Comments on: No matter who wins, there’s still a healthcare cost crisis http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/2012/10/01/no-matter-who-wins-theres-still-a-healthcare-cost-crisis/ Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:10:25 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Samanthaa http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/2012/10/01/no-matter-who-wins-theres-still-a-healthcare-cost-crisis/#comment-179 Wed, 19 Dec 2012 10:37:51 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/?p=38#comment-179 I think people would vote for Romney if at all they only care for Health Policies as the policies mentioned by him are Best compare with that of Obama !
Medicare

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By: paintcan http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/2012/10/01/no-matter-who-wins-theres-still-a-healthcare-cost-crisis/#comment-103 Thu, 04 Oct 2012 04:33:13 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/?p=38#comment-103 @texan5555 – Thanks. I think there is a tendency for hospitals to milk insurance too. My operation was performed at the nearest hospital that is required to treat regardless of ability to pay. I wasn’t going to get huffy. But it is more relaxing to be home,I think, and to know that my house is secure and I have my books, music, my own food and this screen at hand. OOTS reminded me of mirsa and that slipped my mind entirely. I would get homesick. Hospitals are a lot noisier generally than I am used to now.

I just did some research of some articles about RomneyCare in MA and it appears that costs have risen in the state but more people are insured.

I think the country is going into a period of declining standards of living. One could vote for either or neither Presidential Candidate and the results will be the same. They are not being voted as Commander in Chief of the World. They will not be able to have their way with the world as they were able to do so successfully during the last century.

It bothers me that Romney would like to deregulate insurance companies and I think that means they know the ACA will cost them big and will have to spread the costs over all types of insurance.

I think many more people will find themselves in my position of having to economize, do-it-yourself, try not to travel much or spend for superfluous items and shop Good Will etc. That will not do the economy any favors – ours or anyone else’s.

In other words, I’m probably going to see a long and boring road till I drop dead and the prospect of life extending surgery or increases in human life span doesn’t look nearly as attractive to me as it looks to some.

The trouble with feeling old and having to act like one is, is that it is self reinforcing and the costs of one’s life seem to go up. I try to walk or carry out needed repairs around here and find, like my 88 year old father, that moving around keeps one alive and I was even feeling fit again. But by the time the winter has ended I will have to start to regain strength again just to move around.

I cans see now why Chinese seniors go to public parks for group Tai Chi exercises. I always thought they were being brainwashed to be group minded and now I see that they reinforce themselves by trying to stay limber and reduce their need for medical care. They are actually comforting each other and encourging each other to stay alive. Someone in the group acts as leader and sets the routine and they may not actually be some party official or other but more like a club captain that they chose. I don’t know? But I do know that the world I’ve known most of my life is bathed in misinformation and rumor.

All propaganda is aimed at our own preconceptions and ignorance. It’s too bad one gets wiser when one gets older because I can’t use it now. But it isn’t the same wisdom one needs when one is young. It isn’t strong enough and can’t remember what hormones feel like. How delicious they are.

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By: texan5555 http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/2012/10/01/no-matter-who-wins-theres-still-a-healthcare-cost-crisis/#comment-102 Wed, 03 Oct 2012 18:46:56 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/?p=38#comment-102 @paintcan

I can agree with your comments. I recently was in the hospital for a situation that required surgery. They had to delay the surgery for a week because I requested a second opinion and I had to wait for the surgeon to have the time to do it. As a result, I spent an additional week in the hospital that I did not need to (one of the nurses actually inquired as to whether I could be discharged for the time I did not really need to be there). Personally, I very much dislike hospitals and would much rather have been at home. Also I know what you mean about pulling out a tube as they had one from my ankle into the middle of my foot and that was a strange feeling when they pulled it out

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By: poppyloon8 http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/2012/10/01/no-matter-who-wins-theres-still-a-healthcare-cost-crisis/#comment-101 Wed, 03 Oct 2012 17:17:41 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/?p=38#comment-101 Reihan, I am surprised you went for the intellectually lazy jab at fee-for-service medicine. Canada has FFS medicine with zero degrees of separation (the private practice physician bills Medicare directly), yet manages to control spending. The Mayo Clinic practices FFS medicine with one degree of separation (the physician is employed by the clinic, the clinic bills for each service it’s physicians perform, and the physician is informed at each semi-annual performance review how well they are hitting their volume targets), yet manages to be considered a cost effective provider. FFS medicine does not not necessarily lead to inflationary abusive consumption, but is contingent in a cultural environment which has also produced factory farming, mountaintop removal mining, fracking, and overfishing of the oceans.

