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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-07-2005, 09:28 AM   #21
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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I know John, you are the "and others"* *
Is this a subtle "Pogoism" ?

JG
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-07-2005, 09:32 AM   #22
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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Here is the deal. Provide a "safety net" for the truly sick/poor/helpless/retarded/crippled/etc (did you ever see anyone so non-PC?)
Then, step out of the way. The "market" will solve all other problems eventually. If there is a need, someone will find a way to fill it, as long as there is money to be made and the government doesn't step in.
Free market capitalism is the "unknown ideal", very soon to be as dead as
the do-do................ IMHO.

JG
This is the route Minnesota has taken through its risk pool and Minnesota Care plan; was working pretty good until our current conservative governor starting tampering with it.

Part of the problem is that the market might decide you are sick, helpless, crippled etc and not insure you simply because you used to get sinus infections or you take a pill.
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-07-2005, 09:45 AM   #23
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

Off topic, , but I saw a little segue into "campaign contributions".
After I ERed, I dropped a bunch of organizations where I was just
mailing in my dues and getting little back (an economy). One exception
is the NRA. They spend piles of money on lobbying and progun
advertising. Wooing politicians is practically JOB ONE with them.
I will support them 'til I die and maybe even leave some of what I have
left to them. They are always asking for more money, but they get results. Even their opponents admire their track record.

JG
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-07-2005, 09:54 AM   #24
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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Originally Posted by BristolBane
What problem?* *

I'm paying $130 for medical insurance this year.* It's one of the benefits of having a good job in this country.*
Yeah but those of us already "out" would rather struggle and bitch than go back to work, even for good insurance. I need insurance badly, but I know
I would never do it. If I must, I would "go bare" like uncle Mick and hope I made it to
Medicare.

JG
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-07-2005, 10:29 AM   #25
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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If the government could be pulled back, he would appear. I am quite serious. It could be done.

JG
So, which part of 'free enterprise' encourages honesty?

Hi DW I have a very, very, very busy day today . . . have fun.
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-07-2005, 11:31 AM   #26
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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Originally Posted by Martha
BS John. These are problems that need analysis and solutions. I tire of neocons and others always accusing the opposition of whining. Baiting the opposition advances nothing.
Martha,

JG's workaround for whining is the following statement

(Disclaimer......no whining, just an observation)
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-07-2005, 01:13 PM   #27
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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If the government could be pulled back, he would appear.
I agree, but it would require ending monopolies. You would have to be able to buy your Lipitor from Amazon.com without a prescription. The cost would drop to 1/4 of what it costs now with this change alone.
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 08:38 AM   #28
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

Check this article out. It has pros and cons of national healthcare and compares U.S. and Britain's systems. I think it's a good article, since it discusses both sides of a complex issue.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110006785

This guy's wife had a stroke in England. I quote just the concluding paragraphs:
---

Having praised the caregivers, I'm forced to return to the inefficiencies of a health system devoid of incentives. One can tell that the edge has disappeared in treatment in Britain. For example, when we returned to the U.S. we discovered that treatment exists for thwarting the effects of blood clots in the brain if administered shortly after a stroke. Such treatment was never mentioned, even after we were admitted to the neurology hospital. Indeed, the only medication my wife was given for a severe stroke was a daily dose of aspirin. Now, treating stroke victims is tricky business. My wife had a low hemoglobin count, so with all the medications in the world, she still might have been better off with just aspirin. But consultations with doctors never brought up the possibilities of alternative drug therapies. (Of course, U.S. doctors tend to be pill pushers, but that's a different discussion.)

Then there was the condition of Queen's Square compared with the physical plant of the New York hospitals. As I mentioned, the cleanliness of U.S. hospitals is immediately apparent to all the senses. But Cornell and New York University hospitals (both of which my wife has been using since we returned) have ready access to technical equipment that is either hard to find or nonexistent in Britain. This includes both diagnostic equipment and state-of-the-art equipment used for physical therapy.

We did have one brief encounter with a more comprehensive type of British medical treatment--a day trip to one of the few remaining private hospitals in London.

Before she could travel back home, my wife needed to have the weak wall in her heart fortified with a metal clamp. The procedure is minimally invasive (a catheter is passed up to the heart from a small incision made in the groin), but it requires enormous skill. The cardiologist responsible for the procedure, Seamus Cullen, worked in both the public system and as a private clinician. He informed us that the waiting line to perform the procedure in a public hospital would take days if not weeks, but we could have the procedure done in a private hospital almost immediately. Since we'd already been separated from our 12-year-old daughter for almost a month, we opted to have the procedure done (with enormous assistance from my employer) at a private hospital.

Checking into the private hospital was like going from a rickety Third World hovel into a five-star hotel. There was clean carpeting, more than enough help, a private room (and a private bath!) in which to recover from the procedure, even a choice of wines offered with a wide variety of entrees. As we were feasting on our fancy new digs, Dr. Cullen came by, took my wife's hand, and quietly told us in detail about the procedure. He actually paused to ask us whether we understood him completely and had any questions. Only one, we both thought to ask: Is this a dream?

