Fight Government Encroachment into Health Care!

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    Fight Government Encroachment into Health Care!


    Fight Government Encroachment into Health Care!
    By Ron Paul
    Published 06/02/09

    With a faltering economy, and skyrocketing costs, healthcare continues to be a critical issue for all Americans. Unfortunately government encroachment into the doctor/patient relationship is poised to exacerbate our problems with healthcare.

    As an OB/GYN with over 30 years of experience in private practice, I understand that one of the foundations of quality healthcare is the patient's confidence that all information shared with his or her healthcare provider will remain private. And yet, the Federal Government plans to undermine this trust with establishment of mandatory electronic medical records collections and "unique health identifier" numbers assigned to all Americans. Funding for this program was among the numerous provisions jammed into the stimulus bill rushed through Congress earlier this year.

    Electronic medical records that are part of the federal system will only receive the protection granted by the federal "medical privacy rule." This misnamed rule actually protects the ability of government officials and state-favored special interests to view private medical records without patient consent.

    Aside from those concerns, the government's ability to protect medical records is highly questionable. After all, we are all familiar with cases where third parties obtained access to electronic veteran, tax, and other records because of errors made by federal bureaucrats. We should also consider the abuse of IRS records by administrations of both parties. What would happen if unscrupulous politicians gained the power to access their political enemies' electronic medical records?

    For these reasons I have introduced the Protect Patients' and Physicians' Privacy Act, HR 2630, which allows patients and physicians to opt out of any federally mandated, created, or funded electronic medical records system. The bill also repeals sections of federal law establishing a "unique health identifier" and requires patient consent before any electronic medical records can be released to a 3rd party.

    I have also introduced the Coercion is Not Health Care Act, HR 2629. This legislation forbids the federal government from forcing any American to purchase health insurance, or conditioning participation in any federal program on the purchase of health insurance. Forcing Americans to purchase government-approved health insurance is a back door approach to creating a government-controlled healthcare system. Congress would define what policies and coverage requirements satisfy their mandate. Does anyone then doubt that what conditions and treatments are covered would be determined by who has the most effective lobby? Or that Congress would be capable of writing a mandatory insurance policy that fits the unique needs of every individual in the United States?

    With these conditions in place, I foresee the eventual imposition of price controls and limitations on what procedures and treatments that are covered. This will result in an increasing number of providers turning to "cash only" practices, making it difficult for those relying on the government-mandated insurance to find healthcare -- the exact opposite of the desired result! Consider the increasing number of physicians who are already withdrawing from the Medicare program because of the low reimbursement and constant bureaucratic harassment from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

    Congress should put the American people back in charge of healthcare by expanding healthcare tax credits and deductions, increasing access to Health Savings Accounts, respecting privacy and the doctor/patient relationship. Further politicizing and bureaucratizing of healthcare will only increase costs and reduce quality, as demonstrated by most other countries with socialized medicine.
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    Medical Freedom or Medical Fascism?
    By David McKalip, M.D.
    Published 05/30/09

    On Thursday I marched with lovers of liberty against the greatest threat to American patients in the history of our country: the rise of Medical Fascism. Some may wonder - what happened to socialized medicine, isn't that the great threat? While it is true that there are attempts to socialize medical care, the fact is that the power players in Washington are ready to set the rules and then hand the keys of health care spending over to large health insurance companies. This is the definition of fascism: the state decides what corporations will do and the corporations do their bidding while making a profit. As it turns out the very corporations making the profit also control the government. That is why I marched with members of the 912 project in Tampa today to spread the message that the government and large corporations should not control your health care dollar: you should.

    Some may wonder how medical fascism could possibly come to pass with a democratic president. It is simple, Obama and Congress want to "solve" the problem of unaffordable health care. They want "Universal Coverage." They want to do it this year while they still have a political capital and the votes in Congress -- all to get re-elected later. They know that creating a "single payer" system will be politically impossible. That is why protesters from "Health Care Now" are also trying to get a "Medicare for All" plan on the table: Congress knows it can't deliver on such a promise. So the answer will be to look conciliatory and turn to the insurance industry for the "rescue". They will be willing partners. The Government will find some way to include them -- either through mandated health insurance purchase or heavily subsidized health insurance vouchers. The problem is that even if the large corporations are paying for health care they will still ration care since there is no amount of money that will satisfy the needs of the many interests. However they will take over through a new sort of socialized medicine "American style" or medical fascism.

    The United Health Group recently indicated that they could save $500 billion in health care spending simply "by sending patients to less expensive, more efficient doctors, reducing hospital visits by the elderly and cutting unnecessary care." I am a physician victim of tactics mislabeled "efficiency" by United Health Care -- and so are my patients. I perform surgery of the neck for pinched nerves to treat arm pain. United Health Care believes that such patients should receive no more than about $17,000 worth of care. They noted that of seven patients I operated on, they received about $22,000 worth of medical care. They thus rated me as "inefficient" and actively worked to steer patients away from my practice by offering lower co-pays to patients and lower premiums to employers if they used the "efficient" doctors. They put me lower on available physician lists and forced my and my office staff to spend hours to have a non-neurosurgeon approve an MRI or even surgery! No matter that seven patients is far too low a number to calculate such an average or that 90% of the dollars went to hospitals where I have no control of the cost of services there. Such practices will become common place and will worsen when medical fascism becomes the norm. Your doctor will be forced to comply or forced to go out of business -- the patients lose, the doctors lose, the government and insurance companies win.

    There are immense pressures to tell doctors how to practice medicine -- all to save the government and large insurance companies money. They would increase their profits by ensuring a patient doesn't receive advanced chemotherapy for breast cancer -- as is now done in England. They would intimidate doctors into ordering fewer MRI's that may be needed for early diagnosis or to not offer hip or knee replacements to older patients. The path to get there is different, but we will have the same sort of system as in England. These sorts of rationing protocols will be established by the "Federal Coordinating Council on Comparative Effectiveness" that was secretly created in the "Stimulus" bill earlier this year. This council is modeled after the rationing committee "NICE" setup in England.

    One of the President's key advisors on health care is Zeke Emanuel, brother of his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Dr. Emanuel is a bioethicist who writes in his blue print for health care reform "Health Care Guaranteed" that the most advanced radiation treatment for prostate cancer costs $42,000 compared to the about $11,000 of more basic radiation. In public talks he dismisses the value of the highly targeted radiation stating that its "only" benefit is decreased side effects from about 13% to 5%. But that is entirely the point of doing the more advanced and more costly radiation: to minimize side effects so higher doses of more curative radiation can be delivered. It appears he is okay with more than twice as many people having rectal bleeding and painful prostate and rectal inflammation after radiation -- as long as it saves money for someone else. Zeke Emanuel also advocates creating a national sales tax (A Value Added Tax) that is the same means of financing health care in socialized systems in Europe. Only, in America, the health insurance corporation will get the money and you will be denied care as they get a large profit. Even if the government keeps the money to spend on health care, they will simply ration the care since there will never be enough money to pay for everyone. As long as Americans don't pay for their routine, annual health care out of pocket, they will constantly see every test and treatment as "free" and order more. That is where medical inflation comes from and is the source of the real crisis. The question for Americans is: do you trust government or insurance company to make the decision on what treatment to receive for you or would you rather make the decision yourself based on the advice of your doctor.

    American deserve better than what is currently envisioned in Congress. They don't deserve Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Max Baucus and others to meet in locked rooms and deliver a secret health care reform bill that will be voted on after three days of token debate. Americans deserve lower cost insurance and to be in charge of their own health care spending. Americans deserve the right to buy a less expensive insurance plan from another state or to pay actual cost if they are young and healthy, not increased cost to cover older and sicker patients. They deserve an individual tax break to buy health insurance, not just from their employer where they will get locked into a job. Americans should have greater access to "Super" health savings accounts where an employer can put tax free money in their account and they can use it to find a doctor they want. They can find a doctor that will spend time with them and help them understand their choices and what test or treatments they really do and don't need. After they use their health savings account, they should be covered by low premium, high deductible catastrophic health insurance. This would be a protection against the rare expensive medical conditions one may experience during their lives. If Americans want an expensive health insurance plan that pays for every visit they can buy that too. If they want an HMO that caps how much will be spent on care -- that is another free choice for them. In other words, Americans deserve medical freedom, not medical fascism.

    To get medical freedom you will need to fight for it. Join up with your local tea party group for marches across the nation on Medical freedom planned by July 4th. Let Congress know you want medical freedom, not medical fascism.
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    lol are u serious....obviously you dont work in the medical field....try working in it and then see how much non involvement you want....hospitals are understaffing and cutting corners with patient care, i see it everyday we need govt assistance
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgoode View Post
    lol are u serious....obviously you dont work in the medical field....try working in it and then see how much non involvement you want....hospitals are understaffing and cutting corners with patient care, i see it everyday we need govt assistance
    Never once has my doctor or dentist said to me, "Dear God Dave if you keep paying cash for my services I'll die of starvation and have to sell my children into slavery. Please man, for my family, sign up for medicaid"
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    they dont care, they get paid even if your not the one who pays them... (maybe not a dentist) but Dr's make their money regardless....
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgoode View Post
    lol are u serious....obviously you dont work in the medical field....try working in it and then see how much non involvement you want....hospitals are understaffing and cutting corners with patient care, i see it everyday we need govt assistance
    No I do not work in the medical field, but I will grab T1 to drop in a share his view since he works in one every day.

