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(RealClearPolitics)   Some Doctors in Oklahoma came up with a genius idea. Why not let free markets and open pricing decide medical care. Surprisingly it has led to better care, lower costs and it isn't done in a back alley and no one is fed dog food   (realclearpolitics.com) divider line 192
    More: Cool, dog food, free markets, pricing, anesthesiologists, health cares  
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13413 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Nov 2012 at 2:55 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-18 03:24:27 PM

Thisbymaster: "Because private insurance companies or the government generally pick up most of the tab for medical services, patients don't have the normal incentive to seek out value."

Stopped reading at this point, this old and tired idea just will not die no matter how much it doesn't fit the facts or the reasoning skills of someone above the 9th grade.


The perfect time to seek out value is when you're in the middle of a heart attack or stroke. Another good time to seek it out is when there's only one medicine/treatment that can keep you alive.
 
2012-11-18 03:25:18 PM
Other brilliant articles right next to it at Reason.

Lance Armstrong Cheated to Win. Why is that Wrong?
FEMA: Welfare Masquerading as Disaster Relief


fark that.
 
2012-11-18 03:27:41 PM

CapeFearCadaver: Bendal: When I had prostate surgery two years ago, my itemized bill included "oral pain medication" and the cost was listed as $500. The only oral pain medication I was offered was Tylenol and I didn't take it, but since it was already out of the bottle it went on my bill. I only stayed one night but the private room's cost was about $1500.

/total bill was about $27k
//insurance paid for 75% of it

Where? I have you farkied in NC... I've personally spent time at Duke, Wake and Rex; Wake being the worst in quality/monies owed and service, Duke being the best in quality but not service, mostly paid for by insurance; and Rex still being my favorite all around (money-wise, no ripping off, quality, service, etc.)


I had the surgery done at Rex. I was very pleased with the whole process. It was all well handled, everyone took good care of both me and my wife throughout the surgery and recovery, but the items on the bill were a little eye-opening. My urologist handled the surgery, not a doctor working at Rex, and I was up and walking around just a few hours after I woke up.

OTOH, when my wife's doctor sent her to Rex's ER for what she suspected was a blood clot in her leg, we went there on her recommendation to get a more specific test quickly. We waited for about 4 hours in the ER before seeing a doctor, who examined her leg and told us "she was wrong, your leg is fine" and sent us home without any tests, medication or anything else. The bill for that ER visit was over $600 for 5 minutes with a staff doctor who did nothing.
 
2012-11-18 03:27:52 PM

UsikFark: The most expensive item on their list is a Penile Prosthesis @ $15,425.00 

I hope it comes with attachments.


randomhoohaas.flyingomelette.com
 
2012-11-18 03:28:43 PM

signaljammer: Wasn't the research that underlies modern medicine underwritten with public money? Aren't the medical schools typically heavily subsidized by the state?


Shhhhhhhut your mouth!
 
2012-11-18 03:29:08 PM

Cuchulane: Outpatient ambulatory surgical centers are also pretty restricted in the level of surgery they can perform. You're not getting anything major done at a facility that can't respond with the resources of an acute care facility in case things go south on the table. I'm guessing that 80-90% of their business is colonoscopies and endoscopies, things that require only moderate sedation.

The one thing that they had right is that the driver in the cost of healthcare is the absolutely obscene profits that major hospitals make. If you really want to make a difference in this trend, have providers go through rate setting commissions just like payers do.


THIS.

If something goes horribly wrong at an ambulatory surgery center, you're getting a ride to the local tertiary care facility either by a ground or Air critical care team.
 
2012-11-18 03:31:13 PM
It's okay for the free market to decide the value of scarce things like yachts. The whole point of a market is to find the fairest way to distrbute scarce goods. If I don't get a yacht, oh well.

Medical care is another story.

1. There needs to be enough to go around.

2. EVERYONE should get it, even if it's free for some people.

Both 1 and 2 make society better for everyone. Applying a tool (the market) where is doesn't belong is nothing more than religious dogma, and it deserves to be cast aside.
 
2012-11-18 03:35:58 PM
Meh; why worry about medical care? We're just going to blow ourselves up anyway. It's only a matter of time.

Either that; or we'll end up in one of these;

Progressive Paradise: where it is ok to censor art and media , because of teh children. And you can't defend yourself.

The authoritarian paradise; 1984, eat your heart out.

The libertarian paradise; bootstraps for your bootstraps

The facist paradise; foreigners and Jews cause all the problems

And, last, but not least Theocracy!

