Sunday, August 16, 2009

Obamacare-Hillarycare Leftovers

Now is NOT the time to quit telling the WH to get out of the health care business. Apparently Obama is ready to give up the public health care option due to the growing public concern and criticism. The thing is, he can give up the public option, but he can also have the public option ideas forced into the private sector if we are not vigilant.

Back when Hillary Bill was president his wife tried to bring in socialized medicine, remember? It seemed to me then as well as now that the people who want the socialized medicine would be the very ones not able to access it. They would be the very ones denied service by the death panel or rather the government body set up to review medical cases.

At the time of Hillarycare, I rented a duplex from a friend and co-worker who happened to be morbidly obese and in her early 40s. I remember the debate on euthanasia and rationing then. This friend was totally for it all. Of course what she didn't realize or wish to admit is that she would be the very one not allowed care due to her age and size. She would be one targeted for end of life conversations initiated by the doctors who are then paid for the service. This is not new stuff Obama is trying to force down our throats, and it is just as scary.

Part of the revamping of the whole healthcare business that would actually help would be to allow insurance companies to compete across state lines, which they can't do now due to government control. Competition is what brings prices down, not regulation or government intervention.

When doctors are able to charge not based on medicare tables or contracts and people are allowed to compare-shop their doctors, the fees will go down. It happened in the whole laser eye surgery, the surgery got better and the prices dropped. When insurance is not paying for people's health care and start paying for what we need, ie., medical services, then the cost of the services will go down.

Remember that in the US a man diagnosed with prostate cancer has an 87% chance of survival whereas in Great Britain the same man would only have a 43% chance. Cancer requires medical services not health care. Look at the survival rate of all of the cancers, the US has the highest survival rate there is. Lets talk about what we really need and really want-medical care, medical services not health care.

Just look at the history of when health care came to be. When HMOs came about to offer health care the cost of the services went up and insurance prices went up. But the individual paid just a little which gave a false understanding of the true cost of care. See when a person pays a $10 co-pay the rest is billed to the insurance company. So the insurance company raises premiums due to more usage. They also contract for doctors to accept less. The whole medicare standard fell into place with regard to fees. Then it all gets complicated with gate keepers and what not.

Medicare rations right now by the way. My mom can't have a full female exam except every 3 years if medicare pays for it. That is rationing. If we went back to major medical only for a while I think insurance premiums would drop and more people would be willingly covered. Remember the government controls private health insurance companies already.

And another thing, malpractice attorneys like John Edwards who made his millions suing doctors (why are his clients not rich?). That caused the medical services to go up. Doctors have to spend lots of money on insurance to defend themselves against attorneys like Edwards. Yes there are doctors who make mistakes and should have to pay but then there are real frivolous cases out there too. A litigious society is not a good society for future growth except in the attorney's pocketbook.

Okay I am off this soap box for the evening.

1 comment:

bajones said...

I have a friend who is rabidly fighting for obamacare too, and like your friend, she would be among the first joining the soylent green contingent. She is on medicaid because she has schizophrenia that is too debilitating for her to work full time. Her family is wealthy, but decided to put her on medicaid rather than have to pay out of pocket for her health insurance. She is so angry that she can't see any doctor she wants or get any medication that she wants on medicaid, yet completely fails to realize that if obamacare gets passed we will *all* be on medicaid. If the govt runs it, it will be medicaid. With the added advantage for her that she has an illness that is incredibly expensive to manage, and she is not a productive member of society. Yet she has convinced herself that if obamacare is passed she'll be able to shop for doctors and be able to get the latest, non-generic meds all for free. sad.