Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by State, Jun 30, 2009.
Thomas Sowell makes sense. Alice in Medical Care He writes so brilliantly:
Read the whole thing.
Gawd, here's another great link: Myths on health care - Opinion - USATODAY.com
Wow, great article. Steve Findlay says that nearly a third of what doctors do is unnecessary. Tort reform, anyone?
That is one scary thread title. I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
The cost of our health insurance is out of whack. We spend at least 1/3rd more per capita than is spent by other countries, and we spend a larger share of our GDP on health care:
International Comparisons of Health Care - A Comparison Of Health Care Spending, Resources, And Utilization
My guess is that our national health care plan will allow people to get higher quality insurance for a price, which will allow faster treatment on elective care.
When I worked in Norway, I was on their national health plan, but the company I worked for provided me with private insurance as well, which would allow me to go to a private hospital if I needed faster treatment. When I worked in Sweden, I had bad laryngitis on the Sunday night before going for a 6 month assignment to Lisbon, Portugal. Rather than deal with doctors, I kept putting it off (trying gross natural cures that tasted like dirt), until finally Sunday night I called the health office to find out what I should do. They sent a doctor to my home who gave me a prescription for penicillin. Because it was Sunday night, they charged me $15. That's one area where Sweden provided better service. In the states, I would have had to go to an emergency room, which would have cost me and my insurance company a lot more.
We're so screwed. There'll be a Healthcare Czar who will know as much about healthcare as the Car czar did about cars.
Then there's this:
CNSNews.com - Democrats Bury ?Community Transformation? Plans in Health Care Bill
Check out who gets money from trial lawyers and which party blocks tort reform and then look at the cost of malpractice insurance for doctors in the US compared to overseas.
Follow the moeny and connect the dots.
You guys make my head spin. Bad healthcare or too expensive ? You seem to change by the day and by the argument.
This guy writes "brilliantly"?
It seems like the usual skin-deep analysis, to use the word generously, we've become accustomed to from the right.
So: 5% of people wait 4 months or more in the US, compared with some percentage in the 27% in Canada and 38% in Britain. But given that both countries have some species of national health care, one would think that the 27 and 38% respectively represent the entire population, whereas the 5% in the US means 5% of those who can afford surgery, because they are insured.
There are elective surgeries, which I would hope we're not talking about here. There are non-elective surgeries. Then there are the surgeries that are deemed elective if one has fallen between the cracks, or if one's insurance is exhausted (even for the well insured.)
Fifteen percent of Americans are uninsured. Right off the bat, that's 15% who wait oh I don't know, forever, for those surgeries.
As to the remainder of the article, and the remainder of the conclusions drawn, you will notice he is very excited about explaining how many CT scanners and MRIs we have. Bully! These are wonderful money-making services in the insurance game. There is a very good reason for the excess capacity.
For adequately insured Americans, as the author points out, even if a surgery is not in any way urgent or pressing, there is often plenty of capacity. You can get that procedure now, whether or not you need it now. Bully again.
Now then, what if there is a species of surgery one might need eventually, but one does not need right now? Well, if there is an incentive in providing said surgery before necessary in the US system which is absent in the Canadian and British systems, it is natural to assume that the surgery that can wait sometimes does wait.
Terrible, terrible thing that.
However, the single-payer systems evidently are making the right calls, which the almighty dollar does not do. That is why we trail countries like Canada and Britain in categories such as preventable deaths (US dead last of 19 industrialized nations.)
France best, U.S. worst in preventable death ranking (19th out of 19) - Reuters - Democratic Underground
By most measures we spend more on medicine than anybody else. On the high end of the spectrum, we have some of the foremost medicine on Earth. But as they say on the London tube, "watch the gap." The middle class and poor in America, while perhaps benefitting in a "drive-through mentality way" when from quick access to the services they can access, are not living as long or as well as elsewhere.
Your "brilliant" author makes the case that you don't get something for nothing. That's absolutely the case. In American medicine, however, we seem to have the opposite problem: all too often we get nothing for something.
I'd like to stop doing that.
The irony of all of this is that when it comes to wasting our money uncle sam is great at it. When it comes time to spend our money on ourselves for healthcare we will be a statistic. The young contibuting taxpayers will become more valuable than the older non tax payers. Not that it will appear on any paperwork or anything. Management bonuses will be based on how much money a manager can save on the budget ... pine boxes are cheap.