/ let's all sing the doom song
 
2012-11-18 03:37:11 PM

iheartscotch: Meh; why worry about medical care? We're just going to blow ourselves up anyway. It's only a matter of time.

Either that; or we'll end up in one of these;

Progressive Paradise: where it is ok to censor art and media , because of teh children. And you can't defend yourself.

The authoritarian paradise; 1984, eat your heart out.

The libertarian paradise; bootstraps for your bootstraps

The facist paradise; foreigners and Jews cause all the problems

And, last, but not least Theocracy!

/ let's all sing the doom song


Dude. Put down the bong....
 
2012-11-18 03:40:31 PM
Since when did Progressives censor art? Are you thinking of Giuliani's reaction to "Piss Christ"? Citation definitely needed.
 
2012-11-18 03:41:05 PM
It seems like subby forgot one of the most basic princples of a free market - the ability to decide not to purchase the goods at all.

Sorry - medical care doesn't work that way.
 
2012-11-18 03:41:08 PM

WhippingBoy: They do that here in Canada, too. I can jump to the front of any waiting list just by ponying up a little extra dough.

Some people... poor people... have a problem with this; to me, it's just capitalism in action.


ummm.....wat??
You can't even do that in Alberta where the most likely place to even THINK you can do that would be.
Link

Either you're full of it, or know something I don't, and if it's the latter, please share.
 
2012-11-18 03:41:11 PM

Bonzo_1116: Yeah, what happens if you need the surgery but don't have the cash (either from your own pocket or through insurance)?


It appears you've never heard of private charities and fundraisers. I spend a few hundred dollars on donations for people I know every year.
 
2012-11-18 03:41:38 PM

Dinki: Watching_Epoxy_Cure: Nothing surprising about it, Subby. An open market is almost always going to provide the consumer with the best service/goods available.

Yes, because health care should be just like televisions- Some people can afford real big, expensive ones, some can only afford small cheap ones, and some people can't afford one at all. But, hey, that's life.


Or as I like to say, "No one is too poor to fark off and die".
 
2012-11-18 03:43:06 PM

whistleridge: Vectron: "One reason our prices are so low," says Smith, "is that we don't have administrators running around in their four or five thousand dollar suits.to deal with large numbers of poor, chronically ill, patients, because we choose instead to foist them off on public emergency rooms that can't turn them away"

FTFY


Exactly right. Nice that they cater exclusively to patients with money. Find an answer for what to do with people who can't pay.
 
2012-11-18 03:44:57 PM

Bendal: OTOH, when my wife's doctor sent her to Rex's ER for what she suspected was a blood clot in her leg, we went there on her recommendation to get a more specific test quickly. We waited for about 4 hours in the ER before seeing a doctor, who examined her leg and told us "she was wrong, your leg is fine" and sent us home without any tests, medication or anything else. The bill for that ER visit was over $600 for 5 minutes with a staff doctor who did nothing.


Ahhh, yet I'd take that experience with your wife and the suspected blood clot over my suspected blood clot (yes, same thing) experience at Wake. I ended up owing almost $100,000 at Wake for the same damn thing. They almost amputated my leg on two separate occasions when it didn't need amputation. They drew my blood a total of 13 times because of an abnormality in my white-blood cell count (each time the blood is drawn and tested, $350). They didn't bother to open my chart and see that the very first line in all my charts says I was born with a low white-blood cell count. Each and every white blood cell I had at that moment was in my right leg fighting the massive infection, they weren't in my left arm.
We left them with a big FU, went to Rex, they found that I had a massive Baker's Cyst rupture and a bone disease, all treatable without amputation. Ended up getting the care at Rex and surgery at Duke. And only at Duke because it was a very new bone-grafting surgery that only one surgeon in NC knew how to perform at the time. All of Rex & Duke's bills combined didn't reach the amount that Wake tried to charge me for their incompetence.

Excuse me, rant over. VERY happy you got the care for your surgery at Rex, and I'm sorry for your wife's experience there for the possible blood clot... but, it could've been worse, you could've gone to Wake :/
 
2012-11-18 03:45:03 PM

leevis: Bonzo_1116: Yeah, what happens if you need the surgery but don't have the cash (either from your own pocket or through insurance)?

It appears you've never heard of private charities and fundraisers. I spend a few hundred dollars on donations for people I know every year.


All those charities must be why 50,000 people each year in the United States die because they don't have the funding and health insurance to obtain necessary treatment that is not deemed required by COBRA or EMTALA.