    I do know politics though, and tell me one successful government program... Medicare - Fail, Social Security - Fail, Department of Education - Fail, FDA - Fail.

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    Brilliant. Didn't the Feds mandate the current HMO system back in the 70's? And now there solution is more government regulation.

    From my experience, health care is overpriced and ineffecient. I am dubious of this.

    It cost over $800 for a bag of saline, an IV, and some Ibuprofen when my girlfriend went to urgent care for a bad migraine? She saw an MD for 5 minutes and a health care STUDENT did the rest. I paid over $200 when I was uninsured for a tetanus shot. I guess it costs that much to consult with an MD and then have a lower paid worker hook you up to salt water or inject a shot.

    It's ridiculous. The hospitals charge as much as they can because they know the HMO's will cut it down, so they take what they can get. So you are screwed if don't have insurance.
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    yeah but the point is we need a healthcare system that works like european and canadian ones....our hospital purpously understaffs employees and gets a fresh batch of students every year to use as free labor....they leave students unatteneded to manage patient care......

    the medical field as it stands is in it for one thing....money....it is a buisness, we need to get out of that mentality.....having no government involvement would lead to hospitals taking people for everything they got.....

    in most areas you dont have a choice....if something is seriously wrong with you and you need urgent care you will go to the closest hospital..... and they would take even more then they do now....

    less gvt involvment does NOT create better competition in healthcare...you cant go "i'm having a heart attack...but i guess ill wait to get a quote on the best deal....." healthcare doesnt work like that bottom line
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgoode View Post
    yeah but the point is we need a healthcare system that works like european and canadian ones....our hospital purpously understaffs employees and gets a fresh batch of students every year to use as free labor....they leave students unatteneded to manage patient care......

    the medical field as it stands is in it for one thing....money....it is a buisness, we need to get out of that mentality.....having no government involvement would lead to hospitals taking people for everything they got.....

    in most areas you dont have a choice....if something is seriously wrong with you and you need urgent care you will go to the closest hospital..... and they would take even more then they do now....

    less gvt involvment does NOT create better competition in healthcare...you cant go "i'm having a heart attack...but i guess ill wait to get a quote on the best deal....." healthcare doesnt work like that bottom line
    Canada, Europe? Seriously? So we want rationing of high cost cancer meds? Every life has a certain dollar on their head?

    It is really funny that the healthcare system didn't have the problems we do today until the HMO's, and the unconstitutional Medicare/Medicaid.

    Get your facts strait, government yet again started this crisis, just like the economical crisis.

    State governments should have the regulation if anyone is to do so, but instead yet again, Feds are overstepping their bounds and leaping over the state.

    Why would anyone care to make a medical breakthrough if they get nothing more?

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    I'm here, D. Let me read through this, and i'll have my response a little later tonight.

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    I have worked in a hospital for the past 3 year, nurse aid, ER tech and just graduated with my RN. My personal belief is that it is a business nothing more. Caring for patients or the citys well being is a bunch of bull it is strictly businesss, I am for government stepping in here. You should see there faces and the hospital reaction when JACHO comes around, everyone is running around and putting on a show cuz if they don't medicaid will get pulled. If there was a more constent oversight task would get done. Now what the govnt is going to mandate and how much oversight is another issue. As far as prices, you are paying for services. drug prices are a pharmectical issue, drug companies are nothing but drug dealers with big wallets. They come in with suits and there girlls looking like hookers (seriously) and buy a whole hospital pizza lunch mugs, then go to the doctors and give them tons of free crap with there name on it. I once stopped and read one of their pamphlets and was talking to a rep, he ofered to fly me to florida for the wkd to a seminar to learn about his companies new amazing drug! Go to a docs office, private pratice is flooded with posters and props and everyhting with a drug name on it. Look at commericals and magazine ads, drugs cost pennies to make all their money is in marketing which I beileve is a waste cuz its not like I can go out to walmart and buy the stuff. The doc is gonna give me what he gives me. I cant call Cialias and be like hey can I buy this, my doc won't give me a script but I really want it, where do I send the morny, they would hang up on me. That is the main reason why drugs cost so much. Secondly it is not cheap for ER vist do you realize how much staff is paid in there? especially on call? prolly half the staff there is being paid time and a half. Not to mention what the doctor himself is charging the hospital. Oh and by the way we have open employee fiscal meeting, you should see the number of people who skimp out on there bills cuz they either dont wat to or cant afford it so the hospital takes the loss but still has to pay everyone who works there. Hospital is full of beaurocrocy and red tape everywhere there are more "offices" then patient rooms, you have a friend in senior management you want to start a bariatric dept, sure conduct a meeting, you get funded, and now have a office and do nothing!! OUr materials department has 5 managers!!!!! and our transport department is the ones who handle everyonething and there dont even work under materials... now insurance is another issue that needs to be tackled. They look for everyway to not have to pay for a test they possibly can. You know if a routine xray is ordered on mondy, which is just a xray to check on progress nothing major or serious, if it isnt done by wednesday the insurance wont pay for it anymore. We get busy and sometimes cant get everyone in the day they are ordered, but the patient still needs the xray so who pays for it? the hospital does. Thats not even getting into the little problems in a hospital like uh oh its budget time and we are under budget lets spend money to show we need the money or if not we wont get the same amount again, and the reckless throwingf away of supplies or supplies being used for personal use.

    And as far as the government not being able to run a national program, you trust our government to run a national military program right? so If they can do that why can't they run a series of checkups? that is a poor excuse, although I do agree the government does have a habit of just putting on a show without actually getting anything done, but something does need to happen. The government already has a prgram for all their employees why not extend it nationally? and the small business argument is weak too, My uncle owns a alarm system company and a friend of mine owns a fire supression company and they both agree and are for this. It is better to pay a fixed price for healthcar for their employees instead of it going up 200% every year. and as far as goventment should be involved and no oversight, isnt that a reason why we are in a economic situation? cuz of all these mortage companies being unethical and selling house to people who cant afford the house then with all knowning they cant pay it back goes ahead and sells the mortage to someone else? Not to mention short selling and all the wall street fast money nonsense that goes on, you dont think if there were more regualtion and rules to follow thatsome of this could have been prevented? if there was a guidline that said you had to actually afford this house in order to buy it, some of this could have been avoided? dont get me wrong equal blame if more goes on the jackasses that work for walmart and think they can buy a 4 bedroom house.

    my .02$

    p.s. sorry for the long jumbled paragraph I was just typing what I wanted to say without organizing thoughts into paragraphs and also I did not read the 2 above articles but am going to
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    I pay $56 a month in Canada for medical for my wife and I and whoever else in Canada need it. People who can't afford to pay..pay nothing. I have never had a problem with having to wait on a waiting list for anything, nor has any of my family. My mother has had cancer 5 times and has never been denied proper medication or attention.People that say bs like that are mislead by propagandists of the American insurance companies and medical assc.We (in my family)have all had major issues to be dealt with medically as well and have had no problems. If you have something extreme like a heart transplant or kidney...you might wait...but you could pay for it to be done in India on the cheap @ a 5 star hospital/spa/hotel,just like a lot of people in the states do. If I have an emergency ...like say cutting my finger off...I get it put the hell back on asap for $56 a month by doctors who are not selfish money grubbing whores.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastRonin View Post
    I pay $56 a month in Canada for medical for my wife and I and whoever else in Canada need it. People who can't afford to pay..pay nothing. I have never had a problem with having to wait on a waiting list for anything, nor has any of my family. My mother has had cancer 5 times and has never been denied proper medication or attention.People that say bs like that are mislead by propagandists of the American insurance companies and medical assc.We (in my family)have all had major issues to be dealt with medically as well and have had no problems. If you have something extreme like a heart transplant or kidney...you might wait...but you could pay for it to be done in India on the cheap @ a 5 star hospital/spa/hotel,just like a lot of people in the states do. If I have an emergency ...like say cutting my finger off...I get it put the hell back on asap for $56 a month by doctors who are not selfish money grubbing whores.
    Funny, cause I just looked up cancer survival rates per country, and US is in the lead... somehow... someway with our failed system.

    Here is a nice little ditty, not even put out by a insurance corp.


    Only Way to Reduce Costs is to Ration Healthcare
    By **** Morris

    When all of America's top health insurers and providers met at the White House this week and pledged to save $2 trillion over the next decade in health costs, they were pledging to sabotage our medical care. The blunt truth, which everybody agreed to keep quiet, is that the only way to reduce these costs is to ration healthcare, thereby destroying our system.

    Here's why:

    Essential to any cost reduction is a cut in doctors' fees. Congress is trying to cut Medicare fees by 21 percent. But cuts in fees and doctors' incomes will just discourage people from entering the profession and those already in it from practicing. The limited number of doctors and nurses in the United States is the key constraint on the availability of healthcare. Our national inventory of 800,000 doctors is growing at only about 1 percent a year (18,000 med school graduates annually minus retirements), while the nurse population is stagnant at 1.4 million. To stretch these limited resources so that they can treat 50 million more people is possible only through the most severe kind of rationing.

