Comments on: Now is the time to focus on healthcare affordability Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: RichardNYC Thu, 12 Jul 2012 12:38:15 +0000 The big nut is the exorbitant incomes of MDs. In my neighborhood they drive BMWs, Lexuses and Mercedes, they have Ross Report in their waiting rooms and they work 4-day weeks so they can take long weekends in the Hamptons.

By: GA_Chris Wed, 11 Jul 2012 22:36:42 +0000 Why does a mammogram cost $30 in India and $500 in the US?
Work out that difference, and you see why we have the most expensive, yet least efficient system in the world. Doctors are paid far too much, nurses far too little insurance and hospitals make too much money and businesses suffer the cost

By: PaulHewitt33 Wed, 11 Jul 2012 20:40:21 +0000 Ignani correctly points out that many aspects of the Affordable Care Act paradoxically will make health care less affordable for those not singled out for subsidy. Insurers are destined to play the happless role of tax collector in this political scheme to redistribute income through the health system. We are paying a high price for our past indulgences, and would be wise to listen to the whipping boy for a change.

By: tinkingboutit Wed, 11 Jul 2012 18:33:02 +0000 Seriously? First, let’s loose the sexist references. Just because a woman wrote this article doesn’t make the author a “shrill.” Nor is there cause to call her an “ignorant airhead.” Grow some tact, people.

The purpose of Ms. Ignagni’s post was to discuss ways to control health care costs. Why not comment on that discussion, rather than joining in the “make insurance the scapegoat” battle call? If insurance companies did not contract with providers, thereby controlling rates through negotiation, provider profits would escalate as precipitously as the pharamaceuticals.

The cost drivers of health care include, among others: enormous amounts charged by hospitals and ancillary providers for unnecessary and duplicative tests, astronomical profits garnered by pharmaceutical companies, and yes, fraudulent billing practices. It’s time to take a look at everyone involved in the health care industry before singling out a single group to blame for escalating costs.

There are many not-for-profit insurance companies across the U.S. If Congress would allow intrastate policy sales, consumers could shop around for the best rates.

Many of the uninsured utilize emergency rooms for non-emergent care. If Congress would subsidize charity care in urgent care clinics, the uninsured could receive their non-emergent care in lower cost clinics rather than in the most expensive facilities.

Universal care is not the answer. The Federal government was given dominion over Medicare funds and it’s squandered the monies on a myriad of unrelated programs. What makes you think it would treat tax revenues for universal care any differently?

It’s time to look at the whole picture, and stop making one industry the fall-guy for frustration and a lack of good ideas by policymakers.

By: NATIVEPDXR Wed, 11 Jul 2012 17:56:07 +0000 What she’s saying is true. The ACA is a step in the right direction, but needs fine-tuning. I know what I’m talking about – unlike many of the commenters here, who have misguided by partisan career politicians in DC.

By: urownexperience Wed, 11 Jul 2012 15:40:54 +0000 Until the government controls insurance rates and drug costs, as they do in Europe, the middle class will lose its health care. DON’T EVER vote Republican.

By: paintcan Wed, 11 Jul 2012 13:14:00 +0000 The ACA would have died if it had tried to be more like other socialized medical systems like the Canadian or British system. And that will be its problem: that it didn’t try to write out all the current profit takers in the system. Old age care can be expensive no matter how healthy a lifestyle one had. And the very health conscious seem to have the largest bills – at least among those I know. I know from experience that the kinds of medical problems I have had don’t seem to have anything to do with my “lifestyle choices” and more to do with my old age and the fact that it is time for me to wear out. Physical wear and tear is the real problem now. In fact it is the healthy choices – like being a walker most of my life – that are the most painful problems now. My whole life I underestimated physical wear and tear from healthy activities. In fact – a recent problem that required surgery seemed to have no connection to my lifestyle and was simply the result of my age. There are/will be millions like me and we last a long time due to better care.

The government won’t be able to control costs until it is so expensive a nationalized system looks better by comparison. But it could be another ten to twenty years before we see something like Midwestvoice and MaggieMP describes.

But if premiums rise over all (as has happened apparently in Massachusetts, I don’t know how anyone will be able to claim the problem was solved?

BTW – it was odd that the SC decision was not linked in the Reuters article and I looked at the SC site and couldn’t find it there either, at least last week. It was a surprising and maybe even a desperate decision?

By: SamuelReich Wed, 11 Jul 2012 13:09:26 +0000 You increase price when increase demand unless you increase supply. That means making more qualified doctors. How about free medical schools (in schools where 75% of the students can pass performance tests at end of each year and where the school take no other fees than the plan).

How about the government getting patents on the drugs they helped finance.

In addition there are few informed consumers on health care or health insurance. Big brother is needed without informed consumers the competition does not work. To get big brother you need either lots of regulation or government take over. The insurance companies will rob and kill if they are made big brother.

By: GMavros Wed, 11 Jul 2012 11:48:59 +0000 “This woman sounds like little more than a shill for the insurance industry and they have bought enough influence as it is!
Hopefully this admittedly weak healthcare act will lead, sooner rather than later, to a sensible National Care approach.”
This statement by MidwestVoice says it all, and MaggieMP’s remarks on the Canadian system are down to earth.

Although I am outside the field & ignorant on the details of ACA, my close friends who are professionals in this seem to be uncertain and unclear on its implications & consequences. They all agree that the ACA does not cut the pie.
We will need something more inclusive and innovative. Duplicating systems from other countries will not work in the US. The biggest obstacle for change are the astronomical financial investments & interests in our present system.

In my opinion our health care system is identical to that of the Chinese. Both have ineffective health care.
In China all the health related enterprises are owned/controlled by a certain number of members of the communist party (the government), their friends & relatives. In the US they are owned & controlled by a certain number of mega corporations & families who control the government. Same monster different clothes.

By: ajeoiawlkds Wed, 11 Jul 2012 07:03:54 +0000 one key assumption is that insurance industry should keep profit margins constant and hence be able to throw money at things like her.