@Nate"The U.S. spends vast amounts more than other nations for
the health care of its grandmas and grandpas."For little to no
benefit. Most countries with UHC have people living older or around the same
lifespans as senior Americans. So thats twice the cost with no gain. Sounds like
things are working out just fine."This may change when the
you-know-what panels begin to operate under Obamacare."You
already have death panels, they are formed by insurance companies."They certainly are."Libertarians always talk about the
holy grail that is the free market. Its the get out of jail card in every
argument, "well if we had a free market......". Its easy to pull out
that line because its a fantasy and will never exist. How about discussing
reality? #The US healthcare system is the least regulated by far in the
developed world, spends twice as much per person than the rest of the developed
world while producing worse results than the rest of the developed world.
@sigmund5 "Can someone on this thread address the fact that our system costs
200-300% more than other industrialized countries?"Several
explanations have been cited: higher doctor compensation, higher drug prices,
higher obesity rates, and ready access to expensive medical technologies.In addition, I am fascinated by a chart I found on the Forbes website,
titled "Annual Per Capita Healthcare Costs by Age". It shows, beginning
at age 60 and continuing to end of life, a wide separation between the U.S. and
other developed nations on health care expenditures for the elderly. The U.S.
spends vast amounts more than other nations for the health care of its grandmas
and grandpas.This may change when the you-know-what panels begin to
operate under Obamacare.@sigmund5 "Ideology and beliefs about
things that don't address reality are very dangerous and deadly
things."They certainly are.
What would a more capitalist market driven system look like? I don't get
it. Single payer systems are more efficient. There isn't duplication of
services and endless paperwork and bureaucracy. Overhead costs for private
insurance companies is 30% while medicaid is 5% or less. Can someone on this
thread address the fact that our system costs 200-300% more than other
industrialized countries? Ideology and beliefs about things that don't
address reality are very dangerous and deadly things.
@TruthseekerFood is also a necessity, often an emergency, with life
or death consequences, and is not the same as buying a TV. The free market does
a wonderful job of delivering food.@Twin Lights "...free market
oriented..."What does that even mean? Either the market is free,
or it isn't. And if it isn't, then don't blame the free market
for failures in the health care system."[O]ne of the most
significant issues is how to provide care for those who have the least ability
to pay...."Yes, true. Freedom does the most good for the most
people, but even the best system is not perfect. There will always be a need for
Christian charity.@Hutterite "Single payer system for
everyone."Yeah, get your health care at the DMV.
Single payer system for everyone. That's how we do it.
It does not matter how much freer we are than the rest of the world. We are
strapped into a system that is not free and does not focus on low costs. True
very few can afford a 50,000 dollar hip surgery or a million dollar cancer
treatment. But this is where true insurance steps in. High deductible plans
would be far cheaper per year and with indemnity plans that pay cash for the
minor expensive hospitalization you would pay a max of 7000-10000 out of pocket
every year in a bad year. But in good years where everyone is healthy you would
pay your premium and other small co pays and have a maximum cost of 2-4000.
This is far better than our current system and freer and it will force doctors
and hospitals and other participants in the market to act in good faith. Single
payer systems may work in countries like Chile where there are no states rights
that have sovernienty. Unfortunately the care they provide is very basic and
there is no advanced care or medical discoveries of note in any of those
countries, but that is the reality of single payer systems.
An extremely interesting look into the U.S. healtcare delivery system can be
read in the Time magazine article, "Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us."
How can market forces be applied to healthcare when heart attacks,
strokes, cancer, accidents, and any manner of disease are not the same as buying
a TV? Healthcare is a necessity, and often an emergency, with life or death
consequences. Even if hospitals were required to disclose and establish prices
and success rates, (which should be required) insurance companies dictate where
their beneficiaries are to go for care. There is no rhyme or reason
in healthcare costs in the U.S.
Nate and The Hammer,Although there has been govt. involvement in
healthcare over the past decades we have BY FAR the most free market oriented
healthcare system in the developed world. As a corollary, we also have the most
expensive system in the world (by far). Overall, looking at how other countries
provide healthcare, free market deliver seems to hold little promise of actually
saving much money.Also, one of the most significant issues is how to
provide care for those who have the least ability to pay (free markets serve
best those who have the most ability to pay).And there have been
several attempts to modify insurance programs to give consumers more incentive
to save. So far, not much in the way of results.Not all products
respond well to free market pressures. An example is higher education where for
profit entities are highly competitive but tend to provide the least real
education for the most money. The more I look at healthcare, the more it seems
it is one of the industries that does not respond well to market forces.
