It is a long read and it hammers Obamacare extensively for doing little to address hospital and MD billing abuses, for failing to include tort reform, and for driving up health insurance premiums in the private individual market.
Meanwhile, ObamaCare is meant to drive the price up.
The article goes to great lengths to highlight high salaries for senior HMO adminstrators and lobbying expenditures to Washington DC, but doesn’t even mention astronomical costs associated with lawsuits, the incredible amount of paperwork involved with such a heavily regulated industry, plain ol insurance fraud, or why those lobbyists are needed in the first place. Medicine took a wrong turn in the mid sixties with the wholesale insinuation of government into the healthcare industry, and the joined-at-the-hip relationship with the legal and insurance industries, and now the government and its lawyers say to remedy those wrongs, the answer is yet more government involvement. Beam me up Scotty.
If I do remember correctly, healthcare providers charge a premium over and above the actual service in order to provide for those that they serve who do not or cannot pay. I had 20 stitches in my finger back in 1979 and remember that they charged $30 for painkiller (aspirin) $140 for the gauze to wrap my finger. When I called and questioned they said they charged the price of a case because they had to cover their service to those who could not pay. I was a student then and had no insurance, but somehow I was considered the “privileged” that had to pay for those who could not.
Just wait until the government makes it free. Then it gets really expensive.
Furthermore, there was no hammering "for failure to include tort reform."
Do the American people really pay such bill? My understanding is that they put “Return to Sender” on the bills coming in.
For example, liberal rhetoric is that the uninsured drive up the cost of ER care. But the truth is that Medicaid recipients make more inappropriate use of ER than uninsured do. And it raises costs for everyone because Medicaid reimburses less than the actual cost of providing services.
Because the ER cannot turn away most people who go there inappropriately (i.e., those who could be treated outpatient) these costs get passed on to everyone else. With millions slated to be dumped into Medicaid next year, I expect ER costs to mushroom.
What a load of gibberish. Healthcare bills are high because 80% of the bill is paid out in court cases. Tort reform in Texas had their healthcare costs drop dramatically.
Then there are the subsidies. You get to pay for illegal aliens (who show up in the emergency room and never seem to pay anything), single moms and their kids, homosexuals and their extravagant healthcare needs.
Only about 14% of the bill is yours.
Supply & Demand.
If we had the bottlenecks to the supply of toys like smartphones and flat screen TVs that we have to the delivery of medical services then very few people would have these and other toys.
The America Medical Association, coupled with the muscle of various governments and the threats of the Tort industry have greatly restricted the supply of medical services.
Why are routine first aid procedures done in the emergency room at a cost of hundreds or even thousands of dollars? Convert one of the nail salons located in the from of your local Super Walmart into a First Aid Station. Staff it with nurses, EMTs and former military medics/corpsmen. Run it as a business generating the same profit margin that the Sporting Goods, Tire departments or the McDonald’s does.
Install a medical triage database system plugged into “Tech Support” to help the senior medical tech decide which cases need to be seen by an MD. We have an excellent medical diagnosis course designed for workers in very remote areas, places where they may be the only one around with reading, communication and transportation resources. One of the other people on campus came to the MD teaching the course with a medical complaint. The doctor turned the patient over to two students, telling them, “This is what we a re here for. Diagnose this man’s problem.”
A while later the two students & the patient returned, shaking their heads. “We’ve never heard of it, but we believe that he has TB of the pelvis.”
Long story - short, the doctor asked a few questions, then took everyone to the local hospital’s radiology department. The patient had TB of the pelvis! The two students who did the diagnosis? Their day job was has sheet rock installers.
Run medical service as a business. Remove the artificial limits on the supply of doctors created my medical schools.
Doctors are treated like ‘gods’, omniscient, above mere mortals. Yet my doctor spends more time typing into a database than he does examining me or talking with me. Anyone ever hear of “Speech to Text”?
/rant.... for now. :-)
These astronomical costs are the very reason I avoid the doctor at all costs. If I have to see one, I usually head to a doc-in-a-box, aka an urgent care center. At least what they bill you will not bankrupt you. Granted, they are limited in what they can do(no setting broke bones, no stitching gaping wounds), but for the basic cold/flu/allergies/sore throat/stuffy nose stuff that won’t respond to OTC meds, they get the job done. You’re in and out. No hours long ER wait with a waiting room full of even sicker people and no final billing that is more costly than the down payment on my last new car.
Another commentary on this article, from Karl Denninger:
Under Medicare about $2,000 will be paid the $21,000 figure is for the uninsured.
I can’t wait to see what the excuse is when medical care becomes unobtainable for all but the elites. Obamacare was supposed to the cure-all (even though it didn’t actually do anything), so government’ll eventually have to come up with an excuse for it not working.
In fifty years, it will make little difference if old Martha dies in 2013 or 2018. Either way, Martha will be gone and probably forgotten. However, if in fifty years, taxpayers are still paying for Martha's extra five years, that will make a difference. Right now, our country is becoming flooded with old Marthas.
If old people want to spend a lot of money to unnecessarily extend their miserable lives, it should be their own money. The taxpayer is tapped out.
Expensive, wasteful spending to unnecessarily extend lives should be left up to the individual on a "pay as you go" basis. Pay as you go - and, when you stop paying, it's time for you to go.