Then why focus on smoking cessation? Sort of shoots that theory down in any immediate sense, Icy.
Your point's taken, so far as it goes. It doesn't matter what else you get right, your society can be taken down with the stroke of the actuary's pen. Add five years tomorrow to everybody's life expectency, and they'd need to add another zero to the end of every deficit calculation.
Remember when they unlocked the genome and found out how aging worked and that it was an utterly unnecessary process, and they came up with the cure, but they didn't tell any of the stupid people because
okay scratch that last part
There are very few large settlements, and when there are they are often for real negligence that leaves, for instance, a child disabled for life. There are, of course, a handful of weird cases, but those are so exceptional they make the national news, before appeals courts reduce the settlement. I think we should put a cap on insurance premiums before we put a cap on awards. Perhaps insurance premiums could be tied to costs. There are several studies showing that there is no legitimate reason for insurance companies to charge. Rather than go after the victims of doctor negligence, let's go after the insurance companies.
I'm not going to get into your whole post but I have to respond to this because this is the same bogus numerology that I hear from my dad (the blacksheep of the family, he votes D ).
Saying 15% have to wait forever is crap because that's assuming all the uninsured need this particular surgery. Total crap number there; not to mention that the 15% number is too high but that's another issue.
Uh, no. It merely assumes that the need for surgery does not cluster disproportionately among the insured (as opposed to the uninsured.)
If you can demonstrate that for some reason, the uninsured would for some reason have less need for surgery across society, then the 15% number is bogus. Otherwise we'll treat them as just as likely to need surgery as the insured population.
"This particular surgery" is an odd phrase to bring into play, however. If you are saying that Canadians and Brits make you wait longer for one specific surgery (say, repairing a tendon controlling your middle toe,) it makes for an even less "brilliant" claim on the part of the author.
I did not see such a specific point on his part; he just said "surgery." I would not be at all surprised were this his methodology, in which case the article's not worthy of a response. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he claimed to have stats measuring response to all surgeries.
27% of people WHO HAVE SURGERY. Your 15% is all people of that group whether they have surgery or not. It is comparing apples to oranges. It's crap math.
If most people are happy with their insurance then why not just expand health insurance from the government for low income and the self-employed? Why not just let the government have their own group plan that competes directly with the insurers?
Now Obama says we'll be able to keep what we have ... well we'll see I guess. :rip:
There is already plenty of choice. There is no need for one more. If insurance is too expensive then some options could be considered, where it's government help, less coverage for the mundane but coverage for the catastrophic, etc, but once the big elephant of the government is involved then the playing field of competition isn't equal. We already have plenty of competition.
My point is that 85% are insured. 15% are uninsured.
Let us say there is 1 condition that requires Surgery, called SurgeryNeedingSyndrome. Let us say at 1% of all people have SurgeryNeedingSyndrome, and that SNS is as prevalent among the insured as among the uninsured.
Out of 300 million people, then, 3 million (total) will have SNS.
Of these 3 million people, in the absence of any proof that SNS only strikes the insured, we would expect that 15% do have insurance, and 85% do not have insurance.
So, of 3 million people with SNS:
450,000 are uninsured.
2,550,000 are insured.
The uninsured ones need the surgery but do not get the surgery. That is 450,000.
The insured ones get the surgery. In America, 5% of them have to wait the stipulated interval of time. So that's 127,500 who have to wait X months, plus 450,000 who have to wait forever, for a total of 577,500 who have to wait.
577,500 is 19.25%. Your point is taken, that the 5% of those who wait are taken only from the 85% who have insurance, so indeed, since 5% of 85% is 4.25% (rather than 5%,) the math is off by .75%.
However, the 15% who will never get the surgery does remain constant, in addition to the 4.25% who will not get surgery in a drive-though-culture way.
You are way too wordy to deal with. I think most get the point that the numbers from the other countries were for people needing surgery, your 15% is for the entire population. Different ballgame. Not to mention 15% is too high as it includes illegals.
The persons needing surgery unless proven otherwise will reflect exactly the same 15% prevalence of the uninsured, brainiac.
I do not know what about not having insurance would make you less likely to need surgery.
Yeah, I get that. But it's misleading to say "15% of all Americans as they're uninsured". You are the one who screwed up the math by bringing in the entire population for the other countries. It is what it is but you juggled the numbers to make it what you wanted. The numbers show they have longer waits. In fact private medical facilities are getting more common in Canada.
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