It must also be the reason that the Emergency Services system in the United States is being taxed beyond the point of viability by financial insolvency, and being a massive drain on both federal and state Governments which are subsidizing facilities to keep them open.

ERs were never intended for use as primary care physicians. Yet because of the inability of a large portion of the socioeconomically desperate to obtain adequate health insurance, and the EMTALA laws, they are being used as such.
 
2012-11-18 03:45:31 PM
The hospitals have to deal with unfunded mandates which say anyone can get free emergent care that shows up on their doorstep by federal law. The federal government doesn't pay a penny for this and healthcare is the only industry affected. Just imagine how much you'd pay for a car or food if every criminal alien that showed up at the dealership or supermarket didn't have to pay for their new S class Mercedes or steak and lobster. It's tantamount to a tax on sick people and the politicians know it and never talk about it.

The surgery center doesn't have to deal with any of that so it's disingenuous of them to pretend they've discovered this fantastic new business model that everyone else is too greedy to implement.
 
2012-11-18 03:45:44 PM
For example, both human resources and building maintenance are the responsibility of the head nurse

Sounds like a shiatty place to work, to me. I don't know too many people who go to nursing school so they can change lightbulbs or wash windows. In fact, unless they're paying a substantially higher than market rate for those personnel, it's likely that job satisfaction for those employees is low and they probably have a high turnover rate or low quality workers. Capitalism!
 
2012-11-18 03:45:47 PM

BronyMedic: iheartscotch: Meh; why worry about medical care? We're just going to blow ourselves up anyway. It's only a matter of time.

Either that; or we'll end up in one of these;

Progressive Paradise: where it is ok to censor art and media , because of teh children. And you can't defend yourself.

The authoritarian paradise; 1984, eat your heart out.

The libertarian paradise; bootstraps for your bootstraps

The facist paradise; foreigners and Jews cause all the problems

And, last, but not least Theocracy!

/ let's all sing the doom song

Dude. Put down the bong....


No, no. He's hearting teh Scotch today.
 
2012-11-18 03:47:00 PM

UsikFark: Summoner101: UsikFark: The most expensive item on their list is a Penile Prosthesis @ $15,425.00 

I hope it comes with attachments.

Like a hair trigger...?

1) "comes with attachments" is a double entendre I happen to enjoy
2) you just know someone would pay for picatinny rails


Well, I just bought MINE on eBay for $68.32. It's Chinese crap, sure, but if it breaks, I'll just buy another one.
 
2012-11-18 03:47:33 PM
So, the video shows that a private company A provides the same healthcare service as another private company B, but somehow the fact that private company B is a price gouger and maybe even defrauds the payer, a national healthcare service is bad for you?

It appears that the only story here is that the Integris company is defrauding tax payers by abusing the medical bills, by pulling tricks such as charging nearly $300 for $1.50 medicine, and nearly $30k for surgeries that are performed elsewhere for less than $3k.
 
2012-11-18 03:47:50 PM
So some surgeons picked off the "low hanging fruit" to make a better model? Sounds great.

But what about patients who have conditions that require lengthy overnight stays and supervision? Oh right, these guys wouldn't touch those patients with a ten-foot rectal thermometer.
 
2012-11-18 03:48:32 PM

BronyMedic: iheartscotch: Meh; why worry about medical care? We're just going to blow ourselves up anyway. It's only a matter of time.

Either that; or we'll end up in one of these;

Progressive Paradise: where it is ok to censor art and media , because of teh children. And you can't defend yourself.

The authoritarian paradise; 1984, eat your heart out.

The libertarian paradise; bootstraps for your bootstraps

The facist paradise; foreigners and Jews cause all the problems

And, last, but not least Theocracy!

/ let's all sing the doom song

Dude. Put down the bong....


In the words of Charlton Heston, "I'll put it down when you pry it from my cold, dead hands."

I may have paraphrased that statement

I keed, I keed

On a serious note; it's only a matter of time. Democracy is very fragile and, usually, transitional government type.
 
2012-11-18 03:49:32 PM

OscarTamerz: The hospitals have to deal with unfunded mandates which say anyone can get free emergent care that shows up on their doorstep by federal law. The federal government doesn't pay a penny for this and healthcare is the only industry affected. Just imagine how much you'd pay for a car or food if every criminal alien that showed up at the dealership or supermarket didn't have to pay for their new S class Mercedes or steak and lobster. It's tantamount to a tax on sick people and the politicians know it and never talk about it.


