I’m almost there, but we can’t go on with medical costs going up %10 a year. The reason we’re in this mess is having too many people purchasing medical care with other people’s money. It has too stop somewhere and I’m willing to suffer to do that.
Had a patient show up in the ER yesterday DEMANDING an MRI of her neck. Has a chronic condition, recently got a little worse, but nothing emergent. NO insurance, followed by an orthopedic surgeon. Told her to go to her ortho and have it arranged. “ I don’t have the money so I came here”. People thing everything we do in the ER is free, and an entitlement. I am sick of seeing people who are demanding, want care, free medicine, a meal, and a damn cab ride home, treat the staff like their servants and don’t pay us a fricking penny. The sick part is the idiot hospital caters to it, terrified it’s “patient satisfaction” numbers will suffer if we don’t provide it all. Thank God I am at the tail end of my career, and knock on wood I have an escape hatch for the next two years....
Let's look at this from a different perspective - one that I consider the right perspective, even though it is rarely articulated.
Accepting your number that medical costs are going up 10% per year, that is a VERY good thing if we are getting what we pay for. Look at the economy as a whole, and imagine it is growing at 2% per year real growth with medical costs 20% of the economy. What is the best place to spend that extra wealth?
Should we spend that extra money on more trinkets from China?
Should we spend that extra money on more restaurant meals with larger portions and double desserts?
Personally, I think the best possible place to spend that money, where I would choose to spend that money from my own wallet, is on improved medical care.
We are not spending a lot more for the same checkup on the sniffles. We are in most cases spending a lot more for medicines that treat conditions that used to require surgery. We are in most cases spending a lot more for surgeries that treat conditions that used to be crippling or fatal. We are in most cases spending a lot more for devices that allow my father to remain mobile despite his knee damage in Korea, and allow my mother to see despite a condition that would have blinded her just a decade ago. That is a VERY good use of our money. What ObamaCare will do is stifle that innovation, so that we will find few new treatments, just cheaper alternatives to existing treatments. I rather like the idea of curing conditions that are currently crippling or fatal, and I'm willing to pay more to get more.
There are areas where medical effort is being wasted and costs are non-productive, but they are mostly due to excessive government intrusion or perverse insurance incentives. If we can reform malpractice - get rid of the frivolous lawsuits - we can cut the wasteful medical spending. If we can reduce the frivolous record keeping requirements, we can cut wasteful spending. If we can return to insurance as coverage for major, unexpected expenses instead of comprehensive coverage of sniffles check ups, birth control for party girls, and any other service on demand, consumers will have an incentive to control costs. But the idea that more government involvement will improve quality and cut costs strikes me as optimistic to the point of absurdity.