25 comments

  1. John Konop says:

    As you know Tom and I disagree on issues regarding spending, trade, immigration and education. Yet I will support Tom and Phil on taking a step toward a realistic approach toward solving the healthcare crisis.

  2. kendrial says:

    If my husband and I can get Insurance. (Being self imployed with a pre-existing condition.) Anyone can get insurance. They my have to cut down on the amount they spend at Walmart and Target. But then health out weighs a new toaster oven.

  3. shep1975 says:

    As much as we like to crow about market forces in healthcare, really the reason we are in a crisis is because there have been no market forces in healthcare in more than a generation.

    When on one side you have a large segment of the population who have been scared out of the market by rising costs, and the other side, which has insurance, who have no incentive to price shop and compare, you have a situation where prices are ripe to run amuck.

    Let

  4. juliobarrios says:

    Kendrial-

    The new, “realistic” approach to healthcare allows for a toaster oven at Wal-Mart and even a new plasma TV at Best Buy – it’s the American dream!

  5. Chris says:

    Shep: decent example. Last physical I had I asked the doc & techs what the procedures cost. Not a single one knew what they’d bill me. Since I was on a catastrophic coverage plan, the physical all was out of pocket. The Doc knew it, yet still had no idea what she was charging.

  6. juliobarrios says:

    A major contributor is the fact Doctors and hospitals are afraid of getting their butts sued. That’s why you’re going to have multiple, redundant tests. You want to spend a guaranteed day in the hospital, go to you Doctor and complain about chest pains. It’s probably a common cold or a bruise, but your Doc sure as hell isn’t going to make that diagnosis. It’s off to the hospital for tests ranging from everything to an anal rectum exam to an MRI.

    Got a headache – time for a catscan

    One could argue shouldn’t Doctors be 100% certain, but at some point it becomes grossly inefficient and contributes to basic healthcare being out of reach for some.

    It’s called defensive medicine and some estimate it costs us $100 billion a year.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/22/eveningnews/main3394654.shtml

    I know the healthcare problem is complex with a lot of factors, but redundant testing accounts for a good bit and we’ve got John Edwards to thank for that.

  7. juliobarrios says:

    Chris-

    It’s in the Patient’s Bill of Rights under Article 2, section 4 of the “A citizens right to a toaster oven and plasma TV” paragraph.

    I think pamphlets are available at the post office, soon to be translated into Spanish.

  8. shep1975 says:

    You know it’s just a vicious circle. Doctors charge outrageous amounts to the insurance companies who, in turn, charge the doctors outrageous amounts for their med-mal insurance.

  9. kendrial says:

    Julio-
    While they may be able to buy both the toster oven and the plasma TV, will they be able to afford their tax bill?

    Shep-
    If your post does not fit on my screen than it is toooo long. You know how I hate physical labor! I.e. scrolling.

  10. Joy says:

    Romney’s health insurance plan is already in trouble – a $147 million shortfall is anticipated this fiscal year.
    From the Boston Globe:

    Enrollment in the state’s new subsidized health plan is growing so quickly that the state could face a funding gap as large as $147 million by the end of the fiscal year, according to a state projection.
    more stories like this

    An aggressive outreach campaign by the state, hospitals, community groups, and advocates, including an extensive push in the last few weeks, has put enrollment on a path that could reach nearly 180,000 by June 30.

    Even if signups slow, the program will probably still be over budget – a victim of its own success – because the state has already enrolled nearly as many people as expected for the fiscal year.

    “It’s a good problem to have – people are getting insured and hopefully getting care,” said state Senator Richard T. Moore, cochairman of the Legislature’s Health Care Financing Committee. “But any shortfall is a big deal.”
    “http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/11/18/success_could_put_health_plan_in_the_red/

  11. John Konop says:

    Joy

    First preventive healthcare is cheaper by 10 to 1. Tax payers were paying for the system anyways this is just less expensive plan. I am sure the plan needs tweaking but holding up the article is short sided and does not take in consideration that tax payers are stuck with the bill anyways.

  12. shep1975 says:

    Kendrial – Doesn’t matter, I gave you the gist of it on the phone last night anyway. Besides, you had to scroll to the bottom to post your post about my post being too long! 🙂

  13. Bill Simon says:

    To Shep’s point:Doctors charge outrageous amounts to the insurance companies who, in turn, charge the doctors outrageous amounts for their med-mal insurance.

    Here’s the little understood fact about what doctors charge: they charge the “outrageous” amounts because the insurance companies have decided what percentage of what a doctor will charge them they will actually pay.

    AND, what do you think happens on the accounting book with that “outrageous” charge? The difference between what they charge and what they receive from the insurance company goes straight to the “write-off” line and offsets what they receive.

    At the end of the year, they appear to have not made too much money when, in fact, they have generated a huge cashflow that is offset by the write-off.

    However, to enjoy that write-off benefit, the doctors DO have to pay real cash to the insurance companies for malpractice.

  14. northside elephant says:

    Romney and Gingrey are trying to save private medicine! The US is headed straight toward socialized medicine.

    Do you think that Pres. Hillary, V.P. Bill and a Democratic Congress will leave our health care system alone?

    People like Jace are essentially advocating an ostrich-approach… lets all stick our heads in the sand and pretend that this will go away!

  15. northside elephant says:

    Jace,

    Is car insurance a form of socialism?

    Is Aflac an “only nominally private” company because it is only one out of the 64 car insurance companies that I can choose from?

    Our state government makes me buy car insurance to minimize cost externalities, is this straight from Karl Marx playbook?

  16. Jace Walden says:

    I’m not advocating anything, Northside. It’s people like Gingrey and Price who are leading us down the path toward socialized medicine.

    Our state government makes me buy car insurance to minimize cost externalities, is this straight from Karl Marx playbook?

    Actually, yeah it is. It’s not right to force you to buy something with your own money that you don’t want to buy.

    However, if you wreck someone and don’t have car insurance, you are liable for the bill–even if that includes selling off your property.

    Shit can get done without big-government getting in the way. Gingrey and Price need to learn that.

  17. IndyInjun says:

    Call me old fashioned.

    Prior to the 80’s or so, insurance reimbursed the INSURED for some or all of the insured’s payments to providers.

    This system put the patient directly in the line of payment and firmly in control of the services rendered.

    Go back to it and the ‘crisis’ is gone with a sledgehammer blow called market forces.

    The only thing that should be mandatory is catastrophic coverage with a $10,000 to $15,000 maximum out-of-pocket cost.

  18. Jason Pye says:

    Shit can get done without big-government getting in the way. Gingrey and Price need to learn that.

    So does Judson Hill.

    Romney and Gingrey are trying to save private medicine!

    I notice that you said “private medicine,” and not free market medicine. Clinton’s healthcare plan is very similar to the one Mitt Romney managed to push through in Massachusetts. Both infringe on the market due to increased government oversight of healthcare plans that can be offered and as well as mandates.

    The US is headed straight toward socialized medicine.

    Yep, thanks in large part to Mitt Romney.

    Two blogs that I read on a daily basis for healthcare issues are http://www.freemarketcure.com and http://www.healthcarebs.com. Please check them out and learn about real market reform.

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