It wasn't long before the dream was over and we were back at Queen's Square. But on our return, one of the ever-accommodating nurses had found us a single room in the back of the ward where they usually throw rowdy patients. For the last five days, my wife and I prayed for well-behaved patients, and we managed to last out our days at Queen's Square basking in a private room.

But what of the bottom line? When I received the bill for my wife's one-month stay at Queen's Square, I thought there was a mistake. The bill included all doctors' costs, two MRI scans, more than a dozen physical therapy sessions, numerous blood and pathology tests, and of course room and board in the hospital for a month. And perhaps most important, it included the loving care of the finest nurses we'd encountered anywhere. The total cost: $25,752. That ain't chump change. But to put this in context, the cost of just 10 physical therapy sessions at New York's Cornell University Hospital came to $27,000--greater than the entire bill from British Health Service!

There is something seriously out of whack about 10 therapy sessions that cost more than a month's worth of hospital bills in England. Still, while costs in U.S. hospitals might well have become exorbitant because of too few incentives to keep costs down, the British system has simply lost sight of costs and incentives altogether. (The exception would appear to be the few remaining private clinics in Britain. The heart procedure done in the private clinic in London cost about $20,000.)

"Free health care" is a mantra that one hears all the time from advocates of the British system. But British health care is not "free." I mentioned the cost of living in London, which is twice as high for almost any good or service as prices in Manhattan. Folks like to blame an overvalued pound (or undervalued dollar). But that only explains about 30% of the extra cost. A far larger part of those extra costs come in the hidden value-added taxes--which can add up to 40% when you combine costs to consumers and producers. And with salaries tending to be about 20% lower in England than they are here, the purchasing power of Brits must be close to what we would define as the poverty level. The enormous costs of socialized medicine explain at least some of this disparity in the standard of living.

As for the quality of British health care, advocates of socialized medicine point out that while the British system may not be as rich as U.S. heath care, no patient is turned away. To which I would respond that my wife's one roommate at Cornell University Hospital in New York was an uninsured homeless woman, who shared the same spectacular view of the East River and was receiving about the same quality of health care as my wife. Uninsured Americans are not left on the street to die.

Something is clearly wrong with medical pricing over here. Ten therapy sessions aren't worth $27,000, no matter how shiny the floors are. On the other hand my wife was wheeled into Cornell and managed to partially walk out after a relatively pleasant stay in a relatively clean environment. Can one really put a price on that?
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 10:25 AM   #29
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

Medicare is going to start losing money (spending more than it takes in) next year, right? It won't take many years beyond that for something to change. Big change will happen the day we can't buy another B2 bomber because were funding aging boomers' viagra prescription.

BTW Drug makers spend about $100 million a year in direct lobbying to Congress, that doesn't include media buys, mailers, campaign contributions etc.
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 10:26 AM   #30
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

I think some answers are simple:

1. Work on the supply side. Create more doctors, nurses, and other heal care workers. (Each year, thousands of people qualified to enter these training programs are turned away).

2. Eliminate malpractice lawsuits except in cases of intentional negligence. (In any operation or procedure, things can go wrong even if the operation is done correctly--I propose that people not be allowed to sue in cases like these). The same for prescriptions. There are known side effects to all drugs--so, let the patients make the choice and take the risks.

3. Deport the ILLEGALS who are getting "free" coverage, paid for by you and I.

The bottom line is we need to lower the COST of providing health care service in this country.

Years ago, I don't think we even had health insurance, except for catestrophic coverage. I remember leaving the doctor's office, with my mom paying $10 or something, cash, for the visit. You can't tell me that a doctor can't make a decent living on, say $50 for a 15 minute visit.
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 11:02 AM   #31
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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(Each year, thousands of people qualified to enter these training programs are turned away).
This is intentional. All trade groups try to keep down the number of members, as this increases the demand for (and salary) of guild members.
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 11:18 AM   #32
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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Originally Posted by Mountain_Mike
I think some answers are simple:

1. Work on the supply side. Create more doctors, nurses, and other heal care workers. (Each year, thousands of people qualified to enter these training programs are turned away).

2. Eliminate malpractice lawsuits except in cases of intentional negligence. (In any operation or procedure, things can go wrong even if the operation is done correctly--I propose that people not be allowed to sue in cases like these). The same for prescriptions. There are known side effects to all drugs--so, let the patients make the choice and take the risks.


. . .
I have wondered if increasing the supply of doctors and other medical professionals would help as well.

BTW, there is no such thing as "intentional negligence". If there is an intentional injury to another, this is a battery. The concept of negligence is that negligence occurs when there is a duty to another and that duty is breached, causing injury. For example, generally there is a duty to take ordinary and reasonable care. So if a procedure goes wrong, but the doctor took reasonable care in the procedure, there is no negligence.

So I think the law is fine. The problems are that people might sue or try to extract a settlement even if there is no negligence. An insurance company might chose to settle even if there is no negligence. This is a different type of problem. Hard to judge how pervasive a problem it is.
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 11:45 AM   #33
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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Originally Posted by Mountain_Mike


The bottom line is we need to lower the COST of providing health care service in this country.