    As in Canada, the best way to cut medical costs is to refrain from using the best drugs to treat cancer and other illnesses, thereby economizing at the expense of patients' lives. Forty-four percent of the drugs approved by the Canadian health authorities for use in their country are not allowed by the healthcare system due to their high cost. As a result, death rates from cancer are 16 percent higher in Canada than in the United States. We will pay for the attempt to save $2 trillion with our lives. (And remember, one cannot opt out of the Canadian system and pay for the medications out of pocket.)

    The only real way to save money on the scale projected is to ration healthcare services. Optimists say that this can be achieved by increased use of preventive care. But the Canadian experience indicates that when government - or its satellite private insurance providers - ration healthcare, they cut preventive care first. In Canada, colonoscopies are so rationed that the colon cancer rate is 25 percent higher than in the U.S. (even though Canada has a much smaller proportion of poor people, whose frequently bad diets make them more prone to the disease).

    Obama's pretension that nobody will find changes in his or her current health insurance plans except for a magical reduction in their cost by $2,500 a year is a fool's proposition. Private health insurers will be no more private than TARP-funded banks or government-subsidized car companies are in Obama's America. They will be controlled by government healthcare planners who will approve treatments, limit drug use, hold down medical incomes and bring their cost-cutting programs to bear. Inevitably, their ax will fall on the oldest and the sickest among us, those least "deserving" of our newly limited and, under Obama's program, diminishing healthcare resources.

    The other radical changes Obama is bringing about in our nation can always be reversed. New taxes can be repealed or lowered. That which was nationalized can be privatized. Government which has grown can be cut. But once the healthcare system is extended to cover everyone, with no commensurate increase in the resources available, the change will be forever. The vicious cycle of cuts in medical resources and in the number of doctors and nurses will doom healthcare in this country. This wanton destruction will not be reversible by any bill or program. A crucial part of our quality of life - the best healthcare in the world - will be gone forever.

    Politically, voters will feel the impact of these "reforms" very quickly. When they face rejection or limitation at the hands of the bureaucrats, they will quickly understand that their options have become limited. Just as in the 1990s, when HMOs first became universal, the patient outrage will create a political force all its own and those who foisted this brave new world on the American people will be in their crosshairs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    And as far as the government not being able to run a national program, you trust our government to run a national military program right? so If they can do that why can't they run a series of checkups? that is a poor excuse, although I do agree the government does have a habit of just putting on a show without actually getting anything done, but something does need to happen. The government already has a prgram for all their employees why not extend it nationally? and the small business argument is weak too, My uncle owns a alarm system company and a friend of mine owns a fire supression company and they both agree and are for this. It is better to pay a fixed price for healthcar for their employees instead of it going up 200% every year. and as far as goventment should be involved and no oversight, isnt that a reason why we are in a economic situation? cuz of all these mortage companies being unethical and selling house to people who cant afford the house then with all knowning they cant pay it back goes ahead and sells the mortage to someone else? Not to mention short selling and all the wall street fast money nonsense that goes on, you dont think if there were more regualtion and rules to follow thatsome of this could have been prevented? if there was a guidline that said you had to actually afford this house in order to buy it, some of this could have been avoided? dont get me wrong equal blame if more goes on the jackasses that work for walmart and think they can buy a 4 bedroom house.

    p.s. sorry for the long jumbled paragraph I was just typing what I wanted to say without organizing thoughts into paragraphs and also I did not read the 2 above articles but am going to
    I will get into the first part later, because there is alot there, and I dont have that much time .

    Anyway, the Military was established by the constitution, ratified by the states, as you have seen me before advocating. All these bullcrap failed social programs on the other hand are unconstitutional because they overstep the states, when the states have the proper hierarchy to take care of their own people. If the states wanted oversight of the medical industry, then so be it, the tenth amendments affords them that, draft up a plan, and lets see it. But the federal government stepping in (Who is already trillions of dollars in the hole) and taking the reigns is absurd. Do you believe that the business structure would change with uncle sam tapping on your shoulder? Or do you think that bag of Saline would be more heavily scrutinized because of the use it was used for?

    As for the government program, coming from years in the military, if you want to set that as your standard, please be my guest. I for one would like to keep far away from that system, as I know that system. If you want military type health care for your children, then join the military, I have been through that health system and don't care to go back.

    As for the economic situation, you seemed to be spitballing MSNBC. The economic crisis was started with the civil relief act started by carter and given new legs by Clinton. Banks were not offering up sub prime extravegant loans because they wanted to, but instead they were forced to by good old politicians to include Barney Frank... which how he got on this administrations panel is beyond me. It is a good reason to call for regulation, but it was regulations that got us there in the first place... kind of like two wrongs don't make a right. If you remember before, it wasn't that easy to get a home loan, prior to the CRA. Now the system is resetting itself, and catching up from the failed CRA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgoode View Post
    lol are u serious....obviously you dont work in the medical field....try working in it and then see how much non involvement you want....hospitals are understaffing and cutting corners with patient care, i see it everyday we need govt assistance
    This of course requires ignoring the massive amount of interference and 'help' the health care industry is already recieving. Because only ignoring that allows people to not ask the question of whether or not all that interference and 'help' are really necessary and in fact may be causing a lot of the problems that exist for which more interference and 'help' are supposed to be the solution.

    they dont care, they get paid even if your not the one who pays them... (maybe not a dentist) but Dr's make their money regardless....
    No they don't. Medicare and Medicaid squeeze pennies so hard you can hear Lincoln screaming in pain. They often don't pay, or require such ridiculous amounts of paperwork in order to get payment that doctors are increasingly not accepting patients on those 'plans'.

    yeah but the point is we need a healthcare system that works like european and canadian ones
    Great idea! According the most recent WHO report all those systems have almost universally lower survivability rates and times for almost every form of cancer and other disease known to man, in addition to long waits and other defects. But hey, so long as everyone gets roughly the same level of **** care it must be better. In fact, that's one of the ways the WHO report weasled socialized medicine to a better rating. In order to prove single payer systems were better, they automatically rated them higher because they were single payer. In other words they begged their own question and had to do logical contortions to prove that socialized medice was better than the hampered and managed market we have.

    less gvt involvment does NOT create better competition in healthcare...you cant go "i'm having a heart attack...but i guess ill wait to get a quote on the best deal....." healthcare doesnt work like that bottom line
    Funny, you can't get into a car accident and say, "Oh damn, now I need coverage..." Oh wait, that's right. People can plan ahead.

    Perhaps you could explain the mystical, magical nature of health care that makes it immune to market forces which create more supply and higher quality and lower prices in every other more free sector of the market? Oh, and also as a heads up, if you think the US has a free market in health care then you should check yourself into a hotel, the kind with rubber rooms. The US has a heavily government managed health care system with regulations, controls, and mandates at all levels of government aimed at making the system 'better'. The results have been less than stellar and are not free market in nature. When you compare the US system to European/Canadian single payer systems your comparing de facto to de jury socialism respectively for all intents and purposes.

    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    I have worked in a hospital for the past 3 year, nurse aid, ER tech and just graduated with my RN. My personal belief is that it is a business nothing more. Caring for patients or the citys well being is a bunch of bull it is strictly businesss, I am for government stepping in here.
    That's nice. Though I doubt your experience level since you seem to have missed the previous ten trillion times the government has already 'stepped in' and the problems it has caused. Or are you honestly unaware of the myriad of regulations managing this and related industries? I mean, have you honestly missed the fact that a significant portion of our system is already government mandated single payer, otherwise known as Medicare and Medicaid?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastRonin View Post
    I pay $56 a month in Canada for medical for my wife and I and whoever else in Canada need it. People who can't afford to pay..pay nothing. I have never had a problem with having to wait on a waiting list for anything, nor has any of my family. My mother has had cancer 5 times and has never been denied proper medication or attention.People that say bs like that are mislead by propagandists of the American insurance companies and medical assc.
    No, they are reporting facts. Shortages do not hit all people and not all equally. The existence of waiting lists, rationing of care, and people dying while waiting is not only predicted by economic forecasting, it is documented. The Canadian government itself admitted such problems existed, the Frazier Institute has gone to hell and back documenting them as one source. I mean, the damn wait times used to even be listed on the sites for Calgary and Alberta, probably still are. Last I looked it was more than a year for general surgery, more than 6 months for an MRI, almost 3 months for cardiac surgery. Wait lists and other problems associated with socialized health care are not myths or propoganda, they are well known and documented problems with those systems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    and as far as goventment should be involved and no oversight, isnt that a reason why we are in a economic situation? cuz of all these mortage companies being unethical and selling house to people who cant afford the house then with all knowning they cant pay it back goes ahead and sells the mortage to someone else? Not to mention short selling and all the wall street fast money nonsense that goes on, you dont think if there were more regualtion and rules to follow thatsome of this could have been prevented? if there was a guidline that said you had to actually afford this house in order to buy it, some of this could have been avoided? dont get me wrong equal blame if more goes on the jackasses that work for walmart and think they can buy a 4 bedroom house.

    my .02$
    Which thanks to the government and your lack of economic knowledge is actually worth .0000001$ at this point. We are not in our current economic position because of a lack of regulation, we are here precisely because of regulation. It was regulation that incentivized banks to give bad loans, and in fact threatened punishment with fines if they didn't meet a certain quotas. It was regulation in the form of the Fed that flooded the market with easy credit and cash to spend on those loans. It was regulation which also created the incentive to originate and then sell off the loans as quickly as possible and lead to an unsustainable securitization process.