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By: RichardNYC http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/2012/10/01/no-matter-who-wins-theres-still-a-healthcare-cost-crisis/#comment-100 Wed, 03 Oct 2012 12:40:56 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/?p=38#comment-100 The writer mis-states terminology and perpetuates a misconception. The money withheld from an employee’s pay that goes toward part of the cost of the company-provided health insurance is the “employee contribution,” the money the company pays the insurer for the insurance is the “rate,” or by extension the “premium.” It is hard to believe, but many employees think their contribution is the total cost of the insurance, just as many think the co-pay in the doctor’s office is what it costs to visit the doctor.

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By: EsaMikkola http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/2012/10/01/no-matter-who-wins-theres-still-a-healthcare-cost-crisis/#comment-99 Wed, 03 Oct 2012 08:19:25 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/?p=38#comment-99 @LysanderTucker

If the antibiotics were a miracle cure-all, they would be used as such. But they are not. For example, if everyone started to treat common cold with antibiotics, in the long run this would render all the antibiotics quite useless, leading to much more fatalities. And it would be useless too, as Common Cold is a viral infection, not bacterial. Antibiotics only work against bacteria.

So they are quite rightly kept as a prescription-only.

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By: OneOfTheSheep http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/2012/10/01/no-matter-who-wins-theres-still-a-healthcare-cost-crisis/#comment-98 Wed, 03 Oct 2012 04:29:21 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/?p=38#comment-98 Sorry…what a mess. Please substitute this for the above:

@jtfane,

I am an American with the right to share my observations of those who contribute to American productivity. It is upon these that America’s future rests…not those who are an economic drag. I exempt from the latter all who have led productive lives and are enjoying (or attempting to enjoy) their “golden years”.

You are entitled to your love of Europe and it’s substantive embrace of the fundamentals of Socialism, just as I am entitled to my love of America and it’s traditional Capitalistic fundamentals. I certainly agree neither is “pure” or ever likely to be. I also agree that “…health administration and insurance costs [account] for the highest percentage of excess cost…”.

That must end, and so such unjustified costs should be set aside and ignored in any meaningful comparison of “systems” such as McKinsey & Company and OECD purport to do. I, too, am aghast at the pervasive medical fraud that goes on and on which our clueless public servants seem powerless to identify and reduce or eliminate. I believe available statistics show that insurance companies are much more efficient at eliminating fraudulent claims than Medicare and Medicaid are.

I have championed the idea of a “government mandate” (did I say that?) that would require individuals put aside a certain amount of money before taxes (to be pooled, or “spread the risk”). “available funds” could accumulate (that not used) from year to year from which personal out-of-pocket health care expenditures could be reimbursed.. One could purchase more annual “coverage” on a year-to-year basis,, but the cost would not be paid with before-tax dollars.

You excuse any government collecting mountains of medical treatment monitoring information that limits meaningful access to same by the public that pays for it’s collection with a knee-jerk “[insert standard free market/capitalist rant here]”. That reveals your own “hidden agenda” of economic hate and loathing. The very IDEA that the public should expect anything USEFUL from their government…please.

We each “…value the health and well being of Americans and the economic viability of America…” but your big tent accepts everyone that breathes. Access to my smaller one is limited like John Smith’s philosophy that “only those who contribute to the community larder may eat from it”.

I am always fascinated by liberal presumptions as to what citizens DESERVE. When I started my business, did I work hard for long hours? Yes. Did I deserve more pay than I had earned as an employee? Most definitely. So what did I receive? NOTHING for over a year. My suppliers got paid, my people got paid, my taxes got paid. After them, there wasn’t enough to pay me for my “sweat equity”. Eventually, it all worked out.

No society can, in the long run, pass out more social service “goodies” than their economic productivity can pay for. No tickee, no washee. It does not require advanced math skills to comprehend that no country has yet demonstrated the long term ability to provide complete “state of the art in America” health care coverage to everyone within their borders.

You claim as “undeniable fact that essentially every other developed country in the world” does exactly that”. Not so. The “rest of the developed countries in the world” are learning that lesson, among others, the hard way via the unfolding collapse of the Euro”system”. The fundamental problem is that many of these countries have passed out lavish social service “goodies” that are inconsistent with their acual economic productivity.

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By: OneOfTheSheep http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/2012/10/01/no-matter-who-wins-theres-still-a-healthcare-cost-crisis/#comment-97 Wed, 03 Oct 2012 04:22:11 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/?p=38#comment-97 @jtfane,

I am an American with the right to share my observations of those who contribute to American productivity. It is upon these that America’s future rests…not those who are an economic drag. I exempt from the latter all who have led productive lives and are enjoying (or attempting to enjoy) their “golden years”.

