March 9, 2017

Get the government out of medicine and costs will go down

There is a correlation between financial aid and the steep rise in college costs. The more federal aid, the higher the cost to attend. Look it up.

There is a similar problem with health care. Why do we need health insurance? Because the costs are so high. The government has tried for years to manage healthcare. The result is excessive costs. Very few can afford the costs of healthcare. A mere doctor visit cost hundreds of dollars. Prescription costs are outrageous. The ACA or now ObamaCare Lite are attempts to fix the symptoms, not the problem.

We need to reduce the costs of health care, not make sure people can afford insurance to pay for it. When Medicare pays $30 for a procedure that costs $100 that means you or I will have to pay $170 to have the same care.

The real question is why that procedure costs $100. How many tests and unnecessary work is done because after the fact some lawyer is going to go back and ask why a very expensive test wasn't done that might have discovered that case of lung rabies that killed poor Jane, when there were no symptoms or indications she had anything more than a simple cold. "He should have known". Too much cost is added to medical care in "cover your ass" testing. Prescription drug costs are sky high because ten years after a drug is released and approved by the FDA three people had an adverse reaction out of millions who received the benefits as advertised. Boom. There is a class action lawsuit and someone has to pay those lawyers. And why isn't the FDA ever a defendant? They approved the drug. Do you want to reduce health costs? Tort reform is a good place to start.

Open up medicine to the free market. Let doctors advertise and compete just like the ambulance chaser lawyers out there. "I'm Dr. Barry 'The Knife' McLean and I can get you that appendectomy for just $40". Why not?

Let people choose the level of insurance coverage they want. Why is the Federal Government deciding what should be covered? Why should my wife and I be forced to pay for pregnancy coverage? Why should you be required to get hair transplant coverage? That is like telling me I must buy a round of martinis when I go out for a burger. What if I only want tea?

Maybe you want better prescription drug coverage. Maybe my neighbor only needs coverage for catastrophic emergencies. Why should the Feds decide those questions? We all make choices and live with them.

I could live with the Government creating a high risk pool or covering those who are uninsurable. I get that Anthem does not want to take on the risk of Tony down the street who has had a couple of heart attacks. Like most Americans I am for offering a helping hand.

Government is using a sledgehammer to fix a loose watch gear.


Anonymous said...

Yes, totally agree, Congress is ignoring the basic problem, probably because the majority are lawyers.


Anonymous said...

What do you do about the schlub down the street, who doesn't have insurance (cause its his choice and he don't need it!), who never took care of himself, never went to a doctor, who then collapses in public somewhere, takes an ambulance ride, and before he is conscious racks up $120K in medical bills? Who eats those costs?

Joe said...

He does. We all make choices

Joe said...

I'm not saying I take this position, but for the sake of argument, if he cannot afford the medical care, should he get it? Perhaps that is where the argument/discussion should start. Is medical care a right?

Anonymous said...

Speaking from experience, is extending a life for six months when the patient is terminal worth the cost in dollars and emotions? I have no idea how much the insurance company paid to the hospitals and doctors but cancer treatment is not cheap. I am for hope but there is a cost, not only in dollars but the emotional cost is just as bad. Of course that is an individual decision, I have a problem with the failure of the truth from the medical community. Tell the truth, give the odds, and the suffering the patient will go through no matter what happens.


slugmama said...

There are two factors that make medical insurance so high(besides the cost of research that's passed down into the price we pay for drugs and the cost of expensive machines for testing)-regulations and state fiefdoms. The lay person has no idea the layer upon layer of regs on the companies. (My Hubs works in an insurance industry field so I know of what I speak.)
This all costs the downstream customers in the end as all those costs get passed on into the end product, insurance. Plus let the companies compete across state line. Do away with additional regulations that keep fair competition at bay. Some states, from a business point of view, are too onerous to companies to have them even want to operate there so rates are kept artificially high due to lack of real competition. Same rules(and much fewer rules)for every state and you'll see more competition and lower prices for coverage.

Then we have to decide if insurance coverage is truly a right(a right defined as an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all citizens as long as it doesn't cost/impinge on others)versus a privilege or something in between the two. At what cost is insurance a right? or how much healthcare coverage paid for by others is a right? or should your right to extremely expensive treatment depend on your age/health/how much you contribute to society or your family's needs/your ability to pay? It's a debate we need to hash out in this country.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Insurance coverage is not a right. I see no such right enumerated in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. I also see no Constitutional authority for the government to stick its oversized nose into what ought to be a private matter. And don't quote the General Welfare clause at me -- I don't buy modern interpretations of it, and the Framers would laugh.

Government intrusion into the insurance industry is nothing more and nothing less than a power grab and an attempt to institute more control on the population. And that's why, now that they have their teeth into our leg, the government dog will never let go. The GOP has no real interest in repealing Obamacare; they only want to tweak it so it doesn't collapse into a festering ruin, and continue to blame its quirks on the Democrats.

Otherwise the GOP would be forcing a full repeal through Congress (with, one assumes, a two or three year sunset period that would allow the insurance companies to reset), side-by-side with breaking the state-line barrier and creating the high-risk pool that Joe suggests. My only addition would be to break the employer-sponsored, non-portable insurance model that's been in place since the 1950's. It doesn't work anymore and it needs to be scrapped.

Joe said...

A good short article on health care as a right:

Anonymous said...

Essentially the easy position to take would be:
1) Don't get sick or injured; and
2) If you do get sick or injured, die quick.

Joe said...

Or we could work to reduce tneCOST of health care and insurance

Did you read the post or the comments?

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