes now--actually more than enough.

I don't want to pay for more than my own!

I don't want to pay for illegal aliens!

I don't like birthright citizenship when the parents are illegal aliens!

I don't like birthright citizenship being responsible for inflating the welfare/entitlement roles!

I don't want a government analyst telling me which medical care I can have and which is not available!

Insurance companies are FOR PROFIT companies. No one has to buy insurance--they can take the gamble that they will spend less if they only spend when needed vs. monthly payments. Except--you can't do that with car insurance, home insurance, etc. because there is a greater liklihood in this country that you will be sued for some--often frivilous issue.

We need to stand up and be counted--not "taken care of". We need to assume personal responsibility and get the goverment the heck out of it.

I'm tired of being penalized for being moderately successful!



AMEN!!! PREACH ON SISTER!!!!!!!

tpaschal30
02-19-2009, 05:26 AM
Matt
That is incorrect. While not posted on the wall all you have to do is ask. Most people just don't ask. All doctors and hospitals in Florida anyway have to provide you with prices if you ask. It is an even better idea to ask if you don't have insurance becasue then you know what you are going to be charged and that price can be modified to meet insurance reimbursments.....just ask.

They don't ask because they don't care. Why should they? They are not paying. In medicine where they do advertise, and the client pays, boob jobs and such, costs have gone down.

YardleyLabs
02-19-2009, 01:36 PM
Socialize medicine becomes rationed medicine. I don't want government making those decisions. Remember the UK model

You're absolutely right and that's why we have rationing now (e.g., the time to get an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon averages 3-4 months and even longer for my urologist). A number of factors contribute to delivery problems in medicine in England, in other countries, and here. In this country, the growth of managed care programs and the increasing bureaucratization of third party payment plans (i.e. private insurance) has contributed to a decline in job satisfaction among physicians at a time when medical schools are attempting to expand enrollment by 30% to keep up with demand. This is contributing to major shortages in certain specialties and areas of the country that are likely to grow worse.

The socialized medicine you fear is already here. It is generally privately administered (even Medicare is privately administered), but no less intrusive. Much of the money that previously went to health care providers now goes to a variety of administrative "benefit managers" and their shareholders. Prices paid to direct providers -- doctors and hospitals -- are now largely dictated by the major carriers in a very one-sided "negotiation".

However, we continue to talk about the illusion of a private health care system even though it largely disappeared in the 80's and 90's. Interestingly, the loudest voices now opposing "socialization" are the benefit managers and pharmaceutical companies that have profited most from their ability to reap double digit profit growth even in a declining economy as a result of their political victories in achieving increased public funding with virtually no accountability or liability. None of these companies is looking to return to a "free market" where consumers would actually have to pay for their care because that would drastically reduce consumption and profits. Rather, they want to continue to be able to suck revenues with as little visibility as possible from all of our pockets.

Our choices are simple:

1. return to paying our own medical bills directly

2. continue the current system and watch 20-25% of GDP going to medical care with almost no improvement in life expectancy over the next 5-10 years.

3. improve regulation within the industry and elminate artificial price protections instituted to protect pharmaceutical companies and artificial liability protections that allow benefit management bureaucracies to make arbitrary health care decisions without liability.

In some ways I tend to believe we might be better off with a reset that implements option 1. However, I don't think that many of us are prepared to pay our own ways. Given that, I favor option 3 rather than continuing to pretend in the beneficence of the foxes that now guard the hen house.

badbullgator
02-19-2009, 01:46 PM
FWIW- I just made an appointment with my orthopedic doc today for next week. Our urology patients are usually seen in 5 days or less with surgery taking place within three weeks. I guess it depends on where you are at.

I personaly think option number 1 is the best. Overall medical prices should drop without insurance and increased competition among doctors

tpaschal30
02-20-2009, 07:39 PM
You're absolutely right and that's why we have rationing now (e.g., the time to get an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon averages 3-4 months and even longer for my urologist). A number of factors contribute to delivery problems in medicine in England, in other countries, and here. In this country, the growth of managed care programs and the increasing bureaucratization of third party payment plans (i.e. private insurance) has contributed to a decline in job satisfaction among physicians at a time when medical schools are attempting to expand enrollment by 30% to keep up with demand. This is contributing to major shortages in certain specialties and areas of the country that are likely to grow worse.

The socialized medicine you fear is already here. It is generally privately administered (even Medicare is privately administered), but no less intrusive. Much of the money that previously went to health care providers now goes to a variety of administrative "benefit managers" and their shareholders. Prices paid to direct providers -- doctors and hospitals -- are now largely dictated by the major carriers in a very one-sided "negotiation".

However, we continue to talk about the illusion of a private health care system even though it largely disappeared in the 80's and 90's. Interestingly, the loudest voices now opposing "socialization" are the benefit managers and pharmaceutical companies that have profited most from their ability to reap double digit profit growth even in a declining economy as a result of their political victories in achieving increased public funding with virtually no accountability or liability. None of these companies is looking to return to a "free market" where consumers would actually have to pay for their care because that would drastically reduce consumption and profits. Rather, they want to continue to be able to suck revenues with as little visibility as possible from all of our pockets.

Our choices are simple:

1. return to paying our own medical bills directly

2. continue the current system and watch 20-25% of GDP going to medical care with almost no improvement in life expectancy over the next 5-10 years.

3. improve regulation within the industry and elminate artificial price protections instituted to protect pharmaceutical companies and artificial liability protections that allow benefit management bureaucracies to make arbitrary health care decisions without liability.

In some ways I tend to believe we might be better off with a reset that implements option 1. However, I don't think that many of us are prepared to pay our own ways. Given that, I favor option 3 rather than continuing to pretend in the beneficence of the foxes that now guard the hen house.

Why do doctors not advertise prices(Even back when it was just hospitalization coverage we had they didn't)? Is the limiting of doctors by the AMA purely quality control or does it include profit control? Is this not antitrust, especially the first question?