You are entitled to your love of Europe and it’s substantive embrace of the fundamentals of Socialism, just as I am entitled to my love of America and it’s traditional Capitalistic fundamentals. I certainly agree neither is “pure” or ever likely to be. I also agree that “…health administration and insurance costs [account] for the highest percentage of excess cost…”.

That must end, and so such unjustified costs should be set aside and ignored in any meaningful comparison of “systems” such as McKinsey & Company and OECD purport to do. I, too, am aghast at the pervasive medical fraud that goes on and on which our clueless public servants seem powerless to identify and reduce or eliminate. I believe available statistics show that insurance companies are much more efficient at eliminating fraudulent claims than Medicare and Medicaid are.

I have championed the idea of a “government mandate” (did I say that?) that would require individuals put aside a certain amount of money before taxes (to be pooled, or “spread the risk”). “available funds” could accumulate (that not used) from year to year from which personal out-of-pocket health care expenditures up to a certain level could be reimbursed. I have championed the idea of a “government mandate” (did I say that?) that would require individuals put aside a certain amount of money before taxes (to be pooled, or “spread the risk”) that would accumulate if not used from year to year from which personal out-of-pocket health care expenditures up to a certain level could be reimbursed. One could purchase more annual “coverage” on a year-to-year basis,, but the cost would not be paid with before-tax dollars.

When you excuse our own government collecting mountains of medical treatment monitoring information and then preventing access to same by the public that pays for it’s collection by the knee-jerk “[insert standard free market/capitalist rant here]” you reveal your own “agenda” of economic hate and loathing. The very IDEA that the public should expect anything USEFUL from a government that is the “best that money can buy!

I have championed the idea of a “government mandate” (did I say that?) that would require individuals put aside yearly a certain amount of pre-tax money from which personal out-of-pocket health care expenditures up to a certain level could be reimbursed. The amount not used from year to year would accumulate, with untaxed interest, to encourage frugality. Thoose interested could purchase more annual “coverage” on a year-to-year basis, but the additional cost would not be paid with before-tax dollars.

When you excuse our own government collecting mountains of medical treatment monitoring information and then preventing access to same by the public that pays for it’s collection by the knee-jerk “[insert standard free market/capitalist rant here]” you reveal your own “agenda” of economic hate and loathing. The very IDEA that the public should expect anything USEFUL from a government that is the “best that money can buy!

When you excuse our own government collecting mountains of medical treatment monitoring information and then preventing access to same by the public that pays for it’s collection by the knee-jerk “[insert standard free market/capitalist rant here]” you reveal your own “agenda” of economic hate and loathing. The very IDEA that the public should expect anything USEFUL from a government that is the “best that money can buy!

We each “…value the health and well being of Americans and the economic viability of America…” but your big tent accepts everyone that breathes. Access to my smaller one is limited like John Smith’s philosophy that “only those who contribute to the community larder may eat from it”.

I am always fascinated by liberal presumptions as to what citizens DESERVE. When I started my business, did I work hard for long hours? Yes. Did I deserve more pay than I had earned as an employee? Most definitely. So what did I receive? NOTHING for over a year. My suppliers got paid, my people got paid, my taxes got paid. After them, there wasn’t enough to pay me for my “sweat equity”. Eventually, it all worked out.

No society can, in the long run, pass out more social service “goodies” than their economic productivity can pay for. No tickee, no washee. It does not require advanced math skills to comprehend that no country has yet demonstrated the long term ability to provide complete “state of the art in America” health care coverage to everyone within their borders.

You claim as “undeniable fact that essentially every other developed country in the world” does exactly that”. Not so. The “rest of the developed countries in the world” are learning that lesson, among others, the hard way via the unfolding collapse of the Euro”system”. The fundamental problem is that many of these countries have passed out lavish social service “goodies” that are inconsistent with their acual economic productivity.

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By: bcrawf http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/2012/10/01/no-matter-who-wins-theres-still-a-healthcare-cost-crisis/#comment-96 Wed, 03 Oct 2012 02:37:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/?p=38#comment-96 One of the Sheep,
I did not suggest profit is undesirable (or “dirty”), but do you claim an insurance company can provide coverage with an overhead–including profit–of about 3percent as the Medicare system does?