OTOH, the reason that EMTALA, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act exists is because hospitals would turn away people from their doors, without even giving them an exam or lifesaving stabilizing treatment, and either let them die on their doorsteps, or send them across the county to the "poor" hospital, which didn't have either the resources or the staff to care for them.
 
2012-11-18 03:51:27 PM
Want to reduce medical costs? Stop funding the search for the fountain of youth. Average recipient for Medicare spends 100k the last year of their life. Some rationale in treatment is due. No more spending 100k for a 6 month extension of life. Sorry. It is not affordable.
 
2012-11-18 03:53:03 PM

OscarTamerz: Just imagine how much you'd pay for a car or food if every criminal alien that showed up at the dealership or supermarket didn't have to pay for their new S class Mercedes or steak and lobster. It's tantamount to a tax on sick people and the politicians know it and never talk about it.


Because everybody NEEDS a Mercedes S and steak and lobster, and sometimes has to make life-or-death decisions about purchasing them.
 
2012-11-18 03:54:18 PM

html_007: I say good for them. I haven't been to this location yet, but I will the next time I end up needing something done.


You back in OKC now?
 
2012-11-18 03:54:35 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Open pricing is a nice step forward, but this still isn't as beneficial as a true single-payer system would be.

Health care should not be a for-profit business.

With a true single payer system it would be easy to control costs, just state in law that all licensed medical facilities must accept MediCare for 100% of all procedures, and accept whatever MediCare pays as 100% fulfillment of the bill. Then, you just set the amount MediCare pays to make services affordable. Set an MRI at $500, fitting a cast at $100, complex surgery at $100/hr, etc, and set the prices MediCare will pay for drugs and that becomes all the pharmaceutical companies can ask.

Everyone is covered, costs are reduced, and hospitals will be forced to become more efficient to stay in business. Salaries for doctors, surgeons, and administrators will likely go down, but it would be for the common good.


I have a better suggestion. Based on open pricing, a national health service tells the patient that they charge a maximum X for a procedure. The kicker is that whatever the patient saves by choosing the cheapest, the patient gets a percentage of the savings. So, the patient now has an incentive to choose the cheapest service he can find, and healthcare providers have to compete to get contracts.
 
2012-11-18 03:54:58 PM

MyRandomName: Want to reduce medical costs? Stop funding the search for the fountain of youth. Average recipient for Medicare spends 100k the last year of their life. Some rationale in treatment is due. No more spending 100k for a 6 month extension of life. Sorry. It is not affordable.


Uh, you want to reduce the cost of healthcare, namely medicare in the United States? Stop smoking.

COPD and Cardiovascular Diseases along with Stroke account for OVER 60% of the costs that Medicare incurs yearly.

/But that'd be socialist communism, or something....
 
2012-11-18 03:55:53 PM

iheartscotch: let's all sing the doom song


Link
 
2012-11-18 03:56:12 PM
So just to clarify, a not-for-profit institution was held up as an example of free market capitalism working? Only from a reason.com reader...
 
2012-11-18 03:56:18 PM

LordOfThePings: OscarTamerz: Just imagine how much you'd pay for a car or food if every criminal alien that showed up at the dealership or supermarket didn't have to pay for their new S class Mercedes or steak and lobster. It's tantamount to a tax on sick people and the politicians know it and never talk about it.

Because everybody NEEDS a Mercedes S and steak and lobster, and sometimes has to make life-or-death decisions about purchasing them.


Medical care is not an infinite resource. It is astounding that liberals do not understand that. You can't provide every treatment for every person.
 
2012-11-18 03:56:59 PM

jaytkay: Next time I am hit by a bus I will carefully choose among competing emergency-care providers for the most cost-effective treatment.

Thanks for the advice, Libertarians!!


The vast majority of health care spending in this country is not on emergency care. IIRC, it's something like 3 or 4%.
 
2012-11-18 03:57:04 PM

Thisbymaster: Stopped reading at this point, this old and tired idea just will not die no matter how much it doesn't fit the facts or the reasoning skills of someone above the 9th grade.


The kicker is that by biatching about how private insurance companies operate, they are complaining about how the free market operates. So, it appears that their little story only proved that free market isn't the panacea they all believe it is.

Selective bias is a biatch.
 
2012-11-18 03:57:33 PM

PC LOAD LETTER: Because medical care was always regulated and we have zero history of unregulated medical care in this country as a measure of how this would play out on a larger scale, most notably towards the poor and elderly. Right.


Psst, the world is older than you are.
 