    The congress wanted the loans made. Fannie and Freddie were the biggest buyers and essentially made the government a cosigner on every loan, and before and during their push HUD/FHA did it's own part pushing bad loans to people who couldn't pay them back, a myriad of government agencies had varying degrees of oversight of this process and none of them stepped in to stop anything, and the Fed provided all the easy credit and cash people wanted. It would take a very twisted perception, one essentially disconnected with reality, to blame our current problems on private organizations when the congress set the incentives, the government at large cosigned the loans they wanted made and oversaw the process, and the Fed provided the fuel in terms of credit and cash. Where in there does the private market do anything in there except respond to the incentives and work within the rules that the government itself had set up?

    No, what we have here is another clear example of the government thinking it can wish away the economic consequences of its policies and then when their policies end up passing a putrid gas that lingers and threatens to suffocate people, they stand around with a Who Farted look on their faces and start pointing fingers at anyone and everyone but themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    This of course requires ignoring the massive amount of interference and 'help' the health care industry is already recieving. Because only ignoring that allows people to not ask the question of whether or not all that interference and 'help' are really necessary and in fact may be causing a lot of the problems that exist for which more interference and 'help' are supposed to be the solution.
    No, they are reporting facts. Shortages do not hit all people and not all equally. The existence of waiting lists, rationing of care, and people dying while waiting is not only predicted by economic forecasting, it is documented. The Canadian government itself admitted such problems existed, has gone to hell and back documenting them as one source. I mean, the damn wait times used to even be listed on the sites for Calgary and Alberta, probably still are. Last I looked it was more than a year for general surgery, more than 6 months for an MRI, almost 3 months for cardiac surgery. Wait lists and other problems associated with socialized health care are not myths or propoganda, they are well known and documented problems with those systems.


    "Funny, cause I just looked up cancer survival rates per country, and US is in the lead... somehow... someway with our failed system."
    My wife works in our hospital scheduling dept. and the longest you wait is a week to two weeks at best for an MRI. If its an emergency you get one right away like I did. If you have something that isn't serious you will get pushed back a little...but the beauty is you can ALWAYS go somewhere else.Your right that wait times in some areas are longer, that is because of lack of health care providers. Better to wait then not get it at all.
    The US has specialized cancer clinics that deal with Cancer specifically that some people can afford. It also has a warmer climate on average which is known to help people with cancer recover easier and faster. I mean Cuba has free health care and is world renowned...they outrank everybody on that cancer survival list.
    For the rich sure there are faster better ways to get health care if you want it I say pay for it. But for the middle class to poor the system is good. The only problem is greedy ass medical workers leaving to the states to make more $$.The ones who believe in helping people over making $$ stay and are good medical personal for the most part.As for problems..geez every country has them. They have them in every single field. The Government does not care about you and me, and you will never see any kind of "perfect" system come out from them.I am glad I didn't have an HMO or was living in the states when say I cut my thumb almost clean off.I wouldn't have been able to afford to put it back on.The states is a first/second and third class world in some parts of the country.They can dismiss you out of the hospital if you don't have insurance...
    When I lived in Alberta it had some of the best run hospitals that I have seen(with the exception of LaCombe..those retards almost killed my sister).A friend of the family needed heart surgery and got it that week. My grandpa needed it immediately and got it that day. The only big problem we have is that we are extremely understaffed. That is because of greed.Plain and simple....that and a government that is like every other government in the world,selfish and truly uncaring.
    If a system came out where insurance was low cost, competitive and was available to the poor. Where doctors were plentiful and there were no wait times...I would be all over that. Will it ever happen? Hells no it won't. Insurance companies would lose big bucks...which means politicians would lose big bucks...which means it ain't gonna happen.The world is going to hell in a hand basket and faster everyday.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastRonin View Post
    My wife works in our hospital scheduling dept. and the longest you wait is a week to two weeks at best for an MRI. If its an emergency you get one right away like I did. If you have something that isn't serious you will get pushed back a little...but the beauty is you can ALWAYS go somewhere else.Your right that wait times in some areas are longer, that is because of lack of health care providers. Better to wait then not get it at all.
    A lack of health care providers is called a shortage. Shortages only happen when the government intervenes in a market and sets the price of a good or service below market level which leads to overconsumption along with a disincentive to increase supply to match demand. And as far as I know no one in the US is going without. The 40 million supposedly uninsured includes people like me, who for quite some time went voluntarily without insurance, as well as illegal immigrants who can get care on demand at any ER right now.

    The US has specialized cancer clinics that deal with Cancer specifically that some people can afford. It also has a warmer climate on average which is known to help people with cancer recover easier and faster. I mean Cuba has free health care and is world renowned...they outrank everybody on that cancer survival list.
    Sure, if you're whacked in the head enough to believe Cuban health care stats. Their literacy is also great because they don't count the people who can't read as well and their prison population and anybody who is killed for political dissent.

    For the rich sure there are faster better ways to get health care if you want it I say pay for it. But for the middle class to poor the system is good. The only problem is greedy ass medical workers leaving to the states to make more $$.
    Oh those bastards, actually wanting to have a say in what they receive in return for their labor. What scum. By the way, whatever you do for a living, I've decided I need a lot of it but only at half to a quarter of the price you normally charge. Give it to me. Now. Do you hesitate? Wow, what greed you demonstrate...

    The ones who believe in helping people over making $$ stay and are good medical personal for the most part.As for problems..geez every country has them. They have them in every single field. The Government does not care about you and me, and you will never see any kind of "perfect" system come out from them.I am glad I didn't have an HMO or was living in the states when say I cut my thumb almost clean off.I wouldn't have been able to afford to put it back on.The states is a first/second and third class world in some parts of the country.They can dismiss you out of the hospital if you don't have insurance...
    I routinely hear this but have never seen a documented case that wasn't mired in a bunch of other reasons for dismissing the person, or some horrid mistake happening. Federal law in the US actually prohibits refusal of care at an ER, which is why so many ERs, especially around the southern borders of the US, are so overused. Several of my friends are doctors and nurses in local ERs, if the refused a case they would likely be prosecuted for it. People over 65 have Medicare, people under that age and who earn low wages have Medicaid, and these two programs alone already account for half of all medical bills paid in the US. Perhaps I'm missing something...

    When I lived in Alberta it had some of the best run hospitals that I have seen(with the exception of LaCombe..those retards almost killed my sister).A friend of the family needed heart surgery and got it that week. My grandpa needed it immediately and got it that day. The only big problem we have is that we are extremely understaffed. That is because of greed.Plain and simple....that and a government that is like every other government in the world,selfish and truly uncaring.
    Wanting to set your own price for services you provide is greed? How interesting. So if I turn down an offer to work for an employer because they only offer 60% of what I'm making now, I'm greedy and depriving the world of my services? Well, that presumes they have a right to those services to begin with. They don't. My labor is mine to do with as I see fit, not yours or anyone else's to get on demand. That doesn't change whether I'm a street cleaner or a cardiac surgeon.

    If a system came out where insurance was low cost, competitive and was available to the poor. Where doctors were plentiful and there were no wait times...I would be all over that. Will it ever happen? Hells no it won't.
    It could happen, if the government got out of the business of health care. There is nothing magical about health care that makes its delivery immune to market forces. For example here in the US the government could: end AMA control of the number of school seats available to doctors which would increase the supply of doctors; end state and federal mandates that stop proper risk assessment and insurance pricing; end FDA control over the drug supply; end doctor control over RX privileges; repeal licensing laws; expand tax deductable status of health care to individual buyers since right now only companies get a tax break for offering insurance plans.

    There is only one way, and I do mean one way, to truly make health care affordable, and that is to increase supply. No government solution does that, they can only rearrange existing supply and that has consequences which lead to long term shortages.

    Insurance companies would lose big bucks...which means politicians would lose big bucks...which means it ain't gonna happen.The world is going to hell in a hand basket and faster everyday.
    Actually insurance companies would do quite well in a competitive market so long as they were meeting consumer demand. But, that's the crux of it and why insurance companies, along with most other companies, would rather lobby the government to give them a managed market and protection from competition. They sell this protectionist BS as in the public interest when it never really is. Perfect example is the AMA originally shutting down nearly half the medical schools in the US after the issuing of the Flexner Report. At the time in the AMA Journals they were quite honest in that it was a fight between homeopaths and aleopaths, the AMA representing the latter. It was sold to the public as a quality of care issue, but the end result was less doctors and higher prices. The same argument falls on its face elsewhere.