Years ago, I don't think we even had health insurance, except for catestrophic coverage. I remember leaving the doctor's office, with my mom paying $10 or something, cash, for the visit. You can't tell me that a doctor can't make a decent living on, say $50 for a 15 minute visit.
Well, the doc could but of course there is the malpractice liability insurance which is a killer (pardon the pun).
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 11:49 AM   #34
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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3. Deport the ILLEGALS who are getting "free" coverage, paid for by you and I.
Sorry, but I'm going to have to pause you in the middle of that gross generalization. My wife works in healthcare.

Our area is predominately indian farmers and rather poor mexicans. Since this is the headquarters for sunsweet and where a huge portion of crops are grown I'd say the odds are that a lot of those mexicans are 'illegals' and are the folks who are doing daily crop work and picking your fruits and vegetables for next to nothing so you can buy them at your local supermarket at a decent price.

I just asked her about this and she says all they get in the emergency room are white welfare folks who give them fake names and addresses. She says the indian folks find a way to pay for their care, and the "illegals" are afraid to come into the hospital for treatment.

Further, she says many of the poor white folk who come in to the emergency room for their free care often have little more than a bad cold or flu severely exacerbated by a drug or alcohol problem. They do a fine job of wasting a few aggregate hours of time.

Now you know to add poor white people with substance problems as a primary cause of higher health care costs.

By the way, if we simply deported the 'illegals' then your food costs would rise and nobody in the southwestern states would be able to afford child care, landscaping or housekeeping. If they could even find someone to do the work they'd want 4x the pay.
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 11:55 AM   #35
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

In fact, she just reminded me of something that happened last year. Poor white kid and his pregnant girlfriend came into the ER, he was sick. Flu bug. Made the mistake of giving them his real name and address, and made the further mistake of giving his age, which was under 18. Hospital staff called the parents. Parents came down and were informed that their son was a little under the weather but so hopped up on whatever that the staff hoped they could help calm the kid down as he freaked out in the treatment room when the staff mentioned that his parents were coming down. He apparently had bugged out on his parents a few months earlier.

While all this was going on, the kid hung himself in the treatment room. Did a bad job. He was only permanently brain damaged and in a coma. So the hospital had to hook him up to a machine to keep him alive as the horrified parents wouldnt make the decision to pull the plug. This went on for over a month. The bills ran into six figures.

Good news is they had insurance.

Now you've got another item to add to your list!
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 12:12 PM   #36
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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Now you've got another item to add to your list!
And an absolutely typical one at that.
H
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 03:47 PM   #37
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

I thought I'd shake things up a bit

Martha - how about "gross negligence?" An insurance company shouldn't even have settle or worry about lawsuits, as long as the proper procedures were followed.

th - As far as illegals using emergency rooms, while I don't dispute or discount your wife's experiences, but I think it is not always the case. Take a look at the ERs in the San Diego or other border areas; many are in dire straits due to this factor. How about the illegals in prision who use health care? I agree that poor whites misusing ERs compound the problem as well. I part company with you on NEEDING illegal workers in order to get cheap veggies and services. My solution there would be to eliminate welfare for able-bodied people. They could either work at wages similar to what we are paying the illegals, or starve. You think that's too harsh?
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 04:54 PM   #38
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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Originally Posted by Mountain_Mike
I thought I'd shake things up a bit

Martha - how about "gross negligence?"* An insurance company shouldn't even have settle or worry about lawsuits, as long as the proper procedures were followed.

th - As far as illegals using emergency rooms, while I don't dispute or discount your wife's experiences,* but I think it is not always the case.* *Take a look at the ERs in the San Diego or other border areas; many are in dire straits due to this factor.* How about the illegals in prision who use health care?* *I agree that poor whites misusing ERs compound the problem as well.* I part company with you on NEEDING illegal workers in order to get cheap veggies and services.* My solution there would be to eliminate welfare for able-bodied people.* They could either work at wages similar to what we are paying the illegals, or starve.* You think that's too harsh?
Harsh? I would just shoot 'em and be done with it. Illegals? We don't need no stiiiiiiiiiking illegals. OTOH, we don't need a lot of the people who are
here legally. They are just takin' up space. Dumb people got no reason to
live!

JG

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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 04:58 PM   #39
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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Harsh?* I would just shoot 'em and be done with it.* Illegals?* We don't need no stiiiiiiiiiking illegals.* OTOH, we don't need a lot of the people who are
here legally.* They are just takin' up space.* Dumb people got no reason to
live!
JG

JG
Maybe you are running for Goodwill Ambassador?
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?
Old 06-08-2005, 07:17 PM   #40
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Re: Natural Limits to Healthcare Expense Growth?

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Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
Harsh?* I would just shoot 'em and be done with it.* Illegals?* We don't need no stiiiiiiiiiking illegals.* OTOH, we don't need a lot of the people who are
here legally.* They are just takin' up space.* Dumb people got no reason to
live!

JG

JG
This reminds me of William Schokley. (He was one of the inventor's of the transistor and a Nobel Prize winner). After he had retired, he seemed to lose his mind (went johngalt) and started proposing that we should give IQ tests to everyone and sterilize those who scored below average. His motives seemed to be racist related. Kinda sad, really.
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