Thursday, February 21, 2008

Line of the night-hug your federal bureaucrat.

Hillary said that she is “tired of health insurance companies deciding who lives and who dies.”

Her preference, federal bureaucrats.

Wow, if you don’t like your HMO try the IRS.

17 comments:

RF said...

In a good universal health care system the doctor is the one making the call. The best universal systems don't have any kind of insurance system (not even "single payer") involved, so no HMO or government bureucrats make life and death decisions. Most ironically, those systems are much cheaper than our broken system. - Sadly, there will never be enough political will to make such fundamental change in this country.

The Real Sporer said...

Under what known theory of market economics would the system you describe lower health care costs?

Completely removing any price restraint hasn't historically been a very efficient system of service allocation.

Cedar Waxwing said...

Exactly..

Plus..I'd love for you to name ANY thing where government has taken over a section of the free market economy and run it more efficiently, less expensively and with better quality...

Anonymous said...

Spotlight to Cedar--

the answers to your questions are numerous, beginning with Medicare, but including road systems, sewer systems, border control, military forces, land grant colleges, municipal utilities, etc.

RF said...

Sporer,

Those systems are cost-based. Every stage of the system does not make a market-based (or excessive) profit. Yes, simple economics which leads to lower prices. If you actually knew some of those systems, you would not have to ask. End result: Good universal systems cost much less than our system, but deliver better overall results. The bottom line is, health care sector is not a market that operates like an ideal free market for widgets A and B in your economics book. Only a rigid ideologue detached from reality can make such an argument.

mcquisling said...

Insurance is the biggest scam on the face of the earth. It is inherently socialist, inefficient and establishes an arbitrary "market" price for health care.

If we eliminate insurance, doctors and hospitals would only charge what patients would be able to pay (a true market) and would bring costs down.

Art A Layman said...

sporie:

Gracious! I was going to weigh in but doubt I could do better than those who are already lambasting you and yours pretty good.

Have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

The govt is supposed to ONLY do things that the private sector cannot - Roads, military for example.

If you want to see how Govt healthcare would work, you only have to look at Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans progam to know how well they would do.

People on Medicare MUST buy private wrap around insurance to make up for the extreme shortfalls in coverage.

So much for GOVT health insurance being cheaper.

The only way to make it cheaper is to reduce services or reduce what you pay for the services. Govt always chooses to pay less, so Doctors have no incentive to take on Govt patients - and as we see in England and Canada, they don't.

The Real Sporer said...

Art, did you know that the only other person who called me "sporie" was a flaming homosexual with a very misplaced crush?

Art A Layman said...

sporie:

Am I guilty by use of name association?

Besides I'm not a "flaming" homosexual.

Art A Layman said...

sporie:

One other thought: Given I am most attracted to intellect you would appear safe.

The Real Sporer said...

Arthur, admit your man crush.

The Real Sporer said...

far more seriously,

rf,

i disagree. those health care markets operate very much in a classical sense and only deviate, in an almost linear manner, when the market is interrupted by things like insurance, government payment, other regulation etc...

we agree that the cost of health care is out of control, although most Americans still have access to far better health care than anyone else on earth, there is a big problem, and it is getting bigger.

part of it comes from what Huck calls the culture of life. we spend vast healthcare resources on saving/extending life at the margins. think of the money spent on AIDS research. most places, that cannot afford the every costly American drugs, just let AIDS patients die. Much more true of geriatric illnesses (as you know we men age fast). that extra year for a terminal cancer patient isn't something most countries can afford.

i had the chance to do a ton of academic research on this topic before i was involved in politics. most of the universal systems you describe either work in little countries (the Dutch for example) and all require massive socialism and paternalism in the pricing and accessing-neither of which would even kind of work here in the land of hte silver dollar.

Whew..........i've got blisters on my fingers.

Art A Layman said...

sporie:

Not to burst your bubble but if the pic posted above is of you and the little lady(a lovely lady indeed) I feel a much stronger attraction to her than to you (although you are kinda cute...wink...wink).

RF said...

Sporer,

Since you believe in the market mechanism in the healthcare sector, I look forward to your story about getting quotes from different docs & hospitals while you lay on a stretcher, suffering from a heart attack. For some likely very pricey treatments, you will surely want to shop around.

Speaking of the good universal systems. The one fact never mentioned in the US discussions about those systems is that most of those countries (maybe all, don't know) also have a thriving private health care industry alongside the public system. And speaking from first-hand experience, competition from the essentially free system forces the private sector practicioners to moderate their profits and prices as well. I had to price an operation for a family member here in the US and abroad, and the foreign private sector provider charged only about one fourth of what the price would have been here. It was a no brainer, well worth the plane tickets. Plus, the quality of care was excellent. - You don't hear much about the medical tourism from the US to elsewhere. But it does exist.

Art A Layman said...

rf:

I did hear a discouraging fact the other night. Apparently in Britain one cannot go outside the public system to purchase services or medicines without losing public coverage for their condition. I can understand the basic concept but it does appear grossly unfair.

I'm sure it is one of those failings that we could fix were we to adopt a more sensible health care process.

RF said...

I'm no expert on the UK system, but I've never heard anyone mention it as an exemplary universal system. Sounds like they have many issues. And to be fair, one must realize no system is perfect.

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