    For example, were we to do the same thing with cars and demand all cars be of BMW or higher quality all we'd do is make cars dramatically more expensive on the argument that people are better off without Cheverolets. Are Chevies as good as Bimmers? Likely not, but the world wouldn't be better off without the option to buy both depending on their priorities and means. By eliminating a portion of the supply of doctors in the name of quality all that happened in the end was the demand was centered on a smaller relative supply and whatever quality of care improvements were supposed to result were likely lost due to shortages and spontaneous rationing in light of increased demand, and the prices went up and the government then had to step in again to redistribute the cost. In the end the only people who were likely helped were the doctors who saw a proportionate increase in their salaries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    A lack of health care providers is called a shortage. Shortages only happen when the government intervenes in a market and sets the price of a good or service below market level which leads to overconsumption along with a disincentive to increase supply to match demand. And as far as I know no one in the US is going without. The 40 million supposedly uninsured includes people like me, who for quite some time went voluntarily without insurance, as well as illegal immigrants who can get care on demand at any ER right now.



    Sure, if you're whacked in the head enough to believe Cuban health care stats. Their literacy is also great because they don't count the people who can't read as well and their prison population and anybody who is killed for political dissent.



    Oh those bastards, actually wanting to have a say in what they receive in return for their labor. What scum. By the way, whatever you do for a living, I've decided I need a lot of it but only at half to a quarter of the price you normally charge. Give it to me. Now. Do you hesitate? Wow, what greed you demonstrate...



    I routinely hear this but have never seen a documented case that wasn't mired in a bunch of other reasons for dismissing the person, or some horrid mistake happening. Federal law in the US actually prohibits refusal of care at an ER, which is why so many ERs, especially around the southern borders of the US, are so overused. Several of my friends are doctors and nurses in local ERs, if the refused a case they would likely be prosecuted for it. People over 65 have Medicare, people under that age and who earn low wages have Medicaid, and these two programs alone already account for half of all medical bills paid in the US. Perhaps I'm missing something...



    Wanting to set your own price for services you provide is greed? How interesting. So if I turn down an offer to work for an employer because they only offer 60% of what I'm making now, I'm greedy and depriving the world of my services? Well, that presumes they have a right to those services to begin with. They don't. My labor is mine to do with as I see fit, not yours or anyone else's to get on demand. That doesn't change whether I'm a street cleaner or a cardiac surgeon.






    Actually insurance companies would do quite well in a competitive market so long as they were meeting consumer demand. But, that's the crux of it and why insurance companies, along with most other companies, would rather lobby the government to give them a managed market and protection from competition. They sell this protectionist BS as in the public interest when it never really is. Perfect example is the AMA originally shutting down nearly half the medical schools in the US after the issuing of the Flexner Report. At the time in the AMA Journals they were quite honest in that it was a fight between homeopaths and aleopaths, the AMA representing the latter. It was sold to the public as a quality of care issue, but the end result was less doctors and higher prices. The same argument falls on its face elsewhere.

    For example, were we to do the same thing with cars and demand all cars be of BMW or higher quality all we'd do is make cars dramatically more expensive on the argument that people are better off without Cheverolets. Are Chevies as good as Bimmers? Likely not, but the world wouldn't be better off without the option to buy both depending on their priorities and means. By eliminating a portion of the supply of doctors in the name of quality all that happened in the end was the demand was centered on a smaller relative supply and whatever quality of care improvements were supposed to result were likely lost due to shortages and spontaneous rationing in light of increased demand, and the prices went up and the government then had to step in again to redistribute the cost. In the end the only people who were likely helped were the doctors who saw a proportionate increase in their salaries.
    An excellent, well thought out and argued post.Although our opinions differ on more than a few things lol.
    I thought you meant shortages as to medicine not in amounts of HCP available. My fault for misunderstanding you.I agree, there is a serious lack of medical personal in Canada that needs to be remedied.
    I do know many families that do not have health coverage in the US. My wifes mothers best friend died because of it. Many can not afford it.Some of her family died because of not being able to make it to the right hospital covered in their HMO.Why isn't there a slew of paperwork available to the public on it?Why isn't it reported far and wide? No one in government or the medical business machine cares about the poor.There is a lot of undocumented things that happen in the world my friend.Ever heard of invisible children?
    BTW have you EVER been to Cuba? Do you know any Cubans personally?I do.They are very articulate and have an educational understanding far surpassing that of any average Americans that I know(of which I know a lot). The American school system is a joke. The basic knowledge taught in comparison to Canada is a joke.I can name all your states for instance...I have met few Americans that can.Their main goal is to sluice people in to college as quickly as possible.I am aghast at the lack of common knowledge that people in American schools have.I am not supporting Communism or any political party or Government as I believe they are all useless fyi.
    I DO think it is greed when you charge say $2000 for 3 stitches and a sample pack of T3's(which a helper of mine received) or a bill for $1350 just to talk to a doctor, that is BS.No one deserves that.The difference between what I do and a doctor who charges ridiculous amounts is there is not a price competition among doctors. They can and do charge whatever the hell they want to.I have to cut prices when my competitors cut prices so I can stay competitive, they don't. You don't run around bleeding to death getting quotes from other doctors for the cost of saving your life.I don't get to set my own prices for my work because its not a life and death situation.
    Under the Hippocratic Oath over charging for services that people need is hypocritical. If people get into health care as a way to JUST make money it is disgusting to me. You should want to do it to help people plain and simple. I don't know any poor doctors in any country do you?

    It could happen, if the government got out of the business of health care. There is nothing magical about health care that makes its delivery immune to market forces. For example here in the US the government could: end AMA control of the number of school seats available to doctors which would increase the supply of doctors; end state and federal mandates that stop proper risk assessment and insurance pricing; end FDA control over the drug supply; end doctor control over RX privileges; repeal licensing laws; expand tax deductable status of health care to individual buyers since right now only companies get a tax break for offering insurance plans.

    There is only one way, and I do mean one way, to truly make health care affordable, and that is to increase supply. No government solution does that, they can only rearrange existing supply and that has consequences which lead to long term shortages
    .

    I agree that it is possible.Not that it will.It won't.The governments across the world could put down their arms and devote themselves to feeding clothing and healing the poor of the world..will they do that? No they won't.They could though.They spend tax $$ on such utter useless crap. Like a a load of cash in Canada to cover a statues penis...I mean come on.
    As for insurance I agree they could do well..but why would they want to change what works for them or for politicians?
    I think medical school should be free in order to increase supply.There also needs to be more schools.It won't happen but it should.
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    Exclamation So we understand more about what we pay for


    Bleh. You socialists just don't get it when it come to understanding what you are paying for to begin with. You think it is just so simple. I work in the billing office for a major hsopital serving a large metropolitan area as well as surrounding areas. It basically comes down to several things.

    A. You pay 800.00 for a bag of saline because the hospital has to pay for the saline itself, pay the person administering it, pay for inventory/storage/retrieval of said item by hospital employees, pay for maintenance of the facility you are seen at and the equipment used there, pay for those who registered you at the clinic or hospital to get your info correct, and pay for everyone who has to work on the bill you generate when you come in to get services like the medical billing Coders, insurance billers, and patient billing. Oh, and lets not forget the HUGE premium that is paid for malpractice insurance on top of all that.

    So in your view all you got was some saline, but SO much more went on JUST to make sure you could be provided that saline in the first place. If the people/things listed above arn't paid for, you can't receive treatment, period. No one would be able to do it.

    B. As has been mentioned, if you don't have health insurance that is out of choice. If you don't make enough money to buy your own you can get on medicaid and be covered. If you don't qualify for medicaid you make enough to buy your own in the majority of cases; the problem in this scenario is people don't want to give up spending on the things that they think are important like large screen HDTV's, Blu-Rays, eating out, or TOO MANY SUPPLEMENTS (yeah I said it, lol), etc. Also, people complain that their job doesn't offer health care. Well, despite the job market not being what it used to be, it is still a market. If your job refuses to provide health care, change to an employer who offers it. If an employer knows it will lose its talent because of availability health insurance, they will make the sacrifice of getting it if you are worth it to them. Consequently, it may not be your dream job, but if health care is your priority, you too should be willing to sacrifice to obtain it instead of saying you won't give up or change anything because Uncle Sam should just tax the rich more so your health care can be paid by the tax payers. That is an extremely selfish mentality. And wait, don't all the socialists say that capitalism is selfish and about greed? At least capitalism provides incentive to get something done ourselves instead of taking from others to solve our own problems.

    Bottom line, many more people could be insured if they chose to be. Also, if more people were insured, more bills would be paid instead of charged off, thus lowering the cost for providing healthcare to everyone in general.

    C. Healthcare should be more like a business operating under free market rules of supply and demand. So much to say on this one.

    1. The government interfears with the whole pricing situation because they do pay for a significant portion or the bills by medicare A, B, and D, Medicaid, and C.H.I.P.. Because the hospitals/clinics are ASSURED payment (most of the time) by these programs, the law of supply and demand gets way out of whack. Suppliers know how the system works, they know they will get paid by the hospitals even if they charge a huge amount of money for their supplies, hospitals just have to pass along the cost, just like any business has to do, thing is, the money keeps coming in to pay for it, therefore you don't see a reduction in price because payment is guaranteed. Same goes for the hospital/clinic itslf providing the service. They know they will get paid, so there is little incentive to compete by lowering prices when the governement pays for roughly half of all the bills I see anyway.