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By: jtfane http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/2012/10/01/no-matter-who-wins-theres-still-a-healthcare-cost-crisis/#comment-95 Tue, 02 Oct 2012 21:59:27 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/?p=38#comment-95 @OneOfTheSheep in response to @vasantjoshi asks “Who are YOU to presume to judge what is “appropriate” compensation for professionals” and in the very same post this individual proclaims that “America isn’t Europe and doesn’t want to be”. To paraphrase your very own scolding of @vasantjoshi, who are YOU to proclaim what America wants? Let me be the first to inform you that you do not speak for America. This is completely apart from the fact that your attacks on others here are pure strawmen. @vasantjoshi did not suggest that America was Europe nor that it wanted to be Europe, rather this person merely suggested their own opinion that the American healthcare system use the European systems, systems widely recognized by healthcare experts throughout the world to be significantly more efficient and effective than the American system, as a benchmark to control costs. You then proclaim that “Socialism is not the panacea you suggest” which offers a glimpse into your true, underlying purpose here. I see nothing in @vasantjoshi’s post that suggests that socialism is a panacea, however, you evidently felt strongly enough about the subject to bring it up. Rational, thinking people recognize that neither socialism nor capitalism is a panacea, but that one or the other might offer a superior solution for specific issues and neither should be ruled out based simply on ideological beliefs. You do the same in your response to @bcrawf with your assertion that “Profit is not a dirty word” a claim that was not made anywhere in their comment. Reading @bcrawf’s comment without the rabid ideological bias presents a much more reasonable perspective that health insurance is a major contributor to the excessive cost of healthcare in America. This perspective is supported by the 2008 McKinsey & Company report “Accounting for the cost of US health care: A new look at why Americans spend more” in which health administration and insurance costs accounted for the highest percentage of excess cost (nearly 170% higher than expected) of any of the seven major components of health care.

Then you make completely unsupportable statements such as “Those who would “cover everyone” in pursuit of an “equitable society” have their heads in the sand. Even America does not yet have an economy productive enough to pay for such.” How do you account for the undeniable fact that essentially every other developed country in the world does exactly that?

You state that “The rest of the world, including Europe, has longer waits for more abbreviated attention to human needs.” yet the OECD report “Health at a glance 2011″ concludes that Americans have the highest level of unmet care due to costs of any of the eleven countries measured. Forever is a very long time to wait. According to the report 39% of Americans with below average incomes reported that they were unable to get necessary medical attention due to costs. Not only that, 20% of Americans with above average income reported the same issue. The next highest rate in the report was Germany where 27% of below average income people and 17% of above average income weren’t able to obtain care due to cost and the numbers drop off significantly from there, down to just 4% for both groups in the UK. The same report indicates that more patients in the US (20%) spent four weeks or more waiting to see a specialist than in either Germany (17%) or Switzerland (18%). More Americans (7%) waited four months or more for elective surgery than residents of Germany (5%) or the Netherlands (5%) and France and Switzerland had the same rates as the US. The US also ranks fifth from last in the number of doctor consultations per capita and seventh from last in the average length of stay in hospital of the 33 countries monitored by the OECD. The US provides neither more care nor less abbreviated attention than other developed countries, it simply provides far more expensive care. Do you have any data to support your claims?

Then you go on to state that “There are “for profit” hospitals/chains and “non-profit” ones. It’s just about impossible to do an “apples and apples” comparison of anything medical because of the [insert standard free market/capitalist rant here]”. Perhaps you failed to notice the two organizations mentioned in the article as “renowned for offering cost-effective care” by none other than Reihan Salam, contributor to National Review and co-author of “Grand New Party”. It so happens that both of these, Kaiser Permanente (the largest managed care organization in the US) and Intermountain Healthcare are non-profits. The other hospital system widely cited for cost effectiveness is the Mayo Clinic, also a non-profit. But no need to fret, the free market system has it’s distinctions as well. Columbia/HCA, the largest private operator of health care facilities in the world, under the leadership of current Florida governor Rick Scott committed the greatest healthcare fraud in US history by fleecing US taxpayers for hundreds of millions of dollars, a crime that eventually cost their customers and shareholders over $2B to settle. Scott of course walked away from the whole thing with over $300M. Not perfect indeed.

While I’m not arrogant enough to claim that I speak for America, I at least value the health and well being of Americans and the economic viability of America above my own petty ideological beliefs. Strict adherence to an ideology, whether it be capitalism or socialism, nearly always leads one to ignore facts and dismiss potentially superior solutions in order to support the ideology. I believe America deserves better and I believe Americans deserve what works best regardless of the underlying ideology. The rest of the developed countries in the world manage to deliver decent basic healthcare to all of their citizens and Americans deserve at least this much.

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