It shouldn't be driven by the market. Again look at countries with 200-300
percent lower costs...no market. It is insurance it is not like buying a
hamburger or pizza. It can't be made off the shelf and cost assigned by
toppings. Every wonder why fire and police services aren't market driven?
"ahh sir...please swipe your card and we will try to order some hoses and
hire some guys from the temp agency and will be right over. Oh you don't
have the 100K to rent the fire truck..sorry we are a business you know."
This libertarian right wing delusion comes from the dark ages and moral
depravity of the 1950's of dr. making house calls and fixing you with
things in his bag and black servants
Our current medical system is not driven by a true market. A true market would
put the customer in the drivers seat making the decision completely about how he
spends his medical dollars. Right now and for the last 50 years there has been
no true costumer. People go to the doctor and the doctor bills some company
back in New York or they will bill medicare or medicaid. That company has to
guage what the cost of care will be and then turn around and charge a premium to
their consumer who is actually a government agency, or corporation or a small
group health organization. Medicare/medicaid is just a system that pays what the
doctor orders with very little thought about if that care is proper or not. Our
current system is already a managed economy with mulitple payers and nobody to
keep costs in check.
@sigmund5 "Our system has been driven by the market."I wish
this were true. Most of the readers here cannot remember a free market in health
care. Medicare has been around since 1965, and has distorted the market
throughout its existence. Tax incentives for employer-sponsored insurance have
also distorted the market. (Health care costs go up when its recipients imagine
that someone other than themselves will be paying for it.)It's
a cycle: Government intervenes in the market. Prices go up. The poor are unable
to pay the higher prices. There is a call for action. The government intervenes
even more.No one stops to realize that it was the central planners
who created the problem in the first place.
@Natewhen you say "Well, yeah. Remove market forces from health care,
and it stops behaving like a market. We haven't seen the last of the
unintended consequences of Medicare, nor of Obamacare." you don't get
it. Our system has been driven by the market. Countries that have a government
run system or are highly regulated have health care costs 200-300% less than
ours and have better results. This includes Europe and industrialized
Asia...and we rank 35# in the world. CHeck out the pbs frontline show "Sick
around the world" or other journalistic sources...this doesn't include
FOX, beck, rush et al.
The writer: "The practical result of this policy is that the U.S. healthcare
marketplace lacks the strength to distinguish valuable innovations from those
that simply drive up costs."Well, yeah. Remove market forces
from health care, and it stops behaving like a market. We haven't seen the
last of the unintended consequences of Medicare, nor of Obamacare.
From the article:"Unfortunately, Medicare can't require
proof that an expensive new product is any better than the one it's
replacing; it's explicitly prevented from doing so by law."First, I agree this is problematic. But consider the other side of the coin -
that Medicare "bureaucrats" get to choose which therapies are the most
effective.I think we NEED to have that discussion. Private insurers
certainly look there. But there was the major eruption over the ACA/Obamacare
about "bureaucrats" deciding who gets what care.So . . .
which do we want? Do we want "bureaucrats" (be they govt. or private
insurers) making decisions about efficacy or not? If we do want efficacy
considered in coverage, under what circumstances?
If we got our per-capita medical costs down to the level of Germany, or France,
or Australia, or Japan, or any other developed country, our long term deficit
would almost entirely vanish. The only reason we can't is due to the amount
of "donations" that the medical/industrial complex makes to our
The Facts are that we spend 200-300% more on our health care system than other
industrialized countries and our outcomes rank 35th in the world. All of these
countries have either a single payer system or heavily regulated industry.
These are the facts. While people go on about adopting business model and
having businessmen as politicians what company would not adopt the best
practices of other companies that have 300% lower input cost? America used to
be considered a pragmatic country that looked at a situation and made decisions
that were practical and based on facts and science. Now we have an ideological
theocracy where reality and facts don't matter...just like with global
warming and taxes. For facts on this check out the Frontline documentary on PBS
"Sick Around the World". This is not a liberal site using liberal facts.
They rely on WHO, UN and governmental statistics to show we have the 35th best
system in the world.