    Government paying bills keeps prices artificailly high on all ends. Most lasik eye surgury is not covered at all by the government and year over year the quality improves and prices come down to match the market. Wow what an example.

    2. Drs charge what they charge because they perform labor that can't be done by anyone else off the street. They also have to pay HUGE malpractice insurance premiums, and usually have ENORMOUS student debt to pay off as well. You say there is a shortage of staff? Guess why, not enough incentive; create enough incentive and the void will be filled. Guess what the best and only real incentive is in this life as far as getting labor done to make a living. Yup MONEY, the big green monster, $$$$. You don't provide that, and you don't get anyone willing to provide the services you want performed. You wouldn't tell Michaelangelo to go paint your raised ceiling for the salary of a day laborer; you'd be laughed at.

    The only alternative to incentve is to force people into this profession and force them to accept your set salary. Gee, that plan kinda sounds like Communist "Mother Russia". How was their health care system in the 70's/80's compared to USA's again? Thought so.

    D. You have insurance and are shocked you still have to pay huge bills? Guess what; you may want to read your Insurance carrier's policy. I don't say reread here because I assume you didn't read the policy in the first place if you are shocked that you still have a balanace to pay after the insurance paid its portion. You do know that in most cases with insurance, even with the government health insurance programs I mentioned above, you STILL have to PAY your CO-PAY (per your policy) each visit, and your Yearly DEDUCTIBLE (per your policy) before the insurance will pay a red cent, right? Then you get to pay the Co-Insurance rate (per your policy) of whatever percentage: 20%, 30%, 40%, etc. And FYI, Medicare (Government Insurance) pays 80% and leave patients with 20%, if your private insurance makes you pay more, you just don't have that great of an Insurance policy. Tough noogies; live with it or get something better.

    Read before you sign up for a certain insurance and understand the terms to begin with. If you don't like what is offered, again, make the sacrifice to get something better if quality Health Insurance is your priority.

    E. Solutions: Tell the government to get the hell out of the way. Get some Tort reform so malpractice suites arn't guaranteed lottery winnings of millions upon millions every time thus making malpractice insurance such a huge cost in the whole equation. Oh, and the whole cost of treating illegal immigrants in the ER on the taxpayers dime would be a non issue if the border had a wall there to stop most of them coming in to be treated in the first place; I'm not advocating not treating anyone based on any status, just that the decision would never HAVE to be made in the first place. Get the government to incentivise competition instead of socialize stagnation if they do anyting at all. Get the governement to standardize insurance efficiencies in IT, Good grief they are great, lumbering beasts to deal with when their right hand doesn't know what their left is doing. Get the Government to incentivize getting insurance in the first place.

    I honestly don't have all the answers, I just know that the governement socializing or rationing healthcare by interfearing isn't one of them. I hope the above brings some understaning to those who don't get why Healthcare costs so much, and present the idea that many without insurance just don't do their part to get coverage in the first place.
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    http://wtopnews.com/?nid=104&sid=1691368

    This is what's wrong with healthcare...
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastRonin View Post
    An excellent, well thought out and argued post.Although our opinions differ on more than a few things lol.
    I thought you meant shortages as to medicine not in amounts of HCP available. My fault for misunderstanding you.I agree, there is a serious lack of medical personal in Canada that needs to be remedied.
    I meant both, actually. It's an irony of the socialized systems elsewhere that the US has such huge drug costs. The price controls in other countries make it barely profitable to still sell the drugs there so long as the US bears the burden of development and taking up the slack of any marginal return not gotten elsewhere. Were the US to implement price controls a la Canada on drugs en masse you'd see a serious shortage of meds hit fairly quickly with little to no development taking place as well.

    As for the shortage, you can't 'address' it other than to let supply and demand equillibrate. The governemnt may raise the prices doctors can receive and you'll get more of them, but the unerlying problem is you can't play market, you can't replace a genuine price system. You'll likely end up paying more than you should have in that situation.

    I do know many families that do not have health coverage in the US. My wifes mothers best friend died because of it. Many can not afford it. Some of her family died because of not being able to make it to the right hospital covered in their HMO.Why isn't there a slew of paperwork available to the public on it? Why isn't it reported far and wide? No one in government or the medical business machine cares about the poor.There is a lot of undocumented things that happen in the world my friend.Ever heard of invisible children?
    If they were denied at an ER then that hospital commited a crime. And the HMO act is a government action, not some creation of the private market. It is in fact the beginings of the rationing in the US that was predicted quite some time ago. As for the prices, once more I ask what is magical about health insurance that keeps prices high? In every other industry they tend to go down, at least those industries without major government interventions. And they go down despite high costs for specialized personel and machines. It isn't exactly a simple matter to manufacture a computer chip and bring a whole computer to market. You need multiple engineers working on it earning easily 6 figures each and specialized capital like clean rooms, pure silicon, ultra precise machinery, static free rooms, etc., etc., etc. Investments totally millions if not billions. Yet comuters are dirt cheap despite the massive capital investment needed to produce them. What too many analysts miss is that they are cheap because of that investment, not despite it.

    The reason things are reversed in the medical field is because there are disincentives to increasing supply as well as regulations and mandates galore that interfere with pricing, not the least of which is general inflation and entitlement programs creating more and more dollars to chase the existing supply pool. David Beido has done some great work in this field, specifically looking at the development and subsequent destruction of fraternal organizations and other voluntary, free market approaches to getting health care to people. As the government took on more and more of those functions prices went through the roof with little to no observable effect on availability. That's not a coincidence. Another great book that touches on this issue is The Unraveling of America, which addresses welfare programs in general but does touch on medicare and medicaid specifically as well.

    BTW have you EVER been to Cuba? Do you know any Cubans personally?
    No and yes respectively. The ones I know would rather die than go back, even if they had breast cancer.

    I do. They are very articulate and have an educational understanding far surpassing that of any average Americans that I know(of which I know a lot).
    Ever met any Cuban political prisoners? I have. Ever met any that Castro didn't want you to meet or who hadn't spent significant amounts of time in the US? It's easy to educate people with a public system if you kill massive amounts of demand by throwing people in prison and stifling dissent. A socialist system which never has to meet any real demand thanks to routine massacre, deprivation and imprisonment isn't one that's going to have too many problems.

    The American school system is a joke. The basic knowledge taught in comparison to Canada is a joke. I can name all your states for instance...I have met few Americans that can.Their main goal is to sluice people in to college as quickly as possible. I am aghast at the lack of common knowledge that people in American schools have. I am not supporting Communism or any political party or Government as I believe they are all useless fyi.
    The American school system is virtually controlled by the government. What makes you think our government will do a better job with health care than it has with schooling? In fact our school system is a text book example of what happens when something is nationalized and actual demands are put on the system: quality goes down; cost goes up; costs are forced onto the tax payers who, haven't paid for the 'service' once already are more and more reluctant to pay again for a private alternative; the private industry due to a shrinking market ends up either getting entangled with the public side to get hold of some tax dollars, or ends up getting marginalized and serving a reduced market of only the rich and super rich at prices fewer and fewer people can afford. That is in fact exactly what we can expect over time should the government nationalize or even significantly raise its involvment with our health care system. The poor and increasingly over time the middle and upper middle class will come to rely on the system and not be able to afford the remaining alternatives; the rich will have their choice of whatever they want and everyone will bitch about 'the system' not working and not be willing to accept that it can't work.

    I DO think it is greed when you charge say $2000 for 3 stitches and a sample pack of T3's(which a helper of mine received) or a bill for $1350 just to talk to a doctor, that is BS. No one deserves that. The difference between what I do and a doctor who charges ridiculous amounts is there is not a price competition among doctors. They can and do charge whatever the hell they want to. I have to cut prices when my competitors cut prices so I can stay competitive, they don't.
    Greed? Maybe. So you're telling me if we enabled any other profession to charge whatever the hell they wanted, say auto mechanics, that they'd all become altruists and charge barely above cost? No, they'd suck the system for every penny it's worth, just like most any other person would. What you are missing is that they don't have some mystical power that allows them to do this, the system is geared to let that happen. We have laws and mandates that basically allow a doctor to get paid for anything he wants done. We have two massive single payer systems which spend everyone else's money on services demanded by other people. We have a defacto third party payment system in the form of employer provided health plans, again people spending money that largely isn't theirs on themselves. All of these and other factors allow people to essentially rape the system.

    As an analogy, do you know a single service that would work today without a computer? Our entire modern lifestyle is based on near instant communication and massive processing power. You would think that would put computer manufacturers in a position where they could charge damn near anything. But they can't, because the market in computers is still relatively free. Of course, should IBM get a law passed saying that all government servers have to be I Series and anyone who wants to interface with them has to use I Series, etc., well then guess what happens to the prices of those servers and IBM products in general? Kind of like getting a law passed saying if you want drug X to cure or treat condition Y, first you have to go to a legally designated drug dealer, otherwise known as a doctor/pharmacist. Or, kind of like getting a law passed which allows a professional association to exercise control over the supply of their service providers, like I don't know, letting the AMA control the supply of doctors for all intents and purposes. Suppose MicroSoft got a law passed controlling the supply of MSCE instructors and a law mandating the use of their and only their software for certain applications. Think their salaries might go up a bit?