2012-11-18 03:58:12 PM

MyRandomName: You can't provide every treatment for every person


So you should not treat them when they are at a cheap stage, but rather let them get decompensated and progressed to the point where an emergency room is the only option?

Or we should let them die in the streets?

I'm trying to figure out what you're going for here?
 
2012-11-18 03:58:57 PM

MyRandomName: You can't provide every treatment for every person.


And yet plenty of countries do just that.
 
2012-11-18 03:58:57 PM

BronyMedic: MyRandomName: Want to reduce medical costs? Stop funding the search for the fountain of youth. Average recipient for Medicare spends 100k the last year of their life. Some rationale in treatment is due. No more spending 100k for a 6 month extension of life. Sorry. It is not affordable.

Uh, you want to reduce the cost of healthcare, namely medicare in the United States? Stop smoking.

COPD and Cardiovascular Diseases along with Stroke account for OVER 60% of the costs that Medicare incurs yearly.

/But that'd be socialist communism, or something....


You could say the same for obesity. Simple, move those who smoke, drink, etc to the back of medical lines. But liberals would still decry the policy. The fact is you can't save every human, or any, from death. Yet liberals put forth policy of all medical treatment for anyone. It is not a rational policy.
 
2012-11-18 03:59:00 PM

OscarTamerz: The hospitals have to deal with unfunded mandates which say anyone can get free emergent care that shows up on their doorstep by federal law. The federal government doesn't pay a penny for this and healthcare is the only industry affected. Just imagine how much you'd pay for a car or food if every criminal alien that showed up at the dealership or supermarket didn't have to pay for their new S class Mercedes or steak and lobster. It's tantamount to a tax on sick people and the politicians know it and never talk about it.

The surgery center doesn't have to deal with any of that so it's disingenuous of them to pretend they've discovered this fantastic new business model that everyone else is too greedy to implement.


I'm stealing this analogy, but it's more exaggerated than this. Patients can walk into the ER having never paid a dime in federal income tax, having never made any effort whatsoever to care for their personal well being, with an outstanding bill at this single hospital that can stand well north of six figures, and receive unlimited care with top notch facilities for as long as they need it. It would be more akin to demanding demanding a plane from the car dealership while the wreckage of your last one is smoldering within view outside the window because you don't know how to fly it anyway.

Then the normal guy off the street walks into the dealership with a card that says a third party will pay for his new vehicle. Nothing flashy, just has to get him to work. John Doe only has to pay $2000 for his brand new Suburu, while Blue Cross gives the dealership $85,000 for aluminum rims and anti-rust coating.
 
2012-11-18 04:00:39 PM

CapeFearCadaver: Bendal: OTOH, when my wife's doctor sent her to Rex's ER for what she suspected was a blood clot in her leg, we went there on her recommendation to get a more specific test quickly. We waited for about 4 hours in the ER before seeing a doctor, who examined her leg and told us "she was wrong, your leg is fine" and sent us home without any tests, medication or anything else. The bill for that ER visit was over $600 for 5 minutes with a staff doctor who did nothing.

Ahhh, yet I'd take that experience with your wife and the suspected blood clot over my suspected blood clot (yes, same thing) experience at Wake. I ended up owing almost $100,000 at Wake for the same damn thing. They almost amputated my leg on two separate occasions when it didn't need amputation. They drew my blood a total of 13 times because of an abnormality in my white-blood cell count (each time the blood is drawn and tested, $350). They didn't bother to open my chart and see that the very first line in all my charts says I was born with a low white-blood cell count. Each and every white blood cell I had at that moment was in my right leg fighting the massive infection, they weren't in my left arm.
We left them with a big FU, went to Rex, they found that I had a massive Baker's Cyst rupture and a bone disease, all treatable without amputation. Ended up getting the care at Rex and surgery at Duke. And only at Duke because it was a very new bone-grafting surgery that only one surgeon in NC knew how to perform at the time. All of Rex & Duke's bills combined didn't reach the amount that Wake tried to charge me for their incompetence.

Excuse me, rant over. VERY happy you got the care for your surgery at Rex, and I'm sorry for your wife's experience there for the possible blood clot... but, it could've been worse, you could've gone to Wake :/


Heh. The only way I would go to Wake is if I was unconscious and my wife was nowhere near. If I was in a car crash in front of Wake and I was conscious, I would demand to go to Rex before I'd let them take me into Wake. I've heard way too many stories from coworkers, neighbors and friends who went to Wake and developed secondary infections, had long recovery times, and expensive bills.