    There was a time when doctors couldn't charge what ever they wanted to, it was before the government enabled them to do so. And the answer isn't to go to the opposite extreme in socialization and enact price controls, it's to get rid of the interventions that caused the problem to begin with. Get rid of the AMA's strangle hold on supply. End FDA monopoly on drug control and end doctors' monopoly on RX privileges. Make all health care costs tax deductible so people will be more willing to pay out of pocket. Repeal all laws that force insurance companies to pay for whatever a doctor orders, no matter how unnecessary. Repeal all laws and mandates which screw with insurance pricing. You say you don't support one approach or another, but you write of the US system as if it has somehow up until now escaped any significant government control or intervention. Nothing could further from the truth. When you speak of the problems with the system you pinpoint doctors. Do you honestly think that doctors are any more or less greedy than any other profession on the planet? If not, why does the raw greed present in us all allow us to merely charge ten to twenty times what we normally would for our services? You've got the problem nailed, but you are way off on identifying cause. If greed caused high prices nobody would be able to afford anything. Hell, we all need food to live, so why don't greedy farmers charge a thousand dollars per carrot? Something systemic has to fuel and enable that greed by tipping the bargaining scales in one party's favor. And doctors are in no more inherrently better bargaining position than a body shop for cars or a grocery store selling food.

    You don't run around bleeding to death getting quotes from other doctors for the cost of saving your life.
    No, you don't. But as with any other situation if you haven't planned ahead for an emergency and one arises, you would expect to pay a premium. This is a completely irrelevant point; people can and do plan ahead. Some choose not to, why the hell should anyone else pick up the tab for their stupidity and/or lack of responsibility? Why should they be immune from the premium that would arise in any such situation?

    I don't get to set my own prices for my work because its not a life and death situation.
    This is, once more, irrelevant. People can plan ahead. That is what insurance is for. And it would be a hell of a lot cheaper if the government would step out of the game and allow proper risk tiering, a la carte pricing, end mandates for forced coverage esepcially when it's for things which aren't strictly insurable risks, and either end the employer tax deductible status of payments or extend it to all health care costs including those made by individuals. In other words the instrument by which to tame these life and death situations exists and would be open to all and affordable for almost everyone if the government would stop interfering and jacking prices up.

    Several examples: Why the hell should I pay for drug/alcohol counseling coverage? I don't want it or need it, it's not a strictly insurable risk to begin with which means the cost of 'coverage' will necessarily be higher, but my insurance company is forced to include it in my policy. I don't want it, I have to pay for it. Why should high risk people not have to pay higher premiums? Connecticut used to have and for all I know does still have a law that prohibits charging higher premiums to breast cancer surviors. There are similar mandates throughout the country in all the states and some on the federal level as well I believe. A higher risk person should pay a higher price. Why the hell should I be forced to pick up the tab for someone else's risk? Why the hell should they be forced to pick up the tab for my family's history of heart disease? Why should every fat slob's extra risk be put on the bill of those who remain fit? Why should whites have to pay for the higher blood pressure of blacks? Why should blacks have to pay for the risk of dip**** whites who have a greater tendency to smear themselves across highways in sports cars they shouldn't be driving?

    Insurance companies are not the devil, they are like any other business. Give them the enablement and they'll rape the system. Let them alone and they'll serve the customer to get their business. Right now they are hobbled in many ways and enabled in others, and all of it adds up to higher prices for the consumer.

    You should want to do it to help people plain and simple. I don't know any poor doctors in any country do you?
    I call bull****. Everyone deserves to make whatever living they can. Doctors are not saints. We don't expect car mechanics to enter their trade for the sheer love of grease and tire tread. You're talking complete nonsense. All people enter into whatever trades they feel drawn to and which they think will earn them a living by putting their talents to the best use. Doctors are no different. If you have a problem with thier pricing I suggest you look into the many ways in which the system is rigged to enable them.

    I agree that it is possible.Not that it will.It won't.The governments across the world could put down their arms and devote themselves to feeding clothing and healing the poor of the world..will they do that? No they won't.They could though.
    No, they couldn't. That's what's underlying what you're missing in this whole argument. The government is not the perfect cure for the imperfect market, it's just a bunch of people with the power to make laws, levy taxes, and kill dissenters. The problems we're dealing with are not problems of obedience, you can't wave the magic wand of legislation and make them go away. They are in fact due to too many attempts to wave that very wand and the morass of **** that's been left in the wake of such interventions.

    They spend tax $$ on such utter useless crap. Like a a load of cash in Canada to cover a statues penis...I mean come on.
    I agree, if we could take the politics out of politics, then political systems would fuction perfectly. However, you may as well try to get rid of the friction and subsequent heat and all the problems it causes in internal combustion engines. It's not going to happen.

    As for insurance I agree they could do well..but why would they want to change what works for them or for politicians?
    They won't. So what makes you think politicians will change that too? More controls will be passed off as being in the interest of the people or the poor, it will end up being another enablement of the doctors and corporations at the expense of the people in the end. The answer isn't more government or putting 'the right people' in charge. It's ending the existing enablements and thus forcing the doctors and the insurance companies to deal directly with the consumers that are their customers. Making them deal directly with the people that are supposed to be their customers, the income they are willing to devote to their services, and the expectations they have and want met.

    I think medical school should be free in order to increase supply. There also needs to be more schools. It won't happen but it should.
    There is no such thing as free, there is only 'on someone else's dime'. And it shouldn't happen. We'd get a glut and end up with unemployed med school graduates. The supply of doctors like everything else should be dictated by the demand for such. That is something that can only be discovered, not known in advance and planned for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    http://wtopnews.com/?nid=104&sid=1691368

    This is what's wrong with healthcare...
    Part of it, yeah. But if those cops hadn't called EMTs and ambulances people would have looked a them like they were inhuman. This is an issue where people really do want to have their cake and eat it too. What I say is free up the whole system, end or severely limit government involvment. You want the FDA? Fine, let them operate but let unapproved drugs be sold as well so long as they're clearly marked. Make ALL health care costs tax deductible for everyone. End insurance mandates and restrictions and requirements, allow proper pricing. End AMA control of the supply of doctors. End special privileges for doctors like RX. Free the whole damn system. Then, on the state level and on a pay as you go basis, evaluate hard luck cases and either get them help on the government dime or get them help and then garnish their wages for what they should have paid for themselves. Try and match the trully needy up with charity givers when at all possible and exhaust alternatives before resorting to spending government money.
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    Smile Re: Drs pricing


    Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    The American school system is virtually controlled by the government. What makes you think our government will do a better job with health care than it has with schooling? In fact our school system is a text book example of what happens when something is nationalized and actual demands are put on the system: quality goes down; cost goes up; costs are forced onto the tax payers who, haven't paid for the 'service' once already are more and more reluctant to pay again for a private alternative; the private industry due to a shrinking market ends up either getting entangled with the public side to get hold of some tax dollars, or ends up getting marginalized and serving a reduced market of only the rich and super rich at prices fewer and fewer people can afford. That is in fact exactly what we can expect over time should the government nationalize or even significantly raise its involvment with our health care system. The poor and increasingly over time the middle and upper middle class will come to rely on the system and not be able to afford the remaining alternatives; the rich will have their choice of whatever they want and everyone will bitch about 'the system' not working and not be willing to accept that it can't work.

    Greed? Maybe. So you're telling me if we enabled any other profession to charge whatever the hell they wanted, say auto mechanics, that they'd all become altruists and charge barely above cost? No, they'd suck the system for every penny it's worth, just like most any other person would. What you are missing is that they don't have some mystical power that allows them to do this, the system is geared to let that happen. We have laws and mandates that basically allow a doctor to get paid for anything he wants done. We have two massive single payer systems which spend everyone else's money on services demanded by other people. We have a defacto third party payment system in the form of employer provided health plans, again people spending money that largely isn't theirs on themselves. All of these and other factors allow people to essentially rape the system.

    There was a time when doctors couldn't charge what ever they wanted to, it was before the government enabled them to do so. And the answer isn't to go to the opposite extreme in socialization and enact price controls, it's to get rid of the interventions that caused the problem to begin with. Get rid of the AMA's strangle hold on supply. End FDA monopoly on drug control and end doctors' monopoly on RX privileges. Make all health care costs tax deductible so people will be more willing to pay out of pocket. Repeal all laws that force insurance companies to pay for whatever a doctor orders, no matter how unnecessary. Repeal all laws and mandates which screw with insurance pricing. You say you don't support one approach or another, but you write of the US system as if it has somehow up until now escaped any significant government control or intervention. Nothing could further from the truth. When you speak of the problems with the system you pinpoint doctors. Do you honestly think that doctors are any more or less greedy than any other profession on the planet? If not, why does the raw greed present in us all allow us to merely charge ten to twenty times what we normally would for our services? You've got the problem nailed, but you are way off on identifying cause. If greed caused high prices nobody would be able to afford anything. Hell, we all need food to live, so why don't greedy farmers charge a thousand dollars per carrot? Something systemic has to fuel and enable that greed by tipping the bargaining scales in one party's favor. And doctors are in no more inherrently better bargaining position than a body shop for cars or a grocery store selling food.
    All very true, but see my previous post as to some of the reasons why things cost what they do.