OTOH, I know a single mom who gave birth at Wake on what was apparently the economy plan. She prepaid the charges, and even had a scheduled C-section, for under $2500. Granted she was back home within 36 hours of her surgery, and I don't know how much Medicare handled, and this was back in 2006, but still.
 
2012-11-18 04:01:38 PM

MyRandomName: Medical care is not an infinite resource. It is astounding that liberals do not understand that. You can't provide every treatment for every person.


Who said, other than you, that medical care was an infinite resource?

If you feel compelled to come up with idiotic ideas to biatch about "liberals" then it is a clear tell that a) you don't know what you are talking about, and b) you feel the need to be right in spite of reality.
 
2012-11-18 04:02:00 PM

scavenger: Rich people should harvest the organs of the poor, in order to create jobs.


... and delicious organ dishes.
 
2012-11-18 04:02:22 PM

BronyMedic: MyRandomName: You can't provide every treatment for every person

So you should not treat them when they are at a cheap stage, but rather let them get decompensated and progressed to the point where an emergency room is the only option?

Or we should let them die in the streets?

I'm trying to figure out what you're going for here?


Simple. Rational care. A solid und of life procedure. Some limits on provided medical care. If people want to pay for the fountain of youth, do so on their own dollar, not the public's. Maintain a national level of base care, not the cover everything medical care. People die. Time to grow up and let people know. If the government is spending 100k a year on a poor person to live 3 or 4 years, it is a shiat investment.
 
2012-11-18 04:02:37 PM

MyRandomName: The fact is you can't save every human, or any, from death. Yet liberals put forth policy of all medical treatment for anyone. It is not a rational policy.


So you should not treat them at a cheap, preventative stage, but rather wait until they are a drain on the national healthcare finances?

You cannot deny life-saving medical treatment to someone. To do so is incredibly unethical, and violates every healthcare provider's oath. People have a right to die with dignity, and as free of pain as possible.

Something tells me that you'd rather them die on the streets if they can't afford out of pocket.
 
2012-11-18 04:03:25 PM

david_gaithersburg: PC LOAD LETTER: Because medical care was always regulated and we have zero history of unregulated medical care in this country as a measure of how this would play out on a larger scale, most notably towards the poor and elderly. Right.

Psst, the world is older than you are.


Oh, you want to go FURTHER back? Sure thing. Shall I get the leeches?
 
2012-11-18 04:03:26 PM

leevis: It appears you've never heard of private charities and fundraisers. I spend a few hundred dollars on donations for people I know every year.


That's right. These idiots believe that socialism is so bad that only private institutions do it right.
 
2012-11-18 04:03:39 PM

MyRandomName: Medical care is not an infinite resource. It is astounding that liberals do not understand that. You can't provide every treatment for every person.


False equivalence somehow is an infinite resource. If we could figure out how to harness it, we'd be golden.
 
2012-11-18 04:04:08 PM

MyRandomName: If the government is spending 100k a year on a poor person to live 3 or 4 years, it is a shiat investment.


Not to that person, or his/her family.

While there are certain diseases, such as Alzheimers and Dementia, that should have limits and mandatory end of life planning, others are curable, and DO have survivors.
 
2012-11-18 04:05:35 PM
There are quite a few problems with healthcare in this country. First is the insurance industry. If you have insurance, you don't care what things cost, so why bother shopping around? I'm guilty of this as well.

Relating to point one, we have doctors who charge $500 for a procedure, of which the insurance company only pays, say $100. The guy with insurance doesn't know any better, and thinks his insurance is a life-saver. The guy walking in off the street uninsured is stuck with that full $500, despite the fact that it's clearly a $100 procedure. "Free market" broken at this point. The intersection between supply and demand occurs behind the scenes, the price of the service is vastly inflated and most people are none the wiser.

Because of the combination of insured not caring about prices, and doctors charging uninsured absurdly inflated rates, we have a system that as a whole, costs significantly more than it should.

2 things would solve this in my mind, either single-payer universal healthcare, which protects previously uninsured people from being essentially exploited and put into debt for having the audacity to be ill, or the complete dissolution of the health insurance industry.

Getting rid of the health insurers would remove the complexity of "is this covered, is this doctor in my network", etc, and I believe that overall prices would plummet, as the vast majority of the population couldn't begin to afford even the basic treatments that they take for granted while insured currently.

Personally, I favor the universal healthcare route, as this method is the least likely to have greed enter into the equation and ruin everything, and at the end of the day, wouldn't be nearly as significant a change to the existing infrastructure of our healthcare industry.

//huh... and I used to be a die-hard conservative as well.
 
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