    Also, Drs don't just say they want to charge one person 1000.00 for stiches and another person 400.00 for the same service. All services are already prices out in pricing books (at leaste at my hospital and clinics where I work). So a Dr will only charge you for what services you receive from him and the price is set for those services ahead of time. Drs do not just decide on the spot to charge what some consider an exhorbitant amount of money for their services. And actually, they only turn in their medical notes of what you had done in a particular visit. That visit's services are then billed the amounts listed in the pricing books for those services.

    And get this. The pricing books listing what every service will cost is priced out according to market value. Why can I say this? Well, each year or so the hospital has to renegotiate contracts with each insurance company, including big payers like medicaid and medicare. If the insurance company doesn't like our prices, they won't contract with us to be a prefered provider making us lose all the business they would bring with their members. We can't charge whatever we want, we have to charge services at an acceptable rate for the market.

    Also, you remember that $800.00 bag of saline or 1000.00 stitches? Well under the insurance contracts they only pay a fraction of that and we write off the rest up until the balance they tell us a patient will owe as their portion under the insurance policy. So the fee itself may be enormous, but the amount paid to us for that fee is usually just a fraction under our contracts.

    In my opinion, the only way to handle the problem of high priced health care and high priced insurance to match is NOT to throw someone elses money at the system, thus artificially maintaning the prices, but to help both businesses, hospitals and insurance companies lower the cost of doing business, thus ensuring competition in lower prices. All the people I mentioned in my above post who work to make it possible to provide health care at your Dr or ER visit have to put food on their table and pay rent themselves too, so you can't ask us to take minimum wage to lower your cost either. The fact remains that healthcare is still going to cost what is necessary to provide it at an acceptable market value, unless those factors affecting it's cost and the market itself go down, it won't either.

    If the cost of living was lowered people would have more money to spend on health care and it would be less expensie to provide at the same time. Instead of the governement taking more of my money to pay for someone else's care (which they already do with medicare and medicaid taxes), they should start by not taxing us as much, drilling for more oil and NG, and expecially building more refineries in the US so we don't get gouged by foreign gasoline suppliers, thus lowering the transportation cost of EVERYTHING we buy as a nation. Get us some more nuclear power stations like France uses to make make some real cheap energy and get these green energy prodjects moving forward faster as well. Make the changes to make living less expensive on the whole and most problems will solve themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saludable24 View Post
    All very true, but see my previous post as to some of the reasons why things cost what they do.
    And there's some truth to that, but how much of that cost is manufactured by the government through regulations? Quite a bit. As I point out elsewhere in my post there are plenty of other industries where labor and capital are highly specialized and costly, but the products are still affordable. That's because in those industries the costs aren't manufactured for the hell of it, they are taken on an opportunity cost basis. MRIs don't make medicine cheaper per se, as an example, but what you can find out with one would have required extensive and expensive and risky exploratory surgery in the past. So they are actually cheaper than the foregone alternative of tearning people open to see what's what. However there's a big difference between that kind of cost/investment and having to hire a staff of 70 admins per 1 doctor just to complete and file his/her required government paperwork for every fart they cut while on duty at the hospital.

    And get this. The pricing books listing what every service will cost is priced out according to market value. Why can I say this? Well, each year or so the hospital has to renegotiate contracts with each insurance company, including big payers like medicaid and medicare. If the insurance company doesn't like our prices, they won't contract with us to be a prefered provider making us lose all the business they would bring with their members. We can't charge whatever we want, we have to charge services at an acceptable rate for the market.
    And in that sense, yes, all prices are market prices. But the terms of the market are screwed beyond belief. Technically the price of oil is the market price, accounting for the ****load of regs and tax subsidies etc. There is some competition, but there are still a ****load of interventions that drive prices higher than they otherwise would be.

    The fact remains that healthcare is still going to cost what is necessary to provide it at an acceptable market value, unless those factors affecting it's cost and the market itself go down, it won't either.
    Precisely. And the only thing that will bring down costs in the long term is increased supply. By nature the government can't accomplish that end, not without taking from somewhere else first. The market can, if it is allowed to work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    I routinely hear this but have never seen a documented case that wasn't mired in a bunch of other reasons for dismissing the person, or some horrid mistake happening. Federal law in the US actually prohibits refusal of care at an ER, which is why so many ERs, especially around the southern borders of the US, are so overused. Several of my friends are doctors and nurses in local ERs, if the refused a case they would likely be prosecuted for it. People over 65 have Medicare, people under that age and who earn low wages have Medicaid, and these two programs alone already account for half of all medical bills paid in the US. Perhaps I'm missing something...
    Under EMTALA, the hospital is required to provide a medical screening exam by a qualified healtcare practitoner to determine is the patient's complaint/presentation is a true "medical emergency." If it is, they are required to treat and stabilize the issue. If specific services are not available at that hospital to complete treatment, they are then required to stabilize the patient to the best of their abilities, and then transfer them to a facility that has the necessary capabilites to treat/fulfill that patient's medical need. For example: many small rural hospitals don't have the capability to treat extensive neurological, orthopaedic, or traumatic injury events. This can be due to either a limit of that facilities capabilites, or specific coverage of a given specialty is not available at that hospital for further treatment.

    Now - If the patient does not have an "emergency medical condition", the statute imposes no further obligation on the hospital.

    http://www.emtala.com/faq.htm

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    I have almost 10 years vested now in the Emergency Room as a Registered Nurse. Most of it spent in Level 1 or Level 2 Trauma Centers. I could go on for an hour what's wrong with our healthcare system. There is absolutely NO WAY someone from the outside looking in can even begin to fathom the complete healthcare issue. Unless you work in it everyday, and see it first-hand, you're only seeing half the problem. Now i'm certainly not throwing stones at those people that have opinions and don't work in healthcare either. There is just no way to completely understand the issue unless you're knee deep in it from the inside-out. I could go on for another hour about the E.R. overcrowding issue. The E.R. is treated like a doctors office by many; it's literally sickening at times.

    There is an UNBELIEVALBE amount of responsibility and liability that is on any given nurses' shoulders every single day in the clinical setting. It angers me to think about how hospital administration continues to add to that liability issue every single year without any additional pay increase or compensation. The "nurse" is supposed to do it all now - we're the housekeepers; the registration staff; the unit clerk; the waiter/waitress; the entertainment - Don't forget the actual "nursing care" is thrown in there somewhere as well. The focus of many hospitals has drifted so far from an actual "patient care" priority that it's disgusting at times. I refuse myself to ever follow that errant path. Patient care is and always will be my priority over all else.

    My E.R. saw over 500 people a few months ago on a given monday. You want to talk about overwhelming? We're often left to deal with what we have to make it through. No additional staff; nothing. Having the ability to make quick and accurate decisions as an E.R. nurse in order to save someone's life really is a gift; however, no matter how good you are, there are times when your ability/capacity to to do you job is far beyond the limit; yet admin still expects us to deal with it day after day. You wanna talk about overwhelming liability and stress. I'm thoroughly convinced that burnout is inevitable in nursing (especially the emergency room)...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cgoode View Post
    lol are u serious....obviously you dont work in the medical field....try working in it and then see how much non involvement you want....hospitals are understaffing and cutting corners with patient care, i see it everyday we need govt assistance
    That's also why a lot of those in the medical field are joining unions. Eventually folks get tired of getting crapped on and they fight back.
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    So Ron Paul was an OB/GYN....Would you guys be able to marry a woman that was a urologist?

    *Wife walks home* "Baby, Ive seen soooo many penises today. I don't think I could handle looking at one more."

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    Just wait guys....Im Canadian and according to the rest of the world our healthcare is amazing....free!!!....ya and wait times in Emerg. are 6-7 hours....wait time in clinics are 3-4hours....most people cant get a family doctor....if you neeed a catscan...well..join the massive waiting list, you need a transplant.....join the waiting list...

    its a nightmare up here, but hey its free and the government runs it. All our doctors Go South to the US because they are paid more and treated better....etc etc etc..

    If I was an American, Knowing whAt I know about This type of Healthcare...I would burn down the whitehouse before I ever allowed it to get as bad as it is up here.

    Enjoy your free healthcare in the coming months, just remember there will be a price for it, and whatever plan Obama has....if its gonna be even close to ours..its gonna fail Miserably!
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    " Fight Government Encroachment into Health Care! "

    Already gave up on health care a long time ago. "Government" can have for all I care.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bioman View Post
    " Fight Government Encroachment into Health Care! "

    Already gave up on health care a long time ago. "Government" can have for all I care.
    This also leads to a never ending liberal administration; it's about more than just the issue of health care.
  

  
 

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